“DAY OFF 4 VOTING DAY” – Of All Our National Holidays, Why Isn’t Election Day One of Them…?

Of all our national holidays, why isn’t Election Day one of them?  Election Day is Tuesday,  November 6th this year but the dream of a “day off” will have to be realized at a future date, hopefully sooner rather than later.  Some states have early voting and all have absentee voting for people unable to vote in person for a variety of reasons ranging from military deployment to illness and business travel.  That said, why isn’t Election Day a national “day off?”  Granted, some business and institutions, such as hospitals need to be fully staffed around the clock, but on election day shifts need to be split so no one is denied the opportunity of “time” to cast their own vote.  Citizens may not focus on the issue of voting as intently as we all should, which is half the problem in a nutshell, but your vote as an American is inarguably the most precious and valuable thing you possess as an American citizen.

We’ve witnessed a lot of shallow-thinking efforts to suppress the vote among minorities, seniors and college aged students, most of which is paranoia-driven by groups of people mired in the past.  Suppression efforts are a counter-productive effort by a frightened sector of the population who fear the “browning” of America.  America is a diverse nation of divergent races, colors, religions, creeds and ethnic origins.  Although it has historically been at times a very messy transition, diversity is what defines us at our finest.  It’s only natural for human subdivisions to blend over time.  Efforts by some to deny any citizen his or her right to vote signifies nothing more than death throes bellowing out from people clinging to an ideological past.  We need to look toward the future.  Races will mix, as will ethnicity’s and peoples of different faiths or lack thereof.  In some cases it will be marriages and the children born to those couples.  In other cases it may be neighborhoods taking on a level of diversity once considered unthinkable.  But for anyone who resists this vital element of change, the reality is this: That change is already well underway and anyone who tries to resist it or prevent it will find themselves sitting squarely on the wrong side of history.  America IS the great “melting pot” and therein lays our strength as a nation.

Every single individual of eligible age and citizenship, by birth or naturalization must register, exercise and cherish their opportunity to vote.  Any group or individual who actively pursues tawdry illegal remedies and cheap stunts to block people from exercising their rights, quite simply put, fails bay all definitions to be patriotic.  Race has always been a contentious issue in the American struggle toward equality, often as a result of “hand me down” prejudices learned long before a person is even of voting age.  Those divisions which separate us are both real and imaginary.  Yes, we are of different skin colors and reared under different spiritual persuasions, but that isn’t the point.  There is one race that matters, and it’s not any particular political race: It’s the human race.  I highly recommend everyone make a concerted effort to join the human race, and the best possible starting point is for each and every American to respectfully cast their vote unencumbered by discord and petty prejudice.  A national “day off” for each and every one of us to cast that vote is the first step toward uniting us as one people.  Pass along the idea of “Day Off 4 Voting Day” to everyone you can, and together we’ll fulfill our destiny as the example of what every country should aspire to achieve: Righteousness in the spirit of fairness and equality for all, distilled into our own single precious vote during a special, annual day off.


Wouldn’t it be refreshing to never hear or discuss the names of “Mitt Romney” or “Paul Ryan” ever again?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but wouldn’t it be refreshing to never hear or discuss the names Mitt Romney or Paul Ryan ever again?  But with less than a month and a half ticking away prior to the November 6th election, there’s no escaping politics or political advertising.  While 39 days is a relatively short period of time, you can count on it feeling like an eternity.  The first of the four presidential debates is this coming Wednesday, October 3rd, and we still have the vice presidential debates to look forward to, which promise to be an even fierier conflagration.

While there are vast differences in style and approach between Barack Obama and Joe Biden, at least they both appear to be on the same page.  The same cannot be said about Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan who, if looks could kill, would be mud wrestling each other in a pit full of slime.  Ryan, quite rightfully seems to be worried about his own future political ambitions, grimly facing the unfunny comic stylings of the ticket that bears his name.  The two of them frequently make their own supporters cringe.  Romney is an abysmal candidate who’s sinking in the polls like a pair of concrete shoes that Paul Ryan reluctantly finds himself wearing by association.  Not that Ryan’s heartless budget “plan” hadn’t already identified him as no friend of the people, but Mitt Romney is only marginally aware that other people exist.  Watching Romney attempting to get the crowd to chant “Romney/Ryan, Romney/Ryan” was a completely cringe-worthy moment as ardent, die-hard Republicans failed to join in, leaving Mitt Romney chanting all alone like a lunatic.  He IS a lunatic and a dangerous one at that.

Much has been made of Romney’s now infamous Boca Raton “47%” comments, which exposed his true self, but for some it merely confirmed what they’d already suspected.  Lest we forget Mitt’s off the cuff public quote: “When I was a boy, I used to think that becoming rich and famous would make me happy, and boy was I right.”  The left and center already had the impression of Romney as a man with no real convictions other than self aggrandizement and a lust for power and wealth.  Meanwhile the right of center and the far right ideologues have never quite cozied up to him as being authentically one of their own.  However, there are even more damning things about Mitt Romney, all of which promise to sink Ryan right along with him.  Paul Ryan so thoroughly lacks confidence in the Romney/Ryan presidential ticket, that he’s hedging his bets by simultaneously running for reelection in the House of Representatives – and in serious danger of loosing both.  Romney’s “stench” gets all over Ryan by association, and he knows it.  The facts are irrefutable and both men have records neither can escape.  Romney was a PRO-war protestor during Vietnam, but pounced on a religious deferment, while supporting the war, as his contemporaries died by the thousands – but Mitt himself failed to enlist or in any other way participate.  Fine, had he been an ANTI war protestor.  When viewing that particular reality in light of the Romney/Ryan hawkish views on foreign policy, it places both candidates in a very callous and unflattering light.  We might add, that Ryan voted for the War in Iraq.  America has no further appetite for war and the people are still smarting from the economic catastrophe brought about by senseless war and greed….

