Sunday, December 25, 2011

"WHO AM I?" (Another Retard Birther!)

Many people have received a chain-email recently, titled "Who Am I", that starts out with an interesting biography, which many Tea Party and Birther types would presume to be that of Barack Obama. Of course, at the end, it says that it's actually "Adolph Hitler". Of course, that should have sent red flags up immediately, that this was anti-Obama propaganda, written by an history-illiterate who got his hands on a computer.

Let's see how many actual facts he got correct.

* I was born in one country, raised in another. My father was born in another country.

This assumes that Barack Obama was not born a US citizen, which is a myth that has already been thoroughly dispelled. Though Obama's father was Kenyan, Hitler's father was not "born in another country".

In 1867, while Hitler's Austrian-born father was living, Austria, parts of what later became modern day Germany along with parts of what would later become the nations of Hungary, Bosnia, The Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and other nations became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In 1871, Austria and Germany unified into a new country, called The German Empire, or the second reich, under Kaiser Wilhelm.

Following the first world war, the Empire was re-partitioned, so that a new territory, called German Austria was "a component of the German Republic", also known as the Weimar Republic. Alois Hitler, along with millions of others living in Europe, had his nationality changed on him, as wars changed borders from the 19th century to what became pre-World War 2 Europe. Though the family never moved more than 20 miles away from the cities they were born in, they became German citizens by default, new nations were formed. Saying that he was "born in a foreign country" would be like saying that anyone born in North Dakota before it was incorporated into the USA was born in a foreign country -- in other words, it's preposterous to claim that Hitler's family was foreign to Germany, or were immigrants.

I was not his only child. He fathered several children
with numerous women.

Alois Hitler had children by 2 women, not "numerous" ones. His first wife died, presumably of tuberculosis, and he stayed faithful to his second wife until his death in 1903. This is quite different from Obama's father, who had children with at least 4 different women, both in and out of wedlock.

* I became very close to my mother, as my father showed no interest in me. My mother died at an early age from cancer.

* Later in life, questions arose over my real name.

* My birth records were sketchy and no one was able to produce a
legitimate, reliable birth certificate.

To say that Hitler's father showed no interest in him is preposterous. Hitler's father was well known for being a disceplinarian, and was known to be concerned about Adolf's rebellious nature, making him work on a farm, and later putting him in a Catholic school for boys. Barack Obama's father was not involved much in his son's life, which is correct, but again, to compare this to the strict upbringing of Adolf Hitler, where his father stayed home with the family, does not compare.

Questions arose about Hitler's name -- Alois Schicklgruber changed his last name to Heidler, because his mother married Johann Heidler. Later, Official spellings of surnames were standardized by the Weimar government, and the Hiedler family's name was now officially spelled "Hitler". There was no question about Adolf Hitler's name, nor his country of origin. Only his father's name was questioned.

Hitler's German citizenship was never questioned. Good luck trying to find any literature that parallels that of Barack Obama, whose US Citizenship was questioned mainly by people who refused to accept the documentation that the State Department gathered before allowing him to run for public office.

* I grew up practicing one faith but converted to Christianity, as it
was widely accepted in my country, but I practiced non-traditional beliefs
& didn't follow Christianity, except in the public eye under scrutiny.

This flies in the fact of what we have on record for both Adolf Hitler and Barack Obama. Hitler was born a Roman Catholic, and remained a Roman Catholic. Barack Obama's Mother and family were "non practicing" Methodists and Baptists. Obama was raised in the faith, and grew into it as he became an adult. This whole section revolves around the easily disproven myth that Obama secretly practices the Muslim faith.

* I worked and lived among lower-class people as a young adult,
disguising myself as someone who really cared about them.

* That was before I decided it was time to get serious about my life
and I embarked on a new career.

These factoids are nonsense. It assumes that Obama doesn't really care about the people that he organized in Chicago. It presumes that Hitler didn't care about the people he worked with.

* I wrote a book about my struggles growing up. It was clear to those
who read my memoirs that I had difficulties accepting that my father
abandoned me as a child.

The one thing that is never mentioned in Mein Kampf, was that his father abandoned the family, because it never happened. Hitler's father remained with the family until he died, and though he had issues with his father, they were not about abandonment at all. Hitler's issues were with his father's strictness.

Again, no comparison with the life of Barack Obama.

* I became active in local politics in my 30's then with help behind
the scenes, I literally burst onto the scene as a candidate for national
office in my 40s. They said I had a golden tongue and could talk anyone
into anything. That reinforced my conceit.

* I had a virtually non-existent resume, little work history, and no
experience in leading a single organization. Yet I was a powerful speaker
and citizens were drawn to me as though I were a magnet and they were
small roofing tacks.

* I drew incredibly large crowds during my public appearances. This
bolstered my ego.

