Friday, March 6, 2015

From White Sheets to Spreadsheets by Greg Palast

From White Sheets to Spreadsheets
By Greg Palast for Truthdig

I hate to spoil a happy ending.

The movie “Selma,” like this week’s commemorations of Martin Luther King Jr.’s march from Selma, Ala., 50 years ago, celebrates America’s giant leap from apartheid.

Half a century ago Alabama state troopers and a mob of racist thugs beat African-Americans and others as they marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, demanding no more than the right to vote. By the time King led 25,000 demonstrators singing “We Shall Overcome” into Montgomery, the state capital, on March 24, the president of the United States had introduced the Voting Rights Act. Free at last—to vote. Roll credits.

Yet, just a few months ago, Martin Luther King asked me, “How long until African-American citizens of Alabama—and Mississippi and Georgia—get the unimpeded right to vote?”

Obviously I was not speaking with King Jr.—a bullet stole him from us in 1968. The question was posed by his son, Martin Luther King III. I spent an afternoon at his home in Atlanta, where we pored over the latest evidence that Americans of color were blocked at the doors to the polls in the 2014 midterm elections—by the hundreds of thousands.

As King’s 6-year-old daughter serenaded us with her toy drum set, we dived into a massive, secretive database used by elections officials—almost all of them Republicans—in 28 states. The scheme, called “Interstate Crosscheck,” threatens to disqualify the ballots of over a million voters, overwhelmingly citizens of color.

It took six months for my investigations team, in coordination with Al-Jazeera America, to get its hands on the names of those tagged for the voting rights slaughter.

According to the GOP officials, these citizens had voted twice in the same election, in two different states—a federal crime. As punishment, their mail-in ballots would be junked and their registrations annulled. But no reporters had seen (or, for that matter, asked for) the lists. State officials, the modern-day equivalents of Bull Connor, refused our requests on grounds that these Americans were all suspects in a criminal investigation and therefore the files were confidential.

Nevertheless, we managed to get hunks of the lists—2.1 million names of a total 3.5 million “suspected double voters.”

Who are these criminal voters? A typical example: Kevin Antonio Hayes of Durham, N.C., allegedly voted a second time in Virginia as Kevin Thomas Hayes. The Durham Hayes, however, swears to me that he has never used the alias Thomas or set foot in Virginia. Another: James Elmer Barnes Jr. of Georgia allegedly voted a second time as James Cross Barnes III of Arlington, VA.

The lists go on like that: huge numbers accused solely on the basis of sharing a first and last name with a voter in another state.

It is clear what attracts Republican Katherine Harris wannabes to this absurd method of

  Greg Palast's 
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is currently in full production
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identifying fraudulent voters. The prevalence of name-sharing among black Americans is a legacy of slavery. The “Crosscheck” name-match game is also a darn good way of knocking off Hispanic voters. (According to the national census, at least 91.5 percent of Americans named Aguirre are Hispanic and, according to Gallup, two out of three vote Democratic).

I was suspicious—if Kevin Hayes really voted twice, authorities should have arrested him. They should have arrested 589,393 “criminal double voters” in North Carolina alone. But they busted none. Nevertheless, the officials got what they wanted: For example, enough voters of color were blocked, purged and disqualified to help knock a Democrat out of the U.S. Senate this past November.

This situation deeply concerns Martin Luther King III, founder of the Realizing the Dream Foundation. Fifty years after Bloody Sunday and the Voting Rights Act, he said, “The irony is that when you look at Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, where you have significant African-American populations—Mississippi close to 50 percent—those states still have leadership that is totally Republican.”

The black vote should have turned those states solid Democratic blue. What happened?

Meet the New Jim Crow. Fifty years ago, African-Americans were kept from the polls by the threat of beatings and lynchings. Today, Jim Crow has traded in his white sheets for spreadsheets. He’s Dr. James Crow, systems analyst. His method is lynching by laptop.

At the end of the film “Selma” we are told that the brutal, racist county sheriff was tossed out of office by newly enfranchised black voters. True. But today, Dr. James Crow has a magic machine that can reverse the Voting Rights Act.

Here’s one example uncovered by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: On the night of Nov. 5, 2002, it appeared that Democrat Gov. Don Siegelman, the favorite of the African-American voters, had won re-election. But at 11 p.m., the white, Republican elections officials of Baldwin County declared they needed to recount the ballots. The county courthouse doors were locked. No press (or black Democrats) were allowed inside. By dawn, the white officials announced they had corrected a “glitch” in the count. Upon recounting, the tally for Siegelman dropped miraculously by 6,334 votes, handing the race to his opponent.

