Sunday, April 11, 2010

Gay-bashing, perverted Christianity, and anti-Americanism

[Photo of Lou Engle. You can read more about this creep here.]

Uganda, it seems, wants to either kill or incarcerate its gay population.

American evangelist, Lou Engle, and others think that's a good idea.

Who runs around with Lou Engle? What else does this nogoodnik believe?

Read the terrifying, horrible, revolting story here.

Hedge fund managers and our values

Les Leopold, in a recent article on AlterNet, asks the question: What work do we value most?

Here's part of his answer:

"In 2009, the worst economic year for working people since the Great Depression, the top 25 hedge fund managers walked off with an average of $1 billion each. With the money those 25 people 'earned,' we could have hired 658,000 entry level teachers (they make about $38,000 a year, including benefits.) Those educators could have brought along 13 million young people, assuming a class size of 20. That's some value."

As one who labored in the educational profession for some years, it is no surprise that education, while highly touted by the politicos and other "leaders," is very low on their list of priorities. In fact, when push comes to shove financially, education and teachers generally get hit first! Currently in the State of Florida, a bill is progressing through the legislature which will effectively decimate the salaries of teachers. Some of the best of the latter are threatening to leave the profession as they cannot afford to take a 25-30% salary cut.

A huge problem, in my opinion, is that those working in the financial industry contribute nothing to society - they create nothing, they provide nothing; they serve no one except the well-to-do.

Hedge fund managers, according to Leopold, "run funds into which very rich people put money to make even more money. Hedge fund managers move the money around in very risky ways to get the most enormous yields possible ...

"Because hedge funds are considered playthings for the rich, who presumably are fully aware of all the risks, they are exempt from most financial regulations..."

Leopold is correct when he says "our economic system isn't rewarding real value. While the hedge fund 25 are living large, teachers everywhere are getting the axe. Why the layoffs? Because state and local governments are collecting enough taxes -- not since Wall Street investors crashed the economy."

It's the same old story: the rich get richer because the Republicans have deregulated the financial industry and drastically cut the tax rates of the rich. "In the 1970s," says Leopold, "the marginal rate on those with incomes above $3 million (in today's dollars) was 70 percent. Today, the effective rate on the 400 richest Americans is 16 percent, according to the most recent IRS data."

Another dramatic symbol of what's wrong with the system is the fact that ExxonMobil paid NO income taxes last year on taxable income of over $15 billion! Well, ExxonMobil claims it did pay income taxes, but somehow can't divulge just how much. Read more here.

Is this a great country, or what?

There's much more and you can read the entire article here.

The new clerk

Click on cartoon to embiggen.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

David Vitter, family values and community organizers

[Photo from here]

Salon has an article about David Vitter's appearance at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference being held in New Orleans this weekend. It's rather surprising that Vitter showed up at all, considering his penchant for hookers and hanging out in diapers, but if there is one thing the Repugnicans have, it's gall!

Unfortunately, the name "Southern Republican Leadership Conference," is quite misleading. There is no "leadership" in the Republican Party if you think of leadership as having to do with offering viable programs to solve problems.

Nevertheless, there he was, the family-values Congressman hisself. As Salon described it, "...Saturday morning, Vitter strolled out to introduce former Sen. Rick Santorum -- and to push back a bit against President Obama. 'If that's the choice in 2012, I'll take a TV personality over a community organizer any day...'"

First of all, I find it utterly amazing that this and other Repugnican clowns find it proper to beat up on community organizers. I know that community organizers sometimes find themselves fighting the powers-that-be (who are mostly Repugnican), but still, they do good work amidst very difficult circumstances.

One might ask, what Vitter has done lately? Oops! We know the answer to that one. And while the implication was that he would choose Palin over Obama in 2012, we know the truth: this Jesus-loving, family values Repugnican, would take a hooker over his wife! And did. Several hookers, it seems. So maybe his choice for 2012 should be considered with a great deal of skepticism.

If there was any moral structure to the Republican Party these days, the delegates would have booed him off the stage!

The hypocrisy is mind-blowing!