Republicans Sell Out Again

Well it seems the Republicans have sold out…again.  Now there are two different lords the Party must bow to…The Christian Right and the Environmental Destroyers who are paying off our Congressmen/women and Senators to loosen or get rid of environmental laws.  Yeah guys, we don’t need a future…today is all that matters.

“The virus that has undermined the GOP and is weakening U.S. democracy is corruption. Our Supreme Court has made the United States the only democratic nation where bribery is constitutionally protected, where corporations have the privileges of citizens but none of the obligations, and where money is equated with speech. Dirty Energy has bought the party of Lincoln and now calls the shots.”  CARL POPE, chairman of the Sierra Club. Read More:
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Republicans and Religion

Since January of this year Religious Republican (and only Republican) legislators in Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and New Mexico have introduced legislation to allow religious teachings in public schools. They deny that it’s for religion, but once again we find otherwise respectable people “lying for Jesus.” And what gets me is everyone knows it’s a lie.

Almost all of them have wording similar to this: “critical analysis” or teaching “strengths and weaknesses” and “Academic Freedom” I’m guessing that these people from the religious groups and the legislators they control don’t quite understand that we’re on to them, because they use the same wording over and over again from state to state.It is evangelical fundamentalist Young Earth RELIGION that they are trying to insert into the curriculum of public (that means state/government sponsored) schools.  They want teachers to lie about the science behind evolution and the history of the earth and humanity; they are trying to move their foundational mythology to the status of science, so they can guarantee the cultural reproduction of their views.

However as the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) puts it;

“Teachers have no freedom to misinform and miseducate students. It is scientifically inappropriate and educationally irresponsible to present ID under its own name or in any other guise as scientifically credible. And it is unconstitutional to do so in the public schools.” (My emphasis)

Some of these views are pretty amazing.  The Reconstructionist faction of the fundamentalists wants to eventually restore Biblical law over the land. They believe that many areas of society now under control of secular government should be under control of family, churches, or private organizations.

“For example, since the book of Deuteronomy assigns to parents the responsibility of educating children, state-sponsored schools are considered a violation of Biblical law.  Under Reconstructionist generally libertarian guidelines, the civil government plays no part in personal retirement plans, welfare, or regulation of business, other than to maintain order and restrain fraudulent behavior.  Minimum-wage laws and Social Security would be eliminated.  All inheritance taxes and gift taxes would be abolished.  Income taxes would rise no higher than 10 percent of gross income.” From: ‘Religion and Politics’, (1992) Bruce Barron and Anson Shupe, Praeger Publishers, Westport Connecticut

Do some of these goals ring a bell with anyone? The Republicans have been leaders in trying to get all government regulation overthrown for big-business, keeping minimum-wages low or non-existent, the elimination Social Security and Medicare is presently simmering under the surface, and they have been trying for years to get the inheritance and gift tax laws thrown out. And they want taxes on big earners to be next to nothing. A lot of these goals are almost attained.  We should really worry about this.  I don’t fancy living under a theocratic dictatorship, which is exactly what it would be.

It should be noted they also want to restore the death penalty for numerous offenses outlined in the Old Testament.  You know like: Adultery (I suspect this will backfire on them), homosexuality, dissing your parents and old bald guys, etc. 🙂
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The Republicans Are Out To Get YOU

That Republican “scientist?” we all love to hate, Ms. Ann Coulter, has written a column wherein she says that the radiation the Japanese reactors are spewing out is good for the people over there. Read down to the comments section and then maybe go to P.Z.  Myers blog Pharyngula for his comments.

