A way-better solar cell made from a mineral discovered back in the 1839 in Russia. Would replace silicon.
Perovskite-based panels may revolutionise solar energy
[Note: Brits have a funny way of spelling, so be aware 🙂 ]
A way-better solar cell made from a mineral discovered back in the 1839 in Russia. Would replace silicon.
[Note: Brits have a funny way of spelling, so be aware 🙂 ]
In the span of about three minutes, Rick Santorum proved he has no idea what he’s talking about when it comes to how the Government is supposed to function, and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the White House, let alone be its lawful occupant. Ricky thinks that the recent ruling on Marriage Equality will mean the end of the United States. He believes promoting heterosexual marriage is not only necessary “for the survival of our country,” but more important than talking about climate change.
He began by complaining, as conservatives often do when the SCOTUS rules against them (on account of them being wrong so much), that judges have been entering into the political realm more and more over the past few decades. (Personally, I trace it back to Reagan’s appointees, but that’s probably just me.) He then goes onto complain that they’re “making law” (untrue) and that their job is to “be referees between the Executive and Congressional branches.” Actually, Ricky, it’s more properly referred to as the Legislative branch. And it’s not the job of the SCOTUS to just be referees between the POTUS and the Congress. In fact, that’s not really what their job is at all. Their job is to decide if laws passed by the Congress violate the Constitution. Conservatives like to think that anything a Legislative body passes is automatically constitutional because their job is to pass laws. But being the types who don’t like to follow rules imposed by others (including the framers of the Constitution), Conservatives feel that you’re wrong to ever call them wrong. Many red states are already saying they won’t follow the Supreme Court’s ruling and will refuse to allow same sex couples to marry. And they would be violating their oaths of office if they do so, and could and should face impeachment and removal from office. But they should also face permanent disqualification from ever holding public office again. That’s the mistake Alabama made when they impeached their SCOTUS-disrespecting Chief Justice Roy Moore for refusing to obey the SCOTUS when it said he couldn’t order the Ten Commandments displayed in front of the Court House. They kicked him out of office, but didn’t bar him from holding office again. And now he’s once again the Chief Justice of Alabama and refusing to follow the Constitution again. But that’s another topic.
Ricky thinks that by striking down all statewide bans on same-sex marriage as violations of the federal Constitution, the judges are making law. That is not at all what is happening. Striking down unconstitutional laws is not making laws, it’s nullifying improper ones. No state, no matter how fervently is citizens or (in most cases) its conservative legislature wants to do it, can pass a law repugnant to the Constitution. But then, Conservatives have never liked Marbury v. Madison, because they don’t like being told they can’t do what they want. So it’s not surprising that Ricky thinks the SCOTUS should: a) no longer have lifetime appointments and be elected, instead; b) not have jurisdiction over certain topics; and, c) be required to hear all appeals to their rulings. That’s not at all the way the framers intended it, Ricky. They didn’t want the federal judiciary to be forced to run for office because they knew they would have to appeal to the lowest common denominator to get elected, and that often results in bad judges with misguided priorities. They also intended the jurisdiction of the Judicial branch of our government to be able to settle all disputes, not just the ones you feel comfortable letting them decide. And they also intended that their rulings be final and the Law of the Land. But then that would mean not letting Conservatives do whatever they want to do to the rest of us with impunity.
The Fox News hosts then went on to lament that heterosexual marriage is in decline and that more and more people are choosing to raise families out of wedlock, and that might somehow be a bad thing. But Ricky thinks that instead of using the power of the bully pulpit to discuss climate change, that the president should be putting all of that energy into trying to promote heterosexual marriage. Is that really a valid argument to the declaration that marriage need not depend on the genders of the two people getting married? That’s where it started, but Ricky and the Fox hosts think that all children should be raised in a home where the parents are married. That would be nice, except it doesn’t match Reality. In real life, people die or get divorced, and children grow up with only one parent. That doesn’t make them bad or immoral people, but the way Conservatives talk about “family,” you’d think any kid who grew up without both a male and female parent in the house could never turn out good. (Presidents Clinton and Obama might disagree.) But if marriage is something never once mentioned in the Constitution, and if it’s therefore supposed to be left entirely up to the states to decide who can and cannot enter into these civil arrangements (which, legally, is all they are), then why does Ricky think the president should be talking about it? Why shouldn’t the president talk about Climate Change, and what we should do to counter or slow its worsening effects?
Climate Change is real. It’s not a hoax cooked up by climate scientists to make a lot of money. It is being worsened by human activity, specifically but not limited to, the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. (There’s no such thing as “clean burning fossil fuels.” The fossil fuel industry just wants you to believe that, or to doubt those of us who rightly claim it’s a lie.) We are close to the point where the cumulative effects of pumping all that carbon dioxide into the atmosphere will not only make the air unbreathable (since we insist on letting the rain forests, those things with all the living things that can breath carbon dioxide and give off oxygen, be destroyed at a breath-taking rate), it will also raise the overall temperature of the planet. This will cause the oceans to warm up and provide storms with more heat and energy. This will cause the storms we do get, no matter what time of year, to be larger, more intense, and more destructive. You can expect to hear about record breaking storms for the next few decades. In fact, if you’re younger than 30, you’ve never experienced a month in which the average surface temperature of the Earth was below average. Will fighting the problem cost money? Of course it will, don’t be silly. The reason the situation is as bad as it is is precisely because we tried to find the least expensive ways to produce energy, instead of the smartest ways. Conservatives would have you believe that anything that reduces profits is a bad thing, even if what the profits are being diverted from is killing the planet. And we can’t regulate businesses to stop polluting our biosphere, because government regulations make the Baby Jesus cry.
I’m getting tired of these people.
This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Little Ricky Santorum, marriage equality, climate change, or anything else you wish to discuss.
In the beginning, there was but one man, and he was lonely. So God took a rib out of his side and made a woman. So the first woman was a clone of the first man, but with different pieces-parts.
Then the woman talked to a snake, ate an apple, and realized she wasn’t wearing any clothes. She talked the man into biting the apple so he would realize he wasn’t wearing any clothes either.
The Bible doesn’t say whether the first man and the first woman ever bothered to get married. But they must have, otherwise the entire human race was conceived out of wedlock. A short while later, they had a son, then another son. These sons later took themselves wives. That mean the first man and first woman had daughters.
So, the original Biblical marriage means marrying your sister.
Later on. men could take as many wives, and have as many mistresses he wanted. This, too, is Biblical marriage.
If Republicans are so supportive of Biblical marriage, they should repeal laws against incest and polygamy.
Saturday morning, Bree Newsome took matters into her own hands and removed the Confederate flag — a flag that celebrates a heritage of racism, slavery, and treason — from in front of the South Carolina State House.
Newsome and others calling themselves “concerned citizens” released a statement explaining, “Deciding to do what the SC Legislature has thus far neglected to do, the group took down the symbol of white supremacy that inspired the massacre, continued to fly at full mast in defiance of South Carolina’s grief, and flew in defiance of everyone working to actualize a more equitable Carolinian future.”
The flag was soon replaced, but the image of Newsome climbing that pole and removing it is indelible.
This is our daily open thread — Discuss.
Recently, “Il Papa”, Pope Francis, has pissed off several (often overlapping) factions of conservative “Christian” politicians, pundits, and what I’ve decided to call “pulpiteers”, aka Evangelicals. Apparently the Pope is only “infallible” when his flock agrees with his pronouncements or actions. I find it deliciously ironic that the first Pope in, well, “god” knows how long, to actually emulate the teachings and actions of Jesus Christ according to their own bible makes all of these faux christians so suspicious, dismissive, and ultimately hypocritical. I can just imagine one of the conversations:
Derp 1: “Washing the feet of poor people and criminals? Who the hell does that?”
