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John Boner with an incredibly stupid look on his faceI wish this headline involved hyperbole. Sadly, it is literally true.

From Mother Jones 1/28/11: (Hat Tip: Jed Report)

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith's spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

Given that the bill also would forbid the use of tax benefits to pay for abortions, that 13-year-old's parents wouldn't be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn't be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense.

Ratzi would love the scum behind this legislation.

This legislation is horrifying, but it isn't surprising. Boehner already has started a push for more vouchers that would put more DC school children in the hands of child molesting priests.

There also is a well known problem of rampant child molestation among Republican Party officials. I wonder how many of the cosponsors of the legislation have impregnated girls in the 13-15 range and don't want their embryos and fetuses aborted.

This is sick, sick, sick.

Of course, the general misogyny behind this heinous provision must be condemned too. What kind of sociopaths would actually try to narrow down what is considered rape? The level of hatred of women illustrated by this bill goes beyond disgusting. More from the Mother Jones article:
"This bill takes us back to a time when just saying 'no' wasn't enough to qualify as rape," says Steph Sterling, a lawyer and senior adviser to the National Women's Law Center. Laurie Levenson, a former assistant US attorney and expert on criminal law at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, notes that the new bill's authors are "using language that's not particularly clear, and some people are going to lose protection." Other types of rapes that would no longer be covered by the exemption include rapes in which the woman was drugged or given excessive amounts of alcohol, rapes of women with limited mental capacity, and many date rapes. "There are a lot of aspects of rape that are not included," Levenson says.

As for the incest exception, the bill would only allow federally funded abortions if the woman is under 18.

Aaaaaaaahh!

Photo: Talk Media News

 

a bunch of Comcast cables in a total mess

Comcast always has been an incredibly evil corporation. They make a shitload of money off the Internet, but they don't want to play by the rules. For instance, they have lobbied heavily against Net Neutrality, and they have censored emails to their customers from an organization with different political views than those of the far right Goppers who run Comcast.

So, it didn't surprise me that Comcast got rid of Keith Olbermann from its newly acquired MSNBC. Don't be surprised if other centrist or liberal hosts get the axe.

Free Press has sent out a press release that does an excellent job of bringing up the broader issues that Comcast's purchase of a majority interest in NBC Universal entails. Here is Josh Silver's statement.

"This deal is a win for Comcast, General Electric and NBC executives, and a devastating loss to everyone else, and to democracy itself. As of today, Comcast has an Orwellian amount of control over your media experience and your wallet. By controlling both information and the ways people access that information — by cable, broadcast and the Internet -- Comcast-NBC can and will block competition, stifle innovation and silence independent, opposing viewpoints.

“Comcast customers can expect to see their bills go up, as they foot the $30 billion tab. And even if you’re not a Comcast customer, you’re sure to end up paying more. Next, get ready for a merger wave, as other corporations seek out similar mega-deals to try to compete with Comcast-NBC. Putting too much media power in the hands of a single company is bad for the American people and for our democracy."

No kidding. Look at all the damage that already has been done by Rupert Murdoch's fascist media empire.

Photo: dmuth

map of Middle East

Remember how the Bush regime and its corporate media enablers made claims of "looting" in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina? Remember how those claims were wildly exaggerated and largely fictional, designed to justify leaving thousands of people there to die?

Well, it looks like the corporate media are justifying the brutalization of people with looting propaganda again, this time in Cairo. (CNN 1/29/11)

By day, tens of thousands turned out in cities across Egypt -- demanding the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, calling for major economic and political reforms and, in multiple spots, bloodily clashing with police forces.

By night, with the security forces seemingly disappeared, some had stepped back to mourn those killed, treat their wounds or gather strength. Other citizens, meanwhile, gathered whatever weapons they could find as they banded together with friends, family and neighbors to protect their communities from roving bands of looters.

"There's no army, no one to prevent (theft and chaos). They disappeared," said one man from a Cairo suburb on Saturday night, who united with friends, cousins and neighbors to protect their property.

Yes, of course. The murderous police state in Egypt is necessary to protect the Egyptian people from the eeeeeebilllll looters. Put all those nasty people in Cairo in the Superdome a secure location for their own safety.

I can smell the bullshit all the way from the CNN corporate headquarters.

Image: US Government Export Portal


 

Message from Egypt from Friday

Posted by libhom Saturday, January 29, 2011 0 comments

No commentary here. Egyptian activists are asking people to pass this along to get around corporate media censorship in Egypt and the US.

URGENT MESSAGE FROM EGYPT:

To all the people of world
The people in Egypt are under governmental siege. Mubarak regime is banning Facebook, Twitter, and all other popular internet sites Now, the internet are completely blocked in Egypt. Tomorrow the government will block the 3 mobile phone network will be completely blocked. And there is news that even the phone landlines will be cut tomorrow, to prevent any news agency from following what will happen.

Suez city is already under siege now. The government cut the water supply and electricity, people, including, children and elderly are suffering there now. The patients in hospitals cannot get urgent medical care. The injured protesters are lying in the streets and the riot police are preventing people from helping them. The families of the killed protesters cannot get the bodies of their sons to bury them. This picture is the same in north Saini (El-Sheikh zoyad city) and in western Egypt (Al-salom). The riot police is cracking down on protesters in Ismailia, Alexandria, Fayoum, Shbin Elkoum, and Cairo, the capital, in many neighborhoods across the city.

The government is preparing to crackdown on the protesters in all Egyptian cities. They are using tear gas bombs, rubber and plastic pullets, chemicals like dilutes mustard gas against protesters. Several protesters today have been killed when the armored vehicles of the riot police hit them. Officials in plain clothes carrying blades and knives used to intimidate protesters. Thugs deployed by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior are roaming the streets of Cairo, setting fire on car-wheels as means of black propaganda to demonize protesters and justify police beatings and state torture

All this has been taken place over the past three days during the peaceful demonstrations in Cairo and other cities. Now, with the suspicious silence of the local media and the lack of coverage from the international media, Mubarak and his gang are blocking all the channels that can tell the world about what is happening.
People who call for their freedom need your support and help. Will you give them a hand?

