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Where TN homophobes failed, AZ has once again succeeded.

By a 33-27 vote the Arizona legislature passed SB 1062, a bill that would grant businesses the right to refuse service to anyone, as long as servicing said individuals would be a substantial burden to their religious freedom.

According to state Senator Yarbrough, the bill is intended to prevent discrimination, that is religious discrimination.  Though it was intended to be anti-gay, the broad mandate of the legislation gives businesses the right to discriminate against anyone, as long as they can make a religious claim that refusing service was consistent with their religious beliefs.  The problem with such legislation, of course, is that religious freedom is entirely up to the individual, so they could discriminate against gays, minorities, people of other religions, or anyone they choose to refuse.

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Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 08:14 AM PST

The congregation stood in applause

by ecostar

I've heard a lot of talk over the last few days that the shooting in Connecticut was the last straw. Reverend Canon Gary Hall, during a sermon at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC was one of those people . . .

Calling the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School "the last straw," Rev. Canon Gary Hall used his sermon Sunday to appeal to the faith community to rally behind gun control efforts. . . .

"The entire American faith community can no longer tolerate this persistent and escalating gun violence against our people," he said. . . .

"The best way for us to mourn the Sandy Hook shooting is to mobilize the faith community for gun control," Hall said at the apex of his sermon.

The normally-subdued congregation stood to its feet in applause.

Hall pledged his and the community's help in crafting and taking the action of stronger gun control.

Remember this: The normally-subdued congregation stood to its feet in applause.

This has never happened during a sermon at the national Cathedral.  It's akin to the crowd breaking out in applause during a sermon at St Peters Cathedral in Rome.

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Several have reported about this slur being reported on the Huffington post.  

IMHO, the main issue here is not the slur it represents, but the larger context behind it.  the environment that produces children that engage in such behavior.  To say she's not dong a very good job disciplining the child is an understatement.  More likely he is merely modeling behavior he's seen or heard from his parents/grandparents.  Granted the the boy is really too young to understand what he actually said.   So he's using a term he's heard elsewhere, not likely from TV, but more likely a term used by his family.

You see, the problem isn't just that he's heard someone else use the term.  The larger problem, is that it's obvious he's heard someone else use it in regards to his aunt.  He's saying mean things to her, and it's obvious he said it with the intent to hurt her.  He may not have known what it means, but he knows it's used by others to say bad things about his aunt.

Bristol's reaction is even worse.  She obviously knows who's used the term before, and actually thinks its quite funny.  If she's embarrassed it's only b/c she can't believe he used the term on camera.  Her voice over was probably added in later when someone explained to her how bad that will look on TV.

As many have said about this incident already, these people are awful people.  But this incident is more than just the Palin's behaving badly, it's an illustration of children modeling/emulating the behavior of their caregivers and other supposedly responsible adults that surround them.  It's a microcosm of what's wrong with intolerant behavior in this country.


I got another chain letter from my evangelical mother and step-father and felt the need to respond to it.  The letter claimed that the ACLU was trying to deny people in the military the right to pray as well as preventing people in the Navy from mentioning Jesus in their prayers.  I instantly recognized this as an issue that a little research on snopes or urban legend would shed light on.  Not surprisingly, the chain letter was part of more than one that has been circulating since 2005.

My response to the chain letter is included below the fold:

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Tue Mar 06, 2012 at 10:14 AM PST

On Stalinism and SC GOP's purity pledge

by ecostar

South Caroina republicans in the County of Laurens are apparently forcing Republicans that run for public office sign a pledge before being allowed to run for public office as their standard bearer.

Ed Schultz took on the topic, and in today's political climate predictably focused on the provisions requiring sexual purity:

I encourage you to watch Ed Schultz's for details mentioned below, but also for the entertainment value.  My point of departure here, is something Schultz did not mention.  They're not just ASKING candidates to sign.  

We all know organisations like the National Organization for Marriage who ask candidates to sign a pledge to defend marriage, or like Grover Norquist to sign a pledge not to raising taxes.  These pledges are intended to be a statement of purpose and endears the candidate to certain wing-nut constituencies. You can choose not sign those pledges and still run for office though.  You may not win, but it's not a REQUIREMENT to participate in the party primary.

According to one candidate for public office, who asked not to be identified, he was told that filing out the necessary paperwork is not sufficient anymore.  In order to run for office as as a Republican in Laurens county, the candidate MUST sign the pledge and MUST submit themselves to a 3 person subcommittee for approval.  Their recommendation will determine whether your in or out.  

