when the status quo frustrates.

“Will you tell those dumbasses at the tea party to stop asking questions about birth certificates while I’m on the camera? God, what am I supposed to do?”

Monday, July 26th, 2010

US Senate candidate Ken Buck of Colorado, referring to his own voter base. It should mean something to him that these are the people who are his voter base, but clearly he’s missing the tangy irony here.

Fear and Hatred of the Other

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

I don’t understand it. Part of me doesn’t want to understand it, either; as with exploring the motives of pedophiles, it leaves me queasy and shaken in any kind of belief in the basic goodness of mankind. However, I should understand it in order to better combat it…I suppose…meh…it’s really hard to work up enthusiasm for plunging your hands into untreated sewage, you know?

Two news items today: One is Sarah Palin’s admittedly very funny Twitter debacle, where she confuses “not knowing what existing words mean” with “inventing new words.” Is she too stupid to be embarrassed? But aside from the vocabulary funzies, this was the sentiment:

Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.

I feel unprovoked and unstabbed. Really. Now, the case could be made that I am not a New Yorker and therefore, perhaps, am missing some special degree of angst that would make this all explicable; however, Sarah Palin’s not one either. And in my case, I was actually within some geographical proximity of 9/11 events. Anybody remember this..?


(The US Pentagon, 9/11)
…or this?


(Near miss of the US Capitol–in rural Pennsylvania about 20 minutes from DC)

There are lots of terrorists out there. I remember learning in the 5th grade that while all squares are rectangles, not all rectangles are squares. And in this case, it can’t even be claimed that well yes I’m sure not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists ARE Muslim, you know..! Neither Ted Kaczynski nor Timothy McVeigh were Muslims, for example. Since 1977, 41 abortion clinics have been bombed–forty-one!–and to the best of my knowledge, none of the bombers were even remotely Muslim. Among these were an abortion clinic and two physicians’ offices in Pensacola, Florida were bombed in the early morning of Christmas Day, 1984, by a quartet of young people (Matt Goldsby, Jimmy Simmons, Kathy Simmons, Kaye Wiggins) who later called the bombings “a gift to Jesus on his birthday.”

I’ve also heard the argument that the Koran encourages Muslims to kill unbelievers. Gee, now there’s a point. I mean, just listen to these!

Suppose you hear in one of the towns that God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock.

If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him.

Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed.

They entered into a covenant to seek the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord their God was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Oops, wait!…those are from the Bible.

This, and the ongoing furor over illegal immigrants, has really led me down a depressing path. “Several states” (reported variously as nine, ten or twelve depending on where I’m looking) are supposedly following Arizona’s lead in obsessing about their undocumented worker populations. Why the obsession..? I’ve heard it variously and defensively described as “Well they’re breaking the LAW don’t you CARE about the LAW?” (frequently put forth by people who regularly speed, jaywalk, cheat on their taxes and smoke weed–a rather selective reverence towards the LAW)

or

“Well they’re costing us MONEY WELFARE!” (Nevermind the fact that in 2008, the percentage of Arizona’s state budget going towards welfare was 12%…not exactly the lion’s share…and presumably even that isn’t somehow all being distributed to illegal aliens–how could it be?)

or

“Well they’re taking all our JOBS!” (FactCheck.org doesn’t agree.)

I’m pretty sure it all really boils down to one thing, and for that one thing, see the title of this post.

Ha! It is all clear to me now.

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

First Man on Moon Blasts New NASA Plan

Armstrong, who commanded the historic Apollo 11 moon landing mission in July 1969, criticized what he billed as an air of secrecy that preceded Obama’s February announcement which cancelled NASA’s Constellation program aiming for the moon.

“A plan that was invisible to so many was likely contrived by a very small group in secret who persuaded the President that this was a unique opportunity to put his stamp on a new and innovative program,” Armstrong, 79, said in a statement to a Senate subcommittee reviewing NASA’s new space plan.

A White House-appointed panel found that the Constellation program suffered from severe underfunding and was not sustainable to push U.S. human spaceflight beyond low-Earth orbit in the near future.

And then I read this!

