Once again, Arizona has lost its freaking collective religious right mind. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard by now that Arizona legislature passed a bill making it legal for businesses, public servants etc, to refuse service to anyone who does not conform to their religious beliefs. Dubbed the “right to discriminate act,” similar bills are currently being considered in 10 other states, with Georgia hot on the heels of Arizona. While many feel as if these bills solely target the LGBT communities in these states, that’s not exactly true. In Georgia and Arizona for instance, a hotel for example, can refuse to give a room to anyone who does not fit the religious criteria of the owner. Muslims, Hindus, virtually anyone can be refused service. Currently in Arizona, the bill is expected to be vetoed by Governor Jan Brewer. However, she is doing it because of the back lash, not because it’s just a god-awful, disgusting Jim Crow like set back to human rights. The bill reeks of inhumanity, and both conservative and liberal alike should be disgusted by any such piece of legislation. This bill, and other bills under consideration, are a slippery slope toward not only a return to Jim Crow, but a return to Nazi Germany as well. It’s horrifying to me to even think about what bills may come afterward, should any state turn such discrimination into law.
Yet, I’m not surprised by the bill. The radical religious right has been hot on the trail of Puritan like conformity for decades. They want to quash down the movement of marriage equality (Ted Cruz, I’m looking at you). They want to kill women’s reproductive rights (Hello Rick Perry!). They want to severely limit immigration. They want to jail almost every American of black and brown color on trumped up charges. They want to eliminate every colorful ingredient of our melting pot, and turn our country into bland creme soup. It’s so bad, that even moderate conservatives are not only distancing themselves from their grand old party, they’re forsaking it all together – in droves. If John McCain is complaining, you know it’s bad.
What’s our recourse? Protest, protest against these moral intruders like they owe you money. Write your state leaders, and make your voice heard. Threaten with your buying power, and threaten with your votes. People will listen. It’s happened before, and it can happen again. In fact, it’s already happening, why else would Governor Brewer consider a veto? It’s not because of her humanity: She doesn’t have any. It’s because she knows that Arizona will lose a ton of tourist dollars. She’s probably going to do the right thing for the wrong reasons, but at least she’s going to do the right thing. We must continue to stand up for what is right: After all, George Takei simply isn’t going to be around forever to fight our battles for us.
These are dangerous times we live in folks, and if we don’t fight back, our freedom will already be more repressed that it already is. I’m just saying.
I’m still around, but I’m finding little joy in blogging right now :( I lost my job back in August, and though I’ve been in the transportation industry for nearly 30 years, I still have not managed to find a job in my field. I had to settle for a cashier job at a local convenience store; I work for a third of what I used to make, and in spite of severe back pain, I have to remain on my feet for 8-9 hours a day with no break of any sort! To cut expenses, we moved to a trailer park, and we’re fairly miserable here. The park is filthy, and the trailer is in more disrepair than what we originally thought. We’ve done a lot to rehab the trailer and we’re pretty proud of what we accomplished. However, there is a lot more to be done, and we have neither the money nor the energy to do it. We’re broke, and both my partner and I have been very tired, in a lot of pain, and very depressed as of late.
On the bright side, we got back our health insurance on January 1st (Thank you ACA!), and my wife is now back on her very needed medications. I have a doctor’s appointment in mid-February, and I’m looking forward to renewing some vital medications that I used to be on. We’re both managing to eat healthy; my wife has lost 27 pounds, and I’ve lost about 40 I’ve also picked back up on doing my PT for my back, and it is doing a bit better.
In spite of all of the personal set backs, I’ve still managed to keep up on the political world. Chris Christie, has once again shown himself to be the vengeful asshole that we’ve all known him to be, and Ted Cruz is still a douche. The GOP still remains in the public eye as the disconnected, borderline sociopath party of no. In spite of getting trounced in last year’s election and ever declining popularity, the Republican party of religious elitist extremist seem hell bound on doubling down their message that unless you’re a white rich christian male, you’re of little use to them. However, we’re of great use to them; they divide us with their messages of hate and fear in order to make us hate each other. This is a very useful tool in the sense that it keeps the rest of us from uniting into one super group as it were, that could possibly wield a great deal of power, and dismantle the corporate and religious structure that continues to keep us among the “have nots”. The Republican party, with all of its religious dogma and corporate might has become indeed, the American Taliban. The 2014 elections are going to be a good marker to just how much the American people have grown tired of their shenanigans.
