Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Ford administration is not going to blink

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti vowed to forge ahead with the mayor’s budget-slashing agenda Wednesday, even as a committee he chairs voted to reject the KPMG core service review in its entirety.

“The Ford administration is not going to blink,” said Mammoliti, a key Ford lieutenant. “The Ford administration is going to continue to tell the population the truth about City Hall and where funds can be saved.”

Mammoliti was presiding over a meeting of the community development and recreation committee that debated recommendations from KPMG that include considering selling off nine of the city’s ten long term care homes, merging paramedic and firefighting services, scrapping the Christmas bureau that coordinates gifts to needy children, and eliminating 2,000 subsidized childcare spaces in the hopes the province will pay for them.

At the end of the seven-hour meeting, the committee voted to recommend the mayor spare those services from the axe on budget day.

Ontario NDP’s fresh face masks a real threat

Andrea Horwath doesn’t look like the most dangerous woman in Ontario. The blonde single mother slips a sweetener in her cappucino and laughs easily as she talks about the first week in the campaign. But it is the very fact that she is a fresh face in the provincial race — a likeable alternative to the two middle-aged males leading the other parties — that makes her such a threat.

Even at current polling levels, Ms. Horwath may hold the balance of power in a minority government. And that’s before the leaders’ debate, in which she stands a very good chance of picking up more support, particularly among women, who are likely to respond well to her brand of warm fuzziness.

That would be a very bad thing for the province. The NDP platform envisages reversing the Liberals’ corporate tax cut regime to take the provincial component back to 14% from the current 11.5% (the Grits plan to reduce it further to 10% to give the province a combined federal-provincial rate of 25%).

‘Gravy train’ architect Kouvalis now trying to fight it

The architect of Rob Ford’s “gravy train” campaign and his first chief of staff at city hall is now helping Toronto firefighters battle the mayor’s proposed cuts, the Star has learned.

Faced with the threat of 300 layoffs, the firefighter’s union hired Nick Kouvalis’s marketing and polling firm, Campaign Research, earlier this summer to conduct research and provide advice in advance of their offensive.

The site, which launched earlier this month, is coupled with an aggressive campaign to characterize the proposed cuts as “dangerous” and a serious threat to public safety.

The irony that Kouvalis is now fighting the gravy train is not lost upon opposition councillors.

“Nobody in Toronto believes in the gravy train anymore and now we’re finding out Nick Kouvalis never did,” said Gord Perks.

Shelley Carroll said it raises “credibility” issues for the mayor.

Culture war

Cameri Theater actor Rami Baruch is one of the first artistic figures in Israel to announce his refusal to perform in the West Bank since the Boycott Law was passed. 

Even people who are not enthusiastic about boycotts cannot help but admire the courageous act of Cameri Theater actor Rami Baruch, who has announced his refusal to perform in Kiryat Arba. Baruch acted alone, possibly opening himself up to prosecution, couching his reasoning in distinctly moral terms.

Baruch did not speak in slogans. Simply and modestly, he revealed his dilemmas. He was not happy about boycotting Kiryat Arba, but was obeying his conscience. He mentioned Rabbi Kahana and his movement, Baruch Goldstein and the adoration displayed at his tomb, the Hebron Jewish community's cruelty to Palestinians.

The aggressive response from Kiryat Arba was not long in coming. The new auditorium, which had been built with funds that were intended for the development of the Negev and the Galilee, was immediately and warmly embraced by a number of members of the city council, Kahana's disciples. They did not make do with predictably vilifying Baruch as an extreme leftist, un-Zionist, un-Jewish and non-nationalist, who is getting his theater into trouble. Neither did they make do with the no-less predictable threat, directed at the Culture and Sports Ministry, not to dare continue funding the Cameri and its rebellious actors, and in forcing the hand of theater's management, which in any case is trembling with fear over the prospect of losing its state funding. They also unveiled their cultural plans, by which the auditorium at Kiryat Arba will not be under the aegis of "their" (leftist secular ) culture, which is not "our culture, the magificent culture of love of the Land of Israel." They disclosed that the auditorium will be under the direction of a spiritual committee, headed by none other than Rabbi Dov Lior. Moreover, actors, singers and others who wish to appear in the city's auditorium will be required to prove that they served in the army and sign a declaration of loyalty to the state.                        

