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Virginia Foxx is CLUELESS about history
Trout du Jour: Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-STOOPIT)

See her voting record on the issues. Oh, and let me not forget the "death panels" nuttery.

Virginia Foxx denounced the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bill and in fact calling Matt's murder in terms of as it being a bias crime because he was gay "a hoax":
"I also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay. This -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills," said Foxx.
See it here for yourself. Shepard's mother was present for her remarks on the floor that day and has responded to Foxx's remarks here. Foxx is no stranger to bigotry, as you can hear for yourself here.

Now she's slated to become the subcommittee Chairperson for the House Education and the Workforce Committee, even though her work as the president of Mayland Community College in Spruce Pine, N.C., and has a voting record against the best interests of education bills for student aid (More on that here):
12/08/2010 DREAM Act — NO

08/10/2010 Aid To States for Medicaid and Teacher Employment — NO

07/01/2010 Fiscal Year 2009-2010 Supplemental Appropriations — NO

03/25/2010 Health Care Reconciliation Act — NO

03/21/2010 Health Care Reconciliation Act — NO

09/17/2009 Student Aid Program Modifications — NO
Then we have the newest bit of fuckery from Foxx's incomprehensible exercises in neck-fart bloviating and fear-mongering to try and gin up the base's fears about issues and exploiting them for political gain. During the health care reform debates, Foxx went on the record with this gem: "I believe that the greatest fear that we all should have to our freedom comes from this room, this very room, and what may happen later this week in terms of a tax increase bill masquerading as a health care bill. I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country."

So, adding insult to injury, she's weighed in on the murders in Tucson (emphasis mine):
"This guy appears to be a communist," Republican U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx of Banner Elk told the Winston-Salem Journal. "His beliefs are the liberal of the liberals. There is no evidence whatsoever that this man was influenced by Sarah Palin or anybody in the Republican Party. This man is not a conservative; he's a fan of communism - that's the opposite of conservatism...

"I don't think members of Congress incite that kind of rhetoric - I don't think the things we say incite that kind of behavior. And I don't know that the things other people say incite it. I just think we have deranged individuals in this country and occasionally they do bad things."
Within two days of both the shooting and her comments, Foxx's spokesman says there’s no room for post-Tucson rhetoric like that (of Virginia Foxx), adding "It's premature to address any of the political and rhetorical debates."

Unless of course you're aligned with the party most consistently guilty of employing such tactics - then it's apparently a fair call and you shouldn't be held to unfair scrutiny from those Marxist/Socialist/Communist/Goddless/Christian-baby-eating liberals and Democrats.

Stupid cow.
Liberal 3 (Stupid)
In light of the murders and attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-Arizona) in Tucson yesterday (shootings of political figures are by definition "political" - that's how the target came to public notice; it is why we say "assassination" rather than plain murder) there is a lot of conversation happening all over about the shooter and his motivations for carrying out his actions. Much is being made of it (as well it should be) and even more disingenuous discussion occurring as a means of justifying and legitimizing. That's to be expected. I'm going to try and level the field here by pointing out what I see as the larger, more cogent points of the various arguments taking place.

The first point I would like to make is that Jared Lee Loughner is responsible for his actions and himself alone. I want to make this clear before I get into the looming issue of those public figures who have contributed to the climate that likely enabled yesterday's events - because those of us paying attention have been saying for years now that this was going to happen - and we have had countless examples, reasons, and a multitude of evidence to back our claims. So while I will not lay the responsibility for yesterday's events at the feet of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Tom Tancredo, Louis Gomert, Sharron Angle, etc. (the list is long but you get the idea), we absolutely MUST engage in discussions about how relevant fear-mongering is as a means of attempting to get your point across. The issue here is NOT free speech as anyone who knows me knows that I do not believe in or support censorship - it is responsibility for what you say. If I were to suggest to someone that they should take someone out and that person then murders said someone, I am obviously not a murderer - I may not even fairly be described as an accessory to murder - but at the very least, I'm guilty of some pretty duplicitous behavior and that should be held to some standard of accountability. To quote my friend Peter:
"The US Federal court convicted Omar Abdul- Rahman, the blind sheik for inspiring the first World Trade Center bombing.

Omar Abdul- Rahman did not plan, pay for, recruit or carry out the first Worldtrade Center Bombing. He wrote violent, extreme rhetoric that inspired the crime. For his violent and extreme writings that inspired the first World Trade Center bombing Omar Abdul- Rahman was convicted and sent to Federal Supermax prison.