The activists are flooding the net (youtube and other sites) with thousands of pictures and videos showing the riot police firing on armless people. The police started to use ammunition against protesters. 15-year old girl has been injured and another 25 year old man has been shot in the mouth. While nothing of these has appeared in the media, there is more to happen tomorrow. Will you keep silent? Will you keep your mouth shut while seeing all these cruelty and inhumane actions?

We don’t ask for much, just broadcast what is happening

Written by: Mariam Hussien

map of Middle East, including Egypt

The horribly corrupt, extreme right government led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel continues to push for more poverty in misery in Egypt even though the people of that country are so understandably outraged by what is being done to them that they are trying to overthrow the corrupt dictator in that country.

I should note that Merkel dishonestly refers to as "economic reforms" in Egypt are things like the following.

1) Selling off state owned industries at fire sale prices to multinational corporations that slash jobs and pay.

2) Cutting back on government food subsidies and other programs for the people.

3) Cutting taxes for the wealthy elites in Egypt while cutting taxes for foreign corporations and speculators. (So much for "austerity.")

4) Giving international banksters absolute power over Egypt's economic policies. (So much for "freedom" and "democracy.")

button that says Cure GreedIf you think I'm wrong or exaggerating, remember that Merkel was the banksters' point person in enforcing draconian social spending cuts on Greece and Ireland which easily could have been avoided by making corporations and the rich pay closer to their fair share in taxes.

Now, for her government's latest efforts to spread poverty and misery for the many, and unearned wealth for the few:
(Monsters and Critics 1/28/11)

Chancellor Angela Merkel appealed Friday for reforms in Egypt, saying through a spokesman, Christoph Steegmans, that Egypt suffered from 'a range of deficiencies.'

...

At a government news conference, Merkel spokesman Steegmans was very cautious, saying only that areas where reform was needed in Egypt included economic policy and in policies against poverty.

What are the kinds of policies that the fringe right government in Germany considers "against poverty"? Items 1-4 listed above.

It's not like these policies are new. The kind of plutocratic totalitarianism pushed by the Merkel government, the World Bank, the IMF, and many US and British officials has a known track record. In Central and South America, it has dramatically increased poverty and has employed military coups, suppression of dissent, torture, and mass murder.

The same things have been done in Russia, and to a lesser extent in Poland. The results were predictable: small super rich elites gorging on an orgy of conspicuous consumption while the overwhelming majority of the population suffered so badly they actually were better off economically under communism, as bad as that was economically.

photo of The Shock Doctrine in a stack of three booksIf all of this sounds completely off the radar of what you are familiar with, I urge you to read The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins.

If this reminds you of what has been going on here in the US, it should. The bailouts by Congress and the bankster controlled Federal Reserve of the banksters and brokesters but not the American people basically worked along the same lines. Bush may have pushed the congressional bailout, but Barack Obama voted for it in the Senate.

Imagine if there was no bailout of bad mortgage paper. Imagine instead if that bailout was directed at the people who needed help with their mortgages. Imagine also if the astronomical increases in interest rates for predatory adjustable rate mortgages were cut back dramatically or eliminated by federal law. The effects would have been.

house with foreclosure sign1) Very few foreclosures.

2) A much smaller loss of equity for homeowners.

3) A much shorter recession, one that would have ended by late 2009 if not earlier.

4) Much smaller budget deficits due to much higher tax revenues in a less dysfunctional economy.

5) Much of the value of the mortgage paper would have been saved, indirectly by making it possible for people to pay off mortgages and by preventing the extremes of the collapse in housing prices.

6) Banksters would not be holding so many stolen properties, just waiting to sell them when the economy gets better while getting the federal government to assume the short term risks.

The ability of banksters, brokesters, and wealthy speculators to corrupt governments is hardly limited to Germany. It is highly common, and it includes most US government officials, at the federal, state, and local level. What makes Merkel and her fringe right government stand out so much is just how arrogant and entitled those corrupt politicians are.

It also frightens me to see an extreme right German government in collusion with totalitarian banksters. It reminds me too much of the mid 1930s.

Images: US Government Export Portal

madhavaji

miketually

respres

 

"Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult"

Posted by libhom Thursday, January 27, 2011 0 comments

I love the Onion, though I have to admit they usually don't go for such hard edged satire. This video is brilliant. (Hat Tip: Unqualified Offerings)


Judge Rules White Girl Will Be Tried As Black Adult

 

The Arizona Shooter's Far Right Political Views

Posted by libhom Wednesday, January 26, 2011 0 comments

Note: I'm avoiding the usage of the shooter's name. I don't think a desperate desire for attention played a role in the Arizona shootings. However, I know that a lot of celebrity shooters are motivated by the desire for attention, and I don't want to further the notion a potential killer might have that murder is the way to get famous.

Far too quickly after the Arizona shootings, the extreme right media flooded the country with ridiculous propaganda saying the shooter was a "liberal." It was designed to confuse and obscure the far right views of the killer and distract attention from the role Sarah Palin's terrorist gun target map played in the killings. As one would expect, the corporate media used the rhetoric to say that the facts being presented by the left were comparable and any attempt to understand why the shootings happened was crass partisanship.

This makes it all the more important to get the real facts out there. The first clue, aside from the target of the attacks and Sarah Palin's map, was the shooter's rantings about gold and silver currency. Basing currency on precious metals is a long piety of the fringe right. However, there are other examples of the shooter's fringe right ideology, some of it too far to the right to even show up on Faux News.

From the Southern Poverty Law Center's Mark Potok:

1) He believes that government uses grammar as mind control to enslave people.

From Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates:

2) The shooter objects to the "second United States constitution" which includes the amendments passed after the Civil War.

From the shooter's YouTube Channel:

3) People shouldn't allow governments to create currencies for them.

4) He claims that referring to him as a terrorist is an "Ad hominem" attack. (This one is especially obscure, but especially nerdy rightists are fond of saying that any criticism, legitimate or not, is that kind of attack.)

5) He says that "you don't have to accept any of the federalist laws." (This one requires a bit of unpacking. The far right despises federalism because they think that it gives the central government too much power. "States rights" anyone?)

6) He spews the right's drivel about property owners having a revolution.

7) He believes that he is being denied his civil rights. (It is common for white supremacists to have this view.)

8) Anything that inconveniences him or causes him problems is "unconstitutional" without having a valid or even reasonable reference to the text. (The rightist spin doctors often make fake allusions to the constitution because they know their flocks will never read it. The wealthcare law suddenly becomes "unconstitutional" though it is not. Environmental regulations are "unconstitutional" because they say so.)

9) He has an irrational hatred for the academy.

Most people have been relying on second hand descriptions of the shooter's YouTube Channel and videos. I have read that the channel had been taken down. Either that isn't true or it is back up. In any case, if you actually watch his absurd videos (fortunately they are short), you get a vastly different view of the shooter than the rightist bias spun in the corporate media. I don't blame you if you don't want to get near that nasty YouTube channel, but somebody needs to do it in order to get at the truth about the Arizona shootings.

The shooter's views may seem so over the top and bizarre that you are tempted to dismiss them as crazy. Keep in mind that the ones I referenced above are accepted as fact by many on the right fringe. A lot of people think that Glenn Beck's stuff is just random shit that comes off the top of his head. Actually, most of the things he says on TV are swiped from far right discourse on the Internet elsewhere. The shooter accepted some things that are too fringe (at least for now) for even Glenn Beck to use on his show, but Faux News' legitimizing of so much fringe right nonsense creates political and ideological space for the wild bullshit that some of the rightists spew and which the shooter bought into.

You may want to dismiss these views as crazy and idiosyncratic. They certainly are not idiosyncratic. They are part of the fringe right's world view.

 

Whenever a Republican talks about "bipartisanship," it's bound to be something hateful and extreme. The latest efforts to shove unwanted vouchers down Washington, DC's throat is a rather blatant example of this. (Politico 1/24/11)

The day after President Barack Obama makes education a centerpiece of his State of the Union address, House Speaker John Boehner will try to force his hand on the issue of school vouchers in Washington, D.C. as a test of the White House’s commitment to bipartisanship.

The Ohio Republican, along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), will introduce legislation on Wednesday to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship program, the speaker’s office said Monday, making a school voucher initiative that Democrats, including Obama, have strongly opposed as a bargaining chip for beginning discussions on the administration’s desired education proposals.

“If the president is sincere about working together on education reform, we should start by saving this successful, bipartisan program that has helped so many underprivileged children get a quality education,” Boehner said in a statement to POLITICO.

In 2001, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) did an excellent expose debunking claims by the corporate media and militant Christian fundamentalists that vouchers improve educational achievement. Studies funded by voucher supports show know educational advantage in voucher schools despite the ability of those schools to weed out disruptive students and students with learning disabilities.

It just isn't honest to say that there is any educational benefit to vouchers.

Of course, vouchers were never intended for educational purposes and certainly aren't meant to help poor people. Rightists like Boehner and Lieberman are the types who derive enormous pleasure from the suffering of the poor and the accumulation by the rich. This initiative is all about religious indoctrination and erosion of the First Amendment.

Vouchers, like any government funding of religion, is absolutely forbidden by the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Yet, in the one of the most dishonest Supreme Court rulings since Plessy vs. Ferguson, a 5-4 majority fraudulently claimed that the purpose of vouchers was educational and that government funding of blatant religious indoctrination is somehow "constitutional."

Eventually, that blatantly unconstitutional ruling allow vouchers will be overturned by a more honest Supreme Court. In the meantime, We the People will have to defend the Constitution from anti American extremists like Boehner and Lieberman.

The obvious unconstitutionality of vouchers legislation is hardly the only problem with voucher legislation. This is a rather transparent effort to discriminate against atheists and force us to participate in religion by forcing us to pay for it. Reprehensible bigots like the ones behind the vouchers legislation are obsessed with shoving religion down the throats of atheist Americans instead of treating us as the full citizens of this country which we are.

As bad as the bigotry is, there is something even worse about vouchers programs. They promote child molestation. The dollar amounts are deliberately set so that poor parents can not send their children to elite private schools, but instead to Roman Catholic schools. This puts far more children in the clutches of child raping priests. The irony of a moralizing gasbag like Lieberman doing something he knows damned well will result in the rape of more children is enough to give any reasonable person pause.

 

gold coins

Photo: trader_john

From a 7/17/10 post of mine on the gold bubble:

I'm sorry, but gold is not worth anywhere near $1200 per ounce.

Yet, despite a drop on Friday, gold was trading at the astronomical level of $1194. This is just plain crazy.

For decades, gold has been marketed to the gullible as a safe haven for currencies when paper (and now electronic) money fluctuate. However, if you remember the history, gold fluctuates much more wildly than currencies do.

Gold is now trading at well over $1300 per ounce.

Can you say "crazy"? I knew you could.

I'm sure if any gold bugs read this, phrases like "chicken little" will go through their heads. That's what people who wrote about the housing bubble were accused of being...until that bubble burst.

