The Right-Wing(Nuts) Disturbing Defense of Bill Cosby


A few days ago when checking WND (Wingnut News Daily) one of their top stories was proposing the idea that “the left” was out to destroy Bill Cosby because, in a number of speeches, he has been critical of black communities and culture.

Today, I saw a quote from someone attending a Bill Cosby show in FL who parroted the same line. And I went back to WND to find the article- which their own search feature would not return. So I went to google..and here it is: RACE IN AMERICA
THE EVIL ATTACK ON BILL COSBY

Then of course, I poked around a bit more on google. And sure enough- everyone from Beck to Limbaugh have made similar claims this week. And virtually all of them seem to be publicly backpedaling now- claiming they don’t support Cosby while ignoring what they did indeed say.

And of course, we now have a lot of americans parroting these lines. Ignoring the serious allegations of rape. of violence against women. And who have turned this whole issue over in their perverted little minds to an issue of an evil left wing attack on a man who dared criticize black culture.

 

Posted in christian values, obama, politics, rand paul, religion, romney, ron paul, social, tea party | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Irony of Republican Opposition to Immigration Reform


First, I should point out-there are many republicans who DO want immigration reform. Indeed, possible Republican presidential candidates Jeb Bush and Chris Christie have called for reforms. And Every republican president in my lifetime has forwarded some types of reforms. But back to my thoughts…

Several ironies strike me when we see Republcican opposition to immigration reform.

First- why many “illegal” immigrants are in the US in the first place. Jobs. The leading industries that employ illegals are agriculture/meat processing. The construction industry. And the hospitality industry (hotels/restaurants/etc). All of which are heavily republican dominated industries.

It is overwhelmingly republicans whose actions are directly responsible for creating the demand for these “illegals”. For flouting the laws in hiring them. I wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or cry today when I saw so many on the right label Obama’s Executive Order on immigration the “emmancipation Proclomation”. The irony of comparing it to Lincolns freeing of the slaves from Republican industries is just too rich…

Another great irony is something that bridges the social and the political. The fact that most immigrants are from societies that are, heavily family oriented, heavily catholic/christian, and quite socially and politically conservative. If these people were welcomed with open arms by the right they would greatly swell their ranks. And yet they are abused and shunned- and pushed to supporting democrats. It if it weren’t for the underlying river of nationalism and racism in the republican party we would be having a much, much different debate.

And finally- which ties into the above- Cuba. For decades we have a “feet wet/feet dry” policy for Cubans. As soon as they touch land Cubans automatically gain US citizenship. And this has drastically changed the politics in FL for decades- greatly strengthing the GOP’s power there. I suppose the rights hatred of communism trumps their hatred of hispanics and foreigners. One would think the right would have learned a powerful lesson from FL, but I suppose they were so arrogant, or ignorant, they believed they could maintain power forever without having to embrace even more foreigners.

And I won’t even go into the irony of a political party that embraces the bible so fervently ignoring damn near every word their glrious christ said about treating ones fellow man…

 

Really, the only conclusion I can come to is this. Illegal immigrants are the modern version of the slave or indentured servant. People to be used- to be worked hard and underpaid in order to increase profits- and to keep down the costs of needed goods and services for the american population- which likewise serves to depress their wages/increase profits. And that giving these illegals rights threatens this whole system. It threatens the accumalation of wealth at the top.

Posted in 1%, catholics, christian values, immigration, immigration reform, obama, politics, rand paul, religion, romney, ron paul, social, taxes, tea party | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Right-Wing (nuts) Immigration Freakout


Goold old WND, ( aka “wingnut news daily) is having the expected freakout party over Obama’s announcement to shield from deportation, for 3 years, some 4million immigrants who have children that are US citizens. All but two of their lead articles are on the subject (with one on the Affordable Care Act and one simply shameless advertising of goods they sell).

If you have the stomach for it, I highly advise reading through the comments of the articles- the level of ignorance, intolerance, and hate is breathtaking, especially coupled with the twisted words of people claiming to be “”Christians”

‘Caesar Obama’ makes U.S. 3rd-World country – (written by Pat Buchanan)

ARPAIO TAKES OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE ORDER TO COURT  (Good ole Sheriff Joe At it again!

OBAMA GRANTS AMNESTY TO MILLIONS OF ILLEGALS

OBAMA TO ‘COMMIT FELONY WORTH 5-YEARS JAIL TIME’

‘YOU CANNOT REPEAL 30 MILLION PEOPLE’ U.S. border filmmaker: ‘Americans are screwed’

CONGRESSMAN: OBAMA HAS BECOME ‘MONTY PYTHON ROUTINE’
Defiant president has ‘lost both arms and both legs politically’

AMNESTY FOES PLAN TO ‘GREET’ OBAMA IN VEGAS
‘The battle is on and it begins tomorrow’

OBAMA’S ‘EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION’ FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS

OBAMACARE STRATEGIST: EXECUTIVE AMNESTY ‘WILDLY POPULAR’ (this one goes on to use all the big evel buzzwords- La Raza, Alinsky, Soros, move-on…to show just how extremist Obama and his ilk are… )

Posted in christian values, immigration, immigration reform, obama, politics, social, tea party | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

History of economic exploitation still hinders black Americans


la-na-tt-history-hinders-black-americans-20140-002

 

Once again, Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist and commentator David Horsey nails it.

