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Now that Rupert Murdoch's neo Nazi media empire is facing controversy and criminal investigations in Britain, it's time to consider the illegal activities of Murdoch's Newscorp holdings here in the US. A perfect example of this is how Murdoch's propaganda network falsely advertises itself as "Fox News."

Here's some information on false advertising on the website of the FCC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

What truth-in-advertising rules apply to advertisers?

Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:

- Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
- Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
- Advertisements cannot be unfair.

Additional laws apply to ads for specialized products like consumer leases, credit, 900 telephone numbers, and products sold through mail order or telephone sales. And every state has consumer protection laws that govern ads running in that state.
What makes an advertisement deceptive?

According to the FTC's Deception Policy Statement, an ad is deceptive if it contains a statement - or omits information - that:

- Is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and
- Is "material" - that is, important to a consumer's decision to buy or use the product.

Now, it isn't just the name that is deceptive. Newscorp routinely runs ads in other media outlets calling its network "Fox News" and falsely claiming that it is a news network.

The facts are quite different. "Fox News" produces fascist propaganda which intentionally misleads the viewers and which also is intended to keep viewers from knowing what is actually going on in this country and throughout the world.

A viewer watching this network knows less about the news after watching their shows than before. Yet, Murdoch's propagandists call it a "news" network.

Obama looking sillyThe extreme right policies of the Obama administration are a rather blatant example of a much larger problem: the futility of voting for Democrats.

In a series of postings and with a bit of help, I came up with 140 examples of Bush Regime policies that this administration has continued or expanded on. And, it wasn't like I was trying to write an exhaustive list. I didn't have to do much research at all to come up with those items.

Our economy still sucks, when Democrats had the power during the last congressional term, they refused to pass real healthcare reform, lower the Social Security retirement age, or get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the rich (much less the Clinton, Reagan, Carter, and Kennedy tax cuts for the rich). Although Obama got the legal authority to lift the military ban at the end of last year, his administration keeps putting up homophobic administrative obstacles to postpone lifting the ban forever.

Iraq Deaths EstimatorNeither this administration nor the Democrats in Congress have done anything to fight AIDS, pass ENDA, fight the banksters, prosecute crooked Bush regime officials, or end the wars. It's been new bosses, same old shit. Now, Barack Obama is working with his Republican allies (the "conflict" between them is as fake as the WWE) to implement the Crusade of Obama's Cat Food Commission against Social Security, Medicare, and Medicare.

Obama and the Democrats have been just as callous and unconcerned as the Republicans about the plight of the middle class and the poor in this country who continue to suffer while their wealthy donors party down with money that rightfully belongs to the rest of us. This is an administration that is so brazenly corrupt that they have chosen to give hundreds of thousands of Americans cancer just to show favoritism to some well connected airport X-Ray scanner companies.

Where is the opposition to all of this in the Democratic Party?

Where indeed!

It is disturbing that there is no real Democrat left to fight for what the party used to stand for. No one is willing to take on the rightist political elites in the party who treat everyone else like garbage.

There really isn't anyone left in the Democratic Party to vote for. These days, voting for Democrats or Republicans is throwing away your vote. The only hope, and a slim one admittedly, is to vote Green. There really is nothing left in the party that once brought forth the New Deal and Civil Rights laws.

Top Photo: jurvetson

 

In previous postings on Barack Bush's Cat Food Commission, I discussed how he created a "deficit commission" to advocate tax cuts for the rich and the corporations they own while cutting government programs for the middle class and the poor. Stopping the wars, raising taxes on the rich/corporations, raising tariffs, and cutting corporate welfare were "oddly" off the table.

protest sign with check image showing year that Bank of America paid no taxesNow that Barack Bush's fellow Republicans control the House, he is using that opportunity to go after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is reprehensible, and it shows the contempt that this administration and its GOP allies have for the non rich.

It's time for some brave Democrat (if such a person even exists in that party anymore) to launch a primary challenge against Barack Bush. Barack Bush has been fucking with the middle class and the poor for far too long.

In the meantime, some progressives are fighting back, I encourage you to join them in doing so.

1) From an Action Alert by Firedog Lake:

The war on our social safety net is now fully underway.

President Obama is offering cuts to Social Security benefits in exchange for GOP support for tax hikes. Democrats in the Senate and Congress will likely be forced to walk the plank and support those cuts, despite being deeply unpopular.

We refuse to sit by and watch the political classes get away with making cuts to Social Security. Firedoglake will make it as painful as possible for any politician from any party to participate in this wholesale looting of the public sphere.

Join us in demanding absolutely NO CUTS to social safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Take the pledge:
"I pledge to withhold support for any politician who participates in cutting social safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security."

2. Bold Progressives Have Their Own Pledge You Can Sign:
President Obama: If you cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits for me, my family, or families like mine, don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates who will fight to protect our Democratic legacy.

protest sign saying Tax the RichSadly, it's looking as though the only way protect the policies and values the Democratic Party used to stand for these days is to vote Green. The Democrats are just clones of the GOP these days.

3. Contact the White House:
It's no secret that Barack Bush is a plutocrat who hates poor and middle class Americans, but he does need our votes in 2012. It's important to contact the White House and let them know that you are outraged by the fascist policies he is proposing.

 

Supreme Court: Wal-Mart Is Above the Law

Posted by libhom Monday, June 20, 2011 5 comments

Sign that says Yr Gettin Yr Class War Up in My Uterus.
The Supreme Court is just as guilty as Wal-Mart this time.

During the late 19th Century, the US Supreme Court was a notoriously corrupt subsidiary of wealthy and corporate interests. The current Court seems determined to match its filthy past if not surpass it. And, it didn't stop with the blatantly illegal Citizens United decision.

Now, the Supreme Court has decided that Wal-Mart cannot face a class action suit on behalf of all of its female employees who work in a misogynist corporate culture deliberately designed to promote and perpetuate discrimination. The Majority decision (with an almost as blatantly illegal concurring decision" included these enormously disturbing comments by anti American, neo Nazi "Justice" Scalia. (Iowa Independent 6/21/11)

“The crux of this case is commonality — the rule requiring a plaintiff to show that ‘there are questions of law or fact common to the class,’” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia. “That language is easy to misread, since ‘[a]ny competently crafted class complaint literally raises common question.’ For example: Do all of us plaintiffs indeed work for Wal-Mart? Do our managers have discretion over pay? Is that an unlawful employment practice? What remedies should we get?

“Reciting these questions is not sufficient to obtain class certification. Commonality requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the class members ‘have suffered the same injury.’ This does not mean merely that they have all suffered a violation of the same provision of law.”

Scalia adds that there must be “some glue holding the alleged reasons,” in order to answer the question of why some female workers were disfavored. There is no proof, he states, that Wal-Mart “operated under a general policy of discrimination” toward all female workers, noting that the company’s announced policy bans discrimination on gender. He dismissed earlier testimony by Dr. William Bielby, a sociology expert, who pointed to analysis of the company’s social framework to show a pattern of stereotyping by Wal-Mart.

We know the ruling had no basis in law because it was written by Antonin Scalia, author of the fraudulent and treasonous Bush v. Gore decision. However, it is critical to point out certain extreme dishonesties in this rhetoric.

Scalia is perfectly aware of the absolute fact that all the women workers of Wal-Mart do share the same injury: blatant sex discrimination due to a system that deliberately disfavors women. The statistics of sex discrimination provided by the victims of Wal-Mart's discrimination prove just that beyond the shadow of a doubt. No one can honestly dispute this. Scalia's dismissal of critical testimony is a shocking example of how he works to rig cases based on the rightist outcomes he wants rather than following the law.

Even the concurring opinion was reprehensible. It claimed that there might be another basis for the class action suit, but not the perfectly reasonable, legal, and factual basis provided by the plaintiffs. This case is precisely the kind of case where middle class and poor Americans should be able to band together in class action lawsuits to address injuries they have suffered as groups at the hands of evil corporations.