Derp 2: “Well, according to the Bible, Jesus Christ did. Oh, and Christ fed the poor, too – you heard that Frankie wants all of us Christians to do that, too, right?”
Derp 1: “I know, is he crazy?! C’mon, that do-goody stuff isn’t supposed to be taken literally!”
Derp 2: “No, of course not, not those “New Testament” Jesus-y parts, anyway; just the parts about dominating the earth and all its resources, and the parts about stoning homos and wimmen and your kids if they sass you.”
Derp 1: “Exactly, that’s my point, we have to put the fear of god into these $chmuck$, er, potential voters!”
After already dissing unbridled capitalism and corporate greed, among other things, in his 2013 missive “Evangelii Gaudium: Apostolic Exhortation on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World”, last week Pope Francis issued his now-infamous encyclical focusing on man-made climate change, and his idea of the correct Christian, and, as he noted, human course of action necessary to combat it for the good of Planet Earth and all of her children.
While some Catholic and other Christian groups agreed with Pope Francis and are willing to preach his ‘gospel’ to their flocks, other self-proclaimed “Christians” pretty much think that either Pope Francis is wrong, or that he should mind his own goddam beeswax. In particular, the many Catholics (or whatever “Christian” flavor) among the numerous Republican 2016 Presidential hopefuls would prefer that the Pope stay quiet. From the ThinkProgress article:
“At a town hall event in New Hampshire…[Jeb] Bush said that religion “ought to be about making us better as people and less about things that end up getting into the political realm.”
“I hope I’m not going to get castigated for saying this by my priest back home,” Bush said, “but I don’t get my economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope.”
No, Jeb, you certainly don’t get your economic policy from your pope, otherwise you’d actually have to DO something to help the poor. And it doesn’t seem to be working out when it comes to “making [you] better as people”, unless somehow by “better” you mean “more hateful.”
However, you and your ilk seem perfectly happy to get your SOCIAL policy, in particular regarding women’s rights, abortion, and LGBT rights, from your pope and your bible. And you definitely LOVE it when your flavor of religion ends up crafting legal policy for the entire country, you fuckwad.
The article goes on to say that:
“Bush’s views on climate change and religion have, at times, been contradictory. In May, the presidential candidate and brother of George W. Bush said that the science surrounding climate change was “convoluted.”
“For the people to say the science is decided on this is really arrogant, to be honest with you,” he said. “It’s this intellectual arrogance that now you can’t have a conversation about it, even.”
Once again, NO, Jeb, it’s NOT “intellectual arrogance” when the vast majority of scientists who have studied all of the data have come to the inevitable conclusion that global climate change is real, it’s mostly man-made, and it’s going to make the lives of your – and everybody else’s – grandchildren and greatgrandchildren a miserable hell.
And, of course, Rick Santorum had to get his twisted views out there:
““The Church has gotten it wrong a few times on science,” Santorum told radio host Dom Giordano. “We probably are better off leaving science to the scientists, and focusing on what we’re really good at, which is theology and morality.”
WHAT the huh? Morality? Wait, he’s got more:
“I’m saying, what should the pope use his moral authority for?” Santorum asked. “I think there are more pressing problems confronting the earth than climate change.”
Are you fucking kidding, Rantorum? Oh, hold on for the finish:
“When we get involved with controversial and scientific theories, I think the Church is not as forceful and not as credible,” Santorum continued. “I’ve said this to the Catholic bishops many times — when they get involved in agriculture policy, or things like that, that are really outside of the scope of what the Church’s main message is, that we’re better off sticking to the things that are really the core teachings of the Church as opposed to getting involved in every other kind of issue that happens to be popular at the time.”
Okay, for Jeb and Sick Rantorum and every other Catholic and self-proclaimed Christian: If you are true to your supposed faith, then every official utterance of Pope Francis or any other Pope is, according to YOUR dogma, the infallible transmission of the Word of your God. It doesn’t matter what the topic is, the Pope is supposed to be the unquestionable representative of your Trinity. And if you and your science-denying conservative cohorts DON’T think that global climate change is the MOST pressing problem confronting the Earth, then you don’t deserve to even be aspiring to the Presidency of these United States. Just sit down and shut up.
Anyhoo…NOW Pope Francis has done something to ruffle the feathers, to say the least, of Israel and her supporters: According to Foreign Policy Magazine:
“On Friday [June 26], the Vatican signed a comprehensive treaty with Palestinian authorities, formalizing a basic agreement between the Catholic Church and the PLO back in 2000. In essence, it is a formal declaration of the Holy See’s support for the creation of a Palestinian state and the peace process with Israel. “[I]t is my hope that the present agreement may, in some way, be a stimulus to bringing a definitive end to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which continues to cause suffering for both Parties,” wrote Vatican foreign minister Archbishop Paul Gallagher.”
“The news is not going over well in Tel Aviv. “This hasty step damages the prospects for advancing a peace agreement, and harms the international effort to convince the Palestinian Authority to return to direct negotiations with Israel,” said Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.”
“[G]iven its sordid history of anti-Semitism, book-burnings, forced conversions and Inquisitions, the Catholic Church should think a hundred times over before daring to step on Israel’s toes,” wrote Michael Freund, former deputy communications director to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the Jerusalem Post on May 18. “If anything, the pope should be down on his knees pleading for forgiveness from the Jewish people and atonement from the Creator for what the Vatican has wrought over the centuries.”
I’m really starting to enjoy this new Pope Francis reality show (especially as a former Catholic) – it beats the hell out of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice Asshole” or “19 and Groping.” Heh.
This is our daily Open Thread–go ahead and talk about things!
A fishing colleague from back east had this group posted on his Facebook page. Roots music worth a listen from the Jamacian senior citizen set.
In blatant disregard for the will of the Almighty, the Supreme Court today sanctioned same-sex marriages.
God, speaking through the voices of numerous pundits, will rain down His Righteous Wrath on the U.S. to punish the nation for allowing two people who love each other the right to get married irrespective of their genders.
From now until the end of time, every so-called natural disaster will, in truth, be God’s Punishment meted out against the United States for allowing Gay Marriage.
The more the days change, the nuttier it gets out there in Wingnuttistan. Following are a mere handful of headline links on a variety of topics, each and all of which demonstrate a level of crazy far beyond sanity’s threshold. So hang onto your hats; here goes nothing (sotospeak)!
So there it is, a small handful of this week’s samples of Wingnuttistanian insanity, proof positive (as if we didn’t already know) that Inhofe, Nugent, Beck, Barton, Pat Boone, Frank Graham, Todd Starnes, Rick Joyner, and most if not all gun lobbyists are certifiably nuts (and probably scared to death of their own shadows as well). Problem is, about the only thing we the people can do is laugh at them — clearly a not very effective solution since they all keep coming back again, and again, and again . . . . Oh well, when one lives in an insane world and nothing can be done to fix it, perhaps the solution is to occasionally wander off to a sane corner somewhere — an “esoteric belt,” perhaps — and enjoy the soliloquy! Below are a few examples of what such places are like and as you’ll notice, not a single Republican is in attendance! As Emily Dickinson put it,
Did life’s penurious length
Italicize its sweetness,
The men that daily live
Would stand so deep in joy
That it would clog the cogs
Of that revolving reason
Whose esoteric belt
Protects our sanity
Views rescued from the “esoteric belt” follow. Enjoy the soliloquy. :).
There. Hopefully that’s enough sanity to counter the craziness up top.
Recently — very recently — I happened across yet one more wingnut mean-spirited reference to Saul Alinsky (I forgot to mark the place, which I have since also forgotten — one of the “benefits” of aging). In any case, the remark was (predictably) both vitriolic and deleterious, with all dirt spouted in the direction/context of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and today’s “Democrat” Party.
