Archive for category Paul Mero

It May Be Necessary to Save Religion From its Defenders

In a recent op-ed, Salt Lake Tribune writer George Pyle argued that:

Following no organized religion does not mean that individuals do not believe in God, or a higher power. It just means they are compelled to define and follow that power on their own, being responsible for their own decisions, not outsourcing their thinking to any Earthly leader. And that should make democracy easier, not harder.

When no single religion is in a superior position of power, participants in a democracy must find another common language, the language of civil society, in which to converse. Preferred policies must be argued in terms of rational facts, because no one can simply claim it is God’s will and shut down the conversation.

This assertion is not controversial and should not be controversial.

Paul Mero wrote a surprisingly arrogant response to Pyle’s editorial.  Mero, for those who don’t know, is a leading Utah based recipient of Wingnut Welfare as head of the Sutherland institute.  Mero’s main point is summed up:

. . .  there is no civil society without religion. Religion is a basic human value; it is a human good. All but the secular mind pause to reflect persistently on the purpose of life. Not only is this reflection natural to every reasonable human being, it is a requirement for human excellence.

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Breaking! Sutherland Institute has a Huge Closet

…and somewhere in the back, next to a witch and a lion, is Paul Mero.

In news that will shock almost no thinking person with even a tenuous grasp on human behavior, a study finds that

(h)omophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires.

Do tell? I believe I recognize the lead researchers name from his ground breaking study that proved water is in fact wet. I hear he is leading a team to discover whether or not bears shit in the woods…

Shockingly, homophobic conservatives are coming out of the closets wallpaper to denounce the study. One such self loather, Brent Bozell, starts his defense of homophobia by pointing out that science has also shown that the right has a distrust of science and fact. He distrusts this study. From there he disputes the science (that he totally doesn’t distrust!) that shows that conservative opinions are more appealing to people with lower intellect. Besides those scientists are all nerds.

Bozell, who is famous for saying Obama looked like a “skinny, ghetto crackhead”, is also not a racist.

Hearing this, I immediately thought of one of our own favorite OneUtah commenters, Paul Mero. For those who forgot, Paul argued that gays don’t deserve any “special rights” because “being gay is a choice.” (Ignore the special rights of the churches! Religion isn’t a choice! This is a christian nation!) When I asked him when he decided to be straight, his reply was “each and every day.”

I will let the slower among you work that out for a bit. Don’t get distracted by Faux News! Wait! Concentrate! Look, keys!

…damn, lost ’em.

The only question remaining is just how big the closet had to be for the general conference…

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Permanent Democratic Majority: Three New Studies Say Yes

Maybe there is a God…or just maybe, common sense has overcome religious ideology. Could be enlightment over tribalism.

Or it just may be that my relentless Republican bashing is working. I’ll go with the latter.

Permanent Democratic Majority: New Study Says Yes

In a March, 2009 51-page paper [PDF] “New Progressive America: Twenty Years of Demographic, Geographic, and Attitudinal Changes Across the Country Herald a New Progressive Majority,” Ruy Teixeira makes a strong case that “progressive arguments are in the ascendancy,” that demographic and geographic “trends should take America down a very different road than has been traveled in the last eight years. A new progressive America is on the rise.”

To further buttress his case, Teixeira has put together “a very cool interactive map
that includes 7 levels of exit poll demographics and county-level vote shifts going back to 1988.”

And my favorite part:

Perhaps the strongest evidence in support of the Teixeira-Judis-Abramowitz thesis is, however, the current inability of the Republican Party to respond to market pressures. Defeat has, ironically, diminished the GOP’s capacity to respond to loss. As the elected leadership gets smaller, the strength of the most dogmatically rigid and least elastic faction has grown. On issues running the gamut from immigration to the economy, this dominant faction has yet to demonstrate “a wonderful corrective” in reaction to losing. Instead, they have retreated further inside an ideological shell that began to show cracks — Bush I in ’92, Dole in ’96, and Bush v. Gore — well over a decade ago.

Paul Mero? Buh bye. Richard Okelberries? Permanant timeout. Jason Chavetz? A check mark in history. Orrin Hatch? A place reserved in hell.

