Sunday, January 20, 2008

Who Needs The GOP?

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

"Her list of favorite presidents - Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman, George H.W. Bush and Reagan - demonstrates how she thinks." From the Hillary Clinton for President Web site, December 12, 2007.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Another reader responds

A reader comment to my entry Who writes this shit?? clears up much:
For information about the CARIBE program, you can simple go to

This program is to assist refugees from the Caribbean and is part of the State of Florida Refugee Services. From their site:"Eligible students may receive vouchers to pay for vocational training, tuition, materials and fees for programs offered at Erwin, Leary, Tampa Bay Tech and Brewster Technical Centers."

I also found information about the WAIT program from Reinhardt College. From the site:"WAIT stands for Working Adults Into Teaching. This new degree completion program at Reinhardt College will help working adults earn a degree in Early Childhood Education."

So, in a simple summary, the above author is probably correct that the unbacked story is probably false, but programs are out there that can make it easy for non-citizens to get a free education in this country. However, there are a lot of programs out there for citizens too. You just have to get off your lazy behind and do some of the leg work that a few non-citizens have been willing to do to get a free ride.

If you have received this email, don't just forward it, read it fact check it and if you don't like what you come up with, do what I do and contact your legislators. I you take an active part in the government, then they can't run over you as easily or as frequently.
A big ol' tip o' the spoon to waif69 for the info!

The CARIBE Program is an Adult and Community Education project that provides free English language, GED, and Hi-Tec vocational training to recent Cuban, Haitian, and other entrants with refugee or asylee status.
According to the Web site the CARIBE Program... is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement and administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families. The program is administered by the Hillsborough County Public Schools, therefore it is not a nationwide program. Hillsborough County, Florida is were the city of Tampa is located.

Reinhardt College, which administers the WAIT Program, is a "Private liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church," So, again not a national program. And not restricted to immigrants, legal, illegal or otherwise.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Why didn't she get an abortion?

The latest pretty-white-girl-goes-missing-pretty-white-girl-found-dead story concerns one Maria Lauterbach, USMC, who reportedly wandered away from Camp Lejeune sometime before Christmas. She has been found murdered along with the fetus she carried since an alleged rape sometime in April of last year.

On discovering the burned bodies of Lauterbach and her fetus in a shallow grave Saturday Onslow County, NC. Sheriff Ed Brown said,"...[The] little hand was about the size of my thumb. The little fingers were rolled up[.] One of the things that will probably stick with me for a long time, and forever, is that little hand, the way those fingers were turned, that had been burned off the arm. That is bizarre. That is tragic. And it's disgusting." And disgusting it is. But that little hand also begs the question: If Maria Lauterbach is a rape victim why did she decide to carry the child of a brutally, violent act to term? Why did she not get an abortion?

From the little personal information in cyberspace about Ms. Lauterbach one can neither conclude that abortion was not an option because of religious conviction or she was, indeed, involved romantically with her killer, Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean.

But if she had had an abortion, after reporting the alleged rape, she might yet still be alive. And if not at least a fetus would not be a murder victim.

This is a case where abortion really would have been a blessing.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

On Obama's church and economic mal-distribution

hey et, this was an email i got from a co-worker on obama - my response are on top.

thought you would find it interesting.

they seem more a black PRIDE church than a black SUPREMIST (sic) church

• To have a church whose theological perspective starts from the vantage point of Black liberation theology being its center, is not to say that African or African American people are superior to any one else.

• African-centered thought, unlike Eurocentrism, does not assume superiority and look at everyone else as being inferior.

• There is more than one center from which to view the world. In the words of Dr. Janice Hale, “Difference does not mean deficience (sic).” It is from this vantage point that Black liberation theology speaks.

what's wrong with being a muslim (sic)?

and you can get in trouble for sending this kind of politic and religious stuff at work.

Now I do know that we get a lot of stuff through our email, but this one certainly is an eye opener!!