Saul Alinsky. I remembered the name, but the reason for the recollection was foggy at best. So I dug a bit, hoping to find a memory refurbishment along with explanation of maybe some of the current vitriol. Conclusion: Google is cool. With a few quick mouse clicks, I found myself reminded of days long past, of days back in the ’60s when I was but an innocent college kid. Back then, Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) was a community organizer in Chicago (sound familiar?), one who had spent much of the 1950’s organizing various Afro-American community efforts on civil rights issues. In the 1960’s he set up organizer institutes to train others, and his reputation began to spread.
In 1969, in fact, a Wellesley College student chose Alinsky’s work as a subject for her pre-grad thesis entitled “There is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” The student, Hillary Rodham (yes, THAT Hillary), interviewed Alinsky a pair of times for the paper in which she included this, her summary of Alinsky’s philosophy:
“Much of what Alinsky professes does not sound ‘radical.’ . . . His are the words used in our schools and churches, by our parents and their friends, by our peers. The difference is Alinsky really believes in them and recognizes the necessity of changing the present structures of our lives in order to realize them.”
Not long thereafter — 1971 — Alinsky published his third book, Rules for Radicals, A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. In it, he included the following list of thirteen “power tactics” which, in his context, were methods for organizers to use that were based on principles of direct action via nonviolent conflict and with purpose being to empower the oppressed, the poor, in the ‘modern’ American society. His thirteen rules read as follows:
1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.”
2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people. When an action or tactic is outside the experience of the people, the result is confusion, fear and retreat…. [and] the collapse of communication.
3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.”
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”
6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag. Man can sustain militant interest in any issue for only a limited time….”
8. “Keep the pressure on, with different tactics and actions, and utilize all events of the period for your purpose.”
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
10. “The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition. It is this unceasing pressure that results in the reactions from the opposition that are essential for the success of the campaign.”
11. “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside… every positive has its negative.”
12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
13. Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’
Diabolical and evil, right? Maybe also subversive? In the same book, Alinsky also noted that . . .
As an organizer I start from where the world is, as it is, not as I would like it to be. That we accept the world as it is does not in any sense weaken our desire to change it into what we believe it should be – it is necessary to begin where the world is if we are going to change it to what we think it should be. That means working in the system.
Alinsky. Diabolical. Anti-American. Obviously.
Shortly before his death in 1972, Alinsky, in an interview in Playboy Magazine, pretty well summarized his worldly views and goals in a mere 65 words:
I’ve never joined any organization — not even the ones I’ve organized myself. I prize my own independence too much. And philosophically, I could never accept any rigid dogma or ideology, whether it’s Christianity or Marxism . . . The greatest crimes in history have been perpetrated by such religious and political and racial fanatics, from the persecutions of the Inquisition on down to Communist purges and Nazi genocide.
In spite of Alinsky’s soft-spoken attitudes and philosophies, in recent years the words ‘Saul Alinsky’ have become the approximate equivalent, in GOP vitriol, of words such as Soros, Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, etc., ad infinitum. The various right wing noise machines have, in fact, spread the anti-Alinsky vitriol via each and every available medium, always in the process linking the “Marxist” Alinsky with prominent Democrats, in particular the former Chicago Community Organizer Barack Obama, and Hillary (Rodham) Clinton, 1969 Wellesley College graduate.
In January 2008 — during the run-up to that year’s November elections — Richard Poe published an article entitled Hillary, Obama And The Cult Of Alinsky
in which he notes that “Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties.” Not sure I’ve ever seen a better example of the right wing’s penchant for subtle wordsmithing and meaning alteration than that one, but given that Poe’s co-author on their book which lambasted “George Soros, Hillary Clinton, and Sixties Radicals” was David Horowitz, the surprise is minimal at best.
Meanwhile, the seeds of right wing baloney in re Saul Alinsky and his philosophies continue to sprout and grow. A good example is in this, the text of a January 2014 viral email that made the rounds and undoubtedly raised a bunch of wingnut eyebrows in the process. It is, in effect, a complete and total rewrite of Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” noted above, primarily designed to lambast President Obama by linking him to the falsely vilified Saul Alinsky.
Obama was influenced by the writings and philosophies Saul Alinsky, author of the book, “Rules for Radicals,” and later by Frank Marshall Davis, with similar philosophies.
Barak [sic] Obama followed the philosophies of these ‘role models’ throughout his days as a Community Organizer for ACORN, using tactics that appeared to some as ‘shaking down’ businesses in exchange for not branding them ‘hate groups.’
And apparently Obama is still following those radical rules today.
How to create a social state by Saul Alinsky:
There are 8 levels of control that must be obtained before you are able to create a social state.
The first is the most important.
1) Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people
2) Poverty — Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt — Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control — Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare — Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).
6) Education — Take control of what people read and listen to — take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion — Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.
8) Class Warfare — Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
Now, think …
Does any of this sound like what is happening to the United States?
Notice the “author” of the above attributed his diatribe to Saul Alinsky, author of the book, “Rules for Radicals,” but included nothing written by Saul Alinsky. The entire of the text (attributed to Alinsky by inference only) is bogus, clearly intended as anti-Obama and anti-Democrat-in-general verbal drivel that is typical of propaganda everywhere.
Herr Dr. Goebbels would surely be proud of today’s American right wing propaganda machine, given that it so closely obeys a great many of Goebbels’ precepts. As he himself summed it,
“Propaganda is not a matter for average minds, but rather a matter for practitioners. It is not supposed to be lovely or theoretically correct. I do not care if I give wonderful, aesthetically elegant speeches, or speak so that women cry. . . . We do not want to be a movement of a few straw brains, but rather a movement that can conquer the broad masses. Propaganda should be popular, not intellectually pleasing. It is not the task of propaganda to discover intellectual truths.”
There’s probably no better definition of the GOP’s current noise machine anywhere. Not that we should be surprised, of course. There does remain, however, a diametric difference between the views of Herr Goebbels (read also: America’s right wing, aka GOP) and Saul Alinsky. As Alinsky put it,
“My only fixed truth is a belief in people, a conviction that if people have the opportunity to act freely and the power to control their own destinies, they’ll generally reach the right decisions.”
Amen. Ideal America defined. Thank you, Saul Alinsky.
I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I’m running for President. Here are a few of my positions on issues important to the American People today. Between now and November 2016, I will post additional policy and platform statements.
Today’s topic du jour: The Middle East, more specifically, Iraq.
Let’s face it, invading Iraq, again, is inevitable. Bush’s successful invasion was bungled, and bungled badly, by not following Biblical principles. The Middle East, and especially Iraq, is still living in Biblical times, and must be treated accordingly.
Now, in Biblical times, when a country was invaded, the soldiers were killed, and able-bodied women and children were taken into slavery. The conquers took control of the land and settled there. That’s what we need to do.
Not only do we invade Iraq, we execute as war criminals all able-bodied men, we enslave the women and children. You see, once they are convicted as unlawful enemy combatants, the 13th Amendment prohibition against slavery no longer applies.
Then we offer land to any American Family that wants to move there. A lot of land. And a percentage of the oil revenues. There will be only one condition: that they be fertile, and abstain from using any form of birth control, to follow the Biblical Commandment to go forth and multiply, and that they be card-carrying members of the NRA, with their own private arsenal.
This way, by the end of my first term as President, Iraq will become the 51st State in the Union. Of course, we’ll have to give it a new name. I’m open to suggestions.
So, come 2016, vote Briseadh na Faire for President. I’m the only candidate for President who knows what’s best for America; the only candidate who acknowledges up front that I will break each and every one of my campaign promises, and, when I do, you won’t be disappointed!
[Briseadh na Faire – it’s pronounced Breesha na Fair-ah.]
I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I approve this message.
“More than 90 percent of the shrimp consumed in the U.S. is imported from overseas, and yet in 2014 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only inspected 3.7 percent of shrimp imports and tested 0.7 percent.”
Our miniscule shrimp industry feels this way about the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal: “Members of the U.S. shrimp industry are voicing concerns that elements of a major trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, could weaken the ability of regulators to reject unsafe seafood imports.”
Conspiracy theories fall into various categories: some are based on actual disastrous events that have in fact occurred, i.e., the attacks on September 11th, 2001, have spawned many conspiracy theories, some more fact-based than others; and some are based on projection of what the theorists imagine could happen. The website thecommonsenseshow.com caters to the latter.
Now, I realize that none of us here are fundamentalist religious nuts, but I don’t remember our hatred of the Bush/Cheney administration making any liberals go into full-on end- times/survivalist mode. But that is what appears to have happened to an unguessable number of conservatives due to the fact that President Barack Obama, a half-black man, is living in the “White” House. The “Common Sense Show” and website seem to go for a couple of different conspiracy theories rolled up in an unwieldy package. As one of the commenters at the site says, under one article titled “The UN Is Preparing to Manage Mass Casualty Events Under Jade Helm” (written by the website’s founder, Dave Hodges) “Please consider the following…”
“My worst fears are being realized. The following information is strongly suggestive that the United Nations is poised to seize control of Jade Helm. Further, the nature of UN involvement with Jade Helm is strongly suggestive of the fact that massive numbers of people will be relocated to camps following a chemical/biological attack. Further, this administration has established the protocols for just such a forced relocation of massive amounts of people.
We have seen the Blue Bell Ice Cream trucks, featured later in this article, that are implicated in this scenario for the presumed transport of a massive amounts of dead bodies. However, what is most disturbing is that in the case of a pandemic, the United Nations will assume operational control over quarantines and the transporting of “sick people” to a receiving facility. Walk with me through this process and I am certain you will agree the dots are beginning to connect which points to a hellish scenario in America’s immediate future. Let’s connect some dots.”
Among the weird examples of conspiratorial comments are these gems:
“It is time that people realize that Obama is the long awaited antichrist. Please consider the following….
No photos of a pregnant Michelle Obama exist anywhere. Attorney Orly Taitz can find no US birth records for the the daughters. On occasions an appendage can be seen through her clothing that indicates she has male genitals.
It is common knowledge Obama is gay and that two of his gay friends were murdered just before his nomination in 2007. The Book of Daniel says the Antichrist will be the leader of a powerful and diverse nation, that he will change times and laws, and also that he will have no desire of women.
See the shocking photos of Michelle’s male anatomy and read numerous prophecies from Jesus identifying Obama as the antichrist at http://revelation12.ca”
“In three more months nothing will matter anyway, I guess. Keep a BraveHeart and strengthen the perimeter. In Vietnam we had a procedure called “Final Protective Fire.” That was used when a firebase was about to be overrun and we threw everything great and small and all things in between down range at the enemy. We are rapidly approaching that point if your prediction of multiple attacks on multiple fronts proves true…and it will. Trouble is we don’t have a perimeter, we have isolated people willing to defend, but that doesn’t do squat to defeat the enemies that are approaching on all fronts. There is just too much heavily armed, heavily supported activity out there for this to be Training As Usual. All of us that are not willing to give up our Bibles, Faith, and Guns need to be making peace with the Man with a Crown of Thorns and Nail Scars in His Hands. We are going to be seeing him up up close and personal in the not too distant future when he stretches forth His right hand, calls us by name and raises us from the dead. Dead is what we are going to be very soon. Mentally/Spiritually toughen yourself folks and prepare for the Judgement Seat. Once He gives us a glorified body it will be ass kicking time and there will be no place to hide for the Globalists. Godspeed!”
“18 June, 2015, 21:47
Hey CNN just briefly switched their time stamp to military time… 01:00 This happened during Baltimore as well. Is that a signal to us about what is to come as a result of events happening during the switch?
Have you noticed that Obama is in a red hot rush to pass as many anti-American laws and other forms of legislation and regulation as he possibly can? No discussions-just what Obama wants rammed down our throats! No other president has ever done this-even those considered pure evil! Doesn’t Obama remind you of Damien in THE OMEN? Anyone who tried to stop him wound up dead!”
Now, here, to wash the nut-job taste out of your mouth:
Someone on a recent Raw Story thread commented that the Republicans needed a bigger clown car. Someone else responded with, “They’re shopping for one,” and this photo:
Another commenter added this:
This is your daily Open Thread–go ahead, start discussing things.
Happy Summer Solstice, all y’all? Heh, all I know is that it’s supposed to be the day of the year with the longest daylight hours. I won’t say it’s the longest day of the year, because, as we all know, that is a rather subjective concept.
Anyhoo, enjoy this lovely video of Alaska during summer solstice.
This is our daily open thread — Brace yourselves for summer…
By 1852, the State of South Carolina was fed up with the Government of the United States and voted to secede from the Union. They forbore exercising the right of secession they claimed “in deference to the opinions and wishes of the other slaveholding States.” That was from the first sentence of South Carolina’s Declaration of Secession. They felt that Slavery was one of their “domestic institutions” and that the refusal of the Northern States to return runaway slaves, as actually required by the Constitution, constituted a breach of the agreement of the original thirteen colonies to be governed under it. So they declared their Independence in much the same manner (and at times quoting) as the Colonies did in our famous Declaration of Independence. (Perhaps you’ve heard of it. Nicholas Cage stole it once and pinned the theft on another guy.) There is no question that Slavery was a part of the Southern Heritage they defend to this day. And to defend Slavery is to defend the idea that some people, in particular black people, are less than human and can be treated morally and legally as property. That heritage is represented to this day by the Confederate Flag, in one form or another. (The “Stars and bars” come in various forms. One was the official National Flag, while another variation formed the Battle Flag.) To many of us, when you proudly display the Confederate Flag, you are insisting that the South was right on Slavery and the North was wrong. This is why the South has the reputation it does for being the home of racists. That does not mean, nor does anyone in the North truly believe, that everybody in the South is a dyed-in-the-wool racist. It does mean that racists can live in the South and not be bothered over their views.
So when a young white supremacist decided to callously murder nine unsuspecting, unarmed black citizens in one of the most famous landmark black churches in American history just because they were black, and for no other reason, the conversation ought to include the subject of racism, and why it is so acceptable to so many people in the South. (Whether or not examples of racism can be found in other parts of the country is completely irrelevant and beside the point. The discussion needs to be about the openly accepted racism in the South.) But conservatives are trying to divert from that topic and blame anything but racism as the reason Dylann Storm Roof killed all those people. People who hadn’t done a thing wrong to him. People who let him sit among them before he told them, “You have to go.” Once pictures of him wearing flags of the white-ruled nations of South Africa and Rhodesia went public, there was no doubt in any right-thinking person’s mind that this massacre was motivated by racial hatred. So it should come as no surprise that Conservatives reject the racism motivation and cling to their guns and bibles, to borrow a phrase.
[NOTE: FTR, what I am about to write I fully intended to write before I sat down to watch Friday night’s Bill Maher show. I didn’t get the idea from him any more than he got his idea from me.]
“We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that, once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun,” [President Obama] said at the White House. Besides the clearly displayed racism shown in the massacre, guns are another issue the Right Wing refuses to discuss openly and fairly. But we can get to what the National Rifle Association (NAMBLA) has to say another time.
And quoting the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after four black girls were killed in the bombing of a black church in Birmingham, Ala., 52 years ago, he said the lessons of this tragedy must extend beyond one city and one church. He cited Dr. King’s words that their deaths were a demand to “substitute courage for caution,” and urging people to ask not just who did the killing but “about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers.”
