Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

No Keystone XL Pipeline Decision until After November Election

Whew!!!

The State Department has extended the comment period on the Keystone XL Pipeline, “...likely postponing a final decision on the controversial project until after the Nov. 4 midterm elections.”

If nothing else, this will buy an extra seven months before Planet Earth's Worst Nightmare begins.  I'm guessing President Obama will veto the XL Pipeline if the Democrats keep control of the Senate.  Then again, if the Senate goes Republican, Obama will probably be impeached and convicted of, well, whatever flimsy trumped-up charges the Kochsuckers can come up with.  If that's the case, maybe Obama will give the finger to the Kochs' useful idiots, veto the XL Pipeline and say what're you gonna do, impeach me?

It doesn't say much for American voters' collective intelligence, but most Americans are in favor of the Keystone XL Pipeline.  Sad but true. 

But I don't think the XL Pipeline will be a major issue during the 2014 midterm election.  The election will revolve around the economy in general, and Obamacare in particular.  As pundits and columnists have been saying for months now, Democrats need to get behind the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) and get out there and talk about it.  They need to keep hammering away at the fact that eight million (and counting) previously uninsured Americans now have health insurance.  Health insurance companies can no longer turn you down because of a pre-existing condition, and they aren't allowed to cancel your coverage if you have the nerve to go and get sick.  Shout it from the rooftops!  Get the message out!

Anyway, this pipeline delay was a shrewd decision.  It won't be a factor in the upcoming election.  Democrats are the ones who usually fall into this trap:  campaigning relentlessly on their favorite issues the environment, income inequality, the Talibangelical war on women (war on everybody, for that matter) issues where the voters agree with them wholeheartedly, and then they turn around and vote Republican because of “Jobs!

Maybe Republicans will fall into that same trap this year.  Maybe they'll wage a shrill campaign in favor of Keystone XL and against those treehuggers and environazis who are ruining America, while Obamacare gets more popular and the economy improves.

Works for me.


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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Bundyfest

No, not Ted Bundy; not Al Bundy.  Bundyfest is named after Cliven Bundy, America's favorite parasite. 

Bundyfest is being put together by some of the organizers of the annual Burning Man Festival in northern Nevada.  Bundyfest's Facebook page says:

“For years, we paid permitting fees to hold Burning Man on the beautiful Playa in Northern Nevada.  But now, Cliven Bundy has shown us a NEW WAY! ABSOLUTE FREEDOM! Bundy has declared the entire area surrounding Bundy Ranch as a TOTALLY RULES-FREE ZONE! ANYTHING GOES!  WOO-HOO!!!”

Bundyfest will be a month-long festival beginning on September 5th, right after the end of the Burning Man Festival.  It'll be held right across the road from Cliven Bundy's ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada.  240 bands will be performing 24 hours a day.  Sean Shealy, one of the organizers, said:

“Some people have asked me, where will we camp, where will we park?  Anywhere, really. It’s f*cking anarchy.”

The Bundyfest Facebook page says no permits will be required and full nudity will be allowed.  And there'll be a “penis erection contest,” with prizes being award to whoever builds the largest phallic structures in the desert.  One possible drawback:  No bathroom facilities:

“You’re free to let it all hang out right there, just like Bundy’s cattle, right there in the Virgin River, if you want to.” 

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lawsuit: “Out Of The Furnace” vs. Ramapough Mountain Indians

I finally saw “Out Of The Furnace” the other night.  Lots of violence, tragedy, suspense, vengeance all the things you look for in a white-knuckle edge-of-your-seat kind of movie.  But more than anything else, I was intrigued by the setting.

I'm from Pittsburgh originally.  We moved when I was ten.  I was old enough for Pittsburgh to be my permanent imprint but not old enough to remember a lot of other neighborhoods or nearby towns.  “Out Of The Furnace” took place in North Braddock, PA; a lot of the filming was actually done there too.  The only references to North Braddock that I noticed in the movie were an occasional sign on a building.  Other than that, the setting looked like hardcore Appalachia.  I would have guessed the movie was taking place in some hardscrabble depressed area in rural Kentucky or West Virginia.

When I Googled the movie, I couldn't believe North Braddock was just eleven miles from Pittsburgh.  I'd vaguely heard of the town, but I had no idea it was a 15-minute drive from where I used to live.  (Like I said, I was ten when we moved.)

The other intriguing thing about the movie:  The New Jersey inbreds (that was the term used several times in the movie) referred to an actual Native American tribe in New Jersey.  I realize New Jersey isn't wall-to-wall cities and suburbs, but when someone describes a vicious clan of hillbillies, New Jersey isn't usually the first thing you think of.  And this isn't a remote part of the state, either.  Their stronghold their tribal population is about 5,000 is surprisingly close to the Greater New York metropolitan area.  Who knew?

And this brings us to the title of the post.  Seventeen members of the Ramapough Tribe are suing the makers of “Out Of The Furnace” for defamation.  In the movie, Woody Harrelson plays the main villain, Harlan DeGroat.  And DeGroat is a very common last name among the Ramapough.  Harlan DeGroat and his henchmen are a cutthroat gang of drug dealers and murderers.  The Tribe's lawsuit alleges that the movie's portrayal, plus using the DeGroat surname in the movie, has defamed their people and made them even more prone to the stereotyping and discrimination they've already been suffering from.

Here are some links. (Note:  When I was doing the search, I typed in degroat new jersey and then Google automatically filled in the word inbred, and I just went ahead and clicked on I'm Feeling Lucky.)


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Friday, April 18, 2014

The Case for Armed Freedom Fighters Taking on the Government



Joe Heller - Green Bay Press-Gazette - Nevada Rancher - English - Bureau of Land Management, Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, Native Americans,

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Earthquakes in Idaho: a Warning From God

Idaho has been stricken with hundreds of earthquakes low to medium intensity over the past month. This is a crystal-clear message to the sinners of Idaho.

The Bible is very clear about God entrusting Man with stewardship over all of His creatures.  And how are Idaho's neckdrooling inbreds handling this stewardship, this sacred responsibility entrusted to them by The Lord?

How?  By poisoning the land with hundreds of gigantic warehouse/factory farms, where the most unimaginable cruelty is inflicted upon millions of God's creations.  This cruelty itself is perfectly legal, but reporting or photographing the cruelty is a crime.

Idaho's mouthbreathers are also trying to eliminate two of God's creations:  wolves and coyotes.  They're even having contests to see who can kill the largest number of these sacred creatures.

“What hath God wrought?”

If the sinners of Idaho do not heed God's warnings contained in these small earthquakes, larger and more catastrophic earthquakes might be forthcoming.  Or perhaps a flood.

Or maybe God will turn Governor Butch Otter's wife into a pillar of salt.  (How could we tell?)


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Fargo: the Miniseries

Aw Jeez.

Anybody watch this last night?  If you liked the movie, you'll probably like the ten-part miniseries on FX (Wednesday, 10 p.m.).

As usual, Billy Bob Thornton's appearance, voice and mannerisms are completely different from every other role he's played.  He plays a hit man and overall shit disturber who's taking a temporary detour through Fargo on his way to Duluth to carry out his boss's orders.  The Billy Bob Thornton character reminds me of the mysterious shop owner in Stephen King's Needful Things (Max von Sydow played the role in the movie version).

Other than Billy Bob Thornton and Keith Carradine, I didn't recognize any of the actors in the Fargo miniseries.  I thought maybe the directors were purposely using unknown actors for the series.  Give us your best Scandihoovian accent...OK, good, you're hired.  But it turns out most of the actors are already well-known from movies and TV shows I never saw.

I have just one tiny nitpicking complaint about the accents on last night's show.  I'm pretty familiar with that Minnesota/Scandihoovian accent, and one particular vowel sound was missing.  When people from the upper Midwest say the word clown, it sounds like clone.  Drown sounds like drone.  And so on.  And that one vowel sound wasn't captured in most of last night's dialogue.

Anyway, just one tiny nitpick.  Other than that, they totally nailed the accent and sing-songy speech inflection of that region.

I thought the program was a riot.  I hope it'll be a hit.  But either way, it won't be back for another season (presumably) since it's just a one-time miniseries.

Check it out.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

Europe Shouldn't Submit to Vladimir Putin's Energy Blackmail

This column by Thomas Friedman Go Ahead, Vladimir, Make My Day may sound too optimistic or oversimplified, but I agree with him completely.  If Putin pulls the plug on Ukraine and the European Union, these countries will be in roughly the same position as the U.S. during the first Arab oil embargo in 1973.  Thomas Friedman says:

That 1973 embargo led to the first auto mileage standards in America and propelled the solar, wind and energy efficiency industries. A Putin embargo today would be even more valuable because it would happen at a time when the solar, wind, natural gas and energy efficiency industries are all poised to take off and scale.

Hal Harvey, C.E.O. of Energy Innovation, says:

“Clean energy is at an inflection point.  The price reductions in the last five years have been nothing less than spectacular: Solar cells, for example, have dropped in cost by more than 80 percent in the last five years. This trend is underway, if a bit less dramatically, for wind, batteries, solid state lighting, new window technologies, vehicle drive trains, grid management, and more. What this means is that clean energy is moving from boutique to mainstream, and that opens up a wealth of opportunities.”

And that's not all.  Opower is the name of a company that works with utility customers all over the country to help them reduce their electricity consumption.  Opower accomplishes this by helping people pinpoint exactly when their energy usage is the highest, and comparing people's energy usage with that of their neighbors.  This behavioral economics as Opower's co-founder calls it enables people to vastly reduce their energy usage without a lot of sacrifice.  Since 2007, Opower has enabled its customers to reduce their energy usage by four terawatt hours, which is the amount of energy produced by the Hoover Dam in one year.  Opower expects to soon be saving its customers that same amount of energy every year.

It's a start.  It's time for everybody to suck it up, bite the bullet and start our fossil fuels cold turkey NOW.

Another article How solar energy could be the key to reducing economic inequality reiterates the same points, that solar energy's availability is expanding exponentially:

Solar panels — the cost of which continues to massively decrease as the technology improves, and which are already as cheap as fossil fuels in some parts of the world — have the potential to create massive economic growth over the next two decades and beyond. The total solar energy hitting Earth each year is equivalent to...over 20,000 times more than the total energy that all of humanity consumes each year...Once solar is cheaper per watt than coal, oil, and natural gas, falling energy costs will provide massive relief to people squeezed in recent years by the rising cost of fossil fuel extraction...All else being equal, falling energy prices mean more disposable income to save and invest, or to spend. And because of the decentralized nature of solar energy, the benefits of cheap, plentiful energy can be realized by anyone with a solar panel, instead of being accrued by the capitalist who owns the coal mine, the power plant, or the oil well.

OK, what are we waiting for??? 


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Sunday, April 13, 2014

David Koch's 1980 Run for Vice President

In 1980, David Koch ran for Vice President on the Libertarian Party ticket.  Every bone-headed Plutocratic rightwing idea you've been hearing over the past few years — David Koch was spewing out this exact same shit 34 years ago.

Here's a link to the Libertarian Party platform of 1980.

Go ahead and peruse the list.  It's not pretty, but we need to know this.  After you've realized that the Koch Brothers want to eliminate every governmental protection we've had for the last eighty years, you might notice a few things missing from the list.

Along with opposing most governmental protections, Libertarians have also been opposed to the whole Biblehumping “morality” agenda, elective wars, and the siphoning of trillions of tax dollars to the Pentagon and the War on Drugs.  Whether you agree with the Libertarian Party or not, there's usually a certain consistency that you've gotta respect.

But none of these items are mentioned in the linked article.  David Koch wanted to eliminate every agency and every law that protects people; but he apparently had no problem whatsoever with the Prison Industrial Complex, the Pentagon and its parasitic “defense” contractors, or the Salem Witch Trials 2.0.

Go figure.


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Friday, April 11, 2014

Republican Senate = Permanent Conservative Majority on Supreme Court

If Republicans take the Senate this November, President Obama has a snowball's chance in Hell of ever getting a liberal justice onto the Supreme Court.  Liberal you understand means anyone to the left of Sean Hannity.

The last Democratic president to get his Supreme Court nomination through a Republican Senate was Grover Cleveland.  In 1895.

Not very encouraging, is it.

This is just one more reason (as if we didn't have enough already) for Democrats and liberals to NOT sit out the 2014 election because there's no difference between the two parties, I'm disappointed in Obama, this isn't a presidential election; I'll vote in 2016, etc.

VOTE.


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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Emergency Relief Drive for Traumatized Pigeon Hunters

A group of Manly Men known as the Philadelphia Gun Club has been getting harassed and intimidated by some of those pesky animal rights activists. Now, unless you're a hard-livin', hard partyin' badass motherfucker, you might get a little squeamish reading about the gut-wrenching danger and terror being faced every day by the brave members of the Philadelphia Gun Club.

OK, you've been warned.  Ready???

Philadelphia Gun Club members spend their days perfecting their aim by shooting at live pigeons which have been caged and tamed.

Now don't come crying to me; I warned you.  Can you even try to imagine the blind courage that suck-it-up, stare-death-in-the-face True Grit that these brave hunters must have been experiencing???  If you're like me, your heart was jumping through your throat, a cold clammy terror swept over you while you were reading that description.

And now the unflinching bravery of these Real Men has been rewarded with jeers and mean jokes from one of them treehugging animal rights groups.

An organization called Showing Animals Respect and Kindness (SHARK) has slandered and humiliated these brave hunters by gluing a bunch of dildos to the outside walls of the Philadelphia Gun Club's headquarters.  Stop laughing!  Do you have any idea how humiliating this is to a bunch of Manly Men with Guns???

In response, eight members of the Philadelphia Gun Club have filed a lawsuit against SHARK, alleging harassment and intimidation.

Now you know as well as I do, these inbred bullet-ejaculators don't have a pot to piss on, let alone enough money to pay for some two-bit lawyer.

And this is where YOU come in:  Please visit the website of the Philadelphia Gun Club and donate whatever amount you can.

These brave men need your help.


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