Sunday, July 8, 2012

American Angst
The Tea Party has been and is a hate group. You hear it in their discourse, they don't have much in the way of sympathy for their fellow Americans. Illinois Representative Joe Walsh shows how to ratchet up incredibly lame rhetoric. His competition this year is Tammy Duckworth, a double amputee of the Iraq war. Walsh's comments were not taken well by anyone that I can tell, except the core group of haters in the party. When referencing Tammy, Walsh said, "what else has she done? Female, wounded veteran, eh."
Compassion is not a requirement for some. Walsh was on Fox and played the victim. You know, if you make ridiculous defaming comments, it is someone else's fault.
GOP congressional candidate Chris Collins states that no one dies from breast cancer anymore while discussing his desire to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. I understand his thought that health care has improved over the years, it just wasn't the best way of conveying that thought.
Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey blows up again while on vacation. A passerby made a comment about his education policies and Christie went Christie. "You're a real big shot, a real big shot shooting your mouth off like that," Christie stated. The man replied, "just take care of the teachers." Christie fired back, "keep walking away, keep walking." 
This after he abused a reporter who asked a question the governor did not want to answer. At that incident, the Governor called the man "stupid" and apologized to the rest of the crowd for having to deal with the "idiot."
I find this fascinating only because the GOP wanted him to run for president, and he is still a possible vice-presidential candidate. He could set the whole tone for a new generation of angry republicans. The haters would love him.
Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin republican who came up with a budget plan that is embraced by the GOP, and hated by everyone else including nuns, has a new tactic in regards to health care. In negating the views of many that health care should be a right, and not a privilege, Ryan responded thusly“I think this at the end of the day is a big philosophy difference,” he continued. “What Ms. Kennedy and others were saying is that this is a new government-granted right. We disagree with the notion that our rights come from government, that the government can now grant us and define our rights. Those are ours, they come from nature and God, according to the Declaration of Independence — a huge difference in philosophy.”
Yes Congressman, rights might possibly derive from nature, but happily god didn't have anything to do with it. I think with the current state of affairs in the republican party, the only thing they wish to give us is servitude. Obey please.
Debtor's Dilemma
Before the civil war, debtor's prisons were eliminated, but apparently here we go again. Make no mistake, this is a travesty. If you are poor, and can't pay the fine, you go to prison. The New York Times reported a story concerning Gina Ray who had a speeding ticket for $179 that ended up costing $3,170 in fines and fees. Probation companies are promising income to broke towns, which is why we see inflated fees and fines. She ended up with 40 days in jail as well, and will probably serve more since she can't afford the costs.
Apparently with misdemeanors, even with the possibility of serving time, the right to counsel is infrequently brought up. We know this problem is specific to one group, and that is the poor. If the democrats wanted to pick up a new class warfare slogan, this one would work.
Prisons for profit must be enjoying this new concept. 
Lisa Lindsay was taken away in handcuffs for not paying a $280 medical bill. A breast cancer survivor, and now a criminal.
Now it is not only a hardship to be poor, but also a criminal activity. 
Hello Hell
Though we can't say that temperatures in the U.S. are caused by global warming, they sure do give us a look into a possible future. Scientists say this is "what global warming will look like."
Droughts, wildfires that have burned up 2.1 million acres, heat waves effecting a good part of the country, all point to an impending disaster. That disaster could be seen in food shortages. Grain price are once again shooting up and have reached the 2008 levels where the world saw a shortage in food supplies. 
We know that conservatives are doing their best to insinuate that global warming is a hoax. They will do whatever is necessary to downplay anyone that publicly states climate change is real. This week, a meteorologist named Doug Kammerer matter-of-factly stated, "if we did not have climate change, we wouldn't see this." That didn't set well with the deniers at all.
Fox liar Malkin didn't like Doug's honesty and her blitzkrieg of the facts shows just how low she can go. I hope her grandchildren will love the hell she is creating. I don't know why it bothers me more that a woman takes this stance than a man, I keep thinking that mothers are more prone to nurture than kill; an abomination?
The Keystone XL Pipeline being pushed by the climate killing conservatives in power. Whether we know positively that we are seeing the effects of climate change or not, we do know what effect tar sand oils will have on the climate.James Hansen, who in the early 80's predicted what our climate after the turn of the century would look like, has gone on record saying that sand tar oil creates three times the global warming emissions as conventional methods.
Climate scientists say we are debating the wrong problem. It is not whether climate change is a fact, it is. The debate should be about how bad it will be and by when. Instead we have the Malkin's of the world control the conversation with uninformed opinions.  
Bible Belt
The American home of god, the deep south, is also the home of god's white men. Pastor William J. Collier of Alabama is holding a christian conference and everyone should come, as long as you're blindingly white. I only comment on this because of Collier's amusing statement,"We don't have the facilities to accommodate other people. We haven't got any invitations to black, Muslim events. Of course we are not invited to Jewish events and stuff." Does anyone but me wonder what special facilities are needed to accommodate americans that aren't white? Even if he meant he doesn't have the room to house all his guests should everyone come, it still could have been first come first serve, right? The best part, the conference will end with a "sacred christian cross lighting." 
The bible belt could easily be described in a more accurate manner; the porn belt. God's blessed really enjoy all types of porn, warehouses are full of whatever a good christian needs to survive. Porn should be political this year, since there is a full blown war on women in progress, maybe conservatives should be taken to task over their family values. The heart of conservatism is synonymous hard core sex, should we ask them all about this? Social conservatives have always railed against pornography, lets see what answers they come up with.
Quick fact, the top ten states downloading gay porn are all red. Anti-gay maybe, but gay porn? Love it!
Occupy Oasis
The revolution will not be covered.
