Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Monday, August 31, 2015

Bernie on MSNBC

Who else is out there talking actual policy?  Besides Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton? And Martin O'Malley?  All Democrats.  And what are we hearing from the GOP?  Hate, regression, fear, and Donald Trump's trademark brutishness. This is apparently what the GOP wants these days: the loonier the better.

Here's 14 minutes of Bernie being interviewed by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and talking about the issues he's been working on for years.  This guy is the real deal.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Kochs to sell Walker

It's our billionaires vs. your billionaires. Democracy! Sheesh.

Cutting Losses, Kochs To Sell Scott Walker
by Andy Borowitz


WICHITA (The Borowitz Report)—Saying that “things just didn’t work out,” the billionaire Koch brothers have decided to put Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker up for sale.

The Kochs, who earlier had purchased Gov. Walker with great fanfare, announced their plan to sell the politician in a terse statement from Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita.

“Scott Walker is a fine individual, and we wish him well,” the Kochs’ statement read. “We are confident that he will be a good fit for some other billionaire industrialists.”

Republican insiders, however, called the Kochs’ plan to sell Walker highly optimistic, and noted that the market for the Wisconsin Governor was, at this point, virtually nonexistent.

The Kochs, who reportedly had been frustrated by Walker’s poor performance in the polls, finally decided to sell the Wisconsinite after last weekend’s odd pronouncement, in which he seemed to support a border wall with Canada.

According to a Koch associate, “Ignorance has always been a part of Scott’s appeal, but that Canada thing was just too much.”

After their plan to sell him was announced, the Kochs immediately pulled Walker off the campaign trail for fear that he might say something that would further reduce his dwindling market value.

In Iowa, an aide to Walker said that the Governor was “still processing” the news that he had been put up for sale. “It takes a while for Scott to understand things,” the aide said.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015

Rude on emails

I loves me some Rude Pundit, and he sounds off about the latest fake Clinton scandal which I guess we are now calling "e-mailgate."  After all, after Watergate, everything with a hint of impropriety has to have the "-gate" suffix appended to it.  The GOP is still pissed about Richard "Prick" Nixon resigning in disgrace.

Not Giving a Shit About the Clinton Email "Scandal" - 

There's a sentence from a Los Angeles Times column titled, "Why Clinton's email problem won't go away" that's so ironic and so galling that it ought to be put on a poster in every media outlet. Here it is: "It's difficult to avoid the suspicion that Clinton, after the scandals that rocked her husband's presidency during the 1990s, simply did not want to leave behind a paper trail (or e-trail)."

Context is everything, dear children, and the writer, John Schindler (a dick pic-sending right wing assmunch), is leaving out a huge part of the story. See, all those "scandals," Travelgate and Filegate and Whitewater, were utter bullshit. They were worthless wastes of time and money by Republicans (and cowardly Democrats), and their only purpose was to isolate, degrade, and destroy the presidency of Bill Clinton, that hick punk who thought he could just saunter in and lead the nation. If they also took down his bitch wife who thought she was smart enough to solve the health care crisis, all the better. If not them, then any collateral damage of their friends and associates was just dandy.


The only thing that approached an actual, real "scandal" was Clinton lying under oath about getting blowjobs and cigar-banging an intern in the Oval Office. That came out of the Whitewater investigation and it had jackshit to do with the presumably shady land deal in Arkansas. The entire impeachment saga was because of a tangential question and, ultimately, it was the same giant trash pile that every other fake "scandal" was. 

While most of the public didn't give a single fuck about the Clinton scandals, the Republican base and the party's donors loved it. They gobbled it down like it was jizz from Jesus's own dick. And conservatives across the country pretended that the United States was being victimized by the immoral bimbo fucker and his castrating spouse. God, how they made bank on it all, how evangelicals lied openly about the sinful, adulterous, murdering, raping, drug-using Clintons. It was a goddamned carnival of molesting clowns and shiv-wielding carnies. And press outlets just jumped on the rickety scandal roller coaster because the GOP had bitch-slapped them into believing the "liberal media" canard. "We'll show you how we're not liberals," they announced. "Please, tell us more about missing Rose Law Firm documents and we'll act as if the fate of the entire motherfucking republic depends on it."

We have been a pathetic fucking country for a very long time. 

Which gets us to the scandal du jour, the inevitable digging up of something, anything, to sew onto Hillary Clinton's clothes. The scarlet "B" for Benghazi wasn't holding. But, oh, happy fortune, the bullshit investigation yielded the info on the private email server, and the Clinton Industrial Complex went back into high gear. Let's get the "E" out there.

