Category: government

Religious Whackos in New York

Oh this is too rich for words. It appears in the Gainsville Sun.

The Rev. Duane Motley of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms says the Democratic governor is circumventing the Legislature and courts and slapping New Yorkers in the face.

Motley says granting government benefits to gay couples will come at a cost to the state even as Paterson calls for cuts in spending because of looming deficits.

I’d like to know what part of the Constitution the Rev. Motley doesn’t understand, is it the Equal Protection under the Law clause of the 14th Amendment? Because that should be the primary basis of claims to marriage equality.

Of course the piece even made it to Slate. The bigots will stop at nothing to deny us our civil rights.
I say we turn the tables on the religious and start revoking the tax exempt status of their churches. I’ve often thought that if a church wishes to play in the political arena they should pay taxes.

The California Marriage Ruling

There’s great news from California. Their Supreme court invalidated the Defense of Marriage law there. I should email links from the numerous articles to Rep. Brien since he’s trying to sneak a DOMA law into Rhode Island.

What encourages me about this is that we now have two jurisdictions in which the courts have acted to protect a minority from a majority. The foes in California will certainly try to get a constitutional amendment put in place but people realize those for what they are, writing discrimination into a constitution.

But since there’s now case law we’re going to see other jurisdictions go the way of California and Massachusetts. One of those could very well be Rhode Island. My cousin Tom Seymour wrote a wonderful memorandum of support that includes all the citations for the RI Consitution, U.S. Constitution and relevant case law. That was submitted to the entire Judiciary Committee during the hearing on Marriage Equality/Divorce Equality last week.

It’s now common knowledge that we have the support necessary to clear the Judiciary Committee, but Speaker William Murphy is the brick wall.

So I’ll email the memo to him too. After all his next in charge is a gay man, and I happen to know the 3rd down is too. He’s got to understand that it’s rolling along and even his brick wall won’t stop it.

And here’s a video of the celebrations in San Francisco. What was most poignant was the fact when he asked the couple what they’d be doing differently tomorrow. Their answer was they’d been together 23 years, the only difference now being that their relationship would be validated and recognized.

Here in RI we already have ENDA protections, and most of the Fortune 1000 have domestic partner benefits. But we still need a federal ENDA, and I’d ultimately like to see federal marriage equality too.

Stop the despots

Like it or not, the United States of America is sliding into a miasma of the worst kind. This started happening before the Bush Administration to be sure, but this administration is using it to it’s advantage and our extreme disadvantage.

The United States is now run by a despotic administration. I’ve said this before and it bears repeating again and again. Through the actions of those despots we now have a fascist government running the show.

Check out this interview of author Naomi Wolf. She wrote the book “End of America”.

When you’re done with that sign up for the American Freedom Campaign. We need to rise up against the misuse of governmental power.

As Wolf says in the interview, the McCarthyism of the 50’s will look like the good old days if w3e let the Bush administration or ANY administration continue on the same path.

I’ve already told you all one of the things we need to do, because while Wolf correctly identifies all the things that slide us into fascism, she never identifies the source.

The source is unchecked corporate power over our government. If you read this blog you already know what need to change in order to break the stranglehold of corporations over both our government and ourselves. Modify the constitution to specifically exclude the enumerated rights to corporations.

Read the book “The Arms of Krupp 1587-1968” by William Manchester to see just one of the corporate interests the pushed WW I and WW II Germany into warfare. You’ll see clearly what I’m getting at here.

Then step back and examine who stands to profit most from running a government. If you guessed corporations and their owners and shareholders you get a gold star. In most any wrongdoing if you step back and think about who benefits most you’ll find your perpetrator.

All about connections – a–>b–>c

It appears that Operation Dollar Bill is proceeding along nicely in Rhode Island. Prosecutor Robert Clark Corrente is untangling the web of political corruption in the state. Thus far the only one prosecuted and sentenced as been former Senator John Celona (D) North Providence.

But here’s a list of targets and today that list grew by a few names I’ll add on.

  • Rhode Island Senate president Joseph A. Montalbano
  • Senate Finance chairman Stephen D. Alves
  • Senator and New England Laborers’ administrator Dominick J. Ruggerio
  • Former Rhode Island Senate President William V. Irons
  • Former State Senator and Rhode Island Blue Cross & Blue Shield vice president Thomas Lynch
  • State House banking lobbyist William Farrell
  • West Warwick, Rhode Island
  • Lincoln, Rhode Island
  • CVS Corporation
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
  • Roger Williams Hospital
  • The Laborers’ Union
  • And now it gets more interesting. Seems that Rep. Stephen Ucci brought his concerns about the tax break for A. Duie Pyle to Speaker William J. Murphy. So that means Murphy’s assertion that he knew nothing is false.

    The other two are Sen. Stephen Alves (D) W. Warwick, chair of the Senate Finance Committee and Rep. Steven Costantino (D) Providence, Chair of the House Finance Committee.

    It just goes on and on and on. I think Corrente’s early statement that 7 pols and 7 companies is starting to look like a conservative estimate.

    The Owners of the Country

    I note that as George Carlin gets older he gets more and more angry. He’s not so much about comedy anymore but about educating his audience.

    This video is prime evidence of that. If you hadn’t put two and two together yet, government in the U.S. is no longer beholden to the people, it is beholden to large corporations. What other purpose did you think Political Action Committees (PAC) served? It was a back door for business to buy off our elected representatives.

    Right now I’m reading the book titled Internal Combustion by Edwin Black. Most interesting about the games played and I can now see that the corporate takeover of government got its start in the early part of the 19th century, and was cemented in place by the time of the U.S. Civil War.

    This is why I’d love to amend the 14th amendment to the Constitution. Just twelve words, “None of the rights granted by this amendment shall apply to corporations.”

