God Hustler Rick Warren’s Son Committed Suicide

I’m over flowing with Schadenfreude today.

Rick Warren’s son killed himself over the week end.

For those who wonder who Rick Warren is.  He’s the Jesus peddling owner of a McMegaChurch.  a multimillionaire god fraud snake oil peddler.

A while back he was associated with Scott Lively and the Uganda Kill the Gays Law.

Now, whenever there is an earthquake, tornado, hurricane or terrorist attack you can count on these god fraud salesmen crawling out from under their rocks to blame this natural disaster on god punishing us for not being cruel enough to LGBT people and women.

Of course many of these disasters take place in some hell holes that are just about as mean to women and LGBT folks as is possible outside of torturing and murdering them.

They don’t much like us atheists either because we have this nasty habit of pointing out the obvious deficiencies and moral lapses of their imaginary all powerful invisible bigot in the sky.

Things like Hitler.  As Eddie Izzard put it, “If there was a god wouldn’t you imagine him as seeing Hitler and just reaching down and flicking his head off, while saying oops he was a mistake.”

Well that sort of thing never happened because…  Well god as the Christian know him is, surprise, surprise a bit of an anti-Semite.  I know, shared book and all that, but it seems like the imaginary sky chaps from the desert hate the Jews, well except for Yahweh aka he whose name shall not be mentioned.

All that aside I’m not going to picket Rick Warren’s son’s funeral.  Maybe if they have time Westboro  can pencil it in on their to do list.

The peddlers of pious platitudes have launched a pre-emptive strike against nasty queer atheists like me.  I especially liked the one in USA Today.

The kid is dead.  He hasn’t gone home to heaven.  As was pointed out to me many years ago when I was still under the spell of Catholicism, “Suicides go to hell.”  The Catholics won’t bury them in ground they’ve done a magic spell on.

I spent the 1980s and a fair part of the 1990s listening to religious bastards preach about god’s punishment as dozen of gay male friends of mine got ill and died.

Over the years I have seen so many of my trans-friends commit suicide because of religious abuse.

So today I feel Schadenfreude.  Not only has Maggie Thatcher died but Rick Warren, who has caused so many people so much pain has had pain come into his life.

Anti-Thatcher Songs

I offer no kindly platitudes about evil Maggie Thatcher.  I do not see her serving as PM being any sort of show of progress for women.

I guess my feminism is more left wing working class feminism than white middle class privileged feminism.  I see her as having been pure evil.  I hated her and Reagan while they were alive, I hate what they did to the world still.  As far as I am concerned their bones should be ground to powder and scattered over the ocean just as the bones of Osama bin Laden were.

Margret Thatcher is Dead at Last, Her Evil Lives On. Time to Put Reaganism and Thatcherism in the Grave with Them

I consider Reagan and Thatcher to have been monstrously evil people, their ideologies as vile as those of Hitler, Franco, Mussolini,  and Stalin.

I do not mourn either and I hold their ideology as well as their legacy in utter contempt.

Obama became the contemptible lesser of two evils in my eyes the moment in 2008, when he declared his admiration of Reagan and denounced the “excesses of the 1960s.”

It is time to kill off the neo-con/neo-lib policies of racism, misogyny and bigotry.

They led the class war that destroyed the middle class and reduced the working classes to impoverished misery, all the while pandering to the rich, to the corporations and the bankers.

Time to root out and destroy government by corporate board.

Time to re-institute socialist measures and strengthen them.

Time to break up the huge banks and crush monopoly capitalism.

Time to end corporate influence of elections.  Time to destroy the lobbying industry.

Time to remove the names of Reagan and Thatcher from buildings, roads and air ports, just as the Russians purged the names of Stalin and Lenin from their cities.

Time to flush the evil ideologies of Reaganism and Thatcherism from our elected governments and our courts, to declare an end to their vile influence.

For nearly forty years the Reaganites and Thatcherites have been waging class war against the hard working people of our nations.

Time to end the power of their followers who control so much of the media and public discourse.

Reagan and Thatcher are dead.  They both died too late it would have been far better if they had never risen to power.  Let their evil ideology be buried with them.  They left no good to live after them.

