Nov 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 197, and more important, election day.  At this point, I think I can honestly say that I’ve done everything I possibly could to help influence the outcome, and now it’s time for me to do the one thing I hate doing most in politics: become a spectator.  Lets just hope that the Republican Party suffers from electile dysfunction, and that when it comes to turn out, they can’t get it up.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:31` (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip Pat A from Care2): …The header on this [Republican] mailing says "Your Voting Record is Public Information!"

Then, this ominous note: "The News and Observer reported last week that Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s operation plans to publish and share your voting records with your neighbors after this election."

That’s big news right there.  Raleigh has a newspaper?  But I digress.

The mailing continues…

"The Republican Party wanted to make you aware of this, so Reid and Obama don’t have the chance to embarrass you for staying home on election day."

And then… at the very bottom… is the (unintentional?) punchline…

…there’s a list with my wife’s name at the top and a note that she didn’t vote in 2010, but did in 2012.

Then, it lists the names of 4 of my neighbors, with notes showing whether they voted in 2010 and 2012.

Let me say that again.  They have the very voting record they say the scary and threatening president is going to send to my neighbors, and they’re sending it to my neighbors…

Click through for the whole story.  Have you ever seen a more classic example of criminal projection?

From NY Times: A stealthy coterie of difficult-to-trace outside groups is slipping tens of millions of dollars of attacks ads and negative automated telephone calls into the final days of the midterm campaign, helping fuel an unprecedented surge of last-minute spending on Senate races.

Much of the advertising is being timed to ensure that no voter will know who is paying for it until after the election on Tuesday. Some of the groups are “super PACs” that did not exist before Labor Day but have since spent heavily on political advertising, adding to the volatility of close Senate and House races.

Others formed earlier in the year but remained dormant until recently, reporting few or no contributions in recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, only to unleash six- and seven-figure advertising campaigns as Election Day draws near. Yet more spending is coming from nonprofit organizations with bland names that have popped up in recent weeks but appear to have no life beyond being a conduit for the ads.

Groups like B-PAC, supporting Joni Ernst, center, in Iowa, have poured millions into Senate races. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

The groups’ last-minute fusillade of attacks helped push outside spending in races around the country to an average of at least $20 million a day last week. Total spending on Senate races reached $200 million in October alone, significantly more than in the same period before the 2010 midterms.

As much as the Times tries to paint the problem as bipartisan, click through and note that virtually all the examples are Republican.

From Think Progress: An federal district court in Oregon has declared Secular Humanism a religion, paving the way for the non-theistic community to obtain the same legal rights as groups such as Christianity.

On Thursday, October 30, Senior District Judge Ancer Haggerty issued a ruling on American Humanist Association v. United States, a case that was brought by the American Humanist Association (AHA) and Jason Holden, a federal prisoner. Holden pushed for the lawsuit because he wanted Humanism — which the AHA defines as “an ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces” — recognized as a religion so that his prison would allow for the creation of a Humanist study group. Haggerty sided with the plaintiffs in his decision, citing existing legal precedent and arguing that denying Humanists the same rights as groups such as Christianity would be a violation of the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which declares that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

“The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” the ruling read.

The decision highlights the unusual position of the Humanist community, which has tried for years to obtain the same legal rights as more traditional religious groups while simultaneously rebuking the existence of a god or gods. But while some Humanists may chafe at being called a “religion,” others feel that the larger pursuit of equal rights trumps legal classifications.

The Court correctly ruled what I’ve been saying all along. Atheism is a religion. In my opinion, it is the religion that requires the most faith of all.

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Oct 242014
 

Given my schedule this week, there is no way that I could gain the depth of understanding I would need to provide good analysis for you, but the terrorist attack on our Canadian friends is far too import a happening to let it pass without more than mere acknowledgement.  I’ll start with that.

1024MichaelZehaf-BibeauThe heart of the Canadian capital was thrown into panic and placed in lockdown on Wednesday after a gunman armed with a rifle or shotgun fatally wounded a corporal guarding the tomb of the unknown soldier at the National War Memorial, entered the nearby Parliament building and fired multiple times before he was shot and killed.

