Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Real Reason The Catholic Church Wants Gays Oppressed

Personally, I believe that there are many reasons that the Catholic Church leadership wants gays to continue to be oppressed and treated with scorn. One, of course, is that small minded men of actually very weak faith cannot tolerate the possibility that the few passages in the Bible claimed to condemn homosexuality might just be wrong. That possibility terrifies them and threatens their entire house of cards belief system. Frankly, they ought to be more worried about the fact that Adam and Eve did not really exist since that scientific truth literally wipes out the entire foundation for Christianity's story line. Other reasons involve the warped and damaged psyches of the ranks of the Church hierarchy. First we have the fact that the Church hierarchy is filled with self-loathing closet cases who project their hatred on normal, well adjusted gays who are everything that the closet cases themselves are not. Then there are other closeted members of the hierarchy who are likely bitter that they have in retrospect thrown away their lives living a lie and missing out on any chance at true happiness. And then there's another theory raised in a piece on The New Civil Rights Movement. What is it? That the acceptance of gays is destroying the pipeline for the Church's labor forces: priests and nuns. Here are highlights:

The Catholic Church is the world’s single largest anti-gay hate group. If we are to minimize its pernicious influence, we must educate societies about the Church’s financial motivations for keeping gay human beings oppressed.

The Church’s business model depends on the cheap labor of priests and nuns, without whom the bullying theocrats at the top of the Church hierarchy would not be able to continue living their lavish and decadent lifestyle.

How does the Church intimidate gay people into signing up for lifetimes of poverty, hard work and (ostensibly) celibacy? By socially stigmatizing gay human beings and driving young gay people to despair about their chances for satisfying adult domestic lives, the Church as good as tortures young gay people into signing up to be priests and nuns.

The fall-off in the number of young people signing up for lifetimes slaving for the Church corresponds almost precisely to the gradually increasing social acceptance of gay human beings. The Church knows that and — at the expense of gay people’s basic human rights — is lashing out in attempts to protect its business interests and historical business plan.

The Pope recently announced that marriage equality is a threat to the future of humanity. . . . That bit of preposterous anti-gay hate speech is duplicitous, just another cover for trying to turn back social progress so the Church can torment young gay people into entering the priesthood.

[T]he Church opposes allowing gay parent adoptions, because such adoptions lead to increased acceptance of gay human beings, which works against the Church’s business plan.

For Church leaders to defame gay people by calling homosexuality an “intrinsic moral evil” — and other such defamatory, non-fact-based phrases — is as disgraceful as was the Vatican’s signing of the Reichskonkordat political treaty with Adolph Hitler.

Gay Americans today must refuse to allow the Catholic Church to put us under national house arrest in a system of sexual orientation apartheid, in the name of anti-gay Church dogma and for the purpose of enriching the Church.

Not only is the Church wrong to poison minds against gay people, it is doing so at least in part to distract from its crimes of child rape and child rape cover ups. . . . . As with its gay-bashing, the Catholic Church bashes Church child rape victims out of financial motivations; intimidate as many victims as possible out of coming forward, in order to avoid having to compensate them.

For those interested, has a petition HERE calling for Barack Obama to reject the political efforts of the Catholic Church to torpedo health care coverage that for contraception and other needed services to individuals.

Adam Ebbin Pushes Gay Adoption Bill In Virginia General Assembly

UPDATED: Senator McEachin has introduced a counterpart bill to Ebbin's bill in the Virginia Senate.I'd love to seem them pass, but with the GOP majority in the House of Delegates and a tie in the Senate, I sadly am not optimistic.

Adam Ebbin, the lone openly gay member of the Virginia General Assembly, most at times feel like Don Quixote as he tries to bring rationality, not to mention, LGBT equality to the decidedly backwards thinking Neanderthal GOP ranks in the the General Assembly. Sadly, most of the GOP members prefer to mindlessly pandering to Bible beaters, thinly disguised white supremacists and neo-Nazi types. The Founding Fathers from Virginia must be rolling over in their graves over how low the General Assembly has sunk and the level of ignorance that passes for intelligence in GOP circles. Despite all of this, Ebbin has introduced a bill that would bar the Commonwealth from contracting with adoption and foster care agencies that discriminate based on sexual orientation and numerous other attributes. Not surprisingly, Republican have introduced bills to further legalize anti-gay (and other) discrimination in an already extremely anti-gay state. Here are highlights on the legislative jousting:

A battle over whether child-placement agencies should be allowed to discriminate against prospective parents and children based on their sexual orientation has moved to the General Assembly.

Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, has introduced legislation that would bar Virginia from contracting with or funding agencies that discriminate against children or otherwise eligible prospective foster or adoptive parents solely on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, family status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Virginia Board of Social Services last month finalized regulations that strip out protections against discrimination based on personal factors, including gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation and family status. They are to take effect May 1.

[T]he Virginia ACLU and other groups had opposed the change, saying that Virginia should keep the protections in place because state-licensed child-placement groups serve a governmental function — and thus cannot discriminate against prospective parents or children. Catholic groups and other organizations backed the removal, framing it as an issue of religious freedom.

Sen. Jeffrey McWaters and Del. Todd Gilbert have introduced so-called "conscience clause" bills that would reinforce the Department of Social Services regulations and protect private, faith-based child-placement agencies. . . . . Gilbert, R-Woodstock, who said he introduced the legislation on behalf of the Virginia Family Foundation, a conservative Christian group, to protect faith-based agencies.

[A]dvocates also have expressed concern that a large number of young people in the foster care system are gay or lesbian, and unless the state adopts a law that bars discrimination they could be denied services based on their sexual orientation, compounding the difficulties they already face in finding permanent homes. "Every child deserves a loving home, and children who have been denied a loving home based on who they are deserve a chance to grow up as much as any other child," Ebbin said.

Ebbin acknowledges the tough road ahead for his legislation, but he says it's essential to work for "an enlightened policy" that provides for the placement of children in permanent homes, based on what's best for the child. "I don't understand people who would believe it is better for a child to cry him or herself to sleep in an orphanage rather than having a loving home, whatever the orientation of the parents," he said.

Frankly, until the foul stench known as The Family Foundation is eradicated from Virginia, don't expect Virginia to move into the 21st Century. Hate, bigotry, lots of sanctimonious false piety, and the open embrace of ignorance are the hallmarks The Family Foundation. The Southern Poverty Law Center ought to add the organization to its list of registered hate groups.

Saturday Male Beauty

Microsoft and Major Companies Support Gay Marriage

In sharp contrast to the Commonwealth of Virginia which continues to stigmatize and reduce LGBT citizens to second or third class status, Microsoft and other leading corporations in Washington State have come out in support of the pending same sex legislation in the Washington legislature. Moreover, they say that legally recognizing same sex couples is good for business - a message lost on Virginia Governor Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonnell who to date has done a mediocre job at best of attracting new jobs and employers to the Commonwealth. The reality is that progressive and innovative companies are not flocking to states where the Republican Party is racing backwards to the 11th Century. Here are highlights from the Seattle Times on the corporate endorse ments of marriage equality:

A letter signed by six prominent companies including Microsoft, was sent to legislative leaders on Thursday stating their support for gay marriage legislation in the state House and Senate.

