Friday, July 16, 2010

The Vatican Outdoes Its Troglodyte Self

Whoa! This morning, when I read the New York Times report on the Vatican’s latest PR gaffe, not to mention its latest Biblical malfunction, I almost could not believe it. But hold on!

It was the Vatican making the incredible pronouncement…so what’s not to believe?

What the Vatican said was (and I quote the NYT): “The Vatican issued revisions to its internal laws on Thursday making it easier to discipline sex-abuser priests, but caused confusion by also stating that ordaining women as priests was as grave an offense as pedophilia.”

Yep…there you have it.

Nevermind that the early followers of Jesus included women, who, Biblical historians tell us, not only sponsored the early church with money from their own (not their husbands, but their own) coffers, but also acted as servers of the Eucharist. But now the Vatican says that since the men-only club has been in existence since Christ, women cannot be considered as priests, and the idea of a woman as priest is an offense as grave as pedophilia.
The NYT reported that Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, a top official in the group, called the document a “welcome statement,” even as he took pains to praise the role of women in the church. “The church’s gratitude to women cannot be stated strongly enough” ne said. “Women offer unique insight, creative abilities and unstinting generosity at the very heart of the Catholic Church…but the Catholic Church through its long and constant teaching holds that ordination has been, from the beginning, reserved to men, a fact which cannot be changed despite changing times.”

And well might a Vatican spoksman praise the women in the Roman Catholic Church who have been a free workforce for priests for eons. But it is also true that the constant teaching of the RCC that ordination must be reserved to  men is a choice of the RCC, not a mandate from God.

The early Christian church’s founders (which of course, includes Jesus Christ) believed women were on a par with men. And this idea that the ordination of women is as evil as pedophilia must have them rolling in the graves.

BTW, one can look at this ruling from the RCC in two ways:

1.      The Vatican feels that the ordination of women is equal in evil to pedophilia, or,
2.      The Vatican feels that Pedophilia isn’t all that bad since a lot of the guys in the Vatican are participating in pedophilia and they don’t think it’s any worse than ordaining women.

Well,  I know which ruling I think sounds like Vatican thinking.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Well, I Never…!

Gail Collins’ Op/Ed piece in the New York Times this morning (“Bad News Bears”) is hilarious. And juicy. It’s about Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol and her sometimes-sometimes-not-bf Levi Johnston now deciding to get married.

Collins starts out saying, “Today’s additions to the category of No Good Can Ever Come of This: Mel Gibson is on the phone; The Bachelorette is close to selecting the man of her dreams; Bristol and Levi are back together.”

Since the Palin family isn’t big on speaking to each other one-on-one, the world found out about the Bristol/Levi plans, as did Family Palin, via an eight-page spread in “Us” magazine. And the world found out that Sarah Palin is not happy about this newest wrinkle in the Bristol/Levi saga, as did Bristol and Levi, via a press conference.

Following up the “Us” tell-all with a “People” tell-all, Bristol said her mother would come around when Levi got an education and a job and proved that he could support their son Tripp “the right way”. As Collins said, the wrong way, presumably, is earning a living as he previously tried to do by posing for “Playgirl”.

The jury is still out on whether Bristol’s attempts to make money by becoming a celebrity unwed mother, being the spokesperson against teen pregnancy and hyping sexy clothes is the right way.

Apparently, the nearly non-verbal Levi and his sister Mercede have found words to say to each other, because before they broke off relations when she got mad and said it was time for her to tell her side of the story, she said, “No I will NOT sit down and shut up!” To prove she would not shut up she claimed Bristol got pregnant on purpose.

Collins bets (hopes?) we’re going to be treated to “an all-Palin-Johnston edition of ‘Dancing With the Stars.’”

Or, alternatively, Michael Steele and Sarah Palin could marry for the good of the Tea Party and put to rest all those rumors about racism and Steele being in the closet, in one swell foop.

Monday, July 12, 2010

More Medical Bullshit

One of the things that keeps us drug-dependent and constantly in a doctor’s office is the ruling from the AMA that a norm for blood pressure for all adults including senior citizens is 120/70, else one is suffering from high blood pressure. That, of course, is baloney.

But now the journal “Pediatrics” has just come out with a real lulu of a finding.

This morning, the authors of an article in “Pediatrics” reported that all children should be screened for cholesterol: The authors said, “Screening all children for cholesterol, rather than just those with a family history, will uncover many more cases of the condition that can be treated early to prevent heart disease later in life. In addition, they said, “Statin therapy has been shown to be safe and effective in lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol) and the added and undeniable benefit of identifying and screening parents and other first-degree relatives as a result to finding elevated LDL levels in their children could lead to the prevention of premature cardiac events in adults that may have otherwise gone undiagnosed."

Bullshit Detector just went off!

