Saturday, July 04, 2015

My Message From The Land Of Nightmares (Part 2)

Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare ~ Japanese Proverb.

Despite the pitch blackness that prevented me from viewing my surroundings, I did as the disembodied voice instructed and moved forward. My arms outstretched, I baby-stepped my way toward a door or wall the voice said was dead ahead. Eventually I felt my palm touch a cool hard surface. Running my hand back and forth and up and down I concluded I had reached what was probably a stone wall.

"Feel for a knob down and to your right" the raspy voice that was instructing me directed. I felt around in the location described and found a cold metal knob. Twisting and pulling resulted in a door banging into the tips of my shoes. Stepping back I swung open the rectangular barrier on hinges, revealing a dimly lit passage. Stepping through the egress I pulled the door shut behind me. "Er, wait a minute" the voice that had led me to the door squeaked. The knob was pulled from my grasp.

Surprised, I jumped away from the door into the passage. The door reopened and a small imp hopped over the threshold into the corridor. A old-timey oil lantern swung from a hook on the wall when I backed into it. The blood-red horned imp with talons protruding from it's leathery wings barred it's fangs and hissed at me. "Keep back human" the demonoid warned. "My purpose is to bring you to my master, he who summoned you here".

"Is that so?" I asked, not trusting this evil-looking creature. "Yes, Mr. Charles is waiting for you" the imp replied. "Who is Mr. Charles?" I inquired. "Enough!" the imp shrieked. "My purpose is to guide you, not to respond to your inane chatter". The imp flicked the door shut with it's tail. It slammed closed and I heard a click. "Yes, the exit is locked" the imp confirmed. "Not that it would matter. The portal that brought you here is one-way". The imp cautiously passed by me, keeping close to the opposite side of the corridor.

"This way" the imp said, motioning me to follow with one of it's talons. Not seeing any other option, I followed. Soon we came to a four way junction, oil lanterns hanging from the wall illuminating the way. The imp turned right and I continued to follow. Hours passed and the imp and I trudged along through the dimly lit subterranean corridor. Growing tired I asked demanded of the imp "how much further"? Stopping short the imp turned. an angry look on it's face.

"Not that far now" he said. "Although we should have been there long ago" the creature muttered under it's breath. "What's that?" I inquired, growing exasperated in addition to exhausted. "I misremembered the way" the imp concluded after standing there motionless for some time (apparently he had been pondering). "You mean we have to return to the 4 way juncture we encountered so many hours ago?" "Indeed, the devilkin affirmed.

"M-effer" I groaned, contemplating giving the small creature a shift kick. But the imp (reading my body language?) hissed and bared it's fangs. "It has been many years since I have been in these particular corridors" he explained. "Not that I need to excuse myself to human scum" he added. "Back!" he commanded, raising his small (but viciously clawed) hand, motioning me to press myself against the cool rock wall. Which I did, not wanting to tangle with a creature possessing razor sharp fangs and claws.

The imp passed by and we headed back toward the 4-corridor junction. Many more hours passed until we made it back to where the wrong turn had occurred. "Now which way?" the deviling hellion murmured softly. Minutes passed as the creature contemplated. "Well, we came from that way" I said, indicating the passage that led back to the room this journey began in. "And we went this way before turning around" I said, referring to the passage I was still standing in. "That leaves two options". "One must be the way to... wherever it is we are going".

"Obviously" the imp agreed. "But I can't recall which one". The imp was looking quite frustrated. "Damn!" he screamed suddenly after several more moments of silence, causing me to jump. "Mr. Charles is not going to be pleased". "Wait", the devilkin finally concluded. "If we return to where we started... there is a map there".

"But didn't the door lock when we left" I said, remembering hearing a click. "Shut yer yap, mortal" the demonoid growled, pointing a sharp talon at me as a warning. "Don't you worry about that". And, as it turns out, there was no need to worry, despite the door being locked. When we got back to where we had started our journey the devilish sprite stuck a sharp nail into the keyhole and picked the lock. "Bring a lantern" he instructed as the door to the black room reopened.

Bringing a lantern with me into the inky darkness illuminated the room. "There", the imp indicated, gesturing to the wall to the left of the door after we had entered. There, affixed to the stone wall, was an engraved map. A you are here arrow pointing to where we were. "That cavern is where we are heading" the imp said, pointing to a enormous blank space near the top of the map. "I'm not sure of the scale, but this appears to be many miles from where we are" I deduced while examining the map.

After tracing back the route to where we were, I concluded that we should have turned left at the 4-way juncture. There were, however, many other junctures along the way to the enormous cavern. "Perhaps we should take this map with us?" I suggested, reaching for topographical depiction affixed to the wall. "Oh no, that map is firmly attached" the demonoid moving toward the exit. "No need to worry any longer, human" the creature assured me. "I shall recall the way, now that my memory has been refreshed".

And apparently he did remember, as - after following him down the left corridor, we made our way with no hesitations at any further junctures. The imp knew where he was going (now). Or acted with confidence that suggested he did. And, after many more hours, the corridor opened into an enormous football-field-sized cavern (or many foot-field-sized, to be more precise). The cavern was lit brightly... and also quite warm.

In fact the temperature, before quite cool, increased to a degree that soon had me sweating profusely; and it was immediately apparent what the source of the heat was; a large burning lake of fire! "I do not wish to go any closer to the fire" I protested, feeling almost as if my clothing could burst into flame at any second. But the imp beckoned me on, pointing to the right. "There your host awaits you" he explained.

I looked in the direction the imp indicated and saw a long (60 foot?) wooden table surrounded by many chairs. Dinner plates, forks, spoons, goblets, bottles of wine and platters of food (down the center) rested atop the extended buffet. Approaching the far right end of the enormous feast, I was disgusted to find the food - large platters of roasted chickens, bowls of creamy mashed potatoes, cheesy green bean casseroles, large brown gravy boats and various other dishes - was rotten and squirming with maggots - reminding me of that pizza I had almost consumed in my kitchen (so long ago now it seemed).

The worms slithered in and out of the decaying putrid feast. "Ugh" I muttered as the stench invaded my nostrils. The stink did not seem to offend the imp, however, who hopped up on the table. His wings flapping a few times as he hovered briefly over the mess, then touched down on the table top. "I am so famished" the imp exclaimed, grabbing a green chicken leg, tearing it off, and chowing down.

"Disgusting" I exclaimed as the imp devoured the remainder of the decomposing grub-infested poultry - an act that almost caused me to vomit. "Over here" a gravely voiced proclaimed loudly. I turned and peered down the length of the table. At the other end a cowled figure was seated. This must be my host, I thought. Despite the intense heat a cold chill ran down my spine. Was this the mysterious Mr. Charles? The individual who had commanded my presence?

Image: The lake of fire.

SWTD #295, MES #4.

Thursday, July 02, 2015

George W bush And Dick Cheney Responsible For Today's Surveillance State

We can't go around telling people we're a free country when either the government or the corporate world knows every damn thing about you - that's not really freedom ~ Bernie Sanders (dob 9/8/1941) the Junior Senator from Vermont and 2016 Presidential candidate on the 6/1/2015 airing of of Late Night With Seth Meyers explaining his NO vote on the USA Freedom Act.

America's Surveillance State is a six part investigative documentary series currently airing on Free Speech TV [1]. During part 2 of the series, "Inside the NSA: How Do They Spy?" (which examines who is watching whom and why) retired CIA employee Ray McGovern says he became disillusioned and retired early.

According to McGovern the CIA conducted themselves "with respect to what they called the first commandment out there at Fort Meade, the NSA [which was] thou shalt not collect information [or] eavesdrop on Americans without a court warrant".

But McGovern says that changed after the election of gwb, "when Cheney came in he called [former Director of the NSA from March 1999 to April 2005]General Hayden and said "I know about that first commandment at the NSA. Forget about it". And that was before 9-11.

Then the interviewer asks, "so the decision for the NSA to begin collecting information on everyone and everything started with an order from above?", McGovern answers "oh sure, it was Dick Cheney and George Bush".

So this massive expansion of the surveillance state started before 9-11 and before passage of the Patriot Act. And it was so ordered (before 9-11) by bush and Cheney. Yes, Barack Obama has continued this unconstitutional (under the 4th amendment) collection of data, but that is hardly surprising, given that presidents rarely give up power. Not that this, in any way, excuses Obama, but still... I think it is noteworthy that it was bush and Cheney who began this unconstitutional data collection... and did so not in response to 9-11 (as many probably think).

