Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving Holiday


Hi ya'll,
It's been a great few weeks, but I have to get back to life, do my homework, term papers, exams, wash the dishes, look for a new apartment,,, all those kinds of fun things that I have successfully been putting on the back burner until after the election.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keith Olbermann on Prop.8 and Love

If you missed Keith's special comment last night... it was one of the most moving things I have heard, a touching tribute to true love, humanity and the state of our world.
So I be written in the Book of Love,
I do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Boycott Utah!

Sign the petition to review the 501(c)(3) status of The Church of Latter-day Saints here

UPDATE: This website is documenting the many Mormons who are leaving the church over this issue... props to the folks standing against this injustice!

Proposition 8 won in California on Tuesday. Part of the reason is due to fear pandering, slanderous, lying and misleading ads on TV, radio and in print. These ads were funded in a large part by Mormons, as part of a deliberate and calculated campaign by the LDS Church to defeat the measure and amend the constitution of California. Mormons from Utah gave millions of dollars towards this campaign which now takes away the rights of same sex couples to marry.

OK, granted, I have had a very longstanding beef with the Mormon church. First, as an atheist, and secondly having lived underneath an apartment of Mormon missionaries, and thirdly just as a person who regularly uses my brain.... the whole thing about Joseph Smith, con artist extraordinaire and the magic glasses given to him by the angle Moroni, the talking hat, and the whole thing about God having made the skins of Native Americans brown as a punishment for not accepting Jesus, and Jesus living in America among the Native peoples (oh there is just so much)... it just reeks of total bullshit (OK, not unlike other more established fairy tales, but I have outrage especially reserved towards NEW ones) ... and people buy into it lock stock and barrel??? Oh boy- I just don't get it. Plus, what a bunch of freaking hypocrites! Their whole history is of being tormented and hated because of their lifestyle... they claimed the land that is now Utah for their own so they could practice their religion without harassment... so now they decide to harass some other group who suffers torment and hatred because of their lifestyle. Please... I'm gonna puke.

My first response is this: You have a whole state to yourselves, why not leave us alone?? Many of us come to California to get away from the kind of church controlled/influenced government that infects many other areas around the country. Here, at least in San Francisco, we find and foster diversity, fairness and equality. Now a church, from another state, decides to inject its dollars to build a Christian morality in our legislature? Mormon account for roughly 2% of CA population... but the Mormon church and it's members contributed 77% of the money behind "Yes on 8". Something stinks.

Here is a document one of our fellow Kossacks somehow got ahold of: DailyKos.com
It proves a distinct and organized attempt of the Mormon Church to interfere with and influence a proposition in California. Having exerted efforts in Hawaii, the church now, in 1997, directs it's efforts to California.

In todays Chronicle: http://www.sfgate.com Passages I find particularly offensive/sickening:
The church encouraged its members to work to pass California's Proposition 8 by volunteering their time and money for the campaign. Thousands of Mormons worked as grassroots volunteers and gave tens of millions of dollars to the campaign.
Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement about the temple protests Friday that it is "disturbing" that the church is being singled out for exercising its right to speak up in a free election."While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process," Farah said.
Church a part of California's democratic process??? What part of this sentence makes sense?
The blogosphere responds:

"At a fundamental level, the Utah Mormons crossed the line on this one," said gay rights activist John Aravosis, an influential blogger in Washington, D.C.
"They just took marriage away from 20,000 couples and made their children bastards," he said. "You don't do that and get away with it."

So why single out the Mormon church? The Catholics were just a vehemently opposed to Prop. 8. Well, once again I say.... the Mormons have a whole fucking state to themselves, so why do they put so much money and energy into effecting our politics in California? I can't stand it.
"At this point, the Californians are the victims and the Mormons are the persecutors," he said. "We had won this until they swept in. ... We need to send a message to Utah that they need to stop trying to inflict their way of life on every other state."
And what about our fellow Californians who supported the measure? It's hard to just shake hands and let bygones be bygones, because they AREN'T! This measure goes forward from this day on to not only strip away rights but to AMEND the constitution. This from C.W. Nevius at the Chronicle:
This isn't like a disagreement between two co-workers about who should be president or a debate about whether city funds should be set aside for affordable-housing projects. This is a deep, visceral divide between two cultures...

But now the Prop. 8 backers are complaining that they are the wronged party."I think what infuriates me the most is that supporters of Prop. 8 could now possibly be portraying themselves as victims after successfully taking the rights away from other people," said San Francisco resident Paul Holtz. "It's bizarre, paranoid, and silly for them to be claiming suffering at this point."

It's hard to guess where this will all end. Hopefully the courts will straighten it out. Was this a constitutional change the should have required a 2/3 vote? If so this measure is invalid. Is there a precedent for stripping away rights once they have been granted? I can't help but be reminded that, if left up to VOTERS, African Americans would have never been granted equal rights. Not the Japanese or Chinese. So why should such an important decision be left up to voters, who in their ignorance and fear, fall prey to ads blasting lies and distortions across our airways 24/7? The people made the right decision in our Presidential election, but not for Prop. 8. One barrier fell while another was resurrected. This is not over! We have only just begun to fight for the rights of all people.

Am I the only one who thinks all the whining of the Prop. 8 supporters now rings hollow? I'll let C.W. have the last word:

... my guess is that many of the Prop. 8 supporters, like Pira Tritasavit of San Francisco, are asking some difficult questions of themselves. "As a Christian," he said, "should I feel apologetic for voting my conscience? Should I feel proud over a victory? Should this be 'rubbed in their faces?' Is this a done deal now? I don't think so. The passing of legislation can never change human hearts."
To which VanGundy [referring to attacks on Prop. 8 supporters] replies: "Bitterness, name calling and finger pointing will do nothing to help. Ignorance is our enemy - not people."

But Prop. 8 supporters need to understand the basic truth. They can't have it both ways. They won a bitter, unpleasant and divisive battle. It's unrealistic now to expect those who lost their rights will understand and respect the Prop. 8 point of view.

Countries where same sex marriage is legal or perform civil unions or partnerships:
Spain, New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Andorra, Czech Republis, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Luxemborg, Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K., Uruguay, Hungary


www.mormonsstoleourrights.com
www.americablog.org
www.lds.org

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Democratic Shift















Funny isn't it! When the Dem's stopped trying to pander to The Right, The Right centered and concentrated (with Palin's prodding) and took control of the Republican Party. Then all of a sudden, moderate and intellectual Repugs came over to our side, abandoning the little wingnuts to their own devices. This map shows counties that, compared to 2004, voted more Democratic. This ingenious map shows dramatically the shift away from right wing extremism, and I find it comforting and reassuring. For more go here.

There was dancing in the streets!















Well, I'm still trying to take it all in... last night was tense, stomach wrenching, nerve fraying, then cautious optimism, then afraid-to-say-it-out-loud possibility, then we've-won-this-for-sure giddiness, then out-and-out rock the house HE WON!!! OBAMA IS OUR NEXT PRESIDENT!!!!!
We were in the lobby of the W hotel downtown, amidst hundreds of revelers. We watched and listened as Obama gave his acceptance speech. I cried... sobbed more like it. You see, I was born and raised in Georgia. My family consisted of your stereotypical racist bigots you find in that area. However, my mother's folks, in Alabama, were kind and just, even though they were prejudiced, I would not call then racist. I guess it's a finesse of degrees, but in the South, that counts for a lot. My mother's mother never said the "n" word, unlike my father's family... I can't even tell you how bad they were. But my father did not want us to grow up like that, and for all the faults I can list for him, he did believe in civil rights and he was not at all racist. Neither was my mom.















