Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page
There shall be no freedom of religion! So sayeth the right-wing hysteria machine!
I received this email from my mom today, quoting Newt Gingrich’s rantings on the proposed “mosque” in New York in their entirety:
Newt Gingrich on the Mosque
July 21, 2010 6pm
There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.
The proposed “Cordoba House” overlooking the World Trade Center site – where a group of jihadists killed over 3000 Americans and destroyed one of our most famous landmarks – is a test of the timidity, passivity and historic ignorance of American elites. For example, most of them don’t understand that “Cordoba House” is a deliberately insulting term. It refers to Cordoba, Spain – the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world’s third-largest mosque complex.
Today, some of the Mosque’s backers insist this term is being used to “symbolize interfaith cooperation” when, in fact, every Islamist in the world recognizes Cordoba as a symbol of Islamic conquest. It is a sign of their contempt for Americans and their confidence in our historic ignorance that they would deliberately insult us this way.
Those Islamists and their apologists who argue for “religious toleration” are arrogantly dishonest. They ignore the fact that more than 100 mosques already exist in New York City. Meanwhile, there are no churches or synagogues in all of Saudi Arabia. In fact no Christian or Jew can even enter Mecca.
And they lecture us about tolerance.
If the people behind the Cordoba House were serious about religious toleration, they would be imploring the Saudis, as fellow Muslims, to immediately open up Mecca to all and immediately announce their intention to allow non-Muslim houses of worship in the Kingdom. They should be asked by the news media if they would be willing to lead such a campaign.
We have not been able to rebuild the World Trade Center in nine years. Now we are being told a 13 story, $100 million megamosque will be built within a year overlooking the site of the most devastating surprise attack in American history.
Finally where is the money coming from? The people behind the Cordoba House refuse to reveal all their funding sources.
America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization. Sadly, too many of our elites are the willing apologists for those who would destroy them if they could.
No self deception.
The time to take a stand is now – at this site on this issue
So much for the First Amendment. You do remember the First Amendment, don’t you?:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
I suppose that what Newt is getting at is that we should abolish the practice of the Muslim faith in any and all forms in this country. The U.S. government should identify every single mosque in the country and have it summarily destroyed, and all members of said mosques should be rounded up and placed into fenced-in “communities” where they will not be allowed to leave, and where we can keep a close eye on those miscreants. They’re nothing but trouble. The whole lot of them! After all, ALL Muslims are terrorists.
But why stop there? Jewish people are different, aren’t they? Especially those fundamentalist Chabad Jews. Take a trip over to Brooklyn, NY, and you’ll find an entire section of New York City completely dedicated to these conniving Jews, who so openly defy American laws and customs. They dress differently than the rest of us, and they wear their hair strange. And the men with those creepy, long beards! The buildings there are even marked in Hebrew, not English! No, they cannot be trusted. They’re fundamentalist religious freaks and cannot be tolerated within our borders. They must go.
And the Catholics! What about the Catholics? EVERYBODY knows that they are beholden to NO ONE but the Pope! The Pope is their God, and they worship no other. We can’t have them running around spreading the gospel of a foreign entity such as the Vatican. This is America, and we don’t want to live by their laws! They cannot be trusted. Their churches must be demolished and their kind exiled from this country. They too must go.
And what about those Christian evangelist types? You know the ones……they’re always walking around with their bibles trying to convert everyone they encounter on the streets…..those Jehova’s Witnesses, the Promise Keepers, the Oath Keepers….and especially those dreaded Mormons with their “elders” riding their bikes around our neighborhoods willy-nilly, peddling their “Book of Mormon,” knocking on our doors and trying to convert everyone! They’ve got some diabolical plan cooking to take over this country. They cannot be trusted. They are a danger to our way of life! They must be rounded up and shot!
The Buddhists……we simply cannot allow that disease to spread. They must be stopped before we’re ALL in danger! And the Hindus, and Seiks, and, and, and……….
