Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Rafael 'Ted' Cruz, Clown, and Scum Bucket: pandering to the lowest common denominator aong foolish conservatives

Via Juanita Jeans


At the end of the most recent Supreme Court session, we again have Senator Cruz making wild statements about the latest SCOTUS decisions on gay marriage and the ACA.

Some are ironic, some are just bubbling buckets of pus designed to deceive and mislead his electorate base.

From Today News:
Cruz, a Harvard grad, criticized the Supreme Court justices as a group of "elites" from Harvard or Yale who lack religious diversity.

"They think that our views are simply parochial and don't deserve to be respected," he said. He said it was a point amplified by Justice Antonin Scalia, who dissented in both cases: "What a crazy system to have the most important issues of our day decided by unelected lawyers."

Let us Fisk these statements.
(To Fisk: verb 1.(slang) to refute or criticize (a journalistic article or blog) point by point
Word Origin
C21: after the use of this technique by Robert Fisk (born 1946), British journalist, to criticize articles - dictionary.com)

First of all we have the grotesque hypocrisy of Cruz being a Harvard Law graduate com laude, and much like President Obama, a few years ahead of him, Cruz was an editor of the Law Review. So for Cruz to criticize ANY justice of the SCOTUS as an 'elite' for having high qualifications for the bench is ridiculous. It is precisely people with legal training who should be sitting on the Supreme Court Bench. A lack of such credentials should be a deterrent, not a qualification to serve on the SCOTUS.

This is the rankest kind of pandering to the anti-intellectual crowd of the willfully ignorant conservative extremists.

Then Cruz goes on to complain about what the Today article refers to as a lack of religious diversity because none of the SCOTUS justices were Evangelicals.

THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT OR EVEN DESIRABILITY THAT EVANGELICALS HAVE A SEAT ON THE SCOTUS BENCH. Cruz is not concerned about an ACTUAL diversity of religion on the court -- he does not seek the court adding more Jews, Muslims, Eastern Orthodox, Buddhists, Sikhs or Hindus. THAT would be genuine religious diversity, as would having an atheist or agnostic. The reason we do NOT have that provision is that we are NOT A THEOCRACY.  It is INTENTIONAL that there be no preference for Evangelicals - OR ANY OTHER BELIEF OR FAITH.

But this is not a failing of the court, this is a feature not a bug of our Constitution, and it has a name: the No Religious Test Clause, Article VI, paragraph 3.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
So for Cruz, who is in his own right knowledgeable about the Constitution, to complain about this is to conservatives as some kind of religious SLIGHT to them, or quality of unfairness, is a crock of manure too toxic to be used as organic fertilizer.  It is intended only to foment distrust of the government and to promote ignorance about our Constitution.

This is just the crassest ploy to extract conservative mouth breathers and knuckle draggers from their hard earned cash.

Likewise, the emotional appeal to the exclusion of reason and logic, and facts, that the SCOTUS decision is one of the 'darkest days' of our nation is propaganda, designed to manipulate the weak-minded who vote for candidates like Cruz.

Like the No Religious Test clause, it is a feature, a deliberate choice, that the SCOTUS Justices are not elected and have no term limits, a choice made by the Founding Fathers in writing the Constitution, which they created to solve the obvious problems and failures of the original government post-American Revolution, the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Unity.  This Constitution was established by those august Founding Fathers, who were well aware of the need to avoid political pressures on that entity.  It was not an oversight, it was not a mistake, and it was ratified by the people of the United States after it was created through a carefully negotiated approval process.

The approval of those Justices by the Senate, by our  directly elected Senators courtesy of the 17th amendment to the Constitution, which superseded Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution.  Ironically, hypocritically, and in direct contradiction of trusting the electorate to vote on important positions directly, Cruz (along with other teabaggers) wants to REMOVE the right to direct vote our choice of Senators, by repealing the 17th amendment:
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures.
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect that the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.
It makes no sense and has no chance of successful repeal to delete the 17th amendment from the Constitution but then to further alter it for direct election of the SCOTUS.  Either you trust the electorate - and your elected representatives - or you don't.