My father marched in the civil rights marches in Alabama in the 50's. He gave sermons condemning the white Citizen's Council and the KKK. Both my parents had black friends, and encouraged us to make friends of all colors. all these things did not win them popularity contests amng other white southerners. My dad was marched out of his church and out of town at gun point for those sermons. He lost another church job for teaching a Sunday School class on world religions. Apparently my own life was threatened for befriending the lone back girl in my class, because her parents and mine decided that we could not spend time over at each other's homes any more. When I protested through tears and tantrums, my dad said I would understand the seriousness of what was happening when I got older. Her parents and mind understood that we were in danger because of the KKK in the area. They did what they had to do to protect us. Other things I remember is that we had a brick thrown through our window with some kind of note (they never let us kids know what it said) after my mom and dad helped a black family who had a car accident in front of our house by bringing them inside and taking care of the kids while taking the dad to the hospital. Later, we moved from a Florida town suddenly when I was 14 because my dad have something to do with exposing the Sheriff as a leader in the KKK. To his death he would not tell me what exactly happened.
My mother was a public school teacher. She did not protest or cause big waves. Her work was much more personal and quiet. She spent her own money to buy glasses, shoes, clothes, even medicine for the very poor kids who were in her classes, the majority of them happened to be African American, as the black communities sometimes are very, very marginalized in the South. She attended funerals, weddings and baptisms of her black students, former students and fellow teachers. In the South, this can be looked down upon, because church congregations tend to be very separate, and also it involves venturing into the "black side of town" which most whites wouldn't do.
So, my parents, while not "liberals" as we tend to think of it, were not racist and proudly struggled to make sure my brother and I, despite growing up in the midst of it all, would not turn out to be racist either.
So last night I cried for them. They died 5 years ago, and did not get to see Obama elected as the 44th President of the USA. They would have worked for him, would have voted for him, and would have been thrilled that after all they did for their whole lives, that we as a nation have finally come to this point in history. And what's more, my cousins, brother and sister-in-law all worked for Obama. We are not proud about who our ancestors are, and the bad things they may have done in the past, but today we can be proud to say that our family has come a long way in two generations.
I wish so much that they could be here to witness and be a part of this. I cried because I miss them and I thank them for making me who I am today... working for hope, justice and progress. For this moment when I can truly say I am proud of my countrymen and women. So, Mom and Dad, I raise a glass in your honor!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes We Can by Will.i.am

TODAY IS THE DAY















Today is the day we have all been waiting for...
Today is the day we have all been working for...
Today is the day we have all been HOPING for...

Now Get Out And Vote!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Quotable Palin

Good read..
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-kelly/the-quotable-palin_b_140161.html

The chilling case against Bush/Chaney

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/
By Andrew Sullivan:
"Cheney and Bush, unlike any presidency in American history, have dangerously pushed constitutional government to the brink of collapse. They did not merely assert a unified executive in which actions and regulations reserved to the executive branch were kept free from Congressional and judicial tampering. That is a perfectly defensible position, especially in wartime. They did not merely act in the immediate Agabuse wake of an emergency to protect American citizens swiftly - again a perfectly legitimate use of executive power, unhampered by Congress or courts. They declared such power to be unlimited; they asserted also that it was as permanent as the emergency they declared; they claimed their dictatorial powers were inherent in the presidency itself, and above any legal constraints; they ordered their own lawyers to provide retroactive and laughable legal immunity for their crimes; they by-passed all the usual and necessary checks within the executive branch to ensure prudence and legality and self-doubt in the conduct of a war; they asserted that emergency war powers applied to the territory of the United States itself; they claimed the right to seize anyone - anyone, citizen or not - they deemed an "enemy combatant," to hold them indefinitely with no due process and to torture them until they became incoherent, broken, brutalized shells of human beings, if they survived at all. They did this to the guilty and they did this to the innocent. But they also had no way of reliably knowing which was which and who was who. Never before in wartime has the precious, sacred inheritance of free people been treated with such contempt by the leaders of the democratic West."

Please! read this article.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Final Word on ACORN- Repug LIES

From Politico:

For weeks, Republican leaders have warned that widely reported problems with fake voter registrations could result in a flood of phony votes in pivotal states.

But Ronald Michaelson, a veteran election administrator and member of the McCain-Palin Honest and Open Election Committee, said in an interview that he could not name a single instance in which this had occurred.

“Do we have a documented instance of voting fraud that resulted from a phony registration form? No, I can’t cite one, chapter and verse,” he said.

The claims and counterclaims about fraudulent voting have emerged as a prominent issue in the 2008 campaign. Sen. John McCain declared in the final presidential debate that ACORN — the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, the low-income advocacy group whose temporary staffers submitted thousands of faked applications — “is now on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history in this country, maybe destroying the fabric of democracy.”

Read the article HERE

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Repug IT chief headed for deposition

Breaking News!!!

So... let me get this straight... Mike Connell, the guy who was convicted and served jail time for rigging the 2004 Ohio election is now, as we speak, in charge of the Republican party's election network, and has just been ordered to give deposition on Nov 3rd, testifying in court in a case that also indicts Karl Rove? This is amazing!
Sure, right now McPalin are making a big deal that Obama has a poor elderly Kenyan aunt in public housing who has overstayed her visa... SCARY!!!
But this is the real important shit...the Repug Party/McPalin campaign has in it's employ as the TOP I.T. Man a criminal who is now going to be deposed right before the most crucial hour for stealing the election. I guess he better make sure everything is rigged a day early. I can only hope that he alone holds the keys to the system and it will crash and burn without him.
Who needs conspiracy theory when this shit is real? You know, I have been wondering why, all of a sudden McCain has been beaming with confidence. I figured someone whispered in his ear "Don't worry Senator, you will win in Pennsylvania." Sound familiar?
Now, it is a possibility that the whole scheme will be revealed in court on the day before the election. I feel like throwing up. There is no honor at all in the Republican party, or McCain. He is beaming, IMHO, and bursting with greedy ambition at the thought that this election could possibly go his way with a little cheating here and there. It really make me ill.

And for anyone who has doubts that it really happened in 2000 and 2004, please read "How to Rig an Election" by Allen Raymond, convicted of election fraud in 2002. He details what he was paid to do and how it can, and does, still happen today.


I cannot even consider what would happen if Obama does not win. It will be the utter and complete destruction of everything I could possibly hope for our government. It will be a complete sham and to see McCain and Palin joyfully taking the oath of office would really be too much for me. I know I'm not the only one... And if anyone feels like they could resign themselves to the outcome, thinking it wouldn't really make any difference... I think we have seen enough in the last 8 years to disavow that belief.

Watch what Bush does in the next 2 months. He is poised to sign a ton of legislation right now decreasing regulation on environmental standards, air quality, and consumer protections:
From the LA Times
The White House is working to enact an array of federal regulations, many of which would weaken rules aimed at protecting consumers and the environment, before President Bush leaves office in January.

