Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for November 20th, 2010

Unexpected Consequences?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 20, 2010

I am often mindful of the fact that the Magna Carta was intended to, at most, be a sop on the part of a harried Angevin king to a small group of powerful barons interested solely in their own grievances. It wasn’t intended to lead to greater overall freedom for all English subjects.

With that in mind, I think that the effect of Pope Benedict XVI’s recent decision that condom usage isn’t all bad all the time, especially for gay male prostitutes, may be not what he intends it to be — or maybe it is.

On the one hand, if he seriously thinks he’s going to score points with the medical community, particularly those involved in fighting HIV, for this apparent humanitarian gesture, he’s sadly mistaken. Worse yet, he’s going to inflame the hardcore reactionaries, as they will see this as the first step towards accepting condom use in general.

On the other hand, consider Africa. It’s the last semi-open frontier, as far as the major organized religions are concerned — the last one where a non-trivial number of the indigenous people aren’t already subscribed to one of the big faiths. (It’s one reason why the Mormons, whose faith was built to a large degree on anti-black racism, have opened the door to blacks in the priesthood.) There’s a big problem, though: The spread of HIV, particularly via heterosexual contacts with hookers, threatens to eliminate these potential converts before they can be converted.

What to do? How about preparing the ground for a tacit, if not official, acceptance of condom use among heterosexual couples by allowing it for homosexual contacts? That’s exactly what I’m guessing will result from this announcement of Pope Benedict’s.

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Posted in Africa, mistitled Benedict, Pope Ratzinger, religion, The Vaticant, theocrats | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Lunatics, asylum, running

Posted by Charles II on November 20, 2010

CTJ:

Wisconsin Governor-elect Scott Walker and Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich want both of their states to stop any work on high speed rail projects that are funded with federal stimulus dollars. Yet, both newly elected governors seem to want the millions of dollars the federal government is offering. (For Ohio that amounts to about $400 million, and Wisconsin was slated to receive $810 million).

Neither governor wants to put the transportation money into high speed rail programs. Instead they want to use the money to fix roads and bridges. The newly elected Republican governors apparently like federal spending — when it means money they can spend as they please.

It turns out that Ohio has already been given federal dollars to help with the transportation issues Kasich mentions. A letter from Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood reminded Kasich that Ohio has already received over $1 billion for road, bridge, and airport projects. As for the rail funding, LaHood clarified that, “none of those funds may be used for anything other than our high-speed rail program.”

I, too, confess that I would like to take a salary for doing specified work then, instead of doing the work, spend my time playing video games and get paid anyway–twice, if possible. Unlike Walker and Kasich, I am not crazy enough to think anyone would go along with this.

Posted in Flying Monkey Right, infrastructure, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer | 9 Comments »

 
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