Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

DOUBLE STANDARD

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

KNOW YOUR FALLACIES

Over the long Memorial Day weekend, my comment section got tangled up in ad hominem attacks and flame-throwing arguments.

This blog will continue to delete anyone who comes here and personally attacks a commenter.

If you have a position or idea, defend it when someone challenges it.  If you don't know how to do that or if you haven't the talent, learn.  Attacking someone and calling him/her names is troll behavior, and I don't tolerate it.

Differences of opinion are welcome here.  Go after the idea, not the commenter.  Thanks. 

The following will help:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day, Boston 2012

I usually post a photo of one of my favorite sculptures in Boston, The Robert Gould Shaw Memorial, which is installed across the street from the Massachusetts State House, on the Boston Common.

"Commissioned from the celebrated American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the early 1880s and dedicated as a monument in 1897, the Shaw Memorial has been acclaimed as the greatest American sculpture of the nineteenth century.

The relief masterfully depicts Colonel Shaw and the first African American infantry unit from the North to fight for the Union during the Civil War. The sculpture combines the real and allegorical, and presents a balance of restraint and vitality."


I also include, with the post, Robert Lowell's moving poem about the Shaw Memorial in which Lowell ties in the yet unresolved issues of the Civil War with the mindless consumerism that grips the nation in his poem “For the Union Dead”.  It is one of my favorite poems; and when I visit the Shaw Memorial, as I often do, I think of Lowell's poem that so perfectly limns the relief and its setting in the Boston Common.


"One of Lowell’s best-known works, Union Dead is a multi-layered poem set in the heart of Boston. On the surface, it is an elegy to the heroic Massachusetts 54. The soldiers fought with valor and moral integrity while trying to preserve the Union and end slavery. A closer examination reveals a country that blindly worships Capitalism. Following consumerism alone has left the country directionless. Lowell watches the steam shovels atwork and comments that avarice is literally and figuratively shaking the Massachusetts Statehouse, “Parking spaces luxuriate like civic sandpiles in the heart of Boston. A girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girders braces the tingling Statehouse.” Lowell is nostalgic for the Boston of his youth and for a country, real or imagined, whose moral integrity was intact. Lowell is raising an objection to a country that commodifies the nuclear age, he objects to the new realism; he objects to the triumph of
commercialism over morality, he objects to a country that has forsaken spirituality for physicality:“On Boylston Street a commercial photograph shows Hiroshima boiling over a Mosler safe, the “Rock of Ages” that survived the blast. Space is nearer.”  


The space that Lowell speaks of is just that--Nothingness. Extinction of the human race will be the cost if we cannot move to higher moral ground."

FOR THE UNION DEAD

The old South Boston Aquarium stands
in a Sahara of snow now. Its broken windows are boarded.
The bronze weathervane cod has lost half its scales.
The airy tanks are dry.
Once my nose crawled like a snail on the glass;
my hand tingled to burst the bubbles
drifting from the noses of the crowded, compliant fish.

My hand draws back. I often sign still
for the dark downward and vegetating kingdom
of the fish and reptile. One morning last March,
I pressed against the new barbed and galvanized

fence on the Boston Common. Behind their cage,
yellow dinosaur steamshovels were grunting
as they cropped up tons of mush and grass
to gouge their underworld garage.

Parking spaces luxuriate like civic
sandpiles in the heart of Boston.
a girdle of orange, Puritan-pumpkin colored girders
braces the tingling Statehouse,

shaking over the excavations, as it faces Colonel Shaw
and his bell-cheeked Negro infantry
on St. Gaudens' shaking Civil War relief,
propped by a plank splint against the garage's earthquake.

Two months after marching through Boston,
half of the regiment was dead;
at the dedication,
William James could almost hear the bronze Negroes breathe.

Their monument sticks like a fishbone
in the city's throat.
Its Colonel is a lean
as a compass-needle.

He has an angry wrenlike vigilance,
a greyhound's gentle tautness;
he seems to wince at pleasure,
and suffocate for privacy.

He is out of bounds now. He rejoices in man's lovely,
peculiar power to choose life and die-
when he leads his black soldiers to death,
he cannot bend his back.

On a thousand small town New England greens
the old white churches hold their air
of sparse, sincere rebellion; frayed flags
quilt the graveyards of the Grand Army of the Republic

The stone statutes of the abstract Union Soldier
grow slimmer and younger each year-
wasp-waisted, they doze over muskets
and muse through their sideburns…

Shaw's father wanted no monument
except the ditch,
where his son's body was thrown
and lost with his "niggers."

The ditch is nearer.
There are no statutes for the last war here;
on Boylston Street, a commercial photograph
shows Hiroshima boiling

over a Mosler Safe, the "Rock of Ages"
that survived the blast. Space is nearer.
when I crouch to my television set,
the drained faces of Negro school-children rise like balloons.
Colonel Shaw
is riding on his bubble,
he waits
for the blessed break.

The Aquarium is gone. Everywhere,
giant finned cars nose forward like fish;
a savage servility
slides by on grease.


                                    --Robert Lowell


Also this Memorial Day, a new exhibit on the Boston Common: 




Over 200 volunteers spent Wednesday [May 23] planting flags for Memorial Day on the grounds of Boston Common in downtown Boston in honor of those who served and died for our country. 

The 33,000 flags represent all of the fallen soldiers from Massachusetts who have died since the civil war.

