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Machete Wielding Terrorists In The US

Did you know that the FBI uncovered a major terrorist plot a couple of days ago? It’s a familiar story; a religious whack job was planning on burning a city in New York to the ground, in order to carry out his demented holy war.

Listen to what some of this sick fuck had to say:

“We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace.”

The city in New York that was the target of the attack is a small town in upstate, called Islamberg. Here’s what this deranged terrorist posted on his Facebook page;

“It [Islamberg] must be utterly destroyed in order to get the attention of the American people”

So the plan was to go to Islamberg and carry out an all out assault. The FBI became aware of this violent jihadist earlier this year, and had him under surveillance for months. One of the wire taps picked up a call where the terrorist was sharing his plans to travel to New York to do some “reconnaissance” in early April. He wanted to map out buildings to burn down. He talked about using molotov cocktails to firebomb a place of worship, school and cafeteria in the town.

Here are some of the other things he said in the wiretaps;

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with 3 extra magazines and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds.”

“We will be cruel to them. And we will burn down their buildings, and if anybody attempts to harm us in any way … we will take them down.”

“If there’s a gun fight, well there’s a gun fight. And I want to come home ’cause I love my family and I want to see my kids again. But I also understand that if it’s necessary to die then that’s a good way to die.”

So who is this animal, and why haven’t you heard anything about this? You haven’t heard anything about this because the FBI didn’t send out a press release, the way they normally do when they break up a terrorist plot. Why?

Doggard

That’s why. Meet the vicious terrorist. This is Robert Doggart. He’s an ordained Christian minister in the Christian National Church, who lives in Tennessee. He served in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, including two years as a unit commander. He has a PhD from LaSalle University, and spent forty years as an electrical generation engineer. In 2014, he was a far right independent congressional candidate, running in Tennessee’s 4th district. He got 6% of the vote, but ultimately lost to Scott “no abortions for you, but lots of abortions for my wife and mistresses” Desjarlais.

Who was he talking to in those wiretaps? Militia members in Texas and South Carolina. You know, the types of groups that showed up in Nevada for Cliven Bundy. Why did he target Islamberg New York? Because for over seven years now, Sean Hannity has been asserting that Islamberg is a terrorist training camp.

Despite the fact that this has been debunked, right wing media outlets (like Fox and WND) have been perpetuating the lie as recently as last week. The fact is that Islamberg has about 200 residents. Here are some of them;

Islamberg

Scary. Thank god Doggert was on the case, and that Fox News set him on the path to protecting America from these…….Americans.

If you listen to Fox news, you don’t know shit about shit. It’s actually worse than not knowing shit. Everything you’ve invested your valuable time in learning, is complete bullshit created to make you afraid of things that will never hurt you. An alternate reality has been created to scare and manipulate you.

On a fairly regular basis, these consumers of right wing propaganda plan terrorist attacks and murder doctors in church. Hannity and O’Reilly feed the cuckoo birds with hate, and those birds commit acts of violence as a result of the manure they’ve been fed. And they [Fox viewers] will never be told about people like Robert Doggart, and the FBI will just forget to send out a press release about catching him.

Don’t worry though, you’re safe now. They caught him……………and let him go on $30,000 bail. No, I didn’t forget a zero. It was thirty-thousand dollars (that’s three thousand down if he used a bail bondsman) to get out of jail on charges of planning a terrorist attack. He faces fines of up to $250,000 and up to 5 years in prison. Up to. That would be the most amount of time Mr, “We shall be Warriors who will inflict horrible numbers of casualties upon the enemies of our Nation and World Peace” could serve in prison.

Eric Garner died for allegedly (but not really) selling loose cigarettes. Tamir Rice died for carrying a toy gun through a park.

Screen Shot 2015-05-20 at 9.54.27 AM

I know it’s hard to see what’s going on in this picture through all the tear gas and SWAT teams, but that guy checking Facebook on his phone and smoking a cigarette is under arrest for shooting up a diner in Waco, TX with his fellow thugs.

Eric Garner died for allegedly (but not really) selling loose cigarettes. Tamir Rice died for carrying a toy gun through a park.

Your perception that black people are to be feared, and that Muslims are coming to kill you didn’t happen accidentally. It’s been brewed for you, like a well crafted micro brew beer, with the media and law enforcement all doing their part.

White terrorists and murderers aren’t included in your nightly news shows by design. You won’t hear about the Robert Doggarts of America by design, even though there are exponentially more right wing terrorists than there are Muslim terrorists. 83% of white murder victims are murdered by white people, but you should definitely worry about black on black crime.

But I know, we’re living in post-racial, post-911 America so be afraid of all the brown people, who aren’t actually being treated any differently than white people.

My head hurts.

 

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Leaded Rioting

Violent crime started dropping precipitously in the 90s, and has continued to drop for over twenty years. It started happening during Bill Clinton’s presidency. In 1994, he passed a crime bill that did several things including putting around 100,000 more cops on the streets by issuing $200 million in grants to local police forces to help them staff up. It also included a lot of other "tough on crime" legislation that put more people in prison for longer, but I’m not going to get into the specifics because they’re not relevant to this piece. The Clinton administration naturally took credit for the decrease in violent crime, which sounds reasonable until you realize that those crime rates started dropping in 1991 and never went up for a single year since then.  

