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Member since: Mon Jan 26, 2015, 06:15 PM
Number of posts: 42,057

About Me

bilingual, bipedal homo sapien

Journal Archives

The GOP has a fantastic plan for healthcare.

As long is you are an Insurance company executive,

or a Big Pharma executive,

or a major stockholder in either industry,

otherwise, the plan is to allow for many millions of Americans to settle for inadequate or non-existent healthcare.

Taking stock of the clergy sexual abuse crisis: Holding bishops accountable

From the article:

When people were first confronted with the extent of Catholic priests’ sexual abuse of children, they were angry. But when, in the early 2000s, they learned that their bishops knew about the abuse and did little to stop it, Catholics and even the wider public were outraged.
As the crisis has rolled on, the demand that the bishops be held accountable for not reporting the abuse to the police, for keeping these priests in ministry and for not protecting children has become the focus of state and church inquiries, from the Vatican to attorney general offices across the U.S...…

Many commentators have noted that while the Dallas Charter dealt with priest abusers, it did not deal with bishop abusers or with bishops who failed to protect children. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which established the Dallas Charter, argued correctly that the USCCB did not have any authority over bishops. Only the pope does....

If 30 to 50 bishops had apologized, taken full responsibility and resigned in 2002, the church would not be where it is today. The Vatican in those days was adamantly opposed to bishops’ resigning under pressure. It feared the domino effect — if one bishop resigns, who will be pressured next?
This left only one avenue to pursue. Sue.

To read more:


Whataboutism, redux

Why Whataboutism is a Fallacy

Whataboutism suggests that two wrongs make a right.

If we accept whataboutism arguments, then nothing can be deemed wrong, as long as we can think of examples of things that are worse.


A very concise definition, but consistent with longer versions.

So if there is a suggestion that, for example, abuse is acceptable because "everyone does it", that is whataboutism.

If there is an acknowledgment that abuse is a crime, and that it occurs everywhere, that is not whataboutism because there is no intent to excuse.

Whataboutism in the discussion of religion

First, what is it?

1) Simply put, whataboutism refers to the bringing up of one issue in order to distract from the discussion of another.
2) It does not apply to the comparison and analysis of two similar issues in terms such as why some are given more social prominence than others.

Looking at the first point, intent is critical. And to establish intent, we need either an admission or repetitive behavior.
Absent either of those, we proceed to #2. In this group, the Religion Group, religious issues are given more prominence because of the nature and focus of the group, but that does not mean that we can only discuss negative behaviors as they relate to theists.
If the negative behavior being discussed is a universal human behavior, making that point is never meant to excuse the behavior, it is meant to show that religion is not the causal factor.

I bring this up because the accusation of whataboutism is incorrectly and constantly thrown out in an attempt to ignore a point being made.

Barr Is Going To Allow Trump To Edit The Mueller Report

From the article:

The Public Won’t Get To See The Full Mueller Report
Trump and his White House are going to make sure that the American people don’t get to see the unedited version of the Mueller report. The idea that it could take weeks to release this report is nonsense. The full report could be released today. It will take weeks for the White House to edit the report so that it paints Trump in the best possible light.

To read more:


Allow the criminals to edit the facts?

What could go wrong?

Obama Adviser Demolishes Trump With Facts: We Had Zero Indictments In Two Terms

From the article:

Rhodes said:
The president’s proclivity to attack his enemies with no basis – I mean, Chris, in the clip you played, accusing the Obama administration of all kinds of things with no specifics. This a man who criticized a very thorough investigation as a witch hunt, then standing there with absolutely nothing to back it up, accusing his predecessor of high crimes and misdemeanors with absolutely no supporting evidence. The fact of the matter is, Barack Obama in eight years, there were zero indictments in our administration. This special counsel investigation yielded many indictments of people around Trump. Frankly, his lawyer was caught committing a crime that Trump directed him to commit. Trump doesn’t want to talk about that. He wants to talk about the people he wants his supporters to attack, and that’s not a way to lead this country.

To read more:


Openly Gay, Openly Christian Buttigieg Challenges the Religious Right

From the article:

As someone whose identity includes serious Christianity and serious progressive political stances, I’ve always been wary of trying to counter the Christian right with some sort of Christian left, in a Bible-quotation–loaded competition to claim God for a party or ideology...

