He who has the gold makes the rules, chapter 341

gaspricemap

The above is proof that 1)the world is not full of angels, 2) as a result, government regulation is needed, and 3) because corporate greedheads are everywhere.

You wanna know why North Dakota and the northern half of Minnesota have the highest gas prices in the nation? It’s because two local refineries, and three of the four regional gasoline refineries, did their usual spring shutdown for maintenance and formulation changing for summer driving — at the same time.

The average price of gas in April was $3.46; today it’s $4.16.

Was this a calculated move? Did businesses with dollar signs in their eyes plan this?  Does a bear shit in the Minnesota Boundry Waters regularly?

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Perspective requires the desire to see properly, don’tcha know?

Found this on Facebook tonight:

Along with the documentation:

  • June 14, 2002, Karachi, Pakistan: Bomb explodes outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12. Linked to al-Qaeda.
  • May 12, 2003, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Suicide bombers kill 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners. Al-aeda suspected.
  • May 29–31, 2004, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Terrorists attack the offices of a Saudi oil company in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, take foreign oil workers hostage in a nearby residential compound, leaving 22 people dead, including one American.
  • June 11–19, 2004, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Terrorists kidnap and execute Paul Johnson Jr., an American, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Two other Americans and a BBC cameraman are killed by gun attacks.
  • Dec. 6, 2004, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Terrorists storm the U.S. consulate, killing 5 consulate employees. Four terrorists were killed by Saudi security.
  • Nov. 9, 2005, Amman, Jordan: Suicide bombers hit 3 American hotels, Radisson, Grand Hyatt, and Days Inn, in Amman, Jordan, killing 57. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.
  • Sept. 13, 2006, Damascus, Syria: An attack by four gunman on the American embassy is foiled after two security guards are wounded.
  • Jan. 12, 2007, Athens, Greece: The U.S. embassy is fired on by an anti-tank missile, causing damage but no injuries.
  • Dec. 11, 2007, Algeria: More than 60 people are killed, including 11 United Nations staff members, when Al Qaeda terrorists detonate two car bombs near Algeria’s Constitutional Council and the United Nations offices.
  • Sept. 16, 2008, Yemen: A car bomb and a rocket strike the U.S. embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including 4 civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are arrested for the attack.
  • Nov. 26, 2008, India: In a series of attacks on several of Mumbai’s landmarks and commercial hubs that are popular with Americans and other foreign tourists, including at least two five-star hotels, a hospital, a train station, and a cinema. About 300 people are wounded and nearly 190 people die, including at least 5 Americans.

So, the next time Willard, Glenn, Rush, or a Teahaddist starts bleating about the attack in Libya, ask them what happened to their outrage at the  administration’s apparent security lapses during the Bush administration.

Or is it all because Obama is a skeery black man?

 

“All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

 

  • One of Romney’s top advisers, Bay Buchanan, told Buzzfeed:

“Governor Romney supports a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution that defines marriage as an institution between a man and a woman.”

Like any family, the Romneys have faced hardship: Ann was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1998, and more recently fought a battle with breast cancer. She credits her husband’s unwavering care and devotion to her for helping her through these ordeals.

And as the New Civil Rights Movement states:

So, while Mitt and Ann recognize how important it is to face health crises together, he would actually allow states to prohibit same-sex couples from having the same hospital visitation rights that he and Ann have. We’re not allowed to exercise “unwavering care and devotion” like the Romneys.

Political suicide made easy

The Republican Party starts its quadrennial political convention next week. Such conventions have two purposes:

  • nominate the party’s presidential and vice-presidential candidates
  • publish its party’s political platform

We all know about the candidates’ work — it has dominated political news in America for the last year. However, the far more important aspect of the convention is the platform adoption.

And here’s where it gets interesting. The draft of the 2012 GOP platform, to be submitted to the convention next week, contains the following notions:

Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.

~~~

A serious threat to our country’s constitutional order, perhaps even more dangerous than presidential malfeasance, is an activist judiciary, in which some judges usurp the powers reserved to other branches of government. A blatant example has been the court-ordered redefinition of marriage in several States. This is more than a matter of warring legal concepts and ideals. It is an assault on the foundations of our society, challenging the institution which, for thousands of years in virtually every civilization, has been entrusted with the rearing of children and the transmission of cultural values.

~~~

That is why congressional Republicans took the lead in enacting the Defense of Marriage Act, affirming the right of States and the federal government not to recognize same-sex relationships licensed in other jurisdictions. An activist judiciary usurps the powers reserved to other branches of government and endangers the foundation of our country.

What would this mean if these and the other platform propositions were enacted into laws?