“Under a GOP-(Republican) backed bill expected to sail through the House of Representatives, the Internal Revenue Service would be forced to police how Americans have paid for their abortions. To ensure that taxpayers complied with the law, IRS agents would have to investigate whether certain terminated pregnancies were the result of rape or incest. And one tax expert says that the measure could even lead to questions on tax forms: Have you had an abortion? Did you keep your receipt?” Mother Jones Magazine

“Minnesota’s Republican lawmakers are, as expected, very angry about poor people. Why give those poor people money when we know they’ll just spend it on the hip-hop and fancy sneakers and for crack smokin’. So, the Republicans had an idea: Until any kind of welfare or assistance to the needy is completely outlawed, which will be soon enough, Minnesota should make it illegal for people getting “emergency cash assistance” to have any of the cash assistance in cash.”  So starts the sad story in Minnesota.  From Wonkette Welfare recipients could be arrested if found to have more than 20 bucks cash in their pocket.

“It’s good news/bad news time, Democrats. Bad news: The public doesn’t much like you. In fact, a whopping 60% disapprove of the job you’re doing in the latest AP poll. Good news: They dislike Republicans even more; 68% disapprove of them, and Sarah Palin and George W. Bush are viewed significantly more negatively than President Obama. But more bad news: The people who dislike Democrats are more likely to actually vote.”   The full story at Newser.com
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Creation Science and Intelligent Design are Lies

“Albuquerque (New Mexico) Rep. Thomas Anderson introduced a bill that said teachers can’t be punished for sharing information with students, including different opinions on evolution, human cloning and climate change.

“The wording of the bill isn’t that bad, but it would lead to very obscure consequences in our public schools. Why are these people so concerned about other knowledge being provided? Different theories exist. Students should know about it,” Anderson said.”  Full story
http://www.koat.com/education/26812193/detail.html

This particular story kind of caught me by surprise.  I’m used to the crazy religious fundamentalists in the Deep Southern states trying to pass legislation to enable teaching of their “Intelligent Design” or “Creation Science” lies. I never imagined that a Southwestern state such as New Mexico would fall into the cradle of lies that evangelical fundamentalists weave. I guess you can’t stop stupid, all this time I thought the line was drawn at the Texas border.

They try to introduce these lies in schools under the guise of being “fair” and “teaching the controversy” …so the students can develop critical thinking skills. They try to make it seem that to be fair we should give the students the chance to decide on their own.

One of the replies to the story states: “When I was a kid, we were taught both so we could make up our own minds. Socialists don’t like different opinions…”

There is a serious flaw with these kinds of assertion from the religious. Public schools are not in the business of teaching lies and mistruths; they should only be teaching what is known to be true. It is not up to students to “Decide” or make up their own mind about which story is true.  They go to school to learn about the real world…not some looney made up religious lies about our origins and history.

When these students go to any reputable college to learn science…there is no choice, or deciding of, which science they are to be taught.  Go to Notre Dame, go to University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, go to the University of Utah…ALL religious schools.  Sign up for science classes and guess what…they teach real science; not Intelligent Design (ID), not Creation Science, which by the way are neither intelligent or science.

I can’t find any reputable college that teaches anything but real science. I can’t find a one that teaches ID or Creationism, so just how real is this religious “science” and why should it be taught in public schools? How can people like Rep. Thomas Anderson and his ilk in the Southern States think they are doing a good thing and “Helping” our schools, students, or society?  They are not.
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We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Probable Cause

A law that’s been on American books (and in the Constitution) forever is now biting the dust because of Presidents Bush and Obama. Breaking his campaign promises to enhance civil liberties in relation to national security the Obama administration is continuing the screwing over the American Constitution that Bush started.

“The Obama administration is seeking to make it easier for the FBI to compel companies to turn over records of an individual’s Internet activity without a court order if agents deem the information relevant to a terrorism or intelligence investigation.

The administration wants to add just four words — “electronic communication transactional records” — to a list of items that the law says the FBI may demand without a judge’s approval. Government lawyers say this category of information includes the addresses to which an Internet user sends e-mail; the times and dates e-mail was sent and received; and possibly a user’s browser history. It does not include, the lawyers hasten to point out, the “content” of e-mail or other Internet communication.”  From the Washington Post.

