Jesurgislac’s Journal

January 29, 2009

Saddleback

from this week’s Savage Love

And now… without further delay… the winning definition of “saddleback“… by a gaping margin… definition number 5: “Saddlebacking: the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities.” After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she’s saving herself for marriage.

Here’s why this definition is perfect: Saddlebacking, like barebacking, involves one person riding up on another’s backside. But in this case, it’s not the bare-naked cock-in-ass that’s the most important feature of the ride, but the fact that the person being ridden has been saddled—thanks to the efforts of the Rick Warrens of this world—with religious hang-ups and serious misconceptions about sex. Like the barebacker who casually tosses away his health—or his partner’s health—because he believes, quite erroneously, that “risky = sexy,” the saddlebacker offers up her ass because she believes, quite erroneously, that she can get fucked in the ass—vigorously, religiously—and still be considered a virgin on her wedding night.

I’ve set up a website—www.saddlebacking.com—to popularize the new definition. (Get to work, Google bombers!) Now let’s get this term into common usage as quickly as possible.

Let’s go!

January 28, 2009

This isn’t a threat.

Filed under: lolcats — jesurgislac @ 1:54 am
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funny pictures
moar funny pictures

January 27, 2009

Tuesday Recipe Blogging: flying food

Via, via, the open letter on Virgin Airlines food, inspired me to this week’s Tuesday Recipe:

I used to fly from Heathrow to Scotland on the BMI earlybird flight more often than I like to remember. In theory, you could get a breakfast on the flight: in practice, getting a vegetarian breakfast required booking it at least 48 hours in advance. (The flight was one of those you can book 12 hours in advance – I don’t know if they still exist, but on at least one occasion I decided to go to Edinburgh if I could get a seat, rang up BMI in the afternoon, booked myself on the next day’s flight… and found I was 36 hours too late to get a vegetarian breakfast.)

The one time I managed to book in advance and navigate their special meal booking system to get a vegetarian breakfast on the plane, another vegetarian was sitting several rows ahead of me, so when he asked could he have a vegie breakfast, he got mine: and no, the flight attendant did not apologise for the mistake.

Food on short flights exists mainly to give the passengers something to do. (Actually, I suppose the practice of serving meals probably initially began because flight attendants, whose primary duty is to save the passengers lives in the event of disaster, were always mostly female, and what do you have women do when they’re not saving lives? Serve food.)

On long flights, though, you do need to eat something – even if you’re not doing anything: and of course the crew need to be fed: they’re working. The only problem is, and particularly if you’re vegetarian: the food is usually vile, where it isn’t inedible.

My solution is baked cheese on bread. (more…)

January 26, 2009

You’re not allowed to kill civilians

I’m deeply impressed with everything Barack Obama has done in his first hundred hours as President.

Well, almost everything.

Obama, Biden says, is planning to “take the fight” to the Afghanistan/Pakistan region:

Against a background of widespread protests in Pakistan and Afghanistan over US operations since Obama became president, the vice-president, Joe Biden, said yesterday that US forces would be engaged in many more operations as the US takes the fight to its enemies in the region. link

The government of Pakistan has appealed to Barack Obama to halt missile strikes in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan after 22 people were killed. As they point out, killing civilians is “counter-productive” to the “war on terror” – and also, Mr President: illegal.

You’re not allowed to kill civilians.

Calling on the Obama Administration to review its policy for tackling terrorism and extremism, the Pakistan government said last night that it had already conveyed its concerns over the missile strikes to the US.

The move came a day after two missile attacks in North and South Waziristan tribal regions killed at least 22 people, including children. Up to eight suspected foreign militants were also killed in the attacks, media reports said.

These were the first missiles strikes carried out by the US-led coalition forces based in Afghanistan after Obama assumed office on January 20.

“We maintain that these attacks are counter-productive and should be discontinued. Pakistan urges the US and NATO to adopt a holistic and more effective approach to countering extremism and terrorism,” said a statement issued by the Foreign Office spokesman.

