Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Great Debate

Courtesy of the NonStamp Collector.

Obama's National Day of Prayer Proclamation

As we noted yesterday, Ronnie Reagan, Bush the elder, and Georgie had a habit of issuing pious proclamations on the so-called National Day of Prayer, but also held prayer services in the White House - the better to get their god to bless their rapacious and murderous instincts, I suppose.

Not only did Obama not hold a prayer service, but his proclamation was a breath of fresh air in the stale stink of hypocritical piety.

I swiped this from Friendly Atheist.

In 2008, Georgie began his National Day of Prayer proclamation thusly:

"America trusts in the abiding power of prayer and asks for the wisdom to discern God's will in times of joy and of trial. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we recognize our dependence on the Almighty, we thank Him for the many blessing He has bestowed upon us, and we put our country's future in His hands."

It is all bullshit, of course, and Georgie didn't believe a word of it.

Compare that crap with Obama's proclamation. In this proclamation, while the president still called on Americans to ask for God's guidance, he also made an effort to include all Americans, and not just those who pussyfoot around with Jesus on their back:

"On this day of unity and prayer, let us also honor the service and sacrifice of the men and women of the United States Armed Forces. We celebrate their commitment to uphold our highest ideals, and we recognize that it is because of them that we continue to live in a Nation where people of all faiths can worship or not worship according to the dictates of their conscience."


None of this phony prayer stuff belongs in the government to begin with. Maybe saner heads will take action to snuff it out in the future.

Bill Maher - Swine Flu, Evolution, & Texas

The stork is real - Edward Current

Thanks to Dan at Unreasonable Faith.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Joe, the dumbest plumber since Noah, leaving GOP

God, Obama, National Day of Prayer, Wingnuts

[Shirley Dobson praying with the torturer, G. W. Bush, at right]

The National Day of Prayer is a joke foisted upon the nation by a bunch of christianist wingnuts who pretend they can manipulate their deity to 1) do their bidding, or 2) protect the US from the bad guys around the world who don't much like us, or 3) save us from "socialist" presidents like Barack Hussein Obama.

In 1952, Harry Truman decided a national day of prayer might be a good thing and took it national. No biggie. Just another useless not to god. Then in 1988, the B-grade movie actor turned politician, Ronnie Reagan, signed a proclamation making the first Thursday in May the time to observe this national disgrace.

Since Reagan, most presidents had issued some kind of momentous declaration in honor of a national day of prayer.

Reagan, G.H.W. Bush, and Georgi all went a step further and actually held some kind of prayer service in the White House on the first Thursday in May. Isn't that funny? The biggest war mongers of the past 50 years are the biggest prayers. And the biggest phonies!

Obama decided not to hold a National Day of Prayer service in the White House this year, but instead issued the usual bullshit proclamation.

Good for him!

The christianist wingnuts are going crazier than usual. Of course, it's what you would expect because between them, you couldn't come up with one full brain or an ounce of common sense. They've long called Obama a Muslim, a Marxist, a fascist, the anti-Christ, and lately a Nazi.

Lovers of Christ, they are!

Now, the National Day of Prayer prayers were dismayed and befuddled at Obama's display of reason and intelligence, but nevertheless continued with their plans. So there were prayer ceremonies in many of our 50 states. Did you know that?

In recent years, the National Day of Prayer has been hijacked by the wingnuts on the right and thus the "Task Force Chairman" is none other than Shirley Dobson, the christianist wingnut married to one of the world's worst christianist wingnuts, James Dobson, who recently resigned -- but really didn't -- from Focus on the Family.

Shirley "presented at the event" on Capitol Hill, and a bunch of wingnuts from the various branches of government attended. Other presenters included James Dobson, Beth Moore, NFL player Shaun Alexander, and .... and ... are you ready for this ... the number one christianist moron in the world - Michele Bachmann!


What I find most humorous is that ultimately none of this has to do with God, or prayer, or concern for our country. It's all about these folks getting media time and being up front and becoming recognized as "spiritual" leaders.