The use of National Security Letters is equivalent to the old ‘Writs of Assistance’ the British used against us here in America in pre-revolutionary times

From Wikipedia
“In practice, customs writs of assistance served as general search warrants that did not expire, allowing customs officials to search anywhere for smuggled goods without having to obtain a specific warrant. These writs became controversial when they were issued by courts in British America in the 1760s, especially the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Controversy over these general writs of assistance inspired the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which forbids general search warrants in the United States.

The NSL’s are the modern equivalent to general search warrants which are constitutionally forbidden.  Good luck on getting the administration to admit this. 😦   The American government just keeps pushing the envelope regarding how much the citizens will put up with. I think the general feeling among top officials is that they can get away with pretty much anything…if they mention terrorism.
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Laptops at the Border…Who do they belong to?

Recently I have been excoriated for writing about the bad behavior of border patrol and customs agents. For some reason the federal government is concerned that American and world citizens, that cross our borders, who have computers, Blackberry’s, cell phones, on their person are stealing state nuclear secrets or, worse; they are thinking bad thoughts.

The federal government thinks that they have the right to read our most intimate thoughts or to go through our list of friends from our cell phones and such. Does this strike anyone out there as Orwellian?

Does our government really think they need to read our minds, so to speak?

Do we really want to let them?

Do we even have a choice?

Apparently not.

The Feds (read Bush/Cheney) have decided they need to read or listen to everything our citizens think, write, and talk about.

They also think it’s so important to have freedom to spy on us when we travel that they took the matter to court. Read this excerpt from the Association of Corporate Travel Executives:

” According to an ACTE survey of its international membership, eighty six percent of business travel executives indicated that court decisions allowing U.S. Customs Agents and Border Patrol officers to examine and download the contents of travelers’ laptops — or to even confiscate them — are ample cause to limit the kind of proprietary information typically carried in an executive’s computer.” See their website to read rest of article:

http://www.acte.org/resources/press_release.php?id=91

I was also accused of raising false alarm about the matter because customs agents have always been allowed to search travelers. Have they always been able to read diaries of our own citizens without cause or warrant? Fourth amendment: probable cause; warrantless searches, come to mind.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Oh, forgive me, I forgot, presidents Bush/Cheney suspended that for everyone. Everyone in our country (and the whole world) is a suspect. The whole world is a battlefield, and since he is commander in chief he has total control over the whole world. He has accumulated unprecedented powers and I think he intends to pass them on and allow the permanent usurpation of the constitution. Of course he can’t physically pass them on, just allow his present upside down worldview to continue.

We, as a country, have fought wars before where some rights were suspended for a time, but never has the federal power grab been so extensive or long lasting and never has it been so intrusive, or coldhearted.

I think we citizens have a right and responsibility to speak up when things are not right, and these matters are a clear-cut case, in my humble estimation, of not being right. I’m just afraid that the way things are going, we won’t be able too (speak up) for much longer.

I’ve been accused of being an alarmist, separatist, un-American, even saints forbid, a traitor. I think I am none of those. In matters like this I think you have to engage the opponent early on, or matters get worse, fast. I think America should stand strong, as we always have, but not give up the things that make us great. I am really afraid of the path we are now following.

In my mind (however bad it is) the problem of border patrol and customs agents confiscating and breaking into and downloading personal electronics is part of a very large problem that our country faces. The problem is…the government running roughshod over it’s citizens and their probable desire to continue doing this.

Our government under presidents Bush/Cheney has broken more international treaties than any other in history. We also withdrew or broke the Geneva Convention…I thought we were supposed to be the ‘good’ guys

Our present administration is the first in history to have the United Nations remove us from the Human Rights Commission.

Our present administration withdrew us from the World Court of Law.

These are all very bad signs for a government that is supposedly free, open, and caring.

I’ll repeat the entrée to all of this…the government does not have the right, I think, or the need, to download or confiscate personal electronics, except on probable cause, with warrant. Even though they have appropriated it, it’s not right. Its part of a much larger scenario, where the feds are scrapping the founders ideals, and the very concept of this country.