Governors all across the country also took credit since their crack downs were clearly the reason for the decreasing violent crime rates. Rudy Guiliani, the most obnoxious of all mayoral peacocks, still claims that his harassment of people of color approach (it’s called the broken windows policing) is why crime went down in New York City during his tenure as mayor. As I stated above, violent crime started declining three years before Rudy began his racially bias policing practices so no rational person would agree with his self aggrandizing assessment of his efforts.

The Freakonomics guys had an interesting theory that Roe v Wade was responsible for the decrease in violent crime. Their thinking is that legalizing abortion meant that would-be criminals weren’t being born because the mothers who weren’t equipped to raise children had access to safe and legal abortions. There seems to be a correlation in terms of the timeline. Roe was decided in 1973, about 18 years before the crime rate started dropping. Sounds pretty good, right? Not so fast. Just like the "tough on crime" thing, it doesn’t hold up to more scrutiny. This theory doesn’t work outside of the US. The UK legalized abortion in 1968. Their crime started dropping in 1995.

That was a nice try by Freakonomics. It sounded great, and relied on more data than criminologists turn to. I generally like theories from economists more than I do, those of criminologists. They don’t suffer from the curse of being a hammer, and therefore needing to turn everything else into a nail. Also, economists found the flaw in the economists’ theory. The criminologists are still clinging to their fallacies.

Criminologists have also theorized that crack was the culprit. See, the crack epidemic had increased violent crime so much, that when the crack epidemic burned itself out, crime dropped. But after crack there was meth. And during crack and meth, there’s always been heroin so that lame theory doesn’t hold up to 20 seconds of just thinking it through without having to Google anything. They also came up with the "when times are tough, crime gets worse" explanation. The problem with that is that the late 80s were a pretty good time to find a job. The much bigger problem is that crime didn’t increase from 2008 – 2012, when times were as tough as they’d been in sixty years.

So what is it? What explains the drop in violent crime. It’s looking very much like lead is the culprit. We have another economist with a theory that seems to be holding up all around the world, in a way that hasn’t yet been countered. In 1994, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (yes, the dreaded HUD) hired an economist named Rick Nevin to help them do a cost benefit analysis on removing lead paint from old homes. There had been a mountain of research at that point, demonstrating that exposure to lead can cause a laundry list of issues like lowered IQ, hyperactivity, behavioral issues, and learning disabilities. There was also a study that linked lead exposure to juvenile delinquency. This study got Nevin thinking about whether there could be a link between lead and violent crime. Remember, this was 1994 so violent crime had been decreasing for three years at that point.

Nevin found that the highest lead exposure wasn’t coming from paint, but from leaded gasoline.

Here’s a little history on the lead in the gas. In 1921, tetra-ethyl (known as TEL or ethyl) lead was developed for GM by Thomas Midgley, who discovered that adding the lead to the gas reduced the "knocking" in engines. In February, 1923, leaded gas was first sold commercially. Four months later, the US Public Health service was made aware of the leaded gas and requested safety tests (pesky big government!). By September of the same year, workers in the DuPont TEL plant were starting to die. The scene was described as, “sickening deaths and illnesses of hundreds of TEL workers… Gripped by violent bursts of insanity, the afflicted would imagine they were being persecuted by butterflies and other winged insects before expiring, their bodies having turned black and blue.” By April 1925, a Yale study (among others) concluded that "the greatest single question [whether leaded gasoline is safe] in the field of public health which has ever faced the American public.". In May 1925, the US Public Health Service held a conference to discuss both sides of the ethyl (as usual, the sides were science vs corporate profits) issue and appoint a blue ribbon committee to conduct an independent inquiry.

What followed was a now very familiar decades long period in which more and more studies around the world were sounding alarm bells about the dangers of lead, which naturally generated industry funded "studies" to counter the broader scientific community. This was the beginning of the allegations (by DuPont and GM) of "partisan science". Stop me when this starts to sound familiar to you. People are dying in the manufacturing plants, and everyone knew it was because of the "looney gas". By the late 60s, the government was starting to lay out timelines and regulations for the phasing out of lead. Here’s a fun quote from the VP of Ethyl Corp in 1971;

“The clincher by all prophets of doom is that someone started the rumor that lead was the cause of the fall of the Roman Empire… The legend always gets fuzzy — sometimes it is caused by lead-lined aqueducts, other times it is from their wine being drunk from lead-lined flasks.”

Again, just let me know when this is starting to sound familiar to you. The victimhood, the hyperbole, the fear tactics…these are all echoed by tobacco companies, the NRA, the entirety of the energy industry. Basically any corporation who needs for science not to be so sciency. And when it gets too sciency, it’s time to cook up just enough "science" to claim that there are unanswered questions. There were no unanswered questions about tobacco. There were no unanswered questions about lead. There are no unanswered questions about why our climate is changing, and there are no unanswered questions about how to reduce gun deaths and gun crime.  

