Friday, November 06, 2015

Is A "Real Black" A "Thug" In Conservative Repub-World? Also, Is Ben Carson A Pathological Liar?

Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else ~ Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) tweet from 10/8/2015.

So what would make Ben Carson a "real Black president", while Barack Obama is not "real"? Does Obama not being "real" based entirely on him living outside of the United States for a number of years during his childhood, or is it something more than that?

The following excerpt from the 11/5/2015 airing of The Stephanie Miller Show might shed some light on why, and in what ways, Ben Carson would be "real", whereas Obama isn't. (Note: what follows was minorly edited by me for clarity).

Stephanie Miller: Carl in Texas. You're on with the crew. Hello Carl.

Carl: Someone was talking about Ben Carson possibly being a sociopath. But if we all recall, when the Oregon shooting happened, he spoke with bravado about attacking the gunman. [Ben Carson on Fox & Friends said "Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say: 'Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can't get us all'"].

Then, when people said "you don't know what you'd do if someone pointed a gun at you", he came up with this story about what happened in the "Popeye's organization". [Ben Carson, appearing on Karen Hunter's Sirius XM Radio program said "I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye's organization. Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter'"].

When people said he was a coward he came up with the story about the rocks and the bricks and the baseball bats... ["As a teenager, I would go after people with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers. And, of course, many people know the story when I was 14 and I tried to stab someone", Carson said... on the 10/25/2015 airing of Meet the Press].

Stephanie Miller: Yes. He was stabby.

Carl: CNN went to his hometown and organized some of his neighbors and school friends. Not one of them knew anything about any of this. They said that when he was in school he was a nerdy bookworm.

Stephanie Miller: Oh... so he was inventing some street cred for himself. A thug story.

[End 11/5/2015 SMS Excerpt]

If this story of Ben Carson's troubled youth makes him a reformed thug, is that what is makes his "Blackness" "real"? Also, is this how White Conservatives view Black people; by which I mean the "real" ones are all thugs and some of them (the GOOD ones) are "reformed"?

Is Obama, on the other hand, not a "real Black" but "mixed race"... because his mother was White and because his White grandparents raised him (and in Hawaii, of all places)? Yeah, I think that while the primary factor regarding why Obama isn't "real" is due to his time living outside the US, these other things are also a factor.

Including the lack of a "thug story", which Ben Carson seems to be trying to create/relate. Because being a reformed thug is a positive in the eyes of White Conservatives. Because it shows that embracing "personal responsibility" can transform a typical Black person... someone who, as Conservatives put it, reside mainly on the Democrat plantation where they lazily rely on "free stuff" instead of developing a work ethic.

Obama, on the other hand, became a community organizer, which, in conservative minds, meant he organized lazy Blacks to beg for "free stuff". (However, even though Obama, as someone organizing lazy Blacks to beg for free stuff places him in with the majority of African Americans who reside on the "Democrat plantation", this ABSOLUTELY does not cause his Blackness to be real).

Anyway, as for Carson's "thug story" and it making him a "real Black", there are questions as to whether EITHER of these incidents (the one where he stabbed someone or the one where he encountered a gunman in a Popeye's) actually happened.

Ben Carson's Stabbing Story Is Full of Holes (excerpt from the 10/27/2015 Daily Beast article by Gideon Resnick) In one version of the story, Carson attempts to stab a bully with a large camping knife he had been holding. In another, he pulls a pocketknife on his friend while listening to classical music at the friend's house. So which is it?

In the many different version of the stabbing story, the basic facts are the same, but the particulars are quite different. That Carson is relating differing versions of this story says to me that he might be making it up.

As for the incident that Carson claims took place in the Popeye's fast food restaurant, or the "Popeye's Organization" as Ben calls the chain... it might not have happened either.

Was Ben Carson Really Held at Gunpoint? (excerpt from the 10/8/2015 Daily Beast article by Olivia Nuzzi & Gideon Resnick) The candidate's not-so-harrowing tale about his encounter with a gunman at a Baltimore Popeyes is tough to verify. Almost too tough. ... throughout his several published books and three autobiographies, Carson doesn't appear to mention the story once. When The Daily Beast reached out to Carson's... central advisor, Armstrong Williams, he said... [the story] appeared in Carson's 2006 book, Take the Risk, [but] there is no story about a stickup at Popeyes in Take the Risk.

Also, as pointed out on the Daily Kos "Baltimore police say they can't confirm or debunk Dr. Ben Carson's Popeye's robbery story". But that's because they might not have filed a police report. Or so Carson advisor Armstrong Williams claims. Despite Carson's story including the line "he left the store running before the police got there".

So, is Carson lying? Some say yes, he's a liar. I say I don't know for sure... but I certainly think there is enough evidence to conclude that he MIGHT be a bald-faced liar.

Lying so he'll come off (in the eyes of White Conservatives) as "authentically Black"... unlike the current president. According to Carson "growing up in inner-city Detroit gave him the sophistication to know that the [Popeye's] gunman wasn't going to murder him but was just looking to rob the place".

"Sophistication" being code for "street smarts", I'm guessing. As a "real" Black man he'd have to have street smarts, no? Yeah, I don't know. To me, this strategy (if this IS Carson's strategy) doesn't sound like it would work. Or I would conclude that, if not for Rupert Murdoch's tweet.

Although, even if this (likely) faux "genuine" narrative convinces Conservative voters that Ben Carson would be "a real black President who can properly address the racial divide", I seriously doubt that this will translate to votes. (Although it IS translating to book sales, as evidenced by the fact that Carson "suspended" his campaign to go on a book tour).

Video1: Straight outta Carson: Republican candidate releases campaign rap. An actual Ben Carson campaign ad that will air for two weeks in Miami, Atlanta, Houston, Detroit, Birmingham, Jackson, Memphis and Little Rock.

Video2: Remix of Ben Carson campaign rap. NOT an actual campaign ad, but a "remix" by Slate that includes many absurd comments from Carson.

SWTD #317

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Chris Christie As Preznit Would Be A "Greedy Thief Who Is Good At Plundering" Re The Social Security Trust Fund

Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower (10/14/1890 to 3/28/1969) the 34th (Republican) President of the United States from 1953 until 1961.

Note: This commentary concerns the 3rd Republican presidential debate, which was held on 10/28/2015 in Boulder CO at the University of Colorado. Whining about "gotcha" questions posed by the CNBC moderators, RNC Chair Reince Priebus cancelled NBC's involvement in the 9th debate scheduled for 2/26/2016 in Houston.

I think the chances that the Republican electorate would vote to send Chris Christie to the White House are slim, due in part to the fact that, if he were elected preznit, he would attempt to abolish Social Security. This he made clear during the debate, during which he made the following remarks concerning the Social Security Trust Fund.

Chris Christie: It's not there anymore. The government stole it and spent it. All that's in that trust fund is a pile of IOUs for money on they spent on something else a long time ago (What you should know about Christie's claim that Social Security funds were "stolen" by Max Ehrenfreund. The Washington Post 10/28/2015).

What Christie is talking about is the fact that the 2.8 trillion in the fund (as of the end of 2014) is invested in Treasury Bills. But why would he say the money has been "stolen" (a claim that echoes the sentiments of ex-preznit bush when he said "There is no trust fund — just IOUs" on 4/5/2005).

The Washington Post: Perhaps Christie was suggesting that those "IOUs", in his words, won't be paid back, but few mainstream economists believe that the federal government will be unable to pay back all its debts. That fact is reflected in the extraordinarily low interest rates that investors worldwide will accept to loan the government money. If they were concerned about the government's ability to pay its debts, they would demand higher interest rates to compensate them for the risk of default. Christie said that he and the other presidential candidates need to tell elderly Americans "the truth".

