More Burning Stupidity

 Featured, Gay Issues, Legislature, Politics, Society  Comments Off on More Burning Stupidity
Apr 042013
 

Louie GohmertWe’ll start with the lesser of the today’s stoopids. So long as there is U.S. Representative Louis Gohmert, there will blazing stupid things to report. Louie’s latest convolution of logic explains his oppostion to reasonable gun control. According to Louie, you can’t restrict the size of gun magazines because gay marriage leads to bestiality. Or something like that.

First, let me just say that I’m from Florida. We have a constitutional amendment here, and laws on the books prohibiting gay marriage, so we don’t have gay marriage in Florida. Yet in 2011, our glorious legislature took three tries to finally pass a law making bestiality illegal…and the reason for that was because of a rash of reported cases which couldn’t be prosecuted. So Louie, gay marriage has nothing to do with bestiality or gun control.

Here’s what, always good for some stupid, Louie Gohmert had to say:

In fact, I had this discussion with some wonderful, caring Democrats earlier this week on the issue of, well, they said “surely you could agree to limit the number of rounds in a magazine, couldn’t you? How would that be problematic?”

And I pointed out, well, once you make it ten, then why would you draw the line at ten? What’s wrong with nine? Or eleven? And the problem is once you draw that limit ; it’s kind of like marriage when you say it’s not a man and a woman any more, then why not have three men and one woman, or four women and one man, or why not somebody has a love for an animal?

There is no clear place to draw the line once you eliminate the traditional marriage and it’s the same once you start putting limits on what guns can be used, then it’s just really easy to have laws that make them all illegal.

But maybe the greatest of show of stupid to come ’round the bend in recent YEARS comes unfortunately from my home state of North Carolina, and the Republican led state legislature.  I suspect they made Thomas Jefferson cry today when two legislators from Rowan County Harry Warren and Carl Ford, and 11 other idiots, sponsored legislation to make Christianity the official state religion. No word on which version of Christianity the intended to force on everyone, but the two Rowan legislators were Baptist, so I’m guessing everyone would have to switch to Southern Baptist. Continue reading »

A landlord should be able to discriminate

 Featured, Gay Issues, Legislature, Politics, Society  Comments Off on A landlord should be able to discriminate
Feb 162013
 
This entry is part 2 of 4 in the series Hate Groups

david_smith_ifiAccording to David E. Smith of the Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay group claiming to be concerned with protecting heterosexual-only marriage, “A landlord should be able to discriminate and say, Look, I don’t want to rent my apartment out or my condo out to anyone who doesn’t share my values.”

This from an article at One News Now, an arm of the SPLC designated hate group, American Family Association, which discusses the recent passage of an equal marriage rights bill in the Illinois Senate. David E. Smith of the Illinois Family Institute tells OneNewsNow that homosexual marriage is not equal. “That’s not to say that homosexual people are not equal — I’m saying that the relationship is not equal; they are two different things,” Smith shares.

Yet despite that fact that the Senate attached an amendment that explicitly states no church or other religious organization will be forced to solemnize same-gender marriages, that’s just not enough for Smith.

And why would that not be enough. Well, because despite their claims:

This fight has never been about marriage. Gay people aren’t clamoring to get married in churches (most want nothing to do with church), they simply want the same legal protections offered by the government to people in long-term committed relationships. The fight is because David E. Smith, despite claiming to be a Christian, is really a liar. In one breath he says he believes homosexuals are equal, yet in another he says business owners should be able to discriminate. That’s not “equal.”

You see David E. Smith is either one of the biggest idiots in Illinois, or one its biggest liars. The article goes to state, “Smith remains concerned that, should the measure become law, people of faith who own businesses such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, and wedding halls will be forced to do business with homosexuals.” Well, I hate to tell him this, but they are already prohibited, by Illinois state law, from discriminating. This changes nothing.

So David, which is it, are you an idiot or a liar, or both?

The Brokeback Mountain Battle in the War on Christians

 Business, Culture, Gay Issues, Movies, Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on The Brokeback Mountain Battle in the War on Christians
Apr 102006
 

The latest attempt to distract Americans from important issues has been a declaration by the wingnuts on the religious right that there is a “war on Christians.” Just two weeks ago, a conference titled, “War on Christians” was held in Washington, D.C., of course only 300 participants showed up. (Just like Washington…to hold a war without enough troops.)