Yet more proof that bush was one of America's absolutely worst and most lawless presidents!

The USA Freedom Act (legislation that modified the Patriot Act) supposedly puts an end to bulk data collection. However...

...the USA Freedom Act... gives the government a six-month period to transition to the new system, under which telecommunications companies would hold onto the data, only handing information over if the government has a targeted warrant. (Thought bulk data collection was gone? Think again by Jeremy Diamond. CNN 6/2/2015).

So the NSA will continue to bulk collect data for the next 6 months (so, to the end of 2015), and then the bulk data collection will continue... but be stored with the telecommunication companies and only handed over with a court order. But the data is still being bulk collected in violation of the 4th amendment. I mean, so what if it isn't the government directly that is collecting the data, but the telecoms at the direction of the government?

The Patriot Act is now repackaged with a new name, The USA Freedom Act and unfortunately government's unwarranted and indefinite storage of private records and communications continues. The new spy law, as was its predecessor, remains an attack on the 4th Amendment. Unfortunately for big government advocates, collecting and storing data on its citizens is not cited or even alluded to in Article I, Section 8 where the powers of the federal government are itemized. ...

Actually such activity is specifically forbidden in the 4th Amendment which reads: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized". The amendment was specifically designed to prevent government spying on its own.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated" is the strongest possible language conceivable. ... Moreover, the new USA Freedom Act violates the 5th Amendment as well in that the accused is, in a very real sense, forced to be a witness against himself... (The USA Freedom Act is an attack on the 4th Amendment. From the website Before It's News 6/19/2015)

Wikipedia says that "Before It's News" was started by Jake Kettle, and that Kettle is "self identifies as a social democrat, advocating for a combination of direct democracy and socialism", but this particular article is categorized under "Opinion, Conservative" (BIN is "a community of individuals who report on what's going on around them, from all around the world which anyone can join").

But that this article is written from a Conservative/Libertarian viewpoint is obvious, given the insertion of an "enumerated powers" argument (in purple). The enumerated powers argument says what the government does is limited to the "list of items found in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution".

Although, being a Progressive Democrat, I reject that argument. As a Progressive I believe in an expansive interpretation of the General Welfare clause. An interpretation we are currently operating under and which the Supreme Court has upheld (DSB #6).

So, given that reality I think the reference to "Article I, Section 8" in the BIN article is not relevant. It is Conservative/Libertarian baloney that has no bearing on whether or not data can be bulk collected. One only need look to the 4th amendment for WHY the Patriot and USA Freedom acts both violate the Constitution [2].

Randal Paul, who voted NO on the USA Freedom Act, said "Congress may just be replacing one bulk collection program with another". This he is correct on, given that now it the telecoms bulk collecting our data (and storing the info if the government requests it).

Note that this would be one extremely rare instance when I would agree with Mr. Paul, although (my choice for our next president) Bernie Sanders also voted NO. (see final roll call here).

Hillary Clinton, the other major Democratic candidate for US president, tweeted her support, writing "Congress should move ahead now with the USA Freedom Act - a good step forward in ongoing efforts to protect our security & civil liberties".

Clinton voted for the initial Patriot Act during her time as a senator from New York in 2001 and again in 2006. Sanders voted against the Patriot Act as House member in 2001 and 2005, then again refused to back its re-authorization when he arrived in the Senate. (excerpted near-verbatim from here).

[1] View the entire documentary miniseries America's Surveillance State (2:45:14) here. To watch individual episodes, follow this link.
[2] The USA Freedom Act does not violate the 4th amendment says the editorial board of the Washington Post. They say that Randal Paul "is the one misstating constitutional law. [T]he phone records of law-abiding Americans are none of the government's business! his campaign Web site declares. Actually, the Supreme Court held 36 years ago that there is no constitutional right to privacy in phone records (as opposed to phone conversations). The court reasoned, realistically, that customers willingly convey numbers and times to the phone company each time they dial, knowing that the company retains the information for business purposes (excerpt from Rand Paul should stop stalling the USA Freedom Act. 6/1/2015).

Video Description: Bernie Sanders on the 6/1/2015 airing of Late Night with Seth Meyers (3:51).

SWTD #294

Saturday, June 27, 2015

On Vilifying Americans Unwilling To Assent To The New Orthodoxy (i.e. Calling Out Bigots Who Won't Stop Discriminating)

The decision will also have other important consequences. It will be used to vilify Americans who are unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy. In the course of its opinion, the majority compares traditional marriage laws to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women. The implications of this analogy will be exploited by those who are determined to stamp out every vestige of dissent ~ Samuel Alito, in his Obergefell v. Hodges dissent, 6/26/2015.

Friday June 26, 2015 will be recorded as an historic day for equality! On that day marriage discrimination was ended by a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling [1], making the US the 21st country to legalize same sex marriage [2]. The majority ruled bans on same sex marriage are unconstitutional due to such bans being in violation of the 14th amendment's equal protection clause. Marriage equality is now the law in all 50 states, to the horror of the Religious Right bigots.

I have no doubt, that if you were to check out message boards where these types preach their hate, you would find many people speaking about how this is a victory for Satan! I consider this to be the opposite. God does not sanction hate in response to love. Love is not a sin. When "traditional marriage" laws are compared to laws that denied equal treatment for African-Americans and women, the comparison is accurate and the people making them SHOULD be vilified for their bigotry.

Religious Right bigots like televangelist James Robison [3], who warns that... legalizing same-sex marriage is part of a satanic intent to take away freedom". Robison further warns that we should "keep in mind the enemy of God – Satan himself – is the father of all lies" [4].

With the first warning I disagree. Allowing gay people to marry has no effect on straight marriage at all. Suggestions that they do are made only by people who are stupid. With Robinson's 2nd warning, however, I agree! Satan, I believe, is deceiving those who oppose marriage equality. That many of these televangelists have accumulated vast personal fortunes is proof of who they serve [5+6]. Preaching the word of God should not be a path to enormous wealth. These preachers are being deceived, and are deceiving their flocks.

Now it might be amusing to witness how these Religious Right bigots react. Although, let us pray there is no violence. According to what I've read, signatories to a "defend marriage pledge" have been instructed by Rick Scarborough, a prominent Baptist pastor in Texas and one of the authors of the pledge, to resist all government efforts to require them to accept gay marriage. He said some, including himself, would accept any fine, arrest or even jail time to protect their religious freedom [7].

There will be no constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as desired by Mike Huckabee [8] and others. Nor will there be any amendment kicking the decision back to the states, as called for by Scott Walker [9]. This issue is now settled! There is no going back. Hopefully the bigots will accept this sooner than later.

And now that the marriage issue is resolved, hopefully we can put an end to all the other areas in which LGBT people face discrimination? The idea of a comprehensive bill covering discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, credit and federal programs is gaining traction. A bill that does not allow discrimination under the ruse of a "religious exemption". Or we could simply amend "the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - which provides protections based on race, color, religion, sex or national - to include the categories of sexual orientation and gender identity".

Whatever the approach, it is past time to completely ban discrimination of any kind in these areas. But Congressional Republicans will no doubt stand in the way, just as they have done in the states (Republican-controlled state legislatures being responsible for all these anti-gay state laws).

[1] Marriage discrimination was ruled unconstitutional in the Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges on 6/26/2015. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the majority opinion, joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan. Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
[2] See here for listing of all 21 countries with marriage equality.
[3] James Robinson's Wikipedia page and Huffington Post bio.
[4] Robison: Satan himself and Demonic forcers are behind push for marriage equality by Brian Tashman. Rightwing Watch, 6/11/2013.
[5] Wikipedia notes that Robison's Christian relief organization "Life Outreach International" (which he is the president of) "third-world mission outreaches include distributing emergency food, drilling water wells, establishing orphanages, rescuing girls from sex trafficking, and providing medical care". However, his organization does not meet charity accountability standards. The author of the article "Beware of James Robinson's Ministry, David J. Stewart, says the reason for this warning (that LOI does not do proper disclosure) is "to expose the greedy televangelists who exploit Christianity to make money".
[6] Greedy Televangelists! Where is all that money going?
[7] Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum among anti-gay marriage pledge signees by The staff of The Guardian, 6/21/2015.
[8] Mike Huckabee: I will not bow to the Court on this gay marriage decision any more than the Founders bowed to British tyranny by AllahPundit. Hot Air 6/26/2015. My commentary: This dum-dum is equating the SCOTUS judge ruling for equality to British tyranny pre war for independence? What a frigging moron.
[9] Scott Walker calls for Constitutional amendment to let states define marriage by Daniel Strauss. Politico 6/26/2015.

