Sunday, October 04, 2015

Cartoon of the day.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

This is what some Christians consider courage in the face of gun violence in this country.

Of course Sarah Palin never had an original idea in her life, so this one seems to have come from presidential hopeful Ben Carson.

It is shameful that Palin and Carson would use this tragedy to further the myth of Christan persecution instead of addressing the actual problem.

And speaking of the actual problem Carson has something incredibly ignorant to say about that as well.

Courtesy of Breitbart: 

“Well, obviously, there are going to be those who are going to be calling for gun control,” Carson said in an interview with Hugh Hewitt on Thursday. “But you know, that happens every time we have one of these incidents. Obviously, that’s not the issue. The issue is the mentality of these people. And we need to be looking at the mentality of these individuals and seeing if there are any early warning clues that we can gather that will help us as a society to be able to identify these people ahead of time.”

Okay let me lay a little truth on this moron.

The VAST MAJORITY of gun deaths are not perpetrated by individuals with a diagnosed mental illness, and in fact most of them would easily pass a mental health screening.

The fact is that people get angry, sad, jealous, and scared.

Most often these are a temporary state of mind. And eventually this person will get over it and live a relatively healthy and long life.

However when firearms are readily available it provides the means to turn what is a minor glitch in a person's state of mind into a life altering event.

When Australia was confronted with their own gun massacre, they did not dick around talking about mental health, they passed some comprehensive laws. Which included the following:

At the heart of the push was a massive buyback of more than 600,000 semi-automatic shotguns and rifles, or about one-fifth of all firearms in circulation in Australia. The country’s new gun laws prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.) In the wake of the tragedy, polls showed public support for these measures at upwards of 90 percent.

The end result was a dramatic decrease in gun related deaths, including by suicide. And perhaps most dramatic of all is that there has not been ONE mass shooting since the laws were put in place.

So if Sarah Palin and Ben Carson want to show their courage, then they should put down those ridiculous signs and instead call on their followers to defy the NRA and write to their Representatives to tell them to start working on some comprehensive legislation that will keep students safe in their classrooms, movie goers safe in their seats, and Americans safe while walking down the streets of their own neighborhoods.

This is the country we live in today. 

 And if we want to change that, we need to stop being such candy asses and get serious about taking on a lobby that cares more about selling guns than it does about human lives.

Nancy Pelosi calls on Congress to establish a Select Committee on Gun Violence. About damn time.

Courtesy of HuffPo:  

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) wants Congress to establish a Select Committee on Gun Violence in the wake of the Oregon college shooting that left 10 dead on Thursday. 

There's already a Select Committee on Benghazi, and there will likely be one to investigate Planned Parenthood. On Friday, Pelosi called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to create a committee to investigate the "crisis" of mass shootings. 

"The epidemic of gun violence in our country challenges the conscience of our nation," Pelosi wrote to Boehner. "As we pray for those who lost their loved ones at Umpqua Community College, we must address the tidal wave of grief guns have caused to so many families." 

"As Members of Congress, how can we in good conscience engage in moments of silence to honor these victims of gun violence, if we refuse to take action? We take a solemn oath to protect and defend the American people," she wrote. "We must not accept the horror of gun violence as routine."

Of course even if the Republicans agree to establish his select committee that is no guarantee that they will actually allow any progress to be made.

After all the majority of them are terrified of angering the NRA and having them unleash their letter writing minions upon them.

Instead they will more than likely throw up the straw man argument that the problem is mental health, and not guns, and then do nothing to actually address that either.

Here's just a reminder of what DOES motivate the Republicans in Congress.

Ben Carson says that one cannot have morality without faith in God. How did this idiot become a doctor again?

Courtesy of Buzzfeed: 

“Ultimately, if you accept the evolutionary theory, you dismiss ethics, you don’t have to abide by a set of moral codes, you determine your own conscience based on your own desires,” Carson told Adventist Review, the magazine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church of which Carson is a member for a 2004 cover story. 

“You have no reason for things such as selfless love, when a father dives in to save his son from drowning,” Carson continued. “You can trash the Bible as irrelevant, just silly fables, since you believe that it does not conform to scientific thought. You can be like Lucifer, who said, ‘I will make myself like the Most High.’”

Have you ever read anything so stupid that you felt your brain start bleeding? Well I just did.

Actually the morality of the non-theist is far superior to that of the believer due to the fact that it is not based on the carrot and stick paradigm.

If you are a good person because you fear burning in the fires of hell for all eternity, or because you want to get rewarded with eternal life, then you are not a good person.

You are a selfish POS who is only doing the right thing so that your sky papa will spare the burning rod of hellfire and spoil you with everlasting life.

But wait Buzzfeed has more from a 2012 speech: 

“Can you prove evolution? No. Can you prove creation? No. Can you use the intellect God has given you to decide whether something is logical or illogical,” added. Carson. “Yes, absolutely. It all comes down to ‘faith’ — and I don’t have enough to believe in evolution. I’m too logical!” (Hang on that made me choke on my spit a little. Okay let's continue.)

Carson said the consequences for accepting the theory of evolution would be an abandonment of the human moral compass. 

“By believing we are the product of random acts, we eliminate morality and the basis of ethical behavior,” stated Carson. “For if there is no such thing as moral authority, you can do anything you want. You make everything relative, and there’s no reason for any of our higher values.”

