Posts Tagged Hitler

Cruel and Unusual: Trump’s Budget Proposal

By Dan Rather

“Cruel and unusual,” the phrase rings in my head as I read the press reports of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget.

But to even talk about it as a budget is to miss the point. It is not a budget. It is a philosophy, and one that may come as a surprise to many of the people who voted for Mr. Trump. They will hurt in real ways. Meanwhile it confirms the worst existential fears of those who see his presidency as a threat to the very being of the United States they know and love.

This is a man who made a lot of promises on the campaign about helping those struggling in society, about leading the United States to greatness in such things as fighting disease. If anyone had any doubt about the hollowness of his words, this philosophy is all the evidence one would need.

This is a philosophy that doesn’t believe in helping the poor, rural or urban, or the power of diplomacy or the importance of science. It is a philosophy that doesn’t want to protect the environment. It doesn’t believe in the arts. This is about putting a noose around much of the United States federal government and hanging it until it shakes with life no more. In the name of reining in waste, it rains pain and suffering amongst the Americans who already are the most vulnerable. It must be remarked that many of these programs are really small budget items in the greater scheme of things, rounding errors in the federal budget. The purpose is to send a message, not to save money.

Rather than investing in what truly will make America great, this philosophy pounds its chest with false bravado. People will die because of this budget. People will suffer. Diseases will spread, and cures will not be found (really? slash science research?) Our nation will be darker and more dangerous. You know it’s a philosophy because the budget has few details really in it. And here is where I see its saving grace.

This philosophy is not the United States I think a majority of Americans would recognize. I believe that we are not so cruel, so shortsighted, so dark. It’s easy to rail against the federal government on the campaign stump, but cutting programs that people rely on, that is the kind of thing that can break through the fake news into reality very soon. We have already seen the mess that has become of the health care efforts.

This philosophy is no longer theoretical and it will be a rallying cry for a reverse philosophy. Those who champion an empathetic America, an America prepared for the challenges of the modern world, will have plenty of evidence to point to. Mr. Trump has already put many Republicans in Congress on a defensive footing, on Russia and on healthcare. Wait until the constituents start calling about how they won’t be able to heat their homes in the winter or the agricultural programs that were slashed.

“The administration’s budget isn’t going to be the budget,” Senator Marco Rubio told the Washington Post. “We do the budget here. The administration makes recommendations, but Congress does budgets.” You can expect to hear a lot more of that kind of rhetoric.

Mr. Trump’s philosophy is an opening salvo in a battle for the soul of America that is only beginning. This will be a battle fought trench by trench. But I think it is winnable and America will reconfirm a governing philosophy that is hopeful, compassionate, and wise about the role of government in making our world a safer, fairer, and more just place to live.”

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Trump’s Scapegoating of Immigrants and Refugees

CNS-HumanRightsCaravanEverytime Fascist-In-Chief Trump refers to refugees or immigrants for that matter, he calls them bad, evil people who must be stopped.

Every single tweet! Every single speech.

All refugees are bad people and terrorists.

In reality, of course, these are families escaping war and violence (most of it which we created) and who have lost everything. These are the most vulnerable human beings that he is going after.

It is absolutely appalling, but also sadly and effective and  time-honored practice by all tyrants.

Notice how there is a remarkable similarity between the treatment of Muslims today and the treatment of Jews in Germany in the 30s  It is obviously the case that the point of the Muslim ban is to instruct Americans that Muslims are an enemy: a small, well-assimilated minority that we are supposed to see not as our neighbors or as fellow citizens but as elements of an international threat that needs to be contained and quashed in order to keep  Americans safe. More than that, Trump’s policy is a provocation and distraction. It is meant to provoke and instigate fear and hate while at the same time distracting us from the real criminals we all need to be afraid of, namely him an his administration.

But the Third Reich is only one example. History, especially  our own, is rife with this kind of dog whistle/provoke and distract politics. And it always plays out the same.

Remember in 1971, when Richard Nixon pronounced drugs to be “public enemy number one”? That was an odd choice, to put it mildly, in a nation wrecked by poverty, racial tension, injustice, civil strife, ecological disaster, corporate domination, a hated Vietnam War and much more.