Switching from foreign to domestic policy, Paul Ryan was recently booed and jeered at the AARP Conference over his heartlessly impractical plans to privatize Medicare and Medicaid into a Wall Street dependent voucher program.  Ryan went so far as to trot-out his elderly mother in front of him like a human shield,   but no one was convinced.  All he managed to accomplish was a reinforcement of his own failure to connect with the needs and concerns of real people and seniors specifically.  For as many commonalities as Romney and Ryan share, they’re both clueless children of privilege committed to the “me first, greed is good” worldview.  The difference is Ryan makes fewer public gaffs out of his selfish philosophy, where Romney seems only capable of reinforcing his amorality with every word and deed.

A video recently surfaced featuring Mitt Romney addressing Bain Capital investors where he looked into the camera and said:  “Bain Capital is an investment partnership which was formed to invest in start-up companies and ongoing companies, then to take an active hand in managing them and hopefully, five to eight years later, to harvest them at a significant profit.”  It’s the word “harvest” that’s the most troubling.  The covert definition of the word “harvest” in this context turns out to mean; borrowing against the assets of the companies Bain acquired, driving them into bankruptcy, closing those companies and shipping the jobs overseas.  Romney and Bain are a nearly cartoonish example of the primary component of what destroyed our American economy.  Bain Capital’s mission under Mitt Romney guidance is a sterling example of why hard times, struggle and despair are visiting the average American citizen.  Without looking back, Romney and his crew of pirates got richer and richer to the detriment of everyone who’s lives they touched….  Romney’s “Bain” comes dangerously close to the Ayn Randian “screw everybody, the world is mine” philosophy that formed Paul Ryan’s own warped sense of reality.  As election day draws closer and closer, neither man can stand the mirror-like reflection they see in each others deadened eyes – and an ever increasingly large number of voters don’t care to embrace their image either – certainly not as our country’s presidential standard bearers.

- Dissociated Press, 9/28/2012

WARNING to PENNSYLVANIA VOTERS – Senatorial Candidate, Tom Smith May be Hazardous to Women’s Health

WARNING to PENNSYLVANIA VOTERS, especially women, senatorial candidate, Tom Smith may be hazardous to your health.  Women who notice unwanted body hair or baldness, should immediately discontinue support for Tom Smith.  If you notice premature signs of puberty in children under the age of ten, discontinue support for Tom Smith.  Pregnant woman should not be exposed to Tom Smith.  The antidote is to run him out of the state on a rail, preferably wearing a smart ensemble of tar and feathers.  Tom Smith is challenging democratic incumbent, Bob Casey for his seat in the United States Senate.  Smith’s primary agenda seems to be blasting women’s rights back to the stone age through his opposition to any definition of equality AND banning all methods of birth control – INCLUDING CONDOMS…!!!  Tom Smith is an ignoramus extraordinaire committed to returning that “old time religion” into the heart of our political process – and we all know the volatile dangers of mixing politics and religion.

Smith is so confused about contemporary reality, when pressed by reporters, he jumbled up the facts of his own daughter’s consensual out of wedlock pregnancy by comparing it to imaginary parallels involving rape.  In Smith’s alternate universe, there must be a fine line between recreational sex and forcible rape.  Much like embattled Missouri congressman, Todd Akin, who thought women had an automatic internal mechanism to avoid pregnancy during “legitimate rape,” Tom Smith has also had to be taken aside and gently “refreshed” about the facts of life.  Obviously, pregnancy as a result of premarital sex in no way relates to rape, and the very suggestion betrays Tom Smith as a shallow dimwit.  Besides, who in their right mind capitalizes on their own daughter’s out-of-wedlock pregnancy simply to score cheap political points?  Just what Congress needs, another neanderthal foisting his personal religious beliefs on a diverse constituency.  Pennsylvania voters already made a series egregious errors in the last midterm by electing greed motivated ultraconservatives like Wall Street darling, Senator Pat Toomey over the infinitely more qualified retired Navy Vice-Admiral, Joe Sestak.  And lest we forget the present knucklehead, Governor Tom Corbett’s stance on forced transvaginal ultrasounds – while he attempts to draw attention away from his shadow role in the Penn State sex-scandal cover-up when he was the State Attorney General.  Snap to attention, Pennsylvanians, and stop lowering the bar by pandering to toothless, chinless hillbillies.

Tom Smith’s extreme anti-abortion stance extends itself to denying abortion to women who are victims of rape and incest.  Smith is opposed to in vitro fertilization, while desperately clinging to the imaginary “personhood” rights of frozen embryonic stem cells.  Fold-in Smith’s extreme ideas in a state with a governor in favor of decimating women’s rights, and voter’s rights in general, and what you get is unintelligent, regressive representation on both the federal and state levels.  In fact Pennsylvania is moving dangerously close to state sanctioned misogyny and prejudice.

No one in their right mind considers abortion to be a “birth control” method of choice.  Abortion is a physically and emotionally painful decision for any woman.  But why in the world has it become such a priority for so many self-righteous old men to crusade against a woman’s right to choose?  Every single day of my life I pass Planned Parenthood on my way to or from one end of town to the other, stepping over slack-jawed old men brandishing signs with pictures that destroy my appetite for bruschetta, as those “protestors” slobber over their rosary beads.  NOW these old fools have a candidate who wants to see both the mother, and the abortion provider serving hard prison time for performing legal procedures which are decisions solely between a woman and her doctor, and have nothing whatsoever to do with these old coots.

