Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Captain Obvious Strikes again - in the War for your Mind this time

I normally don't get hysterical watching the news but Rep. Peter King (Republican representing Long Island) was quoted saying the most remarkable thing...

Following the attempted bombing of the Delta airlines flight into Detroit there has been a lot of chatter about the need to profile Muslims. He is clear to point out that the majority of Muslims are good people and then spews this line:

"One hundred percent of the Islamic terrorists are Muslims"

Really? You mean there is a link between Islam and Muslims? Whoever thinks that Members of Congress are elected because of their superior intellect are sadly mistaken.

Honestly, I almost spit my coffee out I was laughing so hard.

(You can watch the clip that include King's remarks here. His Captain Obvious statement comes in at the 1:25 mark.)

Side note: I liked it when the former CIA analyst took on profiling by saying: "Look, I think when people make an argument for racial profiling they’re either lazy, they’re either arrogant, or frankly they’re racist."

As we move into the War on your Mind section of the post, please take a moment to watch this clip where talking heads are talking about profiling.

Perhaps there can be an intelligent conversation about profiling... Right? Do we need to pull a 78 year old Mexican grandmother out of line to question her? Even if we wanted to engage in the debate listen again as to how the question was framed....

"Are the political correctness police putting our safety at risk?"

(at the 3:00 mark just before the break)
(and then again at the 3:15 mark just after returning from the break)

"Is political correctness jeopardizing our security in the sky?"

(Sidebar: Note the use of fear. It's like those teasers for the 11:00 news. "Can the common household cleaners you have in your home right now, KILL YOUR CHILDREN? Tune in at 11 to find out". Seriously - if there is something serious enough to kill my children you should tell us now.)

OK - back to the War for your Mind. What's happening here?

Any real debate on the merits of profiling need to happen within a different context. Is it feasible to pull out all Muslims? First off, how do you tell if someone is a Muslim? You can't. Ideology isn't seen. But let's put this aside and put down the fear mongering.

Is this 'Political Correctness' that is preventing us from doing this? No. Are there 'Political Correctness police'? No.

In our great nation we have laws that govern our land and protect people from unreasonable search and seizure (it's in the Constitution, look it up). So it is our Constitution and our laws that say we can't stop and search someone without a reasonable cause. Not political correctness.

But when the argument is framed as political correctness, people think that it's just silly, naive liberals who want to create a 'magical Utopia'. Right? The reason that the terrorist was almost able to kill all those people is simply because of some 'political correctness'. That is, we were somehow afraid of offending his (or others) sensibilities so he was let on the plane.

Within the American culture it is widely held that the political correct movement has come from the Left. So this links the Left with preventing America from protecting itself. And why? As we see here, it's framed again in terms of political correctness - of 'offending someone':

When Professor Fair (of Peace Studies) says "
One-third of the world's population is Muslim. Trying to treat every single Muslim as a terrorist is simply untenable, it's fearmongering" she presents a cogent argument suggesting that trying to lump billions of people into a group for extra screening isn't a practical or realistic solution.

Gallagher responds: "
Who are you afraid of offending Christine? Al Qaeda? " (5:15 mark).

So again, this isn't about coming up with realistic solutions to these problems, it's about framing a political group as being 'weak' when it comes to defending America. And why do we say they are weak? Because they are afraid to 'offend' people. Gallagher's remark pulls the debate to the extreme. Can we realistically profile that many people? (a reasonable question) answered with : 'of course, the only thing that is stopping us is that YOU ARE AFRAID OF OFFENDING Al QAEDA'.

I'd say it's a bizare leap of logic, but the logic behind it isn't resting in the merits of the debate, it rests in how the debate is perceived.

Several times you hear Professor Fair state "I'm not opposed to profiling", but that is flatly ignored. Why? Because having someone from the Left say that there could be reasonable profiling, but it's complicated, doesn't fit with the image that they are trying to produce.

In the
War on your Mind, this conversation is trying to convince you that because the Left doesn't buy into simplistic, unrealistic solutions, they are weak. From the way the question was asked, there was no real debate.

