Friday, May 31, 2013

Gerrymandering - crooked lines for crooked politicians

GOP = Failed Vision

"GOP Butthurtz"

We pay, they profit at our expense

Ricin, dangerous, violent gun nuts and the Second Amendment

Mayor Bloomberg and the President have received letters recently poisoned with Ricin, a deadly concoction derived from castor beans. The letter came from a gun nut making threats, in addition to the Ricin.  The text of the three letters -- one to the President, one to Bloomberg, one to Mark Glaze the head of Mayors Against Illegal Guns -- read:
"You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone wants to come to my house will get shot in the face. The right to bear arms is my constitutional God given right and I will exercise that right till the day I die."
Death threats and threats of other kinds of violence is characteristic of the proponents of unlimited firearms.  They wrap themselves in the 2nd Amendment, claiming it is a right that the government cannot limit or regulate, despite the fact that we clearly limit and regulate such rights all the time.  That is why you cannot yell fire in a crowded theater when there isn't a fire; that is why you cannot print libelous words or make slanderous statements -- those are regulations of our first amendment right to free speech.

You can't own a nuclear bomb, you can't own your own artillery in most instances, or nerve gas either. We regulate what kind of arms and armament ordinary citizens can legally own in conjunction with, not in spite of the 2nd Amendment.  Making your own bombs is illegal as well.

Violence is illegal; poison is illegal.  Bloomberg and the president are not unique; in the pro-gun regulation blogosphere and among activists in this area, it is an unfortunate badge of honor, a threshold of effectiveness, a 'coming of age' recognition that you are now a recognized person by the gun-huggers when you get your first death threat.

Most, like Bloomberg, like President Obama, and yes me, get more than one.  I've had my share.

That is because the gun guys  are mostly old, white, crabby and flabby, and mostly conservative.  They feel a need for guns because they are aware that they are not young or fit (sometimes just not very physically fit) and guns give them the emotional feeling of power and competence.  It is their 'equalizer', their compensation for potency and physical ability.  It appeals to their desire to see themselves as heroic figures, like Rambo, or more frequently 'Gramp-bo'.  Anyone who threatens their delusions of adequacy, literally their death grip on what becomes a fetish object to them.  Guns become a core element of their identity, when you get to the hard core gun nuts, like the kind who send death threats.

As I've noted here before, the right has a persistent, chronic problem with people who threaten violence. Just this week, one of their crazies, Adam Kokesh, canceled AGAIN his 'armed march' on Washington DC to overthrow the government, and instead opted for individual marches on state capitals to overthrow the federal government.  Because in his weird deluded mind, marching on state government makes some kind of sense.

There is a strong overlap between the 2nd amendment gun nut fanatics, the conspiracy theory wackos of the far right, and those who advocate regularly and often to incite sedition and insurrection.

Simply put, the Constitution and the Founding Fathers who created it and ratified it were quite clear.  Insurrection, armed rebellion (or armed 'protest', a hair splitting semantic distinction where there is no substantive difference), like those of Shay's rebellion and the Whiskey rebellion from the 1780s and 90s and the Civil War of the mid 1800s.  Armed rebellion (and any attempt at secession other than through the peaceful provisions and processes of the Constitution) is ILLEGAL; it is TREASON. People who do so are not patriots, they are criminals -- usually very stupid criminals.

Likewise, there is nothing in the Bible or any the text of any other major religion about a 'God-given right' to lethal weapons, much less firearms.

Every attempt to engage is such a rebellion has been put down by the legal authority of the government, without exception.  If there was any such legitimate right, it would have been acknowledged before now. There isn't any such 'right', not in the 2A, not anywhere in the Constitution. Further while there were some real 'fire-breathers' among the 'Founding Fathers' prior to and during the American Revolution who claimed certain 'rights' of revolt, once they put together a government after the Revolution, their political thinking matured and they no longer espoused those beliefs.  They clearly repudiated them.

There IS NO RIGHT, Constitutional or 'Innate' to armed rebellion or even to own weapons of lethal force.  When those who crave such weapons, who have a deep-seated emotional dependency on them act violently, or otherwise act illegally, it is not noble, it is a crime, often a crime committed clumsily and stupidly.

