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ISIS, Commies in the streets of San Francisco, and other lies

I am a retired Army officer, serving 1967 - 1995.  As a young lieutenant I was ten feet tall and bulletproof, full of piss and vinegar.  The very best and brightest minds we could find told me if I didn't stop the Commies in Vietnam, they'd rampage through Southeast Asia and be in the streets of San Francisco before we knew it.  (See "Domino Theory" and "The Best and the Brightest.")

I believed 'em, so, along with a few million other young men, I saddled up, went to Vietnam, and killed Commies.  Then, in 1973, we figured out the Best and the Brightest were full of shit.  We buried 60,000 dead young Americans along with untold thousands of dead Vietnamese and now we buy all our Nikes from Vietnam.

I was born in 1944 and for almost half-a-century I was told we MUST keep tens of thousands of troops in Europe and Japan and God-only-knows-where-else as well as spending zillions of dollars to stop the Evil Empire in its tracks.  Then, one day in 1989, the Evil Empire went "poof" and was gone.

And now the Best and the Brightest are telling us we need to stop ISIS before we see nuclear clouds over American cities.

I'm ignoring them this time.

Paul Ryan's reading list: Rubbish and nonsense

Paul Ryan -- the Paul Ryan who produced the Ryan Poverty Budget -- the Paul Ryan who was Mitt Romney's VP candidate -- the Paul Ryan who is supposed to be THE budget guru of the Republican Party -- lets everyone know the three books that most influenced him are:

Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
Jude Wanniski, The Way the World Works
George Gilder, Wealth and Poverty

Holy shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ryan's reading list is RUBBISH of the highest order.  No wonder he's a damn fool.

Atlas Shrugged is best described by this well-known quote:
There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other involves orcs, Hobbits, a ring, and magic.
Wealth and Poverty is a weird, rambling recitation of free-market claims.  The only reason anyone pays atttention to this book is that it came out about the time Reagan was elected and, thus, it is seen as an intellectual manifesto for the GOP.

The Way the World Works is a wackadoodle argument that the entire history of the world can be explained by changes in tax rates.  The fall of the Roman Empire, rise of the Nazis -- all came about because of tax rates.  It's a work of a deranged view of history.

And that, folks, is the man who is considered by the GOP as their budget wizard.

What was that about Presidential vacations?

Every time President Obama picks up a golf club, the rightwingers go nuts, raving about how much vacation time he's taking.  Let's review the past few presidents and their vacation days.

Any questions??

Something to think about

Governor Bob McDonnell is now living with a convicted sex offender

First, let's review the background..

-- Bob McDonnell is the former governor of Virginia, serving 2009-2013.  Before that, he served in the VA General Assembly and as a prosecuting attorney.  He is a close friend of TV preacher Pat Robertson, who gave McDonnell his start in politics.
-- McDonnell is virulently anti-gay and anti-women.  His "master's thesis" at Pat Robertson's "university" is a classic piece of rightwing nonsense.
-- Shortly before leaving office, McDonnell and his wife were accused of taking bribes from a sleazy Virginia businessman who was trying to get the governor's support for his snake oil product.  Jonnie Williams plied the McDonnell's with gifts and money -- Google "Star Scientific" and "Governor McDonnell" for the details.
-- In August, the McDonnell's went on trial in federal court.  Governor Bob's defense is "I was so busy being governor I didn't realize my wife was accepting all these gifts from her dirtbag friend."

Turns out, he has moved out of the family's home and is now living with a Catholic priest.

And now it turns out the Catholic priest is an admitted sex offender who spent his off-duty time prowling gay bars around Norfolk.

The following is quoted from:

The Rev. Wayne L. Ball, a Norfolk priest who pleaded guilty late last year to a misdemeanor sex offense, has been reassigned to St. John's Catholic Church in Highland Springs, according to The Catholic Virginian, a biweekly diocesan newspaper. The move is effective June 2.

Ball, 42, has served as pastor of Norfolk's Holy Trinity Catholic Church since 2000. The current pastor at St. John's, the Rev. David V. McGuire, will replace Ball at Holy Trinity.

In December, Ball pleaded guilty in Norfolk General District Court to the misdemeanor charge of frequenting a bawdy place. Norfolk police arrested Ball and a 41-year-old Richmond man on the night before Thanksgiving in a parked car in a Norfolk park. The judge continued Ball's case until July 8 and will dismiss the charge if the priest has no further criminal problems and completes 80 hours of community service by June 3. The man in the car with Ball received a similar deal.[...]

Ball will be the second Catholic priest who recently pleaded guilty to a sex crime to serve at St. John's in Highland Springs.
In February, the Rev. John P. Blankenship, who served at St. John's from 1973 to 1977, pleaded guilty in Prince George County to four counts of sodomy. The charges stemmed from incidents that occurred after Blankenship's time at St. John's.

Perhaps this would not be news but for the fact that McDonnell based his entire political career on attacking gays, women, and minorities.  He is a typical rightwing politician -- looks good in a suit; makes a good speech; not very bright; says all the right things about gays, women, minorities, guns . . . you know the story.

