Just a shout-out for an excellent blog--Injustice in Seattle. This blogger covers and comments on local and national cases of police misconduct and abuse.
Check it out.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
11-22--Vote count is now 357. Woo-hoo!
From my in-box:
From: Todd Stenhouse, Brown for Congress
This week Charlie, Jan and I made the trip to Washington D.C. for
"Freshman Class Orientation" for the 111 th Congress. It's an exciting time to be in D.C. but it's a reminder we still need to fight to make sure Charlie gets to come back in January.
Click here to help make sure Charlie gets to D.C. for the 111th Congress.
This week marks a critical juncture in the vote counting process and
we need your help. We've made huge gains in the past few days, and
with more than 338,000 ballots counted, and over 29,000 to go, the
current vote margin stands at just 574.
This week, the three largest counties have started verifying and
counting provisional ballots. Historically these trend towards the
Democratic candidate, and therefore are likely to be the most hotly
contested by the McClintock camp.
To win the fight for the provisional ballots - and the election - we
need the legal resources to make sure every provisional vote is
counted-and that can cost up to $5,000 per day.
Continuing my list...
Screw health "insurance." Health care for all on demand.
Declassify all files on the Kennedy assination.
Prioritize Hanford cleanup and get a handle on the plume of radioactive waste in the groundwater that's heading towards the Columbia River.
Ban the use of antibiotics and hormones from animal feed.
Adopt Prop 2 anti-cruelty legislation for farm animals as federal law.
Allow tax breaks for landlords of single-family homes for making green, energy efficient upgrades to their rental homes.
Amend the Constitution so that states with more than five million citizens gain another Senate seat.
Eliminate construction of new logging roads and defund current logging road construction projects.
Eliminate funding for new weapons research.
Increase the leasing fees for use of federal lands by ranchers and farmers.
Stop the Navy's new sonar testing and use.
Increae the fees and substantially lessen the time frame for mineral/energy rights leases on federal lands.
Begin a nationwide public education campaign to turn our lights out at night.
Fund the Coast Guard for a laser-beam focus on illegal fishing.
Re-institute the assault weapons ban.
Eliminate tax breaks for corporations like Wal-Mart who refuse to pay their employees high enough wages or provide them with enough work hours per week so that they need to go on public assistance to make ends meet.
Adjust public assistance payments so that there is no upward adjustment in benefits for pregnancies brought to term while on public assistance, but do provide free birth control, free abortions and free sterilizations to recipients.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Today I attended two spontaneously-organized protests of Prop 8.
I'm hetero so I'm not directly affected by Prop 8 or other anti-gay measures, but I am an a-theist, and I am more than ready to push back. Hard. I've got no tolerance anymore for holier-than-thou religious freaks and bigoted, hypocritical a-holes invading people's privacy, imposing religious litmus tests and advancing the purported superiority of their authoritarian, superstitious beliefs as a necessary moral guide for the rest of us. It's obvious to anybody paying attention that these jerks will not stop with eliminating gay rights and abortion rights. They want an American theocracy, and they will push their agendas as far as we let them.
When I heard about the protests I thought, "Fuck it. I'm in." Gay people must have the same civil rights as everybody else in America--including marriage rights. Period.
The first demo started at 8 a.m. at the Mormon church in the University District in Seattle. The second was at the Mormon temple in Bellevue. Only about 30 people were at each event, and the low turnout is attributable to last-minute organizing and word-of-mouth publicity. But both events were effective symbolic throw-downs of the progressive/liberal civil-rights gauntlet against religious bigots.
The afternoon demo was held in front of the temple at the intersection of the temple driveway and a heavily-traveled road about 400 feet away from the temple itself. Demonstrators formed into small groups at the intersection corners. There was a fair amount of honked support from passing drivers, but no in-person interaction with Mormons driving out from the temple parking lot.
In contrast, the morning demo formed a line on the sidewalk directly in front of the church at the entrance steps, which is located on a quiet neighborhood sidestreet, so church attendees had to pass quite near the demonstrators to enter the church. So, the morning demo was more effective.
