Monday, September 27, 2010

It's All About the Bidness

A new trend is starting of cities and counties contracting to private companies to run formerly public libraries. Ordinary citizens are rebelling at the practice in several California cities, and others around the country. fearful that a trusted source of community cohesion is being coopted by the profit model.

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — A private company in Maryland has taken over public libraries in ailing cities in California, Oregon, Tennessee and Texas, growing into the country’s fifth-largest library system.


Can a municipal service like a library hold so central a place that it should be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor only as a last resort — and maybe not even then?


It should be obvious that yes, a service like a library is held so central to a place it should not be entrusted to a profit-driven contractor. There are several reasons why this is a bad idea, and among them is certainly a sense of community free from the competitive wrangling people do during their work lives. But much more obvious is the library being a source, and sometimes a primary source of objective information, free from possible, or probable ideological corruption of information. Which is rampant and increasing as conservation alternate realities are on the rise to install right wing dogma in government and about everywhere else. Such as the war on science and substituting religious concepts and morality that are bible based and highly subjective. The smearing of the science of evolution is a prime example of this.

But mostly for me, it is the ethos of capitalism and profit worship above all else, in service to wealth and power becoming the first value leading this country into fear and ignorance of other values, such as art and literature and the like, that is most alarming. This God of Profit almost always is followed by other right wing misinformation contrived to dumb down our national reality and discourse, and needs to remain in the realm of the economic rather than allowed to infect the realm of broad knowledge and objective information.

“A lot of libraries are atrocious,” Mr. Pezzanite said. “Their policies are all about job security. That’s why the profession is nervous about us. You can go to a library for 35 years and never have to do anything and then have your retirement. We’re not running our company that way. You come to us, you’re going to have to work.”


Of course, it is the disease of liberal laziness as the culprit, polluting our precious bodily fluids, and if the pointy heads would get a real job then libraries could become what they should be. Just another source of business jesus keeping folks in line.

It's all about the code. The right wing code.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Conflict

I have been thinking about this for several days. The conservative narrative is that Muslims are somehow unique when it comes to violence. That their religion compels them to kill those who are not Muslim. That the central precept of their religion propels them to commit violent acts. What the conservative narrative fails to admit is that all religions have individuals who commit violence in the name of their faith. Take Northern Ireland -- a relatively recent conflict. Roman Catholics against Protestants. Since the 1970s more than 3,000 individuals have died, with more individuals severely injured. Political murders, car bombings, and "human bombs" were all undertaken in the name of keeping the faith. If we follow the conservative narrative, we could argue that their faith is violent, and their faith compels them to undertake violent means to accomplish their goals. That the evidence of violence in the name of faith means that moderates who want peace are acting against what their faith teaches them.

soul coughing rolling

Friday, September 24, 2010

Yes, let's have her advise our children

Several video have shown Christine O'Donnell advising young students about virtue, integrity, honesty, and sexual purity. Is this really the person we want advising our youth? What else can she tell them. That virtue, integrity, and honesty only applies to not having sex before marriage. That when it comes to how one lives ones life, these values do not apply. Given her past, particularly her illegal use of campaign funds for personal expenses, including paying family members for dubious work, what exactly is Christine's message? Don't finish college and just lie about it. Pretend that you were accepted into a prestigious University (Princeton) for graduate school, when clearly that never happened. Don't hold a job for long. Clearly her message to young people is that working hard in college, finding and working hard at a job, living within one's means, and using public funds legally are not worthy values. Clearly her message is that professing a set of core values is fundamentally more important than actually living these same set of core values. That is what brings success.
Sadly, Christine embodies conservatives and tea partiers. Individuals that profess a set of core values in public, but not even close in practice. And, they claim the right to lead the next generation, as well as the country.

