Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Restoring whose honor???

As many of you know, Faux News personality and religious fanatic, Glenn Beck held his divisiveness and intolerance rally  in Washington, D.C. over the weekend.

Prior to the event, Americans United posted this article:

There is an event tonight at the Kennedy Center called “Divine Destiny,” and is being touted by Beck as a way to “reunite” Americans, and to “heal your soul” and to take a “look at the role faith played in the founding of America and the role it will play again in its destiny.”
However . . .
In reality, a major goal of Beck’s rallies is to undermine the Founding Fathers’ vision of a nation where government and religion are kept separate. Beck propagates a revisionist historical perspective that says America is an officially religious state. Mainline Christians, Muslims, non-believers and other Americans who fail to meet Beck’s religious test are often maligned.
“Our nation’s destiny will be disastrous, not divine, if Glenn Beck has his way,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “The message Beck and his cronies want to send is clear: if you don’t believe in a government based on his religious vision, you should expect to be treated like a second-class citizen. Beck has made it clear that he has no respect for our Constitution’s promise of religious liberty for all.”
On the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech, the great civil rights leader is probably spinning in his grave. 

Whose  honor are they seeking to restore? (Bristol's maybe, as a friend of mine jokingly suggested.) Beck and Palin had stated that this was not a political event, but from what I had seen from the interviews of some of those in attendance, it was more of an anti-abortion rally, anti-gay rally, all wrapped up into sort of a campground church revival. If it were up to these people who attended, we would be ruled by a Christian  theocracy in a heartbeat.


War on Christmas crap starting already

When are these idiots in government going to understand what Separation of Church and State means? It doesn’t mean that they let every religious group display their individual beliefs on STATE and/or Federal property. Government should not be endorsing ANY religion…NONE. The reason they are allowing other beliefs to be put on display is to be able to put their own Christian beliefs on display on government property while shutting everyone else up with the appearance of “being fair.”
RICHMOND, Va. – Local governments can offer religious holiday displays, provided other beliefs are allowed to display their holiday symbols, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli wrote in an advisory opinion.
Cuccinelli publicly released the opinion Tuesday, responding to a request by Del. Robert G. Marshall, who asked under what conditions Loudoun County would be permitted to display the “birth of Jesus Christ.”
In his response, Cuccinelli said a local government can erect Christmas displays on public property as long as other faiths and beliefs are represented.
In an opinion loaded with footnotes, Cuccinelli wrote that Loudoun County “is free to create a nondiscriminatory forum for recognition of holidays, including Christmas, if it makes clear that the county itself is not communicating a religious message.”
If you are allowing religious symbols to be displayed on GOVERNMENT property, then the county, town, state, etc. is indeed helping to communicate religious messages.
In an opinion issued Friday, Cuccinelli said local governments are “never categorically compelled to prohibit holiday displays.”
“Holiday displays at government facilities may include depictions of Jesus along with “candy canes,” Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says.”
“… The county is free to communicate its own recognition of the holidays, including Christmas, as long as overtly Christian symbols are balanced with other religious and secular ones in a way that communicates to reasonable, informed observers that the county is not making a religious statement.
Overtly Christian symbols and displays are okay on government property??? Since when? And I will repeat what I said above, if you are allowing religious symbols to be displayed on GOVERNMENT property, then the county, town, state, etc. is indeed making religious statements. Tossing in a few token candy canes and snowmen doesn’t take away the fact of the Christian message this government led by mostly Christian politicians is trying to endorse/promote.
“Because secular symbols can insulate innately religious symbols from constitutional attack, decoration of public buildings with such secular items such as lights, candy canes, poinsettias, fir trees, snowflakes, and red and green ribbons should raise no serious constitutional objection.”
Just like with their own religious rules, they think they can just alter the laws to suit themselves in order to wiggle in their own beliefs on the steps of government buildings and other public places. No Mr Cuccinelli, it is not okay to put Jesus imagery on display on government property even if surrounded by a thousand candy canes and and colored lights, and if the citizens of Virginia support this decision, your state is all screwed up.

