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Your Big Government is Bad, Our micromanaging Government is for your Own Good

Lets set the old way back machine for 2009. President Obama was all set to deliver what may well be one of the most boring and uncontroversial speeches in history, namely the back-to-school-study-hard-kids pep talk for the beginning of the school year. Conservatives, with their typical projection, decided that the evil commie marxist atheist muslim in office was going to convert all their impressionable young little mouth breathers instantly into liberal scum. Back, through the mists of time…

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In the words of Bill Cosby, “How long can you tread water?”

Miami may become a Climate Change barometer.

My grandmother once told me a joke. You know what an optimist is? That is someone who falls off a 100 story building, passes a friend at the 50th floor, and yells “don’t worry, I am still fine!”

We could change that to “reality denier” and it would explain the war of climate change.
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These Children Are Refugees

No deportations
Damian Dovarganes/AP

Several days of cable TV news watching haven’t answered the question that’s on my mind. Why are we even debating this? Desperate children, many of them unaccompanied, have been forced to flee Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and other countries. We’re expecting 74,000 to show up at our southern border this year.

On June 2, President Obama described it as an “urgent humanitarian situation,” asking Congress for an additional $1.4 billion to deal with the influx and creating a multiagency taskforce, led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate the federal response.

These children are refugees from violence and poverty. However, it’s been noted that essentially none of them come from Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti. Therefore poverty is a secondary factor. They’re fleeing for their lives.

Yet some politicians want to have a debate about how fast we can send these kids back to their countries of origin to die. Tea-GOPers even want to deny them the right to a court hearing. At the same time, the U.S. is telling Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to take in millions of refugees from the Syrian civil war.

Right-wingers and racists take note: No, these children don’t have Ebola. That’s a disease endemic in Africa– Ebola has never been reported in Latin America. What about other diseases? The migrants are better vaccinated than U.S. kids. The migrants are not hardened criminals, they are victims. They won’t destroy our economy – the Tea-GOP and Wall Street already did that. No, President Obama didn’t invite children to cross our border illegally – the law that guarantees due process for unaccompanied migrant children was signed by President Bush in 2008. It was uncontroversial at the time it was passed. The National Guard won’t stop the kids from coming, but maybe they could provide humanitarian assistance. Your term of opprobrium against undocumented immigrants isn’t spelled “ILEAGELS.” Also, the policy you oppose is not “AMENSTY,” or “AMNETY.”

More info:
Protesters turn back busloads of immigrants in Murrieta
GOP Candidate Mistakes YMCA Kids For Migrants, Describes ‘Fear In Their Faces’
Sarah Palin Wants President Obama Impeached For Following A Law Passed By Republicans

UPDATES:
This Bill Is Dubbed The HUMANE Act, But It Actually Hurts The Migrant Kids It Claims To Protect
Not the first time members of Congress have used Orwellian language to name legislation the opposite of what it is.

How Conservative Media Killed A Charity’s Plan To Help Migrant Children In Crisis

Politico Columnist Claims Obama “Ignored” Immigration Issues He Already Tried To Address

Politico’s Roger Simon distorted President Obama’s record to claim that his request for emergency funding to deal with the recent flood of unaccompanied minors crossing the border was tantamount to waking “from a deep slumber … to fight a problem he has ignored for years.” In reality, Obama has supported legislation in the past that addressed many of the underlying issues but the legislation has been blocked by the GOP.

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Climate Denial is Funny!

At least to a certain sense of humor. Or at least this made me laugh.

STATE SEN. BRANDON SMITH: As you [Energy & Environment Cabinet official] sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.

Honestly, how can you read that and not laugh? “We sit up here…with our data.” Ah I see how that can be a issue. There is a lot of climate data, and it can be difficult to interpret. What data is the problem then? Ancient ice cores? Heat island effects? Ice sheet decline?

“In academia we all agree that the temper erasure on Mars is exactly the same as it is here.”

Wha? Do we now? How does he reach his conclusion? Where is this data? Nobody will dispute it? By the gods yes I will, since you just made it up!

The average temperature on Earth is 57 degrees Fahrenheit, while on Mars the average is -81 Fahrenheit, according to those know-nothing, so-called “scientists” at NASA. In other words, exactly the same, give or take a rounding error.

Suddenly I understand why conservatives think the earth isn’t warming. Apparently they round temps off to the nearest thousand degrees, and thus both planets are still 0!

How does bullshit like this come out of the mouth of an elected rep without people storming his office with torches and pitchforks?

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Stores behaving well!

After several well publicized instances of the tiny penis brigade marching through Target stores with their artificial manhood in hand, Target announces that they want you to leave your insecurities and guns at home. Since the total number of people who really want to bring a gun to Target stores is about 11, and all of them are unemployed man-children in Texas, I suspect they won’t miss the business. Hell given the number of weekly gun-fails in the US of A they might save more customers lives in a single year than they lose to the Neanderthal crowd.

Then, just as I am prepping to go shop at Target, a Canadian Starbucks employee stands up to the women shaming crowd and gives an apology and free drinks to a woman who another customer was shaming over breastfeeding.

So, I have to go get coffee and maybe some cereal or something.

Before I hand out condoms at Hobby Lobby.

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Reminder…

Just in case you had forgotten that the teabaggers attract the true intellectual greatness of the GOP, and bring us the very best of the best from the party,

“It is widely known Rep. Frank D. Lucas is no longer alive and has been displayed by a lookalike. Lucas’ look-alike was depicted as sentenced on a white stage in southern Ukraine on or about Jan. 11, 2011. I will NEVER use Artificial Intelligence look-alike to voice what the Representative’s Office is doing nor own a robot look-alike.”
—Tea Party challenger Timothy Ray Murray, who received 3,442 votes in an Oklahoma primary race

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Priesthood and Women

Twenty-five years ago I delivered the McDougall Lecture at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Some modest part of that essay recommended that it is time and beyond time to ordain women to both the Mormon and Catholic traditions and, by implication, all other faiths. A productive firestorm erupted that continues still. How tragic, how brutal, how disconnected to real people with real hearts, real children, dear mates to be so abused as the Mormon church discards with no more than a pious statement, or simply a sniff, their best and brightest.

I’ve said before that Mormon leadership all too often reflects an anti-Darwinism, that is, the survival of the least fit, by cultivating a culture that obeys leadership with no sense of the necessity of checking any act of leadership with one’s own brain, one’s own agency. This tendency,if unchecked, will produce at least two terrible results: poor leadership at the top and right on down the ecclesiastical ladder. Second, leadership will continue to boast of growing membership but it will be looking only at those coming in the church’s front door but not noting those exiting the back door either formally, or just by staying home on Sunday, de facto un-churched.

Mormons need not fear its loving critics. Mormonism, Catholicism, and all faith traditions really should be terrified at the prospect that huge numbers now see churches as irrelevant to their lives. People who engage their leadership quite obviously care very much about their faith, or they would not give such enormous time and energy to help, as they see it,their churches. The really scary elephant in the room is apathy. An even scarier specter is when hundreds of thousands of members, each year, determine that perhaps, just perhaps we really don’t need priests or bishops to mediate between God and all of us. We can, after all, talk directly to God and cut out the middleman and his ten percent finder’s fee. Women should hold any priesthood for which they qualify by abiding neutral rules. And priests and sisters should have the god-given right to choose marriage or celibacy, as they choose, by serious thought and by prayer.There is nothing in holy writ that requires that men mediate God to women.

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Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision: Corporations are people and have more rights than you

So suck on it.

I’ll more to say but for now, my facebook and twitter feeds are blowing. This decision is horrendous. Five men just hurt the health care of every single American woman.

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“Justified True Belief”

Knowledge is sometimes defined in philosophy circles as “justified true belief.” Sometimes philosophers can drain the passion out of any phrase.

Still, the idea counts for something. Can you really say you “know” something if you are wrong? Being raised Mormon I was always bothered when people gave their testimony with the phrase “I know this is true” because it was clear to me that they did not “know” anything of the sort. They believed. They may even be right. But unless it was proven true, they couldn’t actually know. They simply had faith that they mistakenly called knowledge…..

Over at MotherJones.com, Chris Mooney has an interesting article about some of the research on how political ideology and views can affect our reasoning ability. There has been a fair amount of research in the area of late, and I find an awful lot of it fascinating, I also find a lot of what is written about it to be misled for what seems like some pretty basic reasons.