The new rules would be among the most controversial deregulatory steps of the Bush era and could be difficult for his successor to undo. Some would ease or lift existing constraints on private industry, including power plants, mines and farms.

Those and other regulations would help clear obstacles to some commercial ocean-fishing activities, ease controls on pollutants that contribute to global warming, relax drinking-water standards and lift a key restriction on mountaintop coal mining.

The lame duck will not go down without sneakily laying a big pile of steaming duck shit on the American people.
And for today's entertainment...

Friday, October 31, 2008

GOTV!

Get. Out. The. Vote.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Voted Today!

Yay! I went down to the City Hall and cast my vote for Obama. I felt all emo when I did it, like I was doing something important, something historic. It's the best feeling EVER! Go Vote!!!!























It was a cold rainy day today... I voted and then walked around the veggie garden that was planted in front of city hall for a Slow Food Conference a couple of months ago. Sadly they will have to pull it out soon, as it has to be guarded 24/7 or other wise be ravaged by our urban campers... don't worry, all the produce goes to local shelters.

































































































Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In case you missed Obama's 30 minutes...

So informative, if anyone is wondering what Obama's plans are, send them this video. Wonderful... I feel like this is truly a historic time in our country, a time when we can change how we live, take a better, more humane, less materialistic course in life and restore compassion to our national agenda. Let's get out the vote people!!!!!!!

A Reason for Hope in Humanity

I've been sitting here, slogging through video after video of Americans in line at McPalin rallies spouting "he's Muslim, he's communist, he's an Arab," etc.( and worse) and getting very depressed about the state of ignorance and fear rampant in our country these days. And I ran across this much needed piece of hope and the triumph of reason and intelligence... hope you enjoy it as much as I did and may it send you off into todays activities with renewed faith that something good can indeed come of this...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

150+ Professors Call Out McPalin's Racist Tactics

http://politicalcommunication.info/

In a nonpartisan statement headed by Professor Edward Schiappa, Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, more than 150 college professors have drafted a statement decrying the McCain/Palin's campaign for the overt racism and bigotry that they are currently engendering. A bold statement to say the least...
In recent weeks, the Republican ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin has engaged in such incendiary mendacity that we must speak out. The purposeful dissemination of messages that a communicator knows to be false and inflammatory is unethical. It is that simple.

150

VoteVets Commercial

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Importance of Fruit Flies


Apparently Palin and the GOP have no idea about how scientific research works. An why would they? They reject evolution for the belief that the world is 6,000 years old. Following is a wonderful diary from DailyKos from a scientist who explains it all...

Of Flies and Worms: Model Systems for Research
by mole333
Sat Oct 25, 2008 at 10:58:14 AM PDT

Sarah Palin thought she had a funny one liner about "fruit fly research" in Paris, France..."I kid you not." And golly gee, the crowd of right wing nuts she was speaking to guffawed on cue, yuck yuck yuck.

Sarah Palin, it's not useless earmarks. It's called science, that thing that leads to actual discoveries, gives America a competitive edge and actually cures or mitigates the severity of many human illnesses. I am sick and tired of Republican anti-intellectualism. Eisenhower would be appalled at the stupidity displayed by Palin and her audience. Republicans used to value science. Now they consider it nothing but the butt of lame jokes.

I am a research biologists at New York University's Medical Center. I don't work on fruit flies. I work on a model system I am sure Palin would find even more joke worthy. I work on worms. They are called model systems and amazing discoveries, not to mention Nobel Prizes, come from this kind of research.

* mole333's diary :: ::
*

On Kieth Olbermann, Richard Wolffe of Newsweek put it this way, and he says this is being restrained:

"This is the most mindless, ignorant, uninformed comment that we have seen from Governor Palin so far, and there's been a lot of competition for that prize."

I will not be restrained. It is not only ignorant, stupid and idiotic, but it is outright dangerous as it suggests that we should not be funding critical research done in model systems like fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) or worms (Caenorhabditis elegans).

What is a model system? It is an animal that is easy to work with and whose genetics is easy to manipulate and observe that can give us insights into human biology and disease. For details, go here.

Here is a brief description of model systems, particularly Drosophila as a model system:

In the 20th century, there were two decades during which Drosophila melanogaster was the most significant model organism and each decade led to the establishment of new scientific disciplines. The first decade was roughly from 1910 and during this period a small group at Columbia University, headed by Thomas Hunt Morgan, established the rules of transmission genetics with which we are all familiar. In the second decade, roughly from 1970, many of the principles and techniques of the earlier period were used to determine the genetic control of basic aspects of the biology of organisms, notably their development and their behaviour. In this review I will show that it was not only the genius of the research workers (five were awarded Nobel Prizes and it has been argued, with justification, that at least one more should have been awarded) but also the special features of D. melanogaster that led to these advances.

THAT is what Palin was deriding and the right wingers were guffawing about. And just what research in Paris might she have been laughing at?

Could it be the work of Yohanns Bellaïche on cell polarity in asymmetric cell division and differentiation, issues basic to developmental biology?

Or was it Bruno Lemaitre studying the mechanisms of microbial infection and host defense using Drosophila as a model system?

Or perhaps Jacques Montagne studying the integration cellular growth (i.e. cell size increase) and proliferation in coordination with nutrient availability?

And this just names a few. Each of these are key areas of research in development, immunology and/or cancer research. And Palin thinks they are not important.

Drosophila research began with Thomas Hunt Morgan who ultimately won the Nobel Prize for his work. Morgan dsicovered the phenomenon sex-linked—characters, which led to the understanding of sex chromosomes. Prior to this painstaking work in fruit flies we didn't understand how gender was determined.

Since then Nobel Prizes have been awarded for the following work in fruit flies: (not comprehensive)

Hermann Muller: 1946 for the discovery that X-rays cause mutations

George W. Beadle: 1958 for the discovery of the "one gene-one enzyme" theory of gene action...one of the most fundamental theories (though since modified) of genetics.

Edward B. Lewis, Christiane Nusslein-Volhard and Eric F. Wieschaus: 1995 for discovering how the very early stages of embryogenesis are controlled

Richard Axel and Linda Buck: 2004 who used Drosophila as part of their work identifying the molecular basis for the sense of smell (olfactory receptors)

I work in another model system. To Sarah Palin it probably is even more laughable than fruit flies. I work on microscopic soil worms called C. elegans. My research is in the role of insulin signaling in development and is getting to some very fundamental aspects of how organs develop and what controls the balance between cell division and cell differentiation, something that goes wrong in cancer.

But to Sarah Palin my work is just some unimportant work on worms. Microscopic worms, no less!

The originator of fruit fly research was Thomas Morgan. With C. elegans it was Sydney Brenner, who specifically set out to discover the ideal model organism. Nobel prizes awarded to C. elegans research includes:

John Sulston, Robert Horvitz and Sydney Brenner: 2002 for research into the genes that control development and cell death

Andrew Fire and Craig Mello: 2006 for discovery of an RNA-based method for controlling the expression of proteins

Martin Chalfie (sharing with others working in other organisms): 2008 for the discovery and application of Green Fluorescent protein...which has become one of the fundamental tools in all biological research and was the basis for my last four or five publications on protein localization of oncogenes in mammalian cells.