It seems Dr. Martin Luther King’s niece and Fox News Channel contributor, Alveda King, would disagree. [NOTE: Full disclosure/confession/cry-for-help. For reasons surpassing all logical thought, Alveda King decided to follow me on The Twitter. I’m guessing after I questioned her there she’ll be re-thinking that decision. Cool.] She made a truly bizarre leap of logic to conclude that the Charleston Massacre was linked to abortion. You heard me right. Abortion. Okay, maybe you didn’t hear me. Maybe you heard a voice in your head you thought was mine. You should get that checked. And Alveda King should get hers checked, too. Is there something they’re serving in the green rooms at Fox that makes their contributors come out and say bat shit crazy things on live television?
There is no doubt at all that this massacre was motivated solely by racism. None. Zero. But Rick Perry cautions us to wait, we don’t have all the facts. It may turn out drugs were involved. You heard me right. Drugs. (Maybe the drugs are why you can hear me. I know that’s why I can hear you.) That’s after he “misspoke” and called the massacre an “accident”.
Sweater vest aficionado and Presidential Delusions-Filled former Senator Rick Santorum believed it was an attack on our religious liberty, even though at the time he said that it was known this was a purely race-motivated attack. US Senator from South Carolina Lindsey Graham, currently running for First Lady, sat down with other women on The View to stress the shooting was an attack on Christianity (it most certainly was not), though he seemed to express doubts about whether or not race had anything to do with it (it most certainly did).
Fox & Friends invited Bishop E.W. Jackson who jumped to the conclusion that because this happened in a church, it’s clearly an attack on Christianity. They completely ignore the comments the killer made prior to opening fire on almost everyone in the church (reloading several times) and cold-bloodedly telling one survivor that he was letting her live so she could tell everyone what happened. Which she did. And she said he did it because they were black, and for no other reason.
Also believing the motivation was unknown, SC Gov Nikki Haley emphasized the fact that the shooting took place in a house of worship, without mentioning the racism openly displayed by the killer. NRA Board Member Charles Cotton even went so far as to blame Pastor and SC State Senator Clementa Pinckney for the dead saying his opposition to guns prevented them from being saved. The leaders of Gun Owners of America, father-son duo Larry and Erich Pratt, also blamed Rev Pinckney.
But none of these people on the right want to blame the murders on Racism. Some allow that it may or may not have been a factor (Yes. It clearly was. The killer himself said so to the person he let live so she could tell us why he did it.), but they always reach for something else to blame. And the only logical reason I can think of for why they do it, is because deep down, they don’t want to admit they feel the same way Dylann Storm Roof did. They sympathize with Roof’s racist rantings, but they can never say so publicly. Others probably will. (I’m guessing Rush Limbaugh is going to cross the line on this one sooner or later.) Because they don’t want the South’s history with Slavery and their undying support of it, their view of it as one of their domestic institutions, to come under scrutiny again.
South Carolina still proudly flies the battle flag their army followed when they killed more US Soldiers than any other army in our nation’s history. Maybe we should reconsider our decision to stop them from seceding. And they can take all those people who think racism isn’t a problem with them. The United States will recognize the birthright citizenship of any SC citizen who wishes to remain here in the states. Racists need not apply.
UPDATE: The Perry campaign insists that from the context, it’s clear Governor Perry meant to say “incident,” not “accident.”
This is our daily open thread. Feel free to talk about Racism or any other topic you want, in case that one is a little too uncomfortable for you.
I’m the substitute music night poster, so all y’all can get away with murder.
Get on with it.
A Moment’s Halt–a momentary taste
Of BEING from the Well amid the Waste–
And LO!–the phantom Caravan has reach’d
The NOTHING it set out from–Oh, make haste!
(The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam; v. XLVIII
Transl. by Edward Fitzgerald, 1872)
When Donald Trump jumped into the Clown Car, he left a fairly lengthy “speak” for his audience, an audience which contained, apparently, more than a few local-vocal actors who were each paid fifty bucks to applaud him and cheer at appropriate times. I didn’t watch it (because timing is everything, don’tcha know); I invariably prefer 1970’s Hawaii Five-0 or M*A*S*H reruns to any of our modern era’s political speak. Besides, thanks to the interwebs the whole panoply of speaks is always real-soon-available in print form, so there’s no need to listen to any of those (extremely irritating!) Clown Car voices. Plus, a fast skim-through allows one to ignore all the buffalo chips and get right to the essence. Which doesn’t exist anyway, so a good rerun or two is always worth a “Yah, maybe later” asservation. Or something like that.
Ergo: what I’ve done here — for anyone who happened to oversleep, doze off, or otherwise somehow miss the Donald-speak — is to present the last several lines of this classic Trumpism, words which, in effect, ‘trump’ all of the yak-yak which preceded them. It’s a summary. Sort of. It’s still OK to skim-through, though (I know I did), because the . . . ummm . . . “substance” (so to speak) will still be there tomorrow. So. Carry on, but use caution — don’t trip over the buffalo chips; I tried to work around them, but . . . well, you know.
[. . . ]
So, just to sum up, I would do various things very quickly. I would repeal and replace the big lie, Obamacare.
I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.
Mark my words.
Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump. Nobody.
I will find — within our military, I will find the General Patton or I will find General MacArthur, I will find the right guy. I will find the guy that’s going to take that military and make it really work. Nobody, nobody will be pushing us around.
I will stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons. And we won’t be using a man like Secretary Kerry that has absolutely no concept of negotiation, who’s making a horrible and laughable deal, who’s just being tapped along as they make weapons right now, and then goes into a bicycle race at 72 years old, and falls and breaks his leg. I won’t be doing that. And I promise I will never be in a bicycle race. That I can tell you.
I will immediately terminate President Obama’s illegal executive order on immigration, immediately.
Fully support and back up the Second Amendment.
[. . .]
End— end Common Core. Common Core should— it is a disaster. Bush is totally in favor of Common Core. I don’t see how he can possibly get the nomination. He’s weak on immigration. He’s in favor of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can’t do it. We have to end education has to be local.
Rebuild the country’s infrastructure.
Nobody can do that like me. Believe me. It will be done on time, on budget, way below cost, way below what anyone ever thought.
I look at the roads being built all over the country, and I say I can build those things for one-third. What they do is unbelievable, how bad.
[. . .]
Save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security without cuts. Have to do it.
Get rid of the fraud. Get rid of the waste and abuse, but save it. People have been paying it for years. And now many of these candidates want to cut it. You save it by making the United States, by making us rich again, by taking back all of the money that’s being lost.
Renegotiate our foreign trade deals.
Reduce our $18 trillion in debt, because, believe me, we’re in a bubble. We have artificially low interest rates. We have a stock market that, frankly, has been good to me, but I still hate to see what’s happening. We have a stock market that is so bloated.
Be careful of a bubble because what you’ve seen in the past might be small potatoes compared to what happens. So be very, very careful.
And strengthen our military and take care of our vets. So, so important.
Sadly, the American dream is dead.
But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before, and we will make America great again.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
WOW! There it is in all its majesty! I can only say thank YOU, Donald! And let me be the first here to say wow, just WOW, what a speak you spoke! I am so excited as to be overwhelmed! I am, in fact, so excited that I have produced for your use a DONALD TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT poster, and there is no charge! Understand how perfectly it fits! The image is, after all, that of a Polynesian Ki’i (Tiki, or god), so it automatically becomes a very simple presentation of your candidacy’s godlike essence!
Hmm. Well, at least they got the hair right.
In an interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who is running for the Democratic presidential candidacy, said he could back a 90 percent top marginal tax rate.
Harwood brought up that some have likened efforts to combat income inequality to Nazi Germany. Sanders noted sarcastically, “When radical, socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, I think the highest marginal tax rate was something like 90 percent.”
Harwood followed up by asking, “When you think about something like 90 percent, you don’t think that’s obviously too high?” to which Sanders replied, “No.”
He continued, “What I think is obscene . . . when you have the top one-tenth of one percent owning almost as much as the bottom 90.” [. . .]
“If you have seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top tenth of one percent, you’ve got to transfer that back.”
