Republican State lawmaker suggests shooting immigrants like pigs

And some people actually think I am being unfair to these douche nozzles when I call them Nazis.

From Salon:

Shoot illegal immigrants from helicopters? A Kansas Republican representative raises the idea

By Adam Clark Estes

Tuesday, Mar 15, 2011

Kansas state Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, suggested Monday that the same methods used for controlling the feral pig population should also be used to control the illegal immigration problem. Those methods include shooting them from a helicopter. In Peck’s words:

It looks like to me if shooting these immigrating feral hogs works maybe we have found a [solution] to our illegal immigration problem.

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What’s Left of the American Left?

From Common Dreams:

There’s no denying its historic decline, but the left does not lack for issues. It needs only organization.

by Richard Wolff

Published on Monday, March 14, 2011 by The Guardian/UK

“In contradiction” best describes the American left today. On the one hand, it is fragmented and dispirited, feeling itself distant from the tumble of daily US politics and acutely disgusted by its many-layered corruptions. It hardly knows itself as a part of society, so deep runs its alienation. After all, leftists, too, are affected by the mass media’s wishful pretense that the American left has simply disappeared and the extreme right’s paranoid caricatures that recycle 1950s McCarthyism.

And yet, the US left is actually quite strong and getting stronger by the minute. Very many young people find far more meaning in the left social criticisms of Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and Stephen Colbert than they do in the stale Republican or Democratic activities that those popular comedians mock. The devotees of much current popular music want and respond to lyrics rich with social criticism. The assaults of the right in the US on access to abortion, on civil rights and civil liberties, on the separation of church and state, and on immigrants, are less and less suffered in silent resentment and increasingly opposed by a revived left criticism and activism. From the mass mobilizations of immigrants to the outpouring of support for the embattled public employees in Wisconsin to the gatherings of support for Planned Parenthood, the US left’s size, depth and diversity are evident.

The proportion of respondents polled about their religious affiliation who answer “none” is growing faster than any other group of respondents. As one famous philosopher wrote, “the criticism of society begins with the critique of religion.” The million who marched in 2003 against the invasion of Iraq quietly persuaded a majority to make recent national polls repeated referenda against all three US wars (Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan).

The young are perhaps outraged most by the vulnerability and erosion of many social conditions they had taken for granted as permanent. Anger and activism are rising against the incapacity or unwillingness of the political establishment to restore those conditions. The radical generation of the 1960s, after middle years devoted to careers and families, is now returning to political engagement likewise to restore those conditions. That combination of rising youthful passion and political experience with mass radical action represents a potent mass base for a new US left political formation to emerge.

Organization is what the US left lacks. Not issues, not members, not a wide public audience: the US left now has all of them in abundance. Indeed, the economic crisis that exploded in 2008 – now becoming a social crisis because the “recovery” bypassed the majority that needed it most – has only enhanced that abundance. Yet, a deeply rooted and continuously nurtured aversion to unified organization undermines the US left’s social influence and collective action at every turn. The decline of past left organizations – the socialist and communist parties, student groups such as SDS, SNCC, major segments of organized labor – has fostered a sense of the futility of organization. The demonization of those and other left organizations, by liberal as well as conservative voices, renders individual left thought and action sometimes acceptable but collective criticism and activity always deeply suspect.

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The Abuse of Private Manning

From The New York Times:

Published: March 14, 2011

Pfc. Bradley Manning, who has been imprisoned for nine months on charges of handing government files to WikiLeaks, has not even been tried let alone convicted. Yet the military has been treating him abusively, in a way that conjures creepy memories of how the Bush administration used to treat terror suspects. Inexplicably, it appears to have President Obama’s support to do so.

Private Manning is in solitary confinement at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va. For one hour a day, he is allowed to walk around a room in shackles. He is forced to remove all his clothes every night. And every morning he is required to stand outside his cell, naked, until he passes inspection and is given his clothes back.

Military officials say, without explanation, that these precautions are necessary to prevent Private Manning from injuring himself. They have put him on “prevention of injury” watch, yet his lawyers say there is no indication that he is suicidal and the military has not placed him on a suicide watch. (He apparently made a sarcastic comment about suicide.)

Forced nudity is a classic humiliation technique. During the early years of the Bush administration’s war on terror, C.I.A. interrogators regularly stripped prisoners to break down barriers of resistance, increase compliance and extract information. One C.I.A. report from 2004 said that nudity, along with sleep deprivation and dietary manipulation, was used to create a mind-set in which the prisoner “learns to perceive and value his personal welfare, comfort and immediate needs more than the information he is protecting.”

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What Have They Done To The Rain?

