Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

BFD

June 2, 2014

Jim Messina is imitating Joe Biden now. As well he might. After all, it is not every day that the President takes steps to destroy the national economy and raises energy prices for everybody.

David —

This is a BFD:

The New York Times is calling President Obama’s plan “the strongest action ever taken by an American president to tackle climate change” — he’s proposing new EPA standards to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single biggest source of the pollution in the United States that causes climate change.

David, it should come as no surprise that polluters and groups that like things the way they are have already started fighting this with everything they’ve got. The best thing we can do is show just how many Americans believe this is the right thing to do.

Add your name right now — stand with President Obama and support aggressive action to fight climate change.

Announcements like this are why we all do this work. It’s proof that grassroots organizing really does pay off. Climate change activists have fought for years for EPA standards on carbon pollution — and this week President Obama is making it a reality.

This fight is about our future, but the effects of climate change are being felt right now — it’s linked to stronger weather, from more frequent and severe droughts to floods, storms, and wildfires.

It’s affecting public health, too. Over the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled, and climate change is putting those Americans at greater risk of landing in the hospital. Over half of all Americans live in an area where air pollution levels are too often unhealthy to breathe.

But while we place limits on dangerous air pollution like mercury, arsenic, and lead, existing power plants have had no national restrictions on the amount of carbon pollution they can emit.

None at all — until now.

The President’s plan promises to cut carbon pollution from power plants for the first time, setting a new standard for action on climate change.

As I write this, powerful interests on the other side are lining up their dirty budgets to try to tear this down. They have plenty of allies in Congress that will try to stop us.

I’m asking everyone who cares about this fight to stand up and say so today — stand with President Obama and new carbon pollution standards:

http://my.barackobama.com/Support-Carbon-Pollution-Standards

Thanks,

Messina

Jim Messina
Chair
Organizing for Action

P.S. — We’ve all been fighting for big action to fight climate change — something that will really make a difference. This is it — add your name today and let’s fight for it.

I have said it before and I guess I will have to say it again and again. Mercury, arsenic and lead are pollutants that are hazardous to human health. Various industrial processes can greatly increase the amounts of these substances in the environment to concentrations far greater than they are normally found in nature.It makes sense to regulate the emissions of substances like mercury, lead or arsenic. Carbon dioxide is a compound that is a naturally occurring component of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is harmless to human health and indeed is necessary for life to exist on this planet. Since virtually every industrial process produces some carbon dioxide as does animal respiration, trying to regulate carbon dioxide emissions is pointless, unless you want to establish some sort of totalitarian control over every part of the economy or you want to reverse the industrial revolution.

Notice just how dishonest Jim Messina is being in this e-mail. He states that half of all Americans live in areas where the air is too unhealthy to breathe, never mind that our air has been getting cleaner, and cites increasing numbers of Americans with asthma. He is conflating actual air pollution with increasing levels of carbon dioxide. As I said, carbon dioxide is harmless, unless you are in an enclosed space without ventilation, or are unfortunate enough to encounter a large cloud of carbon dioxide that has been released by a volcano or stagnant lake. Either he is ignorant or he hopes you aren’t paying attention.

This is certainly a fight about our future. These new restrictions on power plants will almost certainly make many power plants more expensive to operate, if they are not shut down altogether which will translate into higher prices for electricity for all of us, which means higher prices for just about everything, and fewer jobs for everyone to pay the higher prices.

There’s that hope and change we were promised!

 

 

 

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Gun Bullies

January 10, 2014

I have written several times about liberal bullies who threaten people who dare to question their ideals with the loss of employment, or worse. Most recently I have defended Phil Robertson’s right to express his opinion about homosexuality and other issues. There are some who do not regard this sort of thing as an infringement of the right of free speech because it is not a case of the police or government agents jailing anyone. I do not agree. If a clique of activists can pressure employers to blacklist anyone who dissents from politically correct orthodoxy, the effect is much the same as the threat of sending that person to prison. The whole point is to instill fear and compliance.

It is with a sense of disappointment, then, that I must now write about a case of conservative bullying , this time on the subject of gun control. I have been and still am a supporter of the second amendment right to bear arms. I do not own a gun and have never fired one. I am under no illusions that I could use a gun to defeat a criminal. I do not even like guns very much. I wish they had never been invented and that people still fought wars with spears and swords. My support for the second amendment is solely due to my support for freedom. I believe that if someone wants to own a gun, they should be allowed to own a gun and ought not to have to explain themselves to anyone. I agree with the NRA and others that this is a freedom issue.

