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Ungodly Politics

"Announcing your plans is a good way to hear god laugh." - Al Swearingen

Monday, March 07, 2005  
Rev Phelps at it again


A Topeka, Kansas anti-gay and lesbian group picketed near Truett-McConnell College Saturday in Cleveland, protesting against the Gay-Straight Alliance Club.

Eight demonstrators from Westboro Baptist Church, six adults and two children, held up protest signs on the roadside near the college entrance as a heavy escort of Cleveland Police and State Troopers looked on.


Shirley Phelps-Roper held a bright neon painted sign that read "Thank God for 9-11" and claimed it was her duty to come to Cleveland.

"You've got a bunch of lying false prophets that are running these churches being paid to tell people that God loves them," Roper said.

The eight member group scheduled demonstrations through the weekend at different locations around Cleveland and early Monday at White County High School.

Every time someone liberal says something the slightest bit out of the mainstream, we are all attacked for not immediately condemning them.

So, Christians and conservatives, does your silence in this matter mean you agree with the Reverend PHelps? Do you, too, "thank God for 9-11"?

posted by lazarus | 15:39 | |

Friday, March 04, 2005  
The Weak Faith of the Religious Right

DailyKos diaryist advisorjim has a very interesting post about the religous right.

One of the things religious conservatives fail to realize is that they have everything they want. They say all they want is prayer in schools. In Tennessee there's a state-mandated moment of silence during which their kids are free to pray. They say they want a warning sticker on science textbooks about evolution. But if a family doesn't believe in evolution, they're free to tell their kids that some people believe in it, but we don't. If you want your child's education to be based in the Bible, you can send them to a private school or even home school them! They don't want schools teaching their kids about anything but abstinence when it comes to sex. But you can hold your kids out of sex-ed classes if you don't want them learning it in school (sex-ed is a whole other topic that gets my hackles up, and it's likely its own diary). So their kids can pray in school, ignore evolution, and be taught abstinence without any interference from the state. There is nothing to prevent the free exercise of their private religious beliefs.

But that's not enough. Sure, their kids can pray in school, but they can't form a prayer clique where they can find safety in numbers during school hours. They worry that if their kids even hear the word `evolution' it will cause them to question their faith. If their kid so much as meets a homosexual, he'll become gay!

That is a startlingly weak faith, don't you think? To believe that your kids will turn away from God unless He has been officially sanctioned by the Government? It almost deserves more pity than contempt. Ultimately the entire basis for the desired legislation of the Religious Right is that they need to protect their kids from themselves. What happened to `Personal Responsibility?' Do the 10 Commandments have to be sanctioned by the government before you can consider them valid? These are the questions we should be asking.

Emphasis is mine.

How very, very true.

posted by RogueTrooper | 07:16 | |

Thursday, March 03, 2005  
Christians demand audit of 'alternative' dramas

Over the last couple of months there has been an escalation of direct action, or threats thereof, by British "God-botherers" .

AN EVANGELICAL pressure group set up to fight the BBC demonstrated outside Broadcasting House in Central London yesterday with the symbolic destruction of a large widescreen television screen.

The Christian Congress for Traditional Values is demanding a stronger emphasis on the sanctity of marriage and family life in the corporation?s drama, documentary and news output.

The group, which is threatening a series of high-profile protests if its demands are not met, says that the BBC is failing to represent family life as experienced by the majority of people. It says that the corporation is instead obsessed with ?alternative lifestyles?.

The new group?s protest was timed to coincide with the publication of the Green Paper on future funding of the BBC.

The group is independent of Christian Voice, the controversial campaigning organisation that recently announced plans for protests against abortion clinics. But it is an indication of how the tactics used by the conservative Christian Right in the United States are crossing the Atlantic and being adopted by evangelical lobbyists in Britain.

