Sunday, April 20, 2014

Concerning laws against gays, Franklin Graham says that Putin is going to do what's right for Russia. Calls gay adoption "recruitment."

Courtesy of the You Tube page:

Rev. Franklin Graham on Sunday said that he stood by earlier comments agreeing with so-called gay "propaganda" bans in Russia because President Vladimir Putin was doing "what's right" for the country. During a March interview with the Charlotte Observer, Graham had asserted that LGBT people were trying to "recruit" children by adopting them, and suggested that it was "exploitation." 

He also said that he "agreed" with Putin because "protecting his nation's children was a pretty smart thing to do." 

Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, Graham doubled down on his praise of the Russian president. 

"Putin is going to do what's right for Russia, and not what's right for America, but for Russia," he opined. "We used to have a president in this country that did what's right for this country, but we don't seem to have that right now." 

"Putin is going to make these decisions that he thinks is best for the Russian people, and he thinks that taking advantage of children — exploiting children — is wrong for any group so they passed a law," Graham added. "So, I do agree with him." 

When asked about his father, Rev. Billy Graham, he again brought the discussion back around to the issue of same-sex parents. 

"When we talk about families, when we talk about gay people, many people, maybe gays that are watching want to know, 'Can God forgive me or can I go to Heaven as a gay person?' Absolutely," he declared. "But the same for any of us, we have to repent of our sins and turn." 

"A person cannot stay in adultery and be accepted by God," Graham continued. "You have to repent."

It is kind of hard to believe that anybody would suggest that what Putin is doing right now is "good for Russia" but I guess when you are a fellow homophobe you tend to give your fellow hate mongers the benefit of the doubt.

As for this idea that gay adoption is about recruiting children into homosexuality, that could not be farther from the truth.

I have known, and worked with, several gay adoptive parents and essentially I can think of only one family where a child they had adopted turned out to be gay.

The rest were quite heterosexual, though to be honest they seemed to lack the gene which inspired them to call every kid they did not like a "faggot." Unless of course that is NOT a heterosexual feature and instead a learned behavior.

Franklin Graham is a POS and really should serve as an embarrassment to Christians everywhere, as well as to Americans who find Vladimir Putin to be a chest thumping megalomaniacal bully.

Sarah Palin shares an Easter greeting on Facebook, and finally remembers a certain birthday.

The Easter greeting is the same old mooseshit, but I thought this portion was worth sharing:

PS: Happy birthday to both my boys, too! Here’s the littlest one on Friday heading into school to share birthday treats with his classmates – Peeps and applesauce!

Nice try but I think it is pretty telling that she forgot to mention his birthday yesterday, when it was actually happening, and instead combined it with Track's birthday greeting, which IS actually today.

I guess it is only Palin's biological children who get a shout out on their birthdays and props get theirs whenever she damn well gets around to it.

Oh well, better late than never.

Does anybody else think this photo, and the other one on Facebook, look like they were posed in order to sell a certain message?

Missouri Republicans consider bill that would deny state jobs to federal agents who enforced gun laws. Because you know that makes sense.

Courtesy of Raw Story:  

Missouri Republicans are considering a bill that would bar federal law enforcement officials from state jobs if they ever enforced federal gun laws that the legislators consider ‘unconstitutional.’ 

According to the Missourian, GOP legislators would like to include a provision, in the so-called ‘Second Amendment Preservation Act,’ barring federal employees who enforce, or aid in a potential enforcement of certain gun-control laws in the course of their careers, from any Missouri state or local law enforcement jobs in the future.

So to be clear these idiots want to pass a law which denies future employment to a law enforcement official for doing his job. In short, if you do this job now, you cannot have this job later.

Pretty sure that is illegal for a number of reasons.

But get this, it's a compromise:

The latest provision is seen as a compromise by the Republican lawmakers from an earlier version that would have called for possible jail time or allowing civil damages stemming from lawsuits filed by Missourians who think an agent infringed upon their gun rights. 

The most recent version has been endorsed by the Senate General Laws Committee and would leave the civil penalties on the table in addition to the employment ban. 

The bill is likely to make the chamber floor for a vote. 

As currently written, Missourians would be able sue if they think a law enforcement officer was employed after being involved in the implementation of a federal gun law. If the lawsuit is successful, the agent would be fired and the state or municipality would be required to pay the resident’s court costs. 

“What we hope it accomplishes is for there to be a healthy degree of pause before anybody takes an action that could be unconstitutional,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Brian Nieves, (R).

This of course is only in anticipation of a federal gun law being passed, which as of right now seems unlikely.  However if such a law were to pass THIS law would then be used to essentially threaten a federal agent into refusing to comply, by using the denial of future employment as a gun to their head.

