Monday, July 15, 2013

America can be smart, but instead it chooses to be dumb, panicky and dangerous...even to its own.

The worst thing that has ever happened to me, legally speaking, was driving in California with a Maryland License. I had to go to court for that, for which the penalty was...gasp and go take and pass the California Driver's Test.

That's it. That's my grand "criminal" past. Traffic Citations.

Yet, I have no doubt...ZERO doubt...that if I ever wound up dead, killed by someone of the Caucasian Persuasion, I would be turned into some sort of raving Drug User sometime before my body was cold.

If I wind up is automatically my fault. I must've done something to deserve it, is how the logic will go.  This is how the groupthink, be it from Media, from the Legal Authorities, be it from my friends and neighbors.  This is what you'll do to me in death, and you won't think twice about it.

That's the way it works in this country. It doesn't matter what you did. If you are a black male in this country, and you wind up dead at the barrell of someone else's gun, and that person happens to be white, at least one person in this country will twist themselves into knots to retroactively justify that black male being dead.

This is your America now.

The sad part is...going back to another young black male, one Emmitt Till, this was your America back then as well...and nothing's changed. Nothing.

It's also time for America to come to grips with the fact, that the lives of black males, young or old, are just not valued in this country.

Mind you. I didn't say not valued "as much as" whites. Not valued...Period.

This is a not a call to action, or a demand for something better, this is a statement of surrender. I've given up on expecting better from America. America is just not capable of doing better, at least not when it comes to race.

This is a racist country. It is just who this country is.

When someone tells you who they are...believe me.

America has told me time and time and time again who it is.  I'm way past believing them

Now, when I say that "I know America is a racist country", I say that knowing not only in my heart, but in actual fact, the majority of its citizens individually themselves are not racist.

But like Tommy Lee Jones said in Men In Black: "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

Well, where does racism come from, if not the dumb, panicky and dangerous parts of our collective nature?

But look what happens when collective action is taken, when any measure of groupthink is applied, the outcome pretty much is guaranteed to be racist...or at least racial in nature.

Don't agree. Fine. Not that I care...but then again, maybe you can explain to me why Marissa Alexander is sitting in jail right now. Don't know her? I suggest a quick Google search, or clicking on the link I just left you.

Tell me why juries seem incapable of prosecuting White Defendants when they have Black victims? I mean, I'm sure it's happened, but the safe money bet every time to bet against that happening, no matter what state you live in.

What's possibly even more insulting than the current cries of "Yes, African-Americans are the vicitims of racial injustice in the supposed land of the free" is the dead-cinch CERTAINTY, as in 100% guarantee that come this very hour two weeks from now, you'll have moved on without doing one damn thing to address the problem that ultimately took Trayvon Martin's life.

Like I said...America is incapable of fixing this problem.  This County lacks the ability, the heart, the intellect, and most obviously the will to fix this problem.

You've had 70 years, and you're just not interested.

My only comfort comes in the fact that one day, this will boomerang. One day, when the Whites are the minority in this country, you will be bleating and crying for racial protections from the majority.

And I hope they stiff you like you've stiffed us.

I hope the Latino and Asian majorities in this country treat you with the same contempt, same disregard you've treated us these last 300 years.  You'll deserve it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Why I'm not in full-throated celebration of the justified downing of both DOMA and Prop. 8

I am not celebrating today. I am not celebrating an obvious good decision in the DOMA and Prop. 8 cases before the Supreme Court because yesterday was so bad.

And let’s repeat that. Yesterday was bad. Hyper bad. Disastrously bad, is-this-a-country-worth-saving bad.

Let’s be clear about a couple of things. I am a Straight Black dude in California. I was never going to see any direct benefit from Marriage Equality. But my neighbors were. That was good enough for me.

So, when these same neighbors asked me to support their cause, I did. I gave money. I signed petitions. I supported the cause. I did the work that got LGBT Friendly Politicians into office to get the result we got today.

Now, I’m expecting the same force to be brought to bear for my cause, restoration of the Voting Rights Act...and to be real honest with you, I’m not optimistic I will.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Charlie Rose is a great interviewer, but his Website sucks.

If there is a major media figure that frustrates the hell out of me, it's Charlie Rose, who provides exactly zero embeddable video on his website.

Thanks for nothing, Charlie. You can't even share the links to the video you want for two days after the event.

