Update: Fundie Judge Throws Popular Baby Name Out With The Bathwater

Last month I posted about a Tennessee judge who ruled that a baby named Messiah must be renamed Martin, based upon the judge’s belief that only Jesus Christ deserved the title Messiah.  The parents appealed and have recently been given very good news from a higher power than judge Lu Ann Ballew.  By higher power I mean the court of appeals. 

Judge Telford E. Forgety tossed Ballew’s verdict, ruling that she violated the U.S. Constitutions Establishment Clause, and should have only ruled upon the issue before her, which was Messiah’s last name. 

The child’s legal name is now Messiah Deshawn McCullough as agreed upon by both parents.

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We Don’t Have the Right to Bear Bombs, So Why Allow Mentally Ill People to Bear Assault Weapons?

Yesterday Aaron Alexis, a crazed gunman killed 12 people and injured another 8 in a mass shooting at a “secure” military facility in our nation’s capital.

Navy Yard Shooter Alleged Suspect Aaron Alexis call of duty ship

On December 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary a crazed gunman killed 20 children and 6 adults. On July 20, 2012 a different crazed gunman killed 12 people and injured another 70! On January 8, 2011 a different crazed gunman in Arizona shot 19 people and 6 died including a nine year old child. Each of these “crazed gunmen” were mentally unstable people who were in possession of assault weapons.
Contrast these acts of violence to the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombing where only 3 people were killed and 264 were injured. 56 People have been killed by crazed gunmen in the last 2 ½ years, but only 3 people were killed by terrorists in the United States during the same period. In fact, just since the Sandy Hook shooting, in 8 months, roughly 24, 580 people have been killed in the United States by guns. Of those thousands of people killed, not one was killed with an assault weapon by someone acting in self defense.

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Thus, it is predictable that logical, reasonable, people would be in favor of stricter gun control laws. In fact a MAJORITY of Americans favor stricter gun control laws. Sixty percent of Americans, 83% Democrats, and 43% of Republicans support more restrictive gun laws. Only 12% of Americans oppose background checks, and 59% of Americans favor banning assault weapons. However the bill to impose stricter background checks wasdefeated. It’s hard to imagine the absurdity of protecting the rights of the mentally ill to possess assault weapons. It’s even harder to imagine that nine states have actually loosened their gun control laws, since the Sandy Hook massacre.

We are plagued by people like Sarah Palin glorifying gun violence by repeatedly being seen shooting guns, volunteering to speak at the NRA convention, and advertising her mantra of “don’t retreat, reload.”

palin gun shop

palin gun

Rick Perry has also provided key note addresses to the NRA and asserted that his idea of “gun control” is “hittin what yur aimin at.”

Perry has identified the NRA at the “most important group out there.”

rick perry gun

The truth is that our elected officials seem to think the same thing. Of the 435 members of Congress, 261 received campaign donations in 2012 from the NRA. 90% of the money donated by the NRA went to Republicans. 80% of those receiving money from the NRA won their races. Thus regardless of the attitude of constituents regarding gun control, members of Congress appear to be accountable only to the NRA, rather than the voters. Maybe that is why 78% of Americans indicate that they disapprove of the job Congress is doing. That is the highest percentage since information started to be collected in 1974.

As we try to piece together the background of Aaron Alexis, the press has had a field day reporting on the many indications of his mental illness and his history of gun violence.
1. He was paranoid and suffered from a sleep disorder. He heard voices speaking to him. He had been treated by the VA for his mental problems.

2. Alexis had a history of being arrested for discharging a firearm within a municipality.

It appears that the arrest for discharging his firearm was a shooting of the ceiling in the house in which he lived.

3. He was also arrested for shooting out the tires of a parked car. The really frightening thing about that incident was that Mr. Alexis told the police that hedidn’t remember firing his weapon until about an hour later.

4. It seems to be uncontroverted that Mr. Alexis carried a pistol with him at all times even though he had “anger management” issues.

5. Mr. Alexis was known to play violent “zombie” video games for hours, day and night. However it appears “Call of Duty” was his favorite game as he was known to pay it for up to 16 hours at a time.

call of duty one

Maybe we can’t stop all gun violence, but surely there can be no argument about the 2nd Amendment restricting our right to bear assault weapons. We don’t let citizens own bazookas, live grenades, or bombs. The Boston bombs killed far fewer people than assault weapons. Just as bombs are not used to protect people asserting the right to self defense, neither are assault weapons. We restrict the right to bear bombs. Assault weapons have killed many more people than bombs.

call of duty two

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BREAKING: Washington Navy Yard Shooting

 

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God Punishes Florida with Herpes-Infected Monkeys

How many times have we heard the religious right claim that God was responsible for disasters in blue states because of gay marriage, abortion, etc?

rhesusThe big man must have been punishing Florida for the shenanigans of Republican Governor Rick Scott when he created a colony of over a thousand Rhesus monkeys infected with the Herpes B virus in Silver River State Park. The park has been declared a public health hazard, as the virus can cause serious illnesses and death in humans.