Meanwhile, Mother Jones has let us know that one of Glenn Beck's sleazy gold advertisers is in legal troubles.
Glenn Beck might, for once, be right: the government is coming for your gold. But only if you happened to buy it from one of Beck's *one-time advertisers, the Superior Gold Group. At the request of prosecutors from LA County and Santa Monica city who have filed a civil suit against the company, Los Angeles County judge has ordered that Superior Gold be placed into receivership and all of its assets—bank accounts, real estate, and presumably gold stored for customers—frozen. On Monday, a court-appointed lawyer actually physically seized control of the company, presumably to prevent further wrongdoing. The lawsuit alleged that among other things, Superior had defrauded its customers by overcharging them, fraudulently inducing them to buy overpriced collectors' coins rather than the bullion that they wanted, and taking customers' money for coins they never produced. The prosecutors hope that the lawsuit will provide restitution for all of the company's ripped off customers. The judge will hold a hearing later this month to decide whether the company's assets should remain frozen until the case goes to trial.

If the allegations made by prosecutors are accurate, then this company is overtly sleazy and dishonest. Any company that advertises with Glenn Beck has to be more than a bit disreputable.

However, we shouldn't lose site of the fact that the entire gold feeding frenzy industry is a sleazy effort to take advantage of novice investors who haven't followed historical trends on highly volatile commodities like precious metals and who really didn't grasp the dot.com or real estate bubbles either. Anyone with a lick of sense knows that gold is going to crash and big time in the near to mid term, leaving a lot of peoples' speculative frenzy empty and their futures threatened.

protest photo with banners that says Get U.S. Out of Iraq
codepinkhq

The new Republican majority in Congress keeps talking about cutting wasteful spending, yet the most wasteful spending imaginable: the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War, and the hugely bloated military budget are exempt because corporate and wealthy donors make money off of that spending.

Here's a chance to turn the GOP's faux deficit hawk bs against them. CODEPINK is asking people to contact their congresscritters and tell them to go after the real wasteful spending. From their Action Alert's Sample Letter:

Your position as my Congressperson at this time in history is a mighty responsibility. That responsibility includes finding a way out of the financial crisis we are in. As you well know, the number one issue on the minds of the American people is our ailing economy. We know that there is heavy pressure on you to slash government spending.

But where should that money come from? Not from social security, Medicare and programs shielding people from the ravages of the economic crisis. The only logical sector to cut is the military budget, which now consumes over 50% of our discretionary spending. Funding for war has created a financial drain that this congressional district and this nation cannot, and should not, pay any longer.

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—and the expanding attacks in Pakistan—helped plunge us into this financial crisis and have not made us any safer at home. The U.S. will spend more on the war in Afghanistan this year, adjusting for inflation, than we spent on the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War and the Spanish-American War combined. The United States also spends nearly as much on military power as every other country in the world combined, plus we maintain troops at more than 800 bases around the world—often antagonizing the local people and making us targets for terrorist attacks.

We can’t afford these wars, we can’t win these wars, and they no longer have the support of the American people. We can’t afford to have military bases sprawled all over the world. We can’t afford to keep producing Cold War weapons that we don’t need and merely benefit a handful of weapons manufacturers. It’s time to end these unwinnable, unjustifiable wars and bring our war dollars home to tackle the most strategic task for our national security, rebuilding America.

I also urge you, as my Congressperson, to vote NO on any further war funding appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan, whether in the FY2011 budget or in "supplemental" bills, in order to redirect this nation‘s resources toward improving our education system, infrastructure, and health care programs.

Please help us make our economy more robust and our nation more secure by bringing our war dollars home and taking a serious look at cutting other parts of our bloated Pentagon budget. We want a military that defends us here at home, not one that makes war overseas. And we want an economy that serves the people, not private military contractors.

pile of buttons that say Greed Kills

Photo: madhavaji

As is the case for any suggested letter in an Action Alert form, it is a good idea for you to rewrite and personalize the letter so the congressmember's office doesn't get the same email over, and over, and over again. I definitely rewrote mine.

Please Take Action!

 

Every year, almost 30,000 Americans are killed by guns and the gun extremists who oppose rational efforts to regulate and eventually ban private gun ownership. That is roughly ten times the number of people who were killed in the 911 attacks, and that doesn't include the hundreds of thousands of Americans who are robbed and raped at gunpoint. Every year, the gun lobby's actions result in heinous crime that far outweighs the worst year of Muslim Right terrorism.

Yet, people are not willing to acknowledge the danger posed to this country by the bloodthirsty gun extremists.

After the Arizona shootings, which were done with a gun put in the hand of the killer by the gun lobby, the gun extremists responded by calling for more guns and fewer restrictions on guns. Gun terrorist propagandists were ready with claims that concealed guns would have prevented the shootings or stopped the shooter.

The fact is that the proposed gunslinging would have resulted in even more bystanders being shot, this time by the "hero" who was so mindless that he thought he was saving the day.

Even now, the gun extremists constantly talk about supposedly "legitimate" reasons to own guns. In a previous posting, I countered disinformation about gun ownership (and civil liberties) with the actual facts.

It really should be astonishing that the author actually makes the claim that gun ownership is a "civil liberty." This is fatuous nonsense. Taking away peoples' guns is merely a minor inconvenience. Let's look at the main reasons why people own guns.

1) Misguided attempts at self protection that actually do far more to endanger the gun owners and the people who live around them.

2) The commission of robbery, rape, murder, and other serious crimes.

3) Killing animals. This is often referred to as "sport hunting," despite the fact that it is too one sided to honestly be referred to as a sport. If people want to hunt for sport, they should be using spears or clubs, not guns.

Yes, I know that the gun extremists whine like spoiled, entitled children at the thought of not having their unnecessary and counterproductive guns. The vast majority of gun extremists are men who are abject sexual failures and use guns as substitute penises for their own members that get little or no attention from any human being other than themselves. I went into this in a bit more detail in one of the early postings on this blog.
Of course, National Rifle Association stickers are even worse, especially the ones that say that no one will ever take the owner's gun away. NRA stickers scream “man with tiny penis who cannot get an erection without Viagra or some other drug.”

