05.31.10

Israeli navy attacks supply ships, 19 massacred

Posted in Accountability, International relations, Terrorism, war crimes at 10:53 am by angela

Showing their true colors

The flotilla of ships carrying 10,000 tons of humanitarian aid for Palestinians in blockaded Gaza was attacked last night by the Israeli navy. Commandos boarded the ships, which had put up no resistance, and massacred 19 unarmed civilians. The ships had been waiting in international water for months.

Story

Prime Minister Netanyahu has called off Tuesday’s scheduled meeting with Obama, voicing full support for the navy’s actions – probably to prevent Obama from canceling first.

The White House said in a written statement that the United States “deeply regrets” the loss of life and injuries and was working to understand the circumstances surrounding this “tragedy.” Huffpo story

In other words, Obama is scratching his head, asking Rahm, “WTF were they thinking?”

The Israeli justification for murdering all those people is that they were attacked after they stormed the ship without justification. They did indeed seize the other ships uneventfully, and all have been towed to port.

So why did they seize the ships, which were moored in international waters? They wanted the goods and the ships. It was an official act of piracy.

How will the mainstream media manage to suppress this? Do you suppose this will show up on Fox News?

05.29.10

Greta van Susteren asking the wrong question

Posted in Fox News at 11:23 pm by angela

Oh, well. After a little disagreement, somebody told her, essentially, that she is a dumb as a box of rocks. Looking for a little support, she posted the tiff on her blog and asked her readers what they thought.

Overwhelmingly they agreed that she is as dumb as a box of rocks.

Whew, Greta, did you really want to know?

05.27.10

American REALLY speaking out

Posted in Propaganda, Republican party at 12:37 pm by angela

Republicans, teapartiers, right wingers in general have this bizarre idea that everyone agrees with them except a few left-wing extremists, despite all polling and electoral data to the contrary. They feel that all they have to do is tweak their message and the hordes that didn’t really understand it or had never heard it will suddenly come home.

The last rebranding effort of the Republican party was supposed to be a road trip around the country but turned into a single stop at a pizza place inside the Beltway. Now they’ve come up with a new idea that involves the intertubez.

They’ve taken $100K+ in taxpayer dollars and started a website for real Americans to contribute their ideas, America Speaking Out. Here’s Michele Bachmann to tell you all about it. Sorry about the width of the video, Michele Bachman needs to fill your screen.

Things are not turning out as planned. It seems that progressives and trolls, being much more web-savvy than the right wing types they were trying to attract, have basically taken over the website, or what is left of it.

There’s even a Democratic response site.

If you want to go there, even if it is still up you will get lots of overload and server error pages.

I started a profile. They give you 100 points for filling out a complete profile, which includes an email address (which must be verified) and a phone number (which you can make up). Change the email address to keep from getting Republican spam.

I never managed to post. I think the site does not work quite right in Firefox, and is optimized for IE, since I guess they bought a package deal from Microsoft. The site, if it still exists, seriously sucks functionally.

They’re attempting to filter and moderate to bring the site under control, in other words, censorship. I wonder how they are going to be able to reconcile the level of censorship necessary to bring the message under control with the fact that taking tax dollars means they aren’t supposed to be using the site for partisan politics?

But anyway, since it’s not likely the site will be up long, here are some choice tidbits:

The DARE program taught me all about the coolest drugs. And told me everyone but me was doing them. Keep it around.

I think we should bring back outing people who have had affairs. Make them wear scarlet letters again and show their sinful natures so that we can protect our CHILDREN from these sinners.

Women should be forced to have all kids they could. We are wasting life allowing them to menstruate every month. It is the same as an abortion!!!!!

Abolition of women’s rights would surely improve families strenght. Any father should be able to sell his daughter to the future husbands, as it is stated in the Bible. We should put Jesus back on our lives!

Without blasphemy laws freedom cannot exist because rights are given by god and recorded through revelation.

