Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Letter To a Tennessee Democratic Politician

Sure...I would love to get together and trade ideas about electing Democrats in 2012. Just for starters this should get you riled up.

Democrats have a muddled message right now that is essentially Republican Lite with their main slogan being "We don't suck as bad as those other guys". Frankly, I think the conservative Democrat's time has passed. We saw Congressman Lincoln Davis, as conservative a Dem as ever existed (and a personal friend of mine), get slammed by an incapable incompetent nobody. There was no message there other than that other guy is a creep (which he was...and is). Where did that get Lincoln? Why should anyone vote for a conservative Democrat when they can have a real foam at the mouth ideological maggot?

Democrats let Republicans run a dog whistle, catch phrase, campaign. We should have been working to destroy "pro-life" and "pro-gun" as campaign rhetoric instead of pretending to be sorta pro-life and sorta pro-gun. The message has to be something like, "How can you claim to be pro life when you don't support good quality health care for our people?"

While people were standing around letting Republicans scare them into believing Democrats were going to take their guns, Republicans took their jobs. (Just so you know...I got guns and I'm a danged good shot. But I keep them in a safe place instead of a 2nd Amendment shrine.)

Now...You want jobs? You have to elect Democrats...Real ones! Democrats who understand that it's the little guys who create jobs in America and Tennessee. Democrats who understand that TN Senator Bob Corker isn't helping us when he filibusters a bill that would end the tax breaks for big corporations who take jobs away from Tennesseans and send them to China. Democrats who understand that the giant corporations who run the heath care system in Tennessee don't give a rat's ass about whether you and you child live or die as long as they can gobble up nearly 20% of the Gross Domestic Product of this nation and still give us medical care that is 34th from the top but twice as expensive as the country that is number one. (You listening, Phil?)

And so on.

These are not easy messages. They have to be said and re-said and shouted over and over. You and every politician who wants to claim that they are a Democrat have to buy into the program and quit trying be fake conservatives. If you care about people and want to make their lives better, you can't be a conservative.

Conservatives have no plan for better health care...But They do have a plan to make insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies richer and richer.

Conservatives don't have a plan for a healthier environment that won't give you cancer if you drink the water, or breathe the air, or want to eat the fish you catch...But They do have a plan to make big coal corporations richer and richer.

Conservatives don't have a plan to make sure every child has the opportunity for a good education that prepares them for a productive and happy life...But They do have a plan to destroy the public school system while sending their own children to expensive private schools.

Conservatives don't have a plan for creating jobs in America...But, They have been absolutely awesome at creating jobs...in China, just not in Tennessee.

Democrats cannot keep reading polls and deciding what image or persona they will pretend to be. Democrats have to craft and deliver a message that will drive the polls to what we are...The Party of the People. The Democratic Party that cares about the school your child goes to. The party that cares about you and your children's health and well being. The Democratic Party that will create a good competitive business environment that will produce jobs for your children after they get that good education we will work to provide them.

Democrats cannot be roosters that see the light coming over the horizon, squawk their heads off, and think they are done for the day because the sun comes up. That's what Republicans do. That's what Democrats have tried to be in Tennessee for the last decade. Look, Republicans are better at that than we are. Let's let the Republicans be Republicans and let's you and me be Democrats, how 'bout it? We have work to do at first light and we'll stop for a little breakfast later, and then get back to work.

Now the mechanics of all this aren't simple. It will take strong leadership at the state level and some shake up of our party. If the Democratic party wants to compete with the Republicans to see who can best serve the Devil, you can count me out. The conservative lite message is a loser.

We are faced with a virulent strain of conservatism in this country, one funded by huge corporate cash reserves. We can beat them, though. Obama proved it in 2008 with an internet fundraising machine that out raised his opponents with small number donations from millions instead of million dollar donations from a small number.

We have to have a strong media presence and it doesn't have to cost too much money. It takes a good message and all of us barking the same bark at the same bear over and over. We have to show ourselves to be on the side of the middle class while pointing out that Republicans are doing all they can to destroy the middle class.

We have to have a strong online presence, with a paid staff that posts comments at every news and blog site, instead of letting Mike Duncan and his lackeys control that idea space.

We have to challenge reporters and moderators by asking them to do their jobs! "Why are you making ME point out that this Republican is Lying? Isn't that your job?...Don't you care about the First Amendment and Truth? When Republicans lie...Call them liars! It's the job of a free press in America! The press is not doing its job when it makes US state facts instead of calling Republicans out when they lie. I hereby call you on this!"

Now, we can't rely on the party leaders at the top to do all this. We have to have strong local leadership that will do the work on the ground. That's where you and I come in. Ive been working my tail off for years now, frankly, and it's about time you and all the other Democratic politicians I've been supporting with money and time jump on the Peace Train.

Got you going yet?

I have to run but we can get together in the next few weeks and see where our ideas overlap and where we can do some good.