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Utah’s Own Practitioners of the Politics of Resentment

In a moment of no political drama, Gayle Ruzicka and the Sutherland Institute announced they were opposed to the Common Ground Initiative:
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Paul Mero, Gayle Ruzicka, Chris Buttars, have you no decency?

Chris Buttars, a man who has already made up his mind.

Chris Buttars, a man who has already made up his mind.

They’ve teamed up and vowed to defeat the full set of bills in the Common Ground Intiatives–bills designed to provide same sex partners with basic legal rights, not marriage, but property and other rights. Indeed, Sen. Chris Buttars committee today in a 4 to 2 vote prevented the first of the four bills from even getting out of committee.

And why are Mero/Ruzicka/Buttars so terrified that gays may get some legal rights? It’s because they believe it’s one step toward legalizing gay marriage. Never mind that Utah already has a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. They won’t bend even a little, and let these citizens, our own friends, neighbors, and family enjoy the legal protections they need when faced with the crises life doles out to us all.

They have no heart. They have no soul. They have no human decency.

In my humble opinion.

SLTrib.com:

Rather than “common ground,” Gayle Ruzicka and the Constitutional Defense of Marriage Alliance are touting “common sense.” And a Salt Lake City-based conservative think tank, The Sutherland Institute, wants Utahns to stand on “sacred ground” instead.

“The family is the central unit of society, and so our efforts in this regard are ultimately to protect the traditional family and protect marriage,” said Sutherland spokesman Jeff Reynolds. . . Next week, his group will kick off its Sacred Ground Initiative, a counteroffensive aimed at defeating the five gay-rights bills. . .

Ruzicka, president of the Utah Eagle Forum, and Reynolds both argue that granting any legal standing to same-sex couples — or even recognizing sexual orientations as classes protected against discrimination — could precipitate a court battle to legalize gay marriage.

That’s what happened in California, Ruzicka said, when the state’s Supreme Court decided gay couples were entitled to wed because they already had many of the same rights as married, straight couples. Last fall, the court’s decision to allow same-sex marriage was overturned when voters approved Prop 8. . .

[Ruzicka]– along with Republican Sen. Chris Buttars of West Jordan and former GOP Rep. LaVar Christensen of Draper — formed the Constitutional Defense of Marriage Alliance, a political-issues committee, to help pass Utah’s Amendment 3, which defined marriage in 2004 as solely between a man and a woman.

This alliance now is drafting a “common sense” rebuttal to the Common Ground campaign, Ruzicka said.

The fact that the Utah Constitution already prevents gay marriage makes California a false comparison, notes Carlson, who insists Equality Utah’s initiative is not an end run to sue for gay marriage.

Photo credit: Francisco Kjolseth / The Salt Lake Tribune
Cross-posted with slight revisions at Utah Legislature Watch

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Messing with God’s Perfect Creation & The Fabulous Kingdom of Gay Animals

Re-Posted from July 2006

Asking the opinion of the executive director of Evergreen International if there is scientific basis for homosexuality is akin to asking a chicken farmer if eggs are good for you.  The beguiling nature of the entire article is betrayed in the first sentence “the simple ‘born gay’ theory has faded from the science scene.” You’d have to have just arrived from another planet to have not heard about the just released study known as the “older brother effect”.  It was a feature story on Sixty-Minutes and published in about a million papers and broadcast news.

Evergreen is essentially a boot camp founded by the LDS church to try to get gay men to want to have sex with women, also known as ‘re-orientation therapy.’  Someone should do a scientific study on how effective THAT is.

So it should come as little surprise that The author, Evergreen’s Executive Director’s real thesis can be found in this statement, “The simplistic biological theory has been dismissed by all of the researchers whose studies have been cited to support the notion that homosexuality is so deeply compelled by biology that it cannot change.”

Huh?

I had to read it several times to get the gist. I think it is saying that no scientist will claim that sexual orientation cannot be changed. So there ya go. If you wanna meddle with God’s perfect creation, Evergreen is for you!

One need not read too far into the article to find the predictable hallmark argument of the anti-gay crowd and most duplicitous manipulation of the uninformed. The Director disguises his ruse like a pro. Let’s examine the words of just one of those (researchers) often incorrectly cited as providing evidence for a “gay gene.”

