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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Daily Drift

Hey, wingnuts, yeah, we're talking about you ...!
Carolina Naturally is read in 201 countries around the world daily.   
Chess, anyone ... !
Today is  -  there is no special celebration today

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Today in History

1570   Pope Pius V issues the bull Regnans in Excelsis which excommunicates Queen Elizabeth of England.   
1601   Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex and former favorite of Elizabeth I, is beheaded in the Tower of London for high treason.  
1642   Dutch settlers slaughter lower Hudson Valley Indians in New Netherland, North America, who sought refuge from Mohawk attackers.  
1779   The British surrender the Illinois country to George Rogers Clark at Vincennes.  
1781   American General Nathaniel Greene crosses the Dan River on his way to attack Cornwallis.  
1791   President George Washington sign a bill creating the Bank of the United States.  
1804   Thomas Jefferson is nominated for president at the Democratic-Republican caucus.  
1815   Napoleon leaves his exile on the island of Elba, returning to France.  
1831   The Polish army halts the Russian advance into their country at the Battle of Grochow.  
1836   Samuel Colt patents the first revolving cylinder multi-shot firearm.  
1862   Confederate troops abandon Nashville, Tennessee, in the face of Grant's advance. The ironclad Monitor is commissioned at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
1865   General Joseph E. Johnston replaces John Bell Hood as Commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.  
1904   J.M. Synge's play Riders to the Sea opens in Dublin.  
1910   The Dalai Lama flees from the Chinese and takes refuge in India.  
1919   Oregon introduces the first state tax on gasoline at one cent per gallon, to be used for road construction.  
1913   The 16th Amendment to the constitution is adopted, setting the legal basis for the income tax.
1926   Poland demands a permanent seat on the League of Nations council.  
1928   Bell Labs introduces a new device to end the fluttering of the television image.
1943   U.S. troops retake the Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, where they had been defeated five days before.  
1944   U.S. forces destroy 135 Japanese planes in Marianas and Guam.  
1952   French colonial forces evacuate Hoa Binh in Indochina.  
1956   Stalin is secretly disavowed by Khrushchev at a party congress for promoting the "cult of the individual."  
1976   The U.S. Supreme Court rules that states may ban the hiring of illegal aliens. 

Eidtorial Comment

Dear readers as you are aware we here at Carolina Naturally have been plagued by wingnuts who cannot handle the truth and seek to subvert and pervert and silence the truth.

This blog was established to bring the truth unfettered by wingnuts because a forum that was popular with people of thinking capabilities was allowed to be subverted, perverted and eventually silenced by wingnuts deriding and mocking any who dared speak the truth and not follow the line of the wingnut pack of deluded lies. When someone had the audacity to call them on it they cried fowl and howled in their fake outrage that someone would dare to have the temerity to call them out on their behavior and accusing those who called them out of doing what they did  .... just as wingnuts do in all cases. In psychology this is called transference and projection, and the wingnuts are masters of it (the only thing they are masters of).

Currently we have a policy of immediately reporting all wingnuts who attempt to pervert this blog and it has caused many of the wingnuts to cease in their attempts (although it might be the fact their accounts are suspended and/or terminated for their behavior).

There is one particularly fowl-mouthed idiotic moron of a wingnut that calls itself "veteran" (insulting all real veterans in the process)  that cannot understand that it will not be allowed to spew its bile and vitriol here.
It has proven to be a pedophile with a morbid fascination with bestiality as well as a being a wingnut.
The more it tries the more it digs its own grave as it were.
We have an announcement: Due to the changes in Blogger and the time constraints of maintaining our sister blogs we will cease posting them on Blogger and move them to a more conducive platform beginning March 1, 2015. Also we will transition most of the political posts to a blog dedicated to exposing the wingnut lies. While we will continue to report repugican malfeasance here, the bulk will be on the blog The Truth Be Told beginning March 1st as well.
Now, on a happier note ... The arctic deep freeze has left (as of the moment) and we are back to a slightly cooler than normal for the time of year and everyone is out enjoying the late winter sun. We just wish they would wait a wee bit longer before inundating our front yard with their boats and jetskis, but they've been out there all day - it's only February people, the lake isn't going anywhere. However the impromptu BBQ  in the works for this evening looks to be a great time for everybody, these BBQs usually happen in June/July/August when the assorted lake denizens tie up to our dock for the evening before heading to the ramp to go home.

Well, we have got to go, the party is starting. So what if the snow is falling again.
Thank you again for reading Carolina Naturally.
Semper Fi