That is pretty damn shocking.

I am still incredibly confused by this love affair that Americans have with firearms.

How in the hell did THAT amendment become the most important amendment in the Constitution?

I hear people talking about a "gun culture" and it makes me think of people who dress up like furries or breed and sell miniature horses or something. What exactly defines a "gun culture?"

I, of course, was born and raised in Alaska, where guns are ubiquitous. Yet when I was growing up they were seen as a tool for hunting, or a necessary purchase for self defense, and NOT so much a fetish, as they often are today.

I mean who lives their lives surrounded by firearms, talking about firearms, and fighting to keep their firearms, unless they are a collector of firearms, or a nut case?

And taking it to the extreme of potentially punishing law enforcement, is so completely out in left field, that I think it almost qualifies as a form of mass hysteria.

Mass hysteria over guns.

Yeah, nothing frightening about THAT!

Fox News compares Atheist group to Westboro Church members.

Courtesy of Mediaite:  

This year’s War on Easter coverage on Fox News came to a head this morning when Fox & Friends contributor Ainsley Earnhardt pitted an atheist and a Christian against each other for a heated debate over the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s right to post “anti-Easter” signs alongside the giant cross and resurrected Jesus monuments in Chicago’s Daley Plaza. “Has Easter evolved into an occasion to demean religious beliefs and Christianity?” Earnhardt asked at the top of the segment. 

And what are those “anti-Easter” images? Quotes from America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, reading “In reason, we trust” and “Keep state and religion separate,” respectively. 

 You know I certainly don't want to disagree with a Fox News blonde bobblehead, but I do not understand how this is an attack on Easter.

It was in fact a response to this display at Chicago's Daley Plaza.

If one religious group feels that it is okay to place symbolic constructs that promote their religion in a public venue, then it is only fair to expect other religions to want to do the same. Or for non-deists to want to promote their message in a similar manner.

And in NO way can this be compared to the hateful images and remarks that are the hallmark of the Westboro church folk.

Though I am sure saying so plays right into the Fox viewers already existing prejudices.

Have a Happy Easter. (You know, if you are into that kind of thing.)

So today is the day that commemorates the day thousands of years ago when somebody stole a body and everybody blamed God.

Now on such an auspicious day you might expect me to piss all over the holiday and start reciting facts and figure to disprove the story, or compare it to other religious resurrections stories, but I'm not going to.

Actually I have always quite liked Easter.

I like dying eggs, I like organizing Easter egg hunts, and I like chocolate bunnies.

Much like Christmas, once you remove all of the religious parts it is a pretty nice little holiday. (And of course much like Christmas, the best parts were stolen from the pagans.)

When I was a boy we always spent Easter at my grandmother's and she always had a nice ham, and treats for the kids. Plus, as an added benefit, since it was Easter everybody tried not to yell at us too much.

And earlier that morning my mother would have hidden our baskets and left clues written as a poem on little pieces of paper to guide us to their locations. (We used to love that!)

It was always a nice day to spend with the family, and I have nothing but great memories.

Even if Mom DID feel the need to dress us up like this.

Still worth it, got candy.

I would buy this by the caseload.

"Cures all forms of monotheism, and restores rational brain function." How wonderful would it be to own such a cure?

Actually to be honest I would not use this on anybody. That would be wrong.

Trust me, I'd want to, but ultimately it would go against my sense of morality and fair play.

However I have to wonder, if there were a potion which immediately transformed a skeptic into a Bible reading man of faith, with regular church attendance, would those on the other side demonstrate the same restraint?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Guess who just woke up.

Picture taken yesterday morning in Denali.
Courtesy of the Fairbanks Newsminer: 

Bears that wake up hungry after a long winter’s nap aren’t as big a problem in Fairbanks as they are in other bear-infested cities like Anchorage and Juneau but state wildlife officials say it’s still a good idea for Interior residents to do some spring cleaning around their homes to dissuade any ursine intruders. 

“We haven’t had as many problems in Fairbanks as Anchorage,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokeswoman Cathie Harms said of Alaska’s largest city 360 miles to the south, where it’s not uncommon for bears to be shot each spring for getting into garbage, tearing down bird feeders or ravaging neighborhood chicken coops. 

“With that many bears in urban areas and bird feeders being such an attractant it’s a pretty big deal,” she said. 

The department issued a press release on Tuesday noting that Gov. Sean Parnell has declared April “Bear Awareness Month” and reminding Alaska residents to take down bird feeders, clean up garbage, and store pet and livestock foods indoors or in bear-resistant containers. The release “was written from an Anchorage perspective” but applies to the Fairbanks area, too, said Harms.

