August 2012

New Zealand same-sex marriage moves ahead

One more country moves into the 21st century

Yet another country in the world is proving that there is hope for the human race to move beyond its stifling, superstitious past and into a future where all people are possessed of the same rights and privileges.  This time around it’s New Zealand, who recently passed the Marriage Amendment Bill through one of its three needed votes to become law.  This bill officially recognizes same-sex marriages as legal, moving the status of gay couples to more than that of a civil union.

China's unlivable cities: a warning to all

Don't let this happen to your city!

If you want a taste of the nightmare that your city could become, look to China. Foreign Policy has an excellent article that ties together a lot of threads I have picked up over the last few months. To sum up, "For all their economic success, China's cities, with their lack of civil society, apocalyptic air pollution, snarling traffic, and suffocating state bureaucracy, are still terrible places to live."

 
China is what happens when industry is allowed to run the show. China's cities are a model of the perfect Libertarian society: freed from the constraints of a restrictive government, China's industries pollute the air, water, and land to a shocking extent. Without government intervention, everything becomes a commodity, including the people. The author describes "smog the color of gargled milk" in one city, and describes another as "a gray Manchurian industrial powerhouse."
 
This is what happens when a government gives free rein to business, without a thought for protecting its people. As a rule, you can either defend business or people, and if you throw all your weight behind business, you end up with cities where the average lifespan is 30, and food adulteration scandals (melamine in baby formula; "soy sauce" made from discarded human hair) are a daily occurrence.

Four wasted years

No more time to waste

The Tea Party has struck fear deeply into Liberal hearts. Instead of gathering in the streets in an unorganized gaggle—beating, raping and robbing each other—while waiting to see who will donate something to eat for dinner; they have been quietly working their rear off. Tea Party giants within the Republican Party have been maneuvering into positions of power and influence within the senate and house. Should the Republicans win the Presidency the balance of power in Congress will favor Conservatives.

Mitt Romney RNC Speech

Romney reminded us about the greatness of America and how important this election is.

I had all but decided that President Obama should be reelected so that he can be given a chance to guide the United States toward a path of prosperity without having to worry about his job security. But watching and listening to this speech by Mitt Romney at the RNC has changed my mind.

Mitt Romney Speech "RNC" Republican National Convention !

Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan at the 2012 RNC

Paul Ryan's roadmap

Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan had a big night giving his speech at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Ryan has laid the foundation for Mitt Romney's much anticipated remarks on Thursday night. But the problem is that as much as conservatives and the Republican party loves him, Ryan has gotten bad press for being responsible for much of the debt load that we are facing right now.

Hugh Hefner gives his two-cents on gay marriage rights

Hefner is a prominent supporter of gay rights.

Another voice has sounded off recently in support of gay marriage rights and the rights of the LGBT community in general - Hugh Hefner.  Contrary to just being the wealthy ladies-man as many might perceive him as, Hefner is actually a prominent supporter of gay rights.  Most people, however, have never really heard him speak out.  Now, in a recent editorial in Playboy Magazine, he decided to put in his two cents about the ongoing gay marriage debates, adding some interesting insight regarding the role of sexual freedom for the LGBT community and how it relates to everyone.

Popcorn butter linked to Alzheimer’s

And other crap news.

The only thing good about bad news is that many of us care enough to fight and change it, and this gives us an opportunity to rally together and do just that. Here are some bad news stories from this week; a couple feature quick ways to help change them, too.

Popcorn butter may cause Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is a disease that is prominent on my radar. I am especially scared of my brain just leaving me like that; I’ve seen it happen and it is terrifying and sad. So when I read that the butter flavoring in popcorn is linked to the disease, my heart sank, since I enjoy popcorn so much. Is nothing yummy safe anymore? The chemical, diacetyl, is also used in carbonated beverages. Double whammy.

Blue blood action

For Team Donkey, that is!

Whether you’re living in a blue state or not, if you’re a Dem, these news stories and action items might be of interest to you. If so, please consider taking action—it only takes a minute!

