Monthly Archives: September, 2011

Better Parenting: Fewer Greedy Bankers and More People Who Care

How Better Parenting Could Produce Fewer Greedy Bankers and More People Who Care About the Future of the Earth

By Toni Nagy

“Avoiding the “mommy and daddy” issues that lead to retail therapy and consumerism, changing how we raise our children could nurture a generation that will actualize sustainability. Here is a theory: everyone who works for Wall Street has serious mommy and daddy issues. Actually, why not extend that to everyone who supports our current corporatized economic system? Think about it. If we didn’t spend our money filling the hole in our souls with retail therapy and went to actual therapy instead, we wouldn’t be living in a trashcan of a world. Maybe if we changed how we raised our children we could nurture a generation that would actualize true sustainability and economic rationality. Picture the possibility of transforming the world through parenting our kids in a way that prioritizes peace over power, longevity over profit, community over greed. And maybe those children of the future could be wearing those spiffy silver space suits made from recycled tinfoil.”  READ MORE

 

3 Things Everyone Must Know About the Lunatic-Filled Republican Party

Confessions of a GOP Operative Who Left “the Cult”: 3 Things Everyone Must Know About the Lunatic-Filled Republican Party

By Mike Lofgren

Former GOPer: “If you think Paul Ryan and his Ayn Rand-worshipping colleagues aren’t after your Social Security and Medicare, I am here to disabuse you of your naiveté.”

1. The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors.

2. They worship at the altar of Mars.

3. Give me that old time religion.

READ MORE

“A Day in the Life of Joe Republican (Conservative)”

(Republican and Conservative interchangeable)*

Joe gets up at 6 a.m. and fills his coffeepot with water to prepare his morning coffee.

The water is clean and good because some tree-hugging liberal fought for minimum water-quality standards.

With his first swallow of coffee, he takes his daily medication.

His medications are safe to take because some stupid commie liberal fought to insure their safety and that they work as advertised.

All but $10 of his medications are paid for by his employer’s medical plan because some liberal union workers fought their employers for paid medical insurance – now Joe gets it too.

He prepares his morning breakfast, bacon and eggs.

Joe’s bacon is safe to eat because some girly-man liberal fought for laws to regulate the meat packing industry.

In the morning shower, Joe reaches for his shampoo. His bottle is properly labeled with each ingredient and its amount in the total contents because some crybaby liberal fought for his right to know what he was putting on his body and how much it contained.

Joe dresses, walks outside and takes a deep breath.

The air he breathes is clean because some environmentalist wacko liberal fought for laws to stop industries from polluting our air.

He walks to the subway station for his government-subsidized ride to work.

It saves him considerable money in parking and transportation fees because some fancy-pants liberal fought for affordable public transportation, which gives everyone the opportunity to be a contributor.

Joe begins his work day. He has a good job with excellent pay, medical benefits, retirement, paid holidays and vacation because some lazy liberal union members fought and died for these working standards.

Joe’s employer pays these standards because Joe’s employer doesn’t want his employees to call the union.

If Joe is hurt on the job or becomes unemployed, he’ll get a worker compensation or unemployment check because some stupid liberal didn’t think he should lose his home because of his temporary misfortune.

Its noontime and Joe needs to make a bank deposit so he can pay some bills.

Joe’s deposit is federally insured by the FSLIC because some godless liberal wanted to protect Joe’s money from unscrupulous bankers who ruined the banking system before the Great Depression.

Joe has to pay his Fannie Mae-underwritten mortgage and his below-market federal student loan because some elitist liberal decided that Joe and the government would be better off if he was educated and earned more money over his lifetime.

Joe is home from work. He plans to visit his father this evening at his farm home in the country. He gets in his car for the drive.

His car is among the safest in the world because some America-hating liberal fought for car safety standards.

He arrives at his boyhood home. His was the third generation to live in the house financed by Farmers’ Home Administration because bankers didn’t want to make rural loans.

The house didn’t have electricity until some big-government liberal stuck His nose where it didn’t belong and demanded rural electrification.

He is happy to see his father, who is now retired. His father lives on Social Security and a union pension because some wine-drinking, cheese-eating liberal made sure he could take care of himself so Joe wouldn’t have to.

Joe gets back in his car for the ride home, and turns on a radio talk show. The radio host keeps saying that liberals are bad and conservatives are good.

