February 15, 2011 archive

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The Stars Hollow Gazette

The US Constitution Has Been Suspended by the GOP

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

While we were watching the Egyptians take back their country, our so-called representatives in the House were destroying ours. From John Nichols at The Nation:

House GOP Rejects Requirement That PATRIOT Act Surveillances Be Conducted in Complaince With Constitution

Less than a month after making a show of reading the U.S. Constitution into the Congressional Record, the leaders of the Republican-controlled U.S. House enginnered a vote to extend the surveillance authorities that both the Bush and Obama administrations have used to conduct “roving surveillance” of communications, to collect and examine business recordsand to target individuals who are not tied to terrorist groups for surveillance.

While most Democrats opposed the extension of the surveillance authorities — rejecting aggressive lobbying by the Obama administration and its allies in the House GOP leadership — overwhelming Republican support won approval of the legislation on a a 275-144 vote. Thus, the supposedly Constitution-obsessed House has endorsed a measure that is widely seen — not just by Democrats and progressives but by Republicans and conservatives — as a constant threat to privacy protections outlined in the document’s 4th Amendment.

As Michelle Richardson, the legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, noted Monday night: “It has been nearly a decade since the Patriot Act was passed and our lawmakers still refuse to make any meaningful changes to this reactionary law. The right to privacy from government is a cornerstone of our country’s foundation and Americans must be free from the kind of unwarranted government surveillance that the Patriot Act allows. If Congress cannot take the time to insert the much needed privacy safeguards the Patriot Act needs, it should allow these provisions to expire.”

The 275 votes for extending the surveillance authorities came from 210 Republicans and 65 Democrats.


More remarkable was the House vote on a motion offered by the Democrats, which sought to recommit the bill with instructions to add language ensuring that surveillances would only be conducted in compliance with the U.S. Constitution.

That motion lost on a 234-186 vote.

144 Americans stood up against this, 127 Democrats that included Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Michigan’s John Conyers, and 27 Republicans. Patriots all.

Frontier Justice

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

Shawna Forde is a racist bigoted xenophobe.  She’s also a murderer.

For years she’s led Minutemen American Defense, a Militia in Arizona targeting Hispanics, and in 2009 she started robbing Hispanics she thought to be ‘drug dealers’ to raise money for the purchase of some property where she could organize and train her domestic terrorists.  Armed robbery is a tactic much favored by readers of The Turner Diaries.

On May 30th, 2009 she and 3 accomplices knocked on the door of Raul Flores identifying themselves as Police Officers.  When he asked to see her badge (“Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges.”) her accomplice Jason Bush shot Raul Flores dead; shot his wife, Gina Marie, severely wounding her; and finally, while she begged and pleaded for life, put 2 bullets in the head of his 9 year old daughter, Brisenia.

The murders left the home for a few moments and Gina Marie was able to get to the kitchen and call 911.  Shawna Forde and Jason Bush found her on the phone and Shawna ordered Jason to ‘finish her off’.

In a development that will warm the cockles of every NRA member’s heart, Gina Marie had armed herself and after an exchange of fire the murderers fled.

Yesterday Shawna Forde was convicted of murder after 7 hours of deliberation.

Forde convicted in killing of Arivaca man, daughter

Kim Smith, Arizona Daily Star

Monday, February 14, 2011 11:27 am

Jurors must now decide if the facts of the case warrant the possibility of the death penalty.

I’m against the death penalty.  I think she should rot in jail for the rest of her long. long miserable life until she finally passes alone and naturally, despised and forgotten.

And please remember, this is just an isolated incident.

Why We (Continue To) Fight

As I write this my inbox is filled with translated emails from Algeria, Yemen, and most recently Iran.  

An Interview with Adlai Stevenson III, Part Three: Religion in American Life

While in the midst of a discussion about the vast unchecked growth of the military, the subject of religion entered our interview.  While on the subject, I mentioned that I am a Quaker, and opposed to the very existence of a military.  We then began to chat briefly about the connection between church membership and political allegiance. Senator Stevenson is a Unitarian Universalist, and though his church does not expressly take the position, he has long been in favor of abolishing the death penalty.  The Senator’s father and Great-grandfather also believed that capital punishment should be cast upon the scrap heap of history.  And as we discussed the particulars of the Religious Left, our interview then turned towards the abuses of the Religious Right.  

‘Sacrifice’ a long time Not comin!

With soldiers still in unstable Iraq, as Afghanistan comes out of the winter months with still the ever growing destructive dangers, after a decade of no sacrifice by the country while more then willing to spend on no bid contracts and private armies and decades of underfunding the Veterans Administration the Country owes it’s soldiers their families and the veterans community much more then what is being requested and absolutely no cuts!

Independent Budget Urges $65.3 Billion Investment in Veterans Health Care and Benefits

Six In The Morning

 They Took The Money And Ran  

Following Egypt’s request to freeze assets of Hosni Mubarak and his cabinet, Soca will investigate UK-based bank accounts

Egyptian officials’ assets to be traced by Serious Organised Crime Agency

Officers from Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency are expected to begin tracing the bank accounts of Hosni Mubarak’s cabinet after the Egyptian government made a formal request for a freeze on the assets of the ousted president and his former colleagues.

