Monday, April 25, 2005

I know most of my posts have focused on religion in the US lately, but it needs to be talked about and fought. I don't know how many of you have been following this ridiculous move by Republicans in the Senate to kill long held, traditional fillibuster rules so they can push their conservative (i.e. radical) judicial nominees through. What's fucked up is that these hypocrites did the exact same thing Clinton was in office. It's all coming to light now. Read this: Flip Flop?.

When a judge with a brain rules against what radicals in this country feel is right, they spew out the same, tired rhetoric: they're "activist judges." Yet, the GOP is doing everything thye can to put people on the bench with their own activist agenda. Truthfully, these so-called "activist" judges on the bench now are the few remaining that are protecting our Constitution. Guess what? Gay marriage isn't a threat! Abortiion isn't your fucking business unless YOU are the one who is pregnant! YOU don't have the right to prevent women from getting a prescription! If the GOP had its way, we'd have judges who would rule based on the Bible and not common sense and our laws.

So, as this things continues to get more political, today we learn a large group of religious whack jobs are once again using churches and pulpits to interfere in our governmental duties. US Christian Conservatives Take Aim at Filibusters. This, my friends, is fucked up beyond belief. Last time I checked, the Constitution of our country clearly stated that church and state should always remain SEPARATE. Meaning, neither should wield influence over the other. Yet, it seems a large, radical group of religious leaders and their following of millions of brainless sheep have decided to take over this country and push their beliefs on the rest of us.

A number of these criminal, corrupt politicians (both sides of the aisle are guilty of being whores to special interests), now have the balls to not only criticize Democrats for holding up judicial nominees, but also criticize the few Republicans that actually have a set of balls and don't agree with the proposed rule changes.

You might recall last year the GOP changed ethics rules to protect the criminal from Texas, Tom DeLay. His day IS coming, it finally appears, but it was a blatant slap in the face of every single American. The GOP and conservatives are out of control.

"As American citizens we should not have to choose between believing and living what is in this book and by serving the public," said president Tony Perkins, holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other.

While these religious "leaders" talk about moral ground, they have become just as corrupt as their political whores. The Bible does not, and should not, determine what happens in our courts. If you fucking rejects want to live in a country ruled by religion, move to Saudi Arabia. America is NOT a theocracy, yet millions of people are doing their damndest to see to it that that changes. Those who continue to push this country to the right are imposing beliefs on millions of others who DO NOT AGREE WITH YOU.

Anyway, I hope every day that the GOP will do what I expect them to do with their power: go too far. They're oh-so-close to doing it. Terry Schiavo. The courts. Tom DeLay. The energy bill. Keep it coming, folks. Election day will hurt.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Well, congrats to the Catholics of the world. You've taken another two steps backward in reality. I'm really shocked Benedict XVI was chosen. Forget the fact that he already has one foot in the grave. Pope JP2 was conservative enough as it was. He ignored the population explosion. Ignored the molestation epidemic in the US Church. Ignored (like most devout Catholics) that people are HUMAN, make mistakes and are sexual beings. Ignored the dwindling numbers of priests in the church ("Hey, I got a solution! Let's keep women out!"). And ignored the economic ramifications of the church's sexual/moral policies.

So, what do the old men in red do? They elect someone even WORSE! This idiot thinks that instead of building strong relationships with Muslims, Catholics should CONVERT them! Talk about a cult. AIDS and other STDs will continue to rampage across the planet while this old geezer talks about abstinence (hey, it's worked so well for the church, so why not? /end sarcasm) Until the day Benedict dies, the world is stuck with a large cult that keeps its blinders on. All hail the new Pope. Good luck, morons.

Another example of how brainwashed people are getting. I've seen this happen all over the place. A few months ago, some lady looked at her door in her kitchen and all of a sudden was "overwhelmed" by the presence of Jesus. Two wood panels had been glued together (the way most lightweight doors are made) and whackjobs were convinced Mary was sending a Christmas message. These people had a line out the door.

Bette Shober (L) and Joanne Vrablik (R) take a closer look at what people believe to be an image of the Virgin Mary under a freeway underpass in Chicago, April 18, 2005. Police said the image might have been caused by stains from road salt that dripped from the Kennedy expressway onto the wall, but hundreds of believers have been coming to the underpass to view the image and pray at the spot. REUTERS/John Gress

Now, we have people praying at the bottom of an underpass. Ya gotta be kidding me!

I think I'm going to get some oil and smear a face with a beard on the side of a building and see how many people will believe me that it's a sign that some bogeyman in the sky has paid a visit. I might even sell tickets. I'll be rich.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Ah, I knew it would only be a few days before I found another assinine example of our legal system being out of control and our country sliding into a deeper social hole because of our culture of entitlement. Read part of this news story:

The parents of a Bennington College student who died after falling through the window of a campus building are considering taking legal action against the school.

Dennis Muzzi, the father of 20-year-old Kelly Muzzi, said that while the college didn't design the window to break, he wondered what the school could have done to prevent the fall.

Meanwhile, Assistant State Fire Marshall Michael Skaza said in a report about the accident issued on Friday that the school hadn't violated any building codes by not having safety glass installed in the window.

Muzzi said he and wife Andrea Thorne found little consolation in Skaza's report.

``Kelly got hurt and the school has some responsibility,'' he said. ``I'm sure in the future at some time there will be further action with this.''

Kelly Muzzi, of Troy, Mich., and Laura Jawitz, 19, of New Haven, Conn., had been rehearsing a dance in a studio at the college when a plate glass window they leaned on broke. The two women fell about 20 feet onto a brick patio.

Muzzi died from her injuries April 1. Jawitz was initially listed in critical condition, but she has since been released from the hospital.

During a visit to the school, Dennis Muzzi spoke with students and a professor who told him it was accepted practice for students to use the windows as though they were walls that could be leaned against.

Skaza's report said the school hadn't violated any building codes for the building, which opened in 1974.

Skaza said in his report that not until the late 1970s did building code regulators begin instituting requirements for safety glass in all areas that might reasonably be exposed to impact from people.

So let me get this straight. The college followed all legal building code rules. TWO girls pressed their bodies onto a large plate glass window (which I'm guessing is a total of at least 200 lbs of pressure), break it, and yet somehow it was not the girls' fault, but the schools. Someone explain this fucked up logic to me.

Look, it sucks hard that this girl died. It's very sad. But let's stop trying to look for scapegoats when an ACCIDENT happened. At best, the school can issue a ruling to students to not touch these windows to prevent another accident. But since these parents feel the school is at fault for what their ADULT daughter did and there is without a doubt some scumbag lawyer involved, the school is now going to have to spend money to fight a frivolous lawsuit.

A note to the parents: Nothing is going to bring back your daughter, even a multi-million dollar settlement.

Friday, April 08, 2005

A glimmer of hope today came from the US Court of Appeals - they rejected Smuckers' patent application for their PB&J "Uncrustables" sandwiches.

( I read about this case in the WSJ just the other day. Basically, the company claimed it had invented this process where they fuse two pieces of bread together and no one else should be able to "copy" them. Well, fortunately, the US Patent Office told them to go scratch because the same process existed since forever - think: ravioli and pie crust, folks.

This just goes to show you how out of hand both the patent process and the legal eagles are today. This case should ever even have made it to court. Any judge would have told Smuckers to also go scratch for being so petty. How much money did this whole thing cost? How much time wasted? Over what?

What kills me is that this lazy person's product has made the company millions since its debut. Jeez, how much time does it take to make your kid a freakin' sandwich?

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The Pope was finally buried today. It was astounding to see the millions of people he's touched during his tenure. Being 33, I don't remember anyone else being Pope.
I was raised Catholic. I always hated church. My parents made me go to CCD every week, until they finally gave up when I was a sophomore in HS. I never received confirmation. The only time I go to church now is when I have to: weddings, christenings funerals. It was probably more rebellion than anything else that explained my resistance to my religious upbringing. But when I decided to study philosophy in college, my years of incredibly deep thought and introspection led me farther and farther away from spirituality. Nature, really, is what I'm spiritual about now.

