Tag Archives: Politics

Hate Media Abuzz

In  the last several days as a part of my surfing the Hate Media, I have heard Hannity, Limbaugh and Jim Bohannon grousing about the Fairness Doctrine.  They are worried to death that the American Public might once again have the right to be heard on the broadcast media.  Readers who are interested in in the public having access to the airwaves need to light up your  Congress Persons and the Obama transition team.  The Fairness Doctrine was rarely invoked when it was in force,  and it tramples nobody’s First Amendment rights.  It requires that the folks who are licensed to operate on public airwaves,  which are owned by us all,  provide reasonable opportunity for all sides of controversial issues to be aired.  I don’t necessarily want to generate enough buzz to scare manaagement into taking these hate mongers off the air but I do expect mangement to pony up the time for adequate response to the poisonous vapors they spew.  Licensees who think they have First Amendment rights that trump the rights of the public should transfer their licenses to me and I will be happy to see that all sides of controversial issues are fully and fairly aired.  I certainly would not want their little First Amend feelings to be bruised or trampled.  I also will be happy to buy a wheelbarrow so I can haul the millions of dollars these folks make from sitting a-squat and exploiting a public property down to my bank.

Don Singleton

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Hate Media At A Loss For Words

I occasionally listen to one or more of the hate media mouthpieces just to see what they are up to.  Yesterday (Sunday—yes they rerun this drivel on Sunday) I spent a little time listening to Rush Limbaugh who was crying the blues about the loss of the election to the Democrats in spite of the carefully crafted fantasies the conservatives  had spun.  None of it worked, he moaned.

For the uninitiated a few definitions are in order and then I will let you in on what El Trashmouth  had to say.

The hate media are those institutions and their hired mouthpieces which are dedicated to spewing hatred–no this is not a discussion, not a debate, not even a shouting match– it is pure hatred,  spewed at mach 3,  twenty fours hours per day, three hundred and sixty five days per year.  Here are the major hate mongers:  On radio they are:  Rush, Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Michael Savage, Neil Bortz, Laura Ingram and a host of others, but you get the general idea.  If you listen carefully you will find that most of these programs have little or no advertising support except for those shady outfits that sell nostrums that are supposed to cure everything from impotence to hives.  They hark back to the early days of radio and a charlatan named Goat Gland Brinkley who peddled Goat Gland extract as the cure for everything from bee stings to boils.  In short the reactionary, proto fascistic right has taken a page out of Paddy Chayefsky’s prescient screen play, Network, where a right wing ideologue keeps the Madman, Howard Beale, on as anchor in order to spew his particular brand of right wing ideological claptrap..  It is worth it to the proto fascisti to own and control the media and program them with hatred for anything that stands in the way of their power and theft capitalism.  It is seen as a loss leader, an investment in the future mindset of the unwashed masses, a control mechanism.  Peter Finch’s portrayal of the insane Howard Beale and Rush Limbaugh’s rantings are interchangeable.  Network premiered in 1976.  Need I remind anyone that 1984 has long since come and gone.

On television the worst offender is Fox Fiction, a supposed news service that is merely a propaganda arm for the extreme ideology of its owner Ruppurt Murdoch.  The rest of the so called mainstream media is owned by large conglomerates and the so called journalists dance the corporate tune.  Fox is loaded with Republican operatives including a principal out of the Nixon administration making Fox Fiction a second rate burglary of the American airwaves.

Worried about the use of the term fascism?? Here is a definition of fascism from an online dictionary:

a system of government characterized by rigid one-party dictatorship, forcible suppression of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized governmental control, belligerent nationalism, racism, and militarism, etc.”

As Gore Vidal astutely pointed out, we have one party in this country with two right wings.  Well, enough of the technical stuff.

What did Limbaugh say?

Well he ticked through a list of slurs they had used to try to defeat Barack Obama.  He was messianic and had a messiah complex.  He was going to do away with coal mining and bankrupt the coal companies and put the coal companies out of business, he was an elitist who saw most Americans as “Bitter Clingers” to God and Guns, etc.  Well none of it worked and now the new strategy had to be not to attack Barack Obama, the new Teflon candidate, but to attack his policies as collectivist—here anyone one with any sense of history reads “Communist.”  They tried “socialist” and that failed to gain traction.  Now the buzzword of the reactionary right will be one step removed from Communist, since after the McCarthyism of the fifties, that word elicits a reaction akin to calling someone the “N” word.

