Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Republi-CON "Religious Freedom and Heritage" Myth

Slavery was "God’s will, desegregation was Satan’s work, and the federal government was the Antichrist [and the Confederate flag as a historic symbol] . . .

[So said] a hard-working, Christian man that loves God and wants to further (God’s) work throughout the world . . .

[Who could] doubt [his and other's] sincerity. Why wouldn’t they believe racism was God’s will? We white Southerners heard that message on weekends from the pulpit, on school days from our segregated schools, and every day from our governments. When Richard and Mildred Loving left Virginia to be married, a state trial judge convicted them of violating the Racial Integrity Act. That judge wrote that 'Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents … The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.'

That’s a good background against which to measure the uproar about the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which was signed into law by Governor Mike Pence last week. I don’t question the religious sincerity of anyone involved in drafting and passing this law. But sincere and faithful people, when they feel the imprimatur of both the law and the Lord, can do very ugly things."

Read The Atlantic, What Makes Indiana's Religious-Freedom Law Different?

One man's so-called religion is another man's discrimination.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Find the #1 Song on the Day You Were Born

Enter your birthdate (or any date) and find the #1 song for that date here!

The results will include a link to the #1 song nine months earlier, if you know what I mean ;-) or care to know.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Rick Perry, R-Murderer and Believer of Junk Science

UPDATE VI:  "What happens in Texas when you get a man executed on the basis of bad testimony?"

Read Slate, Justice Deferred.

Perry, the former prosecutor John H. Jackson, and others should be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit murder.

UPDATE V:  "In a major turn in one of the country’s most-noted death penalty cases, the State Bar of Texas has filed a formal accusation of misconduct against the county prosecutor who convicted Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texas man executed in 2004 for the arson murder of his three young daughters.

Following a preliminary inquiry that began last summer, the bar this month filed a disciplinary petition in Navarro County District Court accusing the former prosecutor, John H. Jackson, of obstruction of justice, making false statements and concealing evidence favorable to Willingham’s defense.

'Before, during, and after the 1992 trial, [Jackson] knew of the existence of evidence that tended to negate the guilt of Willingham and failed to disclose that evidence to defense counsel,' the bar investigators charged."

Read the Washington Post, Prosecutor accused of misconduct in disputed Texas execution case.

UPDATE IV:  "More than a decade after Cameron Todd Willingham was executed for the arson murder of his three young daughters, new evidence has emerged that indicates that a key prosecution witness testified in return for a secret promise to have his own criminal sentence reduced. . .

In two days of interviews recently with the Marshall Project, [the witness, Johnny E] Webb gave the most detailed account to date of how he came to testify against Willingham. He said that [the prosecutor, John H.] Jackson threatened him with a life sentence in the robbery case — a possibility under Texas law because Webb had several prior convictions — unless he testified. . .

During Willingham’s three-day trial in August 1992, Jackson pointedly asked Webb on the witness stand whether he had been promised a lighter sentence or some other benefit for his cooperation. Webb told the judge and jury that he had not."

Read the Washington Post, Letter from witness casts further doubt on 2004 Texas execution

UPDATE III: For those Republi-cons who are reading challenged, a reminder that you can watch the PBS Frontline documentary on the Willingham case.

UPDATE II: Read the report of the Arson Review Committee, A Peer Review Panel Commissioned by the Innocence Project regarding Willingham’s case, and another case of alleged arson. One executed, but one not, based on junk science.

UPDATE: "There is little dispute that the arson evidence in Willingham’s case, based on myths that had permeated fire investigations for years, was invalid. Every independent expert, including the top experts in the country, has concluded that there was no evidence of arson." Read SSRN, The Execution of Cameron Todd Willingham: Junk Science, an Innocent Man, and the Politics of Death.

"Faith and reason are not mutually exclusive, but Perry makes you think they are." Read the Washington Post, Rick Perry, the Republicans’ Messiah?

And Perry's no messiah, he rushed to have the man executed for political reasons, his reelection.

Read a previous post, Executing an Innocent Man and Trying to Hide It.

More Pandering to Birther Buffoonery

UPDATE III:  He's back for 2016.

Read Slate, Donald Trump Will Save America From Boring Grownup GOP Primary, which notes that Republi-cons hoped "to avoid having such "eccentric" candidates this time around might be cringing at Trump's continued harping on President Obama's birth certificate, but there's not too much they can do to keep him under wraps."

UPDATE II:  Is your local congressman a birther?
It seems our congressman can't decide.  Read the Pensacola News Journal, Rep. Jeff Miller suspends Twitter account over 'birther poll'

UPDATE:  Donald Trump has helped Obamney win over the birthers, now all he needs is America's '9/11 truthers, alien abductees, doomsday preppers, Sasquatch hunters, and Sasquatches or Sasqui.'

Watch the Colbert Report, Donald Trump's Creative Truth & Mitt Romney's Poll Numbers:

Of course, some doubters think the Trump is bloviating ignoramus.  

Based upon the Pastor's self professed 10-year law enforcement background and experience, I'm waiting for the arrests that he claims are imminent.

In the meantime, the birthers are proving themselves buffoons again, with their racist lies.

Did you know that in 1990, "an obscure publication known as the New York Times had written about his election as head of the Harvard Law Review, and noted, 'His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.'"  (From the Washington Post, The birthers are back! The birthers are back!)

Yet in Arizona, the Arizona secretary of state, Ken Bennett and former Republican president of the Arizona Senate, who is planning to run for governor in two years, is 'pandering to crackpots — and humiliating himself in the bargain.' 

"Never mind that Hawaii has confirmed publicly and repeatedly, since before the 2008 presidential election, that Mr. Obama was born there; that the Hawaii Department of Health has released both the short and long forms of the president’s birth certificate; and that all this information, along with clear-as-a-bell explanations, is available to the public online. [To birther buffoons] none of that is sufficient proof for the Show Me Your Papers State. . .

Everyone knows that birthers — the few that remain against the overwhelming facts of documentary evidence — are half-baked clowns who live for their pet conspiracy theory. . .

Fine. Let the buffoonery play through its final act. We’re confident that, in the end, Mr. Bennett will ensure that Arizona’s ballot includes the name of the president of the United States, all the while insisting, disingenuously, that his actions were merely an instance of due diligence.

But by threatening to exclude Mr. Obama from the ballot, Mr. Bennett transformed what should have been a farcical sideshow of the 2012 election into an actual menace to democracy. He legitimized the lunatic leanings of the United States’, and his party’s, most extreme elements. He put it in the minds of radicals everywhere that elected officials, for the shabbiest reasons (or none at all), can float the idea of bending ballot rules and suffer no adverse consequence.

In the process, he shamed Arizona on the 100th anniversary of its statehood, giving it the appearance of a banana republic that’s come unhinged under the influence of partisan fever."  (From the Washington Post, In Arizona, more birther buffoonery.)

And while one would think that "[w]henever the “birther” movement rears its head, sensible people argue that the press should just ignore it, since it’s so far out on the lunacy spectrum. . .

Mr. Bennett is not just your ordinary, garden-variety birther. He is co-chairman of the Mitt Romney campaign in Arizona. "  (From The New York Times, The Romney Campaign Joins the Birther Brigade.)

Alas, after embarrassing Arizona once again (you may remember that a "bill requiring presidential candidates to provide proof of citizenship in Arizona was vetoed last year by" the Republican governor), Bennett "received the 'verification in-lieu of certified copy' from officials within the Hawaii Department of Health that we requested in March . They have officially confirmed that the information in the copy of the Certificate of Live Birth for the President matches the original record in their files.'"  (From the Washington Post, Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett satisfied Obama was born in United States.)

I can't wait to hear how our Resident Pastor-to-the-Dictators (AKA Pastor Truthiness (formerly known as Pastor Poppins)), who plagiarize lies to salvage his malicious fantasy campaign to brand Obama as an outsider, as un-American, as non-American, will explain it all to his sycophants on Friday.

For more on the birthers racists fantasies, see these prior posts:

This Post is For All You Birthers Out There

Republi-Cons Have No Shame, Judge Edition

The Spin of Pastor 2+2 Does Not = 4, AKA Pastor Dred Scott or Pastor Truthiness (Formerly Known as Pastor Poppins)

Don't Be Duped by the Birthers

The Republi-CON 'January 2014 Disproves Global Warming' Myth

UPDATE III:  So, because it is cold outside, global warming is a hoax.

"As Stephen Colbert wrote, brilliantly mocking this kind of ridiculosity, "Global warming isn't real because I was cold today! Also great news: World hunger is over because I just ate.'

Read Slate, Ted Cruz Goes Full Orwell.

UPDATE II:  Read USA Today, Earth had warmest winter on record.

Read also, So You Don't Believe in Global Warming, Then Explain What Happens to 35 Gigatons of CO2 Each Year.  

UPDATE:  "The climate numbers are in from January and, on a global perspective, it actually wasn’t that cold at all.

In fact, for the 347th month in a row, planet Earth was downright toasty.

