PRINCIPLES ARE WHAT MATTERS
NOT POLITICAL PARTIES WHICH OFTEN DISTORT THE ISSUES
Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 01, 2010
The Littlest Victims of Obamacare
As Nancy Pelosi had promised, once we passed the bill we are now actually finding out what is in it. And, we are discovering, everything Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama promised about the bill was a lie.
But Michelle Malkin has discovered the ultimate irony. The massive labor union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has lost the very benefit they touted as the major reason for passage, insurance coverage for children. The SEIU paid millions of dollars in hard earned union dues lobbying for this bill. Today, that very same union cancelled all health insurance benefits for children BECAUSE they can no longer afford the price of that insurance under the ObamaCare mandatory guidelines.
READ THE FULL and very tragic STORY AT MICHELLE MALKIN'S BLOG:
Here's a tiny excerpt:
Late last month, the Service Employees International Union informed dues-paying members of its behemoth 1199 affiliate in New York that it was dropping its health care coverage for children. That’s right. A radical leftist union, not an evil Republican corporation, is abandoning the young ‘uns to cut costs.
More than 30,000 low-wage families will be affected, according to The Wall Street Journal. Who’s to blame? SEIU 1199 benefits manager Mitra Behroozi singled out oppressive new state and federal regulations, including the much-ballyhooed Obamacare rule forcing insurers to cover dependents well into their 20s:
“…(N)ew federal health-care reform legislation requires plans with dependent coverage to expand that coverage up to age 26,” Behroozi explained in an Oct. 22 letter to members. “Our limited resources are already stretched as far as possible, and meeting this new requirement would be financially impossible.”
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Blogger Kareem Amer is Free!!!
Kareem Amer, whose real name was Abdel Kareem Nabil was set free Monday 15th of November 2010, after spending 1470 days in prison.The Egyptian blogger who was held in prison for his writings has finally been released after serving over four years in prison, held longer than his original sentence. Kareem's crime was insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. There is virtually no freedom of speech in Egypt and almost anything can be construed as a violation of their restrictive laws.
Reports coming out of Egypt from friends said that Kareem was in bad health and had been badly beaten by security officers immediately before his release on Tuesday.
A student at the state-run religious al-Azhar University, Amer was arrested in 2006 on charges of insulting Islam and the Egyptian President in his blog posts. He was immediately expelled from the university and then was sentenced to four years in prison.
"Kareem was released on Tuesday morning and his health is bad but he is safe now," Gamal Eid, head of ANHRI, a middle eastern human rights group.
"He was detained for 11 days beyond his court sentence and beaten by officers who did not give any reasons," Eid added.
The first blogger to face trial in Egypt for online content, Kareem's arrest and conviction were thought to be done as a warning to other Egyptian students and bloggers to keep silent about the abuse of women in Egypt.
A large number of bloggers throughout the world, including The Metaverse, had united to protest Amer's arrest and lobby for his release. For the last for years protests and demonstrations have taken place in front of various Egyptian embassies.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Actions Speak Much Louder Than Words
Skeptics are often shouted down in comments sections at the Daily Kos or The Huffington Post. Nay-sayers are ridiculed, called cruel or hateful or racist. Of course such skeptics usually sulk away and watch a few hours of Fox News to repair their egos. The result is the remaining progressive voices reinforce themselves, rising to a tidal wave of liberal thinkspeak.
What is lost is any real understanding of opposing thought. If you never listen to opposing views, never try to understand other ideas, concepts or solutions, you remain stuck in a quagmire of groupthink viewpoints.
Such groupthink cacophony insulates and isolates many government officials, too. As a result they find themselves both unable and unwilling to "think outside the box" to solve economic issues. The result is the fascinating migration of people from union dominated, taxation heavy, goverment controlled states to the freedom, low taxes and robust economies of conservative states.
From today's Washington Examiner: Low-tax states will gain seats, high-tax states will lose them
"Migration from high-tax states to states with lower taxes and less government spending will dramatically alter the composition of future Congresses, according to a study by Americans for Tax Reform."
"Eight states are projected to gain at least one congressional seat under reapportionment following the 2010 Census: Texas (four seats), Florida (two seats), Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington (one seat each). Their average top state personal income tax rate: 2.8 percent."
"By contrast, New York and Ohio are likely to lose two seats each, while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania will be down one apiece. The average top state personal income tax rate in these loser states: 6.05 percent."
"The state and local tax burden is nearly a third lower in states with growing populations, ATR found. As a result, per capita government spending is also lower: $4,008 for states gaining congressional seats, $5,117 for states losing them."
"And, as ATR notes, “in eight of ten losers, workers can be forced to join a union as a condition of employment. In 7 of the 8 gainers, workers are given a choice whether to join or contribute financially to a union.”
"Imagine that: Americans are fleeing high tax, union-dominated states and settling in states with lower taxes, right-to-work laws and lower government spending. Nothing sends a message like voting with your feet."
Friday, November 05, 2010
MSNBC Suspends Keith Olbermann Indefinitely
Phil Griffin, president of the MSNBC, said he “became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
What is ironic is that Olbermann isn't financially capable of making a monetary contribution even remotely worth the value of his on-air shilling every night for progressive candidates. An endorsement from Keith was worth a fortune in motivating the Democratic base.
What's even more ironic is that MSNBC had no problem allowing the completely biased, partisan and fact-challenged Olbermann anchor their election night coverage. Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O'Donnell and Ed Schultz turned the election night coverage into a joke, a pathetic frat boy party of snickering, mockery and revelry. There was literally not 30 seconds of journalism all Tuesday night from the crew who ran the coverage like it was an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 rather than a news event of historic proportions.
Phil Griffin himself should have been suspended without pay for allowing the once proud Peacock Network to fall to these lows.
It really makes me wonder why they would even bother to have a no financial political contribution policy.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
The Delaware Witch Trials
Therefore, even though I was simultaneously amused and outraged by the Delaware Debate between Democrat Chris Coons and the Wiccan, errr... i mean Republican Christine O'Donnell, I wasn't going to waste my time writing a blog post expressing my disappointment in the debate.
