Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christ, what a party!

The perfect Xmas present for Jews

It seems some Christians are caught up in confusion as to what, if any, kind of Christmas present to get for their Jewish friends.

Katie Halper, in a recent AlterNet article, believes she has the perfect solution.

She mentions that, while there is still a certain amount of controversy about who killed Jesus, there is no controversy about who gave him birth:  Mary, the little Jewish girl, did the deed.

"Yes," says Halper, "she did so with the help of God, but it was Mary who schlepped from inn to inn before settling on a perfectly acceptable no-frills manger (a real find.) And it was her zaftig, child-bearing hips which really delivered the goods."

The perfect Xmas present for Gentiles to give their Jewish friends, therefore, is: A simple thank-you note!

Read Katie's very funny article here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Killjoy was here

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Europe and the U.S. - a comparison

We've written on occasion about how the United States, supposedly the "richest" country in the world, allows so many of its most vulnerable people fall through the cracks causing them incredible pain and suffering, and even death.

The Republican Party with its allies - FAUX News, Rush Limbaarger, the Washington Times and numerous other far-right pundits and organizations - has taken over and controlled the conversation about taxes, so-called "entitlement" programs, the deficit, government expenditures, etc. With the additional power that the GOP will garner with the new Congress, we can expect a growing gaggle of voices parroting the "conservative" line which includes no new taxes, additional tax breaks for the rich and the powerful and their corporations, less regulation of just about everything, reducing entitlement benefits, turning over Social Security to private entrepreneurs so they can bankrupt the program to further feather their own nest, and much more.

It appears that some Europeans think that Americans have collectively gone insane. From the European point of view, it is incomprehensible that people who talk so much about God act so much like the devil.

Democrats Ramshield is an American expat who lives in Europe. Here is some of what Ramshield wrote in a recent article:

Although the EU has a bigger economy than does the U.S., is spends only 9% of its GNP on medical care while the U.S. spends between 13-16% on the same. Not only so, but "the EU pretty much insures 100 percent of its population."

The Repugs and rednecks and Jesus-lovers in our country don't like to hear that but it's true.

"The U.S. has 59 million people medically uninsured; 132 million without dental insurance; 60 million without paid sick leave; 40 million on food stamps. Everybody in the European Union has cradle-to-grave access to universal medical and dental plan by law. The law also requires paid sick leave; paid annual leave; paid maternity leave."


Maybe the U.S. is just spoiled rotten. We've had no major wars fought on this continent in a couple of centuries (other than our own Civil War, and that's what it was - a civil war fought over the issue of slavery, not a war that the South instigated to ensure "states' rights"!); we have had little exposure to terrorism and except for 9/11 most of our terrorism was home-grown, e.g. the Oklahoma City bombing).

With the exception of a small portion or our population, we don't have first-hand knowledge of what it's like to live under a Hitler or a Mussolini. Thus Ramshield refers to the fact that "Some social scientists think that making sure large-scale crime or fascism never takes root in Europe again requires a taxpayer investment in a strong social safety net."

And he asks, "Can we learn from Europe? Isn't it better to invest in a social safety net than in a large criminal justice system? (In America over 2 million people are incarcerated.)"


Ramshield tells us about Germany. "Unlike here, in Germany jobless benefits never run out. Not only that -- as part of their social safety net, all job seekers continue to be medically insured, as are their families.

"In the German jobless benefit system, when 'jobless benefit 1' runs out, 'jobless benefit 2,' also known as HartzIV, kicks in. That one never gets cut off. The jobless also have contributions made for their pensions. They receive other types of insurance coverage from the state. As you can imagine, the estimated 2 million unemployed Americans who almost had no benefits this Christmas [because of Republican nastiness] (my insertion) seems a particular horror show to Europeans, made worse by the fact that the U.S. government does not provide any medical insurance to American unemployment recipients. Europeans routinely recoil at that in disbelief and disgust."


The problem is, as too few of us are aware, that the corporations run our government, routinely buying and selling our legislators. And that's true in both parties. The legislators owe their jobs and their tenure to those sitting in plush offices in high towers in the major cities of our land and they gladly do their bidding which most often includes a reduction in the tax bite for corporate entities, protection against what the corporate entities feel are onerous regulations, reduction of benefits to the poor and needy to further enrich the corporate coffers, etc.

For example, Republicans are moving in to head up Congressional committees. That will have dire consequences for everything from education to environmental protections. Lee Fang, writing at Think Progress, notes that "incoming Agriculture Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK) announced the hire of Ryan McKee as the senior staffer to oversee the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. McKee is currently a lobbyist working for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's division dedicated to deregulating complex derivatives products. In her new role working for Lucas, McKee will be liaising with regulators in charge of implementing new rules under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law to overhaul the over-the-counter derivatives market."

And this is just one relatively minor instance of how the Republicans will now be able to increase their ability to stick it to the middle- and lower-classes in this country!


Which is very unfortunate. Ramshield would like the U.S. to do better; to emulate the European Union's social safety net, but it is not going to happen until the American people realize that the Republican Party and it's Tea Party adherents are not their friends; that, in fact, the Republicans and the Tea Party crackpots are working against the best interests of the American people. It's not going to happen until the American people realize the the Republican Party and the Tea Party crackpots, in spite of their religious rhetoric, are amoral and immoral; that they will continue to use their strength and power, not only to deny any further increase in the current social safety net in this country, but to dismantle and derail what little is left of it


You can read of of Ramshield's article here.

Kimmel Kartoon - Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer shot by Sarah Palin

Friday, December 24, 2010

Buck Owens - Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy


Thanks to Crooks & Liars from which this video was "borrowed."