______ _______ | || | ====E[(( ))]3====== | ,| |, | | /( )( )\ | | / | |

Make your site work properly with Chrome by supporting open web standards. Your site looks to me like you’re using tools from Microsoft. Microsoft thinks they should dictate web standards rather than follow them. Consider HTML5. Don’t be a Microsoft Developer Tool.

You should kick all of those libertarian-leaning “intellectuals” out of the Republican party. Sure they like assault weapons, but that’s just so they can sneak in crazy ideas like legalizing marijuana and letting gays “marry” and replacing American economics with Australian economics. I don’t want to have our currency handed over to the Australians, and if they try it, it’ll be another civil war!!!11!!

I should have the freedom to urinate on fire hydrants. If dogs can do it, I should too. Let’s end this discrimination.

I am hung like a cashew and love diapers. What should I do?

Waste – how about stop wasting my time with your propaganda? How about stop wasting my $$ on bridges to nowhere — How about stop wasting my money on helping your rich buddies and big business while half the country is starving and cant find work??!!

Please cut all the bad programming from the television; my doggy is wasting his life away on the sofa.

Quit wasting time voting no on every bill submitted. You are getting paid to do a job and voting no is hardly working.

I have an open running sore that wants to run for president. Who will vote for my oozing, pus-fllled gash? It never spends any money.

Change the word “Spending” to “Splending” because it sounds like “Splendid”. Then nobody will mind anymore.

Americans buy too much stuff. I think we should make buying stuff illegal, and you have to grow/hunt all your own food and make all your own clothes from scratch, and then once everyone has learned his/her lesson then we could open the stores agian – and this time people would APPRECIATE THEM!!

So my neighbors on one side are a black family. I’m pretty sure they only come out at night like 1:00 am to 4:00 a.m., perhaps they’re vampires. My neighbors on the other side are hispanic. There are billion of them. They like to barbeque (I mean like REALLY like to barbeque) and listen to some groovy mexican (?) music. I don’t think they speak very much english. But I do like they’re music. My neighbor across the street is a white guy. He has a confederate flag sticker covering the entire back of his truck and a gun rack. I’m pretty sure he’s an alcoholic and that he beats his kid. God Bless the Midwest. (this is all true, btw)

Our dollar bills should be covered in honey so that they get stuck in our pockets instead of spent. And everyone loves honey!

The government should print a whole bunch more money. True, this will inevitably cause the currency that’s printed to inflate rapidly, which is why they should print Canadian dollars instead.

Replace “E Pluribus Unum” (which is ferner-speak) with GITTER DONE!!! The 3 examination points even make it 13 charecters to, just like the original number of discipals… or sales on the Mayflower… or whatever it was. It was danged American – I know that.

Tax the GOP

The quarter should be made from formed meat product. Then everyone would be sure to refrigerate their money.

Abolish house insurance and fold the cost into property taxes. Chances are if your house gets hit by a hurricane you’re more likely to get reimbursed by FEMA. We might as well be sending the Fed a check and help pay down the national debt.

Congress should pass an admendment that requires the federal government to include 33% of american products to be included in any money given to foriegn countries. This would be a direct flow of cash back into our economy and may aid our maufacturing sector.

Take away Mark Sanford’s passport. Or member.

A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

Raise taxes to 70% for the top tax bracket

Replace all politician’s retirement plans with social security. I’m sure the problem will be solved in no time.

Bristol Palin….I’d hit it.

Why don’t we just pack up the Treasury Department and the Fed and send them to Iraq and Afghanistan? That’s where all out tax dollars are going anyway. Maybe they can keep track better over there.

piggy banks. twins. i’m watching.

First of all, take money from the banks, wall street, and all other corporations who have taken money from the government. Get rid of the pointless spending. Get rid of ALL current Congressmen/women incumbents, Democrat AND Republican. Unless they agree with the slowing of the spending.