Peace.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

WALL STREET JOURNAL: UNDER OBAMA, GOVERNMENT SPENDING IS AT LOWEST RATE IN DECADES




Mitt Romeny is either ignorant of the facts or a bald-faced liar when he accuses Mr. Obama of out-of-control spending.  So are the conservatives who continue to repeat that talking point.

What Liberal Media? 

Every conservative blog I've read continues with the fallacy of Obama being a big spender.  It's all a lie and even the Wall Street Journal had to acknowledge it.  What are the chances that we'll hear the opposition admit to this? 

Answer:  Slim to none. 

Why?  Cognitive dissonance again.  Conservatives have been repeating this lie so many times that it is now received "truthiness," so how can they possibly admit they've been hornswoggled by a lazy media and dishonest pundits and bloggers?  Or worse, so blinded by their hatreds, they cannot allow the truth to bleed through to their consciousness.

BTW, take a look at the chart and understand who the biggest spenders are.




From NPR's website:


"Democrats like Stephanie Cutter, deputy campaign manager of President Obama's re-election effort, and Donna Brazile, the Democratic political strategist, were delighted to point on Tuesday to an analysis of federal spending under President Obama compared with his predecessors.

Max Nutting, a journalist who writes for the MarketWatch website affiliated with The Wall Street Journal looked at the data and found that rhetoric and reality don't quite match up.

Nutting found that, contrary to repeated allegations from the president's political foes, including Mitt Romney, that Obama has been on a federal spending tear, he actually hasn't.

Indeed, Nutting, spending under Obama has actually occurred at a slower rate than it did under previous White House occupants.

You actually have to go back decades to find a presidency — Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s to be precise — in which spending happened at a slower rate.

An excerpt:
"Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an "inferno" of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children's future. Even Democrats seem to think it's true.

"But it didn't happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

"Even hapless Herbert Hoover managed to increase spending more than Obama has."
Hoover happened to be president when Will Rogers, that great American humorist, was at the height of his popularity. It was Rogers who gave us a line that is no less true today then when he uttered it more than 75 years ago:
"It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble. It's what we know that just ain't so."
I've asked the Romney campaign for a response to Nutting's piece and will update this post with same."

 Rex Nutting's writing in Market Watch:

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Of all the falsehoods told about President Barack Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree.



**************

I'd love to hear how the Obama haters will spin this!  

It'll drive them nuts to have to admit that Mr. Obama is a fiscally responsible president!

Smartypants has a great post up on this subject with an additional graph showing that the GOP are the big spenders.

Meteor Blades over at the daily kos writes:

"A key aspect of budgeting often ignored for political conveniency is the fact that the federal fiscal year begins Oct. 1. So by the time Obama stepped into the Oval Office, the budget for fiscal 2009 was already nearly one-third spent and expenditures for the rest of the year locked in. He added about $140 billion to the spending in 2009 through the stimulus plan.
chart on federal spending under Obama
 
The big surge in federal spending happened in fiscal
2009, before Obama took office.
 
For the four budget years Obama has had a direct hand in shaping, federal spending is on track to go from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion. On an annual basis, that's 0.4 percent. When those dollars are inflation-adjusted, federal spending will actually have fallen during Obama's first four budgets at an average rate of 1.4 percent. That, Nutting says, is the first real decline since Richard Nixon pulled hundreds of thousands of the U.S. troops out of Vietnam 40 years ago.

What's also true, of course, is that revenue hasn't kept up with spending. This is partly due to tax cuts pushed through by George Bush, two wars rushed into by George Bush and a record-busting recession that began on George Bush's watch. The impact of the last includes millions of Americans out of work or working fewer hours, thereby reducing income tax revenues and putting immense pressure on expenditures for food stamps and unemployment insurance benefits."

Still Enjoying Those Chicken Fingers, Omelettes, and Pulled Pork Sandwiches?

As a follow-up to my post on "Is It Ethical To Eat Meat?",  I'm posting this as a reminder of why factory-farming animals for consumption is hazardous to one's health [h/t Andrew Sullivan's blog]:

More and more foodborne illnesses are resistant to antibiotics. A reason why:
An animal that routinely ingests antibiotics on a farm becomes a "factory" for drug-resistant bacteria, as described by a 2011 article in Clinical Microbiology Reviews. Huge farms known as CAFOs, for concentrated animal-feeding operations, may house as many as 160,000 broiler chickens and 800,000 hogs, a 2008 survey by the Government Accountability Office found.
These farms may pack animals like boxes in a warehouse: Hogs are kept in crates too small to turn around or lie down in, and laying hens are confined in cages the size of a sheet of paper. In badly run CAFOs, this overcrowding leads to filthy conditions that increase disease. When FDA inspectors examined Wright County Egg, an Iowa egg-production facility that likely contributed to almost 2,000 cases of salmonella in 2010, they found mice, flies, maggots and piles of manure up to 8 feet high.

From the link above:

"We've grown depressingly accustomed to the possibility that our dinner might make us sick; 1 in 6 Americans suffer foodborne illness every year, estimates the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. Still, most of us think of it as a day or two of misery: We cope on our own if symptoms are mild and ask our doctors for antibiotics if they are severe.

As Adams found, however, the bacteria on and in our food—not only poultry, but also meat, eggs, shrimp and produce—are getting harder to knock out. New, drug-resistant varieties of campylobacter, salmonella, E. coli and staph have all emerged. For those of us unlucky enough to catch one of these superstrains, the arsenal of drugs that work is smaller than it is for weaker strains, and treatment becomes more complicated once the bacteria have taken hold. As a result, previously minor infections are putting Americans in the hospital—and, in rare cases, killing us.