The TRUTH, IMO, is that Chris Christie, if he is elected preznit, would attempt to steal from Trust Fund receipts by slashing benefits, raising the retirement age and means testing.

Christie wants to cut benefits by tying the COLA (cost of living adjustment) to the chained CPI. The CPI (consumer price index) is a way of measuring inflation. The Chained CPI is based on the idea that "in an inflationary environment, consumers will choose less-expensive substitutes". It's a sneaky way to reduce COLAs for seniors. The trouble with it is that "retirees don't spend money the same way as young or middle-aged families; they spend disproportionately more on healthcare and housing" (The chained CPI: A zombie benefit cut still walks).

In regards to raising the retirement age, Christie proposes increasing the normal retirement age from 67 to 69, which will reduce the total amount of money paid out over a recipient's lifetime.

...every year's increase in the normal retirement age is the equivalent of a 7% benefit cut (Chris Christie's big presidential idea: torch Social Security by Michael Hiltzik. LA Times 11/1/2015).

Lastly, Christie says we should start "phasing out retirement benefits starting for seniors earnings above $80k and zeroing them out for those earnings more than $200k annually". The trouble with this proposal is that this idea transforms Social Security from an earned benefits program into a welfare program. A reclassification that would make Social Security easier to cut in the future (SWTD #93).

Christie also claimed "they know they can't pay these benefits because Social Security is going to be insolvent in 7-8 years", which is a huge whopper. Instead of being truthful, Christie lied through his teeth.

CNN Money: Chris Christie put it this way: "Social Security is going to be insolvent in 7 or 8 years". But that's not really the case. Here's the deal: The Social Security Trustees estimate that likely starting in 2034 - 19 years from now - the program will no longer have enough revenue coming in to pay out 100% of promised benefits to retirees on Social Security.

But it will still be able to pay 79% of those promised benefits. The Congressional Budget Office is somewhat less optimistic. It expects the program will run short as soon as 2029, with a 95% chance it will do so between 2025 and 2040 - or within 10 years to 25 years - according to a fact check of Christie's assertion by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. That's closer, but still not 7 or 8 years. All these estimates assume no reforms are made to the program before then (Setting the record straight on Social Security "insolvency". 10/29/2015).

So what's the point of all this dissembling by Christie? I think it's quite clear that Christie is on the side of those who wish to rob from Trust Fund beneficiaries. "When is it acceptable to break a social compact" moderator Becky Quick asked Christie, and Christie responded by claiming that the compact was broken years ago... because the SS administration invests the fund in Treasury Bills, presumably (which earn interest). Instead of setting aside cash (which would cause the fund to lose value due to inflation).

What the mendacious Christie didn't say is that Social Security reliably pays benefits. For the compact to be "broken" payments would need to cease. I mean, if the money has truly been "stolen". If it's all spent and gone, who can any mere cuts be enough? As Mike Huckabee said, we need to keep our promise to seniors (not because he's a good guy, but because he wants the votes of seniors). Chris Christie wants to break that promise (and doesn't want votes from seniors, I guess).

This is why I'm saying that Chris Christie is a greedy thief who is good at plundering. Although by "good" I mean he has the rhetoric down. As for the rhetoric being "good" at fooling the American people, I predict NO... given the fact that "the American public strongly supports Social Security, across party and demographic lines" (Public Opinions on Social Security).

Video: Chris Christie statements on Social Security during the 3rd GOP debate fact checked by Kyle Kulinski, a Progressive Talk Radio show host (7:23).

Image: A comment by a Conservative blogger in which the accusation of being "a greedy thief who is good at plundering" is made against one of the Democratic potus candidates. Although the accusation is laughable, given the fact that this candidate is one of the STRONGEST defenders of Social Security in Congress (SWTD #145). Note: The reason this is an image is because the blogger in question deleted what he wrote out of embarrassment when I linked to it in another commentary (TADM #82).

SWTD #316

Sunday, October 25, 2015

On Hillary Clinton Saying (During the Democratic Debate) That She is "A Progressive That Likes To Get Things Done"

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time ~ Maya Angelou (4/4/1928 to 5/28/2014) an American author, poet, dancer, actress, and singer.

Note: This commentary concerns the 1st Democratic Party presidential debate, which was held on 10/13/2015 in Las Vegas NV at the Wynn, a luxury resort and casino owned by self-described "job creator" Steve Wynn. This would be the whiner who bitched about the Obama administration painting a "bulls-eye" on his back by promoting "class warfare" (a slight increase in taxes on the wealthy by returning to the Clinton-era rates) prior to Obama's election to a 2nd term.

Hillary, when asked by Anderson Cooper if she identifies as a Progressive, said she does. This is an example of Hillary "casting herself as a liberal fighter who has been progressive for her entire life". (Something a CNN article says her campaign is doing). However (the CNN article goes on), "to many on the left, those lines never really rang true".

To which I say yes, Hillary claiming to be a Progressive does not ring true for me. First of all, as Anderson points out, Hillary just recently said "you know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center [to which] I plead guilty" (at a Women for Hillary event in Ohio on 9/10/2015). I think that statement represents the truth of where Hillary stands politically. She is not a Progressive, but claiming to be one because that is what Democratic presidents of late do... they run to the Left but move to the Center (Right) after they're elected. Bill Clinton did it and so did Barack Obama.

I'd like to believe Hillary on this, but, given the fact that she JUST identified as a Moderate, I can't. Does this fit in with the Right's "untrustworthy" narrative? No. They're referring to bogus "scandals" regarding her email (SWTD #313) and the phony-baloney never-ending House "investigation" into Benghazi. This would be the "investigation" that CA Rep. Kevin McCarthy recently admitted was a politically-motivated waste-of-taxpayer-money effort to damage her presidential campaign.

So, while I recgonize that these bogus scandals are no reason to find HRC "untrustable" (the palinism used by the former potential Boner replacement), I don't trust HRC to act as a "liberal fighter". Unless by "act" you mean to play a part. For example, she says that now she's opposed to the extremely bad trade deal being pushed by the Obama administration known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). But, while serving as Obama's secretary of state, she referred to it the "gold standard" (as well as exciting, innovative, groundbreaking... and numerous other superlatives).

When AC360 brought this up Hillary's response was that she had hoped it would be the gold standard, but now she has concluded that it isn't. Not a biggie, perhaps. Even though PolitiFact concludes that Hillary revising her past statements on the TPP is "half true" because "her previous remarks actually gave the impression that she had confidence in the deal as it stood". However, as a member of the Obama administration, she couldn't very well come out against it. Surely it would be awkward if she had publicly contradicted an administration she was a part of?

The important thing is that she is against it now, right? Except... is she? Remember when Obama was running for office he said "we should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced". And, according to PolitiFact, Sherrod Brown was "absolutely confident Barack Obama [would] reopen the negotiations on NAFTA" because the administration "assured [Brown that] his [Obama's] position is constant". But did Obama do squat in regards to NAFTA after getting elected?

Not only did Obama renig on his promise to renegotiate NAFTA after his election, he "warned... against a strong impulse toward protectionism" and then BSed the American people, saying he was still "serious about changing NAFTA". Now, in the final days of his administration, he pushing another negotiated-by-and-for-the-plutocrats job-destroying (bad) trade deal? He does this as he's leaving because he won't have to face the voters to answer for his trade treachery.

