Monday, July 11, 2016

Going On Vacation...


...and maybe the SMoD (the Sweet Meteor of Death) will arrive at some point; if Trump wins come November, hopefully it will because frankly, if that orange-haired twit wins, its' what we deserve...

Friday, July 8, 2016

With All Due Respect To Reddit's r/Conservative Page...


....HRC's got a point there; it might not be the point they like, but its' a vaild point; looking back at American history, its' only been in the past few decades that Americans' of all stripes have been able to fully contribute to society - in voting, politics, business, etc. - and its' really gotten under the skin of Americans' who seemingly want to yearn for and return us to the good old days....you know, the days when women stayed in the kitchen, blacks didn't try to assert their rights, LGBTs' stayed in the closet, etc.,etc.,etc.

Well, all I can say to them is that, hopefully, those days won't ever freaking come back...

Founder's Quote, 8 July 2016

If individuals be not influenced by moral principles; it is in vain to look for public virtue; it is, therefore, the duty of legislators to enforce, both by precept and example, the utility, as well as the necessity of a strict adherence to the rules of distributive justice. - James Madison, in response to Washington's first Inaugural address — 1789

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Founder's Quote, 7 July 2016

The standard of good behavior for the continuance in office of the judicial magistracy is certainly one of the most valuable of the modern improvements in the practice of government. - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 78 — 1788

My Opinion Of Donald Trump...


...enough said.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Founder's Quote, 6 July 2016

Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others. - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34 — 1788

FBI Director Scathes Clinton Over Emails, No Indictment Recommended

Unless you are living under a rock, you probably heard about FBI Director James Comey - about the most a-political official in Washington at the moment - excoriating Hillary Clinton over her handling of emails while Secretary of State...

I'm of two minds here: on the one hand, HRC has to be breathing a sigh of relief that there won't be an indictment against her, which of course, sent fellow conservatives' heads into a frenzy over it. OTOH, go back and re-read Director Comey's report; he effectively convicted HRC in the Court of Public Opinion, something the Trump Campaign Trumpster Fires will try to use at every available opportunity.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Founder's Quote, 5 July 2016

The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges, if by decency and propriety of conduct they appear to merit the enjoyment. - George Washington, Address to the Members of the Volunteer Association of Ireland — 1783

Monday, July 4, 2016

Declaration Of Independence, 4 July 2016

....from July 4th, 2015.... 

--In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
A DECLARATION By the REPRESENTATIVES of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, In GENERAL CONGRESS assembled.

WHEN in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness—-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The History of the Present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public Good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing Importance, unless suspended in their Operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the Accommodation of large Districts of People; unless those People would relinquish the Right of Representation in the Legislature, a Right inestimable to them, and formidable to Tyrants only.

He has called together Legislative Bodies at Places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the Depository of their public Records, for the sole Purpose of fatiguing them into Compliance with his Measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly Firmness his Invasions on the Rights of the People.

He has refused for a long Time, after such Dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the Dangers of Invasion from without, and Convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the Population of these States; for that Purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their Migrations hither, and raising the Conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the Tenure of their Offices, and Amount and Payment of their Salaries.

He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat out their Substance.

He has kept among us, in Times of Peace, Standing Armies, without the consent of our Legislature.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a Jurisdiction foreign to our Constitution, and unacknowledged by our Laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large Bodies of Armed Troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from Punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all Parts of the World:

For imposing taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended Offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an arbitrary Government, and enlarging its Boundaries, so as to render it at once an Example and fit Instrument for introducing the same absolute Rule in these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with Powers to legislate for us in all Cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.

He is, at this Time, transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the Works of Death, Desolation, and Tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy, scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous Ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized Nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the Executioners of their Friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic Insurrections among us, and has endeavoured to bring on the Inhabitants of our Frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known Rule of Warfare, is an undistinguished Destruction, of all Ages, Sexes and Conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions we have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble Terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury. A Prince, whose Character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the Ruler of a free People.

Nor have we been wanting in Attentions to our British Brethren. We have warned them from Time to Time of Attempts by their Legislature to extend an unwarrantable Jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the Circumstances of our Emigration and Settlement here. We have appealed to their native Justice and Magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the Ties of our common Kindred to disavow these Usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our Connections and Correspondence. They too have been deaf to the Voice of Justice and of Consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the Necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of Mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace, Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of the divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Signed by Order and in Behalf of the Congress,
JOHN HANCOCK, President.

Attest. CHARLES THOMSON, Secretary.


Friday, July 1, 2016

Celebrate The Fourth...


...and offend a liberal!

Founder's Quote, 1 July 2016

Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virture among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another. - Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Federalist No. 55 — 1788

Police Called To Classroom Over Racist Comments...About Brownies?

....so let me get this straight: a third-grader made some comment about brownies being served at an end-of-the-year celebration...and they called the cops over it?
According to Philly.com, a third grader “made a comment about the brownies being served to the class,” after which another student cried “racism,” prompting the school to call the Collingswood Police Department:On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene: an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood.
A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class. After another student exclaimed that the remark was “racist,” the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.
“He said they were talking about brownies…Who exactly did he offend?” said Stacy Dos Santos, the child’s mother, obviously angry about the school’s overreaction. “He was intimidated, obviously. There was a police officer with a gun in the holster talking to my son, saying, ‘Tell me what you said.’ He didn’t have anybody on his side.”
The story doesn’t end there. Not long after contacting the boy’s father and grilling the preadolescent perp for his microaggressions toward brownies, the police referred the incident to New Jersey Division of Child Protection and Permanency. (Independent Journal Review)
...I think the gentlemen below had it right after all....

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Founder's Quote, 30 June 2016

In all very numerous assemblies, of whatever character composed, passion never fails to wrest the sceptre from reason. ... Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob. - Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Federalist No. 55 — 1788

Nothing To See Here...