When the Rude Pundit first heard of the private email server issue, his initial thought was "Oh, c'mon" because he knew what was coming. But the one part that's been left out of the story of why Clinton used the home server (which was not fucking against the law) for her State Department emails when she was Secretary of State is the complicity of the Republican Party and the media in making Clinton so paranoid that she felt she had to do so. 

Of course, she was going to do anything to keep her communications out of the public eye. Of course, she was going to make life complicated for any congressional investigations. Why the fuck wouldn't she? What the hell did she get the first time around? A discussion about her husband's dick on the floor of the House of Representatives. An accusation that she had a friend murdered. Why wouldn't she just say, "Go fuck yourselves"? In fact, she should have said that at the beginning of this. She should have said, "Well, no shit I used my own server."


Frankly, Hillary Clinton's pretty goddamn fearless to be putting herself through what was going to be an inevitable slog through the GOP fake scandal swamp. Note: None of this excuses Clinton if she committed any real crimes (and not just violating the "spirit" of the law, which everyone does every day in many, many ways without being dragged through piles of dog shit for it). But, so far, sorry, she hasn't. Offering unsatisfactory explanations for one's actions is not illegal.

Original.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Black Collar Crime

This will be a recurring feature on this blog. Now that the wife and I have become Lifetime Members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), we have access to their entire digital history.  Jackpot!

FFRF publishes a monthly newsletter from 20-30 pages long.  They cover violations of the Constitution, publish writings by members and students, letters from crackpots, and a monthly "Black Collar Crime Blotter" where they publish news items of those in positions of trust in the religious community who have been charge with various crimes.  

Yes, I know that many people who are not in a church hierarchy commit various crimes.  But the people listed here are people who are in positions of trust in their communities, and when they commit crimes, it is much worse than your run-of-the-mill criminal.  Those who attend church regularly are certainly more gullible and trusting than those who do not, so abusing their trust is much worse than defrauding the regular citizenry.

After all, aren't "good Christians" supposed to be strong enough to resist temptation?  Aren't they supposedly pillars of the community?  Are they just all crooks, charlatans and criminals? Well, surely not all of them, but a large number. 

To me, it would be so easy to start a religion and become a preacher.  Fleecing the flock is too easy.  I, as an atheist, have the integrity to NOT take advantage of other people.  I wish I could say the same for everyone in the church hierarchy.

Black Collar Crime Blotter

Arrested / Charged

Kelly Shannon, Warwick, RI: Possession of child pornography on a cell phone and 7 other counts, including making false statements to police and forcing the alleged victim and other witnesses to make false statements. The bio on her Christian music website says Shannon, who’s married with 2 children, is a graduate of Zion Bible College and “licensed minister (evangelist) with the Assemblies of God.” The alleged victim is a young female relative. The state Attorney General’s Office brought the charges. Court documents allege Shannon made the girl pose and then shared the images on the Internet. The same girl told Warwick police last year she was raped by a teen boy, but more recently she alleged Shannon forced her to lie, telling police Shannon took the photos to teach her how to perform sex acts detailed in the rape allegation. Her bio says she was rescued from abusive surroundings as a youth by a pastor who sent her to bible college. Her signature gospel song is “Rescue Me.” Source: NBC 10, 8-14-15 

Vitaly Korchevsky, 50, Glen Mills, PA: Securities fraud. Korchevsky, who leads the Slavic Evangelical Baptist Church in Brookhaven and has chaired the Association of Slavic Baptist Churches USA since 2000, is accused of working for years with Ukrainian hackers on a $100 million insider trading scheme. A parallel civil suit filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission names 21 more defendants. According to his professional biography, Korchevsky became a born-again evangelical in 1981. He later moved to the U.S. and earned an M.B.A. from Regent University, the Virginia college founded by televangelist Pat Robertson. Source: philly.com, 8-12-15 

Pablo P. Mata, 46, Montebello, CA: Mata, a Santería priest, is being sought on allegations of sexual assaults occurring during “healing rituals” at his business. It’s alleged he had a 16-year-old girl disrobe on 3 occasions for the ritual in 2013. Police suspect there may be other victims. Source: L.A. Times, 8-6-15 

Jerry W. Cox, 72, Franklinton, LA: Structuring financial transactions to avoid federal reporting requirements. Cox, pastor of Faith Tabernacle, is charged with moving more than $100,000 around in banks in 2011 to avoid reporting it as income. He lives in a multimillion-dollar home a few miles from the church, which owns the tax-exempt property. Cox has close ties to former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed, who was indicted in April on similar charges and has given thousands of dollars to Faith Tabernacle. Source: WWL, 8-6-15