Have a good new year and don't party too hard. The sun is going to come up whether the rooster crows or not. The important thing is to make sure the light shines on us.

Cheers,

Steve

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

We Have Another Set of Cousins in the Human Race

So we have several evolutionary branches on the Human Tree it turns out. Scientists have found Neanderthal genes in modern humans and now we have another set of relatives, the Denisovans. It turns out that, as predicted by several anthropologists, our family tree looks more like an entwined vine than a single solid tree trunk.

As always, it's more complicated than most folks thought. Here's a place to start.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why does anybody ever listen to a Republican?

Bush lowered taxes and killed the economy. Everybody except the super rich, like Tom Kilgore, lost money. Clinton raised taxes and everybody made more money, particularly the middle class. Why don't we in America know this?


more

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mandatory Logging in National Forests

With Democrats like this...

U.S. Senator Jon Tester (D-MT), strongly backed by Obama and Vilscak, has a bill that was written in secrecy by timber industry lawyers and timber industry lobbyists, a bill often referred to as the “Tester Wildlands Logging Bill,” that was unable to withstand scrutiny from the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee due to the financial and environmental costs of its Congressionally-mandated logging quotas, but has now somehow magically appeared on pages 893 to 942 of the 1,942-page $1.3 trillion Senate Omnibus Spending Bill.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Brain Food

I can pick at some of his points, his houses are interestingly unlivable, and there is no big finish, but it's a good 18 minutes...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Upside of WikiLeaks

Former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock, Looks at the UPside of WikiLeaks. For a man appointed by Ronald Reagan, I find myself in usually total agreement with him.

Monday, December 13, 2010

How We Got Here

No, this is not an examination of how life came to exist on this planet. This is an excellent examination of the planet shaking decision by the Supreme Court of the United States in reversing the voters' decision in Florida in the 2000 election.

Ilissa Gold was a Tennessee writer, student, and blogger with a brilliant perspective on legal matters that mattered. She's still a writer, student, and blogger but we've lost her to a foreign state where she's about to finish law school. I expect great things from her. If you take the time to read this piece on Bush v Gore and how the Supremes gave Bush the election for Christmas, you'll understand why I say that...

I was 14 when Bush v. Gore was decided. It was that election and subsequent controversy that made me politically aware (it would take the Iraq War to make me an activist). I'm now 24 and a semester away from finishing law school. I have no idea what sort of impact I'll make on the law. But I do know this--I'm not going to "get over" the travesty that was this decision, and I'm not going to forget it.


GoldnI

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Jack McElroy Backs Wikileaks

We media types have been proudly publishing leaks for years
.

Jack McElroy

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Random Saturday Thoughts

A warm world map

Why should the people who lied us into war get a tax break? If anything we should put a ten percent surcharge on incomes over $1,000,000.00 a year to go directly to pay off our war debt.

And speaking of war criminals, why are we pursuing Wkileaks, which has done an honorable job of protecting individual identities and being selective about what it releases, when Scooter Libby got his sentence commuted for outing a CIA agent involved in nuclear non-proliferation and Dick Cheney got off with a vice presidential pension?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Today's Must Read..."If Conservatives succeed...It will not be a kind government..."

If conservatives succeed in cutting government by the people for the public good, our lives will still be governed, but now by corporations. We will have government by corporations for corporate profit. . It will be a cruel government, a government of foreclosures, outsourcing, union busting, outrageous payments for every little thing, and pension eliminations.
Untellable Truths

Feel Good Friday...Boogie Edition

Here's why Tommy Emmanuel sells out the Tennessee Theater...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Quote of the Day

Democrats are always in the position of having to choose between some specific thing that will alleviate some suffering (however temporarily) in exchange for some heinous Galtian thievery and they end up taking the short term relief because they believe they have the responsibility to help people in the best way they can
.

Digby

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

30 Years Ago Today

I think the music you held close during your puberty years stays embedded deeply.



And somehow this made me think of Elizabeth Edwards...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

His Wiki Leaked...The Adventure in Breathless Media Pandering and Propaganda

Julian Assange heads Wikileaks and has begun publishing emails, cables, documents, and other communications that were given to him by government and financial institution insiders in heroic personal acts of conscience. He has been arrested in London for a sex crime for which he has been charged in Sweden.
 
Interestingly, Mr. Assange has broken no American law. His "sex crime" is beyond absurd. He is charged with continuing to have intercourse with a consensual partner after the condom broke. It carries a maximum fine of $715 even if it could be proven, and we must note that Assange denies that this occurred.
 
He will be persecuted for exposing the criminality of our governments and financial institutions even as he himself has committed no crime whatsoever.
 
Wikileaks has simply pulled back the curtain on the blackest diseases of our governments and financial systems. He is a hero on his way to becoming a martyr.
 