Obviously, there’s a possible difference of opinion on whether or not such a war really exists. But a little focus is never a bad thing when it comes to understanding.

On April 4, the Los Angeles Times published an article about Wal-Mart selling the video for “Brokeback Mountain.” The subtitle was “Christian group accuses the retailer of ‘pushing an agenda’ by featuring the gay-themed film.”

“It wasn’t even a blockbuster movie,” insisted Randy Sharp, director of special projects for the 3-million member American Family Association, “so if Wal-Mart isn’t trying to push an agenda, why would they put it at the front door?” Sharp noted that the national retailer was “trying to help normalize homosexuality in society.”

This is just one minor skirmish, but indicative of much more. We can only pray that at a certain point in life, people of good will have to say enough already.   Continue reading »

Dead Eye Dick

 Politics, Presidency  Comments Off on Dead Eye Dick
Feb 132006
 

By now, I’m sure most everyone has heard about the Vice President shooting his "friend" Harry Whittington. I’m sure accidents can happen, but a whole lot of this story sure does not add up.

Let’s run down the list. Of course the VP’s office is blaming the mishap on Whittington. He supposedly walked up on the VP without the VP knowing it. So, what’s the Secret Service for. This would mean the Secret Service allowed a man with a gun to sneak up on the Vice President of the United States.

The owner of the hunting ranch, and an eyewitness, was supposedly told by the Vice President’s office to be the person to release the information the press. But of course, not until after she got a late night call from Karl Rove. And then, despite the guy being in the intensive care unit after having taken nearly 200 pellets in his face and torso, she describes it lightly by saying he merely got "peppered" pretty good.

During lunch today I watched Presidential Press Secretary, Scott McClellan’s, press conference. Despite the whole thing happening at 5pm, McClellan says the President wasn’t told that Cheney was the shooter until late in the evening, and McClellan wasn’t told until 6am Sunday. His excuse…they were gathering the facts. Come on, the Vice President shot someone, and no one was sure what happened?

A deputy sheriff was not allowed to interview the VP at the time, and oh, these were two married men on a hunting trip with two women, not their wives. The Secret Service arranged to have the Sheriff interview Cheney Sunday morning.

So my guess is that the VP and his party had been doing some drinking. They might have even thought they just wouldn’t admit that Cheney was the shooter. I’m thinking that Whittington was more injured than we’ve been lead to believe. He was flown out by helicopter. I think they were all afraid he might die, so no one was willing to take the fall for Cheney. So the first report was that someone in the VP’s hunting party got shot, but apparently they weren’t even telling the White House who did the shooting. I’d say they didn’t want any record of having admitted it was Dick until they could try to get one of the other people to take the fall.

No one would step up, and maybe they even pissed this Armstrong lady off in the process, so she went to the press. Then Karl called to smooth things over, so she softened story. I’d say it wouldn’t be a good idea for her to go hunting again with the Vice President.

This Week's Stupid Is As Stupid Does

 Religion, Right Wingnuts, Society  Comments Off on This Week's Stupid Is As Stupid Does
Dec 022005
 

It appears that, along with Bill O’Reilly, the Right Wingnut organization, American Family Association, is threatening boycotts and complaining because some companies are using "Happy Holidays" in their advertising instead of "Merry Christmas." I mean why should we acknowledge Hanukkah, after all Judaism isn’t a real religion. (Said rhetorically).

Get a grip. Here’s what I don’t understand. I could care less about whether or not someone says Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. I don’t go to the store to get grated. I do appreciate any greeting at all, but don’t care what it is so long as it is polite.

If these goof-balls really gave a shit about observing the holiday, the real issue would be forcing these stores to actually close in observance of the holiday so their employees can enjoy one day off each year. This has long been an issue with me. I mean really, is the U.S. economy in such dire straits that retail establishments can’t take two days out of 365 to be closed? (Thanksgiving Day and Christmas).

So, maybe I’m a bit of a wingnut too, but if this group wants me to support their boycott, make the issue something is meaningful.

