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Monthly Archives: April 2016


Recently The Koch’s stated that they are not and would try to stop Trump. The well known backers of outlier Super Pacs have decided to sit this election out in the sense of not backing anyone as the candidates of their personal party of choice are too awful to back. Even these staunch conservative supporters are pushing back against the extreme rhetoric of the Dupublican runners. Is it possible given the people they have supported previously, the Koch’s are not as bad as we think? Yes they have funded super pacs and backed the unfettering of unlimited political funding yet both major party’s have used this unlimited funding to gain or keep elective office. The question arises: Who is worse? the funders or the fundees? Suppose as an extreme unlikelihood, those huge amounts of money were used to build infrastructure, eliminate poverty or provide jobs. Our focus at this time needs to be on who we elect in the smaller elections which will put other people in the State houses and Congress. New people  at each election cycle will over time move the old guard out and show the willingness to vote poor performers out. This is the power that voting has and that power is in the hands of the people.

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hedge fund
noun
noun: hedge fund; plural noun: hedge funds
  1. a limited partnership of investors that uses high risk methods, such as investing with borrowed money, in hopes of realizing large capital gains.

The ongoing down hill slide of The Sears and Kmart brands continues. The breakup, slide and precipitous decline of these 2 national brands continues to make financial headlines. The current ownership has for the past many years continued to make the survival of these two business icons impossible by not investing in infrastructure and personnel. Both of these companies were built by people who had an idea to make something for themselves and their eventual staffing. The operation of any company requires people who know and have worked in that company’s  business and apparently the current management does not have that background. How can a company survive by loans from an owner when those loans can never be repaid? The bottom line appears to be the complete erasure of these two brands making the unemployment rolls increase, creating empty buildings and a lot of real estate (which will triple in value after the company’s demise). All of this has been orchestrated (or created) by a hedge fund manager who bets on loss for a living. It may well be that the current CEO is quite good at Hedge fund  management but totally inept at the  job of managing a business. The Craftsman brands and the Blue light will eventually become history under the Sears Holdings banner.


Watch your toes! Any of you who plan to vote for Dupublicans (Republicans) and Scamocrats (Democrats) need to rethink your choice. If you have not done your due diligence in reading about the Parties as they currently exist then you are part of the problem of poor government. Government has never been perfect, that’s why we vote but voting by rote is why we have such poor Congressional and other representation. Do your home work and vote like an adult. The next Congressional error could arrive on your doorstep. The major political race is not where the Governmental problems arise, the real problems are the people we overlook and just vote for due to name recognition. These are the Congressional stiffs who treat us like the village idiots, they invoke us (“the American People”) to support their agendas and those agendas do not include us no matter what they say in the media. It is certainly reasonable to be upset with the current Government but if we ignore the small races ( Congress et al) we are effectively keeping the same ineffective Government. The President will change every 4 or 8 years no matter what but the lesser elected officials will be there until they retire unless we vote them out. These are the same people are willing to shut the Government down and pass laws we do not agree with but invoke us whenever they desire. I caution you to not get caught up in angry rhetoric which leads to errors in voting.

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Posted in the daily Koz by Hlinko

You know that “TrusTed” logo?   The one with TRUS and TED merged, yet separated via different colors?

Turns out that when you Google “TRUS”, the logo at once becomes hilarious and hilariously appropriate:

“A transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is an ultrasound technique that is used to view a man’s prostate and surrounding tissues. The ultrasound transducer (probe) sends sound waves through the wall of the rectum into the prostate gland, which is located directly in front of the rectum.”

Yup, that’s the very top Google result.   Basically, it’s an anal probe.  Which makes us even more certain that he’s actually an alien.

Well done, Ted!

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Posted from the Daily Kos

Never one to hold back, Bette Midler recently tweeted a quote she found which compared GOP racist, sexist, bigoted warmongering presidential candidate Donald Trump, to a characterization out of the American classic novel Catch-22. The book was written by Joseph Heller over fifty years ago.

“…Catch-22 remains “a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time.”

After reading the quote and comparison, some folks can also see Republican lawmaker Ted Cruz and other GOP extremists in Heller’s words below. In any case, the critically acclaimed author who passed away in 1999 seemed to describe the worst of some in the Republican Party—on their best days. See what you think.

