Friday, March 27, 2009
Pope Benedict and Condoms
The Skeleton in the Closet - Catholics and Birth Control
BBC News, March 27, 2009
Pope 'distorting condom science'
One of the world's most prestigious medical journals, the Lancet, has accused Pope Benedict XVI of distorting science in his remarks on condom use.
It said the Pope's recent comments that condoms exacerbated the problem of HIV/Aids were wildly inaccurate and could have devastating consequences.
The Pope had said the "cruel epidemic" should be tackled through abstinence and fidelity rather than condom use.
That brings up another question......do Catholic priests masturabate? A medically proven healthy practice, masturbation is also a sin according to the church. Think about the numerous publicized cases about Catholic priests who engaged in pedophilia and you'll have the answer.
The hypocrisy is not confined to the Catholic Church. Politicians play the same game. Republicans, with their moral values facade, are outwardly more prudish than Democrats. But even President Clinton, of all people, let his one time surgeon general, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, go because of her frank comments about masturbation. What did she say? ".............is something that is part of human sexuality and it is part of something that perhaps should be taught." And then Clinton went on to diddle Monica Lewinsky in the White House!
Enjoy safe sex. Let the pope and prudes rant.
"One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." ----Jane Austen (1775-1817)
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now the director of the FBI is asking for renewal of the act which is due to expire in December this year.
Washington Post, March 26, 2009
- FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III urged lawmakers yesterday to renew intelligence-gathering measures in the USA Patriot Act that are set to expire in December, calling them "exceptional" tools to help protect national security.
- The law, passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, created divisions between proponents, who said it was necessary to deter terrorism, and privacy advocates warning that it tramples on Americans' civil liberties. Portions of the law are up for reauthorization this year.
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who will watch the watchers?)"
Monday, March 23, 2009
The Seasons: Flowers of Spring 2009
"The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life."
--- Jean Giradoux
Thursday, March 19, 2009
But watching "W" reinforced the impression that we elected a hollow man as president.....twice. So we deserved what he and his team of war hawks gave us.
August 8, 1974
Years of Lightning, Day of Drums
Friday, March 13, 2009
The Seasons: Spring is Around the Corner
Spring too, very soon!
They are setting the scene for it--
plum tree and moon.
Milkmaids at Grizzly Flat
Rock Cress at Foothills Park
Sunday, March 08, 2009
Bush's "Conscience" Ruling Rescinded
Obama does the Right Thing * Earmarks * Bay Area Rainfall
Reuters - March 6, 2009
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration moved formally on Friday to rescind a Bush administration rule to protect health workers who refuse to provide services and information on moral grounds, which had inflamed abortion-rights advocates.
The rule took effect hours before President Barack Obama took office in January, and opponents say the previous administration rushed it through in a last-minute push in a bid to deny patients not only abortion rights, but also contraception and other care.
In a statement on its website, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said it was "proposing to rescind" the rule "in its entirety."
Earmarks Alive and Well
Earmarking (funding for pet projects) has become an entrenched tradition. Roundly condemned by many Democrats who are now doing their share of continuing the practice. Obama's budget director Peter Orszag said on CNN:
- "[Such bills] will not happen when the president has the full legislative and appropriations process in place," Peter Orszag, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, told CNN's "State of the Union with John King."
The Rains Came
"Sound of rain,
Memories of years past
Pleasure and pain."
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Pornography and the Bible Belt
Praise the Lord and Turn on the X-Rated Video
Interesting numbers. In the March 3rd edition of NY Times, Charles M. Blow wrote about online adult entertainment and where the buyers came from.
A study by Benjamin Edelman, an assistant professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, titled “Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?” and published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Economic Perspectives found that subscriptions to online pornography sites are “more prevalent in states where surveys indicate conservative positions on religion, gender roles, and sexuality.”
The tables clearly illustrate that when it comes to pornography, members of the holier than thou moral values brigade have a hidden side to their persona.
Some of the findings quoted by Mr. Blow:
- 1. In regions where more people report regularly attending religious services, overall subscription rates are not statistically significantly different from subscriptions elsewhere.
- 2. Subscriptions are slightly more prevalent in states that have enacted conservative legislation on sexuality (regression results on file with the author). In the 27 states where “defense of marriage” amendments have been adopted (making same-sex marriage, and/or civil unions unconstitutional), subscriptions to this adult entertainment service are weakly more prevalent than in other states ( p 0.096). In such states, there were 0.2 more subscribers to this adult web site per thousand broadband households, 11 percent more than in other states.
- 3. In states where more people agree that “Even today miracles are performed by the power of God” and “I never doubt the existence of God,” there are more subscriptions to this service.
- 4. Subscriptions are also more prevalent in states where more people agree that “I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage” and “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behavior.”
- 5. Tancer (2008), finds that adult escort sites are more popular in “blue” states that voted for Gore in 2004, while visitors from the “red” states that voted for Bush in 2004 are more likely to visit wife-swapping sites, adult webcams, and sites about voyeurism.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Obama and Aid to Faith-based Organizations
To his credit, on January 20, 2009, during his inaugural , Barack Obama said:
- "For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers."
What is disturbing is his decision to continue with a Bush-era practice -- faith-based community initiatives.
Susan Jacoby in NY Times:
- "It is truly dismaying that amid all the discussion about President Obama’s version of faith-based community initiatives, there has been such a widespread reluctance to question the basic assumption that government can spend money on religiously based enterprises without violating the First Amendment. The debate has instead focused on whether proselytizing or religious hiring discrimination should be permitted when church groups take public money. This shows how easy it is to institutionalize a bad idea based on unexamined assumptions about service to a greater good.
- Yet we are moving blindly ahead with faith-based federal spending as if it were not a radical break with our past. If faith-based initiatives, first institutionalized by the executive fiat of a conservative Republican president, become even more entrenched under a liberal Democratic administration, there will be no going back. In place of the First Amendment, we will have a sacred cash cow.
Sacred cash cow is very apt. We can rest assured that there will be no lack of organizations lining up to milk it.
International Criminal Court
Peter Beaumont, Guardian
The international criminal court is considering whether the Palestinian Authority is "enough like a state" for it to bring a case alleging that Israeli troops committed war crimes in the recent assault on Gaza.
The deliberations would potentially open the way to putting Israeli military commanders in the dock at The Hague over the campaign, which claimed more than 1,300 lives, and set an important precedent for the court over what cases it can hear.