11/21/2006

When religion loses its credibility - Yahoo! News

why are so many church leaders (not to mention Orthodox Jewish and Muslim leaders) persisting in their view that homosexuality is wrong despite a growing stream of scientific evidence that is likely to become a torrent in the coming years? The answer is found in Leviticus 18. "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

As a former "the Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it" kind of guy, I am sympathetic with any Christian who accepts the Bible at face value. But here's the catch. Leviticus is filled with laws imposing the death penalty for everything from eating catfish to sassing your parents. If you accept one as the absolute, unequivocal word of God, you must accept them all.

For many of gay America's loudest critics, the results are unthinkable. First, no more football. At least not without gloves. Handling a pig skin is an abomination. Second, no more Saturday games even if you can get a new ball. Violating the Sabbath is a capital offense according to Leviticus. For the over-40 crowd, approaching the altar of God with a defect in your sight is taboo, but you'll have plenty of company because those menstruating or with disabilities are also barred.

The truth is that mainstream religion has moved beyond animal sacrifice, slavery and the host of primitive rituals described in Leviticus centuries ago. Selectively hanging onto these ancient proscriptions for gays and lesbians exclusively is unfair according to anybody's standard of ethics. We lawyers call it "selective enforcement," and in civil affairs it's illegal.

A better reading of Scripture starts with the book of Genesis and the grand pronouncement about the world God created and all those who dwelled in it. "And, the Lord saw that it was good." If God created us and if everything he created is good, how can a gay person be guilty of being anything more than what God created him or her to be?

Turning to the New Testament, the writings of the Apostle Paul at first lend credence to the notion that homosexuality is a sin, until you consider that Paul most likely is referring to the Roman practice of pederasty, a form of pedophilia common in the ancient world. Successful older men often took boys into their homes as concubines, lovers or sexual slaves. Today, such sexual exploitation of minors is no longer tolerated. The point is that the sort of long-term, committed, same-sex relationships that are being debated today are not addressed in the New Testament. It distorts the biblical witness to apply verses written in one historical context (i.e. sexual exploitation of children) to contemporary situations between two monogamous partners of the same sex. Sexual promiscuity is condemned by the Bible whether it's between gays or straights. Sexual fidelity is not.

What would Jesus do?

For those who have lingering doubts, dust off your Bibles and take a few hours to reacquaint yourself with the teachings of Jesus. You won't find a single reference to homosexuality. There are teachings on money, lust, revenge, divorce, fasting and a thousand other subjects, but there is nothing on homosexuality. Strange, don't you think, if being gay were such a moral threat?

On the other hand, Jesus spent a lot of time talking about how we should treat others. First, he made clear it is not our role to judge. It is God's. ("Judge not lest you be judged." Matthew 7:1) And, second, he commanded us to love other people as we love ourselves.

So, I ask you. Would you want to be discriminated against? Would you want to lose your job, housing or benefits because of something over which you had no control? Better yet, would you like it if society told you that you couldn't visit your lifelong partner in the hospital or file a claim on his behalf if he were murdered?

The suffering that gay and lesbian people have endured at the hands of religion is incalculable, but they can look expectantly to the future for vindication. Scientific facts, after all, are a stubborn thing. Even our religious beliefs must finally yield to them as the church in its battle with Galileo ultimately realized. But for religion, the future might be ominous. Watching the growing conflict between medical science and religion over homosexuality is like watching a train wreck from a distance. You can see it coming for miles and sense the inevitable conclusion, but you're powerless to stop it. The more church leaders dig in their heels, the worse it's likely to be.

When religion loses its credibility - Yahoo! News

11/15/2006

A Partial Account of Tortures Used in China against Falun Gong

This is the 3rd most powerful world block ? We're screwed -- law

Tying the Ropes


The perpetrators tie the practitioner's hands behind his back with a nylon rope (usually the torturers first kick the practitioner's leg joints to force the victim to kneel down on the ground). They put a rope around his neck and connect it with the rope that ties his hands. They make a slipknot. Other perpetrators twist the practitioner's elbows, press down on his shoulders and lift his wrists up, and at the same time, reduce the distance between the practitioner's neck and hands by tightening the two ropes that are connected to each other, which causes excruciating pain in the practitioner's elbows, shoulders and wrists. They also insert bricks, beer bottles and police batons into the space between the practitioner's back and arms to increase the pain. As this torture is being applied, the perpetrators simultaneously shock the practitioner with electric batons or hit him with police batons. After they untie the rope, the perpetrators often pin the practitioner to the ground and hit his buttocks with police batons. They even increase the intensity of the beating 30 minutes later, just to increase the pain.

