Friday, March 20, 2015

Righties Get Charred Over Barbecue

Backyard barbecue craziness:

This is an excellent example of how the right-wing gets people to follow its primrose path to support the suicidal anti-human budgets and policies proposed by the Republicans and their corporate masters. 

Photo From the Kickoff  Barbecue at Boston University's School of Physics Students 

If you want to know why good, solid basically decent middle class people (who are not rich) support Republicans, you need go no further than barbecue craziness. 

Remember Nero fiddling while Rome burned?  Well, the Republicans are barbecuing while the Antarctica ice shelf falls apart and causes the oceans to rise 20 feet. 

"Obama's EPA is at it again!", they say.

The barbecue controversy is based on grants, small grants, $15,000 grants, that the Environmental Protection Agency ("Obama's EPA", as it is called in many rightie media outlets) made last October to STUDENTS to study various environmental issues and solutions.  

Even though the grant was awarded, as I mentioned,  last October, it has blazed through the right wing blogosphere over the past few days based on a Republican state senator from Missouri misrepresenting the issue, I would assume, to get some name recognition.  (You can click on that link if you want to know who he is as I'm not going to give him any name recognition.)
What are people who lean Democratic concerned about?

Now, most people who lean Democratic have not heard of this barbecue insanity.  Most people who lean Democratic are more concerned about the new Republican budget which budgets huge numbers for defense and cuts for everything else, like Medicare and health care.   Most people who lean Democratic are more concerned about climate change (yeah, there really is climate change!) that is contributing to the disastrous drought in California and the disintegration of the glaciers in Antarctica, disintegration that might cause a rise in the oceans of 10 to 20 feet over the next few decades and wipe out the homes of millions of Americans.  Those are among the things that most people who lean Democratic are concerned about.

"Government Intrusion!  Obama's going to send the Backyard Barbecue Police!"

But to Republicans and their sponsors..well, the barbecue controversy trumps all and it is an example of more "government intrusion".  ("The government is out of control!", claim the righties.)   Basically, Republicans claim that the government is going to do something it is not going to do, they get people to dislike government MORE based on this lie, then they get more support in their campaign, in this instance, to get rid of the EPA or other government regulations that we need.  

Barbecue Brouhaha

So here is what the brouhaha about barbecuing is REALLY about from the
EPA's own website:

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded a total of about $45,000 in grants to three student teams at the University of California, Riverside, to design an innovative way to generate power, to develop a lawn mower, and to develop a backyard barbeque that will emit less air pollution. The students competed for grants by submitting research proposals to develop sustainable, alternative methods that address environmental challenges as part of EPA’s People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) program. 

“These students are coming up with cutting-edge solutions for the most challenging environmental issues facing California, and the world,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Each year, the projects created by student teams surpass our expectations.”

Despite this screaming headline at Yahoo--  
EPA considering regulations on backyard BBQ grills?--
there is nothing in the EPA announcement about regulating backyard barbecues.  There is nothing in the EPA announcement about forcing changes in propane grills.

There is nothing in the EPA announcement about a backyard barbecue police in the offing.  (Attention:  Sarcasm ahead.)  Since the righties would love to get rid of all "illegals", this could be a compromise:  Backyard police who check everybody's barbecues at the same time they ask for papers and round up illegals.  Would the righties like that proposal?  Backyard barbecuing oversight teamed with a plan to round up the illegals?  I'm being snarky:  I had to make that clear because I'm sure someone out there would think I was really proposing Backyard Brigades, and some might actually give up their rights to barbecue while breathing in mass quantities of smoky cow if it meant cleaning up those "illegals".   

Back to the EPA:

These three projects will each receive $15,000 grants.  Yikes, fifteen grand.  
The right wing followers are complaining to the heavens about the $15,000 for this study,  but they won't say a peep about proposals to cut Medicare that may cost them hundreds and thousands of dollars over their lifetimes.  And most of these righties seem to have no problem with the government spending billions and trillions of "their tax dollars" on unending wars and unneeded pork for the defense industry.  But fifteen grand for research for the EPA?  Just more "government waste."