In 1972, the EPA mandated that gas stations would be required to sell unleaded gasoline to protect these new fangled "catalytic converters" that the government forced the automotive industry to develop (fucking big government, all up in our business again!) It wasn’t until 1986 that all leaded gasoline was eradicated in the US. That’s over sixty fucking years from when serious questions about lead emerged. No wonder this tactic is still being used.

Okay, back to Nevin. He’s published dozens of papers on the topic of lead and its correlation to violent crime. Here’s a link to the one paper I’m primarily using. I’m just going to give you some bite sized samples of what he’s found by sharing some of his graphs.

Robbery

 

It’s impossible to imagine a more clear correlation.

 

AggAssault   

 

 

 

Murder     

You get the idea. He demonstrated a clear correlation between lead and IQ, behavioral issues and violence. All of it correlates as clearly as the graphs above.

Guess where lead paint still exists in the US? If you guessed that it exists in poor neighborhoods, you win a cookie. Wanna know where there’s likely still a decent amount of lead paint? Yep, Baltimore. Three years ago, they paid out a $3.7 million settlement to a public housing resident who suffered lead poisoning as a child in the 80s.

Maryland’s lead poisoning prevention law didn’t kick in until 1996. Nevin found a nearly precisely twenty year correlation between the elimination of lead and the reduction in crime. In other words, if Nevin is correct and all of Maryland took care of its lead paint problem (I know, I’m being hypothetical) in 1996, we should expect to see low IQ, behavioral issues, and violent tendencies until 2016.

There is an actual physiological factor at play in poor areas of America. All of the privileged people who get to say, "violence is unacceptable under any circumstances" have no idea what they’re talking about. Of course violence is unacceptable, and I’m fairly certain that a significant number of the people committing the violence would be able to agree, had they grown up in a different neighborhood. Being poor comes with innumerable hazards that don’t come with being middle class or rich. Don’t even get me started on the asthma situation.

My response to every single "this is unacceptable" comment was that this isn’t mine to judge. If you didn’t grow up under the circumstances that residents of Ferguson or Baltimore did, then you are not qualified to judge what the appropriate level of rage would be. Lead is just one of dozens of factors involved in these situations that most people aren’t aware of. Stay in your lane. Judging people in these neighborhoods is not your lane. And making an uninformed judgment says more about you than it does about the rioters. I’m just saying that realizing that you don’t know what you don’t know would be the wise thing to do sometimes.     

   

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Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Lobbyists.

That’s the Cliff Notes version for those of you who don’t like reading more than just a headline. For everyone else, let me explain what has me bitchy today.

"Stand your ground" in Florida. I know what you’re thinking; Bitchy has been bitchy about "stand your ground" for a long time now. That’s true, but there’s a new development that has significantly elevated my level of bitchiness. About a month and a half ago, the Tampa Bay Times published an article of their analysis of 200 "stand your ground" cases. Here’s a summary of what they found;

  • People who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time
  • People who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time
  • Whites who invoked the law were charged at the same rate as blacks
  • Whites who went to trial were convicted at the same rate as blacks
  • Of the 88 fatal "stand your ground” cases that have been decided, about 1/4 involved defendants and victims of different races including; six cases in which a white killed a black, five cases in which a black killed a white and six in which a Hispanic killed a non-Hispanic
  • No charges were filed in most of those mixed-race cases

Whether you like this data or you don’t like this data, you should like the fact that someone is looking at the data. I do. I like data because unlike anecdotal evidence, it’s empirical. Data objectively lets us know if something is producing positive or negative results. Data helps us to form objective opinions about things, and I believe that more information = better informed opinions. But I don’t want to get into this data, or present to you the other pieces of data I have about "stand your ground"and what a destructive law it is. That’s not what has me bitchy.

The thing that has me at DefCon 5 of bitchiness is a republican Florida house member named Matt Gaetz. Matt Gaetz doesn’t like the data. He doesn’t like some of the alarming things that the data shows. So what do you do when you don’t like the data? Do you address the problem that the data suggests may exist by perhaps asking for more data? Do you maybe take a closer look at the law that created the alarming results that the data shows? Do you rethink your position on something because the data you don’t like is telling you that there’s a problem?

No, silly goose! Matt Gaetz is a republican, and there’s a reason why fewer republicans than ever "believe" in evolution or climate change, than democrats or independents. They just disregard data they don’t like. But Matt Gaetz is going further than simply disregarding the data he doesn’t like. He’s trying to make it impossible to collect this type of data in the future.
 

Gaetz has proposed an amendment to a bill that would expand the scope of "stand your ground" to expunge the court records if the "stand your ground" defense was successful. In other words, we won’t be able to look at the data that might show us if there’s anything nefarious about how the law is being applied. Now, Matt Gaetz is no Rhodes scholar so he didn’t come up with this tactic on his own.

