Poop from the Pope

13 Jun

As the celebratory “Year of the Priest” draws to a close, the pope had this to say last Friday, June 11 :

“It was to be expected that this new radiance of the priesthood would not be pleasing to the ‘enemy,’” Benedict XVI said. “He would have rather preferred to see it disappear, so that God would ultimately be driven out of the world.”

The term “the enemy” is a traditional Catholic way of referring to the Devil. [From AP newswire.]

Translated from the traditional gobbledygook, the pope is saying the devil made the pedophile priests do it so people would turn their backs on God, who is represented on earth by the one, holy and apostolic Catholic Church.

If anyone knows about pedophiles in the church, it is Joseph Ratzinger (his real name, or  just-plain-Bennie), himself. From 1981 until his coronation in 2005, he was the Prefect of of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Congregation is a direct descendant of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, formed in 1542. [From Wikipedia]

Yes, that Inquisition, still alive and well today, rooting out evil and heresy wherever it is found. To believe that Bennie didn’t  know about the thousands of pervo peds within his ranks for twenty-one years is a crock of  pope poop. German hardliner that he is, it was his job as the Inquisitor to defrock these sickos—not play 52 card shuffle with them. But that, of course, would have tarnished the church’s impeccable image and cost a lot of silver coin.

Understandably, the thousands of victims of pedophile priests aren’t very happy.  Ruined lives, theft of innocence, and betrayal by a trusted adult cannot be dismissed and forgotten by such an idiotic inference by Commander-in-Chief  Ratzinger.

But still, people flock to his church like sheep.

I’m not one of them.

Posted from Chandler, Arizona June 13, 2010.



Racism in Arizona: More Intrigue, Plot Thickens

3 Jun

On May 1o, 2010 I posted Arizona’s Law of Hate, providing documentation that the Bill signed into law, the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act”, is actually a free license for racial profiling and the denial of civil rights to those with brown-colored skin.

The next day, I posted Update: Arizona’s Law of Hatred, an editorial in The Washington Post by Phil Gordon, the Mayor of Phoenix, denouncing the law as “hateful” thanks to “political opportunists such as state Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of the legislation, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.”  (Maricopa County encompasses the majority of the Phoenix Metropolitan area.)

As it turns out, Pearce was not the author of the law,  but merely its sponsor in the State Legislature. In the May 31, 2010 print edition of The Arizona Republic newspaper (or the Republic of Arizona as I like to call it), the author was Kris Kobach, an immigration attorney from Topeka, Kansas.

Kris Kobach, a member of FAIR

Kobach, however, is not your garden variety attorney who helps immigrants with US work permits or attaining citizenship. On the contrary, he is a member of FAIR — the Federation for American Immigration Reform — an organization recently listed as a nativist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

A May 10, 2010 article by John Hanna of the Associated Press had this to say:

Before the law was passed … Kobach spent several years consulting with its main sponsor [Pearce]. And he has a $300-an-hour contract to teach deputies in Maricopa County [Arpaio], which includes Phoenix, to enforce immigration policies. [Bold is mine]

Bill Straus, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Arizona office, said in February 9, 2010 press release, which I have as a Microsoft Word document:

We find it absolutely outrageous that Sheriff Arpaio has chosen an individual with an obvious bias, who works on behalf of an anti-immigrant group to conduct training on immigration law and ethnic profiling. This shows that he is not serious about dealing with the concerns that have been raised about his tactics and treatment of immigrants.

Well isn’t this a cozy little bunch. I have shown that all three compadres (excuse me, gentlemen) have links to white supremacist or neo-Nazi groups. This is not immigration reform, but unabashed hatred of any human being who is not White.

Pearce isn’t finished, not by a long shot with a willing and compliant legislature and governor — a Republican governor whom we inherited after Democrat Janet Napolitano was tapped by the Obama administration for Director of Homeland Security. Napolitano kept Pearce in check by vetoing and shredding all his bills that sullied her desk. Jan Brewer, however, is a staunch supporter.

The last paragraph of The Arizona Republic’s “report” is totally outrageous:

Next year, Pearce has said, he will propose a measure that would make Arizona the first state to stop the practice of giving citizenship to children who are born to in the United States to illegal immigrant parents.  Ending the practice of granting citizenship to “anchor babies,” as they are sometimes called, is one of FAIR’s legislative goals and is supported by Kobach.

Never mind that immigration law is a federal matter; Pearce, Arpaio, and Kobach openly disregard it. And why shouldn’t they? The reaction so far from President Obama is a shaking of his head and his usual speechifying.


Posted from Chandler, Arizona, June 3, 2010.


The Future American President?

23 May

Hot off the AP newswire:

“Sarah Palin says she remains a ‘big supporter of offshore drilling’ despite the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

But Palin also tells “Fox News Sunday” that oil companies need to be held accountable. The former Alaska governor suggests that drilling on land in places like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is safer than trying to extract oil from beneath the ocean floor.”

Well, Sarah, which is it? Offshore or onshore??? Fox News, bastion of “Fair and Balanced Reporting”, naturally accepted both answers.