What if the moderator asked, "Is our Constitution up to the task of protecting us or should we cut back on the Rights it affords to us?" You think the conversation would play out differently?

There is a War for your Mind.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Illegal Immigrants!!!


From his speech:
It's no secret that with an invasion of immigrants comes waves of crime. We see them involved in massive theft, in murder, and bringing diseases like smallpox, which is responsible for the death of millions of Americans. These aren't new problems, though -- they have been going on for hundreds of years, and continue to this day.

I say it's time for us to say enough is enough! Are you with me? Are you with me? Let's send these European immigrants back where they came from! I don't care if they are Polish, Irish, English, Italian, or Norwegian! European immigrants are responsible for the most violent and heinous crimes in the history of the world, including genocide and slavery! It's time to restore the sovereignty of people native to this land!

I want more workplace raids, starting with the big banks downtown. There are thousands of illegals working in those buildings, hiding in their offices, and taking Dakota jobs. Let's round them up and ship them out. Then we need to hit them at home where they sleep. I don’t care if we separate families, they should have known better when they came here illegally!

If we aren't able to stand up to these European immigrants, who can we stand up to? We need to send every one of them back home, right now.

Thank you very much, and we'll see you in the streets!

Columbus Go Home! Columbus Go Home! Columbus Go Home!

Over at Bluestem Prairie the authors went down and witnessed the event. They write about it, including the reaction (pushing, shoving, intimidating) by the anti-immigrant crowd (classy as always).

...we watched "Robert Erickson" of Minneapolis rally the anti-immigration part of the crowd with his objections to the mass invasion of America by immigrants who brought disease and took away jobs. They stayed with him as he called for a mass deportation of these invaders.

To Europe.

Most of the MINN-SIR supporters were slow to catch the satire, and so the cheering from that side of the crowd took a while to subside. As they realized they'd been punk'ed, they stood in a cold, stunned silence, while the 30 or so counter-protesters urged Columbus to go home. Read the rest here.

The good folks over at I Don't Hate America! have also written about it, including the reaction from the anti-immigrant organizers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


This just makes me sick. Honestly.

This is our free market capitalist system at work...

Here is the set up - a woman, with insurance, gets raped. Because she was drug raped and they did not know if the attacker used a condom or not, she was put on anti-HIV/AIDS meds. Her insurance company finds out she's on these meds and in therapy so, the compassion of the market takes over and they drop her faster than a conservative politician (who cheat on their wives) vote for family values.

And on top of it - she's an insurance agent. She talks with the underwriters with this 'hypothetical' case and they all answer the same - drop her - she's uninsured until out of therapy and HIV/AIDS free for 3 years.

Don't believe me? Watch the video your self.

Then do something....
Join A Woman Is Not A Pre-Existing Condition and advocate with congress.

So denying a rape victim insurance isn't bad enough? How about this one? Peggy Robertson needed insurance but there was one pesky problem... she had a previous C-section. Solution? Voluntary sterilization.

And then... let's deny coverage to her son!

My wife and I ran into this same thing when our son was born. At the time my company was trying to get private insurance because of the costs for group coverage. At his first check-up the doctor noticed my son 'looking down'. Apparently that can be a sign of something very serious - hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. To rule that out he had an MRI at the tender age of 8 days old. Needless to say, we were terrified through the proceedure and so relieved to find out he was perfectly healthy.

Then the insurance company shared their good news with us: Because he had an MRI at that age, he was uninsurable. Good news for them that is because it reduces their exposure to potential problems. Seems any medical intervention increases the statistical risk for future intervention and therefore - my son was no longer a potential profit center but a liability.

PLEASE CALL CONGRESS... Tell them to get off their 'lifetime covered asses' and fix healthcare including a public option.

Wanna know what Congress gets? Coverage that includes "a choice of 10 healthcare plans that provide access to a national network of doctors, as well as several HMOs that serve each member's home state...[They] also get special treatment at Washington's federal medical facilities and, for a few hundred dollars a month, access to their own pharmacy and doctors, nurses and medical technicians standing by in an office conveniently located between the House and Senate chambers.

