Let’s Take Over Idaho

There was an article on Raw Story today:

Idaho’s only black lawmaker gets KKK membership invite

Now I thought about that one for a while and suddenly a thought crossed my mind:

How did a bunch of subhuman morons like Aryan Nation, the Nazis and the KKK manage to get so much power in one place?

Especially a place as beautiful as Idaho.  I mean some hell hole like Mississippi Goddamn I can understand, but a place known for fly fishing, wildlife and great beauty?

What the fuck is wrong with creative people, LGBT people, people who who love beauty?

Many years ago the gays in California talked about moving to Alpine county and taking it over.  It wouldn’t have taken that many people as Alpine county had a miniscule population and was again a place of great beauty.

I just did a quick check on Wikipedia and the population of Idaho is:

State:  1,584,985

Boise is its largest city with a population of  616,500.  Coeur d’Alene has 44,137

Bring creative people there.  Bring lawyers to sue the shit out of the Nazis and Aryan Nation.  Seize their assets.

Bring eco-minded people who want to save the wilderness.  Build an eco-economy there and pass strict laws on land usage, pollution, while encouraging the development of green energy.

Take the place over with its two senators and deprive the right wing of two extremists.

It is doable…

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‘US has best govt money can buy’

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The Taint of ‘Social Darwinism’

From The New York Times:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/the-taint-of-social-darwinism/

By Philip Kitcher
April 8, 2012

Given the well-known Republican antipathy to evolution, President Obama’s recent description of the Republican budget as an example of “social Darwinism” may be a canny piece of political labeling. In the interests of historical accuracy, however, it should be clearly recognized that “social Darwinism” has very little to do with the ideas developed by Charles Darwin in “On the Origin of Species.” Social Darwinism emerged as a movement in the late 19th-century, and has had waves of popularity ever since, but its central ideas owe more to the thought of a luminary of that time, Herbert Spencer, whose writings are (to understate) no longer widely read.

Spencer, who coined the phrase “survival of the fittest,” thought about natural selection on a grand scale. Conceiving selection in pre-Darwinian terms — as a ruthless process, “red in tooth and claw” — he viewed human culture and human societies as progressing through fierce competition. Provided that policymakers do not take foolish steps to protect the weak, those people and those human achievements that are fittest — most beautiful, noble, wise, creative, virtuous, and so forth — will succeed in a fierce competition, so that, over time, humanity and its accomplishments will continually improve. Late 19th-century dynastic capitalists, especially the American “robber barons,” found this vision profoundly congenial. Their contemporary successors like it for much the same reasons, just as some adolescents discover an inspiring reinforcement of their self-image in the writings of Ayn Rand .

Although social Darwinism has often been closely connected with ideas in eugenics (pampering the weak will lead to the “decline of the race”) and with theories of racial superiority (the economic and political dominance of people of North European extraction is a sign that some racial groups are intrinsically better than others), these are not central to the position.

The heart of social Darwinism is a pair of theses: first, people have intrinsic abilities and talents (and, correspondingly, intrinsic weaknesses), which will be expressed in their actions and achievements, independently of the social, economic and cultural environments in which they develop; second, intensifying competition enables the most talented to develop their potential to the full, and thereby to provide resources for a society that make life better for all. It is not entirely implausible to think that doctrines like these stand behind a vast swath of Republican proposals, including the recent budget, with its emphasis on providing greater economic benefits to the rich, transferring the burden to the middle-classes and poor, and especially in its proposals for reducing public services. Fuzzier versions of the theses have pervaded Republican rhetoric for the past decade (and even longer).

Continue reading at:  http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/the-taint-of-social-darwinism/

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Unregulated Fracking for Decades? Why California May Be a Disaster Waiting to Happen

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/fracking/154833/unregulated_fracking_for_decades_why_california_may_be_a_disaster_waiting_to_happen/

It appears fracking has gone virtually unregulated in California for decades and now lawmakers are pushing back with legislation to expose the truth.

By Scott Thill
April 5, 2012

Thanks to the smoking gun of Josh Fox’s sobering documentary Gasland, hydraulic fracturing has finally entered our renewable news cycle. Yet despite poisoning groundwater, freeing methane and literally creating earthquakes back east, fracking has a visibility problem in California.

The situation became less clear after a recent investigative report from DC-based nonprofit Environmental Working Group explained that California has experienced 60 unregulated years of widespread fracking, whose technical methods and geographical locations in the seismically active state exist outside of the public purview. It got darker after Governor Jerry Brown’s administration wiped the state government’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR) Web site of fracking fact-sheets and documents. Good luck finding anything about fracking on the governor’s official site either.

