True North Humanist Perspective March 1 2013

 
 

Good Lord! Priests in panties! What next?

What next? The Pope says goodbye to all that!

Did A Cross-Dressing Priest Sex Ring Bring Down Benedict XVI?
 
By Barbie Latza Nadeau
thedailybeast.com
 
Barbie Latza Nadeau, author of the Beast Book Angel Face, about Amanda Knox, has reported from Italy for Newsweek since 1997 and for The Daily Beast since 2009. She is a frequent contributor to CNN Traveller, Departures, Discovery, and Grazia. She appears regularly on CNN, the BBC, and NPR.
 
22 February 2013 — Of all the rumors floating around about just why Pope Benedict XVI is hanging up his camauro, one has taken on a life of its own. According to several well-placed vaticanisti — or Vatican experts — in Rome, Benedict is resigning after being handed a secret red-covered dossier that included details about a network of gay priests who work inside the Vatican, but who play in secular Rome. The priests, it seems, are allegedly being blackmailed by a network of male prostitutes who worked at a sauna in Rome’s Quarto Miglio district, a health spa in the city center, and a private residence once entrusted to a prominent archbishop. The evidence reportedly includes compromising photos and videos of the prelates — sometimes caught on film in drag, and, in some cases, caught ‘in the act’. (More)
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Former Catholic priest

on The Pope’s War and clergy's child molestation

By Juan Gonzalez, Matthew Fox 
Democracy Now!

Former priest Matthew Fox says the Catholic Church has "become a viper’s nest. It’s really sick, what’s going on."

Matthew Fox is the author of more than two dozen books, most recently,  The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved. He’s a former Catholic priest, who was first stopped from teaching liberation theology and creation spirituality by then-Cardinal Ratzinger. Fox was then expelled from the Dominican Order, to which he had belonged for 34 years. He currently serves as an Episcopal priest.

28 February 2013JUAN GONZÁLEZ: As Pope Benedict formally stepped down on Thursday, speculation mounts over who will become the next pope. On Wednesday, Pope Benedict bid an emotional farewell at his last general audience, saying he understood the gravity of his decision to become the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years. The 85-year-old pope cited ill health as the reasons for his departure. Addressing an estimated 150,000 supporters in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict said he is resigning for the good of the church. (More)
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From the Desk of Geoff Bickerton

Germans award Dresden peace prize to Soviet Colonel

who saved humanity from a nuclear Third World War

Russia Today

18 February 2013 — Not only do classified documents contain secrets, they can also tell stories of unrecognized heroes. A small episode in Soviet history, that could have changed the world forever, has recently been revealed and acknowledged internationally, with recognition finding a previously unknown Russian awarded in Germany’s Dresden.

The international reward has found retired Soviet officer Stanislav Petrov, who averted a nuclear war in 1983 by telling his superiors not to press the red button.

On September 26, 1983, then-Soviet Lieutenant-Colonel Stanislav Petrov was on duty at an early-warning anti-nuclear center in the Moscow Region, when an alarm warning of incoming missile attack from the USA suddenly went off. (More)

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'This Blog is really all about Elizabeth'

By Eric MacDonald
Freethoughtblogs.com

Eric MacDonald, a Canadian schooled in India, has been variously, a sailor in the Royal Canadian Navy, a high school teacher, a university lecturer in philosophy, and an Anglican Priest. He was married to Elizabeth Lawrence, his one true love, who died with assistance in Zurich, Switzerland, with the help of Dignitas. She can be seen in the accompanying last picture taken of her and Eric in 2007 shortly before her death. No longer able to support the church or accept the terms of faith, he now, in retirement, spends much of his time opposing religion and its depredations, especially as this pertains to assisted dying. Choice in dying supports legalised assisted dying, and opposes religion as a cult of death and misery which opposes the right of people to receive help to die when they believe that suffering is intolerable.

This is my first blog post at Free Thought Blogs, so I want, from the start, to explain my own reasons for being here, for thinking of myself as a “freethinker” (a term which still does not come easy to me), and for wishing to join a community dedicated to freedom of thought, atheism, and opposition to religious belief. I also want to make the point as clearly as I can, as I start out, how Elizabeth (my wife who died in 2007 in Zurich) is the main inspiration of all that I write, and the patron “saint,” if you like, of this Blog. Without her, I would have been a very different person indeed. I will also remark on some of my present interests and concerns.

At the masthead or banner of my blog choiceindying.com, there from the very beginning in December 2010, has been the tag line, “Arguing for the Right-to-Die and against the Religious Obstruction of that Right.”

However, had it not been for Elizabeth, my wife of almost 18 years and best friend for 20, whose picture (sitting on a peak in the Lake District) is in the banner above, and who is now in my Gravatar image as well (precisely because what I am trying to say about her part in this is true), I probably would never have come to the point of disbelief, for not only was she a disbeliever long before I was, it was her struggle to die, when her MS, and the misery and pain and indignities associated with it, became so intolerable, that opened my eyes to the fact that, even for a liberal “believer” of the “Sea of Faith” sort, there were moral issues of great importance that I had simply overlooked by the general institutional support that accompanied my membership in, and action on behalf of, a specific religious institution.

This stood out for me in stark relief the moment Elizabeth tried to take her own life, and failed, thus setting her on a course which would eventually take her to Zurich, where Dignitas, the assisted suicide organisation which accepts foreign applicants, helped her, with great kindness and dignity, to die, as she sought to do. (More)
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Under succeeding Liberal governments at Ottawa

Canadian banks were stopped from aping US peers

Canada was saved from the humiliating wound of home foreclosures

while US criminals were rescued by Obama and paid lavish bonuses

Meanwhile

The politics of debt in American history

By Steve Fraser
 
This essay will appear in the next issue of Jacobin and appears at TomDispatch.com 
 

on who the Catholic Church's new Pope should be

16 February 2013 — Last night, Bill Maher closed out the show with a New Rule with some suggestions on who the new Pope should be.

And finally, New Rule: Hey Catholics, news flash.  If the Pope can quit, it's OK for you to quit too.  (audience applause)  Now, as you all know, this week Pope Benedict told Vatican radio — you know, Vatican radio, playing the hits from the 8th century, 9th century, and today — Benedict told them he was going to resign because the Church needs a fresh young face.  Somewhere other than a priest's lap.

Now the Pope's decision leaves so many questions unanswered.  Is he resigning to hide something?  Who will replace him?  Will the Church try to modernize?  All of which are interesting questions. Just not to me.  I, and millions like me, just don't care.  Which is good news, because it means that the institution of the Catholic Church is losing its importance and dying off, just like moose lodges, and the Masons, Blockbuster, and moderate Republicans.  (audience applause)

And how could it not be? Every poll of American Catholics shows they find most Vatican teachings to be irrelevant. Catholics use birth control, they get divorced, they have premarital sex, they masturbate — sometimes all in one night. The typical Catholic these days doesn't look like this. She looks like this. (More)

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This video exposes the lies of the 'Free Syrian Army'

as parroted by the mainstream media

It reveals atrocities by the FSA including the public whipping of women, forcing girls out of schools, and drafting children as soldiers 

It shows pro-Assad Syrian women in uniform and training

and pro-Assad Christian civilian-volunteers at checkpoints

Published on Feb 10, 2013

This is the first weekly report from Eretz Zen Channel. The report is referred to as SHAMSEIN (Secular Home of Alternative Media from Syria - Exclusive & Independent News) or 'Two Suns' in Arabic.

Take time to view the video. It will reveal the shameful lies that are being told about what's happening in Syria.

This week's stories are:

00:10 Victories of the Syrian Army in Key Towns Across Syria... Liberation of: Aqraba, Busra al-Harir, Daraya Key Areas, Hayaleen, Soueida, Jarniya, Budairij, Teebat al-Imam

10:55 US Admits Weapons Support to Terrorists in Syria & Now Favors Political Solution

13:41 The Quweiq River Tragedy & the Usual MSM Lies

16:21 Christians of Saidnaya, Syria Stand Strongly with Syrian Govt Against FSA

18:39 Women Fighting on Both Sides of the Conflict in Syria

22:46 FSA Terrorists Fail to Infiltrate Damascus

25:33 Tour of Several Syrian Army Checkpoints

27:42 FSA and Syria's Lost Childhood

34:22 Islamists Killed Chokri Belaïd: Secular Leader who Spoke the Truth about Syria

38:48 Belgian MP Laurent Louis Exposes Western Goals in Mali & Syria

41:06 Abu Hafs, the Sword-Waving Jihadist, Makes an Appearance in an Aleppo Mosque

42:20 FSA Terrorists Shoot at a Passenger Airplane... AGAIN!

43:53 FSA Terrorists Beat Women in Deraa, Syria

Warning: Some footage may be shocking. (18+ viewer discretion advised, aimed only at documenting crimes by FSA terrorists in Syria) (Video)

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Sex and relationships

I was a sex surrogate for 40 years

'Standing beside her I felt naked'

The real-life surrogate who inspired Helen Hunt's Oscar-nominated "Sessions" role reveals what the film left out.