Specifically, Article II, Section 2, paragraph 2 of the U.S. Constitution provides:
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

We elect or senators to approve Justices appointed to the SCOTUS on our behalf.  Specifically the Senate holds the power to advise and consent to nominations from the President, which confers legitimacy on the SCOTUS by an approval  process that includes both the Executive branch and the senior /more prestigious  house of the Legislative branch.  Direct election would not confer greater legitimacy on the SCOTUS Justices, particularly when we have been faced with such an epidemic of conservative enacted voter suppression and resulting decline in voter participation.

All Cruz is angling for is to offer the illusion of a means of control for the minority fringe to hijack the Constitution and to gin up dissatisfaction with the fact that everyone sometimes has to contend with a decision they do not like.

We saw no such objections to the SCOTUS over Hobby Lobby, an ENTIRELY PAROCHIAL decision.  If Cruz was making a valid criticism, that criticism would have been appropriate to the legitimacy of that decision as well, yet no such criticism was offered.  The minority extremist right wing evangelical fringe won on that one.

This kind of invalid criticism from Cruz ONLY appeals to those who claim to LOVE the Constitution, but who have no functional working knowledge of it.

These dishonest and unconstitutional opinions of Senator Rafael Cruz should disqualify him with the electorate of the United States from being a presidential candidate.  Cruz is genuinely demonstrating that he is a danger to the nation, a threat to the Constitution, and that he is a profoundly dishonest man.




Creationism is NOT SCIENCE, and has no place in curricula

Monday, June 29, 2015

Why is Bobby Jindal running for President?


Bobby Jindal has no chance in hell of winning the presidency, or of being asked to be the Vice President on someone else's ticket.  So why would he announce a run for office?

Last week,  Piyush "Bobby" Jindal with his wife Supriya, announced his intention to get into the race to be the GOP nominee for president in 2016.  Louisiana has some unusual practices in gubernatorial elections; it holds them in the year before a year divisible by 4, which is November 2015; and it allows the governor two consecutive terms, but require a 4 year interim term out of office before a candidate for governor can run for additional terms, also in a maximum of two consecutive 4 year terms.  Essentially a governor, should he or she be sufficiently popular can run for two terms in office, one term out, then two terms in office again.

I would argue that the answer to this candidacy lies in the experience of another Republican, from the Dubya administration, equally failed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.  Gonzales, for years after he left government office, was unable to find a job -- any kind of job, much less as a practicing lawyer.  Eventually a big donor player in Texas politics was able to force through a pity job for Alberto, teaching a couple of so-called 'special' classes at a university for atypically big $$$$ relative to other not-staff instructors, over the strong objections of the administration, academic staff and students.  The job was pure political patronage, not merit.

Texas Tech University Faculty Protest Alberto Gonzales Appointment

 According to a local TV station as late as last night there were 45 signatories to the petition, whose creator is quoted by the Avalanche-Journal thusly:
Walter Schaller, a Tech philosophy professor since 1986, said Friday he decided to take action because "with the emphasis on ethics the university has adopted, a guy that misled Congress is not the kind of person we want to represent Texas Tech."
The petition protesting Gonzales' appointment as a visiting professor in political science isn't a secret from the college's chancellor. Not surprisingly, Texas Tech University Chancellor Kent Hance has said he'll go ahead with the appointment. Hance, Tech's third chancellor and the first alumnus to serve the university in that position is a lawyer and a veteran politician.
The A-J gives some more details on Schaller's petition and position regarding Gonzales:

The petition cites two main reasons for opposing Gonzales' hire: because the chancellor should not hire faculty and because Gonzales' record is questionable. The attorney general resigned from his post amid controversy in 2007.
"It is unclear what Gonzales has done that makes him deserving of employment at Texas Tech. Does he have a noteworthy academic record? Does he have a record of publishing in law reviews? Was his service to his country particularly distinguished?," the petition reads.
Hance's hiring of a "good friend" is in conflict with Tech's "Statement of Ethical Principles," according to the petition, which calls the chancellor's involvement in selecting faculty and the "celebrity hire" as "troubling."
The document goes on to list Gonzales "ethical failings," including: frequently misleading Congress and the American people; rejecting the Geneva Conventions; denying the constitutional right of habeas corpus; and showing more loyalty to President George W. Bush than to the Constitution.
"I tried to document all of the charges against Gonzales," Schaller said, citing a 2008 Department of Justice report and a 2009 Inspector Generals' report investigating Gonzales' surveillance programs as his information sources.