Let's run through the stats:

Earlier this year, the CDC was tracking an outbreak that sickened 20 people, mostly in New England, from drug-resistant salmonella linked to ground beef.

Last year, 136 people in 34 states were made sick by resistant salmonella tied to ground turkey, and 12 people in 10 states were made ill by resistant salmonella associated with premade turkey burgers.

A strain of drug-resistant E. coli on salad sprouts sickened nearly 3,900 people in Europe last summer, including six Americans, one of whom died.

There were three known foodborne superbug outbreaks in 2009; two in 2007; and one in 2004—caused by shrimp contaminated with drug-resistant E. coli—that had 130 known victims.

Although the link between farm-bred superbugs and stomach illness is most clear, researchers worry that food may be transmitting other illness as well, including drug-resistant infections of the skin, urinary tract and blood.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Night Poetry

BAD ITALIAN RESTAURANTS

Fake troubadours warble
opera over the cheese shaker,
the pamphlet of wine, the grease
blot from a ball of meat. I won't
apologize for wanting eggplant
instead of veal, for giving
the maitre d's eyebrow its arch,
as I rearrange the quaint candle
and plastic rose, wait for the salad
of Caesar's pink anchovy, limp
over rusted leaves. It's enough
to turn a stomach to thoughts
of a bus, to escape the upholstery
of chairs and checkered cloths, splotched
with eternities of bungled saltimbocas.

--Shaw Kenawe

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Still Believe in the American Dream of Upward Mobility? Move to Liberal States [and Utah]; Avoid the Conservative South

This Pew Research study confirms what I've known.  I lived in Florida for 10 years, and voluntarily left to return to Massachusetss.  Florida was great for the weather [in the fall, winter, and spring], and I loved visiting the national and state parks.  The beaches were gorgeous, and who could resist the laid-back Jimmy-Buffety Key West?  Or not love visiting the Dry Tortugas?  Miami didn't thrill me, but I was always happy to visit the little Greek village, Tarpon Springs and enjoy the food.  I lived on the Gulf and was grateful for all the enchanting sunsets I experienced.   

But there's more to life than being on a permanent vacation. 

My return to Massachusetts was an adjustment.  I had to learn to get used to the cold--the arctic cold--again.  But there's so much to do living in the city [where winters are not so arduous--no driveways to shovel and the city does a great job keeping the sidewalks clear], that I barely notice the bother of bad weather.  I'm too busy visiting museums, going to concerts, plays, and all the other activities that make living in a city exciting and fun.

What makes this a satisfying life is a comparatively well-run state.  It's far from perfect, and we certainly have our troubles in economic matters and the usual political scalawags to deal with.  But the Pew Research has found that one has a better chance of improving one's life here a Liberal state than in the Conservative states they've researched:


"Nine states, all in the South, have consistently lower upward and higher downward mobility compared to the nation as a whole. Louisiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have worse economic mobility than the national average on all three measures investigated; Alabama, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Texas have worse mobility than the national average on two measures.

Eight states, primarily in the Mideast and New England regions, have consistently higher upward and lower downward mobility compared to the nation as a whole. Maryland, New Jersey, and New York have better economic mobility than the national average on all three measures investigated; Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Utah have better mobility than the national average on two measures.

The NY Times explains the Pew study HERE:
The states with more upwardly mobile populations were more likely to be liberal-leaning states, and those with more stagnant populations were more likely to be conservative-leaning states. But it is not clear if that correlation is causal; the report does not explain how public policy or other factors may have affected people’s chances of evolving from rags to riches.

“It was beyond the scope of the study to look at why states performed the way they did,” Ms. Currier said. “What I can say is that our previous research has found some particular drivers of economic mobility at the individual level, including education, savings and assets, and neighborhood poverty during childhood.”
You can find the fact sheet on the state by state study HERE."

SOURCE

In addition to Massachusettes being included in those states where one's chance for the American dream is more likely, I like to remind the uneducated that their swipes at Massachusetts as some sort of Liberal Nightmare is laughable, and grossly stupid.  

Among Liberal Massachusetts achievements:

Massachusetts [one of the least religious states in the US] has the lowest divorce rates, and is among those states with the lowest out -of-wedlock births.

In a...ranking of how well the states' K-12 schools are preparing their students for science and engineering careers, Massachusetts leads the pack, while Mississippi trails behind as 'worst in the United States.' The rankings are reported in the summer [2011] issue of the Newsletter of the Forum on Education of the American Physical Society.

Healthcare coverage?  We're the best.  Texas is the worst.

More people, as a percentage of population, have graduate degrees in Massachusetts than in any other state--D.C. is first, but it is not a state.




<><> <><> <><> <><> <><> <><>
MASSACHUSETTS JOBS INCREASE BY 2,500APRIL UNEMPLOYMENT DROPS TO 6.3%



As I have stated, we're not perfect, but Massachusetts does very well in terms of  quality of life and excellence in education.


So when you hear people denigrating "Liberal Massachusetts," ask them how their state measures up to the Liberal Bay State.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Is It Ethical To Eat Meat?

