July 1, 2015

It's all about them

Gays cannot experience persecution. Only Christians can. In case you haven't noticed this trend in the comments of Christian loons, I give you the Roman Catholic church: (Bolding is mine.)
The U.S. bishops are facing an even greater challenge within, even as they move forward as the leading religious voice advocating for legal protections for those who object to gay marriage.
In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Va., Bishop Paul Loverde held a Mass and organized a lecture for the U.S. bishops' annual religious freedom commemoration, called "Religious Liberty For How Long? How to Prepare Spiritually for the Coming Persecution."
Only they can experience persecution. Got it? Good. And what is the nature of this persecution? Why, the fact that they can't persecute gays with all the vitriol and hatred they used to direct at them. It's downright unfair! Oh, the poor dears. It really makes you feel for them, doesn't it? If only they could go back to the good old days of hating gays, openly and freely, as god wants them to.

Persecution. It's only for Christians these days. Hahahaha. Torquemada, anyone? Now, those were the good old days.

UPDATE: TBogg did this much better than I did. Go read it

June 30, 2015

The American urge to punish

In a NYT article on the Supremes, I found this: (bolding is mine)
The 5-to-4 decision rejected a claim by three death-row inmates that use of the sedative midazolam would put them at risk of severe pain. It also ruled preposterously that in order to succeed the inmates had to show that there is an alternative manner of execution that is significantly less painful but readily available.
Uh, heroin? It's available on every street corner and would send these inmates out peacefully. The sad truth is that America wants painful deaths for its condemned inmates -- and I find that sickening. 

(I also believe the American tendency to be vicious whenever possible is rooted in religious beliefs. But that's another post for another day.)

June 26, 2015

Bruni's take

I won't crib from Frank Bruni's column on the gay marriage decision that came down today (though I'd love to paste the final paragraph into this post). I'll control myself and let you read it yourself. It sure is nice to have Bruni walking among us.

Kinda makes you want to rush out and get gay-married

We won, kids. The decision just came down a few minutes ago.
WASHINGTON — In a long-sought victory for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Constitution guarantees a nationwide right to same-sex marriage.
Go celebrate -- and then enjoy the view as wingnut heads explode across the nation. I think of the latter as the after-party.

Woohoo! We're equal under the law.

June 24, 2015

Satan saves the day

We all owe a debt to Satanists. They're the final barrier in the way of anti-female wingnut laws. You're hip to the notion that the GOP is engaging in an all-out war on women, right? If not, you haven't been doing your due diligence. Try and keep up!

Here's today's episode:
A group of Satanic worshippers are suing Missouri's governor and attorney general in federal court, alleging that the state's abortion restrictions violate their religious beliefs and should be scrapped.
Hey, if no one else will step in to fight misogynistic laws, the Satanists know what they have to do. And thank god (or Dog, or Beelzebub; whatever). These sorts of laws are being passed all over the United States. It's much, much harder to get an abortion these days. And that's not how it's supposed to be. We crossed this bridge long ago. 
"All women who are contemplating getting an abortion in Missouri have the right, pursuant to the First Amendment, to exercise their freedom to believe when human life begins and act upon their belief without interference or influence by the state of Missouri," the lawsuit submits.
Sounds sensible to me. Read the entire linked article to get some background. And if this strikes you as !Breaking News! -- as I say, you'd better start reading real news sites. 

Go, Satanists! We finally have an answer to "Who you gonna call?" L. Diablo, naturally.

June 21, 2015

Positive branding

The NY Mets, like every other team, occasionally gives free stuff to fans who buy tickets. Usually these are tacky throwaway items, but I really like this one. (That's it on the left.)

It's a growth chart for kids, using first baseman Lucas Duda's image. He's 6'4" and I imagine it's made with a lifesize image of this earnest, hardworking player. I'm a big fan of his because he's talented and he tries so hard. He'll be a well-regarded baseball star, when all is said and done. That's my prediction. But for now, he's young and this is his first major league team.

To return to the topic of branding, the idea of using his image for a height chart for kids is really good. Not only will kids have fun trying to grow as tall as Lucas, they'll also turn into lifelong Mets fans. That outcome is built into this lightweight giveaway.

That's smart. It costs the Mets next to nothing to produce, turns kids into fans, provides fun for the kids in their private lives -- and gives Lucas something really nice to remember when he's old and gray. I mean, just imagine how many kids will use this chart for years. They'll remember it all their lives, which has to be a kick for young Lucas.

Now, that's good branding. It's positive in every direction. You can't ask for more than that.

Happy about the pope's climate encyclical? Not so fast.