SWTD #293

Friday, June 19, 2015

America Great Due To Easy Availability For Purchase Of Firearms By Racist Rightwing Gun Nutty Murderers Sez Dennis Marks

...there's no serious case that President Obama is trying to take people's guns. Guess what grade the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence gave Obama after one year in office? He got an "F" for his gun stance, or lack of same. This after the NRA predicted that he would be the most anti-gun president in history ~ Timothy Egan, writing for the NYT opinion pages. Excerpted from the article Gun Nuts in a Rut 12/1/2011.

Yes, you read that right... Dennis Marks (AKA dmarks) believes America is great because of the 2nd Amendment. Specifically the misinterpretation of it by the gun nut Right... via a pretending that the phrase "well regulated" is absent from it.

First, before the gun nuttery from the confirmed gun nut Dennis, the news story that prompted said nuttery.

Charleston SC - A 21-year-old white man [Dylann Storm Roof] has been charged with nine counts of murder in connection with an attack on a historic black South Carolina church... and media reports said he had hoped to incite a race war in the United States. ...U.S. President Barack Obama said Thursday the attack stirred up "a dark part" of U.S. history and showed the continuing dangers of liberal gun laws. ( by Edward McAllister, Harriet McLeod and Alana Wise. Reuters 6/19/2015).

In response to the comment by our president concerning our liberal gun laws, a Libertarian gun nuts blogger posted an angry commentary on his gun nut blog.

Constitutional Insurgent: Waving the bloody shirt... The bodies in the tragic South Carolina shooting have barely cooled, when POTUS took to the airwaves, and without a shred of reporting as to how the firearm in question was obtained, lambasted the allegedly "easy availability of guns" and went on to use the event as a lazy political jab at those who would see our Constitutional rights infringed beyond recognition.

The jackass couldn't even follow his own script when he stated "Now is the time for mourning and for healing". Apparently not Mr. President... apparently its time to play politics. Stay classy Obama... (6/18/2015 AT 4:19pm via the blog Libertas And Latte).

And, in a comment attached to this blog post is where Dennis made his comment about what he thinks makes America great.

Dennis Marks: Like the rest of the Bill of Rights, [the 2nd amendment is] what makes this country. great. What's a shame is that some very wrongheaded politicians act with apparently glee when incidents like this happen and try to use them to push their agenda of confiscation, and harassment of people who never did anything wrong. (6/19/2015 AT 7:05am via the blog Libertas And Latte).

What utter nonsense. Exceeding offensive nonsense. Dennis and the Insurgent believe that the 2nd amendment allows for no restrictions on gun ownership AT ALL. And Dennis and the Insurgent go after our president with a vile lie about the agenda of the non-gun-nutters including them being "gleeful" at the loss of life? OK, so the Insurgent draws a line at "gleeful", he simply says the "jackass" (President Obama) is "playing politics".

The "agenda" being a life-saving agenda, BTW. Although Dennis refers to this agenda aimed at saving lives (by decreasing gun violence) as "harassment of people who never did anything wrong".

Our president pointing to the easy availability of guns as playing a part in yet another gun massacre is NOT "playing politics"! And pointing to the fact that we should do something about the gun violence surely does not make Obama a "jackass". The actual jackasses are those who say people concerned about gun violence and think we should do something about it are "playing politics" or "gleeful" about the deaths (gleeful because they think it will further their gun confiscation agenda, I gather).

Except for the fact that the side that wishes to reduce gun violence is losing. Even after the slaughter of 20 children and 6 adult staff members at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on 12/14/2012 in Newtown CT - nothing was done. There was talk of closing the gun show loophole, but in the end the NRA and it's agenda of selling as many guns as possible (and lying about gun violence being a price America must pay due to the 2nd amendment) won out.

This continued failure as a result of the NRA bribing our elected officials to further their money-making agenda of death brings SADNESS, not glee! And, for an extreme gun nut like Dennis to proclaim that our president felt GLEE over these death is beyond sickening.

That the pro-gun-murder lobbyists (lead by the NRA) and their dupes (gun nuts like Dennis Marks and the Insurgent) have the gall to suggest that the anti-gun-murder side is "gleeful" or "playing politics" when their agenda is saving lives is something the rest of the world does not understand.

World shocked at enduring racism, gun violence in US (article excerpt) ...the attack renewed perceptions that Americans have too many guns and have yet to overcome racial tensions. ... Especially in Australia and northeast Asia, where firearms are strictly controlled and gun violence almost unheard of, many were baffled by the determination among many Americans to own guns despite repeated mass shootings... "The USA is completely out of step with the rest of the world. We've tightened our gun laws and have seen a reduction", said Claire Taylor, the director of media and public relations at Gun Free South Africa (AP article by Christopher Bodeen. 6/19/2015).

We're "great" because the gun plutocrats and gun nut dupes have perverted the 2nd amendment to our Constitution to protect (1) their ability to make money off death, and (2) insane nuttery that involves tossing "well regulated" from it? This is not a "greatness" the rest of the world agrees with. It is also not a "greatness" the let's-do-something-about-all-the-gun-murdering-already contingent within the US agrees with.

A contingent that is a majority, according to the polls. Yet the gun plutocrats, due to their money, are forcing their agenda of death down our throats. One (deliberately?) flawed Pew poll not withstanding, Americans support reasonable gun control regulations that save lives... as such laws have done in other countries.

Yet it will not happen. This act of racist terrorism - the attack on a Black church by a White shooter who said he was there to kill Black people (which Fox Nooz attempted to spin as an attack on Christianity) - will not result in any change in our our gun laws at all. Because of the power of the NRA, but also due to some whining by extremely duped individuals like Insurgent and Dennis. Which, while I agree that our Bill of Rights does make us great, is not great (that the NRA has so much power). It isn't great at all that big money interests have perverted one of our Bill of Rights amendments to further an agenda of profit and death.

It is, in fact, the exact opposite of great. Also far from great is this regurgitation of NRA talking points by dupes like Insurgent and Dennis. If anyone is gleeful it is the gun manufacturers and their lobbying arm, the NRA. Gleeful that they have been able to exert so much control over the US political process, and gleeful over their duping of the gun nuts. Nuts who race out to buy more of their product because they fear Democratic/Obama "confiscation". F*cking dumbsh*ts.

Image1: The portion of the 2nd amendment the gun nutters ignore.

Image2: A cartoon depiction of the Constitutional Insurgent worrying that Obama is coming for his guns? Or is is dmarks?


SWTD #292, dDel #19. See also TADM #68.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Trump Announces Preznit Run! Will RN Hold Willis To Eating His Hat, Tie & Trousers? (Also, Trump Right On Trade Albeit Wrong On Everything Else)

Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States... ~ Donald Trump (dob 6/14/1946) an American business magnate, television personality and professional blowhard in a 6/16/2015 speech from Trump Tower in NYC.

During a discussion concerning The Donald "savaging" the current Republican POTUS hopefuls and the possibility of Trump himself declaring a run for the White House, the small "L" libertarian blogger Willis Hart made a promise to do something if Trump actually ran for president. And the Objectivist/Libertarian "fiscally conservative" blogger rAtional nAtion replied by stating that he'd make sure Willis followed through with his promise.

Willis Hart: I'll eat my hat (along with my tie and trousers) if this guy [Donald Trump] runs [for president]. (5/24/2015 AT 08:13:00 PM EDT).

rAtional nAtion: I'll hold you to it Will. (5/24/2015 AT 10:35:00 PM EDT).

Willis Hart: I thought that the odds of Palin running in o-12 were zero and if I could come up with a lower number than that for Trump running this go around I would. This is all about publicity I am sure. (5/24/2015 AT 11:19:00 PM EDT).