As letters of support go, it's very short: "We write you today to show the support of our respective companies for SB 6239 and HB 2516 recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples." In addition to Microsoft, the letter was signed by officials from Vulcan, NIKE, RealNetworks, Group Health Cooperative, and Concur.

Microsoft just issued a short statement explaining it's support:

"Microsoft is joining other Northwest employers Concur, Group Health Cooperative, Nike, RealNetworks and Vulcan Inc. in support of Washington State legislation recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples. This position builds on our history of supporting corporate and public policies that promote inclusion and equality.

"Microsoft's greatest asset is a talented workforce as diverse as our customers. As other states recognize marriage equality, Washington's employers are at a disadvantage if we cannot offer a similar, equitable and inclusive environment to our talented employees, our top recruits and their families. This legislation would put Washington employers on equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples. Passing the bill would be good for our business and for the state's economy."

Here are some highlights from a more detailed explanation of Microsoft's position penned by Brad Smith, General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs:

Every day, the national and global economies are becoming more diverse. The lifeblood of a business is its ability to understand and connect with its customers. We’re no exception. Now more than ever, the most effective workforce is a diverse workforce.

Marriage equality in Washington would put employers here on an equal footing with employers in the six other states that already recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples – Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. This in turn will help us continue to compete for talent.

We also recognize that marriage has meaning as both a civil and a religious institution. Like the marriage equality bill passed last year in New York State with bipartisan and business support, this bill preserves religious freedom in Washington’s churches while ending discrimination in Washington law. Like the New York bill, we believe Washington’s legislation should be passed into law. It will make our state and our economy stronger.

If Taliban Bob truly cared about economic Virginia's future - as opposed to being obsessed with giving political fellatio to the most hate-filled elements in Virginia, including the hate merchants at The Family Foundation - he'd be pushing for a repeal of the Marshall-Newman Amendment and passage of legislation like that passed last June in New York State.

Kate Kendal "Bitch Slaps" Karen Santorum

One thing that can always be counted on is the way the Christianists and hate merchants of the far right always want to pretend that they are victims even as the engage in a relentless campaign to denigrate and marginalize others. Former long term mistress to an abortion doctor, Karen Santorum (who like Newt Gingrich has found financial gain in moving to the far right), is a case in point as she sheds crocodile tears that liberals and gays are bullying her lunatic husband, Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum. Unfortunately, too often these totally false cries of victim-hood go unchallenged. Not this time, however, as Kate Kendall does a great op-ed in the Advocate that basically bitch slaps Karen Santorum and rips her a new one. Here are some highlights:

Someone’s been using the extra bit of cash he got from his surge in Iowa to buy some spin doctor advice. Earlier this week, Rick Santorum, his wife, Karen, and their oldest daughter, Elizabeth, were all talking about how . . . gay activists were being “backyard bullies” in our attacks on her husband and his policies.

Karen, we need to talk. And by that, I mean that I need to talk and you need to listen. . . . . when you pretend that hate is love, that lies are truth, and that victims are oppressors, you have become inane.

Your husband believes that LGBT people cannot be trusted to serve in the military, raise children, form stable relationships or be fully respected under the law. According to you, Rick may love us, but honey, his love is killing us, and we want nothing to do with this abusive relationship. Our community has endured expulsion from family, mass firings, daily epithets, assaults, harassment, humiliation, death, and suicides. We know that if your husband becomes president of our country our long suffering will only deepen and magnify.

So yes, we are calling him what he is: a sanctimonious bigot who believes that we are dangerous, sick, and evil. We are telling the truth about his vision and his beliefs about us. That is NOT bullying, it's about saving our own lives. . . . . Given what so many of my brothers and sisters live through daily, you calling us bullies is contemptible.

In some ways, it’s very sad. In another two or three months, the cameras will be gone, and the press will not care about you or Rick. The march of justice will continue, leaving you and your family a forgotten footnote on the wrong side of history. . . . You and Rick are the haters. My community is the victim, and anyone paying attention knows the truth.

Amazingly well said. Frothy Mix and those like him are haters plain and simple. Religiosity is merely the veil they try to use to hide their contemptible views and actions.

Newt Gingrich's Disingenuous Forgiveness Ploy

Under Christian belief - and certainly Catholic belief which Newt Gingrich now pretends to embrace - forgiveness requires true contrition. And not just contrition that one got caught. Newt Gingrich is using the forgiveness ploy to convince the cretins among the Christianist elements in South Carolina to vote for him even though his past deeds are things these mental midgets ought to abhor. From his sleazy money making deals to his serial adultery and multiple marriages, there's little in my book to show Newt's sorry for anything other than his tawdry history is being dragged out for the world to see. Will the idiots of the Christian Right fall for this ploy? Kathleen Parker has a column in the Washington Post that looks at Gingrich's disingenuous game plan. Here are highlights:

Newt Gingrich’s standing ovation Thursday night, when he attacked CNN moderator John King for asking about allegations that Gingrich wanted an “open marriage” with his second wife, told us little about South Carolina but much about human nature.

The query, for which King has been exhaustively critiqued, was both necessary and inevitable. Forget the elephant in the living room; it was the herd in the powder room.

Just as King had no choice but to ask, Gingrich answered in the only way he could — by attacking the questioner. Shooting the messenger is a time-honored method of spin control among royals and their imitators. Gingrich’s bilious reproach was an oratorical defenestration. King’s audacity was “despicable,” he intoned, and the crowd roared.

Suddenly, Gingrich’s questionable past was forgotten, and whatever ire his record might have inspired was redirected at The Media . . . He correctly counted on the empathy of his fellow man, if not necessarily womankind, and won the moment.

But a moment is just that, and projection of the sort experienced by the Charleston, S.C., audience can be fraught with peril. Over-identification clouds judgment, and, though we are all sinners, we are not all running for president of the United States. Gingrich’s sins of the flesh ultimately are of less importance than the narcissism and grandiosity that compel his actions.

Voters would do well to think less of what they would do in his shoes than what Gingrich will do, should he win the prize.
As the reality of his astonishing self-regard sinks in and one imagines where his unflagging certitude might lead, it is less easy to identify with the weeds in his garden. As projection falters, empathy finds no place to land.

