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Howie Hawkins standing with supporters
Green Party Candidate for Governor in NY, Howie Hawkins, with supporters

Lame duck Gov. Paterson of my good ole state of New York has made the headlines by laying off 900 state employees during the worst recession since the Great Depression. Paterson, like the political elites in most states, are using imaginary state budget "crises" to justify this attack on the middle class.

The rich in New York, like other states, don't pay anywhere near their fair share in taxes. Raising tax rates on the wealthy to equitable levels would turn deficits to surpluses in every state that has budget shortfalls. New York, also, is neglecting to do its job to fairly tax Wall St. There is this weird gimmick called the "stock transfer tax rebate" which allows the banksters and the brokesters to rip off the rest of us who live here. Repealing that gimmick alone would create a budget surplus.

Unlike the "Democratic" candidate Andrew Cuomo, the Green Party candidate, Howie Hawkins opposes the layoffs. The Green Party of New York State gives us information about Hawkins' views on the subject which are largely censored by corporate media outlets. (bolding mine)

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that when elected he would rescind any layoffs of state workers instituted by Governor Paterson as a threat to the health and safety of state residents..

Paterson agreed last year to a no-layoffs pledge as part of deal for a new, less generous pension tier for state workers. Attorney General Cuomo, running for Governor, said that he would defend Paterson’s effort to break the agreement.

The state’s fiscal crisis is the result of the handouts to the rich from state lawmakers, including massive tax cuts to the wealthy and the rebate of $16 billion from the stock transfer tax. State workers are not the cause of the state’s fiscal crisis and should not be scapegoated like this. It is bizarre that Governor Paterson seems intent on making layoffs the prime legacy of his flawed administration. It is also bad that Cuomo as Attorney General has put politics ahead of the law in holding that this layoffs aren’t in violation of the memo of understanding agreed to earlier this year not to lay off any state workers in 2010,” Hawkins stated.

If you are unemployed, corporate media are trying to get you to resent government employees who still have jobs. However, laying off government employees hurts people who already are unemployed from the private, instead of helping them. It just puts even more people in the competition for scarce jobs. It's typical of the divide and conquer tactics the wealthy elites use against the rest of us on a variety of issues.

One reason why the Democrats from New York have sold us out so badly is that the Green Party doesn't have ballot access. That means that many Democrats will have no opponents on the left in most campaigns. In the cases where Green Party candidates do jump through the hoops to get on the ballot, the signature gathering process takes most of the time that otherwise would be used to actually campaign. Greens will get ballot access for the next two elections if they get 50,000 votes in this year's governor's race.

Cuomo is guaranteed a victory this time out, due to the self destructive campaign run by his execrable GOP opponent. There is nothing to lose by voting Green in the Governor's race. In fact, voting Green is essential if you want to pressure Cuomo and other New York Democrats to stop acting like Republicans for the next four years.

Please vote for Howie Hawkins for Governor!

 

Meg Whitman is the former CEO of the incredibly evil EBay corporation. She mistreated her maid. She is spending tens of millions of dollars from her personal fortune to try to buy the California Governor's race. But, there is one good thing. Meg Whitman is inspiring some delightful comedy. Enjoy.







Whitman's campaign is an example of why we need to reverse the tax cuts for the rich that have been happening over the years. If she had to pay her fair share in taxes, there wouldn't be enough money left to fun her egomaniacal campaign.

 

Jon Stewart has really turned to the hard right since the inauguration. It's starting to look like he has followed the example of Dennis Miller in terms of grabbing the big bucks by selling himself to rightist corporate bosses and owners. However, Stewart is doing it in a sneakier way, pretending to be reasonable and moderate. I refused to have anything to do with his rally for bigotry and corporate power, and now I realize that decision was even better than I thought it would have been.

When I read a transcript of his speech, this paragraph was particularly disturbing.

There are terrorists, and racists, and Stalinists, and theocrats, but those are titles that must be earned! You must have the resume! Not being able to distinguish between real racists and Tea Party-ers, or real bigots and Juan Williams or Rick Sanchez is an insult--not only to those people, but to the racists themselves, who have put in the exhausting effort it takes to hate. Just as the inability to distinguish terrorists from Muslims makes us less safe, not more.

This is truly disturbing. Of course, Juan Williams comments about Muslims were bigoted. That was the idea. He is spewing the same bigotry against Arabs and Muslims that Faux News overflows with and the other corporate "news outlets" work tirelessly to legitimize. It is the same bigotry that got us into a genocidal war of aggression in Iraq that has killed over 1.4 million people. It is the same bigotry that keeps us in Iraq and Afghanistan today. It is highly profitable bigotry for the corporate masters of cable TV, and Juan Williams was awarded handsomely for it by Rupert Murdoch.

Iraq Deaths Estimator

Then, there is the matter of the teabaggers. Let's look at the following facts:

1) The teabaggers are venomously racist.

2) Their opposition to Obama cannot be policy based since Obama supports the same policies they do at least 95% of the time.

3) The teabaggers share the same values, prejudices, and agendas as the Ku Klux Klan.

4) The only difference between the teabaggers and the Klan is that the teabaggers don't wear the white suits and dunce caps....at least not in public.

protester with sign that says Racism is not an American valueStewart knows that none of the criticisms of the teabaggers for being racist are unfair, unreasonable, or "insane." If he were to actually read this blog posting (obviously he doesn't even know that this small blog exists), and if he were honest, he would have to acknowledge all of this. Instead, he chooses to mock and condemn public discussion of any of this.

What about his defense of Rick Sanchez's bigotry? That's called taking one for the team.

What Stewart is doing is hardly original or even new. The corporate media have been marketing racism for years. They constantly portray racism as perfectly reasonable as long as code phrases are used for it, and they censor, ridicule, or demonize anyone who speaks out against it.

This might be familiar to you. Stewart used the technique of ridicule and demonization to shut down Keith Olberman for committing a high crime in corporate media: speaking out against the venomous and uncompromising misogyny and heterosexism of Scott Brown. Stewart wasn't just doing the bidding of his corporate overlords by campaining for the GOP candidate on air. Stewart was trying to make it taboo to speak out against bigotry and oppression against women and queers. Now, Stewart, in a moment of "sincerity," is trying to make fighting blatant racism equally taboo.

Stewart's message to people who are targets of bigotry is the same as that of someone who commits domestic violence to their victim: shut up and take it.

Racism and misogyny have been organizing tools of wealthy interests in this country for centuries. Heterosexism as an organizing tool is relatively recent, but it has proven quite effective. Giving people false senses of superiority and threatening to take those delusions away has been a hugely successful diversionary tactic. The rich are not going to give that up without a fight.

The other disturbing aspect of Stewart's speech involves the vague allusions to "getting things done." Notice how he doesn't mention what those "things" are. Keep in mind that this rally was planned after President Obama set up his Cat Food Commission to slash Social Security and other domestic programs that benefit the middle class and the poor. It also was planned after it had become obvious that the GOP would make big gains in the midterm elections.

