MN Against Bush's Journal
Today marks the day that we could legally begin collecting signatures to recall Scott Walker in Wisconsin and today someone filed with the state to begin that recall effort, but it was not the Democratic Party of Wisconsin who started this petition it was a Scott Walker donor. The Democratic Party does intend on starting a serious effort to recall Scott Walker, but their petition drive does not begin until November 15th.
Scott Walker benefits from this petition being filed early because once a recall petition has been started he can begin legally collecting money to counter that recall effort despite the fact that first recall petition is not a serious effort to recall him like the effort that begins on November 15th will be. Having an extra eleven days to collect money will benefit Walker, but that is actually not my biggest concern with this development.
My biggest concern is that this gives Republicans the opportunity to circulate fake petitions to recall Scott Walker that they have no intention of ever turning in. This is a recall effort that is designed to fail, but by getting people to sign these petitions they could potentially trick many people into believing they have already signed the petition to recall Walker when in fact their signature is on the wrong petition and will eventually be thrown out. This could create mass confusion that will make signature gathering efforts for the real recall petition far more difficult. We need to keep a close eye on this petition and we need to make sure people are educated about the two competing petitions to ensure they are signing the correct one.
We can not allow Republican dirty tricks to get in the way of this recall effort, if you are Wisconsin gathering signatures make sure you are getting the petitions from the Democratic Party, one of the major unions, or another credible progressive organization. As of right now I do not know the exact differences between the petitions aside from who is circulating them, but that is something that will need to be communicated very clearly once the real recall effort begins. Right now however there is no legitimate recall petition in the field, if you are asked to sign a petition before November 15th it is not the real petition and make sure you let the person circulating it know you are aware that it is not the real petition. We will not allow their dirty tricks to stop us.
I have been quite critical of the Tea Party in the past, but I must give credit where credit is due and tonight the Tea Party deserves our thanks. I never thought I would say it but the Tea Party has changed America for the better, they have awoken the working class and put us on a path to a better future.
Over the past several months we have seen a movement that was awoken by the Tea Party become a force that will likely change America forever, Occupy Wall Street was brought to life by the Tea Party and they deserve credit for helping to create an America in which the rich not only have to pay their fair share but they also will have to respect the rights of labor unions to organize their work places.
The Tea Party may not have intended for this to happen, but they are directly responsible for the rise of a new labor movement. While the labor movement has been around since long before any of us were even born I think most people would agree that unions had been considerably weakened over the past few decades, outsourcing and anti-union legislation had taken a considerable toll on organized labor which destroyed many unions and left others on life support.
The Tea Party intended to come along and destroy unions once and for all, but instead of destroying them they created a new labor movement that was born in Wisconsin but soon spread across the nation. The citizen uprising in Wisconsin happened because the Tea Party Governor decided to show how much contempt he had for the working people of America. If the Tea Party had not pushed such extremism those hundreds of thousands of people who paid visit to the Capitol in Madison would not have been there.
I was lucky enough to get to travel to Madison six times to protest the Tea Party agenda and I will never forget the energy that was in the streets to combat Tea Party extremism. The first time I was there the Teabaggers tried to hold a counter demonstration, but when there were only about a thousand of them against tens of thousands of labor supporters they felt so outnumbered that they did not even try to counter us the next few weeks.
Once the people in Wisconsin started to fight back the movement quickly spread to states like Ohio and Indiana. It was around this time that the numbers of people attending Tea Party rallies dropped very rapidly. When the Tea Party first began they were able to get thousands at rallies all across America, the last few rallies they put on were barely attended and now they are not even bothering to try to rally anyone. The Tea Party started out as an astro-turf label, but now it is hard to even call them astro-turf. The tea party used to hold huge rallies but now they can't get anyone to attend them so they are now known almost exclusively for the members of Congress they back. The group that prided itself on undermining public employees is now talked about almost entirely in the context of the public employees it sends to Congress.
The Tea Party has nearly completely become an inside the beltway organization, and their agenda has angered the American people so badly that people are finally starting to rise up and demand the change that should have been demanded ages ago.
The movement that the Tea Party started in Wisconsin has now inspired not just Occupy Wall Street, but also Occupy Boston, Occupy Seattle, Occupy Minnesota, name any large city in the US and it probably has a solidarity event either in progress or being planned. These are not just rallies, these are round the clock events that require commitment far beyond anything the Tea Party was ever able to get their people to give.
Thank you Tea Party, thank you for awakening our nation to the danger posed by the corporate agenda. It is because of you that I am feeling hope for a nation which once again values the well being of its people over the greed of its corporate interests. If it were not for your extremism we would not have thousands of people sleeping out on Wall Street and across the nation tonight. If it were not for your overreach the American people noticed the slow chipping away of our rights, but when you decided that chipping away was not enough and you decided to bring out the sledgehammer people woke up and are now demanding change. The Tea Party has awoken a sleeping giant, and we are now at a defining moment in American history. America is about to move to the left and it was the Tea Party that showed many people why we need to move to the left, I give them my deepest gratitude.
Do you honestly believe that anyone who gets money from a particular source is automatically an employ of the person who paid them?
Meanwhile, Johnny Bonta was knocked unconscious with a bat, his nose and sinus cavities broken and bleeding, with stab wounds on his neck.
At this point someone must have called the police because they could hear sirens approaching. There was only one problem:
Lisa said Jacob Cassell taunted the family as the sirens approached, telling them, “You hear those cops coming? They’re not going to help you. My daddy is a cop in this town, and nothing is going to happen to me. You fucking niggers are going to jail.”
When cops arrived they refused to take statements from the victims, only interviewing the three white assailants. An ambulance took Lisa, Alyssa and Murray to the hospital. Police arrested Johnny Bonta even though he was bleeding and barely able to stand and took him back to the local jail. The three attackers, including Jacob Cassell, son of retired Sheriff officer Jim Cassell, were released at the scene.
Lisa Bonta assumed her husband was also on the way to the hospital, and panicked when she couldn’t find him. It turned out he was at jail and wasn’t given medical treatment for six days. When Lisa found him she was given the run-around by police and jail officials:
I can not even express how disgusted I am by this story, not only do the skinheads need to be arrested, but certain members of the police department need to serve prison time for this as well. Right now it appears the Justice Department has opened an investigation into the hate crime itself, but it does not appear that they are investigating the police department. The investigation needs to be expanded, we can not continue to treat police as if they are above the law.
There is an excellent diary on Daily Kos that includes resources on how you can help bring justice in this case, please follow this link to read it in its entirety:
The St. Paul Pioneer Press may be a Republican leaning newspaper, but even they don't seem to see much life in their hometown boy's Presidential campaign.
This morning when I opened my e-mail I received a pleasant surprise, I have just inherited several billion dollars from a Saudi Prince. As soon as I found out that our wars for oil had given me vast sums of money and power over the peasants of this great nation I knew that I needed to celebrate. When I was told that there was going to be a rally at the Minnesota State Capitol where the duped peasants would teabag billionaires without even requiring us to buy them dinner first I knew I had to be there.
I donned my top hat and Armani tux and headed towards the Capitol to take a stand for a small government. I wanted to ensure that government is limited to doing what is essential for the prosperity of this great nation. The only role of government should be that which is outlined in the Constitution plus handing out really big contracts to Halliburton, subsidizing the oil industry, wiretapping the phones of peasants, torturing people, shooting the greedy immigrants who cross our border, making sure gays stay locked in the closet, ensuring women have no say over their bodies, starting wars, expanding the role of faith based institutions into government, busting up unions, bailing out bankers when they lose profits, and taking on other roles which benefit us billionaires. My vision of small government is so powerful that I want to make sure more people get to be involved, that is why I supported spreading our small government to places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Pakistan. I am hoping that soon we will be able to expand our small government to Iran as well, maybe we can even get some of those activist judges to stop paying attention to the parts of the Constitution that we don't like and allow some churches to become a part of our small government.