To say that Barack Obama "burst onto the scene" out of nowhere is a myth. His legislative career spans over 11 years, and was preceeded by another 10 years of working as a lawyer, and a community organizer.

* At first, my political campaign focused on my country's foreign
policy. I was very critical of my country in the last war and seized
every opportunity to bash my country.

* But what launched my rise to national prominence were my views on
the country's economy. I pretended to have a really good plan on how we
could do better and every poor person would be fed & housed for free.

* I knew which group was responsible for getting us into this mess.
It was the free market, banks & corporations. I decided to start making
citizens hate them and if they were envious of others who did well, the
plan was clinched tight.

* I called mine "A People's Campaign" and that sounded good to all

This doesn't describe Hitler's political career at all, nor does it describe Obama's. Hitler crusaded AGAINST Marxism and socialism, and blamed liberal groups in the Weimar Republic for corrupting Germany and creating a financial crisis. Jazz musicians, artists, Jews, of course, and people with loose morals were to blame, according to what he wrote, himself. He did not blame business, but rather blamed Jewish Bankers. Hitler did not criticize Germany for World War 1 -- he criticized what the allies did to Germany following the war, in the Treaty Of Versailles.

Barack Obama did not criticize the government for the Iraq war, during his presidential campaign. He merely said that it should be ended soon.

These attempts at parallels don't work, because they are basically assumptions about typical liberal politics that are blindly applied to Obama, without citing any sources. Typical right wing rhetoric loves to claim that liberals only talk about taxing and spending, and that they increase the size of government. Reality, of course, does not support even this description of liberal politicians.

* I was the surprise candidate because I emerged from outside the
traditional path of politics & was able to gain widespread popular

Again, this does not describe Hitler or Obama. Obama got into politics through all of the traditional channels, not from outside. Likewise, Hitler's rise to power was totally typical for the time and place. He, along with people from the military that fought in World War 1 with him, formed a political party and ran their campaigns in very typical ways. To say that Hitler or Obama were political outsiders is preposterous.

* I knew that, if I merely offered the people 'hope' , together we
could change our country and the world.

* So, I started to make my speeches sound like they were on behalf of
the downtrodden, poor, ignorant to include "persecuted minorities" . My
true views were not widely known & I needed to keep them unknown, until
after I became my nation's leader.

* I had to carefully guard reality, as anybody could have easily found
out what I really believed, if they had simply read my writings and
examined those people I associated with.

* I'm glad they didn't. Then I became the most powerful man in the
world. And the world learned the truth.

*Who am I? *


Scary isn't it?

Again, this is made up nonsense, just speculation on what Obama, the scary black man, thinks. It isn't based on anything that Obama or Hitler wrote, and it's merely the projection of the author's deep suspicion of Obama as a "stealth" candidate.

The anti-Obama rhetoric of people like the one who wrote this chain-letter, is a series of fear-based assertions that are strongly held, but nonetheless, mere assertions.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eight Rules for Effective Protesting

Americans have forgotten how to protest properly. We think that going outside, playing drums, bashing trash can lids, and shouting slogans in unison is how it's done, and the result is always the same -- the public get sick of them, and doesn't seem to care when police use their military-surplus toys to bust them up.

30 or 40 years ago, protests were more effective, more lawful, and actually inspiring. There are some significant differences between the protests of the 60's and modern protests that people need to know, and some things that should be taken to heart.

(1) Reclaim the American Flag
40 years of right-wing shenanigans, pundits, Jesse Helms, and rednecks all waving flags in solidarity of genuinely hideous principles, has made most liberal protestors regard the flag as the symbol of conservative hatred and bigotry. Even I must confess that seeing Tea-Party protestors, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-science, and anti-bill-of-rights, right-wing activism, all accompanied by fierce flag-waiving, as if to say that everyone who isn't a bigot is un-American, has made me think of the American Flag in a negative way. If you look at left-wing protests in other countries, this is not the case. Left wing protestors in France, Russia, and other countries all wave their national flags around with pride. In America, left-wing protestors can't seem to do this, without holding the flag upside down, if at all.

The American flag is not the exclusive property of half-retarded, brain-dead racists, fascist, and neo-cons. It belongs to everyone, whether you are right-wing, left wing or in-between. Liberal protestors need to stop thinking of flag-waiving as an activity performed by the Neanderthal, thug-like, and the mentally-retarded, redneck right wing. We need to reclaim the flag as everyone's flag, and it needs to be as prominent as the protest signs.

(2) Dress for the occasion
Even I get sick of seeing throngs of dread-locked, tie-dye festooned, pot-smoking hippies. That's what I see at every left-wing protest event. I can't begin to tell you how much the image of these people turns me off, as well as it turns off moderate and right-wing people. Now I am as liberal as the next one of you, but really, the style of dress, and the behavior that involves banging djembes, dancing, and smoking pot, makes people, including yours truly, think these people are just dirty.

