Saturday, December 15, 2007
Senators Feingold of Wisconsin, Byrd of West Virginia and Sanders of Vermont voted to stop the flow of billions of tax dollars to Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon , General Dynamics, United Technologies and TRW Inc.
Only three. The others paid the piper.
So much for our republic.
Many fundamentalist churches put on gala nativity scenes with lots of music, lights and spectacle. Odd that they seem to glamorize this holiday so intensely when, in fact, most of the 'story' is mythology borrowed from earlier times and pagan religions.
Odd, too, because many fundamentalists like to regularly slap 'sin' and damnation' onto anybody who doubts any line of the bible. Yet, they laud this thinly documented story. Of course, if the boy named Jesus had had an ordinary birth, like other boys at this time, then the prophesies about him would not be valid and their claim, Son of God, would be even more in doubt.
Strange, too, that when the nativity scene is packed away for another year, Joseph never gets another nod in the New Testament and Mary makes only one or two cameo appearances. One of them is a rebuke of her by Jesus himself. So much for family values.
Friday, December 14, 2007
There is also a link to a fascinating study of the evolution of a Jewish sect, "Natural History of Ashkenazi Intelligence." The study concludes that what had happened to Jews was, as the authors put it, "natural selection, stemming from their occupation of an unusual social niche."
Is it coincidental that this report and the biblical report center around the people of Israel? Fascinating science like this is being reported every day and it is hard to keep up with all of the new discoveries that scientists bring us.
Sadly, the ID folks huddle in their church basements and lament this science and wail and cry over these new discoveries. Which is fine with me, as long as they do it in the basement rather than out in the open, making fools of themselves.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I wrote about this situation here and about her 14-year-old autistic son whose clothes caught fire trying to warm himself in this article. This afternoon my wife discovered, while visiting the boy in the hospital, that FirstEnergy made a gross error and she did not owe $600 at all! The $600 was from the previous tenant who left town without paying it.
What Fortune 500 company operates with this incompetence?
This family has suffered a great deal at the hands of FirstEnergy. Two weeks of living in a house as cold as a meat locker because of incompetence! An autistic boy needing skin grafts because he was so cold he leaned on the stove to warm his bones, literally.
I hope Anthony J Alexander, CEO of FirstEnergy, has some discomfort of his own over this debacle. Fortune 500 Corporation? Sure!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Don't you just wonder who those 16 'no' votes were from? I bet I could make some fairly accurate guesses.
First I'd guess that most if not all were Republicans because, as we all know, they are the party that is 'tough on crime.'
Next, I'd guess that they are right-of-center Christians, perhaps evangelicals. After all, the Bible says...
Last, I bet they are angry folks, bitter about something in their personal lives.
I wonder how close to the truth I came?
Here's another question that just popped up in my brain: Which state will be the LAST state to ban capital punishment? Come on, think, think hard.... OK, here's a clue: remember the years 1995 - 2000 Do you need another one? Think nasty, think vengeance, think preemptive war...
Reminds me of that old poem:
The dinosaurs are not all dead,
I saw one the other day raise his head.
He turned his head and looked my way.
Then opened his mouth and began to say:
"Tell me, have all the lunkheads died out yet?"
Up pops Mike Huckabee on our TV screens: smooth talking southern guy with not many passport stamps. Shucks, he's a likable sole, ain't he? Kind of shallow but, what the hell, he has a nice smile. Church-going man, too; a former minister. Praise Jesus. Likes war and guns too. Doesn't care much for gays. Folks with AIDS either, as he said back in 1991, he'd like to corral them all in a pen to protect us from their infection. None too bright on the scientific level apparently.
Gosh, won't it be fun to have another 'regular guy' in the mold of George Bush running our country for another 4 or, praise God, 8 long years? I think he ought to pick Tom Tancredo as VP to keep that Darth Vader tradition alive as well.
Tom and Huck! Downright folksy.
He painted himself as an ultra-conservative toady of Bush and the folks in Ohio's 5th Congressional district loved him. He won each of the 16 counties. His TV spots cast his latest opponent as an ungodly abortionist, illegal alien-loving liberal, while he stood in front of a church with his wife and family. The bobblehead voters believed it all.
As the map shows, these 16 counties were not all solid Bush '04 counties, yet his message of strict conservative 'values' swept him to victory.
What that says about the up-coming presidential battle next year is any one's guess. Three factors must be noted about this special election: his opponent was a woman, his father was a well-known politician and the weather was awful. Yet his sweep cannot be overlooked as the state gears up for the '08 election.