If Omar Abdul- Rahman can go to Federal supermax prison for inspiring the first World Trade Center bombing, then Sarah Palin should go to the same place for inspiring these crimes today."
While I don't believe she should actually be sent to a federal supermax prison, at the very least she should be held to the same standard - as should anyone who engages in such duplicitous rhetoric. My reason is simple: WORDS MEAN THINGS, THEREFORE THEY MATTER.

The second point I want to make is that I, as well as many others, am fed up with these public figures on the right who are consistently and regularly making dangerous, disingenuous, and incendiary statements and are not ever being held accountable for them, but are also being enabled (and sometimes paid millions by networks) to continue doing so. This does not mean being word police up or to the point of telling someone what they CANNOT say, as has been a favorite excuse of those who would voluntarily make irresponsible and/or dangerous statements and then, once called out on this, claim that you're attempting to suppress their First Amendment Rights. I'm not suggesting you cannot say X, Y, or Z - just that perhaps you shouldn't - or better yet, if you do, take responsibility for the consequences that may result as fallout from your rhetoric.

The third point I would like to make is that this shouldn't be a surprise to anyone - there have been several warnings all of which are based on the evidence that something on this scale was looming. Congresswoman Giffords herself has even said as much, after her office was vandalized and she herself threatened after the health care reform list - even pointing out Sarah Palin's propaganda poster listing her as a target in cross hairs. See that interview for yourself here. Let's also consider the town hall meeting she had where a loaded weapon was dropped on the floor.

The fourth and final point I want to make is more difficult to frame, but perhaps what is getting under my skin the most - that is the notion that there is an equal amount of this between both ideologies of left and right, or more to the point the supposition that liberals are as equitable in the blame for inciting dangerous rhetoric as conservatives. BULL-MOTHERFUCKING-SHIT on that, and let me tell you why. Yes, there are extremists on both sides, but those on the left simply DO NOT use the kinds of overt violence inspiring metaphors as is seen on the extremist right. I was told by an acquaintance on Facebook that even President Obama is guilty of using 'violent rhetoric' in the form of 'colorful statements' like the following:
“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”

“argue with [people], get in their faces”

“I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry. I’m angry.”

“I know they are gearing up for a fight as we speak. My message to them is this: so am I.”

“If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard.”
My personal opinion is that it's an unbelievably big stretch to equate these statements as being on par with those aligned with the extremist conservatism elements of the right and the tea party fringe. Quite frankly, it's lame to even draw a comparison in the name of framing the examples as equal to the following examples in the remainder of this post, and disingenuous to draw comparisons in the first place without acknowledging the validity of claims like the ones I and many others are making and have made all along.

Borrowing from my friend Joe, here's a list of famous right-wingers assassinated by American leftists:
  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. ...

Here's a list of prominent Democrats who have deployed "Second Amendment Solutions" rhetoric against their political adversaries:
  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. ...

Here's a list of mainstream journalists/commentators whose hate speech inspired American leftists to murder someone on the right:
  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. ...

Here's a list of liberals and Democrats who told their supporters "Don't retreat, reload":
  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. ...

Here's a list of liberals and Democrats who use cross hairs graphics as targets in political propaganda posters to make a point:
  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. ...

Here's a list of liberals and Democrats who billed an event by stating "Help remove my opponent from office - Shoot a fully automatic M16 with me":
  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. ...
  4. ...
  5. ...

That last example was one belonging to Tea Party-backed candidate Jesse Kelly, who used his opponent as the example in his plug in the most recent election for Congress - that opponent was Gabby Giffords, who today is fighting for her life after being shot through the head yesterday.

There are no "both sides" in the continually ruthless ginning up of fear mongering and insinuations for calls to violence. It is owned by the extremist ideology of those who cannot win an argument, let alone an election, on merit alone - and that extremism is an exclusive faction of the right wing fanaticism that has gutted the Republican party in this country and even cause those who truly are common sense conservatives to change the way they view their own party affiliation. Leftist extremism is a wholly different animal, and you would be hard pressed to draw fair comparisons.