Sanders is, in my admittedly humble opinion, spot-on correct in re his tax proposal. A somewhat closer examination (simplistic and scavenged as it is) of top bracket income tax rates across the last near century suggests that a drastic Sanders-style revision of America’s income tax process is long overdue and should perhaps assume a position of top priority:
1918 46%-76% — Post WWI, income taxes became central to federal funding
1925 25% — Stock market crashed in 1929, onset of Great Depression
1932 63% — Tax hike under FDR to counter the depression and joblessness, etc.
1939 79% — Tax raised in anticipation of war in Europe and the Pacific
1942 82% — Post Pearl Harbor, onset of the Second World War
1946 86.4% — Postwar reduction
1948 82.1% — Further reduction
1950 84.4% — Korea
1951 91% — Korea
1964 77% — Rate resulting from JFK’s 1963 tax reduction proposal
1982 50% — Reagan “trickle down” begins
1985 33% — More trickle down
1988 28% — (before write-offs and loopholes, see below)*
1991 31% — Poppy Bush
1993 39.6% — Bill Clinton
2001 39.1% — GWBush
2008 — Economic crisis, severe recession, near depression
2012 39.6% – Bush tax cuts eliminated for incomes exceeding $450,000
* According to the Congressional Budget and Accounting Offices, those in the top bracket actually are now, thanks to write-offs and other “legitimate” loopholes, taxed at rates which can wind up ranging anywhere from 0% to 18%. At the same time, there’s never been so much private offshore investment income (as well as corporate income from offshore manufacturing) that remains totally UNTAXED as there is today. Additionally, there are tax loopholes currently in place that are solely designed to benefit giant multinational corporations. Exxon-Mobil, for example, at the time of its highest profit in history, paid ZERO in taxes and, in addition, received a government rebate of several million$ that same year (your tax dollars at work). Overall, America’s most prosperous, most productive modern era — the abbreviated era in which both the middle class AND the national economy grew the most — occurred in the post-WWII years and lasted until Reagan and conservative “trickle down” policies took over in the 1980’s.
Economic conclusions are tricky to assess simply via raw tax rate data examination, but a few things seem obvious nonetheless. For example, when top bracket rates are at their lowest, economic depression/severe recession can be interpreted to appear as potential consequences; and contrary to the popular political premise, economic development does NOT improve or increase just because tax rates are low. Conversely, it’s when top bracket rates are highest that the economy grows and middle class prosperity accelerates — even as those in the top brackets remain in the top brackets, undamaged. Also, “trickle down” of top bracket prosperity to middle and lower income classes is clearly a myth, the reality being more the inverse. In Robin Hoodian terms, trickle down seems to be a case where the rich are allowed to steal from the poor — and keep it.
Bernie Sanders effectively summarizes the solution to this nation’s current (and fruitless) thirty-five year era of greed-imposed economic woes in one sentence:
Indeed. And the most effective and efficient means of getting that done is by following the course Eisenhower used in the economically prosperous 1950’s: tax the wealthiest Americans at a 90% rate.and spread the wealth around. Elevate education and educational facilities nationwide. Make it possible for young people to get a college degree without incurring massive debt in the process. Put people to work; repair and maintain infrastructure; invest in renewable energy; invest in maintenance and preservation of public lands across the nation; remove corporate tax credits and tax loopholes; tax large financial estates; tax investment income at the same rate as other income; disallow offshoring tax avoidance schemes; if the choice is made to start a stupid war, pay for it with taxes, not by borrowing.
Things have gone terribly wrong in this country over the last thirty-five (at least) years, and the time has come to effectuate permanent repairs. Remember: “If you have seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top tenth of one percent, you’ve got to transfer that back.”
Amen to the concept. I happen to think that the best solution overall would be to tax the 1% at a 99% rate and the 99% at a 1% rate; fair’s fair, after all. But in the interim I’ll go with Bernie and a 90% top bracket rate — and hope for the best in future years.
I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I’m running for President. Here are a few of my positions on issues important to the American People today. Between now and November 2016, I will post additional policy and platform statements.
Today’s topic du jour: Health Care.
Let’s face it. Health Care in the United States of America is a mess. ObamaCare isn’t all it was cracked up to be. Yeah, yeah, it was the first “successful” overhaul of the health care system since, well, ever. But will it survive a Supreme Court Challenge? Heck, already, if a corporation doesn’t want to provide women’s reproductive health care coverage, based on the corporation’s deeply held religious beliefs, it’s female employees are left to pay for such health care out of their minimum wage paychecks. But, hey, they chose to work there, so they really have no room to complain. But I digress.
So, the Democrats had an opportunity to fix the health care system and they blew it.
And the Republicans have yet to put up a plan of their own.
One of the biggest gripes is that under any government-run plan, the government is going to come between the patient and doctor.
Well, I have a plan, and it is breathtakingly simple. Whoever pays for the health care gets to make the health care decisions. If you pay your doctor out of your own pocket, you get to make the decisions. If your insurance company pays, your insurance company decides. And if the government pays, the government decides, based, of course, on whoever holds a majority in the House and Senate at the time.
It’s the best of both worlds – capitalism and democracy. The free market decides what health care is worth, and those who can pay the price get the health care they choose. And it’s also democratic: those who cannot participate in the free market can still vote, and their elected representatives will then choose whatever health care is best for their constituents.
Of course, this still has one little problem. Tax dollars being spent on anything except for law enforcement and national defense. But I propose that governmental health care be meted out in proportion to the taxes one pays for health care. So, essentially, whether you pay out of your own pocket, or pay premiums for health insurance, or rely on government-paid health care, my health care plan is a true “pay as you go” plan.
Now the other part of the healthcare problem is skyrocketing costs. So what? It’s a free market, and health care providers should be free to charge whatever the market will bear. Anything less is, frankly, Un-American. We can do a lot to curb skyrocketing costs at the emergency room door. If you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it, pure and simple. If we stop forcing hospitals to treat people who can’t, or won’t, pay, they won’t have to pass those costs on to the rest of us.
In fact, I just had another great idea! We’ll let Scientologists actively seek out new members in emergency rooms! Win-Win again!
So, come 2016, vote Briseadh na Faire for President. I’m the only candidate for President who knows what’s best for America; the only candidate who acknowledges up front that I will break each and every one of my campaign promises, and, when I do, you won’t be disappointed!
[Briseadh na Faire – it’s hard to pronounce.]
I’m Briseadh na Faire, and I approve this message.
I was under the impression for a long time that the back-up food supply for the world was about 30 days. This writer claims that the statement is effective propaganda from the food industry (but he doesn’t state what it actually is). The theme of the article (link below) is that building local food supply can overcome the food industry’s constant chant that the world needs them or we’ll all starve.
Before WWII, the country ate virtually all organic food (because pesticides and chemical additives were basically formulated as part of the war effort.), yet the food industry today claims that organic is a niche market for the well off, but no solution to our current situation. However, we fed 132 million people in 1939 organic food. So, does the guy have an argument?
Courtesy of the good people at Right Wing Watch (A project of People For the American Way dedicated to monitoring and exposing the activities of the right-wing movement), we learned this weekend of several dicks for which Society, frankly, has no good use. These are people who, despite any position of prominence they may have previously held, hold viewpoints your normal person with an IQ in the three-digit range (such as you, Dear Readers) would call “dickish.” Let me elaborate a little.
Rick “Dick” Perry
The former Governor of Texas, best known for being an idiot of the highest magnitude despite the brainiac birth control glasses he’s taken to wearing lately, is claiming that President Obama lacks executive experience to properly deal with ISIS/ISIL/IS/Assholes. And Rick Perry does? These aren’t children fleeing oppressive regimes in Central America, Dick. These are well-armed maniacs willing to die for a myth not that far removed from the one you believe. You both claim to worship the same God, although by different names. You just show that love differently, especially in whom you choose to execute and how. Absent from your cogent analysis, besides analysis, is the fact that the problem of ISIS was created by people who think just like you. It takes a big Dick to complain that Obama doesn’t have a solution to a problem your predecessor and think-alike created. If President Bush/Cheney couldn’t prevent it from happening, what makes you think President Obama should be able to?
