Archive for February, 2012

Maryland Governor O’Malley Says, “Scott Walker Has Already Lost.”

February 26, 2012

Regardless of the outcome of the all but certain recall election Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker is facing this year; Democratic Governors Association Chairman, Martin O’Malley, says Walker can’t win.

“I think in many ways, Scott Walker’s already lost,” O’Malley said in an interview on Saturday with “Hotline On Call” at the National Governors Association Winter Meeting in Washington.  “He took the state into such a hard right turn, going after the rights of workers to be able to organize and to collectively bargain … I can’t imagine him having a very effective re-election run, win or lose the recall.”

 

Walker is backed by big money but not big numbers, and Walker’s policies have already been damaging for the working “Middle Class” of Wisconsin.  The Republicans were a party in disgrace in 2008 and they have shown little since any reason why they should remain in this disgraceful power.  One needs to remember that they ran and won on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS….but destroyed jobs instead.  Scott Walker instead handed out $2.3 billion in tax breaks to the rich and corporations before declaring the state “BROKE.”  He slashed spending to make up for the “Give-A-Ways,” and still comes up with a $143 million budget shortfall.  Scott Walker then tried to backfill this hole by raiding the Foreclosure Victims’ settlement fund, more medical cuts, and the University of Wisconsin system.

Now I am of a mind that as a nation, we are a moderate people, and Walker with the present day GOP represent the interests of the “Extremist Oligarchs.”  They are a minority that is in further decline.  What worries me as history has taught us in the past, Fascists never come into power with a majority of popular support as they did in the off season’s elections, but Fascists try to stay in power through brute force.  The election fight to retake Middle Class Values, Interests, and Protections has just begun.

One’s Real Life Is Often The Life That One Does Not Lead

February 20, 2012

Oscar Wilde has noted “One’s real life is often the life that one does not lead.”

As many today who state openly, some with hubris and the sin of pride, their deeply religious convictions but in reality do not practice anything that religions teach.

Below is a passage from Charles Dickens’s novel, “The Christmas Story,” and I pass it on as food for thought and self reflection.  I choose this because of the many that tout Christmas as being under attack but ignore what the reflective aspect of that Season really means:

It was a long night, if it were only a night; but Scrooge had his doubts of this, because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. It was strange, too, that while Scrooge remained unaltered in his outward form, the Ghost grew older, clearly older. Scrooge had observed this change, but never spoke of it, until they left a children’s Twelfth Night party, when, looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place, he noticed that its hair was grey.

‘Are spirits’ lives so short?’ asked Scrooge.

‘My life upon this globe, is very brief,’ replied the Ghost. ‘It ends tonight.’

‘Tonight!’ cried Scrooge.

‘Tonight at midnight. Hark! The time is drawing near.’

The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.

‘Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask,’ said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit’s robe, ‘but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?’

‘It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it,’ was the Spirit’s sorrowful reply. ‘Look here.’

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

‘Oh, Man! look here! Look, look, down here!’ exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

‘Spirit, are they yours?’ Scrooge could say no more.

‘They are Man’s,’ said the Spirit, looking down upon them. ‘And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is IGNORANCE. This girl is WANT. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is DOOM, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!’ cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. ‘Slander those who tell it ye! Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse! And abide the end!’

‘Have they no refuge or resource?’ cried Scrooge.

‘Are there no prisons?’ said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. ‘Are there no workhouses?’

The bell struck twelve.

Scrooge looked about him for the Ghost, and saw it not.  As the last stroke ceased to vibrate, he remembered the prediction of old Jacob Marley, and lifting up his eyes, beheld a solemn Phantom, draped and hooded, coming, like a mist along the ground, towards him.

Now let us compare and reflect of the recent rantings of Rick Santorum and those who vote and follow his example, as one cross references to the words above, it is easily noted that they have no relationship what so ever.  I will conclude that Charles Dickens spoke of the true Christian and the obligations you take on when making that claim, but I have no idea what Rick Santorum speaks of.  In truth, I don’t think he does either.

Pastor’s Daughter Accidentally Shot At Church, Dies

February 19, 2012

Hannah Kelley, a Florida pastor’s daughter who was accidentally shot in the head in a church, died Saturday at a hospital.

The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says the 20 year old was pronounced dead at about 10:20 a.m. Saturday at Bayfront Medical Center.  An autopsy is pending.