 

Now that the confrontation between outraged black protesters and heavily armed white police in Ferguson, Mo., has subsided, most of America has moved on to other news. The police shooting of Michael Brown that sparked those protests did prompt a brief debate about the use of force by police in African American communities, and the U.S. Justice Department has stepped in to investigate bias, bad policies and poor community relations in the local police departments. But, as concerning as deadly encounters between cops and black kids may be, they are just one symptom of a far deeper problem of race that Americans continue to evade.

Yes, it is true that the most overt forms of racial discrimination have been banished. A black family lives in the White House. Black celebrities and sports stars are widely admired, even beloved, by white Americans. Where, 40 years ago, African Americans were nearly absent from TV screens, now black actors take the lead in numerous popular television programs and black spokesmen are the public faces of insurance companies and other corporate advertisers who would not be doing such a thing if they thought it would lose them money.

Plenty of examples can be found to show that the country has changed, enabling thousands of individual black Americans to achieve great success. As a result, many — maybe most — whites believe racism is a problem that has been solved. When it is pointed out that a high percentage of blacks still lag far behind in household income and net worth, as well as in educational achievement, the not-always-unspoken assumption among many white people is that blacks just need to work harder, get off welfare and stop committing crimes.

That assumption betrays a woeful ignorance of history and economics.

All but the most unrepentant racist knows that slavery was evil and that the years of Jim Crow and segregation in the South were little better. But, not everyone recognizes how, though those wicked days are past, their negative effects linger and fester. The economic toll on black people during the long decades of oppression was staggering. Many immigrants — Irish, Italians, Chinese and others — came to this country and suffered discrimination, too. Eventually, though, doors opened for all of them and bias withered away. They, or their descendants, were able to take part in the economic life of this society and build wealth over time. For black Americans, that opportunity came very late, if it came at all. (Only Native Americans were as cut off from America’s ever-expanding riches.)

From the arrival of the first slaves in the 17th century until emancipation in the 1860s, most blacks not only had no economic opportunities, the fruits of their very hard labor were stolen from them by their slave masters. After the Civil War, most continued to be locked in servitude as sharecroppers and servants. They were cheated, they were robbed, they were marginalized, brutalized and lynched. Economic advancement was nearly impossible.

A great many Southern blacks moved north seeking a better deal. Some found it, but many also found they were blocked from getting better-paying jobs, from putting their children in the best schools and from buying homes, even in poor neighborhoods. The economic rules and the legal system were rigged against them.

The cost of this exploitation is almost incalculable in monetary terms. The extreme damage done to community life, however, is all too obvious. It is the same damage evidenced in any poor community, but compounded by generations of neglect: poor health, undermined family structures, inadequate education, underemployment, crime, addiction, incarceration and social alienation.

Year after year, America spends millions of dollars on cops and prisons to contain the worst manifestations of this legacy of discrimination, but never do we take on the burdens of the black community as a burden we all share. Of course, black Americans must do their part — and a great many are trying with all their might to break out of the cycle of violence, despair and economic insecurity in which they find themselves. But white Americans need to break out of the lazy smugness that allows them to ignore their own responsibility to their fellow citizens.

We are all in this together. It is long past time to face up to America’s greatest shame and spend the money, time and effort it will take to erase it once and for all.

 

Posted in obama, politics, rand paul, romney, ron paul, social, tea party | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Immigration. And Capitalism.


It seems recently I’ve started seeing a bit of a new trend. Or the beginnings of one (if it goew well for them I suppose). Broaching the topic of legal immigration, not just illegal immigration.

And yet…like so many issues in our world, we focus on the symptoms, not the root causes.

And one of the root causes, and one of the few we as americans really have a place discussing, is capitalism.

Because let’s address the elephant in the room here. If corporations and businesses had to pay at least a living wage for the jobs they must have done in order to run their companies     we would not see such an iflux of immigrants willing to do such underpaid jobs. It is easy to view jobs as unskilled. As unimportant. And thus deserving of low wages. But the reality is- these jobs, no matter how menial- are part of the process. One that if not done- the whole system breaks down. (think about it for a moment- is any bussiness going to pay someone, no matter how small an amount, to do a job that ultimately is not crucial to the sucess of the company? ) Really, bringing in the harvest, cleaning the hotel room, hauling lumber, concrete, rebar,…cleaning dishes, mopping the floors and taking out the trash may not be glamorous jobs. They may not be highly skilled jobs (although they all require some skills- and I’d wager some of them are ones you or me could not do efficiently), but they are jobs that must be done so that other jobs can be done.

