Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Everything is Better with Bacon

According to Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, "...the sheer fact that we freely allow the sale and consumption of bacon is absolute proof that we are, in fact, a Christian nation."

So, only Christian nations sell bacon?

Personally, I think Fischer is an idiot. Here's a news flash for you Bryan, it's not all that difficult to buy bacon in Jerusalem and it's certainly not illegal. The non-kosher grocery chain Tiv Ta'am sells bacon, ham and shellfish.

There are also Chinese, Russian and Thai restaurants that sell non-kosher entrees. I've eaten non-kosher meals in Tel Aviv hotels including bacon on a cheeseburger which violates all sorts of Jewish dietary laws.

But if you accept Fischer's logic, the fact that Israel freely allows "the sale and consumption of bacon is absolute proof" that Israel is a Christian nation.

Like I said, I think Fischer is an idiot.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Obama on ISIS

The president gave his strategy speech tonight. He outlined four points.

1. Additional airstrikes into Iraq and, if necessary, Syria
2. Increased support to Iraqi forces including advisory personnel on the ground but no combat units
3. Counter terrorism actions to cut off ISIS manpower and funding
4. Continued humanitarian support

Obama talked about leading a "broad coalition" but gave no specifics about the composition of that coalition. I've heard the French are ready to participate in bombing runs. I don't know how true that is but I've heard nothing about Arab participation or other European Union support.

I'd feel a lot better about this if Egypt and Saudi Arabia were sending support as well as the US. Rumor has it that Iranian advisers are already on the ground with Iraqi Shiite militias.

This is a quagmire. I don't envy the guys who have to go there and get caught between Sunni extremists that have probably infiltrated Iraqi forces and Iranian led Shiite militias.

Like I've said before, the basis for a three way civil war was established when the British established the Kingdom of Iraq without regard to national or ethnic considerations.

There was no mention in the speech of who was going to pay for all of this. You'll excuse me while I tighten my grip on my wallet (as if that's going to do any good).

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Rick Santorum - Lack of Religion is also a Religion

Rick Santorum is a nut. His latest idea is that removing religion from the classroom is not neutral because the lack of a religion is also a religion.

Sure Rick, and not collecting stamps is a hobby and bald is a hair color.

This has been tried before. It's nothing new and the very idea has been laughed out of court.

You see when Rick and other right wing Christians talk about "religion," what they assume is Christianity. They forget that there are lots of religions.

Rick wants to teach Christianity in the public schools to have a free exchange of ideas rather than force secularism on everyone. The problem is being silent about religion is NOT the same thing as promoting no religion.

Rick doesn't really want a free exchange of ideas, he wants Christianity taught as the only moral option.

If he really wanted a free exchange then Islam, Hinduism, Wicca and even Satanism would have to be presented as alternative religions. Atheism would have to be presented as an alternative to all religions.

I can just imagine the howls of indignation from Christians if Christianity were presented as only one option among equals.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

32 States ask Supreme Court to Settle Gay Marriage Issue

Fifteen states where Gay Marriage is legal, led by Massachusetts, and 17 states where it is illegal, led by Colorado, have petitioned the Supreme Court to settle the issue once and for all.

The question is heading there anyway so why burn up all of the resources addressing the question in the lower courts?

The SCOTUS should stop hiding in the closet on this one and do what needs to be done.

How would the court rule? Good question. If it rules that bans on Gay Marriage are illegal that pretty much settles the legal question and Gay Marriage would become like abortion access with Conservatives snipping at the edges.

Unlike Abortion Access though, I see this as a rapidly dying issue as time goes on.

If it rules that Gay Marriage bans are constitutional, the fight will continue at the state level with supporters trying to overturn existing bans and opponents trying to re-institute bans in the states where it is now legal.

In other words, things would be even worse than they are now.

We're talking about less than 2% of the population here. I don't see how legalizing Gay Marriage across the board can cause any harm. I can see a lot of harm in wasted resources if the court doesn't legalize it.

Besides, it's the right thing to do, so let's legalize it and move on.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

What's Wrong with this Picture?

Note the following graph.

While Individual Income Taxes as a percentage of GDP have risen slightly from about 7.5% in the early 1950s to about 8% in 2014, Corporate Income taxes as a percentage of GDP have dropped from about 5% in the early 1950s to less than 2% in 2014.

Yet we continue to hear corporation CEOs and the right wing wing nuts cry about high corporate taxes. Here's a hint, they're greedy lying bastards.