Wednesday, July 31, 2013

When Feces is Truly Feces

Have I ever mentioned that the Houston Chronicle's Nick Anderson is a really smart guy?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

What to do With the "Hitler Bell?"

There has been a dust-up in the remote Austrian village of Wolfpassing this week where the castle that has ruled the skyline of the village for centuries, Wolfpassing Schloss, has been sold to Tobias Hufnagl, an Austrian entrepreneur, castle, guts, feathers and bell.
The bell, ensconced in the belfry of the castle, was placed there 80 years ago by Austrian fanatics of Adolf Hitler who had just annexed the entire country of Austria in 1938. Dubbed by some the "Hitler Bell," it has been ringing out its daily message to Wolfpassing inhabitants every day for 80 years.
And now, with the sale of the castle, the existence of the bell has resurfaced in the public eye. It bears the name of Adolf Hitler and the year 1939 when it was first emplaced.
The bell has become something of an embarrassment for the village, and for good reason: those who knew of its existence were embarrassed by all the hoopla, with everyone looking around at each other, each knowing the truth, but none willing to admit to it.
So what to do?
The senior official of Vienna's Jewish community, Raimund Fastenbauer, says "I think the best thing would be if the bell disappeared and was buried somewhere." No one else apparently has an opinion other than the government agency who oversaw the castle's sale, who said that "the sale was legal, along with the decision to keep the bell in the belfry as an integral component of the castle."
The buyer has "'no interest' in exchanges with the AP [press]."
I have a final solution.
Crate the bell up and give it to the King Street Patriots.
If there is a political group that needs to ring this bell, it should be this particular group of hatemongers.
Adolf would be proud. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

We Asked for a Miracle and God Gave Us Steve King

Things are looking up in red, red, Texas.
In 2010 we looked to the burgeoning Hispanic population in Texas to finally tip the scales over to the Democrats so that we can begin to retake the state at the top, with a gubernatorial victory. Well, because of two things that didn't happen: Hispanics were nowhere to be seen in 2010, and TEA baggers flooded the polls.
Result: we are in a real fix. TEApublicans used the decennially mandated redistricting to shore up their hold on state government control, not only in Texas but nationwide, and now we have complete catatonia in government. No one can do a thing, seemingly, to stop it.
Enter Congressman Steve King and all of his ilk.
Steve King went on record the other day to compare the one high school valedictorian that Dreamers produce to the "100 out there who weigh 130 pounds -- and they've got calves the size of cantaloupes because they've been hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert."
This statistic, a 100 to 1 ratio of 100 cantaloupe-calved-smuggler dreamers to 1 valedictorian dreamer is complete fabrication. King hasn't a single solitary fact to support this broad assertion. But bringing cantaloupes into the conversation was utter genious.
He couldn't have made Hispanics any angrier. Univision, a really big Spanish language television network here in the States was all over this like...well... like blanco sur arroz. Their commentary has been steady and vitriolic.
So now we awaken a sleeping giant. The Hispanic community, who can do to Texas what no other group has been able to do: turn it from a red state to a battleground state.
Because the Alamo isn't the only battleground there is in Texas. And this time we are going to win one. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Oh SNAP! Republicans Rake in $$$ and Let the Poor Go Without

“Are there no workhouses?” These might as well be the words of 14 Republican congresscreeps who voted for themselves to reap thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars in government farm subsidies, but not before they voted to separate farm subsidies from  SNAP, the federal food stamp assistance program. The two are traditionally included in the same bill.
From the Rep George Miller (D – CA) Pork Barrel Report:
"The 14 Republican members of Congress who voted for the FARRM Act and personally receive government subsidies have received an average of $515,279 in benefits, according to a database maintained by the Environmental Working Group."
Among these 14 is the Texas Republican congressman that I love to hate: millionaire Congressman Blake “Poses With Minors in His PJs” Farenthold. Farenthold, a darling of the TEA Party, personally pocketed over 1 large in taxpayer money, yet voted to take formula from babies' mouths.
There he is at a lingerie party. The child at the far left, with an “M” on her hand is a minor.
Texas Republican congressmen fill me with the urge to aspirate vomitus.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Presidents Don't Have to Explain All this, But He Did Anyway