Until more is known about Jared Lee Loughner it is mere speculation to insist that he is part of the right-wing fringe. I've said this since I started making postings on Facebook while following the news all day yesterday. Should it turn out that his motivations were not aligned with any bent towards right-wing ideology, it wouldn't change the fact that yesterday he was responsible for murdering six innocent people - one of whom was a 9 year old girl born on September 11th, 2001 and part of a book about 9/11 babies and hope for the future, and the would-be assassin of a United States Congresswoman who has spoken out consistently against and previously been victim of extremist right-wing rhetoric and violent action. So once again, while I will not lay his actions at the feet of anyone who didn't pull yesterday's trigger, the separate issue of creating a climate which enables such things to occur MUST be confronted and addressed or we will have learned nothing from tragedy of yesterday. If those who spin the fear and hysteria have nothing to answer for, then their words and actions would stand and there would never be any reason for them to scrub their websites and Twitter feeds and Facebook notes along with comment threads - so when you see that, it's not only fair to call it out - it's necessary. If you're going to go to the trouble of gathering all the wood and stacking it, pouring on copious amounts of fuel, and then dance around striking matches, what you end up with is something called fire. Take some responsibility for the fires you build and don't complain when you get burnt the fuck up, because if you didn't want that to be a potential consequence of building a fire, you should have built something else - but since you went on ahead and built this fire, how about you deal with that shit. You don't get to have it both ways anymore. O-kaaaay?
I got a few clips of the postings - you can see them behind the cut. They're itching to lay the blame for the shooting on an 'illegal', a gang member, a liberal, or a Muslim. It is noteworthy that many of the postings I saw were offering condolences for the victims and were also saddened by this tragedy.

Brace yourselves...Collapse )
17th-Dec-2010 03:11 pm - Merry Christmas

4AD: Lonely Is An Eyesore
Label: 4AD
Catalog#: CAD703, CADC703, CAD703CD, CADD703, CADX703, VAD703
Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Limited Edition
Country: UK
Released: Jun 1987
Genre: Electronic, Rock
Style: Modern Classical, Goth Rock, Indie Rock, Ambient, Dream Pop
Download Links:

Album details, complete video playlist...Collapse )
14th-Dec-2010 12:13 am - *DRUMROLL*

I have officially lived 10 years longer than I ever thought I would. It feels indescribable, but suffice it to say there are HUGE rewards for sticking it out, and proving to yourself that sometimes things don't always end up like you planned - they end up BETTER!
In case you haven't heard about it yet, Sarah Palin's 16 year old daughter Willow went on a friend's Facebook page (screenshots here) and began retaliating on the boy for making a status update about Caribou Barbie's 'reality' TV show that read "Sarah Palin's Alaska is failing soo hard right now" by telling the boy who made the status update (and another boy who agreed with him) that he was a faggot, that he was fat as hell, and a low-life-loser. Big sister Bristol, of Dancing With Mommy's Puritannical Little Slut/going raw dog with Levi Johnston fame initiated the fray by insisting that the boy was only talking shit - because of course the show couldn't possibly be a giant nut-filled turd on merit and worthy of criticism and/or mockery, now could it.

Both girls are old enough to know that this kind of nonsense is stupid, but I for one am glad it happened. Not because they ripped on another kid, but because it's just another brand new example of what a total lack of parenting is happening between Sarah Palin and her children. That's pretty fucking important when you consider what a hypocritical opportunistic shetbag Sarah Palin is for just a moment. She's not had a single word to say in any sort of press release or interview on this matter, not one fucking syllable. She won't, either - because in the extreme right-wing teabagger world these people live in, you're impervious to criticism and nothing you do is ever wrong. You're only ever surrounded by people who agree with you so you're never challenged on anything and no one holds you accountable for your bullshit, and the bullshit is LEGION.

It's pretty amazing how you can operate consistently on two completely different standards and yet not a single one of your beloved fans ever gets hip to this hypocrisy, which to me can only mean that those who adore this walking bag of hair must be more stupid than she is. Nothing else makes sense, and no one with a fully functioning brain can extol the greatness of anyone this phony without an arsenal of sarcasm fueling them.

Let's not make this about Bristol and/or Willow Palin's choice of words and behavior in employing them because that's only an issue if you're comparing it to the current climate of awareness that has been drawn over the string of bullying and suicide incidents that have become such a common reality in this country - and rightly so - because it's clear that once again a lack of parenting has lead to something stupid and unnecessary. Bristol and Willow Palin are assholes to be sure, but they're no real threat to anyone. Before you try to give me shit for calling these young girls assholes, one is 20 and has a child - the other is old enough to secure employment and operate a 2,000 lb. carcass maker on wheels, so FUCK OFF. The real problem here is their mother's complete lack of public response on her offspring's behavior when a considerable response would be expected of someone who wishes to play word police for others. Case in point, Rahm Emanuel and the "R" word. If you recall back to February of this year, the then Obama Administration Chief of Staff was overheard ranting angrily about Democrats (in a strategy session over budget issues I believe) being "fucking retarded". This deeply offended Bible Spice to the point that she took to her Facebook notes page and put out this gem:

" Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking. [...]