If we thought the delusion Chimperator George Bush thought he was inspired to make what proved disastrous decisions not the least of which was to launch the fool's errand in Iraq, just imagine what the uncontrolled ego of Gingrich might bring to pass. Personally, the man is not only amoral, but frightening in his delusions and demagoguery.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Morning Male Beauty

Newt Gingrich's Hypocrisy and Phony Moralizing

I've noted before that in my view Newt Gingrich is the king of the hypocrites - as are the mental cretins among the Christianist and Tea Party base of the Republican Party who have embraced a serial adulterer who we now know asked for an "open marriage" six years after he had been having sex with a congressional aide. Fittingly, Gingrich epitomizes so much of what is wrong with today's GOP and the sickness of the "Christian Right" which is generally neither Christian or right on morality and other issues. The New York Times has a great take down of Gingrich as it's main editorial today. Here are a few highlights:

Multiple marriages and even adultery are not automatic disqualifications for the presidency. If they were, the country would have a very different roster of former presidents and candidates. But when a political party decides that moralizing about personal conduct is as important as public policy, it inevitably makes some of its leaders vulnerable to the worst charges of hypocrisy.

In this political cycle, it is Newt Gingrich who has been unable to escape the toxic combination of infidelity and sermonizing. The stories about his three marriages have been known for years, but every time he seems to have escaped the wrath of Republican voters, they rise again.

On Thursday, they were resurrected by his second wife, Marianne, who told ABC News that he had sought an “open marriage” arrangement in 1999 so that he could have her blessing to conduct an affair while remaining married to her. She refused, the couple divorced, and the woman he had been seeing is now his third wife, Callista Gingrich . . . .

Marianne Gingrich’s most devastating memory is that the day after his request, Mr. Gingrich gave a speech entitled, “The Demise of American Culture.” Among other things, he said in the speech that the elimination of prayer in schools had left American teenagers morally adrift.

Thirteen years later, campaigning for president, Mr. Gingrich is still trying to tell Americans how to run their lives. He supports a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. He accuses Mitt Romney of being insufficiently anti-abortion, even pointing out that Mr. Romney expanded access to abortion pills. He lectures black people about valuing jobs and children in the purgatory of housing projects for lacking a work ethic. He signed a personal pledge to, at long last, “uphold the institution of marriage through personal fidelity to my spouse.”

For too many Republicans, it’s not enough that Americans are free to pray in the house of worship of their choice; they want all children to be required to pray in school. They want to impose their own ideas about sexuality and abortion on everyone. And they love to accuse Democrats of being insufficiently pious. (

When Republican officials then get caught violating one of the Ten Commandments, they make an enormous show of contrition and repentance and ask for the public’s forgiveness. But as the hypocrisy level continues to rise, that forgiveness may become much harder to provide.

Breakaway Episcopal Churches Lose Court Case

In welcome news seven anti-gay Episcopal parishes that broke away from the national church after the installation of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire - yet tried to retain the national church property they had been utilizing - have lost their court battle to retain the basically stolen property. Part of their legal strategy had been to rely on a civil war era statute still on the books that had been enacted to allow break away pro-slavery southern baptist churches to break from the national church and keep the anti-slavery national church's property. One would think that reliance on such a morally flawed statute should have seen the gay haters a message. Here are highlights from the Washington Blade on the victory for the Episcopal Church USA:

A Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge issued a ruling on Jan. 10 against seven conservative Episcopal congregations in Northern Virginia that broke away from the church in 2006 in protest of the church’s earlier decision to accept same-sex relationships.

The ruling could force the breakaway congregations to turn over to the Episcopal Church buildings and property in Virginia worth more than $40 million that the conservative faction seized after congregations voted to separate from the church over the gay relationship dispute.

The dispute between the conservative and more progressive congregations within the U.S. Episcopal Church came to a head in 2003 when church leaders approved the ordination of a gay Episcopal priest, V. Gene Robinson, as the Episcopal Bishop of New Hampshire, making Robinson the denomination’s first out gay bishop.

Nicholas Benton, editor and publisher of the Falls Church, Va., News Press, said the court ruling would have an enormous positive impact on the LGBT-supportive Episcopal leaders and worshipers who lost possession of their church buildings, including an historic Episcopal Church building in the City of Falls Church.

The Growing Trend to "De-Baptize"

Both the Catholic Church and Christianist oriented churches have done much to give religion and Christianity a very ugly, although accurate face. The main tenants come across as based on hate, fear and prejudice and bigotry. The result is that in America, the fast growing religious segment is made up of those who check the "no religion" box on surveys. In Europe among Catholics, a new movement consists of those opting to be "de-baptized" and formally end their membership in the Church which has proven to be a thoroughly morally bankrupt institution with the protection of child rapist by the Church hierarchy the norm rather than the exception. I will concede that I myself contacted the bishop of the diocese in which I reside and demanded that my name be formally removed from Church membership and that I be placed on a list of "do not contact," Why would I want to be part of an institution whose leadership makes Mafia leaders look pious in comparison? Articles in both Opposing Views and the Huffington Post look at the growing exodus of Catholics from the Church. Here are highlights from the HuffPo piece:

PARIS (RNS) A decade ago, Rene Lebouvier requested that his local Catholic church erase his name from the baptismal register. The church noted his demands on the margins of its records and the chapter was closed.

But the clergy abuse scandals rocking Europe, coupled with Pope Benedict XVI's conservative stances on contraception, hardened Lebouvier's views. Last October, a court in Normandy ruled in favor of his lawsuit to have his name permanently deleted from church records -- making the 71-year-old retiree the first Frenchman to be officially "de-baptized."

Lebouvier's case is among a growing wave of de-baptisms in Europe, one of the most visible manifestations of the continent's secular drift. Websites offering informal de-baptism certificates have mushroomed. Other Christians are formally breaking from the church by opting out of state church taxes.

[E]xperts and secular activists count the numbers of de-baptisms in the tens of thousands. It's a phenomenon that has touched Protestant as well as Catholic communities.

Still, Lebouvier's case may create a precedent. The local bishop of Coutances, Stanislas Lalanne, has appealed the court ruling, a process that could take years. . . . if Lebouvier wins, de-baptism could become standard practice here, and trigger copycat lawsuits across Europe. "The church is afraid the movement might amplify," said Marc Blondel, president of the Paris-based National Federation of Freethinkers, who says he will launch another de-baptism drive if Lebouvier prevails.

In neighboring Belgium, which has been hit hard by the church sex scandals, de-baptism requests in the French-speaking region alone soared to roughly 2,000 in 2010, compared to 66 two years earlier, according to the Brussels Federation of Friends of Secular Morality. The numbers of people reportedly leaving the Dutch church reportedly shot up 25 percent.

In Britain, a de-baptism certificate offered as a joke by the National Secular Society has since turned serious after tens of thousands of people downloaded it.