Politics of the Damned

It’s kind of darkly ironic, that for the last year, the media and the wingnuts have been droning on about the deficit and too much spending, so here we are dems worried about being seen as not extending tax cuts that would greatly expand the deficit and the wingnuts talking out of both sides of their mouths about more and more tax cuts, and extending them also too for rich people all the while grinning like evil clowns while dems lurch around trying to negate the wingnut debauchery that always seems to take hold, at least with the white and anxious middle class majority who never learn that the wingnuts they elect to represent their tribe do not have their best interest in mind, but insist on swallowing their bullshit whole served up by a servile press. It would be nice to hold a pre election vote to extend upper income tax cuts for pol theater in dems favor if wingers played along, but with blue dog help, these cuts for the rich would likely pass the House, and remember that repubs are not against mc cuts, they just want the rich ones too, so those would pass as well. It is a setup for Murphy’s Law for dems to try to hard too play the wingnut game of lies and deception. They are not very good at it, which to me is a good thing when it comes to the politics of governing. So what’s a good libtard to do? Unfortunately, at least in the short term, it is what is always their only route. And that is doing what is right for the country, and taking whatever unfair criticism that comes their way, because at the end of the day, if dems don’t do what’s right, then who will?

There is an opportunity for Obama and dems to take the initiative here, again doing the right thing, for them to propose their own tax cuts for the mc only, and announce the truth that the temp Bush ones have run their course. And tailor those DEM cuts to dem priorities and tell the rich to suck an egg, and the wingnuts. Rather than stage a phony vote that could well backfire on them in the end. The lizard brain is good at flanking such maneuvers from their prey.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When the right filibusters its own ideals to death

When the right filibusters its own ideals to death

From Salon. More evidence that conservatives and tea partiers have no other agenda than to get rid of our black President.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Unskilled labor

Tried to link video from Huffington Post, but couldn't. But, it is worth a look. Former Senator Al D'Amato (R-NY) blasts a fellow Fox Business News guest Jack Burkman about his racist comments that the US Postal Service only hires unskilled labor, particularly "Nigerians" who should be driving taxis.

Putting aside issues of the Postal Service and the fact that the internet has drastically changed how we communicate and conduct business, Burkman's comments about unskilled labor were stunning.

Apparently conservatives -- through the tea partiers -- have no problem supporting unskilled individuals to lead our states and even the country. Talk about unskilled labor. Christine O'Donnell and Sarah Palin could easily fall under the category of "unskilled labor." Yet, they are being promoted as the answer to America's future.

If you are a person of color genuinely trying to make an honest living to support your family and community you don't deserve a chance. If you are white and stupid, but profess Christian values and spout vacuous slogans, you are worthy to lead.

The tea party movement is nothing more than cover for racist individuals to exercise their racism under the guise of supposedly patriot Americans concerned with the country's direction.

From the Mouths of Crazy People

Everyone seems to be focused on the Delaware GOP tea bag senate hopeful Christine O'Donnell and the nutty stuff she says, but there is another tea bagger who is trying to out wingnut her. Glen Urquhart is the wingnut tea partier who won the GOP nomination to replace the defeated senate hopeful Mike Castle. He pulls out the Godwin card and trips over it backtracking. Mr. Urquart gives voice to neanderthals everywhere on the separation of church and state in America.

"Do you know, where does this phrase 'separation of church and state' come from?" Urquhart asked at a campaign event last April. "It was not in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists. ... The exact phrase 'separation of Church and State' came out of Adolph Hitler’s mouth, that's where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State ask them why they’re Nazis."


You can likely get away with that in South Carolina, but in Delaware some explaining is in order, so Mr. Urquart doubles down and follows with the "out of context" card.

According to Delaware Online, "Urquhart says the statement was taken out of context and that he did not explain his point very well. If he could do it over, he said, he would add more historical context and explain why he rejects Hitler's take on the relationship between government and the church."


"I didn't mean to suggest -- and I am not suggesting -- that people who are liberals are Nazis,"


Oh yes you did dumbfuck. The internet never forgets, nor forgives.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Huckabee, Let Them Eat Cake and Die

Mike Huckabee at the Value Voters summit, defines what "Values" really means. Dollars and cents and lot's of prayers for the dying. But that's all they get, cause why waste profit on a "burned down house" aka sick people with pre-existing conditions. Your compassionate conservatism at work.