Larry Bates, Memphis, TN: Multiple counts of fraud for allegedly bilking about 300 victims out of $18 million. Bates and his sons, Charles and Robert Bates, are accused in a federal indictment of targeting individuals seeking advice from a supposed trusted Christian adviser and/or an alleged reputable Christian financial company. From 2002-13, the trio allegedly told potential customers they needed to buy gold and silver to protect themselves from “Mystery Babylon,” a forthcoming economic, political and religious downturn. Source: Memphis Flyer, 8-5-15 

Melvin Ollison Sr., 60, Bayboro, NC: 2 counts of 1st-degree rape, 4 counts of 1st-degree sex offense with a child and 3 counts each of 2nd-degree sexual offense and indecent liberties with a child. Sheriff Chris Davis identified him as a former associate pastor but didn’t release the church’s name. Investigators said Ollison told church members in April he was taking a leave of absence. The 4 alleged victims are Ollison family members all under age 13, the youngest age 5. The first alleged incident was in 1979 and the last in April. Source: WNCT, 8-5-15 

Jimmy Chang, 32, East Longmeadow, MA: 12 counts of 2nd-degree sexual assault. Chang, who works at private tutoring center, was a leader of a Christian youth group in Agawam at the time of the alleged assaults in 2012 on a girl in the group. Authorities allege Chang persuaded the girl to sneak out of her house and give up her virginity when she was 17. Her sister told police she found detailed descriptions of the sexual relationship in her sister’s online diary, including a statement that she loved Chang but felt “used and pathetic.” Source Hartford Courant, 8-4-15

Yishai Schlissel, an ultra-Orthodox extremist who lives in an Israeli West Bank settlement, was arrested for stabbing 6 participants in the back during Jerusalem’s gay pride parade. Shira Banki, 16, died of wounds sustained in the attack. Schlissel was convicted of a similar attack at a pride parade in Jerusalem in 2005 and had been released from prison 3 weeks before after serving 10 years of a 12-year sentence. According to prosecutors, Yishai Schlissel told police in 2005 he had come “to kill in the name of God.” Source: AP, 7-31-15 

Karen J. King, 64, Madison, WI: 9 counts of theft, identity theft, forgery and making false representations. King, a part-time secretary at Burke Lutheran Church, is accused of using 4 church credit cards and a checking account to pay for personal items, including trips to Las Vegas and Florida and her cellphone bills. An estimated $34,443 was taken. King was fired in June 2014, The complaint alleges she took collection money after erasing the amounts written down and used the same tactic to alter her time slips to reflect overtime. She was paid $11.56 an hour for 15 to 20 hours a week. Source: State Journal, 7-31-15 

Brian K. Burchfield, 42, Shawnee, OK: 1 count each of soliciting and engaging in sexual communications with a minor and violation of the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act. Burchfield, young adult pastor at Quail Springs Baptist Church, was fired after being accused of “sexting” 4 boys ages 14 to 17. He met them while working at Immanuel Baptist Church. Police records say text conversations included grooming habits of private areas, genital size and requesting photos from the teens. A police report says Burchfield “invited the juveniles to attend a ‘Man Journey Retreat’ with him” and stay at his in-laws’ lake house in Eufaula in July 2014, the month he was fired. Source: NewsStar, 7-30-15 

Oscar Vasquez-Guzman, 38, Indianapolis: Attempted sexual misconduct with a minor, 2 counts of child molesting and 7 counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. Vasquez-Guzman, a pastoral associate with St. Anthony Catholic Church, is accused of sexual contact with 2 boys between the ages of 11 and 15 from Sept. 2013 through July 20, 2015. Court documents said the older boy alleged he was first touched inappropriately when he was 14 and again about a year later when he went to Vasquez-Guzman’s house before a church activity. The boy told investigators Vasquez-Guzman performed oral sex on him and warned him if he told his mother the police would get involved and his family would be deported. Source: Indianapolis Star, 7-29-15 

Ezra Sheinberg, 48, Safed, Israel: 12 counts of rape, indecent assault, sexual harassment, fraud and obstructing an investigation. Sheinberg, a rabbi and founder of Orot HaAri Yeshiva, is accused of assaulting 13 women. The married father of 8 was arrested in July at Ben Gurion Airport as he waited for his flight to Brazil. Source: Jerusalem Post, 7-24-15 

