Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Friday, January 30, 2015

Henry Kissinger: "For War Crimes, For Crimes Against Humanity"

The late Christopher Hitchens:

"Henry Kissinger should have the door shut in his face by every decent person and should be shamed, ostracized, and excluded. No more dinners in his honor; no more respectful audiences for his absurdly overpriced public appearances; no more smirking photographs with hostesses and celebrities; no more soliciting of his worthless opinions by sycophantic editors and producers. One could have demanded this at almost any time during the years since his role as the only unindicted conspirator in the Nixon/Watergate gang, and since the exposure of his war crimes and crimes against humanity in Indochina, Chile, Argentina, Cyprus, East Timor, and several other places. But the latest revelations from the Nixon Library might perhaps turn the scale at last." (Click here to listen to the conversation; the offending section begins at 13:56.)

Read more here:

The Case Against Henry Kissinger, Part I, The Making of a War Criminal

"In the words of Hitchens, Kissinger deserves prosecution "for war crimes, for crimes against humanity, and for offenses against common or customary or international law, including conspiracy to commit murder, kidnap, and torture." He further calls him "a stupendous liar with a remarkable memory." 

The book takes the form of a prosecutorial document, as Hitchens limits his critique to such charges as he believes might stand up in an international court of law following precedents set at Nuremberg and elsewhere. These link Kissinger to war casualties in Vietnam, massacres in Bangladesh and Timor and assassinations in Chile, Cyprus, and Washington, D.C. 

Hitchens, a writer for Vanity Fair and The Nation, had a history of skewering Democrats (he is the author of a provocative book on the Clintons, No One Left to Lie To) as well as Republicans. The book is written from an authorial position of moral outrage, and calls for Americans not to ignore Kissinger's record. In the author's words, "They can either persist in averting their gaze from the egregious impunity enjoyed by a notorious war criminal and lawbreaker, or they can become seized by the exalted standards to which they continually hold everyone else."


If Henry Kissinger isn't guilty of war crimes, no one is. A Vietnam War whistleblower on Christopher Hitchens' case against the former secretary of state.

Kissinger: Drones have killed more civilians than the bombing of Cambodia in the Vietnam War


John McCain, a/k/a Grandpa Grumpy Pants yelled at Code Pink who demanded Henry Kissinger be arrested for war crimes.  He called the protesters "Low-Life Scum," while defending a war criminal. John McCain is not known for good judgement, and he proved it again by standing up for a man who was responsible for the torture and deaths of thousands and thousands of people around the world while honoring the man responsible.

We expect nothing less from the Senator who foisted an ill-vetted, ill-prepared Sarah Palin on this country, a woman who has proved to be exactly the opposite of what he tried to sell to the world.  Why would his judgement be any better in this case?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

First Ladies and Their Fashion Choices

The chattering chipmunks on the right never miss a chance to insult and denigrate the FLOTUS, Michelle Obama.  No matter what she wears, what she eats, or how she smiles.  It's all bitchy talk from them all the time, because, y'know, THOSE PEOPLE are in the White House.

I thought Laura Bush was a gracious First Lady, and no one that I know of attacked her for suggesting people read to their children--no one said she shouldn't tell other parents "what to do." 

And she was never attacked for her looks, her body shape, or her fashion choices on this blog.  I don't know what the problem is with the right wing bloggers who seem to relish making fun of our first African-American First Lady, but they do it with a vengance and full-on spite.  They, of course, are the ones who come off looking like dreary little gossips who have nothing better to do than pick apart someone else instead of looking in the mirror and discovering the wreckage in their souls.

Just for the record, here are some photos from Laura Bush's time as our FLOTUS.  
Her fashion choices are not anything I'd call elegant or stylish, but she was happy wearing them, and that's all that matters.

First Lady Laura Bush and One of the Johnson Daughters

First Lady, Michelle Obama

Five First Ladies

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Did he REALLY say that?

Yes he did.

Dr. Ben Carson is the darling of the Tea Party because they think he's the anti-Obama man of color, AND he says all the pretty things the Tea-Pee-ers like to hear.  

Pretty. Crazy. Things.

Tea Party bloggers are in love with him and claim he's "sensible," has "common sense," and "true Christian values."

Here's the latest from Dr. Carson:

From Addicting Information:

"Carson railed against LGBT individuals’ demand for equal rights. Carson told members of the media that “a few judges” have overthrown the will of the people in 32 states where it was decided “that marriage is between a man and a woman....

 “ 'If two adults want to be together,' ” Carson said, 'I’m not going to stop them from being together.'  Carson suggested that equal marriage rights are not necessary because two people can take the very expensive route of setting up a 'legal contract' so they can 'share property and have visitation rights' or otherwise experience some benefits of marriage."

 This is where the Crazy Train pulls away from the station:

Carson added:

“What I have a problem with is when people try to force people to act against their beliefs because they say, ‘they’re discriminating against me.’ So they can go right down the street and buy a cake, but no, let’s bring a suit against this person because I want them to make my cake even though they don’t believe in it. Which is really not all that smart because they might put poison in that cake.”