When you think about it, doesn't the whole "getting things done" message make you a bit nervous? It certainly doesn't make the CEOs of the cable networks and their advertisers nervous.

During his long winded speech, Stewart expressed pieties about the 24/7 cable media news frenzy that he plays a role in. Stewart plays the role of "good cop" to the "bad cops" like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly. Now, I have another reason to be delighted that I got rid of my cable TV. It's such crap.

Photo: Bebopsmile

 

Green Party logo on a cake

Photo: Joe Futrelle

This isn't a fun election. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and the vast majority of other DC Democrats have horribly betrayed queers, non Christians, liberals, union members, the poor, peace activists, and everyone who doesn't have an income of at least $500,000 a year. The teabagging Republicans are much worse in terms of rhetoric, but the Democrats are almost as bad in terms of actual policy.

It's enough to make anyone feel like staying home.

If voting Democratic seems too futile, too cowardly, too much like rewarding the people who have their boots on your throat, then there is an alternative. Vote Green!

I'm not going to lie and say that the Greens are going to win this year. However, there are definite advantages to voting Green over staying at home. Democratic politicians figure their base won't vote in off year elections, so they might as well not do anything to offend wealthy donors. They haven't figured out yet that pandering to wealthy interests is one of the main reasons why the Democratic base gets so understandably demoralized.

If you stay home and don't vote, this will reinforce the stupid and self defeating mindset of the Democratic political establishment. On the other hand, if you vote Green, you will show that there are voters on the left who are fed up and are willing to make it clear how fed up they are. By voting Green, you help to create a constituency of voters on the left that the Democrats will need to appeal to.

Voting Green offers other long term benefits. Building an alternative to the Demopublicans and the Republicrats is the best hope of getting the voting public out of the Catch 22 that elections have become these days.

 

This is so typical of the spoiled rich. They think they should be able to buy elections and should be above being questions on the issues.



If the McMahons paid their fair share in taxes, Linda McMahon wouldn't have the bucks to try to buy a Governor's office.

 

Feminist Majority Asking Coloradans to Vote No on 62

Posted by libhom Friday, October 29, 2010 0 comments

picture of a coat hanger with a no symbol over itI got this message in an email from the Feminist Majority. It's been a crazy election year, but we have to make sure not to lose track of some very important ballot measures.

Anti-abortion extremists are at it again.

They are trying to add a "fetal personhood" amendment to the state constitution in Colorado, Amendment 62, and sinking to new lows in their rhetoric - their latest ad is a disgusting parade of vicious lies. Amendment 62 would give more rights to a fertilized egg than a woman, and effectively ban birth control and abortion in Colorado.

Two years ago, anti-abortion extremists failed in their attempt to pass a similarly Draconian amendment, and we are counting on you to help us get out the vote and defeat this terrible measure once again. Tell everyone you know in Colorado to vote NO ON 62.

Personhood USA and its anti-choice allies will stop at nothing in their campaign to restrict women's rights. Make sure you check out that atrocious ad, which refers to President Obama as the "angel of death" and completely rewrites American history. Their extremist rhetoric and disgusting lies will not fool the people of Colorado.

Tell your Colorado friends to vote NO ON 62.


While you're at it, take a look at the Christian Taliban's crazy ad in favor of this woman hating madness.



If you think that the Christian Right is completely anti American in its world view, you would be absolutely correct. They certainly are smaller than they were a few years ago, but they are just as obsessed as ever.

Photo: Leo Reynolds

 

Howie Hawkins standing with supporters
Green Party Candidate for Governor in NY, Howie Hawkins, with supporters

I've never thought much of Andrew Cuomo. He's basically an empty suit who has been handed things he hasn't earned because of who his father is. Cuomo has been an execrable Attorney General, deliberately overlooking the overwhelming majority of Wall St. criminality he is legally obligated to prosecute.

Paladino certainly is even worse than Cuomo, but Paladino has completely obliterated his own campaign. There certainly is no need to vote for the Democrat out of fear of that doomed GOP candidate.

Fortunately, we do have a Green Party alternative, Howie Hawkins. He is doing a great job of standing up to Cuomo's anti union stance. From a 10/25/10 Hawkins campaign press release:

"When Cuomo was nominated last May he promised to 'tangle' with public employee unions. Now he promises a 'presidential-style permanent political campaign' against all labor unions. My pledge is to fight back and campaign with working New Yorkers for full employment, living wages, progressive taxes, and more workers organized into unions," said Howie Hawkins, a Teamster freight handler at UPS and the only union member running for statewide office.

"Since the mid-1970s, workers' wages are stagnant, productivity is up 80 percent, and almost all resulting growth in income has gone to the richest 1 percent. Working class taxes are up. The taxes on Wall Street and big business are down. Today's state fiscal crisis is caused by under taxing the rich, not over paying wages and benefits to workers or for government services for the general public. It is time to stop scapegoating workers and forcing them to cover the losses of bad investments by the economic elites. It was bad policy for resolving the 1975 New York City fiscal crisis that Cuomo uses as his model. It is just as bad today," Hawkins added.

Hawkins statement is in response to NY Times article
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/nyregion/25cuomo.html?pagewanted=1&%2359;ref=nyregion&&%2359;_r=1

Andrew M. Cuomo will mount a presidential-style permanent political campaign to counter the well-financed labor unions he believes have bullied previous governors and lawmakers into making bad decisions. He will seek to transform the state's weak business lobby into a more formidable ally, believing that corporate leaders in New York have virtually surrendered the field to big labor.

The sad reality is that Andrew Cuomo is bought and paid for by wealthy and corporate interests like most other alleged "Democrats" running for office. If you compared the platforms of Cuomo and Hawkins, Democratic voters would agree with Hawkins far more often. That's what makes the Democratic Party such a decaying and out of touch institution.

 

A Reminder About Global Warming

Posted by libhom Thursday, October 28, 2010 0 comments

Dusty at It's My Right to Be Left of Center has a widget on her sidebar from CO2Now.org reminding readers about the rising levels of CO2 in our atmosphere. I picked one that I thought was especially appropriate for this blog posting from that site.


Atmospheric CO2 data


If you like this one, here's sample code you can use to add it to a blog posting on your site.


Despite all the other things on our minds and despite all the bullshit corporate propaganda meant to baffle us, we have to keep the following in mind.

Global Warming is real.

Global Warming is caused by humans.

If we don't do more about Global Warming, the results will be catastrophic.


We need to keep fighting for clean energy, for public transportation, and for conservation. Corporations are designed to only be concerned with short term profits. People live with the long term consequences.

