Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Don't Let Domestic Terrorists Win

Terrorism: the sytematic use of terror as a means of coercion. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

This is a wall of shame:
  • Sarah Palin, the half governor with even less of a brain.
  • Newt Gingrich, consumate hypocrite, present day hatemonger.
  • Rush Limbaugh, drug addict and con man, populist worth 1/2 a billion dollars.
  • Glenn Beck.....too much to say.
  • Michael "Weiner" Savage, the self hating Jew who also hates gays, Muslims, immigrants, and so forth, ad infinitum.
  • Pamela Geller, rascist bigot blogger who personally supported genocidal war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.
  • Laura Ingraham, who, like Glenn Beck, supported Imam Rauf and Park51 before she was against it, [or rather, got the memo].
  • Rick Lazio, former Congressman, failed Senate candidate, who uses imagery from 9/11 in a cheap campaign ad where he calls Imam Rauf a terrorist sympathizer.
  • Carl Paladino, an icon of conservative thought who promises to use eminent domain to thwart First Amendment Rights.
  • Megyn Kelly, pretty face of Fox News, master of injecting commentary into what passes for journalism.
  • Liz Cheney, Sith Lord, with the special power of being able to lie through her teeth.
  • Mark Levin, a man of such small character it is astonishing he can hold so much hate.
Make no mistake: these folks, among others, are using their bully pulpit to frighten both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to use the issue of building houses of prayer and worship as a wedge issue, to coerce Americans into changing their behavior and give up on their most sacred and central beliefs.
They are to be castigated and socially cast out. They are an afront to what American means. Do not let their poison coming from the lips of others go unanswered.

But let us not forget some heroes in this fight against the tyranny of the [m]asses:

Mike Bloomberg, Ron Paul, Elaine Brower: Real Americans.

These are just a few who have shown the courage and conviction to stand up for what is truly right: the feedom of all Americans to worship their religion, and the right of Americans to use their private property in any way they see fit, within the boundaries of the law, a law which applies equally to all.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Park51: The Front Line in the Fight for Real American Values

If you are reading this blog, you are aware of the made up controversy surrounding the construction of a Muslim cultural and community center, which includes a mosque, about 2 blocks north of the World Trade Center site, called Park51. This past weekend there was an anti-"mosque" protest and a counter rally in support of the cultural center.

Looking at some of the signs by those anti-mosque protesters filled me with a terrible resolve and yet great sadness. Allow me to disgust you:

"A Mosque at Ground Zero Spits on the Graves of 9/11 Victims Stand Up America"

"Sharia Sharia Sharia"

"Building a Mosque at Ground Zero is Like Building a Memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz"

"Stop Islam"

"No Mosque at a War Memorial"

I'll stop there, because I am nauseated this happened in my city.

This is a fake controversy, created by racial and religious bigots, picked up by Fox News, and now pushed to this point. I hate to remind such hatemongers like Pamela Geller, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the knuckle draggers so secure in their own self evident superiority in the eyes of some amorphous creator: this is the United States of America; if you hate the central creed of this great nation, then leave.

As for all those overly sensitive persons who think "it's too close," I have to ask: "Too close to what? Why?" I say to them: "Stop conflating one group of Muslims for another. Muslims are not fungible. There are many sects, just like in Christianity, and it is simpleminded to lump them altogether."

Islam, like Christianity, runs the gamut, from right to left, and high minded to low. A Catholic or Presbyterian would not want to be lumped together with the Westboro Baptist Church or the Christian Identity Movement. Yet that's what everyone against the Park51 project is doing to them, who are members of the peaceful, mystical Sufist sect. If you don't know what Sufism is, or why this is relevant, then look it up and learn something.

Now, to salute a truly great American, Elaine Brower, one of the founders of a group called the New York City Coalition to Stop Islamophobia. She was inspired by her thrice deployed Marine son to action when he said to her:

"Mommy, I thought we lived in America. I thought I fought for freedom. What's going on with these people?"
Ms. Brower is not Muslim. But she answers the clarion call of the central freedom of our nation, and is not cowed by the doomsayers or the inflamed emotions of event he truly righteously angry. But she sees through the fog of emotion and hatred to that which is the prize: the inexorable march forward of this nation toward freedom for all citizens.