Google Image Result for http://minghui.tv/pics/0005/Sep/12/hebei10.jpg

11/12/2006

Daily Kos: Here comes the sun - video tribute to veterans and voters in 2006



Daily Kos: Here comes the sun - video tribute to veterans and voters in 2006

11/10/2006

Traitor Carville calls for Dean to be Replaced by Ford

WHAT A WASTE OF SPACE JAMES HAS BECOME! James, SHUT YOUR F*CKING PIE HOLE

http://www.tnr.com/...

Ladies and gentlemen, we need to flood the media with our appreciation of Dr Dean and the 50 state strategy that won back all those state houses and house seats because this shit that's flying out of that DLC minded DC Elite will cost us if we're not careful.

Some big name Democrats want to oust DNC Chairman Howard Dean, arguing that his stubborn commitment to the 50-state strategy and his stinginess with funds for House races cost the Democrats several pickup opportunities.

Update: Mydd Issues a Threat

Update 2: Tell James how wrong he is: james@carville.info but be civil. You may remind him of how he was a Traitor in 2004 or how Biden recognizes Dean's Contribution, Write Letters and above all, contribute!

Daily Kos: DEAN RESPONDS!: Carville calls for Dean to be Replaced by Ford

Hunter @ Daily Kos: Quick Notes From Planet Earth

1) The notion among "analyst" pundits that this sweeping Democratic victory was the result of the Democrats appealing to the middle. Well, no freakin' kidding. That used to be common knowledge, and lesson-one-page-one of political game theory -- you win elections by appealing to more folks than the other guy. Well, there you go, I'm glad after ten or fifteen years of "screw everyone but the base", you all flipped open your textbooks and figured that one out again. But here's a thought, coming off the fiasco of this campaign season -- maybe next year, you could "analyze" what the positions of the candidates are in advance of the elections, so Americans wouldn't have to decipher those positions via the Internet, political mailings, and voodoo. Just, you know, as a change of pace from the last half-dozen or so election seasons.

2) The notion among supposedly moderate pundits that the Democratic victory was a great victory for moderate pundits, because moderate pundits are so moderate. You know what? I'm willing to buy that the Democrats were the "moderate" ones -- we've been saying that for a long while, now. But I do have a question -- if "not being indicted", "not screwing up every single strategic aspect of an unpopular war", "not creating deficits that could block out the sun", "not botching basic functions of government", "not being linked to yet another indicted guy" -- if those are the winning, moderate positions, what, exactly, does that make you, who have been shilling vigorously for the past few years on the supposed moderation of these other folks who just got their asses kicked roundly over all those issues?

3) The notion among DLC Democrats that this sweeping Democratic victory was a great victory for the DLC Democrats, because they really showed those uncivilized Democratic voters and their own Democratic grassroots what-for. Never mind that they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into even a semblence of support for the 50-state strategy. Never mind that against candidates like the execrable Richard Pombo, the grassroots had to fight tooth and nail to get their now-victorious candidates the slightest specks of support from parts of the Democratic infrastructure that initially wanted nothing to do with them, and mocked their very candidacies.

4) The notion among hardcore, far-right conservatives that this sweeping Democratic victory was a great victory for hardcore, far-right conservatives because the Democrats who won are really conservatives too. Not that there's the slightest bit of evidence of conservatism, for all but a handful of these people -- no, it's just that "conservative" means whatever the hell hardcore far-right conservatives consider popular, at the moment. There's no actual tenets involved, mind you, which is a lucky thing, because the same conservatives just spent months declaring that these same Democrats were hopelessly, unimaginably liberal, and were going to make you marry your dog or something.

5) The completely contradictory notion among other hardcore, far-right conservatives that this sweeping Democratic victory was a great victory for hardcore, far-right conservatives, because all the folks in power right now aren't real conservatives, real conservatives would have made it all work. And just you wait, America, we'll be back with real conservatism next time, and you'll see, it'll really work! Yeah, that's it!


Yes, that's right. You're all winners, in my book!

Seriously, guys? Stop it. Just stop it. There's punditry, there's wankery, there's bullshitting, and then there's whatever the hell you call that. Take a few days off and get some tattered shreds of your own dignity back -- right now, you're all so transparent that we can see what you had for lunch today.

Daily Kos: Quick Notes From Planet Earth

Daily Kos: Memo to the media, pundits

Memo to the media, pundits Hotlist
by kos
Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 04:40:04 PM CST

Dear know-nothings,

I know most of you are stupid, and proud to remain that way.

But the Netroots backed more than just Ned Lamont.

