Sunday, January 31, 2016

Obective Truths


confrontingbabble-on:

Embrace the objective truths of reality…and let go of unverifiable religious fantasies and myths…

Embrace the objective truths of reality…and let go of unverifiable religious fantasies and myths…

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Guess Who Responded to Flint Water Crisis Months Before Anybody Else?

This is community action.  This is public service.  This is dedication.  This is simple humanity in the face of disaster.  This. Is. Planned Parenthood.

The Planned Parenthood in Flint, in a modest brick building off a lonely stretch of highway, might not seem like an obvious first stop for a resident concerned about the strangely colored, bad smelling water that started coming out of taps in the city in early 2014.

But for those who work inside, tackling the issue of access to potable water was a no brainer once patients began voicing concerns. As a preventative health organization with deep roots in the local community, the conversation came naturally.

After hearing reports from their patients about chemicals in the water, the clinic sprang into action months before any state of emergency was declared, handing out water filters and teaching people how to use them.

“We’re more than just a reproductive health organization, we work for reproductive justice,” explained Christina Soliz, field organizer with Planned Parenthood of Mid and South Michigan. “Having access to clean, safe water is a reproductive justice issue. It affects your health. Families deserve better than this.”

“It fits right in,” agreed Sabrina Boston, the health center manager. Water is “a basic human right.”

SNIP

As the crisis continues to unfold — residents are still being tested for lead exposure, and the effects might not show up for years — Planned Parenthood will continue to focus on educating patients. But years of political attacks and austerity have gutted the resources it has at its disposal. Conservatives’ fixation on its abortion services has turned the organization into a political football. Presidential candidate Ted Cruz, who led the charge in the Senate to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood’s funding, launched his campaign’s water distribution efforts at Flint’s crisis pregnancy centers, which seek to divert women from Planned Parenthood with misleading or outright false information.

Michigan funding for pregnancy prevention — some of which goes to Planned Parenthood — has dropped from more than $7 million in 2001 to just a bit over $600,000 as of 2012, with the most dramatic cut in 2009 when it was reduced by more than 75 percent. The cuts came as Planned Parenthood has been specifically targeted by Michigan lawmakers: last year, the state House passed a bill banning the organization from receiving state funding, even though it doesn’t allocate any dollars to Planned Parenthood as it is.
“We’re seeing the effects of [austerity measures] in a lot of different places,” Tunde Olaniran, outreach manager, said. “In Flint, there was a drastic cut and we’re trying to slowly rebuild.”
SNIP

“People who walk in the door — they’re people, so we wanted to address something that was a huge issue,” Olaniran said. “We’re trying to make sure we care about the entire lives of people who come into our doors.”

Friday, January 29, 2016

KY Planned Parenthood Offers Abortions; I Dare Bevin to Fuck Up Again

Donate to these brave patriots right now. They are fighting for the human rights of every woman in Kentucky, and against the massed anti-woman forces of darkness.

Go on, Governor Wasting-Money-on-Losing-Causes, sue them.  Spend tens of millions of tax dollars you claim the state doesn't have to takes this all the way to the Supreme Court where Notorious RBG will slap the stupid right off your face.

Read and rejoice, beloveds.

Deborah Yetter at the Courier:

Planned Parenthood has begun offering abortions for the first time in Kentucky at a new health center it opened last month in downtown Louisville - a move that quickly inflamed political passions in Frankfort, where anti-abortion sentiment is strong among some lawmakers.

The news drew immediate fire from Gov. Matt Bevin, an anti-abortion Republican.

"They are openly and knowingly operating an unlicensed abortion facility in clear violation of the law," Bevin said in a statement. 
Oh, goody: Notorious RBG loves it when you commence lawsuits against legal medical care by lying, you motherfucking liar.
"We will use the full force of the commonwealth to put a stop to this. There is no room in Kentucky for this kind of blatant disregard for proper legal procedure."

A Planned Parenthood spokeswoman responded that the organization "applied for an abortion facility license and commenced services under the guidance of the Office of the Inspector General, the state office that is responsible for licensing health facilities."

That office is housed within the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, part of state government. Planned Parenthood didn't say whether it had yet received the license, only that it followed the guidance of the licensing agency in beginning abortion services.

Betty Cockrum, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, or PPINK, said the decision to offer abortion services was based on women's medical needs, not politics.

"We knew we were functioning in a really important community where there's a great unmet need," Cockrum said.

She said Planned Parenthood officials considered the matter carefully before deciding to include surgical and non-surgical abortions (those induced by medication) among the health services at the new site on Seventh Street.

"It's a very important decision and absolutely you have to give much careful thought to it," Cockrum said.

Kentucky previously had only one abortion provider, a private clinic in Louisville that also operates a part-time clinic in Lexington.

SNIP

But supporters of abortion rights on Thursday hailed it as welcomed step.

"We believe Kentucky is vastly underserved when it comes to health care options for women," said Derek Selznick, reproductive freedom project director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.

And he noted that if the goal of opponents is to reduce abortion, Planned Parenthood helps achieve that through birth control services and family planning counseling it offers.

"I think they're part of the solution," Selznick said.

In a media release Thursday, PPINK said the center also offers cancer screenings, medical exams, birth control services, and testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases.

SNIP

But Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, a Louisville Democrat and supporter of abortion rights, welcomed the news.

"Any time we have safe, legal health care services for women so desperately needed in this state, it's a step forward for women in Kentucky," she said.

Planned Parenthood, which previously operated from a  clinic on South Second Street, selected and designed its new location to accommodate abortion services. It is surrounded by privacy walls and fencing with a secured entrance.

At Louisville's other abortion clinic, patients must walk through abortion opponents who regularly protest at the storefront site on West Market Street.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Keeping Us in Our Place

The only thing modern conservatives "conserve" is the power and wealth of the plutocracy. Anything and everything they say to the contrary is a lie.
 
Conservatism is the theoretical voice of this animus against the agency of the subordinate classes. It provides the most consistent and profound argument as to why the lower orders should not be allowed to exercise their independent will, why they should not be allowed to govern themselves or the polity. Submission is their first duty, agency, the prerogative of the elite.

Though it is often claimed that the left stands for equality while the right stands for freedom, this notion misstates the actual disagreement between right and left. 
Historically, the conservative has favored liberty for the higher orders and constraint for the lower orders. What the conservative sees and dislikes in equality, in other words, is not a threat to freedom, but its extension. For in that extension, he sees a loss of his own freedom. ... Such was the threat Edmund Burke saw in the French Revolution: not merely an expropriation of property or explosion of violence but an inversion of the obligations of deference and command. "The levellers," he claimed, "only change and pervert the natural order of things."

Flushing Millions of Tax Dollars Down the Toilet: Matt Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing, Part 13

Yeah, Govenor Connecticut Yankee Lying Coward is eager to waste tens of millions of Kentucky tax dollars to strip health care from tens of thousands of Kentuckians.