Of course it never seemed to occur to Limbaugh that the reactionary right lost the election because they had controlled all of the branches of government for all but two of the last eight years and had driven the country into a deep and muck filled ditch.  They didn’t lose because the neo cons had trashed the good name of this wonderful country and made us into a shameful shadow of our former selves.  They didn’t lose because Wall Street thieves were allowed to descend on good working people like a plague of locusts and loot pension funds, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and dozens of banks and financial institutions.  They didn’t lose because the greed and incompetence of the administration and its continued rush to de regulation allowed these freebooters to steal everything that wasn’t nailed down.  They didn’t lose because they sullied the good name of the country with an unprovoked aggressive war against Iraq, and an over reaction to 9 11 against Afghanastan—never mind the oil pipeline—and made names like Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo part of the international lexicon.  Never mind the proto fascism of the Patriot Act.  Never mind the warrantless spying on their political opponents.  Never mind the screw ups in education, energy, environmental issues and emergency relief.  Never mind Katrina.  Never mind the Louisiana levees that didn’t stand up or the Minnesota bridge that fell down.  Never mind any of the incompetence, the arrogance, the criminality, the viciousness.  Never mind.  They lost because they attacked Obama directly and it didn’t work.  Wow!  Are there people left out there who still actually believe any of this drivel??  If so, E.T., time to phone home.

One can look at this last election and take the high road.  America has grown up.  American is willing to evaluate on competence. American has finally shed its racist past.  Or, if one is of a more pragmatic mind, one can argue that Shrek, green, fat, ugly, stinking  Shrek could have beaten anyone the right wing fielded because they had screwed everything up so bloody badly.  Shrek and his donkey would have trounced anybody the right chose to run.  And may it be so for another 50 years,  since that is about the time span necessary to dig out of this pit into which they have cast the country.

Clearly, the Limbaughs and the Hannitys and the Igrams are going right to work to feed the hate machine.  Barack Obama needs to take note.  Barack Obama needs to have Congress revisit the deregulation of the media.

He needs to:

1. Revise the size of the FCC upward in order to gain a working majority as Reagan downsized it to do the same.

2. Appoint a strong FCC Chairman –somebody like Robert McChesney or Ralph Nader— who will bring Back the Fairness Doctrine and remind broadcasters that the airwaves are public property and to be used as such.

3. Break up the media monopolies.

And he needs to do this in the first one hundred days of his administration while he has the hate media on the ropes.  He needs to remind the public on a daily basis that it was the right wing reactionary proto fascisti that drove the country into the ditch.

Otherwise they will do as Limbaugh suggests:  Rope a dope him until they wear him out and perhaps the unwashed masses begin to listen to the hate media again.  But if Barack Obama is as smart as FDR and if Barack Obama is as tough as FDR Limbaugh and Hannity and O’Reilly and that crowd of nit wits will be left standing on a stump in cow pasture yelling through a megaphone to a herd of preoccupied Jersey milkers.

Don Singleton


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Savagely Stolen News — Alaska NOT for Baked Alaska

Kids, I swear, I’ll be back to my old fluff-posting shenanigans once my life frees up a little bit. –Ryan

    Sarah Palin’s home state Anchorage Daily News endorses Barack Obama

Alaska’s largest newspaper has endorsed Democrat Barack Obama for the White House, saying it would be too risky to put the state’s Republican governor Sarah Palin just “one 72-year-old heartbeat from the leadership of the free world.”

Telegraph. co. uk
By Our Foreign Staff
Last Updated: 9:59PM GMT 26 Oct 2008

The Anchorage Daily News, the leading daily in the overwhelmingly Republican state, called Mrs Palin’s vice-presidential nomination “an improbable and highly memorable event” which had brought prominence to Alaska.

Nevertheless, the paper said that “despite her formidable gifts, few who have worked closely with the governor would argue she is truly ready to assume command of the most important, powerful nation on earth.”