 

people fighting over money bags

The US Chamber of Commerce has gotten a lot of well deserved criticism for its spending of millions of dollars to try to buy elections for Republican candidates. Much of that criticism has focused on the fact that the Chamber gets a lot of money from foreign corporations. Their refusal to disclose where the money for their ad blitzes really come from have aroused perfectly reasonable suspicions that they are being secretive because they are using foreign money.

However, this line of criticism misses out a crucial point. Many "US Corporations" are under foreign control. From Source Watch:

According to the website Economy in Crisis, "Foreign ownership refers to ownership of assets of a particular industry by foreign controlled domestic U.S. Corporations (FDC) 50% or more owned by a foreign entity."
By that definition, the percentage of foreign ownership as of 2002 by industrial sector was as follows:
Sound recording industries - 97%
Commodity contracts dealing and brokerage - 79%
Motion picture and sound recording industries - 75%
Metal ore mining - 65%
Motion picture and video industries - 64%
Wineries and distilleries - 64%
Database, directory, and other publishers - 63%
Book publishers - 63%
Cement, concrete, lime, and gypsum product - 62%
Engine, turbine and power transmission equipment - 57%
Rubber product - 53%
Nonmetallic mineral product manufacturing - 53%
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing - 52%
Plastics product - 51%
Other insurance related activities - 51%
Boiler, tank, and shipping container - 50%
Glass and glass product - 48%
Coal mining - 48%
Sugar and confectionery product - 48%
Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying - 47%
Advertising and related services - 41%
Pharmaceutical and medicine - 40%
Clay, refractory, and other nonmetallic mineral products - 40%
Securities brokerage - 38%
Other general purpose machinery - 37%
Audio and video equipment mfg and reproducing magnetic and optical media -
36%
Support activities for mining - 36%
Soap, cleaning compound, and toilet preparation - 32%
Chemical manufacturing - 30%
Industrial machinery - 30%
Securities, commodity contracts, and other financial investments and
related activities - 30%
Other food - 29%
Motor vehicles and parts - 29%
Machinery manufacturing - 28%
Other electrical equipment and component - 28%
Securities and commodity exchanges and other financial investment
activities - 27%
Architectural, engineering, and related services - 26%
Credit card issuing and other consumer credit - 26%
Petroleum refineries (including integrated) - 25%
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments - 25%
Petroleum and coal products manufacturing - 25%
Transportation equipment manufacturing - 25%
Commercial and service industry machinery - 25%
Basic chemical - 24%
Investment banking and securities dealing - 24%
Semiconductor and other electronic component - 23%
Paint, coating, and adhesive - 22%
Printing and related support activities - 21%
Chemical product and preparation - 20%
Iron, steel mills, and steel products - 20%
Agriculture, construction, and mining machinery - 20%
Publishing industries - 20%
Medical equipment and supplies - 20%

This is just the beginning. These numbers leave out the corporations who have major foreign shareholders, but who have a majority of US ownership, at least for now. Those corporations are under heavy foreign influence as you might expect.

We are used to thinking of foreign owners of US assets as private individuals and corporations. However, a lot of shares of US stocks are owned by foreign governments through their Sovereign Wealth Funds. According to a 2009 publication by Joel Slawotsky in the Georgetown Journal of International Law:
Sovereign wealth funds ("SWFs") are the new masters of the global financial order. Owned by foreign governments (1) and armed with an estimated U.S. $3 trillion in assets, (2) SWF financial power already dwarfs that of hedge funds. (3) SWFs are generally funded by foreign exchange assets and invested internationally. While SWFs have existed for decades, SWFs from oil exporting nations and Asian exporters have accumulated a staggering amount of assets due to high oil prices, globalization, and large global imbalances. (4) Accordingly, the number of SWFs and their available funds are rising rapidly, and their significance in global capital markets is becoming more prominent. (5) Expected growth in the near term is remarkable:

SWFs are major shareholders in member corporations of the US Chamber of Commerce, along with a lot of other foreign shareholders. It has gotten to the point to where one should question whether or not it is honest to refer to it as the "US Chamber of Commerce" anymore. Wikipedia has a list of countries with SWFs, many of which are countries unfriendly to the US such as China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Libya.

The infamous Citizens United ruling claimed that it limited political meddling by corporations to US Corporations, but "US Corporations" is a term that has lost most of its meaning. In this context, it is physically impossible to have corporations or their trade associations involved in political campaigns without causing enormous foreign influence over our elections.


Illustration: HikingArtist.com

 

In case you are new to this weird aspect of our legal system, here's a very brief introduction to what corporate personhood is from ReclaimDemocracy.org. (Skip to what Green Party is doing.)

Our Bill of Rights was the result of tremendous efforts to institutionalize and protect the rights of human beings. It strengthened the premise of our Constitution: that the people are the root of all power and authority for government. This vision has made our Constitution and government a model emulated in many nations.

But corporate lawyers (acting as both attorneys and judges) subverted our Bill of Rights in the late 1800's by establishing the doctrine of "corporate personhood" -- the claim that corporations were intended to fully enjoy the legal status and protections created for human beings.

We believe that corporations are not persons and possess only the privileges we willfully grant them. Granting corporations the status of legal "persons" effectively rewrites the Constitution to serve corporate interests as though they were human interests. Ultimately, the doctrine of granting constitutional rights to corporations gives a thing illegitimate privilege and power that undermines our freedom and authority as citizens. While corporations are setting the agenda on issues in our Congress and courts, We the People are not; for we can never speak as loudly with our own voices as corporations can with the unlimited amplification of money.

If "corporate personhood" sounds crazy to you, you are absolutely correct. Making corporations into the legal equivalents of people has no factual or constitutional basis and is completely unreasonable.

There are two other points I would like to add:

1) The Supreme Court ruling in the latter part of the 19th Century that enshrined corporate personhood was part of a broader pattern of corruption at that time, which included Plessy v. Ferguson and a ruling that said that anti trust legislation didn't apply to corporations, but instead to unions.

2) Corporations allow investors and speculators to avoid one of the biggest responsibilities of personhood, full civil liability for the actions of the enterprise, yet the Supreme Court granted those very corporations all the rights of people.

The Democrats have complained about Citizens United, a case where the fraudulent doctrine of "corporate personhood" has given the Republicans and foreign business interests a huge advantage in our political system. Those complaints have been reasonable as far as they go, but very few Democrats have called for an end to the sham of "corporate personhood." The Greens have done just that. (From Green Change 10/18/10)
110 Green Party candidates nationwide are calling for a “Green New Deal” to end the legal doctrine of corporate personhood, which grants corporations constitutional rights that had previously been reserved for people.

In addition, in August the U.S. Green Party endorsed “stripping [corporations] of artificial ‘personhood’ and constitutional protections,” along with “revoking the charters of corporations that routinely violate safety, health, environmental protection or other laws.”

In contrast, neither the Democratic nor the Republican parties support ending corporate personhood, or revoking the corporate charters of lawless corporations.

