August 15, 2012

The war on chalkers

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 5:50 am

Authors note:
If this isn’t an indication that we are moving towards a police state, then I don’t know what it will take to wake people up. I don’t think it matters who gets elected in the executive branch anymore. Local authorities have gotten out of hand.

Over the past five years at least 49 people in 16 American cities have drawn the ire of authorities for coloring things with chalk. Most were arrested for sketching designs or writing messages on public streets or sidewalks.

On Saturday in Madison, Steve Books, a long-time Veterans for Peace activist, wrote “This is far, far, far from over” in chalk on a sidewalk next to the Capitol building. As a result, he was taken away in handcuffs by Capitol Police and issued a citation for “conduct otherwise prohibited” under Wisconsin Administrative Code 2.14 that in Books’ case carries a fine of $205.05.

The response by authorities to Books’ heinous powdery crime is consistent with a nationwide trend that some are beginning to call “the war on chalking.” Such a trend also may be an indication that the U.S. is moving closer towards fascism.

State Troopers in Austin, TX reacted in a very similar manner to “chalkers” drawing on the sidewalks at 11th Street and Congress Avenue across from the Capitol. According to KUT news, a press release from the Texas Department of Public Safety stated:

On 08/09, at approximately 6p.m., Corey Williams and Audrey Steiner were arrested for Criminal Mischief, class C misdemeanor. The charges might be enhanced to a class B misdemeanor if the cost to the city of Austin [to clean the chalk off the sidewalks] is $50 or more but less than $500. According to the Criminal Mischief law (28.03), “a person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings on the tangible property of the owner.”

Two children reportedly burst into tears as police confronted their mom in that chalking incident.

Arrests for chalking nearly started a riot in Los Angeles last month that included bottles being thrown at police and shotguns loaded with beanbags fired into the crowd.

The war on chalk is not only targeting political activists. Jan Pepperman of Brooklyn, NY was issued a warning letter from the city ordering to her to “PLEASE REMOVE THE GRAFFITI FROM YOUR PROPERTY” or face a $300 fine. The graffiti in question was a chalk drawing done by her six-year-old daughter on the front stoop of their Park Slope residence.

Then there is the case of Susan Mortensen in Richmond, Virginia. In March, Mortensen was arrested for allowing her four-year-old daughter to draw on rocks with sidewalk chalk at a local park on Belle Isle. The vandalism charges are expected to be dismissed, but first the 29-year-old mother will have to perform 50 hours of community service removing the weeds around 200 boundary posts near the James River, then scraping and repainting them.

Mortensen told a local TV station that her daughter is now “very nervous around cops” and “very scared of chalk.”

Back in Madison on Sunday, chronic Capitol protesters and hard-core chalk insurgents defied authorities and filled the sidewalks with messages such as:

· Watch out, we’re packing chalk

· If money = speech, what does chalk equal?

· WI pays Chief Erwin $99,000 per year to arrest sidewalk chalkers. It’s Working®

· WI Capitol Police Palace Guard: To Intimidate and Harass

· I ♥ free speech – don’t you?

Bert, the jovial sidewalk chalker from Disney’s Mary Poppins, probably would have been proud to see that.

Read more, get links, video and a slideshow here: Madison Independent Examiner – The war on chalk

August 12, 2012

Romney & Ryan: The Beagle Boys!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jane Stillwater @ 1:50 pm

If you were Uncle Scrooge, would you really let these two guys loose in your bank vault? Hardly. Romney and Ryan are good for America — but only if you are a Beagle Boy too. Most of us are not.


The Arab Holocaust: An amazing story of Western chessboard diplomacy in the Middle East

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Jane Stillwater @ 1:45 pm

I recently spent four hours hanging out at the newly-renovated Cairo international airport, and then eight hours more sleeping on a lounge chair at the airport in Doha — so does this brief-but-intense experience now make me an expert on the entire Middle East? Sure.

If you don’t count the Crusades, the Middle East’s most deadly encounter with the West’s political and economic chessboard began way back in 1918 — after the Turkish empire crumbled, after the heroic times of Lawrence of Arabia and after the Great War. That’s when a deadly and brutal Arab Holocaust originally began.