...yeah, nothing to see here... *sarcastic eyeroll* 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Founder's Quote, 29 June 2016

Without wishing to damp the ardor of curiosity or influence the freedom of inquiry, I will hazard a prediction that, after the most industrious and impartial researchers, the longest liver of you all will find no principles, institutions or systems of education more fit in general to be transmitted to your posterity than those you have received from your ancestors. - John Adams, letter to the young men of the Philadelphia — 1798

Race May Be Used As One Of Multiple Factors In College Admissions, SCOTUS Rules

...and to think, fellow conservatives pinned their hopes on getting rid of affirmative action on a mediocre student....
For the last several years, supporters of affirmative action have awoken every day justifiably fearing that the courts would bring race-conscious university admissions policies to a swift end. The 2006 appointment of Justice Samuel Alito gave conservatives a solid majority on the Supreme Court, and Justice Anthony Kennedy, the closest thing the Court has to a swing voter on issues of race, has not historically been sympathetic to affirmative action.

Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, which the Supreme Court decided on Thursday, was the vehicle opponents of affirmative action chose in order to kill the programs. And, as this case proceeded through one of the most conservative federal appeals courts in the country and then, to two separate trips to the Supreme Court, it looked likely that affirmative action was on its death bed. Worse, for defenders of race-conscious programs, Justice Elena Kagan was recused from Fisher, so Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent death appeared unlikely to change the outcome in this case.

At yet, affirmative action will survive. As ThinkProgress quipped shortly after the second round of Supreme Court oral arguments in Fisher, Justice Kennedy spent the entirety of this litigation playing the role of the Dread Pirate Roberts from Rob Reiner’s classic film The Princess Bride. In that film, the Dread Pirate keeps a captive alive, telling him each night that “I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.” Yet in the end, the pirate does not kill his captive, instead turning over his ship and his title to the new Dread Pirate.

As it was in the movies, so it was Thursday in the Supreme Court — sort of. Though Kennedy appeared likely to kill affirmative action at many turns throughout this case, he cast the key fourth vote to uphold it over the dissents of his three most conservative colleagues. But, while Fisher is a victory for affirmative action, it is only a partial one. Kennedy’s opinion makes it clear that universities have a high and ongoing burden if they want to maintain affirmative action programs. It could also potentially inspire a rash of harassment suits targeting these programs. (Think Progress)
Background: The plaintiff in this case, Abigail Fisher, had applied to the University of Texas back in 2008 and was denied admission, which - given the fact that, according to most news reports, she was a mediocre student at best - should've ended the case right there...unfortunately, Fisher, who is white, decided to sue the university system on the grounds of discrimination, arguing that Texas's admissions program was in violation of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.

Now, Texas's admissions program for UT-Austin (a/k/a the University of Texas) is a two-step process...first, the university allows any student across the state of Texas who graduates in the Top 10% of their high school graduating class (the state's Top-10 rule) admission to the university irrespective of race. Afterward, any open positions remaining in each year's freshman class are filled according to UT-Austin's pre-Top 10 admissions policy, which - among other things - takes in race as one of several factors.

The crux of the case wasn't with the Top-10 part of the university's admissions policy but with the other part of it, where race does play a factor (the reason it doesn't in regards to the former is because that rule, as extablished by Texas law, applies across-the-board irrespective of race). Now, I have no problem with race being used as a factor in admissions so long as it doesn't go against the Court's Bakke decision, which is at present the gold standard for how race should be used as a factor (i.e. not as the prevailing factor in admissions but as one of multiple factors in the admissions process).

So, why was this case important? Had Fisher won here, it would've wreaked havoc on admissions policies across the country as supporters of the plaintiff here could've used it as a cudgel to hammer back at not only the Bakke decision but on the whole idea of equal protection under the law; in addition, as I intimated earlier, Abigail Fisher is no Allan Bakke; unlike Bakke, who was a stellar student by all accounts denied entry based on race, Fisher was, at best, a 3.5 GPA student who tried to get in simply because she was white and got into fit of pique over the fact that, in this case, the university rightfully did the correct thing and didn't admit her.

That said, the issue of whether race should be a factor in university admissions isn't over by any means; from what I've read, the plaintiffs' attorneys have said that they intend to seek out other students around the country affected by similar policies...all I can say here is - besides good luck - is that before you try to use the 14th Amdt. as a cudgel against these policies, pick a better student to attempt the effort with.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Founder's Quote, 28 June 2016

The true principle of government is this - make the system compleat in its structure; give a perfect proportion and balance to its parts; and the powers you give it will never affect your security. - Alexander Hamilton, Remarks in the New York Ratifying Convention — 1788

Monday, June 27, 2016

SCOTUS Throws Out Texas Abortion Law, Reaffirms Right-To-Choose

If this law doesn't put a stake through TRAP laws, what does?
Putting the right to abortion back on the same constitutional footing the Supreme Court laid down nearly a quarter-century ago, a divided Supreme Court on Monday swept away new forms of state restrictions on the way clinics can function.  Together with recent refusals by the Court to allow states to narrow the scope of the abortion right itself, the new ruling in Whole Woman’s Health Clinic v. Hellerstedt thwarted a wave of new laws against women’s choice to end pregnancy.
The Court’s vote was five to three, indicating that the outcome was not affected by the vacancy left by the death in February of Justice Antonin Scalia.  Justice Stephen G. Breyer, handed the assignment to write for the majority by the more senior Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, relied heavily upon the Court’s famous 1992 ruling in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey that Kennedy had helped to put together. (SCOTUSBlog)
Long story short: the decision does two things - (1) it re-affirms the judiciary's role in determining the constitutionality of laws restricting rights protected under the Constitution and (2) the law in question - Texas's H.B. 2 - was so facially unconstitutional that, although the law contained a "severability" provision, every part of the law was basically overturned in today's decision. In addition, the decision here likely also means that similar laws in Alabama and Mississippi - laws also in front of the Court at present - are likely to go out the window as well based on today's case.

What's interesting about this case, from a political standpoint, is that the forced-birth crowd (for the record, I refuse to call them 'pro-life'; pro-life means, among other things, recognizing the right of a woman to carry a pregnancy to term irrespective of what you or I or anyone else may think or say) had tried over the past few years to whittle away at Roe v. Wade by adding restrictions which, on the surface, don't touch abortion per se' but effectively restrict the exercise of abortion as a protected right under the Constitution, hoping to get such a law before the High Court in the off-chance that the Court might overturn Roe...well, they got their opportunity here and lost, big-time.