Richard “Dick” Land
You might remember this Dick from his days as head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s political arm, until he claimed the Obama Administration had no interest in Justice for Trayvon Martin but just wanted to “gin up the black vote.” They have since found themselves someone else to perform his duties, so it’s a wonder to people like me who can think critically why anyone would consider his viewpoint worth hearing. Uncritical Thinker Sandy Rios In The Morning wanted to know, so she invited Dick on her program. Dick is really afraid of Teh Gays.
Land blamed such trends on “a broad cultural assault on biblical values through the media, through entertainment [and] through MTV,” specifically calling out the “gay and lesbian, bisexual community” for its “sustained campaign” to “propagandize” Americans.
Evangelizing is also propagandizing, but that’s beside the point right now. If you’re going to bash the LGBT community because the Bible tells you so, then why are you not also calling out all adulterers and fornicators that the same Chapter of the Bible tells you to equally bash? Why is it only the LGBT folks you fear? And it is fear. Why them and not the others? You never mention businesses being allowed to not do business with adulterers, or young people having sex out of wedlock. These things don’t seem to instill the fear in you that gay people do. I have a personal theory about people like you, who worry so much about what gay people are allowed to do. Although there is ample anecdotal evidence that people such as yourself are secretly gay, my theory is different. I think that you’re worried not about being anally penetrated by a man, but that you won’t find the experience as unpleasant as you’d expect. And this would force you to rethink your worldview. And you’re afraid of what the results might be, so you don’t ever want that to be a possibility. And you think that can’t happen if gay people were just made to go away and never show themselves to you. Well, that ain’t gonna happen, Dick. And neither are you going to be anally penetrated by a man. Unless you want one to. We won’t stop you.
Rick “Dick” Wiles
People like this Dick scare me a little. It’s not just that they seem to earnestly believe the nonsense they spew about the End of the Word coming, but that they’re not the only ones, and they have followers who believe the same insane nonsense. That the Bible predicts how the world will end, and that we are approaching those End Times. What fascinates me about this silliness, is that there is a sharp disagreement over the Logistics of how this Rapture thing will unfold, to the point where Dick got his Program chopped off by the station owners who went with the Competing Theory.
On Wednesday, fanatical End Times radio host Rick Wiles kicked off his radio program with a long attack on what he claims is the false doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture, which is the idea that Christians will be taken up to Heaven before the world descends into war, famine, and chaos prior to the return of Christ.
Wiles was outraged that this view is widely held among conservative Christians today, but the real target of his wrath was the board of directors of Christian radio station KATB in Alaska, which voted to stop broadcasting Wiles’ radio show just three days after it began airing on the station because he preached against this doctrine.
But it is Wiles who will have the last laugh, he declared, when Russia invades Alaska as God’s judgment upon America for homosexuality.
“All I can say to the KATB board of directors is you guys will be the first people to see the Russian soldiers moving across the Bering Strait to invade the continental U.S.A. and bring judgment to this country for becoming a land of sodomites,” Wiles said. “Don’t worry. You will be raptured before World War III begins, right?”
A couple of things, Dick. As I told the other Dick, there are other things that have been going on since the country’s founding that violate the same Chapter of the Bible you cite as justification for your views, but God’s never done anything about that. Also, invading Alaska would be stupid, as Canada would immediately get involved to defend its borders, and the land invasion would do nothing but get troops killed. And Putin may be crazy but he’s not stupid. I also don’t think he cares enough about marriage equality to invade us to stop it. I’m pretty sure the United Nations isn’t going to let him get away with that. Nor would the people of Alaska. You think these people who openly talk about secession don’t believe they can take care of themselves? You’d be better off skipping Alaska, keeping a blockade above the Pacific Northwest, and invading the State of Washington, where they’re all happily stoned. Lastly, I honestly don’t know how Conservatives can claim to be followers of an obvious Liberal like the character Jesus Christ of Nazareth, as portrayed by the very white American actor, Jeffrey Hunter, who came back (as foretold in Revelations) to command the USS Enterprise.
Michael “Savage” Weiner
In case you didn’t know, professional misanthrope Michael Savage’s real last name is Weiner. I do not know, nor do I care, if he has legally changed his last name to Savage, but that is certainly his DBA name. Michael Savage. Sounds so masculine, so macho, so not-at-all compensation for being beaten up continuously in school for having the last name Weiner. I’m guessing it was immigrants who administered most of the beatings, as The Weiner has a serious grudge against them. He wants them deported, every single one. After expressing his love for Sen Joseph McCarthy, The Weiner said we should work out a deal with Russia to build Siberian internment camps where we could send all these deported people. Except it wouldn’t work, Weiner. Because Russia would just train them all, put them in uniform, and send them in to invade Alaska where, quite frankly, they wouldn’t care what happened to them, because they’d become the problem of the Independent Country of Alaska.
This is our daily open thread. Feel free to discuss Dicks or anything else you wish to discuss.
The U.S. flag was adopted on this date in 1777, and the day became an official “thing” in 1916, by order of President Woodrow Wilson.
I learned all about flag etiquette in Girl Scouts, but I don’t remember ever actually owning a flag. Not that I was opposed to it, but I just never bought one. It grates on me that the American flag is manufactured anywhere other than the United States. Too picky? My step-mother has the flag that was presented to the family at my dad’s memorial service, so I suppose it might come to me one day.
After September 11, 2001, with all the flag pins on politicians, ragged Made in China flags waving from sticks on car windows, and so-called “patriots” virtually dry-humping the Stars and Stripes — I acquired what I call “flag fatigue.” As it turns out, it’s a fairly chronic condition.
“Uber-patriots” have wrung out any real symbolism our flag held, while completely forgetting (if they ever knew) what the flag, patriotism, the Constitution, and being an American actually mean.
Anyway, Happy Flag Day, everyone. Lawdy, I’m such an old crank.
This is our daily open thread — S.N.A.F.U.
For Wayne’s 55th birthday, we’re having breakfast. Breakfast is a meal that I could eat any time of day, but today we’re actually having breakfast at normal people’s breakfast time. Wayne’s going to get it to go at Karen’s Diner, a local breakfast-and-lunch-only eatery that’s been in Pawling for as long as I can remember (and we’ve now lived in Pawling for 27+ years) They cook your meal fresh to order – nothing too frilly, just good old breakfast.
After that I think we’ll both need a nap. In the afternoon we’ll watch the Mets game, then the birthday cake will probably precipitate another nap. A nice, lazy Saturday for Wayne’s birthday.
~~~~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY! ~~~~
This is our daily Open Thread – have a fun day!
OK, time to liven up this party with some xylophone swing.
Relax, no Noah here, no forty days and forty nights of God’s wrath. This is about important stuff. Like geese. Little geese. Goslings. The first forty days and forty nights of their young lives.
Yesterday, June 11, was the fortieth day since a brood of three goslings first showed up in this really big world. We’ve tried to watch them with (weather permitting) regularity, always in the company of a long-lens digital camera, always hoping to snag evidence of existence, of growth. The results are admittedly sketchy, lacking in scientific detail. But still, the moments captured are, indeed, both cute and revealing, also definitive evidence of Mark Twain’s thesis that the “descent” of man (e.g. politicians, preachers, Limbaugh, etc.) from the higher animals (geese!) is far from a myth!
Anyway, below is a series of “Progressive” (gosling style) photos taken over that span of forty days. The only verbal descriptions attached (or needed) are the dates and days elapsed from one view to the next. Hopefully, the photos tell the more complete story.
