Musings of a Boston Liberal
Let them tea each othe apart. Maybe fracture the GOP for years to come.
As Mitt Romney surges, Republican divisions sharpen
Schisms are highlighted in sharper attacks by rival candidates and doubts about him in the party's hard-core conservative base.
By Paul West, Washington Bureau
January 8, 2012, 6:26 p.m.
Reporting from Concord, N.H.— A fusillade of attacks on front-runner Mitt Romney presages what is likely to be at least a month of internal warfare among Republicans as the presidential candidates head for the South, the heart of the GOP's restive base.
The campaign's longtime dynamic shifted forcefully Sunday, as several trailing candidates tried to take down Romney before he more firmly grasps the Republican presidential nomination. He's a heavy favorite in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, but immediately ahead is South Carolina, where his foes are already on the ground and beaming new, more corrosive charges over the airwaves.
Some of what is powering the increasing acrimony among the candidates is personal disdain. But it also reflects profound differences between sectors of the Republican Party.
"This is a more doctrinaire Republican base than we had seen in the last 25 years," said Andrew Kohut, president of the independent Pew Research Center. "It is much more hard-core than in the past."
In particular, he said, highly energized elements on the GOP right "are looking for a rebellious kind of candidate," as reflected in polls and initial voting results that show a majority of Republicans unwilling to fall in line behind button-down Romney.
The only way to help animals is to know what they are going through. If we don't have the built-in courage to see what is happening to them, we are letting down mankind as well as those with no voices of their own. It hurts to... look, I know; been there, done that. But these beautiful creatures need our love, our help and our compassion. There are way too many wolves--human ones--who maim, torture and kill animals as though they aren't capable of emotion or feeling pain. The rest of us know differently.
Daniel, the polydactyl, inspired efforts to find a new home for the shelter. With 26 toes, Daniel got people to donate a $1 per toe contribution, helping to raise $80,000 toward the acquisition of a new building.
Reading an article today on left-handedness, I realized that people seem to think in different ways. Everyone seems to create memories in different ways, and how much or what they remember is often dependent on how their brain works.
We all have short term and long term memory, and how we store the "long term" memories seems to be completely unique.
I don't always remember a whole event, but I often seem to remember things that created certain emotions. When someone, who has shared an event with me, talks about certain happenings, I find I don't remember the whole incident like they do, but I remember the feelings I had during the event.
My one "super" talent is of an odd variety: I can remember almost every TV show I ever watched, and I can name actors, episodes and more at the drop of a hat. It isn't such a useful talent anymore, because TV has blown completely out of proportion, but it's how I remember things--by capturing not only emotions, but visual images.
I can remember general memories. I can see perfectly in my mind some of the homes I lived in 30 and 40 years ago; I can see the house, barn and area on my grandparents' farm where I spent most of my summers, to the point where I can still vaguely "smell" it as well.
Some people tend to remember and think visually, while others remember audially, and yet others seem to remember by touch, emotionally or with feeling.
I can remember an incident when my brother and I raided the fridge when we were about 6 and 7, eating leaves from a cabbage with mayonnaise on the leaves, or my aunt preparing stuffed celery for a picnic, or an old pot filled with my grandmother's American chop suey to take home. But I don't remember when sound dominated the memory landscape.
How do you think and remember--by emotion, touch, sound, or visually? Is your brain compartmentalized by category? Do certain smells awaken memories?
I think it would be interesting to see how others use their memories, and how they recall. I think mainly on a visual level ultimately, and I think it is why I an a photographer, TV watcher or even why I write and read--to me, they're all visual media. When I read, I create my own visuals, for example, though I think a lot of people remember and think through their ears, something I've never been able to do very well myself.
Bernie Sanders has the petition signing on his home page for people to sign. It's doing well. If you haven't signed yet, and you are looking to end this horrible SCOTUS decision, sign now!
tourism, escapism, ageism and the like, but I have a new one: weightism.
I'm sick and tired of having doctors tell me that all my medical problems are connected to my weight. While I know some things are directly related, I also know that nothing is ever so clearly cut and dried.
There are thousands of people who are overweight that are in perfectly healthy condition, and there are thinner people who have horrible health.
I'm tired of going to doctors who like to point out my weight is the chief obstacle in front (and back) of me, and not consider any further discussion on the subject.
A long time ago, a thin friend and I had the same problem with our knees. We both ended up seeing a doctor for it.
I got an earful from an asshole who did nothing for me other than yelling at me for being overweight, and she got a knee brace, attention and a follow-up plan.
If that isn't "weightism," I don't know what it is.
So. Somehow or another, you've become ruler of the world. It's been pretty much bloodless, and you can do anything you want with these new found powers.
So share with the rest of us some of the things you would do to change the world and make it a better place.
For myself, I would do away with certain people in some way or another--the main ones being Norquist, Cheney, and Rove in the political arena, with Dobson and Tony Perkins on the religious side. I wouldn't kill them, just completely make them irrelevant somehow.
I would also get rid of some people like the Koch brothers by putting them into epic bankruptcy, taking away their money and influence. I'd make them poor enough to even perhaps apply for welfare!!
I'd punish poachers by meting out to them the same fate that they plan for animals.
I'd reduce war to a point where there is one individual against another, in a boxing ring. Winner surrenders, no one killed.
I'd cut down the overpopulation of cats, dogs and other pets, eventually doing away with the euthanasia of animals for this and other reasons. Animals that are born will get loving and forever homes, and all lost pets would find homes with loving and responsible owners. For those poor animals that have no homes and no hope, I would make sure that they found homes or shelter and food. I'd also make sure that those who harmed animals deliberately would be given stiff sentences, to the point where torturing and killing an animal would result in punishment nearly comparable with the same sentence as for harming a human. Animals of any kind would not be used in labs for any reason--new computer tools would be able to do even more for any kind of testing needed.
People in third world countries would be educated, and learn how to deal with such things with engineering, chemistry, physics, etc., so that they could help themselves. Outlaws and dictators would be defeated, and honest people would be elected to democratic governments.
Banks would be nationalized, and the financial institutions would be strictly regulated. No multi-million dollar bonuses for executives ever again. No tax breaks for anyone, especially those making over $250,000. They would pay a very strict 39%, with no loopholes at all. The same as everyone else. Anyone making under $25,000 would not pay taxes at all.
I get very upset with some things which some people might consider irrelevant, like those commercials on TV for reverse mortgages. These commercials never say during the commercials anything about your home being owned by the bank when you get the money. For this reason, I want ALL commercials to make sure the public knows EVERYTHING about the product, including revealing things which will ensure complete discovery of the fine print.
Corporations will lose their "person-hood" and will have some restrictions on them. If they are incorporated outside the US, they will be forced to pay a tariff tax equal to the amount (or more) they would be paying as a tax as if they were a US company. In addition, new laws will make it impossible to contribute more than $2500 to ANY candidate, and all PACs and lobbyists will have the same restrictions, making it nearly impossible for anyone to influence members of Congress with gifts or money.
I've been thinking about this stuff for a long time, notes for a potential novel down the line. But I'd love to hear what others have to add as well--it's always a great way to discuss points of view that way!
by the time you read it. Guaranteed, or your money back! (And all of nothing, is still nothing!)
Not Photoshopped: Beam of Light Shines on Fallen Soldier’s Miracle Dog
It was an overcast day in Newport, N.H., when a simple “20/20″ shoot turned into something that made me wonder about life after death.
I was filming soldier Justin Rollin’s parents Skip and Rhonda playing with their dog Hero, whose rescue from the Iraq War zone where Justin died was nothing short of a miracle.
Sometimes when Rhonda hugged Hero she would softly pet her face and coo, “Justin, are you in there?” It was Rhonda’s gentle way of remembering their son and his last living connection to Hero. At one point, Hero wandered off and took a stroll in the backyard. All of a sudden, the clouds broke and a light began to solidify in a beam directly down on Hero — a kind of vertical halo.