“Pakistan has consistently lodged strong protests with the US government against drone attacks, which constitute an infringement of Pakistan’s sovereignty. Yesterday’s attack in the Waziristan area which caused civilian causalities is a matter of great concern. These concerns have been conveyed to the US side,” the statement said. link

Did Obama order the air attack? Was it a holdover from the Bush administration’s policy? Who decided that the missiles should continue to fly at people’s homes in Pakistan, regardless of who they kill? The belief on the subcontinent (Times of India) is that this new attack was only the beginning: that the Obama administration would step up the missile attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In Pakistan, leaders complain that stepped-up missile strikes — there have been more than 30 since August — fan anti-American sentiment and undermine the government’s own efforts to counter Islamist militants.

But their protests have had few practical consequences, fueling speculation that Islamabad’s government has given tacit approval in return for political and financial support from Washington.

Obama has not commented on the missile strike policy. link

Time he did. Past time, in fact, to bring it to an end.

January 25, 2009

Ex-Nazi ex-excommunicates Holocaust denier

Jesus Christ, you really couldn’t make it up, could you? Pope Benedict, who was a member of Hitler Youth during the last years of the Third Reich, has yesterday reversed the excommunication of Bishop Richard Williamson, who believes that it is impossible that the Nazis could have killed six million Jews in gas chambers and cremated them.

Williamson, now once more accepted as a Roman Catholic, said in a TV interview last November that he feels there has been a “huge exploitation” of the claim that six million Jews were gassed – which, he is at pains to tell the interviewer, he is certain is not true. He’s “not interested” in being called an anti-Semite, either. It’s not a matter of emotion, he says. (view the video here) He has a pleasant, polite, very English voice. And Pope Benedict, God’s rottweiler, wants him back.) For the record, Williamson believes it may be true that “several thousand” Jews were killed by the Nazis. But not six million. And there were no gas chambers. No crematoria. He’s sure of that.

Ruth Gledhill at the Times:

Bishop Richard Williamson is a hardline ultra-conservative bishop of the Society of St Pius X. He is excommunicated from the RC church, along with his three brother SSPX bishops but as we report, and also according to reports coming out of Rome, the excommunications could be lifted soon by the Pope. It could even be lifted by Sunday, according to the usually reliable Rorate Caeli. And that while he faces possible prosecution for Holocaust denial in Germany after an interview with a reporter from Swedish TV in which he claimed that six million Jews did not die in the Holocaust, merely a few thousand, and that the gas chambers did not exist. CathCon has the translation of the Der Spiegel report and more on the likely lifting of those excommunications. Could the clock really be turned back this far on Nostra Aetate and the teachings of Vatican II?

The response of the Lefebvrist Society of St Pius X was telling:

Although it had been understood that the interview would deal with religious issues only, the reporter asked the bishop’s opinion concerning historical matters. It is obvious that a bishop can only speak about questions of faith and morals with any ecclesiastical authority. If he deals with secular issues, he is personally responsible for his own private opinions. The Society I am governing has no authority to address such issues, nor will it ever claim such authority. -Bishop Bernard Fellay, 21st January 2009, via

From the Independent, October 1999, back when Pope John Paul II was trying to have the first Nazi Pope sainted, on Pius XII (who canonized Pope Pius X):

a single-minded Vatican lawyer and diplomat who, from the earliest part of his career, set out to establish the absolute authority of Rome over Europe’s Catholic populations in a series of accommodations with autocratic regimes. Having served as papal nuncio in Germany throughout the 1920s before becoming the Vatican’s chief diplomat, Eugenio Pacelli was in a unique position to negotiate with the Nazis over the church’s status. The deal that was cut guaranteed Catholic influence over education and spiritual life in Germany, but at a terrible price: the Catholic Centre Party was forced into dissolution, removing the last obstacle to Hitler’s goal of absolute power, and all attempts at resistance by Germany’s Catholic bishops were cut off at the knees.

The so-called Reichskonkordat, between the Vatican and Germany, handed the Nazis their first much-needed piece of international recognition and, according to Hitler’s crowing at a subsequent cabinet meeting, opened the way to undertake “the urgent struggle against international Jewry”. The concordat was celebrated in St Hedwig’s cathedral in Berlin with swastikas flying alongside the Catholic banners and the “Horst Wessel” song, the Nazis’ unofficial anthem, blaring out from loudspeakers to the thousands that had assembled outside.Cornwell shows that Pius XII’s attitude to Jews was ambivalent at best, unearthing letters from his early career in Germany in which he refuses favours to the Jewish community on the most pusillanimous of grounds and describes the Munich chapter of the German Communist Party as being chaotic, filthy and full of Jews. He refers dismissively to “a group of young women, of dubious appearance, Jews like all the rest of them” and describes the Communist leader Max Levien as a Jew, “pale, dirty, with drugged eyes, hoarse voice, vulgar, repulsive…”