After World War I ended, Palestine was cut into pieces by the European powers, Egypt was denied the independence that it had been promised by the Brits, the despotic Saudis tightened their grip on the Arabian peninsula, various heavy-handed but Western-friendly emirates and potentates sprang up, colonialism grew apace, France put the thumbscrews on Algeria, etc.

And one gigantic shadow also loomed menacingly over all this frantic neo-colonial scramble for the Middle East: The automobile. Oil.

Then came World War II and, after Rommel the Desert Fox was ousted by the Allies, times got even tougher in the Middle East in the late 1940s and 1950s — as Palestine was violently seized by European neo-colonials, the CIA invaded Iran and Iraq’s nascent democracies, puppet dictators were established by American and Israeli neo-colonial interests, and local non-puppet dictators and democracies alike were bloodily deposed.

By the 1960s, all the seeds for an Arab Holocaust that had been eagerly planted and watered earlier by greedy Western political and corporate chess masters began to really start to grow — and suddenly the Arab Holocaust was truly well under way.

In the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the Arab Holocaust tree began to blossom profusely and bear strange fruit as American corporate chess players continued demanding a larger and larger piece of the pie — with the seizure of Sinai and the West Bank, the betrayal of the USS Liberty, the occupation of Gaza, Reagan’s bloody eight-year surrogate war that took over a million lives in Iran and Iraq, and the 1982 invasion of Lebanon that killed an additional 250,000 men, women and children.

And all this vigorous military activity in the Middle East looked just fine on the chessboards of European, Israeli and American war rooms — but what did its reality on the ground look like? A human holocaust. The Arab Holocaust.

Whenever corporate-owned America moved a pawn on its Middle East chessboard in Washington and set up the Shah in Iran and Saddam Hussein in Iraq and helped unleash Moshe Dayan onto Palestine, to them it looked merely like pawns being knocked over — or pieces of paper changing hands.

But those pieces of paper were also death warrants for hundreds of thousands of Arabs all across the entire Middle East.

Then along came Charlie Wilson’s War — when the U.S. happily armed bin Ladin and Al Qaeda. And we all know how that went: The Taliban came to power and untold thousands of Afghans ended up dead (not to mention an additional 5,000 Americans).

Then when Bush Senior and Bush Junior decided to invade Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq and also pay for the cruel napalming of Gaza, at least a million more people died. And when Obama continued to fund the occupation of Afghanistan and Palestine and NATO invaded Libya and Syria, and Arabia’s and Yemen’s and Bahrain’s bids for democracy were brutally suppressed, more Arabs died. Many many more.

And now we have entered the age of the drone — and the Arab Holocaust continues.

And according to Middle East expert Pepe Escobar, Israel and the CIA have just happily hopped into bed with Al Qaeda once again — in order to kill as many Syrians as they possibly can.

For almost a century now, the Middle East has lived under a man-made Holocaust hurricane that has brutally killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of innocent Arab women and children as well as men — and killed them with enthusiasm and ease.

And when will this vicious and uncivilized Arab Holocaust finally ever end? After every single Arab in the Middle East has been killed? Or when they have finally run out of oil over there.

PS: I am using the term “Arab” loosely here. Within the eclectic mix of over a million dead bodies that have been piled up in the Middle East in the last many decades by callous acts of Western neo-colonialism, you will find not only “Arab” corpses per se — but also corpses that spoke Farsi, Urdu and Pashtu, Muslim corpses, Sunni corpses, Shia corpses, Christian corpses, Jewish corpses, Druze corpses and even Zoroastrian corpses — all equitably rotting away in the bright Middle East sun.

As far as I can tell, the only two actual components that human beings seem to require in order to be included in the West’s neo-colonial list of possible “Arab Holocaust” victims are to have the same skin tones as Jesus and to live in the Middle East.

PPS: I just saw a program on TV that discussed how former Nazis who participated in the WWII Jewish Holocaust are still being hunted down and punished even now. So WHEN will the war criminals of the Arab Holocaust start to be brought to justice as well? Or are we just hypocrites.

