Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ten Steps to Fascist America

Ten Steps to Fascist America

This blog is based on an article I read on alternet but really wanted to put my own comments in. So if you want to read the whole article without my input, visit alternet.


1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

After 9/11, we were told that we were under attack by a terrible terrorist enemy bent on destroying civilization. It is the first step, but not a new one.
Hitler told of the coming dangerous communist infiltrators.
Stalin warned of Sleeper Cells of capitalist bent on over throwing the government.
Pinochet warned of the armed insurgents and hyped it up with fake documents showing the link between real insurgents and made up danger.

2. Create a gulag

Guantanamo Bay was created by President Bush whom was quoted as saying he wanted it to exist in "legal outer space". This is the second step, create a secret prison in which you can torture people, out side the law. It was already deemed that GB did not fall under the laws of the US.

At first, the public sees these secret sites and extra-legal sites as necessary for taking out the trash that is part of the threat.

But soon, these gulags get used for political dissidents and any number of other people who may speak out against the country. Torture is deemed necessary and the morality of torture is blurred as to allow it smooth transition into normal us. Torture is deemed necessary to protect its citizens. However it always eventually gets used on the people.

Here is a challenge question:
Name a single nation who used secret prisons and gulags, and/or a country that tortured people who didn't ultimately end up using it on its own people.

This moral acceptance of torture and gulags as necessary is a big step towards fascism without violence.

3. Develop a thug caste

Hitler had the Brown Shirts. Mussonlini had the Black Shirts. Stalin had the KGB.

currently, the paramilitary mercenary group Blackwater has a contract with our government and can be deployed during a national emergency like a natural disaster. AS well, they are not subject to US laws when serving the government. Even their grounds in the US is not subject to local law enforcement.

In florida, during the 2000 recount, groups of young men dressed exactly alike stormed into the recounting area on several events, past security, and caused a problem until the recount had to stop for the day.

As of four years ago, the president can now control the state national guard despite objections of the governor. Troops were deployed across this country right before the last presidential elections "just in case". Troops are not supposed to be deployed on US soil.

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

Cast in the mold of national security, the people are told that they are being spied on for their own good. Encourage neighbors to watch each other to keep us safe. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and China all employed a secret police.

The FBI and CIA have both been exposed as groups who have been spying on average citizens. They have secret watch lists in which you cannot be taken off of and they have the ability to search your place without warrant or ever telling you about it.

5. Harass citizens' groups

The ACLU reports thousands of environmental groups, anti-war groups, and other groups have been infiltrated by government agents from the CIA and FBI. They have successfully sued under the freedom of information act, the information on a database that holds data on hundreds of activist groups, and data collected on meetings and plans for the group. All being documented and watched by your government.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

Thousands of activists have been subject to being detained and searched for being on supposed "terrorist watch lists" especially at airports. Professor at Princeton Walter F Murphy was one such detained persons. After being detained twice, he asked how he could get on that list. He was asked if he was an anti-war marcher. Well, not exactly, he has given a lecture on the unconstitutionality of the Iraq war. It was enough to get him on the list. He was told there is no way to get your name off the list. All for protesting the war.

Regularly detaining people for no real crime, you create fear.

7. Target key individuals

This is a direct attempt to silence dissidents. Take out the vocal opposition to stop the rally against the crimes of government. They are threatened and fired and made to regret speaking out. Both a military Lawyer and a CIA worker who spoke out that water boarding is torture were fired for their talk.

In the famous US Attorney scandal, all of the US Attorneys who were fired were fired for not being sufficiently politically loyal. Each of them worked in swing states, and each would not file charges against activists and liberals who the administration saw as a danger to them.

8. Control the press

All powerful dictatorships must control the press. They have all managed to control the news to keep it favorable about the government. The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US Journalist are at an all time high. A blogger in San Francisco was put in jail over a year for not turning over an anti-war video. Journalist Greg Palast had a criminal complaint launched against him for "threatening critical infrastructure". This was after he wrote a best seller critical of the Bush administration.

When Joe Wilson broke the story in the NYTimes that the Bush administration knew that the Yellow cake uranium purchase in Niger by Saddam Hussien was completely false, they outed his wife as a CIA agent. She was home on sabbatical, but in a nasty twist of irony, was an undercover spy investigating and tracking underground nuclear materials.

Once the press can be contained, the rest is elementary.

9. Dissent equals treason

When Bill keller, publisher of the NYTimes ran the Lichtblau/Risen Stories, the republicans in congress called for him to be charged with treason. Commentator Conason noted that the penalty for treason was death. Amazingly, many people agree that this reporting that didn't back up what Bush was saying, deserved death! In closed societies, political dissidents are the enemy.

In 2006, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gave the president to call any US citizen an enemy combatant. He even has the ability to define what an enemy combatant is, or even change the very terms used to define said enemy combatants. He may also delegate anyone he chooses to have the right to name enemy combatants.

We should remember that it has already been decided that enemy combatants do not have any rights. Even the right of habeus corpus. Courts already proved that enemy combatants do not have the right of habeus corpus. That was before 2006 and was a ground laying ruling. Once the courts deemed that "enemy combatants" don't have any rights, all they had to do is make sure they could call anyone an enemy combatant. By simply speaking out, the president can call you an enemy combatant, and you can now be held without charge in a secret prison, without any communication as to why or your family even knowing. You can be tortured and never released. All at the presidents whim.

10. Suspend the rule of law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gives the president power over the national guard instead of the states. He can take control over local militia's or mercenary groups to enforce law in the state of emergency. It gave the president the power to use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, disease outbreak, terrorist attack or "other conditions". This is a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act that prevents the use of our military on our soil. Yet, the law stands.

In this country, we have watched the rule of law and the foundation of our republic be eroded away in the name of patriotism and safety. This is the exact thing that our fore fathers feared. When Benjamin Franklin said that a nation that is willing to trade a little liberty for a little safety deserves neither liberty or safety, surely had something like this in mind. When Samuel Johnson said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, surely this is what he meant. The usage of patriotism so quickly becomes a tool to manipulate the public!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Whats Wrong With America Today: Part 3: Contradictions

There is something deeply wrong with our country today. As I have said twice before, I think I know what it is. In part 3 of this series, I examine what I call, Contradictions. Lets take each imbalance on its own.

1. Healthcare
A national health care system would lower business costs dramatically, improve the health of the nation, and allow for its restructure to be more efficient and bring it into the new century technology wise.

Instead, we spend our time arguing on small petty and yes, quaint antiquated arguments on whether or not it is socialism. Lets face it, socialism as it was envisioned is dead. Just like capitalism as it was envisioned. Its time to move on to just "what works". And every industrialized nation besides the US says national healthcare works.

What we have is a contradiction in needs. We all agree we need healthcare reform. It is a contradiction to say that this reform can come within the system we have now. Private health care exists to make a profit. Relying on these same private insurance groups to change health care for our betterment is ridiculous. They will always make changes to benefit themselves. Thus, we need to cease this endless contradiction and say and do what needs to be done. National health care. Health care reform must be different from what it is today. Not the same.

So why aren't we putting this at top priority?

