Pop goes the Pope…we hope, we hope

September 30, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Posted in hypocrisy, Religion | 2 Comments
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From The Telegraph:

Pope accused of crimes against humanity

The Pope and top Vatican cardinals have been accused of possible crimes against humanity for sheltering guilty Catholic priests, in formal complaints to the International Criminal Court.

Pope accused of crimes against humanity

Pope Benedict XVI Photo: AFP/GETTY

By Our Foreign Staff
2:51PM BST 13 Sep 2011

The Centre for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based non-profit legal group, requested an ICC inquiry on behalf of the Survivors Network, arguing that the global church has maintained a “long-standing and pervasive system of sexual violence” despite promises to swiftly oust predators.

The Vatican said it had no immediate comment on the complaint.

The complaint names Pope Benedict XVI, partly in his former role as leader of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which in 2001 explicitly gained responsibility for overseeing abuse cases; Cardinal William Levada, who now leads that office; Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican secretary of state under Pope John Paul II; and Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, who now holds that post.

Lawyers for the victims say rape, sexual violence and torture are considered a crime against humanity as described in the international treaty that spells out the court’s mandate. The complaint also accuses Vatican officials of creating policies that perpetuated the damage, constituting an attack against a civilian population.

Barbara Blaine, president of the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by priests, said going to the court was a last resort.

“We have tried everything we could think of to get them to stop and they won’t,” she said. “If the Pope wanted to, he could take dramatic action at any time that would help protect children today and in the future, and he refuses to take the action.”

The odds against the court opening an investigation are enormous. The prosecutor has received nearly 9,000 independent proposals for inquiries since 2002, when the court was created as the world’s only permanent war crimes tribunal, and has never opened a formal investigation based solely on such a request.

Instead, prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo has investigated crimes such as genocide, murder, rape and conscripting child soldiers in conflicts from Darfur to this year’s violence in Libya. Such cases have been referred to the court by the countries where the atrocities were perpetrated or by the UN Security Council.

Also, the Holy See is not a member state of the court, meaning prosecutors have no automatic jurisdiction there, although the complaint covers alleged abuse in countries around the world, many of which do recognise the court’s jurisdiction.

The prosecutor’s office said in a statement the evidence would be studied. “We first have to analyse whether the alleged crimes fall under the Court’s jurisdiction,” it said.

The Survivors Network and victims are pursuing the case as the abuse scandal, once dismissed as an American problem by the Vatican, intensifies around the world. Thousands of people have come forward in Ireland, Germany and elsewhere with reports of abusive priests, bishops who covered up for them and Vatican officials who moved so slowly to respond that molesters often stayed on the job for decades.

Vatican officials and church leaders elsewhere have apologised repeatedly, clarified or toughened church policies on ousting abusers and, in the US alone, paid out nearly $3 billion in settlements to victims and removed hundreds of priests.

The Vatican is fighting on multiple legal fronts in the US against lawsuits alleging the Holy See is liable for abusive priests.

Those prosecutions also could form an impediment to the ICC taking the case. The tribunal is a court of last resort, meaning it will only take cases where legal authorities elsewhere are unwilling or unable to prosecute.

Also, the court does not investigate crimes that occurred before its 2002 creation. A study commissioned by the US bishops from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York found abuse claims had peaked in the 1970s, then began declining sharply in 1985, as the bishops and society general gained awareness of the problem.

It is unlikely anything will come of it, but if it does, hopefully the punishment will be to put him, naked, in a room full of hyper-active kids running with scissors.

Rick and the robot

September 30, 2011 at 11:44 am | Posted in elections, humor, political campaigns | Leave a comment
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A man walked into a very high-tech bar. As he sat down on a stool he
noticed that the bartender was a robot. The robot clicked to attention
and asked, “Sir, what will you have?”

The man thought a moment then replied? “A martini please.”

The robot clicked a couple of times and mixed the best martini the man
had ever had.

The robot then asked, “Sir, what is your IQ?” The man answered “Oh, about 164.”

The robot then proceeded to discuss the theory of relativity,
inter-stellar space travel, the latest medical breakthroughs, etc…

The man was most impressed. He left the bar but thought he would try a
different tack. He returned and took a seat. Again the robot clicked
and asked what he would have? “A martini please.”

Again it was superb. The robot again asked “What is your IQ sir?”

This time the man answered, “Oh about 100”. So the robot started
discussing NASCAR racing, the latest basketball scores, and what to
expect the Dodgers to do this week end.