One common thread in all of this bullshit was that the lawsuit was "too big." It wasn't the lawsuit that was too big. The Executive and Legislative Branches of the US government already introduced "too big to fail" as a guiding standard for dealing with crooked banks. Now, the US Supreme Court has introduced the following illegal theory into its rulings on corporations:

Too Big to Obey the Law

 

Some of the Venomous Homophobes AT&T Has Given Money To

Posted by libhom Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3 comments

As many of you already know, AT&T gave money to the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, a viciously heterosexist organization which has fought to block local LGBT rights laws in that state. Garden State Equality has withdrawn an award they gave to AT&T in response. (I would love to know why they gave an award to a homophobic corporation like AT&T in the first place, but that's another story.)

AT&T has a history of giving money to heterosexist politicians as well. Here are some of the bigots that have received money from AT&T.

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Sen. Robert Bennett

Rep. John Boehner

Rep. Roy Blunt

Rep. Eric Cantor

Rep. Darrell Issa

Sen. John "Keating Five" McCain

Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Pat Toomey

It's sickening that GLAAD would even take AT&T's homophobic money, much less allow themselves to be bought and doing lobbying for AT&T against queer content and especially queer activist content on the Internet. The depths to which GLAAD has sunk are sickening.

 

In my last posting on AT&T's purchase of GLAAD's support of their homophobic merger with TMobile, I made an important point about who owns corporations and how that can be devastating for queers.

Remember when AT&T was broken up as a monopoly to try to increase competition years ago under antitrust laws? Well, AT&T has been buying up competitors ever since, trying to regain its monopoly status. These days, this is especially dangerous since telecommunications companies are Internet providers and so much queer and queer activist content has moved to the Internet. Allowing these kind of corporate takeovers poses a potentially existential threat to the LGBT civil rights movement.

AT&T will be able use any monopoly to censor queer activism and queer content. Given the fact that most corporate executives and major shareholders are viciously heterosexist, racist, and sexist Republicans, it would be highly surprising (actually shocking) if they didn't abuse their power, absent the prospect of losing customers to competitors.

Queers have fought so hard against the censorship of queer content. We still have a long way to go. However, it is more likely than not that AT&T will move things way backward if they succeed in their ultimate goal: establishing a total telecom monopoly.

I should also point out that rich Republicans, and the wealthy elites in general, have shown an increasingly totalitarian mindset and have been increasingly hostile to civil liberties and the US Constitution.

Of course, these critiques apply to all oppressed minorities, as well as liberals, progressives, and leftists. Corporate "news" outlets already are heavily censored by their owners. The Internet is critical for getting so much information that usually is suppressed in corporate outlets.

From a Free Press email promoting their Action Alert which addresses other aspects of the issue:
Back in the 80s, AT&T’s power was near absolute. That’s why government regulators stepped in to break it up and protect the American people against abuse.

Now, with AT&T’s planned $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile, we’re reaching the danger point again.

Tell the FCC: Step in Now to Stop AT&T’s Mega-Merger

Unless the FCC rejects this merger, Americans stand to lose control over the future of communications.

That's why so many have already flooded the FCC with comments since news of this outrageous merger became public. And that's why we need you to speak out again today.

We can’t let just two companies – AT&T and Verizon – control nearly 80 percent of the mobile marketplace. If the FCC rubber-stamps this deal, we’ll be giving these companies unchecked power — at our expense.

That means you’ll be paying more to have AT&T drop your calls; and access to popular applications like Skype, Slingbox and Google Earth will be limited even further … if AT&T lets you use them at all.

Keep in mind that AT&T eventually will try to buy Verizon.

Take Action Now!

 

AT&T Buys GLAAD's Betrayal

Posted by libhom Saturday, June 04, 2011 3 comments

gold coins
Photo: trader_john

I was involved in the LA Chapter of GLAAD to a certain extent early on, when GLAAD still fought against heterosexism in the media. GLAAD has gone way downhill since. In recent years, they actually were run by a homophobic Republican.

I had hoped that GLAAD would get less heterosexist after that clown left, but it's just doesn't get better.

Remember when AT&T was broken up as a monopoly to try to increase competition years ago under antitrust laws? Well, AT&T has been buying up competitors ever since, trying to regain its monopoly status. These days, this is especially dangerous since telecommunications companies are Internet providers and so much queer and queer activist content has moved to the Internet. Allowing these kind of corporate takeovers poses a potentially existential threat to the LGBT civil rights movement.

AT&T will be able use any monopoly to censor queer activism and queer content. Given the fact that most corporate executives and major shareholders are viciously heterosexist, racist, and sexist Republicans, it would be highly surprising (actually shocking) if they didn't abuse their power, absent the prospect of losing customers to competitors.

In full knowledge of all of this, GLAAD issued a letter to the FCC supporting the merger. After the controversy became public, GLAAD issued a statement including bizarre rationalizations that insult the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 60. Some people were asking why GLAAD did this. The answer is readily available in another press release on their site.

GLAAD Receives $25,000 Grant from AT&T

AT&T is a major donor that gives amounts of money to GLAAD that are small to the multinational corporation and large to the faux media activist organization. AT&T has been able to buy GLAAD's betrayal, and GLAAD hasn't exactly lost sleep over the heinous thing they have done because they stopped giving a shit about the queer community well over a decade ago.

sign saying, we the people, not we the corporationsLiving in a corporate police state would be just fine for AT&T, but it is deadly dangerous to oppressed communities like queers. We need to fight back when groups that claim to speak for us throw us under the bus so they can overpay their executives.

Note: I want to thank the guys at Feast of Fun for alerting me to this issue by putting up this news story and discussing it on their podcast. Their podcast is quite entertaining, yet it also includes important news, information, and insights. The only people that will make GLAAD and the HRC even act like they care about the queer community are dedicated podcasters, bloggers, and grassroots activists.

 

In a recent Nation blog entry, extreme right columnist Eric Alterman accuses Noam Chomsky of lying about him. Let's look at Alterman's rant first.

So Chomsky uses exactly one example to demonstrate his joint contention regarding both “America’s obsessive belief in capital punishment” and its “rejoicing in the manner of Bin Laden’s demise.” Regarding the death penalty, I do not support it and never have. Regarding “rejoicing,” Chomsky purposely ignored the sentence that followed the very one he chose to quote. It reads: “But it should not be occasion for joy. The Talmud tells the story of angels dancing and singing as the waters of the Red Sea close over the heads of the Egyptian troops after the Israelites have safely crossed over, only to be rebuked by their God: ‘How dare you dance and sing as my children drown in the sea?’”

This would sound convincing if one didn't bother to read Alterman's reprehensible commentary on bin Laden's extrajudicial murder. I should point out the fact that the very title of the piece, "Bin Gotten" rejoices in that murder. (Bolding and italics mine.)
The killing of Osama bin Laden was a just and necessary undertaking; just because he had the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands, and necessary because his continued escape from justice was an inspiration to others to try to follow in his footsteps. But it should not be occasion for joy. The Talmud tells the story of angels dancing and singing as the waters of the Red Sea close over the heads of the Egyptian troops after the Israelites have safely crossed over, only to be rebuked by their God: “How dare you dance and sing as my children drown in the sea?”

So, Alterman drools over the killing of bin Laden in the first sentence and the name of the essay, yet he admonishes people not to do exactly what he is doing. This nonsense is as self contradictory as the Bible, and equally irrational.

Let's look at some other things that Alterman said about this illegal, extrajudicial killing.

"Barack Obama’s solemn announcement of this tremendous achievement hit the perfect note."

"the president’s cool, calm decision-making and demeanor—coupled with the peerless professional execution of the operation—can only impress world opinion with the mature and steely determination of America’s post-Bush leadership."