PPPS: Having survived my odyssey through the Rome, Cairo, Entebbe and Doha airports in one piece, I am now ready, willing and able to tackle the Singapore airport next. Wish me luck.

August 11, 2012

Romney Picks Ryan as Veep (Ha, Ha)


Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand: Cognitive Dissonance Gone Wild


August 10, 2012

The real unemployment rate in the U.S.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Greg in cheeseland @ 7:59 pm

Author’s note:
I am tired of hearing about an 8 or so percent unemployment rate. The real rate is far higher than that. If one looks at the true amount of people out of work and those that are actually eligible to work, that figure could be as high as 45 percent. Of course, that is not President Obama’s fault, but it is a reality that all of us are living with.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were approximately 163,000 private industry jobs created in the U.S. in July, and the unemployment rate is 8.3 percent. Those figures, however, do not accurately depict the reality of the unemployment rate in the U.S. today.

The government’s most widely publicized unemployment rate takes into account only those who are collecting unemployment benefits and actively looking for work. It does not take into account those whose unemployment benefits have run out, those who have given up seeking work, or those who are underemployed – desiring full time work but forced to work part time.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics releases two separate reports, the highly publicized U-3 unemployment rate and a lesser known rate called the U-6. There are, in fact, six different scales of unemployment that are numbered U-1 through U-6. The U-6 rate, however, is the most “liberal,” yet accurate gauge of the real unemployment rate in the U.S. because it takes into account not only those receiving unemployment benefits, but also those who are not receiving benefits as well as the underemployed. And the U-6 rate is truly staggering.

There is also a factor in the calculations known as “seasonal adjustments.” According to Ezra Klein, writing for the Washington Post, as well as Jacob Goldstein writing for Planet Money, if seasonal adjustments are not factored into the equation, the U.S. lost 1.2 million jobs in July rather than gaining 163,000.

So, what is the truth? An article published by CNN entitled “The 86 million invisible unemployed” may shed some light – along with some simple math.

The U.S. government officially admits that 8.3 percent of the labor force is “visibly” unemployed. The total US population is approximately 330 million. 24 percent of those, however, are young people not eligible to work and 13 percent are retired. So the total population of available workers in the United States is 100% – (24% + 13%) = 63% of 330 million people, or 208 million workers. Out of the pool of available workers, therefore, 8.3 percent accounts for about 17.3 million people. Together with the 86 million “invisible” that means 103.3 million Americans are available to work but do not have a full time job. And with 103.3 million workers not working or underemployed, the true jobless rate in the U.S. right now is closer to 49 percent, not the 8.3 percent the U.S. government and media is propagandizing about.

Read more, gets links, a slideshow of graphs and a video here: Madison Independent Examiner – The real unemployment rate in the U.S.

Sympathy, Schadenfreude and a Political Debacle?

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:27 pm

Smoke signals, seen Monday in Richmond CA, send the message: “Higher gasoline prices soon come.”

The Democrats have shown very little inclination to indulge in the delight of the misery of others (Schadenfreude) but they may soon grant themselves a dispensation if current trend in polling results force the Republicans into choosing between letting Mitt Romney precipitate some Custer style massacre election results this fall or the use of some nefarious parliamentary procedures to deny Romney the nomination.

A month from today, the Presidential Campaign season will be underway and that means it may be too late for the Republicans to start brandishing a threat to impeach Harry Reid for his assertions about Mitt’s shutout record against the taxman. When a Democratic politician is suspected of telling a fib, impeachment has to be considered to uphold the integrity of the American people, but if a Republican President sends his country into war because “he didn’t know” what he was talking about when he used possibility that WMD’s might exist to prove that war was inevitable, well then . . . give the guy a break because he meant well.

Only partisan Democrats think there is an inconsistency with giving Dubya a pass on his verbal gaff and then pushing for impeachment of both the “I did not have sex with that woman” guy and the “I’ll use Senator McCarthy approach to attack Mitt Romney’s tax forms” guy.

Once American journalists have printed the assertion “Harry Reid is lying” and Reid’s “No, I’m not” response, haven’t they fulfilled their obligation to provide the American people with fair and balanced coverage of the dispute? Isn’t providing any additional germane material tantamount to partisan punditry which will only serve to politicize the Presidential Campaign process?