I think that protestors would be taken much more seriously if they simply dressed as though it were a special occasion. Don't go in blue-jeans and t-shirts like those Tea-Party tards -- wear your interview suit, your Sunday best, and your office-attire. LOOK RESPECTABLE. Nobody looks at filthy hippies with respect, especially when they are banging their obnoxious drums and chanting John Lennon lyrics. Dressed like slobs, you are a mob. Dressed respectably, you are an assembly.

(3) Quiet down
Hearing drums pounding hour after hour, people screaming, and out-of-key renditions of Lennon and Dylan songs is ANNOYING to listen to. It annoys the other protestors, as well as people who may otherwise be sympathetic to your cause. In fact, people are more willing to listen to you if you are quiet, believe it or not.

I learned this in parochial school when Sister Jane was trying to explain a lesson to a noisy classroom. She kept getting louder and louder until she suddenly switched to a softer and softer voice. The rest of us instinctively got quiet, until we heard what she was saying. She whispered "If I speak quietly enough, you will listen to what I am saying." One of my College professors, in a history class, applied the same method when the class was loud with talking students. It's true -- the quieter your message, the more attentively people will listen to you. People will have far more respect for a protest that doesn't leave their eardrums vibrating.

(4) Be Less accepting of variations in the message
One of the big problems with both the Tea Party Protestors and the Occupy movements, is that they seem to allow anyone to show up and protest with them, even if they are not protesting the same thing. When Racists showed up at Tea Party events, the news media singled them out, and it seemed as though the movement actually welcomed them and their racist message. Likewise, all of the pot-smoking kids who use the opportunity of a protest to play rave music and dance, all of the conspiracy mongers, and all the people with bizarre messages to add to the protest, can reflect badly on your protest. 911-truthers, Vegetarians, Communists, Pot-legalization proponents, and other kooks and weirdoes, are just there to hijack your protest, and are trying to push their own agenda, using your steam.

Protestors are too permissive, and too overly-polite. You really need to get rid of people that show up at the protest, whose messages are not properly aligned with the movement. When crazy people show up, you need to inform them that they are only welcome if their message is aligned with the rest of the group, and that they should either get with the program, or stay away. This sounds harsh, but all it takes is one news-crew with a camera to see one inappropriate sign, or interview one kook who has nothing to do with the protest, or who is inarticulate and the whole country will see that person as representative of your movement. This is especially true if Fox News is sending its crews around for "gotcha" interviews, which are designed to defame your movement.

(5) Take control of your message
The people who organize liberal protests need to make sure that everyone participating goes through an orientation, and follows rules. They need to have internal policing of protestors to enforce rules of conduct. The rules of conduct should be simple and straightforward -- Don't act like idiots, don't be rowdy, be polite, no fighting, no yelling, No boom boxes playing loud music, no drums, be clean, be on your best behavior.

Protests need to have designated speakers to whom the media can be directed. Participants need to be told that they should not speak to the media unless they are designated speakers. Everyone needs to have hand-outs that explain the points of the protest, and everyone needs to be told that they should refrain from pushing a message that is not listed in the hand-outs. When asked by media for an interview, people need to be aware that it's best to redirect the media to the designated speakers. Not everyone is good on camera, or is articulate enough to express the movement's goals. Also, not everyone is skilled enough to know when they are being set up by a hostile interviewer. Interviewers need to be routed to experts who can handle expressing the goals of the protest without looking like a fool.

Organizers need to control the signage. When people show up with poorly-made signs, which are misspelled, or have inappropriate messages, they need to be told to trade in their sign for a more official one. Organizers need to have a bunch of more-or-less professionally-made signs to give people whose signs are not appropriate. They must be honestly told the reason for switching their signs, and that they should leave if they refuse. I know it sounds tough, but as I said, if you allow signs with poor spelling and grammar, inappropriate language, or inappropriate messages, the public may see these people as representative of you.

To properly control the message, you need to have some trained security people who can spread out in the crowd, and respond wherever rules are being broken. People who show up with inappropriate signs or those who do not behave, should be given a written page of the rules, and be asked to attend an orientation. If they refuse, or they have to be given a warning more than 3 times, they need to be removed. The security people need to be swift and as non-violent as possible. This sounds harsh, but it can make the difference between a truly unified protest, and a random mob of mixed messages.

(6) Don't camp. There is no reason for it.

The biggest weakness of the Occupy movement is the unnecessary and disruptive practice of camping out in public spaces. Other protest movements from around the world do not camp in public places. They simply assemble every day, and leave when it's time to go home. I know that it's hard to keep thousands of people fed, hydrated, informed, policed, and have adequate sanitary facilities. Having a permanent camp may be convenient, but it's definitely not the best way to do it. If the structures were torn down and set up at regular times every day, and not left overnight, it would give fewer excuses for authorities to tear them down. It would also give less opportunities for Homeless people and petty criminals to take advantage of people who are sleeping.

(7) Learn what non-violent civil disobedience is supposed to be
American protestors have forgotten what civil disobedience is, and how to conduct it. Some protestors, such as the idiots at UC Davis, make bad situations worse. The Protestors at UC Davis blockaded police, and entrapped a small group of University police that were actually trying to leave, making a bad situation even worse. They got maced, and they asked for it. Let's get one thing clear. Non-violent, Civil disobedience is NOT about confronting cops and intimidating them back. Traditionally, successful civil disobedience is when you walk up to the cops, and offer to let them arrest you. Civil disobedience is NOT resisting arrest, and NOT fighting with police.

If you actually believed in your protest, you should be willing to offer yourself up for being arrested for protesting.

Shouting slogans angrily at cops only does one thing. It scares the crap out of them, because it's only one small step from shouting slogans to having a peaceful mob turn into a riot. When the cops arrive, you need to be calm, intelligent, and KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Many cops don't even know what your rights are, and will try to tell you what they are, incorrectly. You need to ask why you are being asked to leave, and most importantly, "what law am I violating", and "Are you arresting me, and if so, what will I be charged with?"

Too many protests involve acting tough and openly intimidating cops, shouting angry slogans at them, and improvising weapons as though you plan on fighting them. This is the wrong way. Martin Luther King and Ghandi did not resist arrests, or intimidate cops. When the cops attacked, they looked like fascists, because they were using violence against un-armed peaceful protestors. When you shout at cops, chant slogans, threaten to rise up, or otherwise resist them, you are inviting them to behave badly.

When they arrest you, you have to go willingly, and you cannot shout or scream. Just go peacefully, and cooperate. Most of the time, you will not get hurt (though it can happen), and most importantly, when the cameras are on you, you will look like someone who is willing to get arrested for their cause. In most cases, if you have truly not broken any laws, charges will be dropped. Many protestors get arrested multiple times at different protests without getting hurt, and without being charged. Sure, some people did get charged, and paid fines or served jail time, but the point is that public sympathy is increased by observing protestors that aren't acting rowdy.

(8) Realize that we're not living in a dictatorship.

Too many protestors are looking to start a violent revolution. Many people, particularly anarchists and communists, have wet dreams of fighting police in the streets, throwing Molotov cocktails, and chasing frightened cops through the streets as smoke and bullets fly. These people should be weeded out and effectively banned from the group as soon as they are discovered. They often have the ability to incite the crowd, as they did at UC Davis. These people are not about non-violent, civil disobedience. These people are about violent clashes with authority.

In a dictatorship, police do not have to follow rules of conduct, and are known for getting away with atrocities. America is nowhere near being a Dictatorship. Cops have to follow strict rules of engagement, and can be publicly punished for violating rules and laws. Though lots of people keep claiming that we're turning into a fascist police state, the fact is that we haven't nearly gotten to that point at all yet. Cops can still be tried and imprisoned for their behavior, and regularly do. If we were a fascist dictatorship, cops would rarely be tried for crimes committed while wearing their badges. Yet we see it every day -- cops get reprimanded sent to prison for bad behavior, criminal activity, and violating the rights of those whom they arrest.

Now go out there and protest like civilized people.
Using these rules will not guaranty a perfect protest, but it will get you closer to being effective at spreading your message and garnering the sentiment of the public. There will always be those who will pooh-pooh your movement. There will never be 100%public support for your movement; no movements are accepted by 100% of any population. What is important is that your message be clear, be consistent, and be rational. Protestors need to be wrangled effectively to ensure uniformity of goals. Laws need to be obeyed, officers respected, and you have to be willing to get arrested for your cause, if it comes to that. To be effective at protesting, you have to be respectable, rational, and realistic.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Open letter to Anonymous and others who organize the Occupy Movement

Dear Occupy organizers and Anonymous,

I wholeheartedly support your movement, but there are serious mistakes being made, and I wish to address them here. There is a big difference between successful non-violent protesting, and what is going on around America. Successful non-violent protesting has traditionally been when a bunch of people simply show up and (mostly) silently, POLITELY, and passively make their presence and minds known. Classic non-violent protests, such as those done by Martin Luther King and Ghandi, did not involve drumming, partying, yelling, smoking pot, and behaving like... a bunch of teenagers on a wild rampage.