Balance in All Things

All government workers should be paid MINIMUM WAGE, including Senators, Congressmen, and military employees/troops. Come see how the rest of us live, welfare queens.

Get our troops out of Iraq. Put Cheney in prison. Oh that’s two ideas!

Fire all government employees and hire illegal aliens instead

Take a checkerboard, and put one penny on the first square. The next day, put 2 pennies on the next square. Next day, 4 pennies on the next square, and so on, doubling the pennies each day. After 64 days, take all those pennies and put them in the bank, you dummy!

Use moon mapping software to map the moon and community building software for community building.

The federal government needs to cut costs. The private sector cuts costs by firing those expensive American workers and outsourcing to cheaper foreign workers. The Federal government should outsource all the jobs to save money.

The Pentagon is surrounded by a giant, surface-level parking lot, which sitting in the middle of some of the most expensive real estate on the East cost. Sell the parking lot for high-density development, and use some of the proceeds build a multi-level garage for Pentagon employees to park in.

Stop wasting time during legislative sessions passing resolutions that can be handled on a State level. While it is nice to recognize anniversaries and achievements, it is best to use our time wisely when our nation needs quality of action, not quantity.

Pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan- nothing could be more wasteful than spending trillions of dollars and thousands of servicemen’s lives on lost causes.

Stop sending Foreign Aid. It is not the job of our government to be a Charity. That is why we have charities! Abolish the Foreign Aid and make ALL charitable giving 100% deductible.

Stop outsourcing our military jobs to private companies. We have wonderful military personnel who can do these jobs, do them well, and save us money.

Quit wasting time voting no on every bill submitted. You are getting paid to do a job and voting no is hardly working.

Please cut all the bad programming from the television; my doggy is wasting his life away on the sofa.

Waste – how about stop wasting my time with your propaganda? How about stop wasting my $$ on bridges to nowhere — How about stop wasting my money on helping your rich buddies and big business while half the country is starving and cant find work??!!

“Abolish the Air Force. It’s not in the Constitution.””

“The United States military must be an inexorable adamantine wave of Liberty, sweeping over the world. Rolling, without pause, over the villages of any savages foolish enough to embrace our righteous social order. It must rise like a fist over the heads of the Arab nationalists, the communists, limp-wristed social democrats, and the Islamists, driving them into the ground where they will remain buried… oh hold on, I’m coming… “

Build Iron Man suit. Privatize peace. Make-out with Gwyneth Paltrow.

One problem with terrorism is that we don’t know who the terrorists are. An idea I just developed involves an algorithm which can identify potential terrorists with 93% efficiency. The algorithm is proprietary but I’d be willing to share it with certain parties if the price is right (DoD, are you li$tening?), but it’s based on the amount of patterned cotton fabric on your head, the amount of melanin in your skin, the ratio of taxi drivers to camel drivers in your family, and other relevant information. The 7% inefficiency is a remnant from early testing where a number of babies with uniquely spelled names were mistakenly flagged. Also, we should impose legislation which abolishes uniquely spelled names.

We should pass a law that makes it Illegal to use public money to setup a website that is not good for anything except gathering internet trolls.

As a matter of ethics, we should ban sarah palin from ever being allowed to run for any public office, EVER! She’s a tax evader, a liar, a pillar of misinformation, a horrible mother, and a media grabbing, greedy, religious zealot, with ties to extremist groups such as Prayer Warriors. Her input into any political issue is only based on her self-serving agenda. Baggers, birthers and all other fanatics need to stop paying her to flap her ugly jaws. Then, maybe she’d go home to her poor feral children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let’s create a massive energy plant run by MILLIONS of hamsters running on their little hamster wheels. Everyone knows it’ll work, scr3w PETA.

Cheer up Republicans. We’re not laughing WITH you. We’re laughing AT you.

05.24.10

Mapping anti-government violence in the US

Posted in Terrorism, Wingnuts at 1:08 pm by angela

I began the Right Wing Violence map shortly after the signing of the 2010 Health Care Reform act when the threatening behavior of protesters at the Capitol began to be reflected around the country.** The first incident reported on March 18th was the remark by House Minority Leader John Boehrner that a fellow Ohio congressman would be a ‘dead man’ if he didn’t vote a certain way. This was followed by spittle, epithets and threats from protesters towards Congressmen and women as they headed to the Capitol building to vote.

Well after too much coffee on the drive back from San Antonio, I sat down to catch up and update the map with a terrible story from West Memphis, Arkansas where two police officers were killed during a traffic stop.

Story

More than a year ago, shortly after the Obama Justice Department released the report on right-wing terrorism in this country—you know, the one that they ended up apologizing for having done, after outrage from Congress that they had no right to investigate right wingers who were armed and planning to overthrow the gubmint—I published a diary on DailyKos.

Terrorists in our midst

My point, of course, was that given the American character and the blanketing of our media by hate propaganda, violence by small groups and individual extremists is what we are going to see. Americans do not join an umbrella terrorist group, train, strap a bomb to themselves, and blow themselves up in a crowded public place. They plan to get away (well, they expect to, though their plans may be seriously deficient), and as a commenter put, they only decide to go out as martyrs in a blaze of glory when they are clearly trapped with no way out.

We call Muslims “terrorists”, when right wingers are out murdering their fellow citizens, including law enforcement officers, and these incidents are passed off as isolated cases. It’s like it’s not terrorism if they aren’t being directed by a foreign political-religious movement.

Violence by people who belong to an anti-government movement and insist they have the right to kill anyone they please? Not terrorism, it wasn’t directed by
al-Qaeda.

The “sovereign citizen” movement is a bunch of anti-law anarchists: they want you and me to fund the government to provide the services they love, and they figure that they shouldn’t have to pay taxes and are exempt from all laws.

This just means that there are a whole lot of unlicensed crazies out there driving unregistered vehicles on taxpayer-funded roads, ready, like the Kanes, to kill any law officer who tries to stop them.

This is the form that right wing terrorism continues to take in America.

But as Susan Collins says, we can’t stop real Americans who are known terrorists from buying guns. That would be interfering with their Constitutional right to one massacre per person I guess.

05.22.10

In the mind of Rand Paul

Posted in Accountability, irrational thought, libertarianism at 2:26 pm by angela

So he canceled on his Meet The Press appearance this Sunday, only the third scheduled guest to do so in 62 years.

Maybe he is thinking that he needs to work on his message with his handlers. If this is what he’s doing, it means he thinks his message is not ready for prime time. He needs to work on his sound bites to take back control of the interview from real journalists. You can never tell when a journalist will ask an inconvenient question, and he’s just had a rude awakening about what a real interview is after all the fawning softball questions he was fielding.

He’s probably not thinking about the big gaps in libertarianism that might make it unworkable as a political system, the ones he might not want to be associated with even though he may fully agree.

Paul is new to politics and really naive. He previously had said very little about his opinions. Most people simply do not know what classic hard line libertarianism stands for, and Maddow was the first member of the press to ask him hard questions. He was under the impression that after hearing what he had said while campaigning, most people understood his positions and agreed. Like many who associate themselves with the Tea Party, he thought mistakenly that his personal beliefs and positions are some sort of a consensus in this country and that the polls are wrong.

If he was more politically sophisticated he would probably have had an answer practiced for the question she asked him, but for him that would have necessitated dealing with a campaign manager who believes in research.

Many people agree with a few of the positions of libertarians. Hardly anyone thinks that we should go back to an era where segregation was legal, and he wouldn’t take a stand against it.

The idea that someone who is running for public office has the right to keep their opinions to themselves and not tell us what they believe in is absurd. If he can’t stand the heat of honest inquiry, he shouldn’t be running at all. Right now it looks like he won that primary on his name and his pretty face.

05.20.10

Rand Paul, “rights”, and libertarianism

Posted in Accountability, irrational thought, neocon crackpots at 10:32 am by angela

Last night Rachel Maddow spoke with Rand Paul, and he was evasive, to say the least.

I have read numerous blog posts about her interview, and I think there is a basic misunderstanding of his position on “rights”.

I think his difficulty (impossibility?) with answering the question “should a business owner be able to refuse to serve customers based on race?” is more than just evading that question itself.

It is a matter of trying to keep his philosophy out of sight. For all intents and purposes he seems to have succeeded in maintaining control of the issue. It doesn’t look good for him right now, but they aren’t asking him the questions he really, really doesn’t want anybody to hear.

Years ago I accidentally bought a hardcore libertarian book by mail, and I was absolutely shocked what I read. I had no idea. I was young, but not quite so naive after reading that.

The “rights” they perceive are very different from the ones we would think of as “human rights”.

He feels that it is a basic human right to discriminate against anyone you wish to discriminate against for whatever reason you may have. It is infringing on that right for the government step in and say you can’t.

It goes far beyond the question of a restaurant owner discriminating against black people. It extends to hiring practices, housing, pretty much all are considered “business dealings” that the government should keep out of.

The potential hiree and the business owner have the “right” to negotiate their terms of employment. The government should not interfere with such things as labor laws, safety regulations, etc. It is up to the potential employee to either work out a deal to his satisfaction, go somewhere else, or buy a factory and refuse to hire the guy who discriminated against him.

There is no recognition of the idea that the unequal power in such a situation means that there can be no fair negotiation.

Environmental issues? They were not a consideration when this philosophy was carved in stone. Many people at the time thought that they would take care of themselves, or at least they would only happen in the poor part of town. It would be interesting to get his take on the BP disaster right now.

I’d guess he favors the Alan Greenspan notion that people will make reasoned decisions based on full disclosure when deciding who to take their business to, rather than the fact that given a completely unregulated situation, those with no ethics will steal everyone else blind.

Taxes? Please, rich people shouldn’t have to pay taxes at all. Let investor groups build roads and bridges and erect toll plazas to pay for maintenance.

The libertarian philosophy is the direct ancestor of the “culture of greed” that we see touted so often, even among those who are being repressed by it.

Libertarianism is basically anarchist at heart, but at least anarchists are realists about the violence that would exist. In the libertarian utopia, there is no need for enforcement, as money does all the talking that counts. If you need to protect your property, you can hire a goon squad security company to deal with the issues.

What sort of issues? Well, when they get rid of public education and illiteracy soars, some of those unemployable people might decide to exercise their Second Amendment rights to buy guns and then take back their country.

05.19.10

What is a “conservative”?

Posted in Wingnuts at 1:29 pm by angela

This is based on a little essay I wrote as a response to a Salon.com column by Cary Tennis, where he was responding to a woman whose intelligent, thoughtful father had apparently morphed into a crazed Beckerhead who fantasized about days of yore when “men wore hats”. I’m not sure if the hat thing is true or significant, but I am presuming that, since she made a point of putting it in her question, that it actually happens.

Conservatism is a philosophy of fiscal responsibility, which includes paying for what is necessary as we go through proper taxation in order to balance the budget.

Believing in conspiracy theories and wingnut talking points that are clearly untrue is not conservative; it has aspects of both a cult and a pathology.

If someone were to insist that they had been kidnapped by aliens and taken to another galaxy to be bred with plants which send them messages daily, we would not indulge them by saying that this is their “opinion”, and everybody’s opinion is equally valid and deserving of respect. We would take it for granted that there was some kind of mental illness going on with them.

And yet we treat right wing talking points that are nothing but lies generated by cynical paid opportunists as though they are a valid point of view.

Denying reality in order to maintain beliefs that are easily demonstrated as false is a characteristic of cultish religious faith. The constant shrill din of hate radio and Fox News voices insisting on ideological purity is typical of a cult – where members are trained to perpetually immerse themselves in their own propaganda in order to keep them from hearing inconvenient questions and entertaining inconvenient thoughts.

It is also intended to alienate them from those, like you, who care about certain cult members and might bring reality into the discussion. The ideology demands that your father force his ideas on you because they are Truth and you need to be converted to the Truth. It does not process the idea that you have already been exposed, examined it, and rejected it. It insists that what is needed is more repetition of the same talking points.

Like any other cult, the constant stream of sound and its demand that he belligerently confront everyone who may disagree with him are also intended to isolate him from those who might introduce heretical ideas into the equation.

I am sorry your father has fallen into this trap. I have lost friends, but thankfully my own father was reasonable and thoughtful until his death. If the two of you cannot reach some understanding about agreeing to disagree and not discussing politics, there is nothing you can do short of limiting your time together.

But one last thing: if your father served in Vietnam, that puts him at about 60 years or older. Unless his age is quite a bit older, he should not be reminiscing fondly about some time during his early childhood when men wore hats. Kennedy was the President who stopped the hat-wearing tradition. My father always wore a hat, but he was probably 30 years older than your father is, and it was kind of old-fashioned when I was a child.

Idealizing a time when men wore hats as a reaction to a President who died almost 50 years ago? Not a good sign for your father’s mental state.

05.18.10

We are better than that!!!

Posted in humor, Political rant, Propaganda at 8:02 pm by angela

Yee-hah! This baby’s so gone viral…


05.17.10

Bill Maher in rare form

Posted in humor, Political rant, video at 1:37 pm by angela

Totally, totally. New Rules.

If we wanted Luddite blockheads who didn’t understand gizmos and doohickeys, we would have voted for the Ghost and Mrs. Moron.

John McCain thinks an iPad is something that women wear on their Xboxes once a month.

You know, there’s a specific group of Americans out there, whose name I won’t mention, but it begins with “tea” and ends with “baggers”, and they have a habit of saying, “I want my country back.” Well, I want my country forward.

05.16.10

Sarah “grizzly mom” Palin

Posted in Sarah Palin at 2:51 pm by angela

Without hyperbole, Palin would have nothing at all to say.

First she was a “pit bull with lipstick”, and I had some fun with that.

A lot of people had fun with it, and maybe that was because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, maybe because the stereotypical image of a vicious pit bull does not involve intelligence and forethought. More like random killing of small children and elderly people.

In the same way, people from the lower 49 have probably had a little trouble identifying with a woman who likes to shoot wildlife from helicopters for the sheer joy of killing wildlife, or wants to be associated with turkey slaughter.

Lately she’s taken to telling people to “reload” and target whoever doesn’t agree with them, putting rifle sights on a map of targeted office holders.

She loves guns, loves, loves, loves them, unnaturally so. But they are just not primal enough for her. She’s got to feel the blood running down her face from the raw meat in her mouth, slick on the skin of her palms.

The latest is the most ridiculous of all. She’s set herself up to be a “grizzly mom”, and everybody knows what that means. They fiercely guard their cubs…like Sarah, right? Except that the analogy falls apart right at the beginning here. She has let her kids raise themselves, which is why the three oldest have gotten in trouble. And just like traditional large families, the oldest daughter has been forced to drop out of high school and impressed into a “caretaker” position so that there would be someone there to take care of the younguns while wingnut mom and her former first dude are off doing more lucrative things.

Except, of course, that being rich, they’ve managed to set her up with a shell PR company to funnel payments from Sarah’s donors. Real “grizzly moms” raise their own cubs.

What else is it about “grizzly moms”? They strike out at anyone they see, just in case that person is a threat, killing them, tearing them limb from limb, and eating them.

Zombies tear you limb from limb, break open your skull and eat your brains.

So how are grizzly moms different from zombies? How is Sarah Palin different from a zombie?

She’s not.

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