Religion to me is something that was created to explain the (at the time) unexplainable to people who feared death, natural events, etc. It's also a great way to control large masses of people. To a point, this is good. It keeps people in line, develops a strong base of beliefs and comforts people in the face of gloom. In my self-righteous mind, it's a crutch for people to fall on.

It's also becoming more and more dangerous to the world community. I don't need to get into all the wars that have been started because of religion. Terrorism is rooted in religion. Cults are religions (my view is Christianity is a cult). Religion is now beginning to tear apart the United States as well. And because of the intense radicalism of the "Evangelicals" and the power they've been able to grab in the past few years, we're going to be plunged into an increasingly bitter cultural war.

Hopefully, it will backfire, like when the GOP collapsed after Newt Gingrich screwed up and his colleagues went too far to the right.

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Anyway, back to the Pope. I admit that, overall, Pope John Paul II was a peaceful man and was instrumental in spreading peace throughout the world. Unfortunately, he was also incredibly conservative and detrimental to not only the church, but to the health of the world.

One thing that I still can't understand is his stance on keeping women out of the priesthood. The priesthood is shrinking. It's in crisis mode. So many priests enter the priesthood because their sexual preferences don't agree with what they've been brainwashed with through the church. We've seen the tragic result of that and the repressive, anti-human, anti-sexual positions the church maintains (celibacy, gay is bad, etc.). Other than relying on centuries-old male chauvinism (sp?), I can't see why women can not be ordained.

Second, the celibacy issue IS going to bring the church down. I still believe the sexual abuse issue has only been scratched at. I am convinced it's even worse than we've been led to believe. Anyone with a brain can see why this has happened: humans are sexual beings. It is in our nature to seek sexual relationships for many reasons. To suppress that in any human being is unhealthy. Sooner or later, it's going to morph into something bad. So what's happened? Priests take advantage of the weakest and most vulnerable targets: children. I'm not defending them. What these people have done is sickening. But the church continues to ignore the reasons behind it. The priesthood is the perfect place for a man to enter when his sexual urges (read: natural makeup) disagree with his religious upbringing. And we see what we get. The Pope did little to fix this.

Third, is the Pope's inexcusable position on birth control. Apparently, the Vatican is blind to overpopulation. The church likes to send"missionaries" (which I prefer to call cult followers) to convert people to Catholicism to grow its base and "spread the word." Well, if Christians really believe that God created the world, why in hell aren't they doing everything they can to PROTECT THE PLANET????? Half of the world's forests are being burned. Our oceans are overfished. Our land is becoming more crowded by the day. Yet, what does the Catholic church say? "Protect life. Have MORE babies. Birth control is evil." WTF? I'm convinced the Catholic church has lost it's freakin' mind. If anything, it should promote birth control.

Attention church: This planet can't afford families with 10 kids anymore. If anything, we need a population REDUCTION.

I may sound cruel here, but I see certain epidemics like AIDS, Avian Flu, etc. as healthy things for the human population. We CANNOT sustain any further population growth. We just can't do it. We're wiping out wetlands, plant and animal species, polluting the air and water in every single country, and using up natural resources faster than they could ever be replaced. Nature, at times, tries to put a halt to unnatural growth in different ways. One of them is disease. Other is natural disasters. The Asian tsunamis wiped out over 100,000 people. It was horrific. A tragedy. But it probably saved most of the region from being destroyed by humans - at least for a few decades.

Anyway, I hope the next Pope is much more progressive than John Paul II. I really do. The impact that position has on people is enormous. It's time for the Vatican to get with the times, reverse many of it's destructive policies and chart a new path for saving the planet and its own cult of followers instead of doing only things to increase its power and wealth.