Incidentally, Rhesus monkeys are actually “Rhesus macaque” monkeys. You may recall Virginia’s Republican candidate for Senate George Allen and his “macaque” sound-bite that many believe lost him the election in 2006. Referring to a dark-skinned man filming him, Allen told a crowd:

This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, macaca, or whatever his name is. He’s with my opponent. He’s following us around everywhere. And it’s just great. Let’s give a welcome to macaca, here. Welcome to America and the real world of Virginia.

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The Week’s Jobs at Jobs4Dems.com

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Rolling back Civil Rights in the Senate

Sen. Ted Cruz - R, TX

Sen. Ted Cruz – (R) TX

He’s been trumpeted as a smart, conservative superstar, a shrewd Ivy League graduate, or is he a rabid infected dog? I side with rabid dog. Compared to the irrational ranting Louie Gohmert, factually challenged Michelle Bachman or ignorant, lying, lipstick wearing pig from Alaska, he is a definitive genius.

Sen. Jesse Helms - R. N.C
Sen. Jesse Helms – (R) N.C

Nevertheless, Ted Cruz, (R) Texas Senator, hailed the legacy of the late Jesse Helms - (R), the longest serving senator from North Carolina, by stating, “We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.”

Now, we recognize Cruz, the Canadian Senator representing TX, may not understand or have studied US history or as the birhters say, ‘doesn’t know how or what it means to be American’, but he completely subverts his own familial identity for political ambition with this statement. I think the delusional representative from the long horn state desperately needs a remedial civics’ refresher on the racial animus that continues to stymie the greatness of this country and recognize his ethnic identity would place him on the wrong side of the rope held by the “Hooded Order.” He should acquaint himself with the poignant tragic poem ‘Strange Fruit‘; I can only hope his erudite intellect could grasp its soulful meaning….nah, he doesn’t have a conscience.

I can only speculate; Helms an avowed racists and segregationist, is burning in his grave to perceive his legacy is lionized by someone named Cruz. Ironically, Helms, who vociferously despised inter-racial marriage, would have perceived Cruz’s very existence as an abomination. If Helms were alive, he’d consider the Senator’s presence in his governmental body an affront resulting from the Civil Rights Movement, ostensibly blame the legacy of Affirmative Action and consider an audience with Cruz as demeaning and an attempt of his being ‘uppity.”

As a Harvard law graduate, he didn’t have the sense to settle his dual citizenship prior to running for office, Cruz professes support for a dead bigot who would hate him on sight and prefers to boot lick the racist right wing, GOP base, to satisfy his ego and secure support to ascend to the mantle of US President.

As citizens, what can we take away from Cruz’s vapid judgment and offensive coupling of his brand to one of the most hateful, bigots of the last century, except he would gut ALL the civil rights progress and return our America to a new Jim Crow.

Posted in Birthers, Politics, Ted Cruz | Tagged , , ,
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Indiana Congressional Candidates

090529_visclosky_ap_297Pete Visclosky is the Representative from Indiana’s 1st District, and is serving his 15th term in the seat. He has never won a primary without getting at least 71% of the vote from his district. He sits on the Congressional Committee for Appropriations, as well as a few subcommittees such as Defense, Financial Services, and Energy and Water Development. He is strongly pro-union, a big supporter of Green Energy, and anti-free trade. He endorses American made products over non-American made products, and supports the Steel Industry as well.

carson_andreAndré Carson  is the Representative from Indiana’s 7th District, and is serving his 3rd term in the seat after winning a special election in 2008. He is a Member of the House Committee of Financial Services, the Armed Services Committee, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. Prior to being a House Rep, he was a law enforcement officer for 9 years, marketing specialist, and served as a Democratic Party Committee-person. He is a big supporter of programs that enhance education and training, wants to break our dependence on foreign oil, wants to make housing more affordable, and is an AIDS/HIV activist.

Research by Jacob Immel.

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Could Someone Please Revoke the Three Stooges’ Passports?

The last thing this country needs is the three biggest idiots in the Republican House (and that’s saying a lot) attempting to speak for the American people on the world stage; but that’s exactly what they did in Egypt this past weekend. The result is embarrassing to watch; one might even say cringe-worthy. It will be hard for any sane person to watch the entire video; in fact I advise against it, as your first inclination will be to gouge your eyes out with an ice pick:

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As the New York Times points out:

Mrs. Bachmann wrongly implied a link between the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group whose political party dominated elections after the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and now leads the opposition to the takeover.

Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas, appearing with herstupid burns and Representative Steve King of Iowa, compared the leader of the military takeover, Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, to George Washington. Mr. Gohmert overlooked the new government’s mass shootings of hundreds of mostly unarmed protesters, its sweeping roundup of thousands of political opponents and its suspension of all legal protection against arbitrary arrest or other police abuse; instead, he commended General Sisi and the appointed civilian leaders for creating a government where the rule of law was “king.”

Perhaps Samer Shehata, a political scientist at the University of Oklahoma who studies Egypt and the Brotherhood put it best in his statement to the Times:

“We have a confluence of interests among the coup leaders in Egypt and Islamophobes in the Congress.”

He called the lawmakers’ statements “utterly absurd” and compared the conference to “a ‘Saturday Night Live’ skit — unbelievable, ludicrous, almost comic if it wasn’t so painful.”

Painful doesn’t begin to describe it.

 

Posted in Congress, Conservatives, Foreign Policy, Government, Michele Bachmann, National Security, Politics, Religious Right, Republicans, September 11, Tea Party | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,
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Jobs4Dems – The New, Free Jobs Board for Democrats

Jobs4Dems, jobs4demsfba free service by All Things Democrat, is now open and ready for employers to post jobs for Democrats. If you have campaign positions to fill for the 2014 election cycle, feel free to post them anytime.

The site is one of the few jobs boards that accepts only jobs of interest to Democrats. Being the most diverse political party, that includes a wide variety of jobs:

  • Campaigns
  • Offices of elected, appointed, or employed Democrats
  • The official Democratic Party at the local, state and national levels
  • Affiliate organizations of the Democratic Party
  • Blogs, newspapers, magazines
  • Lefty organizations and activists, including
    • Women’s reproductive rights, equal pay, and other women’s issues
    • Minority rights
    • Civil rights, human rights, legal and justice issues
    • Animal rights
    • Environmental issues
    • National security, foreign affairs
    • Think tanks

jobs4demsiconlargeThe site is very easy to use. No user accounts are needed to post or apply to a job. Only a valid email address is required to post.

The site has numerous ways for both employers and job seekers to share and follow jobs through social media, recommending a job to a friend by email, subscribing to a daily newsletter of the latest jobs, and following jobs through the site’s RSS feed(s) and a dedicated Twitter feed.

There’s also a jobs widget that can be added to any site with the option to show only the job listings for your organization. This widget displays the links to your job ads at Jobs4Dems where job seekers can apply.

Jobs4Dems and it’s job listings will also be promoted in All Things Democrat.

Job seekers will complete a brief online application and attach their resume, which is sent directly to the contact person for that job.

The site will always be free for all users – employers or job seekers.

We’ll be sending email invitations to official party organizations and Dem-friendly organizations but if you’re a Dem-friendly employer, you can start posting your job openings today.

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Bullet to the Head With That Cup of Coffee?

I have only one question for this guy: WHAT IS YOUR F***ING POINT?

starbucks gunsYou own a gun? Big deal.

You’re a moron? That’s obvious.

You have a teensy little package? That’s your wife’s business, not ours.

Seriously, folks – this is asinine by any measure. The pictured knuckle dragger is in a Starbucks, the company currently taking some “heat” from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. The group’s founder, Shannon Watts, and head of the organization’s Seattle chapter, Kate Beck, recently wrote in a CNN opinion piece:

“…Starbucks lauds itself as a company committed to operating responsibly and ethically, and many of its policies reflect a strong corporate conscience. But when it comes to responsible gun policy, Starbucks has lost its moral compass.

Starbucks refuses to ban loaded guns from its coffee shops in the 43 states that allow people to openly carry loaded weapons.

As mothers, we wonder why the company is willing to put children and families in so much danger. Nobody needs to be armed to get a cup of coffee. And that’s why thousands of moms across the nation are asking Starbucks to put the safety of its customers first.

We’ve started a petition asking Starbucks to ban guns from its stores. In response, Starbucks has referred concerned moms to a statement on its website, a statement last updated in March 2010, about 90,000 American gun deaths ago.”

This is the statement on Starbucks’ website:

Mar 03, 2010
Starbucks Position on Open Carry Gun Laws (updated March 16, 2010)

We recognize that there is significant and genuine passion surrounding the issue of open carry weapons laws. Advocacy groups from both sides of this issue have chosen to use Starbucks as a way to draw attention to their positions.

23088621_BG1While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged.  We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve.  That means we abide by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states.  Where these laws don’t exist, openly carrying weapons in our stores is prohibited.  The political, policy and legal debates around these issues belong in the legislatures and courts, not in our stores.

At the same time, we have a security protocol for any threatening situation that might occur in our stores. Partners are trained to call law enforcement as situations arise. We will continuously review our procedures to ensure the highest safety guidelines are in place and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement.

We have examined this issue through the lens of partner (employee) and customer safety. Were we to adopt a policy different from local laws allowing open carry, we would be forced to require our partners to ask law abiding customers to leave our stores, putting our partners in an unfair and potentially unsafe position.

As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue.  As a company, we are extremely sensitive to the issue of gun violence in our society. Our Starbucks family knows all too well the dangers that exist when guns are used irresponsibly and illegally. Without minimizing this unfortunate reality, we believe that supporting local laws is the right way for us to ensure a safe environment for both partners and customers.

Starbucks Corporation
Stacey Krum, 206-318-7100
press@starbucks.com

Let’s address a few of  the company’s points:

“While we deeply respect the views of all our customers, Starbucks long-standing approach to this issue remains unchanged.  We comply with local laws and statutes in all the communities we serve.  That means we abide by the laws that permit open carry in 43 U.S. states.”

Unless it’s where their own safety is concerned, as Huff Post Business reported in 2010:

“There won’t be any guns carried by the shareholders attending today’s annual meeting of the Starbucks Coffee Company… It’s not allowed. Guns aren’t allowed in the company’s corporate headquarters, either. And employees in its more than 8,000 company-owned stores aren’t allowed to bring guns to work.”

Isn’t that funny… Starbucks’ headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington; one of those “open carry states” where the company claims it simply follows the law.

“…we have a security protocol for any threatening situation that might occur in our stores. Partners are trained to call law enforcement as situations arise.”

Newsflash: If that guy’s there to kill people, your poor “partners” will never finish dialing 911.

“As the public debate continues, we are asking all interested parties to refrain from putting Starbucks or our partners into the middle of this divisive issue.”

Seeing as how Starbucks has put their customers literally in the crosshairs of this “debate”, and their policy most likely won’t change until one of their gun toting latte drinkers kills some customers, or employees, or both, I second Mario Piperni’s statement:

“I refuse to walk into a Starbucks until they change their current policy of allowing guns into their shops.”

This gun nonsense is out of control thanks to Republican legislatures who tremble at the mere mention of the NRA. It’s time we stop letting these spineless inmates run the asylum.

Whether it be town, city, county, state, or federal elections – we must vote Teapublitarians out, and common sense back into government in 2014.

Posted in Boycotts, Conservatives, Corporations, Government, Governors, Gun Control, NRA, Politics, Republicans, State Legislation, Tea Party | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
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The Washington Football Team VS. The Philadelphia Eagles.

Mark this day on the calendar folks because we have momentous news regarding the world of sports and All Things Democrat.  The fact that a writer at ATD is actually posting something about the world of sports is notable of itself…

 As of September 9, 2013 I will no longer refer to the professional football team that represents Washington D.C. by their official moniker, as that name is insulting to Native Americans.   Going forward they will be called The Washington Football Team (or WFT).

 The reason this is such huge news is that, in effect, this means ATD will never again refer to the nick name currently used by the Washington Football Team, since for nigh on the last 2 years I am the only one that posted about sports, even if very sporadically.  On the remote chance that one of our team members wants to write an article mentioning the WFT, I would strongly encourage them to not use the offensive nickname.

 Prior to this evening I’ve never had occasion to post about the WFT.  The only reason I’m posting about them this evening is to make the announcement that ATD will no longer refer to them by their offensive name.  What this means is that All Things Democrat is one of the few entities to make a big deal out of a change of policy prior to ever having referred to the name that is being retired.  Thus, I am proud to report that our record on this particular issue is completely spotless.

 There is another rooting interest I have in the game tonight.  I live in Eugene Oregon, home of the mighty Oregon Ducks.  The Philadelphia Eagles are playing the WFT on Monday Night Football.  Why would some liberal Oregon Duck fan on the west coast give a fig about a contest betwixt the Eagles and the WFT, especially when said liberal is a loudmouthed Seattle Seahawk fan?

 The Eagles poached the Ducks head coach, Chip Kelly, after he led the Oregon Ducks to  4 consecutive BCS Bowls, winning the Rose and Fiesta Bowls in his last two years.  Actually Kelly turned the Eagles down right after the Fiesta bowl win, but then they materialized an oil freighter full of cash onto his front yard and threatened to flood the neighborhood in dollar bills unless Kelly signed and deposited the money.  In order to avoid the needless effusion of blood which would have attended the crushing weight of all those dollar bills released upon his friends and neighbors, Kelly reluctantly agreed to leave Eugene to coach the Eagles.  Or something like that. 

 Which means that I have two reasons to root for the Philadelphia Eagles in tonight’s game against the WFT.  Kelly made his chops as the coach of the Oregon Ducks, and the team they are playing insists upon using a name that is offensive to Native Americans.

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A Confession

I have a confession to make.  I have a hard time talking to Republicans.  They dazzle me with their complete lack of a coherent argument or they twist real words into meaning something else or their staggering ability to just make shit up.  Facts are no obstacle to these people, it seems.

The good news is that I have discovered two things that will help me next time I enter the minefield that is talking politics with Republicans – The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speaking Republican by Elizabeth Parker and The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm by James Napoli.

The-Complete-Idiots-Guide-To-Speaking-RepublicanThe Complete Idiot’s Guide introduces you to the “lingo” that Republicans use – so I will no longer be confused by any twisted word meanings.  Here are a few examples of some helpful ones:

Communism: A catch-all term for anything that promotes tolerance, fairness, transparency, or social justice. Has no relation to the actual theory and practice of communism.

 
Elitist: Reads above an 8th grade level.

Entitlements: Stuff you aren’t entitled to, even though you pay for them with your taxes or financial contributions: Like earned benefits, food, housing, education, healthcare, and other ridiculous luxuries taken for granted in all the other modernized and wealthy — and some not-so-wealthy — nations (see Pensions).

 
Fiscal Cliff: A non-existent precipice over which we’ll tumble if we don’t enact tax cuts for the wealthy and draconian austerity measures for the rest of us.

Hawaii: A foreign country located in Kenya, Africa.

 
Un-American: Urban, non-white, multicultural, progressive, non-Christian, gay-friendly, educated, and/or tolerant.

 
Voter Fraud: Voting for Democrats.

And War on Christmas: Publicly acknowledging the existence of other (non-Christian) winter holidays besides Christmas.

And there are many, many more enlightening terms that help you grasp what Republicans are actually saying.  I highly recommend printing it out and using it to translate a Fox News broadcast as a Democrats version of closed captioning.  *Note: you might want to wear a helmet if you try this, as the rate in which your brain cells will self-destruct while under the influence of Fox News could be catastrophic.

Now hop on over to Amazon.com, your favorite bookseller or the National Sarcasm Society website for a dose of sarcasm that can really help you get a leg up in conversations with Republicans.  I should take the time to make another note here.  There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the cover – it is in small print, so some people may not see it.  It reads: “*Not Approved for Use by Stupid People”.  So if you pick up a copy, be sure not to leave it laying around.

7946993A few of the gems from this tome include:

Accent: A way of speaking that reflects the region of the world in which you grew up.  Depending on where that is and where you are when you use it, it could either get you beat up or laid.

Bankrupt: A state of financial destitution.  Also a morally bankrupt person, which, ironically, usually describes someone who never actually experiences being literally bankrupt, because being a greedy, egotistical a-hole usually keeps you well out of the red.

City Official: Someone who routinely puts the needs of his or her constituency after his or her own self-serving desires.  No, that was not a typo.

President: A person appointed by the American people to screw up the country for a period of four years.  Or, if the screwing is really going well, eight years.

Tech Support: People in a foreign country who are getting paid almost nothing to be friendlier and more helpful than people in your own country could ever hope to be.

Thanksgiving: A complete implosion of the family unit, with turkey.

And the Washington Monument: Described in the guidebooks as the world’s tallest obelisk, when it is perfectly clear to anyone that it is a phallic symbol straight out of a Freudian fever dream.  Trying to live up to this impossible male ideal is part of what gets the United States into so much trouble.

I hope this post will come in handy for other Dems who have difficulty holding their own with Republicans.  I know I now have more confidence.  Thanks Elizabeth Parker and James Napoli!

 

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