So maybe the issue lies in that our capitalist system has created this false reality. We all want low cost goods and services. Our employers want us to have access to low cost goods and services because that reduces the living wage they must bay their more skilled workers. And by depressing the wages all around they increase their profits.

And I can’t help but feel that there are powerful forces- business and political, that would much rather play the american people vs the immigrants. Rather then have people start to question the root causes. The system that sees so much of america, at best, getting slightly ahead…more often then ot at best getting by. While the rich keep getting richer, and richer…and richer.

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The Day the Music Died ( R.I.P. Ipod Classic )


So on september 9th, after Apples announcement of the New Iphone and Aplle Watch, they quietly and uncerimonously removed the Ipod Classic from their store.

The Ipod. The device that was announced a month after the 9/11 attacks. A device that changed so much…

Like so many Apple products of the Steve Jobs era, they were not the first to market. And of course, not the cheapest. But, as they did so many times since, they were the first to get it right. And to be fair- maybe it had something to do with the timing- as it did come at a time when many were happy to slip on their earbuds, tune out the world, and slip into their own joyous little world fo a while.

But kudos where they are due- the Ipod changed so much. You could, for the first time really, have all* your music with you wherever, whenever. ( * if memory serves the original was 5GB. The recently killed off version was 160GB. My music library exceeds 100GB. So maybe not all your music, but… )

And I remember as they became ubiqutous. It seemed like everywhere you went, you saw people with their earbuds in and a smile on their face. And I remember it’s impacts on culture. From sharing your ipod becoming a new level of intimacy in relationships (let’s be honest- the music library one has reveals a LOT about the person), to what became an almost standard question in interviews of high powered people “What’s on your Ipod? “

Of course there are still ipods available- the shuffle, nano, and touch. But none evoke the original itteration of the device that changed so many things. And none, I’ll add, which have the capacity for my music library.

I will sorely miss the Ipod. And yes, I’ll admit- I just ordered my new Iphone 6- and partially because of the death of the classic I did order the 128GB model, which should hold my music library. (I’ll take the chance to add- I am currently still using an Iphone 4. pre-siri. a 4+ year old phone that’s on its last legs). But I like stand alone devices. Ones that do one thing and do them well. I liked being able to have the Ipod to plug into my home stereo. Or to transfer between our vehicles. To plug into the jobsite radio. To be able to load it out to friends when they went on long trips and wanted some fresh music. None of these which I can really do with an Iphone. As personal as the Ipod was- it also had a great sharing component to it- sharing not only your music but a small piece of yourself.

And a notte to Apple. I know Ipod sales have been declining for years. But, if you had given us some notice the Ipod Classic was going the way of the dodo… I would have bought 5. Maybe ten of them. Just for myself and families personal use. Maybe a few more for future gifts. And judging by the fact they are already sold out at ALL my local stores. And the prices people are paying on ebay- a  LOT of other people feel the same way.

I feel like I have lost a friend.

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Private Intelligence Network Helps Police Steal, ahem, “Seize” Cash


The Washington Post has just finished running an excellent 3 part series on the rise over the past decade of police targetting cash seizures on our nations highways…and the privately run intellignence networks that aid them. And the many, often minority innocent americans who have been caught up in this heavy handed tactic.

Part I

Part II

Part III

Let’s face it. Millions of Americans, for one reason or another, either don’t have a bank account, or for one reason or another choose not to entrust their money to a bank. Many of us prefer to live in a cash based society. In the past decade I have personally known two people who had large sums of 100% legal money seized by police during traffic stops. One, a construction company owner who had something like $37,000 in cash. He was on his way to look at and possibly buy a piece of heavy equipment. The seond was a hispanic construction crew leader who was on his way to look at a 7+ year old full size diesel truck to potentially buy. (Both did eventualy get their money back- after more then a year and thousands in legal costs. Not to mention the frustration, humiliation, and the loss of both the money- and what it was intended for.

And, I have also known numerous people in the world of medical marijuana who lost substantial sums of cash. Virtually none of whom ever got it returned. People who, although operating completely within their states laws, were forced into a cash only world by federal prohibition on them being able to have bank accounts.

 

Anyway- I highly recommend reading the series. And taking some time to think about what you are actually reading. That simply dealing in cash rather then pieces of paper or plastic from a bank can make you a criminal. The intimidation of innocent people- and all too often, people who are already marginalized by society. The arrogance and contempt of police- their greed, their indifference, their violation of eveything they are supposed to stand for.

Personally, I hope the writers of this series when a Pulitzer.

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