Founder's Quote, 27 June 2016

It is the duty of every man to render to the Creator such homage, and such only, as he believes to be acceptable to him. This duty is precedent both in order of time and degree of obligation, to the claims of Civil Society. Before any man can be considered as a member of Civil Society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe. - James Madison, A Memorial and Remonstrance — 1785

Friday, June 24, 2016

Brexit? America Did It First...


...well, its' true, isn't it?

Founder's Quote, 24 June 2016

His integrity was most pure, his justice the most inflexible I have ever known, no motives of interest or consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his decision. He was indeed, in every sense of the words, a wise, a good, and a great man. - Thomas Jefferson, on George Washington in a letter to Dr. Walter Jones — 1814

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Britain Votes To Leave EU, Brexit Happens

I never thought I'd see the day when one of the pillars of Europe, the United Kingdom, would actually vote to leave the E.U., as illustrated by the results from tonight's referendum. The question now becomes: what next?

This is definitely a topic for discussion in the days and weeks to come; by the way, open thread, folks. :)

Founder's Quote, 23 June 2016

The State governments possess inherent advantages, which will ever give them an influence and ascendancy over the National Government, and will for ever preclude the possibility of federal encroachments. That their liberties, indeed, can be subverted by the federal head, is repugnant to every rule of political calculation. - Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention — 1788

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

House Democrats Stage Sit-In Over Gun Control Debate

Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere out in the hinterlands - or trying to stay out of this week's oppressive heat wave - you're probably aware of the on-going sit-in protest being staged by House Democrats over guns and gun control and all that....I'm of two minds here: On the one hand, given how sclerotic Congress can be most times, I honestly don't blame House Dems' for doing this; unlike their Senate counterparts, who at least got a vote (4 votes in fact, all of which failed), House rules effectively scotch this, so you can imagine how they're probably feeling.

On the other hand, whatever happened to due process rights? Last time I checked, one didn't lose their constitutional rights (including the right to purchase and keep firearms) except under limited circumstances...and given how error-ridden the Terror Watch & No-Fly Lists are said to be at present, there have to be due process protections here or its' a slippery slope down a path that no American wants to go.

Founder's Quote, 22 June 2016

I am persuaded that a firm union is as necessary to perpetuate our liberties as it is to make us respectable; and experience will probably prove that the National Government will be as natural a guardian of our freedom as the State Legislatures. - Alexander Hamilton, speech to the New York Ratifying Convention — 1788

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hate Pastor's Chruch Lease Not Renewed Due To Hateful Sermon

Talk about karmic justice....
The property management company and owner of the building in which Verity Baptist Church and its Pastor Roger Jimenez preside have decided not to renew the church’s lease, and have asked church officials to consider moving.
While Harsch Investment Properties, owner of the Northgate Business Park where the church is located, cannot legally evict the church under the terms of the lease, representatives of the property management company say they cannot tolerate “tenants who advocate hatred and the taking of innocent lives.”
“We have many places of worship and other religious organizations in the properties we manage,” company officials stated in a press release. “Like all our tenants, their occupancy rights are protected in their leases.”
Officials said they have communicated their views to church officials, and while their lease does not expire until March 31, 2017, the property managers have asked them to consider moving out of the business park.
Managers noted should church officials decide to move out, their lease would be canceled without any penalty. “Just as we respect the right of individuals to speak their views, as distasteful as they may be, we also respect the right of others to protest as a reflection of their values,” the release states. (ABC 10 Sacramento via. Melanie Nathan)
...and given the hateful screed that pastor in Sacramento made last week in regards to the Orlando shooting, karmic justice indeed....

Founder's Quote, 21 June 2016

And as to the Cares, they are chiefly what attend the bringing up of Children; and I would ask any Man who has experienced it, if they are not the most delightful Cares in the World; and if from that Particular alone, he does not find the Bliss of a double State much greater, instead of being less than he expected. - Benjamin Franklin, Reply to a Piece of Advice

Gun Control In A Nutshell...

Friday, June 17, 2016

Seared Music: Gloria Gaynor - "I Will Survive"

....enough said, folks...


"I'm Done Accommodating Religious Hatred Towards Queer Lives"

With all due respect to social conservatives, I couldn't agree with Paul Raushenbush here below more....quoting in foll:
Over the last 48 hours I’ve come to know that I am fully and finally done accommodating religious hatred towards queer lives — whether from foaming mouthed extremists from any religious tradition, or polite, “respectable” religious denominations with which I most closely identify.
I’m done. It’s over.
How utterly pathetic that it took 49 lives slaughtered for me to pack up my “thank you for your point of view on why queer lives are not fully human” table and close shop.
For too long I have tolerated “Setting a big tent” and “Allowing many points of view” and “Dialogue” when talking about LGBT people as if our lives are up for debate and as if the jury is still out on our humanity, our dignity, or our being made beautifully in God’s image.
Fuck “love the sinner, hate the sin.” All I hear in these conversations now is death.
Recently, a woman associate pastor who is the lifeline for closeted LGBT people in her congregation told me that the senior pastor insists that their church be “Welcoming and NOT Affirming.”
DEATH.
Prettified permission to kill others, petrified permission to kill self.
I’m done. Silence = Death.
There is no more debate on queer lives. I will love and be loved and my love is not a question mark in your canon. I will not debate at your annual gathering. There is either death, or life. I will choose life. I will give life. Everlasting.
And now, a benediction from Angels in America: “The world only spins forward. We will be citizens. The time has come. Bye now. You are fabulous creatures, each and every one. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins.” (Huffington Post)
If this past weekend's tragic shooting in Orlando does anything, it should forever put to rest the idea that we in the LGBT community should ever - ever! - take it easy in regards to life in this great Republic. Have we made gains? Hell yes.

