Your perfect boycott match

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This site looked interesting when I ran into it a while ago. It categorizes, ranks and collects information on Boycotts. It’s called KarmaBanque.

I haven’t evaluated in detail whether I agree with their boycotts, but I very much like the idea of the site. As corporations become more powerful, having huge sway over the government and the media, I firmly believe the only way to keep them in check is the one way capitalism allows: the almightly dollar. You, as the consumer, have the ultimate say where your dollar is spent. Don’t shop at Walmart if you think it’s bad to lock immigrant workers in a store overnight. Don’t buy Disney products if you think it’s bad to keep giving corporations more rights than individuals.

The fact that most of us see all the bad things these corporations do and still give them money worries me. But of course, it’s the 21st century, and being lazy and following the crowd is now considered part of social status.

Interview with Stephen Colbert

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A really interesting audio interview with Stephen Colbert from the Daily Show over at NPR.

Great to hear how he thinks about some of his bits like “This week in God” and some other Daily Show tidbits.

The end of tolerance?

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I think this is everywhere today, but here’s an article about a Christian lobby group having issues with Sponge Bob

They say a video being distributed with Sponge Bob, Barney, etc, is promoting homosexuality.

Ok. I know these Christian lobby groups are a bunch of repressive homophobes but they have now dropped to a new record low on my respect meter.

When they used to make the argument “What they do is fine but we don’t want them marrying because that’s a Christian institution, etc” I can at least understand the rational basis for their argument. Even though I think it’s total crap and think it’s hypocritical in so many ways, at least I can see the line of reasoning.

Once they start trying to crush tolerance for gay people, that’s much worse. That’s the repressive, Nazi-ish side that a lot of people are afraid of.

What do these people think is going on? Do they think there is a group of people trying to actively recruit straight people to be gay? Do they think their kids are in danger of being “converted” by some video? Maybe these people have gay tendencies themselves and are afraid if they see anything gay-related they have a chance of running out to find a male hooker.

Exporting fear and anger

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As posted on Kos today, I found this comment from outgoing Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage very interesting. How strange for a member of this Republican administration to show concern at how the US treats the rest of the world. The next magical logical leap they need to make is that their current strategies breed more terrorism, not less.

Anyways, here’s his quote:

“The biggest regret is that we didn’t stop 9/11. And then in the wake of 9/11, instead of redoubling what is our traditional export of hope and optimism we exported our fear and our anger. And presented a very intense and angry face to the world. I regret that a lot.”

Seperation of church and what? Evolution?

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In a suprise turn of events a federal judge in Georgia has declared the addition of a sticker saying “… Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things…” to a textbook is unconstitutional because it violates the seperation of church and state.

Judge: Evolution stickers unconstitutional

Wow, I’m suprised. I really thought something like this would have gone the other way considering the trends in the US to ignore this part of the constitution.

Bets on how much money the religious right will now funnel into Georgia to get this overturned?

Is Atheism a civil rights issue?

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I don’t know where I stand on this yet, but here’s an interesting article on whether Atheism is a civil rights issue:

Atheism is Indeed a Civil Rights Issue

I realize that things in the US are definitely going in the direction showing this issue should be raised. I do however maintain some kind of hope that this increasing trend of religion influencing government is a fad. I hope I’m not wrong because with these things it’s usually too late when you figure it out. For that reason I appreciate the efforts mentioned in this article.

I do definitely feel that lately religion has had way too many effects in all branches of government but I don’t see it as having a discriminatory effect. Although I guess that’s not entirely true as Bush has removed funding from non-Religious-based charity organizations. So maybe they’re correct already…

Ethics? It’s not just for Liberals anymore.

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Wow. Do I have to admit I agree with something done by the Republicans?

In a reverse course the House Republicans have changed position on a rule change allowing their leader to stay in power once indicted for a crime. Just so you get the history, this rule was instated years ago to show Republicans were trustworthy compared to the Democrats who were suffering scandals at the time. Seems kind of strange they’d want to ignore that rule – it really sends a message.

Here’s the story on ABC news

To be honest, aside from what I said in the first paragraph, I really think there are two factions in the Republican party right now. There are the more “libertarian-leaning” folks who care about fiscal conservatism but who might otherwise want to stay out of social issues like banning gay marriage. Then there are the others: power-hungry, righteous, and religious fanatics. They seem to only care about keeping the party in power and dictating their “values” to the rest of the country.

I can deal with the first part and at least respectfully disagree. What I can’t stand is the second part. I can’t believe people don’t see the parallels from history: a group using religion as a rallying cry to demonize sections of the population and dictate how the “ideal” citizen lives and acts. And of course the major media goes along with it. As long as they’re making money they push the stories that sell more advertizing.