The guy had to try it one more time. So he left, returned and took a
stool…. Again a martini, and the question, “What is your IQ?” This
time the man drawled out ” Uh…… bout 50″.

The robot clicked then leaned close and very slowly asked,


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Have it your way…

September 22, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Posted in humor, insanity, social comment, strange news, stupidity | 2 Comments
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is the Burger King slogan.  When they failed to live up to it this woman decided to call the law.  The following is her 911 call.
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Opinions wanted

September 21, 2011 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Atheism, Religion | 13 Comments
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Several days ago I posted, Your god is a psychopath with a twisted sense of humor.  It begins with a story about some odd religious practices engaged in by a sect of orthodox Jews.  My post was precipitated by a discussion with a a group of friends, a few of whom are Jewish, who told the story of a rabbi in their home town who, to their surprise, engaged in this practice.

A few years ago I had occasion to meet the aforementioned rabbi in a quasi business situation.  To be perfectly clear, this meeting took place in the secular world, where I live, and had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.  When introduced to the rabbi he was so completely detached it was as if I were invisible.  I’m not the most social person in the world but I do have  a considerable amount of experience being introduced to people, and understand how people generally behave upon meeting one another.  This man wasn’t even on the same planet with normal behavior.  During the hour or so the group was together I happened to encounter the rabbi a few times and attempted to be polite and was completely ignored.  I noticed that he was amiable with other men and women in attendance and wondered what the hell his problem, with me, was.  At one point I did check the mirror to see if perhaps I had, by some strange twist of fate, become invisible…I had not.  I concluded that the rabbi was simply a major jerk-off.  Of course, now that I know the somersault story it occurs to me the guy may have rolled on his head one too many times.

I mentioned the rude rabbi, later to another member of the group, a somewhat knowledgeable Jew, who explained the rabbi’s sect segregates men from women and he doesn’t deign to speak with women unless absolutely necessary.  I maintained that is all well and good in his own little religious community, but if he chooses to venture out into the real world he should respect its social mores and conventions…just as I would be expected to respect those of his community should I visit; which I plan on doing as soon as the temperature in hell drops to below freezing.  I expressed the belief that if it’s not possible for him to manage some slight behavior modification perhaps he should either: not venture outside of his community, or live in a place where his behavior is the social norm.  Should I/we be expected to adjust my/our behavior to accommodate the religious beliefs of the outsider, or should the outsider respect the rules of the culture he is visiting ?   My Jewish friend, who I suspect might be biased, thinks I’m dead wrong.  What say you?  I’m very interested in what others have to say about this.

Your god is a psychopath with a twisted sense of humor

September 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Posted in Atheism, Beliefs, Religion | 3 Comments
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Derech Etz Chaim Simchas Torah Dancing 5768

Image via Wikipedia

Recently I was told about a sect of orthodox Jews, who on a holiday called Simchas Torah, get drunk, dance around, and do somersaults.  Only men are allowed to dance and somersault.  I don’t know what the women are doing while their guys are enjoying all the fun.  I imagine them on the sidelines, as in the Olympics, holding up scorecards rating the somersaults (extra points if they stick the landing).  I believe this might be the origin of the phrase holy rollers.  I did a little research and it seems not all members of this particular sect participate in the drunken somersaulting, but it is not uncommon.  Please explain how performing acrobatics, while under the influence, serves one’s god?  And has anyone ever been arrested for AUI?

What Happens on Simchas Torah STAYS in Simchas Torah!

(Unless, of course, you blog about it.)

Each year, the Torah is completed and started anew – Simchas Torah celebrates that. The festival includes dancing, flag-waving, and copious drinking by the menfolk. In Chabad circles, there’s a Simchas Torah tradition to “mach a kula.” You haven’t seen anything in life until you see a drunk chossid do a somersault. On second thought…   (read more at Fancy Schmancy Anxiety Maven)

As is almost always the case one thing leads to another, and I wondered about other religious practices and what possible purpose could be served by them.  I keep coming up with the same conclusion:  god (or god’s inventor) is a  megalomaniac with a sick and twisted sense of humor.

Imagine if you didn’t buy the god delusion or belong to any religious group and were instructed to do things such as; cut off the tips of all male children’s penises, engage in symbolic ritualistic cannibalism (taking communion), when, where and how to engage in sexual intercourse, avoid types of foods, or avoid eating certain foods together, how to dress, stick ashes on your forehead, tell your deepest darkest secrets to a hidden stranger, give a percentage of your income (in addition to what the IRS already takes)…I think the answer would be WHAAAAT?