One thing is crystal clear: conservative voters do show up at the polling booth come rain or shine.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
VERIZON BUSINESS VP for Human Resources Bob Toohey
BURGER KING CEO John W. Chidsey
AMERICAN AIRLINES President and CEO Gerald Arpey
Hates Mexican immigrants too. He was the only GOP candidate absent from the Spanish-speaking debate a few days ago. Swell guy.
No doubt he has a flag in every room of his house. Yet strangely, he was absent when called up for service in Vietnam. Reminds me of Dick Cheney. Seems that young Tom fought hard to stay out of 'serving our country in a time of war.' He asked for a 1-Y deferment from serving in Vietnam. Why? Because he claims that he was treated for mental illness while in high school.
Go Tom Go! You DO support the troops, as long as it isn't you in that army khaki. What a fraud, like most of the bellicose right-wingers. They all love war...as long as it is some other kid doing the fighting and dying.
Monday, December 10, 2007
A homegrown, white terrorist, one of a string of young men who have opened fire on schools, shopping centers and now churches. The model is Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber who killed 167 men, women and children in an act of right-wing terrorism.
Eric Rudolph, whose targets included two abortion clinics, a gay and lesbian night club, and the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, was another white man driven to terror. Some anti-abortionists think of him as a hero.
Of course, the KKK still lives on as knots of angry white men spew their hate at blacks and Jews across the nation. Apparently they have given up their lynching habits.
Two white teens slaughtered many at Columbine High School in the nation's deadliest school shooting. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold armed themselves to the teeth as they methotically carried out their plan and suicides.
White supremacists John William King, 23, Lawrence Russell Brewer, 31, Shawn Allen Berry, 23, dragged James Byrd to death behind a pick-up truck in Jasper, Texas.
Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, were convicted of the hate-crime murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student attending the University of Wyoming.
In Red Lake Minnesota, Jeff Weise, 16, killed his grandfather and companion, then arrived at school where he killed a teacher, a security guard, 5 students, and finally himself, leaving a total of 10 dead.
In Pennsylvania, 32-year-old Carl Charles Roberts IV entered the one-room West Nickel Mines Amish School and shot 10 schoolgirls, ranging in age from 6 to 13 years old, and then himself. Five of the girls and Roberts died.
All angry white men. Homegrown terrorists. Sick men with access to weapons.
And some people in this nation are worried about Mexicans coming across the border. Of course, they do have brown skin.
I wrote about this family a week ago [here] and today we were informed of the burned boy's condition. In that post I reported that the FirstEnergy bill and fine was paid on a Friday afternoon, but, due to much incompetence by Toledo Edison, was not turned on until afternoon on Tuesday. That afternoon I met the boy and could not believe how cold his hands were- they felt like the hands of a corpse!
The furnace at his rental house took a long time to bring the temperature back up from near-freezing and apparently his autism failed to warn him of the dangers of his action.
The $1.6 billion profit earned by FirstEnergy in the 3rd quarter comes at quite a human cost.
In a separate sentencing case that did not involve crack cocaine, the court also ruled in favor of judicial discretion to impose more lenient sentences than federal guidelines recommend.
Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissented.
No doubt there is an uproar today on the right-wing talk shows, FoxNews, and blogs. "They" will be back on the streets to sell more drugs and rob more stores. The 'they' are, of course, the black inner city males who are the 'curse' on our society. Of course, most of the right-wingers don't live in the inner city or, for that fact, in cities at all. But they will scream and holler at this SCOTUS decision.
It feeds their racism.
- Dickens, A Christmas Carol
How proud Al Gore looked this morning on live television as he received the Noble Peace Prize in Oslo, standing among the other recipients. Dignified, smiling, he arose from his chair and shook the hand of the other co-recipient, and accepted this august award for his doggedly firm stance on global warming and its consequences.
One can only dream, as Scrooge did, of what the past might have been if things had been different.
I contrast this proud moment to that of the man who won the White House; a man filled with arrogance, self-righteousness, swagger, and, above all, foolishness. And lies and death, destruction, and ultimately shame.
Peace be with you, too, Al Gore. You have lifted our troubled nation on this proud day from the morass in which we find ourselves.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
In September 2002, four members of Congress met insecret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
The lawmakers who held oversight roles during the period included Pelosi and Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), as well as Rep. Porter J. Goss (R-Fla.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan).