What I see the Occupy movements in Boston, New York, Oakland, and elsewhere, is that there are plenty of people in the group who clearly have a different idea of what non-violent peaceful protest is about. Some young kids think it's party-time. They play loud music, and frolic like drunken ninnies. Many people take the opportunity to protest as though it's some big celebration of themselves. They lack the discepline, knowledge, and character to conduct themselves in an appropriate and proper way. They are loud, boisterous, and sometimes appear dirty and angry.

Of course, it doesn't help that too many of the other people are so passive and so laid back, that they just let unrully individuals get away with rude, noisy behavior and drug use. This is the biggest problem -- those who want to be involved with the group and it's goals, but who don't want to get involved with keeping up appearances and ousting people who don't play well with others. This is what delegitimized the Tea party movement -- there were only small amounts of openly racist, crazy people at the rallies, and the majority of Tea Partiers POLITELY IGNORED THEM. They should have ousted them, and told them they were not welcome. If they did, they would not have appeared to be harboring racism.

In Martin Luther King's era, Civil Rights marchers dressed in their interview suits and Sunday best clothing, and marched with dignity. They were well-dressed, well-behaved, and well-spoken. This meant that when police took nefarious action against them, it would appear, and rightly so, that well-mannered ladies and gentlemen were attacked and bloodied by thugs.

By contrast, the less-organized rabble that seems to make up the occupy movement is made up of dirty hippies, hippie-wannabes, grungers, and stoners. Even some of the organizers of the Occupy movement admit that these people are not wanted, or at least, less appreciated.

Please organize yourselves better. Have a code of conduct that all participants must follow, OR ELSE. The "Or Else" should be understood as "Or Else we will kick you out and/or report you to the police if you don't behave."

I have read that the Occupy Wall Street organizers have raised millions of dollars. What is this money being used for? Why not use the money to rent or purchase a building near the event, which can be used as a base-camp to feed, shelter, and provide sanitary facilities to the participants, hence no need for an unsightly shanty-town? This would be a great way of avoiding the use of partially private, partially public land, as well as allegations of unhealthy, unsanitary conditions.

Perhaps the money can be used to hire some internal security personnel, who will police the group from within, and ensure that undesireable people or badly-behaved people are dealt with, and that people follow the rules laid down by the organizers. The most important thing for a non-violent peaceful protest to succeed is for the entire group to be unified in their conduct and appearance. If you look like a bunch of hippies and scalliwags, you will not have the impact or the sympathy when the cops get ugly.

Which leads me to my final point -- when the cops get ugly. If you can be made to run away when the cops intimidate you, and it's easy to arrest you and throw you into the police van, you will not succeed. In foreign countries, the protestors actively fight back against the police, use improvised armor and weapons, and many times indimidate the police to the point that the police run away.

Why not invest some of the money made in a basic riot survival kit for participants? Give out gas masks, protective sports padding (Football helmets, shoulder pads, shin pads), and non-lethal weapons (a boxing-glove on the end of a pole is humorous and effective) to the people who face the cops on the front lines. Have them make and use full-body shields. Teach them basic Phalanx, wedge, and flanking tactics to make it difficult for the cops to single out and hurt individuals. The idea is defense. If the cops think it will be easy to rush the crowd and beat people up, they will. If they try, and are effectively held back, they will think twice about it. The key here is to make it hard for cops to bust up the group, while giving those protestors who are not in for a fight, the chance to escape and avoid being victims. A wall of well-padded, well-trained individuals, committed to holding back violence until it is no longer possible, will make a bolder statement than any cops with tear gas can.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

GOP has a problem with simple facts.

If anything is clear from the recent CNN Republican debate, it's that the whole group of GOP candidates, apart from Mitt Romney, are idiots, Homophobes, and Islamophobes, who know nothing about the US Constitution, and who buy into the Christian Fundamentalist Dominionism mythology about America's founders wanting to make America Exclusively Christian.

Herman Cain, When asked about his comment that he would feel uncomfortable having a Muslim in his administration, snapped "I would not be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims — those that are trying to kill us, and so when I said I wouldn't be comfortable, I was thinking about the ones who are trying to kill us." Of course, this doesn't take into account all the American-born Christians who have been trying to kill us, but I digress.

Cain also explained that he does not support Sharia law in American courts. "I believe in American laws in American courts, period." He, as well as several other candidates like Rick "I am not a homophobic bigot" Santorum and Tim "I'm not a homophobic bigot, either" Pawlenty, don't seem to realize that there is no Shariah Law practiced by any US Government angency. It's a completely made up fear, and the Republicans are treating it as though it's a legitimate threat.

Is Herman Cain for real? First of all, he's an African American Republican. That tells you what an idiot he is from the start, because he is willing to ignore over 75 years of overt racism on the part of the Republican party, such as the infamous "Southern Strategy", where the party deliberately created fear of black people in white southerners, to frighten them into thinking that the Democratic Party was out to take their rights away and give black people special priviledges. This overtly racist strategy is still used in much of the country, in spite of the GOP apologizing for it back in 2005.