Those on the side of public health and public safety and proven regulation that results in lower gun crime and less gun violence, both fatal and non-fatal, are not impressed by the threats or the actions from the gun nuts. Those who make threats and act on them are criminals; those who just make threats are a nasty joke, a bunch of vicious blowhards and delusional fanatics.  The rest are a lot of bellicose posers full of a lot of stinky hot air.

Michele Bachmann: Champion + Liar = Champion Liar, not hero, not leader, not good Christian

I've heard it said by the right that those who oppose same sex marriage are not bigots, because they believe their position sincerely. They try to assert that sincerity is some kind of proof against bigotry.

Being a bigot is not a matter of how sincere you are. Being a bigot is defined by what you believe being factually inaccurate, and unfairly derogatory of an entire group of people. Bigots are quite sincere, which is far too benign a word for it; they are quite strong in their belief. Sincerity has nothing to do with it; wrongness and unfairness is the defining characteristic. Bigotry is dangerous, it is damaging, it is BAD, it is WRONG, and it is more wrong the more strongly the bigoted belief is held.

Today marks the anniversary of my first post here at Penigma, four years ago. It's been a wild good time, and led to me writing in many other places for other people about many things; but penigma is my home blog. What motivated me to ask my colleague Pen if I could join him here was frustration and anger over the deeply held belief by people on the right in things which are not true, and which are often hateful and hurtful and outright damaging to others, notably one of our friends who is an established blogger.

I was prompted by having encountered deeply, sincerely held right wing ideology that put conformity to that ideology, right or wrong, above things like facts -- facts which are reasonably verifiable to ordinary people, with minimum effort.  While there have been a few instances where I have had to dig deeply in a long hard slog to find the facts - the truth -  in most instances, fact checking is relatively straightforward.

I'm quite proud of some of that digging, notably the work that we did on the Ponzi schemers in the David Strom / WWTC radio show series about Chris Pettengill and Jerry Durand where the right wing media and a prominent GOP operative were cooperative in the efforts of two now-convicted criminals to rip off the right wing 'true believers' who follow them, their 'grass roots supporters'. 

We cared more about the facts, and we cared more about the harm that was being done to their fellow conservatives than those on the right. In writing here, we did something good to help stop that. Right wing ideology, purity, and sincere adherence to their political thought was nothing more than thin cover for an utter disregard for decency, fairness and honesty; it was window dressing for greed and exploitation of victims.

We not only cared about that exploitation being wrong, about the disregard for facts and the tolerance for lies, as we came to know the victims we genuinely LIKED them, and to regard them as friends scattered across the country.

David Strom's radio show ended; he went on from one right wing political gig to another; first Emmer's PR guy in charge of research, then a researcher in state government along with his wife, his radio show producer. Then on to writing for a political online 'news' entity. Ironic in a particularly ugly way for someone who went to such great lengths NOT to research his own radio show partners, even after it was called to his attention that they were crooks, and that he was assisting them to rip off conservatives. The MN GOP or those who support it always seem to have a way to keep their operatives on someone's political payroll, no matter the failure, no matter the disgrace, no matter the questionable ethics involved.

FACTS MATTER. No one is a 'champion' deserving of praise or credit or respect if they promote lies and factually inaccurate founded hatred.  Michele Bachmann is not a leader, not a champion, not a hero.  She is a very effective, very public LIAR, who has made a lot of money and pandered a lot of influence. That is true of the other right wing leaders, not just her.

There is nothing good or right or noble about the people who blindly believe her either; she peddles a political viewpoint of hatred, of suspicion, of distrust, of conspiracy theories, of racism and of homophobia, or intolerance.  The right wing, the far right wing that now controls that side of the political spectrum, is bad because they are so often WRONG when it is so relatively easy to be factually accurate.

Some of that willful ignorance is paid for by those who deliberately spend large amounts of money to promote the lies, to promote the exploitation, to promote the stupidity.

Michele Bachmann once said on the floor of Congress that Carbon could not be dangerous because it is 'natural', it occurs in nature.  She then went on to claim that there were no studies showing that carbon levels above a safe threshold were dangerous.

That is not true, it is not even remotely reasonable. But right wingers believe it; they not only won't look for the facts, they ignore and actively AVOID the facts.  They LIE about the facts.

