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  • Thoughts on a shooting

    June 8th, 2013 [General, Law & Politics, News, US]

    I could go off on a long rant about gun control here, but I’ll just share some scattered thoughts on yesterday’s shooting in Santa Monica, which hit way too close to home in every respect.

    How come people only freak out and demand gun control legislation after one of these massive shootings in a usually-quiet neighborhood? Isn’t gun violence also terrible when it happens on a daily basis in cities across the nation? At our old house, we used to hear gunshots fairly frequently. The first time it happened, we tried calling the police. They brushed us off. And it really sucked when a guy was murdered in a drive-by shooting a few houses down from us because some gang members thought he was a member of a rival gang. He wasn’t. But nobody made any demands for gun control then. I don’t even think they published the guy’s name in the newspaper. You had to try really hard just to find the inch of column space the shooting received. This happens every day. Why are we letting this happen every day?

    Why is it that the same people who bitch and moan about the constitutional notions of “separation of church and state” and “fundamental right to privacy” do a full flip-flop when it comes to the alleged unequivocal constitutional right to personally own military-style weaponry with virtually no governmental regulation or interference? Have they read the full 2nd Amendment?

    How many more mass shootings is it going to take for us to make a change? When is enough enough? If a classroom full of murdered kindergarteners wasn’t enough… what is?

    If we can regulate and track the sale of pseudoephedrine, why can’t we regulate and track ammunition sales? As with ammunition, mere purchase of pseudoephedrine is not illegal, nor is possession. But if somebody lives in the middle of a densely-populated city with virtually no open land for hunting and they suddenly start stockpiling ammunition meant for semi-automatic weapons, it seems like we ought to care as much as we do if somebody goes to four different pharmacies and buys out their supply of Sudafed. And yet somehow we don’t.

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    What you need to know about wealth distribution in America

    March 5th, 2013 [Financial, Law & Politics, US]

    Required viewing.

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    Pam’s House Blend:: Freepers debate whether women should be able to vote

    March 30th, 2009 [General, Religion, US]

    Pam’s House Blend:: Freepers debate whether women should be able to vote.

    Um….. no, I’m pretty sure I can think of more horrific episodes in American history linked to excessive mixing of church and government (from Salem right on up to Tweedle Dubya). Racism has been a pretty active player too. But the female vote? Sorry, no. The only bad thing that ever came from the female vote was Prohibition, and frankly I think that had just as much to do with the fact that women were sick of being beaten by their drunkard husbands. And oh yeah – also because Jesus hates the booze. Bit of a religion thing after all.

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    Shooter planned ‘to go out in grand style,’ investigator says – CNN.com

    March 12th, 2009 [General, News, US]

    Shooter planned ‘to go out in grand style,’ investigator says – CNN.com.

    Call me heartless, but why can’t these people just KILL THEMSELVES FIRST instead of taking out so many people on the way? They always die in the end anyway. Not that I wish them dead, but if they’re going to kill themselves anyway, can’t they just skip right to the big finish instead of tearing families apart and slaughtering people who didn’t want to die?

    I edited this from the original post to include my comment to the person who commented below, because I think it’s important to address this issue.

    I understand that people “made fun of him” and that this may have contributed to his actions. I really do. I don’t condone it, but I understand it. That said, much of the time, the people who get killed are not the people who were responsible for creating a monster. Look at Columbine. Yes, some of the people killed were athletes who had tormented Harris and Klebold. But many of them were not. In this case a baby was shot, and a toddler killed. Did these children participate in any behavior that warranted a bullet? Really?

    I don’t think mockery warrants capital punishment. And believe me – I know what it’s like to be made fun of by a lot of people, and I know what it’s like to be the target of everybody’s negative attention. But wouldn’t it be just as effective to go on to be more successful than the people who mocked you? Or take them to court for harassment? Or just tell them to fuck off? Why is killing them the logical answer? What is so fragile about the male ego that injuring it warrants capital punishment? You’re talking about the same sort of “shame” that makes men in Muslim countries throw acid on the faces of women who reject their marriage proposals. And god forbid a gay man should accidentally mistake a straight man for gay and say something even remotely suggestive – suddenly the gay man finds himself dead on a fence post. Why is it that men think they can excuse murderous behavior by saying they did it because their feelings were hurt?

    In any event, killing people does not teach anybody to be nicer. It just gives people more reason to ostracize and avoid those who seem like they might “snap.” These people do worse for the fate of all outcasts than any athlete or smartass could possibly do, by becoming what everybody fears. You think things got any better for high school outcasts after Columbine? Fuck that. They got worse. The same will happen for people like this guy. People hate what they fear, and they oppress what they hate. This man just made things a lot worse for everybody else like him.

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    War message found inside Lincoln’s watch – CNN.com

    March 10th, 2009 [General, News, US]

    War message found inside Lincoln’s watch – CNN.com.

    I love random history articles. At least we know what he meant by his inscription, thanks to his interview! (or at least, what he wanted people to think he meant)

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    Pam’s House Blend:: More Racist Emails from Florida Republicans

    February 5th, 2009 [General, US]

    Pam’s House Blend:: More Racist Emails from Florida Republicans.

    The GOP committeewoman thought it would be hilarious to make some jokes about the large number of black people going to the inauguration and how it proves they should have been able to get themselves out of New Orleans for Katrina.

    Read the email – and then read her “apology.” How is this “joke” even funny? I mean, the woman demonstrates in one fell swoop her 1) racism; 2) class insensitivity; 3) able-ism; 4) ignorance of massive government failure; and 5) stupidity: making a racist comment to 5 people as opposed to 500 doesn’t make you proportionately less racist; it just means you’re proportionately less likely to be exposed. But guess what? OOOOPS.

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    Talking Points Memo | Neanderthal Party

    February 5th, 2009 [General, US]

    Talking Points Memo | Neanderthal Party.

    The Republican Theme Song: “We’d like to thank you Herbert Hooverrr, for really showin’ us the waaay, we’d like to thank you Herbert Hooverrr, you made us what we are todaaaay.”

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    Freaking amazing photo of the inauguration

    January 27th, 2009 [Election 2008, General, News, US]

    How I Made a 1,474-Megapixel Photo During President Obama’s Inaugural Address | David Bergman — ALL ACCESS — sports, concert, and music photographer.

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    107-year-old: ‘Nothing but the greatest!’ – CNN.com

    January 20th, 2009 [Civil Rights, General, US]

    107-year-old: ‘Nothing but the greatest!’ – CNN.com.


    Congratulations, America!

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    Innocent man killed by cops while on his own front lawn. Police generously proclaim him an innocent bystander.

    December 4th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, News, US]

    What the fuck, man?

    Anaheim officer mistakenly kills man on his front lawn.

    But on the bright side, he was innocent. Wait – what?!?!

    I’m sure it came as SUUUUUCH a relief to Julian Alexander’s family that the police have proclaimed that he was “was innocent of anything that the officer suspected was going on in the neighborhood.”

    No, really – it’s precious:

    “Anaheim Police Chief John Welter met with about 30 members of Alexander’s family Tuesday afternoon at a news conference. While not coming out and saying it was the department’s fault, Chief Welter wanted Alexander’s family to know that the 20-year-old, in the department’s eyes, was an innocent bystander in this incident.”

    Fantastic. I’m sure that line went over great at the FUNERAL. “Well, we’ve lost our beloved son, grandson, husband, soon-to-be father because he looked like the suspects (in that he was black, and that’s pretty much it)… but on the bright side, the police say he didn’t do anything to deserve this! What a relief!”

    To be somewhat fair to the police, I think the family had asked them to specify in their news release that he was an innocent bystander – but still! This reminds me of the way they used to test women for witchcraft by weighting them down with stones and putting them in the water. If the women survived, they were guilty and sent to be hanged. If they drowned, well, at least their families could take consolation in the fact that they were innocent…

    So sad – the kid was only 20 years old – and his wife was 7 months pregnant at the time. She’s due this month.

