March 23, 2010 archive

Nine Years On……..Afghan Police

Where has the new found slanderous noise gatherings, ‘teabagger patriot’s’, been for the past years, before the new administration, and their messages now?

Where is their noise about ‘their’ taxes, and children being left in debt, as to these State AG’s coming out to try and take down the Health Care Bill, just signed, I mean hey, it’s State funds and time by many being spent, that these States don’t have so will need to run up even further huge and growing deficits, don’t know about where you are but we’ve got libraries and schools closing plus, not to mention they certainly sound like lawsuits by Political Activist Lawyers, don’t they hate those.

Know where they were then, saw much of their thoughts on message boards with articles and such over these past years.

I’ll show you at the bottom where many are today, the day after, but first a few reports on the present results of that past.

The States.

Since the demise of the public option and single payer health care, what I’ve been hearing from some on Docudharma is that we should pursue solutions that are not to be had from the Federal government, like true universal non profit health care for all, from the states.  I’ve even recommended some of those posts out of sympathy or friendship.

But, to me, there’s a problem, here, Houston.

You see, the GLBT movement has already gone this way many times.  Where we have been rejected by our Federal government, many of us look to our states to make things better, to provide that which our central government is unable or unwilling to do.

Without engaging in hyperbole, there are some things I think people should think about when they talk about working on state-by-state solutions to the crises of social and economic equality and basic human welfare that bear consideration:

1.  One of the problems progressives have with the Federal government is the degree to which the central government is willing to countenance social and economic inequality.  This problem is exacerbated, not diminished, by going to the states.

What you are really doing is adding state level inequality to class and social inequality.

When the GLBT movement got little traction at the federal government level, the battle largely shifted to the states.

Despite the battles that have taken place, a curious thing has happened:  With few exceptions, the level of freedoms and rights LGBT people enjoy at the state level largely mirrors or corresponds with the pre-existing level of social acceptance already in those states to begin with.  There has been, with notable exceptions like Iowa, very little of the phenomenon of social acceptance of LGBT people spreading from state to state, as incrementalists would have people believe.

Oh, to be sure, many of the high profile battles have taken place in what the average American would deem “liberal” states.  Proposition 8, for example, lost in California, what most people would think of as a liberal accepting state.  But this obscures the fact that the rights LGBT people enjoy in California is already higher than in other states, less marriage, to begin with.

California has domestic partnerships which are in every sense the equivalent of the best civil unions available in other states.  Battles over LGBT rights are taking place in states that have, already, reasonably good track records, compared to the worst states.

But in Colorado, gay people have no domestic partnerships or civil unions.  This is not on the horizon, either.  To be fair, Colorado is rather middle of the road when it comes to LGBT acceptance.  We cannot legally be fired from our jobs on account of merely being gay, for example, which is not the case in other states.  But this is not my point:  My point is the social and economic inequalities which do exist between the states vis a vis gay rights tend to be “locked in” over a long period of time, and the battles consist of getting people rights that are in the final analysis willing to be given by the people.

When it comes to health care, or other areas in which the Federal government has failed in its duty to its citizens, there is every reason to believe that the GLBT model and history would apply:  States with a record and history of being willing to provide for their citizens are where these battles would occur and have a chance of winning, while citizens of other, lesser equal states will be told to suck wind and have few options.

In some cases, these could be different states than in the LGBT experience, but there is a dangerous overlap, and it’s the pattern that applies:  Inequality increases, it doesn’t decrease.

Afternoon Edition

(6 pm)

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 For World Cup, South Africa’s football crafts go industrial

by Cecile de Comarmond, AFP

Tue Mar 23, 10:09 am ET

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – With reggae playing in the background, workers paint pictures of football players onto hardhats, transforming the mining gear into an essential South Africa football accessory, the makarapa.

Most makarapas are handmade, created by individual fans who carve shapes into the hats and adorn them with team colours, a process that can take four days to complete.

With the World Cup’s June 11 kick-off fast approaching, this cottage business has gone industrial, with workers in this factory using a machine to cut shapes into the hardhats in a matter of minutes.

Biden: big fucking deal.

Here’s the big fucking deal:

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Decline of the empire is unimpressed by “a rounding error in the right direction:”

Although the bill solves most of the coverage problem, it accounts for a mere fraction of the cost problem. A report by the centrist policy group Third Way estimated that the Senate legislation would save more than $800 billion over the next 15 years. That’s consistent with the CBO’s expectation that the Senate legislation and the reconciliation fixes would save more than a trillion dollars over the next 20 years.

…. But the savings amount to no more than a rounding error given the tens of trillions of dollars we’re going to spend over that period. It’s half of 1 percent of expected GDP.

Never mind all the dead babies.

Also, never mind the phrase “expected GDP.”  So, yeah, big fucking deal.

My friend passed away. The cause endures

My friend died on Sunday. She was 71. Had she been one of the wealthiest she would have lived longer. She was the mother of my Godmother, and I will miss her.

I share this with you for a reason. I loved her, my godfamily mourns her today, the funeral is tomorrow. Our family loved her, and her family worked hard for what they have in the world and did all they could for her, but it was not enough. Had they been a wealthier family my friend would have lived longer but she could not afford the best care in the world, and in America for far too many and for far too long there is often what you can’t afford and nothing at all to choose from. My late friend was 71. She was the grandmother of some of my best friends. She used to call me “Gig” and I tear up as I laugh in her honest hearted way at the fact that I never, ever knew why she used to call me “Gig”?

Sometimes laughter helps ease the pain.

More below the fold.

Breaking the Dam? Or Dawning the Age of Mediocrity?

Simulposted at Daily Kos

There is an famous Chinese character (Jackie Chan I believe) that says that in every crisis is opportunity.

Well we had/have the crises…..a surplus in fact, and so we had/have a surplus of opportunity as well. The opportunity to rebuild the health care system, the financial system, the Justice system, and to a lesser extent the political system.

If the “Health Care Reforms” just signed in to law are any indication, we are achieving a ratio of waste to opportunity that roughly echos our energy system and our food system….iow massive waste.

Why are “we” wasting this massive opportunity brought about by the massive crises perpetrated by the Republicans under Bush? Because the Democrats are GIVING power to those same Republicans. (With help from the media of course, who are relishing the food fight.) Whether they are allowing the Republicans to have power out of mere political incompetence, or out of the very real fear of having…and thus being accountable for…power themselves, they have allowed the Republicans to act as if they have the power of actually representing someone.

Ok, the Republicans DO represent someone. Teabaggers and Corporations. Two entities whose power could be easily broken if the Democrats ALL just stood up and told the truth about them. Imagine a Congress of Graysons standing up and telling The People just how much The Corporations have bought our government.

Things would, to say the least….Change.

Obama’s Disregard Of The U.S. Constitution

President’s Obama misuse of the role government continues to go beyond the breeches of Richard Nixon, and is equally as bad as George W. Bush/Dick Cheney.

We’ve already scene this abuse before with the indefinite detaining of people with no legal process, Military Tribunals, the denial of Habaeus Corpus, the perpetuation of horrific CIA Secret Renditions, escalating Predator Drone reckless Bombings of civilians throughout Afghanistan and Pakistan, sheltering and providing legal protections for Human Torturers, the perpetuation of the Orwellian “U.S. Patriot Act“, new undeclared Paramilitary and Military provocations and hostilities in Iran and against Venezuela (via Columbia), and on and on and on.

If any Foreign leader on the planet ever did these things, the U.S. Media and our Government would universally regard him as a dangerous Tyrant on the World stage, and a War Criminal.  

But Obama has obliterated the Constitution and the role of government now in an entirely new way.  He has made it unlawful for an American citizen to exist without writing overpriced checks to a predatory Corporation, for an unguaranteed product.

Not only has he used the role of government to subsidize and advance the interests of a Corporate Monopoly, using the hard-earned money of American citizens (itself a robbery of the public), but he has also tasked the I.R.S. to deprive them of their own private money and assets, if they do not become the slaves of these predatory Insurance Monopolies.

Now, this is not free market capitalism.

It is not socialism (as “teabaggers” might incorrectly claim).

It is not communism or a “Soviet health care” system.

It is pure Fascism/Corporatism.

It is a 100% misuse of Government, and Violation of the Oath of Office: to protect and defend the Constitution.

Open Window

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Inconsolable Losses (personal)

“When you realize how perfect everything is

you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky”


Buddha

I’ve been lucky or blessed maybe. My encounters with death or loss have been extremely few and far between. I lost my parents … pretty much the way it should be… to old age, well into my own adulthood. Blessed be.

When I was young, I hated it when people would accuse me of leading a “sheltered life” but, truth is, I did.  Pretty much. As a result I was rather ill equipped to deal with a lot of life’s little slings and arrows. But… you live and learn. “Tomorrow’s another day” my Mom would always say.

I know what I know

I’ll sing what I said

We come and we go

That’s a thing that I keep

In the back of my head

a discussion of the notion of change

Here we go again.

I would love to have a discussion about the notion of change itself.

The one caveate is no argueing,name calling or other disrespect period.

This is a discussion, and most likely will be a failure, but I will try one more time.

Change is not what u folks think it is.

Years ago I put forth the question what happens if our guys win and nothing changes.

From my perspective that has occured, so it is time for this conversation again.

What is change and how does one achieve it.

Any aspect of change is admissable as a piece of this topic but I would like to stay in the notion itself not a particular change.

I will say this tho I have changed and changed a great deal.

My world has not. What do we make of that.

Republicans Foster Hate in America

Once again the radical right wing known as The Tea Party, that has become the face and voice of the Republican Party, has shown it ugly side and gotten the attention of the media. The Tea Party movement with the blessings and assistance of the Republicans in Congress once again demonstrated that they are arrogant, ignorant, bigots.

The “Partiers” called Democrats, even the ones that supported their misogynist, hate agenda, “baby killers” from the floor of the House and several demonstrators were arrested for shouting racial and hateful epithets from the Gallery. The demonstrators outside and in the halls harassed the Black members of congress with the worst racist insults and even spat on them. They screamed insults at Gay members of the House.

The Republican members of the House refused to criticize these demonstrations and were insulted when they were chastised for their silence.

Last night and this morning, the media called the Republicans out on their hate. On “Countdown”, “The Rachel Maddow Show” and Bob Herbert, in the NYT, took them over the coals.

First, Keith Olbermann with a “Special Comment”, GOP self-destruction imminent. The party’s obsolete ideas will undermine its relevance (the transcript is in the link):

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

h/t Blue Texan at FDL

Do Republicans even know What Socialism means?

Building on the President’s Health Care Agenda

The President’s vision is the right one, […] Congress should enact specific policy changes that are consis­tent with that vision and that would fulfill its promises. However, Congress should be bolder than the White House and broaden the scope of change well beyond the President’s specific policy recommendations by:

Expanding the proposed tax provisions to cover all health plans, not just HSA-qualified plans;

— Encouraging health insurance portability through individual ownership, a defined-contribution system, and establishment of a consumer-based “health exchange” marketplace; and

— Transforming the health care market into a more consumer-based system in which individuals are empowered to take direct control of their health care decisions.

http://www.heritage.org/Resear…

Nina Owcharenko, 05/11/06

That is the advice from the Conservative Think-Tank — the Heritage Foundation!

AND the President they are talking about — is George W. Bush!

SO … a Health Exchange Marketplace = Marxist Socialism ???

Oh Really!?

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