“Since our report came out, the Brown administration hasn’t been happy with it,” Bill Allayaud, EWG‘s California director of government affairs, told AlterNet by phone. “They said we quoted their meetings but left out important quotes. But I don’t know what we left out, or how we could shine a better light on the situation. We’ve been trying to work with them now for over a year.”

There has also been a great disappearing act. According to Allayaud, gone is the issue’s main page, an account of fracking in other states, as well as what he calls an “inaccurate and misleading factsheet about fracking in California.” Gone also is a copy of a letter sent by the state in response to questions from Senator Fran Pavley (D-Santa Monica), chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, whose rebuffed inquiries about the extent of California fracking inspired assembly bill 591 (AB 591), currently at the center of a tug-of-war between the interested citizenry and an industry that seems desperate to avoid transparency.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/fracking/154833/unregulated_fracking_for_decades_why_california_may_be_a_disaster_waiting_to_happen/

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Conversations w/Great Minds Joe Madison – What’s fueling racism & police brutality

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Feminists hail explosion in new grassroots groups

From The Guardian UK:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/09/feminists-hail-explosion-grassroots-groups

Dozens of new organisations are springing up around the UK, campaigning on issues from lads’ mags to benefit cuts

guardian.co.uk, Monday 9 April 2012

It was the lads’ mags – with semi-naked women in suggestive poses on their covers – being sold at eye level at her corner shop that did it.

“I just don’t think I should have to look at that – it’s degrading,” said 17-year-old Isabella Woolford Diaz. “If people want to buy it, fine, but I don’t think 11-year-old pupils should have to look at it.”

Deciding to take the matter into her own hands, the student formed a feminist group at Camden school for girls, and before long a core group of 15 teenagers – boys and girls – were attending. “I was getting so frustrated at how women were portrayed and I wondered if I was just being pernickety,” she said. “But I soon realised it wasn’t just me.”

The group is one of dozens of new feminist organisations springing up around the UK, according to the campaign group UK Feminista. Research carried out to mark the group’s second birthday has revealed that the number of active grassroots feminist organisations has doubled in the past two years.

These are feminists who do not fit easily into stereotypical moulds: young and old, men and women, urbanites and country dwellers. A new breed of feminists is starting to rise up.

“It’s a really exciting time. We are seeing a real resurgence in feminist activism that is moving from the margins to the mainstream,” said Kat Banyard, founder of UK Feminista and author of The Equality Illusion. “People are willing to put up their hand and say they are a feminist without the fear of being ridiculed. Particularly in the past 12 months, we are seeing people standing up and willing to be counted.” Like the Camden group’s members, many of them are young, passionate and unafraid to take direct action.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/09/feminists-hail-explosion-grassroots-groups

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Anti-Gay Law More Vulnerable Than Ever: April 9 Marriage News Watch

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When Liberals Stop Being Wimps

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/when_liberals_stop_being_wimps_20120408/

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.
Apr 8, 2012

ELON, N.C.—Conservatives are not accustomed to being on the defensive.

They have long experience with attacking the evils of the left and the abuses of activist judges. They love to assail “tax-and-spend liberals” without ever discussing who should be taxed or what government money is actually spent on. They expect their progressive opponents to be wimpy and apologetic.

So imagine the shock when President Obama decided last week to speak plainly about what a Supreme Court decision throwing out the health care law would mean, and then landed straight shots against the Mitt Romney-supported Paul Ryan budget as “a Trojan Horse,” “an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country,” and “thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

Obama specifically listed the programs the Ryan-Romney budget would cut back, including student loans, medical and scientific research grants, Head Start, feeding programs for the poor, and possibly even the weather service.

Romney pronounced himself appalled, accusing Obama of having “railed against arguments no one is making” and “criticized policies no one is proposing.” Yet Romney could neither defend the cuts nor deny the president’s list of particulars, based as they were on reasonable assumptions. When it came to the Ryan budget, Romney wanted to fuzz things up. But, as Obama likes to point out, math is math.

And when Obama went after the right’s willingness to use the power of the Supreme Court for ideological purposes, conservatives were aghast—and never mind that conservatives have been castigating activist judges since at least the 1968 presidential campaign.

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/when_liberals_stop_being_wimps_20120408/

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As It Was Before Roe, So It Is Again: “Choice” Often Comes Down to Money

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/news/item/8157-as-it-was-before-roe-so-it-is-again-choice-often-comes-down-to-money

By Eleanor J Bader
Monday, 09 April 2012

Evelyn Griesse doesn’t hesitate when asked to explain why she started the South Dakota Access for Every Woman Fund, a small, grassroots group that provides direct financial assistance to low-income women who need abortions. “I had an abortion myself,” she begins. “It was 1971 or ’72 and abortion was not yet legal in South Dakota. I’d seen an ad in The Ladies Home Journal that said, ‘If you’re pregnant and want info or help, call this number. ‘ It never used the word abortion but I called and was connected to a Planned Parenthood clinic in the Bronx. I was lucky. I had money, so was able to fly into New York for the procedure and fly out the next day. I did not go through any emotional anguish; I was simply relieved because I did not want to be a single mother.”

Upon returning home, Griesse immersed herself in progressive activism, working with the ACLU and the National Women’s Political Caucus, but says that she did not pay much attention to the politics surrounding abortion. Even after Illinois Republican Henry Hyde introduced an amendment to cut off Medicaid funding for the abortions of low-income women – unless they were raped, impregnated by incest or would die as a result of carrying the pregnancy to term – Griesse remained unfazed. Then, when the amendment passed Congress in 1977, the floodgates opened. By the early 1980s, Griesse understood that cutting off Medicaid funding was step one in what would become an all-out fight to slowly but surely deny abortion to all US women.

Nonetheless, it wasn’t until the mid 1980s, nearly eight years after Hyde took effect, that Griesse acted on her feelings. “One day I got a call from someone I knew who worked at Planned Parenthood in Sioux Falls,” she recalls. “She asked me if I could do something to help a woman who could not afford the abortion she needed. The call let me see that I could do something directly, concretely, to make a difference.”

Since that request, Griesse and a small circle of friends – they call themselves The Access for Every Woman Fund – have assisted 30 to 40 Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota residents a year. They also help women from other parts of the country who travel to these states, sometimes helping to defray the cost of surgery, sometimes contributing to pay for lodging or transportation.

Continue reading at:   http://truth-out.org/news/item/8157-as-it-was-before-roe-so-it-is-again-choice-often-comes-down-to-money

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Protecting Face-to-Face Protest

From The New York Times:   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/opinion/protecting-face-to-face-protest.html

Published: April 8, 2012

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

EVERY four years, we witness the spectacle of the presidential nominating conventions. And every four years, host cities, party leaders and police officials devise ever more creative ways of distancing protesters from the politicians, delegates and journalists attending these stage-managed affairs.

The goal is to trivialize and isolate dissenting speech without actually banning protest outright. One result is something of a Potemkin village: government proclaims its full commitment to respecting the First Amendment without actually permitting any observable dissent to take place near the convention.

Tampa, Fla., which will host the Republicans from Aug. 27 to 30, and Charlotte, N.C., which will host the Democrats from Sept. 3 to 7, are already following the trend. Charlotte has adopted an ordinance that expands the power of the local police to detain, search and arrest persons in its downtown core. (The Charlotte ordinance also bans camping on city-owned property, a clear response to the Occupy movement.) Tampa is also considering new municipal laws to limit, and in some instances flatly prohibit, downtown protest activity.

Citizens generally have a right to use public streets, sidewalks and parks for expressive activity — unless the government has a substantial reason for requiring expressive activity to take place somewhere else or at another time. Because the rights of speech, assembly and association do not include a right to communicate a particular message to a particular audience, the government’s willingness to let would-be protesters speak somewhere else, some other time, has usually been seen by courts as satisfying the First Amendment.

No reasonable person could argue that local officials or federal courts should ignore the genuine imperatives of security. In the post-9/11 world, and only a year after a gunman killed six people and critically wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona during an outdoor public meeting in Tucson, it might seem naïve to suggest that ordinary members of the public should have a right to communicate directly with elected government officials. Yet if democracy is to function properly, the ability of ordinary citizens to petition their government — directly and in person, if they choose — is essential.

Although virtually ignored today, a right to petition is part of the First Amendment, and the Constitution does not leave it to the government to decide who should have access to it.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/09/opinion/protecting-face-to-face-protest.html

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We The People

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Wisconsin Equal Pay Law Repealed Because “Money Is More Important For Men”

In case there is a woman out there who has failed to get the message, let me tell you.  The Republicans hate you because you are a woman.  They consider you subhuman and would hunt you if you weren’t a necessary part of the production of more males.

From Care2:  http://www.care2.com/causes/wisconsin-equal-pay-law-repealed-because-money-is-more-important-for-men.html

by April 7, 2012

As Jessica Pieklo reported yesterday, the Governor of Wisconsin, with little notice or discussion, repealed the state’s Equal Pay law.  For Scott Walker, it was no doubt the most logical step in his ongoing war on women and the working class, as the Equal Pay Law protected not just women but any protected class.

