Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Public Service Announcement: Protect Insurance Companies!


As a bonus, here’s a very interesting clip of CNN’s Rick Sanchez taking Fox News to task. Watch the whole clip so that you don’t miss the surprise “in your face” ending.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share

LibraryThing: August & September Updates

I've updated my LibraryThing catalog with a brief reviews of The Echelon Vendetta [Micah Dalton #1] and The Orpheus Deception [Micah Dalton #2], both by David Stone, and History on Trial by Deborah A. Lipstadt.

I’m presently reading (finally) The Lost Symbol [Robert Langdon #3] by Dan Brown.


Bookmark and Share

Monday, September 21, 2009

Here We Go Again: More “Tax Protest” Signs (Part 4)

I know that I said that I was through with this topic, but I came across a few more photos shortly after I saw that “Clinging to racism” by fellow IN Touch blogger Aaron Hohenbrink made the print edition of The Indianapolis Star this morning. So, without further ado, here are yet more signs from the recent tea party protests:

1 [missing]A “representative” of yet another state declaring his state ready to join in an armed insurrection and another person brandishing the same “we came unarmed this time” slogan. Doesn’t anybody else get nervous seeing people holding up signs talking about revolution with the Capital in the background?

2 [missing]And another threat? What does he mean by “so tomorrow I won’t Have to Exercise my 2nd Amendment:”? To me, he’s saying that if he doesn’t get his way through speech, he will have to get it through force of arms. (And why the random capitalization and colons…?)

3 [missing]Just a fun lovin’ couple out havin’ a good time.

4 [missing]And here we have another kid sent out to hold up a vile poster. Again, you have to wonder at parents who would have their child hold up a poster that can be read, at least implicitly, to support violence against elected politicians. And who wants to bet that this kid’s parents didn’t want him to hear President Obama’s speech to school children out of fear that their precious little tyke would be “indoctrinated”. Listening to a “stay in school” speech: bad; suggesting that political leaders be “roadkill”: good. And remember, that face is the future of America. Scared yet?

5 [missing]Just another poster to demonstrate that the opposition is not solely limited to President Obama. No, here’s a high-minded thought directed at Rep. Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts). The poster could talk about Rep. Frank’s ideas with regard to healthcare or the stimulus or the bailout. The sign could even express anger at the way Rep. Frank responded to the woman asking about President Obama’s “Nazi-” inspired healthcare proposals. But no, the creator of this poster struck at the real core of the issues.

Finally, here are two “bonus” photos:

6 [missing] For those too young to remember, during the Cold War the far right objected to the fluoridation of public water as a communist plot. Those folks also opposed vaccinations. Apparently, this guy is still living in the 1950s. I wonder if he is opposed to vaccinations, too?

Obama Wanted PosterFinally, this poster (and, apparently, others like it) have been circulating since earlier this year. (I blurred out the website at the bottom.) Just think about the allegations that this poster makes.

Update (September 13, 2010): Hopefully the dead links are now working again.

Update (September 17, 2010): Another attempt to fix broken image links.


Bookmark and Share

Friday, September 18, 2009

Here We Go Again: More “Tax Protest” Signs (Part 3)

I had hoped not to have to revisit this particular subject any more. However, I was compelled to do so after reading the post “Clinging to racism” by fellow IN Touch blogger Aaron Hohenbrink. Within minutes after reading his post, I came across yet more signs from the recent tea party protest that seemed to go directly to the issues that Mr. Hohenbrink was discussing. Do I believe that all Republicans or all conservatives are racists? Of course not. Do I believe that some Democrats or liberals are racists? Sure. But, as I’ve discussed in several recent posts, I think that racism does play a part in the visceral hatred and abject fear that is being displayed, whether it be discussion of “death panels”, “birther" nonsense, or even criticism of President Obama speaking to schoolchildren.

I think that these signs from the 9-12 tea party help prove the point (just in case the other signs that I’ve posted left anyone with any doubt):

1 [missing] “Kumbaya my ass” and references to “massa” and “plantation”? Surely nothing racist there.

2 [missing]Beyond “birther” nonsense, take a look at the charming image of President Obama with the “Certificate of Birth” from Kenya. Again, nothing racist in that image, is there?