The Details

Just a final paragraph from the EPA site that describes this $15,000 project in detail:

Technology for the Reduction of Particulate Matter Emissions for Residential Propane BBQs 
The design will reduce fine particulate matter (PM2.5) emissions with a two-step process, minimizing the amount of grease that is volatilized via direct contact with an open flame, and secondary treatment to filter or catalyze particulate matter created during the cooking process. The primary approach is a preventative method that will remove the majority of grease drippings from the possibility of unwanted flare ups. A slotted and corrugated tray is inserted immediately prior to meat flipping, and removed immediately after. This short contact time prevents the tray from over-heating and volatilizing the collected grease. This collected grease will then drip off into a collection tray. The project hopes to limit the overall air pollution PM emissions from barbecuing and to alleviate some of the acute health hazards that a barbecue pit master can experience from inhalation.

Notice that the word "regulation" is not used one time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Herman Cain Lies & Misleads Again

These conservatives lie and mislead their "flock" every step of the way.  Not surprising though.  Liberals are "sick" and "racist"?

Here's the latest from Herman Cain (Remember him?  He was on the Republican Clown Car back in 2012.) 

A screenshot of a post from Herman Cain's Facebook page; early March 2015.

Does Cain still have followers?

It seems as if Cain shouldn't have many followers anymore, but he still has hundreds of thousands, including a friend of mine, someone I worked with for many years and basically respect. The above post came across my newsfeed a few days ago, shared by that friend. 

Of course, Cain is trying to make liberals out to be "sick", "crazy" and racist. This is classic Republican propaganda: The LIBERALS and DEMOCRATS are racists, not the crazy Republicans, especially the Tea Party people.

The Situation is really much more complex..

The information below makes it clear that the situation, both the desire to get women on the $20 bill and the truth about Margaret Sanger herself, is much more complex than Cain's quick sensationalizing, rabble-rousing Facebook post would have you believe.

We need to remember that our conservative friends have been lied to and misled by people such as Cain every step of the way.  Not sure if there is any way we can "get" to so many of these people, including my friend.

The real story...

There is a group of women that wants to "banish" Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill and replace him with a woman.  No, "they", a group named Women on 20's, are not insisting that Margaret Sanger and only Margaret Sanger should be on the $20 bill.  She's one of several women that the group is SUGGESTING might be honored on the twenty dollar bill.

The Washington Post reports:
The new group has come up with a list of 15 women it would like to see on the $20 bill instead, including Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt and Harriet Tubman.  Campaign organizers are targeting the 20 because 2020 will mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Of course the righties zeroed right in on the name of Margaret Sanger on the list.

First of all, as I just mentioned, Margaret Sanger is one of 15 people women on the list, and saying that "liberals want to put HER on the twenty dollar bill" as if she is the only name proposed, and as if the women's group speaks for all "liberals" is just a big lie.

Secondly, it's hard to reduce her contributions to women to the words "racist eugenicist". Anyone who reduces her to a "racist eugenicist" knows nothing about the woman, her work, or the time she lived in.  She was the daughter of a woman who went through 18 pregnancies (with 11 live births) in 22 years before dying at the age of 49.  This was not atypical of women who lived just a few generations before us.

Wikipedia has a good article about her HERE which highlights both the good and the problematic of Margaret Sanger.

Some highlights:
  • She wanted to curtail immigration.  She apparently did make a comment or two about "mongrels".  As my grandparents were immigrants in the early 20th century, she might have considered them "mongrels".  
  • Though she was a great champion of birth control, as most of us know, she did have some ideas about pushing "birth control" for those who were unfit.  She did advocate coercion to prevent the "undeniably feeble-minded" having children.  But she did denounce the Nazi's approach to eugenics.
  • She apparently expressed racist thoughts; however, "such attitudes did not keep her from collaborating with African-American leaders and professionals who saw a need for birth control in their communities."  She opened a birth control clinic in Harlem in conjunction with the Urban League.  She earned praise from Martin Luther King.  More information on this at Wikipedia. 