Arrests by the Fashion Police

From the New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/nyregion/arrests-by-the-fashion-police.html

By
Published: April 5, 2013

Here is a vignette from March 2013: A 24-year-old gay man named Yhatzine Lafontain is leaving a restaurant late at night with a friend on Roosevelt Avenue and 95th Street in Queens. Both are dressed as women, Mr. Lafontain in a jacket, short dress and heels. Exchanging goodbyes outside, they are approached by a man who tells them they look good.

In Mr. Lafontain’s account, they chatted briefly to avoid seeming rude and the man departed. Within a few minutes, an undercover police officer approached Mr. Lafontain and his friend and arrested them, suspecting them of prostitution. “We were surprised,” Mr. Lafontain told me, “because we had never talked to anyone about sex or money.”

I met Mr. Lafontain last week in Jackson Heights, not far from where his arrest had taken place, at the offices of Make the Road New York, a community-organizing group that works primarily with Latino immigrants. It has tried, along with various anti-violence projects in the city, to call attention to the perverse specifics of stop-and-frisk policing — a practice currently on trial in federal court in Lower Manhattan — as it applies to gay, lesbian and transgender New Yorkers who are black and Latino. Last fall, the group issued a report on policing in Jackson Heights, a neighborhood with a vibrant gay and transgender community and attendant club scene (and also a prostitution problem), and found in its survey of more than 300 residents that while 28 percent of straight respondents reported having been stopped by the police, 54 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender respondents reported this kind of treatment.

Stories like Mr. Lafontain’s are told with stunning regularity in Jackson Heights, though the problem is not contained to that neighborhood and has, in fact, been documented in cities across the country.

Last week, Mitchyll Mora, a youth leader at a group called Streetwise and Safe told me about an experience he had last spring, on his way to a poetry reading on the Lower East Side. Dressed in a style he called non-gender-conforming — makeup, boots, long earrings — he was stopped and searched by the police for no reason he could understand. The police made him throw his hands up against the wall, invoked a gay slur and grabbed his buttocks, he said. “I should have tried to file a report, but it’s hard to feel empowered in this kind of situation,” he said.

Mr. Mora did recount this story in testimony to the City Council last October in support of the Community Safety Act, proposed legislation that would, among other things, require police officers to explain themselves to those they have stopped and provide them with a document, including the officer’s name and information on how to file a complaint, if necessary, at the conclusion of a police encounter.

The elasticity that officers in New York and elsewhere have been given to police quality-of-life violations has had the unfortunate effect of leaving transgender women, especially, susceptible to the charge that they must be engaged in sex work. What we have now, in some sense, is an actual fashion police — an attitude among some law enforcers that attaches criminality to sartorial choice. If you are a 35-year-old biological woman wearing the $715 metallic platform peep-toe pumps you just bought at Barneys to lunch at Café Boulud, you are well-dressed; if you were born Joaquin, have changed your name to Marisol and put yourself together with a similar verve, you are a prostitute.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/nyregion/arrests-by-the-fashion-police.html

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Amy Goodman: Corporate media is ‘an extreme media beating the drums for war’

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It’s Time to Start Paying Close Attention to the Mechanisms of the Deregulation Machine

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/04/06-3

by Ralph Nader
Published on Saturday, April 6, 2013 by Common Dreams

It’s time to start paying close attention to the mechanisms of the deregulation machine. For the past 30 years, the business lobbies have pushed Congress and the executive branch to disassemble the regulatory system that has protected us from the worst excesses of Wall  Street and Big Business. The catastrophic effects of this dismantling are well known — the misbehavior of Wall Street brought us the financial collapse, the global recession, and the dominance of the largest banks being both “Too Big to Fail” and their culpable executives “Too Big to Jail”.

Despite negative public sentiment and the rise of the Occupy movement, the avarice on Wall Street arrogantly continues on. The big banks are now even bigger and more powerful than they were in 2008 when they were bailed out by the U.S. taxpayers.