When, during the war, he came to learn of the extermination of millions of Jews, he made only the vaguest of references to the slaughter in a 1942 Christmas message – making no mention of either anti-Semitism or the Jews – and concentrated instead on developing his inner spirituality, commissioning a film called Pastor Angelicus to show off his reflective, fiercely ascetic nature.”It is very sad,” the then British ambassador to the Holy See, Francis D’Arcy Osborne, wrote in a letter unearthed by Cornwell. “The fact is that the moral authority of the Holy See, which Pius XI and his predecessors had built up into a world power, is now sadly reduced.” link (more here)

In September 2008, Pope Benedict spoke at a symposium in honour of Pope Pius XII on the 50th anniversary of his death, praising his predecessor.

Ruth Gledhill asks if this means the Catholic Church is reversing the Vatican II reforms. Yes: both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict have made clear over the decades, Benedict both as head of the Papal Inquisition as well as Pope, they don’t like the Vatican II concept of the Catholic Church: they like Pius XII’s concept of the Church as a fascist authority, working in concert with other fascist authorities, to rule over the people. Bishop Williamson belongs in Pope Benedict’s church.

Here be dragons

Filed under: Dragons — jesurgislac @ 11:53 am
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January 24, 2009

Global Gag Rule: GONE

From IPAS:

First implemented in 1984 during the Reagan administration, the policy bans any organization receiving U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds from using their own, non-U.S. funds to provide any abortion services or to lobby their own governments to make abortion laws less restrictive. (The Helms Amendment, passed in 1974, made it illegal to use USAID funds for any abortion activities.)

President Clinton repealed this: President George W. Bush reinstated it. When Bush’s staffers complain that Bush didn’t get the “credit” for financing work against AIDS in Africa, they prefer not to consider that in November 2005, the Bush Administration formally expanded the Global Gag Rule to U.S. global AIDS funding under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), according to the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE). The restrictions appeared as part of a five-year, $193 million request for applications (RFA) for HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in Kenya: the RFA, entitled, “HIV/AIDS & Tuberculosis, treatment, care and support” referenced the gag rule twice in stating eligibility criteria, stating that all consortium partners must “agree, to abide by the Mexico City Policy [the official name of the global gag rule], the Tiahrt Amendment, and all USAID policies and regulations.” cite

From How a US policy restricting family planning funding is hampering efforts to fight HIV and AIDS by Kathambi Kinoti (Resource Net Friday File Issue 254, December 2005):

The global gag rule has disrupted the crucial HIV/AIDS intervention role of FPAK, Marie Stopes and numerous other organizations. Just as it is impossible to separate family planning services from efforts to fight HIV and AIDS, it is impossible to separate family planning services from abortion-related issues. When an anti-abortion muzzle is put on reproductive health providers, all the other beneficial seivices that they provide are eroded. Without adequate access to contraception and reproductive health care and education, the rate of both safe and unsafe abortions will increase. Most family planning centres also have to deal
with the after-effects of underground, unsafe abortions.

Pretending that the war against HIV/AIDS will be won when sex takes place within the confines of marriage is counterproductive, and restricting funding solely to organizations that promote the myth is lethal. It will result in a waste of money and the victory of HIV and AIDS.

There’ll be a lot of pro-lifers angrily protesting the repeal of the global gag rule across the right-wing blogosphere. Today, tomorrow, all year. They’ll call Obama the “pro-abortion President”. What these complaints about this repeal reveal is: these are people who do not give a damn about the lives of some of the poorest women in the world. They do not care if women in Ethiopia, Nepal and Nigeria lost access to family planning clinics. They do not care about the sixty thousand or more women each year who die from illegal abortions.

All they want is to sit in their safe little houses rubbing themselves up with their sense of superior morality that, by God, their taxes don’t go to pay for clinics that also provide abortions! They are, in the classic sense, Pharisees: indifferent to anything but their own feelings of moral superiority.