During the week, the media carried stories reporting that polls showed that President Obama was ahead of the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, in the crucial swing states. Could the large number of Republicans who were urging Mitt to release his tax forms be used to jump to the conclusion that there is a disconcerting level of concern about Mitt’s appeal to the voters (and the concomitant “coattails effect”) that is causing some buyers’ remorse before the Republican Convention has been gaveled to order?

Gort 42, a Pennsylvania based political blogger, was offering the phrase “swift yachting” to describe the tidal wave of concern about Mitt Romney’s tax returns and his cavalier rich playboy image. Are Republicans afraid that the image of an indolent wastrel might not be a draw for hard working tax paying American voters? Couldn’t they market him as a Reggie Van Gleason surrogate candidate?

On Wednesday August 8, 2012, the World’s Laziest Journalist bought a bargain used copy of Ferdinand Lundberg’s 1968 book “The Rich and the Super-rich: A Study in the Power of Money Today,” which asserts that the rich often use the concept of a Foundation to establish the image that most wealthy Americans are actually philanthropists.

On that same day, we found that a writer on the Daily Kos website was posting material hinting that the tax records of the Tyler Charitable Foundation and the Romney Foundation might provide the curious with valuable clues and insights into the financial secrets that Mitt deems too personal to release.

On Monday, August 6, smoke signals in San Francisco’s East Bay area were seen in the evening and according to some experts the message being sent out to all Americans was: “Higher gasoline prices soon come.” Won’t higher gasoline prices mean more jobs, less taxes, and general euphoria in the various oil company boardrooms throughout the world?

Earlier that same day, Uncle Rushbo was warning his listeners that the tree huggers were about to politicize Football. According to America’s anchor man, the liberals would use statistics (provided by the same scientists who have “proved” that global warming exists?) about brain concussions to outlaw that particular sport.

To make the issue even more alarming, Uncle Rushbo indicated that the team owners, who are mostly Anglo Saxons, were not the same ethnic group as were the players who were being injured. That, he indicated, would only serve to goad the goody-two-shoes citizens into injecting race into the issue, and that, in turn, would only cause an increase in the level of fanatical emotional commitment for the activists trying to “get ’er done” and eliminate a native American sport from the pop culture scene.
Did we hear him correctly? Did Uncle Rushbo say on Monday’s program, that some scientists believe that brain concussions can trigger an inclination towards child molestation? Do seminaries have football teams? Football is to firmly ingrained in American culture to be eliminate so that makes a potential threat to do so another perfect wedge issue.

Speaking of wedge issues, what are the chances of getting some new gun control legislation passed before this fall’s elections?

About the only development that could further exacerbate the level of rancor for this year’s political process would occur if some wealthy philanthropist, with extensive computer hacking resources, were to use illegal and immoral methods of obtaining copies of Mitt Romney’s disputed tax returns and then surreptitiously provide copies to Julian Assange’s posse to post for all the world to see.

Is Harry Reid playing into the hands of some diabolical conspiracy theory plot to use the Romney tax issue as an excuse for delivering the Republican Party’s Presidential Nomination to someone else? Isn’t the Republican bullpen is empty? Isn’t it true that there is nobody left on the bench? Is the Romney nomination a clever ruse? Is it in fact just a play fake?

Should the Democrats have played possum on the tax forms issue and waited until after Romney got the nomination before making them the subject of a fuss?

If the perception of Mitt Romney as a spoiled brat rich kid is accurate, then it seems quite likely that he will not suddenly develop a propensity for accepting defeat graciously. If he is given a chance to step down before the Republican Convention will the guy who has always been able to buy the toys he wants, prefer, instead, to do a “White Heat” finale that will provide Americans with a memorable TV “wipeout” moment?

That might be what Harry Reid wants, but what will happen if Romney is given a metaphorical “Rommel Option” ultimatum and does step down before the Convention? Then what? Is President Obama’s strategy flexible or is it designed to function with only Romney as the “presumptive” opponent? Could an alternative Republican nominee throw Obama’s game plan into complete disarray? As bullfight fans would be quick to point out; the moment of truth is rapidly approaching.