The Fraser Institute Produces Junk

As is often the case at One Government Place, an off-topic question produced the most entertaining response from a minister.
After delivering an update on Nova Scotia's 2011-2012 budget forecast, Finance Minister Graham Steele was asked what he thinks about a new report from the Fraser Institute that ranked Premier Darrell Dexter first among sitting Canadian premiers in terms of fiscal restraint (report copied below).
I think I'll just go ahead and transcribe Steele's full response (all emphasis mine):
Reporter: Could you respond to the fact that the, although your premier is getting credit for it, the Fraser Institute put you guys at the top of the list when it comes to government spending and holding the line on spending, in comparison to growth and inflation.
Steele: Do you really want to know what I think about that?
Reporter: I do.
Steele: Do you? OK, here I go. This is unrehearsed and my staff are going to cringe when I say this. The Fraser Institute produces junk. It is not a serious institution, it is a political organization. And it is no accident that their focus is on the Ontario election (Premier Dalton McGuinty came second last-AB). They're trying to make themselves relevant to the Ontario election. It is no accident that the three premiers they rank at the bottom (PEI's Robert Ghiz, McGuinty, and Quebec Premier Jean Charest-AB) are three non-Conservative premiers who are up for re-election right now. So the next time the Fraser Institute issues something that has Nova Scotia at the bottom, remember that when they put us at the top, my answer is still: the Fraser Institute produces junk. It does not deserve any serious consideration. 
Reporter: How do you really feel?
[There is laughter]
Steele: Remember that the next time you ask me about something else the Fraser Institute produces, that even when I could say 'yes, this is validation of what we're saying.' It's ... it's crap
Remember we shall, minister. And next time, if you're going to say something like that, you really don't need to ask if we really want to know what you think about it. 
Source: Metro 

The Klondike Fords

“We’re going to make this city just like a gold mine,” said Rob Ford, who may or may not have been paying attention to what was coming out of his mouth. The mayor, at that moment, was pushing his brother’s new “vision” for the waterfront. If he meant that the city was about to turn into a glittering font of riches, he might have picked a better metaphor. If, on the other hand, he meant that he wanted to extract wealth from a plot of land by rendering the surroundings uninhabitable for generations, then he hit the jackpot.

Last Tuesday, the Ford administration unveiled pictures of a waterfront redevelopment championed by Doug Ford, the mayor’s brother. The Fords feel that waterfront development is taking too long. Since 1999, an agency called Waterfront Toronto has been beavering away at the task, and presently the central and eastern waterfront is all dug up as new buildings and parks rise. But further out in the lake, shovels have yet to hit the ground. The Fords want to snatch that land away from Waterfront Toronto, and redevelop it themselves.

Despite the fact that Waterfront Toronto already has a phalanx of internationally-renowned architects on the job, Doug Ford went out and brought in his own architect. His name is Eric Kuhne, a gentleman who builds Dubai-scaled large buildings around the world, especially in Dubai. Kuhne is a contradictory fellow. On one hand, he publicly espouses all kinds of progressive ideals, like mixed-use neighborhoods and the ability to walk to buy food. On the other, the things his firm actually builds include gigantic mega-malls whose concessions to urbanity include ventilator shafts disguised in the local vernacular.

GOP should not fall into the trap of being proudly ignorant

Republicans have sometimes mistaken anti-elitism with anti-smarts. Put differently, Republicans should not have contempt for the voters or for ideas, lest they be judged unworthy of serving in office. It’s one thing to heap scorn on liberal elites who parrot unsupportable leftist dogma or who show contempt for ordinary Americans’ values; it’s quite another to celebrate ignorance. We’ve had two rather appalling examples in 24 hours, which I would suggest, are perfect examples of what conservatives should reject.