As I watched the debate (available below), I was following the comments by fellow observers on Twitter. The always brilliant Hunter Campbell captured the essence of the debate in well under the 140 character limit with this synopsis of the calibre of the questioning:
of the periodic table in reverse atomic number order.
Mr. Coons. Spell "cat".
Jim Geraghty, writing over at The National Review Online also captured the essence of the debate succinctly:
"The moderators were pretty awful. Both Blitzer and the local reporter seemed hell bent on… well, the metaphor burning a witch comes to mind."
Geraghty elaborated and, I think, understood the reality of the debate:
"Yes, Christine O’Donnell has a lot of quirks, a lot of questionable decisions in her past and a lot of evasive answers about those bad decisions. But it was pretty clear that neither moderator was all that interested in holding Coons’ feet to the fire or interested in what he had to say at all. CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the better of the two, was hell-bent on pinning down O’Donnell’s view on evolution. And he was the better of the two."
"This was the moderators’ chance to play hardball with their designated Villain Du Jour, and the fact that CNN aired much of this debate live illustrates that the MSM doesn’t just want to see O’Donnell beaten; they want to see her… well, metaphorically burned at the stake in the town square for her audacity."
My opinion of the debate was that O'Donnell is not well prepared for the rigors of the Senate, but that Coons is a weak, too far left leaning candidate that couldn't possibly win a contest against a better qualified opponent. But the looser? The looser was Wolf Blitzer who surrendered has journalist credentials and dispensed with even a modicum of impartiality.
The ultimate tragedy of Blitzer's journalistic betrayal is that if he had played it straight, O'Donnell would have clearly lost the debate, the goal Blitzer obviously wanted to achieve.
Instead, O'Donnell is surging in the polls. She's picked up ten full points since the debate. Blitzer muddied the water. Americans (and Delawareans it seems) don't like an unfair fight with dirty refs. The ganging up on O'Donnell has gone way, way too far. The crowd is now clearly on her side. That made this a blog point worth making!
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Things that really matter..... Are the things that gold can't buy
Words and music by Irving Belin
Why worry when skies are gray
Why should we complain
Let's laugh at the cloudy day
Let's sing in the rain
Songwriters say the storm quickly passes
That's their philosophy
They see the world through rose-colored glasses
Why shouldn't we?
Just around the corner
There's a rainbow in the sky
So let's have another cup o' coffee
And let's have another piece o' pie!
Trouble's just a bubble
And the clouds will soon roll by
So let's have another cup o' coffee
And let's have another piece o' pie
Let a smile be your umbrella
For it's just an April show'r
Even John D. Rockefeller
Is looking for the silver lining
Mister Herbert Hoover
Says that now's the time to buy
So let's have another cup o' coffee
And let's have another piece o' pie!
Things that really matter
Are the things that gold can't buy
So let's have another cup o' coffee
And let's have another piece o' pie!
Here are a baker's dozen versions of this Irving Berlin hit from the first Great Depression, all available for download in the universal mp3 format: Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Congress & President Obama Destroy Medicare for Millions
Ask my Mom. She has voted a straight Democratic Party ticket for the last 40 years. Not one single Democrat will get her vote this fall.
The Democratic Party has betrayed every single senior citizen. The party that is supposed to protect seniors has hung them out to dry.
Mom will need to buy a Medicare Supplimental Policy that will cost her thousands of dollars. But she absolutely cannot afford to go into Medicare barefoot.
UPDATE: 9/30/2010 - It appears a new Medicare GAP policy will cost MOM about $4,000.00 a year. Virtualy every senior who was on a Medicare Advantage program will pay at least $2,000.00 more when their current insurance is cancelled PLUS higher co-pays. Thank you again President Obama for destroying the American Health Care System on the backs of Senior CItizens. Several additional posts will follow in the next few days.
She is not alone. It's happening all across the nation. Only a few favored districts, mostly in Florida, were carved out and exempt from the insanely stupid changes in Medicare law that effectively destroy the Advantage program. So a few Florida Congress Persons have bought themselves an election or two. Even that is a traitorous act.
In case you would like to understand what is happening, there is an excellent article in today's Boston Globe about how 22,000 Massachusetts residents are losing their Advantage Plan: Harvard Pilgrim cancels Medicare Advantage plan
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Nightmare on Main Street
If you read virtually any of the polls you already know the public really hates the same health care reform, generally called ObamaCare. I believe that this single bill is the primary cause of the growth of the Tea Party movement and the unexpected Republican resurgence.
It is possible that Republicans will take control of the House, although I fear that is unlikely. But it is a moot point regardless, as without either controlling the Presidency or having a filibuster proof majority in the Senate (60 whopping votes), overturning the bill is virtually impossible.
It sure as hell needs to happen as the bill is quickly becoming the Freddie Kruger of legislation and it haunts our every dream, turning any hope of an economic recovery into a nightmare of recession and possibly depression.
Here, thanks to the editorial page writers of the Washington Examiner are a few bullet points of the current and impending disaster:
» Obamacare won't decrease health care costs for the government. According to Medicare's actuary, it will increase costs. The same is likely to happen for privately funded health care.
» Obamacare won't allow employees or most small businesses to keep the coverage they have and like. By Obama's estimates, as many as 69 percent of employees, 80 percent of small businesses, and 64 percent of large businesses will be forced to change coverage, probably to more expensive plans.
» Obamacare will increase insurance premiums -- in some places, it already has. Insurers, suddenly forced to cover clients' children until age 26, have little choice but to raise premiums, and they attribute to Obamacare's mandates a 1 to 9 percent increase. Obama's only method of preventing massive rate increases so far has been to threaten insurers.
» Obamacare will force seasonal employers -- especially the ski and amusement park industries -- to pay huge fines, cut hours, or lay off employees.
» Obamacare forces states to guarantee not only payment but also treatment for indigent Medicaid patients. With many doctors now refusing to take Medicaid (because they lose money doing so), cash-strapped states could be sued and ordered to increase reimbursement rates beyond their means.
