Bishops Say Rules on Gay Parents Limit Freedom of Religion

Because everyone knows religion is really about the exercise of racism, homophobia and misogyny.

Time to remove religion from the position of being a protected class.  It isn’t like you are born with it, religion is a product of indoctrination and you can change it with counseling and a desire to change.

I did.  I was indoctrinated into Catholicism but I managed to discover free though and break free from the enslavement of superstition and belief in invisible magic sky beings.  I became and atheist and so could they.

We pander to these people with their odd beliefs way too much.

From The New York Times:

Published: December 28, 2011

Catholic Charities in Illinois has served for more than 40 years as a major link in the state’s social service network for poor and neglected children. But now most of the Catholic Charities affiliates in Illinois are closing down rather than comply with a new requirement that says they can no longer receive state money if they turn away same-sex couples as potential foster careand adoptive parents.

For the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops, the outcome is a prime example of what they see as an escalating campaign by the government to trample on their religious freedom while expanding the rights of gay people. The idea that religious Americans are now the victims of government-backed persecution is now a frequent theme not just for Catholic bishops, but also for Republican presidential candidates and conservative evangelicals.

“In the name of tolerance, we’re not being tolerated,” said Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield, Ill., a civil and canon lawyer who helped drive the church’s losing battle to retain its state contracts for foster care and adoption services.

The Illinois experience indicates that the bishops face formidable opponents who also claim to have justice and the Constitution on their side. They include not only gay rights advocates, but also many religious believers and churches that support gay equality (some Catholic legislators among them). They frame the issue as a matter of civil rights, saying that Catholic Charities was using taxpayer money to discriminate against same-sex couples.

Continue reading at:

Ron Paul: ‘Education Isn’t A Right’

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Ron Paul: ‘Education Isn’t A Right’

Why libertarians apologize for autocracy

While the right wing brands liberals as “Libtards” I’ve always thought the real “Libtards” were Libertarians, particularly those who claim to be Libertarian based on the supposed positions of Libertarianism regarding drug illegality.

That one of those positions that causes me to think the person who claims to be a Libertarian based on access to drugs has consumed too many drugs.

All surface and no substance.  Libertarianism is more libertine than liberal.  It is anarchism’s evil twin.

I first became aware of it while reading “American Opinion” (John Birch Society) in the college library back in the 1960s.  It is the dance partner of Ayn Rand’s “Objectivity” and realy doesn’r espouse freedom for all but rather free rein for the elite, the rich and powerful to act totally in their own personal self-interest and fuck everyone else.

It’s nice to be king.  It sucks to be a slave to tyranny and Libertarianism doesn’t extend the same rights to the poor that it extends to the rich.  While the rich are free to use any power they happen to have to oppress the masses the masses are not permitted to organize to resist that power.

Libertarianism is an oligarchy on crack.

Lately I’ve been getting into it with morons who think Ron Paul is an alternative to Obama.

He isn’t and the one thing I find comforting is that he is unlikely to go anywhere.

From Salon:

The experience of every modern democratic nation-state proves that libertarianism is incompatible with democracy

Having denounced liberals as crypto-communists for half a century during the Cold War, the American right now routinely accuses the center-left of being fascist. This libel was given currency in Jonah Goldberg’s 2009 book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning.” From the support of a few progressives a century ago for eugenics, and expressions of admiration by a few 1920s liberals for Mussolini’s ability to make the trains run on time, Goldberg and others on the right have crafted the latest in a series of right-wing conspiracy theories about American history, this one claiming that Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt deliberately set the U.S. on the road to an American version of Mussolini’s corporate state.

Given their professed interest in admirers of Mussolini, it is curious that American conservatives and libertarians have not seen fit to discuss the view of fascism held by one of the heroes of modern American libertarianism, the Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises. In his book “Liberalism,” published in 1927 after Mussolini had seized power in Italy, Mises wrote:

It cannot be denied that Fascism and similar movements aimed at the establishment of dictatorships are full of the best intentions and that their intervention has for the moment saved European civilization. The merit that Fascism has thereby won for itself will live on eternally in history.

Friedrich von Hayek, who was, along with von Mises, one of the patron saints of modern libertarianism, was as infatuated with the Chilean dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet as von Mises was with Mussolini, according to Greg Grandin:

Friedrich von Hayek, the Austrian émigré and University of Chicago professor whose 1944 Road to Serfdom dared to suggest that state planning would produce not “freedom and prosperity” but “bondage and misery,” visited Pinochet’s Chile a number of times. He was so impressed that he held a meeting of his famed Société Mont Pélérin there. He even recommended Chile to Thatcher as a model to complete her free-market revolution. The Prime Minister, at the nadir of Chile’s 1982 financial collapse, agreed that Chile represented a “remarkable success” but believed that Britain’s “democratic institutions and the need for a high degree of consent” make “some of the measures” taken by Pinochet “quite unacceptable.”

