Always a classic:
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Always a classic:
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
An order of US Catholic priests has agreed to pay $166.1m (£103.3m) to hundreds of Native Americans sexually abused by priests at its schools.
The former students at Jesuit schools in five states of the north-western US said they were abused from the 1940s through the 1990s.
Under a settlement, the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, will also apologise to the victims.
The order had argued paying out abuse claims would cause it to go bankrupt.
"It's a day of reckoning and justice," Clarita Vargas, who said she and two sisters were abused by a priest at a Jesuit-run school for Native American children in the state of Washington, told the Associated Press.
"My spirit was wounded, and this makes it feel better."
The province ran schools in the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.
Most of the alleged victims were Native American. Much of the alleged abuse occurred on Native reservations and in remote villages, where the order was accused of dumping problem priests.
"No amount of money can bring back a lost childhood, a destroyed culture or a shattered faith," lawyer Blaine Tamaki, who represented about 90 victims in the case, said in a statement.
The pay-out is one of the largest to date in a series of sex abuse scandals involving the Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia:
Twenty-one priests in the US city of Philadelphia have been suspended after being named in an inquiry into claims of widespread child molestation.
The move follows the release last month of a grand jury report in which 37 priests were identified as suspects.
Cardinal Justin Rigali, archbishop of Philadelphia, said the 21 Roman Catholic priests had been placed on leave while their cases were reviewed
He said he was "truly sorry" for the harm done to the victims of abuse.
The two-year grand jury investigation resulted in charges being brought against four priests and a Catholic school teacher last month.
The grand jurors also found that a panel set up by the archdiocese to handle abuse claims following an earlier grand jury probe in 2005 had worked mostly to protect the church.
Three of the 37 priests named as suspects in the grand jury report were suspended in February, a week after its release.
Five more were already on leave, serving elsewhere or no longer in active ministry, the Philadelphia archdiocese said.
The remaining eight identified were not being suspended because "independent examination of these cases found no further investigation is warranted", the archdiocese added.
The names of the priests concerned have not been released.
"These have been difficult weeks since the release of the grand jury report," Cardinal Rigali said in a statement.
"Difficult most of all for the victims of sexual abuse but also for all Catholics and for everyone in our community."
Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams praised the archdiocese for taking some of the steps called for by the grand jury.
But Peter Isely, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told the Associated Press news agency that Cardinal Rigali had put the interests of the church above those of children, and should have suspended the priests sooner.
I’d hardly equate the distress of the community with the stress of the children being molested. Unbelievable.
I cannot blame the church for the actions of these men. I can blame it for providing an umbrella under whose shadow a serial killer festered, and sheltering pedophiles for who (certainly not that big blank in the sky) knows how long. Even Ireland, that green emerald isle that boasted so many Catholics, is (slowly) abandoning its centuries-long love affair with foolish myth.
The death throes could go on for decades, however. So stay on your toes out there.
Till the next post, then.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I absolutely adore Tina Fey, and she's my choice as MILF Of The Year (oh my, can I still use that term, and call myself a feminist? Oh well...).
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Cross posted @ the Atheist Oasis
(Hat-tip to ReligionGoneCrazy.com)
Palmdale (KTLA) -- A woman slit her daughters' throats before slitting her own early Friday evening, claiming that "the Tribulation" was going to occur and she wanted to prevent them from suffering through it, officials said.
Lyn Benedetto, 47, reportedly told her daughters to lie on a bed and proceeded to take a knife to their throats.
The suspect then took the knife to her own throat before driving the victims to an unoccupied friend's house to die.
Lancaster Station deputies responded to a call regarding an "assault with knife" at about 5:32pm from the owner of the residence where the victims had been taken.
The victims and the suspect were found and the location, and the suspect was subsequently arrested.
The victims were treated at Antelope Valley Hospital for moderate though non life-threatening injuries and released to custody of Department of Children's Services.
This insanity continues on. Apparently ‘seeing the light’ ruined this crazy’s aim (thankfully, this time), but all these
doomdim sayerswits keep cheering for the end of the world, and it is not only stupendously stupid, it is most unsettling. Thankfully the children are all right, but they’re facing decades of horrible nightmares and therapy, all because crazy momma read a crazy book. And sadly, when these folks start manifesting early symptoms of mental instability, they can hide beneath the wide umbrella of ‘belief’ until (on most occasions) it’s too late for anyone to stop them.
On a lighter note, the picture posted is real: it’s a pretty little gal who decided that May 21 2011 is THE DATE, and she’s vandalized her car accordingly. Once this years ends with no fanfare (AGAIN), she’ll either have to re-paint her car, or sell it at a much reduced price than blue-book. If I had her acquaintance, I would most definitely make a point of teasing the bejeezus out of her on May 22 (and beyond) by shielding my eyes with my hand and looking around in the sky for floaters, and ask her if she sees any. Oh, and any more people spout off about this nonsense, and I will (bet on it) hold out my hand to wager 500 dollars or more that it’s simply NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. In fact, I wish there was a betting pool I could enter.