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    It’s official: U.S. in a recession for the past year

    December 1st, 2008 [Financial, General, News, US]

    It’s official: We’ve been in a recession for a full year now.

    This, from the National Institute of DUH!

    Of course, it’s good to know that this isn’t all in our heads… you know, like some sort of mental recession by a nation of whiners

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    Wal-Mart death preventable, union says – CNN.com

    November 30th, 2008 [General, News, Shopping, US]

    Wal-Mart death preventable, union says – CNN.com.

    Well, yeah. A lot of the bad things that happen at (and because of) Wal-Mart are preventable. The problem is that they never bother to make the effort to prevent them. They have so much money that they simply do not care. So they pay $1 or $2 million to the family who lost a loved one. It might have cost them $3 or $4 million to hire extra people and arrange for crowd control and barriers in all of their stores. Hey, in their eyes, they probably see this death as a bargain. A rolled-back price, if you will…

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    Okay, so I guess Wal-Mart DIDN’T finally do something right…

    November 29th, 2008 [General, News, US]

    Worker dies in Black Friday store rush – 11/29/08 – New York News and Tri-State News – 7online.com.

    "This incident was avoidable," said Bruce Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500. "Where were the safety barriers? Where was security? How did store management not see dangerous numbers of customers barreling down on the store in such an unsafe manner?" asked President Both. "This is not just tragic; it rises to a level of blatant irresponsibility by Wal-Mart. UFCW Local 1500 will demand a full investigation by all levels of Government to ensure both justice for the surviving family members and to ensure the safety of current employees and the general public. This can never be allowed to happen again and those responsible must be held accountable," Both concluded.


    Oh, and here’s another fun detail from this article – remember how I said Wal-Mart finally did something right by closing the store for the day after the employee was killed?

    They re-opened around 1PM that same day. They re-opened hours later, after making the announcement to all the newsmedia that they were closing for the day because of what happened.

    Reminds me of the time Wal-Mart got a huge amount of flak for selling The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion categorized as a Social Sciences book on their website, with a caption about how if this book is true, it sure sheds some light on current world situations. “If this book is true”???? It’s a known forgery! This is common knowledge! FUCKING BASTARDS. Can you imagine? It’s like selling Mein Kampf and marketing it as “one man’s heroic struggle.” I was one of the people who sent them a nasty letter.

    So anyway, after they got called out on this ridiculous situation, they issued a press release apologizing for the mistake and announced that they would no longer be selling this book.

    In English.

    Well, no. The press release certainly didn’t make that little stipulation. But a week after they removed the book from their website, I searched their website and discovered that the book was still being sold in Spanish! Oops.

    So yeah. They reopened the store a few hours later. Disgusting, but no surprises there. That’s Wal-Mart.

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    Well. That’s Wal-Mart.

    November 28th, 2008 [General, News, US]

    This story just makes me sick. A Wal-Mart employee was trampled to death as the store opened and the crowd literally broke down the stores surging into the store.

    I heard about this while waiting in line at Kohl’s earlier today with a friend and some relatives. People were griping about the long wait, and talking about how crazy it was that the line was sooooo long. One lady mentioned something about a stampede at another store, and a bunch of other people chimed in, adding that an employee at that other store was killed and a pregnant lady was injured and might be having a miscarriage. (Thankfully the pregnant woman who was injured did not have a miscarriage; the news article says her baby will be fine). I remarked that that at the very least, hearing this story made waiting 1.5 hours in line to check out seem pretty darned nice.

    When one guy mentioned that the store in question was Wal-Mart, I quietly muttered, “Well. That’s Wal-Mart.” One of my relatives overheard this and was like, “Oh, I know you don’t like Wal-Mart, but you can’t blame this on them too!!” I pointed out that it was their responsibility to manage crowds and hire extra security, because crowds certainly can’t manage themselves – and the people around us in line started chipping in about how dangerous Wal-Mart parking lots are, and how they don’t really invest in security anyway, and how they understaff their stores, and all the stuff that I am always wishing more people knew about. I was impressed.

    Seriously, people – the story makes me sick. What really kills me is that when the store finally did something RIGHT by shutting down for the day, after the employee had been murdered by careless and selfish shoppers, this same crowd actually got angry at the store for closing. They were indignant, insisting that they deserved their discounts after waiting in line since 5AM.

    These people KILLED a man, and simply did not seem to care.

    Meanwhile, wouldn’t it have been worth a little extra money for Wal-Mart to fucking hire some crowd management staff, when they know damned well that they’re going to have a crowd like this? Rabid shoppers are not exactly a new phenomenon, especially on major “shopping holidays.” But God forbid a Wal-Mart should be adequately staffed… Oh no. Their feigning surprise at this incident is like John McCain going, “Good heavens! Who knew sub-prime lending would lead to economic collapse??? If only we had known, we could have prevented this crisis…”

    Honestly. I wish they could be held accountable for what they did. The store, the crowd, the decision-makers. I wish every person whose foot touched this man, or who deliberately jostled somebody into somebody else into somebody else whose foot touched this man, could share a little bit in the punishment for his completely unnecessary death. I wish the store could be held accountable for failing to provide adequate crowd control mechanisms.

    But of course, nobody will be held accountable. Oh, people will be criticized, but nobody will really be punished for this. Ah, America and its consumer-driven mob mentality.

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    Sometimes the reaction to a story is more telling than the story itself.

    November 28th, 2008 [General, News, US]

    Okay, so like… this story is really disturbing and a little bit suspicious (she really didn’t know him?) and kinda gross (okay, a lot gross)… but even MORE disturbing is this comment left on the article by a reader:

    As for females talking about a double-standard. There sure is. It’s called biology.

    If this woman gets knocked up, the guy would unknowingly raise the child. It’s called cuckholding and is one of the most horrific shames a man can endure. She is dishonoring his family, forcing him to raise someone else’s children. Absolutely disgusting. As for the other cheater, he’s getting some high fives because some sucker is raising his kid now. His DNA gets to go on.

    That the husband blames himself is awful. That’s a product of this overly feminized society. To be honest, if my partner did this to me, I would be hard-pressed not to kill her. In other countries, where the concept of HONOR exists, this might be justifiable.

    Also, in this overpopulated world, mamabear should not be allowed to have six kids. From her comments, she sounds like a very selfish person.

    Wow. That’s even more sick than the story itself. This guy actually believes that “honor killings” are about honor and not the male ego, and he almost seems sorry that he couldn’t get away with that here.


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    Turn that noise down!

    November 25th, 2008 [Humor, News, US]

    Video – Breaking News Videos from CNN.com: Turn that noise down! 3:55

    PRECIOUS. These kids look totally miserable. This judge found the right punishment!!!

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    D O G P O E T » Drag Queens and a Few Bricks

    November 25th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, Marriage Equality, News, Religion, US]

    I’ll warn you now… my post today contains profanity. Deal with it.

    D O G P O E T » Drag Queens and a Few Bricks:

    Last Friday a couple hundred gays and their friends chased a small group of young Christian preachers out of the Castro, calling them “bigots” and chanting “Don’t come back!”

    I wish I’d been there.

    Read More.

    I know people are going to be pissed about this story and complain that gay people are soooo intolerant, and not really “helping our cause.” But this guy is right. We’ve been “helping our cause” by being calm and rational for years, and we’re still being treated like shit. Just how much more of this are we expected to take?

    How would they expect a crowd of Jews or black people to react if a bunch of white-robed Klansmen or swastika-clad neo-Nazis showed up to demonstrate on the street corner in Fairfax, or Brooklyn, or Compton, especially on Yom ha Shoah or the anniversary of MLK Jr’s assassination? We would demand that they get the HELL out of our neighborhood, and we’d be right. We would CHASE THEM OUT, and somehow I doubt people would have much sympathy for them, even though they’re just “expressing an opinion.”

    Historically speaking, members of a civil rights movement being “calm and rational” works best when there is a contingent of people who are fucking pissed off and ready to do what they need to do. Martin Luther King Jr. looked awfully good to white people, compared to Malcolm X. You think radical women didn’t riot in the streets and take over buildings to demand their right to vote at the turn of the last century? And damned if we wouldn’t still be hiding in the bushes and fearing imprisonment for congregating if a bunch of trannies and drag queens hadn’t gotten fucking pissed off at Stonewall. I’m not saying I’m ready to go out in the streets and riot – and I’m certainly not advocating violence. That’s not me. I’m more inclined to be calm and rational. But I’m most definitely not going to tell people they should sit back and let these people trample all over them, especially when they came into the Castro to do it. I am sick to death of gay people having to be super-duper perfect in order to gain “sympathy” from people, and I’m sick of being held to standards that no other groups are expected to meet.

    We got FUCKED on November 4. We literally had our rights torn away from us by a simple majority. We were reduced to second-class citizens – again. Six million people voted for bigotry and hatred. I know that’s not how some people see it, but it’s God’s honest truth. Frankly I think people should be relieved that the reaction isn’t stronger than it has been. This state certainly deserves a stronger reaction than it has seen thus far. I know people don’t think they’re being hateful by supporting Prop 8. I know they don’t see it that way. But hate is hate, and bigotry is bigotry, no matter how hard you try to couch it in love and prayer. “Love the sinner and hate the sin” is the biggest cop-out in the WORLD. And I know they say “Oh, you guys aren’t really helping your cause by protesting. We gave you domestic partnership rights – be happy with that.” Yeah. These are the same people who told us to keep our mouths shut when Jews got pissed off over Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. They’re the same people who told us, “We support Israel, so shut up and let us have our anti-Semitic movie… or else.”

    I know some people see this about religious freedom and religious liberties. They say we should be “tolerant” of people’s religious beliefs about how we’re going to hell. But here’s what I want to know: WHEN has ANY other minority group been expected to sit back and let people walk all over them just because it’s their religion that tells them to do it? Some of the worst forms of bigotry and racism have been justified by religion. Slavery was justified by religion. The HOLOCAUST was justified by religion. The Crusades were PROPELLED by religion. Women were treated as property because of religion. Racism against black people stems from the Bible, according to multiple Christian sects (the Mormons didn’t even let black people enter their religion until the late 1970’s, and they were NOT happy about it). Most of the Native American population was wiped out because American settlers believed they had God’s mandate to take this land from them. And of course, we can’t forget that timeless classic, “We hate the Jews because they killed Christ.” But who would expect a black person to treat a Klansman with respect and tolerance? Who would expect a Jew to smile and be friendly to somebody wearing a swastika armband?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

    So why the FUCK should I be friendly and respect the viewpoint of somebody who bases his opinion of me on a Biblical passage that says I should be stoned to death simply because of who I love?

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    Civics Literacy Quiz – What’s Your Score?

    November 23rd, 2008 [Civil Rights, Financial, General, US]

    From Yahoo News:

    US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.

    Ordinary citizens did not fare much better, scoring just 49 percent correct on the 33 exam questions compiled by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI).

    How did you score on the ISI’s Civics Quiz?

    I’m ashamed to admit I missed 2 questions, #27 and #33, giving me a score of 93.94%. Sad, considering that I’m IN an economics right now… ah well. It’s microeconomics anyway. Not sure if we get to take macroeconomics in my program.

    To be fair, I missed #33 because of a semantic misunderstanding; I was reading debt and thinking deficit spending. But in retrospect, the real answer makes more sense.

    In any event, I think it’s particularly sad that most Americans would fail this quiz. Sad that new citizens probably know more about American civics than lifelong ones, eh?

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    Obama’s vetting could chase away candidates – CNN.com

    November 22nd, 2008 [General, Law & Politics, US]

    I don’t see how anybody could possibly be complaining about a rigorous vetting procedure, when politicians’ private lives are increasingly made public and scrutinized by the media. If he doesn’t get this stuff out into the open now, it will be uncovered by bloggers, and it will be made public at the most inopportune time – probably when these people are trying to actually accomplish something significant. There’s nothing quite like a major media scandal to derail the political process…

    In any event, I think we’ve all seen what happens when people fail to adequately vet their nominees…

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    After 63 years, vet learns of brother’s death in Nazi slave camp – CNN.com

    November 20th, 2008 [General, News, US, World]

    After 63 years, vet learns of brother’s death in Nazi slave camp – CNN.com.

    One wonders if the US government would have made a bigger deal out of this enslavement and murder if the 350 soldiers had not been separated and sent there specifically for being or looking Jewish. Don’t forget that this is the same US that segregated its troops based on race (black people were good enough to fight, but not good enough to be integrated??), and deliberately kept out of the country hundreds of thousands of Jews who were trying to flee from the Nazis and who wound up being slaughtered by them because they could not find refuge here. The US literally turned away ships full of people who had made it out, only to be sent back.

    The US could have done more – it just didn’t care enough. And apparently that apathy extended to its Jewish and “Jewish-looking” soldiers as well. I have always been very proud that my grandpa, a Jewish man, fought for America in World War II. It makes me sick to think that he, too, could have been conveniently “forgotten” by the US Army if he had been captured.

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    Largest earthquake drill in history ‘rattles’ California – CNN.com

    November 13th, 2008 [General, News, US]

    Largest earthquake drill in history ‘rattles’ California – CNN.com.

    Eeesh. They make it sound like all of California – or even all of southern California – was involved. So not the case. But whatever, at least it’s for a good purpose.

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    Armed guards keep watch over church services – CNN.com

    November 8th, 2008 [Civil Rights, General, News, Religion, US, War & Peace]

    Armed guards keep watch over church services – CNN.com.

    Uh, yeah. Welcome to what the Jewish community has had to deal with for years. I remember during the first Gulf War we were afraid to go to Hebrew school because there were reports of bomb threats against Jewish institutions around the city. My synagogue has had an armed security guard for as long as I can remember.

    It’s not so much fun realizing that people hate you, is it?

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    Wow. Every time I think “Yes on 8” couldn’t possibly stoop to a new low…

    October 28th, 2008 [Arts & Entertainment, Civil Rights, Coupons & Discounts, Election 2008, General, Law & Politics, Marriage Equality, US]

    The No on 8 campaign received a letter from the Yes on 8 campaign requesting that they engage in a debate over whether Prop 8’s failure would lead to kids being “indoctrinated in schools.” In other words, the Yes on 8 campaign asked for No on 8 to show up for a debate in order to legitimize their lies by making them sound like something actually up for debate. They might as well have asked No on 8 to come to a debate about whether gay people are child-molesters – we all know that’s what they are really thinking.

    The No on 8 people refused to take the bait:

    October 28, 2008
    Frank Schubert
    Campaign Manager, protectmarriage.com – Yes on 8
    1415 L Street, Suite C-259
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    Dear Frank:

    Thank you for your letter. It would be a disservice to the people of California to debate an issue
    that is completely unrelated to Proposition 8.

    As you know:

    Jack O’Connell, the state’s top educator and the nonpartisan-elected Superintendent of Public
    Instruction says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools and that your campaign’s use of children
    to make this false claim is “shameful.”

    Delaine Eastin, his predecessor, says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

    Dr. Ted Mitchell, the President of the State Board of Education, says Prop. 8 has nothing to do
    with schools.

    His predecessor, Reed Hastings, says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

    The California Teachers Association says Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

    And leading newspapers have concluded Prop. 8 has nothing to do with schools.

    The only debate worth having in California is why you have pursued such a deceptive campaign

    That debate is one you can conduct alone – with your conscience.

    Steve Smith
    Campaign Manager
    NO on Prop 8

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    U.S. ready to debut plan – Oct. 13, 2008

    October 14th, 2008 [Banking, Election 2008, Financial, General, News, US]

    U.S. ready to debut plan – Oct. 13, 2008.