Herman Cain previously mentioned that he would only allow Muslims to run for public office if they took a special oath, which he also said would not have to be given to Christian or Jewish candidates, because they can be trusted. This essentially amounts to a religious test for public office. Cain also just weeks ago was holding up his little copy of the US Constitution, proclaiming that every American needs to read it and know what's in it. Too bad he said that. Now we get to see what a true retard the guy is. Article 6, section 3, of the U.S. Constitution, specifically states that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States." Apparently, Caine hasn't finished reading up on his Constitution yet.

Mitt Romney was the only candidate who managed to say something intelligent about this issue. He said, in response to Cain, "We recognize that the people of all faiths are welcome in this country... Our nation was founded on a principle of religious tolerance. That's in fact why some of the early patriots came to this country and we treat people with respect regardless of their religious persuasion."

Tim Pawlenty, who runs on a platform of Homophobia and Islamophobia, erroneously commented "The protections between the separation of church and state were designed to protect people of faith from government, not government from people of faith." Well, he got it half right. The Constitution works BOTH WAYS. It protects individual religious freedoms from government intrusion, but it also prevents government from being controlled by a religious majority.

But Tim went on to reveal what a true ignoramus he is, by saying "This is a country that in our founding documents says we're a nation that's founded under God, and the privileges and blessings that we have are from our creator… The Founding Fathers understood that the blessings that we have as a nation come from our creator and we should stop and say thanks and express gratitude for that. I embrace that." Too bad it's utter nonsense. None of our founding documents, especially the United States Constitution, say that in any sense.

Right wing Christian Fundamentalists wish that "The Pledge Of Aligience" was more than just a stupid ritual that entered into America's culture as reaction to fears of Communism. They wish that "under God" was part of our founding documents, and keep asserting that the nation was founded on Biblical Principles. Nothing is further from the truth. The problem with this retarded theory of Christian Dominionism is that it has one thing standing in it's way -- inconvenient facts, such as the texts of our Nation's founding documents, and the quotes from our founding fathers themselves. They are so concerned with avoiding the pesky facts of US History and pushing their mythology, that they not only make up their own facts, but they even write books with bogus quotes from the founding fathers.

Here's a little test you can all perform. All you need is a text file of the United States Constitution. Search the text of the Constitution for the following words -- (1) God, (2) Jesus, (3) Christ, (4) Faith. You do not find God, Christ, Jesus, or Faith at all in the Constitution. One word you do find is "lord", but it is only in the context of a figure of speech "In the year of our Lord..." which was an official, British legal way of announcing the date. In no way does the single appearance of "Lord" in our constitution refer to how government is run. The single reference simply announces that a group of named people were present at the signing of the Constitution "in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven". If our founding fathers were religious, and sought to create a particularly religious nation based on Christian principles, their most basic founding documents, The Declaration Of Independence, and The Constitution Of the United States Of America, which establishes how our nation is set up to run, is pretty empty of religious language. In fact, apart from the first Amendment, Article 6, section 3, is the only other place in the constitution where religion is even mentioned, and it's not very friendly to the idea of America being a nation of religious exclusivity.

You can even try this text search on the The Declaration Of Independence, too. Apart from "Endowed By Their Creator", there is no other religious language in the document. Why all the GOP candidates are spending so much energy pushing this ridiculous mythology about America, is because they really believe that their votes depend on the nation's Jesus-Freaks. They are willing to push marginal and bogus views, promote psuedohistory, and lie to get elected, because they really believe that they can't get elected without catering to Religious Nut-jobs. This strategy will fail as soon as one interviewer challenges their assertions on the subject. All it takes is one setup question, asking the candidates if they believe that the constitution promotes Christian Values, then after they give their positive answer, all the interviewer needs to do is hit them with inconvenient facts, like the text of the Constitution and actual quotes from it's writers. They will fall all over themselves trying to explain things.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Workplace Pre-Employment Drug Screenings

One of the legacies of the Reagan Era that has been the most aggravating for workers, as well as a waste of time, money, and manpower, has been the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988. This act, and the tax breaks that companies get for participating in it, is a waste of money. The anti-drug hysteria of 1980s conservatism was just that -- a hysteria. It's always been an irrational fear of people who smoke pot, based on delusions pushed on people by conservatives and religious nuts.