As a lifelong Alaskan living in Anchorage, I have a few hard and fast rules in the spring.

Disrespectful asshole.

As you can imagine this ad has inspired quite a lot of criticism:  

"Beau McCoy hit a new low," Democratic executive director Dan Marvin said, demanding that the Omaha state senator take down his ad. 

"No matter what party you belong to, the depiction of violence displayed in McCoy's ad is completely disrespectful to the office of the presidency and sends the wrong message to our children." 

The new ad, in which McCoy expresses his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, and particularly to its proposed expansion of Medicaid coverage in Nebraska, stirred some critical traffic on Twitter throughout the day. 

Responding to Democratic objections, McCoy said Nebraskans are "tired of being pushed around by the Obama administration and the federal government." 

"We as Nebraskans know a one-size-fits-all mandate like Obamacare is the wrong approach for our state, which is why I led the charge this legislative session to oppose Medicaid expansion in Nebraska," McCoy said in a written statement.

Well I guess when people in Nebraska are dying because there was no Medicaid expansion in their state they will know exactly who to blame. 

Maybe one of their surviving family members would like the opportunity to backhand Mr. McCoy much like he did to that President Obama doll.

I know I certainly would.

Christian radio broadcaster James Dobson wins temporary injunction against requirement to provide access to emergency contraception to female emplyees.

Courtesy of ABC 7 in Denver: 

Christian radio broadcaster James Dobson has won a temporary injunction preventing the federal government from requiring his ministry to include the morning-after pill and other emergency contraception in its health insurance. 

A federal judge in Denver issued the injunction. 

Dobson sued in December, saying the Affordable Care Act mandate to provide the contraception violates the religious beliefs of his Colorado Springs-based ministry, called Family Talk.

Good news for employees of Dobson's Family Talk radio show with a uterus. You no longer have to struggle with that  painful decision of what to do in the case of an unplanned pregnancy.

James Dobson has made that decision for you.

You have to keep it, and of course if you terminate it using your own money, then it is very likely, considering Dobson's draconian views on abortion, that you will lose not only a potential child, but also a very real job.

Isn't religion great?

The Bundy Ranch standoff, a foreshadowing of things to come?

Cliven Buncy supporters take aim against BLM agents.
Courtesy of Reuters: 

The weekend showdown marked the latest resurgence of violent, anti-government sentiments that have existed in rural America for centuries, said Catherine Stock, a history professor at Connecticut College who specializes in rural militias. 

"The question is whether we're going to see sustained flame-up now. We could see more of that if they actually think that the federal government is going to stand down," she said. 

"It's not the groups, it's not their concerns, it's not their anger, all of that is old, but the federal government backing down? I was like, wow! Seriously?" 

Stock said the rise of right-wing media outlets and websites and the election of Republican politicians who have shifted the party further to the right have given a new legitimacy to groups that were once dismissed as being on the fringe. 

At least half a dozen state legislators from Nevada, Washington, Utah and Arizona attended protest rallies in Bunkerville at the weekend. 

Michele Fiore, a Republican Nevada assemblywoman from Las Vegas who said she joined the protesters daily after getting a torrent of supportive emails about Bundy from constituents, called the resistance "justified." 

"This is historic," she said. "This is the first time we went arm to arm with the federal government."

What happened last weekend could very likely be a seminal event which determines how these sovereign citizen types deal with law enforcement moving forward.

There were reportedly over a thousand armed men willing to engage the BLM and Federal agents in a firefight, over unpaid taxes.

Many of these men had no military training, or if they did it was decades earlier in their lives.

They had no consistent chain of command, and no clear idea of what would determine the right time to fire their weapons.

That means that those agents were in an incredibly dangerous situation, where one trigger happy moron could fire the bullet that resulted in one of the largest massacres in American history.

And that is EXACTLY what the Right Wing is waiting, and hoping for. They want somebody to die at the hands of the federal government, regardless of who fired the first shot, so that they can make them a martyr and essentially move this country toward a civil war.

Never before have the indications been this clear that the conservatives in this country are so angry that they are losing power, and that America is moving toward a more liberal viewpoint, that they are willing to rip the country in half in a desperate attempt to stop the inevitable.

Think I'm exaggerating? I only wish that I were: 

A Tea Party Facebook page called Overpasses for America, clinching just over 79,000 supporters, is calling for a “Shot Heard Around the United States” day on April 19th. The post, showing a picture of a large group of men firing rifles in the air simultaneously in front of a barn, calls on every gun owner to fire into the air at the same time: 

“April 19th, 2014… 12 NOON Eastern Standard Time Every gun owner in the USA is asked to fire their weapon at the same time. Spread the word, share everywhere.” 