Furthermore, an event like this proves conclusively that these people do not give a damn about the Bible, that magical book they think so sacrosant. For Jesus warned specifically about such events as a National Day of Prayer. He said if you feel the need to pray, get the hell off the street, get into a closet somewhere where no one can see you, hear you, or smell you!

Then pray, if you must.

Don't touch my earmarks!

We've known for a long time that the discussion about the "evil" of earmarks was just a bunch of hooey to distract the American people from the fact that every politician in Congress is a huge fan of earmarks - well, so long as they are his or her earmarks!

For example, President Obama's proposed budget has folks in New York a wee bit upset. Obama thought that $600 million located in the federal terrorism insurance program which was to "cover builders against terror attacks" was not a smart use of federal dollars; it was, in fact, "an excessive federal subsidy."

You think? Are you covered if your house gets blown away by a terrorist attack? I don't think so. Why then should our government protect billionaire New York builders from terrorists attacks? Isn't that "socialism." Oh, that's right, socialism is fine if it helps me; wrong if it helps you!

In fact, as the White House pointed out, this money actually encouraged builders to build less safe buildings and thus hopes that these cuts encourage the builders to "mitigate terrorism risk" by "building safer buildings."

New York pols were also upset that Obama scotched a program which handed $18 million to the New York City police department to fight illegal immigration, and another program which provided funds for build a new presidential helicopter fleet in Oswego.

It seems that much of the so-called "terrorism" funds have, since 9/11, been given to cities large and small across our country, the great majority of which are at about as much risk from a terrorist attack as they are from Mars falling on their city halls. What they've done is use these funds to bolster their police departments and put up cameras in every nook and cranny of their towns to spy on ordinary citizens.

Count the number of little cameras at intersections where you live. Welcome to 1984. Courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security, which is busy at work protecting ze faderland from ze bad guys!

Earmarks are really great, so long as they're my earmarks. That's the unsung refrain haunting the halls of Congress.

Bye, bye, abstinence only!

It's about time! Finally, some sanity reigns in the precincts of the White House!

President Obama's budget calls for cutting out abstinence-only sex education programs, while at the same time provides additional funding for "comprehensive teen pregnancy prevention."

Would you believe we finally have a president who is not driven beholden to or driven by rightwing christianist ideology or the need to satisfy a rightwing christianist base, and is making policy on the basis of science, sanity and common sense?

After eight long years of darkness, it's hard to believe we can once again walk in the light!

This move, of course, has the rightwing christianist fruitcakes in a tizzy! In spite of the fact that every study since God created little green apples shows that abstinence education doesn't work and it's a total waste of money!

Rightwing christianist fruitcakes, as we know, however, don't give a rat's ass about truth and reason.

Bill Maher asks the Prez to tell us what to do

[Photo from]

In a New York Daily News opinion piece, Bill Maher eviscerates the American hoi polloi for being, well, just plain stupid!

The President, he notes, felt it important to tell the American people to wash their hands to lower their risk of catching the swine flu.

This, says Maher, "augers well for next month's 'National Wipe Your Butt' day. Next week, in a fireside chat, he'll tell us not to put a fork in the toaster."

The American people, suggests Maher, are not only stupid, but have forgotten what sacrifice means. "There's a name for people who do the right thing for their country, even if it involves sacrifice," writes Maher. "And no, it's not 'socialists.' It's 'patriots.' We all know the modern definition of a patriot: It's the person who pays the least taxes and listens to the most A.M. radio. But that wasn't what it always meant.

"Patriots want their fellow citizens to be able to go to the hospital. They want to make sure no one sells them bread made out of Chinese skulls. They want a country where the deer and the antelope can still play - and not just so Sarah Palin can shoot them from a helicopter. Patriots want to burn less coal and buy less oil. ...

"Rush Limbaugh celebrated Earth Day by praising coal-fired plants and the plastic bag, while Glenn Beck cheered a man on while he cut down trees."

This is Maher's best line, though:

"When the President suggests things that will help the greater good, that's not a slight against your fragile manhood. I know, you're a rugged individualist. But you're not - you're just a schmuck."

Describes most of the Republicans I know.

Sean Hannity, chickenhawk

Torture is wrong, illegal and stupid - it seldom, if ever, achieves the goal of obtaining worthwhile information.