New Hawaii law shuns Obama birth document requests

It’s now law in Hawaii that the state government can ignore repetitive requests for President Barack Obama’s birth certificate.

Republican Gov. Linda Lingle signed into law Wednesday a bill allowing state government agencies not to respond to follow-up requests for information if they determine that the subsequent request is duplicative or substantially similar to a previous request.

…well, isn’t it obvious? The aliens are already here and they are disguised as the Hawaaian state government. Obama is their CLONED HUMAN PUPPET. The birthers knew something like this was going on ALL ALONG.

:D Sorry, couldn’t resist. But it’s nice to be back…more posts soon!

Luckily for Ann, speech rife with hypocrisy is TOTALLY protected by the First Amendment

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Normally I ignore Ann Coulter completely, but this is just too priceless to pass up. See, it appears that Ann is terribly, terribly upset by the evil deeds of the Westboro Baptist Church.

…[The Westboro Baptist Church is a] Kansas-based cult, consisting mostly of members of a single family, traveled to Maryland in order to stand outside Matthew’s funeral with placards saying things like, “God Loves Dead Soldiers,” “God Hates You,” “You’re Going to Hell,” “Semper Fi Fags,” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers,” “Thank God for IEDs” and “God Hates Fags.

..Unlike many legal concepts, the tort of IIED is not an obscure legal doctrine written in pig Latin. It means what it says: speech or conduct specifically intended to inflict emotional distress. The usual description of the tort of IIED is that a reasonable man viewing the conduct would react by saying, “That’s outrageous!”

The Second Restatement of Torts (1965) defines IIED as conduct “so outrageous in character, and so extreme in degree, as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency, and to be regarded as atrocious, and utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

…Thanks to idiot lawyers, who think it makes them sound smart to say “Black is white” and “Up is down,” one of the biggest problems in society today is the refusal to draw lines. Here’s a nice bright line: Holding malevolent signs outside the funeral of an American serviceman who died defending his country constitutes intentional infliction of emotional distress.

(…excuse me, I’m having a wft?! moment..?)

This from the woman who has stated publicly, several times, that four specific women whose husbands died horrible deaths as firefighters trying to save the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack, areself-obsessed witches who enjoyed their husbands’ deaths?

Oh, but she does anticipate this. She, you know, only participated in the exact same outrageous, extreme, atrocious behavior while “publishing [her] views in a magazine, announcing them on a…radio program, proclaiming them on…”Countdown With Keith Olbermann”. Which makes it perfectly okay; the reason the Westboro Baptist Church should be slammed by the forces of Justice but she should be allowed to drip venom without so much as a hiccup is because, you know, the Westboro protesters were standing outside the soldier’s funeral doing it. All she did was list her targets’ names on national TV, public radio and in published print…over and over and over again…which is clearly much less specifically and personally directed with intent to inflict emotional distress!

Sorry, Ann. I can’t tell the difference between you and the Westboro Baptist Church, frankly. But maybe you could genuinely help the rest of us stop their insane, disgusting behavior–if you could tell us what would stop yours, then maybe we could put that information to good use shutting them up, too.

I’m all ears.

Not All The Whackadoodles Are Republican, Really!

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

I WAS going to write a followup today on “Fun Feminism,” since I didn’t really get a chance to finish exploring the assumptions about monogamy and sexual self-control I brought up in the original post, but after yesterday’s exciting and informative trip to the MVA* I couldn’t resist blogging about this instead!

Photobucket

What the heck is that, you might ask? (And more pertinently, what is it doing on state property..? I shot them an email this morning asking that exact question–if I get an answer, I’ll definitely share it.) So I decided to take a closer look:

Photobucket

Notice the awesome “Obama as Hitler” headshot on the far left!…so at this point I’m thinking “Teabaggers…I mean TeaPARTIERS**…oh sigh” but then I started to really look at the rest of the pictures…is that Franklin Roosevelt there perched on top of Obamahitler’s head..? And whattheheck is that map of the world with “New Bretton Woods” inked across it..? And–

While I was staring bemusedly at the table, one of the two guys manning it approached me. “We’re ready to kick Obama out of office!” he said enthusiastically. “How about you?”