As my friend in North Andover says, “This isn’t about politics; it’s about decency. I am not speaking as a political figure but as a parent and as an everyday American wanting my child to grow up in a country free from mindless prejudice and discrimination, free from gratuitous insults of people who are ostensibly smart enough to know better..."
It seems that her delicate sensibilities (funny how a self professed 'Mama Grizzly/Pit Bull Hockey Mom/Barracuda' even HAS those, but I digress) were offended because her youngest child, Trig, was born with Down's Syndrome and Rahm's use of the word was hitting below the belt. Before I wrap this part of this post up, let me be clear on something here. Trig Palin is cognitively disabled - Sarah Palin is fucking retarded.

She laments her family's lack of privacy and makes a stink about leaving her kids out of the spotlight, yet she's whoring the entire clan on one reality show while the oldest daughter is cha-cha-ing on another. She goes to great pains to bust Levi Johnston's balls at every opportunity for having the nerve to upstage her in exploiting the fuck out of 15 minutes of fame, taking -0- responsibility for the fact that she's the one who threw him on that stage and into that spotlight to begin with. You're not exactly the shining pinnacle of Christian virtue you want people to think you are when EVERY SINGLE THING YOU DO is out of self interest.

But it gets worse. Much, much worse. Read more...Collapse )
5th-Nov-2010 10:52 pm - WOW...
A Perfect Circle
I just saw A Perfect Circle LIVE. One of the best shows I've ever seen, hands down.
5th-Oct-2010 09:17 pm - Spirit Day
Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

The Viral "01/01/11 The Largest Tax Hikes In The History Of America Will Take Effect" Email Is Complete Fiction.
This is going to be a bit long, but it needs to be in order to accurately address and debunk the claims circulating in millions of email forwards. This is the newest attempt in the run up to the midterm elections in November to gin up fear and create hysteria at the polls. Nothing dispels ignorance like information, and nothing upends a lie like the truth. Pass this on by linking it to as many people as you like so that people can get accurate information and make informed decisions based on actuality instead of fear mongering. Thank you.

For starters, it doesn't really count as a the "largest tax hike in history" if it only affects a tiny fraction of the population, and restores rates to what they were previously (rather than actually raising them). The 'death tax' according to this misonformation would pass a tax bill to the loved ones/recipients of willed assets. That is NOT how the 'death tax' works. The tax is charged to the estate, not the heirs (much like the gift tax, which is essentially the same tax with a lower exemption, is paid by the giver, not the recipient). The executor of the estate is the person responsible for making sure that it gets paid from the assets of the estate. Often that person is a loved one, but that's not mandatory and it's not like the IRS is sending out a "death tax bill" to everyone who experiences a death in their family. If a close relative with a taxable estate dies, you don't suddenly personally owe the IRS money. In any case, the amount owed in tax is always going to be less than the value of the estate, so it's impossible to come out owing as "pass along a death tax bill" implies. Not that I expected anything referring to the "death tax" to be particularly honest. At least this didn't refer to it as the "Obama Tax Hike" like I've started to see, even though he was still in the Illinois legislature when the law causing it was passed.

The assertion that people will have to pay taxes on their employer provided health insurance is wrong unless in 2018 it is deemed to be a Cadillac plan. Employers will however have to include health insurance in W2s beginning 2011 but again employees will not pay taxes. Going from 35% to 39.6% is not a larger tax hike than when it went from 15% to 67% in 1917. Or from 25% to 63% in 1932. Or from 31% to 39.6% in 1993. Some conservative political movements such as the "Tea Party" have criticized federal spending as being out of control. While spending is up, taxes have fallen to exceptionally low levels. In fact, tax bills in 2009 are at the lowest level since 1950. As the non-partisan Tax Policy Center (TPC) noted Wednesday: "[N]ext year about 36 million taxpayers will report income" using the returns most small businesses use to report income, but "Only about 900,000, or 2.5 percent, would pay higher rates if the Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire for those in the top brackets."

The TPC went on to note that while that 2.5 percent did very well, earning "almost 44 percent of all the business income included in individual returns," the "average positive business income reported on 1040s is less than $40,000," a far cry from the $200,000 it would take for the business income to be taxed at higher rates under Obama's plan. Three percent, it should be noted, is much less than 50 percent, and does not qualify as "most." That's not to say that some people reporting business income wouldn't face higher taxes, it's just that those people are very wealthy, and are not necessarily engaged in the sorts of careers most of us think of as "small businesses".

