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Inconvenient Facts About Racism in America

August 31, 2014

Why do political conservatives, Republicans, Fox Noise watchers, the Mayor of Bullshit Mountain -Bill O’Reilly, Chief Justice Roberts and friends, all want you to believe that racism in America is history? Because it is history or because it serves their interests, their prejudices, their political agenda to say that it’s not?





And here’s a video of a man found guilty by police for sitting on a bench in a public space.  His crime?  He ain’t white.



And here’s a story about a respected LA businessperson arrested and mistreated for being another bald black man -like the one who had just robbed bank.  (“They all look alike”)



The Joys and Privileges That Come With Saving a Young Life (VIDEO)

August 28, 2014

One of the great joys of my life these days is doing volunteer work at Nationwide Children’s Hospital (NCH) here in Columbus, OH.  Whether it’s sitting on the floor of the Clubhouse with a sibling whose parent is visiting with a sick child or walking around the Emergency Department giving out teddy bears to kids experiencing pain and fear, I feel very blessed to be able to assist the medical staff of the hospital with the life-saving work they are engaged in 24/7.

This video accentuates the sacred and important being done by the thousands of people who work in pediatric units and children’s hospitals the world over.    

Thank you NCH for the joy and privilege of helping your world-class team do the most important work a person can do. 



Do You Think the Dead Shooting Instructor Is Feeling Macho Now?

August 27, 2014

As you may have heard in the mainstream media, gun instructor Charles Vacca, 39 was accidentally shot today by the 9-year-old girl he was teaching to use a Uzi submachine gun.  (She of course needed to learn how to use a machine gun because sooner or later the evil Mexicans with their drugs and diseases or the useless “coloreds” on welfare -or Obama and his anti-American militia are coming for gun loving, Christian Amerikkkans.)

The following meme was found on Vacca’s Facebook page by the sane folks at the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.  The post tells us a bit more about the late gun instructor: He was a homophobe who not surprisingly, had some serious issues when it comes to understanding what it really mean to be confident, masculine man.


The Whole Story Behind Gov. Perry’s Indictment

August 25, 2014

ap_rick_perry_texas_gov_jc_140815_16x9_992Until I read this article in Politico Magazine, I  like many, thought that Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry’s indictment sounded more like partisan misuse of power than a legitimate response to malfeasance.  After all, how many reasonable people think that the head of  a “Public Integrity Unit” deserves to keep her job after being arrested for DUI and is caught on video verbally abusing police officers?  From the information much the world outside of Texas had, Rick Perry was simply trying to force an ethically tarnished public servant from office.

This informative article tells us that Rosemary Lehmberg’s arrest gave the Perry administration the perfect cover it was looking for to put the brakes on the watchdog group’s investigation into how the Governor’s office was abusing its powers to in the cause of providing a state grant to a well-connected bio-tech firm.

(reprinted from Politico Magazine 8/21/2014)

Why Liberal Pundits Are Wrong About the Perry Indictment

It’s much more serious than they think. Take it from us—we filed the complaint.
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Reading an Austin newspaper on the morning of June 11, 2013, it struck us — then and there — that Texas’ longest-serving governor had broken the law.

A gubernatorial spokesman confirmed in that story that Gov. Rick Perry had threatened to veto $7.5 million in state funds for the Travis County district attorney’s Public Integrity Unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned her elected office before the week was out.

Our office soon identified four state felonies applicable to the governor’s actions. They are: abuse of official capacity, coercion of a public servant, official oppression and bribery. We filed a complaint on June 14 with the appropriate authority: Lehmberg’s Public Integrity Unit.

Lehmberg properly recused herself from the matter because of her central role in it. Two months earlier she was arrested for driving drunk—with a bottle of vodka onboard—and for grossly abusing her arresting officers. Once sober, she apologized, pleaded guilty, served 22 days in jail, sought treatment and promised not to run for reelection in 2016. But she refused to resign, which would have allowed the governor to appoint her replacement.

Since a lot of you East Coasters seem confused by the Perry indictment — the New York Times editorial board wrongly called it “the product of an overzealous prosecution” — let’s put it this way: Lehmberg’s bottle of vodka was as much a gift to Texas Republicans as Eliot Spitzer’s libido was to Wall Street. Each of those officials handed their political enemies the instrument of their own destruction.

For at least 10 years, the Texas Republican Party has officially sought to strip Travis County of the public integrity unit, which prosecutes political corruption. In this bright red state, that office remains one of the few significant powers left in Democratic hands.

Last December, the integrity unit secured the indictment of an ex-official from Perry’s state cancer research fund for an improper $11 million state grant to a politically connected biotech firm. Combine the integrity unit’s power with Lehmberg’s drunken outing and it is no wonder that Governor Perry pounced.

The governor rightly argues that he has absolute authority to veto the Public Integrity Unit’s budget. Texas law does not, however, grant him authority to threaten another public official—even one who behaved as wretchedly as Lehmberg did. Notably, we filed our criminal complaint before Perry vetoed Public Integrity funding. After all, it was the governor’s threats—not his veto—that broke Texas law prohibiting an official from using the power of his or her office to coerce another official into taking an action, such as resignation.

What’s more, Perry continued to pressure Lehmberg to resign even after the veto. Official sources cited in media accounts confirm that Perry’s representatives continued to try to induce Lehmberg to resign by promising her a high-paying junior position in her office. That behavior is a potential bribery felony in Texas.