Kelley had been hospitalized since Feb. 12, when she was struck in the head by a bullet at Grace Connection Church in St. Petersburg, where her father, Tim Kelley, is the pastor.

A Gun In Church?

Investigators have said Moises Zambrana was showing his gun in a small closet to another church member interested in buying a firearm.  The “Idiot Factor” in this story was the other church member who was going to purchase the gun, Dustin Bueller, was Hannah Kelley’s fiancée.  (I bet all involved vote Religious Conservative Republican viewpoints and speak out that those Liberal’s are trying to take away their guns.)

Zambrana reportedly removed the magazine from the Ruger 9mm weapon but did not know that a round was still in the chamber. The gun went off; firing a bullet through a wall and Hannah Kelley was struck in the head.  (FYI, you never chamber a round unless you intend to fire it so stupidity started with Zambrana plus you never accept or handle a weapon without inspecting the chamber first.)

As I have said, “With gun ownership comes gun responsibility,” I could also add at this point, “Stupid is as Stupid does,” or I may interject some Darwinism here, “It should be obvious to others that Dustin Bueller should not be allowed to breed,” and I guess the results of having a gun is church, or thinking about purchasing a gun in church, will postpone that from happening for a while.

Young Chris Christie’s Boyhood School Photo

February 18, 2012

Gov. Chris Christie has followed through on his promise to reject a bill allowing “Same Sex Marriage” in New Jersey by quickly vetoing the measure Friday and renewing his call for a ballot question to decide the issue.

The veto came a day after the state Assembly passed the bill. The state Senate had passed it on Monday. Christie, a Republican who opposes “Same Sex Marriage,” had vowed “very swift action” once the measure reached his desk.

I am sure 30 – 40 years from now people will look back on this much like the recognizing the Civil Rights of African Americans back in the 1960’s, as being self evident and wonder why this “Act of Oppression” was tolerated in New Jersey against the gay and lesbian communities.

Now in full disclosure I should say that the photo is not really Chris Christie but I think many can understand why he came to this decision.

BOHICA!

February 12, 2012

Bend Over Here It Comes Again!

With this current gaggle of “Special Interest Controlled” Republicans in the house, it should be well noted to every hard working Middle Class citizen that their lively hoods and the pay they receive for that labor is under attack for what was once taken as a Worker’s Right since the Great Depression.

This is a notice to every working class citizen in the country.  I don’t care why you voted Republican in the past elections, but everyone who works for a living needs to sit up and take notice of this latest news.

What we have here is another salvo being fired from the large guns of “Special Interest” targeted at the Middle Class working people from the GOP.  A little noted provision in the House Republicans’ controversial “Energy and Transportation Bill” that would strip several thousand workers within the rail industry of their federal minimum wage and overtime protections, potentially making low wage jobs pay even less.  This is the same $109 Billion dollar “Transportation Bill” that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid got the Republican stopped when they tried to add the “Birth Control” regulations onto trying to counter the current health care law.

Listed in the bill under the heading “Technical Correction,” provision 6602 would exempt several companies who transport rail workers from their obligations under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the 1938 law that guarantees basic worker rights. The carve out would allow a handful of boutique contractors to pay no overtime to their drivers who haul rail workers between worksites, often driving long distances of 300 miles or more.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) made the statement, “It’s outrageous that House Republicans are trying to take away overtime protections for a class of workers at the behest of a special interest.  These workers deserve the right to overtime pay. It’s not only a matter of fairness, but also a matter of public safety.”

Let it be known right here and now, if they do this to one industry, it will be just a matter of time before it moves to other industries using this “Chink In The Armor” as precedence for doing so to everyone else.

“Liberals” verses “Conservatives” and Our Current Contentious Culture

February 11, 2012

As I have often said, the labeling names referring to “Liberals” or “Conservatives” can be the “Logical Argumentative” pitfall of a “Generalized Statement” much like using, “Those People,” because there is no defining what the words mean.  The words are as different in meaning as there are people’s perspectives to their meanings.  This is where the discourse begins…..basic NAME CALLING!!

My loyal readers also know I have also stated, “We are the sum of our life’s experiences,” and for the Baby Boomers growing up in the turmoil years of the 1950’s and 1960’s, which had the large influences of whom we are today and how we view, perceive, and handle current events.

