HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » kpete » Journal
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU


Profile Information

Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 43,733

Journal Archives

Quite Telling: While the Vatican decried the media’s message, they "did NOT deny" the report itself

The Vatican on Saturday strongly condemned media coverage of a report that is said to contain information about the influence of a gay network and financial mismanagement within the Vatican, and which may have triggered Pope Benedict's decision to resign. But in his statement, a spokesman for the Vatican did not deny the report's existence or dispute the description of its findings.


Hating on the poors

Hating on the poors

by David Atkins

John Cheese has a great Sunday read at Cracked: Four things politicians will never understand about poor people. Subjects include "Poor Does Not Equal Unemployed," "Poor People Are Not Mindless Leeches," "Poor People Aren't Rampant Drug Addicts" and "You Don't Have Real Sympathy for the Poor if You've Never Lived It."

From the section on drug testing welfare recipients:

This is another hot debate in political circles because quite a few states have already adopted it, and several more are considering it. Why not? Yes, it was declared unconstitutional on grounds that it violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches, but other than that, it seems like a good idea. Drugs are a huge problem with the poor, and I most definitely don't want to be handing my tax dollars to someone who's just going to blow it on ... well, blow.

That's what all of these states thought, and some of them still think that. Then they did the testing and found out that, actually, the poor are pretty much as clean as the rest of us. In Arizona, out of 87,000 people they subjected to the test, exactly one monster-forkin' person tested positive. One. And Florida had just as embarrassing results: 21 people tested positive out of 51,000. That was right before a federal judge showed up and put a boot in their ... leg-hat, by blocking the law. Of course, that didn't hurt their feelings much since the program not only didn't save the state any money, but it actually put them almost $46,000 in the hole (must ... resist), even when you factor in the money they saved by denying applicants.

What really troubles me with this one isn't the occasional crackhead being booted from the system. It's the 6 year old that isn't being provided for, regardless of what illegal horsepoop their parents are putting into their bodies. As in all of these points, yes, those people do exist -- I'll never deny that. And yes, I think it's a dagnabbit falootin' shame that some of our money is going to crack instead of ... well, literally anything else. But that child is along for the ride, regardless, and pushing him deeper into poverty is unacceptable on pretty much every level.


Congressional "HAND-JOB"

Chris Rock re: minimum wage

Bradley Manning's 1,000th day in prison

America's track record on the handling of prisoners is no more enlightened than, say, Egypt's or Germany's or just about any other country you could name.

Saturday, February 23, marks Bradley Manning's 1,000th day in prison without a trial. In 2010, he was arrested for allegedly passing a trove of diplomatic cables and military reports to WikiLeaks, a nonprofit sunshine organization that publishes state secrets. Manning has been charged with everything from bringing discredit upon the armed forces to "aiding the enemy." Much of his first year of confinement was spent in humiliating suicide watch and Prevention of Injury conditions.

The actions of Bradley Manning offer a moment to reflect on the meaning of secrecy in the information age. Regardless of one's opinion of the young private (traitor or hero, disturbed or determined, ideological or idiotic), he put the entire secrecy apparatus to the test. Manning downloaded a perfect geologic slice of what we don't know, and presented that information to the world. He took the catastrophic loss of "secret" information out of the theoretical and into the real world. He initiated the government secrecy industry's worst-case scenario.

What is perhaps most astonishing is that the U.S. government had no substantive contingency plans or response mechanisms in place for such an event, aside from a shameful mistreatment of a harmless, if unwell, twenty-three year old.

For all that Bradley Manning revealed, he didn't really reveal much. But by its shameful non-application of justice in Manning's prosecution -- 1,000 days in chains for a nonviolent offense, without the dignity of a trial by jury -- the U.S. government has itself revealed the most terrible truth imaginable. ...The Atlantic

"Species gluttony is nearly over and we've eaten the flesh of the earth and pissed upon its bones."

from a few years ago...

...........no matter how much we hear about political change, no politician can save us. Because no presidential candidate can run on the promise that "If we do everything just right, pull in our belts and sacrifice, we can at best be a Second World nation in fifty years, providing we don't mind the lack of oxygen and a few cancers here and there."

Still, there is choice available, even a superior choice: Accept the truth and act upon it. We can at the very least say no to scorched babies in Iraq. We can refuse to participate in a dead society gone shopping. That in itself can be called embracing the spirit. It won't accomplish shit, but it is nevertheless the right thing to do. Because it's the only just thing left to do. Too late, for sure, but better than remaining a dysfunctional moral cretin. My inner scales tell me so.