To date, NO human behavior, let alone sexual behavior, has been connected to genetic markers and it is unlikely that there ever will. Many diverse sources of data have shown that any two individuals are more than 99.9% identical in sequence, which means that all the differences among individuals in our species that might be attributed to genes fall in a mere 0.1% of the sequence.

The Director’s shameless distortion through the use of omission and semantics does not stop there. Citing a recent genetic study by a University of Illinois team, which unsurprisingly found “no [sic] one gay gene.” He selectively summarizes that the lead researcher Dr. Brian Mustanski noted that environmental factors were also likely to be involved, but conveniently leaves out this comment by the same man, “Our study helps to establish that genes play an important role in determining whether a man is gay or heterosexual.”

Be also careful of the use of the phrase “environmental factors” by the snake oil salesmen trying to book rooms at Evergreen. It doesn’t always mean mommy was a monster in jackboots, “environmental factors” include hormonal conditions in the womb.

Lastly, I want to point out the cunning in the sentence, “If the innate-immutable theory of homosexuality has no basis in science” blah blah blah. That’s the same Rovian technique the neo-cons use to ignore global warming. If you need innate-immutable proof before you can accept anything, what are you doing in church?

At least 450 species exhibit homosexual behavior. Interestingly, our closest ancestral species exhibit quite a bit of it. I love this article, “The Fabulous Kingdom of Gay Animals”.

But the best evidence that homosexuality is not a choice is that there is a homosexual near you (You may have even created one), and if you can gain their trust, they will convince you they didn’t choose it.

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If Prop 8 Was NOT Revelation, The LDS Church Needs New Management

Dan Savage Takes On Tony Perkins Over Prop 8

You don’t get to march in the public square, slime people, malign people and demagogue against people and then jump behind a bush and say, no God we’re a church.

Right on!

The Mormon Church has politicized itself with this movement and — in California to ban same-sex marriage. And it wasn’t just the Mormon Church encouraged its followers. The first prophet of the Mormon Church had a letter read from every temple, every Mormon temple in the land instructing its members as a religious duty to donate time and money to this campaign. You cannot campaign against the vulnerable minority group in this country in the political arena without expecting some sort of response

I leave you with a criminally stupid quote from one of our otherwise brilliant OneUtah authors (we really are an open forum)

“Gay marriage leaves men, women and especially children handicapped in the sort of personal development a truly progressive civilization requires.” – PAUL MERO is president of the Sutherland Institute, a conservative think tank.

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Freedom of Speech and Expression

Seemingly endlessly litigated and legislated around, the First Amendment reads simply:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

For the purposes of this post, I’m interested in freedom of speech.

On a surprisingly regular basis, one hears accounts of “parents” or “family” groups trying to get books banned from libraries on the grounds that they are not appropriate for young people. Or of schools adopting speech codes that restrict speech of an “offensive or harmful nature.” In the interest of rhetorical honesty, I’m willing to grant that in both types of cases the motives are laudable – protecting people from harm. I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again but the perils of protecting people from “harmful” speech are probably greater than the perils of the speech itself.
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Another National Embarasment – Jason Chavetz: Utah’s Newest Nazi

The Salt Lake Tribune’s Robert Gehrke holds himself to the highest standard of objective journalism so rare in the Utah media. He should be commended for his objectivity.

in An ‘odious reminder’, Chaffetz’s plan for tent cities is lambasted: Candidate’s immigration plan likened to WWII internment camps (archive link)

“Jason Chaffetz’s comments are more than just offensive and embarrassing to all Americans; they demonstrate a blatant disregard of the need to be vigilant in remembering the lessons learned from a disgraceful chapter in U.S. history. “

Some Utahn’s no doubt may view question the objectivity of that statement. But they will be unable to do so without revealing their racism and xenophobia. Chaffetz is an embarrassment to Utah, as was Cannon. The word ‘odious’ rings true.

I got this e-mail yesterday:

The Sutherland Institute is hosting the season’s first debate between Democratic Congressional Candidate Bennion Spencer and Republican Jason Chaffetz.

The debate will be open to bloggers and closed to both the public and the press.