Kynect is a popular system that’s worked beautifully, but Bevin is determined to scrap it anyway, in part because of knee-jerk partisanship – “Obamacare” is bad, or something – and in part because the new Republican governor believes the move will save the state money.

Except, it won’t. State officials have already estimated that dismantling the successful Kynect system will cost taxpayers $23 million.

Just as importantly, Kentucky received millions more in federal funds to create Kynect, and the governor’s decision to tear it down means the state will likely have to pay Washington back for the investment Kentucky no longer wants.

What’s more, as we discussed a few weeks ago, there’s also an under-appreciated irony to all of this: Bevin, a far-right governor, is also abandoning the tenets of his own ideology. By scrapping Kynect, the Kentuckian is shifting power from his state to Washington, D.C., on purpose, without explanation.

Kynect has worked. It’s popular. It saves the state money. And it keeps control in Kentucky instead of D.C. Bevin is overlooking all of this because, well, just because.
Because conservative faux-libertarians like Bevin don't really want small government.  They really want government that subsidizes the rich at the expense of the rest of us.

KY's Other Federal Judge Gives Freakazoids $18 Million Blow Job

And guess which teabaggin' guv who is slashing state services 9 percent has no problem giving $18 million tax dollars to proudly discriminatory purveyors of intellectual child abuse.

Yonder in Kentucky, creationists have been busy bees building a giant ark and other fun exhibits which they plan to use to show all the homeschooled children how humans roamed the earth beside dinosaurs, among other things.

All of that would be just fine, except now they expect the state of Kentucky to subsidize it, and a federal judge has ordered the state to do just that.
The owner of the park refuses to comply with state non-discrimination statutes, which is why the state pulled the tax subsidies away.

The state of Kentucky must give millions of dollars in tax subsidies to a Noah’s Ark theme park owned by a creationist ministry, even though that ministry refuses to comply with the state’s request not to engage in hiring discrimination, according to an opinion by a George W. Bush appointee to the federal bench. Under Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove’s opinion, the creationist group Answers in Genesis (AiG) stands to gain up to $18 million

....

Though Kentucky officials were initially enthusiastic about providing these subsidies to help fund the Ark Encounter, they later reversed course citing fears that the state constitution does not permit tax incentives to be used to “advance religion,” as well as concerns that AiG “intends to discriminate in hiring its employees based on religion.” AiG sued, alleging various First Amendment theories.

Well, that's cheeky of them. They want to fall back on the First Amendment as an excuse for discrimination, but want the state to give them millions of dollars in tax subsidies to keep their enterprise running. And Federal Judge Van Tatenhove agrees.

Judge Van Tatenhove’s decision in favor of AiG is on much shakier ground, however, when he claims that AiG is entitled to the subsidy even if it wants to engage in employment discrimination. He roots this decision largely in a non-sequitur about what AiG’s obligations would be if they were sued by an employee alleging discrimination. As the judge notes, federal law exempts “a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society” from the federal ban on employment discrimination “with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its activities.” Thus, a religious group like AiG typically has the right to hire only members of a particular faith without having to face a federal lawsuit.

Take this one up the appellate chain fast, or we're going to see a lot more of this creative blending of church and state, particularly in the states that can least afford it.
No appeal.  Guess why.
So the state will of course appeal, yes? No. We regret to inform you that between the time this lawsuit was filed and now, Kentucky knuckle-draggers elected known teabaggin’, Bible-humpin’, cock-fightin’ sack of shit Republican Matt Bevin as their governor, and, well, bad news:

“We are pleased the Court has ruled in favor of the Ark project. This Administration does not support discrimination against any worthy economic development projects,” said Jessica Ditto, a spokesman for the governor.

Elections have consequences, MORANS.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Fuck-It Budget: Matt Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing, Part Twelve

When you have no ideas other than ugh gubmint baaaaaaaad, and you're too ignorant and lazy to actually figure out how to fund public services in the most effective way, you just demand across-the-board cuts, demonize state workers and call it a day.

Tom Loftus at the Courier:

Gov. Matt Bevin on Tuesday night proposed increasing funding for beleaguered state pension funds by more than a billion dollars over the next two years,  finding most of that money by slashing funding to most state agencies by 9 percent.

"We cannot move forward unless we address the crippling debt that faces this state. And that's really the crux of what we're here to talk about tonight," Bevin said of the more than $30 billion in unfunded liabilities in state pension funds during a speech to a joint session of the legislature that lasted an hour and eight minutes.

Bevin's first speech to the legislature outlined a proposed two-year state budget that is true to his campaign promises to cut the size of government and address the pension funding crisis.

"We've got to take immediate action," Bevin said. "Because to continue to ignore our financial problems is no longer an option. It just isn't."
 Forty years of budget cutting, and repugs still refuse to acknowledge the facts that it always - always - hurts the economy.  Calling for cuts is ignoring out financial problems, which start with a state tax structure that subsidizes the rich and decomposing industries like coal and punishes working people.

Kentucky's not going to crawl out of its financial problems until the governor and legislature makes corporations and the rich pay their fair share of taxes - and pay back the billions they've stolen from actual taxpayers over the last 40 years.

Here's a prediction for you: when agencies scream that they can't cut their budget's 9 percent without shutting their doors, Bevin's going to tell them to turn the services over the private contractors, and oh, hey, look, here's a list of my personal billionaire friends who'd be happy to take that budget off your hands.

Because once state government is in the hands of corporate criminals like Corrections Corporation of America, those 9 percent cuts are going to mysteriously disappear while the cost of providing services escalates.

Welcome to Haiti on the Ohio.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

First Corrupt Bevin Appointee Resigns; Matt Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing, Part Eleven

That's what you get when you stuff your administration with unprosecuted criminals from the last repug administration.


Tom Loftus at the Courier:

The man recently appointed as director of resorts for the Kentucky Department of Parks despite a past violation of the state government ethics code has resigned.

SNIP

The Bevin administration announced on Jan. 14 that Rittenhouse, who lives in Cadiz and previously managed two state park resorts, had been appointed as director of resorts – a job that pays $75,190 per year.

But the following day The Courier-Journal and cn/2 reported that just one year ago the ethics commission found Rittenhouse violated the ethics code. Rittenhouse admitted that evidence showed he violated the code and he paid a $1,500 civil penalty in a settlement with the commission last January.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Repugs Hate Government Services Unless They Can Make A Profit on Them

The problem for them, of course, is that there is no public service that private companies can provide more effectively and more cheaply than government can. 

So for forty years, corporations and their repug knob-gobblers have been demonizing government and lying about what government does in order to grab fat sweetheart contracts that pay them billions to provide no services, thus pissing off taxpayers who blame government and allow more services to be privatized.

Even in the case of a service that private utilities have promised for more than 20 years to provide and failed spectacularly, the privatizers and their cheerleaders are fighting against public service.

Tom Eblen at the Herald:

A year after state officials created a nationally recognized public-private partnership to build America’s best statewide broadband network, opponents are trying to kill it.