After the limited gig was up at Texas Tech, Gonzales went on to become the dean of a tiny Christian law school which at the time he started there in 2012 was not accredited.  This could fairly be termed another right wing evangelical pity job for someone no law firm in the nation was interested in taking on staff as a practicing attorney.  This is the best a failed  very public, highly partisan political figure can hope for when you are so conspicuously, even scandalously unsuccessful.  No one wants you, not in the public sector, and not in the private sector.  In this regard, I would argue that Jindal is very much like Gonzales, and that therefore his no-hope presidential run is really a run at finding a sympathetic patronage position.

From the WSJ:
Belmont University on Thursday announced that it has hired Mr. Gonzales to be dean of its law school.
Mr. Gonzales has taught at the law school since 2012, lecturing students on topics such as constitutional law, separation of powers, national security law, according to the university.
Belmont College of Law, part of a private Christian university in Nashville, enrolled about 300 students during the 2013-14 academic year, its third year in operation. Last year, it received provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association.
Given how much Jindal has wrangled and tangled in opposition to business, large and small, in his own state, in pursuing culture war and right wing failed economic policy, it is unlikely that the private sector would want anything to do with him as an employee in or outside of Louisiana.  Jindal has offended entities in his state like IBM, as well as the highly lucrative hospitality industry, with his actions and his extreme ideology.  You have to be very extreme to be too far to the right for one of the deep south Bible belt states.

Jindal has his own wealthy patron / pal, the Duck Dynasty patriarch, but in the context of the Donor class where other players include the Koch brothers and the likes of Sheldon Adelson, that is insignificant, unless you can imagine Piyush working on a duck call assembly line.  The Dynasty clan is not academically affiliated, and might well be described more as academically challenged.

And given his failure to be a successful public speaker, like his 2009 State of the Union response, I just do not see Jindal successfully making a living on the speaking engagement circuit the way someone like Bill and Hillary Clinton have done, or even the big-hair-brained Sarah Palin.  Jindal is not white-trashy and is too educated-elite for the Palin teabagger crowd, no matter how much religious zealotry he spouts.


Governor Jindal, who has the WORST approval ratings of any governor in the country, is also the past Vice Chair of the Republican Governor's Association.  Also in the race is New Jersey Governor and 2014 chair of the Republican Governor's Association is expected presidential candidate Chris Christie, who has the second worst approval ratings of any sitting governor in the country.  both Jindal and Christie were the darlings of the right back in 2012. Now, not so much as their respective states are in bad shape and they face scandal and controversy, not to mention being unable to carry their own respective state in a general election.  That suggests that Jindal, and probably Christie, will be short lived as candidates this election cycle, and further that the Republican clown car turned shuttle bus will become self-limiting around the end of 2015 into early 2016.

The respective chance at the White House for both Jindal and Christie seems to have come and gone.  That can probably be said of Huckster-bee and Perry as well, and of Pataki, and as his record becomes better known, of Scott Walker.  Jebbie might be able to skate by for a while longer, but his record is not really all that stellar as a governor either.  The whole lot look to be versions of fail like former half-term governor Sarah Palin.

It is fair to say that Jindal's  recent presidential announcement did not go well, in fact it went as poorly as his past response to President Obama's 2009 State of the Union speech, which went only marginally better than crazy-eyes Michele Bachmann's Teabagger rebuttal did in 2011; both were the subject of much well deserved mockery.

In 2015, Jindal has failed substantially to improve on that 2009 failure, or his 2015 State of the Union tweet failure.

From the Inquistir

Bobby Jindal’s Presidential Announcement Video Is New Source Of Ridicule
While Bobby Jindal’s announcement that he was getting into an already crowded GOP presidential field was met by celebration in some sectors, there are also plenty of people who think Bobby Jindal entered the race in the worst way possible. In particular, Bobby Jindal’s announcement video seemed to show that the Louisiana Governor’s own family is only slightly on board with his candidacy.