“They came first for the communists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist.”
“Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.”
“Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t’ speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.”
“Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.”
Now see this “Special Comment” from Keith Olbermann:
As Keith points out, the planned project is NOT A MOSQUE! It’s a community center. And it’s not at the Ground Zero site, it’s several blocks away. It cannot be seen from the Ground Zero site, and you cannot see Ground Zero from the site of the proposed community center. It will be built in a blighted, nearly abandoned neighborhood. The building it will replace has sat vacant for nine years. The surrounding storefronts are empty, long since deserted.
I doubt very much that 99.9999999999999% of the folks across the U.S. who are weighing in know ANYTHING about the area where this community center is to be built. I doubt they understand that in NYC two blocks is the equivalent of 20 miles in most other places across the country. That’s how quickly the nature and character of neighborhoods change in the ultra-densely packed urban jungle of New York.
Who is Newt Gingrich, or Sarah Palin, or Rush Limbaugh, or John Cornyn, or even Barack Obama to tell the residents of New York City what they can and cannot do with their own communities? The majority of New Yorkers don’t seem to have a problem with it. In fact, this community center might just serve to revitalize a desperate area of the city. It will create jobs and possibly spur development around it.
Maybe it’s Newt Gingrich that’s an even bigger threat to our society than any of the above mentioned groups? If we’re going to take away anyone’s right to free speech and freedom of religion, perhaps it should be his.
The Birther Conspiracy Lives!!!
(Click on any of the images to enlarge them)
You stay classy, San Diego!
OhYeah! Those “2nd Amendment remedies….”
After speaking with the guy at the “Docs 4 Patient Care” table, I came to the conclusion that they are really all about “Docs 4 Insurance Care.” Providing greater access to healthcare is really not a major concern of theirs. They’re more concerned about how much you can afford to pay for your healthcare.
Ricky Lee Jackson serenading the Doctor’s Tea Party at Spanish Landing
A state senator from Georgia (yes, Georgia) urges attendees to “set brushfires of freedom!” He also wants us to know that the democratic process doesn’t matter, that the majority does NOT rule. “It does not take a majority to prevail. But rather a tireless, irate minority.” So take heart, Conservatives! If you throw a temper tantrum just like a toddler, screaming and stomping and kicking and crying for hours on end, mom and dad will eventually relent and give you WHATEVER YOU WANT!
“Comedian” Eric Golub. I just wish I had been smart enough to record his entire spiel, distasteful and unfunny as I found it. “AARP is a bunch of worthless parasites?” Really?
Since I didn’t get his entire speech, here’s his presentation to a San Francisco Tea Party event back in April, 2010:
<Sigh> Such an angry little man……..
I’m not sure what I expected to see when I dared to venture into enemy territory. I mean, I knew that, generally speaking, the Tea Partiers’ vision of America was not firmly based in reality; that they typically harbor a longing for “a simpler time,” and “the old days,” and that their theories on the economy and politics and health care tend to be more theory and less actual, workable policy. I also know unequivocally that should the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party gain any real power in America then we’re all in for a long, slow descent into third world status.
I’m not sure what I expected to see crowd wise: Would there be thousands upon thousands gathered to lend a full-throated roar to their anti-government rage? No. What I found was a modest gathering of about, oh, 700 or so people (maybe more, maybe less……I’m just guestimating here. But it wasn’t a huge crowd by any stretch of the imagination) that was rather tepid in their enthusiasm.
I must admit, though, that I approached the festivities with a small handful of preconceptions:
- The Tea Partiers tend to be older. Yet I was surprised to find a good number of twenty and thirty somethings. A few even brought their entire family.
- The Tea Partiers have racist tendencies. This one I’m not unconvinced of, but then again, I’m not convinced that they are racist (or do lean to racist tendencies). One thing I can say for sure is that most of the signs they displayed were so far out of the mainstream and so detached from reality, and truly did not lend credibility to the views of this group. In fact, I really have to question the education most of these folks received.