The effects of deregulation stretch to all walks of life. The profit-driven practices of big corporations have led to the deaths and preventable illnesses of thousands of Americans every year. Roughly 60,000 die from workplace related diseases and injuries, 200,000 from medical malpractice and hospital-induced infections, 70,000 from air pollution and 100,000 from side effects from dangerous pharmaceuticals.

Where are the regulators? Often, they are unable to assert their power over these wrongdoings due to small budgets or weakened authority. Others are simply unwilling to act thanks to the “revolving door” — imagine regulators being recruited from the very industries they are meant to police and having plans to someday return to those industries.

For all the talk of “hope and change”, little of note has happened under President Obama to properly regulate Big Business. See Lisa Heinzerling’s review of Simpler: The Future of Government by former Obama administration “regulatory czar” Cass Sunstein for an enlightening look at how regulatory efforts are stagnant under the Obama Administration and a do-little Congress. Heinzerling writes: “If this is the future of government — legally suspect, politically unaccountable, preternaturally secretive — I’d like to think we can do better.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/04/06-3

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Keystone XL Pipeline: All Risk, No Reward

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Subsidies Play “Significant Role” in Climate Change, IMF Says

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/15580-subsidies-play-significant-role-in-climate-change-imf-says

By Carey L. Biron
Sunday, 07 April 2013

Washington – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is urging national governments around the world to roll back or eliminate subsidies on petroleum-based energy sources, estimating that this alone could result in a 13-percent decline in global carbon dioxide emissions.

In an unusual new paper marking its full entry into the climate change debate, the Washington-based fund on Wednesday said the cost of “pre-tax” subsidies for these products, when consumers pay less than the cost of supply, stood at about 480 billion dollars in 2011.

Further, the “post-tax” cost of these subsidies – wherein a government doesn’t charge enough to take into account the negative ramifications of energy consumption, including environmental impact – are far higher. Suggesting a figure far higher than previous estimates, the IMF puts this number at around 1.9 trillion dollars, or 2.5 percent of global GDP.

While developing countries and emerging economies account for much of the pre-tax subsidies, IMF researchers have found that developed countries make up some 40 percent of the post-tax total. The United States leads all countries in this regard, at nearly a half trillion dollars in annual subsidies, followed by Russia and China.

The implication is that these countries should be charging consumers far higher for coal, gasoline and other petroleum products, both in order to offset their negative impacts and to give consumers a clearer understanding of the full consequence of their use. Following on previously stated policy, the IMF is also reiterating its support for some sort of carbon tax.

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/15580-subsidies-play-significant-role-in-climate-change-imf-says

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Is the Keystone XL Pipeline the “Stonewall” of the Climate Movement?

From Tom Dispatch:  http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175684/tomgram%3A_bill_mckibben%2C_how_do_you_solve_a_problem_like_the_democrats/

And If So, Is That Terrible News?

By Bill McKibben
April 7, 2013

A few weeks ago, Time magazine called the fight over the Keystone XL pipeline that will bring some of the dirtiest energy on the planet from Alberta, Canada, to the U.S. Gulf Coast the “Selma and Stonewall” of the climate movement.

Which, if you think about it, may be both good news and bad news. Yes, those of us fighting the pipeline have mobilized record numbers of activists: the largest civil disobedience action in 30 years and 40,000 people on the mall in February for the biggest climate rally in American history. Right now, we’re aiming to get a million people to send in public comments about the “environmental review” the State Department is conducting on the feasibility and advisability of building the pipeline.  And there’s good reason to put pressure on.  After all, it’s the same State Department that, as on a previous round of reviews, hired “experts” who had once worked as consultants for TransCanada, the pipeline’s builder.

Still, let’s put things in perspective: Stonewall took place in 1969, and as of last week the Supreme Court was still trying to decide if gay people should be allowed to marry each other. If the climate movement takes that long, we’ll be rallying in scuba masks. (I’m not kidding. The section of the Washington Mall where we rallied against the pipeline this winter already has a big construction project underway: a flood barrier to keep the rising Potomac River out of downtown DC.)

It was certainly joyful to see marriage equality being considered by our top judicial body.  In some ways, however, the most depressing spectacle of the week was watching Democratic leaders decide that, in 2013, it was finally safe to proclaim gay people actual human beings. In one weekend, Democratic senators Mark Warner of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Tim Johnson of South Dakota, and Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia figured out that they had “evolved” on the issue. And Bill Clinton, the greatest weathervane who ever lived, finally decided that the Defense of Marriage Act he had signed into law, boasted about in ads on Christian radio, and urged candidate John Kerry to defend as constitutional in 2004, was, you know, wrong. He, too, had “evolved,” once the polls made it clear that such an evolution was a safe bet.

Why recite all this history? Because for me, the hardest part of the Keystone pipeline fight has been figuring out what in the world to do about the Democrats.

Continue reading at:  http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175684/tomgram%3A_bill_mckibben%2C_how_do_you_solve_a_problem_like_the_democrats/

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Radioactive Water ‘Escapes’ from Fukushima Tank

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/04/06

Common Dreams staff
Published on Saturday, April 6, 2013 by Common Dreams

Up to 120 tonnes of radioactive water may have “escaped” from an underground storage tank at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, an official announced Saturday.

“We are transferring the remaining water from the tank to others,” said a Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) spokesman. The company claims that it is “unlikely” any of the contaminated water found its way into the ocean.

The contaminated water may have leaked from one of the seven underground reservoir tanks which stores water previously used to cool down the nuclear reactors, AFP reports.

The news follows reports Friday that one of the plant’s cooling systems had failed temporarily, the second outage in a matter of weeks.

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Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/us/taping-of-farm-cruelty-is-becoming-the-crime.html?ref=global-home

By
Published: April 6, 2013

On one covert video, farm workers illegally burn the ankles of Tennessee walking horses with chemicals. Another captures workers in Wyoming punching and kicking pigs and flinging piglets into the air. And at one of the country’s largest egg suppliers, a video shows hens caged alongside rotting bird corpses, while workers burn and snap off the beaks of young chicks.

Each video — all shot in the last two years by undercover animal rights activists — drew a swift response: Federal prosecutors in Tennessee charged the horse trainer and other workers, who have pleaded guilty, with violating the Horse Protection Act. Local authorities in Wyoming charged nine farm employees with cruelty to animals. And the egg supplier, which operates in Iowa and other states, lost one of its biggest customers, McDonald’s, which said the video played a part in its decision.

But a dozen or so state legislatures have had a different reaction: They proposed or enacted bills that would make it illegal to covertly videotape livestock farms, or apply for a job at one without disclosing ties to animal rights groups. They have also drafted measures to require such videos to be given to the authorities almost immediately, which activists say would thwart any meaningful undercover investigation of large factory farms.

Critics call them “Ag-Gag” bills.

Some of the legislation appears inspired by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a business advocacy group with hundreds of state representatives from farm states as members. The group creates model bills, drafted by lobbyists and lawmakers, that in the past have included such things as “stand your ground” gun laws and tighter voter identification rules.

One of the group’s model bills, “The Animal and Ecological Terrorism Act,” prohibits filming or taking pictures on livestock farms to “defame the facility or its owner.” Violators would be placed on a “terrorist registry.”

Officials from the group did not respond to a request for comment.

Animal rights activists say they have not seen legislation that would require them to register as terrorists, but they say other measures — including laws passed last year in Iowa, Utah and Missouri — make it nearly impossible to produce similar undercover exposés. Some groups say that they have curtailed activism in those states.

“It definitely has had a chilling effect on our ability to conduct undercover investigations,” said Vandhana Bala, general counsel for Mercy for Animals, which has shot many videos, including the egg-farm investigation in 2011. (McDonald’s said that video showed “disturbing and completely unacceptable” behavior, but that none of the online clips were from the Iowa farm that supplied its eggs. Ms. Bala, though, said that some video showing bird carcasses in cages did come from that facility.)

The American Farm Bureau Federation, which lobbies for the agricultural and meat industries, criticized the mistreatment seen on some videos. But the group cautions that some methods represent best practices endorsed by animal-care experts.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/07/us/taping-of-farm-cruelty-is-becoming-the-crime.html?ref=global-home

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