Alberta Diary: Tom Flanagan, neoconservative spiritual leader, consigned to utter darkness

Conservative icon Tom Flanagan’s defining moment. Below: Dr. Flanagan in happier times; the six signatories of the Alberta separatist Firewall Manifesto; Richard Nixon saying goodbye during his 1952 Checkers speech. Unlike Dr. Flanagan’s likely career trajectory, Mr. Nixon came back. 

Who could have predicted that yesterday would be the pope’s last day on the job?

I speak, of course, of Professor Tom Flanagan, spiritual leader of the neoconservative movement in Canada.

Well, Dr. Flanagan is the neocon pope no more, having uttered the astonishing opinion at a seminar the previous evening in the deep-south Alberta city of Lethbridge that Continue reading

Alberta Diary: Why wait? Read 2013’s shocking political headlines right now on Alberta Diary!

The Dagny Taggarts, a synchronized skating team from Ottawa get ready to do their popular routine, “Where Is John Galt?” Defence Minister Joan Crockatt is in the front row, second from right. Below: Senator Tom Flanagan; U of C economics student Kim Jong-un, in full Calgary drag; Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, ecstatic for his boss; and Nobel Prize winner Raj Sherman with the author. Actual events may not turn out exactly as predicted.

Why wait for 2013’s headlines when you can read them here on Alberta Dairy right now? In a spirit of transparency bordering on clairvoyance, Alberta Diary Continue reading

gay persons of character: Vatican ups its homophobic rhetoric

I am so sick of Pope Benedict XVI poking his papal nose into the bedrooms of people across the globe to encourage bigotry against LGBT human beings. As Pinknews reports:

“The Vatican appears to be continuing to launch a new wave of efforts to [strengthen] its opposition to LGBT rights, particularly equal marriage, using newspapers and radio broadcasts to describe it as ”intrinsically disordered”, and to compare it to polygamy and polyandry.”

While I am certain that gay human beings will never get the approval of the Pope, I can only hope that the number of  his followers Continue reading

Slap Upside The Head: Vatican Reacts To Equal Marriage Advances

POPEye! "Eye yam warght wyzegye raryare. Uck-kuk-kuk-kuk!"

Last Tuesday saw some pretty big wins for equal marriage rights in the United States. Voters in Maryland, Washington, and Maine solidly supported same-sex marriage, marking the first time that a popular vote granted marriage rights to same-sex couples in the country.

As usual, whenever big steps toward equality is made, I just have to check in on the Pope to make sure he hasn’t ruptured too many eye vessels. And from the noticeably stronger language coming out of the Vatican lately, he might need some prescription eye drops.

“It is clear that in Western countries there is a widespread tendency to modify the classic vision of marriage between a man and woman, or rather to try to give it up, erasing its specific and privileged legal recognition compared to other forms of union,” Federico Lombardi, the Vatican’s chief spokesman, announced after Tuesday’s elections.

Funny, I wasn’t under the impression that Maryland, Washington, and Maine “gave up” heterosexual marriage on Tuesday, but hey, in a country where the rights of minorities are voted on by the majority, I suppose anything can happen.

“Why not contemplate also freely chosen polygamy and, of course, not to discriminate, polyandry?” Lombardi asked rhetorically.

Well, that’s a little funny, because if you look at what the bible has to say about polygamous marriages (or “traditional marriages,” as historians would be correct to call them), I wouldn’t expect the Vatican to have any strong objections about it. Right?

Slap Upside The Head: Pope Says Gays Aren’t Fully Developed Humans Who Threaten Families

A half-formed human emerges from a swamp: "Must... Destroy... Families!"

In a speech to French bishops last week, Pope Benedict XVI announced that gay people aren’t fully developed humans and are threatening families. While I’m sure very few gay people actually care what the pope thinks of us, sometimes this guy’s just evokes imagery I really want to draw.

“The family is threatened in many places by a faulty conception of human nature,” the Pope said in reference to the emergence of equal marriage laws. “[The Church] must promote those values that permit the full development of the human person,” he continued.

Hmm… I was born a few weeks prematurely. Continue reading

Bill Longstaff: The Pope suppots a Tobin tax

In 1972, Nobel Prize-winning economist James Tobin suggested his now famous currency transaction tax as a way to manage the volatility of exchange rates. He believed that governments were not capable of adjusting to massive movements of funds across foreign exchanges without causinghardship to their people and sacrificing their economic policy objectives. By imposing a small tax (he suggested something around 0.5 per cent) on each exchange of one currency into another, volatility would be reduced as would the effects on national economies.

The idea of this tax was then seized upon as a means of providing revenue for dealing with poverty and environmental issues throughout the world. It appears that the Pope has become a supporter. In a document entitled Towards Reforming the International Financial and Monetary Systems in the Context of a Global Public Authority, released Monday by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the Vatican recommends “taxation measures on financial transactions through fair but modulated rates with charges proportionate to the complexity of the operations.” Pretty much what Tobin suggested 40 years ago.

The council went even further to recommend a central world bank that “regulates the flow and system of monetary exchanges” to help restore “the primacy of the spiritual and of ethics … and, with them, the primacy of politics—which is responsible for the common good—over the economy and finance.” These instruments would “nourish markets and financial institutions … which are capable of responding to the needs of the common good and universal brotherhood.”

