Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

There have been screams from the right for years about how tax-payer money is spent.  They scream about tax-payer money being used to fund abortions for example.  There have also been screams from the right about unions using union dues for campaign contributions.  They want to make sure that any union member can “opt out” of their dues being used to support candidates.  We all know that if unions were endorsing Republican Candidates, this “opt out” wouldn’t be necessary.

Their argument has always been that tax-payer money cannot be used for things like these because everyone doesn’t agree with them.  So, if you disagree with abortion for example, your tax money should not be used to fund abortions, even for military personnel.  On the surface, that seems logical.  But, on the other hand, they have no problem with using tax-payer money to pay for things like Christmas scenes on government property.  They call that religious freedom.

Well, the State of Kentucky has just taken this one step further.  It seems that the State of Kentucky is recognizing a particular religious cult.  They are willing to offer tax incentives and tax-payer money to them to show their support.  Of course, Kentucky is saying they are doing this not to recognize a religious cult, but rather to create jobs.

Here is the story.  Ken Ham and his nuts are planning to build a life-sized Ark based on the biblical story of Noah and the flood.  The Ark Encounter is being built by Answers in Genesis, which also runs the Creationist Museum in Kentucky.  The issue is that this clearly religious organization has been approved by the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority, a state-run agency, for a great deal of state money. Yep, this religious group has received preliminary approval for an $18 million tax incentive.

However, the State is turning a blind eye to the fact that the people who apply for these jobs will be subject to discrimination based on their beliefs. Daniel Phelps, a geologist, president of the Kentucky Paleontologist Society, and vice president of Kentuckians for Science Education, pointed out:

“However, it is apparent that Ark Encounter is likely to discriminate against non-Christians. Moreover, Catholics, mainstream Protestant Christians and some conservative Christians who have different doctrinal beliefs are also unlikely to be hired.

The job description included this statement: ‘Our work at Ark Encounter is not just a job, it is also a ministry. Our employees work together as a team to serve each other to produce the best solutions for our design requirements. Our purpose through the Ark Encounter is to serve and glorify the Lord with our God-given talents with the goal of edifying believers and evangelizing the lost.’”

The entire job description requires a salvation testimony, a creation belief statement and a confirmation of your agreement with the AiG Statement of Faith.  That “Statement of Faith” includes these items.

“Those who do not believe in Christ are subject to everlasting conscious punishment, but believers enjoy eternal life with God.”

And:

“The only legitimate marriage sanctioned by God is the joining of one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union, as delineated in Scripture. God intends sexual intimacy to only occur between a man and a woman who are married to each other, and has commanded that no intimate sexual activity be engaged in outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. Any form of sexual immorality, such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s gender, or disagreement with one’s biological gender, is sinful and offensive to God”

And:

“By definition, no apparent, perceived or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the scriptural record. Of primary importance is the fact that evidence is always subject to interpretation by fallible people who do not possess all information.”

It doesn’t take much reasoning to figure out that this Statement of Faith, which is required by anyone who will be employed will lead to discrimination against non-Christians, Catholics, LGBT persons, atheists, or anyone else who does not agree with the Statement of Faith.  Yet, As Phelps put it: “The tax incentive, along with the city tax breaks, and the parcel of land sold to the project at a discount by Williamstown, plus $200,000 cash given by the Grant County Economic Development Commission is clearly a case of government entanglement with religion.”

The State may claim that this tax money is being used to create jobs.  But, it is being used to create jobs for a small minority of people.  It will be used to discriminate against anyone who disagrees with the Statement of Faith but still needs a job.  As a result, there can be no conclusion other than the one that says the State of Kentucky is guilty of “recognizing” a particular religion.  That is an obvious violation of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution that says “the government shall not recognize an official state religion”.

Kentucky, the home of the renowned constitutionalist Mitch McConnel, seems to think that the First Amendment doesn’t pertain to them.  But, that is the way it always works.  Vilify your enemies and reward your supporters.  Even if it breaks the law.