The Utah Amicus will be blogging the debate live tomorrow, Sept 9 at 7:30 am.
For more information contact Shawn at ShawnColvin ‘at’ gmail.com

Note: “The debate will…closed to both the public and the press?”

Chavetz refuses to debate Spencer in public or to be recorded. Only Utah’s Sutherland Institute is unencumbered enough by integrity to host such an offense to public transparency.

Very sad.

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The Organizer in Chief

Interesting article from the City Journal of the Manhatten Institute (oh yeah…”right wing crazies” at the MI).

Quote:

“Obama’s nomination will be celebrated as a first for African-Americans. But the racial symbolism may obscure the importance of his presidential run to the tens of thousands of government-funded community groups that stand to benefit from an Obama agenda that’s right out of the 1960s.”

Link: http://www.city-journal.org/2008/18_3_snd-community_activist_president.html

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Government, Your Partner in Reproduction: A Modest Proposal

According to Paul “Sorry-ma’am-this-is-my-job-someone’s-got-to-do-it” Mero, chief of Utah’s conservative Sutherland Institute, the state has a vested interest in your sex organs. Your children, you see, are the state’s means of production, and your sex organs, being the means of producing the means, are therefore a national asset subject to oversight. Lots of oversight. The more assets your member produces, the more valuable you are as a member. Biology is destiny. Darwin and the Mormons finally agree on something. Correspondingly, assets that choose not to produce are a threat to the state. Not just the blessed state of marriage, but the blessed STATE, also known as Das Vaterland, ueber, hinter, und inter alles. Non-productive asses, sorry, assets are a threat to the world as we know it.

But I think Paul, with that reticence that is his trademark, is too restrained. The implication of Scripture (“if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out”) and hard-nosed, Malthusian capitalism alike is that we need to GET RID of unproductive units and more aggressively reward the productive, especially the White Anglo-Saxon Productive. America for WASPs! The trickle down theory of sex triumphs! Here, then, are a few modest proposals to keep America in the reproductive running (up there in the lead next to such societal luminaries as the Sudan, Iran, and my personal favorite, Pakistan).

First, build concentration camps for gays. If they misbehave, gas them and cremate their bodies in industrial ovens. These people are a menace to society. Not just their way of life but their LIFE threatens not only marriage but the very fabric of society itself. It’s not clear yet exactly how they do this, but we know that they do. Our Gruppenfuehrer, known locally as GAs (Mormon speak for “General Authorities,” “the Lord’s anointed,” etc.), tell us so.

Second, institute a Frequent Fuckers program bankrolled by the state. This is the flagship program of my proposed new Sexcare system (the necessary and inexcusably overlooked counterpart to the present, post-productive Medicare–overlooked, probably due to insidious queer influence). To clarify, this benefit isn’t just for casual, recreational fucking, which the state will aggressively punish, but productive fucking, fucking with a purpose, fucking on a mission. We want more KIDS, billions and billions of them, googleplexes of them. We want an assembly line of kids rolling out of their mothers. Sadly we haven’t yet invented a less organic way of producing them, but Craig Venter and the geneticists are working on this.

There are three levels in this program, Gold, Silver, and Bronze (local variant: Celestial, Terrestrial, Telestial).

Gold-Level Fuckers, who produce more than twelve children per woman, who constitute a quorum wherever they go, receive the following benefits:

-A free starter palace in an American suburb of your choice, paid for by the sale of confiscated gay properties (several of them). Why wait for the kingdom which is to come when you can have it here? Palaces come complete with walls, drawbridge, armed guards, imported slave labor (will require optional Spanish translator). Many such palaces are on display on the Sandy bench where Paul lives.

-A free Chevvy Suburban, known locally as the Brigham Brougham, every seven years throughout your reproductive life or age 55, whichever comes last, paid for by the sale of even more gay vehicles (it takes about 2.5 Priuses to pay for one Suburban).

Silver-Level Fuckers, who produce six or more kids per woman (you’re in luck, Paul!) get:

-A one-time get out of jail free card from the IRS. Can be used if your reproductive success threatens to overwhelm you in debt.