The paper was even more scathing in its assessment of the top of the Republican ticket: “Our sober view is that her running mate, Senator John McCain, is the wrong choice for president at this critical time for our nation.”

“Senator Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, brings far more promise to the office,” the Anchorage Daily News said.

“In a time of grave economic crisis, he displays thoughtful analysis, enlists wise counsel and operates with a cool, steady hand. The same cannot be said of Senator McCain.”

Particularly on the top campaign issue – the faltering US economy – the newspaper said Mr McCain “has stumbled and fumbled badly in dealing with the accelerating crisis as it emerged.”

“His behaviour in this crisis – erratic is a kind description – shows him to be ill-equipped to lead the essential effort of reining in a runaway financial system and setting an anxious nation on course to economic recovery.”

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Hmm… Someone’s Been Reading morningcupofcoffee.com!

Just remember who said it first before SNL did it.



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September 11th

I suspended the political portion of the blog today to both participate and take in how our country remembers the attacks of 9/11.  I remember in the days after how people in our country seemed to pause, take a breath and act compassionately toward one another.  I remember the friendlyness of strangers.  There was a very tanglible sense of community.  We always have the “USA-USA-USA” chant style of “we’re American”, but in those days it was different and better.  Hands down better.  The rhetoric of policy, partisanship of politics and polarization from issues ranging from abortion to gay marriage seemed nonexistent for a time.  Not that those issues don’t matter, but in those special all-to-fleeting days the unity seemed to give us the space to tolerate our differences…

I think that atmosphere, if it still existed, would have allowed us to come to some agreements on policy or at least allowed us to try to come to some accord.  Had we failed in our goal we would have been able to hold our collective heads high while walking away from the table without questioning each others love of America and patriotism, but with respect for one another and the understanding that our political adversary is also our national kin.

It’s unfortunate that our paths have led us to a place of contention and polarization.  I hope one day we can once again feel the “we are family” feeling in a tangible way, sans a national tragedy as a catalyst.



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Maybe This Palin Thing Is Just a Joke?

Sarah Palin Tina Fey

I’m just saying…



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How To Tell If You’re a Moron

I try to balance out the political stuff that Tom so expertly posts on here with entertainment showbiz blither and boxing talk. That’s my job. I’m the fluffer of this site, so to speak. However, today’s developments combined with this week’s Democratic National Convention have led me to a conclusion which I must share with you all.

If you were supporting Senator Hillary Clinton, and got cheesed off because Sen. Barack Obama got the nomination, that’s fine. You’re entitled to your opinion. If you watched the DNC and still feel cheesed off, that’s fine too. That’s rather stubborn, but I’m not telling you how to think.

If you were supporting Senator Hillary Clinton, got cheesed off because Sen. Barack Obama got the nomination, and now you’re looking at this Sen. John McCain-Governor Sarah Palin ticket and thinking, “Hmmm… this holds more appeal to me now than it did before,” you should have I AM A MORON stamped across your forehead in big bold letters.

You know, to warn the rest of us when you approach.




Filed under john mccain, Politics, Presidential Race 2008, Republicans

Michelle Obama at the DNC “We’re Just Like You”

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama’s speech was heartfelt, passionate and executed very well.  She did what she had to do to portray her husband as a “regular” American with an exotic name.  I do not believe the speech will make much of a difference in November, but speeches like this can help add to a positive perception of the candidate.  Honestly, I’m not sure what we should expect a prospective first spouse to say in a speech at a National Convention.  I’m not even really sure why they speak?  They aren’t the ones we are electing…  but I digress.  The speech was good and probably helped in a small way re-shape Obama as a regular guy to some people, perhaps even Clinton supporters and/or undecided voters.




Filed under Barack Obama, Democrats, Obama, Politics, Presidential Race 2008

My Climb to the Top Just Got A lot Harder…

Senator John McCan’t told Pastor Rick Warren that having $5,000,000 fit the bill as being “rich”. Senator Obama shot back correctly, “I guess if you’re making $3 million a year, you’re middle class”, in an event in New Mexico.

The real devil in the details and the secret about money and class in America is this: class is not a static destination.