Sick, sick, sick.

Chomsky is correct. Alterman was rejoicing.

In the italicized text, I noticed out a huge problem with Alterman's and the Nation's fact checking, assuming there actually is any by either party. Alterman makes the highly questionable claim that "he had the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands."

The Nation should know better than to publish unsubstantiated claims in defense of government murder. There still hasn't been a credible, independent investigation of 911. The "911 Commission" was a cruel joke. They didn't demand all of that illegal regime's emails, memos, etc. They didn't subpoena people.

Even worse, Bush spoke to that sham commission, not under oath, while Dickless Cheney was present. That is absolute proof that he and other Bush regime officials were lying about 911. That "911 Commission" did nothing about those lies.

There certainly is evidence supporting the theory that Bush regime officials knew that attacks were coming and deliberately allowed the attacks to take place. However, there also is evidence strongly suggesting that the 911 attacks were committed by the Bush regime itself. The most damaging evidence is that fact that all the amateur video footage of the attacks was stolen by the Bush regime under "national security" grounds. That footage has yet to be made public. (Gee, I wonder why.)

The most any professional journalist can say about bin Laden is that he is alleged to be the mastermind of the 911 attacks, and that the allegations are rather weak.

I am so sick of incredibly evil politicians like George W. Bush and Barack Bush shitting on our Constitution and our nation's values. I am equally sick and tired of their gleeful enablers like Alterman.

The killing of a man without trial in a legitimate civilian court is murder, cold blooded murder. The lack of convincing evidence of guilt only makes the crime more heinous. How can a "liberal" magazine like the Nation allow someone like Alterman to post disturbing, fascist nonsense on their website?

Is it any wonder why The Nation is always begging for money and subscriptions? They have become such partisan Democrats that they have gone to shocking lengths to pander to an extreme right President like Barack Bush. If that magazine wants more liberal and progressive supporters, then they should fire the shills for this corrupt, rightist administration and hire some real liberals and progressives to write for them.

Ted Rall is absolutely correct about The Nation when he discusses their censorship of writers criticizing this execrable administration from the perspectives of the left.
I was merciless to Obama. I was cruel in my criticisms of Obama’s sellouts to the right. In my writings and drawings I tried to tell it as it was, or anyway, as I saw it. I thought—still think—that’s my job. I’m a critic, not a suck-up. The Obama Administration doesn’t need journalists or pundits to carry its water. That’s what press secretaries and PR flacks are for.

Does Obama ever do anything right? Not often, but sure. And when he does, I shut up about it. Cartoonists and columnists who promote government policy are an embarrassment.

But that’s what “liberal” media outlets want in the age of Obama.

I can’t prove it in every case. (That’s how blackballing works.) The Nation and Mother Jones and Harper’s, liberal magazines that gave me freelance work under Clinton and Bush, now ignore my queries. Even when I offered them first-person, unembedded war reporting from Afghanistan. Hey, maybe they’re too busy to answer email or voicemail. You never know.

Other censors are brazen.

Even if The Nation didn't specifically target Rall, their censorship of genuine liberal and progressive views about Barack Bush is so blatant one cannot help but notice it.

Yet, a rightist like Alterman is published regularly by The Nation. It's truly reprehensible.

 

Psychology Today Really Is Junk

Posted by libhom Monday, May 23, 2011 2 comments

cake with WTF written on itI got an email from The Color of Change with an Action Alert about someone who has a blog on the Psychology Today website which was truly disturbing.

Nearly 20 years after a black parent documented how hard it was to hear, "Mommy, I want to be white,"1 Psychology Today reinforced the false and hurtful sentiment that Black women aren't attractive.

Last week they published an article claiming it to be scientific fact that Black women are less beautiful than women of other races,2 penned by Satoshi Kanazawa, who is notorious for hiding behind pseudoscience to promote discredited racist and sexist ideas.3

By giving Kanazawa a platform and validating his ideas, Psychology Today dehumanized Black women and girls everywhere. After widespread public outcry, they removed the article from their website.4 But that alone won't erase the damage they've done by validating these discredited ideas — the editors need to apologize, explain how this happened, and let us know that it won't happen again. Please join us in demanding they do so immediately, and then ask your friends and family to do the same:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

Kanazawa's article is flawed from top to bottom.5 Using a dataset from an unrelated study of teenagers, he draws the obviously false conclusion that Black women are "objectively" less attractive than women from other racial groups.

Kanazawa has a long history of hiding behind pseudo-science to express racist and sexist views. He once wrote an article asking "Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?" and another suggesting that the US should have dropped nuclear bombs across the entire Middle East after 9/11 because it would have wiped out Muslim terrorists.6

So why does Psychology Today continue to give him a platform? Black women constantly face both subtle and explicit messages that they are valued less than women of other races — messages that are especially damaging to Black girls. Now Psychology Today has served as launching point for yet another attack, this time in the name of science.

Almost as if to cover up the racism inherent in his piece, Kanazawa says that black men are, "if anything more attractive" than their counterparts of other races because of "greater testosterone."7 But even here Kanazawa relies on the same pseudoscience to describe black men in familiar terms — brutish, hypermasculine, oversexed, exotic. And that's dangerous, too.

He uses a modern-day version of the faulty logic used to dehumanize blacks as inferior for hundreds of years, from the social Darwinists and eugenicists of the 19th century to The Bell Curve just 15 years ago. Psychology Today has a responsibility not to give such false logic a stage, nor validation.

To undo the damage it's done, Psychology Today needs to explicitly reject Kanazawa's ideas. Please join us in demanding that their editors apologize, explain how this article was published in the first place and what they'll do to ensure it won't happen again in the future. It takes just a moment:

http://act.colorofchange.org/sign/psychtoday

I certainly encourage people to join me in signing the petition.

I started to look at their website, having never read the magazine. One thing I noticed was that the quackery Kanazawa spewed in the removed posting was not a unique occurrence. One of his postings was entitled "If Barack Obama Is Christian, Michael Jackson Was White," which was wildly irrational and showed a complete lack of understanding of Evolution despite the bio referring to him as an "evolutionary psychologist."

This train wreck gets more spectacular. Kanazawa actually refers to his blog as "The Scientific Fundamentalist," oblivious to the fact that such a thing is an oxymoron. He also wrote a review of some other wingnut's book. The review was entitled "Why Liberals and Conservatives Are Both Wrong about Evolution." In it, Kanazawa claims that liberal policies go against Evolutionary principals. once again showing he knows about as much about Evolutionary Biology as the Creationists.

How did this quack get a blog on that website?

Well, I did some more browsing of the Psychology Today website and found just how vacuous and bizarre that magazine really is. "The Four Types of Female Friends to Avoid" article showed less insight, scientific or otherwise, than the typical boilerplate advice articles in womens' magazines. There was another article called "Could Crime Rates be Influenced by No NFL Season?" with speculation about as intelligent and relevant to peoples' lives as Access Hollywood.

The sad thing is that I'm sure some people turn to Psychology Today in hopes that it would actually help them deal with problems in their lives. The best outcome they can hope for would be a waste of time. I sure wouldn't take any of the articles I saw on the website seriously. It is truly reprehensible that a magazine that covers a really serious area of subject matter is so airheaded and is run by people with such execrable editorial judgement.

At least I know that I didn't make a mistake by not bothering to buy the magazine in the past.

Sigh.

Note: One thing I should point out about the Action Alert mentioned in the beginning is that the "Social Darwinists" were completely ignorant of Darwin's writings and Evolution. Evolutionary Biology gets way too bad of a reputation because some racist quacks attached their visceral prejudices to science that completely went over their heads.

Photo: SanFranAnnie

 

Yes, I know. You are shocked, yes shocked, that the world didn't come to an end yesterday evening. Imagine a fundamentalist preacher being completely full of shit. Who would have thought?