José Luis Montes Toyos, Madrid, Spain: Money laundering. Montes Toyos, a monsignor and pastor of the Catholic parish of San Ginés, and his brother and a family lawyer are accused by Swiss and Spanish prosecutors of laundering funds linked to the expropriation by the city of Madrid of a farm, thousands of acres of land and valuable paintings. Bank accounts are tied to companies domiciled in Panama and Belize. The period in question is 2004-11. Source: El Mundo, 7-24-15 

Thomas Cooperider, 23, Valparaiso, IN: 2 counts of rape and counts of sexual battery. The complaint alleges Cooperider assaulted 3 women during bible study he led in 2014-15 at Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton. The women were “so mentally disabled or deficient” that consent could not be given, it’s alleged. Cooperider told police he’d been accepted at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University, where he planned on studying law. Source: nwi.com, 7-22-15 

Joe Habegger, 55, Tarpon Springs, FL: Lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under the age of 12. Habegger, a physical education teacher at Westlake Christian School in Palm Harbor in 2013-14, is accused of molesting a student who won an auction to spend a day with a teacher outside of school. Deputies said the boy and Habegger began spending time together and that the alleged criminal activity occurred after the school year ended. After Habegger’s contract at Westlake Christian was not renewed, he was hired at Solid Rock Christian School, where he was fired when the principal found out about the allegations. Source: Fox Tampa Bay, 7-21-15 

Yanhao “Eric” Ren, 24, Fullerton, CA: Kidnapping, sodomy with a child under 14 and oral copulation with a child under 14. Ren, a youth leader for Evangelical Formosan Church in Rowland Heights, is accused of starting a sexual relationship in May 2015 with a 13-year-old girl who was in his church group. It’s possible there are other alleged victims, authorities said. State Patrol officers found the girl and Ren in a vehicle parked off Hwy. 330 at midnight in an unincorporated area of San Bernardino County, a statement said. Source: OC Weekly, 7-15-15 

Ogyen Trinley Dorjee, 30, Dharamshala, India: Money laundering. Dorjee is revered by followers as the 17th incarnation of the head of the Karma Kagyu branch of Tibetan Buddhism. He fled Tibet for India at age 14 and is seen as a possible successor to the Dalai Lama, who just turned 80. Aboout $1 million in 26 different foreign currencies was seized in 2011 during a raid on his monastery but charges were dismissed in 2012. Now, the high court in the state of Himachal Pradesh has reinstated the charges. Source: AFP, 7-9-15

Sentenced 

Nicholas Lawrence, 27, Pekin, IL: 40 years in prison (mandatory 85% before parole-eligible) after pleading guilty to 2 counts of predatory criminal sexual assault. Lawrence met the victim while teaching bible classes at 2 churches in Peoria Heights. The girl he “groomed” sexually starting when she was 8 in 2010 still thought of him as her “spiritual mentor” when he was arrested in 2014, court records said. Their relationship had continued during his classes in 2013-14 at First Church of God in Pekin. “I am scarred and damaged. I am broken,” the girl wrote in a letter read to the court by the prosecutor. Lawrence “should be considered a monster.” “What I did was appalling and inexcusable,” Lawrence told the judge. “Contrary to popular belief, I can and will reform completely” with therapy in prison. Investigators found 14,000 images on Lawrence’s computer of “child pornography and erotica” featuring children from toddlers to about age 10. Source: Daily Times, 8-12-15 

Norman T. Faux, 55, Lake Ariel, PA: 27 months to 15 years in prison and payment of $5,000 in counseling fees for his victim. Faux, a United Methodist pastor, had pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with a male juvenile. The assaults started when the boy was 9 and lasted until he was 19, according to court documents. When the boy was 11, he began watching pornographic videos as a distraction while Faux performed oral sex on him. The boy said it happened so many times he lost count. Lead prosecutor Pat Robinson called Faux, who is HIV-positive, “disgusting and despicable. He is an extremely manipulative individual. He blames everybody but himself for his outrageous activity.” Source: Wayne Independent, 7-31-15 

Simon Reynolds, 50, Barnsley, UK: 32 months in prison for theft. Reynolds, Anglican vicar at All Saints Church, was found guilty by jury of stealing $37,000 from 2007-13. The money came from fees for weddings and funerals and gravestones. Reynolds fled to Germany while the jury was deliberating but later returned to England and turned himself in. Source: Yahoo News, 7-27-15 

