Sunday, January 25, 2015

Compare and contrast...

...Progressive Christianity:

//Under the People of God model, the Church, apart from faith in Jesus, is essentially nothing at all. Dogmas, creeds, and doctrines, together with structures, hierarchies, and authorities, are merely ways by which the faithful articulate and organize their beliefs—constructs employed to express how the faith has been integrated into various moments of history. The foregoing is an example of “process theology.”

The People of God model is generally favored by Catholics who consider themselves liberal or progressive and is rejected by those who consider themselves orthodox , traditionalist, or conservative.//

Anthony J. Sciolino (2014-04-07). The Holocaust, the Church, and the Law of Unintended Consequences: How Christian Anti-Judaism Spawned Nazi Anti-Semitism, A Judge’s Verdict (Kindle Locations 3922-3927). iUniverse. Kindle Edition.

with Fascism:

//If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and those who claim to be the bearers of objective immortal truth, then there is nothing more relativistic than Fascist attitudes and activity. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, we Fascists conclude that we have the right to create our own ideology and to enforce it with all the energy of which we are capable.//

Benito Mussolini.

So, go construct those beliefs appropriate for this "moment of time."

You are in the best of company!
From the "There are no objective moral truths" file:

Objective moral truths are for sissies; real men embrace relativism!

//If relativism signifies contempt for fixed categories and those who claim to be the bearers of objective immortal truth, then there is nothing more relativistic than Fascist attitudes and activity. From the fact that all ideologies are of equal value, we Fascists conclude that we have the right to create our own ideology and to enforce it with all the energy of which we are capable.//

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

"You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you."


//But the profoundly stupid “black brunch” protests, during which racial-grievance entrepreneurs disrupted meals at places that seemed to them offensively Caucasian (“white spaces”) are a different species of undertaking.
And a poorly informed one, at that: In New York City, protesters invaded the Pershing Square Café across the street from Grand Central Terminal, which is one of the more diverse spots in heavily segregated Manhattan, catering as it does to commuting 53-year-old lawyers from Fairfield County, who check any number of different demographic boxes.

The message these protests send is that there is no private space — and, therefore, no private life — so far as this particular rabble is concerned. It’s the familiar Trotsky conundrum: You may not be interested in politics, but politics is interested in you.

That the people at brunch have no real direct connection to the events motivating the protesters is beside the point. They were targeted on racial grounds: These were detestable “white spaces,” and the people there were to be punished for being white — even if they were not, in fact, white, their presence in “white spaces” makes them guilty by association. That the protesters were themselves largely white goes without saying: Protests of this sort are a prestige performance for stupid white college kids, mainly. If you want to see a genuinely “white space,” a protest is your best bet.

While it is the case that the phrase “religious extremism” is of limited use (because it matters a great deal which religion is under discussion), the politics of religious extremist movements ranging from al-Qaeda to the sundry Ayn Rand cults have in common that apostates are always punished with far greater severity than are mere infidels. It is one thing never to have seen the light, but to have seen it and rejected it is unforgivable. (One of the great debates among sharia scholars from the earliest days of Islam to the present is: How many days should an apostate be imprisoned before he is put to death? There’s less debate about putting them to death.) That dynamic makes it inevitable that well-meaning progressives are frequently on the receiving end of outrage from their more puritanical co-religionists.//

Wild thought....

What if human flourishing was set up - as a result of, let's say, evolution and/or intrinsic human nature - so that the optimal human flourishing was to be found in relationships that included both men and women?

Again, just floating a crazy idea here.

5th Circuit Exposes Sordid Underbelly of Same-Sex ‘Parenting’

“Your childhood is divided to please the adults,” Stefanowicz wrote, based upon her 30 years of experience with the LGBT subculture and dialogue with dozens of other adult children who were raised by homosexual parents. Ms. Stefanowicz further explained that due to the absence of either or both biological parents “our home environments have unique and unstable characteristics.” And that’s putting it very mildly. The Washington Times article from last Thursday presented many of the graphic and abusive aspects of life in a sex-saturated, same-sex household:
Ms. Stefanowicz said she “absolutely” loved her father, who died of AIDS in 1991, but he was a troubled man who sexually abused both her and her twin brother and brought countless men into their home.
“I was exposed to overt sexual activities like sodomy, nudity, pornography, group sex, sadomasochism and the ilk,” wrote Ms. Stefanowicz, adding that her father sometimes took her on his “cruising” visits to gay art galleries, nude beaches and public parks.
Like other daughters of gay men she has talked with, Ms. Stefanowicz said she felt she — and her femininity — were not valued or affirmed.
“Ultimately, I was seeking his love and acceptance. [But] I was not allowed to freely question him, bring up moral arguments or hurt his feelings, or I would face long-term repercussions,” Ms. Stefanowicz wrote.
Another member of the “quartet of truth,” Katy Faust, wrote in her brief that every child enters this world with two basic human rights. “First, the right to live,” she stated, and “Second, the right to have a relationship with his/her father and mother.” But unnatural “marriage” absolutely guarantees that the latter of those two rights will invariably be ripped from a child by intentionally depriving them of a least one biological parent.
Despite the absence of any criticism regarding her lesbian parents, Faust is still urging the 5th Circuit to preserve man-woman marriage laws and state constitutional amendments. “It wasn’t until I had children of my own that the wholeness and worth of having both father and mother raising their children together hit me like a freight train,” Faust asserted, “marriage law should always encourage and promote that ideal of mothers and fathers parenting their children together.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Make your "surprised face"...

...Obamacare isn't clearing out the Emergency Rooms.

//One of the selling points for the Affordable Care Act, which has enrolled millions of Californians in Medi-Cal and Covered California health plans, was that patients with insurance would have primary care doctors to take care of them and less reason to use expensive and overcrowded hospital emergency rooms. However, as the second year of the health law unfolds, emergency departments in the central San Joaquin Valley are busier than last year seeing patients — many of whom have insurance.

Obamacare, as the health law is called, delivered on its promise to get people coverage, but its shortfall has been a dearth of doctors in the community, health officials say.

A doctor shortage has long been a problem in the central San Joaquin Valley and made more so now by an influx of 139,000 Medi-Cal patients. The state-federal program for people with lower incomes now insures more than 850,000 in the Valley — nearly 43% of children and adults.

California and Valley doctors have long been reluctant to accept Medi-Cal — California’s version of Medicaid — because the state has among the lowest reimbursement rates in the country. A likely cut in Medi-Cal pay this year could further erode doctor participation in the program, health officials say.

“All we’ve done is give people a shiny new Medi-Cal card that they’re taking to the emergency department,” said Norma Forbes, executive director of Healthy Communities Access Partners, a Fresno nonprofit agency.//

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

40 years ago, this was a comedy skit in Life of Brian.

We are living in the Crazy Years.

"Women's College Cancels 'Vagina Monologues' Because It Excludes Women Without Vaginas"
Free Speech in 21st Century America.

Orwell was a Prophet.

//Yamin questioned whether Swain even believes her op-ed. “Her mind can’t be changed,” she said, asked if she would meet with Swain. “I don’t think it’s truly hateful, I don’t know if she even has these views,” but Swain “used a platform of murdering people to gain publicity.”

Yamin’s confusion continued as she said her goal was to show campus officials “that students don’t tolerate hate speech, even though it’s protected under academic freedom, that we don’t allow that on this campus.//

Trickle down taxation.

Taxes on the rich inevitably turn into taxes on the Middle Class.

Obama's State of the Union address will propose tax hike on Middle Class.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The lesson of the last couple of weeks is that Religion is a good thing to mock, but not...

..something worthy of free speech protection.

//Things heated up when The New York Times editorial board set about discrediting Chief Cochran in particular and religious liberty in general. As they write:

 It should not matter that the investigation found no evidence that Mr. Cochran had mistreated gays or lesbians. His position as a high-level public servant makes his remarks especially problematic, and requires that he be held to a different standard. . . . If he wants to work as a public official, however, he may not foist his religious views on other city employees who have the right to a boss who does not speak of them as second-class citizens.