The right wing propaganda machine would have us believe their big bench of candidates, declared and waiting to declare, is full of stronger candidates than Mitt Romney was last time around. They now try to claim their blue-chip candidate in 2014 was more chipped / flawed and weak than they claimed at the time. But the reality is that every one of the candidates entering the race THIS cycle is weaker, less plausible, and are probably less sincere than Romney in actually seeking to attain to the presidency. Rather there is money and possible position and influence lurking for the also-rans, and I would argue that Jindal, but not only Jindal, is really pursuing THAT goal, not the oval office.  Most of what is playing out nominally as a race is  superficial pandering to the rabid primary voters, coating a core of political prostitution marketing.  To corrupt a well known phrase, there is gold in them thar shills.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A passing observation on the hyopcrisy of conservative SCOTUS Justices


Looking in comparison and contrast at the two decisions, Hobby Lobby and Marriage Equality , I could not help but be struck by the rank hypocrisy displayed by the conservative justices.

The Justices were all about the importance of religious belief in the Hobby Lobby decision, while mocking it in the decision opinion written by Justice Kennedy.

That argues to me something I have noted before, that conservatives will bend over backward, including bending to the point of breaking, the Constitution they are sworn to uphold and protect, when it comes to granting special rights and privileges that are contrary to law for their fellow conservative Christians.  But they are unwilling to acknowledge that many branches of Christianity and of Judaism recognize and perform gay marriages or that their congregants hold their beliefs as sincerely as anyone else.

When you find Justice Thomas, who just came over to the side of light and reason when it came to recognizing that confederate flag symbols on license plates are racist, and that states should be free to refuse to issue them, we see him asserting that laws cannot affect human dignity because dignity is innate.  He went so far as to assert that slavery did not diminish human dignity, which is hard to reconcile with almost everything on the subject that argues the existence of slavery was demeaning to human dignity because of the obliteration of the most fundamental autonomy by the institution and of course because of the damage to human beings by the mental and physical abuse and brutality.

We have Chief Justice Roberts contending that so long as the federal government does not imprison gay couples, they must be enjoying the same liberty to cohabit and to raise their children.  Never mind how much these families clearly are treated as second class citizens when they are denied the same benefits of marriage, including financial ones.  By this reasoning the only thing wrong with forbidding marriage between couples identified as belonging to different races in the Loving v. Virginia SCOTUS decision was that interracial marriage included penalties of prison, not that laws banning inter-racial marriage were inherently wrong.  And yet we are supposed to believe that Hobby Lobby is horribly damaged and their freedom is impaired because they are required to offer the same contraception coverage they had been providing all along to employees, and because they choose to believe that a form of contraception is abortion, in the face of all factual evidence to the contrary? 

This is clearly the grossest hypocrisy, the grosses lack of judicial standards of fairness and impartiality.

SHAME SHAME SHAME on Conservative Christians for their abuse of what should be a bastion of Justice and the Constitution.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Saturday, June 27th 2015 - burn the Confederate Flag Day!

Of course, now it's much harder to get a confederate flag for burning, but that's a good thing.  There have been periodic Burn the Confederate Flag days before. It is time for another one.



From the FB event:



From "If You Only News"
In the wake of the senseless murders in Charleston by a racist monster, the confederate flag has come under attack. The “stars and bars” as the imbeciles who hold this symbol so near and dear like to call it, has no place in America other than in a book about hate symbols relegated to infamy.
Southerners are of course in a complete tizzy, as their symbol of racist pride isn’t racist to them, it’s just who they are. The fact that it happens to be the symbol of racist pride, making them racists, has them calling anyone who is attacking what their beloved flag stands for a racist…somehow.
That’s an awful lot of “racist” for one sentence, so let me go ahead and break it down so the Teabillies of the south can understand:

The confederate flag isn’t a symbol of your heritage, it’s a symbol of your hate. It’s a way for you to remember that your ancestors rebelled against the government in support of the enslavement of an entire race. It’s a reminder that a million Americans died because the bigots who created your gene pool thought they were superior to black people, a trait they passed down with ease.
For those who say burning a flag is disrespectful, and that by doing so you’re smearing the memory of those who died defending their country as patriots, I say good. Smear it. I’m tired of hearing about how southerners were simply fighting the war they were presented with and that they were patriots supporting their individual states’ rights. The people who think those who fought proudly on the side of treason should be commended and glorified are the same people who refer to the Civil War as “the War of Northern Aggression.”
...The confederate flag deserves no respect. It’s not a standard of the United States of America. The fact that it flies over South Carolina is an insult to the memories of not only the nine people murdered there last Wednesday but the thousands who have died cruelly there both in the bonds of slavery and at the hands of racists like the Klan.
It’s for these reasons and many more  that I will be participating in the Facebook event “Burn The Confederate Flag” on Saturday, June 27. I will not purchase the vile instrument of racism and hate, I will print one instead. I will video it going up in flames and I will upload it to Facebook with the hashtag #ConfederateKindling.
The racists are already all over the event page, calling people intent on burning a piece of paper  racists. I just will never understand how that one works. Are we racist against white people because we refuse to support a symbol of slavery and oppression? Really it just makes no sense.