The Email + A Prewritten ResponseCollapse )

GOPers Revise History: Say Dems Have Tax Hike Ticking Time 'Bomb'Collapse )

Bill Clinton managed to pass "the largest tax hike in history" (as it was characterized at the time) around 1993. How did the economy do after that? It boomed. George Bush passed a bunch of tax cuts after being elected. How did the economy do after that? The boom ended and there was just so-so growth. Eventually, it collapsed. The idea that tax policy affects the economy seems to have no actual real-world proof. Other factors are far more important (e.g., the collapse of the banks had little to do with tax policy).

Slate.com recently juxtaposed current footage of Republicans claiming that tax cuts don't have to be paid for with budget cuts, because they "pay for themselves," against GHW Bush's "voodoo economics" accusation against Reagan early in the 1980 campaign. They posted a graph that shows how the budget deficit has varied under Democratic and Republican presidents since 1970 (guess who's deficits are a LOT bigger?). For those of you who plan to vote in November, and you absolutely should, I would strongly urge you to consider this data when choosing candidates to support. It's pretty compelling.

- Click HERE for part 2 of this post -
9th-Aug-2010 12:43 pm - The More You Know
It's been interesting to me to have so many people from different walks of life confide in me that they have had questions about their religious upbringing and doubts about whether or not they followed because it is what they were raised to do or because they genuinely believed of their own accord after careful consideration. I try to be careful to only explain my own views of such things and not come across as too great of an influence to deny or reject anything as this is tantamount to proselytizing if you're not careful and I don't care much for that kind of imposition. Instead I prefer to offer reason and logic that can be reinforced with science, philosophy, academia, and best of all the exposure to the contradictions within scripture that make up a lot of the subtext.

I know that for a lot of people the things I've read that shape my worldview of religion and theology are not only a bit challenging and difficult to swallow, but frightening in that they usually tend to counter a lifetime of firmly held conviction that may or may have not been one's own originally, but is still tethered to all the right guilt buttons within the minds of the religious adherent. If you read something from an atheist, agnostic, or skeptic that makes sense and exposes certain things you've once believed unquestioningly and it resonates with you, there's a whole battle that can take place that seeks to challenge everything you think you know - and you may come to a better understanding either way. For many people such things are sacriligeous and scary if only because it takes you out of your comfort zone and invariably forces you to ask yourself if in fact it IS all a bunch of lies and mythology. Believe me, I understand. This is frightening stuff to consider.

I suppose the responsible thing to do when questioning religion when there is a crisis of faith and an urge to seek answers is to offer information that you can arrive at on your own - read at your leisure and decide for yourself what you think. I was once offered by a close friend and devout Christian a book written by a famous pastor that was on the bestseller's list and was causing people everywhere to live their lives with renewed Purpose in the Christian worldview of this one mega-church leader. I took the book and offered one of my own in return, which was Michel Onfrey's Atheist Manifesto, because after all fair is fair. I was immediately asked by her why she should read it in a defensive, almost offended way to which I replied "Well, fair is fair. You know I'm an atheist and yet you want me to read this book in the hope that it will change me and cause god to speak to me through it, so it is only fair that I give you the same opportunity for the sake of fairness. If your faith is so unshakable then it won't matter, will it? You stand to lose nothing." She grinned at me and tried to politely decline but I told her that I was putting my money where my mouth was and willing to read her book as I had nothing to fear from it. She refused to read the Onfrey book but it showed just how much fear there is in unplugging from the religious Matrix.

There's something about the notion that knowledge is power that really resonates with me. Having grown up in the Deep South where ignorance truly is bliss and where intellectualism is considered dangerous by many and even in some cases is outright shunned, I always stood out a mile from my peers for any number of reasons at face value - mostly because while they were attending church services to repent for all their sinning and bad behavior the previous night, I was sitting there listening intently and thinking to myself What a bunch of completely useless nonsense! How in the world am I supposed to swallow this without question? Why in the world should I buy into any of this when none of it makes any sense whatsoever to me?" For the record, I learned early on that seeking such answers from church leaders would not only prove deeply unsatisfying, it would prove that they were nothing more than snake oil salesmen pushing their own specific brand and the closer you get to holding their feet to the proverbial fire, the more they are likely to write you off as simply needing to 'get right with god'.

