Category Archives: government

The NAACP is concerned and so am I

In what alternate universe do for profit charter schools make sense?

The only answer I got was, NONE!

One concern that I have is from a statement that (boy, this is hard to say) Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos made to the effect that vouchers to charter schools is a good way to put “god” back into education. She doesn’t respect our secular laws as to the separation of church and state and IMHO she is unfit to “serve” in that capacity.

I’ll leave the explaining to this article written for Education Votes. Be informed, not just opinionated. Click on the article….

http://educationvotes.nea.org/2017/07/26/naacp-seeks-ban-profit-charter-schools-increase-local-control/?utm_source=EdVotes&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=072917EdVotesEmail&utm_content=NAACPCharters

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Are we going to let this crap continue?

There is a bill that has been put before the Congress to give Single-Payer Healthcare to all which would bring the United States into the 21st century like all the other developed industrial nations.

The bill is designated H.R. 676 and it is the much needed bill to bring us the health care system we deserve.

Click here for a guide to the information you’ll need to contact your representatives and also there are some suggestions as to what works the best.

Please let your representatives in Washington DC know that we will accept nothing less.

By signing a petition and taking as many other actions as you can, you can be a part of the social revolution America needs, and has needed, since before the Reagan presidency.

Follow my blog and send me an email via the comments section and tell me what you think.  Open discussion is good.

Thank you.

A Rant to my State Representative

Needless to say I was not happy with his canned answer as to why the legislature is dragging it’s feet on marijuana legalization….

This:

Well Jim, I see that you are towing the (hateful party line) and still are singing the same old tune about a pathway to harder drugs…..people like you are so uninformed that logic is useless.

In fact, I’ve seen several testimonies where people profess that by smoking marijuana they were able to get off dangerous prescription pain killers, alcohol and other hard drugs (that I vehemently object to, like crystal meth and crystals of another kind [I’m not totally up on all that, I just know that they are there]). But cosmos forbid that helping them is akin to enabling them…..

You and your kind are only interested in major drug company profits, DAMN the damage they inflict.

The assault on our public education systems (in favor of for profit charter schools thanks to (governor Rick Snyder) “robbing’ $1.2 billion from our public schools [was that Betsy DeVos too?]),  the refusal to support a livable minimum wage, or even a guaranteed minimum stipend that keeps people off the streets from being homeless destitute individuals, and, cosmos forbid (again, but seriously, I’m atheist), a monthly payment that allows them to have an address so they can actually apply for a job and hopefully support themselves without public assistance.

THAT would be “enabling them”… (bullshit!!!)….

Not many that are forced by unseen, and by no fault of their own most times, to be on welfare want to be on it, but they are just so behind the “eight ball” that getting out of this endless cycle of poverty that they simply, in many cases, just give up.

It’s time for some real change…. not the theocracy based (no work, no food) attitude of the fake ass evangelicals who are delusional, but real social democratic change.

If you are in this country there should be absolutely no reason for you to be homeless or hungry.

This is the richest country in the world and we are (sadly) a country that lets kids go to bed hungry, not have access to a good basic education, access to free state sponsored healthcare, we incarcerate prisoners at a rate that even the worst dictatorships cannot match (fact: the United States of America has only 5% of the world’s population, yet we incarcerate 25% of the world’s prison inmates [incidentally, non-proportionally minorities]) and have to watch those in congress refuse to lift a finger, to make their needs (and all Americans needs) a priority and actually address our most urgent, basic needs like clean air and water is tantamount to murder.

We actually need to put you people in prison instead……

I am appalled that we can waste trillions on a fighter jet that can’t even fire it’s own weapon (still after several years) and spend more (55% of our national budget) on a military that is so bloated that since 1998 they have over 8 trillion dollars that they cannot account for, and yet we have a non-responsive (bloated) congress (state AND federal), infused with millionaires, who have the ultimate healthcare, pensions that keep them millionaires  for life and no positive/progressive actions are even remotely considered.

Time for the people to take control of the military and forcibly remove all the people in congress that have a track record of voting against any and all of these positive measures.

I realize that what what I’m advocating could be construed as treason, but I respectfully have to say, that that is exactly what our forefathers said should happen in this extreme circumstance.

I give you Donald John Trump who in a matter of days, what he has done, make what Hitler did in the 1930’s pale by comparison.

This is not a time for timid and spineless, bow down to the establishment, cowering, but a time that we are faced with the total destruction of the country (and democracy) we all (even the right wing idiots that have been fooled into supporting this fascist agenda) love.

There may not be another chance…..

There is not only an infestation in our federal government, but is goes all the way down to the local and state level.

You sir are part of the problem…..

Excuse me if I sound disrespectful, but that is my intention, because you and your kind deserve no respect.

Put me on a dissenter list if you want, but that will only give my voice a platform to expose all the corruption that exists and will continue to exist until these kind of actions are taken. (I will print out a copy of this email and register it with an independent organization…)

The answer you gave to my email, that was based in altruism and concern for the welfare of this country is unacceptable, and I will do every thing I can to see to it that this is you last term on the state government teat.
Fascism is not going to happen, sincerely,

I have been silent but……..

There is something I need to say.

We are all one race, the human race.


The problem is that there are too many delusional assholes that think they know something, that it is impossible to know, and they falsely think there is a some flying dirty minded monster (who they claim, says in a book of ancient fairy tales) that you actually are required to cut off part of you penis, and that is what’s best.


Whoa!!!!


This he/she/it they think that controls our known universe, (I think it’s about time IT got rid of those nasty black holes, quasars, super novas, radiation, not only from our only one light and energy source [the sun], but from the whole universe)……there are gamma rays, galaxies that crash into each other and all the other bad things that make this universe the most violent thing ever, real or imagined.


We are fucking lucky to have a small oasis in, this most violent mass of dark matter, gas, exploding stars and other things that are out to annihilate life as we know it, and they would like to tell you how you must live this one (once again very unlikely) life that we have?


I hate religion. It is the true root of all evil.


The next thing that (I desperately need to vent) is the that we are forced to, and destined to, (since there are too many people on this tiny rock), live under the rule of some form of government.


In America we are now faced with the most critical election in our lives (short, in evolutionary terms) and they are trying to trick us into thinking that a narcissistic, racist, bigoted, sociopath is the person that will, not only improve the lives of millions in America, but will make, not only this country, (America, in case you are ADD) but the world a better, safer, more equal place????


I digress……


I’ll just say that anyone that would cast a vote for Donald Trump is not working from a position of reality, but is as delusional as adults these with imaginary “friends”.


After the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders out of the nomination, that he (I believe and I have many others that think the same) won by a virtual landslide, and installed queen Hillary as the “preferred” candidate, this fact remains, there are too many people (including myself) who find Hillary Clinton repulsive for mostly MSM’s irrational “reasons” and yet we are willing to risk everything that we as a compassionate and (sometimes) caring people have gained in the last 150 years and throw all progress away????


That we will knowingly throw rational thinking to the wind as a form of protest and end up with a government that is totally controlled by the 1% at the cost of the 99%?


That makes me want to puke.


Vote blue all the way, democrats may not be perfect (who is?), but the republiKKKans are insane.


Donald Trump is the proof…..

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Of Rights and Regulation

0937e0e96df56c0107d64810adea3448How much security can one safely expect in the modern world?

About this terrible shooting  by Omar Mateen in Orlando, Florida last weekend. Here is some weight I have to get off my conscience. It goes like this;

This shooter should never have had access to the weapon used, but because of our laws, that so far have served the purpose they were intended to, he was.

Why is that?

Our constitution is supposed to guarantee certain inalienable rights. The second amendment says we have the right to bear arms, but it also says that privilege is limited to “a well regulated Militia” and we now have the National Guard for that purpose. That still leaves open the definition of what constitutes a Militia. Is it run by the government? Then it is not a true Militia.

The other part of the 2nd Amendment that says that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”; is also open to interpretation, an interpretation widely held by some people to be absolute without any restrictions. But that one is too vague on it’s face.

This man involved had been on an FBI or Homeland Security watch list and that is where I have a problem. Our government is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people, yet we have our own government virtually spying on it’s own citizens and that is unconstitutional in my estimation.

The 14th Amendment is about civil rights and basically says, and this is supposed to apply nationally, that; “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and 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 under the law.

This man had been spied on and evaluated and yet he still got a weapon and was still not denied his right to bear arms even with the spying. So we’re supposed to think that this spy system we have now gives us a sense of security? It sure doesn’t me. It must be eliminated.

One former president said that those that give up any rights and expect to gain security lose their rights and have no security (paraphrased of course).

He’s the problem. Assault type weapons. No one should have the right to any gun that has clips that require virtually no reloading, shots that can be fired as fast as one can pull the trigger, can be altered to full automatic easily and are basically weapons that only a trained military enlisted person should own. Why? Because they have just one purpose, to kill as many people as fast as possible.

That’s my interpretation of the 2nd and 14th Amendments and although I believe that this man had yet to commit any felony and therefore should not have been spied on, he had all the rights to these weapons just like any other U.S. citizen.

It’s the weapons that are so easily available is what needs to change here. Not the constitution, but the changing of some constitutionally legal laws designed to do some “well regulating” if you will.

This tragedy might have been prevented with a federal law that bans ALL assault type semi-automatic rifles.

I believe that also to have a real lasting effect the ban should also include any hand gun with the same features (semi-auto, clip fed, easily altered).

This stance, or opinion if you prefer and I expect to be called out. Be my guest.

This is legal to do and should be done. As for the whole spying thing, another day another subject.

When is the Gun Violence Enough to Enact Some Real Changes?

Another mass killing in Orlando and yet some want to pass the blame away from guns and towards terrorism.

Another mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, and once again we have the pundits on Fox (is not) News going on TV and repeatedly spouting the lie that this is NOT about guns, it’s about terrorism. WTF?

Of course it’s about guns.

It’s about the ease in which one can obtain weapons that are designed to do only one thing, kill people.

It’s about knowing there are people that should never have any kind of gun, yet they can obtain any weapon they choose through gun shows and straw purchases or other means.

It’s about the attention (to a radical view be it a religious one or not) one person can attain, even though in many cases it’s posthumously, when using guns with the ability to kill dozens in a matter of seconds.

When are we going to have the balls to demand a change, to take measures to reduce this massacre?

Unless we are willing to face the fact that without some radical measures to limit the type of weapons that are legal to have, the amount of ammunition one person can legally possess, addressing the mental health issue or even the total confiscation of ALL privately owned guns, (don’t get your tidy whiteys in a bunch, that’s not what I am advocating here) there will be no change, or chance of any change.

I should go into the elected representatives, um, republican representatives that refuse to even pass one simple measure to make it harder to get any gun, won’t support a ban on assault type weapons, won’t close the loopholes that are used daily by people filled with hate and mental problems, but I believe I’ve said enough.

Oh, one more thing. Vote out all these idiots that refuse to do what a majority of Americans want and vote for those that will act on the will of the people and are willing to make these much needed changes.

Until that happens, get ready for another news flash about another mass shooting somewhere in America, maybe even in you own backyard.

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Have You Talked with Your Kids About Pledging Allegiance?

The original Pledge salute was eerily similar to the Nazi salute, so it was changed to hand-over-heart.

Are you a bad American if you refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance? Are you a bad parent if you encourage your child to opt out of the Pledge in school?

Not at all. In fact, sitting out the Pledge of Allegiance, and encouraging your children to do so as well, can be seen as an affirmation of certain important values that are sadly lacking in modern America. One could even argue that sitting out the Pledge is itself a noble act of patriotism – or, at least, that those who opt out are by no means any less patriotic than those who participate. (Note: the right to refuse participation in the Pledge has been guaranteed by the United States Supreme Court(link is external).)

It would be a mistake to assume that the Pledge of Allegiance is an exercise that somehow unites all good citizens. Most Americans – liberal, moderate, or conservative – are decent and loyal citizens who appreciate at some level the nation’s core values: freedom, equal rights, democracy, and the fundamental principles embedded in the Constitution. They may often disagree about how to define and apply those values, but that’s simply the nature of a pluralistic, open society. With such a diverse population and a wide range of viewpoints, it shouldn’t be surprising that many see little value in a pledge exercise.

At a minimum, parents should talk with their kids about the Pledge – about what it means, what it doesn’t mean, and even its history. For starters, kids should understand that the exercise is voluntary, because many schools don’t inform them of this. And whether individual children decide to participate or not, all kids should understand that nonparticipation is not unpatriotic or disrespectful in any way. The reverse side of the same coin would point out that participation doesn’t make one a patriot.

In fact, serious participation in the exercise might require a child to make affirmations that run contrary to a child’s core personal beliefs or matters of conscience – and this of course could be unhealthy and problematic. Some families may not believe that the nation is “under God,” for example, whereas others may not feel that we truly provide “liberty and justice for all.” Others may simply have objections to pledging to anything. Families grappling with such issues are part of the fabric of the nation, and they should be appreciated and supported, not criticized.

For any humanist family, and for many others as well, there are numerous issues relating to the Pledge that are worth discussing. A few of them would include:

The Loyalty Oath Problem. No matter how much you love your country, you could question the wisdom of any recitation that essentially amounts to a loyalty oath. To be good citizens, must we visibly and publicly pledge our allegiance? And must even childrendo so – on a daily basis? It’s interesting that the Founding Fathers never felt it desirable to promote such loyalty recitations from citizens. (In fact, the Pledge wasn’t even written until 1892(link is external), a full century after the founding era.) The framers, as men of reason with Enlightenment values, most likely would have been aghast at the idea of citizens being expected to regularly recite a loyalty pledge.

Promoting Nationalism. We can love our country while still being skeptical of nationalism. We can agree that America is a marvelous place, from sea to shining sea, and that the principles upon which it was founded are worthy of exaltation – but that doesn’t mean we should constantly encourage widespread feelings of nationalism. History shows that national pride (in America and elsewhere) can be overdone, that it can lead to militarism and a diminished appreciation of outsiders. Nationalism can be seen as a manifestation of the human tendency toward tribalism, and such “we-are-so-great” thinking is hardly an impulse that should be encouraged. Beyond our borders are fellow human beings whose worth and dignity should not be disregarded. As such, maybe we shouldn’t instill our children with a daily dose of national superiority.

Racist and sexist roots. Liberty and justice are fine values, but they are hardly a comprehensive statement of important American values. When Francis Bellamy, a socialist, originally wrote the Pledge in 1892, he considered including the values of equality and fraternity in the recitation, but he was discouraged from doing so. It seems that too many Americans – particularly those in leadership positions – were opposed to equality for women and African Americans, so inclusion of those values would have been too controversial. Thus, by excluding those values, the Pledge as it appears today reflects not-so-subtle invidious attitudes of racism and sexism – reason enough to pass on participating in it.

The ‘Under God’ Problem. Many Americans don’t even know that the “under God” wording was added to the Pledge in 1954, during the McCarthy era. Interestingly, in asurvey released this week(link is external) by the American Humanist Association, when Americans are informed about this history over one-third support removal of the words and a return to “one nation, individible.” Obviously, a statement that the nation is “under God” is contrary to the sincerely held beliefs of atheists, humanists, and other religious skeptics. That didn’t bother the Knights of Columbus(link is external) and other religious groups that lobbied for inclusion of the phrase, but it obviously bothers many nonbelievers The survey showed over 90 percent of atheists oppose the affirmation, as do more than one in five believers. As the Pledge currently reads, it defines patriotism by drawing a circle that excludes millions of atheists and humanists who of course are perfectly good citizens. That alone is reason for many to opt out.

The Rote Recitation Problem. In an age where critical thinking is hardly a widespread phenomenon, it’s hard to see how the act of reciting any pledge in unison with a large group does much good. Even if the Pledge of Allegiance were a perfect statement of national values – which it is not – it certainly isn’t a reflection of independent thinking. Group activities can indeed sometimes have value in an educational environment (reciting the alphabet, for example, or singing songs). But they are usually done for a short time – a few days, or perhaps a few weeks – until the lesson or the song is fully learned and appreciated, and then the class moves on to something else. However, a daily recitation of a pledge of national loyalty, for 13 years, is an indoctrination, not an education.

A Declaration of Independence. Just as participation in the Pledge exercise discourages independent thinking, nonparticipation is an act of independence. The nonparticipating student is making a statement of sorts – not a statement of disloyalty, but a statement that tells others that he/she will not be herded and given words to recite. The intelligent, independent thinker knows what her values are – and certainly does not need a dailygovernment-sponsored exercise to define them or instill them.

These are some of the reasons that good, decent Americans are sitting out the Pledge of Allegiance. Critics of nonparticipation might object, and they might even accuse nonparticipants of disloyalty. The late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, famous for witch hunts that, not coincidentally, were occurring as the Knights of Columbus was lobbying for insering “under God” into the Pledge in the early 1950s, would have called such nonparticipants disloyal and subversive. This, however, would prove my point. If those claiming to be the “real” patriots can accuse nonparticipants of disloyalty merely for opting out of a recitation, we have forgotten the meaning of patriotism. If anything, such accusations should encourage even more critical thinkers to opt out.

Humanists know that recitation of words does not make a patriot, nor does waiving a flag or putting a yellow magnet on one’s car. If you want to be a good American, talk is cheap – but there’s nothing unpatriotic about critical thinking and personal independence.

Follow on Twitter: @ahadave(link is external)

David Niose’s new book is coming out this fall. Preorder Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason

The Dirty Practice of Factory Farms

Why we need to re-access how we raise food animals. by Jerry Bierens    January 5, 2016

There is a very bad thing going on in America and around the world today that needs to be exposed and talked about in depth, and it only gets minimal attention, when it should be a concern for all.

That is the practice of “Factory Farming”. To call it “farming” is a real stretch of the way I remember the dairy farm (my neighbor’s) that I worked on throughout my formative years. Maybe that’s why I find these “modern” practices so offensive but I think that even without this experience, I would be abhorred by this.

These farms and their practices, like this (literally) horrendous shit, from the cesspools, to the aerating of the waste, hogs raised in gestation crates (where they can’t even turn around) and just the inhumane practice of raising these animals that are known to be very intelligent (smarter than your dog and way smarter than a cat) is something that is NOT necessary and should be illegal.

To treat the humans that are (most of the time ) forced to live nearby, with the disrespect, stench and potential for disease is not right. Most of them don’t have the means to move either.

One of the worst parts of this is how harmful it is to the animals, as some of the pigs go literally insane (you might too, if tortured in this manner).

It’s a practice that needs to be changed and it can be done with common sense laws (like no gestation crates and no feces/urine pools), regulations and regular inspections and fines for inhumane practices.

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Then there’s this: Dairy farming with huge numbers of animals (as many as 8000+ in some cases, although 1000 to 2000 is way more common) is another form of farming that is driving the small farmers out of business and also is in need of some new regulatory laws.

There’s not much else I can say here in this limited time and space but you get the gist of it, I hope.

You know they say the best test of a society’s morality is how well (or badly in these cases) they treat the most vulnerable among us. We ask a lot from these animals and by treating them in this fashion is just plain wrong.

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