Now, nobody goes to church anymore in the United Kingdom. For the vast majority of British "Christians" church is where your friends and family get married ( if they want a nice backdrop for their wedding photos ) or buried. This does not stop this particular nasty group of happy clappies claiming that they have majority support for their views.

posted by RogueTrooper | 05:50 | |

Tuesday, February 22, 2005  
Pope Calls Gay Marriage Part of 'Ideology of Evil'

I can't even begin to come up with a response to this.[blockquote]Homosexual marriages are part of "a new ideology of evil" that is insidiously threatening society, Pope John Paul says in a new book published Tuesday.

In "Memory and Identity," the Pope also calls abortion a "legal extermination" comparable to attempts to wipe out Jews and other groups in the 20th century.


In one section about the role of lawmakers, the Pope takes another swipe at gay marriages when he refers to "pressures" on the European Parliament to allow them.

"It is legitimate and necessary to ask oneself if this is not perhaps part of a new ideology of evil, perhaps more insidious and hidden, which attempts to pit human rights against the family and against man," he writes.[/blockquote]

posted by lazarus | 14:25 | |

Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - Parents challenge weekly?Bible classes - Feb 12, 2005

At least we're not a bad theocracy like those Muslims, right?:
"When Heather and Logan Ward's son entered public kindergarten this fall, they were shocked to discover that pupils were taken from class to a nearby church for weekly Bible lessons."

posted by lazarus | 13:15 | |

Friday, February 04, 2005  
Welcome to the new Ungodly Politics

The few of you who still check in will have noticed that posts have been scarce. To be honest, after the election I got rather bummed about the idea of blogging. What was the point?

After all, there are bunches of great political blogs already out there. Just look at the list on the right. ---------->

So I'm just another voice in the choir, and maybe not a great voice at that.

Then something happened. One of my best friends, Khephra, a poster at Democratic Underground, passed away. Kef was active in a lot of areas, but his biggest concern was the hijacking of our country by the religious right.

As may be obvious from the name, that topic was my original intention for this blog. But over time, I drifted into general political bloggery, because that's easier.

So I'm announcing a re-launching of Ungodly Politics, dedicated to the memory of Khephra. We will now be focused almost entirely on religion and politics. If anyone has any good links to blogs on this topic, let me know.

posted by lazarus | 14:47 | |
The Panda's Thumb: Is ID Unfairly Censored?

The Panda's Thumb: Is ID Unfairly Censored?

This is an AWESOME smackdown of a horrible argument for ID.

posted by lazarus | 14:42 | |

Tuesday, January 25, 2005  
The Spanish Inquisition?

From the eagle-eyed posters of Democratic Underground...

I used to get annoyed about these things but then I realised that these treasonous opponents of the Republic are counting on my annoyance.


EVENT TYPE: News Conference
TIME: 09:00 A.M.
EVENT LOCATION: National Press Club, Washington D.C., Lisagor Room

Marc Balestrieri, JCL is the canon lawyer and director of the non-profit organization DE FIDE based in Los Angeles. In an unprecedented class-action ecclesiastical lawsuit filed last summer, he filed a Dual-Denunciation for Heresy and Complaint for Reparation of Harm against Senator John F. Kerry for his support of the civil right to choose abortion. Under Roman Catholic Church law, support of abortion rights constitutes the "Right-to-Murder" Heresy condemned by Pope John Paul II in the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae of 1995. Automatic Excommunication is the penalty incurred for this offense.

Within 11 days of submitting a query with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome, Balestrieri received a personal reply confirming the doctrinal merits of the case written by an expert theologian at the request of a Vatican official.

On Monday DE FIDE will 1) update the Press on the ongoing efforts to stop Kerry�s continuing propagation of the Right-to-Murder Heresy, Sacrilege, and Scandal; 2) detail the new denunciations for Heresy, Sacrilege, and Scandal to be filed against Senators Edward Kennedy, Tom Harkin, Susan Collins, and former New York Governor Mario Cuomo; 3) release to the Press for the first time ever the first set of pending canonical briefs and documents pertaining to the Heresy cases; and 4) additionally release canonical forms inviting Christians and non-Christians alike to join in the class-action ecclesiastical lawsuit against all of the above-named parties.

