Monday, March 28, 2011

IRS vs. Rape

It seems that the hot new trend for politics in Spring 2011 is to break unions, undermine human and Constitutional rights, and institute the American version of Sharia law on private citizens in order to control every aspect of their lives including the expression and management of their own sexuality. First, it was a law in Michican criminalizing adulterey, second, it was Alaska Judiciary Council nominee Don Haase voicing support for the criminalization of premarital sex, and now it's an attempt to put through a bill that would require rape and incest survivors to prove to the IRS that they were assaulted.

Excuse me?

The bill comes on the back of attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, Title X, and is being put forth by anti-choice proponents within Congress. According to the language of the document, it would impose penalties on small businesses and private citizens who buy abortion coverage with their own money, but it does allow for exceptions in cases of rape, incest, or when the mother's life is in danger. There's just one catch, to avoid the penalties, the survivors need to provide proof to the IRS that they were actually assaulted. First of all, according to every Republican I've ever heard campaign over the years, their number one priority is getting big government out of the way of small businesses, and out of the lives of private citizens.

This legislation doesn't exactly line up with that philosophy.

Two, if we are supposed to be keeping the government out of the lives of private citizens, then why is it that we are creating and passing laws that are minority-based (anti-choice laws specifically target women), and involve some lawmaker telling said private citizens what medical choices they can and cannot make with their provider. If that is the business of the private citizen, then how come factions within the United States government want to make it their business? This seems to be a direct affront towards everything Republicans and the U.S. Constutition stands for. I don't see any laws stating that I need to turn in proof to the IRS to support the removal of my gallbladder, or face fiscal penalties and sanctions. In fact, the IRS could care less about my gallbladder, and I can go to my physician of choice without fear of penalty to have it out. So, if that is a private medical choice between myself and my physician, then why is it that if I want an abortion after being brutally raped and beaten, I need permission from the "nanny government", which is the current catch-phrase being used by Republicans to describe the growing dependence of private citizens on the government, to do so?

You can't have it both ways.

That said, let's look at the language of this law, shall we? Best known by its official title, H.R. 3, it's goal is to further extend the Republican "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" which supports the Hyde Amendment prohibiting the use of federal funding for abortions unless it involves rape, incest, or endangerment of the mother's life. This new law would require IRS agents to audit individuals who have used federal funding such as Medicare or Medicaid to pay for an abortion? Why? To make sure the monies haven't been used inappropriately, leaving the burden of proof on the taxpayer who will have to provide documentation proving that her abortion was covered by the rape, incest, or life endangerment clauses; or that her personal insurance did not provide abortion coverage.

Wow.

According to a statement made by Marcus Owens, an accountant and former IRS official inteviewed by Mother Jones, the process would look something like this:

"Under standard audit procedure, a woman would have to provide evidence to corroborate facts about abortions, rapes, and cases of incest. If a taxpayer received a deduction or tax credit for abortion costs related to a case of rape or incest, or because her life was endangered, then on audit [she] would have to demonstrate or prove, ideally by contemporaneous written documentation, that it was incest, or rape, or [her] life was in danger. It would be fairly intrusive for the woman."


If that's not bad enough, H.R. 3 contains absolutely no instruction on how the IRS is supposed to enforce it, and the language is so vague that the Joint Tax Committee who specializes in vauge tax language was unable to come up with an accurate interpretation of H.R. 3! If anything, this bill is an attack on the most fundamental of human and Constitutional rights since it interferes with a private citizen's ability to make important health care decisions free of government sanction and regulation.

Again I ask, why is a personal medical decision the government's business? A government who claims it want no part of any law or regulation that interferes in the lives of private citizens, and limits the freedom of small businesses owners to adequately contribute to the local, state, and federal economies?

Think about it.

***

Michigan Criminalizes Adulterey
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/adultery_could_carry_life_sentence_in_michigan/

Don Haase Believes Premarital Sex Should Be Against The Law
http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/25/alaska-governors-pick-for-key-post-wants-to-criminalize-adultery-premarital-sex/

GOP Wants IRS To Audit Rape Victims
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/03/gop-bill-irs-abortion-audits

Friday, March 25, 2011

The American Taliban

On Wednesday, March 23, 2011, Gov. Sean Parnell nominated one Don Haase for inclusion on the panel that appoints state judges. Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal except for the fact that during his nomination hearing Mr. Haase testified that he would like to see Alaskans prosecuted for having sex outside the confines of marriage.

What?

Yes, you heard correctly. Mr. Don Haase (pronounced "Hays") would like to see Alaskans prosecuted for having extramarital sex. A known activist for ultra-conservative values and agendas, he is a member of the Eagle Forum Alaska which advocates for the implementation of laws designed to govern the most intimate aspects of American's lives.

I am not kidding.

Mr. Haase then went on to explain the logic behind his extreme position, and stated that the reason why he believes that extramarital sex should be criminalized is because, and I quote:

"I think that would be up to the voters certainly. If it came before (the state) as a vote, I probably would vote for it ... I can see where it would be a matter for the state to be involved with because of the spread of disease and the likelihood that it would cause violence. I can see legitimate reasons to push that as a crime."