There are stacks upon stacks of studies showing the dangers of carbon above safe normal levels. The wrong proportions of natural things kill; you can die by drinking too much water. The normal gases in your blood  when diving will give you the bends, from which you can die, horribly, if you do not receive the proper decompression treatment in a hyperbaric chamber. Natural is not and has never meant gentle or safe or not dangerous.

Whether it is about unscientific/faith based attitudes about abortion or human-caused climate change/global warming dangers, or factually inaccurate ideas about economic and taxation policies, the right has become the party of the willfully stupid and ignorant, and of liars and thieves and bigots, fanatics and extremists, on a grand scale that was not previously tolerated even in the worst era of the cold war back in the 1950s, the days of the heinous McCarthy era witch hunts.  The right has pushed out the moderates and the sane and the intelligent with their teabaggers, and their primaries, and their 'purity tests'.

And THAT is what has led me to blog, the passionate need to push back against the stupid, the factually inaccurate, the intolerant, and the liars and thieves.  The right tries to justify their wrongness - as we see from a good right wing preacher fanatic below.  The right is toxic to the success and security and continuation of this country.  There is nothing NOBLE or good about being stupid, about lying, about persuading and deceiving people that they should trust you or believe you without making the effort to be accurate and factual.

Right.....Right wing.....WRONG

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Mike McFadden, Al Franken declared challenger and Romney clone

cross posted from MN PP

A short word on Franken vs. Romney, er, McFadden, the Romney clone

by Dog Gone on May 30, 2013 · 0 comments
It is premature to assume that Mike McFadden, Sunfish Lake MN, will be the right wing candidate to run against Al Franken.

But since he is the first to declare his desire to run, and has given a quote that is featured on an MPR News Question of the Day, it is worth a look:
The question is “How do you rate Al Franken as a U.S. Senator?”
MPR then followed up with this bit of coverage to Franken’s only declared competition so far:
[Mike McFadden] also outlined a campaign message that will focus on education, jobs and reducing the national debt.”
“I mean, we still have this stagnant economy. We have a massive amount of debt. Al Franken has now been in the Senate for four and a half years, and I have not seen any improvement in that,” McFadden said. “And then when I look at education — I think our education system is abysmal.”

Jobs. Economy. blah blah blah.  It is the same old bait and switch bullsh*t we hear all the time from candidates who are more interested, as a party, in pursuing a culture war agenda.  No one has seen anything of value come out of the GOP, at the local, state, or federal level so far that has either improved the economy, or growth, or jobs.  The right has NEVER done a good job of reducing the national debt; they have in fact been conspicuous for exploding it, not just expanding it, and then not paying for it. They do bad things in the name of education, which they also classically have NOT paid for, and they promote backward bad education that promotes religious ideology over secular quality education.

That is why we have the debt and deficit problem we do.  And apparently McFadden isn’t paying attention to those pesky facts – which most conservatives avoid like the plague – because that has been significantly reduced since both Obama and Franken have been in their respective offices.

The right can complain about Tax-and-Spend Democrats, but at least the Dems fund what they spend, balance budgets, and incidentally have a consistently better track record for economic growth and job creation.

If you need an example, you have only to look at the Romney-esque/Lyin’ Ryan economic  policies practiced next door in Wisconsin.  Where under Dayton and the Dems Minnesota is 12th in job creation, Walker’s Wisconin is ranked 44th, down from 42nd. THAT is the difference between right and left wing policies.

Educationally, we also outperform Wisconsin.  The Center for Applied Economic Research had some of the best and most in-depth measurements comparing states in education performance.  There was only one category where Wisconsin outperformed Minnesota, based on 4th graders performing at or above grade level, and in that category, both WI and MN ranked in the top 5.  In the other categories: Teacher quality, Minnesota ranked 23rd, Wisconsin 34th; Education Input, which looks at teacher salaries, student/teacher ratios, etc., Minnesota was 16th, Wisconsin 23rd; Education Social impact, which looked at per capita income, percentage of population with college degrees, and library use, Minnesota ranked 9th, and Wisconsin ranked 22nd; Education efficiency, measured by cost per student, and performance in 4th grade test results, Minnesota ranked 12th, and Wisconsin ranked 25th.  So…..McFadden’s claims about Minnesota education being abysmal appears to be poorly informed, as are right wing education policies, typically.