Project much, Dr. Carson?

The Hill reported that Carson’s remark was met with jubilation from his staffers, but “dead silence from the journalists in the room.”

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Oh those Tea-Pee-ers! Feed them a story, any story, and they'll believe it!


Just like they believed the story that John McCain's VP pick was a pitbull with lipstick and that she was qualified to be VP of the USof A!  They actually believed that load of horse manure.

Now another pile of horse manure is being passed around Tea-Pee Land and the usual gullible suspects are lapping it up like honey on a pile of garbage.

Here's what they've been told:

(Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion for disappearing from his base in Afghanistan in 2009, NBC News reported on Tuesday. Bergdahl, who was released from captivity last year in a controversial Taliban prisoner swap, could be charged within a week, the television network said, quoting senior defense officials who were not identified by name.

 However, senior Army and defense officials contacted by Reuters could not confirm the report.

From Addicting Information:

 On Monday, The O’Reilly Factor put on retired Lt. Col. Tony Schaffer who claimed that he had inside knowledge which told him that the former Prisoner of War had been charged, with his lawyer already having been served with the paperwork, for desertion in the events which led up to his capture by the Taliban on June 30th, 2009. 

This of course spread like wildfire across the right-wing media landscape. Problem is, it’s not true. 

This morning, Forces Command spokesperson Paul Boyce stated that the entire claim was false. 

No papers had been sent, no charges filed, none of it was true, and that the Fox News broadcast “seems to be speculative in nature.” In short, Fox News lied, once again. 

 Instead, the military is calling the case still under investigation, with no timetable for a resolution to be filed. As it is an active investigation, no further comments are forthcoming, which means that Fox News created a false narrative to push, and ran with it, once again. 

 The right wing obsession with Bergdhal began as a way to attack the president, for leaving him a POW. But once his freedom was secured, they began to attack him directly, again, as a way to attack the president.


This is just one of the right wing blogs where the Tea-Pee-ers get their WRONG information.

There are so many others out there and so many more Tea-Pee-ers who fall for it every time.


From Army Times:

The Army says there is no truth to media reports claiming a decision has been made to charge Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with desertion. 

 The Army continues to review the case against Bergdahl, said Paul Boyce, a spokesman for Forces Command, on Tuesday morning. "Sgt. Bergdahl has not been charged with any crime," said Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby during a press briefing Tuesday afternoon. 

 "No decision has been made with respect to the case of Sgt. Bergdahl," Kirby said. "None. There is no timeline to make that decision, and Gen. [Mark] Milley is being put under no pressure to make a decision."

Pentagon slams Bergdahl story as 'patently false’ 

 Fox News and several other media outlets reported overnight that he would be charged with desertion, but the Army denied the claim and the head of Army public affairs said the story is flatly wrong. 

 “The reporting from Fox News and NBC on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is patently false,” Maj. Gen. Ronald Lewis said in a statement. “To be clear, there have been no actions or decisions on the Sgt. Bergdahl investigation.”

We'd Rather Talk About THIS Storm

We hope our family and friends in the northeast are okay and have come through winter storm Juno with minimum amounts of damage to their cities and towns.

We tracked the storm as it barrelled up the east coast and are thankful it's almost over and New England can begin to dig out.

Cable news, as usual, ran stories on Juno as though nothing else was happening in the world. Telling viewers how fierce the wind will be and how much snow will accumulate over and over and over gets to be annoying.  Other events are taking place in the country and world even if cable news won't acknowledge it.

For one example, here's a different sort of "storm" we'd rather talk about:

Michelle Obama Takes India By Very Stylish Storm

Of the many reasons there are to admire Michelle Obama, her seemingly effortless resistance to jet lag has got to be one of them. 

At least when it comes to style, anyway. The always fashionable first lady arrived alongside the president in India for a three day trip on Sunday, and was met not only with greetings from the country's prime minister but also great praise and excitement over her outfit, a floral dress and matching coat by Indian designer Bibhu Mohapatra. The designer later gushed to Women's Wear Daily: "I feel like I now have come full circle, with Michelle Obama arriving in my homeland in clothes designed by me," he said.

If you have the stomach for it, you can surf the usual Tea-Pee-er blogs that regularly insult and trash the FLOTUS, because their infantile minds are not able to handle anything above schoolyard taunts and name-calling.  Those IQ-challenged WATBs find their greatest thrills in maligning Mrs. Obama on their puny little blogs; because if they were actually to encounter her or her husband in person, they'd fold like a pile of wet cardboard.  

Anyway, what those bloggers write about the FLOTUS and POTUS (and their daughters) doesn't affect the Obamas one iota.  So it's better for the Tea-Pee-ers to deal with their seething frustrations over this presidency by scribbling inane verses and mocking the First Family; because if they didn't have that as an outlet for their envy and grinding rage, they'd be engaging in their usual habits:  sucking their thumbs or pulling the wings off of the flies that buzz around their fetid little heads.