Jonathan Haidt is the author of the forthcoming book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, to be published in March 2012.  His current research focuses on the moral foundations of politics and on ways liberals and conservatives can move beyond the culture wars and engage in more civil forms of politics and discourse.  In the book, Haidt explains the evolution of morality, how we evolved to have different morals, and how these differences can bind us together into groups that seek victory, not truth, and blind us to our own predispositions.  In an era of increasing political polarization, he strives to strengthen understanding and dialogue rather than falling back on the usual partisan accusations much like Rush Limbaugh’s statements of, “You just don’t get it!”…as if the person making the statement truly does.

Our country is more politically polarized than ever.  Is it possible to agree to disagree and still move on to solve our massive problems, or are the blind leading the blind over the cliff?  It is our current contentious culture, why we can’t trust our own opinions, and the demonizing of our adversaries. Haidt states, “When it gets so that your opponents are not just people you disagree with, but the mental state in which I am fighting for good, and you are fighting for evil, it’s very difficult to compromise.  Compromise becomes a dirty word.”

Haidt goes on to say those coming of age during the 1930’s “Great Depression” and later WWII could disagree politically but still had embedded into them that everyone was in this together for the betterment of the country and were able to move forward through compromise.  I give you the example in the 1980’s of Tip O’Neil and Ronald Reagan were still able to work together to compromise on issues that they were on opposite viewpoints, because “it was for the good of the country.”

But the “Baby Boomers” grew up in their early years with the damaging extremism of Joseph McCarthy’s making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence.  Then in the 1960’s we had the riots in the streets with the mentality of “US” against “THEM,” “GOOD” verses “EVIL,” “LIGHT” against “DARKNESS.”  Whether it was fighting to keep the Southern “Status Quo” or “Breaking the Shackles” of Racial Inequalities; everyone lined up with regards to their personal perspective.  I might add that both sides stated that “GOD” was on their side with this debated issue.

The “My Country Right or Wrong, or “Hell No We Won’t Go” Viet Nam War divisions also moved into the streets of our large cities across the nation.  Of course what also came from these years were women demanding their voice of “Equal Rights of Employment and Pay,” social advancements, proper application of medical health treatments, etc. and those who wanted to squelch these issues keeping women subversive because it would destroy the “Fabric of the Family Unit.”

So in summation, are the two divisions today going to be able to get past the differences, work together, compromise, and progress forward for the betterment of the country and the citizens of the nation, or are we going to continue to hunker down and block progress with enough contention that the country as a whole will suffer?  If the latter is the case, I know what side I was on with the issues mentioned above and will be very comfortable with the progressive viewpoints I have today….because as the progressive viewpoints won out then, they will eventually win out once again and I am not afraid of the fight needed to get there. 

Being Progressive is why they call it Progress.

Mitt Romney’s Incorrect National Anthem Statistic

February 10, 2012

Mitt Romney claims that “we (Americans) are the only people on Earth that put our hand over our heart during the playing of the National Anthem.”  Mitt Romney seems to have the most innate talent to invent, propagate, and disseminate the most incredible, inaccurate, facts for the sole purpose to whip up the “Nut Jobs” he meets on the campaign trail.  Is the man really this dumb or does he just have no shame?  Help me out her folks.

Is it not enough that America be the best country on Earth, but her people have to be the only ones who love their own country enough to show reverence by being the only country to cover our heart during the National Anthem?

Allow me to pass on, as I have traveled to many countries in the world when I was a young man, and I can say from first had experience that many other countries also follow this tradition. Italy, Japan, and Venezuelaare just a few examples I can give as the list is much longer.

Now this being said, because of Mitt Romney’s inaccurate comment to the uneducated masses who are claiming their “Patriot Conservative Republicanism,” now think that only Americans of the U.S. put their hands over their hearts when they hear the National Anthem…..because they heard Mitt, Mitty, Mittens Romney say it was so.

It just befuddles me and even hurts my head trying to comprehend that “Ignorance and Stupidity” is reigning so supreme today in my Republican Party.

Patriot President George Washington tells Tea Party, “Pay Your Damn Taxes And Shut UP!”

February 7, 2012

The United States in 1789, during the presidency of George Washington, told farmers who sold their grain in the form of whiskey had to pay a new tax which was a part of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton’s program to pay off the National Debt.

