21 June 2009

"How to Save Health Care Reform" In 4 Minutes

My friend Lee Stranahan has put together a wonderful video which describes what we need to be doing right now in order to get the kind of Health Care reform that we need. This not quite four minutes of video will tell you everything you need to know.

The insurance lobby does not want true reform. They only care that their profits be protected. Your actual health is an externality in their economic model. Lee has more to say about the insurance lobby's real priorities.

08 June 2009

Randall Terry: Christofascist Terrorist

The delusional Christofascist Randall Terry does not grok the separation of church and state. At all. He apparently thinks that the founding fathers intended the United States to be Fundamentalist Christian Republic, a theocracy, in spite of all of their writings which say the exact opposite. Never let reality impede your ideology.

Randi Rhodes seemed a bit harsh unless you consider that she already knew all about this Christofascist Terrorist who leads the storm troopers for Christ who call themselves Operation Rescue. She's well informed of the intolerance of this group and the tactics of intimidation and threats they use as a matter of course while claiming to be doing God's work.

From this Media Matters article, "Who is Randall Terry", from 2005 we find this quote from a Terry speech.
As the Fort Wayne (Indiana) News Sentinel reported on August 16, 1993, at an anti-abortion rally in Fort Wayne, Terry said
"Our goal is a Christian nation. ... We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism. ... Theocracy means God rules. I've got a hot flash. God rules."
In that same speech, Terry also stated that
"If a Christian voted for [former President Bill] Clinton, he sinned against God. It's that simple."
According to a March 18, 2004, press release, Terry declared on his radio program that
"Islam dictates followers use killing and terror to convert Western infidels."

I think this makes it pretty clear that Terry's goal is a Christian Fundamentalist Republic. The theocracy that our founding fathers rejected as dangerous to freedoms is what this little fascist terrorist desires. He wants authoritarianism, with him and his 'Christian Theocrats' deciding what is right and wrong. Any obstacles to this goal must be eliminated. That means you and I.

His behavior since the assassination of Dr. Tiller can only be described as callous and cavalier. This Talking Points Memo article documents what I mean. Randall Terry was a close associate of James Kopp, the executioner of Dr. Barnett Slepian in Ahmerst, New York in 1998. Mr. Terry seems to have meet or known virtually all of the assassins involved in killing doctors who performed abortions, legal abortions.

Randall Terry recently said, just after Dr. Tiller's assassination, "George Tiller was a mass-murderer." Dr. Tiller was an OB-GYN who performed perfectly legal medical procedures. A jury confirmed this when a crooked Attorney General bowed to pressure from vicious thugs like Terry and brought spurious charges against Dr. Tiller. The Jury exonerated Dr. Tiller and that Attorney General is now an ex-AG. It is very, very clear that Dr. Tiller was breaking no laws, but Terry says

"Those men and women who slaughter the unborn are murderers according to the Law of God. We must continue to expose them in our communities and peacefully protest them at their offices and homes, and yes, even their churches."
So this fascist twatwaffle thinks that God's law supercedes the laws of the land and excuses the assassination of medical doctors. This is not the sort of fascist storm trooper I want anywhere near the reins of power.

If you do a Google search on Randall Terry you will find a very large amount of information documenting the behavior that causes me to declare him a domestic terrorist. Operation Rescue's first weapon is intimidation. Randall Terry's first weapon is intimidation. This vicious un-American thug should be arrested as a domestic terrorist. He is a much larger threat to OB-GYNs than anyone from the middle east.

04 June 2009

Return of the Monarchs

Two weeks ago we had caterpillars chomping on milkweeds in the Tampa Bay area. Seven to ten days ago they disappeared. Today these are emerging. What a difference a week can make.

[click on picture for full size image]

Pat Buchanan, Racist Fossil

I've already awarded this white supremacist bigot a Heads on Pikes Award for his blatant racism. This man is a living fossil, a throwback to the 50s when white men ruled everything and everyone else 'knew their place'. Pat stumbles exceedingly slowly towards the tar pit that awaits him. I wish someone would just hurl him in and stop our torture. His 'ideology' is a vicious toxic cesspool that only degrades our society.

Pat's recent antics are receiving deserved criticism in the liberal blogosphere. Last evening Bob Cesca, who is without a doubt one of the finest political bloggers in the U.S., published an excellent article
"A Brief for Pat Buchanan: The Invincible Race-Baiter" over at Huffington Post. If you haven't read this, do so.

03 June 2009

One Liberal's Ideology

On Ideologies

With liberals, opinions are constantly in flux since they are updated with every input of fresh data. This is something that conservatives fail to grok.

Conservatives usually have opinions based on an ideology. These opinions tend to be static since the ideology that is their base evolves very slowly, if at all.