Who said statin therapy is "safe and effective"? Who said there is an "added and undeniable benefit"? That is total nonsense!

The jury is still out about cholesterol medications for adults. Many are not safe…many have side effects that no one is his right mind would stand for. And many times, when they are prescribed for adults, they are unnecessary.

AND, whether in fact, lowering LDL cholesterol is preventing heart disease is totally unclear. PLUS, whether high cholesterol in children leads to heart trouble as an adult is likewise totally unclear.
Which of course, leads to the big question…should ALL children be screened for high cholesterol, which  screening will put more money in pediatricians and screening labs coffers and into the bargain drain health care insurance plans…if one and one’s children have health insurance  plans in the first place..

And the answer is a resounding NO! It’s an insane idea that all children should undergo high cholesterol screening when even calling high cholesterol a disease that MUST BE treated with drugs in adults is a questionable practice.

Pediatricians have found that a huge number of our children have Attention Deficit Disorder and are Autistic…debatable findings, both. And these findings are more likely to be due to the testing parameters rather than the facts.

Medical doctors and now pediatricians cannot be trusted because they are in the employ of the pharmaceutical industry.

What to do? Use common sense and say NO to tests that are wildly speculative and will not lead to increased well-being in any case.

Oh yeah! You CAN say no to lawyers and doctors. Amazing thought though that may be.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Pope Ratz Is Going to Hate This!

On Friday, July 2, The New York Times laid out the full extent of Pope Ratz’s irresponsibility over the last twenty years regarding pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church.

The article, “Church Office Failed to Act on Abuse Scandal” begins by saying, “In its long struggle to grapple with sexual abuse, the Vatican often cites as a major turning point the decision  in 2001 to give the office led by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger the authority to cut through a morass of bureaucracy and handle abuse cases directly…but church documents and interviews with canon lawyers and bishops cast that 2001 decision and the future pope’s track record in a new and less flattering light.”

The Vatican’s penchant for declaring that media bias, particularly NYT bias, is at the root of the recent firestorm about pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church, will surely be the Vatican’s fallback position re this new article.

We find out that although the Vatican has maintained that Cardinal Ratz immediately got behind a faction in the church hierarchy demanding immediate investigation of molestation charges, Ratz actually was the leader of the foot-dragging and protection of pedophiles that has characterized the Vatican’s response to reports of molestation of children in the RCC for the last twenty-plus years: “The office led by Cardinal Ratzinger, the Congregeation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had actually been given authority over sexual abuse cases nearly 80 years earlier, in 1922, documents show and canon lawyers confirm,” the article reports, “ but for the two decades he was in charge of that office, the future pope never asserted that authority, failing to act even as the cases undermined the church’s credibility in the United States, Australia, Ireland and elsewhere.”

The most damning revelation is that in 2000 a group of Bishops were so outraged that Ratz was being unresponsive to the growing pedophile problem, that the Vatican sponsored a secret meeting to hear their complaints: “The Vatican took action only after bishops from English-speaking nations became so concerned about resistance from top church officials that the Vatican convened a secret meeting to hear their complaints — an extraordinary example of prelates from across the globe collectively pressing their superiors for reform, and one that had not previously been revealed.

“And the policy that resulted from that meeting, in contrast to the way it has been described by the Vatican, was not a sharp break with past practices. It was mainly a belated reaffirmation of longstanding church procedures that at least one bishop attending the meeting argued had been ignored.

“Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, an outspoken auxiliary bishop emeritus from Sydney, Australia, who attended the secret meeting in 2000, said that despite numerous warnings, top Vatican officials, including Benedict, took far longer to wake up to the abuse problems than many local bishops did.

“But the future pope, it is now clear, was also part of a culture of nonresponsibility, denial, legalistic foot-dragging and outright obstruction,” the NYT reports. “More than any top Vatican official other than John Paul, it was Cardinal Ratzinger who might have taken decisive action in the 1990s to prevent the scandal from metastasizing in country after country, growing to such proportions that it now threatens to consume his own papacy.”

It's maddening to read that, “During this period, the three dozen staff members working for Cardinal Ratzinger at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith were busy pursuing other problems. These included examining supernatural phenomena, like apparitions of the Virgin Mary, so that hoaxes did not ‘corrupt the faith,’” while other sections of the Ratz’s Doctrine of the Faith “weighed requests by divorced Catholics to remarry and vetted the applications of former priests who wanted to be reinstated.

It is clear that Ratz has always had priorities other than protecting the children in the Roman Catholic Church. Priorities such as: protecting the image of the RCC, ridding the RCC. not to say the entire globe and perhaps the universe of homosexuals, plus making sure that the world accepts the myth that the Pope and the Vatican are equal in omniscience and power to God, if not a bit higher and more powerful than the Great I Am!

I can only say, read the article. It’s illuminating.