Here is  the quote from Midler’s tweet

“It was miraculous. It was almost no trick at all, he saw, to turn vice into virtue and slander into truth, impotence into abstinence, arrogance into humility, plunder into philanthropy, thievery into honor, blasphemy into wisdom, brutality into patriotism, and sadism into justice. Anybody could do it; it required no brains at all. It merely required no character.” — Joseph Heller, Catch-22

Midler found the quote via Slaughterhouse 90210 Maris Kreizman, who was quite happy with the mention.

Catch-22 had been called one of the most significant American novels of the 20th century. Cheers to both Midler and Kreizman for bringing to light the words of a great author, which bring to light what’s wrong with the Republican Party and American politics today.

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Getting attention today: The court case in which Republican now-presidential candidate Ted Cruz, then the Texas solicitor general, ferociously defended the state’s law barring the sale of dildos.

The brief insisted that Texas in order to protect “public morals” had  “police-power interests” in “discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors.” There was a  “government” interest, it maintained, in “discouraging…autonomous sex.” The brief compared the use of sex toys with “hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy,” and it equated advertising these products with the commercial promotion of prostitution. In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz’s office declared, “There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship.”

Cruz lost, with a federal appeals court opining that the state had no legal business telling people what they could and couldn’t do in their own bedrooms. (And no, Cruz’s stance that using a dildo was like hiring a prostitute did not fly, though it is a damn fascinating opinion that hopefully Ted Cruz will elaborate on at some future point in the presidential race.)

This is an interesting enough little glimpse into how a Ted Cruz administration might play out, but in the movie version of the case I’m writing in my own head Ted has a tragic backstory that makes his attack on dildos far more personal and compelling. Ted Cruz was raised by dildos, in my version. As a toddler Ted Cruz survived a Texas plane crash, but was left orphaned and alone in Texas Hill Country until he was taken in, starving and bedraggled, by a pack of wild dildos. He soon came to believe he was one of them, and romped happily over the Texas hills with the other dildos until his teenage years, when he was discovered by hunters and, against his own will, torn from his dildo family and slowly reintroduced to human society. All of this leading up to the tragic courtroom scene with a grown-up, suit-wearing Ted railing against dildos and calling on the state to ban them. Behind him as he gives his arguments, his dildo mother and father weep: Why, son, why?

Even now, when he is alone at night, Ted Cruz can still hear their quiet sobs. Exhausted from long days campaigning for the presidency, he looks out the window of his latest hotel room, past the anonymous city lights and into the darkness beyond. He can still hear the call of the Texas hills, and thinks back to those carefree young days leaping through the tall grass with all the other dildos. Why, indeed.

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The current Presidential race has shown the darker side of our politics and unearthed the deeper evil of the whole system. Fact checkers uncover the misrepresentation of statements, media sources reveal the truth behind the sitting elected officials and we still vote some of these people in time after time. First let’s think about politics overall, this is a business that hires people to lie, misrepresent and cajole to get us to vote their way. There have been many times staffers have been caught and fired but how many have never been caught and continue to do their worst? These are the things we as voters need to pay attention to. These “stuffers” have created the rifts between us religiously, racially and economically. All of this for an elected position that invariably will benefit the voter very little. Think about the “Watergate Scandal” of the 70’s when our President and his closest aides committed crimes in his behalf. It is entirely possible that these sorts of things are still being done but with more secretiveness. “Lest we forget” our political system is rife with corruption and deceit as evidenced by the lackluster performance of our Congress in the past 20 years. it is always said:” If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and looks like a duck then it is most assuredly a duck!”

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Several Dupublicans have met with the President’s nominee for the high court including the ranking  member of the Judiciary committee. The majority leader of the Senate has stated along with other Dupublican members that there will be no hearings or meetings on this nominee. I see that happening even though these “meetings” are informal and bear  no weight. Are these meetings just conversations or unofficial vettings? Apparently the Dupublican membership is not as united in this issue as Senator McGoogle would like to portray. Think about the idea that these are the people who want to us give them control of our country. Think well before you vote in the upcoming election.

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It is unfortunate that we have to filter what we hear and read. It is also unfortunate that the media doesn’t. The most unsettling issue is our lack of will to look beyond the headlines. We all believe in something, that belief is what drives our motivation  to do or not do. In our beliefs there are subsets that apply to religious, work and home activities. It is stated in the U.S. Constitution there is a separation of Church and State. The attached article spells that out. This is all about the recent state laws supporting the religious right to discriminate against LBGT Americans.

Yes There Is a Constitutional Separation of Church and State

Perhaps nothing is more important to American politics than a well-reasoned debate. Unfortunately, far too many people are ill-informed to make such discussions possible.

An excellent example of this comes from the responses to an article I wrote examining the concerns of conservative Christians over Tennessee schools’ teaching the five pillars of Islam. While there were a number of topics that readers could have discussed, by far the most outrage centered on my statements regarding the separation of church and state. Comments included “Clearly, someone hasn’t read the Constitution, because there is no such thing as “separation of church and state” in the US Constitution.” “Where exactly in the U.S. Constitution does it address “separation of church and state?” and “Simply put, nowhere in the First Amendment does the phrase ‘separation of church and state’ exist.”

It seems that to some people, if the words don’t explicitly appear in the constitution then the idea they refer to isn’t constitutionally guaranteed. Viewing it in these simplistic terms is meant to dismiss the entire argument; as if every decision based on the separation of church and state is somehow invalid because the term separation of church and state doesn’t appear in the constitution.

Of course the problems with this assertion are many. First and most basic is the fact that the Supreme Court is the ultimate interpreter of federal constitutional law. This means that while the term “separation of Church and State” may never appear in the constitution itself, the Court ruling in the case of Everson v. Board of Education stated “the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.’”

A quarter century later, the case of Lemon v. Kurtzman further defined this separation when it established the Lemon Test to determine if a law violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. Every ruling since has confirmed that, in the view of the highest court in the land the Constitution created a separation of church and state.

Having said that, the separation of church and state is hardly the first unwritten concept that is protected by the constitution. In the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court established a women’s constitutional right to have an abortion despite the word abortion never appearing in the constitution. In the 2015 case of Obergefell v. Hodges the Supreme Court established that laws against same-sex marriage were unconstitutional despite the word marriage never appearing in the constitution. In the 1963 case of Gideon v. Wainwright the Supreme Court established that the constitution guarantees the right to an attorney despite the words public defender never appearing in the constitution. In the 2010 case of McDonald v. Chicago the Supreme Court established that the second amendment right to bear arms included the right to bear arms for self-defense despite the words self-defense never appearing in the constitution.

It should also be noted that of the 112 Supreme Court Justices, none of them has been an atheist. In fact 92 percent of them were Christian. What rationale would these justices have for making laws that would create a legal prejudice towards their system of beliefs, especially if the separation of Church and State is a misinterpretation?

The reality is that the constitution was never meant to be a stagnant document that was rigidly adherent to the words on the page. As Thomas Jefferson said “The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please.” Over the past 200 years the Supreme Court has shaped the constitution to contain a clear separation of church and state that protects every religion equally. If only those who argue against this separation could see how they benefit from it instead of inappropriately interpreting it as an attack on Christianity.

 

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The current events surrounding the LGBT community is at once tragic and appalling. The so called religious right has subverted the reason for the various religions in America. Many years ago Europeans arrived on the East coast to pursue their religions without fear of oppression from the Governments in Europe. They brought their own rites and rituals which they quickly tried to apply to the native population even to the point of warring with them in some cases. These are some of the same people who participated in or condoned openly or tacitly in the so called “Salem Witch trials”. You may know of the atrocities committed in a religious fervor on people who deemed witches by the leading religious leaders based on flawed information and often fear. This subversion of religion has carried over to these modern times in the form of restrictive and prolific bias against the LGBT community and by extension along racial lines (there are many races in this community too). The Constitution specifically separates Church and State yet so many States and communities  have used religion to deny jobs, housing and services to folks of different and diverse life styles (which if examined are not much different than anyone else’s). The actions to deny services to all Americans regardless of their differences is against the beliefs of most mainstream religions. It is unfortunate that a few narrowly focused people and some of their leaders have fallen to a new low in humanity and taking their religion with them. These are the people who have interpreted the bible in their own way and added things that are not in any bible to support their own biased views. Sounds a lot like the Islamic Radicals who are ravaging the middle east. Both push an agenda of intolerance and hate.

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