Monday, August 30, 2010

Too Much, Too Little, Too Late

Chris Slane - New Zealand - Cafe Sewer - English - pollution, water, quality, wildlife, herbicide, sewer, sea, pollutants, sewer, fish, cuisine, birds, bird, sewage, motor oil, toilet paper, herbicide, herbicides, pesticide, pesticides, ocean

Mother Jones has an article by Kiera Butler on the "12 Most Toxic Fish (For Humans and the Planet.)"

Food & Water Watch just released its 2010 Smart Seafood Guide to the safety and sustainability of more than 100 kinds of fish and shellfish. Now I still love the Monterey Bay Aquarium's pocket guides and searchable Seafood Watch site (the only place where you can geek out with a trawling fact card, as far as I know), but the Smart Seafood Guide has a few unique features worth pointing out.

For starters, while some guides only address human health issues (like mercury) and environmental problems (like overfishing), Food & Water Watch also considers seafood's socioeconomic impact. "For example, lobster is a a key part of the economy up in Maine," says Marianne Cufone, director of Food & Water Watch's fish program. "Knowing that fact is really important to some consumers."

Another handy thing: It's organized by texture and taste, so you can figure out the safest and most sustainable options in categories such as "mild" and "steak-like." This makes it easy to figure out substitutes for recipes.

Here's Food & Water Watch's "dirty dozen" list of seafood that failed to meet at least two of the group's criteria. For more details, plus a list of alternatives for each verboten species, check out the guide. In no particular order:

1. King crab

  • Even though crab is abundant in some parts of the US, imports from Russia—which aren't well regulated—are much cheaper and more common.

2. Caviar, especially from beluga and other wild-caught sturgeon

  • Overfishing and poaching of this coveted species is very common.

3. Atlantic bluefin tuna

  • Extreme overfishing, plus concerns about mercury and PCB contamination.

4. Orange roughy

  • May contain mercury and "is particularly vulnerable to overfishing due to its long lifespan and slow maturation."

5. Atlantic flatfish (e.g. flounder, sole and halibut)

  • Seriously overfished.

6. American eel

  • Concerns about mercury and PCBs.

7. Atlantic Cod

  • Overfished, and also has major bycatch problems.

8. Imported catfish

  • Much of it comes from Southeast Asia, "where use of chemicals and antibiotics is barely regulated."

9. Chilean seabass

  • Concerns about mercury, plus illegal fishing in Chile damages marine life and seabirds.

10. Shark

  • May contain mercury, also overfished.

11. Atlantic and farmed salmon

  • Concerns about contamination with PCB, pesticides, and antibiotics. Also, waste and germs from salmon farms often leaches out of the cages and can harm the surrounding marine life.

12. Imported shrimp

  • About 90 percent of it comes from countries where the seafood industry (waste control, chemical use, and labor) isn't well regulated.
Over fishing, pollution and environmental considerations are all aspects of this issue which need to be considered in making decision about what to eat.

M. e. Cohen - M.e.Cohen/ - The Magic Fish and Mercury poisoning. - English - Mercury, poisoning, poison, ecology, rivers, lakes, fish, environment, environmental, pollution, concentration, water, fishing, stream

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Reason Why Our Penal System is Broken

Arcadio Esquivel - Cagle Cartoons, La Prensa, Panama - Deplorable Jails -- COLOR - English - Jail, jails, prison, prisoners, detainee, detainees, condition, building, quality, construction, deplorable, crowded, broken, sos, crime

Cliff Schecter wants to
"Stop the Rape" in prisons.

One in five prisoners are raped on their first day in prison. Let me repeat that. One in five are raped on their very first day of incarceration. And that doesn't even begin to tell the whole story of prison rape. For example, contrary to popular myth, more prisoners reported sexual assaults involving prison staff (2.8 percent) than other inmates (2.1 percent). And women are more likely to be victimized than men.

Theses are only some of the findings of a newly released study by the Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) reports that 88,500 adults held in U.S. prisons and jails are sexually abused each year. Meanwhile, Attorney General Eric Holder has already missed a deadline of June, 2010 to institute reforms mandated by a bipartisan commission created by the passage of the 2003 Prison Rape Elimination Act (signed by George W. Bush [Ed Note: with Jeff Sessions as co-sponsor in the Senate!]), reforms that could help prevent these nearly 88,500 individual tragedies from continuing unabated.

As Lovisa Stannow, Executive Director of Just Detention International put it, "Every day that the Attorney General doesn't finalize the national standards is another day of anguish among prisoner rape survivors, of preventable safety breaches in prisons and jails, and of significant spending of taxpayers' money on medical treatment, investigations, and litigation that could have been avoided."