In my experience the only thing that keeps ignorant people ignorant is laziness. There is no reason greater than laziness to explain how and why a person who has access to information, knowledge, and the tools required to use these things would choose not to employ them. In my opinion any faith worth having can withstand the weather, and any faith that cannot simply isn't worth having. I don't think that is unreasonable. If reading counterpoints that make more sense and in fact are more reasonable to you, wouldn't it actually be more harmful to continue to dwell in delusion? If you are a person of faith and you believe in the "one true God" - whatever version you prefer - does this mean you dismiss all other possible gods, like Zeus - Vishnu - Ganesh - Bodhisattva - Helios - Gaia - Olorun - Ancamna - Yamantaka? When you understand why you dismiss those gods you will understand why I dismiss yours. In that sense, we are actually both atheists - I simply believe in one fewer god than you do.

Read and learn and decide for yourself what to believe because it makes sense and stands up to scrutiny, not because someone tells you what you should believe under the threat of eternal suffering if you don't. You have to question that, even if you fear the possibility of it, when there is absolutely no proof that it will even happen. If you believe in god, believe that you were given a brain and the ability to reason as part of the free will clause that makes for such allowances. If you have the questions and not the answers, decide if it's time to find them or not. One way or the other, you have nothing to lose by working out your intelligence muscles - in fact, you only stand to gain.

I'm working on a post of eBooks that you can download and read at your leisure that will follow this post. There is sure to be something for everyone - perhaps multiple somethings - that you can read and share and grow from. Look for it later this evening.
17th-Jul-2010 12:33 am - Post Surgery Update

For those who didn't know, I had an inguinal hernia repair on Tuesday. It wasn't very big but was starting to cause some problems. I found a specialist in Las Vegas who did it on the cheap and so Damien and I drove up last Sunday. The staff at Dr. Petersen's office was fantastic and I am glad I chose them.

Labwork and EKG was Monday, surgery was Tuesday, and after the follow up on Wednesday we drove back home to Phoenix. My appetite has been virtually nonexistent and I've lost 7 pounds since surgery but hopefully that's turning around. Tomorrow my incision bandage comes off and I'm going to continue taking it easy for the next several days.

Thanks to all my well wishers and loved ones who have all been so great and supportive in the last 2 months I've been wrestling with this. Looks like all the hard stuff is finally behind me!

Posted via LiveJournal.app.

2nd-Jul-2010 07:54 pm - I <3 this dude.
Penn - STFU
To Gay Rights Opponents...
- No one (should have) the right to vote upon what has nothing to do with them.
- Something being unnatural isn't necessarily bad, and furthermore this has nothing to do with whether or not it should be assigned rights.
- Aside from the obvious physical differences (a man can't breast-feed etc.) there is no specific necessity for a parent to be of a particular sex. All you need is a parent who can raise a child in a caring, loving environment.
- If marriage only has value to you if it is between a man and a women in a religious setting with the ultimate goal of raising children, FINE. Go nuts. But you have no say in what other people do regardless of whether you think that devalues your marriage. Not everyone shares your religious views and social values, and both heterosexual and homosexual people are entitled to a secular alternative to your conception of what a marriage should be.

BOTTOM LINE - If you disagree with gay marriage, thats your business. But that doesn't entitle you to a say in the matter because IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.

Comment section of the video 'Is Gay The New Black?"
Me &amp; D

Damien always goes to bed before I do, and tonight I laid down with him for a few minutes before he went to sleep. He was telling me about his dream from last night, and it ended up with both of us laughing so hard we were in tears. Every day of my life with this, seriously - he does this to me literally every day!

Damien: I had a dream about werewolves last night, I was fighting them.
Me: Oh no! Did you get dead? Because I wouldn't want you to get dead.
Damien: Yes, I got dead.
Me: OH NO! Now I has a sad!
Damien: Yeah, well, walk it off...
Me: *guffaws*
16th-May-2010 06:13 pm - Why I Am A Liberal (& Proud Of It)
Liberal 1 (This Is what...)
Republicans, generally speaking, are religious (I am not), anti-abortion (I am not), far more pro-military than I am, think that homosexuality is at best a choice (I do not) and at worst something that is corrupting and ruining society (I do not), are against welfare programs (see: Starve the Beast; also, Republican strategist Lee Atwater's "anti-welfare basically means anti-black" quote), are against stem cell research (I am not), are far more in favor of unregulated capitalism than I am, are anti-intellectual (be it out-and-out contempt for "ivory tower elites" aka "people who pursued education beyond high school" or not caring to have an informed, intelligent view on subjects aka the "Obama is a Nazi commie socialist fascist"-esque signs you see at conservative rallies), have both opposed legislation I feel very strongly about (i.e. the group of Republicans that voted against the Rape Arbitration Bill) and sponsored legislation I fundamentally disagree with (the Patriot Act), are more likely to engage in jingoistic, nationalistic rhetoric ("With us, or against us"), and I could go on and on.