After the Florida debate, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Fox passed on a comment from someone she purportedly spoke to after the debate who claimed that the HPV vaccine that Texas Gov. Rick Perry had attempted to make mandatory caused mental retardation. This is complete nonsense. Yuval Levin, a pro-life conservative thinker of the first order who helped craft President George W. Bush’s stem-cell policy, wrote this:
There is no evidence to support any link between this (or any) vaccine and mental retardation. None. Baseless assertions to the contrary about various vaccines have for years been piling needless guilt upon the parents of children with autism and other disorders, and driving other parents away from vaccinating their children against diseases that could do them great harm. A presidential candidate should not be engaging in such harmful nonsense.
The rashness of Perry’s move to mandate the vaccine, and the at times excessive zeal of Merck’s campaign to see it mandated, have surely contributed to this frenzy. Some of us even saw it coming several years ago. But none of that excuses Bachmann’s reckless conspiracy mongering.

Unions Threaten UK-Wide Strikes Over Pensions

Britain could be poised for a series of nation-wide strikes on November 30, as unions announced plans to ballot their members on industrial action over changes to public sector pensions.

The walkouts are in protest at government proposals to increase pension contributions by 3.2 per cent.

Brendan Barber, head of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) said it remained committed to negotiations but warned of further action beyond a November 30 strike if "if progress towards a settlement is not secured".

“We remain absolutely committed, in good faith, to seeking a fair negotiated settlement of this dispute so that this action will not be necessary. But the government needs to understand the strength of unions’ resolve reflected in today’s decision.”

Ministers have warned that the cost of public pensions is becoming unaffordable. But the unions believe the coalition is targeting public sector pay for ideological reasons.

U.S.-Canada Trade: Billionaire Oil Baron Brothers Block New Border Crossing To U.S.

Two billionaire brothers who have become heroes to America's libertarian movement and bogeymen to America's left are backing an effort to prevent a new border crossing between Canada and the U.S.

Charles and David Koch (pronounced "coke"), owners of Koch Industries, the U.S.'s second-largest privately held company, have thrown their backing behind a sometimes-dirty campaign to prevent the construction of a new bridge crossing between Windsor and Detroit, Bloomberg News reports.

That places the energy industry magnates seemingly in opposition to the government in Ottawa, which has been lobbying hard to get Michigan to build a new bridge in Detroit. Canada has even offered cash-strapped Michigan $550 million to move forward with the long-stalled project.

But the new border crossing has been delayed by the efforts of Manuel Moroun, a Michigan billionaire who owns the principal Windsor-Detroit crossing, the Ambassador Bridge. Moroun fears a new, six-lane bridge would take traffic away from his 82-year-old, four-lane crossing. He has been lobbying the state government in Lansing to stop the project.

A call to action: Non-violent civil disobedience against the tar sands

A defining moment in Canadian history will take place in Ottawa this month.

On Sept. 26, hundreds of individuals from across the country will participate in an act of peaceful civil disobedience. The objective is to send a clear message to the Harper regime, calling on the government to withdraw its unquestioning support of the tar sands industry and to provide leadership by forging the transition to a clean, just and renewable energy that respects Indigenous rights and gives priority to the health of our communities and the environment. It could well turn out to be the largest demonstration of environmental civil disobedience in the history of this country's climate movement.

For several years, many civil society groups and individuals have written letters, signed petitions, participated in actions across the country and sought to educate their elected officials on the moral imperative of stopping our addiction to fossil fuel and building a sustainable future. Yet, most of these efforts have been ignored, while the fragmentation between environmental, health and economic problems continue to intensify and the connections that intertwine them remain unaddressed.

Rick Perry: number one with a bullet

Barack Obama’s approval ratings of 43 per cent are the lowest of his presidency—as low as George W. Bush’s in his second term. The number of net new jobs the gasping American economy created in August was exactly zero. And on a sunny afternoon in a meticulously manicured suburb of Manchester, N.H., a state that plays a key role in picking presidents, several hundred Republican voters have gathered to hear from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the man who has vaulted to the lead of a raucous race to oust the President. The crowd skews somewhat grey-haired and more than a little country-clubby. Men sport khakis and button-downs, the women tailored dresses and high heels. Tidy white golf carts shuttle guests from their cars to a white tent that has been set up on grounds studded with American flags.

