New Sex Abuse Scandals Plague Catholic Institutions — Will the Church Ever Change?

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/story/150425/new_sex_abuse_scandals_plague_catholic_institutions_–_will_the_church_ever_change/

Why do these abuses keep popping up even after earnest vows of reform from the church?

By Sarah Seltzer
March 29, 2011

It’s been years since the massive wave of Catholic clergy-abuse stories began to break, with victims speaking out and horrors uncovered. It’s true that instances of traumatizing sexual and physical abuse from clergy in many other religions and denominations have surfaced in the ensuing years, proving that the problem is hardly endemic to one religion or group of people. But in Catholic strongholds where abuse was widespread, the problem has been systemic, and the coverup attempts by the church are egregious and often premeditated and coordinated. Centralized hierarchies have led to centralized denial–until recent years, when there has been a centralized attempt to clean house.

Nowadays, the subject of child abuse by the clergy is often one broached by standup comedians and cynics. A disconnect is growing between the American Catholic church and its followers, and not just on this issue: study after study shows that Catholic laypeople are aligned with the rest of the American population–and against the church–when it comes to “social issues” abortion, especially birth control (which a vast majority use, directly countering church doctrine) and now even gay marriage.

Yet the clergy abuse stories continue to unfold in the arenas of church politics, law enforcement and the religious landscape. The last big scandal was in Wisconsin, when abuse at a school for the deaf was revealed, and more have surfaced since.

Just this week a record financial settlement was reached with abuse victims in the Northwest, while the Philadelphia abuse scandal continued. Last Friday alone, the New York Times published three separate stories about Catholic clergy abuse cases; a Google news search for “Catholic priest abuse” revealed ongoing or recently concluded cases in Connecticut, California, Tennessee and the Midwest–and these are just domestic cases. In Ireland, the entire nation remains up in arms about a “smoking gun” document which revealed, essentially, that the coverup of abuses there was sanctioned by the Vatican.

And that culture of denial and collusion that has been so slow to change may explain why these stories keep popping up even after earnest vows of reform from the church. A system that worked for decades one way may not be able to transform overnight–particularly when many of the power dynamics remain the same.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/story/150425/new_sex_abuse_scandals_plague_catholic_institutions_–_will_the_church_ever_change/

However to listen to Catholic organizations one would never guess that the Church has a problem with pedophilia and the sexual abuse of children that rivals that of NAMBLA.

Instead of honest reflection and prosecution of the guilty parties while taking steps to reform itself Catholic organizations are caught up in right wing religious crusades attacking women’s reproductive rights as well as LGBT/T people basic human rights of equality and dignity.

The same week that Alternet ran the above article the following appeared at:

Catholic On Line: http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=40816

Exchanging the Truth of God for a Lie: Transgender Activists, Cultural Revolution

The Gender Identity Movement demands the recognition of a ‘right’ to choose one’s gender and laws which accommodate, fund, and enforce such a ‘right’

The “Gender Identity Movement” is dangerous. It is a part of a broader Cultural Revolution which substitutes an entirely different view of the dignity of the human person, human freedom, human flourishing, human sexuality, marriage and the family and the moral basis of a free society than that which formed Western Civilization.

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Anyone who maintains that there is no reference to the rejection of homosexual practices in the Bible has to remove this entire chapter and many other biblical references. They must also get rid of early Church documents which uniformly condemn homosexual practices. Paul refers to these behaviors as resulting from “degrading passions”. He details what happened as a result, “their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.” (Romans 1:26, 27)

One sign of the decline of western civilization is not only the reemergence of such “degrading passions” and the behaviors which result, but a cultural revolution which now demands that these behaviors be recognized in the positive law and people engaging in them be given an equal legal status to marriage if they so request. Further, that the sexual acts involved in these behaviors, and the lifestyles chosen as a result, be called a civil right which the rest of society is compelled to accept and accommodate. One of the many fronts in this Cultural Revolution is called “transgender activism”.

A Reuters news story of March 23, 2011 entitled “Transgender New Yorkers sue over birth certificates” reported “A group of transgender residents filed a lawsuit against New York City over what they say are burdensome requirements for them to change the gender on their birth certificates. The city’s birth certificate requirements amount to discrimination for transgender residents, said Noah Lewis, an attorney representing the residents in the case. New York’s Health Department requires residents to show proof of surgical procedures in order to change the gender status on a birth certificate.