As America’s population grows, anti-abortion protestors remain blithely unaware that crime statistics decreased proportionally to the population ever since Roe vs. Wade, because unwanted children rarely find themselves growing-up in encouraging circumstances.  “Good” religious men like Tom Smith prefer to kill people AFTER they’ve suffered lives denied opportunity and hope.  Some of the unborn are encumbered with a bloodstream tainted with crack-cocaine, fetal alcohol syndrome and incurable sexually transmitted diseases LONG before they ever reach the birth canal.  You can’t “pray-away” criminal brain deformations in children born to parents with crack cocaine addiction – all you manage to accomplish is a generation full of Rosemary’s baby’s.  But fools like Pennsylvania senatorial candidate, Tom Smith remains blithely unaware of that.

To all women living in Pennsylvania and the men who love and respect them, make certain to vote FOR Bob Casey on November 6th, because we have no time or patience left for any more superstitious imbeciles in Congress.  We have more than enough taking up space as it is, when they deign show up for work at all….

- Dissociated Press, 9/26/2012

An open note to Scott Brown: Please return to your god-given calling as a nude centerfold!

Massachusetts Senator, Scott Brown is a great looking man, but looks aren’t everything.  He’s also the darling of Wall Street, and while he has a relatively good record of not always towing the Republican party line, his motivation for breaking ranks has less to do with progressive thinking than with pandering to the liberal slant of his New England constituents.  Brown’s heartfelt belief system is based more on getting reelected than representing the people of Massachusetts.  He won the seat previously held by Teddy Kennedy, in a special election after the “Lion of the Senate” passed away.  Perhaps some Massachusetts voters got confused by Scott Brown’s swarthy good looks and mistook him for a Kennedy.

Senator Brown is pitted against consumer advocate, Elizabeth Warren, who’d originally been Barack Obama’s pick for the head of the Consumer Protection Agency, which like nearly everything else Obama has proposed, was blocked by Republican obstructionism.  Whatever anyone might say about Elizabeth Warren, she is in the race solely based on her beliefs, which are focused toward protecting the average citizen.  If anything, Warren’s a reluctant candidate, running to bring about change in the way American consumers are treated by big business.  Corporate America hates her, while Scott Brown is regarded by Wall Street as the most popular senator in Congress.  That should tell you something right there….

During the Massachusetts debate last week, Ms. Warren, was constantly and condescendingly referred-to by Senator Brown as “Professor” Warren.  She is a professor, but Brown’s insistence on calling her “professor” seemed like a transparent attempt at making Elizabeth Warren appear to be one of them-thar intellectual elites.  We’re living in a time when “intellectual” achievement has been manipulated into a dirty word by Republicans who want voters to remain stupid and suspicious of anyone with an education.  Intelligent, well educated people are not so easily led.  That’s rule number one in the quest to manipulate the masses: Make people fear intellectuals – a goal well underway with the GOP for some time now.

However, the most egregious attack on Ms. Warren was Brown’s comments right out of the starting gate challenging claims about her Native American heritage.  Brown tried to escape debating Ms. Warren by claiming he couldn’t attend due to an important vote taking place on the Senate floor.  Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid didn’t feel that particular vote Brown was using as his “cloak of invisibility” was nearly as pressing as the gentleman from Massachusetts claimed; so Reid called the session to a close and dismissed all senators, leaving Scott Brown with no excuse that would prevent him from appearing at the debate as originally scheduled.

What’s so ignorant about Scott Brown’s comments over Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry, is the way he framed them, saying “she checked the box, claiming she was a Native American, and, you know, clearly she’s not.”  Telling people to look at her color and features as if every Native American is supposed to look like the profile on the Buffalo Head Nickle.  My Uncle Richard’s mother was half Cherokee, but you wouldn’t necessarily pick him out as having Native American background simply on appearances alone.  My friend, Kevin’s grandmother told him he had Native American ancestors based purely on what her mother had told her when she was a little girl.  Ms. Warren told the audience her mother was part Cherokee and part Delaware.  Frankly that IS how those pieces of information about family lineage are passed along.  There was, in the not so distant past, a stigma attached to being Native American.  At points in our history being Native American put people’s lives in jeopardy, causing indigenous peoples to go “underground” for their own safety.

Americans are disinclined to focus on our failures or collective shame by deleting anything unpleasant from the history books.  One of the most disgraceful chapters in our past, is how European settlers on the east coast of what is now the United States, methodically carried out one of the worse genocides in human history.  The indigenous peoples who inhabited these lands long before shiploads of settlers came to America, welcomed our forefathers.  In turn, we swindled them and slaughtered them by the scores.  The ink was barely dry on the Penn Treaty before Caucasian settlers began mass-murdering what we flippantly refer to as American “Indians.”  In the 18th century, Ben Franklin’s own newspaper, “The Pennsylvania Chronicle” called for the killings of all Lenape “Indians” over the age of eleven.  The surviving children were then baptized and raised with as little knowledge of their own parental heritage as possible, but the truth has a way of prevailing. The Quakers, along with German immigrants were the only Western Europeans in the Delaware Valley to honor and adhere to the Penn Treaty, often giving safe haven to our aboriginal forebearers – including intermarrying with them to keep these people alive, along with what remained of their customs and traditions.  Tragically, there are very few full-blooded Native Americans of any tribe left in modern America.  The bloodlines that do survive, made it this far by mixing their blood with the families of settlers who accepted them and gave them sanctuary.  Elizabeth Warren’s story is not at all an uncommon one.  As a trained portrait painter, I study people’s facial features on a daily basis.  I’m no anthropologist, but can see in the structure of her face, certain characteristics that could very well have their origin in Native American lineage.