If burning a rag that stands for insurrection, treason, hate, racism and slavery makes me a racist, then sign me up. Sign up for the event on Facebook HERE.




Snakes on the SCOTUS bench: My personal childhood experience as a reflection on the Kennedy SCOTUS decision

Image result for snake clipartI was mostly a pretty good kid except for those moments when I was creatively, spectacularly bad.  Not evil bad, not mean bad, but I was strong willed and.......horribly innovative, from the point of view of adults.  By which I mean I did things, took initiatives to act, that other children pretty much just did not do.  As a result, I had a childhood experience that provided me an insight into the reasoning of Justice Kennedy that I believe makes his explanation for the decision remarkable.  I understand from my own experience what he meant about protecting children from feeling their families were 'lesser', or in some way inferior, and from humiliation (or attempted humiliation) by bigots.

In contrast, the dissenting opinions asserted that so long as no one is prevented from being a gay unmarried couple by imprisonment, the couple and any children they may have are not adversely affected or damaged by being unable to marry, or the denial of any of the benefits that go with marriage.

Back in 2010, this is what those kids and the rest of their families were subjected to courtesy of conservatives trying to deny marriage equality, demonstrating exactly the kind of disrespect and humiliation that conservatives have heaped on those families, and NOT confined within the boundaries of religion.  From the newcivilrightsmovement.com:
While the name of the Catholic priest was not disclosed, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who sent the priest, is headed by the infamous Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt (image, top,) who in 2010 began an anti-same-sex marriage campaign by producing and mailing to Minnesota residents 400,000 DVDs proclaiming the sins of same-sex marriage. Nienstedt has banned gay prayer services, “refused the Eucharist to students wearing rainbow buttons,” and has publicly banned “open dissension” from his priests on matters related to same-sex marriage.
That would be on top of the crap dished out by the likes of Santorum, Huckabee, Cruz, or Bachmann, as a few examples of incivility and abuse.

I beg to differ with the dissenters, and would point out in particular the incident at a Minnesota Catholic High School back in 2012 when the pedophile shielding Archbishop Nienstedt was busy actively and expensively involving the church in the politics of gay marriage, including the propagandizing and bullying of senior students.  The attempt to push through an anti-gay marriage amendment failed, and the following year same sex marriages became legal in Minnesota, but there remain those who actively try to stigmatize everyone in those families.  Likewise protestant evangelicals, of the extremist right, also demand as religious freedom the right to bully not only LGBT students, but those who have LGBT parents.

Here is an excellent example of what those kids who have same-sex parents have to contend.  From the STrib, back in April 2012:

Tevlin: DeLaSalle kids have a few words with archdiocese at marriage talk

..."The first three-quarters of the presentation were really good," said Bliss. "They talked about what is marriage and how marriage helps us as a society. Then it started going downhill when they started talking about single parents and adopted kids. They didn't directly say it, but they implied that kids who are adopted or live with single parents are less than kids with two parents of the opposite sex. They implied that a 'normal' family is the best family."

"When they finally got to gay marriage, [students] were really upset," said Bliss. "You could look around the room and feel the anger. My friend who is a lesbian started crying, and people were crying in the bathroom."

Bliss was one of several students who stood up to argue with the representatives from the archdiocese. One girl held up a sign that said, "I love my moms."
"We weren't being rude," countered Lydia Hannah, another student who spoke out. "But people were upset, and we weren't just going to sit there."

Hannah said students were anxious when they heard about the program and were suspicious because only seniors were required to go. "We put two and two together," said Hannah. "All of us will be able to vote next fall [on the constitutional amendment that limits marriage to same-sex couples]."

Hannah said the presenters briefly brought up the amendment but backed off when students got angry.

A priest and a volunteer couple presented the information. When someone asked a question about two men being able to have a quality, committed relationship, the couple compared their love to bestiality, Bliss said.

"Most people got really upset," said Bliss. "And comments about adopted kids, I found those to be really offensive. There were at least four kids there who are adopted."

