Monday, June 30, 2014

Somebody Ask Alison If She Thinks Your Boss Can Decide How You Fuck

Grimes sent out yet another begging-for-money email this afternoon.  It stood out like a sore thumb in my inbox among the dozens of emails from women's groups and progressive organizations condemning the anti-woman, anti-family, anti-freedom, corporations-as-masters supreme court decision.

Probably the most breathtaking aspect of the majority's opinion is how it just doesn't give two shits about women. Alito's decision doesn't take into account, even for a line or two, how a ruling for "religious liberty" is a ruling against women, dismissing that notion outright, in fact. This is all about making sure that butthurt Christians can do what their specific sect believes will please an invisible sky wizard, which includes, for some, making sure that women have those goddamn babies. The majority just ignores that there's real women with real lives who this decision really affects.
Is Grimes not aware of the catastrophic blow that decision is to millions of working families and their children?  Or does she agree with the Sammy "christian sharia for all!" Alito that the freakazoid fantasies of employers should trump workers' health and freedom?
Or does she just not give a flying fuck about anybody who can't afford to max out on campaign contributions to her?

Half the population of the Commonwealth, Alison.  That's whose votes you just lost by ignoring the greatest direct threat to women's lives and safety since another Supreme Court denied workers any rights at all in 1905.

Touch My Gun

(via redakota)

Elizabeth Warren is More Anti-McConnell Than Grimes Is

And sorry, Liz, but I wouldn't count on Alison's vote for any Democratic bill. If by some bizarre fluke she actually wins in November without the tens of thousands of Democratic votes she's already pissed away, she'll spend her time in the Senate making DINOs like Mary Landrieu look like Bernie Sanders.

Sam Youngman at the Herald:

But Warren's surprise wasn't rooted in Red State versus Blue State dogma. Instead, Warren said she was surprised to be standing in Kentucky as a United States senator, given her hard-scrabble upbringing in Oklahoma.

"I'm a little surprised because this is sure not where I started," Warren told a crowd of Grimes' supporters at the University of Louisville. She added: "I am the daughter of a janitor, and I ended up in the United States Senate." 
 Calling Grimes "the next senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky," Warren blasted McConnell's leadership of Republicans in the Senate, specifically targeting his effort to block her proposal to allow refinancing of older student loans and temporarily lower the interest rate on federal Stafford loans.  
Warren and Grimes accused McConnell of standing for "millionaires and billionaires" instead of siding with Kentuckians on a number of populist issues, such as increasing the minimum wage, education funding, infrastructure spending and fair-pay legislation.

"Today we have a separation, and that's what frames what this election is about," Warren said. "This election is about what direction our country will take."

Without going into specifics, Grimes and Warren said in their remarks that they were not on the same page on every issue. 
 "Alison and I don't agree on everything," Warren said. "We don't. But we agree that there is a lot on the line here. Our economy, our country, our values."

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Means What It Says

Say to God

Divine Irony:

David G. McAfee's got some questions of his own.

Q: I’m a Christian and I believe my God is very real, so humor me for a moment. If you die and you are standing before Him, what would you say?
A: I’d say, “Why did you feel the need to commit mass genocides, condone slavery, and promote the subjugation of women? And why does your inspired book indicate that the world is less than 10,000 years old and that man was created from dirt and women of his rib when common sense and scientific facts tell us otherwise? Why do you have to rely on ‘faith’ to believe in you – and why is that the same for every religion? Why did you used to perform grandiose miracles but, since the inception of modern recording devices, absolutely stop? Why is there no evidence of any supernatural entity, let alone a prayer-answering God? Why has prayer — in every scientific study — been shown to do absolutely nothing? Why would you cause more than two thirds of your creations — your “children” — to burn for eternity simply for being unconvinced of your existence of being born into a culture that worships a “false God”? Why would you have one “chosen” people over every other group and culture across all of human history? Why would you create evil in the first place? Why didn't you need a creator?”


(Source: atheistjack)


Chain Saw

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Angry Atheists

Divine Irony:

The Bundy Ranch Consequence

Rick Perlstein:

Armed force trumped law. Armed force trumped politics. Which is, of course, for a citizen of a republic, the opposite of patriotism: The more people who believe that — and more and more are believing it every day — the more irrelevant the Constitution these people claim to revere becomes.
Read the whole thing.

"Republicans in Congress keep blocking or voting down almost every serious idea to strengthen the middle class."

This is the Barack Obama I voted for.

Full transcript here.

Happy 109th, IWW

“a working class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working class from the slave bondage of capitalism.”

Erik Loomis at Lawyers, Guns and Money:

On June 27, 1905, at a convention in Chicago, the Industrial Workers of the World was founded. The IWW would play a major role in the industrial warfare of the early twentieth century, scare the employer class, and capture the imaginations of late 20th century and early 21st century radicals.

The IWW had many roots. Socialists and anarchists looked to form a broad-based labor organization. The Western Federation of Miners, a radical union with strongholds in the Rocky Mountains, wanted to expand their form of industrial unionism nationwide. Radicals of various stripes came to Chicago in late June to form this union. Among them was WFM leader Big Bill Haywood, who would become the union’s leader, although it was always a decentralized organization, especially when compared to both the American Federation of Labor and its constituent unions that were quite top-down, even in this era. Eugene Debs, former head of the American Railway Union and socialist candidate for president attended. The legendary matron saint of the United Mine Workers, Mary “Mother” Jones was there. Socialist leader Daniel DeLeon played a major role. Lucy Parsons, leading anarchist, African-American pioneer in American radicalism, and widow of one of the Haymarket martyrs attended. Haywood was the clear leader of this motley crew. The radical western miner stated the goal of the IWW was to form “a working class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working class from the slave bondage of capitalism.”

Friday, June 27, 2014

Hemp Thriving Back Home in Kentucky

No surprise - it's a native, after all.

Greg Hall at the Courier:

A month after the seeds for Kentucky's first legal hemp crop were released to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, hundreds of leafy plants are growing in research fields across Kentucky. 
After initial fears that government holdups on delivering the seed would limit growers' ability to get a good crop, seeds were released and planted around Memorial Day — beating a June 1 mark set by the Kentucky organizers of new trials to avoid significantly reduced yields.

Holly VonLuehrte, a spokeswoman for the state agriculture department said initial growing reports are good — shoulder high already in at least one location — and those assessments are echoed by two of the growers interviewed.

"The research will show that this is a crop that grows well in Kentucky, but particularly well out west at least thus far," VonLuehrte said. "All indications are it's not just doing well," it's doing "extremely well."