In all, taxpayers spent about $15 billion last year to insure 8.5 million federal workers and their dependents, including postal service employees, according to the Office of Personnel Management."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Illegals, Watch Out - We're Taking Back Our Jobs!

Alicia Morgan over at Last Left Turn Before Hooterville has a warning for all those so-called Illegal Immigrants...Watch Out - We're Taking Back Our Jobs!
She writes:
There's a new movement afoot in the American Right. Inspired by the rabidly anti-immigration, tirelessly pro-American-worker Lou Dobbs, it's springing up all across America. From the meatpacking plants of Iowa to the dairy farms of Arizona, from the kitchens of New York's finest restaurants to the Salad Bowl of California's Salinas Valley, in hotels, motels, and Holiday Inns all across this great nation of ours, the patriotic men and women who for years have stood by and watched illegal immigrants swarming across the border to brazenly steal their jobs have had enough. (Read the rest here)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

This whole thing is getting out of control. There are outright lies - not just misinformation - out there. There are people who are are willing to shout down a handicapped woman while she tries to talk at a health care rally and Congressional Representatives calling the President a liar (See the video here or a different kind of attack here.)

Meanwhile, the media completely overlooks those in pain...

Tell Congress you want a public option. Go ahead - pick up the phone and dial 202-224-3121. Tell them you want it now.

Don't let these classy folks stop the debate:

Rep. Wilson (R SC-02) shouting "You lie" at the President of the United States

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Great post by Roger Ebert...

I'm safe on board. Pull up the life rope

| | Comments (775)

1_DG_Color_LifePreserver.jpgHaving read through some 600 comments about universal health care, I now realize I took the wrong approach in my previous blog entry. I discussed the Obama health plan in political, literal, logical terms. Most of my readers replied in the same vein. The comments, as always, have been helpful, informative and for the most part civil. My mistake was writing from the pragmatic side. I should have followed my heart and gone with a more emotional approach. I believe universal health care is, quite simply, right.

It is a moral imperative. I cannot enjoy health coverage and turn to my neighbor and tell him he doesn't deserve it. A nation is a mutual undertaking. In a democracy, we set out together to do what we believe is good for the commonwealth. That means voluntarily subjecting ourselves to the rule of law, taxation, military service, the guaranteeing of rights to minorities, and so on. That is a cheap price to pay.

Read on...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Support the Stauts Quo

As an organizer I teach people that, no matter the system, someone benefits from it. It may be broken for many, if not most people, but at the end of the day?... someone benefits from it.

The Billionaires for 'Weathcare' go to thank all those on the right protesting health care reform. "Save the Status Quo! It works for us!"

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

When does equal not mean equal?

The status quo is a funny thing. It provides a normalizing context where everything seems to be 'in order', the 'way it should be'. Throughout our history we've had different opportunities to take a look at what is 'normal' and decide that, well, perhaps normal isn't such a great idea.

Remember slavery? Once upon a time in our country it was normal to own another human being. They were treated as less than human. We could do what we want with them. We bred slaves like animals and then sold their children away from them. Millions of people taken from their homes in Africa or were born into bondage in America. And yet, it was normal. Heck, even our Presidents owned slaves. The practice was so normal that even the church used the Bible to justify slavery. (Not all churches mind you, the Quakers were out front and during the Abolitionist movement many other churches joined in condemning the practice. If you haven't seen the movie Amazing Grace I highly recommend it). Still, slavery lasted for 258 years in America, from the founding of Virginia in 1607 until the Thirteenth Amendment was passed in 1865.

So African American's won their freedom and everything was hunky-dory right? Wrong. The status quo still said African American's weren't equal. Remember the term Separate but Equal? Today we know it's not but the Supreme Court ruled in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) that it was. It wasn't until Brown v. Board of Education (1954) that it wasn't. That's a long status quo. And let me assure you, people were none too happy about these changes in their communities. Everyone knows blacks know their place - at the back of the bus right? Wrong!