Can we as part of America writ large - and America in turn towards us - go further? Yes, quite definitely, even if it means standing right in the faces of the social conservatives - even, as I sometimes like to point - if it means standing right in the faces of fellow conservatives...and saying to them very bluntly, "We're not going to the back of the proverbial bus ever again; we want to be an equal part of this great and grand society that is America; we simply want to be ourselves and not have to worry about whether you accept or not.

America doesn't work like that; there are no qualifiers on anything enshrined in the Constitution that say "these rights are available to everyone but queer lives"...those rights are just as available to us as to anyone else in this great land and I'll be damned if I'm going to continue and sit by, watching as others on my side of the political aisle cast aspersions on my fellow Americans simply for being who they are.

Founder's Quote, 17 June 2016

The good Education of Youth has been esteemed by wise Men in all Ages, as the surest Foundation of the Happiness both of private Families and of Common-wealths. Almost all Governments have therefore made it a principal Object of their Attention, to establish and endow with proper Revenues, such Seminaries of Learning, as might supply the succeeding Age with Men qualified to serve the Publick with Honour to themselves, and to their Country. - Benjamin Franklin, Proposals Relating to the Education of Youth in Pensilvania — 1749

Thursday, June 16, 2016

JV Team...


...yes, I don't think just saying the words "radical Islamisc terrorism" does anything to stop these thugs, brigands, thieves and murderers who cloak themselves in the cloth of one of the three great Abramhamic religions...but, at least Obama (and others in power) should at least acknowledge that such a thing does actually exist, that it is a threat to America and that we need to do something about it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Once Again, Franklin Graham Puts His Foot In His Piehole...

....how else do you explain this?

Where do you begin? Well, to start with, Donald Trump's speech earlier this week was filled with some of the most despicable, vilest language that I've ever heard used towards a sitting president (Media Matters links 1, 2, 3, 4) which makes you wonder at times if we aren't seeing a replay of conditions in Germany c. late 1920's prior to Hitler's rise to power. Of course, this ain't the first time Billy Graham's son has attacked the LGBT community, so none of this surprises me any...what does surprise me is Graham's sanction of it.

Now, I know, under the Constitution, there are and to a great degree should be protections on religious freedom as stated in the 1st Amendment...but when you read Mr. Graham's words above (I refuse to call him a 'reverend'; in my opinion, Franklin Graham is a bigoted thug hiding himself in the cloth of Christianity)one wonders when someone will say to Mr. Graham, 
Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

Founder's Quote, 15 June 2016

The known propensity of a democracy is to licentiousness which the ambitious call, and ignorant believe to be liberty. - Fisher Ames, speech in the Massachusetts Ratifying Convention — 1788

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Founder's Quote, 14 June 2016

Resolved: That these colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved of all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved. That it is expedient forthwith to take the most effectual measures for forming foreign Alliances. That a plan of confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective colonies for their consideration and approbation. - Richard Henry Lee, Resolution in Congress — 1776

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Latest Islamist Attack: 49 Dead In Orlando

I'm of two minds in regards to this Patriot Post article concerning Sunday's horrific mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub...on the one hand, I agree with Mark Alexander's words here in regards to the demagogic language being used on the Left:
The assailant is a “murderer,” not a “gunman.” The attack occurred in a “gun free” zone. And if Obama could wave his executive “magic wand” and remove all firearms from the United States, may I remind you that Islamists worldwide have murdered far more civilians with simple bomb components. Recall that there were more than three times the number of casualties in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by a couple of deranged psychopaths, than in Orlando. That bomb was composed of readily available fertilizer and diesel fuel.

Again, this is not a “gun problem,” and for the record, tens of millions of innocent men women and children have been slaughtered once their means of self-defense was confiscated. See Stalin, Hitler, Mao, et al. (Patriot Post)
On the other hand, I have two questions for Mr. Alexander and for others:

  1. Whenever any of these acts occur, why do we rush to condemn all Muslims as somehow being collectively responsible? Yes, there is such a thing as radical Islamist terror, yet I've known enough Muslims over the years, both American and foreign-born, to know that just as there are whackos and radicals in most every religious faith, there were whackos and radicals w/in the Islamic faith...yet we don't seem to paint adherents of other religions with the same broad brush; why is that?
  2. And why bring up the fact that the perp in this event was a registered Democrat? What relevance does that have to his actions? I mean, I under the vitriol that's thrown at the modern-day Democrat Party, but still...

Founder's Quote, 13 June 2016

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. - Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1 — 1776

Friday, June 10, 2016

Founder's Quote, 10 June 2016

The Constitution on which our Union rests, shall be administered by me [as President] according to the safe and honest meaning contemplated by the plain understanding of the people of the United States at the time of its adoption - a meaning to be found in the explanations of those who advocated, not those who opposed it, and who opposed it merely lest the construction should be applied which they denounced as possible. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Mesrs. Eddy, Russel, Thurber, Wheaton and Smith — 1801

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Elizabeth Warren Eviscerates Donald Trump As "A Thin Skinned, Racist Bully"


....most days I wouldn't give Elizabeth "Fauxahontas" Warren the time of day here...but given what Donald Trump is turning the GOP into and given who I plan on voting for this November (hint: it ain't Trump), all I can say here is "Well said, Senator! Well said indeed!"

Founder's Quote, 9 June 2016

It is too probable that no plan we propose will be adopted. Perhaps another dreadful conflict is to be sustained. If, to please the people, we offer what we ourselves disprove, how can we afterwards defend our work? Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God. - George Washington, as quoted by Gouverneur Morris in Farrand's Records of the Federal Convention of 1787 — 1787

Yeah, That's What Every Father Needs This Father's Day...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Well, That Sucks For Her....

