Archive for the ‘Values’ Category

C Street Fellowship Of Christians Supports Rape Of Children
December 11, 2012

Jeff Sharlet writes in his new book, “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power”, about the secretive group that helped cover up Senator John Ensign’s extramarital affair.

A stunning excerpt:

Family leaders consider their political network to be Christ’s avant garde, an elite that transcends not just conventional morality but also earthly laws regulating lobbying. In the Family’s early days, they debated registering as “a lobby for God’s Kingdom.” Instead, founder Abraham Vereide decided that the group could be more effective by working personally with politicians. “The more invisible you can make your organization,” Vereide’s successor, current leader Doug Coe preaches, “the more influence you can have.” That’s true — which is why we have laws requiring lobbyists to identify themselves as such.

But David Coe, Doug Coe’s son and heir apparent, calls himself simply a friend to men such as John Ensign, whom he guided through the coverup of his affair. I met the younger Coe when I lived for several weeks as a member of the Family. He’s a surprising source of counsel, spiritual or otherwise. Attempting to explain what it means to be chosen for leadership like King David was — or Mark Sanford, according to his own estimate — he asked a young man who’d put himself, body and soul, under the Family’s authority, “Let’s say I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?” The man guessed that Coe would probably think that he was a monster. “No,” answered Coe, “I wouldn’t.” Why? Because, as a member of the Family, he’s among what Family leaders refer to as the “new chosen.” If you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.

These are the men that Republican families trust to lead the country out of the moral wilderness those families believe we are in.

Now we have a good idea why the country has been going to hell, with Republicans leading the way. What the hell, if it’s okay by the Republicans to rape children, then it’s okay to invade countries illegally and slaughter foreigners; it’s okay to act like whores for corporations; it’s okay to deny health care to Americans; it’s okay to lie and cheat and deceive to get the government to follow your personal agenda of immoral war and torture and unending imprisonment without charges.

Where will these people take us? Once again, The Lion suggests the answer lies in the words of Jacob Bronowski, particularly when he speaks of arrogance.

Jacob Bronowski,in The Ascent of Man, at the pond in Auschwitz prison camp, squeezing the mud between his fingers…

“It is said that science will dehumanise people and turn them into numbers. That is false, tragically false. Look for yourself. This is the concentration camp and crematorium at Auschwitz. This is where people were turned into numbers. Into this pond were flushed the ashes of some four million people. And that was not done by gas. It was done by arrogance. It was done by dogma. It was done by ignorance. When people believe that they have absolute knowledge, with no test in reality, this is how they behave. This is what men do when they aspire to the knowledge of gods.

“Science is a very human form of knowledge. We are always at the brink of the known, we always feel forward for what is to be hoped. Every judgment in science stands on the edge of error, and is personal. Science is a tribute to what we can know although we are fallible. In the end the words were said by Oliver Cromwell: ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken’.

“I owe it as a scientist to my friend Leo Szilard, I owe it as a human being to the many members of my family who died at Auschwitz, to stand here by the pond as a survivor and a witness. We have to cure ourselves of the itch for absolute knowledge and power. We have to close the distance between the push-button order and the human act. We have to touch people.”

Good versus evil, a thought…
April 18, 2012

This morning I went through some negativity regarding the United States, its culture, its politics, and so on. Nothing unusual about that.

But then I got to thinking that when anyone points out the negatives, which are indeed massive, some pollyanna will come along and say that it’s not that bad, that there are plenty of good things, and so on and so forth. I generally regard those sorts of comments as coming from our ostrich brain.

To a certain extent they’re right. There are some good things one can point to. They are apparently different to everyone, either in kind or degree.

But here’s the problem:

Good is hard.

Evil is easy.

And most humans, the great preponderance of humans, will usually opt for the easy way. That explains the anti-intellectual, the anti-science, the anti-immigrant tenor of the culture. Evil would have us teach religious mythology as science in our schools. Evil would have us bomb into the Stone Age cultures we don’t understand. Evil would have us eliminate most of government because it’s complex and costs money and is not easy to understand, except for the parts about bombing back to the Stone Age cultures that require us to use intelligence to understand. All of that is the easy way. That’s the way much of the country is going, wants to go.

And of course the politicians feed off of that, regurgitate it to their masses of constituents, who then accept the lies and distortions as truths and demand more, which the politicians give them, aided by a journalism establishment that too often goes for the easy way.

We seem to have decided, as a nation, that ignorance is acceptable, that science and intellect are crimes, and that killing is better than smiling and shaking hands and sitting down to talk. Life is just easier that way.