Could we see the ballots? Of course not; they were simply tallies on computer files. The files had been “corrected”—and Siegelman, the choice of the black voter, was gone.
(Siegelman was warned not to complain. He did—and before long he was imprisoned on corruption charges that Kennedy dismisses as “laughable, ginned up by a cast of crooked GOP attorneys.”)

Purging phantasmagorical “double voters” and finding thousands of votes in magical computer systems are but two of the methods at Dr. James Crow’s disposal. Working with Kennedy, I’ve counted nine sophisticated, racially dubious methods for blocking the black vote, costing—by a conservative estimate—5.9 million Americans their voting rights.

Despite the glorious story of the Selma march, the truth is that the USA and Old Dixie in particular are marching backward over the bridge. Disenfranchisement—a fancy word for ballot-box apartheid—is worsening, especially since June 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court nullified key provisions of the Voting Rights Act.

It would be wrong and demeaning to the memories of those who gave their lives to this cause—including the fathers of King and Kennedy—to say that we’ve won no voting rights victories. This weekend we can congratulate ourselves on America’s great strides against racism at the ballot box. But let’s remember that Dr. King had to lead a dangerous march from Selma for voting rights that were supposedly guaranteed a century earlier by the 15th Amendment to the Constitution—rights won after 600,000 Americans fought to their deaths between Bull Run and Gettysburg.

The struggle for civil and human rights did not begin 50 years ago, and it will not end in another 50. It is a centuries-long story of advance and retreat.

And that’s the lesson. The movie’s over, but not The Movement. It is left to us to march over the bridge again. And again. And again.
Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires & Ballot Bandits , The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and Vultures' Picnic. Palast's writings on racially-biased vote suppression tactics received the December 2014 Sidney Hillman award for investigative reporting.

Support Palast’s renewed investigation into the return of Jim Crow voting tactics.

Palast is a Puffin Foundation Fellow for Investigative Reporting.

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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Dan Fisher, et. al. Oklahoma fraudsters and purveyors of nonsense!

Please meet Dan Fisher [pictured above], who along with other nogoodnik Republicans in the Oklahoma State Legislature [Google them] have voted to ban high school Advanced Placement American History classes.  These fraudsters want to bring “God” back into the schools, to teach American “exceptionalism,” that the U.S. was founded by evangelical Christians, that this is a Christian country, evolution is a lie, etc., etc.

Advanced placement courses, which are essentially first-year college courses, ask students to think, to pursue truth, to reason, and not to faint when they discover that the United States is not the “perfect” country, nor is it the Christian “God’s” country, and that it has an assortment of warts comparable to most every other country on this rapidly destabilizing planet earth.  It may be wonderful but is not "exceptional."     

The poem below is for Dan and his friends - purveyors of nonsense and pompous proponents of idiocy - who should never be in positions of authority for they know not whereof they speak and thus promote views antithetical to the American experiment and lies which ill-serve the youth of their state.

Purveyors of Nonsense

You pitiful bastards belong in a zoo
to be poked at, prodded, laughed at too
self-styled warriors for what is untrue
eyes dulled by the wasted days of your youth.

Pompous proponents of nonsensical views,
you promote stupidity, you ignorant fools
you're servants of evil, salacious tools
who take aim at the young - the young you fear -
to cut off their heads in the coming year ...

... terrified of what your children may learn
how your old mythologies deserve to be burned
you right-winged fraudsters in the service of state
would leave to your youth a miserable fate.

Caught up in your propaganda machine
they’ll miss what an education should mean
you fraudsters would force-feed what you think is right
but your ideas won’t stand up to the light ...

... they pervert our nation’s history
and falsify what it means to be free.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Surprise! Bill O'Reilly is a Liar!

It turns out that O'Reilly was not in a war zone in south America, that he did not see combat in the Falklands, that he did not see nuns shot dead, that he was not present when his friend committed suicide, that he really was guilty of sexual harassment...

But why would anyone be surprised at any of O'Reilly's lies.  It has been obvious for years that veracity is not one of his strong points, that he makes things up on the fly, that he is a bully which is how he gets by doing all of this...

He also works for FAUX News, which is not a news organization but the Republican Party's Office of Propaganda.

Personally, I don't care whether he gets fired or not.  FAUX News has a whole stable of other horse's asses ready to take his place.

But it is rather fun to see him so degraded that he has to threaten other real reporters and news people; to see him get red in the face; to see him reduced to blubbering and blathering, to see him sink lower in the slime.

Karma's a bitch, Bill!  Enjoy!