And, gun magazines are hysterical. Macho-acting man/boys hold guns the way that tops hold their schlongs in gay porno movies. Guns as phallic symbols and castration anxieties have huge psychological influences over gun nuts. I think the main reason this aspect of the firearm fanatics doesn't get much press is that people are afraid of getting shot by an impotent gun owner with a penis so small he has trouble finding it.

Gun ownership and gun advocacy is a dangerous and often deadly way to try to compensate psychologically for sexual and interpersonal inadequacy. How many more Americans are going to get slaughtered, raped, and robbed before the politicians and public stop pandering to the gun extremists and the corporations who make money off of them?

 

Four Detroit police officers shot inside precinct (Detroit News 1/23/11)

Police: At least 4 people shot outside Walmart in Washington state (CNN 1/23/11)

When is this country going to face reality and ban private gun ownership? How many more people are going to have to be robbed, raped, and murdered before we do?

 

The corporate media have been working overtime to try to keep the far right from being held accountable for their role in the Arizona shootings. They have used every propaganda trick they can think of to keep people from thinking sensibly and rationally about the facts.

One of my least favorite tricks has been to dismiss the shooter as "mentally ill." This is disturbing on so many levels. The huge majority of mentally ill people inflict no harm on anyone. Yet, corporate media spin doctors want us to believe that mental illness is an automatic explanation for any bizarre act of violence. The goal is that we look no further. Considering the reality of the behavior of mentally ill people in this country, there is something flawed at the core in assuming that mental illness is sufficient to explain any killing, especially a highly political shooting spree primarily intended to assassinate a member of Congress.

There's another obvious problem with this whole narrative. Of the small minority of mentally ill people who have violent tendencies, can it even be reasonably suggested that those people don't have political views? Are politics the exclusive venue of the sane?

Obviously, that's a crock of shit. Someone can be dangerously mentally ill and at the same time be motivated by a far right point of view or the exhortations of a far right politician.

Some on the left have criticized the right for blaming mental illness exclusively at the same time the right continues its crusade to cut government services for the mentally ill. That's reasonable as far as it goes, but it misses the broader analysis that needs to be made.

 

Lady Bunny Has Her Way With Sarah Palin

Posted by libhom Saturday, January 22, 2011 4 comments

Swiped mercilessly from From the Left:



Lady Bunny is doing some of the best satire in the country.

 

Unintentional Humor from Heterosexist Fundamentalist

Posted by libhom Friday, January 21, 2011 2 comments

Hat Tip: Jesus Fetus Fajita Fishsticks



For the first few seconds of this, I thought it was an SNL parody. I do have one question. Does homophobia make people stupid or does stupidity make people homophobic?

 

From the CBS Sacramento website 1/21/11:

Santa Ana police were called at 7 a.m. about threatening graffiti on Greenville Street north of Alton Avenue, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.
The graffiti read, “We gonna kill Gov. Brown 2 14 11,” Bertagna said.

Between 2:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., a Santa Ana police officer saw more threatening graffiti at 1700 W. Segerstrom Ave., Bertagna said.

The vandal spray-painted in red, “27 more days 4 Brown” and included a swastika, Bertagna said, adding someone later painted over the red “7″ with a black “6″ as if it were a countdown.

The Arizona shootings weren't the first act of far right terrorism since Obama was inaugurated. I wonder how much longer people will remain in denial about these attacks being "isolated incidents."

 

GOP Planning Jihad Against Amtrak

Posted by libhom Thursday, January 20, 2011 3 comments



Atmospheric CO2 data


Instead of doing sensible and productive things to reduce deficits like ending the Iraq and Afghanistan wars or making their wealthy donors pay their fair share in taxes, House Republicans are proposing slashing federal spending that benefits the middle class and the poor.

Desperate to prove just how much they are bought and paid for by Big Oil, the Goppers want to eliminate $1.565 billion in annual Amtrak subsidies. The Goppers, hoping that people are ill informed, I'm sure will claim that Amtrak should be able to survive on its own.

But, they have no interest in making automobile transit pay its way. In addition to direct subsidies to that form of transit, most of our military spending goes to securing oil for the car culture and the Big Oil vultures that benefit financially from it. Those subsidies are in the hundreds of billions of dollars, which make the tiny Amtrak subsidy a mere pittance. None of the military budget subsidy of oil is on the chopping block.

And, Amtrak reduces our CO2 emissions, while Big Oil and the cars they love increase them. The Republicans are mostly Global Warming denialists, but that is hardly surprising. Big campaign checks from Big Oil and Big Coal make sure of that.

The attack on Amtrak is part of the bigger pay for play culture in DC. We need change to public financing of political campaigns. A big first step for that to happen is to have a judiciary honest enough to acknowledge the obvious fact that big money campaign contributions are not "speech."

They are bribes.

 

Will They Set Off Fireworks in Connecticut?

Posted by libhom Wednesday, January 19, 2011 0 comments

Lieberman Will Not Run for Re-election

There is more good news. Get this from the NY Times blog posting referenced above.

But Linda McMahon, the wealthy pro-wrestling tycoon who spent $50 million on an unsuccessful Senate race last year, has already signaled she may run again in 2012.

We'll have Linda McMahon for comic relief? Again? I can't wait.



 

Take Action on Global Warming

Posted by libhom Tuesday, January 18, 2011 0 comments

1. Don't Let Bought Politicians in Congress End EPA's Regulation of CO2 Emissions

Many politicians in the new Congress are threatening to cut EPA funding and to prohibit the EPA from regulating CO2 emissions as required by the Clean Air Act. This shows the pay for play atmosphere in DC, and Big Oil and Big Coal are paying the bills. Friends of the Earth is asking people to do something about this.