As long as we are cataloguing pointless acts of moral common sense, we may as well turn off PBS's Nova for a while. Realize the limits of technology and quit looking for more techno solutions to what technology itself hath wrought. All the green energy sources and eating right cannot repair what has been irretrievably ruined. Species gluttony is nearly over and we've eaten the flesh of the earth and pissed upon its bones. Not because we are cruel by nature -- though a case might be made for stupidity -- but because we took the existence of individual consciousness to mean that each of us is some unique center of the world, acquisitive and deserving of all things. One brand of this collective hallucination, although there are others, is called American exceptionalism. And we can get away with that game as long as the oil and the entertainment last. Which looks to be about another half hour.



Bette Midler Does The Vatican

Why Is GOP Speaking Out Against Immigration Reform? -BECAUSE- Private Prison Execs Told Them To

Why are so many Republicans speaking out against comprehensive immigration reform? Perhaps because private prison executives told them to. Some of our nation's biggest opponents to commonsense reforms, like a pathway to citizenship, happen to be recipients of prison industry cash. For example, Republican immigration reform standard-bearer, Marco Rubio, has scored big with the private prison industry, raking in a whopping $27,300 in donations from the GEO Group. Contributions like that make sure members of Congress have a vested interest to keep the prison cells full of undocumented immigrants waiting to be deported. According to The Think Progress Blog, immigration detention has more than doubled private prison profits since 1995, and those sentenced for immigration offenses make up one of the fastest-growing segments of our overflowing federal prison population. It's time to get profit out of the prison industry, and money out of Congress, so we can get some honest immigration reform in our nation.



Among members of Congress, the top two recipients of contributions from CCA are its home-state senators, Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker of Tennessee. The Republican lawmakers, each of whom has received more than $50,000 from CCA according to data compiled by the Sunlight Foundation, represent important swing votes for advancing a reform bill through the Senate. Another top CCA recipient is Arizona Republican John McCain, who has gotten $32,146 from CCA and is a member of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” that is working to draft legislation. His fellow Gang of Eight member, Marco Rubio, ranks among the top recipients of contributions from the Florida-based GEO Group, receiving $27,300 in donations over the course of his career.

In recent years, each of these senators has sponsored bills that would have increased the detention and incarceration of immigrants. Legislation put forward by Alexander in 2009, for example, would have provided for “increased alien detention facilities.” And a 2011 bill cosponsored by McCain and Rubio sought to expand Operation Streamline, a federal enforcement program that makes illegal entry a criminal offense in some jurisdictions.


GOP's Search For Meaning

Let's Not Pretend that Bush Won in 2000 - by BooMan

Let's Not Pretend that Bush Won in 2000
by BooMan
Fri Feb 22nd, 2013 at 02:37:44 PM EST

Michael Gerson acts like President Bush won the 2000 election. It may be a permissible error if you are talking horseshoes and hand grenades, but he's trying to use Bush's campaign as some kind of template for GOP revival. He explicitly compares the 2000 rebranding effort of Bush to the 1992 rebranding effort of Bill Clinton. Insofar as Clinton represented a new brand for the Democratic Party, that is because he was part of a new institution (the Democratic Leadership Council) that had different ideas. His campaign's focus on the struggling economy was strictly tactical (we were recovering from a recession). On substance, Clinton bucked the labor unions in favor of free trade. He espoused more business-friendly policies as part of a overall strategy to reach parity in fundraising again. But he also led with obviously progressive priorities like health care and gay rights in the military and gun control that actually drove a big wedge between the Democratic Party and a big part of Clinton's winning coalition (much of which is now solidly in the Republican camp).

Clinton had some help from Ross Perot, too. It will never be completely resolved whether Clinton would have won in a straight-up contest against Poppy Bush. I doubt very much that he would have won states like Georgia or Montana in a one-on-one match. But, I'll grant that Clinton rebranded the party. It's just that he did it substantively.

Dubya distinguished himself from the cavemen who had impeached Bill Clinton by embracing a federal role in education and, eventually, providing a prescription drug benefit under Medicare. But his ridiculous campaign against Gore was only good enough for him to lose, and that isn't a prescription for revival.


Anyway, Bush didn't win.

Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 461 462 463 464 465 466 467 468 469 470 471 ... 1099 Next »