There are now and have been power happy cult leaders among us who have engaged in mind control to the point where their followers believed they were serving a greater good by giving up, to and for their leaders, things ranging from all their worldly goods, money, friends and family, to their lives.  Cult leaders get off on watching people engage in all manner of insanity at their behest.  Your illusory god is doing the same thing on a grander scale for his/her/its amusement.  Along with the ridiculous rules god has set forth to retain membership, you are forced to deal with wars, tragedy, plagues and pestilence.  On the plus side you really must admire the management and multi-tasking skills involved in such an undertaking.

Several years ago I wrote a short post, that caused a long stir called God did Not Create Man, the premise being the reverse.  It would seem I am not alone.  From the Los Angeles Times:

Science and religion: God didn’t make man; man made gods
In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.”

July 18, 2011|By J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer

Before John Lennon imagined “living life in peace,” he conjured “no heaven … / no hell below us …/ and no religion too.”

No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without “divine” messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to “God’s will.” Where politicians no longer compete to prove who believes more strongly in the irrational and untenable. Where critical thinking is an ideal. In short, a world that makes sense.

In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion’s “DNA.” They have produced robust theories, backed by empirical evidence (including “imaging” studies of the brain at work), that support the conclusion that it was humans who created God, not the other way around. And the better we understand the science, the closer we can come to “no heaven … no hell … and no religion too.” to keep reading (definitely worth the time)

Obama hates white people…vote for a wing-nut in 2012

September 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Posted in bigotry, creationism, elections, intelligent design, Obama, stupidity | 9 Comments
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Obama hates white people.  His plan is payback,  to stick it to the white man.  This is an outrageously stupid remark that I’ve heard and overheard ad nauseam, though not always in these exact words.  Not that stupidity is anything new, it’s always been with us, but has become en vogue since the Bush regime administration. Obama has been in office for several years now and this statement is based on what…the large numbers of black people who have gotten obscenely rich since he took office?  Add this one to others, including, Obama is: a socialist, a Muslim, not a native-born American…

The last time I heard this sentiment was in a conversation with a blow-hard man, about the state of the economy.  According to news reports we are in danger of entering another recession, which is surprising, to me, because I, like many Americans, didn’t realize the last one ended. I must have nodded off for the few moments of economic recovery.  I use the word conversation loosely, because quite frankly, the guy was more talking at me than with me.  And since he was kind of boring the crap out of me I was aware of what he was saying but my overactive brain was busily doing other things.  I didn’t respond (except in my head) or allow myself to be engaged because that would have only prolonged the agony.  To engage would be futile, because people who hold these opinions are convinced of their positions and there is no room for rational discourse.

Obama is many things, but I sincerely doubt racist is among them.  Though he is known as our first black president, he is technically our first non-white president.  Obama is not black.  He is the product of one white parent and one black parent, so he is neither and he is both; he is other.  America has a nasty habit of pigeonholing those who are part white as belonging to the race of whatever the non-white part happens to be, no matter how small the percentage of non-whiteness.   Racism isn’t dead, as many claim, it isn’t even sick; in fact I think it’s rallying for a huge comeback.   Note to white people:  In case you haven’t noticed you’re not the large majority you once were; open your eyes and look around.

As we’re gearing up for the next presidential election I’m thinking that as in past elections I will likely find myself voting against a candidate than for one.  I honestly don’t have the stomach to follow the candidates or even vote anymore. But I feel I should at least do my part in attempt to keep wing-nuts like Bachmann, Perry, Palin, or any others that may slither from under their crazy rocks, out of the White House and from plunging us back into the dark ages.

I envision a country with any of the aforementioned crazies at the helm.  The White House has a cross over the entrance and looks more like a tel-evangelical church than a presidential mansion.  The Library of Congress has only bibles and other religious materials with an entire wing devoted to intelligent design.  Preceding the revamping of the Congressional Library will have been a festive tea party featuring a huge bonfire where all science books have been burned.  And all non-christians will be required to join with atheists in Pastor Mike’s registry.

Rick Perry & Michele Bachmann on evolution

September 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Posted in creationism, evolution, intelligent design, PhotoShop Fun | 3 Comments
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