The Truth Be Told


DNC Endorses Constitutional Amendment Guaranteeing The Right To Vote

A constitutional right to vote
On the weekend, the DNC  gave its unanimous endorsement to a constitutional amendment that explicitly states voting is an individual right.
Donna Brazile, the DNC’s Vice Chair of Voter Expansion and Protection released a statement announcing the endorsement.
Last year at the DNC Winter Meeting, we announced the Voter Expansion program to ensure that every eligible voter is registered, every registered voter is able to vote, and that every vote is counted. Today we built on this critical mission by unanimously passing a resolution to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly guarantee Americans’ right to vote.  The Democratic Party stands for inclusion, and we know that we are all better when everyone has a voice in the democratic process. The right to vote is a moral imperative, and I am proud to support this resolution.
This is a welcomed development to FairVote, an organization dedicated to making the vote a constitutional right. As noted by the organization’s Executive Director, Rob Richie,
More than a decade ago, FairVote became the leading institutional voice calling for establishing an explicit individual right to vote in the U.S. Constitution, joining academic stars like law professors Jamin Raskin and Lani Guinier and historian Alex Keyssar, journalists like John Nichols and Katrina vanden Heuvel, and elected officials like Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr and his tireless aide Frank Watkins.
The DNC’s support recognizes that when left in the hands of state legislatures, the vote is treated like a privilege to be bestowed on select individuals based on the legislature’s partisan interests.  The DNC’s endorsement of the vote as a right recognizes it as a fundamental necessity to the preservation of other individual rights and freedoms.  Eligibility to participate in the political process has long been subject to the partisan interests of lawmakers.  With that, we have seen an erosion of political participation and increasing skepticism in the value of voting.  With fewer people voting, political accountability has lost all meaning.
Aside from rectifying problems, a constitutional recognition of voting as a right means benefits to individual voters, but it also means an improved political system and with it better policy.
In a 2014 article, Law Professor Lani Guinier explained in legal terms the benefits that come with recognizing the vote as a constitutional right and the standard that states would have to meet in order to justify restrictions on the vote.
By amending the Constitution to enshrine an explicit right to vote, states would be required to prove that all difficulties, restrictions and burdens to voting served a “compelling” interest. Such an amendment would ensure uniform standards and prohibit laws that make it harder to vote.
In other words, a constitutional amendment should shift the burden from individuals proving to the state that they are eligible to vote, to the state having to show a compelling interest in suppressing the vote.
Jamin Raskin, another law professor, wrote a paper in 2003 in which he identified two categories of people who are permanently disenfranchised under the law solely because of where they live. Taxpaying citizens residing in DC can vote in Presidential elections but are limited to electing a non-voting delegate in the House of Representatives and do not have representation in the Senate.  Over 4 million Americans “residing in federal Territories of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands who have no right to vote for president and no voting representation in the Congress.”
Raskin identifies a third category of people who are disenfranchised and in some states for life, namely people who convicted of felonies. He also points to the fact that in Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court ruled that the people’s right to vote for president is at the will of the states.
The Court held that, since the “individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States,” whenever such a right is granted by state legislators, they can always revoke it and simply “take back the power to appoint electors.
In short, the will of “the people” exists only when it suits the partisan interests of politicians be they in state legislatures or in Congress.  With that comes changes in the lawmakers’ priorities.  Rather than earning votes with good policies, lawmakers focus on ways to manipulate voter eligibility and access to the polls.  Combining vote suppression with gerrymandering resulted in an increased numbers of districts in which Republicans are “safe” from the accountability that comes with free and fair elections.
The vote is not only a mechanism to voice our views on which policies we like. It is also protects other rights and freedoms.  As Republican districts got “safer” from accountability, we saw an erosion of other rights. Collective bargaining, reproductive rights, fair housing, access to education and opportunity are shadows of their former selves because of policies supported by Republicans in “safe” districts.
Judges appointed and confirmed by Republicans increasingly restricted the meanings of free speech, expression and religion.  We have also seen narrower interpretations of the right to counsel, the right to remain silent and protections against cruel and unusual punishment. We witnessed the erosion and disappearance of laws to protect minorities from discrimination in the work place, in access to education and at the polls.  Black men are shot like dogs by the police, who enjoy increasing impunity. Certain protestors are arrested for standing still, not walking fast enough and walking outside “the free speech zone” while others “protest” by threatening the lives of politicians they disagree with and with semi-automatics strapped to their backs.  These are only a few examples.
Increasingly politicians disregard the will of the people and in some instances show increasing contempt for the people they are supposed to represent. Despite the overwhelming popular support for sensible laws to keep guns out of the hands of people with proven violent histories, legislatures pander to lobbyists for gun manufacturers. Despite popular support for affordable and accessible healthcare, lawmakers dedicate their efforts to take healthcare away from millions of people.  They do this knowing that their big donors will continue support their campaigns and knowing that they are “safe” from accountability by the electorate.
We need a constitutional amendment that recognizes voting as the individual right of all American citizens of voting age to stop partisan based manipulation of the vote and with it manipulation of elections. We also need it to re-establish political accountability and to preserve other rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States.
By endorsing a constitutional amendment to recognizing voting rights, the DNC supported the return of power to where it rightfully belongs: voting age citizens of the United States.  This is an important difference between Democrats who trust the power of the people and Republicans who hold contempt for it.

