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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Intervention

How sad to be that boy


At seven, or was it eight
Wet
Ashamed
And humiliated
With no power
No sense of control

Having first thoughts of things
Most awful, with angel lust
Wet
Ashamed
And humiliated
With no future
A life on parole

Making that tearful vow
If at sixteen or twenty
Wet
Ashamed
And humiliated
With no longings
A drop takes the soul

How sad to be that boy

Lee Harris
April 30, 2011
(Revised May 1, 2011)


The Port Huron Times Herald Part 2

Part 2. (Part 1)

It didn't take very long today to come across an example of a newspaper reporter manipulating the English language to avoid saying something that is very plain, easy to understand, and controversial. Or, not. I will not disparage the motives or the absence of motives for a word choice that is not just merely clever, but sincerely clever. But, nonetheless, still controversial.

Karen Bouffard, a Detroit News journalist, reported to Michiganders that the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill that grants businesses nearly $1.8 billion in tax cuts "and levies for pensions". The use of the word "levies" could be viewed in a couple of ways. Liberals, like myself, will complain that Ms. Bouffard didn't say "tax increase" or "new taxes" but instead used a chickenshit word like levies to camouflage the truth about a genuine honest-to-God tax increase on Michigan's senor citizens and retirees. We, Liberals, will remind everybody that Republicans always promise not to raise your taxes. Remember, Folks, they do that mostly in election years. So, this Liberal, did suspect, at first read, a less than honest and truthful motive in the choices of words in Ms. Bouffard's news article.

My inner Liberal screamed, "Why didn't she just say that there is a new tax on pensions. Simple. Succinct. But, oh no, she is trying to hide/soften/Karl Rove the truth."

I suspected commentary and opinion had replaced a factual account of the news. She did fail to mention that programs and services for the deaf were cut. Clothing allowances for orphans are being cut. Tax credits for the poor are being cut. School spending is being cut. And, on and on................. The poor, the disabled, and the elderly are getting the safety net we promised them pulled out from under them by the Republican Party. The education and the health of Michigan's children and their families are at risk because we must give $1.8 billion dollars to the rich!


After writing my first couple of angry paragraphs, I did the right thing. I used a dictionary to properly understand the words levy and levies.

I startled a few cats when I roared.

A levy is a compulsory government measure that takes money in order to pay off a tax liability. (Emphasis mine)

Michigan should not have a $1.8 billion tax liability. This CRISIS was created by giving away tax revenues belonging to the People of Michigan. Governor Snyder and his Republican Corporatist just passed a government measure to give the People's money to the rich by taking it away from the folks that most need it. There is no shared sacrifice when bleeding only the poor and powerless.

Yes, it's a levy of sorts, Ms. Bouffard. The State House passed a compulsory government measure that takes money from retired folks and the poor in order to pay off a tax liability their corporate sponsors.

And, this overt transfer of wealth is based on the lie that jobs will come to Michigan. That scheme has been refuted by economists. Do your research, Ms. Bouffard! That lie persists because of lazy reporters and malicious lying politicians. Do your research on trickle down economics and you will soon realize what has been trickling down on us for all these long years. Read some Paul Krugman from the NYT while you're at it. He's kinda smart and he even got an award for knowing what the hell he talks about. Do your research.

And, don't be a patsy for the pols. Please.

Listen for the Dog Whistles

The Extreme Right

Cutting community health programs and many of the other programs that serve the disabled, the poor, the working poor, and senor citizens so the Republican Congress can keep the Bush Tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires is IMMORAL.

And, on a related note:








Hat tip to Susie Madrak.

The Port Huron Times Herald

It was in high school when I first heard the term "yellow journalism". We studied how and why propaganda was purposely inserted into so-called news stories. Sensational newspaper headlines would assist with any disinformation campaign. We were also taught that legitimate and unbiased newspapers present the facts, and only the facts, and save any political or social commentary for the "opinion pages". We even learned about the subtle and not so subtle slanting of the news brought to us by the, then, three major television networks broadcasting from nearby Detroit. Even the two Detroit newspapers regularly presented opposing views and commentaries about newsworthy events or political causes.

The world has moved on.

The abolishment of the fairness doctrine was a major blow to journalistic integrity. Lies and misinformation are now rampant in the so-called mainstream media and in some small town papers and other media outlets. Politicians now lie with impunity. Few, if any, newspapers, television stations, or radio stations confront the lying liars with the truth. It seems that these news organizations also have their own agendas. And, sometimes, truth and facts do get reported.

The striking part of the definition of yellow journalism is the media's penchant for presenting the news with very little legitimate research. Facts seem to get in the way of a good story. Does this indicate some degree of malice or a whole lot of sheer laziness?

The Times Herald, Port Huron's one and only daily newspaper, has a bit of a yellow tinge throughout its pages. For example, the views and alleged facts presented in "Guest Commentaries" by local leaders, politicians, and self-appointed know-all city critics are not checked for accuracy and factual content. Lies are routinely printed. These submissions have for the most part been unchallenged. It seems the editors of the newspaper have chosen to ignore the lies and publish each submission in a perfunctory manner. Why are these folks given an opportunity to espouse political or other viewpoints using lies to prop up their arguments? It is not a violation of someone's right to free speech if their submissions are rife with lies. An editor should be able to call bullshit when they read it and reject the guest opinion.

I would take my "don't publish crap view" to include the "Letters to the Editor". It does not serve the public well when lies and innuendo are printed. The editors of the Times Herald do not have to print every letter sent to the paper. The letters that are published should be factual and reasonably contribute to the day's discussion. ---- And, as far as I'm concerned, it remains unethical and unconscionable to publish a "Letter to the Editor" that bitches and lies about an organization while "outing" a gay teacher as proof of the terrible awfulness of the organization targeted. True story........

And, it seems of late, that the folks at the Times Herald have become quite committed cheerleaders for the Republican Party and Governor Snyder. They have not told the truth about the manufactured crisis in school funding. They have not told the truth about the Financial Martial Law. They have not told the truth about the shifting of money from seniors and the poor to pay for tax breaks for the wealthy in Michigan. Taxing the poor and senors to pay for tax breaks for the rich is immoral. By omitting that truth the Times Herald is failing the public.

In summary, this is what I believe:

The Times Herald is lazy.

The Times Herald has made some immoral choices evident by what they report, how they report it, and what opinions they have expressed or allowed to be expressed.

The Times Herald prints lies.

Friday, April 29, 2011

We Have All Been Debased

A Manufactured Crisis: Governor Snyder and the GOP Lie

If I could, I'd sign the petition to recall Governor Rick Snyder ----------

The wording for the petition has been approved and says:

Richard D. Snyder has requested from the legislature, approved and signed various laws that take authority and funds from local governments and school districts and vest them with the state.


He has obtained for himself, through his appointed Emergency Financial Managers, the power to invalidate legal and binding contracts entered into by properly elected local authorities.


He has sought tax increases upon retirees and lower income families, but instead of addressing the deficit, he has sought large new tax cuts for corporations and businesses.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fact of Fiction?

Fact.  Paul Ryan's budget plan eliminates Medicare and gives humongous tax breaks to the rich. The Republican Party wants tax breaks for the rich so everything that makes America a Great Nation gets CUT to pay for them. His plan even adds $6 Trillion to the deficit.................


.

In My Humble Opinion

If you are a Birther, you are a racist.

If you are a Birther and just saw the long form birth certificate that the President published AND you got upset that President Obama'a father's race was listed as "African" instead of Negro, you are a freaking racist.

If you are a Birther and now demand to see the President's grade school, high school, and university transcripts, you are a fool and a racist.

If you claim the President is illegitimate in any manner for any reason, YOU ARE A FUCKING KNUCKLE DRAGGING RACIST.

..... in my humble opinion.

And, I have no use for your "friendship", prayers, and alleged Christianist good thoughts. You are a lying liar and unrepentant hypocrite.


P.S.  Birthers are violating God's commandment about bearing false witness ............... yep, even with overwhelming evidence that Barack Obama was born in Hawaii and that by blood --- his mother's -- Barack Obama is, in fact, automatically a citizen of the United States of America the Birthers continue to spread the birther lies and nonsense and they continue to dishonor God and the alleged covenant that they claim to have with Him.


Did you flunk that part of high school U.S. Government classes? Were you absent that semester? How about Sunday School?


Birthers: What racist morons they all are............

.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Birthers Find Even More Reasons to Doubt the REAL Certificate

This shit will never end.

Barbara Morrill has a great article at the Daily Kos. "What a shock: Birthers aren't convinced by release of long form birth certificate"

"That the birthers aren't satisfied with the release of the long form birth certificate isn't surprising. Birthers aren't satisfied because no matter how many documents Barack Obama releases it will never be enough, because there isn't a document in the world that will turn him white.
.

Quote of the Day

State Senator Gretchen Whitmer explains why there is an alleged crisis in Michigan. Read the entire Detroit Free Press online commentary here.

"To be clear, before Snyder proposed taking $895 million out of the School Aid Fund, there was no school funding crisis in Michigan. In fact, there was a surplus, making what we are now faced with a crisis of choice — not of necessity.
This all starts with the Governor proposing a $1.8 billion tax break for businesses. I support thoughtful business tax policy to spur growth and job creation, but this overreach exceeds any relief that even business groups like the Business Leaders for Michigan have advocated. Furthermore, it lacks any evidence it will create jobs or Michigan investment, as admitted recently by the Governor himself. For a man who likes to talk about metrics and measurements, this casual approach to tax breaks should concern us all."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Worst Person of the Day: Senator Bruce Caswell

I wrote about this creep ---- And, even Keith Olbermann thinks the thrift store gift card idea is demeaning and cruel...........................

Monday, April 25, 2011

Soylent Green or Maintain Medicare & Social Security

Republicans have a choice: Promote Soylent Green or Maintain Medicare & Social Security

Mean-Spirited Michigan Republicans

Michigan State Senator Bruce Caswell (R) is a Mean-Spirited Michigan Republican. His brilliant idea to save more money to be given to the rich, though discarded by a Senate committee, demonstrates the thoughtless and heartless antics of the Republicans in Michigan. Yep, foster kids (and other poor folk) should, in Senator Bruce Caswell's opinion, be given gift cards to the Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Paul, or Goodwill thrift stores to buy used clothing and fore go any generous or even adequate amount of money to buy new clothes. Go on out and get those kids some used shoes, used socks, used underwear, and used outerwear. No one will notice......... Asshole.

Yes, let us short change the poor, the disabled, and the disadvantaged so Michigan may give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

What the hell is going on in Michigan? Where are the folks that care about their neighbors?

More details here at Crooks & Liars. with "The Unbearable Meanness of Conservatives".

Protected And Private



Blog Against Theocracy

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Don't Watch This

You may want to come and see for yourself.............. Many folks have come to visit and immediately make plans to move................

Credo: I Believe

This I believe:

What Were You Thinking, Mrs. Miller?

Rick Snyder's Michigan

Government is the contract that the people have with themselves. It is a pact of mutual protection and care. We, the people of Benton Harbor, of Port Huron, of the Port Huron Area School District, or of the State of Michigan, have charters, governing rules, laws, and constitutions that pledge to defend and protect, and provide for the general welfare of our people -- us. We make rules and laws to govern ourselves. We elect our friends and neighbors to political offices to carry out the work of the people and to represent their respective constituents on our boards, commissions, and legislative bodies when making laws or spending OUR money.

We, the people, employ other people. We have promised each other that our food will be safe so we have employed folks to check our food. We do not want to fret about shrimp or lettuce or baby formula. And, through our government agents we are working to have clean air and safe drinking water.  We take care of our parks, buildings, and roads. We employ police and firefighters to serve the public.

We the people provide whatever OUR governmental boards or OUR governmental geographical or political wards or districts or townships need to provide first-class services for the citizens. We tax ourselves to pay for all those things that we deem important. Usually.

Public Education is a part of the compact that we have made with ourselves. We promise to provide every child a world-class education in a public school using the public funds that we gather. We promise to give our kids every opportunity to learn and grow to be good citizens. Except, of course, when we, the Republicans, are in charge. Michigan Republicans hate public education to the detriment of Michigan.

In Michigan, with every decision to cut education monies, shift education monies, or give away OUR education funds so the rich may have tax cuts, the elected representatives of the people are irrevocably harming our children. Every decision that the Republicans are making right now seem to be for the purpose of paying back campaign donors and kissing the butts of the very rich in Michigan and of the butts of corporate stockholders and the Wall Street Gamblers outside of Michigan.

The State of Michigan has a contract with the people of Michigan. Why are The People allowing the Republican Party of Michigan and Governor Snyder to break that contract? Why did Michiganders trust these people in the last election? What are they going to do now?

The poor, the disabled, our seniors, public workers, unions, and our children are under attack. The Republicans seem hellbent on destroying the Michigan Way of Life. They are drastically changing the living and working conditions in Michigan.

For the money and the power that comes with it...............

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Civil War Celebrated?

The Civil War Celebrated?


Well, think about it –

Does it really matter if you celebrate the beginning of a war or not? Who cares? The celebrations with displays of arrogance or with displays of unreal regret are disappointing.

Everything is about politics: Liars versus the folks that remember history, understand the Constitution, and demand truth and justice in their own times. Now, then, and freaking forever, Amen.

The only side that matters is the winning side.

We Are All F#@ked

The GOP plans are beginning to reveal themselves.

Rachel Maddow, I believe, seems to think that many of the efforts to cripple Democratic Party "causes" (ACORN, Planned Parenthood), to knee-cap Democratic Party supporting unions (Oh, Michigan and our friends in Wisconsin), and, once again, to disappear Democratic leaning voters by voter suppression techniques like requiring photo-I.D. to vote or by maliciously telling voters that photo-I.D. will be needed on election day -- in States that do not require I.D. to Vote. (Michigan did not have a photo-I.D. law when I last voted some 4 years ago. It also didn't hurt that one of the poll workers had been someone I delivered papers to for many years and she watched me come and do my democratic duty for a long period of my adult life).

Anyway.........

It's all about beating the Democratic Party. POWER. A one-party ruled government cannot work in America. They don't care. The GOP wants to find out how it will be in real-time. Lord, I hate it when they experiment (Iraq).

AND / OR

Tonight, I am reading an article that says that the Republican Party is using the Budget and budget cutting squabbles AND now the Debt Ceiling (Hey,Retiree - get your ass to México) to, ...wait for it, deliberately sink the American Economy.  The goal is to reduce American Worker Wages by 20% in one fell swoop.  It's called the "Shock Doctrine". They are playing games with our livelihoods and our personal health and welfare.

And, of course the cuts will hit the elderly ( GO MICHIGAN 67'ers!!! Huzzah.) and the poor disproportionately. The bullshit with Family Planning wasn't about abortion ( 3% of total services ) the actual bill called for ENDING ALL THE MONEY USED FOR WOMEN"S HEALTH everywhere. That would be a blow to the working poor (sliding payment scale - you/I pay something), the middle-class, the anonymous person (teen) seeking/needing contraception and possible treatment for STD's, and anyone eligible for health services and seeking help.

Yep, Betsy DE VILLE is getting her way in a hurry. Sigh.

American workers. the working-poor, seniors, and the very poor will be cut -- but not one damn bit of the military - oh, of course, they want everybody shifting their retirement funds in good old reliable Wall Street. And, we just may go into a freaking real depression when the Republicans in Congress have their hissy fit about the National Debt and The Deficits - like some religious fetish they want to kill Medicare and Social Security. Shift wealth.

Democrats will suffer the loss of income and the ability to fight the very rich corporations. Thanks, Supreme Court. If Corporations are People -- tell me -- who went to jail for killing 11 workers on a rig that used a blow-out preventer that the oil industry (and, now, Congress) knows doesn't work.

The Corporations have decided that it is cheaper to pay for oil spill clean-up, cheaper to pay fines and cheaper to settle lawsuits, including those for wrongful death.  Cheaper than spending the money to build a blow-out preventer that actually prevents blow-outs. You kidding? Cut into their enormous profits?

Money and Power.

And, PAY ATTENTION HERE, please ----- they are going to make drastic cuts WHILE giving tax cuts to the rich and the dopes that buy their wile.

WTF. Really?

Now, let's pray the Democratic Party wakes up and somehow mitigates this disaster in the making.


As, if.

.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My Journey

The music posted during the past 8 months has had some great significance to me. I have a story about each one shared. Some have helped me through the healing process. Well, maybe all of them. One influenced how we said goodbye to our Billy on Loma Ancha. One truly demonstrated one of the stages of grief. Bargaining. Well, really two. Nearly forgot about Rammstein. And, I have shed a lot of tears. "Bled every day".

The lyrics from Cassidy Haley's Little Boys and Dinosaurs tells bits and pieces of my life. The imagery used in the video thoroughly compliments or really illustrates some real parts of my life. Really. Childhood trauma is what sent my innocence away or as the song suggests -- crippled my manhood -- kept me from being more complete. Held me back. I've not written about the day Mom locked everyone out of the house...... I am still horrified by the image of those knives jammed between the doors and their jambs. Grandma stayed with us while she was away.

And, in the end of the song...... Four years ago I came to a new place. I am far away from that scared little boy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Snyder Cares Little for the Poor and Disabled

Michigan is only in deep shit because Governor Snyder is transferring the wealth of the State of Michigan to the wealthiest Michiganders.  Taxing the poor and elderly, while cutting aid to Michigan's schools, cutting services to the deaf community, and cutting other social services is absurd.  Its a REVERSE Robin Hood taking from the poor to give to the rich....................

Recall Snyder and all the Republicans that continue to LIE and run Michigan into the ground.

Maddow

Dear Mackinac Center:

Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow Maddow

Creeps!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quote of the Day

Wow! The Republican Party is going after Grandma's Medicare and the poor folks' Medicaid. Yep, Cut the programs needed by the elderly and the poor and give huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans. That's progress and job creation GOP style. Assholes.

From economist Paul Krugman:

Oh, and for all those older Americans who voted GOP last year because those nasty Democrats were going to cut Medicare, I have just one word:  suckers!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It Gets Better

My thanks to an incredible young artist, Cassidy Haley!  At this point in my life, I have returned to music to find comfort and encouragement to just hold on.........  It gets better.