  • No civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay citizens
  • No birth control that involves expulsion of a fertilized ovum (almost all pills, IUDs, and “morning after” medications)
  • No IVF, frozen embryos, or other artificial means of conception
  • No stem cell research from embryonic sources
  • Arizona-style immigration laws
  • Reintroduction of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”  into the military
  • No judicial protection for cases of discrimination based upon sexual orientation

I’m not really sure how anyone going to the Republican national convention could look at themselves in the mirror.

And I don’t understand why any Republican could think they could win an election while standing on such a morally bankrupt platform.

“…doubt truth to be a liar…”

I’ve whined regularly about the lack of a dependably objective source of news these days.

MSM is a lost cause, partially through corporate dictate and partially through viewer demand for entertainment in the place of hard news.

Internet sources…well, we all know that all mistakes made on the internet are accidental. Right.

That being said, I find myself more regularly depending upon liberal-leaning news sources; conservative sources are monotonously guilty of forcing “facts” into place to fit a desired viewpoint, whereas progressive sources usually make at least an effort to present reality. (Yes, yes, I know there are exceptions on both sides. I quit reading Addicting Info because the editor is fond of cutting and pasting others’ work and presenting it as his own.)

I read Thinkprogress pretty regularly. Or, at least I used to. I post contrarian comments to TP stories occasionally. I’ve complained about a lack of journalistic rigor when it comes to their research, I’ve complained about an ominous shortage of articles showing progressive and liberal personalities and events that lie about reality, and I’ve complained about occasional inflammatory headlines that don’t well reflect the contents of the story.

Here’s the latest:

This was a story about people who genuinely want President Obama to lose the upcoming election. Their billboard’s wording is unfortunate, but it’s hardly an apples-to-apples comparison of Osama bin Laden and Barack Obama, despite the lead sentence’s implication.

It’s bad enough that sites like the Drudge Report and organizations like AFA distort facts to suit a conservative agenda; that’s the only path for those who ignore the truth. Progressives should know better than to walk down the same road.

The good old days are gone. Now we need the good new days.

Adapted from Narinder Sander’s Facebook post:

You were poor but achieved a comfortable lifestyle through hard work and education. Why can’t poor people today do the same thing you did? Because when you worked:

  1. Business gave as much loyalty to their employees as the employees did to them. If you worked hard, you had a job for life.
  2. Trade unions protected workers’ safety and negotiated pay that was fair to employer and employee.
  3. Every town had a local bank. Their customers were their neighbors.
  4. Every town had local businesses. Their customer were their neighbors.
  5. A family could survive with one wage erner — even if the job only paid the minimum wage.
  6. A major illness did not destroy a lifetime of savings.
  7. Schools were free to every child and prepared them for whatever goals they had.
  8. Companies within an industry were abundant and competitive. Product quality and customer service were as imporant as price.

Think about all this, and then ask yourself: What changed? Why did your company start bailing on you and your fellow employees and earn your distrust? What happened to your local bank? your local businesses? Why did your medical expenses get so high? What happened to the quality of what you buy? Why do you usually get the poor service you get at a big-box store?

Ask yourself these things, and think about why these things are true.

Then get angry, a little. Use that anger, and start fixing things.

Voter ID laws, or The Return of Jim Crow

Rock it, Garry!

We’ve got that voter ID crapola going on in Minnesota this November.

While I understand voters’ concerns about fraud, the sudden rabidity with which voter ID efforts are being pushed makes the entire effort suspicious. It smells like astroturfing efforts, not grassroots sentiments.

There are no verifiable instances of voter fraud that amount to more than 1% of total votes, even in local and state election (much less the federal level). The entire voter ID drama was generated by ALEC and its efforts on the part of conservatives who think that they have to rig the table in order to win elections.

And that says something about them, doesn’t it?

The right to shout “fire” in a crowded theatre

Seems that the queen bee of Islamophobia won her court case against New York MTA:

New Yorkers are going to start seeing this disgusting piece of hatred hung in subway stations and bus stops.

The First Amendment covers the right to speak out as one pleases. It does not cover incitement to fear and violence.

As Joe comments,

“Apparently Geller believes a lasting peace can be won by calling 700,000 New Yorkers ‘savages’.”

Life imitates art. People die. Media assigns blame. (With follow-up)

OMFG.

I’ve read the damned thing two dozen times, easily, and the parallel got right past me.

Note particularly the observation:

“The passage concludes with the media blaming Batman for inspiring the shooting, though he is not involved in the incident at all.”

However, we all need to remember one thing: the Batman would not take a life. Ever. No matter the cost.