April 19th is also the day, in 1775, when the start of the Revolutionary War began. This is the same page who posted a status calling for Harry Reid to be imprisoned for his “deal with Communist China that led to the stand off at Bundy Ranch.” The page, in the last few days, has been riddled with many pictures and articles detailing the fiasco at the Bundy Ranch, calling Bundy and his supporters ‘Patriots’ and seeking to end the ‘bogus lies’ about the stand-off.

Courtesy of Facebook
 Mark my words, there will be a first shot fired into an actual person at some point in the near future.

And when that happens, the only question remaining is for how long after will the gunfire continue.

When people angrily ask me why I am so against American citizens having access to military style weapons, I often think that in due time they will become too shocked by the violence to ever ask me again.

That awkward moment when the Fox News analyst you brought on to take your side against the Atheist guest, ends of agreeing with them instead.

Courtesy of Mediaite:  

Hannity guest host Eric Bolling took on Kirsten Powers and American Atheists’ Nick Fish over complaints that the coach of Clemson University is unconstitutionally promoting “Christian worship,” including the inclusion of a team chaplain. Bolling thought it was ridiculous, but Fish argued it’s wholly inappropriate for someone in a “taxpayer-funded position.” 

Fish said Coach Dabo Swinney has basically told players, “I’m a Christian and if you don’t like that you can go somewhere else.” Bolling said he has every right to promote religion on his own time, and noted how plenty of sports teams have chaplains. Fish shot back that private sports teams can do what they want, but not public universities. 

Powers admitted she’s “sympathetic to the view that it could make people who aren’t Christians uncomfortable,” wondering why, when people of Christian faith have opportunities in their private lives to promote faith, any official position is required to promote it. 

They also clashed over whether it’s wrong to have crosses on municipal property. Fish and Powers didn’t like the idea of “endorsing a particular religion,” but Bolling thought it might carry some weight when the vast majority of the population are actually Christian themselves.

Bolling "You guys are not allowed to agree on that one."

Fox News, where you are only allowed to express the opinion that you were paid to come on and express.

I swear whenever I think that Sean Hannity is the biggest tool on Fox News, I see Eric Bolling and realize that there are really SO many contenders for that crown.

This is why Right Wing talk radio is not going anywhere any time soon.

Courtesy of Politico:  

A POLITICO review of filings with the Internal Revenue Service and Federal Election Commission, as well as interviews and reviews of radio shows, found that conservative groups spent nearly $22 million to broker and pay for involved advertising relationships known as sponsorships with a handful of influential talkers including Beck, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh between the first talk radio deals in 2008 and the end of 2012. Since then, the sponsorship deals have grown more lucrative and tea party-oriented, with legacy groups like The Heritage Foundation ending their sponsorships and groups like the Tea Party Patriots placing big ad buys. 

The power of the tea party-talk radio nexus will be tested headed into the pivotal 2014 midterm elections. It has already played a key role in boosting tea party heroes like Matt Bevin and Chris McDaniel — both of whom attended FreedomWorks’ Louisville rally and have made multiple appearances on Beck’s shows — in their increasingly bitter long-shot primary challenges to powerful incumbents Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Thad Cochran of Mississippi, respectively. 

The hosts’ stances on candidates and issues usually align naturally with those of the groups. While their positioning occasionally seems to evolve with their sponsors, there is no evidence of hosts revising their views for paid advertising. 

Critics, though, say the deals mislead grass-roots conservative activists, while undermining the credibility of the hosts and the groups. 

“People like Beck and Hannity and Rush are nothing without the people who faithfully hang on their every word — I consider that a constituency trust that should be respected,” said former House Majority Leader Dick Armey. He was ousted from FreedomWorks in a bitter feud, but had been chairman when the group signed its contracts with Beck and Limbaugh. “For them to basically sell their influence and say whatever the contract asks of them, it compromises the integrity of the pundit-guru, as it were, and it’s an undignified expenditure on the part of the outfit that’s mining the attention.” 

In other words these idiots do not even really need to worry about losing advertisers so long as they have their conservative sugar daddies footing the bill. 

So long as they attack climate scientists over global warming, promote school vouchers, argue against increased taxes, and go after the Democrats at every opportunity there is no way to the money dries up anytime soon.

And the sad thing is that ordinary people do not realize that these are performance artists essentially spouting talking points from a script provided to them by their corporate overlords.

The worst news possible for the Republican party in 2014.