Sunday, November 10, 2013

Read and Watch The Supporters

To Dan Rather:

I had always wanted to thank Dan Rather for convincing me not only did Oswald not act alone but there was a conspiracy to convince us he did decades ago. 

This was on his news special after doubts were becoming widespread. His debunking included a recreation of the shooting. The expert marksman with a good rifle and a proper scope was able to hit the target in the time given. 
But Oswald was a terrible shot, had a crap rifle, had a misaligned scope, two shots were too close together, and the marksman was only able to hit the broadside of the target, not the silhouette of the man on the target. But Dan Rather told us this should convince us Oswald could had done it "because he was shooting at the President." WTF!?

Following this I always made it a practice to read or watch supporters of the establishment against a controversial theory to see what BS they were pushing to convince the people. Gerald Posner's Case Closed book on the JFK assassination is even more convincing in leading a skeptical reader to the opposite conclusion of what he tries so desperately to draw.
Thank you, Dan Rather for making me never look at what the news media was trying to sell me in the same way again. Unlike with Possner, who I found had close ties to conservatives in the intelligence community, I always felt that you were just doing your job and sometimes just following orders. Later they kicked you out when you did not follow orders.

Gerald Posner, failed but very well-paid JFK conspiracy debunker, was later exposed as a serial plagiarist and he lost his journalism job.  His ties to the conservative intelligence community got him another job at what he does best.  He is running PR for crooked Afghanistan President Karzai’s family.  


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Local politics - Pasadena's authoritarian mayor at it again.

Pretty much at the last minute Mayor Isbell remembered there is an election in November open for Pasadena and the city could use some more money raised via bonds. While he was at it he realized he could correct a few other political problems. He now only has four YES mayor votes on council and a few decisions have come down 5-4 in his favor but a couple of his supporters seats aren't safe.

He rushed and placed a crony stacked commission he thinks will do his bidding and then is about the only person in Pasadena who proposes charter amendments, his proposals to change things to fix his political problems.

His biggest idea is to redistrict again, again placing opponents in the same district but this time the excuse is to create two at-large positions. These at-large positions would be dominated by the well-off and frequent voters from South Pasadena, his power base. He also had ideas on how to make it harder to run by massively increasing filing fees or required signatures, requiring longer residence in district, etc.

Well, surprise, in a show of independence the commission is not going to give the autocratic mayor everything he wants.

From The Pasadena Citizen July 30, 2013:
“Some will be happy. Some won’t be happy. We obviously didn’t do everything the Mayor (Johnny Isbell) wanted,” Mease told The Citizen on Tuesday morning.
There were concerns on the committee that some of the Mayor’s Charter proposals were “too controversial” and that might negatively affect voter’s perception of the bond recommendations.
Mease said it was clear that “bonds are more of a pressing problem than charter revisions.”
The committee first publicly heard City Charter modification recommendations on July 25.
Isbell suggested changes to the map of city council districts (reducing them to six districts from the current eight and adding two at-large seats).
Isbell also suggested reducing the number of monthly council meetings, increasing the pay of mayor and councilmembers, changing the residency qualifications for a councilmember from six months to one year and proposed increasing the filing fee to run for city office.

The City Council is way underpaid, which makes running a city wide campaign a hobby for the rich, much like the part-time mayor's position who at least is well-paid for his time away from his businesses.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Read, share and recommend The Unvarnished New Testament


Read, share and recommend The Unvarnished New Testament

A lot of our problems today are Christians with bad Bibles.  A good beginning is to remove the ages of traditional gloss from the words of the Bible and get back to the simple unadorned Greek words.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pro-life bill naive and dangerous to women

This is hidden behind a subscriber wall. In the interests of education and debate I am posting the complete column.

Abortion bill will force women into the shadows

By Lisa Falkenberg

“"Yes. I do want to end abortion," state Sen. Dan Patrick told a Houston Chronicle reporter Thursday.

And with those words, Patrick, the father of the infamous sonogram bill and recently announced GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, confirmed the real motivation behind legislation the Senate considers today to drastically restrict abortion rights in Texas.

Of course, Patrick was quick to follow up, for cover-your-butt purposes in case of future litigation: "This bill is not about that."

I suppose the bill isn't about the good senator's political prospects, either.

But Patrick's comment confirmed something else: the tragic futility of the "pro-life" movement. In reality, almost every single one of us would like to end abortion, or, more accurately, the circumstances and tragedies that lead to abortion.

We'd love to live in a world where every pregnancy is planned, every baby is wanted and healthy and loved enough to thrive in this hard world.

We live in reality, though. And the reality is this: No law, no vote-hungry politician, no movement of well-meaning citizens (and yes, I do believe most of the pro-lifers are well meaning), will ever end abortion.