Senate Democrats Crush 4th Republican Attempt To Overturn Obama Immigration Action

Senate Democrats turned up the heat on Boehner and McConnell by blocking the fourth Senate Republican attempt to overturn President Obama’s immigration actions by attaching it to the Homeland Security funding bill.
Today’s vote was just like the previous three. Republicans voted to move the bill forward, except for Dean Heller of Nevada, while Democrats and Independents stood united in opposition. The final vote was 47-46 in favor, with Mitch McConnell voting no as a procedural move so that he could bring the vote up again later.
Before the vote, Sen. John Barrasso went through the same Republican talking points that they tried to use during the previous three attempts to move the bill forward. The only difference is that Barrasso added the ruling by the Bush appointed partisan judge that blocked President Obama’s executive action on immigration. Republicans tried to shift the focus away from Homeland Security and towards immigration. Barrasso accused Senate Democrats of, “Not understanding why they lost” the midterm election and called on Democrats to, “stop defending the president and the White House.”
Democratic vice chair of the Appropriations Committee Sen,. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) called out Republicans and said, “We should be voting on a clean Homeland Security bill.” She called out Republicans for playing politics while the country faces some of our biggest homeland security challenges right now. Mikulski contrasted the hypocrisy of Republicans asking what is Obama doing to protect America while ignoring the “boots on the ground” in this country who need funding. The Maryland senator urged Republicans to put immigration aside and pass a clean Homeland Security funding bill.
Democrat Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) used the threat of an attack against her home state Mall of America to hammer Republicans for jeopardizing national security over the immigration language in the bill. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) went after Republicans on the point that members of the Coast Guard won’t be paid.
Republican Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) went with the standard Republican talking point that Democrats are obstructing the bill while he ignored the Democrats’ issues with immigration riders in the bill.
With days to go until Homeland Security shuts down, Senate Republicans have their backs against the wall. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have to quickly decide whether he will abandon the House Republican suicide mission of trying to overturn President Obama’s executive action immigration by tying it to Homeland Security funding, or if he is finally willing to pass a clean Homeland Security funding bill.
It is clear that the House Republican Homeland Security bill is going nowhere fast. Unless Speaker John Boehner backs down at the last moment and allows a clean vote on Homeland Security funding, it looks like the agency is heading for a shutdown.
Republicans tried to pick a fight with President Obama by tying Homeland Security funding to overturning his immigration actions, and they are losing in a big way. The ball is now in Boehner’s court, and if Homeland Security shuts down, Republicans will be blamed.

As Terrorists Threaten U.S. Malls, Conservatives Push To Shutdown Homeland Security

A day after it was reported that a terrorist group was urging attacks on malls in the United States, conservatives continued to refuse to support a bill that would avoid a shutdown of Homeland Security.
Conservatives and Republicans have adopted the delusional line of thinking that a Homeland Security shutdown won’t be that bad.
According to National Journal:
A DHS shutdown now appears possible, if not likely. And the optics, conservatives say, are not as bad for the party as some pundits have screamed about. Some Republicans believe that, if spun right, Democrats will get the brunt of the blame.
“DHS should not shut down for one day,” Sen. Ted Cruz argued during a press conference before Congress left for last week’s recess. “The only reason there is a risk that could happen is that Senate Democrats are putting partisan politics above the national security interests of this country.”
Adding to their confidence, some Republicans have pointed out that the impact of a DHS shutdown might not even be that extreme. Unlike during the full government shutdown in October 2013, DHS is just a fraction of the government, and most of the things people care greatly about will continue to function.
Risking a shut down for any length of time just so that Republicans can prove a political point is an insane strategy. Congressional Republicans and the conservative outside groups are obsessed with using their congressional majority to prove their dominance over Democrats. If they have to risk a potential terrorist attack in order to make themselves feel stronger, it appears that they are happy to do it.
Republicans refuse to understand common sense. They are in charge of Congress now. When something goes wrong, like shutting down Homeland Security, they are going to be blamed. It’s that simple. Polling has already shown that the majority isn’t buying the Republican demand that the immigration executive actions must be undone before Homeland Security can be funded.
Polling also shows that the majority is not buying their attempts to blame Senate Democrats for a potential shutdown. Democrats have made it clear that they aren’t going to blink and agree to vote to overturn President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. Even if they did vote with Republicans, the president would veto the bill, and Republicans would be right back to where they started from.
This mess was created by House Republicans, and now they are willing to potentially jeopardize the lives of American citizens because a “win” is more important than national security.
The Republican behavior in this situation is a reminder that it isn’t Washington that’s broken. The nation’s dysfunctional politics begin with the Republican Party.