It was the second deadly assault on a uniformed member of Canada’s armed forces in three days. The Ottawa attack heightened fears that Canada, a strong ally of the United States in its campaign against the Islamic State militant group convulsing the Middle East, had been targeted in a reprisal, either as part of an organized plot or a lone-wolf assault by a radicalized Canadian.

Law enforcement authorities in Washington said their Canadian counterparts had identified the assailant as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who had changed his name from Michael Joseph Hall, and said he had been a convert to Islam. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said he had a criminal history of offenses that included robbery and drug possession…

Inserted from <NY Times>

First, allow me to express my condolences for the victims of both attacks, their families, and all who loved them.

Second, I have already seen a tendency on our side of the border from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians to paint Zehaf-Bibeau as a lefty and to call fore vengeance against Muslims.  Reactionary religious fanatics. who would impose their religious dogma on others by force are not lefties.  They are extreme right wingers, just like Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.  Vengeance is never the answer, especially when directed at innocent Muslims who have nothing to do with ISIL.  Authentic Muslims and Christians must coexist in peace.

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Oct 232014
 

Republicans refuse to accept the inevitable when they have lost on an issue.  This is especially true of bigoted hate mongers.  Now the issue of whether a state may nullify a federal law was decided in the civil war.  Now North Carolina wants to extend the power to nullify to individual government employees.

1023gay-hate-signSince marriage equality’s arrival in North Carolina this month, at least two magistrates have resigned from their roles in the state judicial system to avoid having to officiate marriages for same-sex couples. This week, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R) said he will introduce legislation that allows officiants [sic] to refuse to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs.

According to Berger, who is continuing to fight the marriage equality ruling with House Speaker and Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R), “The court’s expansion of the freedoms of some should not violate the well-recognized constitutional rights of others.” He doesn’t believe complying with marriage equality should “require our state employees to compromise their core religious beliefs and First Amendment rights in order to protect their livelihoods.”

In his resignation letter, Rockingham County Magistrate John Kallam, Jr. said that he believes marrying same-sex couples “would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself.” Swain County Magistrate Judge Gilbert Breedlove said that he resigned because performing a same-sex marriage “was just something I couldn’t do because of my religious beliefs.” According to his reading of the Bible, “marriage is between a man and a wife; any other type of sexual activity other than that is what is defined as fornication.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

When it comes to Judge Breedlove, I disagree completely with his beliefs, but I respect his right to have his beliefs.  However, his job is performing a service, and same sex couples are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to have that service performed.  If he cannot do that job without violating his beliefs, he was absolutely right to resign.  I respect that.

On the other hand, Berger is trying to say that the right to freedom of religion congers the right to demy the rights of others, and it just does not work that way.

Leviticus 25:44 gives me the right to possess slaves as long as they are purchased from a neighboring country.  Now if Berger is right, than I get to exercise my right to own a Canadian, but sadly,  Canadians have the right not to be held as slaves, so I must sadly accept that their right to freedom supersedes my religious right to own one.  Dang!!

A political party, whose politicians would confer the right to violate the rights of the others is not fit to govern.

Get Out the VOTE!!!

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Oct 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 179.  I’m still feeling quite tired from Tuesday’s volunteer work.  Next week will be very hectic with a Urologist appointment on Monday (routine semi-annual) and a volunteer day in prison on Thursday.  I have to prepare a presentation to give to over 100 prisoners and a dozen crime victims, so I’ll have lots to do between now and then, so I may be intermittent.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From sojo.net (Hat-Tip Joanne Dixon): Thousands of people from around the country came to Ferguson, Mo., for a “weekend of resistance.” But for faith leaders it was a weekend of repentance. Twenty of us were arrested in Ferguson yesterday for an act of repentance.