Keep the Clean Air Act Intact

The Clean Air Act -- the key existing federal tool to cut the pollution that causes global warming -- is under attack.

Anti-environment, climate-change-denying politicians are aiming to roll back the Clean Air Act as a tool to reduce dangerous climate pollution. We need to remind our representatives that a clean environment should come before the greed of big oil and dirty coal.

Please join us in the fight to save the Clean Air Act by sending your senators a message today.

Please Take Action Now!

2. Stop Oil Tankers in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest!
(This action is especially important if you are Canadian.)
This action involves protecting forests, which hold a lot of CO2. More importantly, its goal would also help to limit oil production, which is crucial in stopping Global Warming. (See Care2 Action Alert for full text)
The Great Bear Rainforest, a global treasure, needs your help now. The Great Bear Rainforest is located on the north coast of British Columbia, Canada and is the largest temperate rainforest left on the planet! It stores the same amount of CO2 produced by 28 million vehicles.

...

Enbridge, the world's largest pipeline company, wants to build a pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to the port of Kitimat, B.C., load this crude into huge oil tankers and sail these tankers through the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest and its dangerous waters. Enbridge owns the pipeline that leaked into the Kalamazoo River, Michigan, on June 26, 2010, in which approximately 877,000 gallons (3.4 million litres) ) of crude oil contaminated one of Michigan state's main waterways.

Anybody can Google "Enbridge oil spill history" to see the list of spills already caused by this company. For example,according to the Polaris Institute, an Ottawa advocacy group dedicated to change, Enbridge has a history of oil spills throughout Canada and the U.S.A. In August 2010, Polaris reported that Enbridge has been responsible for 610 oil spills that released more than 5.5 million gallons of oil from 1999 to 2008. Its website states that "The Michigan spill should be a wake up call to those who would allow Enbridge to build 2 pipelines from the Alberta Tar sands to the coast of B.C."

...

People in Canada and around the world, please TAKE ACTION NOW to tell Prime Minister Harper that we want, need and demand legislation to ban oil tankers in the pristine Great Bear Rainforest. Please sign my petition to tell Prime Minister Harper that this legislation is wanted, needed, and demanded to ensure that this Global Treasure, the Great Bear Rainforest, is not threatened by the risk of an oil spill!

Please Sign the Petition!

I wonder if the corporate media will censor this.



 

Sarah Palin's Youngest Victim Was Buried Today

Posted by libhom Thursday, January 13, 2011 0 comments

Why isn't Sarah Palin facing a criminal investigation?

 

This is a national disgrace.

Community Health Systems (CHS) is an incredibly evil corporation that runs for profit hospitals, including Wilkes-Barre General Hospital in Pennsylvania.

(From Labor Notes: 1/12/11)

CHS offers a health care plan that under-insures the individual or family, offering limited coverage and substantial co-pays, deductibles, and coinsurance. This unaffordable plan has already been forced on the non-union employees at the hospital, some of whom have acquired thousands of dollars in health care debt already, even when they are treated in the same hospital in which they work.

Even hospital employees are getting shitty healthcare. This is obviously corrupt and immoral. It also raises the question, would you trust healthcare from workers who don't have halfway decent healthcare themselves.

stop sign modified to say stop greedThis is an example of healthcare cruelty and corruption that permeates our society. We need Medicare for All, not Obama's wealthcare plan for HMOs, health insurers, and Big Pharma. We also need to nationalize all for profit hospitals.

The employees in the nurses union went on a one day strike to fight for healthcare and to end other hateful and abusive practices by CHS. It's great to see people fighting back. This kind of fightback by unionized workers is why the corporate media lie like crazy to demonize unions. The owners and advertisers in the corporate media want everyone but the ultrarich to live in abject poverty and serfdom.

Learn more about the strike.

Photo: elisfanclub

 

Townhall Magazine Sends Out Inflammatory Email

Posted by libhom Wednesday, January 12, 2011 2 comments

A few years ago, I got on the email list of the fringe right publication, Townhall Magazine, when I posted a comment on one of the blogs hosted on their website. I still get their emails. Many of them are trying to sell questionable investment advice, and many others give one insight into what the fringe is up to.

In the climate that exists in the aftermath of Sarah Palin's terrorist attack in Arizona, one would hope that the far right would tone down its rhetoric. They haven't toned it down much. They have sent out an inflammatory email with the title "Who are the Most Dangerous Liberals?" Get a load of this garbage they are using to sell their magazine.

Every conservative knows that liberals are working hard every day to recreate this country in their own image, tarnishing our great history and the hard-working people who live here. While some of the faces of the Left are too clownish to be taken seriously (see Keith Olbermann) others shy away from the limelight in order to push their agenda from behind a veil. Those people are some of the most dangerous liberals that threaten our way of life. Not to take away from some of the more obvious liberals, like the Barack Obamas and the Barney Franks of the world, there are many who push the leftwing radical agenda.

In the latest issue of Townhall Magazine we have identified the top 50 most dangerous liberals in America. We also have exposed their secret agendas, some as devious as any threat to the United States. Below are a few snippets from the list. Take a look and then get Townhall Magazine today!

Phrases like "tarnishing our great history" (note barely veiled racism), "threaten our way of life," and "secret agendas, some as devious as any threat to the United States" would have merely elicited laughter before the right's shooting spree in Arizona. But, now I realize that this kind of menacing rhetoric must be taken seriously. People get all riled up by this bullshit, and all it takes is something like Sarah Palin's gun target map to get the most militant to start shooting.

Two of the three people mentioned as "dangerous liberals" in the email actually are quite conservative, Barack Obama and Jon Stewart. When even people as far to the right as those two are branded as "dangerous liberals," this shows that very few public figures are immune to the dangerous rhetoric of the absolutist and sometimes eliminationist right. Oddly enough, the ad makes the unstable political extremists buy the magazine to find out the full list of people that they should hate and be terrified of.

