Catholic church continues marching backwards — Archbishop calls for blasphemy law in Germany

From I Acknowledge Class Warfare Exists:  http://www.classwarfareexists.com/catholic-church-continues-marching-backwards-archbishop-calls-for-blasphemy-law-in-germany/#axzz22RENXmBT

by Eideard
on 04 Aug 2012

Sharia law has no credibility in a modern educated society. I don’t care whether the theocrats are Catholic or Southern Baptist, Orthodox Jews or Muslims – justice provided by religious ideology should remain catalogued in history books as an aberration leftover from the Dark Ages.

A Catholic bishop has called for a blasphemy law in Germany, saying all religions deserved legal protection from attack in order to preserve human dignity…

“Those who injure the souls of believers with scorn and derision must be put in their place and in some cases also punished,” said Bamberg Archbishop Ludwig Schick…

He said there should be a “Law against the derision of religious values and feelings,” the Süddeutsche Zeitung reported.

Satire magazine Titanic raised the topic of blasphemy and respect for religion last month after publishing an image of Pope Benedict with a yellow stain on his cassock in reference to the Vatican leaks scandal.

The Pope took legal action which succeeded in banning further printing of the image, although copies of the magazine already published were not removed from sale. Yet his legal argument was based on his personal rights rather than any protection of religion…

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The Great Chick-fil-A Snake Oil “Faith” Hustle

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rowe/the-great-chickfila-snake_b_1739428.html


08/03/2012

Notably absent from the conservative Christian Sturm und Drang over Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy’s recent collision with LGBT America (and their increasingly vocal, and visible, straight allies) over his “free speech” to voice his “opinion” is a discussion of the degree to which — from a faith perspective — this Emperor is not only without clothes, but is actually frying his chicken in the nude.

As has been pointed out already in countless enlightened editorials and blog postings elsewhere, this was never about “free speech.” No one was proposing a law to censor Mr. Cathy’s right to his “opinions,” as his followers call funneling millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations whose sole purpose is to maintain LGBT Americans in a second-class social, political, and legal status in the United States, organizations that contribute to consigning gays and lesbians to an even deadlier fate abroad — to wit, funds to the Family Research Council, which lobbied Congress not to oppose the infamous Ugandan “kill the gays” bill that proposed death sentences for gays and lesbians in that country.

The concept of “free speech,” which was designed to keep governments from throwing dissenters into prison to silence them, is never more degraded than it is in cases like these. To people like Mr. Cathy’s followers, the First Amendment is a sort of shapeless, elasticized polyester pant suit that will stretch to accommodate any amount of ugliness, all the while allowing the wearer to claim that he or she is dressed in something at least technically decent.

It seems unlikely that Mr. Cathy’s “free speech” would be something Michele Bachmann, or Sarah Palin, or Rick Santorum, or Mike Huckabee would have cared to weigh in on if Chick-fil-A had an overtly racist message, or contributed to anti-Semitic causes. Surely those would theoretically also have been cases of “free speech,” but not popular cases, not ones that would curry political favor with their base voters.

But since LGBT Americans are always expendable to these people, any attacks on their legal or social dignity is fodder for “free speech” posturing.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-rowe/the-great-chickfila-snake_b_1739428.html

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“Important”

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Climate change is here — and worse than we thought

From The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-change-is-here–and-worse-than-we-thought/2012/08/03/6ae604c2-dd90-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html

By James E. Hansen
August 3, 2012

When I testified before the Senate in the hot summer of 1988, I warned of the kind of future that climate change would bring to us and our planet. I painted a grim picture of the consequences of steadily increasing temperatures, driven by mankind’s use of fossil fuels.

But I have a confession to make: I was too optimistic.

My projections about increasing global temperature have been proved true. But I failed to fully explore how quickly that average rise would drive an increase in extreme weather.

In a new analysis of the past six decades of global temperatures, which will be published Monday, my colleagues and I have revealed a stunning increase in the frequency of extremely hot summers, with deeply troubling ramifications for not only our future but also for our present.