Hannah, who is adopted, said one of the presenters said that adopted kids were "sociologically unstable." She called the comments "hurtful" and comparisons between gay love and bestiality upsetting.

"My friend said, 'You didn't just compare people to animals, did you?'" said Hannah. "I think everyone has a right to their opinion, and I don't judge them on it. But we don't force people to sit down so we can tell them their opinion is wrong."

Nothing quite like an authority figure, representing either the full authority of government or worse of God piling on to kids about how abnormal they are or how inferior or even evil their parents are.

From an adult perspective, looking at my childhood behavior, I now have enormously more sympathy for my own parents and for all parents than I did when I was a child.

I was adopted, and I credit my parents for having told me from as early as I can remember.  They did an excellent job of making me feel that made me special, telling me I was even MORE wanted and MORE loved than other children.  Perhaps in my case that might have been a dangerous thing, to feel so very confident of love and acceptance.

When I was around the age of 3, I took extreme objection to a babysitter hired by my parents.  I told them that I did not consent to being in the care of that babysitter, although I used more basic terms to express that the babysitter was not going to be staying.  My parents thought this was quite funny, and because they still thought of these sorts of declaration as coming from a more, shall we say ordinary, less initiative taking tot, they asserted that children did not have rights, and that I had to make the best of the situation, because THEY WERE THE ADULTS.  I tended not to be overly impressed by adults.

That sitter status quo lasted less than an hour before I drove the mean old bat out of the house by putting a small frog in her glass of.....whatever she was drinking.  It was nominally a soft drink, but I suspected that was not all that was in the glass.  And I stuffed her purse with garter snakes.  By stuffed, I mean filled to capacity with a significant quantity, like the snakes that appear in an Indiana Jones movie.

The sitter called me many names, including demon spawn. I remembered it carefully in order to ask my parents what that meant -- and they told me.  I suspect the concept was floating around in their minds at the time as well, when they had to return home after barely leaving.  When they demanded that I apologize to the sitter (they still harbored thoughts of persuading her to stay) I emphatically refused at the top of my lungs, and insisted that the only apology I would be making was to the snakes.  (Yes, I was on rare occasions a really spectacularly bad child.)

As a result of that altercation with the babysitter, I was dressed up and dragged off to an adult event where I was ordered to be on my best behavior on pain of death.  I was told that the only acceptable thing for me to say was "My mommy says children should be seen and not heard."  I was provided a half-full glass of ginger ale with a little grenadine to make it pink, and allowed to roam about whatever the heck the adult event was taking place.  Mostly I was patted on the head and ignored by lots of dressed up old people.

Except for one woman, who took a dislike to me.  She clearly knew who I was while I had no idea who she was (and still don't to this day). She called me a rotten kid, and I laughed at her.  I was feeling pretty cocky at that point in the evening, in spite of my parents displeasure.  That irked the old bag even more, prompting her to observe that I was only spoiled because I was adopted, so my parents had to buy me things to make me feel loved.  I considered that premise, and volunteered that I liked that, that it was a pretty good deal for me.  And yes, I had a sense that was the opposite reaction she was seeking, that she was hoping to hurt my feelings on some very deep and fundamental level. My failure to act as expected angered her much more, and she called me a 'red haired bastard child', before storming off.  (I had vividly red hair, so that part made sense to me.)

I was unfamiliar with the term bastard, so I asked my parents what it meant. I described my interaction with the mean lady, and tried my best to identify who she was, absent having her name.  I found the whole thing funny, like being called demon spawn; and was laughing;  but my father was enraged.  I don't think I had ever seen him that angry.  My mother was not worried about me - I was clearly unphased by the conversation, but she was very worried what my father might do. The only explanation provided for the word bastard was that it was a bad word; so I thought my father was going to wash out the mean old lady's mouth with soap.

He sought out the woman, and told her off in a particularly heated and rude rant that - I'm told - created a bit of a scene.  That was also fine with me, because now my parents were angry with someone else instead of me.  I was an unusually pragmatic child in that respect; nothing was going to dampen my delight in getting rid of that babysitter.