Fighting Abroad and Fighting At Home

 Congress, Corruption, Politics, War  Comments Off on Fighting Abroad and Fighting At Home
Nov 102005
 

Tomorrow, America will observe Veteran’s Day in honor of the sacrifice and contributions of the more than 25 million men and women who donned the uniform to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. The occasion will surely be marked with remembrance of, and respect for, a future generation of veterans — the 160,000 soldiers fighting in Iraq and another 18,000 soldiers currently deployed in Afghanistan. Regardless of the respectable differences that exist regarding the Iraq war, the nation is united in honoring a current generation of soldiers who continue to showcase the courage, bravery, and skill worthy of the honor bestowed upon previous generations of American soldiers. There is increasing widespread concern, however, that as soldiers return from their overseas assignments with physical and mental impairments, the Department of Veterans Affairs may not have the capacity to properly serve them. Because "soldiers in Iraq are surviving wounds that in earlier wars would have been fatal," there will continue to be an increasing need for the Bush administration to provide the necessary resources to "care for those who shall have borne the battle," a mission the administration has not yet properly prepared itself to fulfill.

A NEED THAT HAS NOT BEEN MET: National Adjutant of the Disabled American Veterans, Arthur Wilson, recently wrote, "[I]nstead of honoring its commitment to those whose service and sacrifice have kept us free and safe, our government has launched a devastating assault on benefits for America’s veterans." The frustration results from watching an administration incompetently deal with the need to fund veterans health care and disability services. When President Bush released his annual budget in February 2005, Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI) said, "If this budget — and its misguided proposals — were enacted, it would devastate VA health care." The American Legion offered similar criticism. A few months later, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) warned, "There is a train wreck coming in veterans’ health care." Rather than address the issue, VA Secretary Jim Nicholson claimed, "I can assure you that VA does not need" additional funds. But then in June, Nicholson came back to Congress and admitted the department didn’t have the sufficient resources to deal with the incoming number of wounded soldiers. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) called it an "embarrassment." The Senate then voted to approve an extra $1.5 billion for veterans’ health care. Yet, given the increasing demand for VA services, the need still has not been fully met.

UNPREPARED FOR PTSD: As soldiers return from the battlefront, many are reporting that they are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. "PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after life-threatening events such as combat. Victims often suffer with nightmares, flashbacks, sleeplessness and anger and feel detached or estranged." As one soldier described his experience, "My nightmares are so intense I woke up one night with my hands round my fiancee’s throat." Studies show 20 to 30 percent of combat vets will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and a recent Army study of veterans returning from Iraq suggests that as many as 240,000 could suffer from some degree of PTSD. USA Today reported that more than "one in four U.S. troops have come home from the Iraq war with health problems that require medical or mental health treatment." Veterans receiving disability checks for PTSD jumped 80 percent from 1999 through 2004, from 120,000 to 216,000. That increase alone cost the VA an additional $2.6 billion in benefits." Secretary Nicholson seems to recognize the problem, recently stating that many of the wounded "will be in the VA system for the rest of their lives." But whether the VA is ready to make a lifetime commitment to these veterans remains to be seen.

Continue reading »

You Had To See This One Coming (Pun Intended)

 Religion, Right Wingnuts, Weather  Comments Off on You Had To See This One Coming (Pun Intended)
Oct 102005
 

Well, this should come as no surprise to anyone. Pat Robertson is now suggesting that the recent rash of natural disasters could be a signal of end times. Its always amazed me that the return of Christ to begin his thousand year reign of love and heavan on earth would be heralded by the death and destruction of millions of innocent individuals. Except of course all those heathen sinners in the French Quarter…oops, that was the only place not wiped out and flooded.

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Prominent US preacher Pat Robertson said that recent natural disasters around the world point to the end of the world and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.

"These things are starting to hit with amazing regularity," Robertson told CNN, remarking on the coincidence of a major earthquake that killed thousands in Asia Saturday and recent killer hurricanes slamming the United States.

Those disasters come less than a year after a massive tsunami levels huge portions of South Asia, killing more than 31,000 people and leaving some a million left homeless.

