Janesville

August 30, 2012

Amid all of Paul “Lyin” Ryan’s prevarication and misdirection in his convention speech, I noticed an objectionable truth.

Well, I’m going to assume it is true.

He noted he lives on the same block as the house he grew up in.

Look, we’re all used to politicians emphasizing their down-home, jest-folks cred. I suppose it feels authentic to some voters.

But it sounds very parochial to me. This clown wants to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. He wants to represent the needs of the *entire* country. It is most certainly not a good thing if his only frame of reference is one narrow enclave of one unrepresentative town in one unbelievably unrepresentative state.

I would like to see national candidates emphasize how many different States, cities, neighborhoods, etc that they are familiar with.

At least Romney has homes in three very different States.

This is great stuff Romney wrote!

“Dogmatic ideological parties tend to splinter the political and social fabric of a nation, lead to governmental crises and deadlocks, and stymie the compromises so often necessary to preserve freedom and achieve progress,”

Read the rest of this entry »

What a fucking summer.

First the guy in Aurora, now some white supremacist shot a bunch of people in a Sikh temple in Milwaukee.

It is horrible. Tragic.

Each of these people killed had family or other loved ones. Friends. Coworkers. Teammates.

Each one of them will be missed. Each one of them was robbed of their right to have a life, unmolested.

So as you libbie-lefties are “renewing your calls to discuss gun control” ask yourselves this.

Was it any less tragic when some racist asshole ran over a guy with his pickemup truck? Or when that other racist asshole dragged a guy to his death behind, you guessed it, his pickemup truck?

And no, for the slower members of the audience I am not suggesting we renew our calls to ban the pickup truck.

I am suggesting that when you have a common root cause of hatred for those who are unlike oneself then perhaps you should focus on that. And renew your calls to deal severely with these hate groups.

Oh, wait….but that’s protected by an Amendment* to the Constitution of the US isn’t it?

__
No, not the Second. I’m making a point here.

This picture is circulating the Facebooks, I snagged it from “The Pragmatic Progressive Page”.

It is absolutely, one hundred percent wooly headed leftie-libby insanity.

The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

There is absolutely no doubt that the people that wrote and approved this sucker were absolutely steeped in recent historical events. Historical events that were made up of an effort to free, by armed conflict, one part of a nation State from the rest of it. To take up arms against, they felt, a tyrannical controlling central governmental authority. To throw off the chains that bound them to that authority and to form a new Nation State.

During that conflict, the military might of the controlling central authority was deployed against citizens, including by trying to control their access to the very “arms” that might be used to resist said controlling central authority.

It is inexplicable to me how anyone with even a modicum of sense can view the 2nd Amendment as anything other than guaranteeing the ability of a local, semi-organized subset of a nation State to fight, with equivalent arms, against the military power of said national authority.

Consequently, the 2nd Amendment guarantees the right not just to muskets but to all of the arms available to the nation State itself.

Thus, Stinger missiles, F16s and M1 tanks are covered just as cedrtainly as your thirtyoughtsix deer rifle. The 100 round drum clip for an AR-15 style “rifle” as assuredly as hand-polished birdshot for Cheney’s lovingly waxed Italian sparrow murderer.

Kudos to Senator McCain

July 19, 2012

From the WaPo:

“Ultimately, what is at stake in this matter is larger even than the reputation of one person. This is about who we are as a nation, and who we still aspire to be. What makes America exceptional among the countries of the world is that we are bound together as citizens not by blood or class, not by sect or ethnicity, but by a set of enduring, universal, and equal rights that are the foundation of our constitution, our laws, our citizenry, and our identity. When anyone, not least a member of Congress, launches specious and degrading attacks against fellow Americans on the basis of nothing more than fear of who they are and ignorance of what they stand for, it defames the spirit of our nation, and we all grow poorer because of it.”

The captions practically write themselves, don’t they?

(AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM) from here.

How any person in the US who makes under a MILLION DOLLARS PER YEAR can even remotely contemplate voting for this clown is a mystery to me. Complete and utter mystery.

Rafalca, the Romney’s Olympics-bound dressage horse, nets the family a $77,000 tax credit, $2,000 of which, according to Current’s calculations, is for what they spent on health care for the horse. The average American family only spends $1,557 a year on health care.

It is really a credit to our citizenry that we have not broken out the guillotine for the 1 percenters yet.

More Rafalca v. Regular Americans.

UPDATE: Phew, appears to be a standard business thing where the $77K is a “loss”, not a tax credit. At least, by reading a bit of the commentary around the webs. They can subtract this loss from any future earnings they may get from this money-sink, fun-toy but they aren’t getting a tax credit. That makes me a little less grumpy about it. But still. They can sink a cool $77K into this and not even blink….the comparison to the yearly expenditures of a family of four at the median in the US is still apt.

This is a good day.

For those in need, yes, of course.

The more important thing, I hope, will be the gradual return to America as a community. The attempt to put us all in the healthcare system together, sharing the pain of payment, was a step at restoring the common path that has been so systematically destroyed by the right wing over the past 35-40 years.

Just yesterday NPR had an interview with a blue collar guy who noted that he was dependent on food stamps and Medicare but still “had a lot of conservative values”. In other words, he’d bought the lies and voted for the party that was fucking him over and against the party which provided him with his needs.

This only worked because of a split in the sense of community.

We’re marching back.

I invite you to put the new blog of Professor J. David Jentsch on your list. At the unlikely activist you will find fare such as:

The mystery of addictions, Part 1: Why spend money on addiction research at all?

If they are remarkably lucky and have proper medical and psychological support, they may return to a healthy life and never use again. But for most, their freedom is only temporary, and they will relapse again days, weeks, months or even years later, returning them to their suffering and to their fateful spiral. You see, drugs kill. They are powerful toxins that can stop breathing or a heart. If they are injected, they can bring infectious diseases like hepatitis and HIV along with them. And because they intoxicate the mind, they lead to reckless driving and other behaviors that risk the lives of the addict and those around them.

Ignoring science, from the bench

Put differently, juveniles and teens have a brain fully capable of feeling powerful emotions (like anger), but their ability to resist those emotions and to behave in a socially appropriate manner (like to inhibit aggressive reactions) is not at adult levels. The 5 justices who struck down harsh penalties for child offenders recognized this; it was a crucial part of their logic in this, and the earlier death penalty, case.

But like a frightening number of people in our society, the other 4 justices viewed the science as either being wrong or irrelevant. Their own ethical or philosophical views about crime and punishment appeared to trump their interest in scientific principles and facts. In this regard, they are not unlike strident animal rights activists opposed to biomedical and behavioral research involving animals.

A solemn voice in support of medical researchers

In the fall of 2010, an animal rights extremist sent me razor blades and heinous threats to cut my throat in the mail. It became a national news story, again highlighting the abject cruelty of some in the anti-vivisection movement. During this time, I turned on my phone one evening to see that I had received a voice mail. Anticipating the worst – yet another cruel, rabid and profane threat from my opponents – I found something quite different. I have kept this communication private for long enough. Now, at the wishes of the caller, I am sharing it with the broader community to demonstrate that support for humane animal research is everywhere…. It comes not from greed or ignorance, but from love and a hope that no one should ever suffer the same loss as the caller.

VoiceofSupport (click on this link to listen to this .wav file)

the bus

April 19, 2012

Obama by @macon44

photocredit: Macon Phillips

All right-thinking and patriotic Americans should be beaming with pride as they pay their part of the community bargain today.

I know I am proud to contribute my part towards all the great things our State and Federal governments accomplish. Admittedly, I’m not so keen on the blowing-other-people-up stuff but this is what a social compact of millions means. We take the good with the bad.

So join me in wishing out fellow citizens a Happy Tax Day!!!! Put a smile on your face and puff up with nationalistic pride.

A Sermon on this Sunday

February 26, 2012

…and now, Santorum saying this speech makes him “want to throw up”.

I wonder why we’ve fallen so far back into darkness.

Truth Vigilante

January 12, 2012

A recent editorial by the NYT Public Editor is drawing a lot of fire on the Twitts and blogs.

He asks if journalists should be “Truth Vigilantes” and places it in the context of verifying political assertions. In place of the usual cowardly he-said/she-said stenography that has almost entirely replaced the sadly lost profession of journalism.

Pfaah! I spit on stenographic media.

I invite you, dear reader, to relate your own moments of clarity where the stenographic replacement became crystal clear to you.

For me it was when then President George H. W. Bush came out of the back door of his Kennebunkport retreat and told the media that the best possible, most qualified person to fill a vacant seat on the Supreme Court of the united States was Clarence Thomas. His blatant falsehood went entirely unchallenged.

Eventually, I was able to close my mouth.

amirite?

language NSFW, as you might expect.

I gotta say I have no idea WTF he’s talking about with the gay mafia thing, tho. anyone?

h/t: guanabee