Obama mentioned his church during his appearance with Oprah. It's the Trinity Church of Christ. I found this interesting. Obama's church: Please read and go to this church's website and read what is written there. It is very alarming. Barack Obama is a member of this church and is running for President of the U.S. If youlook (sic) at the first page of their website, you will learn that this congregation has a non-negotiable commitment to Africa. No where is AMERICA even mentioned.
Notice too, what color you will need to be if you should want to join Obama's church... B-L-A-C-K!!!
Doesn't look like his choice of religion has improved much over his (former?) Muslim upbringing.
Are you aware that Obama's middle name is Mohammed (sic)? Strip away his nice looks, the big smile and smooth talk and what do you get? Certainly a racist, as plainly defined by the stated position of his church! And possibly a covert worshiper of the Muslim faith, even today. This guy desires to rule over America while his loyalty is totally vested in a Black Africa!
I cannot believe this has not been all over the TV and newspapers. This is why it is so important to pass this message along to all of our family & friends. To think that Obama has even the slightest chance in the run for the presidency, is really scary.
Click on the link below: This is the web page for the church Barack Obama belongs to:

I want to thank my friend Older Music Geek for forwarding this bit of unadulterated race-baiting. Again this e-mail begs the question, who writes this shit and why?

Well the "why" is very clear. It's the oldest con in American history: divide the poor and working class along racial lines so they won't fight back against their wealthy, corporatist exploiters.

And anyway what's so unusual about an all African American church? Christian church denominations in the United States, whether we like it or not, are and historically have been segregated due to past and present prejudices, attitudes and mere physical location within a community. Does that mean the de facto racial separation of American Christian denominations is inherently bad? I don't know? Yet should we not be equally outraged that Mike Huckabee was pastor of the predominantly "White" Beech Street First Baptist Church of Texarkana, Arkansas from 1986 to 1992? Or how about Hillary Clinton's nominal affiliation with the predominantly "White" United Methodist Church? And about Mitt Romney's Mormonism, I won't go there. But a word of caveat here: The above named politicians all desire to rule over American while their loyalties are totally vested in White Europe!

Furthermore the denomination, United Church of Christ, of Obama's home church is not a "tradition" black church denomination. In fact its roots are embedded in the soil of Congregationalist New England, not the slavocracy of the old South. In other words, Barak Obama's church is black with white roots.

But what really galls the writer of the above e-mail is found in Trinity Church's mission statement:

We are called out to be "a chosen people" that pays no attention to socio-economic or educational backgrounds. We are made up of the highly educated and the uneducated. Our congregation is a combination of the haves and the have-nots; the economically disadvantaged, the under-class, the unemployed and the employable.

The fortunate who are among us combine forces with the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!
Imagine that. A Christian church daring to question the validity of the "free market" economy! Daring to challenge the "some are winners the rest losers" mentality of too many, mostly white, suburban and young, Americans.

And what a heretical revelation! "God" is not withholding "his" anointing from American because of "fags". Nor is "he" displeased with abortion. Nor does "he" love guns almost as much as "he" loves the Jews. No. "God" is pissed that a mere ten percent of the American people control almost 72% of the nation's wealth and out of that ten percent, the upper one percent control nearly 35 percent to that total. "God" is pissed because income for the average American hasn't appreciably risen since 1973! " not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!"

No wonder the Huckabees, the Romneys, the Clintons, the Bushs don't want this message to get out.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Who writes this shit??

Be on the alert, a new wing nut hoax e-mail is on the loose:



This is a subject close to my heart. Do you know that we have
adult students at the school where I teach who are not US
citizens and who get the PELL grant, which is a federal grant
(no pay back required) plus other federal grants to go to

One student from the Dominican Republic told me that she didn't
want me to find a job for her after she finished my program,
because she was getting housing from our housing department and
she was getting PELL grant which paid for her total tuition and
books, plus money left over.