It is always easier to go with the herd and pick on the unpopular kid. It is always more difficult to defend the downtrodden against the unthinking masses. These days it is American Muslims that are the class peon, and Elaine Brower is standing up to the bullies.

And make no mistake: those ignorant, dour faced, flag waving, angry sign holding, hate filled crowds are the bullies. Even if they think they are right.

The Park51 project has become, unwittingly, the front line in the fight for religious freedom and cultural acceptance in the United States. There is no compromise with hatred and ignorance. I implore Ms. Brower and the principals of the Park51 project to not back down. Don't let the bigotry of the masses frighten you. You have the power of the Constitution and the righteousness of the promise of this greatest of nations behind you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Faux News Exposes Itself: Fair and Balanced Is Finally Just a Slogan

It has been reported today that the parent company of Fox News, News Corp., has donated $1,000,000 to the Republican Governors' Association. Uh, okay.

I suppose the standard Fox set for itself, "Fair and Balanced," a standard it never actually tried to live up to, has finally been exposed to be nothing more than a slogan, mere puffery.

It means that no one - not Bill O'Reilly, nor Sean Hannity, nor Megan Kelly, nor the braintrust that anchors Fox and Friends - can in good faith claim that they are reporting the news without spin, or that any interview conducted is evenhanded.

I never believed Fox News was fair and/or balanced. But now, by the very actions of the parent News Corp., Fox News, they of mighty rating and poor journalism, has been publicly reduced to what they have always been: the mouthpiece of the right wing of the GOP.

It seems that some lyrics of one of my favorite bands applies here:

"Pat yourself on the back and give yourself a handshake, because everything is not yet lost."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dear Sharron Angle, About Those Second Amendment Remedies.....

Dear Sharron Angle,

You famously said the following in January:

"You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.

I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."

Now I will agree with you, in basic substance, that the Second Amendment is the final check on a real tyranny. I'm not sure that spending too much, bailing out AIG and the automakers and reforming healthcare really qualifies as a tyranny, but I digress.

It is also true, and I am sure you'll agree, that the right to marry whom you want is a fundamental right. Even the Supreme Court has said so, like in Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1968).

At present the case of Perry v. Schwarzennegger, wherein a Federal judge initially appointed by Ronald Reagan and confirmed under George H.W. Bush, Vaughn R. Walker, found that California's Proposition 8, outlawing gay marriage was unconstitutional, is likely heading to the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Judge Walker found that Proposition 8, among other things, violated the due process clauses and equal protection clauses, and was based on stereotypes and prejudices which are out of date. It was an act of supreme courage in our balkanized times.

Sharron, it is obvious that once this case reaches the Supreme Court which way 8 of the judges will vote. We all know that the liberal block of Sotomayor, Breyer, Kagan, and Ginsburg will most likely vote to uphold Judge Vaughn's ruling, and that the activist conservatives of Alito, Scalia, Roberts the Umpire, and Thomas will do Constitutional gymnastics in order to find some lousy reason to reject it. Then there is the wild card of Justice Kennedy, and upon him ride the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans who only want to get married and be miserable like the rest of us - just kidding!

So let's say that Kennedy goes with his activist conservative pals, like he did on the abominable Citizens United v. FEC, wherein he wrote the opinion, and created out of whole cloth a corporate aristocracy from nothing. Let's say they overturn Judge Walker's decision, and reinstate that blessed example of a tyranny of the slimmest majorities, Proposition 8, and in so doing remove a fundamental right from approximately 10% of American citizens, and throw equal protection under the law under a bus, as well as a long line of cases, including Loving v. Virginia.

I think we can all agree that the gay population of the United States is probably not the most heavily armed demographic. I know very few gays who know what Mossy Oak [tm] is, much less own any. But I was wondering what you would think is the appropriate Second Amendment Remedy - your word, not mine - for a group of people that have most certainly lost a fundamental right by an actual tyranny of a majority, and to have that removal upheld by a bunch of unaccountable activist jurists sitting in their ivory tower, answerable to no one.

Anyway, get back to me when you can, but before Election day. I know a lot of people that would be interested in your answer, myself most of all.



Sunday, August 8, 2010

Change the Fourteenth Amendment? Step Away from the Stupid!

I have heard a lot these days about amending the Constitution, namely the Fourteenth Amendment. These calls have come, during the midterm election year, solely from the GOP, and in particular the Republican leadership: House Minority Leader John Boehner, Senators John Kyl and John McCain of Arizona, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, to name just the highest ranking, Senator Lindsey Graham. Let me say it right now: this is not just a bad idea, it is a thinly veiled cynical strategy to invent a wedge issue.

The Fourteenth Amendment is probably, when taken as a whole, the single most important amendment to the Constitution. It is among the first civil rights legislation in American history, and almost certainly the most sweeping. It forced, for the first time, the states to abide by the Bill of Rights, which the states had been free to ignore before 1868. It was written with the express intent of creating American citizens from non-citizens, which in our present day includes the children of illegal immigrants.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Fourteenth Amendment, here's the complete text:
"Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each State, excluding Indians not taxed. But when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of a State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any of the male inhabitants of such State, being twenty-one years of age, and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, except for participation in rebellion, or other crime, the basis of representation therein shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens twenty-one years of age in such State.

Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

Section 5. The Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article."
Conservatives have waved A LOT of signs and made A LOT of in the last two years about the Constitution. Yet there appears to be a lot of consternation on the right about what they actually like about the Constitution. Some have called for a repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment - you know, where WE THE PEOPLE actually vote for our national senators. Why does the hard right hate freedom?

Now we have them clamoring to change the Fourteenth Amendment because of that pesky first sentence of Section 1. Apparently, conservatives belief it is their birthright to deny the right of citizenship as a birthright, so long as they do not approve of the parentage of such people. It's not as if one can control where their parents are living when they are born.

There is an old libel at work here. That old libel is that of the "anchor baby," as slanderous as the once popular conservative mantra against public assistance known as Cadillac-driving welfare queens who have the babies just for the money, 'cause that's where all the money is. No one has ever met one of these welfare queens, just as no one ever met an anchor baby.

No one comes to to the United States of America to have babies. They come to the United States of America for the same reason every person after Columbus came here: to build a better life for themselves and their families. And as our Founding Documents make clear, the rights enjoyed by American citizens are not bestowed by any government, but are a natural result of our Creation. So who we to deny what both the Creator and our wise fathers saw fit to set down: that everyone born here is a citizen, owing fealty to our national creed of hard work and liberty, and owed equal protection under the law.

Now let's be clear about something: Congress cannot pass a law, and the President sign that law, which would in any way alter fundamentally how an Amendment to the Constitution operates. Therefore, any call for "looking into" or "holding hearings" on changing the Fourteenth Amendment is simply balderdash, a distraction from the very real failure of the GOP to have any agenda aside from "We're not the black guy in the White House" to run on in the midterms. That's about as plain as I can say it.

In case you didn't pay attention in your civics class, to amend the Constitution or an Amendment requires whatever changes or additions to be passed by supermajorities [66%] of each house of Congress, as well as then being ratified by three-quarters of the states, or 38. California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Washington and Oregon, through either their Congressional representation or their state legislatures, are more than enough to prevent this from happening.

So why propose the impossible?

Furthermore, and not for nothing, but the natural born citizenship of the sitting President is still fodder for tabloids and right wing blogposts. Allegedly 1 in 4 Americans has a question about President Obama's place of birth. This mendacious narrative dovetails nicely with attacking the Democrats for not dealing with illegal immigration through changing of the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This is doubly dishonest because the GOP has a recent history of saying "No" to everything, even to matters which they had either previously backed or proposed, and this includes immigration reform.