» Obamacare imposes a huge nonmedical tax compliance burden on small business. It will require them to mail IRS 1099 tax forms to every vendor from whom they make purchases of more than $600 in a year, with duplicate forms going to the Internal Revenue Service. Like so much else in the 2,500-page bill, our senators and representatives were apparently unaware of this when they passed the measure.
» Obamacare allows the IRS to confiscate part or all of your tax refund if you do not purchase a qualified insurance plan. The bill funds 16,000 new IRS agents to make sure Americans stay in line.
Read more at the Washington Examiner: Examiner Editorial: Obamacare is even worse than critics thought
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Reflections on the Life of Sue Kim Hanson
Please take time to remember just how frail and how fleeting life really is. Read and remember Sue Kim Hanson.
Sue Kim Hanson
September 11, 2006
A short note appears on the Boston University Medical Campus Calendar Website noting that Jonathan W. Yewdell, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Cellular Biology Section of the Laboratory of Viral Diseases will be speaking tomorrow, September 11, 2006, on the topic of "Gained in Translation: Generating Viral and Cellular Peptide Antigens from DRiPs."
He is speaking at 4:00 pm in Keefer Auditorium and a Reception in the Wilkins Board Room will follow.
What might be missed by a casual observer is perhaps the most important fact of all. Dr. Yewdell is the guest speaker for the 5th Annual Sue Kim Hanson Lecture In Immunology.
If you noticed this, you might simply assume that Sue Kim Hanson is (or was) some generous benefactor to the University. A lecture named for her to repay her gift.
Or perhaps you would guess that she is (or was) a notable scientist who, at one time or another, taught or studied at Boston University. Someone who should be honored for the advancements she made in Immunology.
And, indeed, all of the above is true. Just not in the way you might expect.
Susan Kim Hanson was one of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack that took the lives of 2,996 souls in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the fields of Pennsylvania.
Sue, her husband Peter, and her two year old daughter Christine were on United Airlines Flight 175 that crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. Her daughter Christine was the youngest victim of the September 11th attack.
But the Boston University Lecture Series is not named after Sue Kim Hanson because of the way she died, but because of the way she lived.Sue was a great scientist in the making. She was a doctoral candidate in micro-biology immunology at Boston University and working on her final thesis. Her work promised to reveal the workings of a chemical believed to regulate immune responses. She had isolated in lab mice a gene suspected of being involved in asthma sufferers and AIDS patients. Her work had the potential to help millions of people.
Susan Kim was one of those wonderful American success stories. A Korean-American, Sue had lived with her grandmother in Korea until she was 6. Her mother died when she was 15 and she was raised by her strict Korean father. Through hard work and discipline, sacrifice, dedication and sheer will power she neared the goal her mother and father and grandmother had hoped she would achieve, her doctorate degree.
Dr. Hardy Kornfeld, Hanson's thesis adviser, said "She was sort of fearless. Sue just took on tasks that were incredibly challenging, and more often than not she was able to make a go at them."
That she would be attracted to the wild and undisciplined Peter Hanson was a great surprise. Three years younger than Sue Kim, Peter gained his education by following The Grateful Dead. Peter believed that the group and its music would become classics, up there with Beethoven, Bach and company, and he tried to sway the opinion of anyone who would listen. Many of our listeners to Wizard Radio would certainly agree with Peter.
But even if Sue wasn't quite convinced about the Dead, she believed in Peter. And her faith was well placed. Peter was, by all accounts, a brilliant software engineer, a great salesman and a wonderful person.
He was passionate about Sue and Sue fell head over heals in love with Peter. She obviously had a great effect on him. Legacy.com has a reprint of a New York Times article about Sue that tells the story:
- "The relationship spurred Peter Hanson to clip his tangle of brownish-red dreadlocks, trade in tie-dyed T- shirts for suits, go to business school and become one of the best software salesmen his friends and family had ever met. He was vice president of marketing at TimeTrade in Waltham, Mass."
"Her bond with the Hansons was so strong that they accompanied her to California when she went to inform her father about her engagement. She worried that her father would protest because Peter Hanson was not Korean. But her family embraced the Hansons."
Sue and Peter were married and had a beautiful daughter. Sue continued to pursue her doctoral degree. She was scheduled to defend her thesis in November, 2001.Taking a last break before finalizing her research and thesis, Sue, Peter and Christine were on their way to visit the Sue's father and grandmother in California, and take Christine to Disneyland, when they boarded United Airlines Flight 175. Peter was one of those who made a final cell phone call to his parents moments before the plane crashed into the south tower.
Sue's friend Mona Pengree writes, "Sue was awarded her PhD posthumously, as her professor finished her work on her behalf. This is a wonderful picture of her, and she shone every bit as brightly in person. Probably more. Her loss was a loss to all mankind."
Sue gave a great deal to Boston University and she gave a great deal to all of us. Her work in immunology inspired her fellow students, faculty and the University to continue her research and finish her thesis. They awarded her a doctorate degree. And they established the Annual Sue Kim Hanson Lecture In Immunology, not just to honor her memory, but to give full credit to her work and the inspiration, the strength and the courage Sue provides to us all.
God bless you Sue... and Peter and Christine and all those who died so tragically five years ago.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
As I mentioned in an earlier entry, there is a wealth of information, tribute and love scattered throughout the Internet in remembrance of Sue Kim Hanson. I owe every contributor who came before me a deep debt of gratitude. Through each of you I have come to know Sue, Peter and Christine. You have touched my heart.
If my Tribute to Susan Kim Hanson here today fell short in any way, I deeply apologize and would love to hear from any of you.
I suggest these following resources from which I have borrowed freely in preparing this tribute:
Remember September 11, 2001
A mother to her son: How could I forget your curiosity and energy? By Eunice Hanson, for The Associated Press
Peter, Sue Kim, and Christine Hanson Memorial Web Site
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Back in 2006, the 2,996 Project asked bloggers to prepare tributes to all who died in the tragic events of September 11th. Many of those blog entries remain on line and many will be reprinted today.