    Do you ever wonder if this isn’t just the greatest heist of all time? Do you wake up in the middle of the night sometimes wondering how much of that $700 billion of our money is going to wind up in the offshore bank accounts of the top .05% of America’s wealthiest Republican puppeteers? Do you ever wonder if King Georgie is going to help himself to a share of it before he heads out of office? How many of Wall Street’s CEOs are REALLY not going to see massive financial perks from this bailout?

    How much of this money is going to bail out the economy, and how much of it is going to leak out of the economy into the wealthiest Americans’ personal vaults?

    I have no answers – only lots and LOTS of questions.

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    Palin may “support” Israel, but she is no friend to Jews.

    October 11th, 2008 [Election 2008, General, Law & Politics, Middle East, News, Religion, US]

    With friends like Sarah Palin, who needs enemies?! I would rather see somebody supporting Israel by trying to further peace in the Middle East, rather than supporting Israel blindly in the hopes that the resulting wars will bring about the End of Days just a little bit sooner, or because as long as Israel holds out, there’s still a chance all the Jews will move there and either accept Jesus or die.

    I don’t want this woman anywhere near the international peace process – or the proverbial “red button.” Religion is a personal matter, but not when her religious motivations will guide her every move in office. A religious politician – EVERY politician, really – has to have some level of humility; as we’ve seen from the past 8 years, when an official believes he has God’s mandate to rule and has been placed there to do God’s work and have God speak through him… well… I think we know how well that goes.

    Does Sarah Palin Have a Pentecostal Problem? – TIME:

    And finally, a videotape surfaced of a 2005 service at the Wasilla Assembly of God Church, the Pentecostal church that Palin attended for most of her life. In the scene captured on video, Palin stands at the front of the sanctuary while a visiting African pastor prays that God will help her gubernatorial campaign and protect her “from every form of witchcraft.” Later in the same service, the pastor complains that “Israelites” held too many prominent positions in business, a comment that has further alienated Jewish voters.

    Sarah Palin And The Anti-Semitism Question – The Jed Report:

    Yesterday, Ben Smith posted a remarkable story about Sarah Palin’s attendance at an anti-Semitic sermon delivered at her church just two weeks ago.

    The sermon, given by the executive director of Jews for Jesus, blamed Jewish victims of terrorism for the attacks which claimed their lives. If Jews had just converted to Christianity, he said, they would have lived.

    This is crazy, paranoid stuff, and it is far beyond anything Jeremiah Wright ever said, yet we went through six weeks of nonstop scrutiny over his politically extreme statements.

    Sarah Palin and the Jewish community | Op-Ed Contributors | Jerusalem Post:

    FINALLY, THERE is the matter of two anti-Israel politicians – Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan. In February Palin in an interview lavished praise on Ron Paul. There is also a controversy over whether Palin has supported former presidential aspirant Pat Buchanan. To be fair there is no evidence that Palin shares either of these Republicans’ anti-Israel creed. However, since the beginning of the GOP narrative within the Jewish community is that Obama can not be trusted because of a handful of people who have endorsed him. If this guilt by association standard is one the McCain stands by, then they also need to deal with Palin’s past support for anti-Israel politicians.

    Sarah Palin’s Jewish Problem – Michael Fox – Open Salon:

    In his talk at Wasilla on August 17, 2008, with Palin in the audience, Brickner described terrorist attacks on Israelis as God's "judgment of unbelief" on Jews who have not converted to Christianity.

    At the conclusion of Brickner's sermon, the congregation contributed money for Jews for Jesus' mission of converting
    the Jews and and prayed that Jews would come to accept Jesus.

    John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his vice presidential candidate has already cost him the vote of at least one prominent Jewish politician — former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

    Koch, who endorsed George W. Bush in 2004, said that McCain’s choice of Palin has led him to endorse Barack Obama.

    “She’s scary,” Koch said.

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