Some telecom and cable companies that now provide Internet service around the state, along with several right-wing advocacy groups, are pushing legislators and Gov. Matt Bevin to rethink the project, called KentuckyWired.

KentuckyWired was created as part of the Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative organized by former Gov. Steve Beshear, a Democrat, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, a Republican from Somerset and chairman of the House Appropriations committee.

The high-speed, fiber-optic network is to be managed and ultimately paid for by private industry. But it will be owned by the public and offer open access to any Internet service provider.
KentuckyWired officials say this network and its innovative structure could be a boon for economic development, giving businesses and homes better service, more choice and more competitive prices.
Independent studies have given Kentucky low rankings nationally for broadband availability, service and cost.
But AT&T has filed a protest over the state’s process for awarding school Internet service contracts, many of which it now has. The Kentucky Telecom Association, which represents 15 rural Internet providers, thinks KentuckyWired should be reconsidered, claiming it would duplicate existing infrastructure and undermine existing businesses that need their state and school service contracts.
Yeah, that would be the same AT&T that put high-fiber line in my front yard 15 years ago but still claims they can't get DSL to my house.  The same AT&T you hear people cursing as they fail to get service on their smart phones.  The same AT&T that has people cancelling their Direct TV in droves since AT&T bought it.

Government-provided broadband would be state-of-the-art and affordable, words not in the vocabulary of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile or any other private corporation currently stealing money from customers and giving no service in return.

But don't worry, corporations: Our "libertarian" governor is probably cancelling KentuckyWired as I write.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/tom-eblen/article56259250.html#storylink=cpy

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Investigation


blackgirlbedlam:



I would like 2016 to be the year when people remembered that science is a method of investigation,and NOT a belief system

This Fucking Weather Proves Weather is Fucked

Global Warming, Climate Change, whatever you call it, does not mean it's always warmer.  It means a warming planet causes fucked-up weather.  Floods, droughts, snowstorms.

Just count on the weather always being fucked up, and you'll always be right.

Joe Romm at Think Progress:

Another epic blizzard threatens 50 million people on the East Coast, with a bulls-eye on Washington DC. And leading climatologists again explain how human-induced climate change, especially warming-fueled ocean temperatures, are super-charging the amount of moisture in the atmosphere the storm will dump on us.

First, though, I think the name, Winter Storm Jonas, doesn’t do justice to this blizzard, especially since the Jonas brothers are a pretty harmless pop rock band. I’m suggesting the name, Superstorm (Edward) Snowed-In: Because it will turn DC upside down, bring the government to a standstill, and then flee the country.

Seriously, though, please take this superstorm seriously. As meteorologist Paul Douglas notes, “The Washington D.C. office of the National Weather Service issued a Blizzard Watch for the first time since 1986.” Besides upwards of two feet of snow and high winds over a 36-hour period, coastal regions can also expect some record storm surges.

I asked two of the country’s top climatologists, Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth, to comment on the role climate change has on this latest superstorm, which is forecast to break records.


Mann, Director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center, explained: “There is peer-reviewed science that now suggests that climate change will lead to more of these intense, blizzard-producing nor’easters, for precisely the reason we’re seeing this massive storm — unusually warm Atlantic ocean surface temperatures (temperatures are in the 70s off the coast of Virginia).”

When you mix extra moisture with “a cold Arctic outbreak (something we’ll continue to get even as global warming proceeds),” as Mann points out, “you get huge amounts of energy and moisture, and monster snowfalls, like we’re about to see here.”
Mann’s bottom line:
While critics like to claim that these massive winter storms are evidence against climate change, they are actually favored by climate change.

Good Neighbors

Satanic Temple Chapter Offers to Help Muslims Who Fear Backlash

One day, parents will tell their children to bring home a nice Satanist.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

First Step on the Charter Road to Corporatized Schools

Because first you have to conjure up some data showing that the public school system, with its public school teachers and local parent oversight doesn't work.

And you call it "streamlining the accountability system."

Valarie Honeycutt-Spears at the Herald:

Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt said Thursday that the state’s accountability system will be streamlined within the next 18 months and that he wanted everyone’s help.

The state’s assessment and accountability system is designed to provide information about the performance of students, schools and districts. Kentucky’s public school students participate in annual testing, and the results of those tests are included in the state’s accountability system for schools and districts.
Meanwhile, Bevin has probably already written the charter no-bid contracts and picked out the corporations who will provide half the education at twice the price.
Bevin is a supporter of charter schools, most recently pledging in his inaugural address to push charter school legislation as a way to give parents and students alternatives to failing schools. Earlier this month, Bevin also appointed longtime charter school advocate Hal Heiner as the secretary of his Education and Workforce Development Cabinet.

Outside the center, an “ad hoc” group of about 25 educators and other citizens rallied to express concerns that charter schools will siphon resources away from traditional public schools and circumvent the transparency expected of public schools. Chris Harmer, who is a member of interfaith group Fellowship of Reconciliation and has worked with the Ditch the Gap Coalition, said several protesters tried to enter the event but were escorted out.

When asked about this during a press conference following the meeting with pastors, Bevin said the event was a public meeting, as far as he knew, and had not heard of anyone being turned away.

However, Bevin was critical of those who opposed charter schools, specifically calling out the Kentucky Education Association and the Jefferson County Teachers Association as caring more about “maintaining control of power” than “doing right by our children.”

“We deserve better than that,” he said. “And our children deserve better than that.”
Really, motherfucker?  First of all, it's not your children who are going to be sent to corporate obedience camps and trained to be good workers.  It's not your children who are going to be left behind in crumbling public schools, crammed 60 to a class with a single "teacher" making minimum wage.

The cure for failing schools is money, you moron.  Not just money for the schools but money for families to alleviate the poverty that bars children from learning.

It’s hardly surprising that a leading factor in how well students do in the classroom is their home life. Are they homeless? Are they a victim of abuse? Are their parents working three jobs in order to keep a roof over their heads? Of course these questions (or at least the first and third) reflect divisions within class and race. But education reform advocates paper all this over. They focus on attacking teacher unions for getting in ways of their scams to profit off of education by blaming them for these underperforming students. But of course the education reform people have absolutely no solutions to these problems. And by talking about students’ “grit” to get an education as a factor and noting that poor students and students of color lack this “grit,” they are just naturalizing racial and class inequality to serve their own agenda.
So, what are those challenges? If a hypothetical classroom of 30 children were based on current demographics in the United States, this is how the students in that classroom would live: Seven would live in poverty, 11 would be non-white, six wouldn’t speak English as a first language, six wouldn’t be reared by their biological parents, one would be homeless, and six would be victims of abuse.
Howard said that exposure to trauma has a profound impact on cognitive development and academic outcomes, and schools and teachers are woefully unprepared to contend with these realities. Children dealing with traumatic situations should not been seen as pathological, he argued. Instead, educators need to recognize the resilience they are showing already. The instruments and surveys that have been used to measure social-emotional skills such as persistence and grit have not taken into account these factors, Howard said.
He questioned the tools used to collect data that suggest poor students and students of color do not have as high a degree of grit as middle-class and white peers.
The transformative potential in growth mindsets and social-emotional skills such as grit may be more applicable to students whose basic needs are already met. When asking the question of why some children succeed in school and others don’t, he said the educators and administrators tend to overestimate the power of the person and underestimate the power of the situation.
Underestimating what is inconvenient for the Rheeist agenda is something these people do all the time. It’s also why education reform is no solution at all to any of these problems. If you want to fix education, fix poverty. That’s the number one thing we can do. Programs like Head Start have done far more than anything Michelle Rhee or Campbell Brown or Scott Cowen will ever do. That’s what we need more of–direct interventions to alleviate poverty. But since there’s no profit to be made off of it, it doesn’t happen.







Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/local/education/article55879795.html#storylink=cpy



KY Senate Repugs Find Another Way to Kill the Bitches

Because cancer screenings just make them think their lives might have value, and we know where that leads.

And of course they cited the fake abortion videos and of course they lied about Planned Parenthood so hard their tongues caught on fire.

John Cheves at the Herald:

A Senate committee overwhelmingly approved a bill Thursday intended to end state funding for family planning and women’s health services at Planned Parenthood clinics in Lexington and Louisville, which this fiscal year totaled $331,309.

Republican Sen. Max Wise of Campbellsville, sponsor of Senate Bill 7, said he was moved to act by “Planned Parenthood’s notorious history as an abortion provider.” None of Kentucky’s Planned Parenthood clinics provide abortions. But Wise’s bill seeks to block funding to clinics that offer abortion “referrals” or “counseling,” as Planned Parenthood does in the state.

SNIP
SB 7 proceeds to the Republican-led Senate, which is expected to pass it. The Democratic-led House traditionally has blocked bills that would restrict women’s access to abortion. House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, said Thursday that he has not reviewed Wise’s bill or a similar bill filed by House Republicans, so he had no comment.

Critics warned Thursday that Wise’s bill could imperil the $5.6 million the federal government gives to Kentucky annually in “Title X funds” for family planning and women’s health services at local health departments and other health clinics. The two Planned Parenthood clinics in Lexington and Louisville share in that funding.

Federal law requires that pregnant women served by Title X funds have the opportunity to hear medical information about abortion, including the “risks and benefits.” Other Title X services include birth control, pregnancy testing and counseling, examinations for sexually transmitted diseases and breast and cervical cancer screening.

Cutting Title X programs for low-income women to spite Planned Parenthood would lead to more unintended pregnancies in Kentucky, among many other health problems, said Derek Selznick, director of the Kentucky ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

“Essentially, they want to take away funds that prevent 6,000 abortions a year,” Selznick said.
Ashlee Bergin, a Louisville obstetrician-gynecologist, told the Senate committee that SB 7 is “bad medicine.”

“The legislature must not interfere with the doctor-patient relationship by dictating what health care information can be shared,” Bergin said. “My patients must be able to make medical decisions with knowledge of all options, and based on what’s right for themselves and their families.”

Friday, January 22, 2016

KY House on Verge of Sentencing Women to Die in Back Alleys

For forty-three years, the Democratic representatives in the state house have been the only thing standing between Kentucky women and the nightmare choice between being forced to give birth or dying from an illegal procedure.

With just a one-vote Democratic majority and a Connecticut Yankee Lying Coward determined to turn Kentucky into Haiti in the governor's office, that barrier is about to fall.

From the ACLU of Kentucky:


This is a critically important moment for reproductive freedom in Kentucky.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Kentucky House is poised to allow a vote on an anti-abortion bill. Call now to tell House leadership and your representatives to vote no on SB 4 because playing politics on the backs of rural and low-income Kentucky women is wrong.
 
SB 4 passed in the Senate earlier this week. It would force women seeking an abortion to travel twice to one of Kentucky's two abortion clinics for in-person counseling 24 hours before her procedure. This means additional time off work and higher travel, lodging and childcare costs for women who have made the decision to have a safe and legal abortion.

Make a call to House leadership and your representatives today. It will take approximately two minutes. The operator will ask for your name and address and your message and he or she will forward it directly to the lawmakers that desperately need to be educated on this issue.
Thank you for taking a stand for Kentucky women. When you're done with your call, please share this message on Facebook and Twitter. The more calls and messages we can field, the better.
From the National Abortion Rights Action League:
Today is the anniversary of that historic day in 1973 when the Supreme Court, in a landmark decision, affirmed abortion as a constitutionally protected right.
But you and I both know the story didn't end there.
In the 43 years since Roe v. Wade, anti-choice extremists have partnered with politicians across the country to pass wave upon wave of legislation with a singular goal: to reverse the Supreme Court's decision and make abortion so inaccessible that it's effectively illegal all over again.
Sure, those extremists are vocal. They're also the minority in this country: Polling consistently shows that 70% of Americans believe in safe and legal access to abortion. On the anniversary of Roe, will you share this graphic on Facebook to show you won't be silent in the face of these relentless attacks?
I am one of the 7 in 10 Americans who support Roe v. Wade.
Reproductive freedom—which is key to a woman's ability to decide if, when, how and with whom to start a family—is in danger in this country.
  • In 2015 alone, 22 states enacted 41 anti-choice measures.
  • 23 states have anti-choice governments, where the state governor & majority of legislature are anti-choice.
  • 29 states have measures that prohibit insurance plans from covering abortion.
  • 32 states and D.C. impose restrictions on low-income women's access to abortion.1
Every Roe anniversary that passes is another reminder that too much is at stake to say silent. Click here to share the above graphic on Facebook today and help spread the message of the pro-choice majority.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"Libertarians" Never Learn. Neither Will Bevin.

Because pure selfishness only works if you are all alone on your own planet.

Once upon a time, a group of them decided to act on their principles and establish a Libertarian paradise in a foreign country: Galt’s Gulch Chile, they called it. What happened next?
Galt’s Gulch Chile is the name of a proposed residential community to be built near CuracavĂ­ Chile, approximately one hour west of Santiago and one hour east of the Pacific Ocean. The original principals were John Cobin, Germán Eyzaguirre, Jeff Berwick (The Dollar Vigilante) and KENNETH DALE JOHNSON. Through a series of broken promises, broken contracts and dishonest maneuvers, johnson circleJohnson was able to cut his partners and investors out of the real estate development project and claim 100% ownership and control.
He proceeded to develop, not a community as advertised, but an affinity scam aimed at Western libertarians. Johnson employed deceptive selling practices, violations of US and Chilean law, money laundering, and multiple jurisdictions to defraud his investors of US $10.45 million ($10.05 million with GGC and $400,000 with tangential scams).
Johnson sounds like the ideal Libertarian man, a true Randian hero, living up to the principles of selfishness to the ultimate degree. What’s the complaint? This is exactly what ought to happen if you design a community around the principles of Ayn Rand — perhaps the problem is that Rand didn’t recognize the value of community, and community is rather antithetical to her magical hyper-competent individualists.