So my basic question is this: just what about all of this does Sarah Palin and the Republican Party find so objectionable?

For those who want to uphold science in the face of right wing attacks (and idiocy!), I can recommend three groups.

Union of Concerned Scientists: UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.

National Center for Science Education: providing information and resources for schools, parents and concerned citizens working to keep evolution in public school science education. We educate the press and public about the scientific, educational, and legal aspects of the creation and evolution controversy, and supply needed information and advice to defend good science education at local, state, and national levels.

Scientists and Engineers for America: Our mission is to facilitate evidence-based decision making at all levels of government. Our programs include both a short-term focus on the 2008 national elections – through the SHARP Network – and a long-term focus on building a more engaged and politically active scientific community – through SEA Chapters and the Campaign Education and Training program. Click here to become a member of SEA and to sign up for our daily Science Policy News Alerts!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Umm...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Palin Would Be President

this morning I suddenly grasped a horrid, sinking realization of what is going on in the Republican Party: Sarah Palin, not John McCain, is the candidate. Please bear with me as I struggle to connect the dots of my erratic thought processes...

When my Kenyan friend first came to this country on a scholarship, he said the thing that struck him the hardest is that we, the USA, have a system of law in which (ideally) any person can have access to justice, a fair trial. This doesn't exist in Kenya, he explained. And what blew him away is that he saw that the reason this justice system exists, is that we all have collectively chosen to, and continue to believe in the rule of law. At that time, I had never thought of it in that way. That the only reason the justice system exists is that we, as a society, believe and uphold the concept of law. It is, indeed, just that fragile, and once the masses cease to believe it, or are duped into believing in a facade of it, it no longer exists. His words came back to me this morning.

This morning I was reading (thank you Daily Kos)an article published by the imminent author and journalist, Chris Hedges, The Idiots Who Rule America, I began to mentally debate my usual argument with those who, rightfully so, reproach the elite oligarchy of our country for getting us into the current state of affairs. And not just the past 8 years, but perhaps the past 50 or more. And that argument is this: that there will never be a class based revolution in this country because every citizen and immigrant (legal and otherwise) is vehemently, and , as we have seen more and more lately, sometimes violently clinging to and invested in the belief that one day THAT will be ME. One day I will be a member of that rich, elite class, the American Dream, I will have it all. It's only a lottery ticket away, or.... I will invent something and sell my idea to Apple or IBM, or... I'll score a big record deal, or... I'll get on a reality show and launch a Hollywood career, or perhaps, less so now than in the past, I can work hard and catch a lucky break.

No matter how you slice it, Americans are invested in a life long fantasy of striking it rich and joining the ranks of the upper class. Even as, in the real world that exists outside our heads, the gap between the classes widens and the middle class disappears, Americans will never overthrow and abolish that very thing that they, with a fervor surpassing religiosity, fantasize about obtaining.

This is why the concept of socialism is NEVER understood in America and can be conjured up a a tool against Obama, or whatever public figure you want to demonize. The idea of socialism is always equated with communism and met with a stubborn refusal to educate oneself on the differences between the two, and thus realize what the fuck one is actually talking about. Threaten the belief in an American's fantasy world that the lifestyle of the rich and famous can soon be theirs, and you might get a knife in the back. Or a candidate assassinated.

That is why there will never be a revolution in America and the country will disintegrate, rot away from the inside while half of us write, protest and wring our metaphorical hands, the other half lays down willingly to be the stepping stones of the religious-diatribe-spouting oligarchy.. and strew our lawns with dead bear cubs, hang racist effigies, slash our tires and spit in our faces if we try to wake them up. They fight for their ignorance... to wake up would be to strip away everything they cling to- psychologically, economically, religiously and, gee whiz, you might have to actually think for yourself!

Sarah Palin, I am convinced, was picked by the party, not by the candidate. She consistently echoes the right wing extremes of the party line (and if you want to see the nastiness at heart of the Republic Party, just go check out their website) even if McCain, who himself, perhaps unconscionably foreshadowing what will come by proclaiming that he is not popular even within his own party, may try to advance a more reasonable rhetoric. People think Palin is being used by the machinery... I suggest it's the other way around. She, and the GOP, are using McCain in their desperate attempt to win and maintain control of the Oval Office. And, my friends, this incarnation of the GOP is far more dangerous than even the inept "incompetarchy" of the Bush administration.

Where Bush can be seen as bumbling, Palin is coldly calculating. The similarities are rife, however.. a faux populist identification, accomplished with fake homey accents, folksy catchphrases and an appeal to be, in Bush's case "a guy who you want to sit down and have a beer with" and with Palin, someone you invite "to sit at your kitchen table."

OK, we all know that, but here's the crux...McCain as president would be the impotent, puffed up figurehead while Palin, as Cheney, will operate the country to the party's pleasure. And all those pseudo Joe-the-plumbers will get their guns out of their closets and defend the GOP to their death, or more likely, ours.

This is my new realization... that this, yet another wholesale charade that is being promulgated by the GOP and their god-addicted, fist-pumping constituency, is rising with every hate-filled speech on the campaign circuit to maintain a divided populace and destroy all chances of real revolution in the policies and structure of our government.

My only hope is that with the election of Obama, the tide can begin to shift. Not that I am expecting any real revolutionary changes to be made, but maybe, just maybe, people can be enticed to lay aside their fear and reactionary politics and step into the light... a society of reason, discourse, intelligence, examination, compassion and justice. That is the system I choose to believe in. And hope for.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Contribution dislosure? More GOP LIES!

What will McCain/Palin NOT do to try to discredit Obama? Every accusation they have made has been either gross misrepresentation of facts or straight out lies.
1)ACORN you say? Well first of all, that's not voter fraud, and no arrests have been made... meanwhile CEO of a company hired by Repubs has been arrested today in Canada for voter registration fraud committed in CA and across the country.
2) Ayers: Not only is the Annenburg Foundation a McCain supporter stronghold, but two of the folks who worked with Ayers on his grant are now working for McCain. There's more....McCain's staffer Timmons is under investigation for working/lobbying for Saddam Hussain while the US was at war with him, Gordon Liddy is a convicted terrorist, another McCain staffer is under investigation for war profittering.
3) McCain totally lies about Obama's tax and health care plans.
4) Socialism? I can't even go there because we all know that corprate welfare adds up to billions of dollars. Why is that not called socialism? Redistribution of wealth? What do they think taxes are anyway? It makes my head hurt to realize how stupid people truly are....
5) Joe the not-a-plumber... ugly
6) Now this campaign contribution shit... want to see just how transparent the campaigns really are? I mean, who would let a little thing like FACTS get in the way of good campaign rhetoric? It seems that third party evaluation finds that Obama has provided almost half the amount of undisclosed donation as McCain. I mean, how can they spout off this shit and not think that people can look up the facts online, very easily and quickly.
Go here... Obama McCain
And then campaign director Davis injects a little Arab-terrorist angle by stating the Obama is "selling T-shirts all over the Gaza strip" this comes in from our good friends in Russia...
On a day on which McCain campaign manager Rick Davis hinted that Obama was taking foreign money, the Russian Mission to the United Nations has released a standard-issue fundraising letter gone a bit astray: It was addressed to the Russian envoy to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, at the mission's address, but without his title. [...]

"We have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia's permanent mission to the UN nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries," the statement said.



Here's a list of all the newspapers who have endorsed Obama...
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/20/144828/87/833/635803
California

Daily Breeze (south of LA) (first Dem in decades)
San Bernadino Sun
Stockton Record (first Dem in 72 years)
Tri Valley Herald (Pleasonton)
San Francisco Cronicle
LA Times

Colorado
Denver Post

Florida
Naples Daily News
Orlando Sentinel (OK, they endorsed Kerry, but he was their first Dem)

Illinois
Chicago Tribune (first Dem, ever)

New Jersey
Asbury Park Press

New Mexico
Las Cruces Sun News

New York
Daily News (NY)

Ohio
Canton Repository

Oregon
Yamhill Valley Sun News

Pennsylvania
Express Times

Texas
Austin American Statesman
Bryan Eagle
Houston Chronicle

Utah
Salt Lake Tribune

Washington
Columbian (Vancouver, WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic
Wisconsin
Wisconsin State Journal

Why Obama?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oh, so THIS is why I don't like Sarah Palin?

During his presidential campaign Mike Huckabee expressed a set of opinions not strikingly different from Sarah Palin's, yet my guess is that if he were John McCain's running mate these same women would not despise him with the same vehemence they do Sarah Palin. Some of this is due to snobbery, some possibly to envy.
Governor Palin is, after all, a good-looking woman with what appears to be a happy family life who has achieved a great deal in a relatively brief time. But above all Sarah Palin's opinions, because they are held by her, a woman, suggest betrayal.


This stuff astounds me... so irresponsible, so wrong. This amazing observation is made by conservative columnist Joseph Epstein in The Weekly Standard, a repository of right wing thought and punditry. He goes on to state that the reason we feminists support abortion rights is so we ca kill kids with Downs Syndrome!?! This kind of stuff is out there, people read it, subscribe to it and repeat it faithfully:
Strongly liberal women get most agitated over the issue--though of course to them it is no issue but a long since resolved matter--of abortion. Abortion, to be sure, is the great third-rail subject in American politics. But when a male politician is against abortion, these women can write that off as the ignorance of a standard politician, if not himself a Christian fundamentalist, then another Republican cynically going after the fundamentalist vote. A woman not in favor of abortion is something quite different.And it is all the more strikingly different when the same woman not only holds this opinion on abortion but acts on it and knowingly bears a child with Down syndrome, a child that most liberal women would have thought reason required aborting. What else, after all, is abortion for?

the Weekly Standard
It is amazing to me that this kind of ignorant rhetoric is upheld highly at all levels of society, by even the most educated persons. For a great analysis, I found Bill Maher's show on Friday night, in which they were discussing the McCain campaigns' new strategy of labeling Obama as a Socialist. Martin Short, comedian, talked about how he grew up in Canada... "What's with all the fear?" he asks. (he starts around 7:20)


So what IS the deal with all the fear? There is definitely two Americas... one that lives in anger and in constant, overwhelming fear of everything around them, everything that is somehow different, challenging, intellectual or intelligent, so that it prevents them from seeing what is actually REAL about the world. I know, it's an age-old tactic that no one seems to question or either be ashamed of promulgating. Om Real Time, Senator Bernie Sanders, a Socialist-Democrat, Ben Affleck and Martin Short discuss this and other issues in the most reasoned and intelligent hour of discussion that I have heard in a very long time. Check it out!

What Colin Powell Said

Reporter: Sir, what part did McCain's negativity play in your decision, the negative tone of the campaign?

Powell: It troubled me. We have two wars. We have economic problems. We have health problems. We have education problems. We have infrastructure problems. We have problems around the world with our allies. So those are the problems the American people wanted to hear about, not about Mr. Ayers, not about who's a Muslim or who's not a Muslim. Those kinds of images going out on Al-Jazeera are killing us around the world.

And we have got to say to the world, it doesn't make any difference who you are or what you are, if you're an American, you're an American. And this business, for example, of the congressman from Minnesota who's going around saying, "Let's examine all congressmen to see who is pro-America or not pro-America" -- we have got to stop this kind of nonsense, pull ourselves together and remember that our great strength is in our unity and in our diversity. And so, that really was driving me.

And to focus on people like Mr. Ayers and these trivial issues, for the purpose of suggesting that somehow Mr. Obama would have some kind of terrorist inclinations, I thought that was over the top. It was beyond just good political fighting back and forth. I think it went beyond. And to sort of throw in this little Muslim connection, you know, "He's a Muslim and, my goodness, he's a terrorist" -- it was taking root. And we can't judge our people and we can't hold our elections on that kind of basis.

So, yes, that kind of negativity troubled me, And the constant shifting of the argument. I was troubled a couple of weeks ago when in the middle of the crisis, the [McCain] campaign said, "We're going to go negative," and they announced it, "We're going to go negative and attack [Obama's] character through Bill Ayers." Now I guess the message this week is, "We're going to call him a socialist, Mr. Obama is now a socialist, because he dares to suggest that maybe we ought to look at the tax structure that we have."

Taxes are always a redistribution of money. Most of the taxes that are redistributed go back to those who paid them, in roads and airports and hospitals and schools. And taxes are necessary for the common good. And there is nothing wrong with examining what our tax structure is or who should be paying more, who should be paying less. And for us to say that that makes you a socialist, I think is an unfortunate characterization that isn't accurate.

I don't want my taxes raised. I don't want anybody else's taxes raised. But I also want to see our infrastructure fixed. I don't want to have a $12 trillion national debt, and I don't want to see an annual deficit that's over $500 billion heading toward a trillion. So, how do we deal with all of this?

Friday, October 17, 2008

John McPenguin

Wow... this is so right-on it's scary!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maybe Plumber Joe shoulda kept his mouth shut

Joe the Plumber:
*is not a licensed plumber
*is not a union member
*owes over $1000 in back taxes (guess the IRA knows where to find him now)
*is a registered Republican (and NOT an undecided voter)
http://cbs2.com/national/plumber.taxes.registered.2.842376.html
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/16/111449/53/191/632401
Doesn't the Republican party know we can check public records online these days? And shame on the national news media for not vetting this guy before flying him out to every morning "news" show in the country.

Meanwhile...
http://cbs2.com/national/late.show.john.2.842268.html

Monday, October 13, 2008

No One wants to be seen as a Republican...

OK, this is really interesting:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/13/1626/2826/599/628926

I LOVE Daily Kos, because people from all over the country write in with their views and experiences.
Here's some more good news:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/13/113110/70/338/629179
My second cousin is working for Obama in Georgia. He is one of the few white and democrat people in his small town, and he gets all kinds of threats, I'm sure. So good job Byron! It's easy to work for Obama here in San Francisco, but you have to really fight against ignorance in other places of the country and I am proud of my cousins, brother and sister-in-law for supporting Obama!

