Archive for August, 2011

Just because corporations are making money doesn’t mean they are hiring people

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Which proves Bush’s Tax Cuts are failing in their claim that lower taxes for corporations equal jobs.

Video is located here

The Teaparty could even be using HIGHWAYS to bring Washington DC to a crawl.

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Highways have been a topic that has crossed party lines and the improving of highways has not been questioned.  Until….the Black Guy was elected.  The highway funding act which is about to expire is expected to be another issue that will bring Washington DC to a grinding halt.

Video is located here

The New Resentment of the Poor. The less you make the more the GOP wants you to pay

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Representative Michele Bachmann noted recently that 47 percent of Americans do not pay federal income tax; all of them, she said, should pay something because they benefit from parks, roads and national security. (Interesting that she acknowledged government has a purpose.) Gov. Rick Perry, in the announcement of his candidacy, said he was dismayed at the “injustice” that nearly half of Americans do not pay income tax. Jon Huntsman Jr., up to now the most reasonable in the Republican presidential field, said not enough Americans pay tax.

Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, and several senators have made similar arguments, variations of the idea expressed earlier by Senator Dan Coats of Indiana that “everyone needs to have some skin in the game.”

This is factually wrong, economically wrong and morally wrong. First, the facts: a vast majority of Americans have skin in the tax game. Even if they earn too little to qualify for the income tax, they pay payroll taxes (which Republicans want to raise), gasoline excise taxes and state and local taxes. Only 14 percent of households pay neither income nor payroll taxes, according to the Tax Policy Center at the Brookings Institution. The poorest fifth paid an average of 16.3 percent of income in taxes in 2010.

Economically, reducing the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit — which would be required if everyone paid income taxes — makes no sense at a time of high unemployment. The credits, which only go to working people, have always been a strong incentive to work, as even some conservative economists say, and have increased the labor force while reducing the welfare rolls.

The moral argument would have been obvious before this polarized year. Nearly 90 percent of the families that paid no income tax make less than $40,000, most much less. The real problem is that so many Americans are struggling on such a small income, not whether they pay taxes. The two tax credits lifted 7.2 million people out of poverty in 2009, including four million children. At a time when high-income households are paying their lowest share of federal taxes in decades, when corporations frequently avoid paying any tax, it is clear who should bear a larger burden and who should not.

Story is located here

Pat Buchanan- George W. Bush broke the USA as a superpower

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

“The regret is — the Republican candidates out in the field are not calling for a dramatic new direction of — Father help me, but i agree with Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. The United States — the United States is in virtual headlong retreat from the world. We’re coming out of all these places. We are bankrupt as a nation. We cannot balance our budget. The great blunder was made by George W. Bush when he had the whole country and the world behind him and he went up to Congress and declared ‘now we’re going after an axis of evil; Iraq, Iran and North Korea.’ We are plunging into that part of the world instead of fighting al-Qaeda and handling it the way he should have. As a consequence of that, I think he broke the Republican party and frankly, he broke the United States as a superpower. We are a diminishing superpower today and there is no doubt China is a rising one,” Pat Buchanan said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

Story is located here

Background on Koch Brothers father

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Fred Koch not only founded the company now known as Koch Industries, he also was a founding member of the John Birch Society!! As a founding board member, Fred helped engineer a hysterical wave of attacks on labor, intellectuals, public education, liberal clergy members, and other pillars of society he viewed as a threat. Birchers decried everyone from former President Eisenhower to water utility administrators as pawns in a global communist conspiracy. In the last two years, as the Koch name has become synonymous with right-wing plutocracy in the United States, the Koch family has played down its relation to the Birchers.

Story is located here

Three Charts To Email To Your Right-Wing Brother-In-Law. A look at the Obama economy

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Problem: Your right-wing brother-in-law is plugged into the FOX-Limbaugh lie machine, and keeps sending you emails about “Obama spending” and “Obama deficits” and how the “Stimulus” just made things worse. Solution: Here are three “reality-based” charts to send to him. These charts show what actually happened.

Story is located here

Republican budget cuts could mean weather satellites will be cut. Right after Hurricane Irene on the East Coast

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

If we go blind, if there actually is a gap between the last satellite and this, it certainly will erode the reliability and accuracy of our forecasts.

Story is located here

Charlie Chaplin’s speech in The Great Dictator

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Video is located here

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an Emperor, that’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible, Jew, gentile, black man, white. We all want to help one another, human beings are like that. We all want to live by each other’s happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone and the earth is rich and can provide for everyone.

The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate;
has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed.

We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in:
machinery that gives abundance has left us in want.
Our knowledge has made us cynical,
our cleverness hard and unkind.
We think too much and feel too little:
More than machinery we need humanity;
More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness.

Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost.

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me I say “Do not despair”.

The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people, will return to the people and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish. . .

Soldiers: don’t give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you, who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder.

Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don’t hate, only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers: don’t fight for slavery, fight for liberty.

In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written:
“The kingdom of God is within man”
Not one man, nor a group of men, but in all men; in you, the people.

You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let’s use that power, let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers! In the name of democracy, let us all unite!

. . .

Look up! Look up! The clouds are lifting, the sun is breaking through. We are coming out of the darkness into the light. We are coming into a new world. A kind new world where men will rise above their hate and brutality.

The soul of man has been given wings, and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow, into the light of hope, into the future, that glorious future that belongs to you, to me and to all of us. Look up. Look up.

GE is moving jobs out of America and Teabaggers are cheering for it to happen.

Saturday, August 27th, 2011

My aunt sends me emails from her Teabagger friends as below and I send her back a CORRECTION to those nutty emails. I pull no punches in my response. I hope she shares my response with the person who sent her the original email but it doesn’t seem that happens with right wing nut job emails as truth is not spread as easily or widely as lies. Below is the latest correction and original email below that.


Below is the FREE MARKET in action. The person who sent you this email…I would guess…would be a FREE MARKETER as this smells of a right wing hit on Obama. Return this email to that person and ask them WHY THEY HATE CAPITALISM SO MUCH?!!?!?!? Sounds like they want additional regulation and have a big strong government step in and make some changes by stopping corporations from moving out of the USA…which is not the Free Market in action….nor is it Capitalism in action at all. The person complaining about jobs leaving America is NOT NOT NOT a Capitalist.

Why are companies moving to China? There is simply more money to be made in China. They have 4 times as many people and their economy is growing by leaps and bounds. Chinese workers also make a fraction of a fraction of what Americans are paid for the same job. Why can’t GE make their xray machines in China and ship them to the US? This is Capitalism…it goes to where the CAPITAL is and as LABOR is the biggest expense Capitalism goes to where the cheapest Labor can be found. The CAPITAL is not here nor is cheap Labor. This move to China is also the result of a weakened American government that will not respond to such moves….because of Capitalists demanding that it does not. This move to China is what Capitalists asked for and the Free Market demanded and now Teapaty people who support both…are asking why it happened. What a joke!!!!

So basically the Teaparty wants this move by GE to China at BOTH ends. They want wild unbridled Capitalism AND a weak government to do nothing about it and then they cry when it happens. You want to boycott GE??? hahahah So when you need an xray you tell the technician that you dont want to use the one xray machine they have or tell the airline you dont want to have a GE jet engine transport you anywhere. hahaha They dont care as your paltry boycott is WAY overcompensated as they have all these profits in China now.

And as for Obama hiring Immelt…he is a Capitalist…Immelt is a FREE MARKET guy….what is the problem with that Teaparty person??? I thought you said Obama was a dreaded SOCIALIST. The Teaparty have painted themselves into a corner which has all jobs leaving America. Either they WANT the FREE MARKET and see jobs leave America as Capitalists chase their beloved dollar….or they want SOCIALISM and have the government step in to save American jobs….which is it Teabaggers???

As China makes more money and their Middle Class grows this sucking sound is going to increase if we don’t change things fast. And the only change we have is what government can do to protect us from Capitalists.

The problem is that these Teaparty people don’t even know how things work. They want the government so small it cannot respond…even Ron Paul just said he wanted the government response to today’s Hurricane Irene to be that of the response in 1900 to a hurricane back then…which was a pitiful response. They want it teeny tiny until THEY need it. Then they complain it did not help them enough. Texas Governor Perry went begging for Federal money this summer when the fires in Texas were too expensive for Texas as Texas has basically eliminated taxes in their state so YOU paid far more than you should have for that. THEN Perry complained that the money was not coming fast enough. They begged for more Federal dollars when it came to the response of the Federal Government to the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico this spring. THEN they complained when the help came. And they will be begging for more money and complaining about the slow response to Hurricane Irene today.