As this dramatic ray of light was shining on Hero she turned to look at me, and it was all I could do to hold the camera steady and not drop it in astonishment. It was an unforgettable moment, and made me wonder if in fact Justin was in there. Then the light vanished.
Fellow DUers, I have a request to make. I understand the desire will be strong to buck against my request, but in the end, I think that there will be a lot more peace and serenity to do so.
Some people stink. Some people suck. Some people are outright dangerous and evil. But, regardless of all that, people are still people.
I'll start by telling a short story about a recent comment I made to a friend, when a Repug had gotten off scott-free from an action he had taken, and not gotten called on it, in contrast to a Dem who had made a similar action, and was forced to pay the consequences for it. I asked why did WE have to be the ones who paid for a mistake, when in fact, the Repug was able to get away with it. My friend's reply? "We;re supposed to be better than that."
There was a nanosecond of prideful joy on hearing that, no matter how painful the sting was. I knew, in fact, that we, as liberals, have to be above the general field of humankind because we have consciences, we have standards, and we have an abiding desire to make life easier for all concerned.
So today, when I was looking at a few posts here, and there was a strong churning in my stomach when I saw private information published o one of the pepper-spraying cops at the Occupy group. Yes, the man is a sleazeball, yes, the man should be taken down, but it should not be predicated on having people print the man's home address and other such details of his life.
We are supposed to be better than that. We're supposed to be beyond that kind of immaturity. At heart, we might not really feel that way, but if we decide to wallow in the mud with the rest of humanity, we lose the higher ground, and we become just like them.
We can see this kind of thing being done by those on the other side. Constantly. We can see its affect when people like George Tiller are assassinated. We can see people getting attacked, even killed, when private information is made public. Do we have the right to expose others to the kind of treatment we wouldn't want happen to ourselves? No matter WHO that person is, exposing them in such a manner goes against everything we're supposed to stand for.
Posting information about someone's job, OTOH, isn't the same. If someone has been shown to have an attitude that clashes with his or her job, post their WORK information. If their behavior implies that they suck at their job, go right ahead and post their manager's or their boss's business number. Give out their business address. That's okay. That's reporting their screw-ups to their higher-ups.
But to expose their home address, or their home telephone number, might be exposing their children, their wives, even their parents to some danger down the road. And I know for me, I could never live with myself if I knew I had been instrumental in having an innocent harmed because I felt someone else had fucked up.
These people, right or wrong, should not have to worry about their family members being hurt. Yes, showing their bosses that the person doesn't deserve to keep their jobs is one thing. Making them fear for their lives, and the lives of those around them is another. Unless your name is Fred Phelps and you drag your entire family around with you to protest, you don't bring your family into any situation that carries a potentially dangerous risk.
We are supposed to be better than those on the other side. But we can't be better if we are just as eager to punish them in their private lives as those on the other side. If we keep it up, we won't have anyone to protest if WE'RE the ones who are getting threats to our families from someone publishing our home addresses or phone numbers.
Anyone who voted for George W Bush twice is not an "independent." That person is a Repug, a tool of the right, an arrogant misuser of civil rights, whose sole intent in their political life is to keep kicking people down, if only because they want to make sure that they aren't on the bottom rung of the social classes themselves.
If social class were determined by empathy or goodwill, these people would only be above the grifters who take your soul in order to enrich their own pockets.
Sometimes, it's not what you say that makes you an enemy of people everywhere, it's what you don't say that makes all the difference.
(Just a small word change!)
I grew up poor. It was okay, as we got out of the house and went to parks (free), the beach (free), the country (my grandparents) and stores (window shopping). Things weren't perfect, of course, and sometimes things got scrappy, but it never stopped us from enjoying life.
Nevertheless, we learned a code of ethics as we grew up, based mostly on common sense, decency and conscience.
We learned to share. Even if we didn't want to, we had to. While there was always something we preferred to keep to ourselves, after awhile, we found we couldn't hoard something while someone else went without.
Many rich kids don't understand that--what's theirs is theirs, and what's yours is also theirs.
We learned to be kind. Too often, some other living being is in a worse off position than our own, and it doesn't hurt to offer them a hand, and be good to them. It helps your karmic destiny, and it helps a fellow being.
Kindness is underrated for so many people above a certain station. They never really understand why they need to be kind to anyone.
We learned to be polite. Good manners aside, it's always right to respect your elders, say "please" and "thank you" and "have a good day." Sometimes your politeness might be the only spirit of goodwill someone receives all day.
Politeness to anyone under their class level is ludicrous. Why should they be polite to their servants and other workers?
We learned to be hopeful. We knew that hard work and persistence could create a world we would be comfortable in--nothing fancy, but a home and a lack of worry about basics. We might not have a mansion and a fleet of Ferraris, but the world we knew held promise, and we wanted to get that promise.
Comfort is something many rich people don't have. The comfort many of us look for is beyond their comprehension. They are never comfortable. They are always filled with dissatisfaction, wanting, more, more more. They fall in love with their things and the power they hold, and forget about the small things which make most of us happy.
We learned to find happiness when and where we could. It meant that it wasn't the big things which kept us going, it was the small things. A hug. Stroking the fur on a pet. Watching a TV show that made us think, or laugh, or invigorated us. Smiles. Memories. A sea shell on the beach. A box of crayons. A Thanksgiving turkey. A Christmas present just for us.
I guess after a while, happiness becomes irrelevant when you no longer know what makes you happy. Too much of a good thing, and all that. A person becomes quite jaded living in a world where you are lost, and don't know what you are looking for.
There is a scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, near the end when Voldemort and Dumbledore are combating each other in the Ministry of Magic, and Voldemort is trying to get Harry to go over to the dark side. Harry, in the throes of being possessed, tells Voldemort that he feels sorry for Voldemort, because he will never know love, or friendship or any other "feel good" emotion.
THIS is the 1%. They are frightened little children. They need power because they have nothing else at all. They will never learn what it's like to be excited over a day at the public beach, or putting a sea shell up to your ear and listen to the ocean. They will never know what it's like to get a bicycle only half put together on Christmas morning. They will never know what it feels like to excited about their first real paycheck. They will never understand all the joys of being happy over the small things as much as the big things.
They end up being aimless, only living to acquire more--more money, more power, more influence, more danger and anything else that can pierce the thick skin of their indifference.
With privilege comes boredom. With privilege comes an inescapable apathy over the human condition. Sometimes, we have to feel sorry for them, but sometimes, we need to make them see whose red blood keeps this country--and all the others in the world--running, and who is really in charge. Perhaps we can teach them some humility along the way, and show that money isn't everything.
If someone doesn't believe in evolution, how come they're eager enough to access all the benefits of it, like anti-biotics, fertility aids, DNA testing, general medicine, et al. All things being equal, I think there needs to be an argument that if you don't believe in the foundation, you shouldn't be entitled to those things created out of the science of evolution.
I think there would be a lot less fundies around if something like this was enacted at some level.
There are many aspects of this neverending dialogue between science and religion, even in respect to what sect of religion you believe in. Most people of faith don't have a problem with evolution, and consider it part of their own beliefs. Creationism is mainly the choice of and evangelical fundamentalists who believe in the inerrancy of the bible--to me, it's a choice of utter insanity.
So I am asking how much credence do you put into evolution and/or creationism?
Please elaborate if there is no choice that matches your own.
ASSOCIATED PRESS/Daily Herald, Paul Michna .
In this photo taken June 30, 2011, chihuahuas Sparky Perez, left, and Peanut Bobik, celebrate their nuptials at the DuPage Convalescent Center in Wheaton, Ill. The quirky event was organized as a fun activity for residents by nurse's aide Cheryl Bobik
Read more: http://www.milforddailynews.com/archive/x7...
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