Looking at the legislative accomplishments of Al Franken – which far outstrip Tea Party Queen Michele Bachmann’s -  here are just a few that address the issues of education, teachers and principals, schools, and both children from pre-school through adult students, from  where you can see the rest of what he has done for the nation as a whole, the economy, and for Minnesotans.

S. 1082: A bill to promote Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs.
S. 1065: A bill to amend the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 to improve the quality of infant and toddler care.
S. 840: School Principal Recruitment and Training Act
S. 358: STEM Master Teacher Corps Act of 2013
S. 195: Mental Health in Schools Act of 2013
S. 3557 (112th): Arbitration Fairness for Students Act
S.Res. 552 (112th): A resolution recognizing the month of October 2012 as “National Principals Month”
S. 3494 (112th): A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to qualify formerly homeless individuals who are full-time students for purposes of low income housing tax credit.
S. 3436 (112th): Infant and Toddler Care Improvement Act
S. 3244 (112th): Understanding the True Cost of College Act of 2012
The prevailing opposition from the conservative voters to Franken seems to be that he duplicates what AKlo does; he doesn’t, they sponsor different legislation.  But given how popular she is, and that she beat her GOP opposition by a margin of 35% of the vote, that isn’t much of an accusation against Franken’s performance.

But then we know the facts are pretty much never on the side of the GOP, and are completely beyond the grasp of the Tea Party.

Blubber boy Boehner

Mainstream Right wing nut paranoia - Conservatism has been hijacked by crazy people

The fringe is in charge. The right wing, as a group, believes stuff like this totally photoshopped photo. This is satire, this is not real - but the out of touch, out of date, cold-ware mentality "we still live in the 1950's" right wing nuts think this is a real threat.

Michele Bachmann: Sometimes she feels like a nut........No, pretty much ALL the time she's nuts

Is Michele Bachmann a nut?

Yes, because when people believe things which are grotesquely factually inaccurate and just generally this extremist and fringey, when they speak and behave in ways which express a fearful and hate-driven world view disconnected from factual reality, they are just nuts, they are just crazy ideologues.

That they are sincerely nuts doesn't alter that they are nuts, it only intensifies it. That they proceed from sincere hate does not mediate, mitigate, or ameliorate that they are hateful, it only intensifies it.

The faux news agenda

Because their private sector competition is paying conservative Congress members to get rid of them, that's why

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Speaking Truth to GOP Ideology

GOP Scientific Method = Bad Joke

Tea Party Quitters

If she's waiting for a 'miss me' billboard, it won't happen. EVER.

Failed GOP economic and taxation policies, combined with special interest ownerhsip of conservatives

Word of the day? No, not POPSIE - Michele Bachmann's big new quit

Cross-posted from MNPP:
I couldn’t miss seeing the word of the day simultaneously with the news that Michele Bachmann, bat-s**t crazy tea party queen, is quitting congress in 2014 — with her usual lies and misrepresentations, of course.

Not familiar with the word ‘battology’?  To be fair, viewing Bachmann’s denial of how much of a squeaker her last campaign was, with some 90% of the money from outside Minnesota funding her campaign, not just from outside her district, and having outspent Jim Graves by 12 to 1 in order to win, a more apt word would be bat-s**t-crazy-ology for Michele Bachmann’s farewell-in-2014 speech, (or for that matter, ALL her public pronouncements).  No more whinging on and on about Obamacare lies, or any of her other fear-mongering repetitive idiocy.

Just last week, she was running tv ads a year and a half early.  That’s a pretty sudden turn-around, and one that clearly is significant because of either some new scandal about to break, or even more damaging developments yet to reach the media in her current debacle.  That, and she’s already losing in the polls to Jim Graves, even before he formally announced his candidacy.

She doesn’t appear to have a new vine to leap to, swinging away like her that other popsie, Palin, when she quit.  But quit IS the operative word, every bit as much as Palin is the Queen of Quit.  And like Palin, Bachmann’s actual accomplishments are small, and mostly discrediting, not positive ones.

I can only hope that like the selection of Lyin’ Paul Ryan for the VP slot, that Bachmann has her eye on some new campaign, possibly a run against governor Mark Dayton in 2014, or even better, the witty Senator Al Franken.  I can only hope; the entertainment value would be priceless.

Word of the Day

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


\ buh-TOL-uh-jee \  , noun;
wearisome repetition of words in speaking or writing.Quotes:
They weren’t political or surrealist, they weren’t witty or comic. They were only the monotonous evidence of a civic battology.
– George Friel, Mr Alfred M.A. , 1972
I kept volleying this along the walls of my skull, aspiring by battology  to battle.
– Tibor Fischer, The Thought Gang , 1994
Battology  entered English in the late 1500s from the Greek word battologia  meaning “speaking stammeringly” from battos  meaning “stammerer” and -logia  meaning “one who speaks (in a certain manner).”

Right wing includes Nazis

Wow - sounds like Michele Bachmann, in her I quit speech! 

You can't make this shit up.

Bye Bye Bimbo! Liar to the last, good riddance to the terrible Minnesota Embarrassment

This woman has been a joke, a travesty, a terrible embarrassment, a disgrace. She said last time that she wouldn't run again for Congress; she didn't win based on support in Minnesota, but on some 80% + of outside money, and even then she only won by lying to get that money, and by spending more than 10 to 1 against Graves.

Polls show her losing, and despite what she says, with the MN GOP primarying her seat, she is cutting and running away. Her presidential campaign was a fiasco, and it is going to cause her continuing problems, because this woman is inept and corrupt.

She has done nothing of value in office, and quite a bit of harm. Shame on Michele Bachmann; good bye and good riddance. Don't wait for 2014. Get out now. We've had enough of your batshit crazy tea party battology (it doesn't mean what you might think it means).

About that IRS Pseudo-scandal

Science is wonderful, but what about the quality of the individual human touch in the kitchen?

I love when Sci Fi anticipates 'real' science. Sure sounds a lot like the Star Trek 'replicator' technology from Star Trek classic through the movies, Next Gen, Voyager, DS 9......but not if I recall correctly on Enterprise. How wrong they were! We are by that metric (however whimsical a measure it is) ahead of schedule here.

Enough dead people, ours, theirs......all of them

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Looking better all the time....

Thank you, Mr. President

GOP - party of stupid-by-choice and willful ignorance

Minnesota's own brilliant Steve Sack.....and our own maliciou dimbulb Michele Bachmann


Out of touch, and their policies and ideology are failures

Gay Marriage is better for the economy than Michele Bachmann

We had another train collision today
A bridge not far enough; trains not new or fast enough

A train derailed today in Baltimore, causing an explosion and setting nearby buildings on fire; deaths and injuries are still unknown.  Hazmat teams are on site, and there are reports of strong chemical smells in the air up to a mile away.

Cross-posted from MN Political Roundtable:

A bridge not far enough; trains not new or fast enough

 Last week, we had not one, but two bridge failures; one in Washington state (right), the other in Missouri (below right). The week before that, we had a massive train crash due apparently to a cracked rail.  One might say, those were not bridges too far, but that didn’t go far enough.  In other words, those bridges failed to span the distances they were relied on to cover for safe driving by Americans.  Fortunately, there were only injuries from the bridge failures, and a lot of damage, but no fatalities. There were far more injuries in the train collision; old, slow trains.

The Missouri overpass was one of the few relatively new bridges; the bridge in Washington was part of the Interstate system started by President Eisenhower in the late 1950s; so many of our roads and bridges date to that mid-20th century building expansion.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was the last good Republican President.  He was our top general in the winning of WW II.  He never went far right wing rabid nutso like Senator Joe McCarthy.  Quite the opposite; he was targeted by the right wing nuts that founded the John Birch Society – which included the father of our modern right wing nut big money players, the infamous Koch Brothers – accused Ike, as an exceptionally popular sitting president, of being a Stalin-era Soviet agent.  And they accused Ike's brother of being his “Commie handler”; and of course, then and now, they promoted the idea that putting fluoride in the water supply was not about preventing tooth decay, it was about mind control by the Reds.  NO, not conservative reds, they meant the COMMUNIST ‘reds’.