She was looking into WAIT which gives students a CREDIT CARD for
gas to come to school, and into CARIBE which is a special
program for immigrants and it pays for child care and all sorts
of needs while they go to school or training. The one student I
just mentioned told me she was not going to be a US citizen
because she plans to return to the Dominican Republic someday
and that she "loves HER country."

I asked her if she felt guilty taking what the US is giving her
and then not even bothering to become a citizen and she told me
that it doesn't bother her, because that is what the money is
there for!

I asked the CARIBE administration about their program and if you
ARE a US citizen, you don't qualify for their program. And all
the while, I am working a full day, my son-in-law works more
than 60 hours a week, and everyone in my family works and pays
for our education.

Something is wrong here. Right?

I am sorry but after hearing they want to sing the National
Anthem in Spanish - enough is enough.

Nowhere did they sing it in Italian, Polish, Irish (Celtic),
German or any other language because of immigration. It was
written by Francis Scott Key and should be sung word for word
the way it was written The news broadcasts even gave the
translation -- not even close. Sorry if this offends anyone but
this is MY COUNTRY

- IF IT IS YOUR COUNTRY SPEAK UP -- please pass this along.

I am not against immigration -- just come through like everyone
else. Get a sponsor; have a place to lay your head; have a job;
pay your taxes, live by the rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all
other immigrants have in the past.

PART OF THE PROBLEM Think about this: If you don't want to
forward this for fear of offending someone -- YOU'RE PART OF THE

It is Time for America to Speak up If you agree -- pass this
along, if you don't agree

-- delete it!
This is a new, steaming pile of reactionary shit. So fresh, in fact, that the venerable Internet hoax-busting site hasn't yet determined authenticity.

Well old ET smells bullshit.

The first indicator of right wing bullshit is the lack of authorship. That's standard operating procedure. Of course, as this turd travels through cyberspace it'll wind up in the inbox of some real professor and he or she will forward it on, without comment, thereby becoming the de facto author. Then he or she will issue a retraction, that will not have the traction of the original or be read by nearly as many idiots. The damage done, the professor's standing in academia is diminished. Chalk one up for the forces of anti-intellectualism.

So anyway in this e-mail there is no author, no locale, no Web site address. There is, however, the Pell Grant program. This higher educational grant program is real. If you want all the ins and outs of obtaining a Pell Grant ask your high school counselor or college grant administrator. But what about the other two federal grants programs mentioned, WAIT and CARIB?

Since did not have any pertinent info I Googled "wait"+"program and found Wildlife and Industry Together, W.A.I.T., Program, an environmental initiative somewhere in South Carolina that has something to do with sewage and waste water treatment, and It's Great to WAIT, Sexual Abstinence Until Marriage. On the first page of my Google search the closest I came to was a stale news headline:Sale of student loan portfolio must wait: Program expected to yield. Well that did satisfy "wait" and "program" and it does mention "student loans." But not as a federal program handing out low interest credit cards to students for gasoline purchases so they can drive back and forth to college.

Then I Googled "carib"+"immigrants"+"child"+"care" and found nothing pertinent.

So then I clicked onto the Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid Web page at Nothing there. So I tried's search for WAIT program and found nothing about federally issued low interest credit cards so college students can buy gasoline.

So, O.K., I've struck out on "WAIT" so what about the "CARIB" program? Again nada, nothing, zip, zilch. See for yourself and If anybody can find such a giveaway program for immigrants they're a better man than I. And when you do let me know at

As for the "I am sorry but after hearing they want to sing the National
Anthem in Spanish..."
. Well, I'm sorry but a Spanish language version of "The Star Spangled Banner" has been around since 1919. So whoever you are who wrote this bullshit, fuck off.