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Safety is not part of “pro-life”

SCOTUS has destroyed the buffer zone that protects women and those escorting them in clinics from protestors. Given the cases of domestic terrorism in USA of the “pro-life” protestors hurting and even killing abortion seekers and providers this seems backwards at best.

Interesting to note that the SCOTUS has a buffer zone.

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10 Circuit Issues a Very Direct Ruling

Read the whole thing here (courtesy of the SL Tribune) – and yeah, emphasis added:

May a State of the Union constitutionally deny a citizen the benefit or protection of the laws of the State based solely upon the sex of the person that citizen chooses to marry?

Having heard and carefully considered the argument of the litigants, we conclude that, consistent with the United States Constitution, the State of Utah may not do so. We hold that the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry, establish a family, raise children, and enjoy the full protection of a state’s marital laws. A state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.

The ruling (which I’m still reading) has lots of interesting issues – one of which I find relevant. Some people argue that the Windsor ruling should not be relevant because it stated marriage has traditionally been left to the states. This ruling reads, in part:

The Windsor majority expressly cabined its holding to state-recognized marriages, id. at 2696, and is thus not directly controlling. But the similarity between the claims at issue in Windsor and those asserted by the plaintiffs in this case cannot be ignored. This is particularly true with respect to plaintiffs Archer and Call, who seek recognition by Utah of a marriage that is valid in the state where it was performed. More generally, all six plaintiffs seek equal dignity for their marital aspirations. All claim that the state’s differential treatment of them as compared to opposite-sex couples demeans and undermines their relationships and their personal autonomy.

And:

Of course, the Windsor decision dealt with federal recognition of marriages performed under state law. But with respect to plaintiffs Archer and Call, who were married in Iowa and whose marriage Utah will not recognize under Amendment 3, the analogy to Windsor is particularly apt.

As I read this, the 10th Circuit is arguing that the issue in this case and Windsor are similar enough that Windsor is directly relevant. IOW, even though Windsor recognized that states have historically governed marriage, they still cannot violate the federal Constitution.

The 10th Circuit also recognized that the right to marry is separate from the decision and right to procreate.

Appellants’ assertion that the right to marry is fundamental because it is linked to procreation is further undermined by the fact that individuals have a fundamental right to choose against reproduction. “If the right of privacy means anything, it is the right of the individual, married or single, to be free from unwarranted governmental intrusion into matters so fundamentally affecting a person as the decision whether to bear or beget a child.” Eisenstadt v. Baird, 405 U.S. 438, 453 (1972) (emphasis omitted); see also Griswold, 381 U.S. at 485-86 (recognizing right of married individuals to use contraception).

There’s also a moving passage about the ways in which our awareness of rights evolves:

The drafters of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments “knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom.” Id. at 579. A generation ago, recognition of the fundamental right to marry as applying to persons of the same sex might have been unimaginable. A generation ago, the declaration by gay and lesbian couples of what may have been in their hearts would have had to remain unspoken. Not until contemporary times have laws stigmatizing or even criminalizing gay men and women been felled, allowing their relationships to surface to an open society

I’m sure there will be much commentary and lots of hysterics from conservatives.

If I were Governor Herbert I’d be asking myself a question – “Do I want my name on the case that legalizes same sex marriage in the US?”

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The Sergeant, The Senator, and Treason

The Sergeant who some years ago left his post in that unnecessary and unwinnable war in
Afghanistan is either a hero, a traitor, or just a terribly young man in the wrong war at the wrong time. He spent terrible years of torture and probably said things he didn’t really mean.

Some years ago in Vietnam, Senator McCain was shot down over Vietnam, another unconstitutional war, and equally unwinnable war, confessed repeatedly to things he later recanted, once safely in the United States, and is, quite rightly regarded, despite his confessions to American war crimes, a hero. The two cases are not quite completely on all fours, as we say in the law. But the similarity is sufficient to compare with each other and with the undergirding of law.The president, of course, whatever Congress may think, may pardon the sergeant. (These vital paragraphs were somehow deleted from my essay a week or two ago, making the older essay mostly meaningful, but rendering its title incoherent. Dear editors of OneUtah, please place this essay in as the first paragraph in the previous piece). ed firmage xoxo

[Copied and pasted to your earlier post -Rich Warnick.]

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