Saturday, September 04, 2010
Keep an Eye on Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) as Health Care Evolves
Last Spring, when we all discovered that the President and the "powers-that-be" were not going to listen to the near brilliant common sense approach to health care reform being championed by Senator Wyden, he very quietly snuck an "state opt-out" provision into the 2,000 plus page bill. Of course nobody read the damned bill anyway, but that only made Wyden's move easier.
Now Wyden is helping Oregon use the very opt-out he provided to escape the most unpopular provision of the bill and to replace it with a sate bill that might actually work.
You can learn all about Senator Wyden's approach to health care and his recent efforts to opt-out Oregon in these articles:
Sen Ron Wyden writing in The Huffington Post: Missing The Point
The Hill: Wyden Makes His Case for Health Care Waiver
Wall Street Journal: Wyden Defects on ObamaCare
Wyden is in a tough re-election battle. I hope the (much needed and much deserved) Republican Sweep this November doesn't rob the Senate of one of it's brightest members.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Young Mattie Fein
But I like this ad! And I like Mattie.
Monday, August 09, 2010
George Bush's Solicitor General Ted Olson is Leading the Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage
In particular he won what is arguably the most important Supreme Court case of this century when his arguments put George Bush in the White House in the landmark Bush v Gore 2000 election court battle. Beloved by conservatives and Republicans, hated by liberals and Democrats, no one doubts his legal prowess.
Olsen was rewarded for his legal efforts by President Bush when Bush named him Solicitor General. And Olsen still never lost a case before the Supreme Court.Most recently his legal arguments carried the day in the lawsuit challenging California's Proposition 8, the Constitutional Amendment that mandated marriage only be between a man and a women. That case is almost certain to end up before the United States Supreme Court. Remember that Olsen has never lost.
Watch this video in its entirety. It's that important.
Friday, August 06, 2010
P!nk - Glitter In The Air (GRAMMYs on CBS)
Let Them Eat Cake
Michelle Obama now leads my list of the most piggish, disgusting people on earth. There is no excuse for this lecturing, holier than thou, out-of-touch aristocrat.
The UK Daily Mail is reporting today:
Spanish police close public beach for Michelle Obama's £250,000 Spanish holiday
Michelle Obama today faced a fresh wave of attacks over her lavish break in Spain with 40 friends, which could easily cost U.S. taxpayers a staggering £50,000 a day.
The First Lady has been lambasted for her extravagance at a time when the economy is still struggling. One blogger went so far as to brand her a modern-day Marie Antoinette.
And her critics will be further annoyed when they learn that the president's wife had a Spanish beach closed off today so that she, her daughter and their entourage could go for a swim.
Spanish police cleared off a stretch of beach at the Villa Padierna Hotel in Marbella after the Obamas had finished a busy day of sightseeing.
Police used palm trees and police tape to mark off the boundaries of a 100-yard expanse for the American delegation. On either side, onlookers gawked - and police occasionally stopped and searched sun lovers if they strayed too close to the private party.
The per diems for the secret service team runs at around £172 each, which amounts to nearly £60,000 for the length of the summer break.
Use of Air Force Two, the Air Force version of a 757, comes in at £91,900 for the round trip. This does not include time on the ground.
Mrs Obama's personal staff, of which there are an unknown amount and who might cost considerably more per day, also have to be taken into account.
The American public will also cover the cost of the only official part of the holiday, a visit to the Spanish royal family on the island of Majorca.
This will involve transport there and back for the entourage - as well as travel, accommodation, food and expenses for all while on the island.
Barack Obama is my President. Michelle Obama is My First Lady. I respect the offices and everything those esteemed positions stand for both historically and today. We elected Barack Obama and we certainly knew that Michelle Obama was the most important member of the Barack Obama team.
We knew, and I wrote often, that Barack Obama had "imperial tendencies." I certainly feared his political and management experience. There are dozens of essays I wrote leading up to the election that highlighted these risks.
Today virtually every worst fear has been realized. The country is in shambles and headed down a path that will likely lead to the worst economic depression in written history. It is had to imagine a worse President or a worse Congress. The Health Care Bill alone may destroy our country.
But, let's be honest, President Obama genuinely doesn't know this and certainly doesn't agree.
But he sure a hell does know the the real economic facts facing the nation today. And so does our very own Marie Antoinette, the First Lady of our very Imperial President.
It's time for our government, our President and our Senators and our Congress members to share in our pain. If 41 million people have to go on Food Stamps, if we lost 131,000 jobs in July alone, if unemployment continues to hover at 9.5%, if teachers are loosing their jobs and our children are suffering with larger class sizes and fewer supplies, if small businesses are being crushed under an insane burden of paperwork, no available credit and taxes being raised to astronomical levels, then the First Lady can get her *#@ home and go on one hell of a diet.
Our nation can no longer afford an Imperial President with Marie Antoinette as our First Lady. If the bloated Executive Office of pollsters and advisers and consultants can't figure this out themselves, then the American Public needs to make this extremely clear with the November Election.
It is time for our First Lady to stand in line and get her Food Stamps.
1.) At least President George Bush had the common sense to go cut wood and clear brush in Crawford, Texas when he went on a summer vacation.
2.) Michelle Malkin addresses my same points but with more restraint and more attention to the economic realities: Unemployment at 9.5%; another Obama econ adviser bails; Mrs. Obama hits the beach
3.) We've seen this coming. Here is my essay from April, 2009 on The French Revolution and comparisons to today's events: The French Revolution
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
An (almost, sort-of) Great Victory for Gay Marriage
In a breathtaking ruling moments ago U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker ruled that California's infamous Proposition 8 is unconstitutional under due process and equal protection. The judge issued an astonishing 138 page ruling that invalidates the clause stating that "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."
Judge Walker stated, "Having considered the trial evidence and the arguments of counsel, the court pursuant to FRCP 52(a) finds that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional and that its enforcement must be enjoined."
I certainly applaud this great victory for gays and lesbians. I personally have fought long and hard on this blog and in real life to see this become the norm nationwide. As a Unitarian-Universalist I have participated in many gay marriage ceremonies and have many friends who have the benefit of that religious ceremony, but suffer with none of the legal benefits this ruling will now allow.