And note to whomever author's these hoax e-mails, I think you are a coward, a very slimy sort of coward. I can tell you have professional writing experience and know something of psychology because you know which buttons to push to get a reaction in the reptilian and infantile portions of the brain of homo Americanus. You know flags, puppy dogs, eagles and hatred of foreigners, "Liberals," and, most laughably, Hillary Clinton.

As for those of you who forward this bullshit because you believe every word let me talk to you like a Dutch uncle: You're really, really very stupid and deserve to be hoodwinked, conned, bamboozled and swindled out of everything you have! You're a mark, a sucker, a rube and a pigeon. You're gullible, stuffable, childish and (did I say stupid?) stupid!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

...A Three-dollar Bill

Indeed, on the Republican side Mike Huckabee sank the hopes of Mitt Romney and the Republican establishment in part because of his far more persuasive version of economic populism. Of course, he did rally the evangelical Christians, but it's foolish to see this as evidence only of Bible thumpers on the march. In Iowa, Huckabee's votes came from the Republican underclass: formerly independent farmers and, more broadly, working class, church-going folks. The wisdom had been that a Republican candidate would ride to victory by swearing to seal the southern border, cut taxes, and go to war on Iran. Huckabee's substantive record is one of tolerance toward immigrants, compassion toward convicted criminals, and straightforward abolition of the most hated agency in the United States--the IRS--with installation of a sales tax, whose regressive features would be balanced by rebates to the poor.
Alexander Cockburn & Jeffery St. Clair

When it comes to Huckabee, all the talk is about religious conservatism, even as conservative publications like the Weekly Standard have very recently acknowledged that Huckabee's economic message is what has propelled him to victory.
David Sirota

Incredible as it seems, three astute, make that two and a half, observers of the American political scene are taken in by Mike Huckabee's "populist" bs. Can a backwoods politician be called a "populist" if he improves his state's general welfare and budget on the back to the working class?

It seems that most of Arkansas' fiscal health under Huckabee was achieved by increased sales taxes and state fees:

- Imposed an income tax surcharge of 3 percent on tax liabilities of individuals and domestic and foreign corporations (Act 38, 1st special session of 2003). (It was temporary until revenues improved. The legislature repealed it in 2005.)

- Increased the sales tax by 1/8 of one percent by initiated act (but it was a personal campaign by Huckabee, who campaigned across the state for it and took a celebrated bass boat trip for 4 days down the Arkansas River holding press conferences in each river city to urge passage of the act)

- Increased the sales tax by one-half of 1 percent (Act 1492 of 1999)

- Increased the sales tax by 7/8ths of 1 percent and expand the sales tax to many services previously exempt from the tax (Act 107, 2nd special session of 2003)

- Collected a 2 percent tax on chewing tobacco, cigars, package tobacco, cigarette papers and snuff (Act 434 of 1997)

- Levied an additional excise tax of 7 percent on tobacco (Act 38 of 1st special session of 2003)

- Increased the tax on cigarette and tobacco permits (Act 1337 of 1997)

- Increased the tax on cigarette and tobacco – cigarettes by $1.25 per thousand cigarettes and 2 percent of the manufacturers’ selling price on tobacco products (Act 434 of 1997)

- Increased the tax on cigarettes by 25 cents a pack (Act 38, 1st special session of 2003)

- Levied a 3 percent excise tax on all retail sales of beer (Act 1841 of 2001 and extended by Act 272 of 2003 and Act 2188 of 2005)

- Revived the 4 percent mixed drink tax of 1989 and added a 4 percent tax on private clubs (Act 1274 of 2005)

- Increased the tax on gasoline by 3 cents a gallon (Act 1028 of 1999)

- Increased the tax on diesel by 4 cents a gallon (Act 1028 of 1999) Note: Contrary to what Huckabee has said repeatedly in debates, speeches and TV shows, the 1999 gasoline and diesel taxes were not submitted to the voters and approved by 80 per cent of them. It was never submitted to a vote. It was the governor’s bill and it became law without a vote of the people. What the voters did approve in 1999 was a bond issue for interstate highway reconstruction but it did not involve a tax increase. Existing taxes and federal receipts were pledged to retire the bonds.