“Er,” I said. “Um, so, who are you guys..?”

“We’re supporters of Lyndon LaRouche. We just got a representative elected in Texas…! Did you know that Obama’s conspiring to shut down NASA?” he demanded.

“Um, no–”

He didn’t object to me taking pictures, he said, but didn’t let me escape til I agreed to take the handouts he pressed upon me and give serious consideration to the merits of Lyndon LaRouche (I didn’t have the nerve to tell him I’d never heard of Lyndon LaRouche before in my whole life; dude was pretty wild-eyed at that point).

So who is Lyndon LaRouche? According to Wikipedia:

Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche, Jr. (pronounced /ləˈruːʃ/; born September 8, 1922) is an American self-styled economist, political activist, and the founder of several political organizations known collectively as the LaRouche movement. He has been a perennial candidate for President of the United States, having run in eight elections since 1976, once as a U.S. Labor Party candidate and seven times as a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination. He is the founder and contributing editor of the Executive Intelligence Review, and has written prolifically on economic, scientific, and political topics, as well as on history, philosophy, and psychoanalysis.

Okay…

He was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment in 1988 for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax code violations, but continued his political activities from behind bars until his release in 1994 on parole. His defenders believe the prosecution was a politically motivated conspiracy involving government officials and a mass-media brainwashing campaign.[1] His appellate attorney, Ramsey Clark, a former U.S. Attorney General, argued that the case represented an unprecedented abuse of power by the U.S. government in an effort to destroy the LaRouche movement.[2]

LaRouche provokes sharply contrasting views. His supporters see him as a political leader in the tradition of Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr., and a brilliant thinker who has been unfairly persecuted, while critics regard him as a cult leader, a conspiracy theorist, a fascist, and an anti-Semite.[3] Norman Bailey, formerly with the National Security Council, described LaRouche’s staff in 1984 as one of the best private intelligence services in the world, while the Heritage Foundation has said that he leads “what may well be one of the strangest political groups in American history.”[4]

Indeed! So what would a LaRouche presidency strive to bring us..?

#colonization of the planet Mars by 2025
#the screening and quarantine of AIDS patients
#low interest rates and opposition to the Gramm-Rudman balanced-budget law
#opposition to environmentalism, health maintenance organizations, outcome-based education, gay rights, abortion, and the nuclear disarmament movement
#opposition to the legalization of recreational drugs
# opposition to the idea of man-made global warming–LaRouche proposes that cosmic ray radiation, including that from the Crab Nebula, “determines much of the climate on Earth”.
# opposition to the 1991 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
# opposition to deregulation. According to EIR, “LaRouche has consistently called for reregulation of utilities, transportation, health care (under the “Hill-Burton” standard), the financial (especially the speculative markets) and other sectors, and a return to traditional American-System practices, set aside over the past 40 years.”
# opposition to the United Nations and any other international organization
# proposal of the “Homeowners and Banks Protection Act of 2007,” which would freeze mortgage rates, ban foreclosures and put the banking system through a bankruptcy reorganization.

Wowie! …hey, at least it explains both the NASA remark and the picture of FDR proudly adorning the top of their table. Definitely NOT Republican, in spite of the hatin’ on gay people and abortion and global warming! …you learn something new every day, you know…

*That’s “Motor Vehicle Administration,” for those of you living in states that use the more traditional “DMV” appelation (Department of Motor Vehicles).

**For those of you who are under the impression that the “Tea” Party isn’t just a particularly fussy faction of the “Republican” Party but is actually an independent political party, I don’t know how else to put this to you…you’re wrong.

20 Ways ObamaCare Will Take Away Our Freedom To Screw Other People Over

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

This list is great. I’ve copied and pasted my favorites, helpfully annotated.

You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

Freedoms being lost: The freedom to have me pay for your uninsured emergency room visits and your freedom to start up a business which can’t bring in enough revenue to cover a single annual expense of $750. Jesus wept!

You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

Freedoms being lost: The insurance companies’ freedom to deny coverage to anyone who isn’t young and healthy.

You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

Freedoms being lost: Your insurance company’s freedom to refuse to pay for you to be cured of most serious illnesses, such as cancer. You are also losing the freedom to have me pay for your uninsured emergency room visits during your downhill spiral. More Jesus tears!

Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

Freedoms being lost: Your freedom to drive up my insurance premiums by needing a lot more expensive medical treatment for conditions that, had you used preventive care, could have been circumvented or caught far earlier in their much less expensive phases.

If you are a physician and you don’t want the government looking over your shoulder? Tough. The Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to use your claims data to issue you reports that measure the resources you use, provide information on the quality of care you provide, and compare the resources you use to those used by other physicians. Of course, this will all be just for informational purposes. It’s not like the government will ever use it to intervene in your practice and patients’ care. Of course not. (Section 3003 (i))

Freedoms being lost: Your physician’s freedom to hide from you the quality of the care he provides and how much it tends to cost. I personally am going to miss the current system of finding a physician, which if I’m lucky can be based on a friend’s recommendation but is more often a total crapshoot based on geographic proximity to my home or workplace, where I get to test-drive him on my precious, one-and-only body.

You are a health insurer and you want to raise premiums to meet costs? Well, if that increase is deemed “unreasonable” by the Secretary of Health and Human Services it will be subject to review and can be denied. (Section 1003)

Freedoms being lost: Your insurance company’s freedom to jack up your rates without any explanation or justification. Jesus Tears Mark III!

The government will extract a fee of $6.7 billion annually from insurance companies. If you are an insurer, what you will pay depends on your share of net premiums plus 200% of your administrative costs. So, if your net premiums and administrative costs are equal to 10% of the total, you will pay 10% of $6.7 billion, or $670,000,000. In the reconciliation bill, the fee will start at $8 billion in 2014, $11.3 billion in 2015, $1.9 billion in 2017, and $14.3 billion in 2018 (Section 1406).Think you, as an insurance executive, know how to better spend that money? Tough.(Section 9010 (b) (1) (A and B).)

Freedoms being lost: Your insurance company’s freedom to funnel as much of their profits as possible into “administrative costs” rather than into your medical care.

You will have to pay an additional 0.5% payroll tax on any dollar you make over $250,000 if you file a joint return and $200,000 if you file an individual return. What? You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Tough. (Section 9015).
That amount will rise to a 3.8% tax if reconciliation passes. It will also apply to investment income, estates, and trusts. You think you know how to spend the money you earned better than the government? Like you need to ask. (Section 1402).

Freedoms being lost: For 98.5% of Americans, absolutely none.

…but Liberals are Eviler.

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

Apologies to Antigone. I need to preface this with the statement that I don’t mean this as pure malicious snark, and that I respect that she laid out her true feelings. But I can’t say I find much with which to agree with her. If she wants to start using hackle-raising words like “evil” about conservatives, that’s fine. But she’s being far too selective. Fact is, the case is compelling that liberals are even eviler than conservatives.

So which is worse? Those who support evil, but insist they believe it is good? Or those who support evil while claiming, at least some of the time, that they actually know it is evil? …in a psychological sense, I probably would have to say the Democrats (and certain of their apologists) are worse: to say you recognize evil to any extent at all, yet to fail to oppose it or, which is still more reprehensible, to act for its furtherance, consigns one to the lowest rung of Hell.

It’s fine to call out evil where we see it. But we should all take care to apply the word with equal rigor to whatever side we happen to identify with. In the vast majority of what Antigone just wrote, it would make perfect sense to apply the exact same arguments that she’s made about conservatives, to liberals. Even the parts about “respect for heirarchy”. Especially those parts. It seems almost willfully tribalistic to pretend that liberals aren’t equally to blame for all of the rotten fruits of American politics.

Liberals and Conservatives– at least the mainstream varieties of both– have got a good scam going. I don’t literally think it’s a willful scam, being overseen by a council of Illuminati or anything, so much as the natural systemic byproduct of America’s two party system. (Although I guess one never really knows.) But it might as well be one. It’s an ever-rightward moving ratchet, and we’re the ones who get squeezed by it. Well, us, and all those brown people all over the world* who our overseers** are exploiting/murdering in the process.

When the conservatives are in power, they’re all like, “All this stuff that makes rich and powerful interests richer and powerfuler just happens to be morally right, too”, while the liberals say “Boo! All these conservative ideas are morally wrong! If we were in power, we’d show them!”

Eventually enough voters get fed up and vote in the liberals. Then it’s the conservatives’ turn to say “Boo! All these liberal ideas are morally wrong!”, and the liberals are all like “All that stuff that makes rich and powerful interests richer and powerfuler are still wrong, except for 80% of it which is actually okay with us now that you mention it, but we can’t make too many changes right now because we need to win the next election so that we’ll REALLY be able to make a difference then, and besides, Stupak/Lieberman/Nader.” Eventually voters get fed up and vote in the conservatives. Ratchet squeezes us further right. Uncle Scam nods and smiles to himself.

Numbers-wise, when it comes to procedural politics, Liberals hold all the cards right now. They could do a lot of good. If they wanted to. Trouble is, they really just… don’t.

With the passage of the medical insurance industry welfare bill one thing was proven. The democratic party can pass legislation without the help from the republican party of which not one voted in favor of this legislation. The excuse has always been that without pandering to the far right nothing can be accomplished which is regarded by many as a realist view of American politics yet this supposed victory seems to disprove that assumption.

In other words if the democrats had chosen to do so they could have passed real health care reform legislation rather than welfare for the insurance industry. The democrats could end the wars in the Middle East but they choose not to do so. It’s not that the republicans force them, it’s what the democrats choose to do, to continue and expand the wars even as jobs evaporate and the U.S. slides ever deeper into another great depression.

Why the Democrats would choose this– and why Americans liberals nearly all wholeheartedly support them in it– is a question whose answer I will leave to the reader to decide.

The Texas School Board Is At It Again

Friday, March 19th, 2010

All I can say is, thank God my kids aren’t being educated by the Texas public school system. Much like Sarah Palin, they lend themselves to easy mockery–but unfortunately they can’t be discounted; they did win at least part of their battle to cheat the children of Texas out of a thoroughly factual science education (State education board approves science standards: New standards remove specific references to age of the universe) Like kids today need to know how old the universe is anyway! Tchaa!

Now that science has been gutted as well as they could manage, the Texas school board is turning its gimlet eye upon our history books, with fairly predictable results. Here are a few of my favorites from the Proposed Revisions to 19 TAC Chapter 113,Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Social Studies, Subchapter C, High School Curriculum, with the Board’s deletions shown crossed out and additions in bold –hope you enjoy them as much as I did:

(4)
History. The student understands the emergence of the United States as a world power between 1898 and 1920. The student is expected to:

(A)
explain why significant events, policies, and individuals, including such as the Spanish-American War, U.S. imperialism expansionism, Henry Cabot Lodge, Alfred Thayer Mahan, and Theodore Roosevelt, Samuel Dole, and missionaries moved the United States into the position of a world power;

(8)
History. The student understands the impact of significant national and international decisions and conflicts in the Cold War on the United States. The student is expected to:

(6)(D)(A)
describe U.S. responses to Soviet expansion aggression after World War II, including the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and the Berlin airlift, and John F. Kennedy’s role in the Cuban Missile Crisis;

‘Cause when we do it, it’s quite different from when those nasty Commies do it!

(B)
describe how McCarthyism, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the arms race, and the space race increased Cold War tensions and how the later release of the Venona Papers confirmed suspicions of communist infiltration in U.S. government ;

(Notes from the Board meeting: Back when McLeroy was chairman of the SBOE, he sent a list of hand-scrawled editing instructions to the board-appointed curriculum writing committee, made up mostly of educators (the exception was McLeroy’s appointee, contrarian conservative gadfly Bill Ames). It included a note on this standard…it read: “Read the latest on McCarthy — he was basically vindicated.” …McLeroy said he got his ideas from a book by M. Staton Evans, a conservative writer, entitled Blacklisted by History. A Publisher’s Weekly review says Evans is “given to conspiracy thinking—an approach that, by its nature, yields claims that can neither be confirmed nor falsified. Defense attorneys and debaters like Evans follow different rules than historians—they try to score points, not to advance knowledge.” TFN quotes what it calls the leading scholar on the subject, Harvey Khler, a professor at Emory University and author of Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America. “The new information from Russian and American archives does not vindicate McCarthy. He remains a demagogue, whose wild charges actually made the fight against Communist subversion more difficult.”)

Sixty years from now, Texas will also be teaching its children that the Patriot Act is the only reason why we’re not all now facing Mecca with turbans on our heads five times a day at gunpoint. Civil liberties are so overrated. Can’t wait!

(C)
identify the causes of World War I and reasons for U.S. entry involvement in World War I, including propaganda (information disseminated by an organization or government to promote a policy, idea, or cause) and unrestricted submarine warfare;

Can’t have the kiddies learning about the government engaging in propaganda to garner popular support for engaging in a war on foreign soil! They might apply that knowledge somewhere outside their history class, you know.

(E)
evaluate the explain the roles played by significant military contributions of leaders during World War II, including Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower, Douglas MacArthur, Oveta Culp Hobby, Benjamin O. Davis, Chester A. Nimitz, George Marshall, and George Patton; and

Women and black people are overrated too!

(D)
identify the roles of significant leaders who supported or opposed of the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Betty Friedan, George Wallace, and others;

Well, I guess it wasn’t possible for them to delete the black people from the Civil Rights history bloc, but hey, at least they managed to get rid of the women!

(10)
History. The student understands the impact of political, economic, and social factors in the U.S. role in the world from the 1970s through 1990. The student is expected to:

(A)
describe Richard M. Nixon’s role leadership in the normalization of relations with China and the policy of détente;
(B)
describe Ronald Reagan’s leadership in domestic and international policies ,

Because kids in high school won’t understand otherwise that the President is a “leader” and think instead that the Presidents’ “roles” are what they ate for breakfast..? I’m actually kinda surprised they didn’t go ahead and amend the above to say HEROIC leadership! or possibly Chuck Norris wears Nixon-and-Reagan pajamas to bed every night! (which now that I think about Chuck Norris’s political views, he probably does)

(C)
discuss the role analyze the impact of third party parties candidates such as Ross Perot and Ralph Nader on presidential elections ;

And for a contrast to the pedestal being raised for previous presidentially-related folks, we now see who deserves to have his name cast down forever into oblivion BLEHHH! ..third parties are clearly inspired by Satan anyway.

B)
identify analyze the causes of the Great Depression, including the impact of tariffs on the decline in worldwide trade, buying stock on margin, the stock market crash speculation, and bank failures, and actions the flawed monetary policy of the Federal Reserve System;

Whatever causes the US economy to collapse have a few issues, be it farther back in the past OR IN RECENT TIMES DAMMIT, it so isn’t the fault of Free Enterprise!

And last but not least:

(B)
describe the impact of significant examples of cultural movements in art, music, and literature such as Tin Pan Alley, the Harlem Renaissance, the Beat Generation, rock and roll, the Chicano Mural Movement, and hip hop , and country and western music on American society , including;

(Notes from the Board meeting: “I’d like to delete hip-hop and add country,” said McLeroy. Some board members, particularly African-American member Lawrence Allen, D-Fresno, did not take kindly to the suggestion. “What exactly do you think hip-hop is? You might be deleting something you know nothing about,” Allen told McLeroy. An extended debate ensued, and McLeroy lost.)

Whipping your own side is a form of masochism (which is fine, if you’re into that kind of stuff, I guess)

Friday, March 12th, 2010

The US House of Representatives debated whether to end US military presence in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

No surprise, of course, the resolution in question failed, 65-356. But perhaps its real purpose was to give legitimacy to a debate even occurring at all.

In fact, much of the debate from the “no” side came in the form of questioning whether the debate should have happened at all, including speculation that Rep. Kucinich and others had “forgotten about 9/11″ and that they were deliberately trying to undermine America in seeking to end the eight and a half year war.

The last thing any kind of vested interest wants is to start talking about change. But don’t you worry, change-haters– not only the bill got squashed, but press coverage of it was kept to an absolute bare minimum. Nothing to see here. No uncomfortable ideas need pollute the already divided public’s thoughtways here. Any play it did get was devoted to rationalizing what a bad “strategy” it is for peace activists to pick any fight they’re not absolutely sure of winning. Because, after all, “appearances do matter.” It’s interesting to me that this kind of thinking is exactly what gets the United States “bringing democracy” to only the countries that it does. But perhaps I digress.

So what about that there quiet press? What do you think, Trollblog?

…the Times is willing to publish good reporting as long as the topic written about does not have critical day-to-day, life-and-death importance for our lives. So for topics the Sulzbergers regard as peripheral and fluffy, we get good stuff. But when the chips are down and the rubber hits the road, on war and peace or unemployment and depression, other considerations intervene, and the Times becomes the propaganda organ of an unexpressed neo-con, neoliberal non-partisan “centrist” agenda.

The media have chosen sides, and it’s not our side. We have to recognize this before we can deal with it. Even if all of the Democrats and liberals magically wised up about this overnight, I still doubt that we’d be able to overcome the systematic media opposition. But they haven’t wised up; they’re still hoping and praying that their holy fathers, Czar Sulzberger and Czar Graham (or maybe Czarina Weymouth) will hear their pleas.

Fortunately for the Czars, their Cossacks are loyal and up to the job.

Interesting choice of the word, “Cossack”. And will you look at that– reigniting just by chance a couple of days before the house vote on the Kucinich-sponsored bill whether to pull out of Aghanistan, the ongoing campaign to label as “unserious” and “ineffectual” anyone who is seen to fight for anything resembling a meaningful change was given its regular booster shot just in time. The official purpose of this particular Democratic party whipping is to keep Dems in line about the health care bill, and I believe that it probably really is just a fortunate coincidence for those with a neocon agenda, but still the timing is just exquisite, isn’t it? Whistle so blown, out trots Markos Moulitsas and attendant heelnippers.

Charlie Davis:

When not helping raise money for the same party that endorses locking up hundreds of thousands of Americans for non-violent drug offenses — and whose rule has brought us progressive achievements like the surge in Afghanistan and the official policy of killing citizens without so much as a judicial rubber-stamp if they travel to sufficiently swarthy countries and associate with the natives — Moulitsas is busy enforcing Democratic orthodoxy and party dogma, his latest threat of an ineffective primary challenge coming against poor old Dennis Kucinich for the sin of failing to endorse the White House and congressional leadership’s corporatist, pharmaceutical-insurance-complex-boosting joke of a health care reform bill.

“[I’m going to hold] people like Dennis Kucinich responsible for the 40,000 Americans that die each year from a lack of health care,” Moulitsas declared on MSNBC this week. Tough words. Now, here’s who he promised to support primary challenges against after 189 House Democrats voted to extend the war in Afghanistan, against a measure offered by the dastardly Kucinich, thus ensuring NATO forces will continue killing Afghan civilians at a healthy pace: ____________. That silence is a reflection of an awful strange and morally dubious set of priorities.

I’m going to hold people like Markos Moulitsas responsible for, I don’t know, EVERYTHING BAD IN THE WORLD. People like him, who beat down and belittle anyone who dares to actually act on the strength of the convictions that he claims to share, are the ones who keep all the shitty things shitty.

The really ironic thing is how Kucinich only gets into trouble because he’s doing his best to work within the system. Being a Democrat sure can be a problem sometimes, can’t it.

Why I’m So Glad I’m Not a 21st-Century Republican Voter: A Collage

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Updated: This would be enough all by itself. The Hip Hub of Fun…! (hat tip Jesse)

The history here is well known to everyone interested in politics but worth summarizing. For most of the first 190 years of the country’s operation, U.S. Senators would, in unusual circumstances, try to delay a vote on measures they opposed by “filibustering” — talking without limit or using other stalling techniques. For most of those years, the Senate could cut off the filibuster and force a vote by imposing “cloture,” which took a two-thirds majority of those voting (at most 67 of 100 Senators). In 1975, the Senate adopted a rules change to allow cloture with 60 votes, and those are the rules that still prevail.