No, this is a tactic that the NRA has found to be tried and true. Back in 1996, the NRA and the legislators they bought successfully blocked funding for the CDC’s research into gun violence. If you clicked on that last link, I’d like to point out that Jay Dickey, who co-wrote that article was one of the cosponsors of the bill to strip the CDC of that research funding. So for 18 years now, we haven’t been able to learn things like, how many kids are accidentally shot by their gun loving parent’s firearm in the house? The data in that last link was compiled by doctors who did the painstaking work of combing through hospital records because there is no other way to find it, since the NRA has also (successfully, in many states) lobbied to make sure that the accidental shooting of a child is not criminal. So there’s no data on criminal charges to be looked at. See what the NRA did there? Data = bad, so we need to block anyone’s ability to ever collect any data that might suggest that having a gun in your home may not be a brilliant idea.

This is a tactic that is also (largely) working for Monsanto, who won’t let us look at the genetic modifications they’re making to our food (proprietary information and other bullshit like that) and they’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars to make sure these modifications get a blessing from the FDA. They’ve produced mountains of "GMOs are safe" studies by buying scientists to make sure they get the results they want. Have you ever noticed how the "science" in the US regarding GMOs has come to vastly different conclusions than the science in the rest of the world?

We can’t have nice things because our government is bought and paid for. We can’t have nice things because a battalion of lobbyists have been deployed to hide information, fabricate information, and do whatever they can to confuse us into not knowing what "nice things" are. Do you think that fewer parents would have guns in their homes if they knew that 10,000 kids a year were being injured because of unsecured firearms in the house? I don’t know, but I know that the NRA is worried about that information getting out. Do you think that fewer people would eat corn that is genetically modified to be resistant to toxic weed killers if we could get some peer reviewed studies in those modifications? I don’t know, but Monsanto seem to be worried about that data getting out.

Part of why we’re dumb, is because there’s a concerted effort to make us dumb. Because dumb people don’t notice that they’re not getting nice things.

We need to reform our political system before we can have a functional government that serves the people, let alone nice things. We need to get money and corporate personhood out of our political equation. We will never be able to solve our big issues until we get the money out.

So let me continue my broken record impersonation;

www.wolf-pac.com



 

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Safer

Readers of this blog or followers of the various places I exist on social media know that I spent several months volunteering with the Bill de Blasio campaign. I must say that last night was a good night. There was much jubilation at the victory party last night. Progressivism steam rolled both fear mongering and the tired fallacies of trickle down economics. My primary reason for jumping on the de Blasio bandwagon when he was in fourth place was really centered around his position on ending stop and frisk and firing Ray Kelly. I’m not going to rehash the reasons why ending this policy is so important to me, since I already made my case here. De Blasio’s stance on ending the practice of stop and frisk actually turned out to be the primary line of attack against him. His opponent actually put this ad out two weeks before the election;

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGVDSr0-PFY[/youtube]

It was a disgusting and transparent attempt at scaring New Yorkers. Classic modern republican campaigning. It’s never about getting you to vote for something, but instead to get you to vote against something out of fear.

While canvassing for the campaign, I actually spoke to a few (mostly older) people of color who were afraid that New York would be less safe if our police force didn’t stop harassing young men of color. That was actually kind of shocking to me because I expect that if someone isn’t going to base their opinions on the facts, they would surely base their opinions on their own self interest. I want to now share some facts with you, that I shared with those people I spoke with. Yes, crime is down in New York City. Crime was on a steady downward slope for ten years before Ray Kelly ever started his racially discriminatory practices. That would be two years before Guiliani started these unproved and racist approach, referred to as "the broken window" theory. stop and frisk is part of that strategy. The idea is that if you spend your resources going after low level street crimes, you will discourage those small time criminals from becoming Jamie Dimon (or something).

Here are some more facts about crime;

From 1994 – 2010, crime started to sharply decline in many large cities in America.

During that time, New York City’s violent crime rate dropped 29%.

In that same time period, Los Angeles’ violent crime rate dropped by 59%.

In that same time period, New Orleans’ violent crime rate dropped by 49%.

In that same time period, Dallas’ violent crime rate dropped by 37%.

In that same time period, Baltimore’s violent crime rate dropped by 37%.

These statistics all came from the FBI’s uniform crime reports. I encourage you to look them up for yourself. 

None of these cities were practicing the blatant racism that is stopping and frisking young men of color. If I wanted to be as stupid and reactionary as supporters of stop and frisk, I would be proclaiming that stop and frisk slowed down the decline of crime in New York City. But since I’m not an idiot, and I understand that correlation isn’t causation, I’m not going to make that claim, although producing a republican style "you’re going to be shitting in your pants" ad around this premise might be kind of fun.

No one has ever produced any credible evidence that stop and frisk is effective. My belief in the destructiveness of this program isn’t based in a warm and fuzzy egalitarian, one world utopia. It’s based in pragmatism. So if you’re worried that on January 2nd, New York City is going to become a post apocalyptic, Thunderdome-like hellscape, you’re just wrong. And if you think that I’m just some doe eye sunny optimist, you should definitely provide me with your evidence to the contrary.

But until you do that, my pants will be devoid of the shit that irrational fear produces, and so should yours.  

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The Efficacy of Mass Surveillance

It’s been two and a half months since Edward Snowden made the American people, the world, and most importantly, the United States Congress aware of the mass surveillance programs that the NSA have been engaged in. Since then, we’ve heard 100% of the main stream media refer to Snowden as a traitor. We’ve heard the NSA and the white house vehemently defend this program, claiming that it has been vital to national security.