There has been no legal judgement against Julian Assange or his company but our government has pressured PayPal to cancel his account, his web hosts have been pressured to remove his web site, his bank accounts have been frozen, including his legal defense fund, even though he has been charged with not so much as a traffic ticket in every country except Sweden. We are witnesses on a global scale of an unusual facet of totalitarianism, not so much by governments themselves but by the financial institutions and oligarchs that pull the strings that run them.
 
As goes the fate of Julian Assange, so goes the tenuous liberty of the world's citizens.
 
Steve
 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Elizabeth Edwards

"You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human.
"But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful. It isn't possible to put into words the love and gratitude I feel to everyone who has and continues to support and inspire me every day. To you I simply say: you know." 
 Elizabeth Edwards's cancer fight has taken a turn for the worse, with the disease spreading to her liver and doctors recommending against additional treatment.

What that Wikileaks Guy Is Really Up To

"If their behavior is revealed to the public, [governments] have one of two choices: one is to reform in such a way that they can be proud of their endeavors, and proud to display them to the public. Or the other is to lock down internally and to balkanize, and as a result, of course, cease to be as efficient as they were. To me, that is a very good outcome, because organizations can either be efficient, open and honest, or they can be closed, conspiratorial and inefficient."
Julian Assange

What that Wikileaks guy is really up to.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The American electorate is looking like a coyote with its leg caught in a trap, chewing its own leg off"

The view from Europe looks like the best analysis of what's happening here. It's the way things go when the criminally insane control your country's media.

Read

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Must See: Inside Job

http://www.sonyclassics.com/insidejob/

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Those Poor Rich People!

Dr. David Barber, Associate Professor of American History at the University of Tennessee:

American society’s fantastically skewed distribution of wealth stands as one of the main structural fault lines underpinning the Crash. America’s richest one percent of the population own over forty percent of America’s wealth — exclusive of home ownership — in this, the most opulent society history has ever known.
What you can do to get your self a piece of the pie

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

I thought it was important to put forth a proposal that says we don't have to go after the middle and lower classes in our country in order to pay for deficit and debt that they had nothing to do with creating...

A Real Deficit Reduction Plan

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Sheriff Robs the Bank

Heading up the renewed push for those controversial, clothes-penetrating scanners at airports is former homeland security secretary Michael Chertoff. His consulting firm represents companies who make the scanners, but you wouldn't know it from reading the papers.

 http://gawker.com/5437499/why-is-michael-chertoff-so-excited-about-full+body-scanners

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

So Exactly How Do I Get Me Some of that Socialized Medicine?

Want to see a doctor the same day you have a problem? Move to Great Britain, Switzerland, New Zealand, or the Netherlands.

In the USA 43% can't see a doctor the same day, 47 million people have no health insurance at all, we have the greatest likelihood of being denied treatment even if we have insurance, and we have the most expensive healthcare in the world. The best countries have a combination of a public healthcare system paid for by taxes and a private system for extra coverage if desired.

The story from Reuters

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Armistice Day

In 1954 the Congress changed the name of this day from "Armistice Day" to "Veteran's Day", thereby shifting its focus from honoring those who fought for peace to those who fought for war. Prior to that time in America, I can think of the majority of our wars as being fought for a just cause that really did involve peace or freedom, Since then I can't think of a single war that was necessary or had a just cause. (Grenada, maybe?)
This has shown itself in how we treat our veterans after they have ended their service. Ask a wounded veteran of the Iraq war how they are being treated by the Veterans Administration? Is it worthy of their sacrifice? Ask them why they fought in Iraq? What was the worthy cause for which they sacrificed? On a sub-verbal level, America is ashamed of its current wars but has no real clue how to get out of them. We were lied into them.

Why can't we simply truth our way out of them?
"Sorry! This is a big mistake. We'll be out of here as soon as we can load up."
The real reason we went into Iraq was because Saddam wouldn't let American Corporations have Iraq's oil, that and the fact that the Vice President at the time was positioned to make tens of millions through war profiteering by his old company. At the time the largest oil company and the Veep's corporation were good American companies, but since that is no longer the case, why keep fighting and sending good American troops into stupid situations with no real reachable objective?
Here's a test...Quickly...State the reason we are at war in Afghanistan and who it is that we are at war with?
I thought so.
By the way, Exxon is now a foreign corporation with headquarters in the Caribbean. Haliburton is now a foreign corporation with its headquarters in Dubai and its fingerprints all over the massive oil disaster in the Gulf coast of the USA. But that's another story...
Anyway, I have a proposal. In order to honor the men and women who fight for America, let's make sure that they are fighting for America. Why not change the name of Veteran's Day back to its original meaning? 
I'm thinking maybe "Peace Day"
Perhaps that would be the real way to honor our veterans. Honor them by making the cause for which they sacrifice just and honorable.
Peace!
Steve


In keeping with the spirit of Peace Day I suggest this for further reading.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Must Read from Ted Rall

While I don't agree with Mr. Rall on his main point of "It's too late to do anything to stop America from its descent from greatness", I do think most of his observations bear thinking about.