Even among this well-heeled group there is fear about where the country is headed—financially, politically, and even metaphysically. “The country, the people have lost their faith,” says Joyce Gardiner, a 68-year-old retired marketer from Londonderry. “Obama,” she purses her lips, “is inept.” James Shephard, 57, who says he lost his job at a plant that manufactured bomb-disposal equipment, is here to take pictures of the event for a Tea Party group he recently joined. “The vice is squeezing tighter and tighter,” he says. “People say they have to do something before the boat goes over the cliff.”

Bachmann chips off some of Perry’s right-wing varnish

Rick Perry revved his motor. But when the Tea Party got around to peeking under the hood, all it found was a four-cylinder conservative.

The deflating discovery came via Michele Bachmann, who shifted into overdrive during Monday’s Republican presidential debate and ran all over the Texas Governor. No Tea Partier can look at him the same way now.

Ms. Bachmann’s surprising motor skills redefined the meaning of a candidacy that had been fast slipping into irrelevancy. Her performance did not make her any more worthy of the nomination. But the doubts she raised about Mr. Perry’s conservative credentials made her his biggest menace.

Since entering the race in mid-August, Mr. Perry had shown all the subtlety of a Mack truck. Grassroots Republicans thought they had hit pay dirt. The party establishment may have seriously doubted Mr. Perry’s electability in a national election. But no one seemed willing to challenge the three-term Texas governor on the central conceit of his candidacy: He sold himself as the unassailable conservative and Mitt Romney as the fake.

Daryl Hannah’s ‘dirty’ talk has Brad Wall evangelizing ethical oil

Brad Wall is taking on Al Gore and Daryl Hannah in their own country.

The Saskatchewan Premier believes “mythmaking” and “conspiracy” theories around the controversial Keystone XL pipeline project are hurting Canada’s trade relationship with the United States.

Embracing the Harper government’s ethical-oil defence, Mr. Wall said he spoke “bluntly” recently to a group of influential American politicians about the star-studded protests in Washington against the $7-billion pipeline project.

He reflected on his speech and the message he delivered in an interview with The Globe this week.

“Here you have a friend, here you have a country that has the same core values in terms of democracy, freedom and human rights ... and that’s the country you target when you are happy to import oil from places where women are not allowed to drive, where gays are persecuted, where there is no democracy and I think it’s time that we speak bluntly about that because overall the relationship is suffering,” the Premier said.

Chinese envoy decries ‘irresponsible’ coverage of Tory MP’s e-mail affair

The Chinese government says the Bob Dechert affair is a private matter and it’s “irresponsible” for the press to imply Beijing had any hand in it.

Mr. Dechert, a Conservative MP with special foreign affairs duties, says amorous e-mails he sent to a journalist with China’s state news service are part of an “innocent friendship.” These include messages where he said he loved Shi Rong, a Toronto correspondent for Xinhua News Agency.

Canada's top spy last year warned that the Chinese were trying to infiltrate Canadian politics. Western intelligence agencies consider Xinhua a tool of the Chinese state that collects information for Beijing.

A spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Ottawa told The Globe and Mail the country has nothing to say about the personal relationship between Mr. Dechert, 53, and Ms. Shi. Both are married to other people.

Ford dismisses bad poll results, says he’ll ‘stay the course’

Mayor Rob Ford dismissed poll results that suggest his approval rating has plummeted, saying Wednesday that he believes he still has broad support.

“The people I talk to tell me ‘stay the course,’” he told reporters in his City Hall office. “I talk to literally hundreds of people every day, be it through phone calls, out on the streets, everywhere I go.”
Asked about poll respondents’ overwhelming opposition to the city manager’s proposals for cuts, Ford called the criticism “very premature.” He has not yet expressed an opinion on most of the proposals, and council has not yet endorsed any.

Israel must remember its Negev Bedouin are citizens

The Netanyahu government excels in laying out grandiose, expensive, impractical master plans. Even if ultimately 30,000 citizens are not evicted by force from their homes, the plan's threatening tone already deepens the strong lack of confidence already prevalent among the Bedouin.