2. Energy.
We should be pushing for clean energy like there is no tomorrow. Because there might not be a tomorrow if we don't. We have the technology, the know how, and the space to make clean energy be the sole power in this country everywhere. We have enough desert to put up solar panels to power the country. We have enough grass land to power it through wind. And enough ocean and empty oil wells for wave power and thermo power.

Instead, we focus on where else we can drill oil in this country. Despite the known fact that even in a best case scenario, we won't have enough to power ourselves for even ten years, and that won't be in effect for nearly ten years, people still obsess over oil on our soil. We constantly here talk and see commercials about how great it will to drill off shore. It is a lame argument at best. So when we say we need to be energy independent, it is a complete contradiction to then say we need to drill more at home, because the two don't mix. Drilling at home can't make us energy independent.

3. Blue Collar Vs. Wall Street
This one really pisses me off. Over the last several weeks we have heard the Obama administration talk about how it doesn't have the power to tear up contracts or force a company to tear up contracts. I'm speaking of course about the AIG bailouts. The government didn't have the power to tear up the contracts of these bonuses.

Oh really? Was it not just five months ago when the government ordered union workers to tear up their contracts, which were lawful and binding, and make new contracts more beneficial to the companies? And did the Obama administration not just force GM CEO Wagoner to step down despite his contract of hire? This is complete contradictory bullshit!

Either you can or you can't ask someone to tear up a contract. Plain and simple. It is a contradiction to say you can't then turn around and force someone to tear up their contract. Not to mention a lie. The Obama administration is supposed to be on the side of labor. So what gives? MORE strong arming of the blue collar companies? Its complete bullshit hypocrisy!

4. Voting in your own best insterest.
This country is badly lacking in people who understand and know how to vote in their own best interest. There isn't a single working class person who should vote republican. Seriously. Nothing in the republican stance and history of the last three decades indicates they should vote republican. Republicans consistently leave office with higher deficits, higher national debt, and higher unemployment than democrats. Reagan to W, all higher unemployment rates than Carter and Clinton. Yet repubs keep voting for them.

Taxes? Nonsense, middle classes taxes have gone down less than 7% total in 3 decades while upper class taxes have gone down nearly 40%. There is a glaring contradiction between the party the blue collars vote for and what is in their own best interest. It simply cannot be reconciled. They have been convinced that some how republicans stand for family values like, well, the family, anti-abortion, and anti-gay rights. Yet, since reagan, Republicans have rolled back restrictions on companies that benefitted the family. W even restricted the ability of working folks to take leave on the FMLA by saying employers could force the person to work unpaid even when they have vacation time to use! They haven't rolled back or made one serious restriction on abortion. The one major rule change was done by Clinton who banned partial birth abortion. They haven't done a thing on gay marriage. Clinton did the biggest law changes with his defense of marriage act and don't ask don't tell, both horrible to any thinking libertarian. Yet, these are laws you would expect out of a republican.

Thus, not even the family issues are in most working class republicans benefit. They have been brainwashed to accept this false hood and accept this contradiction.

It is perhaps the biggest lie and contradiction in politics today. Name any issue, any issue at all, then look at the actual laws and rule made by each party in the last 3 decades. Almost none of them benefit any working class group. Not a one. Because the republican party doesn't work for the middle class. It works for the upper class. And that is the nasty lie, the nasty contradiction they have nearly half of american believing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Single Payer Universal Health Care

Sorry everyone, I have been sick off and on the last week, so I haven't continued my series about what is wrong with America. Instead, today, I have great news. Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, has introduced the first Single Payer Universal Health care plan to the senate!


Some highlights include:
Highlights of the bill include the following:

1. Patients go to any doctor or hospital of their choice.

2. The program is paid for by combining current sources of government health spending into a single fund with modest new taxes amounting to less than what people now pay for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

3. Comprehensive benefits, including coverage for dental, mental health, and prescription drugs.

4. While federally funded, the program is to be administered by the states.

5. By eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private, investor-owned insurance industry, along with the burdensome paperwork imposed on physicians, hospitals and other providers, the plan saves at least $400 billion annually - enough money to provide comprehensive, quality care to all.

6. Community health centers are fully funded, giving the 60 million Americans now living in rural and underserved areas access to care.

7. To address the critical shortage of primary care physicians and dentists, the bill provides resources for the National Health Service Corps to train an additional 24,000 health professionals.

Wow. Our time has come for national health care fellow dems, left leaning independents and moders, and national health care supporting republicans. We need to really push our representatives and senators to vote for this! The time is now, the choice is clear, lets get it done people!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whats Wrong With America Today: Part 2 - The Commodity of Need

Part 2 of this series covers the problem of privatizing ones needs. So we should start off by citing what are our basic needs.

1. Food
2. Water
3. Shelter
4. Heat (in the winter)
5. Cold (in the summer)
6. Clothing
7. Energy
8. Health care

What covers these needs? Farming covers most of your food. Livestock and vegetables and fruits are all functions of farms. Water companies cover the purification of your water that you must have to live. Shelter, well, thats covered by who ever you rent or buy from. Heat and cold and energy all come from private companies mostly. And clothing is covered by stores. Of course health care is mostly covered by private enterprise.

People die from lack of food, lack of water, lack of shelter, of over heating, of freezing to death, lack of clothing, and no energy. It is hard to argue that these are not needs in todays modern world. Its hard to argue that one doesn't need electricity to have their basic needs met. Its hard to argue that you can live a healthy productive life without good health care.

These things are basic needs. I would contend that all needs are in fact rights! In todays modern world, in the richest country in the world, built on the backs of our fore fathers and ancestors, has the obligation to provide for the needs of its population. We have a right to live in such a way. Our fathers and grandfathers broke their backs to make the top 1% in this country extremely wealthy with almost nothing to show for it. Entitlement? Hell yes!

It is the right of the people to benefit from the fruits of their labor. But what do we get? What do we get as a result of our labor? The "right" to pay for what we NEED, what we MUST have, to the great profit of someone else. Our country has effectively made our NEEDS, what we MUST have have, a commodity, an industry for making profit off the people.

They can and do raise their prices for what we needed based on that very need! They raise prices on food because they know we MUST have it. They raise energy prices every single year simply because they know we must have it. Health insurance goes up every year, and we must pay it or we will remain sick and even die! And if we don't have money for it, they we are out of luck. Sure, we have to be treated at the emergency room, but then they can indebt you for life, and even force you to go somewhere else after stabilization, and you don't have to be hospitalized if they can stabilize you.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that allowed rampant profit off of what you must have to live. There is something fundamentally wrong with a country that glorifies the man who finds a way to charge you for the gas to heat your house, then demonizes the man who gets upset because he can't afford his gas bill and gets his heat shut off. The people on the right are fond of blaming the victim for such things!

When you make the needs of the people a commodity, you necessarily set up a system that WILL drive the majority into the ground. You will necessarily create a poverty class that will always be behind, that will always be just to poor to pay for all their basic needs. These people are not people who are simply lazy or simply won't pull themselves up by their boot straps. They are people that have been charged into a permanent poverty class by spending all their money on their basic needs until they have nothing left, then they are constantly using every last bit of money to catch up with their bills to keep water or heat or electricity or food on the table until they finally collapse.