The significant thing about filibusters through most of U.S. history is that they hardly ever happened…

…as the chart below shows, the huge increase in threatened filibusters came from the Republican minority, after the Democrats took back the Senate in 2007. Since the time covered by this chart, the number of threatened (Republican) filibusters has shot up even more dramatically.

In an interview on MSNBC this morning, newly retiring Sen. Evan Bayh declared the American political system “dysfunctional,” riddled with “brain-dead partisanship” and permanent campaigning.

In this morning’s interview he noted that just two weeks ago, Republicans who had co-sponsored a bill with him to rein in the deficit turned around and voted against their own bill.

(more…)

Sometimes One Blog Site Just Leads To Another…

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

…so I was over at Sadly, No and ended up through a series of adventurous clicks on some site called “American Thinker.” (I’m sitting in a house under three feet of snow with another twenty inches on its way in the next twenty-four hours and it’s Server Maintenance Day on World of Warcraft. Expect lots more of this, unless the power goes out.) So scanning over the various article titles, the big question in my mind was, Republican or Libertarian? Republican or Libertarian? On to the About page!

American Thinker is a daily internet publication devoted to the thoughtful exploration of issues of importance to Americans. Contributors are accomplished in fields beyond journalism, and animated to write for the general public out of concern for the complex and morally significant questions on the national agenda.

Hmm…could mean anything…keep on reading…

There is no limit to the topics appearing on American Thinker. National security in all its dimensions, strategic, economic, diplomatic, and military is emphasized. The right to exist and the survival of the State of Israel are of great importance to us

Ha! Neocon!

Hey, it’s my big chance to find out what the Neocons are up to/really caring about now that their Big Cheezes are out o’ office!

A scattering of the gems on this site:

Democrats, Meet Your Biggest Nightmare

That was actually George W. Bush, but they’re pushing for the nomination of Scott Brown. I can’t agree because he was extremely hawwt in his Cosmo nude spread.

Barack Obama and Corpse Man

Barack Obama finally mispronounced a word, which doesn’t bother the author nearly as much as the fact that he’s familiar with the Creole dialect, Haiti and how Pakistanis themselves pronounce “Pakistan.” I think what she’s trying to say is that George W. Bush’s stupidity was endearing and honest and that even though Obama’s stupidity is now proven by his mispronounciation of a word, nevermind his clumsy and feeble attempts to hide it by frontin’ like he knows Creole or whatever, his stupidity makes him repulsive and cunning. But it’s kind of hard to tell.

Toyota response to crisis an object lesson for business

The way Toyota has handled the sticky accelerator debacle is heroic because their CEO both (a) bowed during a press conference that finally had to be called when all their attempts at total subterfuge on the subject over the past at least two years failed and (b) didn’t blame George W. Bush for anything.

I know it isn’t a parody site, but it really should be. :)

…but you know, it’s really kind of okay to “call a bunch of people who are retards, retards!” As long as it’s Rush Limbaugh doing it.

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Photobucket

Remember this?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Rahm Emanuel called liberal activists who wanted to run ads against conservative Democrats “f—— retarded” in a closed-door meeting at the White House. On her Facebook page, Palin likened Emanuel’s “slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities” to using the “N-word,” something she deemed “unacceptable” and “heartbreaking.” Emanuel later issued an apology to Special Olympics chairman and CEO Tim Shriver.

However, Palin’s conservative cohort Rush Limbaugh took offense to people, presumably including Palin, protesting Emanuel’s remark. On his radio show, Limbaugh lamented that “our political correct society is acting like some giant insult’s taken place by calling a bunch of people who are retards, retards.” That comment caused Greg Sargent to request a reaction from Palin’s spokeswoman.

Yesterday, when asked for comment on Limbaugh’s use of the “r” word in a recent broadcast, Palin spokeswoman told Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, “Governor Palin believes crude and demeaning name-calling at the expense of others is disrespectful.”

BUT!

Today, Stapleton claims the statement was meant generally and she was not specifically referring to Limbaugh.

…I mean, if he’s gonna tirelessly promote her new book after also tirelessly promoting her for Veep during the 2008 elections...it’s not like he’s some kind of nasty, sneaking D-e-m-o-c-r-a-t, after all!