“Federal law enforcement officials announced what they called the largest healthcare fraud case in the nation’s history, indicting a Dallas area physician for allegedly bilking Medicare for nearly $375 million in billings for nonexistent home healthcare services.
Top Justice Department officials, working for several years to stem a rampant rise in healthcare fraud around the country, also revealed Tuesday that 78 home health agencies that were working with the physician, Dr. Jacques Roy, will be suspended from the Medicare program for up to 18 months.
FBI agents in Texas arrested Roy, of Rockwall, Texas, a physician for 28 years, and asked a federal judge in Dallas to keep him in custody until trial, citing his vast “bank accounts, a sailboat, vehicles and multiple pieces of property” as indications he may attempt to flee.”
“As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed? How has it happened that all the fine arts, architecture, painting, sculpture, statuary, music, poetry, and oratory, have been prostituted, from the creation of the world, to the sordid and detestable purposes of superstition and fraud?”
~ President John Adams calling Christianity “the most bloody religion that ever existed”
Wisconsin GOP Going After Webcam Abortions: “Wisconsin Senate Republicans passed a series of additional restrictions on women seeking abortions. Like so many of these aggressively restrictive bills, their rhetoric is cloaked in “helping” and “protecting” women despite the fact the restrictions do neither”.
Rick Santorum Is Wrong About Church/State Separation: Rick Santorum doesn’t believe in church/state separation and that should frighten everybody, religious and non-religious.
Understanding Santorum, Romney, Bachmann, Palin, Santorum, (etc…) : “Defined in its simplest form, Christian Dominionism is a political approach to Christian faith based on a literal interpretation of Genesis Chapter 1 verses 26 – 28 of the Christian Bible. Believers perceive themselves as the “chosen” or the “elect”, commanded by God to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion” over all living creatures. The goal of Christian Dominionism in the United States is to abolish Separation of Church and State, establishing it as a distinctively Christian Nation based upon Old Testament Mosaic Law. Dominionism is an umbrella term that harbors many divergent franchise groups claiming a foundation in Christianity”.
Student Whose Article About Atheist Discrimination was Banned from School Newspaper Gets $1,000 Award from the ‘Freedom From Religion Foundation’ (FFRF): “…a high school student from Tennessee, had her opinion piece about discrimination against atheists banned from her school’s newspaper”.
Santorum is sick: says that JFK’s separation of church and state speech and the thought of a secular society makes him want to puke : “Apparently Rick Santorum hasn’t been feeling well of late, and that the American secular democracy makes him want to puke. The Washington Post and many other Internet sites report that not only does the thought of secular society as we have it now where people of all faiths contribute to government makes Santorum physically sick, when Santorum read JFK’s 1960 Houston address on separation of church and state that “he almost threw up.” Kennedy was addressing concerns that his Catholic faith would dictate how he governed as president….”
The Violence of Deformed Christianity: “Not only is violent behavior a generally accepted part of American life, but most Americans, including Christians, believe violence is an acceptable way to resolve disputes, an attitude that conforms with the Christian Faith as practiced for the last 1,900 years. But that attitude was never part of Jesus’s message. Violence cannot be found anywhere in the recorded teachings from the life of Jesus.”
The Loving Story: “The law banning interracial marriage was called the Racial Integrity Act and went to nearly insane lengths to keep blacks from marrying whites. Sound similar to another heated marriage discussion happening today”?
100,000 Lost Girls: “Who needs a Thai hooker when you can order up a child prostitute on Craigslist or Backpage? The child sex trade is booming in the United States, thanks in part to the ease and anonymity of online classified ad sites”.
The Remotely Piloted American Way of Life: “When the first American drone assassins burst onto the global stage early in the last decade, they caught most of us by surprise, especially because they seemed to come out of nowhere or from some wild sci-fi novel. Ever since, they’ve been touted in the media as the shiniest presents under the American Christmas tree of war, the perfect weapons to solve our problems when it comes to evildoers lurking in the global badlands”.
Gay ‘Cure’ Video Removed from YouTube: “A homophobic video filmed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been removed from YouTube following a campaign by Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transexual Rights UAE (GLBTR UAE) and coverage by Gay Middle East, The Huffington Post, PinkNews, and Gay Star News“.
Report: White House Dollars Helped Pay for NYPD Surveillance of Muslims: “Millions of dollars from the White House helped fund the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslims. The money came from a grant intended to help law enforcement fight drug crimes. Since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Bush and Obama administrations have provided $135 million to New York and New Jersey law enforcement through the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, known as HIDTA”.
Two Suggestions for Ending Religious Oppression: “Whenever anyone tries to label our efforts against oppression as anti-religious, we must be ready to point out that our opposition is to specific behaviors and not the beliefs which may underlie these behaviors”.
Americans Abandon International Law: “After a decade of “war on terror” rhetoric – and President Obama’s failure to reverse many of George W. Bush’s extrajudicial policies – the U.S. public has come to accept that American “exceptionalism” puts the nation beyond the reach of international law, as Nat Parry explains”.
U.S. Marine Kissing His Boyfriend: Homecoming Photo Goes Viral: “A homecoming photo of a U.S. Marine caught in a passionate lip-lock with his boyfriend has gone viral in the blogosphere after it was posted on Facebook. The dramatic snapshot has drawn over 14,000 likes, and has received over 3,000 comments, since being uploaded to Facebook’s Gay Marines group“.
Atheists are right to challenge the sins of the Anglican church: “Why attack Richard Dawkins for pointing out the faults of Christianity?”
7 States Challenge Birth Control Mandate: “It’s not just the Catholic Bishops seeking to challenge the Obama administration’s rule that employers that offer health insurance to their employees must also provide coverage for birth control unless they are a religiously-exempt organization. Thursday (Feb 24, 2012) seven states asked a federal judge to block the contraception mandate on the ground that it violates the First Amendment rights of groups that object to the use of contraceptives. The lawsuit, filed by Republican attorneys general from Nebraska, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas is the first legal challenge filed by the states”.
In Egypt, Christian-Muslim Tension Is On The Rise: “They threw rocks through the windows and set our building on fire. I was sure we were going to die,”
Occupying Jesus and His Church: “It is an inconvenient truth for mainstream and right-wing Christians that Jesus was crucified for taking his protest against income inequality to the power center of Jerusalem, where he challenged how money had perverted religious principles. Now, that tension is returning with the Occupy protests, Rev. Howard Bess says”.
Part III in a Three Part Series on Dominionism in the GOP: “Under the umbrella of Political Dominionism are numerous “franchises” or sects of radical Christian belief whose goal it is to take “dominion” over all things secular. They may have differing theological beliefs, but at the core they have a common goal of inserting biblical law into American government. They falsely spin their message that America is a Christian Nation and that only those who believe as they do should be at the helm, because after all, they know what is best for us. Putting it VERY simply…“Defined in its simplest form, Christian Dominionism is a political approach to Christian faith based on a literal interpretation of Genesis Chapter 1 verses 26 – 28 of the Christian Bible. Believers perceive themselves as the “chosen” or the “elect”, commanded by God to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion” over all living creatures. The goal of Christian Dominionism in the United States is to abolish Separation of Church and State, establishing it as a distinctively Christian Nation based upon Old Testament Mosaic Law. Dominionism is an umbrella term that harbors many divergent franchise groups claiming a foundation in Christianity”.
Jesus’s Teachings and the Tea Party: “The Republican electoral resurgence – like Ronald Reagan’s original coalition – combines collaborative but often contradictory forces, from anti-government Tea Partiers and libertarians to corporatists who feast on government contracts and Christian nationalists who want government-imposed “morality.” But the “Christian” element of this coalition is especially problematic because it also tends to favor policies – from brutal warfare abroad to harsh treatment of certain minorities at home – that ignore Jesus’s core teachings of tolerance. The Tea Party is especially clear in rejecting the “love thy neighbor” aspects of Christianity, insisting that government should get out of the business of seeking social and economic justice…”
Republican Family Planning: “Santorum and Romney’s war on contraception is about men”
Onward-Marching Christian Soldiers: “In 2008, Rick Santorum declared, “Satan has his sights on the United States of America.” Though sounding odd to many, Santorum’s Satan talk is common among right-wing Christians who have intervened in U.S. politics before, like President Clinton’s impeachment, as Frederick Clarkson noted in this 1998 article”.