Random Celebrity Photos


Sandra Dee
Sandra Dee

Chicks On The Right Have Questions

This Liberal Has Answers.
by Ann Werner
Screen Shot 2014-07-07 at 1.06.09 PMI was sent an article written by a woman who identifies herself as Mockarena, a member of a team who call themselves Chicks On The Right. I am familiar with these women in a small way. I don’t normally read their column because – well, because they’re on the right and I’m not. But last week, Mockarena asked some questions and said she genuinely wanted answers. I thought I would accommodate her. I have included her questions and my responses.
1. Do you think that feminine hygiene products should be covered expenses under Obamacare (or employer healthplans as mandated by Obamacare?) Do you believe that a monthly menstrual cycle should be included under the broad definition of “women’s reproductive health?” If not, why not?
Well, Mock, I have to say, that is a ridiculous question. Of course no one thinks that Summer’s Eve or tampons or any of the other paraphernalia women have to deal with on a monthly basis should be covered under any medical plan. By the way, Obamacare isn’t a medical plan. This is something that seems to confuse those on the right. It is merely an effort by the government to regulate the out of control behavior of insurance companies and to bring down costs for all of us by spreading around the expenses associated with health care. Now, back to your question. As for including a woman’s monthly menstrual cycle, well, yes, it is a part of women’s health. After all, our menstrual cycles are a part of our lives. If we don’t get one, we go to the doctor to determine why it is absent. If there is a pregnancy involved, then we know the reason. But if not, then there must be an underlying reason that could affect our health in a variety of ways. As we age, our cycles can become erratic and that tells us that we are coming to the end of our reproductive lives. (Mock, you are too young to know about this via experience but I have been there, done that, and have gone to my doctor for assistance in finding a remedy because it really was unpleasant in so many ways). The menstrual cycle is a part of overall women’s health and as such, deserves our attention when things don’t run smoothly. But just because that is the case doesn’t mean that health insurance should cover the cost of everyday maintenance when things are going well. So no, liberals don’t think that things like Summer’s Eve or sanitary napkins or tampons or any other things of similar nature should be covered by insurance. We tend to think of those things as part of being a woman.
2. Do you think that over-the-counter medications and diapers for kids should be covered expenses under Obamacare (or employer healthplans as mandated by Obamacare?) If not, why not?
Again, this is silly. You are being silly, right? No! Why should anyone think that? It has never been the case. Only prescription medications have ever been covered under commercial health plans. And diapers have never been covered. Why would you think that anyone is putting forth the idea that the Affordable Care Act (and that is the real name of the law, not Obamacare, just in case you were unaware) would change the status quo? The law has to do with INSURANCE COMPANIES and regulates their behavior. For instance, the caps on lifetime care have been removed. Oh – and here’s a really good aspect of the law – women can no longer be charged more than a man for health insurance just because of  the fact of their womanhood. That really pissed me off. I had an employer plan and was charged more than one of the men I worked with. We are the same age, although I am 3 months older than he. I am in great shape, keep my weight down, low cholesterol – all of it – and he is grossly overweight. I take care of myself and he doesn’t but he got the benefit of a lower premium. Thanks to the ACA, things like that won’t happen anymore because it’s against the law.
3. What does “healthcare is a human right” mean to you exactly? If I have neck strain due to my job sitting at a computer, and the only thing that eases that tension is a good deep-tissue massage, should that be a covered expense under Obamacare (or employer healthplan as mandated by Obamacare?) If not, why not?
That’s a good question! Yes, I do believe that healthcare is a human right. Your question, though, is a bit of a gotcha because you are positing that deep tissue massage is the one and only answer and we all know that really isn’t the case. Now if you are dealing with neck strain due to your job, I think that exercises to loosen up those muscles would be the optimal thing to do. That and making certain that your workstation is ergonomically correct so the strain in your neck would be relieved. It’s a pretty simple thing to do – I know because I work at a computer all day long and I had those problems. But adjusting my seat and making sure the screen of my computer was in a position where I didn’t have to hunch my neck or put it in a position that would cause pain worked wonders! However, if you do have an injury that does not respond to common sense methods, I think that seeing a physician to determine the reasons for the ongoing pain should certainly be in order and certainly be covered. After all, there are conditions that can be alleviated by any number of therapies, whether medicinal or through something like chiropractic, which is now and has been included in many health plans.
4.  If healthcare is a human right, then it should reasonably follow that food is also a right, correct?  If that is the case, specifically what sort of food am I entitled to eat, and specifically what kind of food should I receive from the government (taxpayers) without paying anything for it myself?  Do I have a right to filet mignon?  If not, why not?  And who should make that decision?
Yes, food is a human right. After all, we do need food in order to stay alive. We should all have enough food to be able to go about our daily lives. Now, again, you are doing that gotcha thing. Of course, filet mignon isn’t a human right. That’s a luxury and nobody is saying that pheasant under glass, filet mignon or baked Alaska should be mandated by the government. But I do believe that families should be able to sit down to more than a bowl of cereal for dinner. I’m betting that you are one of the fortunate folks who have never had to rely on foods stamps. And if that is the case, I’m happy for you. However there are people in this country – hard working people – who don’t make enough money to put decent food on the table for their families. How do I know this? I was one of them. Back in the 1970s, during the first fuel crisis, I was working for a car dealer. Tumbleweeds were rolling through the showroom and nobody was making any money. I was a single mom. I had bills. I remember how embarrassing it was for me to pull up to the food stamp office in my brand new car (which wasn’t mine, it was a demo) dressed in my suit and going in there to be met by the angry stares of the other people who were waiting their turn. Because of my appearance they immediately assumed that I was some sort of “taker” – but nothing could have been further from the truth. I was dead broke and had a five year old at home. So I sucked it up and got my food stamps. I hated using them but you know what? It made the difference from me going on welfare and having EVERYTHING paid for by the government and me being able to continue being a taxpayer and contributing to society. I did know other women who had no choice but to go on welfare – one woman comes to mind. She had four young children and her husband just left one day. No child support, no nothing. Just poof! Gone! What would you say to her? Would you beat her over the head with filet mignon questions or would you understand that she needed help? I was only on food stamps for two months but it made all the difference in the world. Before I go on to your next question, I would like to remind you that a great number of our veterans are recipients of food stamps. Would you have that benefit taken away from them because you are so concerned about a few cents coming from your tax dollars? Would you beat veterans over the head with gotcha questions?
5.  If healthcare is a human right, then it should reasonably follow that shelter is also a right, correct?  If that is the case, specifically what sort of shelter am I entitled to have, and specifically what kind of shelter should I receive from the government (taxpayers) without paying anything for it myself?  Do I have a right to air conditioning, for example?  If not, why not?  And who should make that decision?
