Saturday, July 4, 2015

Tom Cotton - representative of right wing misogyny and their war on women

Even the founding fathers would reject this bullshit, and they did not initially give women the vote -- the equality for women came later. But they were not THIS bad.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Conservatives Inadvertantly Mock Themselves on Face Book

I laughed out loud this morning when I came across this, because it goes to how horrifically and yet hilariously funny conservative whining is when they don't get their way to be bigots. 

Here is the image that gave me the giggles, because of how glaringly counter the message is to the photo.

And this was the reply to the question posed :
First, before replying, we would have to stop laughing at the premise that anti-racism, especially the racism of southern history / pro-LGBT actor Laurence Fishburne would be the image you would choose to go with this message. You could not have presented a worse case for your faulty argument that the offense is even remotely equal or that your offense is in any way justified.
If you said that, we would point out that 'Old Gory' the stars and bars is a flag of treason, and is the symbol for 20 million black people murdered under slavery and many more lynched, raped, and jailed and otherwise abused under Jim Crow. We would say Old Gory was the flag of anti-miscegenation laws and white supremacy -- all claimed as sincere Biblical beliefs at the time.

And then we would point out that the rainbow flag has always been in contrast a flag about love and inclusion -- and a fuck of a lot better Bible based religious scholarship.

We would say your Old Gory is a flag of hate, violence, and obscenity,and ignorance, and the rainbow flag is a flag of love and inclusion and dignity.

So what offends you does not speak well to your character, while what offends us speaks well to both character and the judgement of history. That is why millions MORE are offended by Old Gory than are offended by the rainbow flag. You are like the dinosaurs so many of you believe Jesus was riding around on -- crazy, foolish, factually in error and too damn bad. You are disappearing every second into the mists of ugly anachronism.

Look at the company you keep -- the fundie Muslims are pretty much the only other people on your side, and a few other retro conservatives scattered across the globe like Putin.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Canada Day, Good Neighbor to the North!

Texas caves to gay marriage after less time than the battle of the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo in Texas in the spring of 1836 lasted 11 days, following a 13 day siege of the fort.  The Battle was ultimately lost, not even a Pyrrhic victory, but it became a famous and unifying loss.

The modern opposition, no matter how vehement those who are in opposition CLAIM to be, lasted less than 24 hours, not even the 24 days of the Alamo conflict.

Raw Story notes:
Texas county clerk reverses course, starts issuing same-sex marriage licenses
Texas county clerk said on Tuesday her office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reversing a previous decision that was based on religious objections.

Some counties in other socially conservative states such as Kentucky have declined to issue such licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court said on Friday the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry. The controversy could result in a new round of lawsuits over gay marriage.

Katie Lang, clerk of Hood County, southwest of Fort Worth, said staffers will issue the licenses although she will not do so based on her Christian beliefs, which she believes are protected under the Constitution.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said county clerks who object to gay marriage can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Paxton, a Republican, said those officials could expect to be sued but would have ample legal support.

“Several groups have publicly expressed their willingness to help government employees who feel their religious rights have been violated,” a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said.

Legal experts said same-sex couples could seek injunctions compelling clerks to issue licenses and easily win, based on the Supreme Court decision. They also could file civil suits seeking damages from counties that are largely rural and short on funds for a prolonged legal fight.

But clerks could try to request pre-emptively an injunction or judgment that says they do not have to issue the licenses because of religious liberty, said Texas A&M University law professor Meg Penrose.

Counties in the most populous areas of Texas began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples shortly after the Supreme Court ruling.

Out of 254 counties in Texas, 114 are ready and willing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, according to the Dallas Morning News. Nearly 100 other counties said they were waiting for software upgrades and gender-neutral application forms.
So we have 214 counties out of 254 that are cooperating with the recent gay marriage SCOTUS decision.

From the Dallas News earlier this week:

Benefits to be extended to spouses of Texas' gay state workers 

AUSTIN — The state bureaucracy is moving forward to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, even as statewide elected leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have lambasted the landmark ruling. Starting Wednesday — less than a week after the decision — the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System will extend benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees. That means the list of employers providing same-sex partner benefits will include the state’s largest: the state itself.

I expect that the remaining pockets of opposition are going to crumble.  But if they do not, I expect not only action by the DOJ, but from individuals like those who brought suits that rose to the level of the SCOTUS decision.

The Advocate notes:

WATCH: Now's the Time to Defend the Marriage Victory

By all means, let's celebrate this milestone achievement. But don't think for a second that the work is done.

...But there are some pockets of resistance where the lingering opponents of equality will do everything they can to block marriage. For example, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said that clerks may be able to turn same-sex couples away. He also noted that clerks will open themselves up to possible litigation if they refuse LGBT couples. Essentially, he's inviting clerks to prompt a lawsuit so that his office can step in and fight for their right to discriminate.
Conflicts like that will probably keep popping up, at least for a while. Missouri's looking at getting out of the marriage business altogether. North Carolina just passed a bill that lets officials refuse to issue licenses to all couples — gay and straight. Florida clerks have done the same, without waiting for a law making it legal for them to do so. The Constitution may guarantee equal protection, but we'll still have to fight for that protection being recognized across the whole country.
The conflict is essentially a throwback to the 1950s, when the Supreme Court ordered an end to segregated schools. Some places just closed their schools altogether, rather than integrate them. Kids literally had nowhere to go, because officials preferred to deprive everyone of their rights rather than extend those rights to a minority.
We will see more fighting, but given recent widespread court failures and the high cost of such legal actions to conservatives, as well as the increasing number of Christian churches and other religious entities that DO perform those gay marriages, I am betting that most of them will cave too, rather than fight.

If these hold outs do NOT cave, I think we can expect law suits like those in North Carolina brought by the United Church of Christ and Jewish congregations that the refusal to issue marriage licenses violates THEIR freedom of religion.  It is entirely possible that the laws enacted by conservatives solely to obstruct gay marriage could be the very statutes that defeat that obstruction, much like the United Church of Christ law suit in North Carolina that was joined by Baptists, and Jews.  It would not surprise me to see other religious denominations join such suits going forward.  The premise of religious freedom isn't gong to fly, the premise that only those who oppose gay marriage are genuinely or sincerely religious in their beliefs will fail.  It is extremely unwise to put the courts in the position of deciding a civil right by making it a conflict between competing religious groups and their sincerity.  No court is going to reward the hold outs to gay marriage in such a suit.

From the United Church of Christ web site, in June 2014:
The United Church of Christ welcomed new allies in its quest for religious freedom, as three religious organizations joined the UCC's First Amendment lawsuit against the state of North Carolina. The Rev. J. Bennett Guess, a national officer of the church, stood with the additional plaintiffs during a news conference in Durham, N.C. on Thursday, and applauded their stance as people of faith committed to preserving equality.
The Alliance of Baptists, the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists are the newest co-plaintiffs seeking to eradicate North Carolina's marriage laws.
The organizations, now part General Synod of the United Church of Christ v. Cooper,  claim that state laws wrongly criminalize clergy for performing same-gender marriages and unconstitutionally deny LGBT couples the freedom to marry.

My prediction is that in spite of the noisy histrionics, this will never be a 'Remember the Alamo' moment. The loss will not be celebrated like the Alamo. This will end with a barely audible sulky whimper, not a roar, not embroidery, and then become just another embarrassment in our history.

Ann Coulter, 'self-possessed'? (and not in a good way)

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 -

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