Making the provision of basic needs a profit industry, we have created a permanent poverty class, a permanent lower middle class and poor class. Having been poor and known many poor people, I can say that the ability to get out of the poverty situation is extremely difficult and most definitely not promised by hard work. Its not like the majority of those impoverished can get out of their situation by hard work. Why? Because we aren't guaranteed higher education. We aren't even guaranteed our basic needs in life. With basic needs and education guaranteed, the average person would be able to pull themselves out of the gutter and make a decent living for themselves.

But instead, we have created a situation in which people simply cannot work their way up. And all the while, people are forced to continue to work under near slave conditions simply so they can provide SOME of their basic needs. The money they get from slaving away all day goes to fund the fat cats making themselves extremely wealthy by charging you exorbitant prices for what you must have to survive! Do these blue collar poor worker less hard than you? Are they less important than anyone else? Is their value or even the value of their work any less? If you cannot do without them in your business, then the answer is no, its not worthless than you. If your business cannot survive without a specific position, then they are much more valuable than you likely pay them.

The striving goal of the wealthy is not to benefit society but to take advantage of it. By under paying people, paying them less than the value to the over all company. They make sure to transfer wealth from the lower classes to themselves. Example. The value of a worker is the value of the product he makes. But that is not what happens. A worker makes 15 20 even 30 dollars per hour making a good. A good that he will likely buy. So he is paid his wages, buys the product, thus putting his wages back into the company. So while he is making wages per hour dollars, someone else, or many someone elses, are making the equivalent of thousands per hour. The real value of the labor is chronically and deliberately understated as to make the wage worker believe he is getting paid well when in reality, in relation to the wealth received for the product, he is well under paid to the benefit of a few upper classmen.

For those unfortunate to make even less money, they are taken advantage of even worse. Consider the example of McDonalds. You say someone flipping burgers gets the pay they deserve. Do they? The value of ones labor is the value of the product they produce or the service they give. If a store makes 5,000 dollars in sales during one lunch period, not uncommon for McDonalds, then you must consider that the value of the wage associates during that period must be worth 5,000 dollars. Yet, during that lunch hour, that one hour pay comes out to likely less than 50 total dollars in labor for the store. Their value has thus been reduced, in total, to 1% of the value of the product they produce or the service they provide.

Which brings me to closing. Where ever the wages or pay of a person do not equal in total, the value of the product or the service they provide, then that person is under paid. Combine this with charging them to much for the product they produce, and charging them for basic things they need to survive, you create a class of people that cannot and will not ever get to the point where they can move up in live or class. This is by design to prevent any threat of wealth distribution from those who horde it to those who produce it!

What is wrong with this country? Needs being made into an industry for profit. Your basic needs be sold off to you at what ever price they can squeeze out of you. And there isn't a thing you can do about it. To make things worse, they convince you that you some how have a grand deal while your labor earns a few millions, and you barely enough to buy back the products you made from them. Thus giving them even more of your earnings. Until this problem can be addressed, life will never resemble the equality it should in this country.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What is Wrong With America Today: Part 1 - Deregulation

This is the beginning of a multi-part series in which I give my take on what is wrong with this country.

The first part is entitled deregulation. Now, this is some what controversial in that it is the single biggest contributor to what has happened in the markets today. But before I get about actually pointing out a couple specific deregulatory measures and why they hurt, I need to address the Community Reinvestment Act. Republicans are big fans of saying that this is what caused the housing crash in 2008. But it is simply ridiculous and its easy to show why.

1. Only 1 in 4 first loans were made through the CRA
2. No where in the CRA does it tell or require or suggest that someone who can't afford to repay a loan, be loaned money.
3. The rate of delinquency for subprime FIXED loans is only 1/3 of those delinquent subprime ADJUSTABLE loans. In other words, fixed loans are more often paid back than adjustable rate loans.
4. The rate of delinquency for loans under CRA is the same or lower than loans NOT under the CRA.

So stop the ridiculous claim that the CRA is responsible for this mess. A little investigation proves every point in that argument wrong.

Now, on to deregulation.

Deregulation isn't always bad. The problem is not that deregulation happened, but rather WHAT was deregulated that matters. So I will start with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. http://banking.senate.gov/conf/

What did the GLBA of 1999 do? It repealed the wall of separation created during the Great Depression that kept regular banks, investment banks, and insurance groups separate. This particular act of deregulation allowed the likes of AIG and Citigroup to exist in their current hybrid forms. Before this bill, AIG would not have been allowed to be both an insurer of investment banks while itself making risky investment. Before this bill, Citi would not have been able to be both an investment bank, depositors banks, and buy up travellers insurance group. This alone would have allowed both of them to be able to be nationalized and parcelled with out having to be kept afloat. In other words, they wouldn't have been "to big to fail". For that matter, AIG would NOT have failed as its biggest problem is not what it originally did, provide insurance to investment banks, but rather the fact that it ALSO participated in the same risky investments that it insured! Citi can be counted in the same boat. Had the GLBA never been passed, this country would not have had to bail out AIG or CITI. They are THE direct result of this law deregulating them.

The second and possibly most dangerous of these deregulatory measures was the Commodity Futures Modernization act of 2000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_Futures_Modernization_Act_of_2000
This repealed the ban on single-stock futures and worse still, insured that banking institutions would not be regulated as futures contracts. In other words, futures traders were regulated, unless they became a bank as well, which was now allowed as of 1999 after passage of the GLBA. Futures have always been a risky business that needed to be regulated to prevent your money from being spent horribly on, essentially, bets. But that was now completely possible. Unregulated gambling with your investment money by super banks who now invested your money, took your deposits, and insured the investments. One stop shopping, with a single point of failure. This one thing alone made Enron's disaster possible and should have been shut down after Enron. But it wasn't. And now here we are in 2008 still dealing with the same problem.

You may be wondering about Credit Default swaps and how they play into all this. Well, credit default swaps were a creation of JPMorgan Chase. Or at least they were one of the earliest adopters. They bundled 9 billion in loans, sliced them up, and sold them. Problem was, this was never a regulated industry. There was no way to properly track the value of the loans in the bundles. The JPMorgan Chase credit default swap used this to get bad loans and bad debt off their books and pawned off on someone else without them knowing. The JPMC credit default swap desk became known as the Morgan Mafia. But despite the knowledge that these practices were likely dangerous, other companies, like AIG and CITI began adopting this completely unregulated market.

The lack of regulation mixed with deregulation, allowed for everyone of the nasty situations we see developing in front of us today. Had credit swaps been illegal or regulated properly, this wouldn't have happened. Had the GLBA of 1999 not been passed, CITI and AIG would not exist in their current form and not be a huge problem. Had the CFMA of 2000 not been signed, these new super banks would not be able to make these massively risky futures bets with your money with out regulation.

This idea that smaller government is better has proven a failure. In an unregulated market, short term greed wins out over common sense. And in the end, the CEO's still made millions, while the rest of us foot the bill for their mistakes. Deregulation has become a fundamental flaw in America today. Its time we stop believing in the invisible hand of the markets ability to keep its investors in line. It is a false belief that has proven catastrophic. Its time to start fixing America again!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Torture - The "New" American Way


The ICRC report gave uniform accounts of abuse that included beatings, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures and, in some cases, waterboarding, or simulating drowning, the Post said.