This is not a climate model or a prediction but actual observations of weather events and temperatures that have happened. Our analysis shows that it is no longer enough to say that global warming will increase the likelihood of extreme weather and to repeat the caveat that no individual weather event can be directly linked to climate change. To the contrary, our analysis shows that, for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change.

Continue reading at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/climate-change-is-here–and-worse-than-we-thought/2012/08/03/6ae604c2-dd90-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html

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Greetings from the New Economy

From Dollars and Sense:  http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2012/0712scher.html

By ABBY SCHER
This article is from the July/August 2012 issue of Dollars & Sense magazin

“Are you ready for a new economy? Are you ready for a new politics?” The challenge at the podium came from Gus Speth, the courtly co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, now a professor at Vermont Law School, who is on the board of the newly created New Economics Institute (NEI). The occasion was the founding conference of NEI, held at Bard College in early June, and Speth was making a call for “an economy whose very purpose is not to grow profit…but sustain people and the planet.”

NEI is the remade E.F. Schumacher Society, the group based in Massachusetts’ Berkshire mountains that promoted the wisdom of the author of Small Is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered for over 30 years. In honor of this early champion of a sustainable, just economy and the idea that big is not necessarily better, the Society nurtured economic innovations that support community building—community supported agriculture, local currencies, local land trusts.

With the help of the London-based New Economics Foundation, the Schumacher Society rethought what kind of “think and do” tank is needed to transform our fossil fuel-powered, finance-bloated, inegalitarian economy into one that is resilient, just, and sustainable in the environmental and economic transition given true urgency by climate change. And with the help of some deep pockets, it re-launched as NEI and pulled together, all in one place on Bard’s rural campus on the Hudson, some of the thinkers and organizers who might have a piece of the puzzle.

People reimagining ownership and work on the job or in the academy, ex-Wall Streeters revealing the secrets of how to curb the power of big finance, community people reclaiming the commons—taking air, water, and land out of the market—and rebuilding local economies from the bottom up, advocates struggling with government to make it responsive, and social scientists who are remaking our economic indicators—they may never have talked with one another before the Strategies for a New Economy conference. But as Bob Massie, the new executive director of NEI said, together they created “raw energy.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2012/0712scher.html

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Wouldn’t It Be Crazy If We Had Footage Of Romney Denouncing His Own Pro-Life Agenda?

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Whether San Francisco eventually will cede claim to a reservoir in Yosemite is subject of vote

From The Washington Post:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/whether-san-francisco-eventually-will-cede-claim-to-a-reservoir-in-yosemite-is-subject-of-vote/2012/08/04/ab2b47ae-de49-11e1-8ad1-909913931f71_story.html

Associated Press
Saturday, August 4, 2012

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — This fall San Franciscans will vote on a local measure with national implications: It could return to the American people a flooded gorge described as the twin of breathtaking Yosemite Valley.

Voters will decide whether they want a plan for draining the 117-billion-gallon Hetch Hetchy reservoir in Yosemite National Park, exposing for the first time in 80 years a glacially carved, granite-ringed valley of towering waterfalls 17 miles north of its more famous geologic sibling.

The November ballot measure asks: Should city officials devise a modern water plan that incorporates recycling and study expansion of other storage reservoirs to make up the loss?

The measure could eventually undo a controversial century-old decision by Congress that created the only reservoir in a national park and slaked the thirst of a city 190 miles away.

The battle over Hetch Hetchy, first waged unsuccessfully by naturalist John Muir, had turned the Sierra Club from an outdoors group into an environmental powerhouse. The fight gained momentum in recent years when unlikely allies joined forces.

On one side are Republican lawmakers and environmentalists, including Ronald Reagan’s former interior secretary, who want the dam removed and valley restored. On the other are Democratic San Franciscans, led by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, fighting to hold onto the city’s famously pure drinking water in a drought-prone state.

Continue reading at:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/whether-san-francisco-eventually-will-cede-claim-to-a-reservoir-in-yosemite-is-subject-of-vote/2012/08/04/ab2b47ae-de49-11e1-8ad1-909913931f71_story.html

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