There is no amount of money that definitely makes you “rich”. It’s an illusion. Certainly, a person with $5 in the bank is not rich, while I think most of us would say someone with $1,000,000 in the bank would be considered rich.

But all these things are relative.

If you live in some parts of eastern Ohio and pay $3,000 a month for your mortgage you would undoubtedly be considered rich by the locals as you can find places to rent or own there for $400-500 easily. However, try taking that $3000/month and finding a similiar home in Manhattan or downtown San Francisco. You’ll be able to live in both of those places for $3000/month, but your digs will be much more humble and cozy (aka small) and within a mile there will be people that own property worth several million. In fact, just the property tax for many places in New York City or San Francisco would be more than the $500 rent/mortgage payment in eastern Ohio.

Now consider the way markets change our worth.

If you are a home owner then you know what I am talking about. A $500,000 house of 3 years ago might only be worth $250,000 today. Assuming the house was paid for that is a reduction of half of what is likely to be the person’s major asset: their house. So is this person no longer “rich” or “upper middle class”? It could be.

Class and the worth of our money *IS* all relative.

That being said, McCan’t fucked up by putting a number on a value that changes. In a time when our real estate worth is down, gasoline (though slowly retreating downward) is high, the price to heat and cool our homes is high and the price of food is high, it was not wise for McCan’t to put $5,000,000 as the figure associated with being “rich”.


Because we Americans all want to be rich!

When most Americans see a person making $250,000 a year we believe they are wealthy. If they are not, then how will we (meaning the general population if skilled and unskilled workers) ever attain our dream of being rich?  We’ll never make $250,000/year.  Never.  Never ever.

Obama was smart to seize on the miscue. At the end of the day this alone will not mean anything, but it is a way to prop up Obama’s plan to raise taxes on those making $250,000/year and over, while also re-affirming that McCan’t is the rich man’s candidate.




Filed under Corporations, Democrats, Economy, Energy, Obama, Ohio, Politics, Poverty, Presidential Race 2008, Republicans

“Christian” author announces that Obama is *not* the anti-christ

Isn’t this kinda like asking a guy, “when did you stop beating your wife”? The implication is that Obama has some of the criteria needed to be the boogey man of John’s revelation. And for me, it’s over the line… If asked this question the author should have rightfully scoffed and made a mockery of the questioner, that’s how absurd it is.

There are stupid questions people, and then there are smart statements made by supposedly “religious” people that are disguised as questions, whose aim is to injure a man’s integrity.

Way to follow christ Jerry Jenkins.

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This Was My Reaction When I First Heard the News As Well…

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Lies, Part I

Just for the fun of it I’m going to occassionally post lies from public figures.  I can think of no other person to begin this segment with than our President.

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Dr. Seuss’s Political Cartoons

Before Suess began his epic children’s book career he drew adverts for companies and penned political cartoons.  Check’em out below and then hit up the link.

Here are a few:

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I’ll See Your Attack on Georgia and Raise You Missile Defense in Poland

Something that really has not been discussed much is the fact that Poland just agreed to allow the USA to place a missile defense system inside its borders.  This coming after Russia attacked Georgia.  It looks like Russia may have just fucked up.  Poland was reluctant to allow us to put our missile defense system in their country because they did not want to enrage Russia, well with Russia now on the warpath Poland has turned to us and our defense shield.

Of course this “agreement” is only in its infancy and has yet to be confirmed by their congressional body and President.

Good move W!

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Another Republican Indicted

Seriously folks, how many “conservative” convictions does it take before the religious people abandon the party?  How in the name of their god and the rules set forth by their book can they in good conscience continue to vote for people that are criminals?

The latest is Ted Stevens.  He’s currently the longest serving republican senator.  The AP described his case as being indicted on “seven felony counts of concealing more than a quarter of a million dollars in house renovations and gifts from a powerful oil contractor that lobbied him for government aid.”

I know, I should not jump to conclusions, but I have been told that this case is rock solid.  It’s virtually a lock.

Last year some of you might remember gay, uh I mean, republican senator Larry Craig of Idaho.  He pleaded guilty to charges that came from him apparently trying to get some man-on-man action by playing footsie while sitting on the toilet with a man in the stall next door.  As a side note, a man can get his ass kicked for that…

And for the record, the last sitting senator to be indicted in federal court was Republican David Durenberger from Minnesota.  He pleaded guilty of conspiring to file fraudulent claims for Senate reimbursement of $3,825 in lodging expenses.