Walter Roberson and Robert Young, pastors at VineLife Church, Boulder, CO, pleaded no contest to failure to report child abuse and were sentenced to serve 10 days in jail or on work crew. Church elders Edward Bennell and Warren Williams pleaded no contest to the same charge. Bennell received 2 days in jail or on work crew. Williams was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service. All received 1 year of unsupervised probation. The men were all charged for failure to report suspected abuse in 2013 by youth pastor Jason Roberson, who is Walter Roberson’s son. “A message has to be sent that this cannot happen,” said Judge David Archuleta. Jason Roberson, 36, was sentenced to 2 years in prison and 10 years’ intensive probation for a 7-year relationship he started with a female congregant when she was 15. Source: Daily Camera, 7-23-15

Yaakov Deutsch, 63, Afula, Israel: 9 years in prison and a $76,000 fine for molesting 4 teens, 2 boys and 2 girls. Deutsch, a prominent rabbi in the Nazareth area, told a 15-year-old it was “God’s will” for him to penetrate her vaginally and anally in 2008. The indictment alleged she came to his home for a blessing to improve a health condition and that he ordered her to “touch his body and sexual organ, reasoning that energies will pass from his body to hers in such a way and cure her.” Later he started to take liberties with her Source: Arutz Sheva, 7-22-15

Civil Lawsuits Settled 

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee agreed to settle a suit with 330 clergy sex abuse victims for $21 million. Payments to victims will vary and be determined by an independent arbitrator. Archbishop Jerome Listecki said the proposed settlement sets the stage to close a bankruptcy proceeding filed in 2011. The archdiocese objected to all 575 claims filed in bankruptcy court and tried to have hundreds thrown out of court. Peter Isley, Midwest director of SNAP (Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests), said in a statement: “In a perverse and cynical parody of the famous biblical story of King Solomon, it has been announced that the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has reached a monetary ‘settlement’ with the Creditors Committee of the nearly 5-year-old church sex abuse bankruptcy. It is exponentially the lowest bankruptcy compensation for victims in the United States.” Subtracting attorneys’ fees reduces the payment to victims by one-third. The average per victim nationwide in clergy sex abuse settlements is about $300,000 compared to $45,000 for the Milwaukee settlement. Source: Source: WITI, 8-4-15

Other 

How gruesome photos claiming to show the body of a murdered pedophile priest John Geoghan ended up for sale on the website “Serial Killers Ink” is under investigation by the Massachusetts Dept. of Correction. SKI is known as a “murderabilia” site. The defrocked Catholic priest was convicted of molesting over 100 children. He was sentenced to life and was strangled and beaten to death in his cell in Shirley, MA, at age 68 in 2003 by another inmate, Joseph Druce. In response to a question on Facebook about the photos, allegedly signed by Druce, SKI responded: “They have been sold.” Source: WHDH, 8-8-15 

Charles Goodman, 53, Gary, IN: Felony reckless homicide and driving with a suspended license. Goodman, driver of a St. Jude Deliverance Center bus in a fatal crash near Indianapolis, never had a valid driver’s license in Indiana. The 15-person bus, headed to a church youth convention in Ohio, did not have required federal registration for an out-of-state trip, police said. A boy, 6, died in the crash, which “appears to be a result of driver error,” State Police said but did not elaborate. Goodman has numerous citations and misdemeanor arrests in Illinois and Indiana, including illegally transporting alcohol in a vehicle, driving without valid registration and driving with an uninsured motor vehicle, along with a felony burglary conviction. Source: Chicago Tribune, 7-29-15

By the way, this is just a small sampling of the cases printed this month. I kept only the more disgusting, egregious cases.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WW2 dead

Here's an 18-minute long video that brings home the scale of the horror of World War II.  We should always try to remember how horrible war can be and should avoid it whenever possible, despite the incessant war-mongering that we get from the right wingnuts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

doctored videos

Well, I am just totally NOT shocked.  

All of the videos that The Center for Medical Progress (what an insulting name) recently produced about Planned Parenthood, were doctored.  ALL of them.  The short and the long.

Will this stop the rightwing nuts from crying that Planned Parenthood sells body parts?  Not a chance.  As we have seen so often, the truth is irrelevant to the rightwing.  If you can't win the argument based on the facts, they make up their own facts, and their gullible followers continually lap it up.  Sad.

What is shocking to me is how the right and the GOP maintains any relevance after being so wrong on so many things for so long.  Why do we even tolerate them?  The whole party should be banned until they begin speaking the truth about things. 

Here is one opinion about the situation.  

And here and below is a more "balanced" story from the UPI.