Two months before some (there are still a lot of things we don’t know) of the details of the programs were released by Snowden, a now infamous Q&A by Ron Wyden of James Clapper (Director of Intelligence) happenes wherein Clapper claimed that the NSA did not wittingly collect data on US citizens.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYgkjczoBYk[/youtube]

Did you catch the frenetic head scratching by Clapper there? If you don’t recognize that as a tell, I’d love to play some high stakes poker with you.

On June 12, 2013 General Keith Alexander claimed (in a senate committee hearing) that these surveillance programs have thwarted dozens of terrorist plots. He didn’t offer up any specific examples, or much detail beyond claiming that dozens of plots were thwarted.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5Q0g60n9rM[/youtube]

And then on June 18, 2013, Alexander upped “dozens” to fifty plots thwarted in twenty different countries. He still didn’t offer up any specifics. But don’t worry, the administration sent out some surrogates to serve us up some yummy bullshit on foiled plots that were quickly debunked here and here. So at this point, we’re a month into knowing that our government is watching all of our electronic communications, we have the Director Of Intelligence caught lying to the senate, we have no concrete proof of the efficacy of the program, we have the director of the NSA making increasingly growing claims about how well the programs work, and we have two lame attempts of “proof”.

And inexplicably, some Americans are buying this horseshit. I understand conservatives going along with this when it was Bush, because the psychology of the modern conservative is to follow an authoritarian. They need daddy to protect them from a very simple world in which only good and evil exists. But democrats? Aren’t you supposed to be critical thinkers, basing opinions on evidence and data?

Remember when Loretta Sanchez, a good little foot soldier for the democratic party, and specifically the Obama administration did this interview?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nvXn2w_FvY[/youtube]

Did she seem shell shocked to you? She certainly did to me.

And yet, people are still defending the program, I mean Obama. This isn’t about the program, it’s about protecting your political “team” at all cost. Edward Snowden = evil traitor, Barack Obama = good daddy protecting you. Never mind the fact that Snowden’s leaks at the very least served to inform your representative about what the government is doing. No, he’s a traitor and these programs work.

Unfuckingbelievable.

A few weeks ago, we found out that all of the judges appointed to the FISA court, are appointed solely by John Roberts. I can see why this gives solace to republicans, but democrats who are still on board? Seriously? Soldier on, little lemming, soldier on.

Two days ago, NSA Deputy Director John Inglis testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He testified that at most, one plot might have been disrupted by mass phone surveillance, adding “There is an example that comes close to a ‘but for‘ example”. Did you catch all of the equivocating there? At most one plot. That means the number is either one or zero. “…close to a ‘but for‘”… This gives you confidence?

Soldier on, little lemmings, soldier on.

Believe me when I tell you that Inglis’ testimony was well crafted and finely tuned. There’s a reason why the NSA is back peddling from “fifty” plots foiled. I suspect that a lot more shit is about to hit the fan on these programs.

But don’t let the mounting evidence deter you. Soldier on, little lemming, soldier on.

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Afraid Of The American Way

I have SO many things to say on the topic of the Egyptian protests, none of which includes speculation on what the Egyptians should do. I have no business telling Egypt what to do. I’m not Egyptian, and I don’t live in Egypt. I’m not arrogant enough to presume that I know what’s best for people in a country I’ve never been to.

If I were that arrogant, my opinion on how Egypt should handle their current situation would most likely be rooted in my experiences as an American and my belief in freedom and democracy. If I were a freedom loving, patriotic republican who believes in the power of the people over the power of government, I would most definitely have an opinion rooted in American exceptionalism, wouldn’t I?

Shockingly (or not), this isn’t what’s happening on the right. Right wing commentators on both radio and Fox have united in the support of the dictator! What the fuck?

Here’s Limbaugh hating and distrusting democracy:


Think I’m just singling out one republican whacko? Here’s Mark Levin. You may know him because occasionally, when the camera angle hits Sean Hannity’s desk just right, you can see Mark Levin’s hand up Hannity’s ass, making him talk.Watch Levin’s hatred of democracy:



Want more? Here’s Dick Morris (most famously known for his love of sucking prostitutes’ toes) crapping on democracy:



But I’m just getting warmed up. Let’s delve into why these idiots hate democracy so much, shall we?

Let’s start with the grandaddy of all honey toasted nutbars:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mXMtLmhQ74[/youtube]

WOW! He’s an idiot and a chicken shit. But he’s not the only pussy crapping his pants at Fox News. Watch Hannity piss his pants with fear:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doXvFTCPAZw[/youtube]

Honestly, could there be a bigger bunch of scared little girls on a single network? These chicken-shits are afraid of democracy because it might lead to Shariah law taking over the universe? Are you fucking kidding me?

I’m at a loss as to where to start here. Let’s start with democracy. Either you believe in it, or you don’t. And if you believe in it, you believe in it for everyone. These asshats are basically saying that they Egyptian people shouldn’t have democracy because they can’t be trusted with it. They won’t make the right decision, and therefore shouldn’t have democracy.