I wasn’t able to see President Obama address the country on the state of race in American in the wake of the Trayvon Martin decision. Many hotheads have interpreted his comments as ones to foment rioting in the streets.
These are the ramblings of racists and people who think like George Zimmerman.
Did I mention that George Zimmerman is not a man at all but a boy with a gun, an ego, and a racist ideology?
So I thought it was appropriate to put the president’s words on the blog – the ones that dealt directly with his take on race and racism in America, how the black community views recent events, and what he and we are going to do about all of this.
Did I mention that we have a very smart man in the White House now?
You know, when Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. Another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago. And when you think about why, in the African- American community at least, there’s a lot of pain around what happened here, I think it’s important to recognize that the African- American community is looking at this issue through a set of experiences and a history that -- that doesn’t go away.

There are very few African-American men in this country who haven’t had the experience of being followed when they were shopping in a department store. That includes me.

And there are very few African-American men who haven’t had the experience of walking across the street and hearing the locks click on the doors of cars. That happens to me, at least before I was a senator. There are very few African-Americans who haven’t had the experience of getting on an elevator and a woman clutching her purse nervously and holding her breath until she had a chance to get off. That happens often.

And you know, I don’t want to exaggerate this, but those sets of experiences inform how the African-American community interprets what happened one night in Florida. And it’s inescapable for people to bring those experiences to bear.

The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.

Now, this isn’t to say that the African-American community is naive about the fact that African-American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system, that they are disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence. It’s not to make excuses for that fact, although black folks do interpret the reasons for that in a historical context.

The African-American community is also knowledgeable that there is a history of racial disparities in the application of our criminal laws, everything from the death penalty to enforcement of our drug laws. And that ends up having an impact in terms of how people interpret the case.
We understand that some of the violence that takes place in poor black neighborhoods around the country is born out of a very violent past in this country, and that the poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities can be traced to a very difficult history.

And so the fact that sometimes that’s unacknowledged adds to the frustration. And the fact that a lot of African-American boys are painted with a broad brush and the excuse is given, well, there are these statistics out there that show that African-American boys are more violent -- using that as an excuse to then see sons treated differently causes pain.

I think the African-American community is also not naive in understanding that statistically somebody like Trayvon Martin was probably statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else.

So -- so folks understand the challenges that exist for African- American boys, but they get frustrated, I think, if they feel that there’s no context for it or -- and that context is being denied. And -- and that all contributes, I think, to a sense that if a white male teen was involved in the same kind of scenario, that, from top to bottom, both the outcome and the aftermath might have been different.

Now, the question for me at least, and I think, for a lot of folks is, where do we take this? How do we learn some lessons from this and move in a positive direction? You know, I think it’s understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family.

But beyond protests or vigils, the question is, are there some concrete things that we might be able to do? I know that Eric Holder is reviewing what happened down there, but I think it’s important for people to have some clear expectations here. Traditionally, these are issues of state and local government -- the criminal code. And law enforcement has traditionally done it at the state and local levels, not at the federal levels.

That doesn’t mean, though, that as a nation, we can’t do some things that I think would be productive. So let me just give a couple of specifics that I’m still bouncing around with my staff so we’re not rolling out some five-point plan, but some areas where I think all of us could potentially focus.

Number one, precisely because law enforcement is often determined at the state and local level, I think it’d be productive for the Justice Department -- governors, mayors to work with law enforcement about training at the state and local levels in order to reduce the kind of mistrust in the system that sometimes currently exists.

You know, when I was in Illinois I passed racial profiling legislation. And it actually did just two simple things. One, it collected data on traffic stops and the race of the person who was stopped. But the other thing was it resourced us training police departments across the state on how to think about potential racial bias and ways to further professionalize what they were doing.