“Democrats and Republicans together have installed the judges who have brought corporate rule to America,” said Gary Ruskin, co-founder of Green Change, a national political organization. “If you want to fix the economy, clean up corruption in Washington, and save the environment, then vote Green to abolish corporate personhood.”

The Green New Deal has some other excellent ideas in it too. Here are the ten planks of it.
· Cut military spending at least 70%
· Create millions of green union jobs through massive public investment in renewable energy, mass transit and conservation
· Set ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax to meet them
· Establish single-payer "Medicare for all" health care
· Provide tuition-free public higher education
· Change trade agreements to improve labor, environmental, consumer, health and safety standards
· End counterproductive prohibition policies and legalize marijuana
· Enact tough limits on credit interest and lending rates, progressive tax reform and strict financial regulation
· Amend the U.S. Constitution to abolish corporate personhood
· Pass sweeping electoral, campaign finance and anti-corruption reforms

I don't think that a constitutional amendment would even be necessary to get rid of "corporate personhood." All that would be needed would be a court challenge of it in front of a Supreme Court where the majority of the Justices were honest.

 

The RCC's Priest Shortage Making a Difference

Posted by libhom Tuesday, October 26, 2010 2 comments

statue of evil priest praying
Photo: mendhak

One day, will peoples' memories of the Roman Catholic priesthood be limited to sinister statues in museums?

There is a lot that is awful about the Roman Catholic Church's discrimination against women, mandate for celibacy (with the exception of having sex with children), harassment of gay priests, and the numerous child molestation scandals. But, there is one good impact of all of this: the growing shortages of priests. Here are some examples of the positive impact this trend already is having.

Anointing of the sick another loss in U.S. priest shortage (USA Today 1/28/10)

Fiftieth parish closes in Diocese of Cleveland’s consolidation program (Catholic News Agency 7/1/10)

Priest shortage leads to closing of Okla. church (Times Record News 3/9/10)

Church lacks enough pastors (The Post and Courier 4/18/10)

As priest numbers fall, even Catholic Spain is not immune to a crisis of faith (Guardian 12/13/09)

The situation has gotten so comical that the RCC is even outsourcing some of the priesthood to guys from India. The day may arrive when the Roman Catholic priesthood is limited to a few creeps watching child porn in the Vatican.

 

Pro ENDA Video From Get Equal + Bonus Pro ENDA Video

Posted by libhom Monday, October 25, 2010 0 comments

Get Equal deserves a lot of credit in its dogged efforts to promote ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act. Passage of employment non discrimination legislation at the federal level is long overdue, to put it mildly.



You can post this fun, pro ENDA video to your blog too. This will make it even easier.


We need to keep pushing for ENDA until it passes, no matter who is in Congress or the White House.

Here is another pro ENDA video from an individual YouTube member.



 

Remember Amendment 2 from Colorado? That wasn't the last hate Amendment in that state. There is an Amendment 62, which uses the fraudulent premise that human life begins at conception to not only try to ban abortion in the cases of rape and incest, but to ban most forms of birth control, and to ban embryonic stem cell research. You can learn more about this misogynist, hate Amendment from the No 62 campaign.

The Young Turks did a great video on this subject.



The opposition to birth control and stem cell research proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the anti choice movement doesn't give a rats ass about "human life." Of course, their opposition to life saving condom distribution and real HIV education proved that point long ago. These people are rabidly anti sex, except for all the sex they are having.

Militant, Christian fundamentalists like to pretend that they are so much more moral than the rest of us. Yet, when they aren't busy stealing money from their congregations, molesting children, or breaking all of their own sexual taboos, they are so fond of act that is supposed to be immoral in every value system I've ever heard of: lying.

 

Jon Stewart is being heavily marketed by the rightist corporate media as a "liberal" or a "moderate," but I stopped watching him over the past two years when it became clear that he was putting a more reasonable sounding patina on the same agenda as extremists like Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Fred Phelps, and Rush Limbaugh. The last straw was when he did a couple of rantings filled with misogynistic, heterosexist, and pro rape jokes defending the notoriously bigoted rightist, Scott Brown.

However, Stewart keeps getting more smarmy, bigoted, and rightist in his goals. His alleged "Rally to Restore Sanity," is an extreme example of his efforts to market right fringe ideology to moderates and liberals. Much has been made of Stewart's efforts to fictionalize false equivalencies between perfectly reasonable behavior of progressives and liberals and the dishonest, bigoted, and fanatical rantings of the far right. One example of this is when Stewart tries to pretend that CODEPINK is insane and even plausibly comparable to the teabaggers.

This obviously reflects Stewart's pro war agenda and his previously demonstrated hatred of women. CODEPINK is a perfectly sensible organization whose behavior is entirely consistent with reason and actual facts, though it strongly contradicts the desires of Jon Stewart's bosses in corporate America.

However, his claim that stating the fact that Bush is a war criminal is somehow insane goes even further, stretching into Rush Limbaugh or Carl Paladino territory. Let's look at what Bush's regime did with the Iraq War.

1) The Iraq War was a war of aggression, which is a war crime under international law.

2) The Bush regime's policy of routine torture of prisoners is a war crime under international law.

3) The Iraq War was an act of racist and anti Islamic genocide which killed over 1.3 million people, a horrific war crime.

Keep in mind that these international laws that Bush broke were written by the US to prosecute Nazi war criminals after the defeat of the Axis Powers in World War II. This wasn't something foreign or alien imposed on the United States.

You might try to use ignorance as a defense for Stewart. For the war of aggression, that might work. Most Americans don't know that wars of aggressions are war crimes, and Stewart isn't exactly the most well informed person on TV, much less in the real world. The second war crime of mass torture is more difficult to defend. Stewart may be a dumb comic, but is he really that stupid and ignorant? However, Stewart cannot be defended on the grounds that he doesn't know that genocide is a war crime.

Ever Jewish person learns at some point in life that genocide is a war crime. Everyone else should too.

Why does Stewart think that stating the fact that Bush is a war criminal is "insane"? It has to do with Stewart's own racial and religious prejudices. Like so many on the far right, Stewart doesn't see Muslims as humans, nor does he see any person who isn't white as human. Keep in mind that he is loudly proclaiming this himself when he says that it is "insane" to acknowledge the fact that Bush is a war criminal.

Stewart's decision to go rabidly bigoted and pro war didn't occur in the absence of the context of corporate power. All the cable news networks, the old school news shows, and entertainment networks like Stewarts' Comedy Central have gone on a spasm of rightist hatred and bigotry every since Barack Obama has been inaugurated. Part of it is due to network executives and advertisers reasserting their extreme right agendas over what the own or pay for.

However, Stewart's scapegoating of oppressed groups and cynical efforts to attack and divide the left also reflect a strategy of corporate America and its propagandists to deflect attention from how the banksters, the brokesters, the speculators, and the CEOs are ripping the rest of us off while we all suffer. At the same time that the scapegoating goes on, the corporate propaganda networks heavily censor liberal or progressive alternatives to the crap we are getting from politicians and pundits.