So if you want to see his Interview with President Obama, go to It's on the home page, without a way of sharing that link with any one else.

UPDATE: 11:47am Pacific: Of all the...

The White House has published a the transcript. Not the video, even they couldn't figure out how to do that. Just the transcript.

Your website is a piece of crap, Mr. Rose.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Before anyone starts panicking too much over 3D Printed guns, ask yourself one thing... are the Gun Manufacturers going to take this?

Because if the Record Industry vis-a-vis any File Sharing Service in existence, it ain't gonna be pretty.

Yeah, these knobs are reaching in and leaving them with empty rice bowls this Christmas.  They're showing the world how to make their own guns, and putting the plans up on in the internet.

If you're Smith and Wesson, you can't be happy about this.  Even if you get into the game yourself, you still are seeing a segment of your market walk out your front door.

Don't be surprised if the NRA (our normal enemy in these matters) takes a very dim view of these 3D Printed guns, because after all...who do they really work for??

Via TPM:

The world's first 3D-printed gun, called "the Liberator," was successfully fired in Texas this weekend, according to Fox News.

Defense Distributed, an Austin, Texas-based company led by 24-year-old law student Cody Wilson and several others that market 3D printed firearms and firearm components, or “Wiki Weapons,” on Thursday posted a new video online showing a plastic gun being fired. A blueprint file is expected to be available for download today.

"I recognize that this tool might be used to harm people," Wilson said, according to Fox News. "That’s what it is -- it’s a gun. But I don’t think that’s a reason to not put it out there. I think that liberty in the end is a better interest."

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the development "stomach-turning" on Sunday, according to CNYcentral, saying it means anyone "can open a gun factory in their garage."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Roger Nicholson's Confrontation with Info Wars Conspiracy Reporter Dan Bidondi. #BostonStrong

I'm not a fan of Alex Jones, so...of course...I found this video endlessly entertaining:

Once again, the people are left in the position of standing up to the charlatans in media.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

From Boston's darkest day, to their finest hour...

Looking at the tape, in the aftermath of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s capture, it reminds me of the night Osama Bin Laden was captured, with joyous College Students yelling out: USA, USA, USA!

Still, in the tape from the makeshift memorial taken tonight, you also can tell Boston has finally given itself permission to grieve. Thus, we can finally take a moment to really feel the loss of Krystle, of Lu...and Martin.

Only now, Sean joins them.

This was unquestionably Boston’s finest hour.  This was bigger than the Red Sox in 2004.  Bigger than the actual Boston Tea Party.  In a time when, in response to the worst of humanity, the people of Boston had every right to do the same to the people who did this crime.

Somehow Boston didn’t fall into that trap.

Even though I was watching the whole time, I’m still not certain how they did it. They probably don’t know how they did it either.

We just watched in Los Angeles, during the Christopher Dorner fiasco, a city totally lose it’s @#$%. Cops fanning out in a panic, chasing pink rabbits down invisible holes, chasing bad clues, shooting unarmed innocent civilians who looked nothing like Dorner.

Boston when through something a hundred times worse...and they didn’t lose it. They kept their cool, because for five straight days...all they wanted, all they thought about was finding these guys.

Not finding them, and then they the LAPD would do.

No. Just...find them.

Find those bastards.

Then the moment came. The moment came because it was earned through leg work, shoe leather, sweat equity, not might, brawn or overwhelming firepower. The Police closed down what they needed to close down. They sifted through what they needed to sift through. They talked to who they needed to talk to, and when the moment came, they even asked for help.

Granted, not everything was perfect. The cordon they set up to catch Dzhokhar was a block too short, allowing him to stay hidden most of the day. But when the moment came, when they were needed most, the people of Massachusetts got their man. They got him alive, and got him on his way to jail.

The Boston PD, the Watertown PD, the Massachusetts Staties, the FBI, didn’t hurt any innocent people along the way. They only people they hurt were the people who committed a massive crime. The people they arrested, they talked to, and when found they had nothing to do with the crime, were let go.

As an African-American, I so want to love the Police. I try. I always look out for them. I always want them to be well paid, and their families taken care of. But what inevitably happens, they do something stupid, like a Diallo, or shoot up innocent people chasing Christopher Dorner, or shoot nine people in New York City trying to get one guy...and I lose faith in them all over again.

But Boston restored it.

Monday there was a crime.

Wednesday they solved it.

Friday they arrested the people responsible.