The Christmas Story - a partial look



H/T to the Pensito Review, which has a very informative article relative to this video here.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The True Story of Christmas


Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

What to sing at Christmas if you don't believe in the myth

I'm going to reference a funny, on-the-spot essay by Greta Christina titled, "10 Best Christmas Songs for Atheists."

She begins by noting that not all atheists hate Christmas. "Lots of atheists like Christmas," she says. "Heck, even Richard Dawkins likes Christmas." And then, in a fine snarky way, she notes "...we find our own ways to adapt/create/subvert the holiday traditions to our own godless ends."  And that's what this essay is all about!

Most atheists, she says, would like the government to get out of sponsoring any kind of religious displays at any time of year, especially "with the whole 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion' thing."

But I really love this part: "And some of us do rather resent the cultural hegemony of one particular religious tradition being crammed down everybody's throat, in a grotesque, mutant mating of homogenized consumerism and saccharine piety."  (My emphasis.  See photo above!)

Yes! Things have changed a lot over the past 40-50 years. Back then, many claiming to be Christians bemoaned the commercialism that had taken over the Christmas holidays. Today, have made capitalism part of the Christian creed, they love the commercialism or as Christina puts it, "the homogenized consumerism and saccharine piety." 

What they don't like is people snubbing their commercialized Jesus.  They don't like that some folks actually dare say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas." They don't like the fact that there are millions of people in this country who don't give a damn about Christianity but really enjoy having a good time during the winter solstice! And what's even more weird is that it is the most amoral, un-Christian, anti-everything Jesus taught people who get most upset, such as Rush Limbaarger and Bill O'Reilly and Ms. Coulter.

Ms. Christina, like so many of us, is "very fond of Christmas. Some atheists even like Christmas carols." Well, not so much the carols anymore with their "angels and magic stars and the miracle of the virgin birth." It's pretty hard to sing about any of that anymore.

So, Ms. Christina has come up with a list of "Christmas songs that atheists can love unreservedly." Or agnostics. Or those who go to church just once a year but don't believe much of anything.

She sets some parameters, such as the "Songs cannot have any mention of God, Jesus, angels, saints, or miracles," and that the "Songs must be reasonably well-known."

Ultimately, she ends up with 10 oldies but goodies, No. 10 being "White Christmas," which is "an entirely secular Christmas classic written by a Jewish agnostic..."

I'm not going to name the rest of them. You'll have to read her essay to find out.  And you can do that here.  I think you'll like her selections.  If not, just substitute your own list.  Nobody's going to claim you're starting a war on Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Home Alone

To enlarge, please click on the cartoon.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Wikileaks, Glenn Greenwald and Michael Moore

[Photo of Julian Assange from AP/Kristy Wigglesworth at CTV.ca]

Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been released on bail from prison in London.  Meeting with the press, he thanked his supporters, then mentioned his experience in solitary confinement and suggested that there are many people being held in a similar manner in prisons around the world for no good reason, without recourse to law or lawyers, and it behooves all freedom-loving people to remember them and try to find ways to assist them in their time of need.

Meanwhile, back in the "freedom-loving" U.S. of A., politicians of various stripes are falling over themselves loudly berating Mr. Assange as a criminal mastermind who should be captured by any means possible and incarcerated, preferably forever.  At least one American politico has called for his assassination.  Many of these freedom-loving folks call themselves followers of Jesus.

Bah, humbug!  If Jesus returned today, they'd be the first to hang him on the nearest cross.

Amy Goodman talked with Glenn Greenwald, a constitutional scholar and lawyer, about Assange and WikiLeaks.  Greenwald said:

"Whatever you think of WikiLeaks, they have not been charged with a crime, let alone indicted or convicted.  Yet look what has happened to them.  They have been removed from [the] Internet ... their funds have been frozen ... media figures and politicians have called for their assassination and to be labeled a terrorist organization."

Then Greenwald hits the proverbial nail on the head:  "What is really going on here is a war over control of the Internet, and whether or not the Internet can actually serve its ultimate purpose--which is to allow citizens to band together and democratize the checks on the world's most powerful factions."

Ms. Goodman's entire article is here.


Down through the years I have been involved in leadership roles in a number of organizations.  One of the things I've learned about organizations (political and otherwise), groups, committees, boards of directors, etc., is that they do not like controversy or disruption.  They do not like anything that threatens the status quo.  And when faced with disruption or controversy, they will call all their resources to put such disturbance down as quickly and quietly as possible.  They will do this even if it means they end up hurting their organization or themselves.  

This is why so many people in the U.S. have become so anti-government and anti-tax as part of that, or anti-healthcare, or pro-war, or anti-WikiLeaks.  Their level of comfort has been attacked.  They've know they've been sold a bill of goods but they don't know by whom or why.  I would guess, for example, that most tea party participants are unaware that theirs is not a grass-roots movement, but a well-organized and well-planned operation funded by extreme anti-government rightwing billionaires!  Their status quo (even if it is based on mainly imaginary scenarios) has been disrupted.  Thus, they act and vote against their own best interests! 

We are a supposedly a democratic society, which means our government of the people, by the people and for the people is supposed to operate in the open, and NOT in secret.  The people are supposed to be informed as to what their government is doing so the people can make good decisions as to the direction in which the country should go by electing the right people to keep the country on the right track.

Sounds like pie-in-the-sky and I suppose it is, for the United States has not operated like a truly democratic society in years.  Perhaps it has never done so.  But that doesn't mean it shouldn't!

Michael Moore, one of our favorite agitators against a government run amok, put up $20,000 dollars toward Mr. Assange's bond.  In an article posted December 14 on his website, MichaelMoore.com, he tells why and discusses other steps he has taken to help Mr. Assange:  "... I am publicly offering the assistance of my website, my servers, my domain names and anything else I can do to keep WikiLeaks alive and thriving as it continues to work to expose the crimes that were concocted in secret and carried out in our name and with our tax dollars."

Moore says that if WikiLeaks had been around in 2002, Bush and his cabal might not have been able to lie us into a war in Iraq.  "The only reason they thought they could get away with it was because they had a guaranteed cloak of secrecy."

That, of course, is why WikiLeaks is under attack.  WikiLeaks has "outed and embarrassed those who have covered up the truth."

 Moore references a photo of George Bush being handed a "secret" document.  The date was August 6, 2001:  The document heading read:  "'Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US.'  And on those pages it said the FBI had discovered 'patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.'  Mr. Bush decided to ignore it and went fishing for the next four weeks.

"But if that document had been leaked, how would you and I have reacted?  What would Congress or the FAA have done?  Was their not a greater chance that someone, somewhere would have done something if all of us knew about bin Laden's impending attack using hijacked planes?"

Moore insists, rightly in my opinion, that secrets are deadly; that secrets led to the death of over 4,000 soldiers in Iraq and at least 100,000 Iraqis; that secrets were partially responsible for the 58,000 American dead (and 2 million Vietnamese) in Vietnam.

"Openness, transparency -- these are among the few weapons the citizenry has to protect itself from the powerful and the corrupt," which pretty well describes our Congress, the Pentagon, most government agencies, and even our Supreme Court these days!
Moore has much more to say, all of it pertinent and important.  And one of those things is "Please -- never, ever believe the 'official story.'"  I'd agree with that and add that we also can no longer believe the "story" given out by the mainstream media for it is owned by the same corrupt masters that control the government.

What we must never forget is that WikiLeaks is not the problem.  Julian Assange is not the criminal.  The criminals have other names:  George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, just to name a few.  Those are the ones our DOJ should be looking to indict!

Please read Mr. Moore's entire article here.



 

  





Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis the season

Please click on cartoon to enlarge.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

If Jesus was a conservative



h/t to Starman at Le Reve Francais.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Just more paperwork

Please click on cartoon to enlarge.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Oh, you devil, you!

[Image from here]

Science vs. superstition.  Reason vs. Roman Catholic theology.  The battle continues.

There are not enough exorcists in the Roman church, so the RC bishops are in process of conducting a two-day "how-to" workshop in Baltimore on the rite of exorcism.

At the end of the second decade of the second millennium, there remain people all over the world who believe in "demons," and demon-possession. They further believe that these demons who might decide to "possess" certain humans, can be exorcised through a series of magical words and actions.

But you must be properly trained so that you can identify a real demon possession as opposed to say, just plain craziness. You also need to learn the exact magic words and when to say them as well as the proper magic actions, such as blowing into the victims face and making the sign of the cross.

It is essentially a problem of evil - spiritual evil, saith the good prelates of Romanism.


Unfortunately for the bishops, science has failed to demonstrate the reality of "demons" or demon possession. Magical words and magical actions remain just that - magic, and thus silly and stupid, no matter what the words or the actions.

Evil is certainly a reality if evil be defined as that which reduces the value of a human life or that which increases unhappiness and pain. Psychology has known for years that some people seem to lack a conscience or any feeling of empathy for their fellow humans and act accordingly. Others may have a conscience and thus know the difference between what most of us agree is right and wrong but simply don't give a damn.

Then there is institutional evil as expressed today in a world where capitalism has run amok as corporatism, where everything not contributing to the bottom line is suppressed and/or eliminated.

Governments can also be evil if they exist only to perpetuate themselves and their power. Thus, the clear statements of today's Republican leaders in which they have promised that for the next two years they will work only for the political demise of Barack Obama in 2012 can only be classified as evil.

And religion - perhaps the greatest source of evil in the history of the human race! Religion - the cause of more war, misery, pain, hatred, destruction, and just plain evil than any other source.

Consider the institution with which we started - the Roman Catholic Church which is worried about non-existent demons and magical rites to exorcise said non-existent demons while 1) continuing evil practices to the detriment of millions of lives around the world, e.g. disallowed condoms which could prevent the spread of AIDS; berating homosexuals and disavowing gay rights while the Roman church itself is comprised of 25-50% gay priests; denying women a rightful place in the church because of misguided, indeed false legends regarding priesthood in the early church, among many other things, and 2) failing to deal adequately with the problem of pedophilia amongst the leaders of the Roman church by refusing to even discuss the widespread parameters of the problem or discipline properly those pedophiles who have ruined thousands of lives down through the years.

Pedophilia in the Roman church is an unspeakable evil; incomprehensible; undeniable.  It is so evil that it effectively destroys forever the Roman Church as any kind of moral voice in the world.  Anything the Roman church says about right and wrong can no longer be taken with any seriousness.  The Roman church is forever tainted by institutional evil, which continues even now.


If there were an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent god who was also a loving god by human standards, he or she would have struck down the Roman church and turned it into a heap of burning rubble before it got started. He or she would never have allowed it to continue for over 2,000 years as one of the world's major repositories of evil, and continue today to obscure and avoid the real evil within its walls by pointing at fantastical and mythological demons and carrying out the pretense of casting out these "demons" with magical chants and signs and actions.

Don't tread on me, I'm off to drown in the sea!

[Image - Wikimedia Commons]

The teapot crackpots in the State of Virginia want a new license plate to hang on their vehicles. Said license plate would bear the slogan, "Don't Tread on Me!"

This would be funny or merely silly if, in fact, the teapot crackpots were not a real and present danger to our democratic form of government and its Constitutional underpinnings.

The person responsible for this bit of stupidity is, of course, a Repugnican, a delegate by name of John O'Bannon. But, says O'Bannon, he's not trying to make a political statement.

Why do so many teapot crackpots speak Orwellian?