OK, so The Donald, contrary to the prediction offered by Mr. Hart, is now running for preznit.

Real-estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump announced his 2016 presidential campaign Tuesday morning [6/16/2015]. "Ladies and gentlemen, I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again!" Trump said. The Republican businessman made the announcement at the namesake Trump Tower in New York City. In his wide-ranging and, lasting about 45 minutes, lengthy speech... [insulting Obama as well as GOP POTUS hopefuls while letting everyone know how amazing he is] ...Trump flirted with previous campaigns for higher office without ultimately running... But Trump has taken numerous steps that suggest he could be much more serious this time around, including hiring staffers in key primary states, forming a political fundraising committee, and setting plans to release financial disclosure documents. (Donald Trump is running for president by Colin Campbell. Business Insider 6/16/2015.

So... will Mr. nAtion hold Mr. Hart to his promise to eat his hat tie and trousers now that the Trumpster said he's running? He may drop out fairly quickly, but now that there has been an announcement that he is indeed running, I seriously doubt zero running will follow. He will at least have to run for a shot period to not look like a total fool. So I say this qualifies as "running" and Willis now has to make good on his promise.

I suggest Willis film his eating of the articles of clothing he said he would and post the video on Youtube. Otherwise he can SAY he ate those clothing items while not actually doing so. Although I suspect nothing will be said and Willis will simply expect nobody will hold him to his promise.

Is rAtional prepared to fly to Willis' state in order to hold him to it? Otherwise I don't think Willis will follow though.

As for this Trump-tastic announcement, the previously quoted Business Insider article says "Democrats seemed amused by Trump's candidacy". I'd wager that many Independents and at least a few Republicans are amused as well (although I am NOT going to be eating any non-food items if anyone proves me wrong on this).

As for Trump's financially disclosing his net worth to be 9 billion, upon hearing this my reaction was one of disbelief. I Googled "Trump" and "9 Billion" and found an article from the Washington Post that says... probably not. This figure (they say) probably comes from taking the value of his properties, overestimating how much they are worth, and also not subtracting what he owes (a mind blowing 5 billion). His actual net worth is likely closer to 4 billion... which is still a hell of a lot of money.

(Which, by the way, illustrates why the real estate market is so heavily regulated. Because there is a lot of money to be made in it. Something Willis Hart apparently does not understand, as he attempts to push the discredited meme that it was OVER regulation that lead to the financial crisis in a recent blog post.

ThinkProgress notes that "The CRA has been in place since 1977, while subprime lending only skyrocketed in the 2000s" and that "Fannie and Freddie [did not purchase subprime loans] due to their fairly strict underwriting requirements [until they] lowered their standards in 2006 to buy riskier products [but] they were too late to the game to cause the subprime frenzy". Yet Willis is among the idiots who point to both the CRA and Fannie/Freddie specifically as strongly contributing to the crisis).

So Trump is a very wealthy man and he (as a result) has an extremely big ego. Which might explain how he's deluded himself into thinking he has any chance at all of being elected preznit. Or maybe he's just doing it for the attention and he'll place the blame elsewhere when he inevitably has to drop out (others made a huge mistake in not getting behind/supporting The Donald).

Although, while I disagree with most of The Donald's ideas on what policies would lead to increased economic activity for all, I must say that when it comes to free trade... The Donald is on the right track. order to create more American jobs; mandate a 15% tax for outsourcing jobs and a 20% tax for importing goods... I'm for free and fair trade... But look at... the trade imbalance... [the trade deals Obama is making] will further erode American manufacturing and kill more American jobs [as NAFTA did and the TPP will]. I'm sick of always reading about outsourcing. Why aren't we talking about "onshoring"? We need to bring manufacturing jobs back home where they belong. Onshoring, or "repatriation", is a way for us to take back the jobs China is stealing. We know that China's wages are increasing. Also, China lacks certain natural resources that we have in abundance. If we exploit those two key facts, we can begin making the case to companies that they should bring their manufacturing facilities home to America.

You only have to look at our trade deficit to see that we are being taken to the cleaners by our trading partners. We need tougher negotiations... We need to ensure that foreign markets are as open to our products as our country is to theirs. Our long-term interests require that we cut better deals with our world trading partners. (Donald Trump on Free Trade 2000 Reform Primary Challenger for President).

Note that this information is from 2000, but I think Trump still hold the same positions on trade, given his recent slamming of the TPP as a "disaster" and he (correctly) noted that "They're not addressing the number one cause of the unfairness which is the currency manipulation". So... Trump is right on trade, even if he is wrong in his other economic prescriptions which include traditional Conservative plans to "kill the death tax, lower the tax rates on capital gains & dividends, [and] eliminate corporate taxes".

Here Trump is in agreement with the other bad plutocrat-enriching ideas every other Republican endorses. Including the idea that the Affordable Care Act needs to go, because as Trump says in his announcement, "Obamacare really kicks in in 2016. Really bigley".


Anyway, these other positions are why I would never vote for him (if, by some miracle, he were to win the GOP nomination). But he might get quite a bit of support from blue and white class Republican voters based on his stance on trade, which is that we should bring back American jobs destroyed by bad free trade agreements championed by both Republicans and Democrats.

Remember that Ross Perot ran on opposing the outsourcing of American jobs and (as Wikipedia notes) "was the natural beneficiary of populist resentment toward establishment politicians". Due to the establishment politicians' support for job killing free trade agreements. As a result of his stand on this ONE issue "in the 1992 election, he received 18.9% of the popular vote, approximately 19,741,065 votes, making him the most successful third-party presidential candidate in terms of the popular vote since Theodore Roosevelt in the 1912 election".

A feat that NO Libertarian candidate for president has EVER come close to matching (Gary Johnson received 0.99% of the popular vote in 2012, amounting to 1.27 million votes). I'd eat MY hat if Gary Johnson declared he was running again, entered the race as a Libertarian, and ended up winning as many votes as Perot did in 1992.

I make this bet ONLY because I am one hundred percent positive there is zero percent chance of this happening. Also, I do not own a hat. But I'd eat Willis' hat if Gary were miraculously able to accomplish what Ross did, given the fact that Gary is FOR destroying American jobs (Johnson supports free trade and opposes tariffs, "period").

Frankly, I'd bet that The Donald could get more votes than Gary if he ran 3rd party (nobody would take the bet if he ran as a Republican, if he somehow managed to win the GOP nomination, because OF COURSE he'd get more votes under that unlikely scenario). I would not promise to eat a hat, however, as I only think it likely that he'd get more votes (due to his stance on free trade). I'm not as sure about that as I am about Gary not ever receiving as many votes as Perot did (I'd never make a bet concerning eating a hat unless it was a sure thing).

Which Willis apparently thought not Trump entering the race was (a sure thing). Now we know he was wrong. And now we await the eating by him of his hat. In addition to his tie and trousers. Or rAtional nAtion (if he is a man of his word) and I await this eating of clothing by Willis (who I suspect is not a man of his word).

Video Description: Donald Trump (a really, really successful person) announces that he's in the race for the 2016 GOP nomination for POTUS. Published on Youtube 6/16/2015 (1:26).

SWTD #291, wDel #59.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Adventuring Companions Depart With Haste

The devil takes a hand in what is done in haste ~ Turkish Proverb.

"So, what you're saying is that William has been arrested for murder?" an incredulous Olaf asked after Suri briefed the assembled adventurers of what had transpired earlier in the day. "Last I saw him he was running from the officers of the Lord Mayor's police force. I don't know if they took him into custody or if they connected him to the dead cleric at the temple of the oracles, given that they were chasing him for punching a shopper in the bazaar", a shaken Suri explained, recounting events that took place earlier in the day.

"I think we should assume, given the fact that they are oracles, William is definitely being sought by the authorities, possibly along with myself. Which is why I've decided to scarper ASAP", the mage added, looking visibly worried.

"Well, let's get going then" Olaf interjected. "Now wait a minute" Barry the Botanical (the party's cleric) protested. "I thought we were going to hang around the city for awhile. After all that time trekking through the wilderness ol Barry needs a little time to take it easy and recharge before heading out again". "Indeed" the fighter Steve said, concurring with Barry. "None of us murdered anyone, let alone a priest from the temple of the oracles! You best be going, but the rest of us are staying put".

