Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Catholic Church, Already Morally Bankrupt, Files for Chapter 11

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

Longtime haven for and protector of pedophile priests, the Catholic Church continues to look out for its own ass by filing for bankruptcy; this in order to shield its vast wealth from the myriad lawsuits from its sex abuse victims.

There’s nothing that says “I’m sorry” like “See you in court.”

The church is within its legal rights to do this; however, such a worldly action tells us how this allegedly spiritual organization sees itself: as a business. I hope this sinks their credit rating.

The Vatican recently blew a gasket over aggressive investigations into abusive priests by Belgian authorities. In response to these law enforcement actions, a church-run abuse commission took its toys and went home. Did we need them anyway? Self-run investigations are always suspect.

Earlier this week, the church also blasted a member of its own flock, Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, for criticizing higher-ups who protected abusive priests. Abuse schmabuse! There’s a chain of command here, cardinal!

Do all these things indicate a repentant Catholic Church, or one which seeks to protect the status quo?

Unrelated moment of levity: "If you lived here you'd be suffering from a mold-related illness by now." (I am certain that's what the sign at that apartment complex said.)

Monday, June 14, 2010

What's the Buzz? The FIFA 2010 World Cup!

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

If you’ve caught any of the 2010 World Cup – being held in South Africa – you’ve been hearing an unusual buzzing noise underneath the play-by-play. The sound is tens of thousands of vuvuzelas being played simultaneously by fans. This “traditional instrument” is suspiciously similar to the Chinese-made, cheap plastic noisemaker horns sold at pro sports games in the U.S. to keep kids amused and adults annoyed.

Some football/soccer teams are complaining about the incessant, deafening noise, TV commentators are trying to work around it and the league is under pressure both to ban vuvuzelas and to respect them as a local cultural tradition. My preference would be to ban noisemakers from all pro sports except tennis and golf. (OK, I am joking, but wouldn’t it be hilarious to blare those things at Augusta National?!)

I understand fans want to show their enthusiasm – remember, football/soccer is the game that some people will literally kill or die to see – and players want to play. I hope South Africa understands it may be passed over for future tournaments if its customs distract players and cause them to believe the stadium is being invaded by a swarm of Africanized killer bees.

Vuvuzela: Beer funnel, dart gun, obnoxious toy or symbol of cultural expression? You decide.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

The BP Oil Leak Is Obama’s Hitler Problem

By “Pintface” Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

The ongoing BP oil leak has alternately been described as “Obama’s Katrina” or “Obama’s Iranian Hostage Crisis” by various media outlets and pundits; both metaphors are grossly inaccurate and uninformed (and could each generate more words than I care to share here).

Now we’ve actually begun hearing calls from consternatives for the president to “do something” about the developing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Which is amazing, when you think about it: Many consternatives have compared Obama to Hitler simply for pursuing health care reform, yet some now seem to be suggesting the federal government seize control of a private enterprise for the good of the country?

Looking to cement your Nazi comparisons, are you, consternatives? Or would you (suddenly and inexplicably) approve of a government takeover of a major corporation? Make up your fucking minds, people. Better yet, shut your mouths. More pollutants are coming out of them than from that gaping hole at the bottom of the gulf.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

DADT Repeal Part 1: Mission Accomplished (So Far)

By "Pintface" Pete Bogs/BogsBlog

The House of Representatives voted last week to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT), which prohibits gays from serving openly in the U.S. military. The vote came after a years-long fight, and a day filled with revealing comments by many elected officials. Let’s examine some of those remarks:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): “I’m going to do everything I can to support the men and women of the military and to fight what is clearly a political agenda.”

First off, McCain is a senator, so it's not his turn to embarrass himself yet. But more important, does he seriously think a struggle for rights can simply be dismissed as “political?” It’s no more political than women fighting for voting rights or blacks fighting for equal access to schools, businesses, opportunities, etc. I would assert that McCain’s statement itself was politically motivated – the intent being to preserve the status quo and assure his base that he has normal views about this “abnormal” phenomenon.

Also from McCain: “I think it’s really going to be very harmful to the morale and effectiveness of our military.”

We’ve heard phrases like “military readiness/effectiveness,” “troop morale” and “unit cohesion” repeatedly from repeal opponents, but to my knowledge, not one cogent, detailed explanation of how the presence of openly gay troops will influence any of those things. We have been treated to plenty of theoretical alarmist scenarios, however.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX): “If someone has to be overt about their sexuality, whether it’s in a bunker where they’re confined under fire, then it’s a problem.”

Look, no one’s asking to decorate bunkers with rainbow flags, but simply to be able to serve as any other American would. It seems as if Gohmert is suggesting that gay soldiers under fire will pressure straight comrades for a “quickie” in the thick of battle, perhaps using their “gay agenda” to turn some of the latter when death may be imminent?

Gohmert might as well recommend keeping an eye on your wallet when in the trenches next to a black guy, too. (Ok, ok, I know troops probably don't carry wallets into combat, but you know what I mean.)

Gohmert again: “Voting on a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell before the Pentagon’s review is completed says to the military that ‘We don’t care what you think. We’re shoving this down your throat.’”

(Possibly a poor choice of words for a homophobe. Is he a Teabagger by any chance?)

Rep: Todd Akin (R-MI): “So are we then going to then protect and condone homosexuality in the military?”

Homosexuality doesn’t need anyone’s approval to exist; it simply does, and always has. Some people apparently haven't gotten the memo.

Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA): “(Repealing DADT) is the equivalent to turning to our men and women in uniform and their families and saying, ‘Your opinion, your view (sic), do not count.’”

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): “We’re going to say, ‘No. We don’t care what you say. You (presumably straight troops) can die for us on the battlefield, but you have no input into this process.’”

Have we even heard from active-duty military on this? And I don’t mean the chiefs of staff, but the rank and file servicemembers? Well, there is this one opinion from an Iraq War vet:

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA): “(In Iraq) my teams did not care whether a fellow soldier was straight or gay if they could fire their assault rifle or run a convoy down ambush alley and do their job so everyone would come home safely.”

I have heard unverified statements that the younger the troops are, the more accepting they are of homosexuality overall. But has a poll been taken of all current military personnel? Unless that's the case, it's hard to believe most of the statements above don't simply represent the views and values of the old farts who are making a stink about this in Congress, and not the troops or even their constituents.

The battle for DADT repeal is far from over. This month the bill goes before the Senate, where Republicants are expected to filibuster (and a few Democrats may not support repeal). We should let those lawmakers know – by phone, by email, in person and at the polls – what we think of their “leadership.”