Jon Stewart is gleefully leading efforts to equate thoughtful and factual analysis with the far right's incendiary lies. This is an intimidation tactic against liberals and progressives, and I'm not falling for it.

 

Hiaalry Clinton with a crazy look on her faceHillary Clinton never met an oil corporation she wouldn't pander to, so this isn't terribly surprising. (From a Sierra Club email blast promoting an Action Alert.)

Just a few days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she is inclined to approve the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline.

"We're either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada."

We disagree.

We don't have to import dirty oil from the dirtiest energy project on earth, the Canadian Tar Sands and we certainly don’t have to send billions overseas to oil-rich countries, while we sacrifice clean energy job creation here at home.

We need to push back and fast before the State Department makes its final decision on this dirty oil pipeline.

In a previous posting, I outlined some of the alternatives to depending on more petroleum. We simply don't need this especially filthy tar sands oil.

Besides, encouraging more oil production is the exact opposite of sound public policy that would try to prevent and reverse Global Warming. This is a pipeline to droughts, floods, and species extinction.

Even before Citizens United, it was difficult to get politicians to set aside the special interests of Big Oil. That corrupt Supreme Court ruling has made things even worse. That makes taking action even more important.

Please Take Action Now!

Photo: World Economic Forum

 

Dan Choi does a great job expressing the outrage queers are experiencing in the face of Barack Obama's viciously homophobic decision to unnecessarily appeal a court ruling that the military ban is unconstitutional.



Ms. Jarrett obviously thinks that every queer in the country has no basic knowledge of the legal system. She tried to justify the decision to try to keep the military ban in place through this appeal by saying that the administration is "obligated to defend" the policy in court. They defended the case in lower court and lost. Now, there is one basic fact that she is conveniently hoping we don't know.

In court cases, litigants who lose are under no obligation to appeal. Appeals are entirely optional.

I don't know if Valerie Jarrett is a lawyer or not, but I do know that President Obama is a lawyer. He knows he doesn't have to appeal the ruling. This was a conscious, deliberate homophobic act by the President.

It's not just the games that Obama and the Democrats in DC have been playing with the military ban. Those bigots haven't even lifted a finger to pass ENDA, by far the most important queer issue. Even though the Democrats control both houses of congress, neither has even voted on ENDA. The Obama administration has ignored it because they want corporations to be able to fire people for being queer.

The Obama Administration is just like the Clinton Administration. They say nice things to us occasionally while they stab us in the back and insult our intelligence. I don't blame Choi at all for deciding not to vote for Obama in 2012 after this. I'm voting all Green this year. If the Democrats insist on acting just like the Republicans and treating us like second class citizens, then the queer community has no reason to vote for them or give them a dime.

Like the folks at GetEQUAL say, the GayTM is shut down.

 

The Democrats' Record on Queer Issues for 2009-2010

Posted by libhom Thursday, October 21, 2010 1 comments

In 2006 and 2008, the Democratic politicians plied queers with their usual lies about how much they would support us if they got control of Congress and the White House. It was a crock of shit, to put it mildly. Let's look at what they did.

The only good thing they did of any actual importance was passage of a watered down hate crimes bill. It took the National Equality March and a picket outside of Barack Obama's speech before the HRC to get even that to happen. Why do I say it was watered down? The legislation helps the rare local jurisdictions that want to fight hate crimes (which doesn't even include the NYPD under that vicious bigot Michael Bloomberg), but it does little or nothing to deal with jurisdictions that don't. Heterosexist hate crimes are crimes of intimidation that are intended to impact across state lines, which makes them a federal law enforcement matter. There should be strong federal penalties against them, and there should be a specific unit in the Dept. of Justice to prosecute them. The good thing about the legislation was that it included trans queers.

Sadly, that was the best thing the Democrats did the entire time. The Obama Administration, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid blocked ENDA, the most important queer civil rights legislation from even getting a vote in Congress. Unlike same sex marriage, employment discrimination is an area where the GLBT community has overwhelming public support, which presumably why they didn't want to give this popular legislation even a vote. I can not give the Democrats a good grade on LGBT issues when they wouldn't even allow a vote on the one that is, by far, the most important.

Employment discrimination legislation should have passed during the Carter administration. Yet, we can't even get a vote on it during the Obama administration.

Obama looking sillySadly, President Obama has had a reprehensible record on LGBT issues. He deliberately incited violence against queers, queer teen suicide, and violence against women by involving one of the nation's most notorious bigots, Rick Warren, in the inauguration. Obama had been doing pretty much the same thing by pandering to and glorifying that monster during the 2008 campaign. Obama made things worse by showing up consistently to the National Hate Breakfast, showing his support for heterosexist fundamentalism and violating the Constitution of the United States of America.

It didn't stop there. On the DOMA court challenge, the Obama administration deliberately filed court papers comparing homosexuality and bisexuality to sex with animals and sex with the dead. They didn't need to do that, even if you accept the notion that they were obligated to defend that legislation. It was completely gratuitous.

Yes, the Obama administration will occasionally throw us a tiny bone, but most of the slight good that bone might do us is negated by the condescending and heterosexist attitude they display when they do it.

Then, there is the Clinton Administration's more draconian version of the military ban which is deceptively referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," even though it was deliberately designed to increase witchhunts and discharges against queers. "DADT" has even led to the military sending undercover people to gay bars in DC.

President Obama has repeatedly put queers off and fought to keep the ban in court. When queers kept pressuring the Democrats, Obama's viciously heterosexist enablers, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, came up with weird scam legislation which would maybe, just maybe lift the ban if Robert Gates wants to do it. Unfortunately, Robert Gates is a notoriously bigoted Bush crime family crony who immediately preceded to sabotage the effort by creating a highly biased survey on the views of military families on the subject.

Reid looking weak and patheticThen, Harry Reid took his typical Mormon homophobic hatred one step further. He made sure that the legislation that included this maybe, maybe lifting of the military ban, also included other controversial provisions in order to provide cover for Scott Brown, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe to vote fillibuster against lifting the ban. Reid is so fanatical in his hatred of us, he is willing to hurt Democratic Senate candidates in Massachusetts and Maine by giving the GOP homophobes political cover for hating us and attacking us.

We also shouldn't forget the pattern of heterosexist discrimination in appointments by President Obama. So far, Obama has yet to appoint even one openly queer Cabinet member or Supreme Court Justice, not one. Considering the fact that lesbian, gay, bi, and trans people make up far more than 10% of the population and the Democratic Party is disproportionately queer, this has been a particularly blatant and stinging insult to the TBGL community. Obama's record in this area is just as bad as that of another hateful bigot: Bill Clinton.