I suspect Scott Brown’s knowledge of Native American history is confined to old TV reruns of “The Lone Ranger.”  Being of Native American ancestry today doesn’t keep a person from having blond hair or being a redheaded.  Nor does it dictate shades of skin color any more than it does broad or thin facial features.  Native American ancestry doesn’t preclude anyone from being black or white.  The vast majority of surviving indigenous tribal bloodlines are diluted with those of other races and nationalities, so the traditional visual stereotypes don’t necessarily apply.  That said, Scott Brown still looks like a centerfold, and hopefully he will return to his god-given profession once he looses the race and gets the devil out of politics.

- Dissociated Press, 9/23/2012

With the presidential election only six weeks away, Senate Republicans, Phil & Buster block the “Veterans Job Act”

The fact that there remains a living person among us who still supports the Republican Party is a source of naked astonishment to me.  On Wednesday, September, 19th, Senate Republicans blocked the “Veterans Job Corp Act of 2012″ in a disgraceful and callous slap of disregard for the very same men and women they voted to send to war; the hypocrisy of which is exceeded only by hubris.  The bill fell two votes short of the necessary 60 votes required to override a filibuster.  So in layman’s terms, the bill failed while still having won a majority of senatorial votes in favor of passage.  Only five Republicans broke ranks and voted in favor of the bill.  Republicans claimed the bill wasn’t “paid for” when in fact it was fully funded by an earlier bipartisan measure.  This is nothing more than another attempt by Minority “Leader,” Mitch McConnell to prevent President Obama from achieving as much constructive legislation as possible, dividing the nation down party lines, with the end goal focused on the appearance of failure for the Obama Administration.  For those of you who aren’t paying attention, trumping any and all legislation to improve the quality of life for American citizens and the brave men and women who serve and protect us is suddenly a major priority for the GOP.  Republicans are under the impression no one is paying attention, and therefore congressional constipation will secure them the White House in the upcoming election.

As a point of fact, the 112th “do nothing” Congress has invoked a stunning record number of filibusters designed to stagnate the American economy and the greater good of the American people.  Here in Pennsylvania, our idiot senator, Pat Toomey voted against the bill.  We could have had retired U.S. Navy vice admiral Joe Sestak as our senator, but Tea Publicans preferred Pat Toomey’s experience shipping American jobs overseas to China….  Go figure.

In summation, when American veterans return from all the conflagrations in the Middle East (largely championed by the GOP) those men and women will find themselves facing yet another broken promise that can be directly traced to the Republican Party.  The GOP is big on sending people off to war to risk life and limb – but short on follow through when it comes to obligations promised to those who’ve served and protected us.

Since Barack Obama took office, there were 137 filibusters In the 111th Congress, and 139 in 112th (thus far….)  But since Congress is about to go on extended recess until well after the November election, you can count on the historic record number of combined Republican filibusters during Obama’s first term as being TWO-HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-SIX…!!!  This is beyond unconscionable, it’s a factual embarrassment for the former “Party of Lincoln.”  Before 2008, Congress would average about 25-40 filibusters per session.  Now those who call for a filibuster no longer have to stand and talk until they drop, as seen in the film, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,”  they can merely smirk, declare a filibuster, and go out for cocktails and dinner.  In spite of over 70 attempts to reform or ban procedural filibusters, the pattern of obstructionism remains abundantly clear, it’s no longer a case of majority rule.  Sadly, THIS go-around, the ones harmed are America’s most recent heroic war veterans.

Please forgive the ensuing “record” run-on sentence, but in spite of the Republican abuse of the procedural filibuster, Barack Obama has the following accomplishments to his credit:

Health Care Reform, the Stimulus, Wall Street Reform, ending the War in Iraq, initiating the draw-down of the War in Afghanistan, eliminating Osama bin laden, turning around the U.S. auto industry, recapitalizing the banks, repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, toppling Moammar Gaddafi and supporting the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, reversing Bush torture policies, improving America’s image abroad, kicking banks out of the Federal Student Loan Program, expanding Pell Grants, creating “Race to the Top,” boosting fuel efficiency standards, coordinating the international response to financial crisis’s, passing the 2nd “mini” stimulus (which Republicans opposed while taking photo-op credit when jobs were created in their districts), increasing support for veterans (current Congressional Republican failures notwithstanding), tightening sanctions on Iran, beginning the process of closing our filthiest power plants, passing “Credit Card Reform,” implementing fair pay laws such as the ‘Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act” along with other equality measuresimproving our Food Safety System, signing the new START Treaty with Russia, expanding AmeriCorps, expanding wilderness and watershed protection, giving the FDA Power to regulate Tobacco AND last but not lease, Obama oversaw THIRTY straight months of private sector job growth – ALL in the face of Republican obstructionism, largely through the use of the filibuster.  Just imagine how much Obama could have accomplished had there been an atmosphere of cooperation in Congress….

Note:  This post is respectfully dedicated to Facebook fellow, Jeff Disser, of Acworth, Georgia.  God bless his loving, liberal heart.