Are ALL Republicans that way? Of course not. But they're more likely to be because those are the sort of people who are attracted to the Republican Party and it's platform.

Would I be friends with a "Republican" that was the opposite of all the things I listed? Sure! In fact, I am, with several. The problem is the viewpoints, not the label. However, at that point their own party would be labeling them a "RINO". The fact is the Republican party has catered to southern, white, social conservatives (which, yes, tend to be somewhat more racist than the average person; in fact, that was the whole point of Nixon's Southern Strategy: attract the votes of people who were upset over the Democrats support for civil rights) for years along with big business, religious conservatives, hawks, etc. and I have literally nothing in common with those people.

Again, do social conservatives, religious conservatives, big business, foreign policy hawks, etc. make up the entire Republican party? No. But I would hazard a guess that it represents 95+% of the Republican Party which is such an overwhelming majority makes "being a Republican" a pretty good bellweather for if I'm going to get along with the person or not.

People even try to sway their arguments for conservatism/Republicanism by asserting that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican when in fact he never endorsed a political party or candidate. He publicly denounced Barry Goldwater. His father, MLK Sr., was a Republican but there isn't a shred of concrete evidence that Jr. was a registered Republican. He criticized both Republicans and Democrats, depending on the issue (i.e. he criticized LBJ over Vietnam). Based on quotes from Jr., he was definitely against the concept of free market capitalism which doesn't describe any Republican in history I'm aware of. Sure, he wasn't a Dixiecrat like many pro-segregation Democrats, but "not a Dixiecrat" doesn't mean "a Republican".

My problem is with conservatives, not necessarily Republicans. The problem being that most conservatives are Republicans and conservatives have been on the wrong side of history each and every time.

In no particular order, conservatives REGARDLESS OF PARTY were in favor of slavery, they were in favor of the 3/5ths compromise, they tried to secede from the union, they were against organized labor, against the minimum wage, against suffrage, against regulated economics, against a social safety net, against the 8 hour work day, in favor of child labor, in favor of prohibition, in favor of Jim Crow laws, in favor of segregation, against Civil Rights, against government intervention during the Depression, against Social Security, against Medicare, against American intervention in World War 2, but in favor of saber rattling with the USSR and I could go on and on.

And y'know who was on the right side of history each and every one of those times? Leftists, liberals and progressives - REGARDLESS OF PARTY.

Conservatives are, by definition, in favor of the status quo and against drastically changing society which, again by definition, makes you on the wrong side of history when there are things in society that need changing. Call that out and you're basically asking for attack mode. My bet is that they're just trying to get people to ad hom you so that you can say "SEE! TYPICAL DEM/LIB/LEFTY BEHAVIOR!" As if that's going to ellicit a "gotcha" moment out of me. Typical lib/leftist response = Having an opinion based on "reality" and "facts" instead of sticking ruthlessly to a narrative that is insane at worst and unworkable at best, or otherwise anathema to logic and reason. The Republican Party used to be liberal and the Democrats were more conservative and they basically switched sides around the 1912 election due to the Roosevelt/Taft split in the Republican Party and Wilson co-opting some of Roosevelt's progressive planks into the Democratic platform. That is history. That is what happened. I have no problem admitting that. Again, my problem is with conservatives more than with political parties, it just so happens that by and large the Republicans ARE the conservative party. They drag the constitution into arguments to try and reinforce their ideals which is useless unless you seriously want to go back to the Constitution circa 1800 where women couldn't vote and black people counted as 3/5ths of a person and slavery was legal and blah blah blah blah. The original constitution was AWFUL when measured against current societal reality and that's why the writers allowed for the changing/addition of things therein; they knew that a document written in the late 18th century couldn't possibly remain unchanged for hundreds of years as society changed and progressed.

I would not have an intimate relationship with a conservative. Period. I disagree with them on too many core beliefs. I also wouldn't be partners with anyone who was in the closet or religious for essentially the same reason - we would disagree fundamentally on too many core beliefs. I'd rather date someone with whom I'd be able to talk about more than the weather and sports without contention, assuming I'd ever wish to talk about sports. I don't like conservative idealism. I disagree with them at very fundamental levels. I would not date a conservative Democrat. I would not date a conservative Libertarian. I would not date a conservative Republican. I would not date a conservative Whig. I would not date a conservative Free Silver Democrat. I would not date a conservative Bull Moose. I would not date a conservative Federalist. I would not date a conservative Anti-Federalist. I would not date a conservative Populist.

