Ricky Santorum – boy have we missed him!

I will admit fodder for blogs was much easier when Ricky was still in the hunt for the Republican nomination.  After realizing that most of Republican America still saw him as the jerk and reprobate that Pennsylvania voters realized several years ago, he quickly put his tail between his legs and took refuge somewhere no doubt where 21st century thinking was still decades away.

Freedom – as long as your believe what I do!

But, hallelujah, glory be, HE IS BACK! (that is the closest to a religious fervor I can get).  Yesterday, Ricky shared his opinion that President Barack Obama is “directly assaulting” religious freedom and that his administration has implemented policies that force Catholics to abandon their faith.  Now, while I understand this is politics and that Santorum plays to a select few (none of whom I can personally admit to being an acquaintance), I think Ricky really needs to understand that most Catholics, if we use their support and aherence to the beliefs of the Catholic faith, have long abandoned the rules set by the Catholic Church without help from the present administration.  I also have to wonder where Ricky’s wife, who managed to cohabit, un-married, with a renowned abortion doctor, the founder of Pittsburgh’s first abortion clinic in the 1970′s, for several years pre-Ricky, really feels about all this.  She has no doubt hit the confessional a few times – nothing a couple of Hail Mary’s can’t fix.

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers as far as Americans who are Catholic and their adherence to the faith.  In full disclosure, I am a longstanding atheist so I have issues with most any religious belief – while I’ll defend to the end your right to believe whatever you want, I’ll still never understand how you can believe what you do.  I will admit I just happen to find the Catholic belief structure and the Pope particularly abhorrent.

Hmm…Birth Control – while the more non-catholics find birth control morally acceptable than catholics, it isn’t by much.  More important, 8 in 10 catholics don’t align with their faith.  I guess most of these people won’t be abandoning their faith because of Obama – they left long ago.

This next chart is even more interesting.

Quite a bit to highlight here – but the data in the chart is pretty clear.  The majority of Catholics polled seem to fall on the wrong side of sticking with the mandates of the Catholic faith – even the church going Catholics.  Even more amazing is that more church going Catholics see abortion as morally acceptable than non-Catholics.  Quite a few of them gambling also.

Here’s another surprise (not) – not alot of support of the Catholic Church in general by Catholics – aside from a great number of beliefs remaining in the dark ages, I guess the abuse of little boys hasn’t help the cause much.

So at the end of the day, Ricky, I give to you the latest “Head in the Butt” award.  There was no question among the voters and I expect this will not be the last time you get this honor given there is still a few months to go and you will be out there helping Mitt.

Ricky has also started to weigh in on Paulie R.

“What Paul Ryan stands for in conservative circles and in the media and in this country, for those who know him, is someone who is willing to challenge the status quo and have bold ideas to confront the problems of this country in a truthful fashion,” Santorum said.

Yes, there is no doubt Paulie comes to the table with some bold ideas.

From Thinkprogress.org –

“Ryan embraces the extreme philosophy of Ayn Rand. Ryan heaped praise on Ayn Rand, a 20th-century libertarian novelist best known for her philosophy that centered on the idea that selfishness is “virtue.” Rand described altruism as “evil,” condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as “phony,” and called Arabs “almost totally primitive savages.”

Wow – she sounds more like a 2012 Republican than a professed libertarian.

Keep the Federal Govt away – unless it helps me out.

Bloomberg News

Obama Announces Meat Purchase to Help Farmers Through Drought

President Barack Obama, campaigning in Iowa today, announced $170 million in government meat purchases to help farmers struck by drought, helping to send hog prices to a one-week high.

The purchase of as much as $100 million of pork, $50 million of chicken, and $10 million each of lamb and catfish come on top of $30 million in assistance announced last week. Farmers and ranchers are struggling with the worst combination of heat and dryness since the 1950s, the administration said.

…More than half the counties in the U.S. have been declared natural disaster areas by the Department of Agriculture, and 69 percent of the Midwest last week had moderate to exceptional drought, government data show.

…Obama has pledged a wide-ranging response to the drought. His administration is giving farmers and ranchers access to low-interest emergency loans, opening more federal land for grazing and distributing $30 million to get water to livestock.