Most Mormons ignored us and refused eye contact, or simply returned our friendly "Hello" and requests for support with a neutral "Hello." Only one Mormon man went a bit "gorilla" on a couple gay guys--moving aggressively into their personal space and challenging them--but this tense encounter was brief.
I was stunned when two extremely brave Mormons (a young man and a thirtyish woman) walked up and took a place in the demo line. They openly stood with us against their church. After about 10 minutes, they left to attend the service. The woman was crying and saying "Thank you, thank you, thank you." We in turn thanked them for their courage, decency, bravery and their support--and we all loudly applauded and cheered them.
I suspect that their church "elders" will go after them soon enough.
My hope is that repeated public protests at Mormon worship sites combined with targeted boycotts of Prop H8te supporters' businesses will give Mormons who disagree with their church the strength to speak out and agitate for change from within.
UPDATE Some Mormons are apparently gleefully spreading lies and rumors about gay riots in LA at the temple protests and that Seattle demonstrators chained themselves to temple gates. My link feature is down, but check out this Mormon newsblog for a small sample:
I haven't been posting to my blog over the past several weeks, but instead I've been intensely reading and posting at other political blogs and donating to candidates and issues I support.
With the exception of the anti-gay marriage amendments passing, the election losses of some solid, progressive candidates, and the failures of various e-voting machines, I'm elated about the election results. I'm especially grateful for the Massachusetts voters who outlawed dog racing, and for the California voters who voted to provide factory farm animals with some measure of humane care and treatment.
And, of course, I am grateful for Obama/Biden's presidental win.
But--I'm deeply disturbed by the republican's campaign tactics. I understand Obama's call for national unity and coming together to solve our problems, but unless there is a lancing of the boil, so to speak, and an acceptance of responsibility, such unity is likely impossible.
Yeah McCain gave a "sincere" concession speech--but it's not enough. The repugs have nearly 1/2 of the nation believing that Obama is a dangerous radical, and a secret Muslim, and a traitor, and a communist, and a Black Power liberationist, and the anti-Christ--and he needs to be killed.
On edit I will include a link to an article in the London Telegraph quoting the Secret Service that McCain, Palin and the wingnut echo chamber's "palling around with terrorists" line and the "who is the real Obama" campaign crap caused a huge upsurge in the number of specific assassination threats to Obama and his family the likes of which they've never seen before. In addition, the Secret Service disrupted several plots and they are investigating several others.
McCain and Palin have not done nearly enough to repair the damage to the nation that their campaign has wrought. So McCain gave a nice speech when he lost. Whoop de doo. Other than this one speech what has he done? Not one damn thing. And neither has Palin, or Faux News, or Limbaugh, or Savage, or Hannity or any of other the ugly, mean-spirited bastards whose stock in trade is treacherous deceit, and riling up the ignorant and the violent while claiming innocence using plausible deniability.
As a matter of fact, attacks on Obama are continuing, full speed ahead. For example, just today I heard Limbaugh spew this type of garbage:
We're in an Obama recession, folks. The stock market has tanked. Obama has absolutely wrecked this economy. He's wrecked it. And he's not even president yet! And you know, folks, it's only going to get worse. Obama will make sure of it!
During Obama's campaign he appealed to our hopes, our desire for unity, and of caring for others. He also talked about restoring justice, fairness, dignity and decency to our civic discourse and policies. He said that the republicans need to take responsibility and "own their failures" and be held accountable for their actions.
I would love to see all people who voted for Obama/Biden DEMAND that McCain and Palin immediately issue a complete, full retraction and repudiation of their garbage campaign rhetoric and ask for our forgiveness. I want them to admit that all the crap about Ayers, about ACORN, about Rev. Wright, about Obama's citizenship, about his policies, etc.--all of it was just crap they said to win the election.
Without their open acknowledgment and ownership of their campaign crap, their stupid, violent supporters will continue to believe their lies and behave accordingly.
If they have not taken ownership of the harm they have caused America during their campaign, and if harm comes to Obama or Biden, well I'd hate to be in either McCain's or Palin's shoes.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Racists fear an Obama presidency.
There's substantial YouTube video available of Whites speaking out against an Obama presidency and giving voice to their overt racism. There's videos of older white men carrying Obama monkeys to Palin rallies, of young white men hanging Obama ghosts in effigy, of older white women stating that if Obama wins that the "Blacks will take over America." There's video of a white woman yelling "Socialist Socialist Socialist" at Obama in a diner ("socialist" and "Muslim" are of course, racial code for "Scary Black Man" and they know this full well.)
Fear, anger and obstinancy motivate them. They feel so much fear. Fear of Blacks, fear of crime, fear of being attacked, fear of being exposed as weak, fear of being forced into subservience, fear of losing their social privilege, fear of having their incomes decrease to support the "undeserving and lazy" other.
This fear is expressed in angry, juvenile obstinancy. They don't want to be forced change. They don't want to hear your reassurances. They don't want to listen to facts. They don't care about anybody else, and they don't care about America the country as a whole.
They simply don't want the world to be forced change. They don't want others to to be forced to change. And they don't want to have to confront their fears, let them go and change.
And "you" sure as hell can't make them. When "you" try and reason with them using facts, this only pisses White racists off even more. In their bones, they know it's not right, it's not fair, it's not logical, it's un-American, and it's not decent to feel like they do.
When you understand that White racist obstinant clinging to their fears and their childish anger is the only thing they have left that anchors them to their preferred reality, it's easier to not be offended and disgusted and cut off discourse.
Here's a suggestion to anyone reading this who wants to reach them--use emotions and use their racism against them. For example--racists fear Black criminal thugs. The racist fears that an Obama election will mean that Black criminal thugs will feel "entitled" to be aggressively criminal and run roughshod over Whites.
But here's the flip side to argue--an Obama presidency has inspired millions of young Black men to be better, do better, think better, act better, and achieve more. If White racists really want to see young Black men to give up the thug life, an Obama presidency will do more to inspire them to do just that.
Just look at this picture. Says it all.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Here's a link to a compilation of statistics from votersunite.org that lists the HUGE error rates recorded on some e-voting machines in (of course) BATTLEGROUND STATES.
Bradblog also has a report about the recent announcement that the Social Security Administration has shut down its database "temporarily" for "maintenance"--meaning that voter registrars now can't complete and process ANY new or updated voter registrations because they can't match registration and ID info with the Social Security's database info (now required as part of the HAVA (Help America Vote Act).
I am alarmed, afraid and absolutely disgusted.
Everybody in the liberal blogosphere, and, finally, some mainstream media pudits, are rightfully pigpiling on the babbling, incoherent answers that Gov. Palin has given to normal, and often softball, questions posed in her interviews with Charles Gibson and Katie Couric.
While Gov. Palin hasn't been widely known nationally, she obviously is experienced at being in the public eye, and being scrutinized and presenting herself well in public. She has college education in media, has worked in media, has been in public competitions, has given speeches, and has been interviewed many times before.
So why, suddenly, was this woman babbling like she's Miss Teen South Carolina? Why couldn't she coherently recite GOP talking points? Hell, even I could do that. Even I can spout stock GOP answers and framing, and I don't agree with one damn thing that they do. I could be a pretend Repug at the drop of a hat.
Obviously she's NOT unintelligent. And she has solid experience being in the public eye.
So why was Palin babbling?
Here's one answer: As we know, Palin is a lifelong member of the Asemblies of God. Her Wasilia church is neopentecostal, meaning they are Biblical literalists and End Times believers. They are in-your-face, proud, reactionary, superstitious, anti-science, judgmental and angry people. Neopentecostals firmly believe that America is being punished for the sin of allowing abortion, accepting gays, and of being a secular democracy. They believe in literal demons and demonic possession. They believe in black magic witchcraft. They believe that their mission is to re-claim America for Christ and to install a theocracy through force of will and force of arms. They believe that Armageddon is coming--soon. And they believe that Alaska is going to be a safe haven for all true believers during this time.
So how does this relate to the babbling?
Consider: The question that preceded her babbling and the interview meltdown had to do with America's strained relations with Russia.
Now, if she was able to be true to herself, and to be "correct" and honest, and be able to say what she really believes, she would have started reciting Biblical passages that support AOG dogma, and she'd tell the viewing audience all about the prophecies and the signs pointing to the imminence of Armageddon, and how Russia and the U.S. will shortly destroy the world with nuclear weapons, etc. and how she was chosen for her mission by God, and that she intends to help bring about the end of the world so that Jesus will come back, ad nauseum.
BUT, she can't do this--not now. She likely believes that she has the CENTRAL role in the fulfillment of AOG end-times biblical prophecy. But she knows full well that if she does start Bible-thumping that the GOP campaign, which is her ONLY avenue to national power, will be kaput.
The internal conflict between believing something absolutely different than what you're saying, but really, really, really wanting to say what you really believe, is what causes severe anxiety and leads to babbling. She was spouting gibberish because she really, really wanted to say something other than stock GOP talking points.
Her religion demands in-your-face, unapologetic, confrontational and highly public proclamations of belief. But due to campaign constrictions she can't espouse them.
So she is in psychic conflict. Palin's psychic conflict is the root of her anxiety and the root of her incoherent babbling.
What she truly believes and wants to say is verboten if she wants to be elected vice president. But she's not being a good AOG member, or a good Christian if she lies, and if she doesn't take full advantage of this golden opportunity to proselytize.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Here's just some issues that haven't been part of the national election discourse that I'd like to see happen under an Obama/Biden administration (in no particular order):
1. Close all secret prisons.
2. Close Guantanamo Bay.
3. Review & revise the No-Fly list.
3. De-fund US support for Colombia's right-wing dictatorships.
4. Fully fund large-scale world-wide reforestation efforts.
5. Eliminate subsidies and pork for "industries" aimed at wealthy consumers, i.e., fur farms, horse-racing, yacht builders.
6. Prosecute multi-national oil and chemical corporations for their environmental crimes in Latin America, and commit to increaed funding for the International Criminal Courts.
7. Substantially increase and publicize prosecutions of white collar criminals and wealthy tax evaders.
8. Shut down bio-weapons programs and military bio-research.
9. Shut down all military weapons programs that use animals as "test subjects."
10. Establish severe criminal penalties and allow for removal of corporate shield protections for corporations whose policies and practices lead to consumer data theft and consumer ID theft.
11. Outlaw using animals as "test subjects" for consumer products in favor of using advanced technologies readily available.
12. Eliminate advertising of prescription drugs that have been on the market for less than five years.
13. Pass ethics reforms requiring all members of congress to regularly disclose all contacts with industry and trade group lobbyists.
14. Eliminate the Office of Faith-Based Initiatives.
15. Re-institute the ban on automatic weapons.
16. Go after whackjob white supremacists planning domestic attacks.
Lyrics by Michael Franti & Spearhead:
A revolution never come with a warning
A revolution never sends you an omen
A revolution just arrived like the morning
Ring the alarm, we come to wake up the snoring
They tellin' you to never worry about the future
They tellin' you to never worry about the torture
They tellin you that you'll never see the horror
Spend it all today and we will bill you tomorrow
Three piece suits and bank accounts in Bahamas
Wall Street crime will never send you to the slammer
Tell all the children in the arms of their mommas
The F-15 is a homicide bomber
TV commercials for a popping pill culture
Drug companies circling like a vulture
An Iraqi babies with a G.I. Joe father
Ten years from now is anyboby gonna bother
Yell Fire, yo, yo ,yo
Here we come, here we come
Fire, yo, yo, yo, yo
Revolution a comin'
Fire, yo, yo, yo, yo
Fire, yo, yo, yo, yo
Everyone addicted to the same nicotine
Everyone addicted to the same gasoline
Everyone addicted to a technicolour scream
Everybody trying to get their hands on same green
From the banks of the river to the banks of the greedy
All of the riches taken back by needy
We come from the country and we come from the city
You play us on the record, you can play us on the CD
All the shit you given us is fertilizer
The seeds that we planted you can brutalize them
Tell the corporation you can never globalize you
Like Peter Toss said Legalize It
Girls and boys hear the bass and treble
Rumble in the speakers and it make you wanna rebel
Throw your hands up, take it to another level
And you can never, ever, ever make a deal with the devil
Yell Fire, yo, yo, yo, yo
Here we come, here we come
Fire, yo, yo, yo, yo
Revolution a comin'
Fire, yo, yo, yo, yo
Fire, yo, yo, yo, yo
Saturday, September 20, 2008
I don't really know if allowing behemoth financial "institutions" to avoid bankrupty by providing taxpayer support is sound or sane economic policy. I'm not an economist and I have no background in finance.
But, I've got a really, really, really bad feeling about the rush by Bush Republicans and their Neo-con supporters to push Congress into immediately passing their ready-made legislation package authorizing the bailout.
We've seen this movie before, and we all know the plot.
There have been similarly "urgent" needs and pressuing of Congress from this very same crowd to pass the Patriot Act, the Clear Skies Initiative, FISA "reforms" giving telecoms retroactive immunity, Iraq War authorization, ad nauseum.
I don't trust anyone in the Bush crowd to ever do the right thing for the majority of Americans, and I see no reason why Congress isn't being given the time to read the fine print. Who knows what poison pill is in the details?
There's no reason that the United States can't simply suspend stock market trading altogether on a per-week time frame, which will give Congress and citizens time to actually read, consider and debate the proposal. Americans should demand more time. After all we're being asked to foot the bill, aren't we? Other nations have suspended trading temporarily and it's done them no lasting harm--namely Russia, India and Venezuela. If they can do it, we can do it too.
UPDATE--My intense suspicions about the fine print appear justified.
Just a shout out to a Alaskan Exposure, a really great blog about living in Alaska.
Here's a small sample:
I've been fascinated with this Alaskan immunity to grotesque levels of filth for months when I happened upon a feral child scurrying around my local dumpster. The small girl popped her head up from where she sat wedged between the dumpster and a cement curb. She stared at me while seated in a cluster of fast food wrappers and oil stains. Suddenly she darted out from the dumpster, and I realized she was wearing nothing but a saggy pair of underwear. Her parents were shoveling out their truck bed while her brother lounged around on top of the dumpster.
This wasn’t the first time I wanted to call social services in Alaska. One day I happened upon an Alaskan baby playing with a plugged in power drill. I can see the church newsletter headlines now - Stigmata on Alaskan infant proves Jesus blesses natural gas pipeline!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Did you know that Palin claims to be a big fan of both the Seahawks AND the Steelers?
http://www.assistbythemitten.c om/2008/09/palin-says-shes-ste elers-and-seahawks.html
If she’s really a fan of either team, she’d have to know that she can’t have it both ways. You’re either with the Seahawks or you’re with the Steelers.
Smells like more political pandering–just like McCain changing the name of the football team to pander to the audience when re-telling and re-telling and re-telling one of his cherished POW tales.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
In my lifetime I've had the misfortune to meet some cat-hating animal killers like Palin.
To a person, all of them were self-righteous, rigid, bigoted, vindictive, cruel, abusive and full of sniggering mean-spiritedness. Often they were dog "lovers."
What is it about cats that brings out such hatred, rage and violence in a particular personality type?
I think it's because even though cats are small, vulnerable, and easily harmed, they will not submit to an abusive person. Rather, if you hurt a cat, they will either leave you or fight you--sometimes to the death.