(Oh, note the sign held by the guy on the left: “Let Free Enterprise Work”. Last time I checked, unregulated free enterprise is what drove the world’s economy to the brink of economic collapse and, if left alone without government intervention, could have left millions of Americans unemployed as another great depression washed over us. But he wants us to “Let Free Enterprise Work”. Does he want the auto industry to fail? Did he want the banks to fail? Did he want millions and millions of Americans to lose their homes? What kind of America does this guy envision?)

3 [missing]Oppressive Bloodsucking Arrogant Muslim Alien. Again, no signs of racism that I can see there.
I’m sure that there are probably even more posters out there, but I’m pretty much exhausted by the effort of displaying them here. The unfortunate situation in which we find ourselves is that, like it or not, a segment of our population is making their decisions on the basis of matters other than logic or reason and, it appears to me, in at least some cases, those decisions are based, instead, on bigotry and racism.

Here’s what I’d like to know. I’m sure that plenty of people who attended the tea party protest aren’t racists, probably the vast majority. Yet how many of them, when they saw some of these overtly racist and truly offensive signs, spoke up and told their fellow protestors that their views were wrong and offensive? If Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh tell these people that Obama is a Marxist they will believe it; if Sarah Palin tells them that the healthcare reform proposal includes death panels, they will believe her. But I haven’t heard Beck, Limbaugh, or Palin (or any of the other right-wing commentators) tell their followers that the bigoted and racist conduct is wrong. Of course, given that Glenn Beck himself thinks that President Obama is a racist, what should we expect?

Most conservatives and Republicans likely have good faith objections to President Obama’s policies and those objections deserve open, honest, and most of all civil discussion. But right now the noise that is coming from the right, whether the far right or the fringe or whatever, is dominating the “discussion” (more like drowning out discussion) and that noise includes overt racism, bigotry, and lies. And, as I’ve said repeatedly, that is not healthy for our democracy.

As a final “thought” on the subject (I hope…), here is a video of interviews from the 9-12 tea party:

Update (September 13, 2010): Hopefully, the dead links are now fixed.

Update (September 17, 2010): Another try to fix the dead image links.


Bookmark and Share

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Voter ID Law Is Bad for Democracy (Update 9); And Now It Is Unconstitutional Too!

One issue about which I’ve written extensively is Indiana’s Voter ID law: Voter ID Law Is Bad for Democracy, Update, Update 2, Update 3, Update 4, Update 5, Update 6, Update 7, and Update 8. Well today, a three judge panel of the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled (.pdf) that Indiana’s Voter ID law is unconstitutional under the Indiana Constitution.

A detailed explanation of the Court’s ruling would probably bore most readers. In sum, the Court found that the disparate treatment of absentee voters and in-person voters (remember that absentee voters do not have to produce photo identification) violated the so-called privileges and immunities clause of the Indiana Constitution. The Court also took issue with the exception in the statute for Hoosiers who live in a state licensed care facility that also serves as a polling station. These decisions were based on Article 1, Section 23 of the Indiana Constitution:

The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.

Rather than discuss the rationale for the Court’s decision (and I’ve written at length already about my thoughts on the issue), I wanted to take a few moments to look at some of the reaction to the decision. First, there is this from Gov. Mitch Daniels:

Gov. Mitch Daniels, who said he had not read the ruling but had been briefed on it, called the result "preposterous" and "an act of judicial arrogance."

He said it would be appealed and, he predicted, overturned. He noted that the voter ID law already had been approved by other courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld it last year in a 6-3 opinion.

"The legislature had every right to write that law. This decision will be a footnote to history," Daniels said.

I’m sorry but “preposterous” and “judicial arrogance” is more than a bit strong given that the Court of Appeals issued a ruling that prevents disenfranchisement of voters, that improperly treats Hoosiers differently from one another, and which implicitly recognizes, unlike the Indiana General Assembly, that voter registration fraud and absentee voter fraud are more problematic than in-person voter fraud. Gov. Daniels also notes that the United States Supreme Court upheld the Voter ID last year. True enough, but with one little problem. The challenge before the United States Supreme Court dealt with the constitutionality of the Voter ID law under the United States Constitution. The current challenge focuses, instead, on the Indiana Constitution. And guess what? They’re not identical. In fact, in many respects, the Indiana Constitution grants to citizens even more rights than the United States Constitution. You might think that Indiana’s governor would know and appreciate that fact…

Another interesting thing to note is that some proponents of the Voter ID law have been quick to note that all three judges on the panel are Democrats. How they know this, I’m not entirely sure. More importantly, I’m not sure why this matters. Are we to presume that the judges put aside their impartiality for issues such as this? If so, wouldn’t that mean that our entire judicial system is a farce? After all, if we’re to presume that Democrats are to be expected to rule one way, then shouldn’t the same be said for Republicans? For the record, in the 6-3 decision in the United States Supreme Court last year, only two of the nine judges were appointed by a Democratic President. Hmm.