 

 

Okay – what is wrong with this picture.  So let’s add it up.  Farmers, Ranchers, whatever you call those who raise fish, etc.  getting government help to purchase their products.  Add on top of that the benefits that come with being declared natural disaster areas.  Not to cast a wide net here but I expect a good number of the states, and likely voters, where the loudest noise is based on a desire for less Federal Government in their affairs that are benefiting the most from yet another Federal program that takes my tax dollars and again bails out others who sit dramatically opposite my social and political leanings.  I’ll make it pretty clear – what I pay in Federal tax dollars hurts my brain when I do my taxes every year.  I see little of that back given my earnings have for years placed me outside of almost every break and benefit available.  That’s fine as I realize I get other benefits (but not from outside or government sources).  I don’t mind helping others that need help or are less fortunate but it does gall me to see all these people who are the first to shit on the Federal government and anyone who doesn’t believe in what they do or hold their values but yet they are the first to hold their hands out when times are tough.

Okay – now a little test – take a look at these next two graphics and tell me what looks surprisingly similar.  While not perfect, I will guess there is a bit of overlap in those states with the greatest drought conditions and the Red states.

 

Courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration –
National Climatic Data Center

 

Recent historical look Red vs. Blue states

 

Now, if I can only figure out how to get my two acres here in Pennsylvania declared a disaster area.  Or maybe I need to start raising some livestock or fish out in the backyard.

 

Oh, and lastly, no sense of anything with Global Warming here.  Interesting, on the subject of that huge hoax of Global Warming – I did read a recent article in our local paper – which on occasion stumbles on some story of value – of course they took it from another publication in PA.  Seems we in the Northeast/Mid Atlantic are seeing some change in our weather – might explain where all that rain from mid-west is going.

Pa. getting ‘extreme’ storms more often

By

LAURA LEGERE

The Times-Tribune

August 06, 2012

Pennsylvania’s heaviest downpours have gotten wetter and more frequent in the last six decades, according to a report released by PennEnvironment.

Between 1948 and 2011, the state has seen a 52 percent increase in the number of “extreme” storms — those that are among the largest in the state in the last 64 years.

Large storms that used to happen once a year in Pennsylvania now happen every eight months, the report found. The amount of rain or snow in the largest storm each year has also grown by 23 percent over the same period.

The findings were based on data from the National Climatic Data Center collected from 3,700 weather stations across the country.

The frequency and severity of Pennsylvania’s storms largely matched the average increase of the Mid-Atlantic region, but surpassed the national average, the report found.

Extreme storms happened 30 percent more often nationally in 2011 than 1948 and the largest annual storms produced 10 percent more rain or snow.

 

Maybe I should be looking for Federal Government flood relief aid….

 

Romney – the Chameleon

I was actually looking for more detail on the Romney stand on Global Warming this morning when I came across a recently posted article by Paul Davies in the Philly Post.  The article,

“Mitt Romney Has Perfected Flip-Flopping – Which side of the Republican candidate would show up at the White House?” 

can be found at  http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2012/08/08/mitt-romney-flip-flopping/.  It is quite a well written piece that I suggest everyone read but more impressive is the video embedded in the article which takes the various and everchanging positions of Mitt over the years and displays them very elegantly and effectively.  Say what you will about the Media, it makes it difficult for a politician to duck and run from previous statements and positions they’ve taken.  I’ve included that video below.  It is a bit longer than most (almost 20 minutes) which speaks volumes as to the contradictions and changes we can see in Mitt over his political career.

Now, if only we had a voting public with the intelligence to realize what it going on and the common sense to see that there is a problem here.

I can only hope but my expectations are low.

Lest we all forget – Bachmann and the Tea Party

Not sure about the rest of you but it seems to me like we haven’t heard much as of recent from one of the most uniformed politicians out there – Michele Bachmann.  I personally find it a bit disheartening that someone so obviously half brain-dead can have a law degree, let alone play any role in national politics.  Makes me wonder about the educational standards we set in some of our law schools.  Again, not a surprise but it does also speak volumes of the level of intelligence of a good number of our voting public is given her early run in the Republican presidential campaign.