Understandably, Perry’s defenders don’t want to talk about all this: They’d rather replay Lehmberg’s arrest videos and assert Perry’s uncontested veto powers. These good public relations moves ultimately do nothing to address the serious legal charges against him.

The big lie in Perry’s PR playbook is to dismiss these charges as a partisan witch hunt. While there’s no bipartisan love between Perry and Lehmberg, Perry’s indictment has been advanced by Republicans. Recusing herself, Lehmberg referred our complaint to local Democratic Judge Julie Kocurek. Judge Kocurek also stepped aside, forwarding the matter to a Republican Perry appointee: Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield. Stubblefield assigned the case to Republican Judge Bert Richardson in San Antonio. And Judge Richardson appointed Michael McCrum as special prosecutor.

It’s hard to argue that McCrum has a partisan axe to grind. He served as a federal prosecutor under the first President Bush. The second President Bush later nominated McCrum to be a top federal prosecutor — with the backing of Texas GOP Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. If Perry’s indictment really is a partisan witch hunt, then it is one of the Grand Old Party’s making.

Meanwhile, the few people who actually have reviewed the state’s case against Perry paint a radically different picture.

Prosecutor McCrum repeatedly has said that he is disturbed by what he learned in interviewing more than 40 insiders involved in this affair and after reviewing hundreds of pages of documents. McCrum told Texas Lawyer that he believes that there is sufficient evidence against Perry on all four of the criminal charges raised in our complaint. “The charges are very serious,” McCrum said. “There is evidence to support them, and there is nothing political about what happened in my investigation or the grand jury’s deliberations.”

After reviewing the evidence for four months, the grand jury authorized McCrum to charge Perry with two serious felonies — abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, several grand jurors expressed frustration with those who blindly condemn their conclusions without seeing any of the evidence that jurors reviewed. “I think if and when the facts come out,” one said, “that’ll change.”

Texas’ last indictment of a sitting governor occurred in 1917, when Democrats exercised monolithic political power. A Travis County jury indicted Democratic Governor Jim “Pa” Ferguson for vetoing state funding to the University of Texas after its regents refused to fire gubernatorial critics. That indictment was the prelude to Ferguson’s impeachment and resignation.

Although we filed the complaint that triggered the Perry investigation, we don’t know exactly what evidence McCrum amassed for the grand jury. A trial would not only give Governor Perry his day in court but would let the public — and skeptical Beltway pundits — judge for themselves whether McCrum has the goods.

Craig McDonald is director and Andrew Wheat is research director of Texans for Public Justice.Craig McDonald is director and Andrew Wheat is research director of Texans for Public Justice.

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Perfect Response to Westboro Baptist Church Threat to Picket Robin Williams Funeral (VIDEO)

August 19, 2014

Kudos to Australian comic Adam Hills for this clever and humorous response to that evil, loathsome private family church in Topeka, KS.

Another Example of Israel’s Drift Away From Both Jewish and Democratic Values

August 15, 2014

In the world of authoritarianism there is only one truth and that truth is determined by the powers that be. In an authentic democracy, freedom of thought, freedom speech, freedom to disagree with one another and your government are the foundations on which the democratic state exists. And when it comes to Judaism, one need only peruse the tens of thousands of Rabbinic opinions that have been penned by great Jewish minds over past 3,000 years to appreciate how much Judaism values intellectualism and diversity in thought.  As important as intellectual honesty, Judaism demands that we see each and every individual life, Jewish or not, as sacred and created in the Divine Image.

JTA is reporting today that one of the most respected human rights groups in Israel, B’Tselem will no longer be

Palestinian children killed in the recent Gaza conflict

Palestinian children killed in the recent Gaza conflict

considered as a legitimate placement site for those people who elect to participate in Israel’s national community service program. The reason given was that B’Tselem had acted “against the state and its soldiers.” And what reprehensible thing did the human rights organization do to be accused of treasonous behavior?  B’Tselem has sought to put a human face on the casualties of the recent war in Gaza by seeking to broadcast the names of Palestinian children killed in the conflict. (FYI, the names of the Palestinian children who were “collateral damage” in the war are being displayed on the B’Tselem web site.)

In informing the organization of his decision the director of the national community service program, Sar-Shalom Jerbi stated:

Director of Israel's national community service program, Sar-Shalom Jerbi

Sar-Shalom Jerbi

“there is a clear line separating a legitimate political opinion in the Israeli political discourse and the dissemination and publication of lies and slander in Israel and worldwide …. Therefore I see no possibility of continuing to approve your organization as a participating body in the national civilian service, which receives assistance from the State of Israel.”

This story is yet another tangible example of the Jewish state’s ongoing drift to the far reaches of the political right. A nationalistic, authoritarian mentality would seem to be in control of a nation that once upon a time celebrated its democratic character and the Jewish values that guided its leadership.  This sad story is a textbook example of how authoritarian governments operate:

We control the flow of information.  

We stand ready to punish those people and groups who don’t promote the party line.

Israel’s founders would be ashamed.

AND THIS, FROM THE 8/19/2014 EDITION OF HAARETZ: American Jewish leaders fiddle while Israeli democracy burns Jews fight for freedom, equality and minority rights in America but exempt themselves from the same battle in Israel.

Robin Williams – We Will Miss You! Thank You For Moments Like This (VIDEO)

August 11, 2014

Just last week, Robin Williams Tweeted this photo with the caption: “Too late for a career change? Rabbi Robin”



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