Thursday, February 25, 2010

Police Haul Out Student for Refusing to Say the Pledge of Allegiance.

A middle school teacher in Montgomery County, Maryland, will have to apologize to a 13-year-old student after yelling at her and having her escorted out of class by school police when the student refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. According to the ACLU of Maryland, a 13-year-old female student at Roberto Clemente Middle School in Germantown refused to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance on Jan. 27.

The teacher reportedly ordered the girl out into the hallway, where he threatened the girl with detention and then sent her to the school counselor's office. The next day, when the student again refused to stand for the pledge, the teacher called school officers to remove her from the classroom and take her to the counselor's office once again."When the student’s mother reached out to an assistant principal for help in dealing with the teacher’s abusive and improper actions, the official said
her daughter should instead apologize for her 'defiance.'

:Ironic that the pledge mentions the right to liberty but apparently not the liberty to choose not to say the pledge in the first place? Makes no sense. Why make a big deal out of it? Just let the kid have a moment of silence while the rest say it, and leave it at that. When you make a big deal out of it you send mixed messages that you're free in this country but you not free enough to say you'd rather not say the pledge. I don't mind the pledge but let the kid be--This is America after all, or at least I thought so.

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The American Dream is a Lie.

I think the whole, Horatio Alger, "American Dream" never existed except amongst a few and was propaganda to get Americans to buy into hyper-capitalism. It bred this idea in Americans that everyone has the same shot at success, that everyone has the same opportunities and advantages. I believe this is what bred the rampant selfishness we see today because people honestly think that everyone has the same potential. I often state that the saying, "Pull yourself up by your bootstraps" only works if you have boots or feet.

We've brainwashed over-selves into believing it to, in part, assuage our guilt over screwing the lower class, minorities and others in pursuit of the "dream." In order for one person's dream to come true...someone else has to endure a nightmare. That's the story behind the "American Dream" that they never tell you in school. The "American Dream" was supposed to be the equalizer but African-Americans still face inequality based on their color. And women weren't allowed to buy into the "American Dream" either. They had to buy into the male version of the American Dream where the, "Mrs." stays home and plays June Cleaver. And even though women have a lot more opportunities today, they still don't get equal pay.

And Native Americans didn't even get to LIVE let alone prosper. "Scholars estimate that 90% of all Native Americans were KILLED of native populations were killed by disease and violence during the first 10 years of contact with Europeans, and, later, Americans." And still, today, the reservations are a big, nasty, secret of neglect, poverty and oppression. The unemployment rates on reservations have always been high, but during this Great Recession it's been much worse. The poverty rate for Native Americans is approximately 26%--the unemployment rate during the Great Depression was 20%. And there are many individual reservations, however, who have unemployment rates from 40-80 percent!!!! Also, "American Indian couples earn $71 for every $100 earned by all United States married couples." So, don't tell me that the Native Americans have benefited from this whole "rags to riches" non-sense. They got the rags and the white man got the riches.

A lot of the successes supposedly granted by the "American Dream" were, and are in effect more about your prior position in a successful family, race or sex. Indeed, for many the "American Dream" has been more of a nightmare.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rep. John Boehner Wants to "Crash the Party" at Health Summit.

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) is still playing hard to get on Thursday’s health care summit. “We shouldn’t let the White House have a six-hour taxpayer-funded infomercial on ObamaCare,” Boehner said, according to the aid. “We need to show up We need to crash the party.”

TPJ: The Republicans are going to "crash the party" on this upcoming health care summit? How is that going to help solve anything? Then again, the Republicans have shown from day one of the Obama administration that they aren't interested in solving much of anything--especially if they have to be bipartisan and compromise a bit. Yet finding a middle-ground to compromise upon is how government is supposed to work. The Democrats have compromised single-payer, public option and now the expansion of Medicare yet the Republicans have compromised on NOTHING.

You can't even get some of these guys/gals to TALK let alone compromise. What kind of attitude is that--"crash the party?" Once again it shows to me that they are the Party of No and have taken it to the extreme of not even listening. They say "no" so much that I wouldn't be surprised if they just stay in their home districts and states and just call in their "no" votes at this point. What's the point of them being in the chambers if they're just going to say "no" every time? Did you know that Republicans are filibustering nearly EVERYTHING? Not just health care but the jobs bill and even some stuff Republicans have traditionally been for!!