And if that doesn't do it for you, maybe this will:

A similar youth survey, released in January, found that the abuse in juvenile facilities is even worse, with 12 percent of detainees reporting sexual assaults

This is simply unacceptable in 21st Century America.

The Penal system is broken. Change needs to embrace a complete reevaluation and restructuring of the system.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Fuel Behind the Anger

There are no coincidences in hate. The recent viral spin of anti-mosque, anti-Islam, anti-Muslim, rhetoric stems from a small core group. Their anger over the 9/11 mosque controversy has jettisoned their Islamophobia and hatred into the mainstream media news. Many politicians have latched on and adopted this hatred to gather support for the November elections. Joshua Holland's article, How a Lunatic, Racist Blogger Is Fanning Hate Agaisnt Musims--With the Help of Our Dumb Media, explores how anti-Islam groups, created by an extremists like Pamela Gellar, are on a crusade against U.S. Muslims.

Pamela Geller, the once-obscure right-wing blogger known for peddling hateful, wildly over-the-top rhetoric (she once claimed that Barack Obama was the bastard stepchild of Malcom X) and for pulling stunts like taping a harangue against Muslims while clad in a bikini, has parlayed the anti-mosque hysteria sweeping across America into mainstream media attention just in time to promote her new book, The Post-American Presidency.

Geller and co-author Robert Spencer have been relentlessly promoting the “nontroversy” over the Park 51 project. According to a profile in the Guardian, the pair have “been at the forefront of drumming up opposition to the center, two blocks from Ground Zero, through an array” of organizations like the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) and Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA). The groups “have become increasingly influential as conservative politicians exploit anti-Muslim sentiment before November's congressional and state elections.”

The groups’ ideology is reminiscent of the reckless demagoguery of Joe McCarthy. According to the Guardian, AFDI “says it is fighting ‘specific Islamic supremacist initiatives in American cities’ and hunting down ‘infiltrators of our federal agencies'." SIOA, which bills itself as a human rights organization "is tied to a similar group, Stop Islamisation of Europe, which goes by the motto: ‘Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity, but Islamophobia is the height of common sense.’"

The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg calls Geller a “lunatic racist,” and laments the “very depressing” fact that despite being “a marginal nutbag… it seems as if she's setting the national agenda now on matters related to Islam and religious freedom.” Spencer previously penned several books advancing dark conspiracy theories about Islam, including Stealth Jihad: How Radical Islam is Subverting America without Guns or Bombs. He’s also the proprietor of Jihad Watch, a wingnut Web site that helped raise thousands of dollars to pay for a controversial ad campaign smearing the Park 51 project on New York City buses.
It is interesting that Gellar's blog, Atlas Shrugs, is a direct reference to Ayn Rand's book Atlas Shrugged.

Roy Edroso has an article in Alternet that posits that "as the evangelical Right's influence has declined,
conservatives are adhering to another religion -- one based on the scribblings of a sociopath."

Up until a few years ago, right-wingers who needed to believe in something larger than themselves chose Jesus. But with the evangelicals fading from the Republican coalition, and Obama's social programs making the whole "compassionate conservative" thing suspect, it look like Jesus is out and Ayn Rand is in.

Yes, Ayn Rand, author of big books about noble capitalists who triumph over the masses, and tomes of "philosophy" like The Virtue of Selfishness, in which she beat Gordon Gekko to Greed is Good by decades. Rand always seemed like a good fit for conservatives, but until recently their fandom was a love that dared not speak its name -- either out of fear that the born-agains would be alienated by Rand's atheism, or that literate people would giggle at them.

What happened? The Republican collapse, and the arrival of an activist liberal administration in D.C., set conservatives scrambling for compelling new story lines to sell the public. Jesus, unfortunately, had been rendered inoperative by all the family-values Republicans caught in sex scandals. With Him out of the way, the atheist, market-worshiping Rand was their best bet.

The transition has been seamless. Glenn Beck regards Rand as a prophet. Tea Party people carry her name on signs. Rightbloggers talk, seriously it would seem, about Going Galt -- a phenomenon previously known as "early retirement," but now judged a political act of resistance against the socialism of our moderate Democrat president.

They're the wave of the future, so let's get to know the Randroids.

To find out what kind of people Randroids are, check out Edroso's article, 10 Shameless Right-Wing Attributes to Ayn Rand That Should Make Any Same Person Blush.