But for the Republican who was most enthusiastic about rescinding the law, it was really about fairness.  After all, according to him, money is more “important” for men.

Over at the Daily Beast, Michelle Goldberg writes a detailed account of the repeal and the effect it will have in the state.  Goldberg also interviews Republican state senator Glenn Grothman, who was an enthusiastic fan of repealing the law.  According to Grothman, not only is there no actual pay gap between the sexes, if there was one it wouldn’t matter anyway.  After all, men need money more than women do, since they have families to support.  “You could argue that money is more important for men,” he told Goldberg.  “I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.”

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Living Beyond the ‘Folded Lie’: On Life Before and After Collapse

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/09-4

by Phil Rockstroh
Published on Monday, April 9, 2012 by Common Dreams

Wall Street is again flush with the electronic facsimile of the stuff once known as money. But this is a Botox Recovery: A superficial procedure, accomplished with a nerve paralyzing poison, reserved for the wealthy whose vanity has driven them to transform their faces into caricatures of corruption…to acquiring a countenance, frozen as a creepy doll, incapable of showing emotion — a grotesque simulacrum of the human face.

A Botox-distorted face reveals an individual with a distorted view of existence: that life’s limits, in this case the process of aging, must be hidden, and by doing so, artifice trumps reality. In a similar manner, life under our current Botoxed economic and political structure seems a gruesome distortion of life itself — a desperate gambit to veil the carnage inflicted by the monstrous excesses of oligarchic and Anthropocene Age exploitation of populace and planet.

Upon seeing the face of a narcissist whose features have been willingly disfigured by Botox, one wonders the obvious: Does he even look in the mirror?

Yes. But, as is the case with the One Percent, he only sees what he is desperate to see. He has succeeded in fooling himself, thus he believes he fools all who have the misfortune to gaze upon him.

A stammered truth is more resonate to the heart than a well-told lie. Unfortunately, a habitually dissembling mindset will view the situation in reverse. All too often, internalized systems of viewing an unfolding event will determine an individual’s take on a given situation. If the institutions (e.g., familial, religious, governmental, mass media) that have influenced one’s method of perception are themselves compromised by internalized, self-resonating biases, then a type of carnival funhouse mirror effect comes into play (both on an individual and culture-wide basis) whereby distortions reflect distortions that, in turn, reflect those distortions…ad infinitum.

Reality is made grotesque, and gross distortions are perceived as reality.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/09-4

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How Conservatives Think

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Achim Steiner: ‘We haven’t even begun to understand the damage we are bringing to bear on the sustainability of our planet’

From The Independent UK:  http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/achim-steiner-we-havent-even-begun-to-understand-the-damage-we-are-bringing-to-bear-on-the-sustainability-of-our-planet-7627545.html

Achim Steiner, the UN Environment Programme’s boss, fears for our future. But, he tells Michael McCarthy, it is not too late

Michael McCarthy
Monday 09 April 2012

It’s a question many people have probably asked themselves, seeing the ever-increasing environmental degradation around the world: why aren’t we doing more to protect our planet? And it’s not that easy to answer, as it seems such an obvious course of action, given the parlous state the Earth is in. But Achim Steiner has an answer of sorts. He thinks things are so bad that people can’t quite grasp it.

He is worth listening to, because there are not many individuals who could be said to have a truly comprehensive overview of the state of the planet. This 50-year-old Brazilian-German is the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), the part of the UN family that deals with planetary ills, and he has spent a long career trying to help communities across the world to develop, without trashing their surroundings and their natural resources base. In other words, without screwing up their future.

Sustainable development, it is called. For more than 20 years it has been thought of as a great idea whose time has come. So why is so much of what is happening on every continent still clearly so unsustainable? “In a sense … reality has overtaken our cognitive capacity,” Mr Steiner says. “I mean the reality of it has overtaken our capacity to understand it, to understand quite what we are causing and unleashing, almost … I think we have not even begun to understand how serious are the underlying trends that we have brought to bear on the sustainability of this planet.

“A classic illustration is the … luxury of this continued debate about scientific uncertainty with climate change. If even 10 per cent of what the IPCC [the UN’s Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change] said were to come true, it should actually make us sit up and say immediately, ‘change course!’.”

But we don’t say that, Mr Steiner believes, because “there is an accelerating set of trends, from the atmosphere to the biosphere, to our ability to feed ourselves in a world which will soon have nine billion people, that gives us a sense of what will happen in the next 20, 30, 50 years, that we have simply not yet begun to appreciate”.

Continue reading at:  http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/achim-steiner-we-havent-even-begun-to-understand-the-damage-we-are-bringing-to-bear-on-the-sustainability-of-our-planet-7627545.html

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