But, to be certain, this battle is far from over and that the court decided to overturn thousands of years of historical precedent and overrule the overwhelming will of the majority of the people is troubling.
A better victory, in my opinion, would have been a popular vote overturning Proposition 8 and I believe that was coming. Now the case will go to the Supreme Court and I think the outcome there is far from certain.
I am not a lawyer and I've not yet read the entire 138 page opinion, but I believe the judge was on shaky legal ground. I want the ruling to stand; I fear it will not.
On the plus side of the upcoming legal battle, fighting for the rights of gays and lesbians is former United States Solicitor General (under Prersident George W. Bush) Ted Olson, and famous Democratic attorney David Boies, one of the greatest attorneys to ever practice law.
Do you recognise the names? Olson and Boies both gained great fame when they were the lead attorneys on OPPOSITE SIDES of the landmark Bush v. Gore lawsuit which resolved the Florida electoral dispute in the 2000 election. Olsen may have won that battle, but now they are fighting as a team.Back here in the non-legal real world we still have all the real work, all the heavy lifting yet to do. Our jobs will be done only when society at large accepts gay marriage. Only then will it truly become a reality.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
The JournoList Assault on Journalism... in Perspective
"This may be the most embarrassing thing I have ever written — and looking back on my writing, there is a lot of competition for that dubious distinction — but when I became a reporter, it was almost a holy calling."
"We really believed we were doing good. We informed the public and helped make democracy work. We exposed wrongdoing wherever we found it. We reported without fear or favor. As a columnist, I tried to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
"Somewhere along the way, things have gone terribly wrong."
Read the complete article at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0710/40308.html#ixzz0v0GvBRQh
Friday, July 23, 2010
The Death of Journalism
We were inspired, even in awe as we watched Orsen Welles' Citizen Kane, spellbound by Humphrey Bogart in Deadline, USA, and mesmerized by Cary Grant and Rosiland Russell in His Girl Friday.
Get the story and get it right!
Those days are now very officially dead.
We were genuinely betrayed by FOX's gross negligence in handling the explosive Shirley Sherrod video. There are many, especially in the left who proclaim we "should have known" FOX would repeat such gross falsehoods without so much as asking for a simple verification of the tape. Regardless, FOX failed to follow the most basic of journalistic standards.
But what is much, much worse in the now revealed cabal of liberal reporters who conspired, successfully, to throw an election. Barack Obama might just have won fair and square, but now we'll never know.
In an EDITORIAL today Investors Business Daily assesses the terrible damage the JournoList cabal did to America. They are dead on-correct in virtually every word they print:
There are so many things wrong with this, we hardly know where to start. Nominally competitors, these supposedly impartial media mavens colluded in a way that would put airline or insurance officials in the dock for anti-competitive practices. They engaged in activism instead of fact-finding and mixed incestuously with activists whom they also should have been covering impartially.
Worst of all, they deprived millions of Americans of the information they needed to size up this new face on the political scene and determine if she really was a candidate who represented their interests.
That still remains to be done — and the country is poorer for it.
I'll leave you with Anderson Cooper's on air discussion of Journalism. While he himself has often failed to live up to the standards, it's till good to hear him recite then to remind us of what we've lost.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
The 2,000 Page Nightmare
In three short words: It's a Nightmare.
I genuinely believe that we must never allow Congress to enact to two thousand page bill again. And I believe that every single member of Congress who voted for this monstrosity should be removed from office.
We will spend months, if not years, undoing the damage this bill has done. But that's if, and only if, our country survives the interim damage.
Small business had feared the actual Health Care requirements would damage business and profits. As it turns out the most severe damage is coming from a new, massive ($$$$ 17 BILLION DOLLARS $$$$$) that will devastate all Americans earning LESS THAN $250,000.00 a year. And small business as we have long known it will likely cease to exist.
The small hidden regulations sound simple enough. Families and business have long been requires to report on an IRS Form 1099 any monies paid to workers or independent contractors. Money paid to nannies or yard workers for example had to be reported to the government. Many a politician has been tripped up by his or her failure to properly document such payments.
But, under new regulations in the Health Care Reform Act, all people and businesses must also file an IRS Form 1099 for and purchase of goods or material from a single individual that totals a mere six hundred dollars ($600.00) per year or more. For many businesses this could be tens of thousands of such forms (and taxes). Imagine a small restaurant who buys lettuce, tomatoes, fruits and vegetables from a variety of local farmers. Or a grocery store.
But similar situations apply to virtually all small businesses. The loudest complaints are streaming from Gold bullion and coin dealers who buy and sell from the public all day long.
In an article today on the ABC NEWS Website they report that "...every time a member of the public sells more than $600 worth of gold to a dealer the transaction will have to be reported to the government by the buyer (in this case the small business)."
Pat Heller, who owns Liberty Coin Service in Lansing, Mich., deals with around 1,000 customers every week. Many are individuals looking to protect wealth in an uncertain economy, he said, while others are dealers like him.
With spot market prices for gold at nearly $1,200 an ounce, Heller estimates that he'll be filling out between 10,000 and 20,000 tax forms per year after the new law takes effect."
Rep. Daniel Lungren, R-CA, has introduced legislation to repeal the section of the health care bill that would trigger the new tax reporting requirement because he says it's a burden on small businesses.
"Large corporations have whole divisions to handle such transaction paperwork but for a small business, which doesn't have the manpower, this is yet another brick on their back," Lungren said in a statement e-mailed to ABCNews.com. "Everyone agrees that small businesses are job creators and the engine which drives the American economy. I am dumfounded that this Administration is doing all it can to make it more difficult for businesses to succeed rather than doing all it can to help them grow."
That's an understatement, Mr. Lungren.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
If You Already Know ALL the Answers...
And there is one thing we know for certain, Michael Hastings, writing for Rolling Stone Magazine, already knows all the answers. And if you don't believe me, just ask him. He'll quickly set you straight.
It's really just a damned shame that Mr Hastings isn't President of the United States of America. He knows exactly what needs to happen in Afghanistan. He knows what the military needs to do and what our strategy ought to be.