God love you glorious Irish Bastards.

See you next Patriots Day, when I have the distinct feeling it’s going to be a National Holiday, for at least one year.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

@RuthMarcus, Villagers and the evolution of media bull@#$%...

My distaste for Ruth Marcus goes back a while. So I guess I shouldn't have been completely surprised when yet again decided to act as the Chief Villager for a Newspaper run by nothing but Villagers when she wrote her latest (cough-cough) column.

After listing through some of the nasty comments House GOPers were tweeting as the President was speaking to them about reaching a Budget Deal, she quoted the President calmly assessing the situation with George Stephanopoulos:

Obama: “You know — I think whatever I’m for, it’s very hard for a Republican to also be for. I think they always have to be a little bit — you know, maintain some distance.”

One would think after all the Filibustering and insults (some of them actually racist) that have been hurled at this President from the start of his administration, a columnist might react with shock and surprise that the sitting President managed to keep his cool.

Instead, Ruth Marcus offered this:

The president has made this point before, and maybe he’s right. Yet this analysis leaves him in a distinctly unpresidential posture — not leaning in, but holding back.

Excuse me, but...I did not think it was anatomically possible for one's head to get that far up one's...--never mind.

I don't know how to tell Journalists this, because...I really thought they would have covered it in Journalism school,'s not your job to balance the argument.

I know you think that's your job. But let's be clear about what your job really is.

Your job is to present both sides of a story...

Your job is not necessarily to lend them equal weight, particularly when they don't deserve it.

Again, you don't elevate both sides into equality.  We don't need you to do that.  In fact, it's a really bad idea if you do do that.

If you're a columnist, as Ruth Marcus is, this is even more tricky.  Why?  Because, a columnist offers nothing but opinion.  They don't do any actual reporting.  They don't go digging around for facts anymore...they've been excused from that particular activity.  In fact, they are paid a substantial salary to say only what they think.  Even if what they think has no basis in reality, as Ruth Marcus clearly demonstrated today.

One would think that some measure of journalistic integrity would matter in a circumstance like this, but'd be wrong.  The Washington Post is more than capable of publishing utter complete bull@#$% so long as it fills column inches.  After all they employ Jennifer Rubin, Marc Thiessen, Robert Samuelson, Richard Cohen...and Ruth Marcus.

(Hey, at least Ezra Klein -- and I know me some Liberals who hate him for some reason -- no idea why -- does actual work to preparing his pieces.)

One would think it would matter to the folks at the Washington Post that their own readers can smell this line of crap a mile off, but we don't matter of the folks at the Washington Post.  Ruth Marcus has proved...once again...that the Villagers are talking only to other Villagers.

Which could explain why most newspapers are in trouble.

We need Newspapers and Magazines and Media in general, advocating for their audience, and not entertaining their damn selves.

For example...if someone...say like the President...presents something that is backed in fact, and his opposition presents something that is cloaked in bull@#$%...we kinda need Media to call out the bull@#$%.

But they're not.

They used to.  But they're not.

I mean it happens...sometimes, but it sure as hell didn't happen today with Ruth Marcus.

Let me quote something a columnist said not too long ago:

Excuse me, but can these people not count to 60? Have they somehow failed to notice that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have not exactly been playing nice? That while the left laments Obama's minor deviations from party orthodoxy, the right has been portraying him, with some success, as an out-of-control socialist?

That was from August 10, 2010. My goodness who wrote such a prescient piece?

C'mon, this is easy. This was Ruth a piece backing Robert Gibbs when he called out the Professional Left.

So what happened?

Apparently, Ruth Marcus...still employed by the Washington Post...has lost the count.

Ruth Marcus got lazy.  She and the paper needed column inches to fill, and bull@#$% magically transpired.

When you say the President isn't showing leadership after showing in just a few short paragraphs that there's no one who's willing to be lead, we do wonder why the President is to blame, and not the Congress.  And if you can't make that elementary of a call, it calls into question your ability to observe things...or any thing, for that matter.

I mean, I don't meant to tell Ruth Marcus in particular how to do her job, but I figured someone ought to.

Friday, March 1, 2013

"These aren't the cuts you're looking for..." (VIDEO)

Here is the President's brief Press Conference on the Sequester:

That's right. He went with Jedi Mind Mend.

I was entertained no end. The rest of the Geek world was not, preferring instead to chastise my President for getting his franchises confused. (Yeah, like that's never happened to them.)