Really?

First of all, I'd like to find out how on Earth they're even going to enforce this, not to mention the fact that such a law completely undermines everything our Constitution stands for. Plus, it just happens to violate the separation of church and state, and is akin to throwing money down a rat hole since vital resources needed to deal with actual crimes being committed by actual criminals would be diverted towards a police force of Peeping Toms roaming the streets looking for fornicators. Also, I'd like to point out to Mr. Haase that this is a Democracy, not a Theocracy, not a Dictatorship, and certainly not a place where any sane individual is going to tolerate being thrown in jail for having sex. What next, outlawing condoms as illegal contraband?


This is the same theocratic logic used to justify anti-sodomy laws which were still in place in this country until June 26, 2003 when the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-3 that laws governing the practice were unconstitutional. I say "theocratic logic" because the basis of these laws stemmed from the literal interpretation of the Story of Lot in Genesis of the Bible where the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for their sexual immorality. One problem, the word "sodomy" wasn't associated with anal sex until the 6th century A.D. when the Roman Emperor Justinian I decided that Sodom's sin was specifically "same-sex activities and the desire for them". Justinian I also went on to blame homosexuality for famines, earthquakes, and pestilences. Keep in mind, at this period in history people used to think all diseases were caused by sin, curses, devils, and relied on a variety of questionable cures which included making an incision in the side of a person's head and inserting a piece of garlic inside the wound in order to treat migraines.


However, let's take a step back, and look at that Eagle Forum Alaska group that Mr. Haase belongs to. On their blog they praised the Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder for signing into law a bill that criminalizes adultery. At first glance, it doesn't seem like a big deal until you read further, and find out that it counts as first-degree criminal sexual misconduct. What does that mean? It means in the State of Michigan, adultery is a felony punishable by life in prison.

Again, I am not kidding. 

First of all, this is America, and as an American I have protection under the law from the government through the Constitution. According to that document upon which this great nation is founded upon, I have the inalienable right to privacy, the inalienable right to protection from unlawful searches and seizures, and most of all as an American citizen I have the ability through the Democratic process to hire my elected officials and fire my elected officials at the polls. Not to mention, recalling or impeaching an elected official who has failed to uphold the ideologies and Democratic philosophies that have made us the strongest and greatest country on Earth. That said, a message needs to be sent to the Governor of Michigan that the people of that state will not tolerate the government's infringement and invasion of their personal lives, less and only their sex lives. 

What right does the government have to regulate or legislate a sexual situation between two consenting adults that is more the business of the couple and a marriage counselor, and less that of the police department and the local prosecutor?

Seriously, this is America, not some country where the mere mention of individual rights and sovereignty can get you disappeared, executed, and tossed in some nameless ditch in the middle of the night for committing a perceived act of treason against the current regime. Yet, is that where we are headed as a nation since Americans are allowing the passage of laws that are clear violations of personal privacy and individual rights? Is that where we are headed since Americans are no longer policing their elected officials, and allowing them to basically take a jar of white out to their Constitutional rights?

Think about it.
I encourage each and every one of you who read "The Back Porch" to call Gov. Sean Parnell's office at (907) 465.3500, and tell him that in the State of Alaska we will not stand for the appointment of a candidate who would undermine out Constitutional rights in the name of perpetuating the agendas and beliefs of a minority group who would supersede those rights in the name of religious tyranny and oppression. The Salem Witch Trials ended hundreds of years ago, marking a dark period in our history where religiosity led to the deaths of thousands of innocents. We're supposed to learn from our mistakes in order to avoid repeating them, and with that in mind do we really need to waste money and resources on a modern day witch hunt for people having sex outside of marriage?

Seriously.

***


Don Haase Wants To Appoint Judges and Make Extramarital Sex Illegal
http://www.adn.com/2011/03/23/1772266/senate-panel-questions-judicial.html

In Michigan Cheating On Your Spouse Can Put You In Jail for LIFE
http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/adultery_could_carry_life_sentence_in_michigan/

Eagle Forum Alaska Blog
http://eagleforumalaska.blogspot.com/ 

Sodomy Laws Repealed and Overturned in the United States
http://www.glapn.org/sodomylaws/usa/usa.htm

Thursday, March 24, 2011

An Open Letter To Victoria Jackson

Dear Miss. Jackson,

Earlier today, I managed to catch your interview concerning the remarks you made on your blog about the homosexual kiss on the television show "Glee", and your opinion that the airing of the kiss is part of a liberal agenda to lure children away from Jesus Christ into lives of debauchery and sin. You claimed that the airing of the exchange was "sickening", and spent the remainder of the interview quoting scripture, and denying that the broadcast of such programs is of any benefit to adolescents who are discovering their own homosexual identities. Having been a Conservative at one point in my life, I understand your position, since it is popular amongst modern Republicans who self-identify as members of the Religious Right or Moral Majority. Yet as a Christian who, because of their convictions and faith in Christ Jesus and our Heavenly Father, stepped away from that political, cultural, social, and spiritual movement; I have to respectfully disagree.


