Wednesday, May 19, 2010

UPDATE: Rep. Mark Souder Takes Responsibility And Resigns

In a recent post I gave Representative Mark Souder credit for resigning his office instead of forcing his constituents or his colleagues to oust him, before having read the contents of his resignation letter.  Now I must withdraw that credit since Mark Souder has decided to blame his affair on Washington, D.C. instead of himself.  The following is an excerpt of the resignation letter:


The following statement by 'Concerned Women for America' also blames Washington, D.C. for Souder's affair:

"Those of us who have worked with Mark over the years know him to be a kind and thoughtful legislator. If Mark Souder is capable of sexual misconduct, it could happen to anyone. The frat house environment on Capitol Hill does nothing to encourage accountability. Most Members do not live with their families while they are working in D.C. during the week and have even ditched common rules of etiquette that even major corporations follow such as office doors with windows or careful examination of employee/boss interaction."

How is Washington, D.C. to blame for Souder's affair with a staffer from Indiana who worked in Souder's Indiana office and met to have sex with Souder in Indiana state parks?

It's not Capitol Hill that puts the devil in our Congressmen, it's our Congressmen that put the devil on Capitol Hill.

Conservatives Unhappy With Miss USA Pageant, Again!

Many conservatives are upset that Miss Michigan, Rima Fakih, has been crowned Miss USA instead of Miss Oklahoma, Elizabeth Woolard, who was the first runner-up.  They feel that Miss Oklahoma should have won but did not because she expressed approval of Arizona's new Immigration Law when responding to one of the interview questions.  Furthermore, they feel that Ms. Fakih is the "affirmative action" choice because she is a Muslim born in Lebanon (another case of reverse discrimination).

Sound familiar?  In 2009, Miss California, Carrie Prejean, was the first runner-up in the Miss USA pageant.  Conservatives claimed that Prejean did not win the crown because she had disapproved of same-sex marriage during her interview.

Now Ms. Fakih's pre-pageant life is being scrutinized and criticized publicly by conservatives in an attempt to disqualify her even though Ms. Fakih was only an innocent bystander.

Miss USA contestants are judged in three competitions: Interview, Swimsuit and Evening Gown.  The judges evaluate each contestant's poise, charm, self-confidence, beauty of face, figure, physical fitness, sense of style, ability to communicate, the substance of her communication and her character.  If Miss Oklahoma's performance in the interview dropped her from first to second place in the overall competition then it is likely that an adequate number of the judges did not approve of the character revealed in Miss Oklahoma's response since her ability to communicate has not been cited as deficient.

The majority of Americans and many Arizonans strongly disapprove of Arizona's Immigration Law because its enforcement is a violation of American civil rights, therefore, Miss Oklahoma's approval of the Immigration Law is evidence of a character defect.  I, and I suspect the majority of Americans, do not disagree with Arizona's opposition to illegal immigration, rather, it is the action that the Immigration Law requires of all Arizona Law enforcement personnel that we find to be disagreeable and unconstitutional.

And, conservative whining... I find that disagreeable, also!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rep. Mark Souder Takes Responsibility And Resigns

Representative Mark Souder reminded us how very hard it is to remain "holier than thou" when he resigned for having an affair with an assistant.  If a resignation was called for then I commend him for voluntarily resigning instead of hanging on until his constituents or his colleagues ousted him.  So many before Souder have refused to resign when a resignation was called for - that is when the member of Congress violated a law or his oath, such that he would be expected to resign.

Souder, who was elected in 1994 on a "family values" platform, makes the following statement on his website.  "I believe that Congress must fight to uphold the traditional values that undergird the strength of our nation.  The family plays a fundamental role in our society... I am committed to preserving traditional marriage, the union of one man and one woman."

Perhaps Souder meant "one woman" at a time.