The decision by the cabinet on Sunday approving the Prawer report's plan to regulate the Bedouin communities in the Negev is an unfortunate continuation of an insensitive policy which is leading to unnecessary friction between the government and citizens of the country. The Bedouin of the Negev are above all citizens of the State of Israel, but the government doesn't treat them as such.

In June, it released its wide-ranging plan to "regulate Bedouin communities in the Negev," at a cost believed to be between NIS 6 billion to NIS 8 billion. The plan is officially based on recommendations of the Goldberg Commission on unrecognized villages. In practice, however, selective use was made of the recommendations. This became truly problematic following the perplexing involvement of the national security adviser, Ya'akov Amidror.

Israel must act against Jewish terrorists

The official tendency to regard the 'price tag' gangs as a nuisance rather than an actual threat has to be shelved.

Extremist settlers in the West Bank and their allies inside Israel have in recent years been acting with violence toward government, army and security authorities, as well as toward Palestinians and Israelis whose political views differ from those of the "hilltop youth." It was in this spirit, known as "price tag," that mosques, Palestinian property and vehicles of the Israel Defense Forces were damaged, and the calm of citizens was disturbed by threats. The official tendency to regard the "price tag" gangs as a nuisance rather than an actual threat has to be shelved. According to a report by Chaim Levinson (Haaretz, September 13 ), the Shin Bet security service is of the opinion that "extreme right-wing Jewish activists in the West Bank have gone from spontaneous acts against Arabs to organized planning in the form of compartmentalized terror cells," which are difficult to infiltrate for intelligence purposes.

Defining this activity as "terror" does not merely have verbal significance. It necessitates an operational perspective for, after all, the purpose of the Shin Bet's existence, unlike that of the police, is the prevention of security offenses, and not merely investigating them post factum and catching those responsible for them.

As far as is known, dozens of youths, aided by an envelope of a few hundred others, are engaged in the activities of the Jewish terror gangs. For years, the Shin Bet has been busy identifying and mapping these networks. Were we talking about Palestinians, all of them, or at least the patently violent core, would have been arrested in anticipation of a trial or would be in administrative detention. It is not clear what is holding back the Shin Bet from acting against this terror - instructions from the political echelons, agreement by the attorney general, insistence on the part of the top brass or a mixture of all three. Last spring, right-wing circles took action to thwart the appointment of I., then deputy to Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin, as head of the service. Those circles preferred Yoram Cohen, and he, with or without connection to that, was indeed appointed. The Palestinian effort to achieve independence will next week reach one of its peaks, at the United Nations and in the field. The leaderships of both sides must not only behave with moderation themselves but must also restrain the citizens whose actions are likely to lead to an escalation. The Shin Bet must now embark on a preemptive operation before Israelis and Palestinians pay a price for this vacillation.

Source: Ha'aretz 

'Price tag' gangs threaten Israel government's authority

A Jewish authority has taken shape on the West Bank, and its goal is to replace the state as a sovereign authority, and eventually also perhaps to supplant the authority of the IDF.

There's no doubt: Judea and Samaria are here. The "price tag" gangs are not content with the reservation allocated to them on the West Bank, where they can uproot trees, demolish IDF vehicle parts and burn mosques. Like any terror organization, they operate on the basis of a limitless "bank of targets." It is not too much to hypothesize that these lists make distinctions between those whose doors should be spray-painted, and those who should be assassinated, not only on these West Bank reservations, but also in the state of Israel. But it would be a tragic mistake to relate to these gangs merely as though they were a terror organization, whose activity, circumscribed to a specific area, will be brought to an end.

Israel, well versed in the war on terror, has invented the term "terror infrastructure" which distinguishes between those who carry out actual acts of terror, and those who handle the terrorists; that is, between the "military wing" and the political-cultural leadership that cultivates the terrorists. Such a terror "infrastructure" does not exist on these Jewish West Bank enclaves. Responsibility cannot be accorded to the Yesha Council of settlements, or to the rabbis who keep their hands clean, who roll their eyes instead of taking responsibility.