- Increased the driver’s license by $6 a person, from $14 to $20 (Act 1500 of 2001)
Arkansas, November 30, 2007

The Arkansas Leader essay, which the above list is swiped, concludes by noting that factoring in all the corporate "...incentives enacted by the legislature under Clinton," Huckabee's claims to be a tax cutting, fiscally conservative Republican are unfounded.

Huckabee's most egregious tax proposal was the notorious $525 a day bed tax of 2001 to bail out Arkansas' ailing medicare program. According to the Arkansas Leader it seems the Huckster was offered a large sum of cash by tobacco interests to veto a competing cigarette sales tax increase, the proceeds of which would go to the state's Medicare program.

Now "populist" Huckabee is offering a so-called "fair tax" plan, being nothing more than a national sales tax. Hucakbee claims that his form of regressive taxation will cure a host of economic ills ranging from globalization to prostitution! Mother has a good critique of Huckabee's "fair tax".

In my estimation Mike Huckabee is nothing like Huey Long, who taxed the shit out of the big oil companies operating in Louisiana at the time so poor kids could have free text books. Huckabee approved of regressive tax hikes to balance his state's budget, then promoted a one-time tax rebate to aid the gubernatorial election chances of fellow Republican Asa Hutchinson (who lost to current Democratic Governor Mike Beebe.)

Really, the only why in which Huckabee is anything like The Kingfish is his willingness to except expensive gifts from well-heeled supporters. And why would a self-professed Christian deplete the Arkansas govenrnor's office emergency fund to destroy computer hard drives?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Geezush, I'm lossin' it.

I can't believe I defended Mike Huckabee in response to an op-ed posted at by one Martha Rosenberg. I wrote:
Regardless of what you think about hunting and hunters, whenever I read an ill-informed, ignorant anti-hunting screed, such as this, I am reminded of an illfated experiment carried out in the New Jersey Pine Barrens in the 1950s or 60s.

What I remember is reading an article in Natural History Magazine or perhaps in what was then The Iowa Conservationist magazine years ago, before the Internet, of the State of New Jersey's effort to increase the deer population after World War II. The article said that the New Jersey fish and game department fenced off a sizable portion of the Pine Barrens and left it untouched for ten years.

When agents and scientists of the New Jersey fish and game department returned to the fenced-off area of the Barrens they found anything but a healthy eco-system. They did find diseased and malnourished deer and depleted vegetation due to overgrazing. Once the fence was torn down, predators, including human hunters, were reintroduced, the deer population rebounded.

So, Martha, let me ask you this: Is it more humane to let wildlife, where human interference has disrupted the balance between predator and prey, overpopulate and overgraze an area and ultimately die of stavation and disease or allow hunting to cull the herd under the various state departments of natural resources supervision? Would you rather see more deer and other prey animals slaughtered along our Interstate highways, as they are now anyway, or dispatched by an arrow, shotgun slug or bullet?

Fine you don't like hunting, Martha, but Mike Huckabee doesn't seem to be a slob hunter. If you want to lambaste him on his sleazy use of religion to pander to right wing Christians be my guest, it's unconstitutional anyway. But essays like this drove many good Democrats into the Republican Party in the 1980s and the poor jamokes have been voting against their own best economic self interests ever since.

p.s. I had a great-uncle who was a Disciples of Christ minister and he hunted, and the the Methodist minister of the church I went to when I was a kid. His kids were kicked out of high school for wearing black armbands to protest US involvement in Vietnam. Their case went all the way to the Supreme Court, I believe.
Now that I re-read it it's not much of a defense. But, Christ, these vegan, nature lovers are such ignoramuses it's not even funny. And all these dopes do is make assholes like Ted Nugent look good. Stupid fuckers all of 'em.