Read Full Post »

Maybe we should give half props to FOX News.  For a long time now, they have been crying that there is a war on religion in America.  They are half right.  Of course, they claim it is a war on Christianity.  That is the part they have wrong.  The real war on religion is being waged by the Conservative Christian Cult against everyone else.

The Cult is truly amazing in cherry-picking the parts of religious beliefs that they will accept.  They then denounce everyone else as heretics because their religious beliefs don’t jive with the Cult’s.  There are lots of examples which we will discuss.  The main point is that in their zeal to “convert” the world to their way of thinking, they are willing to shred the right to practice your religious beliefs as guaranteed in the First Amendment.  Some have even gone so far as to say the First Amendment only applies to Christian beliefs.  Even if that were true, which it is not, they are still violating the First Amendment because they continue to persecute other Christians.

This year the Supreme Court ruled that “buffer zones” established by states in front of abortion clinics were not legal.  They believe that if a woman wants to get an abortion, the Cult has the right to attempt to interfere with that process, even going so far as to accost women and employees of the clinic to even get inside in peace.  I suppose that means that if a group of people show up in front of a Cult church and started accosting those attending services, that would also be legal.  I would love to see a group try that angle.

Imagine a group of protesters standing in front of a Cult church screaming to the attendees that they are devil worshipers, or other such nonsense.  Even going so far as to trying to block their entrance into the church “for their own good”.  I don’t think it would be too long before the police were summoned to get rid of the protesters.  The Cult believe they can do whatever they want, but no one else can use their tactics.

The fight over abortion is purely a religious fight.  Whether you believe abortion is “right or wrong” is totally down to religious belief.  The Cult says life begins and therefore the fetus is a person upon fertilization.  Other people with religious beliefs don’t think that way.  That is what the abortion fight is all about.  One narrow view of life against other views of life.

The Cult doesn’t want you to know this.  They try to make it out to be “protecting the unborn person”.  That is what all of these “personhood amendments” they keep trying to get passed is all about.  They are trying to force their religious belief on everyone else.  That in a word is “religious persecution”.

There are a lot of people who consider themselves to be good Christians who favor the right to have an abortion.  But the Cult has labeled them as Christians in Name only.  A favorite catch phrase of theirs.  If a woman’s religious beliefs tells her it is okay to have an abortion, denying her that right is religious persecution.  There is simply no other way to look at it.

There are several states with laws and/or State Constitutional Amendments banning same-sex marriage.  Yet, many churches and religions recognize same-sex marriage.  The Cult says “NO, that is the same as bestiality”.  What nonsense.  The whole premise of the Cult’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage, is again wrapped up in their narrow view of what is in their beloved bible.  Other Christians and other faiths, don’t subscribe to that narrow view.

Therefore, if two people of the same-sex decide they want to get married, and their religious beliefs say that is okay, denying them the right to be married is religious persecution.  Sorry, but the Cult’s argument that the others are “simply wrong” doesn’t cut it.  They are persecuting other beliefs only because they differ from theirs.  The Cult even tried to get legislation passed that would allow them to discriminate against gay couples in normal business affairs.  Again, religious persecution.

Not only that, the Cult is famous for its hypocrisy.  Take the case of  Tennessee. Rep. Scott DesJarlais who is running for his third term for Congress as a “family values” guy.  He recently won his primary for reelection despite the fact that DesJarlais has a long history showing that while he firmly believes women should have to lose their basic human rights in the name of family values, he, as a man, has never shown any interest in making even the tiniest sacrifice for those same values.

It seems that he believes women who are facing an unwanted pregnancy that could derail their lives should suck it up and be made to suffer in the name of “life.” But when faced with the prospect of an unintended pregnancy that could hurt him, he suddenly became a big fan of abortion. It has been reported that DesJarlais encouraged, some would even say badgered his mistress to get an abortion during his first marriage. He also supported his first wife’s abortions.  Yet, he believes that he can run on a pro-life platform.  Apparently the Cult members in Tennessee agree with him.

