Just the ramblings of another atheist dismayed by religion's grip on society. Science works.
Sunday, April 29, 2012
The Weekly Planet - April 21, 2012
Welcome again to The Weekly Planet.
How is an election won? These days it's primarily money thanks to the Citizen's United case, but there still needs to be a conversation that grabs certain blocks of voters. As an easy example, atheists will probably vote for those, that by their actions, do not take their marching orders from any religion. Actions are what you have to look for, much more so than any talk.
How any atheist can be a conservative is a mystery to me. With Santorum out, maybe they can wrap their minds around Romney, but again, if you look at his actions you'd be hard pressed to vote for him. Well, hard pressed if you care about the the rights of the women in your life. Since he changed his mind on abortion, declaring himself pro-life, or more succinctly anti-abortion, he is mimicking the religious views that the hard right base imposes. He may not be outspoken about contraceptives, but he does oppose religiously affiliated hospitals being required to provide free contraceptives. With those two small points, he has disclosed his link with the church.
Adriana posted a very interesting poll regarding atheists that I think relates to the upcoming elections as well. Besides data on the most religious and non-religious states, nationwide the percentage of people who state that religion is not an important part of their daily life and seldom or never attend religious services is 32 percent! Take that religious freaks. How this effects the election probably won't be known until after the fact. But by Obama not capitulating to the catholic church concerning contraceptives, he could possibly get as many votes as the religious right will provide for Romney.
What should be interesting as the race starts in earnest is concentrating on those who are behind the scenes. Who are those that influence the candidate's thought. This last week the NRA's board member Ted Nugent tells it like it is. Besides the discussion there's also numerous posts by doone in the Right Wing Whackos group. The gist of his comments revolve around the president and the Supreme Court Justices that he disapproves of. For the president, old Ted says he's a "vile, evil America-hating administration” which is “wiping its ass with the Constitution.” Taking it a step further, he said that “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” For the Supreme Court Justices, “We’ve got four Supreme Court justices who don’t believe in the Constitution. Does everyone here know that four of the Supreme Court justices not only determined you don’t have the right to keep and bear arms, four Supreme Court justices signed their name to a declaration that Americans have no fundamental right to self-defense.”
Keep in mind that not only has the NRA always supported the right, the hate in their rhetoric increases every election cycle. Six days ago Glenn Beck addressed the fruitcakes at the NRA's national convention. Crying Glenn said, “Barack Obama‘s winning slogan was ’Yes we can.‘ That’s the dumbest damn slogan I’ve ever heard,” Beck said. “Don’t tell me what you can do. Will you do it? Will you do it? ‘Yes we can.’ What a bunch of crap that is.”
I think liberals need to understand how the far right thinks. If you have the stomach for it, the Daily Caller has the speeches online of all your favorite mouths. Plop a couple of alka-seltzers in a shot of bourbon; only way I could take it.
Education Meets Misogyny
We are all familiar by now with the Monkey Bill in Tennessee. Another attempt to disqualify science as a whole. With all the legislative attempts to either restrict women's rights or to pervert education, it is easy to miss parts of what a particular piece of legislation is trying to accomplish.
Arizona has what has to be one of the most insidious attacks on the books; it manages to attack women and education at the same time.
We have a society that seemingly now views women, especially the poorest segments, as disposable. In Texas they have cut family planning finances, have added a sonogram bill and Planned Parenthood is being kicked out of the Medicaid program for poor women. Texas is only an example, but numerous states are cutting funds for women's health issues.
Back to Arizona, where they are not only restricting health care for women, but also using public education to promote the legislation. Arizona's new law which banns abortion after about 18 weeks is being debated by the country it would seem. But the bill also states that public schools will instruct the students on how birth and adoption is a priority over any other option.
Isn't that the way the religious brainwash our children? Get them while their young and before they can think for themselves. It's a proven historical method that works. Not only are they restricting a person's right to control their own body, they are teaching the young to go along with the misdeed.
Occupy The World
The Occupy movement seems to be in a funk lately. They are not getting the media's attention as they did last year; at least not yet. I guess if there's no violence from one side or another it's not worth reporting.
The last major protests were on April 17th. Tax day for Americans. In New York they descended on Trump Tower, where goofy Donald was holding a birthday party for Anne Romney. I like the idea, they were dressed in baseball uniforms with the team name, "Tax Dodgers."
Various protests occurred across the country, though they didn't seem to get much air time.
The main thought of the Occupy movement is generally agreed upon to be income inequality. A longish New York Times article recently centered on two left leaning economists; Picketty and Saez. From their work archiving Internal Revenue Service data they discovered that income inequality dropped after the great depression through the seventies. After that income inequality once again was on the rise. From 2000 to 2007 they found that income rose for the bottom 90 percent rose about 4 percent after adjusting for inflation, while the top 0.1 percent incomes rose 94 percent! In 2010 the top 10 percent took half of overall income. They also stated the last time income inequality was this high was right before the great depression.
Hey Occupiers, you may want to read what they have to say.
Republicans That Don't Totally Suck
The Tea Party, the NRA and the Club for Growth are all gunning for Richard G. Lugar, a long serving United States Senator. In this country, if your a moderate conservative who supported those horrible liberal thoughts like the Dream Act, or even sometimes bipartisan supported ideas like banning earmarks, you've gone to far. With an F rating from the NRA and critiques about him being too friendly with Obama, he might have a hard primary this year. This gentleman had the audacity to work with Democratic senator Sam Dunn on a program for disarmament in the Soviet Union.
So sorry, you don't meet the crazy criteria.
I watched the bond hearing for Mr. Zimmerman, wanting to finally hear the man talk. After catching a couple contradictions in his testimony, I thought to myself, here's a man who's going to have trouble when the trial actually begins.
After the hearing was over, I listened to the pundits giving their views on the case. They all seem to think that if Zimmerman can prove their was a scuffle that he could claim self-defense. I did not understand why they focused on that instead of the fact that Mr. Zimmerman followed Mr. Martin. Am I wrong in thinking that if you follow someone you are no longer defending yourself?
The "Stand Your Ground" law will be revisited by a panel selected by FLorida's Governor. I hope that the trial is about the killing of Mr. Martin and does not revolve around defending the legislation.
I'm sure the NRA will be wielding its might protecting what they believe the second amendment means.