March 2012

The Spring Offensive Begins

Occupy On The March Despite Repression

Although there isn't really an official start to a thing like this, you can make a strong case that the long-awaited Occupy “spring offensive” began this weekend. Occupy Wall Street re-occupied Zuccotti Park for about four hours with five or six hundred people, Occupy LA staged a major action, and the Occupy the Midwest Regional Convergence began with another attempted re-occupation of public space.

Paul Ryan, Financial Responsilbility and Borrowing

The Dilema of Economics in our Government

With the Ryan economic plan back in the spotlight, it begs the question - who should be responsible for shouldering the burden of our country’s economic woes?  Neither government, corporations, nor households should be exempt from the basic rules of accounting. Revenues should match or exceed expenditures, excessive debt should be avoided, and some funds should be kept in reserve for future rainy days.

It’s Time to Separate Church and Hate

Separation of church and state would be nice; tossing out the hate would be even better.

Recently I joined a Unitarian Universalist group of homeschoolers on the web. Am I one of these people? I could see myself being a member, attending services, doing projects with my daughter. I’d love for her to have that kind of a close, loving group of people to hang around and learn from growing up—especially since the only things I gained from my own childhood church experiences were drug and pedophile dodging skills. No joke; the churches we went to had at least one of these things.

The Founding of the Republican Party

Republicans fight as hard today as they had in 1854

Today is an important day within the Republican Party. It’s the anniversary of the beginning of the Republican Party that started officially March 20, 1854. It was the beginning of many dreams, beliefs and ideas.

The Republican Party began in Ripon, Wisconsin by past Whig Party members. It was the result of several natural events and was primarily begun by ex – Whig members who opposed slavery following the Missouri Compromise. Since the beginning of the Republican Party there has been a strong dedicated political party that has stood consistently for their beliefs and has continued to stand tall and fight for each and every one of their constituents.

The Republican Party has stood for fiscal responsibility in the shadow of overspending. They have stood tall in an effort to promote family values. They have stood bravely and always ready to make whatever decision is necessary to protect America against any and all adversaries.

Walmart as a Green Business

Is the retail giant really changing, or just fooling us?

It seems counter-intuitive to many of us that follow environmental trends. Walmart is well known as the mass purveyor of cheap, imported goods that have a limited lifespan and tend to show up in landfills sooner rather than later. Personally, I don't go to Walmart expecting quality, let alone green. Are these thoughts products of a bygone time and is Walmart more responsible on the environmental side of things today?

What Path Will the Country Take

Growing the "Depend on Others" Class

The democratic re-election machine is and has been operating at full power throughout the entire first term of President Obama. From the failed bailout to crooning a line from an Al Green song at—you guessed it—another fundraiser; to orchestrating the Sandra Flock affair to get women firmly in his camp, Obama and the democrat army are rapid marching toward the election.

President Obama dramatically raised funds in February by bringing in $45M

"In terms of the exact numbers, almost 350,000 people donated to Obama’s campaign in February"

President Obama was raising $23 million every month on average in the last quarter of 2011. In 2012, Obama has stepped up his fund-raising game with $29.1 million hauled in January and $45 million raised in February. But even with this rapid increase in funding, Obama was unable to match the $56M that he brought into his campaign to seek the Democratic nomination back in February 2008.

This could be attributed to the fact that Obama may have some difficulty in getting more voters to contribute given the three years of high unemployment, high debt levels, rising gas prices and overall economic woes that still make it hard for most Americans. This is opposed to the breath of fresh air that most Americans considered him to be back in 2008 with his campaign for ‘change’.

McCain Counsels Romney

"Focus more on the economy"

Senator John McCain has been making the rounds in the last few months – almost as if he were campaigning.  He stopped by Meet the Press to offer a few thought for Mitt Romney’s campaign. “He’s got to focus more on the economy,” said McCain.  McCain has endorsed the former Massachusetts governor. Is it irony that McCain is suggesting Romney, a 1%er, focus more on the economy?  It seems that every time Mitt opens his mouth about the economy he is sticking his foot in it and reminding America just how far removed he really is from most of us.