Balestrieri will be available to answer questions. He will explain in layman's terms the complexities of the unprecedented and extremely rare Heresy cases in Canon law. Finally, he will offer journalists the opportunity for one-on-one interviews.*

*Breakfast will be served. Journalists on deadline can schedule private interviews with Mr. Balestrieri for the period following his formal presentation and Q&A.;

CONTACT: Marc Balestrieri : (310) 927-5414;

Now, this particular piece of religious tomfollery is no doubt a hand me down from last years general election: A spiritual hit squad meant to go hand in hand with the secular, but no less mendacious, Swift Boat Liars.. Now, no doubt, having just finished reading their press release you may have noticed that their expanded lists of �heretics�, apart from Susan Collins, are all Democrats. I suppose that piece of sophistry just makes it harder to accuse them of partisan hackery. Unfortunately for us these fanatics are not stupid.

How do we put these people on the back foot?

posted by RogueTrooper | 06:02 | |
Quote of the Day

�I always laugh when people say that George W. Bush is saying this or that to appease the religious right,� his first cousin John Ellis told the Schweizers. �He is the religious right.�

I orginally saw this quote over at Kos ( it was somebody's sig line). However, the quote comes from this article published in the New Yorker.

posted by RogueTrooper | 03:41 | |

Friday, January 21, 2005  
Newspaper shouldn't print Liberal voices

How can a country get to the point that this, clearly insane gentelman, sound so reasonable.


Thank Goodness for such literate and intelligent men as Julius Wolfson, Derek Cooper, Ron Scott and May Shaw.

I just can't understand why more good conservatives haven't spoken out against the dangerous opinions of rabble-rousers such as Phyllis Lilly, Linda Robin and that R C Johnson person. Why does The Daily Independent print the degenerate views of poisonous Liberals who hate freedom?

As Mr. Scott points out, the glorious Constitution is there to protect the rights of Christians to profess their faith. This country was founded by good Christians and the Constitution guarantees our right to express our religion.

It just is completely beyond me how we have allowed Liberals to deny us this guaranteed right.

Oh, they raise ridiculous arguments like other (false) religions would be "upset" if they were forced to pray alongside the righteous in schools or council meetings.

Surely those others would appreciate the opportunity to be saved. As God's chosen people, we Christians have the right to express our religion and praise tolerant, patient and merciful God, and I don't want to read any more letters from Liberals suggesting non-believers should be allowed to express their superstitions just because we Christians can express ours.

The Founding Fathers were God-fearing men and never intended the first Amendment to promote other superstitious beliefs.

Ridgecrest used to be filled with right-minded, polite and decent people.

I can't believe the vicious slander of some people who have the nerve to portray or suggest Jesus behaved as a Liberal.

Jesus makes his position very clear. The wisdom of an "eye for an eye" would never occur to a Liberal.

Liberals are always talking about peace at any price, when Jesus said: Do not think I have come to bring peace, but a sword.

Liberals hate people who have managed to raise their station in life, and instead insist on giving money away to the irresponsible: Store yourselves treasures for Heaven for where your treasure is, there your heart is also.

No one can serve two masters, either your are a good conservative with God or you are not with God. Remember: A bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Billie Miller


How many people think what he says is entirely reasonable. How many people are nodding along say, "Praise the Lord! That needed saying." How many people?
I have often heard it said that we should just ignore these people; that these people are just harmless fruit-loops and even if they are not harmless they are irrelevant. I am not so sure.

posted by RogueTrooper | 09:16 | |

Friday, December 10, 2004  
Wal-Mart: Wrongly Sued

This is hilarious:
"Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which promotes itself as a seller of clean music, deceived customers by stocking compact discs by the rock group Evanescence that contain the f-word, a lawsuit claims.
The hit group's latest CD and DVD, 'Anywhere But Home,' don't carry parental advisory labels alerting potential buyers to the obscenity. If they did, Wal-Mart wouldn't carry them, according to the retailer's policy.
But the lawsuit claims Wal-Mart knew about the explicit lyrics in the song, 'Thoughtless,' because it censored the word in a free sample available on its Web site and in its stores.
The complaint, filed Thursday in Washington County Circuit Court, seeks an order requiring Wal-Mart to either censor or remove the music from its Maryland stores. It also seeks damages of up to $74,500 for each of the thousands of people who bought the music at Wal-Marts in Maryland.
'I don't want any other families to get this, expecting it to be clean. It needs to be removed from the shelves to prevent other children from hearing it,' said plaintiff Trevin Skeens of Brownsville."
In other words: "We desperately need other people to do our parenting for us, because we're too damned lazy to do it ourselves."

posted by lazarus | 15:20 | |

Tuesday, December 07, 2004  
U.S. vets from Iraq war emerge at homeless shelters

Hey, let's all support the troops. Right?
U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq are beginning to show up at homeless shelters around the country, and advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era.

'When we already have people from Iraq on the streets, my God,' said Linda Boone, executive director of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans. 'I have talked to enough (shelters) to know we are getting them. It is happening and this nation is not prepared for that.'
"This is what happened with the Vietnam vets. I went to Vietnam," said John Keaveney, chief operating officer of New Directions, a shelter and drug-and-alcohol treatment program for veterans in Los Angeles. That city has an estimated 27,000 homeless veterans, the largest such population in the nation. "It is like watching history being repeated," Keaveney said.
But this isn't like Viet Nam, so stop saying that.

posted by lazarus | 23:00 | |

Monday, December 06, 2004  
Returning Fallujans will face clampdown

blockquote>I'm back with a big one.<
The US military is drawing up plans to keep insurgents from regaining control of this battle-scarred city, but returning residents may find that the measures make Fallujah look more like a police state than the democracy they have been promised.

Under the plans, troops would funnel Fallujans to so-called citizen processing centers on the outskirts of the city to compile a database of their identities through DNA testing and retina scans. Residents would receive badges displaying their home addresses that they must wear at all times. Buses would ferry them into the city, where cars, the deadliest tool of suicide bombers, would be banned.

Marine commanders working in unheated, war-damaged downtown buildings are hammering out the details of their paradoxical task: Bring back the 300,000 residents in time for January elections without letting in insurgents, even though many Fallujans were among the fighters who ruled the city until the US assault drove them out in November, and many others cooperated with fighters out of conviction or fear.

One idea that has stirred debate among Marine officers would require all men to work, for pay, in military-style battalions. Depending on their skills, they would be assigned jobs in construction, waterworks, or rubble-clearing platoons.

Badges? Retina scans? Forced work?

Is this Fallujah or the Warsaw Ghetto?

The military knows they're doing something bad, because they can't decide who to blame:
"It's the Iraqi interim government that's coming up with all these ideas," Major General Richard Natonski, who commanded the Fallujah assault and oversees its reconstruction, said of the plans for identity badges and work brigades.

But US officers in Fallujah say that the Iraqi government's involvement has been less than hoped for, and that determining how to bring the city safely back to life falls largely on their shoulders.

But nobody talk about Nazis or Hitler or anything. Because that's just not even remotely the same thing. After all, Hitler invaded Poland because he claimed they were a threat, even though they weren't....

posted by lazarus | 13:10 | |

Monday, November 22, 2004  

I just realised I've been letting this go. I'll get some posting done over the next couple of days, then it'll be sporadic over Thanksgiving.

posted by lazarus | 00:18 | |
GOP moderates in Congress get cold shoulder

This is no big surprise, really. The hubris of these people is going to be their undoing, hopefully. - GOP moderates in Congress get cold shoulder: "As the Republican Party's conservative leaders moved to consolidate power through rules changes and other maneuvers last week, GOP moderates watched with jaws dropping.
They are struggling to find their place and their voice in a Congress that will clearly be governed by the right.
The election was widely interpreted as a victory for GOP conservatives, and the most powerful sign that they are more than ready to wield power came Saturday, when House conservatives blocked approval of the 9/11 intelligence-overhaul bill. They defied the wishes of President Bush and House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., who canceled a vote on a House-Senate compromise.
There were other examples, as when Rep. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., denounced a party rules change that would help House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Sugar Land, keep his leadership post even if he is indicted in a corruption investigation in Texas.
Shays, an outspoken moderate whose topsy-turvy relationship with DeLay and other party leaders cost him a committee chairmanship two years ago, acknowledged he felt 'awkward' and feared retribution for broadcasting his opposition. But he saw this as a major party reversal on ethical standards."

posted by lazarus | 00:15 | |

Wednesday, November 17, 2004  
Police scoff at Ashcroft speech

They're not the only ones.
A day after Attorney General John Ashcroft told the nation's largest association of law enforcement executives that the Bush administration had made the nation more secure from terrorist attacks and violent criminals, the group lashed back at the White House on Tuesday.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) said that cuts by the administration in federal aid to local police agencies have left the nation more vulnerable than ever to public safety threats. The 20,000-member group also said in a statement that new anti-terrorism duties for local cops - which have come as state and local budgets have declined and historically low crime rates have crept upward - have pushed police agencies to "the breaking point."

The statement reflected the ongoing tension between the administration and many local police chiefs, who believe the White House has saddled them with anti-terrorism tasks without much regard to the cost.

posted by lazarus | 16:52 | |

Sunday, November 14, 2004  
Iraq vote could be delayed

Shocking news.


posted by lazarus | 19:51 | |

Friday, November 12, 2004  
And so it begins....

The people have spoken, and it's back to the Middle Ages with us:
"When talk at the high school here turns to evolution, biology teachers have to make time for Charles Darwin as well as his detractors. With a vote last month, the school board in rural south-central Pennsylvania community is believed to have become the first in the nation to mandate the teaching of 'intelligent design,' which holds that the universe is so complex that it must have been created by an unspecified higher power.
Critics call the change in the ninth-grade biology curriculum a veiled attempt to require public schoolchildren to learn creationism, a biblical-based view that credits the origin of species to God. Schools typically teach evolution, the theory that Earth is billions of years old and that life forms developed over millions of years."
"I think it's a downright fraud to perpetrate on the students of this district, to portray one theory over and over," said Buckingham. "What we wanted was a balanced presentation."
Why do I think Mr Buckingham only wants a "balanced" presentation that gives his side, and not any of the others?

Here's how I'd teach "both sides":

Spend one full unit on evolution. Then, to teach creationism, one simply says, "And some people say God did it."

How many religions should we give equal time to, anyway? All of them?
What more needs to be said?

posted by lazarus | 13:19 | |

Thursday, November 11, 2004  
Happy Veteran's Day from Bush

Wounded veterans face new fight to secure government benefits:
"U.S. casualties have swelled demands upon the Veterans Affairs Department serving troops who have left the service. The department serves 6 million to 7 million veterans alone, with a backlog of 300,000-plus claims. Many wonder how it will handle so many. In August, an additional 150,000 National Guard and reservists became eligible for care and benefits. 'The system needs help because it wasn't designed or prepared to handle this load. More than 40 percent of all troops on the ground in Iraq are National Guard,' says Chasteen, an Army chemical corps captain in Iraq from March to August 2003.
President Bush's 2005 budget, however, calls for cuts to the veterans department. Though Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are moved to the front of the line, the average hurry-up-and-wait time for veterans' claims to determine eligibility for health care, after spending months being processed out of the service, is 160 days, says Dave Autry, spokesman for the Disabled American Veterans. Many current problems occur during the handoff from the military to the veterans department, he said."

posted by lazarus | 21:13 | |
Veteran's Day

I'm a veteran of the Cold War. USAF 1984-1988, Honorable Discharge. I'm also a proud liberal.