Anyway, the militant, anti American fundamentalists at the deceptively labeled "Family Radio" may believe in lots of things. Updating websites is not one of them.

I just checked, and their zany website is still warning us about May 21, 2011.

However, there is one thing that might be worthwhile on the page. They have an image of "2012" with the no symbol around it. After all the obnoxious campaign ads we will be inundated with that year, I bet people will be making similar graphics for entirely different reasons.

Happy May 22, 2011!

 

Music For the End of the World

Posted by libhom Friday, May 20, 2011 0 comments



 

I've been a swing voter between the Democrats and the Greens for years, but voting for Democrats keeps getting more difficult. This latest incident of morally repugnant racism from New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Rep. Anthony Weiner.

From CBS News New York 5/19/11 where Gillibrand attacked Obama for calling on Israel to accept its internationally recognized borders.

“Steps toward a lasting peace, with real security, cannot start with pre-existing conditions on Israel, said New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Of course, a vicious bigot like Gillibrand would say that Israel cannot be forced to stop illegally occupying Palestinian land. She actually thinks that the US is obligated to support territorial claims of a racist government that is guilty, guilty, guilty of ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian people in Palestine and which systematically oppresses and discriminates against Palestinians living in their native lands in Israel. Obviously, she thinks that it is perfectly OK for Israel to have nuclear weapons that were obtained by a terrorist attack against the USS Liberty, yet she pretends that it faces a real security threat to its actual, legitimate borders.

I can't say I'm surprised. Nothing a bloodthirsty, NRA/KKK gun extremist like Kirsten Gillibrand could do would ever disappoint me. A pro robbery, rape, and murder politician like her is completely beneath contempt.

Anthony Weiner couldn't help but join in on the racismfest either.
“The Palestinians have said in 1967 and every year since that they want Israel not to even exist. That’s the problem,” added Rep. Anthony Weiner.

“I think the fundamental philosophy of the United States should be trying to help our ally in the region, to help democracy and freedom. That means being an ally of Israel. The Palestinians have made it clear again and again they prefer violence to peace.”

Never mind that Israel has never recognized the right of Palestinians to exist either.

Israel cannot be represented as a democracy when its political system blocks participation by Palestinian parties in governing the country. Most land in Israel is owned by a foundation that openly excludes rentals to anyone who isn't Jewish. So much for "freedom."

Weiner also is perfectly aware of the absolute fact that Israel regularly commits far more and far deadlier acts of violence against the Palestinians. Weiner also is perfectly aware of the absolute fact that Israel's political and military leaders are guilty of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians on the West Bank and in Gaza. He also knows that Israel is guilty of a military siege against Gaza, which is another crime against humanity.

Horror of horrors that Obama even pay lip service to getting Israel to accept its internationally established borders. No decent, honorable, moral person supports Israel keeping on square inch of territory it has stolen. Yet, Weiner's venomous racism against Arabs won't tolerate keeping Israel within its own borders.

Of course, this isn't the only example of slimy, dishonest behavior from that rightist Phonycrat. He pretended to champion the Public Option only to gleefully throw middle class and poor people under the bus and vote for Barack Bush's wealthcare plan for the HMOs, health insurers, and Big Pharma. The man has absolutely no personal or public integrity whatsoever. Weiner is the epitome of a bought politician. He's as much of a habitual liar as he is a venomous racist.

Incredibly rightist and bigoted politicians like Gillibrand and Weiner are far from exceptional in the Democratic Party. Heinous bullshit like this is why I'm finding it more and more difficult to support any Democrat ever again. These two de facto teabaggers are incredibly strong arguments for the Green Party.

 

How to Fix the User Interface Mistakes in Firefox 4

Posted by libhom Sunday, May 15, 2011 0 comments

Have you upgraded your Firefox to version 4 and regretted it? Have you been stuck with a user interface as execrable and thoughtless as the terrible one in Google Chrome?

This excellent article shows how to fix the three biggest defects in the FF4 user interface: the tabs being too far from the content, the missing Status Bar (which is critical for many addons), and the missing menu bar (Mac users didn't get screwed over like PC users did on this one because every program has a menu tied into the way the OS is designed.)

This is not to say that Google Chrome is all bad. It has the best JavaScript engine of all the browsers, making the full featured version of Yahoo Mail run much faster. But, there's an axiom that every program designer should keep in mind.

Google is great at tech stuff under the hood, but Google knows absolutely nothing whatsoever about interface design.

In this case, Google started a bad trend in browser design by taking usability research that applies only to e-commerce sites that are visited seldom or occasionally as if that research was applicable to all software design. That research isn't even valid for web sites that are visited regularly by users or sites where users aren't performing simple, linear tasks.

If you are going to use a program or website regularly, you are going to want a variety of features readily available to you. You don't want to dig, and dig, and dig through convoluted menuing systems for something you do regularly.

It's comical that other browser developers are emulating Google's user interface, the one aspect of Chrome which is by far the most pathetic and mindless. The people at Mozilla should be focusing on improving their JavaScript speed rather than damaging their user interface.

More Heterosexism From the USOC

Posted by libhom Thursday, May 12, 2011 2 comments

Illustration of hand giving someone the fingerThe US Olympic Committee's (USOC's) choice of Peter Vidmar as its representative raised serious concerns, given his attendance at neo Nazi hate rallies organized by the Mormon hate church in favor of Proposition 8 in California. Vidmar's membership in a notorious racist, sexist, and heterosexist hate group like the Mormon Church also raised serious, legitimate concerns.

Vidmar pulled out after the controversy came up, but the whole thing reminds me of the vicious, heterosexist history of the USOC. Here's a good summary from Instinct Magazine (4/29/11):

Outsports reminds us that this is not the first time the USOC has made an anti-gay move, with contributor Jim Buzinski writing, "When Dr. Tom Waddell started an international multisport event for LGBT people in 1982, he wanted to call it the 'Gay Olympic Games.' But he was successfully sued by the USOC, which hounded him for $96,000 legal fees as he was dying of AIDS. The event was renamed the Gay Games. The USOC at the time had no problem with there being events called the 'Rat Olympics' or 'Dog Olympics.'"

This is one of the reasons why I will never give a dime to the USOC or buy any product that is an official sponsor of that organization.

The odd thing about this whole thing is that when I saw Vidmar doing gymnastics, the way he walked, his facial expressions, and the way he talked all caused my gaydar to go off the scale. It would be so bizarre if he really were straight.

 

pro wrestlers in a ring

Like many gay and bi men, I watched pro wrestling as a child, instinctively seeing it for what it really is: softcore gay/bi porn. So, I couldn't help notice with amazement the "USA! USA!" chants at the bin Laden death parties that have been happening in this country.

Those voice on the radio today remind me of how that chant started. Pro wrestling promoters would dress people up as foreigners from countries that the US ruling elites were in conflict with. The "foreigners" would do all sorts of dastardly deeds, and the American wrestlers would fight back while the crowd would chant "USA! USA!"

This country gets more and more bizarre.

During the Olympics in Atlanta (a hotbed of pro wrestling), I noticed how American crowds kept chanting "USA! USA!" They had no respect for athletes from other countries. All home country audiences are somewhat nationalistic, but other host audiences showed appreciation for athletes from other countries, which is a huge part of what the Olympics are supposed to be about.

I am convinced that this rude behavior is part of why NYC and Chicago lost their Olympics bids, though perfectly reasonable opposition in those cities played a huge roll too. (I still haven't forgiven Mayor for Life Bloomberg for misappropriating city money for political ads trying to get New Yorkers to support a hugely inappropriate Olympics bid in a city that just can't handle the disruption.)

Now, with people using chants from pro wrestling to celebrate the killing of an unarmed human being outside of the rule of law, I can't help but think that our country has become a cheesy parody of itself. We largely wrote the international laws that the Bush and Obama regimes have routinely violated, but we also have written the pro wrestling scripts that their acolytes have played out in surreal death parties.

Maybe Linda McMahon will be President someday.

BTW: Here are the real names of some of those eeeebilll "foreign" wrestlers.

Abdullah the Butcher: Larry Shreeve
Boris Zhukov: Jim Darrel
Ivan Koloff: James Parris
Kamala: James Harris
Killer Karl Krupp: George Momberg
Kwang: Juan Rivera
Mongolian Mauler: Peter Miller
Mongolian Stomper: Archie Gouldie
Nikita Koloff: Scott Simpson
Papa Shango: Charles Wright


 

Now, Can Obama Stop the Wars?

Posted by libhom Monday, May 02, 2011 3 comments

The world's biggest excuse is dead.

We still don't know who was responsible for 911. There never has been a credible, legitimate, and politically independent investigation of 911. However, our political and media elites have insisted that the 911 attacks were orchestrated by Osama bin Laden and have tried to marginalize and demonize anyone who questions any aspect of the officially sanctioned conspiracy theory to explain those horrific attacks.

Iraq Deaths EstimatorWe still are in an illegal and insane war in Iraq. There are roughly 47,000 of our troops still stuck in Iraq, occupying that country. There are over 60,000 mercenaries still in Iraq. That's right. Occupying forces are at over 100,000 in a war that the corporate media pretend isn't even going on.

We are in a war in Afghanistan that is primarily focused on establishing a natural gas pipeline going through that country. The natural gas will end up being used in India to outsource US jobs and to switch US jobs that had been outsourced to China over to India, where labor costs have not increased as they have in China.

Osama bin Laden has been used as a pretext to keep us in hugely expensive and murderous wars that have even killed more Americans than were killed in the 911 attacks. That excuse is dead.

It's time to push harder to end these deadly and costly wars that create profits for evil corporations and the rich, but screw the rest of us over.

 

Time to Boycott Trump Resorts, Hotels, Etc.

Posted by libhom Friday, April 29, 2011 3 comments

Setting aside matters of policy, the last thing we need is another spoiled rich scumbag trying to buy another office.

People Say Why They Are Against the Wars

Posted by libhom Friday, April 15, 2011 4 comments

Liberation News: Anti-War March NYC Sat April 9th from PSLweb.org on Vimeo.



I've been busy with things in my personal life, but I thought people might be interested in some voices of the underrepresented from last weekend's big anti war protest in NYC.

 

It's amazing that so much angst and anger are being wasted over something so trivial. A militant, Christian fundamentalist did what most fundies want to do. He burned a Koran. I find it amazing that he found that bullshit book "guilty" while not even putting the Bible on trial. That is spectacular hypocrisy.

Not to be outdone, militant, Muslim fundamentalists have reacted in a way that is far worse, engaging in violence and murder over such an incredibly petty offense. I don't favor any book burning on principle, but the notions that religious texts should be given some kind of privileged status would be as comical as it is bigoted if people weren't being senselessly murdered over it.

Note to religionists: You have no legitimate right or reason to get upset if someone disrespects your religion. Your religious beliefs apply to you alone. You have no right to try to apply them to anyone else under any circumstances. You don't have any business trying to get other people to respect your irrational, childish, superstitious, and preposterous beliefs. No matter how upset you get about it, two plus two will never equal twenty two. It will always be four.

The misogyny, racism, heterosexism, fascism, anti intellectualism, greed, corruption, rape, and murder of religion should be enough to make any sane person start questioning her or his religious beliefs. And, anyone who honestly and rationally questions religious beliefs ends up abandoning them. At some point, that person will wonder how they ever could have believed in anything so outlandish.

The sense of religious privilege and entitlement among the small Florida fundamentalist church and the multitudes of fundamentalist rioters is disgusting and inexcusable.

 

Corrupt Cuomo Gloats Over Bought Budget

Posted by libhom Tuesday, March 29, 2011 5 comments

Andrew Cuomo

If his name sounds familiar, it should. Andrew Cuomo was the corrupt Attorney General who refused to go after the multitude of Wall St. crooks because he was chasing after their big money campaign contributions.

Now, New York's mini me version of Scott Walker has just gotten through a budget with draconian and completely unnecessary cuts to attack public workers, the middle class, and the poor. That piece of walking garbage even pushed through a tax cut for the rich.

Cuomo's sleazy 3/28/10 press release should give you an idea of what he's really about.

"I have said that New York is at a crossroads – one road leading to further dysfunction and decline, the other towards fiscal responsibility and government efficiency. I believe this budget puts us on the right path," Governor Cuomo said. "This budget makes tough choices, which is what you sent me to Albany to do. It closes a $10 billion dollar deficit with no new taxes or borrowing, redesigns government to force it to cut waste and inefficiency, and finally delivers real results for hard-working families across New York State. I applaud and thank Majority Leader Skelos and Speaker Silver for working together to reach this agreement."

Let's look at the facts.

1) The deficit was one entirely manufactured by corruption and easily could have been resolved without cutting the state budget at all. The amount of money handed to back to Wall St. in the stock transfer tax rebate would be more than enough to balance the budget. Nothing epitomizes the pay for play environment in Albany than the stock transfer tax rebate, a Wall St giveaway, and Andrew Cuomo is one of its most strident and uncompromising supporters.

2) Cuomo massively cut taxes for the super rich in order to reward big money campaign contributors.

3) Cuomo's cuts were far from "waste and inefficiency." Cuomo cut HIV/AIDS funding, public K-12 education, funding for public universities, medical care for the poor, foster care, and mental health care among other vital services. Obviously, Cuomo thinks that it is "a waste" anytime anything goes to anyone who isn't a wealthy donor of his. Cuomo is such a spoiled, elitist, classist jackass who will do anything his rich and corporate bankrollers tell him to do.

4) The "real results for hard-working families across New York State" Cuomo is touting are lost jobs, lost services, daughters and sons who cannot afford college, and slower economic growth in the state. The results for his rich contributors will be..........Ka-ching!

No one can seriously claim to be moving "towards fiscal responsibility" while cutting taxes for the rich and continuing a huge, corrupt Wall St. giveaway. A fiscally responsible governor would have raised taxes on the rich considerably, given that tax rates for wealthy parasites have been cut over and over again.

Remember, any time any politician supports a tax cut for the rich or insists on keeping tax breaks for Wall St, that is absolute, irrefutable proof of corruption.

The reality is that Andrew Cuomo is an incredibly evil person with absolutely no personal or public integrity whatsoever. He may pretend to be a centrist Democrat, but he's really an extreme rightist whose real agenda is scarcely different from that of Scott Walker, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, or Karl Rove.

The rest of the Democrats who went along with this inexcusable budget deserve nothing but contempt as well. I don't know how I could ever vote for a New York "Democrat" again after this. The New York "Democrats" are as sleazy and as far to the extreme right as Texas Republicans, when you look at what they do instead of what they say.

 

Note: This is not a prioritized list.

121) Refusing to respect any treaties with the indigenous population of this country.

122) Demanding the "right" to assassinate US citizens.

123) Continuing the Bush-era policy of opposing the return of Haiti’s ousted former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was overthrown in a 2004 U.S./France/Canada-backed coup.

124) Supports government Internet ID to spy on Americans.

125) Sicking a grand jury on peace activists.

126) Pushes a salary freeze on federal workers.

127) Votes against ending Cuban trade embargo at UN.

128) Rebuilding a Pentagon database that was shut down three years ago after it was found to have been used to monitor US peace activists.

129) Deploying Special Forces to over 70 countries.

130) Supports mountaintop removal mining.

131) Siding with Cheney and Rove in Plamegate lawsuit.

132) Trying to slash Pell Grants.

133) Trying to cut heating assistance to poor people.

134) Supporting another rigged election in Afghanistan, keeping the widely loathed Karzai in power.

135) Refuses to support taking "In God We Trust" off of US currency.

136) Continuing to endanger the food supply by approving genetically modified crops, including alfalfa which is fed to cattle and sugar beats that are refined and put into many processed foods.

137) Censored reporters covering military tribunals at Guantanamo. (Thanks to Christopher of From the Left for reminding me about that one.)

138) Trying to put in place an "Internet Kill Switch" similar to the efforts by dictators to shut off the Internet when they face popular unrest. (Thanks again to Christopher of From the Left.)

139) Starting yet another war for oil in Libya.

140) Taking the necessary steps to ensure technical and legal obstacles to warrantless surveillance are removed.

Some of the items in this entry were from a list by St. Pete for Peace.

Got more? List them in the comments section so I can add them.

 

Folks from other parts of the country may not know that the Poconos in Pennsylvania are a favorite vacation getaway for people living in the NYC area. The Poconos also is the site of a major battle between an evil for profit hospital corporation and its workers. From Labor Notes 3/18/11:

Members of Service Employees Healthcare Pennsylvania, the workers walked out March 15 to show unity against management attempts to impose an “open shop” in contract negotiations. The strike follows an earlier one-day strike February 9.

Unionized nurses in the hospital (members of the Operating Engineers) have been speaking out in support of their co-workers, joining rallies and holding a picnic for the strikers. Other SEIU locals from Pittsburgh, Ohio, and California have sent donations.

The 550 PMC workers voted in a union four years ago and have been negotiating their second contract, which expired in October. Management has been trying to push the “open shop” poison pill into the contract, in which workers could get the benefits of the union without paying dues.

These hospital workers had to fight hard to even get a union representation election in the first place, one that they won by a 2-1 margin. Now, an evil corporation is trying to divide the workplace and weaken the union by pushing a blatantly unethical "open shop" provision in contract talks.

It takes a lot to organize a union in the face of employer opposition. Working conditions and patient care conditions at the hospital forced the employees to fight against the odds and unionize.

Let's say that the fascist corporation wins the battle. Let's say that the workers get totally screwed. What will be the impact on healthcare?

- Nurses and other employees will go to work understandably angry and resentful.

- Many of the best nurses and other caregivers will find work elsewhere.

- The employees making up the slow exodus will be replaced by people who are incredibly desperate for jobs in the high demand nursing field. Most of the new people will be incompetent and dangerous.

- All the employees will be working under highly distracting, stressful conditions.

Now, what happens if you get sick or injured on vacation to the Poconos? Do you really want your ambulance to take you to that hospital if management gets to flush quality healthcare down the toilet in favor of corporate greed?

I'll vacation elsewhere. Yes, it will be partly out of solidarity, but it will mostly be out of self preservation.

 

Note: This is not a prioritized list.

101) Continuing ethanol subsidies (corn based ethanol in the US takes more fossil fuel based energy to grow than it actually produces) instead of shifting the money to public transportation.

102) Continues to keep hundreds of thousands of Americans on no fly lists.

103) Continues operating the kangaroo courts known as "military tribunals."

104) Blocking efforts by clean government groups to get access to Bush regime emails.

105) Supports Bush's 11th hour directive to allow concealed firearms in national parks

106) Refuses to condemn Israel's nuclear arsenal or demand compensation for the attack on the US Navy vessel that gave Israel its nuclear capacity.

107) Refuses to prosecute Ratzi or other high level Roman Catholic officials for obstruction of justice in child molestation cases.

108) Opposed shifting target of TARP bailout from banksters to homeowners.

109) Exempting global warming from protections afforded polar bears by the Endangered Species Act.

110) Continuing the Bush administration's exclusion of Alaska's Tongass rainforest from roadless protections.

111) Got the House to drop family planning funding from stimulus bill which they had added to his original proposal.

112) Pushing tax cuts for corporations.

113) Refuses to do anything about homelessness, even during the Great Recession.

114) Continues bowing and scraping before the fundamentalist, terrorist regime in Saudi Arabia.

115) Refuses to condemn Israel for their apartheid policies against the indigenous population of Palestine.

116) Continues providing economic and military aid to Israel.

117) Continues arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

118) Opposing a windfall profits tax on Big Oil.

119) Pushing the myth of "clean coal."

120) Treating African Americans as if they don't even exist.

Please put other items in the comments. I've already done more of this list in posts scheduled in the future, but there is room for new items at the end.

 

Obama speaking with the word bigotry under himDemonstrating the same fanatical misogyny that he proudly proclaimed when he involved the neo Nazi fundamentalist Rick Warren in his campaign and inauguration, President Obama is actually blocking entry of a women's rights activist from Afghanistan on a pretext that is so flimsy it insults the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 60. (From the Afghan Women's Mission's 3/17/11 Press Release - Hat Tip: Peace Action West)

The United States has denied a travel visa to Malalai Joya, an acclaimed women’s rights activist and former member of Afghanistan’s parliament. Ms. Joya, who was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2010, was set to begin a three-week US tour to promote an updated edition of her memoir, A Woman Among Warlords, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Joya’s publisher at Scribner, Alexis Gargagliano, said, “We had the privilege to publish Ms. Joya, and her earlier 2009 book tour met with wide acclaim. The right of authors to travel and promote their work is central to freedom of expression and the full exchange of ideas.” Joya’s memoir has been translated into over a dozen languages, and she has toured widely including Australia, the UK, Canada, Norway, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands in support of the book over the past two years.

Colleagues of Ms. Joya’s report that when she presented herself as scheduled at the U.S. embassy, she was told she was being denied because she was “unemployed” and “lives underground.” Then 27, Joya was the youngest woman elected to Afghanistan’s parliament in 2005. Because of her harsh criticism of warlords and fundamentalists in Afghanistan, she has been the target of at least five assassination attempts. “The reason Joya lives underground is because she faces the constant threat of death for having had the courage to speak up for women’s rights – it’s obscene that the U.S. government would deny her entry,” said Sonali Kolhatkar of the Afghan Women’s Mission, a U.S. based organization that has hosted Joya for speaking tours in the past and is a sponsor of this year’s national tour.

This is ironic, given how both George W. Bush and Barack Bush both used women's rights violations by the Taliban as a justification for war. Yet, neither has lifted a finger to stop human rights violations against women by their puppet regime. Outside of Kabul, the situation for women is the same as it was under the Taliban.

Hiaalry Clinton with a crazy look on her faceAlso, let's not forget the role of Hillary Clinton in this outrage. She may pretend to be a feminist when it is politically convenient to do so, but she is, in fact, a militant, Christian fundamentalist who gleefully embraces the misogyny of the Christian Right. (Ms. Clinton is so extreme in her fundamentalism that she is deeply involved in the dangerous, secretive cult known as "The Family" which, among other things, runs the C Street apartments for horny Republicans.)

In her short tenure in the Senate, Ms. Clinton demonstrated her militant fundamentalism by voting for the Iraq War and making her highest legislative priority trying to get us into war with Iran. As Secretary of State, Ms. Clinton has worked tirelessly to trigger a US-Iran war and to encourage Israel to provoke an Arab-Israeli war that Clinton and other fundamentalists believe is predicted by the nonsense in "Revelations."

Obama's action also is a subtle insult against writers and other artists. Treating creative people as "unemployed" is typical of the anti intellectualism of the right. Barack Bush is acting just like George W. Bush this time.

As Ronald Reagan's eighth term drags on, I still want real change. The bigotry and war mongering keep dragging on.

Hillary Clinton Photo: World Economic Forum

 

 
banner with radiation symbol and the words nuclear power is catastrophic

Please Sign Public Citizen's Petition Against Nuclear Power Subsidies

Back in 2/17/10, Kate Sheppard wrote in the Guardian about President Obama's reprehensible sellout of our country to the dangerous and irresponsible nuclear power industry.

In his first state of the union address last month, Barack Obama declared that creating new clean energy jobs "means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country". The following week, his administration proposed tripling the amount of money available for loan guarantees for nuclear power, to $54.5bn. And today, the administration took the next logical step in their plan to kick-start the nuclear revival in the United States, announcing that they will award the first loan to two new reactors in Burke County, Georgia – marking the first expansion of nuclear power in the United States in three decades.

The Obama administration's big payouts to the nuclear industry will be essential for expanding nuclear power; the industry has made it clear that there will be no nuclear renaissance unless the US taxpayer foots the bill. The economics of the nuclear industry are so dicey that Wall Street, no strangers to high-risk investments, have for years refused to finance new plants unless the government underwrites the deal. The nuclear industry has made its reliance on the taxpayer clear. "Without loan guarantees we will not build nuclear power plants," Michael J Wallace, co-chief executive of UniStar Nuclear and vice president of Constellation Energy, told the New York Times in 2007.

If jobs were Obama's real concern, he would have chosen the safer and more patriotic option of public transportation. Obama is perfectly aware of the fact that terrorists could easily attack any nuclear power plant in this country and create a nuclear disaster at least as bad as Chernobyl. Yet, he doesn't care because the only thing that matters to him is selling out America to big money campaign contributors.

And, the earthquake in Japan demonstrates just how vulnerable nuclear power plants are. Here are some relevant facts to keep in mind about earthquakes and nuclear power plants.

1) Earthquakes of the magnitude of the Japan quake happen a few times per century.

2) There are far more nuclear plants throughout this country and the world than most people realize. There are 442 nuclear power plants operating in the world, and over 100 nuclear reactors operating in 31 US states.

3) The epicenter of the recent earthquake in Japan was 60 miles from Japan's coast, and even farther from the nuclear power plants in catastrophe mode. A somewhat lower magnitude earthquake whose epicenter was closer to a nuclear power plant would do at least as much damage or more than Japan is experiencing now.

4) Alternative energy and conservation could make phasing out nuclear power plants out easy, given a decent amount of government spending.

Why does the nuclear industry even need insurance from the government? Private insurers have placed very narrow limits on what they will cover, limits that are far below the actual damages caused by even a relatively small nuclear disaster. The private sector recognizes that nuclear is too risky, and this government subsidy of powerful corporations and their wealthy owners is the only way to keep the nuclear industry operating.

That's why I find it so bizarre and hypocritical for "free market" conservatives and libertarians to defend the nuclear industry.

Please Take Action Towards Ending the Threat of Nuclear Power to Our Country!

 

Klan Brewer Extends Discrimination to Atheists

Posted by libhom Thursday, March 17, 2011 3 comments

Klan Brewer looking hateful and evilInfamous white supremacist and heterosexist bigot, Klan Brewer, is misusing her office as Governor of Arizona to launch a discriminatory jihad against another minority group: atheists. (From the Freedom From Religion Foundation's 3/16/11 Press Release)

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a national state/church watchdog, and four of its Arizona members, with the legal help of attorneys Richard W. Morris and Marc. J. Victor, filed a lawsuit in federal court yesterday seeking to enjoin Arizona Gov. Janice K. Brewer from declaring an “Arizona Day of Prayer” in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer.

The lawsuit also seeks a declaratory judgment declaring that Gov. Brewer violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when she declared May 6, 2010, the “Arizona Day of Prayer.”

The lawsuit is the third legal challenge related to the National Day of Prayer by FFRF, which won a federal court ruling in FFRF v. Obama last year. U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb of Wisconsin declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional.

Klan Brewer's contempt for the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution's First Amendment should surprise no one. She already violated the Constitutional mandate that immigration policy is under the purview of the federal government, not state governments.

Shitting on atheists like this may help her with the GOP's militant fundamentalist base, but it sends a message to centrists and liberals that Klan Brewer's hatred and bigotry knows no bounds. She has shown absolutely no interest in constructive policies to deal with her state's enormous problems like making the rich and their corporations pay their fair share in taxes. All she does is scapegoat, scapegoat, scapegoat.

Eventually she will run out of whipping boys and girls. That will be the end of her venomous political career.

 

cake with WTF written on itThe not-even-slightly-fabulous Mitch McConnell has shown the world just how far from fab he really is this time. Check out this doozy of a quote on the CBS News website.

"I don't think right after a major environmental catastrophe is a very good time to be making American domestic policy," Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday." "My thought about it is, we ought not to make American and domestic policy based upon an event that happened in Japan."

Talk about some of the most ridiculous spin so far this decade. Let's think about some of the flaws in this.

1) The laws of Physics don't vary from country to country.

2) Engineering principles have nothing to do with national borders.

3) Japan's government is as not as amazingly corrupt as the US government, meaning, in this case, that nuclear safeguards are stronger in Japan.

4) A major catastrophe is a really good time to think about how to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. Obviously, we can't prevent earthquakes. But, we certainly can prevent nuclear power plants.

Photo: SanFranAnnie

 

Note: This is not a prioritized list.

81) Opposes banning land mines.

82) Is working to certify meat and dairy produced with genetically modified alfalfa as "organic."

83) Opposes truth in labeling laws on genetically modified foods.

84) Continues to spy on the emails and text messages of all Americans.

85) Expanding charter schools despite the fact that they aren't working.

86) Engaging in union busting against teachers unions.

87) Continues to deny detainees access to the courts.

88) Opposes any new gun control legislation.

89) Supported phony "elections" in Haiti where the balloting is rigged and the most popular political party is banned.

90) Working with George W. Bush and Bill Clinton to block aid to Haiti and to restrict it to corporations like KBR.

91) Keeping secret the names of White House visitors, even in cases not involving national security or diplomacy.

92) Fought in court for immunity for telecoms who helped the Bush Regime engage in illegal wiretapping.

93) Refused to vigorously enforce antitrust laws (e.g., break up Microsoft, Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobil, Apple, Macys, etc.)

94) Opposes legalization of marijuana.

95) Continues to support the Unpatriotic Act.

96) Continues to issue illegal signing statements.

97) Supports outsourcing US jobs to India.

98) Continues to operate the torture center at Gitmo.

99) Resisting Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

100) Interrogating innocent Americans who have traveled abroad, including demanding access to emails and other electronic records.

Even this doesn't come close to getting all of it.

Please put other items in the comments. I've already done more of this list in posts scheduled in the future, but there is room for new items at the end.

 

Hell Michigan sign
(Somehow I doubt the fundie was threatening me with an all expenses paid trip to a small town in Michigan. Photo: Danielle Walquist Lynch)

This is quite flattering. A militant, anti American fundamentalist has taken the trouble to damn me to "Hell" in a comment that s/he attempted to put on my blog. The Christian Taliban likes nothing better than to threaten people with eternal suffering.

I should note that I omitted the contact information the fundie included with the comment. I don't want to inadvertently help a ministry. I just want to share a good laugh.

I am less concerned about your tired liberal agenda because I know how it ends, you guys make the world increasing worse until the world finally ends and then you lose......and that is the really sad part. I hate probably everything you stand for but you're running out of time. In case no one else has ever told you, the devil has prepared a place for you that you WILL see if you don't turn to God. I know you don't want to hear that, but it is my job to tell you. I don't want to see anyone end up there, no matter how much I disagree with you. You give yourself credit for being so smart, so do a little research on hell. It is real and you are headed there, please listen to me now. I know you won't post this on your blog and I don't really care, but I PROMISE that you will remember these words either as the words that put you on the path to salvation OR you will remember them while burning in a lake of fire for eternity. Just ponder eternity.....can you even grasp what that means?