I arrived at the Capitol just minutes before my hero Michele Bachmann was about to take the stage. There are very few people who have stood for the rights of billionaires to beat down dirty peasants like Michele Bachmann has, although I am proud to say that the entire Republican Party as well as many Democrats seem to be doing a great job of standing with her in her assault on the greedy workers who demand we actually pay them for their labor.
When we arrived at the Capitol I was impressed at all the support I received, my support for the billionaire agenda in plain terms seemed to be very well received. I carried a sign which stated “Small Government, Big Wars” on one side and “Money for Halliburton Not For Schools” on the other and these were messages that seemed to resonate well with the Tea Party. I received lots of smiles and people stopping to take my photo before I even found my billionaire friends.
When Michele Bachmann took the stage we went and stood as close as we could get to the podium, it was roped off so we couldn't get too close, but we were able to get a good enough spot that we were visible to most of the crowd as they looked up at Saint Bachmann.
Most people seemed to realize that we were standing with them to support the billionaire agenda, but there were a few people who somehow got the absurd idea that we were lefty infiltrators who were mocking them. A few young Republicans crossed the ropes so they could stand in front of us and block our signs, but fortunately they are in the minority of the Republican Party and the GOP officials in charge of security stood by us billionaires like they always do so well and told the young Republicans to get on the other side of the ropes and it allowed the message of the wealthy elite to continue to be heard.
Later we moved to some steps alongside the stage so we could be closer to the crowd and one peasant came to yell in our faces to tell us we didn't belong there, he thought our signs were inappropriate even though they clearly stated the Tea Party agenda. I couldn't quite understand how he could be opposed to a message like “Money for Halliburton Not For Schools” when that is very clearly the agenda that all the Republican members of Congress who spoke from the podium have stood so firmly for these past few years.
It was a great rally and as a billionaire I was impressed with many of the signs, but the one that had the biggest impact on me was the most commonly seen sign at the event. It carried the simple message “No New Taxes! No New Revenue!” and in fine print on the bottom of the sign it said “Prepared and Paid For by the Republican Party of Minnesota”. I was so proud to see the Republicans have moved beyond the simple message of “No new taxes” and have taken an even bolder stance by taking the official position of “No new revenue” as well. That may not be a position taken by anyone who is not lying when they say they are serious about reducing the size of the government, but the beautiful thing is that many peasants don't even know they are being lied to and will cheer for this agenda that only benefits billionaires like myself. The Republican elites know as well as I do that if we don't collect revenue the government will not be able to pay its bills and then they can declare an emergency and say we are forced to sell off public assets to billionaires like me, we can then make huge profits off the backs of the American people. Who needs public schools when people like me need to get another yacht to show off to the peasants who will never be able to ride it?
Today I saw the greatness of an America that places corporate profits over human need...
Right as I was about to wrap this post up I found out that the e-mail I received this morning was a scam. I did not inherit billions from a Saudi Prince, it was all a lie. I am still a peasant. Maybe it wasn't such a good idea to cheer for the billionaire's agenda after all.
We have all heard that Waukesha County is a solid Republican county and it is true, Republicans tend to win there by large margins in almost every election. Simply saying Waukesha is a heavily Republican county however means nothing, we need to look at exactly how many votes Republicans have received there in recent history if we are going to determine whether Prosser's numbers add up.
I checked out election results going back to 2000, during Presidential years I looked at the results for the Presidential election and non-presidential years I looked at the results for Governor. Here is what I found:
2000: Bush gets 65% of the vote
2002: McCallum gets 62% of the vote
2004: Bush gets 67% of the vote
2006: Green gets 63% of the vote
2008: McCain gets 62% of the vote
2010: Walker gets 71% of the vote
2011: Prosser gets 74% of the vote
While these numbers may not be completely implausible, considering all the other red flags raised in Waukesha County this election it does seem like it is worth noting that Prosser outperformed other Republicans in recent history during a year in which anger with Wisconsin Republicans is higher than it has been in years. This may be circumstantial evidence, but piled with the mountain of other circumstantial evidence that is accumulating this gives us yet one more reason that we need an investigation.
Many of you may have heard that 7,000 votes are about to be added to Prosser's total because of a supposed computer error. It just so happens that the computer error may have happened because a Republican County Clerk was keeping the vote tallying software on her personal PC and refused to have it audited:
Waukesha - The County Board's Executive Committee has ordered an audit of the county clerk's election equipment and system beginning with the September primary despite several memos she sent to the committee over the weekend defending her practices and resisting the move.
County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus has maintained that as the one in charge of elections, she is responsible for the security and operation of the system. However, other county officials say they worry about the integrity of the old equipment and the system she's using and whether she has adequate backup.
County Corporation Counsel Thomas Farley told the committee Monday that as an elected official with responsibility for elections, "If she wants to keep everything secret, she probably can.
"I don't know if that's wise or what she should do, but if she wants to and the public is satisfied that that's what they want - someone who keeps everything secret - that's up to them."
Kathy Nickolaus is the past President of the Republican Women of Waukesha Executive Committee.
After a challenging battle in which a historic number of votes were cast in a Supreme Court race, we need your help in preserving a victory for Justice David Prosser. The likely next step is a recount, requiring resources to protect the integrity of the ballots cast and deliver a win. Please take a moment to contribute, with your help a victory in this hard-fought battle is within reach!
Despite the fact that Prosser got less votes than Kloppenburg he is claiming a victory, apparently the Republicans want a justice on the bench who will disregard the basic foundation of our democracy and pretend the person with the least votes wins.
When history is happening I want to be a part of it, and right now history is taking place in Madison. I was in Madison last weekend and I was amazed by what I saw, I wanted to come back but I did not think I would be able to make it. I live nearly a five hour drive away from Madison and it is difficult to afford coming out here multiple times, but with an event this historic it is worth every penny. I decided that it is worth spending the money to come out here to stand with my neighbors in Wisconsin, because these are people who have proven that they will stand up for me and tens of millions of other Americans.
This weekend was significantly colder than last weekend and snow was falling nearly the entire day, I thought the weather would keep a lot of people inside but that did not happen. There were even more people out this week than there were last week, despite being at this for nearly two weeks and still not seeing an end in sight people seemed to have even more energy tonight than they did last time I was here. It is clear that the people here know that they are winning a battle that they were told they could not win, they know that they are not only going to protect their own rights but they are going to protect the rights of workers all across the nation.
When I was here last week there were several hundred teabaggers holding a counter demonstration, today I only spotted three of them. The Koch funded Tea Party that our media told us was going to change America, has now gone into hiding. We outnumbered them by 100,000 to three today, because while there may be a few vocal Walker/Koch backers in the media the truth is that they do not have the same level of passion and commitment on their side as we have on ours. The media will try telling us that the people of Wisconsin are divided, but one look at the streets of Madison will prove to anyone that we are not divided, most Americans are united and we are united behind our workers. When you look into the streets of this city you will see men and women, you will see young and old, you will see black and white, you will see teachers, carpenters, cops, firefighters, and students, you will see people of all backgrounds coming together for a common purpose. Yes, Scott Walker would like you to think that we are divided but there is no meaningful division here. Only a tiny handful of Walker supporters felt passionate enough to come out here today, when you see a crowd of 100,000 opponents of Walker and only three of his backers it is clear that the public has chosen a side, and Walker's position has been firmly rejected.
I don't know how long it will be before this battle is won, but make no mistake about it this battle will be won. Last week they were telling us that it was a done deal, this bill was going to pass and there was nothing we could do about it. Today Scott Walker is struggling to keep his bill alive, he is backed into a corner trying to explain his phone call, he is desperately trying to get people to show up to vote for his crappy bill, but people are not letting him get what he wants. Every day Walker's public standing sinks further and he will only be able to hold on for so long, eventually he will be defeated and when he is it will prove to people across the nation that when we stand up for justice and refuse to give up we will bring about change.
I am going to march for a few hours tomorrow and then I will be going back to the Twin Cities, but I plan on returning here next weekend if a resolution is not made before then. This city has given me an experience I will never forget, and I will stand by the workers here until the very end even if I do have to take a hit to my pocketbook traveling out here every weekend. History is taking place, and I need to be here to witness it.