Those facts did not stop FAUX News chickenhawk, Sean Hannity, who, a couple of weeks ago, while praising the value of waterboarding and blasting Obama for ending the procedure, said he would be delighted to be waterboarded, and would do so in order to raise money "for the troops' families."

That inane comment has proved him to be the chickenhawk he is. Keith Olbermann, knowing that Hannity is nothing more than a blowhard who spouts whatever comes into his weak little mind, took up the challenge, offering $1,000 to Hannity's fundraiser for every SECOND he was waterboarded.

Hannity, because he is, in truth, a chickenhawk, has not responded.

Like so many of these idiotic massagers of the truth, Hannity probably figured no one would remember what he said and he could continue pretending to be a real patriot, wrapping himself in the flag, even though, in fact, he doesn't know the difference between a patriot and a parrot.

It's too bad, too. If anyone deserved waterboarding, it's Sean Hannity!

Did Bush officials manipulate evidence? Duh!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

FAUX News twists the truth, mocks free speech

This project by Media Matters is most important. Please click here to see how you can help by emailing Fox News to insist they cease and desist from what is, in truth, outright lying about those with whom they disagree politically.

Free speech is one of our most precious rights guaranteed by our Constitution. FAUX News, however, makes a mockery of free speech, by distorting that right into baseless propaganda which further twists our democratic process into a mockery of everything for which we stand as a nation.

Where's the FCC when we need them? Is there no agency to deal with creeps like Hannity and Beck and O'Reilly, et. al., who blatantly pervert the meaning of another right, the right of a free press?

Wurzelbacher and queers

[Photo from Huffington Post]

Did you know that Joe (Sam), the so-called plumber, is a real Christian who loved Jesus and tries to live a Xtn life?

If only he wasn't so goddamn stupid!

Alex Koppelman noted, in an interview with the fundy rag, Christianity Today, Sam (aka Joe) was asked as to how he felt about homosexuals getting married, you know, just like real folks, and Sam (aka Joe) hiked up his britches, dusted off his boots, straightened both hairs on his head, and said he thought gay marriage should be up the states and the feds should stay out of it.

But as for he and his family, they will serve the Lord! Yessiree. "I personally still think it's wrong," saith Jose the prophet (aka Sam the prophet). "People don't understand the dictionary -- it's called queer."

I knew that was the problem. Us folks who think gays are people, too, just don't understand that damn dictionary. But....but....seems I recall Joe (aka Sam) going into a library once looking for a dictionary and he ended up in the section called "Dichotomy."

Nah, I made that up.

Anyway, the prophet Jose (aka Joe, aka Sam), continued to esplain to us stupids: "Queer means strange or unusual." (He must have had someone read that to him from a dictionary (which you don't find in the dichotomy section of a library!).

But not to worry, because to call someone a queer "is not like a slur, like you would call a white person a honky or something like that." Nosirree! No slur intended, you goddamn queer!

Then, just to show he is a reel profit and knows what God wants, Jose saith: "You know, God is pretty explicit in what we're supposed to do -- what man and woman are for." Yup. I'll betcha old Jose aka Joe aka Sam wouldn't have a freaking clue if you asked him to point out in the Bible where God is "explicit" like that.

Doesn't matter, 'cause Jose the prophet (aka profit) goes on: " the same time, we're supposed to love everybody and accept people, and preach against the sins. I've had some friends that are actually homosexual." Notice he said "actually" by which he meant, I suppose, to distinguish between fake homosexuals, or people just pretending to be homosexual.

Now, Joe speaketh in the past tense, too: "I've had some friends..." He doesn't have any homosexual friends anymore, I'll betcha, 'cause "...they know where I stand, and they know that I wouldn't have them anywhere near my children."

Heehaw! Joe, Jose, Sam, plumber or no, prophet or profit, has to be the dumbest ass in the entire world, and he is a perfect example of the Repugnican base today! Stupid is as stupid does.