So here it is, basically after distilling off all the bullshit and heavy paraphrasing from other conversations when others have already said it better than I can and before I could even try. I'm a liberal because when all is said and done, I would prefer to be among the people who historically are on the right side of history.
1st-Apr-2010 09:01 pm - Going "Home"
Blue T-shirt

In two weeks exactly I'll be back home in Georgia for a week. I'm ready, I've missed my people something awful and I miss the affection I am accustomed to getting from all of them more than I ever considered I might. Here on the other side of the country I only have Damien to hug, hold, and kiss affectionately, except for the 1/2 of the day he's not with me and I'm learning to do without. I miss having people I love in my arms, looking into their beautiful faces, and smiling. The very idea of this brings tears to my eyes to be perfectly honest. Especially my babies. I don't know that I can get used to that bit.

I'm finding myself a bit nervous about actually being back in Georgia to tell the truth. I don't know how I'm going to feel BEING there now that it's not home anymore. When we finally finished packing up the loft and putting the last thing on the truck the afternoon before we began the drive here, I walked around that giant empty space that was the first place we ever made a home together and as I was walking out of the door for the last time it hit me that I didn't live there anymore. Not just there in that space, but in Columbus - in Georgia - in my beloved Southland.

I've been thinking a lot in recent days and weeks about how age affects things in such strange ways. For instance, the places I spent so much childhood time in in the northern part of Georgia don't even really exist anymore. Not only because they are places I literally can no longer visit, but because a lot of the people associated with my good memories no longer exist. Aunts, uncles, cousins, I've lost so many and even more are now grown and settled into lives that have nothing to do with me. It's just how things work out sometimes, there's no malice or ill will - we just didn't get the kind of time in our late adolescence that would have cemented us as more permanent fixtures. Anyway, they're all doing well and that makes me happy, so it's good.

I seem to have this strange yearning for a particular time in life before so many things got complicated and damaged. When Rob and Lynn were alive, when my Aunts Virginia and Kindness (her real name, and perfectly befitting a woman of her temperment) and of course my Papa Jack. I miss them all so much that there are times I have to lie down and just have a good cry until my head aches and my muscles stiffen and then it all passes, usually because I think of something silly or inane that one of them said. My memories of them are so deliberately crystallized into my memory that I can even remember the tone and cadence of their voices and the way they each felt when I would hug one of them, their smells, and the way we all collectively loved one another.

I remember Aunt Kindness' house and the way her kitchen always smelled of coffee, cigarette smoke, bananas, and the way old wooden houses smell - gas heaters in the wintertime, in the spring and summertime you could add cantaloupe and fresh tomatoes to that array. Creaky floorboards and the way you could feel it all rattle when the trains came by. Even the back alley on the other side of the yard had its own distinct earthen smell. The cut glass pitcher that almost always seemed to make orange juice taste better and the biscuits and gravy that could have been made by any of my aunts or uncles, because they were all my Grandmother's, and great care was taken to purposefully carry on her method of cooking - and though I never knew in person what an extraordinary woman I might have had in Annie Mae Timms, my Grandmother, I can make her biscuits and gravy from scratch, from memory, because it was decided I should know how. Sunflowers that grew along the tracks, blackberry brambles that no amount of care would ever spare us from, daytime skies filled with June bugs and an evening symphony of crickets, tiny burst flashing from fireflies - or lightning bugs as we called them.

I remember how my cousins smelled of dirt and grass and sweat after we had spent an entire summer day playing in the yard, cooling off by wading in the icy water of Silver Creek, completely unaware of how little time we would ultimately have together. I still cannot believe I've managed to outlive them and the reality of that brings me a pain I cannot even describe.

I've gotten way off track here I guess, but this is what my state of mind is right now. I just want the next 2 weeks to hurry by so I can refuel on some love and affection, because I miss it and I'm not the same without it. I hope to see as many of you as I can when I get back to Georgia - I hope you can feel me holding and loving you in my mind as I write these words.
23rd-Mar-2010 01:58 pm - SOCIALISM BAD! *BRAD SMASH!!*
Double Barrelled
This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric ADministration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food & Drug Administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards & Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After work, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to a house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and the fire marshal's inspection, which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic.com, Fox News forums, and intowncolumbus.com about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.


Source: Internet forum, with a hat tip to my friend Jason. Pass this along to everyone you think needs to read it.
9th-Feb-2010 05:09 pm - Heads Up
New smut has been posted to ghostofaman. ;-)
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