So will we find Benedict XVI camping out with the Occupy movement? Probably not, but his heart seems to be with them.

gay persons of color: Over 20,000 pages of Roman Catholic sexual abuse evidence delivered to ICC

Several boxes containing over 20,000 pages of evidence were delivered to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Tuesday in The Hague in a move to begin an investigation of Pope Benedict XVI (pictured above) and three cardinals – Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone and William Levada – in their alleged attempts to cover up abuse by Roman Catholic priests. At a press conference, eight adults, all of whom are members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) held up their childhood portraits and told the press the names of the clergymen who had targeted them. SNAP’s lawyers say all the cases were kept secret by the Vatican in a cover-up that amounts to a crime against humanity. Victims were from all over the world including the United States, Germany, Belgium, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. From Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

SNAP’s lawyer Pam Spees says she will provide ample evidence that the Vatican’s concealment of rape and shielding of sexual abusers is widespread and systematic, and therefore bears the hallmarks of crimes against humanity.

Want a Twisted Way to Waste 312$ CAD?

Or 229 Euros for that matter?

Just when you think you’ve seen everything.

Special 9/11 anniversary blessing? Nah, it’s for some visit the Pope Ratzy is planning to make to his home country. I guess that will be his welcome wagon.

It is ghastly!

Sorry, turning Pope Ratzy into a teddy bear wearing gold lame just don’t make him give us that warm, cuddly feeling.

What a rip off! It doesn’t even come with a mini popemobile!

Thanks, DeBeauxOs for a Friday afternoon laugh!

 

gay persons of color: At least 100 priests reported involved in same-sex blackmail scheme

The hypocrisy of the Catholic church never ceases to end or to amaze. The Italian weekly, Panorama, reported Friday that police have arrested two gay men in connection with blackmailing “at least 100 gay priests across Italy.”

At the home of Diego Maria Caoggiano, 35, and his room-mate Giuseppe Trementino, 30, who are currently under house arrest in the town of Bagnoli del Trigno, police found the contact details of the same-sex loving priests on the suspects’ computers and mobile phones, as well as video recordings of sex sessions involving the clergymen. From Panorama:

Trementino, a despatch rider, told Panorama through his lawyer that he had initially been seduced by a priest who he had delivered a parcel to and had sex with soon after they exchanged phone numbers. The priest had made regular payments to him via Postpay [sic] “often of his own free will” and had offered to buy him a car, Tremonti [sic] claimed.

The priest reported Trementino to police in May but [Trementino] meanwhile met another priest on the social networking website Facebook. Trementino claimed to have spent three days with the priest in a hotel in Rome during a conference, and said the priest paid for his rail ticket and gave him 300 euros “to buy canabis, alcohol, condoms and lubricants”.

Chuckles.

After this, Trementino claimed that he was soon inundated with erotic messages and requests for sex from “dozens” of priests with whom he came into contact via Facebook and Messenger.

Those priests do love their technology, from the popemobile to Postepay to posting on Facebook, these men of the cloth certainly know how to tailor an elaborate social networking tapestry of deceit.

Bill Longstaff: Coca Cola sponsors the Pope

What would Jesus do? Would he take a trip to Spain that cost the Spanish taxpayers, in the midst of a severe economic crisis, $80 million while accepting sponsorship from over 100 corporations, including Coca Cola?

Apparently 100 Spanish priests don’t think so. That’s what Pope Benedict is doing and they are protesting it. The priests represent Madrid’s poorest parishes and don’t believe that the expense can be justified at a time of massive public sector cuts and 20 per cent unemployment. One member of the group, Evaristo Villar, explained, “We are not against the pope’s visit, we are against the way it is being staged.” A sore point for many Spaniards is that pilgrims to the event will receive free transport while locals in Madrid are facing a 50 per cent increase in transit fares.

Meanwhile the Church is hoping—or perhaps the appropriate word is praying—that the response this time will be better than the poorly received visit to Barcelona last November when, according to the Guardian, the popemobile was “forced to drive at top speed past small groups of the faithful along mainly deserted streets.”

But not to worry. With Coca Cola on side, things will no doubt go better.

Slap Upside The Head: Pope Pleads For Couples To Marry (Except Gays)

A now a word from your exceptionally creepy pope.

Pope Benedict XVI appeared before an audience in Croatia yesterday to plead for couples to marry instead of simply living together as common-law partners. In his anticipated homily, the pope lamented a “secularized mentality which proposes living together as preparation, or even a substitute as marriage.”

So, to all you young couples out there: Do not, under any circumstances, live together before marrying. Just trust that all your quirks will be perfectly compatible, legally combine your lives and finances, and start having children right away. Don’t adopt; that robs children of their natural, unfit-by-admission parents. And take this advice to heart. After all, how could recommendations from an 84 year old celibate who has no personal experience with romantic relationships be wrong?

Still, it’s nice to hear the pope come out in vocal support of marriage after dedicating years to preventing me from getting married. I wonder what made him change his heart so quickl—oh, wait, my mistake; his speech still implied that gay families aren’t real families, our relationships are unnatural, and that we somehow rob children of their rights.

Ouch. And given all his years of wisdom, he must have a point; the pope lifestyle is far more natural. I mean, why else would popes emerge so readily in nature?

Food for thought, I guess…