This reminds me of Obama's first few months in office when he invited the GOP over to the White House to talk ideas on health care. However, the Minority Leader Boehner told his members to vote against whatever the president said in the upcoming meeting. He didn't even give the President a chance. He didn't enter the meeting in good faith. How can you work with that? How can you forge bipartisanship with that kind of attitude? They were dead-set against ANYTHING this president would do. Not the that Democrats have done very well either but it's hard to dance without a partner!!

I mean, I'm pissed at the Democrats for being so passive in the face of this Republican bullying, and I despise the corruption from both parties but at least the Democrats are trying. The Republicans just bog everything down--It's easy to just say "no" and filibuster all of the Senate's business but in the end it's just games and the American people expect more from our leaders. I really think that they Republicans are over-reaching on this "no" attitude--it could come back and bite them on the ass.

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dick Cheney's Heart Likes "Socialized Medicine."

Dick Cheney, 69, who was vice president under President George W. Bush, was hospitalized on Monday after suffering chest pains."Lab testing revealed evidence of a mild heart attack," Cheney's office said. "He underwent a stress test and a heart catheterization. He is feeling good and is expected to be discharged in the next day or two."

TPJ: I bet he's feeling good--he's got the best health care that government can provide. That's right I said, GOVERNMENT--Richard B. Cheney is a former government employee and as such gets health care (and top-notch health care) for life. If public health care is so bad then why hasn't "Richy Richard" Cheney refused it for private health care, which he could easily afford? The same goes for all the Republican Congress members who enjoy the same "socialized medicine." They're all hypocrites and I'm getting really, really PISSED OFF that the rank and file Republicans are such CLUELESS IDIOTS to all of this!!!! I'm no genius but I'm surrounded by morons.

PHOTO CREDIT: Reuters News Service/Joshua Roberts

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bush Official Criticizes Obama for Killing too Many Terrorists?

Just how unpopular are President Barack Obama's anti-terrorism policies with his Republican critics? Even when he's killing terrorists they find flaws. At a panel on national security policy at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday, a prominent lawyer from the Bush administration's Department of Justice ( Viet Dinh) said he was concerned that the higher number of terrorist executions taking place under Obama was compromising U.S. intelligence operations. "We have every right to kill the other side's warriors. But at what cost? When we do not have an effective detention policy the only option we have is to kill them before we can detain them. And if we don't detain them, we don't know what they know and what they are up to."

TPJ: But wait, I thought Obama was weak on terrorism? Isn't the whole point of fighting in Afghanistan to kill terrorists? And what detention problem? We're still detaining terrorists in Afghanistan. There hasn't been any change in that policy and this clown Dinh should know that. We're interrogating them probably as I type this. So based on the information we gather, we find out where the top leaders are, and if we can't get into the territory where they are located to capture them, we kill them with a predator drone. I guess that's being weak on terrorism now? Also, conservatives? You can interrogate detainees while actively killing terrorists at the same time. Duh, but then again you conservatives love that black and white thinking. It's your fall back defense when the thesis of your argument is weak.

And I guess this charge that we are compromising intelligence is some veiled attempt at slamming President Obama for giving Miranda rights to the Christmas Day bomber? And that this somehow kept us from getting information from him? Except that the attempted bomber is now talking again!! Let's get serious here, and get to the point of the matter--The president can't win with these loonies on the right, either he's "weak on terrorism" or he's "too heavy handed." I also think that some of the right are royally pissed off that Obama is getting high value terrorists and making progress without the use of torture (i.e. water boarding). His policies are threatening their entire thesis for how to fight terrorism and it's driving them crazy. I say, good.

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Global Warming, Climate Change and The 2010 East Coast Snow Storm.

Some of the "geniuses" on the right are saying that the two day storm on the east coast this week proves that global warming isn't real. Just because the east coast gets hit with a 100 year storm doesn't mean that the rest of the time there isn't global warming. The exception of a huge snow storm doesn't disprove the over-all trend or rule. Mild temperatures in the winter mean more evaporation and thus more water in the air. So when it does snow they are monster storms. Global warming LEADS to climate change but they are not necessarily the same thing. Steven Colbert and Bill Nye, "the Science Guy" go after this latest right-wing example of sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to science:
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
We're Off to See the Blizzard
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And now for a more intellectual explain from Rachel Maddow and RBill Nye, "The Science Guy.":

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Stimulus Foes Take Money Anyway.

Sen. Christopher S. Bond regularly railed against President Obama's economic stimulus plan as irresponsible spending that would drive up the national debt. But behind the scenes, the Missouri Republican quietly sought more than $50 million from a federal agency for two projects in his state. Mr. Bond was not alone. More than a dozen Republican lawmakers, while denouncing the stimulus to the media and their constituents, privately sent letters to just one of the federal government's many agencies seeking stimulus money for home-state pork projects.

Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican who became famous after yelling, "You lie," during Mr. Obama's addresses to Congress in September, voted against the stimulus. Nonetheless, Mr. Wilson
elbowed his way into the rush for federal stimulus cash in a letter he sent to Mr. Vilsack on behalf of a foundation seeking funding. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Mr. Bond noted that one project applying to the USDA for stimulus money would "create jobs and ultimately spur economic opportunities." He and other lawmakers make no apologies for privately seeking stimulus money after they voted against it and continue to criticize the plan: "I strongly opposed the stimulus, but the only thing that could make it worse would be if none of it returned to the taxpayers of Missouri," said Mr. Bond, who is retiring.

James: Mr. Bond's statement is totally devoid of any principles what so ever. So you think the stimulus is robbing the pockets of future generations. How many times have we heard this from the right-wing in regards to emergency spending to get us out of a possible depression. Yet despite all of the insults and criticisms you leveled at liberals for proposing this bailout you take the money anyway??? That's like knowing that your friend was going to rob a bank and you said that you couldn't support such an action. However, once the bank was robbed, and you saw all that money--you took a handful for yourself!! Figuring, "Well, since it's already a sunk cost for the bank I might as well take a cut."

The left needs to be pounding these guys over and over for this but leave it to Democrats to miss a golden opportunity. If the Republicans think they are going to win back power from the left with this kind of bullshit then they better find a shovel. At least we lefties are standing up to your criticism of the recovery act and sticking firm to our principles. I don't think Republicans even really care about principles. They just use them to gain leverage and score cheap political points and once that's done they ditch them like yesterday's newspaper. I know Democrats are hypocrites too but this is somewhat different because it involves a huge philosophical difference between the two parties. The lefties believe in spending to keep the American economy oiled with cash to keep it going in emergencies. The right is against just about any government spending but then they do shit like this and we're all reminded again of their depravity.

PHOTO CREDIT: The Huffington Post

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Sarah Palin is an Inspiration to Idiots Everywhere.

Did Sarah Palin seriously use the words, "Hopey, Changey" during her speech at the Tea Party convention the other night? She said something like, "How's that hopey, changey thing working out for ya?" Referring to Obama's message of hope and change. Sounds like how you talk to little kids, which is ironically appropriate for the immature Tea Partiers who like to throw tantrums but are otherwise politically clueless. I also heard she wrote speech notes on her hand like a student who wrote out their speech for a political science course just an hour before class. She went on to use those "notes" to criticize President Obama for use of a teleprompter!! How ironic. Anyone who thinks Obama can't talk without a teleprompter need only look at his performance with House Republicans during that "Question Time" event held a week or so ago.

Overall it seemed as though her speech was just a rant rather than a substantive policy pronouncement but Palin probably thinks "substantive" is a type of submarine. It must be said though that she has a good gig. I mean, she gets $100,000 for a speech scribbled on her hand?!! At least she soaked the Tea Party for a lot of money and gave them a whole lot of gibberish in exchange. I take a certain satisfaction in hearing about idiots taking advantage of other idiots. Especially when they are conservative idiots. I do hope the Republicans are dumb enough to nominate her though because for Obama it would be like running for re-election against a Barbie Doll.

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Thursday, February 04, 2010

General Colin Powell Calls for Ending Ban on Gays in the Military.

President Barack Obama's bid to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military received another boost Wednesday when retired US general Colin Powell came out in support of the repeal. As the country's highest ranking officer in 1993, Powell had opposed president Bill Clinton's attempt to end a ban on gays in uniform. Instead, Powell backed a controversial compromise still in force -- known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" -- requiring service members to keep quiet about their sexual orientation or face expulsion.

"In the almost 17 years since the "Don't ask, Don't tell" legislation was passed, attitudes and circumstances have changed," he said in a statement. "I fully support the new approach presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee this week" by Defense Secretary Robert Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
Admiral Mike Mullen, said Powell.

TPJ: General Powell is one of the most highly decorated and highly respected leaders amongst both Republicans and Democrats but especially with Independents as Powell is fairly independent of parties himself. So, if Powell, (who was the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time) is ready to end the ban on gays, I don't see how anyone can disagree with him unless they are just plain bigots. But it isn't just disagreeing with Powell. The two highest leaders of our current military, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen and the Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and ready to end the ban.