Atlantic reporter shocked at hate toward Muslims boiling over on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page: “Really? Where have you been these last three years?”
War’s Corruption of Christianity: “At a time when many on the American Christian Right espouse the supposed “originalist” thinking of the Founders, it’s ironic that many show little interest in the “originalist” thinking of Jesus as recounted in the gospels. Rather than embrace the pacifist message of “the Prince of Peace,” many of these Christians have a quick-draw reaction to launching wars, a corruption of their religion that Gary G. Kohls traces back to Rome’s embrace of Christianity….”
Santorum’s remarks on euthanasia insult, anger the Dutch: Rick Santorum made remarks about the Dutch elderly heath care at a Columbia, Missouri forum, hosted by James Dobson of Focus on the Family, which, according to Rachel Maddow’s Dutch translator, are funny, yet insulting to the Dutch, because apparently Santorum did not check his facts concerning the Netherlands.
Creationist-backed Alabama Bill Will Allow Churches To Teach Religion Classes To Public School Students: “A bill in Alabama would allow churches or ministries to teach a religion class to public school students off campus, so long as parents and school boards give permission and the churches are responsible for transportation and any expenses.”
US officers should hang over Koran incident: A top Iranian military commander said Saturday that nothing but burning the White House and hanging US commanders could remedy the pain caused to Muslims by the burning of Korans at a US military base…”
The Roots of US Religious Tolerance: “This wall of separation was born in Virginia and a Baptist was the prime mover. Subsequently, this principle was embedded in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution with the mandate that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.””
Editor’s Note: A core contradiction of the Christian faith is how a religion, based on the teachings of a martyred advocate for peace and the poor, could be transformed into an institution that justifies war and rationalizes extraordinary wealth.
In the United States, some politicians who brandish their Christianity as something of a campaign weapon would have you believe that Jesus favored invading other countries and wanted tax cuts for the super-rich. However, in this guest essay, the Rev. Howard Bess traces this contradiction to an ancient dispute:
By the Rev. Howard Bess December 6, 2010
The great religious divide in the world today is not a divide between Christianity and other religions, but rather within Christendom.
“The corrupting of Jesus’s message began soon after his death. His greatness became tied to King David, the most powerful king in the history of Israel. This conquering king became the image of the ideal Jesus, making Jesus a ruler of all rather than servant of all.
It is startling to realize how fast Jesus, the practitioner of the small tradition, was transformed into Jesus, head of the great tradition. Over the ensuing centuries, the vast majority of Christian church leaders has unwittingly embraced this switch, buying into the great tradition and selling out the small tradition”.
“The leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, the Rt Rev Vincent Nichols, has responded to the recent debates over “militant secularism” by saying that he does not believe Christians in Britain are the victim of persecution.” Read full post
First Environmentalism – Then Socialism!
Written by Keith Goetzman
To the power brokers of America’s right, climate change poses a dire threat to business as usual. Environmentalism, in fact, is seen by many of them as a stalking horse for an even more sinister force: socialism. Progressive thinker Naomi Klein expertly dissects this dynamic in her Nation article “Capitalism vs. the Climate,” explaining why the average modern conservative is terrified silly by the prospect of confronting human-caused climate change:
Responding to climate change requires that we break every rule in the free-market playbook and that we do so with great urgency. We will need to rebuild the public sphere, reverse privatizations, relocalize large parts of economies, scale back overconsumption, bring back long-term planning, heavily regulate and tax corporations, maybe even nationalize some of them, cut military spending and recognize our debts to the global South. Of course, none of this has a hope in hell of happening unless it is accompanied by a massive, broad-based effort to radically reduce the influence that corporations have over the political process. That means, at a minimum, publicly funded elections and stripping corporations of their status as “people” under the law. In short, climate change supercharges the pre-existing case for virtually every progressive demand on the books, binding them into a coherent agenda based on a clear scientific imperative. …
Climate change detonates the ideological scaffolding on which contemporary conservatism rests. There is simply no way to square a belief system that vilifies collective action and venerates total market freedom with a problem that demands collective action on an unprecedented scale and a dramatic reining in of the market forces that created and are deepening the crisis.