Combatting Toxins on an Individual level

Keeping toxins out of your life on your terms

People go to great lengths to rid their lives and their bodies of toxins.  Some people are content with just purchasing green products yet others prefer a more personal approach. Often people are able to eliminate toxins from their lives by implementing a little of both, purchasing green products and taking on a personal approach.

New From The Fringe

With political season heating up around the country, and races far and wide getting attention for a variety of reasons, I thought now would be a good time to go over a few do’s and don’ts as far as campaigning is concerned.

Do make sure that you get out and meet and greet the citizenry, tell them your positions, look them in the eye when you do it, and be brave in the face of the opposition you will no doubt face from time to time, unless, of course, you are 61 year old William Smith, a truck driver from southern Ohio.  Then you can do what you like, never speak to anyone and file paperwork to run for office. Then, with the help of an unknown and possible very illegal SuperPAC robo-call, win the primary in Ohio’s second congressional district to get a shot at running in November primary for that congressional seat.

The people behind the robo-call are a mystery no one has yet solved, and they have garnered the interest of the FBI and the Ohio district attorney’s office. They are both looking into the legality of the mystery SuperPAC, which is supposed to register if it spends so much as $1,000.  Calling every house in Ohio’s second district on the eve of an election probably cost much more than that. One wonders who funded them and why?  And why not register? Someone perhaps has something to hide here?  

I’ll get you more on this when news becomes available.

USDA to Offer Alternative to "Pink Slime"

Healthy school lunch initiatives pushed by first lady Michelle Obama seemed to have their work cut out for them when news stories revealed that ground beef in school lunches contains an ammonia soaked filler known as pink slime.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday that it will offer schools the choice to purchase beef made without pink slime.  The announcement comes on the heels of a report released earlier this month by two microbiologists, suggesting the filler, derived from non-food grade animal material, may not be safe for consumption.

Although the original guidelines set by the USDA required that no more than 15 percent of a food product served in schools consist of pink slime, many parents were not satisfied, and asked their school boards via letters and verbal correspondence to seek alternative types of meat.

Republicans Accuse Democrats of "Scheming" Over Violence Against Women Act

Republicans are accusing Democrats of "scheming" by asking to expand women's rights.

In another round of bald-faced GOP hypocrisy, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell accused Senate Democrats of “scheming” and trying, “to figure out a way to create an issue where there isn’t one.” What’s his beef? He’s frustrated with Senate Democrats attempting to renew the Violence Against Women Act, which expired in 2011. The new Senate version of VAWA would include extra provisions that, Republicans say, is a Democratic tactic to “make Republicans look bad.” Those provisions would extend protections for illegal immigrant, gay women and transgendered, and provide more legal power for tribal prosecutors. Senate Republicans refuse to support the new version of VAWA because of these provisions.

Presidents and Oil Drilling Have Nothing To Do With Gas Prices

Economist Paul Krugman lays out the truth behind gas price hikes, oil production, and the President.

I’ll never forget my wife’s uncle throwing up his hands in the spring of 2010, watching the smoking ruin of the Deepwater Horizon and  the millions of gallons of crude oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico. “Great,” he lamented, “ now gas prices are going to go up and the goddam environmentalists are going to go apesh*t.” It was in that moment that I saw the rank-and-file conservative cynicism over both environmental and economic sustainability. Now, in 2012, I’m seeing that same cynicism and poor ethic playing out on the Republican campaign trail; but in this scenario the “goddam environmentalist” is President Obama and the “gas prices” are all his fault. The President has been broadly painted as an anti-oil liberal by the GOP opposition, even though oil production is at its highest under his administration since 2003, despite a 9 month moratorium and stricter drilling regulations.