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Salon

20 February 2013  
 
Standing outside the theater doors, Cheryl Cohen Greene, who inspired Helen Hunt’s Oscar-nominated role in “The Sessions,” leaned in and told me in a hushed tone, “I’ve watched it 11 times and I cry every time.” Just feet away, an audience sat in the dark, watching the Hollywood version of her life — or at least her experience working as a sex surrogate with severely disabled poet Mark O’Brien — unfold on the big screen.

Cohen Greene and I were at Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley, Calif., the city where the movie takes place, for a Fox-sponsored screening ahead of this year’s Academy Awards. It was our first time meeting but, having watched the movie, I felt like I already knew her. Hunt nailed Cohen Greene’s Boston accent, not to mention her radiant warmth and penetrating gaze. In real life, as on-screen via Hunt, she brings an immediate, disarming intimacy to even clothed conversation. In fact, standing there in the theater lobby with her, I felt a bit naked. (More)
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So when atheist Julianne Moore was confronted by a reporter wanting to know what she’d say to God at the gates of Heaven, she blurted, “Wow, I was wrong, you really do exist!"
 
Julianne Moore? Kiera Knightley? Here are some movie star non-believers
 
By Laura Gottesdiener
AlterNet.org

Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist and activist in New York City.

There are a few famous ones who are essentially defined by their lack of adherence to organized religion. Woody Allen, for example, is the quintessential Jewish-atheist. In his autobiographical film, Stardust Memories, Allen's character explains that his atheism is not simply an aspect of his identity; it’s a cosmic act of resistance: "To you, I'm an atheist,” he says. “To God, I'm the loyal opposition."

In fact, the iconic Allen is actually only one member of a growing club: high-profile celebrities who are finally coming out about their atheism.

1. Angelina Jolie (More)

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Human Wrongs Watch

19 January 2013 — As French soldiers pour into Mali in the fight to push back the advancing Islamist militants, questions have been raised as to the motives behind the intervention. Author William Engdahl told RT the US was using France as a scapegoat to save face.

RT: At a time when France and the rest of the Eurozone are trying to weather the economic crisis, what’s Paris seeking to gain by getting involved in another conflict overseas?

William Engdahl: Well, I think the intervention in Mali is another follow-up to the French role in other destabilizations that we’ve seen, especially in Libya last year with the toppling of the Gadhafi regime. In a sense this is French neocolonialism in action.

But, interestingly enough, I think behind the French intervention is the very strong hand of the US Pentagon which has been preparing this partitioning of Mali, which it is now looming to be, between northern Mali, where al-Qaeda and other terrorists are supposedly the cause for French military intervention, andsouthern Mali, which is a more agricultural region. [...]

Oil

[...] Because in northern Mali recently there have been huge finds of oil discovered, so that leads one to think that it’s very convenient that these armed rebels spill over the border from Libya last year and just at the same time a US-trained military captain creates a coup d’état in the Southern capital of Mali and installs a dictatorial regime against one of Africa’s few democratically elected presidents.

So this whole thing bears the imprint of US Africom [US Africa Command] and an attempt to militarize the whole region and its resources. Mali is a strategic lynchpin in that. It borders Algeria which is one of the top goals of these various NATO interventions from France, the US and other sides. Mauritania, the Ivory Coast, Guinea, Burkina Faso. All of this area is just swimming in untapped resources, whether it be gold, manganese, copper. (More)
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From the Desk of Dennis Carr, Sustainable Development Editor

A high speed rail network through eastern Canada

and throughout the US shouldn't just be a dream

There are social and commercial benefits to high speed rail. My map of what's possible drew supporters from coast to coast

By Alfred Twu
guardian.co.uk
 
08 February 2013 — I created this US High Speed Rail Map as a composite of several proposed maps from 2009, when government agencies and advocacy groups were talking big about rebuilding America's train system.

Having worked on getting California's high speed rail approved in the 2008 elections, I've long sung the economic and environmental benefits of fast trains.

This latest map comes more from the heart. It speaks more to bridging regional and urban-rural divides than about reducing airport congestion or even creating jobs, although it would likely do that as well.

 
The response to my map this week went above and beyond my wildest expectations, sparking vigorous political discussion between thousands of Americans ranging from off-color jokes about rival cities to poignant reflections on how this kind of rail network could change long-distance relationships and the lives of faraway family members. (More)
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