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Gender: Male
Member since: Wed Jan 18, 2012, 10:29 PM
Number of posts: 3,459

Journal Archives

I hear what you're saying...

What I think is happening is that representatives of Corporate America are supporting LGBT rights now because opposing them is beginning to hurt their bottom line. However, it's important to note that Corporate America is not driving any of the gains made by LGBT Americans here. They are simply responding to several decades of LGBT organizing, agitation, and activism-a good deal of it radical in orientation. What you are observing is the effect, not the cause, IMHO.

I, too, long for more collective action on the part of organized social justice movements, from the bottom up. But we shouldn't discount the gains made by the LGBT community just because the dominant/mainstream corporate culture is beginning to "get it." At the same time, we should never lose sight of how much work still needs to be done. And as you noted, the co-optation and institutionalization of diversity is something we ought to be wary of in this context.

This is a complex issue, and I can see both sides here.

Racism fuels much of anti-Obama rhetoric (letter)

The first step in solving a problem is recognizing that there is a problem. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts, when ruling in the majority to eviscerate the hard fought for Voting Rights Act stated that, "the country has changed" since that law was passed 50 years ago. The majority on that court implied that racism is largely over. Within 24 hours of that ruling, five southern states moved to re-establish voter ID laws which are clearly designed to restrict the voting rights of blacks, as voter fraud is virtually non-existent.

Yes, individual racism and institutionalized racism exists in America. We saw in it in New York City’s former "stop and frisk" law in which, even in white neighborhoods, minorities were stopped far more often for no cause and, upon investigation, no laws were found to have been broken. We see it in our police forces as revealed in the recent Justice Department report that shocked the consciousness of all who read it. We have seen it in the Oklahoma frat house in which frat members as well as their house mother repeated racial slurs as they sang a racist song.

Given that racism exists should we expect it to not be directed at our first black president? Unfortunately the answer is no. From the very start of the Obama presidency we have seen his very legitimacy diminished by those who claim he is a Muslim, a terrorist sympathizer, a Marxist and not an American citizen. His very patriotism was questioned by Rudy Giuliani who opined in what many believe to have been a racist rant that Obama ".wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was." Yes Obama looks different than all our other presidents and I believe that, in many (not all) cases, is why he has been treated so differently.

Has any other president been called a liar by a congressperson during a State of the Union Address? Has any other politician seen the kind of blatant racism directed toward Obama on the Internet and talk radio? Has any opposing party applauded when our president, during his State of the Union Address, stated "I've run my last campaign"? Again the answer is "no."

History will look very favorably on President Obama and his long list of successes, but the record of the way many of our people have treated him will forever be our shame.

Source: http://auburnpub.com/news/opinion/mailbag/letter-racism-fuels-much-of-anti-obama-rhetoric/article_c2887490-dd76-51a1-9026-2e2f2d8f2f63.html

Bolding mine.

Health Care Systems Try to Cut Costs by Aiding the Poor and Troubled

More than 11 million Americans have joined the Medicaid rolls since the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act went into effect, and health officials are searching for ways to contain the costs of caring for them. Some of the most expensive patients have medical conditions that are costly no matter what. But a significant share of them — so-called super utilizers like Mr. Pate — rack up costs for avoidable reasons. Many are afflicted with some combination of poverty, homelessness, mental illness, addiction and past trauma.

A patchwork of experiments across the country are trying to better manage these cases. The Center for Health Care Strategies, a policy center in New Jersey, has documented such efforts in 26 states. Some are run by private insurers and health care providers, while others are part of broader state overhaul efforts. The federal government is supporting some, too, through its $10 billion Innovation Center, set up under the Affordable Care Act.

They raise a new question for the health care system: What is its role in tackling problems of poverty? And will addressing those problems save money?

“We had this forehead-smacking realization that poverty has all of these expensive consequences in health care,” said Ross Owen, a county health official who helps run the experiment here. “We’d pay to amputate a diabetic’s foot, but not for a warm pair of winter boots.”


B-b-but I thought that providing aid to the poor and helping them have a better quality of life was too expensive for America! And only tax-and-spend liberal socialists want to help the poor, anyway!

I find your historical whitewashing not just inaccurate, but deeply offensive

Tell that to those who suffered under the Jim Crow laws under the solid Democratic South. Tell that to all the people who DIDN'T "share" in the wealth created by the post-WWII economic boom (aka "The Golden Age of Capitalism.") Tell that to those who had their careers ruined by McCarthyism and the Red Scare, or to other such "undesirables" like, for example, how gay people had NOWHERE to be open about their reality.

Tell that to all of the black, Latino, Jewish (in some cases), and other families who were deliberately and maliciously excluded from living in the middle-class white suburbs during that time.

"Peace trumped money". Yeah, right. At the height of the Cold War? After two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan (to say nothing of the firebombing of scores of Japanese cities, or the blatantly racist and unconstitutional interment of American CITIZENS who had the misfortune of being of Japanese ancestry during WWII?

I wouldn't believe how different things were before Nov. 22, 1963 because they were NOT nearly as different as you claim. If anything, things were worse for many people, many groups in society back then than they are now.

Can you imagine if 40+ Democratic Senators wrote a letter to Iran during Bush's Presidency?

With the explicit purpose of undermining Bush's (hypothetical) negotiations with Iran?

I can't.

But even if we suspend our disbelief for the sake of argument for a moment...In an alternate universe where that occurred, would the right-wingers and their allies in the media ever let us live it down?

That's a rhetorical question, BTW.

Iran Responds to GOP Letter: "It has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy"

Asked about the open letter of 47 US Senators to Iranian leaders, the Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Javad Zarif, responded that “in our view, this letter has no legal value and is mostly a propaganda ploy. It is very interesting that while negotiations are still in progress and while no agreement has been reached, some political pressure groups are so afraid even of the prospect of an agreement that they resort to unconventional methods, unprecedented in diplomatic history. This indicates that like Netanyahu, who considers peace as an existential threat, some are opposed to any agreement, regardless of its content.”

Zarif expressed astonishment that some members of US Congress find it appropriate to write to leaders of another country against their own President and administration. He pointed out that from reading the open letter, it seems that the authors not only do not understand international law, but are not fully cognizant of the nuances of their own Constitution when it comes to presidential powers in the conduct of foreign policy.


Brilliant political move by Walker for the following reasons:

-It's a significant step toward breaking the back of the labor movement in Wisconsin,

-It emboldens similar anti-labor, pro-corporate efforts in other states in the region and around the country

-It is a blow to morale for Democrats in Wisconsin and elsewhere

-It is also strikes at a major source of Democratic Party support (organized labor) in the Upper Midwest (read: key swing states in presidential elections);

and last but not least, it increases Walker's own standing among the Republicans as we head into 2016.

Be disgusted all you want, but no one should be surprised by what Walker and his corporate allies do at this point.

Have you ever met an opponent of gay marriage who wasn't also opposed to homosexuality in general?

With the opposition to the latter-even (perhaps especially) when it's cloaked in religious dogma-being a variation on the same basic theme: "Gays are icky!"

Seems to me that a lot (most? all?) of the opposition to gay marriage-and LGBT rights in general-comes from that visceral, irrational revulsion a lot of people in our society have toward homosexuality.

Of course, homosexuality is also a violation of socially constructed gender roles for men and women* (to say nothing of transgender and transsexual identities, which are still woefully and shamefully not recognized by mainstream society as being legitimate human identities), so there's that, too.

*What the hell is a "man" or a "woman", besides the most basic biology of "male" and "female"? Are the sociocultural expressions of gender (or individual gender identities) the same as gender itself? And how is gender different from sex? Note that these are *somewhat* rhetorical questions...I've strayed a bit off topic, LOL!

Have the goals of the civil rights movement been achieved? (CBS-detailed polls of Americans)

Fifty years after the Selma to Montgomery marches, Americans see progress, but 54 percent (including 72 percent of blacks) think only some or none of the goals of Martin Luther King and the 1960s civil rights movement have been achieved. Forty-three percent think most or all of the goals have been met.

Looking back, nine in 10 Americans think the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was necessary, including overwhelming majorities regardless of race, political affiliation, age, and region of the country.

And most Americans still think the Voting Rights Act is necessary today, though the percentage is smaller -- 59 percent think the law is still necessary, while 35 percent do not.

But here there are significant differences based on race and political party. Eighty-six percent of blacks think the law is still necessary, compared to 55 percent of whites. And while about eight in 10 Democrats and just over half of independents think the law is necessary today, most Republicans - 52 percent - do not.

In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, overturning the requirement that states with low voter registration and a history of voter suppression get approval from the federal government before changing their election and voting laws. Nearly two thirds of Americans say they don't know enough about the Court's decision to have an opinion on it. Twenty percent agree with this Supreme Court decision, while fewer - 14 percent - disagree.

Three in four Americans think there's been real progress since the 1960s in getting rid of racial discrimination. This number has been fairly consistent in recent years, but is 26 points higher than it was in 1992.

Views on progress differ by race, however. Whites (81 percent) are far more likely than African Americans (50 percent) to think real progress has been made. In addition, the percentage of blacks who think there's been real progress getting rid of racial discrimination has dropped nine points, since June 2014, before the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Full article: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/have-the-goals-of-the-civil-rights-movement-have-been-achieved/

Six words.

That's all that this legalistic (pun intended) "debate" about the Affordable Care Act is about, and the fate of it all rests in the hands of nine people. Millions of Americans' lives hang in the balance (seriously). Insane to think about.

Round 2: Health Care Law Faces The Supreme Court Again

Argument analysis: Setting up the private debate on the ACA
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