Continue reading:  http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=40816

In short we are expected to tolerate the misogyny and bigotry of an organization riddled with perverts who molest young children but Transsexual and Transgender people aren’t supposed to be entitled to documents that make it easier, but by no means actually easy to live their lives with a modicum of dignity and a chance at equality.

Transgender and Transsexual people have more legitimacy than the Catholic Church.

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The War On Child Labor Laws: Maine Republicans Want Longer Hours, Lower Pay For Kids

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/31/gop-loves-child-labor/

By Ian Millhiser
Mar 31st, 2011

Maine State Rep. David Burns is the latest of many Republican lawmakers concerned that employers aren’t allowed to do enough to exploit child workers:

LD 1346 suggests several significant changes to Maine’s child labor law, most notably a 180-day period during which workers under age 20 would earn $5.25 an hour.

The state’s current minimum wage is $7.50 an hour.

Rep. David Burns, R-Whiting, is sponsoring the bill, which also would eliminate the maximum number of hours a minor over 16 can work during school days.

Burns’ bill is particularly insidious, because it directly encourages employers to hire children or teenagers instead of adult workers. Because workers under 20 could be paid less than adults under this GOP proposal, minimum wage workers throughout Maine would likely receive a pink slip as their twentieth birthday present so that their boss could replace them with someone younger and cheaper.

And Burns is just one of many prominent Republicans who believe that America’s robust protections against the exploitation of children are wrongheaded:

Continue reading at:  http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/31/gop-loves-child-labor/

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Green Party is Right Wing’s New “Boogeyman”

From Green Party Watch: http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2011/03/31/green-party-is-right-wings-new-boogeyman/

March 31, 2011

Typically Democrats and Republicans (and the media) ignore the Green Party whenever possible, but lately there has been a shift in attention as conservative groups are starting to use the Green Party to scare and influence voters to vote for or against other candidates.

Case in point – the Wisconsin Supreme Court election on April 5. The conservative incumbent, David Prosser, has suddenly found himself in trouble in a race against Madison attorney JoAnne Kloppenburg, an Assistant Attorney General. The race has grown to major significance because the collective bargaining rights bill that the GOP passed will likely be addressed by the Wisconsin Supreme Court to determine whether it is legal. If Prosser retains his seat on the Supreme Court than a Conservative bloc will make that decision, while if Kloppenburg wins the race, a “Liberal” bloc will likely overturn the law. Consequently labor unions and others are throwing everything they have to get Kloppenburg elected.

Prosser and the the conservative groups that support him must be feeling the heat, and two weeks ago they began to go on the offensive against Kloppenburg. Among the many charges they have laid against her include her association with Ben Manski, the Green Party candidate for State Assembly who won 31% of the vote last November.

Here is what the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (a pro-business lobbying group) sent out in a fund raising letter last week:

WMC Issues Mobilization Council, Inc. is launching a television ad campaign to counter the distortions from government unions and their allies about Justice Prosser. Justice Prosser has been a solid, rule-of-law jurist who has taken on the activist wing of the court. Kloppenburg, who has never been a judge, has strong ties to Wisconsin’s extreme left, including endorsement by the former national co-chairman of the radical Green Party, Ben Manski.

Prosser himself has added the “Green Party Boogieman” to his talking points, using it on public radio interviews and at forums. Here is a quote from Prosser’s piece in the Madison Capital Times:

Continue reading at:  http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2011/03/31/green-party-is-right-wings-new-boogeyman/

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Indiana GOP Rep Says Women Will Pretend To Be Raped To Get Free Abortions

And some people wonder why I call the Republicans, women hating Nazis.

From Think Progress: http://thinkprogress.org/2011/03/30/indiana-women-fake-rape/

By Tanya Somanader
Mar 30th, 2011

Yesterday morning, the Indiana House considered an anti-abortion bill that “would put some of the tightest abortion restrictions in the nation into Indiana law.” Introduced by state Rep. Eric Turner (R), HB 1210 would make most abortions illegal after 20 weeks. Current law restricts abortions after the fetus is viable, generally around 24 weeks.

In an attempt to soften the blow this bill would land on Hoosier women, state Rep. Gail Riecken (D) introduced an amendment to exempt “women who became pregnant due to rape or incest, or women for whom pregnancy threatens their life or could cause serious and irreversible physical harm” from being forced to carry to term. Fearing this bill would “push women to the back alleys” for illegal abortions, Riecken pleaded with lawmakers to allow women to make the choice in these cases.