"Hemp certainly grows well in Kentucky's climate, Kentucky's soil types," said Katie Moyer of the Kentucky for Hemp group, and who is growing the plant in Christian County. "We're seeing that it works really well for erosion."

Effective Appeal


It's the Wages, Stupid

When even the "We Don't Need No Stinkin' Minimum Wage" Randians at the Chamber of Commerce say jobs don't pay enough, you know it's bad.

From the AP:

Most regions of Kentucky are adding jobs, but most of those jobs don't pay very much, according to a recent analysis of the state's economy by the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

University of Louisville economist Paul Coomes said four of the state's nine regions are above the national average in terms of job growth. But the average pay per job in all nine regions was lower than the national average.

Elizabeth Warren in Louisville Sunday. Oh, and Alison too.

From Grimes' campaign:

When Mitch McConnell blocked a bill that would have eased the burden of student loan debt for millions of Americans, Senator Elizabeth Warren vowed to come to Kentucky and help Alison with her campaign.

This weekend she’ll make good on that promise when she and Alison attend a special rally on college affordability in Louisville.

Alison and Senator Warren will be in town Sunday morning, and we want you to be there too.

Click here to RSVP now and let us know you’re coming.

Here are more details about the event:
What: Rally for College Affordability
When: Sunday, June 29th
Doors open at 9 a.m.
Where: The Red Barn
University of Louisville

The rally will be hosted by the Louisville College Democrats and held at the Red Barn at the University of Louisville. Doors open at 9 a.m. and we can’t wait to see you there.

RSVP now and let us know you’re coming.

Thanks for continuing to support Alison,

Elizabeth Cantrell
Political Director

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Let's Play

Time for some hardball.

The Rude Pundit:

Now, we can argue over whether or not the idea of "buffer zones" violates the First Amendment and if they are ever right, whether at clinics or conventions or the miles you have to stand away from the Supreme Court, but one thing we can perhaps agree on: If this is the motherfucking law of the land now, what's good for the motherfuckin' goose is good for the motherfuckin' gander.

So let's get out there, every goddamn Sunday, and head to the churches that send their lunatic Jesus-fellaters out to try to shut down Planned Parenthoods, and stand on their sidewalks, just like the one up there outside St. Mary's in Grafton, and let's make churchgoing a living fuckin' hell for 'em. Let's bodily block the access to the walkways that lead to the church. Let's bring signs that have pictures of women who were killed by illegal abortions. Let's go up to them and try to convince them to convert or go atheist, following them until we are on church property and have to stop. Let's block the street by walking back and forth in the crosswalk. Let's force the churchgoers to need escorts to even get inside.

Shit, let's plaster the telephone poles with photos of the priests and church leaders, their addresses, their phone numbers. Let's tell them as they pass, "We know where you live." Let's film everyone going into the church and post those on a website. Hey, it's a public fuckin' sidewalk, man. Let's scream at them about how they're terrible people, how they support raping children, how they have given money to help silence victims. Can't you hear their silent screams? Can't you? Fuck, yeah.

Going to church is a choice, no? Let's make sure they regret that fuckin' choice, however legal it may be for them to make it. Then let's see how quickly they're begging for buffer zones. 


Steve M:

Earth to Randians: this is how capitalism works. This is how money works. Things don't become sclerotic because of jackbooted government totalitarianism -- they become sclerotic because the powerful work hard to keep themselves powerful, at the expense of upstarts.


Divine Irony:


It's Not the Rich Who Suffer From A Degraded Environment

When coal mining poisons streams and cracks foundations and strangles its workers to death, the victims are rarely "liberal elites."

And they are never the conservative gasbags who claim that environmental protection is a rich liberal conspiracy.

Charlie Pierce:

If attempts to confront the overwhelming crises in the environment—climate change, first among them—really are perceived in our politics to be issues relevant to "this or that sliver of privileged constituents," then you'll have to excuse me because I'm going off to buy some oceanside property outside of Pittsburgh. There is nothing remotely "privileged" about the people living at the sharp end of our various environmental crises. The people living in Cancer Alley in Louisiana are not privileged, neither are the people in Arkansas whose neighborhood was ruined by a pipeline break. There's nothing privileged about the people in Shishmaref, in Alaska, whose home island is falling into the sea. The people dying in our increasingly dangerous heat waves down here are people who can't afford air conditioning or, occasionally, screens. By and large, the victims of Katrina, and the victims of Sandy, were poor or, at most, lower middle class. The people who get asthma from dirty air are not living in gated communities.  
Environmental racism is no more an elite concern than any other kind of racism is. at least not to the people who have to live most closely with its effects. If climate change continues to worsen, and if it endangers further food production or the supply of fresh water, it is not going to be the privileged who are crushed by its consequences. I have no gripe with Skocpol's basic point. It's just that, if she's wrong, we're doomed. If she's right, we're completely and totally fcked.

(And it's impossible to ignore the effect of weaponized ignorance on the attempts to convince working-class white voters that they have skin in this game. Just look at the wingnut reaction to the president's announcement that he is appointing a task force to study the decimation of the country's bee population. Look at the fun everyone has with the whole idea! In all the laughter, you could forget the fact that, without bees, we all pretty much starve, and the scale of who starves when begins at the lower income levels.)

You can't have followed this issue and not realized that, too often, as political actors, the major environmental groups have dropped the ball in making the above arguments. If environmental issues have been framed as the concerns of wealthy dilettantes, if they are perceived generally as a group of Hollywood types who want to save the sky, then the people most concerned about those issues bear some responsibility for that. That having been said, I think it's a capital mistake for progressives to abandon these issues in favor of any others. If "working Americans" don't understand the mortal stakes involved in combatting climate change, which is a problem too big to be left to local control, then it is the obligation of progressives to find a way to make that case to that particular audience. It's not as though there aren't examples of how to do that. The flashy Washington marches against our old friend, the Keystone XL pipeline, get a lot of run on the news, but, out in the states, the fight has been carried by a legitimately bipartisan coalition of farmers, small business owners, and Native Americans. What Jane Kleeb and Randy Thompson have done in Nebraska is a legitimate model of how to frame environmental issues for a mass audience.

(And, it should be noted that, in doing this, Kleeb and Thompson were following the example set in that same state back in the late 1980's, when Nebraskans in the tiny town of Butte in Boyd County rose up and stopped the construction of a nuclear waste dump on their land. These were not privileged people, either.)

