Vatican says Pope and Catholic Church being treated like Jews!

Which religion really has all the gelt?

Pope Benedict XVI’s personal preacher on Friday likened accusations against the pope and the Catholic church in the sex abuse scandal to “collective violence” suffered by the Jews.

The Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa said in a Good Friday homily with the pope listening in St. Peter’s Basilica that a Jewish friend wrote to him to say the accusations remind him of the “more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism…”

That is an amazing copout – comparing assaults by bigots upon a pariah nation – to a religious administration providing safe haven for pederasts.

Thousands of Holy Week pilgrims were in St. Peter’s Square as the church defends itself against accusations that Benedict had a role in covering up sex abuses cases.

The “coincidence” that Passover falls in the same week as Easter celebrations, said Cantalamessa, a Franciscan who offers reflections at Vatican Easter and Advent services, prompted him to think about Jews…

In the sermon, he referred to the sexual abuse of children by clergy, saying “unfortunately, not a few elements of the clergy are stained” by the violence.” But Cantalamessa said he didn’t want to dwell on the abuse of children, saying “there is sufficient talk outside of here.”

Crimes uncovered, admitted after decades of cover-up, should not only be discussed; but, those responsible for shielding and protecting criminals bear a shared responsibility for what was done to innocent children.

Comparing these protectors to the victims of centuries of bigotry and violence is just another part of denial. Especially coming from the church that participated wholeheartedly in that bigotry.

Texas Attorney-General fails at blocking gay divorce

Abbott posturing before Texas law books

A judge in Travis County declined Wednesday to consider Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s request to intervene in the county’s first same-sex divorce case, letting stand the judge’s February decision to grant a divorce to two women who had been married in another state.

Angelique Naylor, 39, and Sabina Daly, 42…were married in 2004 in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal. They returned to their home in Austin after their marriage and adopted a son, who is now 4…

“In trying to put brakes on this proceeding,” District Judge Scott Jenkins asked Deputy Attorney General David Morales, “what consideration did the attorney general give” to the boy?

Morales responded in part…with legal blather…

Abbott’s office had argued that granting a divorce would subject Daly and Naylor to a lifetime of uncertainty

As opposed to the certainty of bigotry and limited civil rights under the guidance of reactionary politicians.

In December, Naylor filed for divorce, a disposition Daly initially opposed. But on Feb. 10, after a two-day hearing, they agreed to divorce. They also reached agreement that day involving sharing custody of their son and dividing their property. The agreement came after Jenkins consistently prodded the couple to act in the best interests of their child.

At the close of the Feb. 10 hearing, Jenkins orally rendered final judgment granting the divorce, Jenkins said Wednesday.

I have no idea what Abbot plans as the next step up the ladder of his political career; but, he’ll probably hand-carry an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court.

Extremist creeps demand governors resign

Freedom-seekers image of themselves
Usually, nutballs who’ve never even worked on an assembly line.

The FBI is warning police across the country that an anti-government group’s call to remove governors from office could provoke violence by others.

A group that calls itself the Guardians of the free Republics wants to “restore America” by peacefully dismantling parts of the government, according to its Web site.

As of Wednesday, more than 30 governors had received letters saying if they don’t leave office within three days they will be removed…

Investigators do not see threats of violence in the group’s message, but fear the broad call for removing top state officials could lead others to act out violently…

Screening machines for visitors and packages were added to the main entrance to the Nevada Capitol as a precaution after Jim Gibbons received one of the letters…

In explaining the letters sent to the governors, the intelligence note says officials have no specific knowledge of plans to use violence, but they caution police to be aware in case other individuals interpret the letters “as a justification for violence or other criminal actions.”

The group purportedly doesn’t believe in paying federal taxes or submitting to the authority of existing courts.

Just more super-patriots who want to police the world – without paying for it, jobs and schools – without paying for it, the safety of police departments and a justice system – without paying for it. You can sign up to be a member of an assembly, jury, posse or ranger. Whoop-de-fracking-doo!

Stop me when this doesn’t sound like the Republican Party!

Ed Roberts, creator of Altair 8800, dies

Ed Roberts, whose early Altair 8800 computer helped inspire Bill Gates and Paul Allen to start Microsoft, died Thursday. He was 68.

Though Roberts’ name is less well known than some other computing pioneers, the Altair is widely credited as the first personal computer and for helping inspire the modern computer industry. Roberts established Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems (MITS), which introduced the Altair in 1975. An article on the Altair in the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics caught the eye of a young Allen, who showed the story to Gates.

Gates and Allen quickly reached out to Roberts, looking to create software for the Altair. Landing a meeting, the pair headed to Albuquerque, N.M., where Roberts’ company was located. The two went on to set up Microsoft, which had its first offices in Albuquerque.

Though his impact on the industry was long lasting, Roberts left computing in the 1970s, selling MITS, going to medical school, and then setting up a medical practice in Georgia.