....not really, given who it was in question....
Rep. George Holding won the Republican primary for a newly redrawn district in North Carolina, beating Rep. Renee Ellmers, who became the first GOP incumbent to lose in a primary this year.
Holding, who was first elected in 2012, had 52 percent of the vote with nearly two-thirds of precincts reporting when The Associated Press called the race. Ellmers, a three-term incumbent who was drawn into a new district this year and a rare incumbent-on-incumbent primary with Holding, trailed with 24 percent of the vote. Greg Brannon, a two-time Senate primary candidate, also got 24 percent.
Donald Trump backed Ellmers and recorded a last-minute robocall that her campaign released over the weekend. It was the first time the presumptive Republican presidential nominee had intervened in a congressional race this year. But it failed to make a difference for Ellmers, who faced over $1 million in outside spending from groups including Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth, which were unhappy with her House voting record.
"Tonight sends a clear message to lawmakers that we're going to hold them accountable for overspending and corporate welfare," AFP president Tim Phillips said in a statement to POLITICO. "Voters saw through Rep. Ellmers' support for the Ex-Im Bank and other subsidies and decided they were better off with Rep. Holding. We agree." (Politico)
Now, what was Ellmers' grand sin, you might ask? Put simply, it was that she dared not go along 100% with the batshit crazies that have taken over the Grand Old Party and everyone took their long knives out on her....but don't feel sorry for her, though:

Founder's Quote, 8 June 2016

The aim of every political constitution is, or ought to be, first to obtain for rulers men who possess most wisdom to discern, and most virture to pursue, the common good of the society; and in the next place, to take the most effectual precautions for keeping them virtuous whilst they continue to hold their public trust. - Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, Federalist No. 57 — 1788

Friday, June 3, 2016

Trump Lube...


To the Republicans who are supporting Donald Trump for President.....have some lube, folks; you've earned it! He's your candidate, good luck defending him!

With Due Apologies To My Fellow Conservatives...

After Donald Trump's most recent contretemps' over the judge in the Trump University case, I've come down to one simple, inexorable decision and that is...as much as I loathe Hillary Clinton, as much as I want to see her held accountable for the email server controversy, as much as I despise her foreign policy failures...all that aside, I cannot and will not - I repeat: CAN NOT AND WILL NOT! - vote for a narcissistic, draft-dodging, bully-boy xenophobic bigot, which is exactly what Donald Trump is!

Put simply, I'm voting for Hillary Clinton for President because as much as I hate that evil bitch, at least she's a known quantity - we know her political views, her policy positions, etc. - we know what kind of a person she is. You know what Donald Trump is, ladies and germs? He is a caudillo, an American caudillo who would, if he ever got his haqnds on the reigns of power, would destroy everything this country stands for - its' institutions, its' heritage and history, its' values and beliefs - all that would go right out the fucking window if Donald Trump becomes President, because frankly, we just don't know what the hell his political policies...no wait: we do know his policies and frankly they should scare the hell out of any honest conservative - or any honest American, for that matter...so yeah, I'm going to hold my damn nose and vote for that bitch the Democrat on the Left because as bad as she is, Trump is worse.


P.S. Apologies for the foul language above, but when  it comes to Donald Trump, I'm being exceedingly polite in my thoughts above, folks...

P.P.S. Open thread, folks.

Founder's Quote, 3 June 2016

War is not the best engine for us to resort to; nature has given us one in our commerce, which if properly managed, will be a better instrument for obliging the interested nations of Europe to treat us with justice. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to Thomas Pickney — 1797

HRC Goes After Trump In Foreign Policy Speech

I'm of two minds on Hillary Clinton's foreign policy speech eviserceration of Donald Trump Thursday in California....for what its' worth, it was a well-versed, cogent and frank speech detailing the threat that Trump would pose not just to America but for the rest of world and as much as I don't care for Hillary Clinton, I'll give her props on the speech: it was a damn good speech.

On the other hand, given, (a) some of her foreign policy failures and (b) the contiuning email server scandal, she's almost in no place to complain about Donald Trump.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Founder's Quote, 2 June 2016

When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen; and we shall most sincerely rejoice with you in the happy hour when the establishment of American Liberty, upon the most firm and solid foundations shall enable us to return to our Private Stations in the bosom of a free, peacefully and happy Country. - George Washington, address to the New York Legislature — 1775

Just What We Need...


....and the Left says gun control laws work...yeah, right.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Founder's Quote, 1 June 2016

Your love of liberty - your respect for the laws - your habits of industry - and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness. - George Washington, letter to the Residents of Boston — 1789

Dr. Pepper's New Marketing Campaign?


*scratches head in thought* ....wonder if anyone's told them what the Urban Dictionary definition of "DP" is....on the other hand, I wonder what the hell all the passersby where thinking when they saw that...

Its' Jake, From State Farm....


*looks at picture & deadpans* .....no, Bill, we don't believe its' Jake from State Farm....

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Seven Broken Guardrails Of Democracy

There's an interesting article over at The Atlantic about how Donald Trump got to be the Republican candidate for President in 2016, and it is a very revealing article on just how broken representative democracy in America has become; the crux of it is is that there are certain norms within American politics that one expects candidates of all stripes to adhere to, Trump's basically blown through them like a .50 caliber bullet through stacks of toilet paper...here the 7 broken guardrails Atlantic writer David Frum is referring to (and how Trump got through them):