The Hobby Lobby case proves this point even further.  The Cult member owners of the company claim to have “deeply held religious” beliefs about certain forms of contraception.  They argued in court that they shouldn’t be required to provide those forms of contraception in their health plans for employees.  SCOTUS said absolutely right.

Yet, there are many women who work at Hobby Lobby who believe all forms of contraception are perfectly fine.  Their religious beliefs do not forbid them from using them.  As a result, these woman are being persecuted for their religious beliefs by a company that claims to have deeply held religious beliefs.  Problem is their religious beliefs trump those of their employees.  What else can you call it but religious persecution?

These are just a few examples of religious persecution that is ongoing in America.  FOX was correct in pointing out that it exists.  They were just wrong in who is actually perpetrating this persecution.  In my view, the fanaticism of the Cult’s persecution of the “non-believers” is very similar to other fanatical groups.  So, the next time you hear the Cult scream about religious persecution, remember it is them waging war against your religious beliefs, not the other way around.

Read Full Post »

School’s out for the summer!  Our wonderful Congress has taken their usual August recess.  That is a normal thing this time of year.  These politicians will go back to their districts and hold town hall meetings and espouse their wonderful achievements.  Problem is, they don’t have any wonderful achievements to espouse.

The previous two Congresses were the least productive in modern history.  The current Congress is on track to even beat those two in futility.  I know it is hard to believe, but that is the fact.  Congress has left town in a rush to get “reelected” to their meaningless position.  There was a time when holding public office was an honorable endeavor held by people who wanted to make the country better.  The current crop of legislators are anything but honorable.

As the children take their usual recess, huge problems still face this country.  We still have a mess on the border.  There are still thousands of undocumented children waiting for their “cases to be heard” as the 2008 law says they must.  What has Congress done about this humanitarian problem?  Nothing!  Yes, the House passed a bill, but they added so many inhumane elements to it that it will never get through the Senate.  That is once the Senate comes back in September.

Some of these elements do not even include anything to do with the humanitarian problem at the border.  They deal with things that are best covered in a comprehensive immigration reform bill.  But since the House has no intention of even talking about comprehensive immigration reform, they tack on objectionable amendments to laws just so those laws can be killed.

There are still millions of people working 40 hour work weeks for below poverty pay.  There is still an attack on any religious beliefs that to not follow the “white” Christian beliefs.  There is still no immigration reform.  There is still no national marriage equality.  There are still voter suppression laws on the books in several states.  There are still millions of people without health care because Republican states refuse to expand Medicaid.  There are still way too many people out of work.  Our infrastructure is still falling down around our ears.

They did manage to pass a bill that will allow the VA help our veterans better.  But, as usual, they have nothing in it that will address the over 1 million homeless veterans.  Nothing that will address the fact that millions of veterans need food stamps just to survive, which the Republicans want to cut even deeper.  They have basically put a band-aide on a gaping wound our veterans suffer from every day.  They authorized about half of the money the VA really needs.  They say they will address the rest in the “normal budget process”.  Which means the VA won’t get any additional money they need because the Republicans will insist on cutting other safety nets to “pay” for any additional money for the VA.

The one piece of legislation the House is very proud of is the one authorizing the Speaker to sue the President.  That is one bill that every Republican in Congress could get behind.  Wasting millions of tax dollars on suing the President as a political stunt is something they are very proud of doing.

It has been often said that allowing the inmates to run the asylum is a bad idea.  Yet, Mr. Boehner has allowed just that to happen.  The inmates in the GOP are now running the asylum.  Thanks in large part to Mr. Boehner’s inability to actually “lead”.  As a result, a “junior Senator from Texas” has become the de facto Speaker of the House.  Way to stand up to the inmates, Mr. Boehner!

If it was just the inmates in Washington that were running the asylum, I wouldn’t be so worried about it.  But, the inmates are running the asylum in many of the states as well.