To be a teapot crackpot, you've got to be, first of all, ignorant. You have to be one of those folks who drifted off during your American history class, and political science class, and civics class. You really never learned much of anything about anything and graduated from high school with the good fortune of barely knowing how to read (at the 8th-grade level) or write.

To be a teapot crackpot, you've also got to be easily conned. The teapot movement is not a grass-roots thing at all. It didn't start because a bunch of knowledgeable folks got together to try to change the government to make it function better to serve their needs. Many, if not all, teapot dreamers thinks that's the way it went, but they are sadly mistaken, for they have been taken.

The teapot crackpot movement, better known as the Tea Party movement, is the birthchild of the ultra-right-wing billionaire Koch brothers and their many affiliated front groups, along with other monied sources such as Rupert Murdoch. It was organized by lobbyists for huge right-wing corporate entities who give not a damn for our country or the people of the country but only for their bottom line.

FAUX News, of course, played a huge role, publicizing and sponsoring tea party rallies around the country, and providing teapot crackpots a national pulpit to spew their nonsense amongst the rabble who ate it up.

And the irony is, the teapot crackpots have grown from a pesky gnat on the backside of an elephant to a huge canker sore the size of Alaska on the nose of the Republic. All because millions of people were completely duped into voting against their own interests in favor of the corporations who will swindle them out of what little they have left and destroy the environment which gives them life.


Now a teapot asshat in Virginia wants his state to offer a license plate with the teapot crackpot motto, "Don't Tread on Me." The meaning here, to a teapot crackpot, is clear: Big, bad government, don't put me down any more!"

The common people, the middle-classes, have been subjected to so much moronic rhetoric for so long they've come to believe it. Teapot crackpots supposedly believe in limited government, fiscal austerity, and less taxation.

That may have made some sense 230 years ago when the population hovered around 4 million people. At 300 million, it makes no sense at all. And actually, the teapot crackpots don't believe in any of this. Limited government means many different things. Some of the Religious Right kooks, the Reconstructionists (of whom we have several now in Congress), want the government to be reconstructed according to their interpretation of God's law. Democracy is a no-no! Old Testament law is in. But most teapot crackpots want a government limited to doing what they want it to do, that is to say, give bigger tax breaks to the rich, deregulate corporations so they can do whatever they wish, ban all gun restrictions, ban all abortions, allow prayer in public schools, or better yet, get rid of all public schools, etc. They most definitely don't want the government to help the unfortunate, the sick, the elderly.

Fiscal austerity means nothing more than the process of redistributing the wealth upward. In recent days several right-wingers have appeared on television bemoaning the fact that the poor rich people need more tax breaks. Everyone should be treated the same; we're all in this together; the rich are just like everyone else; they need their tax breaks, even if said tax breaks increase the budget deficit.

Less taxation is another phony issue. Because teapot crackpots are ignorant and get their "news" from FAUX News or Limbaarger or other crackpot sources, they are unaware that they paid less taxes last year under the Obama administration than they did the year before under Georgi W. Buski.


But the real kicker in all of this is that the teapot crackpots with "Don't Tread on Me" license plates have absolutely no solid proposals to make relative to their notions of limited government, fiscal austerity, or less taxation other than to give more to the rich and less to the middle and lower classes. Thus we find proposals  to privatize Social Security appearing once again (in spite of the fact that Social Security is NOT in trouble and would have been devastated if Bush had had his way a few years ago!) The teapot mantra is enrich the rich and take away from the poor.

When asked what government programs should be cut, most teapot crackpots go into a kind of daze and their eyes glaze over.

In other words, the Tea Party teapot crackpots are empty shells. The Tea Party functions as an arm of very rich corporate honchos, serving their needs. They have nothing to offer the country other than slogans devoid of meaning. "Don't Tread on Me" is profoundly stupid. The government is not "treading on them," their corporate masters are, and they are too ignorant to know the difference! They need the government. The government provides them with the services the NEED to survive. And taxes are not evil, but that which makes government services available. What is evil is when the very rich do not pay their fair share or when, due to their buying of Congress people, they are exempted from paying anything, as is the case with many large corporations today!


Don't tread on me. And in Virginia, as the teapot crackpots line up to buy these sloganized license plates one cannot help but be reminded of how the lemmings gather together to march off the cliff to their collective demise in the sea!

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Daily Show - Jon Stewart:: The Decider Returns

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Decider Returns
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

McConnell a liar? So, what's new?

Evidence of the fact that Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, is a liar, should be of no surprise to anyone, but some people, even in his own state, have never gotten the word.

The Louisville Courier-Journal has taken Mr. McConnell to task for being his usual duplicitous self.  It seems that back in 2006, while McConnell was blasting Congressional Democrats for asking Bush to reduce troop levels in Iraq, he was doing the same thing privately!

McConnell declared piously that the Dems, by pulling some of our soldiers out of the country, would endanger the poor people of Iraq, leaving them to the evil schemes of al-Qaeda!  

It gets worse.  Not only was McConnell completely hypocritical in such an assertion, but the reason was purely political. By removing some troops from Iraq, saith McConnell to Bush, the Republican Party might very well receive a boost in the 2006 elections.

The Louisville Courier-Journal, in a desperate way-too-late move to become a real newspaper and do what a newspaper is supposed to do, wants McConnell to explain how he could be such a hypocrite, but more importantly, how he could put the fate of the Republican Party over the well-being of the country.

Well, duh! That is how today's Republican Party, comprised of ignorant, backward, corporate-owned, Christian Reconstructionists, teapot crackpots, and other assorted no-goodniks, operates!

McConnell is only one miserable example.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Any Given Sunday

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Minnesota Teapot Crackpot knows not the Constitution

[Photo of U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D. Minn.]

Judson Philips, said to be the founder of the Tea Party Nation, doesn't believe Muslims should be able to hold political office in the United States.