For this reason, I believe that those who purport to defend freedom ought to play any role in restricting freedom, especially when it comes to a man who is on their side and has himself been a firm supporter of the second amendment. Such an action, however, can be found in the case of Dick Metcalf. Mr. Metcalf is a well-known gun writer who had a column in Guns & Ammo as well as a television show. He had the column and show, until he wrote a column suggesting that there should be some sort of regulations on gun ownership. This act of heresy got him fired. Here are more details from the New York Times. I realize that the Times is not the most credible source, being only one notch above the Weekly World News these days, but I think the article is worth reading.

he byline of Dick Metcalf, one of the country’s pre-eminent gun journalists, has gone missing. It has been removed from Guns & Ammo magazine, where his widely-read column once ran on the back page. He no longer stars on a popular television show about firearms. Gun companies have stopped flying him around the world and sending him the latest weapons to review.

In late October, Mr. Metcalf wrote a column that the magazine titled “Let’s Talk Limits,” which debated gun laws. “The fact is,” wrote Mr. Metcalf, who has taught history at Cornell and Yale, “all constitutional rights are regulated, always have been, and need to be.”

The backlash was swift, and fierce. Readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions. Death threats poured in by email. His television program was pulled from the air.

Just days after the column appeared, Mr. Metcalf said, his editor called to tell him that two major gun manufacturers had said “in no uncertain terms” that they could no longer do business with InterMedia Outdoors, the company that publishes Guns & Ammo and co-produces his TV show, if he continued to work there. He was let go immediately.

“I’ve been vanished, disappeared,” Mr. Metcalf, 67, said in an interview last month on his gun range here, about 100 miles north of St. Louis, surrounded by snow-blanketed fields and towering grain elevators. “Now you see him. Now you don’t.”

He is unsure of his next move, but fears he has become a pariah in the gun industry, to which, he said, he has devoted nearly his entire adult life.

He is right, of course, in suggesting that the constitutional right to bear arms must have some limits. I don’t believe that even the most fanatic gun rights advocate would suggest that citizens be permitted to own rocket-propelled grenades, or surface to air missiles, then again I could be wrong.

His experience sheds light on the close-knit world of gun journalism, where editors and reporters say there is little room for nuance in the debate over gun laws. Moderate voices that might broaden the discussion from within are silenced. When writers stray from the party line promoting an absolutist view of an unfettered right to bear arms, their publications — often under pressure from advertisers — excommunicate them.

“We are locked in a struggle with powerful forces in this country who will do anything to destroy the Second Amendment,” said Richard Venola, a former editor of Guns & Ammo. “The time for ceding some rational points is gone.”

That is the problem, though. The people who call for “reasonable restrictions” to prevent “gun violence” often seem to believe that the only reasonable restriction is to ban private ownership of firearms. Still, I don’t think that it is necessary to circle the wagons as it were. Public opinion and political momentum are on the side of the defenders of the second amendment. Remember, the measures that President Obama wanted Congress to pass were very mild compared to the sort of proposals that were discussed a couple of decades ago, and it still didn’t pass. The Supreme Court has affirmed the second amendment grants individuals the right to own guns. We shouldn’t grow complacent, but there is no need to be defensive or set up an inquisition to ensure ideological purity. We don’t have to act like liberals.

What has happened to Dick Metcalf  and others is no different than what happened to Phil Robertson. Both men were fired after expressing an opinion which offended an activist group, in Metcalf’s case seemingly an entire industry. I would hope that the people who supported Phil Robertson’s rights would also support Dick Metcalf, even if they don’t agree with what he wrote. I am not very hopeful that will happen, though. These days, all too many people only support the right to express opinions they personally agree with.

 

 

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Sheriffs Against Gun Control

December 18, 2013

I read in the news this week that there are some county sheriffs in Colorado and New York that have decided to refuse to enforce the stricter gun control laws that their state legislatures have passed. The story can be found in the New York Times, but I first read about it in Charles C. W. Cooke’s article on National Review Online. Here is an excerpt from the New York Times story.

When Sheriff John Cooke of Weld County explains in speeches why he is not enforcing the state’s new gun laws, he holds up two 30-round magazines. One, he says, he had before July 1, when the law banning the possession, sale or transfer of the large-capacity magazines went into effect. The other, he “maybe” obtained afterward.

He shuffles the magazines, which look identical, and then challenges the audience to tell the difference.

“How is a deputy or an officer supposed to know which is which?” he asks.

Colorado’s package of gun laws, enacted this year after mass shootings in Aurora, Colo., and Newtown, Conn., has been hailed as a victory by advocates of gun control. But if Sheriff Cooke and a majority of the other county sheriffs in Colorado offer any indication, the new laws — which mandate background checks for private gun transfers and outlaw magazines over 15 rounds — may prove nearly irrelevant across much of the state’s rural regions.

Some sheriffs, like Sheriff Cooke, are refusing to enforce the laws, saying that they are too vague and violate Second Amendment rights. Many more say that enforcement will be “a very low priority,” as several sheriffs put it. All but seven of the 62 elected sheriffs in Colorado signed on in May to a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the statutes.

The resistance of sheriffs in Colorado is playing out in other states, raising questions about whether tougher rules passed since Newtown will have a muted effect in parts of the American heartland, where gun ownership is common and grass-roots opposition to tighter restrictions is high.

In New York State, where Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed one of the toughest gun law packages in the nation last January, two sheriffs have said publicly they would not enforce the laws — inaction that Mr. Cuomo said would set “a dangerous and frightening precedent.” The sheriffs’ refusal is unlikely to have much effect in the state: According to the state’s Division of Criminal Justice Services, since 2010 sheriffs have filed less than 2 percent of the two most common felony gun charges. The vast majority of charges are filed by the state or local police.

In Liberty County, Fla., a jury in October acquitted a sheriff who had been suspended and charged with misconduct after he released a man arrested by a deputy on charges of carrying a concealed firearm. The sheriff, who was immediately reinstated by the governor, said he was protecting the man’s Second Amendment rights.

I really hate to say it but Andrew Cuomo is right and these sheriffs are wrong. While law enforcement does have some discretion in making priorities and allocating resources in  enforcing the law, they do not have the authority to decide what laws they wish to enforce, nor may they refuse to enforce laws duly made by the legislature. In our republic  it is the legislature’s job to make the laws and the judiciary’s job to decide on their constitutionality. If the people do not like the laws that the legislature makes, they can petition the legislature to change the laws or they may change the legislators, as has already been done in Colorado. By acting as they are, the sheriffs, however well intentioned, are setting a precedent for the replacing of a country governed by laws and the constitution into a country governed by the whims of despots. I might add the fact that the chief law enforcer of the country, the President, has been deciding for himself what laws to enforce may well be considered grounds for impeachment, however politically impossible it may be at this time. These sheriffs are making themselves part of the problem rather than the solution.

Abandoning the Pretense

October 7, 2013

Nicholas Kristof writes in the New York Times that the media shouldn’t even bother to pretend to be objective since the Republicans are trying to blackmail the country. I don’t normally read the New York Times, so I have to thank Hotair.com for bringing his column to everyone’s attention. Here are some excerpts.

SUPPOSE President Obama announced:

Unless Republicans agree to my proposal for gun control, I will use my authority as commander in chief to scuttle one aircraft carrier a week in the bottom of the ocean.

I invite Republican leaders to come to the White House and negotiate a deal to preserve our military strength. I hope Republicans will work with me to prevent the loss of our carrier fleet.

If the Republicans refuse to negotiate, I will be compelled to begin by scuttling the U.S.S. George Washington in the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, with 80 aircraft on board.

In that situation, we would all agree that Obama had gone nuts. Whatever his beefs with Republicans, it would be an inexcusable betrayal to try to get his way by destroying our national assets. That would be an abuse of power and the worst kind of blackmail.

And in that kind of situation, I would hope that we as journalists wouldn’t describe the resulting furor as a “political impasse” or “partisan gridlock.” I hope that we wouldn’t settle for quoting politicians on each side as blaming the other. It would be appropriate to point out the obvious: Our president had tumbled over the edge and was endangering the nation.

Today, we have a similar situation, except that it’s a band of extremist House Republicans who are deliberately sabotaging America’s economy and damaging our national security — all in hopes of gaining leverage on unrelated issues.

The shutdown of government by House Republicans has already cost at least $1.2 billion, with the tab increasing by $300 million a day. Some estimates are much higher than that.

The 1995 and 1996 shutdowns cost the country $2.1 billion at today’s value, and the current one is also likely to end up costing billions — a cost imposed on every citizen by House Republicans, even as members of Congress pay themselves.

The government shutdown and risk of default also undermine America’s strength around the world. It’s not just that 72 percent of the intelligence community’s civilian work force has been furloughed. It’s not simply that “the jeopardy to the safety and security of this country will increase” daily, according to James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence.

Nor is it just that the White House telephone number is now answered with a recording that says to call back when government is functioning again. It’s not simply that several countries have issued travel advisories about visiting America. It’s not just that we’re mocked worldwide, with the French newspaper Le Monde writing: “Jefferson, wake up! They’ve gone crazy!”

Rather, it’s that America’s strength and influence derive in part from the success of our political and economic model. When House Republicans shut our government down and leave us teetering on the abyss of default, we are a diminished nation. We have less influence. We have less raw power, as surely as if we had fewer aircraft carriers.

It is the executive branch that is making the decisions on what is deemed nonessential and it is the President who will not budge an inch on the implementation of Obamacare, even though its introduction has been fraught with glitches. It is the President who has decided to close down parks and monuments in order to make the shutdown hurt as much as possible. If we want to put things in terms of Kristof’s simile than it really is the President who is sinking aircraft carriers.

But this is beside the point. Here is the main point of the column.

Some Americans think that this crisis reflects typical partisan squabbling. No. Democrats and Republicans have always disagreed, sometimes ferociously, about what economic policy is best, but, in the past, it was not normal for either to sabotage the economy as a negotiating tactic.

The stakes rise as we approach the debt limit and the risk of default — which the Treasury Department notes could have an impact like that of the 2008 financial crisis and “has the potential to be catastrophic.” Astonishingly, Republican hard-liners see that potential catastrophe as a source of bargaining power in a game of extortion: We don’t want anything to happen to this fine American economy as we approach the debt limit, so you’d better meet our demands.

In this situation, it strikes a false note for us as journalists to cover the crisis simply by quoting each side as blaming the other. That’s a false equivalency.

So, journalists should not try to see both sides and report the facts so the reader can decide for himself. They should take the side of the Democrats because they are clearly in the right and the Republicans are clearly in the wrong. To be honest, I wish the mainstream media would abandon the pretense that they are objective. More and more they have become the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party and I wish they would just admit it.

 

Aftermath

November 8, 2012

I had good reason to be anxious. We didn’t do so well in the election. There is no way around the fact that this has been a major defeat for the cause of freedom. We get to spend another four years under Obama’s incompetent management.

Well, I have spent the required day in mourning, whining about the death of the Republic on Facebook and now it is time to get back to work. I think that it is always better to see the bright side of life, so I will try to make the best of it.


Well, things are not quite as bad as they seem. Obama hardly won by a landslide. In the popular vote, Obama won 60,841,109 votes while Romney got 57,941,258 votes. I guess 50-48% against a sitting President isn’t too bad, although we could have done better. In the Electoral College it is 303 for Obama and 206 for Romney with Florida and its 29 votes still undecided. The final map looks like this.

It could have been better, but it could have been worse, but it wasn’t a landslide. Here is what a landslide looks like.

Election of 1964

or

The election of 1984

In both these cases, and in 1972 and others the opposing party was absolutely routed. This isn’t the case here. In Congress, we did better than one might expect suggesting that Obama’s coattails were short. We only lost two seats in the Senate making it 53-45 with two independents. This is a lot better situation than we had after 2008 when the Democrats had nearly a filibuster proof majority. We also held our own in the House of Representatives. We moved from 242-193 to 233-193 with several seats still being decided. If we didn’t win, at least we didn’t lose and I think we can call Congress a draw.

Things are a little better at the State level. We have 30 Republican governors, up from 21 in 2008 and 20 in 2010. I don’t have solid information about  party control of the state legislatures, but it seems to be a draw there with neither party making any major gains.

Now, the downside. It doesn’t look as if Obamacare is going to be repealed. This is bad since the federal government can hardly afford a new set of entitlements and the population doesn’t need to be even more dependent on the government. Well, if we can’t end it, we must make it palatable. The Republicans ought to find ways of adjusting and tweaking this monstrosity in order to bring it more in line with Conservative principles. I suggest arguing for more control and funding at the state level and, down the road when it is obviously not working, introduce the idea of re-privatizing health care.