Devout Christians believe that the "last days" will be marked by political and geological upheaval, and Roberts said recent events show that those days might have arrived.

Citing scripture from the Bible, the conservative Christian broadcaster said the latter days would be marked by "the birth pangs of a new order, and for anybody who knows what it’s like to have a wife going in labor, you know how these labor pains begin to hit."

"What was called the Blessed Hope of the Bible is that one day Jesus Christ would come back again, start a whole new era, that this world order that we know would change into something that would be wonderful that we’d call the millennium," Robertson said.

"And before that good time comes there will be some difficult days and there will be likened to what a woman goes through in labor just before she brings forth a child."

Asked if the world was reaching this moment, Robertson said: "It’s possible. I don’t have any special revelation to say it is but the Bible does indicate such a time will happen in the end of time. And could this be it? It might be."

Hurricane Katrina has left more than 1,200 people dead in the United States, while nearly 20,000 people have died in the South Asian earthquake disaster this weekend.

As I noted….A God that needs to announce his return via death and destruction does not deserve our worship.

Congress Wants More Giveaways to Big Oil

 Congress, Corruption, Politics  Comments Off on Congress Wants More Giveaways to Big Oil
Sep 272005
 

Bush’s allies in Congress are using high gas prices as another excuse for massive giveaways to the oil industry. The Los Angeles Times reports that conservative "leaders in Congress announced plans to introduce new legislation or amend existing measures to bestow more tax breaks on the industry and provide other incentives left out of the big energy bill Bush signed into law in August." The oil industry hardly needs the help. Even before Katrina hit, oil companies were flush with cash. ExxonMobil’s profits are expected to exceed $10 billion in the third quarter of 2005, "more net income than any company has ever made in a quarter." Now the industry is using Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to jack up prices — and profit margins — even higher.

A right-wing plan to cut the federal budget by $500 billion over ten years would destroy nearly all existing programs that promote energy efficiency and conservation. The scheme, dubbed "Operation Offset," would eliminate the EnergyStar program, the Hydrogen Fuel initiative, the Freedom Car program, funds for research on renewable energy, and programs that support high-speed rail. A progressive approach would save more money in half the time and would preserve all of those programs. 

Bush's Appeal for Private Contributions to Iraq

 Politics, War  Comments Off on Bush's Appeal for Private Contributions to Iraq
Sep 262005
 

You will be happy to know that the President’s appeal for private contributions to help Iraq has been met with a grand total of about $600.

You won’t find anything about it in the American press, but Britian’s The Observer International says:

An extraordinary appeal to Americans from the Bush administration for money to help pay for the reconstruction of Iraq has raised only $600 (£337), The Observer has learnt. Yet since the appeal was launched earlier this month, donations to rebuild New Orleans have attracted hundreds of millions of dollars.

The public’s reluctance to contribute much more than the cost of two iPods to the administration’s attempt to offer citizens ‘a further stake in building a free and prosperous Iraq’ has been seized on by critics as evidence of growing ambivalence over that country.

This is the first time our government has ever made an appeal to taxpayers to privately contribute foreign aid money, and it looks like quite the flop. I guess all those war supporters aren’t too keen to pony up, evidently having used up their tax breaks to slather Support the Troops magnets on their bumpers. I mean, those are each a couple of bucks. Not only are the freepers unwilling to put their neck’s on the line, neither are they going to put their money where their mouth is.

Katrina: Republican Excuse to Continue Regressive Agenda

 Congress, Corruption, Politics, Society  Comments Off on Katrina: Republican Excuse to Continue Regressive Agenda
Sep 222005
 
  • A nice little tax cut for your wealthy friends – $327 billion
  • Some corporate welfare for your campaign contributors in the oil business – $8.5 Billion
  • Having a king-sized natural disaster to help you try to cut the programs you don’t like for the old and poor – Priceless
  • For everything else, there’s the queers.

With great fanfare, and recalling the "Gingrich Revolution" of the 1990s, House conservatives yesterday proposed a broad set of spending cuts they said would help offset the costs of the Katrina reconstruction effort. Their plan reduces the budget by $500 billion over 10 years, and does so in large part by dismantling programs that invest in middle- and working-class Americans. Progressives can do better. It’s possible to cut far more unnecessary federal spending, accomplish it in half the time, and do so while upholding the principles of fiscal responsibility and concern for the common good.