Similarity, it seems rather odd  – at least to a decent person astutely aware of the realities of our times – that Fuehrer Trump and Republicans are choosing to focus on illegal immigration when there are hundreds of other things that should take precedence given our state of affairs. After all, immigrants didn’t cause the problems of this nation, but they are the easiest targets to malign and bully and vilify, just as all poor people who have nothing are.

Nixon’s war on drugs was never about drugs but about the Drug War’s primary targets: Blacks and young voters. Once the Vietnam war was over, the “war on drugs” focused on destroying the lives of people of color and poor whites and those very people were scapegoated for ills they never even caused in the first place while those very criminals that caused those ills were running the show, writing policy and in the process scapegoating the victims, the targets of those sinister policies.

In an article in Harper’s Magazine, author Dan Baum reveals that in reviewing notes of his conversation with John Ehrlichman, who had served as Nixon’s domestic policy advisory, Baum came across a bombshell admission from Nixon’s senior adviser.

Ehrlichman conceded that, in his own words:

The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. […]  We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

It is eerily similar to what is happening now. The anti Muslim/refugee propaganda, much like the war on drugs, is designed as a tool to win votes. It has never been, and never will be, about the safety of Americans and all that other jingoistic bullshit our fascist administration will have you believe,  just as the war on drugs was never about drugs and keeping Americans safe, but about the exploitation of racial resentment and fear for political gain and power.

As such, it has succeeded more than any other political scheme of the last half of the twentieth century and this is the exact same route Trump is taking this nation on once again.

I want to point out that  anti-immigrant sentiments and deportations have been huge under Obama. ICE itself keeps public data on who it removed from the country during the Obama years. Even as it got better at focusing on convicted criminals, a very substantial number were noncriminals. In Fiscal Year 2015, 139,368 convicted criminals were removed by ICE; the same year, 96,045 noncriminals were removed.

That’s just the ICE deportations, which are focused on the interior of the country. Elliot Young, a history professor at Lewis & Clark College who studies immigration, tallied the numbers using government data that includes deportations by the Border Patrol and other agencies that do removals closer to the border. He concluded that 56 percent of immigrants who were removed from the country between 2009 and 2015 were noncriminals.

Obama was more believable than Trump and it wasn’t true when he said it,” Young said of both presidents’ supposed focus on criminals. Even if the government is truly trying to target criminals, “the reality on the ground is that they are picking up lots of people who either don’t have any criminal convictions or they have low level misdemeanors or have crossed the border more than once and have been deported which then becomes a criminal offense.

And the Trump administration has already expanded its focus beyond criminals. In the executive order he signed on January 25, Trump laid out “enforcement priorities” for removals by the Department of Homeland Security that include immigrants who have “committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense” or who have “abused any program related to receipt of public benefits.” These immigrants have the exact same priority as those who have been charged for criminal offenses.

The ACLU’s Joanne Lin explained that the executive order basically makes all undocumented immigrants a “priority” for removal. “So, like, jaywalking, have you ever driven without your wallet because you left your wallet at home? That begs the question whether any of us could actually meet that standard, in all candor,” she said.

“Because it doesn’t say that you’ve been arrested, you’ve been charged, you’ve been booked, it just says you ‘committed,’” she said. “It’s very wide berth. It’s written that way because under this administration they want every undocumented immigrant to be a potential priority.”

In fact, under Obama’s watch a record number of people have been deported out of the country. As of 2015, more than 2.5 million undocumented people had been deported by immigration authorities since President Obama took office in 2009, a total which is record-setting. During the two terms of his predecessor, President George W. Bush, just over 2 million people were deported.

Stating that they are only doing it to criminals is nothing but a manipulative tool designed to get the masses behind this callous and inhumane undertaking, becasue when you say you are doing it to criminals, images of dark and brown men with knives raping and murdering and stealing from the precious white man are conjured up in peoples’ minds and they begin to wonder if maybe there isn’t some value to ridding the country of these dark elements. After all, who wants rapists and sinister criminals in their midst.

But nothing could be further from the truth and the targets of deportation and anti immigrant policy are not the evil people our administration will have you believe.

The only criminals in this country harming Americans aand posing a threat to their health and safety as well as security are Fuehrer Trump and his white supremacist, fascist administration of billionaires and bigots. And dog whistling about minorities, refugees and the poor and scapegoating them is a time honored tradition among authoritarians and charlatans such as him and his administration.

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The Cruelty of Republican Policies

While at the national level Republicans have thus far been unable to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also known as Obamacare – despite some of the sleaziest, most unethical attempts –  Republicans at the state level have succeeded in sabotaging the policy by opting out of the “exchanges”, thus preventing people in their own states from obtaining much needed health coverage under the new law.

Data compiled by Theda Skocpol of Harvard University for the Scholars Strategy Network, a progressive group of academics, illustrates how states’ decisions to not create their own health care exchanges or expand Medicaid under the ACA have suppressed enrollment, effectively leaving people in dire need of access to affordable health care without such access.

According to Skocpol’s research, the 14 states that are expanding Medicaid and running their own exchanges have seen enrollment in Medicaid and exchanges at around 40 percent of projections. In contrast, in the 23 states that refused to expand Medicaid or cooperate when it comes to an exchange, enrollment percentages are in the single-digits as the graph illustrates.

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Many Republican governors decided not to expand Medicaid under the law, despite the fact that the federal government was going to pick up all of the cost for newly eligible enrollees in the first three years and no less than 90 percent after that.

Texas, which has the highest percentage of uninsured in the country and whose governor, Rick Perry opted not to expand Medicaid calling Obamacare a “criminal act,” saw only about 14,000 people sign up using the exchange through the end of November, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

In contrast, California, which has a higher number of uninsured residents than Texas but a lower proportion, saw 107,087 people sign up through the state’s exchange with 181,817 qualifying for the state’s Medicaid program through the end of November, according to federal data reported by the Los Angeles Times.

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The irony, of course, is that those red states are red states because the majority of their residents endorsed and voted for Republican leaders and thus against their own self interest.

The numbers regarding ACA enrollment not only demonstrate the extent of the callousness of Republican policies, but  – more importantly –  they illustrate what happens when people pander to Conservative politicians. Chances are that the very people who could have most benefited from the ACA also constitute the basis of the votes that ultimately catapulted Republicans into leadership positions in those states.

That said, I must admit that I do have a hard time sympathizing with those folks that are now left with nothing, because, after all, they voted for people like Perry. This is what they wanted and this is what they got.

Remember that these are the same people who, in early 2009, went to town hall meetings for health care reform with guns and rifles holding up posters calling the President “Hitler” and “Stalin”, while dismissing his attempts at health care reform as socialism.

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While it is true that not every person residing in a red state is unequivocally a supporter of the neo-con agenda and that there are certainly Democrats and progressives who live there and who are quite contemptuous of Republican policies, the fact remains that as far as legislation and leadership is concerned, the leaders in those states are neo-cons carrying out the agenda of the 1% because the majority of the residents in their states elected them into office, entrusting them to make decisions for them. And so they have; and so here we are.

I guess I could say that I hope that this will be a lesson for people who keep voting against their own self interest and that hopefully in the future we will see less of that, but I realize that this would be an entirely too optimistic stance.

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Book Burning Is Usually Not a Sign You Have a Winning Argument

rolling-stone-magazine-Jahar-Tsarnaev-boston-bomber-cover-1…or any argument at all.

Case in point, the stink everyone is raising over Rolling Stone’s cover featuring the Boston Marathon bomber suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.  Not content with simply not buying Rolling Stone’s latest issue, one man is actually calling for the magazine to be burned in public. How so very 1933 Hitler of him.

This strong, and frankly misplaced reaction of people is so random. I mean we had George W. Bush on the cover of many magazines before and Dick Cheney and those are war criminals who have more blood on their hands than the Boston marathon bombers could ever have. I mean let’s be real here. And no one ever protested that. No, they even voted the crooks back into office. How many lives have they destoryed, directly or indirectly, as a result of their policies – domestic and otherwise?  People are so easily swayed by titles and appearances. I mean shit, even Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize and he is still using drones that kill more innocent people than the bad guys.

There is overt violence, in the form of what the Tsarnaev brothers did, and then there is covert, structural violence, which is what Bush did with his two wars and atrocities under fraudulent premises, not to mention his devastating domestic policies that have lead to “too big to fail” and the meltdown with millions of people losing their jobs, livelihoods, retirements, futures and houses while the ones who helped destroy them were escorted out with fat bail out checks paid by the very tax payers they spit on.

Bush and the military industrial complex that line Congresses pockets lead us to wars that cost a lot of innocent people their lives. But no one sees that. Instead people are offended at a cover photo and want to burn it. Where is the rhyme and logic behind that?

Priorities people. This nation got none.  Everyone hates the cover…no one reads the article, how very….American.

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The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street

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The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fall outs. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices.  To be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill and suspicion can destroy. And the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fall out all of its own. For the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is, that these things cannot be confined to the twilight zone.” 

– The Monsters are Due on Maple Street – The Twilight Zone 

One of the top “arguments” of gun advocates  against gun control of any kind is that it helps protect ordinary citizens from a tyrannous government or government take over of any kind. The most cited example is the Holocaust and the (false) assertion that if the Jewish population in Germany had been allowed to own guns, the subsequent genocide would not have happened as clearly untrained civilians could have defended themselves against the military and thus when members of the SS and other military personnel marched into their homes to apprehend them.

Such an assertion is false and problematic for a number of reasons.

In the event of a coup, the first entity that takes sides is the military because whoever has the military on their side will be able to coerce people and thus has the power.  Therefore, in such an event, the government essentially becomes the military and vice versa.  AR15s or any of the guns currently owned by civilians are not going to save anyone vis a vis the military might of the government in charge. It was not going to save the Jewish population in their homes in 1933, and it would not save anyone in this country either if such a fantasy scenario were to ever take place.

The truth is that guns on the hands of civilians are simply no match, whatsoever, against military power and especially mean squat when the government has atomic weapons. Heck even today, if the National Guard and armed forces, in some fantasy scenario created by the NRA and other fear mongers,  somehow decided to go after people, AR15s would not protect them. I mean really, what do people think they can do in such an even anyway? Shoot their way out of the country? 

Such delusions, however, do not seem to bother gun advocates and fear mongers such as Tea Party Congressman Louie Gohmert who mumbled this unfounded and incomprehensible gibberish the other day:

Louie Gohmert

Louie Gohmert

[The Second Amendment] is for our protection and the founders’ quotes make that very, very clear and including against a government that would run amok. We’ve got some people who think Sharia Law should be the law of the land, forget the Constitution. But the guns are there, that Second Amendment is there, to make sure all of the rest of the Amendments are followed.”

Let’s debunk and deconstruct this junk

1) The Founders did not intend to place guns in the hands of ordinary citizens and they did not want them to be used in public discourse.  It clearly stated that people shall bear arms  as part of a regulated militia. As Alexander Hamilton said about a militia:

A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry, and of the other classes of the citizens, to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions  as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia, would be a real grievance to the people, and a serious public inconvenience and loss.”

The only entity that, in all its wisdom, decided to extend the Second Amendment to mean that also ordinary citizens can and should own guns is the fucking Supreme Court in its 2008 ruling.

Shooting our way through this country was certainly not what the Founding Fathers had in mind. In fact, the founders of this nation created the Constitution and this very Nation to move away from the arbitrary rulers of Europe who used such unenlightened methods as an approach to governance.  The use of guns as a tool in public discourse is unevolved,  unenlightened  and uncivilized.

The founders of this nation wanted people to resolve their problems and dissatisfaction through civil society and democratic means, such as grassroots, organizing and lobbying instead of by shooting opponents or those they do not like or whom they merely perceive as a threat, even though there really is not a real threat emanating from them.

True patriots support the Constitution adamantly and wholly. They have faith in the Constitution of the United States and the Rule of Law. Since we no longer find ourselves in the 17th Century where citizens had to fight for and stand up to oppressive monarchies, the use of arms in this country to protect against the government no longer applies and is ridiculous at best.

One should always question the actions and policies of one’s government and leaders demanding transparency and oversight But armed revolt? With guns? One cannot keep lawmakers in check by owning assault rifles. One cannot get the Supreme Court to enact policies by pointing a gun at them.
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2) It is quite hypocritical, but completely expected,  of Tea Partiers and conservatives such as Gohmert to talk about the government wanting to institute Sharia Law (a subtle nod to Obama and his alleged Muslim ties and connections as laid out by terrible human being Michele Bachman) when clearly religious based laws, albeit Christian, are what Conservatives like him want for this nation.

3) I am particularly disturbed by the fact that a law maker and elected official believes that this country, including its Constitution and its Amendments, ought to be protected by guns and by actually pulling the trigger on those who may threaten them.

It is also deeply disturbing to see that gun owners zealously champion the “right” of people to own guns and all sorts of tools of murder, yet somehow seem to have forgotten about all the other civil liberties that are being continuously but surely eroded by the government such as with the Patriot Act and CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), the latter of which would  allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information between the U.S. government and certain technology and manufacturing companies to allegedly investigate cyber threats. We see this with Guantanamo Bay and the erosion of the Fourth Amendment.

Incidentally, or ironically, the government being given all sorts of rights and powers in the name of national security  – such as did happen after 9/11 and the creation of the patriot Act and subsequent legislation –  is precisely what preceded the 6 million genocide in Germany. After the burning of the Reichstag, the finding of a scapegoat and instigation of fear, Hitler was able to ask people to give him full power to “protect the public“.

Citizens not being armed had nothing to do with it. The genocide occurred not because Jews didn’t have guns to defend themselves.  It occurred because people, out of fear and paranoia, handed all their freedoms, and with it rights, over to a genocidal murderer who, much like Wayne LaPierre, knew exactly what tunes to sing and what kind of alarmist rhetoric to use to get people pumped up and boiling with paranoia and rage, to the point of committing genocide.

So this idea that gun ownership advocates have about the US being like Nazi Germany and that as citizens we need guns to protect against our Hitler,  which for Republicans these days is a black man with the name of Barak Obama, is ignorant, uncivilized and pathological.

The real threat, right here, right now, is not a government take over, Sharia law, terrorists, Muslims,  hurricanes, activist judges,  black people, street gangs  or any of the other scapegoats the NRA has been manipulating the public into fearing. These things do not plunder the Constitution or pose a threat to the very fabric of society.  What does pose a threat to America, however, is the enemy within

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Mitt Romney Solidifies His Candidacy for President of the United 1% of America by Picking Attila the Hun Paul Ryan as his VP Running Mate

The Destructive Duo

In a move reminiscent of a terrifying episode on the Twilight Zone, Mitt Romney  – the poster child for greed, dishonesty hypocrisy and the end of the American Dream – picked Paul Ryan, a callous cut throat politician with ethics a notch underneath that of a child molester, and whom Obama accused of favoring a “thinly veiled social Darwinism“, as his presidential running mate. And with that an unholy alliance; a match in political hell, is born.

Romney couldn’t have picked a better person for the job, as Ryan personifies every bit the things Romney stands for but is just too clumsy and inept to put in a coherent sentence.

So in a nutshell, here are some facts about Paul Ryan which, one can only hope, the American people will take into account when casting their vote this November.

  • Paul Ryan’s role model, philosophical inspiration and muse is psychopath Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her “philosophy” that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages.” Though he publicly rejected “her philosophy” in 2012, Ryan had professed himself a strong devotee. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” he said at a D.C. gathering honoring the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. “I give out ‘Atlas Shrugged’ as Christmas presents, and I make all my interns read it. Well… I try to make my interns read it.”
  • Paul Ryan favors tax increases for middle class wage earners to basically make up for trillions in tax cuts for the wealthy. His infamous budget — which Romney embraced — replaces the current tax structure with two brackets — 25 percent and 10 percent — and cut the top rate from 35 percent. Federal tax collections would fall by about $4.5 trillion over the next decade as a result and to avoid increasing the national debt, the budget proposes massive cuts in social programs and “special-interest loopholes and tax shelters that litter the code.” But 62 percent of the savings would come from programs that benefit the lower- and middle-classes, who would also experience a tax increase. That’s because while Ryan would extend the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year, he would not extend President Obama’s tax cuts for those with the lowest incomes, which will expire at the same time. Households earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually
  • Ryan’s budget would semi privatize Medicare and turn it into a voucher program, increasing seniors’ costs by up to $6,350 per year. In essence what the program does is give seniors a voucher worth around $6,000 a year with which they then go “shop around” for private plans or traditional fee-for-service Medicare, because we all know how much insurance companies are just dying to insure the elderly. In reality, no insurance company will insure a senior citizen with pre-exiting condition for $ 6,000 a year, which effectively would leave those elderly without health-care, unless they can come up with whatever the difference is between the $6,000 from medicare and what the insurance company demands as annual premium.   This program would effectively end medicare in the United States as we know it. Not to mention that for most people this equals a death sentence.
  • Paul Ryan wants to end social security, which he refers to as a “ponzi scheme”. In September of 2011, Ryan agreed with Rick Perry’s characterization of Social Security as a “Ponzi scheme” and since 2005 has advocated for privatizing the retirement benefit and investing it in stocks and bonds. Conservatives claim that this would “outperform the current formula based on wages earned and overall wage appreciation,” but the economic crisis of 2008 should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers who seek to hinge Americans’ retirement on the stock market. In fact, “a person with a private Social Security account similar to what President George W. Bush proposed in 2005″ would havelost much of their retirement savings.
  • Ryan’s budget would result in 4.1 million lost jobs in 2 years. Ryan’s budget calls for massive reductions in government spending. He has proposed cutting discretionary spending by about $120 billion over the next two years and mandatory programs by $284 billion, which, the Economic Policy Institute estimates, would suck demand out of the economy and reduce employment by 1.3 million jobs in fiscal 2013 and 2.8 million jobs in fiscal 2014, relative to current budget policies.
  • Paul Ryan wants to eliminate Pell Grants for more more than 1 million students. Pell Grants, which help cover tuition costs for low-income Americans, are on Ryan;’s list of cuts, which he wants to cut by $200 billion, which would ultimately knock more than one million students off the program over the next 10 years
  •  Paul Ryan supports $40 billion in subsides for big oil. In 2011, Ryan joined all House Republicans and 13 Democrats in his vote to keep Big Oil tax loopholes as part of the FY 2011 spending bill. His budget would retain a decade’s worth of oil tax breaks worth $40 billion, while cutting billions of dollars from investments to develop alternative fuels and clean energy technologies that would serve as substitutes for oil. For instance, it calls for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone and would spend only $150 million over five years — or 20 percent of what was invested in 2012 — on energy programs.  Ryan “and his wife, Janna, own stakes in four family companies that lease land in Texas and Oklahoma to the very energy companies that benefit from the tax subsidies in Ryan’s budget plan,” The Daily Beast reported in June of 2011. “Ryan’s father-in-law, Daniel Little, who runs the companies, told Newsweek and The Daily Beast that the family companies are currently leasing the land for mining and drilling to energy giants such as Chesapeake Energy, Devon, and XTO Energy, a recently acquired subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
  • Paul Ryan opposes a woman’s right to choose.
  • Paul Ryan supports an amendment to the Constitution that says life begins at fertilization. Ryan joined 62 other Republicans in co-sponsoring the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which declares that a fertilized egg “shall have all the legal and constitutional attributes and privileges of personhood.” This would outlaw abortion, some forms of contraception and invitro fertilization
  • Paul Ryan supports making the coverage of birth control illegal based on religious views
  • Paul Ryan wants to end medicaid on a federal level and turn it into a state program, which would mean the end of medicaid for the poor  – the ones who need it the most.
  • Paul Ryan voted against legislation aimed at erasing pay discrimination against women. 
  • Ryan, like Romney, favors the flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy.
  • Ryan rubber-stamped the reckless Bush economic policies that exploded our deficit and crashed our economy.
  • Paul Ryan voted for two wars that were unpaid for.
  • Paul Ryan voted for the Bush tax cuts that were unpaid for.
  • Paul Ryan voted for the prescription drug bill that wasn’t paid for.

So here is Paul Ryan for you. A contemptible jerk who loves to go after the poor and the unfortunate. A cowardly, callou fresh of the boat rodent ready to ruin the United States, one legislation at a time and a smirk on his face.

 What Romney and Ryan, the Dystopian Duo, want is really a return to the Robber Baron age of unregulated capitalism and social Darwinism where millions suffered in extreme poverty without access to food or medical care and where elders were forced to live with their children or in extreme poverty.

Moreover, the trickle down economics he so much favors used to maybe work at a time when people didn’t have to be billionaires. In today’s economy, however, nothing trickles down but more work with less pay.

The assumption, of course, is that the American people are wise enough to understand the truly disastrous and detrimental direction these two will take us and thus not vote for this ticket.  Given two terms of George W. Bush that ultimately ruined our economy and just the systematic way people in this country keep voting against their own self interest, that is an assumption I am not willing to make so easily.

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Stupid Things People Say: Obama is a Closet Atheist

In what was yet another speech full of lies and high class bullshit uttered in a world of his own, fiber glass coif Mitt Romney accused Obama of essentially being an atheist, stating that Obama wants to “establish a religion called secularism.” 

As if that was a bad thing.

But I must admit that I am pretty stunned that everyone is treating atheism as some kind of a  terrible insult. Being an atheist in the US ranks high up there with pimps or drug dealers.

Controversial billboard paid for by the North Iowa Tea Party

What’s wrong with this country? Since when has rationalism and a life based on knowledge and fact as well as a desire to learn and find out about the world we live in and our place in it from more than just the confines of dogmatic religions,  become an accusation; an intolerable liability.

The President has been called many things, from likening him to Hitler or calling him a socialist, but atheism has become a huge party favorite among the faithful members of the hate and bigot party, also known as Republicans.

It is utterly ridiculous.

If Obama is an atheist, he should be proud and he would certainly have my respect.

The United States is Not a Country Founded by Christians, for Christians 

Someone should brief Romney that atheism is not a religion, but that in fact atheism is the absence of religion; it is irreligion.

America is also not a Christian nation per its Constitution and while it protects citizens from persecution based on their religious faith, it does not allow for its integration into laws and legislation, which is exactly what Romney and Santorum have in mind.

Furthermore, nowhere does it say in the Constitution that anyone running for office, but especially the President, must be either Christian or religious for that matter.

Article VI, paragraph 3 of  the Constitution states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” In fact, the words “Jesus Christ”, “Christianity”, “Bible”, “God”, “Creator” and  “Divine” are never mentioned in the Constitution.  The only time religion is mentioned in the Constitution is in exclusionary terms. The term In God We Trust was adopted as the official motto of the United States in 1956 as an alternative to the original, and more appropriate motto of E Pluribus Unum – and that only to set us apart from those allegedly godless evil communists. McCarthy era anyone?

When the Founders wrote the nation’s Constitution, they made sure not to leave any room for religion to come back and make the claim of being the official, national religion, such as England had. Giving equal citizenship to believers and non-believers alike was a radical concept in those days and apparently it still is today.

The Declaration of Independence gives us important insight into the opinions of the Founding Fathers, who  were men of  The Enlightenment, not men of superstition, intolerance and Christianity. They had learned the lessons of humanity as it played itself out in Europe for centuries and vowed not to repeat those mistakes.

Thomas Jefferson wrote that the power of the government is derived from the governed. That is because up until that time, it was claimed that monarchs ruled by the authority bestowed to them by God. The Declaration was a radical departure from the notion that the power to rule over other people comes from god or anything divine. The Founding Fathers made it clear in their letter to the Crown that power they wanted in the colonies was to be derived by the people, for the people. In fact, escaping the corrupt oppressiveness of the church and religious institutions and leaders was he driving force behind the creation of this nation.

When I hear Republicans, including supposedly educated men like Romney and Santorum,  go on and on about how this is a Christian nation where somehow being religious and Christian were the required prerequisites to run for office – or do anything else for that matter, including creating legislation, it makes me cringe, because obviously this is a lie.

Mitt Romney is a liar.  Rick Santorum is a liar. Gingrich is a liar. Republicans are liars.

The truth is that if you are asking a politician to talk to you about his faith,  you are just asking to be lied to. And America has been asking to be lied to for decades now.

Another American Exceptionalism Bullshit Argument

Regardless of the facts and intentions of the Founding Fathers that laid down the law of the land clearly barring religion from playing any part in it, America – since its foundation – but in particular since the end of World War II – has been increasingly viewing itself as a religious nation entrusted with a special mission from god.

The only thing America is exceptional at is promoting ignorance and greed

The fight against communism – a philosophy always falsely associated with atheism, as if there was some sort of a causality or correlation between them – has further aided in entrenching religion deeply into our society, much to the detriment of rationality and rational people who have to constantly run around apologizing for their rationality and refusal to let fairy tales and anecdotes and the unfounded belief in a divine be used as the basis of governance and decision making in this country.

Ultimately, America’s self-righteous views, as well as the war on communism, have managed to  portray atheists as a godless enemy, a fifth column either for Satan or for totalitarian communism.

Ironically, religion in this country has never been a bigger opium for the masses, manipulating people to vote against their own self interest much in the same way fascists (i.e. the totalitarians from above) did, including in Germany in 1933 with the burning of the Reichstag and granting Hitler more power than an absolute monarch.

Imagine how much better things would be in this country if the President were an atheist…

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