Demographics seem to be against us. I do not think that the changing composition of the American population means the end of the Republican party. This is only certain if you think that party affiliation and policy preferences are somehow hardwired into various races and ethnic groups. How racist is that? We need to do more work on this. I do not believe that the Republicans should try to play identity politics the way the Democrats do. This won’t convince anyone and the people most susceptible to this sort of thing will always go for the Democrats. We certainly should not waste our time courting “civil rights” organizations like the NAACP. These groups are under the control of the Left and their sole purpose, these days, is electing Democrats. The concerns of the people they purport to represent are a distant second to them. I am not sure what the answer is, but there must be some way to persuade minorities that Conservative principles benefit them too.

We have to gain control of the media narrative. I know we have Fox News, talk radio, and the Internet, but more needs to be done. The Mainstream Media is weaker than it once was, but too many people still get their news from them. They have to be made irrevelant.I suggest that Republican politicians treat the MSM as it really is, the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party and react accordingly. This means not giving them interviews, giving their reporters accommodations on campaign buses, etc. They shouldn’t complain about media bias, though. When asked, they should state dismissively, “Well, CBS (or the New York Times, etc) is old media and we prefer to spend our campaign resources on more relevant outlets”. Make it clear that they are just no longer important enough to bother with. And, we also need to fight more against the slanders of the Left. Don’t let them get away with calling us racist, bigoted, Nazis, etc. Point out the general nastiness and mendacity of the Left.

Why we are on the subject, can we stop calling them Liberals or Progressives. They are neither. Truth in advertising demands we call them what they are; Socialists, Marxists, Statists, anything but Liberal. Their intellectual forebears are not such great Liberal thinkers as John Locke or John Stuart Mill. They are rather Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin.

Let’s not form circular firing squads or fight each other. There are lessons to be learned from this defeat, but we cannot abandon or throw under the bus any Republican factions. We win by growing the party, not purging it.

Well, those are my thoughts, whatever that may be worth.

As Winston Churchill said, “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

and

“You ask, What is our aim? I can answer with one word: Victory—victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory there is no survival.”

Maureen Dowd is a Twit Too

October 7, 2012

Again, no surprises there. In her latest column, Dowd imagines a post-debate conversation between Barack Obama and The West Wings’s Josiah Bartlett.

The lights from the presidential motorcade illuminate a New Hampshire farmhouse at night in the sprawling New England landscape. JED BARTLET steps out onto his porch as the motorcade slows to a stop.

BARTLET(calling out) Don’t even get out of the car!

BARACK OBAMA(opening the door of his limo) Five minutes, that’s all I want.

BARTLET Were you sleepy?

OBAMA Jed —

BARTLET Was that the problem? Had you just taken allergy medication? General anesthesia?

OBAMA I had an off night.

BARTLET What makes you say that? The fact that the Cheesecake Factory is preparing an ad campaign boasting that it served Romney his pre-debate meal? Law school graduates all over America are preparing to take the bar exam by going to the freakin’ Cheesecake Factory!

OBAMA(following Bartlet inside) I can understand why you’re upset, Jed.

BARTLET Did your staff let you know the debate was gonna be on television?

OBAMA (looking in the other room) Is that Jeff Daniels?

BARTLET That’s Will McAvoy, he just looks like Jeff Daniels.

OBAMA Why’s he got Jim Lehrer in a hammerlock?

BARTLET That’s called an Apache Persuasion Hold. McAvoy thinks it’s the responsibility of the moderator to expose — what are they called? — lies.

WILL(shouting) Did Obama remove the work requirement from Welfare-to-Work?!

LEHRER No!

WILL And you didn’t want to ask Romney about that because? It would’ve been impolite?!

Again, we see the idea that Jim Lehrer should have been actively covering for Barack Obama instead of being a fair and unbiased moderator.

I have not watched a single episode of The West Wing, but I gather it tells the story of a Democratic President in a strange, alternate universe in which liberal ideas are actually popular in America and Democrats can win without pretending to be moderates. Also, Liberals in this world are intelligent and articulate and do not have to resort to name calling. I know it is an incredible premise but the show was on for seven years, so I suppose it offered some consolation for Liberals who found the real world too harsh.

But the main point here is that Dowd repeats the idea that will soon become the conventional wisdom on that first debate, that Romney defeated Obama not because he is a better debater, or that his ideas are superior, but because he kept lying and Obama was simply too astonished by his blatant prevarications to reply.

