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    Friday, September 10, 2010

    The Koran Burning

    Photo: Reuters/Moshin Raza

    Inspiring, isn't it? We pledge allegiance to this flag ... and to see it burn is not pleasant. Especially at the hands of the people who hate everything it stands for.

    There are some great articles out there which point out what a fool Tom Jones is for threatening such behavior, but all I really need to do is look at the protests against the United States happening all over the globe (in Afghanistan, see here: ) to see the hypocrisy from the other side as well.

    Protesters are inciting violence against an act which has only been PROPOSED (hasn't even happened yet!) and has the Muslim world in an uproar. I see effigy and American flag burning parties happening all the time abroad - does this create riots and violent protests by Americans? By anyone?

    The Koran burning is a stupid idea by Tom Jones. The media has fueled his 'popularity,' showcasing this idiot's ideological battle in Florida across the world. But the very fact that it's even an issue is ridiculous, and I can't imagine trying to broker peace talks with that kind of mentality across the table. It won't work. Can you really reason with the very people in Palestine responsible for Bible and Cross burnings? (here: ).

    How do you feel about all of this?

    Tuesday, August 31, 2010

    Stating the obvious

    I love that this article calls out the hypocrisy of news outlets calling the Tea Party rally "Overwhelmingly White." ( The news agencies themselves, as the article points out, are overwhelmingly white. And while we're on it, maybe the reason that the crowd was overwhelmingly white is because whites make up an overwhelming majority of the population: 66% vs. 14% (White vs. Black - from ).

    I am curious (but already know the answer) of the makeup of the MLK memorial led by Al Sharpton. Interesting news that the Obama administration tried to encourage employees to attend the MLK march ( Would this be an attempt to make the rally not "overwhelmingly black," to borrow the first word in an apparently popular euphemism used to describe the Tea Party event.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    "Conservatism decreases with education"

    Found this little opinion piece in the Ogden Standard Examiner. Don't have anything to say except that I disagree and have the higher education certificate to prove he is wrong in his blanket statement of conservatives. If I have learned anything in the past two years, it is that many people with advanced degrees (all three branches of government included) are completely oblivious to reality whilst salivating over their 'advanced mental state.'

    Here's the article, if you can stomach this dude's animosity for 'uneducated' persons:

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Awesome Phishing Letter from Mrs. Gladis William

    I received this email, unfortunately delivered directly to my spam box and past the deadline for submitting my information for the inheritance. See below for details - it's hilarious.

    Feel free to write her to claim your '$20,00000m'. My best guess is that this equates to $2,000,000 but I could be totally wrong; it could actually be $2,000,000,000,000 - TWO TRILLION dollars! See MY RESPONSE BELOW. I WILL UPDATE ANY RESPONSES FROM MRS. WILLIAM.

    Her email is:

    From Mrs.Gladis William
    peace be upon you.

    My name is Mrs.Gladis William; I am a dying woman who has decided to donate what I have to you and the charity organization around your community. I am 62 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer for about 2 years ago immediately after the death of my husband who has left me everything he worked for and because the doctors told me I will not live longer than some weeks because of my health I decided to WILL/donate the sum of $20,000000m to you since my only son is still a young boy and can not manage this money very well.
    You should contact me immediately with your Complete contact informations so that I will give you the contact of the company were this box containing this money is been deposited to enable you arrange with them on how to get the money for the purpose mentioned above,
    I can't predict what will be my fate by the time you will recieve the fund, But you should please ensure that the fund is used as l have described above.

    I need the following informations when replying back if it interest you but if niot delete this mail;

    1. Your Full Names and house/company Address..
    2. Direct Telephone and Fax numbers
    3. Marital Status And Occupation
    Best Regards,

    Mrs. Gladis William


    Mrs. Gladis William,

    If I understand correctly, you are offering $2,000,000,000,000 (Two Trillion dollars - or as you put it "$20,00000m"). What line of business was your husband involved in? He must have been a very wise and shrewd businessman. Your young boy, does he eventually want a portion of this large sum of money? I hope you are not dead yet, because I could really use this cash. I can't wait to get all this money and donate it all to the charity organization around my community.

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    14th Amendment

    With all this talk about the GOP and Republicans stomping on the 14th amendment, it is well worth examining the 14th amendment in depth. We will examine the first section of the 14th Amendment. We'll leave the rest for another discussion ...

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    Immigration and being born in the United States.

    The chatter in recent days has mostly concentrated around a certain GOP member speaking about the process of crossing the border to birth a child in the United States. Lindsey Graham referred to this as ‘drop and leave,’ others ‘anchoring’, but you get the idea. We all know the lengths to which persons will go to become citizens (marrying a total slob just to get citizenship, assuming a fake identity, etc.). Why is it so extreme to think that this phenomenon is in fact a reality? Cross of over the border, have your baby, and the baby is automatically a US citizen under the 14th Amendment’s first sentence. One of the sources for this idea of overturning the 14th Amendment’s birthright citizenship clause was John McCain. He supports hearings on the meaning of the 14th Amendment’s birthright citizenship clause. Now, combined with Lindsey Graham’s comments, all of the sudden the GOP Republicans, and conservatives in general, are accused of trying to squash the 14th Amendment (click here for article).

    E.J. Dionne Jr.’s thought has been published all around the internet, but is it true? Are conservatives really trying to crush the 14th Amendment? Interestingly, another associated movement has been reinvigorated with the decision of a judge this week in California: gay marriage. The 14th Amendment is also cited in defense of gay marriage, and would the conservatives of this country also quash the 14th Amendment through this issue? We will examine.

    “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.”

    The idea is very simple: if you are born here, you are a citizen by default. As if an unborn baby has the choice as to where s/he is born. I believe in part that this is why this clause exists – to give rights to a human who cannot make the choice him/herself. If you think about it, the only way that you can effectively control who is born in this country is through immigration policy and abortion policy. I won’t get into abortion policy, but I will say that there are cases where it makes sense. In immigration policy, there are cases where it makes sense to allow immigration, as well.

    Naturalization is defined thus by the US Government: Naturalization is the process by which U.S. citizenship is granted to a foreign citizen or national after he or she fulfills the requirements established by Congress in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). There are certain requirements, which the site lists (here if you’re interested), that persons are required to meet in order to become a citizen. By doing so, they become “citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.” One way of bypassing these requirements would be to offer amnesty to those persons here who haven’t met the requirements, granting them the same rights as someone who was born here, or who legally naturalized here.

    Many conservatives, including myself, argue against amnesty for illegal immigrants. I see amnesty as an aberration of the idea which the 14th Amendment represents: equality under the law for CITIZENS. Non-citizens are not afforded the same “privileges or immunities” as citizens of this country. That is a basic, fundamental idea embodied in the Bill of Rights. Breaking the law in order to gain entrance into this country; illegally assuming an identity of someone else through using a stolen social security number; and benefiting from citizen taxpayer dollars of a country in which you reside illegally should automatically disqualify you from residing in this country, and should require deportation when discovered. I understand the gravity of separating children from parents and family, but do we make a fuss when an embezzler or thief of our own country is separated from his family and sent to prison? It’s not like illegal aliens who are deported are being sent to jail – they are being deported back to their country as a free man/woman in most cases. Free to try and enter our country in the correct fashion, or free to try it again the wrong way and face the consequences.

    “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;”

    Now this is where things get interesting. The next few sections of the Amendment are talking points all around America for the defense of gay marriage. I’m going to try to explain how this doesn’t fit.

    First, no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States. Let’s understand something: The “privileges or immunities” of citizens of the United States are specifically referring to the Bill of Rights. The first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, and eighth Amendments more specifically (reference here). For a refresher course on what is contained in each of these Amendments, click here. The idea here is that the State can’t make or enforce laws which compromise the Bill of Rights of its respective citizens, who are both citizens of the State and citizens of the United States.

    “(N)or shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;”

    Second, no State can deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. Interesting choice of words here. The phrase “life, liberty, or property” is taken directly from the 5th Amendment, which speaks of the right to not have to testify against yourself, and the right to due process in a criminal trial. Easily confused with the phrase “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” which is found in the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence is not the Constitution; it is a spectacular document, however, which justified the breaking away from England in pursuit of liberty and happiness. But to argue, however, that suppressing the pursuit of happiness is against the 14th Amendment, is a mistake.

    “(N)or deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

    Third, no State can deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Equal protection under the laws is a major rallying point for advocates of gay marriage recognition. Think about this for a moment. Why would this phrase “equal protection of the laws” be incorporated into this Amendment? One thought (my primary thought) is that this guarantees citizens of the State, and the United States, the “privileges or immunities” offered to those who are true citizens. These “privileges or immunities” again are the Bill of Rights and subsequent Amendments, not the “pursuit of happiness.” Included in this, however, if freedom of religion. Equal protection of the law would require that the law protect and incriminate in all cases of US and State citizens, regardless of shall we say religion, or weapon owner, or criminal.

    Now to tie this in to Prop 8, or other similar proposals: Proposition 8 established an Amendment to a State constitution that said that the only recognized marriage is that of heterosexual couples. It did not create a law which would persecute a citizen who has equal protection under the laws (according to 14th Amendment). It did not create a law which would deprive anyone of life – no one was sentenced to die due to this law. It did not deny the liberty to live with or ‘marry’ their partner of the same sex, or do whatever they wish with that person, or profess their eternal love, or anything of the sort. It did not confiscate property or possessions. How then, does it violate the 14th Amendment? It merely recognizes marriage as between a man and a woman, and formally recognizes what the majority has accepted for ages. How is it different than creating a resolution to congratulate the Patriots for winning the Super Bowl. Everybody knows it, but it wasn’t down on paper yet. And does that mean that you should fight Congress for approving such a resolution if you are not a fan of the Patriots? Have you then become somehow disadvantaged by the taking away of something that was never in existence in the first place?

    Throw the bums out!

    Photo credit:

    This past week Charlie Rangel was charged with ethics violations – we’ve known about ol’ Charlie for the past six months or so. He’s a crook and what’s more depressing is his current position on the House Ways and Means Committee ( ), whose responsibility it is to write tax code. The guy helping write tax code is the one weaving his crafty, dishonest legacy, further corrupting the office of a Senator. How can we stand for this?

    Next: Maxine Waters. The big mouth from California who was accused by the Los Angeles Times as one of the thirteen most corrupt members of Congress. She is the source of gem quotes like this one:

    "George W Bush, go to hell! And while you're at it, we want you to take Ashcroft with you. And don't forget Rumsfeld. And please carry along Condi Rice. . . I have to march because my mother could not have an abortion." (While Bush was in office)

    She is accused of channeling bailout money to the bank of which her husband had a vested interest.

    And now the Democrats want to try to spin these latest corruption scandals as ‘draining the swamp’ in Washington. Too bad it has taken them over three years to put anything together other than what everyone already knew! Washington is full of more crooks than there are seats – on both sides of the aisle. It’s time for these incumbents to act like they mean it and shape up, or ship out. I can’t stomach many more years of these power-abusing scoundrels before I lose my mind.

    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Interesting article to study along with the overriding of prop 8: If you don't produce any evidence its hard to rule in your favor..