The real problem, alas, goes beyond the ineffective attempts of progressives to make the case for environmental regulations. The fact is that, in addition to all their other problems, the people most directly affected by the consequences of environmental degradation are also the people whose voices have been stifled most effectively, and who are the people most directly affected by our new sweet-tooth for voter suppression. To break out environmental issues from those other issues, is to betray the search for a solution to any of them.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gathers No Dust

(Source: londons365)

The Only Real Vote Fraudsters Are Repugs

How much more proof do you need that every accusation repugs make is either a lie or projection?

Political Animal:

If you want to see some actual voter fraud, perhaps you should forget about Mississippi and look at a documented case in Wisconsin, via this report from Bruce Vielmetti of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (h/t Crooks & Liars):
A Shorewood man has been charged with more than a dozen counts of illegal voting, accused of casting multiple ballots in four elections in 2011 and 2012, including five in the 2012 gubernatorial recall.
Robert D. Monroe, 50, used addresses in Shorewood, Milwaukee and Indiana, according to the complaint, and cast some votes in the names of his son and his girlfriend’s son.
Was Monroe perhaps an Alinsky disciple operating under secret instructions from ACORN? No.
Monroe was considered by investigators to be the most prolific multiple voter in memory. He was a supporter of Gov. Scott Walker and state Sen. Alberta Darling, both Republicans, and allegedly cast five ballots in the June 2012 election in which Walker survived a recall challenge.
Now that’s some “voter enthusiasm.” And for those willing to break the law, then I’m wrong in saying “enthusiasm” doesn’t get you any additional votes unless it’s contagious.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Cutting Off Water Is Murder

The only reason we are not paying by the minute for the air we breathe is because corporations haven't figured out how to corner the supply.


Think Progress:

As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department moves to shut off water to thousands of residents who are delinquent on their bills, a coalition of activists is appealing to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights to intervene on behalf of the bankrupt city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Their report, filed Wednesday with the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, alleges that the DWSD crackdown is part of an effort “to sweeten the pot for a private investor” to take over the city’s heavily-indebted water and sewer system as part of Detroit’s broader bankruptcy proceedings.

One of the activist groups behind the report, the Detroit People’s Water Board, notes that city residents have seen water rates more than double over the past decade at the same time that the city’s poverty rate rose to nearly 40 percent, putting the cost of basic running water beyond reach for tens of thousands of households. Earlier this week, city lawmakers voted to raise water rates by a further 8.7 percent.


One key piece of the activists’ complaint has to do with allegedly disparate treatment of residential and commercial clients by the DWSD. The People’s Water Board claims that delinquent business entities “have not been targeted in the same way as residential users,” a claim the department strongly disputes.
You will be stunned to learn that this is really all about turning a public service - and one that is literally life and death - over to private corporations for their profit. Companies all over the world are slavering over Detroit's municipal corpse, sharpening their claws to fight for the most lucrative pieces.
I will never understand how anyone can think our austerity-starved government presents any kind of threat when we are losing everything we have to monster corporations every day.

How to Panhandle Freakazoids

No, Rand Paul Is Not In Favor of Voting Rights

Like everything else about the Tribble-Toupeed One, the substance is far less than the appearance.

Joseph Gerth at the Courier:

Unable to spur state lawmakers to action on the subject, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul plans to introduce federal legislation this week that would restore voting rights to some convicted felons who have completed their sentences.

"It's the biggest voting rights issue of our day," Paul told David Gregory on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "We think there may be a million people who are being prevented from voting from having a previous felony conviction."

The Kentucky Republican's bill would allow anyone convicted of non-violent crimes in both state and federal courts to vote in federal elections once they complete their sentences, according to a summary of the bill provided by Paul's office.
"Federal elections."  Really, Gracie? And just exactly how are states supposed to allow particular voters to cast votes for federal candidates but not state and local candidates on the same ballot? Will they have "convicted felon - federal voting only" tattooed somewhere - their forearms maybe?

This bill would not restore voting rights to a single person. This is just more "libertarian" fakery from Ayn "I really do have black friends!" Randy.

He doesn't want non-white, non-male, non-straight, non-freakazoid, non-rich so-called "people" voting any more than his repug friends do.

He just wants you to think he does,.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Impeach Obama Today. Do It Now, You Cowards


The loss of former House GOP majority leader Eric Cantor in his primary and the reaction by the Republicans to that loss tells me one thing: they're going to try to impeach Obama sometime in 2015

But they know if they did it now, they'd lose the House in November.  So they're going to wait until it's safe, pretending for the next four and a half months that impeachment is the furthest thing from their tiny, hate-filled minds.

So, what do your congressional candidates think?  If it's so critical that Obama be impeached, why wait?  Go on, ask them.  Get the motherfuckers on the record today, right now.

The only question is whether Alison Lundergan Grimes thinks he should be impeached sooner rather than later.

Think for Yourself

Bad Science Talk

Part of the reason repugs and freakazoids get away with denying and misrepresenting scientific facts is that so many of us misunderstand and misuse basic scientific terms.

Now scientists have come up with the 10 most egregious, with simple explanations of how to use them properly.

Via PZ Myers.

Read them all, but this is my favorite:

8. Survival of the Fittest

Paleoecologist Jacquelyn Gill says that people misunderstand some of the basic tenets of evolutionary theory:
Topping my list would be "survival of the fittest." First, these are not actually Darwin's own words, and secondly, people have a misconception about what "fittest" means. Relatedly, there's major confusion about evolution in general, including the persistent idea that evolution is progressive and directional (or even deliberate on the part of organisms; people don't get the idea of natural selection), or that all traits must be adaptive (sexual selection is a thing! And so are random mutations!).
Fittest does not mean strongest, or smartest. It simply means an organism that fits best into its environment, which could mean anything from "smallest" or "squishiest" to "most poisonous" or "best able to live without water for weeks at a time." Plus, creatures don't always evolve in a way that we can explain as adaptations. Their evolutionary path may have more to do with random mutations, or traits that other members of their species find attractive.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Face It




How Freakazoids Just Love Women to Death

What I don't get and never will is how any woman can listen to verbal assault like this and not walk the fuck out permanently.

Think Progress:

The students who attend Bob Jones University, one of the most conservative Christian colleges in the country, say that they’re often traumatized after seeking counseling from school administrators on the issue of sexual assault. According to an Al Jazeera investigation, Bob Jones staff members have responded to allegations of rape by telling rape victims they should repent for their sins.

Katie Landry, who was raped by a coworker several times during the summer before she started attending Bob Jones, didn’t tell anyone about her assault for several years. She was deeply ashamed and failed most of her classes her first year of school. When she eventually sought counseling, the dean of students told her that “we have to find the sin in your life that caused your rape.”