In any case, I stumbled across this site – http://www.zimbio.com/Michele+Bachmann’s+Craziest+Quotes/articles (kudos and credit to zimbio.com) that provided a quick walk down memory lane as to the long and often confused psyche of this loon.  Whether anti-gay, anti-science, conspiracy theory or just downright stupid – she covers it all.  Here are some of my favorites –

“Normalization (of gayness) through desensitization. Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders, is take a picture of The Lion King for instance, and a teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?’ The message is: ‘I’m better at what I do, because I’m gay.'” — Bachmann, Nov. 2004

“It’s your state that fired the shot that was heard around the world! You are the state of Lexington and Concord, you started the battle for liberty right here in your backyard.”
—Bachmann recounting her version of the American Revolution while in New Hampshire. Unfortunately, Lexington, Concord and the short heard ’round the world all happened in Massachusetts. March 2011
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.” –Rep. Michele Bachmann, suggesting at a presidential campaign event in Florida that the 2011 East Coast earthquake and hurricane was a message from God (Aug. 2011)       
“Before we get started, let’s all say ‘Happy Birthday’ to Elvis Presley today.” -Rep. Michele Bachmann, while campaigning for president in South Carolina on what was actually the anniversary of Elvis’s death, Aug. 16, 2011 (Elvis was born on January 8) 
“The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax. It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.”
— March 15, 2008
”Why should I go and do something like that? But the Lord says, ‘Be submissive wives; you are to be submissive to your husbands.”  —Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), recalling in a 2006 speech at a Megachurch in Minneapolis that pursuing tax law wasn’t her choice, but she did so at the urging of her husband because she was certain God was speaking through him 

Two birds of a feather?

Given the Michele is also really all about the Tea Party and all it stands for as well as in recognition of the recent Senate primary win by a Tea Party candidate in Texas, I think we should also highlight exactly what they bring to the table…and there are so many from which to choose.

           

       

    

      

   

Idaho – why am I not surprised?

The lack of civility and the degree of hate has no bounds apparently.  This billboard was recently put up in Idaho (a mecca of intelligence to begin with) that takes the recent tragedy in Colorado to a new level of mindless and hateful politics.  How convenient to put ownership of the wars in Afghanastan and Iraq in Obama’s foreign policy.  How insensitive to highlight the horrible event in Aurora.  I would wonder if Mr. Smeed, the 90 year old very senior citizen behind the billboard, would have erected the same sentiment if this same event had occurred during the Bush years – the man who’s foreign policy actually got us there.

Yes, people have the right to say what they think and feel – it is just amazing how some have no boundaries when it comes to sensitivity and human feelings.  Here is another person where the world will be better off with his passing.

On Love and Equality

As a family we are used to sharing – whether it be things, thoughts, ideas, information we find interesting or compelling.  It is one way we keep together in thought and feeling – even though there are miles that separate us.  As anyone who has read my postings, one thing that is very important to me and my family are gay rights as my son is gay and we see the challenges, prejudice and hate that he must deal with in today’s world.  I, for one, find it difficult to maturely deal with those so viciously against gays and the rights they deserve as citizens in our country.  My anger can often overtake me – mostly given my relative lack of influence to change others.  At 59 years old, I still find it difficult to understand the processes that work in people so filled with hate and loathing.  I understand at some level given what I see as a shortcoming in these people, an inability to think beyond their immediate self, a stunted ability to empathize, a lack of feeling for anything other than themselves.  I would like to say it is merely a difference in levels of education but that won’t work.  In some sense I guess I’m not much better than most of these people who can look at my son as a second class citizen or, even worse, an abomination because I do look at these people as deficient human beings, people who are not equal to those of us who think and can empathize with others – even if we don’t agree with them.  Unfortunately, I can’t take their rights away – I can only loathe them.  I can only wish they receive back what they put out.  That is what keeps me going at times.

But I digress – back to sharing.  I want to share something sent to me this morning by my daughter.  She sent on a link to a site I would want everyone to visit.  It speaks to one of the more important topics we have in front of us.  It speaks to why any focus on marriage being only between a man and a woman is such a fucked up concept.  Again, after watching the video, I can’t fathom how anyone can’t be moved or can’t see the problem with denying rights of people in a gay relationship.  I will say as I watched the video and listened and watched two people obviously in love, I couldn’t help feel their pain and frustration.  For those who would watch and not see the problem we have as a society at the moment, I remain confused as I can’t imagine their thought or emotional processes.   I can only see that most of the anti-gay rights people are dead inside in some way or another.  I also think that many of them are plain and simple assholes but I think that about alot of people.

In any case, please take a look and pass it on to others as you may.  Thanks to my daughter for sharing –