- The Tea Partiers are overwhelmingly white. This one could not have been more true. There was a stunning lack of color in the audience. Now, while those in attendance would argue that just because the audience was entirely white does not mean that they lacked diversity, I would argue that that is exactly what it means. All of these folks are white, middle class, have an irrational fear of government, and love to claim that they have a keen understanding of the Constitution, yet demonstrate every day that they clearly don’t.
I must also admit that I half expected to walk into a steaming cauldron of hate. Though I did find the expected half-witted, half-brained bile coming from the speakers and the signs on display, I found it to be a rather well-behaved, if paranoid crowd.
Of course, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t the expected delusional rantings about the evil government and the “communist” Barack Obama. About how those dreaded liberals are out to deliberately destroy the country and hand it over to the Chinese or Venezuelans, or whomever the enemy du jour is. That only comes with the territory for a delusional right-winger. After all, there has to be SOMEONE out there that we have to start a war with next, right?
“We are at war with Oceania. We have always been at war with Oceania.”
Ok, so maybe there wasn’t the cadre of wild-eyed crazies that I half expected (hoped?) to find. But it’s just so easy to dismiss the majority of these people as plain ‘ol ignorant, malleable minions of Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and El Rushbo.
And they are that.
That’s not to say that the crazies didn’t show up. They most certainly did, only most of them were featured speakers at the event.
First, I need to mention a prevailing sentiment at this gathering that I found rather disturbing: These folks view health care as a privilege, not a right. In fact, one of the first speakers I heard (sadly I did not arrive in time to hear Sharron “Obtuse” Angle speak……it’s probably for the better) was an obscure California gubernatorial candidate, Chelene Nightingale–Yeah…..I’d never heard of her either—who came right out and declared it!
“Health care is a privilege, not a right.” Which essentially means that if you can’t pay for medical attention, you can just go ahead and die. You won’t be missed. You weren’t wealthy enough to really contribute to society anyway. I could dedicate an entire book to ranting about how wrong that sentiment is, but I’ll save it for another time.
But that’s not the only thing coming through the PA system that I found, well, to put it mildly, objectionable. One speaker accused Barack Obama of being a “Hugo Chavez Wannabe dictator.” And there was plenty of other “Obama as socialist, commie pinko” nonsense (actually, I did see a sign accusing him of being a “commie.” C’mon! That’s so 50’s!)
Then there was a “comedian” named Eric Golub. I put “comedian” in quotes because he obviously thinks he’s funny, and he apparently does have a stand-up act that he takes on the road. I, however, found the guy pretty sad and pathetic. Certainly not funny.
But he brought out his ‘A’ game for this event, let me tell you! Like the joke where he says he agrees “we need to be more bipartisan. We need to find compromises for our government to work. For example, gun control. We conservatives want LESS, those commie liberals want MORE gun control. So all we have to do is take all of the guns away from those liberals and give them to us. And the next time we have a disagreement, we’ll win ‘cause WE HAVE ALL THE GUNS!”
Or the one on tax policy. “We want to lower taxes, while those liberals want to RAISE taxes. So here’s what we do: We take their money and give it to us. What are they gonna say about it? WE HAVE ALL THE GUNS!!!”
Ha ha. I’m ROFLOL.
Or this gem: “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight, BRING A BAZOOKA!”
What is it about Conservatives (big ‘C’) and those “2nd Amendment solutions” they are always looking to bring about? (Like the sign I photographed that said “The solution to 1984 is 1776!”)
Or his reference to the Speaker of the House as “Pelosiraptor.” Oh, and you should probably buy this guy’s book………ok, maybe not.