Recently, the New York Times ran a contest for the best essay on why it is or isn't ethical to eat meat.  You can go here to read the winning essays.  The objections to meat eating center around this:

"Two main ethical objections are to the act of unnecessary killing of sentient beings and opposition to certain agricultural practices surrounding the production of meat. Reasons for objecting to the practice of killing animals for consumption may include animal rights, environmental ethics, and/or religious reasons. One major ethical objection concludes that consuming meat is no longer a necessity for most people living in the developed world therefore the slaughter of animals to please human taste buds is not morally justifiable. Others support meat eating for scientific, nutritional and cultural reasons, including religious ones. Some meat eaters abstain from the meat of animals reared in particular ways, such as factory farms, or avoid certain meats, such as veal or foie gras. Some people follow vegetarian or vegan diets not because of moral concerns involving the production of meat and other animal products in general, but the treatment involving the raising and slaughter of animals." --Wiki


Over the last few years, I have found it difficult for me to justify eating meat, and have slowly weaned myself away from it.  One of the motivating factors was this video I saw narrated by Sir Paul McCartney.  After watching it,  I was overcome with feelings of disgust, grief, and remorse, and the images still haunt me anytime I even think about buying and preparing any meat product.

Our factory-farm raised animals endure unimaginable torture, suffering, and grisley deaths before their carcasses find their way to our tables.  How could any product be enjoyable after that sort of life?  I wonder about the levels of cortisol in these animals from living highly stressful lives and enduring brutal slaughter. 

No wonder I find meat tasteless.

Is it ethical for us to abuse animals in this way when we really don't need to consume the amount of meat that we do?  Not only do the animals suffer, but the feed lots that are needed to support these hundreds of thousands of cows, pigs, and chickens contribute to environmental degradation and pollution.  None of this is necessary for a healthy diet for humans.

I grew up in a family that served meat at every meal--except on Fridays.  My parents came from a region in Italy where people were poor and had very little access to meat, so their main diet, in Italy, centered around pasta, legumes, vegetables, cheese, fruits, nuts, eggs, and some fowl and fish.  When they arrived in this land of plenty, that changed; and meat became the main focus of each meal.  I remember when I was a child, I disliked eating the steak that was served each Saturday night and grumbled when I was told to finish it all, even the fat, because it was good for me.  I remember my brother and I complaining to my parents, "Do we have to have steak again?!" And my parents remarking that only in America could they hear children say such a thing.

Preparing meals not centered around meat products is remarkably easy, creative, satisfying, and fast.  I don't have to spend time waiting for hunks of meat to cook, so I spend less time preparing meals. My meals now consist of pasta, legumes, vegetables, cheese, fruits, nuts, eggs, and some fish.  If my parents were alive, I wonder if they would understand the irony of that.

I don't seek to convert anyone from eating meat.  I believe one has to come to that decision through research and education. 

I welcome your thoughts.

    

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Romney's Base

This is one of  Conservativedom's favorite news sources, and this is what its biggest mouthpiece has to say about gay marriage:

"There will be serious consequences for America as a result of this growing apostasy. I believe we are already feeling them. It’s praiseworthy that voters in 32 out of 32 states have rejected this invention of the pseudo-intellectual cultural elite. But, it will take more than that to prevent God’s wrath on a nation flirting with arrogant, defiant rejection of one of God’s most sacred injunctions. As a man claiming to be America’s leader, Obama has cursed us all. In fact, he himself represents one of those judgments that, I believe, is already upon us as a nation." - Just For Men addict and World Net Daily founder Joseph Farah.


This is a last desperate gasp at swimming against the righteous tide, a righteous tide that will overwhelm and drown those who have marginalized, demonized, and brutalized our gay brothers and sisters throughout this world's sorry history. 

Thankfully, we will overcome, and we will work harder than ever to make this country live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all.

The Joseph Farahs of this world and this country are dying out slowly and ever so surely.

"Dr. King once said that the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice. It bends towards justice, but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice...."  --President Obama

ROMNEY FLIP-FLOPS AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN.  WHICHEVER WAY THE POLITICAL WIND BLOWS, SO BLOWS ROMNEY:


"While seeking the US Senate seat in 1994, Mitt Romney wrote a letter to a gay rights group known as the Log Cabin Club claiming that he supported full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens. He claimed that even though has opponent - Senator Ted Kennedy - was an ardent supporter of gay rights, he would be more effective in moving the issue into the main stream of American concern. He stated that he supported the Federal Employee Nondiscrimination Act and President Clinton's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

While seeking the governor's seat for Massachusetts in 2002, Mitt Romney's campaign circulated a flier in a gay pride weekend asserting his support for equal rights for all Americans regardless of sexual orientation.


FLIP...


During his tenure in office, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) of Massachusetts issued a ruling claiming that denial of marriage to same sex couples was not legal. Governor Romney supported the establishment of civil unions to satisfy the court decision that a legal alternative be available. The court rejected this compromise and gay marriage was made legal despite Governor Romneys objections and calls for a statewide vote. His critics called on him to issue an order forbidding the establish and cited state laws establishing marriage as between a man and a woman. Governor Romney stated that he would abide by "the law" established by the court ruling.

FLOP!

Beginning in 2005, Governor Romney appeared on numerous news outlets restating his previous opposition to gay marriage, and stating that he opposed civil unions and stating that every child deserved a mother and a father. In debates and interviews, he stated that a hodgepodge of marriage rules in every state would not be a feasible situation. He supports a constitutional amendment to define gay marriage.

WASHINGTON — Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney said he did not support gay marriage or civil unions as US President Barack Obama finally stepped out Wednesday to voice his backing for same-sex weddings.

"I do not favor marriage between people of the same gender and I don't favor civil unions if they're identical to marriage other than by name," Romney told a reporter for a local TV station in Denver.