My father served in the Air Force during Viet Nam. My paternal grandfather served in the Army in WWII. My maternal grandfather had to take care of the family farm, but his brother, my uncle Joe Frank, was badly wounded in the assault on Anzio. He never really recovered.

My maternal great-grandfather, Grady Brooks, served in France during WWI. My grandmother managed to find a picture of him, and we're currently looking for more information as to his unit, etc. But I know he saw combat, and I know from the stories about him that it changed him greatly.

grady brooks

I'm proud of the sacrifices my family has made, as well as the sacrifices all veterans have made. I'm also sickened by the reason for the sacrifices we're asking our troops to make now.

posted by lazarus | 15:26 | |
An apology

I got to spend a few days out of state, visiting my daughter. Hence the lack of any posting at all.

Tomorrow's a whole different sort of bad day I'll explain later.

In the meantime, Arafat's dead, Ashcroft's been replaced by someone who thinks torture is good and the Geneva Convention is "quaint", and we're committing atrocities in Iraq.


posted by lazarus | 00:36 | |

Thursday, November 04, 2004  
Ungodly Politics

I'm back and I am pissed at a whole load of evil right wing people. There are also quite a few worthless Democratic "centrists" I want to vent some spleen on too. However, spleen venting is for a later date.

LiberalOasis is one of my favourite blogs and post's like this are why.

posted by RogueTrooper | 16:21 | |

Wednesday, November 03, 2004  
Bush's Game Plan all along

Courtesy of Hermann Goering:

"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

posted by lazarus | 11:42 | |
post mortem

Well, that sucks. I don't know how I'll handle four more years of this bastard.

I don't know if we'll ever get the voting system fixed.

But the one thing the Democratic party has to do is figure out how to get our natural constituency voting for us again.

And that's poor people.

Rural people.

"Flyover country" people.

Everything that does good for them, we did. Liberals. The Republican party hasn't done a damned thing for them, but has somehow convinced them that liberals are elitists, and that a man born in Connecticut, who went to Yale and Harvard and private schools and was a cheerleader in college, who never ran a successful business, who is best friends with the Saudis, who is a multi-millionaire, is one of them.

That's what we need to fight.

Oh, and the media. Fuck them. All of them.

The rich liberals (and there are a few, and I'm talking to you, George Soros) need to set up the same sort of communications network the neocons have. We need our own network (with their dead ratings, surely MSNBC is cheap, right?) and our own think tanks and our own spokespeople.

Remember when the Republicans cloned a bunch of skinny blondes to go out and repeat talking points over and over? Well, it worked.

So let's do it to. Time to fight fire with fire. No more "nuance" or any of that crap. Time to fight hard.

From this point on, I have no patience with anyone who voted Republican. None. I will be a complete asshole about it.

Because that's what they do, and it seems to work.

posted by lazarus | 11:34 | |

Tuesday, November 02, 2004  
Global monitors find faults in Florida

This is fucking pathetic:
"The global implications of the U.S. election are undeniable, but international monitors at a polling station in southern Florida said Tuesday that voting procedures being used in the extremely close contest fell short in many ways of the best global practices.

The observers said they had less access to polls than in Kazakhstan, that the electronic voting had fewer fail-safes than in Venezuela, that the ballots were not so simple as in the Republic of Georgia and that no other country had such a complex national election system.

'To be honest, monitoring elections in Serbia a few months ago was much simpler,' said Konrad Olszewski, an election observer stationed in Miami by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

'They have one national election law and use the paper ballots I really prefer over any other system,' Olszewski said."

posted by lazarus | 23:00 | |
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