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America: Ship of Fools
March 6, 2012

In the Middle East the people of Syria are being slaughtered.  Thousands have been killed by the Syrian army.

In America we are debating the potty mouth words of a fat man calling a female law student a slut because she testified before Congress on health care and contraceptive drugs.

In Syria civilians are bombarded by tanks and artillery of the Syrian army under the control of a certifiable psychopath, al Assad.

In America candidates for the Presidency throw money and insults at each other as they try to prove to an ignorant, thoughtless, narcissistic mob of voters which of them is more Christian, which of them is more rigidly and mindlessly ideological.

In Syria soldiers are dragging old men into the street and shooting them in the head.

In America a President threatens yet another Middle Eastern country with destruction as he backs them into a corner, leaving them little option but to snarl and fight and do the thing he says they shouldn’t do, while the Israelis do their best to pervert the American government into doing their paranoid dirty work for them.

In Syria children’s throats are being slashed open by soldiers and the blood of children runs in the streets.

In America families lose their homes. Workers lose their jobs. Bobbling head media ‘personalities’ spew nonsense and call it ‘news’. Roads and bridges crumble. Schools cut education. And ugly men and women collect millions of dollars from amoral and immoral corporations as they spew hatred and bigotry and a vision of ignorance and greed over the broadcast frequencies owned by the people of the United States.

In Syria thousands flee for their lives from their murderous government, spilling over the borders into other countries, fleeing with nothing but the clothes on their back, running from armies of their fellow Syrians wielding artillery, tanks, automatic weapons, and knives dripping with the blood of children.

In America one political party seeks its sole goal of chasing that nigger from their White House and are willing to bring the government to its knees in order to accomplish that goal. And the other party tries hard not to make anyone upset at them, so they adopt the position of standing for nothing.

In Syria the blood of old men, women, and children flows freely in the dirt and gutters.

In America the politicians say they support the Syrian people. One might ask which Syrians the Americans support: the dead ones or the ones about to be slaughtered.

In Syria the government of a murderous tyrant murders its citizens at will, by the scores, by the thousands, freely, without reservation, without reason.

In  America the Attorney General of the United States and the President of the United States publicly seek to justify the murder of American citizens on  the order of the President, with no charges made, no judicial review, no recourse. 

America, the enlightened democracy of the twenty-first century? Or a ship of babbling fools playing to an American mob of ideological and theocratic conformists raptly listening to ugly voices promoting hatred of American against American and American against all non-white , non-English speaking people in the world.

Choose.

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A para(ble)phrase on gay marriage
December 23, 2011

Jacob (the guy in the Bible) was married to Leah and Rachel, sisters and his first cousins. Simultaneously. Jacob also had a child with Rachel’s handmaid, with Rachel’s willing approval.

Gay couples can’t marry because the Bible defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

Uh huh. Glad we got that straight.

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“That was my brother’s death you were cheering, you a$$holes”
September 15, 2011

 

Required reading at Daily Kos

When finished you may go out and kick the shit out of any Tea Bagger you find. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt them: they have neither brains nor hearts, and whatever spark of humanity they may have is dedicated to destroying what’s left of democracy, freedom, human decency, and educated intelligence in the United States.

Note the really key comment in the article, that of the eight Republican assholes on stage, all of whom want to be President of the United States, not one objected to the cheers of the audience, an audience comprising your friends and neighbors and relatives who want sick people without insurance to suffer and die.

Listen hard, people, because these sick motherfuckers are all around you.

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Eric Cantor: Republican Sociopath
May 25, 2011

From ThinkProgress

Cantor Says Congress Won’t Pay For Missouri Disaster Relief Unless Spending Is Cut Elsewhere

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), however, said that before Congress approved federal funds for disaster relief, it had to offset the spending with cuts to other programs. The Washington Times reports:

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.

    “If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.

Think about that for a minute. Let it swirl around your brain, let it bathe your synapses in its simplicity.

Remember the context. Joplin, Missouri. Thirty percent of the town leveled by a tornado. One hundred twenty three dead; fifteen hundred missing. A swath of homes and businesses six miles long and three quarters of a mile wide flattened.

And this disgusting little Republican will hold that town hostage to his ideology of greed and lust for power. Suffering? Mass death? Physical and economic devastation? That means nothing to Republicans, except as a bargaining chip used to implement their insane dogma of governance.

Republicans consistently fail to understand that government is not a business and cannot be run like one, certainly not like the piratical, rapacious sort of business that they favor. That is not to say that some business practices might not be useful in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of government. But a country is not a business. When a community is hurt, is devastated, when a community’s people are dying and injured, the role of government is to step in and help. Period. No quibbles. No qualms. No bargaining. No ideological grandstanding.

Unfortunately, because of Republican policies and Republican intransigence and Republican arrogance, the entire country is hurting. Yes, Democrats are not guilt free, but Republicans have the bloody hands in American economic failure (and intellectual failure).

And the Republican answer has been to hand more taxpayer money to the wealthy and to the oil companies, two elements who are swimming in riches already.

The Republican answer is to destroy the social safety nets of unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and by impoverishing the people whom these social programs serve, hand the financial benefits over to the already wealthy insurance corporations and financial companies.

The Republicans have not created a single job since 2010. They have stood in the economic doorway like fire-breathing Southern governors of times gone by and bellowed, “This shall not pass.”

And when a monstrous disaster befalls a place like Joplin, Missouri, the Republicans just tighten their hold on the doorframe with one hand and hold out the other to take a bribe before they will let the people’s government put out a hand to help the people of Joplin.

That’s the act of a sociopath, and the Republicans have institutionalized sociopathy in the heart of their politics, right along with profound greed, unfettered lust for power, willful and profitable ignorance, and a broad bigotry that attacks any class or group that is neither wealthy nor powerful.

They loudly claim they represent American values, and they do. They represent the worst, the lowest, the most disgusting American values.

If the United States is to survive as a democracy, the Republicans have to be kicked to the ash heap and buried there.

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Walt Disney Company Sinks Into Moral, Ethical Sewer: Seeks To Trademark ‘SEAL Team 6’ For Profit
May 16, 2011

It’s bad enough Walt Disney took away the dignity of mice, ducks, dogs, dwarves, and whatever else he could get his hands on, but now his corporation has started the process of trademarking the name of the SEAL team that killed Osama Bin Laden.

SEAL Team 6 is a United States military unit, and as such all aspects of it belong, if it can be said to belong in this sense, to the American people, not to the Walt Disney corporation.

SEAL Team 6 at its core is trained to engage in profound violence to kill human beings. It is one thing to knock Mickey Mouse senseless in a cartoon. It is quite another form of violence, a moral violence in an unquenchable lust for profits, to appropriate the name and values of  a group of men trained to commit genuine, murderous violence, no matter their cause.

And Disney’s move can be seen not only as a disgusting grab for cheap profit but also as the trivialization of  a crew of dedicated, skilled military men and the democratic values they believe they are fighting to sustain.

No doubt that if Disney succeeds in grabbing this trademark the men of the SEAL teams and the American people will not see one damned penny of the money the Disney greedsters collect as they cheapen and destroy American military values. Perhaps their ad campaign will boast, “SEAL Team 6, the Mickey Mouse of the American people!!”

I’m  put in mind of the line from the film The Pawnbroker, where a customer accuses the pawnbroker, “People bring you a dream and you give them a dollar.” Except that Disney has it backwards: a free democracy allowed Walt Disney to create his corporate empire, and in return his corporation kicks the legs out from under democracy and trashes its values and steals its money.

Disney, in going after the SEAL Team 6 trademark, shows itself to have diseased values dredged from the corporate sewer.

Got Klout?
February 19, 2011

Yesterday’s Globe featured an article by Beth Teitell on the growing practice of measuring the influence of Twitter as a means of ranking fellow humans. Social Darwinism rears its ugly head once more, in perhaps the silliest manner imaginable. The lead said:

After Valentina Monte accepts a date, the Boston University junior quickly goes online to see how many Twitter followers her suitor has. She checks her own follower count three times a day. When she meets someone who admits to following more people than follow him, she judges. “That means you’re a loser.’’

Klout score? Learn it or, as Monte would say, be judged. Klout.com is one of a number of new status-measuring tools aimed at making social networking more like high school than it already is.

The Lion supposes that for now Ms. Monte does not lack for dates, but The Lion is the sort who would laugh in her face at the sheer absurdity of her life. In fact, if The Lion were drinking coffee at the time she mentioned Twittering and Klout and dating, she would find herself bathed in an explosion of coffee.

Can life get any shallower?

Apparently it can.

“A credit score for your reputation,’’ is how Dave Wieneke, director of digital marketing at Sokolove Law, in Boston, describes the Klout score.