When I learned there was going to be a solidarity rally in support of Wisconsin workers at the Minnesota State Capitol I was not expecting much, I was driving back from Madison and I knew there was no way an event in Minnesota could even come close to the experience I just had. What I did not expect however was just how close our state would come to emulating the experience in the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison for at least a one hour period.
I was just a little bit late in hitting the road for the rally but I thought I would be there just a few short minutes after the starting time. Then I saw the number of cars. I ended up having to park four blocks away, causing me to miss the first half of the rally. When I entered the building the crowd was so large that I was not even able to get in the rotunda, the balconies were nearly completely packed and I could not find a single place in the entire building in which I could actually see the speaker. I have been to many rallies at the Capitol before, but I have never run into the problem of there being so many people packed together so tightly that it is impossible to find a place to stand where you can see what is going on.
I must say this is a problem I want to have more often. I am absolutely amazed to see so many people coming out for a cause like this, the people are finally standing up for their rights and I have never been more proud to be an American. I am proud of Wisconsin, I am proud of Minnesota, I am proud of Indiana, Ohio, and all the people across the nation who are fighting back.
Today Scott Walker announced that he may layoff 1,500 workers if he doesn't get his union-busting bill passed within the next week. This is a man who is blatantly threatening people's jobs if he does not get everything he wants in his bill. No matter how far Walker crosses the line he seems determined to take a step further, if it starts here I hate to see where it ends.
Fortunately there are the people all across America standing up for Wisconsin in an extraordinary way. Scott Walker's political career can not and will not survive the opposition that has built around it, Walker may get some temporary victories but this is not going to end well for him. Not only won't it end well for him, but it won't end well for the Republican Party. The Tea Party is already cowered, they may be able to get several hundred people to show up for a couple hours on Saturday, but the size of our crowds is completely overwhelming them. They can't compete against us in the realm of public opinion when they are rallying in favor of layoffs and they know it, while many of them may be too stupid to realize it Scott Walker has delivered a serious if not fatal blow to their entire movement. There are hundreds of thousands of people all across America standing up for Wisconsin and revitalizing the labor movement, and while Walker may not show it publicly he is now terrified of the people of this nation.
Make no mistake about it, we are winning this battle. The Republicans thought they were going to be able to shove this through, but they are being delayed at every turn and the longer the delay goes the more damage is done to them. Now they have resorted to threatening mass layoffs if they don't get their way, how do you think that is going over in a country that is starving for more jobs? The Republican Party has become so arrogant that they think they can get by with anything, but now they are being challenged in a way in which they have not been challenged in years. The Republicans were just starting to recover from the Bush years, and now they are facing a level of opposition that they are not used to. They will fight, they will scream, but they will lose because they are on the wrong side of history. Even if they do manage to get the union busting and mass layoffs they want temporarily, the backlash is going to be so severe they may never recover from it. That is how big this is, the opposition to Walker's plan has grown so intense that it will have a profound effect on America for years to come.
To all Americans who have stood up for Wisconsin in their own way, thank you. I could not be more proud of my country right now, I have not felt this optimistic in years and there are so many people that deserve credit for it, the unions who organized this in such a short period of time did an absolutely amazing job. All the people who showed up at the protests, all the people who ordered pizza for the demonstrators, all the people who called in sick to work to support the protesters, all the people who took a stand for what they believed in, there are just so many amazing people who deserve credit for this. Thank you all, it is because of you that we are going to take this country back from the corporate interests.
I have participated in many protests in the last few years, but this weekend was the first time I felt I had participated in an event that would change history. What I saw in Madison when I traveled out there this weekend was nothing short of extraordinary, the dedication shown by so many people from so many different backgrounds was unlike anything I have ever witnessed before. This is not just a protest, this is going to be a defining moment in labor history.
It is too early to know what the final outcome will be, but even if Walker does manage to get his bill passed it will only be a temporary victory for him. Scott Walker has awoken the progressive movement, what he has done will not only damage his governorship but it will damage the Republican Party and other union busters for years to come.
