Recent comments

  • Attack on Canada   4 hours 38 min ago

    Pray for the victims, particularly the single officer who was killed in the line of duty. Pray for calm, reason, and that this is not a foretaste of more attacks of a wider Issis network of homegrown terrors cells to come.

    Something's happening but the worst thing we can do is to maximize the enemie's greatest weapon confusion fed by terror. The moment we're confused, we won't be able to respond with the calm determination necessary to defeat Issis or just a bunch of thugs looking to raise a ruckus and hide behind Issus or outfits like it.

  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   4 hours 38 min ago

    I hope it does go to the Supreme Court so that the rest of the states will be required to conform to Constitutional law.

  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   4 hours 40 min ago
    Quote ulTRAX:
    Quote mjolnir:What makes the decision interesting is that this is now two courts that have sided against the pro-gay marriage protaganists. Perhaps the sUPREMEs may finally have to show some backbone and take the question up.

    TRANSLATION... you mean ONLY two courts. I gave you the list yesterday. So... for once be honest. What's the score?

    Ah, let me guess. You'll find some bias in all the rulings for gay rights, and ignore all the religious or political conflicts of interest in the rulings against gay rights.

    Did you not read this in the OP: "Most other federal courts have rejected that view,"? Why do I always have to feed you pablum as one would an infant?

  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   4 hours 41 min ago
    Quote gumball:

    If there is a constitutional right to same sex marriage how is it constitutional that polygamy is not allowed? Or marriage of related people?

    And why can't people marry dogs or donkeys? If you weren't so wrapped up in your own little narrow world view perhaps you would have read through some of the relevant court cases and already know the ansswer to that ignorant and stupid question.

  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   4 hours 45 min ago

    'Relying mainly on two legal points that federal courts have repeatedly rejected over the past sixteen months, a federal trial judge in San Juan ruled Tuesday that Puerto Rico’s ban on same-sex marriage survives constitutional challenge. The combination of a one-line Supreme Court decision in 1972 and the Court’s full-scale ruling in June a year ago on the federal Defense of Marriage Act means that lower courts are required to leave the marriage question to the states (and to Puerto Rico), U.S. District Judge Juan M. Perez-Gimenez declared in a twenty-one-page opinion.

    The decision was a clear break with the near-unanimous results of federal trial and appeals courts in the wake of the Justices’ ruling last year in United States v. Windsor – a ruling that said nothing directly about state power to deny marriage for gay and lesbian couples, but has been widely interpreted as if it had said a great deal. Since Windsor, only one other federal trial judge has upheld such a ban — in Louisiana.

    Lawyers for the same-sex couples involved immediately made plans to appeal the Puerto Rico ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, which has yet to rule on a challenge to a state’s power to prohibit gay and lesbian marriages. Such marriages are legal in the four states in that circuit: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

    Judge Perez-Gimenez focused the first part of his constitutional analysis on the Supreme Court’s summary ruling in Baker v. Nelson forty-two years ago. In that case, the Court dismissed a gay couple’s appeal seeking a right to marry because, it said, the case did not raise “a substantial federal question.” That left intact a Minnesota Supreme Court decision in favor of that state’s ban on same-sex unions.

    The San Juan jurist said the Supreme Court has never overruled that decision, so it is still binding on lower federal courts — an argument that has failed in all of the recent rulings against such bans. But the judge also said that he was bound to follow the Baker precedent because the First Circuit, which has binding legal authority in Puerto Rico cases, had itself done just that two years ago.

    In a Massachusetts case in which the First Circuit had struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, barring all federal marital benefits to same-sex couples already legally married under their state’s laws (the same result that the Supreme Court reached last year), the First Circuit had said that Baker v. Nelson was still a binding precedent, Judge Perez-Gimenez noted. That ruling, he added, tied his hands.

    He went on to reject an argument that most recent federal decisions on same-sex marriage have accepted — that the Supreme Court’s later gay rights rulings in several cases have undermined theBaker precedent.

    The Puerto Rico judge then turned to his interpretation of the Windsor decision on the federal marriage law. That decision, he wrote, “did not create a fundamental right to same-gender marriage nor did it establish that state opposite-gender marriage regulations are amenable to federal constitutional challenge.”