Mr. Philips sent out a letter in which he urged his followers to support the Republican candidate for the seat in the U.S. House of Representatives currently held by Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim.

One of the reasons people should not vote for Mr. Ellison saith Mr. Philips is because of his religion - his Muslim faith.


Ellison was elected by the people of Minnesota to the U.S. House in 2007. And he is a Muslim. In the time since he was first send to Washington, he has not destroyed the Congress, the presidency, the Pentagon, the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial. You wonder what the hell he's been doing there!


Philips, however, is an ignoramus. Echoing the cries of other teapot crackpots and morons like Newt Gingrich (who is not an ignoramus, but a dangerous lying dirtbag) Philips proves he is unfamiliar with our Constitution which specifically states there shall be no religious test for office.

Either that (he's an ignoramus) or he doesn't care what the Constitution says, which is worse, I suppose, because that would make Philips and his cohorts subversives engaged in treason.

But what else other than mindless demagoguery can one expect from members of the Teapot Crackpot Tea Party?

Muslims are a great danger in Oklahoma


Some of Oklahoma's politicians are just plain weird.  The tend to be Very Conservative, Jesus-loving folks, which means they think God created everything that exists in six days, that they love guns and big bizness, and that they don't want no damn guv'mint to tell 'em what to do!

A few of Oklahoma's politicos are not very bright, either.  Tom Coburn, who got hisself elected to the U.S. Senate, don't believe in global warming.  No sirree, he calls global warming stuff a "pile of crap."  I guess he would know a lot about crap 'cause every time he open his mouth more of it comes out to pollute our good earth!

In the state legislature, you'll find lots of wanna-be Coburns. And some have a good chance of attaining that goal - they are dumb enuf!

For example, back in June, the legislature, by an overwhelming majority, passed a law banning the use of Sharia law by Oklahoma judges and/or courts. This law will be voted on by the state's constituents next Tuesday. And it has the endorsement of none other than Newt Gingrich, that bastion of adulterous knowledge and common sense. Oh, stop laughing!

The danger of Sharia law being used in Oklahoma has the state's politicos' shorts tied in a knot. They probably don't sleep at night worrying about this problem. What they should be worried about, of course, is global warming!


I've got to admit it is funny. According to Harper's Magazine, Oklahoma's population is 0.81 Muslim!  I recently drove through western Oklahoma.  You can go 100 miles and not see anyone, much less a Muslim! 

Such is the state of American politics today.  Wacko!

The Great Predicament Facing Obama - by Jan Frel and Lawrence Goodwyn

This is a must-read for Democrats, democrats, and progressives of whatever stripe.

The article, "The Great Predicament Facing Obama," by Jan Frel and Lawrence Goodwyn, is a superb summary of what democracy in America means, what the GOP stands for, criminal bankers, the corporate threat to our well-being and the potential of President Obama.

Goodwyn, a noted historian, takes the "long view":  "In my opinion, the energy among the democratic faithful to make the journey is still there.  While ordinary folks have been put through a lot, do not underestimate the resolve that remains for the long haul.  Unanticipated poverty is an enormous energizer -- and most of all for people who understand their fate to be utterly undeserved.  In due course they will see through the sleight of hand and empty content embedded in corporate sound bites."

It appears Goodwyn is basing this "long view" on the notion that you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.   Thus, "...it will become increasing transparent in the coming year that the politics of the GOP is absolutely incoherent.  Much of the Republican tent is simply flapping in the breeze behind a cascade of public lies."

To the Democrats, Goodwyn says "buck up!"  "[...] long-term despair is unwarranted for Democrats.  They need to harness their poise and undertake to be politically creative not just right now but for the next six years."


Goodwyn takes on the bankers and their industry.  He underestimated, he says, "the capacity for sheer greed that drives American banking."  In the banking industry there is no sense "of the cornerstone of [the] American democratic experience itself: the sense that a majority of us have had -- have always had -- that we are in this together.

"Bankers are not with the rest of us on this.  Perhaps they have never been.  All exceptions freely conceded, but the general reality still holds: they are killing the promise of this republic."


Obama has the very difficult task of trying to deal with the residue of the GOP's massive corruption resulting from their betrothal to their corporate masters.  Those people Goodwn calls the "movers and shakers" want it all and believe "that they and they alone shall brandish the keys" to running the country.  But, there's a problem.  They "have way too much blood on their hands.  The GOP can't be specific about it, of course, because it is their blood, too.  So we have a national campaign that is now fully in place and fully operational.  It is also fully fraudulent."

The blood on the hands of the GOP derives most recently from the years of Bush II - the destruction of a "balanced budget" to give the rich a trillion-dollar tax cut; the phony war in Iraq based upon Cheney's lies which cost another trillion; the prescription drug benefit (which benefited the drug companies) costing "more trillions"; and financial deregulation which fed the greed and avarice of the financial/banking industry.

And now "The entire country is ... experiencing the GOP's nationwide cover-up in the form of a suffocating blanket of television commercials that warps recent history ... "

Goodwyn reminds us of the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, "the most radical single judicial decision in American history."  This decision ushers in "a new form of American political propaganda, anonymous in origin, corporate-financed, and delivered with blanketing determination to every corner of the nation.  In size and substance it is a campaign of deception that is without comparison since the creation of the republic."

The good news, says Goodwyn, is that "it probably dooms the Republican Party by yoking the GOP to a permanent defense of financial deregulation and the liberation of central banks from a connecting relationship to the surrounding national economy.  It says goodbye to the unemployed millions.  It says goodbye to 'we're in this thing together.'"


But Goodwyn sees light at the end of the tunnel.  He offers a way out by walking us through some American history, by providing fascinating insights on our great American personages such as Thomas Jefferson,
Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt and by helping us understand the promise and potential of Barack Obama's presidency.

You can read it all here.