Scott Walker made a tremendous mistake in going after teachers because every one of those teachers he went after had students. While students may complain about their teachers, the truth is many of them share a very close bond with those who teach them. One of the most amazing things I witnessed in Madison was the number of young people in the crowds, while the media is largely portraying this as a union rally but I can assure you that there were not too many union members among the thousands of young people in the crowd. These young people may not feel that they are directly affected by this bill, but they know others who are and they are standing up for the people they care about. The protests in Wisconsin are not just reawakening the progressive movement, but they are giving birth to a whole new generation of activists.
Make no mistake about it, the movement that Scott Walker has awoken is going to destroy the tea party. When I marched on Saturday I saw the signs of a few hundred tea party members who showed up, and interestingly enough I don't believe I saw any signs about “big government”. Even if the less educated members of the tea party don't realize it, their masters at the top know that the Tea Party is now fighting for bigger government. The Tea Party is fighting for more government regulation, they act as if regulation is always bad and yet they are fighting for greater government regulation of unions. When we point out the gap in wealth between worker and CEO they scream about socialism, but now one of their primary talking points is that the public workers make more money than private sector workers. The Tea Party has now become a movement that is focused on openly advocating for the redistribution of wealth between different workers in different sectors of the economy. I don't know that I can call the Tea Party socialists because it is a very twisted version of socialism they are promoting, but if the Tea Party thinks that those who promote the redistribution of wealth are socialists then they are socialists by their own definition.
While tens of thousands of labor supporters have occupied the Capitol for a week straight, the Tea Party was only able to get a few hundred people to show up on Saturday. The passion is just not there among Tea Party members right now, while many still may not see the hypocrisy that I just pointed out in their movement they know they do not have the same commitment that the labor activists do. The protests in Wisconsin has delivered a serious blow to the Tea Party, and it is a blow they may never fully recover from.
I returned home from Madison today, but my experience out there was one of the great experiences of my lifetime. I may not be able to make it out there again before this battle is over, but I know the people who put this together are not finished and I look forward to joining them in many future actions. The people of Wisconsin have a lot to be proud of today, let's hope that people all across America follow their lead.
Posted by MN Against Bush in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu May 06th 2010, 12:23 AM
Back in March I wrote about my little hero Liam. Liam is only three months old right now but he has already inspired all of us that know him and he has reminded us that no matter how bad things seem we can never give up hope.
When Liam was only six weeks old his father got frustrated with his crying and broke both of his legs, cracked his ribs, shook him and sent him to the hospital with a severe brain injury. The doctors did not give Liam much of a chance, they said that if he survived he would likely be in a permanent vegetable state for the rest of his life and he almost certain to have severe disabilities.
As we looked at Liam lying in his hospital bed hooked up to all his machines we hoped for what we thought was the best possible outcome, we just hoped that Liam would wake up and be conscious of what was going on around him. All we wanted was for him to be awake and happy, even if he was going to be severely disabled we could live with that as long as he was able to enjoy life. We thought that even with the best possible outcome things were going to be very difficult, the doctors had little hope for him and they drained most of our hope away from us.
Liam was not about to give up however and right when everyone had thought that all hope was gone he showed us that he was an incredibly strong little guy. Four days after the incident Liam opened his eyes for the first time and over the next few days he made incredible progress and by the time the weekend was over you could not even tell anything was wrong with him any more. Liam proved all the doctors wrong and he reminded us that even our youngest and most vulnerable can show incredible strength and bravery.
After Liam's recovery we were all ecstatic, the severe trauma we had felt in the previous days gave way to an incredible sense of hope and opportunity. We knew that Liam was a very special little boy and we are determined to make sure that he is able to get a fresh start in life and ensure that he is raised so that he is able to overcome the abuse he suffered and become a great citizen.
The picture below was taken just last weekend, Liam is now a happy and healthy little baby ready to begin his new life. On June 1st both Liam and his mother will be moving into my home and I will become one of his primary caretakers. I have never lived with a baby before so I am really excited but also more than a bit scared, not only will I have to go through the normal challenges of raising a child but I will also have to deal with the trauma caused by domestic violence.