If you thought right wing crazy conspiracy theories were a strictly 21st century development, far from it.  The only difference was that back in the mid 20th century, mainstream Republicans were not crazy.  Now the GOP has been hijacked by the worst of the conservative Dixie-crat Democrats, joining with the fringe right wing who are now mainstream crazy and willfully ignorant.

Back then, there was no mainstream Republican opposition to Ike when he proposed the 1956 Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956. No one screamed “T00-Big Government’; no one screamed the government couldn’t afford it either, even though we were still paying off debt from WW II — the last formally, properly declared war in which the whole nation participated, for a good cause, unlike the military misadventures since then.

Ike made no secret that part of his inspiration for the Interstate highway system had to do with his experience of the autobahn in Germany.  While the greatest benefit of the system has come from commercial and personal use, the way Ike SOLD the idea in the cold war era was to stress that it had national defense and security importance.  It was widely known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, because Ike stressed the ability to move troops and military material over such a system to whatever part or parts of the nation might be attacked by attacking forces, as well as to expedite aid during natural disasters.

Having built the system, we have not added to it in a comprehensive way, and we have not maintained the infrastructure of it either, repairing and replacing as needed, or re-engineering stretches with better designs where old engineering became obsolete.  And instead of having the support of a sensible GOP, the idea of spending desperately needed and too-long postponed state and federal funds on such repairs and replacements, much less expansion, has had the greatest opposition from the Grover Norquist Drown-Federal Government in a Bathtub right wing nuts who no longer demonize foreign communists but their mainstream fellow Americans as the enemy. We might have a chance to repeat the Eisenhower strategy, if there were some equivalent way to scare the right into funding the repairs, and replacement infrastructure, linking it to sharia law and gay immigrant racist marxist-socialist Islamo-narco-terrorism.  Unfortunately the current crop of crazies only see, in their fevered paranoia, New World Order tanks and UN soldiers on those interstate highways, coming for their guns, ammo and Bibles.

It is tempting to speculate that we need to somehow fluoridate (or the equivalent) their brains, because they clearly have some kind of rot affecting them, comparable to cavities in teeth.
It is time to throw out the crazies and the corrupt special-interest servers in Congress; purge the right of their current membership, almost without exception.  Take back the GOP for actual Americans, not corporations, and put the lunatics in the asylums where they belonged before Reagan got rid of those facilities because the GOP was too cheap to spend money on mental health care for those who needed to be in facilities, not wandering the streets.

Right wing policies, both political and economic, post-Eisenhower, do not work, have never worked and are leading to our downfall – literally, to Americans being injured by falling bridges – because of an unwillingness to expend public money on public works projects that serve the public weal.  We cannot afford the two-small special-interest-serving corporations-are-people-my-friend insanity that has become the GOP generally and the Tea Party specifically.

When it lines the pockets of special interests, the right, like Palin, will be cheerleaders for bridges to nowhere.  We have bridges to somewhere falling down; we need new bridges, new highways, expanded rail service, new and repaired/renovated schools.  That takes money.  Heroes like Ike who were not afraid of armies and navies and air forces of the enemy, or our own rapacious and greedy military industrial complex, and who was not afraid to squash the nut job fringe of his own party when necessary, was also not afraid of big enough government to do what was necessary for a nation to be great.

If the GOP has their way, we will never be first in anything again (except incarceration), we will be dead last, dead or maybe just injured, but still last, a nation in decline.  This is the era for spending, not poorly chosen thrift that is more about who is president than any real fiscal responsibility. It is time for the GOP to stand for Good Old PURGE, not a purge of right wing extremist purity, but of those who don’t know or care about engaging in bad government, large or small.

We’ve run out of time; we’re running out of bridges, we’re running out of roads.

Rounding out the end of the merry, merry month of May

May is a month for celebrating many things, including National Bike Month, National Military Appreciation Month and Military Spouse Month along with Memorial Day.  In the US and Canada May is 'Drinking Water Month'; in the UK it is National Smile Month.......and coincidentally the month when elections are most often held in that nation.

PhotoMay is National Hamburger and Cheeseburger Month, with today, May 28th, being National Hamburger Day.  (In case you are a purist about these things, National Cheeseburger Day is September 18th.) You can eat it while moving in or on some kind of vehicle, the proverbial 'dashboard diner'; it is also National Moving Month.