Those clueless Teabaggers who like to claim the values of our Patriot Founding Fathers like George Washington only have to look at the “Whiskey Rebellion” to see how President George Washington handled this situation when he sent in the Federal Troops to enforce their payment to their fair share of taxes owed for the “Collective Good” benefits of this country.

Tea Party Members enjoy the federally funded programs and benefits of this country so they have to take on and pay their share of this financial duty. Anything else is anti-American and harming to the country.

Just as I have said often before, “Extremism in any form has no longevity and is short lived,” but I will let Chris Littleton, the cofounder of the Ohio Liberty Council, which is a statewide coalition of Tea Party groups in Ohio, sum it up below:

“The Tea Party movement is dead. It’s gone! I think largely the Tea Party is irrelevant in the primaries. They aren’t passionate about any of the candidates, and if they are passionate, they just pick the most extreme aspects with no chance of even being considered for office.”

Well this sums it up for me and I will close by saying, “TOLD YOU SO DUMB ASSES!”  Now get the hell out of my Republican Party so the more “SANE MEMBERS” of us can get the Party back on track to what it once was.

We’re #1….. Ahh…No We’re Not…Not Even In The Running Today

February 3, 2012

Mitt Romney claimed two days ago that we have a “Safety Net” for the very poor, and that, therefore, we don’t have to worry about them.

What a DISTORTION AND DELUSION OF THE TRUTH, as compared to the other DEVELOPED COUNTRIES in the world, we have the ABSOLUTE WORST “Safety Net” for the very poor in the developed world.  It is not enough to say how fortunate our poor are as compared to Africa and parts of Asia and Latin America, AS THIS IS AMERICA Damn It!  So it is safe to say that the Republican Party today views it to be a very fine example to use the Third World Countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America to be the litmus test as this country’s standards!  What a Crock of Shit!!  Anyone who wants to put the United States in parody with these third world countries of the world has lost site of where we once stood in comparison to the more developed countries’ of Europe as I would give as an example.

Here are the facts:

1. The official US poverty rate is 15.1 percent, and it does not include the millions of the middle class who have been impoverished by our “Current Great Recession” and its aftermath.  With regards to the distribution of wealth among the population of the developed countries in the world, the United States ranks 24th among the industrial nations.

2. Today one out of five children lives in dire poverty in America, and if one is born into that background, the odds of escaping it are far less likely than for other children.  When I hear members of my Party state that people from other countries come here for our “State of the Art Medical Care,” I present them with the facts that among the industrial nations of the world, the United States ranks second-to-last in infant mortality, having fewer infant deaths per thousand than only Latvia.  Medicaid only covers the poorest children, of parents working at 63 percent of the poverty line, and 37 percent of non working parents.  The new health care law would cover the gaps, but “Let Them Eat Cake Romney” even endorses repealing this little bit of advancement and progress coming up in standards set by the rest of the developed world.

3. Our Food Stamp program provides $1.44 per meal to each of its recipients.

4. Only one in four poor renters gets housing vouchers as assistance to pay the rent.

5. The true wealth of any nation is the educational base of its population and the United States has been cutting the Education Budget for over a decade.  This cutting of investment in education is a short term benefit but with long term consequence collapse of this nation’s wealth.  By the time our students are ready to leave high school to enter higher education and the labor force; they are doing so badly with science and math they are significantly weaker than their peers in other countries.  Even our conceptual idea today of “advanced” is clearly below international standards.  This, if nothing else, will relegate the future of our country to this “Third World Country” classification.

6. The much currently attacked “Supplemental Security Income” helps the impoverished elderly and disabled, but only 27 percent of this group receives such welfare assistance, while in 1996, 68% received such aid.  Also under attack is our “Social Security Insurance” at its best only lifts those families to 75% of the poverty level.

Any person who wishes to be President should have the decency and the compassion to recognize that the “VERY POOR” are not well treated with the opportunities in a society which claims to believe in “Upward Mobility,” and that we MUST do better, and stop having my Republican Party filled with so called “Religious Conservative” people continue to condemn and deplore the poor, and not give a damn about their ability to survive and advance in society, with a sense of dignity!

This is a MORAL cause above all and my Republican Party today is proving it does not have many MORALS left within!