The party that says it wants “government out of our lives” are very willing to put government into our lives if it will force everyone to think as they do.  They want “government in of the lives” of the poor by killing social safety nets and making sure they can’t vote because they believe the poor are just not smart enough to trust to vote Republican.  They want “government in the lives” of women and their reproductive choices because they don’t think women are smart enough to make their own decisions.  They want “government in the lives” of LGBT community because they must make sure they don’t have equal rights as the rest of the “normal” world as they see it.  They want “government in science” so they can foster the myth of creationism as the “real” science simply because it doesn’t interfere with profit-making for their big donors.   They want “government in the lives” of the working poor by saying that a Federal Minimum Wage is “hurting” their chances to move ahead.  They want “government in children’s lives” by making sure they don’t learn anything while allowing for profit school companies to make millions in profits without having to actually teach anything viable.

In a time when the country faces many challenges, we are stuck with school children who cannot make decisions.  We are stuck with a group  whose only real concern is hate for anything that doesn’t look or think like they do.  We are stuck with the inmates running the asylum.  I have always been an optimist when it comes to the future of our country.  I must admit, that with the current crop of school children in Congress, my optimism is shaky.

There is one bright side.  With school out for the summer, they can’t pass anymore bills that harm the country.  But, then, they don’t pass bills at all, so maybe that is a good thing too.

Read Full Post »

The practice of the use of fracking is continuing to move along.  However, the practice is so new, we don’t know all of the side effects of the practice.  The oil and gas companies use high pressure water mixed with various chemicals, not all of which are even known by the public, to break-up shale and release the gas and/or oil trapped inside.

There have been a few law suites filed over the practice with some large compensation awarded.  Unfortunately, for the purpose of researching the practice and its effects on the environment, most come with a court mandated “gag order” so the winner cannot talk about the case.  The oil and gas companies say fracking is necessary to release more energy for the U.S.  However, as I wrote a couple of months ago, when fracking was planned on a property adjacent to the property owned by the CEO of Exxon, that was a totally different story.  He actually joined a law suite trying to stop the process.

It is important that the public be given all of the facts about fracking and its effects.  We cannot make a real determination if the practice is necessary enough to risk health and pollution issues.  But, if every state that allows fracking to take place follows Pennsylvania’s example, we may never get to the bottom of any problems.  You see, two retired members of the Pennsylvania Department of Health claim that they were forbidden to talk the drilling.

According to a damning report from NPR State Impact, the state has dealt with that lack of information about the health risks of fracking not by studying the health risks of fracking, but by ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away.  The two retired workers with the state Health Department, said employees who received phone calls from residents concerned about health risks were ordered to ignore them:

“There was a list of buzzwords we had gotten,” [Tammi Stuck, who retired from the Department of Health two years ago] said. “There were some obvious ones like fracking, gas, soil contamination. There were probably 15 to 20 words and short phrases that were on this list. If anybody from the public called in and that was part of the conversation, we were not allowed to talk to them.”

Normally, when fielding calls, Stuck would discuss the caller’s problem, ask about symptoms, and explain what services the department or other agencies could offer.

However, for drilling-related calls, Stuck said she and her fellow employees were told just to take the caller’s name and number and forward the information to a supervisor.

“And somebody was supposed to call them back and address their concerns,” she said, adding that she never knew whether these callbacks occurred.

Sometimes, Stuck said, people would call again, angry they had not heard back from anyone from the department.

…“People were saying: Where’s the Department of Health on all this?” Stuck said. “The bottom line was we weren’t allowed to say anything. It’s not that we weren’t interested.”

Marshall Deasy, who retired last June after putting in 20 years of service at the Bureau of Epidemiology in Harrisburg, said that in his office, talking about natural gas development was considered “taboo.”

reviewed research linking  air and water pollution from oil and gas drilling to a bevy of health concerns.

Of course the department spokesman denies that these call are being ignored,  and said that all complaints related to fracking are sent to the Bureau of Epidemiology. Only 51 cases have been logged, she added, and the agency has yet to find a link between drilling and illness.