Written by Malvina Reynolds in the early 1960s.  Malvina Reynolds was a San Francisco Bay Area. She was a political activist and socialist, a member of  Women for Peace. Like Pete Seeger, Harry Belafonte and others she stood up for what she believed even during the dark days of the McCarthy era.

I first learned this song about the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis.  It was also about the time Rachel Carson’s book “Silent Spring” came out.

What have they done to the Rain? worked equally well for either the poisoning of the environment with pesticides or by the fallout from nuclear testing.

Joan Baez performed the following version in Japan.

Hubris, hubris… Putting nuclear reactors that close to earth quake faults.  As an atheist I obviously do not pray.  I can only hope these reactors do not  go Chernobyl.


Why Does Rick Santorum Hate America’s Founding Fathers?

Separation of church and state is one of the bedrock principles upon which this nation was built.  Our Founding Fathers had seen the endless religious wars in Europe between competing sects of Christianity and did not want those religious wars brought here to this country.

Hell as tight lipped and grim as the Puritans were, they too were driven from Europe by those religious wars.  Indeed some of the strongest proponents of separation of church and state were the Baptists who had suffered under the Church of England.

But that aside… When we are asked to take the reasonable position of opposing the imposition of Islamic Sharia Law in the US should we willingly turn around and support the equally onerous Christian version of Sharia supported by the extremist Christian sects?

There is a good reason for Dan Savage’s use of the word santorum to describe the frothy mix of shit, lube and cum produced during anal sex.  It describes the thinking of Rick Santorum to a T.

From Talking Points Memo:

Santorum: JFK Was ‘Radical’ For Believing In Separation Of Church & State

Jillian Rayfield
March 15, 2011

Rick Santorum told about 50 members of the group Catholic Citizenship that he was “frankly appalled” that America’s first Catholic president, John F. Kennedy, once said “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.”

“That was a radical statement,” Santorum said, and did “great damage.”

The Boston Globe reports that Santorum, who is Catholic, criticized the increased secularization of politicians, which he related back to a speech Kennedy gave at the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in 1960. Kennedy had made the speech to a group of Protestant clergy as a presidential candidate, in order to allay fears that the Catholic church would influence his decisions if elected.

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Our Right-Leaning Public Media

From Common Dreams:

by Ralph Nader

Published on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 by

The tumultuous managerial shakeup at National Public Radio headquarters for trivial verbal miscues once again has highlighted the ludicrous corporatist right-wing charge that public radio and public TV are replete with left-leaning or leftist programming.
Ludicrous, that is, unless this criticism’s yardstick is the propaganda regularly exuded by the extreme right-wing Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. These “capitalists” use the public’s airwaves free-of-charge to make big money.

The truth is that the frightened executives at public TV and radio have long been more hospitable to interviews with right of center or extreme right-wing and corporatist talking heads than liberal or progressive guests.

PBS’s Charlie Rose has had war-loving William Kristol on thirty one times, Henry Kissinger fifty five times, Richard Perle ten times, the global corporatist cheerleader, Tom Friedman seventy times. Compare that guest list with Rose’s interviews of widely published left of center guests—Noam Chomsky two times, William Grieder two times, Jim Hightower two times, Charlie Peters two times, Lewis Lapham three times, Bob Herbert six times, Paul Krugman twenty one times, Victor Navasky one time, Mark Green five times and Sy Hersh, once a frequent guest, has not been on since January 2005.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe, the widely-quoted super-accurate drug industry critic, who is often featured on the commercial TV network shows, has never been on Rose’s show. Nor has the long-time head of Citizens for Tax Justice and widely respected progressive tax analyst, Robert McIntyre.

Far more corporate executives, not known for their leftist inclinations, appear on Rose’s show than do leaders of environmental, consumer, labor and poverty organizations.

In case you are wondering, I’ve appeared four times, but not since August 2005, and not once on the hostile Terri Gross radio show.

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Feds raid Montana medical marijuana businesses

From The Bozeman Daily Express:

March 14, 2011

UPDATE, 4:05 p.m. – HELENA (AP) — Federal agents with guns drawn raided up to a dozen medical marijuana operations across Montana on Monday, the same a day that a bill to repeal the state’s medical marijuana law stalled in a Senate committee.

Near Helena, agents burst into Montana Cannabis’ greenhouse, where the company grows more than 1,600 plants for its four stores across the state. The greenhouse runs about half the length of a football field and is packed with marijuana plants that can be seen from U.S. Highway 12.

About 15 workers were inside the warehouse during the morning raid. Montana Cannabis employee Brett Thompson, 30, said he stepped outside to smoke a cigarette and saw agents running up the driveway.

“They came in, guns drawn, got us down on the ground and in cuffs as fast as they could,” Thompson said.

Agencies involved included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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