Now watch the “million mommies”, gun nuts, general wackaloons, and the mainstream media have a field day.

~~~

FOLLOW-UP 7/21/2012: Told ya.

Jim Hoft, Andrew Breitbart’s bitch:

~~~

Fred Jackson, news director for the AFA:

[L]ike the Batman murders, our nation’s 55-plus million abortion murders post Roe v. Wade are not the cause of our culture of death; they are merely a symptom. Ultimately, the cause stems from something much less complicated. We as a nation – as a people – have turned our backs on God.”

~~~

Matt Barber:

The AFA Journal has been dealing with denominations that no longer believe in the God of the Bible, they no longer believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation, they teach that God is OK with homosexuality, this is just increasing more and more. It is mankind shaking its fist at the authority of God. We are seeing his judgment. You know, some people talk about ‘God’s judgment must be just around the corner,’ we are seeing it.”

~~~

Bryan Fisher:

[Judges] said we cannot permit potential mass murderers like James Holmes to read or meditate on God’s prohibition ‘Thou shall not murder’ as a part of their education, because someone like him just might be inclined to ‘venerate and obey’ it and not go on a midnight shooting rampage leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake.”

The cuckoos defend the nest

Here is a press release from the Boy Scouts of America website:

Please note that the “issue” and “policy” at hand is not described in the first three paragraphs of this press release. (What, is it “dirty”? or something?) The policy is BSA’s current (and now future) policy of completely excluding gay children and adults completely out of the organization. Period and end of discussion.

The real solution is denying the BSA access to public facilities and boycotting charities and businesses that give to the BSA. If the LDS “church” and the Catholic Loony Society want to sponsor them, more power to ‘em.

Please note that the 11 committee members’ identities are not being made public. Anyone care to wager how many of them are Mormon elders or Catholic muckymucks?

“Cheap food is an illusion.”

From the New York Times:

Dinner for 4 at McDonald’s
2 Big Macs
1 cheeseburger
1 6-pc. Chicken McNugget
2 medium fries
2 small fries
2 medium sodas
2 small sodas

900 calories
37 grams fat
123 grams carbohydrates
23 grams protein

$27.89

 

Homemade dinner for 4 of baked chicken, baked potatoes, bread, and salad

934 calories
39 grams fat
80 grams carbohydrates
67 grams protein

$13.78

 

Homemade dinner for 4 of pinto beans (cooked with bacon) and rice

571 calories
15 grams fat
83 grams carbohydrates
26 grams protein

$9.26

State Hall of Shame: Florida

Why do the voters in Florida continue to tolerate Governor Rick Scott?

Scott co-founded Columbia Hospital Systems in 1987. He resigned from Columbia’s CEO position in 1997 amid proven Medicaid fraud to the tune of an $880 million repayment to the U. S. government; this was in addition to over $2 billion in successful civil law suits filed by individuals. Columbia’s board paid Scott $350 million in stock and $9.8 million to just go away.

In 2001 Scott co-founded Solantic, a chain of medical clinics. Solantic has been repeated sued by those who claimed that the company would not hire elderly or overweight employees; those suits were settled out of court for undisclosed sums. (Solantic is mentioned again in a moment.)

Once Scott was elected Florida’s governor in 2010, he has:

  • maneuvered implementation of a state amendment that would prevent political parties from jiggering voting districts to favor one party or another at elections.
  • refused to put his considerable assets into blind trusts, as is usually done by office holders so as to prevent conflicts of interest. (His Solantic holdings were gifted to Mrs. Scott, so the couple could both keep an eye on them.)
  • signed a bill requiring welfare recipients to pay for their own drug tests in order to receive state aid. Scott also requires all state employees to take quarterly drug tests. (Solantic stands to gain a good deal of income, since it was the first business given permission by the state to administer such tests.)
  • refused over $2.3 billion in federal money to develop high-speed rail in Florida (thus turning down development and jobs).
  • refused to obey the state-level provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These provisions would expand medical care available to the poor and elderly in Florida.
  • not only tried to bury an April 2012 CDC report about an outbreak of tuberculosis in Florida (thus endangering the public), but then proceeded after the report’s release to close the state’s only hospital dedicated to TB treatment.

How many shady deals and outright crimes must Rick Scott commit before Florida voters finally get wise?

Will he have to eat a puppy during a press conference?

Boy, do I feel safer now, Mr. Border Guard!

ThinkProgress has run a story about the third time that 96-year-old Raúl Héctor Castro has been stopped and/or detained by U.S. border guards in Arizona.