  1. Americans expect a presidential candidate to act in a certain way; namely, that of personal restraint, the idea that candidates for office should, to a broad extent, be humble in their pursuit. Now, this doesn't mean they have to be Mary Sues in their actions, but it does mean they should acknowledge that their fight is not just for them alone, but for America on the whole. Donald Trump, by his very nature, chucked this one out the window right at the start; as Mitt Romney infamously said about him, ("he) exemplifies what millions of parents would fear in their sons: “the bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics.”
  2. Americans expect some degree of truthfulness in their elected officials and candidates. Case in point: in 1940, FDR campaigned on a platform of - in part - "not getting American boys involved in foreign wars". However, since World War II was already underway in Europe and odds were America would eventually get involved at some point, it didn't mean FDR wasn't trying to get America ready to fight at some point, as illustrated by the Carolina & Louisiana Maneuvers (in other words, he said what he needed to say, but didn't outright lie). By contrast, Donald Trump's lies are so numerous, they're like the zombie hordes in World War Z - one on top of another, on top of another, on top of another, etc.,etc.,etc....indeed, his lies are so numerous that no one even bothers counting them anymore for fear of missing one; worse, he lies so much its' made Americans cynical towards him and its' fed into the Trump (and Clinton, to a lesser extent) narrative that "everyone lies" and "everybody does it".
  3. Americans expect elected officials to have at least a surface knowledge of public policy. Donald Trump doesn't even have the most basic of knowledge on anything; case in point: when asked by conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt about America's nuclear arsenal, Trump couldn't identify the specific parts right. (For the record, the U.S. nuclear triad consists of a bomber force, a sub-based missile force and a land-based missile force.) Now, to be fair, its' generally expected that Republicans will have somewhat less of a surface knowledge of public policy than their Democratic counterparts, but as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush proved, you can mroe than make up for that by having some executive experience prior to running for President (Reagan was a 2-term governor of California, Bush was a 2-term governor of Texas). Unfortunately, thanks to the rise of dingelberries such as Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann and Louie Gohmert, its' no wonder that Americans recoil from Republicans on public policy matters...and Donald Trump doesn't do any better; in fact, in some ways, Trump makes the Quitta' from Wasilla seem smart in some respects.
  4. Regardless of political party, Americans expect some adherence to ideology. While both parties have become more Europeanized (i.e. partisan) in their ideological hewings, Republicans have, through nominating Donald Trump, picked someone who's basically taken conservative orthodoxy and chucked it right into the wastebin (just look at his flip-flops on abortion, the Mexican border wall, his proposed ban on Muslim immigration, etc.). Worse, even if Republicans were to begin complaining, it wouldn't do any good: this is the same political party that thinks than long-time conservatives such as John McCain, Mitch McConnell and Jeb Bush are squishy "RINOs", but have - instead of rejecting Donald Trump outright - embraced Donald Trump because he reflects the exact opposite of the groups opposing him.
  5. Similarly to #3, Americans expect their political leaders and candidates to have at least some bit of working knowledge on national security matters. Unfortunately, Donald Trump - who still, I suspect, doesn't have a clue what the nuclear triad is - has taken this guardrail and crashed through it in a tragic, Francois Cevert-kind of manner (with the GOP losing its' proverbial head in the process). After all, this is the same guy who said NATO was obsolete, who thinks Japan & South Korea should develop nuclear weapons and who thinks Saudi Arabia should develop nuclear weapons, so draw your own conclusions as to what a Trump Presidency would entail.
  6. Americans expect their elected officials to have a respect for both tolerance and diversity in their dealings with the American people. Case in point: while politicians like George Wallace were marginalized within the broader American body politic for espousing racist/proto-racist viewpoints, Donald Trump, by contrast, has been accomodated to such a degree that its' become a sad spectacle in and of itself; worse, as America becomes a more diverse society, this kind of dog-whistle style politics only feeds into the Left's narrative that the GOP is a party of racists and bigots, which doesn't help Republicans down the road.
  7. Finally, Americans, despite adhering to ideology in #4, generally are willing to vote for one party for President, the opposite for Congressional control. Don't believe me? Just look at election results between 1954 and 1992; in that 38-year period, Democrats held control of both houses of Congress (the 6-yr. GOP interregnum, 81-86, notwithstanding) for nearly the entire period despite only winning the Presidency in 1960, 1964, 1976 and 1992. This was due to ticket-splitting whereby Americans would vote for a candidate of one party for President, then turn around and vote for the opposing party in the Congressional election...unfortunately, because of the more partisan nature of American politics these days, ticket-splitting is a far lesser seen phenomenon. Worse, more Americans than ever before now see politics in negative terms, which explains why most Republicans, while horrified at the prospect of a Trump Presidency, are even more horrified at the thought of a Hillary Presidency (even conservative stalwarts such as the Wall Street Journal and National Review have gone this route), effectively saying that while Donald Trump may be an evil threat to America, he's less of a threat than that of Hillary Clinton (which makes no sense given the things Trump has said in regards to numbers' 3 & 5).
So what should we do? That, I don't know....I do know this, fellow conservatives: I myself will never vote for Donald Trump, period. Put that in y'all's pipe and smoke it, okay?

Founder's Quote, 31 May 2016

It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man who knows what the law is today can guess what it will be to-morrow. - James Madison (likely), Federalist No. 62 — 1788

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Is 2016 The Year Of The Libertarians?

There's an interesting article over at Reason.com on whether 2016 could be the year when the Libertarian Party - America's longest-running third party by most standards - makes its' breakout from minor party to political player. For what its' worth, given just how unpopular the Democrat & Republican choices are - or as I like to refer to them as, "Itchy & Scratchy" - it could be their year...but, there are caveats.

(1) People loathe both Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton: This is no understatement; most polls have both of them so far underwater in terms of favorability that one could potentially wonder how we'd gotten this far (a conversation for another time, of course) and it also makes one wonder if it wouldn't be a good thing to vote 3rd-party. On the other hand, unless there's an epic collapse by both parties prior to Election Night, the next president is going to be either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton...period, full stop.

(2) Is the Libertarian Party a viable option? If one goes through the vote totals for about the past 3 decades or so, one could be hard-pressed to find any other 3rd party and/or independent option outside of the L.P. that hasn't finished third behind both the Democrat and Republican parties; there have been exceptions (John Anderson in 1980, Ross Perot in 1992) to the rule there but most elections (whether presidential or mid-term) the L.P. usually finishes third....well-behind the two major parties, but usually third. However, as American history has well shown us, whenever a third-party becomes a viable political option, they generally collapse under the weight of their own expectations and/or hubris (just look at Ross Perot and the then-nascent Reform Party of the 1990's).

(3) Is 2016 a weird-as-hell election? In a word, yes: after all, did anyone predict Donald Trump as the GOP nominee? On the other hand, this time last month, there was still talk  - and lots of it - of a contested GOP convention in Cleveland come July and Bernie Sanders was still an annoying fly in the political ointment of Hillary Clinton. Thirty days later, Donald Trump has clinched the GOP nomination and now everyone thinks the Democratic convention in Philadelphia is sliding towards Chicago 1968 and the Days of Rage surrounding it.