This is an emerging field and requires more study to be done about health concerns.  But, since the oil and gas companies need this to be kept quiet, it seems to be working for them perfectly well.  if no health impacts have been documented in Pennsylvania, that could be because the state has yet to conduct even one study dedicated to this purpose. Of the over $630 million the state has raised through its impact fee, which is distributed among agencies involved in regulating drilling, one expert interviewed said that “not one penny” has been allocated to the Department of Health.

I even know of a situation where secrecy is so rampant, residents aren’t being told the whole truth.  A friend of mine lives in another state where fracking is taking place.  He lives in an area where drilling is ongoing.  He told me that if his neighbor’s well gets contaminated from the drilling, neither the neighbor nor the company involved in the drilling are allowed to tell him so he can test his well water.  As a result, he is forced to pay for water quality testing out-of-pocket to ensure his family is safe.

The secrecy surrounding fracking needs to stop.  Yes, it is a new practice.  Yes, the oil and gas companies call it “safe”.  Yet they are paying out millions of dollars in claims against them.  For example, in Dallas, a jury recently awarded a family $3 million for damage caused by drilling near their property, including “physical pain and suffering.”  So, like everything else, there are consequences and harmful effects caused by fracking.  Shouldn’t we have the full story on this?

The Republican Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Corbett likes to talk about transparency.  Shouldn’t that transparency include the practice of fracking?  Apparently, in his state the answer is no.  People’s health should never be a political football to be punted.

Read Full Post »

The Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety focused on new EPA standards for reducing emissions from power plants.  During the hearing four Republican former EPA Chiefs testified at the hearing.  These four all served under Republican Presidents Nixon, Reagan, and both Bush’s.

“We believe there is legitimate scientific debate over the pace and effects of climate change, but no legitimate debate over the facts of the earth’s warming or over man’s contribution,” said William Ruckelshaus, who served as the EPA administrator under both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

When it came to discussing the issue as to whether or not the EPA has the authority to act on greenhouse gas emissions, Christine Todd Whitman said “The issue has been settled. EPA does have the authority.  The law says so, and the Supreme Court has said so twice. The matter should be put to rest. … My hope is the primary focus will be on the substance of the proposed rule and not EPA’s broad authority to promulgate it.”

Lee Thomas, who served as administrator during Reagan’s second term, and William Reilly, who served under George H.W. Bush, also testified at Wednesday’s hearing.  All four former Directors expressed support for the action taken by the EPA.  “They’ve been as creative as I’ve ever seen them be,” Whitman said in a meeting with reporters just before the hearing. “They’ve really made an effort. They’ve really gone out of their way to try to make it a workable rule.”  “My sense is they’ve built in as much flexibility as possible,” Thomas said in the meeting.

But, of course the testimony of these four former Directors of the EPA fell on the deaf ears of the Republicans on the sub-committee.  It even brought out the usual denials and claims of economic doom if the rules hold.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) argued that the rules would have “serious economic consequences” while providing “no measurable impact on climate change.” He also said he’s “frustrated” by the “cartoonish” and “outlandish” claims that proponents of climate action make to dismiss critics of the science. Vitter has previously called evidence cited to support climate change “ridiculous pseudo-science garbage.”

Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) criticized “expensive, big-government, left-wing climate policies.” Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) accused the EPA of trying to “force Americans to live out the president’s green dream.”   But Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) topped them all when he declared that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.  “I would say CO2 is a different kettle of fish,” said Sessions. “It’s plant food. It’s not a pollutant in any normal definition.”  Well, when there is too much of it, plants can’t eat it all, so what does the rest do?  It becomes a greenhouse gas and warms the planet.

So, who did the Republicans listen to during the hearing?  Their witnesses of course.  The Republicans called three witnesses for the hearing: a biologist who argues that climate change is not significantly affected by human activity; the attorney general of Alabama, who has fought other EPA actions in court; and an economist who criticized cap-and-trade (a policy previously debated in Congress to address climate change, but not, in fact, the policy that the EPA has put in place).

Following the hearing, Reilly appeared to have expected the Republican response.

“I wasn’t surprised by their positions. I am surprised at the continued refusal to believe that the science is as it is claimed to be by 11 national academies of science,” said Reilly. “If you don’t like the IPCC, there are many other choices for authoritative science. … When I was in office I made it a rule to follow the science. Well, the science is pretty clear.”

And, just to be clear, they also broke their own complaint about using people as a “back-drop” against the President.  The room was filled with coal miners from Alpha Natural Resources and Murray Energy, who had been bussed into town overnight from West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania for the hearing.

We have four former Republican Directors of the EPA who are arguing that climate change is real.  They all say that man is contributing to it.  And, that something needs to be done before it is too late.  They also agree that the EPA, under current laws and two previous Supreme Court Rulings, does have the authority to impose restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions.  And, finally, who actually brought the EPA into existence?  Richard Nixon!

Yet the EPA has been a favorite punching bag for the Republican Party.  The major difference now is that they are ignoring all of the scientific facts to fight what the EPA is doing.  They ignore the facts, because they don’t fit the Republican’s brand of reality.  To the Republicans reality is something that the “little people” have to deal with.  If anything might affect the Republican pocketbook, then it isn’t reality to them.

The American people have spoken again.  The majority of the American people, in recent polls, say something needs to be done about climate change.  The majority of Americans are willing, again according to recent polls, to pay a little more for electricity in order to reduce carbon dioxide and pollution emissions.

Rather than using the situation for real good, the Republicans are stuck supporting their big donors, namely the fossil fuel industries.  Rather than taking the matter seriously and looking to create more renewable, clean energy which could create possibly millions of new, non-outsourceable jobs, they stick to their fantasy world.  Why bother about climate change that will make the planet extremely tough to live on in the future?  These Republicans will be dead.  They are not responsible for our children or grandchildren.  They are only responsible to the fossil fuel industries who fund their coffers.

I wish that Sen. Sessions would be around when Mobile, Al. disappears because of rising seas.  I would love to hear him explain to the people of Mobile how that was all an illusion caused by false science.  The seas really didn’t flood out their homes and businesses, fake science did.  But, then when you consider that parts of Miami, Fl. already floods during times of a full moon and high tide together because of rising sea levels you see that it doesn’t matter to the Republicans.  They still argue that isn’t happening.

As I watch Republican lawmakers try to make science the real enemy, I keep being reminded of the three monkeys.  You see, to the Republicans, science is evil.  It flies in the face of their fantasies and money donors.  As a result, whenever they need to talk about science they simply sit and put their hands over their eyes, ears, and mouths and mumble, “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”  All the while their puppet masters are pulling their strings.

Read Full Post »

Sometimes I have joked that it seems like the whole world has taken a “stupid pill”.  I know, it is probably wrong of me to criticize people for their beliefs, which I try not to do.  However, when people start acting “stupid”, I think it is fair to point out their mistakes.  That isn’t criticizing their beliefs, it is calling them out for their errors.

We have a myriad of problems facing our country today.  Yet, there are some people who simply want to whitewash them.  They seem to long for the “good ole days” or “glory days”.  They seem to not want to face reality.  That is “stupid” no matter what your political slant may be.  If we do not face our problems, we are doomed to live in mediocrity at best.  Maybe that is what these people want.

Yes, I am referring to the “conservative movement” on the other side of the political spectrum.  It isn’t hard to see why they refuse to look reality in the eye and make changes that are needed.  By definition, conservatism is stuck in the past.  That is what conservatism is all about, and what is wrong with it.  It wants to return to the “glory days” they remember.  Problem is when you look back on the “glory days”, they weren’t always so glorious.

I realize that I have a slanted view of the world.  In my youth, I was actually called a “radical”.  My son now calls me slightly left of center.  It just goes to show how much the scale can move over time.  Or, rather how much the definitions of words can change over time.  And, that is the real problem today.  That is what is at the heart of the stagnation in Washington and all across the country.  That and the fact that conservatives live in a fantasy world that can be called “stupid”.

The real irony in all of this is that the “glory days” these conservatives claim they want to return to were actually anything but conservative.  They were times when America was reaching for the stars both figuratively and literally.  They were times of innovation.  They were times of creative thought.  They were times of change for the better.

In those days, the labor movement was strong.  Approximately 40% of the workforce belonged to a union.  The middle-class was thriving and most people were happy, more or less.  It was also the times of the Civil Rights Movement and the start of the Woman’s Movement.  It was when President Kennedy said we should put a man on the moon and return him safely to the earth before the end of the decade.  And, we did.

They were also very troubling times.  We were suffering through the Vietnam war.  Young people were rebelling against the establishment.  African-Americans gained most civil rights but at a dear price.  There was a lot of backlash against the Woman’s Movement.  There were protests in the streets.  A President was assassinated.  Another President resigned from office in disgrace.

We went through very rough economic times starting with the oil embargo.  We witnessed long lines at the gas station.  People began to think that the future could not possibly be better than the past.  Yes, those were the so-called “glory days” that conservatives claim they want to return to.

The problem they face is that they don’t want to return to the good aspects of those times.  They don’t want to return to the times of innovation and creative thought.  They don’t want to return to the times when we fought for civil rights of everyone.  They don’t want to return to a thriving middle-class or to unions.  They, apparently want to return to their “good ole days” of Jim Crowe.  They would rather see corporations hiring thugs to bust unions than allow the working class a fair wage for their labor.

They claim that they want to return to the Reagan Years.  They are still hawking the discredited theory that lowing taxes on the rich “trickles down” to the masses.  They are still hawking the theory that unions are the root cause of economic problems.  They are still hawking the old ideas that whites are superior to other races but with much “softer” language.  They are still hawking the adage that a woman’s place is in the kitchen.

Their “base”, led by the Conservative Christian Cult, denies climate change, or at least that man is contributing to it.  They deny evolution. Hell, they deny science.  They deny creative thought.  They prefer to raise a generation that “listens to what they are told” instead of formulating their own ideas.  They are against civil rights.  They are against women’s rights.  They are against gay rights.  They want to live in a world where everyone does exactly what they “tell” them to do.  If you go against their ideals, you are un-American.

Yes, the far right thinks that we should not be able to think for ourselves.  They are led by the Canadian Senator Ted Cruz, the faux Libertarian Rand Paul, and the Xenophobic Congresswoman Michelle Bachman and the Heritage Foundation.  These are their heroes.  These are the people who want to fundamentally take away civil rights.  Who want to stop education in its tracks and raise a “stupid” generation.  Why else would they defund public education as they have if that was not their goal?

They are the people who say they are fighting for “liberty” and then vote to take away those “liberties” from anyone who is different from them.  They are the ones who say they want a “bigger tent” and accept minorities yet continue to stall immigration reform and pass voter suppression laws.  These “small government” people want to dictate what a woman can choose or not choose when it comes to their health decisions.  Instead of relying on the woman’s decision after consultation with her doctor, they want the state to determine the course of action she is allowed.  Of course they justify all of this by claiming they are doing “god’s will”.

They claim to be “fighting for what the American People want”, yet they continuously vote against bills that the vast majority of the American People want passed.  Their solution to fair pay is not to raise the Federal Minimum Wage, but to eliminate it.  They want to deny millions of Americans proper health insurance.  They are quick to blame the victim in cases of rape and incest.

In essence, what these people are doing is taking their daily dose of “stupid pills”.  In and by itself, that doesn’t bother me too much.  What does bother me is that they want the rest of America to take “stupid pills” with them.  Unfortunately, the far right and their allies the Conservative Christian Cult have renewed their prescriptions.  Maybe it is time to see them for what they really are.  Stupid!

Read Full Post »

We have heard it time-after-time.  John Boehner standing in front of the cameras stating very emphatically, “we are trying to do what the American People want!”  It doesn’t matter what the topic of the day is either.  He insists that his party is only trying to do what the people want them to do.

We have seen just how much he is willing to do what the people want.  First, there are the many polls that show up to 80% of the American People want universal background checks when purchasing a firearm.  So, do we have it?  Nope.  John Boehner won’t bring it up on the floor for a vote.  Then poll-after-poll show that the over 70% of the American People want Immigration Reform.  Again, we don’t have it.  Why?  Because John Boehner won’t bring up the Senate passed “Gang of Eight” legislation for a vote.  Other bills that the American People “want” according to the polls are things like the Transportation and Infrastructure Bill, Raising the Federal Minimum Wage, and Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

His latest “we are only trying to do what the American People want” is the new EPA Rules that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal powered power plants.  He called them “a sucker punch to the American People.”  Mitch McConnell called them “a stab into the chest of the middle-class”.  Well, John, since 2008 the polls indicate that 70% of the American People favor such regulations.  It seems that the American People want a reduction in greenhouse gasses.

So with such a track record of “doing what the American People want”, just who is Mr. Boehner speaking about when he says “the American People?”  I believe it is obvious that he is not speaking about the “average” American.  They support all of these measures but he still won’t bring them to the floor for a vote.

He is not alone in this either.  The right-wing is in a total tizzy about the new regulations.  The Republicans have dusted off the old “war on coal” slogan.  They have dusted of the “fascist EPA” brand again.  So, if 70% of the American People want a reduction in greenhouse gasses, why is John Boehner and the Republican Party so upset by these new regulations?

All you have to do is look at the donor lists of the Republican Party and the Conservative PACs to find the answer.  The “American People” Mr. Boehner keeps wanting to please is the top 1%.  More specifically in the EPA Rules, billionaire owners of fossil fuel corporations like the Koch Brothers.  These people make their fortunes in fossil fuels.  Anything that affects their profits is a bad thing, and Mr. Boehner is willing to risk the entire climate of the globe in order to make them happy.

Republicans keep saying that Climate Change is a myth.  They continue to deny that burning fossil fuels increases CO2 emissions which is causing the climate to warm up.  Even though there are streets in Miami that suffer flooding every time there is a full moon at the same time of a high tide.  See, the sea levels are already rising, and when there is a full moon and high tide at the same time, some streets in Miami flood so bad people can’t get out of their houses.  But, that is all part of the environmentalists “agenda”, not something real that affects real people.

They even have come up with a new twist to their denials.  First they talk very pointedly about how climate change is a myth, then when questioned about their claims, they simply respond by saying “I am not a scientist”.  Well, if you are not a scientist, wouldn’t it be a good idea to listen to the people who are?  Despite their claims otherwise, over 97% of scientists believe and state emphatically that burning fossil fuels is changing our climate!  If these Republicans are not scientists, shouldn’t they listen to the 97% of “scientists” who are giving them the facts?

But then, if they did listen to the experts or the American People, they might have to change their mind.  They might have to actually support limiting greenhouse gasses and help save our planet.  They can’t do that.  That would mean the Kochs would be very angry with them.  That means they may not get the millions of dollars in contributions from fossil fuel supporters.  That means they might actually stand for something real.  Since they aren’t throwing snowballs in hell yet, I don’t see that happening anytime soon!

No, John Boehner and the Republican Party do not believe that the average American is part of the “American People”.  If they did, we would have passed bills like Universal Background Checks, Transportation and Infrastructure, ENDA, Raising the Federal Minimum Wage, and even support for the new EPA Regulations.  But, since only the people from the top 1% who contribute to their campaigns are “the American People” these bills have no chance of coming up for a vote.

No, the Republican Party has proven over the last six years that they do not care what “the American People want.”  They only care about what the 1% want.  I really feel sorry for anyone who still believes their hype about “just trying to do what the American People want.”  For a major American Political Party to fall so low into hypocrisy and falsehoods is truly tragic.  But, that is what happens when money is allowed to openly “buy elections”.  And, the Republicans have been “for sale” for quite a while now.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 153 other followers