BARTLET All right! (back to OBAMA) And that was quite a display of hard-nosed, fiscal conservatism when he slashed one one-hundredth of 1 percent from the federal budget by canceling “Sesame Street” and “Downton Abbey.” I think we’re halfway home. Mr. President, your prep for the next debate need not consist of anything more than learning to pronounce three words: “Governor, you’re lying.” Let’s replay some of Wednesday night’s more jaw-dropping visits to the Land Where Facts Go to Die. “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale you’re talking about.”

OBAMA The Tax Policy Center analysis of your proposal for a 20 percent across-the-board tax cut in all federal income tax rates, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, the estate tax and other reductions, says it would be a $5 trillion tax cut.

BARTLET In other words …

OBAMA You’re lying, Governor.

BARTLET “I saw a study that came out today that said you’re going to raise taxes by $3,000 to $4,000 on middle-income families.”

OBAMA The American Enterprise Institute found my budget actually would reduce the share of taxes that each taxpayer pays to service the debt by $1,289.89 for taxpayers earning in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

BARTLET Which is another way of saying …

OBAMA You’re lying, Governor.

I sincerely hope that President Obama does try something like this for the next debate. I have a feeling that Romney will have all the facts and figures he will need to verify his statements at hand and ready to use. Obama will only make a fool of himself if he keeps repeating, “You’re a liar”.

By the way, Maureen Dowd is probably the last person on earth who should be lecturing anyone on honesty, given her propensity to omit words from quotes to alter their meaning. This practice is called dowdification and in listed in the Urban Dictionary.

The omission of a word or a phrase in order to reframe a quote and alter its meaning. This is usually done to help an author portray a particular viewpoint and is very common amongst weblogs. The term is named after the New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd.

Her dowdification seriously mischaracterized his statement

That says enough.

Freedom from Religion

March 11, 2012

I see that the Freedom From Religion Foundation is still working on winning friends. This time they have decided to attack the Roman Catholic Church with an advertisement in the New York Times. You can read the contents on their own website here. I’ll give a few excerpts and comments.

Dear ‘Liberal’ Catholic:

It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s your moment of truth. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or Bishops and their wrongs? Whose side are you on, anyway?

It is time to make known your dissent from the Catholic Church, in light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ ruthless campaign endangering the right to contraception. If you’re part of the Catholic Church, you’re part of the problem.

Why is this so hard to understand? The Catholic Church is not denying anyone access to contraceptives. The Bishops simply do not want to be forced, against their beliefs. Why should the government force them? They take up the question a little further down.

our Church hysterically claims that secular medical policy is “an assault against religious liberty.” You are savvy enough to realize that the real assault is by the Church against women’s rights and health care. As Nation columnist Katha Pollitt asks: Is it an offense against Jehovah Witnesses that health care coverage will include blood transfusions? The Amish, as Pollitt points out, don’t label cars “an assault on religious liberty” and try to force everyone to drive buggies. The louder the Church cries “offense against religious liberty” the harder it works to take away women’s liberty.

It would be an offense against Jehovah’s Witnesses to force them to accept blood transfusions or pay for others transfusions. It would be an offense against the Amish to force them to buy cars. The analogy they use is backward. Obama is trying it do the equivalent of both these examples to Catholic institutions. But here is where they turn nasty.

Why are you propping up the pillars of a tyrannical and autocratic, woman-hating, sex-perverting, antediluvian Old Boys Club? Why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly and publicly announced a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization, and to deny the right of all women everywhere, Catholic or not, to decide whether and when to become mothers?  When it comes to reproductive freedom, the Roman Catholic Church is Public Enemy Number One. Think of the acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, social evils and deaths that can be laid directly at the door of the Church’s antiquated doctrine that birth control is a sin and must be outlawed.

A backer of the Roman Catholic presidential candidate says that if women want to avoid pregnancy we should put an aspirin between our knees? Catholic politicians are urging that the right to contraception should be left up to states? Nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court upheld contraception as a privacy right, we’re going to have to defend this basic freedom all over again?

You’re better than your church. So why? Why continue to attend Mass? Tithe? Why dutifully sacrifice to send your children to parochial schools so they can be brainwashed into the next generation of myrmidons (and, potentially, become the next Church victims)? For that matter, why have you put up with an institution that won’t put up with women priests, that excludes half of humanity?