Oh, and what about those women? Silly girls, thinking they are equal to boys. People actually thought this. It took a movement to even allow women to vote. Once again, people weren't happy about suggesting women had a place in society. Women were beaten and jailed. They were harassed and persecuted. I pray my own daughter won't ever forget the sacrifice by other women, decades before she was born, that will allow her to pursue her dreams. And the torch was passed down to women in the 60's and 70's who fought for equal pay. But why did they need to fight? Because the status quo said women don't need to earn as much - they aren't the breadwinners. (By the way - that fight isn't over. In 2007 women still earned 77 cents on the dollar to what men were making).

Interracial marriage. We don't think a thing of it today. Why wouldn't people get married if they loved each other. Richard and Mildred Loving fell in love and got married. The only problem? They did it in Virginia where interracial marriage was illegal. The Virginia district judge Leon Bazile ruled against them saying:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

Today we look at statements like that and think - how crazy?!? Still, it took a Supreme Court decision to allow couples of different races to marry. June 12, 1967 the Loving decision was handed down, striking down state laws that prohibited interracial marriages.

Then the 80's rolled around and gaybashing became all the rage. I find it alarming that in many of these cases the church is complicit in supporting the status quo. We can be so rightous about our believes.

We stand on the "moral authority of God" on these issues. But when we look back, that authority seems to bleed away. Does God support slavery? Condemn interracial marriage? Does God think that Separate is Equal? Would Jesus call women to be second class citizens? (I know this one is still being hashed in in many churches today - and that too makes me sad).

"But Chris" I hear you say, "the Bible is clear about this."
I'm sure it seemed clear when it supported slavery too. That doesn't make it right.

When we look back, years or decades from now. Which side of the fight do you want to say you stood for?

Equal means Equal.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

Defending the myth of the American Dream

I saw this clip on Fox News and was really amused by how the interview went. Check it out.

OK, let's analyze it for a minute.

First off, remember that the Professor's thesis is that it takes a bit of luck to be successful in addition to hard work etc. That often that luck comes in forms that we don't typically think about, such as our place of birth. If hard work is all it takes, why are there more millionaires in first world countries than third world countries? You can read the Professor's article in the New York Times.

OK, now that we're grounded in the Professor's thesis, let's review how the host tries to challenge it. From the very introduction the host sets up a black and white dichotomy - is it hard work, talent and determination OR luck. Remember, the professor never claimed that hard work, talent and determination aren't important. You can bet that the host will later suggest we don't need to work hard - just be lucky.

And we haven't even gotten to the first question! Watch how quickly Varney, the host of the show, personalizes the Professor's thesis....

"Wait a minute, Professor, do you know how insulting that was... when I read that"... and he goes on to talk about what a tough time he had as an immigrant to America and how he worked so hard....

"I came with nothing"... (I'm getting teary eyed thinking about this scrappy little immigrant kid)... Oh but wait - he did come with a degree from the London School of Economics. Most likely not a poor kid from Calcutta eh? He got hired by CNN back in the 80's and has continued his career in "journalism". Today he earns $20,000 to $30,000 for speaking engagements. That's on top of his FOX News salary.

Even when the professor says that hard work is important, Varney tries to flip it again. This time the personal gives way to an iconic argument.... "You're saying the American Dream is not really there".

And to even suggest luck might have anything to do with anything is "OUTRAGEOUS!"

Yep, being born to my parents wall all skill on my part baby.

And then we see it... Varney flips the luck argument (as predicted) and says "Then there's not point in trying hard."

(As a side note, I'm wondering if conservatives are simply incapable of holding 'both/and' ideas in their head. Perhaps their world is so black and white that holding two positions simultaneously would cause the to explode. I mean seriously - is this that big a deal that luck might accompany hard work?)

OK - so we shift from luck to taxes. Again, as a conservative it's an all or nothing point of view. If taxed, obviously the government is socialist. Wild swinging extremes.

And what does this professor think the tax rate ought to be? Why is he asking this question? Does the professor set tax policy? I suspect he's asking because he knows the professor favors a higher tax rate and therefore wants to paint him as someone "who wants to take your money".

Then there is comparing the US with the rest of the world. And when that doesn't pan out the answer is "then you go live there".

And of course, we couldn't have a rational discussion about these issues without the requisite labeling of the opposition as socialist. And again, even after the Professor explicitly says the opposite, Varney repeats how insulted he is and that the Professor is "going against the American Dream".

