Thursday, May 30, 2013

Schlafly on Gay Marriage

Phyllis Schlafly of Eagle Forum may well be one of the most conservative people on the planet. So, naturally, she's opposed to Gay Marriage. But, incredibly, she seems to have no comprehension of the issue.

In a recent interview Schlafly, when asked to comment on a recent Gallup poll that showed 54% of the population in favor of Gay Marriage, Schlafly responded with the following, complete with commentary.

"The polls are very defective. If you look at the polls, most of them ask the question: Are you in favor of banning same-sex marriage?"

Actually, no they don't. Typically they ask whether someone is in favor of allowing gays to marry. The Gallup question is actually balanced and asks "Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?"

"Now, we have no law that bans same-sex marriage."

WRONG! Not only do states have laws against same-sex marriage, 25 states forbid it in their state constitutions.

“Any gay couple can get married— all they have to do is find a preacher or justice of the peace who will perform the ceremony. There’s no law against that.”

Yes, Schlafly is a blithering idiot that would like nothing better than to tell the rest of us how we should live, how we should act and what we should think. Here's a woman that doesn't even understand the legal framework of the issue yet howls at the moon about it on a regular basis.

If you think about this though, you realize that if you're ignorant enough to think the issue is no one wants to perform the Gay Marriage ceremony, because only ordained Christian Ministers can marry people, you begin to understand why someone would look upon Gay Marriage as an assault upon Freedom of Religion.

Of course that's not the case. Gay Marriages are legal in only 12 states. Eight additional states provide for Civil Unions of varying degrees of equality with marriage. Of course different is inherently unequal so none of these, not even New Jersey which by court order must provide equality, are equal to marriage.

Even if Gay Marriage were to become legal in the entire country, I guarantee you religion would be granted the option of refusing to perform Gay Marriages based upon religious convictions.

And they wonder why we laugh at them.

Bachmann Calls it Quits

Michelle Bachmann has decided not to run for re-election in 2014.

Why isn't exactly clear. She says it has nothing to do with a fear she'll lose or the ongoing investigation into some of her aborted 2012 presidential bid finances.

Maybe she's just tired of being called bat-shit crazy.

It's probably too much to hope that we'll never hear from her again.

Bachmann broke all sorts of records for making flat out inaccurate claims. She then usually stuck to her guns despite a mountain or two of evidence that she was just plan WRONG.

She garnered a garage full of Four Pinocchio awards from the Washington Post and another garage full of "liar, liar, pants on fire" awards from Politifact.

Of course Bachmann just claimed this demonstrated the bias of the liberal media. No, Michelle, it's because REALITY tends to have a liberal bias.

I do think it's unfair to call Bachmann a liar. I don't think she was lying as much as she was simply incapable of differentiating reality from fantasy from her position in the Conservative Bubble of Delusion. I've decided to capitalize the CBD because it's becoming more and more a staple of American political dialogue.

Good-bye Michelle. Try not to let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Boy Scouts End Ban on Gay Scouts

By a vote of 757-475 the BSA voted to lift it's ban on gay scouts. The bans on gay leaders and atheists remain in place. Neither of those questions were on the table.

So it's a step in the right direction but it doesn't go far enough. This is sort of a consolation prize that the scouts hope will end the controversy and restore support.

Good luck with that.

Personally I think it's a half  measure which doesn't yet resolve the issue. Now the ball is in the court of the corporate sponsors to decide if they will restore their financial support.

We shall see what we shall see.

I can't wait to hear the reaction from the religious right. It should be extremely entertaining.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Boy Scouts Poised to Vote on Gay Members

I believe the vote is scheduled to occur tomorrow.

This is always an entertaining discussion. For what it's worth I'll give you my thoughts on some of what I've heard about this question.

The BSA are a private organization and can make whatever rules it wants.
Yes, this is a true statement.  The boy scouts are a private organization and can make whatever rules they want. That is their right according to the supreme court. However, other private organizations have the right not to agree with those rules and to pull funding and support. This one of the issues facing the scouts today. Many large corporate supporters have pulled funding in protest over the discrimination of gays.

