Monday, March 12, 2012

Sociopathy as Virtue

Chicago Bishop of the Catholic Church Cardinal George says if his hospitals and other public services organizations have to toe the line in allowing their female employees' availability of contraception healthcare insurnace benefits, he'll close down those businesses rather than compromise his morals. He insists the Catholic Church has the right to dictate the choices, preferences, needs and activities of every one of its employees -- and by extension, those businesses' clients -- who work and live within his sphere of dominance. He such capricious domination over the free will, exercise of Constitutionally protected rights and the pursuit of happiness as his and his parishoners' freedom to worship.According to him, his freedom of religion means he can deny as he chooses everybody who falls within his fiefdom whatever life saving, life changing, pain alleviating, damage preventative, good physical and mental health therapy his interpretation of texts that could never have prophesied such needs dictates. In the name of his all powerful, all seeing, all encompassing, loving and compassionate boss.

Pure, unmitigated horse crap. The Catholic Church has to follow the rules of business in the public square: Period! Just because they and corollary religious institutions have enjoyed a pass at the expense of general public freedom from religion for 'way too long doesn't give the Bishop or any other religionists the right to claim further special rights in offering public services in the public arena. Indeed, the Bishop is correct in that his freedom of religion is absolute only in the specially designated sanctuaries where he's free to dictate behavior to his heart's content. In the public square, however, his freedom to worship ends at the tip of any and every employee's nose, Catholic or not, religious or not, believer or not. The Church has no right to exemption from public safety, the general welfare or any other corporate responsibilities universally incumbent on business institutions. The Church has no right to dictate choices or behavior among non-believers outside of any designated sanctuaries whatsoever. The Bishop is executing yet another power grab over governance of the general public, true to form, as it is wont to do. But, it ain't gonna work, not any more, not no how. So, he plays by the rules as everybody else, or he has to excuse himself from the activities that compels him, for the good of everybody in the public arena, to otherwise compromise his antisocial compulsions. Threatened with actually having to act responsibly among the general public, he oh-so-compassionately threatens to take his baseball bat and go home. He doesn't hint that he'd sell the institutions for fair value in the public marketplace, but he'll deprive all the recipients of services he pretends to care about outright just to prove how righteous he is. He's a twisted, rigid, sociopathic, magical thinking despot.

Not to be outdone, the Archbishop of New York, John Sentamu, has joined voices with Catholic archbishops Vincent Nichols and Peter Smith, president and vice-president of the bishops conference in the UK declaring in a letter read this week in all the masses in England and Wales that "Changing the legal definition of marriage would be a profoundly radical step. Its consequences should be taken seriously now."

These guys have a vested interest in maintaining their grip on the masses, wanting to extend their reach beyond their flocks into the general public without regard of the wishes the non-Anglican public. These pronouncements are in absolute opposition to both history and current reality. In fact, these Bishops' position is just so much more self loathing generating, guilt inspiring, confusion inducing, anti-social prejudice based on conviction instead of fact, assertion in place of reality, with opinion replacing proof. These anarchic, anachronistic theocrats ignore the history within their own church that celebrated same sex unions complete with official liturgy through the 17th century, some two hundred years after James II order to induce the Anglican Ecclisiastical order and attitude into his commissioned translations. These guys just continue to make things up, in the long held tradition, as it suits them in their never ending grab for power and the hearts and minds of everybody they can fool, convince, intimidate, coerce, manipulate or cajole. Yet, the British state continues to humour them, encourage them and subsidize them as if they had any socially redeeming value that could not be accomplished without all that magical mumbo jumbo, confusion contrary to reality or all those other trappings and baggage they'd have us pretend doesn't exisit or are merely positive.

(c)2012 Nathan Garcia. All international rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My (Newest) Letter to Senators Feinstein and Boxer, and Representative Pelosi

Feinstein, Boxer and Pelosi. These are my representatives. Two out of three are paragons of the progressive left in American politics. Senator Boxer is a firebrand liberal and Rep. Pelosi has proven to be one of the most effective legislators, Majority Leaders and, until recently, House Speakers in Congressional History. Even when considering Republican party intransigence against acting in the interests of the American people, opting instead to protect the interests of the elite corporate oligarchy, these three women of the United States Congress have led Congress to near unprecedented accomplishments in the name of fairness, equality, justice and the consequences of government action.

The time is ripe for two statutes that can make all the difference in the world, and return election results to reflect the true sentiments of the American electorate. To that end, I have submitted the following missive to my representatives.

Senators Feinstein & Boxer, and Rep. Pelosi

There's been a recent upsurge of support for a Constitutional amendment aimed at reverseing Citizens United and the assumed personhood status conferred upon Corporations by the Supreme Court. It is my understanding, first, that the corporate personhood interpretation of the Appeals Court ruling is, in fact, a fraud perpetrated by the court, and an issue that has never actually been reviewed, much less found, by the Supreme Court of the United States. Furthermore, the Constitution gives Conress the authority to not only define and regulate the courts lower than the Supreme Court, but gives Congress the power to designate the jurisdiction over which the Supreme Court may review legislation created by the Congress.

As nominal progressives and officers of Congress, it is within your remit to correct both the corporate personhood fraud upon the courts and the free speech ruling recently set by the Supreme Court by majority statute. Such would much more quickly and easily right the massive injustice perpetrated on the American people by regressive clerks of the court and ideological Justices on the United States Supreme Court.

Please do your duty as officers of the Legislative Branch. Intruduce legislation stripping corporations of the fraudulent status of personhood, and removing unlimited corporate campaign finance loopholes from the electoral process. Return our government to one of, for and by the People of the United States.

With warm regards and humble sincerity,
Nathan Garcia

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Qualifications: Scott v. Warren

In a story reporting the anomolous results indicating Scott Brown with a narrow, statistically insignificant lead over Elizabeth Warren that could have been due to wording and question order, the comments section degraded to simple partisanship. The trolls were out in force on the Huffington Post article covering the issue.

What we don't need is another book writing academic,like Warren

I know you don't want anyone Warren, intelligent and capable. Well, got news for ya; This state wants her as senator!

What has she done so far to make you think that way.Don't say write books please

Okay, I thought. Well... Yes and no:

Nathan Garcia
That you have obviously made up your mind about the race without having bothered to answer that question for yourself indicates your bias. There isn't likely any amount of qualification one might present to you on Ms. Warren's behalf that would budge your opinion. With the unlikely probability that may be mistaken, here goes. 
Elizabeth Warren is a bankruptcy law expert who has taught at several law schools and universities in the 80s and 90s. She chaired the Congressional Oversight Committee designed to manage TARP processes and became a special advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury during which she built the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You, that's the agency created to keep pedatory capitalists from fleecing you dry with fine print conditions and gotcha terms of service. She has worked as an advisor to the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, was a member of the FDIC Advisory Commission on Economic Inclusion, and is a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference. and is a former vice-president of the American Law Institute. 
Scott Brown, on the other hand, is a career politician who has faithfully adhered to the Republican Party plank of failed policies, double standard positions of small government for corporations and micromanagment of real peoples' private lives. His is a world of emotion based, gut feeling regressive justifications of demonstrably destructive regressive politics requiring double talk redefinitions of events when reality proves his positions false and actions malignant.
It's both telling and tragic when people diminish and devalue the worth of experiece shared by knowlegeable authors about technical subjects. Having been there and done that, Warren writes from experience. People who read her scholarly works are able to make better, informed decisions armed with the knowledge of other peoples' mistakes. That's much better than depending on one's gut feelings about any life changing issue. Or, on a political party's dogma, especially if the party line has proven to be an utter failure by real world events. Relying on "Common Sense" is as reliable as depending on any other form of hearsay, traditional, appeal-to-popularity logical fallacy, feel good, old wives' tale fairy tale.
Warren has lived the life of managing personal and family finances from the trenches, has taught about how the law effects real people, and has worked in government to protect the well being of citizens under threat from abusive capitalism run amok. That you consider her academic qualifications as some kind of fault, and dismiss her without considering her advocacy work and experience undermines your objections and obviates any credibility you might pretend to have.

It sure is alot of work putting a silly, irresponsible remark into real world context. In the end, though, I think it's worth it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Metiche is Spanish for Buttinsky

The right wing Media Research Center is upset because glee protrays normal people as if they're normal, and is especially twisted out of shape because normal gay people are depicted as normal among all the rest of the normal people in the program. Idiots.

According to the MRC, including gay people as functional, happy and healthy human beings is mocking their Bible. Any depicton of gay people interacting in any manner similar to straight people being intimate is the same thing, according to the MRC, as forcing homosexual propaganda on their (helpless, captive) viewers. I guess their remote's batteries are flat. FFS.

These idiots don't get it that they're mocking their own Bible with such pusilaneous, piddly, pissant niggling into the lives of people who have nothing to do with their silly paranoic delusions. It's not up to them what even a single other person watches or doesn't watch, whether among their "flock" or, and especially, people who don't follow their archaic, anachronistic prohibitions on behavior. As my grandma used to say, "Hechandose la nariz en cima" (sticking your nose in the middle where it doesn't belong), kindly butt the hell out of our lives. Your meddling is unwelcome and unwanted. It's called religious harrassment.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Force Fed After Taste

This kind of crossed my mind in responding to current events blogs on the interwebs.

When workmates raise the spectre of sexual inuendo in an unwelcome or unwanted way in the work place, it's appropriately deemed sexual harrassment. Similarly, when religionists begin pushing their religion on anybody outside their protected sanctuaries, whether proseletyzing, recruiting, pontificating, protesting others' protected rights or choices, discriminationg against or denying others' rights with religious apologies and justifications, or legislating, that's religiious harrassment. Nothing in the First Amendment guarntees freem to harrass and intimidate innocents who just happen to think differently. The prevention of religious freedoms abuse is not an attack on religion, but merely defense against religious harrassment. Claims that protecting ones self from religious harrassment is declaring war on religion is absurdly false, however well it fits into the convenient persecution complexes among the religious.

In other words, you can't just make stuff up, claim it's divine, and expect everybody else to play along as if  wishful thinking was based in reality. There's nothing in the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment that obliges anybody else to behave as if they agree with whatever hairbrained divine revelation another may claim. And, ostensibly well meaning people, right along with manipulative sociopaths, not to mention bona fide psychopaths, have been conflating mild hallucinations to severe psychotic episodes with seeing gaud for ages. There's nothing in the First Amendment that requires another to enable religionist delusions. And, relistionists make those demands that all the time, too. And, how the sociopathic ones do so love to make up doublespeak euphemisms to hide their contempt of others' free choices, even guaranteed ones.

Like requiring employers, who provide services to and hire among the general population without reference to creed or religion, to offer the healthcare choice of contraception to women, thereby ensuring their guaranteed right of control over their own bodies, promoting womens' autonomy in society, and provide women's uninterrupted ability to mind their own business -- without meddling by patriarchic, buttinsky, angry old white men -- as somehow an affront to religious liberty. Nah, they just don't like not being able to control women and are threatened by not being able to make all the decisions. I mean, that's what religion has always been about, hasn't it? Protection of male domination, heredity, subjugation of women and the rest of "the Other" tainted by original sin or other accident of birth. Lacking moral (or any other flavor of) authority to do so, there's always the mystical, bigger than we are, mysterious workings of a supreme being who loves you so much he'll punish you forever if you don't just love him back, no matter what he does to you to prove how hard you're trying while you survive. Fear, guilt, hell. That's the ticket.

Or, how 'bout the idea that men marrying men or women marrying women so thoroughly upsets the stability of heterosexuals marrying each other that society will completely break down and cease to function, if for no other reason than it pisses gaud off? Women must only concern themselves with making house and babies. Having fun is diabolical, so women having sex with women is just too much. [Voyeurism humor deleted.] And, men wasting their potential to build and protect wealth with scads and boat loads of male heirs... That's what's society's for, isn't it? Gaud put that particular king on the throne for a reason, you know. There is no such thing as accident of birth. And, sexual orientation is a choice. Otherwise, people would be born gay, not choose to be gay at puberty. Yeah, right.

The aftertaste of relgion shoved down one's throat is enough to make you sick.

Look: Keep your anachronisms to yourself. Praise anybody's name you wish, singing  (or not), dancing (or not), fasting, lighting candles, making burnt offerings, whatever the hell you want. But, keep it behind closed doors, in the privacy of your homes or the fellowship of your sanctuary. And, if you bring it up in polite company, expect to be called out on the blatant harrassment. It's unwanted and unwelcomed.

(c)Nathan Garcia 2012. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Santorum Bizzaro Reality #1

In reaction to Washington State's passage and scheduled implementation of marriage equality, Rick Santorum has stated that marriage equality "waters down" the significance of marriage. He fails to explain how or why.
“We have a serious issue about trying to get moms and dads to marry and stay together...I don’t see this as encouraging that. I think that at least from my perspective it tends to water down marriage instead of encouraging men and women to form healthy marriages"
His statement presupposes the only viable family is headed by a mother and a father. Such is ignorant of the tens or hundreds of thousands of American, let alone worldside, same sex couple headed households and families with children. Those couples who would and have engaged in same sex pairing are not among the heterosexual candidates available to form mom-and-dad families. Open inclusion of same sex couples has never, in any of the countries, states, cities or territories where marriage equality is a reality has never watered down the institution of hetersexual marriage nor thinned the pool of perspective mates. Conflating the two, discreet groups is a false equivalency. Including same sex couples in state recognized civil marriages does not reduce, harm or threaten heterosexual marraige. Heterosexuals are not prevented from marrying nor are they prompted to separate or divorce because homosexuals can marry. One does not follow the other. Saying, or implying that they do, is a non sequitur logical fallacy.
“It’s pretty intolerant to suggest that people have no rational reason to be in favor of this institution that has been the bulwark of society for 235 years"
Favoring marriage equality does not equal being against of the institution of heterosexual marraige. Implying that is so is also a false equavilency. It's pretty lame, to boot. That's all you got, Rick? Logical fallacies and religious dogma are the only justification you have for excluding segments of the population from enjoying a right designated by the Supreme Court [Loving v. Virginia, 2007]? What's the compelling state interest? The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals says they ain't got one. That means your position, Rick, is as unConstitutional as it is intolerant.

When religionists enter the public square, they leave behind the protected sanctuary of the church where anything goes, where they are free to pursue their faith in whichever fashion they choose. But, in the civic arena, they leave behind the protection that allows them to impose the details of their faith on others. For some reason, many among the faithful regard imposing their supernatural fiats about behavior on others, whether based on true, unchallangable measurements or arbitrary, anachronisitic, archaic, capricious standards, among protected rights of worship. They don't understand that imposition of religious edict is only protected within their sanctuaries, and their right to practice religion extends only the the tip of the next person's nose.

Given a free pass to shove dogma on others in the name of religious tolerance is an abuse of religious freedom. Nothing in Rick Santrum's Freedom of Religion requires anybody else to behave as if they agree or to pretend he even has a point.  Calling one out on and preventing others from abusing religious freedoms has never been an attack on religion or faith, but a self-protection reaction to inappropriate behavior and abusive application of religious protections. Religious dogma has no place shaping civil, secular law, ethics aside, precisely because the same First Amendment that guarantees religious freedom also restricts government from enacting statutes that favor any faith over any other, including absence of faith. That, alone, disqualifies religious dogma as criteria for establishing statutes or denying rights to citizens. Those same judicial opinions have determined that, lacking a compelling state interest, the only function and result of marriage equality prohibitions is to single out specific citizens for special designation as second class citizens, robbing them of dignity, freedom, social benefits and unalienable rights.

Plainly put, it isn't up to Rick Santorum or others who agree with him for whichever reason. Rick Santorum is just plain out of line. Recent court opinions have established that Santorum's criteria for denying citizens marriage equality is unConstitutional. Ethics and morality aside, his positions on marriage equality are anti-social, undemocratic, anti-Constitutional and unpatriotic. By conspicuous conduct, he has disqualified himself from service in public office.

(c)Nathan Garcia 2012. All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 13, 2012

Science Theory v. Religious Dogma

Evolution is absolutely a fact. The only speculative aspect of its understanding, and exactly why it's still referred to as a theory -- which in scientific terms merely means a confirmed model undergoing further confirmation -- is the exact nature of every detail in the process. Scientific models are assembled based on observed and testable facts. Those are each real, testable for reality, hold-in-you-hand-proof facts, none of them speculation or pseudo-facts, but actual proof one way or the other. It just so happens that every bit of new information about evolution discovered confirms the theory. What makes scientific theory more than just a guess is that each new bit of information gives us more material for testing and more mortar for assembling an ever more complete picture. One part of that assembly process is using information already in hand to make predictions about further developments. It is this predictive aspect of the process that qualifies the whole process as a theory. These predictions are tested for either confirmation or proof as false. The more we discover, the more accurate the scientific fact of evolution becomes in every detail.

Creationism is built on logical fallacies, most notably the "god of the gaps" leap-of-faith which says, "I don't know, therefore God." The therefore God part inserts a wide array of myths, legends, hearsay, old wives tales and superstition. Nowhere in Creationism is there an actual theory, nor is there anything to test or with which to make predictions about which to test. Creationism is, at best, philosophy, and does not even begin to approach the definition of science. That is why Creationism cannot pass muster in courts of law. Creationism is not science and does not qualify for a place in any manner of science class.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Creative Myopia of Egocentric Colored Glasses

To all you ingrates who claim taxation and support of society in kind to the advantages derived from the social system is theft, and that caring for those less fortunate is unfair to those who have a job, take heed:

It is the civic duty, moral obligation and ethical requirement for everybody who derives benefit from living in a society, especially those who extract disproportionate advantage, whether financial, psychological, real or figurative, to give back to that society in direct proportion to what they get out of the society. It is further imperative, at minimum, to maintain the society for the next person coming along at the level at which it was taken advantage -- and in proportion to profit extracted -- to advance the society for future commercial and social health. Nobody makes their forturne in society without the help of everybody else among whom they live and operate. Profit is only possible because consumers have the resources that provide the extra return in an exchange that reders a profit to the seller of goods or services.

Taxes are the dues owed, the price of admission, for living in a society that offers the opportunity for profit and fortune building. Corporations and individuals who extract huge profits from society are honor bound, morally and ethically obligated to return huge support, both financial and in attitude, to return their fair share to society in proportion to the benefit they've received from the system. Denial of this responsibility, rejection of this obligation, is unsustainable, dysfunctional, anti-social by definition, and evidence of textbook psychopathic behavior. Not giving back one's fair share is selfish, immature, unsustainable, self destructive and destructive to society, sociopathic and, all too often, psychopathic (See Bank of America et. al. mortgage foreclosure fraud, Goldman Saks et. al. financial instrument fraud, Tea Party/GOP presidential candidate delusions, paranoia, issue fabrication, revisionist history.)

Corporations and the elite one-half of one per cent at the top have enjoyed decades of loop holes, tax breaks, deregulation, specail rights and disproportionate immunity from civic responsibility. A miniscule segment have abused the system of enhancing their take from social good will and the value of the marketplace to the point of ruining the work, savings and good will of the overwhelming majority of society's members. The corporate welfare and immunity from responsibile culpability built into the system by their disproportionate influence is at an end. Restitution of Corporate and 1% abuses is in order and long overdue. Consolation and compensation is required in proportion to the abuse suffered and endured by the 99%.

Everything corporations accumulate in profit is on the backs of their employees without whom they'd have no product to sell and customers without whom they'd have no revenue. If workers were paid what their jobs are actually worth, no corporation or company would do better than break even.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Re: Clint Eastwood's Super Bowl Message

Karl Rove is offended by honest, non-partisan analyses of recent events. So, effin' what? There is no guarantee anyplace against being offended. And, if there were, how many claims of offense could be lodged against Rove for his duplicity and crimes against reason, not to mention all the policies of which he was at least partially responsible in George W's election campaigns and White House? What a sniveling little prick.
Here's what's really going on: Conservatives, Republicans of all stripe and especially Neo-Cons, are sore losers who are indisposed to consider facts and logic but consider opinions and conviction of equal validity (just like their religion) as reality. Their entire philosophy has been soundly proven false and unworkable by undeniable, real world events. In their denial over everything they stand for being wrong, they insist everybody enable their delusion and play along as if they even have a workable point about anything. Karl Rove is just whining at being reminded in an open, First Amendment protected marketplace (the same place than enabled him to deceive the entire electorate time and again, issue after issue, year after year) that his life has been a complete scam, profitability notwithstanding. He doesn't want anybody being reminded so: Heaven forbid anybody get the right idea."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dissipating Our Power