As with all rightwing politicians, he's a "strong family man" -- who has now thrown his wife under the bus and run over her several times.  Now he's living with his BFF,  a gay Catholic priest.  Wonder how long before ol' Bob McDonnell comes out of the closet?

What happens to "open carry" when it's black men openly carrying the firearms?

Over the past months, we have been treated to more and more "open carry" demonstrations -- that is, people (mostly men, all white, mostly semi-literate rednecks) sling rifles over their shoulders and walk around town -- into restaurants, into stores, up and down main streets.  Their claim is they have a right to openly carry firearms -- that is, if they have a point.

Here are links that describe various "open-carry" demonstrations.

  • Open Carry Advocates Return to Target Stores
  • Chipotle not happy with firearms being carried in their restaurants
  • "Open-carry" dingbats invading Kroger stores

Did you notice in all the photos of "open-carry" demonstrations that the clowns carrying weapons are all young, snaggle-toothed white men?

Well, now let's see what happens in Texas when a group of young black men shoulder their firearms and march around town.

The woman in the passing car shouted, "Black power!" And the gun-rights advocates lined up on the sidewalk outside Forest Avenue Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard returned the call. In the heat of a Wednesday afternoon, about 30 black men and a few women, dressed head-to-toe in black, stood with long guns slung around their shoulders. They marched to protest police brutality in general and to encourage gun ownership. 
A few groups were represented in the ranks of the marchers, said Charles Goodson, an organizer of the march and head of the Huey P. Newton Gun Club, which wants people to know they have the right to own guns. Many marchers had Black Panther patches on their black fatigues. Marcher Priest DeBrazier said the Panthers were there in response to the slaying of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, but Goodson said the march had been planned before Brown's death August 9.

What do you bet the open-carry demonstrations stop very quickly?

NOTE:  Who is Huey P. Newton?  Back in the 1960's, he was a Black Panther leader who scared the hell out of everyone.

Ferguson, Missouri, and surrounding towns use local court to suppress black citizens

Ferguson Feeds Off the Poor: Three Warrants a Year Per Household  
In the chamber where Officer Darren Wilson received a commendation six months before killing Michael Brown, a minor court generates major money from the city’s poor and working people. 
. . .  
But there is another, unnoticed irony in the venue itself. Three times a month—one day and two nights—the City Council chamber also serves as home to the incredibly busy and extremely profitable Ferguson municipal court. 
A report issued just last week by the nonprofit lawyer’s group ArchCity Defenders notes that in the court’s 36 three-hour sessions in 2013, it handled 12,108 cases and 24,532 warrants. That is an average of 1.5 cases and three warrants per Ferguson household. Fines and court fees for the year in this city of just 21,000 people totaled $2,635,400.
The sum made the municipal court the city’s second-biggest source of revenue. It is also almost certainly was a major factor in the antagonism between the police and the citizenrypreceding the tragedy that resulted when Wilson had another encounter with a subject six months after he got his commendation.
And any complete investigation into how Michael Brown came to be sprawled dead in the street with a half-dozen bullet wounds must consider not just the cop but the system he served, a system whose primary components include a minor court that generates major money, much of it from poor and working people. 
Five of the six City Council members who meet in this chamber are white, even though the city itself is more than 70 percent black. The City Council appoints the municipal judge, currently Ron Brockmeyer, who is also white. 
But when this same chamber serves as Ferguson Municipal Court, a disproportionate number of the defendants are black. 

Read more at Daily Beast.

Read the full ArchCity Defenders report on how Ferguson and other towns around St. Louis use their district courts to suppress black citizens.

American exceptionalism on display

Check out this graphic.

U.S. cops killed more than one person EACH DAY last year while, at the same time, Japanese and British cops killed no one and German cops killed only eight people.  Yes, it's true -- the USA really is exceptional.

Let's cut through the bullshit and speak truth.



GOT IT????

Let's see if I understand this

Twenty-one percent of children in Kentucky live below the poverty level.

Kentucky just approved giving an $18,000,000 tax break to a guy who wants to build a "Noah's Ark" theme park.

Republicans are insane liars!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Let's see if I understand this:

1.  House Republicans plan to sue President Obama because he issued executive orders to delay implementation of certain sections of the Affordable Care Act.

2.  House Republicans voted over 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

So why are they upset that he delayed the Act's implementation?

And now come this -- remember -- they are suing Obama for acting alone.

1.  The Senate passed a bill authorizing $3 billion to deal with the flood of immigrants, mostly children, now along the US-Mexico border.

2.  On Monday, 28 July, House Republicans were ready to deal with the issue, saying the border bill was high priority.

3.  On Wednesday, 30 July, they voted to sue the President.

4.  On Thursday, 1 August, they pulled the bill and said the President SHOULD ACT ALONE ON THE BORDER MATTER.  But I thought they were suing him for acting alone????

Here's a quote from House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R, KY):

"I think this will put a lot more pressure on the president to act," Rogers said. "In many ways, it was his actions and inactions that caused the crisis on the border, and we attempted in this bill to help remedy this crisis. He has the authority and power to solve the problem forthwith."
This is REALLY confusing . . . is the President supposed to take executive action or is he not supposed to take executive action?