Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hide Your Women and Children: The Cops Are Coming

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

A federal appeals court has dealt another blow to a woman who was tased by Seattle police while pregnant. The court ruled against Malaika Brooks, who initiated a lawsuit after police shocked her with a Taser for refusing to sign a traffic ticket.

Presiding Judge Cynthia Holcomb Hall explained the verdict: “A suspect who repeatedly refuses to comply with instructions or leave her car escalates the risk involved for officers unable to predict what type of noncompliance might come next.”

To clarify: A judge actually said you can tase a (pregnant) woman for not doing something because there’s no way to tell what she might not do next. Un-fucking-believable.

The use of a Taser on anyone who is not dangerous or out control – but simply being a pain in the ass – is a brutal police state-type tactic that should be banned.

Shooting 42 bullets at a carjacker with an innocent family still inside the car is also inadvisable. But Jacksonville sheriffs did just that, hitting a toddler at least twice as a result.

Spokesperson Sheriff John Rutherford said of the incident: "I just don't want to try to speculate on why they felt the need to shoot at the suspect while he was in the vehicle." (Why don’t you simply ask them, sir?)

The "good guys" need to exhibit better judgment and restraint if they wish to distinguish themselves from the bad guys.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Impeach and Incarcerate Pope Benedict XVI Over Sex Abuse

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests is not "news," but recent revelations of Pope Benedict XVI’s complicity in abuse cases have brought the issue back to the front page. The former Cardinal Ratzinger knew of at least two cases – in his native Germany and in Wisconsin, USA – but did little (i.e., made pedophile priests repent and shuffled them off to other parishes) to nothing about them.

Naturally, church officials are defending their pontiff. And no one should be surprised if all that comes of this is more of the same toothless response that we’ve seen since rampant, longstanding sexual abuse of children by the Catholic Church was revealed in 2002: Apologies and talk of “forgiveness.” The abusers and their enablers/accomplices (anyone who knew but chose to protect church over children, like Ratzinger) should be rotting in jail and enduring nonconsensual sex for the rest of their lives and afterlives.

Dan Brown, get working on a novel in which a secret society of assassins systematically eliminates priests who molested kids for decades but who remain free due to statutes of limitation. I can’t wait for the movie version of Catholic Catharsis. Hell, maybe I'll write it.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Choke on This Change, Bitches!

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

President Obama and the Congress have passed a version of the long-in-the works health care reform bill – a development that, if the media are to be believed, is of historic significance. I cannot fully support the bill, due to the exclusion of a public option/universal coverage/single payer system and the inclusion of a requirement to purchase health insurance (a giveaway to the industry, who shouldn't be gaining from this). But at the same time, if Republicants are so ardently opposed to the bill – all “nays” during yesterday’s voting – that does make it look more attractive.

One thing is certain: If their party makes gains in the next election cycle, Republicants will point to this health care vote, ignoring the fact that the minority party historically picks up votes following an election cycle that handed control to a single party (a consequence of our flawed two-party system). Until then, they can sit and spin.

Monday, March 15, 2010

God Hates Socially Conscious Chumps (UPDATED)

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Fox News cash cow Glenn Beck has suggested his followers leave any church that espouses “social justice” because – according to Beck – that suggests a communist or Nazi agenda.

One church has directly taken on Beck over his ignorance of Christian values, displaying the message “Sorry Mr Beck Jesus Preached Social Justice” on a sign on its property. Some have said Beck's listeners should leave him.

But at least one major church representative has taken a very different stance.

Catholic League President William “Bill” Donohue jumped to Beck’s defense, saying the latter merely meant parishioners should "find a more conservative parish if one is dissatisfied with hearing left-wing sermons." So much for helping the less fortunate as a universal Christian value.

Donohue also stated: “In the Catholic Church, there are priests who are stridently left-wing and stridently right-wing.” Aren't churches supposed to be politically neutral to retain their tax exemption? I hope the IRS is reading this post, though it’s more likely the NSA is.

This is the same Donohue, incidentally, who recently vilified Obama for allowing atheist and secular humanist groups to meet at the White House. To his credit, Obama has made “inclusiveness” part of his policy. During his presidential victory speech, Obama acknowledged people of different sexual orientations; in his inauguration speech he acknowledged people without religious beliefs. Very few politicians would show the same courage after taking high office.

Returning to the issue at hand: Beck is a misguided opportunist with a dangerous amount of influence. Donohue is clearly all about the religion and not about the spiritual beliefs underlying it. As a former Catholic I can tell you that makes him a paragon of Catholicism.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

You Say Inappropriate, I Say Intolerant, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Itawamba County Agricultural High School in Fulton, Mississippi is cancelling this year’s prom instead of allowing a lesbian teen couple to attend. Prior to the cancellation, student Constance McMillen had been denied permission to accompany her tuxedoed girlfriend to the popular annual event, and was also informed the two would be sent home if other attendees felt “uncomfortable" about them being there.

After facing increasing pressure and scrutiny regarding the couple’s request, the local school board decided to call the dance off altogether. Explained district officials: "[W]e feel (cancelling the prom) is in the best interest of the Itawamba County School District, after taking into consideration the education, safety and well being of our students." Apparently, the presence of two gay students at a dance could result in learning difficulties and bodily harm for their peers(?)

Folks, this is really about the threat which two kids pose to the status quo. Many people are afraid to see gay relationships given equal stature with straight ones, lest they one day be considered “legitimate” or “normal.” Then how will we ever get any of those people to reconsider their unconventional “choice” of lifestyle?

The adults behind this needless decision to spoil the fun for everyone have set an example of intolerance and xenophobia for their young students: Let fear of The Other guide you. That’s not a lesson I believe we should be teaching in school.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Welcome to Mayberry, FLA

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

As Florida lawmakers work on a $75 million package designed to entice film and TV productions to the state (the “Entertainment Industry Economic Development Act”), they have inserted a provision to ensure films that “exhibit or imply ... 'nontraditional family values'” do not benefit from the new initiative.

Said Rep. Stephen Precourt (R-Orlando): “(Shows with gay characters) would not be the kind of thing … we want to invest public dollars in (sic).” Precourt added that the films he’d like to see made in Florida would be reminiscent of Mayberry.”

This begs questions about exactly which aspects of Mayberry appeal to him:
Maybe that men were men, women were cloistered, and blacks were anywhere but in your neighborhood?

The Andy Griffith Show was a wonderful TV programme, but it was always a fantasy. It’s time for Precourt and his pals in Tallahassee to come back to reality – and lose the self-righteous attitude while they're at it.

PS: Liberal, gay, godless filmmakers: Y’all come back to Florida now, ya hear?

Thursday, March 04, 2010

America Prepares to Go Postal

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

If the U.S. Postal Service has its way, Americans will soon no longer receive mail on Saturday. Facing a massive financial shortfall, the USPS wants to eliminate Saturday service and make other cutbacks. Aren’t these some of the same people who enjoy paid federal holidays about every other week on the taxpayers’ dime? Why not reclaim some of that budget by working for a change?

And speaking of gun-toting lunatics, Second Amendment supporters may soon have even more reason to celebrate by haphazardly firing shots into the air. After giving the gun lobby some considerable victories, the Supreme Court is now expected to shoot down state and local gun laws at the conclusion of its current case, McDonald v. Chicago. I wonder if “states rights” consternatives will condemn such a ruling, but I expect they will cheer the federal court trumping the states on this one. Hypocritical bastards.

Monday, March 01, 2010

To Summit Up: GOP Offers Nothing New at Health Care Summit

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Last week’s bipartisan health care summit yielded little, though this probably surprises no one. Republicants clearly did not want to be there, but showed up so as not to let Obama paint them as unconcerned about an issue which does concern most Americans.

During opening statements, GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander said, "(Republicants) believe we have a better idea (than Democrats are offering)," but what emerged from the right side of the table were some of the same tired approaches they’ve used in the past. Among the aspects of their plan were medical malpractice reform (aka tort reform) and expanding health savings accounts.

The first of these helps doctors; the second helps businesses. So where is the benefit for the average person? These are recycled consternative ideas that do not benefit people directly. "Pass the savings on to consumers," i.e., trickle down dressed up for health care. No thanks!