If that’s how we’re going to administer democracy, then let’s fully commit to this new system. Let’s collectively determine whether a people are trustworthy enough to have earned the right to a representative government. Let’s start here in the good old U.S. of A. Anyone that voted for George W Bush, even once is not worthy of having democracy. Their right to vote should be revoked because they’ve already demonstrated incredibly poor judgment. Sorry, you’re shit out of luck. You can’t be trusted with democracy.

Another litmus test for whether people should have democracy or hot, is apparently whether we believe they will do what we want them to or not. If they won’t do what the US wants, then fuck them and fuck democracy. If Egypt isn’t planning on picking a pro-American, pro-Israel leader, then they’re unworthy of democracy, and must continue to live in their own filth, under a dictatorship of our choosing.

First of all, that’s a dickhead point of view. People have a right to choose their own government. If Egypt is made up of 20% Muslim Brotherhood members, then the Muslim Brotherhood should have 20% representation at the table, whether we like it or not (for the record, I don’t). That’s the makeup of the country. The government should reflect the people it represents. If we’re not down with that simple concept, then I say we eradicate all republicans from our government. Fuck conservatives. They’re dangerous, frequently run our country into the ground, and they shouldn’t have a seat at the table even though half of all Americans fall for their bullshit over and over again. They’re ignorant, and therefore unworthy of representation.

Secondly, I find it rather inconceivable that a nation is rising up against the oppression of a dictator, only to then choose the oppression of religious extremists. Call me naive, but I just don’t see that as being the likely outcome here. How chicken shit do you have to believe that it will turn out that way? I swear, these fucking people are afraid of their own shadows.

Thirdly, so what if it did turn out that way? What if the Muslim Brotherhood, which represents 20% of the people, managed to take control of 100% of the government because they’re fucking powerful and brilliant enough to pull that off? At this point, we must remove our spines and lobotomise ourselves in order to accept the premise of this paragraph. Let’s assume that the protesters in Egypt successfully fight this fight for freedom, only to hand the country over to those that will oppress them in the name of religious purity (because Egyptians are stupid and easily duped!). So what? Is it conceivable that this new radical regime will leave 1.5 billion dollars of American aid on the table so that they can impose Shariah law on a country that isn’t down with that practice? Does that make any fucking sense to anyone? And if they do, how long will that last? How incredibly chicken shit do you have to be to fear this scenario?

We have never, in modern history watched a country fall into Shariah law. We are only seeing countries that have not yet moved beyond Shariah law. Contrary to what Fox tells you, Iran is not a country ruled by Shariah law. It’s a country ruled by the military. The ayatollahs lost control of the country a long time ago. The lapse int Shariah was a temporary, reactionary protest against the intervention of the west. The uprising we saw last year are not over. They were just the beginning.

And to the AIPACian Israelis, let me say this; grow the fuck up and learn to negotiate with the enemy. You have no right or ability to control how other countries choose to govern themselves. Get over it! If you don’t learn to negotiate peace with your enemies, you have no chance for survival over the long term. Dominance over other countries has never worked for anyone else, in the history of humankind. You’re all fucking children if you think it will work for you. And you should feel deeply ashamed of yourselves for supporting the oppression of other people in the name of your own survival.

I firmly believe two things;

  • I believe in the American way of life
  • I believe that humans are fundamentally the same all over the world

I know that the principles of freedom and free will are the best way to live and to govern. I believe that humans all want the same things; to be able live our lives and to raise a family in comfort and peace. I do not believe that in the modern world, anyone will ultimately choose oppression in any name. I believe that, with the exception of a few whackos, people will ultimately choose owning an iPhone over being stoned to death for committing adultery. I believe in democracy. I believe that people will always choose self governance over anything else. I believe this will all my mind.

If you don’t believe this, then you don’t really believe in the righteousness of the principles that gave birth to America. You’re afraid of the American way, and you should shut the fuck up, because listening to your irrational, whiny ass fear mongering is making me excessively bitchy.

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Crapping On Poor People

They obviously deserve to take the blame for everything from our shitty economy to creating the global warming hoax. If you listen to the GOP, poor people have more power than anyone in America. They’re the impoverished elite. In fact, they’re so powerful that if you were smarter, you’d spend yourself into poverty just so that you can grab some of that poor-people magic.

Here’s a charming little piece from Tucker Carlson’s little read website, The Daily Caller. It’s comically titled, “The DC Investigation; Food Stamps Are Easier To Get Than You Think. It’s comical because the “investigation” consists of a full grown adult, whose parents still support him, committing fraud in order to “expose” the exploitation of our federal food stamp program by those ever powerful aforementioned poor people. Let me summarize the “investigation”; this asshat commits fraud in order to qualify for food stamps. He then goes to that pretentious liberal bastion, Whole Foods and goes on a gourmet spending spree wherein he spent half of his monthly food stamp allowance on one meal. He neglected to mention how he planned to feed himself for the remaining twenty nine and two-thirds of the month, probably because he knows that mummy and daddy were going to have that covered for him. But this shithead didn’t even bother to consider how people that legitimately need food stamps manage to eat on $105 a month. Nor did he bother to offer up any statistics on how widespread his brand of fraud is within the system. By the way, this asshole is working on his masters degree, which is further proof that our education system is in trouble.