“He confirmed my worst nightmare — it was something I had done, it was something about me, it was my fault,” Landry said in an interview with Al Jazeera’s program America Tonight. The dean also asked her if she had done anything “impure” or smoked pot.

“I think they should have not heaped more shame on me. Because I was already filled to the brim with shame. I didn’t need any more,” Landry added.
Women who willingly subject themselves to conservativism are self-hating traitors to their sex.


(Source: atheistjack)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Louisville vs. Yosemite

OK, no surprise that Louisville is the most liberal place in Kentucky.  But do you know what place is the most conservative?

Via Political Animal, here's the map from Business Insider:

most liberal and conservative town map slightly larger labels
The map above shows the most liberal and most conservative towns in each state in the U.S. 
Political data analytics company Clarity Campaign Labs provided the underlying data to Business Insider. It compiled the information to create an online tool that was released Tuesday and was designed to help web users identify the community in each state that most closely matches their political views.

Clarity Campaign Labs used its national models and the Co-Op voter file from SmartVAN to make the tool. It analyzes users' political views based on seven identifiers and asks them whether they apply:
I identify with the Democrats more so than the Republicans.
Abortion should be legal and accessible to all women.
I attend religious services regularly.
Climate change is an immediate concern that must be addressed.
There should be more restrictions on purchasing and carrying guns.
The government should reduce the deficit primarily by raising taxes rather than cutting services.
I prefer urban areas.
According to Clarity, the questions about urban areas and church attendance were not included in the score used to indicate whether a community was liberal or conservative. Aside from those two questions, indicating agreement with any of the other queries was considered liberal.

You can use Clarity's online tool to find the communities that most closely reflect your values here.


Barr, Rogers, Whitfield vote to let the NSA keep illegally spying on you.

Teabagging Tommy Massie sponsored the legislation to stop the NSA, and Brett Guthrie joined John Yarmuth in the bipartisan vote, so voters in Kentucky's Sixth, Fifth and First Districts might want to look a little harder at the ballot come November.

Down with Tyranny:

The success of Massie's amendment limiting NSA domestic spying-- and it was a big success, having passed 293-123-- came as a surprise. It's not exactly the bill Glenn Greenwald would have written but if it ever becomes law-- I can't imagine Dianne Feinstein allowing it to get through the Senate-- it will block intelligence agencies from conducting warrantless and “backdoor” searches of U.S. communications. The amendment prohibits the search of government databases for information on U.S. citizens without a warrant and cuts off funding for the CIA and NSA to build security vulnerabilities, or "backdoors," into domestic tech products or services for surveillance purposes. Massie: "The American people are sick of being spied on."


"Our economy grows best from the middle out"

All the working-family-friendly policies in the world won't help a bit, Mr. President, until we tax the parasite rich out of existence.

Full transcript here.

Win a War

Friday, June 20, 2014

Schwerner, Goodman, Chaney

If you don't know those three names - who they were, what happened 50 years tomorrow and why it still matters - shame on you.

Read and learn - then find your local NAACP and volunteer to help them register voters. It works. That's why people died for it.

James Earl "J.E." Chaney (May 30, 1943 – June 21, 1964), from Meridian, Mississippi, was one of three American civil rights workers who were murdered during Freedom Summer by members of the Ku Klux Klan near Philadelphia, Mississippi. The others were Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner from New York City.  

Chaney and the other men were killed near the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi. He and fellow workers Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman were investigating the burning of Mt. Zion Methodist Church, which had been a site for a CORE Freedom School. In the wake of Schwerner and Chaney's voter registration rallies, parishioners had been beaten by whites. They accused the Sheriff's Deputy, Cecil Price, of stopping their caravan, and forcing the deacons to kneel in the headlights of their own cars, while white men beat them with rifle butts. That same group was identified as having burned the church.

Price arrested the three (Chaney, Schwerner and Goodman) for an alleged traffic violation and took them to the Neshoba County jail. They were released that evening, without being allowed to telephone anyone. On the way back to Meridian, they were stopped by patrol lights & two carloads of KKK members on Hwy 19 then taken in the car to another remote rural road. The men approached then shot and killed Schwerner, then Goodman, and finally Chaney, after chain-whipping him. They buried the young men in an earthen dam nearby.

The men's bodies remained undiscovered for 44 days. The FBI was quickly brought into the case by John Doar, the Department of Justice representative in Mississippi monitoring the situation during Freedom Summer. The missing civil-rights workers became a major national story, especially coming on top of other events as civil rights workers were active across Mississippi in a voter registration drive.

Schwerner's widow Rita, who also worked for CORE in Meridian, expressed indignation that the press had ignored previous murders and disappearances of blacks in the area, but had highlighted this case because two white men from New York had gone missing. She said she believed that if only Chaney were missing, the case would not have received nearly as much attention.
And more:
Three American civil rights' workers, James Earl Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael "Mickey" Schwerner, were shot at close range on the night of June 21–22, 1964 by members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County's Sheriff Office and the Philadelphia Police Department located in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The three had been working on the "Freedom Summer" campaign, attempting to register African Americans to vote.

Their murders sparked national outrage and a massive federal investigation. The Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to this investigation as Mississippi Burning (MIBURN), and eventually found the bodies 44 days later in an earthen dam near the murder site. After the state government refused to prosecute, the federal government initially charged 18 individuals but was only able to secure convictions for seven of them, who received relatively minor sentences for their actions. However, outrage over their deaths assisted in the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

What You Gain

Let's All Check the Definition of "Public Park" Again

Because Lexington, Kentucky, seems to think the definition is "tax-payer funded space that rich people decide who gets to enjoy."

Beth Musgrave at the Herald:

In coming months, people who deal drugs, harass people or commit other serious crimes in Lexington's 105 city parks could be banned from the properties.

The Urban County Council voted 14-0 Thursday to approve a new parks department policy.

The council was the latest body to sign off on the policy, developed by a task force appointed in response to multiple citizens' concerns about safety in the city's green spaces. 
 General Services commissioner Geoff Reed said the banning policy was a effort to help police maintain safety in parks. Under the policy, someone who is banned from a park and then returns may be arrested for trespassing. Currently, if someone commits a particularly dangerous crime in a park — such as assault or selling drugs — there is no way for the city to keep the person out, Reed said.
Really? The police cannot arrest somebody for assault or selling drugs? Oh, wait, he means the police cannot arrest somebody who may have committed a crime in the past but who is not committing a crime in the present.

In a free, Democratic society, there is no such crime as "trespassing" on public property. Public property is, you know, public.

If people are committing actual crimes in that public space, then it is the job of the police to obtain probable cause - you know, like evidence - and then arrest the people committing crimes. It is manifestly not the job of the police to arrest people they or the powers that be don't care to share park space with.

Thursday, June 19, 2014


The Real Price of Inequality

Economic inequality doesn't just mean that some people are way richer than others.  It means that the bigger the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest, the more damage it causes to the economy and society, harming everyone.

It's already driven the U.S. into the ranks of the Third World.

Down With Tyranny:

Lately you've been hearing a few political leaders, particularly Elizabeth Warren, Jeff Merkley, Brian Schatz and Bernie Sanders in the Senate and some of the Progressive Caucus members in the House, talking about steeply rising income inequality. They're talking about the kind of inequality that's part of vicious cycle that inevitably leads to oligarchy, plutocracy or outright fascism, in which a few families, through an accumulation of wealth and power, can dictate the laws and even the societal norms and control the mechanisms of enforcement to such an extent that they can virtually enslave an entire passive population.

It can't happen here? The manifestations are already undeniable. The greed and rapacity of the .01% has become so overbearing and their refusal to pay their fair share of taxes so debilitating that a UNICEF report I ran across this morning, a report that would have scandalized an empowered middle class anytime between the time Harry Truman was president until the beginning of the new normal under Ronald Reagan. The report goes a lot deeper than the shocking chart at top of the page which ranks 29 developed countries according to the overall well-being of their children. The 5 countries ranked at the very bottom include 4 of the poorest-- Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Greece-- plus the U.S., which is both one of the richest and one with the least economic equality. Those 5 countries, along with Italy, Portugal and Spain, have child poverty rates higher than 15%. The only countries that have allowed the child poverty gap to widen to more than 30%. are Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and, of course, the United States.

Some of the manifestations of America's rush to the bottom:
The only developed countries with infant mortality rates higher than 6 per 1,000 births are Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and the United States.

Only in Greece, Hungary, Portugal and the United States does the low birthweight rate exceed 8%.

Only Canada, Greece and the United States have childhood obesity levels higher than 20%. The United States had the highest proportion of children overweight at both the beginning and end of the decade, reaching almost 30% by 2009/2010.

Romania, the UK and the United States have the highest rates of teenage births (above 29 per 1,000).

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the United States are the only countries in which the homicide rate rises above 4 per 100,000. Almost all other countries fall into the range of 0 to 2.5 per 100,000.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What You Get When Children Grow Up Fearing and Hating Sex

Politicians who thinks sex is disgusting and necessary only for creating children and thus keep making clueless comments that should be keeping a platoon of Freudians in business for decades.

Crooks and Liars:

Rick Santorum spoke at the Iowa State GOP Convention this weekend to talk to Conservatives about ‘banging’ the President. I think Mrs. Obama might raise an objection or ten as to Rick Santorum having sexy time with her husband. 

“Look, I understand why campaigns and all of you want to go out and just bang the president. It’s fun. I mean, it’s fun. It’s easy. It’s getting easier every day,” Santorum said. 

Many of us have thought that Santorum’s objections to equality for the gay community might be due to a sense of self-loathing, but now it’s confirmed.


Will the Sixth Circuit Slam the Brakes on Marriage Equality? Probably.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati is one of the most conservative in the country.  Only a rare selection of moderate judges for the panel in these cases could lead to a pro-marriage-equality ruling.

From the AP:

A federal appeals court will hear arguments in gay marriage fights in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee in a single session, setting the stage for historic rulings in each state.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Cincinnati, scheduled arguments in five cases from the four states for Aug. 6. Though the cases are unique, each deals with whether statewide gay marriage bans violate the Constitution.

"I think the way the court's approaching it is significant," said Al Gerhardstein, a Cincinnati civil rights attorney who represents plaintiffs in two Ohio cases that will go before the appeals court. "They see the need to do some basic rulings on core principles cutting across all these state lines. It's very exciting."

Louisville attorney Dawn Elliott, who represents eight plaintiffs in the Kentucky case, said she and her co-counsel plan to make their arguments personal, focusing on the people affected by the ruling. 
 "Our plaintiffs are all planning on being there, because it's harder to say no to somebody when you're looking at them, to say, 'No your marriage is not valid because you're gay,'" said Elliott's co-counsel, Shannon Fauver. 
Correction:  It's harder for human beings to say reject other human beings for being gay; it's what conservatives do all day, every day.

Feminist Frightbats FTW

Stick to trying to chase little girls out of science class, boys: grownup feminists are way out of your league.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Today in "If You Have to Say It ..."


Rep. Tom Cotton, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Arkansas, wants you to know that, despite being described as sort of stiff by critics, he's actually pretty approachable. 

"I'm warm, dammit," Cotton joked to Politico in response to a question about his efforts to charm voters in Arkansas.

Down the "War on Coal" Rabbit Hole in Kentucky

Kentucky's own barefoot and progressive blogger Joe Sonka hits the big time - The Nation - with his usual sharp insights on the Mitch'n'Alison Show.

There are some political races in America—though admittedly not many—that are classic examples of a healthy democracy in action. Races where candidates engage in intelligent and thorough policy debates, commonly field probing questions from reporters and answer with great detail, and have face-to-face conversations with voters to hear their concerns. 

Kentucky’s US Senate race between Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes has not turned into one of these races, and looks unlikely to join those ranks any time soon.
Though the two candidates have traded barbs since Grimes entered the race last July, they kicked into high gear after McConnell disposed of Tea Party challenger Matt Bevin in the May 20 primary. Or perhaps I should say low gear, considering the absurdity of a campaign that has largely consisted of trolling via press releases and tweets, infrequent and highly scripted public events, dodging reporters’ questions (when not trying to arrest them), and negative attack ads from outside groups—the total of which from all parties is estimated could reach $100 million in little ol’ Kentucky. 
Though Grimes has repeatedly touted her support for raising the minimum wage and equal pay, she has been reluctant to go in depth on many issues and risk giving ammo to McConnell’s seemingly endless supply of attack ad money. She’s banking on being the safe and uncontroversial alternative McConnell, whom several polls have shown is just as unpopular as Obama in Kentucky.  
However, there is one issue that both candidates have talked about ad nauseam, with rhetoric that often borders on the absurd. That issue is coal and EPA regulations of the industry, as both candidates are falling over each other to convince voters that they love Kentucky’s black mineral of heritage the most, and hold the president’s EPA in the lowest regard. 


Right or wrong, the conventional wisdom in Kentucky is that Democrats can’t win statewide elections without pandering to the coal industry—as Governor Steve Beshear did in 2011—and Grimes certainly isn’t eager to test that theory.

No Indoctrination Required

One-World Eco-Freaks Take Over Ky University

What's next? Alternatives to coal? Growing food in former tobacco fields? Urban infill?

From the AP:

Murray State University will offer a new graduate-level program in sustainability science this fall. 
The school says the decision to offer a new master's of science degree in sustainability science comes as students show an increased interest in a cleaner earth and a healthier environment.

Pervine says the program can be tailored for a variety of interests, including environmental or agricultural sustainability.

Monday, June 16, 2014


Divine Irony:

Every living thing is a masterpiece, written by nature and edited by evolution.

Neil deGrasse Tyson
(via oedameux)
(Source: harmonyoftheworlds)

Kentucky the Ninth Most-Corrupt State

OK, I'll buy Louisiana, Tennesse and Illinois higher than us on that list, but South Dakota? I demand a recount.

Crooks and Liars:

A new study by researchers at Indiana University and City University of Hong Kong identifies the most corrupt and least corrupt states in the United States. It also calculates that government corruption costs American taxpayers tens of billions of dollars per year.

The corrupt states are based on the number of convictions of public officials for violations of federal corruption laws between 1976 and 2008.

The most-corrupt states:

1. Mississippi
2. Louisiana
3. Tennessee
4. Illinois
5. Pennsylvania
6. Alabama
7. Alaska
8. South Dakota
9. Kentucky
10. Florida

In contrast, the least-corrupt states were determined to be Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Vermont, Utah, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Kansas.

The study notes the costs:
In addition to spending more than expected, corrupt states spent more on government activities and services that are susceptible to manipulation for private gain and less on other activities. For example: 
More corrupt states spent more money on construction, capital and highway projects. That type of spending often involves large expenditures, small numbers of contractors and clients and a lack of transparency, making it vulnerable to bribes, kickbacks and extortion. 
More corrupt states spent more on high wages, which benefit government employees. And they were more likely to engage in deficit financing, which tends to conceal the true cost of government spending from the public.
More corrupt states spent more on law enforcement and on prisons, reflecting both the legal costs of corruption and the fact that prison construction and operation are potentially lucrative.
More corrupt states spent less on education at all levels, public welfare, health and hospitals, areas that offer fewer opportunities for public corruption.
Rhetorical questions (sort of): What do most of the corrupt states have in common?
Republican-run government, except for Kentucky.  In Kentucky, corruption is bi-partisan, and fucking over public employees the favorite game.

Sunday, June 15, 2014



How AA's Freakazoid Focus Excludes and Abuses Seculars

I hope I never need a 12-step program, partly because as an atheist I can see immediately that they are nothing but god-bothering bullshit.

But mostly because as an atheist with an addiction I would be sentenced to jail for refusing to submit to freakazoid conversion therapy.

Julie M. Rodriguez at Truthout:

An atheist man from California is suing the state after he was jailed for failing to participate in a court-ordered 12-step drug addiction program in 2007. After serving time for methamphetamine possession, Barry A. Hazle, Jr., was told that he would have to attend a local, religiously-oriented organization as a condition of his parole.

Hazle, a lifelong atheist and member of several secular humanist groups, expressed his discomfort to his parole officer. But the answer wasn’t what he was hoping for — he was told there were no alternative groups available. Despite his misgivings, Hazle attended the group as ordered. When he continued to raise objections about the nature of the program, he was arrested for violating his parole and sent back to state prison for another 100 days.

Unfortunately, this is an all too-familiar story for many who are struggling with addiction. If you’ve never been to Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, or a similar 12-step recovery program, you may not realize that these organizations are all, at their heart, deeply religious. While they don’t endorse any particular sect or denomination, 5 of the 12 steps explicitly require members to accept and acknowledge the existence of God.

This wouldn’t be a problem if secular alternatives to these programs were available for people struggling with addiction. That leads to another fact that may surprise you: by and large, few non-religious alternatives for drug and alcohol addiction exist. In many parts of the country, they’re not available at all.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media is still promoting AA's freakazoid falsehoods, as in articles like this one.

Striking back are a few brave seculars trying to break the freakazoid death-grip on recovery.

Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist:

G. Jeffrey MacDonald of Religion News Service points out that AA is going through a crisis right now, wondering how flexible they can be with the religion issue:
Has AA become too God-focused and rigid? Or have groups watered down beliefs and methods so much that they’re now ineffective? 
“Some think AA is not strict enough,” said Lee Ann Kaskutas, senior scientist at the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group in Emeryville, Calif. “Others think it’s too strict, so they want to change AA and make it get with the times.” 
With more than 100,000 local meetings and an estimated two million members worldwide, AA is grappling with how much diversity it can handle. Over the past two years, umbrella organizations in Indianapolis and Toronto have delisted groups that replaced AA’s 12 steps to recovery with secular alternatives. More than 90 unofficial, self-described “agnostic AA” groups now meet regularly in the United States.

Roger C. brings a different concern. Those who insist on doing the original 12 steps, he says, are apt to alienate nonbelievers, who might never get the help they need. 
Some get turned off “when someone comes up to you as a new member of AA and tells you, ‘if you don’t find God, you’re going to die a drunk,’” Roger C says. “That rigidity is very religious, very intolerant and very hurtful to a number of recovering alcoholics who are looking for an avenue to get sober.”
The fact that Agnostic AA groups (sometimes called “We Agnostics“) exist was a surprise to me when I first heard about them only a few weeks ago.

I contacted Julio, a regional representative for Alcoholics Anonymous, to ask him about these groups a couple of weeks ago — how long they’ve existed, how they’re seen by AA, and whether the groups have AA’s “stamp of approval.”

In essence, he told me AA groups are autonomous so there’s really nothing stopping them from popping up and thriving:


In fact, it may even be helping them. In 2009, the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment published a paper showing that a controlled secular group abused fewer substances than a controlled spiritual group:
While both groups eventually benefited relatively equally from their treatment — abusing substances on fewer days — it took longer to see improvement among those in the spiritual group. What’s more, those who received spiritual guidance reported being significantly more anxious and depressed after four months than those who got secular help. Those problems abated at about the eight-month point, but because substance abusers are at high risk for suicide, some worry that it may not be a good idea to put them through demanding spiritual calisthenics in the early months of their recovery.
This isn’t to say AA’s method isn’t effective — it’s worked for a lot of people. But it would be beneficial for everybody if they were more explicit about the fact that God doesn’t need to be a part of everybody’s recovery plan.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Just Across the River From Louisville, This Happened

Don't think this can't and doesn't happen where you live, because it can and it does.

Non-male, non-white, non-straight, non-Xian, and/or non-rich take it in the ass every time.

As Digby says, Just Because They Can.

I suppose if you think that the misdemeanor charge being drunk and mouthing off are crimes that deserve humiliation and abuse at the hands of the police then you'll think this sort of thing is a-ok:

On March 30, Indiana State Police troopers were called after the New Albany woman got into a domestic fight with her estranged husband.

The officers brought the mother of four to the jail on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.

Tabitha Storms Gentry was pepper-sprayed after she shouted and begged for clothes, her lawyer said.

Tabitha Storms Gentry was pepper-sprayed after she shouted and begged for clothes, her lawyer said.

Inside the jail, Gentry was questioned by four officers. Video showed she was compliant but upset, her lawyer said.

Suddenly, the officers grabbed her, restrained her and forced her out of the room, into a padded cell.

The video doesn't have audio, but Landenwich said her client must have said something that made the officers upset.

Then, the officers removed all of her clothing, leaving her completely naked. Both male and female officers removed her pants, shirt and undergarments.

Gentry was given a smock to gover up with, but her lawyer said it was more like a mat than an article of clothing.

Landenwich said the officers did not perform a cavity search — a common reason an arrestee might be stripped of clothing.

"This was not a strip search," Landenwich told the newspaper. "I think it was outright abuse."

The video showed Gentry banging on the cell door. She was apparently yelling, asking officers for something to wear.

Gentry was forced to walk through open areas of the jail while naked, her lawyer claimed.

Landenwich said police threatened to pepper-spray Gentry if she didn't quiet down.
When she kept shouting, a hand reached into the cell from a slot and sprayed the room, video showed.

Almost 50 minutes later, officers let Gentry out of the cell so she could wash the spray off her body and out of her eyes.

But her smock slipped off when officers handcuffed her, so she walked through the common area of the jail totally exposed, her lawyer said.

The video showed returning to the cell a few minutes later, still naked.

"They leave her in that room — still with no clothes, with a mat that is now soaking wet from the water — for five more hours before they finally give her a jumpsuit and let her make a phone call," her lawyer said.

Officers said Gentry was drunk and violent throughout the arrest.

According to a report, Gentry was warned that "since she had resisted, threatened and attempted to kick an officer, she was being placed in a smock and the females (officers) were going to remove her clothes."

In another report, police said they pepper-sprayed Gentry to subdue her for "the safety of this facility" because her shouting "agitated other inmates."

Because stripping a suspect naked for "threatening to kick an officer" and for "the safety" of the facility is perfectly fine.

 I wonder where they got that idea anyway?

Repug Thinking

Grimes Talks Sense on Iraq

I'll be damned.  Alison passing up the opportunity to bash President Obama on a current event.

Maybe she's seen the graves of some of the 115 Kentuckians who died for Smirky/Darth's Excellent Adventure in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From the AP:

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes says she would not support sending U.S. troops back to Iraq.

Islamic militants once linked to al-Qaida have taken Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, and have vowed to advance on Baghdad. In a statement released Friday to The Associated Press, Grimes called the situation very dangerous and concerning. But she said ultimately the fight is up to the people of Iraq. Grimes said the United States should play a supportive role by providing useful intelligence.

"As a country, there are ways we can support Dads"

Full transcript here.

Nobody "Earns" This Much Money; They Steal It


EPI has just released a big study on CEO pay as compared to the average worker. As you might imagine it's not exactly uplifting news if you aren't a CEO. 
They also wisely put together a short video showing he highlights of their findings.  
Details at the link.

Friday, June 13, 2014


I still say the only realistic response to the antis is to demand Abortion on Demand, but here's a logical argument if you insist.

Divine Irony:

Embryos and non-viable fetuses aren’t persons nor do they possess the neurocomplexity to become persons. Abortion is currently a legal option and even if that changes, it will be an option in the mind of any woman who has an unwanted pregnancy. So all you can realistically strive for is the reduction of unwanted pregnancies; that will, in turn, reduce the frequency of abortions. How do you do that? Get behind the problem. Sex education, marriage counseling, counseling for women who are already mothers, more jobs which will get women further from the poverty line, a focus on abuse in relationships and so on. Putting up a quote that has obviously ignored what is meant by person and adding that “abortion is not an option” is useless. As it stands, you’re like 99.9% of prolifers. There’s nothing unique about your approach or your views. However, if you were to choose to get behind the problem by targeting the quality-of-life issues that prompt decisions to get abortions, you’d literally revolutionize what it means to be prolife. Pro-choice, as a label, fits me because I maintain that abortion should be a legal, safe, medical option for women struggling with such decisions. However, I’m not blind to the inherent worth of getting behind the issue and addressing underlying problems. That’s a fresh approach and more importantly, it’s a better way of thinking about this issue.

Death Penalty for the Crime of Poverty

It's not enough any more to make the poor poorer by making them pay fines and fees for the crime of being poor.

Now they have to die for it.

Think Progress:

A mother of seven died in a Pennsylvania jail over the weekend while serving a two-day sentence. Eileen DeNino, 55, was put in the cell where she died because she could not pay thousands of dollars in fines relating to her children’s truancy from schools in the Reading, PA area.

The cause of DeNino’s death is not yet known, but investigators “found no evidence that the death was suspicious,” according to the Eagle. She was reportedly on medication for high blood pressure and other health issues. “Prison officials said they issued no medication to DeNino before her death,” however.


District Judge Dean R. Patton sentenced DeNino to 48 hours in jail after she failed to produce documentary evidence of her inability to pay the more than $2,000 in accrued fines and fees. The sentence could have been as long as 45 days of jail time. “I bent over backwards for this woman,” Patton told the Eagle, “but I can’t just dismiss her cases without justification.”

Thousands of people have been jailed over truancy fines in the county since 2000, and two in three of those jailed have been women, according to the AP. But the criminalization of poverty is a much broader national phenomenon, with court costs and fees magnifying the statutory penalties for a variety of minor infractions such that the financial penalty snowballs into an unpayable debt for low-income people.

The results, as catalogued in a year-long National Public Radio investigation, are staggering: a 19-year-old jailed for three days after catching a smallmouth bass during rock bass season, because he couldn’t pay the fine; a homeless man sentenced to a year in jail over $2,600 in penalties incurred by shoplifting a $2 can of beer; a recovering drug user sent to jail three times for being unable to make payments on nearly $10,000 in court costs.