Friday, August 20, 2010

West Wing - Powerful soliloquy

This scene with Martin Sheen talking to God is such a powerful one. It states how many agnostics and atheists feel. The god of the Bible is mean, vindictive, hateful, and dangerous  as any in all of the ancient mythologies. Gods in literature/mythology/theology hold all of the worst characteristics of human kind.

West Wing - Bible Quote scene

Thanks to my friend KA for posting this in a thread at another blog. This is priceless. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When religious tolerance goes too far

I know everyone is sick to death of hearing about this mosque “controversy”, but this must be brought to the attention of those who may not be aware that New York Gov. David Paterson made a proposal that if the people behind the Cordoba mosque and community center agree to move their facility somewhere else in New York City, the state would be happy to pay for it.
Gov. David A. Paterson said Tuesday that he would consider offering state-owned property to the developers of a $100 million Muslim center and mosque if they decided to build it farther from ground zero.
As this AU article points out, Paterson seems to have forgotten that the U.S. Constitution and the New York Constitution contains strong language barring any diversion of public resources for religious purposes. (Article XI, for example, bans public support of institutions “wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination….”)

“I understand that some people are not happy with the prospect of an Islamic center opening in Manhattan, but relocating it to public property raises significant legal issues,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Whether the governor is talking about a gift of public land or a sweetheart deal that gives one religious group a special right to purchase government property, it’s wrong.
“In America,” continued Lynn, “government does not subsidize religion or give religious groups preferential treatment.”
I agree with Lynn who said the solution to this dilemma is to respect the Muslim group’s right to build its center on private property using private funds even if we may not like it or believe it to be disrespectful and insensitive. There is nothing legally we can do to stand in their way. But to try to bribe them away with government land is illegal, and a direct violation of Separation of Church and State.

Dr. Laura goes into persecution mode and ends her show . . .

. . . then Dr Laura Schlessinger cries that her 1st Amendment rights have been violated because people criticized her for her “N” word rant, making racist comments on her radio program. No one pulled her plug, she did that herself, but however it came to be that she is no longer on the airwaves spewing forth her moronic advice and bullshit, we can be thankful for her self-imposed banishment. 
Los Angeles, California (CNN) — Embattled radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger announced Tuesday she will not renew her contract that is up at the end of the year, telling CNN’s “Larry King Live” she wants to “regain my First Amendment rights.”
Schlessinger, 63, has been under fire for using the N-word repeatedly during an on-air conversation with a caller last week.
In announcing her decision “not to do radio anymore” after being in the business for more than 30 years, Schlessinger said, “I want to be able to say what’s on my mind and in my heart and what I think is helpful and useful without somebody getting angry or some special-interest group deciding this is a time to silence a voice of dissent.”
National furor erupted when Schlessinger used the N-word 11 times in five minutes during a call August 10 with an African-American caller who was seeking advice on how to deal with racist comments from her white husband’s friends and relatives. The conversation evolved into a discussion on whether it’s appropriate to ever use the word, with Schlessinger arguing it’s used on HBO and by black comedians.
Schlessinger apologized the following day, saying “I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the N-word all the way out — more than one time. And that was wrong. I’ll say it again — that was wrong.”
While Schlessinger told King on Tuesday that she was still “regretful” over the incident, she said she feels her freedom of speech rights “have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don’t want to debate — they want to eliminate.”
   “I decided it was time to move on to other venues where I could say my peace and not have to live in fear anymore,” she said.
Schlessinger plans to expand her internet presence with her website.
“I’m not retiring. I’m not quitting,” she said. “I feel energized actually, stronger and freer to say the things that I believe need to be said for people in this country.”
As one commenter stated, freer to say the “N” word and be as racist as she wants? She didn’t attempt to help the caller at all, and instead went on this tirade which indicates her true feelings. Though she is not a Christian (she is Jewish), she acts like one in the way she wants her First Amendment rights upheld to say what she wants, but doesn’t want anyone else to exercise their right to criticize what she says.