And initially, the police departments across the state were resistant, but actually they came to recognize that if it was done in a fair, straightforward way, that it would allow them to do their jobs better and communities would have more confidence in them and in turn be more helpful in applying the law. And obviously law enforcement’s got a very tough job.

So that’s one area where I think there are a lot of resources and best practices that could be brought bear if state and local governments are receptive. And I think a lot of them would be. And -- and let’s figure out other ways for us to push out that kind of training.

Along the same lines, I think it would be useful for us to examine some state and local laws to see if it -- if they are designed in such a way that they may encourage the kinds of altercations and confrontations and tragedies that we saw in the Florida case, rather than defuse potential altercations.

I know that there’s been commentary about the fact that the stand your ground laws in Florida were not used as a defense in the case.

On the other hand, if we’re sending a message as a society in our communities that someone who is armed potentially has the right to use those firearms even if there’s a way for them to exit from a situation, is that really going to be contributing to the kind of peace and security and order that we’d like to see?

And for those who resist that idea that we should think about something like these “stand your ground” laws, I just ask people to consider if Trayvon Martin was of age and armed, could he have stood his ground on that sidewalk? And do we actually think that he would have been justified in shooting Mr. Zimmerman, who had followed him in a car, because he felt threatened? And if the answer to that question is at least ambiguous, it seems to me that we might want to examine those kinds of laws.

Number three -- and this is a long-term project: We need to spend some time in thinking about how do we bolster and reinforce our African-American boys? And this is something that Michelle and I talk a lot about. There are a lot of kids out there who need help who are getting a lot of negative reinforcement. And is there more that we can do to give them the sense that their country cares about them and values them and is willing to invest in them?

And there are a lot of good programs that are being done across the country on this front. And for us to be able to gather together business leaders and local elected officials and clergy and celebrities and athletes and figure out how are we doing a better job helping young African-American men feel that they’re a full part of this society and that -- and that they’ve got pathways and avenues to succeed -- you know, I think that would be a pretty good outcome from what was obviously a tragic situation. And we’re going to spend some time working on that and thinking about that.

And then finally, I think it’s going to be important for all of us to do some soul-searching. You know, there have been talk about should we convene a conversation on race. I haven’t seen that be particularly productive when politicians try to organize conversations. They end up being stilted and politicized, and folks are locked into the positions they already have.

On the other hand, in families and churches and workplaces, there’s a possibility that people are a little bit more honest, and at least you ask yourself your own questions about, am I wringing as much bias out of myself as I can; am I judging people, as much as I can, based on not the color of their skin but the content of their character? That would, I think, be an appropriate exercise in the wake of this tragedy.

And let me just leave you with -- with a final thought, that as difficult and challenging as this whole episode has been for a lot of people, I don’t want us to lose sight that things are getting better. Each successive generation seems to be making progress in changing attitudes when it comes to race. I doesn’t mean that we’re in a postracial society. It doesn’t mean that racism is eliminated. But you know, when I talk to Malia and Sasha and I listen to their friends and I see them interact, they’re better than we are. They’re better than we were on these issues. And that’s true in every community that I’ve visited all across the country.

And so, you know, we have to be vigilant and we have to work on these issues, and those of us in authority should be doing everything we can to encourage the better angels of our nature as opposed to using these episodes to heighten divisions. But we should also have confidence that kids these days I think have more sense than we did back then, and certainly more than our parents did or our grandparents did, and that along this long, difficult journey, you know, we’re becoming a more perfect union -- not a perfect union, but a more perfect union.
Remarkable, huh? Unbelievably strong words. Presidents don't have to explain all this, but he did anyway