After Liam's recovery I was so happy that I almost forgot about just how traumatized I was those first few days after Liam was brought to the hospital. Now that initial sense of relief has worn off the memories of the violence are coming back and it is extremely stressful. Liam's father is out of jail at least until his next court date at the end of the month and while the chances of us having any encounters of him are pretty slim it is hard not to worry about it. He knows that both Liam and his mother are moving into my home and he really wants to see Liam again but he also knows that we won't allow him to. He also has had suspicions that I am in a relationship with Liam's mother which is not the case, but if he suspects it I am sure he is getting very upset about it whether it is true or not.
Being in this situation has really made me understand what it feels like to be in the shoes of a past victim of domestic violence. When someone who you thought you could trust commits an act of violence it is very difficult to know if you can ever trust them again. You want to believe that they just lost their minds temporarily and would never hurt anyone again, but you just don't know and it is very frightening.
I am not writing all of this to worry anybody, so please don't stay awake at night thinking that I am in danger because chances are that we won't be seeing Liam's father again and he will be sent off to prison after his next court hearing.
The reason I am writing this is that I want people to take a moment to think about the effects that domestic violence has on people and do what they can to stop it from happening. I learned the hard way that domestic violence has the potential to have the impact on the life of any of us. I am a single guy who has lived alone for the past few years, being harmed by domestic violence was not something that I was too worried about. When Liam was abused it felt like I was abused and now I realize that any one of us can be a victim of domestic violence.
Please, if you are in a relationship with someone who shows signs of being overly aggressive get out of that relationship before it is too late. If you know somebody who has been the victim of abuse do whatever you can to help them, and if you hear someone make offhand comments about how someone needs to be smacked make sure they know that you don't approve of that sentiment.
Domestic violence is a serious issue and if you have not been effected by it yourselves you probably know someone who has, you may not even know who they are because many victims don't speak about their experiences but you are likely very close to someone who was abused even if you don't realize it.
Please speak out to protect people like Liam, take a stand against violence.
Posted by MN Against Bush in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Tue Apr 13th 2010, 10:22 PM
Last night I posted a thread detailing my own research into what appears to be yet another right-wing hoax. Jason Levin's "Crash the Tea Party" website has gotten a lot of attention on the right-wing blogs in recent days and yesterday it was picked up by the AP and other major news outlets. No one knows much of anything about who Jason Levin is and it does not appear the so-called "nationwide network" of progressives aiming to infiltrate tea party rallies holding racist signs even exists. I was not the only person who was suspicious about the story and today Greg Correll posted some new info on his blog at Salon.com. Yesterday I had found domain information for Levin on Free Republic but I thought it was irrelevant, well Correll did some more digging and he found some information that Free Republic left out:
I explored ARIN IP data for the site domain. Now it gets very interesting.
IP Address: 22.214.171.124 (ARIN & RIPE IP search)
IP Location: US(UNITED STATES)-NEW YORK-NEW YORK
DMOZ no listings
Y! Directory: see listings
Data as of: 23-Apr-2008
126.96.36.199 is enduranceinternational.com
CEO? "Steven "Steve" Sydness (born c. 1956) is a politician and businessman who was a North Dakota Republican Party candidate for one of North Dakota's United States Senate seats in 1992, and is the current CEO of the Endurance International Group in Massachusetts.<1>" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Sydness .
He is also on the board of a conservative Christian Science school.
Endurance also hosts this site: Eastside Republican Club and many others, including some Christian sites--but interestingly, no progressive or liberal sites. And they do NOT list the "crashers" site in their complete C license listings.
Why should they want to hide it, if "Levin" is just some schmo who paid to host his site there?
It looks like Correll may have just found the most damning piece of evidence yet to prove the Associated Press swallowed yet another right-wing hoax hook line and sinker, let's hope this gets some traction.
