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NEWS: Athens Burns, FOX Fans Discuss Whitney, Starry Night Comes Alive

Athens

Road Facing austerity, Athens burns:

... Cinemas, cafes, shops and banks were set ablaze in central Athens as black-masked protesters fought riot police outside parliament.

State television reported the violence spread to the tourist islands of Corfu and Crete, the northern city of Thessaloniki and towns in central Greece. Shops were looted in the capital where police said 34 buildings were ablaze.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos denounced the worst breakdown of order since 2008 when violence gripped Greece for weeks after police shot a 15-year-old schoolboy.

"Vandalism, violence and destruction have no place in a democratic country and won't be tolerated," he told parliament as it prepared to vote on the new 130 billion euro bailout to save Greece from a chaotic bankruptcy.

Road Bishops unhappy with Obama's contraception compromise:

The bishops’ decision to rebuff the compromise means that “religious freedom” will continue to be a rallying cry for some Catholics who have heard it preached from the pulpit for the last three weeks, for evangelical Christians on the religious right, for Republican candidates on the campaign trail and for members of Congress who are supporting a legislative fix on Capitol Hill.

... Mr. Obama said that the compromise would take the Catholic institutions out of the equation by relieving them from either paying for coverage for contraceptives or providing any referral to their employees for the coverage. Instead, insurance companies would be required to pay for the contraceptives, and to arrange it. The insurers will agree, the White House said, because it is more expensive for them to pay for pregnancies than to pay for contraceptives.

Churches and houses of worship that object to birth control coverage are already exempted. The compromise applies to primarily Catholic institutions, such as hospitals, universities and charities, that employ and serve large numbers of non-Catholics.

The bishops said the plan offered insufficient protection for their institutions: “In the case where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer. This, too, raises serious moral concerns.”

Road A history of terrestrial nuclear explosions, in time lapse -- a video both frightening and lyrical.

Road Dose a male snake with estrogen, and other male snakes go wild.

Road Is gay lit dead?

Road Dick Polman: Marriage equality no longer a wedge issue:

During the 2004 campaign, Republican strategists put gay marriage on referendum ballots in key swing states as a "wedge" issue to unnerve Democrats and gin up the conservative base for President George W. Bush. The Massachusetts high court had just ruled for legalization, and hostility toward the concept was the centrist position in America.

This is no longer true.

Granted, social conservatives voiced anger Tuesday when, for the first time, a federal court of appeals declared that gay marriage was a constitutional expression of equal rights. But most Americans will shrug and move on. As evidenced by all the polls, tolerance is the new centrism.

Road Gay consumers reward JCPenny's defense of Ellen DeGeneres with a buycott.

Road The trials and tenacity of The Washington Post:

... That has left the newspaper and the company’s other businesses exposed. The newsroom, once with more than 1,000 employees, now stands at less than 640 people, depleted by buyouts and staff defections. The newspaper’s Style section, once one of the most coveted assignments in American journalism, has shrunk from nearly 100 people to a quarter of that size. Bureaus in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are gone. There were so many Friday afternoon cake-cutting send-offs for departing employees last summer that editors had to coordinate them so they didn’t overlap.

Picture 20 Road New York Times bloggers' surprisingly fun live-blog of the Grammys.

Road As expected, the classiest comments on Whitney Houston's demise come from FOX News fans.

Road Van Gogh's Starry Night, as you've never seen it before.

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Comments

  1. As a user on Twitter pointed out, the Pope would be all for birth control if alter boys could get pregnant.

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 13, 2012 2:18:51 AM


  2. Abt the Whitney Houston comments article: Why post a link to this? If you want the world to be a horrible hate-filled place, you will find a ton of evidence of it out there. If you want it to be beautiful and promising, that evidence is there too. By posting links to articles like that, you are doing nothing but perpetuating the vile, hate-filled things those completely misguided people are saying. You are also giving them yet another outlet. Stop it. DON'T go to FOX News comment threads looking for rational discourse. Expect the worst of people on there and u won't have to feel such disgust.

    Posted by: AJ | Feb 13, 2012 2:19:34 AM


  3. The Catholic Bishops, frustrated at no longer having little boys to screw, are of no mind to compromise, now that they've decided to screw Obama instead.

    Posted by: StevyD | Feb 13, 2012 3:21:26 AM


  4. Could these Catholic bishops be any more hypocritical? If they're so taken with religious freedom, they could have stood up for the religious freedom of non-Catholics in Morinville, Canada where up until recently, the only public education available was exclusively Catholic. That changed (or rather, is changing) because of non-Catholic advocacy, not because Catholic bishops had any commitment to religious freedom.

    Aaand, if they're so opposed to insurance coverage of sin-related health issues, why don't they put their money where their mouths are by opposing coverage of the spouses of divorcees? Marriage, unlike menstruation, is a sacrament, after all. They need to stop being evil.

    Posted by: T | Feb 13, 2012 3:33:46 AM


  5. Greece is screwed as badly as the altar boys, I couldn't care less what bishops think because we have something called separation of church and state, and I don't think that the NYT should be casting aspersions on the WaPo if it can't even get correct the distinction between "less than" (wrong) and "fewer than" in a construction like that. Apparently they don't have any editors on staff either.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 13, 2012 4:05:20 AM


  6. What those gussied up old queens in the heirarchy of the Roman Catholic church don't realize is that as a church, you can't have everything your way, 100%. TO the mincing bishops and cardinals: you live in a secular state --though that may be a horrible tragedy in your minds-- where the laws are made by the state, not your religion.

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Feb 13, 2012 6:54:11 AM


  7. Sounds Bad

    Posted by: Provisional | Feb 13, 2012 7:52:04 AM


  8. Thanks for the Van Gogh post - "God's" hand taking over as it creates the movement of the cosmos...the painter would have loved it. I think that that is what Van Gogh had in mind, the movement and the depth.

    Also, I am sympathetic with AJ's post - why bother with so much of the negative. This is a great website but it does draw attention to far too many dismal people when so much more of a positive nature can be found.

    Posted by: uffda | Feb 13, 2012 8:07:21 AM


  9. The Catholic Church really doesn't want you to vote for Obama. Expect them to gin up all sorts of these "controversies" between now and the election, where no compromise Obama makes will ever satisfy them.

    Meanwhile, they'll money-launder funds into groups like NOM so that those groups can make political attack ads under the pretense of things like "traditional marriage." And just coincidentally, those politicians who benefit will support economic policies that benefit the rich fat cats of the Catholic Church hierarchy and their buds.

    It's clear the Catholic Church want to be a political organization, not a religious one.

    Can we please now strip the Catholic Church of its tax exempt status now?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Feb 13, 2012 11:10:43 AM


  10. I feel for Greece, the average Greek did not ruin their economy and now they are being forced to shrink their economy for any chance to avoid default. As a result it has caused turmoil within with people judging from the outside, what gets lost in that judging are the elderly, youth, and poor that are hurt the most as a result of decisions made by politicians and the elite. When will accountability replace austerity? The path out for greece has to be the growth with sensible cuts not slash and burn. Has greece overspent? yes, but future generations of greeks don't deserve to be subjected to a country with no opportunity. Most will leave. We should learn from this situation to realize that we must hold politicians accountable and distrust any call for austerity that would hurt the most vulnerable.

    Posted by: Redebbm | Feb 13, 2012 2:33:44 PM


  11. J C Penney is still a homophobe, just a homophobe with a lesbian spokesperson.

    Look who their PAC gives money to.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 13, 2012 11:06:47 PM


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