I've had several jobs since 1988, and each one of them required a pre-employment drug screening. Now, I don't do drugs, and have nothing to hide from taking these tests, but every time I take them, it's a hassle. I've had to wait in lines for long periods, often having to really go bad, because I made sure I had plenty to drink. On one occasion, the people administring the tests were just kids who passed a course at one of those quickie learning centers, and they made mistakes, forcing me to pee a second time. Then, on one memorable occasion, I arrived at the location given to me by the employer, and the place was closed -- as in out of business. They sent me on an all day-trip looking for a bunch of clinics on their extremely out-dated list, each one of which was either no longer a diagnostics place, or which had moved. By the time I got to the last clinic on their list, and found it open, I was in serious pain from holding my pee all day, and I had to wait another hour before I could take the test.

It's aggravating that anyone should have to go through this just to get a job, and just so that your employer can get a tax break, paid for by your taxes, for this utter nonsense.

I call it nonsense, because almost nobody is ever failed on these tests, and often times, you can re-test. Also -- there are plenty of tried-and-true methods for passing on a test, which allow many people to cheat the system. Anyone can carry clean pee with them in a bag. As long as testing allows you to have privacy in the rest room, anyone can cheat by bringing someone else's clean pee in a catheter bag. If employers and government REALLY wanted to test for drugs effectively, they would use Hair, blood, and tissue tests, which are far more accurate, and which few people could cheat on.

Pre-employment drug screenings are a political test. It's basically an employer's or governemnt's way of placing you in a box that says "This person is unpatriotic, liberal, or some kind of trouble-maker". It's obviously not about safety, because if it were, they would want to screen for psychiatric drugs, rather than recreational ones. See, there have been far more workplace safety issues -- and annoying little workplace killing sprees -- attributed to doctor-prescribed psychiatric medication than to marijuana or methamphetamines.

If the government and employers REALLY wanted to test people for drugs that were actually a danger to workers and management, they SHOULD be screening people for Prosac, Zoloft, and Paxil, all of which have such wonderful side-effects as Suicidal tendencies, and other psychotic mood swings .

The term "Going postal" was coined after several well-publicized incidents of post-office killing sprees, perpetrated by people who were on Prosac or other doctor-prescribed antidepressants. It would make far more sense for workplaces to screen people for Prosac to keep us safe from potential killing sprees. Call it discrimination against the mentally ill, but am I wrong for not wanting to work around head-cases who will annoy me with their drama, or have breakdowns for whatever reason, or who might flip out and go on a killing Spree? I do not discriminate against race, creed, color, sex, or sexuality, but I do not believe I am wrong for discriminating against psychos.

If I was going to work somewhere, I'd prefer to work around potheads, than to work around fragile-emotioned potential psychopaths who might forget a few doses of their meds, then come to work with a duffel bag full of guns and ammo. Besides, apart from being mostly harmless while under the influence, potheads will make me look like a much better worker, because they'd be high, goofing around, and well, acting like potheads, while I was actually doing my job. Of course, this is pure fantasy -- the government's own statistics show that people who smoke pot often work just as efficiently as non-pot smokers, but I digress.

Don't keep potheads out of jobs -- keep psychotic people out of jobs, until they can be cured or controlled of their illness. How many people will have to die in workplace-related violence before government realizes that people with serious psychotic disorders are far more dangerous than someone who smokes weed occasionally.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Just a reminder to all those who still like my old website, The site is still up. For a few weeks, I had not visited it, and then I got an email from someone asking me if it was the end. I went to the site, and found PORN! This was no surprise, as my Brother-in-law runs a porn site off of the server that he hosts from. I had a free space on it, and several times, when he upgraded the software or the hardware, my site went kablooey, because he moved folders around, or settings had been set back to defaults.

So I decided to just move over to my own domain, and well, after delay after delay, I did it. It's back up, and well -- it was never gone, really. The files are still on my brother-in-law's server. I re-pointed the domain to a new host, and now the site is back, and nobody can screw it up but me.

Have fun!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Who's politicizing Bin Laden's death?

So I'm looking on my Facebook page and I see someone writing the following:

Let’s be clear on this: OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden!
OBAMA did NOT kill Bin Laden. An American soldier, who Obama, just a few weeks ago was debating on whether or not to PAY, did. Obama just happened to be the one in office when our soldiers finally found OBL and took him out. This is NOT an Obama victory, but an AMERICAN victory!!

I commented that this idiot was essentially doing a cut and paste, and that right-wing blogs have been putting that same comment up everywhere. Of course, the idiot denied it, claiming that it was their own opinion, not something grabbed from some teabagger website. So I did a search for the comments, and found about 400 hits of the IDENTICAL wording.

Why bother lying about something like that?

The irrational cut-and-paste teabaggers don't even realize that using their own logic, Bin Laden shouldn't take credit for the World Trade Center bombing, because he didn't actually do it himself. So why did we bother to go after him?