Kim Jong-Un – Another North Korean Puppet-Leader

With the death of Kim Jong-Il, many people were hoping that things in the small, renegade country of North Korea might change for the better.  As recent events are showing, this is most certainly not the case.  The Dear Leader’s son, Kim Jong-Un may be the new figurehead for the DPRK, but the reality of the situation is that the military hard-liners are still controlling the reins of government, as they always have.  The 29-year old Kim Jong-Un is there, just like his father was before him, to nod his trademark round head and approve of anything that they decide is best.

When Self Sufficiency Goes Hollywood

Hollywood stars have long been the stewards of environmental causes, raising money and living my example. It’s easy for them, they have lots and lots of money. With the push toward electric and hybrid cars, auto companies are paying big bucks to put their products into television shows and inadvertently publicizing self sufficiency.

The most outrageous and obvious one that I have seen was on an episode of the Fox television show “Fringe.” The main characters were driving a completely electric car…not standard issue for most federal agents…and actually found a place where they could plug it in and charge it up.

Really! You’re telling me that you just happen to find a place to plug in your electric car. What made this particularly funny was how they just kept talking as the character took off the plug for the car. The next commercial break showed that car and how great it was.

Bumper Sticker Appreciation

Every Once In a While, That Piece of Plastic is Worth It

We are big affirmative action voters in my house. We are pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-welfare—pretty much the very pinko communist socialist scary people that most white men past age fifty regularly fear. We’re anti-gun, pro-peace, and we think everyone should hold hands and sing together on a regular basis. I would totally weave flowers on my hair daily if it weren’t for my allergies.

Why Bill Maher is not Comparable to Rush Limbaugh

Plenty of classless men donate to both political parties

A few minutes of listening to Rush Limbaugh is more frustrating than an entire morning with my preschooler's playgroup. The supposed adults in the Republican party are using the "well, your guy says bad things about women tooooooo. Nahnahnah" line to try justify Limbaugh's sexually charged insults directed at Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke. Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin are even going so far as to suggest a pro-Obama super PAC should return a $1 million donation from Maher.

Has Maher made sexist comments directed at women? Yes. Are his actions as shameful as Rush's? No. 

Trust Those Instincts!

Even when you think it's not important.

As often as I tell people to trust their own instincts when it comes to parenting, I seem to forget to follow my own advice an awful lot. When it comes to my kid, if I don’t follow my instincts, I know I’ll pay for it later.

This morning was one of the roughest in a long time—mostly because I injured my arm a week ago and it’s still healing and hurting, but also because I went against my instincts. My best friend’s daughter is my daughter’s best friend, and they both really wanted my daughter in swim class with them. I thought it was a great idea, too—until I saw the level of swim that she was in. She’s a year older than my little girl and has more experience, and the class she was in was too advanced.

Rick Santorum is So Insane, Socialist Voters Should Care

Someone Needs to Tell "Mad Candidate" That Everyone Poops, Has Sex, Etc.

Look. I know that socialist voters don’t always care to get involved in the politics of the mainstream U.S. left as it’s currently constituted. At this moment in history, the left is diluted and at worst, it colludes with authoritarian elements. But we’re also at a turning point where the possible Republican candidate is so off the wall, so bizarre, so bonkers -- so hateful of basic human rights and protections that even those who don’t usually vote in these contests should take a close look at this guy before they decide to sit out this year.

“Pro-Life” Doctors Can Now Lie to Their Patients? Liberals Should Be Outraged

For Right-Wing Hypocrites, Lying to Patients is a Moral Duty

Here’s the end result of the idea that “conscience” should preclude professional obligation to provide unbiased medical care to all patients regardless of their background or their needs: Politicians in Kansas are driving forward with new legislation aimed at not only restricting access to abortion, but allowing doctors to deliberately withhold information if they discover that a baby will be born with a debilitating disease or is certain to die during gestation or birth.