This video is a mash-up of the full (and lengthy) interviews available on YouTube, a nice little compilation of a woman who has absolutely no idea what she is talking about. I mean it is a sad day when she can’t even tell Katie Couric what magazines she reads.

But wait, Sarah fans, because there’s more to come! That is right my friends, she has “written” another book. Titled America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, it will be published by Harper Books on November 23, 2010—a full six months from today.

Here’s the claptrap from Amazon.com:

“Framed by her strong belief in the importance of family, faith, and patriotism, the book ranges widely over American history, culture, and current affairs, and reflects on the key values—both national and spiritual-that have been such a profound part of Governor Palin’s life and continue to inform her vision of America’s future. Written in her own refreshingly candid voice, AMERICA BY HEART will include selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her-from the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography, and even some of her favorite songs and movies. Here, too, are portraits of some of the extraordinary men and women she admires and who embody her deep love of country, her strong rootedness in faith, and her profound love and appreciation of family. She will also draw from personal experience to amplify these timely (and timeless) themes—themes that are sure to inspire her numerous fans and readers all across the country.”

Alaskan walrus poo. All this from a woman who does not (or cannot) read a magazine? There is no word yet on who actually wrote the book for her.

Does Palin have a chance of winning the Republican nomination for President to run against Obama? In this day and age, anything Kafkaesque is possible. And the “compassionate conservatives” love her because she is determined to abolish the separation of church and state.

Posted from Chandler, Arizona May 23, 2010


A Tale of Two Countries

20 May

Britain in 2010 is not a happy country – too many divisions, inherent antagonisms, and ideological chasms divide the nation and make it a country that could be described as “being at war with itself”.

So says Margit Appleton in an editorial for MJB Times, titled Britain at War Chapter II.

I can’t speak for the veracity of MJB Times, but it makes little difference when I can replace “Britain” in the quote with “America” and end up with the same word-for-word meaning. Ever since the lies and cover-ups of Bush and Cheney, politics aren’t discussed in either polite or impolite circles at the risk of a black eye. And the chasm grows wider as Democrats (liberal) and Republicans (conservative) spend their time slinging barbs at each other.


Quite apart from the more obvious—and undoubtedly more pressing problems—like the enormous debt crisis,  the trade deficit, the war in Afghanistan, the problem of immigration etc., the Coalition government has its work cut out for itself.

Ditto Democrat Obama, who is closing in on 1½ years of his administration with little or nothing to show for it—and that with a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress. He’s managed to spend hundreds of billions of dollars bailing out rich banks and funding “wars”, both within the bailiwick of the Republicans, but his “massive health-care reform” package has yet to see the light of day.

But Mr. Obama has a terrific smile. Appleton writes,

[W]hen Nick Clegg and David Cameron announced their coalition government . . . friendly banter in the garden . . . [a] wave to Obama’s relaxed style was clearly intended.

Never mind that the political systems of th UK and US are quite different; it is the politicians who account for the sameness. They smile to your face, give you a glad-hand, make promises to placate you—and the moment you turn your back, they stab it.

Appleton concludes her editorial with pie-in-the-sky smarm:

Here’s hoping that the new Coalition government has it in them to finally create what a previous Prime Minister called “a nation at ease with itself”.

Don’t make me cry. How can a Coalition possibly solve serious domestic problems? How can Obama solve serious domestic problems when his own Party is in disarray and does not support him?

The answer is obvious. In a tale of two countries, neither one of them can.

Posted from Chandler, Arizona May 20, 2o1o


Fixed Term Parliaments: What would Churchill do?

14 May
Winston Churchill in Downing Street giving his...
Image via Wikipedia

Former Transport Secretary, Lord Adonis – yes, that is his real name – has been speaking out against the fixed term parliamentary system introduced by the new Tory/LibDem coalition, describing the idea as a “constitutional outrage”. I know, some might say it’s just a case of sour grapes from the losing party, but he does have some support from constitutional experts.

The argument for change is that the country needs a strong and stable government to oversee the rebuilding of the economy following the credit crisis and bailing out of the banking system. Superficially that does make sense, but closer scrutiny suggests it’s an extremely misleading idea.

During World War Two, Britain was run by a coalition government installed after a vote of no confidence led to the resignation of Conservative prime minister, Neville Chamberlain whose policies of appeasement had proved both unsuccessful and hugely unpopular. Winston Churchill became PM, and later found himself facing a similar vote, but survived to lead the country to victory. I do wonder what he’d think about his successors trying to manipulate public anxiety to make changes to the parliamentary system.

While it is true that we owe a stupendous amount of money, and that we will be paying it off for decades to come, this can not possibly compare to the threat the country faced in the 1940s. Back then, we also had a massive national debt – billions owed to the US alone* – and it was growing because not only did the country have to finance the war effort, there was also the cost of rebuilding once hostilities were over. And of course, the danger was not only financial, the world’s biggest super-power was camped just across the Channel and planning to invade. In the meantime they were bombing our towns and cities into rubble and attacking our shipping with the intention of starving us into submission. Yet, despite this, at no point did anyone think the government should be shored up with changes to the system which made it harder to remove them from power.