And when it comes to jobs leaving America they want it both ways. They screech that the Free Market should be unbridled and Capitalism should have no reigns and when it does….it moves to China…and then they complain when that happens.

Teabaggers….do….not…know…of…what….they…speak. They are their worst enemies and they are killing the rest of us.

Welcome to Teaparty USA!!!



Is this true?

Subject: Fw: GE and JobsGeneral Electric is planning to move its 115-year-old X-ray division from Waukesha, Wis., to Beijing. In addition to moving the headquarters, the company will invest $2 billion in China and train more than 65 engineers and create six research centers. This is the same GE that made $5.1 billion in the United States last year, but paid no taxes-the same company that employs more people overseas than it does in the United States.


So let me get this straight. President Obama appointed GE Chairman Jeff Immelt to head his commission on job creation (job czar). Immelt is supposed to help create jobs. I guess the President forgot to tell him in which country he was supposed to be creating those jobs. If this doesn’t show you the total lack of leadership of this President, I don’t know what does.





Professor Richard D. Wolff presents many videos on a variety of political and economic concepts

Friday, August 26th, 2011

In these short video clips, Professor Wolff offers quick commentary on topics relating to capitalism, the economic crisis, strategies for social change and current events.

Videos are located here

Could New Drug Cure Nearly Any Viral Infection? Technology Shows Promise Against Common Cold, Influenza and Other Ailments, Researchers Say

Friday, August 26th, 2011

in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.

In a paper published July 27 in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers tested their drug against 15 viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever.

The drug works by targeting a type of RNA produced only in cells that have been infected by viruses. “In theory, it should work against all viruses,” says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology.

Story is located here

FL-Sen: Rubio’s speech at Reagan Library exposes shallow mind, ghoulish sense of humor

Friday, August 26th, 2011

This was no doubt a great moment for our young senator, Marco Rubio, to be invited by Nancy Reagan to give a speech at the Reagan Library. Too bad he doesn’t have much to say, and what he utters often is a cliche or nonsense.

The handlers there on Tuesday touted him as possibly the next thing to the Great Communicator that Ronald Reagan claimed to be. But was Rubio? If you have the strength, here’s the link to the whole event on C-Span. You’ll see him lose his place several times, check the text and jump around. Guy could use a teleprompter! Great communicator? Not!

Near the end, during the Q-and-A, he tries a ghoulish joke with his empty smile. Asked if he’d accept the nomination to be vice president, he said, “I have no interest in serving as vice president for anyone who could possibly live all eight years of the presidency.” This was not a slip of the tongue, because he preceded it by saying “As I joked earlier today.” So this is something he’s actively turning over in his mind. If I were president, I’d certainly never go hunting with VP Rubio, nor eat his barbecue or drink his mojito.

The audience, by the way, didn’t laugh for so long that he kinda reminded them it was a punchline.

Here’s a Think Progress piece on one aspect of his speech, where he condemns Social Security and Medicare and declares that these backbone social programs have made Americans lazy. The Think Progress analysis is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn’t take the further step of asking why a US Senator doesn’t have a better mind. Why is he so shallow in his analysis of Medicare and Social Security? Well, I don’t know either.

There so many other aspects to these programs that have saved widows, the disabled and the elderly from poverty. Medicare is in long-term financial trouble because of skyrocketing medical costs, not because Americans have “become lazy.” Social Security, far in the future, will have trouble paying current levels of benefits because tax rates are capped for the wealthy.

What does he say has happened? We used to save for these eventualities, but then the government took over the responsibility, and we got lazy, stopped saving.

Story is located here

Gender gap and inequality index

Friday, August 26th, 2011

How narrow is the gender gap in the United States compared to some other countries?

Check out how the U.S. stacks up on the 40th anniversary of “Women’s Equality Day” — established by the U.S. Congress as every August 26 (the day the Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote was passed).

Four Nordic countries rank at the top of the Global Gender Gap Index released last year by the World Economic Forum.

Iceland, Norway, Finland and Sweden were considered to have the smallest gap between men and women when four key areas were taken into account: economic participation and opportunity, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

No. 1 Iceland scored a 0.8496 on a scale of 0-1, with 1 being perfect equality between men and women. The lowest country on the list, Yemen, scored a 0.4603.

The United States came in near the top of the overall index, ranking 19th out of 134 countries. It tied for first with 21 other countries that received a perfect score in the educational attainment category. It also ranked sixth in economic participation and opportunity.

Where it might have room for improvement, however, is in health and survival (38th) and political empowerment (40th). The health and survival category looks at the gaps between life expectancies and sex ratios within a country. The political empowerment category measures female representation in government and other decision-making structures.

Many of the countries that rank near the bottom of the Global Gender Gap Index are Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Story is located here

Norman Rockwell painting sends rare White House message on race

Friday, August 26th, 2011

“If you’re a young staffer, who wasn’t alive at that time, you’re going to stop in your tracks and say: ‘Was it really like that?’” Martin said.

Some other artwork in the White House could be considered controversial but in a more subtle way, Kloss said. “There are works that would be edgy if people knew what they were about,” such as a Frederic Remington sculpture of drunk cowboys and a melancholy 1917 Childe Hassam painting of flags on Fifth Avenue in New York as America prepared to enter World War I.

In 2009, the Obamas also borrowed for the White House’s private spaces a couple of works with racial themes. One was Glenn Ligon’s “Black Like Me No. 2” — which features a repeating line from John Howard Griffin’s 1961 book on the experience of a white man who turned his skin black to study racism in the South: “All traces of the Griffin I had been were wiped from existence.”

Another Obama-era installation was William H. Johnson’s “Booker T. Washington,” which depicts the civil rights leader teaching black students.

“The president and the first lady have made an effort to tell our nation’s whole history and focus on inclusion,” Moffatt said. “They’ve not focused exclusively on the African-American heritage, but they’ve also not shied away from it,” she said, adding that there are few “narrative” works of art about the civil rights era.

Still, some civil rights leaders see his decision to put up the Rockwell painting as an empty gesture in light of his general reticence on race.

Story is located here

Banks should be either run by the government or run as a utility

Friday, August 26th, 2011

When you look at what happened after the near world ecnomic collapse you see that banks and bankers are in it for themselves.  They are not patriots they are not in it for the nation but they are in it for themselves.  Banks should be run as a utility or even taken over by the government.  Usury was outlawed in biblical times for a reason…the bankers wound up with all the money. 

Video is located here

Fox News: ‘Facts Are Certainly’ On The Side Of Global Warming, But ‘It Doesn’t Matter’

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

On Fox & Friends Sunday, anchor Clayton Morris admitted that Fox News factcheckers have confirmed that man-made global warming is “certainly” real, but argued that it “doesn’t matter” because climate denial is popular among Fox News-watching conservatives. Morris contrasted Jon Huntsman’s defense of the National Academy of Sciences with Rick Perry’s claims that scientists have “manipulated data” to concoct manmade global warming:

MORRIS: If you dive into the weeds a little bit on this global warming thing, you see that it seems that facts are certainly on Huntsman’s side on all of this and fact checkers have come out, we’re actually having our own brain room look look at this right now that any of Perry’s comments don’t seem to hold a lot of water. It doesn’t matter. What’s resonating right now in South Carolina is helping Governor Perry tremendously and he fired back at Huntsman on global warming and gaining traction, facts or not.

Story is located here

What Did You Learn in School Today? (The Texas Version)

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Perhaps you have heard something about a labor movement in the 20th century? No longer will your children. The only reference to a 20th-century labor movement will come when learning about Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. No mention of the Fair Labor Standards Act or the National Labor Relations Act. No mention of strikes or any labor dispute. The words “labor movement” were taken out of the TEKS. Perhaps there is not enough time because students must now “understand how the free enterprise system drives technological innovation … such as cell phones, inexpensive personal computers and global positioning products.”

Students will learn about the contributions of Jerry Falwell’s Moral Majority. Maybe the students will read Falwell’s claim that feminists and homosexuals were partially responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Phyllis Schlafly, the Heritage Foundation and the NRA are all included. Students will also be required to “discuss the meaning of ‘In God We Trust.’?”

Story is located here

Tea Party Congressman Collects Disability From His Union Job

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Representative Chip Cravaak of Minnesota was swept into office during the 2010 midterm election on the Tea Party platform. He has since voted for the Paul Ryan plan to kill Medicare, which would force seniors to rely on a voucher system which wouldn’t be likely to cover their vast health needs and costs. But did you know that he’s a raging hypocrite?

Even as he bashed unions during his election campaign, Cravaak enjoyed the benefits of being a member of one. He worked as a pilot for Northwest Air, now Delta, as recently as 2007 and being a pilot means that you are automatically a union member, thus receiving the benefits of union negotiated salaries, vacations and ultimately, disability payments. According to financial records released by Cravaak himself, the Tea Party Representative received $92,273 from disability payments in 2010 alone. So while Cravaak was busy bashing “big government” and unions, he was cashing disability checks.

But this isn’t the only example of his hypocrisy. In addition to receiving Congressional health care, which is paid for by the government, Cravaak also receives government run health care as a military veteran, meaning he can walk into any government owned medical facility to receive medical care and the taxpayer picks up the tab. He enjoys what he and the Tea Party call “socialized medicine” even as he votes to strip senior citizens of their own government health care.

Story is located here

U.S. oil speculative data released by Senator, sparking ire

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Oil trading data that exposed the extensive positions speculators held in the run-up to record high prices in 2008 were intentionally leaked by a U.S. senator, sparking broader concern about industry confidentiality as Congress moves on Wall Street reform.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a staunch critic of oil speculators, leaked the information to a major newspaper in a move that has unsettled both regulators and Wall Street alike.

In a June 16 e-mail reviewed by Reuters, a senior policy adviser to Sanders discusses how his office received private data with the names and positions of traders and forwarded it exclusively to a Wall Street Journal reporter.

The e-mail, which also attaches two files with the data, was sent to Public Citizen’s Tyson Slocum asking him to review it and speak with the newspaper about his observations.

In a statement from Sanders provided to Reuters, Sanders said he felt the data needed to be publicly aired.

“The CFTC has kept this information hidden from the American public for nearly three years,” he said. “This is an outrage. The American people have a right to know exactly who caused gas prices to skyrocket in 2008 and who is causing them to spike today.”

Story is located here

Fox News censor Karl Rove’s highly critical comments about Sarah Palin on Greta Van Susteren’s show – Transcript and broadcast exclude 2 1/2 minutes!

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

In the actual broadcast, the remaining 2 1/2 minutes of Karl Rove deliciously slamming Sarah Palin were actually not shown at all! The last sentence which was broadcast was also the last sentence in the official transcript – but there was no hint given anywhere that the conversation with Karl Rove discussing Sarah Palin afterwards went on for another 2 1/2 minutes, with some harsh and important remarks by Karl Rove about Sarah Palin. Therefore it was ensured that only a tiny amount of people would notice the additional remarks, as they were also not included in the published transcript.

Fox News in my opinion actually brilliantly proved Karl Rove’s point in the interview that Sarah is “enormously thin skinned”, as it’s apparently not wise to confront Sarah Palin and her fanatical followers with the full interview, conducted with the most important Republican strategist.

The full remarks are apparently quite difficult to swallow for Sarah Palin, a politician who infamously doesn’t cope very well with criticism – and in addition it appears that the Fox News audience apparently also shouldn’t be bothered with too many negative remarks about their star Sarah Palin.

Did this strategy of excluding the remarks work? Well, if you look at the reports of this interview, it apparently did work! Take for example the report of the conservative “Daily Caller” about this interview – the quoted remarks there also end with the sentence “I mean, that is not a pretty sight if she is as thin-skinned in the fray as she is on the edges of it”, so it doesn’t appear that anyone at the Daily Caller bothered to watch the full tape of the interview.

Therefore we regard it as our duty to publish the full transcript of the interview – Karl Rove, whatever you might think of him in general, deserves to be heard, and Fox News deserves to be slammed for their cowardice.

Story is located here

VP Cheney was called Edgar as his Secret Service nickname….like Edgar Bergan…Charlie McCarthy’s puppetmaster

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Which really highlights the fact that Cheney was the President of the US for 8 years as Bush was second in command.  The election was a fraud as the two candidates exchanged positions.  Now Cheney has a book coming out.

The book, written with his daughter Liz, reiterates Mr. Cheney’s aggressive approach to foreign policy and his hard-line views on national security, while sidestepping questions about many of the Bush administration’s more controversial decisions, either by cherry-picking information (much the way critics say the White House cherry-picked intelligence in making the case to go to war against Iraq) or by hopping and skipping over awkward subjects with loudly voiced assertions. It’s ironic that Mr. Cheney — who succeeded in promulgating so many of his policy ideas through his sheer mastery of bureaucratic detail — should have written a book that is often so lacking in detail that it feels like a blurred photograph.

Story is located here

Atheists Supply Less Than 1% Of Prison Populations, While Christians Make -Up 75%.

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

It’s suprising how many people say to me, “You’re an Atheist? You must
have no conscience about commiting crime then.” Nothing could be further
from the truth. In fact, if we examine the population of our prisons, we
see a very different picture:

In “The New Criminology”, Max D. Schlapp and Edward E. Smith say that two
generations of statisticians found that the ratio of convicts without
religious training is about 1/10 of 1%. W. T. Root, professor of
psychology at the Univ. of Pittsburgh, examined 1,916 prisoners and said
“Indifference to religion, due to thought, strengthens character,” adding
that Unitarians, Agnostics, Atheists and Free-Thinkers are absent from
penitentiariers or nearly so.

During 10 years in Sing-Sing, those executed for murder were 65% Catholics,
26% Protestants, 6% Hebrew, 2% Pagan, and less than 1/3 of 1% non-religious.

Steiner and Swancara surveyed Canadian prisons and found 1,294 Catholics,
435 Anglicans, 241 Methodists, 135 Baptists, and 1 Unitarian.

Dr. Christian, Superintendant of the NY State Reformatories, checked
22,000 prison inmates and found only 4 college graduates. In “Who’s Who”
91% were college graduates, and he commented that “intelligence and
knowledge produce right living” and that “crime is the offspring of
superstition and ignorance.”

Story is located here

What’s fueling Bible Belt divorces

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

While the Bible Belt is known for its devotion to traditional values, Southerners don’t do so well on one key family value: They are more likely to get divorced than people living in the Northeast.

Southern men and women had higher rates of divorce in 2009 than their counterparts in other parts of the country: 10.2 per 1,000 for men and 11.1 per 1,000 for women, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau released Thursday.

By comparison, men and women in the Northeast had the lowest rates of divorce, 7.2 and 7.5 per 1,000, which is also lower than the national divorce rate of 9.2 for men and 9.7 for women.

“In the South, there are higher rates of marriage and higher rates of divorce for men and women,” said Diana Elliott, a family demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau and co-author of the new report. “In the Northeast, you have people who are delaying first marriages, and consequently there are lower rates of marriage and lower rates of divorce.”

Of the 14 states reporting divorce rates for men that were much higher than the U.S. average — ranging from 10.0 to 13.5 per 1,000 — most were in the South. They included Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.

Story is located here

Today’s Hero – State Senator Rodney Ellis from Houston TX

Thursday, August 25th, 2011
State Senator Rodney Ellis from Houston TX
Empower Texans is a real right-wing Teaparty type group.
They recently handed out grades to Texas legislators as to how they stack up to the ideals of the Teaparty groups. Senator Ellis received a solid F in the eyes of this right wing Teaparty group. Senator Ellis responded in such an incredible way that he has become Today’s Hero.

Progressive radio stations across the nation

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

These are just a few of the many Progressive radio stations across the nation and their websites that hopefully stream their programming

KKGN AM 960 San Francisco

KTLK AM 1150 Los Angeles

KPOJ AM 620 Portland, OR

WCPT AM 820 Chicago

KPTK AM 1090 Seattle

KKZN AM 760 Denver

WXXM FM 92.1 Madison WI

WWZN AM 1510 Boston

KPHX AM 1480 Phoenix

Federal Investigators Clear Climate Scientist, Again

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

The National Science Foundation has closed its investigation into Pennsylvania State University climatologist Michael Mann after finding no evidence of scientific misconduct related to his research.

It is the latest in a string of investigations to exonerate scientists involved in the so-called “Climategate” email scandal.

Mann was a central figure in the fracas, where a sampling of correspondence from climate scientists purloined from a computer server at the University of East Anglia in Britain supposedly showed climate scientists colluding to fabricate data and smear critics.

But a successive series of investigations and inquiries since the emails were released in 2009 have exonerated the scientists. The final conclusion from the NSF’s Office of Inspector General is no different.

“No direct evidence has been presented that indicates the subject fabricated the raw data he used for his research or falsified his results,” the report concludes. “Lacking any direct evidence of research misconduct, … we are closing this investigation with no further action.”

