Category Archives: religion

There will be art: The Getty Villa and Getty Center in Los Angeles

Getty Villa

Getty Museum Courtyard

The late oil tycoon J. Paul Getty rather off-handedly created two massive monuments to himself in Los Angeles: The Getty Villa and the Getty Center, which are probably the leading tourist attractions for grownups (I would say “for adults,” but “adult” seems to mean “porn” these days). A much better use of massive oil profits than, say, spreading ignorance about anthropogenic global climate change. Although they are both billed as art museums, the architecture is what knocks your socks off.

The Villa, on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, requires reservations, which you can usually get online a day in advance in the winter, but more advance planning would be advisable at other times. Admission is free, but they do charge 15 dollars/vehicle for parking. The collection features antiquities of Greek, Roman and Etruscan origin. They are housed in a “campus” of buildings loosely based on the architecture of ancient Pompeii. Tours and films (and occasional lectures and symposia) are available free of charge and are listed in a little handout “Today at the Getty Villa”; early arrival is recommended to get the best selection. Flocks of docents, guards, and other staff are constantly at hand. The cafe is nice and the gift shop well-stocked.

Getty Center, which includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, is roughly ten times the size of the Villa. It is located in LA on the 405 just north of Sunset Blvd. Reservations are not required, admission is free, though there is a charge for parking. Closed Mondays and major holidays. The architecture (by Richard Meier), location and views are spectacular. A brief orientation film is shown continuously in the Museum entrance hall. The collections include a wide variety of art including photographs, sculpture, paintings and furniture. The modern era is under-represented. While the Impressionist collection is impressive, it is really in the medieval and religious collections that the Getty is unique among large American museums. Tours, lectures and other events are listed in “Today at the Getty Center”, available free in the Museum entrance hall. Audio devices are available to rent for $5, but are not necessary for the average tourist; the exhibits are largely self-explanatory. Food and beverages are available all over the campus. As for the Villa, the ideal plan would be to arrive at the Center early, have a pleasant and scenic lunch after a couple of hours, and wander about as long as the feet hold up, finishing at the gift/book shop. You can’t see it all in a day, unless that is your goal.

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After Jon Stewart shines light on Republican vaginal ultrasound/rapists, they scatter like rats

This is what Virginia Republicans wanted to force on the female citizens of that state.


The Virginia governor today backtracked on the Republican state legislature’s efforts to require “against their will” 8 inch vaginal rod ultrasounds for women requesting abortion services. I guess it’s only a coincidence that this comes immediately after Jon Stewart shined a light on much this resembles rape.

Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, told TPM that this is “not at all” a victory, despite the fact that McDonnell is touting it as a compromise. “As it still stands,” she said, “this bill is still a mandatory ultrasound. The government should have no role in this decision whether its internal or external.”

If he were really interested in a compromise, Keene said, “he would have made this go away, and at the very least he should have made it optional.”

The bill still “doesn’t give [a woman] any choice. It doesn’t give the doctor any choice. It puts up a barrier, saying that you have to concede to this procedure before you can access your constitutional right to an abortion,” said Keene.

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The lengths to which Republicans will go to try to defeat Obama

Here's a guy you can trust with your reproduction

h/t The Rude Pundit.

That is Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut. Despite the unfortunate photo, which looks like the last thing an altar boy sees before being taken into a booth for some private confessin’, Lori actually co-wrote the zero tolerance policy for child-f****** priests or, as it’s known everywhere else, “Wait, You Mean There Wasn’t a Zero Tolerance Policy for Child-******* in the Catholic Church Already?”. He’s also a warrior for all things churchy in this vile, depraved secular nation.

… yesterday Bishop Lori testified, as part of an all-male panel, before the House Oversight Committee during its hearing on the Obama administration’s continuation of a Bush-era policy, already passed in 28 states, including being signed into law by Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee when they were governors, that employers who provide health insurance for their employees, including businesses and institutions run by religious groups, with the exception of houses of worship, must include female contraceptive coverage.

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Did Mark Sanford go to Argentina because he was rejected by eHarmony.com?

In another stunning development in the ongoing Mark Sanford fiasco, Over the Line, Smokey! has learned that Sanford may have been trying to “dig some potatoes” a little closer to home than Argentina, but was rejected by eHarmony.com, because of a statement he made in his application:
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Over the Line, Smokey! cannot vouch for the authenticity of this document, although it was obtained from a reliable source.*

*the internet, I think it’s called.

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Juan Cole on Steven King and Barack Obama

One of Cole’s best ever.

Congressman Steven King of Iowa, who has decided to further disgrace Congress by seeking a fifth term there, delivered himself of the sort of bigotted and ignorant comments about Barack Obama that we have come to expect from the rightwing Republicans who have made such a mess of our economy and of the world…..

Judge for yourself on what grounds Vural Cengiz, head of the Turkish-American Businessmen’s Union thinks Obama would be “good for Turkey” (a NATO ally of the United States and part of King’s ‘world of Islam.’):

“Barack Obama can be the leader that the world is looking for. He can put a new list of criteria to judge what is good and bad for American people. He can stop the hate wars between Muslims and Christians by promoting peace and helping the communities in need. He can be the one to stop dropping the bombs and start sending the doctors, food and clothing as well as capital to create more jobs, to build more hospitals and schools all over the world. . .

Turks do not have high hopes about the future as long as American politics in Iraq continue as usual. Help in the war against the terrorist PKK (the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party) from United States in the last two months gave some hope to many Turks about the United States. However, Turks will not feel friendly to the US as long as they don’t feel that America’s Iraq politics is completely changed. And it looks like only Obama can change it. . .

Barack Obama is an African-American. He knows suffering, hunger and danger much better than Senator Clinton. He is not a rich man. He understands the issues of poor and middle-class families. He also understands poor and middle-class nations. Turkey stands right there. He is good for Turks, as well as the rest of the world…”

So from Cengiz’s point of view, it is Bush who is promoting terrorism (because his Iraqi-Kurdish allies coddle the Kurdish Workers Party terrorist group, which has been sneaking over to Turkey from Iraq and killing Turks), and it is Obama who might stop the bombings.

King again:

‘ He continued: “There are implications that have to do with who he is and the position that he’s taken. If he were strong on national defense and said ‘I’m going to go over there and we’re going to fight and we’re going to win, we’ll come home with a victory,’ that’s different. But that’s not what he said. They will be dancing in the streets if he’s elected president. That has a chilling aspect on how difficult it will be to ever win this Global War on Terror.” ‘

Oh, it seems pretty obvious that the “global war on terror” could be much more easily won if we stop being mired in a quagmire in Iraq, stop operating a machine for producing terrorists, stop spending trillions on Bush’s buddies in the military-industrial complex, and instead do some good police work in finishing off al-Qaeda.

You see, when King gets away from name-calling, racism, and guilt by association and actually tries to make a substantive point, the bankruptcy of his arguments becomes amply apparent.

People like King have run this country since 1994. I say they are dinosaurs. I say that November 2008 will be to them as the Chicxulub meteor was to the original dinosaurs. I say that the dark age of bigotry and fear-mongering and tyranny will pass.

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John McCain, warmonger, loves him some John Hagee, bigoted warmonger and Holocaust revisionist

Doddering old John McCain loves him some war, and he loves him some warmongering bigot John Hagee, fundamentalist Teevee preacher/profiteer. Hagee is an “end of days” kind of scare guy, who says that the Jews were to blame for the Holocaust, and that God wants war with Iran, in order to trigger the final wipe-out of the Jews.

He fools people because he is seemingly “pro-Israel,” but that is just part of the “prophesy.” This guy is way crazier than even Dick Cheney and nutso John Bolton.

….it is Hagee who is at the bleeding edge of a Christian Zionist movement seeking to accelerate the Second Coming of Christ and the final battle in Israel. Since the 1990′s, Hagee and his group CUFI (Christians United for Israel) has tried without success to breed the “red heifer,” the perfect calf that will signal the Second Coming.” As Sarah Posner wrote in the American Prospect, “for Hagee’s new project – agitating for war with Iran – his influence over Washington is less important than his influence over his audience.” His book Jerusalem Countdown sold over 500,000 copies.

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McCain courted Hagee and received and welcomed his endorsement.

Here is a vid of Hagee spouting his hate nonsense about Catholics. There is no worse bigot in the United States than his man.

conservative (and Catholic) law professor Stephen Bainbridge argues that the protests over McCain/Hagee don’t go far enough, and concludes: “this is even worse than McCain’s about face on Bob Jones University. It’s extremely disappointing.”

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Don’t let the media fool you with their mindless “straight talk” nonsense: McCain is a pandering old creep with no principles and not much of a brain left.

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As sick as it gets: Cheney gets standing ovation for torture, at CPAC

The Conservative Political Action Conference; gathering place for the near-Fascist right; Dick Cheney is of course their leader.

From Sadly, No!, a description of these maniacs. I’m sorry, but I don’t recognize conservatism in this stuff. It’s just sickness.

Weirdly enough – or maybe not so much – his defense of torture gets a standing ovation, but his praising of our fighting men in uniform does not.

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