Monday, August 09, 2010

IRAS 05437+2502: An Enigmatic Star Cloud from Hubble

Explanation: What's lighting up nebula IRAS 05437+2502? No one is sure. Particularly enigmatic is the bright upside-down V that defines the upper edge of this floating mountain of interstellar dust, visible near the image center. In general, this ghost-like nebula involves a small star forming region filled with dark dust that was first noted in images taken by the IRAS satellite infrared light in 1983. Shown above is a spectacular, recently released image from the Hubble Space Telescope that, although showing many new details, has not uncovered a clear cause of the bright sharp arc. One hypothesis holds that the glowing arc was created by a massive star  that somehow attained a high velocity and has now left the nebula. Small, faint IRAS 05437+2502 spans only 1/18th of a full moon toward the constellation of the Bull (Taurus)

Approaching Neptune

Credit: Voyager 2, NASA
Explanation: Two hours before closest approach to Neptune in 1989, the Voyager 2 robot spacecraft snapped this picture. Clearly visible for the first time were long light-colored cirrus-type clouds floating high in Neptune's atmosphere. Shadows of these clouds can even be seen on lower cloud decks. Most of Neptune's atmosphere is made of hydrogen and helium, which is invisible. Neptune's blue color therefore comes from smaller amounts of atmospheric methane, which preferentially absorbs red light. Neptune has the fastest winds in the Solar System, with gusts reaching 2000 kilometers per hour. Speculation holds that diamonds may be created in the dense hot conditions that exist under the cloud tops of Uranus and Neptune

Friday, August 06, 2010

California Gay Marriage Ban Overturned

Just a quickie newsflash
California Gay Marriage Ban Overturned
A federal judge Wednesday struck down a California ban on same-sex marriages as unconstitutional, according to reports the ruling by Judge Vaughn R. Walker of Federal District Court in San Francisco represents an important victory for gay rights advocates in a case that many believe may end up eventually going to the United States Supreme Court.

Where's a liberal supposed to shop anymore?

ChuckA has alerted me to what he calls “more outrageously stupid BS”, and this indeed is. While we are scrutinizing and condemning large national/international chains with a conservative political agenda like Walmart and Hobby Lobby, we can now add Target to the list.
Austin Cline at About.com writes:
As a retailer, Target seems to be relatively popular among liberals — but that’s probably more due to a lack of choices, given how WalMart is their biggest competitor, than anything positive that Target has ever done. Now, though, there are strong negative reasons to avoid Target: when you give Target money, they funnel to anti-gay politicians like Tom Emmer in Minnesota. Emmer then funnels money to anti-gay ideologue Bradlee Dean who seems to approve of the execution of gays. Yes, that’s where money spent at Target is going.
Who is Bradlee Dean?
Bradlee Dean, the frontman of a Christian rock band in Minnesota called You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, recently said that Muslim countries that execute LGBTs are “more moral than even the American Christians,” plus some mouth-foaming about gays engaging in abominations and child molestation. Ugh
You can check out this “loving Christian”‘s blog here,if you have time to waste: Bradlee Dean’s Blog (Of course there are no comment sections to tell him how asshattish, hateful and bigoted his opinions and ideas are.)
What is the connection to Target?
Bradlee’s ministry received money and support from Tom Emmer, an anti-gay Minnesota Republican running for Governor. And Tom Emmer’s campaign got a boost from Minnesota Forward, a PAC running TV ads on his behalf. And Minnesota Forward got $150,000 — which amounts to about a third of all of their donations — from Target.
In support of Austin Cline’s article, here is another source complete with links to a trail that follows the money:

I stopped shopping at Target for prescription drugs after a couple of errors in filling my medications within a short amount of time. Now I have a reason to not shop there at all, no matter how convenient they are, and no matter what kind of grand sale is going on.