"Hold on Barry", the bard Ceraifiot cautioned. "We need to stick together. With the exception of William. Screw him. Sure, I'm proficient when it comes to illusions, but we need the combat magics of a mage like Suri to complete this mission", Ceraifiot concluded. "Well, after all I've been through I'm surely not going to be cut out of the final payment" Barry objected, referring to the reward promised by the geriatric and infirmed sightless wizard who had hired them to retrieve a certain item located within the lands of the minotaurs of the Northern Isles.

"Yes, everyone will receive the agreed upon share of the reward promised by our employer, the uncle of our former mage Morton The Magnificent, for delivery of the item he tasked us to retrieve. Including Suri, who shall receive a quarter share for her help in completing the mission" the bonny bard said, reminding all of their (amended) agreement. Suri, who wasn't entirely opposed to leaving William behind, still thought it unfair to completely abandon him... and said so.

"I say that we get out of town ASAP, but wait for William at our camp just outside the city walls". "Makes sense" Ceraifiot agreed, "given that we did agree to meet up there if something happened that caused us to split up. We shall depart immediately and make camp outside the city walls at the agreed upon location tonight".

"And how long do we wait for William to show?" an exasperated Steve demanded. "Let us not concern ourselves with the details right at this moment" Ceraifiot countered. "What is important right now is that we make haste to depart before any of us are detained by those seeking William, if anyone is". Ceraifiot decided not to mention the fact that it was his preference to leave without William, given the obvious but inexplicable attachment Suri seemed to have to the warrior. But then he really had not known Suri for but a few months, while William was an old friend, and possible former lover, according to what Suri had told him.

And so they all agreed to depart before the sun fell. Steve noted that he wasn't about to stay behind while Ceraifiot left the city with the gnarled staff of green wood, possibly to hand it over to their employer, the Wizard Farber, and collect the entire reward for himself and Suri, whom Steve suspected the bard was crushing on.

The staff being the item Farber had hired them to retrieve. It was a magical item of intermediate power, that much both the magically inclined Ceraifiot and Suri had been able to discern. Beyond that, nobody knew what it did. And Mr. Farber was clear in his instructions - none were to attempt to use the staff, as any discharge of it's power might drain it and make it useless to him. Deliver a useless item and there would be no payment.

And so everyone retrieved their belongings from their rooms, paid their bills, and met at the stable. "Damn innkeeper said I had to pay for the night despite not staying the night!" Steve complained. "A-hole said it was past checkout time" he grumbled under his breath when he realized nobody was paying attention to him. After paying the Stable Master everyone mounted up and headed out.

Night had almost fallen as the six adventurers approached the gate, which was clearly closed. And guarded by more police officers than was customary in Paulina's opinion. This she whispered in Suri's ear after the mage lowered her head to hear in response to the gnomish rogue tugging on her robes. "Wait a minute" Suri declared, alerting the others to the fact that something was wrong. The companions guided their horses down a side street where they dismounted. "What's the problemo?" Steve of Anonymous inquired, visibly agitated.

"Paulina says something is up", Suri explained. "Indeed, while nightfall is almost upon us, it is still too early for the gate to be closed", Ceraifiot the Bonny agreed. Just then Suri noticed a man wearing the uniform of a member of the Lord Mayor's police force walking down the side street toward them. "Hello there!" the man shouted. Barry the Botanical panicked and jumped back on his horse, intending to quickly depart, but Ceraifiot grabbed the reigns, preventing him from doing so.

"Hold up, I need to talk to you!" the officer shouted as he trotted toward the group, increasing his pace when Barry mounted his horse. "He's on to us!" Steve hissed loudly, a look of fear on his face. The adventurers, unsure what to do, watched as the officer approached.

"Hey, I noticed that you were approaching the gate" he said when he reached the party.
"I thought I should check and see why you turned away, given the fact that we are currently seeking a duo of killers lose in the city". The officer stood before them, starring at the group, eyeballing each of them in turn.

"Ah, no, we weren't..." Steve stammered, his voice trailing off. The officer did not look convinced. In fact he looked quite suspicious. Steve, noticing that the officer was reaching for a whistle on a chain around his neck, went for his sword. Acting swiftly, Ceraifiot stepped between Steve and the officer, an action that clearly alarmed the man. The officer grabbed his whistle and placed it between his lips. Ceraifot lunged and grabbed the man's hand, ripping the whistle out of his mouth before he could sound the alarm.

"Excuse me, friend" Ceraifiot said, addressing the man using dulcet tones, a broad smile on his face. "Is there something I can help you with?" Ceraifiot inquired, charming the officer who, instead of responding with anger as might be expected given how rudely he had just been treated, inexplicably and suddenly regarded the bard as a trusted ally.

"That woman, I think she might be one of the killers we're looking for" the officer answered, starring past Ceraifiot, his eyes obviously indicating he was referring to Suri. "No, I'm sure you're mistaken" the bard said, correcting his new buddy. "You may be right" the policeman agreed. "Yet, the left side of her face is disfigured, which is a characteristic of the woman we are seeking... according to my captain".

"F*ck!", Suri cursed under her breath. She should have cast a minor illusion to alter her appearance prior to approaching the gate, the magic-user now realized. Raising her arm to conceal her face, Suri recited a few words, then lowered her arm and flipped down her hood, her legerdemain complete.

"I am not disfigured" Suri said, smiling as she approached the officer. "My mistake" the fooled man replied, noticing that the lady's face wasn't scarred as he first thought. She was, in fact, quite gorgeous. "Wow!" the enchanted officer exclaimed. "You are a beauty" he observed, his eyes moving from Suri's face down to her ample bosom. "Nice to meet you, my name is Allyn" the officer said, addressing Suri warmly. "My shift is ending soon. Care to accompany me to the local tavern for some libations?" Allyn inquired, propositioning the blond bombshell before him.

"Excuse me, friend" Ceraifiot interjected. "My wife and I were wondering why the Northgate is closed. Is it not yet too early for that?" the bard inquired, distracting Allyn as he ogled Suri. "Ah..." the officer stammered, dumbfounded by the young lass's beauty. "Oh, excuse me" a disappointed (in hearing the woman was married) Allyn replied, refocusing his attention back to his new buddy.

"As I already said, we're looking for two individuals, a man and a woman with a disfigured face are being sought in regards to the murder of a priest earlier today" Allyn reiterated. Then, thinking he should be as forthcoming as possible with his new friend, added, "if the two killers attempt to flee the city they will surely be caught, as one of the Mayor's council of mages has been dispatched to each of the city's five gates, in order to see though any disguising illusions the criminals might use in attempting their escape".

The man before him was quite handsome, Allyn thought as he spoke. Perhaps if he was helpful his charismatic new BFF and his bewitchingly alluring mate would be interested in a three-way? I'm not that shabby in the looks department, Allyn assured himself, running his hands though his thick amber locks.

"Sorry that I propositioned your wife earlier" Allyn apologized. "You're both welcome to join me at the tavern for drinks, my treat" the officer implored, wondering if his strong desire to sex up both of these good looking people meant he was bi.

The situation, which had become quite uncomfortable, ended when Steve, who had been slowly maneuvering himself behind the officer, wrapped his arms around the man's neck and twisted. A loud snap later and Allyn's thoughts of a night of three-way passion were cut short. "You went to far in accentuating your looks, f*cking succubus" Steve growled, admonishing the magic user as Allyn's lifeless body crumpled to the cobblestone.

"Gods damn it", a shocked Ceraifiot cried. "There was no need to kill the man, he was under my control" the angry bard barked, referring to the success of the charm magics he had used to befuddle the policeman. Then, wondering if any passerby had witnessed the murder that had just occurred, glanced about worriedly. Seeing nobody, Ceraifiot turned his attention back to the brash fighter.

"It needed to be done" Steve explained. "The pig obviously wanted to screw both of you, and we need to get the f*ck out of here before any of his fellow cops show up wondering what happened to this guy" Steve said, nudging the body of the dead policeman with his boot.

SWTD #290, WTM #12.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Lindsey Graham Sez Caitlyn Jenner Welcome To Vote Against Her Own Interests As LGBT Person

But you can only lie about who you are for so long without going crazy ~ Ellen Wittlinger (10/21/1948) a critically acclaimed author of several the teen novels.

