Wednesday, August 29, 2012

He does not need facts -- he has a great story

I now have positive proof that the Republicans could care less about the facts -- the reality of the situation or the science behind making decisions.  We have heard this over and over again.  Most recently Tony Adkins decided that science was all wrong and women were just "asking for it".

I have no idea who the representative to the Republican Convention was, but here is his comment on National Public Radio.  The conversation turned to Governor Christie and the keynote address.  The Republican political pundit said this about the sum and substance of Christie's keynote address:  "who needs facts when he has story  to tell".  Who needs facts?  Well, there we go! How does one combat that?  I recently had a facebook person tell me that he has opinions and his opinions are as good as facts.  Just what in the world is going on?  How have the citizens of the most advanced country on earth suddenly decided to discard the very essence of what got us where we are.  Don't need facts?  How did we defeat Hitler?  Don't need facts?  How did we create the most powerful military in the world?  Don't need facts?  How did we put a man on the moon?  Don't need facts?  Cured AIDs.  Don't need facts?  How did our Declaration of Independence and the Constitution come into existence?

Now we don't need facts.  We need white guys telling us we don't need facts.  We don't need facts since we have all our women barefoot and pregnant all the time? We need white guys who want to control everything in our bedroom and while we are distracted -steal us blind and leave  us in the poorhouse-- and laughing! Don't need facts?  Surely everyone understands that once a child is born into poverty there is no help for the mom or the child for food, shelter, education or any other of the necessities.  No we don't need facts, we just need hedge fund managers that can waste billions of dollars and then the Federal Government comes to their aid.

Why confuse me with the facts -- George Bush inherits a huge surplus and puts us into a deficit and then it must be President Obama's fault.  Let's spin a story without any truth.  Let's just not use facts. Let's just spin a good story.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Flax, Fax or Facts

I have come to notice something that is a strong strand between the Grand Old Party members and the members of the Anglican Church in North America.  This revelation is actually based on those members of both that write, talk, or broadcast.  Big time Bishops or regular folks in the pews and voting booths.  My guess is that most cross lines between each because of the unique approach to "facts" but none the less both observable groups suffer from the same affliction.  The rallying cry for both parties is "Do not confuse me with the facts. I am entitled to my own opinion." 

Once upon a time, in the world of facebook I joined a group and took on a few "friends" from that group.  Shortly thereafter I began receiving some of the most "bizarre" writings from one individual.  I generally ignored the diatribes until one day I could do so no longer.  The posting was so confused and so out of touch with research that I had to post back, and in a nice way, merely asked on what research did he base is post?  I was immediately attacked by about 5 of that persons friends (comments section) criticizing me for being a liberal communist.  Being as obstinate as I am I tried once again and merely asked for the author to clarify his writings by citing the necessary research to support his arguments.  At this point he wrote back and in slightly longer posting said that these were his opinions and he was entitled to his own opinions.  (It was not as mean as this may sound).  At that point I found a way in which to end our facebook friendship.

Drinking from the same bucket we hear the leaders of the ACNA movement (and indeed the leaders of GAFCON) espousing the same sort of thing.  ACNA says "We are the Anglican representative in the United States." ignoring the facts.  "Don't confuse me with the facts, I am entitled to my own opinion."

Why is this problem not self-evident?  Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  My concern is that these silly people are spewing their opinions as if they were facts and then they and their followers are acting on their own opinions.  Facts be damned.

I will end with this story.  Years ago I was working in a school district that had negotitated a deal with a cellular company to place a cell tower on a campus.  This was creating much needed revenue for a district that was in huge trouble financially.  The parents went crazy over the "rays" that were affecting their children.  We scheduled a meeting and flew in the world's foremost expert (Harvard in this case) on cellular towers and the effects on the human body.  We met, and I introduced the expert.  The expert began his explanation for the effects (i.e., none to speak of) of cell towers on children.  A parent stood up and asked, "Who paid you to come out here?"   Of course he responded with the district paid his way. The parent then went on to explain to the parents that whatever this person said was bogus because he was paid by the district. this was, at that time, the foremost expert and one of the few in the world at that time.  The long and the short of it was this:  After the parents sat back down and negotiated a portion of the revenue to come to the PTA funds of that elementary school suddenly all the magnetic rays and evil things emanating from the tower was no longer pertinent.  They exchanged money for their children's safety.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Is It In The Water?

By now we are all aware of the Romney/Ryan/Akin/IRD/Koch Brothers/etc. and the movement towards an oligarchy in this country.  The idea that the best thing for second class citizens is to be mothers, housewives and barefoot and pregnant.  The "hard decisions" that cut support for the poor, the underprivileged, babies, children and folks who need a hand up, students, and unions.   While I will continue to write against all this crap, vote against the fools that work against democracy and try to not revert to 1962 there is still a burning question that I have not heard a very satisfactory answer. 

Why does middle and working class America feel/believe that the world can only be saved by people like Romney and Bush and Reagan and Wall Street and Hedge fund presidents?  Why is the appeal to achieve tons of money so popular to them when everything the right-wing nuts do contradicts everything that they say?  Why do common folks, those who have achieved what they have by way of union activism now rip at the very seams of the fabric they are wearing?  And how is it that so many of the middle and working class believe that capitalizing social security, doing away with medicare, eliminating universal health care   are all good things?  Why is it that we believe that the  "hard decisions" are cutting food stamps and not depletion allowances? And why is it that the grand old party leaders can say whatever they want (ala Akin) regardless of what the science says and have everyone believe it is true? 

I can honestly say that while I worked in management almost all of my career and I openly negotiated at times against CTA and CSEA for contract rights I have always respected who and what they are if for no other reason that I recognize my parents successes as well as my successes s well as my children's successes are all built on what unions past and present have delivered.  I recognize that affordable housing -- actually an opportunity to own a home comes not willingly from the rich but from those in Congress who believed that to own a home was worthy of legislation.  To provide equality across the country was a God given right. That mistakes are made and forgiveness and mercy are more important than justice and punishment. But, alas, I appear to be in the minority.

I am open to anyone explaining this phenomenon to me.  Right now -- I cannot see it and I do not understand it.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

IDs? IDs!

IDs?  IDs! We don't need  no stinkin' IDs!

We have talked about this over the blogs and most recently at Friends of Jake.  Well, I just got one more reason to really dislike the climate we are currently living in. 

My son, is a Petty Officer and a nine year veteran of the Navy.  He was recently selected to go to Naval  Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island.  While the rest of his family are registered Democrats and have been most of their lives, my son is a registered Republican (what would you expect from a Navy type?), not really the crazy type, but a staunch Republican.  He has been to the California Republican caucus and has "rubbed elbows" with the Firestone family, an aggressively conservative group.  My son is overall, an old style republican, fiscal conservative and a liberal when it cvomes to most social programs.  He believes in many principles currently ascribed to the democrats, but alas, I just cannot seem to get him to our side.

At any rate, he is headed to the OCS school in Rhode Island and is driving.  For some reasons unbeknown to his mother and father he left late and is covering about 1,000 or so miles a day.  Hard but doable.

So, in Illinois, he is stopped by a law enforcement officer (do not know if sheriff, police, highway patrol or what have you) and my first thought was well, 1,000 miles a day, must have been stopped for speeding.  Guess what?  That was the furthest thing from the truth.  He was pulled over under suspicion of drug running!  First, if they ran wants and warrants they should find him as a member of the armed forces.  His car, a Chevy Blazer, has all the required military stickers.  My son is 6'9" tall, certainly someone who can "hideout" in a crowd.  The officer said he was stopped for at least two reasons.  First, his license plate, the state of registration, is Washington.  Apparently the officer believes that a huge drug ring  is operating out of Washington state and they suspected my son was among the bad guys because he had a Washington plate.  But hold on, that is not all, the officer said "you were not driving on I-80 and so you were suspected of drug smuggling for not being on a major interstate.  What?  My son had decided to take a scenic route just for fun and that made him a suspect in a drug operation?

This is a George Bush nightmare!  One cannot drive on a scenic byway with the state of Washington license plates without being suspected of drug smuggling?  Where in the world did this all come from?  Back in 09/11/01 the then President (GWB) decided that fear was the operative word so that he and his cohorts could bomb the heck out of Iraq trying to find Osama Bin Laden.  He then sent troops to Afghanistan to find Osama Bin Laden.  Now apparently, Osama Bin Laden may be riding in a Chevy blazer having Washington license plates.

My son has been deployed in the Gulf during the current disagreement.  He loves his country more than most everything and thinks freedom is a good reason to fight. His dad agrees with him -- maybe he learned it from me -- I hope so.  But what he cannot do, I can. 

I am outraged by what happened to my son.  I am so angry I am beside myself.  How can we, a free country and a free people, allow the police to just stop any old person they want to, search their car, and then make up some cock and bull story about drug runners in Washington taking back roads to mule their stuff?  That officer ought to be ashamed of himself -- in fact that officer should have, at the end of his shift, turned in his gun and badge and any other property of the state and resigned.  He would be free, of course to choose to join the skinhead group of his choice -- courtesy of my son.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hard Decisions

I was listening to Capitol Public Radio (NPR) this morning when the NPR reporter interviewed a politician from, well it makes no never mind because it is all the same.  They (the politicians) had to make some hard decisions in order to balance the budget -- so they closed a hospice for the elderly.  Now, just how is that a hard decision? The vast majority of people living in a hospice cannot vote.  Those childre3n who will be affected by reductions in free and reduced lunch, aid to families with dependent children, MIC, mental health programs, recreation centers and more -- they are all children and cannot vote.  How about the "hard decision" to cut education?  Realize that by the numbers there are only about 24% of parents who might vote -- no big deal, a politician can still weather those numbers and be re-elected.  That is, especially if they do not want to make "the easy" cuts -- like tax incentives for corporations, tax breaks for the very, very wealthy.  Those folks thank you/ask you by way of millions of dollars to campaign funds.  So, why would the politicians want to make those cuts?  What makes matters all that much worse is so many middle class and working poor actually believe it.  After all, why would they lose a tax break or some services simply because the rich are not to be touched?  Certainly these are hard decisions -- no one would intentionally want to hurt me, right:?

Friday, August 10, 2012

ACNA and Marx: The Relationship

Is it possible that the Anglican Communion in America is somehow connected to Karl Marx? Well, let me show you some things that might give you pause.  ACNA  was formed out of several diocese and a conglomeration of bishops and laity that, down deep, does not appreciate the democratic nature of the Episcopal Church.  They reject logic and reason and require a significant adherence to their beliefs, however arcane or bizarre.  The laity has little or no say in how the ACNA is run nor do they seem to want to.  So, how does that relate to Marxism? 

Here is the quote directly from Karl himself: "Religion is the opiate of the people".  If you do not believe this quote then please analyze the events fomented by John David and his cronies.  They allow for no real news from any source, no real congregations of the faithful that would serve as a communication device; and no real discussion of any issues unless the puppets in the audience are part of the drama.

For my money, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for enough good men (and women) to do nothing". - Edmund Burke

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


President Obama, yesterday referred to his political rival as Romneyhood.  A spin-off of the legendary character in England during the time of Prince John, pretender to the throne.  It turns out I am old enough to remember the original TV series. Well, I could not resist the temptation to take the president's reference just a wee bit further:

Romneyhood, Romneyhood
Riding through the glen.
Romneyhood, Romneyhood
With his band of men.
Feared by the good, loved by the bad.
Romneyhood, Romneyhood, Romneyhood.

He called the fat cats  to a tavern on the green.
They vowed to help the people of the king.
They handled all the poor that are on the welfare scene,
And still found plenty of time to fling.

Romneyhood, Romneyhood,
Riding through the Hamptons.
Romneyhood, Romneyhood
With his band of fat men.
Feared by the good, loved by the rich.
Romneyhood, Romneyhoo, Romneyhood.
 If there was any doubt let the truth ring  out, Romney and his fat cats want to have the poor go away and the middle class become poor.  (Got it?)  And, remember, the Romneyhood antics that he would put in place are the same antics GWB used during his two terms.  We went from a trillion dollar surplus to a trillion dollar deficit.  We went from a very good economy to discovering the manipulations of the wall street financiers, the bailout of banks that had already set up the great American failure and they new wing-nut republicans that do not understand the meaning of the word politic.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Can We Talk?

Once again a legislature is returning from "vacation" and has targeted, guess who?  I  brought the paper inthis morning and found this headline: Pension reform the top priority.  The tickler was a quote from Darrell Steinberg the DEMOCRATIC president pro tem of the California senate "I remain confident that we will have comprehensive pension reform before the end of this session".  Just so no reader is confused, this comes from the San Francisco Chronicle. You can look it up.

Just what do you suppose the double speak means?  Well, lets look at the past first, the United Pilots got screwed when UA went into bankruptcy and their pensions were turned over to the pension guaranty fund (government run and far less than what they were receiving).  Then the nationwide case of Wisconsin and it's public services.  These are but two of the many pensions that were once promised, once delivered and forever taken away.

In the instant case, here is how I translate the quote: "For years we have cut taxes, provided tax and other incentives for the rich, allowed the rich to incredibly influence the political process thereby placing our legistatures in a moral delimma and with much frequency deciding against the right thing to do.  We have paid our political contributors off with high positions with high salaries and little work to do but sit around.  We have granted ourselves pay raises and benefits that few others have, we just came back from a month's paid vacation and now we can do nothing to create a just and fair system of revenue to support the most basic of social contract issues, safety (police, fire, nurses, etc) so we have to make the middle class, the government worker, and the bargaining units of this state pay for all our ineptitudes.

This from a democrat that lives in the state that HAD the 7th largest economy in the world.  That HAD the premier college and university system that many states tried to model but could not. That HAD  K-12 school system that was in the top ten in the nation.  That had a reputation for paying a just and fair wage.  That HAD and served mercy for our children and their parents in desperate need.

I can only say thank you Ronald Reagan; thank you Pete Wilson; thank you Arnold the terminator; and thanks to all the legislators who over the years decided to make this state the most lowly, humble, and humilitated state in the union.  Thanks for balancing the budget on the backs of the poor and middle class because you all do not have the intestinal fortitude to do the right thing.

Oliver Wendell Holmes said (and this is cast in stone above the IRS building in D.C) "Taxes is the price we pay for living in a civilized society".  Apparently you and the rich simply wish to return us to the state that Thomas Hobbes classifed as "short, nasty and brutish".

Sunday, August 5, 2012


Well, time to return to the not-off-topic stuff, at least for the moment.First, it appears that GAFCOON, of which ACNA is a part, believes that we should all go backwards until we reach the future.

GAFCON held a conference in of all places, London, England!  The chairperson of GAFCON delivered and incredibly self-serving, self-aggrandizing, self-interpretive speech/testament for GAFCON to proceed.

Here is the scripture upon which the testament is build:

In Micah 6:8 we read:
He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
And to walk humbly with your God.
He, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala , then proceeded to speak over the rest of the testament explaining what this scripture meant to those of us poor, slow, dumb laity that could not understand a very simple Godly statement as, "To act justly and love mercy and to walk humbly with your God".  Now, I like interpretation as much as the next person but GAFCON has made their name on the basis of solo scripturas.  But, just what in the imagination of Archbishop Eliud Wabukala do we not understand about this particular passage?  How is it more complicated than say, "love your neighbor as yourself."?  But, in order for Archbishop Eliud Wabukala to get where he wanted to go he needed to "interrpret" scripture for us. (I guess we no longer need Bibles, we just need the Bishops of GAFCON.
Here is a direct quote form the Archbishop, " It is little surprise then that we find scripture can be bent into all sorts of convenient shapes and that so called ‘gospel’ truths can contradict the plain meaning of scriptures. "   Well, what do you know?  Do you suppose he is talking about him and his friends?
And then, buried within the golden voice and "conciliatory speech comes this little gem:
Our communion has come of age and it is now time that its leadership should be focused not on one person or one church, however hallowed its history, but on the one historic faith we confess. There is added urgency to these concerns and need for creative thinking so that a pattern of global governance that is no longer fit for this context is not perpetuated by default.
So, here is the issue:  Either the Crown selects one of  them or they take their marbles and go home. 

The Lord requires that we act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.  I like Micah better than I like Archbishop Eliud Wabukala. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Companion Post

This is a companion piece to that which was just recently posted. Perhaps an example of what I find unjust. And perhaps a bit of explanation of the last piece posted.

Does anyone remember this person? Abbie Hoffman and guess what he is wearing? Yep, that is indeed an American Flag. He was tried for wearing the American Flag but not before some police officers tore it off his body.

Now, here is another image:

This picture is from not too long ago.  First, I hope no one rips the flag of her body - that could be embarrassing.  Second, to the best of my knowledge she was never tried for un-American activities and certainly was not brutalized by the Chicago police.

Justice"?  Well, time wounds all heals but let's face facts, people wear the American Flag all over -- just look at those at the Olympics?  Am I upset about people wearing the American flag?  No.  I am upset by the injustice of it all.  It seems we have a double standard. 

Sound familiar? Sound like it is happening all over again?

By the way, the day that Hoffman was arrested for wearing the American flag Jerry Rubin was there also wearing a flag and absolutely nothing happened to him.  Of course the flag was the flag of the North Vietnam.  Wowsers! Three in a row!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Point of Personal Privilege

Most of the readers may not know "some" of my background.  My father was a United States Marine. I am a United States Marine.  Once a Marine always a Marine.  I also understand many readers abhor violence of any kind.  Well, this is one of those quirks in my life - I guess, I believe there are certain principles that one needs to abide by and when threatened, one choses one's own course -- I choose freedom -- not just one sided but freedom for all -  I firmly believe that each and every person in this country gets to speak their mind without fear or retaliation - I am willing to protect that freedom.  Sorry - this is not meant to be an apology (in the definitive meaning), just an explanation for what is about to follow.  Marine Corps commercials still send a chill up my back, here is one of the latest.

Thank you for your indulgence.