The subtitle at that site is restoring the vision. I don’t think they get it.
Not a chance. We’re dedicated to turning Fraud’s Gulch Chile into Galt’s Gulch Chile. That’s what this website is all about.
“Galt’s Gulch” was an absurd idea in the book — maybe they ought to realize that Libertarian ideology is incompatible with civilization. Another pro-Libertarian site is similarly oblivious.
Ayn Rand could never have imagined just how a development based on her fictional novel could have become an even more sordid and unbelievable tale than the book itself… so far it has.
True. Ayn Rand couldn’t. The rest of us, though, could see the nightmare with clarity.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Unless He's Pro-Abortion, Pro-Gay and Atheist, AynRandy Ain't Not Libertarian

C'mon, Joe Gerth: you know better.

Now, says Dave Nalle, the vice chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which has endorsed Paul, the candidate is re-emphasizing his libertarian roots in a final dash that Nalle says is crucial for him to stay relevant.
Funny how when repugs say "Liberty" they never mean "Liberty" for black people or female people or gay people or muslim people or poor people or anybody who is not white, straight, male, christian, repug and rich like them.

The Tribble-Toupeed One wants a "small" government that's just big enough to deport all the brown immigrants, shove gays back in the closet, impose christian sharia law, turn women into nothing but birthing vessels and eliminate taxes on the rich but quadruple them on the poor to keep giving trillion-dollar subsidies to fossil-fuel corporations and military contractors.

Just like faux-libertarian Matt Lying Coward Bevin.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Constitutional Words

When Prayer Worked

Only when you define "prayer" as "science and human ingenuity."

Saturday, January 16, 2016

People Who Curse Are Smarter Than Those Who Don't

So there.

Both formats produced positive correlations between COWAT fluency, animal fluency, and taboo word fluency, supporting the fluency-is-fluency hypothesis. In each study, a set of 10 taboo words accounted for 55–60% of all taboo word data.
What this means is that people who cuss a lot are smarter than the rest of you. So there. Wonkblog's Ana Swanson, who apparently has access to the full paper, explains further:
In order to use bad words appropriately, people still have to understand nuanced distinctions about language, the paper says. As such, cursing isn’t a sign of a limited vocabulary at all. Past research has shown that when people are really at a loss for words, they tend to say things like “er” or “um,” rather than cursing. Other studies have shown that college students are more likely to use curse words, and that this group tends to have a larger vocabulary than the population in general.
“A voluminous taboo lexicon may better be considered an indicator of healthy verbal abilities rather than a cover for their deficiencies,” the researchers write.
Quite so. And on that score, the study's findings should give us all pause. Take a look at the chart on the right, which shows the number of words people could dredge up in three different categories. Apparently the average American can come up with only 11 curse words. Eleven! That's pathetic. I have dreams where I use more curse words than that. Of course, there's much I don't know about the methodology of this study. How much time did people have to come up with words? How unique did words have to be? Are fuck and fuckwit separate words, or merely different members of the vast fuck family? It would cost me $35.95 to find out, and you can guess how likely I am to spend my Christmas money on that.

Don't Get Your Hopes Up About Felony Expungement Bill

Because it does NOT restore voting rights to people who have paid their debt to society, and if this bill really did help former felons get jobs, housing, etc., the repugs who run the Kentucky state senate will never, ever accept it.

John Cheves at the Herald:

The Kentucky House voted 80 to 11 Friday for a bill that would let people convicted of Class D felonies erase their criminal records and get a second chance at jobs, housing and other opportunities sometimes denied felons.

State law allows people to petition a court to have misdemeanors and violations expunged from all public records five years after they complete their sentences. House Bill 40 would expand that right to Class D felonies — the lowest level of felony, punishable by one to five years in prison — with exceptions, including sex offenses, crimes against children or the elderly, human trafficking and public corruption.

“I believe this legislation’s time has come. There is an overwhelming and growing army of support for expunging the records of people who commit Class D felonies and helping these individuals become successful, productive, employable citizens of the commonwealth,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, said in a floor speech before the vote.

“House Bill 40 is about redemption,” Owens said. “It’s about second chances. It’s about acknowledging that there, but for the grace of God, could go each of us.”

Gov. Matt Bevin previously said he will sign the bill if it reaches his desk. But on Friday, Bevin’s office said the governor has “concerns that the bill in its current form expands beyond the original intent.” Bevin did not elaborate.
HA!  Of course Governor Lying Coward has "concerns." It would help poor people who don't contribute to his campaign.

Also the repug thugs in the state senate have warned him to stay in line if he expects his economy-destroying budget to pass.

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/news/politics-government/article54903390.html#storylink=cpy



Matt Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing, Part Ten

It's called Capital Mobility, Governor Connecticut Yankee Lying Coward.  It happens when pro-big-bidness government leaders cheer on off-shoring of good jobs in the name of the almighty free market.

This time next year, that GE factory at Appliance Park will be sitting empty and Bevin will be telling thousands of unemployed Kentuckians that they don't need gubmint giveaways like unemployment insurance and food stamps when there are $7-an-hour burger-flipping opportunities going begging.

The following is a statement from Governor Bevin on General Electric Company’s decision to sell GE Appliances to Haier.

“The Commonwealth is proud to be the home of GE Appliances headquarters and we are excited by today’s announcement! This sale to Haier offers great potential for global scalability and job growth. I applaud Haier’s decision to keep GE Appliances headquarters in Louisville in recognition of the strong leadership team and experienced workforce. GE Appliances is a first-class global company and we look forward to working closely with them in the months and years ahead.

“Haier is the number one global seller of appliances. This new partnership puts Kentucky in prime position to compete globally on appliance manufacturing. It is our goal not only to maintain and support the jobs currently at Appliance Park, but also to strengthen and grow the appliance business there. Appliance Park has been an institution in Louisville for decades and has supported tens of thousands of Kentucky families during that time. While there are still many steps that must be taken before this agreement becomes final, we intend to work with the City of Louisville, GE Appliances and Haier to ensure a bright and mutually beneficial future for all involved.”

Friday, January 15, 2016

How to Fight ISIS

Hey Alison: Show Bevin How It's Done

Good government, that is.  Use your power as Secretary of State to demand vote-by-mail.

Forget voting machines, polling places, poll workers, absentee ballots and voter ID.  Save money, time and effort and double turnout with just one cheap and easy change.

Vote by mail saves money, simplifies elections, and eliminates voting lines. It renders moot the debate over photo ID rules, and lets election officials avoid spending billions on software-enabled (but vulnerable to big-impact hacking) voting equipment. Best of all, it promises double-digit increases in registered voter turnout.
Yes of course it increases Democratic votes because when everybody votes, Democratic candidates win.  That's the repugs' problem.  Let the Connecticut Yankee Lying Coward explain why he doesn't want every eligible Kentucky voter to vote.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How many dead people in a "hoped to?"

From TPM, re the damn-near-successful effort by the repug governor of Michigan to permanently poison the mostly black and poor residents of Flint
Genesee County sheriff's Capt. Casey Tafoya has said volunteers and police hoped to get (clean water and water filters) to 500 to 600 houses a day in a city of about 99,000 residents with an estimated 30,000 households.
Let's see:  30,000 households divided by 600 houses visited per day is 50 days.  A healthy, strong person can live without water for no more than THREE days.  Somebody better tell the Flint funeral homes to ramp up for big business.

Today in What Government Is For

You know who collects the data from doctors and clinics and hospitals all over the state, figures out when cases of dangerous diseases are increasing and gets the word out to parents, caregivers, teachers, doctors, hospitals and others who need that information? 

Government employees, that’s who.  State workers.  The ones Governor Matt "Connecticut Yankee Lying Coward" Bevin is planning to get rid of.  By the thousand.

From the Kentucky Department of Public Health, housed in the Cabinet for Health and Family Services:
Kentucky experienced a rise in reported cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, at the end of 2015, with public health officials reporting 87 cases of the illness between August and December. Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by bacteria and is transmitted through respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing or talking. This vaccine-preventable disease can be deadly to infants too young to have been fully vaccinated, so it’s especially important for parents and caregivers of young children to be up-to-date on immunizations.
You know how many private corporations are capable of handling that responsibility?  None, that's how many.  Not that that will stop Bevin from giving millions of taxpayers dollars to one to fuck up the job.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Matt Bevin Killing Kentucky Jobs and Bragging About It

Funny how when jerb-creeters like Bevin shut down government programs and cancel government services they never mention the thousands of jobs they are killing.

And if you don't consider government jobs to be "real" jobs, you might try explaining why the biggest employer in almost every county in Kentucky is the public school system.

From the AP:

Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has notified federal authorities he plans to dismantle the state's health insurance exchange.
Bevin campaigned on a pledge to get rid of the exchange, known as kynect. It was authorized by an executive order from his predecessor, Democrat Steve Beshear.
The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/1N3zPNI ) reported Monday that Bevin's Dec. 30 letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell said he wants to wind down the state exchange and transition Kentuckians to the federal site to shop for insurance. The letter said he wants the transition to occur "as soon as practicable."
The state exchange remains open. The changes won't affect anyone shopping for insurance for the current enrollment period, which ends Jan. 31. Anyone who signed up for Medicaid coverage through the kynect site also won't be affected.
kynect directly employs hundreds of taxpaying Kentuckians throughout the Commonwealth - more than most private employers, including the Lying Coward himself.

From the Lane Report:
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 21, 2014) — Xerox is hiring more than 75 new full-time customer care employees to support kynect, the state’s Health Benefit Exchange.

The kynect contact center, a major component of the Affordable Care Act, received approximately 195,000 calls in December 2013, up from 85,610 in November. The dramatic call volume increase prompted the addition of 77 customer care agents by Xerox.

Xerox customer care agents will offer assistance via phone, chat and email to Kentuckians navigating the online application process for obtaining health insurance through kynect. Agents will also assist citizens without Internet access in completing and filing applications.

Hiring has already begun and continues through Jan. 29. Xerox is seeking candidates with six months of customer center experience or equivalent customer service experience.
Community Action Kentucky and 12 Community Action Affiliates are proud to have been selected by the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange to serve as "kynectors" to assist consumers with enrollment for healthcare benefits through kynect, Kentucky's Healthcare Connection. The role of these kynectors is to provide education services and enrollment assistance to individuals for Qualified Health Plans, Medicaid or the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP). Qualifying small businesses with 2-50 employees will be eligible to participate in SHOP.

Community Action Kentucky through their Community Action affiliates will conduct public education, and outreach activities to raise awareness of insurance affordability programs and coverage options; distribute fair and impartial information about available health plans; facilitate enrollment in health plans; provide referrals to any applicable office in the event of complaints and/or appeals, and provide guidance in modifying coverage, if appropriate.

Kentuckians will be able to compare and select insurance plans and find out if they qualify for programs like Medicaid and KCHIP. Individuals will find out if they qualify for payment assistance and special discounts on deductibles, copays and co-insurance. kynect will also be able to assist small businesses with enrolling their employees in health plans, and businesses with fewer than 25 employees may qualify for tax credits.
Eliminating kynect is going to throw thousands of Kentuckians, including children, onto the tender mercies of the social safety net that the Lying Coward thinks only moochers need. 

But faux-libertarians don't care about people who aren't already rich and Connecticut Yankee Bevin doesn't care about Kentucky.

Except for how much he can steal from it to give to his rich friends.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Shooting First Is Always a Crime

UPDATE:  Every day.  Every fucking day.

If you're holding a gun on someone, there's always reason and time to say something first. Dick Cheney and the NRA have embedded into our culture the lie that shooting first is not just OK, but the best and safest thing to do.

That is a motherfucking lie.

It happened yet again: a trigger-happy homeowner hears something go bump in the night, pulls the trigger of a gun, and an innocent victim dies. This time it was a mother gunning down and killing her own daughter:
A woman in St. Cloud, Florida, woke up just before midnight Tuesday and fired a shot at a person she thought had broken into her home.
But the person wasn’t an intruder; it was her 27-year-old daughter. The woman fired one round, but police didn’t say where the bullet hit the daughter. She died at a hospital. The shooting appears to be accidental, police said. An investigation is ongoing.
The only problem with that story is the use of the word “accident.” Such shootings—and they occur all too frequently in America—are never accidents. They are not tragedies. They are negligent homicides at best, and 2nd-degree murders at worst.

The number of home invasion robberies that lead to physical harm for the victim is low—particularly in the sorts of neighborhoods in which “defensive gun use” tends to take place. There is very small chance that whatever is going bump in the night actually means you and your loved ones harm.

SNIP

Even when there really is a criminal situation, the vast majority of the time it’s a petty thief looking to boost some electronics or jewelry to make a quick sale. They just want their next fix or meal ticket, and they’re not looking to up the ante on possible jail time by hurting you. Hurting you generally gains them nothing. Which means that common thieves can usually be scared off simply by shouting and alerting them to your presence.

There is almost never an excuse to fire a gun at an intruder without trying to talk to them and assess the situation first and at least try to scare them off. The notion that an intruder might have a gun which they might use on you first unless you have the element of surprise is essentially Hollywood fantasy.

SNIP
If you shoot first and ask questions later, you should go to jail. It’s not an accident. It’s a crime.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Matt Bevin's "Responsible"(sic) Budget Will Kill Us All

Because running government like a business always fails.  It fails for the same reason that trying to grow vegetables in a vat of herbicide fails: mutually exclusive goals.