In Germany, a record 181,000 Catholics formally split from the Catholic Church in 2011 -- the first time that Catholic defections outpaced Protestants leaving. Rather than requesting de-baptisms, Germans fill out government paperwork saying they no longer want to pay church taxes. . . . they don't want to be connected with the church hierarchy,"

The bigger worry, experts say, are plummeting rates of new baptisms. Half a century ago, for example, 90 percent of French children were baptized, said Sorbonne University religion professor Philippe Portier. Today, roughly one in three are. The church considers de-baptisms a very marginal phenomena and its strategy right now is to resist it," Portier said. "It is much more active when it comes to reversing the drop in (new) baptisms. . .

The Catholic Church has brought these growing defections upon itself through the hierarchy's immorality and the Church's efforts to cling to 13th century science and beliefs. Nothing sends a message to the corrupt Church leaders than having members of the laity "vote with their feet." I hope the "de-baptism" trend grows and that new baptisms continue to plummet. Only then will a toxic institution perhaps begin to reform itself. I hope more sheeple in the pews in America will open their eyes and likewise formally exit the Church.

Salt Lake City Tribune Op-Ed Challenges Mormon Church and Christianists on Gay Marriage

Those who want to punish LGBT individuals for their refusal to conform to Christianist and Mormon religious beliefs by making us legal lepers under the civil laws continue to be numerous and, frankly, they cannot die off soon enough in my opinion. They are nasty, self-centered, falsely pious, often hypocritical individuals and amongst the religious leader set they typically crave power, control - and lest we forget, money - more than an earnest desire to actual live by Christ's Gospel message. Worse yet, in the new mantra that gay rights threaten their religious liberty, their goal is nothing less than to gut the U. S. Constitution's promise of religious freedom for all citizens. It is these forces, not the proponents of gay rights and same sex marriage who are the true subversives who threaten religious freedom. This week, the Mormon Church jumped on the disingenuous religious freedom bandwagon and an op-ed in the Salt Lake City Tribune calls the Mormon Church out on its dishonesty and duplicity. Here are some highlights:

The LDS Church has joined in a multifaith statement saying that recognition of gay marriage threatens the one-man, one-woman unions and, evidently, the very foundation of religious freedom in the United States.

Worse, "Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together" proposes that acceptance of same-sex marriage would interfere with the religious freedom of those who "continue to affirm the true definition of marriage."

Which, in my mind, is a warped assumption that if I live and worship in a manner not consistent with yours, your faith and freedom are in peril. That’s nonsense.

Which leads me to the U.S. Constitution’s 1st Amendment and its assurance that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

When I look at all the gay couples in my life, I see commitment, shared duties, sacrifice and bounty, and nothing remotely resembling a threat to my marriage or faith. "Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply woven into the fabric of this nation," the letter says. So is individual freedom, and that’s worth protecting, too.

I am sure that the author of the op-ed will get some blow back. But often speaking the truth is not popular. Religious based bigotry and special rights fr one religious belief are wrong and they need to be loudly condemned. For too long Christianists, and yes the Mormon Church, have been afforded special rights that trample on the rights of others. Those days need to end.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Thursday Male Beauty

The GOP Presidential Clown Car Lurches On

The Obama campaign must be sitting back and laughing their butts off as the GOP continues to engage in a circular firing squad. With Rick Perry withdrawing from the race today, that leaves the constantly flip flopping Mitt Romney (he's about to give folks whip lash) in contention with Christianist extremist Rick Santorum whose wife had a 6 year affair with an abortionist, Newt "I want an open marriage" Gingrich who now claims to champion marriage, and the racist and sometimes reality untethered Ron Paul. Adding to the fun is are the attacks on Romney and his rapacious form of capitalism at Bain and his stupid remark that the $350,000+ per year he makes in speaking fees "isn't much." Obama need only sit back and let the GOP contenders make the case for Obama's re-election. Seriously, is the GOP slate the gang that couldn't shoot straight or what? Here are some highlights from the Washington Post on the non-stop batshitery:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Thursday that he was ending his bid for the GOP presidential nomination and endorsing Newt Gingrich. Perry’s announcement was on the heels of reports that former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum actually won more votes in the Iowa caucus than Mitt Romney.

And despite having Perry’s support, Gingrich faces criticism following claims by his ex-wife Marianne that the candidate asked for an “open marriage” during the time he was advocating family and religious values in speeches around the country.

Adding to the bizarre alternate universe feel to the GOP slate's world view is Rush Limbaugh blathering that Gingrich was the victim in the context of his request to his second wife that she consent to an "open marriage." Limbaugh, who rants against gays and claims to support "traditional marriage" is on his fourth marriage himself. That anyone in the Christian Right listens to anything Limbaugh or Gingrich has to say is dumbfounding. Especially given their opposition to any legal recognition being afforded to long term. monogamous same sex relationships. Think Progress said this:

Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife . . . . reveals that the former Speaker asked her for an open marriage so he continue to see his current wife, Callista. Not surprisingly, some conservatives and Gingrich himself have attacked ABC for airing the “tawdry and inappropriate” interview, but shock jock Rush Limbaugh took things to another level on his show today by outright defending Gingrich on the matter.

Limbaugh went on to read a “great note” from a “good friend of mine,” which posits that Newt and not Marianne — whom Gingirch left shortly after she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis — is the real “victim” here. Moreover, the fact that Gingrich asked for “permission” to cheat on his wife is “a mark of character, in my book,” Limbaugh continued:

LIMBAUGH: I got a great note from a friend of mine. “So Newt wanted an open marriage. BFD. At least he asked his wife for permission instead of cheating on her. That’s a mark of character, in my book. Newt’s a victim. We all are. Ours is the horniest generation.” [...] That’s from a good friend of mine, “Newt’s slogan ought to, ‘Hell, yes, I wanted it.’” (laughing) I’m sharing with you how some people are reacting to this.

It’s worth noting that Gingrich had been having an affair for several years before he asked “permission” to cheat on his wife. Rush Limbaugh married his fourth wife in 2010.

The Republicans and far right like to accuse the left and liberals of being morally bankrupt. However, the more one sees, the more it appears that the conservative accusers are looking in the mirror and seeing their own reflections. Hypocrisy and dishonesty are the hallmarks of the GOP and the Christianist who support that party.

Is The End of the Christian Right Approaching?

I have often noted that the Republican Party is - at least in my opinion - committing a slow, long term form of suicide in its quest to prostitute itself to Christianists and what might be best described as those who are tantamount to white supremacists. As the older generations literally die off, the base to which the GOP is prostituting itself is literally dying off. And the GOP is positioning itself to have no one aligned with the party to replace the deceased haters and Christofascists. A piece in the New Republic looks at the possible sunset days of the Christian Right and what it may mean for the GOP. With luck, the GOP will not wake up until it's too late to avert the consequences of its disgusting pandering to a dwindling influence in the political realm. Here are some article highlights:

Is the Christian Right still a power in American politics? The lavish coverage which its partisans and their favorite issues have received during the current Republican campaign certainly leave that impression. Yet all this attention is akin to the dazzling glow of a setting sun. In fact, the Christian Right is a fading force in American life, one which has little chance of achieving its cherished goals.