Wisconsin's Guv takes on ISIS in his state

Scott Walker, the nogoodnik governor of Wisconsin, who bows to the the wishes of the Koch Brothers, and whose economic policies (cutting taxes on the rich) have created a huge deficit in the state's budget which Walker intends to fix by reducing or eliminating pensions and other benefits as well as slicing funds for education (the University of Wisconsin will take a $300 million hit)...

...this Walker wants to be prezident of the U.S. of A.  He figures he's qualified and has real foreign policy bona fides because he stood up to and took on the men and women who protested his attempt to bust the unions in Wisconsin (this backward state just passed a "right-to-work" law which will probably do the job).

He's a tough guy, this Walker.  He's proven that because as he said, the union protestors were just like ISIS and if he can take on the unions, well he can handle just about any international crisis!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

John Hagee - A Great Pretender!

John Hagee, (who runs a mega-church operation in San Antonio), is a non-Christian pretender of the faith.  I know lots of pastors/preachers who claim to have known Christ since he was a corporal but couldn't pick him out of a line-up comprised of imams and popes.  

In other words, they are phonies!  They are pretenders.  They are hypocrites. They get rich by fooling desperate people and conning them out of their savings.  But their message has nothing to do with the Jesus of the Gospels. Nada!  

Hagee claims to be a student of the Bible but knows very little about it other than the standard fundamentalist crap that insists every word is god's word to the human race, and only people like himself can interpret correctly what it all means.  That's a crock, even if he can quote chapter and verse!

Hagee also claims to have studied world history and he has learned he says, that “the nations that blessed Israel prospered and the nations that cursed Israel were destroyed by the hand of God.”

So, watch out America because translated that means if Obama doesn't bow down and kiss Netanyahu's ass, god’s gonna get the good ol’ US of A!

Jesus Christ!  What mind thinks like this?  Is he of the opinion the Holocaust is a myth and never happened?  

Hitler and the Nazi bastards murdered over 6 million of god's chosen people, Stalin was no piker, either, and both Germany and Russia are doing relatively well today.  Many nations, especially in the Middle East, are decidedly anti-Semitic and prospering!

John Hagee is a moron who preys on the souls of the ignorant and needy.  If there is a hell, he’s sure to slide into the muck and the fire the minute his black heart stops beating!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Parade of Weirdos and Nogoodniks - mostly Republicans

Pat Robertson, the elderly man of junk science pictured above, opposes mandatory vaccinations because freedom.  He also thinks fluoride in the water could give your kids mumps or measles.  Of course, he also believes Jesus is his savior and when he dies he will live forever at the right hand of God.  

Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Wi) thinks he knows what is best for his children and therefore the government should not force him to vaccinate his kids because freedom.  An “oppressive” state, like these United States under President Obama, doesn't have any right to tell him what to do.

People like Robertson and Duffy are two of the group of monstrous Republican assholes who want to control female reproductive processes because … well, just because they’re assholes and are afraid of women.  On the other hand, using the oppressiveness of the state to ban abortions and contraception is just fine.

In North Carolina, Sen. Thom Tills, a retrograde Repugnican, is against forcing workers at Starbucks to wash their hands after using the bathroom.  Because freedom.  This is the same moron who when he was a state legislator, promoted ID legislation, cuts to unemployment benefits, tax cuts for the rich and restrictions on abortion.

Mike Huckabee:  Same sex marriage is like bacon to Jews.  Huh?  Well, what he said was that a restaurant that has to serve gays is the same as making Jews sell bacon-wrapped shrimp.  This is the same guy who keeps telling the world that states don’t have to follow federal laws they don’t like.  He doesn't seem to have heard about the Civil War and how that ended.  

Rep. Aaron Schock, who thinks he’s god’s gift to women, has redesigned his Congressional office to replicate the manor in the TV series, “Downtown Abbey.” 

Did he need to do this?  No.  Did he pay for it out of his own pocket?  Ha, ha, ha.  Did you and I pay for it with our taxes.  You bet.  Is Schock a putz.  You betcha!

Ron Paul, who claims to be an M.D. said, among other things, that vaccines can lead to mental disorders.  Howard Dean, a Democrat and also an M.D., said Paul’s statement disqualifies him from the Oval Office, because it shows he will deny what he knows to be true in order to win a political campaign.

Gov. Bobby Bob Booby Jindal down Louisiana way, assisted in putting together a specifically Christian spiritual event where people prayed and sang and heard sermons and prayed some more for four horrible hours!  Jindal told the crowd about how he came to Jeebus and insisted that we can “save” the nation only by praying and voting Republican.  We have to repent ‘cause god wants our prayers so we can “fix our nation.”