It is interesting that the Libertarian Ron Paul just came out with a statement regarding the the construction of an Islamic Center and Mosque in New York City. He calls the controversy "grandiose demagoguery."

In my opinion it has come from the neo-conservatives who demand continual war in the Middle East and Central Asia and are compelled to constantly justify it.

They never miss a chance to use hatred toward Muslims to rally support for the ill conceived preventative wars. A select quote from soldiers from in Afghanistan and Iraq expressing concern over the mosque is pure propaganda and an affront to their bravery and sacrifice....

If Islam is further discredited by making the building of the mosque the issue, then the false justification for our wars in the Middle East will continue to be acceptable.

The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer....

The outcry over the building of the mosque, near ground zero, implies that Islam alone was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. According to those who are condemning the building of the mosque, the nineteen suicide terrorists on 9/11 spoke for all Muslims. This is like blaming all Christians for the wars of aggression and occupation because some Christians supported the neo-conservatives’ aggressive wars.

The House Speaker is now treading on a slippery slope by demanding a Congressional investigation to find out just who is funding the mosque—a bold rejection of property rights, 1st Amendment rights, and the Rule of Law—in order to look tough against Islam.

This is all about hate and Islamaphobia.

We now have an epidemic of “sunshine patriots” on both the right and the left who are all for freedom, as long as there’s no controversy and nobody is offended.

Political demagoguery rules when truth and liberty are ignored.

Ron Paul along with former George W. Bush solicitor general Ted Olson both know that this issue shouldn't be political or fueled by fear and hate.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Religion and the Media

Adam Zyglis - The Buffalo News - The Reliable Source of Information - English - shirley sherrod, usda, news, media, main stream, mms, fox news, tv news, 24/7, journalism, bloggers, blogging, new media, white house, racism, smear

John Cory
thinks the so-called "media" is a joke especially when talking about Muslim Madness.

Exhibit A: Chuck Todd told Andrea Mitchell that maybe the "President needs to be seen going to church more publicly." And another man said the same thing to Norah O'Donnell on her program. This was in response to a poll that showed 18 percent of Americans think Obama is a Muslim.

Pundits like Todd think the President should wear his religion on his sleeve so everyone knows he's not "THE OTHER." Why not a yellow Star of David with a Jesus Fish Emblem on his lapel so everyone in the media will recognize him and report honestly? Sorry, didn't mean to be snarky with that "honestly" remark. Yes, I did.

Exhibit B: CNN's John King allowed Franklin Graham to babble uninterrupted, "... He was born a Muslim, and his father gave him an Islamic name ... he has accepted Jesus Christ. That's what he says he has done, I cannot say that he hasn't."

John King mumbled something sage and wise, I'm sure.

Religion and Politics

I question why the president's religion is an issue at all for pollsters or pundits or the public? It's been awhile since I've read the Constitution, but I recall something about "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification for any office or position of public trust under the United States."

That would be the same Constitution that protects freedom of religion, whether for Catholic presidents, Christian and Jewish politicians or Muslim people. That would be the same Constitution that does not see "Muslim" as a smear, but as a right of citizens to practice their religion.

Let's understand that this is nothing but a cynical ploy by political operatives to tar the president as illegitimate and distract the public from the real issues.

Fox News, Saudi Arabia and Muslims

Fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were Saudi Arabians. Muslims. The second largest investor of News Corp (7% ownership) is Prince Al Waleed bin Talal, nephew of King Abdullah and a Muslim. News Corp. owns FOX News. FOX News is a major source of anti-Muslim and anti-Obama fear-mongering and hateful propaganda. Why would "real" Americans believe anything FOX News says? Is Muslim money okay when it pays FOX News salaries for Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck?

Kind of gives a whole new meaning to "Crazy like a FOX" doesn't it?

Healing the Wound or Pouring on Salt

Maybe the media should look at this in our military. "Onward Christian Soldiers" is no longer just a hymn, but an anthem. How long before Army recruiters ask new troops, "Are you now or have you even been anything other than a Christian?"

The Cordoba House could have been and still could be a powerful healing force for good, an educational tool, and a wonderful symbol of tolerance and inclusion of true American values. It won't happen. If it goes forward, the Cordoba House will become a target of hate-mongers instead of a symbol of peace. It will be defaced and vandalized, and the media will rush to cover the incidents while asking, "Was this a good idea? Should they move somewhere less offensive, say, Tennessee or Kentucky or California?"