    —————-
    Now playing: J. Boogie – La Playa
    via FoxyTunes

    Say what bitch?

    Well, it seems that a British writer got onto a cruise with 500 readers of the National Review. In Ship of Fools, Johann Hari finds out what the neo-cons REALLY think about we liberal folk.

    One woman has the stones to say that:

    Of course, we need to execute some of these people,” I wake up. Who do we need to execute? She runs her fingers through the sand lazily. “A few of these prominent liberals who are trying to demoralise the country,” she says. “Just take a couple of these anti-war people off to the gas chamber for treason to show, if you try to bring down America at a time of war, that’s what you’ll get.” She squints at the sun and smiles. ” Then things’ll change.”

    Cupcake, some of we liberals can’t wait for your old guard to die off and then when you lose your mouthpieces, you’ll realize what a fool you are. Because no doubt, people like that woman are fools. Yet it is due to those fools that we’ve suffered 6+ years of George W. Bush & Co.

    I also love the parts where the neo-cons obviously don’t understand the Constitution of the United States. And one particular neo-con is a federal judge and he doesn’t understand the Constitution.

    In addition we also have the black man who is against affirmative action while others would like to suicide bomb the U.N. It’s almost surreal.

    I’m so happy that the Democrats re-took congress in 2006, but these folks see it as a disaster. Lets see, what has congress done in the past six months or so? They’ve had hundreds of oversight hearings, blocked nomination of ideologue judges to the federal judiciary, and generally acted in the manner that congress should, as a check against the unlimited power of the executive or judicial branches. Seems people have forgotten about checks and balances based upon approval ratings for congress. Most of the reason for the low approval ratings is that people have finally wizened up to the fact that our politicians are well paid for, just not by us.

    Dissatisfaction with Congress

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the average Americans represented in these polls about the performance of congress are idiots.

    For the last five years congress was under the control of Republicans who pretty much rolled over and did whatever the Bush administration wanted them to do. And oversight wasn’t one of their top priorities for had it been so, the Bush administration would never have gotten its way.

    The incoming Democratic administration had to pickup the pieces and that isn’t an easy process.

    For example, this congress now has quite a few active oversight investigations running, something woefully lacking under the Republican controlled congress.

    And the Kucinich articles of impeachment are gathering steam. There are quite a few co-sponsors on that bill.

    But I was watching Bill Moyers on PBS and the guests made a very good point. Very few of our congressmen have any idea of the content of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Maybe we should have a Know Your Constitution clause for all congressmen. Test them on it every year, make sure they know the framework for their jobs. Having our congressmen firmly grounded in Constitutional knowledge would benefit all of us.

    Is the U.S. moving towards despotism?

    By measure of this video from 1946, I’d have to conclude that we’re already in a despotic situation.

    Using their measures, I’d like to explain why I think we’re living under a despotic regime.

    The respect and power scales are the first two indicators.

    Respect can either be unrestricted, or restricted to few. The video says it’s about getting an even break, but it’s much more than that. When you consider the idols and heros of most Americans, we understand that respect is toward a restricted few. We definitely get no respect.

    Power is the other interesting scale. It’s either shared or concentrated. In past few decades consolidation of power has become extreme, particularly with the Bush administrations theory of the unitary executive. I had thought absolutism went out with the monarchies of old, but George W. Bush and his team seem to think he’s actually King George.

    It gets more interesting as the video then brings in two more scales to indicate when a society is tipping towards despotism.

    The variables are those of economic distribution, and information.

    If economic distribution tips in favor of one group or another it predisposes us to despotism. And if one takes into account the distribution of wealth in the U.S. you can clearly see that economic distribution is severely tilted.

    Information goes from multiple sources of unfettered publication to restricted publication (Fox Network anyone?) and we’re heading toward despotism. Lets face it, if the so called news programs actually ran stories about what was going on, there would be rioting in the streets.

    Very interesting video.

    Drugs by toxicity

    Andrew Sullivan that darling of the media wrote this piece for The Atlantic.

    Toxicity Graph

    Interesting that the least toxic drugs are also among the most illegal in the United States. Yep, that’s right, marijuana and LSD are among the LEAST toxic. Even Nitrous Oxide requires dosages of 150 times effective to be lethal.

    And who here hasn’t tried helium. You know, buy a helium balloon and carefully unseal it so that you can inhale the gas and talk like a cartoon character. Do that a time too many though and they’ll be carting you away for greener pastures.

    H->He->C – that’s what our sun is doing right now. Hydrogen fuses to Helium which fuses to Carbon. Oh there are lots of intermediary steps, but it’s effectively what is going on in the sun.

    I do wish I had taken chemistry as a youngster. It would make it easier to understand the nomenclature of drugs. I seem to remember a cartoon I once saw of a guy with a tourniquet on his arm while poking a needle into his arm. The caption went something like “Hey mom and dad, am I ever glad I got that pharmacology degree!”

    No instead I had to move towards computer science, info sci to be particular and a strong bent towards engineering. Think of how much fun I could have had.

    This is why protecting the environment is important

    It seems that Bald Eagles have taken up residence in Philadelphia for the first time in 200 years.

    And in the past few years we’ve had Red Tail Hawks nesting in Providence. What this means is that the Clean Air and Water Act, the banning of DDT and other pesticides, etc. has had a positive effect. Birds of prey only return to an area when the food supply is abundant and they feel they can safely raise their young.

    Meanwhile we’ve got the Bush Administration wanting to drill in the ANWR, log pristine forests, and in general just totally disregard the Clean Air and Water Act. Not to mention totally playing down the global warming problems.

    As an aside, I really have to organize my categories. I note there are a number of them now.