Yep, the last month in which Earth’s average temperature was below the 20th-century average was during the Reagan administration. February 1985, to be exact: 'I Want to Know What Love Is' by Foreigner was the No. 1 song in the country. Sally Field had just been nominated for best actress for Places in the Heart. The author of this piece celebrated his fourth birthday party. That’s a long time for a planet to run a fever.

Since that moment 29 years ago, there’s been an unbroken stretch of planetary warmth. Almost as if the entire globe was warming. Hey, maybe we can call it 'global warming'".

Read Slate, Don't Let the Snow Fool You. January Wasn't Cold at All.  

In the continental U.S, the "average temperature of the U.S. was just 0.07°F below the 1981-2010 average according to NCDC. . .

[In fact Alaska] had its 3rd-warmest January, with temperatures 14.8°F above average. During a late January warm spell, the daily high reached 62°F in Port Alsworth, tying the highest January temperature recorded in the state."

Read Climate Central, Never-Ending Winter? Nah, January in U.S. Was Average.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Happy π Day!

Today "is March 14, or, as it’s written in the U.S., 3/14. That makes it Pi Day, because the mathematical constant π is roughly equal to 3.14. Nerds celebrate this date every year, because, well, we’re nerds. Duh.

But this year’s π Day is special: It’s the year 2015, so the date is 3/14/15, giving us two more decimal places of the famous constant. In fact, if you celebrate it at 9:26:53 today, you get π to nine decimals: 3.141592653. Since the next digit is a 5, you can even round up and celebrate π Day for an extra second. Woohoo!"

Read Slate, 8 Things About Pi for Pi Day

Read also Slate, A Very Special Pi Day

Friday, March 13, 2015

Happy Friday the 13th!

"This year will see three Friday the 13ths, the most possible in a calendar year. Recently, the holiday has been mostly used for themed bar nights and marathons of a certain movie series. But what led people to associate this day and date with unfortunate fates in the first place?

In the video [below], some common explanations."

Watch Slate, What’s So Bad About Friday the 13th?:

FYI, paraskevidekatriaphobia is fear of Friday the 13th

The Repbli-CON Plan to Destroy the Economy

UPDATE IV:  Read Bloomberg View, Best State for Business? Yes, California.

Read also Slate, The States Where Second (and Third, and Fourth) Marriages Are Most Common
UPDATE III: More proof that God hates the South.

Read The Huffington Post, These 9 Maps Should Absolutely Outrage Southerners

UPDATE II:  "In perhaps the least shocking economic data point to be released this month, American consumers were sharply less confident about the economy in early October than they were in September. Turns out, shutting down the government for 16 days while using the threat of a government debt default to battle over the nation's budget isn't great for peoples' psyche."
Read the Washington Post, Consumer confidence collapsed this month. Thanks, Congress!

UPDATE:  Want proof that Republi-cons are bad for the economy?

"On average, the economy in the districts those Republicans represent is significantly worse than it is in the nation at large.

The median income in those districts last year was 7 percent lower than the national median, according to the Census Bureau. The unemployment rate averaged 10 percent. That was almost two percentage points higher than the national rate, and two percentage points higher than the overall rate in the states that contain each district."

Read the Washington Post, At the source of the shutdown, the economy falters — and anger at Barack Obama runs high.

Of course, it could be that God just hates the South (new link).

As suggested by former Bush administration speechwriter Marc Thiessen, who urged Republi-cons (at the Washington Post, The GOP flunks Hostage Taking 101) "to release the government hostage and instead jack up its demand for the debt ceiling":

"'[O]ne of the first things they teach you in Hostage Taking 101 is that you have to choose a hostage the other side cares about saving' . . a debt-ceiling breach would potentially destroy millions of jobs, making it the perfect threat."

Read New York Magazine, Why the Shutdown Is Leading to Debt Default; or, What Happens When You Take Hostages Without a Plan.

The article states that "Boehner resembles William H. Macy’s character in Fargo, who concocts a simple plan to have his wife kidnapped and skim the proceeds, failing to think a step forward about what happens once she’s actually seized by violent criminals. He doesn’t intend for her to be harmed, but also has no ability to control the plan once he’s set it in motion. In the end, Boehner's Speakership is likely to end up in the wood chipper, anyway."

For a preview, watch the wood chipper scene:

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Republi-CONs Ugly Political Cynicism

"Questioning this affirmation involves a serious charge — an accusation of the worst sort of cynicism. And it is simply not the role of a Christian layman to publicly dispute the self-identification of other Christians, especially in a political context. It is a practice that can lead down ugly alleys of sectarianism."

Read the Washington Post, Scott Walker and judging the faith of another.

Republi-cons might also read the Constitution they claim to so dearly love.