Was Souder sincere when he ran on a "family values" platform and like most of us stumbled.  Or did he select the "family values" platform only to get votes?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pope Blames Church For Its Persecution Over The Sex Abuse Scandal

Pope Benedict XVI believes that the Catholic Church is being persecuted! Could he be more self-righteous and unapologetic?!?! When I think of a persecution I think of the Jewish Holocaust, the Muslim conquest of the Holy Lands, the Crusades to retake the Holy Lands and convert the Muslims, the Inquisition of heretics and atheists and the Roman persecution of the Christians. The Catholic Church is being justifiably punished, not persecuted, for covering up sexual abuses by its clerics. The cover up has been led by the Vatican and every pope since the abuses became public. Pedophilia in the Catholic Church has existed so long that it is institutionalized.

The Vatican's only response has been to minimize its legal and financial exposures by lying, coercion and bribery. The Vatican had tried to dismiss the abuses as American only. The current pope is the first one to 'approach' apologizing, however, alligator tears do not make an apology and certainly do not deliver the changes needed to prevent future abuses.

I don't think the leadership of the Catholic Church deserves to survive its wrongs. The lay Catholics should purge all ranks of the church's leadership if they want their church to survive since Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed that no one in the Vatican is going to respond properly, completely and consistently.

Sarah Palin Wants To Restore The Original Constitution Under Which She Will Have No Voice and No Vote!

Sarah Palin, who believes that the Judeo-Christian belief was the basis for American law and should continue to be used as a guiding force for creating future legislation, said, "Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant..."

I suggest that Sarah Palin take the lead and begin living as though the original Constitution has been restored.  Since the original Constitution held that only white men had a voice and a vote, then Sarah needs to shut up publicly.  If she has anything to say about our government and our laws, then she can say it to Todd Palin and Todd can bring it to the attention of his local, state or federal government representatives if he thinks it is necessary to do so.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The RNC Puts Its Shoe In Its Mouth...Again

President Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court.  And the RNC and its chairman, Michael Steele, have pulled another minority endearing statement out of their bag of faulty tricks by condemning Kagan for having praised the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1993.  Kagan quoted Marshall in his 1987 Constitutional Bicentennial speech.  Kagan quoted Marshall for saying that "The Constitution as origninally conceived and drafted was "defective" and that the Supreme Court's mission was to "show a special solicitude for the despised and the disadvantaged."

Marshall went on to say,

"the government they (the Framers of the Constitution) devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today.  When contemporary Americans cite "The Constitution," they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.

For a sense of the evolving nature of the Constitution we need look no further than the first three words of the document's preamble: 'We the People." When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America's citizens. "We the People" included, in the words of the Framers, "the whole Number of free Persons." United States Constitution, Art. 1, 52 (Sept. 17, 1787). On a matter so basic as the right to vote, for example, Negro slaves were excluded, although they were counted for representational purposes at threefifths each. Women did not gain the right to vote for over a hundred and thirty years. The 19th Amendment (ratified in 1920).  These omissions were intentional. The record of the Framers' debates on the slave question is especially clear: The Southern States acceded to the demands of the New England States for giving Congress broad power to regulate commerce, in exchange for the right to continue the slave trade. The economic interests of the regions coalesced: New Englanders engaged in the "carrying trade" would profit from transporting slaves from Africa as well as goods produced in America by slave labor. The perpetuation of slavery ensured the primary source of wealth in the Southern States."

When Michael Steele stated recently that the GOP has not "done a very good job" giving African-Americans a reason to vote Republican, did he intend then to adjust course and start doing a good job?  If so, he must have forgotten, or changed his mind, or decided to place a higher priority on attacking President Obama nomination.  Considering Steele's habit of sticking his foot in his mouth, I can only guess why he did it again.  My guess is he and the RNC wanted to attack President Obama above all else and, as usual, suspended his mental capacity while doing it.

Great job!  These blunders and kowtowing to the GOP's radical base may carry their Teabagger candidates in the Fall primaries but other than a few possible exceptions like Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas and Minnesota, they will surely get whipped in the general election.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Copier Machines Save Images Of Every Document They Copy

Did you know that the image of every document copied is saved on a copier's internal hard drive?  And most copiers do not provide a means for erasing these images.  When your employer, your doctor and your lawyer replace their copiers the old copiers leave with copies of all the documents they copied.

For a video about this privacy risk click on the following link.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

In 2001 Cheney Told BP That Well Safety Device Was Not Needed

Those who think that the huge spill resulting from the BP offshore well disaster was unavoidable should know that BP uses a safety device called an acoustical regulator on all its offshore wells, which could have closed the well when the manual controls failed. BP uses the device by law on wells off Brazil and in Norway's North Sea. BP voluntarily uses the device on the wells in Britain's North Sea operation and elsewhere in the world as do most other major oil companies. However, in 2001 Dick Cheney met with oil industry leaders and asked them for input on changes to US regulations. BP said the acoustical regulator was too expensive at $500,000 so the Bush Administration waived that requirement. At $14 billion each the estimated cost of the clean up and BP's profit in 2009 are each 28,000 times greater than the cost of the acoustical regulator.

Americans will never know the full extent of the damage to the world, not just America, for which the Bush administration is solely responsible.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Rep. Virginia Foxx receives Ronald Reagan Award

The GOP has presented the 2010 Ronald Reagan Award to Representative Virginia Foxx (R-NC).  After watching the attached video wherein Foxx is praised for her hard work in the House I decided to find out how much legislation Foxx has proposed while in the House.  Since joining the House in 2005, Foxx has proposed 31 bills of which only 5 were approved.

Approved legislation:
  • Allow service personnel to include combat pay in earned income to determine tax deduction
  • Extend Associate membership to spouse and siblings of members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart
  • Commend Appalachian State football team for winning NCAA I-AA football championship
  • Provides Federal employees with electronic receipts for direct deposits
  • Provides House members with electronic receipts for direct deposits
Considering the GOP praises in the attached video I expected a lot more.  I wonder how President Reagan would feel about his award going to Foxx for such an insignificant contribution.  Perhaps Foxx's real contribution was her 100% support of the House GOP caucus voting directives.

Friday, April 30, 2010

My Granddaughter's Science Fair Project - "Walking On Water (Ooblech)"

My granddaughter's project for her school's science fair was titled "Walking On Water."  Actually, she walked on a mixture of cornstarch and water (240 pounds of cornstarch and 24 gallons of water).  The mixture, named Ooblech by Dr. Seuss, is a liquid until it is stressed (pushed or pulled) then it becomes a solid only while it is stressed.  This allowed Priscilla to walk on top of the otherwise liquid Ooblech.  If she walked slow or stopped while on the Ooblech she would sink as if she was in quicksand.  And, as with quicksand, it is hard to get out after you sink!  If the Ooblech is allowed to dry completely, it returns to the original cornstarch powder.  Red food coloring was added for the pink color.

"Walking On Water"

Friday, April 16, 2010

GOP Starts Rumor That Supreme Court Candidate Is A Lesbian

I am convinced that the Republican National Committee, the Republican congressional leadership and the majority of Republican politicians are willing to do anything that benefits them and their major financial supporters. Their latest dirty trick is unethical, immoral and a violation of civil law.

A Republican Senatorial staffer and past member of the GW Bush administration started a rumor that Elena Kagan, a candidate for the Supreme Court, is a lesbian. Focus on the Family immediately piled on in their typical non-Christ-like manner by proclaiming that they would oppose the appointment of a homosexual. The White House in a rare response denied that Kagan was a lesbian without suggesting that sexual orientation is an issue.

However, the GOP and Focus are ignoring the truth, as they normally do. I can't wait to hear how Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Newt Gingrich and the FOX propagandists will take advantage of this lie.

These people are everything they disapprove of. They are an embarrassment to America and, if they are Christian role models, they invalidate the Christian religion. Why would any intelligent, informed, ethical, compassioate person respect the GOP and the Christians that follow them.