Tell Akin a thing or two

You probably know about Todd Akin’s “legitimate” rape comment already, but have you told Mr. Akin what his careless words mean to you? Click here to send him a message. And while you’re at it, call on the GOP presidential nominees to denounce these attacks on women and remove them from their entire platform. We’re pretty sick of being referred to as farm animals and it’s about time the political climate reflects that.

What to expect at the Republican National Convention

The stage is set for August 27-30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida

Mitt Romney is expected to show a more personal side in Tampa. Romney is going to use the Republican National Convention to counter claims made by the Obama campaign and their ads which have led the American voters to believe that the Governor is a ruthless businessman.

Romney will make an appearance at the RNC along with his wife, Ann Romney, and their five sons. He will also have 15 of his 18 grandchildren present on this big day. There will be more insights into why Obama is not going to be correct choice for the next four years by his running mate Paul Ryan and the New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

The World in 2030

An enlightening speech by Dr. Michio Kaku

I was watching a video on how the whole concept of science fiction movies was born. I was excited to see Dr. Michio Kaku whom I greatly admire to be in it as well. It was the idea of how George Lucas and the Star Wars saga really took technology and science to a whole new level.

"The World in 2030" by Dr. Michio Kaku

Bill Clinton praises President Obama's economic policies

Clinton states that President Obama has a plan.

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Most Americans are disgruntled with the economy and anything that the media says about a recovery is met with disapproval. This Clinton ad in support of Obama may get a mixed reaction, but it definitely works for the Obama campaign.

The Romney campaign had done a great job in painting a picture to the American public that Bill Clinton and President Obama do not agree on many of the policies being implemented by the Obama administration. The Obama campaign has now made use of Clinton very effectively.

Romney makes more international enemies

The "king of anti-foreign policy" is not popular in China

Mitt Romney is quickly gaining a reputation as the king of anti-foreign policy.  In his effort to become President, he is willing to say whatever he needs to get America behind him.  Unfortunately, this often means blasting other countries with little foresight to what the future of the Presidency would hold for him.  He already managed to make an ass of himself in England with some pre-Olympic remarks.  Now he is miming some anti-Chinese sentiment and pissing off one of the largest economies in the world.

Firstly, he decided he would mock their efforts at a successful space program.  In one speech, he pointed out that China’s desire for a manned moon mission is 43 years behind the times (or rather, behind the U.S.).  China has made amazing progress in the realm of space exploration despite the difficulties imposed upon them by other countries that don’t want to cooperate with them.  They also happen to be very proud of their accomplishments and to insult them on that level by mocking their “backwardness” is worse than clumsy political rhetoric - it’s childlike and blatantly insulting.

Republican anti-abortion fails and the election year

Varied views from Republican candidates

The Republican National Convention is fast approaching and in preparation the platform committee got together to discuss what the party’s views should be this election year.  They decided, among other things, to adopt a Human Life Amendment.  This ‘amendment’ makes a declaration that the party wishes to ban abortion almost completely, expanding the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to include all unborn children, from the moment of conception.  This would effectively make it murder to have an abortion unless the “due process of law” (i.e.: the judgment of wealthy white folks) allowed for it.

Medicare: Who's to blame?

Facts and Logic 18

Facts and Logic 18. The latest buzz-word amongst the candidates is “Medicare.” Who’s trying to abolish it? Who’s trying to make it more difficult to get? Who’s lying about what they’re going to do with it?

Here’s the actual phrase that you will hear from now until November and perhaps points after:

A Republican member of Congress voted to end Medicare as we know it."

This “scare” has especially seen light since Romney’s naming congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate.

Wisconsin representative Ryan, had made a 2010 proposal revamping our current Medicare system. Democrats are saying that his plan forces seniors to pay $6,000 more for their medical care. While this is true, Ryan’s plan in 2010 was to keep traditional Medicare for current beneficiaries until 2023, then new beneficiaries would get a choice between private insurance or traditional Medicare with the government offering a stipend for costs.

Mitt Romney’s camp has also made the claim that Obama’s health law "ended Medicare as we know it."

Mitt Romney: Not releasing taxes because of Mormon tithing

Another lame excuse

Democrats are calling for Mitt Romney to release his 2010 income tax return to the public, but he has yet to do so. As the LA Times and the Washington Post report, Romney’s Mormonism is one of the reasons that Mitt Romney is claiming that he wants to keep his tax records and contributions as private as he possibly can.  

As the Romneys told Parade, the Romneys feel that the tithing that they do to the Mormon Church should be private. Traditionally, Mormons tithe 10 percent of their earnings each year to the Mormon Church. Ann Romney reportedly cries when she sends her 10 percent to the Mormon Church. Mitt feels that his tithing is a personal reflection of his deep commitment to God and his church and admitting how much he tithed “would reveal how much he has given to the Mormon Church.”

Akin to buffoonery

Why Todd Akin’s asinine statement sort of makes me happy

By now you and everyone else in America has probably heard about the ridiculous statement Todd Akin, a representative from Missouri, has made about rape. You can read his vile and, for no better word, stupid statement here; in short, he basically said that if a woman is “legitimately” raped, her body will shut down and not let her get pregnant.

If this is the first time you are reading this, I will pause to allow you to throw something, laugh, cry or call Akin and complain.

Are you back? Now that you know what an idiot Todd Akin is, you might want to note that Kirk Cameron and Steve King (the representative, not to be confused with the author) plenty of Missouri’s General Assembly members are idiots as well, as they continue to endorse him after this horrific remark.

And the remark is horrific, no doubt. It’s not only completely false in the way that a statement like “Humans can stop bleeding by the power of telekinesis if they really want to!” or “Babies can turn into lemurs if given the proper amount of sleep!” is false, it’s also completely demeaning and offensive and hateful to any rape survivor. Whose rape is “legitimate” and whose isn’t, after all?

Filibuster, while Rome burns

The enabling media

In the interest of being fair and balanced, the FOX Network bends over backward to accommodate Democrats, often letting them off the hook without getting any answer to the question they were asked. The Sunday talk shows such as Face the Nation, Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulos pose either softball questions or become involved in carrying water for the Democratic party. The problem is simple. The President of the United States has set an example that his party members follow to the letter; he filibusters.

Mitt Romney’s faith

Why doesn't Mitt Romney seize the narrative on the whole tax returns issue?

Mitt Romney released his tax returns for 2010 and 2011. In the two years, he made about $42 million and paid about 14.3 percent in taxes to Uncle Sam and 16 percent in charity. Forget about the tax rates, if we look at the total amount of taxes that Mitt Romney paid it is going to be a pretty large sum.

Why doesn’t he bring this up? Instead he just politely declines to talk too much about how much he tithes to his church and his charitable contributions. He did mention that he paid at least 13 percent in taxes over the last decade. This is a considerable rate and so the Obama campaign can’t really attack him on that.

The Hunger Games – A ‘fun’ way to get educated

The Hunger Games are Amazon’s top selling books of all-time.

That is right! The Hunger Games are more popular than the Harry Potter series or 50 Shades of Grey. Additionally, even Mitt Romney and Missy Franklin are fans of the Hunger Games. A Romney aide describes how Governor Romney settles down by reading the Hunger Games after a hard day on the campaign trail.

The aide went onto say that it was one of Mitt Romney’s fun books. It was funny that she would say that because the Hunger Games are anything but fun. It is about a time in America’s future where the children are fighting with each other over resources. It seems to be similar to Congress nowadays.

The Presidential Election

Who to vote for at this point?

The Presidential Election is in November and I am going to revisit this post when we get closer to the date. But for now, after absorbing everything about both candidates what would I do?

I think the best way to go about it is to look at the weaknesses and strengths of both candidates. Even as I am writing this up, I am wondering to myself how many people are really going to research and make an informed decision. I was just watching on TV about how the state of Pennsylvania is going to ask for voter ID before an individual can cast their vote.

This call for a photo ID could result in a victory for the Republicans in Pennsylvania for the simple reason that Romney supporters are more likely to have a voter ID to present to the officials. In other words, there are people out – a lot of them – who approach voting as an economic cost. And who can blame them?

But I am guessing if you have been reading this blog, you probably are fairly well educated and won't approach voting as an economic cost. So it’s your job to do what I am about to tell you as a free market voter and then tell as many people as you can. Here it goes.

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