Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sojourner Truth Statue Placed In Capitol Visitors Center

She lived for nearly 90 years. She never stopped fighting to extend the rights and protections of our democracy. She preached against capital punishment and advocated for prison reform. She recruited African American troops for the Union Army. She helped to desegregate the streetcars that ran through Washington, and she worked diligently to improve living conditions for freed men and women.
She did not know how to read or write. Her life was from the most humble and improbable circumstances. But she ended up counting President Lincoln and President Grant among her acquaintances. She never, never, despite what she went through, stopped believing in the promise of liberty. She lived long enough to see the end of slavery, but not the establishment of voting rights for women. The 19th Amendment would not be passed until 37 years after her death. But today, she takes her place in this Capitol, and we are the better for it.
Was any person ever better named? Think about it. She is a sojourner of truth, by truth, and for truth. And her words, her example, and her legacy will never perish from this earth, so long as men and women stand up and say loudly and clearly: We hear you echoing down through the years of history, we believe that your journey is not yet over, and we will make the rest of that journey with you. God bless the memory of Sojourner Truth."
This from the
US State Department website.

First Lady Michelle Obama joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and other lawmakers and dignitaries on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to unveil a bust of Sojourner Truth, the 19th-century slave turned abolitionist who was also a fiery advocate for women’s rights.
Mrs. Obama praised Ms. Truth as a woman who didn’t allow “indignities to destroy her spirit,’’ who fought for her own freedom, the freedom of others and for women’s right to vote. She said the bust, which will appear in Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitors Center, would inspire many young African Americans who visit the Capitol.
“And just as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott would be pleased to know that we have a woman serving as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, I hope that Sojourner Truth would be proud to see me, a descendant of slaves, serving as the First Lady of the United States of America,’’ Mrs. Obama said. “We are all here because, as my husband says time and time again, we stand on the shoulders of giants like Sojourner Truth.”
From the
New York Times

A speech delivered 1851 Women's Convention in Akron, Ohio :

Ain't I a Woman?
Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?
That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?
Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?
Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.
If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.
Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

- Sojourner Truth (1797-1883)

Control Your Cat

I'm going right to Amazon and get me one of these !

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pity The Nation By Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Lawrence Ferlinghetti has been around a long time (since Great Britain was just Pretty Good Britain) and he's always made sense.............. like so :


Pity the nation whose people are sheep, and whose shepherds mislead them.
Pity the nation whose leaders are liars, whose sages are silenced,and whose bigots haunt the airwaves.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice, except to praise conquerors and acclaim the bully as hero and aims to rule the world with force and by torture.
Pity the nation that knows no other language but its own and no other culture but its own.
Pity the nation whose breath is money and sleeps the sleep of the too well fed.
Pity the nation — oh, pity the people who allow their rights to erode and their freedoms to be washed away.
My country, tears of thee, sweet land of liberty.

- by Lawrence Ferlinghetti 2007 (inspired by Khalil Gibran’s poem of the same title)

Gee ! It looks like from my counter, that people are looking here once in a while , so................... thank you folks who are looking, for looking.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I Say Nuts To The Teabagging Insanitea !

This is right up there with the terrorist fist bump, she touched the Queen, freedom fries, Sarah Palin, purple band-aids, spilling French wine, Joe the Plumber, and burning Dixie Chicks Cd's. We don't need to mock these loony tooners, they set em up and knock em down all on their own. Imagine, what idiot thought up teabagging as a political statement ? The original tea party was to protest taxation WITHOUT representation. The elected representatives of the people of this country already DID / ARE voting for the very things these Goober Pyles are protesting. They are simply confusing tyranny with losing an election. All this is only necessary because of the crimes of the last administration, one that most of these self styled patriots likely supported. Leave it to Faux News to push this kind of foolishness.

Andrew Sullivan summarized it this way : "These are not tea-parties. They are tea-tantrums. And the adolescent, unserious hysteria is a function not of a movement regrouping and refinding itself. It's a function of a movement's intellectual collapse and a party's fast-accelerating nervous breakdown."

From John Devore at Horses Ass :

What would be interesting to know is the thought process, such as it is, that inspires teabagging. Sure, they’ll blather about “out of control government spending,” but they didn’t give a flying fig about it during the last administration and if someone today dares to talk about reforming the defense procurement system then the teabag noise machine starts in about “threatening America’s safety.”
So it’s really “government spending on things they don’t like that helps people they don’t like” that pisses them off. Wasting trillions on weapons systems that don’t work and invading countries that shouldn’t have been invaded was just fine with them.

Says Declan McCullagh:
But the problem with the Tea Party movement is that the same complaints can be lodged against former President George W. Bush. It was the Bush administration that bailed out AIG; it bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; it bailed out Citigroup; it bailed out Bear Stearns. And it was the Bush administration that pressed Congress to bail out Detroit automakers.
Where were those hand-printed signs last week -- or last year -- assailing "BushNomics?" Where were these same conservatives when the Republicans and the Federal Reserve were on a bailout bender last year? Or when the GOP doubled the size of the federal debt?