Again, you are going on the assumption that everyone who needs assistance is a lazy person who just wants handouts. Yes, shelter is a human right when you are living in a country that is a place of plenty. Case in point, I work with a young man (he’s in his 30s) who just happens to be a Republican. And he’s VERY Republican. But you know what? He lives in Section 8 housing. Why? Because he’s broke and trying to work his way out of it. He is also divorced and pays child support for his two daughters and that is where the bulk of his money goes. Now I don’t know if the place he’s renting has air conditioning, however, he does pay rent on a scale that he can afford because despite what you are inferring, everything is not free. I think he’s a great guy for being a good father and tending to his parental obligations, don’t you? Or would you prefer that he have to pay full rent and forgo paying child support? I don’t know what rents are where you live, but in my neck of the woods, $1300 is about what one pays for a modest one bedroom apartment. And no, people are not ENTITLED to air conditioning. People are entitled to have a roof over their heads. Or do you think they should all just go and live under a bridge or find a nice dry cave?
6.  If your answers to #4 and #5 involve you using the word “basic” as part of your answer, please define what “basic” food and “basic” shelter is, exactly. In fact, please define what “basic” healthcare is, while you’re at it.
I didn’t use the term basic, but if you look it up in the dictionary, there are several definitions. For the purpose of this answer, let’s just go with FUNDAMENTAL  and constituting or serving as the basis or starting point. Basic food is staples like bread, sources of protein like meat (ground beef and chicken and eggs will do, not those filet mignons you mentioned), milk, vegetables, fruit. You know, nothing fancy, just the things one needs to live and be healthy. I think shelter was covered in the above answer, but I will expand – a place to lay your head and bathroom facilities, either private or shared are pretty basic. A hot plate at the very least, a small kitchen would be better. One room will do and there are many who would jump at the chance to have a room to call their own. Healthcare? When you are sick you have a place to go and get treatment. To keep costs down, at least once a year a health checkup and survey to make sure that you are in good shape – cholesterol, lipid panels, all the same things you get when you go in for your annual checkup. For women, pap smears and mammograms to make certain that no cancer cells are detected. We all know that early detection and treatment is a LOT less expensive than when a disease becomes full blown and very costly to combat. And in the end, if it’s too late, all that money is down the drain when a person dies for lack of early detection. It’s a fiscally responsible way of handling healthcare and it affects all of us. I mean, really, do you think that hospitals were charging $300 for an aspirin just for the hell of it? It is because people without health insurance were using emergency rooms as their primary source of health care and they had no means to pay the bills and so voila! It was passed on to you and me – no differentiation between liberals and conservatives. We all paid. We are all still paying because there are states that have turned their backs on the ACA and deprived tens of thousands of their citizens of the BASIC health care needs that could alleviate so much suffering, not to mention those expenses you are so concerned about. I am too, which is why I do not understand what the beef is with the ACA. Full implementation would bring down costs even more. While costs are still rising, they are going up at a reduced rate and with full implementation, it only stands to reason that the rate would slow even more. After a while, we may even be able to turn the trend. Actually, if we just had single payer, that would get rid of the 20% that goes to the insurance company middlemen right off the bat. But you “fiscally responsible” conservatives prefer that insurance companies profit from human suffering. So be it. I’m just saying – 20 percent off the top – something to consider!
7.  How do you define the term “fair share” exactly?
That’s a hard one but I think that if you are wealthy – part of the 1% if you will – then you should be willing to pitch in a bit more. After all, this country gave you the opportunity to become wealthy and really, if you’ve got piles of money, you won’t miss a little extra. I think that wealthy people should pay at least as much as the guy who makes, say $50,000, and goes to work every day of his life except those two weeks off annually for vacation. Sure, I think people should get deductions for things like kids, mortgage interest and charitable contributions. Everyone should.  If a person is making subsistence wages, then I don’t think they need to be taxed. Did you know that social security benefits are taxed? They are! I know. I receive social security and sure enough, I get taxed on my benefits. If I make over a certain amount in a year, I have a tax bill. I paid it this year, although last year I didn’t have to. It all depends on the situation of the individual. But if you’re wealthy, yes, you should pay a little more. And you know what? When those taxes go to lift others out of poverty, we all benefit. Remember the Clinton years when the economy was booming? Taxes were higher then but EVERYONE had more money. It’s a win-win thing. When people have money, they spend it on goods and services. That raises demand, which in turn, translates to employers hiring people to meet that demand, which puts more money into the pockets of more people who go out and spend it on goods and services … You see where this is going. Oh, and by the, how about the people who own WalMart? They get away with paying hardly any taxes – if they pay any at all – and yet, they are so cheap that they refuse to pay their employees a living wage, causing those employees to turn to the government for assistance. Money out of everyone’s pocket – yours and mine.
8. If my “human right” to something requires the service of someone else, how exactly is it a human right?
That’s easy. Let’s make it personal. You are driving along, obeying all the traffic laws. Some drunk comes speeding out of nowhere and slams into your car. You are grievously injured. Do you think you have a right to medical service? If so, there’s your answer. If not, we’ll leave you to die bloodied and battered for lack of a paramedic, an ambulance and emergency care followed up by a stay in the hospital while the drunk gets away for lack of the police being called. You see, the paramedic, the doctors, the nurses and the rest of the hospital staff, as well as the police are all providing services to keep you alive and to attain justice for an act against your person. Don’t you think you have a right to those services? If not, please file a directive to let the appropriate people know that you won’t be requiring their services in the event of a catastrophic occurrence in your life. We wouldn’t want to waste taxpayer money getting you back up to speed if you think that needing another human being from time to time is a burden on society.
9.  Obama once said that at some point, you’ve made enough money.  What amount of money do you believe should be the maximum someone should be allowed to make?
Oh, you’re doing that gotcha thing again! When President Obama said that, he was not implying that there would be a cap placed on the amount of money any one individual is allowed to earn and you couching that question in a manner that suggests otherwise is beneath you, don’t you think? Now let’s see what he REALLY said. “We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service. We don’t want people to stop fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.” In case you are wondering, he was talking about our capitalistic system and how it works.
10. How do you define a “living wage” exactly?
A living wage is a wage that is enough to provide the necessities of life: food, clothing shelter. If a person works a full time job, that job should pay enough to meet those necessities. It doesn’t have to pay for cable TV, it doesn’t have to be enough to take a vacation in Cancun. It doesn’t have to be enough to put your beloved filet mignon on the table every night of the week, or even once a month, although it would be nice if maybe once a year, on a special occasion, there would be enough saved up – but not necessary. Do I have to bring up WalMart again?
You say you have tons more questions. Bring ‘em on, Mock. I’ve got tons of answers, and I sincerely hope that reading those I’ve just provided will enlighten you. You see, liberals believe in personal responsibility – only we don’t use it as a slogan. We recognize that there are times when people need assistance and we don’t have that stingy gene that seems to inhabit people on the right. We don’t mind sharing. Our parents taught us that concept when we were just babies and we’ve remembered it all of our lives. It seems that you have forgotten the concept. It’s a shame that you are so angry and so concerned that somebody somewhere is going to get something you deem they don’t deserve and that it’s coming our of your pocket. When you use the term personal responsibility, it has to be more than a platitude. If you’re going to talk the talk, then, to be taken seriously, you need to walk the walk!