Monday, July 22, 2013

God's Laundry List

God apparently has a laundry list. He has a list of His picks for president, it seems, and if you aren't on that list then, well you might as well be a biracial man whose father was born in Kenya: out of luck and out of time.
God has His own picks for president, and Barack Obama appears nowhere on it. Instead he has, by their own admission, three individuals who are destined to serve in the White House: Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and now . . . wait for it . . . Ted Cruz.
How comforted the conservative evangelical wing of the Republican Party must feel.
Michele Bachmann, now, told her audiences that God the Father was "calling her" to run for President of the United States. The assumption in all of that was that God does not call losers. He doesn't abide losers just as He did not allow David to lose against Goliath, or allow Joshua to let the inhabitants of Jericho to have their way with him from their high, high walls.
Then Rick Perry, at nearly the same time, assured his audiences that God was calling him to run.
Now neither Rick Perry nor Michele Bachman ever polled higher numbers than high single digits for more than a week except once for Perry . . . once . . . before his "Oops" comment.
But now we have another early leader in the GOP primary for POTUS in 2016, and it is none other than Ted Cruz, because Rafael Cruz, Ted's dad, has it from the Highest Source that his son will be the next president. From Politico:
“I would just say, ‘You know Ted, you have been gifted above any man that I know and God has destined you for greatness,’” he said in an exclusive interview with CBN Chief Political Correspondent David Brody.
Now I'm not one to rate the Almighty's own odds of being actually correct in picking the winners in a political race, He is, as you may know, both omnipotent and omniscient. And I am sure that both Rick and Michele had this in mind when they both predicted their own pre-ordained victories. But really, given His track record, either one thing or the other is true: 1) God sucks at odds-making, or 2) these charlatans need to come up with another line to feed their Kool-Aid slurping TEA Party religious yahoos.
If Ted Cruz can be President of the United States, boy have I got a prayer cloth to sell you. 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dead Wrong

I've had some really stupid commenters saying some really inane things about the Trayvon Martin case. Just know this: you are on the wrong side of history on this one.

Dead wrong.

Making Trayvon's Sacrifice Count

Some would say that Trayvon Martin died for nothing now that his killer, Georgie "Don't Hit Me" Zimmerman has been cleared by a Florida jury of all wrongdoing. Some would say it, and some Republican talking heads are saying exactly that.
As a matter of fact, some of the more extreme of their ilk are letting this decision - by southern jurors in a southern courtroom - allow them to go one step further and turn back the clock so far as to return to uttering the hated n-words in all their various forms.
That's going to happen.
But what makes me glad inside is to see and hear about the countless Rallies for Trayvon going on from coast to coast, and to see that very precise goals are being developed to change the way things are now forever.
At Trayvon rallies they are registering new voters.
That's right. Republicans are rather sparse at these rallies, so you can bet that these new voters are not going to be of the mindset of people that let George Zimmerman walk out a free man. They are going to vote in city elections, county elections and state elections. Just as in 2008 and 2012 when we brought about change from above, we are going to foment change from below by registering the righteously outraged who know what the real target is for real change: state and local politics and elections.
They matter most, and now maybe the people who care most about freedom and equality will know what to do and where to go to get real change to happen.
Change that will not allow another Trayvon to happen again in America.
That isn't worth Trayvon dying for, but it sure is a whole lot better than allowing Republican racists to gloat about the worst trial decision since OJ.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Justice for Trayvon

Today the country is severed into two camps: "creepy-a** crackers" who are whooping it up as George Zimmerman walks out a free man  having been found innocent of all wrong-doing in the Trayvon Martin murder case, and those of us who are truly shocked and numbed, supporters of human rights including the basic right to safety and security in their own neighborhood.
Not only was George Zimmerman found not guilty of 2nd degree murder - a reach by anyone's measure of human behavior - he was found innocent of manslaughter.
The 6-woman jury found that a man who openly admitted killing an unarmed man with a firearm was also innocent of manslaughter. This is the ultimate in insults.
But more insulting are the warnings from local Florida sheriffs who point out that demonstrations of outrage against this heinous decision shall be met head on.
A singular message to people that it is now open-season on anyone who looks even the least bit suspicious.
Use a gun, get away with it. The message is clear.
We need to fix this. We need justice for Trayvon Martin and his family. We need the Department of Justice to step in here and do the right thing: file charges against George Zimmerman that he denied Trayvon Martin of his right to life, and did so with the prejudice of a man fraught with racist notions.
The proof is everywhere.
It makes the OJ Simpson case look iffy.
If you are of a mind, sign the petition to the federal government to take action against a man who killed a boy who, in Barack Obama's own words, would have "looked like my son."
You can sign a petition to the DOJ here (Move-on's) or here (NAACP's). The latter is hard to log on to though because of very heavy traffic.
300,000 people in Florida have already beaten you to the punch.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Glass-Steagall IV