Dr Gill Greer, the director general of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, estimated the gag rule had cost the group more than $100m for family planning and sexual and reproductive health programmes during the eight years of the Bush administration, which she said amounted to 36 million unplanned pregnancies and 15 million induced abortions. These pro-lifers will try to claim they support the global gag rule because they oppose abortion… proving them either liars, or stupid.

“The gag rule has done immense harm and caused untold suffering to millions around the world. It has undermined health systems and endangered the lives and health of the poorest and most vulnerable women on the planet by denying access to life saving family planning, sexual and reproductive health and HIV services and exposing them to the dangers of unsafe abortion.”cite

The global gag rule is gone. Nothing can undo the damage Bush did by reinstating it and enforcing it, especially in Africa where his extension took so much money away from useful anti-AIDS programs – how many people became infected with HIV because Bush wanted to pander to the Christian right? – but it’s gone, and the world is better for it.

January 23, 2009

Transition Tells Tales

Apparently, as Bush and his crew left for Texas as the inauguration crowds booed (it has to be the first time in 8 years that Bush had been at an event where the “crowd” wasn’t either/or US military, reporters, or checked/confirmed Bush supporters), there were some complaints on the plane about how Obama’s inaugural speech had criticised the Bush administration.

And now, as far as some of them were concerned, the new president had used his inaugural lectern to give the back of the hand to a predecessor who had been nothing but gracious to him.

Karen Hughes: “There were a few sharp elbows that really rankled and I felt were not as magnanimous as the occasion called for. He really missed an opportunity to be as big as the occasion was and, frankly, as gracious as President Bush was as he left office.”
Dan Bartlett: “It was a missed opportunity to bring some of the president’s loyal supporters into the fold.”
Marc A. Thiessen: “It was an ungracious inaugural. It was pretty clear he was taking shots.”

Karen, Dan, Marc: I want to tell you a story, kids. About a really ungracious transition.

A new President came in, with a new staff. Damaging rumours were spread in Washington that the White House had been left trashed. Computers had been filled with pr0n downloads. Pr0n had been pasted on walls. Cables and wires had been slashed. The new White House press secretary told reporters that the damage included the removal of the letter “W” from 100 computer keyboards, five missing brass nameplates with the presidential seal on them, 75 telephones with cover plates missing or apparently intentionally plugged into the wrong wall outlets, six fax machines relocated in the same way, ten cut phone lines, two historic door knobs missing, overturned desks and furniture in about 20 percent of the offices, obscene graffiti in six offices, and eight 14-foot loads of usable office supplies recovered from the trash, and a photocopy machine that had copies of naked people hidden in the paper tray so they would come out from time to time with other copies. The new President wouldn’t confirm or deny the reports, saying he just wanted to “move on”.

Eighteen months later, after an official investigation, the Government Accounting Office published a report: it had all been lies. There had been no campaign of wilful damage, no pr0n pasteups, graffiti, slashed cables: the condition the White House and associated offices had been left in had been usual and expected.

This was the Bush administration’s “gracious” transition, Karen, Dan, Marc: your team began, in January 2001, by trashing your precedessors. Your President, whom you were touting as an example of “graciousness”, sat back as lies ran about Bill Clinton’s administration, and smirked a “let’s just move on”. You complain that Obama’s inaugural speech was “sharp-elbowed”? You’ve got nothing.

January 21, 2009

Ladies and Gentlemen, the First Family of the United States

Filed under: Elections,Full of win — jesurgislac @ 10:36 pm
Tags: ,

First Family of the United States

Yay.

January 20, 2009

Ah, bless…

Filed under: Elections,Full of win — jesurgislac @ 6:40 pm
Tags: , ,

Tonight, let’s rejoice.

President Obama disappointed me in so many ways before he was inaugurated – of which the invite to Rick Warren was just the visible peak.

No doubt during the 4 to 8 years he will be President, he will disappoint me many times again: he is a conservative/right-wing Christian, who would never earn my support if he were a candidate for office in my country.

But: George W. Bush is no longer President. Dick Cheney is no longer Vice President. No last-minute pardons were issued to save either of them, or Bush’s administration from prosecution for their crimes in office.

And an intelligent, thoughtful, painstaking man who’s already achieved so much, is today President of the United States. That’s something in which to rejoice, whatever else may come.

Yay.
(more…)

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