In 2008, a factory owned by Bank of America closed its doors. Vacation pay and  wages were all denied by the bank, and the occupation began. The company was bought by Serious Energy, who is now getting ready to sell. The occupation begins again. According to union officials, Serious agreed to find a buyer for the factory, and they do have a bid. Seemingly they've changed their minds. They are no longer looking to keep it a functioning factory, apparently the sell off will benefit several local investors from the area.
If we have learned anything from the Occupy movement, it is that the police are here to protect the wealthy. There is an argument being expressed that police are here to insure inequality; race, class, gender, sexuality and so on. We do seem to have a highly militarized police force, and we are probably too late to stop it.
In Philadelphia, occupiers flashed a large 99% We The People message over Independence Hall, which was seen as a crime. Subsequently, those who accomplished the feat were arrested. It appears that Occupy is still a force to be reckoned with, even if you have to search to find news on the movement. This is possibly the biggest social movement ever, and it is ignored.
Sickly Sorrows
Pennsylvania conservative Governor Tom Corbett has found a glitch in the system, and has saved the state some money by knocking 89,000 children off of medicaid. Wasn't hard, those who need the service were given ten days to not only file, but to have the paperwork processed as well. The deluge of mail couldn't be handled. Good job Governor, the children with leukemia, heart defects and cerebral palsy salute you. This is besides the 800,000 that will not get to benefit from the Affordable Care Act if he continues to be a dick.
I will keep these thoughts in your mind, because they are atrocious.
In Florida Governor Scott will deny 1 million citizens medicaid if he holds to his promise of opting out of the Affordable Care Act. Somehow prohibiting the sick from health care is the right decision for the people. 
In South Carolina, same idiocy. Governor Haley says her state will opt out as well, leaving 330,000 hated citizens without health care.
Mississippi's Governor Bryant also states that giving health care to 500,000 citizens would not be good for the state. He should say, not good for his buddies.
Louisiana's Governor Jindall compares the ACA to buying a Chevy Volt. I'd like to see him wiggle through that statement. He's hoping for a new president so he can withhold humanitarian actions to hundreds of thousands of citizens. I haven't been able to find the exact number.
Governor Brownback of Kansas also states he will deprive 130,000 citizens of a basic human necessity. He is also betting on a long shot presidential win. Another third of a million people denied.
In Texas, 1.5 million people will be effected by Governor Perry's stance on the ACA. Let me say that again, 1.5 million people. 
Fifteen states are saying they will opt out in all. 
Education Enemies
Updates on the plan to rewrite American History in Texas. 
Texas had 4.8 million textbook reading school children in 2011. Much of the country uses their textbooks which is why the amendments they propose and pass effect so many. 
Texas originally gained control by paying 100% of the costs of all public school textbooks, as long as they were approved by their board. Money once again repressing education in the states. The whole process is a sham, and once had the "New Deal" tossed out of our history.
Starting in 2010 and still moving are the following changes that not only distort history, but brainwash the students into ideology instead of critical thinking. 
Everyone still remembers Thomas Jefferson being deleted. In the section of great Enlightenment thinkers, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and others were all removed from the books. Jefferson was finally put back in, but they removed the word "Enlightenment," which greatly changes the context of his contributions. The philosophers were replaced with religious leaders like Aquinas; which should have horrified every atheist in the country. 
Religious freedom barely a footnote, christianity is where it is at.
No more capitalism, it is now the free enterprise system. Sounds so much nicer doesn't it?
No talk about progressive or minority issues, instead it focuses on the conservative resurgence of the 80's and 90's. The Moral Majority, the NRA and the Heritage Foundation, all heroes in our new history. And please give Reagan much more coverage, after all, he defeated communism.
Now students must learn about the unintended consequences of the Great Society. You know, affirmative action and Title IX. Wasn't really that great I guess.
McCarthy was right, there were communists infiltrating our government.
Hip Hop doesn't exist, we should go back to the gold standard, etc.
A big win for conservatism if this garbage is being taught across much of the country. 
Whether it is about science, history or any other part of the education system, should we allow any ideological rewrites? They now include on the subject of evolution thatchildren consider gaps in the fossil records and if natural selection is enough to explain the complexity of human cells. 
I have to get a hold of some local textbooks and check it out. I remember the outrage at the time, but I don't remember much being changed. Can you imagine a whole generation of Americans that you can't find common ground with?
Planet Politics
The crisis in Europe continues, and Americans get a front row seat to see what austerity measures do to a populace. 
Spain's third largest bank, Bankia, was the benefactor of a public bailout to the tune of 23 billion euros. We know this story, banks profit always, the public loses; always. There as here, we have some who protest. Three cantaora singers entered the bank and began singing cante jondo, Andalusion gypsy songs of grief, pain and protest. I like.
It would seem to be the usual work of greed, but what is different than what Americans are used to is that there is an investigation into the bank's tactics; maybe they will get justice while we wait? Only months after Bankia's IPO, they were filing bankruptcy. The High Court is investigating allegations of fraud. 
Greece has decided that unchecked capitalism is the way to go. They intend to privatize natural gas and water, hell; Greece is up for sale. International investors will be in control of their natural resources soon. 
France is also selling off government run or supported entities. Capitalism is alive and well on the European continent, no matter who they elect. They do appear to have laws on the books to prevent unchecked capitalism, but their way of life is changing like the rest of the world's is.
Interesting enough, Finland isn't putting up with the crisis. They still have a triple A rating and according to their finance minister, will leave the eurozone instead of contributing to the collapse. If anyone gets a hand from them, they better come up with collateral. 
Italy is trying to drive a hard bargain by insisting that borrowing costs be reduced. Good luck with that.
These tidbits all center around one thought, austerity measures. I think it would be a good thing for us all to watch how that plays out.

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