...in other words, 2016 is turning out to be an interesting political season after all....

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Founder's Quote, 26 May 2016

Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined. - Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention — 1788

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Political Thought, 25 May 2016

In regards to the State Dept.'s IG Report on the Clinton E-Mail controversy: if this doesn't sink the Clinton campaign, what the hell would? I mean, seriously, folks, only someone who believes that they are above the law would try to divert attention from their own legal shortcomings by claiming that everyone else did it....Ms. Clinton, Colin Powell did not have a private email server. Neither did he or his subordinates rewrite classified emails to make them non-classified as Clinton and her acolytes did, nor did they violate classification rules in doing so....

....but I guess since its' Ms. Clinton we're talking about, its okay, isn't it, libtards?

Founder's Quote, 25 May 2016

Let the American youth never forget, that they possess a noble inheritance, bought by the toils, and sufferings, and blood of their ancestors; and capacity, if wisely improved, and faithfully guarded, of transmitting to their latest posterity all the substantial blessings of life, the peaceful enjoyment of liberty, property, religion, and independence. - Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution — 1833

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Random Thought, 24 May 2016

Another day, another Trump rally, another protest-turned-near-riot.....if things are bad now, can anyone imagine what things are going to be like come July 2016?

Founder's Quote, 24 May 2016

I hope, some day or another, we shall become a storehouse and granary for the world. - George Washington, letter to Marquis de Lafayette — 1788

Monday, May 23, 2016

Seared Music: Don Henley - "Sunset Grill"

...you know, I'm not a gambling man but I'd bet that if we went to the aforementioned Sunset Grill, we might find people better able to run this country than most of what passes for our elected officials...

Group Of Pastors Ask Smithsonian To Remove Bust Of Planned Parenthood Founder

...well, given that Margaret Sanger also espoused views that modern society would consider racist, how that woman is even in the Smithsonian should be a question for our elected officials...
(CNSNews.com) – A group of black pastors sent a letter to the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery asking that the bust of Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger be removed from the museum’s “Struggle for Justice” exhibit, citing her support for eugenics and the targeting of minorities by the nation’s largest abortion provider.
"Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies, an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as ‘the feeble minded;’ speaking at a rally of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers," the letter from Ministers Taking a Stand states.
“Also the notorious ‘Negro Project,’ which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild,” the letter states. “Despite these well- documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice. The obvious incongruity is staggering!” the letter states.
Think about that for a moment, folks....alongside the heroes of the civil rights movement is a person whose organization, America's Butcher Shops (o/k/a Planned Parenthood) has discussed the wholesale harvesting and sale of fetal body parts and who had a well-known history of racist comments towards blacks in general, one has to wonder just what the Smithsonian was thinking giving her space there....

Founder's Quote, 23 May 2016

Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. - Benjamin Franklin, 1771

Liberals, Remind Me Again About Diversity...


.....never mind; once again, liberals prove they're hypocrites... *mic drop*

Friday, May 20, 2016

Seared Music: Led Zeppelin - "Trampled Under Foot"

....thanks to my sinuses, this is pretty much how I've felt most all of this week...

PA Senator Calls On Google To Apologize For Doodle Honoring Cop-Killing Supporter

....hey, Google: whatever happened to "Do no evil?"
Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), in a letter sent to Google parent company Alphabet Inc. CEO Larry Page, today called on Google to exercise more discretion and apologize for their homepage tribute to Yuri Kochiyama - a radical activist who publicly supported convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal and voiced support for Osama bin Laden and other terrorists. (PA Sen. Pat Toomey, R-PA)
....in a perfect world, the Philly cops would've - and frankly, should've - shot Abu-Jamal the night he shot and killed PPD Officer Daniel Faulkner...how that man - Mumia Abu-Jamal, that is - has remained an oxygen-thief for over 3 decades is a mystery to the average person...

Founder's Quote, 20 May 2016

A Man may, if he know not how to save, keep his Nose to the Grindstone, and die not wirth a Groat at last. - Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack — 1742

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Seared Music: Cream - "Strange Brew"

*reads song title* ...sounds like the shit that Branch Trumpidians drink in order to get themselves to support Donald Trump...just saying, folks.

Two For One Sale...


...I'm old enough to remember the first go-round of Bill & Hillary and despite voting for Bill in 1996 (I was only 17 in 1992; couldn't vote for him then)....it still ain't getting me to vote for that orange-skinned sonuvabitch Trump, though.

Founder's Quote, 19 May 2016

It seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and force. If there be any truth in the remark, the crisis at which we are arrived may with propriety be regarded as the era in which that decision is to be made; and a wrong election of the part we shall act may, in this view, deserve to be considered as the general misfortune of mankind. - Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 1 — 1787

Liberal Hypocrisy...

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Muslim Groups Block LGBT Groups From U.N. AIDS Conference

....and I thought American Christianists were bad at this kind of stuff....
A group of 51 Muslim states has blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from attending a high-level meeting at the United Nations next month on ending Aids, sparking a protest by the US, Canada and the EU.
Egypt wrote to the president of the 193-member general assembly on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to object to the participation of the 11 groups. It did not give a reason in the letter, which Reuters has seen.
Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, wrote to the general assembly president, Mogens Lykketoft, and said the groups appeared to have been blocked for involvement in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy.
“Given that transgender people are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population, their exclusion from the high-level meeting will only impede global progress in combating the HIV/Aids pandemic,” Power wrote.
UN officials said the EU and Canada also wrote to Lykketoft to protest against the objections by the OIC group, whose members include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Sudan and Uganda. (Huffington Post)
....with all due respect to the OIC and the countries involved, fuck your bigoted selves very much. Remind me again why we're supporting some of these countries again? With friends like these....