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The Tao of Travel II

This is a follow up to the previous post.

Bourdain’s comments inspired me to think about some rules of travel…  Here is what I wrote down in two emails and sent to some friends:

I think it [what Bourdain wrote] is brilliant!

Over the past several years I have really attempted to travel as a lifestyle.  In the beginning you visit Chicago or New York or Paris and come back with tales defining the experience and the place as a whole aka  “France was amazingggggg” .  Something strange happens when you begin to visit new places with some frequency.  You realize that you have not visited “France” as much as you enjoyed a singular experience.  Your trip was limited by your timing, personality, other people on the trip, your health (try having a good sick vacation), etc…  there are a ton of variables that all contribute to the cumulative thing you forevermore will refer to as your “Trip to France”.  I think Tony states as much when he writes, “I encounter some people — or take them along. They show me their lives.  We go some places –meet some friends. I tell you how that felt to me.  THAT’S what we do.”  And I think that is why so many people love the show.  His show is ultimately about his experience- it’s not as much about “look you can do this, too” like many of the other travel shows.  Sure, you can visit some of the same places- and should- but it’s the philosophy of the singular experience that makes his show- and your trip to France- great.  The politics?  Blah.  Travelers are above politics or should be.  It’s about the experience.

***************** 2nd Email********************

My number one rule is to respect the country and their rule.  My
application might be controversial. ..  when I ran with the bulls in
Pamplona, Spain, last year I found out they have the “running of the
nudes”.  No, no don’t get excited.  It’s a bunch of PETA people without
the balls/ovaries to actually run in the buff.  Instead, they wear
bathing suits and run through the streets protesting the run.  Now I am
all for the good people of Spain demonstrating, but I, as a US citizen,
do not think it is right for other Americans to travel to another
country and protest.  To belabor the point, I was against the Iraq war
from the beginning, but when I attended a concert by Canadian band
Skinny Puppy in Ohio and they were protesting America I was likewise
turned off.

Perhaps I watched too many original star trek episodes, but for me, the
prime directive of not interfering with “alien” cultures should be
respected.  I’m there to observe the culture and enjoy it, not try to
change it to favor mine (which would kinda defeat the point of

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Filed under Europe, Food, Life, travel, Writers

Norm Coleman to Al Franken: I Brought Hockey Back!

Norm Coleman and Al Franken

Norm Coleman and Al Franken

This ad by Al Franken is one of the best I have watched this political season. Franken is running for a US Senate seat in Minnesota against incumbent Republican Norm Coleman. In the fall of 1993 Minnesota’s team “The North Stars” fled for Dallas. But the state was able to land an expansion franchise to begin play during the 2000-2001 season. Coleman has really played up the fact that he played a role in getting the replacement team.

Franken responded thusly:



Filed under Politics, Republicans, Sports

Vote With Your Best Interests In Mind

If Americans would vote with their best interests in mind our society would be able to change the politics in Washington. Think about it.

What effects you?

Taxes, certainly. When the richest Americans get the tax cuts in an era where the price of gas, home heating oil and food rise while we have the value of houses and the dollar plummet, banks going belly up and people having their houses taken from them for lack of payment then something is wrong. And don’t come at me with that “the top 2% of Americans pay 40% of the taxes”. They should. They top 2% of Americans are enjoying the rarefied air of the top 2% of opportunity. Billionaires should pay millions in taxes. Millionaires should pay ten of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands (depending on if they are making $1 million a year or $999 million a year) of dollars in taxes. A person with children making $10,000 a year not only should not pay income tax, they should not have any federal income tax taken out of their check. We should help the poorest Americans by giving them a fucking break. Likewise, we should tax the billionaires at an appropriate rate to reflect the fact that it was/is America that has given them the precipice on which they sit.



Gay marriage? Are you gay? If not, why do you care what others do? You don’t have to accept their nuptials as legit.

Illegal immigration? Definitely. You might be inclined to say “no” if you live in an area without them, but no matter what side of the issue you are on there is no debate that millions of dollars go to bankroll their existence in our country, while they, by and large, do not pay taxes.

Abortion? Again, a tricky one. As a married guy it does not effect me directly, however, I am of the opinion that abortion is a medical procedure and should not be legislated on by a body that consists of lawyers with little to no medical training aka congress and/or the Supreme Court (I know technically the court doesn’t legislate from the bench, but that is debatable as some of their “interpretations are so radical that they are making law in a de facto style.)

Guns rights? Definitely. If more states would allow qualified people to conceal and carry our crime rates would go down. A good example of this is the fact that most “massacre” type of killings in America take place in GUN FREE ZONES such as Post Offices and schools. Am I authorizing high schools have their ban lifted on fire arms? Absolutely not, but that is a very interesting statistic to note.

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Terror Watch List 2: Babies Being Stopped in Airports

No, seriously, our government is stopping parents and causing them to miss flights because children who cannot even form complete sentences yet are named on the terror watch list.

This sounds like shit that I  was taught was happening in the USSR…  “They” hate us for our freedom?  Our fucking babies can’t even move about the country freely!  It’s time to secure the country from terrorism using intelligence and not guesswork.



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While You Were Home Getting High John McCain Was…

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Terror Watch List

Our Terror Watch List now has in excess of 1 million names.  These have included Senator Edward Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.

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I Won’t Make My Opponent’s Youth and Inexperience…


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The New Yorker Cover

So much for the “liberal media bias”.  Particularly noteworthy is the picture of an Osama bin Laden-esque figure on the right and the American flag burning in the fireplace on the bottom right.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m pro-free speech and free press, so this is in no way criminal.  It’s just in poor taste.  Note, being free to say/print things does not negate others’ right to supply a retort.
July 21, 2008 cover of "The New Yorker"

July 21, 2008 cover of "The New Yorker"

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Last year after running with the bulls my wife (then girlfriend) and I went to Ireland.  We rented a Toyota stick shift (of note: in England and Ireland it is cheaper to rent a stick shift- automatics are much higher in price) and I was shocked that it took $75 to fill it up.  Of course, this was before the US dollar crashed (help in large part to W’s borrowing money from China and Japan to finance the Iraq War).  Today I paid $66 to fill my jalopy up, which is a record.

We set about to get a preview of as much of Ireland as possible.  Kind of a survey of what the island of nation had to offer.  One of the more memorable moments was pulling into Belfast on July 12th.  That’s the day known as “the troubles”.  Everything was closed.  We couldn’t even get fast food.  Luckily, we talked to a guy named Patrick who offered black cab taxi tours of the city.

Patrick's Cab

Patrick's Cab

Those tours take you through the city and showcase the struggle for Ireland’s independence from the tyranny of England.  While we wrapped up getting the blokes off of our back over 200 years ago, the Irish that live on the northern part of the island are still under control of the foreign invaders.  The 12th commemorates William of Orange’s victory at the Battle of Boyne.  Oddly, William wasn’t even English, being born in the Hague.

Anyways, what you need to know is every year on this date the good people of Belfast burn a city block of things.  Whatever will burn they put out and torch it in a central locale.  When we past it a child was sifting through the rubble with parts still burning.  It made me wonder what the American authorities would do if the same happened here.

Belfast fire

Belfast fire

From there we rode around the area of the “peace wall”, which is a wall built to separate the people that live in Belfast who want to continue under British rule- the protestants, and the Irish people that want to join the Republic of Ireland in the cause of independence- the Catholics.

The Peace Wall, Belfast, July 12, 2007

The Peace Wall, Belfast, July 12, 2007

As an atheist I have to just go with logic and say the whole island should be its own country.  It doesn’t make any sense to me that the UK commits military forces to keep the natives of the country down.  In my mind the island of Ireland should be one.

Here are some pics from the tour with some explanation following:

Picture of Oliver Cromwell- Hero to some, Asshole to Others

Picture of Oliver Cromwell- Hero to some, Asshole to Others

Taken from wikipedia’s account of Cromwell’s life “In Britain he was elected as one of the Top 10 Britons of all time in a 2002 BBC poll.[1] His measures against Irish Catholics have been characterized by some historians as genocidal or near-genocidal,[2] and in Ireland itself he is widely hated”.  If fact, Ireland has its own September 11th.  In 1649 Cromwell led the Massacre at Drogheda where he and his men killed about 3500 people after the town was captured.  These included many civilians and Priests.

Fredrick Douglas

Fredrick Douglas

Along the route were many murals.  Here is one to Fredrick Douglas.  To the left caption reads, “Inspired by two Irishmen to escape from slavery Frederick Douglas came to Ireland during the famine. Henceforth he championed the abolition of slavery, women’s rights and Irish freedom.”  To the right is a quote from Douglas, “Perhaps no class has carried prejudice against colour to a point more danger than have the Irish and yet no people have been more relentlessly oppressed on the account of race and religion”

Bobby Sands

Bobby Sands

Probably the most popular of the murals is the one dedicated to Bobby Sands.  Sands was jailed by the British for his involvement in IRA activities, but was denied the status of “political prisoner”.  While in prison Sands was voted in as a member of Parliament!  However, Margaret Thatcher and the UK authorities still would not end their iron hand upon the citizens of Ireland.  This led Bobby Sands head up a 1981 Hunger Strike that ultimately claimed his life, along with 9 others.  Now before you jump to the conclusion that Sands and others were starving themselves to “free Ireland” or some other large undoable request, here is a list of their five simple demands:

  1. The right not to wear a prison uniform;
  2. The right not to do prison work;
  3. The right of free association with other prisoners, and to organise educational and recreational pursuits;
  4. The right to one visit, one letter and one parcel per week;
  5. Full restoration of remission lost through the protest.

The significance of the hunger strike was the prisoners’ aim of being declared as political prisoners (or prisoners of war) and not to be classed as criminals.

That’s it.  They wanted to be treated better.  They wanted it to be known that they were being jailed for their actions toward freeing Ireland of English rule.  That’s it.  But Maggie wouldn’t budge.  Instead she allowed 10 of Ireland’s sons to die.  But it backfired.  The hunger strike led to massive media coverage and people joined the IRA in droves.  The deaths continue to be an inspiration to people the world over and a symbol of determination of self rule.

The caption beside Sands reads, “Everyone, Republican (Edit: the Irish nationalist) or otherwise has their own particular role to play…  our revenge will be the laughter of our children.”

And so it is…

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Filed under Civil Rights, Free Speech, History, Ireland, Politics, Religion

Sorry Unmarried Couples, No Hospital Visitation For You!

Maryland State Senator, who is currently running for the House of Representatives, Andy Harris voted against a bill that would have allowed domestic partners the same rights married couples enjoy.  BTW straight couples are getting married less and living together more- whether you know it or like it- you are at the heart of the domestic partner law.  You, as a straight couple, do not currently have the same rights as a married couple- even if you have been together longer.  A couple of 18 year olds who get married have more rights in most states than 90 year olds that have been in a relationship since their teens!  All because religious zealots do not want to give ground on their idea that marriage is a “christian” concept- in spite of the fact that every culture pro or anti-christ has a form of marriage and has since long before the christian god got a hankering to impregnate a 14 year old Mary.

Here is a summary of the law (as taken from Votesmart.org):

Grants the following rights to domestic partners (sec. 1):

    – Control over final arrangements for their partner’s body, including the right to give consent for a postmortem examination of their partner’s body and the right to decide how the body will be disposed if not specified by the deceased partner
    – The right to make decisions about their partner’s health care if their partner is incapable of doing so unless they have appointed a health care agent or guardian
    – The right to visit their partner in hospital unless the hospital does not allow visitors, it would threaten the patient’s health, or the patient has requested that the partner not visit
    – The right to accompany their partner in an emergency vehicle

– Requires proof of a domestic partnership such as an affidavit or supporting documents for an individual to exercise these rights except for accompanying a partner in an emergency vehicle or hospital visitation, for which only a good faith statement is required (sec. 1).

– Provides that nothing in the bill may be construed to define marriage as anything other than an arrangement between a man and a woman in the state of Maryland (sec. 3).

Voting against this is simply wrong.



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Filed under Gay Rights, Politics, Religion