Finally, as with all the numbskull calls to either build a wall along the Mexican border, or find and deport all the illegal immigrants, no one takes the long view. Okay, let's amend the Constitution to prevent the children of illegal immigrants from being citizens. Great. Now where are they citizens of? What if mom is from Ecuador and dad from Guatemala? What happens to a now instantaneously created permanent underclass of stateless infants? And how does the government react to any of this without growing larger and more imposing? Will mothers now have to carry documentation of their child's citizenship every time they enroll in school, go to a doctor, or a hospital? Finally, who will pay for this, or more importantly, will this pay off for us?

The short answer is "no." No one thought any of this through beyond screwing over people with brown skins. Personally, I like creating new citizens - it increases the population, and therefore the tax base, so we can all continue to enjoy the the success of our nation.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Between the Bombs, and After

Yesterday marked the sixty-fifth anniversary of the day the Enola Gay dropped Little Boy onto the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The result was a miniature sun, a pillar of fire, and the immediate extinction of 80,000 people, with many tens of thousands of deaths to follow within the next year.

This Monday, August 9, will mark the sixty-fifth anniversary of the day that Bockscar dropped Fat Man onto Nagasaki, vaporizing anywhere from 40,000-75,000 additional people. As with Hiroshima, many tens of thousands more would die within the next year.

The Japanese Emperor, Hirohito, would give a radio address on August 15, 1945, stating Imperial Japan's intention to unconditionally surrender. What happened in the 9 days between the annihilation of Hiroshima and Hirohito's surrender?

There are some who have questioned the decision to drop the atom bombs on Japan, and some have sought to revise this history to reflect present day regret. I, being a student, albeit amateur, of the art of history, am always hesitant to revise it. Yes, there are times when the popular story told to 7th grade social study classes might give a certain spin or gloss over inconvenient facts. But at the university level I found that my study of history revealed many hard truths.

One of those truths is that the decision to use nuclear weapons against Imperial Japan was probably the right one. This is not to say that, since it was the correct decision, there is not a price to be paid. America still has not, in its national soul of souls, come to grips with that horrific Faustian bargain, and Japan's national character has been indelibly altered, for better and worse, because of it.

While it was, militarily and politically, the correct thing to do, that does not mean it was the moral one. If there is karma, or a price to be paid in final judgment, those chickens have not yet come home to roost. As for Imperial Japan, as terrible a price she paid in her defeat at the hands of the United States, it cannot be said that she did not have it coming. And when I say that I am not labeling Hiroshima and Nagasaki payback for Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor was, taking the long view, a justifiable attack on a military target, with a limited [some 3,000] number of casualties, largely confined to military personnel. In other words, Pearl Harbor was no Nanking, no Korea, no Bataan. Pearl Harbor was, relatively speaking, small potatoes.

So about those 9 days - what happened? Well, at first Imperial Japan took Hiroshima on the chin. That's says something about the testicular fortitude of the Japanese people. After Nagasaki - three days later - it became clear to them that they were risking national suicide. Unfortunately, the idea of immolation for the sake of jingoistic pride was okay with several members of the Ministry of War, who then attempted a coup to prevent a surrender.

Known as the Kyujo Incident, the coup was attempted on August 14-15, and thankfully failed, otherwise there might have been up to three or four more cities turned into lakes of fire and the denizens reduced to photographic shadows. Failing that, the United States and her allies would have been forced to invade the Home Islands, and the human costs would have been even more terrible.

So, looking back at this now somber time in the first days of August, let us remember that there are times when the most terrible decision is sometimes the right one, but that may not allay the final judgment on all of our souls when the day of reckoning arrives.

It is also instructive to the point that revising history to tell the narrative that is either more expedient or palatable is the wrong path, and the powers that be in Texas and elsewhere should take heed. For failure to learn the lessons of history shall only doom their repetition.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Anti-Defamation League: Your Stupid is Showing

Between my seven month old twins and the complete idiocy of what passes for political discourse these days, I haven't written for over 5 months. However, the debate over whether a group of Muslims may open the Cordoba House - an Islamic community center including a mosque - two block north of the World Trade Center site has brought me back out of my cave.