I only have words to protest, and I may not be very good at it, but I will continue to write my protest as long as my government continues to pass bad laws and mistreat it’s own citizen’s. And, I might add….as long as I’m allowed.

Call your senator or Congressperson. Let them know what you think.

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

https://forms.house.gov/wyr/welcome.shtml

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Laws are being broken…SRSLY

Hopefully our next president will re-instate the parts of the constitution that president Bush decided to remove. There seems to be some real doubt that it will happen. I am probably naïve, but I have always thought that our constitution was the backbone of our system of laws, the main ones that were never to be changed, could NOT be changed without proper ratification of most of the states

Our presidents and Senators and Congress people take an oath of office that says in part: “to uphold and defend the constitution of The United States of America” key words here being ‘uphold the constitution.’ Other laws that are passed are measured against this document, and if they are found to be contrary to said document, they are repealed. Am I right in this belief? Isn’t the oath that elected government officials take before they can hold office a legal contract that is upheld by law?

Do we as a nation, really think it’s right that the government can at it’s own will, change laws that our nation was founded on, change laws that are meant to uphold ‘human rights’? What of the will of the people? Are there any governments left that believe in ‘human rights’? Can it be possible that this power can be abused…You bet…is there any way to stop it…it doesn’t seem so at this point. Human rights are being redefined in our lifetime, in our country, and it’s not for the better.

There needs to be some way to address this problem, and you better believe it’s a problem. Let them keep stomping on us, and they will find it easier as time goes by. This is the way that all dictatorships begin, a slow chipping away at freedoms until it’s suddenly to late for the citizens to correct. They are enslaved and they don’t even see it coming.

Did you ever noticed that there are now laws that prevent you from speaking out to any government bureaucrat. Try talking to an IRS agent, or airport security guard, or policeman, or elected official. They will Taser you or throw you to the floor. I don’t mean smart mouthing, I mean honest questioning of their motive or means. It’s getting to the point that citizens have no recourse except to lower their head and continue walking.

Write a letter to your Senator or Congressperson…maybe if you’re trying to get some special consideration in zoning or something trivial you may get results. Try asking the hard questions and express serious concerns about the direction our laws are taking us. Good luck with that. These people are only slightly moved by tens of thousands of emails or letters. If the question is about something the Prez. wants or is a porkbarrel project of your elected person…not a chance in hell. Notice how sneaky they get at times; midnight sessions or unexpected or secret meetings, presidential signings. They’ll do what they want and then whine that it’s all for the greater good.

Nobody seems to care that untold trillions, yes I said Trillions, of dollars are disappearing, with no accounting for. Now the Prez. &VP just do it with out a worry or ‘by your leave.’ No one will question them. There is NO accountability in our government, and that needs to change.

Supreme court of course, is in Bush’s pocket.

What would you–out there– do? Would or should anyone do anything? Or, do you just want to keep your head down and keep on walking?

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Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 Redux

H.R. 1955: Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007
Here’s how the political parties voted in the house in Oct, 07
These are your congressmen/women voting away your rights

Totals & Party Breakdown
Total                                        Democrat     Republican     Independent
Ayes: 404 (94%)                         219               185                     0
Nays: 6 (1%)                                    3                    3                     0
No Vote: 22 (5%)                          10                  12                     0
Required: 2/3 of 410 votes (274)

I have already written my Senators about HR 1955 and I will continue to urge
others (you) to write and tell their Senators that they strongly oppose this bill.

HR 1955 will effectively strip HALF of the Bill of Rights from our constitution.
This bill is an end run around the constitutional law of our country and is very
close to making certain ‘thoughts’ a crime.

Don’t take my word for it….surf the internet and see what others are saying about
this proposed law….it really is frightening.

You will not have to be a Muslim to feel the affects of this law.

I know I have posted on this subject before, but it’s really important to try to
defeat this law and I’m afraid that many young people will not even care….Till later.

Heres how to contact your Senators:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Help, does anyone know how to make tables work in WordPress ? Can’t seem to make
the voting results table work right.