In his encyclical on protecting the planet, Pope Francis pushed the idea that climate change is all about industry, selfishness and greed. The elephant in the room, of course, is that he's unwilling to consider the benefits of sensible population control. Women gotta have babies. They gotta, especially if they don't want to. After all, they're just breeding stock, and you don't want them to get uppity by having too much control over their lives. Barefoot and pregnant is how women are supposed to be.

Nick Cohen nails this issue down for you. If you were pleased by the pope's encyclical, do read it. This pope isn't liberal. He's got a few nice ideas but he's bound by inane Catholic dogma -- which pretty much ruins everything.

June 19, 2015

GOP candidates ignore what really happened in S.C. church massacre

A large group of peaceful black people at a church service in in Charleston were shot dead by a white maniac. Now, let us delve into the twisted mind of GOP "leaders".

For starters, this is the lede to an AP story today:
Republican presidential contenders are condemning the deadly shootings in South Carolina as an attack on faith, as they court religious activists in Washington.
If you don't understand how wildly off-base this viewpoint is, read this story at Think Progress. It'll help you sort it out.

And these people are running for president. America has become a cartoon -- and don't think Europe isn't watching these antics with horror and disappointment. We ain't what we used to be. That's for sure. It's all up to young people now. Change the world, kids, or there won't be a world for your children.

June 18, 2015

Uh, what about high fructose corn syrup?

It's nice that trans fats are being removed from the American diet. We've only known of the dangers of trans fats for, oh, about 30 or 35 years now. So it's just about time for Americans to notice; we're right on schedule. (I've always said it takes 30 years for anything to work its way into the American mind. We're a tad slow here, but still in the mental ballpark.) So, good. We're finally tackling that one.

But what about high fructose corn syrup? We added it to our diets and almost immediately, we became morbidly obese and very, very stupid. It was one big, double-barreled wave of change, powered by fructose. So...has it been about 30 years since we began to walk down this idiotic path? Well, it's getting close. But apparently we don't care. It remains in just about every food product on our market shelves. We still haven't noticed that this "food innovation" is ruining the country's health.

But maybe this will wake a few people up: (bolding is mine)
A new paper by Krek and his team member Peter Mirtschink describes a further, more troubling side effect of fructose. The researchers have discovered a previously unknown molecular mechanism that points to fructose as a key driver of uncontrolled growth of the heart muscle, a condition that can lead to fatal heart failure. Their study was recently published in Nature.

When a person has high blood pressure, the heart has to grow as it is harder to pump the blood through the circulatory system. These growing heart muscle cells require a considerable amount of oxygen. However, since not enough oxygen is available to adequately supply the increased growth, the cells switch to an alternative energy supply. Instead of drawing energy from fatty acids, they rely more on an anaerobic process called glycolysis—literally, the 'splitting of sugars'. If the heart muscle cells can access fructose in addition to glucose, this can set off a fatal chain reaction
So, are you ready to ditch all foods that have high fructose corn syrup in them? Might be a good idea, huh? Mind you, this science story doesn't even hint at the fat-and-stupid thing. But if we fear high fructose corn syrup because of heart disease, and wipe it from our supermarkets, that will take care of not only heart attacks but, yup, fat and stupid. I'd love to see the country regain its brain power. Slimming down wouldn't hurt either. I'm just saying.

Don't eat this stuff, kids. Seriously.

June 17, 2015

What'd I tell ya?

Pope Francis is not a friend to gay people. He is and always will be our enemy. Here are a few of Francis' recent remarks, which will clear up any vagueness about his position on gay marriage. (Bolding is mine.)
On Sunday June 14, Pope Francis addressed more than 25,000 faithful on the importance of heterosexual parenting during his general audience -- just one day after thousands marched in Rome’s LGBT pride parade

Heterosexual marriage makes for happier couples, the pope said, and is essential for healthy parenting.

“Children mature seeing their father and mother [happy],” Francis argued. “Their identity matures being confronted with the love their father and mother have, confronted with this difference.

The pope called the differences between men and women fundamental, and said these differences make heterosexual couples strong. “What great richness this diversity is, a diversity which becomes complementary, but also reciprocal. It binds them, one to the other,” he said.
I trust this ties up any loose ends for you. The Catholic church will always be one of the staunchest and most vicious enemies of gay people. Thus has it always been. And as I've said all along, the pope's upcoming tour to the United States is going to be a straight-marriage encyclical, brought to life. There is no room for gay people in the Roman Catholic world of Pope Francis.

Apparently, Francis learned nothing from Ireland's recent approval of gay marriage. This isn't surprising. You've got to be dense to be pope.

Also, too: this. Francis isn't on solid ground with his "hets are best for kids" routine. What a surprise.