Advertisements

Monthly Archives: February, 2014

Shak Hill For United States Senate

As it stands, there are only two candidates for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2014 that have a reasonable chance of leaving Roanoke with the nomination: Former RNC Chairman, former RPV Chairman and former Romney campaign adviser Ed Gillespie, and former Treasurer of RPV’s 10th Congressional District Committee and former USAF tanker pilot Shak Hill. Both men have been absolute gentlemen in my admittedly limited contact with them.

What separates the two men? Their ideology and their records. Ed Gillespie has a record of supporting the Medicare Part D boondoggle, supporting the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP, the bailout), supporting “comprehensive immigration reform” (amnesty), supporting the passage of HB 3202, the ultimately unconstitutional taxing plan as chair of the Republican Party of Virginia, helping found American Crossroads with conservative bête noire Karl Rove, lobbying for Enron, and long-term association with the Republican establishment. A partial list of these would be enough to seriously damage his conservative credentials; the complete list makes a mockery of them. Now he claims to be a pro-liberty conservative. But hey, he did raise a few million dollars for Rand Paul’s Senate campaign. So he’s got that going for him.

Shak Hill is on record opposing the bailouts, the stimulus, HB 3202, and amnesty, and cannot be accused of being a tool of the national Republican establishment. He also brings a compelling personal story to the table involving his wife’s victorious battle with cancer, and fostering of over 40 children, along with his service during the Gulf War. He’s a very strong supporter of gun rights, having gotten the endorsement of Gun Owners of America Political Victory Fund. He’s gotten the endorsement of longtime conservative activists like Jim Bowden and D.J. McGuire, and today he receives mine as well. I am proud to endorse Shak Hill for United States Senate.

Advertisements

Isn’t this only slightly unconstitutional?

Hey, Alabama? Requiring teachers to lead kids in Christian prayer in public schools is… um… unconstitutional.

By way of a voice vote, the House Education Policy Committee passed a bill that would require teachers to recite Christian prayers in public schools every day, even though the majority of members did not vote for it.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, would require teachers to spend no more than 15 minutes in the first class of each day to read, verbatim, opening prayers said before a meeting of the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.

Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin, R-Indian Springs, chairwoman of the committee, said she heard more votes in favor of the bill.

“It’s what I heard as chairman,” she said.

Yeah, I’m sure that’s what you “heard as chairman,” but it’s still unconstitutional.

Look, I’m a pretty open minded kind of female. I have no problem with kids having their own little prayer groups, or learning about any religion in a public school. Fact is religion is a part of our culture and history, and to pretend it’s not there by not teaching kids about it is quite frankly stupid.

But notice I said, “teaching them ABOUT religion,” and not “teaching them religion.” There’s a difference.

I have no problem learning the history of different faiths, what they worship, how they worship, what they believe, etc. It’s knowledge, frothing atheist zealots. Get over it! It’s part of history. It’s part of geography. It’s part of current events. You can’t pretend religion doesn’t exist, and knowledge about the different faiths out there is important.

That said…

Forcing. Kids. To. Pray. Is. UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Period.

You don’t need a degree in constitutional law to understand that!

The First Amendment prohibits the government from establishing a national religion. It is incorporated, so that states have to abide by it as well. Schools receive local, state and federal money. Ergo, they cannot impose Christian, Jewish, Wiccan, Buddhist, Muslim, Rastafarian, Pastafarian or Scientolog… ical (I hesitate to even use the word “logical” in that particular description of Scientology) prayers on kids.

A teacher is in a position of authority over kids. What do you think is going to happen when a teacher leads a mandated Christian prayer session in the classroom? Think there’s no element of coercion? Please!

When the Redhead was 11 years old, he went to a middle school in rural Virginia. He attended a DARE program taught by a local sheriff’s deputy. The Redhead really enjoyed the class. They played games, discussed the dangers of drugs, etc. One day, the Redhead brought home a pamphlet that this particular deputy handed to all the kids in his class. On its surface, it looked like a bunch of optical illusions and puzzles. However, a closer look revealed that it was a publication by these Living Waters freaks.

The pamphlet used puzzles and games to scare kids into accepting Jesus. It told them they could die at any moment, and if they did anything bad like lie in their lives, they were going to hell, unless… they accepted Jesus right fucking now! It told the kids they were sinners. It told them that hell awaits them all, because they were all inherently bad. It even had an optical illusion that used a reverse afterimage to deceive the kids into “seeing Jesus.”

jesus5zk

The Redhead thought it was interesting, and it didn’t bother him. But I raised him to be a confident individual unfazed by religious scare tactics. But that doesn’t even matter.

There is no justification – NONE – for bringing scary death cult shit into a public school to scare kids into converting. The entire pamphlet was all about how they could die tomorrow, about how they’ll go to hell, about how Jesus will help them get to heaven, but since they could die tomorrow, perhaps they should stare at this picture and then close their eyes and find him!

How the fuck do you justify trying to scare a bunch of 11-year-olds into having faith?

Here’s a hint, frothing fundamentalist zealots: if you have to frighten, mislead, deceive or intimidate people into your beliefs, maybe your beliefs just aren’t strong or convincing enough to stand on their own merit!

I did contact the school and found out that the materials the deputy handed out were not approved by the school, and that the school officials weren’t even made aware that anything was going to be handed out to the kids! They told me this was the first time anyone had complained about the materials the deputy handed out, which makes me believe that either the parents aren’t looking closely enough, or this is the first time he’s brought that crap into the school.

For the record, I have no problem with anyone talking to my kid about religion, encouraging him to explore his spirituality or various faiths. No problem at all. But if you try to bully or deceive my kid into entering your little cult, I promise you will receive a swift kick in the gonads from yours truly!

But back to Alabama…

Forcing children to say Christian prayers in class with the teacher at the helm is coercive, especially if a child’s family practices something other than Christianity. Yes, believe it or not, there are families – even in friggin’ Alabama – that are not Christian! And guess what, you arrogant, supercilious shitbags! They pay taxes too, including your salaries and the salaries of those teachers whom you want to become accomplices in your little game of religious compulsion. And I’m fairly sure these families would be pretty unhappy if their tax dollars were paying for a coercive religious conversion.

But hey… it’s your state, so you do what you want.

Bring on the lawsuits!

Conspiritards at it again

There’s a particular group of paranoid cranks whose first kneejerk reaction subsequent to any tragedy is to claim United States involvement, U.S. government responsibility, CIA, etc. You know the types. 9-11 was a CIA conspiracy. Boston Marathon bombing was a false flag operation (of course these dipshits are also frothing anti-vaccination crusaders, who think that cancer can be cured by cinnamon and vinegar enemas or something, so this is not suprising). Sandy Hook massacre was a government operation. There’s never been a conspiracy theory these freaks haven’t embraced, as long as it involves the eeeeeeevil government and the victimized people. It makes them feel good that “they” are the only ones with the open mind and the intelligence to discern the conspiracy, and everyone else (according to their twisted logic) who doesn’t believe their theories on sedition must be an ignorant sheep.

These fruitcakes’ latest crusade is to blame the U.S. government for the violence in Ukraine. Apparently, according to their latest calculations based on exactly nothing, is that this is “another government overthrow backed and funded by the US.” Because apparently Ukrainians are so poor, they will get themselves shot at by Ministry of Interior forces for a few thousand bucks. “Ave GDP in Ukraine has fallen 20% in 6 years. GDP per person is now $60 a week,” he says. “$25 Euro to go riot against the Government they hate along with all their mates already angry at the Government?” He claims that’s a realistic scenario, and of course, you’re a dumb sheep if you can’t see this happening. “Yep I can see that happening. Why can’t you?”

//

Why can’t we? Perhaps, because we’re not fucking idiots.

Ukraine is not by any means a leading world economy, but at the same time, it’s not bad enough for anyone to accept a few bucks to get shot at by Ukrainian forces.

Ukraine’s GDP grew from nearly $108 billion in 2006 to $176.3 billion in 2012. GDP per capita in 2012 was roughly $3900, up from $2300 in 2006. Ukraine’s economy declined drastically during the 2009 global economic crisis, but whose didn’t? And Ukraine’s shadow economy, which experts estimate to be about 40 percent of its overall economy? In other words, this conspiritard is full of shit, as they usually are.

In order to believe what this douche canoe is saying, one must believe that the United States somehow paid individuals to put themselves in the line of fire after months of peaceful protests, knowing that there’s a chance they would die, because we wanted Yanukovych deposed, opening the door to a special election, risking already fragile relations with Russia, and causing the deaths and injuries to hundreds of people in the process and supporting the extreme right Pravyi Sektor – a bunch of violent neo-Nazi freaks – who hop up and down with joy at the thought of violence.

Oh, and why did we do this?

Because apparently, we want to put missiles in Ukraine.

Um. What?