Political opinion is informed on how one attributes weight to only a few criteria. Conservatives hold authority and loyalty above fairness and consequence. Progressives kick authority, and seconarily, loyalty, to the curb in favor of fairness and the consequences of actions. The old chestnut is "Liberals fall in love, conservatives fall in line." It's not surprising that no matter what remedial damage control and repair to the state of the nation our President is able to achieve, his supporters remain disappointed that more hasn't been accomplished. Liberals question authority and pay closer attention to the current fairness quotient and how the state of things effect status of all the crises all around us. Liberals squabble a lot among ourselves. And, that disspates much of the energy and attention that might otherwise be focused on changing things.

The difficulty challenging Obama "apologists" and apparently disappointed Democrats who might be labelled cronically malcontent is that there are huge repositories of information and details to which none of us are privy that would change everybody's outlook on the matter.

First of all, the reality of our bicameral legislative system and the separation of powers makes it inherently difficult, by design, to make huge changes.That's why it's taken the Republican party, actually since Nixon but shifted into 2d & 3d gear under Reagan, and into overdrive by GWBush, decades to reach the level of inside power, overwhelming support of irresistible money, and relentless pressures on every representative to toe the (literally) Corporate line or face annihilation. And, you can't plausibly suggest that corporate stongarms are limited to the Legislature. Look at how the Supremes subverted the Constitution to place GWBush into the Oval Office in 2000. Look how mercenary contracts have taken over huge swaths of military support once fulfilled by enlisted personnel. Notice how former special forces and special ops retirees become executives among armament manufacturers, switching to lobbyists, some running for and winning legislative offices, branch off to create and run mercenary armies for hire on the world market. See how Wall Street execs take posts with various regional Federal Banks, back to the boardrooms, spend a few years in International banking, European national banks, and back to the Fed or Cabinet portfolios/undersecretary positions. Are you really telling me you can't envision regular channels relaying warnings to incumbents to play by the long established rules or lose a parent/sibling/spouse/child to some unexplainable accident? A warning by well placed insiders under secret obligation to well heeled moneyed interests is all it takes. Withdrawal from Afghanistan is delayed, closure of an offshore detention center, unhampered by the Constitution and unbound by civilian courts, is canceled, corporate owned news outlets fail to point out false equivalences, political non sequiturs, mischaracterizations of fact by adversaries, outright Right wing fabrications and Republican doublespeak in daily reports...and on and on. We are demonizing each other which is exactly how the powers-that-be want it. The only solution is to force transparency of government machinations, the reversal of Bush era (and current administration) secrecy, and holding each and every representative accountable each and every day on each and every issue.

These corporate funded, elite few have been setting us up and have been controlling us for a very long time. They're very good at it. Just as they can't ship all eleven million undocumented Hispanics back over the border, they can't threaten the entire electorate. Nor, can they keep us fooled forever, try though they may. Their subterfuge only lasts so long, and the longer it's applied the more gently the pushes have to be. They bit off 'way more than they could chew, 'way too fast for their own good with their boy George W. who just couldn't tell from appropriate, from just enough or too much and who may have actually believed the magical thinking, snake oil formula they were pushing was real. For all their cash, they only have so many votes, and their buying power is the least effective its been, thanks to the likes of OWS, Pacific Radio, some on MSNBC, Jon Stewart, Current TV and a host of alternative news sources, for a very long time. They win when we stay quiet and complacent, or when we're too busy arguing among ourselves. Our only viable course is to quit this internecine squabbling and focus on the true threats to our representative democratic republic: Wall Street, Armament manufacturers, telecom giants, Big Oil/Pharma/Finance, The Federalist Society (description), the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)...All the guys at Bohemian Grove, at the Koch seminars, the Hoover institute genre think tanks...all the people who need the Middle Class quiet, obedient and complacent.