"It sounds so good, and it's such a warm message to say we're not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition," Huckabee explained at the Value Voters Summit today. "Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle [to] our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, "I'd like to buy some insurance for my house." He'd say, "Tell me about your house." "Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I'd like to insure it today." And he'll say "I'm sorry, but we can't insure it after it's already burned." Well, no preexisting conditions.


Christine O'Donnell: Con Artist | Video Cafe

Christine O'Donnell: Con Artist Video Cafe


And today O'Donnell is speaking at the Family Research Council's Values Summit, not doubt explaining to the group that a "leader should be above reproach," and therefore, she is stepping down as the Republican candidate for Senator.

Or not.........

We are all stupid now

Read a really funny comment about O'Donnell. Someone wrote that O'Donnell won because she is just like us....So I guess, in this person's infinite wisdom, we are all stupid now.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Poster Child

O'Donnell is the poster child for everything wrong with our political system now. Catch her bullshit on an old Politically Incorrect episode. (You can see it on Little Green Footballs. I tried to link but didn't manage).

Watch it. It is revealing. If the Democratic Party in Delaware can't destroy her with her own words, than they deserve to loose. She states that "leaders should be beyond reproach." This was during a discussion on lying. Considering she has a past littered with lies, I guess she would consider herself incapable of leading. She basically admits that she is unworthly of the position she seeks without even realizing it. She lied about her college degree; she lied about her supposed admittance to Princeton, and she lied about her financial expenses, charging her household expenses to her campaign.

Karl Rove Surrenders to General Malkin

If anyone thinks that the tea party and it's promoter's in the wingnut pundit world don't now rule the GOP roost, even Karl Rove has been brought to heel after speaking some truth, rare for him, on the "nutty" new gooper Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell, whose various causes include a Jihad against masturbation, and calling for Bill Clinton to be investigated for murdering Vince Foster.

Ms. O'Donnell, you see is the darling mini me for Sarah Palin, the perky prophet to lead the wingnut tribe out of the wilderness of mainstream republicanism, into the promised land of real America. That would be the mainstream GOP of Karl Rove and George Bush and Dick Cheney, and the chamber of horrors they inflicted on the nation for 8 long years, including bankrupting the country, torture, invasions of countries for no good reason, But most importantly, and likely primary to their real cause, the old vanguard losing all power and letting a darkie Muslim move into the White House.

But there is no indication they now oppose the worst of the policies of George Bush, but more like he didn't go far enough with right wing authoritarianism, and had his precious bodily fluids drained by crypto socialist advisers, like maybe Rove, who knows? And didn't deal with the scourge of masturbation on his watch. And assorted other creepy shit under the banner of "real America" and "taking back OUR country"

But never mind, Mr. Rove has been shown the light by the real leaders of the GOP, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, and Palin.

Since he made that comment, commentators from Michelle Malkin to Sarah Palin to Rush Limbaugh have called Rove everything from incompetent to traitorous. The end result? Rove has come to embody the "establishment" in discussions about O'Donnell. And as anyone knows, this year, the "establishment" label on a Republican resume is about as popular as a meat dress at a PETA meeting.

So perhaps it's no surprise that Rove buckled under the pressure of his right-wing critics, rushing onto Fox this morning to change the narrative. How can you call me establishment? he asked. I supported Sharron Angle for goodness' sake! And as to that whole "the GOP Senate majority is doomed" thing, Rove is now claiming that not only does he think O'Donnell can win, he actually orchestrated sending NRSC money to her campaign.

It seems for the GOP these days, no one there gets out alive. Either you kiss the Dragon ring, or off with your head. With the taking down of high once guru of republican politics, humbled into formation by the triad of RINO hunters, the deal is closed, signed sealed and delivered to the grave of Richard Nixon, who started all this "southern strategy" shit.

