United States

I am a tea addict, but not in politics.

‘Tea Party’ to whip up a political storm | News.com.au.

Australians should remember the initial burst of that similarly platformed One Nation (often called ‘One Notion’ by the sane among us), that  drove the then conservative government of John Howard to start the trend of freaking out about ‘boat people’ (Tampa and children overboard and other lies told to support their policies). This has led to consecutive governments being ‘tough on refugees’, picking on the highly visible but low percentage of actual refugees desperate enough to come over on rickety boats piloted by money grabbing shysters who dump them often just offshore from (IF they are lucky) sparsely populated areas. Often not even that good:((

We have a Labor party (translation, Democrat in US Imperial), that is similarly ‘tough’. A minority, but hanging on with a coalition of the few Independents, and the Greens, who have been sodding useless (the  independents otoh rock). The upcoming election will be bitter, and hard fought. Both sides, in short, will kick up the latent bigotry in conversation here, and there will be a repeat of the fracturing but with even more damag. Also, we do not have any decent or strong leaders among the politicians, rather two of the most loathed leaders on both sides in history (at the same time), both of whom are desperately hanging to said leadership, so will jump on any bandwagon – with the Liberal leader (Republican) being as right wing anti abortion Catholic religious as you can get while trying to pretend some moderation behind it. For the first time in my voting life, these is not a single party that I can even hold my nose and vote for, and many on both sides feel the same. They are reflections of each other, tweedledum and tweedledummer:(
The new group will drag politics right while not actually getting significant real vote, just lots of noisy support until polling day rolls around. They will drag both sides down, as happened in the US, in a race to appease perceived popular support that is just sound and fury, signifying nothing. I have seen what they have done to the US, in the name of chasing some lovely 1950s rosy vision of a nice clean white middle America that never existed, wholesome God fearing communities, a land of milk and honey, no poverty, all equal….
Skin colour is often at heart of the issue there. Asian or Arabic here, the very otherness of cultures threatens us. However, our indigenous culture is apart, often in third world conditions, and we blame them for it, in racist tones even the Americans would blush at. And we started to get better from that,  we weren’t good, but getting better. Sorry day, recognition of past wrongs. Kevin Rudd – we had removed Howard, boted in Kevin. It has come out that he was personally an apparent horror to work with, but he made the community feel better, move forward. Party politics removed him,and the same with Malcolm Turnbull on the other side, we got Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott –  and the culture has slid inexorably backwards. And now this. Poor fella, my country.
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Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP’s War on Women

Found this list in a comments section (on Fark.com, on a thread where a Repub Senator advocates throwing acid in the faces of Dem women fighting for equal pay rights!)

Now, as much as  would like to say, no, this is hyperbole – it isn’t. All these are verifiable. Dammit. 2012,and the GOP seems to want to drag the US into the dark ages.

What happened, USA? You’ve changed, man. It used to be about the rights. All joking aside using that quote, it used to be a shining beacon of hope, a place for all oppressed people to dream of escaping to. Now, people talk of escaping it. That isn’t hating the country. It is hating the twisting of it that has happened, is happening.

Republican vs. Democrat 2012

1) Republicans not only want to reduce women’s access to abortion care, they’re actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven’t yet. Shocker.

2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to “accuser.” But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain “victims.”

3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids’ preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.

7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

9) Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

10) And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can’t make this stuff up).

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If you are gay, you can’t die for your fellow soldiers? Really?

I am constantly astonished by the small minds that equate courage with sexuality. That assume all soldiers are nothing but sex fiends who cannot control themselves – well, how else to explain the negative attitude to the repeal of DATD?

“You want to be commander in chief? You can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States, even when it’s not politically convenient,” Obama said during remarks at the annual dinner of the Human Rights Council, the nation’s largest gay rights organization.

Referencing the boos at the Sept. 22 Republican debate, he said: “We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens.”

via Obama: Don’t stand silent when soldier is booed – politics – White House – msnbc.com.


Also : FARK.com: 6614651 Perry endorser Al Baldasaro: “It was great when the audience booed that gay marine. Hey wait a minute, are you recording this?”.

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Politics du jour…Freaky Friday, or women and men in politics

We have a woman PM, Julia Gillard.. We have on, not as shiny Caribou Barbie, aka Sarah Palin, (cynically bought in to try to gain the disaffected Hillary Clinton voter base, when Obama won nomination), butwon the role as an outstanding politician (come on, no matter weter you like or dislike her, everyone HAS to concede politics is something she shines at), who happens to be of female gender.