“As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing” – Karl Rove

“As people do better, they start voting like Republicans – unless they have too much education and vote Democratic, which proves there can be too much of a good thing” – Karl Rove

No Karl, that proves how greed corrupts and education opens people’s minds broadening their worldview.  There’s been an appalling decline in the quality and qualifications of Republican candidates over the past several decades.  There’s no doubt in my mind the GOP is counting on – no – make that “BANKING” on voters being stupid and having amnesia, which pretty much describes “values voters” to a “T” – but more about them later….  Mitt Romney just ambushed himself with his own “off the cuff comments” released in a YouTube video brought to the nation’s attention by Mother Jones Magazine.  Cutting to the chase, Mitt Romney neither likes nor respects Americans – or at least 47% of the population he considers to be “freeloaders” because those citizens currently pay no income taxes – nefarious scofflaws like your grandmother – the retired, the elderly, the destitute and struggling, betrayed by his own secretly recorded words at a posh Boca Raton fundraiser.  If you aren’t rich, it’s your own fault and he has nothing but contempt for you.  Mitt made no mention of the thousands of millionaires and billionaires who pay no taxes through the creative use of tax sheltering loopholes.  In fact, Romney should avoid the subject of taxes altogether, since he has yet to fully disclose his own.

But before Mitt Romney’s most recent inhuman and disparaging comments were released, he blundered his way through embarrassingly comical stabs at fooling the nation into believing he has a 6th grader’s rudimentary grasp of world affairs and American foreign policy.  Meanwhile, outside the scrutiny of most of the media, Romney’s vice presidential “pick”, Paul Ryan was addressing “The Values Voter Summit” in Washington, DC.  The summit is an ultra-conservative event sponsored by the Family Research Council, a god-fearin’ coterie of folks who hate just about everybody.  Paul Ryan’s introductory speaker was the head of the Council, Tony Perkins, who does in fact star in his own personal version of “Psycho” – only scarier.  The term “values voter” is code for misguided individuals who are more invested in wedge issues than genuinely solving any of America’s real and pressing problems.  “Values voters” are hung up on repealing women’s rights, blocking gay marriage and a host of other issues that have nothing whatsoever to do with them or finding solutions to our national challenges.  Poking their noses in other people’s crotches appears to be the essential message of the “values voter’s” agenda.

While forty different cities in the Middle East were erupting into senseless violence, AND on the eve of the four year anniversary of the collapse of Leiman Brothers, vice presidential hopeful, Paul Ryan was addressing an auditorium full of true believers who think everything that goes wrong in this world can be traced back to the LGBT community and a woman’s right to choose.  The room was illuminated with dim bulbs who ardently believe god is punishing America for electing an ostensibly liberal African-American president, when what god really wants is greed motivated leadership willing to gleefully march our nation into World War III.  So what if war kills people?  War is a money maker that largely snuffs the progeny of the poor….  Besides, as long as embryonic stem cells are safe, endowed with personhood, and the children of the wealthy aren’t sent to war, everything’s honky dory, because the “values voters” all give generously to their respective churches.  If Christ were alive, no doubt he’d have his head between his knees breathing into a paper bag….

If there appears to be something eerily familiar about Paul Ryan, it’s because he essentially fills the same role in the Romney/Ryan ticket that Sarah Palin provided for McCain/Palin; appeasing the angry “religious” base by tossing red meat full of hatred to justify the right-wing’s sense of entitlement.  Screw the people who payed into entitlement programs and can’t survive without them.  Ryan wants to cut social safety net programs to the quick.  The privileged religious right feels wealth is their due as a reward from god, and Paul Ryan is their hero.  Truth to tell, they’d rather Ryan was the top of the ticket, and Romney was given a ticket back to one of his multiple lavish estates.  The “Values Voter Summit” even boasted a “reformed” terrorist among the scheduled speakers:  A man named Kamal Saleem, who by all journalistic research is a fraud.  Saleem is an out of work actor who carved a career for himself pretending to be a former terrorist who found redemption in Christ.  Kamal Saleem’s real name is Khodor Shami until further aliases are revealed, but he’s harmless enough, since even the CIA regards him as a fraud.  Why would this circus summit be a priority for the Republican Party?  Because these are the people foolish enough to dash-off enormous checks to the RNC in hopes their candidate will then be beholden to their bigoted self interests.  These are the $50,000 a plate sponges who lapped-up every secretly recorded word Romney uttered at the now infamous Boca Raton fundraiser this past May.  “Values voters” wouldn’t mind another holy war with Islam to insure first class priority seating during “rapture.”  These people are Mitt Romney’s base and financiers, even though they don’t really like him.  Their goal is to keep embryonic stem cells alive so they can at a later date execute the living who’ve been crushed by poverty and a lack of opportunity.  By the way, shooting people while hiding behind “stand your ground” laws is also smiled-on by their god.

Considering all the back-sliding, flip-flopping, lying and gaffing Mitt Romney has coughed-up in recent days, even the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page is abandoning Romney as a looser, which leaves the mantle of character and intellectual rhetoric to fall on the bench-pressing shoulders of Paul Ryan, who’s most famous for a budget plan that doesn’t add up to squat.  Bear in mind, that Mitt Romney doesn’t really need an attack dog, he’s perfectly capable of biting himself in the ass all on his own.  He’s even offering terrorism tips to Hezbollah.

So with a month and a half left prior to the November elections, the base has turned to Paul Ryan to save them from themselves.  When Ryan was recently questioned about his new boss’s breathtaking series of missteps, Ryan referred to Romney’s erroneous statements as being “inarticulate.”  What a dynamic duo they make.  To sum things up, once again the Republicans have an upside-down presidential ticket where the base prefers the vice presidential candidate to the man supposedly leading the charge.  It’s small wonder the GOP is pushing so hard for the voter suppression laws (which are being struck-down one state at a time) because in poker terms, “they got nuthin’.”

- Disassociated Press, 20/19/2012

With freedom of speech comes grave responsibility….

With freedom of speech comes grave responsibilities.  You can hurt a person with a stray or thoughtless word and have no malice in your heart.  You can wound an individual for life by exploiting that persons weakness or vulnerability, tossing well targeted words in his or her face.  Words, actions and deeds have consequences.  There is no such thing as too much freedom of speech, but there is the misuse of the privilege.  In America today, slander and liable are nearly extinct (to our collective detriment I might add) but getting people to conduct themselves with honor is akin to herding cats.

As one reader put it in a reply to an earlier post, he’d been expected to endure the existence of “urine soaked crucifixes” and thus couldn’t comprehend why people in the Middle East would have such a violent reaction to an offensive 14 minute video defaming the prophet, Mohammed.  What he fails to grasp, is we as Americans live in a society where freedom of speech is taken for granted.  We can say nearly anything we like short of yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.  And to that point, we have all just witnessed the results of hollering “fire” in a crowded world theater.  Still, some of our neighbors fail to drink-in how detrimental words can be interpreted by cultures who don’t enjoy the same freedoms we take with a wink and a nod.

In the developing nations of the Middle East as well as other predominantly Islamic countries across the globe, all they have ever known, handed down for generations is totalitarian regimes.  When words were released in Libya, Egypt, Yemen or a variety of nations, the people who heard those words automatically understood them to be the official “word” of the state.  In America, we, as private citizens can say whatever we wish, set it loose on the internet and other Americans who hear or read those words attribute them to the author/speaker, not the government – unless officially stated as such.  In the developing nations who are currently torn apart with death, fire and riots, it’s assumed that any word leaked from an American source is sanctioned by the United States government.  WE realize that not to be the case, but for people who have never lived with the luxury of freedom of speech, the first reaction is to assume any and all voices that come from America are government controlled.  Suppression is all they’ve ever known their entire lives.  We need to realize that while we live in a modern world, there are primitive cultures sharing our world: Cultures who in their adherence to religious dogma assume all speech is adjunct to governmental proclamations.  As Americans, we escaped that particular tyranny better than two centuries ago, in spite of a certain political party’s efforts to return us to the dark ages.

I believe all organized religion to be cult-like in nature – not that people can’t or shouldn’t keep religion in their hearts if they choose, but rather they should and need to keep their religious beliefs to themselves.  Remember, all religions began with oral tradition….  Long before there were cameras and cellphones, someone related something they’d witnessed, or heard as having been witnessed, which then got embellished with each teller as the legends wormed their way through the ages.  Over time cultural groups fell into lockstep with one particular religious ideology or another, much of which frequently defies common sense, and in spite of the lack of logic inheriting generations still drink at the trough of those faiths, believing every word to be “gospel.”  Fill in the faith, one organized religion is as destructive as the next once people begin to proselytize their own preferred mythology.

I don’t have to be a Christian to find the Dung Madonna “art installation” to be offensive, all I needed was a sense of smell, a rudimentary understanding of hygiene and my own artistic opinion.  I have no particular faith, but I have the common sense to understand how other people DO.  I don’t have to put stock in any particular prophet or messiah to realize that inflammatory words can ignite small minds like that which passes for a brain sandwiched between the ears of Florida pastor, Terry Jones.  He is an evil fool and an ignoramus – as are the individuals responsible for the video that’s being used as an excuse to incite riots in Islamic nations.  It’s the video the masses are able to comprehend as a touchstone for violence, but most likely it’s the drone strikes that killed Al Qaeda leaders that’s at the heart of the ensuing bedlam.  The masses wouldn’t be motivated to riot over the death of yet another totalitarian wanna-be – but an insult to their sacred beliefs and deities is the vital ingredient necessary to get those masses to carry out a manipulative shadow leader’s destructive plans.  Bearing that in mind, the fuel for the fire was provided by foolish religious ideologues of a polar opposite, incompatible faith (or faiths) who foolishly delivered the match that lit those fires….

I’m not telling anyone to stop believing in their god, simply because I’m not among their ranks.  I don’t advocate that everyone adopt my belief system or lack thereof.  Believe what you choose.  I’d like nothing more than for people to keep their religious beliefs – but to keep them to themselves.  Humankind will never know world peace until organized religion becomes something people have the common decency and restraint to quietly keep in their own hearts without the need to recruit others to swell their ranks so more followers can incite deadly clashes over their imaginary differences.  Only when people stop forcing their faiths down other people’s throats will the world be as one and live in peace.  I’m not so optimistic as to expect anything like that to come about in my lifetime, and perhaps it never will.  But keep your religion to yourself.  Keep it if you wish, but keep it quietly and respectfully to yourself.

- Disassociated Press, 9/16/2012

Mitt Romney is a squirrelly opportunist trying to score cheap political points following the tragedy in Benghazi, forging new depths in shallowness….

Once again Mitt Romney proves himself thoroughly unfit to govern the highest office in the land.  The man is a complete and total stumble-bum.  His pathetic attempt to get out ahead of the news of the attack on our embassy in Libya was appalling.  First the Romney camp issued a statement before all the facts were in, and then Romney himself doubled down by making comments to the press in an effort to usurp news coverage even before the president made his official statement from the Rose Garden.  BEFORE the next of kin had been notified for those who lost their lives.  This was not presidential, Romney is a rank amateur, reinforced by Paul Ryan making more measured comments AFTER the “top” of the ticket had already firmly placed his foot in his mouth.  You could see sheepish humiliation all over Romney’s face during a later press conference dodging questions when reporters asked him if he regretted issuing his words out of turn.  There is nothing presidential about the man.  He looks good in a suit, and that’s the end of his qualifications.

A stalwart but visibly shaken, Hillary Clinton, addressed the nation this morning revealing the details of the siege and killings in Benghazi.  Her words were appropriate, moving and to the point.  But this horrible incident is another example of how American extremists fan the flames of hatred though their own failure to comprehend differences among other nations and other faiths.  This tragedy came about due to an inflammatory YouTube video produced by an Israeli American named Sam Bacile, and promoted by the “wrong” Reverend Terry Jones of Florida.  Remember him?  He’s the flaming asshole who set the Qu’ran on fire resulting in multiple deaths of American and allied service men and women, killed along with private Muslim citizens.  The reverend is a fool.  I’d be tempted to ask how Jones would feel if someone set a crucifix on fire, but I’m reasonably certain he’s already participated in that sort of thing on somebody else’s lawn.  It’s time for Florida pastor, Terry Jones to suffer a terrible roofing accident before anyone else gets killed.  Meanwhile, producer, Sam Bacile, if there even is such a person, is in hiding in his home in California.

Mitt Romney’s presidential chances are looking more and more remote.  His reaction to this chain of events may very well have further cost him votes he can ill-afford to spare in the election.  He thoroughly diminished himself discussing both the tragedy in Libya and the mounting tensions in Egypt by accusing the Obama Administration of issuing a weak and conciliatory statement during the height of both crisis’s.  I’ve read that statement (which was issued by our embassy in Cairo) and it reads like a plea for cooler heads to prevail.  Romney shot off his mouth not knowing the details of how four Americans had been killed in the attack on the United States Consulate in Benghazi, including our Libyan Ambassador, Christopher Stevens.  Flags are at half-mast in the Capital mourning his death and those of his compatriots.  Romney betrayed himself as being a squirrelly opportunist trying to score cheap political points out of a tragic international incident.

Just when I think Mitt Romney can’t possibly diminish himself any further, he proves himself capable of ever lower depths of shallowness.  It takes the likes of Mitt Romney to forge the depths of shallowness, but Pastor Terry Jones has an edge when it comes to poorly thought out unchristian like conduct.  Jones is both evil and stupid, and clearly a member in good standing of Mitt Romney’s basest base.  I despair for this country should Romney be allowed to win or steal the November election, because it’s frightening clear he IS the heir apparent to George W. Bush.

- Dissociated Press, 9/13/2012

If Mitt doesn’t plan on balancing the budget until his second term, what possible rationale is there for not reelecting Barack Obama for HIS second term instead?

Governor Romney told David Gregory on Meet the Press this past Sunday, that he won’t balance the budget until his “second term.”  Really…?  WHAT second term?  Isn’t he getting a little ahead of himself here…?  Why should we switch horses midstream given Romney’s clueless grasp of the presidential learning curve?  If Mitt doesn’t plan on balancing the budget until his second term, what possible rationale is there for not reelecting Obama for HIS second term instead?  Obama already knows how to be president.  He may not have fulfilled every single solitary campaign promise (yet) but he accomplished a hell of a lot more than the Republican obstructionists in the “do-nothing” 80th Congress.

If you listened carefully to Romney’s answers during the ‘Meet the Press’ interview, it was abundantly clear the man is a master of doubletalk.  But when asked about his own political aspirations, he looked right into the camera with mock sincerity and pledged his only motive for running is to be elected “president” (insert period here) AND as an afterthought, to put people back to work (in the Soilent Green processing plant.)

Romney reinforced his intentions not to raise taxes on the wealthy in favor of closing tax loopholes, but per usual was unable to provide any specifics.  In fact neither Romney nor Ryan are willing to address any of the details concerning their tax plan.  One reason they avoid divulging details is because the tax “loop holes” Romney wants to “close” will adversely effect the middle class; “loop holes” like eliminating mortgage deductions and charitable contributions.  We all know what their tax reforms will be: They’ll continue to overburden the middle class and have Paul Ryan oversee rewriting the tax code so loopholes for the uber-wealthy become even more opaque and don’t apply to middle income voters.

Whenever asked direct questions, Mitt Romney blathers on about his principles, knowing his real “principals” are safe and sound in offshore bank accounts.  There’s a serious disconnect between Romney and the real world as he talks in circles contradicting himself on a daily basis.  For example: Romney stated to David Gregory in no uncertain terms that he’d repeal Obama Care – and not two minutes later he was semi-embracing The Affordable Health Care Act, back peddling because particular aspects of the bill poll very high – like insurance companies covering preexisting conditions.  He knows he can’t cherry pick provisions from the bill without first implementing it.  Even if he tweaked the bill into Massachusetts-style Romney-care, that’s fundamentally what the Affordable Health Care Act is based on.  He can’t repeal it and implement some of it – he can’t have it both ways.

On the subject of Iran, the man who got a Vietnam deferment so he could annoy the French ringing doorbells handing-out leaflets, was sabre rattling with hints of preemptive strikes.  It’s worth noting that Romney’s been campaigning at munitions plants frightening employees by telling them reelecting Obama will cost them their jobs.  Now THERE is a subject Romney knows a little something about – costing people their jobs.  Obama is wise enough to offer incentives to companies that re-purpose factories to produce what’s needed for a peacetime recovery.

As a news junkie, best as I can tell, the Romney/Ryan ticket doesn’t really stand for anything except exploiting wedge issues.  They both get the neo-con crowd all worked-up because “God” wasn’t mentioned in the DNC Convention platform.  As I recall, every single speaker at the Convention ended their speeches with “God bless the United States of America.”  They weren’t there to throw a religious revival tent meeting, it was a nominating convention for the presidency.  Besides, there’s that tricky little piece of ignored wisdom known as “separation of church and state.”

If Mitt Romney is so big on God, why doesn’t he come out and talk about his Mormon faith instead of saying he was brought up in the “Judeo Christian tradition?”  does he only discuss Mormonism in French?

If Romney is so big on sending people’s sons and daughters to war, why didn’t he enlist when HE had the chance?

If Romney wants to alter the tax codes, why isn’t he forthcoming with his own tax records?

There’s something fundamentally sneaky and inconsistent about Mitt Romney AND his sidekick, Paul Ryan.  We’ve already had an abysmal experience with a hawkish and incompetent Republican administration, let’s not allow another to lead us in the wrong direction again.  Direction matters – preferably FORWARD.

- Disassociated Press, 9/10/2012

As Presidential Candidates Go, At Least Obama Holds Down a Full Time Job While He Campaigns – But In All Fairness to Paul Ryan, He IS Employed Part Time….

As presidential candidates go, at least Barack Obama holds down a full time job while campaigning.  But in all fairness to Paul Ryan, he IS employed part time….

I have never pretended to fully grasp the complexities of American Foreign Policy, but I can smell someone who knows even less than I do.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know even less about foreign policy than they do about realistically solving domestic issues.  Either that, or neither man thinks fast on his feet.  Most likely a little bit of both….  If Romney thinks Russia is our greatest threat and Ryan defends his vote for the war in Iraq; then clearly neither one of them have a clue about international policy or how diplomacy works.  Especially in light of Romney making comments to the effect of wanting to engage our troops in a military conflict with Iran if elected.  Both of them frighten the living daylights out of me.

Neither political party can guarantee our complete and total safety from terrorism, but why go courting disaster?  We already have two or more on-going animosities already in progress, and once you start a preemptive conflict in the Middle East, you can pretty much expect ‘em to hold a grudge for a couple thousand years or more.  Biblically and historically speaking, you don’t light a fuse anywhere near the land once known as Persia, then expect that in five, ten or twenty years down the line, al Qaeda is going to benignly start setting up Iranian fast food restaurants on every street corner.  I’m reasonably certain they’ve already done that as it is….

A large part of the president’s full time job is dealing with other countries and keeping the peace; knowing the who, what, when, where and WHY exactly America is pursuant of all involvements with other nations.  We don’t have to look much further than the scars of our recent past to see what comes of an irresponsible administration with itchy, greedy trigger-fingers poked in another country’s ribs.  Does anyone seriously want to grant that level of responsibility to the likes of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan?  Every aspect of their platform at home and abroad is nothing more than a follow-up act to the Bush/Cheney Administration.  Electing Romney/Ryan would be akin to 16th century physicians applying leaches to their patients while crying out “Bleeding, I shall make thee work yet.”  So when Barack Obama says his opponents are “new” to foreign policy, I don’t think he’s being sarcastic, I think he’s being generous.

There’s a foolish notion out there based on how World War II contributed to pulling us out of the Great Depression, and that somehow the same concept might come in handy right about now.  Now?  Now, when we’ve finally made tremendous strides in repairing our international honor, is NOT the time to start any more unprovoked international conflicts, as if there’s ever a good time for that sort of thing….  Our resources are already spread too thin.  We wouldn’t be wisely invoking “history to repeat itself” by starting another war – we’d be creating a distorted reflection, like what you see in a not-so-fun house mirror.  THIS go-around war got us into our current depressive recession, but war is NOT an acceptable answer to bail us out.  Putting our people back to work is what’s going to repair the nation and make us whole again.  We have the tremendous advantage of the largest affordable work force in decades BESIDE themselves to be reemployed AND a lot of decaying infrastructure to address.

Allow me to remind you that Paul Ryan voted against every single jobs bill put before the House of Representatives – both from the Obama Administration and from independent outside advisers.  Many of those rejected bills had their very origins in Republican ideas, but they simply won’t allow them to be implemented on Obama’s watch no matter how much suffering it causes their constituents.  What makes it all so galling is Romney and  Ryan asking “Are you better off now that you were four years ago?” when it’s been their own party blocking the recovery…!!!  Besides, technically speaking, four years ago today we were perched on the precipice of economic collapse, because mathematically speaking, George W. Bush was still president four years ago today.  Clinton’s right, it’s all about “mathematics.”

It boils down to the economics of ‘War and Peace’ combined with simple arithmetic, and whether you think adding four more years of Republican “ideas” to America’s resume is going to add up to a better bottom line than allowing Barack Obama to hang onto the keys.  Never loose sight of which party ran the Ship of State aground in the first place, and which candidates are quick to run down the hall avoiding questions about global politics.

For the record, the wise crack about Paul Ryan having a “part time job” refers to he and he cronies spending Tuesday through Thursday “working” in Congress, but he’s the only one who faithfully spends six days a week at the gym.  On the seventh day, he rested.  Mitt Romney hasn’t worked in years, referring to himself as being among the nation’s “unemployed.”  Obama has worked late into the night while Congress has slept.  Wake up America, and smell the math.

- Disassociated Press, 9/8/2012