But, given Obama's campaign fictions regarding renegotiating NAFTA, nobody should be overly surprised he's pushing the job-killing TPP. He is, after all, a self described Blue dog Moderate Democrat. None-the-less, I must say that I am incredibly disappointed. Which isn't to say that I regret my vote, as he absolutely was a better choice than McCain or Romney.

Both of these losing potus candidates, being members of the more-plutocrat-friendly party, support exterminating American jobs via "free trade". In fact, regarding the TPP, McCain says to would be "crazy" to "squander a historic opportunity" to send American jobs to low wage countries, while Romney says expatriating US jobs so the plutocrats can become even richer is "good for America".

But polls show that, while "Americans tend to support trade, they oppose an expansion of status quo trade policies". The status quo being trade agreements (like NAFTA) that destroy American jobs. Although Americans knew NAFTA would cost American jobs back when Hillary's husband ran for president, which is why he said "American companies must act like American companies again, exporting products, not jobs" when he accepted the nomination.

Then, after his election, WJC, in a betrayal of one of his New Convenant promises, signed NAFTA (on 1/1/1994) and, as a result, American citizens heard the "giant sucking sound of American companies fleeing the United States for Mexico, where employees would work for less pay and without benefits".

This was exactly what Ross Perot warned us about. Americans knew that Perot, who ran on this SINGLE topic was right, which is why he received 18.81 percent of the popular vote, "the most won by a third-party presidential candidate since Theodore Roosevelt in 1912". (And Perot, had he had not dropped out of the race and later re-entered it, might have ended up with an even higher percentage).

"Will you say anything to get elected" the Coop asked HRC in regards to her flip-flop on the TPP (in addition to other positions she has "evolved" on... see video below). Hillary said no. But was she being completely honest or simply giving her sales pitch... one designed solely to sell her as president?

Three words help explain why Hillary Clinton now opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade accord - after once laying the groundwork for it as secretary... Her newfound opposition... protects her left flank against Bernie Sanders' challenge; it helps her solidify her support with organized labor... It's also consistent with modern Democratic politics: In the 2008 Democratic primaries, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton railed against NAFTA and free trade accords.

But after winning the Democratic nomination, Obama warmed up to free trade... he's now made this TPP trade accord a chief goal in his final months in the White House. So it wouldn't be surprising if Clinton makes a similar move back to the middle if she wins the nomination next year. (Hillary Clinton Protects Left Flank With TPP Opposition by Mark Murray. NBC News 10/7/2015).

While I'd welcome a genuine change of position (re the TPP) and identification (Moderate to Progressive) from HRC, I frankly do not believe her reversal is genuine. It might be, and if she is the nominee I will vote for her and hope that she does not move to the center, but why take that chance when the possibility that we might get snookered again is a strong (IMO) possibility? Why not vote for the true Progressive in the Primary and make Bernie Sanders our nominee?

Bernie Sanders, the founder of the Progressive caucus, is a lifelong Progressive with a proven track record. He does not need to move to the Left for the election because he's always been to the Left. Which, IMO, is what America desperately needs... a genuine Progressive in the White House. This is what America wants, as WJC and BHO lying about their positions on free trade during their respective campaigns proves. They were saying what they needed to in order to get elected, that is. I'm not saying they did not believe what they were saying at the time.

But, that both of our previous Democratic presidents moved to the Left during their campaigns, is proof that America wants a genuine Progressive as their next president. And the ONLY genuine proven Progressive is Bernie Sanders, which is why I'm supporting him for president. At least until HRC defeats him in the primary. Which, if this happens, will mean that the American people bought her sales pitch. It will mean they listened to the naysayers who don't believe that a Democratic Socialist can win the general. But I think that he can, because he's the president America needs. And if enough Democrats realize and vote for him in the primary - he will win in the general.

BTW, in regards to Steve Wynn, US News & World Report notes that he "leans Republican but calls Democratic debate hosting a point of pride". So what's going on here? Does Wynn's pride stem from the fact that he can curry favor with both sides? Is this an indication that he'd be OK with HRC being elected the next potus? I think the answer to this question is YES, and is yet another reason why Democrats should be voting for Bernie.

Video: Hillary Clinton says she is a "progressive who likes to get things done"... but does she mean that she's a progressive (only while running for the Democratic nomination) and that what she'd like to "get done" is getting elected potus #45? (transcript).

SWTD #315

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thom Hartmann on Fox So-Called News (AKA Fox Nooz) In The Context Of HRC's 10/22/2015 Benghazi Questioning

A continual circulation of lies among those who are not much in the way of hearing them contradicted, will in time pass for truth; and the crime lies not in the believer but the inventor ~ Thomas Paine (2/9/1737 to 6/8/1809) as quoted in The American Crisis (1776-1783).

The following is an excerpt from the Thom Hartmann Radio Program, 10/23/2015, which I edited for brevity and clarity. Thom discusses the Fox "news" coverage of Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House sham Benghazi "investigation" committee.

Thom: Fox News cut away from the hearings once it became obvious that Hillary Clinton was owning these guys. Instead they went to just playing the clips in which Republicans would lay out a fantasy scenario and then Hillary Clinton would say - no, that's not true, that didn't happen. But they didn't include Hillary's response.

This is what Fox so-called news does. They are not a news channel. They are the official media arm of the Republican Party. This is how it was proposed to Richard Nixon by Roger Ailes to back in the 70s, and that's what it is. And it's obscene that they're allowed to call themselves NEWS.

[End Thom Hartmann Rant]

From Media Matters...

Washington Post opinion writer Erik Wemple noted that while Fox News has often heavily covered the 2012 Benghazi attacks, "the Benghazi network", as he called it, abandoned live coverage of Hillary Clinton's testimony before the House Select Committee this evening in favor of general political commentary on The Five.

Wemple described Fox's decision as "conceding that today's marathon congressional hearing on the topic is going nowhere". (Wash. Post's Wemple: Fox "All But Acknowledges The Benghazi Hearing Is A Snooze" by the Media Matters Staff. 10/22/2015).

Going nowhere in regards to furthering their Benghazi narrative, that is. The narrative being that Hillary Clinton issued a stand down order and is therefore personally responsible for the deaths of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty. In fact, it is virtually the same as if she had murdered them herself. Making these yet more murders Hillary is responsible for. Previous murders including that of Vince Foster (in addition to the dozens of other people Hillary and her husband bumped off)!

Obviously Benghazi disqualifies Hillary from being president. Because 4 Americans died and she was Secretary of State. Even though, as Hillary pointed out, attacks on diplomatic outposts have occurred under Republican administrations, and Democrats responded by working with Repubs to try to fix the problem. As opposed to "investigating" to, as the House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy put it, damage HRC politically.

Kevin McCarthy: Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought. (Source: The Washington Post 9/30/2015).

And where did Kevin McCarthy accidentally utter this truism? Why, it was on Sean Hannity's program! This is a prime example of why, even though Fox may do some actual news (with it's defenders citing Shepard Smith, among others), their main agenda is to act as the official media arm of the Republican Party.

While msnbc, the other channel on which political opinion can be found, has recently decided to move to the Right (SWTD #305). According to Talker's Magazine, NBC News Chief Andrew Lack "plans to rebuild MSNBC to focus on breaking news coverage and to be less of a left-leaning talk outlet"... so I don't think a similar accusation can be made against them. At least not any longer. Not that I think they have BEEN a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party.

Fox, on the other hand, CLEARLY is. Which is why I've referred to them in the past as Fox Nooz (DSB #12). And why I will continue to do so. It's because there are not "two so similar nooz channels"... despite what dissemblers on the Right (who attempt to present themselves as "consistent and non-partisan") may claim.