Don't ignore the GOP and their so-called Christian cohorts, actively oppose them. They are unethical and un-American and anybody that supports them either knowingly approves of their conduct or is too ignorant to know them for what they are. Their is not a third option; if you support them and you are not ignorant then you are no better than they are.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

American Family Association Wants To Deport Muslim-Americans

Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis at the American Family Association, wants to deport Muslim-Americans unless they convert to Christianity.  Obviously Bryan Fischer and AFA have not accepted that the government of the United States of America, according to its Constitution, is secular.  It's also obvious that Fischer doesn't accept that our Constitution requires a separation of Church and State for the purpose of protecting the religious rights of each and every citizen.  Does Fischer not understand the First Amendment of the Constitution or does he simply refuse to accept it like most, if not all, conservative Christians?

Jesus didn't instruct his followers to banish all non-Christians so why do so many Christians want to replace our democracy with a Christian theocracy?  But Fischer believes that by deporting non-believers he is protecting "the freedom, liberty and civil rights we cherish in the West."  But he cherishes them for Christian Americans only.  If Fischer succeeded in having the Muslim-Americans deported, he would then demand the deportation of all non-Christians.

You and I don't think that Fischer will succeed but his kind are now playing rough with those who disagree and the rough play, if not stopped now, will turn violent.

The following is Fischer's statement.  Note that he believes that American-Muslims and Muslim churches in America are guilty of treason.

The most compassionate thing we can do for Muslims who have already immigrated here is to help repatriate them back to Muslim countries, where they can live in a culture which shares their values, a place where they can once again be at home, surrounded by people who cherish their deeply held ideals. Why force them to chafe against the freedom, liberty and civil rights we cherish in the West?

Muslims who have become naturalized citizens, of course, would need to commit an act of treason to forfeit their citizenship and become eligible for repatriation. Based on the Constitution's definition of treason in Article III Section 3 ["adhering to (the) Enemies (of the United States), (or) giving them Aid and Comfort"] treasonous acts are likely committed on virtually a weekly basis here in the U.S. in many mosques and Islamic organizations.

Muslims continue to have as their objective the Islamization of the entire world, including the U.S., and are taught by their god to use force where necessary to accomplish the goal. The current objective of Muslim activists is to create a brand new Islamic state - meaning a state like New Jersey or Montana - out of existing jurisdictions and establish a virtual Islamic homeland in our midst.

Many Muslims are on our shores on student visas and such and have not yet become citizens. We must politely decline their request for naturalization (becoming an American citizen is a privilege, not a right) and use the money we would otherwise spend on their welfare, their education, their medical care and their incarceration to graciously assist them in returning to their countries of origin.

Bryan Fischer, the AFA and every like-minded person and organization are un-American.  Beware because I feel their numbers and political influence are growing.

Will Nevadans Actually Opt For Sue Lowden Instead Of Harry Reid???

According to polls Sue Lowden is leading against Harry Reid in the race for the US Senate seat for Nevada which is currently held by Harry Reid, the US Senate Majority Leader. Harry Reid is trailing because he led the Senate fight to pass the Health Care Reform legislation. Sue Lowden is leading because she had nothing to do with the Health Care Reform legislation and she would have opposed Health Care Reform if she had been in the Senate.

In a recent candidate forum Lowden was asked what she would have done instead of the Democrats' Health Care Reform legislation. Most of her response was a regurgitation of what other Republican politicians are saying but Lowden added a couple of her own ideas that should cause Nevadans to reject her candidacy. Lowden suggested that everybody should take maximum advantage of a pre-tax health care savings account. "And if you want to save $20,000, good for you," said Lowden.

Lowden also offered, "And I would have suggested, and I think that bartering is really good. Those doctors who you pay cash, you can barter, and that would get prices down in a hurry. And I would say go out, go ahead out and pay cash for whatever your medical needs are, and go ahead and barter with your doctor."

How many people who are in need of real health care reform can put $20,000 into a health care reserve account each year? Nobody? Then who is Lowden talking to? Does she really understand the issues?

How do you think your doctor, your pharmacist and your hospital would react if you start bartering with them for your health care needs? Will they refer you to a psychiatrist? What goods or services could you offer in exchange? Produce from your farm or garden? Your labor to mow their lawns or clean their offices? How many chicken eggs will your doctor demand in exchange for a colonoscopy? How many times will you be mowing the grass at your hospital in exchange for a heart valve replacement?