Like Friedman, Hayek glimpsed in Pinochet the avatar of true freedom, who would rule as a dictator only for a “transitional period,” only as long as needed to reverse decades of state regulation. “My personal preference,” he told a Chilean interviewer, “leans toward a liberal [i.e. libertarian] dictatorship rather than toward a democratic government devoid of liberalism.” In a letter to the London Times he defended the junta, reporting that he had “not been able to find a single person even in much maligned Chile who did not agree that personal freedom was much greater under Pinochet than it had been under Allende.” Of course, the thousands executed and tens of thousands tortured by Pinochet’s regime weren’t talking.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Why libertarians apologize for autocracy

Are Psychiatrists Inventing Mental Illnesses to Feed Americans More Pills?

From Alternet:

Mental health professionals say new diagnoses will lead to overmedication.

By Rob Waters 
December 27, 2011

Anyone who’s ever tried to get reimbursed by a health insurance company after seeing a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, or taking a child or teenager to one, has no doubt noticed the incomprehensible numbers that appear on the clinician’s statement, perhaps preceding some slightly less imponderable phrase.

Maybe you are a 296.22 (major depressive disorder, single episode, mild) or a 300.00 (anxiety disorder NOS–not otherwise specified). Hopefully, you are not a 301.83 (borderline personality disorder). Your kid might be a 313.81 (oppositional defiant disorder) or, more likely, a 314.01 (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type).

Since 1952, a tome called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, better known as the DSMhas been reducing to a few digits the psychological malady said to afflict a patient. This bible of mental health treatment, published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), provides a list and description of every mental health condition known to—or invented by—psychiatry, from histrionic personality disorder (301.50) to transvestic fetishism (302.3).

Over the decades, the manual, adapted from a guide for mental diseases developed by Army and Navy psychiatrists, has ballooned. The number of listed disorders tripled to nearly 300. A few have been discredited and dumped along the way. Most famous were battles over the inclusion of homosexuality. Successive iterations of the manual listed homosexuality as a “sociopathic personality disturbance,” then modified that to describe a more limited “sexual orientation disturbance” among people who were “in conflict with” their attraction to people of the same sex. That was later replaced by a disorder called “ego-dystonic homosexuality,” applied to those whose homosexual arousal was a source of distress. That item was dropped in the DSM-III-R, published in 1987.

Continue reading at:

Four Murdered Detroit women linked to online escort ads

From Digital Journal:

By Arthur Weinreb
Dec 27, 2011
Detroit – Detroit Police say three of the four women whose bodies were found in vehicle trunks in the past eight days had posted ads in the adult services section of

Yesterday afternoon, Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee issued a public safety announcement. Godbee said that with the increased use of the Internet and social media, police have an obligation to identify any website that may potentially pose a threat to individuals.

On the afternoon of Dec. 19, the bodies of two women were found in the trunk of a car parked in the driveway of a vacant home. According to police there no obvious signs of trauma on the bodies. At 1 a.m. on Christmas Day, firefighters responded to a call concerning a vehicle fire. After the fire was put out, firefighters found the bodies of two women in the trunk of the 1997 Buick LaSabre.
Read more:

Detroit police link burned bodies to adult ads

From Raw Story:

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Four women whose bodies were found in the trunks of burning cars over the last two weeks have been connected to adult advertisements on, police said Monday.

The two most recent victims were found early on Christmas morning, bodies burned beyond recognition, police said. Two other victims were discovered a week prior to Christmas.

All four of the women were black females in their 20s, and police said they did not appear to have been physically abused. A coroner had yet to determine the cause of death.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Four Murdered Detroit women linked to online escort ads

How the Feds Fueled the Militarization of Police

From Alternet:

Billions in post-9/11 taxpayer dollars have paid for combat-style gear on display in the Occupy crackdowns.

By Justin Elliott
December 26, 2011

The militarization of America’s metropolitan police forces was on full display in recent months as police from Los Angeles to New York cracked down on Occupy protests, decked out in full SWAT gear and occasionally using strange pieces of military hardware.

Less well known is that police forces in small towns and far-flung cities have also been stocking up on heavy equipment in the years since Sept. 11, 2001.