    If anything, he added, “Windsor stands for the opposite proposition: it reaffirms the states’ authority over marriage, buttressing Baker‘s conclusion that marriage is simply not a federal question.”

    Putting Windsor and Baker together “in tandem,” the judge declared, those rulings “emphasize the states’ historic and essential authority to define the marital relation free from federal intrusion.” He quoted language in the main Windsor opinion saying just that.

    The judge acknowledged the long list of federal court rulings since Windsor striking down state same-sex marriage bans, but simply said he disagreed. He attributed those rulings to the “ingenuity and imagination” of the judges involved. Lower courts, he stressed, do not have the option of refusing to follow a Supreme Court precedent just because they have discovered “nebulous ‘doctrinal developments'” that supposedly undercut the Court’s prior rulings, as with Baker v. Nelson.

    The judge closed his opinion with a verbal tribute to “traditional marriage” as “the fundamental unit of the political order. And ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage.”

    Those, he added, “are the well-tested, well-proven principles on which we have relied for centuries. The question now is whether judicial ‘wisdom’ may contrive methods by which those solid principles can be circumvented or even discarded.”'

  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   4 hours 45 min ago
    Quote mjolnir:What makes the decision interesting is that this is now two courts that have sided against the pro-gay marriage protaganists. Perhaps the sUPREMEs may finally have to show some backbone and take the question up.

    TRANSLATION... you mean ONLY two courts. I gave you the list yesterday. So... for once be honest. What's the score?

    Ah, let me guess. You'll find some bias in all the rulings for gay rights, and ignore all the religious or political conflicts of interest in the rulings against gay rights.

  • Non profit hospitals are a myth   4 hours 47 min ago

    Add to the "non-profit" hospitals, the so-called "non-profit" Ivy League colleges and universities. Ye olde profit motive hath never lost its appeal with this bunch of pedigreed barons. If hedge funds were played like the way the Ivies play the research grant(s) game ... well, you all get the big picture.

  • Thom: Please Dump The Robot Pigeon "Jokes"   4 hours 48 min ago

    Are we sure that Thom is not being serious?

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   4 hours 48 min ago

    You continue to assert that you are only conceerned about "the process" and yet when I addrsseed the flaw in the charge being made that the "process" may be biased you chose to ignore or gloss over it so I will repost it in front of your nose:

    First, mjolner, f*#k you very much for asserting above that the mere fact that one is a homosexual makes him or her any more biased for than being heterosexual makes one biased against LGBT rights. If you had bothered to examine the link I provided regarding that issue you would have seen that your premise has been rejected over and over and over again by the Courts from top to bottom; including all such kinds of bigoted assumptions such as questioning whether a Latino judge can be impartial regarding immigration cases or African American judges can be impartial regarding civil rights cases. That particular homophobic objection was raised, addressed and dispensed with long before you thought to bring it up.

    Second, the entire exercise by the "Coalition for the Protection of Marriage" which attempts to demonstrate that there is a bias involved in the fact that particular judges have heard particular cases because those cases involved deciding questions having to do with gay civil rights is monumentally flawed. The premise of the exercise is facile and, frankly, laughable. It assumes that only cases between 2009 and now that involve sexuality have relevance in the deciding of cases involving sexuality and, further, that cases involving sexuality are necessarily relevant each to the other. Both assumptions are just ignorant. You know what they say: "To assume makes an ass out of u and me." That lawyer representing the grifter organization "Coalition for the Protection of Marriage" who commissioned the study you cited is an idiot and they would be well served by firing his ass.

    Any competent attorney and any competent jurist understands that case law supporting the merits of an argument either for or against a specific issue can come from anywhere in the history of jurisprudence. The idea of identifying cases according to whether or not they deal with "LGBT" rights as opposed to "rights" is just silly and thus the resultant "study" attempting to show bias is just an exercise in futility, And not just an exercise in futility but a clear indication that the actual bias comes from those making the accusation of bias, not the bench.