Leave it to the Geek Godather, Leonard freakin' Nimoy to put it all in perspective:

Yeah, baby, YEAH.

Also. It seems that the White House has chosen to OWN it (OWN IT, I say!!):

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Did President Obama drop a Prop. 8 hint on ABC 7 News in San Fran (VIDEO)

Via Greg Sargent (heck his whole piece comes from Greg Sargent):

In an interview with an ABC News affiliate in San Francisco, President Obama made his most extensive comments yet on the question of whether his administration will weigh in with a friend-of-the-court brief on the Proposition 8 case set to be heard by the Supreme Court. He said:

“The Solicitor General is still looking at this. I have to make sure that I’m not interjecting myself too much into this process, particularly when we’re not a party to the case. I can tell you, though, obviously, my personal view, which is that I think that same-sex couples should have the same rights and be treated like everybody else. And that’s something I feel very strongly about and my administration is acting on wherever we can.”
This is more encouraging than not. It shows that the administration is very actively considering taking this step. What’s more, Obama reiterated the view, spelled out in his Inaugural Address, that full equality before the law is the ultimate goal of his administration, stressed that he feels “very strongly” about it, and underscored that his administration is acting to bring this about “wherever we can.” Obviously, filing a brief in the Prop 8 case — one that forcefully articulates the view that Prop 8 is unconstitutional — falls into that category. It is something his administration can, in fact, do. And since the Court gives weight to the views of Solicitors General, doing it could help bring about a broad Supreme Court ruling that would put state laws banning gay marriage on the road to extinction — bringing us closer to the full equality that Obama himself articulated as a paramount moral goal.

At the same time, by saying that this is something his Solicitor General is examining, even as he noted the need to avoid interjecting himself into the case, Obama was also signaling that this process is unfolding as it’s supposed to: With the Solicitor General making this determination independently, on the merits. An optimistic reading of this is that it could give the Solicitor General the breathing room he needs to expound on the administration’s views of Prop 8 even if gay marriage opponents will inevitably cast such a move as political.

Chris Matthews wonders what happened to the Republican Party of the 1960s (VIDEO)

I keep saying it, saying it and saying it. The Republican Party's last in last hope to continue existing as a Party is to dump the John Birch Society retreads (aka, the Tea Party) and grasp onto their proud heritage from the Eisenhowers of the world. For the GOP to survive, the Eisenhower Wing has to lead.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Meanwhile, one of the Eisenhower Wing's potential leaders has dumped the party to become a Democrat...and more than likely, the Governor of Florida once again.

GOP, consider this your final warning...

Coming off John McCain's rather rambunctious Town Hall, we now have this:

Immigration reform’s chances in the House are looking bleaker after one of the top Republicans tasked with shepherding a bill to passage ruled out a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chair of the Judiciary Committee that will mark up any House legislation on the issue, told NPR this week that he will not support a bill that eventually grants citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in America.

“People have a pathway to citizenship right now: It’s to abide by the immigration laws, and if they have a family relationship, if they have a job skill that allows them to do that, they can obtain citizenship,” Goodlatte said. “But simply someone who broke the law, came here, [to] say, ‘I’ll give you citizenship now,’ that I don’t think is going to happen.”

Okay, for one thing...before you panic too much over this: don't. This doucebag Bob Goodlatte is not the only person in charge of Immigration reform. He's just in charge of it in the House. There is this thing called the Senate, which will have a pathway to Citizenship, and there will be a Conference Committee, so my guess is it gets stuck back in there somehow.

But in the end, it goes back to what I said before.

Republicans, this is your final warning.

This is your last which I mean, your last chance to survive as a party.

Believe it or not, as Democrats, the purely craven political calculation here (i.e., if we were thinking like you) is to have this bill fail, and have your fingerprints all over it.

That's the best case scenario for us. You kill Comprehensive Immigration Reform, and leave an entire emerging (and young) majority of Latinos in Democratic Hands for generations to come, and you Republicans become the 21 Century Version of the Whig Party.

And it's this close to happening.

Fortunately, we Democrats give a @#$% about we might ultimately save you from yourselves.

But it's time for Latinos to flex their muscles yet again. It's time for you to participate in the other, less fun side of electoral politics...the flooding of phone calls to various Congressional Offices.

I've heard it from the President, I've heard it from Latino Groups: a pathway to Citizenship is a must.