Oh, and this, just to make this blog post even sweeter:

Remember this from the Weeper of the House back in December?:

Asked if he planned to extend an invitation to Obama, Boehner replied, “Listen, the more the president talks about his ideas, the more unpopular he becomes. Why would I want to deprive him of that opportunity?” 

You need new talking points, Johnny: 

Well, looking at Gallup tracking data, on the day of the State of the Union address, Obama’s approval rating was just a little underwater – 46% approval, 49% disapproval. 

As of today, those numbers are largely reversed – 50% approval, 45% disapproval. 

As a matter of fact, most Americans liked the ideas the president outlined in that speech. 

Wrong again, Mr. Speaker ...  h/t Dailykos

Monday, January 26, 2015

Looney Tunes


The Northeast is bracing itself for historic winter storm, Juno.

America is bracing herself for historic looney tunes from some of the Tea Party's greatest clowns as the 2016 presidential contest begins:

First, we hear from one of the Tea-Pee-ers' perennial goofballs, Donald "My People in Hawaii Are Finding Amazing Things About Obama's Birth Certificate!" Trump:

Trump Keeps Trolling: I Woulda Beaten Obama, Might Run In 2016

Sure, sure, Mr. Purty Lips, you coulda been a contenda!  All 200 of your biggest fans are urging you to throw that dead squirrel you wear on your head into the ring and declare your candidacy. You've got the rugmentum!  Go for it Donny boy!  And pay no attention to this guy.

Next, we have John McCain's greatest gift to America's political cartoonists and comedy shows, the ex-half-term governor of Alaska and matriarch of  the drunken brawlin' Palin clan, Sarah "I Can See The Presidency From My House, AGAIN!" Palin.  

She recently appeared at the Iowa Freedom Summit and apparently lost her notes as well as had the misfortune of having her teleprompter malfunction (yes, the little lady who makes fun of Obama using a teleprompter uses a teleprompter).  So with nothing more than her wits and soaring rhetorical skills, Sistah Sarah gave an impromptu speech, and she killed it!   The English language, that is.  But we expect nothing less than that when Palin opens her mouth and a tornado of sounds blunderingly spin their way into the room, enveloping her listeners in a vortex of nouns, verbs and "lamestream media."  

Mrs. Palin's speechifying speech stunned the DNC whose spokesperson had only two words to say after her dizzying performance:   "Thank you."

Yes.  And thank you, again, John McCain, for giving the nascent Tea Partiers, way back when, an astounding political phenom whom they continue to pin their hopes, dreams, and dollars on, believing that it is she, and no one else, who will deliver the White House to the GOP  Yes, thank-you, and here's looking at you, Louie Gohmert, I understand Mrs. Palin sees you as nicely balancing her ticket: "Looney and Loonier."

  From Liberals United, here are some of Mrs. Palin's droppings:

 “The man can only ride you when your back is bent. So strengthen it! Then the man can’t ride you. America won’t get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake."

On Obamacare: 

 “What will they do to stop causing our pain, and start feeling it again? 

 On Hillary: 

 “Now I’m ready for Hillary Are you? Are you coming?” “Now the press asks, the press asks, “Can anyone stop Hillary?” Again, this is to forego a conclusion, right? It’s to scare us off, to convince us that – a pantsuit can crush patriots?” 

On 2016: 

 “Knowing what the media will do throughout 2016 to all of us, it’s going to take more than a village to beat Hillary…We the people, we realize that this is war, as I say, it is war for the solvency, the sovereignty of the United States of America. And we don’t sit on our thumbs this next time when one of our own is being crucified and falsely accused of whatever the hip activation of the day happens to be, right? Racism, sexism, whatever. Really, it’s kind of Orwellian observing how that works, that rule of Saul Alinsky’s I suppose, that the left employs. Disgusting charges from the left. You know, reverse them. It is they who point a finger who don’t realize they have triple that number of fingers pointing right back at them, revealing that they are the ones who really discriminate and divide.” 


From Andrew Sullivan's blog: 

 In Roger Simon’s words, the clown car became the clown van. The crowd egged on the far right to go further over the edge. The one candidate who might begin to appeal to more than the base – Bush – was a no-show. By all accounts, Scott Walker gave a bravura performance, which may be the only salient thing to last once the vapors have lifted (and he’s worth watching). But to have so many wackos deliver such red meat to a far right base – with Palin and The Donald delivering random strips of steak tartare – is not a basis for appealing to the broader middle any major party has to, if it wants to govern and not merely scream. 

The Palin speech was truly a wonder – an Allan Ginsburg-style Republican “Howl”. I know that with respect to her, I’m an alcoholic who shouldn’t go near a bar – but I couldn’t help myself. Watching the stream of narcissistic, delusional consciousness was like downing three shots of Jäger at once. And there were times when it seemed as if she’d done the same thing (just pick any three minutes at random).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Science Blog

Largest image ever taken of the Andromeda galaxy.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Clueless People Are Upset Because President Obama Reached Out to Young People on YouTube With GloZell Green

YouTube Star Sensation GloZell Interviews President Obama

Hear all that chattering and pearl clutching going on in certain areas of the intertubz? Yeah.  Lots of clueless folks don't understand why President Obama agreed to being interviewed by GloZell Green.   I guess those people think Mr. Obama shouldn't reach out to people they know nothing about or people who represent popular culture they don't understand.