God what a load of horseshit!

Morality has existed in one form or another LONG before Christianity, or even Judaism.  In fact it has existed long before religion itself, and even exists in the animal kingdom.

I cannot remember ever coming across a better example of a stupid smart person as Bill Maher has labeled these people.

Ben Carson reminds me of an autistic teenager who cannot tie his own shoes or remember his home address, but can flawlessly play Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11 without ever having taken one piano lesson.

In other words he is an idiot savant.

And what's with him never opening his damn eyes?

Elizabeth Warren reveals what's behind the Republican's agenda when they attack Planned Parenthood.

Courtesy of CNS News: 

Warren said the debate in Congress isn’t about videos but about giving women access to health care services, including abortion. 

“What this is really about is about women’s access to abortion,” Warren said. “And even though not one federal dollar goes to pay from abortions through Planned Parenthood, the Republicans want to find one more way to make it harder, to make it impossible, for a woman who is facing one of the most difficult decisions of her life. 

“They want to find a way to make it harder on her to get the health care she needs, and all I can say is we’ve been in that world before,” Warren said. 

“When I talk about 1955, I’m talking about a world where women died,” Warren said. “I’m talking about a world where women committed suicide rather than go forward with a pregnancy they could not handle, and what the Republicans are saying is they want to go back, and I want to make it clear we are not going back - not now, not ever.”

Holy crap!

Now see THAT is the kind of fire that we need from our Democratic politicians on this issue.

Hell this is the kind of fire we need from our Democratic politicians on EVERY issue.

I swear every time I hear Warren speak I wonder why she is not running for president. Because this woman is freaking amazing!

Bernie Sanders' fundraising comes within two million dollars of matching Hillary Clinton's. Perhaps now is the right time for Hillary to start worrying.

 Courtesy of MSNBC: 

Hillary Clinton raised $28 million in the campaign finance period ending Wednesday night – but Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders came within striking distance of the front-runner with his haul of $26 million, according to their campaigns.

But that is only part of the story according to the Washington Post:

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton technically beat Bernie Sanders by $2 million in the chase for campaign cash over the past three months. But that isn't the story — not even close. 

Clinton held 58 fundraising events to raise her total; Sanders held seven. As of the end of September, Sanders had brought in 1.3 million total donations from 650,000 individuals since he began running. Clinton's campaign did not release how many total donors she has. And Sanders ended September with $25 million in the bank; Clinton did not release how much money her campaign had on hand. 

Read between the lines, and you get this: Sanders is drawing huge amounts of small-dollar donations via the Web. That means two important things: (1) Sanders has been able to concentrate on meeting and greeting potential voters rather than spending his time courting donors, and (2) He has been able to conserve money because he isn't spending cash on lavish events for donors.

Some are beginning to suggest that ultimate Sanders might have more cash on hand than Hillary, and therefore more to use for his campaign. (This seems to be backed up by another Washington Post article which claims that Clinton has blown through 90% of the money she raised over the summer.)

And since Bernie does not believe in negative campaign ads, and is a man whose reputation appears to be above reproach, that also means less money spent on opposition research and less money spent on damage control and spin.

Ultimately this might prove to be one of the more important facts about this nomination progress.

It is no longer reasonable to discount Bernie Sanders' chances of emerging victorious.

Virginia Republicans admit that they rigged the state to keep their party in power.

Courtesy of Think Progress: 

Virginia is one of the most gerrymandered states in the country. During the last presidential election, President Obama won the state by three points, but Republicans still picked up 8 of the state’s 11 congressional districts under the GOP-friendly maps drawn by the state legislature. 

In a court filing offered by the Republican members of Virginia’s congressional delegation, the lawmakers who benefit most from these gerrymandered maps admitted that the GOP intentionally rigged the state’s congressional districts in order to produce a lopsided delegation. The state legislature’s “overarching priorities” in drawing the maps, according to the court filing, was “incumbency protection and preservation of cores to maintain the 8-3 partisan division established in the 2010 election.” 

2010 was a very good year for Republicans, enabling the GOP to capture unusually large portions of state congressional delegations. 2012, by contrast, was a strong year for Democrats which saw the reelection of President Obama. And yet, by these Republican lawmakers’ own admission, the maps drawn between the 2010 and 2012 elections were draw for the explicit purpose of ensuring that the GOP’s unusually strong performance in 2010 would be replicated year after year — even in years when the electorate was more favorable to Democrats. The GOP’s goal, in other words, was to render congressional elections little more than political theater, an annual ritual that would produce the same 8-3 delegation every single time. 

And that my friends is why even though the country is moving to the Left, that Republicans are able to stay in office and impede any real progress.

And of course to do away with gerrymandering would take an act of Congress. And WHO is the politic la party in control of Congress?

That's right, so even though bills do get introduced in order to make the playing field level, the army winning most of the battles has no intention of giving the other side a chance at victory.

I am all for this plan.

Maybe we should start with those photos of the children murdered in Sandy Hook, whose bodies were so badly damaged that they were considered too gruesome to share with the public.

Maybe, just maybe, THAT will be enough to get them of their fat asses and convince them to write some laws to protect us.