The Anti-American Manifesto

Monday, November 8, 2010

This is our new Speaker of the House? Proud of yourselves, Republican Voters?

Boehner:  I did it (Passed out checks from lobbyists) on the House floor which I regret and I should not have done, it's not a violation of the House rules, but it's a practice that's gone on here for a long time.

Q)....Were the checks from tobacco companies?

Boehner: Ahh, I think if my memory serves me correctly, I think it was a tobacco company, yes.

Q)....but in this case tobacco's well timed contributions helped save its subsidy. The people that were passing out the checks won.
Money for nothing and your chicks for free...(But enough about Senator Vitter)

I had a friend who votes R more often than not tell me that my local Congressman lost his race because he was unethical. When I asked for an instance he had to go make a phone call. It's one kind of sin to lie to other people but isn't it a greater sin to lie to your own self?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Except in Tennessee?

The Wall Street Journal has a breakdown of who voted for which party by income level:

• Less than 30K per year voted 58% for Dems, 40% for Repubs

• 30K - 49,999K: 52% for Dems, 45% for Repubs

• 50K-74,999K: 46% for Dems, 52% for Repubs

• 75K - 99,999K: 43% for Dems, 56% for Repubs

• 100K-1,999,999K: 43% for Dems, 56 for Repubs

• Over $200,000K: 36% for Dems, 62% for Repubs
So the working class average American understands that conservatism is the zombie virus that eats brains and kills the chances for working Americans to improve their circumstances. Why don't the rest of the people get this? I think they have too much time to watch Fox News instead of having to bust their chops running as fast as they can to stay in one place.

Link

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Word for the Day..."It-Getters"

The mainstream media fawned(polite term here) all over itself to cover the Glen Beck uber-partisan rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, thereby forever tainting the legacy of tolerance given us by the only openly bisexual (look it up) president America has had to date. Even though CBS paid for an aerial flyover photo for a professional crowd estimate (87,500 wingnuts), the network never seriously called Beck on his ludicrous claim of half a million attendees. I mean, why go to the trouble of calling the biggest liar on the ether a liar when he lies? That wouldn't be true to the principle of fawning (polite term here), now would it?

Flash forward a couple of weeks and we have the One Nation Rally put on by the working men and women of America and hosted by Ed Shultz. The mainstream media made slight mention of it and refused to allow several of its biggest reporters to report on it. They said it was "partisan" (unlike the Beck rally?). The claim that it was half the size of the Beck rally was the pundit's buzz, even though the same official flyover shots actually taken when the rally was in progress (as opposed to before the rally started, i.e. the ones Fox posted)showed that there were about 125,000 working Americans there. These were people who have or had jobs, unlike the pensioned fireman on Medicare at the Beck rally with the "Take Out Country Back" (from socialism?) sign.

The Saturday we had the Restore Sanity Rally, which once again several mainstream media outlets refused to allow their reporters to cover, because it was partisan, only it specifically wasn't. The aerial shot count was roughly 250,000 people, which is about Ten Million in Glen Beck numbers. The media has been strangely quiet on this. A friend who attended the rally asked the Washington Mall cops about the crowd sizes and they said Becks was a little smaller than the One Nation rally, but that the Restore Sanity rally dwarfed them both. Fair enough.

So if feet are counted as votes, far more Americans want sanity in our system than want Sarah Palin or Glen Beck claiming a goose flyover was a message from God to vote Republican.

The absence (Failure) of our mainstream media is starkly evident in the press conference with Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert held after the event. Listen for the names of the organizations represented and learn where you should go for your news and information from now on...


National Press Club Press Conference with Stewart and Colbert

You are now an official "It-Getter".

Well done,

Steve

Monday, November 1, 2010

What times are these when our politicians are jokes and we must turn to our Comedians for the truth?

"We live in hard times, not end times."



And just in case you don't know what to say when your right wing brother makes nasty about your Democratic voting tendencies...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

His presidency, one of the worst of all time, is a case-study in rank incompetence, short-sightedness, corruption, and disregard for the Constitution. From allowing the country to be attacked despite warning, to failing capture or kill the attackers, to ruining the budget, to wasting a mountain of blood and treasure on an unnecessary war, to allowing a major city to be completely destroyed, and having it all culminate in a massive economic crash, the Bush presidency should be considered the owner's manual on how not to run a superpower. Therefore, it was only fitting that he be rewarded with a $7 million book deal.

Frankly, these book deals are the way conservative politicians get rich serving corporations and oligarchs. We used to call it bribery but we are much more dishonest than that now.

More

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Whom Do You Support?

Multi-national Corporations or The People of the United States of America?

Rich people or the middle class?

Slash and burn policies that destroy American factories and jobs or social policies that provide a safety net and healthcare for everybody?

Tax policies that promote sending American jobs to foreign companies or tax incentives that would bring factories and jobs back to this country?