Story is located here

Attention Governor Perry: Evolution is a fact

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Story is located here

Q. Texas governor and GOP candidate Rick Perry, at a campaign event this week, told a boy that evolution is ”just a theory” with “gaps” and that in Texas they teach “both creationism and evolution.” Perry later added “God is how we got here.” According to a 2009 Gallup study, only 38 percent of Americans say they believe in evolution. If a majority of Americans are skeptical or unsure about evolution, should schools teach it as a mere “theory”? Why is evolution so threatening to religion? A. There is nothing unusual about Governor Rick Perry. Uneducated fools can be found in every country and every period of history, and they are not unknown in high office. What is unusual about today’s Republican party (I disavow the ridiculous ‘GOP’ nickname, because the party of Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt has lately forfeited all claim to be considered ‘grand’) is this: In any other party and in any other country, an individual may occasionally rise to the top in spite of being an uneducated ignoramus. In today’s Republican Party ‘in spite of’ is not the phrase we need. Ignorance and lack of education are positive qualifications, bordering on obligatory. Intellect, knowledge and linguistic mastery are mistrusted by Republican voters, who, when choosing a president, would apparently prefer someone like themselves over someone actually qualified for the job.


Any other organization — a big corporation, say, or a university, or a learned society – -when seeking a new leader, will go to immense trouble over the choice. The CVs of candidates and their portfolios of relevant experience are meticulously scrutinized, their publications are read by a learned committee, references are taken up and scrupulously discussed, the candidates are subjected to rigorous interviews and vetting procedures. Mistakes are still made, but not through lack of serious effort.

The population of the United States is more than 300 million and it includes some of the best and brightest that the human species has to offer, probably more so than any other country in the world. There is surely something wrong with a system for choosing a leader when, given a pool of such talent and a process that occupies more than a year and consumes billions of dollars, what rises to the top of the heap is George W Bush. Or when the likes of Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin can be mentioned as even remote possibilities.

A politician’s attitude to evolution is perhaps not directly important in itself. It can have unfortunate consequences on education and science policy but, compared to Perry’s and the Tea Party’s pronouncements on other topics such as economics, taxation, history and sexual politics, their ignorance of evolutionary science might be overlooked. Except that a politician’s attitude to evolution, however peripheral it might seem, is a surprisingly apposite litmus test of more general inadequacy. This is because unlike, say, string theory where scientific opinion is genuinely divided, there is about the fact of evolution no doubt at all. Evolution is a fact, as securely established as any in science, and he who denies it betrays woeful ignorance and lack of education, which likely extends to other fields as well. Evolution is not some recondite backwater of science, ignorance of which would be pardonable. It is the stunningly simple but elegant explanation of our very existence and the existence of every living creature on the planet. Thanks to Darwin, we now understand why we are here and why we are the way we are. You cannot be ignorant of evolution and be a cultivated and adequate citizen of today.

Darwin’s idea is arguably the most powerful ever to occur to a human mind. The power of a scientific theory may be measured as a ratio: the number of facts that it explains divided by the number of assumptions it needs to postulate in order to do the explaining. A theory that assumes most of what it is trying to explain is a bad theory. That is why the creationist or ‘intelligent design’ theory is such a rotten theory.

What any theory of life needs to explain is functional complexity. Complexity can be measured as statistical improbability, and living things are statistically improbable in a very particular direction: the direction of functional efficiency. The body of a bird is not just a prodigiously complicated machine, with its trillions of cells – each one in itself a marvel of miniaturized complexity – all conspiring together to make muscle or bone, kidney or brain. Its interlocking parts also conspire to make it good for something – in the case of most birds, good for flying. An aero-engineer is struck dumb with admiration for the bird as flying machine: its feathered flight-surfaces and ailerons sensitively adjusted in real time by the on-board computer which is the brain; the breast muscles, which are the engines, the ligaments, tendons and lightweight bony struts all exactly suited to the task. And the whole machine is immensely improbable in the sense that, if you randomly shook up the parts over and over again, never in a million years would they fall into the right shape to fly like a swallow, soar like a vulture, or ride the oceanic up-draughts like a wandering albatross. Any theory of life has to explain how the laws of physics can give rise to a complex flying machine like a bird or a bat or a pterosaur, a complex swimming machine like a tarpon or a dolphin, a complex burrowing machine like a mole, a complex climbing machine like a monkey, or a complex thinking machine like a person.

Darwin explained all of this with one brilliantly simple idea – natural selection, driving gradual evolution over immensities of geological time. His is a good theory because of the huge ratio of what it explains (all the complexity of life) divided by what it needs to assume (simply the nonrandom survival of hereditary information through many generations). The rival theory to explain the functional complexity of life – creationism – is about as bad a theory as has ever been proposed. What it postulates (an intelligent designer) is even more complex, even more statistically improbable than what it explains. In fact it is such a bad theory it doesn’t deserve to be called a theory at all, and it certainly doesn’t deserve to be taught alongside evolution in science classes.

The simplicity of Darwin’s idea, then, is a virtue for three reasons. First, and most important, it is the signature of its immense power as a theory, when compared with the mass of disparate facts that it explains – everything about life including our own existence. Second, it makes it easy for children to understand (in addition to the obvious virtue of being true!), which means that it could be taught in the early years of school. And finally, it makes it extremely beautiful, one of the most beautiful ideas anyone ever had as well as arguably the most powerful. To die in ignorance of its elegance, and power to explain our own existence, is a tragic loss, comparable to dying without ever having experienced great music, great literature, or a beautiful sunset.

There are many reasons to vote against Rick Perry. His fatuous stance on the teaching of evolution in schools is perhaps not the first reason that springs to mind. But maybe it is the most telling litmus test of the other reasons, and it seems to apply not just to him but, lamentably, to all the likely contenders for the Republican nomination. The ‘evolution question’ deserves a prominent place in the list of questions put to candidates in interviews and public debates during the course of the coming election.

 Richard Dawkins wrote this response to Governor Perry for On Faith, the Washington Post’s forum for news and opinion on religion and politics.

Ben Stein destroys Bill OReilly’s ideas on taxing the rich

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Conservative economist Ben Stein said Monday that he would eat Bill O’Reilly’s shoe if the Fox News host could prove raising taxes on millionaires actually hurts the economy.

O’Reilly began his “Talking Points” segment by asserting that the economy was better off when President Barack Obama was on vacation.

“You know that everything I said in that ‘Memo’ was true,” O’Reilly told Stein.

“Absolutely not,” Stein replied. “Almost every part of it is wrong. Except the part that I think it better if he’s on vacation because he works terribly hard and I think he deserves a vacation.”

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“The Great Flabbergasting”: Rachel Maddow. Republicans do NOT want to fix ANYTHING

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

The Republican Party, at its core, does not favor the government doing anything about anything unless it is to make life a bit easier for their paymasters. They do not want health care reform by any description, but they cannot say that, otherwise they are easily attacked about not being interested in rising health care costs or the plight of the uninsured. They never wanted Medicare, and have tried on at least two occasions — Gingrich in the 1990s, and Ryan in 2011 — to change its fundamental structure. In both cases, their orwellian word guru, Frank Luntz, told them to say they were “strengthening” Medicare.

They do not want immigration reform of any stripe. Maddow’s 8/19 program referenced Republican insistence on improved border control as a prerequisite for voting on the ‘path-to-citizenship’ that is the only solution other than mass deportation of 11 million people to the problem. The Obama administration was snookered as well — having beefed up border security by 3-fold, and by deporting more undocumented workers than “W,” they thought they had ‘earned’ a vote on comprehensive reform.

What did they run on in 2010? Jobs. They have no jobs bill. They never will. Other than cutting taxes, and eliminating regulations, they have no jobs programs — no training, no adjustment assistance, no ‘GI-bill,’ no education, no infrastructure program, no investment in R&D, no anti-foreclosure plan, nothing. They never will.

What about the ‘deficit commission’? The president came into office concerned about long-term deficits (long before Republicans who were telling us during the Bush-era that deficits “didn’t matter”) and proposed a debt commission whose proposal would get an up-or-down vote in Congress, i.e., bypassing the filibuster. Republicans opposed it despite having proclaimed their support. Why? They were never interested in it in the first place because no commission, unless comprised of people all chosen by Jim DeMint (R-SC), would propose no tax increases. Proclaiming their support for it enabled them to appear as if they really and truly cared about our long-term debt. But, multiple co-sponsors voted against it, because they never favored it.

There is nothing “flabbergasting” or even new about this at all. It is a well-worn technique of the rightwing. It was, as FDR said, imported from European dictatorships.

In 1948 President Truman proved it. He called a special session of Congress after the conventions that summer to get the Republican Congress to pass what they claimed they supported in their party platform. They didn’t. That is what enabled Truman to run against the “Do Nothing Republican Congress” and win the 1948 election.

