Usually, they use the collection plate to rob people.
Yet, so many Christians like to pretend they are morally superior.
Update: When I finished posting this ad originally, I got a Google Adsense ad from the American Bible Society.
Usually, they use the collection plate to rob people.
Save the Date!
From the United National Antiwar Committee:
Call to Action
April 9, 2011
New York & San Francisco
from the United National Antiwar Committee
Here's the intent behind this protest:
Bi-coastal mass spring mobilizations in New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles on April 9, 2011. These will be accompanied by distinct and separate non-violent direct actions on the same day. A prime component of these mobilizations will be major efforts to include broad new forces from youth to veterans to trade unionists to civil and human rights groups to the Arab, Muslim and other oppressed communities to environmental organizations, social justice and faith-based groups. Veterans and military families will be key to these mobilizations with special efforts to organize this community to be the lead contingent.
Stay tuned. We need to get back into the streets as part of a larger movement to stop the wars. We can not rely on Barack Obama or any other politician to stop the wars for us.
They also are looking for organizations to endorse the marches.
Healthcare reform: What he pushed though is a step backwards that favors the HMOs health insurers, and Big Pharma while taking money and care away from the middle class, the poor, and lower income elders.
Wall St. reform: He hasn't passed any kind of meaningful reform of Wall St, nor has he tried.
Net Neutrality: Wireless is much of the future of the Internet, so Obama makes sure that wireless can be censored by corporations.
Open Government: Look at the retaliation against Wikileaks.
Iraq: He still has between 125,000 and 150,000 mercenaries and troops there.
Protecting Social Security: He has used his Cat Food Commission to undermine support for Social Security and his plan to cut taxes for the rich and raise them for the poor includes an attack on the fund for Social Security.
Which other broken Obama promises are you pissed off about?
It is a pagan holiday, after all.
Now, why not have some laughs at the expense of wingnuts and read their rantings stridently defending this pagan celebration.
The Liberals Continue Their War on Christmas
Liberty Counsel Launches Eighth Annual “Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign”
One minute action - Contact these three companies that ban 'Christmas'
Don't forget to visit the wellspring of unintentional humor, Defend Christmas, or that source of intellectual enlightenment, WarOnChristmas.com.
Wait till those fuckers decide that there is a "War on Easter" and start defending that pagan holiday too.
From the Belfast Telegraph 12/21/10:
Victims of clerical sex abuse have reacted furiously to Pope Benedict's claim yesterday that paedophilia wasn't considered an “absolute evil” as recently as the 1970s.
In his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.
“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.
“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than' and a ‘worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”
Ratzi keeps getting more and more desperate to blame the rampant child molestation in his own clergy elsewhere. The level of dishonesty is truly bizarre.
If Ratzi wasn't such a powerful religious leader, he would be in prison for obstruction of justice for his efforts to block so many rape cases involving priests and children.
He also is so dishonest on other levels. It's bad enough that children aren't capable of consenting for sex with adults. However, one added issue is that of trust. Roman Catholics are brainwashed into trusting priests above all, even with their deepest secrets. Never mind that the RCC has turned over confessions to political authorities ever since the confessional was invented. Never mind that priests routinely lie to their flocks on everything from homosexuality, to abortion, to the supposed "infallibility" of the Vatican dictators.
Priests also have enormous emotional power over so many in their flocks. People see them as gatekeepers to their imaginary heavens and sentencers to the mythological hell. Their "one true church" rules on fear, fear based largely on sexuality.
The trust and power that Roman Catholics give to their priests make their betrayal of children more dangerous and reprehensible. Ratzi's efforts to increase the totalitarian nature of his church and priesthood have made it easier for priests to rape and more difficult for abuse victims to resist or fight back.
Now, Ratzi wants to blame society? Secular society?
Secularists have long opposed the totalitarianism that the RCC represents. Secularists don't trust authoritarian priests. Secularists know that no person is infallible.
Secular feminists were the first to help rape victims fight back. Feminists have long been one of Ratzi's favorite targets for hate and demonization.
Merry fucking Christmas Ratzi, you sick fuck.
Passing weak hate crimes legislation previously and now a bill which should overturn the military ban are significant victories for the queer community. The people who kept pushing, over the objections of partisan Democrats and Republicans in the LGBT community who would have preferred that the issues dry up and blow away, deserve a tremendous amount of credit. They have shown us that we can get results if we are persistent in fighting for them. Queer activists proved that you have to fight for yourselves. You can't rely on politicians to fight for you. (That is a lesson a lot of other progressive activists could learn from.) Now, it's time for us to keep our eyes on the prize:
ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act
Employment issues have a broader reach in the queer community than any other set of concerns. If you live in a capitalist society, you need a job to avoid utter misery. Even retired queers have to be careful, since corporations have been raiding pensions for years; federal, state, and local government officials are starting to raid their employee pensions; and Obama and other Republicans have been working to raid and bankrupt Social Security. We must fight all of this, but we also must recognize that very real possibility that retirement will be a luxury for the rich in another 20 years.
In this economic context, queers don't have the luxury of putting employment discrimination on the back burner for other issues, as pressing as they are. We need to fight for anti discrimination legislation like our economic lives depend on it. They do.