Tax breaks for rich people that will add $4 trillion to the deficit, or tax breaks for the other 98 percent of Americans?

Scott DeJarlais or Lincoln Davis?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Behold the endless parade of Tea Party dinkbuttons, Nazis and homophobes and God-fearing yoga haters, oh my "

What must it be like to live inside such a tiny, misfiring brain and call yourself the queen of infinite space? It cannot be comfortable in there. It can't feel anything like joy, or fun, or freedom. It's just a million screaming little gnats, fighting over a breadcrumb of significance.


I wish I could write like that

(Thank you, Juanita!)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quote of the Day

It appears that two hundred million dollars in false advertising will determine the makeup of the 112th Congress.

http://juanitajean.com/2010/10/13/did-all-that-foreign-money-keep-you-from-noticing-that-his-pants-are-on-fire/

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Reader

As a child I watched President Eisenhower's farewell speech on a little black and white TV with my parents. We were living in a cool old house at 546 East Spraig Street in in Winston Salem, North Carolina. We were Democrats but that didn't matter because everybody who was an American was an American back then. My teacher had told all us kids to watch it. She voted for Kennedy, but like I said, this was an American President being replaced by an American president.

In that speech, "Ike" warned America of it's greatest enemy, which was a surprise to most of us because we thought he was going to talk about the Soviet Union. It was "Enemies Domestic" that he was most worried about. He was right.

Read

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thought Food for Monday

According to the American Society for Civil Engineers:

Europe puts 5 percent of its gross domestic product into infrastructure spending.

China 9 percent.

In the United States, it's only 2.4 percent.

Nearly two years ago, the ASCE estimated the five-year investment needed for infrastructure at $2.2 trillion.

Some of folks want us to continue the tax break for Dick Cheney instead of fixing what's wrong with our roads, bridges, schools, and waste treatment facilities and putting America back to work in the process.

More on the problem of deferred maintenance.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Dang that Obamacare...

Starting in Two Weeks:

# Young adults will be allowed to stay on their parent's plan until they turn 26 years old.

# All new plans must cover certain preventive services such as mammograms and colonoscopies without charging a deductible, co-pay or coinsurance.

# In the past, insurance companies could search for an error, or other technical mistake, on a customer's application and use this error to deny payment for services when he or she got sick. The new law makes this illegal.

# The law provides consumers with a way to appeal coverage determinations or claims to their insurance company, and establishes an external review process.

# Insurance companies will be prohibited from imposing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits, like hospital stays.

# Insurance companies' use of annual dollar limits on the amount of insurance coverage a patient may receive will be restricted for new plans in the individual market and all group plans.

# For new plans and existing group plans: The new law includes new rules to prevent insurance companies from denying coverage to children under the age of 19 due to a pre-existing condition.

# New funding to support the construction of and expansion of services at community health centers, allowing these centers to serve some 20 million new patients across the country.

From My Inbox: "And Rupert Murdoch can kiss my ass."

It astounds me how such a crazy misinformed narrative such as the "ground zero mosque" can become the media crappola of the day. It isn't a mosque, it's a community center to go along with their actual mosque which has been at that location decades before the World Trade Towers. It is their neighborhood.

But the biggest bit of heinous propaganda is lumping all muslims in together and branding them all evil. That would be like lumping Terry Jones, the right wing cult leader in with Mother Teresa. Preacher Jones, by the way, was kicked out of Germany for preaching hate and terror, and make no mistake about it...When you burn someone's religious holy book on the grounds that it isn't YOUR religious holy book, you are sending a message of hate and fear, and frankly I think you are a terrorist. You are certainly un-American. The religious denomination that is building the community center is Sufi. The Imam is a Sufi and teaches in the way of the Sufi. The Sufi are to the Sunni Muslims what the Quakers are to preacher Terry Jones version of what he claims is Christianity.

To my read, Preacher Jones religion is nothing like Christianity, unless it is the version that, say, Adolph Hitler espoused. That's right, Adolph Hitler claimed he was doing Jesus' work in exterminating the Jews. I think not.

Sufism is a thoughtful introspective religion that is night and day different from the Sunni of Saddam Hussein. But I guess the media in America are too stupid to know that. My internet friend Bill has some thoughts along these lines...

Is this Podunk son' a bitch crazy. Right or wrong our country has taken these people in. And, many are putting their life on the line fighting for this country. Are they Americans in Afghanistan tonight with a U.S. Army uniform on fighting for what they consider their country? And, if captured do you think the extremist will give them any break.

Hell, think again. I can't even fathom their death. So it seems to me that old statue of liberty has brought us full circle.

But, that is done. Other immigrant groups have come into our country while retaining their ethnic identity. Jesus just go to Boston, or Pittsburgh, or for that matter Richmond Virginia. Where white protestants rule and Irishmen who were once despised in our country have blended in. Sometimes to the dismay of their English friends.