Finally, I thought that it would be instructive to include a handful of the comments posted on the website for The Indianapolis Star in response to the Star’s article on the decision:

  • This just opened the door for Illegal Immigrants to have a voice in our fair state, way to go your fricken liberals and judges.
  • One word screams for the need to have such a law in place in every State. ACORN.
  • Oh boy, here comes ACORN with 400,000 more fraudulent votes. The liberals are dancing in the streets of Indiana today. I used to live in Chicago, and I know about how how the Democrats cheat everyone. The corrupt ACRON got Obama elected in Indiana now we can look forward to more fraud.
  • Our state constitution and those enforcing it don’t seem to mind the inequality given to one group of criminals based on their ethnicity. Plus those pushing to dismiss laws to stop voter fraud especially from illegal aliens are mostly one ethnic group. ¶ The inequality or special treatment for criminals that enter this country illegally, demand special treatment and are voting, are granted favorite treatment from crooked businesses that hire them, to state/federal benefits and leaves honest citizens and immigrants shaking their heads. Asking the question how do we stop this in some cases racist or agenda driven insanity. ¶ Granted there is voter fraud from citizens and illegal immigrants come from more than on ethnic group but those hindering a end to the favorite treatment are those that gain from this in one form or another, or are the of the same ethnic group.
  • Yes, voter fraud was hot and heavy. And yes, it was Republicans that crafted the law because the Dems were cheating by the thousands. Not a thing wrong with this law.

I’m sure that we’ll be hearing more of the same in the coming days and weeks.

Should you find yourself in a discussion on the issue, ask the following: How many cases of in-person voter fraud have ever been documented in Indiana? (The answer, by the way, as the State of Indiana acknowledged in the federal case, is zero!) So, then, what is the real purpose of this law if the harm that it is allegedly intended to prevent does not exist? Moreover, what is the real purpose of this law if it completely ignores the most likely points in the voting process at which fraud could be perpetrated?


Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Here We Go Again: More “Tax Protest” Signs (Part 2)

After yesterday’s post, I came across yet more posters (and a few t-shirts and hats) that really help to illustrate how crazed the right-wing has become. And, once again, as you look through these posters, remember that these protests are supposedly about taxes and healthcare reform, not about President Obama or racism. My discussion of most of these posters will be briefer than in yesterday’s post; most of the posters do a pretty good job speaking for themselves.

IMG_1516 by NineTwelvePhotos.

A bit more “birther” madness. Why are so many people so willing to believe this crap, even after all credible sources (including the Republican Governor of Hawaii) have debunked it?

IMG_1515 by NineTwelvePhotos.

This is the first time that I’ve seen Oprah cast as the villain. Again, I don’t suppose that there are any racial overtones here?

IMG_1505 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Think about what this person is saying: If you are a Democrat, you must be on welfare.

IMG_1500 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Nice collage.

IMG_1492 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Mini-Messiah? What does that even mean?

IMG_1491 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Is this a tax protest or an anti-abortion rally?

IMG_1490 by NineTwelvePhotos.

I don’t know. Somehow “Obamanomics” has a better ring that “Obommunism”, but I’ll give a A for effort.

Now, the next two pictures go together (front and back). The lady holding the poster is obviously quite proud of the fact that …

IMG_1486 by NineTwelvePhotos.IMG_1487 by NineTwelvePhotos.

she is a complete and total racist!

IMG_1484 by NineTwelvePhotos.

More “death panel” nonsense.

IMG_1480 by NineTwelvePhotos.

National Suicide? Because we want to provide health insurance to the uninsured?

IMG_1479 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Have you seen President Obama’s private army around lately (and no, Xe née Blackwater, was President Bush’s private army…)? I haven’t even seen many mysterious black helicopters.

IMG_1477 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Oh, no! Fascists are in control. Oooh. Scary. But she’s wrong.

IMG_1470 by NineTwelvePhotos.

I just love people who have such total disregard for anything approaching truth and accuracy. Does this guy represent the future of America or just the future of the GOP?

IMG_1469 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Ah, yes. More gun rhetoric (and with a bonus NRA hat, too).