When pressed, most cat haters will admit that they have harmed and been mean to cats on at least one occasion.
A cst's loving bond and feelings of loyalty with humans are based on mutual respect and trust. With a cat it must be earned and it must be consistent. Cats don't and won't respect, love or be loyal to a person who hurts them. A dog will. Even a terribly abused and maltreated dog will keep wagging its tail and returning to its abusive "master" when called, even when it knows what's in store for it.
One confirmed cat-hater I met told me a "funny story" about how when he was a little boy growing up in Bumfuck, Texas that his older brother and uncles used to take him out and let him watch them shoot cats, and then when he was a bit older, they let him participate.
Other cat-haters I've met have been compelled to share similar stories with me.
This guy didn't realize he was telling me this, but he had been emotionally and psychologically abused by these men who he loved, admired and respected. He couldn't see that this was the source of his cat-hatred--he was projecting this childhood trauma.
Imagine a small child, witnessing such savagery. Killing people's pets for fun. He'd have only two choices--refuse to go along and be punished (by being excluded, scolded, or mocked for being weak and a sissy) or pretend that this was "fun" and be included, accepted and praised.
Sarah Palin's father was apparently quite the "big man" hunter. Undoubtedly she experienced similar traumas witnessing animal murders, and has resolved them in the same way--by denying the childhood horror, projecting her weakness and shame onto the objects of her hatred and also adapting the abuser's persona and values (becoming a hunter herself).
These people are completely disconnected from their "shadow side." They hate cats because cats do what they could not and could never do--refuse to go along with abuse and fight back. So now, as adults, they project their own dark ugliness, their unacknowledged abuse, their secret shame, and their moral failings onto an "other" and vanquish the "other" by hating it and killing it--again and again.
So I was screwing around on the internets reading what Vietnam POW-MIA families think about McCain when I came across a link to a blog kept by the family of a wounded Iraq-Afg vet.
These people are not by any stretch liberals, or dems. So I was seriously wowed to read a post from early 2007 about a visit McCain paid to their wounded relative at Walter Reed:
A few weeks before Chuck was wounded I watched a TV movie that protrayed Jerk's time as a POW during Vietnam. I was intrigued by the story and developed a lot of respect for what he endured, and the fact that his wife waited all those years for him to return home. I knew bits and pieces of the story before watching the movie, and I knew his arms were badly damaged due to the torture he received. I had a lot of respect for the man... then I met him.
When he first walked in I was honored to meet him. He shook my hand and Alice's hand, then walked over to Chuck's bedside. After a lousy 5 minutes or so, the Jerk said (and I quote):
"Well, we all know what we're here for... let's do the photo op."
EXCUSE ME!!!??? The PHOTO OP???!!!!
I was so beyond pissed I wanted to wrestle the Jerk to the ground and kick his ass - over and over and over again! I was so stunned by his comment that all I could do to save my dignity and not stoop to his incredibly LOW level, I walked out of the room. The Jerk's photographers took some pictures and he left. I didn't even say good-bye when he walked out... I was full of rage and anger. And as Chuck can tell you, NO ONE wants to talk to me when I am that state!!!
I keep reading and hearing and seeing credible evidence about what a truly awful, abusive, lying, sociopathic scumbag McCain really is.
But I still don't understand how it is that he has voted against vets and vet support so consistently over so many years, given that he was a vet.
And I keep wondering: WTF is wrong with McCain the "wounded war hero" that he doesn't actually support veterans? What secret shame is he trying to keep at bay? What really happened to him in Vietnam? Did being tortured fuck up his mind? Was he a rat-fink while captive and did he do and say some awful things to the other prisoners? Was he far less honorable than the others?
Methinks it's fair game to re-visit his real history and real war record. And, come to think of it, it's total bull for him to assume the "hero" mantle. What, exactly, was heroic about his war service? Did he save other soldiers? Fight with superhuman bravery?
Nah--his "heroism" really consisted of flying around thousands of feet in the air and bombing the shit out of people living in villages.