They are in a rage because Mr. Obama agreed to the interview with GloZell Green, but they get green in the face when President Obama breathes in and out, so who cares.  I don't.

And good for President Obama for appearing with GloZell Green.  That interview got over NINE MILLION hits.  The president knew what he was doing, and he reached millions and millions of young people who are happy to know the president takes an interest in them.  Plus millions of them are future voters and will remember this.

Let the Waah-Waahs stew in their own green envy.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ben and George

Travel day.  

Here are some things to think about:

Dr. Ben puts his foot in it again.  This is why he'll never be president.  

So if he were president, and the SCOTUS ruled on something he did not like, he'd ask Congress to remove the Supreme Court judges?  Is there no irony left on the political right?  He and his fellow Tea-Pee-ers claim Mr. Obama is a DIKTATER! and here's Dr. Carson, the Tea-Pee-ers' hero, proposing something any dictator would envy:  Getting rid of the judges who don't rule as you wish!  

As a politician, he's a very good surgeon.

Ben Carson: Congress Should Remove Judges Who Rule For Gay Marriage

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

"This is good news, people." --President Obama -- SOTU Speech

Yes. Yes it is.

Last night's SOTU was terrific.  President Obama was optimistic and confident about the country's economic improvements and monumental social and health care gains that no one believed we'd achieve six years ago.

Here are some of the best parts of President Obama's SOTU:

"We still may not agree on a woman's right to choose, but surely we can agree it's a good thing that teen pregnancies and abortions are nearing all-time lows, and that every woman should have access to the health care she needs....We may go at it in campaign season, but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred; that it's being denied to too many; and that, on this 50th anniversary of the great march from Selma to Montgomery and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we can come together, Democrats and Republicans, to make voting easier for every single American...We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can't walk home without being harassed. Surely we can understand the wife who won't rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift. Surely we can agree it's a good thing that for the first time in 40 years, the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together, and use that as a starting point for Democrats and Republicans, community leaders and law enforcement, to reform America's criminal justice system so that it protects and serves us all."

And this:

"You know, just over a decade ago, I gave a speech in Boston where I said there wasn't a liberal America, or a conservative America; a black America or a white America - but a United States of America. I said this because I had seen it in my own life, in a nation that gave someone like me a chance; because I grew up in Hawaii, a melting pot of races and customs; because I made Illinois my home - a state of small towns, rich farmland, and one of the world's great cities; a microcosm of the country where Democrats and Republicans and Independents, good people of every ethnicity and every faith, share certain bedrock values. Over the past six years, the pundits have pointed out more than once that my presidency hasn't delivered on this vision. How ironic, they say, that our politics seems more divided than ever. It's held up as proof not just of my own flaws - of which there are many - but also as proof that the vision itself is misguided, and naïve, and that there are too many people in this town who actually benefit from partisanship and gridlock for us to ever do anything about it. I know how tempting such cynicism may be. But I still think the cynics are wrong."

Money quote (literally):

"And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this: If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it." 

IOW, Bite Me! 

And finally:

"At every step, we were told our goals were misguided or too ambitious; that we would crush jobs and explode deficits. Instead, we've seen the fastest economic growth in over a decade, our deficits cut by two-thirds, a stock market that has doubled, and health care inflation at its lowest rate in fifty years. This is good news, people."

On the SOTU speech by other analysts and pundits:

Danny Vinik, The New Republic:

"The president has spent the first six years of his presidency waiting for the moment he could take that credit, knowing it was coming. On Tuesday night, it came. Even with five separate responses to the president’s address, there was nothing Republicans could say to fight the growing sense that Obama’s policies are working and that the GOP has been wrong for the past six years. "

Catherine Rampell: 

"Last year, government scientists tell us, was the hottest year on record. This news is terribly — what’s the word? — inconvenient. No, not for polar bears or drought victims or coastal dwellers. It’s inconvenient for politicians across the country who, despite whatever data or overwhelming scientific consensus might be proffered, insist on denying global warming."

Roger Simon:

A Better Politics “isn’t one where Democrats abandon their agenda or Republicans simply embrace mine,” Obama said. “A Better Politics is one where we appeal to each other’s basic decency instead of our basest fears.”  

A Better Politics, he said, “is one where we debate without demonizing each other; where we talk issues, and values, and principles, and facts, rather than ‘gotcha’ moments, or trivial gaffes, or fake controversies that have nothing to do with people’s daily lives.” Personally, I found that last point terrifying. No more “gotcha” moments? No more concentration on trivial gaffes or fake controversies? What on Earth will the press do for a living?

"This is good news, people."