He doesn’t mention that the beloved Republicans have fought against every protection and benefit Joe enjoys throughout his day.

Joe agrees: “We don’t need those big-government liberals ruining our lives! After all, I’m a self-made man who believes everyone should take care of themselves, just like I have.”

 

(*Note: this was originally published (anonymously) under the title A Day in the Life of Joe Republican. But this is a misnomer. In the last 140 years, the Republican and Democratic parties have switched sides several times, with one being conservative and the other being liberal. But labels and party affiliations change. What doesn’t change are the underlying political philosophies of liberalism and conservatism, and the fact that the liberals usually turned out to be right and the conservatives turned out to be wrong. And so it goes. Source: http://www.hcdems.com/misc/joe_conservative.html (no longer active at this time) Thanks goes to author, speaker and radio host Thom Hartmann, that is where I first heard it. There are many “versions” floating around on the internet also. NO ONE can argue when the facts are laid out for all to see.)

Study: Majority Of Young Evangelicals Have Pre-Marital Sex, Exposing Flaws With Right-Wing Attacks On Sex Ed

By Tanya Somanader on Sep 29, 2011

The religious right has a heavy-hand in conservative politics, particularly in an election year. Christian presidential candidates like Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX), Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) all tout their Christian credentials and signed the pro-life pledges to court the evangelical vote. But there is one traditional position that even young Christians are abandoning: the purity pledge. According to a recent study, 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults have had sex, only 8 percent less than the general unmarried adult population:

One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex – slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.

This surprisingly high percentage should land a blow to the political canon of the religious right-wing. As chief proponents of abstinence-only education, religious right-wing organizations insist that delaying sex until marriage “is the only 100 percent effective way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases and out-of-wedlock pregnancy.” Health experts, however, note that evidence suggests such programs “are even harmful and have negative consequences by not providing adequate information for those teens who do become sexually active.” Studies have not found that abstinence-only programs cut pregnancy rates, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), or even the age when sexual activity begins.

Without proper sexual education, sexually active young adults are more likely to have unintended pregnancies or contract STDs. Family planning health centers like Planned Parenthood, however, are dedicated to addressing these needs. Indeed, Planned Parenthood’s chief services are sexually transmitted diseases testing and treatment as well as contraception. These services help Planned Parenthood prevent “more than 620,000 unintended pregnancies each year.” READ MORE

Debt Crisis Boost for Rapture ‘Industry,’ Magazine Says

“A new “apocalypse establishment” has emerged in the momentary absence of Harold Camping, exploiting the fears resulting from the approaching debt-ceiling deadline, and may help the End Times preacher to resurrect “professionally,” a business magazine says.” READ MORE

God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters

Amazon.com:

Product Description

Keenly observed and meticulously reported, “God’s Profits” examines the unholy alliance between a new breed of corrupt televangelists and the Republican Party, which is eagerly courting “values voters” in the nation’s largest megachurches.Author Sarah Posner exposes the activities of Kenneth Copeland, John Hagee, Rod Parsley, T.D. Jakes, and other politically connected, skillfully marketed, and increasingly influential religious leaders. Preaching the “prosperity gospel”???the notion that faith and tithing alone can ensure financial security???both in their churches and over the airwaves, these charismatic leaders scam the gullible even as they enjoy unprecedented access to top Bush Administration officials. Admired by Republican strategists for their antigovernment ideology and authoritarian leadership styles, these televangelists work together to maximize profits; protect themselves legally; influence elections, judicial nominations, and promote their pro-war, apocalyptic ideas.

From the Back Cover

* GOD’S PROFITS is is a fascinating and important investigation into the sordid nexus between religious zealotry and run-amok capitalism. Sarah Posner has given us a vivid account of a new generation of spiritual hucksters whose venality is nearly matched by their political influence. The story she tells is appalling, but the way she tells it is enormously compelling. — Michelle Goldberg —

* Sarah Posner has produced the definitive expose of America’s leading “prosperity gospel” preachers. With direct access to the Bush White House and Republican lawmakers, these televangelists have injected their Armageddon-based agenda into U.S. foreign policy. Posner’s book should serve as a stark warning to anyone tempted to dismiss the John Hagees and Rod Parsleys of the world as benign loons. — Max Blumenthal —