The goal of every business is to make a profit at the expense of customers.  The goal of government is to provide public services that enrich the community, even at the expense of business.

Because a government that seeks to turn a profit - for itself or for its corporate cronies - can not perform its responsibilities as the public's protector.

Private profit is anathema to the public good. Corporatization and privatization are as lethal to good government as altruism and sacrifice are to private enterprise.  The two can survive and exist in proximity to each other, but never as part of the other.

Markets are out to make money, regardless of the consequences.  Governments exist to rein in those markets when they threaten to harm the public.

And Matt Bevin is out to bankrupt the Commonwealth with his "market" schemes.

From the Courier:

Gov. Matt Bevin told a crowd of hundreds of Kentucky business leaders Thursday that he will bring pro-business principles to the state and propose an “honest and responsible” budget this month.

Bevin, who spoke at the annual Kentucky Chamber Day dinner, said he already has received requests that would add between $1.4 billion and $2.1 billion in spending to the upcoming budget, which state lawmakers will adopt in 2016.

“News flash, that’s not coming. It’s not – we don’t have it,” Bevin said. “Truth be told, I wish we did. We don’t have it. So there will be changes. We will be more austere because we must get our financial house in order.”
Ah, austerity.  The economic fantasy that the cure for hunger is starvation.  Austerity is what has left Greece prostate and unable to support itself.  Austerity is what nearly killed the U.S. economy until President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus and auto industry rescue injected money back into the starving economy and put it back on its feet.

You want to kill an economy, austerity will do it every time.

Why Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing

Because he doesn't get this:

Friday, January 8, 2016

No, it's not the public's job to catch criminals; it's our job to check the cops

Seriously, motherfucker: just do your damn job right and we won't HAVE TO record you fucking up.
San Francisco police want onlookers to turn their smartphone camera on suspected criminal activity — instead of police behavior.

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is reportedly developing a crime-reporting app, Fight Crime SF, that will allow citizens to submit photos and video of suspected criminal activity. The app doesn’t have a release date but is expected to be released to the public early this year, according to SFD spokeswoman Officer Susan Merritt’s statements in a recent issue of the police union’s journal.

“In early 2016, we will be introducing a new app for the public,” Merritt wrote. “It will be called Fight Crime SF. Members of the community will be able to send police video and pictures of crimes in progress or suspicious activity using this app.”

Police misconduct, especially when caught on video, has become a focal point of public criticism across the country. That also has been the case in San Francisco which is in the midst of an ongoing police brutality investigation.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Matt Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing, Part Nine

Government boards and commissions are not corporate boards of directors and can't operate as if they were, but the latest "run gubmint lak a bidness" asshole to take over the governor's mansion doesn't care about that.

Governor Matt Bevin announced today the appointment of Brett Gaspard as Executive Director of Boards and Commissions. Gaspard brings more than 20 years of private sector experience with a strong emphasis on contract management, government relations and community engagement.
Translation: the only thing he knows about government is how to grab millions of tax dollars for himself through sweetheart contracts and prevent actual community members from finding out what he's doing.
Mr. Gaspard began his career as a newspaper reporter while attending Northern Kentucky University, but later transitioned into the waste management business where he has spent the past 15 years overseeing municipal contracts in Ohio and Kentucky. He has also served as a volunteer advisor to many state and local political candidates including U.S. Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Thomas Massie.

Additionally, Gaspard is the outgoing chairman of the Boone County Republican Party and has held key volunteer roles with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Taxpayers United and League of Kentucky Property Owners.
"Waste management" is the most corrupt and polluting industry on the planet, paying out billions in bribes to politicians to get away with dumping toxic waste in parks and playgrounds and schoolyards.

Rand Paul and Thomas Massie are outstanding examples of "bidnessmen" who got elected despite not knowing jackshit about governing or how government actually works.

And you will have a hard time finding four organizations more dedicated to fucking over the working people of Kentucky in order to further enrich the already obscenely wealthy than the Boone County Republican Party, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Kentucky Taxpayers United and League of Kentucky Property Owners.

Yeah, I bet he's got some real community-minded altruists lined up for all those boards and commissions.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Lege Is Back in Town and We're All Gonna Die

Or just want to. If Matt "Lying Coward" Bevin and some of our elected idiots get their way, we're gonna be:

  • paying tax money to rich corporations to run charter "schools" that teach only obedience to authority, especially employers;
  • getting public services like nursing home care and prison operations from corporations that make Verizon and Microsoft seem like models of efficiency and compassion;
  • paying hundred-dollar tolls to the corporations who bought the highways to fund tax breaks for Matt Bevin's rich friends but never bother to maintain said highways and bridges;
  • burying thousands of women who in desperation got illegal, lethal abortions because there are no more legal safe ones;
  • attending Kim Davis' freakazoid cult meetings "voluntarily," because only fundie evangelicals will have civil and human rights;
  • working for pennies an hour because minimum wages hurt corporate fee-fees, and
  • wishing we had the money to move to Haiti, because that economy will be better than Kentucky's.
Want to keep track of who is fucking you over today?m The Legislative Research Commission (the agency that staffs the lege) is on it:
When the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives are gaveled into order at noon (Tuesday), Kentuckians will have many ways to stay connected to action throughout the 2016 legislative session.
 
The Kentucky Legislature Home Page (www.lrc.ky.gov) is updated daily to provide the latest legislative information. Web surfers can view the issues before lawmakers by browsing through bill summaries, amendments and resolutions. The website is regularly updated to indicate each bill’s status in the legislative process, as well as the next day’s committee-meeting schedule and agendas.
 
In addition to general information about the legislative process, the website provides information on each of Kentucky’s senators and representatives, including their phone numbers, addresses and legislative committee assignments.
 
A mobile-friendly version of the website can be viewed by going online to www.lrc.ky.gov/isite/index.html and adding the site to a smartphone’s home screen. The LRC seal that will appear on the home screen allows users to connect to some of the more popular features of the website including the legislative calendar and a directory of the state legislators with their photographs.
 
Citizens are also welcome to see proceedings in person in the State Capitol’s legislative chambers and committee rooms, which are open to the public.
 
Those who can’t make the trip to Frankfort can tune in to chamber proceedings and committee meetings on The Kentucky Channel, KET KY. Kentucky Educational Television also provides online streaming of its legislative coverage at KET.org/legislature.
 
Citizens can also use toll-free phone lines to follow legislative action and offer their input to lawmakers. Those who want to give lawmakers feedback on issues under consideration can call the Legislative Message Line at 800-372-7181. Those who prefer to offer their feedback in Spanish can call the General Assembly's Spanish Line at 866-840-6574. Citizens with hearing impairments can use the TTY Message Line at 800-896-0305.
 
A taped message containing information on the daily schedule for legislative committee meetings is available by calling the Legislative Calendar Line at 800-633-9650.
 
Citizens can write to any legislator by sending a letter with a lawmaker's name on it to: Legislative Offices, 702 Capitol Ave., Frankfort, KY 40601.
 