You can read all of Koppelman's article here.
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Gregg and Republican principles

According to E. Thomas McCalanahan at the Kansas City Star, via McClatchy, the Repugnican nogoodnik senator, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, commented to the Wall Street Journal that the Republican Party is "rediscovering its principles," and "is beginning to speak in one voice on its traditional issues," and "a Republican comeback might come sooner than many expect."

Dream on, Gregg.

What "principles"? What "issues"? Aha! Want a good laugh? Listen to this: Republican principles include "fiscal responsibility"? Yup. That's what he said. Oh, and the Repugnicans want the American people to "go out and create a better life for themselves," and his one other issue was that Republicans don't think we should apologize for our nation.

Jesus H. Christ! This guy's a senator. This is the asshat Obama tried to use in a bipartisan maneuver by putting him in the cabinet.

First of all, we know the Repugnicans want nothing to do with fiscal responsibility! That's code for allowing their corporate bosses to make as much money as possible while keeping the hoi polloi in their place. It's code for lowering the tax rate on the top one percent of our population. It's code for spending gazillions on the military and not one penny on health care! It's crabbing about a bailout but never bothering to mention it was their lousy Repugnican Party that tossed over a trillion bucks away on an illegal and nonsensical war in Iraq.

Secondly, we know the Repugnicans, no longer how loudly they proclaim their faith, do not really believe in limited government. That's also a code word for allowing them to impose their will on all of the American people, while denying the rights of the minorities in our land.

So, it's perfectly OK for a Republican "big" government to ban abortion and same-sex marriage, to establish faith-based offices in contravention of the Constitution, to turn the military into a Christian evangelical missionary organization, to appoint crusty old farts to our federal courts because they will uphold "traditional values," to be racist so long as you're quiet about it, to allow developers and corporations to have full access to the national resources which belong to the people, etc., etc.

No, the Repugs aren't against big government at all. So long as they're in control, the bigger government and more oppressive the government, the better!

And don't you love the bit about not apologizing for our nation? To the contrary! As a nation, we should put on sackcloth and ashes and beg the forgiveness of the world for electing the two stooges, Bush and Cheney, to our highest offices. Who the hell does Gregg think we are as a nation - some special place, created and blessed by his deity that can do no wrong?

We have a lot to apologize for. We need to apologize first of all to the American people for electing assholes made a mess of the vision for our country as set out in our founding documents. And, as noted, we need to apologize to the world for our bizarre, jingoistic and imperialistic behavior.

To apologize is not, Mr. Gregg, a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength. That's something the Repugnican Party as a whole has never understood!

Go back to New Hampshire, Mr. Gregg. Serve out your time with your mouth shut. Because when you open it and speak, you sound stupid.

Fortunately a slight majority of the American people are smart enough to see through your so-called "principles," and gave you a big thumbs down in November. The only thing that has changed since then is that the Repugnican Party has become even more entrenched in stupidity, racism, hatred, idiocy, fiscal irresponsibility, and is draped in the flag of failure.

That isn't going to change anytime soon because you're marching in the wrong direction to the wrong drummer, Mr. Gregg.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dom Deluise - RIP

One of my favorite comedians, Dom Deluise, passed today at age 75. May he rest in peace!

Monday, May 4, 2009

How to know if you're a fundamentalist christianist

Thanks to Vogter 2100.

U.S. military creating a holy war in Afghanistan - in Jesus' name

Our Constitution, as everyone should know, requires that there be a separation of church and state in our country. The founders of our nation, remembering all too well how oppressive an official religion can be, specifically wrote into our documents the following:

* "no religious Test shall ever be required as a qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States." (Article VI)

* "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ..." (Amendment I)

Some of our U.S. military leaders evidently do not take the Constitution of the United States, which is the supreme law of the land, seriously, nor do they bother following the codes of the military under which they serve.

One of those codes (from the US Central Command) specifically forbids "proselytizing of any religion, faith or practice." This is known as General Order Number One.

Al Qaeda has called the U.S. presence in the Middle East an insult to Islam and has urged a holy war to oppose that presence. Al Qaeda has warned the citizens of the Middle East that it is the desire of the Western countries to destroy Islam and impose their way of life (including their religion) on Muslims.