A pastor who attended the Austin news conference where Patrick made his remarks was quoted saying "abortion began in Texas, and I pray it ends in Texas." Of course, abortion didn't begin in Texas. It was legal in some states years before the landmark 1973 Texas case Roe v. Wade legalized abortion nationwide. But as long as there has been sex, there has been unplanned pregnancy. And as long as there has been unplanned pregnancy, there has been abortion.

Our best hope is to keep it safe, legal and rare.

Heading to disaster

Bills like the one Patrick and other GOP leaders are pushing threaten that endeavor to its core. Instead of supporting legislation that could really reduce abortions - by, say, adequately funding family planning services so poor women have access to birth control - so-called pro-lifers pursue an agenda that chips away at rights intended to protect women.

Let me step back. With this column, I'm breaking an important rule never to address the fundamental merits of abortion rights. After all, we had that debate 40 years ago, didn't we? And the highest court in the land deemed abortion a constitutional right of all U.S. women. But another reason I avoid it is because the debate itself is futile. If you feel strongly about it, you can't be swayed. This column won't change your mind.

Most people don't pick a side based on logic, or even information. They decide based on their gut, their emotions. Some are convinced by testimonials like the kind we've heard recently in legislative committee hearings from women who regretted their abortions and experienced trauma afterward. Some are compelled by religion or personal circumstances or by images of vulnerable, though not-yet-viable fetuses.

And many of us who believe in abortion rights are not unmoved by all of this. We are not comfortable with the idea of aborting a 20-week pregnancy, even if the fetus hasn't yet reached viability. We can count the fingers, same as anyone.

But we also know Republican lawmakers won't stop with 20 weeks. Next time, it will be 18 weeks. And then 16. And we know that criminalizing abortion, or restricting access to it, won't alleviate the trauma. It will create more. It may send a desperate woman to the border to buy abortion pills in open-air markets. It won't save the fetus. It may just cost the mother her own life if she's desperate enough to turn to the back alley for help.

In 1965, illegal abortion accounted for 17 percent of all "reported" deaths attributed to pregnancy and childbirth that year; the actual percentage was much higher, according to the Guttmacher Institute. And in the early 1970s many women had to travel thousands of miles to other states for abortions, risking the women's health and resulting in later-term abortions. After abortion was legalized, women's deaths plummeted and the proportion of abortions done early in the first trimester rose dramatically.

No gray area

Over the past couple of weeks, I've read so many emails, fielded so many questions about how I can believe the way I do on this issue. They see the issue in black and white. Life and death. And they can't see the gray.

Here's the gray. As a mother of two beautiful daughters, I have marveled at those sonogram images with tears in my eyes. I have strained to count the fingers and make out the grainy faces. I was so blessed that my girls were both born healthy, blessed that they were planned, blessed that I have a loving, supportive husband to help me raise them, blessed that we have jobs that enable us to care for, feed and clothe them.

Not everyone is so blessed. And for those women, there should be a choice. And it should be hers, her family's, and her God's - not her government's.

The pro-life goal of "ending abortion" is noble, but also naive and dangerous. It won't save babies; it will endanger the health of mothers who will be forced into the shadows to access their right to choose.”

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Delusions of Populism -

The GOP has hit upon a new slogan and a new metaphor to get more working class white voters - Libertarian Populism.  It's bunk but has a lot of appeal to mainly rural mainly young voters who have been bombarded with stories for years to hate and distrust government.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Texas Democrats complain about ethics, maps, GOP

Chaos on redistricting as the GOP dominated legislature votes guarantee court cases will continue.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Armed and Liberal

I have been doing a lot of looking into guns recently and this is a good article.

What Gun To Purchase: Consider the 9mm Pistol for Self-Defense?

The sections on hollow points and practice are well considered.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

USA All government spending vs. GDP

There is a two year lag between election and presidents being responsible for all of the budget.  Bush was appointed by the Supreme Court following the 2000 election and took office in 2001 under a budget of the House and Clinton administration.  Similarly Obama took office in 2009 but the 2009 budget was Bush's and Congress's final act. I urged Obama to have nothing to do with it, the FDR policy, but begin a clean sweep after he took office as Republican's would claim his support for the proposals and helping Bush pass it would let them claim it was his. That is exactly what they have done.

Here is the share of all government USA spending as percent of GDP.  2010 to 2013 is under Obama's leadership.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thom Hartmann Debunks INSANITY of Supply-Side Reaganomics! (Video) - Americans Against the Tea Party

Thom Hartmann Debunks INSANITY of Supply-Side Reaganomics! (Video) - Americans Against the Tea Party

A true progressive with an intimate understanding of economics, Thom Hartmann is one of our go-to guys for explaining how TEApublican policies have completely destroyed our economy time and time again.
Thom introduces his video this way,
“Get your pencils ready! I’m giving a crash course in economics. ·The economy is one big interlocking circle, but let’s begin at the most important point. First there’s demand. Paychecks, needs, desires.”

Demand creates jobs.  Help the people and they will demand new and better products.  Increasing supply without demand doesn't work.