-A quiver full of school vouchers, courtesy of Overstock.com’s Patrick Byrne (where he gets his money, with Overstock where it is, is a wonder to us all). You CAN have productive sex and send your kids to Harvard! Mitt Romney has also agreed to chip in to insure that every future GA has a chance to see the edyacated world before returning to Utah, the latter being in but not of the former.

-Lifetime membership in the Sutherland Institute, and a no-risk visit from Mormon missionaries, who will instruct you in ways of eternally increasing your productivity. Imagine it, men, eternal growth! Quality and quantity! Eternal male enhancement! One dizzies just thinking of it.

Bronze-Level Fuckers (this, unfortunately, is the farthest I’m likely to get toward that palace, Paul), who produce four or more kids per woman, earn:

-A free copy of Celestial Fucking. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, forthcoming. In this inspiring, exhaustively correlated and field-tested book, the author, a GA yet to be determined, reveals how patriarchal legends such as Abraham became the fathers of nations and took their first steps on the path of eternal increase.

-A free copy of Mastering Masturbation: Increasing Productivity through Self-Discipline, another Deseret Book masterpiece by the always-inspiring Sheri Dew, who draws on her own experience.

-A free Men on a Mission calendar by Chad Hardy (for her) and a Women Serving Under the Lord calendar (for him), to inspire continued progress in reproductive success. To be used only when you’re together. Publisher’s note: Please never take one of these into the bathroom alone. This is advanced eroticism, for happily married couples only!

-A signed and numbered reprint of Ezra Taft Benson’s famous “Precious Husband” speech that had so many LDS women talking!

-A free copy of the new LDS comedy hit, There’s Something About Martin, a hilarious sendup of gay life. Has audiences in Provo rolling in the aisles (quite a feat given the way some of them are wedged into their seats).

The message to People of Bronze is, “Don’t be discouraged. You are our bread and butter fuckers; we need you!” Fuck for your country! The idea of a new vision for the Peace Corps suggests itself here, but that will have to await another post.

For years, I’ve been wondering how the world would deal with its downward-spiraling population. Paul has the solution. We can no longer afford to leave sex to private enterprise. It needs government regulation. The days of laissez-fuck are over.

Vive l’etat! Sieg Heil! Ad maiorem Dei gloriam!

P.S. Paul, while I have you online, I wanted to remind you that our next Brown Shirt meeting is this coming Thursday. Auf Wiedersehen. Stay hard for your country, man, and your country women.

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Utahn Distinguishes Himself Among Uber-Conservatives

The first line of The Nation article linked below reads, “…even the most rabidly right-wing media hosts had to prove their populist cred…”

That gave me pause to reflect on Paul Mero’s comment this morning, “…and if congressional lefties (and spineless Republicans) would allow the domestic production of oil and gas…”

If career right-wingers are now looking for ways to distance themselves from Bush and exhibit “populist credentials” by bashing big oil, then Paul Mero, by shilling for Haliburton, once again distinguishes himself from the pack (of uber-conservatives) by taking the higher road in an expression of unflinching loyalty our democratically elected authorities in the White House including Vice President Dick Cheney…even though he is not exactly part of the Executive branch.

Still, I think Paul should consider the possibility that the idea that more domestic drilling will lower gas prices might be a canard on the order of Iraq being the front-line of the War on Terror.

Disaster Capitalism: State of Extortion

Oil Price Shock: Give Us the Arctic or Never Drive Again

Iraq isn’t the only country in the midst of an oil-related stickup. The Bush Administration is busily using a related crisis–the soaring price of fuel–to revive its dream of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). And of drilling offshore. And in the rock-solid shale of the Green River Basin. “Congress must face a hard reality,” said George W. Bush on June 18. “Unless members are willing to accept gas prices at today’s painful levels–or even higher–our nation must produce more oil.”

This is the President as Extortionist in Chief, with gas nozzle pointed to the head of his hostage–which happens to be the entire country. Give me ANWR, or everyone has to spend their summer vacations in the backyard. A final stickup from the cowboy President.

Despite the Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less bumper stickers, drilling in ANWR would have little discernible impact on actual global oil supplies, as its advocates well know. The argument that it could nonetheless bring down oil prices is based not on hard economics but on market psychoanalysis: drilling would “send a message” to the oil traders that more oil is on the way, which would cause them to start betting down the price.

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