SWTD #314

Monday, September 14, 2015

HRC email Controversy Way Overblown Compared To bush Admin eMail Scandal (Imaginary Vs Actual Crimes)

You have Democrats beginning to panic about the one thing that a lot of them never worried about, which was Clinton's electability in the general election ...the challenge she faces in the general election is both the trust problem and the likability problem ~ Robert Shrum AKA "Dumb Shrum" (dob 1943) an American political consultant, who has worked on numerous Democratic campaigns, including the losing presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry.

Regarding Robert Shrum's nickname of "Dumb Shrum", my memory tells me that I heard this on Al Franken's Air America radio program. I might be wrong, however, as I could not confirm this via a Google search. In any case, the nickname comes from the fact that "in eight elections (for either the presidential nomination or for the presidency itself), Shrum's candidates have never won". (Wikipedia reports).

Regarding the quote at the top of this post; it is via the far-Right website 9/9/2009 Newsmax story "Democrats Eyeing White Knight If Clinton Implodes"... which is complete nonsense, as there is almost nothing to this so-called scandal. Despite deluded Righty fantasies of Hillary (and perhaps Obama) ending up behind bars... for their fictional "lawlessness".

Hillary did SOMETHING wrong. As long as the Republicans keep looking, eventually they'll find a transgression with substance. Although they've been looking for the last 35 years and both Hillary and Bill are still free. Not imprisoned for their many imaginary crimes, much to the chagrin of the (real) vast Rightwing conspiracy.

The latest imaginary crime of Hillary Clinton involving her emails, being yet in another in a series of desperate attempts by the Right to derail her POTUS candidacy. Another attempt that will fail, despite what Dumb Shrum sez. Those who do not trust HRC or find her "likable" did not trust or find her likable to begin with. They would not be voting for her even if Congressional Republicans were not continuously investing fake/overblown Clinton misdeeds.

Overblown HRC email Scandal Aspect #1: Used Personal email & Server Which Was Either Illegal Or At Least Shady

This allegation concerns Hillary doing something wrong by using a private email and server. Perhaps even illegal! Except that... no. "Clinton and her staff have stated that her use of the private email account was above board and allowed under State Department rules" and this is indeed the case.

HRC, in using/maintaining a private server broke no laws that existed at the time.

...federal regulations went into effect in late November, 2014 when President Obama signed H.R. 1233, modernizing the Federal Records Act of 1950 to include electronic communications. It was signed two years after [Hillary] Clinton stepped down. (That Story About Hillary Clinton's Private Email Account Isn't as Awful as It Seems by Bob Cesca. The Daily Banter 3/3/2015).

Frankly I think it should have been law long ago that government employees were legally required to communicate using government (and not private) systems. However, until recently it has not been. Hillary Clinton followed the law and is guilty of nothing, nor has anything been uncovered (via the release of these emails) that show she was trying to hide something. At most she could be "convicted" of falling "short of the Obama administration's preferred best practices". (A Crystal-Clear Explanation of Hillary's Confusing Email Scandal).

Which differs significantly with what happened during the bush administration. In 2007 it was discovered that preznit bush (and underlings in the office of the preznit) corresponded "via a non-government domain hosted on an email server not controlled by the federal government... in violation of the Presidential Records Act of 1978, and the Hatch Act". (Wikipedia/Bush White House email controversy).

What the bushies were attempting to hide was that their Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, fired US attorneys who wouldn't investigate fake/non-existent voter fraud cases.

Investigative journalist Greg Palast: David Iglesias of New Mexico was one of seven U.S. Attorneys fired by the White House for their refusal to bring voter fraud prosecutions. [According to Iglesias] "We took over 100 complaints... We investigated for almost 2 years [and] I didn't find one prosecutable voter fraud case in the entire state of New Mexico".

Specifically, Attorney General Gonzales... wanted him to bring what the prosecutor called "bogus voter fraud" cases. In effect, US Attorney Iglesias was under pressure from the boss to charge citizens with crimes they didn't commit.
(Gonzales "wrong and illegal and unethical" by Greg Palast. 8/28/2007).

The purpose of prosecuting phony-baloney "voter fraud" cases? According to Greg Palast, Karl Rove "convinced Bush to fire upright prosecutors and replace them with Rove-bots ready to strike out at fraudulent (i.e. Democratic) voters". This was another example of bushie election thievery antics, in other words... which is why this (genuine) controversy was viewed as a possible violation of the Hatch Act... which is a law that says the president or VP can't direct their underlings to engage "in some forms of political activity".

The firing of the US attorneys who wouldn't investigate bullpucky "voter fraud" cases to help Republicans win via cheating (preventing legitimate voters from casting ballots by scarring/harassing them away from the polls) was a purely political act... so here we have actual violations of the law, coordinated via email that the bushies tried to hide... and the only thing that happened was that Gonzales fell on his sword (took the blame and resigned).

With HRC, no wrongdoing of any kind has yet to be shown. Should she have used a private server? No, she absolutely should not have IMO. But did she break the law or do anything shady? There is no evidence she did.

Overblown HRC email Scandal Aspect #2: Classified Info Was Sent/Received Through Private Server

Here there appears to be a little more substance, in that Hillary may have actually sent or received classified information. Although, it should be noted that nothing HRC sent/received was marked classified at the time. "None of the emails we reviewed had classification or dissemination markings..." according to Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III (Hillary's emails touch off debate about classified documents by Josh Gerstein. 07/24/2015).

It appears, however, that it is possible that some of these sent/received communications should have been treated as classified (even though not marked as such).

...foreign government information [is defined by] The US government... as any information, written or spoken, provided in confidence to U.S. officials by their foreign counterparts. This sort of information, which the department says Clinton both sent and received in her emails, is the only kind that must be "presumed" classified, in part to protect national security and the integrity of diplomatic interactions...

"It's born classified", said J. William Leonard, a former director of the U.S. government's Information Security Oversight Office (ISOO). Leonard was director of ISOO, part of the White House's National Archives and Records Administration, from 2002 until 2008, and worked for both the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. (Dozens of Clinton emails were classified from the start, U.S. rules suggest by Jonathan Allen. Reuters 8/21/2015).

If HRC is "guilty" of anything, it appears as though this may be the smoking gun. Although I would say this, if it occurred, is most likely an oversight and not due to any nefarious intentions on Clinton's part. Quite unlike bush's email scandal, where the intention was to hide illegal politicking (in the form of election thievery) using the office of the White House (in violation of the Hatch Act).

So we are clearly not dealing with anything of an illegal nature re the Hillary email non-scandal, although a Libertarian blog I read sez that if HRC asserts that she did not know the emails were supposed to be treated as classified "she looks like a total incompetent and a moron".

Personally I do not agree with this assessment. Smart competent people make mistakes all the time. In any case, HRC's team destroyed a large number of communications they deemed "personal", so if there is any incriminating evidence, it's likely gone. "Incriminating" her in regards to what, I do not know. Unlike with the bushies. With this genuinely lawless administration I know they covered up and escaped prosecution in regards to their election thievery.

This is why I predict the Republican investigations will go nowhere (the same direction they've been going thus far). Congressional Republicans know this, of course. They simply want to firmly plant the idea in the gullible base voter's noggin that HRC is getting away with unspecified illegalities. And spread that false meme into the general electorate as widely as they are able. There is no real "investigating" in other words. What is going on is all political in nature.