My favorite part was when Varney says "If you come to America with nothing, if you play by the rules and get WILL make it in America" etc. I guess hard working is in the eye of the beholder. I guess if you have a degree from the London School of Economics you work much harder than tomato pickers. That whole "I came with nothing" rant... Please.

We could analyze this deeper but I'd suggest that one reason why wealthy people want to cling to this idea that they are 'self-made' is that they don't want to be obligated to anyone. We live in a country where the laws make it possible for business to succeed and have a world class infrastructure that allows for the distribution of goods and services. All paid for by the government but conservatives discount all that.

OK, one last point and a bit of humor. Varney suggest to the Professor "Why don't you go live there"..... just for fun - the Daily Show took a look to see how hellish life in a socialist country might be...
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
The Stockholm Syndrome
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

and part II
The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
The Stockholm Syndrome Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Economic CrisisPolitical Humor

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thanks to Josh Nelson at the Huffington Post

Friday, April 17, 2009


Honestly I laugh too much when I read about these events.

Great examples of Astroturf movements but I digress...

Matt Taibbi has written a great piece on this 'movement'....

"Anyway this teabag thing has really gotten out of control. It’s amazing, literally amazing to me, that it wasn’t until Obama pushed through a package containing a massive public works package and significant homeowner aid that conservatives took to the streets. In other words, it wasn’t until taxes turned into construction jobs and mortgage relief that working and middle-class Americans decided to protest. I didn’t see anyone on the street when we forked over billions of dollars to help JP Morgan Chase buy Bear Stearns. And I didn’t see anyone on the street when Hank Paulson forked over $45 more billion to help Bank of America buy Merrill Lynch, a company run at the time by one of the world’s biggest assholes, John Thain. Moreover I didn’t see any street protests when the government agreed to soak up hundreds of billions in “troubled assets” from Citigroup, a company that just months later would lend out a jet furnished with pillows upholstered with Hermes scarves to former chief Sandy Weill so that he could vacation in Mexico over Christmas."

Feel free to run over and read the whole post (Warning... grown up language and content).

Monday, April 6, 2009

An example of the type of hate running loose in the country today

The Miami Herald ran a story about a Cuban trying to escape from Cuba. While trying to get into Gitmo (of all places) he stepped on a land mine, blowing his legs off. A medic saved him and he's gone onto become a radiologist - a fairly inspiring story of overcoming adversity etc.

I guess the problem was he was an immigrant. And in todays hostile climate around immigration, inspirational stories aren't enough.

The first comment following the article was:
FLA707 wrote on 04/04/2009 04:45:05 PM:

Perhaps land mine technology can be improved. Too bad it was not successful in this case. But, mine fields can be an effective anti-immigrant tool. We need mine fields along the mexican border. Stop the immigrant invasion by any means necessary. American jobs for American citizens.

(I reported it as hate speech so it may be taken down)

I just don't understand peoples total lack of humanity. What sick, perverted thinking we've come to...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Driftglass has it going on...

As Driftglass said: Been There, Done That

Friday, March 20, 2009

Holy Crap. Please pray for Kevin ....

.... and the hundreds of other just like him.

Blessed are the children. Not in America apparently...

Pssst.. Wanna DO Something about this? You can!



Sunday, March 15, 2009

What I was talking about....

This domestic terror stuff. Rachel Maddow did a segment on it on the 12th. Take a look.

And Crooks and Liars gives us a good run down on other low life's:

"The Maine incident is only the latest in a long string of cases of serious domestic terrorism emerging from the extremist Right since 9/11. Some of the others include:

-- The anthrax killer.

-- The far-right "Patriot" who constructed a sodium cyanide bomb capable of killing hundreds.

-- The Alabama militiamen who plotted to go on an anti-Latino killing rampage.

-- The ex-Army Ranger who planned an anti-abortion killing spree.

-- The young skinheads who wanted to kill 107 black people and cap it off with Barack Obama.

... The FBI has been public about its concerns regarding the resurgence in white-supremacist hate groups and their activities and recruitment since Obama's election. We'll have to see if that translates into tackling the problem seriously."

Friday, March 6, 2009

Crazy Alert part II

After posting the previous post I remembered the horrific shooting in TN. The shooter was a guy named Jim David Adkisson. He opened fire during a church service.

He did leave a note as to why. The .pdf is tough to read but in it he writes:

Know This If Nothing Else

I. This was a hate crime:
I hate the damn left-wing liberals. There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country and these liberals are working together to attack every decent and honorable institution in the nation, trying to turn this country into a communist state. Shame on them.

II. This was a Political Protest:
I'm protesting the liberal Supreme Court Justices for give the terrorists at GITMO constitutional rights. I'm protesting the major news outlets, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, PBS for being the propaganda wing of the Democrat Party. It's criminal what they're getting away with. They're traitors. They must be stopped. I'm protesting the DNC running such a radical leftist candidate. Osama Hussein OBama, yo mama. No experience, no brains, a joke. Dangerous to America. Hell, he looks like Curious George!

III. This was as Symbolic Killing:
Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate, and house, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the Mainstream Media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. I couldn't get to the generals and high ranking officers of the Marxist movement so I went after the foot soldiers, the chickenshit liberals that vote in these traitorous people. Some one had to get the ball rolling, I volunteered. I hope others do the same. It’s the only way we can rid America of this cancer, this pestilence!

... I'd like to encourage other like minded people to do what I've done. If life ain't worth living anymore, don't just kill yourself. Do something for your country before you go. Go kill Liberals!

So this is the thinking we're dealing with. And shows like Glenn Beck on Fox are warning people that we're on the road to radical socialism and it must be stopped!

"He will spend the rest of his life behind bars for killing Greg McKendry, 60, and Linda Lee Kraeger, 61, after opening fire with a sawed-off shotgun inside the church where more than 200 people were gathered to watch a children’s musical. He admitted wounding six others."

The problem is that there are others out there just like him.

Crazy Alert!


With the election of Obama the wingnuts have gone crazy. Unfortunately I predict we'll see a rise of homegrown militias again, as we did during the Clinton administration.
Remember what that was like?

Are these folks just fringe crazies? Maybe. But these fringe groups have members who receive training through our military. For example, the Southern Poverty Law Center has documented cases where White Supremacists groups encourage members to join the military for training.

Way back in 2003, when most of the country was terrified of Islamic terrorists, the federal government broke up a major terrorist plot. "F.B.I. agents discovered a weapons cache containing fully automatic machine guns, remote-controlled explosive devices disguised as briefcases, 60 pipe bombs and a chemical weapon -- a cyanide bomb -- big enough to kill everyone in a 30,000-square-foot building." This was a huge disruption of a terrorist network that received little media coverage. The frightening thing to me is that the terror group were homegrown 'patriots'. This is known as the Noonday Conspiracy and you can read more about it here.

Watch the following video. Listen to the rhetoric. And then ask yourself if you think they are serious.

(Great music isn't it? From the movie The Last of the Mohicans (1992)).

For my Dad...

Why I'm a fan of increased federal regulations

When food industry giants like Kellogg want to ensure that American consumers are being protected from contaminated products, they rely on private inspectors like Eugene A. Hatfield. So last spring Mr. Hatfield headed to the Peanut Corporation of America plant in southwest Georgia to make sure its chopped nuts, paste and peanut butter were safe to use in everything from granola bars to ice cream.

The peanut company, though, knew in advance that Mr. Hatfield was coming. He had less than a day to check the entire plant, which processed several million pounds of peanuts a month.

Mr. Hatfield, 66, an expert in fresh produce, was not aware that peanuts were readily susceptible to salmonella poisoning — which he was not required to test for anyway. And while Mr. Hatfield was inspecting the plant on behalf of Kellogg and other food companies, the Peanut Corporation was paying him for his efforts.

“The overall food safety level of this facility was considered to be: SUPERIOR,” he concluded in his March 27, 2008, report for his employer, the American Institute of Baking, which performs audits for major food companies. A copy of the audit was obtained by The New York Times.