On the way home from that big social event, whatever the heck it was, my parents revisited the "You know you're adopted" narrative, concerned that someone had attempted to make me feel badly about it.  I think they were surprised, both that I did fully understand that someone had tried to belittle me for that facet of my existence, but even more that I was perfectly happy and confident in spite of the attempt.  I remember repeating what I had said to her - about being spoiled because of being adopted being ok with me, and that she got angry, and that when I laughed at her she got really angry, and I thought her head was going to explode, so I walked away smiling, after telling her I put snakes in the baby sitter's purse. 

It might have been the release of nervous tension, but I remember my mother starting to laugh, and  she kept on laughing for what seemed like a very long time.  My parents lightened up considerably after that in their concerns over how I felt growing up, dealing with the world knowing I was adopted.  I remember my parents laughing when they overheard me telling my younger sibling about my adventures with garter snakes, and how if someone tried to make you feel bad, you should just think about the snakes while looking them in the eye, that it worked like teflon -- their hurtfulness would just slide right off of you.

Being adopted has far less potential stigma attached to it for being different than other families than having two mommies or two daddies.  While there are religious entities that treat families of adopted children as inferior to biological children,  it is nothing like the rants by politicians that the nation is going to be punished by god or that having two mommies or two daddies is an abomination, hateful to God, or akin to bestiality and pedophilia.  It is nothing like being told your parents had to take a case all the way to the Supreme Court to be able to have both their names on your adoption papers either.

My younger sib for a time while growing up was fascinated by herpetology, and kept pet snakes.  Reading about the offensive dissenting opinions of the SCOTUS justices, I thought about them individually, and   I thought about snakes. 

Maybe it's just me, but it seemed a perfectly appropriate pairing of thoughts.  Justice Kennedy had it right, and not for the first time, the political right has it wrong.

Only winning by cheating = GOP

Friday, June 26, 2015

21st century

So, Bristol Palin is preggers outside of wedlock, AGAIN -- and Sarah Palin says it is Obama's fault?

Conservatism is an epic failure in EVERY area of human sexuality and reproduction.



I'm betting a DNA test will show that Obama had nothing to do with this pregnancy, and that the only people who are responsible in any way, shape or form all have the last name of Palin.  And there is no way in which Obama is causally associated with pot and porn, or with individual decisions relating to sex and pregnancy either.

MORE CONSERVATIVE HYPOCRISY!

It is an unwholesome and irrational notion that sex is ever going to remain exclusively within the bounds of marriage.  It is undeniable that the worst states for porn use, including the greatest consumption of gay porn, are red / conservative states.  It is an undeniable fact as well that it is conservative states that have the worst record for out of wedlock pregnancies, cheating on spouses, and frequency / rate of divorce.  Alcohol abuse tends to be worst in red states as well.  Sadly we don't have any reliable or conclusive stats on pot use, but there is zero evidence that it has any connection, much less a causal one, to the current president.  I'm not suggesting that it is applicable in this pregnancy specifically, but according to answers.com, the worst states for the incidence of incest are Alabama, followed by Alaska.  Given the recent news from the Duggar household in Arkansas, we can reasonably question that state joining the list as well, perhaps alphabetically.

So let us not pretend that the holier than thous are anything but freaking liars and hypocrites.

That goes double for Bristol Palin who has taken a six figure salary to be the spokesperson for abstinence, and who insisted to Oprah when appearing on her show that she would NEVER EVER have sex outside of marriage again.

Yeah........how is that prudish puritanical rubbish working for you Palins?  The religious precepts relating to sex as a sin are a failure.  It promotes a sick and unwholesome, and utterly irresponsible attitude towards sex.

And when are we going to hear Mike Hucksterbee whinging on and on about parenting skills, the way he criticized the president and first lady for being bad parents because he disagreed with the choice of music they allowed their daughters, while at the same time palling around with his pedophile buddy Ted Nugent.