Founder's Quote, 18 May 2016

Since private and publick Vices, are in Reality, though not always apparently, so nearly connected, of how much Importance, how necessary is it, that the utmost Pains be taken by the Publick, to have the Principles of Virtue early inculcated on the Minds even of children, and the moral Sense kept alive, and that the wise institutions of our Ancestors for these great Purposes be encouraged by the Government. For no people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffusd and Virtue is preservd. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauchd in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders. - Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren — 1775

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Political Thought, 17 May 2016

.....as bad as things were supposed to be going into the Republican Convention this July (remember Roger Stone's infamous "Days of Rage" comment?), the more I read about what happened at this past weekend's Democratic state convention in Nevada, I'm not too sure it won't be the Democratic Convention in Philly that erupts in rage this summer...

Founder's Quote, 17 May 2017

Nevertheless, to the persecution and tyranny of his cruel ministry we will not tamely submit - appealing to Heaven for the justice of our cause, we determine to die or be free.... - Joseph Warren, American account of the Battle of Lexington — 1775

Monday, May 16, 2016

Seared Music: Pete Seeger - "Which Side Are You On?"

.....as for the 2016 Presidential election, I know this much: NEVER TRUMP!

Anti-Gay Hate Group Pushing "Bathroom Bills" Have Long Sordid History Of Discrimination Against LGBT Community

Quoting: Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is the right-wing legal group behind the recent assaults on LGBT equality and women’s reproductive healthcare. But when they’re not playing nice in media appearances, ADF pushes an extreme and terrifying legal agenda, including defending laws that criminalize homosexuality.

....given that the ADF was designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center back in 2010, none of this surprises me; Media Matters has a long list of their misdeeds, such as....

...and yet most media outlets, rather than call them for what are, meekly refer to them as a "Christian legal organization"....yeah, right. And Donald Trump was a Rhodes Scholar too, I'll bet...

H/T to Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters

Founder's Quote, 16 May 2016

Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck. - Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Smith — 1822

Why Socialism Fails...


...any questions, folks?

Friday, May 13, 2016

Donald Trump Issues Veiled Threat Towards WaPo, Jeff Bezos Over Negative Coverage

....alright, Trumpiots, remind us again why he should be the 45th President of the United States?
Skip to 13:15 of the clip below. I’m going to guess that this interview was conducted after WaPo reached out to him for comment yesterday on their new story about “John Miller.”
Peter Suderman said everything that needs to be said about this. Nothing in the campaign to come will top Trump’s debate statement about issuing illegal orders to the military for sheer authoritarian creepiness — I hope. But a would-be president hinting that tax and antitrust problems might befall a company owned by a guy whose newspaper has been running stories he doesn’t like is up there with what he said about tightening libel laws for second place. To this day, you’ll see references from time to time on conservative blogs to a joke Obama told early in his presidency about getting the IRS to audit his political enemies. That joke lost its humor after we found out who Lois Lerner is; it’s used today as evidence that Obama’s mind always held a seed of thuggishness that grew and flowered in his second term. Now here’s Trump implying the same thing, without the humor. Had O said this about some right-wing media mogul whose publication had been critical of him, conservative media would be in a frenzy over “gangster government” trying to intimidate its critics into silence. Because it’s Trump, most righty media won’t care. If nothing else, that’s at least true to the revanchist spirit of Trump’s nationalist movement. If the left’s going to abuse government to intimidate its political enemies, why shouldn’t we? “Small government” is for chumps. This is war.
Meanwhile, enjoy Donald Trump, of all people, slamming a billionaire for using his tremendous influence over the media to advance his own political interests. Is that his real beef with Bezos? That Bezos had to pay to gain the power to shape media coverage that Trump, the expert showman, has enjoyed for free for the past year? Bezos paid $250 million for one paper; Trump’s wrung $2 billion in gratis promotion out of the full spectrum of television media over the past 11 months alone. (Go figure that WaPo, with a forthcoming book on Trump, wants to monetize public interest in him the way every other media outlet in America does.) Maybe what you’re seeing here on some level is a master manipulator’s disdain for an amateur.
Fitting that it happened on Hannity’s show, too. You’ll notice that the host, a long-professed enemy of big government and scourge of Obama’s abuses, doesn’t utter a peep as President Trump puts Bezos on notice. In hindsight, what percentage of “conservative” complaints about policy and statism during the tea-party era were really just wallpaper for the cultural resentments unleashed by Trump? Ninety? (Hot Air)
 Long story short: a few months back, Donald Trump - back when there was viable GOP opposition to the Narcissistic-in-Chief - opined that we should open up the libel laws so that he could sue anyone who wrote anything negative about him. Now, anyone with a modicum of common sense - which wouldn't include Trumpiots, by the way - knows that Trump's peddling bullshit of the rankest order, but hey, if it deflects attention from him, why not?

Anyway, fast forward to this week, when the Washington Post - owned by Amazon's Jeff Bezos - published a front-page article alleging that Trump once masqueraded as a PR flack named John Miller back in the early 90's...cue the faux outrage from Trump and his media ass-kissers at Fox News over it and you can imagine where this one's gonna' go, especially after the Washington Post rightfully defended itself over the "Donald Trump is PR flack John Miller" article.

Here's the problem for Trump: under most libel law standards, Donald Trump would have a very hard time getting a libel suit to succeed against WaPo because Trump is a public celebrity and under most interpretations of libel law, anyone in the public sphere cannot sue for libel unless whatever is written about them is a deliberate falsehood, which by most accounts the WaPo article doesn't meet (in other words, its' a legit article). However, it offers, as the Boston Globe points out, a glimpse into what a Trump presidency would look like...hint: its' authoritarian, to say the least.

Indeed, as the Globe piece points out, Trump has long hinted at going after Bezos for his ownership of the Washington Post, alleging that Bezos is using the paper as a political tool to attack Trump...well, here's a newsflash, Mr. Trump: in a free society, that's one of the roles the media is supposed to play, the role of a watchdog over our political chattering classes. In most cases, they do a pretty good job (albeit w/a liberal bias most days). His threat agst Bezos - namely using the DOJ's anti-trust division to go after him - goes well beyond authoritarian because it also serves as an act of intimidation against both WaPo and other major newspapers of note, a way of saying, "if we can after them, we can come after you".

At best, this should be - like his not wanting to release his tax records - an automatic disqualifier for President....at worst, it is yet another example of why Donald Trump should not be President of the United States.