Hey, conspiritards – do us all a favor, and stick to chemtrails and Big Pharma schemes to kill us all. This foreign policy thing is not your forte.

IN ADDITION: I really need to add the following. The head of the Russian Duma’s international affairs committee blamed the West for the violence in Ukraine, claiming that Western pressure was responsible for the influx of extremists into Ukraine. I find this to be amusing, considering the mini trade war Moscow initiated against Kyiv last August in order to pressure Ukraine into refusing to sign the association agreement with the EU, as well as the gas prices and loans Russia has been using as an extortion tool.

But hey conspiritards – if you want to ignore obvious Russian involvement while spreading around bizarre “CIA paid demonstrators to get violent in Kyiv” theories, go right ahead. No one takes you seriously anyway.

I’m hooked

Just discovered the existence of these guys. I’m blown away!

They first burst on the music scene with “Smooth Criminal.” I remember watching and listening in wonder.

These guys are incredible talents! Give a listen.

This is where I was born

For the past few months, I’ve been watching the events in Ukraine with interest and growing horror. What started out as fairly tame set of demonstrators, protesting President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to abandon an Association Agreement with the European Union and move closer to Moscow, grew into violent suppression by the police against protesters, progressed into shooting of demonstrators after the Rada (Ukrainian parliament) passed a law banning most forms of protest, making thousands into criminals overnight, and culminated with more than 100 dead over the past few days.

Kyiv burns.

Anti-government protesters throw stones towards Interior Ministry officers during a rally near the building of Ukraine's house of parliament in Kiev

It looks like a war zone, even though most still describe the events there as mass protests and demonstrations.

UKRAINE-UNREST-EU-RUSSIA

And now, the rest of the nation mourns the events in Kyiv… the deaths… the blood… the corruption.

This is the city in which I was born. Lviv.

lviv

The situation in Ukraine is complicated. It isn’t as easy as Yanukovych is a thug. He is a corrupt goon, as is most of his administration and his inner circle. He saw his authority swirling the drain, and instead of displaying some accountability to the will of the people who put him in office, this dumb bastard decided to outlaw dissent.

In an era of the 24 hour news cycle and social media, this douchetard thought the news about his tyrannical oppression wouldn’t get out? He thought bloody suppression of dissent would somehow allow him to hold on to his power – power he would probably not have gotten without the support of the Russians.

Yanukovych was indebted to and feared Moscow. Not only did the Russian support help his Party of Regions win elections, but the Russians hinted they would cut prices on natural gas – prices that Kyiv complained were exorbitant – and would help Ukraine service its debt. Additionally, Moscow screwed with Ukraine (and other former Soviet states that were considering closer relations with the European Union). Last August, Russia blocked nearly all imports from Ukraine in an attempt to pressure Kyiv into rejecting an association agreement. Plus, the Russians and Ukrainians share historical, cultural and religious roots.

It’s a complicated relationship, and one I somewhat understand. During the Cold War, no one differentiated between Ukraine and Russia. They were both part of the USSR. I spoke Russian at home. I spoke Russian in school. I was considered Russian.

Cultural and religious ties aside, Ukraine is economically dependent on Russia. Russia is Ukraine’s largest trade partner. Loads of Russian tourists visit Ukraine every year. Ukraine buys its natural gas from Russia’s Gazprom, and Russia has been holding gas prices over Kyiv’s head for years.

Additionally, even though an association agreement with the EU would have helped the Ukrainian economy, the EU was demanding reforms, to include the release of imprisoned former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko. And Yanukovych, being the tyrant and coward that he is, was afraid to release her for fear that she would run against him, AND win, especially as unpopular as he is.

Yanukovych doesn’t care about the welfare of his country. Yanukovych cares about Yanukovych. He tried to suppress the very people who elected him to office, to keep his competition locked up and to cozy up to the very nation that manipulated him into turning away from an agreement that could have improved and modernized his nation’s economy.

But I guess he didn’t exactly count predict the insanity that ensued. Bloody suppression during the Olympic Games. Hundreds of people dead or wounded. Yanukovych forced to sign an agreement with the opposition that vastly dilutes his powers, as well as institutes a caretaker government until a special election can be held. The Rada passed a law that would free Timoshenko, and the Minister of the Interior has been booted for ordering his thugs to fire live rounds at protesters.

In other words, everything Yanukovych was trying to do to avoid losing his power has happened…

…but only after a lot of bloodshed, trauma and heartache.

Yeah. This is where I come from.

Is it any wonder I love this country as much as I do?

%d bloggers like this: