The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 14th, 2012: The GOP Fab Five?

Today’s thread didn’t start with Newsmax.com – in fact, I don’t actually remember where it started, but my nosing around quickly led me there.

Now that Rick Santorum has officially dropped out of the Presidential race, and with Newt Gingrich not even visible in the rearview mirrors of Mitt Romney’s Mustangs, I took a respite from Presidential politics. An article at Newsmax reminded me that November will bring other contests, one of them being my own Congressional Representative, Nan Hayworth (R-NY.) The article, “Five GOP Freshmen: Here’s What We’ve Learned”, references the original, complete piece at Politico, giving brief blurbs about New York Representative Michael Grimm (R-NY-13th), North Carolina Representative Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2nd), New York Representative Nan Hayworth (R-NY-19th), Florida Representative Allen West (R-FL-22nd), and Arizona Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ-5th.)

About Michael Grimm, Politico mentions:

A former FBI agent and Marine, Grimm credits the skills he learned in those positions with his ability to take on Washington and be a successful politician, and he says it gives him motivation to keep going. “Having served overseas, having served in combat, I’ve seen some of the darkest places in the world, and I’ve seen the look in people’s eyes when there is no humanity, when there is no hope, when there is no liberty. … What we have is fragile; our liberty, our freedom is taken for granted everyday.”

Huh? Has he seen the look in his constituents’ eyes lately?

Next, Renee Ellmers: from Politico,

…one issue she has no problem speaking out on is health care. The issue is near and dear to her heart as Ellmers is a former nurse, and her husband is a surgeon. Like many of her freshman colleagues, she came into office running on anti-“Obamacare” sentiment and still lists repeal of the health care law has her top priority.

“I’m a member of the [Republican] Doctors Caucus, and we’re very active in putting together different pieces to put into place … a free-market patient-centered program,” she said.

If healthcare is “near and dear to her heart”, how could she possibly believe that the “free market” would make healthcare better or more affordable?

Rep. Hayworth‘s blurb says, in part, “While she has moderate views about climate change and abortion, New York tea party Republicans have backed her.” Hmm…those “moderate views” include pushing for more off-shore oil drilling, and although she says that she is pro-choice, Hayworth believes that the issue of abortion should be left up to the States. Which leads me to wonder how she views what the Republican Governors are doing to abortion rights.

I love how the bit on Allen West begins: “This feisty freshman has earned a lot of attention for his strong, forthright rhetoric.” Sounds like West is being introduced on some nightmarish version of The Dating Game. “Feisty”? “Feisty on steroids”, possibly. That the delusional and psychopathic West ever got elected to public office in the first place is frightening enough, but that he’s considered to be one of the bright stars of the Republican Party is mind-boggling.

David Schweikert of Arizona blames the Senate for the gridlock in Congress. Enough said.

These five freshman representatives are just a sampling of the Republicans who will be defending their seats in November. Oh, joy, I can’t wait to go over the rest of the field. Sigh…

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

The Watering Hole: April 13 — Our friend Walt

A week ago, TheZoo lost a dear friend:  WaltTheMan died in his sleep, having posted news of his 44th anniversary and anticipating his cooking duties for the next 16 years. 

I “met” Walt years ago, before TheZoo was a thought in anyone’s head, on ThinkProgress, a political blog that was just getting its start.  Several of us became fast friends, and severely abused the Thinkprogress Terms of Use with our socializing, troll bashing, and merry-making.  In 2007, the trolls became too smelly, even for our high tolerance of troll-kind, so our little gang decided it would be a great idea to start our own blog.  The rest is Zoo history

Walt’s family asks that we spend a quiet moment this afternoon thinking of Walt, and if you’d like to make a charitable donation in his name, the American Heart Association is their choice.  I have Walt’s address, so if anyone would like to send a card, let me know and I’ll send you the information.

The picture above is a record of the time Walt and Pachy met for breakfast, and spent time visiting and chatting.  :-) 

I remember so many times when I asked Walt a question and he’d come back at me with a long, detailed, engineer-ese answer, and I’d have to say, “Walt, what?”  Then he’d write something even more detailed — something I surely would understand! — and I’d say, “Okay, works for me.”  Hey, I majored in Psych, I don’t speak or read engineer-ese!

The purpose of this post is to let us share memories and stories about and by Walt — happy, sad, funny, outrageous, whatever you’ve got.  I’ve got another story, but I’ll share it in comments because it’s a bit long. 

This is our daily open thread — Cheers, Walt.

The Watering Hole, So Happy It’s Thursday, April 12, 2012: Corporate Personhood, Part Too

In yesterday’s Open Thread, The Zoo revealed Mitt “Corporations are People” Romney’s plan for a Corporate Personhood Bill. Since breaking that story, more insider information has come to light.

Obama’s DoJ, not to be outdone, has arrested World News Corporation for its role in the email hacking scandal. A top official in the DoJ, who refused to be identified for the purposes of this story explained. “The headquarters building of World News Corporation is under house arrest. We have encircled the building with what is essentially a large ankle bracelet, so we will know where the building is at all time. The Corporation was allowed its one phone call. After that, we cut all communications.”

People inside the Person were allowed to gather thier belongings and leave. A spokesman for the Corporation said the move by the DoJ was patently unfair and illegal. “To cut off all contact with the outside world is cruel and unusual punishment. It’s tantamount to solitary confinement while under house arrest. Sure, it is still outside, getting fresh air and sunshine, but it’s a News Corporation. Being cut off from communications is like the death penalty, but there’s been no trial, no conviction.”

When asked about what the DoJ plans to do with the Corporate headquarters should the Corporation be convicted, the DoJ spokesperson said that the Department is looking into building a new prison, one specially designed to incarcerate Corporations, where the headquarters building will be relocated to serve out its term.

OPEN THREAD, TOO

PART TWO.

The Watering Hole: Wednesday, April 11, 2012: Hump Day: Corporate Personhood.

When elected President, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt “Corporations are People” Romney plans to take things one step further. Sources deep inside the Romney Campaign revealed to The Zoo Romney’s planned Corporate Personhood bill.

The bill will define Corporate Life as existing at the point of conception. In other words, the moment anyone conceives of creating a Corporation, that Corporation is endowed with the status of personhood, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities that carries.

For example, the insider explained, no longer will Secretaries of State be allowed to reject a Corporate filing. Rejecting a filing would be the same as a doctor performing an abortion. So what if the paperwork fails to name a Treasurer. Kids are born with birth defects all the time. The same should be true of Corporations. It just means the Corporation would go through its life disabled. In the case of lacking a Treasurer, the Corporation would not be able to make bank deposits or withdrawls, but could otherwise conduct its business just as any other person in America.

To be sure, the insider said, there are some things yet to be worked out. The recent Trevor Martin shooting adds a new wrinkle. Corporations would have the right to bear arms, and, in about 33 states, can shoot to kill any time they feel threatened. Corporate self-defense could take on a very new meaning, especially in the face of a hostile take-over.

People at Bain Capital refused to comment for this story.

OPEN THREAD

GO AHEAD….MAKE MY DAY

The Watering Hole: April 9 — Texts from Hillary

The coolest internet meme out there these days is “Texts from Hillary.”  i guess that’s what happens when you’re a truly awesome Secretary of State, looking elegant on your big ole airplane in your sunglasses.  :)

This is our daily open thread — How would you caption a “Text from Hillary?”

In Memoriam: Walt the Man, 1941 – 2012

Walt the Man, one of the founding critters of The Zoo, passed away on Friday, April 6, 2012. Here are Walt’s first posts at The Zoo:

While W Read a Child’s Book, the Rest of the World Knew

In The Aftermath

NASA Antarctica Satillite Map

Snack Time for a Hawk

Walt’s Favorite Things

I think I’ll leave this Tribute at that last link, Walt’s Favorite Things.

All in all, Walt created over 500 posts for The Zoo. Feel free to peruse the archives and add links to your favorites, or any other comments you would like to add, in the thread below.

Requiem Aeternam, Walt the Man

Sad news

Hello,

I am Walter Hedeman’s son. He passed away Friday morning in his sleep. I know that this blog meant a lot to him and he would want you to know. Thank you for being there for my Dad over the years.

Walter Hedeman jr.

Sunday Roast: Leymah Gbowee: Unlock the intelligence, passion, greatness of girls

Leymah Gbowee won the Nobel Peace prize in 2011, along with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”  She also led a women’s movement in Liberia that helped to end the Civil War in 2003, dealing raising her children and dealing with her own challenges.

I think she has the right idea in about unlocking the potential of women across the world, and that scares the bejeebers out of the men in power — and they are right to be afraid.  Any man with sense knows that if you piss us off, we will eventually forgive, but we will never forget.

We are pissed.

UNICEF describes that gender equality “means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and men, be the same, or that they be treated exactly alike.”

This statement is quite reasonable to me, but the powers that be don’t agree.  I know we women are up for this fight, and we will finish it because we are so over this “war on women,” no matter what part of the world it’s taking place.

Men?  You have wives, girlfriends, mothers, sisters, and daughters — are you with us?  You know we won’t forget if you’re not.   :-)

This is our daily open thread — Have you bitten the head off a chocolate bunny today?

The Watering Hole, Saturday, April 7th, 2012: Signs of Spring

Daffodils

Daffodils


Forsythia

Forsythia (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)


Daffodils and other spring flowers are blooming all over, and forsythia, having gotten over their confusion in November, blaze like floral sunlight in yards and along roadsides.

Opening Day at Shea, 2003


Of course, there are other signs of Spring.
Shea Stadium, Opening Day 2003

Shea Stadium, Opening Day 2003

For baseball fans, Spring means Opening Day. The New York Mets began their 2012 season by hosting the Atlanta Braves for Opening Day, and won by a score of 1 – 0. Of course, as die-hard Mets fans know, it’s likely all downhill from there.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind today?

Friday Night Music- Not Gummitch

First, I want to thank Gummitch for allowing me the opportunity to guest host the start of this set. I’m honored.

I think we can all agree that our tastes in music develop from that intersection of personal experience and culture.  My experience with music as a tweener started in the 1950’s. The house where I grew up was virtually devoid of it. There were no phonographs, Hi-Fi systems, or even radios.  But my parents were foolish enough to buy me a transistor radio on Christmas and that ushered a beginning of a lifetime of fascination with music and musicians. Though my father viewed Rock ‘n Roll as ‘trash’ my mother let me watch American Bandstand after school. That show, based in my hometown of Philly at the time, presented every icon of rock and roll as it evolved from the 1950’s, from Frankie Avalon to Dion and the Belmonts to Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, the Platters and   …those of you who are old enough can reel off the rest. For my first launch I’d like to fast forward to a conversation I had with a black dude named Don B__mer. Interestingly, he was an early proponent of medical marijuana, though the medical part may seem a stretch. We ran the streets together in the early 70’s and one day we drifted to a discussion of the greatest rock and roll performers of the 1950’s. Elvis never came close to making the cut. Within two minutes. We agreed on these two. Both made their way to 4548 Market St. at one time or another and both raked the piano keys with a fervor that instantly shouted “Rip it!!”

Someone just answer me one question. How the fukk did the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame end up in Cleveland?

Enjoy

An Open Letter to Obama Haters

I found this open letter on Facebook, with a link to Democratic Underground, but with no attribution.  I’ve posted it in full, with no changes.

I think it has an excellent message for those who cannot reconcile themselves to the presidency of Barack Hussein Obama.

To your distress, for most of the rest of your life, you will bear this:

That Barack Obama, whether re-elected or not, will always be President.

He will always be the man from a mixed race background that became the President of the US, he and his wife will be welcomed throughout the world by nations and their leaders, the most influential members of the arts and sciences will be their acquaintances and companions.

He will be regarded and honored as the President who entered office during a deep recession and two wars and turned the country around.

You will always justify your lack of achievement on the unfairness of every system, your lack of success on the government or regulation, and your failure to accomplish anything in a country where impoverished immigrants with limited language skills are succeeding around you on the liberals or the communists or the elites.

The small satisfaction you garner while spouting derisive comments here only exists in your self-delusion and is a pale comfort compared to the reality that exists around you.

You can try to salve your bitter existence with theories of international Kenyan plots or document fraud, whatever.

But that is your future.

Your world will always be limited by your small-mindedness, your associates only those that are as poorly adapted to the world around them, your accomplishments non-existent and your life a bitter existence.

It’s time to move on.

In your journey into denial, you’ve already sacrificed your conscience and whatever claim to character you had.

Your pretense at a deity derived morality is mocked by your myopic hatred of the ‘other’.

Your concept of patriotism is waving a child’s flag on the sidelines as others defend your liberty.