Turner then stepped to the podium and insisted that Riecken’s amendment would create a “giant loophole” for women. That loophole? Women “could simply say they’ve been raped”:

TURNER: With all do respect to Rep. Riecken, I understand what she’s trying to do. But as you know that when the federal health care bill was going through Congress there was a lot of discussion whether this would allow for abortion coverage and of course we were all told it would not. And the bill, my house bill 1210, would prevent that for any insurance company to provide abortion coverage under federal health care bill. This [amendment] would open that window and I would ask you to oppose this amendment.

I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could — now i want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest — but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.

 

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Tech Humor Interlude

Today must be my lucky day.  I had to go to Jury Duty.  I got there, signed in, they told me the “perp” plead out, handed me my six bucks and told me I could go home.  Now it is almost 10:00am, a time when like many unemployed bloggers I would generally be using to engage in deep horizontal meditation.

But thanks to caffeine, one of the major staves  of life I am wide awake.

Quenyar raised a most interesting point about Operating Systems.  As I said I build my own computers, I actually have an A+ Tech Certificate and a degree in electronics.  Hardware not software.

And I am not an Apple fan because I don’t like proprietary systems. But I’m also not into screwing around with software trying to get it to run stuff.  Besides I like killing Nazis in Call of Duty.

The Repair-Ware Revolution: Say Goodbye to Our Throwaway Culture and Hello to Fixing Stuff Yourself

There is a reason I build my own PCs from off the shelf parts and run the generic OEM Windows.  A. I know I can find replacement parts. B. The OEM windows will work with a different motherboard if  the original MB were to crap out.

From Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/environment/150373/the_repair-ware_revolution%3A_say_goodbye_to_our_throwaway_culture_and_hello_to_fixing_stuff_yourself/

A designer from the UK hopes to spark a ‘repair-ware’ craze that will inspire designers to build products we can actually fix ourselves.

By Ted Cox
March 24, 2011

Do you ever wish that products would last longer, and that they could be easily repaired when they break? So does Samuel Davies. Last week Treehugger linked to a sweet concept iron imagined by Davies, an industrial designer based in the UK. What makes his iron newsworthy? An accompanying diagram shows the iron with just 11 parts — each of them designed to be repairable by the owner.

Davies dubbed the project “Repair-ware” and he hopes the concept spreads to other household products.

“I developed Repair-ware as a response to society’s attitude of ‘throwawayism’,” wrote Davies in an email interview. “Consumers don’t think twice about throwing products away and buying a new one when they cease to function properly, and perhaps rightly so when these products need a level of technical expertise to diagnose a problem or even just to open them up!”

The iron is just a concept for now, designed for his graduation project from Sheffield Hallam University.

“It was a conceptual project asking whether this could be a possible solution. I think the solution is an ideal that we should work toward, but the reality is that there are many issues which would make implementing the concept quite difficult,” Davies wrote. “For example, passing safety standards would be much more difficult when inviting the user to expose internal components, although I have possible solutions to this in my design also.”

He picked an iron as his first project as that particular appliance carries a reputation for being difficult to repair on fix-it-yourself Web sites like fixya.com.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/environment/150373/the_repair-ware_revolution%3A_say_goodbye_to_our_throwaway_culture_and_hello_to_fixing_stuff_yourself/

2011 Atlantic Hurricane Season Will Be Active, Have More U.S. Landfalls

From Scientific American:   http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=atlantic-hurricane-season-active-more-us-landfall&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20110330

By Gina Cherundolo and AccuWeather
March 30, 2011

AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center meteorologists, led by Meteorologist and Hurricane Forecaster Paul Pastelok, are predicting an active season for 2011 with more impact on the U.S. coastline than last year.

The team is forecasting a total of 15 named tropical storms, eight of which will attain hurricane status and three of which will attain major hurricane status (Category 3 or higher).

In a normal year, there are 10 tropical storms, six of which become hurricanes and two of which become major hurricanes, or attain winds that exceed 110 mph.

2010’s historic season had a total of 19 named storms and ranks as the third most active season on record, but there was little impact on the United States coastline. Twelve of these storms became hurricanes, five of which were major hurricanes. Two names from the 2010 season were retired on March 16.

“It looks like we’re going to have more impact on the mainland of the U.S. coming up this year compared to last year,” Pastelok said. “We had a lot of storms last year, but not a lot of impact [on the U.S.].”

Continue reading at:  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=atlantic-hurricane-season-active-more-us-landfall&WT.mc_id=SA_DD_20110330

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