Corporate media outlets and bought politicians are much more hostile to ENDA than the general public, which supports it overwhelmingly. Those corrupt interests are working on behalf of corporate interests that don't want any restrictions on corporate behavior. That's why Obama and the corporate media have worked so hard to deflect us away from fighting for ENDA.
The Christian Taliban has tried to keep the national focus on same sex marriage because it is the one issue where the country is closely divided. It also is a problematic issue for queer organizing because most queers have no interest in ever getting married. Most queers are single, as are a narrow majority of heterosexual adults. Even in states where same sex marriage is legal, the vast majority of queer couples don't get married.
We need to make OUR movement about OUR needs and OUR interests.
Even in years where it looks highly unlikely that any queer civil rights legislation will pass, we need to keep pushing. This is a difficult struggle, and it will require a relentless push on our part so we can win during years when we theoretically have the votes required. We can't afford to shut up about this.
That ENDA must be trans inclusive. Pure justice demands it, and so does pure practicality. Failure to include gender identity based discrimination puts a huge exception which corporate lawyers can use to win cases against lesbian, gay, and bisexual victims of employment discrimination. We also need to hold elected officials accountable about putting a lot of other loopholes into ENDA, like Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi did in 2007. We need a bill with teeth that actually protects us.
Any national queer organization that is a lobbying or political organization needs to be held accountable for what it is doing to pass ENDA. Passing ENDA should be, by far, their first priority.
I know, you are shocked....absolutely flabbergasted.
Anyway, here are the Wasilla Grifter's latest set of gaffes. (USA Today 12/21/10)
In her TLC show Sarah Palin's Alaska, the former GOP vice presidential nominee is seen opening cupboards in search of chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers, asking "Where are the s'mores ingredients?"
"This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert," Palin said.
Palin has not been shy expressing her views on the first lady's initiative. In an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham, Palin said Obama "is telling us she cannot trust parents to make decisions for their own children, for their own families in what we should eat."
Here are some facts about the medical consequences of obesity from WebMD.
The health problems associated with obesity are numerous. Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem. It's a health hazard. Someone who is 40% overweight is twice as likely to die prematurely as is an average-weight person. This is because obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions, including:
* Heart disease and stroke.
* High blood pressure.
* Gallbladder disease and gallstones.
* Breathing problems, such as sleep apnea (when a person stops breathing for a short time during sleep) and asthma.
The morbid irony of this is that Palin's irresponsible babbling could actually help the Democratic Party in the long run if her sheeple take it seriously. Democrats and Independents don't listen to her at all. So, the only people whose behavior might be influenced by the egomanical Ms. Palin are rightist Republicans.
If enough other Goppers join her in this babblethon, they could lower the life expectancies of Republicans. The other obnoxious rightist Ann (Althouse), has joined in. So have Faux News, NewsBusters, and the bizarrely named Weasel Zippers.
There already is a stereotype in our society of Republicans being morbidly obese. If Republicans go out of their way to live up to that stereotype, it will be the undoing of many of them.
Sarah Palin's America?
People may want to downplay HIV, but it still is dangerous.
The only thing the video should have mentioned is that HIV sometimes still is deadly. The drugs don't work for everyone, and they stop working for some people after a while too.
Photo: Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff
It was bad enough when rightist Rep. Peter King (R-Xe) falsely labeled Wikilieaks a "terrorist organization" and called for the Obama Administration to fraudulently classify it as such, only to have other Goppers back him up. Now, extreme right Vice President, Joe Biden is joining in this massive campaign of shoot the messenger. (From The Australian 12/20/10)
When asked whether he thought Mr Assange was a high-tech terrorist or a whistleblower like those who in 1971 released the Pentagon Papers - a series of secret documents revealing US military policy in Vietnam - Biden was clear: "I would argue that it's closer to being a high-tech terrorist."
Let's make one thing clear. The people demonizing Wikileaks in government and the corporate media are perfectly aware of the fact that Wikileaks most definitely is a journalistic organization, one that exposes the corruption and crimes of governments and the passive and propagandistic nature of corporate media outlets.
Biden's efforts to demonize a website that facilitates whistleblowing is an example of just how little difference there really is between the Democrats and Republicans on most issues, when you brush away the dust of partisan rhetoric. This kind of demonization by rightist ideologues and corrupt politicians already has resulted in death threats against Wikileaks' founder, Julian Assange.
Of course, Barack Bush has played a role in this smear campaign against the heroic figure and website. (same source)
President Obama has led worldwide condemnation of WikiLeaks, calling its actions "deplorable", while Mr Assange's opponents have called for him to be held accountable.
So, some members of the power elites in various countries have gotten caught doing things they shouldn't. Big fucking deal. That's no excuse for making astonishingly absurd "terrorism" accusations. Every time a bought politician or sleazy corporate news outlet wants us to go along with something deplorable and corrupt, they trot out the words "terrorism" and "terrorist" in order to try to frighten us into pliable silence. It really insults our intelligence at this point.
Those fuckers have cried wolf so many times before it isn't even funny. I'm amazed anyone still buys their bullshit.
With legislation that should result in finally lifting the military ban, it would be easy to think that Obama is OK, everything is just fine, and that we can relax now, especially if you are queer. However, the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) is more important, in terms of its substantive impact on queer lives, than all of the rest of the queer civil rights legislation that was pending this past legislative term.