It seems improbable given the events at the end of the Bush Regime, that efforts to restore the conditions that prevented an implosion of America's financial system are being opposed by anyone, but that is exactly what has happened here in America since the Great Recession.

The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 laid the groundwork for massive fraud and malfeasance by the high-rollers working inside the corporate giants of the financial sector. Millions lost their jobs, millions lost their nest eggs, and thousands made a killing along the fall.

Two previous efforts to restore Glass-Steagall protections have failed to pass congress, a failure completely caused by these self-same financial giants.

So here we go again. Senator Maria Cantwell, along with Elizabeth Warren, John McCain and Angus King have filed their 3rd attempt to restore Glass-Steagall protections.

"The legislation introduced today would separate traditional banks that have savings and checking accounts and are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from riskier financial institutions that offer services such as investment banking, insurance, swaps dealing, and hedge fund and private equity activities."
It seems a no-brainer to pass this legislation but it will be fought tooth and nail by the finance weenies who used the present corrupted system to enrich themselves and impoverish the rest of us.

Now there will be no Wendy Davis to stand up with in DC over this, but this is every bit as important as standing up for a woman's right to choose in Texas. It affects us all. The question is, will we have what it takes to get this one passed this time? We couldn't do it with the TEA Party so entrenched in congress - something hugely ironic since it is this very issue that got the TEA Partiers elected in 2010.
While I love a good irony story, I would rather this story not exist. The TEA Party is about what is all what is wrong with America, and it shows its true colors when asked to right the very wrongs that the TEA mob sent them there to for.

Friday, July 12, 2013

On Stealing Elections

News Item: "Democratic House candidates combined to win about 1.4 million more votes than Republicans."
Any attempt that Democrats make to win a majority in Congress must, because of gerrymandering in 2010-2011, be accomplished by winning districts by supermajorities. To get a 50-50 House, we need to nationwide Democratic vote of 55% over a Republican 45%.
That's politics in America in the 21st century.
Toonpalooza follows:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It’s Not About Women

You know, the reality is that the Republican “War on Women” is rhetorical nonsense. Yes, Republican men have issues with their world view on women, and yes, the Republican Party is becoming less and less attractive to women voters, but I am here to put forth that women should not take all of these frontal assaults on their health and well-being personally, because it isn’t personal…it’s politics.
In actual fact, the “Republican War on Women” is nothing more than political pandering to the right-wing evangelicals amongst them. People who don’t care about the economy – they have money – don’t care about unemployment – they have jobs – but dearly care about what they read in their Bibles and how they and their pastors interpret those words so that they make sense in the 21st century.
Republicans couldn’t care less about a woman’s vagina. They do care about power and about how to remain in power in the face of a growing Democratic majority.
So we have created this drama where Republicans feign a concern for a poor pregnant woman’s health and safety in a clinic that offers abortion services, and where women feign moral outrage at what they are doing to the availability of health services and an adequate number of reproductive choices
The latter is a very compelling argument, but falls on its face because, when it comes down to it, Republicans don’t care a whit about women’s health. They care about retaining power.
Maybe I give these people more credit than they are due, but the writing on the wall is sure and certain for the future of HB 2 which will be passed by the Senate by Friday this week and sent to Governor Perry’s desk to be signed into law: key provisions of it will be overturned in federal court, as has already happened in several states of both northern and southern persuasion.
The remedy (anti-choice legislation) so blatantly does not fit the illness (unwanted pregnancies), as observed time and time again by federal judges. No, my guess is that most of these legislators who are for HB 2 know full-well that it will eventually be overturned in federal court.
A win-win situation for them.
They can say to their evangelicals that they did what was asked, and gosh darn it the godless liberal federal judges stopped them from doing God’s Work.
Democrats can say whatever they want about why Republicans are concentrating on these issues rather than unemployment and the economy, can drum up any rhetoric they want to, but there is only one truth here: Republicans want to stay in power and this is their only perceived vehicle to accomplish this goal.
Ultimately, it’s about power. It’s not about women.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Now if It Were Her 2nd Amendment Rights