Poor god.  Evidently he can’t see us struggling down here and doesn’t realize the US of A is going to hell in a handbasket because of sin and stuff.  Or maybe he can see us and just doesn’t give a damn.  So pray, pray, pray - maybe the ol’ god will wake up and do sumthin! 

Or maybe god is mad as hell that Jindal is desecrating our Constitution by engaging is such an event.  He’s not a pastor, he’s a governor of ALL the people of Louisiana whether they be Xtns or Ignostics or Agnostics or Atheists or Muslims or Hindus or Pagans, or god forbid, fundy Christianists... 

The 56th time is gonna be the one!  The House of Representatives, headed by weepy Rep. Boner, has now voted 56 times to repeal Obamacare aka the Affordable Care Act.  Guess what?  They did this even though they know thousands of people will lose their health care if their stupid bill becomes law but they don't give a damn!

Rep. Mo Brooks, a Repug from Alabama, thinks ‘illegal aliens” may be the reason for the recent measles outbreak that started in California.  I think he’s wrong.  I think it’s Jenny McCathy’s fault and the fault of all the men who masturbated to her Playboy centerfold picture.  God's punishing us with measles because of those terrible sins.  Were you one of those, Rep. Brooks?

Ben Carson, who has never held an elective office, thinks that the measles outbreak is because of “undocumented people.”  Is that the same as "illegal aliens"?  Why is it that so many of the MD’s who enter politics are just plain assholes?

“Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me.”  Jesus

Back to Mo Brooks of Alabama.  He doesn’t like Obama’s executive action re immigration and wants the federal courts to find that Obama violated the law. And if it turns out Obama doesn’t withdraw his executive order he might be subject to “the wrath that comes with a contempt citation with potential fines and jail time.”

Here are a few of the problems we face in this country and some suggestions: 

Global warming
The need for clean energy
Regulating Wall Street and the banks
Fixing our infrastructure which is in danger of failing
Providing all the necessary assistance to our veterans so private groups don’t have to take on that responsibility
Deal humanely with the immigration “problem”
Ensure that everyone has adequate health care
Protect the safety nets upon which millions of Americans rely - Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, Welfare, etc.
Start closing the gap between the Middle Class and the very rich by taxing the hell out of the rich
Provide much needed funding and assistance to our public schools
Close down charter schools which have been shown to be ineffective 
Stop using taxpayer money for private/religious schools which is unconstitutional
Demand our police departments stop acting like the military 
Demand our police departments return their military equipment 
Make certain that our environment is protected from the predators who would destroy it
Reclaim our western government lands from rapacious ranchers like Clive Bundy who are currently defying the law by grazing cattle on government land, thereby destroying it
Stop pretending the US is “exceptional,” for it is not nor are its people
Reign in the Pentagon and their weapons of death
Force the the CIA to follow the law
Stop the NSA from spying on Americans just because they can
Repeal the Patriot Act which is anything but patriotic
Put an immediate end to fracking 
Reverse the Supreme Court ruling that corporations are “people” and thus have the rights of people under the Constitution 
Design comprehensive campaign finance reform
Stop pretending the 2nd amendment is a blank check for anyone who wants to carry any kind of gun and pass sensible gun control and close the loopholes

Let's be clear.  These are real problems that need real solutions now!  What has our Republican Congress (the only branch of government that can create laws!) done about them over the past six years?  Nada.  Nothing!

Kentucky.  Ken Ham, creationist wingnut of Answers in Genesis is trying to build a theme park - Ark Encounter - with a real big Noah’s Ark.  The State of Kentucky had planned to provide $18 in incentives ‘cause you know, tourists.

But then Ham and his ignorant cohorts wanted a special exception so they could discriminate and hire only employees who shared their creationist views.  The State of K said no, you can’t do that.  So Ham, et. al. is suing the State of K, insisting that not allowing him to discriminate is discrimination on the part of the State.  

This is one of the strangest invocation and prayers you ever will see.  June Griffin, a "longtime crusader for Christian values," gave the opening prayer for the Tennessee Senate this morning. After taking special prayer requests, she went right into a downright bizarre prayer to end any effort to expand Medicaid in Tennessee (thanks to the Nashville Scene for the transcript):
I pray for the people of Tennessee who have been so downtrodden by the wicked courts from on high that they have been subject to tyrannical judiciary. And I pray that you would save Tennessee from the edicts of Washington DC that would go against the plain wishes of the people of Tennessee, particularly pertaining to the 9th and 10th Amendment. 
I pray that you would sanctify this state, that it would be holy and would be a leader among the other states. That they would see that there is a God that lives, that you love the people of Tennessee. That you gave your life that we might be saved from our sins. I pray that you would forgive the many sins of carelessness or lethargy or desperation. The compromises. 
Oh lord save Tennessee for Jesus sake, and I pray that your will would be done that you would be our coverage, that we would not be forced into these edicts from Washington DC or any other quarter, but let the people know that our coverage is the same as with Moses and the children of Israel when they went through the wilderness with only the divine providence of almighty God. 
So I pray that everywhere there are meetings, and there is considerations and deliberations, that you would give these men and women who have been elected, give them the backbone and the remembrance of the Tennessee Declaration of Rights, Article 1, Section 2 — we are ordered to resist arbitrary power.
[I'm sorry, I can't remember where I got the above.  The Griffin is a freak and a prayer like this never ever should happen in a political legislature in this country!] 

Scott Walker, the Koch Brothers' puppet governor of Wisconsin, has, through his “help the rich get richer” shenanigans, created a $2.2 billion deficit.  Now, he’s decided he must cut some programs.  So, the University of Wisconsin is getting a $300 million cut.  However, Walker also wants to build a sports stadium which will cost multi-millions of dollars.The man’s an idiot and a true nogoodnik.  The people of Wisconsin have elected him twice and therefore deserve what they’re getting.  It’s just all so sad.

Brandon Browner is a football player with the NE Patriots.  He got miffed awhile back when President Obama didn’t mention him in person when the team met with the president last year.  What gall.  He plays football.  Football is a game!  He does nothing for the betterment of society or our country.  Who the hell cares and who the hell would miss him if he suddenly decided to concentrate on ballet?

Obama tells it like it is at National Prayer Breakfast and the rightwing nuts go nuts!  The NPB is a joke, anyway, and should be tossed in the garbage where it belongs!  It’s a gathering for fundamentalists to pray for our godless president and whine that god’s gonna destroy the country because Obama and homos.   President Obama should tell the wingnuts he’s not going to attend and give any credence to their stupidity.  But in his speech, he mentioned that ISIS was bad and noted that Christians have done bad things, too, and perhaps a little humility is in order. 
Oh, boy.  He obviously hates Christianity and is now blaming ISIS on the Crusades says a witless Michelle Malkin.  The other creeps that crawled out of their dark spaces said much the same thing.  Dereck Hale was outraged by Obama’s defense of Islamic violence by attacking Christianity.  These so-called Christians are anything but and will use any means possible to vilify the president.

Back to Alabama.  What a great state this is.  There must be more nimrods, morons, rednecks and just plain stupid people there than in any other state - well, except for South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Loosiana,Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee…and maybe even Florida! 
One of the 'Bama morons is a Public Services Commissioner for the state by name of Chip Beeker.  Good ol’ boy Chip says measles is caused by same-sex marriage.  And America is failing because Obama, taking god out of public schools, socialism, daycares in public schools, moral decline, blah, blah, blah.

Years ago I liked Larry Gatlin.  Then he found Jeebus and became a total asshole.  Now he went to FAUX News where his good buddies hang out and told them about a song he was gonna write about assaulting a black lawmaker because the lawmaker insulted Larry’s state, the State of Texas.  Jest gonna beat the crap out of that liberal! 
What’s with these Christians who are just aching to beat up on anyone who doesn’t agree with them or doesn’t bow down and kiss their holy asses?

I’ve never much liked Brian Williams - too much of a Ken of the Ken and Barbie duo.  Brian needs badly to be important and to hang around with the rich and famous and he works for NBC, of course, which is one of our largest corporate monstrosities which claims to be a news station but is mostly a place where Republican politicians can regurgitate their hate for Obama and socialism.   
Brian, who promotes a squeaky-clean image, has feet of clay like the rest of us.  He lied about being in a helicopter that was shot down in 2003 in Iraq.  Williams has apologized for that lie. 
Hmmm.  Could he have made other stuff up like when during Katrina he saw a body float by his hotel window in New orleans or that his 5-star hotel was overrun with gangs while he was sick and he was rescued in a stairwell by a cop? 

It’s the squeaky-clean ones that get you every time!

And that's the way it is on this February 5, 2015. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

You may be a Republican if...


You may be a Republican if...

+ You think health care for all is a bad thing.

+ You feel sorry for the rich.

+ You think poverty is a good thing and builds character

+ You think as more people are killed by guns we need more guns.

+ You think it’s wise to arm public school teachers.

+ You believe in privatizing prisons and schools.

+ You are certain $7.00 an hour is a good minimum wage.

+ You believe the rich pay too much in taxes now.

+ You insist public school teachers make too much money.

+ You’re convinced public school teachers have an easy job

+ You want to support private and/or religious schools with taxpayer money.

+ You are certain that even though defense takes up half of our budget the Pentagon needs more money.

+ You try to make it more difficult for the poor, the elderly and the minorities to vote.

+ You believe the government should control women’s bodies.

+ You often say the United States is a Christian nation.

+ You fight to force Christian beliefs in the public schools.

+ You care more about Wall Street than Main Street.

+ You would jeopardize Social Security by privatizing it.

+ You see nothing wrong in turning over pension funds to Wall Street.

+ You’re convinced only poor people abuse the welfare system.

+ You think the government should continue to subsidize the oil companies.

+ You’re not sure about this global warming business.

+ You’re against rules to force businesses to engage in environmental-friendly practices.

+ You would vote to defund the EPA.

+ You think the IRS is a dangerous because it collects taxes.

+ You think alternative energy programs are a waste of money.

+ You are adamant about sending children of immigrants back to their “home" country even though this is the only country they’ve ever known.  

+ You’re in favor of changing the tax system to benefit the wealthy.

+ You argue that rape is not always a bad thing and it’s usually the woman’s fault.

+ You hate Planned Parenthood because...well, just because...

+ You insist on the right to hang the Ten Commandments in courthouses.

+ You are certain our laws are based on the Ten Commandments.

+ You’ve put bombing Iran on your political agenda.

+ You don’t think the Constitution says anything about separation of Church and State.

+ You fight campaign financial reform tooth and nail.

+ You oppose improving relations with Cuba

+ You see no reason why gays and lesbians should have the same rights you do.

+ You eagerly and passionately fight regulation of financial companies and other corporations.

+ You see no problem with the widening gap between the very rich and the rest of us.

+ You see no problem with holding the country hostage and shutting it down to make a political point.

+ You think compromise with the opposite party means “my way or the highway”

+ You’re still not convinced that President Obama is not a Muslim.

+ You think atheists should be barred from holding public office.

+ You're sure that the theory of evolution is Satanic.

+ You believe the earth was created 6,000 years ago.

+ You have faith the U.S. is God’s country.

+ You are certain that the U.S. has turned away from God.

+ You are convinced that God will allow the U.S. to be destroyed unless your version of Christianity controls the government.

+ Your heroes are dead movie stars - Ronald Reagan and Charleton Heston.

+ You think torture is OK in some circumstances.

+ You’re not sure if slavery was a bad thing.

+ You know that State’s Rights supersede Federal Rights in some instances.

+ You believe states have the right to secede.

+ You have no problem with the Koch brothers spending a billion dollars to support their candidates in an election year.

+ You think the Supreme Court is still too liberal.

+ You want the Congress to spend most of its time fighting abortion and same-sex marriage.

+ You still believe that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are the “good guys.”

+ You know that Saddam Hussein had WMDs.

+ You know that most Canadians hate their health care system.

+ You’re sure that President Obama is a socialist or Marxist.

+ You’re convinced that the Tea Party had lots of good ideas.

+ Your heroes include Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.

+ You believe the Constitution guarantees the right of every citizen to openly carry an AK-47.

+ You think the Stimulus did no good at all.

+ You agree with Ben Carson that the deficit has exploded under Obama even though the records shows it has decreased by 2/3rds.

+ You watch FOX News 24/7 and believe it is a true "news" station.

+ You're going to pray for me in Jesus' name!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Republican Hypocrisy and Saudi Arabia

The king is dead.  Long live the king.

The question is, will King Salman be a "moderate" and move slowly toward change in the manner of his predecessor, or will he, god forbid, bow to the Imams and move backward toward the 16th century?

Saudi Arabia is an absolute dictatorship.  The people have no say in the government.  It is also a religious dictatorship.  Try to establish a Roman Catholic or Protestant church in S.A.  Better yet, try to build a synagogue within its borders.  It is an Islamic state.  It's not ISIS but the difference is one of substance not of kind.  Saudi Arabia is not quite as brutal as ISIS or other Islamic countries, but you can still get you hand or your head cut off for certain violations of Islamic law and you can spend a number of years in prison if you are a woman and dare to put the pedal to the medal in one of the king's Mercedes.

As has long been standard practice in the United States, we have no problem with dictatorships so long as the dictators are our dictators.  Latin America provides numerous examples of such a policy.  Take Cuba, for example.  We had no problem with Batista who was a dictatorial terror, but he followed the lead of the U.S. when we wanted him to.  Then came Castro.  We supported Castro initially, but when it turned out he leaned toward Marxism, we threw him overboard, waged war against him, tried to assassinate him and treated him as a pariah for over 50 years!

President Obama is heading to Saudi Arabia to kiss the king's behind - er, show the king respect.  It's not that he supports the system of government in Saudi Arabia, it's that Saudi Arabia is important to our interests in the Middle East and have been helpful to us on any number of occasions.  We want to ensure that King Salman remains our king!

You may recall the recent outcry raised by our nogoodnik Republican leaders when Mr. Obama took the initiative to build a new relationship with the Cuban government, one which might prove beneficial to both countries.  There was a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth on the part of the Republican poobahs because, my god, Cuba is a Communist and godless country!  We can't, we must not, have anything to do with Cuba.  Well, we could blow up the country or at least the Castro brothers, but mutual tolerance and respect and perhaps even some trade and travel between the two countries?  That's just asking too much for our freedom-loving, dictator-hating, non-Commie Republicans in Congress.

There is no question that our foreign policy is often hypocritical.  We've been known to sleep with the devil if we thought it would promote whatever it was we wanted promoted at the moment.  Saddam Hussein was one of our boys.  Hell, so was Osama bin Laden at one time!

The problem with this is it makes any effort on the part of the U.S. to execute policy from a moral perspective highly suspect.  Nobody believes we're better than the rest of the world.  Well, except for Steve King in Iowa, and Ted Cruz in Texas, and Louis Gohmert in Texas, but they are idiots.  We have and will continue to operate in such a manner as to reach whatever goals we have set for our country, and morality be damned.

Thus, the CIA renders people to countries controlled by persons friendly to us in order to engage in a little torture, which, although such a thing is forbidden by the Geneva Convention, is heartily endorsed by the leaders of the U.S.  At least that used to be the case.  And one of the main
promoters of torture ("I'd do it again," Cheney) thinks it's just wonderful that we can violate our Constitution, our conscience and our pretense of moral superiority in this way.

But, omigod!  Obama is making noises about treating Cuba with a certain amount of respect!  We can't do that!  We are a god-fearing, Jesus-loving nation and we know god and Jesus hate Commies and want us to bomb them into oblivion.  We certainly cannot allow an exchange of goods or travel between the two countries.  What will people think?

So say the Republicans.  We can, however, kiss the asses of every king and prince in Saudi Arabia in spite of the fact the country is a miserable Islamic dictatorship which allows absolutely no dissent from what the Royals decree.  Anything other than absolute obedience is met with state-sanctioned violence.

Of course, the Saudis control a lot of oil.  Furthermore, the Bush family and other political types down through the years have become close as spit with the Saudi royal family.  You do remember immediately after 9/11, Bush the Younger had all the Saudis in this country rounded up and flown home before the FBI or anyone else could question them.  Did Bush know something the rest of us didn't?  That was certainly a suspect move, considering most of the terrorists on 9/11 were Saudi Arabians!  We must not forget, either, that the Saudis own much of this country's real estate.  In fact, the exact amount of what they own is unknown.  That's called leverage.

Nothing will change anytime soon.  We'll continue in our hypocritical ways, but perhaps these nogoodnik Republicans could shut their damn mouths!

Dominion Theology: Extremist Right-Wing Christianity

Published on Jan 18, 2015
–Classic Interview: Rachel Tabachnick, researcher, writer, and speaker on impact of the Religious Right, joins us to talk about New Apostolic Reformation, Dominion Theology, and the connection with Rick Perry

h/t to Talk to Action.

Freedom Summit in Iowa - Religious fanatics, mental midgets, and political misfits

This photo and the information contained herein came from People for the American Way which is a great organization fighting against all those who would bring our country down.  Check them out and make a contribution if you can.

Notice this montage of losers!  Religious fanatics and mental midgets and political misfits, most of whom want to be president of the United States.

The Freedom Summit being held today in Iowa, is sponsored by Citizens United (a Koch brothers outfit) and the seriously crazy Steve King.  Those pictured are to be present to kiss the Koch asses.

Sarah Palin - the antithesis of "Christian"

One has to wonder what's wrong with this person called Palin.  Somehow, somewhere, certain pieces of her brain snap together in the wrong way. In her mind, what decent people consider "right" is wrong and vice versa.

If you know anything of the legendary Jesus of the Gospels, you know that Sarah, by her beliefs and actions, is antithetical to everything he taught.

Note:  The photo came from Crooks & Liars.  Please read the entire article here.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Earth's Apocalypse

Earth's Apocalypse

This is not you know
A time for celebration
For fireworks
Explosions in the sky
Or dry Champagne.
It is a time when
Winds of war
Hate and terror
Sweep across
Planet Earth
When compared to
Yesterday nothing
Is the same.
Ironically crime is down
From Florida to Maine
And all the way to
That is if we believe
The media, police and
The politicians
Not that they would ever
Lie except in an
Emergency or perhaps
If they had a growing need
To put more feathers
In their nest.
One might say
It all began
In the days of Reagan
When a B-grade actor
Became president and
Gave weapons
To our friend
Osama bin Laden so
He could fight the Russians
In Afghanistan
And send them running back
To Russia thereby
Freeing up the land.
Then George the First
Called up the troops to
Fight Iraqis even though
They'd been our friends
In their fight against Iran.
But now he said
They are our enemies
And a danger
To the Saudis
Bush owed the
Saudis big-time so
He sent our troops to die
To save Kuwaiti oil
But he left Iraq too soon
Before the job was done
Which left a lot to be desired
And old Hussein in place
Which George the Younger
Thought was bad
And made him
Very mad though it is said
That he was mad
From his youth
And seldom gave a thought
To reason or to
Common sense.
So George the Younger
Went to war but sent
The young and bold and those
Who had no other options
To spill their blood again
So he could at last avenge
His daddy's dithering
Although he lied of course
About everything
Which wasn't strange at all
To those who knew him when.
Today Iraq's a hole in hell
The Middle East aflame
It might have happened anyway
But Bush is much to blame
For thousands lost their
Homes and lives
Many went insane
And in the good old USA
Instead of going to jail
Bush is given accolades
"Fare thee well," and "Hail!"
Sadly too
George left a mess
A country deep in debt
His tax cuts made the rich
Even richer yet.
Then Obama came along
Couldn't catch a break
When he tried to do
The things he couldn't do
With a Congress full of fools
People jeered
Called him a Muslim
And a Marxist too.
Republicans attacked
Fought him tooth and nail
While they left the country
To fester and to fail
So they could blame
The President
And set a precedent
Which would get them
It may be too late now
To turn this thing around with
Just two minutes left
On the Doomsday clock.
Most folks do not seem to care
Politicians run and hide
When asked what they have done
To stop the seething searing
Heat that's scorching
Mother Earth.
The Second Coming you should know
Is nothing but a myth
And Armageddon mere nonsense
But don't take that to mean
That we'll survive or
Make it through
The earth's Apocalypse!

Copyright © 2015 by Lowell A. Anderson.  All rights reserved.

Note:  This poem was cross-posted to Creative Confections.

RWW News: Mike Huckabee Plans To Run For President To Fight The Secular ...

Mike Huckabee is one sick puppy!  And a liar.  And if he really believes what he's saying about our country and its founders, he's ignorant and not very bright!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Believe It Or Not

Believe It Or Not

(With apologies to Job, the Psalmist, and Ecclesiastes)

I sat upon the bed
Of a shiny pickup truck
And watched the 
People passing by
Parading homo sapiens
Hoping they would
Live forever but knowing
They were 
Born to die.
And I called God to account
I asked why he or she was
Missing in our life's equation?
Why, as the world
Convulses with
Horrendous violence
Is he or she
Deafeningly silent?
You can't, I said,
Have Chosen Ones, the
Holocaust showed us that!
But do you care
For anyone?
What about the children
Beaten bloody
Raped and murdered
By your children in the bush?
Or in Middle Eastern 
Desert lands where 
It's said you gave
Birth to laws and goodness 
But that too was a lie
As the Caananite women
And their kids
Learned to their
Great sorrow.
Or other humans in
Those same lands - 
Iraq and Syria - who today
Hang on with fingernails
Chewed to the bone
In fear of horrors too
Explicit to describe 
In mere words.
So where are you now
If you weren't there before?
It is perhaps better to
Not believe than to be
Left with such a
Paradox of might 
And misery.
Unless, of course it's 
All a lie and has always
Been a lie
That you are nothing
More than a scrubby
Semite's dream.
But please stop laughing
It's not funny anymore
To the people tortured
Killed in your good name
Even in the USA - 
Where people pray
To you each day
And know that you
Want them to say
They trust in you
On signs and
On their money, too - 
Tortured people in the
Name of all that's
Good and right and...
Righteousness defined
As water boarding
Because the swine
Did not deserve to
Live and we know that
You will forgive as
This is the land
You founded with 
Our founders who
Were good Christians
Just like you.
So why do you desert us
Why hide your face
In troubled times
We don't know what to do
You've given us too little
And so we must conclude
You don't exist you're
Just a ghastly fiction
An apparition we no 
Longer need for we
Know how it all began
And it wasn't in
The desert sand 
And there isn't one 
Thing you can do
To heal our broken
Hearts and lives 
And bring back all
Those we have lost
To those who said
They believed in you.

[Copyright © 2015 by Lowell A. Anderson.  All rights reserved.]

This poem was cross-posted to Creative Confections.