Sadly, in this country, it’s considered bad form to criticize anyone’s opinion too loudly (unless of course you’re a Republican, a conservative reichwing talk show, or on the side of the majority) – and this has to go. Soundly laugh in their faces when they proselytize, point out the multiple issues their ‘belief system’ has with reality, and be prepared to shake your head sadly when they retort with a “Jebus predicted this would happen!”.
On a personal note, the one book of Revelation has likely ruined more lives, drained more resources, and caused more deaths than the other 65 combined. It encourages the melodramatic dichotomy that the simple minded so love; GOOD VS. EVIL, finally everyone gets their just deserts, everybody saved gets new bodies and new lives and a new world, and all the bad guys get gruesomely tortured for…well, forever.
Straight out of a comic book. Of course, when you’re told insistently that this is a realtime scenario, are taught that every word is true (it’s all about interpretation, dontcha know?), and if you don’t believe in it then please PLEASE keep it to yourself out of respect for others, well, this curries more crazy.
The world seems to be getting less crazy, but it’s taking too long for my taste.
Till the next post, then.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
This is probably one of the funniest videos about:
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Cross posted at the Atheist Oasis
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine. – It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - R.E.M
The more fantastic an ideology or theology, the more fanatic its adherents - Edward Abbey
This was bit of an animated discussion today, in my apartment complex. My buddy’s girlfriend Linda and the older lady Arliss upstairs were chatting with me, when this friendly young man in a Carolina blue dress shirt and yellow tie came down and started joining the conversation. We’re a friendly crowd here. But he started talking about studying ‘pastoral theology’ at which point I went to check the mail, and when I returned, he was blathering on about ‘god this god that’. Upon which I pointed a finger at him and announced that ‘God doesn’t exist, and there’s nobody up there.’ He was taken a little aback at that. Then Linda mentioned the tsunami in Japan, and how it made her nervous, and Arliss chimed in that the End Of The World was going to occur on May 12th, 2011.
I immediately mocked the idea. Pantomiming a ‘believer’, I stated, “Oh, here it comes, the END! OF! THE! WORLD! Any second now…damn. Didn’t happened. AGAIN.” I looked at the young man. “Guess we’ll have to re-work those numbers.” He seemed actually amused. I then proceeded to explain to these folks, that
A. We’ve always had natural catastrophes throughout the centuries, we just find out about them quicker due to media saturation. Everyone knew about Krakatoa, but in that case, there was little choice,
B. The END! OF! THE! WORLD! has been predicted (unsuccessfully) so many times, it’s lost all meaning, and
C. Human beings seem to think there’s an end to everything, and to some degree there is. In the world’s case, it’ll be the Y5B problem, and we’ll all likely die in our sleep (if we’re lucky), long before that.
I also took the liberty of announcing that all religion is superstitious crap. The young fellow seemed in a permanent state of startled, and the two ladies told him that I was the resident cynic. As he left, he stated that he was to be married in the summer, and he hoped the Apocalypse would wait until afterwards. I assured him nothing was going to happen, all would be well.
People get the strangest damndest ideas sometimes, don’t they?
As to this “May 12th” nonsense, where did this compost arise?
One Harold Camping, to be precise.
Here’s his website. It’s a hoot, to be sure:
We are living at a time when mankind seems to sense that the end of all things is very near. Just about everyone has a theory as to how the world is threatened and when that end might come. The media and the Internet are full of doomsday speculations concerning the New Age "Mayan Calendar" and the year 2012. Some scientists predict that Global Warming could wipe out life on Planet Earth within a certain number of years. At the same time, politicians work to halt the proliferation of life-destroying nuclear weapons before it is "too late." High profile news reports of economic downturns, crime, wars, tsunamis, earthquakes, and disease outbreaks cause people to question whether God is bringing judgment on the world.
As opposed to what say, a thousand years ago? When everyone thought the world would end at the year 1000? Or the latest hullabaloo of 2000? The media and Internet reflect how the majority of people are, and what most of them are is addled.
These ideas cause people to fear greatly. Some realize that God knows how and when the end of the world will come, so they wonder if He tells us. Rather than turning to the Bible as the source of all truth for these answers, they turn to the churches and religious leaders. They may be told that the end will not come until Antichrist rises as a political leader who will make them take the "mark of the beast." Many are told that God will rapture His people before a 7 year Great Tribulation after which Christ will set up a 1000 year reign from an earthly throne in Jerusalem. Others are told that Christ will come to rapture believers the same day he destroys the world. While just about every church has a different idea as to what the Bible teaches concerning the end, they all seem to agree on one thing; no man can know the day or the hour of Christ's return because the scriptures say that He is coming as a thief in the night. But are they correct? Can We Know?
No we can’t. Not according to the patchwork hodgepodge twaddle you call the bible. The bloody thing was (and is) so wrong on so many topics and on so many historical events, and the contradictions? Don’t even get me started. And the whole “he’s gonna sneak up on your asses!” thing is just so…I dunno, I’m split between sociopathic and infantile.