For more on Mr. Goodwyn, click here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bundle of Joy

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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Charlie Chaplin

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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Friday, October 15, 2010

One saw the light

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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Teabagger

This was sent to me by a friend, and because I believe most Teapot Crackpot Teabaggers are literally insane  theocratic despots and therefore incredibly dangerous to the future of our country, I'm posting it here.

What it does is show the Teapot Crackpots don't have a clue as to what they're talking about!


A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A TEABAGGER

The Teabagger gets up at 6:00am to prepare his morning coffee. He fills his pot full of good clean drinking water because some liberal fought for minimum water quality standards. He takes his daily medication with his first swallow of coffee. His medications are safe to take because some liberal fought to insure their safety and work as advertised. All but $10.00 of his medications are paid for by his employers medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance, now The Teabagger gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs this day. The Teabagger's bacon is safe to eat because some liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry. The Teabagger takes his morning shower reaching for his shampoo; His bottle is properly labeled with every ingredient and the amount of its contents because some liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained. The Teabagger dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath. The air he breathes is clean because some tree- hugging liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

The Teabagger begins his work day; he has a good job with excellent pay, medicals benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some liberal union members fought and died for these working standards The Teabagger's employer pays these standards because The Teabagger's employer doesn't want his employees to call the union. If The Teabagger is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed he'll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some liberal didn't think he should loose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

It's noon time, The Teabagger needs to make a Bank Deposit so he can pay some bills. The Teabagger's deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some liberal wanted to protect The Teabagger's money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the depression. The Teabagger has to pay his Fannie Mae underwritten Mortgage and his below market federal student loan because some stupid liberal decided that The Teabagger and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

The Teabagger is home from work, he plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive to dad's; his car is among the safest in the world because some liberal fought for car safety standards. He arrives at his boyhood home. He was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers Home Administration because bankers didn't want to make rural loans. The house didn't have electric until some big government liberal stuck his nose where it didn't belong and demanded rural electrification. (Those rural Republicans would still be sitting in the dark) He is happy to see his dad who is now retired. His dad lives on Social Security and his union pension because some liberal made sure he could take care of himself so The Teabagger wouldn't have to.

After his visit with dad he gets back in his car for the ride home. He turns on a radio talk show, the host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good.

(What that talk show host does not tell The Teabagger is that his beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit The Teabagger enjoys throughout his day.)


The ignorant Teabagger agrees with the radio talk show host:   "We don't need those big government liberals ruining our lives," he mutters to  himself.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Countdown - Keith Olbermann - Tea Party throws caution to the wind

Obama says Fox News is bad, bad, bad

[AP photo from the Huffington Post]

And it's about time!

I don't think Faux (Fox) News should be shut down. The people that run this miserable excuse for a "news" station have the same free speech rights as do the rest of us. But that shouldn't mean they are free from criticism, or their perfidy go unremarked, nor should the fact that they have become the equivalent of a country crushing bulldozer...all in pursuit of the almighty dollar...be ignored.

It was in Rolling Stone that President Obama noted that the point of view promoted by Faux News "is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world."

That was, in my opinion, a very mild criticism, and I'm sure Mr. Obama felt a certain constraint when making his comment. He could have said much more. He could have said that not only in Faux News not "fair and balanced" as they love to claim, but the outlet is nothing more than a propaganda machine for the vilest and craziest politicos in our country. Day after day they do nothing but spew garbage all of which is geared toward one goal - bringing down Obama and the Democratic Party.

Perhaps other progressives and sane people still able to reason will follow Obama's example and begin to call Faux News what it really is and put a stop to its menacing steamroller of lies and destruction!

Godwin

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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Internet freedom and you

Why is it that the dipshits we elect to Congress think they have the right to limit our freedoms?

I'm not referring to the kinds of things the teapot crackpots get all worked up about, such as not having to pay their fair share of taxes or insisting that the very rich get huge tax breaks, or that Obama is a Muslim and trying to impose Sharia law in this country, or that we should have people who believe in Jesus in charge, blah, blah, blah.

I'm talking about the tendency of the "freedom-loving" right-wingers on both sides of the aisle to mess around with our personal lives via disallowing abortions or gay marriage (and at least one of the teapot crackpots looking to become a senator thinks everyone in the USA should refrain from having sex at all [Christine O'Donnell], and to tear up the Constitution by giving the government the right to wiretap our conversations, photograph our driving methods, build huge data banks on every citizen in the country (for what purpose?), etc.

And now these same Congressional morons (on both sides of the aisle) have come up with something called the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). What this would do, according to an AlterNet article by David Segal and Aaron Swarz, is "vastly expand the government's power to censor the Internet."

Read all about it here.

Michael Moore on who controls the military

[Photo of Michael Moore from here]

In a review of Bob Woodward's most recent literary exercise, Michael Moore concludes that good old Ike was right on when he warned us of the dangers inherent in a "military-industrial" complex.

While the United States is supposed to operate on the much-vaunted principle that the military is under civilian control, it actually doesn't operate that way at all, but the reverse.

Moore says that you may have "thought you voted for change when you cast a ballot for Barack Obama" ... but actually that isn't and will not be true "when it comes to America occupying countries that don't begin with a 'U' and an 'S.'"

In other words, it doesn't matter what Obama thinks or wants, because "The only people really making the decisions about America's wars are across the river from Washington in the Pentagon. They wear uniforms. They have lots of weapons they bought from the corporations they will work for when they retire."

Moore continues: "It matters not whom we elect. The Pentagon and the military contractors call the shots. The title 'Commander in Chief' is ceremonial, like 'Employee of the Month' at your local Burger King."

