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October 22nd, 2013
Today In Connect The Dots…
by Bruce |
This came across my Twitter stream just now…
@ThePlumLineGS: “WaPo poll shows that protected House Rs, while safe themselves, are doing huge damage to GOP’s nat’l appeal”
He links to this article of his on the Washington Post site…
Now…perhaps you’ve read those stories that started appearing right after the shutdown ended, about various Tea Party groups agitating for a repeal of the 17th Amendment. That’s the one that overrules prior clauses of the Constitution by which senators were elected by the state legislatures. Nowadays they’re all elected by statewide popular vote. That’s a problem for the extreme fanatical right. Here’s why: Gerrymandering only gets you wins in local elections. So in red states the hard right can dominate the legislatures and in congress they can get enough people in safely gerrymandered far right districts to make it difficult to do anything in that one branch. Batshit crazy tea party representatives in the house as we have seen, can wreak havoc without a care because their seats are safe because they only have to answer to their batshit crazy voters in that one gerrymandered district. But in statewide or nationwide elections you’re screwed. And especially so if you’re pissing off everyone outside of your little gerrymandered districts.
But repealing the 17th amendment would allow those little gerrymandered districts to capture the Senate, by way of control of their state legislatures. Or at least enough of the senate to insure control by filibuster indefinitely.
And take note, they’ve been making this move on the Electoral College too, with propositions in some states to give all that state’s electors to whoever wins the most Districts not to whoever wins the popular vote.
October 14th, 2013
What Won’t They Think Of Next?
by Bruce |
Via Paul Constant over at SLOG…
Ladies and Gentlemen…I give you the Sarah Palin Portable Teleprompter…
@rubycramer: “Sarah Palin’s note to herself yesterday
(captured by the @AP): “Leader not tweeter”
Constant adds that the photo “…tells so many stories, about authenticity, about hypocrisy, about idiocy.” Yes, and so did the confederate battle flags flying in front of the White House, and the protestors mocking the race of the White House police. You hear them say they want to take back their country. But this was never their country. That was settled at Appomattox in the parlor of a house owned by Mr. Wilmer McLean on the afternoon of April 9, 1865.
October 12th, 2013
by Bruce |
This came across my Facebook stream just now…
Big tax cuts for the rich and big business, two wars on the card, and now they’re bellyaching about paying for it. But no. They’re bellyaching that the democrats won’t let them make the poor, the sick, the elderly and the unemployed pay for it.
October 2nd, 2013
I’ll Take ‘Who Poisoned The Well’ For $1000 Alex…
by Bruce |
This, from Der Spiegel this morning…
“What Washington currently offers up is a spectacle, but one in which the spectators feel more like crying,” writes the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.”Because Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, Congress and president could not agree on a stop-gap budget, hundreds of thousands of federal employees were sent on involuntary leave and many agencies were forced to shut down,” continues the editorial. “The main actors in this dispute, which brings together many factors, both ideological and political, took a huge risk and, unhindered, proceeded to validate everyone who ever accused the political establishment in Washington of being rotten to the core — by driving the world power into a budgetary state of emergency. The public is left wondering how things could have been allowed to get to this point and why there is so much poison in the system.“
(Emphasis mine…) Poison in the system…did you ask…?
I became an American citizen only so I could own some U.S. TV stations…
September 10th, 2013
Please…Not The Briar Patch!
by Bruce |
Think Progress headline this morning…
Florida can prosecute George Zimmerman even if his wife doesn’t press charge
Sure could. Just like the last time they prosecuted him. I’ll bet he’s quaking in his boots at the prospect. They’re birds of a feather with that resentful angry thug and you don’t seriously want your soul brother going to jail just because he waved a gun at his spouse, or killed an unarmed kid who’d just gone out for some snacks.
[Added some text for clarity of meaning...]
July 18th, 2013
A Wee Correction
by Bruce |
“The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it’s a fundamental human right of white people.” -NRA Executive Director Chris Cox
Fixed it for you Chris. You’re welcome.
by Bruce |
Something that needs to be understood about this notion that his wearing a hoodie meant Trayvon Martin’s was a thug or a thug wannabe, is if young black men started wearing bow ties they’d be calling bow ties thugware. And all the nice people living in those gated communities would be telling each other that it’s the bow ties, not the color of their skin, that makes them thugs.
July 13th, 2013
The Vigilante It Is…
by Bruce |
Zimmerman walks, which is the outcome we should all have expected from Florida, but still…
I was born in the early 50’s and spent most of my grade school years in the 1960s. During that time, probably largely due to the homosexual panics of the 1950s, I got tons of warnings in and out of school about being followed by strange men and how I shouldn’t let them get too close and needed to fight like hell if one of them tried to grab me off the street because I might never be seen again. Maybe they teach kids differently these days, but one of the most striking things to me in this whole episode is Zimmerman could stalk a teenage boy and get away with shooting him dead by claiming that he was mortally afraid of him and people keep saying with pious straight faces that Martin shouldn’t have fought back and because he did Zimmerman was justified in killing him and his race has nothing to do with that.
Seriously. Who tells teenage boys to just do whatever the strange man with a gun tells them to do and everything will be all right? I’m not trying to be snarky here. If you subtract Martin’s race from this, then all the people saying that Martin caused his own death by fighting back are not making sense. That Martin, if (If) he took a swing at Zimmerman, did because he was afraid is obvious. Unless you think that young black men don’t need any reason to try and kill someone with their bare hands because they’re all just animals really.
July 11th, 2013
The Vigilante Or Civilization…Pick One
by Bruce |
The facts show that George Zimmerman armed himself with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets and ended up killing an unarmed teenager who was just out buying some snacks. How that happened is disputed but to me it’s obvious that when you strap on a gun, go looking for trouble and end up stalking and killing an unarmed 17 year old, you’ve done something wrong.
Digby goes on to say “To me, the carrying of that gun morally requires that he be held liable in some way for the unarmed Trayvon’s death”, but there is where I often part company with my fellow liberals on the issue of guns: I am fine with the concept that you have a right to own a gun and defend yourself with it. In fact, I consider that right to be a fundamentally democratic thing.
What isn’t are things like vigilantism and racism. These are poison. They are poison to the person, they are poison to the nation. This case is positively dripping with racism that nobody in the corporate news media wants to look closely at, because we’re all supposed to be beyond all that now. Except we’re not. Zimmerman’s suspicion and fear of Martin only makes sense in the context of Martin’s race, his sex, and his age. There is literally nothing else there but those three things. Zimmerman stalked that kid because of those three things, and his rational for killing an unarmed teenage boy who was out buying snacks can only seem plausible due to those three things. Fear the black male, and especially, fear the young black male. Look, for as long as you can stomach it, at the breathless agreement that Martin posed a threat to Zimmerman’s life, solely on the basis of Zimmerman’s say-so, and the ephemeral signs of a fight on his face and head. That was no beating. You want to see what a beating looks like, look at the photos of recent victims of gay bashers. But it’s simply an accepted fact in certain quarters of the country that Zimmerman’s life was threatened. Were Martin white it would not matter what the race of his stalker would be, other than if his stalker was a black man he’d already have been convicted and on Florida’s death row. Picture it: a white teenaged boy stalked by a strange man, fights back and is found shot to death. Would anyone doubt the adult male had done something horribly wrong? Why is it never considered, that Martin was standing His ground when Zimmerman confronted him? Well, of course a young black male has no such right. Racism was always at the rotten core of this.
But if Zimmerman was a racist, he was also a vigilante and if you approve of vigilantism anywhere outside the pages of a comic book you are no friend of civilization let alone democracy. All those people waving around the second amendment as a defense against tyranny are no defenders of democracy…if anything they are the useful tools of anarchy. The gun is what you need when the the peace is broken, so the first thing, the basic responsibility of the believers in civilization and democracy is to preserve the peace. That means the rule of law and the ballot box as the agent of change. Peaceful disobedience, where the conscience requires disobedience, and responsibility for ones own conduct toward your neighbors. Responsibility. What a concept, that. Zimmerman acted like the gun came with a badge and they don’t. But more than that, he acted as if he had character enough to bear the wearing of a badge and it’s sickeningly obvious he is no such person.
However this trial turns out, if nothing else this case really raises a lot of questions about the kind of nation we are, or should want to be. So many virtuous moral all-American values types cheering on what Zimmerman did. It’s been a while since I’ve been this completely disgusted. Digby’s right, what would be a just punishment for what Zimmerman did isn’t obvious, but what is staringly obvious is that he did something terribly, horribly wrong. A teenage boy went out for snacks and never came back home, because Zimmerman saw a young black man somewhere he thought a young black man didn’t belong, and took that matter into his own hands.
June 26th, 2013
The Untruth At The Heart Of It
by Bruce |
“At the heart of the gay marriage argument is an untruth: unions of two men or women are not the same as unions of husband and wife. The law cannot make it so, it can only require us to paint pretty pictures to cover up deep truths embedded in human nature.”
-Maggie Gallagher, still trying to paint a pretty picture over the untruth at the heart of the anti-gay agenda, that Homosexuals Don’t Love, They Just Have Sex…
March 16th, 2013
The Lost Cause
by Bruce |
Ever wonder how so many southerners can claim with a straight face that slavery was a benign, even beneficial institution toward black people? Ever find yourself chuckling under your breath when you hear one of them refer to the civil war as The War Of Northern Aggression…?
The Civil War is like a mountain range that guards all roads into the South: you can’t go there without encountering it. Specifically, you can’t go there without addressing a question that may seem as if it shouldn’t even be a question—to wit: what caused the war? One hundred and fifty years after the event, Americans—at least the vast majority who toil outside academia—still can’t agree. Evidence of this crops up all the time, often in the form of a legal dispute over a display of the Confederate flag. (As I write, there are two such cases pending—one in Oregon and the other in Florida, making this an average news week.) Another common forum is the classroom. But it’s not always about the Stars and Bars. In 2010, for instance, Texas school officials made the news by insisting that Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address be given equal prominence with Abraham Lincoln’s in that state’s social studies curriculum. The following year, Virginia school officials were chagrined to learn that one of their state-adopted textbooks was teaching fourth graders that thousands of loyal slaves took up arms for the confederacy.
At the bottom of all of these is one basic question: was the Civil War about slavery, or states’ rights?
Read the whole thing and if you’re of a certain age you find yourself remembering how the further south you went, the more ridiculous their version of the civil war became. And you remember something else…how you just laughed it off and went along, because there was no sense rubbing their noses in it after so long. The war was a thing of the distant past…a relic of history, a plot device in spaghetti westerns and TV shows. The union won, slavery was defeated, a new South was born from the ashes. Well…yes…but so was the Ku Klux Klan. And almost one-hundred and fifty years after the war the party of Lincoln is now the party of John C. Calhoun, the intellectual godfather of the confederacy.
That has had consequences, among them being continuing and relentless political attacks not only on the rights of minorities, but more basically on the union itself that so many northern soldiers fought and died for. And since the nation’s first black president was reelected it’s only gotten worse, the outright calls for succession louder.
How did it happen that we seem right back where we started, minus only the slaves in chains but little else. It was the bloodiest war this nation has ever fought and in the spirit of healing and reconciliation the valor and bravery of confederate soldiers was honored, even as we all seemed to agree that the cause of the war, slavery, was a stain on both the southern slave holding states, as well as the northerners who kidnapped black Africans and and sold them into southern slavery. But almost immediately the south began denying it had any culpability at all in that war, and the victorious north eventually just accepted it as yet another of the south’s peculiar institutions. It was a mistake. When I was a kid in the 1960s we treated the lost cause mindset as the source of lighthearted joking…
My boots have touched Yankee soil! Now I’ll
have to burn them!
Yes, yes…war of northern aggression…whatever… But it is no joke. Compare modern Germany’s acknowledgment of its Nazi past, and the horrific crime of the Holocaust with the south’s of its antebellum past and slavery, and then compare the political mindset of even conservative Germans nowadays with that of the southern republican base and you see what cultural denial buys you.
…an audience member from North Carolina, 30-year-old Scott Terry, asked whether Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst.
They cheered. They didn’t look away in embarrassment and discomfort, the way a German audience would if some lout among them defended Hitler for improving the lives of Jews by taking Germany out of economic depression. They cheered. They cheered because they grew up in a world where all their comfortable conceits about themselves and their history are never disturbed, lest they find themselves asking troubling questions about whence they came and who they are.
We did not start a war that killed more Americans then all our other wars combined just so we could keep other humans in slavery…we did not kill hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans, our neighbors, for the cause of white supremacy…it’s a lie…we’re good Christian people…
And thus the sins of the fathers became the pride of the children, and all the racism, sexism and homophobia, all the bitter hatred of a democracy that protects the right of black people to vote, let alone drink from a white man’s water fountain, and all the acid resentment toward a world that insists on moving forward to that better tomorrow, despite their best efforts to hold it down so they won’t have to acknowledge what their Heritage actually Is.
After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst…
The lost cause isn’t lost because it was defeated, it is lost because it leads people into an endless darkness from which few ever return.
March 15th, 2013
Your Son Will Die Of AIDS…Not That We’re Praying For That Mind You…
by Bruce |
Now drops the other shoe, as it reliably will…
Two things that people need to see to realize what this fight has always been about are the humanity of gay people and the bottomless vitriolic hatred of our enemies. Behold that process in action: a son comes out to his father who sees the son he loves, not a homosexual monster. This father declares his love for his son has opened his eyes. Thank you Mr. Portman, but reality isn’t through with you just yet. Now that your eyes have opened, you get to see who the real monsters are.
Prepare yourself. You may think you have seen the bottom of the human gutter. But it has no bottom.
February 20th, 2013
But Lord, I Hate Them So Very Much…
by Bruce |
It’s like the buildup of magma under a hotspot. Eventually the pressure building up forces it out. Same thing with bile…
You can only wear that mask of genial civility for so long before you just have to start spitting at the heretics in the church across the street.
February 11th, 2013
If We Didn’t Love You We Wouldn’t Be Stabbing Your Heart To Ribbons
by Bruce |
I began these Valentine’s Day reminiscences to shine a light on how love is systematically taken from this poor angry world, denied not just to gay people, but to everyone, lover, friend, family, they might have also loved. I began it with a quote from a vicious screed published in Harper’s Magazine back in 1971, by one Joseph Epstein, who said homosexuals were “condemned to a state of permanent niggerdom among men”…
His howl against the homosexual in that Harper’s article almost certainly became a dagger in the the hopes and dreams of young gay men and women back then, reassuring parents, teachers, clergy that it was no sin to put a knife in the hearts of teenagers in love, that if they were condemned to live their one life in loneliness and heartache that was merely the Curse Of Homosexuality, not their own bar stool arrogance and cheapshit prejudices that did it to them. Bobby and Johnny are getting just a little too friendly aren’t they…let’s pack them off to the psychiatrist quickly now…or to some nice church camp somewhere far away, where they can pray their unspeakable sin away…
Ah…Valentine’s Day…when all the lonely hearts ponder writing new songs about the one that did them wrong. I have a different thing in mind. How about stories of that which might have been, but for the cheapshit prejudices of the world we were thrown into. I have a few stories of my own to tell. Pull up a chair. Sit a spell. Love is in the air. Let me pour you a drink. There is a box of Valentine’s Day candy over there on the table, pieces of the moon rattling hollowly inside…angry, angry candy…
Let us pause in our (my) reminiscences to acknowledge that however better it has become for gay kids just discovering what all that love and desire stuff is all about, many of them still get the knife in the heart, with LOVE engraved on its blade…
Several parents, students, and others who believe gays should be banned from the Sullivan High School prom met Sunday at the Sullivan First Christian Church.”We don’t agree with it and it’s offensive to us,” said Diana Medley.
So now they’re organizing their own Gay Kids Not Allowed prom…
“If we can get a good prom then we can convince more people to come and follow what they believe,” said student Kynon Johnson.
“We want to make the public see that we love the homosexuals, but we don’t think it’s right nor should it be accepted,” said a local student.
Feel the love, as Dan Savage says, because nothing says love like “you’re not wanted and God hates you.” The people organizing this “traditional prom” had a Facebook page up about it, but took it promptly down when their efforts suddenly became an Internet news item. Here’s what a couple of them had to say for themselves…
An issue has been raised in the Southwest School Corporation where a same sex couple or couples have requested acceptance of their marching together in the Grand March for the High School Prom. There have been a number of students, along with their parents, that have expressed their dislike over this venue for demonstrating this kind of behavior, which is offensive to many in Sullivan County.
Our first suggestion would be that the school administration ask the same sex couple or couples not use this venue (the Grand March) to demonstrate their sexuality because it is offensive to many and would be demonstrating before minors. So our wish is that the school officials and board return to the traditional couple stance in the same way Indiana only accepts traditional (man and wife) marriages.
We encourage you to show support for the teens in our community that are standing up for what they believe is right. Their position is based on the Bible’s stance against homosexuality and its acceptance in society and in our schools. It is very difficult for many of our high schoolers to stand up against peer pressure, our permissive culture and main stream media and yet many teens are standing up concerning this blatant demonstration that is not in accordance with God’s Word.
Please keep in mind that we love those who participate in homosexuality but that does not mean that we love homosexuality. Just as it has become their civil right (according to our society today) to attend the Grand March as a homosexual couple, it is our teens right to speak out against such a public demonstration. Many believe, as our teens do, this is not the venue to demonstrate a homosexual lifestyle.
A meeting for those in support of these efforts will be on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at the Sullivan First Christian Church at 1:30pm. This event and these efforts are not being organized by the Sullivan First Christian Church but the building is the gathering location for the meeting. Students and parents who support this effort are encouraged to attend. May God bless you as you pray over these efforts.
And this…from another member…
We would like to stress to everyone that this is not a hate group. We do not hate anyone, we are not judging anyone. We are choosing to stand on the word of God. The bible says the truth will set you free. All we can do is stand for what we believe and let God do the rest. We will not judge or hate anyone for their choice. We simply choose the entire word of God. The unchanging living word of God. God is the same yesterday, today and forever.
[emphasis mine] Those who participate in homosexuality. Those who participate in homosexuality. Those who participate in homosexuality. Do these people ever listen to themselves yapping? Oh…and there’s Homosexual Lifestyle, right on cue. And the ostentatious avowals of love for those who participate in homosexuality. We are not a hate group, we only want those who participate in homosexuality to know they are not welcome at the prom. Because homosexuals don’t love, they participate in homosexuality.
Feel the love, because the gay kids who go to that school sure are.
Worse though than a bunch of bigot parents, are the bigot teachers. And especially bad if their job is caring for the kids who are among the most vulnerable among them…
A teacher of special needs children in Indiana is speaking out with other Christian parents and students by demanding LGBT kids be banned from a Sullivan High School prom.
Here’s a direct quote from that interview, courtesy of Dan Savage…
PAIGE PREUSSE: A gay person, um, do you consider them, maybe, do [you believe] they have some sort of purpose in life?
DIANA MEDLEY: I don’t. I personally don’t. I’m sorry.
Imagine you are a gay kid and you are hearing your teacher, or someone else’s teacher, say that your life has no purpose.
I notice this morning that the headline on that Wabash Valley Channel 2 page has changed from “Local Students And Staff Want Gays Banned From Prom” to “Local Students Want ‘Traditional Prom’, Gays Banned”, and I strongly suspect that’s at the request of the school that doesn’t want any of its knuckle dragging staff caught in the backwash of all this, let alone the school facing a lawsuit when a gay student takes Ms. Medley’s opinion their life has no purpose to heart and kills themselves. And of course you just know that at the end of all this, the homophobes will be bellyaching that they were the bullied ones. Certainly not the gay kids who wanted to bring their dates to the prom, just like any other kid does, and were told they weren’t wanted, that God hates them, and that their lives have no purpose, condemned as Joseph Epstein would have said, to a state of permanent niggerdom among men.
Oh, and happy Valentine’s Day. We love you. Can’t you tell by the knife we’ve stuck in your heart?
[Edited a tad... Edited some more to correct a name...]
December 11th, 2012
B20 (and E15…continued)
by Bruce |
Triple-A is warning drivers in Oklahoma to beware of E15…
Only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on the roads today – less than five percent – are approved by manufacturers to use E15 gasoline, based on a survey conducted by AAA of auto manufacturers.
Yet the biofuel industry continues pushing this mixture (and B20) onto automobile and truck owners as if there is absolutely no problem with it at all.
The “Renewable Fuels Association” points to the EPA’s approval of E15 for use in vehicles made after 2001 and says the AAA’s “anti-ethanol stance is well known and tired” and that the organization’s call for further testing “reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA’s unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use.”
Notice meanwhile they say nothing about the fact that…
Five manufacturers (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) are on record saying their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by the use of E15. Seven additional automakers (Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo) have stated that the use of E15 does not comply with the fuel requirements specified in their owner’s manuals and may void warranty coverage.
Here’s what both striking and appalling to this baby boomer, who bought his first car in 1973 and witnessed the first gasoline shortages and then the ever increasing emissions control requirements placed onto motor vehicles: When unleaded fuel was rolled out in the 1970s to deal with a form of air pollution, fuel nozzles were changed to prevent leaded from going into the tanks of cars made specifically for unleaded, because leaded fuel could damage the engines and emissions control systems of those cars. I remember this well. Why is that strategy not being advocated now? Simple. Biofuel makers and big Agra don’t give a damn about damages their products cause so long as they don’t have to pay for it. They have precisely zero economic interest in preventing that damage, and plenty of economic incentive to make everyone buy their product whether we want to or not and then pay for the damage it does to our cars out of our own pockets.
So what needs to happen in a saner world is the feds step in and at minimum mandate that pumps serving high concentration biofuels have nozzles on them preventing that fuel from going into automobiles that aren’t engineered to burn it, and that cars that are have fuel inlets that accept those nozzles, just as it was when unleaded gasoline was rolled out.
Yes, yes…I can hear the complaints about Big Brother Government or The Nanny State or both, and just beneath it as always, the angry babbling about the oh-so heavy burden of added government regulation from biofuel makers, gas station owners, and big agra…all of whom have an interest in selling you something and then immediately wash wash washing their hands of whatever it did to your car. The cost to consumers from engine and emissions system damage do not come out of their pockets so they just don’t fucking care. But it’s worse then just casual indifference, they’re telling people that it’s okay to ignore their own car maker’s warnings and the AAA’s warnings because the EPA said it was all good.
…the Renewable Fuels Association says AAA’s anti-ethanol stance is “well-known and tired.” He says the organization’s call for further testing of E15 “reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA’s unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use.” As for consumer education, Dineen says “the RFA is working with the petroleum industry, gas retailers, automakers and consumers to ensure E15 is used properly.”
…An overwhelming 95 percent of consumers surveyed have not heard of E15…
I got a letter back from Mercedes-Benz USA in reply to the letter I sent them a couple weeks ago about B20, which I’ll post later, but which says in part their warnings have been going unheeded and they are just as frustrated as I am. So as far as I’m concerned the biofuels industry should be on the hook for any and all damages to automobiles too, then maybe they’d support at least making the pump nozzles different.
As it is now, those tanks of E15 (or B20) that ruined your engine was money in their pockets so it’s all good to them. Responsibility for what their product does to the people they sell it to costs money so they’re completely against that. But that’s how business is conducted now, since Reagan freed them from the chains of government regulation. The chains are on us now, and it’s big business holding the other ends.
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com