Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Stupidity Clarified

John Stuart Mill, in answer to an attack upon him for calling Conservatives "the stupid party" said: "I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservatives."

Still holds true even today.

-comment on Huffington Post by Erdgeist February 24, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

Sean Penn Wins Best Actor Oscar for "Milk"

As he took the stage to accept his prize for playing slain gay-rights pioneer Harvey Milk, Sean Penn gleefully told the crowd: “You commie, homo-loving sons of guns.”

He followed with condemnation of anti-gay protesters who demonstrated near the Oscar site and comments about California’s recent vote to ban gay marriage.

“For those who saw the signs of hatred as our cars drove in tonight, I think it’s a good time for those who voted for the ban against gay marriage to sit and reflect on their great shame and their shame in their grandchildren’s eyes if they continue that support,” Penn said. “We’ve got to have equal rights for everyone.”

-excerpt from the AP.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The GOP Out to Relive History

Frank Rich, The New York Times, February 14, 2009

. . . Just as in the presidential campaign, Obama has once again outwitted the punditocracy and the opposition. The same crowd that said he was a wimpy hope-monger who could never beat Hillary or get white votes was played for fools again. . . .

The G.O.P. doesn’t recognize that it emerged from the stimulus battle even worse off than when it started. That obliviousness gives the president the opening to win more ambitious policy victories than last week’s. Having checked the box on attempted bipartisanship, Obama can now move in for the kill. . . .

As Judd Gregg flakes out and Lindsey Graham throws made-for-YouTube hissy fits on the Senate floor, Obama should stay focused on the big picture in governing as he did in campaigning. That’s the steady course he upheld when much of the political establishment was either second-guessing or ridiculing it, and there’s no reason to change it now. The stimulus victory showed that even as president Obama can ambush Washington’s conventional wisdom as if he were still an insurgent.

But, as he said in Fort Myers last week, he will ultimately be judged by his results. If the economy isn’t turned around, he told the crowd, then "you’ll have a new president." The stimulus bill is only a first step on that arduous path. The biggest mistake he can make now is to be too timid. This country wants a New Deal, including on energy and health care, not a New Deal lite. Far from depleting Obama’s clout, the stimulus battle instead reaffirmed that he has the political capital to pursue the agenda of change he campaigned on.

Republicans will also be judged by the voters. If they want to obstruct and filibuster while the economy is in free fall, the president should call their bluff and let them go at it. In the first four years after F.D.R. took over from Hoover, the already decimated ranks of Republicans in Congress fell from 36 to 16 in the Senate and from 117 to 88 in the House. The G.O.P. is so insistent that the New Deal was a mirage it may well have convinced itself that its own sorry record back then didn’t happen either.

Copyright The New York Times 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another Reason to Allow Gay or Single-Parenting!

Cops: Teen kept in bathroom, beaten for years
Boy has broken forearm and oozing wounds that may mark years of abuse

Again, why not all straight couples should be allowed to raise children! But at least the boy has a mother and a father to raise him, not a single person or a homosexual or homosexual couple. What this boy endured is as God intended and wants, right??? Read on:

As reported on MSNBC:

SPRING HILL, Florida - For three years, neighbors in a quaint, middle-class community scarcely saw the lanky 16-year-old boy who lived with his adoptive mother and her boyfriend.

Now, they know why: According to authorities, the teen was brutally abused and held captive in his own home. Most recently, he'd been confined to a bathroom, locked from the outside and sealed with a piece of plywood over the window.

By the time he escaped last week, the Florida boy had a broken forearm and scars, scabs and oozing wounds that investigators say mark years of abuse.

Hernando County Sheriff Richard Nugent called it "barbaric."

"This is almost like what John McCain went through in Vietnam when he was a prisoner of war," Nugent said.

Tai-Ling Gigliotti and her boyfriend, Anton Angelo, were arrested and charged with aggravated child abuse and false imprisonment last week.

Gigliotti, 50, was released on a $15,000 bond. Her attorney did not reply to messages seeking comment, and no one answered when a reporter visited her home. Angelo, 45, was released on a $50,000 bond. Available public records don't show if he has an attorney. He refused comment when approached by reporters after his arrest Thursday.

Authorities are still piecing together the boy's history, but they believe Gigliotti is the boy's aunt, and that she brought him from Taiwan to the United States when he was a young child.

The teen, whose name was not released because he is an alleged victim of child abuse, told investigators his stepfather was Anthony Gigliotti, who was the Philadelphia Orchestra's principal clarinetist. The stepfather died at age 79 in 2001, before the abuse apparently began.

The teen appears to have lived a mostly normal life early on. Tai-Ling Gigliotti had met her late husband when she took clarinet lessons from him, said Charles Salinger, another former student who's now a clarinetist with the Pennsylvania Ballet orchestra.

The pair married about 1990, and Anthony Gigliotti treated the boy like his own son. The two would go fishing and crabbing together, and the stepfather taught the youngster about music, said Lynne Gigliotti, the man's daughter from a previous marriage.

"My father was crazy about him," Lynne Gigliotti said.

Abuse began three years ago
According to an arrest affidavit, the abuse began at least three years ago, when the boy was forced to sleep in a hallway as punishment. Then in November 2007 daily confinement in a bathroom began.

Nugent said the boy seemed to believe the abuse was his fault for minor problems like a messy room. He was also told he'd be deported if he escaped, Nugent said.

Over the three years, the teen sometimes managed to leave the house briefly when the adults were away, Nugent said. He'd get food or listen to classical music in one of their cars.

Last week, the abuse reached a new height, police said. According to an arrest affidavit, Gigliotti and Angelo discovered the boy had found a way to pry open a barricaded window and free himself with a piece of his clarinet.

The teen was forced to strip, and Gigliotti beat him with a piece of wood about three feet long, police said.

The authorities' account continues as follows: When the teen couldn't stand the pain, he grabbed the wood and held it. Gigliotti beckoned her boyfriend, who came in and took the wood away. She then beat him with the metal and plastic ends of a water hose.

After that, his hands were bound with packing tape. He was left nude and with cuts all around his body. The bathroom's electricity was cut, leaving him in darkness.

"The pain had to be horrific," Nugent said. "I think at that point he just became absolutely fearful for his life."

When the couple left the next day, the boy, who weighs 111 pounds, managed to break the door frame and pull the door open, Nugent said.

He put on some of Angelo's clothes and ran to a neighbor for help.

Authorities took him to a hospital, where the full extent of his injuries were uncovered: His arm had been broken for at least three days and he had bumps, scratches, and oozing wounds. Repeated beatings had left scabs and scars.

The state has placed the boy with a foster family.

"This is just — for the length of time this kid went through this — barbaric," Nugent said.

'Cause You Gotta Laugh

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

History Repeating

History has proven in the last 3 most severe recessions that tax cuts only worsen the situation, providing an even greater distance between the wealthy and the poor, and diminishing the middle class in the process. Republicans unanimously voted against Obama's stimulus package because they want no spending on energy or infrastructure or assistance to those at the lower rungs of the economic ladder. They want a bill comprised entirely of tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.

Republicans don't know their history.

Really, Republicans don't know shit.

Cartoon by Bob Englehart, Hartford Courant.

Laugh Out Loud!