Garth Holsinger, vice president of global sales and business development at the San Francisco-based Klout, sees the desperation on a daily basis. “People call and say, ‘I work in social media, and I’m going to lose my job if my score doesn’t rise.’ We get celebrity managers asking how they can get their clients’ scores higher. We get people who are literally crying because their Klout score went down.’’

And corporations, which, despite their greed and amorality, we count on to maintain some measure of sanity, are going along with this silliness.

Indeed, the Klout score has already jumped from the online world into the real one. As Advertising Age wrote in September: “Need a Reservation? That Could Depend on How Big You are on Twitter (Really).’’

Would you want to do business with a company that judges you on this most ridiculous standard?

There is some snob value, of course, but The Lion suspects that hanging out with this Shankman fellow mentioned below would shortly make a sane being long for a lengthy session of watching a Chia pet grow.

Of course, no one enjoys being kept behind the virtual velvet rope. When the corporate sponsors of a holiday party hosted by social media entrepreneur Peter Shankman invited many guests based on Klout scores, the snubbed were not happy. Shankman expected “whiners,’’ he wrote on his blog, and he did get complaints. “They’re stomping their little feet.’’ If they want to be seen as more influential, he said later, “they need to post more interesting, more engaging things.’’

Welcome to the modern age of man, where your value as a person is measured by the number of people you don’t know who for a few seconds engage your name in an ephemeral electronic space apparently populated by people with the attention span and intellect of an insane two-year-old suffering major attention deficit disorder.

These are the people who will have to deal with global warming, major economic dislocations, war, global hunger, predatory politicians, and all the rest of it.

The Lion senses some difficulty ahead…

May 21, 2011: Jesus Return Engagement, Slaughter To Follow
December 13, 2010

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution carried a story the other day by Shelia [sic] Poole noting that a North Carolina Christian crowd plans to “place 50 billboards in the metro area proclaiming the rapture and Jesus’ imminent return, based on analysis of Scripture and biblical genealogy.”

Allison Warden, of WeCanKnow.com noted:

"The Bible teaches that Christ is returning on May 21 and we want to encourage people to go to Scripture and investigate for themselves," said Warden, who insists the Christmas-timed campaign is not a gimmick. "All information in the Bible points to this date. God is going to be saving people right up until the last moment."

The rapture, of course, occurs when all the good guys (Allison and her crew) will float up to Heaven, apparently still in their earthy bodies, and be saved from the murderous dark times that will follow when only all us bad guys are left on earth.

Okay, that’s the usual Christian delusion and insanity.

The real question that should be asked is how much are all these billboards going to cost, including the ones that are already up and running in other cities.

The Christians always bleat about Christian compassion and Christian charity, but here they are, when tens of millions of people can’t find jobs, when millions can’t afford to heat their homes (if they still have them), when millions aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from, here are the Christians spending gobs of money on billboards announcing their delusions and stupidity and selfishness, and going into raptures about themselves.

Too bad the Rapture is a crock of myth. The planet would be well rid of these arrogant clots. Maybe once they’re gone the rest of us can get down to finding real solutions to real problems without having to wade through a sea of idiot superstition and ignorance and Biblical  dumbassery.

Mike Huckabee Is An Effing Sadistic Idiot
September 17, 2010

Mike Huckabee is a fundogelical former governor of Arkansas running for the Republican Presidential nomination. He’s also a sick, stupid s.o.b. Here’s his take on barring insurance companies from refusing people with pre-existing conditions.

"It sounds so good, and it’s such a warm message to say we’re not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition," Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. "Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, "I’d like to buy some insurance for my house." He’d say, "Tell me about your house." "Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I’d like to insure it today." And he’ll say "I’m sorry, but we can’t insure it after it’s already burned." Well, no preexisting conditions."

Pre-existing condition? Tough shit, and don’t let the hospital door hit you in the ass on the way out to the street where you can die.

Pre-existing condition? You had acne when you were thirteen and didn’t tell us about it. Tough shit. No insurance for you. Go die somewhere where we can’t see you.

Hey, Huckabee, people aren’t houses, you fucking Christian dimwit asshole moron. And they aren’t property either, you piece of crap.

And note that his view is the view of the Republicans, the Party of No, the Party of Screw the People, the Party of Help the Rich, the Party of Sociopaths, Idiots, and Incompetents.

The Republican way, perfectly exemplified. And these are the sick bastards the polls say the electorate wants to put back in control? That’s not putting the fox in charge of the henhouse, that’s blowing up the whole goddam farm.

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