The fact she was sworn in by our first female Governor General, (an appointed role, not an elected one), was spiffy and nice and all, but it will mean something if and when Gillard is elected in her own right. Personally, i’m inclined,  at this stage, towards voting for her (though i tend Greens and independents too).

Not just because i am against Tony Abbott. I could have seen myself voting for Malcolm Turnbull at times. Abbott – worries me. An absolutist in ways of religion and old school attitudes, he is trying to refashion himself as tolerant and more pro equality – but that is stage dressing. He cannot manage the conviction he can evince so well.

Much has been written on this. Here are two articles that I think caught something beyond the breathless media echo chamber.

Rudd’s downfall: he never really got it.

Interesting that Gillard is finally one of my lot, an atheist. Religion kept being snuck into politics here with Rudd, John Howard, and Abbott. Thankfully, not Turnbull. Religion and politics MUST be kept separate. The shaman and the vizier are different roles. Government must strive to serve the majority, in as many ways as it can. Religion serves only and absolutely its believers.

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Extra bits

DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - APRIL 08:  Spectators f...
Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Space Hero Glenn: Save Our Space Shuttles

Newspapers Are Still Dying, But the News Is Not Going Anywhere.

Eco-Friendly Designs from New World Home

Work Smart: How To Avoid “The Busy Trap”

Infographic of the Day: The World’s Most Dysfunctional Countries, Ranked

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Ok, lady, i will join you in the garden…

…it just doesn’t matter how many years i have. I have lived life so intensely and fully, i have done my metaphoric dancing in the garden. Ok, some not so metaphoric occasiosn either, i am very comfortable in my own skin. Quit frankly, i have no intention at this stage to get to 70. The longevity of my family is there, but my body has been dealt a blow by the accident that makes me recognise quality, not quantity, is the key. I always felt that way anyway. However, medical science, the choice is actually more yours than mine – give me quality or give me death:)

However, in the years that i choose to remain here, i will absolutely love, laugh, LIVE – still with the same intensity and passion that has caused me so much joy and heartache, in equal measure, continue making my mistakes – painful, yes, but at least i have lived them. I would not be who i am today, with no regrets. I have learnt how to walk away without looking back. (Metaphorically, the walking is a bit of an issue at times;) )

But still the compensations of age are huge. By the age of 70 we have discovered who we are and what we like. And because we realise that time is short and precious, we are more selective than hungry youth.

Yes, we can still have adventures, but we pick them carefully. We can still feel needed, not just by our families (and the nation depends on the time and skill of grandparents more than ever), but also by the charities who need enthusiastic volunteers.

We have an obligation not to allow ourselves to be shouldered as ide or stamped with an indelible sell-by date. Young people need us as role models if they are to enjoy the longevity doctors have predicted for them.

As U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt famously said: ‘Old age is like everything else. To make a success of it, you’ve got to start young.’

via ESTHER RANTZEN: At 50, I ran naked round the garden in a hat. Today, I’m 70 ¿ and I won¿t bother with the hat! | Mail Online.

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Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog – and Awesome BP Coverage

Rush Limbaugh on BP's Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill...
Image by Cory M. Grenier via Flickr

Bob Cesca’s Awesome Blog! has been doing an amazing job of keeping track of the disaster,( a global disaster, make no mistake), that is the BP oil spill – and the politics that are as oily and polluting as the spill itself.

Here are just a few posts.

Btw – look at the counter showing the gallons of oil spilt. Watch it update in realtime. Look at the speed of the update and the number of gallons. Try not to weep.

Oh, the GOP talking heads. If only the heads contained functional brain cells, the vestige of decency, and traces of conscience – they would be unrecognisable….Gingrich: Obama Extorted Money From BP, Glenn Beck Angrily Defends BP, and my personal favourite –  Leave BP Alone!

These Are the Stakes and These Are the Stakes, Part 2.

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The audacity of responding to a dope

Joe Biden, Vice President of the United States.
Image via Wikipedia

Remember that a US Senator had the audacity, the awful awful grovelling insensitivity to apologise to BP because the Government demanded rightful restitution for affected people?

Well, every once in a while, Vice President Biden takes that foot out of his mouth and says something powerful and eloquent.

This response to Rep. Joe Barton is one of those times.

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