Fast forward to 2010 and that very thing could happen. The Tory government want to make it harder to remove them if it all goes horribly wrong. And make no mistake, these changes would protect the Tories, not the coalition! If the coalition falls apart, the fixed term and new rules about votes of no confidence will enable the Tories to stay in power until 2015, despite the fact they will have no majority. They tell us this is a good thing because the country is in financial crisis and needs a firm hand on the tiller to see us through the difficult days ahead. They may have a point, but surely a minority government is not a firm hand, it’s a weak hand, and one which could lead to at best stagnation, and at worst, catastrophe.

So what would Churchill do? Would he approve of a minority government playing on peoples’ fears to introduce undemocratic changes to the parliamentary system to keep themselves in power? I think not.

* It took until 2006 to repay the money owed to the USA


No Suicides Allowed

14 May

“Thousands of soldiers, their bald eagle shoulder patches lined up row upon row across the grassy field, stood at rigid attention to hear a stern message from their commander.

“Brig[adier] Gen[eral] Stephen Townsend addressed the 101st Airborne Division with military brusqueness: Suicides at the post had spiked after soldiers started returning home from war, and this was unacceptable.

” ‘It’s bad for soldiers, it’s bad for families, bad for your units, bad for this division and our Army and our country and it’s [sic] got to stop now,’ he insisted. ‘Suicides on Fort Campbell [Kentucky] have to stop now.’ “

I quote an article written on April 24, 2010 by Kristen M. Hall of the Associated Press. She goes on to tell the story of twenty-one-year-old Adam Kuligowski upon his return from Afghanistan. Adam loved the Army and his job, but he became increasingly depressed and angry. Finally,

“Adam wrote a note telling his dad, [Mike], ‘Sorry to be a disappointment.’ Then he shot himself inside a bathroom stall with his rifle.

“When the Army closed their investigation into the soldier’s suicide, his father said an investigator told him that Adam’s problem was that he was unable to conform to a military lifestyle. Mike Kuligowski did receive a personal note from the general who was commanding the division at the time: ‘We don’t know why this happened,’ he wrote.

“Kuligowski was not appeased. ‘It reminds me that officers know absolutely nothing about the plights of the soldiers who are under their command,’ he said. ‘What kind of leadership is that?’ “

Off the top of my head and in one word, I would say typical.

The plight of these soldiers was called “shell shock” in WWI. In WWII and Korea, it was called “battle fatigue.” Since Vietnam, the psychiatric diagnosis is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. But disregarding the labels, the symptoms are the same and have been around for a long, long time—perhaps from the beginning of war itself.  For military leaders and investigators to scratch their heads over the increase in suicides is ludicrous, and General Townsend’s proclamation “to stop now” is way beyond asinine.

But according to Hall’s article, Fort Campbell is responding to the crisis.

“The number of patients being treated at the behavioral health clinic has increased by 60 percent,from 25,400 in 2008 to nearly 40,000 in 2009. To handle the expanded need, they’ve also increased the number of counselors in that clinic to 60 last year, compared to 36 in 2008. In all, Fort Campbell has about 100 counselors, some of whom work in areas like social work, family advocacy, substance abuse and children’s behavioral health.”

If all 100 counselors worked directly with the patients, that would equal a caseload of 400 men and women each. Since some of the counselors work in other areas, that makes the caseload even higher. It cannot be done, especially if proper charting (case write-ups) is required and if meetings are frequent (the military bureaucrats live for meetings to justify their existence).

We train our soldiers to defend our country from a hostile invasion. We train them in all types of weaponry, to kill to protect the civilian populace. And then we send them to fourth-world countries like Iraq and Afghanistan that don’t want them there in the first place, and our soldiers kill to protect themselves from an enemy they cannot distinguish from a non-enemy. Amid the chaos they see atrocities no human should ever have to witness, including the bombing of innocent children and infants.

Eventually the soldiers come home and are discharged from service. Most of them adjust to their old lives again, but many don’t—the ones who need help.

As someone whom I can’t remember said, “We make them into killing machines, but unfortunately there is no ‘off’ switch.”

Posted from Chandler, Arizona May 14, 2010


Update: Arizona’s Law of Hatred

11 May

On August 24, 2010 Phil Gordon, the Democatic Mayor of the City of Phoenix since 2004, wrote a column in the Washington Post denouncing the anti-immigration law as “ugly” and “discriminatory”. Five days later, Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act into law.

Interesting to me is this quote from Gordon’s column:

“Our state is frustrated. We have become ground zero in the battle over illegal immigration because of years of lapsed federal border security. This week that frustration exploded, thanks to hateful political opportunists such as state Sen. Russell Pearce, the author of the legislation, and Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who is already under investigation by the federal Justice Department for alleged violations of civil rights.

Pearce and Arpaio — two men who are to Arizona law enforcement what George Wallace was to Alabama government — care less about capturing human smugglers and drug cartel gunmen than they do about capturing headlines. And in a state with a far-right legislature that is increasingly out of step with an increasingly moderate population, they’re also out of step with the rules of basic civility.” [Bold is mine]

Posted from Chandler, Arizona, May 11, 2010