Well, time to let 'em know it's a dealbreaker...LOUDLY.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Something to keep an eye on...

TPM has more on the story, but if you're a Republican, you are sweating bullets right now.

Think about it.  If you are a GOP Pol, you know your future, in fact the entire future of the party comes down to how well you behave on Immigration reform.  With more and more Latinos coming of age, and more and more of your own base dying off, the trend appears that starting with the 2016 Presidential Election, the old Republican Party will not see power for a generation.

Yeah, that bad.

The solution is simple, come up with a massive Immigration Reform plan.  Behave well.  Show the Latino/Hispanic population of this country that you don't hate them.  And for a majority of the GOP Caucus in the House and Senate, that's absolutely true.  They don't hate Latinos/Hispanics.

Problem is, the base of the Party does.  They genuinely hate Latinos and Hispanics, and want to see the lot of them,  legal or no, bounced from the country.  Heck, they probably want to see speaking Spanish turned into some kind of felony.

This Town Hall was on a border state, which has been reliably Republican.  It has a massively unpopular (and massively unconstitutional) Immigration Bill that's unpopular everywhere...except among the people of that Town Hall.

The people of Arizona, moreso the Republicans of Arizona know that they're staring into the eyes of death (of their party).  They know that young Latinos will not rest until the white, racist, anti-Immigrant GOP is burned to the ground, and yet this is how they react??

I want to see how McCain reacts when he gets back to town, but in my mind, knowing how ultimately spineless McCain is, the odds of us getting comprehensive Immigration reform this year or any time before 2014 just took a hit.

Bad news for our friends and neighbors, but very good news if you're a Democrat.  The Republicans are going to destroy themselves and hand you power as they do it.

President Obama Speaks on the impact of the Sequester (VIDEO)

Friday, February 15, 2013

President Obama Participates in a Fireside Hangout on Google+ for Feb. 14, 2013 (VIDEO)

The President's Speech on Early Childhood Education for Feb. 14, 2013 (VIDEO)

Jon Stewart's complete interview with Susan Rice for Feb. 14, 2013 (VIDEO)

Don't think Jon did a particularly great job with the interview (nor did he do a sucky job either), as...and this has been the key to me in the whole Benghazi mess...Susan Rice was never in the chain of command in regards to decision-making when it came to Benghazi, for good or for ill.

She was invited on Television because if you can get the most visible Foreign Policy expert on your TeeVee Show (the Secretary of State), you get the second most visible Foreign Policy expert to be on your TeeVee show (that'd be the United Nations Ambassador).

So...why are we still asking her questions??

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

The President's Post-SOTU Speech for Feb. 13, 2013 (VIDEO)

Senator Elizabeth Warren's First Banking Committee Hearing (VIDEO)

Since you people seem to enjoy the sight of elected Senators actually know...their jobs:

Wouldn't it have been easier just to let her be the head of the Consumer Protection Bureau?

The complete 2013 State of the Union (Enhanced Version) (VIDEO)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) FINALLY gets in someone's face over Hagel Nomination... (VIDEO)

And the lucky winner is Mr. "I Likes to Wear Diapers", Mr. "DC Madam" Sen. David Vitter (R-LA):

Seriously, this guy gets to questions anybody's ethics...ever??

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The President's Complete speech from Minneapolis on Gun Control (VIDEO)

Much shorter speech than advertised. Only 14 minutes or so.

First the introduction:

And the speech itself:

This was really a low key speech. Even the audience seemed off. Though the mention of Todd Jones as ATF Chief seemed to get a rise out of them.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

@SenatorDurbin calls bull@#$% on Wayne LaPierre (VIDEO)

@ShuttleCDRKelly breaks the bad news about yet ANOTHER mass shooting in Phoenix, AZ (VIDEO)

Charles of the dimmer bulbs in the Senate (VIDEO)

...bullshitting his way through his job, yet again.

@ShuttleCDRKelly makes me proud to be an American (VIDEO)

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords makes me proud to be an American (VIDEO)

I have to say, that as proud as this made me...I would have preferred to live in a world, where Rep. Giffords was never injured, never had to prove her mettle in fighting though her recovery, and she was merely serving the people of Arizona, and that we never heard of Jared Lee Loughner.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

President Obama to sit down with Telemundo AND Univision on Wednesday!

Yep yep yep!

President Obama will be sitting down for a pair of interviews with Jose Diaz Balart of Telemundo and Maria Elena Salinas of Univision on the topic of immigration reform on Wednesday, per the White House. The interviews will air at 6:30 PM EST.

President Obama's Speech on Immigration Reform for Jan. 29, 2013 (VIDEO)

There's a lot to go through as far as analysis. You can start with Adam's Server's piece at Mother Jones, then the basics from Ezra Klein at the Washington Post, as well as Think Progress's over at their Tumblr site.

Monday, January 28, 2013

President Obama and Secretary Clinton: The Complete 60 Minutes Interview (VIDEO)

Part 1:

Part 2:

For all of you speculating what this means for us all a favor, don't.

Look, it's pretty simple if you think about it. The President and Secretary Clinton went through a bruising Primary process that...ironically left the party stronger as a result, going into the 2008 elections. Neither wants things to get quite that nasty again, so the President is going to great lengths to make sure his top Lieutenants, the one's who might run in 2016, get some time in the sun, complete with a very public pat on the back.

Look at Vice President Biden: he cut the Debt Ceiling Deal (though only temporary), he led the commission on guns, he even dropped the hint on the President's position on Marriage Equality (albeit a bit too early). He made sure the world saw him as the "Happy warrior" running back and forth during the Inaugural Parade.

Dude's running. He's totally running.

And all of that time in the spotlight came courtesy of President Obama.

Now, to balance out the ledger, President Obama has to make sure that his other top Lieutenant got a Grade A going away gift, aka a Prime Time lovefest on 60 Minutes. Not a lot of policy discussed there, but right now...if you really look at it, now both Biden and Clinton can both claim the mantle of the inheritor of Barack Obama's legacy, with Barack Obama's blessing. Let the 2016 contest begin...

...but let it begin closer to 2015, okay? We've still got @#$% to do.

Friday, January 25, 2013

This Sunday! 60 Minutes interview with both President Obama and Secretary Clinton!

All kinds of awesome:

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will appear together in their first joint interview this weekend.

The president and Clinton, who is expected to leave the State Department within days, will tape the interview Friday at the White House with "60 Minutes" anchor Steve Kroft. It will be the president's first dual interview with anyone other than first lady Michelle Obama.

Obama and Clinton forged a strong working relationship over the past four years — and former President Bill Clinton played a vital role in Obama's reelection campaign last fall. But Obama and Clinton were also bitter rivals during the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries.

The joint interview comes just after Clinton testified before House and Senate panels regarding the administration's response to the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Republicans have been highly critical of the White House's handling of the attack.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Good-for-nothing Sen. Ron Johnson's awful-terrible-no-good week... (VIDEO)

Wisconsin, you should be embarrassed.  Not at him, but yourselves for allowing this clown anywhere near a major legislature, State or Federal.

First, Hillary smacked him around:

And then John Kerry followed up today:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

President Obama's complete Inaugural Address - January 21st, 2013

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.

For more than two hundred years, we have.

Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.

Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.

Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.

Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.

Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.

But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.

This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.

For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship. We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.

We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other – through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.

We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully – not because we are na├»ve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice – not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.

My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction – and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.

They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope. You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.

You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time – not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.

Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.

Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

You just can't fix this level of stupid...

Okay, the Republicans are having their retreat today in Williamsburg, Virginia.  They're had a discussion on how to have successful communications with Minorities and Women today at 10:15am.

And...where did they have this discussion??

Gawker?  You tell 'em.  I just can't...

[W]hat better place to talk about making inroads with oppressed groups than in a room named after a famous Williamsburg plantation, located in the tony Kingsmill Resort, which itself is on the site of another plantation? The GOP has heard your complaints, blacks and Latinos and women, and they're going to try to suss it out while sitting atop dead slave bones.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Why are Gun Owners trying to do to me what they only THINK the Government is doing to them?

Listening to Randi Rhodes tell the story of her former Father-in-Law having the temerity, the presumption to bring a loaded firearm into her home really really got me thinking. How much of this Gun Debate is really about people with Guns soooo used to getting their way in all things?

I mean, look at the NRA. Its whole history has been built on the premise don’t mess with them...that and keeping guns out of the hands of certain people.

Yeah, a lot of this is tied into race. If young white people were dying at the same clip young black people were dying because of gun violence, the NRA would be the most toxic Lobby in America.

Well, unfortunately it happened to a bunch of young white children in Newton,and America finally had enough. Thing of it is, the African-American community has been facing their own Newtons every day for years now. It was just a nice reminder that Black Lives never count for as much as White ones.

Now that America has finally had enough, it looks like we’re going to get at least Universal Background checks, and maybe even a closing of the Gun Show Loophole. You do those two things, and all of the sudden an Assault Weapons Ban becomes a nice thing to have, but not necessary for the protection of the nation. (That being said, I’d still like to have see the Assault Weapons Ban passed).

What has the NRA’s reaction to this otherwise mild legislative rebuke? Well, they’re shaking their fist and trying to threaten and bully us. They’re saying an Assault Weapons Ban won’t pass. Conveniently leaving out the part where it may not be necessary. Then again, given their history of selectively quoting the Second Amendment, can we be surprised?

But there it is again. When in doubt, threaten. When in doubt, demand. No negotiation. No discussion, which is what you’d expect in a Democracy. For them, it’s always my way or the Highway.

I’m glad this two-bit Terrorist, James Yeager is so concerned about my rights that he’s willing to kill people for it.. If it were up to me, we would round up all the guns. But you know what? We can’t. Why? I’ve read the Constitution. Why hasn't James Yeager?  This supposedly a document he loves. This is supposedly the simplest of the amendments...he somehow keeps misquoting:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

By the way, the State of Tennessee, where he resides, has gone that inch further, and suspended his license to carry a firearm. Now what’s he going to do?

I shudder to ask, which brings me to the thing that has bothered me all this time.

What are my rights as a non-gun owner?

I feel that I have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness...and to not have those things taken away from me by a nut with a gun.  And I have the right to these things with or without a gun.

Gun advocates, apparently disagree.

It’s a question that Randi has posed a number of times on her show, but listening to Yeager, and every other gun nut out there, you hear a couple of common refrains. They need their guns to fight off the Government, to "preserve Liberty" as they call it.

Hmmm.  Let's think about it.  Why would they feel the need to fight the Government? Well, probably to prevent them doing stuff they don’t much like.

Like say, being forced to do something, whether they wanted to or not?

Like say...buying a gun??

Why are the Gun Nuts of the world definitely trying to do to me what they only imagine the Government doing to them???

I don’t want a gun. I don’t want a gun anywhere near me. I don’t want Guns anywhere near where I live. That’s a free market choice I’ve made for myself.

But in Gun Nut land, that's the only choice I have.  It's the only choice people like Alex Jones and James Yeager want me to have.

That is the only solutions to any gun problems really being offered by the NRA and their affiliated Gun Nuts. Well, they have their guns. They need to keep their guns, and if you really want to feel safe like we do, you need to buy a gun like we did.

And there you have it.

My fellow citizens trying to dictate to me how I should live. There are my fellow citizens daring to impose their values on me whether I want them or not. This is the very thing that Gun Nuts say they’re afraid of the Government doing, yet here they are doing it to me instead.

Seriously, what’s the difference between the Gun Nuts and their Fascist state of their dreams (or is it nightmares, I get ‘em confused)??

Get it through your head, I DON’T WANT A GUN!!! And you have no right to demand that I buy one.

Yet here you are, demanding just that.

You’re willing to fight for (and apparently kill) to preserve your freedom. Mine you could give a @#$% about.

You don’t care about the Government. You don’t care about the Constitution. You sure as hell don’t care about your fellow citizens. All you do care about is holding on to the illusion of safety you get from having a gun, and damn everyone who gets in your way.

Only now you want me to get your Cancer. In fact, you insist on it. Your paranoia is more important than my safety, our liberty, or our collective sense of peace.

Well, guess what??  You’re going to lose this time, because you and your Lobby have finally gone too far.

You know what’s the worse part of this? Everything you’ve suggested, everything you say you want is the perfect solution for the true constituency of the NRA, the gun manufacturers.

No matter what the problem, what the cause, the solution for the NRA is always the production, distribution and sale of more guns. How else do we view their “idea” about Armed Guards in public schools? Never mind that an armed guard didn’t stop shootings in Colorado.

This is a cheap con, perpetrated by people who stand to make a lot of money off the sale of a lot of guns, and their willing sheep willing to be bought and sold by their fear, and willing to push us around in the process.

I’m glad America has finally decided to take on the NRA. It’s overdue.