Oh yes it is, but not for the whiners and doom-gloomers who've chosen to see Mr. Obama as their enemy and usurper.  They've been wrong on just about every issue, but most spectacularly wrong on their desperate hope for IRS and BENGHAZI! scandals. Bad news for them.  Their own GOP House committees have found no involvement in the IRS scandal by the White House and no cover-up by the Obama administration on BENGHAZI!  Reality is a beeyotch, innit?

Okay.  Now that this yearly ritual is over, we've still got a lot of work to do, and wouldn't it be great if the opposition tried a thing called cooperation?  That may be asking too much of a party that has worked to make Mr. Obama's presidency a failure even before he took his first oath of office. The country's mood has changed.  The GOP's constant obstruction and petty sniping at everything (tan suit and presidential vacations, e.g.) this president does won't sit well with the American people who are clearly more optimistic and approving of the direction the country is going and the job President Obama is doing.

Observation:  John Bohner looked like he had swallowed a $2-a-gallon pitcher of lemon juice throughout the speech.  LOL!

Joni Ernst?   She was a vast improvement over Jindal and Rubio.  Presented well and looked professional.  But. Meh.  Warmed over Tea Party crumbs for the base.  An anti-climax after a great SOTU speech by President Obama.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pig Castrating GOP Senator To Give SOTU Rebuttal

Senator Joni "The Pig Castrator" Ernst to give SOTU rebuttal.

Keeping the tradition of choosing what the TeaPublicans think are their most promising pols, the Gee-Oh-Pee has chosen Sen. Joni "The Pig Castrator" Ernst this year.

Here are some of Sen. Ernst's more thrilling statements and positions on various issues:

1.    She supported prison for Obamacare officials.  Ernst said she'd back a crazy bill to nullify the ACA and jail bureaucrats.

2.    She takes her gun “virtually everywhere” because she is afraid of not only violent assailants but also the government.

3.    She subscribes to the radical, neo-Confederate idea that states can “nullify” federal laws that they deem to be unconstitutional — and even went so far as to suggest that local law enforcement officers can arrest government officials for simply administering federal laws.

4.    She also wants to abolish the federal minimum wage and eliminate federal agencies such as the Department of Education, the EPA and the IRS.

5.     Senator Joni "The Pig Castrator" Ernst  has also repeatedly floated the idea of impeaching President Obama for becoming a “dictator.” 

6.    She supports government intervention when it comes to women’s reproductive rights, sponsoring the Iowa personhood amendment, which would ban abortion in all cases along with common forms of birth control. “I think the provider should be punished, if there were a personhood amendment,” Ernst said, but has since insisted that she thinks the amendment would be purely symbolic.

You go Senator Ernst!  We await your BSC criticisms on the SOTU by President Obama, because we know that a person who's been a US Senator for less than 3 weeks has important and serious insights into the workings of the federal government.  And you don't have to remind us about how good you are at castrating pigs, because you told us many times during your illustrious campaign that your castration experience would serve you well as a US Senator and give you the tools you need to represent your party.  And don't sit too close to any of your male colleagues.  For some reason, they get very nervous when you're near them.  They may squeal with fright should you do so.

Meanwhile, here are some other rebuttals to the SOTU by these amazing GOP super stars.  

Grunt. Grunt.

Monday, January 19, 2015


Today we celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King.  We owe much to him and his courage in fighting for civil rights for all American citizens.  He gave his life in service to that cause.  We all continue to hope that his dream for universal civil rights will be accorded to our LGBT citizens. And we are thankful that the unalienable right to universal health care is settled law, for without access to affordable health care, our citizens cannot pursue Life, Liberty and Happiness.  

"[D]espite uncertainty and in the midst of profound changes in the two fields, health and human rights are increasingly understood and felt to be—actually—two entirely complementary ways of speaking about—and working to ameliorate—human suffering in all its forms and whenever it occurs. We share a confidence in the future—and in our ability to contribute—each in our own ways and yet together to the healing of the world. Martin Luther King, perhaps the greatest American of [the 20th] century, said "the arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice. ..." This is our modesty, also our boldness, also our aspiration—and together we form a multitude." --Jonathan Mann, MD, MPH

Dr. King's Letter from a Birmingham jail:

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was "well timed" in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This "Wait" has almost always meant "Never." We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, "Wait." But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: "Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?"; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading "white" and "colored"; when your first name becomes "nigger," your middle name becomes "boy" (however old you are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of "nobodiness"--then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait. There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience. You express a great deal of anxiety over our willingness to break laws. This is certainly a legitimate concern. Since we so diligently urge people to obey the Supreme Court's decision of 1954 outlawing segregation in the public schools, at first glance it may seem rather paradoxical for us consciously to break laws. One may well ask: "How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?" The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws. One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that "an unjust law is no law at all."

Now, what is the difference between the two? How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law. To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law. Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.