Sadly, sometime between May 29 (day 27) and June 3 (day 32), one of the little critters disappeared and has not been seen since. I assume a predator of one sort or another (dog, fox, coyote, cougar, even human? — all are common in the lake’s vicinity) managed to score a quick supper, maybe breakfast. The two remaining, however, are likely to make the gosling-goose transition within the month. Genuine feathers are already starting to show, the wings are developing, etc. It’s likely their immediate future will be this, from June 23, 2014:
Ok, that’s it. Evidence that even in today’s world, progress in the form of ‘maturing’ and ‘growing up’ remains possible — at least it does “out there.” Humans should maybe pay attention, maybe try it sometime.
I ran across this little tidbit the other day; it’s clearly nothing but one more vivid example of right wing outrage and bias based on the possibility the Supreme Court might rule in favor of same sex marriage:
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) was a guest of Phyllis Schlafly on her ‘Eagle Forum Live’ radio show when a caller asked if Lee agreed ‘that the original Constitution didn’t give the Supreme Court the power to rule anything about marriage.” Lee responded, and said:
“They don’t have that power, the Constitution didn’t give it to them. There are a few who appear to take the position that something in the Constitution, something in the 14th Amendment in particular, gives them this power. I strongly, strongly disagree with that viewpoint. I don’t think it does, and I think they are mistaken in that conclusion. And I think it’s wrong, I think it’s disruptive of the constitutional order for them to take a debatable matter and take it beyond debate, to take a state matter and take it to the federal government, not just to Congress, but to the Supreme Court, to a group of nine lawyers dressed in black robes who are not elected, but who are appointed for life. And I think that’s a big problem.”
Lee spoke further about his belief/fear that a Supreme Court decision in favor of marriage equality would cause churches and religious organizations to shut down because the government would then be in a position to ‘retaliate’ “. . . against religious individuals or institutions. I fear that what could happen is that the government could start discriminating against religious individuals and religious institutions that have a religious belief about the definition of marriage. I don’t want that to happen. I hesitate to imagine what an America that would have that as part of its legal system would look like.”
Needless to say, Lee’s premises sounded more than just a little bizarre, so I did a quick perusal of the Constitution’s main body where the Supreme Court is essentially defined, including its judicial responsibilities and, presumably, its limits. Here are the direct quotes from Article III, Section 1 and Section 2, clause 1 which describe in some detail the Supreme Court’s Judicial Powers:
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court (. . .)
The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;–to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;–to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;–to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;–to Controversies between two or more States;–between a State and Citizens of another State;–between Citizens of different States,–between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.
It seems to me that those two statements pretty much define the court’s powers and responsibilities, and all without so much as a single reference restricting the Court’s “right” to, in effect, define or redefine marriage. In fact, a word search of the entire Constitution as amended does not contain, anywhere, the word “marriage.” Could it be that Senator Mike Lee and the Eagle Forum’s Phyllis Schlafly don’t know what they’re talking about? That their understanding of the Constitution is, shall we say, somewhat limited?
Note that Lee also effectively dismisses the fourteenth amendment by saying that only “a few” accept it’s premise which, in summary, reads “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States . . . nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” What, pray tell, is so confusing about the notion that to allow others to engage in practices not acceptable to a given religious clique does NOT — cannot — infringe on ‘religion freedom’? Wherefrom comes the concept that ‘religious freedom’ automatically implies the right of given religions to practice discrimination and express hatred for those who do not fit a particular mold? Certainly not from the Constitution as amended.
Eleven years ago, in May 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legally sanction Gay Marriage. In the aftermath of that decision, the volume of the fear-obsessed and bigoted voices increased dramatically, shouting much the same messages we hear today. The world was, in their collective mentality, surely coming to an end.
Following is my response to those voices, written in late May 2004 and posted on an internet discussion group website on which a handful of voices were preaching Armageddon and national destruction, all thanks to that one little breath of fresh air from Massachusetts. Suffice to say my views were severely chastised by some, praised by others. The transcript reads as follows:
Near as I can fathom, “marriage” is more a semantics issue than anything else — save for those who find gay unions as some sort of heavenly abomination. My advice to the latter group is simple: if it bothers you, then don’t partake. There are those who find some or all religious dogma to be smothering, an “abomination”, if you will, and choose to not partake. But very few such non-partakers ever demand that those who do chose to practice religious dogma be ruled legal outcasts, nor should they.
The issue, really, is in the legal, not religious, sanctioning of a union, in the sense that to withhold equality before the law for a legally bound (by mutual consent, of course) couple based on gender, or skin color, or eye color/shape, or first language, or religious belief/practice is just plain wrong. Absolute equality of legal right should be the rule, period. I suppose some might find it more palatable to reserve the word “marriage” for either religious or civil *hetero* union, although I have to wonder — what’s in a word?
The essence of equality before the law IS equality and all that equality entails. I suppose that if a particular church or religious group prefers to believe that marriage is, in their eyes, a hetero union, that’s fine. Let all believe as they wish, but please allow others that same privilege. And, of course, the same applies to the ‘other’ side(s) as well, always. There must be behavioral standards in virtually any society no matter how simple or complex it is or becomes, but I’ve yet to sense that there is, in this world, a dangerously heightened level of human love and devotion to either others or another; tyrants may see things differently I suppose, but they ARE wrong.
I hardly think the human race’s success or failure depends upon the denial, to some, of what are, to others, guaranteed legal rights and privilege. I seriously doubt the species’ numbers will decline because of homosexual union (although if that would happen it’s a pretty good argument in favor of gay union! Six billions of ‘us’ should be enough to maintain an adequate gene pool to ensure a diverse future).
I couldn’t help but notice, on newscasts which detailed Massachusetts’ first day of officially sanctioned gay marriage, the joy on the faces and in the voices of a pair of older women who had been together for 33 years and finally were allowed to officially confirm their union. There is no sane or solid argument that I’ve heard or can imagine which stands tall enough to disallow their moment, their happiness. The day a society officially proclaims there is something awry in a loving relationship between consenting adults is a dark day for ALL concerned.
I am patently against Bush’s proposed amendment to the US Constitution which would disallow gay marriage. IMO, his proposal is nothing but a political appeal to a major segment of his voter base, and that’s a fleeting reason, at best, to permanently and officially codify a level of discrimination which effects far more people than are parcel to a particular voting/support base. Thomas Jefferson once said, “If my neighbor believes in twenty gods or no gods, it does not pick my pocket or break my leg and therefore it’s no harm to me.” I submit that his idea can easily be rearranged to accommodate any number of behavioral concepts and still reach the same enlightened conclusion. “If my neighbors believe in or practice homosexual marriage, it does not pick my pocket or break my leg and therefore it’s no harm to me.” And that’s simply the practicality of the matter, does not insist anyone celebrate, only that ‘we’ tolerate.
Tolerance. Love. There’s not enough of either and far too much of their opposites. Enough of that.
For what it’s worth, my views remain the same today and will continue to remain so, regardless of the upcoming SCOTUS decision, regardless of the screams of agony from the religiously bigoted — such as Franklin Graham who, for example, recently said:
“I believe we are in the midnight hour as far as God’s clock is concerned or we may be in the last minutes, but of those last minutes it may be another hundred years, I don’t know, but when you see how quickly our country is deteriorating, how quickly the world is deteriorating morally, especially under this administration, we have seen that it has just taken a nosedive off of the moral diving board into the cesspool of humanity.”
Notice how Graham and the bulk of his religion-motivated ilk blame all of their irrational ills and fears on someone else — anyone else, “this administration” (read: Obama) in particular — but never on themselves and/or their fellow religious bigots? To which I say, Enough of that.
P.S.: Speaking of Wingnut Dementia and Constitutional ignorance: President Santorum Won’t Enforce Gay Marriage Ruling Since It’s A ‘Violation Of The First Amendment’
“This is tantamount to government establishing religion.”