After reading this article (I assume I was one of a select few, since no one goes to this site), I was left with one burning question; If a douchebag speaks in the forest and there’s no one around to hear him, is he still a douche?

But the right wing jihad on the poor isn’t limited to a few fringe websites. Newt Gingrich (you know, the disgraced former speaker of the house that had to resign) continued his decades long attack on poor people last week in a speech in South Carolina. He blamed America’s problems on “The leftist news media, Hollywood, tenured academics, overpaid federal workers, and the unemployed. He went on to say, “I’m opposed to giving people money for doing nothing”. If that were true Newt, you wouldn’t charge a speaking fee.

But he makes a good point. If all of the lazy motherfuckers in America hadn’t spontaneously decided to get laid off in 2008, we would all be better off. Never mind the fact that they all had to work in order to pay into the unemployment insurance program in order to qualify to receive payments. That’s not a relevant fact in this argument. This group of feckless sloths clearly worked only to be able to someday bleed America dry.

And since they’ve been funding their lobby with a whopping $269 a week for two long years now, they’ve become too fucking powerful to touch. AIPAC can only dream of amassing the kind of power that the piss poor have managed to grab for themselves. Lloyd Blankfein makes hourly calls to homeless people to accommodate their wishes, just to keep Goldman Sachs in business.

Let’s not forget how the poor approved themselves for mortgages they couldn’t afford and forced Goldman Sachs to make billions of dollars by trading those worthless mortgages.

These people are indeed the most insidious among us, and they should not be underestimated.

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I HATE Government And If You Expose It, You Should Die

Good God, republicans are fucking idiots.

You’ve heard about the WiKiLeaks data dump by now. And I’m assuming that you’ve heard right wing pundits and politicians calling for the execution of Julian Assange, the editor-in-chief for WiKiLeaks?

Riddle me this, batman – why would a party who purports to hate government and everything it stands for, fight so hard to protect its secrets? Does that make sense to anyone? Shouldn’t republicans spontaneously ejaculate every time government’s secrets are exposed? Are they stupid, or are they hypocrites?

They’re both, but not simultaneously.

I was listening to Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck discussing the Assange treason situation. Honestly, every time those two discuss anything, it’s pure comedy gold. Watching them is like watching one thousand monkeys on typewriters, and expecting them to bang out Shakespeare any minute now. They fall into the “stupid” camp. Their viewers likewise, fall into the idiot camp.

Their masters, Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdock fall into the hypocrite category. They’re hypocrites because they don’t hate government, and they never have. They just hate good government, which is why they contribute so generously to bad government. They love the kind of government that enables them to get cheap labor, exorbitant tax cuts, and generally keep the money that they inherited. They like the kind of government that helps them protect their money. The kind of government that helps the middle class is the kind they’re opposed to.

So why did they decide to sic the stupid dogs on Julian Assange? Because the next round of leaks will be aimed at the bankers. Not just that, but there’s always the fear that the next wave of government leaks will expose the corporate corruption in our government officials.

You see, they have to protect the government that they’ve so heavily invested in for all these years. I can actually respect that. They’re looking after their self interest.

It’s the dummies I can’t explain. The O’Reillies, Becks, Hannities, and their viewers flummox me. These morons don’t actually see that you can’t hate government while advocating for keeping its secrets, without doing it from a straight jacket. This is the most inane of opinions.

If you hate the government, you should love the leakers that keep it in check. You only hate the leakers if you trust government implicitly. But a distrust of the government is not even remotely consistent with a desire to let it protect its secrets. Only an idiot would find these two combined ideas compelling.

I believe that good government is possible, but that’s because I’m a sunny optimist. I don’t believe that good government is possible unless it’s under a microscope. I don’t believe that good government is possible unless the vast majority of the electorate is looking into that microscope. I like leaks. I wish there were more of them because the threat of exposure may eventually minimize some of the shady shit that our government is trying to pull on us and on the world.

Next time some asshole tells you that a leaker should be assassinated, ask them why they’re so pro big government.


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The Demon Earmark

I’m already seeing a lot of coverage around republicans and earmarks, Rand Paul and earmarks, and [insert name here] and earmarks. I’m writing this post to beg of you, please put an end to this inane conversation. Please?

Anybody who is anti-earmark is lacking a fundamental understanding of how our government works. If you know one of those people, please forward this post to them because I’m about to break it all down for everyone.

I don’t know what you think you’re voting for when you elect a congressman or a senator, so I’d like to clear this up. You’re voting for someone who will bring home the federal bacon. Yes people, it is your representative’s job grab as much federal money as they can and deliver it to your state, county, or town. Why is this their job? Because it’s the only way that the money gets dispersed to local municipalities. If your representative didn’t pork up every bill that they could for you, there would never be any federal money going into your district, ever!