There are various health and well-being awareness causes - National Stroke Awareness Month, National Mental Health Awareness Month,  National Brain Tumor Awareness Month, National Skin Cancer Awareness Month, National Better Speech and Hearing Month, National ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease Month, and National Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Month.  Not to leave out our friends who happen to belong to other species, it is Pet Cancer Month (by which I assume is meant Pet Cancer AWARENESS Month).

There are special ethnicity celebrations this month, notably South Asian Heritage Month, Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and Jewish American Heritage Month.

And not to be left out just because it is obscure, May is National Masturbation Month.  A tip of the hat to one of my co-bloggers for alerting me to the fascinating observation that our culture wars correlate to our attitudes on this topic.  Just tying in the topic to our 'politics and current events' focus, but there do appear to be a surprising amount of differences between red and blue, us and others. In the interests of good taste, I will spare our gentle reader's sensibilities and omit any illustration.  But it might make for a fun tidbit to drop around the water cooler, or if you find yourself in need of a topic that adroitly and effectively creates a conversational change of subject.  But it is only really topical through Friday.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Not just a long weekend

Wishing you a SOLEMN Memorial Day from the Penigma blog;
Remember it means honoring those who serve in our armed forces

Thank you to those who have served -- those in my family, my co-blogger and blog-founder, Pen, thank you to those I know in the service, past and present.

Memorial Day, however, differs from Veterans day specifically to honor those who died while in Military Service.  Please join me in a moment of silence at 3 pm, which is taking place nationwide.

But beyond those people you know, thank you to the many each of does not know, who make the sacrifice of their service so that we might enjoy so much. It is important for us to remember you today, but it is equally important that we give you the credit you are due EVERY day, not just one day, or part of one day.  Remember that the people serving in our armed forces risk their lives while serving, and that many of them will die or be injured on our behalf.

The observation of Memorial Day, previously called Decoration Day because it involved decorating grave sites, dates back to the Civil War, as a means of honoring those dead. It began in South Carolina, when former slaves honored the mass grave of Union Soldiers in Charleston, reburying them in individual graves, and holding a 10,000 person parade to honor them.  The holiday was expanded to honor those who died in other military conflicts.  So I would also like to underline that this is also a day to honor in the celebration of Memorial Day that we are one nation, and that those who have advocated secession by force were - and are - unpatriotic, and treasonous.  Because it is treason for an American to take up arms against fellow Americans; and that is who comprise our military, and who comprise our government, and our lawful authority like the police.  The ONLY opposition authorized and legitimized in our U.S. Constitution is lawful and peaceful opposition.

Memorial Day - Don't take it for granted, don't forget what it really means

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Hooray for Obamacare!

Two more crazy old (enough) flabby, crabby, STUPID white guys who shouldn't be allowed to own guns - or be anywhere near them

Okay - let's not give a dime to OK

Outreach, outrage.......we need more of the latter

34 to 1; THAT'S WHY

REAL Natural Law


Lack of intelligent thinking on the right, prevelence of emotional thinking on the right

Drug users are a prohibited group of gun owners, and we know gun use impairs the necessary judgment for proper gun use. Therefore it makes sense to have drug testing for gun owners.

In contrast, despite a factually inaccurate belief on the part of right wing nuts about drug use, it does not turn out to be a prevalent problem among those in need of public assistance.

So of course, instead of drug testing gun buyers, the right tests poor people who can't afford to use recreational drugs, and to deny medical assistance to those who have previously used drugs and need help dealing with drug use as a medical issue. Instead the right spends a lot of money on incarceration that could be better spent elsewhere. 

We have obstruction from the right, not because the idea of drug testing people prior to gun use is a bad idea, or not drug testing people for public assistance has proven to be a good idea, but because it doesn't FEEL good to Republicans and other righties.

Think it won't happen?

It is already happening in Alaska.

Straight talk about Republican failure

Do what is Right. NOT right wing.

Patriots, and loud-mouth Pseudo-patriots

Top half - patriots.

Bottom half - pseudo-patriots, all talk, no guts, no action.  Their actions speak louder than words.
Add Wayne La Pierre, NRA spokesperson, to the pseudo-patriot list.