Hillary Clinton will likely be the nominee as well as our next president... in my estimation. This so-called scandal will not be "devastating" to campaign as the aforementioned Libertarian asserts.

The bottom line here, I'd say, is that I just do not f*cking give a shit. Barring me hearing (at the very least) some sane sounding conspiracy theory concerning ACTUAL wrongdoing by HRC. WHY did she (or her underlings) destroy thousands of emails they say were "personal"? What is she hiding/what is the REAL crime? I mean, the bushies got away with fricking election fraud shenanigans simply by having Alberto fall on his sword and resign.

Although preznit doofus defended him, saying that Gonzales' "good name [was] dragged through the mud", and that he stepped down only because he received "unfair treatment that has created harmful distraction at the Justice Department". Right.

Now we have Hillary-haters who are calling for her head on a pike for significantly lesser transgressions? I am NOT going along with it. She isn't an "incompetent moron" nor a brilliant criminal mastermind who has evaded successful prosecution for 30-plus years for her many (imaginary) crimes... committed as a part of her husband's administration, via the charitable Clinton Foundation, and as a member of the "lawless" Obama WH.

Congressional Repubs just can't seem to get anything to stick. Perhaps because there is (and have been) no wrongdoings by HRC? Call me a partisan, but I say f*ck these Rightwing idiots who think there is even the remotest chance that HRC will end up behind bars for this nothing-burger. Or the even bigger non-scandal of Benghazi.

Which, by the way, was one of the conspiracy theories floated back in March. That a Benghazi stand down order might be found among the HRC emails. A conspiracy that is leagues away from sane sounding, you poor deluded desperate Repub-identifying halfwits.

Video: Alberto Gonzales said "I don't recall" 72 times during his January 2007 Senate hearing. Gonzales resigned on 9/17/2007 (0:52).

SWTD #313. See also OST #71.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Iraq War Based On gwb Lie Of "Disarming" Saddam When IAEA Officials Who Were There, On The Ground, Said Iraq Had No WMD

George W. Bush made 232 false statements about Iraq and former leader Saddam Hussein's possessing weapons of mass destruction, and 28 false statements about Iraq's links to al Qaeda according to a 1/22/2008 study by the Center for Public Integrity and its affiliated group, the Fund for Independence in Journalism. In total the Bush Admin made 935 false statements in run-up to war.

According to the gwb administration, the purpose of the vote on the Iraq War Resolution was to pressure the UN and Iraq into getting inspectors back into the country. At least that's what Hillary Clinton has said when defending her vote on the matter.

Hillary, before voting, asked "If you are given this authority, will you put the inspectors in and permit them to finish their job". She was told that, YES, that was the goal. To show the UN and Iraq that the bush administration was serious, Congress needed to authorize war if the inspectors were not allowed back in.

Well, it worked. Inspectors for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) were allowed back into Iraq... and so bush, realizing that the threat worked, allowed the inspections to do their job and the UN to decide what to do if Iraq again balked and did not cooperate (as the UN charter stipulates).

No, wait... that isn't what happened at all. Saddam did drag his feet (as before) and not cooperate fully. Although the inspectors thought progress was still being made. None-the-less the bush administration (already having the Congressional authority it needed) launched an attack.

And the bush administration launched it's attack in spite of (1) telling members of Congress they were voting to get inspectors back in and that war would be a last resort, and (2) The UN charter saying "it is up to the council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced".

bush, in deciding to go ahead with the invasion despite the UN not voting for war, violated articles 33 and 39 of the Charter (33 says disputes are to be resolved peacefully and 39 says that the UN "decides what measures shall be taken" when the resolutions it makes are violated).

Because UN charter does not allow individual countries to act unilaterally a number of UN and IAEA officials condemned the US invasion of Iraq. (Condemned it, or pointed out why it was unnecessary).

Six UN & IAEA Officials Who Either Condemned US Invasion of Iraq Or Confirmed It Was Unnecessary

1. Kofi Annan: The UN Secretary-general from 1/1/1997 to 12/31/2006 said (in regards to the bush invasion of Iraq) "I have indicated it is not in conformity with the UN Charter, from our point of view, and from the Charter point of view it was illegal". This, according to a statement made to the BBC in September 2004. According to spokesman Fred Eckhard this "has been the Secretary-General's longstanding view [because the UN charter] does not allow pre-emptive attacks".

2. Mohamed ElBaradei: The IAEA director from 1997 to 2009, in regards to bush's claim that Iraq had WMD and the invasion was needed to "disarm" Saddam, said, "deliberate deception [isn't] limited to small countries ruled by ruthless dictators" (this is a quote from his book Age of Deception).

3. Hans Blix: The former head of the IAEA (1981–1997) who was called back from retirement by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to lead United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission and was in charge of looking for WMD in Iraq said that his inspectors "found no stockpiles of WMD and had made significant progress toward resolving open issues of disarmament". Iraq was not complying or having difficulty complying (because of misplaced stockpiles) but Mr. Blix was confident that everything would be resolved. The only thing that was needed was time ("a matter of months").

Furthermore Blix said that if "the inspections been allowed to continue, there would likely be a very different situation in Iraq today. As it was, America's preemptive, unilateral actions have bred more terrorism there and elsewhere". (For The Record, Yes, George W. Bush Did Help Create ISIS).

Although, according to Blix, US President george w. bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair did not act in bad faith, but only exhibited "a severe lack of critical thinking".

4. David Kay: The Chief weapons inspector said "I think there were stockpiles at the end of the first Gulf War and a combination of U.N. inspectors and unilateral Iraqi action got rid of them" when he resigned on 1/23/2004.

I should note, however that Kay defended the Bush administration, saying that even if Iraq did not have weapons stockpiles, this did not mean the it wasn't dangerous. Was Iraq dangerous? Perhaps, but there are many countries with "dangerous" regimes, and the US isn't invading them all. That Kay also blamed "faulty intelligence gathering" for the prewar WMD conclusions (even though this is pure bullplop) explains why he defended the lying bush administration.

Although the conclusion of the Senate report on prewar intelligence on Iraq (that the bush Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent) wasn't released until 5/25/2007, so perhaps Kay's idiotic partisan statement is understandable? The US government had not yet confirmed that the bush administration blatantly lied. Even though the IAEA had.

But, and this is the important point, Kay knew Iraq had no WDM because he was one of those on the ground in Iraq who was looking for it (and did not find it). Thus confirming that the war was (if not illegal/based on a lie) unnecessary as per the bush administration reasons for waging it (to "disarm" Iraq).

5. Charles Dulfer: Dulfer, who replaced David Kay as Chief weapons inspector, said "it turns out that we were all wrong [and] I believe that the effort that has been directed to this point has been sufficiently intense that it is highly unlikely that there were large stockpiles of deployed, militarized chemical weapons there".

6. Scott Ritter: A United Nations weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998, while not a participant in the 2002 inspections, has remarked that "since 1998 Iraq has been fundamentally disarmed: 90-95% of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capacity has been verifiably eliminated". The nuclear program was eliminated and there was no evidence Iraq had retained chemical or biological weapons according to Ritter.

The Republican-identifying Ritter who says he voted for gwb was later (in 2001 and 2010) accused of "soliciting minors for sex on the Internet" (the 2001 charges were dismissed and the 2010 charges resulted in a conviction). For this reason Ritter's critics discount his statements re Iraq having WMD. Obviously the two aren't connected, but still the crime he was convicted of calls his character into question. He desired sex with minors, so he obviously lied about finding no WMD (so say his critics... see SWTD #232 point "5A" for more info concerning what one specific critic said when I brought up Ritter's name in a discussion re the illegality of gwb's Iraq invasion).