There was also the rhetoric thrown around by Rickey Jackson’s daughter (why the hell did they ask her to speak?). “Obamacare,” she says, “threatens everything about our way of life.” A bit melodramatic, maybe, Candace? Of course, this is a woman who believes that the health insurance companies are the “victims” of “Obamacare.” And that progressive intellectuals “fell in love with Russian and German socialism.” She also tells us that “Obamacare is unconstitutional!” Like she’s some sort of Constitutional Scholar or something.
One positive of the day was hearing the story of Nick Popaditch. Mr. Popaditch is running against Rep. Bob Filner of the 51st District. He seems like a decent enough guy, but I don’t think he is cut out for Congress just yet. I’m not sure he has a full grasp of just what it means to run a government and represent ALL of the people in a district. But he does have a compelling and inspirational story.
Mr. Popaditch is a Marine who was wounded in Iraq. He took shrapnel to his face, causing him to lose his right eye (he wears an eye patch). He also caught another piece of shrapnel that got lodged in behind his left eye, rendering him temporarily blind. The doctors were unsure if they would be able to save it, or if he’d ever be able to see anything ever again. They were forced to remove his left eye to get to the offending piece of metal and remove it, reinserting his lone remaining “good” eye afterward. Today Mr. Popaditch doesn’t see perfectly out of his left eye, but he can see. And for that he expresses his eternal gratitude to the doctors that worked with him.
But Mr. Popadtich has a warped view of the American healthcare system. He says “doctors are mercenaries.” And he doesn’t really have a plan or an idea for making sure the 43 million Americans without health insurance can get it. At least none that he proposed during his talk.
He also decries the evils of “Obamacare,” and insists that it should be repealed. But Popaditch is a realist, and knows that even as a member of Congress he’ll never be able to repeal the health care bill. But, he says, they can defund it, and by gosh, that’s just what he intends to do.
Popaditch also wants to “get rid of all those Czars” (never mind that George W. Bush appointed far more “Czars” than Obama has, but it didn’t seem to bother anybody back then). He insists that government cannot create jobs. And he demands lower taxes (despite the fact that taxes are at their lowest in half a century—yes, that means we are paying less in taxes than we have in a VERY long time).
But perhaps the most disturbing thing about Nick Popaditch, and most dangerous in my opinion, is that he views the world and its politics through his military service. He seems to believe that military force is the answer to all of our problems throughout the world. He would like to see a tougher approach to Iran and North Korea—”we need to rattle more sabers and talk tough with them.” His message: “America will always be able to out tough you and out fight you!” Like dropping bombs is the answer for everything. As if that will make us more secure.
Anyway, I did get a chance to speak with Mr. Popaditch very briefly, and I do intend to take him up on his offer for an interview. I found him to be very personable and respectful and I do think he means well. I just don’t think he has the right ideas about what life in this country is all about. So while I wish him the very best and sincerely thank him for his military service, I hope that Bob Filner retains his seat in Congress next November.
Photos of the event to come……..I have to download them off of my camera first.
Found this in the comments section of the “Obama as hypnotist” blather on the AAPS website:
I am a right winger. I have been Hannitized. I have been anointed by the holy water from Limbaugh. I am Beckoned into their dark den of despair, cynicism and pessimism. I am lulled, mired, then I am led by my baser instincts. My world is drenched in hostility, anger, hatred and raw racism.
Distortion and delusion are my constant companions. I react. I respond. I regurgitate. I parrot sentence by sentence, phrase by phrase, word for word, letter by letter, never deviating from the paranoid propaganda from my mentors of hate, the disciples of deception.
I eagerly lap at every drop of the verbal puss flowing steadily from their mouths, with each wet morsel of malcontent tainted by a poison far worse than any known physical toxin. Their evil pierces through any physical barriers controlling those whose awareness is even behind primitive man.
React. Flight or fight. It’s us or them. Yes, if you’re not with us, you’re against us. Enemies give me purpose, even if no enemies exist. I have an unquenchable thirst to live my life within the confining, yet safe walls of profound ignorance, fear, delusion and hatred. These four walls separate me from the reality beyond. My head constantly filled by words spewing forth from Hannity, Limbaugh and Beck. We share a lovefest of hate. They are my radio gods. They shape my being. I am a conservative.