The irony is that Señor Castro is a judge, a former governor of Arizona, and has been a U.S. ambassador — hardly following the typical profiles for drug mule or gun dealer.

This time he was forced out of his car in 100+-degree summer heat and detained in a canvas tent, despite repeated requests to take some consideration for his age and medical condition.

Racial profiling much?

I’ve found George Orwell’s successors!

They’ve released the 2012 Texas GOP party platform paper. The platform contains so many jewels of totalitarianism that I just have to highlight a few of the particularly pernicious winners. Just so you know…

The “Guess there could have been four successful 9/11 missions instead of three” prize:

We reject the unconstitutional use of Executive Orders and other mandates lacking congressional approval.

The “Levitican Law is just fine, however” prize:

We also urge the Texas Legislature and the U.S. Congress to enact legislation prohibiting any judicial jurisdiction from allowing any substitute or parallel system of Law, specifically foreign Law (including Sharia Law), which is not in accordance with the U.S. or Texas Constitutions.

The “Jim Crow was good enough for granddad, it’s good enough for us!” prize:

Inasmuch as the Civil Rights Movement argued against using race as a factor in American life, affirmative action reintroduces race as a divisive force in American life. The Republican Party of Texas believes in equal opportunity for all citizens without regard to race or gender. To that end, we oppose affirmative action.

The “pass the spotted owl stew” prize:

We strongly support the immediate repeal of the Endangered Species Act.

The “See the Levitican Law bit above” prize:

We oppose this act through which the federal government would coerce religious business owners and employees to violate their own beliefs and principles by affirming what they consider to be sinful and sexually immoral behavior.

The “We clearly don’t understand or support the U.S. Constitution, no matter what we said earlier” prize:

We urge Congress to withhold Supreme Court jurisdiction in cases involving abortion, religious freedom, and the Bill of Rights.

The “We think Newspeak is double-plus good!” prize:

We support adoption of American English as the official language of Texas and of the United States.

The “See that Levitican Law thingie above again” prize:

We support the definition of marriage as a God-ordained, legal and moral commitment only between a natural man and a natural woman, which is the foundational unit of a healthy society, and we oppose the assault on marriage by judicial activists.

The “Hubby’s three part-time minimum-wage jobs should be good enough for you” prize:

We strongly support women who choose to devote their lives to their families and raising their children. We recognize their sacrifice and deplore the liberal assault on the family.

The “Let’s shit on the nigg…er, I mean, fags! (oh, and don’t forget that Levitican thing)” prize:

We affirm that the practice of homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family unit. Homosexual behavior is contrary to the fundamental, unchanging truths that have been ordained by God, recognized by our country’s founders, and shared by the majority of Texans.

The “Women don’t need reproductive rights” prize:

All innocent human life must be respected and safeguarded from fertilization to natural death; therefore, the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.

The “Beating children as a sport” prize:

We believe that parental rights, authority and responsibilities are inherent and protected by the United States Constitution. Local, state, or federal laws, regulations, or policies shall not be enacted that limit parental rights in the rearing of both biological and adopted children.

The obligatory “And you sure as hell don’t need medical care!” prize:

We demand the immediate repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which we believe to be unconstitutional.

The “We don’t need no education” prize:

We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a relabeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.

The “Go tell Bristol Palin” prize:

We oppose any sex education other than abstinence until marriage.

I could go on (I’m only half-way through the document), but you get the idea. What saddens me most is that the platform calls for limited government, but they then wants piles of laws enacted to do this or do that.

And here are the Morons on Parade the Texas GOP platform committee members:

Chairman Tom Mechler Bradley Bailey- SD 11
Thomas Bratcher- SD 22 Hank Hering- SD 1
Renee Stoltenberg- SD 12 Stephen Broden- SD 23
Pamela Derr- SD 2 Bonnie Lugo- SD 13
Lila Ward- SD 24 Jonathan Covey- SD 3
T.J. Scott- SD 14 Beverly Nuckols- SD 25
Warren Allen Martin- SD 4 Richard Franklin Dillon- SD 15
Herbert Jamieson- SD 26 Debbie Pipes- SD 5
Liz Case- SD 16 Anuar Maycot- SD 27
Mary Jones- SD 6 Roman Klein- SD 17
Lance Cansino- SD 28 Mark Ramsey- SD 7
William Proctor- SD 18 Mack Casner- SD 29
Susan Fletcher- SD 8 Arturo Martinez De Vara- SD 19
Deon Starnes- SD 30 Jube Dankworth- SD 9
Angie Flores-Granado- SD 20 Nelson Spear- SD 31
Georgia Stapleton- SD 10 Randy Blair- SD 21