The president of the United States is beholden to and under the control of the military! Moore explains that it doesn't matter what's written in the Constitution because "the Constitution's just a piece of paper." In the real world, the president cannot fire all of his top military people to stop a war. A president who tried to do so "would be ruined before you could say 'bloodless coup.'"

And you thought Obama was reneging on his promise!

Read the Moore piece in its entirety here (especially the last paragraph or two!)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Jon Stewart - The Daily Show - Indecision 2010

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - Taliban Dan & Boo-Gate
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Christine O'Donnell is certifiably insane

Let's cut the crap. People like Christine O'Donnell who actually believe that some fantasy figure in the sky is guiding them and directing them to run for the United States Senate are just plain insane.

You just can't get much crazier than that!

Sharron Angle is also insane!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Countdown - Keith Olbermann - Will actions speak louder than words for Democrats?

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow on the Repugnican "Pledge"


From Crooks & Liars:

MADDOW: Now, in politics, of course, whenever you‘re making one of your sacred pledges, you also, you know, want it to seem—you always want to seem like that God beamed this down to you and you were just the spokesperson, just the mouthpiece for the Almighty. It wasn‘t authored so much as it was delivered.

Well, in this case, the right click trick shows that this document the GOP pledged for this year is less of a delivery from the Almighty and more of a delivery from AIG and ExxonMobil and Pfizer and Comcast. The magic of right clicking the PDF revealed today that the listed author of the Republican Party‘s new “Pledge to America” is a fellow named Brian Wild, a staffer for John Boehner, who is also a former lobbyist for all of the aforementioned companies and more.

Mr. Wild worked for the Nichols Group, a lobbying firm that was paid more than $740,000 to lobby for AIG, more than $1.3 million to lobby for ExxonMobil, more than $625,000 to lobby for the pharmaceutical company Pfizer.

The reason that is particularly awkward for this particular political document is because Republicans went out of their way with this thing to make this particular pledge seem like it was just the voice of the people.

Republican Congressman Mike Pence said the effort would prove that “the Democratic majority isn‘t listening, but House Republicans will.” House Republicans will, not like those rats.

House Republicans will listen and then we‘ll have an Exxon lobbyist write it down.

As part of that “we‘re listening to you” spin, the whole basis of the Republican campaign pledge was their big “America Speaking Out” Web site—giving the impression to anybody visiting that Web site, that whatever suggestion got the most thumbs-up votes on the Web site would become part of this Republican agenda. Republicans were merely a vessel for the desires of the American people.

But it turns out the desires of the American people as expressed at AmericaSpeakingOut.com with those little thumbs-up, they were for legalizing pot and ending the outsourcing of American jobs to other countries. Those are some of the things that turned out to be the most popular ideas, the most thumbs-up on the “America Speaking Out” Web site.

But those stated desires of the American people, that Americans weren‘t going to ignore like that Democrat majority does, those desires were not, in fact, beamed directly from AmericaSpeakingOut.com through the larynxes of the Republican leaders today and back out to the American people when these Republican leaders gather to unveil their new agenda. Legalizing pot, for example, shockingly, is nowhere to be found in the Republican‘s new “Pledge to America.”

And Republicans say nothing at all about that other very popular idea of trying to stop the outsourcing of American jobs, which would seem to suggest two things. One, who they say they‘re listening to doesn‘t seem to be nearly as important as who they actually let the write the thing. And two, next time Republicans decide to come up with a pledge or contract or manifesto, wouldn‘t it be awesome if the pot lobby got a lobbyist on the inside who could secretly author the whole thing? That I would pay to see in a full-page ad in TV guide. That I would tear out and put up on the fridge.

And sometimes y


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Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Obama slams GOP pledge as 'irresponsible'

Bushit to remember before November


The Repugnicans are looking forward to a big win in November which will put them, at the very least, in control of the House of Representatives. This, says Newt Gingrich, the serial adulterer and compulsive liar, will be the only way that we can stop the Obama secular, socialist agenda from destroying our country.

Maybe a more accurate prognostication would be to say that if the Repugs win big, we can look forward to a House full of extremist dumb-asses who have no understanding of our Constitution; care nothing for ethical or moral behavior; believe the Christianist Bible has the answer to all of our problems; owe their allegiance, not to the people, but to the corporations that bought them; and because most of them (especially the teapot crackpot Tea Partiers) would be much more comfortable living in 16th-century Europe, intend to turn back the clock when it comes to race relations, religion in government, sexual behavior, education, and science, among other things.

The new Repugnican "pledge" is a joke, the Party's masturbatory essay promising massive misery for the general population. The rich will get richer, the Repugnican powers-that-be will become more powerful, and the rest of us will be flushed down the toilet. That's the real promise of Reagan's "voodoo" economics -- known as the trickle down effect -- that the Repugs want to reinstate.

It's a return to the good old days of Georgi W. Bushki when everything was turned on its head, You remember George, the man whose career Garrison Keillor once said "had been based on creating low expectations and then meeting them. He was the slacker child who flubbed his way through college and flopped in business and was propped up by family and friends."

George, you may recall, promised in his 2000 campaign, to be "a uniter, not a divider." He promised to limit CO2 emissions, to forgo "nation-building" and establish a "humble foreign policy." In that campaign, so long forgotten, Bushki promised to "strengthen Social Security." He promised many other things, including an effort to provide every family with "access to affordable health insurance."

He didn't mean any of this, as we know, and reneged on all of these promises. In that, he was typically Repugnican. Lie, lie, and lie some more. The only thing that matters is to gain power and retain power!

Somehow the reality of George W. Bush never got through to the American people. All the skeletons in his closet were brushed aside by a corporate media much more concerned with the foibles and antics of dipsy Hollywood starlets than the failings of a man who might become president of the U.S. Thus, Bush's failings were, to a large extent, ignored. The press also ignored "and even minimized his grim accomplishments as governor of Texas -- vast poverty, an endless carnival of executions, toxic fogbanks of pollution -- while keeping mum about his kinship with the theocratic right."

Also somehow forgotten were the truths "that Bush was not elected, that he blew a hefty surplus, failed to properly arm our troops, and named extremists to the federal bench, etc." Even worse, as Keillor points out, was the fact that Bush was as close to a dictator as we have ever seen. Consider the "Military Commissions Act that legalized torture, suspended habeas corpus and constructed a loose web of law by which you and I could be hung by our ankles in a meat locker for as long as somebody deemed necessary. 'Any person is punishable' the law stated, 'who knowingly and intentionally aids an enemy of the United States.' And when it comes to deciding what 'knowingly and intentionally' might mean or who is the enemy that would be for a military commission to decide in secret, with or without you present. No Fifth Amendment, hearsay evidence admissible, no judicial review. ... It's such a Gestapo world the White House tried to establish ... the Military Commissions Act was in fact reminiscent of Germany in 1933, when the Reichstag passed the Enabling Act to give the Chancellor the power of summary arrest and imprisonment."

In one sense, we were fortunate that Bush was as dumb as he is. A smarter president might have used his "powers" to halt the elections in 2008, on the pretext that the country was still under a terrorist threat and only Buski could handle the problem. A Repugnican Congress would doubtless have fallen in line just as they did for every other illegal and unconstitutional act Bush promoted during his eight years of infamy.

The reason I'm spending so much time on this miserable excuse for a human being is that the Repugnican Party of 2010 is looking to return to the good old days, to reinstall the failed policies promoted by Repugs over the past 30 years. The Party leaders don't want to talk much about Bush but he remains their hero. As someone else said, underneath all the lies and political witchraft and "pledges" to the American people, Bush and his cohorts were and continue to be all about "making the rich richer, and the poor poorer, the prisons bigger, and America more like own worst enemies."


Here's some Bushit spoken by the mentally-challenged former prezident. What's scary is that these same words could come out of the mouth of most any Repugnican politician in the country today!

"I do know I'm ready for the job. And, if not, that's just the way it goes." - 8/21/00

"One of the greatest things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures." - 1/3/00

"There are pledges all the time." - 1/23/00 - Bush explaining why he broke his campaign promise not to support a sales tax as governor of Texas.

"I will swear to not, to uphold the laws of the land." - 10/27/00

"There's no question that the minute I got elected, the storm clouds on the horizon were getting nearly directly overhead." - 5/11/01

"It was amazing I won. I was running against peace and prosperity and incumbency." - 6/14/01

"I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace." - 6/18/02

"Sometimes things aren't exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures." - 7/8/02

"We must do what is legally necessary to defend the sanctity of marriage." - 2/6/04

"Recession means that people''s incomes at the employer level, are going down, basically, relative to costs, people are getting laid off." - 2/19/04


The Repugnican leaders of today are part and parcel of the legacy left the country by Georgi W. Bushki. Inspired by the fact he could do so much damage in eight years, they are demanding the right to do even more damage again.

Consider the issue of retaining the Bush tax cuts, rather than letting them expire. President Obama wants to retain only that portion of the cuts which would benefit those making less than $250,000 per year. The Repugs are screaming bloody murder that he would dare "hurt" the very rich among us.

Give the Repugs the power, the tax cuts for the rich will be sustained; the deficit will grow; the middle-class and the poor will be screwed.

It was a bold play from the beginning. Bush and his cohorts had no compunction about tax breaks for the rich. They kept saying that cutting the taxes on the rich would lead to more jobs because the rich would use that money to create companies and hire people to work for them. Hah! They just kept filling their pockets! The notion that tax cuts for the rich create more jobs is malarkey and has been proven false over and over again.

On July 14, 2003, the Washington Post reported that "Almost all of the top Bush fundraisers are in the top 1 percent of the nation's incomes [and consequently] are among those who benefit the most from administration legislation reducing the top income rate, the capital gains rate and the elimination of taxation on dividend income."

A brazen ploy by the Bushites to enrich the rich who put them in office!

Today's Repugs are just as brazen. In their "pledge," they say they will keep Bush's tax cuts to favor the rich. They will work to repeal the health care law. They will "protect" traditional marriage and faith-based institutions. They will go back to the pre-Stimulus days, even as a growing number of economists say the problem with the Stimulus was that it wasn't big enough, and thus the Repugs willingly flirt with Depression! The Pentagon and the war machine will get everything it wants and more even though the Pentagon's budget is currently larger than the total budget of most nations in the world!

On August 5, 2004, Georgi W. Bushki said, "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

That is a description of today's Repugnican Party, held hostage by the teapot crackpot Tea Partiers and the Christianist Right! They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country. For two years their only goal has been to bring down the president of the United States and regain power. They will do and say absolutely anything to achieve that goal.

Unfortunately, the Repugnicans and teapot crackpots have proven themselves to collectively be the enemy of all that is right and good in our country!

If you dismiss that statement as hyperbole, please read carefully information about the backgrounds of people such as Sharron Angle or Christine O'Donnell ... read carefully their beliefs about the Constitution, religion, sex, health care, war, etc. Sharron Angle, for example, has said that to rely on the government for anything is to break the First Commandment; the American people must rely only on her Christianist god! O'Donnell once stated that she wanted to disallow anyone in this country to have sex. One can only despair that such bigoted, ignorant morons actually have a chance to get elected to the U.S. Congress. Even more despairing is that there are many more just like them.

Please vote in November and do what you can to get other normal, sane, rational people to their polling place!


[Note: Much of the information in this essay came from "Misunderestimated & Overunderappreciated - The George W. Bush Administration as Seen Through the Eyes of the Tribune's Syndicated Editorial Cartoonists," Metro Books, New York, 2007]