So, as usual, the right-wingers lie, misrepresent, and turn good into bad.. and blame liberals.

It's always good to know what these people, people like Herman Cain, are thinking...  Their ascendancy in American life is a threat to all of us.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Hillary Clinton: She's all that stands between you and Republicans in the White House

Elizabeth Warren or Hillary Clinton?

Most of the Facebook groups of which I am a member, many of the liberal sites and blogs I regularly follow, and many of my Facebook friends are pro-Elizabeth Warren Progressives. (Of course, Elizabeth Warren has clearly and emphatically and repeatedly denied that she is a candidate for the Presidency in 2016.)
Hillary Clinton

Some of them insist that Hillary is no better than Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, or Scott Walker; and some of them insist that they will refuse to vote for her.  She is too "Wall Street" for them.  (They think that Rand Paul, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker AREN'T "Wall Street"? Not sure I really understand that complaint in view of the opposition.)   

Well, I WILL vote for Hillary Clinton, though with reservations, and for a couple of very good reasons; the first one is of utmost importance:

 She will probably win.

Remember Watergate?

Let me put this in context:

I've been watching the movie about Watergate, All the President's Men, over the past few evenings. The movie was released in 1976 with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as the young reporters.  If you don't recall or you are too young to remember, the Watergate scandal was not about a minor league break-in at the Democratic Party Headquarters in the run up to the 1972 election; it was about Republican dirty tricks to knock off the strongest Democratic opponents; the opponents that actually could have BEAT Nixon and deprived the Republicans of Nixon's second term.

The Republicans WANTED to run against a Progressive in 1972. 

They went after Senator Ed Muskie, a Democrat from Maine, because apparently there were some polls in 1971 that showed that Muskie was the guy who could beat Nixon. Their campaign "operatives" wrote memos on Muskie campaign paper that seemed to portray Muskie as a bigot regarding French-Canadians in his home state of Maine.   They trashed his wife.  This contributed to the breakdown of the Muskie candidacy.  But we all have to remember that, what came out during the Watergate investigations, the Republicans WANTED Nixon to run against the progressive/liberal McGovern because they knew Nixon would beat McGovern.       

The 2016 version of Dirty Tricks

"Dirty tricks" are probably worse now with the unfiltered Internet; with talk radio, bloggers, and even Fox News free to say whatever they want to say about somebody, even if those statements are outright lies.  Every time I see someone portraying themselves as a liberal or progressive and insisting that Hillary is too "Wall Street" for them, I think about those dirty tricks; I wonder if anyone is funding this or that "Progressive" attack on Hillary Clinton.

They WANT Progressives to Stay Home.

The Republicans KNOW that Clinton can beat anybody now on the Republican clown car.  She continues to lead all comers in every poll.  So they will pound on her from every side and from the top and the bottom... and they will feed Progressives (or faux Progressives) anti-Clinton stuff as well.

They are hoping the Progressives will stay home and will allow Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, or Chris Christie to move their conservative Republican war-mongering anti-people legions into the White House.
 (And they would love to see Elizabeth Warren run in opposition to any of those now on the Republican clown car, because, as much as Progressives love her, she would probably lose.  As great as she is, she is fairly unknown and she never gets more than 15% on polls among DEMOCRATS!)

Actually, the second reason I would vote for Clinton is also of utmost importance:

Remember the Supreme Court!

No, Both Parties are NOT the Same, particularly when one party or the other is in the White House and nominating Cabinet officials and federal judges....  especially Supreme Court judges.

So my bottom line:  Even if you think Clinton is not progressive enough, defend her wherever you can with your life.

For Hillary Clinton is all that stands between all of us and Nixon/Bush/Reagan CPAC conservative types in the White House - and on the Supreme Court.

And if you really think that a Democratic administration headed by Clinton will be "no different" than a Republican administration headed by Jeb Bush or one of those other guys...  well, wake up, for heaven's sake.  Pull your head out of your ass. 

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