Alfred M. Landon said: “A government is free in proportion to the rights it guarantees to the minority.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Happy days are here again,” “When you’re smiling,” and “He’s a rebel.” We have to go do a Google search for ChipPac. Have an “aletoricism” type week.

August 9, 2012

Fracking is Our Future!


August 5, 2012

Border town: Gulu, gateway to Darfur, is Uganda’s NGO heaven!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 2:58 pm

Still in search of information on human trafficking and child soldiers in Uganda, I hit the road with two Global Exchange experts on the subject, driving up to Gulu, a rugged frontier town next to the South Sudan border. For years now, Gulu has possessed the dubious distinctions of being the gateway for sending aid to Darfur and also home of the notorious child-killing monster Joseph Kony.

“There are over 500 NGO operations located in Gulu,” someone there told me. 500? Really?

The streets of Gulu were jam-packed with black SUVs driven by NGO personnel and white SUVs driven by UN observers — and also with Ugandans selling “Welcome to Uganda” T-shirts. The whole combination was WEIRD.

The first thing we did once we got to Gulu was to go straight to the Coffee Hut — for Greek salads and espresso. The place was packed with “Mzungas” — white people. And why not? The Coffee Hut offered free wi-fi!

But not all NGOs in Gulu are run by white people, however. Au contraire. Most are staffed by caring educated passionate capable Ugandans — NGOs such as Invisible Children, the RON bread project, the Undugu Family Band, GUSCO, Human Rights Focus, Not For Sale and MEND — just to name a few NGOs that I visited while in Gulu.

This border town has served as a supply-line to Darfur and southern Sudan for years now. But Gulu itself has also had its own problems in that it used to be at the eye of the Joseph Kony hurricane for many years. So forget about Darfur for the moment and let’s concentrate on Joseph Kony. That man is one sick puppy!

First off, I learned that Kony had been terrorizing East Africa for over 22 years. “You don’t last that long in the war game unless someone major is backing you,” said one NGO rep. And just who might be backing Kony? The same corporate slime-balls who usually back everything wrong in this world. The “extraction industry” hit men who thrive on chaos because it gives them the opportunity to step in and steal oil and minerals from the natives — from West Virginia and Iraq to East Timor and Darfur, they are there. And these guys are a talented lot. They steal and pilfer globally with great panache and never seem to get caught.

So I learned a lot about Joseph Kony while I was in Gulu. And we even drove by his mother’s house outside of town. Kony was a homeboy.

One missionary stationed near Gulu told me, “The mayor of our village came to ask us to help him bury the dead because Ugandans don’t like to handle dead bodies. So we went out into the fields and collected approximately 87 skeletons, victims of Kony’s 2007 battles near the village. Two of them wore the LRA uniforms. Many of them were children.”

Someone else told me that, “You can always tell where Kony is operating these days because he leaves a harvest of havoc behind him. People start showing up dead and children go missing and villages are destroyed. He is currently operating the the Central African Republic. You can tell by their latest swath of dead bodies.”

Another man told me about his experiences with having the LRA raid his all-boy prep school when he was a kid. “An old man on a bicycle rode up and warned us that Kony’s army was coming so we all scattered to safety in time. But no one warned our sister school, Aboke, and the girls there, the cream of Uganda’s most intelligent and high-charactered girls, were mostly kidnapped and raped.”

Apparently one old nun followed the soldiers, threw herself in front of Kony’s soldiers and said, “To take these girls, you will have to kill me first,” and many of the girls got away as a result. But the rest of them were forced to become child soldiers and sex slaves to the LRA. Tragedy.

After hearing so many stories about Kony in Gulu, I began to realize why one of the leaders of the “Invisible Children” NGO recently went a bit crazy. Kony was driving me crazy too!

We then talked with some staff members of Invisible Children. “IC is trying to help as many children as possible in many various different ways — but it is a daunting task. For every child that we are able to help, there are over 500 more waiting in line with major needs.”

Invisible Children offers 700 high school scholarships a year and 300 scholarships to college, as well as help in constructing school infrastructure all over this area. Kony would be truly pissed off.