Yet some on the right of the political spectrum disagree with these experienced leaders of the military. I find this highly ironic because the Republicans party has long held the generals as having the final say on military matters. Under Bush the Republicans told us Democrats and Liberals that we must, "Listen to, and follow the generals on the ground." I agree that a certain amount of deference should be showed to these military leaders but where's that loyalty to the generals now? As further evidence I submit the McCain flip-flop. In it he either shows that he's senile, hypocritical or worst--both:

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James: I could call you cowards who don't support the military as you did with those on the left who opposed the Iraq war but I won't stoop to your level of rhetoric.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab Talking with FBI Again.

For weeks since the Christmas day bomb attempt by Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab we've had to endure Conservatives and Republicans hopping up and down mad about giving the alleged terrorist a lawyer. They were indignant when this man stopped talking and cried that it was because we dared give him a lawyer. Yet, first of all, a military trial would still provide him a lawyer and the potential for the defendant of not co-operating. Also, there is no guarantee that he wouldn't have shut up without the lawyer. Secondly, their alternative was "harsh interrogation techniques" such a water boarding, which many of us believe is torture.

Yet a funny thing happened. Instead of a plot-line from the terrorist drama show, "24" unfolding, Umar Farouk Abdulmutullab began talking again a week ago. It seemed that all it took was to bring his family to America to talk to their son and brother. I know that's not satisfying nor Hollywood enough for the blood-thirsty, "shoot first and ask questions latter" crowd on the right but it represents our American values of law and order--even when trying terrorists. We give up on the rule of law and we become just like they do with their torture and execution squads.

So, where are the conservatives and Republicans today now that we know without a doubt that we can get information without resorting to torture? No where to be seen and certainly no acknowledgment that their strong-arm tactics are unnecessary. And I am still quite annoyed that many on the right-wing of the political spectrum don't want Abdulmutullab sent to a federal court despite Bush doing that exact same thing--twice!! One being the so-called, "shoe bomber" Richard Reid. They say that trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a federal court would put a big, fat target on the city of New York. As opposed to any other day? The terrorists want to hit New York whether there is a trial there or not. It's one of their main targets. Anyone who saw the 9/11 attacks knows this. If they had the wherewithal to do it today then it would happen.

Personally, I trust our police, FBI and CIA to find any plots and I don't understand why those on the right-wing don't have that same faith in our first-responders. They have done a good job so far. I thought the Republicans were the "law and order" party--at least according to their claims. No, once again they've proven that they're all talk. They're way of dealing with problems is to just use a hammer but the problem with that is that the hammer gets the job done but smashes everything else around in as well. Using a hammer to deal with terrorism ends up smashing our Constitution, rule of law and tradition of being examples of democratic values. It's scary to see how many people are so willing to give up on democratic values and morality when they feel a tiny bit of fear.

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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Key Democrats Support Bush-Like Energy Plan.

With the Senate cap-and-trade bill on ice for the foreseeable future, a key bloc of Democrats is agitating for a Climate Plan B: an existing energy policy bill they say would put the US on the path to a clean energy future. Make that a road to nowhere. The bill in question lacks any kind of cap on carbon, and contains so many concessions to the oil, coal, gas, and nuclear industries that one environmental group has dubbed it a "flashback to Bush energy policy."

TPJ: Many of these "key Democrats" are the same conservative Demcorats who ruined true universal health care reform via the public option. With "friends" like these, who needs enemies from the Republican Party? Democrats always seem to find a way to get elected and then become their own worse obstacle. Now, with this development there doesn't seem to be a viable party that truly sees the emergency of environmental degradation, which is appalling because what's at stake is nothing short of the global future of humanity. You'd think that would get the same priority as putting together a strategy for victory to be implemented to win a war that threatens humanity regardless of political differences. I think the environmentalists needs to switch tactics and frame this emergency a full blown war on civilization.

I still don't understand how Republicans are so against helping the environment when they are such advocates of leaving a better future to our posterity. Perhaps they don't see it that way because they are are "flat Earthers" who don't believe in climate change but considering what's at stake, isn't it better to be safe than sorry? Besides, pursuing such actions would boost long-term employment. It's a win-win to me.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Flickr/James Jordan (Creative Commons) Rachel Master.