Liberal ideology (which is almost an oxymoron) is a very loose set of guidelines that is constantly being revised. Liberal opinion based on these guidelines is by no means uniform. The guidelines are loose enough to accommodate differing opinions.

Liberals do not all think alike and they do not agree on anything more than a very small list of ideals. If you wait for liberals to agree on everything you will be waiting until the heat death of the universe.

Ideology is a trap for those that can not adapt to a changing environment or changing circumstances.

Adapt or die are the only two choices we are given. To pretend we can maintain a static existence is a denial of reality. If it appears static it's only because you haven't looked at a large enough time line.

This Liberal's Notion of a Government's Functions

I can only speak for myself, so I make no claims that any other liberals agree with any of the following. Please leave suggestions for changes in comments.

What I need my government to do, what I expect from properly functioning government. (this is government collectively: local, state, federal)

  1. Mutual Defense and Domestic Tranquility. This includes DoD as well as law enforcement, fire departments, and related. These functions are the duty of the government to provide for all citizens. We need the DoD. How big its budget needs to be is what the arguments will be about.

  2. Promote the general welfare.

    1. Everyone is entitled to an education at government (taxpayer) expense. Currently K-12 is covered. I advocate that K-12 is inadequate. It should be K-whatever level the student is qualified to go to. The implementation of this is open to debate.

    2. Everyone is entitled to health care. Right now we only have everyone that is disabled or over 65 is entitled to health care. This has to be fixed to everyone is entitled to health care. I think most liberals are on this same page now. I have advocated single payer health care for over thirty years but I used to be pretty much by myself. Now that things have gotten totally fucked up and unacceptable, more people have finally noticed that the system we are using does not work primarily because some insurance companies have used the system to reap lavish profits for doing nothing other than rationing health care and making it hard for people to get health care. U.S. workers can never compete in a global employment market until we have this.

    3. Regulation of Capitalism and Commerce and regulation of Corporations. 100% Free Markets are a bad idea because Capitalism ignores externalities like pollution and greenhouse gas generation. Also, when the markets are filled with Monopolies, Cartels, and Oligopolies you don't really have free markets anyway. (This is us now. And our government has allowed the corporations in these positions to rob us blind.)

      1. The government is responsible for regulating industry so that everyone has clean water to drink, clean air to breath, pure foods to eat, and safe drugs to treat disease. In the 60s and 70s there were no E. Coli or Salmonella poisonings of Americans. In 1981 Reagan began the dismantling of EPA and FDA and we now have regular events of food and water supply contaminations. The conservatives take a working government, under-fund it into a nonworking government, and then stand back and say "See, we told you that government doesn't work." This horse-shit has gotten old.

      2. The government is responsible for regulating the durable goods, consumer goods, and transportation industry so that citizens are protected from corporate greed. Products and services that harm customers are not allowed.

      3. The government is responsible for regulating the banking, financial, insurance, and investment industry so that citizens are protected from corporate greed. We can't afford to protect ourselves legally against corporations and yet corporations are lobbying for tort reform to eliminate our ability to sue them at all.

      4. If it hasn't been covered by any of the previous items, The government is responsible to regulate all businesses so that citizens are protected from businesses.

    4. Social Services. Let's come up with a welfare system that is designed for the circumstances of the 21st century instead of the 1930s, that covers everyone, and that doesn't punish people that are underemployed.

  3. Infrastructure.

  4. Uphold and defend the Constitution and all additional laws created in accordance with constitutionally mandated procedures. This is what the ACLU is all about. Odd that conservatives don't like upholding and defending the constitution.

  5. Miscellaneous. (State Department, etc.)

What I don't want my government doing at all:

  1. Creating laws based on somebody's religious beliefs. We can have laws based on morality and ethical behavior without modeling a religious dogma in our laws.

  2. The government has no business in my bedroom or anyone else's. Such intrusions are direct violations of the principles espoused by the founding fathers.

  3. The government has no business telling me or anyone else what I can or can not put into my body. That is my decision and if I want to kill myself, I may.

  4. The government has no business spying on its citizens.

Additional Observations on Current Problems

The deregulation of the banking, investment, insurance, and financial industries by Gramm-Heath-Bliley was the biggest stupid fucking move of the past half century. Gramm should be hung.

Corporations have too much power. We will not regain control of our government until something is done about this. Lobbying, Campaign Financing, and treating Corporations like a virtual human all have to be addressed and corrected.

Churches should lose their tax exempt status since it is being abused. Churches should instead be given generous deductions for community service activities that they perform. If this is done correctly, most churches will wind up not owing any tax. Reward them for their good work, but don't give them a subsidy to tell their parishioners how to vote.