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‘Stop the racist stereotypes’

Catholic leaders to Santorum and Gingrich:

Catholic leaders issued a letter Friday to GOP presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, themselves Catholics, urging them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail.”

The letter, signed by 45 Catholic leaders says:

Mr. Gingrich has frequently attacked President Obama as a “food stamp president” and claimed that African Americans are content to collect welfare benefits rather than pursue employment. Campaigning in Iowa, Mr. Santorumremarked: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money.”

“At a time when nearly 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty, charities and the free market alone can’t address the urgent needs of our most vulnerable neighbors. And while jobseekers outnumber job openings 4-to-1, suggesting that the unemployed would rather collect benefits than work is misleading and insulting,” the letter adds.

“This statement is urging prominent Catholics in the race to go back and look at church teaching,” John Gehring, the Catholic outreach coordinator at Faith in Public Life, tells The Florida Independent, adding “that the letter is also about poverty.”

“The Catholic bishops have been incredibly important in raising a prophetic voice that really challenges those who think that the free market alone can sort of solve our economic problems,” Gehring says.

“You have Catholic conservative leaders, like John Boener, Paul Ryan, Rick Santourm, Newt Gingrich and they’ve all been looking to dismantle vital social safety nets,” Gehring says.

Faith in Public Life “works to promote a common good message in the media and helps progressive and moderate faith leaders to get their message out,” Gehring tells the Independent. “We’ve done a lot of work around common ground issues on abortion, we try to talk with pro-choice leaders. We provide an alternative voice, making sure that the values debate is not one-sided. For many decades the Christian right has dominated political conversations over faith and values.”

Gehring highlights the idea of “intrinsic evil,” adding that “a lot of people look at Catholic teaching and think about abortion as being a preeminent political issue, and that is true, but the bishops are also very clear that racism and torture — where Santorum is very bad on, Santurom has been an apologist for enhanced interrogation — are an intrinsic evil.”

He also highlights that Gingrich and Santorum’s “rhetoric around class and racial issues is in many ways out of line with Catholic social teaching.” “That is something Catholic voters will be concerned about,” Gehring says, “particularly given that both Santorum and Gingrich have not been shy about talking about the importance of their faith from a personal perspetcive and also how it shapes their political views as well.”

Birth control

Looks like the White House has decided it’s time to start making the base happy if they want to get reelected.

In this episode of ‘Susie’s Anatomy’

The surgeon tells me I can start alternating the Percocet with Motrin, since it sounds like most of the pain is muscular, anyway. This seems sensible to me, since I don’t like taking all that Tylenol (bad for the liver).

He reiterates that I have no dietary restrictions. Hmm.


Would have been Janis Joplin’s 69th birthday. I’m kind of glad she’s not still around; she probably would have ended up doing some makeover show for money, and the indignity of that would have been too much to bear.

Sitting Bull at Starbucks

Give me the pumpkin-spiced latte, white boy.

This was on PBS: The U.S. government was in the process of stealing the Black Hills area of South Dakota from the Indians, but George Custer got too cocky and picked a fight in the wrong place, separated from other units of his 700-man battalion. To hell with Custer. I was rooting for Sitting Bull, who told his people, “The whites may get me at last, as you say, but I will have good times till then. You are fools to make yourselves slaves to a piece of fat bacon, some hard-tack, and a little sugar and coffee.” More here.

Just label it

GMO foods:


Etta James, 73.

The human cost

It’s not just that we’ve killed all those innocent civilians – we’ve destroyed the lives of so many of our own troops while doing it:

WASHINGTON — Suicides among active-duty soldiers hit another record high in 2011, Army officials said on Thursday, although there was a slight decrease if nonmobilized Reserve and National Guard troops were included in the calculation.

The Army also reported a sharp increase, nearly 30 percent, in violent sex crimes last year by active-duty troops. More than half of the victims were active-duty female soldiers ages 18 to 21.

“This is unacceptable,” Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli, the departing vice chief of staff of the Army, said at a news conference, referring to the jump in violent sex offenses. “We have zero tolerance for this.” General Chiarelli said factors driving the increase in sex crimes were alcohol use and new barracks that offered more privacy. He said it was also possible that reporting of the offenses had increased.

General Chiarelli said that 164 active-duty Army, National Guard, and Reserve troops took their own lives in 2011, compared with 159 in 2010 and 162 in 2009. The increase occurred even as the Army expanded suicide prevention efforts and drug and alcohol counseling, in large part in response to a steady rise in Army suicides that began in 2004.

Covering their tracks

In keeping with his blatant goal of doing whatever he can to allow unimpeded gas drilling, PA Gov. Tom Corbett ignores any regulatory requirements that might get in the way:

HARRISBURG — The administration of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett has cut funding for a wildlife research program by nearly 70 percent, eliminating state money for projects meant to examine the impact of natural gas drilling and climate change, according to a report.

Richard Allan, the secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, eliminated 13 of the 21 projects that staff in the agency’s Wildlife Resource Conservation Program had recommended for funding, StateImpact Pennsylvania reported Wednesday.

Allan failed to consult with program staff about which programs to keep and which ones to cut, and only one drilling-related project — evaluating plant growth along natural gas pipeline routes — remained after last month’s cuts, reported StateImpact, a collaboration of NPR and public radio stations in Harrisburg and Philadelphia.

The program’s budget was cut from $780,000 to $251,683.

The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources attributed the funding cuts to declining revenue, and said some of the proposed research was duplicative. The Sierra Club’s Pennsylvania chapter on Tuesday criticized the funding reductions as an “attempt to conceal the true environmental impacts of gas drilling.”

Unintended consequences

Farmer feeds GMO corn to his pigs, they become sterile. Imagine what it’s doing to us!

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