Lindsey Olin Graham, the confirmed bachelor senator from South Carolina who some people say is a closeted gay man, sez that the former Bruce Jenner, now Caitlyn Jenner, is welcome in the GOP.

Sen. Lindsey Graham [says] there is room for Caitlyn Jenner to be a Republican if she wants to be... Graham's comments were made in response to statements made last week by talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who said Republicans should not accept the former Bruce Jenner as a Republican or accept transgenderism as being normal. "I am pro life and believe in traditional marriage without animosity, and the courts will rule about traditional marriage", he said. "I will proudly defend the unborn, and if we can't agree on abortion, let's talk about taxes... (Lindsey Graham: There is Room For Caitlyn Jenner in the Republican Party by Sandy Fitzgerald. NewsMax 6/7/2015).

Sure she's welcome to vote against her own interests as an LGBT person. Note that I said her interests as an LGBT person and NOT her interests as a very wealthy individual. The GOP absolutely represents her interests in that regard.

But as a dude who feels like a gal (a legitimate condition, scientists have confirmed) and now wants to present herself to the world as a woman? We all KNOW that the GOP does NOT represent her interests in this regard. In fact, the GOP has and will continue to work AGAINST the interests of LGBT people. And el Rushbo says she's a freak and not normal and he represents how MANY GOPers feel (he's got the ratings that say people listen to him, at least).

So... Caitlyn's money is more important to her than equality as an LGBT person? This must be the case. Although there are some (who are wrong, IMO) who think that Conservative economic policies are actually best for everyone. That they will help the poor and rich alike. As a Progressive Democrat I believe these people are deluded.

But I also acknowledge that some people think Progressivism leads to dependence on the government by The Poors and harms more than helps. Again, I disagree, but I TRY to do so respectfully. Caitlyn Jenner, I assume is one of these people. And bully for her. She has the right to these views... as wrong as they may be.

My problem is with the discrimination issue and the FACT that the ONLY reason Graham says she's welcome is because she may donate to Conservative causes and campaigns. And for her vote. She is not actually welcome, in that GOPers (represented by Rush Limbaugh) are NOT accepting of LGBT persons. Some absolutely are, but as a party? NO WAY, they are a small minority.

Why not support Conservative Dems, Caitlyn, instead of sticking with a party that hates you (or, a LOT of people in it surely do)? Not that there are no bigoted Democrats who hate LGBT people. Surely there are. But, as a whole, it's the Democrats who are on the side of LGBT people and equality and Republicans who oppose it.

I mean, look at this Duggar situation and how many of the current Repub POTUS candidates were cozying up to, and defending them. Rick Santorum was the 2012 Duggar-endorsed POTUS candidate and Mike Huckabee is the 2016 Duggar-endorsed POTUS candidate (who defended, then scrubbed his website of Duggar doodoo. But now it's back up).

We know what the Duggar views on LGBT equality are. They're opposed. Michelle Duggar recorded a robocall to oppose an anti-discrimination law in Fayetteville AK and fearmongered about trans men (like Caitlyn Jenner) "confronting" young girls in public restrooms and changing areas. Trans men that might be child sexual predators, she worried.

Is Caitlyn Jenner a child sexual predator? I say there is absolutely no evidence to suggest she is. At all. None. Yet bigots (who are strongly associated/connected to current GOP POTUS candidates) would worry about Caitlyn being such a predator if they encountered her in a public bathroom or changing area. For no reason other than their bigotry.

In any case, aren't ALL the Repub preznit 2016 hopefuls strongly opposed to gay marriage and equality for gay and LGBT people? I'm pretty sure they are. Lindsey says he is opposed to marriage equality (even though he might be a closeted gay himself).

Yeah, I know Caitlyn isn't gay... so maybe marriage equality is not a concern for her? No wait, if she's a woman now, and she's still attracted to women, does that not make her gay?... although she's still anatomically a man (right?). I'm unclear on that... the "is she gay" question. I'm pretty sure there has been no snipping, if you know what I mean... yet. I do not have any idea at all if she intends to eventually get snipped (or "transition"). Not that I care, but as far as the gay question goes - is a woman who is anatomically a man and attracted to women gay, or is she straight (if she has not transitioned)?

This might be a question "above my pay grade" as they say. In any case, my point is... WHY? Why would she want to remain a Republican? I know there is a whole sect of them, the "Log Cabin" folks, but I don't get that either. They are also voting against their own interests as gay Americans. Do they think they can change the party from within?

They may think they can, and maybe they can SLOWLY affect change. But this change isn't coming anytime soon, in my informed opinion (informed by events like the defense of the Duggars by Conservative media outlets). The Democrats already support the rights of these people, so why not join with those who would welcome them instead of hate them? I mean, if you were to take a look at a message board on the NewsMax or World Net Daily sites, you'd quickly learn that the majority of the commenters believe accepting the perversion represented by the "homosexual lifestyle choice" (as well as the B and T of LBGT) are part of a plan by Satan to bring down damnation upon America. Seriously, they REALLY believe this.

And these duggars and other fundies represent the "base" of the Republican Party. Which explains why the Republican party MUST pander to the haters. Not that I think any of the current GOP contenders are pandering, so much as they are expressing their genuine agreement. Although perhaps some other (more LGBT friendly) candidates would jump into the race if not for the base problem?

And HOW and WHEN is the GOP going to solve this problem? Or will they? Political parties HAVE died off. Perhaps this will happen to the GOP? They have to change if they want to continue to attract enough voters to win elections, but if they change now they'll lose elections big time due to the base problem. So, what will they do? I do not know.

I do wish them luck, however. Because hoping the Repubs stay bigoted because it will benefit the GOP would be wrong. But still, I definitely think that is what is going to happen... and I'm glad that GOP bigotry will help the Dems. I mean if they're going to stay bigoted, it SHOULD help Democrats. Because most people who are LGBT and LGBT-friendly realize that the place for them is with the Democratic Party. We've got their vote overwhelmingly, as well as the vote of a great many other people who are tolerant of people different than themselves (even if they are religious) and not cool with the Republican Party's intolerance.

Something the dummies frame as "intolerance" for their religious views, when the Bible says squat about loving homosexual relationships, gay marriage or trans people. Nor does it say that sexual relations between two gay people within a monogamous, committed, loving relationship is a sin. (Six biblical reasons why Christians should embrace same-sex relationships).

BTW, Lindsey OLIN Graham? I'd heard that his middle name is "Beauregard". It's possible people referring to him as Lindsey "Beauregard" Graham only do so because it sounds funny? (Actually, I kid. I know they do so for the comedy reason. Or I suspected it, because I did not know that his actual middle name was "Olin". Not until I looked up his Wikipedia page so I could link to it for this post).

Video1: Caitlyn Jenner is finally free on Vanity Fair's Cover. Video posted to YouTube on 6/1/2015 (1:07).

Video2: Audio from Michelle Duggar's Robocall in which she compares trans people to "child predators" and advocates against equality for LGBT people. Video posted to YouTube on 5/24/2015 (3:35).

SWTD #289

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

An Agenda Of Truth Telling Re Global Climate Change "Tiring" And "Distracting" Sez Irrational Fellow

Stopping the development of clean energy in its tracks by ending the wind-energy tax credit and other clean-energy initiatives, while keeping subsidies for Big Oil ~ One of the goals of the GOP-Controlled Congress in service of their corporate masters. (From the National Resources Defense Council).

The blogger rAtional nAtion has issued a cease and desist order in regards to truth telling about global climate change he does not like on his blog. This after he indicated that he might agree with the majority of climatologists who say the earth is warming.

rAtional nAtion: According to new scientific data the earth has been warning at the same rate the past decade as it did during the previous decade. There has been no pause in climate change, aka global warming. (6/5/2015 AT 3:52pm).

The title of the commentary by the rAtional oNe is "climate change skeptics, now what say you?". Now that I think about it, Mr. nAtion does not say anything himself. Does he agree or disagree? He only speaks of what "new scientific data" shows. He never says whether or not he is one of these skeptics himself.

Although he has said things in the past that lead me to believe he might be in agreement with those of us who are sane and do not believe the majority of climatologists are lying bastards on this matter.