You see, you can lead a mob to a tree, but the hanging doesn't count unless the media is there to give context and ask the proper question: "Is It a Dead Body or Just an Ornament? We report - you decide. Keeping them honest."

There was a time when the nightly news was based on professional fact finding. Today, major network news and 24 hour cable channels provide entertainment and sensationalism masquerading as news.

Read complete article HERE.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Crazy Is as Crazy Does/Says/Thinks!

Via Salon: This Week in Crazy: Dan Maes

Meet the Republican gubernatorial nominee too crazy for the Colorado Republican Party.

This week in crazy: Dan MaesAP

It seems scarcely possible to be too crazy for a state Republican Party in 2010, but the Colorado GOP is now trying to muscle gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes off the ticket.

And what did Maes do to deserve such treatment, after his stirring come-from-behind victory over establishment hack Scott McInnis? Well, for one, he argued last week that a Denver bike-sharing program is part of a "well-disguised" U.N. plot to take away our sovereignty.

Blame it on Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Maes is running against Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, so it's understandable that he'd attack Hickenlooper's record. And, obviously, Hickenlooper's weakest point is his apparent desire to tear up the Constitution and replace it with a U.N. treaty, as evidenced by his support for bicycling more.

Maes knows that sounds "kooky," but:

Maes acknowledged that some might find his theories "kooky," but he said there are valid reasons to be worried.

"At first, I thought, 'Gosh, public transportation, what's wrong with that, and what's wrong with people parking their cars and riding their bikes? And what's wrong with incentives for green cars?' But if you do your homework and research, you realize [the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives] is part of a greater strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty," Maes said.

Gosh! Four hundred red bikes available for rent, funded by donors and grants, does seem innocuous. But now that you mention it, it is probably the first step toward complete United Nations control of Denver.

This kooky theory changes as it hits the blogosphere.

After this delightfully Jack D. Ripper-esque bit of nonsense made its way around the national blogosphere, the campaign scrambled to "clarify" the bike statements. And, to its credit, Maes' spokesman did clarify that the candidate really thinks a bike-sharing program means that the mayor of Denver is "taking orders from the U.N."

"Those quotes were taken widely out of context," he maintains. "In the echo chamber that is the blogosphere, they've reached almost legendary status as a huge political gaffe. But it was really an off-the-cuff comment used as an example to illustrate a larger point -- which, of course, was completely thrown to the wind in the coverage."

What was that larger point? According to Strauch, "it was that a mayor or a governor shouldn't be taking orders from the UN. Using the B-Cycle program to illustrate that may not have been the best example, but that wasn't the focus of Dan's comments at all. He's not anti-bicycle, which is the way it's been made out -- that riding a bicycle is tantamount to bowing down in UN headquarters. He was talking about a very specific program Denver is enrolled in, and that's only one example of how that program is entering Colorado through Denver."

So, his point was not that a bicycle-sharing program represented an unconstitutional "strategy to rein in American cities under a United Nations treaty." His point was that ... the bicycle program wasn't the best example of said unconstitutional strategy to sign away our sovereignty to the U.N. Maes has nothing against bikes! He just thinks that sharing them brings us one step closer to One World Government.

(The candidate himself appeared on MSNBC on Monday: "The bike program in and of itself is fine," he said. Then, he said: "When the mayor signs on to a program that's sponsored by the United Nations, that should bring concern to people as to how that program may or may not be compatible with our state constitution.")

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo is running as an independent in the governor's race.

It's a credit to the craziness of Maes that Tom Tancredo -- no stranger to nuttiness -- has now inserted himself into the governor's race as an independent, almost certainly throwing the election to Democrat and international velocipede plot co-conspirator John Hickenlooper.

Maes is far right of moderate.

Of course, Maes is positive he'll win. He knows the real reason Republicans have had a nasty couple of election cycles, too: They've been too moderate.

"We don't have to pander to the middle anymore," he said to the Denver Post on Wednesday. "We've done it in the past, and we've lost doing that, and it's time to stop doing that."

And on Friday, the Post reported that Maes -- whose finances have been a mess -- asked an 83-year-old Republican activist for "more than $300" to help him pay his mortgage. Maes' brilliant response was to say that "he met Poundstone at her bank and she gave him $300 in cash as a campaign contribution." Which, sure, that makes sense. (The "contribution" does not appear in any of his campaign-finance reports.)

The problem is that you are not supposed to take more than $100 of campaign contributions in cash. A couple of hours later, appearing on a radio program, Maes said he couldn't remember if the $300 cash was a campaign contribution or a personal gift.