I might point out that 100 years ago the BSA was struggling over whether blacks should be allowed to join. Some troops let them join, but wouldn't let them wear scout uniforms. That seems utterly ridiculous today doesn't it? I suspect that this argument over gays will seem ridiculous 100 years from now as well.

Homosexuality is immoral.
Really? Says who? And please don't tell me "God." For all those claiming to know what God says or what God wants, the Girl Scouts allow gays and atheists and the Lord God of Hosts (if he, she or it exists) hasn't incinerated them nor those of us that buy their cookies. I take this as a sign that either God approves of the girl scout policy, doesn't care or doesn't exist, your choice.

I still say the whole proposal is a sham because there are really three choices but only two things you can vote on. If you believe that allowing gay scouts under 18 but dismissing gay scouts after 18 and prohibiting gay leaders isn't good enough, what do you do?

If you vote "Yes," then you accept a half-measure. If you vote "No," then the scout council can accurately but misleadingly say you were opposed to changing the rule against allowing gays.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Speaking of scandals, the Republicans have been banging away at this Benghazi thing for months. I've ignored it because, as far as I can see there's nothing there.

Now we find out that Republicans were so desperate to get a scandal out of this that THEY modified e-mails and leaked them to the press to make it look like the administration did something wrong.

And the democrats are such pussies they'll get away with it.

The fact of the matter is we all expect Republicans and conservatives to lie and say dumb shit so when it happens, they get excused because we all know they can't tell the difference between fact and fantasy.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The IRS Scandal II

Ok, a little more information is starting to come out and I'm a tad confused.

The issue at hand appears to be the review of applications for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status. But it's not only a tax exemption, it's the right to not have to reveal the people who donate to the organization.

There are two types of groups covered under 501(c)(4). The first are "Social Welfare" groups and the second are "Local associations of employees." In this particular case it's the "Social Welfare" groups that appear to be the issue.

These are groups that, according to the IRS code, are "Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare."

Such groups may engage in political activities as long as (a) that is not the groups primary activity and (b) the groups activities does not "include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public of­fice."

Well that's clear as mud. But it gets better. The code goes on to say "if an or­ganization is organized exclusively to promote social welfare, it may still obtain exemption even if it participates legally in some political activity on behalf of or in opposition to candidates for public office."

In other words, they can't participate directly in a candidates campaign but they may still engage in political activity on behalf of, or in opposition to, candidates they feel promote or don't promote whatever "Social Welfare" they're involved with?

You have got to be shitting me?

So why wouldn't the IRS take a really close look at groups whose names implied political partisanship?

I guess the big question here is what was the criteria for extra scrutiny and was that criteria biased?

Monday, May 13, 2013

The IRS Scandal

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) targeted conservative groups or groups that were criticizing the government for special scrutiny on their tax exemption applications.

You have got to be kidding me.

Hey, I think some conservative groups are bat-shit crazy and a danger to our democracy but some left wing groups are as well.

You can be sure the GOP will bang this drum long and loud and, you know what, they should. We need to be certain something like this never happens again.

It's Official

Minnesota will become the 12th state to legalize gay marriage. The Minnesota senate passed the bill 37-30 and the governor says he will sign it Tuesday. Gay marriages should begin by August 1st.

So May was a big month with three states legalizing gay marriage. New Jersey is still bogged down due to Chris Christie's veto. That's a shame. The arithmetic doesn't look good for an override.

I don't agree with Christie. He wants the measure to be on the ballot. I don't think someone's rights should be up for a vote.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Moving Toward Twelve

The Minnesota assembly today passed a bill to legalize Gay Marriage. The senate leader believes he has to votes to pass it and the governor has said he will sign it.

In a little side show, supporters of the bill accepted a Republican amendment to change "marriage" to "civil marriage."

I find this suspicious. Federal laws say "marriage." They don't say "civil marriage." I suspect the Republicans are trying to create a different category of "marriage" here. I think they're kidding themselves. All marriages are civil marriages. They may also be blessed or sanctified by a religion, but they're all civil marriages.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

9/11/13 - A Day of Prayer and Fasting

Joseph Farah over at World Net Daily (WND) is calling for a day of prayer and fasting to save America.

In the article articulating the supposed need you can find an excellent example of dishonesty meant to stir up the fears of people who have low intelligence and little education. Allow me to provide an example or two, or three, maybe four.