Yes, pious conservatives earned the underfunded Rick Santorum a virtual tie in the Iowa caucuses, and, last week, a large gathering of evangelical leaders nodded fervently in his direction. Every GOP candidate still in the race speaks of Planned Parenthood as if it were a band of terrorists and vows to stop the largest and oldest reproductive rights group in the country from winning even a dollar of federal funding—and all of them except Ron Paul has signed a firm pledge to support a constitutional amendment that would essentially ban same-sex marriage.

[W]hatever their influence on the Republican primary, the Christian Right is fighting a losing battle with the rest of the country — above all, when it comes to abortion and same-sex marriage, the issues they care most about. A strong majority of Americans backs abortion in the early months of a pregnancy.

Meanwhile, support for gay rights is rising, quite swiftly. Same-sex marriage tops fifty percent in some recent polls, and the remarkably placid response to New York’s recent legalization of the practice will make it easier for other states to follow suit. With over two-thirds of Americans now endorsing the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the debate on that once controversial issue is now a matter for historians to analyze.

In the modern U.S., once a demand for justice gets widely accepted as an individual right, its victory becomes all but certain. As the woman suffrage, birth control, and black freedom movements triumphed, so will those who campaign for legalizing gay marriage.

At Glenn Beck’s prayer meeting cum political rally in August 2010, the average age of the participants was somewhere in the late fifties or older: White and gray hair and spreading midriffs predominated in the nearly all-white crowd.

Put simply, the Christian Right is getting old. According to the largest and most recent study we have of American religion and politics, by Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, almost twice as many people 18 to 29 confess to no faith at all as adhere to evangelical Protestantism. Young people who have attended college, a growing percentage of the population, are more secular still.

If they still hope to transform our pluralistic, profane culture into a new Jerusalem, Christian conservatives will have to find new holy battles to wage. The old ones and their crusaders are rapidly aging.

The death of the Christian Right as any sort of force in politics and/or society cannot come soon enough in my book. Hate, intolerance and division are not forces that will move America forward. The Christian Right needs to be buried with its soon to expire base and the nation needs to embrace science,knowledge and inclusion as opposed to ignorance and bigotry. I hope I live long enough to see the Christian Right become utterly irrelevant in the political realm.

HRBOR Member Booz Allen Hamilton - Its Gets Better

This evening's HRBOR business networking event (which was extremely well attended) was hosted by HRBOR corporate member Booz, Allen Hamilton, an international consulting firm, at its Norfolk, Virginia office. Booz Allen Hamilton for three years running has scored a 100% rating under the Human Rights Campaign's corporate equality index. This is noteworthy because the Commonwealth of Virginia remains in the stone age in terms of its treatment of LGBT citizens who lack employment non-discrimination protections, housing non-discrimination protections and whose relationships receive zero recognition under Virginia law.
The fact that Booz Allen Hamilton, a leading international corporation, takes a diametrically opposite approach from the Commonwealth of Virginia demonstrates how the Christianist friendly regime of Governor Bob "Taliban Bob" McDonald and Ken "Kookinelli" Cuccinelli have their priorities ass backwards in terms of making Virginia competitive in the corporate/global playing field for economic growth and success. Perhaps the most moving portion of the evening was when the Booz Allen Hamilton "It Gets Better" video - set out above - was played. I'll admit that I got nearly teary eyed.

Would that Virginia had more corporations like Booz Allen Hamilton. I hope and pray that some day Virginia's leaders get the message that division and exclusion are not qualities that attract the best and the brightest or the most progressive and future thinking businesses.

Thursday Morning Male Beauty

Majority in New Jersey Support Same Sex Marriage

With a new same sex marriage bill having been introduced into the New Jersey legislature, a new poll may give Gov. Chris Christie pause if the bill clears the legislature and lands on his desk. Christie is playing coy as to what he'll do should that situation occur, but the new poll results show that he'd be going against a majority of New Jersey citizens, if not in the New Jersey GOP. The Quinnipiac University Poll also shows that the messaging of religious extremist groups like the National Organization for Marriage and hate groups like Family Research Council are failing to convince voters, a commanding majority of whom do not see same sex marriage as a threat to heterosexual marriage. Here are some poll highlights:

New Jersey voters support 52 - 42 percent allowing same-sex couples to marry, the first time support tops 50 percent. There is a strong divide between those who attend religious services weekly and those who attend less frequently, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

In today's survey, support for same-sex marriage is 62 - 33 percent among Democrats and 54 - 38 percent among independent voters. Republicans are opposed 59 - 35 percent. White Catholics support it 50 - 45 percent while white Protestants are opposed 51 - 44 percent. Voters who attend religious services weekly are opposed 58 - 36 percent, while voter who attend services less frequently support same-sex marriage 61 - 33 percent.

On related issues, New Jersey voter opinions are:

• 65 - 32 percent that same-sex marriage is not a threat to traditional marriage
• 53 - 45 percent that denying same-sex marriage is discrimination;
• 69 - 26 percent support for New Jersey's same-sex civil union law;
• 66 - 29 percent support allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

In other bad news for Republicans, the poll also found: New Jersey voters support 58 - 30 percent the so-called Millionaire's Tax, with 75 - 14 percent support among Democrats and 61 - 29 percent support among independent voters. Republicans oppose the tax 52 - 33 percent.

Is Newt's Ex-Wife About to Drop a Bomb?

As is no doubt clear to even casual readers, I find Newt Gingrich abhorrent. He's the an egotistical, unethical blowhard who has played the Washington insider game to the max and yet has the audacity to spin yarns to the idiots of the GOP base that he's an outsider. If Newt's a Washington outsider, then I'm Cleopatra reincarnated. Add to Newt's otherwise sleazy behavior his documented history of serial adultery and three marriages. I've always maintained that if a politician will lie and cheat on his wife (or several wives and girlfriends in Newt's case), what kind of idiot voter doesn't get the message that he's going to lie to you too? Now, ABC is poised to air an interview with Newt's second wife this evening on "Nightline" which some suspect may drop some bombs on the bombastic and truth challenged Gingrich. Frankly, I hope Marianne Gingrich drops a couple of 50 megaton bombs on Gingrich. Besides taking him down, and salacious tidbits will underscore the hypocrisy of those in the Christianist and Tea Party camps for backing such a sleaze bag. Why not simple find a prostitute off the streets and run her/him for president? They'd have about as much moral fiber as Gingrich - or maybe far more. Here are highlights from the Washington Post on what may be about to come down:

As far back as the ’90s, Marianne Gingrich has been saying she could end her ex-husband Newt Gingrich’s political career with a single interview. So has she finally dropped that long-threatened bomb, just when the former speaker and GOP presidential hopeful is rebounding in polls?

ABC reportedly has interviewed his second wife at length, and plans to air the interview on Thursday’s “Nightline,” just ahead of Saturday’s crucial South Carolina primary. The Gingrich campaign must be nervous, because it issued a preemptive statement from the candidate’s two daughters from his first marriage . . . . A Gingrich aide prophylactically pinned the tried-and-true tag for ex-wives on her, saying she was still “probably very bitter.”

What is it Gingrich is afraid his wife of 18 years is going to remember incorrectly? And what could be so bad that it would eclipse all that many Christian conservatives have forgiven and forgotten about his history already?

Just as interesting to me is ABC’s reported internal back-and-forth about whether to air the interview right before the primary. Does that mean they have legitimate questions about her credibility? Or that an ex-wife is by definition an iffy source? Or maybe they just fear the heat they’d take for giving voters even rock-solid negative information so soon before an election. (If the latter is the case, I hope they do air it, because I never understood the worry that we can’t give voters information they might actually take into account.)

In an Esquire interview in 2010, Marianne Gingrich already painted an unflattering and highly detailed portrait of her ex. Here are just a few of the lowlights from that outing, in which Marianne Gingrich was described as chain-smoking Benson & Hedges while spilling that:

1. Newt actually started seeing his geometry teacher, the first Mrs. Newt Gingrich, when he was only 16. . .

2. That early in their marriage, she had to take over the budget “because it was too stressful for Newt.’’ . . .

5. That he has lost his way and wants more than anything a lifestyle that’s “opulent” or “self-indulgent.” Class warfare, anyone?

6. That he begged her to “tolerate” his affair with Callista, his third and current wife. . . .

7. That his conversion to Catholicism “has no meaning.’’ . . .

Whatever this new revelation is, it’s got to be worse than all of these. And for Marianne Gingrich’s sake, I hope she’s got proof.

As I said, a couple of huge bombs would be ever so entertaining and it would be ever so delicious to see Gingrich and his moronic Christian Right supporters utterly humiliated. Not that it's easy to humiliate an ego maniac like Gingrich.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

More Wednesday Male Beauty

Newt Gingrich Claims He'd Want Sarah Palin in His Administration

As further proof that Newt Gingrich will say and do anything to pander to the Christianist/Tea Party base of the Republican Party, Politico is reporting that Gingrich has stated that he'd want Sarah Palin to be part of his White House administration should he win in November 2012. Newt apparently missed the fact that the mindless and ignorant Palin likely highhandedly cause John McCain's loss in 2008. If I despised Gingrich before, this disgusting pandering is enough to make me want to wretch. Palin isn't qulaified to be dog catcher in Wasilla much less be a cabinet member. Here are highlights from Politico:

In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Newt Gingrich described Sarah Palin's comments about how she would vote for him if she lived in South Carolina as an "endorsement," and said he'd ask her to join a Gingrich administration:

"Gov. Palin is somebody who I think was a very good reform governor. She was extraordinarily effective negotiating with big oil. She did a good job in the state of Alaska. I think she’s a very articulate leader of the tea party conservative movement. I was honored and delighted last night when she said if she were in South Carolina, she’d vote for Newt Gingrich. I hope everybody who likes her decides she’s right. And I hope they vote for me.

"Certainly, she’s one of the people I’d call on for advice. I would ask her to consider taking a major role in the next administration if I’m president, but nothing has been discussed of any kind. And it wouldn’t be appropriate to discuss it at this time.

"I’m just delighted that she and Todd have been both of them so supportive of my candidacy. And they recognize that, you know, I’m a tea party Reform conservative. I’m not part of the Washington establishment. And I think that’s the signal that her endorsement last night really sends."

Gingrich isn't part of the Washington establishment? Does anyone have a vomit bag handy?

Will Cuba Surge Ahead of the USA on Equality for LGBT Citizens?

I note frequently about the emptiness of the USA claim to be the land of the free and the home of religious freedom. Now, it yet another underscoring of the USA's lie to the world and its citizens, Cuba may be about to surge ahead of America in the manner in which it affords near full equality under the civil laws to its LGBT citizens. Yes, you read the previous sentence correctly, I said Cuba. As the Washington Post is reporting, Mariela Castro, the daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro has stated that Cuban lawmakers will consider legalizing same-sex civil unions this year. It is more than a little ironic - sad might be a better description - that a quasi-Communist nation like Cuba may move ahead of the USA in terms of equality. Here are highlights from the Post story:

Cuba’s first daughter says island lawmakers will consider legalizing same-sex civil unions this year.

Mariela Castro is the daughter of President Raul Castro and a prominent gay rights activist. She says a preliminary proposal to modify the country’s Family Code is undergoing legal study and is on the legislative schedule for 2012.

Once-banned gay pride parades are now annual events, while the government has led anti-homophobia campaigns and even begun paying for sex change operations.

Mariela Castro’s comments came in an interview published Monday by state-run website Cubadebate.

Romney Gave Millions to the Mormon Church - Did it Fund Proposition 8?

I have always maintained that if one has nothing to hide, then you don't act like you do and hold back information as if you are striving hard to hide information. A case in point is Mitt Romney's refusal to date release of his tax returns. Yes, it goes without saying that some will be appalled by Romney's wealth and his apparent inability to remotely understand the world in which most Americans find themselves living. There may, however, be even bigger reasons for Mitt wanting to hide his tax returns. One such reason may be his nearly $2 million dllar gift to the Mormon Church. No doubt some of the Christianists will foam at the mouth and see such a huge gift as proof that Romney is not "really Christian." The other reason is that the gift coincided with the Mormon Church's effort to funnel large amounts of money into California to insure passage of Proposition 8. ABC News looks at Romney's largess to the Mormon Church. Here are some highlights:

Underscoring the prominent, if little discussed role that Mitt Romney played as a Mormon leader, the private equity giant once run by the GOP presidential frontrunner carved his church a slice of several of its most lucrative business deals, securities records show, providing it with millions of dollars worth of stock in some of Bain Capital's most well-known holdings.

Romney has always been a major donor to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which requires that members "tithe," or give 10 percent of their income to the church. His family charity, called the Tyler Foundation, has given more than $4 million to the church in the past five years, including $1.8 million in 2008 and $600,000 in 2009.

Newly uncovered stock contributions made during Romney's Bain days suggest there is another dimension to Romney's support for the church -- one that could involve millions more than has been previously disclosed.

Romney has spoken about the 30 months he spent in France as a missionary, but his role within the church as an adult is largely unexplored. Shipps said Romney has held several significant posts within church leadership, including bishop and "stake" president, a leadership post that covers a sizeable geographic area and requires a significant commitment of time.

I will leave it for readers - and the stry Christianists who read this blog - to reach their own conclusions. However, the timing of major donations do correlate nicely with the Mormon Church's anti-gay activities in California.