It is not clear whether this White House gets this or not. It may be — and their recent executive order on immigration suggests that it is — that they want to demonstrate they have met all the criteria and thus inoculate themselves from criticism when they do by executive order what they cannot pass in Congress because of this genetically-programmed behavior by the rightwing.

So, here is a good rule-of-thumb: If there is a problem that needs resolution, Republicans will propose measures either pre-emptively, or, more likely, in reaction to Democrats’ proposals, that they never had any intention of supporting, but do so to derail, delay, dissemble. Never believe them, and you will have 98 percent + accuracy. They are not serious about solving any major social or economic problem that impacts any group other than the top 1-2 percent in income. When they are in power, they will never address these problems. Never.

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“Rick Perry Is A Dope, Michele Bachmann Is A Joke, And Mitt Romney Is A Fraud”

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

The Republican intellectual class—led by the Wall Street Journal editorial board and the page of The Weekly Standard—can’t find a candidate to support among the current crop of GOP contenders to take on President Barack Obama next year.


POLITICO’s Jonathan Martin and Ben Smith write that “To many conservative elites, Rick Perry is a dope, Michele Bachmann is a joke, and Mitt Romney is a fraud.”

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer and Weekly Standard editor William Kristol have been among the most outspoken in support of another candidate to enter the race.

Yesterday’s statement from Rep. Paul Ryan that he would not enter the race deflated the last, best hope of the Republican intelligentsia—already upset that such favorites as Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels decided to sit out the campaign.

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What is the one tax cut Republicans say no to? The one only given to workers. Supply and demand shows Supply does not grow an economy that needs to grow holistically.

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011
1- If jobs are driven by supply then go hire 20 new sales people and increase your supply. Your business should flourish if it is driven from the top down as Supply Siders say. The millioniare business owner hires 20 new people and pays them top dollar and as a result gross sales will flourish and net profits will go up dramatically. Why are they not doing this? Because that is not how the economy works in reality. I say your business needs more customers to grow so even if you hire more people….until you get more demand….you are not going to have business profits grow. That was the concept of economics prior to Reagan. Poppa Bush called Supply Side Economics VooDoo Economics. I may disagree with Poppa Bush on policies but he was not stupid as his sin was. Poppa changed his tune once he was corrupted by the VP seat of course. This is why tax breaks to millionaires do not work to stimulate the economy.
2- If you are truly a supply sider Republican then this article will be good news….you should cheer the Republicans as they currently oppose this legislation as the GOP supports taxes on the poor going back up. The GOP says they may oppose extendng the payroll tax breaks…the one THAT GAVE YOU AN EXTRA $2000 OR SO UNDER OBAMA. Why do they oppose extending this one tax break….because it does not help the already obscenely wealthy…it only helps the poor. Obama gave the Middle Class what was arguably the largest tax cut EVER….EVER….people making $50,000 were given back a little over $1000 last year and those making up to $106,000 were given about $2100. Cash in hand…so they could go buy from stores in their city….which made those store owners hire more people because of the number of customers they had went up.
NEWSFLASH…..YOU ARE POOR!!! So the one single tax break that the GOP opposes…is the one that gives you the most. I SAID YOU….ARE POOR!!!!!!
People who support supply side economics….and are not millionaires…they are truly supporting the very people that would throw them overboard in a second. But the
Republicans need those poor people ill-informed for how else would someone who is poor support lawmakers who vote against those people’s best interest as policy.
Here is an analysis of the Bush Tax Cuts
And you vote for whom????
If you voted Republican….you didn’t vote for the party that supports you….the poor to average person.

Secret Service Deflates Right-Wing Media’s Attack On Obama Over Canadian-Built Buses

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

When it was reported that a Canadian company built the shells of the buses commissioned by the Secret Service and inaugurated on President Obama’s bus tour of the Midwest, the right-wing media saw an opening to attack the president.

Fox News and Fox Nation eagerly repeated the story, as did The Blaze. NewsBustersaskedif Obama was “saving or creating manufacturing jobs… in Canada.”National Review Online snarked,“Well, maybe Canada is one of his 57 states?”Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey declaredthat buying two buses from a Canadian company while promising to create jobs in the US is the worst kind of optics imaginable.” Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump joined in the attack.

Missing from all of this Obama-bashing: any curiosity about why the Secret Service would use Canadian-built bus shells for the two vehicles it purchased, which were bought and outfitted to Secret Service specifications by an American company. (One of the buses will be provided to the Republican presidential nominee for campaigning during the 2012 election.)

TheLos Angeles Times reportedthat the buses have “been in the works for years” and that:

When the Secret Service decided to order custom-made buses, it wanted a particular model only available from Quebec-based manufacturer Prevost, said Ed Donovan, a spokesman for the agency.

“The vehicle had to support the weight of security and communication equipment that we had,” Donovan said in an interview. “Our understanding was that that was the only model that could do it.”

TheTimes also noted that President Bush rode on a bus from the same Canadian company for a 2004 campaign tour.

So it appears the Secret Service had a good reason for going with a Canadian-built bus, and that Obama is not the first president to have used buses from the same company. Just don’t expect to hear about that from the right-wing media.

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The happiest countries have the lowest rates of religiosity

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

What do you think happens when you compare these same countries to a chart showing the amount of religious people in these areas? Surprise, surprise… the top four happiest countries on earth have some of the smallest populations of religious people… between 31% and 34%. You decide for yourself what that means. Switzerland placed seventh and Belgium placed tenth on the happiness scale and both have less than half of their population claiming any kind of religion (48% and 43% respectively).

The United States placed #12 on the list. We have around 15% of the population claiming no religion or atheist. When we look at our Happiest Cities, some interesting things jump out. California came in with cities at #5 (Santa Rosa), #6 (Santa Barbara), and #10 (Ventura). California is around 21% atheist or non-religious. The #1 city on the list? Boulder, Colorado. And, as a state, Colorado boasts a very high 25% non-religious group. So, while unemployment remains a problem across the entire United States, we find our happiest cities dotted across states with a high number of non-religious people. Interesting.

Conclusion – Again, we can’t be certain if these connections are causation or simply correlation. But, even if they are just a correlation, it’s still intriguing to think that so many happy places to live can exist on this earth where such a big % of people don’t rely on god to get their happiness. This should make Christians look at life, morals, happiness, and joy in a different way.

When I first came out as an atheist, I had an employee that asked me, “If you don’t believe in god, or heaven, why do you get up everyday?” What I told him then still rings true today. I responded, “The answer to the question shouldn’t be what concerns you. The fact that the answer isn’t ‘God’ is what’s important.” Tens of millions of us worldwide are “good without god” and that group is growing everyday. I, for one, am happy to be part of it.

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What is Dominionism? God, Guns and Greed

Monday, August 22nd, 2011
I had one of these people knock on my door last year and I talked to her for about an hour. She initially was trying to get me to go to her church but I expanded that topic quickly and she finally admitted she wanted the American government to be removed and a God based government be installed instead. She was trying to sell me on her view that the secular American Government….not just a shift to a different direction….the whole thing has to GO AWAY and be replaced with a God based government. After the hour of her telling me many things that were just not true and my correcting them all….and my explaining to her that her views were completely contrary to Jesus in helping the poor as I described using many many examples…she went away. Her concepts were really strange and despite never really hearing the term Domionist before the concepts stuck with me. Then this Summer I heard a good explanation of what this group is and wants and my mind went back to this hugely strange interaction I had on my doorstep as Libby looked on. Here is an interesting book coming out on the topic.

What is Dominionism?

Since the introduction of Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry into the GOP Presidential race, suddenly the word “Dominionist” is on everyone’s lips. Those of you who read PoliticusUSA daily are well aware of what a Dominionist is, as we’ve been covering this dangerous political movement masquerading as a religious movement for years now. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin was a Dominionist Trojan Horse introduced as a simple hockey mom, who harbored a theocratic agenda for the takeover of the US government for her Dominionist Church. She was their “Chosen One” to take this country “back”. This notion of taking “back” the country to “biblical origins” is the foundation of the political movement referred to as “Dominionism”, or “taking dominion over”.

Both Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry hail from the Dominionist movement as well, replete with all of the tells of a Dominionist – the science denying, the sense of entitlement, the inaccurate American history, an understanding of the constitution and America’s laws that conflicts with reality and deliberately tears down the wall of separation between church and state. And of course, the necessity of claiming that the “liberal media” is out to get them, which is the Get Out Of Inaccuracies Free card they all pull when called on their failure to deal with reality. These are folks who are emboldened to lie to your face because they a) believe these lies (Bachmann) or b) feel that they are the Chosen One (Palin, Perry, Walker, et al) and hence lying is justified in order to achieve the goal of taking Dominion over America.

Acknowledging that the term is an umbrella term, but a necessary one, Leah Burton defines Dominionism, “Defined in its simplest form, Christian Dominionism is a political approach to Christian faith based on a literal interpretation of Genesis Chapter 1 verses 26 – 28 of the Christian Bible. Believers perceive themselves as the “chosen” or the “elect”, commanded by God to “subdue” the earth and “have dominion” over all living creatures. The goal of Christian Dominionism in the United States is to abolish Separation of Church and State, establishing it as a distinctively Christian Nation based upon Old Testament Mosaic Law.”

As many of you know, the non-partisan Independent Leah Burton writes for PoliticusUSA about just this subject. She’s taken a brief hiatus from her usual Sunday column because she has a book coming out on September 4 about this very topic. Leah’s book, entitled God, Guns and Greed; A Dangerous Path for America, is a primer to the strange but powerful elements of religious extremism that are enjoying resurgence in American politics.

The reality of “Political Dominionism” is far more complicated than a handful of devoted Christians expressing their freedom of speech. God, Guns and Greed explores these messages (and the frequent hypocrisy of the messengers), and encourages the old guard Republicans to take their Party back, and religious moderates to recognize that these religious zealots are faux Christians who do not share their biblical views.

Leah uses infamous Republicans like Sarah Palin to demonstrate the goals of Dominionists. In a chapter on Rebiblican Politics, she quotes Palin advocating for theocracy, “Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant – they’re quite clear – that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments.” If you’re not scared after hearing that, it’s only because you don’t know enough about the success of the Dominionist movement yet.

As she wades into this movement, Leah carefully delineate the mainstream Christians from the Dominionists, as well as explaining the symbiotic relationship between Dominionists and corporate interests in this excerpt:

Dominionism is a bible-based sect of Christianity that does not represent mainstream Christians in America, or elsewhere in the world. This is a very powerful, very well organized and very wealthy religious-political machine that has been driving toward the goal of marrying church and state in America for decades.

For as long as humans have existed there have been politics. And even before the birth of Christianity – beliefs, superstitions and faith have wound their way into the rules that govern peoples. Wars have been fought and massive numbers of lives have been lost in the name of religion. A constant struggle to control land and populations has dictated the formations of rules and laws around the world from the very beginning, so when we see this same struggle for power continuing right before us within our own system of government I am stymied as to why this is such an unbelievable concept for us to take seriously. The refrain “history repeats itself” is not an empty one; rather it is a warning that we must heed.

As time has evolved so have the sophisticated intentions and goals of those who dedicate themselves to obtaining more power and more control. It does not matter whether others agree with them or not, this is about dominion. Religious zealots are undoubtedly a persistent part of this group, but they are certainly not doing this solo. What is making this eternal battle ever more dangerous is the blending of common purposes by other groups who share specific end goals. The common goals are smaller government, privatization, less regulation, a conservative Supreme Court, in order to implement favorable legal findings for private corporations, and conservative religious social laws.

Anthea Butler, Professor of Religious Studies and Graduate Chair of Religion at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, and also a guest on CNN, MSNBC, and NPR as well as a blogger at Religion Dispatches, endorsed Leah’s warning about the Dominionist agenda, “Leah’s long-term work researching and writing about Political Dominionism holds an important message for the future of our nation, and more immediately, the upcoming 2012 election. Burton’s book is a warning about the marriage of the political and religious words that seek to destroy our constitutional rights, and turn America into a nation based on their narrow interpretations of biblical law.”

Leah has gone through what some might call the fires of Hell to get this book published because she is so passionate about the message. Leah’s goal has never to be “the one” presenting the message or getting notoriety; but rather, she is driven by a deep, abiding love for this country. Leah treats this delicate subject with the nuance it deserves, never painting all Christians or all Republicans with the broad and tempting brush of the loudest voices on the Right.

Having watched Leah struggle to bring the Dominionist agenda to our attention, I share her relief that the flame has finally been sparked. It takes thousands of voices to tell the same story in different ways before it truly catches fire – and Leah tells the story in a non-academic, narrative style that will hopefully broaden the appeal of her message outside of the “choir”.

Retired U.S. Ambassador Joe Wilson (the Valerie Plame and Wilson V Cheney Joe Wilson) wrote the following, “Leah Burton has written a stirring call to action against the subversion of American democracy as we have practiced if for over 230 years. “God, Guns & Greed: A Dangerous Path for America” exposes the Christian Right, as personified by Sarah Palin, and the Political Dominionists to overthrow our system of government and replace it with their own theocracy. The battle plan, known simply as “Reclaim America” and the program to achieve it, the “7 Mountains Mandate” constitute a betrayal of the political and social mores of our society that most Americans should find appalling. This is an important book for anybody who fears for the future of our nation.”

As we catapult into the stunning semblance of idiocracy that will be the 2012 election cycle, only those who understand the Dominionist agenda will be fully equipped to comprehend the meaning behind what to others will sound like stupidity or gaffes on the part of the Dominionist candidates. This will be the season, even more than 2008, of Dominionist Trojan Horse candidates. With the struggling economy, angry electorate and greedy corporations lurking at the door, our nation is vulnerable to a takeover masquerading itself as common sense values from the heartland.

What is Dominionism? It’s something every American should be on guard against, because its ultimate goal is the takeover of our government.

God, Guns and Greed is now available to pre-order on Amazon and is coming out on September 4, 2011.

Note: I am a contributing author to God, Guns and Greed but have no monetary interest in the sales of this book. My contribution was a labor of passion and love for my country.


More on this group

Hershey chocolate company…profits up…laying off people…hiring immigrants…removing good paying jobs and benefits

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Hershey is trying really, really hard to suck. And they’re doing it!

The town, its company and its long-held image of All-American goodness are taking hits in a controversy involving hundreds of foreign-exchange students.

The students, on work, travel and cultural visas from China, Ghana and Eastern Europe, say Hershey gave them not culture but back-aching, production-line work on round-the-clock shifts at a candy-packaging warehouse.

They get about $8 an hour, minus charges for housing. […]

Another irony? Hershey laid off 700 full-time workers over the past four years and plans to lay off another 500 next year. One might wonder if cheap-labor kids from other countries were always part of the plan.

Meanwhile, Hershey reports a profit for the quarter just ended of $130 million, up from $46 million a year ago. And sales jumped 7.5 percent to $1.3 billion.

Story is located here

“Pro-Life” Kansas Governor Cuts Funding for Dying Infants

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

A national study published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation shows that child welfare in Kansas is slipping fast. The state dropped to 40th in infant mortality, and has the terrible distinction of being the worst in the country in terms of African-American infant mortality. 1 in 5 children are living in poverty in Kansas, the lowest level in seven years.

Clearly, something needs to be done to improve the well-being of Kansas’ children. But how did Republican Governor Sam Brownback respond? He is gutting the agency responsible for child protective services, child support enforcement, and child, adult and family well being services, after a failed attempt to slash funding for Head Start. According to Keri Ann Rinker of Kansas NOW,

“The state was on track to close 9 [Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services centers], citing agency cost savings. Public outcry has prevented one of those closures. The City Council of Lawrence, Kansas has agreed to pick up the state’s tab and fund their own office to serve the most needy within their community.”

Ironically enough, Brownback is still finding money to fund faith-based initiatives. This is despite the fact that pastors gathered to protest the proposed service center closings – apparently not the kind of interfaith cooperation that Brownback had in mind.

Reducing child poverty is one of Brownback’s “roadmap for Kansas,” but it should be apparent that cutting services for vulnerable children is not the way to lift children out of destitution. It’s hypocrisy that would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious, but sadly, this shows how much the “pro-life” governor values infants once they’ve left their mothers’ bodies. Apparently children are only worth protecting when they’re in the womb.

Story is located here

The Temporary Bush Tax Cuts that will not go away

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

In 2001 and 2003, the Bush Administration pushed through legislation that cut personal income tax rates, cut tax rates on capital gains and dividends, and cut the federal estate tax on multi-millionaires. The reductions were phased in over several years, then set to revert in 2011 to their pre-Bush levels (a gimmick designed to mask the true cost of the cuts).

But instead of expiring in 2011 as planned, these cuts were extended for another two years as part of the tax deal struck between President Obama and GOP leaders. The Obama-GOP tax deal also included other harmful and expensive measures, including weakening of the estate tax to its lowest rate since 1932 and a temporary two percent reduction of the Social Security tax rate. While the Social Security tax rate reduction is set to expire 13 months after passage, the income tax rates, capital gains and dividend rates, and estate tax are all set to revert to their pre-Bush levels in 2013.