Ok, maybe not a good parallel since these people look strange and have a foreign religion. But, like all of us they are here. And, the vast majority are American and will fight you for that right. They simply enjoyed being in a country where they were not persecuted. But, of course that all changed in a heartbeat. And, as Americans when those buildings came crashing down they were horrified like all of us but they must also within hours had another concern. And, of course that concern has become a political football and a reality.

One played out on Fox News at every opportunity. But, even Fox wouldn't go this far. Enter some little preacher with a taste for a camera evidently. Threatening to burn their bible. But, the firestorm he created isn't in this country. You can only suspect American Moslems like us are simply trying to scratch out a living right now. No this cartoon character has created a firestorm in the countries our men and women have to fight in right now.

We now have twenty four hour a day cable channels with talking head rattling on and the American people have never been more divided. God help us all. And, Rupert Murdoch can simply kiss my ass.

Remember the Biblical Tale of Barack Went In the Jackal's Den

After kicking some GOP butt, the Republican reaction to their ass whipping was not to acknowledge anything Obama said but to promise each other they would never let him come back and talk with them again. Just for fun take another look and be proud of our President...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

US Marines Capture Ship Pirated by Somalis

Why didn't this make the evening news in the USA?
A group of 24 marines swooped on the German-owned M/V Magellan Star and took control of the ship from nine pirates who had captured it on Wednesday.
Our Marines were awesome.

Friday, August 27, 2010

So Do FundXtians Really Want to Hack Off 4 Billion People?

1. Christianity: 2.1 billion
2. Islam: 1.5 billion
3. Secular/Nonreligious/Agnostic/Atheist: 1.1 billion
4. Hinduism: 900 million
5. Chinese traditional religion: 394 million
6. Buddhism: 376 million
7. primal-indigenous: 300 million
8. African Traditional & Diasporic: 100 million
9. Sikhism: 23 million
10. Juche: 19 million
11. Spiritism: 15 million
12. Judaism: 14 million
13. Baha'i: 7 million
14. Jainism: 4.2 million
15. Shinto: 4 million
16. Cao Dai: 4 million
17. Zoroastrianism: 2.6 million
18. Tenrikyo: 2 million
19. Neo-Paganism: 1 million
20. Unitarian-Universalism: 800 thousand
21. Rastafarianism: 600 thousand
22. Scientology: 500 thousand

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Do Unto Others

My local paper published a letter that made me sad and got me to wondering about the frailty of our society. The writer was "outraged" that another writer had used the "tired old demonization card" on folks who were sensibly demonizing Islam? The entire letter is such a jumble of illogic that it turns my brain to mush if I think about it too hard. How dare we accuse the writer of Islamophobia when "the growing anger and prejudice is actually reasonable", have we never heard of "the Trojan Horse?"...And there is a school somewhere in Virginia promoting Sharia and "Saudi backed saboteurs in the Muslim Brotherhood operate in America" and promise to eliminate and destroy Western civilization. And, and, the promoter of the "so called Ground Zero Mosque" has connections to Hamas and aren't you really scared now?

Well, no. First off, the "Ground Zero Mosque" is neither a mosque nor is it at Ground Zero. It is a cultural center with gyms and swimming pools and meeting rooms and all the things that one would find at any other large faith based facility. It does have connections with a mosque that already exists two blocks from the World Trade Center site. It's headed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, whose life has been dedicated to multiculturalism and interfaith co-operation. His contacts with Hamas were actually conducted at the behest of the Bush Administration for which Rauf served as an emissary attempting to defuse the hostilities in the Middle East. Since the letter writer couldn't even get Rauf's name correct, it is to be expected that she would be ignorant of the man her letter disparaged, and whose mosque has stood at its current site since before the World Trade Towers were even constructed. Here are some of the things other more knowlegable people say about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf...

Rauf "has participated at the Aspen Institute in Muslim-Christian-Jewish working groups looking at ways to promote greater religious tolerance. He has consistently denounced radical Islam and terrorism, and promoted a moderate and tolerant Islam." ...Walter Isaacson, head of The Aspen Institute

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf ... is a bridge figure because he has deep roots in both worlds. He was educated in Egypt, England, Malaysia and the United States, and his mosque in New York City is only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. After September 11, people often asked me, "Where are the moderate Muslims? why are they not speaking out?" In Imam Rauf, we have a Muslim who can speak to Western people in a way they can understand." ...British author Karen Armstrong

Rauf speaks of "the need for Muslims to live peacefully with all other religions", for emphasizing the commonalities among all faiths, for advocating equal rights for women and opposing laws that in any way punish non-Muslims. ...Fareed Zakaria of CNN and Time Magazine

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Sufi Muslim, a sect that holds Jesus as a prophet. His ministry has been from day one an advocacy for peace. Al Queda has declared him an enemy. So in fact, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a force for peace and co-operation. His dream of a cultural center is not at ground zero, but is his life's goal of peaceful interfaith coexistence.

The letter attributes the atrocities of certain radical Sunni Muslims to what is in effect a completely different religion, Sufism. This is simply ignorant and seems to me to violate the Old Testament Commandment against bearing false witness. (I suspect that the writer is also ignorant of the fact that the Old Testament is found in the Christian Bible, the Quran, and the Torah. Bearing false witness is a sin in Islam, Judaism, and supposedly Christianity. Too bad there isn't a commandment that says, "Thy shalt not let others bear false witness to you and delude you into paranoid fantasies." That would put an end to this Tea Party cult thing, if any Christians still paid attention to the commandments instead of waving them around on plastic signs.)

The same people who foam at the mouth with the effervescence of their "paranoid fantasies" about all Muslims are the same ones who tout conservative Christian values. I would contend that "conservative" and "Christian" are mutually exclusive, given that Christ called upon us to "embrace our enemies", "love our enemies", "turn the other cheek", but no, we have to lump an entire religion into one monolithic scary monster fantasy and be afraid. By doing this we validate Muslims doing the same thing to us. Are Lutherans, Presbyterians, and Quakers the same as the Serbian "Christians" whose religion justified the atrocities of rape, murder, and the genocide known as ethnic cleansing? Is the writer of that letter the same kind of Christian that Adolf Hitler was, after all, Hitler's speeches often declared himself a Christian doing God's work in eradicating the Jews?

Of course not. This entire fiasco is totally manufactured nonsense intended as another wedge issue in the coming election. It is simply more of the same kind of manufactured nonsense created by think tanks funded by Charles and David Koch, billionaire heirs to the Koch empire who also funded $100 million in anti global warming propaganda to help keep their vast oil and energy holdings raking in profits even while destroying their own planet. In dissecting the campaign against a good and well intentioned Sufi Imam, we can see how evil these people are and what they are doing to turn friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor simply to feed their own avariciousness.

May their god forgive them, because I won't.

Courage,

Steve


The New Yorker Piece on the Kochs

Monday, August 23, 2010

Can We Talk?

Rude, Crude, and socially unacceptable...Our comedians are our prophets now.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sunday Funnies, Hypocrisy Edition

The Dove World Outreach Center (Double Speak name for a hate church?) in Gainesville, Florida announced that it would hold a public ceremony at which it would "outreach" to Muslims by burning Korans. The Gainesville Fire Department has denied the Doves a burn permit because they have specific regulations against the burning of books.

Imagine, if you will, the outrage of the Doves if someone announced that they would hold a public ceremony at which they would burn the Old Testament? Well guess what...

The Old Testament is the history of the Hebrew People and Arabs, and it is the point of commonality where Christianity, Judaism, and Islam intersect. The Koran, and the Hebrew scriptures also use the Old-Testament of the Christian bible.

So wouldn't it be blasphemy for someone who calls themselves a Christian to burn the Old Testament?

Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Clay Bennett of the Chattanooga Times Free Press

Friday, August 20, 2010

Don't Watch This! Hey...I Said...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Extremist Makeover - Homeland Edition
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Quoted

"I believe that net neutrality is the First Amendment issue of our time," declared Democratic Senator Al Franken at Thursday's public hearing on the Internet, held in his home state of Minnesota.

"Unless it's freedom of religion," he added, "which, until last week, I thought we had kind of worked out."

A List

The names of Muslims who were killed by the Al Queda extremists in the attacks of 9-11:

Samad Afridi
Ashraf Ahmad
Shabbir Ahmad (45 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and 3 children)
Umar Ahmad
Azam Ahsan
Ahmed Ali
Tariq Amanullah (40 years old; Fiduciary Trust Co.; ICNA website team member; leaves wife and 2 children)
Touri Bolourchi (69 years old; United Airlines #175; a retired nurse from Tehran)
Salauddin Ahmad Chaudhury
Abdul K. Chowdhury (30 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Mohammad S. Chowdhury (39 years old; Windows on the World; leaves wife and child born 2 days after the attack)
Jamal Legesse Desantis
Ramzi Attallah Douani (35 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
SaleemUllah Farooqi
Syed Fatha (54 years old; Pitney Bowes)
Osman Gani
Mohammad Hamdani (50 years old)
Salman Hamdani (NYPD Cadet)
Aisha Harris (21 years old; General Telecom)
Shakila Hoque (Marsh & McLennan)
Nabid Hossain
Shahzad Hussain
Talat Hussain
Mohammad Shah Jahan (Marsh & McLennan)
Yasmeen Jamal
Mohammed Jawarta (MAS security)
Arslan Khan Khakwani
Asim Khan
Ataullah Khan
Ayub Khan
Qasim Ali Khan
Sarah Khan (32 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Taimour Khan (29 years old; Karr Futures)
Yasmeen Khan
Zahida Khan
Badruddin Lakhani
Omar Malick
Nurul Hoque Miah (36 years old)
Mubarak Mohammad (23 years old)
Boyie Mohammed (Carr Futures)
Raza Mujtaba
Omar Namoos
Mujeb Qazi
Tarranum Rahim
Ehtesham U. Raja (28 years old)
Ameenia Rasool (33 years old)
Naveed Rehman
Yusuf Saad
Rahma Salie & unborn child (28 years old; American Airlines #11; wife of Michael Theodoridis; 7 months pregnant)
Shoman Samad
Asad Samir
Khalid Shahid (25 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald; engaged to be married in November)
Mohammed Shajahan (44 years old; Marsh & McLennan)
Naseema Simjee (Franklin Resources Inc.'s Fiduciary Trust)
Jamil Swaati
Sanober Syed
Robert Elias Talhami (40 years old; Cantor Fitzgerald)
Michael Theodoridis (32 years old; American Airlines #11; husband of Rahma Salie)
W. Wahid


The idiocy of the current debate made me wonder if there were any Christian churches built in Oklahoma City since the Christian Extremist attacks on 5-19-95, which blew up a day care center and killed 19 children under the age of 6. A total of 168 people were killed and over 600 wounded. I was shocked! Shocked to find out that there no fewer than four...FOUR!...Christian churches within sight of this hallowed ground, and two that are actually adjacent to it and that were built since the day those 19 children died at the hands of Christian extremists. Is there no justice in this country

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Last US Combat Troops Are Leaving Iraq

AS the last combat troops leave Iraq, let us not fool ourselves. The last American casualty is yet to come. To paraphrase John Kerry, let us ask forgiveness for allowing this stupid war and hope, by all that is just and good in the world,  that I'm wrong.

The Real Reason Conservatives Are Against the Islamic Cultural Center





It is not so much that by allowing the cultural center to be built would desecrate ground zero, no far from it. The cultural center would actually stand as a testament to our nation's commitment to religious freedom and upholding the Constitution, so I'm sure the right wing's right wing is not coming out against the constitution of the United States...well except for that 14th Amendment thing guaranteeing everyone equal protection. Everybody knows that was a mistake. It should only protect Republicans, I guess, and the people with the guns at Danziger Bridge.
No, the real reason Conservative wingers are opposed to the Islamic cultural center is that it would desecrate the other establishments that stand in the ex-shadow of the massive financial district monument to capitalism run rampant. We must uphold and honor the capitalists and those who died serving them... As I continue with this honorarium, I ask that everyone bow their heads and remember that we must serve the richest of Americans, the top 1 % who have prospered mightily since they caused the collapse of America's economy and brought us what may become the greatest recession on our nation's history in retrospect. Rich America, as represented by the massive financial system monument it wants us to build and pay for at the 9-11 Ground Zero site, has seen its fortunes rise by nearly 20% over the period of the recession, mainly due to the somewhere between 1 and 3 Trillion Dollars of American tax dollars we have given them. (God forbid that the Free Market be allowed to function upon those who loudly champion the Free Market at every turn)
But I digress...
So...Not only would an Islamic cultural center, that could not be seen from ground zero but they'll know it's there, desecrate the memory of folks who lost their lives representing the ideals of America... tolerance, religious freedom, freedom of speech, and the almighty dollar...but such an entity as a cultural center dedicated to reaching out to others in peace, would also desecrate the other entities that are already there, such as McDonald's, Subway, Off Track Betting, Dunkin Donuts, Ho Yip's Fast Chinese Food, Olga's Spa, and the New York Doll's Strip club.


Yep, that's right. Republicans don't want an Islamic cultural center built close to THEIR cultural center:




Hallowed ground for sure! And that's just on Church Street.
Church Street? How dare they want to build a church near "Church" street. That is clearly the biggest outrage of all. Well, no... I think the real reason is that conservatives might be afraid that the Muslims will force the strippers to wear burkas and ruin their conservative fun.
One last thing...At the risk of people misunderstanding my saying this, let us not forget that the reason given for the 9-11 attacks was as a strike back at the financial interests in America that were financing the oppressive ruling class in Saudi Arabia. Let's call it the "Second Stone" if you will. Since there was a mosque at the site even before the World Trade Towers were built, a truly honest question would be to ask, "Who threw out the first desecration?"
I don't know because there is plenty of blame to go around. I do know that one of the great lessons Christians should be teaching the world is the one teaching of Jesus that transcends all others...
"Retribution is not the path of righteousness."
Peace,
Steve
PS: And really, all you conservatives out there, I wouldn't worry about the Muslims closing down your strip joint. After all, one of the last things the 9-11 perps did on the night before was to go to a strip joint.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Quote of the Day

...the Democratic Party has always been the party of big ideas, not the party of big banks. We've been the party of big dreams, not the party of big insurance companies. We've been the party of big change, not the party of big tax breaks for the wealthy.

Bill Halter, Democratic Primary Candidate for Senator Arizona