    Here are a few examples that demonstrate the correctness of my assertion from the very opinion in question:

    “[T]he absence of amalevolent motive does not convert a facially discriminatory policy into a neutral policy with a discriminatory effect. Whether [a policy] involves disparate treatmentthrough explicit facial discrimination does not depend on why the [defendant]discriminates but rather on the explicit terms of the discrimination.” -- UAW v Johnson Controls Inc. 499 U.S. 187, 199 (1991)

    or Griswold v. Connecticut , 381 U.S. 479 (1965), held that married couples have a fundamental privacy right to use contraceptives...

    or "[S]tate courts made clear that the basis,and validity, of such laws lay in stereotypical beliefs about the appropriate roles of men and women." Hibbs v. Dep’t of Human Res. , 273 F.3d 844, 864 (9th Cir.2001),

    or Likewise, social benefits programs historically distinguished between men andwomen on the assumption, grounded in the unequal marital status of men andwomen, that women were more likely to be homemakers, supported by their working husbands. See, e.g., Califano v. Goldfarb , 430 U.S. 199, 205–07 (1977); Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld , 420 U.S. 636, 644–45 (1975). -----------------------------------------------

    I could go on and on making the same point from all manner of cases in all manner of venues to demonstrate the universality of the fact that it is absurd to attempt to assign some particular classification to court cases according to whether they involve a specific component like homosexuality or labor or criminality or anything else in order to assert bias.

    So *BOOM* how's that for discussing the technicality of the issue? - See more at:

  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   4 hours 56 min ago

    The "doctrine" that the judge appears to rely upon is precedent from Baker. He also cites a decision from the First Circuit (his circuit) from only two years ago that reaffirmed that Baker was still precedent. The decision will likely be overturned by the First since it's pool has been heavily loaded with, presumably, Liberals by Obama.
    What makes the decision interesting is that this is now two courts that have sided against the pro-gay marriage protaganists. Perhaps the sUPREMEs may finally have to show some backbone and take the question up.

  • The Meaning of Atheism   4 hours 57 min ago

    Glad to see NMHiker give a big thumbs up to my friend, Marcus Borg, and his work. THE FIRST PAUL written with John Dominic Crossan rescues Paul from the Reformation.

    The point I have made in several discussions of atheism or religion is that I am a post-theist 'theologian,' which is something of a zen take on how religion connects to "being human" for better and worse. It is part of a thesis that secularism is an illusion of objective realism which does strip out the moral depth and sense of being in connection to a web of life in a living earth/cosmos.

    I agree with Anti that "atheism" is a fine jumping off point, but I have problems with "the existence of God" meaning anything to being human in this world. How does a metpahor or metaphysical being "exist?" Is not being a physical being and "only" a myth make the story into a lie, or the "lie that tells the truth?" It is where we go from "theism" that matters, and the defense of "God" is mistaken enough without trying to defend the way "God" has been packaged in our imagination and language. The whole Idea of God may prevent us from experiencing the full glory of "God."

    I have a lot of trouble with segmenting this "experience" to "religion" instead of feeling the affirmation of being alive in joy, compassion, wonder, and the fact that things work. Permaculture is a natural/spiritual unity, and the stories we tell to reveal truths don't have to be historical rather than fiction to help us be aware in the world we are in. How do you draw the lines in music? Sure, there is the Saturday Night Dance and Sunday Morning Praise, but the music is deeply related and often crosses over directly.

    What the debate on atheism exposes for me is the emotional grip people have about believing in God and that God "existing" somewhere. Gaia proposes that the cosmos is intelligent and that a living world is composed of intelligent particles, etc., which seek health and harmony. We can put aside how human centric the health and harmony of the world is, but the point is that we have a place and are not alien beings.

    Other people just don't want to let go of the stories and some of the sayings. For them, if Jeus is just a great guy, he is not there for them the same way "they need." But the anger about atheists and the emphasis placed on believing in some God rather than not is irrational and uncouth. It is a symptom of a pathology.

    Anti, I assure you that one of the great benefits of a theological education is the ability to pull the rug out from under the Fundie Right who not only do not own the issue of religion, do not know the tradition they claim to represent. Of course they are today's biblical pharisees and the priests who killed and jailed the prophets. Knowing the story helps us spot them today. It is not nuts to see the Bible as a repository of serious wisdom including a God with a sense of humor and some weird need to have human beings to love.

    That Cat Exists in human history and can be seen as the Ultimate Theism Relativiser, because 'Having No Other Reality than Reality Itself" makes even this Relativiser prove it in the here and now. The atheist's best friend is the God who is tested in Reality. It is too bad the religion that grew up around this story failed to keep this scrutiny alive and has allowed all sorts of principalities and powers to divert us from that deep moral Realism of Love.

    This is the kind of thing that Borg and Crossen have done for me in my theological continuing education. There are other wonderful stories that tell the truth, given that we are talking about the Mystery of Reality and that the truth is bigger than any of them. The meeting place for sharing is here on earth.

    Atheists have every reason to react with anger at the attacks from theists. The latter have every reason to ask themselves what upsets them about the atheists. The God they believe in would laugh in their faces, with love, but that is the story speakiing and not the "ontology" issue. Much as I agree in the reasons to criticize religion instead of praise it, I do want to raise the point that abolishing theism does not abolish religion or make it stupid. A good atheist story of being human is all I want to point toward from this starting point of the "existence of God."

    We can live in an intelligent, even 'caring' cosmos, without their being an intelligence behind it, much less an ontological Being of any kind. At the same time, good story tellers have been drawn to the idea of a Great Spirit or Caring Fount of Authority to spark our imagination about the mysteries beyond definition and control. In fact, it transforms our thinking so we don't cling to definition and control any more than we can. Fear does not help spark this imagination even if it shocks us. At some point, Love in the larger sense makes us care enough to act and frees us from what binds us. I don't think I am being critical of atheists to suggest that it is where the answer we agree on leads us.

    To all you all theists, enjoy your Newtonian metaphysics. They will get you to Mars, but they will not explain what they have revealed about the cosmos. Confining "God" to theism does not help you see what is happening or get the "new light" breaking in upon us. Nor do you want to defend the misty ethereal where God is only in the air. Defend the story, but not as history and science. Don't do the Jetson thing about when it all began. Just let what is real be real and discover that there is a future.

  • Attacking atheism   4 hours 59 min ago

    Hi people!

    Glad people responded. (I had to use another log in name)

    My point was regarding yesterday's show about the idea of some atheists act evangelical. Since some people called and were very defensive about this I wanted to post something.

    I do agree with that extreme religious people created way more violence then atheists (but sometimes I wonder if we can take in account the brutal history of the USSR.) But at the same time, I see a lot of similiraties between some religious people and some atheists people.

    I think the problems are not because of religion or atheism and that's why I have a problem with some atheist around me who are fan of Bill Maher and Sam Harris for exemple.

    Since it was in the news recently, I'll use this exemple. Basicly those atheists are saying the problems are due to religions. When I debate this, facts that dont fit into this narative are removed easily.

    As an exemple the myth that science and religion dont mix. Well according to history, they did. In the golden age of Islam, science really was improved. A lot of astrologers and mystics where religious too. I can't get this fact in the head of hardcore athiests.

    The similarities between SOME atheists and SOME religious people are, in my eyes, the absolute certainy of their world view.

    By the way. If you heard in the news about that dude who ran over a military guy in a town near Montreal, well I grew up in that town. This event to me is super interesting because the dude is a pure quebecer who used religion to be violent. But I know this town and the small minorities (me included) there will have a real bad time because of the bad rep religion can get.

  • This is why the 1% should be paying a 90% tax rate.   5 hours 1 min ago
  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   5 hours 3 min ago

    If there is a constitutional right to same sex marriage how is it constitutional that polygamy is not allowed? Or marriage of related people?

  • What's The Best 30 Sec Argument That Can Convince Dems To Vote?   5 hours 4 min ago

    Most Democratic? Top 4, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, #5 New Zealand. The corruption perception index is interesting too. The US banks testifying before congress that yes they do defraud but their customers are 'so sophisticated' that they expect it and account for it. That little hidden praise "You're so sophisticated!" is right there with "You're so big! I was worried I couldn't take it all" "yeah well, how much did you want? 100s?"

    hConvicted Republican sex offenders, child molesters are popular in the GOP

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   5 hours 9 min ago

    The operative words here, your words, are "that the "study" might." I'm supposed to believe that a study penned by a man who once held the "Program Chair, Statistical Education Section, American Statistical Association " is automatically tainted because he might be a Morman. Plenty of people of the Morman faith support the gay agenda. I would suggest you look at your own bigotry. This man is a professional, what his beliefs are is not the question unless you can prove he fudged the results. Can you?

  • Thom: Please Dump The Robot Pigeon "Jokes"   5 hours 39 min ago

    The pigeon meme is only a inside joke to those that really think Pigeons are from Xenon. Thom has used it in the ten years, this month, I have been listening to his show. The Spaghetti monster only came up in discussion years later with the question of whether religion should be taught in schools. Of course, we don't want the pigeon meme taught in schools because the students might figure out pigeons really are robots!

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   5 hours 39 min ago
    Quote mjolnir:
    Quote ulTRAX:

    Hey M... still waiting for you to address the fact that Matis was NOT a neutral agent when he crafted his "study" on an alleged gay bias in judge selection. He's a Mormon with an anti-gay agenda.

    I've addressed it multiple times.
    Where did you address that Matis was a Mormon who was involved in anti-gay activities? Please show me. I've done search of all posts for the term Mormon and LDS and they only appear in MY posts.

    All you've done is EVADE the issue and try to stress is secular credentials.

    So I repeat EVASION ALERT!

  • "Ninth Circuit’s neutrality questioned on gay rights"   5 hours 45 min ago
    Quote mjolnir:
    Quote ulTRAX:

    Hey M... still waiting for you to address the fact that Matis was NOT a neutral agent when he crafted his "study" on an alleged gay bias in judge selection. He's a Mormon with an anti-gay agenda.

    I've addressed it multiple times. I don't have the expertise to question the math in his analysis. Do you? It "looks" perfectly plausible to me but as I've stated before until someone on the Left contradicts his assumptions with an expert with qualifications the "appearance" of bias stands with me. Other people are entitled to their own opinions.

    EVASION ALERT: Your OP is trying to imply a biased selection of judges led to a skewed ruling. But you're EVADING the bigger issue... that the "evidence" you've regurgitated here now for 50-60 posts might be the product of a biased statistician selection process... that the "study" might have been crafted to produce suspicion amongst marriage bigots like yourself.

    And I don't have to do sh*t. I'm not working within your phony frame. If, IF the judge selection process resulted in a ruling WAY outside the norm of other such rulings, THEN it might raise some eyebrows. And you refuse to show that it's somehow constitutionally unsustainable.

    !!!!!!!!!!CASE CLOSED!!!!!!!!!!

  • Mysticism   5 hours 49 min ago

    Karolina, no apologies required but thanks nonetheless :-) Yeah these boards, forums and it seems i-comms in general can be brutal and disconcerting. I don't venture much anymore. Some strange and angry people around. And sometimes that's just me.

  • Let's Privatize Gun Registration   5 hours 51 min ago

    Also: check your "facts." The incidence of gun deaths in Canada in one quarter that, per capita, of gun deaths in this country.

  • Let's Privatize Gun Registration   5 hours 53 min ago

    I am not competent to answer your question as I am not a female of childbearing age, whose life would be quite affected by a pregnancy and who would be directly involved in any decision regarding an abortion. Privately, I am opposed to abortions, but I do not think my opinion should determine public policy for the opposite sex. The fact is, mental health problems are vastly greater for women who take a pregnancy to term than for women who end up having an abortion.

  • Daily Topics - Wednesday October 22nd, 2014   5 hours 54 min ago

    The libertarians you had on apparently haven't read the Constitution
    or the Declaration of Independence. All over both its We not
    Me or I as in WE the people, not Me the people They are stuck in the Articles of confederation, not the constitution.

  • Mysticism   5 hours 57 min ago

    The greeting from the wild bird must have been jaw droppingly amazing. I'd like to hear more on that if you felt like sharing.

  • "Puerto Rico upholds gay marriage ban"   5 hours 59 min ago

    Interesting... to back the main thrust of his case the judge doesn't use an actual SCOTUS ruling... he resorts to a DISSENT by Alito...

    Civil No. 14-1253 (PG) Page 20
    Recent affirmances of same-gender marriage seem to suffer from a peculiar inability to recall the principles embodied in existing marriage law. Traditional marriage is
    “exclusively [an] opposite-sex institution . . . inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship,” Windsor, 133 S. Ct. at 2718 (Alito, J., dissenting). Traditional marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order. And ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage.

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When Eric Holder eventually steps down as Attorney General, he will leave behind a complicated legacy, some of it tragic, like his decision not to prosecute Wall Street after the financial crisis, and his all-out war on whistleblowers like Edward Snowden.