Still, it’s important now and then to challenge the conservative assertion — often shared in ignorance by secular media — that religiosity, and particularly Christian religiosity, dictates reactionary positions on culture and politics. So I found it interesting and provocative that 2020 presidential candidate Cory Booker goes out of his way to talk about his own religious faith....

As E.J. Dionne observes, there is another 2020 Democratic presidential candidate who’s conspicuously talking about his faith, the fast-rising dark horse Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana....

To read more:


The author states that the secular media takes this position out of ignorance. I think that it is deliberate. The US media is predominantly conservative, predominantly right wing friendly.

What is the role of inspiration in the Bible?

Nahmanides was a Spanish Talmudist, Kabbalist and biblical commentator (1194-1270), known, after the initial letters of his name, as Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman).

Nahmanides said, speaking of creation:

At the briefest instant following creation all the matter of the universe was concentrated in a very small place, no larger than a grain of mustard. The matter at this time was so thin, so intangible, that it did not have real substance. It did have, however, a potential to gain substance and form and to become tangible matter. From the initial concentration of this intangible substance in its minute location, the substance expanded, expanding the universe as it did so. As the expansion progressed, a change in the substance occurred. This initially thin noncorporeal substance took on the tangible aspects of matter as we know it. From this initial act of creation, from this ethereally thin pseudosubstance, everything that has existed, or will ever exist, was, is, and will be formed.

Metaphoric language, but remarkably like the 20th century Big Bang hypothesis from a 12th century Rabbi.

According to Stephen Hawking, this original, primordial speck is called a singularity, with infinite energy pulling in upon itself, not allowing any energy to escape. This was the ultimate “black hole.” This was considered a monumental discovery, but something that we have known, although not totally understood, from Torah literature for thousands of years!
One thing Hawking does not explain is how the Big Bang was possible. If there is an infinite amount of energy holding the singularity together, from whence is the even greater energy to pull it apart?!
He indeed does say that until after the point of the Big Bang, all science and mathematics breaks down, and time and science have their beginnings only after the Big Bang. Our answer to all this is that the Creator, who was the architect of the very concept of infinity, had the energy beyond infinity to bring about the Big Bang.
As science progresses, we see much more clearly how the physical world and the spiritual world of Torah are one.


So was Nahmanides' idea the product of insight, or inspiration?

In the creation story of Genesis, we are told that Adam and Eve were the first 2 humans. And read literally, it is inconsistent with science.

But if the names Adam and Eve translate into earth and life. we have life coming from the earth.

We are told that God took 1 rib from Adam and created Eve, thus Adam was missing a rib. Clearly men and women have the same number of ribs, and even Bronze Age humans knew that, so what is the underlying meaning?

One possibility:

Men are XY, and women are XX. The Y has one less "rib", or leg, than does the X.

So is this insight, or inspiration?

The Mueller Report was merely one part of the solution. And not even the most important part.

The problem which needs to be solved is that Trump is President.

After the shock of a stolen election, Democrats needed to find a response. For 2 years, the GOP controlled Congress, and literally no oversight was exercised. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell allowed Trump to violate numerous Constitutional provisions regarding Executive behavior, essentially becoming accessories to Trump.

But in 2018, a blue wave gave back control of the House, and the oversight has just started.

The Mueller Report is one part of the oversight process, but parts of the problem have been given over to other Agencies in many states.

We must trust that the House will exercise proper oversight over the Executive Branch, and that these Committees will find evidence of more Trump crimes.

And leading to 2020, we must work to ensure that another blue wave retakes the Senate, and the Presidency.

But even if this happens, Trump and his crime family must be brought to justice.

Regarding the Mueller Report:

Many times now, Trump has publicly demanded and insisted that the Mueller Report be released in its entirety, and he claims that the report exonerates him,
but at the same time he could be privately ordering Barr to do the exact opposite.

This strategy would allow his millions of credulous followers to claim that the Report does indeed exonerate Trump, while insuring that the Report is never seen by the media and the general public.

This strategy would, of course, require Trump and his Administration to lie to the American people.
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