In addition, get some facts on ACORN:
http://tocquedeville.dailykos.com/
I heard an interview with one of the federal attorneys fired by Gonzales, David Iglesias. He was pressured by Republican members of his district to investigate voter fraud. He found only one irregularity... a woman who was being paid by the signature who was making up names to get paid more. I said to prove a charge of voter fraud, someone has to actually vote using a false name, And further, to prove a charge of intent to fraud, you must show that the person was motivated to subvert the election. In this case, the criminal's intent was to make herself some extra money, she could not have cared less about the election. The charges of voter fraud were dropped... other charges applied, but not voter fraud. If I remember correctly, this was the one and only case he found, after spending thousands of taxpayer dollars investigating phony reports. You can hear for yourself... http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=95489844

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Now for some good news...


check out this diary

Pennsylvania McCain Rally, October 8th

Are you kidding me?!?! Republicans need to be ashamed and stand up against this kind of behavior!


Friday, October 10, 2008

The Annenberg Foundation supports guess-who?

http://jimmy-crackcorn.dailykos.com/
In 1968 William Ayers was leader of the Weatherman, a well known domestic terrorist organisation.
In 1993 William Ayers, Anne Hallett, and Warren Chapman decided to apply for a grant from the Annenberg Foundation for $49.2 Million to improve and reform Chicago's public schools.
In 1994 Ayers, Hallett and Chapman gathered a 73-member Chicago School Reform Collaborative Working Group from organizations involved in school reform to help them draft a proposal which was submitted to Vartan Gregorian, president of Brown University, for review and approval. Adele Smith Simmons, Deborah Leff, and Patricia Albjerg Graham helped negotiate its approval by Gregorian.
In 1995, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was awarded the $49.2 millon grant by the Annenberg Foundation.
Who are these scary people that showed such poor judgement that they were willing to fund and work with a known domestic terrorist? Republicans who support McCain.
See who it is...
http://jimmy-crackcorn.dailykos.com/

State Prosecutor regarding Ayers:
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/10/10/75743/461/414/626076

The Real McCain

Make-Believe Maverick
A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty
TIM DICKINSON
Posted Oct 16, 2008 7:00 PM
http://www.rollingstone.com/news/story/23316912/makebelieve_maverick/print

McCain/Palin tactics truly frighten me

Honestly... this kind of hate-mongering is so dangerous! What are they doing?!?!?! Is this what McCain calls "reaching across party lines?"

Please write your congress persons, your news media outlets, and tell them how dangerous this is. I also wrote to Gov. Arnold and Senator Leiberman, trying to appeal to their consciousness.
I also wrote the Republican National Congress with the following letter:
Chairman@gop.com,
Info@gop.com,
Political@gop.com,
Counsel@gop.com,
ecampaign@gop.com
Dear Madames and Sirs,
The kind of hate speech that we hear being condoned, encouraged and agreed upon during McCain/Palin rallies is truly frightening to me. McCain speaks of uniting congress and the country. Is this how he means to do it? Is this "country first"? By inciting crowds of people to rise up against the government? Honestly, this is scaring the shit out of me. What is going to happen if Obama wins? Are all these crazy socialist-fearing folks that you have been encouraging going to come out of the wood work and, god forbid, try to hurt him in the name of "freedom"? McCain should have corrected the speaker in this video and toned the fervor down. This is highly irresponsible. At this time we need to be coming together, not being divided. Why are you taking this tact?!? Doesn't anyone see how dangerous what you are doing is? Why won't you stop this kind of campaigning? I am truly afraid for our country.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HuSYHnVpYbs

PLEASE! think about what you are doing and rise to a higher level. For the sake of our country.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

NYT editorial condemning McCain/Palin hate mongering

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/08/opinion/08wed1.html?_r=1&ref=opinion&oref=slogin

Please read this. Palin's hate speeches are unapologetically triggering racial divisiveness wherever she goes. In Florida a man was heard to shout "Kill him" during her railings against Obama. This is serious stuff. The good news is that the Secret Service are investigating this incident fully.

Senator Biden was on the Early Show this morning speaking out against Palin's methods:
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i7K20RiBJeMQhhTZUST64ABObHjAD93MAIU00

More information about Sarah Palin's frightening religious beliefs:
http://www.talk2action.org/story/2008/9/20/171755/145

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Republican Clears Obama on Ayers

[Needs Attention!:] Republican Clears Obama On Ayers!(Audio)

Tue Oct 07, 2008 at 10:11:20 AM PDT

Uh-oh...Ayers won't work anymore (There goes the kitchen sink, I guess here comes the table)...Some republicans from Chicago are saying what most of us knew all along. Bill Ayers was a commonly acceptable figure in Chicago by everyone--Democrats, Independents, and even Republicans. Are they all America hating, terrorist loving traitors to America?!

In fact, this NPR piece speaks to the Republican funded cause that Obama and Ayers worked on together. And that:

"It was never a concern by any of us in the Chicago school reform movement that he had led a fugitive life years earlier," said former Illinois state Republican Rep. Diana Nelson, who worked with both Obama and Ayers over the years. "It's ridiculous. There is no reason at all to smear Barack Obama with this association. It's nonsensical, and it just makes me crazy. It's so silly."

More Below The Fold!

Yesterday, in a rehash of the MSM acknowledged issues of the day, NPR did a short piece on Obama and Ayers. Fortunately for many, they made news.

First, Obama began working with Ayers and others (Republicans, Independents, and Democrats) at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Well, what is the Anneberg Challenge? Who is Annenberg? Well according to NPR,

The Obama campaign says he first met Ayers in 1995, when Obama became chair of the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a $50 million fund that awarded grants to groups trying to implement new programs to improve inner city education in Chicago.

Walter Annenberg, a lifelong Republican and former ambassador who was appointed by Presidents Nixon and Reagan, funded an ambitious program to reform urban education in many cities in the mid 1990s. Ayers was an important member of the group that developed and wrote the grant proposal to the Annenberg Foundation.

Second, there were people of all political persuasions working on this effort with this "terrorist" Ayers and who saw him as acceptable and Obama was no closer than any of the others.

...no one on the board or on the Annenberg Challenge staff remembers Obama being any closer to Ayers than to any other member of the board. The Annenberg board also included several civic, business and education leaders, many of them Republicans...

In fact one person close to the issue states:

"I don't remember ever hearing anyone raise concerns or questions or concerns about [Ayers'] background," says Anne Hallett, who has worked closely with Ayers on the Annenberg Challenge grant and with Obama on education and other community and legislative matters. "And that included everybody I was engaged with," including prominent Republicans, and corporate and civic leaders in Chicago, Hallett adds.

Oh, really?!

So not only was Obama working on a Republican funded initiative, but prominent Republicans were involved on the board with Ayers. Do they all hate America so much that they are "palling" around with terrorist? He had been in their midst for years, why did not the republican's run him out of town.

Obama was new to Chicago. He hadn't been elected to anything. He really did even know where the bodies where truly buried in Chicago (evidenced by the thumping he received when he ran for the state senate). He just wanted to serve the community and do good work. However, Ayers had been there for years, building a reputation that was so mainstream that a life long Republican, who was a former Ambassador appointed by Nixon and Regan, allowed the release of $50 Million to let him, prominent Republicans, corporate, civic leaders, and a Harvard trained community organizer form a board to oversee the disbursement of these funds related to school reform.

And finally, the author notes:

Hallett calls this attack on Obama's association with Ayers and the Annenberg Challenge by further association, "a smear campaign. It's a political diatribe that has no basis in fact. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was an extremely positive initiative. It was well-vetted, thorough, and the fact that it is now is being used for political purposes is, in my opinion, outrageous."

And as noted earlier a former Illinois Republican state representative states:

"It was never a concern by any of us in the Chicago school reform movement that he had led a fugitive life years earlier," said former Illinois state Republican Rep. Diana Nelson, who worked with both Obama and Ayers over the years. "It's ridiculous. There is no reason at all to smear Barack Obama with this association. It's nonsensical, and it just makes me crazy. It's so silly."

I don't have a transcript. However the article provides the link to the audio.

My purpose hear is to have Kossacks spread the word, because most of the right leaning center and many independents don't even listen to NPR. In fact, many Kossacks don't have time to listen to NPR now either, because we are all out canvassing, phone banking, and supporting a democratic victory that has the governing power to finally "shake things up in Washington, gosh darn it" and get a bit "Marvericky" on it!

Rec'd this diary. Digg the story. Email it to everyone you know, and get it in the hands of more in the MSM, so that they can fight this racist attempt to destroy Obama and make him unacceptable as president and literally put his life in danger.

Now, not only, can we fight this with an emotional and logical appeal of the unfairness of guilt by association, but also with factual appeal that no one including Obama (Democrats, Republicans, or Independents) who all love this country like Obama does, saw Ayers for his acts 20 plus years earlier, but as another person trying to do God's work to better the future of children from some of the toughest meanest areas of Chicago.

Not Drilling Yet...

A tiny blurb from SFGate.com:

Drill, baby, drill - but not just yet: America's oilmen are not racing to the nation's coastlines, rigs at the ready. For one thing, they think the recently lifted drilling moratorium ban may come back.

Chronicle energy reporter David Baker dug up this nugget of news at the Independent Petroleum Association of America annual conference in San Francisco on Monday. "We don't consider the lifting of the moratorium a done deal," said Bruce Vincent, vice chairman of the group that represents less-than-Chevron-size oil companies. "A new Congress and a new president could reinstate (it) at any time," said Vincent, who is president of Swift Energy Co. in Houston.

But the latest opinion polls aren't the only reason for going slow. Fact is, the federal government won't start selling offshore drilling leases in newly opened areas until at least 2011. Then there's the minor matter of the financial crunch. Credit is harder to get, especially as oil companies see their net worth shrink along with the drop in oil prices. "It will impact ... our ability to keep drilling," said Buddy Kleemeier, chairman of the IPAA and president of Kaiser Francis Oil Co. in Tulsa, Okla.

"I don't want you guys to think we're going to be in Santa Barbara in four months," said Barry Russell, the IPAA's president.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/10/07/BUL713C93P.DTL



Sunday, September 28, 2008

Alaskans fed up with Palin

From the group "Alaskans for Truth"

Saturday, September 27, 2008

McCain debates himself

I don't seek the presidency on the presumption I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need. My country saved me, and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her for as long as I draw breath, so help me God." -- Senator John McCain, campaigning in New Orleans, June 2008

I didn't decide to run for president to start a national crusade for the political reforms I believed in or to run a campaign as if it were some grand act of patriotism. In truth, I wanted to be president because it had become my ambition to be president. . . . In truth, I'd had the ambition for a long time." John McCain, "Worth Fighting For," 2002


I love YouTube! so good people have begun to put together video clips showing, side-by-side that McCain directly contradicts himself when needed... see for yourself...



Monday, September 22, 2008

Two easy actions...

Update:
It's working!
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2008/09/25/thanks-sarah-planned-parenthood-gets-upsurge-in-donations/

In addition to sending around more emails about how horrible she is, let's all make a donation to Planned Parenthood...
in Sarah Palin's name!
And here's the good part: when you make a donation to PP in her
name, they'll send her a card telling her that the donation has
been made in her honor. Here's the link to the Planned
Parenthood website:
Here's the link: https://secure.ga0.org/02/pp10000_inhonor

You'll need to fill in the address to let PP know where to send
the "in Sarah Palin's honor" card. I suggest you use the address
for the McCain campaign headquarters, which is:

McCain for President
1235 S. Clark Street
1st Floor
Arlington , VA 22202

PS make sure you use that link above or choose the pull-down of
Donate--Honorary or Memorial Donations, not the regular "Donate
Online."

Also:

PBS has a poll that asks: Is Sarah Palin qualified to be VP? Let's turn this around..... You don't have to give your name or email address in order to vote. It's very simple.
Here is a small thing you can do in two clicks – SECONDS! Check this out please and fast.
The Right is having people vote that Palin is qualified…

Let's turn this around!!!


Here's the link: http://www.pbs.org/now/polls/poll-435.html

Just click & vote… NOW.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Eve Ensler on Gov. Palin

Eve Ensler, the American playwright, performer, feminist and activist best
known for "The Vagina Monologues", wrote the following about Sarah Palin.

Drill, Drill, Drill

I am having Sarah Palin nightmares. I dreamt last night that she was a
member of a club where they rode snowmobiles and wore the claws of drowned
and starved polar bears around their necks. I have a particular thing for
Polar Bears. Maybe it's their snowy whiteness or their bigness or the fact
that they live in the arctic or that I have never seen one in person or
touched one. Maybe it is the fact that they live so comfortably on ice.
Whatever it is, I need the polar bears.

I don't like raging at women. I am a Feminist and have spent my life trying
to build community, help empower women and stop violence against them. It is
hard to write about Sarah Palin. This is why the Sarah Palin choice was all
the more insidious and cynical. The people who made this choice count on the
goodness and solidarity of Feminists.

But everything Sarah Palin believes in and practices is antithetical to
Feminism which for me is part of one story -- connected to saving the earth,
ending racism, empowering women, giving young girls options, opening our
minds, deepening tolerance, and ending violence and war.

I believe that the McCain/Palin ticket is one of the most dangerous choices
of my lifetime, and should this country choose those candidates the fall-out
may be so great, the destruction so vast in so many areas that America may
never recover. But what is equally disturbing is the impact that duo would
have on the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this is not a joke. In my
lifetime I have seen the clownish, the inept, the bizarre be elected to the
presidency with regularity.

Sarah Palin does not believe in evolution. I take this as a metaphor. In her
world and the world of Fundamentalists nothing changes or gets better or
evolves. She does not believe in global warming. The melting of the arctic,
the storms that are destroying our cities, the pollution and rise of
cancers, are all part of God's plan. She is fighting to take the polar
bears off the endangered species list. The earth, in Palin's view, is here
to be taken and plundered. The wolves and the bears are here to be shot and
plundered. The oil is here to be taken and plundered. Iraq is here to be
taken and plundered. As she said herself of the Iraqi war, "It was a task
from God."

Sarah Palin does not believe in abortion. She does not believe women who are
raped and incested and ripped open against their will should have a right to
determine whether they have their rapist's baby or not.

She obviously does not believe in sex education or birth control. I imagine
her daughter was practicing abstinence and we know how many babies that
makes.

Sarah Palin does not much believe in thinking. From what I gather she has
tried to ban books from the library, has a tendency to dispense with people
who think independently. She cannot tolerate an environment of ambiguity and
difference. This is a woman who could and might very well be the next
president of the United States. She would govern one of the most diverse
populations on the earth.