If you don't sign the pledge, if you aren't approved by the sub-committee, you cannot run on the ballot as a Republican.  Period.

So apparently, it is not the people of South Carolina, who get to decide whether you are a good enough Republican, its the party leadership.  I can think of some governments that also require such qualifications to run for office.

In Iran:
Iranian candidates must sign a pledge affirming their commitment to Islam, and a particular interpretation of Islamic law in order to run for office.  In fact, candidates must be pre-approved by the Guardian Council.  If they are not approved, they are not allowed to run for office.  They are disqualified as a political candidate.

In Stalinist Russia:
Party members were required to sign a pledge affirming their commitment to the central governing party.

Here's the link to the story:

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My mother and Step-father are evangelical Christians, and so, like many here, I periodically get an email that is part of a mass forwarded email.  Most of the time I just ignore or delete them, but I had a different reaction when I got this one.  The beginning paragraph of this email intrigued me, and something happened to me along the way.  Initially my reaction was to simply send the word DELETE back to them and leave it at that.  Then I felt like I needed to explain why.  While writing the email however, I suddenly realized I had an opportunity to actually encourage them to do something constructive rather than just immediately going to the tired "War on Christmas" frame they usually use.  I did so, because there was a legitimate religion and free speech point to be made.  I just believe they made the religious point wrong.


Which position is closer to yours?

6%12 votes
34%62 votes
52%95 votes
6%11 votes

| 180 votes | Vote | Results

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The challenge in this case was not whether the federal government had the right to indefinitely incarcerate "sexually dangerous" people, but whether Congress had the right to overrule the state's right to do so.

Respondents’ contention that §4248 violates the Tenth Amendment because it invades the province of state sovereignty in an area typically left to state control is rejected. That Amendment does not "reserve to the States" those powers that are "delegated to the United States by the Constitution," including the powers delegated by the Necessary and Proper Clause.

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Just in time for the Copenhagen conference we get scientific evidence that the snow on Africa's highest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, is loosing its ice pack at an alarming rate.  Further evidence of Climate Change?  Depends on who you ask.

Troll Spray

For those of you who argue with Republicans/Teabaggers/WIng-nuts, it is important for you to be prepared for their bogus lines of attack and trollish arguments.

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Since Nazi Germany supported nationalized healthcare that means any American President that supports nationalized healthcare is a Nazi and equal to Hitler.   But be careful everyone.  We're surrounded by Nazi's, Nazi sympathizers and Hitler wanna bees.  This is a call to action so that everyone out there knows who the Nazi's are and who the freedom lovers are.

These are the Nazi's:

In the Americas:
Brazilians are Nazis and President Lula da Silva is Hitler
Canadians are Nazis and Prime Minister Stephen Harper is Hitler
Colombians are Nazis and President Alvaro Uribe is Hitler
Mexicans are Nazis and President Felipe Calderon is Hitler
Peruvians are Nazis and President Alan Garcia is Hitler
Residents of Trinidad and Tobago are Nazis and President George Richards is Hitler

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I thought I would share my experience of trying to pressure advertisers not to place their advertisement's on Glen Beck's hateful and divisive show.  As part of the progressive call to action posted by Wikoogle

Motivated by his diary I chose to contact Pfizer since I am a shareholder.  The following details the exchange:

I initially posted a comment on their corporate website asking them not to advertise on Glen Beck's show citing the following comment he made on the show:

"Only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently, and with as much violence as necessary"

I was limited to 500 characters, so I focused on the most controversial of his comments, though I had many to chose from.

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The Middle Eastern situation just got more complicated.  In an amazing turn of events, Fox News is now reporting that tectonic vibrations in the Earth's crust have dramatically shifted the geographic boundaries of the Middle East.  The geopolitical consequences are earth shattering.

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I have watched with great interest the events that have unfolded regarding Sotomayor's nomination and the case of the white fireman in New Haven, CT.  What irritates me most about the cases are the Republican talking points regarding what qualifies someone for a position on the Supreme Court, or in the fireman's case for promotion.

This was most evident in the excellent diary posted yesterday. Pat Buchanan implies that what "qualifies" each person for a given position is their performance on test scores.  I watched the video with Rachel Maddow, and Pat Buchanan's main talking point was that Sotomayor was a affirmative action pick b/c, dating back to her college years.  He reminds us that she "didn't have the test scores" to get into the elite schools she was accepted to.  Scores, he suggests that the other students did have, inferring that their test scores somehow made them more "qualified".  

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