But Michael Hastings isn't President. So he used his many talents and his position at Rolling Stone Magazine to skillfully write a hatchet piece to bring down General Stanley McChrystal, the Commander of the allied forces in Afghanistan. It was a tough and dirty job, but Michael Hastings was up to the task. And today Hastings is the victor and a brilliant General is gone.
Hastings knows all too well his job isn't done. In his follow-up article today he makes it clear that McChrystal's successor, General David Petraeus won't fall as easily as McCrystal did. But Hastings also makes it clear in his ego driven Rolling Stone follow-up, that he is up to the job and his work won't be finished until his personal vision for Afghanistan is in place.
Hastings writes today, "Changing generals isn't likely to resolve the real trouble in Afghanistan: the fundamental flaws in the U.S. strategy of counterinsurgency."
Now we all know that it was General McChrystal's own off the cuff, unwise and sarcastic comments actually caused his demise. Michael Hastings was just the all too willing messenger. Hastings just asked all the questions. And he complied the answers he wanted.
Frankly I believe Hastings knew the most important answer before he started his interviews. That answer is the subtitle of his Rolling Stone essay:
Stanley McChrystal, Obama's top commander in Afghanistan, has seized control of the war by never taking his eye off the real enemy: The wimps in the White House
I'm willing to wager any amount of money Hastings knew his article would manipulate those "wimps in the White House" to fire McChrystal.
I genuinely believe President Obama had to accept General McChrystal's resignation. And Obama did the right thing in promoting Petraeus.
But it is Michael Hastings that knows all the answers. It's a shame we can't make him a general.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
BP Spills Coffee
Thursday, May 27, 2010
We're All About to Die Down Here
"The President of the United States could've come down here, he could've been involved with the families of these 11 people" who died on the rig after an explosion, Carville said on ABC's Good Morning America. "He could be commandeering tankers and making BP bring tankers in and clean this up. They could be deploying people to the coast right now. He could be with the Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard...doing something about these regulations. These people are crying, they're begging for something down here, and it just looks like he's not involved in this."
"Man, you got to get down here and take control of this! Put somebody in charge of this thing and get this moving! We're about to die down here!"
Monday, May 24, 2010
Brownie, Your Doin' A Heck of A Job!
If we even needed an example of just how bad government bureaucracies are at handling a complex crisis, one need look no further than the oil spill disaster now befalling the marshes and wetlands on Louisiana. The inaction, waffling, internal debate and inaction on the part of the Federal Government, fully in charge of the clean-up and protection of our coasts, makes Michael Brown, Bush's oft vilified FEMA head, look like an administrative genius.
Our Federal Government couldn't possibly do any worse, because they are generally doing nothing but actually stopping the efforts of state and local governments. This is a disaster of inaction and incompetence.
The Army Corps of Engineers is unwilling to make a decision on how and where to deploy oil skimming beams or how and where to build sand berms to stop the oil flow. Each hour of indecision is killing the fragile gulf coast.
This situation of so bizarrely stupid that local parishes are actually commandeering and deploying hundreds of Federally chartered boats and putting them to work in fighting the spill. No one is Washington is willing to make a decision.
Perhaps the greatest irony is the failure of the major news networks or the cable news networks to even give anything more than marginal coverage to the spill itself. While they are covering the infighting in the House and Senate and the daily battles between BP and the Obama Administration, what is missing is the very real human drama unfolding on the coast. No shows or anchors have been deployed to the coast.
The best coverage I've found is on National Public Radio. Be sure to listen to these reports and tune into NPR each day until the networks wake up from their politically induced coma:
- Officials Scrutinize BP's Ability To Close Oil Leak
- BP Hard To Pin Down On Oil Spill Claims
- Frustration Grows Over Gulf Oil Spill
I do also want to compliment The Huffington Post for their excellent coverage of the environmental disaster.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
CNBC Rick Santelli, The Last American Hero
Thank god Rick Santelli doesn't suffer from this disease. Santelli teed off on Rep. Paul Kanjorski’s (D-PA) claim that Democrats’ couldn’t reform Fannie & Freddie in their financial regulation bill because it was “too complicated.”
SANTELLI: “It’s too complicated? You think taxpayers that go to work to pay the money you are subsidizing, it will end up a half a trillion, do you think they think complicated is an excuse?”
Our Members of Congress and our President SERIOUSLY DON'T GET IT. Just read my next post immediately below (or click this link, if you as reading this as a single entry in my blog) to see the real consequences of their inaction.
The "D" Word
People may not be saying the "D" word, but they sure are acting like "Depression" was on the horizon. All over the world people are buying gold at a pace never before seen in history. Gold prices hit an all-time high and demand is simply exploding. Bullion dealers cannot meet the demand. Gold coins are scarce to non-existent in dealer's showrooms. The raw price of gold surged to the highest level since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008 amid volatile financial markets in Europe.
Spot gold in London has jumped to above $1,230 a troy ounce, surpassing the previous record set in December last year.
As an investment Gold has been, well, golden. Gold prices are up almost 26 per cent since the beginning of the year.
The London Financial Times reported today, "In Frankfurt, gold sellers said that demand late last week was three to four times normal levels. The spike appears to reflect concerns in Germany about the potential inflationary impact of the European Central Bank’s decision to buy up eurozone government bonds in the wake of the Greek debt crisis."
Almost since the dawn of mankind, gold has been considered a safe haven in times of economic or political turmoil. It can always be traded in any country or region of the world. It is easy to transport and easy to hide.
The Financial Times goes on to report, "Global investors, led by the US, last year bought a record 228.5 tonnes of gold in the form of bullion coins, up from 77.4 tonnes in 2000, according to GFMS, the London-based precious metals consultancy."
In the United States, as states, cities and school districts continue to slash budgets and lay off workers, the economic downturn is likely to continue. If Europe collapse, all bets are off. World wide "Depression" is an absolute certainty.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Progressives Know HOW to Protest, Just NOT How to Recognize Protest
The Tea Party Rallies were never much of a threat to anyone, including the protesters themselves. Nobody got arrested. Everyone was painfully polite. There never was any so-called "astro-turfing" in spite of efforts by some organizations who wanted to capitalize on the disorganized protesters. Basking in the spotlight of the Rachel Maddow Show doesn't make you responsible for anything other than grandstanding.