Allen said that Roberts was a mentor, and not just on the computing side.

“Ed was the first entrepreneur Bill and I spent time around, and we learned a lot about business from him,” Allen said in an e-mail…

Ed was willing to take a chance on us–two young guys interested in computers long before they were commonplace–and we have always been grateful to him,” Gates and Allen said. “The day our first untested software worked on his Altair was the start of a lot of great things. We will always have many fond memories of working with Ed in Albuquerque, in the MITS office right on Route 66–where so many exciting things happened that none of us could have imagined back then.”

Newcomers to New Mexico always wonder why Albuquerque newscasts always report on Microsoft as a “local” stock. Ed Roberts gets the credit – along with an ongoing commitment to computational analysis within so much of the geek community here.

DOJ sues KBR for illegal charges in Bush’s War

The U.S. Justice Department has sued the Houston-based military contractor KBR Inc for alleged false claims act violations over improper costs for private security in Iraq.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, D.C., alleged that KBR knowingly included impermissible costs for private armed security in billings to the U.S. Army covering the 2003-2006 time period, the department said.

KBR has been the U.S. military’s largest private contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been criticized for cost overruns in Iraq, and lawmakers in Congress last month questioned the Army’s continued use of KBR for logistics work…

The Justice Department said the case, which seeks unspecified damages, was brought as part of an initiative to crack down on procurement fraud.

The contract at issue in the lawsuit provided for logistical support, such as food services, transportation, laundry and mail, for military operations in Iraq. The lawsuit involved the company and 33 KBR subcontractors…

The lawsuit alleged that KBR managers considered the use of private security unacceptable and were concerned the Army would disallow costs for such services. But KBR still charged for the costs of the unauthorized services, the suit said.

Back in the day, when I worked in the offshore oil industry, there were a few companies that owned the United States government. Halliburton and KBR were the leaders of the pack when it came to sucking dollars from American taxpayers.

They were the overseers who said, “Jump, boy!” The Pentagon, Congress – would always answer, “How high, boss?”

Contemptible and corrupt as were those practices in the past, the indifference of the Oil Patch Boys to any prospect of fiscal and corporate responsibility is worse. Throw the creeps in jail!

U.S. and Canada hike car fuel efficiency, set CO2 standard

Republican energy program

The United States on Thursday finalized its first greenhouse gas emissions rules on automobiles and hiked fuel efficiency standards for the first time since the 1970s, measures Canada imposed as well.

The U.S. rules will first apply to 2012 model cars, rolling off production lines next year. They are part of President Barack Obama’s goal to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by about 17 percent under 2005 levels by the year 2020.

Obama wants Congress to pass a long-delayed climate bill, but to push it along, he has also set in motion steps for the Environmental Protection Agency to begin regulating emissions from cars and large polluters like power plants…

“We’ve developed a clean cars program that is a win for automakers and drivers, a win for innovators and entrepreneurs, and a win for our planet,” said Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the EPA, which finalized the fuel rules with the Department of Transportation.

The efficiency rules, which car-makers knew for months were coming, require that cars and trucks get on average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016, up 42 percent from current rules, of just under 25 miles per gallon.

The EPA spelled out on Thursday for the first time that average vehicle emissions will be limited to 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile by 2016, down from 295 grams in 2012.

Canada’s government also finalized fuel efficiency rules on Thursday. Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice said Canada and the United States “will effectively share common standards” for limiting vehicle greenhouse gas emissions.

The two countries are working together on proposed standards for tractor-trailer trucks, which should be released in the next few months, Prentice said.

RTFA. Witness useful regulation that can be promulgated between nations – even without the participation of the Party of NO.

Doctor’s killer sentenced to life in prison

Dr. George Tiller
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission

Scott Roeder, the man convicted of killing a Kansas doctor in May 2009, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison with no parole eligibility for 50 years…

Roeder was convicted in January of murdering Dr. George Tiller, who operated a clinic in Wichita, Kansas, where late-term abortions were performed. Tiller was shot to death in the foyer of Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas, as Sunday services began.

RTFA if you think you need to know the religious babble the killer used to justify the murder.

Earlier in the sentencing, Tiller’s attorney, Lee Thompson, spoke on behalf of the slain doctor’s family, saying that Tiller’s killing was “domestic terrorism” that robbed a family of a husband, father and grandfather.

“This man was devoted to his family. … He was very important, and they are desperately sorry and grieving over his loss,” Thompson told the court. Tiller was shot to death in May 2009 in the foyer of the Wichita, Kansas, church he attended…

“I believe he should be given the longest sentence possible,” District Attorney Nola Foulston said Thursday…

Tiller’s family said in January that the jury reached a just verdict.

“At this time we hope that George can be remembered for his legacy of service to women, the help he provided for those who needed it and the love and happiness he provided us as a husband, father and grandfather,” the family said in a statement.

Throw away the key!