The Bush tax cuts were bad policy, and any extension of these tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires is bad for this country. Here’s why:

Story is located here

Maxine Waters On Jobs, Unemployment: ‘The Tea Party Can Go Straight To Hell’

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) had some harsh words for the Tea Party at a forum in Inglewood, California Saturday.

With California’s jobless rate now 12 percent, the second-highest rate of unemployment in the nation after Nevada, talk about jobs, the economy and the partisan squabbling in Congress dominated the “Kitchen Table Summit.”

“I’m not afraid of anybody,” Waters told the crowd. “This is a tough game. You can’t be intimidated. You can’t be frightened. And as far as I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell.”

Video is located here

Misusing statistics, Heritage Foundation claims that poor people aren’t poor

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Remember how the Heritage Foundation put out a paper suggesting that American poor people aren’t really poor and that therefore it’s a good idea to shred the safety net? As absurd as the claim is given the reality of food insecurity in this country, and the low level at which the poverty threshold is set, it’s the kind of thing that recurs because, as I previously noted, the things considered basic amenities tend to change over time. It wasn’t that long ago, relatively speaking, that electricity and indoor plumbing were considered luxuries. And as the culture changes, things that were luxuries actually do become necessities in important ways.

But there’s another huge problem with the Heritage Foundation paper’s claims. Jamison Foser at Political Correction explains:

Story is located here

Richard Dawkins explains secular morality

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Secular morality is discussed rationally and decided on logically as opposed to rigid religious policy which is blindly followed. 

Video is located here

FaultLines video on income inequality and lack of income redistribution.

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Video is located here

The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country’s income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it’s been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years.

Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US’ 14.3 trillion dollar debt is underway. As low and middle class wages stagnate and unemployment remains above 9%, Republicans and Democrats are tussling over whether to slash funding for the medical and retirement programs that are the backbone of the US’s social safety net, and whether to raise taxes — or to cut them further.

The budget debate and the economy are the battleground on which the 2012 presidential election race will be fought. And the United States has never seemed so divided — both politically and economically.

How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly? And how are the convictions, campaign contributions and charitable donations of the top 1% impacting the other 99% of Americans? Fault Lines investigates the gap between the rich and the rest.

This episode of Fault Lines first aired on Al Jazeera English on August 2, 2011 at 0930 GMT.

Fox News Doesn’t Know Jack about Economics or Food Stamps

Friday, August 19th, 2011

It’s time to stop taking advice from Gretchen Carlson – Brian Kilmeade – and “Socialist-obsession” Eric Bolling over at Fox so-called News – and start taking our economic advice from lessons learned in history. Lessons learned from the Great Depression when Franklin Roosevelt helped poor people get back on their feet again by stimulating the economy and took unemployment from over 25 percent to just 14 percent in only three short years. We need to kick the supply-side economics hucksters out of Congress – and out of the media – and get back to the basics of economics – making sure people have enough money to spend to meet their basic needs – and not making sure billionaires have enough money in their Swiss Bank Accounts.

Video is located here

Not Trickling Down: The Percentage Of Americans In Poverty Now Equals China

Friday, August 19th, 2011

In a recent report, experts said the number of poor in America is nearly identical by percentage to China where more than half the population are peasant farmers who barely subsist from day to day. It is tragic that a wealthy, allegedly predominately Christian population sits by and watches as such an obscene number of children live in the same conditions as peasants in rural China. Republicans have made sure that our children, and especially minority children, go to bed hungry and are fortunate to eat free school lunches. The Republicans’ spending cuts have decimated Head Start programs and children’s health care so their wealthy donors continue receiving their precious tax breaks.

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Former Reagan Official: ‘Rick Perry’s An Idiot’

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Ronald Reagan’s chief domestic policy adviser took Texas governor Rick Perry to the woodshed Friday for recent controversial statements — in particular about his suggestion that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke would be committing treason by printing money to boost economic growth.

“Rick Perry’s an idiot, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with that,” Bruce Bartlett said on CNN’s American Morning.

Bartlett, who also served in the Treasury Department under George H.W. Bush, hasn’t been shy about criticizing the current Republican party, but he seems to think Perry’s a particularly troublesome player. He also said President Obama deserves a fair share of criticism for the state of the economy — particularly given his inattentiveness to the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.

“He has had open seats on the Fed almost his entire presidency and I think that this sends a signal that he just doesn’t care very much about what the Fed does,” Bartlett said.

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Conservatives make fake people in order to post anti-Progressive propoganda to all online sites.

Friday, August 19th, 2011

Thom Hartmann noticed for years that people have been going into his message boards – particularly around the time of elections – and posting right-wing propaganda – and one guy ADMITTED that he’s being paid by Conservative organizations to do this. But it appears that the Chamber of Commerce may be up to something much more nefarious using fake internet identities. Earlier this year – ThinkProgress obtained hacked emails from the defense contractor HB Gary Federal – that suggest that – with the help of other security firms – HBGF was working with the Chamber of Commerce to sabotage Progressive organizations like ThinkProgress and the union SEIU.

It appears their strategy was to use fake online personas – complete with fake Twitter – Facebook – and Linked-in accounts – to infiltrate and gather private data and intimidate people who work for organizations critical of the Chamber of Commerce. For example – meet Holly Weber – born in 1984 – attended Reynold High School – worked for Lockheed Martin – served time in the Air Forice and…is completely made up. Holly Weber is not real – she’s one of the fake online personas created by HB Gary Federal. And it looks like the guy who created so-called Holly Weber – an executive at Gary Federal – Aaron Barr – apparently drew his inspiration from Maxim magainze – and this model whose name IS ACTUALLY Holly Weber – and WAS ACTUALLY born in 1984. So…what is going on here?

Video is located here

Jon Stewart Takes On Fox News’ ‘Class Warfare’ Claims (VIDEO)

Friday, August 19th, 2011

On Thursday night’s “Daily Show” Jon Stewart took a break from speculating about the GOP presidential race and did a lengthy segment on conservative pundits’ contradictory views about the rich and the poor when it comes to deciding how to lower the deficit.

While the GOP wants to make low-level spending cuts to social, educational and other programs, President Obama and company suggest taxing the mega-rich. So it was pretty surprising this week when Warren Buffet wrote his op-ed saying he and his millionaire cohorts ought to be paying more taxes. Fox News called it “Class Warfare,” with one pundit even calling Buffett a Socialist, which got a hilarious reaction from Stewart:

“You really have no f**king clue what Socialism is, do you?”

Stewart argued that closing corporate tax loopholes and raising the marginal tax rate to raise $700 billion over 10 years would be favorable, but a montage of Fox News hosts showed how they believe differently. They claim that Obama’s plan is “demonizing” the rich and the “private jet class.” Another argument is that it wouldn’t even “make a dent” in our debt.

In the second segment, however, Stewart shows how the same pundits feel about the same taxes being implemented on the poor. It turns out they don’t have the same “why bother” attitude, as another montage showed, when it comes raising their taxes or cutting their programs.

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Taxing Warren Buffett- Republican critics are seemingly oblivious that, in many ways, his tax ideas mirror those of Ronald Reagan.

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Story is located here

Investors might hang on Warren Buffett’s every word when it comes to financial advice, but Republicans are less than enthusiastic about the Oracle of Omaha’s opinions on taxation. After the billionaire chairman of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway wrote an op-ed in the New York Times complaining that the mega-rich are undertaxed in comparison to the middle class, conservatives urged him to voluntarily send more of his own money to the Internal Revenue Service and leave others alone. Not only are they willfully missing Buffett’s point, they’re seemingly oblivious to the fact that in many ways his tax ideas mirror those of Ronald Reagan.

Hard to believe as it may seem, it has been a quarter of a century since the last comprehensive overhaul of the U.S. tax code. Under the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was signed by President Reagan, the number of tax brackets was reduced, loopholes were closed, the top tax rate was lowered and capital gains were taxed at the same rate as ordinary income. Yet in the years since, Congress has steadily drilled loopholes back into the code while lowering the tax burden for wealthy people who make money through investments rather than labor. That was the source of Buffett’s complaint.

“The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes,” Buffett wrote. “It’s a different story for the middle class; typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot.”