We've written before about the fact that the U.S. military has wrapped itself in evangelical (fundamentalist) christianism; that 2/3rd of the military chaplains now identify as christianist fundamentalists. The top chaplain is a Southern Baptist fundamentalist.

We have written before about how these fundamentalists demand the right to proselytize among our own troops.

Now they've really gone over the fence.

Jeremy Scahill at Rebel Reports (via Alternet) writes that "New video evidence has surfaced showing that U.S. military forces in Afghanistan have been instructed by the military's top chaplain in the country to 'hunt people for Jesus' as they spread Christianity to the majority Muslim population. Soldiers have also imported Bibles translated into Pashto and Dari, the two dominant languages of Afghanistan. What's more, the center of this evangelical operation is at the huge U.S. base at Bagram, one of the main sites used by the U.S. military to torture and indefinitely detain prisoners."

Lieutenant-Colonel Gary Hensley, the chief poohbah of U.S. chappies in Afghanistan, is shown on the video as "telling [the] soldiers that as followers of Jeus Christ, they all have a responsibility 'to be witnesses for him.'"

This story has been picked up by Aljazeera and Aljazeera points out that the chaplains, good christianists they be, have figured out a way to get around General Order No. 1: You don't "proselytize," you give gifts. Like a Bible.

Not only is this kind of crap unconstitutional according to the U.S. Constitution and in violation of military regulations, it is illegal according to the Afghanistan constitution!

Secondly, this kind of crap gives credence to the extremist rant that the U.S. is engaged in a war on Islam, thereby undermining the military effort while strengthening Al Qaeda.

Every one of these miserable "soldiers for Christ," especially the chaplain nogoodniks should be courtmartialed and drummed out of the service.

This is another despicable example of christianist extremism based on the premise that when doing things for Jesus, the ends justify the means.

Read Scahill's article here.

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Sen. Ben Nelson & the insurance industry

In an article at The Seminal, Jason Rosenbaum critques Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb) ties with the insurance industry.

On May 1, Nelson announced he would oppose any government-run health care plan, and additionally, he intended to "assemble a coalition of like-minded centrists opposed to the creation of a public plan, as a counterweight to Democrats pushing for it."

Notice the use of the word, "centrist." Centrist as opposed to what? Liberal? Socialist? Marxist?

And how does the good Senator explain his own very comprehensive government-run health care plan? Oh, that must be "centrist." It's "centrist" if one is a member of Congress. A plan for the rest of us is not centrist, but some other murky kind of anti-capitalist plot to derail traditional values.

Rosenbaum suggest, however, that there is more to Nelson's centrism. According to Open Secrets, "Nelson received $608,709 from the insurance industry in 2007-2008, making the insurance industry his biggest donor group..."

Rosenbaum goes further, suggesting that all that money plays a part in Nelson's political stance and determines the causes he backs and those he opposes.

Maybe. While it is likely impossible to prove a quid-pro-quo, it is quite probable that an industry contributing over $600,000 to a politician will expect something in return for all that loot.

It appears, on the surface, at least, that Nelson plans to do his best to do the bidding of his insurance industry bidders.

Read all of Rosenbaum's article here.

Another article of interest here. And here.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Christianist moron

Thanks to God be Gone.

Obama & Notre Dame - Catholic power does not reside in the poohbahs

You may have been led to believe that whatever ze bishop says, ze parishioners fall in line, kiss his ring and his ass, and cry, "Yes, father!"

Ah...the Catholic prelates wish it were zo. In fact, the biggest poohbah of them all, ze Pope in ze city/nation of ze Vatican wishes it were zo.

It is not zo.

For example, when ze University of Our Mother (Notre Dame) invited ze President (Obama) to speak at its commencement this year, zere was a holy uproar among ze faithful, which ze media tried to imply meant all ze Catholics in ze United States.

Not zo.

Ze so-called "uproar" was a well-orchestrated outcry by Catholic conservatives who don't like Mr. Obama because when it comes to abortion, although he abhors it, he believes women should make that choice and not ze government nor ze Roman Catolic Church.

Catolic conservatives believe every government and every person should abide by Catolic rules for zey are from zair god!