Jesus Christ died on a cross to save you from that place, grasp that. Even if you're not sure, why would you want to take a chance on 12,000 degrees coursing though every inch of your body forever? God will never send you to hell, but he does allow you to choose it for yourself and you are choosing it now. Fall on your face RIGHT NOW and ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and live in your heart.

...

Probably won't hear anything (positive) from you, but I hope I do. Good luck & God bless.

There are so many things about this that are amusing. Here are a few.

1) This comment was off topic and old, submitted on a posting about a food author's sellout to corporate power. The post was from 2009.

2) The 12,000 degree figure is weird. The Bible was written thousands of years ago, but the Fahrenheit scale wasn't proposed until 1724, the Centigrade scale in 1744 (which evolved into today's Celsius scale later). What would these "degrees" be based on then? Why 12,000 other than it is a really high number for temperature?

3) The temperature of the surface of the Sun is 9940 F (5505 C). 12,000 degrees must be pretty darned hot. I'm thinking "Hell" should be portrayed as blue rather than red, since the Sun is yellow and "Hell" is hotter than the Sun's surface.

4) Why is it this clown's job to tell me I'm going to "Hell"? Who pays him? Is the money good?

5) Exactly how does one do credible research on "Hell"? The source document, the Bible, doesn't even get the origins of life and the planets correct. It is notorious for being riddled with contradictions.

6) Given that most of the world's potentially catastrophic problems are the result of conservative ideology (Global Warming, nuclear meltdowns, overpopulation, genetically modified food, war, etc.) and the rest are natural phenomena, it is cute and charming that this loser thinks that liberal policies are the danger.

Anyway, the irony in all of this is that there are too many legitimately frightening things in the real world. Why is there any need for religious fear mongering involving outlandish threats of hellfire and damnation anyway?

 

Warning! Keep your kids away from scumbag molesting priests.

Late last month, Towleroad noted the arrest of a militant, Christian fundamentalist who was obsessed with attacking the queer community, on charges of masturbating in front of children in a public park.

The description of the alleged pedophile's and known homophobe's activities is rather striking.

The Times-Picayune adds:
"Armed with bullhorns, Bibles and picket signs, Storms and a group of followers in 2003 protested against Southern Decadence, the gay three-day festival held over Labor Day weekend in the French Quarter. Storms' efforts prompted the New Orleans City Council to ban megaphones and other amplification devices."

Here's the article from 2003 about Storms' campaigns to end Southern Decadence, which included a Christian parade and 'purity' rally decrying the depravity:
Last year, Storms videotaped public sex acts on Bourbon Street and made the tape available to state legislators, hoping to bring an end to the celebration.
"There's no economic gain that justifies an orgy in the streets," Storms said. "That's all it is -- a three-day orgy in the streets."

In 2005 Storms sued gay rights group Action Wisconsin, claiming the group defamed him by saying that he advocated the murder of gays. He lost the lawsuit, a decision that was upheld by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Storms was then ordered to repay the group $87,000 in court costs.

Setting aside the specifics of this case, it is instructive to look at the larger pattern. Child molestation is quite common among Republican Party leaders, especially those in the Christian Right.

And the venomously heterosexist Roman Catholic Church is infamous for the rampant child rape in its clergy.

Why do heterosexist groups draw so many pedophiles? Part of it starts with their own rhetoric. Heterosexist bigots love conflating homosexuality with pedophilia (and bestiality and necrophilia) in fact free efforts to justify prejudice against queers and to emotionally abuse the LGBT community.

The false association provides an opportunity for child rapists. Homophobic organizations tend to be places where their child raping members can camouflage themselves, hiding behind the same rhetoric that slanders and libels queers. The pedophiles instinctively hope that joining a group that is against LGBT people will make it seem like they are equally against child rapists and wouldn't think of doing the things that they actually do.

That certainly explains part of the draw that these hate groups have for child rapists. However, there is another aspect of this whole thing that can get lost.

Fanatically religious people and socially extreme right folks tend to be the least moral and ethical people in all of their personal dealings.

At work, its the fundies and the rightists who are most likely to lie to and about coworkers. Rabid Catholics are much more likely to try to weasel their way out of work than the general population. They are the most likely to mistreat their neighbors and romantic partners.

Being rabidly religious, or rightist, allows people to feel moral while living completely amoral lives. It's always that group over there that's bad, not them. It's the queers who are immoral, not the tax cheats. Women who have abortions are the ones to point the finger at, not people who cut people off in traffic just to save a few seconds, if that.

In this context of diversionary "morality," it is hardly mysterious that child molesters are drawn to the bastions of the bullshit. By being a hateful religious or political extremist, they can project their own heinous actions on other groups of people, whether they be Muslims (in the US, Christians in Muslim countries), queers, government workers, women who aren't doormats, atheists, or whomever else becomes the flavor of the month.

The rightist and rabidly Christian child rapists are taking what their political and religious compatriots do to its most extreme. A child molester who lies about "teh gays" not only feels camouflaged, but also is socialized in these institutions to feel like one of the good people.

 

map of JapanThe earthquake in Japan was awful. However, it really wasn't that unusual. There will be earthquakes of comparable magnitude on an occasional basis. Rational policy making must take this reality into account.

Let's look at the biggest potential threat from the earthquake in Japan. Yesterday, the (Union of Concerned Scientists 3/11/11) issued a press release on the dangers posed by the first of two nuclear power plants in Japan.

If battery power is depleted before AC power is restored, however, the RCIC will stop supplying water to the core and the water level in the reactor core could drop. If it drops far enough, the core would overheat and the fuel would become damaged. Ultimately, a “meltdown” could occur: the core could become so hot that it forms a molten mass that melts through the steel reactor vessel. This would release a large amount of radioactivity from the vessel into the containment building that surrounds the vessel.

The containment building’s main purpose is to keep radioactivity from being released into the environment. A meltdown would build up pressure in the containment building. At this point we do not know if the earthquake damaged the containment building enough to undermine its ability to contain the pressure and allow radioactivity to leak out.

It gets worse. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting similar concerns with a second nuclear power plant damaged by the earthquake.

If you want to understand what a nuclear meltdown is, think Chernobyl.

I certainly hope Japan and everyone downwind are lucky enough to avoid a meltdown and its consequences, but if we keep allowing nuclear power plants to operate near earthquake faults (or areas that experience hurricanes/typhoons), the kind of meltdowns people are worried about are inevitable at some point in the future.

It also is important to remember that terrorists could cause nuclear meltdowns at any nuclear power plants with significantly less effort than was expended with the 911 attacks. (Claims to the contrary from the nuclear industry and its bought politicians and pundits are as nonsensical as claims by the tobacco companies in the early 20th Century that cigarette smoking was good for peoples' health.)

Every nuclear power plant is a potential weapon of mass destruction.

How many more terrible nuclear disasters will it take before we get a clue and switch from nuclear power to green energy like wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal power? When will we start getting serious about conservation by dramatically reducing international trade and by expanding public transportation?

Oppose Really Terrible Budget Cuts

Posted by libhom Friday, March 11, 2011 1 comments

"Tell President Obama and Senate Democrats: Stand up to Republican budget cuts"
From The Color of Change's Action Alert:

If the Republicans triumph in the current budget battle underway in Washington, Black communities could lose big. What’s at stake? Access to basic health care, housing assistance and job training programs that we need, especially during these tough economic times.

If Democrats cave to the GOP’s war on poor and working folks, the most vulnerable among us will be left to figure out how to make do with less while the wealthiest Americans aren’t asked to compromise on much at all.

Please tell President Obama and Senate Democrats to stand up to the Republican budget.

Take Action!

Terribly important government programs for the middle class and the poor are being slashed for highly profitable wars and tax cuts for the rich and the corporations they own. We need to make it clear that politicians in all political parties need to represent the needs and interests of the vast majority, not the wealthy few.

 

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