No self-respecting feminist, civil libertarian or progressive should cling to the Catholic faith. As a Cafeteria Catholic, you chuck out the stale doctrine and moldy decrees of your religion, but keep patronizing the establishment that menaces public health by serving rotten offerings. Your continuing Catholic membership, as a “liberal,” casts a veneer of respectability upon an irrational sect determined to blow out the Enlightenment and threaten liberty for women worldwide. You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.

Obama has compromised, but the Church never budges, instead launching a vengeful modern-day Inquisition. Look at its continuing directives to parish priests to use their pulpits every Sunday to lobby you against Obama’s policy, the Church’s announcement of a major anti-contraception media campaign — using your tithes, contributions and donations — to defeat Obama’s laudable health care policy. The Church has introduced into Congress the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, ” a bill to place the conscienceless Catholic Church’s “rights of conscience” above the rights of conscience of 53 percent of Americans. That the Church has “conscience rights” to deny women their rights is a kissing cousin to the claim that “corporations are people.” The Church that hasn’t persuaded you to oppose contraception now wants to use the force of secular law to deny contraceptive rights to non-Catholics.

Again, no one is being denied contraceptive rights. And doesn’t the Catholic Church have a right to express its opinion? It would seem that the FFRF thinks not.

But is there any point in going on? After all, your misplaced loyalty has lasted through two decades of public sex scandals involving preying priests, children you may have known as victims, and church complicity, collusion and coverup going all the way to the top. Are you like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go?

But we have a more welcoming home to offer, free of incense-fogged ritual, free of what freethinker Bertrand Russell called “ideas uttered long ago by ignorant men,” free of blind obedience to an illusory religious authority. Join those of us who put humanity above dogma.

As a member of the “flock” of an avowedly antidemocratic club, isn’t it time you vote with your feet? Please, exit en Mass.

I sometimes wonder if the Freedom From Religion Foundation is some sort of false front intended to make Atheists all look like jerks.

The only thing that makes this different from one of Jack Chick’s anti-Catholic tracts is that the FFRF  is not saying that the Catholic Church is under the control of the Devil. Other than that they both show about the same amount of bigotry. Not surprisingly Catholic League President Bill Donovan has labeled this ad “hate speech”.  As far as I am concerned they are free to put out any ad they want to, but I triple dog dare them to put put a similar ad about Muslims.

They wouldn’t, of course. Catholics don’t blow up people who insult them.

Note the Atheists and Secularists who seem to approve of the ad. Perhaps I was wrong. FFRF is not a false front. Many Atheists really are bigoted jerks.

More Mail from the Democrats

October 14, 2011

I was feeling a little neglected after President Obama and the rest of the Democrats stopped sending me e-mails. It appears that the fundraiser was over and they didn’t need to ask for any more from me. I have to say I felt a bit used. At least I would, if I had ever sent them any money.

Well, I am glad to see that the Democrats don’t just love me for my money. They also need me to sign petitions.

We told you last week about Republican efforts to suppress the vote nationwide that could prevent 5 MILLION Americans from voting. According to the New York Times, the voter fraud Republicans say they’re preventing simply isn’t an issue. “The only reason Republicans are passing these laws is to give themselves a political edge by suppressing Democratic votes.”

The scary thing is, it just might work. Enough votes could be lost to states like Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Nevada and Virginia to hand the Senate – and the White House – to the GOP.

This news really struck a nerve with grassroots activists – we’re nearly halfway to our goal of 150,000 signatures. But we’re missing your name – will you click here and sign?

After you’ve signed, check out our brand new 2012 Election Protection Project website, where you can view maps of affected states, learn facts about the new laws, share information on Twitter and, most importantly, register to vote.

We’re starting to put together our voter outreach plans based on these new GOP laws, and I sure could use your help. Thanks in advance for signing and sharing. We’ll keep you posted on our progress.

Crystal King
DSCC Political Director

I am just outraged that the Republicans are trying to suppress the necro-American vote. Sure the living can show IDs easily enough, but does anyone care about how hard it is for the dead to get identification. They don’t normally drive so they can’t get driver’s licenses. Illegal immigrants also have considerable difficulty in acquiring valid. I will be glad to sign this petition identification. Just because a person is not a US citizen or even alive is no reason to deny them the vote.

Then I got this.


We have to act fast.

House Republicans are set to vote today on a bill that would go even farther than Republicans’ previous efforts to restrict women’s access to reproductive health care.

This GOP bill would allow emergency rooms to refuse women life-saving healthcare. Pundits are calling it the “Let Women Die” act.

We must act immediately to call out the right-wing Republicans behind this assault on women. We’ve set a goal of raising $100,000 for the DCCC Women’s Health Rapid Response Fund so we can hold these Republicans accountable.

Please make an urgent contribution of $3 or more to the DCCC Women’s Health Rapid Response Fund. Your generous support will send a powerful show of grassroots strength against the Republicans’ extreme agenda.

Instead of focusing on jobs or the economy, today’s vote will mark the seventh time this year House Republicans have chosen to undermine women’s access to health care.

First, it was Republicans redefining rape to deny health care coverage. Now, they want to allow hospitals to turn away women in life-or-death situations. Plus, for the first time ever, this bill would restrict how women with private insurance can spend their own private dollars in purchasing health care. It has to stop.

Help us send a message to Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and the rest of the House Republicans that their repeated insistence on restricting women’s access to health care has consequences.

Thank you standing with us.

Taryn

Taryn Rosenkranz
Dept. of Grassroots Activism

The fiends!!. They want to deny women needed healthcare, just because the Republicans hate women. I wonder though. This wouldn’t have anything to do with making sure the tax payers are not paying for abortions, would it? No matter. Nancy Pelosi has said the Republicans want women to die on the emergency room floors and I am sure she wouldn’t lie or exaggerate. I’ll send that $3 right away.

Undisclosed Location

August 26, 2011
Dick Cheney, Vice President of the United States.

Image via Wikipedia

From Yahoo News. We finally find out where they hid Vice-President Dick Cheney after 9/11.

Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney disappeared and was whisked off to a “secure, undisclosed location” to protect his safety. But Cheney never confirmed where exactly he hunkered down.

That is, until now.

Cheney confirms in his new memoir, “In My Time,” that some of the speculation was correct–one of his “undisclosed locations” was his residence in Northwest Washington, D.C., the Washington Post reports.

It seems that Joe Biden discovered the secret when he became Vice-President and found a bunker under the Vice-Presidential house. I wonder why they didn’t put him in an undisclosed location.

Cheney also was hidden in Wyoming, his home state, and Camp David.

Human Swallows Pill. Mosquito Bites Human. Mosquito Dies.

July 12, 2011
None - This image is in the public domain and ...

Image via Wikipedia

From the New York Times. I like this.

A cheap deworming pill used in Africa for 25 years against river blindness was recently shown to have a power that scientists had long suspected but never before demonstrated in the field: When mosquitoes bite people who have recently swallowed the drug — called ivermectin or Mectizan — they die.

Where can I get some of this? I would love to watch mosquitoes die. It turns out, though, there are a couple of drawbacks.

Other scientists caution that while the mosquito-poisoning trick is pretty nifty, it is not very practical: For it to work effectively, nearly everyone in a mosquito-infested area must take the pills simultaneously.

Getting thousands of villagers to do that even in annual deworming campaigns is a logistical nightmare, scientists said. The mosquito-killing effect appears to fade out within a month, so it would need to be repeated monthly.

Also, in rare cases, the otherwise safe drug can be lethal.

It doesn’t seem to kill the mosquitoes right away. It shortens their life span so that they do not live long enough to acquire the parasites that cause malaria. That’s not as much fun as having mosquitoes bite me and then die, but it could be very useful for controlling malaria. Still this is Africa so distribution is a problem. Not to mention health problems not generally found in the developed world.

We hand it out once a year,” said the parasitologist, Dr. Frank O. Richards Jr. “I’m pushing for twice a year, and people want to kill me. It’s very difficult to imagine a once-a-month program anywhere.”

It might be useful, he suggested, in areas with brief, intense malaria seasons.

Also, when people with lots of worms are treated, they suffer fever and intense itching as the worms die. Though that might be bearable once a year, it discourages people from seeking treatment more frequently. And ivermectin is dangerous for a few people — those infested with large numbers of a relatively rare West African worm, the loa loa. These worms circulate in the blood and lungs and may jam capillaries when they die, potentially causing coma or death. Detecting them means drawing blood and viewing it under a microscope.

Still, it is promising and I hope it works out.

Did I mention that I really hate mosquitoes?

Hat tip to Instapundit.

 


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