This is really dangerous.

 

Irritating British Petroleum Commercials

Posted by libhom Tuesday, January 11, 2011 3 comments

I am getting so sick of the deceptive commercials British Petroleum is using to try to give people a distorted image of itself after all the damage it did in the Gulf. In those commercials, they are trying to trick us into believing that the beaches are clean. That is misleading for at least two reasons.

1) With the "clean beaches," they were only cleaned at the surface level. Oil farther down in the sand is still there, waiting to eventually be brought up to the top by storms.

2) Most of the oil from the spill is still in the Gulf of Mexico. Some of that will inevitably end up washing up on the beaches periodically.

Other commercials tout how British Petroleum supposedly has done so much to people who lost their livelihoods to the storm. Anyone who has followed this news story knows better than that.

Here's the kind of video people should be seeing. Any time any station runs a British Petroleum commercial, they should have to give equal time to the truth.

Oil Uncovered On Pensacola Beach East Of Portofino November 19 2010



 

Let's review the facts that no one can honestly dispute:

1) Sarah Palin put out a terrorist gun target map which was a deliberate set of instructions to shoot and kill members of Congress.

2) Sarah Palin is directly and personally responsible for the shootings in Arizona.

3) It is physically impossible to defend Sarah Palin without endorsing the terrorist attack in Arizona and gloating over what was done to the victims.


Yet, neo-Nazi Daily Beast commentator Howard Kurtz did just that. He defended Sarah Palin and attacked people who have enough honesty and integrity to acknowledge Sarah Palin's involvement in the shootings.

What a sick fuck!

No decent human being could defend Sarah Palin after what she has done. This isn't about left or right. It's about human decency and patriotism. Every moral, loyal, honest American is blaming that traitor Sarah Palin for the shootings because everyone, regardless of ideology, knows for a fact that Sarah Palin directly caused this to happen.

(Ordinarily, I would link to the offending article, but I refuse to ever link to another article by a neo-Nazi like Howard Kurtz again. I also refuse to link to or visit the Daily Beast until that terrorist loving Nazi is fired. I will not drive traffic to hate sites on the Web.)

 

Giffords Talked About the Threats She Faced

Posted by libhom Sunday, January 09, 2011 0 comments

Hat Tip: Delaware Liberal



Sarah Palin must be held accountable for what she has done.

 

Ann Coulter isn't the only vicious, extremist Ann on the far right. Another evil Ann is the fringe right blogger Ann Althouse. Althouse has done all sorts of hateful and evil things in the past. But, this time, she has gone to sickening extremes.

In her deceptively titled, Should We Succumb to the Temptation to Engage in Political Rhetoric, Making Generalizations From the Shooting of Congresswomen Giffords, Althouse plays sleazy rightist politics with a terrorist attack incited by Sarah Palin.

Althouse is perfectly aware of the fact that these shootings are the direct result of Sarah Palin's terrorist gun target map. Yet, Althouse plays shoot the messenger by calling people who state this fact "louts" who are "chewing up the wounded flesh in the meat grinder of political rhetoric."

Althouse even goes on to lie about the nature of what happened.

First, you might want to resist because it's the right thing to do not only out of respect for the dead and wounded but also because Jared Loughner is probably just a crazy guy whose acts say nothing about anybody else.

Bullshit! Everyone knows for a fact that Loughner was acting on the instructions given on Sarah Palin's terrorist map.

It's time for people on the right to stop the spin and the politics. It's time for them to be Americans first and political ideologues later. It's time for all patriotic Americans to denounce Sarah Palin and for all patriotic Americans to demand the long overdue criminal investigation of Sarah Palin's terrorist map and other inciting rhetoric.

 

Sarah Palin Should Face a Criminal Investigation

Posted by libhom Saturday, January 08, 2011 4 comments

As you may be aware of by now, Congressmember Gabrielle Giffords has been shot. Thus far, Ms. Giffords has survived, but a federal judge and a nine year old child were murdered in this terrorist attack.

Towelroad, like a number of blogs, is reporting the fact that Ms. Giffords is one of the Democrats on Sarah Palin's infamous gun target poster.

Sarah Palin already should have been facing a criminal investigation for that incitement to terrorism and act of treason. Now, there is no excuse. Palin must be arrested and prosecuted for this. Anyone who objects to this is a terrorist enemy of America.

Every cable network should drop Palin. Every bookstore should stop selling Palin's books so she can not profit from her acts of terrorism.

 

Important Privacy Warning!

Posted by libhom Friday, January 07, 2011 5 comments

I got this via I Can't Believe This Is Not a Democracy:

Spokeo.com is a new online USA phone book w/personal information: everything from pics you've posted on FB or web, your approx credit score, home value, income, age. Remove yourself by searching your name, find the URL of your page, then go to the bottom right corner of the page and click on Privacy button to remove yourself.

I just did it. You have to give them your e-mail address for the final removal process, but I searched for my name after I went through the process and I was no longer listed.

Your call on whether you want to do this. Naturally they charge users for your information. Fuck that. If they don't contact me first to ask to buy that information, then I'm removing it. Note: You may be listed a few times. There were two entries for me, one of which was over 15 years old. The removal process is quick. You'll be off the site in minutes.

I would check back every few months, just in case. I was listed twice, and a lot of the information was wrong. I don't know if bad information is a good thing or not.


 

Countering the Propaganda War Against Government Workers

Posted by libhom Thursday, January 06, 2011 2 comments

Our economy is shitty because of the corruption and incompetence of corporate executives, wealthy speculators, and the rightist politicians they have bought. Yet, bought politicians and corporate media propagandists are working on a relentless jihad to scapegoat and punish government employees for the economic suffering we are experiencing. Steven Greenhouse of the extreme right (yes extreme right) New York Times wrote a vicious propaganda piece which is the most prominent anti worker rant currently being passed around the Internet. According to these rightist shills, only the rich should have even remotely decent lives.