I went to Ferguson as a faith leader but, in particular, as a white faith leader. Because the great disparity between how differently young black lives are treated in our criminal justice system than young white lives is a fundamental injustice that must not only be left to black faith leaders to raise up. Repentance must begin in the white Christian community for tolerating this offense to our black brothers and sisters and, ultimately, this offense to God. Let me be as honest as I can be. If white Christians in America were more Christian than white, black parents could feel safer about their children. It’s time for us white Christians to repent — turn around and go in a new direction.

Repentance is a powerful theme throughout the Bible. But its meaning is often not well understood. Repentance is not about being sorry or just feeling guilty. It is about turning in a new direction. The biblical word for repentance in the original Greek is metanoia, which means you are going in the wrong direction, and it’s time to turn right around.

Most frequently, the only thing we see from the white faith community is the false gospel of division, hate and greed from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the opposite of authentic Christians).  An expression of authentic repentance is a breath of fresh air.

From Daily Kos: Georgia Republican David Perdue’s pride in his outsourcing career was screaming out for a campaign ad, and Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn has obliged. The ad is composed almost entirely of news coverage laying out the situation—and it’s damning enough on its own.

 

So do we want Perdue to take his vulture capitalism to the US Senate? Do we want any of it at all? No! We want Nunn! Get out the VOTE!!!

From The New Yorker: The president of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, attempted on Wednesday to defuse the brewing controversy over his decision to change the network’s official slogan from “The Most Trusted Name in News” to “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die.”

“This exciting new slogan is just one piece of our over-all rebranding strategy,” Zucker said. “Going forward, we want CNN to be synonymous with the threat of imminent death.”

He added that the network expected to see strong ratings growth as a result of having the words “Holy Crap, We’re All Gonna Die” on-screen twenty-four hours a day.

More straight News from Andy, as he exposes Faux Noise Lite.

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Oct 142014
 

Some people do a very thorough job of representing the false gospel lies, hate, and greed that Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the polar opposites of authentic Christians) inflict on America.  Even more through is former governor and current bullshitologist for the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, Mike Huckabee, aka Upchuck Huck.  Here is his latest.

1014huckabeeMike Huckabee is still in the throes of last week’s hissy fit over the Supreme Court’s decision to allow lower court rulings on gay marriage stand.

This offends his delicate sensibilities because liberty to Huckabee means we should all live just the way he says we should, because he is the Dictator of All Morality and Human Behavior.

Yes, that’s sarcasm. But in his latest rant above, he suggests that the entire country needs to revisit their civics lessons to understand that the Supreme Court’s ruling just means we should all rise up and override it somehow. He would like all his fellow haters to "grow a spine."…

…In my civics classes, I learned that voters accept or reject positions of candidates and the voters’ verdict determines the outcome of elections. What some Republicans are coming to understand is that when they exclude gays, or women, or make hate the centerpiece of their candidacy, they lose. As a result, they can either leave politics altogether or adjust their positions according to the will of the majority of those they represent.

This is why Mike Huckabee is not president, nor was he the nominee in 2008, much to his chagrin…

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Barf Bag Alert!!!

 

Upchuck Huck cares nothing for the Constitution, as he would ignore the rights it guarantees all Americans. Have you ever seen such an extreme example of projection? He casts the Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian minority as the majority, while claiming that the minority that opposes equality is the majority. We’ve seen this tactic before. Russia experienced a left wing socialist Revolution in 1914. In 1917 a group of right wing totalitarians under Lenin staged a military coup. Although they were the minority, they called themselves Bolsheviks (majority) and called the majority socialists Mensheviks (minority). They established a right wing dictatorship, even though them maintained the surface appearance of communism. The propaganda employed by those who would establish Republican rule by the few has not changed much in the last 100 years.

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Oct 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 172.  I took an hour of sun-basking this afternoon.  Before long there will be only Oregon liquid sunshine.  It’s as minor Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos’ service is not until Sunday, but tonight’s game should be a good one.  It’s almost nap time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: G. Yamazawa takes you back to his childhood to share an important lesson he learned.

 

Very well said by an authentic Buddhist!

From AlterNet: Gay Marriage Will Of Course Lead To Polygamy: Right-wing radio host and activist Erick Erickson predicted [Wing-nut delinked] that “all the people now saying polygamy is different from gay marriage will be polygamy’s chief advocates within the decade.”

Isn’t it ironic that the people actually practicing polygamy are part of the Republican fringe? This is just one of ten crazy Republican Responses to expanding marriage equality. Click through for the other nine.

From TPM: Republican senators are calling on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) to attach spending limits to an Obamacare program in a bill that must pass in the lame-duck session to keep the federal government open.

The strategy carries echoes of the 2013 government shutdown fight waged by the GOP over defunding Obamacare, although with smaller ambitions this time.

Fourteen conservative senators, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), wrote a letter to Boehner on Wednesday calling on him to use the continuing resolution — which must be enacted by Dec. 11 to avert a shutdown — to prohibit "unappropriated and unauthorized funds" under a market stability mechanism in Obamacare known as risk corridors. The program collects funds from insurers who enroll healthier patients and pays insurers who enroll sicker patients.

Even though some will try to appear reasonable and conciliatory for the election, you know that after the voting is done Republicans will still be seditious saboteurs.

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Oct 092014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 171.  Store to Door is coming with groceries, and I have lots of cleaning to do to prepare.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: An Ohio man has become infected with misinformation about the Ebola virus through casual contact with cable news, the Centers for Disease Control has confirmed.

Tracy Klugian, thirty-one, briefly came into contact with alarmist Ebola hearsay during a visit to the Akron-Canton airport, where a CNN report about Ebola was showing on one of the televisions in the airport bar. “Mr. Klugian is believed to have been exposed to cable news for no more than ten minutes, but long enough to become infected,” a spokesman for the C.D.C. said. “Within an hour, he was showing signs of believing that an Ebola outbreak in the United States was inevitable and unstoppable.”

Once Klugian’s condition was apparent, the Ohio man was rushed to a public library and given a seventh-grade biology textbook, at which point he “started to stabilize,” the spokesman said.

Andy has a point. It’s a good thing the man was not exposed to the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise. His brain would not have survived long enough to reach the library emergency room.

From Daily Kos: Ellen Bogan was rolling down U.S. 27 in Union County, Indiana when she was pulled over for a traffic violation. The state trooper let her off with a warning, but not before asking some bizarrely unprofessional questions:

Did she have a home church?

Did she accept Jesus Christ as her savior?

Ellen said she felt helpless to leave the traffic stop, even after the warning had been issued:

"The police officer is representing the government … so that means, as a representative, this person, while on duty, while engaged in official action, is basically overstepping and is trying to establish religion."

Bogan, who lives in Huntington, said Hamilton asked her about her faith multiple times during the traffic stop. Because he was a trooper and his police car was still parked behind hers, she said she felt she could not leave or refuse questioning.

"The whole time, his lights were on," Bogan said. "I had no reason to believe I could just pull away at that point, even though I had my warning."

This Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian abused his authority, violated her Constitutional rights, and should be criminally indicted and blacklisted from service as a police officer everywhere.

From NY Times: Just weeks before elections that will decide control of the Senate and crucial governors’ races, a cascade of court rulings about voting rules, issued by judges with an increasingly partisan edge, are sowing confusion and changing voting procedures with the potential to affect outcomes in some states.

Last week, a day before voting was scheduled to begin in Ohio, the United States Supreme Court split, 5 to 4, to uphold a cut in early voting in the state by one week; the five Republican appointees voted in favor and the four Democratic appointees against. Cases from North Carolina and Wisconsin are also before the court, with decisions expected shortly, while others are proceeding in Texas and Arkansas.

The legal fights are over laws that Republican-led state governments passed in recent years to more tightly regulate voting, in the name of preventing fraud.

Since virtually all actual documented cases of so-called voter fraud have been Republicans getting caught while trying to prove they could get away with it, it is clear that the Republican courts, especially SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) are helping their fellow fascists. Note how the Fascist Five Injustices used the Gay Marriage non-decision to distract us from their efforts to help the Republican Party steal elections. Get Out the VOTE!!

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