IMG_1467 by NineTwelvePhotos.

That’s right. The Congressman who uncivilly heckles the President is a hero. Again, just think about what that kind of mentality says about these people.

IMG_1462 by NineTwelvePhotos.

At least this person recognizes the leader of the Republican party.

IMG_1463 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Sorry, but using the words “truth” and “Fox News” in the same sentence is … um … wrong?

IMG_1461 by NineTwelvePhotos.

More of the threats of future violence. This poster also raised an interesting question in my mind: I’ve seen a number of posters that all have the same or very similar phrase. So did all of these people come up with that idea on their own or is some right-wing nutjob actually encouraging people to advocate violence? I think that there are words for people who try to organize others into committing violent acts or who try to organize others into rising up in revolution. Any ideas?

IMG_1458 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Why are people all of a sudden so worked up about czars? Is it the scary-sounding Russian word? Would they be upset if these people were called administrators or advisors? And don’t forget that czars have been around in Washington for a long, long time. Richard Nixon appointed a drug czar and energy czar. I have no problem with the discussion of whether a czar should be subject to Senate confirmation; that is a legitimate discussion. But the abject fear that is being expressed simply makes no sense.

IMG_1457 by NineTwelvePhotos.

I’ve never heard of Americanism. How does it differ from democracy and/or capitalism?

IMG_1456 by NineTwelvePhotos.

I’m not really sure what to say about this one.

IMG_1455 by NineTwelvePhotos.

I’m trying to decide if this one is racist.

IMG_1453 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Death panels and abortion mandates! Some people are convinced that healthcare reform will require doctors to perform abortions and will require the government to pay for abortions. They’re wrong, but they won’t believe you.

IMG_1451 by NineTwelvePhotos.

No difference?

IMG_1450 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Interesting how Van Jones made this lady’s poster. Suddenly he’s become quite the boogeyman, too.

IMG_1448 by NineTwelvePhotos.

I presume that this poster is addressed to President Obama. I listened closely to his speeches during the primaries and campaign, I listened to his inaugural address, his speeches to Congress, and most of his press conference. But I don’t recall hearing him say that he planned to “murder 80% to 90% of the world’s population”. Somehow, I think a plan like that would have leaked by now, don’t you?

IMG_1445 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Yes, let’s quote Ayn Rand. I’ve managed to avoid reading her works, but from what I understand, she condemned altruism. I’d love to hear people of faith, in particular the right-wing Christian fundamentalists who make up a large part of the teabagging movement, explain how Jesus would respond to someone who condemns altruism. On the other hand, Rand was apparently a staunch advocate of learning by reason, something that most of these teabaggers haven’t quite latched on to just yet.

IMG_1443 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Yes, let’s be sure to torture those politicians with whom we disagree. How American.

IMG_1440 by NineTwelvePhotos.

There is so much going on in this one, I couldn’t resist including it. Send in the Honduran army?

IMG_1438 by NineTwelvePhotos.

It’s hard to get a group of right-wingers together without at least one crying that “George Soros” rules the world or is responsible for everything (have you heard that he caused the financial meltdown in order to get Obama elected?). Of course, the fact that Soros is Jewish has nothing to do with anything, right? Then again, I suspect the guy with the poster probably think that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is true.

IMG_1437 by NineTwelvePhotos.

For a nice discussion of “liberal fascism” please see David Neiwert’s critique of Jonah Goldberg’s book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning. Don’t bother with Goldberg’s book unless you want your brain to bleed.

IMG_1435 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Interesting how Robert Mugabe is suddenly popping up as a boogeyman, too. I don’t recall hearing much about him during the last eight years (or the 30 or so years before that…).

IMG_1424 by NineTwelvePhotos.

At least this woman has an eye for well-designed propaganda posters, but “Socialism or Death”?

IMG_1419 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Am I to understand, then, that Pennsylvanians are ready to engage in armed insurrection against the government of the United States?

IMG_1416 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Another person who doesn’t understand the purpose of the rally. I bet that this guy has no idea what Planned Parenthood really does. He gets bonus points for standing in front of a statue of President James Garfield who was assassinated. Coincidence?

IMG_1399 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Just remember this guy and this sign in four years (or, for that matter, in 2010). He is what we’ll be fighting against. Unfortunately, weapons like truth, reason, and logic won’t work against these imbeciles.

IMG_1398 by NineTwelvePhotos.

A two-for-one photo. I’d like this guy to tell me, precisely, how President Obama has shredded the Constitution and, in doing so, I’d like him to compare and contrast President Obama’s behavior with the behavior and Constitutionality of the actions of President George W. Bush.

IMG_1394 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Note that in this woman’s world, liberalism and progressivism are now linked to communism, socialism, and fascism. Oh, and don’t forget to “pray, America – pay hard”.

IMG_1380 by NineTwelvePhotos.

And if we put lipstick on this lady, she’d still be stupid.

IMG_1376 by NineTwelvePhotos.

I have no reason to suspect that this person is un-American, a Nazi, a bigot, or a racist. But attendance at a teabagging rally casts doubt on the claim not to be an a-hole.

IMG_1368 by NineTwelvePhotos.

More death panel craziness.

IMG_1365 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Again, in 2010 and 2012, remember this idiot and her cute shirt.

IMG_1361 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Our military may not have fought for “Heath Care” … but our soldiers do get an excellent, government sponsored healthcare plan. In fact, Joe Wilson is covered by that plan…

IMG_1356 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Grandma: If you don’t want the plug pulled, then be sure to prepare a living will or other end of life healthcare directive that sets forth your desires. If the current healthcare reform plan were to be adopted, Medicare would even pay for you to discuss that with your doctor! That is your death panel.

IMG_1348 by NineTwelvePhotos.

You agree with a liar and an uncivil buffoon. Good for you. Your mother must be proud. And what makes you think that all of those journalists are “criminals” and that just Fox (I presume) gets it right? I don’t suppose, just possibly, that you could have it backwards?

IMG_1342 by NineTwelvePhotos.

And I’m a member of the “People With Brains Who Can Think and Use Tools Like Logic and Reason”. And I vote too.

IMG_1343 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Where was this poster during the Bush administration?

IMG_1339 by NineTwelvePhotos.

This guy (?) seems to have forgotten something: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”.

IMG_1333 by NineTwelvePhotos.

It is unconstitutional to be an Obama? Or is Obama a verb?

IMG_1328 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Yes, I’m paying attention; yes, I’m scared. But I’m scared of you and your idiot friends, not President Obama.

IMG_1329 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Fox News has shown me the way to lie, to ignore facts, to make news rather than report it, and to make a mockery of what journalism is supposed to be.

IMG_1325 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Hey, let’s make a poster and use a German word to make it really scary! And we can give President Obama a Pinocchio nose, too. That’ll show ’em!

IMG_1320 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Note the inclusion of Social Security on this sign. The whole O s/b ama Bi nla den is pretty creative, even if it is stupid.

IMG_1314 by NineTwelvePhotos.

More birther crap. You know you’re a birther if you call the President Barry instead of Barack.

IMG_1313 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Was she confused by this? I don’t think that President Obama has been confused.

IMG_1308 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Can you imagine a Congress populated by Joe Wilson (or Joe Wilson clones). That is enough reason to start working hard right now to be sure that doesn’t happen.

IMG_1307 by NineTwelvePhotos.

Just another birther…

9/12 Teabaggers by owillis.

and another. Remind me what all of this birther stuff has to do with taxes and healthcare?

9/12 Teabaggers by owillis.

Talk about a laundry list of issues. But didn’t oil prices spike during the Bush administration?

9/12 Teabaggers by owillis.

Sarah nailed it? What can we say when people praise fear-mongers who lie for political gains?

9/12 Teabaggers by owillis.

This seemed a nice poster to finish this batch. I think that it provides a pretty good snapshot of who a lot of these teabaggers really are.

Finally, here’s another piece from CNN. The guy that Anderson Cooper tears apart is Mark Williams, the Vice Chairman of Our Country Deserves Better PAC, the sponsor of the Tea Party Express.

This is the face and voice of right-wing insanity. And yes, Williams really did call then Sen. Obama a “Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug turned anointed” and he’s proud of it.

So ask yourself the following question (and I recognize that those of you with a brain will object to the premise of the question itself, but work with me): Which do you fear more: (a) Barack Obama or (b) the people expressing the viewpoints shown in these signs and videos. If your answer is (a) then, as Barney Frank would say, “Trying to have a conversation with you would be like arguing with a dining room table”. If your answer is (b), then you need to recognize that the 2010 election is barely a year away and we need to be sure that these people and the viewpoints that they espouse are defeated at the polls.


Bookmark and Share

Newer›  ‹Older