Federal investigators later discovered that the dilapidated plant was ravaged by salmonella and had been shipping tainted peanuts and paste for at least nine months. But they were too late to prevent what has become one of the nation’s worst known outbreaks of food-borne disease in recent years, in which nine are believed to have died and an estimated 22,500 were sickened.

Remember- markets, of any kind, are amoral. To believe that they will self-regulate is delusional.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The War for your Mind part 732

OK, perhaps I've missed a couple of installments but...

Watching the Sunday Morning Shows this week I saw an interview with the new RNC Chair Michael Steel on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. You can catch the interview here:

It's worth watching only because I doubt you'd believe me if I just told you.

(I'd normally type out a transcript but I found driftglass did it already... I liked his take:)

On “This Week” George Stephanopoulos asks Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele about Dubya.

Shorter Michael Steele: Bush was awesome. His economic politics were fooking brill. He inherited a recession from the Evil Bill Clinton.

And then came the Stupid Of The Month.

Steele: Government doesn’t create jobs. Only the private sector creates jobs.

Stephanopoulos: What?

Steele: Government jobs don’t count as jobs,

Stephanopoulos: What…squared?

Steele: They don’t count as jobs, because they have an end point.

Stephanopoulos: So people who will rebuild our shitty schools don’t really count as people who have jobs?

Steele: No. Because those jobs will eventually end. They’re just make-work. And private sector jobs never, ever end.

Stephanopoulos: But…but…3.9 million people lost their jobs year? All of those “private sector jobs” ended.

Steele: Sure, but private sector jobs always come back, George. The Majyk Jobs Unicorn brings them.

Stephanopoulos: OMFG. You’re a complete douche, aren’t you?

Steele: I’m a Republican, George; we’re all douches.

Wow. So this is now the official policy of the Party of God.

That cops don’t have “jobs”.

Neither do teachers.

Or firemen. Or sewer workers. Road construction crews. Bridge builders. Snow plow drivers. Bus drivers. Train conductors. Coast guard.

Go on... Read the rest over there... it's awesome in its awesomeness but - it's NSFW.

But my point on this is the War for your Mind. This is a perfect example of how, in this case, the head of the RNC is trying to get the American people to think up is down and black is white. They're not 'jobs', their just work. Really?

Here's another quote that's been thrown around lately - "this isn't a stimulus package - it's a spending bill." See, what you really want America are more tax cuts - nevermind that you just lost your job so your effective tax rate will be 0%. America needs a tax cut.... Look into my eyes... You are feeling sleepy and you want a tax cut...

Insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different outcomes. We've just had 8 years of tax cuts. OMG.

The sad thing is the longer the debate goes on the less people are supportive of something so complex that they can't possibly understand it. I don't. I don't pretend to. But I watch and hear a Noble Prize winning Economist say it's a good idea - minus the tax cuts and I'm thinking to myself... 'should I listen to the Noble Prize winning Economist or Michael Steel'?

Friday, February 6, 2009


Plain and simple. There isn't another explanation.
French, hypocrite, bigot
: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices ; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.

I am so sick of the "church" telling us that Prop 8 in California isn't bigotry. It is. Plain and simple. This 'sanctity of marriage' is a load of crap. That same argument was used to prevent interracial marriages. This is marginalizing an entire group of people. And if the passage of Prop 8 wasn't enough? Now the proponents of it are trying to void the legal marriages of 18,000 couples.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Think they ought to be able to stay married? Then do something about it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

So much going on ...

A good friend noted I hadn't posted since before the new Prez...

As she said on the 20th...


I think that says it all.

I've started my thesis and that is killing me. I'm sure one day I'll look back and think "wow... that sucked" but for now I'm just trying to keep my head above water.

And watching the news does not help. I saw this little gem on CNN the other day. An actor cussed? HOLD THE PRESSES!!!

This is news? Good God. We're on the brink of a major depression, jobs being slashed left and right. We're still involved in two wars. A 93 year old man froze to death when the utility company decided to cut off his power without checking the home first. People are killing their families in LA and in OH because of the economy.

"Next up CNN, how is the downturn in the economy affecting little Susie's lemonade stand? We'll go live for an interview because there is a little girl crying somewhere in America"

Though I did have to smile at this story: