Idiots Abroad: Church to Rape Victim: Frack You

This week’s Idiots Abroad Award goes to the Catholic Church.  Why?  Funny you should ask

Declaring that "life must always be protected", a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church’s decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.

Yes, you got that right.  Cardinal Giovanni Batista Re said that even though the girl was nine years old, pregnant with twins, and, oh YEAH, those twins were there because her stepfather may have been sexually abusing her for several years, the fetuses were the top priority.  Nothing like someone who has their priorities straight.

And here’s the kicker.

The unnamed girl’s mother and doctors were excommunicated for agreeing to Wednesday’s emergency abortion yet the Church has not taken formal steps against the stepfather, who is in custody. Jose Cardoso Sobrinho, the conservative regional archbishop for Pernambuco where the girl was rushed to hospital, has said that the man would not be thrown out of the Church, because although he had allegedly committed "a heinous crime", the Church took the view that "the abortion, the elimination of an innocent life, was more serious". (emphasis added)

Whuh?

Oh, and to top off the festival of assholery, the guy may also have been abusing his other stepdaughter, who is 14 and disabled.

This guy, if there is any justice, will rot in a deep, dark corner of Hell.

Even the President, Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, has waded into the row. "As a Christian and a Catholic, I deeply regret that a bishop of the Catholic Church has such a conservative attitude," he said "The doctors did what had to be done: save the life of a girl of nine years old. In this case, the medical profession was more right than the Church."

May I just say, right on, sir.

For severe assholery and refusal to compromise in the face of child rape, I hereby award the Idiots Abroad Award to the Catholic Church.

Teh Stupidz: Joe the Plumber, Political Strategist?

From the Department of Stupid Political Tricks:

Fresh off his stint as a war correspondent in Gaza, Joe the Plumber is now doing political strategy with Republicans.

When GOP congressional aides gather Tuesday morning for a meeting of the Conservative Working Group, Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher – more commonly known as Joe the Plumber — will be their featured guest. This group is an organization of conservative Capitol Hill stafferswho meet regularly to chart GOP strategy for the week.

For anyone who doesn’t understand why this is teh stupid, let me give you an analogy.  This is the political equivalent of a stage backdrop directing a production of Macbeth.  Let’s make it quite clear: Samuel the non-Plumber is not a political strategist.  Neither should he be the “champion of the middle class”.  No one asked you to champion us, Samuel, and I don’t want a one-trick political prop to be the voice of my class.

To support his unwanted championship of the middle class, he started a site, which I refuse to link to.  I won’t give this pompous donkey any traffic.  He’s got some book about “Fighting for the American Dream”.  Joe.  Give up this asinine attempt to remain relevant.  You entered your sixteenth minute of fame at the end of the third debate.  Shoo, before I get really mad.

(H/T The Moderate Voice)

The Meaning of “Ceasefire”

Apparently, Israel is preparing to proclaim a unilateral ceasefire.  Good news for the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip.  The reason that the ceasefire is unilateral is because Hamas is refusing to back down:

 

Hamas has said a cease-fire alone is not enough.

“We are working in every direction so we can achieve our objectives in stopping the aggression, lifting the blockade, opening the crossings, and the compensation of our people and the rebuilding of the Gaza strip,” said Hamas delegation spokesman Salah Bardwill.

 

Alright, Hamas, do I really need to explain what the word “ceasefire” means?  It means that you stop shooting at each other while negotiating a permanent end to the fighting.  Get real, Hamas!  The only way you can achieve those objectives is if you and Israel stop fighting and start negotiating.  Your military, in conventional terms, cannot match the IDF.  That’s why you sit in Gaza and pop off rockets at them.  So the only way, let me repeat, that you can stop the Israelis from bombing you and get them to open up again, is through negotiation.  I thought that was the strategic calculus behind attacking the Israelis terrorist-style.

I suppose, though, there is one way army_of_the_deadthat Hamas could conquer Israel (because that’s the only way they’ll be able to achieve that without negotiation).  Let’s say Aragorn (you know, from the Lord of the Rings) comes along, and brings his super awesome horde of ghosts (at right).  If Hamas could persuade him, he might lend them the Ghosts to help them beat Israel.  Oh, but I forgot, they all went away.  Tough.  Guess Hamas will have to sit down and negotiate with Israel.  But first, a ceasefire.  Because it’s the right thing to do for the people of Israel and Palestine.

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

Okay, I’ve dished out some criticism some of the anti-Israeli people out there.  So, just to be fair, it’s time for some pwnage of pro-Israeli Americans, and it’s not like this is really hard.  Honestly, it’s like shooting goldfish in a bowl.  Their analogies are the worst ever.  For instance, there’s George Will, saying, “All Americans know what we would be doing if rockets were landing in San Diego from Tijuana.”  (I like Jon Stewart’s response: “Yeah!  We’d open them up and pull out the tequila and hookers!  Am I right, people?  It’s a frickin’ Tijuana rocket!  If you can’t go to spring break, they’ll just fire it to you!”)  Let’s flip these analogies (the rest are pretty much the same).  What if you and your family, along with 1.5 million other souls, have been forced to live, for the past several years, in a very densely populated area.  The economy is virtually nonexistent, and there are some yahoos in the area lighting off rockets at the country keeping you hemmed in.  You’d rather just get on with your life, without all the douchebaggery from both the neighborhood yahoos and the (de facto) occupying power.  Then one day, the people surrounding you get tired of those pesky little rockets (they are, by the by, pretty much all bark and no bite), and start a massive air, ground and naval assault.  They put on a smiley face and say, “We are doing everything we can to minimze civilian casualties.”  And yet you and your family are in the thick of it.  People defending the actions of the occupiers say, “But they warned people to get away before they started bombing.”  The only problem, of course, is that everywhere is a target, and so all the messages do is, in effect, is scare you.  For several weeks, bombs and artillery shells rain down all around you.  Nowhere is safe, and if you go out, you’re liable to get caught in the crossfire.  So do you think you would feel warm and fuzzy things towards the people who are bombing the shit out of your home?  My guess…no.  That is the Palestinians’ perspective.  Before you start barfing out uncritical support of Israel, let’s have some perspective, and see it another way.  And that’s the way it is.

P.S. This is the Daily Show clip about Gaza.  It is excellent.

Quote of the Day, 12-31-08

“Why we should put ourselves out of our way to do anything for posterity, for what has posterity ever done for us?” –Sir Boyle Roche

Run, Scurry, FLEE! The End Is NEAR!

Hot off the presses from the Department of Kooks, comes the prediction by a Russian professor named Igor Panarin that by 2010, the U.S. will have disintegrated, and that Little Ole Me, down here in the Peach State (Georgia, for anyone not up on state nicknames) will be under the boot of our new Mexican overlords.  ¡Hola, muchachos! Meanwhile, most of my other relatives will be flying the maple leaf instead of Old Glory.  Cali and the West Coast go to Red China, Alaska to…wait for it, wait for it…Russia!  And for some reason unknown to (sane) man, New England and the Mid-Atlantic states, along with a healthy chunk of the South, will hook up with the EU.

And the thing is that this isn’t just some ordinary professor spewing nonsense- that happens all the time.  No, this is the dean of Russia’s academy for future diplomats, and a former KGB analyst who’s predicting the USA’s imminent demise.  Fits awfully well with the anti-Americanism apparently prevalent in Russia right now.  But does it fit well with reality?  I doubt it.  Let me put it this way: Ever seen a guy out on the street with a sign saying “The End Is Near”, or read one of those “Left Behind” books?  Well, this is very much similar to that, only in Russian.  Additionally, it seems to have been lifted from a video game that I saw in a Target a few years ago.

Now, after I have jokingly poked and prodded this theory, let me ask some realistic questions: Does anyone here think Mexico is in any type of shape to be taking over the South when they have out-of-control drug cartels to worry about?  Their army is going to pieces, and they’re going to take over Redneck Country?  Nice try.  And what plausible reason would the EU have for wanting New England, plus a chunk of Appalachia?  And I doubt China would have the ability to secure such a vast swath out in the West with its present resources.  Their real problem is that they blue-water navy is pretty feeble.  Some subs, and a few destroyers, but nothing good at power projection.  No carriers, for one, though they appear to be working on fixing up that problem.

Despite all of the problems fitting it into, as Lew Black put it, “the greater tapestry I like to call ‘Reality'”, Mr. Panarin’s theories are apparently wildly popular in Russia.  Let me just say something about this.  Hate to break it to ya, fellas, but just because it’s popular, doesn’t make it true.  I’d be willing to bet that there are some fundamentalist Christians who would like the “Left Behind” series to be true, but despite its status as a best seller, it still remains a mere wet dream of some kooks.  And that’s all that this will remain.  But if I’m taking Remedial Spanish in Fall 2010, then I’ll have to eat crow.

(H/T WSJ, via Registan.net, which I highly recommend)

POSTSCRIPT

While I haven’t read the actual “Left Behind” series, I did read some of the “kids” version of the series.  I got rid of them long ago, but they still creep me out.

The Long Slow Descent of the Republicans

Today in the Department of Stupid Jokes:

A candidate for the Republican National Committee chair [Chip Saltsman] sent out a holiday CD to committee members that includes the song “Barack the Magic Negro,” a parody first aired on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show.

And here’s the heck of it.  Mr. Saltsman may have done a good thing- for his campaign:

Four days after news broke that the former Tennessee GOP chairman had sent a CD including a song titled “Barack the Magic Negro” to the RNC members he is courting, some of those officials are rallying around the embattled Saltsman, with a few questioning whether the national media and his opponents are piling on.

It’s not piling on to question the judgment of someone who would like to head the Republican National Committee when he sends out a borderline-racist bad satire of the president-elect.  If the Republicans wish to become more than just the party of the South (and not all of the South, as Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida would testify), they need to stop pulling these sorts of stunts.  First of all, it’s not funny.  I read the lyrics for that song and it just wasn’t funny.  Second of all, you’re not going to gain more people by reaching to the right.  If anything, the GOP should be reaching out in other directions.  But this is the sort of thing that alienates moderates who want civil discourse, not bad satire.  And finally, let me offer a reason to question Saltsman’s fitness to be chairman of the RNC for a different reason.  He managed Mike Huckabee’s campaign.  As in, a failure.  I admit, Howard Dean became chairman of the DNC after failing and may have paved the way for Barack Obama to sit in the Oval Office come January, but Dean had some new ideas.  He failed because he was ahead of the curve.  The Internet, which Dean almost managed to harness, became Barack Obama’s biggest asset in the election.  Saltsman’s idea of change for the RNC?  Blame “[l]iberal Democrats and their allies in the media” for making a big deal out of his little Christmas gift.  Please join me in a communal eye-rolling at the old Republican excuse.  It’s like “the dog ate my homework,” except dumber.  Particularly because people like NEWT GINGRICH are criticizing him.  Newt Gingrich is many things.  A “[l]iberal Democrat” he is not.  Let this be the end of “Magic-Negro-gate”:  Chip Saltsman is hereby judged to be a tool.  He should be banished to the netherlands of Shame, if the Republicans hope to regain a majority.  While some people might share Rush Limbaugh’s sense of humor, I doubt there are many not on the right.

(H/T Politico, via The Daily Beast)