Obama speaking with the word bigotry under himObama also has badly underfunded AIDS, done nothing to promote needle exchange, and has done nothing the promote condom usage and condom education. The Democrats continue to fund "abstinence only" scams that are deliberately designed to promote the spread of HIV.

Even with the hate crimes legislation that did pass, the Obama administration has yet to take seriously the recent wave of heterosexist hate crimes and bullying. If there was a national outbreak of violence, bullying, and suicides among banksters, Obama and congressional Democrats would treat it like a national crisis. Queers just don't rate that kind of attention.

Queers have done so much to help the Democrats in 2006 and 2008. What did we get in return? I find it difficult to find words to articulate just how badly I have been betrayed by the Democrats as a queer. The best way for me to express it ultimately will be for me to vote party line Green this November. Vicious bigots like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama have given me absolutely no other option. They are as heinous as the Palins, Paladinos, and Pauls in the GOP on matters of substance.

Photos: jurvetson

talkradionews

 

McCain dozing on stage
Photo: Derek Bridges

John McCain is the most corrupt politician to ever hold a US Senate seat. He also is a pathological liar and a reprehensible hypocrite. One of the most blatant examples of "Keating Five" McCain's dishonesty and hypocrisy can be found on the subject of government spending. Here's some particularly offensive nonsense from his website.

For years, John McCain has fought against wasteful and excessive spending — and leadership is needed now more than ever to curb such waste. With an agenda of bigger government and higher taxes, the current Administration and its allies in Congress have more than quadrupled the budget deficit in this year alone. In 2009, the federal government spent more than $1.4 trillion more than it actually had — growing our national debt to more than $12 trillion, much of which is owed to foreign nations. What happens when countries like China stop financing our debt? John McCain believes America’s destiny is too promising to be squandered by placing our economic wherewithal in the hands of foreign governments.

The two biggest sources of wasteful government spending are the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Yet, John McCain supports both rabidly, showing just how bought and paid for he is by Big Oil, mercenary corporations, and arms merchants. Even worse, this spectacular liar pushed for a huge and expensive escalation in Iraq instead of the vastly superior option of a full and immediate withdrawal.

No one can honestly say they are against wasteful government spending and then turn around and support and expand two wasteful and murderous wars.

McCain also has shown his utter lack of concern about budget deficits by fighting to continue Bush's tax cuts for the rich. That might make him a dutiful kept man who wants to keep Cindy happy so she won't throw him out of more houses than he can remember, but it isn't the action of someone who is against budget deficits.

"Keating Five" McCain is another big deficit, big war Republican who spews nonsense about being against deficits when he is running for reelection. Yet, he insists on policies that balloon deficits without providing even the slightest benefit to society. McCain represents everything that is hypocritical, extreme, and stupid about the GOP. Most of all, he represents everything that is corrupt in DC.

McCain may think he has distracted people with his jihad against legislation that might possibly lift the military ban against queers if Robert Gates, a homophobic Bush crime family crony, consents to it. I'm not distracted in the slightest. I know that he is just as corrupt as he is heterosexist, and I have no respect whatsoever for that piece of walking garbage.



 

Get Equal has launched a donor boycott against politicians and organizations that haven't done enough to fight for queer equality. Here's the text of their petition.

GetEQUAL has launched a campaign called "We'll Give When We GetEQUAL," asking LGBT Americans and straight allies to withhold time and money from political entities that are not fighting as hard for our equality as they are for our checkbooks.

We're not the first ones to voice frustration with both Democrats and Republicans for holding our equality hostage (see here, here, and here). And we're not going away -- despite the efforts of Democratic apologists who continue to raise the specter of President Palin to scare us into donating.

Are we asking you not to vote? Absolutely not -- too many social movements have fought for that hard-earned right that must not be thrown away. Are we asking you not to donate or support pro-equality candidates? That's up to you -- there are several pro-equality candidates that need support, especially because they are minority voices in their party.

Are we asking you to withhold money and time from those who refuse to find concrete ways to work toward our collective equality? YES!

Our tolerance and patience -- while we lose our jobs, are denied our right to marry, are forbidden to serve our country openly, and are forced to watch our youth kill themselves because they have no dignity or hope -- is gone. We are asking you to withhold your support from political parties and committees until President Obama, the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, takes the first step toward LGBT equality and signs an Executive Order to IMMEDIATELY halt all military discharges of lesbian, gay, and bisexual soldiers.

Why continue to organize on behalf of politicians when we need to be organizing for ourselves?

Still not sure about the campaign? Check out our FAQ page to get all of your questions answered!

In response to the email originally calling for this campaign, a DNC vice chair threw a brief tantrum and made laughable claims that he actually has raised more money from queers this year than ever. (That is quite giggle worthy.)



I also can't help but laugh at how the Democratic Party establishment uses the idea of a President Palin to scare liberals and queers into going along with how we have been betrayed. Those hucksters know damn well that the GOP simply isn't going to nominate any woman for President.

 

The militant, anti American fundamentalists at the Crystal Cathedral in California have spent so lavishly that they are in bankruptcy proceedings (Hat Tip: I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy). Apparently, they are trying to work through the bankruptcy and reorganize like any other business. Hopefully, they won't make it.

The article says that lots of megachurches are in financial trouble. It couldn't happen to a nastier and viler bunch of people. I wonder if their counterparts in Al Qaeda are as financially irresponsible.

 

NARAL Stands Up to Misogynist Bigot

Posted by libhom Monday, October 18, 2010 1 comments

Paladino hates women too. I know. You are shocked, just shocked!



So, Paladino wants to reduce women to the legal status of incubators. Is there any level of hatred, bigotry, and just plain stupidity that Paladino won't sink to?

I'm so glad that NARAL NY is speaking out against this hateful monster. More people should be doing so.

 

picture of Rand Paul looking like a foolAs I have pointed out before, Rand Paul might as well have the words "For Sale" tattooed on his forehead. As usual, Paul is taking his panhandling approach to policy to outlandish extremes, this time calling for replacing the Income Tax with a 23 percent sales tax.

From the Louisville Courier Journal 10/12/10:

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul said Tuesday the federal tax code is a “disaster,” and he wants to replace the income tax with a 23 percent sales tax on goods and services.

Paul said he supports changing the federal tax code to get rid of the Internal Revenue Service and would vote to repeal the 16th Amendment that created the federal income tax.

“The federal tax code is a disaster no one would come up with if we were starting from scratch,” Paul said in a written statement distributed by an anti-tax group and verified by Paul's campaign. “I support making taxes flatter and simpler. I would vote for the FairTax to get rid of the 16th Amendment, the IRS and a lot of the control the federal government exerts over us.”

This would shift a huge proportion of taxation away from rich people who write Rand Paul enormous campaign checks and towards the middle class and the poor. The lost revenues would result in severe cutbacks or even elimination for public services used by the middle class and the poor including public education, unemployment benefits, public libraries, police, and fire departments.