The argument suggests that even The New York Times believes Cochran’s firing was warranted based on views he holds, which would seem to contradict Mayor Reed’s claim that Cochran was removed “for failing to get approval for the book’s publication, for commenting publicly on his suspension after being told not to, and for exposing the city to possible discrimination lawsuits.” Either way, The New York Times has sought to nationalize the issue and make Cochran the poster child for publicly holding unacceptable beliefs.//

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Because Muslims are such delicate flowers, or something.

Brendan O'Neill observes:

//The parallel moral universe inhabited by Europe’s chattering classes and celebs was starkly exposed last week. In Paris, shortly after the Charlie Hebdo massacre, an extremist stormed a kosher store, terrorised its patrons, and murdered four of them. Their crime? Jewishness.

And yet as this act of anti-Semitic barbarism was taking place, what were the opinion-forming set and the right-on glitterati worrying their well-groomed heads about? Islamophobia. The possibility of post-Charlie Hebdo violence against Muslims. They fretted over violence that hadn’t occurred, rather than violence unfolding before the world’s eyes in a store frequented by Jews.

So we had the bizarre spectacle of British newspapers thundering about a possible outburst of anti-Muslim madness at precisely the moment an outburst of anti-Semitic madness was taking place. Beware “Islamophobes seizing [the Charlie Hebdo] atrocity to advance their hatred”, hollered the Guardian as an anti-Semite was seizing a kosher shop to advance the world’s oldest hatred.

The day after the assault on the kosher store, three of the top 10 most-read articles on the Guardian’s website were dire warnings about potential Islamophobic violence post-Charlie Hebdo. Some folk seemed more concerned about possible attacks on Muslims than they were about actual attacks on Jews.//


...not so great after all.
If only teachers could marry.

More common or more reported?

A Mobile math teacher is convicted of having sex with a teenager. A fifth-grade teacher is implicated in Pell City.  A foreign language teacher is charged in Tuscaloosa. A Sheffield Junior High School teacher, in a car, having sex, with a 15-year-old.
All of the accused are women. In fact, about one-third of the cases of possibly inappropriate relationships investigated by Alabama education officials in 2013 involved women.
"It may not be happening more, but now there's more punishment,'' said Josh Klapow, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at UAB's School of Public Health. "We don't know those incidents that aren't being caught and aren't being reported."
Social media, authorities say, helps to fuel the fire. 
"Cell phones. Apps. We say and do things on social media and cell phones that we wouldn't say and do in person,'' said Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey who, on Monday, announced a guilty plea in the case of a Susan Moore High School teacher who admitted to sexting (sending nude pictures via text message) to a 15-year-old student. "As a result, there's a wall that's been removed. Things people would never say to a person they now will say over the phone or on Facebook or things of that nature. We just live in a different world."
A 2010 law made it a felony for a school employee to have sex with a student 19 or younger. (Other Alabama laws had set the age of consent at 16). Since then, high- profile cases were brought against women teachers on charges ranging from sodomy to rape of underage students. More are under investigation.
Between 2008 and 2013, there have been about 150 cases of inappropriate relationships reported to the Alabama Department of Education. These "relationships" include not only sexual intercourse between a teacher and a student, but also inappropriately romantic or sexual communications between the two, said Susan Tudor Crowther, an attorney in the Office of General Counsel for the Alabama Department of Education.
For 2013, 66 percent of those complaints involved male teachers, while 34 percent involved female teachers.  Are the numbers on the rise?  It appears so, said Crowther who recently wrote an article for a trade publication called "Hot For Teacher: When Good Teachers Go Bad."
"It is not clear why they appear to be on the rise.  It is possible that we are simply getting more reports of such behavior,'' Crowther said. "In 2010, a law was passed criminalizing sexual relationships between teachers and students.  This may have prompted increased reporting. "
Before the infamous 1997 case of Mary Kay Letourneau, who twice became pregnant by her 12-year-old student and eventually married him in 2005, such prosecutions seemed rare. 
Who links to me?