Here’s the deal; if we didn’t have the pork system that we have, we would have our house and senate voting on each local spending bill individually. Let’s use the senate as an example. When New York needs money to maintain the public transportation  system, and the senate has to vote on whether those funds will be allocated to New York, we would have a situation where 98 senators who don’t don’t give two shits about New York would most definitely shoot it down. This is true of any project in any state. We would have a situation where only two out of one hundred votes give a shit about the project or need. Nothing would ever get approved for funding. In the house, this would be amplified by four hundred and thirty five. Only one congressman would support any given project, because it’s their project. Four hundred and thirty four other people don’t give a damned about your district or its problems.

I’m guessing that after a few dozen failed attempts at obtaining the votes needed to secure a representative’s requested funds, they would adapt, and the horse trading would begin. Okay New York, I’ll vote to give you public transportation funds if you vote to get my funds to maintain my local parks. See how that works? We’d end up in basically the same place we are now, except with much more complex deals being made to distribute the cash.

And on top of that, Americans would be made aware of every single vote. People in forty-nine and nine tenths of each state would be outraged by the passing of any bill. Why would I, in New York, give a flying fuck about subsidizing a corporation in order to entice them to open up shop in California? And within California, Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, Sacramento, and Oakland would all be outraged if that money went to Santa Barbara. You think you’re pissed off at they system now? Wait till you see what happens when you “clean it up”.

I’m not saying there isn’t a better way than earmarks. I’m saying that this is the only way we have right now to distribute funds for state infrastructure, parks, and transportation projects among others.

So please democrats and left wing press, don’t spend the next two years perpetuating the same childish arguments about excessive pork barrelers. Grow the fuck up and start pointing out that given our current system, a representative that doesn’t pork up a federal bill is committing political malpractice.

And to liberal voters that are pissed off at the jackasses that were elected last week – don’t harp on your friends for voting for Rand Paul, who turned out to be a hypocrite. You should instead point out that of course, Rand Paul was going to be hypocritical. He’s not the asshole. The person that voted for him based on his promise  to shrink government is the asshole for falling for the same, tired unicorn they always vote for.

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Maxine, Maxine, Maxine

DISAPPOINTED!

Maxine Waters was supposed to be one of the good ones. Truth be told, I still think she is, but she needs to receive the appropriate sanctions for her ethics violations. And while we’re at it, Charlie Rangel must step down.

Don’t kid yourselves, democratic party loyalists, these charges are true. There hasn’t been a “misunderstanding”, and no one is going to be cleared here. I know this because Nancy Pelosi and the ethics committee would not be raising these charges months before an election if there weren’t solid cases here, which brings me to the real story in all of this.

I’m going to go out on a limb here to say that you won’t be hearing the real story from the main stream media. These charges of ethics violations are being brought against democrats, in a democratically controlled congress, months before an election. That is an enormously positive change in the way congress is being run. When republicans controlled congress, crooked republicans were the beneficiaries of cover ups, obfuscation, and delay (also DeLay) from their party leaders. Jack Abramoff, Mark Foley, Tom DeLay, and many, many more didn’t go before the ethics committee until republicans’ backs were up against a wall. We had Denny Hastert covering for Mark Foley, Jon Cornyn covering for John Ensign, The list is almost endless. And they certainly didn’t allow themselves to be subjected to scrutiny during election season.

Nancy Pelosi is running a clean ship. Well, as clean a ship as a politician can run. Make no mistake, she could have delayed these charges until after the election, just like republicans did. I know this, because I don’t believe that republicans have magical powers. They didn’t pull shady maneuvers that aren’t available to Nancy.

This whole situation will be spun as evidence of an epidemic of corruption in the democratic party. Let’s be honest, politicians are dirty. They have been dirty since about ten minutes after the first politician took office. And please don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing dirty politicians, I’m just saying that I’m not naive enough to be shocked when a politician turns out to be corrupt.

In fact, I’m damned near flabbergasted when one turns out to be clean, not because I’m a pessimist about politics, but because our system is designed to virtually guarantee the corruption of a politician. Here are some interesting facts about American politics;

  • In 2008, 93% of all seats won in the house were won by the candidate that spent the most amount of money
  • In 2008, 94% of all senate seats went to the candidate that spent the most amount of money
  • The average cost of a winning house seat in 2008 was 1.1 million dollars
  • The average cost of a winning senate seat in 2008 was 6.5 million dollars

What this means, is that we have a system designed to attract or create amoral whores into our politics. You can’t raise the kind of money that it takes to be elected in America by being honest. It’s just not very realistic to assume that your representative is “one of the good guys”. You wanna know how to tell if he/she is one of the good guys or not? If they’re your representative, they’re not one of the good guys. They had to whore, beg, borrow, and steal the money to represent you.

But I digress, back to Nancy. She is turning out to be the change that we wanted when we voted for Obama. She is the transformative figure in our politics today. And in my opinion, she’s an unsung hero.

As with the Shirley Sherrod tale, the story that we’re about to be told is  the polar opposite of what’s actually happening here. This story is not about an “epidemic” (there are two) of dirty democrats. This story is about how much better democrats are at stomping out corruption within their ranks, than republicans are.

But you’re not going to hear that from most anybody on your TV because the people on your TV are spokesmodels and lemmings.

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