And it wasn't the vacuous statements of Sarah Palin, nor the bald bigotry of others like Newt Gingrich, or the general insanity of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity [hey, that rhymes!]. No, it was that the Anti-Defamation League has thrown in with the likes of them.

The ADL's self proclaimed mission statement is as follows:
"The immediate object of the League is to stop, by appeals to reason and conscience and, if necessary, by appeals to law, the defamation of the Jewish people. Its ultimate purpose is to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens alike and to put an end forever to unjust and unfair discrimination against and ridicule of any sect or body of citizens." See it at
However, with respect to the proposed Cordoba House, the ADL has decided that "feelings" trump reason, conscience, and law. (For example, see: Amendment 1 to the Constitution). The ADL's statement on the Cordoba House? Here it is:
"Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain --unnecessarily -- and that is not right."
Catch that? Reason, conscience and law matter not. Feelings matter most. Especially since we're talking about Muslims. Imagine the self righteous, apoplectic anger that would result if it were an American Muslim community fighting to prevent something like the building of a church, or a synagogue, a memorial to American soldiers, or one to September 11, or perhaps a memorial for the Holocaust. This is a disgusting display of anti-Muslim hate that is but thinly veiled. And I expect it from some, but not the ADL.

Instead of taking the high road - the hard road, the tough row to hoe - the ADL has gone for the cheap thrills of divisiveness and religious hate. The fact remains it is easy to pick on the unpopular kid. Just ask Gov. Jan Brewer, the perpetrator of the single most cowardly political act of 2010, until the ADL went all anti-Islam.

Now, having thrown in with cheap, slimy faith hustlers like Palin, Gingrich, Glenn Beck, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), and Carl Paladino, the ADL has defamed itself and everything it stands for, and done a great deal to undermine its great history of courage in the never ending struggle for civil rights and equal protection. Kudos.

It's the bigotry, stupid. You know, the stuff you said you were there to fight against.

Anti-Defamation League: you are dead to me.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sarah Palin is Petarded

Sarah Palin is the political equivalent of bonbons. She is also like the STD herpes: the gift that keeps on giving. She has put her foot in her mouth so many times she probably has a gotten treatment for hoof and mouth disease.

Most recent case of her special brand of leaping before looking was when she decided to courageously take on "Fox Hollywood's" animated "The Family Guy" when they had a character who had Down Syndrome, just like her youngest son, Trig.

While Trig was never brought up, nor was the character a send up of the mentally disabled, nor were there any jokes made at the expense of the mentally disabled, the character did say that her mother was "the former governor of Alaska." Therefore, this was made out to be, in true Palin fashion, an attack against Trig, and therefore she felt "another kick in the gut."

Palin would rant on Fox News, and she had her teenage daughter, Bristol, write a piece on Palin's Facebook page. This was around February 16.

That's when Sarah Palin got, as they say in some quarters, "Pwned."

Apparently, Sarah went off half-cocked, again [see: "paling around with domestic terrorists"], not knowing who she was talking about, as the voice actress, Andrea Fay Friedman, was born with Down Syndrome. That information was released around February 18, just enough time for Sarah to make the rounds to her job on Fox News to whine about Fox Hollywood.

Ms. Friedman told the former governor that she needs to get a sense of humor, and that the bit was not an attack on Trig, but rather a matter of "sarcasm."

While only a sometime purveyor of The Family Guy, at that moment I discovered an entire new respect for the show's creator and key voice actor, Seth McFarlane. He laid a perfectly baited trap and waited till he saw the whites of the molars in the back of Palin's always flapping mouth.

Notice there has been a good bit of silence from Caribou Barbie since then. That's the sound of failure.

Now, for the record, Ms. Friedman did make the following dig against Sarah: "My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes."


