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Voltaire2's Journal
Voltaire2's Journal
January 31, 2018

Clinton says she regrets not firing aide accused of sexual harassment during 2008 campaign

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday expressed regret for not having fired a senior adviser on her 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate.

In a lengthy Facebook post, the Democrat sought to explain her decision to deliver a less severe punishment to Burns Strider, who was her faith adviser, despite a recommendation from her campaign manager that Strider be fired.

"I very much understand the question I'm being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behavior," Clinton wrote. "The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn't."

Her Facebook post came four days after the New York Times first published an account of the episode and shortly before President Trump delivered his first State of the Union address on Capitol Hill.

January 30, 2018

Is a self-deleted op the most perfect of ops, and is a self-deleted op therefore god?

But then again we have many deleted op's. So are they all gods?

January 27, 2018

The Cosmological Argument.

Dates back to at least Aristotle. If you are unfamiliar with it and with why it fails as an alleged proof for the existence of gods, I suggest reading the wiki page here as a start: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument

January 27, 2018

The Clinton Reckoning Is One of the Most Essential #MeToo Revelations Yet


For the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, insofar as it exists, that’s a good thing. If interpreted correctly, this Clinton report will function much the same as “Your Fave Is Problematic,” the blog that launched a popular catchphrase for beloved celebrities doing and saying dastardly (usually racist, sexist, or homophobic) things. It is, in other words, evidence that sexual harassment can thrive even in a workplace that is the culture’s most on-the-nose symbol of women’s empowerment. It disproves the comforting and false idea that people can be easily sorted into piles of good and bad actors when, in fact, there are a thousand degrees in between. And it is a striking reminder that women, too—to protect their own careers, friends, or self-image—sometimes help male abusers keep up their abuse.

There is value in this opportunity to evaluate the distance between Clinton’s words and actions. A culture-wide, generations-long epidemic of workplace sexual harassment and assault doesn’t persist without a broad network of complicity, composed of individuals with varying degrees of knowledge and culpability. For any movement against sexual misconduct to succeed, and for observers to fully grasp the machinations of abuse, that network must be scrutinized as thoroughly as the abusers themselves. The New York Times’ reporting on Harvey Weinstein revealed a slew of female executives willing to lure women to meet alone with Weinstein, in addition to a whole class of female assistants employed specifically to facilitate the producer’s bathrobe-and-hotel scheme. Some of those women might be considered victims themselves. That’s not the case with Clinton, who appears to have willingly put her friend’s career and her campaign’s immediate PR concerns above the safety of her female employees. Still, both Clinton and the likes of Weinstein’s assistants belong somewhere in the web of non-abusers who grease the wheels of abuse. We are only starting to understand how those wheels move.

This entry in the ongoing #MeToo saga may frustrate progressives, as did the assault allegations against former Minnesota senator Al Franken, for their illumination of the higher standards for left-leaning politicians. It would hardly be news if a Republican presidential candidate allowed a harasser to keep his job; it would be astonishing news if there wasn’t rampant harassment in, say, the ranks of the Donald Trump campaign. On Friday, the Republican National Committee was silent after its finance chair, Steve Wynn, was accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct in a Wall Street Journal report. And few were surprised to hear the allegations against Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, and the rest of the Fox News crew, because Fox News displayed just as much contempt for women on air as its male stars did behind the scenes.

But, as I argued when Franken resigned, holding Democrats to a higher standard is a good thing if it means fewer instances in which a woman who’s harassed by a higher-up gets reassigned while her harasser gets a slap on the wrist. According to the Times, in previous months, no former Clinton campaign staffers would speak about the 2008 incident. “That changed in the wake of the #MeToo movement,” the piece says. Today’s brighter spotlight on harassment and abuse is already encouraging progressives to point fingers at one of the most powerful figures on their side. The shame of this public showing of ethical dissonance should be enough to scare them into transforming their own workplaces, too.

January 24, 2018

Satanic Temple challenges Missouris abortion law on religious grounds

There will be a showdown with Satan on Tuesday in the Missouri Supreme Court.

Not with Lucifer himself, but with a group called the Satanic Temple that is going to bat for a woman identified as "Mary Doe." She contends the state’s informed consent law, which required her to wait 72 hours before having an abortion in May 2015, violated her religious beliefs.

Specifically, the woman — identified in the case summary as a "Greene County resident" — says she was forced to view an ultrasound of her fetus and pledge that she read a booklet stating that the “life of every human being begins at conception.”

This despite the fact that Doe advised the doctors at the St. Louis clinic that "she adheres to principles of the Satanic temple and has sincerely held religious beliefs different from the information in the informed consent booklet," the case summary states.


That sword the christian warriors are wielding to secure their right to be homophobic bigots? It cuts both ways.
January 24, 2018

Christians protest religion-themed assignment in Elgin-area school

Dozens of people spoke out Monday against a homework assignment made at an Elgin-area U46 school in which it was asserted Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths all believe in the same God.

One month after the assignment was criticized by U46 school board member Jeanette Ward, people who identified themselves as part of the Christian community attended the school board meeting Monday to add their opposition.

Several people attacked the assignment, quoting Bible and Quran verses to support their argument that Christians do not follow the same God as Muslims. Some of those who spoke live outside the U46 boundaries, including one person who came from Florida.

"To say that Allah of the Quran and the God of the Bible are the same is simply absurd," said Art Ellingsen, a church pastor from Arlington Heights.


It appears that some christians are polytheists.
January 19, 2018

Horrible people of faith: Jorge Mario Bergoglio

Born: 17 December 1936.

Currently serving as the 256 Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis.

Why horrible? Consider this:

Pope Francis has accused victims of sexual abuse in Chile of slander, saying their attacks on a bishop who's accused of covering up the abuse amount to "calumny." The remarks triggered anger and demonstrations in Chile, where several churches have been firebombed in the past week.

On the last day of his visit to Chile, Francis set the simmering resentment some hold against the Catholic Church to a full boil with his defense of Bishop Juan Barros. The bishop has been hotly criticized ever since the pope appointed him in 2015. Barros was the protégé of Rev. Fernando Karadima, a notorious disgraced priest who served in the southern city of Osorno and who was found guilty and dismissed in 2011 for abusing dozens of minors over a decades-long period beginning in the 1980s.

Karadima became the face of the church's sexual abuse scandal in Chile. And his victims say they believe Barros knew about the priest's abuse but did nothing to stop it or report it. As recently as this week, Barros has denied witnessing any abuse.

In trying to reconcile his church with its followers over decades of sexual abuse, the pope has embraced a "zero tolerance" policy. When a Chilean journalist asked Francis about Barros, the Associated Press reports, Francis replied, "The day they bring me proof against Bishop Barros, I'll speak."

Pope Francis Accuses Bishop's Critics Of Slander, Riling Sex Abuse Victims In Chile
January 17, 2018

Horrible people of faith: James Inhofe

Born: November 17, 1934

Senator from Oklahoma since 1994.

James Mountain "Jim" Inhofe or 'Senator Snowball' (born 17 November 1934) is the batshit wingnut who currently serves as the senior Senator from the state of Oklahoma. God help them.

He is one of the leading global warming deniers in Congress, and is well known for having called it "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people." He is also one of the Republican Party's leaders in the culture wars, and is bucking to be a candidate for the Légion des Crèches Américain with crossed Tannenbaums in the War on Christmas. This should come as no surprise considering that he's a member of the fundamentalist bloc called The Family.

In the hours following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Inhofe made a statement on TV that pissed off a lot of federal employees. When asked about casualties, he said that he doubted that there would be many because, since the federal offices opened at 9 a.m., most of the employees would probably still be somewhere else drinking coffee.[3] (The bombing occurred at 9:02 a.m.) However, when Bill Clinton said that the demagogy on conservative talk radio contributed greatly to this act of domestic terrorism — a claim that Clinton reiterated on the 15th anniversary of the event[4] — Inhofe was outraged both times because he thought that Clinton was trying to politicize the bombing.


January 15, 2018

Will America Choose Kings Dream or Trumps Nightmare?

George Yancy January 15 2018

Let’s come clean: President Trump is a white racist! Over the past few days, many have written, spoken and shouted this fact, but it needs repeating: President Trump is a white racist! Why repeat it? Because many have been under the grand illusion that America is a “post-racial” nation, a beautiful melting pot where racism is only sporadic, infrequent and expressed by those on the margins of an otherwise mainstream and “decent” America. That’s a lie; a blatant one at that. We must face a very horrible truth. And America is so cowardly when it comes to facing awful truths about itself.

So, as we celebrate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, we must face the fact that we are at a moral crossroad. Will America courageously live out Dr. King’s dream or will it go down the road of bigotry and racist vitriol, preferring to live out Mr. Trump’s nightmare instead? In his autobiography, reflecting on the nonviolent uprising of the people of India, Dr. King wrote, “The way of acquiesce leads to moral and spiritual suicide.” Those of us who defiantly desire to live, and to live out Dr. King’s dream, to make it a reality, must not acquiesce now, precisely when his direst prophetic warning faces us head on.

On the night before he was murdered by a white man on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., Dr. King wrote: “America is going to hell if we don’t use her vast resources to end poverty and make it possible for all of God’s children to have the basic necessities of life.” Our current president, full of hatred and contempt for those children, is the terrifying embodiment of this prophecy.

We desperately need each other at this moment of moral crisis and malicious racist divisiveness. Will we raise our collective voices against Mr. Trump’s white racism and those who make excuses for it or submit and thereby self-destructively kill any chance of fully becoming our better selves? Dr. King also warned us that “there comes a time when silence is betrayal.” To honor Dr. King, we must not remain silent, we must not betray his legacy.

More here at the New York Times
January 15, 2018

Horrible people of faith: George Bush

Born: July 6, 1946

I've long suspected the essential fact about Mr. Bush is that God was his 12-step program. At the age of 40, Mr. Bush beat a drinking problem by surrendering to a powerful religious experience, reinforced by Bible study with friends. This kind of born-again epiphany is common in much of America -- the red-state version of psychotherapy -- and it creates the kind of faith that is not beset by doubt because the believer knows his life got better in the bargain.

There are lots of ways to describe Mr. Bush's religion. By church affiliation, he is a Methodist. In theological terms he would be called a pietist, referring to a tradition in which religion is more a matter of the heart than the intellect. One of his fellow believers describes Mr. Bush's Bible study milieu as ''small-group evangelicalism.'' However labeled, Mr. Bush's faith entails a direct relationship between the believer and God. It does not provide a pope, or any other intermediate authority figure.


How his faith influences policy is harder to tell. People who know Mr. Bush say his religion tells you more about the way he makes certain decisions than about the outcome. One adviser, who does not share the president's religious views, said: ''Once you see something as belonging in the moral realm, you have a strong desire to act in such a way that you can live with your conscience.'' Even people who know Mr. Bush are not always sure how much issues are shaped by his conscience and how much by the political calculation that this White House has refined to high science.

His advocacy of faith-based social programs, for example, clearly grows from his conviction, based on personal experience, that religion can bring an extra charisma to problems like drug abuse. If that also happens to win him religious votes and to coincide with the Republican aversion to government social programs, so much the better for Mr. Bush.

God and George W. Bush

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