Organizing the Tea Partiers would be even tougher than hearding cats. Actually the protests themselves, even in the big one in Washington D.C. resembled a country music concert or the infield at a NASCAR Race. Folks brought their own lawn chairs and coolers.
Instead of the smell of marijuana wafting through the air, there was a smell of barbecue. Tea Partiers even picked up their own trash.An intelligent progressive pundit could have certainly made a case that the Tea Party Protests were misguided. And it is true that Tea Party protesters were guilty of poor spelling, bad grammer and an overuse of the nazi analogies, a characteristic they share with progressive protesters.
Conservatives are just too..... well, they're too conservative. Their beef was they want less government and lower taxes for everyone (not just low income earners). They really disliked George Bush, as his poll numbers proved, but the lurch further to the left by President Obama pushed them into their conservative slow motion version of action.
Now, what really was astro-turfed was the completely manufactured outrage on the left. Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Frank Rich spent literally HUNDREDS of hours attacking the "tea baggers" and trying, very lamely, to paint them as a violent, radical, tool of a super secret right wing gestapo bent on the destruction of life as we know it.
It was, and is, a whole crock of shit.
Now we have real left wing Protesters in Phoenix and throughout the Southwest and we know how to throw a protest! And many more protests are to come as we approach May Day (may 1st). Look for serious protests of large, very angry crowds. Expect arrests. We've already seen vandalism and rocks thrown at police.
The Associated Press reported yesterday, "The furor over Arizona's new law cracking down on illegal immigrants grew Monday as opponents used refried beans to smear swastikas on the state Capitol and civil rights leaders demanded a boycott of the state."
The silence of the left about these protests is deafening. Instead of condemning real violence, protesters are being placed on a pedestal, heroes in the war against oppression.
Conservative pundit Roger Kimball said it best when he wrote, tongue in cheek, that he fully expected....
"The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, and kindred media outlets to repudiate these new outbreaks of hate and racist incitements to violence, narrow-mindedness, bigotry, etc., etc. Look for it tomorrow on the Daily KOS and other web sites dedicated to rooting out irrational prejudice and exposing the sore losers who don’t understand that elections have consequences and who won’t give a new law a chance but who divisively call for the repeal of the will of the people."
Now that's funny.
Friday, April 02, 2010
World Autism Awareness Day
Very, very sadly, the graphic above is correct. The CDC has reported that 1 out of every 110 children born today will be affected by Autism, many of them very severely. In many ways it is the greatest and most serious epidemic our country has ever faced.
Even more tragic is the general lack of understanding, lack of research, lack of support and the lack of funding for research or support that plagues Autism and the families that are affected by this disease. Parents are most often on their own to develop treatments and gather the help and support they need.
In this environment rumors about causes, cures and treatments run rampant. Parents and care givers trade information about what has worked for them. An informal network of support has grown, but it is no substitute for real research and real support.
Autism research and support needs your help and IF you will contribute TODAY the family-run MOSI Foundation will match your contribution to advance our research into the causes, prevention and treatment of autism. Act now, this generous offer is only available for a limited time. Please give whatever you can.
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Democrat's Super Bowl Sunday
Like most Americans, I'm glued to the television and the Internet this weekend watching the Super Bowl of Politics, Congresses wrestling with Obama's Health Care Restructuring Bill. But I'm in the very strange position of rooting from the wrong teams and for the wrong reasons for most of the game.
Here's the key factor: the Health Care Restructuring Bill MUST FAIL. This is the most disastrous bill in the history of our nation, It is a bill so bad it will literally bring our country to it's knees with an unbearable burden of new, unfair and regressive taxes, drastically reduced health care and a bureaucratic morass that we will likely never untangle. It is simply impossible to predict just how very bad this bill will become.
So this morning I'm sitting on the wrong side of the field, rooting for my normal adversaries, Representative Bart Stupak and the other pro-life Democrats, to create a division among Democrats that will deny them the votes needed to pass the bill.
Normally I'm a strong pro-choice advocate. But today I need the Stupak group to somehow save the entire nation from the Health Care Destruction bill.
It does continue to appear that Nancy Pelosi will get the votes she needs to pass the bill. All I can hope for is a "Hail Mary Pass" into the end zone in the final minutes to save the hone team from defeat.
"Go, Bart, Go!"
Friday, March 19, 2010
Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics!
The very famous quote above is popularly attributed to Mark Twain. But Twain himself attributed the quote to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881). Historians, however, can find no reasonable explanation for Twain to have attributed the quote to the equally famous Disraeli. Its real origins will probably never be known.
It is ironic and somewhat appropriate that many people today know the quote from the popular political television series, The West Wing. In today's hyperventilating political environment, it is certainly reasonable to think the quote applies to politicians.
Numbers are easy to misuse, misquote and misrepresent. Hide money here, move money there and you can get any result you desire. Sadly, that is exactly what Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats are doing with the Health Care Restructuring costs.
Frankly, I think it's just a damned lie.
You can't cut Medicare by $500,000,000.00 and then say there will be no change in the program and no reduction in benefits. It is a lie. And if you're a senior on the excellent Medicare Advantage Program, it's a damned lie. It is mostly the very poorest seniors on Advantage and it saves them, literally, hundreds of millions of dollars each year.
Medicare IS NOT the wonderful medical insurance some might claim it to be, There is much Medicare doesn't cover and much more with often huge deductibles. Advantage almost eliminates all these deductibles and covers many procedures at a much lower cost.
Seniors can be forced into bankruptcy just covering Medicare deductibles or paying fro procedures Medicare doesn't cover. Thanks to Nancy Pelosi's damned lie, this is going to happen 500 million dollars more often than it did before.
What really pisses me off, as a Democrat, is that if some Republican President proposed gutting $500,000,000.00 from Medicare every Democrat would have stood in lock step to prevent it. Now Nancy Pelosi just pretends it isn't happening. And most Democrats will vote Sunday to kill the enormously popular Advantage progam.