Then on the drive back to Kampala, I discovered two more things — rhinoceroses and chapatis. At a huge new rhino reserve, I got to actually walk within 100 feet of a nursing rhino mother and her calf. It was magical. And all along the roadside, people were selling handmade chapatis. YUMMERS! Well worth the trip to Uganda alone.

PS: Next I went off to Jinja, the source of the Nile. Wow. And sat beside the shores of Lake Victoria and ate some of the best pizza I’ve ever had. Zachery’s in Oakland? Eat your heart out!

Jane Stillwater, fearless African explorer. “Dr. Livingston I presume?”

No, just the waiter, asking me if I wanted mushrooms or anchovies on my pizza. Of course I wanted mushrooms. “Got any olives?”

PPS: Global Exchange is also currently staging a fact-finding trip to Kabul, Afghanistan, that will explore the role of women in current Afghan society — and will also include a side-trip to the former site of the legendary Bamiyan buddhas This is totally exciting! When I was in Kabul back in 2007, the only way that an American lady like me could get there was to ride on the floor of the back seat of a car while wearing a burka.

Sign up for the Afghanistan trip here and be your own fact-finder:


Here’s some of my Uganda photos from my FaceBook page:


August 4, 2012

The 3 Faces of Mitt


August 3, 2012

More war; less social programs!

Filed under: Commentary — Tags: , , , — Bob Patterson @ 12:31 pm

Is “more beer; less work” real philosophy or mad dog talk?

St. Sithney, of Saighir, whose feast day is celebrated on August 4, was (according to an ecclesiastical urban legend) asked by God if he wanted to be the patron saint of unmarried women and he said he would rather be the patron saint of mad dogs. The lawyers will be quick to point out that the fine print stipulates that he was to be the saint for curing mad dogs and protecting folks from dogs with hydrophobia (rabies). Based on the consensus opinion of liberal pundits, the Democratic voters would do well to pray to St. Sithney for protection from the avid Republican candidates who seem, during this year’s election process, to be as logical and eloquent as mad dogs

Case in point: Ted Nugent is advocating the possibility that if some of people in the theater in Aurora Colorado had been carrying hand guns, and returned fire in the smoke filled auditorium that was an example of bedlam; one of them might have been a Ninja marksman with a magical bullet that could have sliced through the body armor like a hot knife through a cold stick of butter. To which we can only give the Hemingway response: “Isn’t it pretty to think so?”

Liberals are still waiting for conservatives to give a coherent response to George Carlin’s objection to the birth control issue. Babies have a right to life until they are born and then the “rugged individual” philosophy kicks in and “You’re on your own, kid” becomes standard conservative operating dogma. Self determination is fine for middle class and poor kids, but for rich brats, “do you know who you are talking to?” is usually their first full sentence. Learning to talk, for rich kids, means learning to threaten someone with a tsunami of legal paper work for standing in their way.

An anecdote, encountered many years ago, related a story about a rich woman who was told about the problem of hunger that is a vexation for homeless. She replied “Why don’t they ring the bell?” In her world, if she needed food, she would ring a bell and a servant would appear and immediately attend to that need. She used the psychological phenomenon known as “projection” to assume that everyone else’s world was just like hers and that all a hungry homeless person had to do was ring the bell and a servant would stand by to take their order.

Democrats project their belief in voters’ rights for all citizens onto the Republicans and they (conversely) project their belief in a Republic where only qualified people (land owning males were specified in the American Constitution) could cast a vote. Naturally some “What we have here is . . . failure to communicate” misunderstandings often sabotage any attempts to reach a compromise. The purging of voters from the rolls in Florida would be a classic example of the consequences of the miscommunication surrounding this issue.

In the United States, the Democrats believe that the minute a person from a foreign country sets foot on American soil that person is entitled, by the doctrine of “all men are created equal,” to the some rights and privileges that the citizens (except for a vote) have. The Republicans consider the concept as being similar to obtaining a driver’s license. It is their contention that getting into the driver’s seat isn’t enough. You have to pass a test to get the driver’s license and prove your qualifications for possessing that driver’s license.

Do people with mental illnesses have a right to buy assault weapons? The Republicans seem to want to use the “all gun buyers are created equal” concept to prevent mental patients from being deprived of their rights. The Democrats seem to want to put some restrictions on the purchase of guns. Both parties do seem to be in agreement that people who are incarcerated in jails and prisons (such as Charlie Manson) don’t have a right to buy guns over the Internets.

A humorist once said that the law in its wisdom forbids rich folks as well as the homeless from living under a bridge.

Republicans maintain that extending the tax cuts for the rich will produce jobs. The Democrats reply that if that were true, then this question must be asked: why has the level of employment declined during the almost decade long period when the Bush tax cuts have been in place?

Compassionate, conservative Christians can always sanction cutting social programs to fund new wars. Democrats want to implement spending priorities that are the exact opposite.

The Muslim world has always been divided by two rival factions. It seems like the Sunni and the Shiite groups will never live in peaceful coexistence. The Republicans fully endorsed sending American troops into Iraq and now they seem to be ready to endorse a new military adventure involving Iran. Does simultaneously conducting military operations in both a Sunni and a Shiite nation make any sense? Should people be praying to St. Sithney for protection from such thinking?

Could two groups, who both adhere to the philosophy “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” temporarily suspend their mutual animosity and become united for a short time by the common objective of contending with meddling in their area of the world by some unwelcome interloping foreign country?

There a classic old back and white movie that shows, in a medium shot, some people struggling for control of a small boat. The camera pulls back in a long tracking shot that shows that the craft is perilously close to the edge of a gigantic water fall. Could that be a metaphor for what is happening with the struggle between the Democrats and the Republicans in Washington D. C.?

Do the Republicans really believe that the answer to all these problems will be provided by Mitt Romney? When will some responsible Republicans realize that it is time for an “Intervention” gambit and find a rationale for disqualifying Mitt and handing the Presidential nomination to someone who has a better chance of not precipitating four years of mainstream media ridicule of the Commander-in-Chief as a bungling buffoon?

If Conservatives are strict constructionists who do not believe that the Founding Fathers would sanction the approval of the right to vote for anyone but male landowners, could they endorse a policy of using computer hacking to adjust vote totals to automatically purge some of the “ineligible” votes from the final results?

Whatever happened to the pundit who was kicked off a popular blog aggregator site for predicting, in the summer of 2010, that JEB would win the Presidency in 2012? Did his posse direct prayers to St. Sithney asking to cure him?

The rumors that Oakland will be forced to accept Federal control of their police department percolated into the regional mainstream media this week. On Tuesday, KCBS news radio featured Chronicle reporter Phil Matier predicting that move, and further predicting that it will mean that Oakland will be required to spend more on the Police Department. If that happens during the current financial crisis, the money will be taken away from social programs, and that could cause a concomitant increase in crime which would then require even more increases in Police spending.

On Wednesday, August 1, 2012, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper ran a page one story by Matthai Kuruvila reporting that after laying-off some police officers, Oakland purchased “nearly” $2 million worth of hardware that either didn’t work well or wasn’t used at all.

This week some news stories indicated that women are now entitled to free medical birth control advice. How are the conservatives reacting to that? Will they need some prayers offered on their behalf to St. Sithney? Will Conservatives need a prescription for sedatives?

Marcus Moziah Garvey said: “Hungry men have no respect for law, authority or human life.”

Now the disk jockey will play Noël Coward’s song “Mad dogs and Englishmen,” the song “Basket Case” (written by Warren Zevon and Carl Hiassen), and Andre Williams’ new release titled: “I gotta get Shorty outta jail.” We have to go get our tickets to see both “Killer Joe” (over in S.F.) and “Never give a sucker an even break” at the Pacific Film Archive this weekend. Have a “foaming at the mouth” type week.

[Using a photo of some San Francisco Bay Area slap art, by the graffiti artist called Broke, which echoes the conservative philosophy of “more work; less pay,” seemed like an acceptable solution to the column illustration challenge for this week.]

August 2, 2012

Mitt-fil-A — Is He Done Yet?


August 1, 2012

Romney’s Simp Factor


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