Wednesday Morning Male Beauty

Money Flows to New York State GOP Backers of Gay Marriage

Remember last June and July when NOM and other Christianists decried the passage of gay marriage legislation in New York State and vowed to see that campaign funding was cut off to Republicans who voted for gay marriage? Well, so far it looks like the effort to kill campaign contributions to the targeted legislators has failed and any loss in Christianist donations has been more than offset by progressive contributors. I certainly hope that the trend continues and that these brave members of the GOP - a party where bravery and integrity are in low quantity - win re-election thereby sending a strong message to hate merchants like Maggie Gallagher, Tony Perkins and Brian Brown. Here are highlights from the New York Times on the successful campaign fundraising efforts of those who did the right thing in defiance of the hate merchants:

ALBANY — Gay rights advocates from Wall Street to Hollywood poured donations into the coffers of four little-known Republican state senators after the lawmakers provided the decisive votes for same-sex marriage in New York last June, according to new campaign finance filings released on Tuesday.

The support for the four senators, whose votes broke ranks with their party, is seen by gay rights leaders as symbolically important for their movement nationally, because in many states same-sex marriage could become law only with support from Republicans, as well as conservative Democrats. Maryland, New Jersey and Washington State are expected to consider same-sex marriage legislation this year.

The four New York Republicans had been threatened with political retribution by the state’s Conservative Party, and now face possible challenges from both the left and the right, but same-sex marriage supporters had promised to help them politically if they supported the issue.

“It was essential to send a clear signal around the country that we will support those who support equality, irrespective of party,” said Brian Ellner, a senior strategist for the Human Rights Campaign . . .

All four Republicans who voted for same-sex marriage sharply increased their fund-raising in the six months after the marriage bill passed, in many cases raising money from people they had never met.

State Senator Roy J. McDonald, a Republican who is a Vietnam veteran from Saratoga County, became a momentary folk hero for many gay people . . . . raised about $447,000 in the six months following the vote, about 27 times more than he had raised in the same period in 2009. Senator Stephen M. Saland, a Republican lawyer from Poughkeepsie whose decision to support same-sex marriage became clear only when he rose to speak during the vote, raised $425,000.

The senators will need the help. Same-sex marriage opponents have promised to target them when all state lawmakers face re-election in November. “All the money in the world isn’t going to buy them out of the fact that they’re about to lose an election,” said Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposed the New York law and has said it will spend heavily to oust the four senators. “People are outraged by what they’ve done, and they are going to be held accountable,” he said.

The donations to the individual senators came from a variety of prominent figures in the political, philanthropic, financial and entertainment worlds — from the Hollywood director J. J. Abrams to the producer Stephen Bing, from the billionaire Robert Ziff to a former United States solicitor general, Theodore B. Olson, a Republican who is leading a challenge to a same-sex marriage ban in California.

Many of the same large donors also helped Mr. Cuomo, who will not be on the ballot again until 2014, amass a formidable $14 million campaign treasury, in part from celebrities including Calvin Klein, Don Henley and Rob Reiner, as well as studio executives and business leaders.

Other contributions came in small amounts from donors across the nation — not a usual source of money for upstate legislative candidates. One Texas woman sent Mr. Saland $5, while a donor in Mississippi sent in $12.

For many of the donors, the motivation was personal. My son is gay and happily planning to marry soon,” said Daryl Roth, a Broadway producer who recently backed a revival of “The Normal Heart,” a drama about the early years of AIDS. Ms. Roth gave the legal maximum, $16,800, to Senators Grisanti, McDonald and Saland, according to state records, as did her husband, the real estate developer Steven Roth.

Let's hope that the threats by the forces of evil such as NOM are unsuccessful. Hopefully, one day all in the GOP will realize that equality for all citizens offers the brightest future for New York State and the nation.

GOP Candidates: Preaching Hate and Division in South Carolina

Some things don't seem to really change in parts of the South and they certainly haven't changed with some of the would be GOP presidential nominees. Hatred of others and racism (some not even that subtle) are alive and well and most of the GOP presidential nominee contenders are only too willing to jump on the bandwagon slandering other citizens in the hopes of pandering to the lowest elements of the Christianist and Tea Party base of the Republican Party. How any of the candidates would unify the nation to deal with its very real problems is hard to envision. Especially when the politics of division and scorn for others seems to be the main mantra being heard. Today's New York Times editorial looks at the toxicity of the lead up to the South Carolina primary vote. It's not pretty. Here are some highlights:

By mixing falsehoods with racial condescension, Newt Gingrich brought a raucous presidential debate crowd to its feet on Monday night in South Carolina, further cheapening his reputation and that of the state Republican Party.

For months, Mr. Gingrich has made racial resentment an integral part of his platform as a conservative challenger to Mitt Romney. He has traversed the country calling President Obama “the greatest food-stamp president in American history” and presenting African-Americans with the great revelation that they should prefer paychecks to federal handouts. When he was called on it at the debate by Juan Williams of Fox News, he took the measure of the crowd and doubled down.

The fact is that Mr. Obama has “put” no one on food stamps. People apply for food assistance, known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, because they’re poor or out of work and their families are hungry. The number of people using the program, which is now at a peak, began rising with the recession, in 2007, and continued through four of the toughest years ever faced by the poor and near-poor in modern history.

Non-Hispanic whites also far outnumber blacks receiving SNAP benefits. As for the notion that these are people who somehow like their dependency, 30 percent of SNAP households have income from work — a reminder of the brutal impact of the recession on wages. But these are inconvenient details to Mr. Gingrich, who implied that the rise in federal aid was a sad indication of the insufficient work ethic of black Americans.

This trumpet was sounded to feed the prejudice of people who already believe that blacks and other poor people don’t really like to work and to deflect the growing public awareness that the Republican Party’s highest priority is protecting the rich from higher taxes.

For these divisive thoughts, Mr. Gingrich earned his ovation and Mr. Williams won a round of boos. Rick Santorum also got in on the game, responding to a question about high rates of black poverty with a lecture on the importance of work, high school graduation and marriage. Unfortunately, he said, the Obama administration refuses to encourage those kinds of good choices.

In South Carolina, where a Confederate flag still waves on the front lawn of the State Capitol largely because of the efforts of the state Republican Party, it remains good primary politics to stir up racial animosity and then link it to President Obama. Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Santorum and the crowd that cheered them are following in a long and tawdry tradition, singling out a minority group for lectures while refusing to support policies that help all Americans.

Once again, why would I want to be a Republican when this is in fact what the party has fallen to?

