YOUR DAILY WEEKLY READER: liberal religion, fake-weed terrorism, and Milk stamps


via Reuters
  • via Reuters

via Reuters

WHY LIBERALS LYING ABOUT GOING TO CHURCH MEANS THERE IS NO WAR ON RELIGION: “Last week, the Public Religion Research Institute published a study showing that Americans want their fellow citizens to think they are more religiously observant than they really are. When asked by a live human being on the telephone how often they attend religious services, respondents were more likely to say they attend frequently. When filling out a self-administered online survey, by contrast, they were more likely to admit that they do not. Surprising? Not terribly. But this may be: Liberals were more likely to exaggerate their religious attendance than conservatives. Liberals attend services less frequently than conservatives do. Yet their desire to be thought more religiously observant than they actually are is greater. Why does this matter? Because it’s more evidence that the claim that liberals are waging a “war on religion” is absurd. You can hardly listen to a GOP presidential hopeful or flip on Fox News without hearing the charge. In 2012, Rick Perry promised that if elected he’d “end Obama’s war on religion.” Bobby Jindal recently warned that “the American people, whether they know it or not, are mired in a silent war” against “a group of like-minded [liberal] elites, determined to transform the country from a land sustained by faith into a land where faith is silenced, privatized, and circumscribed.” Ann Coulter explains, “Liberals hate religion because politics is a religion substitute for liberals and they can’t stand the competition.” Notice the claim. It’s not merely that liberals are not religious themselves. It’s that they disdain people who are, and this disdain creates a cultural stigma (and a legal barrier) to religious observance. “Bigotry against evangelical Christians is the last acceptable form of bigotry in the country,” Ralph Reed said recently. The truth is almost exactly the reverse.” (via the Atlantic) 


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AND THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO LEGALIZE REAL WEED – BECAUSE FAKE WEED EQUALS TERRORISM!: “What is this scale for?” Faisal Elnaha, the Yemeni manager of an Alabama Texaco remembers a DEA agent demanding on the morning of May 7. Rummaging wildly through the rundown gas station he’d been managing for 10 years, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration flung questions at the 36-year-old like candy. Unbeknownst to Elnaha at the time, his modest store had just become the newest target in the second phase of a nationwide drug takedown called Project Synergy—the specific raid in Birmingham had been given the code name Operation Red Tide. Poring over spices, small candy, and gum, the agents’ search for synthetic drugs was just beginning. “That scale was for letters!” Elnaha says with audible anguish on the phone two weeks later, now out of a job and unable to take care of his sick mother. “They found a lot of stuff [at] places, but not here. Not even tiny things, not nothing,” he says. But if the authorities got Elnaha’s store wrong, as he claims, they weren’t far off. Just a few blocks down on Sixth Avenue in Birmingham, they hit the jackpot. At a super storage warehouse lined with red steel doors, the agents allegedly uncovered hundreds of thousands of rainbow-clad bags bearing the inscription “Scooby Snax”—a code for “fake marijuana” or “spice.” But it was the $30 million to $40 million in profit they traced, and the receiving end of the money most of all, that was most alarming: Yemen." (via The Daily Beast)


DO NOT LOOK IN THE CLOSET. I REPEAT, DO NOT LOOK IN THE CLOSET: “As a crisis engulfs the Department of Veterans Affairs over allegations of wrongdoing at VA medical centers across the country, Miami’s VA Hospital has come under fire from one of its own: a longtime employee and police detective, who alleges that some patients are dealing drugs, others are being physically abused — and administrators are covering up the problems. Thomas Fiore, a VA law enforcement officer who was reassigned to clerical duties in February, said he has repeatedly reported to superiors incidents of drug dealing among patients, evidence of physical abuse of patients, and other potential crimes. In allegations first reported by WFOR-CBS 4 this week, Fiore said that instead of being allowed to investigate these incidents as a VA detective, he was re-assigned to a clerical position within the hospital’s medical administration department as retaliation.  “I was reassigned because I continued to bring things up to the director, and he continued to ignore it,’’ Fiore, 38, said. “They just needed to get rid of me.’’ Fiore fears continued retaliation for speaking out, and he has hired an attorney to represent him. “There’s not a bone in my body that is not scared,’’ he said.  But he felt compelled to come forward after a federal report in March revealed that the residential drug abuse rehabilitation program at the Miami VA Hospital failed to monitor patients, provide sufficient staff, control access to the facility or even curb illicit drug use among patients — culminating with the June 2013 death of Nicholas Todd Cutter, a 27-year-old Iraq combat veteran who overdosed on cocaine and heroin one week before he was scheduled to graduate from the program. “Quite honestly,’’ Fiore said, “his death could have been prevented.’” (via Miami Herald)



AND LICK YOU, THEN MAIL YOU: “Determined to promote equal rights in Florida and across the world, Stuart Milk of Wilton Manors stood proudly at a White House dedication ceremony on Thursday as postal officials dramatically unveiled an image of his uncle: a giant replica of the Harvey Milk Forever Stamp. A crowd of dignitaries leapt to their feet to applaud. The new stamp – depicting Harvey Milk's engaging smile, with a band of colors in the corner -- instantly became the face of a worldwide movement to promote human rights regardless of sexual orientation. "We have this beautiful stamp to remind us that hope resides in you, hope resides in me," Stuart Milk told the crowd. ‘As President (Barack) Obama said about Harvey: `Hope unashamed. Hope unafraid.' Obama, who was traveling to New York to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame, did not attend the ceremony. But a host of officials took part, including House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power and U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, a long-time advocate of gay rights. Stuart Milk is the nephew and protégé of the late Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was one of the nation's first openly gay public officials and became an iconic figure when he was assassinated in 1978. Inspired by his uncle, Stuart Milk leads the Harvey Milk Foundation, an advocacy group that pushes for equal rights while encouraging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to embrace their identity and show it to the world. That message has special resonance in South Florida, home to one of the nation's largest gay and lesbian communities, Milk said before the ceremony. "The South Florida community reflects this historic moment where we have this tremendous civil rights advance that is happening at lightning speed," he said. "But we do have pockets (of resistance). In Florida, we don't have statewide protection for LGBT people to protect them from discrimination in employment and housing. We also don't have marriage equality. ‘We have to do more work to change hearts and minds in Florida so we can have a Legislature in Tallahassee that is responsive.’” (via Sun Sentinel)


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