As for getting Maes out of the race? The Colorado Republicans know they don't have a shot at winning the race -- they just don't want Maes' craziness to sink all the rest of their candidates.

There have always been politicians with absurd perspectives and wild theories. But their ability to disseminate their crazy views was mainly limited to their constituency. Now with the world wide web, dissemination goes far beyond any territorial boundaries. Of course in the Colorado gubernatorial race, this might prove beneficial for the Democrats.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cartoon of the Day!

today's cartoon

It is Time to Listen to Afghan Women.

The Words of Newt Gingrich and Osama bin Laden

A recent Slate article, Sheikh Your Newtie, compares the intent and words of Osama bin Laden with the intent and words of former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gringrich.
In the years since 9/11, Osama Bin Laden has issued more than 20 audio and video statements to spread his view of the conflict between the United States and al-Qaida. According to his worldview, the United States represents Christianity, al-Qaida represents Muslims, Christians won't protect Muslims, the West hates mosques, peaceful coexistence is a fraud, and the "war on terrorism" is really a war on Islam. By spreading this message, Bin Laden works to turn Muslims against the United States and rally them to al-Qaida.
Now Bin Laden has an ally in this propaganda campaign, Newt Gingrich.
Over the past two weeks, in a series of articles and speeches, Gingrich has declared a religious war that suits al-Qaida's agenda almost perfectly. While denouncing "Islamists" rather than Islam, Gingrich has blurred the distinction by selecting as his initial target the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. Everything Bin Laden says about the United States, Gingrich validates.
The Atlantic Wire took five unsourced quotations in order to "see if you can guess which belong to the world's most notorious terrorist and which to the former U.S. Speaker of the House."
This is a struggle with [religious adherents] in both their militant and their stealth form. … The stealth form believes in using cultural, intellectual and political [power], but their end goal is exactly the same.
The [group of people] is incapable of recognizing the rights of others. It will not be able to respect others' beliefs or feelings. The [group of people] still believes in ethnic supremacy and looks down on other nations.
[Our culture] is experiencing a [foreign religion's] cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could. No [foreign religious structures]. No self deception. No surrender.
The intentions of [their people] have also been clarified in statements about the need to change the beliefs, curricula, and morals of [our people] to become more tolerant, as they put it. In clearer terms, it is a religious-economic war.
[He approvingly quotes a man who prayed solemnly before launching a famous military strike.] This was not a man who was confused about what the stakes were, nor was he confused about what the goal was.
Newt's words and Osama's agenda can be synchronized with each other for the same purpose of fomenting hate. To fully see the similarities, click through these side by side statements.



[N]ow that senior U.S. officials have spoken … every Muslim should rush to defend his religion. … They came out to fight this group of people who declared their faith in God and refused to abandon their religion. They came out to fight Islam in the name of terrorism. (Oct. 7, 2001)

One of our biggest mistakes in the aftermath of 9/11 was naming our response to the attacks "the war on terror" instead of accurately identifying radical Islamists (and the underlying ideology of radical Islamism) as the target of our campaign. (July 28, 2010)

This war is fundamentally religious. … Those who try to cover this crystal clear fact, which the entire world has admitted, are deceiving the Islamic nation. … It is a question of faith, not a war against terrorism, as Bush and Blair try to depict it. … Fear God, O Muslims and rise to support your religion. (Nov. 3, 2001)

Some radical Islamists use terrorism as a tactic to impose sharia, but others use non-violent methods—a cultural, political, and legal jihad that seeks the same totalitarian goal even while claiming to repudiate violence. Thus, the term "war on terrorism" is far too narrow a framework in which to think about the war in which we are engaged against the radical Islamists.(July 28, 2010)

It has become clear that the West in general and America in particular have an unspeakable hatred for Islam. … A few days ago, they ... dropped—in what they said was a mistake—a radio-guided bomb on a mosque where ulemas were praying. They targeted the mosque, killing 150 Muslim worshippers. It is the hatred of crusaders. (Dec. 27, 2001)

[T]he Ground Zero mosque is all about conquest and thus an assertion of Islamist triumphalism which we should not tolerate. … It is simply grotesque to erect a mosque at the site of the most visible and powerful symbol of the horrible consequences of radical Islamist ideology. (July 28, 2010)

The intentions of the Americans have also been clarified in statements about the need to change the beliefs, curricula, and morals of the Muslims to become more tolerant, as they put it. In clearer terms, it is a religious-economic war. (Jan. 4, 2004)

America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could. No mosque. No self deception. No surrender. (July 21, 2010)