\Copyright 2009, LSR, All Rights Reserved
A local group of physicians, nurses, patients and health-care activists will rally at Spanish Landing (3900 Harbor Drive) on Saturday, August 7 at 12 noon to counter the National Tea Party Doctors Rally held to protest the recently passed Health Care Reform bill or as they refer to it as “Obama Care.”
Many of the local doctors who favor Medicare For All agree with the Tea Party doctors that “Obama Care” is not the way to solve our health care crisis. But what is the alternative? To continue with increasing numbers of uninsured? To continue to be badgered by insurance company disallowances and paperwork? To ignore the demands of social justice?
Dr. Paul Friedman, San Diego Chair of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) chapter, suggests
“The only effective cure for our health care woes is to establish a single, publicly financed system, one that removes the inefficient, wasteful, for-profit private health insurance industry from the picture,” he said. “Single payer has a proven track record of success – Medicare being just one example. A solid majority of physicians endorse such an approach.” Friedman goes on to say “The ‘doctors’ Tea Party is a fraud. They don’t represent the majority of doctors any more than the Tea Party represents the great majority of voters.”
Jeoffry Gordon, MD,MPH.,family practitioner in Ocean Beach (San Diego), feels that health care is a human right. Dr. Gordon emphasizes,
“In 2008 there were over 200,000 uninsured people in San Diego City. Obamacare depends on expanding MediCal or subsidizing private insurance companies intent on maximizing their income to provide access to medical care which will inevitably continue to create great complexity and waste of resources and continue to impose significant out of pocket expenses on many families. The Tea Party doctors profess to be against both private insurers and government financed care. My question to them is how they expect the poor, the large number of unemployed, and the vast majority of Americans to find the resources to obtain needed medical care in their time of need? The only real solution is to expand the proven, dependable, effective and efficient Medicare system to cover all Americans.”
Both Dr. Friedman and Dr. Gordon support California SB 810 which is based on a single payer system where patients would be able to go to the doctors and hospitals of their choice and not have to worry about being able to afford it.
More on the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons:
The AAPS believes that Medicare is “evil and immoral.” They do not believe that HIV causes AIDS. They believe that Barack Obama used hypnosis in order to convince the masses to vote for him–everyone who voted for him was hypnotized! (No, seriously! Here it is on their website!) They say that abortions cause breast cancer.
THESE ARE SUPPOSEDLY DOCTORS, ONE AND ALL!!!!
At the Doctor’s Tea Party event here in San Diego, Nevada Republican (Tea Party) Senate candidate Sharron Angle will be the group’s headline speaker. That would be Sharron Angle, who thinks teens who got pregnant due to rape or incest should make lemonade. Who thinks the media should only ask questions she wants to answer. Who wants to abolish the Department of Education, the EPA, Social Security. Who thinks anyone who is unemployed is just lazy. Who wants to impose her version of Christianity on the entire nation, and that the Founders didn’t really intend for there to be a separation of Church and State. And on and on and on and on with her completely whack job ideas.
These people are truly dangerous!
Got this from the comments on John Ralston’s blurb……
More and more economists and fiscal authority figures are lending their voice to smack down the Republican myth that tax cuts–or extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy–are the only way to rescue our economy.
Start with the CBO report that I cited in “Playing Politics with Deficits and Debt” that determined that tax cuts were the LEAST stimulative option. In his Washington Post op-ed “Five myths about the Bush Tax cuts,” William G. Gale cites the same report, but extrapolates it a bit further. According to the report, extending all of the tax cuts would have a very “small bang for the buck, the equivalent of a 10 to 40 cent increase in the GDP for every dollar spent.” (Just by way of comparison, the report also shows that extending aid to the unemployed provides a 70 cent to $1.90 increase to the GDP for every dollar spent.)
Gale suggests that “the government could more effectively stimulate the economy by letting the high-income tax cuts expire and using the money for aid to the states, extensions of unemployment insurance benefits and tax credits favoring job creation. Dollar for dollar, each of these measures would have about three times the impact on GDP as continuing the Bush tax cuts.”
Of course, what does Mr. Gale know? He’s only a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
No less an authority on fiscal policy than Alan Greenspan in an appearance on “Meet The Press” on Sunday declared that an extension of the Bush tax cuts would be “disastrous” specifically because we’d be paying for them with borrowed money, which only makes our debt and deficit situation worse. MTP host David Gregory also directly asked Dr. Greenspan if he agreed with Republicans that tax cuts pay for themselves, and he replied “No, I do not.”
Last Sunday, The Washington Post published this series of snippets from economists and former public policy makers, entitled “Debating an extension of the Bush tax cuts,” and the overwhelming majority agreed that letting them lapse, or at least letting the cuts to the top earners lapse while maintaining the middle class cuts (at least for now), is the way to go. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior economic adviser to John McCain’s presidential campaign, being essentially the lone dissenter, skirted the issue by giving an immensely vague dissertation on how complex our tax code is, but never actually answered the question at all. Way to take a stand there, Dougie!
Add this to the David Stockman op-ed which excoriates the supply-side theory, Greg Mankiw (see my “Playing Politics with Deficit and Debt” piece), and the whole cadre of others stepping up and cheering on the Obama administration to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire.
And then there’s this from Michael Linden and Michael Ettinger of the Center for American Progress:
The cost of those tax cuts is going to go straight onto our national credit card unless we raise taxes from everyone else to pay for the $690 billion in tax breaks for the rich or we find $690 billion in spending cuts. And that means increased interest payments on the debt. When we add in the costs of additional debt service, the true price of maintaining the tax cuts for the wealthy jumps by almost $140 billion.** In total, keeping those cuts for the rich will cost almost $830 billion over the next 10 years.
To put that figure in perspective, $830 billion is enough to pay for all veterans’ hospitals, doctors, and the rest of the Veteran’s Affairs health system, plus the United States Coast Guard, plus the Food and Drug Administration, plus the operation and maintenance of every single national park for the entire 10-year period—with more than $100 billion left over. (Emphasis mine.)
On the other side of the political argument, we have the intellectual giant Sarah Palin, who claims that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire is “idiotic.” When challenged by Fox host Chris Wallace who pointed out that by extending the tax breaks, it will add $678 billion (their figure) to the deficit because it’s not paid for, Palin replied, “No. This is going to result in the largest tax increase in U.S. history. Again, it’s idiotic.”
In the words of Keith Olbermann, “That woman is an idiot!”
Which brings me to this slightly related, yet terribly interesting point made by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne (yeah, I know, I’m leaning heavily on the Post for this one, but it’s still one of the best, most trustworthy newspapers in the country despite its shortcomings): “When our republic was created, the population ratio between the largest and smallest state was 13 to 1. Now, it’s 68 to 1. Because of the abuse of the filibuster, 41 senators representing less than 11 percent of the nation’s population can, in principle, block action supported by 59 senators representing more than 89 percent of our population. And you wonder why it’s so hard to get anything done in Washington?”
So much for “government of the people, for the people, and by the people.”
UPDATE: Add Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to the roll of authority figures to thrash Republican economic fear mongering talking points….
Geithner also says that America is a “less equal country today than it was 10 years ago, in part because of the tax cuts for the top 2 percent put in place in 2001 and 2003.”
On her House website, Rep. Susan Davis currently has this poll:
What do you think Congress should do about the expiration of the Bush tax cuts at the end of this year?
- Let all the tax cuts expire.
- Keep the tax cuts in place.
- Keep some of the tax cuts and allow some to expire.
- Not sure.