Posted by MN Against Bush in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Mon Apr 12th 2010, 11:12 PM
Who is Jason Levin? I had never heard the name before today, but if the corporate media and the right-wing blogs are to be believed he is the leader of a “nationwide network” that aims to infiltrate Tea Parties across the country. They tell us that his plan is to get progressives to go into the rallies and hold up misspelled signs with blatantly racist messages on them in order to make the Tea Party look bad. Now of course we all know that there have been many racist signs held up at previous Tea Parties in the past and the leaders of the Tea Party movement seemed perfectly fine with them, but now all of a sudden they are telling us that these signs are the result of this supposed “nationwide network” of progressives that Jason Levin heads up.
Today the Associated Press put out a story that was picked up by many major national news outlets which purported to inform the public about Levin's plans. The problem is that the article did not make any effort to tell us who Levin is and had even less to tell us about his supposed network of activists across the nation. All they tell us is that Levin claims to have “65 leaders” who are working for him across the nation. Who are these 65 leaders? The AP did not seem to want to bother to find out, but they did tell us the name of the website that Levin was supposedly organizing this effort from.
When I went to visit the site at http://www.crashtheteaparty.org / it was immediately clear that the website was not very professional, if this was truly a major nationwide effort to discredit the Tea Party you would think they could have at least hired a professional web designer. A poorly designed site does not necessarily mean it is illegitimate of course, but if it turned out that the message board was frequented almost entirely by people who were Tea Party supporters that would make me a bit more suspicious. When I visited the site at 8:50 pm Central Daylight Time tonight this was the list of registered users currently online:
Amac, ApparentlyRacist, apringapring, arxn6, assholelibs, Billylll, candle451, Coffee_not_Tea, DagnyT, DON'TTREADONME, effingliberals, emma&anitra, FUCKYOULIBERALS, Gman, GSP.FAN, HOTRODZ, IHateLibtards, JackFlash, jAfO802, John Adams., jointheclub, KevMorris, littlehawk, Lulz Nazi, MadMikey, MarkBoabaca, marmadune, motorheadaches, mtrose, petunia, ProudTeaPatier, rightwingextreme, rsk0803, Samuel Hobbs, Socialism Will Fail, SwanCo, SweetSisterRachel, TPC, YouMustBeKidding
When you read names like “assholelibs”, “FUCKYOULIBERALS”and “IHateLibtards” don't you just feel the progressive love in the air? Now I suppose that people could try to argue that when this site was setup it was frequented by progressives but was taken over by Tea Party supporters once they found out what was going on. The problem is however that a quick glance through the posts in the forum shows that is not the case.
Jason Levin posts on the site under the name “Mad Hatter” and his very first post on the message board went up just five days ago on April 7th. It did not get a single response until April 9th and that response came from a Tea Party supporter. If this site was truly the organizing place for a nationwide network of progressives then why was Jason Levin the only person who even pretended to be a progressive on the site before the Tea Party showed up? And why did the AP run with this story before they even did any basic fact checking to see if this site really was the organizing place for a nationwide network that it purported to be?
I did some further searches for Jason Levin's name and there seemed to be very little information on him apart from what was published in the last few days over dozens of right-wing blogs. The right-wingers pulled up all kinds of information on the guy, they posted his home address, photos of him, his educational background, but they found absolutely nothing about his political affiliations or any history of activism. While they could not find anything about his political affiliations however they did happen find this self description that Levin posted on his MySpace page:
As a black lesbian trapped in the body of a straight white man, I am able to pass as a member of the establishment wile still maintaining my oneness with the spirit of the Earf Muvah. I'm currently being sued by my inner child for molestation...but trust me, the charges are baseless.
If these really are Levin's words he either has a serious mental illness or a very twisted sense of humor, either way however for the AP to run a major story on this guy's website and pretend that it is actually news shows that the AP has absolutely no journalistic credentials left.
Let us be clear: the racist and misspelled signs you see at Tea Party rallies were made by the teabaggers and as much as they may want to push the responsibility for them on to progressives they own them. I don't want anyone to show up at a Tea Party and pretend to be a teabagger, I want people to show up at a Tea Party event and stand up to the teabaggers by holding a counter-protest with messages that promote equality instead of hate. The teabaggers always do a great job of discrediting themselves and progressives have no interest in holding up their racist propaganda.
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