In spite of strained city and state budgets in local years, the trend has continued thanks to generous federal grants. According to a new story by the Center for Investigative Reporting, $34 billion in federal grant money has financed the past decade’s shopping spree.

To learn more about the trend, I spoke with G.W. Schultz, who co-authored the story with Andrew Becker. (Also worth a look is the slide showaccompanying the story.)

You start your piece with Fargo, N.D., where the police have a “$256,643 armored truck, complete with a rotating turret,” kevlar helmets and assault rifles in their squad cars. What did they say when you asked why they need this kind of heavy equipment?

Their view is that they need to be as prepared as a city like New York. We’ve been studying the grant programs for a while. You see this in city after city. Everyone has got an explanation for why they need more and not less grant money. I grew up in Tulsa; there’s still a lot of sensitivity around the Oklahoma City bombing. So the attitude is, “Look, we could have a similar attack and we need to be ready for it.” Now I live in Austin. The attitude here is, we could have an incident like the one in which a guy smashed his plane into the IRS building a few years ago, or the one in which a guy started shooting people from a tower at the Uniersity of Texas a few decades ago. Every city has an answer like that. The approach to security spending is based on speculation about what could happen, however remote. That attitude enables you to buy everything without limit because you can never attain 100 percent security.

Continue reading at:


Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on How the Feds Fueled the Militarization of Police

It Really is Time to Retire Trems Like “Tranny”, “Shemale” and “Gender-Variant”

These terms are negative and reinforce a negative opinion of not only transsexual women and men but Transgender women and men.

If we are going to call gay men on using these terms perhaps it is time to stop using them .  That includes in the Adult Video World as well as having serious minded activist use terms like “gender-variant”.  Our genders our our own, they aren’t a variant unless you accept some rigid religious/patriarchal definition of gender.

Time to stop the entire freakification game.

That goes for us as well as non-TS/non-TG people.

Why We Shouldn’t Use the Word ‘Tranny’

From Huffington Post:

Lance Bass
Posted: 12/23/11

Let me start this off with two very important words that I truly mean from the bottom of my heart: I’m sorry. I’m sorry to anyone who was offended or hurt by my use of the word “trannies” while appearing earlier this week on Access Hollywood Live.

Let me share what I have learned in the last 24 hours. I have learned, thanks to‘s website, that the term “tranny” is used as a dehumanizing slur to describe transgender individuals and is oftentimes the last word someone hears before they are brutally attacked. Similar to the anti-gay F-word, the term “tranny” is commonly used to humiliate and degrade transgender individuals.

I can tell you with all sincerity that I had no idea.

I often hear the term used on Logo’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and spent an entire summer listening to Christian Siriano use the phrase “hot tranny mess” on Lifetime’s Project Runway. In my definition, I was referring to the flamboyant and hilarious drag queens and transvestites who play on Christopher Street in New York City, some of whom I even call friends. When I use the word “tranny,” I am picturing Tim Curry’s Frank-N-Furter character in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, or the wildly hilarious Eddie Izzard. I certainly don’t think of Chaz Bono or someone questioning the body they were born into.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on It Really is Time to Retire Trems Like “Tranny”, “Shemale” and “Gender-Variant”

UK to close borders, evacuate expats if euro collapses

UK police to use live rounds, plastic bullets and water cannon in future riots

From World Socialist Web Site:

By Robert Stevens
27 December 2011

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has recommended that police should be able to use water cannon, rubber bullets and live firearms during any future UK riots.

The Rules of Engagement: A review of the August 2011 disorders” was commissioned by the home secretary following the riots this summer. It endorses the use of these weapons in certain situations, giving the example of “Arson attacks on commercial buildings with linkage to residential dwellings” as a situation in which police can shoot people deemed to be involved.

The report reveals that discussions have been held regarding a role for the military. Although stating, “It is difficult at present to conceive of a purely public order situation in which the level of force for which the military are currently trained in and equipped to use would be justified”, the HMIC adds the military could be used “to take over logistical roles to free police officers for public order duties”.

While calling for the stepping up of state repression against the population, the report pays scant attention to the fact that the immediate trigger for the riots was the shooting dead by a police CO19 Special Firearms Unit of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old unarmed man, in Tottenham, London, on August 4.

Family and friends of Duggan, as well as local residents, organised a peaceful protest to demand answers outside Tottenham police station on Saturday August 6. The protest was attacked by police, which was the immediate trigger for the riots.

The HMIC report lists a series of scenarios in which various weapons could be used in future episodes of disorder. It suggests that plastic bullets, described as “attenuating energy projectiles (AEPs)”, could be used to respond to barricades being set up and missiles being thrown by protesters.

Continue reading at:

Perry Shifts His Stance On Abortion

From The Texas Tribune:

by Morgan Smith
December 27, 2011

OSCEOLA, Iowa — At a town hall meeting tonight, Gov. Rick Perry said that he no longer supported abortion in cases of rape and incest.

As he responded to a question from the audience, Perry said he had undergone a “transformation” after viewing the film A Gift of Life, narrated by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and talking with Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived during a rape. “She looked me in the eye and said ‘I am the product of a rape,’ and she said, ‘my life has worth,” Perry said.

Joshua Verwers, a Sheraton pastor, asked the governor to reconcile what he had told him in November at the Iowa Faith and Freedom dinner — that he was against abortion, except in cases of rape, incest or when it was necessary to save the life of the mother — with his signature on a pledge from the anti-abortion group Personhood USA that bans abortion under any circumstances.

Complete Story at:

Half of America In Poverty? The Facts Say It’s True

From Common Dreams:

by Paul Buchheit
Published on Tuesday, December 27, 2011 by

Recent reports suggest that almost 50% of Americans are in poverty or at a “low income” level. The claim is based on a new supplemental measure by the Census Bureau that includes health care, transportation, and other essential living expenses in the poverty calculation.

The concept of “low income” is controversial. It has been defined as earnings between 100 and 199 percent of the poverty level, a claim which, if true, would place every American family making $50,000 or less at a near-poverty level.

Conservative organizations believe the whole ‘poverty’ issue is overblown. The Cato Institute blames LBJ and Obama for reversing a declining poverty rate. Forbes blames the calculations. The Heritage Foundation argues, “The average poor person, as defined by the government, has a living standard far higher than the public imagines…In the kitchen, the household had a refrigerator, an oven and stove, and a microwave.” The case for a growing “consumption equality” is alternately defended and denied.

With emotions running high on both sides, we need to take a balanced look at the available data to determine how well the highest-earning family of the poorest 50% — a family with a $50,000 income — can survive. (The maximum individual income for the poorest 50% is about $30,000.)

Start with taxes. It is frequently noted by conservatives that the richest 1% pay most of the federal income taxes, and indeed they paid about 37 percent in 2009, more than the poorest 90% of Americans. But only the richest 5% of Americans have experienced income growth since 1980. And during that time, their tax rate has dropped from 34% to 23%. As for the 3 percent rate paid by the poorest 50%, the Tax Policy Center sums it up nicely: “The basic structure of the income tax simply exempts subsistence levels of income from tax.”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Half of America In Poverty? The Facts Say It’s True

Israelis rally against ultra-Orthodox extremism

From BBC:

Jon Donnison
27 December 2011

Thousands of Israelis have held a rally in the town of Beit Shemesh against ultra-Orthodox Jewish extremism.

The protest followed clashes after an eight-year-old girl said she had been harassed on her way to school.

Some ultra-Orthodox in Beit Shemesh are seeking to segregate men and women.

President Shimon Peres has backed the protest, saying the “entire nation must be recruited in order to save the majority from the hands of a small minority”.

He said the demonstration was a defence of the “character” of the state of Israel “against a minority which breaks our national solidarity”.

‘Afraid to go to school’

Thousands of protesters gathered in Beit Shemesh, west of Jerusalem, on Tuesday evening.

They held signs “reading “Free Israel from religious coercion” and “Stop Israel from becoming Iran” – a reference to the Islamist republic’s stringent restrictions on women’s freedoms.

“This thing is really big and we’re fighting for something really serious,” one protester, Kinneret Havern told Reuters news agency.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Israelis rally against ultra-Orthodox extremism

More Political Attacks on Science Education Planned for 2012

From Forbes:

John Farrell

The past year was not a good one for creationists trying to force public school science teachers to water down the teaching of biological evolution.

But as this year comes to a close, it looks like legislators in New Hampshire want to be the first to attack Darwin in 2012.

Hearings for two bills are headed for the New Hampshire House Education Committee in February. According to the National Center for Science Education:

House Bill 1148, introduced by Jerry Bergevin (R-District 17), would charge the state board of education to “[r]equire evolution to be taught in the public schools of this state as a theory, including the theorists’ political and ideological viewpoints and their position on the concept of atheism.” House Bill 1457, introduced by Gary Hopper (R-District 7) and John Burt (R-District 7), would charge the state board of education to “[r]equire science teachers to instruct pupils that proper scientific inquire [sic] results from not committing to any one theory or hypothesis, no matter how firmly it appears to be established, and that scientific and technological innovations based on new evidence can challenge accepted scientific theories or modes.”