The proposal announced yesterday cuts substantial funding from several "long-standing targets of conservative scorn," like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the foreign operations budget. The largest proposed cuts are targeted at Medicaid, "the health care safety net for low-income children, elderly, disabled, pregnant women and parents." The plan cuts $225 billion by converting the federal share of certain Medicaid payments into a block grant, and $8 billion more by increasing Medicaid co-payments. Eliminating subsidized loans to graduate students slices off an additional $8.5 billion. $11 billion more is saved by passing restrictive new rules for federal retiree health care and federal pension programs.

A progressive approach to trimming the budget could result in greater savings over a shorter period of time. For example, rolling back the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts for the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans would save $327 billion over five years. Cracking down on offshore tax shelters would save $65 billion over the same time period. Simply allowing Medicare recipients to purchase drugs through the mail would save $43 billion over five years. Repealing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry contained in the recent energy bill would save $8.5 billion. Shelving costly and unnecessary weapons systems would save $200 billion. Getting rid of counterproductive agricultural export subsidies would save $30 billion over the first five years along. Giving up half of the 6,371 special earmarked projects of the 2005 transportation bill would save an additional $12 billion. A progressive approach to trimming the budget could cut $688 billion in federal spending over just five years.

 Republican Offsets      Progressive Offsets  
 Title III Program Cuts  $307B    Rollback Tax Cuts for the Wealthy  $327B
Other including DoD and DHS  $333B    Eliminate Offshore Tax Shelters  $  65B
 Cut Federal Share of Medicaid  $225B    Repeal Oil Industry Subsidies  $    8.5B
 Increase Medicaid Copayments  $    8B    Allow Medicare Mail Order Drug Purchases  $  43B
 Eliminate Loans To Graduate Students  $    8.5B    Shelve unnecessary Defense Systems  $200B
 Restriction on Federal Retiree Healthcare and Pensions  $   11B    Eliminate Agricultural Export Subsidies  $  30B
 Foreign Operations Budget  $   37B    Eliminate 1/2 of 6,371 Transportation Bill Projects  $  12B

 TOTAL After 10 Years

 $929B  

 TOTAL Savings after only five years

 $685.5B

Let’s take a special look at some of the cuts included in the Republican Plan. I think most agregious is their call to eliminate "Corporate Welfare." This from a Congress that gave the oil companies, already experiencing windfall profits, huge subsidies in the just passed energy bill. Take a look at a partial list and see if you notice any patterns:

  • Eliminate the Applied Research for Renewable Energy Sources Program
  • Eliminate the Clean Coal Technology Program
  • Eliminate the FreedomCAR Program
  • Eliminate the ITA’s Trade Promotion Activates
  • Eliminate the Advanced Technology Program
  • Repeal the Continued Dumping and Subsidy Offset Act
  • Eliminate the Foreign Market Development Program
  • Eliminate the Market Access Program
  • Eliminate the Export Enhancement Program
  • Eliminate the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative

Continue reading »

$1 Billion Stolen From Iraq's Defense Ministry

 Politics, War  Comments Off on $1 Billion Stolen From Iraq's Defense Ministry
Sep 212005
 

The Iraq Defense Ministry is the victim of one of the largest thefts in history. One billion dollars meant to buy arms from Pakistan and Poland was siphoned off, resulting in overpayment for inferior equipment such as "armoured cars…so poorly made that even a bullet from an elderly AK-47 machine-gun could penetrate their armour." The deals that resulted in lost money and inferior equipment were quick, awarded without bidding, paid up front, and signed with a Baghdad-based company, instead of directly with a foreign supplier. Officials are unclear where the money has gone, but have put out an arrest warrant for Ziyad Cattan, the defense ministry’s procurement chief at the time, whose appointment was approved by Paul Bremer, then US viceroy in Iraq. Iraqi officials say that, "[t]he carefully planned theft has so weakened the army that it cannot hold Baghdad against insurgent attack without American military support…making it difficult for the US to withdraw its 135,000- strong army from Iraq." 

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