A Republican Tells Me Why She Hates President Obama, And All I Can Do Is Shake My Head

by Allen Clifton
Being that I’m in Texas, most of the people I encounter are Republicans. And believe me when I say that telling a wingnut that I’m a progressive is probably less popular than if I had just told them I was a drug kingpin who primarily focuses on selling crystal meth.
So, needless to say, I try to avoid discussing politics much of the time.
However, there are times where I get baited into doing it, which is what happened last night. A buddy of mine had invited me and a couple of other friends into a group chat to discuss a few things. Well, after a little back and forth amongst the group one of his friends started chatting with me directly, eventually asking me the dreaded question, “What do you do?” Well, I proceeded to give my usual answers, prompting her to simply ask, “So, are you for or against Obama?” At that time I informed her that I try to avoid political discussions because often people are filled with misinformation and if I try to correct anything that they want to believe, they usually just get very upset.
But I did ask her if she was for or against the president. She saw my question as a bit hypocritical since I didn’t answer hers, to which I responded by telling her that it’s just my morbid curiosity to know what “side” some people are on and what information they’ve used to come to that conclusion.
“I hate President Obama. Completely against him,” she said.
This prompted me to simply ask, “Why?”
Upon reading her answer, I instantly regretted my decision to venture into this discussion.
Here was her answer:
I think Obama is a lazy horrible excuse for a president. He’s playing golf while our citizens are being killed..he holds a press conference for some thug who got shot Bc he assaulted a police officer, yet I don’t see any press conference about Christians being slaughtered, or Jews being killed for anti-Semitic reasons. He’s a schmuck and the ONLY reason that he was elected the first time was bc he’s black, and either black people voted for him or white people didn’t wanna seem racist. And the reason he’s still president is bc of voter fraud. I’d LOVE to see them require id’s for votes, bc I guarantee he wouldn’t still be around.
Sadly, this is what I deal with practically on a daily basis. It’s no wonder these people hate President Obama; look at the utter and total bullshit (excuse my language) that they believe. Here this person was, basing her entire opinion on the president completely off of nothing but pure wingnut propaganda. And the thing is, outside of him being a golfer and making comments about the Mike Brown shooting (mostly in response to the protests that had broken out following the incident), nothing she said was true.
Did she just make all of this up? No. This is the kind of crap that the wingnut media pushes every single day. “Information” that’s literally just pulled out of thin air.
Take her comments about voter fraud, which are completely baseless. Between 2000 and 2010, out of 649 million votes, there were thirteen cases of legitimate voter fraud found. That’s barely one per year. Yet this individual would swear right to your face that the only reason President Obama was re-elected was because of rampant voter fraud.
Then there’s the issue with him not holding a press conference about the killing of christians and jews by ISIL. Then, tell me, what are all these press conferences he’s held concerning ISIS for the past year? And she’s clearly not aware that ISIL isn’t just targeting non-muslims, they’re slaughtering other muslims every single day as well. Then again, you rarely see Faux News talk about that so it’s not surprising that she knows nothing about it.
Needless to say, I proceeded to embarrass her by pointing out several facts that debunked her nonsense – which prompted her to tell me I was an idiot and instantly block me. I really shouldn’t have even bothered. With someone who is that far gone, I would probably have had more luck trying to reason with a brick wall.
But it does go to show you just how blatantly inaccurate the information is that the wingnut media pushes all the time. Because while her answer was slightly more ridiculous than most of the ones I get, it still wasn’t that far off from the average response I get from the typical wingnt when the president’s name is brought up.
And the truth is, I’m fine with people not agreeing with President Obama. All I ask is that their opposition to him be based on facts rather than fiction – which, sadly, is usually not the case. That fact was perfectly demonstrated by this woman’s absolutely ridiculous reasoning why she dislikes our president.