First of all, like many Conservative Christians, you believe homosexuality to be a choice, and while there are cases where a person has chosen to engage in a same-sex relationship later in life that isn't the norm. Many homosexuals will tell you that they have felt their particular attraction their entire lives, and their orientation is not the result of some conscious or unconscious decision, paganism, deviltry, deception, or whatever else you'd like to use to explain their preference. It's there, it's always there, and because of how our society is set up they face a lifetime of ridicule, harassment, and rejection. Throughout the latter part of last year as well as the beginning of this one, the news was inundated with reports of homosexual teenagers committing suicide due to harassment from other youth and adults for their orientation. Harassment that was so severe, they decided to take their own lives rather then endure the taunting, the rejection, the isolation, the fear, the derision, and other forms of abuse heaped upon them for being gay.

I'm sorry, but to agitate a person to the point of suicide is neither humane nor Christian. I realize you would then suggest Bible camps that are designed to help homosexual youth, the famous "pray the gay away" programs, yet in reality they simply don't work. In some cases, there is a "conversion" to heterosexuality, in the majority of them? No. You cannot pray the gay away Miss. Jackson, you cannot cure it, it's not a disease, it's not a psychological disorder, or a sign of a failing spiritual condition. The majority of gays who do "convert" usually do so to end rejection, to gain acceptance and love from their friends and families, and obtain the same treatment and respect afforded to those who are "normal". It's called acting Miss. Jackson, I'm sure you're familiar with this concept.


Therefore, let's go to the scripture itself, shall we? I'm sure you can throw Romans 8:12 out there with the best of them, as well as Paul's writings on the subject, or any of the writings included in Leviticus when Moses gave the law concerning human sexuality. Keep in mind, that's the same law that calls for the stoning or poisoning of women suspected of committing adultery, eye-for-an-eye settlements of disputes, and other penalties that Jesus later denounced for their oppressive and abusive nature. However, when you research the context of any of those writings they were concerned with the presence of temple prostitutes who would have sex with anything with a pulse out of service to whatever pagan god they were worshiping, and the main criticism of homosexuality stems from its associations with pagan cultures. Also, while the Bible is inspired by God, some of what is written in the text is cultural, and applies to ancient Middle Eastern life at that time. For example, Paul criticizes men with long hair, Paul was a Roman citizen, and thus had short hair because to have it long was a sign of barbarianism. Remember, Romans looked down on the peoples they conquered, and tried to forcibly assimilate then into Roman culture and society. Plus, this may have been a dig at his rival Peter whom history describes as having long hair, possibly dreadlocks down his back. Either way, having short hair is not a top priority when it comes to getting right with God.


I'd also direct you to Matthew 19:10-12 where Jesus heals the servant of a Roman Centurion. Doesn't sound like much, right? Just another miracle, right? Wrong-o. The man in question was, according to the ancient Greek, a pais which depending on context could mean a son or boy, a servant, or a male lover. In Rome, if a man who was gay wanted to have the equivalent of a spouse, he would usually purchase one, usually a teenager to serve that purpose. Therefore, looking at the history and culture of that era, the nature of the Centurion's plea for the healing of his pais, and the way he reacted when Jesus intended to come to his house it's likely that his man was his homosexual lover. Given his familiarity with Judaic traditions and law, it is understandable that he wouldn't want a herd of Jews coming into his home, and learning the true nature of his relationship with his pais. However Jesus, being the Son of God, already knew, and healed the man anyway. Therefore, if God is so down on homosexuality, and because of his nature cannot condone nor commit a sin then why did he show mercy and heal the gay lover of a pagan Roman soldier? A sworn enemy of the Jews, and someone living a lifestyle contrary to their traditions, laws, and fundamental beliefs?


I realize, you could argue against this translation, but it doesn't change the very real evidence located in the Bible we both read and follow.


This brings me to my final point which is your claim that due to the Liberal agendas of homosexuality and the like being put forth in our culture and media, God is unable to bless our great nation, and therefore we are falling into physical and spiritual ruin. I'd beg to differ on that point given the fact that those who are claiming to be our spiritual and bureaucratic leaders are engaging in acts that are the epitome of sin. Miss. Jackson, God isn't having a hard time blessing our country due to gays running rampant, He has a problem blessing it due to the hatred, hypocrisy, human rights violations, oppression, manipulation, witchery using the word of God to twist the minds of others, and other socially accepted institutions of sin that are racking our government and society. 

Keep in mind, you're a member of the Tea Party, the same organization who's members have been caught multiple times shouting racist invectives at ethnics and homosexuals, and even going so far as to blatantly lie in order to further their own agendas. Remember James O'Keefe and ACORN, or is that okay so long as he does "God's work" by undermining the evil Leftist subversives within this country? Before you criticize others for having a splinter in their eye, take the tree out of yours, and look around at what is really going on. 

Keep in mind, I used to be you. I used to be a member of the Republican Party, I used to be a Conservative, and then I made the "mistake" of asking God to cleanse me of all prejudice, sin, and deception. I asked Him to show me the truth, the REAL truth of the world, and to grant me the ability to see things for what they really are. 

One month later, I left all of that behind in favor of God, and following Him in all ways while living by His truths.

In retrospect, Miss. Jackson, that was the best "mistake" I've ever made, and I pray that someday you too will allow God to show you the truth, and speak into your heart the love and compassion that is missing from the majority of the Christian faith. If I, a woman who once sinned against others out of ignorance can come to the truth and forgiveness of God, so can you. I'll leave you with that thought.


Sincerely,


Ryan Jaimz Knight
A Liberal and A Christian

***


Tyler Clementi Commits Suicide After Roommate Outs Him On The Internet
http://abcnews.go.com/US/gay-teen-suicide-sparks-debate/story?id=11788128

Thirteen-Year-Old Asher Brown Commits Suicide After Being Harassed for Being Gay
http://www.autostraddle.com/13-year-old-gay-suicide-60960/

Praying The Gay Away Does Not Work
http://www.thegaymanifesto.com/2010/11/27/ex-gay-no-way-conversion-therapy-does-not-work/  


Jesus Heals A Gay Man
http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence/gay_couple.html

Victoria Jackson vs. Glee
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9N07o-ZSBQA

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Leftists, Communists, and Liars

It's no secret that right now our country is embroiled in a series of legislative acts that have less to do with the appropriate management of America's fiscal resources, and everything in common with forcing others to comply with extreme interpretations of religious rhetoric as part of a none-to-subtle attempt to turn this nation into a theocracy.  Naturally, activist organizations have sprung up right and left to mobilize the common man into a cohesive unit designed to take advantage of the remaining vestiges of Democracy, and oppose the purposeful oppression and sanction of those who are non-compliant with right wing agendas. Popular examples of these groups include MoveOn.org, FreePress.net, and Care2.com to name a few. They have been instrumental in providing information that would otherwise go unreported by the mainstream media, and while they do have a bias based on their political leanings their data has been accurate when cross-referenced and investigated by everyone from journalists to independent bloggers like myself.

Unfortunately, many doubt the veracity of their information, and believe it to be little more than a pack of leftist lies put forth by subversive elements who want to turn this country into a communist regime as part of their evil atheist and socialist agendas. While there is no evidence of this, it's what they're being told courtesy of the conservative news outlets across this great nation. If you think I'm kidding, read the following e-mail, but first let me put it into context. As an independent blogger, I'm able to remain politically active without the same constraints placed upon journalists who must avoid bias through actual or perceived lobbying on behalf of a politician or cause. 

Remind me to e-mail that sentence to the powers that be at Fox News.

Subsequently, when I receive e-mail alerts from one of the organizations I just mentioned, I typically send them out in order to gain support from others in order to support the grassroots movements designed to tell our elected officials that we the people will now allow them to run roughshod over us. Our government is by the people and for the people, which means that we hire our elected officials through the voting process, and fire them through impeachment or recall proceedings. With that in mind, when a cause comes along that targets those who would abuse their positions I support it. Earlier this week, I received the following action alert:


Dear Ryan,

What kind of country cuts food aid to hungry pregnant women and children in the middle of an economic crisis—while giving a giant tax break to billionaires?

Seriously. WTF?!

The Republicans are winning the battle over the budget, hands down, even though what they're fighting for is, put simply, immoral. A cut of at least $400 million from a crucial program that puts food on the table for pregnant women and small children. Crippling the EPA. Completely eliminating funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, AmeriCorps, and high-speed rail.1 

Instead of creating jobs, the Republican budget would destroy 700,000 of them. Our only hope is a public outcry strong enough to stiffen Democrats' spines and cause Republicans to back down.


The petition says: "Cutting food aid to hungry women and children in the middle of an economic crisis is wrong. Please oppose the devastating cuts in the Republican budget."

Thanks for all you do.
–Daniel, Joan, Adam Q., Milan, and the rest of the team
Sources:
1. "House GOP Proposes Cuts to Scores of Sacred Cows," National Journal, February 9, 2011
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=206023&id=26549-18544361-wqlQWIx&t=4

This message was sent by MoveOn.org, and I forwarded it to the majority of my e-mail list. Roughly thirty minutes later, I was given this response from one of the recipients:

Ryan,

Please take me off your email list, especially this leftist, commie blog/PAC, MOVE ON .ORG, Please do not ever insult my religious beliefs and think that Christians  worldwide do not support and defend the poor and helpless.  Remember, the adage, give a man a fish he will eat for a day, teach a man to fish he will eat for life.  You have been very misinformed, the federal government is not your teacher nor your fisherman!!

That's strange, I don't recall claiming that my government is my teacher and fisherman. I also don't recall seeing that in the alert I sent out. Yet, that was the assumption of the individual in question, and their statement that the information is part of some leftist and communist agenda is a sign that they're the ones who are misinformed courtesy of the popular conservative rhetoric bouncing around the airwaves.

Progressives are demonized as liars and commies, yet Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, and others are the golden standard of truth and ethics in news reporting? Last I checked not only do these individuals engage in actions that are in direct opposition to their purported adherence to the Christian faith, with the exception of Beck who is Mormon, but routinely put forth information that when reviewed by independent researchers turns out to be heavily skewed and rife with false data. Examples? I direct your attention to Exhibit A where Bill O'Reilly went on national television, and claimed that kidnapping and molestation victim Shawn Hornbeck enjoyed his four years of captivity with abductor Michael Devlin. Even though authorities found evidence that Hornbeck and co-prisoner Ben Ownby were routinely beaten and sodomized, O'Reilly claimed that Hornbeck stayed because he didn't have to "obey any rules", and didn't have to "go to school".

Interesting. A child is going to choose a life of humiliation, rape, verbal and physical abuse, and psychological terror over school and a structured environment.

I could go on and on about all of the different examples of poor judgment, behavior, and reporting connected just to the individuals I have named. Yet, the point of the matter is that millions of people rely on the information broadcast on their respective networks, web sites, blogs, and so forth in order to make informed and educated decision about the political future of their state and country. Unfortunately,there are those in power who would use that access to engage in psychological warfare, and manipulate the masses in order to gather support for their own agendas. One would ask why people aren't hip to this trick, yet how could they when they've been raised since birth to believe that these people are right, and anyone who doesn't 100% agree with or behave as they do are evil and wrong? Add in character defamation, purposeful editing (James O'Keefe), disinformation, blatant lies, and skewing of scientific and statistical data and you have people just like the ones contained in that e-mail I posted.

Loyal, faithful, and incapable of forming an independent thought. Not to mention lacking the will or ability to question those who are in power, or checking up on the people providing them with the information they're basing their decisions and very lives upon. Last I checked, Christ had a name for people who manipulate and use others in the fashions I've described, and a warning to boot according to Luke 12:1:

"...Beware the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy."


Think he was onto something?

***

Bill O'Reilly Claims Kidnapping and Molestation Victim Enjoyed Capture (1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKI5S4wShqo

Bill O'Reilly Defends Statement That Kidnapping and Molestation Victim Enjoyed Caputre (2)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGKM44SY_Ug&feature=related 

MoveOn.Org
http://front.moveon.org/ 

Care2.Com
http://www.care2.com/ 

FreePress.Net
http://www.freepress.net/ 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tea Baggers vs. Tolerance

Right now, tolerance isn't looking so good given the beating it's receiving at the hands of the Tea Party. After the fiasco surrounding Joe Miller with his paranoia, personal goon squad, and war on the public's right to know the organization has been keeping a low profile. Understandable, since most of the candidates they've backed have turned out to be religious extremists who want to turn America into a theocracy, and take this country clear back to the Stone Age "in the name of Jesus".

However, bizarre interpretations of scripture, to the point of undermining basic human and constitutional rights aren't the only hallmark of this group, racism is as well. Early last year, the Huffington Post reported on the antics of Tea Party protesters who yelled derogatory expletives at House Democrats during a political function. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver was spat on, Rep John Lewis, a hero of the Civil Rights Movement, was called a "n___er", and openly gay Rep. Barney Frank was called a "faggot" by members of the crowd. Naturally, the Tea Party was quick to respond claiming that its organization wasn't racist, and even went so far as to claim that the Congressmen were making the whole thing up. A position they stuck to, until this little gem popped up courtesy of Tea Partier Mark Williams:



Dear Mr. Lincoln,

We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don't cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People, and we demand that it stop!

In fact, we held a big meeting and took a vote in Kansas City this week. We voted to condemn a political revival of that old abolitionist spirit called the "tea party movement".

The Tea Party position to "end the bailouts" for example, is just silly. Bailouts are just big money welfare, and isn't that what we want all Coloreds to strive for? What kind of racist would want to end big money welfare? What they need to do is start handing the bail outs directly to us Coloreds! Of course, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is the only responsible party that should be granted the right to disperse the funds.

And the ridiculous idea of "reduce[ing] the size and intrusiveness of government". What kind of massa would ever not want to control my life? As Coloreds we must have somebody care for us otherwise we would be on our own, have to think for ourselves, and make decisions! 

The racist Tea Parties also demand that the government "stop the out of control spending." Again, they directly target Coloreds. That means we Coloreds would have to complete for jobs like everybody else, and that is just not right.

Perhaps the most racist point of all in the tea parties is their demand that government "stop raising our taxes". That is outrageous! How will we Coloreds ever get a wide screen TV in every room if non-Coloreds get to keep what they earn? Totally racist! The Tea Party expects Coloreds to be productive members of society?

Mr. Lincoln, you were the greatest racist ever. We had a great gig. Three squares, room and board, all our decisions made by the massa in the house. Please repeal the 13th and 14th Amendments, and let us get back to where we belong.

Sincerely,

Precious Ben Jealous, Tom's Nephew NAACP Head Colored Person



Wow.


The National Tea Party Federation eventually kicked Williams out, even though the Tea Party Express leader had previously gone on the air on his California radio show, and labeled the Manhattan boro president tied up in the infamous Ground Zero Mosque a "Jewish Uncle Tom" and President Obama an "Indonesian Muslim turned welfare thug." Yet, he was only ousted after his blog containing similar bigoted sentiments gained national attention, thus requiring the Federation to save face by giving him the boot.


Indeed.


Yet, the extremists are back again, this time their rhetoric is firmly aimed at President Obama. What most Americans don't realize is that the ranks of the Tea Party and its various satellite organizations, are filled with ultra-conservative Christian fundamentalists who want to see this country become a theocracy, and taken back to a time where oppression of others based on ethnicity or gender was accepted as "correct" under strict [mis]interpretations of biblical text. This is evidenced by a recent poll showing that one in three conservatives think Barack Obama is the Anti-Christ. Admittedly, this sampling comes solely from New Jersey, but if that same poll was conducted on a national scale how many people would click "yes" signifying their belief that our Executive in Chief is the Devil incarnate?


This comes on the heels of the other recent religiously motivated protest where evangelicals are being encouraged to pray Psalm 109:9 against President Obama. Why is this such a big deal? Well, read the scripture for yourself:


"May his days be few, may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow."

Nice. Nothing like calling for the Judeo-Christian equivalent of a jihad against your President. Yet these are the same people who are calling members of the Democratic Party traitors inciting sedition, and holding up signs demanding they be tried for treason. Pot, meet kettle. Kettle, this is pot. I'm just curious to see how crazy things have to get before the religious leaders within this country quit sitting on their hands, and speak out against the madness sweeping across America. Although, as a student of history something tells me that their protests will come too little too late, and therefore those of us who are true members of the Christian faith must pray.

For what exactly? 

The safety of our President and the future of this great nation, for I fear that someone within these extreme elements might follow in the footsteps of Jared Lee Loughner, and make an attempt on Barack Obama's life. I am not the only one who is afraid that someone might try to or succeed in assassinating Obama, and given the antics of these madmen who bastardize the name of God in favor of their tyranny and hatred - it's a legitimate concern.

***

Mark William's Racist Letter
http://www.hillbillyreport.org/showDiary.do?diaryId=1754&view=print 

Congressmen Harassed By Tea Party Enthusiasts
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/20/tea-party-protests-nier-f_n_507116.html

Mark Willaims Ousted by National Tea Party Federation
http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-07-18/news/27070288_1_mark-williams-mosque-ground-zero  

Obama Identified As The Anti-Christ
http://washingtonindependent.com/59514/poll-one-in-three-new-jersey-conservatives-think-obama-might-be-the-anti-christ


Obama Targeted by Psalm 109:9
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/18/rachel-maddow-frank-schae_n_362415.html

Monday, February 21, 2011

Missing Breasts? No Worries, TSA Will Still Feel You Up For "National Security"

Earlier this week, Rep. Sharon Cissna (D-Anchorage) had to employ alternative means to return to Juneau to participate in the Legislature, after refusing to engage in what she called an "invasive pat-down search" at the Seattle airport. On Sunday, Cissna underwent a full-body scan at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport revealing scars from surgery she underwent as part of her battle against breast cancer, apparently this was enough of a red flag that agents for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) decided to subject her to an intensive physical search.

Yes, according to the TSA mastectomy scars are an indicator that a woman is possibly transporting terrorist devices. However, after the last grope-fest Cissna refused to comply, and instead opted to return by ferry to Alaska's capitol. This form of invasion, permissible under the Homeland Security Act, has led to multiple incidents of TSA agents abusing their positions, and using their authority to inappropriately search passengers and harass innocent Americans.

Keep in mind the case of Mandi Hamlin, 37, who on February 24, 2008 was forced by TSA officials in Lubbock, Texas to remove her nipple rings using a pair of pliers behind a flimsy security screen. You heard me, TSA agents had a passenger remove her nipple rings with a pair of pliers even though they weren't a security risk. Hamlin had already passed through the large walk-through metal detectors without incident, however after an agent ran a handheld detector over her chest, her piercings were discovered. Hamlin informed the female agent she was wearing nipple rings, whereupon the TSA employee called over her male colleagues who informed Hamlin she would have to remove her jewelry in order to board the plane, and insisted upon it even after she offered to display her pierced breasts for inspection to a female agent. Several male officers then told her if she wanted to fly, the jewelry would have to go, and escorted her to a screened area where she had to remove her rings using the pliers. According to Hamlin, she overheard the male officers snickering on the other side of the screen while she took out her piercings. TSA agents then allowed her to board the flight, even though she was still wearing a belly button ring.

So, nipple rings bad, belly rings good. Interesting.


Toddlers aren't safe from the long arm of TSA either, since on November 16, 2010, three-year old Mandy Simon was subjected to a search in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Why was she searched? Because, like any young child, she started crying after her security object, a teddy bear, was put through the X-Ray machine. This caused her to act like any stressed child therefore because she couldn't walk calmly through through the upright metal scanner she was subject to a hand search. How was this accomplished? By holding her down on the floor, and forcibly conducting the pat-down. Unfortunately for TSA and fortunately for Mandy, her father was a TV reporter, and caught seventeen seconds of the ordeal on his cell phone.


Wow.


Finally, Stacy Armato, 30, was kept from making her flight to return to her family in Los Angeles, California after asking TSA agents to adhere to their own policies and procedures regarding alternative screening methods for medically necessary liquids. What was the liquid? Her own breast milk which she had pumped earlier before arriving at the Phoenix International Airport, and even had a copy of the TSA's own guidelines in hand when she went through the checkpoints to back up her request that the milk not be subjected to the X-Ray machine because of possible radiation. Yet, TSA agents refused to follow their own federal guidelines, detained Armato for over an hour, forcing her to miss her flight, and eventually discard the milk intended for her seven-month old son waiting for her back in Los Angeles. If that's not bad enough, after filing a complaint and engaging in legal action, the Transportation Security Administration eventually turned over tapes displaying Armato's ordeal, minus thirty minutes of footage, and the portion where the TSA manager demanded her personal information on a piece of paper which he kept.

All of this in the name of safety, yet after reviewing dozens of incidents like these, it's obvious that these antics have less to do with safety, and everything to do with the institution of fascism. The majority of these searches are rife with incidents of blatant sexual assault, and violation of American's constitutional rights even when they come armed with copies of TSA's own federal guidelines!

The fact that Sharon Cissna had to be patted down even after submitting to a body scan which leaves very, very little to the imagination is absolutely absurd. This sort of treatment is unnecessary, and hasn't done jack for making us safer since all one has to do is look at the incident in 2010 with the underwear bomber to figure that out. Freedom, true freedom, requires risk, and I'm sorry in the words of Benjamin Franklin -

"Those who give up safety in the name of freedom deserve neither."

This will not stop until the men and men of this great nation stand up against this breech of our constitutional rights, which state that as citizens of this country we are exempt from UNLAWFUL SEARCHES AND SEIZURES, and tell these people no more.


***

Cissna Refuses To Be Felt-Up In The Name of National Security
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/21/rep-sharon-cissna-tsa-patdown_n_825851.html?ref=fb&src=sp 

Mandi Hamlin Forced To Remove Her Nipple Rings Using A Pair Of Pliers
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/682189/mandi_hamlin_our_privacy_the_tsa_and.html

Mandy Simon Searched For Crying Over Her Teddy Bear At An Airport
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfmoms/detail?entry_id=77140  


Stacy Armato Denied Flight For Asking For Alternative Screening Methods for Her Breastmilk
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1334228/Breast-feeding-passenger-claims-harassed-TSA-wanting-pumped-milk-passed-X-ray-machine.html

What The Airport Scans REALLY Show
http://www.livescience.com/5387-airport-body-scans-reveal.html

Sunday, February 20, 2011

UPDATE: GOP Redoubles Efforts To Oppress American Women

Earlier this week, I reported in the article The War On Woman on GOP efforts to redefine rape, cut all funding for Planned Parenthood, and even deny medically necessary abortions to women who's lives are in danger due to complications from their pregnancy. However, since posting that article I've come across new information about legislation Republicans are attempting to pass that would not only destroy a woman's quality of life, but her access to medical care, childcare, and undermine her ability to prosecute stalkers, rapists, and perpetrators of domestic violence.

According to MoveOn.org, an online website dedicated to civic action and raising awareness of elected officials attempting to restrict or oppress American citizens, there are ten legislative processes currently before Congress who's sole purpose is to take a pick-axe to women's health and rights. Three of them were covered in The War On Woman, but the remaining seven are indicative of the direction the self-proclaimed religious right and moral majority wish to take this country over the next five to ten years. An opportunity they will undoubtedly seize upon should one of the top Republican presidential candidates (Romney, Palin, etc...) ascend to the White House.

Consider Rep. Bobby Franklin of Georgia who is trying to pass legislation requiring police in his state to investigate all miscarriages, whether they occur at home or in a hospital, in order to certify they were natural and spontaneous. If the cause of death cannot be verified, or the woman can't tell how it happened then the police have the right to interrogate family, friends, and even take legal action against the woman to the tune of infanticide. Under his new bill, HB 1, abortions even in cases of rape, incest, or when it's a choice between the life of the fetus and the mother would be illegal even if there is overwhelming medical evidence to support the necessity of the procedure.


So much for the Hippocratic oath to "do no harm".


This comes on the heels of Franklin's last legislative endeavor, reported earlier this month on The Huffington Post, to introduce a bill mandating that state criminal codes identify women who are victims of rape, domestic violence, and stalking as "accusers" instead of "victims" until the perpetrator is convicted. An interesting step since Georgia is 11th in the nation for incidences of forcible rape, and the change in the language would undermine the credibility of the plaintiff by calling into play old myths that accusations of rape and domestic violence are little more than fabrications. This would also place an additional barrier between the victim and the justice system since according to RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network), 60% of rapes/sexual assaults are not reported, and only 6% of rapists ever serve a day in jail.


Yet, Franklin wants to create language that would further reduce a victim's ability to prosecute her attacker/abuser/stalker even though he is the representative of a state that is currently 11th in the nation for sex crimes.


Interesting.

If that's not crazy enough for you, Rep. Phil Jensen of South Dakota issued a bill, HB 1171, that would make it legal for the relatives of a woman seeking an abortion to kill the provider performing the procedure under the pretense of justifiable homicide. According to the language of the document, the act would be "permissible if committed by a person while resisting the attempt to harm that person's unborn child or the unborn child of that person's spouse, partner, parent, or child". Proponents of HB 1171 says the language has nothing to do with abortion, but Jensen supporters like Iowa anti-abortion activist David Leach have praised the bill stating -

"There may be something I'm overlooking, but from all appearances, this bill would certainly justify an individual taking the life of an abortionist in order to save human lives."

As of February 19, state lawmakers have shelved the measure, but given the climate of the political arena regarding women's reproductive rights it's likely to return. What's interesting is that the people putting forth these bills are members of the so-called moral majority, and base a great deal of their campaign platforms on their ability to embody and live up to the edicts of Christian theology. Yet, they're calling for the murder of physicians, the deaths of women from complications during pregnancy, the forced pregnancy of victims of incest and rape, and the denial of justice to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. All of this from individuals following the teachings of a Jewish holy man whom history identifies as being a "defender of women", and commanded those who followed Him to show mercy and provide aid to the poor.


About that last part, the House Appropriations Committee has proposed to cut $758 million dollars from programs providing food assistance to low-income women, children, and infants. This doesn't come as much of a surprise since according to individuals like Commissioner C. Paul Smith and Robin Delauter, Republican officials who voted to slash funding to their county's Head Start Program an organization that provides preschool services to children of low-income families (not just single mothers), their decision is "right" because women should really be married and at home with their children which would make the program unnecessary. 


I see, so the higher cost of living, the fact that the majority of families cannot survive on a single income necessitating both parents participation in the work force, and everything else that makes childcare a necessity is just utter bunk?


Then again, if GOP party members truly wanted to prevent the incidence of unplanned pregnancies requiring the use of public funds to support these non-traditional families, then they should reconsider their efforts to defund programs like Planned Parenthood and Title X which provides family planning for low-income Americans. The proper use of condoms and oral contraceptives goes a long way for preventing pregnancies and STDs, yet Congress wants to completely eliminate funding for family planning programs. 

Of course these anti-choice proponents are simply looking out for the human condition, the sanctity and value of human life, which is why they're opting to defund these programs, and instead follow in the footsteps of Rep. Dan Burton of Indiana who is working to introduce an amendment to the spending bill to promote contraception for wild horses.


It's nice to know that today in American, much like in the days of Ancient Greece, a horse has more value than the health and well-being of a human woman.


***


Top GOP's Top Ten Attacks On Women's Health and Rights
http://pol.moveon.org/waronwomen/?rc=fb 

Georgia Representative Wants Police To Investigate All Miscarriages for Criminal Activity
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/17/946257/--GALegislator-Wants-to-Create-The-Uterus-Police-to-Investigate-Miscarriages

Rep. Bobby Franklin's Anti-Abortion/Miscarriage Bill In Its Entirety
http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display.aspx?Legislation=31965

Georgia Representative Wants To Change "Victim" to "Accuser" for Crimes of Rape, Domestic Violence, and Stalking
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/04/georgia-lawmaker-redefine-rape-victims-accusers_n_818718.html 

Reporting Rate Statistics From RAINN
http://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/reporting-rates  


Rep. Phil Jensen of South Dakota's "Justifiable Homicide" I
http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2011/02/15/south_dakota_abortion_killing_bill

Rep. Phil Jensen of South Dakota's "Justifiable Homicide" II  
http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/south-dakota-hb-1171-legalize-killing-abortion-providers 


South Dakota Lawmakers Shelve Jensen's Bill
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/17/south-dakota-shelves-homicide-bill_n_824566.html

House GOP Cuts Funding to "Sacred Cows"
http://nationaljournal.com/house-gop-proposes-cuts-to-scores-of-sacred-cows-20110209

Women Should Be Married and At Home with Their Children Instead of Working
http://thinkprogress.org/2011/02/16/gop-women-kids/ 
 
Smith and Delauter's Remarks Regarding Women In The Workplace  
http://www.gazette.net/stories/02092011/frednew175041_32611.php

GOP Targets Family Planning Funds for Title X
http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/02/09/gop-spending-plan-x-ing-out-title-x-family-planning-funds/ 

Contraceptives for Horses Instead of Humans
http://www.blogforchoice.com/archives/2011/02/birth-control-f.html


MoveOn.Org
http://www.moveon.org/