The foreign secretary, William Hague, said Soca would take charge of the hunt for accounts in London, although the timing and extent of the investigation would be decided by EU finance ministers following discussions in Brussels. Hague said UK rules prevented the police from freezing bank accounts without “evidence of illegality or misuse of state assets”. He said if evidence became available, the government would take “firm and prompt action”.

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning

Time for a break from poetry…in order to create some art.

If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.

–Juan Ramon Jimenez

Beginnings 2

Late Night Karaoke

The Federal Budget Battles on the Backs of the Poor

The White House unveiled their proposals for the Federal Budget for 2012 that begins October 1. Keep in mind that the budget for 2011 has yet to be passed, thanks to the Democrats not being able to rein in their “mavericks” and the penchant for the White House capitulate to Republican demands. As promised, the White House budget does not mention Social Security which has set the Republicans in the House and Senate to whining that it is the President’s responsibility, not theirs, to swing the ax on “entitlements”. While Obama opened the door to this by loading his deficit commission with the likes of Alan Simpson, he has finally recognized that cutting Social Security benefits in any way will be political suicide in 2012. So wisely, he has left it to the Republicans and they are not about to take any responsibility for it.

The rest of the White House budget is pretty dismal. While there are proposals for education, high-speed rail and infrastructure, it does that by shifting money from other vital programs like heating assistance, wage freezes and other draconian cuts mostly affecting those who can least afford it. The President’s proposed budget will allegedly cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years while still creating creating jobs.

The exchange this morning on CNN with Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-AL) attacking the Obama budget with the argument that “our cuts are better than your cuts” and trying to pass the buck back to Obama on Social Security cuts. This would really funny if it weren’t so devastating to the majority if Americans and the poor

“A one trillion reduction is insignificant,” Sessions insists. “This is nowhere near what’s necessary to avoid the fiscal nightmare that this nation is facing. … It doesn’t touch any of the entitlements, it only has some reductions in the discretionary accounts.”

That’s a slow ball, right over the center of the plate if your job is to reinforce conventional wisdom, and the anchor, Kiran Chetry, knocks it out of the park. “At what point does everybody get together and just say, ‘Alright, it’s time to tackle these bigger issues: Raising the Social Security retirement age. Medicare doesn’t just go to everybody.’ When is that gonna be tackled.”

But, Sessions responds, on tough issues over which Congress has the ultimate say, it’s the President’s job to take all the political risk!

“We’ve heard nothing from our chief executive, the President of the United States,” he said.

The MSM is still perpetuating the lie that Social Security has to be cut when the truth is that it is the one safety net program that has not added one cent to the deficit. If the fund had not been raided to pay for illegal wars and tax cuts for the rich by the Bush administration, the fund would be solvent well into the next century,even wit the influx of the “Boomer” generation. Social Security is not an entitlement.

The Republican budgets would have the same results on the deficit, the difference being that the Republican budget does not create any jobs but would actually kill any chance of job creation by slashing:

  • High speed rail investments ($5 billion)
  • COPS Hiring (supporting local law enforcement) ($298 million)
  • High School Graduation Initiative ($50 million)
  • Weatherization assistance program ($210 million)
  • National Park Service climate change monitoring and response ($4.5 million)
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($86 million)
  • Green Jobs Innovation Fund ($40 million)

and that is only the tip of the proposed Republican cuts.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is requesting its largest budget since World War II with Defense Secretary Gates insisting that $553 billion price tag for 2012 is the “the minimum level of funding we can live with.” The promised cuts of $78 billion over 5 years won’t start until 2014 and 2015.

As Center for American Progress senior fellow and President Reagan’s former assistant secretary of defense Larry Korb points out, Obama’s request is “5% higher than what the Defense Department plans to spend this year. In inflation-adjusted dollars, this figure is higher than at any time during the Bush years or during the Cold War.” In fact, the total military budget this year “comes in at a thumping $750 billion – an annual tax of more than $7,000 on every household in the country.” And while there are clear ways to cut $1 trillion from the Pentagon budget, it seems that many in the GOP have no intention of doing so.

(emphasis mine)

Obama and the Democratic has accomplished more than either Bush or Cheney ever dreamed. They had a golden opportunity and totally wasted it. It is very possible that the economy will sink back into another recession worse than the last one.

Must Work Days to get insurance

A local health care management team needs to get sued out of existence.  Their routine practice of firing people based upon Kafkaesque witch hunts has now taken on the pre-emptive policy of prohibiting employees for mentioning their workplace on internet social sites, blogs.  Well if you didn’t treat people like shit and or stuck to rational policy, applied it policy equally ceased targeing longer term employees for termination (see witch hunts above) just so you can new hire at lower hourly rates on top of being such corporate fascist fucks then my wife might not be seeking employment elsewhere.

She was told she has to work days to get medical insurance?

A heartbeat away from outright naming and completely documenting this piece of.

from firefly-dreaming 14.2.11

Regular Daily Features:

Essays Featured Monday, February 14th:

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