The 2016 session is expected to last 60 working days, the limit allowed by the Kentucky Constitution, and is scheduled to adjourn on April 12.
 

Monday, January 4, 2016

The Difference Between That Oregon Militia and ISIS

There isn't one.  Stop acting like there is.  Trump should be bombing the shit out of those bundyist motherfuckers.
The big story of the day is the armed seizure of an empty federal building in rural Oregon by a group of domestic terrorists, some of whom are the sons of federal tax cheat and freeloader Cliven Bundy.

They’re apparently upset at the conviction and upcoming jail sentences of a couple of fellow domestic terrorists for arson. They believe that the federal government has no constitutional authority to own land, that national parks are essentially illegal, and that men like them have a God-given right to mine, log and otherwise destroy whatever forest land they want. (It remains unclear whether they would condone Native Americans for “standing their ground” and responding with force to their trespass on the same lands that God clearly gave to them first.)

I don’t want to dwell too much on the rationales and motivations for these domestic terrorists any more than I would for the people who fight for ISIS or Al Qaeda. It’s always the same thing: a group of armed, angry men believe that the Big Bad Western Government is infringing on their right to do whatever it is they very well please—whether it’s to the environment, or to minorities, women, people of different religious groups, etc. Undereducated, armed angry men are often upset at Western governments for upsetting their private power apple carts because in their small, solipsistic worlds they’re very used to being lords of their manors and local enforcers of bigoted frontier justice. That’s as true of Afghan militants in the Taliban as it is of rural Montana militiamen. The only difference is in the trappings, the external presence of the rule of law and the degree of violence involved.
SNIP

As much as restraint is the better part of valor when dealing with entitled conservative crazies, principles of basic justice and fair play also need to apply. What’s good for one type of terrorist must also be good for another.
Actually, there is a difference.  Domestic terrorists - conservatard white guys with guns who think they own the world - are a genuine existential threat to the United States of America, its residents and its Constitution.
 
ISIS is a bunch of thugs in the desert five thousand miles away.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

How They Work

Vampires


confrontingbabble-on:

Just like for god, there is no evidence that vampires exist…and just like “the sinner’s prayer”, there is no evidence that garlic will ward them off…

Just like for god, there is no evidence that vampires exist…and just like “the sinner’s prayer”, there is no evidence that garlic will ward them off

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Let's Put Taxes Back to Where They Were in the '50s.

Via Down with Tyranny:



We thrive only when we tax the living fuck out of the rich.

Matt Bevin Doesn't Know What the Fuck He's Doing, Part Eight

So Matt Bevin's first act as our only governor - after declaring the Commonwealth a christianist theocracy run by idiot freakazoids like Kim Davis - was to strip state employees of their tiny increase in minimum wage from deep poverty to almost-able-to-see-a-living-wage-from-here-if-you-squint-really-hard.

So instead of state government wages leading the way for increases in the private sector, Bevin's un-government has dropped Kentucky back down to $7.25 - below even worthless states like Arkansas and West Virginia.

From Political Animal:

Next week workers in these 14 states will get a higher minimum wage:
Alaska, from $8.75 to $9.75 Arkansas, $7.50 to $8.00
California, $9.00 to $10.00
Colorado, $8.23 to $8.31
Connecticut, $9.15 to $9.60
Hawaii, $7.75 to $8.50
Massachusetts, $9.00 to $10.00
Michigan, $8.15 to $8.50
Nebraska, $8.00 to $9.00
New York, $8.75 to $9.00 (as of 12/31/15, fast food excepted)
Rhode Island, $9.00 to $9.60
South Dakota, $8.50 to $8.55
Vermont, $9.15 to $9.60
West Virginia, $8.00 to $8.75 (as of 12/31/15)
No, for the zillionth time, raising the minimum does not, never has and never will kill jobs.  It does, however, put money in the hands of the working poor, who spend it immediately to pay rent and buy food, clothes and other necessities, thus putting money in the pockets of the local people who sell that stuff and then use the money to buy other stuff and hire more employees, and so on.  Google "virtuous cycle."

Then google "Faux Libertarian Greedhead."  At the top of the page is Matt Bevin's picture.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Real Obstacle

Quoted at TPM, in re repug obstruction on global warming: 

“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

Daniel J. Boorstin

Get People to Work by GettingThem to the Jobs

LexTran wants to know what its purpose is. How about making it possible for people to get to their jobs.
 

Lauren Scott, a single mother and homeless, goes for a job interview:

Sixty-nine stops on a bus; a nine-minute train ride; an additional 49 stops on a bus; a quarter-mile walk.

Scott carries a spiral notebook with her “Plan of Action for the Week.” The Washington Post chronicles her struggle to find work in Atlanta. It would have taken 27 minutes in a car. It is a four-hour round trip on the bus. Getting to the interview is just one of the obstacles to climbing out of poverty. Rising prices in the city are driving low-income residents further from where the jobs are.

But even as their ranks have grown, the deeply impoverished in the Deep South have also increasingly found that they are on their own: They are less likely to receive the help of a spouse — or the government. Five of the six states with the highest proportion of single parents are in the Deep South. Meanwhile, policymakers have dismantled the cash assistance programs that used to provide critical support for the jobless with children. Those like Scott not only have less access to jobs, but also less of a safety net when they are unemployed.

It's a good thing she doesn't have to take a drug test before getting a bus pass. Scott had been self-sufficient, even if only hanging on. Her life was a Jenga game with too many pieces gone. Having a child brought it crashing down. There was no cushion left.

Other factors add to the difficulty of the poor finding work. Those who can’t afford to live in city centers often must depend on walking, hitching rides or laborious public transportation commutes. A 2011 Brookings Institution report ranking public transit in the nation’s 100 largest metro areas found that 15 of the weakest 20 systems — judged by coverage and job access — were in the South. They included systems in Birmingham, Ala.; Greenville, S.C.; Baton Rouge; and Atlanta — where, in earlier decades, majority-white suburbs voted against the expansion of a transit system they viewed as being primarily for black residents.
Let's see. So suburbanites insist poor people get jobs they can't get because they can't commute to where the jobs are because they don't have cars because they don't have jobs. 

And the poor can't use public transportation to commute to jobs they can't get because suburbanites don't want to pay taxes to expand public transportation they see as primarily benefiting poor people who can't afford to move closer to jobs and the suburbanites don't want them living in their neighborhoods anyway. This Catch 22 situation is a product of a moral failing on somebody's part. The comfortable are pretty sure it's the shiftless and slovenly Poors' failing. Good luck finding support for a "basic income" upon which to build better futures.

Ask Janis Adkins about that. She wound up homeless in Santa Barbara after losing her nursery business. No wonder Trump's faithful are so worried about immigrants and their own futures. Deep down, they know they could be next at the bottom of the ladder. Until then, no grace for those already there.

Maybe America needs a moratorium on saving souls until it finds its own.