Klein’s essay is well worth reading for anyone with an environmental consciousness who’s trying to understand why saving the planet sounds so damn scary to some people. I would say it undermines everything they believe in, but as Klein makes abundantly clear, they don’t believe in much of anything except preserving their own privileged, comfortable lifestyles.
I Am An Environmentalist. Yes, I DO Want to Restrict Your ‘Freedom’
“To truly defend “freedom”, we must first accept that it is not simply about getting to do whatever you please, and that one person’s freedoms can easily impinge on those of another”.
Helen Ukpabio, Witch Hunter, May Be Coming to Texas
“You may have heard of Helen Ukpabio, the evangelical Christian from Nigeria who holds some despicable beliefs…..”
“if a child under the age of 2 screams in the night, cries and is always feverish with deteriorating health, he or she is a servant of Satan.”
With America’s Population Of Conservative Christians Taking Over Congress, The US Military, School Boards All Over The USA (etc), News Will Always Be Very Revealing Of Their Real Agenda: Take Over America, Take Over The World
Presidential Hopeful Rick Santorum Is One Wacky Dude
Crazy Things Rick Has Said And Done:
And Some Of His Friends Are Just As Wacky:
Religious Right on Dangers of Public Schools
Religious Right Activists Warn Parents Against Sending Students to Communist, Atheist, Gay Public Schools
Public schools have long faced attacks from Religious Right activists who deem them ungodly institutions and conservative politicians who seek to defund and privatize them, and this week Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, released the film The Dumbing Down of America on the “sinister” agenda of the public education system. We’ve selected highlights from the film which includes Religious Right figures such as radio talk show host Janet Parshall, Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver, The Myth of Separation Between Church and State author Dee Wampler, Philomath Foundation president Katherine Dang and Center for Academic Freedom (a division of the Alliance Defense Fund) legal counsel Greg Baylor.
“Expect the number of students using computers in the Camdenton, Mo. school district to dwindle over the next few weeks. Thanks to a ruling by a federal judge Wednesday, Feb. 15, the school district has 30 days to eliminate an Internet filtering system that allowed students access to explicit sexual sites but effectively blocked nearly every website that offered a positive viewpoint of gays and lesbians.
The order noted that the websites that were positive about gays were blocked for “sexuality,” but religious sites that were critical of homosexuality were allowed and were categorized as “religious.” This did not apply, however, to religious sites that did not condemn gays. Those sites were blocked because of “sexuality.” In her order granting the temporary injunction, Judge Nanette Laughrey wrote, “The board has used its power to perform an act clearly indicating that the ideas contained in the files are unacceptable and should not be discussed or considered. This message is not lost on students and teachers and its chilling effect is obvious.”
Officials issue speedy apology to protesters over ‘error’ that caused incineration of religious books at Bagram military airbase
“The decision to burn had nothing to do with the material being religious in nature or related to Islam … it was an error.”
The legalization of drone flights inside the United States has ominous implications for democratic rights.
Drones come to the US
21 Febuary 2012
Bill Van Auken
“A little-noted amendment to a $63 billion Federal Aviation Authority appropriations bill has ominous implications for democratic rights in the United States.
President Barack Obama signed the bill, the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012”, into law on February 14. It clears the way for a vast expansion of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, over US territory.
The legislation, passed earlier this month, underscores the link between the explosive growth of US militarism abroad and the steady advance of police state repression at home”.
“With the backing of the Obama administration, both the Republican and Democratic Parties and with barely a word of opposition from within the media or the political establishment as a whole, the machinery is being put in place for a full-blown American military-police state.
Underlying this process is the unprecedented social polarization between the financial aristocracy that monopolizes wealth and power and working people, the overwhelming majority of the population.
Under conditions in which the global capitalist crisis has deepened this polarization and given rise to the first signs of renewed class struggle, the ruling elite is turning to the same bloody methods it has used to advance its interests abroad to defend its grip on power at home”.