Let us consider a more concrete example of just and unjust laws. An unjust law is a code that a numerical or power majority group compels a minority group to obey but does not make binding on itself. This is difference made legal. By the same token, a just law is a code that a majority compels a minority to follow and that it is willing to follow itself. This is sameness made legal. Let me give another explanation. A law is unjust if it is inflicted on a minority that, as a result of being denied the right to vote, had no part in enacting or devising the law. Who can say that the legislature of Alabama which set up that state's segregation laws was democratically elected? Throughout Alabama all sorts of devious methods are used to prevent Negroes from becoming registered voters, and there are some counties in which, even though Negroes constitute a majority of the population, not a single Negro is registered. Can any law enacted under such circumstances be considered democratically structured?

In spite of my shattered dreams, I came to Birmingham with the hope that the white religious leadership of this community would see the justice of our cause and, with deep moral concern, would serve as the channel through which our just grievances could reach the power structure. I had hoped that each of you would understand. But again I have been disappointed.

I have heard numerous southern religious leaders admonish their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers declare: "Follow this decree because integration is morally right and because the Negro is your brother." In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churchmen stand on the sideline and mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard many ministers say: "Those are social issues, with which the gospel has no real concern." And I have watched many churches commit themselves to a completely other worldly religion which makes a strange, un-Biblical distinction between body and soul, between the sacred and the secular.

I have traveled the length and breadth of Alabama, Mississippi and all the other southern states. On sweltering summer days and crisp autumn mornings I have looked at the South's beautiful churches with their lofty spires pointing heavenward. I have beheld the impressive outlines of her massive religious education buildings. Over and over I have found myself asking: "What kind of people worship here? Who is their God? Where were their voices when the lips of Governor Barnett dripped with words of interposition and nullification? Where were they when Governor Wallace gave a clarion call for defiance and hatred? Where were their voices of support when bruised and weary Negro men and women decided to rise from the dark dungeons of complacency to the bright hills of creative protest?"

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Kids Are All Right, Part IV: Secular Family Values Edition

Below is an informative op-ed from the LA Times that speaks to the questions many parents who are raising their children with no religion have.  

Raised in the Catholic faith, I made the decision to not, in turn, raise my children in any religion, but often found myself second-guessing my decision. As they grew and asked question about religion, I told them that when they were old enough to understand, they were free to learn about any religion that interested them and to make an informed decision about joining any faith.  They made the decision to not join any church, mosque, or temple, and it turned out that there was no need for any doubt on my part, since my children are moral, caring, loving adults who are raising their children as they were raised.  In fact, my grandson's teacher, in a parent-teacher conference, told my daughter that my grandson was the kindest student in her class.  
Another grandchild who is not being raised in any faith had questions about religion. Her mother told her that it would be her choice, when she was older, whether or not to choose a faith to study and join.  The grandchild thought about the conversation with her mother and later said that she would probably not join a religion because Evolution made more sense to her.  So there it is.  Mine is only one family out of millions of others who have made the choice to raise their children without a religion and to see that passed on, by choice, to other generations.

The study linked in the following article from the LA Times shows the growing number of Americans who choose "None" as their religious affiliation and the article also shows that the countries where secularism is predominant are stable, with lower incidents of violence than religious majority countries, and that their populations are content and happy.

How Secular Family Values Stack Up
by Phil Zuckerman, LA Times Op-Ed

 More children are “growing up godless” than at any other time in our nation's history. They are the offspring of an expanding secular population that includes a relatively new and burgeoning category of Americans called the “Nones,” so nicknamed because they identified themselves as believing in “nothing in particular” in a 2012 study by the Pew Research Center. 

 The number of American children raised without religion has grown significantly since the 1950s, when fewer than 4% of Americans reported growing up in a nonreligious household, according to several recent national studies. That figure entered the double digits when a 2012 study showed that 11% of people born after 1970 said they had been raised in secular homes. This may help explain why 23% of adults in the U.S. claim to have no religion, and more than 30% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 29 say the same.

 So how does the raising of upstanding, moral children work without prayers at mealtimes and morality lessons at Sunday school? Quite well, it seems. Far from being dysfunctional, nihilistic and rudderless without the security and rectitude of religion, secular households provide a sound and solid foundation for children, according to Vern Bengston, a USC professor of gerontology and sociology.


Another meaningful related fact: Democratic countries with the lowest levels of religious faith and participation today — such as Sweden, Denmark, Japan, Belgium and New Zealand — have among the lowest violent crime rates in the world and enjoy remarkably high levels of societal well-being. If secular people couldn't raise well-functioning, moral children, then a preponderance of them in a given society would spell societal disaster. Yet quite the opposite is the case.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Poll Finds New Yorkers Overwhelmingly Support Mayor de Blasio

If you've been reading or listening to the pancake heads who've been dissing New York's Mayor de Blasio, you've been listening to or reading a minority opinion.  An overwhelming majority of New Yorkers support Mayor de Blasio, not the NYPD's temper tantrum and the narcissistic protest they engaged in at the funerals of the two fallen policemen who were recently shot by a mentally ill man.

Backing de Blasio

A new poll by Quinnipiac University suggests that the city’s voters have seen through the police union’s tactics, and that its temper tantrum will cost it political support. Consider the following findings: 

 “Police union leader Patrick Lynch’s comments that the mayor’s office had blood on its hands are ‘too extreme,’ voters say 77 – 17 percent, the independent Quinnipiac University Poll finds. There is no party, gender, racial, borough or age group which finds the comments ‘appropriate.'” 