The Washington Post said at least five copies of the report were shared with the CIA and top White House officials in 2007.

The newspaper said a copy of the report was obtained by Mark Danner, a journalism professor who published extensive excerpts in the April 9 edition of the New York Review of Books, released on Sunday.

"The ill-treatment to which they were subjected while held in the CIA program, either singly or in combination, constituted torture," Danner quoted the report as saying.

It is the story I have been expecting to break for years now. The Red Cross, our designated group for deciding what is torture or violating the geneva convention for other nations, finally giving a report on our country. The news last night was more graphic than the posted story above. A man interviewed that was imprisoned gave nasty details. Things like putting him in a box only big enough to crouch in for days on end, coffin like boxes that restricted air, hanging by his wrists for days, beatings, having a towel wrapped around his neck and being swung around into walls, waterboarding, and other simulated drowning activities.

The sheer horror of this happening is enough to make you cry. The fact that it was our country, the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, that did these horrible acts is almost unfathomable. Yet, here it sits, in evidence for all to see, that our president, our government, treated people worse than dogs. They tortured them brutally. In many cases, they weren't ever even charged with a crime, they were let go.

The insane horrific and evil nature of these acts cannot be allow to stand unchallenged. We, as a nation, need to rise up and DEMAND accountability, and yes, even prosecution of the people involve. Obama is fond of saying that he wants to look forward no backwards.

I'm sorry Mr. President, but you could not be more wrong in this situation. By not prosecuting these crimes, you, me, and all of America become complicit in these crimes! Guilty by reason that we knew about them and said nothing. That we knew of these evil crimes, committed by fellow Americans, yet we did nothing! NO! It cannot be this way! We must prosecute for these crimes! Let the law do its job. If someone isn't guilty, then so be it. But if they are, the full extent of our American Justice system, fought for and bled for by our forefathers, should be release upon them and exact the price required by said law for their crimes!

We should DEMAND this action now!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

United Nations Bill Attempts to Criminalize Religious Defamation!


Geneva, March 11, 2009 — A new U.N. resolution circulated today by Islamic states would define any questioning of Islamic dogma as a human rights violation, intimidate dissenting voices, and encourage the forced imposition of Sharia law. (See full U.N. text below.)

UN Watch obtained a copy of the Pakistani-authored proposal after it was distributed today among Geneva diplomats attending the current session of the UN Human Rights Council. Entitled "Combating defamation of religions," it mentions only Islam.

While non-binding, the resolution constitutes a dangerous threat to free speech everywhere. It would ban any perceived offense to Islamic sensitivities as a "serious affront to human dignity" and a violation of religious freedom, and would pressure U.N. member states -- at the "local, national, regional and international levels" -- to erode free speech guarantees in their "legal and constitutional systems."

It's an Orwellian text that distorts the meaning of human rights, free speech, and religious freedom, and marks a giant step backwards for liberty and democracy worldwide.

The first to suffer will be moderate Muslims in the countries that are behind this resolution, like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Pakistan, who seek international legitimacy for state-sanctioned blasphemy laws that stifle religious freedom and outlaw conversions from Islam to other faiths.

Next to suffer from this U.N.-sanctioned McCarthyism will be writers and journalists in the democratic West, with the resolution targeting the media for the "deliberate stereotyping of religions, their adherents and sacred persons."

Ultimately, it is the very notion of individual human rights at stake, because the sponsors of this resolution seek not to protect individuals from harm, but rather to shield a specific set of beliefs from any question, debate, or critical inquiry.

The resolution's core premise -- that "defamation of religion" exists as legal concept -- is a distortion. The law on defamation protects the reputations of individuals, not beliefs. It also requires an examination of the truth or falsity of the challenged remarks -- a determination that no one, especially not the UN, is capable of undertaking concerning any religion.

Tragically, given that Islamic states completely dominate the Human Rights Council, with the support of non-democratic members like Russia, China, and Cuba, adoption of the regressive resolution is a forgone conclusion. E.U. diplomats hope at best to win over a handful of wavering Latin American states to the dissenting side.

On this site you can read the whole text of the bill itself.

This is a serious threat to free speech around the world. This cannot go unchallenged. Even though it is not binding, it is a first step towards suffocating the ability to speak out against religion. Understand that while atheists like myself are wholly fighting this, it also effects religion. If you are a christian, imagine being called a criminal and going to jail for saying your religion is the only way? For a Muslim, imagine going to jail for saying that Jesus wasn't god, just a man? Imagine being an atheist and having to keep your mouth shut about your feelings on religion. This is an afront to freedom, period!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Did Obama Pledge to End Earmarks?

The answer is clearly NO!

As mediamatters.org points out, Obama OPPOSED the outright elimination of earmarks. So why are republicans and even media outlets like Fox continuing to spew out these lies?

OBAMA [video clip]: Done right, earmarks have given legislators the opportunity to direct federal money to worthy projects that benefit people in their districts. And that's why I've opposed their outright elimination.

ASMAN: Well, he once pledged to ban all earmarks. Now the president says, eh, they're not so bad. And someone here says the president is right. Hi, everybody, I'm David Asman, welcome to Forbes on Fox. Let's get to our "Flipside" with Steve Forbes, Victoria Barrett, and Bill Baldwin, along with Neil Weinberg, Elizabeth MacDonald, and Jack Gage. Jack, of all the people in the world, I would not have expected you to defend earmarks.

JACK GAGE (Forbes magazine associate editor): Look, I think we have to separate two things. One, Barack Obama's contradiction of what he said before about how he feels about earmarks. But the second thing, I believe there's a fundamental case to be made for earmarks as part of the fabric of representative government.

But see, thats not true.


Obama, during the campaign, wanted to reform ear marks and go line by line through the budget and eliminate wasteful spending and unbeneficial ear marks. I challenge one person to find a quote in which Obama said he was for the banning of earmarks. Can't find it? Neither can I. And neither can the right. Because if they did, they would be quoting it from here to timbucktoo.

What they want is something to hang Obama on. They can't find it, so they make something up that sounds relatively true. But one thing Obama was quoted on during the campaign rings true. Republicans continue to focus on the tiniest part of the over all bill. The Omnibus Spending bill had allot of earmarks. But they still totaled less than 1 to 2 percent of the total bill. In other words, looking at the big picture, there wasn't allot of the money going towards ear marks. And even if there was, the Republicans only had 40% of the total NUMBER of earmarks in the bill, they spend just as much as the democrats, nearly 50% of the earmark money was for republican ear marks. And in fact, 6 out of the top ten ear markers were republicans.

All that racket for nothing. In other words, as usual, another big racket in which the republicans were being hypocrites. AGAIN! At some point, the republicans must realize that they have to come through on what they say. You can't just say stuff then do the opposite. They aren't the majority any more, they aren't getting their agenda through. If they ever want to get votes back, they MUST stop the hypocrisy! They can start with ear marks. Why don't people like Michelle Buckman of Minnesota, who scream about ear marks this year, stop requesting ear marks. While she was throwing a fit about ear marks, she quietly put three in herself. THAT is the hypocrisy people vote out in the last two elections.

President Obama's New Budget

Time for the budget fight of a lifetime as Republicans decide that NOW they are budget conservatives! Thats right, the party that gave you one spending bill after another to send our troops to die in a foreign land, now isn't willing to spend any money on YOU. Attack a country? Sure! Run up the debt and triple the deficit! Get our own people a better energy policy, start on healthcare, and raise taxes on the richest? No way!

So lets go over what is in this new budget plan shall we?

1. Obama's new budget proposes more money for the sciences, including NASA, Energy Department, and the EPA. Its time to turn back the clock on the republicans War on Science. Listen, we cannot continue to go at the pace we are going with the environment. Either we start fixing it now, or we pay much more later. We have business men already waiting to fill in the gaps for clean energy! People who know how to make a buck are chomping at the bit to introduce clean energy like wind power at a colossal level! Its time we had a president that acts responsibly and gives science the ammo it needs to make the kinds of advance that took us from skid row to the moon in just a few decades.

2. The new budget cuts war funding. A stunning and clear cut message that we are leaving Iraq.

3. New budget actually CUTS general government spending and keeps deficit at around a trillion for the next two years, then will begin to cut it. Why and how is this? After all the budget is at record level for 2010 and 2011. But he can do this because he has shown IMMENSE transparency in the budget! What I mean to say is that the stimulus packages AND the war funding are being put into the budget this time around. That means that while it is higher over all, it only appears so because he has put in the other spending that our previous president left out. So now ALL the spending is "on the books" unlike before. But if you compare the spending of the previous administration and make it apples for apples, Obama's budget spending is either lower or the same. He is just being honest with our spending now so it looks bigger.

4. Billions are being put back for our future health care plan. This is a great step in the right direction and getting us ready for national healthcare in the next couple years. This must be the biggest and best thing our country has seen since the New Deal. THIS is huge! I personally can't wait for national health care! I am willing to up my taxes to pay for it.

5. Taxes on the rich will be raised to what they were during Reagan and Clinton's era. Last I checked, the last 20 years have been fabulous for the rich. They have seen their median income go up while the rest of the country has remained stagnant. Wages for them go up for them but not us. Its time to pay the piper and give your fair share. When you benefit most from our system, you should pay more into it.

Over all, this budget is great. I love nearly every aspect of it. All of these things are things I have been speaking out for, for a long time! We need these things and its nice to FINALLY have a president pushing a budget that works for us! The republicans insist on being the party of no. Of course, over all spending is up 8% for the military. But they of course whine about that too saying its not being raised enough! Listen republicans! You can't have it both ways! You can't cry out for more spending cuts while crying for more spending! So shut it! You are a bunch of hypocrites who have earned my scorn! Stuff a sock in it republicans, until you can learn what works and understand that you lost in November for a good reason! Figure out what that reason was, and you might gain a seat or two in the future. Or maybe not.

Obama Birth Certificate Conspiracy based on Conservative Satire!


Much has been said in the New York Times about the legality of John Sidney McCain III being able to assume the Presidency of the United States because he was not actually born in this country. What the Democrats want you to believe is there is a legitimate problem created by his being born in the Panama Canal zone on a United States military installation. His father was active-duty Navy and was sent to the canal zone by the United States government. There is no problem at all with McCain's bid. The one glaring thing that they overlook is that Barry Obama is not the offspring of American citizens. Let's look at the real problem.

Barry's father was Kenyan. Was he even legally in this country? He was NEVER a citizen. Did Ann Dunham become a citizen of Kenya when she married the Kenyan? Granted, it has become law of the land that if two criminals make it into this country and spawn, their offspring by right becomes a ward of the Fed. Yes, a ward of the Fed because from that point on, we pick up the tab for everything that child needs.

This comes from the basic premise that two negatives equal a positive. In math, that's great, but in this social experiment we call the United States, is that right? Two criminals make a legal citizen? Folks, that is crazy.

I have it from a pretty good source that Ann Dunham, Barry's white mother, renounced her citizenship. She married her second foreign student, Lolo Soetoro, in 1967 and moved to Indonesia. Did Barry's mother ever become legal after her return to the states? Is Barry actually Indonesian? This is actually a REAL citizenship problem for a Presidential candidate, can a person who is born an American citizen, renounce their citizenship, become a citizen of another country, and then become a "NATURAL BORN CITIZEN" again? It seems farfetched to me.

I think that we need to actually challenge Barry's candidacy and eligibility to run for President. It seems that our government is just going to look the other way as an attempt to gain more power over our lives.

Please take the time to comment.

UPDATE: You know, I THOUGHT that most people could make the assumption that this post was written in response to the idiotic drivel by the New York Times about McCains' eligibility. I was wrong. This is pointing out the stupidity of the lies printed by the Times. And it is lying stupidity.

But then lets read the comments.

Are you joking us with this here buddy? It would be an interesting argument except for a couple-a things.

1. Arguments make sense.
2. Holes you could drive a bus, make that an airbus, through.

First question I got for you is what's your source for the allegation that Ann Dunham renounced her citizenship? Is it one a them "unnamed sources" you've got to protect, just like real news folk have?

Second, marrying someone from another country would not mean you were no longer an American. Ever heard of dual-citizenship?

Third, just how would Ann's renouncing of her citizenship, after Barack Obama is born and moving to Indonesia affect his citizenship? He was already born a citizen and was a minor.

Just an FYI, children born of parents who come here undocumented are citizens because regardless of what their parents did, they did not come here illegally. Since when do we punish children for what their parents did? The purpose is to afford children, who are innocent and born on our soil, the protections of our constitution and laws.

Or am I wasting my time here expecting most bloggers, some of us do, but very many don't, to make sense?

Yes, I am joking. That SHOULD be obvious.

1. Thank you. I do realize that my argument makes sense. The same amount of sense that the New York Times article made.

2. There are no holes because this is satire.

My source is the exact same as the New York Times source that said McCain's staffers tried to talk to him about his lobbyist problem.

There is no such thing as dual-citizenship for a citizen of the United States. That is the law, sir and also a fact.

If his mother renounced her citizenship, she would do so for her minor child, that is the law, sir and also a fact.

I do understand the point of your argument about children born here, it is in my post, sir. Read it again.

And finally, my post makes the exact same amount of sense as the New York Times opinion piece on John McCain's eligibility for the Presidency. Push aside what appears to be your glaring political bias and look at facts.

If you read on, you get the impression that this guy started to believe his own Satire. The point is that Obama released his birth certificate MONTHS ago. What birthers are "requiring" is the original long form in the hospital vault. The copy you get when you request a copy is the short form. And MOST hospitals will not release the long form because it contains information that can easily be used to steal ones identity. If fact, I would wager most have never even SEEN their OWN long form Birth Certificate from the "vault". I sure haven't.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fundamentalist Heroes: Michael Savage

Michael Savage isn't just any old whack job. He is an especially dangerous whack job. During Katrina, a 75 year old women told people what she saw inside the Dome in New Orleans. She told of horrible conditions. Michael Savage laughed at her story and questioned whether or not she had an "agenda" and what liberal organization she must work for. What a shit head!

But recently, Michael Savage has crossed the line from Crazy, to dangerous. Michael Savage, on a recent radio broadcast, talked about his insane idea that the people Obama is going to have weatherizing houses, are actually part of an elite paramilitary group that will start turning this nation into a Nazi type dictatorship. You can listen to it here:

But his insanity isn't new, just more dangerous.

Quotes from his book, Savage Nation:
When ultraliberalism takes over the mind of a city, streets are no longer safe, people are defenseless, and wackos with weapons get free handouts. (P. 14)

Back when America was still moral and whole, our meatballs were big, soft, and tasty. Today, thanks mainly to the Demoncats, the libs, and the Commu-Nazis who rule the courts, America's meatballs are small, hard, and tasteless. In other words, we have replicated the Swedish meatball, which is what socialism brings. (P. 17)

Liberalism is unraveling the very fabric of this great nation. And the sooner you understand that liberalism is a dangerous mental disorder, the sooner you can break free from this insanity that attacks the way you live, how you conduct your business, the way you worship, the choice of SUV you drive, the food you eat, and the very freedoms you enjoy. (P. 19)

As for the clipped-haired, mean-faced Demoncats who tell me I'm hateful and intolerant because I oppose the tidal wave of Turd World immigration, I say, Go find another country. Who are you to judge me? You may think unlawful immigrants sucking the nipple of taxpayer subsidized healthcare is a good thing, but you're wrong, and I'll prove it. (P. 23)

I stare at the pages of the "Old York Times" wondering what new game the liberal terrorists, with the aid of the government-media complex, are inflicting on us. Every time I read the paper, I have to decode. I'm sickened by watching the politicians, the femi-fascists, the Commu-Nazis, and the RDDBs rip apart the land I inherited. (P. 27)

Yes, he is an idiot.

Savage also hates MSNBC and women reporters.

Turn on MSNBC and you'll find the mind-slut with a big pair of glasses that they sent to Afghanistan. She looks like she went from porno into reporting. See, when they get over forty they go into news. (p. 48)

Yeah, don't think he has watched Fox News.

He hates female politicians.

Had Mr. Bush gone along with Feinstein's request, you can be sure Barbara "Babs" Boxer would demand to be in the loop-in the interest of fairness. I guarantee it, two seconds after Babs put her hands on these national secrets, she'd be on a cell phone to someone in Brooklyn:

You know what I just heard. Let me tell you, they're going to launch in two minutes. Oh yeah, it'll be over Afghanistan... No, I don't want you to tell anybody, it's just between you and me, and by the way, I had my nails done this morning. Oh, I had them done in pink, and yeah, were launching three B3 bombers in exactly twelve minutes but I tell you the truth, the jewelry I bought on QVC, it really doesn't hold up when I go on C-SPIN, you know, it looks a little cheap... (P. 50)

He also believes in racial profiling, hates all immigrants (says koreans shouldn't be allowed over here because they like to grill dog in his backyard), and believes liberals and the democrats are the party of tyranny. Yeah, go figure! Idiot!

Michael Savage is an idiot with a microphone, which makes him dangerous. He has a fairly large following of other idiots who spout his same crap too. Whats worse, he has gotten worse since his party was removed from power. This is a man to watch for. A man to fight against. A dangerous, unreasonable, man.

What Happens if China STOPS Buying US Treasuries?


BEIJING - China’s premier expressed concern Friday about its holdings of Treasuries and other U.S. debt, appealing to Washington to safeguard their value, and said Beijing is ready to expand its stimulus if economic conditions worsen.

Premier Wen Jiabao noted that Beijing is the biggest foreign creditor to the United States and called on Washington to see that its response to the global slowdown does not damage the value of Chinese holdings.

Serious question. What happens to the US economy, in which they hold massive amounts of our debt, ceases to get those loans we have been borrowing? It is a terrifying prospect. It truly is. They have us over a barrel.

The Future of Electric Cars is Here!

Source Article

A revolutionary mobile phone battery that recharges in 10 seconds instead of several hours has been created by scientists.

The new device charges 100 times as fast as a conventional battery and could also be used in phones, laptops, iPods and digital cameras within just two or three years, they say.

The same technology could even allow an electric car to be charged up in the same time that it takes to fill a conventional car with petrol - removing one of the biggest obstacles to green, clean motoring.

The quick-charge battery is the brainchild of engineers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The MIT team say their invention uses materials already available to battery manufacturers and would be simple to mass produce.

The invention is based on conventional lithium ion rechargeable batteries found in most cameras, phones and portable computers.

Lithium ion batteries are used in portable gadgets because they store a large amount of energy in a small space.

However, they are also relatively slow at recharging - which can be a nuisance for anyone who forgets to charge up their phone overnight.

Dr Gerbrand Cedar, who devised the new battery, said: 'Electric car batteries have a lot of energy so you can drive at 55mph for a long time, but the power is low. You can't accelerate quickly.'

Dr Cedar and colleagues have now found a way of speeding up this process, the science journal Nature reports.

Conventional lithium ion batteries contain two electrodes - one made from lithium and one from carbon - submerged in a liquid or paste called an electrolyte.

When a battery is being charged up, ions - or positively charged atoms - flow from the lithium electrode to the carbon one. When a battery is discharging, the ions flow the other way.

The new battery could also work with rechargeable cars

Charging up or discharging a battery is slow because it takes time to 'detach' the ions from one electrode and absorb them into the other.

The researchers took a conventional electrode made from lithium iron phosphate and altered its surface structure so that ions were released and absorbed 100 times more quickly than normal.

A prototype made using the new technique could be fully charged or discharged in just 10 to 20 seconds. A similar sized ordinary battery takes six minutes to charge.

Unlike other battery materials, the new material does not degrade when repeatedly charged and recharged. That could lead to faster batteries lasting between two or three years, they said.

'The ability to charge and discharge batteries in a matter of seconds rather than hours may open up new technological applications and induce lifestyle changes,' Dr Ceder said.

The technology could also usher in a new generation of smaller, lighter batteries that allow phones and handheld batteries to be the size of credit cards.

Although the invention will be popular with owners of electronic portable gadgets - who will no longer need to remember to keep them charged up overnight - it could also usher in a new era of electric cars.

Bigger batteries for plug in electric cars could charge in just five minutes - compared with about eight hours for existing batteries.

Owners of electric cars would be free to drive long distances, safe in the knowledge that they could top up their battery in a few minutes at a service station - just like the owner of a petrol or diesel car.

Let the Electric Car Revolution Begin!!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fundamentalist Heroes: Alan Keyes

Alan Keyes is a class a Whack-Nut. But the far right extremists LOVE him! He believes in a Constitutional Theocracy, and believes that is what our fore fathers wanted. Not a "christian nation", a freaking theocracy. He judges every single issue on the bible, no exceptions.

I frankly don't care if you agree with my stand on abortion. I take that stand because no other stand is consistent with decent principles, and no other standard is consistent with the will of God.

Notice that he points out gods will? As if he can actually know it himself. Keyes believes himself special, that some how god talks to him personally. He believes that anything that is not in the bible is nothing less that the destruction of our country. Take homosexuality. He believes they have a RADICAL agenda. Yeah, like equal rights. Pretty radical to want the same things you have a right too. But read what he says about it. It is completely off the charts ridiculous.

It's about time we all faced up to the truth. If we accept the radical homosexual agenda, be it in the military or in marriage or in other areas of our lives, we are utterly destroying the concept of family.