This web site serves as an introduction and portal to four faithful ministries which are teaching that WE CAN KNOW from the Bible alone that the date of the rapture of believers will take place on May 21, 2011 and that God will destroy this world on October 21, 2011. Please take your time and browse through the teachings of Harold Camping, President of Family Radio. Visit EBible Fellowship, Bible Ministries International, and The-Latter-Rain to read and listen to many faithful teachers give scriptural insight on the doctrines that God is teaching His people. Learn about the Biblical Timeline of History, the correct method of Bible interpretation, the End of the Church Age and God's command to believers that they must depart out of the churches. Study the proofs that God has so graciously given in His Word showing us that these dates are 100% accurate and beyond dispute. Above all, please READ THE BIBLE and prayerfully ask God to open your spiritual eyes to these truths. May it please Him to have mercy on each of our souls.
Presuppositionalists are perhaps the most difficult people to dispel of these notions. Further entrenchment occurs when there’s a vested interest (say, a career or a revenue stream) involved. Declare yourself a born-again author (or any other profession), and boom! Instant customer base. I’m willing to wager, however, that when these mission-critical dates come and go, and no fanfare is blared from on high, and the heavens don’t split and spill brightness upon us all, and there is not one person plucked from streets, this particular doomsayer will be reduced to either a mumbling lost ‘soul’, or he will ‘run the numbers’ again, and start all over.
When a false prophet makes a profit, who gets a refund?
Till the next post then.
Monday, March 07, 2011
This one's a real gem, I got it from a musician friend of mine:
Sunday, March 06, 2011
Cross posted at the Atheist Oasis
Thousands of Pakistani mourners have attended the funeral of murdered minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti.
Mr Bhatti, a Christian, was shot dead on Wednesday by the Taliban after he urged reform to blasphemy laws.
There were emotional scenes as several thousand Christians buried their leader in his home village near Faisalabad.
Earlier, hundreds turned out for a church service in the capital. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told them his colleague had been "very rare".
Wednesday's assassination in Islamabad was the second this year of a Pakistani politician who wanted to reform the controversial blasphemy laws.
Shahbaz Bhatti's body was flown by helicopter to his last place of rest.
Someone should likely pound those idiots at the UN over the head with this sort of nonsense, which happens regularly, especially in Pakistan.
It took a full hour for the coffin to make its way into his village and the service was held outside the church, so large were the crowds.
Weeping and chanting slogans in his praise, mourners thronged the ambulance carrying the glass-topped coffin of their murdered hero. Women and men broke down.
Mr Bhatti's mother and two brothers travelled ahead of the coffin in a separate car.
Bishop of Faisalabad Joseph Coutts told those present that the blasphemy laws - which Mr Bhatti wanted to reform - were being misused to persecute minorities.
Yeah, nobody saw that coming, did they?
Referring to those who would glorify the minister's murderers, he said: "We don't want to worship a God who rewards killers."
Guess what? That would be all three of the big monotheisms, so shit outta luck.
In January, Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, who had also opposed the law, was shot dead by one of his bodyguards in the capital.
The blasphemy law carries a death sentence for anyone who insults Islam. Critics say it has been used to persecute minority faiths.
Observers say Mr Bhatti's killing leaves Pakistan's Christians without their most prominent voice and threatens to silence debate on the blasphemy law. The government is accused of giving in to religious hardliners.
Accused? More like guilty as charged.
Stringent security precautions were in place for the funeral.
Roads were closed and police and paramilitary forces deployed around Fatima Church in the capital for the service for Mr Bhatti, 42, who was a Roman Catholic.
Marksmen took up positions on the roofs of nearby buildings ahead of the Mass.
The prime minister praised a man he said was devoted to helping the downtrodden.
"People like him, they are very rare," Mr Gilani told the packed congregation. "All the minorities have lost a great leader. I assure you, we will try our utmost to bring the culprits to justice."
Mr Bhatti was laid to rest in the family grave in his village of Khushpur
Top government leaders, MPs, foreign diplomats and Christians joined relatives and friends at the service.
Mr Bhatti's coffin - wrapped in the green and white of Pakistan along with a flag of the all-Pakistan Minorities' Alliance - was then flown by helicopter to Faisalabad.
In the minister's native village of Khushpur nearby, black flags flew for the burial.
"The killers have snatched our hero," said Mr Bhatti's brother, Sikander, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
So large were the crowds that the burial was delayed by several hours, the BBC's M Ilyas Khan reports from Khushpur.
He says the thousands of mourners waited all day to pay their respects.
Amid fears the service could be attacked, the entire village was sealed off and hundreds of security personnel deployed.
It’s not enough that these lunatics shoot people at the drop of a hat, but the funeral itself is endangered? It seems as if being religious makes one color blind to all the metaphorical red flags that sprout everywhere on the landscape. It’s a sick, sad, fucked up world when claims of peacefulness precede the slaughter.
Till the next post, then.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
King of the Hill was tres amusing in the first few seasons, but the humor got more sporadic, and my attention drifted elsewhere.
My favorite character is of course Dale Gribble, who does it all except wear the tinfoil hat: