“It’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable. One is too much. Waterboarding is torture, period. I can ensure you that once enough physical pain is inflicted on someone, they will tell that interrogator whatever they think they want to hear. And most importantly, it serves as a great propaganda tool for those who recruit people to fight against us. And I’ve seen concrete examples of that talking to former high-ranking al-Qaeda individuals in Iraq.”—John McCain (via alabamawhitman) (via katoleary)
“When people tell me that we are or have been a Christian nation, I want to ask, “When?” Was it in the colonial era or during westward expansion, when we began stealing the lands of the Native Americans, making and breaking treaties, killing wantonly, and justifying our actions by the Bible? Was it in the era of slavery or segregation, when again, we used the Bible to justify the unjustifiable? Was it in more recent history, when we dropped the first nuclear bomb and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, when we overthrew democratically elected governments in the Cold War era, when we plundered the environment without concern for the birds of the air or flowers of the field, or when we sanctioned or turned a blind eye to torture earlier this decade? Was it earlier this week, when I turned on the TV or radio and heard people scapegoating immigrants and gay people and Muslims?”—Brian D. McLaren (via azspot)
“Obama should fast-track healthcare and stop trying to court Republicans. Every House Republican and all but three Senate Republicans voted against the stimulus; all Republicans in both houses voted against the budget. During the recess they hosted “tea parties” claiming that Americans are overtaxed. Over the weekend, House Minority Leader John Boehner called the idea of carbon-induced climate change “almost comical.”
Republicans are already off and running toward the midterm elections of 2010, even starting to run ads against House Democrats in close districts. They seem hell-bent on becoming a tiny, wacky minority — the party that denies evolution, denies global warming, denies Americans need a major overhaul of healthcare, and denies the economy needs anything more than a major tax cut to get it moving again.”—Robert Reich (via julyshewillfly) (via robot-heart-politics)
“Before I do some economics posts, I think I ought to say something about the torture memos — namely, that there is now no way to view the people who ruled us these past 8 years as anything but monsters.”—Paul Krugman (via thebusstop) (via apsies)
The new “education” standards in Texas have being in the press of late over their intention to downplay the Theory of Evolution and give equal time to the religious beleif in intelligent design in science classes.
What has got less coverage is the removal of any estimate at the age of the Universe from Texas text books. Current science estimates the age of the Universe to be around the 14 billion mark, give or take a few hundred million. The books also leave out the age of the Earth, about 4.5 billion years, which is a bit of reach for the religious people on the Texas school stanards board who prefer the bible’s estimate of 6,000 or so years.
Next they will be changing the definition of Pi, which the bible cacluates at as 3 - at least it makes it easier to remember than 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693993751058209 and so on.
JUNEAU — The Alaska Legislature voted 35 to 23 on Thursday to reject the confirmation of Wayne Anthony Ross, Gov. Sarah Palin’s pick for attorney general.
According to Legislative Research Services, it was the first time in state history a head of a state agency has failed to be confirmed by the Legislature. All the Democrats in the Legislature voted against Ross and were joined by nine Republicans, including the Senate president and House speaker.
“I think he is too controversial for the state of Alaska. We’ve got in some people’s mind a controversial governor, and I think that he just has too many controversies out there,” said House Speaker Mike Chenault, a Nikiski Republican.
Remember, this is the guy who said “If a guy can’t rape his wife, who’s he gonna rape?” and “If a woman would keep her mouth shut, there wouldn’t be an issue with domestic violence.”
“It cannot be argued that marriage between people of the same sex is un American or threatens the rights of others. On the contrary, it seems to me that denying two consenting adults of the same sex the right to form a lawful union that is protected and respected by the state denies them two of the most basic natural rights affirmed in the preamble of our Declaration of Independence — liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, I believe, gives the argument of same sex marriage proponents its moral force.”—Ex-McCain aide Steve Schmidt (via notthatkindagay) (via katoleary) (via thewordunheard)
“I didn’t learn until I was in college about all the other cultures, and I should have learned that in the first grade. A first grader should understand that his or her culture isn’t a rational invention; that there are thousands of other cultures and they all work pretty well; that all cultures function on faith rather than truth; that there are lots of alternatives to our own society. Cultural relativity is defensible and attractive. It’s also a source of hope. It means we don’t have to continue this way if we don’t like it.”—Kurt Vonnegut (via thelastsemester) (via dylicious)
“After a lifetime of working, paying taxes and raising three children on her own, Wilder is struggling. She said she retired on disability from M&T Bank three years ago after undergoing knee replacement and back surgeries.
She lives on her Social Security and disability benefits. Last year, she petitioned the bankruptcy court for protection from creditors. She said she did not have to pay federal income taxes last year because her income was too low.
“During two weeks of watching television game shows and trying to keep up with homework online, the Fairfax teen, an honor student and lettered athlete, had time to study the handbook closely. If she had been caught high on LSD, heroin or another illegal drug, she found, she would have been suspended for five days. Taking her prescribed birth-control pill on campus drew the same punishment as bringing a gun to school would have.”—