Teabagger politicians get more and more brazen in paying back their money people every day.

Photo: Rand Paul for U.S. Senate 2010 (released under the Creative Commons license)

This might shock people who are still in denial about the rampant child molestation in the Roman Catholic Church. Voice of the Faithful, a group that argues for reform of the Roman Catholic Church from within, has published a study showing just how pervasive sexual abuse complaints have been in Chicago. Here are the most disturbing conclusions.

Among the study’s key findings:
• A total of 256 of the Chicago Archdiocese’s roughly 400 parishes and institutions, or approximately 60%, had an accused pedophile priest working there or in residence at some point in time.
• The percentage of parishes and institutions ministered by credibly accused priests approached 25% in the mid-1990’s. In 2009, one in five institutions in the archdiocese still had a credibly accused priest in residence.
• According to a comparison of priest assignments with ZIP codes, credibly accused priests were assigned exclusively to institutions in 135 out of the 263 ZIP codes in the Archdiocese of Chicago. No credibly accused priests were ever assigned to any of the remaining 128 ZIP codes.
• Of the 135 ZIP code areas where assignments were made, 13 ZIP codes received the most work assignments. Initial findings suggest that these areas tended to have higher concentrations of African-Americans and low median household income levels. Analysis of the demographics of the 135 assigned ZIP code areas is continuing.
• 64%, or 63 of the 97 credibly accused priests, lived at the same location at the same time as one or more other credibly accused priests

The roles of racism and classism in this were interesting, but hardly surprising. The Roman Catholic Church always has been a horribly racist and classist institution.

One thing that should be noted is that the study only includes instances where clerical rape victims spoke out against what was done to them. As was mentioned earlier in this blog, Sinead O'Connor has publicized that the RCC clergy have coerced abused children into signing oaths of silence that the pontiff alone can release them from. As you would expect, Ratzi has refused to acknowledge the existence of the oaths, much less release people from them. So, we know that the actual level of child molestation by RCC clergy was much higher than that which was documented in this ground breaking study.

I think it is really wonderful and courageous for Voice of the Faithful to do the study, but it is incredibly difficult for me to understand why they stay in their church. They themselves have documented monstrous behavior that their church's leaders have committed with little or no consequences from their church. I find it extremely difficult to empathize with the incredibly strong pull religions have on people who are so much better than their faiths.

(Thanks to Michael of Norfolk for alerting me to the story.)

 

Paladino's Sleazy Tax Break Deserves More Media Scrutiny

Posted by libhom Saturday, October 16, 2010 0 comments

If it wasn't for Democracy Now!, I wouldn't have even heard about this story.

GOP Candidate Paladino Questioned over $3M Tax Breaks

In political news, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino is coming under criticism for receiving $3 million in tax breaks by promising to create more jobs in the Buffalo area. According to an investigation by the New York Daily News, Paladino created only twenty-five jobs. To justify tax breaks in one instance, he sold a dozen vacant lots he owned to himself and then claimed hundreds of thousands of dollars in “real property investments.” Paladino is a multi-millionaire real estate developer backed by the tea party. He has campaigned on a platform attacking government spending.

Every news outlet in the state and all the national news media should have picked up this story. They should be pressing Paladino on this scandal. Here are some of the questions he should be asked.

stop sign modified to say stop greed1) Did he pull any strings to get this deal?

2) Are sleazy tax breaks for the rich how he plans on cleaning up Albany?

3) Can he be taken seriously when he says he wants to clean up the MTA?

4) Will he support an independent investigation of this deal?

5) Why did he accept a bailout of his real estate business?

Reporters should be doing the research to find out what government services were cut to pay for this bailout. How many jobs were lost?

The corporate media seem to have little interest in doing their jobs.

Photo: elisfanclub

 

"Kool Aid Gets Fired"

Posted by libhom Friday, October 15, 2010 0 comments

Comic Con entrance badge"Kool Aid Gets Fired" is the title of a fab comic book I found last weekend at New York Comic Con NYC. It is topical in many ways, including job loss, jobs being replaced by technology, and the ruthless and arbitrary power of corporations over people. Seeing Kool Aid frown and smoke cigars alone was worth the reading. I liked it so much I bought the mug too.

You can find out more about this and other work by Tim Piotrowski at www.glitchworks.com. "Kool Aid Gets Fired" even has its own webpage, with a funny animation. One difference between comic and graphic novel signings and regular book signings is that the artists often draw little illustrations with them. The one of a cranky and dejected Kool Aid rocked.

This was the first time I went to a Comic Con, and I got lucky, stumbling into the Small Press and Artists Gallery section before going to the main convention hall. That's where I found out about the trials of poor Kool Aid. I also bought a few issues of "How to Survive Working in Retail," a zine format book which details the tribulations of young people stuck in the lower rungs of our service economy. I found fab queer content in the form of the "Cavalcade of Boys" set by Tim Fish which I'm looking forward to reading.

The quirkiest thing I found was "God the Dyslexic God." I bought the first issue with a blenderized version of pantheism and an apparent opposition to animal experimentation. I also found a printouts of a couple of promising web comics, "Curls" and "Revolvers."

I should point out that the American Library Association also had a booth, where they promoted their 2009-2010 banned books brochure. The ALA also has a list of resources on stopping bullying against queer youth.

I got burnt out on superhero comics a while back. Maybe being middle aged is part of the reason. In any case, New York Comic Con, like comics in general these days, has subject matter much broader. My first senses of this were buying "Ghostworld" after seeing the movie and with Alison Bechdel's autobiographical "Fun Home", the latter being something that every queer should read.

Rediscovering the comic book art form is really refreshing, especially since there is a lot of content that appeals to my interests later in life. I wonder how much could be done with comic books and graphic novels to communicate liberal views and values. There was a lot of nutty rightist content at Comic Con too, but it didn't have a monopoly by any means. I hope the voices in comics from the left get more numerous and louder.

 

As you probably know, evil former EBay CEO Meg Whitman is trying to buy the governor's office in California. Some people are fighting back with comedy.











The sinister Meg Whitman doesn't take too kindly to parody, and sometimes has her goons try to physically intimidate the jokesters.

People Talk About Why ENDA Is So Important

Posted by libhom Thursday, October 14, 2010 0 comments

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has put up two important videos of people talking about how important it is to pass ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act.





I think it is critical that we discuss queer issues in human terms. When we do so, we usually win. When the debate gets deflected to religion or other abstractions, we don't do so well.

 

Scott Brown Condones Simulated Necrophilia

Posted by libhom Wednesday, October 13, 2010 0 comments

Former nude centerfold and current rabid homophobe Scott Brown did something I thought even he wouldn't do recently. He condoned simulated necrophilia. Linda McMahon's campaign has provided video proof that Brown has actually campaign for her.