If you are like me, you are burned out on reading and hearing the bullshit that is being spewed at middle class Americans who are unionized. I would like to focus on the fightback.

Brave New Films has put together a wonderful video on the subject which I encourage you to put up on your blog too.





AFSCME, the nation's largest public employee union, has come up with a Stop The Lies campaign to counter this seemingly endless wave of propaganda. They have their own video, albeit a bit less slick.





AFSCME also has an open letter which I urge you to sign against this constant barrage of lies.

I also would like to bring up a few points.

Some Facts the Corporate Media Don't Want You To Consider:

1) Laying off public sector workers makes life more difficult for people laid off in the private sector. It creates a bigger pool of people looking for the same small number of jobs.

2) Laying off public sector workers hurts the overall economy. Public workers provide services which help our society function more effectively. Public sector workers also are consumers, and lack of consumer spending is generally cited as one of the main causes of our incredibly slow economic recovery.

3) Cutting public sector salaries and benefits hurts private sector workers in the long term. This economic downturn won't last forever. Eventually, employers will be competing for workers again. When they do, the levels of compensation will be based on what other employers are offering. Lowering what public sector workers get will lower the standards of all non rich Americans in the long haul.

4) All the state "budget crises" are fake. Deficits could easily be switched to surpluses by making the rich pay a little closer to their fair share in taxes.

Update: I found this fab Laura Flaunders video on this subject.




 

William Daley's Bank Involved in Questionable Foreclosures

Posted by libhom Wednesday, January 05, 2011 1 comments

After blogging about the possibility that Barack Bush may hire the infamous bankster William Daley as his next Chief of Staff, it occurred to me that I should look into whether Daley's bank, JP Morgan Chase, has been involved in the big foreclosure scandal.

It turns out that JP Morgan Chase was one of the banks that suspended foreclosures over "paperwork."

Is Obama completely out of his mind?

 

Obama looking sillyYou would think that President Obama would learn from the disastrous defeat for the Democrats in 2010. The defeat resulted from almost 10 million more Obama voters staying home than "Keating Five" McCain voters.

Obama governed like a Republican, which alienated and demoralized core Democratic constituencies. It was as if his administration and the Democratic congressional "leadership" were on a deliberate campaign to tell Democratic voters that their views and their votes count for nothing. They got exactly the results one would have expected and many of us warned about. It was nearly as big of a defeat as Bill Clinton caused in 1994, which makes sense because he governed like a Republican too.

Many people had hoped that when the corrupt former Clinton Administration figure, Rahm Emanuel, left the administration, things might get better. Sadly, it's starting to look like the opposite.

Mock, Paper, Scissors warned me that President Obama has been considering hiring an infamous bankster and member of the rightist and corrupt Daley Klan in Chicago as his most senior adviser. The Guardian is reporting that Barack Bush has approached this monster to discuss the job.

stop sign modified to say stop greedWhen is this administration going to stop selling the American people out to our enemies, the banksters?

The Democrats lost in 2010 because they kept sending the message to their own voters that they don't count and that voting is futile. So, what is Obama doing again? He's sending the message that our votes are exercises in futility.

The Democratic core constituencies aren't the only people who despise and distrust the banksters. Those views are shared by the overwhelming majority of the people of this country, with good reason. Besides, no one outside of the corrupt Chicago political machine has much fondness for it, to put it mildly.

It's beginning to look like Obama has learned nothing from the 2010 results and is determined to keep the House in GOP hands and make the White House dependent on just how stupid and crazy the GOP nominee turns out to be. Obama may hand the Senate to the GOP with his corruption and incompetence.

I only voted for one Democrat in 2010. The rest of my votes went Green last year. The Green Party is looking really good for 2012 too.

Photos: jurvetson

elisfanclub

 

"Being Gay Doesn't Define Me"

Posted by libhom Saturday, January 01, 2011 3 comments

Rainbow flag from Warsaw PrideSan Francisco Husky Bear blogged about something that really gets on my nerves too.

Some people just work my last nerve with the "being gay doesn't define me" line.

You know what I'm talking about. "There's more to me than being gay." "Being gay is just a small part of me. It doesn't define me." Like being gay is a pretty shirt you can pull out of the closet when you're in the mood. And I chose the closet analogy on purpose.

I have news for you, sister. Being gay is everything about you. There is nothing that is with you more than your gayness. Not your religion. Not your family. Not your job. Nothing. Your gayness is with you 24/7 every day of your life until you breathe your last breath.

And by the way, that's exactly how the world defines you, whether you like it or not. Get over it.

Intellectually, I know why people do this. It has to do with the internalized heterosexism we are all brainwashed into since birth.

young Asian man in briefs waving rainbow flag at pride paradePeople in denial about the importance of an aspect of themselves that they, consciously or unconsciously, feel is bad are trying to feel better about themselves. However, beneath the surface, it is toxic and only makes people feel worse about themselves.

We are all told that we are heterosexual from birth. We also see negative messages about being LGBT everywhere, some less overt than others. Some queers try to pretend that we aren't different. The minimization of who we are is part of that.

Some people use the biological basis of homosexuality, bisexuality, and being transgender as a justification for something that is perfectly fine and doesn't need to be justified.

However, people who use it to say that they "can't help" being LGBT don't understand the implications of it. The initial study supporting the biological hypothesis showed differences in brain structure between gays and heterosexuals. It just doesn't make sense to assume that the impacts of differences in measurable brain structure would be exclusively related to who we lust for and who we love.

Fighting heterosexism isn't just about fighting overt prejudice on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is about countering the underlying notion that difference is bad and makes people inferior. Resisting conformity of all kinds must be a strategic priority of the LGBT movement if we are to ever win any kind of real liberation.

Photos: Jakub Szestowicki

Bryan Gosline

 

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