But this brings me to my second point: Sarah Palin has set herself up as the defender of the mentally disabled, but all she seems to do is exploit the mentally disabled, and by extension, her son Trig.

Now, Palin has also set herself up as a hunter and firearm enthusiast, but I never really believed it. I have been dubious about her claims as a hunter - a google search of photos reveal only two photos, and it is not clear whether the ex-gov actually shot the animal in question, or just posed next to it. After all, what politician worth any salt misses a photo-op?

Also, a similar google photo search reveals only 3 photos of Sarah Palin holding any sort of firearm: a posed one with a trap shotgun, opened, and over her shoulder; another of her reloading a trap gun at a range; and another with her using what appears to be an M-4 on some sort of electronic shooting range, the only photo [and there is a video on youtube] where she is holding a firearm in a "ready" position. And she doesn't look particularly comfortable with it. Not an experienced marksman.

Added to this is that her former future son in law, Levi Johnston, said she was not a hunter nor did she know how to handle weapons. While he, as a source for anything Palin related, might be questionable, of all things to blow her spot up about, why this one, unless it is true? He is not the sharpest tool in the shed, but such a dagger goes to the heart of Palin's self made credentials.

So, when I read in the news today Palin would be the keynote speaker at the annual national meeting of the National Rifle Association in Charlotte, North Carolina, I couldn't help but think that she was using the NRA the same way she uses Trig.

While I am sure Palin loves her son, she also has no difficulty exploiting him, using him and his disability as a sword and shield for her own shortcomings. But she has little interest promoting the interests of others like Trig, evidenced by her behavior, most recently in this Family Guy flap.
Similarly, I doubt she is a hunter, much less a true shooting enthusiast. But she can lay some good digs on Obama, like how is is working now to ban all guns, at the NRA meeting.

The NRA, incidentally, treats gun owners the same way Palin publicly treats Trig: as a sword and shield, but never really standing up for their interests. They love to drum up drama and fear, as drama and fear equal dollars into their coffers, and in the pockets of perennial Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. They, and he, would rather lose fights to make money than stand up for responsible and beneficial gun ownership. More business than civil liberties group.

So perhaps this is a match made in heaven, but I doubt it. Palin is going to a friendly environment, going to bash the president for things he has not done, nor will ever do, and they will love her for it.

And pay her a pretty penny, I am sure. Well, maybe they are all petards, and they deserve each other.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Road to Hell is Paved With Intellectual Dishonesty

Hey there, true believers, RayRay is back with his first post of the new decade. I am truly sorry for my failure to post earlier, but I do have two excuses.

My first excuse is that my newborn twins keep my attention away from The Witch Hunt. Those little buggers can take a lot out of a man by the end of the day.

The second excuse is that I have become extremely tired of the political scene, that "politics as usual" are unusually terrible. From feckless Democrats to shameless Republicans, I have been on an unofficial hiatus from politics, because I just can't take the brainless stupidity, from the "retarded" to the sublime.

To highlight this despicable dynamic I shall use the current, and ridiculous, "debate" about global warming and climate change, and I shall endeavor to use unassailable facts to make my point.

To recap, conservatives have used the recent blizzard on the East Coast as demonstrable proof that global warming is a debunked hoax. I assure you that the knuckle-draggers at odds with some 90% of publishing scientists who study climate change are incorrect, and here is why:

1) it is known that the climate of Earth has fluctuated throughout the 5 or so billion years it has existed;

2) in the past the Earth had periods of intense warmth, for instance, during the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, when the dinosaurs walked the earth;

3) carbon dioxide, CO2, among other gases, are known as "greenhouse gases" because they absorb heat and / or infra red wavelengths of light, and do a similar job on sunlight as the glass of a greenhouse does. You can prove this for yourself with two makeshift greenhouses, two lamps with lightbulbs of the same wattage, and by putting a small piece of dry ice in one of the greenhouses;

4) until recently humans released a tremendous amount of chloroflourocarbons, aka CFC's, which reacted with the ozone in the upper atmosphere. CFC's were used a propellants and refrigerants. Ozone (O3) is a molecule which just so happens to absorb the higher intensity wavelengths of sunlight known as "ultraviolet," and our CFC emissions have put a sizable hole in the ozone layer, permitting more energy through the atmosphere and to the surface of the planet;

5) since the Industrial Revolution humans have begun to burn what we now know as "fossil" fuels for energy. Fossil fuels include petroleum, coal, and natural gas. These are called "fossil" fuels because they were once living things, either plant or animals. Incidentally, these animals and plants whose fossils we burn lived at a time when there was a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere, and the Earth was much warmer, and we are busy re-releasing that same CO2 back into our atmosphere;

6) naturally occurring vulcanism accounts for a large amount of what we term "air pollution," but even if this pollution accounts for between 50-75% of known air pollution, that means that human activity accounts for the rest. In a closed system, such additional pollutants become significant over time, much like the expected weight gain of a person who normally ingests a 2500 calorie diet who decides to eat 100 extra calories per day. By the end of a year, that person will have gained a significant amount of weight; the same type of dynamic is at work in our atmosphere. Taken together with the known damage to the ozone layer, which permits more energetic sun rays through the atmosphere, it is inescapable that human acts influence the climate, and that the double effect of more energy into the system is coupled with the dynamic that more energy is absorbed by it;

7) the last decade was the warmest on record;

8) both the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets have retreated visibly. The nations whose borders extend above the Arctic circle have begun to formulate plans for the sea lanes expected to open up as a result of this. There is a dearth of sea ice for polar bears, and the permafrost of both North America and Far East Asia has begun to melt, causing the steady collapse of villages which were built upon them;

9) in April of 2009 the Wilkins Ice Shelf in Antarctica collapsed. It was the size of Jamaica. The average temperature around Antarctica has risen 3.8 degrees F in the last 50 years;

10) glaciers around the world, from the Rockies to the Alps to most famously on Mount Kilimanjaro have begun to retreat or disappear;

11) Senator James Inhofe, perhaps the most vocal deniers of global warming, is a Young Earth Creationist. He denies the overwhelming scientific evidence as to the age of the Earth, the universe, and various other scientific truths. Being on the same side as Sen. Inhofe in a scientific based argument is akin to arguing you weren't drunk driving because you didn't crash your car. Alongside the likes of Mr. Inhofe we have such intellectual luminaries as ex-Governor Sarah Palin [who could see Russia, but not melting permafrost, in Alaska], Glenn "Hari-kiri" Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush "I did not straw purchase illegal narcotics through that woman" Limbaugh. Arrayed against this veritable think tank of scientific brilliance we have merely a bunch [read: 90+%] of stupid "scientists," people who foolishly devoted their lives to studying the "why's" of the universe instead of getting into the lucrative industry of punditry. How's that scientific method workin' out for ya?

When all is said and done, global warming is NOT a political issue. But because some people see Al Gore on one side of an issue, or because some people get their grants from the American Petroleum Institute, or just because some people read the Book of Genesis as if it were a science text book, we have this, among the stupidest of political debates. It pains me to have to actually have such idiocy as part of our political discourse, as it is a mere hairsbreadth above debating the veracity of the Theory of Evolution or the Big Bang or if the Earth actually goes around the Sun. It comes down to an argument over, on the one hand, a) vast scientific consensus versus b) inane, uneducated opinion based political posturing for, at best, scoring short term political points, with a bumper sticker slogan.

To then argue, in self imposed ignorance, that the recent storms prove anything, is sheer intellectual dishonesty, and the worst kind of political posturing, as it only inures to the detriment of all of us.

So, if there is an afterlife, I hope that these foolish deniers of what is otherwise rather solid science get to look upon Earth from the Hell they are surely headed to for their sins of bearing false witness and for their greed, and see their children and grandchildren suffering for their sins in the temporal world. But this would be cold comfort for me, as I don't think there is an afterlife, and I must hope that the masses realize the evidence before their eyes before it is too late.