That the climatologists are liars (with the exception of a few "luminaries") is what the Libertarian blogger Willis Hart preaches. It's central to his conspiracy theory involving James Hansen, Michael Mann and Barack Obama (the nimrod prez with the balls to pimp moronic AGW talking points in his commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy, which was the last straw for Willis).

This "new data" has "James Hanson's lying-assed paws written all over it" Willis sez.

Then he mentions "the satellite data that you CANNOT screw with". This is a reference to research conducted by John Christy and Roy Spencer using satellite data. Their conclusion was that this satellite data shows the earth is not warming that much conspiracy of evil climatologists to protect their jobs is real.

The problem is that the research by Christy and Spencer has been discredited, which I pointed out on Mr. nAtion's blog.

Dervish Sanders: I read Will's commentary concerning "satellite data that you CANNOT screw with" when he first cited it (and continued to cite it over and over)... but Christy and Spencer DID "screw" with it. First, they did not account for something called the "diurnal drift" (which refers to the fact that "The satellites must pass over the same spot on Earth at the same time each day to get a temperature average [however] the time the satellite passes drifts slightly as the orbit slowly decays)...

And second they made an algebraic error. But these things happen. I would not go as far as to label either fellow a "scoundrel" for not being perfect. Christy acknowledged the mistake. (6/7/2015 AT 03:03:00 PM EDT).

This is information I excerpted from a commentary I wrote for my blog back in 10/17/2013 (SWTD #211) in which I cite the website Skeptical Science (this is the origin of the info regarding Christy and Spencer getting it wrong in regards to their research involving temperature readings via satellite).

According to Willis "the tropsosphere temperatures would have to increasing at a faster rate than the surface site temperatures AND THEY ARE NOT". (this from a "Contra O'Reilly blog dated 10/15/2013).

But Willis is wrong. This information has been discredited by Skeptical Science (a climate science blog and information resource created in 2007 by John Cook that Willis sez is an "anti-science smear site").

But Skeptical Science says the satellite data (the data Christy and Spencer used to conclude that there was a "warming trend of only 0.09°C per decade, well below the surface temperature trend of 0.17°C per decade"), when corrected, shows that the temperatures in the troposphere "are in good agreement with models".

Now, I know Willis does not read my blog, so he (although he could have found out that Christy and Spencer were wrong via other channels) continued to cite the discredited Christy/Spencer conclusions. Over and over.

So I was wondering how Willis would respond when I posted this info on the blog of Mr. rAtional nAtion. But guess what? He posted his angry "rebuttal" (referring to James Hansen as a "scoundrel") and did not return. Or he did return and chose not to respond.

And when I submitted a comment asking WHY Willis would not reply, ye ol rAtional fellow replied with the following comment.

rAtional nAtion: It is time you took the issue to Will's blog and or your own. I has been increasingly obvious you do indeed have an agenda with respect to Will, dmarks, and me. And, it is again getting tiring as well s distracting. Your point has been made, you know Will is not going to change his views on the issue, and by continuing any further on this post you certainly are not going to force agreement. (6/8/2015 AT 07:38:00 PM EDT).

This is interesting. rAtional knows I cannot take the issue to the blog of Willis because Willis banned me from further comment on his blog. Seems my comments to his blog contained facts that made him extremely uncomfortable (and this caused him to fear seeing my comments, which caused him to take LOL-able measures to not see these comments). Although this is just "conjecture" as another regular on the rAtional nAtion blog might say.

So, even though this is conjecture, I think it is quite likely. Willis saw the rebutting and total refutation of his oft-repeated reference to "the satellite data that you CANNOT screw with"... and he got very uncomfortable. And perhaps a bit afraid. Afraid that the house of cards he has built on the discredited research of his "luminaries" had been blow away. Or that the supporting structure of it was greatly weakened, at least.

Maybe it would be best to ignore the rebutting and discrediting and simply pretend it didn't happen? Only Mr. Nation responded, so maybe nobody else saw it? Better to run home to his safe echo chamber and compose yet another "the scoundrel climatologists are deceiving us" screed. Which is exactly what Willis did... with a commentary in which he whined about "diehard alarmists" and "people who think that it's AOK to torture the data".

People who think it's AOK to "torture the data" is, I am fairly confident, a reference to yours truly. "Torturing the data" is, apparently, pointing out that the "luminaries" screwed up and that the satellite data is actually "in good agreement with models".

Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

That is actually quite funny. How DEEPLY in denial this guy is. Also funny (but not "funny ha ha") is rAtional's cease and desist order. He says things that imply he might be with the scientists, but tells me to cut it out when I post a comment that goes too far (in making Willis look bad).

I have to ask... What's HIS agenda? Maybe he's just being a good friend and is concerned about his friend Willis' world getting shattered via the "distracting" truth? Or maybe he, as a good Objectivist/Libertarian realizes that the plutocrats have no intention of slowing down their raking in of the profits when we should be moving away from dirty energy?

Again, conjecture. But as a Libertarian it is a position I'd expect him to take. As Willis does. "Green energy", is, after all, a "scam". A "scam" because, if we got serious about it, then it might take off and cut into the sales of fossil fuels. And that would be bad... for "Big Oil".

Or "Big Natural Gas", which is the industry Libertarian Gary Johnson thinks needs enriching. As opposed to going Green, Gary thinks that the "free-market approach" should mean less coal and that "we're going to see a lot of natural gas electrical generation come online".

So, continued dependence on dirty fossil fuels. And that is the agenda that the Hartster has the talking points down pat in regards to. Although he obviously disagrees with Gary when Gary says "I'm accepting that global warming is man-caused".

Gary thinks the way to support the fossil fuel industry is to push for natural gas, while Willis thinks the best way to support our plutocrats is to continue using coal and oil (and deny there will be any consequences).

rAtional nAtion, while being on board with doing what is best for our beloved plutocrats, thinks an "all of the above" strategy is best. People like Willis can continue denying (and that will be good for Big Oil), while Gary can acknowledge global climate change and push policies that will benefit Big Natural Gas. Either way the plutocrats win. Just so long as we don't get ridiculous and go the cap and trade route. Which Gary opposes. God forbid we actually make polluters pay for their pollution!

Or this is my guess as to what the rAtional gUy is thinking. Something he does not like (me guessing). But this is my blog so I can engage in as much conjecture as I care to. And Mr. Nation did say "it is time you took the issue to Will's blog and or your own". I cannot take the issue to the blog of Willis, so the only option is to take it here. Which I have now done.

Image: NOAA graph from the article The recent global surface warming hiatus: fact or artifact of data biases? Contrary to much recent discussion, the latest corrected analysis (or "tortured data") shows that the rate of global warming has continued, and there has been no slow down.

SWTD #288, wDel #58.

Friday, June 05, 2015

If You Ever Find Yourself Deep In A Hole It Might Be A Good Idea To Stop Duggaring

To engage in pedophilia while at the same time claiming gay and transgender individuals are the ones posing a risk to children ~ definition of "duggaring" according to the Urban Dictionary.

Regarding the 19 Kids And Counting scandal concering one of their many sons inappropriate touching involving his own sisters... On one hand I can understand that parents love their children and don't stop loving a child even when they do something terrible. On the other I don't know how these idiots (the Duggar parents) thought they could do a reality TV program and this would not come out eventually.

I mean, not only did they open their lives up to public scrutiny, but then they thought they could use this platform (and the fact that because of said show they acquired a fanbase) to lecture other people in regards to their (fundy Conservative bigoted) morals? Really?

Specifically I refer to the Duggar lie concerning transgendered people being pedophiles.

[On 8/13/2014] the City Council of Fayetteville AK considered a new law that will protect citizens against discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic background, marital status, or veteran status. In a... robocall obtained by the Fayetteville Flyer, [Michelle] Duggar claimed that the bill would "allow men - yes I said men — to use womens' and girls' restrooms, locker rooms, showers, sleeping areas and other areas that are designated for females only". She goes onto describe "males with past child predator convictions that claim they are female" who would enter these private areas. (Michelle Duggar Warns Arkansas Community That Transgender People Are Child Predators by Zack Ford. ThinkProgress 8/19/2014) Note: I modified this article excerpt to place it in the past tense.

No doubt the 19-Kids mom says what she does due to extreme ignorance (in addition to bigotry), but that does not excuse her diseminating such vile lies! According to New Scientist, brain scans can differentiate between the brains of transgender and straight males (Transsexual differences caught on brain scan 1/2011).