**End list of 6 UN and IAEA Officials Who Either Condemned US Invasion of Iraq Or Confirmed It Was Unnecessary**

In regards to ex-preznit bush saying (on 3/19/20013, in an address to the American people notifying them of the beginning of the illegal invasion of Iraq), "my fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger"... we knew/know bush was lying and he knows/knew he lied/was lying.

How do we know for certain that bush lied? Mohamed ElBaradei told the Security Council (on 3/7/2003) via written report that the "UN inspections in Iraq worked". Please note that this report was delivered on 3/7/2003 and bush ordered the invasion on 3/19/2003. So bush said "invade to disarm" AFTER the head of the IAEA told the world that the inspections worked and that Iraq was already disarmed!

A fact that the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, as well as everyone at the IAEA (listed above) confirms (despite Kay going along with the "faulty intel" BS). My conclusion is that bush CLEARLY lied. And it was a blatant bold-faced lie.

This is something our own government concluded with a bi-partisan majority report issued by the Senate (on 6/5/2008) that said "the [bush] Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent".

Yet the bush apologists continue to lie... both about bush lying about Iraq having WMD (it was an "intelligence failure", they say), as well as Iraq having WMD. Iraq really did have WMD these liars/dumbshits say! Wikileaks documents prove Saddam had WMD!

Sorry, but no. bush claimed that we needed to invade to "disarm" Saddam, not that we needed to invade to clean up old, forgotten, buried and degraded chemical weapons. Which is what was actually claimed, and this was NOT what bush hyped (in order to scare the American people into accepting war). According to Wired's Noah Shachtman "Saddam's toxic arsenal [was] largely destroyed after the Gulf War". (WikiLeaks Iraq War Logs: No Evidence of Massive WMD Caches).

What we found after the invasion was "remnants". Remnants are what the Wikileaks documents revealed were found in Iraq post invasion. Would the American people have agreed to war over "remnants"? We all know the answer to that question is NO. Which is why bush ignored what the IAEA was telling him about Iraq having no WMD and lied about "disarming" Saddam.

Wikipedia notes that "In a White House Iraq Group meeting, chief Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson proposes the use of a smoking gun/mushroom cloud metaphor to sell the American public on the supposed nuclear dangers posed by Saddam Hussein".

The "smoking gun/mushroom cloud" metaphor was just one of the 935 false statements, (including 232 lies that bush himself disassembled) the administration used to SELL us the Iraq war. "Intelligence failure" my ass!

Video: Terrorist leader bush scares the shit out of Americans with BS about Iraq possessing nuclear weapons and using them to attack us. Clip from a 10/7/2002 TV address broadcast from Cincinnati's Museum Center at Union Terminal (0:07).

See also: SWTD #154: Intellectual Honesty Concerning ex-Preznit bush's WMD Lies (5/23/2013).

SWTD #312

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Rasmussen Asks Leading Question To Discredit Black Lives Matter Movement

To say that Black lives matter is not to say that other lives do not; indeed, it is quite the reverse - it is to recognize that all lives do matter, and to acknowledge that African Americans are often targeted unfairly... ~ Rev. Dan Schatz, Minister of the BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Warrington PA(and White man), in his 12/15/2014 HuffPo article On Being Asked to Change 'Black Lives Matter' to 'All Lives Matter'.

The following poll results from an 8/20/2015 Rasmussen Reports survey.

Rasmussen: Yes, black lives matter, but don't all lives matter? That seems to be the subject of some political dispute.

When asked which statement is closest to their own views, 78% of Likely U.S. Voters say all lives matter. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 11% say black lives matter. Nine percent (9%) say neither statement reflects their point of view. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Thirty-one percent (31%) of black voters say black lives matter is closest to their own views, but just nine percent (9%) of whites and 10% of other minority voters agree. Eighty-one percent (81%) of whites and 76% of other minority voters opt instead for all lives matter, and 64% of blacks agree. (source).

The bias of Rasmussen is evident in the very fist sentence. Black Lives matter is NOT saying all lives don't matter... yet Rasmussen says it's "a subject of some political dispute" when IT IS NOT! The phrase "Black Lives Matter" is in reaction to a system that says Black lives don't matter. What they're really saying is Black lives matter just as much as White lives, although our system doesn't act as if they do.

So, because OF COURSE "all lives matter", Rasmussen get responses that indicate most people agree that "all lives matter" is the statement that is closest to their own views. 69% of Black respondents choose "all lives matter" because ALL LIVES DO MATTER!

But notice that Rasmussen did not also ask if the respondent supports the Black Lives Matter movement? Why didn't they? Because those responses would have revealed the boggussness of their poll. A poll CLEARLY intended to discredit the BLM movement. Had they asked people if they also support the BLM movement, I strongly suspect that there would have been a huge amount of overlap.

People would have said, YES "all lives matter" is the statement is closest to their own views, while at the same time supporting BLM. As for the 31% of African American respondents who chose "black lives matter" as their statement? I believe (most/a large percentage of) those people realized they were being asked a leading question designed to get the response Rasmussen wanted... and they refused to play Rasmussen's game.

Personally, I would have also asked if "do you support the BLM movement" was a followup question, and if I was told "no" I would have replied that "black lives matter" is closest to my view, whereas if they had said yes, I would have said "all lives matter" is closest to my view. I would have refused to play their game and give them the response they wanted in their leading poll, in other words.

BTW, for proof that this was a leading poll - just take a look at how the Rightwing-o-sphere has responded... they trumpeting this poll result. It's proof that the BLM movement has no support... even among the Black community. But note that "do you support the BLM movement" is NOT the question that was asked!

Is this proof that Rasmussen Reports is a tool of the Rightwing? Are they Conservatively biased? I'm not sure. I Googled for confirmation of this suspicion, and found some evidence that backs up this suspicion, but not a lot. Nothing that said, oh yes, that Rasmussen is Conservatively biased is well know. I do know that this specific poll was biased, however.

Here is another example (from the same page I pulled the above Rasmussen poll results from).

Rasmussen: ...82% of black voters think most black Americans receive unfair treatment from the police. White voters by a 56% to 30% margin don't believe that's true. Other minority voters are evenly divided. But 70% of all voters believe the level of crime in low-income inner city communities is a bigger problem in America today than police discrimination against minorities. (source).

OK, so Rasmussen is obviously trying to discredit the idea that black Americans receive unfair treatment from the police by following that question with another question that gets a response of "70% of all voters believe the level of crime in low-income inner city communities is a bigger problem in America today than police discrimination against minorities".

The two aren't mutually exclusive! Both are big problems, although I would say African Americans receiving unfair treatment from the police is the more serious problem... because the police are supposed to serve and protect all law abiding citizens regardless of race!

Sure, numbers-wise, the level of crime in low-income inner city communities is a bigger problem, but criminals commit crimes... that is what they do. The police treating people unfairly based on skin color is not supposed to be what they do! Yet, it seems that it is. Which is why the BLM movement exists... to draw attention to this problem.

It does not exist to say that ALL LIVES don't matter or that Black lives matter more... although this is EXACTLY how the Rasmussen poll question is phrased... and why they did not ask if respondents also supported the BLM movement.

Which is why my conclusion is that Rasmussen (at least with this poll) is obviously and transparently (IMO) shilling for the Rightwing... by asking a leading question to get the response they were looking for. A response that discredits the BLM movement and scrubs race from the conversation altogether.