“Voters say 47 to 37 percent that Mayor de Blasio’s statements and actions during his 2013 campaign and during his first year in office show he does support police.” 

“The recent slowdown in police activity is more of a protest, 56 percent of voters say, while 27 percent say it is because police officers fear for their safety.” 

“Voters say 57 to 34 percent that officers should be disciplined if they deliberately are making fewer arrests or writing fewer tickets. Black, white and Hispanic voters all agree.” 

“Voters give Patrolmen’s Benevolent Assn. President Patrick Lynch a negative 18 to 39 percent favorability rating and say 43 to 27 percent that he is a mostly negative force in the city.”

New Yorkers Reject the NYPD's Tantrum
Another poll from Quinnipiac shows the mayor’s overall approval up slightly. Friedersdorf runs through more numbers: I worried New Yorkers would punish Mayor de Blasio for losing control, rather than backing him to insist that the NYPD is subservient to the people. I didn’t give New Yorkers enough credit.

Mayor de Blasio will come away from this debacle looking fine, the officers who made the funerals about themselves and not their fallen comrades?  Not so much. 

More Good News About Obamacare

Remember how the GOPers voted over 50 times to repeal the A.C.A. and now that they're in charge of Congress threaten to take insurance coverage away from millions and millions of American men, women, and children covered by the A.C.A. because TYRANNY!?

Remember how the hysterics in the GOP predicted that the A.C.A. would be the end of American civilization?

Well, here's some non-hysterical news that shows they were not dealing with reality, but playing the tired old political game of "Don't Give Support To Anything The Democratic President Is For Because _________________ (fill in the blank).

The following is bad news for the GOPers who vehemently opposed the A.C.A., and good news for President Obama, the Democrats, and Americans who struggled with health care costs and coverage:


For the first time in a decade, the number of people struggling to pay their medical bills has started to decline, according to a new survey released on Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund. The researchers attributed the historic drop to the number of people gaining insurance under the health care reform law.

 Between 2012 and 2014 — as Obamacare’s main coverage expansion took effect — the Commonwealth researchers found that the number of people who had issues paying for health treatment dropped from 41 percent to 35 percent.

Over the same time period, the people who skipped out on health services because they couldn’t afford them declined from 43 percent to 36 percent.

In a press release, the researchers described the declines as “remarkable.” This marks the first time since 2005, when Commonwealth started surveying people on these questions, that the number of Americans struggling to afford medical care hasn’t increased.

h/t ThinkProgress

From The Commonwealth Fund survey:

New results from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, indicate that the Affordable Care Act's subsidized insurance options and consumer protections reduced the number of uninsured working-age adults from an estimated 37 million people, or 20 percent of the population, in 2010 to 29 million, or 16 percent, by the second half of 2014. 

Conducted from July to December 2014, for the first time since it began in 2001, the survey finds declines in the number of people who report cost-related access problems and medical-related financial difficulties. 

The number of adults who did not get needed health care because of cost declined from 80 million people, or 43 percent, in 2012 to 66 million, or 36 percent, in 2014. The number of adults who reported problems paying their medical bills declined from an estimated 75 million people in 2012 to 64 million people in 2014.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Barack Hussein Obama, SECRET MUSLIM-MAN!

Oh, hai everyone!  Did you know President Obama is a SECRET! Muslim?  Yesh!  The Righties in their tightie whities have been telling us all about this SECRET for years.  


If everyone knows Obummer/Obongo is a SECRET Muslim, how is it a SECRET? 

Wait again!

If everyone knew this SECRET Muslim was a Muslim (living in OUR WHITE HOUSE, by golly!), why did the American people vote for him TWICE! OMG!  It MUST be because the American people are STUPID! That explains EVERYTHING!!!!! 

Can you believe it?! Now, let's look at the amazing evidence these super sleuths have dug up from the bowels of the intertubz so that every red, white, and blue American will know the real honest-to-apple-pie truth about the usurping, Kenyan, Marxist, Commie, America (AND FRENCH!)-hater. And boy-o do they have the goods on this SECRET Muslim.

Let's start with this unbelievably Muslim-loving quote by Barry Soetoro HUSSEIN Obama: 

Are you kidding me!?   He said that?  OMERGERD! That proves it! Wow! How could we red, white, and blue Americans have been so blind.  I mean look! the proof is right in front of us!

Wait.  What?  That's not the whole quote?  That's only part of what the Righties in the tightie whities spread around the intertubz to make it look like PBO is a Muslim? 

Noooooooooooo!  What kind of scummy liars would do such a thing?!  What's the REAL quote?

"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied."

Oops!  That doesn't say what the Tightie Whitie Righties want you, you gullible little stack of pancakes, to believe, does it.  

What?  There's more?  

Show me:

That's awful!  I mean, doesn't that make your eyes bleed when you read it!  And just look at the turban Hussein Obama is wearing.  Doesn't that prove he's a Muslim, even though, y'know, it's the style of a turban more likely to be found on a Sikh's head rather than on a Muslim's.  But I digress.  The important thing to know is that Hussein Obama said "I will stand with the Muslims...!"

Wait!  That's not the whole quote either?  Whaaa?

Misleading e-mail: From Audacity of Hope: "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." 

Actual quote from "The Audacity of Hope" [pg. 261]: 

"Of course, not all my conversations in immigrant communities follow this easy pattern. In the wake of 9/11, my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans, for example, have a more urgent quality, for the stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

Obama did not say he would side with "the Muslims," which could easily be read as meaning he would side with the world’s Muslim population even if it meant working outside the best interests of the United States. 

He said he would side with "them," referring back to his mention of immigrant communities and specifically to "Arab and Pakistani Americans." Furthermore, he was speaking of an "ugly direction" like the mass internment of Japanese Americans.

So what are we supposed to think here, guys? Did the SECRET Muslim, Barack Hussein Obama, really say the future doesn't belong to those who slander the prophet and that he'd stand with the Muzzies?  

Well, actually, no!

But...but...the emails and images going around the intertubz all say he DID!  

Does that mean that the people who copy and paste these images into their blogs are a bunch of ugly, hateful, malignant, character-assassinating mountbanks, willing to spread lies in order to slander the blah in the White House?

Well, maybe they're not all ugly.  Some may even have all of their teeth.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Feel the love!

From The Denver Post:

 Family: Lakewood church refuses funeral service because woman was gay

"A Lakewood minister refused to hold a memorial service on Saturday for a mother of two at his church because the woman was gay, family and friends said Tuesday. 

 'Her casket was open, flowers laid out and hundreds of people sitting in the pews,' supporters said in a Facebook post. "He collected money for the funeral and has yet to return it." 

 Vanessa Collier was 33 when she died on Dec. 29, leaving behind her wife and children. 

'You will not find Jesus at New Hope but you will find hypocrisy,' said a sign carried at a demonstration outside the church Tuesday by about four dozen family members and friends."

There they go again! Gay people "shoving their lifestyle" in good Christians' faces!  Even when they're dead FFS! 

I'm pretty sure the Savior that pastor pretends to honor and love with great humility every Sunday would throw up copiously after hearing what he did.  Now wait for the usual "He's not REALLY a Christian!" as an excuse for this horrid treatment of a bereaved family.  

But all one has to do is visit some of the rabid extreme rightwing blogs to see that many religious conservatives would be in complete agreement with the ungodly pastor who committed this insult against all that is humanly decent.  I've read far too often the blatherings of hate-filled fanatics who see everything gay people do as a threat to their loving Christian way of life.

But wait!  There's even more Stupid:


National Guard Should Shoot Gay Couples In The Face, Politely Requests Homophobe 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

We Find It To Be False

Some low-information wingnuts are up to their tired old tricks again, distorting and reporting falsehoods about what Mr. Obama wrote in his books "Dreams from My Father" and "The Audacity of Hope."  As soon as Mr. Obama's approval numbers rise, these bottom feeders trot out this stale and stupid accusation, which has thoroughly and irrevocably been refuted and debunked.

Unfortunately, when one's intelligence is at the level of a stack of pancakes, one  has a problem understanding simple facts.


Not Muslims, but Arab-Americans By Angie Drobnic Holan

A chain e-mail going around takes statements out of context from Sen. Barack Obama's books Dreams from My Father and The Audacity of Hope . 

 The e-mail was sent to us by 20 PolitiFact readers who said they wanted to know if the claims were true. (For more on the e-mail and a link to its full text, read our article on Obama's book .) The e-mails states, "From The Audacity of Hope: 'I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.' " 

 The quote comes from page 261 of the paperback edition of The Audacity of Hope. In the full passage, Obama talks about speaking in front of audiences of immigrants, and how he often tells them that they embody the American dream. But he wrote that when he speaks to audiences of Pakistani and Arab-Americans, their message to him has a more urgent quality. "(T)he stories of detentions and FBI questioning and hard stares from neighbors have shaken their sense of security and belonging. They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." 

 Obama doesn't mention Muslims here at all; he's clearly talking about U.S. citizens of Arab and Pakistani descent. Also, the e-mail says Obama would "stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction," implying he made a statement to that effect. But it's clear in reading the text that the words actually represent a question Obama is being asked by his audiences: "they need specific assurances ... that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." 

 Though Obama doesn't say so explicitly, he gives the impression his answer is yes. The e-mail distorts Obama's quote and misrepresents who he was talking about, lumping together an entire religion when he was talking to two groups of people in the context of discrimination. 

It's a significant alteration to the meaning of what Obama said, and we find it to be False.

 Q: Did Obama write that he would "stand with the Muslims" and that he nurses a "pervasive sense of grievance and animosity" toward whites? 

A: No. A widely circulated e-mail fabricates some quotes from Obama’s books and twists others.