Millions Mourn as Ted Nugent, Age 66, Found Alive

 (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) Millions of Americans awoke this morning to the tragic news that rocker Ted Nugent was still alive. The news broke early and sent shock waves through the rock and roll community, and throughout the Republican Party, where Nugent is well-known for his support for conservative causes, and fierce advocacy for the rights of hunters and gun owners. The National Rifle Association issued the following statement:
Ted Nugent has proudly and patriotically served on the NRA’s board of directors since 1995. The Association shares a deep sense of shock with our 4.5 million members and countless millions of supporters as details of this catastrophic event continue to unfold.
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), one of several organizations Nugent violently criticized in the past, also issued a statement expressing condolences.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Nugent initially found fame as lead guitarist for The Amboy Dukes before embarking on a solo career. Highlights from Nugent’s life include a 1977 interview appearing in High Times magazine, in which he famously told a reporter how he avoided the [Viet Nam War] draft: he did not bathe, brush his teeth, or shave for 30 days leading up to his pre-induction physical. To sweeten the pot, he also defecated in his pants. “I was so proud,” Nugent recalled. In later years he denied those accounts, saying he made up the story to trick the gullible reporter. That same year, Nugent’s song Cat Scratch Fever dominated the rock and roll charts.
President Obama, the target of many of Nugent’s negative comments, reportedly expressed astonishment when informed during a cabinet meeting that Nugent had lived another day. During the White House’s daily media briefing, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz informed the assembled press corps that the President asked members of his cabinet to join him in a moment of silence to acknowledge Nugent’s survival.
Throughout Detroit and surrounding suburbs, fans both old and new erected makeshift tributes to the rocker, lighting candles, singing songs, and leaving cards and ticket stubs from many of Nugent’s concerts as testimonials to a life still lived.
Ted Nugent, 1948 –

The De-Evolution of the Republican Party

The irony is that so many republicans do not believe in evolution...
Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower must be rolling in their graves. 

Media Intentionally Hides Republicans’ Economic Failures And Democrats’ Success

It is true that Republican policies are why Americans are rapidly losing economic ground to the few wealthy elites, but the media is not only culpable, they are complicit …

Fox News Stops Pretending To Be A News Network By Standing Behind Bill O’Reilly

Fox News isn’t even pretending anymore. Their pretense of journalism has been shattered by Fox News’s decision to stand formally behind war coverage liar Bill O’Reilly.
So far, no less than eight former colleagues of O’Reilly have stated that the top rated host on cable news is not telling the truth about his experiences as a war correspondent, but Fox News released a statement that stood behind their man, “Fox News Chairman and C.E.O. Roger Ailes and all senior management are in full support of Bill O’Reilly.” In other words, Fox isn’t going to punish O’Reilly for the same sort of distortions that got NBC’s Brian Williams suspended without pay for six months.
The one-sentence statement issued by Fox News did something more than stand with O’Reilly. The statement was also a declaration that Fox News isn’t interested in facts, truth or journalism. There are journalists who work at Fox News, but their work at the network is shaped by an overriding ideological agenda.
At Fox News, the agenda of advocating for conservatives and the Republican Party always comes first. FNC has played a major role in polarizing the news audience. Sure, they have a few paid contributors from the left, but these folks are tokens that are there provide a foil for Fox News’s conservative stars.
For decades, Fox News has pulled off the nifty trick of selling truth and balance while preaching the exact opposite with their programming. Other media outlets are terrified of Fox News and Rupert Murdoch’s global media empire, which is why they play along with the ruse the Fox News is a journalistic entity.
Fox News faced none of the concerns that confronted NBC News in the Brian Williams situation. Fox isn’t interested in journalism. They aren’t interested in news. Fox doesn’t have to care about credibility because they have none. Fox has managed to brainwash a small segment of the population by telling them what they want to hear that their network is the source for “real truth” in the media.
The decision to ignore fact and reality is the way business is done at Fox News, but their support of O’Reilly demonstrates that Fox isn’t even trying to fool the non-believers into thinking that they are a news network.

Bill O’Reilly Scandal Grows As 8th Former Colleague Calls His War Coverage Claims Absurd

Yet another of Bill O'Reilly's former colleagues from CBS News disputes his active war zone claims. Even back then, his colleagues thought he was "grandstanding" …

Random Photos

turkey51: Darya Dogusheva

Bomb squad called out after games controller buttons were mistaken for bullets

Bomb disposal experts and police were called to a house in west Belfast, Northern Ireland, after customized buttons on a video games controller were apparently confused for bullets.
A large security operation was launched on Tuesday night and the property cordoned off as searches were carried out in the Sliabh Dubh Lane.
It followed a report that a number of rounds of ammunition had been discovered at an unoccupied house. Further searches were carried out on Wednesday and a number of items removed by police for examination.
Police sources said the suspected bullets were subsequently found to be imitation rounds used as buttons on Xbox 360 controllers. A PSNI spokesman confirmed: "A number of items that were taken away have now been examined and declared to be not suspicious."

