Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When Stolen Guns Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Stolen Guns

Every time you think gun nuts can't possibly get any nuttier, they do.

Armatix, a German company, has developed a “smart gun” that can only be fired by the person who owns the gun.  As the linked article describes it, the company uses a watch that ties the owner to the weapon, called the iP1.  These smart guns are already being sold in parts of Europe and Asia, and the company has tried marketing them in the U.S.  It's not going well.

What could possibly be the downside here?  I didn't know gun owners were anxious to give their weapons away, or have them used after they've been stolen. Belinda Padilla, CEO of the U.S. division of Armatix, described the threats and harassment she's been getting from gun fanatics:

“It began with a few fuming-mad voice mail messages and heavy breathers.” 

After that, photos of her home were posted online: 

“In a crude, cartoonish scrawl, this person drew an arrow to the blurred image of a woman passing through the photo frame. ‘Belinda?’  ‘Is that you?’” 

The Oak Tree Gun Club in southern California was ready to start selling these Armatix smart guns, but then some people at Calguns,.net, an online forum for gun enthusiasts, found out about this and started making threats.  One of the more intelligent specimens at Calguns.net commented:

“I have no qualms with the idea of personally and professionally leveling the life of someone who has attempted to profit from disarming me and my fellow Americans.”

The Oak Tree Gun Club buckled under.  Not only are there no Armatix smart guns for sale at the club; the Oak Tree Gun Club is now pretending that they never had these smart guns on their premises in the first place.

Belinda Padilla said:

“Right now, unfortunately, these organizations that are scaring everybody have the power.  All we’re doing is providing extra levels of safety to your individual right to bear arms. And if you don’t want our gun, don’t buy it. It’s not for everyone...If they really understood our technology, they wouldn’t be afraid of it at all.”

The NRA's new expanded slogan is:  You can take my gun when you pry it from my cold dead hands.  And then, hey, knock yourself out.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Google Removes Decoy/Fake Abortion Clinics from “Abortion” Search Results

Online ads for Crisis Pregnancy Centers will no longer appear in the search results when someone is doing a Google search for abortion clinics. Crisis Pregnancy Centers exist for the sole purpose of luring pregnant women who are searching for an abortion clinic into their parlor so they can preach at them and convince them not to get an abortion.

In other words, a crisis pregnancy center is basically a Salem Witch Trial in abortion clinic's clothing.

Crisis pregnancy centers' customer base might take a huge hit because of Google's decision to remove their ads from abortion search results.  After all, most of their customers/victims are desperate women who are searching for an abortion.  Google's decision is kind of like telling payday lenders that they can only target wealthy people who are debt-free.

The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America said Crisis Pregnancy Centers' ads usually imply that they offer abortions; it's the deception that NARAL objects to:

We have no problem with crisis pregnancy centers advertising online; we have no problem with their existing.  That is their right in America.

Google's policy states that ads must be truthful, accurate and factually supportable.  NARAL's findings that 79% of all crisis pregnancy centers' ads were intentionally deceitful and misleading convinced Google to remove those ads from abortion clinic search results.  A Google spokesperson said:

We're constantly reviewing ads to ensure they comply with our AdWords policies, which include strict guidelines related to ad relevance, clarity, and accuracy.  If we find violations, we'll take the appropriate actions — including account disablings and blacklists — as quickly as possible.

NARAL is hoping other search engines will follow Google's action:

We're pleased with Google's leadership.  People depend on their search engines to provide them with accurate information...We're hoping other actors will follow suit.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

IRS Crackdown on Phony Charity Groups: You Missed a Spot

It's not just a spot; it's more of a giant shitstain on the Body Politic.

Rightwing politicians are still in the throes of their orchestrated outrage over the IRS' chilling crackdown on the tax-exempt non-profit status of Tea Party organizations.  Meanwhile, the Orwellian-named Government Integrity Fund has contributed millions of dollars to Republican candidates.  And YOU helped to finance this group's tax-deductible contributions.  On top of that, because the IRS has recognized the Government Integrity Fund as a non-profit social welfare organization, these sleazebuckets don't have to disclose their donors.

The Disconnect grows wider and wider.  Millions of teabaggers are convinced that the IRS is singling out conservative organizations for extra scrutiny, while a secretly-funded charity group slips under the radar.  The Government Integrity Fund's biggest charity was a multi-million dollar libel campaign against Senator Sherrod Brown in 2012. 

YOUR tax tax dollars at work.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Republicans Win by Cheating and Lying, but Democrats Enable Them

Bill Maher chastised both parties last night on Real Time.  Republicans can only win by rigging elections, preventing non-white non-property owners from voting, and repeating the same slanderous lies over and over and over.  But Democrats are making themselves a target by getting too carried away with idealism and political correctness.

First, the GOP:

“Gerrymandering the districts, voter ID laws, purging the voter rolls, shortening the voting period, preventing anyone who’s been to prison from voting, eliminating same-day registration, putting up billboards in poor Black neighborhoods that say, ‘Don’t vote, there’s ghosts in there.’  What Republicans have done is tap into the deep, rich vein of cultural resentment that runs through America’s heartland like an artery clogged with hate butter.”

And here's how Democrats enable the Republicans' slippery tactics:

“They mean well, but sometimes when I’m at Whole Foods, I don’t want to sign petitions and give to charity.  I just want to go in and get a $15 lentil sandwich that’ll make me fart for a week. I also, for example, think it’s ridiculous that Facebook has now decided we have to choose in our profile from 56 different genders, including transgender, cis-gender, and of course, Bruce jender.”

Sorry, but I have to agree, to a point.  Last weekend I attended a meeting of our local Democratic Party where they were putting the party platform together.   There wasn't anything I disagreed with, but they spent several hours dreaming up every wonderful thing that we should all be entitled to.  It sounded less like a party platform than a high school student's starry-eyed description of Utopia.  Not that I'd know, but the local Republicans' meeting was probably more like “Freedom!  Personal responsibility!  Limited government!  OK, we're done!”

He also had some tough love for his fellow atheists and their constant lawsuits about displaying crosses on public property:

“For fuck’s sakes, we’re atheists, not vampires.  You can’t handle seeing a cross now and then, you picked the wrong country.”

And he said Democrats are alienating a lot of swing/independent voters by “nagging about what we can name our football teams or how big our soda can be.” 

He summed up with:

“One of the Republicans’ strongest voting blocs is low-income whites who didn’t go to college. These are people who desperately need a minimum wage hike. Need unions. They need healthcare. But not if it’s got Obama’s name on it.  Remember, for every liberal with a cause who makes you go ‘Oh, just shoot me,’ there’s a conservative with a gun who will.”

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

How High will the Sea Level Rise in YOUR Community?

Now you can find out.

If you live on or near a coastline, you can enter your zip code into an interactive map to see how high the sea level is going to rise in your neighborhood.  The program is called Surging Seas, and it makes these calculations based on data from federal agencies.

Ben Strauss, vice president for climate impacts at Climate Central, said:

“This is a brave new world. Rising seas are posing a totally new challenge to American ingenuity.”

It's too bad this information is necessary, but since the fossil fuel barons and their climate-denying useful idiots are in control of the government, maybe this is the best we can hope for.  It's hard to tell if this interactive map will actually be useful, or if it'll be like that Saturday Night Live skit on board a plane, where an alarm starts shrieking to let everyone know the plane will be crashing in ten seconds.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

No Keystone XL Pipeline Decision until After November Election


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


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.


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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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Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Republican Congressman Wants to Prevent States from Labeling GMO products

Rep. Mike Pompeo must be busier than a one-arm paper hanger.  Or in his case, busier than a single-mouthed CEO-blower.  Mike Pompeo is already the Koch Brothers' favorite boy toy.  And on top of that, he's giving 24/7/365 blowjobs to Monsanto executives as well.

He's introduced the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.”  George Orwell couldn't have come up with a better name than that for a law that's designed to protect food companies from having to list their ingredients. 

So far, not a single state has passed a law requiring food labels to disclose the presence of genetically modified (GMO) products.  Several states have had this proposal on a ballot initiative, and these initiatives have always been voted down after a $20-40 million dollar ad blitz financed by the Monsanto/Agribusiness syndicate.

But just in case one of these states actually does pass a GMO labeling requirement, Mike Pompeo wants to preempt this little problem at the federal level.  States' rights, doncha know.

With Monsanto's jism squiring out of his mouth, Pompeo spluttered out something that sounded like:

“We’ve got a number of states that are attempting to put together a patchwork quilt of food labeling requirements with respect to genetic modification of foods.  That makes it enormously difficult to operate a food system. Some of the campaigns in some of these states aren’t really to inform consumers but rather aimed at scaring them. What this bill attempts to do is set a standard.”

Very good, Mike!  Excellent job of reciting exactly what Monsanto told you to say.  OK, you can wipe off your mouth and stand up now, and oh wait, not so fast!  A group of Grocery Manufacturers Association lobbyists just walked in, and they want sloppy seconds.  Get back on your knees!

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Monday, April 07, 2014

If We REALLY had a Liberal Media...

This article lists fifteen facts that everyone would know if there were a liberal media.

Among other things:

ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) would be a household name as common as Democrat, Republican or labor union if we had a liberal media.  We don't, so it isn't.  If the media were liberal, you couldn't turn on the evening news or open a newspaper without learning and relearning that a shadowy group of corporate lobbyists (ALEC) sends out hundreds of sample bills to Republican legislatures, and these sample/model bills are dutifully enacted by ALEC's legislator/prostitutes.  Stand Your Ground laws, voter suppression laws, Ag Gag laws making it a crime to report animal abuse at factory farms, and most union-busting legislation you can thank ALEC for all of these laws.  These laws themselves are pretty much under the public radar (which they wouldn't be if we had a liberal media), let alone the fact that these laws all rolled off the ALEC assembly line and were quietly rushed through dozens of state legislatures.

Which country has the world's largest prison population?  China?  Russia?  You won't hear this from the liberal media, but the United States of America has 25% of the world's prisoners.  We have not only the largest percentage of the world's prisoners, but the largest number as well.  Think about it.  China that evil Communist police state we've been scared shitless of for decades has five times America's population but fewer prisoners.

In a related (censored) story, also forgotten by the liberal media:  African-Americans make up 13.6% of the U.S. population; but they make up 39.4% of the U.S. prison/jail population.

If there were a liberal media, everyone would know about the mass honeybee die-off, caused by colony collapse disorder.  25% of our food supply depends on pollination by bees.  The most likely causes of colony collapse disorder are certain chemicals manufactured and marketed by the Chemical/Agribusiness Syndicate.  This might have something to do with why the corporate-owned liberal media isn't reporting this.

And speaking of corporate media:  90% of all the information we see and hear is controlled by six corporations.  These would be Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, and CBS.  These liberal corporations haven't bothered to tell us about the wave of  media consolidation that's engulfed the country in the last ten years.

Anyway, check out the article.  All fifteen items are things everyone would know if we had a liberal media.

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Sunday, April 06, 2014

Calling All Windows XP Luddites: You're Toast as of Tuesday, April 8th

And I'm one of those XP Luddites.  As of this Tuesday, April 8th, Microsoft will no longer send out regular security updates or security patches in case of a cyber-threat to anyone who still uses Windows XP.  Windows XP is still the operating system for about thirty percent of Windows users worldwide.  Oh well, Microsoft doesn't need these XP Luddites any more.  What are they gonna do, not purchase Windows XP again?  Might as well throw them under the bus.  Microsoft has more important things to take care of, new products to hustle.

For Windows XP users who are planning to upgrade good luck.  According to the linked article:

Computers running Windows XP cannot easily be upgraded to the newest Windows version, and that means the users would need to buy new machines.

Or as one analyst said, some of these shafted XP users might take their business to Apple or Google or Linux:

“The risk for Microsoft is that people will migrate to somewhere else.”

Microsoft's backstabbing sleaziness will affect everybody, not just Windows XP users.  If there really is an increase in the number of infected computers among XP users, there'll be that many more infected computers sending out malware-infected links and e-mails to all computer users.

Another school of thought is:  when Microsoft discontinues their security updates, it'll be like when Ronald Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's how could they tell?

In any case, I'll just keep updating and running my anti-virus software faithfully, and when/if a virus strikes, I'll finally act on my longer-idle threat to switch to a laptop that runs on Linux.

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Republicans No Longer Even PRETENDING they Believe in Democracy

By now, nobody except the bone-stupidest mouth-breathingest of the GOP's useful idiots actually still believe the GOP soundbites about voter fraud, the integrity of the vote and the Job Creators.

The GOP's Case for Scrapping Democracy is the title of this article by Damon Linker.  The author had also written an earlier article about the GOP's war on democracy.  He states:

I expected a sharp response from the Right. What I thought I'd hear were variations on......  (you know, the usual Orwellian slogans about strengthening democracy by fighting voter fraud, etc.).

Instead, he got the following response (which he describes as a typical example):

I just read your piece on the GOP changes to voting laws. It's complete garbage! Americans who have no skin in the game should not be voting! The way things have evolved in the last 200 years is nothing short of disgusting! People who don't offer anything tangible to the country are given as much say as people who pay 400k in taxes per year? Ridiculous! How did we regress so far?

Gotta admire this person's candor.  Same with venture capitalist Tom Perkins, who ranted several months ago that only taxpayers should be allowed to vote; and the more taxes you pay, the more votes you should be able to cast.

It's one thing for Heritage Foundation teabots to say this to each other privately; or for Mitt Romney to keep blubbering about the mooching 47% when he didn't know his speech was being recorded.

But when GOP leaders are this outspoken, publicly, about their contempt for minorities and non-millionaires, what does this mean?  Have they become so complacent and over-confident that they don't even need to pretend they care about the unwashed masses?  What happened to their well-publicized outreach to swarthy minorities and the womenfolk?

Up until now they've been conning millions of dupes into voting against their own interests:  I'm keeping you trapped in poverty so the Communists won't take over, so you can be Free.  Help me get rid of those damn safety regulations, let me keep earning 800 times more money than you, and I'll be able to create more jobs.  Together we can put America back to work!

Now apparently they're not even bothering with these intelligence-insulting sales pitches any more.  They're pretty much just coming out and saying I'm in control now.  I'm not letting you vote, and I'm going to wipe out every agency and every regulation that you've been depending on.  What're you gonna do about it?

Let's hope this is the Hubris before the fall.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Anti-Obamacare Republicans Have Killed 17,000 Americans (and counting...)

There's no other way to put it.  Red state governors and legislators are killing their own people just so they can keep throwing their mass hissy-fit over the Affordable Care Act.

This chart is titled The GOP's Obamacare Death Toll:  Projected Body Count by State.  It's not pretty.

The chart lists every state that's under Republican control.  For each of these states it shows the number of uninsured before the Affordable Care Act, the number of post-ACA uninsured, the number that could have been insured through a Medicaid opt-in, and a high and low estimate of the number of needless deaths.

The 17,000 deaths from the title of this post are the high estimate (17,106).  The low estimate is 7,114.  So to be as fair as possible, the GOP's anti-Obamacare jihad may have only killed 7,000 instead of 17,000.

But in any case the death toll will continue climbing.  And what goes around comes around.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Anonymous Corporate Funding of “Scientific” Research

Corporate conglomerates and wealthy individuals are already making billions of dollars' worth of anonymous political contributions.  All they have to do is launder their money through those ubiquitous fake charity organizations that don't have to disclose their donors.

And now, chemical companies are taking this to the next level.  They want to be able to pay for scientific research research which would prove certain chemicals aren't really that bad, there's no danger at all, move along nothing to see here without the public knowing who paid for these new findings.


Sixteen Republican (of course!) Senators are trying to repeal the existing research disclosure rules so that when a new scientific finding is publicized, we won't have any idea who paid for this research.  If a new study says climate change is a hoax, was this study based on objective scientific methods, or was it financed by the Koch Brothers?  Maybe Pat Robertson could secretly finance a study proving that atheists are more likely to be homosexual flag-burners on welfare.

For now, the sixteen Republican prostitutes are dealing with the specific issue of silica dust, which has serious health hazards for the millions of workers who are exposed to it.  The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is planning to update the safety guidelines for working with silica dust.  OSHA Chief David Michaels said:

“What I’m doing here is essentially saying the information that we will base our standard on has to be of the highest integrity, and we have to do it in a transparent manner, and conflict-of interest disclosure is an important component of both of those.  It would be surprising right now if a scientific journal didn’t ask for that information.”

Lamar Alexander (RBeen Bent Over So Long It Looks Like Up to Me) and his fifteen fellow prostitutes have sent a letter to OSHA objecting to these disclosure requirements:

“The chilling effect the financial disclosure could have seems counter to the idea of robust inclusion of a diverse set of ideas and views to inform the rule-making.”

Huh???  The Sixteen Skanks were highly paid by chemical companies for writing that incoherent sentence (which should be a slam dunk to win this year's Bulwer-Lytton Bad Writing Award).

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