A short version of The Planet is all I have time for this week. I also included much more in the way of quotes than normal; wanted to make sure the context was correct. Short and late, my apologies.
Happy days are here again. Controversial Sheriff Arpaio of Arizona, the guy who dehumanizes prisoners, is on thebirther bandwagon. This is the gentleman who built a tent city jail where temperatures reach 135 degrees. Then he banned cigarettes, hot lunches, coffee, salt and pepper. He makes the male inmates wear pink underwear and socks, sometimes parading them around. He has claimed numerous times that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery. He bases this conclusion on the thought that it must be a forgery, since their is no other documents saying it isn't a forgery. That is critical thinking for the tea party gentleman.
Romney has a new campaign strategy, he totally agrees with Obama, yet manages to make it sound like he doesn't. Romney's attack ads center around the President's thought that businesses need help to succeed, that they "didn't build it themselves." Romney says that shows how out of touch with the business community Obama is. Gates built his business, Jobs his and mentions other names. Obama's taken out of context quote related to how businesses use the infrastructure that the government and the people built. Business owners went to schools that the public pays for. What really makes his argument look bad is that Romney took one billion dollars from the federal government while working on the Olympics; taxpayer money.
Mitt has also decided not to release any more of his tax documents. Ann backs him up stating, "There are so many things that will be open again for more attack, and you just give more material for more attack, and that's the answer. We've given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how we live our life."
Take that you people.
The NRA's tweet for Saturday morning from their @NRA_RIFLEMAN account was possibly not in the best of taste. The tweet in question said, "Good morning, shooters. Happy Friday! Weekend plans?" The tweet was possibly done in advance, but pretty much sucked. That account is now gone.
This after the mass shooting in Aurora Colorado. Ten years ago, the assault weapon ban was still in effect so this type of damage cold be lessened, but Americans need their assault rifles; for hunting I'm sure.
The NRA said in a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and the community. NRA will not have any further comment until all the facts are known." They continued with the thought that if someone in the theater was armed they could have stopped the shooter. Well, hopefully they would have been great shots, since the shooter was wearing body armor. And of course, just what we need, vigilantes dispensing justice.
Right Wing Rants
Keeping are eyes on Aurora, here comes the crazy. American Family Association's Bryan Fischer had the answer to problems with America's youth:
"With regard to students, SAT scores began to plummet almost immediately, starting in 1963, and have never recovered. The rate of premarital sex began to climb, as did the rate of sexually transmitted diseases. Teenage pregnancies and teen births began to skyrocket, again starting in 1963. The rate at which teens were arrested for rape, aggravated assault, and murder shot through the roof ... The consequences for “parents” and families have been equally severe. Since 1963, the rates of adultery, divorce, cohabitation and domestic abuse have risen dramatically, and the intact nuclear family is being ravaged perhaps beyond repair.
With regard to “teachers” and our educational system, SAT scores have fallen into the basement while rates of school violence are shooting through the ceiling and our armed forces are hampered by functionally illiterate recruits.
The consequences for “our Country” are equally catastrophic. Homicide rates are up; more Americans are being gunned down in cold blood this year in Chicago than in Afghanistan. The nuclear family is breaking apart at culture-destroying rates. One of out every five adults in America has a lifelong, incurable sexually transmitted disease.The sexual and physical abuse of children is out of control.
The Supreme Court compounded its godless and criminal misconduct by banning the Ten Commandments and its moral precepts from classrooms in 1980. Their reasoning was fantastically absurd when looked at in the light of last night’s massacre.
“[I]f the posted copies of the Ten Commandments are to have any effect at all, it will be to induce the schoolchildren to read, meditate upon, perhaps to venerate and obey, the Commandments,” which, the Court said, is “not a permissible state objective under the Establishment Clause.”
So these black-robed miscreants said we cannot permit potential mass murderers like James Holmes to read or meditate on God’s prohibition “Thou shall not murder” as a part of their education, because someone like him just might be inclined to “venerate and obey” it and not go on a midnight shooting rampage leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake. No, we can’t be having that, now, can we?
It’s time for us to say to the left we’ve tried it your way for the past 60 years and our country is being destroyed before our very eyes. It’s time to try it our way for next 60 years. If we don’t like what we see in 2072, we can always drink again from the poisoned well of secular fundamentalism. Something tells me we won’t want to."
Not to be outdone by AFA's crazy Bryan Fischer, who has a "degree" in theology, Jerry Newcombe of Truth in Action Ministries weighed in on the shootings as well; and in a predictably asinine fashion.
"I can't help but feel that to some extent, we're reaping what we've been sowing as a society. We said to God, "Get out of the public arena." Lawsuit after lawsuit, often by misguided "civil libertarians," have chased away any fear of God in the land -- at least in the hearts of millions.
Recently, I wrote on the subject of Hell and how our society has generally lost its cognizance of it.
We've lost this cognizance to the point that a recent bestseller was a book by an "evangelical pastor," who for all practical purposes denied Hell (or the import of it). (It exists, but don't worry -- supposedly nobody's going there.) When the book was first published 16 months ago, it made the cover of TIME magazine. This month it was republished as a paperback.
This makes me think. "Wow, what the heck happened to Hell?" What -- was there some new revelation that changed what the Lord warned about? To me, what He said 2,000 years ago is still worth heeding: What does it profit you if you gain the whole world and lose your soul?
Tens of millions of young people in this culture seem to have no fear of God. It's becoming too commonplace that some frustrated person will go on a killing spree of random people. If they kill themselves, they think it's all over. But that's like going from the frying pan into the fire. Where's the fear of God in our society? I don't think people would do those sorts of things if they truly understood the reality of Hell."
On average, we get the great displeasure of hearing about another mass murder more than once a year during the last 30 years. Mass murders are defined as being four or more people killed in a single incident.
The reactions of the right-wing nuts and of the gun lobby mouthpieces have been absolutely despicable. These heartless individuals have no compassion or morality, I am sick and tired of listening to idiots blathering about how their freedoms would be trampled by any sort of regulations. Their concept of "freedom" is that of an immature teenager who wants to do as he pleases all day long without any sort of reflection on the consequences of his actions. Well, wake up and smell the roses, assholes, because there are already many rules and regulations that affect our civic lives. If I hear once more the term "nanny state" I'm going to puke. This coming from the same set of people who want to regulate women's sex lives, and who want to come between doctors and their female patients when it comes to family planning, and who want to regulate who can marry who, etc.
Regarding this latest mass shooting, Michael Moore said it best: "Guns don't kill people. Americans kill people."
I'm pretty certain bare-handed Americans would kill a lot less people, if only for the fact that they'd have to do it up-close and personal, at some risk to their exceptionalistic persons.
Your sacred 2nd amendment was designed to provide musquets to farmers, not AK-47s to cowards and disturbed minds.
The Best Government in the World is sounding more and more like a Colonial Museum piece. But don't worry it is not for sale anymore, its current owners won't let it go now.
I think that nothing is sacred, nothing should be off the table for discussion. The Constitution is not the world's most perfect document. The second amendment makes no sense nowadays, it's outdated. There would be no militia who could resist the US Army, anyway. I find that there is a sort of religious reverence on the part of many Americans, even many people I consider highly intelligent, when it comes to the US constitution and its amendments. I'm not saying it's not a worthy document, I'm not saying that many of its amendments are not great (women's right to vote comes to mind, LOL, but also let's not forget the abolition of slavery). i'm simply saying nothing should be off the table when it comes to rational, evidence and fact-based discussions.
Just for a bit of perspective:
This right to bear muskets is rooted in a pre-railway, pre-telegraphic era where the first government instance was at least two days away, and was most likely military.
Like you say, if the US Government is able to take down a whole country thousands of miles away, say Iraq, I have no doubt a cache of AK-47s won't stop it in the Dakotas. This self-defense argument is completely delusional.
Michael Moore meant to say that it's not simply that "guns don't kill people, people kill people", but rather than the combination of lack of gun control, the worshipping of the second amendment, and a culture of guns and violence, is the problem. Other countries (like Switzerland) have a rifle in every household but there are no mass shootings to speak off (or extremely rare). Same with canada, I think, even though mass shootings seem to happen more often in Canada than in Switzerland. Must be the proximity to the US.
Why do we import 4 million gallons of ethanol from Brazil every year and then export 2 million gallons of it right back? Because U.S. ethanol regulations require us to use a certain amount of "advanced" ethanol — i.e., ethanol that produces less carbon than gasoline, which corn ethanol mostly doesn't — but it turns out we're not doing too well on the advanced ethanol front. Our corn ethanol subsidies are so lucrative that this is where all our R&D dollars go. But American ingenuity knows no bounds, so we're meeting the regulation by exporting our crappy corn ethanol to Brazil and receiving their sugar cane ethanol in return. It's all the same, but cane ethanol counts as advanced, so shipping our stuff to them and their stuff to us allows us to meet the minimum requirements for use of advanced ethanol. It all makes sense in a demented sort of way.
This inspiring tale comes from Timothy Wise, who has more details here. Once again, we learn that ethanol subsidies are possibly the stupidest government program ever invented. And that's saying a lot.
Gershom Gorenberg explains:
Sodom was a polis run by the philosophy of Ayn Rand, where redistribution of wealth was regarded as immoral, where government had the responsibility to protect private property but not to insure the well-being of the people. Upstanding Sodomites would not have accepted a decision by the city elders requiring them to put coins in the kitty to pay healers who might treat people besides themselves. They would have argued that "I'm responsible for myself and I'm not responsible for other people… I should get the fruits of my labor and I shouldn't have to divvy it up with other people." The city elders would not have asked people to pay for more teachers to educate other people's children, and certainly not to pay for food for those who couldn't afford it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but in Sodom there would have been no problem passing the Ryan budget plan...
And yes, I know that Benjamin Netanyahu's economics are as selfish as those of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. But America is the last empire standing, the capital of the early 21st century. The ideas it chooses have an influence far beyond its shores, and have to matter to me. Besides that, I have read the surrealistic reports that some Jews are considering voting for the party of Sodom. Sisters and brothers, please reconsider.
(Painting: The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, by John Martin, 1852.)
The NRA should answer for this graph, but of course they will not - on the good side the trend is downwards but what a violent country is the USA
via Sean Carroll The US is a terrifyingly violent country. But getting better!
The figures are from the OECD for deaths due to assault per 100,000 population from 1960 to the present. As before, the most striking features of the data are (1) how much more violent the U.S. is than other OECD countries (except possibly Estonia and Mexico, not shown here), and (2) the degree of change—-and recently, decline—-there has been in the U.S. time series considered by itself.
Disgusting - the food is disgusting as well
anibundel flagged this today at ABLC:
This sign was seen in Chick-Fil-A today.
Shame on you Chick Fil A! SHAME ON YOU! And Shame on Mike Huckabee and his defense of these despicable lying ass liars who lie and dare impugn the Jim Henson Company for standing up for what’s right.