NOM - The Face of Ignorance and Bigotry

Even as the USA is sliding downward in the competition for high levels education and a strong economic future as noted in the previous post, the National Organization for Marriage ("NOM") continues to exemplify the open embrace of ignorance, superstition and bigotry that are making the nation less competitive. With the Christianists, it's all about forcing their religious beliefs and small, wrongheaded world view on all Americans. Our economic competitors must jump for joy when they see the batshitery that passes for reasoned discourse within the GOP's Christianist and Tea Party base. With all of the huge problems that America is facing, the far right's biggest concern is keeping LGBT individuals second class citizens under the civil law and projecting an image of the nation as unwelcoming to those who aren't white and far right Christians. Here's a sampling of the bullshit being disseminated by NOM (as, of course, it asks for money):

With a high-stakes presidential election, Congress up for grabs, legal battles headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and state-level battles raging over same-sex marriage from Maryland to Minnesota, from New Jersey to Washington, from Iowa to New Hampshire, the stakes could hardly be higher. And all of us at the National Organization for Marriage are gearing up to fight the anti-marriage assault like never before.

Look no further than the presidential campaign, where the issues of marriage and religious freedom have come up again and again, with nearly all the Republican presidential candidates issuing forceful statements in defense of marriage and the faith communities which sustain it.

[D]ozens of fights at the state and national levels will pop up over the next two months, and we must be prepared. Already this year, major new pushes to legalize same-sex marriage have erupted in Washington State and New Jersey.

And with just days left before the South Carolina primary, we are at a critical moment in the race for the GOP nomination for president. NOM is committed to making sure voters have a marriage champion who will stand as a clear alternative to President Obama this November.

Remember, we are fighting to stop a small group of zealots from discarding 3,000 years of human history and redefining our country's biblical traditions on sex and marriage as the equivalent of bigotry. If we lose, the result will be the absolute destruction of marriage in your state, in my state, in all 50 states!

So please take action today—forward our TV ad to anyone you know who needs to see it. And please make one urgent financial gift to help NOM continue to lead the fight for marriage.

As I have said before, the nastiest, sleaziest whore has more integrity than the folks at NOM who one must remember are making an nice living for themselves while peddling hate and division and seeking to undermine religious freedom for all but themselves. Just as Christianity was a major cause for the fall of the western Roman Empire, so to it is potentially shaping up to be a cause for the decline of America.

U. S. Losing High Tech Jobs to Asia

Click image to enlarge.

In a trend noted before on this blog, America is losing the race for new high tech - and high paying - jobs which are moving to Asia. Yes, part of the problem is the attractiveness of lower wages in Asia, but the bigger problem is the dumbing down of the American work force. And the trend will likely not improve given the soaring costs of a college education and the continued abysmal showing of the nation's schools in science. The latter situation likely to get worse as lunatic Christianists continue to push to have creationism - i.e., religion - taught instead of hard science. I'm not sure how to turn the situation around, but I do know that the active embrace of ignorance seen with the GOP base and the Christian Right is not the answer for a prosperous America in the future. Here are highlights from a Washington Post story:

The United States lost more than a quarter of its high-tech manufacturing jobs during the past decade as U.S.-based multinational companies placed a growing percentage of their research-and-development operations overseas, the National Science Board reported Tuesday.

The rapid expansion of science and engineering capabilities in China and its neighbors pose a more formidable economic challenge to the United States, according to the group, with Asia rapidly boosting the number of engineering doctorates it produces and research dollars it spends.

The report comes as the Obama administration is seeking to make U.S. manufacturing more competitive through engineering and innovation. In June, it announced its Advanced Manufacturing Partnership and sank $500 million into the effort.

But as the National Science Board publication shows, vast government efforts in Asia are working along similar lines. It offered abundant evidence Asia’s efforts to attract and develop engineering outfits, and not just low-wage factories, have paid off. Since 2000:

•Research-and-development expenditures in China and nine other Asian countries have risen to match that of the United States.

• The number of doctoral degrees in engineering awarded in China has more than doubled, and now far exceeds the number awarded in the United States.

• The number of research workers for U.S.-based multinationals working overseas has more than doubled.

The number of high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States has declined by 687,000, or 28 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the report.

The far right likes to pontificate about "American exceptionalism" but a public embracing science and accurate and true education is needed if this troubling trend is to be halted.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More Tuesday Male Beauty

Was Santorum's Endorsement by the Christian Right Rigged?

I love it! Nothing is more fun than watching the Kool-Aid drinkers get in a brawl and start attacking one another. And that seems to be precisely what is happening in the wake of Rick Santorum's supposed endorsement by a coven of roughly 150 Christofacsists over this past weekend at a conclave held at a ranch in Texas. Increasingly, it sounds like the outcome may have been rigged and that Tony Perkins - what a surprise - was lying when he claimed that a consensus had been reached by the self-anointed and self-congratulatory pious ones. It is also perhaps noteworthy that the coven met before coverage of Karen Santorum's abortion doctor former boyfriend swept across the Internet. Michelle Goldberg has a piece at The Daily Beast that looks at the growing acrimony and back stabbing going on by those of us in the LGBT love to hate. Here are some highlights:

The attempt to unify the Christian right behind a single presidential candidate is already coming undone. On Friday and Saturday, about 150 religious conservatives gathered in Texas to see if they could coalesce behind an alternative to Mitt Romney. When the meeting ended, Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, announced that they had succeeded, with a supermajority of those present backing Rick Santorum.

Some attendees, though, say the process was rigged in Santorum’s favor. “I’m trying to correct the record,” former congressman J. C. Watts, a Newt Gingrich supporter, told me. “There wasn’t a consensus.”

He’s [Watts] not the only one making such claims. Doug Wead, an evangelical outreach official in the Bush administration, was the meeting’s lone Ron Paul supporter. According to the Washington Times, he voiced suspicions that “organizers ‘manipulated’ the gathering and may even have stuffed the ballot to produce an endorsement” of Santorum. “By the time the weekend was over, it was clear that this had been definitely planned all along as a Rick Santorum event,” Wead told the paper.

All this means that with less than a week until the South Carolina primary, the religious right is as far from consensus as it ever was. The movement’s diffuse enthusiasms were evident at a Monday afternoon Faith and Freedom Coalition rally in Myrtle Beach, where all the candidates spoke . . .

Rick Perry’s appeal was the most overtly theocratic. Speaking of gays and lesbians, Perry said, “I hate your sin, but I love you.” If voters support him, he said, “We can build more than just a winning campaign. We can bring about the next great awakening in this world.” This was met with applause, though it’s hard to find anyone in South Carolina who still takes his bid for the nomination seriously. Romney isn’t particularly comfortable in such milieus, but the crowd reacted enthusiastically to his promise to fight China’s one-child policy.

[T]he contest for the group’s affections was between Santorum and Gingrich. Santorum urged the audience to overlook whatever they’ve heard about electability.

And so the would be GOP presidential nominee clown car and its theocratic hangers on continues to roll across America. The rest of the world must be shaking its head in dismay at the pathetic choices the GOP has fielded.