By the way, Health Care Restructuring won't reduce he deficit one penny once Congress permits cost of living increases for Doctors as they have every single year since Medicare first began. The bill being voted on Sunday has doctor's reimbursements going down every year for the next 20 years. That is just another damned lie.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Lawrence O'Donnell and James Cramer Tag Team Against the Horrific Health Care Bill
This is the most IMPORTANT 9 MINUTES you can possibly spend today. Watch it all.
Call Your Congress Person TODAY and demand they stop the current Health Care Legislation.
Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Disaster at 23.1%
"Holmes County had a whopping 23.1 percent unemployed in January, according to figures released Wednesday. Meanwhile Attala County is well above the state average in jobless numbers, at 17 percent. Mississippi's unemployment rate stood at 12 percent in January, up from 10.3 percent in December and higher than the national rate of 10.6 percent. The state Department of Employment Security released figures Wednesday. Unemployment ranged from a high of 23.1 percent in Noxubee and Holmes counties to 8 percent in Rankin. MDES says 22 of Mississippi's 82 counties posted unemployment rates less than or equal to the state's rate of 12 percent and 74 counties reported double-digit rates for the month."
This isn't news to the folks who live in Durant. The Piggly Wiggly Supermarket closed as has every name brand gas station in the city. Only a few retailers are hanging on and a respected furniture store in a neighboring town is going out of business after 106 years.
The current recession is merely another nail in the coffin of this north central Mississippi county. NAFTA drove out the many, many small and medium size factories in this county that included some of the nations leading electrical companies. Those factories and jobs are now down in Mexico.
This heavily Democrat and heavily Black county has received surprisingly little Federal help in the last ten years. And, curiously enough, the Stimulus Package passed them over, too, in spite of the fact that one of the nations leading and most powerful Democrats in Congress, Rep. Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, represents this county.
It seems to me that the gerrymandering that has carved out politically safe districts in every state has done much more harm than good. This district is safe. Representative Thompson will never face a challenge. Not even if unemployment reaches 50%.
So political plums, gifts and favors are going to the Blue Dog Democrats who's swing votes are critical to reaching the President agenda. Senator Ben Nelson and Nebraska can demand and receive huge bonuses. Joe Lieberman can extract what ever he wants to gain his vote.
A Democrat who faces a tough re-election can make sure extra construction, more police officers or a new highway goes through a town whose votes he needs. There is really nothing wrong with that system.
It's the safe towns, the politically safe counties that suffer. Why pay for the cow when the politicians can get the milk for free.
Health Care Reform, anyone?
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The Red Sox Fans Won
I can't believe that all the PROGRESSIVE bloggers, Tweeters, Pundits, Television Guru's and Washington Insiders can't see what every Boston Red Sox fan saw so very clearly.
The Red Sox Fans saw it clearly all the way back in August. They even held impromptu protest rallies. Real rallies with hand written signs and everything.
The Red Sox fans and the Oakland Fans and the Texas Ranger's fans and the Royals fans. And the Cleveland fans. The Baseball fans. The football fans. The hunters and the fishermen. All the people who live ordinary, non-political, lives. The workers. The housewives. The little people.
They did their level best to tell the President they adored what was going on. They held their rallies, small ones at first, and called 'em Tea Parties. These protesters called their Congress Persons. They wrote their newspapers. They appeared on FOX NEWS (sadly the only network that actually figured out what was going on).
But the President they loved, the President they voted for, wasn't listening. And Nancy Pelosi wasn't listening. Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews weren't listening. They actually made fun of these "little people." They belittled their efforts. Made fun of their misspellings and their homemade signs.
They accused these people of being dupes for big corporations, paid protesters or some such thing. This wasn't the least bit true.
Then Nancy Pelosi actually accused them of being traitors, enemies of Democracy. They same Nancy Pelosi who embraced and praised the Iraq war protesters, said these protesters were enemies of Democracy.
It started to get much worse as the Progressive bloggers led by the MSNBC trio of Olbermann, Maddow and Matthews began using a thinly veiled sexual slur, "Teabaggers" to characterise the efforts of these protesters to alert the President of the problems they so clearly saw. All Obama had to do was listen.
But, after several hundred thousand of them arrived in Washington to protest, Barack Obama claimed he knew absolutely nothing about them or their protest. He actually blamed FOX News for covering the event. And Obama banned FOX from Administration interviews.
It became obvious that the Democrats in Congress were not going to listen to them. The "peoples party" was ignoring the people.
Isn't it obvious what happened in Massachusetts? The Red Sox fans showed the Democrats who really was the boss.
Here's a fact we all need to remember: It is the Red Sox Fans who decide every election. They decided this one. They are the fabled INDEPENDENTS Scott Brown spoke of last night.
But it was EXACTLY those same INDEPENDENTS, those same Red Sox Fans who decided the Obama election. It was not the Progressives. And Coakley DID NOT LOSE because Progressives stayed home. Nope. Give credit where credit is due. It was the Red Sox Fans whose Scott Brown so deftly courted at Fenway Park in the icey cold of a Boston night.
Those Red Sox Fans were also the Tea Party protesters. They were the little people. They were everyman.
In the end the Independents were disappointed by Obama's biggest failure: TO CHANGE THE CLIMATE IN WASHINGTON and TO END BUSINESS AS USUAL. Obama PROMISED to usher in a new era of BIPARTISANSHIP. And he could have done that. Instead he turned his legislative agenda over to Nancy Pelosi, the most partisan (and the absolute WORST) House Majority Leader in History.
If Obama had done exactly as he promised and let every faction have a seat at the Health Care Reform table and then televised the negotiations, we wouldn't be here today.
If Obama had done as he promised and eliminated pork barrel spending and gone through the appropriations bill line by line, we wouldn't be here today.
Let's hope President Obama hears them now. And let's hope Obama stops taking advice from the far left Progressives and the bloggers and (heaven help us all) the IDIOT TRIO (Olbermann, Maddow and Matthews) over at MSNBC. These are the Pied Pipers who will lead our President over the cliff.
If President Obama decides to really play ball with Senator-elect Scott Brown, trust me, all the Red Sox Fans will cheer them both.