Unhappy man arrested following salon hair rage

A 47-year-old man was arrested after police said he became “irate” when he was charged $50 for a haircut at salon in Stamford, Connecticut, on Wednesday.
Alan Becker, of Stamford, got a haircut at the Loft Salon and Spa. However, police said Becker “did not like it.” Police said Becker started throwing items, including a wreath and candle around the salon after learning the price of the haircut.
Becker also “kicked a hole in the wall, and went off on a swearing tirade to employees and customers,” according to police. Police said Becker left the salon, but returned a short time later, “demanding the stylist fix his hair.”
When the stylist refused to fix the haircut, she called police who arrested Becker at his home. Becker was charged with breach of peace and criminal mischief. He was given a promise to appear at court.

Conmen selling fake Goya painting were paid with photocopied money

An Arab sheik gave two Spanish brothers a dose of their own medicine by paying them with photocopied money for a fake Goya painting they tried to sell him. Back in 2003, when the two brothers in question first came across the alleged portrait of Don Antonio Maria Esquivel, purporting to be painted one of Spain’s greatest artists: Francisco de Goya. They presumed it was authentic, paying a deposit of €20,000 on the full €270,000 the ‘art dealer’ was asking for.
But when an authenticity certificate couldn’t be provided, because experts refuted that it was an original Goya, a Girona judge ruled they could keep the artwork without having to pay the remaining €250,000. Seven years after the court ruling, the brothers decided they would try their own luck at selling the painting of dubious origins. They found a potential buyer in an Arab sheik, willing to pay €4 million for what he believed was a Goya masterpiece. A meeting was arranged in the northern Italian city of Turin with a representative of the sheik’s.
In return for the Goya and its certificate of authenticity (which they'd forged) they were to receive a first installment of 1.7 million francs (€1.5 million). The brothers also hired a moneylender to meet in their home city of Girona with the middleman who had arranged the deal with the Arab buyer. Once they received the money in Turin, they called the loan shark and allowed him to pay the intermediary €300,000 as promised for setting up the sale. The complicated transaction was finalized and for some time the siblings must have thought they were going to get away with it.
Then they arrived at a Geneva bank to deposit the 1.7 million francs into a Swiss bank account. It was there that they were informed their fortune was nothing more than photocopied bank notes. To make matters worse for them, customs in the French city of Avignon informed Spanish police that they’d come across two of their countrymen with a suitcase full of fake money. On arrival in Spain the brothers were arrested and are now facing fraud charges. As for the €300,000 they paid the intermediary, the money was real and borrowed from a local businessman who’s unlikely to ever see it again.

Zambia's top prosecutor drops charges of abuse of office against himself

Zambia's top prosecutor surprised a magistrate on Friday when he refused to prosecute himself on charges of abuse of office and declared himself a free man.
"I am the director of public prosecution of the republic of Zambia and I have decided to enter a nolle prosequi against all the charges," Mutembo Nchito told the magistrate from the dock in Lusaka Magistrate's Court, using the Latin term for refusing to pursue a case.
Nchito was briefly arrested last week on nine charges, including abusing his authority, contempt of court and fraudulent contracting of debt. The offenses were allegedly committed between 2008 and 2013. A High Court then cancelled the warrant for his arrest, a ruling that ended the legal proceedings against him.
But former finance minister Newton Ng'uni, who brought the complaint against Nchito, has vowed to pursue an appeal. Fresh summonses were issued this week against Nchito, who is also prosecuting high-profile corruption cases, including those involving former president Rupiah Banda.

What Roman Slave Owners Can Teach Us about Managing Staff

Are you a modern, forward-thinking leader who inspires people in the workplace to follow you?
No? Then Jerry Toner, a classicist at the University of Cambridge, has advice for you. He's gathered together the wisdom of slave owners from ancient Rome in a thoughtful essay at Aeon. Roman slave management manuals and other surviving records of slave-master relationships offer a lot of insight into corporate leadership. Toner explains:
Most Romans, like Augustus, thought cruelty to slaves was shocking. They understood that slaves could not simply be terrified into being good at their job. Instead, the Romans used various techniques to encourage their slaves to work productively and willingly, from bonuses and long-term inducements, to acts designed to boost morale and generate team spirit. All of these say more than we might imagine about how employers manage people successfully in the modern world.
You have to start from the beginning. Don't count on your company's human resources department to get new slaves ready for work. You, the leader, must get them into the right frame of mind and keep them there:
Once he bought them, the Roman master tried to rebuild his slaves’ characters to suit his own needs. He made them forget their old gods and start worshiping at the household shrine instead, ridiculing their former beliefs. He might choose to brand them with his own mark. So, too (if less brutally), the modern manager ‘rebrands’ new recruits by teaching them their company’s mission. They must carry out rituals to publicly proclaim their faith in these new goals, such as attending away days (or off-sites) and taking part in humiliating group activities such as paint-balling or karaoke.

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