Sarah believes in guns. She has her own custom Austrian hunting rifle. She
has been known to kill 40 caribou at a clip. She has shot hundreds of wolves
from the air.

Sarah believes in God. That is of course her right, her private right. But
when God and Guns come together in the public sector, when war is declared
in God's name, when the rights of women are denied in his name, that is the
end of separation of church and state and the undoing of everything America
has ever tried to be.

I write to my sisters. I write because I believe we hold this election in
our hands. This vote is a vote that will determine the future not just of
the U.S., but of the planet. It will determine whether we create policies to
save the earth or make it forever uninhabitable for humans. It will
determine whether we move towards dialogue and diplomacy in the world or
whether we escalate violence through invasion, undermining and attack. It
will determine whether we go for oil, strip mining, coal burning or invest
our money in alternatives that will free us from dependency and destruction.
It will determine if money gets spent on education and healthcare or whether
we build more and more methods of killing. It will determine whether America
is a free open tolerant society or a closed place of fear, fundamentalism
and aggression.

If the Polar Bears don't move you to go and do everything in your power to
get Obama elected then consider the chant that filled the hall after Palin
spoke at the RNC, "Drill Drill Drill." I think of teeth when I think of
drills. I think of rape. I think of destruction. I think of domination. I
think of military exercises that force mindless repetition, emptying the
brain of analysis, doubt, ambiguity or dissent. I think of pain.

Do we want a future of drilling? More holes in the ozone, in the floor of
the sea, more holes in our thinking, in the trust between nations and
peoples, more holes in the fabric of this precious thing we call life?

Eve Ensler
September 5, 2008

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Women against Sarah Palin

Under her mayorship, the city of Wasilla, AK passed a new law making rape victims pay for their own rape kits and exams. Where the hell did this woman come from? This is a nightmare and the American people need to wake up and rise up against this Republican ticket.

For more information go to:
http://womenagainstsarahpalin.org/

Grizzlybay.org shows that even some Alaskans aren't fond of her...
http://www.grizzlybay.org/SarahPalinInfoPage.htm

Friday, September 12, 2008

McCain/Palin blithly lie, no one cares

Why don't facts matter anymore?

By CHARLES BABINGTON, Associated Press Writer Fri Sep 12, 12:43 PM ET

WASHINGTON - The "Straight Talk Express" has detoured into doublespeak.


Republican presidential nominee John McCain, a self-proclaimed tell-it-like-it-is maverick, keeps saying his running mate, Sarah Palin, killed the federally funded Bridge to Nowhere when, in fact, she pulled her support only after the project became a political embarrassment. He said Friday that Palin never asked for money for lawmakers' pet projects as Alaska governor, even though she has sought nearly $200 million in earmarks this year. He says Obama would raise nearly everyone's taxes, when independent groups say 80 percent of families would get tax cuts instead.

Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain's skirting of facts has stood out this week. It has infuriated and flustered Obama's campaign, and campaign pros are watching to see how much voters disregard news reports noting factual holes in the claims.

McCain's persistence in pushing dubious claims is all the more notable because many political insiders consider him one of the greatest living victims of underhanded campaigning. Locked in a tight race with George W. Bush for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, McCain was rocked in South Carolina by a whisper campaign claiming he had fathered an illegitimate black child and was mentally unstable.

Shaken by the experience, McCain denounced less-than-truthful campaigning. Vowing to live up to his "straight talk" motto, he apologized for his reluctance to criticize the flying of the Confederate flag at South Carolina's state Capitol in a bid for votes. When the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth attacked the military record of Democrat and fellow Navy officer John Kerry in 2004, McCain called the ads "dishonest and dishonorable."

Now, top aides to McCain include Steve Schmidt, who has close ties to Karl Rove, Bush's premier political adviser in 2000.

Politicians usually modify or drop claims when a string of newspaper and TV news accounts concludes they are untrue or greatly exaggerated. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, for example, conceded she had not come under sniper fire in Bosnia after a batch of debunking articles subjected her to scorn during her primary contest against Obama.

But McCain and his running mate Palin, the Alaska governor, were defiant this week in the face of similar reports. Day after day she said she had told Congress "no thanks" to the so-called Bridge to Nowhere, a rural Alaska project that was abandoned when critics challenged its costs and usefulness. For nearly a week, major news outlets had documented that Palin supported the bridge when running for governor in 2006, noting that she turned against it only after it became an object of ridicule in Alaska and a symbol of Congress's out-of-control earmarking.

The McCain-Palin campaign made at least three other aggressive claims this week that omitted key details or made dubious assumptions to criticize Obama. It equated lawmakers' requests for money for special projects with corruption, even though Palin has sought millions of dollars in such "earmarks" this year.

It produced an Internet ad implying that Obama had called Palin a pig when he used a familiar phrase, which McCain also has used, about putting "lipstick on a pig" to try to make a bad situation look better. McCain supporters said Obama was slyly alluding to Palin's description of herself as a pit bull in lipstick, but there was nothing in his remarks to support the claim. Obama accused the GOP campaign of "lies and phony outrage."

The lipstick wars were fully engaged when the McCain campaign produced another ad saying Obama favored "comprehensive sex education" for kindergartners. The charge triggered the sort of headlines becoming increasingly common in major newspapers and wire services monitoring the factual content of political ads and speeches.

"Ad on Sex Education Distorts Obama Policy," was the headline on a New York Times article Thursday. "McCain's 'Education' Spot is Dishonest, Deceptive," The Washington Post's "Fact Checker" article said.

Major news outlets have written such fact-checking articles for years. "But in the last two election cycles, the very notion that the facts matter seems to be under assault," said Michael X. Delli Carpini, an authority on political ads at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. "Candidates and their consultants seem to have learned that as long as you don't back down from your charges or claims, they will stick in the minds of voters regardless of their accuracy or at a minimum, what the truth is will remain murky, a matter of opinion rather than fact."

With Palin giving McCain's campaign a boost in the polls, Obama supporters are nervously watching to see what impact the latest claims will have. Surveys already show that most people believe Obama would raise their taxes — a regular McCain claim — even though independent groups such as the Tax Policy Center concluded that four out of five U.S. households would receive tax cuts under his proposals.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds defended the campaign's statements. "We include factual backup in every one of our TV spots," he said Thursday.

Obama, of course, has made exaggerated or questionable assertions as well. Earlier this year, for instance, he repeated a claim that more black men are in prison than in college, after news accounts refuted it. He also used a McCain remark about having troops in Iraq for "100 years" to exaggerate McCain's proposals for being fully engaged militarily in that country.

In general, however, Obama has been quicker to react to news accounts challenging his accuracy. Faced with skeptical reports this year, for instance, he stopped saying he "worked his way" through college, and instead credited hard work and scholarships.

Dan Schnur, a former McCain aide who now teaches politics at the University of Southern California, said McCain and Obama learned they must stretch the truth "when staying on the high road didn't work out to their benefit."

McCain, he said, "tried it his way. He had a poverty tour and nobody covered it. He had a national service tour, and everybody made fun of it. He proposed these joint town halls" with Obama, "and nothing come of it. Through the spring and early summer, that approach didn't work. You can't blame him for taking a step back and reassessing."

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EDITOR'S NOTE — Charles Babington covers national politics for The Associated Press.