And does anyone else remember the drunken brawling involving a number of the Palin family last September?  I seem to recall it occurred at a party they crashed... 
From the New York Times:
ANCHORAGE — It began as a birthday party that drew local snowmobile racers, construction workers and other longtime Alaskans last Saturday night. It turned into a brawl with members of Sarah Palin’s family in the center of it, according to witnesses at the party.
The police are still investigating, and the Palin family is not commenting. But the episode is already adding some more atmospheric notes to the background noise surrounding Mrs. Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate and the former governor of Alaska.
Guests said the event began as a birthday party for twin brothers, Matt and Marc McKenna, the latter a well-known snowmobile racer. Most of the party was outside with dancing and a live band. But then things appeared to get out of hand.
According to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department, officers responded to “a report of a verbal and physical altercation taking place between multiple subjects outside of a residence located on the 900 block of Harbor Circle.”
The report said that a preliminary investigation by the police revealed that “a fight had broken out between multiple subjects outside of the residence.” It said that none of the people involved wanted to press charges, that no arrests were made and that an investigation was continuing. The police chief, Mark T. Mew, said Friday that even if the victims did not decide to press charges, the municipal prosecutor could still file charges.
The police statement concluded: “Alcohol was believed to have been a factor in the incident. Some of the Palin family members were in attendance at the party.”
But several witnesses said the trouble started when Track Palin, Mrs. Palin’s son, confronted a former boyfriend of his sister Willow and a fight broke out. Before long Mrs. Palin’s husband, Todd, who also races snowmobiles and was also celebrating a birthday (his 50th), was said to have gotten involved in the fighting.
Later, according to witnesses, Bristol Palin, one of Mrs. Palin’s daughters, threw several punches at the owner of the house where the party was being held.
The result was a brawl said to involve about 20 people. In the end, the Palin family was ordered by the homeowner to leave, witnesses said.
Witnesses said the Palin family members climbed back into their stretch Hummer limousine. Before they left, however, Mrs. Palin unleashed several rounds of profanity and Track Palin made a vulgar gesture toward the crowd, according to one participant at the party who declined to be identified out of fear of reprisals. (One participant, Eric Thompson, an employee of the firm whose office manager hosted the party, said he was fired after speaking to ABC News.)
The Palin family was not available for comment. But Mrs. Palin, in a Facebook post on Sunday, said that she had been traveling “yesterday” — the day the party was held — so she wanted to post a birthday greeting to her husband one day late. Mrs. Palin made no mention of the party.
“It was a really nice, mellow party,” Mr. Thompson said in an interview on Thursday night. “Then it turned into ‘The Jerry Springer Show.’ ”

Must be all that riding around in chauffeured stretch Hummer limousines is giving the Palins a false sense of entitlement, to behave badly and above the law.

Yup - once again, conservatives struggle with decency, hypocrisy, and apparently with the concept of cause and effect involving FACTS. i don't care if Sarah Palin got pregnant before she got married and I don't care that her daughter is repeating those behaviors. But neither one of them has any legitimacy lecturing other people on any of this.

Time for the entire Palin family to sit the hell down, to shut the heck up, and to take remedial classes in comprehensive sex ed, anger management, and drug and alcohol use and abuse.

Hooray for the SCOTUS decision in favor of freedom, equality, and justice for ALL

We have not seen any of the claimed harm from recognizing the rights of LGBT people.  Our armed forces have not collapsed because of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.  Our country has not collapsed with same sex marriage either.

With the exception of Ben Carson, the candidates for the GOP presidential nomination have consistently shown themselves to be against freedom, INCLUDING religious freedom and against justice and equality. They show themselves to be against the rule of law, in challenging the clear provisions of the Constitution which establish the SCOTUS (right or wrong) as the arbiter of what is and is not constitutional at all levels of government.

And once again we see the use of dog whistle politics from the right, with the argument of states rights, which is the means the abusive and the oppressors rely on to violate rights, violate freedom, violate justice when it is upheld at the federal level.  States Rights mean nothing more and nothing less than the whine of those who wish to behave badly, who seek to be dickish toward others; it is the pout of those nasty bullies who were prevented from harming others.  Had the states that opposed same sex marriage not been so oppressive that they refused to recognize the marital status of people who married in other states (or countries), but instead tried to obstruct them, and to vilify them with lies about the validity and effectiveness of same sex parenting and family.

We now need the remaining legal change, the protection of ENDA, the protection of people from discrimination for their gender or sexual orientation, in hiring and employment, in housing, and in all other areas of daily public life, such as public accommodation, that should apply to everyone.

As President Obama gives the Eulogy in Charleston, South Carolina, I expect that his words will include a mention of this decision.  State Senator Rev. Clementa Pinckney was a strong advocate for same sex marriage.  His loss is a great sadness, but it is especially poignant that he was deprived of the joy of this decision being handed down as one more accomplishment for this nation in the 21st century.

That would include the Republican leadership, every time they open their lying mouths...