What’s interesting in the first bill is the concern about the historical development of evolution. It’s a common belief among Biblical literalists that learning about evolution will lead students to atheism. But as many a Christian high school teacher can attest, a little historical research shows Christians at the time of Darwin were not at all unanimous in rejecting his theory.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on More Political Attacks on Science Education Planned for 2012

Small Occupy Movements Across the Country Accumulate Victories

From Truth Out:

by: Rose Aguilar
Tuesday 27 December 2011

In a recent San Francisco Chronicle piece, “Occupy movement must move toward the center,” Tony Fels, associate professor of history at the University of San Francisco, writes that the Occupy “movement has reached a tactical dead end.”

Demonstrators don’t have nicely packaged sound bites; there’s no go-to spokesperson; Occupy DC is one of the last camps standing. But the movement is far from dead.

Here in California, the movement is exploding. In a recent study called “Diffusion of the Occupy Movement in California,” UC Riverside researchers surveyed 482 incorporated towns and cities in California and found that 143 – nearly 30 percent – had Occupy sites on Facebook between December 1 and December 8.

According to the study, many of the small and medium-sized towns are active with likes, posts and events on their Facebook pages. For example, the town of Arcata has about 17,000 people and 2,950 subscriptions on their page.

“The Occupy Barstow website proclaimed that Barstow is ‘about as far from Wall Street as you can get.’ But the Barstow occupiers probably did not know that there were also Occupy actions in Weaverville, Idyllwild, Calistoga, El Centro and many other small California towns, even in very remote areas,” write professor of sociology Christopher Chase-Dunn and graduate student Michaela Curran-Strange.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Small Occupy Movements Across the Country Accumulate Victories

French implants firm was criticised by US inspectors in 2000

From The Guardian UK:

Food and Drug Administration warned PIP its saline implants were substandard and accused it of failing to report complaints

in Paris
, Tuesday 27 December 2011

American health officials warned the manufacturer at the centre of the breast implant scare that its products were “adulterated” and substandard 11 years ago, it has emerged.

Investigators from the Food and Drug Administration wrote to the company in 2000 after inspecting its plant in the south of France. The development triggered questions over why the French health authorities did not act sooner. About 300,000 women worldwide are believed to have been given implants made by Poly Implant Prothese (PIP).

The problem identified by FDA inspectors a decade ago related to saline breast implants, not the silicone implants at the centre of the latest health scare. However, both products were made at the same plant inspected by the FDA.

After nine French women with the PIP implants – made of cheaper industrial as opposed to medical-grade silicone – were found to have a rare form of cancer, and following suggestions the implants were prone to rupture, the French authorities advised 30,000 French women on Friday to have them removed.

It said the move was “precautionary” as opposed to “urgent”.

Other countries, including Britain, where about 40,000 women are believed to have PIP implants, say there is no evidence the implants are a health risk but have advised women to see their surgeon for checks.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on French implants firm was criticised by US inspectors in 2000

Helen Frankenthaler, Abstract Painter Who Shaped a Movement, Dies at 83

From The New York Times

Published: December 27, 2011

Helen Frankenthaler, the lyrically abstract painter whose technique of staining pigment into raw canvas helped shape an influential art movement in the mid-20th century and who became one of the most admired artists of her generation, died on Tuesday at her home in Darien, Conn. She was 83.

Her longtime assistant, Maureen St. Onge, said Ms. Frankenthaler died after a long illness but gave no other details.

Known as a second-generation Abstract Expressionist, Ms. Frankenthaler was married during the movement’s heyday to the painter Robert Motherwell, a leading first-generation member of the group. But she departed from the first generation’s romantic search for the “sublime” to pursue her own path.

Refining a technique, developed by Jackson Pollock, of pouring pigment directly onto canvas laid on the floor, Ms. Frankenthaler, heavily influencing the colorists Morris Louis and Kenneth Noland, developed a method of painting best known as Color Field — although Clement Greenberg, the critic most identified with it, called it Post-Painterly Abstraction. Where Pollock had used enamel that rested on raw canvas like skin, Ms. Frankenthaler poured turpentine-thinned paint in watery washes onto the raw canvas so that it soaked into the fabric weave, becoming one with it.

Her staining method emphasized the flat surface over illusory depth, and it called attention to the very nature of paint on canvas, a concern of artists and critics at the time. It also brought a new, open airiness to the painted surface and was credited with releasing color from the gestural approach and romantic rhetoric of Abstract Expressionism.

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Helen Frankenthaler, Abstract Painter Who Shaped a Movement, Dies at 83