Interestingly, Alex Koppleman at tells us a Pew poll which discovered that "of those Catholics who say they've heard about the controversy, 54 percent approve of the school's choice. 38 percent oppose it."

It gets worse for ze Catolic conservatives. Joan Walsh noted that other data indicated 73 percent of Our Mother's students (including 97 percent of its seniors) were in favor of ze president speaking at Our Mother's commencement.

None of this is surprising, of course. For many years, studies have indicated that a majority of Roman Catholics in this country disagree with ze church's teachings relative to birth control, abortion, and married priests.

It seems ze Catolic poohbahs are pissing in the wind.

Jesus is coming soon

Quit your job, sell everything you have, and go await on the nearest mountain! (Oh, and bring your family, too, unless they're a bunch of heathen.)

by Proudfootz

Ronald Reagan on torture

Glenn Greenwald, at, has a most interesting article entitled "Ronald Reagan: vengeful, score-settling, Hard Left ideologue".

Greenwald begins by noting how our thinking on torture has changed dramatically in a mere 20 years, "and how depraved and extremist our political and media classes have become ... "

He quotes what has become a relatively "famous" article by Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post, in which Krauthammer ends up saying that there are occasions when the use of torture is not only acceptable but necessary.


Surprise, surprise! The hero of the Krauthammer's of the world, Ronald Reagan, thought otherwise!

May 20, 1988, when sending the Convention Against Torture to the U.S. Senate to be ratified, Reagan said:

"The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

"The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called 'universal jurisdiction.' Each State Party is required required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution."

Here's what the Convention actually said:

"No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency, maybe invoked as a justification of torture...Each State Party shall ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law."

Reagan, the "hard-left ideologue" signed the treaty!

Torture can never be justified under ANY circumstance! We are obligated to prosecute our torturers, and if we do not do so, another state may do so.

Welcome, Spain. Have at the bastards!

Greenwald offers much more of importance, which you can read here.

Armed men in la-la land

I am not anti-gun and I own guns. That does not mean I agree with the NRA or the other crazies in the hinterlands who are busy stocking up on ammo and heavy-duty weapons just in case the government decides to put all gun owners in a concentration camp.

Max Blumenthal of Daily Beast fame decided to get a closer look at our gun-loving loonies, and headed off to California and Nevada to check out a couple of gun shows.

He writes, "I came away from these events with a portrait of a heavily armed, tightly organized movement incited by right-wing radio to a fever-pitched resentment of Obama and his allies in Congress."

Blumenthal's referring to such kooks as Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, and the conspiracy fruitcake, Alex Jones. It's because of the ranting of such characters that many of those attending the gun shows have become "convinced Obama planned to usher in a Marxist dictatorship."

The people Max spoke with are typical of some, but not all gun enthusiasts. Unfortunately, the NRA has led too many to believe that sensible laws relative to the sale and possession of certain weapons is the first step toward a Soviet system.

The NRA is big and powerful and has the ability to influence many people with its lies. It defends the most bizarre claims, shrilly crying that any attempt to control gun sales and distribution is an evil, satanic plot.

Thus, Blumenthal says, "At the gun show in Reno, I witnessed the sale of rocket-propelled grenade launchers and bazooka guns; I watched a California dealer demonstrate how rapidly he could field-strip his .308 sniper rifle, then stash it in a deliberately innocuous-looking backpack and a briefcase that 'looks just like a camera case.'

"Nearby, I interviewed another dealer retailing a brand of .50-caliber assault rifle that was banned in California because it could supposedly bring down an airplane. He told me by slightly altering the bullets his gun fired, and by converting the gun from semiautomatic to bolt action, he was able to sell it in California once again."

I cannot think of any good reason why any sane person in this country needs a grenade launcher or a bazooka gun or a .50-caliber assault rifle that can bring down an airplane. And I don't think that by banning such weapons, the interpretation gun enthusiasts put to the 2nd Amendment would be in jeopardy.

Someone needs to stand up and tell the NRA to take its craziness and shove it!

You can read Blumenthal's entire article here.

And just in case you're not convinced, watch this video:

The threat of Pooh

With many thanks to Leftist Grandpa