ENDA never even got a vote this session.
If that isn't enough perspective, I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy pointed me out to this gem on Obama's "accomplishments":
It's sobering, to say the least.
As promised, here's a fab graphic from Zaius Nation on Obama's betrayal on the tax cuts for the rich/tax increases for the poor legislation Obama just signed. (click to embiggen)
Yes, the legislation which will likely end up lifting the military ban has passed the Senate, the last hurdle before reaching President Obama's desk by a 65-31 vote. The more determinative cloture vote won by a slightly narrower margin.
This is great news, but before we get too excited, it's important to be aware of the fine print. Thanks to an email from Citizens from Legitimate Government, I found the bill's actual summary on the Senate website which follows:
This legislation would repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving openly in the armed services by striking Section 654 of Title 10 of the USC. The repeal would take effect 60 days after the last of conditions a) and b) are fulfilled:
a) The Secretary of Defense receives the Comprehensive Review he requested on March 2, 2010 concerning implementing a repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
b) Congress receives written certification from the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff stating that:
1) The President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have considered the recommendations contained in the report and the report’s proposed plan of action.
2) The Department of Defense has prepared the necessary policies and regulations to implement the repeal.
3) Implementing all necessary modifications required to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” are consistent with the standards of military readiness, military effectiveness, unit cohesion, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Forces.
c) Until all of the conditions described above are met, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will remain in effect.
d) Should the repeal be enacted, this law will not provide marriage or spousal benefits offered under Section 7 of Title 1 to the USC to homosexuals serving in the Armed Forces.
e) Repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” does not create a private cause of action
At best, there will be some waiting while the military ban is in effect. ("Don't Ask, Don't Tell" always was a deceptive marketing name which tried to con people into thinking Bill Clinton's version of the military ban did not include witchhunts. In fact, that version of the ban was designed to increase the numbers of witchhunts.)
Now that we have gotten the disclaimers out of the way, it's useful to consider how we got here. To understand the path to repeal, it helps to know about the weird game of "Gay Chicken." The Urban Dictionary has a pretty good description of it, though I had only heard of it involving kissing myself.
A game played with straight people to see who has more balls, metaphorically. the game is played in several ways. The most simple, and weakest, is the kiss. One 'player' moves in for a sensual kiss until one of the 'players' backs off. I've seen this lead to tongues but someone will always pull away. Another way gay chicken is played is by groping the other 'players' genitals or breasts or anything you can get your hands on. The most common form of the game is gay pillow talk in which each interaction escalates until someone laughs or just can't respond. Lastly, 'players' can initiate dry humping sessions. Hardcore 'players' will use a combination of three tactics to win the game. Some have been known to even use all four tactics at once. This plan of attack is very tricky.
This pretty much describes the dynamic of Harry Reid, Barack Obama, and "moderate" Republicans in the Senate. They would put together a complex set of legislation and Senate rules for debate which included the military ban. Both sides would pretend that they would support it, but then the votes were never quite there. Each side would pretend that the other side had chickened out. They blamed each other while pretending that they supported ending the military ban.
I've heard that sometimes the "straight" guys will actually kiss when they play gay chicken because neither chickens out. (I suspect that those "straight guys" are mostly bisexual as are so many "straight guys.)
The game of chicken kept getting closer and closer. Each time, the excuses for failing to passing the legislation got feebler and more incomprehensible. Queer activists kept pushing to repeal the ban, which neither the Democrats or "moderate" Republicans really wanted to do. But, the politicians had thoroughly boxed themselves in with rhetoric that tried to make it sound like they opposed a widely unpopular policy while trying to make sure that policy stayed in effect.
Then, the tax cuts for the rich, tax increases for low income Americans deal passed. Liberals were understandably pissed with Obama and the rest of the Democrats. The party of the jackasses needed to show that they would push for something opposed by the majority of the politicians in the party of the rogue elephants. For liberals, lifting the military ban was the bone. "Moderate" Republicans also needed to do something to placate Northeastern moderates who don't like tax giveaways for the rich either.
For queers, it was a lot more than a bone.
It's about time.
131 Arrested at Veteran-led Civil Resistance Against Wars Dec. 16
The organizers wrote about their action, but corporate media hacks largely ignored it. Here's what they had to say.
After a 10 am rally in Lafeyette Park featuring Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame, retired CIA officer Ray McGovern, Dr. Margaret Flowers of Physicians for a National Health Program, and others, activists formed a solemn single-file process to the White House, silent except for a drum beat. There, they encountered police barricades. Some veterans began climbing over the barricades, until the police opened them up, allowing people to approach the fence in front of the White House.
As the light snow increased to heavy and began accumulating, activists kept warm by singing and chanting. At about 12:30, police began arresting protesters who remained along the fence, while supporters who did not want to risk arrest were moved across the broad street. Some of the demonstrators stood in the snow and freezing temperatures for nearly four hours before being taken to Anacostia processing center and released. They have all since been released. Some have elected to pay a fine, while others, including Ellsberg and McGovern, will go to trial on the charge of disobeying a lawful order.
Video from the protest is available on YouTube:
Democracy Now, to its credit, did report on this. Here's a particularly interesting quote they ran from an Iraq War veteran.
Mike Prysner: "They’re not going to end the wars. And they’re not going to do it, because it’s not our government. It’s their government. It’s the government of the rich. It’s the government of Wall Street, of the oil giants, of the defense contractors. It’s their government. And the only language that they understand is shutting down business as usual. And that’s what we’re doing here today, and we’re going to continue to do until these wars are over. We’re going to fight until there’s not one more bomb dropped, not one more bullet fired, not one more soldier coming home in a wheelchair, not one more family slaughtered, not one more day of U.S. imperialism."
He's absolutely correct when he points out that our government is owned by wealthy and corporate interests. They are looting America to the point we may not be able to recover.
WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party leaders urged House Democrats to stand firm and do what they can to block President Obama's tax package, calling it a capitulation to the Republican Party that will expand the deficit and undermine Social Security.
"The tax cut is evidence that President Obama isn't compromising with Republicans, he's adopting their agenda," said Howie Hawkins, 2010 Green candidate for Governor of New York and co-chair of the Green Party of New York State. "Greens warned that should the President's tax package pass, Democrats will be the ones initiating the half-century GOP plan to dismantle Social Security. Since the plan extends unemployment benefits by diverting some payroll taxes away from Social Security, it weakens the safety-net for working Americans and defers the financial hit a little bit longer."
Green Party leaders praised Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind.-Vt.) for his eight-and-a-half-hour speech on the Senate floor about the damage that the President's tax package will do to the Social Security trust fund and the safety net for low- and middle-income Americans.
Green leaders said that if either Democrats or Republicans want to reduce the deficit and restore domestic financial stability, they should reduce the military budget and work to end the military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq. The Green Party has repeatedly called for such action, as well as for requiring the rich to pay their fair share in taxes, since tax breaks for the wealthy have contributed even more to the deficits than bloated military funding, as the CBO has repeatedly documented over the last decade.
Read Full Press Release
The Greens aren't just complaining. They are proposing positive solutions to our nation's problems instead of chasing after big campaign contributions and "independent" expenditures.
Why are so few Democrats doing anything worthwhile? I know why the bought politicians aren't. But, why are so many Democratic bloggers, pundits, and party activists going along with Obama's GOP style economic and foreign policy agenda?
It reminds me of how people wildly root for corporate sports teams, based on loyalties mass marketed centered around television viewing areas. So many Democrats at the grassroots level are rooting for "their team" to the point that they have forgotten why they became Democrats in the first place.
If you don't like tax cuts for the rich and tax increases for the poor, here's one of your last chances to fight against Barack Bush's tax deal with his fellow Republicans. Firedog Lake Action sent an email asking for help with getting a whip count to find out how many "Democrats" support this travesty. From that email:
The millionaires in the Senate voted yesterday for a bill that will give the richest 2% of the country - including themselves - a huge tax break. But one in three middle class workers could actually see their taxes go UP as a result of the Obama-GOP tax plan.
A vote could happen in the House as soon as tomorrow - we barely have any time to stop this. But here's how I think we can do it.
It's Nancy Pelosi's obligation to refuse to bring major legislation like this up for a vote unless a majority of the Democratic caucus supports the bill, as she already agreed not to do. So we're organizing an EMERGENCY whip count to call Democratic Members of Congress and find out where they stand on the Obama-GOP tax plan.
Can you call Democratic Members of Congress and ask if they support Speaker Pelosi if she proceeds with the Obama-GOP tax plan? It's critical to stopping this $900 billion giveaway to the rich.Click here to start calling in our tax cut whip count:
Please help with the whip count. If you can't call during the day, please leave a message on that Congresscritter's machine asking her or him to vote against this bullshit...in kinder and gentler words of course...or not.
I finally got around to listening to last Wednesday's Democracy Now podcast. When I heard this, I was upset, but hardly surprised. (DN 12/8/10)
By contrast, the only group that will see its taxes increase are the nation’s lowest-paid workers. Individuals who make less than $20,000 and families with earnings below $40,000 stand to see tax hikes because Obama agreed to eliminate his Making Work Pay credit, which provided up to $400 for individuals and $800 for families of low and moderate income.
The tax breaks for the rich were described just before (bolding mine):
A new analysis shows that the wealthiest Americans will receive the most benefit from President Obama’s controversial fiscal deal with Republicans. This week, Obama agreed to extend the Bush-era tax cut for the wealthiest Americans and reduce the estate tax in return for a 13-month extension of jobless benefits and a handful of tax credits for low- and moderate-income Americans. According to the New York Times, at least a quarter of the tax savings under the deal will go to the wealthiest one percent of the population. The plan’s $900 billion cost will be added to the federal deficit, not made up through spending cuts or the closing of loopholes that have taxed capital gains and dividends at just 15 percent.
If not for Democracy Now, I wouldn't even know about the tax increases for the poor, the near poor, and the lower middle class. This should be getting huge press attention, but people with lower incomes don't buy as much crap, and they can't afford to make campaign contributions, much less big ones.
The biased approach to this tax cut deal for the rich/tax increase deal for the poor by the corporate media shows why we need independent media so badly. Politicians can get away with the rankest corruption when most people are kept ignorant.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is going to be running an ad fighting back against Barack Bush's tax cuts for the rich.
This is exactly what liberals and progressives should be doing. Confronting corrupt politicians, regardless of party, is the only way we are going to restore democracy and freedom to America.
Continuing Bush's tax cuts for the rich is inexcusable. It is typical of what we have experienced from corrupt rightists like Bill Clinton, who cut taxes for the rich himself by cutting capital gains taxes.
Here's the embed code if you want to run this on your blog:
They are raising funds to run this ad.
You also can sign the petition against Barack Bush's tax cuts for the rich.
The game playing and heterosexist bigotry that has stopped the military ban from being overturned legislatively is sickening. Yes, I am outraged by the efforts of Republicans to continue the ban. However, I am equally outraged by the efforts of a closet Republican who pretends to be a Democrat: President Obama.
HomophObama has fought to promote bigotry, discrimination, and violence against queers on numerous occasions. The first was when he involved a woman hating and queer bashing bigot, Rick Warren, in the inauguration. I boycotted that homophobic charade of an inauguration once I knew that someone who devotes his life to promoting hatred, violence, and rape against women while promoting bigotry, discrimination, violence and murder against queers was going to play a central, and unconstitutional, role.
However, HomophObama's bigotry wasn't just ceremonial. He set the tone of his hiring practices by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in all cabinet level appointments. Later, he had the Injustice Department make legal citations in a DOMA case that compared homosexuality to sex with animals and the dead. This administration's heterosexist amimus has been comparable to that of Rick Santorum.
HomophObama's expansion of Bush's hate based initiatives would have lead to more heterosexist discrmination in government programs under the best of circumstances. But, that wasn't enough for HomophObama who insisted in appointing heterosexist fanatics to the committees that award the grants.
Seeing what was being done to us, 200,000 queers joined the National Equality March on short notice to demand better. HomophObama's initial response was to patronize us and insult our intelligence with a bullshit speech at the so called Human Rights Campaign's dinner. The pickets by legitimate queer activists outside the dinner and the outrage among so many queer blogs reflected the views of most queers far more than the self loathing and heterosexist excuses for Obama being offered by that quisling Joe Solmonese.
When they realized that empty words would not placate a critical voting, fundraising, and volunteer block for their party, Democratiic leaders including HomophObama made a concession by allowing weak hate crimes legislation to get a vote. It was too politically difficult for even some Goppers to vote against, so it passed and HomophObama reluctantly signed it, though he would much rather queer bash us himself if he thought he could get away with it.
The next big LGBT legislative item was the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA). In terms of its substantive impact on the lives of queers, ENDA is more important than all of the other queer civil rights legislation combined. That's why HomophObama was determined to stop it.
His administration came up with a clever diversion to divert attention from the prize, ENDA. They came up with a bill that would lift the military ban only if Robert Gates, a homophobic Republican, approved it. This decision was scheduled after the elections, and was to be based on a survey of our armed forces.
The bill didn't pass, but Gates ran the survey anyway. What was the catch? Gates made sure that the survey was heavily biased in favor of continuing the military ban.
However, things didn't go according to plan. Roughly 70% of the service people returning the survey said getting rid of the ban would make no difference or be a positive thing for them. The upshot of even a survey with a strong homophobic bias was that most service people don't care either way.
Meanwhile, the military ban was losing badly in two completely separate court cases, despite all the taxpayer money being wasted on it. HomophObama chose to appeal the ruling overturning the ban, despite being under absolutely no obligation to do so. In civil cases (and all criminal cases that don't involve the death penalty), losing parties are under no obligation to appeal. They can accept the ruling. They also can try to settle with the winning parties in order to avoid a lengthy appeals process.
HomophObama insisted on appealing. Not only didn't he accept a ruling eliminating a ban he claimes that he opposes, he wasn't even willing to try to make a settlement to save face and address the phony baloney logistical objections that bigots have made to try to drag out the process indefinitely.
HomophObama's excuse was weak, to put it mildly. He said he wanted a legislative repeal instead. Yet, Obama did everything in his power to prevent such a thing in 2009 when Republicans weren't feeling so invincible. Now that the Senate had a cloture vote on repealing the military ban, Harry Reid and HomophObama made backroom deals to make sure not enough Democrats would show up to pass a cloture vote.
HomophObama isn't the only bigot deserving blame for this. Obama's fellow Republicans voted overwhelmingly for the military ban. That includes "moderate, pro gay" Goppers like Olympia Snowe and Scott Brown. Of course, people who have followed Scott Brown's execrable political career have known all along that Brown is a vicious and evil bigot, regardless of how heterosexists in the corporate media like Jon Stewart have marketed him otherwise.
Photo: Derek Bridges
Let's not forget that Cyndy's hooker, John "Keating Five" McCain parroted Christian homophobic values to justify his fight for discrimination despite the fact that prostitution is just as much against Christianity as homosexuality.
However different the specifics of HomophObama's hypocrisy on the military ban, it is just as reprehensible as that of John McCain. Both of them are nauseating Republicans who are unfit to hold a public office. Neither is fit to even be a sewer commissioner.
Julian Assange is innocent of all rape charges. That is an obvious fact. The charges are the result of a brazen campaign of retaliation by some of the many governments and corporate interests who are furious about damaging secrets being revealed by Wikileaks.
We also know that women don't make rape charges for frivolous reasons. To get women to make false rape charges in any case would be difficult. To get women to make false rape charges in a high profile case like this, it would require incredibly intense forms of coercion by the interests who are retaliating against Wikileaks. These women can no more be legitimately criticized or held responsible for what they are saying than victims of torture and people being held hostage by terrorists. It's the people who have committed heinous acts to coerce these women who should be the targets of our ire and of criminal prosecution.
What I just said isn't some kind of incredibly deep insight. It's a statement of obvious facts combined with basic logic. The Swedish prosecutors are perfectly aware of what is really going on. So are Sweden's political and economic elites.
So, the only question that remained for me was what to do about this. The only means that a middle class person across an ocean like me can think of to do is to retaliate against Sweden's reprehensible actions is taking some of my business away from that country's omnipresent corporation: Ikea. I know it isn't enough, and I would love to know other legal means to fight back against Sweden's power elites.
I also am sickened by the unpatriotic actions of MasterCard and Visa to refuse to process transactions for donations to Wikileaks. Talk about an utter lack of any sense of business ethics. I freely admit that I am too dependent on those two evil corporations to go cold turkey, but I am going to do the vast majority of my Solstice shopping by cash or check.
I already decided to avoid Solstice shopping at Amazon and to close my account there in response to their heinous decision to close down the Wikeleaks website. Fortunately , there are mirror sites, but that doesn't let Amazon's unpatriotic actions off the hook.
If I lived in Connecticut, there is no way I could ever vote for Joe Lieberman after his witch hunt against Wikileaks. I don't know how anyone could be as disgusting and corrupt as that man. His contempt for this country and the American people is horrifying. But, what would you expect from someone so disloyal to this country that he gleefully supports irradiating millions of Americans with highly carcinogenic doses of XRays just so a well connected Republican corporation can grab unearned profits.
If you are surprised by my use of the word "unpatriotic" to describe Wikileaks' American attackers, including that quisling Joe Lieberman, consider this. I see true patriotism to be loyalty to my country, not loyalty to corrupt corporations, wealthy elites, and politicians that reside here and leech off the rest of us.
Tell Hillary Clinton and the Rest of the Obama Administration to Stop Bullying Poor Nations at Global Warming Summit
Barack Bush and Hillary Clinton are sabotaging negotiations on reducing Global Warming. I know. You are shocked, just shocked at this corruption.
Anyway, here's some of the text of an email I recently recieved from Friends of the Earth (bolding mine).
We are writing to you from UN climate negotiations in Cancun, Mexico, where diplomatic cables exposed by WikiLeaks this week confirm what we'd already been hearing: The U.S. is bullying poorer countries into accepting an unjust and dangerous climate deal.
Do you want your government to stop pushing poor countries around and start acting as a constructive force in international negotiations?
If the answer is yes, then we need your signature on our petition to the chief U.S. diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The leaked cables show how the Obama administration used its foreign aid budget to bribe some developing countries into supporting a deeply flawed climate proposal called the Copenhagen Accord, which could set the world on a path to devastating levels of global warming -- up to nine degrees Fahrenheit by this century's end.2
The U.S. followed up by cutting off aid funding to other poor countries that refused to do its bidding.
Just yesterday, the deputy prime minister of Tuvalu, a small island that could be wiped off the map by climate change, declared, "We cannot afford to be held hostage by the domestic political backwardness of one large developed country. It is now time to act."
Will you stand with Tuvalu and call on U.S. negotiators to stop undermining strong global action to fight climate change?
When President Obama came into office, he promised to engage cooperatively with other countries to address the climate crisis. But at last year's climate talks in Copenhagen, and now in Cancun, his negotiators have done the opposite.
This illustrates more of the lies and betrayals that are so common with this pathetic excuse of an administration.
It also illustrates another important point about Wikileaks. Obviously, governments and the banksters are playing a huge role in the campaign of persecution against Wikileaks and its leader, Julian Assange. This revelation proves that Big Oil and Big Coal are involved in this fascist campaign against free speech and open government.
Obviously, Barack Obama doesn't value the opinion of anyone who isn't super rich, but I think he does want to continue occupying the White House. It is important for him to know he is losing support from liberal voters by pursuing his extreme right and corrupt policies. If Obama keeps doing everything he can to send a message to Democrats that our votes make absolutely no difference, his 2012 loss will be the most humiliating electoral defeat of any major party candidate in US history.
I should point out that Ms. Clinton's enthusiastic involvement in this is typical, given that she is the same kind of extreme right Dixiecrat as her reprehensible husband Bill.
Please Sign the Petition!
Photos: World Economic Forum
This video is from a protest that was launched at the location of the sign by Broome County Peace Action.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars are two of the biggest causes of the federal deficit, yet the Cat Food Commission and other "deficit reduction" groups have left ending the wars off the table. As bad as the financial and physical costs of this war are for Americans, things are much worse than Iraqis, Afghans, and Pakistanis.
Last I heard, the sign was on loan to other cities.
Liberals are understandably pissed at Obama's decision to openly push for tax cuts for the rich after pretending for so long he opposed them. Obama's support for cutting taxes for the rich, taxes that were way too low before his ideological bff George W. Bush took office, proves beyond any possible doubt that the President is as bought and paid for as any other Republican.
Why doesn't he just fess up and change his party registration to GOP?
I tried to call the White House to express my opposition to his latest betrayal, and I got a busy signal twice. Given how pissed off people are at President Obama now, that alone wouldn't be surprising. However, I have called the White House on numerous occasions, and the number always gives a busy signal during the extremely limited business hours, and they don't take messages during the rest of the day. I've called on days when nothing even remotely interesting was going on in the business cycle, and still got busy signals.
Obviously, Barack Obama and his administration don't give a flying rats anus about what middle class and poor Americans think. To these de facto Goppers, only the super rich count.
I wonder if the email comments form even processes peoples'comments, or if the form contents are ignored, and the acknowledgment pops up on the screen without the data being saved or transmitted.
Will some liberal Democrat please, please, please run a primary challenge against this obnoxious and egomanical Phonycrat?
Some corporate shills have been trying to create the media perception that the only people who opposes the highly carcinogenic body scanners in airports are Glenn Beck loving teabaggers. Nothing can be further from the truth. In fact, liberal organizations have been opposing these monstrosities on civil liberties grounds for some time now. Hopefully, awareness of the carcinogenic nature of the porno scanners will become more widely known as well.
The Privacy Coalition has a list of organizations that signed onto a letter sent last year to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano opposing the XRay scanners. Most of the groups that signed on were liberal. Here are the liberal groups that signed onto the letter.
American Civil Liberties Union
Americans for Democratic Action
Center for Democracy and Technology
Center for Digital Democracy
Consumer Travel Alliance
Consumer Federation of America
Cyber Privacy Project
Discrimination and National Security Initiative
Electronic Privacy Information Center
Fairfax County Privacy Council
Feminists for Free Expression
Florida Breast Cancer Resource Network
Identity Project (PapersPlease.org)
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Workrights Institute
Pain Relief Network
Patient Privacy Rights
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
The Multiracial Activist
Transgender Law Center
Woodhull Freedom Foundation
World Privacy Forum
The scanners are blatantly unconstitutional. They are unreasonable searches and they certainly don't involve search warrants. The use of the carcinogenic porno scanners is based on the presumption that every person who flies is a terrorist and must prove their innocence, which violates the American principle of innocent until proven guilty.
Even more important is the fact that the scanner' use will result in a massive increase in cancer rates in this country in another ten to twenty years. I personally don't want to be part of that spike in cancer cases? Do you?
The pathetic thing is that we are throwing the lives of thousands if not millions of Americans as well as our constitutional rights in order to try to get a dubious degree of safety from a tiny risk, terrorism. Unlike terrorism, where the risk is remote, cancer is the second leading cause of death in this country.
Photo: stephanie says
The Washington Post has sunk to this level.
Photo: a kingdom for a donkey
It's no big secret that the Washington Post has been a corrupt, partisan, rightist, unpatriotic, and unreliable news source for some time, especially when it comes to the lies of wealthy and powerful Republicans.
However, a 12/3/10 editorial by this propaganda rag attacking the movie "Fair Game" which explores the crimes committed by the Bush regime against Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson took things to astonishing extremes.
The only grudging admiration I can offer the Post's editorial board was its efficiency. They managed to pack so many lies into such short sections of text with a ruthless efficiency that the paper seldom devotes to actual new reporting.
The movie portrays Ms. Plame as having cultivated a group of Iraqi scientists and arranged for them to leave the country, and it suggests that once her cover was blown, the operation was aborted and the scientists were abandoned. This is simply false. In reality, as The Post's Walter Pincus and Richard Leiby reported, Ms. Plame did not work directly on the program, and it was not shut down because of her identification.
1) Ms. Plame did work directly on the program.
2) There was no claim that the entire program was shut down. The claim was that CIA front company that Plame was involved with was shut down.
3) That company was shut down, and the lives of its employees were endangered.
The movie portrays Mr. Wilson as a whistle-blower who debunked a Bush administration claim that Iraq had tried to purchase uranium from the African country of Niger. In fact, an investigation by the Senate intelligence committee found that Mr. Wilson's reporting did not affect the intelligence community's view on the matter, and an official British investigation found that President George W. Bush's statement in a State of the Union address that Britain believed that Iraq had sought uranium in Niger was well-founded..
1) Joseph Wilson was a whitle-blower.
2) He debunked the claim that Iraq had tried to buy uranium from Niger.
3) The entire US intelligence community knew that the claim was false.
4) George W. Bush and the rest of his administration deliberately lied when they made the claim.
5) The Senate intelligence committee's "investigation" was a fraudulent, partisan, GOP sham.
6) The British "investigation" was a white wash designed to protect Tony Blair from political scrutiny and criminal prosecution.
7) The Downing Street Memos prove beyond any shadow of a doubt that both the US and British Government knew that there was no Iraqi nuclear program.
"Fair Game" also resells the couple's story that Ms. Plame's exposure was the result of a White House conspiracy. A lengthy and wasteful investigation by a special prosecutor found no such conspiracy - but it did confirm that the prime source of a newspaper column identifying Ms. Plame was a State Department official, not a White House political operative.
1) The supposed "investigation" was conducted by Patrick Fitzgerald, a highly partisan and politically connected Republican who took Bush regime claims at face value rather than running a real investigation.
2) It is physically impossible for a newspaper column to be the prime source of information on this. Insider information was needed for Robert Novak to make his treasonous revelations.
3) The sources of the leak were in the Bush regime.
4) The leaks were coordinated by Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and probably other Bush regime officials.
Though it was long ago established that Mr. Wilson himself was not telling the truth - not about his mission to Niger and not about his wife - the myth endures.
1) Joe Wilson did tell the truth about the war.
2) Joe Wilson did tell the truth about his wife.
The Washington Post really is trying to out Moonie the Moonie owned Washington Times.
I should note that the facts I have pointed out have been widely and publicly known for several years for now. There is no possible way that the Washington Post could not be aware of them.
The dishonesty is yet another example of the corporate media's Judith Miller style approach to "journalism." "Reporters," pundits, and editorial boards act as stenographers for the lies of the wealthy and the powerful, especially when those lies get our country into illegal, corrupt, and genocidal wars. I can't imagine why anyone would subscribe to the Washington Post. Why pay to be lied to in a way that only serves to insult one's intelligence?
...get the guy a towel.
(BTW: That particular slogan always makes me think of hot Hispanic men.)
Photo: romana klee
Lindsay Graham discussing the size of his penis?
Photo: World Economic Forum
Extreme right Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Christian Taliban) has to be the most frequently outed of the heterosexist Republicans in DC. (Yes, I know that the corporate media frequently market him as a "moderate," but look at his actual record and you will see that he is on the far right fringe.)
Recent events are making me wonder if those who are outing the wingnut are onto something. Why would a "moderate" Senator make such a big deal of pushing a wildly unpopular position like supporting the military ban? (From On Top Magazine 11/30/10)
Graham, also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, expressed a similar sentiment.
“Well, there are service chiefs who object to repeal, particularly the Marine Corps. And the question that was asked of our military is how would you implement 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' once it's repealed. They didn't ask the question, 'Should it be repealed?'”
“This is a political promise made by Senator Obama when he was running for president,” the South Carolina Republican said. “There is no groundswell of opposition to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' coming from our military. This is all politics.”
Graham also predicted Republicans would unite to block repeal of the law.
If Graham were heterosexual and politically astute, he would avoid getting involved in an issue where the GOP's position is at odds with the overwhelming majority of the American people. Either Graham is an incredibly amateurish politician, or he is trying a bit too hard to cover up homosexuality.
In any case, Graham is a slimeball who is deserving of nothing but utter contempt.
From Democracy Now 12/2/10:
Amazon Drops WikiLeaks Website
WikiLeaks’ website meanwhile was temporarily shut down on Wednesday after the online giant Amazon dropped it from its servers. Independent Senator Joe Lieberman, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said Amazon had acceded to his demand to stop hosting WikiLeaks. In a post to its Twitter account, WikiLeaks said, "If Amazon are so uncomfortable with the first amendment, they should get out of the business of selling books." In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley criticized Assange for calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to resign over her orders for U.S. diplomats to spy on foreign officials.
Every patriotic American supports what Wikileaks is doing. Period.
Update: I canceled my Amazon account today. This brings up a problem unrelated to Amazon's anti American decision to take down the Wikileaks site. Instead of allowing users to enter their data during each transaction, which is the safer and more responsible practice, Amazon requires users to set up an account. The result of their policy and their accounts setup is that anyone with password cracking software can get into your account and get a huge amount of information that would be incredibly useful for identity theft. Even if you aren't bothered by Amazon's censorship of web whistleblowers, protecting your identity online should be a major consideration.
It's World AIDS Day. This is the day which is a global call to action on AIDS. What about Obama's record on AIDS?
Obama, like Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, has refused to support the AIDS Cure Project which would dramatically increase HIV research funding while taking control of research from Big Pharma and putting it back under control of scientists. Obama's administration is so bought and paid for by the drug companies that they have done nothing to address the issues of conflicts of interest in HIV/AIDS research either.
Obama has been a miserable failure at HIV prevention too. He continues to fund "abstinence only" scams which are deliberately designed to promote the spread of HIV and to promote teen pregnancies as punishment for sex. It's the responsibility of the executive branch to send safer sex kits and instructions to every US household, yet Obama has stubbornly refused to do that. Obama would rather pander to anti American religious extremists like his bff Rick Warren than show even the slightest bit of concern for the health of the American people. It is the responsibility of the executive branch to produce PSAs which visually demonstrate proper condom usage and to pull the license of any treasonous broadcaster who refuses to run them. Obama is too negligent to do this.
Obama also has actively promoted the homohatred that causes so many HIV infections in this country. Not only did he invite a homophobic and misogynistic neo Nazi like Rick Warren in the inauguration and his campaign, Obama has pushed viciously heterosexist policies such as opposition to ENDA and support of the military ban. Obama, who ran the Harvard Law Reiview, is so fanatical in his hatred of queers that his administration compared homosexuality to bestiality and necrophilia in court papers fighting for the "Defense of Marriage Act." Having a president who hates us and wants us all dead certainly doesn't help in HIV prevention efforts, to put it mildly.
Obama has followed the policies of the Bush regime on global AIDS issues. He has made big promises and flashy speeches while doing nothing to fund the commitments in those speeches. It's all a pack of deadly lies.
Obama is just as much of a mass murderer as the Bushes, as Bill Clinton, and as Ronald Reagan.