Conservative Principles

Let me see if I have this right.


Michelle Obama's campaign against obesity is an attack on personal choice and individual rights and responsibilities. But, O'Donnell's campaign against masturbation is not.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am sick

I know that Christine O'Donnell's winning the Delaware Republican primary is potentially good for the Democratic Party, but it still makes me sick that voters would choose her. Part of the conservative legacy will be the "dumbing down" of the country. Republicans chose a woman who has made a career out of lying, never really held a job, has financial irregularities (using campaign contributions to pay her rent and other expenses), and who has some crazy ideas related to sex and sexuality. Exactly what in Christine's past equips her to lead her state? Her lying about her college degree and her non-admittance into Princeton? Her lack of a professional resume? Her fundamental Christian beliefs? What?

Conservatives are the first to say that they want to return to traditional values. Since when do traditional values means fidelity to incompetence? Even given that our past excluded blacks and women from basic rights, as well as political, economic and educational opportunities, I remember that our parents, communities, and government valued hard work and education as a means to creating a better society, community, and family life.

Now, we have conservatives equating incompetence, lying, and lack of education and a professional profile with good governance. Are conservatives candidates really the way forward when other countries are promoting good education, technical skills, and innovation as a means to generating strong economies and solid markets?

We are going backwards. Supporting poor candidates that cannot even hold a job as somehow our leaders for the future.

Conservatives the message you can give your children is that lying, stealing, cheating are today's values. Just make sure that your lying, stealing, and cheating are masked in conservative Christianity, and you, too, can become the next candidate for Senator.

I am really sick.

'Tea party's' Dick Armey: A GOP majority would take up abortion fight - CSMonitor.com

'Tea party's' Dick Armey: A GOP majority would take up abortion fight - CSMonitor.com


Why when old white Congressmen are voted out of office do they think that they can still control the national political and social agenda and that they still speak for the majority of Americans. Armey is using tons of money to keep himself out in front and relevant. If he wasn't funding the tea baggers, they would have faded away. But, he is funding them and having a group of crazy followers is giving him the allusion that he still matters.

I truly believe that no matter what happens in November, his more than 15 minutes of fame are going to be over shortly after the elections. The tea party movement is bankrupt, with not one good idea coming out of all of these rallies and marches, etc. If the GOP retakes Congress, the lack of ideas and their inability to govern will become evident. And, then it will be our turn.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Stink Bugs

I have spent the last hour reading about Stink Bugs. Actually, I didn't know these little critters were called Stink Bugs until I complained to my neighbor that I was finding these things around my doors, and recently in my house. She knew what these bugs were called and is having similar problems with them. So far, I have managed to grab the ones I have found inside with a paper towel and a quick flush down the toilet. I didn't even realize that upon contact they emit an ordor and can bite

They apparently love gardens, hate the cold, and now that fall is coming, they are looking for warm spaces to spend the winter.

Since I am not renting any rooms in my house, I really want them to move south -- I am thinking that since Virginia gets more conservative the more south one goes, and since apparently they "stink" upon contact, Southern Virginia is a perfect location for an invasion.

Authentically Dishonest

Since Newt called our President "authentically dishonest," the phrase has stuck in my mind, and I have decided to borrow it for a bit.

Today's "authentically dishonest" award goes to Attorney Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, for speaking at the 9/12 March on DC about fighting against the "elites."
Can't even make this stuff up.............