Climb on the sore loser express ! I say nuts to em'.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Wingnuts - Fanning The Flames And Killing People

This today from a quite reserved and restrained Rude Pundit :

Richard Poplawski shot and killed three police officers before being arrested in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He legally owned an assault weapon and two handguns, despite being booted from the Marines for being too violent. Poplawski was a young man convinced the nation was secretly controlled by a cabal that would eradicate freedom of speech, take away his guns and use the military to enslave the citizenry.

Conservatives are running scared because the left is seeing a connection, especially with Poplawski, between the violent, apocalyptic rhetoric of the right.

Jesus Christ, nut up, right wingers. You can't say that we're heading towards revolution and that gun laws are harming America, but, hey, we don't want violence. No, you can't walk around naked with a raging hard-on, but then say you don't wanna fuck something. There's times when you don't get to decide what your words actually mean; there's times when others take your words and actions to logical conclusions whether you meant it or not. Toss in a depr/recession and a touch of crazy and, well, boom. So at least admit that you squirted a little lighter fluid onto the fire.

and with another opinion on the same subject is David Neiwert at Crooks And Liars :

You have to wonder if right-wingers will ever get it: Difference isn't a threat. Because we believe in freedom of speech and freedom of thought, there will probably always be haters like Richard Poplawski among us. Inevitably they will be driven by fear: the fear of difference. Because to them, difference of any kind is a threat.

They were mewling like wounded hyenas this weekend after some of us pointed out that there was a direct connection between the irresponsible fearmongering in which they've been indulging since Barack Obama was elected and Saturday's tragedy in Pittsburgh.
We strongly believe that there's a clear, common-sense connection between the paranoiac fearmongering that has passed for right-wing rhetoric since well before Obama's election (and has become acute since) and violence like that in Pittsburgh, or in Knoxville: horrifying tragedies, in which the sources of the criminal's unambiguous motives are that very same hysterical fearmongering -- whether it's about the evil socialists, stinking immigrants, or conspiring gun-grabbers who've taken over the country since Election Day.

And yes, Glenn Beck deserves some mention here. His fearmongering on the gun issue is noteworthy in itself. I'm sure we all remember the time he speculated that these shooters were just ordinary citizens frustrated by "the system" and "political correctness."

At the same time, the unrelenting meme being pushed by the right that Obama will mount an assault on the Second Amendment has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms. According to the F.B.I., there have been 1.2 million more requests for background checks of potential gun buyers from November to February than there were in the same four months last year.

Needless to say, President Obama has repeatedly expressed his support for the Second Amendment and opposes a ban on firearms in the United States.

And from across the big water, read what The British Observer has to say :

The American right-wing machine has cranked up its engine of evil to prevent Obama from doing what needs to be done. I get Fox News on what you can refer to as cable, and it is clear that there is a systemic attempt to muster and organise against Obama’s agenda. Now, organising against the Democratic agenda is not in itself a bad thing. It is only right that in a healthy and functional democracy there exist a strong and viable opposition, laying their cards on the table. However, what we witness now is not the laying of cards, but rather: IRRATIONAL HATRED. The kind of hatred that Clinton faced and that Kennedy before him faced. The kind of right-wing hatred that propels individuals to shoot up schools and immigration centres under the demonstrably false contention that the election of Barack Obama, America’s first black President, would herald a drop in their standard of living, a standard that had already received permanent residency in the toilet after W.’s first term. The kind of hate that pushes duly elected member of America’s legislative arm to call for "revolutions" or to accuse the President of the United States of being a "socialist". The kind of hate that leaves the American secret service no choice but to put in place an unimaginable security regime around the American President just to ensure a Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity inspired lunatic does not turn everybody’s worst nightmare into reality.

A little more on the Pittsburgh shooter :
Accused cop-killer Richard Poplawski spent hours posting racist messages on an extremist right-wing Web site, decrying blacks and Latinos and warning of forthcoming economic collapse fueled by the "Zionist occupation" of America, an expert in political extremism has determined. Earlier, he had praised the "AK" rifle as his ideal weapon.

On March 13, according to the site, Mr. Poplawski wrote a lengthy post predicting economic collapse, engineered by a Jewish conspiracy:

"The federal government, mainstream media, and banking system in these United States are strongly under the influence of -- if not completely controlled by -- Zionist interest," the post declares. "An economic collapse of the financial system is inevitable, bringing with it some degree of civil unrest if not outright balkanization of the continental US, civil/revolutionary/racial war . . . This collapse is likely engineered by the elite Jewish powers that be in order to make for a power and asset grab."

So , not just another nutty crazed gunman, and not a guy who " flipped out when the dog pissed on the rug ". Let the blame fall where it should.