What does Romney actually believe?  Are his values fungible?  It would seem so.  Just look at what he's done on the above issue. 

Does this man have any core beliefs on anything?

How can a nation trust a politician who changes with the political wind?

FROM ANDREW SULLIVAN'S BLOG:

GOP: No Gays Allowed, Ctd

"A perfectly qualified judge is rejected by the Virginia state senate because he's gay. Well, not exactly:
'Marshall, the Family Foundation of Virginia and others who raised concerns about Thorne-Begland’s nomination said they did not object to him because he is gay, but because of his outspokenness on the subject of gay rights.'
It's not that he's gay, but that he is not closeted or ashamed that troubles these people. And as fewer and fewer gays seek out the closet, or surrender to the shame it requires, the ability of the GOP to include any gay people at all declines, as we saw in the Grenell case. This is a party now committed to being homo-rein."


Monday, May 14, 2012

Romney: "The Job Destroyer"

This is powerful stuff coming from people whose lives were directly impacted by the decisions made by Mitt Romney and his Bain Capital job destroyers.  Romney keeps trying to convince voters that his business background makes him uniquely qualified to lead this country back to prosperity, starting with job creation.






But Romney's job creation record in Massachusetts is nothing for him to brag about--especially when he emphasizes his business prowess--which did not do much for him while he was governor of Massachusetts during an economic slump:

"...Romney’s record from his days as Massachusetts governor paints a different portrait, that of a politician who swept into office with big promises and a Harvard MBA but who failed to create a meaningful number of jobs for his home state and lacked a clear, concrete economic vision.

Economists from Massachusetts also say Romney was never able to solve the structural problems inherent in the state’s economy — issues that now plague the country as a whole and will challenge whoever becomes president in 2013 -- such as the decline in manufacturing and the dearth of employment for less-educated, low-income workers.

'There is nothing in his record as governor that shows he knows how to address economic failures,' says Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University. 'The thing that’s bothered me most about the Romney campaign is this major distortion of his record. ' ”


Romney and his campaign team will continue to try to convince voters that he has the experience to lead this country into prosperity--better than what Mr. Obama has accomplished under the worst possible circumstances. 

But the facts prove otherwise.

As a job destroyer with Bain Capital and a less than mediocre job creator in Massachusetts as governor, Romney needs to deal with political reality and not pandering rhetoric.

You probably know that one of the GOP's go-to lies is bashing President Obama's jobs record.
Mitt Romney's called him a job destroyer, claiming that the President "has not created any new jobs."
 
But no matter how the GOP tries to twist data to conform to their lies, this chart cannot be denied. 
 
These are the facts, not fiction. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

CRIKEY! THE ANTI-GAY RIGHT CHRISTIANISTS HAVE GONE BERSERK!

Oh my!

This is an example of the head-exploding berserk-a-pa-looza going on in various anti-Obama, anti-gay blogs on the internet.  This particular rant (h/t/ daily kos) embodies, in my opinion, everything the right gets wrong about gay marriage, or anything to do with gays.  It is poignant, in a perverted way, that this person's religon, which is supposed to be based on love and tolerance for all, has managed to twist him/her into a writhing mass of egregious ignorance and howling hatred. 

I've put this disturbed ranter's prose into verse, because I believe the poetic form better conveys the emotional anguish he/she (I believe it's a "he") is unnecessarily suffering because of what he believes an omnipotent being expressed to some Bronze Age desert dwellers thousands of years ago.  He would rather rail against losing control of a centuries old, hand-me-down hatred than see what is real, what is authentic, what is right in front of his nose. 

For no one who actually has known, lived with, or loved someone who is gay could ever, ever write such mendacious rot.


Welcome to Gomorrah - population OBAMA

So now the satanist-in-chief
has finally decided to officially
commit to supporting sick perverts
over actual people.

No more pretense
of being a "Christian"
and now it's an alliance
with Satan. Sick sick

deranged perverts are the preferred
class of citizen in this new
USA of ours. It began
with the forcible injection

of homosexualists
in the formerly moral US military.
Now it is a celebration
of the sickest forms
of homosexual pedophilia

BY THE PRESIDENT ON NATIONAL TV!
What is next? Drug-fueled sex parties
in the white house
in front of tv cameras?

Does the president already have
his own personal homosexual lover
for who he buys cocaine and expensive champaine
(with taxpayer money)? Will marrying raccoons

become legal? Or marrying 10-year old boys
(as many homosexualists arre already arguing)?
AIDS was brought on us by GOD
as the gay plague and it is gays

who spread it. Without gays there would be
almost zero drug use. Do you understand
that the kind of sick diseased mind
that engages in homosexuality also

enagages in every other form of crime
and immorality? We cannot and should not
become a nation of sodomites even if
the president tries to force it on us.

Why don't you open the Bible
and see what God thinks of perversion.
GOD STRUCK DOWN THE ATHEIST
HOMOSEXUAL PERVERTS OF SODOM
AND GOMORRAH AND HE CAN

AND WILL DO SO AGAIN! God cannot
be bought with filthy homosexual money
from Hollywood deviants! God will not be bullied
by fascist homosexualist thugs! For every pro-pervert

propaganda speech your president makes
God will send down a hurricane or earthquake!
Obama is now the American Caligula
and his twisted sex-mad regime will be swept

away by the hand of God
and a new president will enter office
this year and he will be a moral predient!
Obama will be remembered

as the most degenerate pervert
to stain the white house and then forgotten!
Vote for Obama is a vote
to make your children watch homosexual

orgies in schools etc
in the name of "diversity".
You keep reading gay porn magazines
and Mein kampf and I'll read my Bible.

We'll see who wins in november. God
is on our side and Satan is on yours.
Who wins?
Seems clear.


*************

This is Willard's base.  They want to "take back the country,"  and the above rant is an example of where they want to take it to.

GO HERE to read Andrew Sullivan's post on what a GOP pollster is advising the Republicans.   Essentially he's saying that the GOP had better come into the 21st century and abandon their gay bashing and anti-gay stance, because it is a losing position.  I don't know what Mitt Romney will do now that he has "severely" come out against gay marriage AND civil unions.  The GOP pollster advised GWB in 2004.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

FINALLY!




Now let's hear how the GOP nominee will face this issue:

OKLAHOMA CITY – Mitt Romney on Wednesday reaffirmed his view that marriage should be restricted to one man and one woman, highlighting a sharp contrast with President Barack Obama. Obama declared his unequivocal personal support for same-sex marriage during an interview with ABC News. Reporters asked Romney about the issue after a campaign event in Oklahoma City.


"My view is that marriage itself is between a man and a woman," the presumptive Republican presidential nominee told reporters. He said he believes that states should be able to make decisions about whether to offer certain legal rights to same-sex couples. "This is a very tender and sensitive topic, as are many social issues, but I have the same view that I've had since — since running for office," Romney said.


He first ran for political office in 1994, when he challenged Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., and was elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002. Obama is the first president in history to support gay marriage. Polls show the country is evenly divided on the issue. Romney did not go so far as to accuse Obama of changing his position on gay marriage, though the president has said that he had an "evolving" view of the subject. Questioned by reporters,


Romney said news reports indicate Obama has shifted his stance. Romney was a leading voice against gay marriage as Massachusetts governor. The courts legalized gay marriage in the state during his tenure, but he supported a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. After gay marriage became legal, Romney sought to enforce a statute banning state officials from marrying gay couples from other states. In a speech to conservatives last winter, Romney touted that move, saying he prevented Massachusetts from becoming the "Las Vegas of gay marriage."


Romney said Wednesday he supports limiting benefits for same-sex couples. "I do not favor civil unions if they are identical to marriage other than by name," he told the Fox TV station in Denver. "My view is the domestic partnership benefits, hospital visitation rights, and the like are appropriate but that the others are not." The Romney campaign did not respond to requests for clarification about which benefits Romney supports and which he does not ."


NOTE TO WILLARD:  You're on the wrong side of history, dude!

Thank you President Obama for coming out in favor of civil rights for all Americans!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

North Carolina Poised to Pass Anti-Civil Rights Legislation

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)North Carolina voters have approved a constitutional amendment defining marriage solely as a union between a man and a woman, making it the 30th state to adopt such a ban.

With 35 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, unofficial returns showed the amendment passing with about 58 percent of the vote to 42 percent against.

In the days before the vote, members of President Barack Obama's cabinet expressed support for gay marriage and former President Bill Clinton recorded phone messages urging voters to reject the amendment.

Meanwhile, supporters ran their own ad campaigns and church leaders urged Sunday congregations to vote for the amendment. The Rev. Billy Graham was featured in full-page newspaper ads supporting the amendment.




Shame!  Shame!  Shame!  North Carolina will regret this religiously driven, anti-human, anti-civil rights law.  It is on the wrong side of history, just as the anti-miscegenation laws were.

 "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." --George Santayana


********************

Today, North Carolinians are going to the polls to vote on their fellow citizens' ability to enjoy the civil rights guaranteed in our Constitution.  And it appears, from what I've seen reported on the polling data, that the majority of the citizens of that state will vote to permanently imbed in their state's constitution a discriminatory law against a segment of their population.

It still amazes me that people, who otherwise are rational, would commit such an egregious act.  But this is the result of allowing people to pass Biblical judgement, rather than apply civil law, on other people's private lives.  And make no mistake, the opposition to gay marriage is based on religious texts that people, fired up by blind religious zeal, choose to apply, while ignoring other prohibitions.  I've yet to see any Bible Belt state propose a ban on working on the Sabbath, which not only is prohibited in their texts, but their god even allows the murder of one's neighbor, should one find him or her breaking this particular Biblical law.


Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 - Holiness Codes - "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination" and "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them"

"The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death."  (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)



The reason for this encoding of discrimination in North Carolina's state constitution?  To protect the institution of marriage and the family!   This is nonsense, since the way to "protect" marriage is not to limit it, but to allow more of it.  If these monocratic intolerants were serious about the concern for the American family, they'd be passing state laws prohibiting divorce, not marriage between consenting adults.  But that will never happen, since the divorce rate is among the highest in the Bible Belt, and these hypocrites wouldn't want to take away that civil right.  What threatens family life is divorce, not marriages between people who love one another.

This nonsense of forcing people to live by a standard that religious zealots pick and choose from their Bible will, in some distant future, be considered ignorant, barbaric, and wholly anti-American.  But it is what our fellow gay and lesbian Americans, who want only the same rights enjoyed by all citizens, must suffer under--for now. 

For make no mistake, these dehumanizing and descriminatory laws will be overturned.

Shame on the states and the ignorant people in them who propose and pass such tyrannical religious acts.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

This Is What Romney and FAUX NOOZ Label a "Poorly Attended" Obama Event

Because it was so overwhelmingly a success and because it is obvious that thousands and thousands of enthusiastic people attended President Obama's rally in Ohio, the Romney camp and FAUX NOOZ had to bamboozle the media with lies about the event.  Romeny's team called it "poorly attended," as did, surprise! FAUX NOOZ.  And the unctuous George Will chimed in with his own brand of supercilious poppycock. 


Whom are you going to believe?  Them or your lying eyes?






You want to see "poorly attended?" This is what that looks like.  This is a Romney rally at Ford Field in Detroit with 80,000 empty seats:




Romney and FAUX NOOZ will continue to try to tell you that up is down, black is white, and that we've always been at war with Eastasia--a perfect example of their blatant manipulation of facts for the purpose of deceiving the low-information crowd.

No fear, though, only the Stupids will fall for their obviously desperate lies.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

ROMENY'S PATHETIC ENDORSEMENTS

Wow.  Impressive.


Willard Romney's been endorsed by the leading lights of the GOP.  Isn't that cool?

Or not.


LeRoy Newton Gingrich, who predicted HE would be the nominee, has finally pulled his hat out of the ring and thrown his weight behind former Massachusetts moderate Republican and supporter of Romneycare, Willard Romney.


Here's Newt talking about the man he will support for the highest office in the land:



Hold on there! Newt Gingrich, the once and future Moon colonizer, is supporting a man he said is a liar and who would lie to the American people as president?! We know that people say nasty things about their opponents during primary fights for the nomination, but LIAR?! When Newt called Willard a liar, did he mean it, or not? Making HIM a liar! This is all so confusing.

Next we have Rick Santorum telling people that Romney would be the worst candidate to beat Barack Obama!




So we have what two Republicans have said about Romney:  That he  is a LIAR and THE WORST CANDIDATE TO BEAT OBAMA.  And now they have come forward to endorse and support him?

They're endorsing a LIAR and a WEAK CANDIDATE? 

Hmmmm.

And here's Michele Bachmann supporting Mitt Romney, I mean Ron Paul for the nomination. Wait. She changed her mind and is now supporting Mitt after telling these people that Ron Paul is her hero?

 

Hey Willard!  Good luck with your endorsements.


They don't like you!  They really DON'T LIKE YOU!  Good luck, Willard, with the endorsement of people who believe you are a LIAR and the WORST CANDIDATE to go up against President Obama!


Politics IS weird and creepy!



And let's not forget this statement from the execrable A. Coulter:




She doesn't like you either!

SMARTYPANTS has a post up about how Romney's campaign uses LIES and DISTORTIONS to characterize the huge enthusiastic crowds that attend President Obama's rallies.

Great Ad by the Obama team.  h/t  Infidel753:




Wednesday, May 2, 2012

GOP Anti-Gay Faction Celebrates Running Ric Grenell Out of Romney's Campaign


UPDATE BELOW:  Keeping Grenell muzzled!

Listen to this guy, Bryan Fischer, the director of issue analysis at the American Family Association,
celebrate running Romney's foreign policy advisor out of town because he is gay. These are the people Romney will be beholden to and, apparently, the people who will dictate to him who is acceptable for cabinet positions and who isn't, should he become president.


And make no mistake, NO GAY CITIZEN, NO MATTER HOW QUALIFIED, NEED APPLY!

Ric Grenell was hounded out of his position as Romney's foreign policy advisor by the Christianist gay haters, and they're celebrating it with a victory dance.

Imagine what their influence would be if Romney made it to the White House! I don't understand how any member of the LGBT community would want to be part of the GOP--a political party that reviles them--after listening to this hideously bigoted man:











I call Romney spineless.  He can't stand up to this loud-mouthed bigot, how will he deal with America's enemies?  Coward!



From the Washington Post:

"Fischer was central to that “hyper-partisan discussion.” He’s the director of issue analysis at the American Family Association, and he blasted the campaign upon Grenell’s hiring for associating itself with an openly gay man.

Grenell also ran into trouble for a bunch of sexist tweets that he ended up deleting from his Twitter feed. In an interview this afternoon, I pointed out to Fischer that Grenell had deep experience in foreign-affairs flacking, a tour of duty that included working under four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations. Would Fischer worry that, with Grenell’s resignation, the Romney campaign might have trouble finding someone as qualified? Someone with Grenell’s record as a bulldog vis-a-vis aggressive reporters? Someone who could bash the Obama team in the media? “Absolutely not,” responded Fischer. “I refuse to believe that Richard Grenell was the only qualified individual. I think that hire was about homosexuality, so there will be plenty of qualified candidates [Romney] will be able to choose from.” Straight ones, that is."

"STRAIGHT ONES, THAT IS."

There you go, America.

No gay person, no matter how qualified will be welcome if these bigots have any say in the matter.  And apparently they decide whom Romeny will have as advisors, NOT Romney!  Wow!

What a miserably distopian country these people want us to live in.

UPDATE:

"Sources close to Grenell say that he was specifically told by those high up in the Romney campaign to stay silent on the call, even while he was on it. And this was not the only time he had been instructed to shut up. Their response to the far right fooferaw was simply to go silent, to keep Grenell off-stage and mute, and to wait till the storm passed. But the storm was not likely to pass if no one in the Romney camp was prepared to back Grenell up. Hence his dilemma. The obvious solution was simply to get Grenell out there doling out the neocon red meat - which would have immediately changed the subject and helped dispel base skepticism. Instead the terrified Romneyites shut him up without any actual plan for when he might subsequently be able to do his job. To my mind, it's a mark of his integrity that he decided to quit rather than be put in this absurd situation. And it's a mark of Romney's fundamental weakness within his own party that he could not back his spokesman against the Bryan Fischers and Matthew Francks. "


Charlie Pierce writing in Esquire:

It's remarkable, this shitcanning of Richard Grenell as foreign-policy spokescritter for the Romneybot 2.0. Remarkable still for its being handled with such notable dispatch. First, you hire on the former mouthpiece for authoritarian nutbag John Bolton to establish further your neo-conservative foreign-policy gravitas. It turns out the guy is openly gay, so bonus! (Remember, all you wavering and otherwise vacant "independent" voters: Once, I was going to be a gayer senator than Teddy Kennedy. Nudge-nudge, wink-wink.) Then, of course, the guy turns out to be just as crackers as his former boss — Bad-mouthing the lovely Callista Gingrich? Calumnizing kindly Doc Maddow? My seconds will call on yours, sir! — and, because he's gay, the megachurches scramble the flying monkeys into the air and, within two weeks, Grenell is as fired as an Ampad worker. Quoth the Politico:


"This was an unforced error, and one that could have been avoided if the Romney campaign had simply said early on we have 100 percent faith in Ric Grenell to do his job," said Chris Barron, one of the co-founders of the group GOProud. "Does anyone in the world doubt that if had been an evangelical or a Mormon or a Jewish person that the Romney campaign would not have defended that person? It is hard for me to comprehend why the Romney campaign chose to leave Ric Grenell hanging out there the way that they did." He added, "Every campaign when you're at this moment where you're making the transition from the primary to the general election looks for their Sistah Souljah moment. And this could have been Romney's Sistah Souljah moment. He could have said, look, this is a guy who was spokesman at the United Nations. This is a guy who served under John Bolton ... and by God, I'm not going to let a handful of extremists bring him down."


Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/richard-grenell-fired-8534269#ixzz1tlMiykZa

This is a shameful example of Mitt Romney's weak-kneed response to outside pressures.  He doesn't have the integrity nor the courage to stand his ground.  He allowed a barking-mad group of homophobic cretins to overrule his choice of a foreign policy wonk. 

Would Romney have allowed an outside group to pressure him to get rid of a Jewish person?  A Mormon? An African-American?  A Latino?  Why is it acceptable for the Christianist bigots to single out a gay person as not acceptable?  Why?

And why didn't Romney have the character to stand up to the bigoted bullies and say NO!  This is the guy I want, and his sexual orientation is not an issue. 

Romney failed.  Big time.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why the Extremists in the GOP Will Continue to Make Conservatives Look Dumb

Another embarrassing piece of evidence on why the extreme Chritianists do the Republican Party no favors each time their nonsensical reactions to science make the news:

Reposted from "Think Atheist:"

"Bill Nye, the harmless children's edu-tainer known as "The Science Guy," managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own.

But don't tell that to the good people of Waco, who were 'visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence,' according to the Waco Tribune.

Nye was in town to participate in McLennan Community College's Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.

But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: "God made two great lights -- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars."

The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled 'We believe in God!' and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they'd always suspected.

This story originally appeared in the Waco Tribune, but the newspaper has mysteriously pulled its story from the online version, presumably to avoid further embarrassment."




Texas isn't the only state where wackadoodles exist in blissful ignorance.  Tennessee has its share of them as well, and the state legislators are doing all they can to guarantee that their state can out-stupid states like Texas:

Tennessee Senate Approves Bill To Warn Students That Hand-Holding Is A ‘Gateway Sexual Activity’         

"Like any state legislature dealing with 8 percent unemployment and thousands of its residents facing disenfranchisement, the Tennessee Senate is targeting the menace of underage hand-holding.

Last week, the Senate passed SB 3310, a bill to update the state’s abstinence-based sex education curriculum to define holding hands and kissing as 'gateway sexual activities.' Just one senator voted against the legislation; 28 voted in favor."

And this jaw-dropping anti-science imbecility, again from the great state of Tennessee:

Tennessee Passes ‘Monkey Bill’ To Teach The ‘Controversy’ On Evolution And Climate Science

On Monday, the Tennessee state legislature passed legislation that requires public schools to teach the “controversy” over evolution, global warming, and human cloning:
"The Senate voted 24-8 for HB368, which sponsor Sen. Bo Watson, R-Hixson, says will provide guidelines for teachers answering students’ questions about evolution, global warming and other scientific subjects. Critics call it a 'monkey bill' that promotes creationism in classrooms."
Anyone with a functioning intellect knows that Evolution is a fact.  To deny this and to encourage legislation that puts factless, faith-based Creationism on the same level as scientific fact is folly and will continue to add to America's shameful decline in science and math, ignorantly brought to us by the extremists in the GOP while the sensible members of that party remain silent, allowing the Know-Nothings to drag it back to the 19th century.

Texas and Virginia state legislators have passed into law a requirement that forces girls and women to have an ultra-sound probe inserted into their vaginas, without their consent, before any abortion, no matter what the circumstances are for the procedure.

With all the problems these states face in unemployment and budgetary short-falls, one can only marvel at the willingness to make scientific fools of themselves as well as forcibly insert the power of the state into the most private lives of citizens.

This is just a small sampling of what the extremists in the GOP do in states where they have control of the governorships and legislatures. 

Just imagine what a GOP president will do on a nationwide level.