Report: Planned Parenthood undercover videos were manipulated


WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A report commissioned by Planned Parenthood said an analysis of videos showing officials discussing fetal tissue were doctored with deceptive edits, missing footage and inaccurately transcribed conversations.
The report by research firm Fusion GPS said videos created by the anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress have no "evidentiary value" in a legal context,can't be used in "official inquiries" and lack journalistic credibility.
"You couldn't use this stuff in a court of law. Or if you tried you would not have a very easy time persuading anyone that it was useful," the research firm said. "The missing sections clearly contain discussions that would be relevant to any inquiry."
The Center for Medical Progress released eight undercover videos that purported to show Planned Parenthood illegally profits from the sale of fetal tissue to medical researchers and used procedures that violate a ban on so-called partial-birth abortions. Planned Parenthood denied the claims.
Federal law allows the use of fetal tissue in transplants and research. At least four congressional committees and several states have launched investigations.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richardsin a letter to House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnelland Minority Leader Harry Reid, said the organization is "doing as much as we can to collect the facts and share them with you."
"While the edited videos are replete with distortions and selective editing, it is what is missing from the videos that is most important: any credible evidence that Planned Parenthood has done anything wrong," Richards wrote. "We've said all along that these videos were heavily edited to deceive the public, and that's what this expert analysis now shows. The more the public learns about this fraudulent, baseless attack on women's health, the better, and that's why today we're laying everything out for leaders in Congress and for the public."
and as another example of how the truth doesn't matter to these demagogues, the end of the article...
The Center for Medical Progress said Planned Parenthood's "desperate, 11th-hour attempt to pay their handpicked 'experts' to distract from the crimes documented on video is a complete failure."
"The absence of bathroom breaks and waiting periods between meetings does not change the hours of dialogue with top-level Planned Parenthood executives eager to manipulate abortion procedures to get high-quality baby parts for financially profitable sale," the center said.
Perhaps we should bring charges against "The Center for Medical Progress."

Monday, August 24, 2015

Roy Zimmerman

Why not a flashback to 2007?  Is the charlatan Ted Haggard still sucking...money from the gullible?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

toon time

My goodness!  August is almost over already and I haven't taken any time for toons!  You can imagine who is dominating the toons this time around. 

Click 'em if you can't read 'em.













Saturday, August 22, 2015

Hillary & email

So the United States State Department, the department that Hillary Clinton headed up for four years as President Obama's Secretary of State (SOS), has announced that there is no there there, at least where all this email noise is concerned.

Hillary "violated no laws or policies that were in place at the time" she served as SOS.  

And simply, "she was not violating policy."  

I'm sure that this announcement will quell all the clamoring on the right for more more MORE information about Hillary's emails.  Ha!  Right. Since when has the truth mattered to the GOP? Those with an agenda and an axe to grind will continue to swing away, obfuscate and sow doubt about Hillary's actions and motives, truth be damned. 

I, for one, am glad to hear the State Department say this.  To me, this has now officially reached the realm of bullshit, or as Paul Krugman puts it, "zombie lies." Even after something has been debunked, they just go on like nothing changed.

Disgraceful behavior, but there you have today's GOP.

from the Daily News Bin

State Department confirms Hillary Clinton email violated no laws or policies

by Bill Palmer

The State Department publicly confirmed today that Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email while serving as Secretary of State violated no laws or policies that were in place at the time, bringing an end to the substantive side of the “email scandal” if certainly not the political side. Clinton’s opponents in the 2016 election and their followers have been hoping the issue would force her out of the election, but now they’ll be reduced to simply trying to create a scandal where none exists, after the department’s official words today. 

State Department official spokesperson John Kirby appeared live on CNN today and flat out stated that “she was not violating policy.” Like many other high ranking officials who came before and during her tenure, Hillary Clinton opted to bypass the wonky email servers provided by the department due to the fact that they couldn’t, for instance, properly work with mobile email apps on smartphones. Previous Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice have acknowledged having done the same. The news comes as a disappointment to those in politics who viewed the controversy as their best shot at catching up to Clinton, who has a massive lead in national polls both within her own party and across party lines. 

Clinton turned over her email server to the FBI earlier this month in the name of full disclosure. But with the State Department having now confirmed that her use of that server violated no laws or policies, the FBI investigation is moot and will confirm the same. Opponents will continue to attempt to turn Hillary Clinton’s email into a scandal by making ongoing remarks about the supposed impropriety or illegality of what she’s done, but those statements can now officially be regarded as lies going forward. The remaining question is how many, if any, undecided voters will believe those lies. 

Original.

Friday, August 21, 2015

market volatility

So the markets are going crazy. Again.

We've been overdue for a correction in the markets, and boy are we getting it.

 I wonder how much of this market volatility is due to program traders, those guys who can make million-share trades faster than you can say "shit" for a penny or two.  They can really dominate the market, pushing the regular folks to the sidelines.