* Sarah Posner’s reporting on the religious right is dogged, informed, and ceaselessly illuminating. She never condescends to rank-and-file believers; at the same time, she never excuses their leaders’ hypocrisies or fundamental misunderstanding of, and threat to, our constitutional republic. — Michael Tomasky —

* Sarah Posner introduces us to the stars of a new evangelical movement who have declared welfare Satanic, poverty a religious curse, and redistribution of wealth “contrary to the word of God.” GOD’S PROFITS serves as an urgent warning about their toxic and corrupting effect on American politics. — Esther Kaplan —

* GOD’S PROFITS is an astounding tale of religious hucksterism–and its role in politics–as big and crass as the ostentatious empires of the Word of Faith movement itself. It features a cast of charlatans, demagogues, con men, and the pols and presidents who pander to them. It is also a window on the rise of the Bush family dynasty and details how John Hagee, Rod Parsley, and their ilk treat faith as a cheap political commodity on its behalf. — Frederick Clarkson —

Intelligence collection raises profound civil liberties concerns

Thursday 29 September 2011

A Nation of “Suspects”
Nancy Murray and Kade Crockford, Truthout and ACLU Massachusetts: “The recent dramatic expansion of intelligence collection at the federal, state and local level raises profound civil liberties concerns regarding freedoms and protections we have long taken for granted. If people generally appear unaware of ‘change in the air,’ a large part of the reason is the unparalleled resort to secrecy used by the government to keep its actions from public scrutiny. According to the new American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) report, ‘Drastic Measures Required,’ under President Obama (who had vowed to create ‘an unprecedented level of openness in Government’ when he first took office), there were no fewer than 76,795,945 decisions made to classify information in 2010 – eight times the number made in 2001.”
Read the Article

It’s OK to bill the taxpayers for gourmet coffee, pricey pastries, and bottled water.

Republicans and Democrats may be at loggerheads about the debt ceiling and what to cut from the budget, but they agree on one thing: “It’s OK to bill the taxpayers for gourmet coffee, pricey pastries, and bottled water.”

More fun reads:

Hatfield, Early Republican Critic of Religious Right, Dead at 89: “The Times obituary of former Senator Mark Hatfield notes his liberal stances and rejection of the rightward tilt of his party over his career—stances that also put him at odds with Democrats, notably his opposition to the Vietnam war. At the end of the piece, citing an interview Hatfield did with Sojourners magazine in 1996, the piece notes he found the religious right an “embarrassment” to his party, as well as his concern about its influence on Christianity, rather than politics.”

The 10 Worst Post-9/11 Military Contracting Boondoggles

Empire of Chaos: How 9/11 Shaped the Politics of a Failing State

9/11: How I Lost the Country I Used to Know and the Person I Used To Be: On September 11, 2001, I was lucky. I didn’t lose anybody close to me — except my country and the person I had been before.

Conservative Talking Head Blames Those Who Helped America Proper

Tom Friedman Tries to Scapegoat Baby Boomers — He Should Remember That We Helped Forge American Prosperity

“Baby boomers did not contribute to the economic decline of America. Actually, they helped create consumerist prosperity with teenager allowances and middle age purchases……Just recently, for example, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, as he wandered through the streets of Greece,  wrote with Athenian authority that Baby Boomers were responsible for this country’s huge debt. Just because Eric Cantor and seventy-eight million other people fit into the rather vague category (1946-1964) of the Baby Boomer generation doesn’t mean that a particular generation caused the housing bubble, or turned our nation into one gigantic gambling casino. Yes, Virginia, there truly are people who daily bet against the economic health of the nation. “READ MORE

Inside the Wall Street Protests: An Eyewitness Account of Police Crackdown on Peaceful Demonstrators

AlterNet / By J.A. Myerson, September 25, 2011

“Protesters from the week-old “occupation” in New York’s financial district were arrested, penned up, and Maced on Saturday when the NYPD showed up to their march. A group of protestors from the camp ventured outside the park and marched on Union Square Saturday morning, and around 100 of them were arrested. Police sprayed peaceful protestors in the face with pepper spray, threw them to the ground and assaulted them with elbows, dragged a woman around by the hair, jumped over barricades to grab and rough up young people, and, when all was said and done, laughed to themselves triumphantly. This is exactly the sort of violence and brutality American authorities routinely condemn when perpetrated against non-violent civilians demonstrating for democracy in Middle Eastern dictatorships, even as they employ horrifying cruelty right here.” READ MORE

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