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Difficult discussion

My community progressive group is having a long dialogue on Israeli-Palestinian relations. Tensions are high. I stayed out of the debate until tonight when I sent an email to the group expressing both my reflections and frustrations. After rereading my post, I feel I may have come off as an apologist for Israel. This was not my intent. Rather, my fundamental point is that the narrative has to change. The old narrative is not working. I do believe there are "victims" on both sides. While I acknowledge that the current Israelis administration is a monster, I also am tired of the simplistic narrative that paints Palestinians as just victims. Both sides have wasted historical moments that could have brought peace, and Palestinians have been ill-served by those that have spoken on their behalf, particularly the Arab world that in their own countries treat Palestinians as slave labor and have used their cause to mask their own treatment of their own people.
Also, one member of our group stated that being a progressive means being anti-Israel, where Israel is with equated with Zionism.
Anyway, here is my post for discussion.
I am entering this dialogue rather late, but I do have some impressions -- several of which may be uncomfortable or controversial. Let me start by saying that I have worked in the Middle East. Last year my work was in Beirut. Also, let me say upfront that I am Jewish and my husband is a Bosnian Muslim. He also has worked in Palestine, so my thoughts and impressions are the result of my work, discussions within our family, and dialogue among friends and colleagues. I am a progressive, and I feel strongly that my views are progressive -- as I understand the political position and my own thoughts and political beliefs.
First, I do take exception to calling Israel a "Zionist State." Israel is far too complex to label it with a right wing banner. There are Israelis that want peace and accommodation with Palestinians, as well as crazy far right religious Jews that share more with fundamentalists of all religions than many thoughtful Israelis.
Second, not all Israelis are evil, as not all Palestinians are saints. Both sides through the years have wasted opportunities to bring peace and reconciliation to the troubled area. Billions of dollars have been used and abused on both sides. Continuing the conflict on both sides has become an excuse and a rationale for geopolitics.
Third, the far right in Israel has received much to much support from the far right in the US, while Palestinians have been used by the Arab world as an excuse to hide their own treatment of their own people.
Fourth, rehasing the history of Israel to me serves no purpose. Both sides, and all sides, can and to interpret history and create narratives that support their own "victimization." We see this now in the US, with white Christians playing the victim card as one more attempt to retake the White House, impose a Christian culture on the US, and try and establish a state-sponsored religion that somehow skirts the Constitution.
Fifth, I confess to being tired of the old narratives -- Israel vs Palestine -- as a way forward. We will never have a way forward until the right in Israel stops professing ignorance of their atrocities, and Palestinians stop denying that they, too, have a hand in their own oppression. It is time to create new narratives that acknowledge that Jews in Israel aren't going away, and that Palestinians are ill-served by those supposedly leading them. I was shocked while in Beirut at how both Muslims and Christians are tired of having their country used and controlled by outside influences. The old narratives haven't workd, and the world is getting tired of supporting hatred on both sides.
Six, I am not denying that the current Israeli government is a monster. However, again this doesn't reflect the views of many Israelis, many American Jews, as well as past Israeli governments that have been more than willing to reach some accommodation. Corruption exists on all sides, and to me, the first step to real reconciliation is to recognize this salient point.
Progressive Jews and Palestinians are the way forward -- with both sides acknowledging that they do not represent genocidal impulses and truly want to work together to resolve this continuing tragedy.
____________________
Anyway, I am awaiting the responses of my group. I am not sure the responses will be supportive of my call for new narratives!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back to the Stone Age

Nature magazine has a new article lambasting the American right wing assault on science and scientists. Those of us who follow politics closely have seen this happening for quite some time. It is a dumbing down of political discourse that seems to be a result of a political party with no workable ideas on how to successfully govern a country, with an insatiable appetite for power, so it must attack it's institutions and constitution to create some sense of impending doom that only they can thwart, usually by religious antidote, false flag attacks on liberty by phantom collectivists we call liberal, and a whole host of smears and lies directed at the opposition's leaders. And they have a well oiled PR machine to blast the American psyche day in and day out with this nonsense. And if anyone in the main stream media questions them, or the veracity of their garbage, out comes the liberal bias card. And leading that propaganda juggernaut is the fat man on radio down in Florida.

“The four corners of deceit: government, academia, science and media. Those institutions are now corrupt and exist by virtue of deceit. That's how they promulgate themselves; it is how they prosper.” It is tempting to laugh off this and other rhetoric broadcast by Rush Limbaugh, a conservative US radio host, but Limbaugh and similar voices are no laughing matter.


The blather by Fox and Limbaugh and all the other screamers of fear and doom from the right sometimes, or often seems so crazy, it is hard to believe that many Americans will believe it. But right now before the coming election in November, republicans are poised to make big gains in government via congress.

And as Nature notes, it couldn't come at a worse time, the assault on science.

The anti-science strain pervading the right wing in the United States is the last thing the country needs in a time of economic challenge.The right-wing populism that is flourishing in the current climate of economic insecurity echoes many traditional conservative themes, such as opposition to taxes, regulation and immigration. But the Tea Party and its cheerleaders, who include Limbaugh, Fox News television host Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin (who famously decried fruitfly research as a waste of public money), are also tapping an age-old US political impulse — a suspicion of elites and expertise.


Ah, the dread nameless faceless elites, looking to suck out the precious bodily fluids of god fearin' capitalistic American's. This is an old tried and true trick from the right wing, that since WW2 and The Cold War, centers on fears of collectism, aka, Communism, Socialism etc.../ Thus the concentrated attacks on Obama for HCR, bailouts, Finreg and all the steps that were taken to actually save our economy from republican governance the past eight years, and really the past 30 years of installing conservative ideas into the economic engine, that nearly killed it in 2008. Nevermind, that any rational person would not consider scientists and educators as actual elitists of malevolent intent.. Those, for a thinking person with average intelligence, would be Wall Street Bankers, and torture loving Dick Cheney.

This country is screwed up right now. Up is down, wrong is right, but black still is black. God help us in the near term. We are in for some very very rough sledding in this country, and our 4th estate media does not seem to see fit to do their constitutional duty and call bullshit bullshit on a daily basis.

We can be next

Conservatives exploiting both the Muslim community center in NY and the Koran book burning, as well as all the hate speech against Muslim Americans, should make all Jews pause. Even the fact that we know refer to Americans by their religion -- ie., Muslim Americans not Americans who choose to be Muslim -- should make all of us as Americans pause.
Starting with the controversy over the community center and now the media frenzy over the Koran burning to me indicates how fragile our country has become and how willing conservatives are to toss American values to the wind for political gain. The tea partiers love to carry the Constitution to rallies, yet when a real Constitutional issue hits us in the face, they happily revert to anti-Constitutional rhetoric and, with a hatred that is astounding, throw other Americans under the bus. The reason our founding fathers created the system they believed in was exactly to prevent what is happening now. They created a document and a political system that protected those whose religious beliefs went against the majority, stating without a doubt that religious belief was a matter of personal conscience, not something imposed by an ignorant majority or an equally ignorant government.
Jews in America should be scared with the rhetoric of the right, and Jews should be at the forefront of support for Americans choosing to practice their Muslim faith. Jewish history should tell us that it is easy to demonize a minority. That religion can be used by political opportuntists to create division among groups should be familiar to us.
The irony of saying that all American Muslims are somehow responsible for 9/11 goes against history. Do Jews and other Americans hold the Catholic Church responsible for 6 million Jews being exterminated in the Holocaust even though evidence indicates that the Church protected Nazis before and after the end of the war?
No. Christianity, including the Catholic Church, holds a prominant and privileged position in the country and a strong position in conservative politics. 6 million, not 3,000. While every life lost to politics and extremists is horrifying, I can't help but reflect on past history and think how certain groups and religions have been absolved of the mistakes their pasts.
Muslims, Jews, Christians, and non-believers died in 9/11. But, Republicans and conservative Christians smell blood in November and are willing to demonize other Americans in their hope for victory. For Jews, that should be a red flag. History should tell us how easily it is to demonize a group and that it has happened before. That this time it is not happening to us should not stop us from speaking out.

Jon Stewart: Weekend at Burnies

Jon Stewart: Weekend at Burnies

Wingnut Stump Speech From Hell

Wednesday, September 8, 2010