The West is incapable of recognizing the rights of others. It will not be able to respect others' beliefs or feelings. The West still believes in ethnic supremacy and looks down on other nations. … How can we explain France's stance on the headscarf and the banning on wearing it at schools ... This is a Zionist-Crusader war. (April 23, 2006)

[T]hey proposed a 13-story mosque and community center that will extol the glories of Islamic tolerance for people of other faiths, all while overlooking the site where radical Islamists killed almost 3,000 people in a shocking act of hatred. Building this structure on the edge of the battlefield created by radical Islamists is not a celebration of religious pluralism and mutual tolerance; it is a political statement of shocking arrogance and hypocrisy. … [F]or radical Islamists, the mosque would become an icon of triumph, encouraging them in their challenge to our civilization. (July 28, 2010)

So what is the sin of the Afghans due to which you are continuing this unjust war against them? Their only sin is that they are Muslims, and this illustrates the extent of the Crusaders' hatred of Islam and its people. (Nov. 29, 2007)

This is not a war on terrorism. Terrorism is an activity. This is a struggle with radical Islamists in both their militant and their stealth form. … The stealth form believes in using cultural, intellectual and political [power], but their end goal is exactly the same. (July 29, 2010)

"O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: they are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them." … Similar are sophistries like "dialogue of religions," "freedom of opinion," "freedom of speech," "peaceful coexistence." … (March 14, 2009)

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, as our troops were landing in Normandy, went on national radio at 10 o'clock at night and actually led the nation in six and a half minutes of prayer, something very few modern liberals appreciate. This is part of what he said: "Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set up on a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity." This was not a man who was confused about what the stakes were, nor was he confused about what the goal was. (July 29, 2010)

So, who stood by America the Christian, and who supported it? Isn't that Zardari and his government and army? … Obama has walked like his predecessors in increasing hostility towards Muslims. … I encourage my Muslim nation to stand by the side of the mujahideen and support them everywhere. ("Speech to the Pakistani Nation," June 3, 2009)President Roosevelt said the following: "We must remember what the collaborative understanding between Communism and Nazism has done to the processes of democracy abroad. Those forces hate democracy and Christianity as two phases of the same civilization. They oppose democracy because it is Christian. They oppose Christianity because it preaches democracy. Their objective is to prevent democracy from becoming strong." Again, this is hardly a man who's confused about what's at stake. Winston Churchill, at the very peak of the Battle of Britain, said, "Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization." (July 29, 2010)

The war which has been taking place on your soil these past years is a war between Islam and the International Crusade. – ("Fight On, Champions of Somalia," March 19, 2009)

There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over. (July 21, 2010)

Hate in any language is about destruction and control.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Social and Economic Costs of Marijuana Prohibition

This three-minute animation by Haik Hoisington contrasts a society that legally produces and consumes a pleasure- giving flower with a society where the same flower is illegal and prohibited. The animation reflects on the social and economic costs of marijuana prohibition.

Biblical Ouotes

This segment from an episode of "West Wing" is apropos in light of Judge Walker's opinion overruling California's Proposition 8.

Did you know that Judge Vaughn Walker was appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan. Also, it is common knowledge in San Francisco that Judge Walker is himself gay. So why didn't the defenders of Proposition 8 ask for him to recuse himself? To answer these and other questions, Melissa Block interviewed law professor David Levine of the U.C. Hastings College of the Law about Judge Walker's ruling.

BLOCK: I've been reading some analysis of this ruling, and folks are concluding that this was an opinion that was specifically targeted at the U.S. Supreme Court and specifically at Justice Kennedy. What does that mean?

Prof. LEVINE: Well, because I think so many people assumed that this is going to be a five-four opinion if it gets to the U.S. Supreme Court, and that Justice Kennedy is going to have his now-familiar role as the swing vote, you have to write an opinion that's going to appeal to Justice Kennedy. And Justice Kennedy, after all, has written a couple of pretty gay-friendly opinions. And a lot of the language in Judge Walker's opinion kind of echoes what Justice Kennedy did in those opinions. And so, if Justice Kennedy is kind of true to what he did before, he will vote with the four liberal justices in this case and affirm this opinion.

BLOCK: Let's talk a bit about Judge Walker. He is a Republican appointee to the federal bench. Opponents of gay marriage are calling him an activist judge. What can you tell us about him?

Prof. LEVINE: Well, you know, when he was first appointed, nobody thought he was going to be an activist judge in the sense of - the way the conservatives mean it. The gay community in San Francisco vehemently opposed him because, very famously, he represented the Olympic Committee in a case that stopped the gay games from calling themselves the Gay Olympics. And so, as a result, the feeling was that he would be anti-gay when he got on the bench, and indeed he's been anything but.

He is certainly - I mean, he's a - I would call him a libertarian Republican. He has not hesitated in some cases to rule in favor of criminal defendants. He certainly has an independent streak about him. And the way he went about handling this case certainly was completely reminiscent of the way in which he tends to run his courtroom.

BLOCK: And he is, according to numerous published reports, himself gay.

Prof. LEVINE: Yes. Certainly, that's common knowledge in San Francisco. It was in the San Francisco Chronicle. And when that came out in the newspaper, all the lawyers in the case, you know, I think it's fair to quote "Seinfeld" and just say, they all thought, not that there's anything wrong with that. The defenders of Proposition 8 certainly could have raised that to the court as a basis for disqualifying Judge Walker, and they just let the issue of his sexuality slide.

I mean, everybody has a sexuality. You have one. I have one. And you have to be able to decide cases.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Results of Increased Militarization within Society

Via CBS NEWS August 2, 2010
In an interview with Katie Couric today for @katiecouric, Time Magazine editor Rick Stengel addressed his magazine's controversial cover showing a mutilated woman and the headline "What Happens if We Leave Afghanistan." The accompanying story discusses the Taliban's repressive treatment of women.
(Credit: Jodi Bieber / INSTITUTE for TIME)
Rethink Afghanistan has a video regarding the real effect of the war on women in Afghanistan.



You’ve probably heard of TIME Magazine’s outrageous, pro-Afghanistan-War propaganda cover art. As supporters of women’s rights, we were outraged by TIME’s gross distortion of this critical issue. But Couric compounded the distortion by giving TIME Magazine’s managing editor Rick Stengel an even bigger megaphone for his outrageous pro-war spin campaign in a recent online interview. Stengel made easily disprovable claims, including that the rights of women have been “modernized” and that women’s “lives have changed.”

Women’s rights in Afghanistan are under constant assault right now, often from within the U.S.-backed Kabul government. But Couric never once challenged TIME’s editor as he made his claims. She even called TIME “brave” for such a cheap caricature of the choice before the American people.

Couric’s viewers deserve better. Sign our petition that urges her to watch Rethink Afghanistan’s segment on the situation for Afghan women and to respond on Twitter.

Let’s make sure nobody gets away with the ridiculous claim that war helps women caught in the crossfire.
Watch Katie Couric's interview with Time's Rick Stengel.

The Tea Party-ization of the Republican Party

John Darkow - Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri - Tea Party And GOP - English - Tea, Party, Republicans, GOP

Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC) had the wrath of the tea party against him and was defeated in the primary runoff for 'supposedly straying from his conservative roots.' David Corn at Mother Jones finds that this "GOP Politician Confirms What Was Long Suspected: Republicans Intentionally Feed the Racism, Anger and Paranoia of the Far Right."
Bob Inglis was ousted by a Tea Party candidate. Here he admits to the GOP strategy to sabotage Obama by exploiting the base fears of the far right.

It was the middle of a tough primary contest, and Rep. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) had convened a small meeting with donors who had contributed thousands of dollars to his previous campaigns. But this year, as Inglis faced a challenge from tea party-backed Republican candidates claiming Inglis wasn't sufficiently conservative, these donors hadn't ponied up. Inglis' task: Get them back on the team. "They were upset with me," Inglis recalls. "They are all Glenn Beck watchers." About 90 minutes into the meeting, as he remembers it, "They say, 'Bob, what don't you get? Barack Obama is a socialist, communist Marxist who wants to destroy the American economy so he can take over as dictator. Health care is part of that. And he wants to open up the Mexican border and turn [the US] into a Muslim nation.'" Inglis didn't know how to respond.

As he tells this story, the veteran lawmaker is sitting in his congressional office, which he will have to vacate in a few months. On June 22, he was defeated in the primary runoff by Spartanburg County 7th Circuit Solicitor Trey Gowdy, who had assailed Inglis for supposedly straying from his conservative roots, pointing to his vote for the bank bailout and against George W. Bush's surge in Iraq. Inglis, who served six years in Congress during the 1990s as a conservative firebrand before being reelected to the House in 2004, had also ticked off right-wingers in the state's 4th Congressional District by urging tea-party activists to "turn Glenn Beck off" and by calling on Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) to apologize for shouting "You lie!" at Obama during the president's State of the Union address. For this, Inglis, who boasts (literally) a 93 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union, received the wrath of the tea party, losing to Gowdy 71 to 29 percent. In the weeks since, Inglis has criticized Republican House leaders for acquiescing to a poisonous, tea party-driven "demagoguery" that he believes will undermine the GOP's long-term credibility. And he's freely recounting his frustrating interactions with tea party types, while noting that Republican leaders are pushing rhetoric tainted with racism, that conservative activists are dabbling in anti-Semitic conspiracy theory nonsense, and that Sarah Palin celebrates ignorance. [...]

For Inglis, this is the crux of the dilemma: Republican members of Congress know "deep down" that they need to deliver conservative solutions like his tax swap. Yet, he adds, "We're being driven as herd by these hot microphones -- which are like flame throwers -- that are causing people to run with fear and panic, and Republican members of Congress are afraid of being run over by that stampeding crowd." Inglis says that it's hard for Republicans in Congress to "summon the courage" to say no to Beck, Limbaugh, and the tea party wing. "When we start just delivering rhetoric and more misinformation...we're failing the conservative movement," he says. "We're failing the country." Yet, he notes, Boehner and House minority whip Eric Cantor have one primary strategic calculation: Play to the tea party crowd. "It's a dangerous strategy," he contends, "to build conservatism on information and policies that are not credible."

Asked if there are any 2012 GOP contenders who can lead the party in a more credible direction, Inglis points to Rob Portman, a former House member who was President George W. Bush's budget director. But Portman is now running for Senate in Ohio. He's not 2012 material. What about Sarah Palin? Inglis pauses for a moment: "I think that there are people who seem to think that ignorance is strength." And he says of her: "If I choose to remain ignorant and uninformed and encourage people to follow me while I celebrate my lack of information," that's not responsible. [...]

Inglis is a casualty of the tea party-ization of the Republican Party. Given the decisive vote against him in June, it's clear he was wiped out by a political wave that he could do little to thwart. "Emotionally, I should be all right with this," he says. And when he thinks about what lies ahead for his party and GOP House leaders, he can't help but chuckle. With Boehner and others chasing after the tea party, he says, "that's going to be the dog that catches the car." He quickly adds: "And the Democrats, if they go into the minority, are going to have an enjoyable couple of years watching that dog deal with the car it's caught."

Read complete article HERE.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Going Forward or Going Backward

GOP Vision
Dave Granlund - - GOP Vision - English - GOP, republicans, party of no, GOP message, GOP Focus, partisanship, partisan, non-partisan

President Obama recently spoke at a DNC finance event in Atlanta , GA. Here are a few of his remarks.

I mean, think about it, these are the folks who were behind the steering wheel and drove the car into the ditch. So we've had to put on our galoshes, we went down there in the mud, we've been pushing, we've been shoving. They've been standing back, watching, say you're not moving fast enough, you ain't doing it right. Why are you doing it that way? You got some mud on the car. Right?

That's all right. We don't need help. We're just going to keep on pushing. We push, we push. The thing is slipping a little bit, but we stay with it. Finally -- finally -- we get this car out of the ditch, where we're just right there on the blacktop. We're about to start driving forward again. They say, hold on, we want the keys back. You can't have the keys back -- you don't know how to drive. You don't know how to drive.

And I do want to point out, when you get in your car, when you go forward, what do you do? You put it in "D." When you want to go back, what do you do? You put it in "R." We won't do want to go into reverse back in the ditch. We want to go forwards. We got to put it in "D."Can't have the keys back.

To read Obama's complete speech, click HERE.

Tim Eagan - Deep Cover - GOP Party of No - English - GOP, Party of No,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

New Robes for the Supreme Court

Given the recent Supreme Court decision removing restrictions on corporate and union campaign contributions, the Supreme Court justices in the majority on this decision have unveiled new robes.


Cheap Computers Give Students Access

in India...

The Apple iPad is not inexpensive. The price of an iPad starts at $499. India has announced a new computer prototype which will cost only $35 and eventually will coat only $10 to purchase.
India has unveiled a $35 computer prototype as part of its program to provide connectivity to its students and teachers at affordable prices.

Kapil Sibal, the country's human resources development minister, displayed what he called a low-cost computing and access device in New Delhi on Thursday.

The ministry said the price would gradually fall to $10 apiece.

India said connectivity to all its colleges and universities is key to achieving its education goals.

"The aim is to reach such devices to the students of colleges and universities, and to provide these institutions a host of choices of low-cost access devices around Rs 1,500 [$35] or less in near future," the human resources ministry said at the launch of the computer.