The response from Republicans, who are working tirelessly to block all attempts to level the playing field by raising taxes on the wealthy? Playground jeers. “For tax-raising advocates like Warren Buffett, I am sure Treasury would take a voluntary payment for deficit reduction,” Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said in a tweet. In California, where the powerless (except at budget time) Republican minority in the Legislature appears to have too much time on its hands, a GOP lawmaker is teasing liberals by introducing a bill to add a line item on state tax forms allowing people to voluntarily pay extra taxes. “Under my legislation, folks like Warren Buffett can easily find a way to pay the additional taxes that they believe they should owe,” said state Sen. Doug LaMalfa of Richvale, the bill’s author, in a release Monday.

Practically no one would pay voluntary taxes, not only because people resent paying more than their fair share but because, unlike charities, government spends money on many things that individual donors would prefer it didn’t. Of course, Buffett’s conservative critics know this; like most bullies confronted with a powerful argument, they’d rather mock it than try to refute it.

Why poor people support tax breaks for the rich?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Why do lower middle-class and working class Americans support tax breaks for the rich? New research suggests it might not be about aspirations—i.e., “Maybe I could be rich someday.” Instead, says the Economist, people are more concerned with how social programs and wealth distribution might help people worse off than them become better off than them.

In other words: Nobody wants to be on the bottom and national economics looks a lot like a junior high locker room.

Instead of opposing redistribution because people expect to make it to the top of the economic ladder, the authors of the new paper argue that people don’t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this “last-place aversion” is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. The authors ran a series of experiments where students were randomly allotted sums of money, separated by $1, and informed about the “income distribution” that resulted. They were then given another $2, which they could give either to the person directly above or below them in the distribution.

In keeping with the notion of “last-place aversion”, the people who were a spot away from the bottom were the most likely to give the money to the person above them: rewarding the “rich” but ensuring that someone remained poorer than themselves. Those not at risk of becoming the poorest did not seem to mind falling a notch in the distribution of income nearly as much. This idea is backed up by survey data from America collected by Pew, a polling company: those who earned just a bit more than the minimum wage were the most resistant to increasing it.

Poverty may be miserable. But being able to feel a bit better-off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable. 

 Story is located here

Are you sick of ‘highly paid’ teachers?

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Story is located here

By Author Unknown (if you know who wrote it, PLEASE let me know)

Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do – babysit!

We can get that for less than minimum wage.

That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM with 45 min. off for lunch and plan– that equals 6 1/2 hours).

Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children. Now how many students do they teach in a day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day.

However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.


That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).

What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.

Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!

The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!) WHAT A DEAL!!!!

Make a teacher smile; repost this to show appreciation for all educators.

150 Achievements Of Liberalism That Conservatives Seek To Destroy

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Story is located here

According to virtually any conservative today, the government has been just one big liberal establishment. The current extremists that own and operate the GOP are hell bent on destroying anything and everything that even has a hint of liberalism or progressivism in it, even if Republicans helped pass it. So what would America be like without liberals and progressives? Here is a list of programs, legislation, and achievements that we would not have if extreme right wingers had their way. Some items on this list were indeed passed or created by Republicans, but that doesn’t make them conservative achievements. It only means that at one time, Republicans favored liberalism and progressivism or that they were willing to work with Democrats for the common good.

1. The 40-hour work week.
2. Weekends
3. Vacations
4. Women’s Voting Rights
5. The Civil Rights Act of 1964
6. The right of people of all colors to use schools and facilities.
7. Public schools.
8. Child-labor laws.
9. The right to unionize
10. Health care benefits
11. National Parks
12. National Forests
13. Interstate Highway System
14. GI Bill
15. Labor Laws/Worker’s Rights
16. Marshall Plan
17. FDA
18. Direct election of Senators by the people.
19. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Workplace safety laws
20. Social Security
21. NASA
22. The Office of Congressional Ethics. Created in 2008.
23. The Internet
24. National Weather Service
25. Product Labeling/Truth in Advertising Laws
26. Rural Electrification/Tennessee Valley Authority
27. Morrill Land Grant Act
28. Public Universities
29. Bank Deposit Insurance
30. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
31. Consumer Product Safety Commission
32. Public Broadcasting/Educational Television
33. Americans With Disabilities Act
34. Family and Medical Leave Act
35. Environmental Protection Agency
36. Clean Air Act
37. Clean Water Act
38. USDA
39. Public Libraries
40. Transcontinental Railroad and the rail system in general
41. Civilian Conservation Corps
42. Panama Canal
43. Hoover Dam
44. The Federal Reserve
45. Medicare
46. The United States Military
47. FBI
48. CIA
49. Local and state police departments
50. Fire Departments
51. Veterans Medical Care
52. Food Stamps
53. Federal Housing Administration
54. Extending Voting Rights to 18 year olds
55. Freedom of Speech
56. Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State
57. Right to Due Process
58. Freedom of The Press
59. Right to Organize and Protest
60. Pell Grants and other financial aid to students
61. Federal Aviation Administration/Airline safety regulations
62. The 13th Amendment
63. The 14th Amendment
64. The 15th Amendment
65. Unemployment benefits
66. Women’s Health Services
67. Smithsonian Institute
68. Head Start
69. Americorps
70. Mine Safety And Health Administration (This has been weakened by conservatives, resulting in recent mining disasters.)
71. Food Labeling
72. WIC
73. Peace Corps
74. United Nations
75. World Health Organization
76. Nuclear Treaties
77. Lincoln Tunnel
78. Sulfur emissions cap and trade to eliminate acid rain
79. Earned Income Tax Credit
80. The banning of lead in consumer products
81. National Institute of Health
82. Garbage pickup/clean streets
83. Banning of CFCs.
84. Erie Canal
85. Medicaid
86. TARP
87. Bail Out of the American Auto Industry
88. Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
89. Wildlife Protection
90. End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
91. Established the basis for Universal Human Rights by writing the Declaration of Independence
92. Miranda Rights
93. Banning of torture
94. The right to a proper defense in court
95. An independent judiciary
96. The right to vote
97. Fair, open, and honest elections
98. The right to bear arms (Do you really think extreme right wingers would allow anybody besides themselves to have firearms if in power?)
99. Health care for children and pregnant women
100. A stable and strong government established by a Constitution
101. The founding of The United States of America
102. The defeat of the Nazis and victory in World War II
103. Paramedics
104. The Brady Handgun Act
105. The Glass-Steagall Act (It has since been repealed and we’ve been paying the price for it.)
106. Oil industry regulations (The Gulf paid the price after conservatives tore many of these regulations down.)
107. The Affordable Care Act which makes insurance companies more honest and fair.
108. Woman’s Right to Choose
109. Title IX
110. Affirmative Action
111. A National Currency
112. National Science Foundation
113. Weights and measures standards
114. Vehicle Safety Standards
115. NATO
116. The income tax and power to tax in general, which have been used to pay for much of this list.
117. 911 Emergency system
118. Tsunami, hurricane, tornado, and earthquake warning systems
119. Public Transportation
120. The Freedom of Information Act
121. Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery
122. Antitrust legislation which prevents corporate monopolies (These laws have been savaged by conservatives, which is why corporations are getting huger and competition is disappearing leading to less jobs and high prices.)
123. Water Treatment Centers and sewage systems
124. The Meat Inspection Act
125. The Pure Food And Drug Act
126. The Bretton Woods system
127. International Monetary Fund
128. SEC, which regulates Wall Street. (Conservatives have weakened this regulatory body, resulting in the current recession.)
129. National Endowment for the Arts
130. Campaign finance laws (Conservatives have gutted these laws, leading to corporate takeovers of elections.)
131. Federal Crop Insurance
132. United States Housing Authority
133. Soil Conservation
134. School Lunch Act
135. Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act
136. Vaccination Assistance Act
137. Over the course of nearly 50 years, liberals contributed greatly to the eventual end of the Cold War.
138. The creation of counterinsurgency forces such as the Navy Seals and Green Berets.
139. Voting Rights Act, which ended poll taxes, literacy tests, and other voter qualification tests.
140. Civil Rights Act of 1968
141. Job Corps
142. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
143. Teacher Corps
144. National Endowment for the Humanities
145. Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966
146. National Trails System Act of 1968
147. U.S. Postal Service
148. Title X
149. Kept the Union together through Civil War and rebuilt the South afterwards.
150. Modern Civilization

It is safe to assume that if the current breed of Republicans had their way, ALL of the above list would have never happened. The fact is, the people need government. Government protects the people from the greedy power hungry hands of the wealthy, especially when liberals are in power. The corporations and extremists that own the Republicans today will always only do what is profitable to themselves, and would also get rid of most of the things on this list. So, the next time a conservative complains about all those “socialist” liberals, remind them of what liberals have accomplished. Any conservative that claims anything on this list as a conservative achievement would be a hypocrite. Conservatives would lead us back to the Dark Ages. Liberals and liberal ideals have time and time again, led the way to a brighter future for everyone.