If Nevadans don't like Reid, that's fine with me, but I hope for the sake of all Americans that they don't elect Lowden. Lowden's political party selected the candidates that Nevadans can choose from and, as is often the case, their pick serves the party more than the people. The party has already given Nevadans John Ensign and has defended him, in spite of his unethical and illegal conduct, rather than remove him they won't risk losing another seat and the filibuster, which they have already used 50 times in this session.

Nevadans should elect a senator that will obey the laws, understand the issues and represent the citizens but so far the oddsmakers in Las Vegas see them doing otherwise.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

President Obama Order To Kill American Al Qaeda Leader Is Just

I condemned Dick Cheney for secretly establishing a CIA assassination team that answered only to him. I wouldn't have had a problem with using a non-covert team to kill, if necessary, terrorist leaders who could not otherwise be brought to justice and whose guilt as a terrorist leader was supported by real evidence. President Obama has been accused of continuing the abuses committed by the Bush administration by authorizing the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki. Eliminating the enemy was never an issue for me. Planning to do so covertly in violation of US laws as Cheney did was an issue. President Obama is acting within the law. If the terrorist targeted for elimination believes that he is unjustly accused, then let him surrender to the US or its allies and prove his innocence in court. The battlefield, in my opinion, is wherever the terrorist is. I don't think Anwar al-Awlaki should be an exception because he holds a US citizenship. Timothy McVeigh was a citizen of the US but his killing would have been justified if he would not surrender and resisted arrest with deadly force. Since the US cannot safely arrest Anwar al-Awlaki and if he refuses to surrender, I believe his killing is justified.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Record Snowfall Consistent With Global Warming

Many GOP leaders have claimed that the record snowfall on the East coast is proof that Global Warming is not real. These naysayers have only confirmed that they don't understand the difference between weather and climate. The Climate Change of which global warming is a part was expected to produce record snowfalls.  The average global temperature during this winter and the last 10 years are the highest in 2,000 years.  The higher temperatures increase the amount of water evaporated into the atmosphere.  Thus, when it snows or rains there is a possibility that the amount of precipitation will be greater.

Scientific fact does not outweigh the "truthiness" that the GOP and other Climate Change naysayers cling to.  Truthiness is opinion-based not fact-based; it is what the GOP chooses to believe in spite of the facts that indicate otherwise.

The question that must be asked is whether the GOP leaders really believe that Global Warming/Climate Change is not real or are they pretending that it is not real because they do not want to make the changes that are required to stop and eventually reverse man-made climate changes.

Monday, February 08, 2010

New Life Children's Refuge - Volunteers' Stupidity Is No Excuse

Nine volunteers, answering God's call to help children orphaned by the earthquake in Haiti, followed without question the mission organizer, Laura Silsby, founder of New Life Children's Refuge, to Haiti where they convinced several Haitian families to turn over 33 children to be cared for in a non-existent "orphanage" in the Domincan Republic.  Silsby had not acquired the necessary legal authorization from the Haitian authorities to have custody of the children and to remove them from Haiti.  Most, if not all, of the children are not orphans; their families have lost their homes or cannot afford to care for the children as adequately as promised by Silsby.  All 10 "missionaries" are in jail in Haiti, charged with kidnapping.  Eight of the 10 volunteers passed a note to news reporters during a press conference that claimed that Silsby was lying to the press.  The Haitian lawyer for the volunteers has been fired for attempting to bride Haitian authorities to secure the release of the volunteers.

Laura Silsby, is also the owner of Personal Shopper, Inc. of Boise, ID.  Laura Silsby and Personal Shopper, Inc. have been sued for more than $30,000 by several suppliers and past employees for non-payment and fraud.  Some of the suits have been dropped.  Payment was ordered by the court in several other suits and hearings on two suits are scheduled for February and March.  Silsby has been charged several times with driving an unregistered and uninsured automobile.  Silsby personal home and the address of record for New Life Children's Refuge was foreclosed on in December, 2009.