Bush 41 and spouse are living into their nineties, the Obama’s will too. You’ll see them at the inaugurals, your TV will tell you of their lives and that of their daughters, of their successes and their trips and the books they write and their accolades.

Make it easy on yourself.

Take a deep cleansing breath and just let go, make the best of your situation.

Whether re-elected or not, he will always be the 44th President of the US, and your children and their children will read of him in their history books, the first black man elected president of the US.

If not re-elected, he will be healthier and wealthier than he is as President, but he is willing to make that sacrifice for you.

You still live in a free country made more safe and prosperous by your President, and he, the First Lady and their children will always have you in their prayers. “

Taking America forward instead of taking America back.

The Watering Hole: April 6 — The view from the top of Cape Foulweather

Photo by Zooey

This is the view from the tiny gift shop, called The Lookout, at Cape Foulweather, Oregon.  500 feet above the beautiful blue ocean and jagged basalt rocks below, this was an amazing view on a truly brilliant day on the Oregon Coast.

It’s Friday, people.  Start thinking about your Music Night selections early!

This is our daily open thread — You know what to do.

The Watering Hole, Thursday, April 5th, 2012: Short Attention Span News

I did a bit of wandering around searching for a topic to cover for today’s thread, and currently having an attention span shorter than a kitten’s didn’t help. I started at Newsmax.com, since there’s always something there that makes for good fodder.

At first I got distracted by a bright shiny object which, in reality, was a promotion for the April edition of Newsmax Magazine, with the cover “SHOWDOWN” Iran’s Plan for a Second Holocaust Must Be Stopped” by John Bolton. You have to read not only the fearmongering blurb about Bolton’s piece, but also the subscription offers accompanying it (if you sign up for TWO years, your extra bonus is Sarah Palin’s “Going Rogue“…FREE!)

After tearing myself away from the Bolton promo, I then hit another article about Michigan’s legislative initiatives in the RWOW (Republican War on Women.) I wanted to respond to some of the comments, as a couple were truly face-palm/WTF?/gob-smackers, but…

Something else in the Detroit News then caught my eye, about another Michigan initiative to offer ‘CHOOSE LIFE” Michigan license plates. Apparently some states already have the “CHOOSE LIFE” license plates, some of which are shown in this interesting article.

However, from what I read, the pro-life plates didn’t make it into the final bill (which was signed into Michigan State Law as Public Acts 54 and 55.) What was included in Public Acts 54 and 55 was the approval of special license plates promoting organ donation, with the funds generated going the “Donate Life Fund” and the “Gift of Life Fund.” I like that idea a whole lot better.

This is our daily open thread — What’s on your mind?

leftsideannie:

Rant O’The Day!

Originally posted on Welcome to the Leftside:

I’m a liberal. I’ll admit it – I’m a godless, unabashed, tree-hugging, bleeding heart, birkie-wearing progressive feminazi. And I’m not in the least ashamed of any of that.

I’m also an American. I was born in Missouri 57 years ago, grew up in the Midwest and in California, went to school and church (in my younger days), got married, mothered two stepchildren, got divorced and worked at a number of jobs. I paid my taxes every year. Like a lot of my fellow Americans, for a whole bunch of my 57 years, I never really paid much attention to politics. I was too busy living my life, doing theatre, hanging out with my friends and making my living to pay much attention to what was going on in Washington, D.C.

I voted in the presidential elections; as a matter of fact, at the age of 18, in 1972, I proudly…

View original 1,287 more words

The Watering Hole: 4-4-12: Cheney Announces Presidential Bid

What, me worry?

Fresh out of the recovery room following his heart implant transplant, former Vice President Dick Cheney announced his candidacy for the Republican 2012 nomination for President.

“This current crop of candidates is pathetic.” Cheney announced at his press conference. Not one of them are qualified to pick up where I, where President Bush and I left off.”

When asked about Romney’s delegate lead going into the Convention, Cheney brushed it off. “Look, Romney’s the kid nobody wanted, but they’ve been stuck with him because everyone else sucked. His delegates are gonna leave like rats abandoning a sinking ship, now that they can choose a real man…one who’s been there, done that, one who knows what it’s like to bomb a country back to the Stone Age in a war sold to the American people like it was some sort of action-hero movie plot.”

Cheney then launched into an attack on President Obama for cutting and running in Iraq and for daring to even talk about shutting down Guantanamo. “Thank God the Republicans in Congress prevented Obama from closing that prison. Guantanamo is the best weapon we have for instilling fear in political opponents…I mean, those Islamic Terrorists who want to destroy the American Way of Life.”

When asked who he might pick for a Vice Presidential candidate, Cheney was quick to reply, “I ain’t gonna pick no damn Palin, that’s for sure. Actually, I’m favoring Jeb Bush. After all, last time we had a Bush and a Dick. It’s only right that this time it’s a Dick and a Bush.”

OPEN THREAD.
HAVE AT IT!

The Watering Hole: Tuesday April 3, What to watch out for..

…tonight:

As Romney seems to be The Inevitable one now, there are a few things that we still can watch out for in the primaries.

Turnout. If I am correct turnout will be low. As in: Really Low. Mitt Romney is not an inspiring candidate at all, not for the Republican base. Nor for anybody, except maybe for those making 200’000 plus, I dare say.

Santorum is just running his mouth now, but not much else. I can’t see any indication that the Santorum supporters are fighting back, I cannot see much trace of them anymore in the comments sections where they used to hang around.

Paul? Well, nuff said.

Gingrich? Well, nuff said indeed.

Watch out for other races, too. Incumbicide is rampant right now. There may be a few surprises coming on this side.

…in November:

That no Republican gets the White House for a while. Honestly, if it is only to avoid further activist Supreme Court judges.

A whole set of polls can be found as usual here at realclearpolitics. Nevermind they are really conservatives, when it comes to politics I want to see what the other side is thinking and be prepared for the worst case.

This is our Open Thread. What do you think?

hare away

A black tailed jackrabbit catches the sunrise on a mesa in the Cibola National Forest of New Mexico.

To “hare away” is an old phrase meaning to do just what this one’s doing.

Adam M. Sechny, August 28, 1985 – March 26, 2012: Tribute

Adam's first computer - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam's first computer - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam and the Lion

Adam and the Lion - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

smilin' through

"smilin' through" - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Father and Son - photo by Jane E. Schneider

Father and Son - photo by Jane E. Schneider

Adam and the Lion that Shrunk

"Adam and the Lion that Shrunk" - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam Plays the Drums for his sister Emily's Graduation

Adam Plays the Drums for his sister Emily's Graduation

Adam's Graduation Picture

Adam's Graduation Picture

Adam at his Apartment - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

Adam's Room - photo courtesy of Bobby Sechny

A week ago, on Monday morning, March 26th, our 26-year-old nephew Adam Sechny was killed in a head-on collision on Route 22 in Brewster, New York.

Adam was the son of my brother, Bobby, and Wayne’s sister, Judy; therefore Adam was nephew to both of us, and the son that we never had. Adam worked at the same company as Wayne and I for the last several years, and it was there that we really got to know him as an adult person outside of the family venue.

Adam had turned into an intelligent, thoughtful, quick-witted adult, with the acerbic and sardonic sense of humor of both of his parents. His concern for his friends and co-workers was deep and insightful. But what surprised me most about Adam was his constant curiosity about his family: questions about his parents when they were young, questions about his grandparents, and discussions about different aspects of our family were part of our daily routine. I feel now that this interest reflected, just below the sardonic surface, Adam’s deep underlying (but usually unspoken) love for his family.

Adam’s most endearing soft spot was his love of bunnies. In the summer, Adam would often keep ‘bunny-watch’ at the glass door in my department at work, outside of which we would often spot a local bunny from the orchard. Always close to his sister, Emily, his excitement when he knew that he was going to be able to babysit Emily’s bunny, Bijoux, was something to behold from this strapping 6′-2″ young man. He would talk happily about it from the moment he got the word from Emily until well after his bunny-sitting stint ended. It was the last thing that Adam and I talked about at the office on Friday, March 23rd – he came to me brandishing an email with Emily’s schedule for Adam’s upcoming bunny-sitting duties.

A few weeks ago, I had given Adam an early Easter present, a squishy/gummy little bunny toy which, when one tossed it around, would flash with different colored lights. It immediately turned into Adam’s favorite toy – he dubbed it his ‘police bunny’ – and, when his friends at work began collecting things to put into a ‘memento box’ in Adam’s memory, it was the first item designated as part of his memorial.

Wayne and I used to joke with Adam – in fact I did so a few days before his death – that HE was the reason why Wayne and I decided not to have kids. But I’m happy to be able to say that Adam knew that Wayne and I were so very proud of him, and that we dearly loved him as if he was our own son.

Added Note: The attendance at Adam’s memorial wake, held on Friday, March 30th, was an overwhelming tribute, not just to Adam’s esteem in the minds of his friends and co-workers, but to the entire Sechny and Schneider families as a part of the Brewster [aka 'Southeast'] community. It was a wonderful reminder of how closely interconnected one is to such a large and varied web of people, something which is so often forgotten until such a tragedy occurs to tug back all in that web.


Contributions in his memory may be made to Hospice Care in Westchester and Putnam Inc., 540 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591.
This charity is personally meaningful to us: After all that Hospice did for us during our parents’ illnesses, our family feels that the more help that Hospice receives, the more they can help other families like ours.

Watering Hole: Monday, April 2, 2012 – What’s That Phrase?

Lately, I’ve been hearing a phrase uttered by every Republican that has access to a microphone and the media.  It must be the phrase of the week or the month.  The teabaggers kept shouting this phrase as they protested in front of the Supreme Court this week.  They, along with Senator Pat “Wall Street” “Club for Growth” Toomey were protesting to “protect our freedoms”.  Others were there to support health care for all Americans.  There is no correlation between the two arguments and this is why there is no room for dialogue.

Some key Republican phrases:

  • “Protecting our freedoms” – this is one that is currently popular and is a catch all phrase.  The Republicans are pushing this one even though they wrote, championed, and signed the Patriot Act.
  • “I never supported [fill in the blank]“- this is known as the flip-flopper.  It doesn’t matter that the contradiction is recorded.  They will still deny, deny, and deny.
  • “I misspoke” – this one is used to cover up the lies.  Republicans NEVER accept responsibility.
  • “Job creators” – this one is used as an excuse to tax the 99% while giving tax breaks to the 1%.
  • “I don’t recall” – this one was used to cover up the crimes.

Sounds like all the Republicans are reading from the same notebook.  They are so very boring and predictable.  I don’t understand why the Democrats can’t beat their dupas.

This is our Open Thread.  Add more, if you please. 

Sunday Roast: Do we deserve to kill?


Earlier this week, The Rachel Maddow Show played a portion of the above TED Talk by Bryan Stevenson.  The Maddow Blog introduces Mr Stevenson:

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and part of his Big Idea is about kids in prison, and the country that keeps them there until they die (that’s us).  America is the only country in the world with kids serving life in prison without parole (LWOP) sentences for crimes they committed as children.  And that, Stevenson says, changes our identity as a country.  It changes us.

Rachel’s interview so moved me, that I had to hear him speak more fully, hence the above TED Talk, which was provided on Rachel’s blog.  Please watch the whole video, you won’t be sorry.

Part of this country’s identity is that we have the fifth highest rate of incarceration in the world, behind such countries as China and Iran, and the incarceration rate is abnormally high in this country among people of color.  We lock up children as young as 13 years old for life, for things they did before their brains are finished developing.  And please, to anyone reading this who thinks that because my bleeding liberal heart doesn’t believe in locking children up for life, then that means I believe no punishment should be given at all — get a friggin’ grip on reality, okay?

In this country, we are “treated better if we’re rich and guilty, than if we’re poor and innocent.”  He who can hire the best lawyer (or team thereof) has the best chances of getting that “not guilty” verdict, or at least a lighter sentence.  Wealth shapes outcome, that’s true, but it could also be said that social class and the color of one’s skin shapes outcome as well.

But we don’t like to think about those kinds of things in this country.  Hey, if it’s not happening to me or my family, why should I care?  America, love it or leave it!  We’re number one!!  American exceptionalism rules!!

Except when it doesn’t.  As long as there is inequality, suffering, discrimination, poverty, and hate in this country, none of us are free — let alone exceptional.

We are, above all, human.  Our humanity is the only thing we bring into the world, and our humanity (or the shreds thereof) are all we take out of this world.  Our humanity is all we have and all we are, and if we want to find a solution to the terrible social ills afflicting this country and the world, we should start there.

This is our daily open thread — Discuss amongst yourselves.