Of course, I don't buy that kind of illogical crap. President Obama deserves as much credit for this as Ronald Reagan was given for the fall of communism. The difference, of course, is that unlike Reagan, Obama was intimately involved in the planning of the operation; Reagan just said "tear down this wall", after Gorbachev had already begun the process of transforming his country from Communism into something resembling a democracy.

Why does Obama deserve credit for what a soldier did? Well, why does Bin Laden get credit for destroying the world trade Center? Easy -- Obama, before he was elected, said he would make the capture or killing of Bin Laden a priority. He also enacted several policy changes that directly led to the killing.

* First, he ended enhanced interrogation, and went back to the old proven style of interrogation that the CIA used before George W. Bush took office.

* Second, he actually LISTENED to his military advisors, who had been telling his predicessor that the Pakistani government was giving aid to Bin Laden, and stopped sharing intelligence with the Pakistani government.

* Third, he gave orders for intelligence officers to not engage targets, and to simply gather information, follow people, until we have actual proof of Bin Laden's location.

* Lastly, he gave the orders, after intelligence officials had shown him, the pentagon, and the intelligence community the evidence, to plan for the raid.

The level of intimate involvement that the President had in the details of the raid was far more than what George W. Bush did when he went in to Afghanistan back in 2001. There simply is no way to take credit away from President Obama without being inconsistant.

If it were not for Obama, we probably would have given up on Finding Bin Laden, just as George Bush ad done in 2002, when he said "I don't know where Bin Laden is, and I don't care..."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Republicans and Democrats: Is one worse than the other?

Many people (well, nearly always conservatives and Tea-bagger types) often claim that “Republicans and Democrats are all the same” when it comes to dirty politics. The usual claim (often riding off a discussion of a Republican being caught doing ill deeds), is that The Democrats are just as bad, and that it doesn't matter if it was a Republican or a Democrat -- both groups are equal in terms of their slime factor.

Is this claim true? Are they really just as bad?

After some simple (and even after more thorough) research, you will have to agree with me that not only is it NOT true, but that there simply is no comparison to the level of slime in the Republican party versus the Democratic Party.

Let’s start with the worst examples of Republican abuses against the people of the USA.


All of the above is very well documented and reported on. There is no conjecture about it. The facts are part of the official Government investigation, the Nixon Library, and the Library of Congress.

Which Democratic President did anything even resembling the above? I’d certainly love to hear who the Democratic equal of Nixon is, because as far as I can tell, no Democratic President in the 20th century has even come close to the Nixon record.

The Republican “Southern Strategy”:

Now a true believer in the Republican party would obviously defend his party by either denying the racism that oozes from the party, or they will try to suggest that Democrats do the same thing, except they use the fear and hatred that black voters have for white people. Some might fall for this desperation ploy, but name one democrat running for office who ever told black voters that they were going to “keep whitey down” or “punish the white man for racism”. It simply doesn’t happen, and the republicans who use this tactic to try to say that democrats are just as racist, only in reverse, fail to address the fact that historically, Republicans have been against the civil rights act, and tend to oppose laws that attempt to ensure civil liberties.

Ronald Reagan:

Have any Democratic Presidents ever done that?

George W. Bush:

What have Democratic presidents done that’s anything like that?

When one takes all of this – the big overall picture substantiated by historical facts – and asks “how do the Democrats compare”, the answer is a resounding “There is no comparison!” The Democrats simply do not have any record as a whole of the kind of civil rights-violating criminal activity, arrests, convictions, and jail time that the republicans do. You may be able to find some democrats engaging in mudslinging, and other questionable activities each election season, but the Republican Party tends to commit criminal acts and behave like mobsters by comparison.

Bill Clinton is often used as an example of someone who was “as bad as Nixon”, but the Lewinsky scandal was no abuse of federal power, and was no attempt to violate citizen’s rights. In fact, Conservative opponents of Clinton had to pretty much make up phony scandals to make Clinton look bad. The Whitewater Investigation cost us millions of dollars, and was nothing more than Republicans trying to bog Clinton down in a phony scandal. When all was said and done, Whitewater only revealed that Clinton was the victim of an illegal land deal by Jim Mcdougal. Jerry Falwell, and other members of what I like to call “the Criminally insane branch of the right wing”, even invented a “hit list” of people that Clinton allegedly has murdered to keep them from testifying against him in the Whitewater hearings. When the list is examined, though, most of the people on it are still alive.

We can even see this desire to invent artificial scandal against democrats today, as media pundit after media pundit goes on the air and rather than talk about what President Obama HAS DONE, talk about what his COULD DO or MIGHT DO.

Anyone saying that the democrats and republicans are alike is simply wrong. Comparing the Democrats to the Republicans is like comparing school children to the mafia. The Republicans are far worse,far more criminal, and have a long history of racism and criminal prosecutions that the Democrats haven’t even come close to matching.