Two churches in Idaho partnered with Silsby for the mission to Haiti but only provided volunteers.  Like the volunteers, the churches did not ask for and did not receive verification through Silsby that the mission was legal under Haitian and U.S. laws.

Because of Silsby's background and her misreprentations of the mission and its inadequate preparation, many are questioning her motives for establishing New Life Children's Refuge.

There seems to be little or no question that the volunteers, unlike Silsby, did not know that the mission was in violation of the law.  Nor do I question the stupidity of the volunteers who followed Silsby to Haiti to collect as many as 100 "orphaned" children and transport them to a the Dominican Republic to live in an orphanage that has yet to be funded and built.  I'm sure you are saying that the volunteers are honest, well-intentioned Christians but would you have blindly followed Silsby to Haiti to "kidnap" 33 children?  Did these people listen only to God and Silsby?

Good intentions are no excuse for what New Life Children's Refuge has done.  What would have happened to the children had the missionaries succeeded in getting them to the Dominican Republic?  Although ignorance is never an acceptable legal defense, I expect that Silsby's volunteers will be sent home with no more than a hand slap.  Silsby may face a harsher punishment but I don't expect her to be sentenced to jail.  I believe she should be fined to punish her as well as send a message to others that good intentions do not supercede the law even in Haiti during this horrendous disaster.

Bottom line: use your common sense lest you find yourself in a Haitian jail or drinking spiked Kool-Aid in place like Jonestown.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

SC Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer: Feeding The Poor Only Encourages Them To Reproduce

Demonstrating the same capacity to be compassionate as Rush Limbaugh, South Carolina's Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, a Republican candidate for governor, has compared giving people government assistance to "feeding stray animals."

"My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You're facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better," Bauer said.

South Carolina voters couldn't have known that their current governor would use taxpayers' money to pay his expenses incurred during an adulterous affair in Argentina but if they elect Bauer they will knowingly elect a bigot. Considering the fact that 58 percent of South Carolina's students participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program one would think and hope that Bauer's bigoted statement has already destroyed his chance to be governor but I am continually disappointed by American voters.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Will Christian Leaders Condemn Pat Robertson's Statement About Haiti?

I've been Googling for reactions to Pat Robertson's statement that Haiti is cursed because of a 200 year-old pact with the devil during the slave revolt against the French.  I found responses from MSNBC, the White House and various bloggers.  With the exception of a few bloggers, Robertson is being condemned for his statement. claims that Robertson was only stating an historical fact regarding the "pact" and that the living conditions in Haiti are evidence to Robertson and others that Haiti is cursed.  The statement goes on to praise Robertson's call for prayer and relief aid for Haiti.

Should I assume that Christian leaders and Christian bloggers are silent because they do not disagree with Robertson?  Am I overreacting along with MSNBC and the White House or do Christians really believe that Haiti has been cursed and abandoned by God for the last 200 years?

I was not surprised by Robertson's statement; it was expected.  I didn't expect silence from the Christian community.  How naive of me.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Congressional Deficit Commission

Senators Judd Gregg (R-NH) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) are proposing that congress establish a commission to develop proposals for dealing with the budget deficit. The commission would consist of senators, representatives, administration representatives and an advisory group that would represent parties with a vested interest in the outcome. The commission would do a lot of public outreach. The commission will focus on two areas to reduce the deficit: entitlement, taxes.

If both houses of Congress and their many existing committees cannot solve our deficit problem with their current processes, then a special commission won’t solve it either.

No doubt the “advisory group” will consist of lobbyists too numerous to count.

I expect that the “public outreach” will consist of townhall meetings dominated by teabaggers and professional protesters.

I suspect that the proponents of such a commission (Republicans and conservative Democrats) want to move the discussion of the deficit issue into the public arena where they will use misinformation to gain public support for their agenda. I’m reminded of the health care reform townhall meetings.

Commission proposals can only be enacted by a super majority, giving the minority conservatives the power to block any legislation they disapprove of.

Our partisan Congress at work!

What do you think of the proposed commission?