Transgender men view themselves as females. They are not going into female restrooms to oogle or molest women or girls. And if any man dressed as a woman was caught doing anything inappropriate they would be arrested no matter the excuse. The Duggar mom's robocalling in order to advocate against rights for transgender people is sick hateful bigotry. What is particularly disgusting about this sickness is that those on the religious Right (RR) who have it view their bigotry as "faith based" and, if object you're discriminating against them!

Anyway, my point in bringing this up is to point out the hypocrisy of the Duggar mom. She has a son who is a pedophile and she has the gall to advocate against rights for transgender men with lies about them being pedophiles? Now, it would be just as bad for her to do this even if this thing with her son had never happened, but, given the fact that her comments likely angered many people, might it not have occurred to her that someone (thinking that the truth about the Duggars needed to get out in light of their hypocrisy) might release this info?

By the way, in regards to their son Josh's pedophilia, the Duggar parents spun some self-delusions during a 6/3/2015 interview with Megyn Kelly that just does not hold up. (Regarding the Kelly File interview NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans said "It seemed to be pretty much about helping the Duggars salvage their brand rather than getting to the bottom of what happened in this family").

[Jim Bob Duggar] ...a pedophile is an adult that preys on children. Josh was actually 14 and just turned 15 when he did what he did, and I think the legal definition was 16 and up for being an adult preying on a child. So he was a child preying on a child. [Megyn Kelly] You do not view Josh as a pedophile? [Jim Bob Duggar] No. (The Duggars open up about molestation allegations on The Kelly File, Transcript).

I did consider what the Duggar dad said concerning pedophiles being adults [1], but then I heard that one of the girls their 15-year-old son touched was a five-year-old. Who views little kids sexually? Pedophiles, that's who. I mean, if he'd only touched sisters with boobs that would still not be right, but maybe wouldn't make him a pedophile. Plus Josh was 15, which is old enough, IMO. These people need to wake up.

Unfortunately they didn't wake up. They are not "awake" now and they were not awake enough to realize they needed to act as soon as they found out about this. Instead, according to the Duggar parents, their son came to them THREE times with confessions before they removed him from the home for some counseling (they sent him to work for a family friend who was remodeling a building for 3 months). But this was far to late. What makes this even more uber-strange given the fact they believe men and women should not even hold hands until after they are married. (Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar Reveal Strict Rules of Courtship: No Holding Hands, No Kissing! 4/2/2014). What freaks.

As for Megyn Kelly, who later (the next day, I think) interviews the RR hate-pastor Robert Jeffress. During the interview a banner across the bottom of the screen reads "New attacks on the Duggar family". According to Jeffress, "the Left is using this tragedy for it's own agenda". Then he adds "if only perfect people can speak out on their moral principles, nobody is going to speak out. Which is what the Left wants". But this is nonsense, as what he calls "moral principals" is bigotry and discrimination against LGBT people.

Near the end of the interview Jeffress says "we all have episodes in our past that we hope will never be opening segments on the Kelly Factor" to which Megyn Kelly replies, "I don't know that show you're referring to"... Because her program is "The Kelly File", not "The Kelly Factor". I don't know about you, but I've never molested a child or tried to cover up an incident of child molestation and then go on to lie about about transgender men being pedophiles.

This BS by Jeffress, by the way, in response to Megyn asking (playing devil's advocate) if it's reasonable for people (not of the RR) to be offended by Josh Duggar "ascending to a moral perch" to lecture LGBT people. To which I say Y-E-S. Who the hell is he to lecture people on morality? Specifically on sexuality morality.

And yet Megyn is making hay playing to the RR base of Fox Nooz and the 19-kids program by defending the Duggars against "attacks" from the Left... for ratings. This when it was the Duggars who were attacking LGBT people and advocating against equality. Disgusting. Obviously Fox would not be doing this if the Duggars were not RR Conservative nuts that their misinformed (by Fox) viewers believe are being persecuted by the "liberal media". Shameful.

The Duggars should stop duggaring and go away [2]. And TLC should cancel their program (so far it's only suspended, not cancelled). Rick Santorum, to his credit, said "I was sickened by it. I was just sickened by it". And he added "I pray for those girls in particular". So no rationalizing or speaking of forgiving of Josh (that I'm aware of). Or attacking the Left for pointing out the Duggar's hypocrisy.

Although Santorum may have been miffed due to the Duggars endorsing him for preznit in 2012 but switching to Mike Huckabee for 2016. This likely explains why the Huckster rationalized up a storm and used this opportunity to attack the Left. And be rewarded with brownie points from the base. Screw you, Hucky. Although obviously Huckabee ultimately decided his stance was hurting more than helping him, as he recently removed all references to the Duggars on his website (Mike Huckabee Removes Nasty Duggar Stains From Campaign Website).

By the way, remember Hucky's "joke" that has him hating on transgender men while perving on high school girls (in agreement with the Duggar lie)?

Huckabee: [These] ordinances [say] if your 7-year-old daughter - if she goes into the restroom - cannot be offended and you can't be offended if she's greeted there by a 42-year-old man who feels more like a woman than he does a man. Now I wish that someone told me that when I was in high school that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I'm pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, "Coach, I think I'd rather shower with the girls today". (Mike Huckabee Says He Would Have Pretended to Be Trans to Shower With Girls in School by Mark Joseph Stern. Slate 6/2/2015).

In addition to the hate and lies concerning transgender men, Hucky thinks (although this might be a common young male fantasy), that it's funny for him (as an older man) to joke about violating the rights of young women to not be oogled while showing? No apology for this later, so I guess he does think sharing his fantasies about raping teenage girls with his eyes is OK. In fact, he's pretty sure he would have done just that, if only it had occurred to him. Sicko pervert.

As Slate points out, "Huckabee isn't really concerned about facts: He's concerned about finding the kind of red meat Republican voters still care about" (quote from article linked to above). Indeed. This is why Megyn is lobbing softballs to the Duggars and encouraging the hate-pastor Jeffress to defend them (while bashing the Left) on her file. And why Fox Nooz is also either not covering the story, or going on the attack against the Left for "victimizing" the Duggars by objecting to their hate.

Additional Information excerpted from Wikipedia: Josh Duggar, who will not be prosecuted due to the 3-year statue of limitations being expired, resigned from his position at FRC Action, the non-profit political action and lobbying arm of the Family Research Council, which has been labeled an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The FRC opposes and lobbies against LGBT rights (such as same-sex marriage and LGBT adoption), abortion, divorce, embryonic stem-cell research and pornography.

Josh Duggar's position at FRC is the "perch" Josh ascended to (Megyn Kelly's wording), from which he advocated against LGBT equality.

Duggar's abuse of his sisters and a babysitter consisted of fondling their breast and genital regions while they were asleep and sometimes while awake without permission, according to a police report obtained by In Touch Weekly magazine. Duggar's father, Jim Bob, was a member of the Arkansas House of Representatives for two terms while Josh was a teenager. The Duggars avoid birth control saying they have decided to allow God to determine the number of children they have.

[1] Wikipedia notes that "Pedophilia... is a psychiatric disorder in which an adult or older adolescent experiences a primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children, generally age 11 years or younger... A person who is diagnosed with pedophilia must be at least 16 years of age, but adolescents must be at least five years older than the prepubescent child for the attraction to be diagnosed as pedophilia". I guess the Duggar parents were relieved when they found out that Josh was too young by 1 year (or less) to be a pedophile! Although, I suppose one could argue that Josh does not have a "primary or exclusive sexual attraction to prepubescent children", given that he is now a married adult. But perhaps he does. Like I said before, what kind of a person would be interested in a 5-year-old sexually?
[2] Regarding the Urban Dictionary definition of "duggaring", I would modify it to read "To engage in pedophilia, or to defend/deny/downplay it, while at the same time claiming gay and transgender individuals are the ones posing a risk to children". The definition, as it is on the UD website, only applies to Josh Duggar. My modification expands it to include the Duggar parents, who, IMO, did a lot of duggaring when they appeared on The Kelly File. And it would also include people like Mike Huckabee, who was duggaring like crazy right up until he had his website scrubbed.

SWTD #287