I also wonder if some hidden hacking-like market manipulation is going on.  We already know that the top 1% have far more than their "share" and it wouldn't surprise me if this was just not satisfying to some of those greedy pigs. They. Want. It. All.


Or maybe it's the Russians again. Or the Chinese. Or the Iranians. Or a pimple-faced kid sitting in his basement.  Heh!  Not likely on the last one.

Or maybe capitalism is just not sustainable.

This is just great timing (read: horrible) for me and the wife, who are trying to work out retirement in the near-future.  So far in 2015 we have lost about 15% of our lifetime-to-accumulate nest egg.  At this point, we have little choice but to stay in the markets.  I note with a certain amount of suspicion that, of all of the financial pundits I have been hearing, every last one of them says, "Don't panic! Don't bail out of the market!"  I get suspicious when I hear unanimity like that.

It reminds me of the old rule in politics.  If the Republicans and Democrats totally agree on something, you can be sure the American people are about to get fucked.


Good luck, everyone. Pray if you want. It sure won't help anything. It's been fun!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

save the children!

Ancient idiot Pat Robertson of the 700 Club recently suggested that a set of grandparents should kidnap their grandchild so as to keep the poor child away from their atheist parents.  

If you ask me, and you didn't, I'd say keep the poor child away from the church.  They teach fear, hate, sexism, and an irrational love of an imaginary being.  There are few things on this earth that have caused more pain and suffering than religion, and the Bible has a lot to do with that.

So, parents, do whatever you can to keep the poor impressionable child away from the violent impulses rampant in church. On the other hand, many atheists were atheists UNTIL they thoroughly read the Bible.  On the 3rd hand, the "Bible school" bullshit doesn't dwell on the carnage and contradictions of the Bible, but only on small sections that project whatever the teacher wants the kids to "learn."

Parents, don't torture your kids with the Bible! Teach them reason and to think for themselves! And Pat?  Just STFU for Chrissakes.

Pat Robertson to grandparents: Take grandkids 'away' from atheist parents and send them to a Christian school.

TV preacher Pat Robertson suggested last Monday that grandparents should find a way to send their grandchildren to a Christian school if atheist parents were teaching them that God and Jesus were not real.

“Pat, I am very concerned because this past weekend my 6-year-old grandson said his dad told him God and Jesus were not real and were just made up to scare people about dying,” a viewer named Elizabeth explained to Robertson in an email.
Elizabeth said that she tried to “explain the truth” to her grandson but he wouldn’t believe her.
“I’m worried for my grandson’s soul,” she wrote.
“You should be,” Robertson agreed. “If there’s any way you can get that child away from that… His father telling him that. I don’t know, but if there’s any way you can get him enrolled in a Christian school or get him into some, you know, they have daily vacation Bible school and things.”
“There’s all kinds of things you could do to kind of get him into some positive influences,” he noted.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Krugman on the GOP


We keep inching closer and closer to the Idiocracy!  What in the world has happened to the Republican Party?

From Trump on Down, the Republicans Can’t Be Serious

by Paul Krugman


This was, according to many commentators, going to be the election cycle Republicans got to show off their “deep bench.” The race for the nomination would include experienced governors like Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, fresh thinkers like Rand Paul, and attractive new players like Marco Rubio. Instead, however, Donald Trump leads the field by a wide margin. What happened?

The answer, according to many of those who didn’t see it coming, is gullibility: People can’t tell the difference between someone who sounds as if he knows what he’s talking about and someone who is actually serious about the issues. And for sure there’s a lot of gullibility out there. But if you ask me, the pundits have been at least as gullible as the public, and still are.

For while it’s true that Mr. Trump is, fundamentally, an absurd figure, so are his rivals. If you pay attention to what any one of them is actually saying, as opposed to how he says it, you discover incoherence and extremism every bit as bad as anything Mr. Trump has to offer. And that’s not an accident: Talking nonsense is what you have to do to get anywhere in today’s Republican Party.

For example, Mr. Trump’s economic views, a sort of mishmash of standard conservative talking points and protectionism, are definitely confused. But is that any worse than Jeb Bush’s deep voodoo, his claim that he could double the underlying growth rate of the American economy? And Mr. Bush’s credibility isn’t helped by his evidence for that claim: the relatively rapid growth Florida experienced during the immense housing bubble that coincided with his time as governor.

Mr. Trump, famously, is a “birther” — someone who has questioned whether President Obama was born in the United States. But is that any worse than Scott Walker’s declaration that he isn’t sure whether the president is a Christian?

