Posted by: tazlmo | November 30, 2009

TAZ Obituary

Ms. Terry Anne Sharff, (TAZ) 49, died the 9th day of November in the year 2009 at 12:26 p.m., in the presence of caring staff of Thedacare @ Home Hospice Services (www.thedacare.org), at Cherry Meadows Hospice, her domestic partner, and her chihuahua, Arianna, in Menasha, Wisconsin.

Ms. Sharff was born September 24, 1960, in Paris, Texas, to Peggy (Humphrey) Wood and Mr. Sharff (father unknown). Terry worked almost 20 years as a software engineer consultant, specializing in SAP software implementations. Having been employed by the maker of the software (SAP America, Inc.) she moved to the Fox Valley as an LE Functional Consultant to assist Bemis’ implementation of SAP. Terry was also an avid quilter having designed and hand stitched numerous quilts. Terry’s other passion was history, receiving a Bachelors of Art from the University of California in Davis. At that time she also worked on Diane Feinstein’s campaign (http://feinstein.senate.gov/public/). Following her diagnosis in March of 2008 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/amyotrophiclateralsclerosis/amyotrophiclateralsclerosis.htm), it was not unexpected that Terry dedicated many blogging hours on behalf of Barrack Obama’s Presidential campaign. Additionally, Ms. Sharff lived with mindfulness intent as a vegetarian, sharing a love for animals and the environment alike, she supported PETA, ASPCA, the Sierra Club, The Environmental Defense Fund, The Wilderness Defense Fund, World Wildlife Fund, the Jane Goodall Institute, the Gorilla Foundation, and others too numerous to name. Additionally, Ms. Sharff followed civil liberties causes at Amnesty International and the Human Rights Campaign. Finally, Terry was an avid reader with interests including non-fiction, history, and science.

Ms. Sharff is survived by Ms. Lisa M. Osburn, her domestic partner, (celebrated April 19th, 2003 at Cedarlane Unitarian Universalist church in Silver Spring, Maryland). Survivors also include, two sons, Erin and Ryan Wellock who live on the West Coast where they were raised. Terry also leaves to her partner’s care two chihuahua’s, Robbie and Arianna, and two pixie bob felines, Irving and Emery.

A memorial ride in Terry’s power chair will be held to honor her on ___12/19/2009_____ starting at ___Corner of I10 & Cold Spring Road Trail, Town of Menasha, Wisconsin to help raise awareness of ALS. Le Osburn will coordinate the ride. If you would like to contribute to the ongoing research efforts to find a cure for ALS, please consider contributing to the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s ALS Division (www.mda-als.org).

Posted by LMO

 

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Posted by: tazlmo | October 31, 2008

Elizabeth Dole’s Godless American Ad

Godless Americans are in the news again, but this time it’s not even our fault.  It seems that US Senator Elizabeth Dole, running for re-election against Democratic contender Kay Hagen, became somewhat desperate over polls showing her falling behind and decided to pull a trick from fellow North Carolina Republican, Jesse Helms’ goody bag.  Helms is remembered for running racist and inflammatory ads during his NC senate race.

 

 

 

 

 

In Dole’s 30 second ad that is very appropriately scary for Halloween, a female voice says “A leader of the Godless Americans PAC recently held a secret fundraiser in Kay Hagan’s honor,” as ominous music provides a suitably eerie back drop. Snippets of interviews with several well known atheists are played before the announcer continues: “Godless Americans and Kay Hagan. She hid from cameras, took godless money. What did Hagan promise in return?” The tape ends with a shadowy grimacing photo of Hagan and an off-camera female voice saying, “There is no God.”  Viewers are meant to believe the voice is Hagan’s, but it is actually the voice of the PAC’s executive director, Ellen Johnson.

 

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Right after Dole created her 30 second ad the RNC created a longer version for You Tube 

 

 

Now I see several major problems with these ads, the first of which is facts.  The ads are rife with innuendo and outright lies.  Hagan did attend a Sept. 15 political fundraiser in Boston, which was hosted by Democratic U.S. Sen. John Kerry and about three dozen others. It was held at the home of Woody Kaplan, a Godless Americans PAC advisory board member. The event was not sponsored by the PAC, nor was it secret.

 

Both ads feature shadowy photographs of Ms. Hagan standing next to a nameless gray-haired man who is supposedly one of those darned atheists to whom Hagan is allegedly indebted. He is, in reality, Charles Frederick (Rick) Stone III, who is a devout Episcopalian currently studying theology at the Harvard Divinity School.

 

Before 2007 Stone lived in Greensboro and taught Biblical studies at Greensboro College, which is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Stone knew Hagen from his time in Greensboro where he taught Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church, and where Hagan was an elder. Imagine Stone’s dismay to find himself classified a godless American on national TV.

 

Kay Hagan has filed a libel suit against Dole claiming defamation of character over the false claims presented in the videos. Defamation claims, for average people, are hard to defend against because, for instance, if you call someone a bitch in public, and they sue you for defamation, you then have to prove they are a bitch or they win.  Public Figures have the added requirement to show malice if they are to prove Defamation claims.  So far the Dole campaign continues to run the ads and defend their content.  Though I wonder, if calling someone an atheist is defamation, can calling someone a Christian be defamation if they are Jewish, or Islamic, or atheist?

 

Ok so big deal if this non secret fundraising event attended by Christians was organized by atheists?  Aren’t atheists citizens, too, and don’t we have just as much need for political action committees and lobbyists as anyone else?  Aren’t elected officials meant to govern for the good of all the nation’s citizens? I mean I can only think of one group that is more marginalized in modern society than godless Americans and that is LGBT Americans.

 

The one silver lining one might find from this disgusting episode is that more people across the nation now know that the Godless Americans PAC exists. Maybe we should capitalize on the prevailing political environment and get HRC or some other LGBT political action group to invite Elizabeth Dole for a fundraiser.  I hear she is really hurting for money so the timing might just be right. Then the opposition could run ads alleging Dole is indebted to the “gay” community and we could get some national media attention for that group when she sues for defamation. 

 

I wouldn’t complain about national attention for either group, since I belong to both the godless Americans and the LGBT community, I win either way.

 

 

 

Sources: IndyWeek.com, Dole ad: “Godless American” actually a retired Bible teacher, Barry Yeoman, October, 30, 2008. ABC News, Dole Sued for ‘Godless’ Attack Ad, Teddy Davis, October, 30, 2008. CNN, Dole’s ‘Godless’ ad causes stir, Alexander Mooney, October 29, 2008 Expert Law, Defamation, Libel and Slander Law, Aaron Larson, August, 2003.HRC Fox News, North Carolina Senate Candidates Battle Over ‘Godless’ Ad, Oct, 29,2008

 

 

Posted by: tazlmo | October 31, 2008

Barack Obama, Sarah Palin and Socialism

While Sarah Palin has made many colorful, deceitful and some times amusing charges against Barack Obama during this election year, the latest charge that he is a socialist for wanting to redistribute the wealth is beyond ridiculous, and more than a little ironic.

 

This recent charge of socialism stems from Obama’s statement to false plumber Joe W that he wants to spread the wealth through the restructuring of tax laws. Now any person who has read a newspaper, a web site or watched a cable news show, knows that Obama wants to “redistribute” wealth by restructuring tax laws to give a tax break to any person making less than $250k per year. This tax program to assuage the financial burden of the middle class, which was heightened under the Bush administration, equates to socialism in the McCain/Palin political dictionary.

 

The irony inherent to this charge of socialism stems from Sarah Palin’s own state of residence.  Alaska is the most socialist state in the Union, a place where Sarah Palin said, according to Hendrik Hertzberg at the New Yorker, “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” 

 

You see Alaska doesn’t have sales or income tax and instead imposes large levees against the Oil companies that drill the state’s fields. It is the job of the Governor to distribute the money from those levees to each Alaskan citizen equally. “One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor” according to Hertzberg, “is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269.”

 

Palin insists calling Obama a socialist does not suggest he is un-American; and she defends her claim by telling ABC News’ Good Morning America, “There is nothing wrong, though, with calling someone out on their record, their associations. The association issue here, it’s not mean spirited, it’s not negative campaigning. It’s important and fair to the electorate.”  Another affirmation that I don’t want Ms. Palin deciding what is fair for me.

 

Much like other claims made by the McCain/Palin campaign against Obama, this claim of socialism rings hollow when looked at under the cool clear light of truth. Obama’s tax plan is no more socialism that the existing US progressive tax plan, the social security fund or other monetary funds used to fund federal social service programs.  Sarah Palin calling Obama a socialist smacks of classic hypocrisy and the plain ignorance we have come to expect from the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate.

 

 

Sources: The New Yorker, Like, Socialism, Hendrik Hertzberg, November, 3.2008.The Times of India, Barack Obama is not un-American: Sarah Palin, October 30, 20008. Fox News, Amid Campaign Talk of ‘Socialism,’ Palin’s Alaska ‘Shares’ Oil Wealth, October, 30, 2008. The Associated Press, Fact Check: Palin’s Alaska spreads its wealth, RITA BEAMISH, October, 30, 2008.

 

 
 

 

Posted by: tazlmo | October 25, 2008

McCain Volunteer Fakes Racist Attack

 

With all the race baiting speeches delivered by the McCain campaign it is no wonder that a McCain campaign worker decided to take the issue one step further. Ashley Todd, a 20 year-old college student from College Station, Texas living in Philadelphia, admitted Friday that her story regarding a brutal attack was false.

 

Todd, a McCain campaign volunteer in Pittsburgh originally reported that a 6’4” black man robbed her at an ATM machine, took the money she withdrew, and then carved a “B” on her cheek when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on her car.  Todd reported that the attacker yelled he was going “to teach her a lesson for being a McCain supporter,” as he beat her.

 

What first sounded like a horrible attack garnered speculation this morning when Pittsburgh police reported that Ms. Todd would undergo a polygraph test to clear up inconsistencies in her story. The apparent inconsistencies included divergent stories; as well as photo and ATM record evidence that disputed the victim’s story.

 

A subsequent story conflicted with the first when Todd indicated that the attack actually occurred before she reached the bank, and that she was accosted near her car. The one consistent theme in both stories was the scary 6’4” black man and the backwards “B” scratched on her cheek.  

Maurita Bryant, the assistant chief of the Pittsburgh police department’s investigations division, said Todd is being charged with making a false police report.  The police say Todd eventually told the truth because she was upset the story was being blown into a “political firestorm” by media. One has to wonder exactly what she expected would happen when she made up the story to begin with.

Pictures of the woman’s wound show the victim with a black eye and what appears to be a backwards “B” scratched on her cheek.  “It’s not like her cheek was carved out,” a police representative said. “It’s more like a scrape or a scratch.”

This fabricated story provides further insight into the motivations of McCain supporters, who feel the race card is a viable option to play during this election year.  It is sad, however, that we have not moved beyond using black men as the scary boogie men in our culture.

Sources: The Associated Press, Police: McCain volunteer changes ATM attack story, JOE MANDAK, October, 25, 2008. CBS News, Cops: McCain Worker Made Up Attack Story, October 25, 2008. The Washington Post, McCain Volunteer’s Claim of Attack Unravelled, Online and Off, Jose Antonio Vargas, October 24, 2008. The Associated Press, Police: McCain volunteer made up robbery story, JOE MANDAK, October 24, 2008.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: tazlmo | October 24, 2008

The Blame Game: A Faltering McCain slams Bush

Recent poll results that show McCain falling behind Obama in key states like Iowa and Florida have spurred the campaign to adopt a new strategy in hopes of separating himself from sitting President GW Bush. During a recent interview with the Washington Times John McCain blasted Bush for everything from Global Warming and economic failures to failing policies regarding the War.

 

McCain blamed Bush for misconduct of the War, for growing the government to a size not seen since the “the Great Society,” for increasing the national debt to $10 trillion dollars, and for owing a $500 Billion dollar debt to China.  McCain also blamed Bush for failing to support the expansion of Medicare and for abusing executive powers, as well as for failing to enforce and update financial regulatory agencies responsible for safe guarding the economy.  McCain especially blasted Bush for supporting the Medicare prescriptions drug plan because he said taxpayers should not pay for the plan.

 

This strong criticism of Bush was no doubt meant to counter claims by Obama that electing McCain would be like re-electing Bush.  A substantial number of comparisons between McCain and Bush have been suggested, and a recent Obama advertisement features McCain proudly stating he voted with Bush over 90% of the time.  Now McCain is attempting to settle the blame for any upcoming failure squarely on Bush’s shoulders.

 

There are problems with McCain’s criticism of the Bush years since he did in fact vote for most of the policies he now criticizes. McCain voted to authorize the war and had to know funding for the war was being borrowed from China.  McCain voted against preventing cuts to the Medicaid program and continually opposed any attempt to institute strict financial regulatory protocols for Wall Street and the Banking industry.  

 

While McCain might want to create distance between himself and Bush, they really are birds of the same feather.  Interestingly, the one item that McCain truly disagrees with Bush about is Global Warming, a topic that his running mate, Sarah Palin, considers to be unaffected by human activity and largely a media exaggeration.

 

Those same polls that show McCain losing also show that 50% percent of those poled report negative feelings toward Sarah Palin.  McCain will only have himself to blame if Palin proves to be a fatal drag to the campaign that leads to his demise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: New York Time, A Onetime McCain Insider Is Now Offering Advice (Unwanted) From the Outside, ADAM NAGOURNEY, October 22, 2008. The Washington Times, McCain lambastes Bush years, Joseph Curl and Stephen Dinan, Thursday, October 23, 2008. Progressive Punch, John McCain voting record on Medicare and Medicaid funding. Slate Magazine, Election Scorecard, Where the Election Stands today Fox News, McCain Sharply Criticizes Bush’s Policies as ‘Abuse of Power’, October, 23, 2008.

 

Posted by: tazlmo | October 22, 2008

Sarah Palin supports Federal Ban of Same-Sex Marriage

Today I discovered one more reason to dislike Sarah Palin.  Yes, I knew she was an anti-feminist, arch conservative race baiter, and purveyor of false rhetoric.  I knew she enjoyed shooting defenseless animals from a helicopter, and called Global Warming an exaggeration.  I was aware she practices an extreme form of scary religion that employs priests to drive out witchcraft and evil spirits, and I knew she supported an amendment to the Alaska Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

 

Today I learned that Palin supports a Federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage nationally. This stand is even more extreme than McCain who has always suggested such issues should be left up to individual states.  During an October 20th interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network “Sarah Palin signaled her support for a constitutional ban on gay marriage,” this is a position that John McCain strongly condemns and once described as “antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans.” 

 

This latest policy stance issued by Palin further consolidates her position as a conservative spokesperson for the religious right, but it also continues a trend where Palin speaks her mind, even when her policies clash with McCain’s.  We saw this during the Katy Couric interview when Palin supported invading Pakistan to fight terrorism, a policy somewhat in line with Obama, but one that is diametrically opposed by McCain.   We also see it when Palin talks about banning abortion for women who are victims of rape and incest, a position McCain rejects. Palin also disagrees with McCain when it comes to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and on the issue of global warming.

 

We can take some degree of comfort in knowing that McCain supports a state’s right to choose same-sex marriage, but that comfort fades when we realize that McCain, a man in his 70s with a history of cancer, might not make it through his first term.  The world should shake in terror over the thought of an ideologue like Sarah Palin sitting in the Oval office deciding policy on issues of conservation, global warming, abortion, the rights of small animals to be safe from helicopters, and the rights of human beings to marry those they love.

 

 

   

Sources: CBS News, Palin Breaks With McCain On Gay Marriage Ban, Scott Conroy, Oct. 21, 2008. The Seattle Times, Palin supports ban on gay marriage, Campaign Notebook, October 21, 2008.  ABC 26 WGNO, Sarah Palin: Gay-marriage federal ban, Mark Silva, October 20, 2008. The Huffington Post, Sarah Palin Supported Aerial Hunting, Arthur Allen   September 11, 2008. NARAL, Pro-Choice America, McCain Selects Anti-Choice Sarah Palin as Running Mate, August 29, 2008. ABC News, Palin: Global Warming Not Man-Made, August 29, 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the last presidential debate McCain mentioned “Joe the Plumber” over 20 times.  McCain chose Joe Wurzelbacher, who once questioned Obama regarding his tax plan, to illustrate his deep concern for the economic security of small business owners and average Americans.  He also hoped to finally find a way to connect with America on that pesky economic issue, since it is not his strong suit.

 

McCain readily admits that he knows very little about the economy, and has to rely on advisors like Phil Graham, the bank lobbyist that called America “a nation of whiners” in response to economic concerns, and Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay and co-chairperson for the McCain campaign. 

 

Meg Whitman’s 10 year tenure at eBay is littered with the destruction of small businesses and the expansion of eBay profits.  When Whitman was ironically tapped to introduced the McCain small business plan during the Republican National Convention, it is likely that some of those small business owners who once made their living selling merchandise on the eBay website, but who had to close shop when Whitman raised eBay’s commission prices, were not overly impressed. 

 

McCain continues to invoke Joe the plumber as a means to suggest that small business owners will suffer a severe tax burden under Obama, despite facts indicating the assertion is false.  In fact, small business owners making over 250,000 a year would only pay taxes on the excess amount under Obama. McCain doesn’t seem too concerned with facts, however, and didn’t even take the time to find out that Joe Wurzelbacher is not really a plumber, or that Joe only makes 40k a year and will actually save $500 a year on taxes under Obama’s plan.  Of course those facts don’t square with McCain’s desire to show his support for “average” small business owners, so maybe he just chose to ignore them.

 

McCain wants us to believe that he is interested in the economic affairs of average folks, despite his long record of supporting corporate business interests over everyone else. McCain is far more likely to support a business owner over any other average American, and was very slow, for instance, to respond to the housing crisis.  In February McCain said that a government fund “to help borrowers who are facing foreclosure on their homes” was an unnecessary step to solving the housing crisis.

 

Facts are not really important to the McCain campaign, since his VP, Sarah Palin has made a career out of reciting half truths and McCain tells outright lies regarding his record on veteran’s affairs and other issues. The campaign is now gearing up for a final round of character assassination, doubt creation and false rhetoric.  So far that binge has included robo calls accusing Obama of working closely with “terrorist” Bill Ayers, and assertions that he voted to let infants die, both of which are shameless lies.

 

Shameful is a good way to explain the race baiting, truth conflagration, and out right deception being employed by the Republican Party in their desperate attempts to win election 2008, by any means. 

 

Recent racial tensions whipped up at McCain rallies, his selection of Palin as his running mate, and the fact that McCain chose Joe, an extremely conservative critic of democrats, who has been featured on conservative radio programs, to represent his concern for the “common man” suggests that McCain is willing to pander to the most biased elements in our society to win. 

 

This divisive, win at any cost strategy, seems to clash with McCain’s “Country First” motto, and illustrates just how far the campaign will go to win. It is perhaps unfortunate for McCain, but probably very fortunate for the rest of us, that Joe Wurzelbacher is not even registered to vote.

 

 

Sources: Huffington Post, “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher Not Voting for McCain, Off the Bus, October 16, 2007.  MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, October 16, 2008. Economist for Obama, The Other List: McCain’s Economic Advisers, June 14, 2008. Think Progress, McCain’s Record Of Denying Assistance To Homeowners, March 25, 3008.

Posted by: tazlmo | October 15, 2008

Race, Fear, Rhetoric and Election 2008

 

I have been following  election 2008 since the primaries and have noticed a serious undercurrent of racial tension expressed through euphemisms, rhetoric and fear mongering.  This tension has increased in recent weeks with the false rhetoric being spewed at Republican rallies by McCain and his VP pick Sarah Palin, but it began early during the primaries and went mostly ignored by most mainstream media outlets.

 

In the primary race when Reverend Wright became a national topic discussed on every cable news program, he was used to raise questions regarding Obama’s judgment. It became apparent  that people in the media were actually reacting to the expressive nature of a black church, rather than to any true equivocations over Obama’s decision making ability.  Few white people have ever attended a black church, and this first look into a progressive black church scared white conservatives and media members alike.

 

The obvious racism inherent in the universal outrage over Rev. Wright was further illustrated by the tepid and complacent responses to McCain’s spiritual advisors, John Hagee and Rod Parsley, both of whom have extreme evangelistic political views and opinions that are far more outrageous than any Reverend Wright ever espoused.

 

Pastor John Hagee once called the Catholic Church “the great whore,” equated Hitler to a righteous hunter carrying out Gods will, and suggested that hurricane Katrina was God’s retribution for New Orleans planning a Gay pride parade.  Hagee also wrote, in his book What Every Man Wants in a WomanDo you know the difference between a woman with PMS and a snarling Doberman pinscher? The answer is lipstick. Do you know the difference between a terrorist and a woman with PMS? You can negotiate with a terrorist.”  Can you imagine the outcry if Rev. Wright ever uttered such insulting sexist rhetoric?

 

Rod Parsley is so far off the beam that he insists Islam was founded by a demon, and that America has a divine mandate to destroy the evil religion. Parsley also suggests that AIDS and HIV are the product of “Gay sexuality…” which “… inevitably involves brutal physical abusiveness and the unnatural imposition of alien substances into internal organs, orally and anally, that inevitably suppress the immune system and heighten susceptibility to disease.”  Parsley fails to site any reliable medical reference to back these beliefs or to provide any explanation for the large number of heterosexuals with AIDS and HIV.  Parsley continually quotes discredited studies to suggest that Lesbians and Gays in America have unusually short life spans, that homosexuality is more dangerous than smoking, and mistakenly attributes 60 percent of all syphilis cases in America to gays. 

 

The reason we do not hear more about these outrageous statements in the mainstream media is that they are somewhat familiar to the any white person who ever attended a Pentecostal Christian church.  Scary hateful rhetoric spewed by white evangelical preachers is familiar and expected, and does not garner the attention of mainstream media outlets.  This was demonstrated most recently when video of Sarah Palin being blessed by a “witch doctor” was released on the net, and few mainstream media sources even carried the story.  I call the practitioner a witch doctor by the way,  because he was exorcising witch craft from Palin, not because he happened to be black.

 

In all fairness I must mention that McCain dismissed Hagee’s support early in the election process but, sadly, still counts Rod Parsley one of his personal spiritual advisors.

 

We saw racism rear its head again, when conservatives responded to Palin’s pregnant teenage daughter by suggesting Palin was a wonderful conservative mother for supporting her child’s illegitimate condition.  They lauded Palin’s parenting skills and suggested that the girl’s pregnancy was proof of Palin’s conservative credentials.

 

Imagine if you would how those same conservatives would respond if Obama had a pregnant unmarried black teenage daughter.   We can imagine the outcry over his judgment as a parent, and over the teenage girl’s irresponsibility for getting herself in that condition.  We’d probably hear complaints that Michelle Obama had failed to supervise her child appropriately because she was too career oriented, and the outcry over another pregnant black teenager would almost certainly be universally critical. 

 

It is not hard to imagine the negative response a black pregnant teenager would evoke when we consider that most critics of welfare programs incorrectly blame single black mothers for being the average recipient of public assistance programs (AFDC) when studies indicate the number of whites on AFDC is always higher.

 

Recently we have seen Republicans use deceptive rhetoric and code words like “character” to evoke racist response among their followers.  It was at a rally in New Mexico, when John McCain asked “who is Barack Obama” that a supporter yelled out “kill him.” Sarah Palin has repeatedly whipped crowds into frenzied shouts of “treason” and other invectives by suggesting, falsely, that Obama pals around with terrorists.   At one heated rally audience members verbally attacked a black cameraman working for a local media outlet, by ominously telling him to “sit down, boy.”   Rally goers in Ohio, when asked if Obama was a terrorist, responded that Obama had the name and the “blood lines” to suggest he could be a terrorist.

 

While McCain asked his followers to tone down the rhetoric, his campaign is still releasing ads evoking racial fear responses and hatred by tying Obama to terrorists or suggesting he is “foreign” and unknowable. It is apparent that racial tension is still an effective weapon in the political arsenal of the Republican Party, and they are attempting to use that weapon to affect the outcome of this election.

 

According to veteran civil rights activist Congressman John Lewis, Republican John McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin are  “sowing the seeds of hatred and division” which  remind him of the segregationist era tactics of Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who incited violent responses to his race baiting rhetoric.  What is even sadder is that most of the mainstream media, and many white Americans will fail to recognize the racist rhetoric employed by McCain and Palin for what it is; Pure unequivocal opportunistic racism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Mother Jones, McCain’s Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam, David Corn, March 12, 2008. Open Left, Top 10 Outrageous Quotes From McCain’s Spiritual Advisers, Katie Halper, May 01, 2008 Think Progress, McCain Spiritual Advisor, Allah was a Demon Spirit, Amanda Terkel,March 12, 2008. The Huffington Post, McCain Backer Hagee Said Hitler Was Fulfilling God’s Will (AUDIO), Sam Stein, May 21, 2008.  The Huffington Post, John Hagee’s McCain Endorsement Sparks Uproar, February 29, 2008 Department of Health and Human Services, Indicators of Welfare Dependence, 1997.  Liberalism Resurgent, People on Welfare, Steve Kangas, editor. Reuters, Congressman says McCain sowing ‘seeds of hatred’, Matt Spetalnick, Oct 13, 2008.

 

 

Posted by: tazlmo | October 12, 2008

Inciting the Mob

 

 Recent political rallies held by the McCain/Palin campaign have incited mob like crowds to erupt in hateful and racially based threats toward Obama.  Some rally members, picking up on Palin’s false charge that Obama “pals around with terrorists” shouted “terrorist” and “kill him” while rally members at another event insulted a black camera person filming the audience.

The terrorist that Obama is supposed to be friends with is reformed anti-Vietnam war protestor William Ayers, who was formerly a member of the 1960s Weather Underground.  Obama’s relationship with Ayers is restricted to a meet and greet hosted by the Ayers’ in 1990, a $200 campaign contribution made by Ayers to Obama’s senate campaign, and mutual service as board members for the not-for-profit Woods Fund of Chicago.

Palin, especially, has been using Obama’s familiarity with Ayers to try and tie him to terrorism.  This type of irresponsible rhetoric has led to mob incitement, and is being used to whip crowds already bent toward disliking Obama into a toxic frenzy.

If one listens to the crowd comments at an Ohio rally, as they make suggestions that Obama’s name and “bloodlines” tie him to terrorism, one gets a real sense of the deep levels of racism and suspicion that the McCain/Palin campaign has attempted to incite and exploit. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this video McCain incites the crowd to shout “kill him” when asking the crowd “who is the real” Obama?

 

 

Keith Olbermann comments on the acrid nature of recent McCain Palin events, and reports that the Secret Service is investigating homicidal remarks made about Obama at one Republican rally.

 

Rachel Maddow shows how the hateful invectives are bleeding into local elections, and covers crowd reaction to John McCain’s attempt to calm the rhetoric.  She also covers how the McCain campaign dragged its feet in responding to these issues.

 

 

 

McCain and Palin should both be ashamed for using such hateful and false rhetoric that fuels ignorance and bigotry.  One can only hope that McCain’s followers are in the minority, and that they will be seriously disappointed come November.

 

 

Additional Sources: Chicago Sun Times, Who is Bill Ayers, CHRIS FUSCO AND ABDON M. PALLASCH, April 18, 2008

 

 

     

 

    

 

   

 

  

 

 

 

 

       

 

      

 

 

     

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

McCain and Palin should both be ashamed for using such hateful and false rhetoric that fuels ignorance and bigotry.  One can only hope that McCain’s followers are in the minority, and that they will be seriously disappointed come November.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: tazlmo | October 12, 2008

Why Feminists should Reject Sarah Palin

I have heard several conservative pundits and quite a few feminists suggesting women should support Sarah Palin because she is an “empowered” woman who represents progress for women in politics.  Other women suggest they even feel guilty for not supporting Palin.

 

I can think of several reasons why it would be inadvisable for feminists or any other women to support Sarah Palin, not the least of which is that she is simply a token woman on John McCain’s campaign, meant to entice disillusioned Hilary Clinton supporters to vote for him.  Palin has little understanding of political ethics as shown by her consistent abuse of gubernatorial power in regard to hiring and firing.  She is completely unknowledgeable politically and is so misinformed that she actually believes the founding fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Why should we feel guilty for rejecting such and empty and patronizing offering?

 

Women should assertively shun Sarah Palin because she is an anti-feminist who opposes every issue most feminists support, including issues relating to abortion, birth control, sex education, parenting, healthcare, equal pay for equal work, and civil rights.

 

Sarah Palin belongs to the pro-life organization Feminists for Life, which focuses on convincing college age women to choose motherhood and deny abortion.  The group’s web site is filled with quasi feminist history topics, all of which are peculiarly skewed to the perspective of parenthood.  Articles on the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, challenges regarding Welfare to Work programs, and the pros and cons regarding the decision to be stay at home moms illustrate the focus placed on birth and motherhood. The website is also filled with pseudo scientific articles and advice stressing the physical and emotional dangers inherent to abortion.

 

Palin supports legal consent laws for young women seeking an abortion, and was reported to be extremely disappointed when Alaska “…lawmakers let a bill die requiring girls under 17 to get parental consent for an abortion.”  Sadly, these types of laws have been shown to create hardship for young women whenever and where ever they are enacted.

 

Sarah Palin describes herself as a pro-life advocate who revels in her conservative “family” values. Though she has gone on the record in favor of contraception, most of the conservative groups Palin identifies with classify 40 percent of all birth control methods as abortion because they all have the same mode of action as emergency contraception.  Limiting your access to those contraceptives has been a special focus of the Bush administration, and one can only imagine what the super conservative Palin would do.

 

Conservative groups insist abstinence is the only truly acceptable birth control method, and like Palin, they insist abstinence education should be included in any sex education program, despite multiple studies showing abstinence education as being largely ineffective. When asked in 2006 if she would support abstinence only education Palin said “Yes, the explicit sex-ed programs will not find my support.”

 

Sarah Palin opposes abortion even in the cases of rape and incest, and insists that any woman who gets pregnant should give birth, regardless of health, age, economic or other circumstances.  Proving that she is seriously dedicated to this philosophy, Palin has a 17 year old daughter who became pregnant and is now set to marry the 17 year old father of her baby.  Rather than treating this delicate situation as the personal tragedy it is, and behaving the way a concerned parent might, Palin took advantage of the situation by exploiting her daughter’s pregnancy to tout her conservative credentials.  Not the kind of parenting I would hope American women model.

 

Like most pro-life advocates who are avid supporters of birth but not interested in providing health services for women and children afterward, Palin opposed a health care bill in her state that would expand health services to all Alaskans.  As governor, Palin also used a line item veto to cut funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.  Funding for Covenant House, a transitional home for teenage mothers, was cut by 20 percent under the Governor.

 

Palin has not been very vocal regarding pay equity for women, but her running mate McCain has provided plenty of information regarding the likelihood of women receiving equal pay for equal work under his administration.  McCain claims to support pay equity but says he opposes the Ledbetter Bill, which essentially extends the right of women to sue for pay inequities if they experience discrimination.  McCain opposes the bill because “…this kind of legislation, as is typical of what’s being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems…”   Once again the McCain Palin ticket shows its concern for corporate America over the rights of women.

 

In 2006, Palin vetoed state legislation denying benefits to same-sex couples and said she would support a constitutional amendment to deny same-sex couples the same benefits afforded to heterosexual mates.  She also opposes Hate Crime Legislation as does McCain.  Legislation like the Matthew Shepard Act that would protect Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgender people from bigotry targeted crimes.  McCain also voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the work force based on sexual orientation.  We can only assume Palin agrees with McCain’s stance since they are “political soul mates.”

 

It is apparent from Sarah Palin’s conservative anti-woman focus that she is not interested in “empowering” the women of America in any meaningful way, but is in reality primarily interested in controlling our sexual lives.  Palin expects women to do without health care, equal pay or protection against discrimination while also believing that more children should be born into the world without those benefits.

 

Feminists should only be embarrassed or feel guilty if they choose to vote for such an anti-feminist force 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: Time, Conservative Believer, Clair Sudduth  . The Daily KOs, Palin thinks Pledge written by Founding Fathers , JLFinch , Aug 31, 2008. .AMERICan Psychology Association, Research Shows That Abstinence-Only Programs Have Limited Effectiveness And Unintended Consequences, Pam Willenz, February, 23, 2005.The Washington Times, Panel debates effectiveness of abstinence education, Thursday, April 24, 2008. Think Progress, Palin Supports Parental Consent Laws For Minors Seeking Abortions, Anchorage Daily News, August 14, 2008.  Huffington Post, McCain opposes equal pay bill in Senate, Libby Quaid, April 23, 2008. Think Progress, Anchorage Daily News, December 21, 2006. Washington Blade, McCain’s gay Q&A, William R. Kapfer , Oct 1, 2008.Fox News, McCain talks Palin on Fox News Sunday, Mosheh Oinounou, August 31st, 2008.

 

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