Keep in mind that Ms. McMahon's WWE put simulated necrophilia on nationwide TV while she was CEO. This is widely known in New England, yet Brown appeared at the rally and promoted the former WWE CEO/Diva as a Senate candidate.

Obviously, Brown is not sufficiently opposed to broadcasting simulated sex with the dead. It must not be that big of a deal to him. Otherwise, he wouldn't be campaigning for McMahon. Brown is a train wreck.

I wonder if her WWE content or her WWE layoffs are more responsible for Linda McMahon's falling poll numbers.

 

Homophobic Chanting at Yankees Game

Posted by libhom Tuesday, October 12, 2010 1 comments

The thing that pisses me off the most is that my tax dollars subsidize this heterosexist bullshit. (New York City taxpayers have funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to the Yankees, even though it is a profitable business that needs no help.)



I will never vote for any politician that gives a dime of city or state money to that homophobic, greedy organization again. I will never forgive ultra homophobic Mayor Bloomberg for pushing the last stadium subsidy through.

 



Considering how little coverage Global Warming has gotten as a campaign issue this year in the corporate media and how much time and ink those outlets give to corporate shills who lie about the problem, one might think that the issue wasn't heavily present in peoples' minds.

That would be wrong. On 10/10/10, there were over 7,000 events for people fighting Global Warming. These "work parties" had a serious message. The start of 350.org's press release gives a general idea of what went on.

"Work Parties" Issue a Political Challenge: Get to Work on Climate Solutions
World's Biggest Day of Climate Action Unites 7,000 rallies in 188 Countries

Washington, DC – Just weeks before elections in the United States and climate talks at the United Nations, citizens from Afghanistan to West Virginia joined 350.org's "10/10/10 Global Work Party" to issue a unified demand that politicians stop dragging their feet and get to work on climate solutions.

Leading by example, citizens in 188 countries joined more than 7,000 climate "work parties" over the weekend to get to work installing solar panels, weatherizing homes, planting trees, and then calling politicians to ask a simple question, "We're getting to work, what about you?"

"The fossil fuel industry may have thought that the collapse of the Copenhagen talks and its victory in the U.S. Congress were the final word—that people would give up in discouragement," said acclaimed environmental writer and 350.org founder Bill McKibben. "The turnout today—at what is almost certainly the most widespread day of political action in the planet’s history—demonstrates that people are fed up with the inaction of their leaders and ready to take matters into their own hands. Game on."

The press release also provides us with an idea of the extent of involvement.
10/10/10 Global Work Party highlights include:

* In Instanbul, Turkey, 7,000 marched for climate action
* In China, 30,000 students joined over 300 events across the country
* In Bangladesh, citizens demonstrated knee deep in the flood waters that are affecting hundreds of thousands of people
* In Hamadan, Iran, hundreds of students attended an environmental symposium
* In Afghanistan, groups of students planted trees in a valley outside Kabul
* In South Africa, a local business installed solar panels on the roof of an orphanage
* In the United States, there were over 2,000 rallies with events in all 50 states, including 400 clean energy rallies in California

Climate Change is a big deal, not just in terms of the planet, but as an issue people want addressed.

One thing you can do to fight Global Warming is to learn about the dangers of coal and educate others.



Learn More and Sign the Sierra Club's Petition!

 

Carl Paladino Is Another Teabagger Bigot

Posted by libhom Monday, October 11, 2010 1 comments

The rampant racism among the teabaggers has gotten a lot of coverage on the left, but their heterosexism has yet to get the attention it should. Sarah Palin's Mini Me in Delaware, Christine O'Donnell was a vocal homophobe and was a press spokesperson for the venomously homophobic "Concerned Women for America." CWA was, and still is, a militant Christian supremacist hate group designed for a membership of women but under the control of men.

Illustration of hand giving someone the fingerNow, teabagger candidate Carl Paladino, a wealthy real estate speculator in Buffalo, is spewing heterosexist hate every chance he gets. On NY1, he is quoted saying these things in front of a group of orthodox rabbis.

"I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don't want them to be brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option. It isn't," said Paladino.

The remarks came right after Paladino said it was time to stop pandering to "pornographers and perverts."

...
"I oppose the homosexual agenda, whether they call it marriage, civil union or domestic partnership," said the Republican candidate.

The fact that Paladino has a gay nephew makes his comments even more reprehensible. He should know better. Also, why is it that bigoted politicians always feel they have free reign to spew bigoted filth in front of orthodox rabbis?

Paladino couldn't stop there either. On the Today show, he spewed the following:
He said, however, that he took issue with the decision of his opponent, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, to take his two daughters to a gay pride parade.

"I don't think it's proper for them to go there and watch a couple of grown men grind against each other. I don't think that's proper, I think it's disgusting," Paladino said.

Paladino doesn't complain about heterosexuals bumping and grinding, which they do all over TV and in public. What a hypocritical, bigoted jackass. I feel sorry for Paladino's family. That man is a horrible mess. I feel especially sorry for his nephew.

Not surprisingly, Paladino's bigotry is far from limited to hetersexism. From the Today show coverage:
Paladino, who apologized for forwarding racist and sexist e-mails early on in his campaign to replace Democratic Gov. David Paterson, was campaigning on Sunday through traditionally Jewish conservative neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

This is an important lesson. Bigotry is seldom limited to heterosexism. Racism, misogyny, and heterosexual supremacy all are part of an interlinked worldview, one which is pushed at us every day by the rich and the powerful. When queers on the right don't want LGBT organizations to support the struggles of other oppressed groups, they are furthering the oppression and violence that us queers face.

Another weird aspect of this is that Paladino's first audience was made up of militant, Jewish fundamentalists who encouraged Paladino's bigoted nonsense. Obviously, they have no sense of enlightened self interest. The vast majority of homophobes hate Jewish people too, even if they are less vocal about it. Anytime a politician says anything against queers, that should automatically raise red flags among anyone who isn't Christian.

Illustration: ddogbreath

 

Last winter, the economy was improving. Absent a new problem, we were headed towards a recovery.

Then, Greece happened.

Obviously, it was much shittier for the Greeks, but it dramatically slowed our economy. For months, our economy started to look as if it were heading towards a double dip recession. Since then, our unemployment rates have remained stagnant.

Now, we are starting to get some good news again. It looks as though we've starting to get through the temporary problems caused by the Greek crisis/bankster holdup. Here are some examples.

US jobless claims hit 3-mo low as soft patch fades (Reuters 10/7/10)

Mortgage Rates At Record Lows (ABC News 10/7/10) [Note: Rates have been artificially high compared to the prime rate since the Crash of 2008.]

U.S. service sector growth picks up (CBC )

GDP report: Economic growth slightly faster (CNN Money 9/30/10)

Things aren't fabulous, but they are starting to show early signs of improvement. The freezes on home foreclosures by many major banks caught doing illegal foreclosures should help the economy too.

 

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