Mr. Trump’s declared intention to deport all illegal immigrants is definitely extreme, and would require deep violations of civil liberties. But are there any defenders of civil liberties in the modern G.O.P.? Notice how eagerly Rand Paul, self-described libertarian, has joined in the witch hunt against Planned Parenthood.

And while Mr. Trump is definitely appealing to know-nothingism, Marco Rubio, climate change denier, has made “I’m not a scientist” his signature line. (Memo to Mr. Rubio: Presidents don’t have to be experts on everything, but they do need to listen to experts, and decide which ones to believe.)

The point is that while media puff pieces have portrayed Mr. Trump’s rivals as serious men — Jeb the moderate, Rand the original thinker, Marco the face of a new generation — their supposed seriousness is all surface. Judge them by positions as opposed to image, and what you have is a lineup of cranks. And as I said, this is no accident.

It has long been obvious that the conventions of political reporting and political commentary make it almost impossible to say the obvious — namely, that one of our two major parties has gone off the deep end. Or as the political analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein put it in their book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks,” the G.O.P. has become an “insurgent outlier … unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science.” It’s a party that has no room for rational positions on many major issues.

Or to put it another way, modern Republican politicians can’t be serious — not if they want to win primaries and have any future within the party. Crank economics, crank science, crank foreign policy are all necessary parts of a candidate’s resume.

Until now, however, leading Republicans have generally tried to preserve a facade of respectability, helping the news media to maintain the pretense that it was dealing with a normal political party. What distinguishes Mr. Trump is not so much his positions as it is his lack of interest in maintaining appearances. And it turns out that the party’s base, which demands extremist positions, also prefers those positions delivered straight. Why is anyone surprised?

Remember how Mr. Trump was supposed to implode after his attack on John McCain? Mr. McCain epitomizes the strategy of sounding moderate while taking extreme positions, and is much loved by the press corps, which puts him on TV all the time. But Republican voters, it turns out, couldn’t care less about him.

Can Mr. Trump actually win the nomination? I have no idea. But even if he is eventually pushed aside, pay no attention to all the analyses you will read declaring a return to normal politics. That’s not going to happen; normal politics left the G.O.P. a long time ago. At most, we’ll see a return to normal hypocrisy, the kind that cloaks radical policies and contempt for evidence in conventional-sounding rhetoric. And that won’t be an improvement.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

South Padre Island

Took a quick trip down south to South Padre Island.  


Looking over properties.



to


Looking over beers.


And other types of beverages.


Nice view from the balcony of the Pearl.




the pool was really nice


whhaaaaaaa?

Monday, August 17, 2015

Vyckie redux


Vyckie Garrison spoke at the recent 2015 Oklahoma Freethought Convention.  What? They have atheists in Oklahoma?  No!

Vyckie started No Longer Quivering, to tell the story of her "escape" from the Quiverfull movement.




Sunday, August 16, 2015

how to

There is some very interesting and valuable information in this 58-minute long video.  Some of it is dangerous if conducted under less than ideal conditions, so if you decide to try any of these techniques, be extra, extra careful.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Thom on BLM

Thom Hartmann is a progressive political commentator, a sane voice of conscience in a wacked-out world.

Here, Thom tells white people that we have to get with it, and "get it."

You can find Thom in many places.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

shameless pandering


American voters are shocked at what Bernie Sanders has been saying.   

Sanders Shamelessly Pandering to Voters Who Want to Hear Truth

By Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker 

residential candidate Bernie Sanders is gaining legions of new admirers by shamelessly pandering to voters who want to hear the truth, critics of the Vermont senator say.
According to those critics, Sanders has cynically targeted so-called “truth-based voters” to build support for his Presidential bid.
“People come to Sanders’s rallies expecting to hear the truth, and he serves it up to them on a silver platter,” the political strategist Harland Dorrinson said. “It’s a very calculated gimmick.”
But while Sanders’s practice of relentlessly telling the truth might play well in states that are rich in truth-based voters, like the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, critics say that his campaign could stall in states where the truth has historically been less important, like Florida.
“At some point in this campaign, voters are going to get truth fatigue,” Dorrinson said. “Right now, the novelty of a politician who doesn’t constantly spew lies is grabbing headlines. But after months of Bernie Sanders telling the truth, voters are going to start wondering, Is that all he’s got?”
Dorrinson is just one of many critics who is eagerly waiting for the Sanders phenomenon to come down to Earth. “Telling the truth may be working for Bernie Sanders, but it shows a serious lack of respect for the American political system,” he said.
Original.