Utterly destroyed? By letting gay people marry or serve in the military? Idiot! He considers taxes socialist, and wants to limit the governments spending and revenue to force spending cuts. If Keyes had his way, government would spend on taxes and helping out the church and nothing else.

But perhaps the most psychotic issue Keyes has is his psychotic belief that Obama is not a natural born citizen simply because Obama has not forced the Hawaii government to release his long form birth certificate. Not only that, he believes Obama to be a Kenyan usurper and believes Obama being president means the end of our world as we know it! Just watch him.

Fundamentalist hero Alan Keyes is on the fringe of the Right wing. But make no mistake, he has more followers than he should in a country as advanced as ours!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Right Wing Has Crossed the Line from Crazy to Treasonous!

Source Article

The call by some right wing leaders for rebellion and for the military to refuse the commander in chief’s orders is joined by Chuck Norris who claims that thousands of right wing cell groups have organized and are ready for a second American Revolution. During an appearance on the Glen Beck radio show he promised that if things get any worse from his point of view he may “run for president of Texas.” The martial artist/actor/activist claims that Texas was never formally a part of the United States in the first place and that if rebellion is to come through secession Texas would lead the way.

Today in his syndicated column on WorldNetDaily Norris reiterates the point: “That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state.”

He continues; calling on a second American Revolution; “…we've bastardized the First Amendment, reinterpreted America's religious history and secularized our society until we ooze skepticism and circumvent religion on every level of public and private life.

How much more will Americans take? When will enough be enough? And, when that time comes, will our leaders finally listen or will history need to record a second American Revolution? We the people have the authority according to America's Declaration of Independence, which states: That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government…”

Norris claims that; “Thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation.” The right wing cells will meet during a live telecast, "We Surround Them," on Friday March 13 at 5 p.m.

He closes with the words of Sam Houston followed by a plug for his next martial arts event.

“We view ourselves on the eve of battle."

This man and his right wing nuts are dangerous! They have stepped over the line from crazy, to dangerous. This is tantamount to treason if you ask me! Lock him, and Alan Keyes, and Sean Hannity up for treason and planning to assassinate the president! Take em down and round em up! You can do it under the Patriot Act they wanted so much. And you can imprison them without charges by calling them "Domestic Terrorists", just like they wanted. And we can water board them since they don't believe it is torture.

Or we can just show them how the law works. And lock them up for treason.

Fundamentalist Heroes: Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a recent addition to the list of fundamentalist heroes. He is very possibly the most dangerous. Why you may ask? Because of his recent comments. Chuck norris has recently advocated the over throw of our government, due to who our president is.

“Thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation.” The right wing cells will meet during a live telecast, "We Surround Them," on Friday March 13 at 5 p.m.

Cell groups? Like terrorist groups? This man is dangerous. Him and Alan Keyes. I'm sure he also believes Obama isn't a real citizen or is a Manchurian Candidate. He quotes Sam Houston to describe him and his ilk's current state of mind.

“We view ourselves on the eve of battle."

On the eve of battle? This is nothing more than plotting the over throw of the government! This is tantamount to treason in my book! Thousands of people to "battle"? What else could he be talking about?

And that is why the fundies like him. We now see the fruits of allowing these fundamentalist nut jobs to grow in power and influence. Much like radical Islam, allowing them a place with special rights and such, has allowed them to get to a dangerous level of power in this country, and Chuck Norris and his kind are their leaders. People with power and influence over these idiots.

Whats worse, Chuch Norris believes he is led by god. That god is on his side. That the end times are soon. Word to the wise, the USA is not mentioned in revelations. Being as such, there are many US fundamentalist nut jobs the believe the US will not be a factor due to civil war or nuclear attack when the end comes. Don't put it past these nut jobs to try and bring down this country to bring the end times on! These people are dangerous and need to be stopped.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Purpose Driven Agenda - Is Obama Taking on To Much?

President Obama is nothing if not ambitious. Taking a look at what he has accomplished so far and what he has stated he will accomplish in the next year or too, it is a smorgasbord of reform and dynamic change for America.

Childrens Health Care
Fair Pay for Women
Ban lifted on federal funding for stemcell research
Order to close Quantanimo within a year
Orders CIA black sites closed
Stopped torture
Begun pulling troops out of Iraq
Bank stimulus money usage changed
Stimulus bill passed
Tax cuts for middle and lower class Americans
Put wars and stimulus packages back on the budget so we can see the costs
Put stimulus bill money usage on website for tracking
Release former presidents illegally secret transcripts
Announced health care summit
Put cap and trade in the budget
Announced education plan today (will soon)
Is trying to get Card Check passed

In other words, he has made policies regarding the economy, the wars, the budget, health care, labor, and education. In response to that, the GOP is split. Half of them saying he isn't doing any thing to help the economy, which is obviously a lie, and the other half, curiously, saying he is taking on too much. Heck, even Warren Buffet chimed in against how much he is doing.

But to me, this baffles the mind. What choice does he have? Policies from the last two decades have left Healthcare in shambles, costs rising dramatically, education in horrible shape, children left uncovered by medicaid, women not allowed to contest their own discrimination, research set back by a decade, progress on the enviroment set back a decade, america's reputation demolished, deficit sky rocketed by a war based on lies, and economic policies that created the largest transfer of wealth from the poor and middle class to the wealthy, ever seen in our lifetime.

None of these problems are small. They all demand immediate attention. Yet some how he is doing to much at once? Damn it, he doesn't have a choice. Had we had a President who resembled either or:
A. A Human being
B. An intelligent rational person
C. An honest person

Then perhaps the last eight years wouldn't have put us in this situation. In fact, he is going to add more to his plate. Soon he will start putting regulations back into place that have been taken out the last two presidencies. Does he have a choice in doing so much at once? Does he REALLY have a choice? Which of these can wait until a year or two has passed? Education? Healthcare? How about stopping torture or war? What about research? Any of these that can honestly just sit as is and not cause further damage?

The answer is no, they can't. He is taking these projects on, not just because he is ambitious, which he is, but because they cannot wait for him to solve on problem then move to the next. Rumor has it that he will be attempting to pass national healthcare at the end of this year. Wow, what a huge undertaking that will be. Fact of the matter is that our countries businesses NEED a national healthcare plan to help them compete in the global economy. No other country has to deal with the healthcare costs our companies have to deal with. In fact, no other population in an industrialized modern country has to deal with paying for the massively high prices of healthcare that we have too. For this country to recover and compete, we must have national healthcare. Our future depends on it.

In other words, President Obama is doing all these things at once because all these things are pressing problems that came at him, all at once. He has no choice but to suck it up and step up to the plate, one pitch at a time. Even if those pitches are coming at him all at once.

Monday, March 9, 2009

President Obama to Lift the Ban on Federal Funding of Stem Cell Research


President Obama's decision to lift restrictions on federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, scheduled to be announced Monday, is expected to provide a major boost to one of the most promising but controversial fields of biomedical research in generations.

The signing of an executive order voiding the restrictions will allow thousands of scientists to study hundreds of lines of cells that have been developed since the limitations were put in place eight years ago. It will also allow them to dismantle cumbersome bureaucracies constructed to work around the constraints and let them exchange scientific ideas more easily.

Because stem cells obtained from very early embryos are believed to be capable of morphing into any tissue in the body, scientists think that they will yield fundamental insights into the underlying causes of many diseases and that they could be used to repair damage caused by diabetes, Parkinson's disease, spinal cord injuries and other conditions.

Finally, a president who puts science first! The argument against this is ridiculous. The embryo's that are harvested are those that would other wise be destroyed at the envirtro holding lab they come from. We cannot allow the religious right to destroy science any more. Stop making it religious and realize this is science. Make public policy a matter of science, and not of faith. Haven't we suffered long enough at the hands of faith based federal policy making? Good for you Mr. President. Its a step in the right direct. Or should I say "left" direction?


I just bought this movie by Bill Maher and watched it, and boy am I glad I did. What a riot! This documentary doesn't just question one religion, or even just major religions, but all religions. He even puts the screws to a person whose essential religion is smoking pot all day. In the deleted seens he talks with the railians(sp?) and Ickes (believe in reptilians taking over the planet). He makes some extremely good points in the movie.

I think the biggest concept in the movie is that there is no such thing as moderate religion. As long as religion exists, there will be extremists. Is the cost too high? After all, if there is a god, is this something he wants and is willing to live with? Not likely in my book. Rarely, even in moderate religious circles, do people follow Jesus teaching any way. In Islam, the problem is the people who DO follow the teachings of Mohammad. In Catholicism, they accept that one man is infallible.

The point being made is that the amount of people who use religion to do good is a small minority compared to the people who simply do nothing with it other than let it influence them in areas of science and public policy, or even use religion in a harmful way. Is it worth it to have religion around when by enlarge is does either no good or is harmful? I of course say no. This isn't to say that believing in god is the same. Anyone can simply believe what they believe. But I worry, personally, that the people in high places making decisions often put more faith in the unseen than in empirical evidence. It worries me that a president can get elected on his faith alone. And that we can have a president that believe honestly that god is telling him to go to war.

These things exist because of religion, not out side of them and surely on the fringe. The fringe has become the here and now. And its about time skeptics stop being quiet. The extremists aren't. And why should we be quiet? Why is religion in a special class all its own? Why can't any religion be questioned and even challenged?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Rihanna - Singer to Hero to Zero

In the news lately has been the tragic story of the popular singer Rhianna. While on her way to the grammys with boy friend Chris Brown, an argument ensued. She was then beaten senseless by this man. She was beaten until she was unconscious. The pictures of her injuries are gruesome. Eyes, cheeks, and lips swollen and bloody along with several cuts on her face.

Chris Brown was arrested and was set to be arraigned yesterday. Rhianna was set to become the virtual spokesperson for abused women. Showing the triumph of a battered woman and her comeback to the music industry. But it was never to be.

It was reported after the trial that the arraignment was being held off until next month. Why? Not enough evidence. And if that wasn't enough, it looks as though Rhianna and Chris Brown are getting back together. Yes, she is going back to the man who beat her senseless. Back to the man who said he would kill her. Back to the man who choked her until she was unconscious. Back to a man who has no respect for her.

I cannot begin to contemplate the damage this turn of events will cause to young women. Young impressionable girls who should have learned from Rhianna that no woman has to take abuse from any man. That no woman should have to take that kind of abuse. But instead, the example she set is one of returning to victimhood. Little girls who man one day be abused now have the role model of Rhianna going back to her abuser to guide them through this situation. Young boys now have the role model of Chris Brown to look at and realize that hitting a woman, even beating them up, doesn't always send you to jail.

This situation, in such high profile, now paves the way for a whole new generation of abusers and victims. Somewhere, some girls mind is being damaged into thinking that sometimes she might just deserve her man hitting her, so in a few years, when she is hit, she will forgive him and come back to him.

Chris Brown, you are a pathetic piece of horse crap.

Rhianna, shame on you for going back to him.

Congrats to both of you. You have managed to be a negative influence on likely thousands of young black people. You had the chance to be a hero Rhianna, and you chose to remain a victim.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Why is Islam Special?

This is a personal take on one of the fastest growing religions in the world. Islam.
But religion is part of our culture, part of who we are, what we are. And like any religion, there are psychopaths that decide to take their faith to the extreme. But, unlike most in main stream religion, Islam has failed, as a whole, to evolve with society. Christianity and other main stream religions, have all had their harsh times of expansion in the past, but for the most part, they are tame and slowly becoming less and less a threat to the progress of the human race, and in many forms, like some of my christian friends, even beneficial to society. Of course, there are the fundies, but they are not the rule, they are the exception as I am finding out.

Why is it that Islam thinks its special? Why is it that we are expected to "not offend" Muslims? Muslim cartoons, books about Islam, comments about Islam, all are being increasingly censored so as to not "offend" muslims. Why? It is nothing but fear. Fear that they will retaliate violently against the "offender". Yet, the only way to get past this is to STOP respecting their "feelings". After all, who cares? If the truth hurts, then the onus is on you to get over it and not be a little trog about it!

And after all, I don't and should not be forced to respect any religion. I don't respect the ridiculous idea that someone was born of a virgin, died, the was resurrected after 3 days. I don't respect the idea some man, who was likely schizophrenic, sat in a cave and an angel supposedly came down and gave him a holy book. I don't respect the idea that anyone should follow a self proclaimed prophet who at the age of 53 had sex with a 9 year old girl, then slaughtered an entire village of Jews simply because they wouldn't follow him. I don't respect the idea that just because you can blow someone up, that you are right. I don't respect any religion in which a sadistic idiot like Bin Laden can gain popularity because your tiny mind, retarded by teachings from a stupid story fairy tale, believes that some how killing yourself ends in your reward! No, its not respectful to say that, but its true! YOUR INABILITY TO ARTICULATE YOUR BELIEF OR GET OTHERS TO BELIEVE YOUR INSANITY DO NOT ENTITLE YOUR TINY MIND TO KILL ME!

Nor does your unintelligent rambling or over bloated threats of violence hold any sway over my speech. Nor should it. Your feelings have nothing to do with it. And your over sensitive religious sensibilities will not be "respected" to protect your "feelings".

Tell you what Muslims. Why don't you do this. Listen closely. GET OVER YOURSELF! Evolve already! Get past your Neanderthalic representation of religion and come out of the cave you dwell in and stop taking literally the word of a man who doesn't find anything wrong with raping a child. Your prophet is a child rapist. At least follow something moral if you want to claim the moral outrage you so ridiculously chant in the streets while burning effigies of who knows what or who. So no, you aren't special. Your religion isn't special, your prophet isn't special, and your feelings will not be taken into account any more than any other faith. Don't like the picture of your prophet with his towel wrap made into a bomb? Then stop blowing up stuff. Its funny. Its funny because you are a people who refuse to speak out against idiots who blow themselves up. So either evolve, or learn to deal with the ridicule you bring on yourself.

And by the way, this picture is hilarious!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Conceptual Guerilla

This guy is good! If you are on the left, or center left, or a right winger who needs some truth added into your life, then check out Joe Lyles, the Conceptual Guerilla! Start with his Limbaugh Lie of the Day, then listen to his "Pressure Points" program. It is worth your time to download and listen too!