In response [to "Black Lives Matter"], some white folks have countered with the phrase, "All Lives Matter". While this is seemingly a more empowering as well as a diversity affirming response, it is neither ..."All Lives Matter" is a form of willful colorblindness - the erasure of the issue of race. When people say "All Lives Matter" in response to "Black Lives Matter," they are not simply opening their arms to the greater diversity of humanity. Instead, they are taking race out of the conversation. While the statement masquerades as a bright and inclusive light, in the shadow of this statement hides a willful ignorance of America's racist past and present. (What's the Matter with "All Lives Matter" by David Bedrick. The Huffington Post 8/24/2015).

Erasing of the issue of race is the goal of the Whites pushing back against BLM in my opinion. There are some clueless people going along with this, but much of the pushback (replace "Black Lives Matter" with "All Lives Matter") is racist in nature. That's why it's mostly Rightwingers getting offended and claiming that BLM is "racist" and saying things like "All Lives Matter is beautiful" and "If your self-righteous, pompous, racist activism clouds the cognitive portion of your brain... Fuck You".

Speaking of FUs, Glenn Beck led a rally of 20k similarly clueless and/or racist individuals in an "All Lives Matter march" along the historic civil rights route from Kelly Ingram Park to Birmingham City Hall on 8/29/2015. Chuck Norris and Jon Voight were there, along with African American pastor Bishop Jim Lowe and Alveda King (a Conservative Fox Nooz contributing niece of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr).

Because Rightwingers love it when they can get Black dupes to tell them their racism is OK.

It is also "unfortunate" that Rasmussen Reports participated in the discrediting of the BLM movement (via replacement of "Black Lives Matter" with the color-blind history-ignoring "All Lives Matter"). Although I'm not at all convinced the Rasmussen poll was "unfortunate"... but rather it was calculated, in that Rasmussen asked the question that elicited the response they wanted. Too bad more respondents didn't realize they were being played.

Image: Protestors show the real message of the BLM movement, which is that Black lives matter as much (not more) than White lives. We need to laud this movement, not denounce it. We need to emulate it, not shut it down... which is what the Right wishes to do with their "all lives matter" counter-slogan... shut down BLM.

SWTD #311. See also TADM #80.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Additional Evidence Supporting The Hypothesis That Ayn Rand Hated Poor People

The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied... but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which as beggar is a reminder of nothing ~ John Berger (dob 11/5/1926) English art critic, novelist, painter and poet. Berger's essay on art criticism, Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is often used as a university text.

In a prior commentary (SWTD #303), I hypothesized that because Ayn Rand killed large numbers of fictional moochers in her massive tome (Atlas Shrugged), she hated poor people. Bolstering this case, I believe, was the fact that her "hero", John Galt, called for other wealthy individuals such as himself to take actions that resulted in the deaths of millions of citizens of the oppressive Socialist dystopia that Atlas Shrugged took place in. And, in regards to these deaths, Rand pontificated on how the dead deserved to die due to their support for the Socialist state.

Of course Rand denied that she hated the poor, but I think her writings speak for themselves. A commenter on my blog, when I asserted that the evidence shows hate, asked if I could "point to any statement made by Ayn Rand that she hated the poor". Because Rand never SPECIFICALLY said "I hate poor people"... if I look at other things she said or wrote and conclude that these writings show she hated poor people... that's just my opinion.

Perhaps, but I still contend that the evidence is pretty solid. And I will continue to assert that Rand did indeed hate poor people. The facts I presented in my prior commentary back that up. But those writings I pointed to do not represent the totality of words from Rand that show (IMO) how much she hated poor people. Which is reason for this commentary... to present additional proof of Rand's hate for the less fortunate.

The following concerns Rand's take on money and those who don't have a lot of it.

Rand called the United States a "nation of money", and she meant it as a compliment. "The words to make money hold the essence of human morality", she wrote in a famous passage in her 1957 novel, Atlas Shrugged. In Rand's hierarchy of virtue the American industrialist is "the highest type of human being" and the needy are rabble. "Parasites, moochers, looters, brutes and thugs can be of no value to a human being", Rand wrote in 1963. "Nor can he gain any benefit from living in a society geared to their needs, demands and protection, a society that treats him as a sacrificial animal and penalizes him for his virtues in order to reward them for their vices, which means: a society based on the ethics of altruism". (Ayn Rand - Paul Ryan's Moral Heroine - Instructs Johnny Carson on the Virtue of Selfishness, 1967 by Mike Springer. Open Cluture 8/14/2012) .

Obviously, given that poor people have less money, they must be less moral (according to Rand). If an individual is less moral as well as a parasite, a moocher, a looter, a brute or a thug; and if they are of "no value"... well, it's clear that Rand's opinion of such people (the poor) was exceedingly low. Heck, sounds like she thought the poor aren't even human, as they are of "no value to a human being". My guess is that the "human being" she refers to would be a rich person.

So, rich people are the only real humans beings, while the poor are nothing but parasites. Of course parasites are creatures that, if they afflict humans, are exterminated. Rand's idea for how the extermination should be accomplished? Eliminate all socialist safety net type programs. Society should not be "geared to their needs", after all. Obviously such a policy would obviously result in some, if not many deaths. Or, as Rand said (in regards to a hypothetical poor man) "if he does not choose to live [by having enough money to do so], nature will take its course [and he will die]".

In other words, "die you evil parasitical scum!". Or, I will sit by and watch you die. And call it "immoral" if anyone suggests help should be provided. Is this hate? You can judge for yourself, but I think more people will say YES than NO. In my opinion. Although it is possible that Rand simply wrote the poor off as trash and did not give them any further thought. However, given how many moochers she killed off in Atlas Shrugged, I doubt it. I mean, she was pretty clear (in AS) that she thought the world would be better off with significantly fewer looters. And fantasized about how to off large numbers of the hated parasitical moochers.

Video: Ayn Rand appears on the Tonight Show, 10/22/1967. According to Rand, a mixed economy (such as we have here in the US) leads to war. Social safety net programs designed to help the less fortunate are "immoral", as are the moochers who utilize them. Given these facts I ask... how could Rand NOT hate the poor, given the evil they represent? (26:37).

SWTD #310

Friday, August 21, 2015

Jared Fogel Pleading Guilty Will Get Him 5 Or More Years. He Will Also Be Raped In Prison Says Expert

We get caught laundering money, we're not going to a white-collar resort prison. No, no, no, we're going to federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison! ~ Michael Bolton (character played by David Herman) in the 1999 film, Office Space.

15-year Subway Spokesman Jared Fogle has agreed to plead guilty to "distribution and receipt of child pornography and unlawful sex acts with minors" according to TheWrap. Not only will he serve at least 5 years in prison, be out 1.4 million dollars, get divorced by his wife and be branded a sex offender for life, but, apparently the consensus is that another punishment awaits him once he finds himself behind bars.

"Everybody is gonna know that Jared the chomo is here and he's gonna get his footlong every day", Levine explained in raw prison parlance. (Jared Fogle Will Be Marked Man in Prison, Expert Says by Anita Bennett and Tim Kenneally. The Wrap 8/20/2015).

"Chomo" is prison slang for a child molester. So the word is that Jared will be raped in prison. An expert says so. And there are "jokes" about it all over the internet. Seems even one prominent newspaper got in on the yuk yuks.