So Ms. Pelosi, waterboarding met with your personal standards? Apparently she, like so many Americans just after 9-11, were so filled with rage and fear that standards of morality were nixed and the 'blind eye' became the norm. Violence begets violence.
As so many warmongers have said : "9-11 changed everything!" Apparently even morality standards.
As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him - and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?“ Then He said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
Who is [are] the newest savior[s] of our nation over in the CIA? Clearly one or more brave senior members of that staff threatened to leak the NIE Report on Iran to the press if the Bush Administration did not release it. There is no doubt in my mind that Bush was forced to release it.
The right-wing talking heads and bloggers, fed by the White House PR Team, are right now castigating the report, hoping to save this president from the same fate as Nixon. As I type this, a bevy of Republican talking heads are making the rounds on the Sunday morning shows, spinning that report, watering it down, picking out parts of it to keep the fear alive, the fear that will keep the masses afraid, very afraid.
Hopefully in my lifetime, the name or names of these brave and patriotic Americans will be revealed. They along with Mr. Felt ought to be memorialized in statues on the White House lawn.
Their minds are like steel doors, unable to be opened to any fresh and differing ideas. 'Stubborn' doesn't quite get it, nor 'stupid.' They appear normal, walk with a regular gait, and even speak well. Unless, of course, you press a button. Then, like one of those talking Christmas dolls, the pre-programed message spews out and plays over and over.
Surely we all know these lunkheads; I've got one as a brother-in-law. Quite a smart chap, he, unless I press his button, then he becomes a mindless buffoon, reciting the pre-programmed
message over and over again.
Each Saturday we in Toledo are able to read that usual pap from op ed columnist for The Blade, Jack Kelly. He has two pre-programmed messages- Democrats are bad and the Bush War is good. On C-span's Washington Journal each morning three or four of the callers regularly lay down the same script only verbally. One this morning told us that we need to bomb the hell out of the insurgents and those Americans against the war ought to be deported. Sure.
I suppose it all began with the excellent propaganda piece produced by the Bush/Cheney PR Team before the preemptive invasion. Fear, flags, lies and patriotism. That's the recipe, simple stuff to make, with long-lasting effects. Apparently, very long-lasting for lunkheads.
There are blogs, too, that are run by these lunkheads. I stumbled into one just yesterday right here in Toledo. KoozNews. Be sure your anti-virus software is up-to-date before clicking over there! Your brain may become infected. He has links to Rush, Coulter, Beck, Savage and Drudge and FoxNews so you may already suspect some brainwashing.
The blog administrator is a 'producer for Toledo’s # 1 news talk radio station. Have been producer for the station going on almost four years. Trying to attain my goal of becoming a talk show host dealing with political issues.'
He has no chance of that here in Toledo. One of his heroes is the recently-dumped former WSPD Radio personality, Bob Frantz. Bob was booted out due to his extreme right-wing views. Luckily he landed at a cesspool station in Cleveland where he continues to spew his hate. Toledo didn't have enough hard-core bigots to sustain his ratings.
Maybe Mr. Kooz would have a chance on WPOS-FM, the Christian radio station in the Toledo market. After all, his biography begins with this: A born-again Independent Baptist believing Christian with political leanings toward Libertarian and Republican values. Believer and supporter of strict interpretation of the Bible and U.S. Constitution. I believe all people are born into sin and in need of Salvation through The Blood of Jesus Christ. Man must acknowledge sin and repent and accept the gift of of Christs’ death on the Cross for the sins of man. I believe in the Trinity of God The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. I believe the Ten Commandments should be displayed in every public building including schools.
Apparently Mr. Kooz believes that folks here in the Toledo market want to hear about Jesus and Bush, Cheney and the Bible, Rumsfeld and the Ten Commandments, waterboarding and the blood of Christ.. Surely he would attract all of the evangelicals in the area who need to have their heads reprogrammed from time to time.
Here's an interesting line in the bio: 'I believe the United States is in moral decline due to its continual removal of the Christian God from personal and public life.'
I know, I know, some of you are snickering and I did too, but you have to remember that he is one of those lunkheads of which I spoke at the top of the page. He's pre-programmed to the propaganda's four: fear, flag, lies, and patriotism. Only those very vulnerable are still 'with the program,' so to speak. America's moral decline is because of 'those' people, 'that group,' but clearly not with the ruling junta, the warmonger-in-chief. After all, George Bush is a born-again Christian. Praise Jesus and pass the ammunition.