Sarah Slamen is a young woman who showed the Texas legislature, and all of Texas, what it means to be a woman in Texas today. Ms. Slamen stood before the Texas Senate and told them exactly what she thought of them, giving them no wiggle room.
She called them on their dramas.
It was pretty eloquent, up to the point, that is, where she was hauled off by three very large DPS officers who were ordered to remove this person, who was merely exercising her 2nd Amendment rights.

Because in Texas, we take our 2nd Amendment rights right seriously, don't we? mean that the article of the bill of rights that deals with freedom of speech, thought and expression is not the 2nd Amendment? The way Texans have fits about preserving their 2nd Amendment rights, you'd think it was all about this most basic of human rights. But it's not, is it.
So Sarah Slamen got hauled off the podium for exercising her right to free speech, having not yelled "Fire" in a theater, and we don't get to hear what she had to say in her final minute of allotted freedom.
Now had it been her 2nd Amendment rights she was exercising, maybe the outcome would have been a little different.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

What, Me Perry?

Even as the Republicans in the Texas state legislature endeavor to persist in passing one of the most brutal assaults on women’s health in the country, the leader and instigator of this heinous act is jumping ship. True to his promise, Rick Perry announced this week that he would not seek a fourth term as governor of Texas.
Not that anyone thought he had a chance of a gnat in a hailstorm of winning next year.
But while this was a scheduled announcement, I do wonder at the coincidence of his announcement and the concurrent revelation that Rick Perry’s sister, Milla Perry Jones, is vice-president of government affairs (read state government) for United Surgical Partners International (International, but based in Addison, Texas) and also serves on the board of the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center Society.
United Surgical Partners International would be operating one of the five remaining clinics in Texas that could offer abortion services under HB 2 / SB 1, the anti-choice bill now being considered in Perry’s 2nd special legislative session.
In short, Milla Perry Jones and her colleagues are set to reap huge rewards as Texas trims back its 42 health clinics that currently offer abortion services to 5, one of which, by some astounding coincidence is the self-same United Surgical Partners International.
Not a bad move, monopoly-wise.
In any given monopoly, those who survive are able to jack up their prices. Poor Texas women don’t actually face a higher hurdle to leap over should they require abortion services – having to drive hundreds of miles to have the procedure. They also have to pay more for the honor.
Making legal abortion in ambulatory clinics such as the one Milla runs a boutique procedure reserved for the well-to-do.
A truly Libertarian Paradise.
And totally legal.
Just odiferous to the highest degree.
Perry claims that he will be considering his options as he vacates the governorship. I’ll bet he will. I just hope that he numbers his options at no greater than two – the same number of options he is affording Texas’ women during their reproductive years. Because if there are more than two he is likely to forget what those others would be.

Monday, July 08, 2013

Ted Cruz' Daddy Made Him What He Is

Students, who is responsible for this quotation: "History is a fable agreed upon."
Give up?
Napoleon Bonaparte said that.
He should know.
But the history quote that I really like comes from my favorite author, Dan Brown, who incidentally preceded his citation of Bonaparte in his greatest novel "The Da Vinci Code:"

"History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books-books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe."
Why bring all this up? Republicans, naturally. Republicans continue to rewrite history whenever the need emerges. Take for instance a recent speech by Ted Cruz's father, Raphael, to a gullible audience of billionaire supported (Freedomworks) TEAbaggers the other day when he described how his son was rendered the ultra-conservative freedom-loving patriot that he claims to be.
"'When my son was 8-9 years old, our conversations around the dinner table centered around politics every day,' the elder Cruz said. 'I remember, over and over, I would ask him, ‘You know Ted, when I face oppression in Cuba, I had a place to come to. If we lose our freedoms here, where are we going to go?’ There is no place to go, this is the bastion of freedom in the world. This is why we have to fight to protect the freedom we have.'"
Touching, huh?
And this is why he compares President Obama's acts and policies to those of the evil dictator, Fidel Castro, whose country he fled.
Except for the fact that Raphael Cruz fought for Fidel Castro, was captured and held in prison by Batista's forces, then released. He emigrated to the US on a forged exit visa (courtesy of a bribed Batista official). THEN Fidel Castro took power. The only oppression Raphael Cruz "faced" was that of the Batista government - which he bribed to escape.
The evils of the evil dictator did not emerge until well-after Cruz's daddy was in the US, including seizure of church properties and American industrial interests.
Cruz' father decried the practices of Castro, comparing them to Obama's. But last time I looked, the Catholic church still has holdings in America, and the properties of American businesses have not been seized.
I know, Ted, I know. All in due time. 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Dad Gummit...No AR-15 for the Halfster

Dad gummit. The results of the Steve Stockman drawing for a free man-killing AR-15 semi-automatic rifle are in and Half Empty did not win.
Dad gummit.
God bless a milk cow.
Recall that a couple of months ago, with a renewed call for stricter background checks for purchasers of man-killing guns, Congressman Steve Stockman (R - Gunnut) got himself an AR-15 Bushmaster, the same gun that took the lives of 26 schoolchildren and their teachers at Sandyhook, and put it up for a drawing.
All you had to do was sign up. He would do the rest.
Well on Independence Day the drawing was held and I did not win.
Recall that should I have won the object was to break the gun down to its elemental parts - down to every bolt, barrel and spring - and toss it all into the Brazos River.
Well that's not going to happen now. All I got for my trouble is a place on Steve Stockman's email list as evidenced below from his email to me personally (because he called me by my middle name: "patriot"). I reproduce it below without comment or correction. It's funnier that way as you will see.

Dear Patriot,
I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to the nearly 100,000 participants in a special sweepstakes for an AR-15. 
The winning number was drawn on Independence Day in Lumberton, Texas. 
The lucky winner has been notified, and pending verification will be presented with the firearm in the coming days.
If the Minute Men were around today, I believe they would be carrying a rifle resembling the AR-15. 
I refer to such firearms as the torch, or symbol, of freedom.
In Washington, where I am honored to serve as a representative in Congress, anti-gunners are clamoring to restrict your right to keep and bear arms. 
They forget that their “just powers” are derived from the “consent of the governed.”
That’s why it’s so important for you, the voter, to stay active in the political battles. 
And that’s the real reason I gave away an AR-15 rifle. 
I want as many people as possible to be involved in the political process, to be aware of what’s happening to our liberty. 
If it takes giving away a rifle to get more people in involved, then I’ll do it.
Protecting our constitutional rights is what is needed more than ever. 
America is great because of the foundation laid more than 230 years ago. 
If that foundation is destroyed, America will cease to be great. 
It’s as simple as that.
I hope that you agree, and that you will stand with me in this fight for the Constitution and the Second Amendment.
If you can provide financial support, thank you so much. 
Gun grabbers would happy if I were defeated, so I rely on individuals like you for support.
If you’re able to contribute $15, $25, $100, or even more, please click here.[OK, I removed the hypertext. Shoot me]
But I also know these are tough economic times for many.  So even if you can’t afford to give right now, please stay active. 
I send out frequent updates on legislation, which you can forward to your friends and get even more people active in politics.
Below is a video of the drawing.  Please stay tuned for our next offer, which will be announced soon!
I am waiting with bated breath to discover what Stockman's next offering will be. Barack Obama's official witch doctor bone rattle? A perfectly preserved uterus encased in an acrylic block? His own personal chest X-ray revealing the absence of his cold, cold heart? A sample of the fried grits that occupy the spaces between his ears?
I can hardly wait.