Criminal justice reform advocates and civil rights groups say these practices amount to a revival of the sort of “debtor’s prisons” that are supposed to be a relic of Colonial-era history. At the federal level, jailing someone for unpaid debt has been illegal since the 1830s. A Supreme Court decision 30 years ago reaffirmed that judges must determine that an offender is able to pay overdue fines before jailing her, but some states appear to be breaking with that requirement.

No, Support from Elizabeth Warren Does Not Make Alison Lundergan Grimes a Liberal

Nor will it garner Grimes a single real Democratic voter she's already lost by running repug-lite and Mitch Mini-Me.

But it does show that not only do national Democrats think McConnell is vulnerable, but they also are worried about the Democratic base in Kentucky.

Way too fucking late, morons.

Sam Youngman at the Herald:

Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes said Thursday that U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will campaign in Kentucky against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Republicans appeared to welcome Warren, noting her rock-star status with liberals and her positions on coal and guns. 
 Warren seemed eager to join Grimes in her mission to unseat McConnell as he goes for a sixth term, in part as a way to exact a measure of political revenge for McConnell's leadership among Republicans on Wednesday in blocking a bill that dealt with refinancing student loan interest rates.
If you go to a Grimes rally to see Warren, be sure to wear the most dirty-fucking-hippie-liberal T-shirt you can find, and make sure Alison sees you. I hear she literally recoils in terror at getting liberal cooties.

Reward This No-Tip Restaurant in Northern KY

Tipping is a remnant of the feudal lords-n-serfs economy and perpetuates the low-wage economy. Long past time to get rid of it.

Think Progress:

Packhouse Meats, a restaurant that opened in Newport, Kentucky in January, doesn’t allow tipping. Instead, it pays its employees a decent wage.

Servers at the restaurant make a minimum wage of $10 an hour. But they can also make 20 percent of their sales in commission — which is based on sales volume, the quality of service, and a few other factors — if it’s higher than that wage. This means that, on average, the servers are making $15 an hour. “Ten dollars an hour becomes a safety net,” explained owner Bob Conway. “When you come in and it’s dead, or you’re working through the middle of the afternoon and we don’t really have any business,” that $10 might kick in.

That’s much higher than the tipped minimum wage, which in Kentucky as well as nationally is just $2.13 an hour. While businesses with tipped employees are required to make up the difference if tips don’t bring that wage up to the $7.25 floor for all other workers, they often shirk that duty.

Conway decided to institute this different model when he opened up his new restaurant. His family owns a restaurant company that runs some TGI Fridays in the area. “I’d just been hearing a number of horror stories from Fridays servers talking about waiting on a table of 30 and getting tipped $5 on a several hundred dollar check, and those stories were happening more and more often,” he said.

While 20 percent is considered a standard tip, three-quarters of customers admit that they leave less and 11 percent don’t leave anything. “We were losing servers because they couldn’t make any money.” He also noted that servers usually have to come in and do work before they start serving customers, often at the $2.13 tipped minimum wage. “I don’t think that’s really fair,” he said.
The new model was “done to protect the servers, and by protecting the servers, reduce turnover,” he said. Since Packhouse opened, there hasn’t been any turnover that wasn’t due to firing someone for failing to meet the requirements of the job. “None of the servers are leaving because they’re not making enough money,” he added. That’s good for the restaurant’s bottom line: turnover can cost as much as 20 percent of a workers’ pay. It has also raised quality. “If we’re paying our servers well, we can get high-quality servers, and if you have high-quality servers then the quality of service is better,” he said. “Generally I think that’s what we’re finding.”

Thursday, June 12, 2014

No Master

Divine Irony:


via Atheist Pride Day

Somebody Ask Alison: What's the Difference Between the Parties?

Offering legislators cushy jobs to quit and open up a winnable seat is a longstanding political tactic. Steve Beshear tried it here in Kentucky to flip the Senate, but his Democratic candidates lost their races.

The difference in the case of Virginia is that the goal of the repugs was not just to flip the chamber to themselves, but by doing so to - wait for it - deny health coverage to 400,000 of their own constituents.

David Atkins at Hullabaloo:

I can't even imagine having the moral bankruptcy required to spend this much time and effort machinating to prevent poor people from getting health insurance. The people of Virginia are literally spending millions of dollars paying supposed public servants to spend their every waking hour trying to figure out how to bribe, cheat and scheme their way into stopping people from getting federally subsidized health insurance. It's plain moral evil on a massive scale.

Let this also be a reminder that there really, really, really is a big difference between the two parties. Even when it comes to an underwhelming Dem like McAuliffe. Yes, it's important to try to get better Democrats than McAuliffe, hopefully through the primary process.

But make no mistake. Terry McAuliffe and most of the Democrats in Virginia are trying to secure Medicaid benefits for hundreds of thousands of Virginians. And the Republican Party is pulling out every single trick in the arsenal to stop it.

At this point I frankly don't care how underwhelming the Democrat in question is. The Republican Party is so totally devoid of basic human decency that there is no excuse whatsoever to do everything we legally can just to prevent their standard-bearers from holding office.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014



Basically they're telling a whole lot of people at the beginning and the end of their working lives to get used to being poor. And everyone else should be aware that their hold on any job is precarious and they need to do whatever the boss man tells them --- there are millions of others out there willing to work for less. The new normal.


Divine Irony:

March With Pride for Fairness in Kentucky

Pride events are breaking out all over Kentucky in June, so you have no excuse not to join one.

From the Fairness Campaign:

Picture you and your friends marching in a rainbow of solidarity with the Fairness Campaign's "Human Balloon Float" in the Kentuckiana Pride Parade Friday, June 20 in Louisville!

Call 502.893.0788 or e-mail TODAY to reserve your spot in our float!

Friday, June 20, 7:30 p.m. (FAIRNESS meets at 6:30 p.m.!)
Tryangles Bar, 209 S. Preston St.
Louisville, KY 40202
SIGN UP to march with Fairness!

Saturday, June 21, Noon-11 p.m. | $5 Admission
The Belvedere, 5th & Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
SIGN UP to volunteer at our booth with FREE admission!

Saturday, June 28, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza, 120 N. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40507
SIGN UP to volunteer at our booth!

Saturday, June 28, Noon-7 p.m.
Goebel Park, Philadelphia St.
Covington, KY 41011
SIGN UP to volunteer at our booth!

Sunday, June 29, Noon-6 p.m. CT
Panther Park, 5160 Wayne Bridge Rd.
Owensboro, KY 42301
SIGN UP to volunteer at our booth!

Vicco, Morehead: Where ya at, y'all?