Former Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle should "enjoy a foot long in jail", according to the New York Post's Thursday cover, which features a photograph of Fogle leaving the courthouse... The controversial cover comes a day after Fogle said he will plead guilty... but it did not sit well with all of the paper's readers. Joking about the sex scandal turned the Post into a top Twitter trend, sparking outrage from some users of the social media platform who thought it was insensitive to joke about the sensitive subject. (NY Post Sparks Outrage With Jared Fogle 'Enjoy a Foot Long' Prison Rape Cover by dude. pub date).

So, rape "jokes" are "insensitive"? Yeah, the dude (statutorily) raped a 16 year old girl (by paying her $100 for sex), but it will not be a part of his sentence to be raped in prison. The judge won't be telling him that, because he raped, he's going to get raped. That's not going to happen. Still, it seems he will be raped.

So, while I have no sympathy for Jared in regards to all the other negative consequences he will suffer, I am disgusted that people are (apparently) accepting of prison rape. Even though (I would say) it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. There is a law on the books called the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 - which was signed by preznit George W bush in 2003. However, according to Mike Farrell, "the National Prison Rape Elimination Commission meets periodically to study the impact of prisoner rape. While they study, rape continues".

Not good enough. Not by a long shot, IMO. Jared's life is going to be destroyed, but YES, he did it to himself and he has earned his punishment. But that punishment should not include a violation of his 8th amendment rights. Prison rape, is cruel and unusual and I don't think enough is being done about it. Perhaps you disagree, but the Constitution applies to everyone. There are no exemptions for people who commit crimes who we might think deserve to be raped in prison.

Shame on the NY Post for their prison rape cover. That a prominent national newspaper thinks this is OK is part of the reason why this problem still exists. By the way, if Jared were a woman, would people still be anyone would be making such jokes? Maybe. BTW, according to a date Daily Mail article more men are are raped in the US than women - when the figures include prison assaults.

In 2008, it was estimated 216,000 inmates were sexually assaulted while serving time, according to the Department of Justice figures. That is compared to 90,479 rape cases outside of prison. (More men are raped in the US than women, figures on prison assaults reveal by Daily Mail Reporter. The Daily Mail 10/16/2013).

I'm assuming, that since the title of the article is "more men are raped in the US than women", that the 216k figure is men raped? Although, later on the article says "according to official statistics on rape conviction rates... 91 per cent of the victims were women and 99 per cent of the perpetrators were men". Maybe I'm missing something, but that doesn't seem to compute.

Regardless, whether the victim is a male or female inmate, I believe prison rape is totally unacceptable and we should be doing more to stop it from happening. According to Human Rights Watch 2001 report "No Escape: Male Rape in U.S. Prisons" the blame for widespread existence of male inmate on inmate sexual violence in American prison lies with indifference and feigned ignorance by prison officials.

As for Jared Fogle... what an idiot! He had a fantastic life, what with his 15 million dollars in net worth for doing a fairly easy job... which enabled him to buy a lot of good will via the charitable organizations he set up. Public opinion of him before this revelation was probably quite good. Now, even after he gets out of prison... he may have a sizeable chunk of his wealth left, but the dude is going to be a pariah.

He not only destroyed his marriage, but his relationship with his two children! With whom he will only be allowed (after getting out of prison) "supervised visits... only with pre-approval of their mother". Yet (at least until he gets out of prison) I think that the "foot longs" will be what he "enjoys" least of all.

Image: Thursday August 20 2015 cover of the New York Post.

SWTD #309

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Josh Duggar Christian Hypocrite Subscribed To Ashley Madison, Cheated On Mother Of His 4 Kids (I Presume) While Lecturing On Morality as Executive Director Of The Family Research Council

Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge ~ Christian Bible, King James Version. The Duggars primarily use the KJV, according to the Duggar Family Blog FAQ.

According to a 18/19/2015 The Wrap story by Tony Maglio "disgraced 19 Kids star Josh Duggar named in Ashley Madison leak".

In July 2015, a group hacked the user data of Ashley Madison, a commercial website for people looking to have extramarital affairs. The hackers, calling themselves "The Impact Team", claimed to have stolen personal information about the site's user base, and threatened to release users' names and personally identifying information if Ashley Madison was not immediately shut down. Because of the site's policy of not deleting users' personal information including real names, addresses, search history and credit card details, many users feared being publicly shamed. (Wikipedia/Ashley Madison data breach).

The article goes on to note that Josh, the LGBT bigot who admitted to duggaring several of his sisters, "paid a total of $986.76 for two different monthly Ashley Madison subscriptions from February of 2013 until May of 2015" and that he paid an extra $250 for an "affair guarantee", which promises the customer's money back "if they don't have an affair within three months". Perhaps Josh was not attracted to his continually pregnant wife and that explains why he sinned?

The wife broodmare that got cheated on is 27 year old Anna Renee Duggar (nee Keller), mother of Mackynzie, Michael, Marcus and Meredith. Anna has 7 siblings herself and was obviously aware that Josh has 18, so clearly serving as a Duggar broodmare is something she must be OK with.

Heck, I would not be surprised that she was aware of her husband's Ashley Madison account, given the fact that she has continued to stand by him and knew when she married him what he'd done. Although OK! says Anna was "completely and utterly devastated". Devastated not in regards to the molesting, "but she never thought any of this stuff would come out". Now MORE "stuff" has come out. It's not stuff that has him molesting his own kids... so that's a plus.

Will Anna be further devastated due to the fact that she and Josh did not even kiss until their wedding day, while her husband's Ashley Madison account info reveals that he was looking for "someone I can teach", "likes to give oral sex" and "likes to receive oral sex"?

The sect the Duggars belong to, the Quiverfull movement, eschews all forms of birth control" and Josh's parents "say they have decided to allow God to determine the number of children they have" because God said to "be fruitful and multiply". But Josh might have thought God should butt out and not decide that he should father a child with a woman he was cheating on his wife with. Evidently he wasn't concerned enough to not cheat re the Bible's preaching against infidelity.

Josh was a subscriber for over 2 years, so I'm assuming that he did find someone willing to cheat with him. Some (married?) woman actually thought that an affair with a religious fundamentalist with a growing brood of rugrats was a good idea? Even though this was before the duggaring scandal broke, I'm thinking... why?

Although I do not know why any woman would chose to be continuously pregnant either... so I did a Google search and found that psychiatrists say "the constant need to get pregnant is a mental disorder" and such women "are oftentimes extremely lonely and believe that being perpetually pregnant fills this loneliness and void in their lives".

A likely explanation as to why a woman would have an affair as well. Still, who would want an affair with Josh Duggar? Some women find men with a lot of money attractive, I've heard. Josh was (at the time) the "executive director of FRC Action, the non-profit political action and lobbying arm of the Family Research Council". Advocating Right-wing bigotry probably pays quite well (I'm confidently guessing). And his parents pulled in 25 million large a year (according to the 19 kids Wikipedia page).

May of 2015 is when Josh both stepped down from his FRC position and discontinued his Ashley Madison account, BTW. Priorities change when you find yourself unemployed. But I doubt any woman would be interested in cheating with an unemployed man who duggared 4 of his sisters. I suppose I could be wrong and he only discontinued his account for financial reasons. Or perhaps his wife (if she didn't already know) found out. Now the world knows. Will Anna be MORE completely and MORE utterly devastated? Probably.

Still I predict no divorce, given the fact that "the Quiverfull movement preaches that women must be subservient to all of men's needs". One of Anna's husband's needs being the need to cheat on his wife. Which is why I said I wouldn't be surprised if she knew about the Ashely Madison account... and "submitted" to Josh's need to teach other women how to play hoop snake.

Image: Josh Duggar's wife expecting fourth child, 12/3/2014.

SWTD #308