Example 1
"America is facing challenges today that, in many ways, rival anything seen since the start of World War II."

America is always facing such challenges. In the fifties we had polio, the cold war and Joseph McCarthy. In the sixties we had the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam war. In the seventies we had Watergate and runaway inflation. In the eighties we had the Iranian Hostage Crisis, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq war. In the nineties we had the Gulf War and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. In the 2000s we had 9-11 and the Great Recession.

Example 2
"There’s a concerted effort to redefine marriage as any union between people, regardless of sex, possibly regardless even of the number of participants in that union and possibly even regardless of the status of blood relationship between them."

The first statement is actually sort of true (a rarity at WND) even if expressed in a strange way. The statements following each "possibly" however are total horseshit. No one is proposing to legalize polygamy, group marriage or incest.

Example 3
"America continues to abort unborn babies by the millions and has now moved further in the direction of euthanasia on both ends of the life spectrum – possibly even making it a matter of national, state-controlled health-care mandates."

There were 1.2 million abortions in 2011 so saying "by the millions" is a bit misleading but overall the statement is accurate. The claim that we've "moved further in the direction of euthanasia" is at best debatable and at worst total crap. Again, the statement after the "possibly" is total horseshit. This is the old "death panels" nonsense all over again.

Example 4
"Government seems determined to enforce a monopoly on force by making it more difficult for Americans to exercise their constitutionally protected right to procure and bear firearms."

Really? Really? Background checks to prevent the wrong people from procuring firearms is an attempt to "enforce a monopoly on force?" WTF planet do you live on?

Example 5
"Government and cultural institutions are breaking down the pillars and principles upon which self-government has been built."

Ah yes, the ever popular unsupported assertion. I don't suppose you'd like to provide a specific example of this one would you? No, I didn't think so.

Example 6
"Government is building up its authority and diminishing the role God plays as the supreme authority in the lives of free people."

I'm not even sure what the hell this means. Again, an example of "government building up its authority" would be nice. As for "God" being the "supreme authority," read the Constitution. God plays no part and has no authority in our secular Republic.

Example 7
"Government is broken. No longer does Washington see itself as a servant of the people but rather as their master."

Government isn't broken. It actually does a fairly good job. Congress is broken but not for the reasons this moron thinks "Government is broken."

Consider this, in 2011 ExxonMobil made $41 billion in profit. Yes Virginia, that's billion with a "b" and profit with a "p." That's more than $76 million for every congressman in Washington. Would you like to guess WHO Congress views as the boss?

Ok, enough. I often wonder whether people like this actually believe this crap or they simply think it will stir up the under 80 IQ set and make them money. I'm betting most of the people who say stuff like this are social dominators that are just doing what it takes to lead the authoritarian followers around by the noise and relieve them of what little cash they have.

There have been "wars and rumors of wars" since cavemen started throwing rocks at each other and I don't expect it to stop any time soon. We'll probably always have problems. Of course praying and fasting accomplishes nothing  toward solving those problems.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

And then there were Eleven

With little fanfare Delaware voted today to become the 11th state to allow same sex marriage.

Same sex marriages could begin as soon as July 1st.

Can you hear the walls crumbling? Now if we can just keep the SCOTUS away from the trowel and mortar.

Monday, May 06, 2013

The Boy Scout Vote

Well it's May so the Boy Scout council will be voting soon. The problem is this is what I call a "have you stopped beating your wife vote?"

The proposal is to accept gay member into the scouts up until age 18. At age 18 they must leave. This locks the door on any gay leaders. There would be no change of the scout's "no atheists" rule.

The problem is you can either vote "yes" or "no." There is no other option. So if you believe there should be no restriction what do you do?

If you vote "no," because the proposal is incomplete, you essentially vote for the current policy and the boy scouts can say, "see admitting gays was rejected."

If you vote "yes," then they can say "see the proposal was accepted."

Personally I would vote "no" in the hope the proposal would be defeated and the pressure would remain on for a change of policy.

This is the same problem I have with presidential approval ratings. Saying you disapprove doesn't say WHY you disapprove.

Are you disapproving because he's a left wing socialist or because he's not enough of a left wing socialist? If the latter, you're not about to vote for a Mitt Romney instead.