Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ireland Approves Gay Marriage

Ireland became the 1st country to approve Gay Marriage by popular vote.

Despite strong lobbying by the Catholic Church the Irish voted for marriage equality by a solid 62-38 majority.

Can you hears the walls of bigotry crumbling?

As for the Church, the dinosaur inched closer to extinction.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Another Prediction of Violence

The Religious Right continues to predict violence if the SCOTUS rules in favor of gay marriage. This time PFAW is reporting that it's Bryan Fischer.

Fischer called upon state legislatures to pass resolutions declaring that they will not abide by any supreme court ruling that legalizes gay marriage.

"If the Supreme Court continues to overreach and they aren't checked, we are headed towards civil unrest, I don't think there is any other way around it. If it's not stopped and reversed, the tyrannical overreach of the Supreme Court, we are to have social dislocation and I believe we are going to have violence as a result."

According to PFAW Fischer declared that states "have every moral and legal right to ignore the federal government."

So what to make of all this?

First of all there's isn't going to be any violence. That's just absurd. there aren't enough people that care enough about this issue to get all storm the Bastille about it. Even if there were, they would find out pretty quickly what a painful experience it's going to be.

As for Fischer's idea that states have the legal right to ignore the federal government, I wish people who claim to support the Constitution would actually read it.

First of all there is the Supremacy Clause. Article 6, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution states:

"This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding."

This includes INTERPRETATIONS of the Constitution or federal law as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Article 3 of the Constitution:

"The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish."

 "The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority..."

So Fischer and Ben Carson, who somehow thinks the Supreme Court can be ignored, are both wrong. If any state, including Alabama and Texas, wants to argue about it, I have two words for them. Those two words are ORVAL FAUBUS.

The only thing ignoring federal law will accomplish is meeting the 101st Airborne or 4th Infantry Division up close and personal. Assuming Obama has the balls to do what needs to be done of course. If he doesn't, the SCOTUS can always direct him to take the appropriate action to enforce the law.

Of course I'd be very surprised if it came to that.

Pew Research Religious Landscape Survey

Pew Research has published it's findings in a new majority religious landscape survey. Their last survey was in 2007.

Key findings based upon interviewing 35,000 adults.

- The number of people identifying as Christian decreased from 78.4% to 70.6%
--- Protestants 2007: 51.3%  2014: 46.5%
------ Evangelical 2007: 26.3%  2014: 25.4%
------ Mainline 2007: 18.1% 2014: 14.7%
------ Historical Black 2007: 6.9% 2014: 6.5%
--- Catholics 2007: 23.9% 2014: 20.8%
--- Orthodox 2007: 0.6% 2014: 0.5%
--- Mormon 2007: 1.7% 2014: 1.6%
--- Jehovah's Witness 2007: 0.7% 2014: 0,8%
--- Other Christian 2007: 0.3% 2014: 0.4%

- Non-Christian faiths increased from 4.7% to 5.9%
--- Jewish 2007: 1.7% 2014: 1.9%
--- Muslim 2007: 0.4% 2014: 0.9%
--- Hindu 2007: 0.4% 2014: 0.7%
--- Buddhist 2007: 0.7% 2014: 0.7%
--- Other 2007: 1.5% 2014: 1.8%

- the unaffiliated (the Nones) went from 16.1% to 22.8%
--- Atheists 2007: 1.6% 2014: 3.1%
--- Agnostics 2007: 2.4% 2014: 4.0%
--- Nothing in Particular 2007: 12.1% 2014: 15.8%

This makes the Nones now the second largest group only an eyelash behind evangelicals.

- Evangelicals - 25.4%
- Nones - 22.8%
- Catholics - 20.8%

Atheists and Agnostics now at 7.1% of the population outnumber all non-Christian faiths at 5.9% combined. There are more than three times as many Atheists and Agnostics as Jews, four times as many as Mormons and almost eight times as many as Muslims.

Much of the change is related to age. The youngest Americans are by far the least religious with a solid 36% of Young Millennials (born 1990 to 1996) identifying as unaffiliated as compared to only 11% of the Silent Generation (born 1928 to 1945) and 17% of Baby Boomers (born 1946 to 1964).

Based upon these numbers perhaps there's some hope for the human race yet.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Deflategate

I'm going to put my 2 cents in about the apparent deflating of footballs during the AFC Championship game last January.

At the time I said that the whole thing sounded silly but predicted that they would "through (sic) some poor schnook under the bus so the team and the league could live happily ever after." OK, so I can't spell "throw."

After an investigation concluded that the balls were most likely deflated on purpose by two Patriot's equipment staffers and that Tom Brady most likely knew about the shenanigans, the NFL handed down the following punishment.

1. Tom Brady is suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.

2. The team was fined $1 million.

3. The Patriots will lose a 2016 1st round draft pick and a 2017 4th round draft pick.

4. The two equipment staffers were suspended indefinitely.

Well, at least I got the throwing under the bus part right.

Brady has three days to appeal the suspension.

This is less severe than the punishment handed out to the New Orleans Saints in "Bountygate" a few years ago but at least in this case it wasn't a matter of trying to physically hurt other players so I don't have an issue with that.

I think a $1 million fine is a joke but the loss of draft choices and suspension time strikes me as about right.

Monday, May 04, 2015

The Republican 2016 Field Expands

Ben Carson has made it official and Carly Fiorina, the ex-CEO of Hewlett Packard and one time senate candidate, has become the first Republican woman to declare her candidacy.

In the meantime I got a whiff of Christie's ideas on Social Security which really suck so he drops to #3 and Rubio moves up to #2. Fiorina I'm going to slide in at #8 since she does have some executive experience. Of course she screwed up at HP so badly that nobody else wants her.

 #1 - Jeb Bush - Florida survived him as governor and he couldn't possibly be as bad as brother Dubya. But the man needs to learn that he's not Hispanic as he claimed once.

 #2 - Marco Rubio* - I don't agree with Rubio on a lot but he doesn't strike me as completely crazy like a few of the others in this field.

#3 - Chris Christie - Anything to get him out of New Jersey. Besides, Christie would at least be entertaining as hell. If it weren't for his idiotic deal with Exxon-Mobil, I might even list him as #1.

 #4 - Ted Cruz* - Cruz is hopeless but most of the others are even worse!

 #5 - Rand Paul* - Like his dad, not only does Paul not have any solutions, he doesn't even understand the questions. This is a man that wants to eliminate Meals on Wheels because seniors that can't afford food should depend upon charity.

 #6 - Scott Walker - Talk about scrapping the bottom of the barrel.

 #7 - Bobby Jindel - Undoubtedly the worst of the people that might actually be considered qualified. Look what a great job he did in Louisiana. Why would anyone vote for this turkey?

#8 - Carly Fiorina* - There's a reason she's an ex-CEO. Aside from missing all sorts of earning goals while at HP she was known as a divisive factor and laid off thousands of workers while sending jobs overseas. Eventually the HP board had enough and booted her ass out.

 #9 - Mike Huckabee - Mike has gone seriously down hill in the last eight years or so. He's dropped in my list because after thinking about who might be at least qualified to be president from this list, I can't honestly say I consider Huckabee, despite his stint as governor of Arkansas, to be qualified.

 #10 - Rick Santorum - Yes, incredible as it may sound, there's someone even worse than Walker and Jindel. He's worse because I don't even consider this ass wipe qualified for the job.

 #11 - Ben Carson* - This man is utterly delusional. I seriously believe that he has mental problems. I hope he gets regular brain scans just in case there's something growing up there.

And the name of the Princess is...

Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Well, at least I got the Diana part right.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

It's a Princess

The Duchess of Cambridge has given birth to a baby girl (awww). The new little princess is going to be an absolute boon to the British economy as she becomes the fashion trend setter of the English speaking world and probably most of western civilization.

All I can say is happy, happy, joy, joy.

Too bad tomorrow it'll be back to death, ignorance, bigotry and destruction as usual.

Now we wait to see what name William and Kate choose. I hear Charlotte has overtaken Alice as the betting favorite. Then there's Victoria Olivia and Diana also in the running. The little lady will probably get at least three names so I'n betting Diana, if not the first name, will be in there somewhere.

How about Victoria Diana Alice? Or maybe Charlotte Alice Diana? I don't really care for Olivia. How about Alice Victoria Diana?

Monday, April 27, 2015

The 2015 NFL Draft

Only a couple of days to go until the NFL Draft.

The NFL and the need for SOMETHING to talk about in the spring has managed to get this thing into one of the bigger sports soap operas around.

Every year now mock drafts and analysis by "experts" whip things up into a frenzy. Last year it was the saga of Johnny Football. This year it's a tale of two quarterbacks.

The two quarterbacks are Jameis Winston from Florida St. and Marcus Mariota from Oregon.

Winston is physically everything you want in a QB. He's 6'4", 230 lbs and has a BIG arm. He's got a National Championship under his belt and comes from a school which runs a pro style offense. Draft 2015 compares him to Eli Manning which, given the two Super Bowl rings Eli has, ain't a bad comparison.

That's the good news.

On the other side of the coin, like Eli, he's known for forcing the ball into impossibly tight windows leading to a lot of interceptions and he's not really very mobile so he's not going to be able to scramble around and extend the play.

That's the bad news.

The ugly news is Winston has a penchant for getting into trouble off the field. It's unclear whether he's actually a problem or just has a knack for attracting trouble. Either way this isn't what you want to hear when you're shopping for a franchise quarterback.

Mariota is 6'4" and 220 lbs, and can throw and run. Draft 2015 compares him to Colin Kaepernick which, given Kaepernick's inconsistency last year, could be good or bad.

Coming from a spread offense Mariota could have some issues fitting into a pro style offense right away unless he ends up in Philadelphia with Chip Kelly who is in the process of changing the NFL offensive culture. Mariota played for Kelly at Oregon so that would be a match made in heaven for the Eagles and a potential nightmare for the rest of the NFC East.

Off the field he's just about perfect. No problems, no troubles and he even helps little old ladies across the street.

The consensus of opinion is that Tampa Bay, with the 1st pick, is going to take Winston. Tennessee has the 2nd pick and has been shopping around for a trade.

Teams that have been mentioned, besides the Eagles, are the Chargers, Jets and Browns.

I don't see the Browns giving up on Manziel just yet so I don't think they're going to pay the Titan's price. I don't see the Jets ponying up either. The Chargers and the Eagles maybe.

The Chargers would probably offer Phillip Rivers plus draft choices and the Eagles Sam Bradford or Mark Sanchez and draft choices. Rivers would be the better deal than Bradford or Sanchez but I'm betting Chip Kelly of the Eagles is willing to offer more in the way of draft picks.

If they don't make a deal, the Titans should take Mariota themselves and keep working the trade angle. Either way, Mariota is the 2nd pick.

The Jaguars have the 3rd pick and will probably take a defensive player. Either DE Leonard Williams of USC or Dante Fowler Jr. of Florida. My be would be Leonard Williams.

The Raiders have the 4th pick and I'm betting they'll look for a WR to give Derek Carr an additional weapon. That could be either Amari Cooper from Alabama or Kevin White from West Virginia.

The Redskins have the 5th pick and will probably take whichever defensive standout the Jaguars didn't take.

The Giants have the 9th pick and it will depend upon who's still on the board. Way to much could happen to make any predictions.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Washington Post/ABC Poll on Gay Marriage

Just a few days before the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on gay marriage a new poll is showing record support.

Overall, do you support or oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally?

All Respondents
Support: 61%  Oppose: 35%

By Education
HS or Less - Support: 54% Oppose: 41%
Some College - Support: 62% Oppose: 35%
College Graduate - Support 73% Oppose 25%
Post Grad - Support 74% Oppose 24%

By Household Income
Less than $50k - Support 60% Oppose 36%
$50k - $100k - Support 61% Oppose 35%
Greater than $100k - Support 76% Oppose 21%

By Region
Northeast - Support 68% Oppose 28%
Midwest - Support 57% Oppose 40%
South - Support 57% Oppose 39%
West - Support 65% Oppose 30%

By Age
18-39 - Support 74% Oppose 24%
40-64 - Support 56% Oppose 39%
65+ - Support 46% Oppose 49%

By Ideology
Liberal - Support 83% Oppose 16%
Moderate - Support 69% Oppose 26%
Conservative - Support 39% Oppose 56%

I'm going to say that the Support numbers sound a bit high but there is a margin of error in the 3.5% range. I'm especially surprised by the numbers from the South. Even so these numbers make it clear to anyone in touch with reality that this is a done deal as far as the American public is concerned.

The best thing the SCOTUS can do is put the final nails in the coffin as quickly as possible. The screaming, yelling and gnashing of teeth isn't going to go away immediately but, like integration, when it becomes obvious that all the fear mongering was just a load of total crap, hopefully things will settle down.

Pitchforks and Torches

The delusion of the far right is utterly fascinating. I don't understand where they get their ideas from.

PFAW reports that according to Scott Lively, who has been known to fling an anti-LGBT diatribe or two, the only way yo stop gay marriage is via an "angry mob" that will take to "the streets, pitchforks and torches held aloft, ready to tear down Frankenstein's castle with their bare hands if need be."

Lively appears to believe that "the only way to deter the elites is with the threat of the mob."

The "elites?" You mean intelligent. rational people as opposed to the ignorant, superstitious scum that support your position?

Yo, Scott, the majority of the American population support gay marriage and even among those that don't very few appear willing to go out of their way to prevent its legalization. Certainly they're not going to get all "storm the Bastille" about it.

The simple fact is that with gay marriage a reality in so many places with no ill affects even the dumbest of the non-evangelical Christian types now recognizes your fear and hate mongering rhetoric for the load of complete crap that it is.

Evangelical Christians are pretty much beyond hope as long as they stay Evangelical Christians but even they're not about to get violent over this issue.

There aren't enough people that are that upset about it Scott. So go in the corner and STFU already.