For example, Jim Webb and Jon Tester in the Senate, and dozens more in the House.

Jim Webb, for example, said this about the netroots:

The netroots have been a tremendous help to my campaign and a huge inspiration to me personally.

I am where I am in large part because of their support.

So Lieberman won. Lots of our candidates lost. Lots of them won. It's called elections.

Hugs and kisses.

kos

Daily Kos: Memo to the media, pundits

Daily Kos: We're All Conservatives Now

restoring the checks and balances of the Constitution, outlawing torture, re-legalizing habeas corpus.

These are "conservative" ideas? Cool. I'm hinky with it. Call them what you like, just implement them.

So go ahead, Blowhard Boys and Girls, keep saying it: "Conservative Democrats won on Tuesday, which proves that America is really conservative."

And please, don't catch on that every time you insist that "conservative Democrats" won, every time you couple the words, "conservative" and "Democrat," not only does an angel get its wings, some voter in Mississippi is getting the message that there is a natural home for conservatives in the Democratic Party. Make it crystal clear, repeatedly, from now until 2008, that citizens in the Mountain West and the Midwest who cast their votes next to a "D" for perhaps the first time in their lives were NOT betraying "traditional values," but were, in fact, reinforcing them.

If the right-wing devotes thousands of hours to this "conservatives really won by electing a Democratic majority" in the next two years, they'll have softened the South up enough for us to canvass in 2008 with the simple statement, "Hey, I'm a Democrat and I want your value vote," and it will make perfect sense.

So thanks, Rush, Sean, O'Reilly and the whole gang at National Review: You're saving Democrats a boatload of cash two years from now that would have been spent on re-representing our party as the natural home for those with true American values. We couldn't get this message out without you.

Daily Kos: We're All Conservatives Now

This war's masterminds outdone Jane Fonda

The Iraq war advocates squelched or deflected dissent so effectively that.. This time, they'll have no one to blame but themselves when the Americans and half the Malaki government are helicoptered out of the Green Zone... This time, no antiwar movement will have "forced us to fight with one hand tied behind our backs," as Vietnam war apologists charged. This time, no Jane Fonda will have gone to Saddam’s Baghdad to lend aid and comfort and or demoralize our troops in the field. This war's masterminds and their pundit-cheerleaders have done all that themselves. Have they ever.

That's precisely why during the Lamont-Lieberman race Brooks and others gazed so intently into the rear-view mirrors of their historical imaginations and saw nothing in Lamont but Vietnam-era lunacy. That helped them not to notice that they’re bloodied up to their elbows in a lunacy of their own, a web of assumptions, rationalizations, lies, and alarums that’s unraveling like their commentary.

David Brooks and The Ghost of Left-Liberalism Past | TPMCafe

My Left Wing :: This GOP is DOOMED. Three Deadly Numbers Prove It

the GOP in its current form has NO reason to exist, outside of authoritarianism, corporate welfare and religious fascism. The so-called Reagan Revolution is officially DEAD.

This GOP is DOOMED. Three Deadly Numbers Prove It (+)
by: thereisnospoon
Thu Nov 09, 2006 at 20:16:01 PM CST



They're done. Stick a fork in them. It's over.

There is a shocking poll that should be a wake-up call to conservatives and Republicans nationwide. If I were a Republican strategist today, my heart would be in my throat.

From The Corner at the conservative National Review Online:

A survey of 1200 likely voters taken in 12 swing districts this past Sunday and Monday might explain why Republicans might have a long night ahead of them. The veteran GOP pollster says he has "never seen anything like it." Asked who is more likely to cut taxes for the middle class - 42 percent said Democrats, 29 picked Republicans. Who is more likely to reduce the deficit? 47 - Democrats, 22 - Repubicans. And, who is more likely to control spending? Democrats - 38, Republicans - 21. In the past, even if Repubicans didn't win some race or another, they were more trusted on taxes and spending issues.

What this means is that the GOP in its current form has NO reason to exist, outside of authoritarianism, corporate welfare and religious fascism. The so-called Reagan Revolution is officially DEAD.

My Left Wing :: This GOP is DOOMED. Three Deadly Numbers Prove It

11/09/2006

GW's "parents " called in the only thing that could reign in their son: The Democrats

This week, the American people finally reached their breaking point. They finally had had enough. They finally realized that their household was out of control, and that they needed to bring in someone who could do something about it.

So they called Nanny 911. You know the show: the one where the "before" picture shows a house full of screaming, out-of-control kids, no discipline, constant terror, and a feeling of hopelessness on the part of the parents as they watch their home falling apart at the hands of children who Will. Not. Behave.

Then, just when it seems the parents have reached the end of their rope, they make one final, pleading call to Nanny 911. They're looking for someone who will come in and lay down The Law, who will set boundaries, who will strike fear into the hearts of their willful, out-of-control kids, and get them to understand the meaning of the word, "NO".

Daily Kos: "NO."

11/08/2006

The Democrats didn't win because of the press. They won in spite of it

The Miraculous Appearance Of An Agenda
by georgia10
Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 11:46:20 AM CST

Notice anything about the media's post-election coverage?

The Republican battle cry echoed by the press prior to the election was that Democrats have no plan. That Democrats are short on ideas. That Democrats were basically passive mutes. That Democratic candidates were basically blank-eyed dolts that dutifully kept their mouths shut as the GOP imploded.

In reporting on GOP talking points that "Democrats will raise your taxes," the press did not temper their parroting of these talking points with fact check (hey voters, remember, the President has the last word on taxes via his veto power). In reporting on outrageous ads, they failed to mention the lies contained therein, choosing instead to salivate on the shallow and gush over graphics.

The Democrats' 100-hour-plan was barely a blip on the radar screen. Hours of so-called "analysis" was focused on what those subpoena-hungry liberals would do to "embarrass" the president. Republican talking point after Republican talking point was fed into the noise machine and irresponsible members of the Xerox media spat the distortions out without analysis. They did not balance lies with truth as a responsible press should have done; rather, they chose to air the Republican hysteria without rebuttal.

Only now, after most races have been called and it's clear that the Democrats will take power, only now do they report on that which they had suppressed throughout the campaign. Now we get articles detailing the Democrat's tax plan. Now we get articles on the minimum wage and the effect of a Democratic house on industry. Now we get articles about how Democrats stand for a balanced budget. Now the talking heads report breathlessly on the 100 hour agenda, on how Democrats will affect the middle class, and how Democrats will try to fix healthcare.

Now the press chooses to report on the Democrats' agenda. Now they're laying out the difference for voters, only after they've cast their ballots. Only now have members of the press suddenly seen the Democratic plan materialize before them like some Lady of Lourdes in all her glory. Only after the votes are counted do they report that Democrat control means that D.C. will be bathed in the light of change.

But, as we know, throughout the campaign, the plan was always there. The ideas were always apparent. The difference between the parties was always crystal clear.

The Democrats didn't win because of the press. They won in spite of it, in spite of a press that gave wall-to-wall coverage of Kerry's blunder and call-me ads, in spite of a press that chose feigned scandal over true substance. In the face of such a hostile media environment, the Democrats still won. And that, my friends, is a true miracle

Daily Kos: The Miraculous Appearance Of An Agenda

Daily Kos: Cheers and Jeers: Champagne and Lobster WEDNESDAY!

We've paid our dues
Time after time
We've done our sentence
But now it's our time
And bad mistakes
We've made a few
We've had our share of sand kicked in our face
But we've come through

And still we blog and blog and blog and blog and...

We are the champions my friends
And we'll keep on fighting till the end
We are the champions
They're not the champions
Limbaugh's a loser
'cause we are the champions...of the world

They thought we were licked
A minority for life
But you brought passion and persistence
and everything that goes with it---I thank you all
But it's been no bed of roses
Here on the "Tubes!"
We considered it a challenge before the whole human race
To make the Republicans lose

That's why we blogged and blogged and blogged and blogged and...

Rove ain't a champion my friends
`cause we kept on fighting till the end
We are the champions
Macaca ain't a champion
Hannity's cryin'
'cause we are the champions...of the world

[Everybody!]

We are the champions my friends
And we'll bang the gavels to the end
Dean is a champion
WE are the champions
Mehlman's a loser
'cause we are the champions...

Cheers and Jeers for Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Note: For those of you who missed me riding my `victory donkey' naked through the streets of Portland at dawn, the DVD is now available for pre-order---only $25,000. Cash.


Daily Kos: Cheers and Jeers: Champagne and Lobster WEDNESDAY!

Rove's Robo-Call backfires

Cheap SOB should have used live people - law

This year's heavy volume of automated political phone calls has infuriated countless voters and triggered sharp complaints from Democrats, who say the Republican Party has crossed the line in bombarding households with recorded attacks on candidates in tight House races nationwide.

Some voters, sick of interrupted dinners and evenings, say they will punish the offending parties by opposing them in today's elections.

It's a Candidate Calling. Again. - washingtonpost.com

Independence Day House Party

We did it!!!!!



Daily Kos: Independence Day House Party