Archive for March 4th, 2012

Human body animations

| March 4, 2012 | Reply
Human body animations

Tonight, I enjoyed some of the many human anatomy animations by Nucleus Medical Media . . .

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More soldiers die of suicide than from combat

| March 4, 2012 | 1 Reply
More soldiers die of suicide than from combat

For the second year in a row, more soldiers die of suicide than from combat. As reported by Project Censored:

For the second year (2010) in a row, more US soldiers killed themselves (468) than died in combat (462). “If you… know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know,” General Peter Chiarelli told the Army Times, “because we don’t know.” Suicide is a tragic but predictable human reaction to being asked to kill – and watch your friends be killed – particularly when it’s for a war based on lies.

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The higher principle involved in the U.S. persecution of Wikileaks

| March 4, 2012 | 1 Reply
The higher principle involved in the U.S. persecution of Wikileaks

Rolling Stone’s Michael Hastings recently interviewed Julian Assange, head of Wikileaks, who pointed out a huge problem with the government’s legal position:

The U.S. government is trying to redefine what have been long-accepted journalistic methods. If the Pentagon is to have its way, it will be the end of national-security journalism in the United States . . . They’re trying to interpret the Espionage Act to say that any two-way communication with a source is a collaboration with a source, and is therefore a conspiracy to commit espionage where classified information is involved. The Pentagon, in fact, issued a public demand to us that we not only destroy everything we had ever published or were ever going to publish in relation to the U.S. government, but that we also stop “soliciting” information from U.S. government employees. The Espionage Act itself does not mention solicitation, but they’re trying to create a new legal precedent that includes a journalist simply asking a source to communicate information.

Here’s one more quote from the above article:

When you shake something up, you have a chance to rebuild. But we’re not interested in shaking something up just for the hell of it. I believe that if we look at what makes a civilization civilized, it is people understanding what is really going on. When Gutenberg invented the printing press, the end result was that people who knew something of what was going on could convey that information to others. And as a result of the Internet, we are now living in a time where it’s a lot easier to convey what we know about our corner of the world and share it with others.

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Catholic clergy, obsessed about gay rights, again shoots itself in the foot.

| March 4, 2012 | 15 Replies
Catholic clergy, obsessed about gay rights, again shoots itself in the foot.

I’ve known Charlie Robin for many years, so I was deeply saddened to hear that the Catholic Church retaliated against Charlie’s partner, Al Fischer immediately after the pair announced that they were traveling to New York this week to get married.

Al has done exemplary work as a music teacher at St. Ann Catholic School, a St. Louis grade school. For many years, Al and Charlie have been out in the open as a committed gay couple. When they recently announced that they were getting married, though, it was too much for the St. Louis Diocese. The Administration of the St. Ann Catholic School has been, and remains, supportive of the couple, but must now hire a new music teacher for the children, even though they already had a perfectly good music teacher.

I was raised Catholic and I know a huge number of Catholics who are completely in support of gays getting married. The upper clergy are another matter, though. I’m not really angry about Al’s firing, because this is the kind of thing I expect of the Catholic Church at this point, and I’m also delighted to see how supportive the local Catholic school has been of the relationship and proposed marriage. The Clergy, on the other hand appear to be engaged in classic groupthink, combined with a willingness to elevate a personal feeling of disgust into a dominant moral principle; and this is combined with a classic reaction formation–I’ve heard from many sources (including many men who were in the Catholic seminary) that a significant proportion of Catholic clergy are, themselves, gay.

What should Catholics do in the meantime? That’s certainly not for me to say, since I don’t believe in any of the miraculous claims of the Bible. Then again, from my discussions with many Catholics, neither do many Catholics. What they do tend to believe in is coming together as a community to celebrating their community in song and ritual, as well as maintaining an admirable commitment to helping others in need through on-the-ground good works. It is in this context that the Catholic clergy displays its ugly vindictiveness. Perhaps this self-destructive decision by leadership of an ever-dwindling church will become a flashpoint for reform efforts in St. Louis, or even nationally.  Decisions like the firing of Al Fischer, combined with many other salient moral lapses of the Catholic clergy, help explain why one out of every 10 people in the United States (22,725,000) is an ex-Catholic. Not that any of this will sway the Pope, whose constant vitriolic rants against gays strongly suggest to me his own frustrated gayness.

I often wonder whether and when large numbers of Catholics will start buying up abandoned Churches, and start their own churches.

Then again, this animosity toward gays goes well beyond the Catholic Church. Rick Santorum, one of the front runners for the GOP has indicated that, if elected, he would work hard to pass laws to un-marry the 130,000 gay married couples in the United States. Such are these times . . .

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Alan Grayson lists 10 myths of the Republican Party

| March 4, 2012 | 1 Reply
Alan Grayson lists 10 myths of the Republican Party

At Reader Supported News, Alan Grayson lists 10 myths held dear by the modern Republican Party:

  • The government can’t create jobs. (Tell that to FDR, who created four million jobs in three months.)
  • Tax cuts reduce the deficit. (Doesn’t it bother them that a man named “Laffer” came up with this one?)
  • A fetus is a baby.
  • The poor have too much money.
  • Cutting the federal deficit will end the recession.
  • The rich are incentivized by tax cuts, while the poor are incentivized by lower wages, no
  • benefits, an end to the minimum wage, and unemployment.
  • An unwanted child is God’s will.
  • Everyone who wants health insurance has it.
  • The problem with education is the teachers.
  • The “free market” satisfies every human need.
  • There is no discrimination in America anymore.
  • The distribution of wealth and income are irrelevant.
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