Thursday, April 28, 2011

Still Not Satisfied And Likely Never Will Be

Wow, I go out of town for business and look what happens.

Barack Obama finally jumps through the hoops that the birthers want him to and obtains and then releases his long form birth certificate from the state of Hawaii and as I suspected, they still aren't satisfied. Some look for some unseen editing of the released document in order to discredit it while others just move on to the next controversy (yes Donald I'm talking about you), Obama's grades and his acceptance to Harvard Law School.

I guess at this point maybe we should be asking these idiots to just admit the obvious, no matter what Obama does he will never be able to provide what these folks want...someone with white skin in the oval office.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Governor Daugaard: Dream Big!...Flip Burgers

You really have to love it. While my daughter laments the loss of the one program that she loves here in Canistota because of his budget cuts, her school will no longer have any art classes, our illustrious Governor tells a room full of high school seniors to dream big.

Going forward my kids will have limited choices in advanced math and science, a foreign languages department consisting of a choice between Spanish or Spanish, and maybe Spanish, and no arts at all. Quite the ammunition for achieving those big dreams isn't it?

I did hear that McDonald's is hiring though and on our current path that will be about all our schools will be preparing our kids to do.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Article All Birthers Should Read And Understand...But Won't

The AP published an article today dealing with the controversy over where Barack Obama was born and it should be required reading for birthers everywhere. Nothing written there is new, but it does do a decent job of putting everything into one place for those really wanting to understand the issue.

In it they document much of the information already available and public like his certificate of live birth, the birth announcements from August 1961 in 2 different Hawaiian newspapers, and the statements from former Republican Governor Linda Lingle and various Hawaii Department of Health officials certifying Obama's birth information. But as evident by the continuing controversy, none of that is enough for those believing the President is not a natural born US citizen.

All that makes one wonder, what more do they want? The answer to me is obvious, they want what they know they can't have, Obama's long form birth certificate. (emphasis mine)
What the would-be sleuths won't find is Obama's "long-form birth certificate," a confidential one-page document containing his original birth records kept on file in the first floor of the Department of Health.

Those original birth records typically include additional birth details, such as the hospital and delivering doctor, said Dr. Chiyome Fukino, the state's former health director who twice looked at and publicly confirmed Obama's original long-form birth records.

But those documents are state government property that can't be released to anyone, even the president himself, said Joshua Wisch, special assistant to the state attorney general. Obama would be able to inspect his birth records if he visited the Health Department in person, but original records of live birth are never released, he said.
So instead of accepting the same evidence any other candidate for higher office is required to produce they base their contentions on something that they know will never be made public. At this point one can only surmise that they stick to this not because they really believe that Obama is foreign born but because they need to latch on to any reason they can to dismiss his Presidency. Some will of course say that that stubbornness is racially motivated but no matter what the reason, it has become a rallying cry for the far right and a talking point for any candidate wanting their support.

Big picture will this or any evidence for that matter satisfy most of those that subscribe to this heavily debunked issue? I doubt it as many of these same folks think Donald Trump or Sarah Palin would make a good president so their overall judgement is quite suspect to begin with...but we can always hope.

The Congressional Record Is Apparently Written With Invisible Ink

Not long ago Arizona Republican Senator Jon Kyl stood before the Senate and blatantly lied when the Senate was debating cutting funding for Planned Parenthood in this year's budget. Kyl is on video saying that abortions comprised 90% of their services and used that stat to justify his belief that the funding for that organization should be cut.

Of course it didn't take long for Kyl to be called on that outright falsehood, they actually comprise 3% of what PP does, and he initially tried to explain it away by saying that the statement wasn't meant to be factual, more BS. Since that obviously didn't work, he has decided to take a different route.

He just rewrote the Congressional record.
On April 8, Kyl said that, "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that's well over 90 percent of what Planned Parenthood does." Following the change, the Congressional Record now reads, "If you want an abortion you go to Planned Parenthood and that is what Planned Parenthood does."

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Sharia Paranoia

At least Chuck Norris attempted to give examples to explain his Sharia law paranoia, wrong examples, but examples just the same...

Mother Jones has collected a series of quotes from officials, many of whom have sponsored anti-Sharia legislation across the country (South Dakota included), and it would seem to be quite telling:

North Carolina
Rep. Verla Insko asked [State Rep. George] Cleveland twice for an example of a case that would show a need for the bill. "I do not have any specific examples off the top of my head," Cleveland finally replied.
Missouri yesterday
[State Rep. Jamilah] Nasheed called on [State Rep. Paul] Curtman to provide a list of cases in which international law had been used in American courts but Curtman was unable to provide an example of such a case.
Missouri in March:
"I don't have the specifics with me right now but if you go to—the web address kind of escapes my mind right now. Any Google search on international law used in the state courts in the U.S. is going to turn up some cases for you."

Alabama last month:
[State Sen. Gerald] Allen could not readily define Shariah in an interview Thursday. "I don't have my file in front of me," he said.
Georgia in February:
[State Rep. Mike Jacobs] acknowledged that he was not aware of any instances in Georgia where a plaintiff or defendant asked the court to apply Sharia law but believes it has happened elsewhere.
Alaska in March:
In a hearing before the House State Affairs Committee, [State Rep. Carl] Gatto's chief of staff, Karen Sawyer, said Sharia is an example of the type of transnational law that has appeared in family law, divorce and child custody cases nationally, though she knows of [no] instances of it appearing in Alaska courts.
South Carolina on Wednesday:
None of the senators nor Kevin A. Hall, a Columbia attorney who testified in support of the bill, were aware of any examples in South Carolina where courts upheld sharia law over the U.S. Constitution.
South Dakota in February:
[I]n testimony this week, proponents of a Sharia ban could not produce a single South Dakota case in which Islamic law had been a problem."
Oklahoma last November:
Mr. Boughton acknowledged that he did not know of an instance in which Shariah law had been invoked by the courts.
Notice a pattern?

Backups Are A Good Thing

Running various Wordpress blogs for over 5 years I have never had just one or 2 posts disappear due to "technical difficulties" but over at the War College it is happening with increasing frequency. Heck their post on having technical difficulties apparently had "technical difficulties". The latest post to vanish into thin air was an interesting piece on how paying taxes isn't patriotic.

So being the good Blogosphere neighbor that I am, I have reposted that article in its entirety here without comment so that the War College "team" can copy and repost it over at their site (once they do I will be happy to have technical difficulties delete it here). Backups are a wonderful invention for when you have those "technical issues".

Also in the future, if you War College folks have sudden technical difficulties let me know. Heck if you want some of the posts that PP deleted before leaving, I will be more than happy to hook you up on that as well. Of course if your technical difficulty was you didn't want to own up to your post I will delete too(with a note here of course), just drop me a line guys...

Paying Taxes Is NOT Patriotic
by TC at AC
Apr 21, 2011
Taxes were due on Monday, and yet again, the only things certain in life continue to be, death and taxes.
Liberals seem to think that paying taxes is somehow patriotic. During the 2008 Presidential campaign, VP Joe Biden said that it was patriotic for the wealthy to pay taxes, and Cory over at the Madville Times highlights an article in which a random blogger seems to think that paying taxes is patriotic as well; they seem to think that paying taxes is somehow essential to being able to continue to enjoy the quality of life that we do.

It’s Tax Day again, and as usual, people across the country are complaining about paying their taxes. Taxes are portrayed as being restrictively high, as an outrageously heavy burden, as the government’s stranglehold around our necks. But this is patently misleading and because we pay so little in taxes, we are being threatened with losing much that we hold dear.
How many things in our lives are provided, through the government, by our tax dollars? Our roads and sewers, the mail, parks and recreation areas from National Parks down to city playgrounds, the police and fire departments, the 911 emergency system, schools from primary up to our public universities, the list goes on and on. Our taxes pay to ensure we have safe food to eat, pure water to drink and clean air to breath.  They pay for the military, the state department and the FBI in order to keep us safe from threats both foreign and domestic. Just as importantly, our taxes help to provide a social safety net for each and every one of us. If we lose our jobs, if we become sick, when we retire, there will be at least some level of support for us if and when we can no longer support ourselves. This is what our taxes pay for. This is our responsibility for living in a first world country.
To me it’s simple: paying taxes is patriotic. Sure, no one likes to give their money away, but whoever said being patriotic should be easy? If we want to live in a great country, a safe and secure country, a country that takes care of it’s people, educates them and keeps them healthy, then we all need to be willing to pay for it. It’s our civic responsibility.
If you believe taxes are patriotic, I’ve got some ocean front property in western South Dakota I want to sell you.
The quality of life that we enjoy is not dependent on any taxes that we pay; private organizations and private citizens are extremely sufficient in being able to provide the services that we expect.
Don’t believe me? We have prime examples of private toll roads, which in some instances have proven to be more effective than public roads; we have private examples of sewer systems too in the septic tank systems that exist across rural South Dakota. Numerous examples exist of private parks open to the public, and in a growing trend across the country, private parks and gardens are becoming more frequent. One of the prime reasons we have the National Park system in the form that we do today is because Yellowstone Park (the first true national park) was created as a national park because no resources existed at a state level to administer it (Yellowstone was created in 1872, while Wyoming achieved statehood in 1890). Even then, it took a combined effort between public and private interests to bring Yellowstone into existence.
Sure, there are vital functions that taxes pay for, and no one disputes that. As the author of the aforementioned blog post states, things like the military, the State Department, the FBI, police and fire department services and education services are vital government functions that our taxes pay for. However, those things are rightly expected to be provided by the government, they are called for in the Constitution and even predating that, were called for in the Articles of Confederation. Also, if we’re going to continue to expect the “social safety net” that we have today, we must make real reforms to it, we can’t bury our heads in the sand, otherwise, it won’t be around for much longer.
Taxes are necessary for our Republic to survive, the Founders knew that, but paying taxes is hardly patriotic. Merriam-Webster defines patriotism as “love or devotion to one’s country”, and we can be “patriotic” without depending on the government to spend our tax dollars to provide services to our community. The quality of life that we enjoy is not dependent on the taxes we pay; we can have one without the other, and frequently do. If you want to see patriotism, look to the soldier serving in the National Guard, look to the person who is devoted to mentoring children, and look for the person who loves working in a private community garden.
That’s a real devotion to your country, and your community.
“A government big enough to give you everything you need, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have….”
UPDATE: I see Cory over at the Madville Times is in a giving mood as well. He also reposted the above article so now the War College has their choice on where to get their backup copy. I assume it will be reposted very soon back where it belongs over at DWC.

UPDATE 4/23: SDWC doesn't repost but responds.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And Now There Are 4

Wisconsin State Senator Randy Hopper recently became the fourth Republican to face recall after voting for Governor Scott Walker's anti-union "money saving bill" that saves no money. Wisconsinites gathered 23,000 petition signatures to force a recall election later this year. On its face this would be a story in and of itself but with Hopper it doesn't even come close to being the whole story.

In March protesters showed up at his house only to be told by Hopper's wife that he was now living elsewhere with his 26 year old girl toy whom had "coincidently" just landed a primo job with the state government.
Hopper suffered quite the embarassment in March when protesters arrived at his home in Fond du Lac in eastern Wisconsin. Demanding that Hopper come outside, the protesters instead encountered Hopper's estranged wife, who explained that Hopper actually lived in Madison with a 26-year-old mistress. Next, it emerged that Walker's chief of staff helped land Hopper's mistress a prime job in the Wisconsin state government.
Now it is being reported that Hopper's contact number given to his constituents in a letter from his office is actually an Adult chat line...oops!
In the latest juicy news on Sen. Hopper, Raw Story reports that a letter from Hopper's office lists for constituents a contact number that is in fact an adult chat line. Callers to the number are greeted with a voice saying, "Hey there, sexy guy..." It's unclear how Hopper managed to send constituents to a service that bills itself as "the country's favorite live talk," but the gaffe is yet another headache for the embattled Republican.
Wisconsin's Conservatives must be very proud.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trump Has The Nomination In The Bag

Even though Donald Trump has yet to announce anything, recent polls and now this powerful endorsement should all but lock up the 2012 GOP nomination for the twice divorced and 4 time bankrupt reality TV star. Renowned thespian Gary Busey thinks Trump should be our next President.

Look out Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan, the GOP has its next savior!

We Are The Tea Party And We Aren't Racists Damn it!

An oldie but goody from the election last November that makes you wonder why everyone isn't a Teabagger especially once you know what they really stand for. </sarcasm>

(Via Angry Black Lady Chronicles)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Is This The Proof Donald Trump Is Looking For?

Donald Trump has openly questioned the circumstances behind President Obama's birth and now an Orange County California Tea Bagger and local Republican Party committee member Marilyn Davenport might have some more evidence for Trump to chew on.

Actually the picture included here was attached to an email sent by the above mentioned Davenport to her fellow O.C Republicans with the note "Now you know why no birth certificate."

I will of course let you decide for yourself as to whether there was any racial motivations behind what Davenport claims was a "joke sent to those that wouldn't find it offensive". What I find amusing though is that when questioned, Davenport brought out the "I am not a racist...I have some black friends" defense which to me seems just about as ridiculous as some might think the photo shopped picture to be.

Meanwhile Davenport is refusing to heed requests for her to step down and is instead blaming the whole thing on the Liberal media for reporting the story.

(Mother Jones via O.C. Weekly)

Chuck Norris Takes On Sharia Law

I realize that the 1st Amendment is very hard for action movie rejects Conservative commentators like Chuck Norris to grasp but come on, can someone please give me one real example of Sharia law being implemented anywhere in our government? Norris seems to believe it is running rampant here, so much so he has penned the first of what he says will be a series of Op Ed's on the subject over at that source for hard hitting news, WorldNutDaily, lamenting the impeding end of our Republic all because of Sharia Law.

Norris begins his screed by making sure we all know he isn't an islamaphobe, you know because we might think that someone who consistently denigrates Islam might not be too keen on Muslims, and then he goes on to describe the evils of those that subscribe to certain tenants of that religion, specifically the hadd or hudud offenses.

So now that Norris has explained to us why Sharia is bad, he then tries to connect the dots on how it is creeping into our society by first citing a case in Florida where a judge ruled that Islamic law should be used to decide only the legitimacy of arbitration a civil dispute between a Mosque and 4 of it's former trustee's. Of course Norris completely omits the rest of the story where the same judge also said that Florida Law would be used to actually decide the case. Strike 1 Chuckles.

Norris then tries to further explain the legitimacy of his fears by citing the proliferation of bills being debated in states across the US specifically targeted at Sharia. Afterall if you believe everyone is out to get you it must be true right? He happens to cite the attempt in Alabama where the bill's chief proponent was forced to admit he didn't even know what Sharia law was. Strike 2 Col. Braddock.

Finally Norris cites his 3rd example of how Sharia is bad by quoting a British TV interview with President Obama's adviser on Muslim affairs, Dalia Mogahed. Magahed was quoted as saying that she believed that the Western view of Sharia was "oversimplified" and that the majority of women around the world associate it with "gender justice." Ok, maybe the view of women in Islam doesn't pass the gender equality smell test of many non-Muslims but I also don't hear Norris criticizing Catholics for their less than stellar ideas on many women's issues. Have you seen any woman priests lately? Can you say strike 3 Walker Texas Ranger?

Norris is of course trying to make the argument that were Islam goes Sharia follows and then uses 3 totally baseless arguments to try and make his point. He does this all while ignoring the one real argument that would prevent Sharia from ever really getting entrenched in our country. The one document Norris and Conservative wingnuts constantly fall back on, the Constitution.

So why exactly does Norris and the droves of right wingers across the country refuse to admit that their scare tactics over Sharia are just that, scare tactics? Besides their obvious fear of the Muslim who really isn't a Muslim in our White House, maybe it is because if they admit that they would also be admitting that the same thing that prevents Sharia also prevents them from getting their Christian agenda further integrated into our society. I doubt Norris will be writing about that anytime soon.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Transfer Complete

I have finally finished moving everything over to this site so unlike another former blogger who shall remain nameless but most of you know, all content and comments are now available with some minor losses as importing into Blogger isn't as easy as importing into Wordpress. As for the comment migration I am sorry if Disqus sent out notifications to those who commented on posts in the past, I think it was just a function of the migration process which is also completed.

The old domain is no longer live (or will be gone shortly) so please ensure you update any bookmarks and blogroll links to reflect the new URL. Also as part of this migration, the old site has been split into 2 with the geeky stuff now having it's own home, Great Plains Tech, so if you are into tech news feel free to check it out.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Good Old Days

Remember the good old days, you know last year, when the Teabaggers actually liked Medicare?

How quickly things change with those folks.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Don't Have A Long Form Birth Certificate? No Problem In Arizona, Just Unzip

One of the Koch brother dictated GOP standard bills making the rounds in state legislatures across America this year deals with the requirements for getting on the ballot for Presidential elections. Several states are attempting to amend the requirements by making a potential candidate produce their long form birth certificate in an obvious shout out to Tea Billie birthers.

Arizona just so happens to be one of those states and they've added an interesting twist. If for whatever reason besides being a suspected Muslim born in Kenya you happen to not have the requisite long form, you just need to produce your choice of 2 of the following documents in its place: (emphasis mine)
Yep, that's right, just get your Mohel or Mohelot to provide you with a certificate showing you were clipped and you are halfway there!

(via Phoenix New Times Blogs)

Wisconsin Governor Admits Union Provisions Save Nothing...Kucinich Goes Off

Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich questions the motivation of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's union shenanigans pointing out the obvious, that they were nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to bust unions in Wisconsin.

(via Think Progress)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Noem Breaking Campaign Promises Already?

Say it isn't so! Kristi Noem criticized her opponent Stephanie Herseth Sandlin last year for sending unsolicited mailers at taxpayer expense promising she would never do that if elected. Well we are only 3 months in to her term and she has already sent her first unsolicited mailer at taxpayer expense.

The "Science" Teacher That Just Won't Go Away

Former public school "science" teacher John Freshwater is back in the news once again, this time after an Ohio court ruled that his case for overturning the dismissal from his teaching position should be heard in state court.

For those unfamiliar, Freshwater is the 8th grade teacher who first made headlines for refusing to remove a bible from his desk in early 2008. He was initially suspended in October of that year and was finally fired earlier this year for teaching creationism, encouraging prayer and allegedly branding a student with a cross...using a telsa coil!

And they're still debating whether he should have been fired?

With all the budget cutting going on resulting in untold numbers of wonderful teachers losing their jobs across the country all with just a stroke of a Governor's pen, should firing teachers like Freshwater be this hard? I mean isn't our goal to find and employ science teachers that actually teach science and won't maim our kids while doing so? Amazing...

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Trump Claims Obama Grandparents Put Birth Announcements In Newspapers To Get Welfare

Donald Trump has a problem on his road to the White House. Somehow he must get his multiple divorces and bankruptcies past the socially and fiscally uber-conservative Tea Billie crowd and it appears his current strategy will be to pound the birther angle over and over.

Last month he called into question Obama's citizenship by providing his own birth documents only to find out that what he provided wasn't an official document and now he is trying to explain away how 2 separate birth announcements for the President made it into Hawaiian newspapers back in 1961. His explanation? How about Obama's grandparents placed the announcements in the papers so that they could, among other things, get welfare benefits!

(via Think Progress)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Another BS Meme

The latest meme by House Republicans attempts to blame the Democrats for allowing our military members to go without pay because of their unwillingness to pass the Republican budget proposal that is full of riders that would among other things defund Planned Parenthood and roll back the powers of the EPA. No matter what your thoughts are regarding the GOP riders which have very little to do with balancing the budget by the way, the latest attempt to paint the Democrats in a bad light turns out to be total BS.

As things stand now, shutting down the government tonight would result in our military's pay being affected but a bill submitted by Republican Louie Gohmert and co-sponsored by 113 House members over a week ago would have ensured that our military members would still get paid if that did in fact happen. The bill in question would do one thing and one thing only, guarantee our servicemen and women get paid. It included no riders or special interest legislation and was introduced with much fanfare but has since faded into obscurity once John Boehner's Tea Billie puppeteers decided to use the military pay issue against the Democrats.

So this begs the question, is anyone safe from being screwed over in the name of someone's political agenda anymore? What's next slashing money for needed health and family planning services for low income young women? Oh wait...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fundamentalism By Any Other Name Is Still Fundamentalism

Religious fundamentalism is bad no matter which form it takes. Recent events in Afghanistan where Muslim fundamentalists murdered UN workers is just the latest example of what can happen when religion gets out of control.

While most in our country are quick to blame the Afghani radicals (rightly so) one should really ask what makes our local fundamentalist population, this time Florida pastor Terry Jones, any better considering he carried out his threat to burn a Koran despite knowing that it would likely lead to violence?

There is obviously no justification for murder but what justification can one possibly have for purposely inciting that same act? Jones is showing no remorse so it is obvious to me that even though he didn't kill those people, he is just as clueless (and guilty) as those that did, all in the name of their religion...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Noem Called Out For Not Being Able To Name Spending Cuts

Seems GOP golden girl Kristi Noem might need to bone up on her talking point reciting. John Boehner's favorite freshman parrot did an interview with the Mitchell Daily Republic where she was asked several times to give examples of spending cuts that she basically ignored before finally repeating the latest GOP target, environmental regulations.
When asked three times Thursday by The Daily Republic to say what spending she wants to eliminate from the federal budget, Rep. Kristi Noem punted twice before citing a set of proposed environmental regulations she wants to forestall.

Later in the day, her spokesman said she supports numerous cuts, including reductions or eliminations in funding for high-speed rail projects, cap-and-trade technical assistance, and subsidies for the Washington Metro rapid transit system.
Not to be outdone, the national Democrats are getting into the act of calling out Noem.
The committee also pointed to a tweet from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), touting a separate interview with Noem in which she says she wants spending reductions to be as large as possible.

"Speaker John Boehner's favorite budget-cutting member turns out to not have any budgets that she can identify to cut," said DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson.
Nothing like being prepared is it Kristi?

Alan Unruh Tries To Explain South Dakota's New Abortion Law

"Dr" Alan Unruh was on Alan Colmes' radio show trying to explain the need for South Dakota's latest back door attempt to ban abortions. I especially enjoyed when an RN from Planned Parenthood calls in to rebut Unruh's claims.