At any rate, I just wanted to let you know that I’m still around and I’m still writing occasionally. I’m going to try to write more, and I hope you will continue to visit my little corner of the world from time to time.
In closing, I want to share this Coca Cola commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Apparently, the Tea-Billies are in quite the uproar over it.
Coca Cola: Now sweetened with the tears of xenophobes.
Much love and peace to ya’ll
Welcome to the latest installment of What Does The First Amendment Really Mean? Recently, Phil Robertson of A&E’s Duck Dynasty gave an interview in GQ Magazine. In that interview, he made derogatory remarks involving not only the LGBT community, but African Americans as well. He likened homosexuality to bestiality, and claimed that blacks in Louisiana were much happier during the days of Jim Crow. Naturally, there was an outpouring of outrage, and A&E Network responded by suspending Robertson indefinitely. Of course, the bible thumping Tea Partiers, lead by Sarah Palin (Why is she still relevant?) came to his defense, claiming his First Amendment rights were violated. I say this with all due respect Mrs. Palin, but you and your ilk are full of hypocritical bullshit.
First of all, Robertson’s rights were not violated. Yes he has a right to his opinion, no matter how bigoted or idiotic it is. He can freely state his hillbilly bible thumping bullshit, without any reprisal from our government. However, his employer has every right to fire or suspend him for making such statements. For example, I can freely say that in my opinion, Phil Robertson is a prejudiced hateful moron, who deserves to be hog tied,and have a giant rainbow colored duck call shoved up his ass. I can opine this without worrying about any consequences from the government. However, if my employer was to read this post and disagree, they can fire me without reprisal. There would be nothing I can do about that. I can also freely state in my opinion, that I think Sarah Palin is an uneducated coat tail riding twat, and that I wish she was eaten by the very wolves that she enjoys shooting at from a helicopter. Fired by my employer? Yes. Arrested or censored by the authorities? No. This is how the First Amendment works folks. You don’t hear Martin Bashir bitching about his First Amendment rights do you?
Nobody is questioning his right to make racist and homophobic opinions. Has he been arrested for them? He has his right to his opinion. We also have the right to be offended by such comments and speak out against them. We have the right to reach out to his employer and complain about his conduct. The Tea Party went after Martin Bashir for his inflammatory comments about Sarah Palin, and as a result he was fired by MSNBC. Now that the situation is reversed with one of their own, they’re crying like a bunch of butt hurt little children about his First Amendment rights. You can’t have it both ways.
In my opinion, the ass hats of the Tea Party, along with their minion Sarah Palin, need to take a civics class or two. Maybe then they would finally shut their fucking mouths about the First Amendment already. Hell, they need to have the entire Constitution taught to them. That is, of course, once they get through a remedial hooked on phonics class.
I’m not holding my breath though.
The 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy passed us by a few days ago. Rightfully so, his death was heavily commemorated in the media. There was reminiscing over what was during Camelot, what was accomplished, and rumination over what may have been had he lived to serve two terms. Of course, along with the examination of the Kennedy political machine came the rehashing of the endless conspiracy theories that have abounded over the past five decades over what really happened. With my blog titled as it is, I would be remiss not to throw in my two cents worth of conspiracy theory as well.
I was born in the spring of 1965, about a year and a half after the killing of JFK. It would be nearly a decade after I was born that I would fully understand the Kennedy assassination. However, when I came to comprehend what happened, I spent a lot of my time reading about his death, his history and legacy, as well as the countless theories over why he died and who was responsible. Through all of my research and understanding, here is what I believe to have happened. Keep in mind, this is merely opinion I give based on what is known: My conclusions are not new nor ground breaking. It is a theory that is both popular, well discussed and written about. In my opinion, the CIA is responsible for the death of JFK, either with or without the help of the Mafia, and Lee Harvey Oswald was not the lone gunman, as concluded by the Warren Commission. I’m not really sure how anyone in their right mind could actually believe that Oswald could be solely responsible.
Believing that Lee Harvey Oswald was the lone gunman is akin to believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I, for the life of me, do not understand how anyone can conclude that Oswald, although an expert sniper trained by our military, could possibly squeeze off three precision shots from such a long distance with his view partially blocked by a tree. Furthermore, I can’t fathom that he was able to accomplish this with a twenty dollar bolt action rifle in under what? Thirty seconds? No one has been able to replicate his shots from the school book depository where he fired from. They either can not perform the actions necessary with a bolt action rifle to fire and reload the chamber three times in that short amount of time, or they can’t achieve it with any kind of accuracy. It’s not doable, it’s just not. You also have to consider this: the wounds taken by Kennedy, as well as John Connally, who was also shot while riding with Kennedy that day were not consistent with the trajectory of the bullets. In fact, films taken of the assassination show Kennedy lurching forward after the first hit, and then violently arcing backward with massive amounts of blood spraying from behind and from the side of his head, indicating that the kill shot would have come from in front of him. So no, Oswald was not alone. He worked in tandem with another shooter, both of whom acted under the orders of the CIA. Why the CIA you ask? Stay with me, I’m getting to that.
The fact of the matter is, by the late fifties/early sixties, the CIA was an operation that reported to no one. They had developed complete and unabashed autonomy. They were directing covert operations throughout the globe, including south east Asia and communist controlled Cuba. The Kennedy’s, both John and his brother Robert, detested the CIA for their actions. They fought them at every turn and rightly believed that if anyone could bring down their administration, it would be the CIA in either a bloodless or bloody coup. They were painfully correct. The history of the malevolence between the CIA and the Kennedy’s is very compelling, which leads me to believe that they were responsible for not only John’s death, but possibly Robert’s as well.
First off, the CIA was furious over Kennedy’s actions (or inactions) during the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. For those of you not familiar, here’s the Bay of Pigs in a nutshell. Not long before Kennedy took office, lame duck president Eisenhower approved a CIA plan to over throw Fidel Castro, and put in place an American friendly government. This invasion was to take place shortly after Kennedy took office, and if needed, military support would be provided. While the invasion did take place, it went horribly wrong, and Kennedy refused to provide the much needed air support to turn it around in the CIA’s favor. In short, the Bay of Pigs was a fiasco, a black eye for the CIA, and to add insult to injury, CIA director Alan Dulles was removed from his post by Kennedy days after the failed coup attempt. Kennedy wanted peace, and he understood that any movement toward Cuba (as well as South East Asia, and Eastern Europe) would not only heat up the Cold War: It would most likely move us into full blown nuclear war with the Soviet Union. As a side note, I find these nuggets interesting: At the time, George H. W. Bush was an assistant director at the CIA. The code name for the Bay of Pigs operation was Zapata (now known as the Harbinger Group), which also happens to be the name of the oil company that Bush owned. In addition, hours after Kennedy was shot, there was a meeting in CIA headquarters in Langley. One of the few attendees of this debriefing was George H.W. Bush.
The next strike from Kennedy against the CIA came in his refusal to provide 140,000 ground troops to Laos. At the time Laos was run by a puppet government controlled by the agency. When this government came under attack by the communist Pathet Lao guerillas, the CIA as well as right wing war hawks demanded that Kennedy provide troops as well as nuclear weapons. His stead fast refusal would lead to the fall of the CIA controlled regime, infuriating both the hierarchy of the CIA and the joint chiefs of staff. Laos was just the tip of the Asian iceburg: Kennedy would vehemently clash with the CIA over Vietnam as well.
The CIA wanted full blown war in Vietnam. They wanted this in order to halt the spread of communism in order to control financial interest for corporate America. Kennedy wanted peace, he had no interest in promoting war for corporate interest, and he wanted nothing more than to end the Cold War and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Kennedy was interested in cooperation with the communist, not competition. He wanted nothing to do with other countries civil wars, and had no wish to see Americans die in someone else s fight. In the latest edition of Rolling Stone Magazine, Robert Kennedy Jr writes of this: He describes how his uncle would only consent to sending a handful of military “advisers” to South Vietnam in order to assist the South Vietnamese army. Upon learning that 100 Americans had died in battle in 1962, JFK swore that American involvement would be reduced to nothing by 1965.
Further infuriating the CIA was Kennedy’s motions toward ending the Cold War with the Soviet Union. Without the Cold War, the CIA would probably have been de-funded and ceased to exist. The CIA’s sole purpose at the time was to fight communism and protect American financial interest abroad. Without the Cold War, why would the CIA be needed? While war hawks such as Alan Dulles and Barry Goldwater railed against communist aggression, Kennedy was quietly building trust with Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev. They corresponded regularly, and were covertly working together to form alliances and peace, not competition and war. Of course there were those in Soviet government who thought like the america right wing extremist at the time. Within a year after Kennedy’s death, Khrushchev was removed from power, and replaced by party puppets Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin. The CIA would live on to subvert other governments, and the Cold War would live on another 25 years after the death of JFK and removal of Nikita Khrushchev. Meanwhile, those who were heavily invested in the finances of the Cold War machine would become filthy rich. Go figure.
So there you have it: My opinion on who killed Kennedy, and why. Like I said earlier, it’s just my opinion based on what I’ve read in the past. I have no proof, and my thoughts are nothing that haven’t been presented before. However, I do feel as if I’m presenting an opinion based on logic. JFK detested the CIA and wanted to bring it to the ground. The CIA hated Kennedy, and had every motivation to remove him from office – remove him for a more CIA friendly president by the name of Lyndon Johnson, who coincidentally hailed from the state of Texas and hated Communism. Hmmmmm.
What are your thoughts? Do you believe that Oswald acted alone? Do you think the Mafia did it? It’s also a plausible theory when you consider that John and Robert were out to destroy the Mafia. Or do you prescribe to another theory? I would love to hear your opinions on the subject!
By the way, the Warren Report is complete and utter bullshit. It was a charade played out in order to placate the public, and bring closure to a horrific and traumatizing event. How can anyone take such a report that was manufactured by a commission in which Alan Dulles sat upon seriously? Chew on that for a minute and get back to me.
- The Kennedy Assassination (November 22, 1963) 50 Years Later (distributedfreedom.wordpress.com)
- Why’d Oswald Do It? (slate.com)
- Jesse Ventura: JFK Assassination (forum.prisonplanet.com)
- CNN finally admits CIA may have conspired to kill JFK (lunaticoutpost.com)
- Fifty years later, J.F.K.’s assassination is the mother of all conspiracy theories – NorthJersey.com (northjersey.com)
- Half a century later, JFK conspiracies still thrive (kansascity.com)
- Six JFK-Assassination Skeptics (nation.time.com)
With a full government shut down pending in two days, many of us are still trying to wrap our heads around the debt limit. In ten sentences, Mother Jones writer Kevin Drum explains what it means, and what happens if it isn’t raised:
For most of the past year, the Republican Party has been threatening to refuse to raise the federal debt limit unless Democrats give in to a broad and varying set of demands. To understand just how reckless this brinksmanship is, you have to understand just what the debt limit is and what it means to breach it. So here’s an explanation in 10 short sentences:
1. On May 19, total US debt reached $16.7 trillion, the maximum currently allowed by law.
2. The Treasury Department has been playing various games since then to continue paying all our bills while still technically remaining under the debt limit, but within a few days they’ll run out of tricks and the government will no longer be allowed to spend more money than it takes in.
3. These Treasury tricks are very much not business as usual, and the fact that we’ve been reduced to these kinds of shell games means that normal governance is already dangerously crippled.
4. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that in FY 2014 (which runs from October 2013 through September 2014), total federal income will be $3,042 billion and total spending will be $3,602 billion, a difference of $560 billion.
5. This is the amount of debt we need to issue to pay for everything in the budget, which means that if the debt limit isn’t raised, we need to immediately cut spending by $560 billion, or $46 billion per month.
6. That’s roughly the equivalent of wiping out the entire Defense Department; or wiping out two-thirds of Social Security; or wiping out all of Medicaid + all unemployment insurance + all food assistance + all veterans’ benefits.
7. What’s worse, because the government’s computers are programmed to simply pay bills in the order they’re received, it’s not clear if the Treasury can specify which bills get paid and which don’t.
8. This raises the additional risk that interest on treasury bonds might not get paid—something that would put US debt in default and could be disastrous in a global economy that depends on US bonds being rock solid.
9. So those are our choices if Congress fails to raise the debt limit: Either we suddenly stop paying for critical programs that people depend on, or we default on US treasury bonds—or both.
10. The former would immiserate millions of people and probably produce a second Great Recession, while the latter would likely devastate the global economy.
Not much of a choice, is it? That’s why it’s time for Republicans to stop playing games with the financial equivalent of nuclear weapons and agree to raise the debt limit.
Are you as tired of this as I am? Are you sick of our spineless Speaker allowing 49 petulant and seditious congressional members of the GOP to hold this country hostage? Then tell him so: http://www.speaker.gov/
- The Debt Ceiling Explained in 10 Short Sentences (motherjones.com)
- Key dates on debt limit as Thursday deadline nears (kansascity.com)
- Dual crises: Shutdown, debt limit could merge (bigstory.ap.org)
Here’s a terrific synopsis from Rachel Maddow concerning the House Republican devised government shut down. Unsurprisingly, they have been gleefully planning this since 2010, when the GOP took over house majority.
It’s estimated that the government shut down will cost the tax payers twenty one million dollars a day. In addition, the shut down will slow down the economy to the tune of three hundred million dollars a day. Meanwhile, the stock market began to plummet before the shut down even went into effect. In addition, an estimated eight hundred thousand government workers are now on leave without pay. Furthermore, vital social programs such as WIC will be shut down, leaving many who rely on government assistance to fend for themselves. Looking forward to retirement? Not so fast my friend. You’re application for Social Security most likely will not be processed until the shut down ends. Want to go to a national park or museum? Forget about it, they’re shut down as well. The absurd list of those affected by the shut down goes on and on.
This is our conservative party at work folks – or in this case non work. They are diligently and systematically destroying our country in order to undermine our president. This isn’t a mere temper tantrum over Obama-care: This is treason. This is one of our parties demonstrating a complete disregard for the country they supposedly have sworn to protect and work for. The government could have easily been kept operational if the Republican Party would have budged one iota on their ridiculous demands. The House and Senate could have easily passed a spending bill that did not include the defunding of Obama-care, John Boehner wouldn’t allow it. The GOP isn’t looking out for the American people, they’re looking out for themselves, as well as the likes of the Koch brothers. This traitorous act by the Republican Party is akin to the boy with the football going home until everybody lets him play quarterback. Let me tell you something boys, the game you’re trying to shut down went on without you: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act went into effect while you were collectively packing your footballs and going home. Your little game of chicken accomplished nothing, other than seriously damaging our economy. It’s not Obama nor the Democrats who are suffering from your childish and churlish behavior: It’s millions of people in this country who will suffer.
At the very least, the GOP leaders who are leading this crusade against John Q Public simply must be voted out in 2014. At the most, they should be led away from their tax payer subsidized day care in shackles. In closing, I would just like to say this to John Boehner and the rest of his petulant cronies:
- Why the Republicans lost (tv.msnbc.com)
- Senate rejects House funding bill with shutdown in clear sight (thehill.com)
- John Boehner doesn’t have to let the Tea Party paralyze whole government (washingtonpost.com)
- Government Shutdown Begins As Deadlocked Congress Flails (bloomberg.com)
As of April, at least 8 states have instituted some form of mandatory drug testing for those who are in need of some manner of public assistance. In addition, another 29 states (mostly red states) have introduced legislation to introduce mandatory drug testing as part of their public assistance programs. I came across this article yesterday: The Myth of Welfare and Drug Use – The Daily Beast. Think mandatory drug testing is saving us money? Check out this passage about drug testing in Utah:
The myth of welfare recipients spending their benefits on drugs is just that—a myth. And indeed, in Utah, only 12 people out of 466—or 2.5 percent—showed evidence of drug use after a mandatory screening. The total cost to the state was $25,000, or far more than the cost of providing benefits to a dozen people. The only thing “gained” from mandatory drug testing is the humiliation of desperate people.
As tax payers, we pay thousands in order to catch and deny benefits to a little under three percent of those who are in need of government assistance. It would be cheaper to the public if we just paid out the damned assistance, and invested, oh, I don’t know, maybe some jobs programs? That would make too much sense though. I’m guessing that the Republican state legislators that voted in this law are probably in the back pockets of big pharmaceuticals. You know, the companies that make and sell these expensive drug tests. It’s just another example of how the “Haves” make billions from the debasement of the unfortunate. This is right up there with private run prisons, which are over run with people who don’t belong there. It’s about the money. Ya dig? Think about it: all of the clinics and doctors and lab techs that are needed to conduct these test – who foots the bill? The government of course. Who collects the money? Big medical and pharmaceutical corporations, an industry that has a huge lobby in state and federal government. It’s the perfect scam, almost as perfect as the car dealer wanting to charge you extra to put undercoating on your new car.
In other words, we’re paying for something that is simply not fucking needed. You know who needs to pee in a cup? Republicans: they live in such a world that is so far removed, that they must be on something good. How else can their collective behaviors be explained?
- Pregnant Indiana Women Now Forced to Take Drug Tests (misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com)
- The Myth of Welfare and Drug Use (schnittshow.com)
- Roxas eyes mandatory drug test even for non-drug offenders (newsinfo.inquirer.net)