But this infrastructure really exists. A Jewish authority has taken shape on the West Bank, and its goal is to replace the state as a sovereign authority, and eventually also perhaps to supplant the authority of the IDF. We are not talking about the Yesha Council, which "bows down" to government authorities, but rather the creation of a new insanity that will sponsor terror organizations under its wing.

Brian Sandoval, Nevada Governor, Endorses Rick Perry For President

WASHINGTON -- Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is backing Texas Gov. Rick Perry's presidential bid.

Sandoval cites Perry's "strong record on jobs" and says Perry "will get America working again" in announcing his support in a statement issued Tuesday.

Nevada's caucuses are held shortly after contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. That makes Sandoval's support key in the nomination race. The endorsement is a blow for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who won the Nevada caucuses in 2008. Romney has again made the state a central campaign focus, choosing Las Vegas as the location to unveil his jobs plan. Romney also has the support of Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki.

Months before Perry entered the race, Sandoval had praised Romney in March as one of several candidates who could make a "great" president.

Source: Huffington 

The War Industry: Bad Job Creators, Bad Bosses, Bad Stewards of Tax Dollars

On Tuesday, the military contractors behind the "Second To None" campaign pleaded "no comment" to our War Costs campaign's full-page Politico ad exposing the economic damage caused by massive war budgets. The same day, they announced a press conference and the upcoming launch of a national campaign to scare people about job losses if we cut the war budget. It seems like they had a comment or two after all. But as these companies gather at the National Press Club on Wednesday morning to frighten you into funding their trust funds, remember: military spending costs us jobs compared to other ways of spending the money.

These contractors will undoubtedly try to obscure the fact that every $1 billion of military spending costs anywhere between 3,200 and 11,700 jobs or more when compared to other ways of spending the money. They'll probably also try to obscure the fact that because the deficit committee has to find spending reductions equaling a certain dollar amount, this is a zero sum game, pitting military spending against the exact kinds of spending that would create more jobs. If the industry is right, and we should be coming at the question of where to cut spending from the perspective of job creation, then we have to cut war spending because other cuts would cost even more jobs.

Corporations Pressure Congress, White House Over 'Territorial Taxation' Of Offshore Profits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Large U.S. corporations are pressuring Congress and the White House to exempt overseas corporate profits from taxes, a policy shift that critics say would hurt the economy and increase the federal deficit.

A fight is shaping up between supporters of territorial taxation, as this policy proposal is known, and opponents who favor a different reform -- repealing a tax law that allows corporations to defer paying taxes on their overseas income.

The two sides are facing off over an old and worsening problem -- how to fix the system for taxing companies' foreign income. Both sides agree the system is not working and a new approach is needed, but their solutions are direct opposites.

"A tax system that raises little revenue, but imposes high compliance and administrative burdens on taxpayers and the IRS is the very definition of a bad tax system. Unfortunately, that is the system we have," said Philip West, a former U.S. Treasury Department tax official, at a Senate hearing.

Charles Scott Howard: The Miner Who Took On Big Coal

WHITESBURG, Ky. -- On a July morning four years ago, Charles Scott Howard left his home in the mountains of Southeastern Kentucky and drove his pickup truck 150 miles to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Lexington. A career coal miner, Howard was headed to the posh hotel to testify at a public hearing held by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), a regulatory arm of the U.S. Department of Labor. Howard bore a reputation throughout much of Kentucky coal country as a stubborn and fearless whistleblower, and just about any miner in the area who hadn't already heard his name would hear it by the following morning.

Up for discussion was the subject of faulty mine seals -- a safety problem that had brought considerable grief to the mining communities of Appalachia. Mine seals are meant to keep certain atmospheres within mines separated from one another in the event of a blast. When they fail, blasts can turn deadly. In January 2006, an explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia trapped 13 miners, ultimately killing 12 of them. Four months after that, an explosion at the Darby Mine in Harlan County, Ky., claimed the lives of five more. Reports later cited weak seals as factors in both tragedies. At the hearing in Lexington, the widows of three Darby miners urged officials to adopt strict seal regulations and resist any entreaties by the coal lobby to loosen them.

That was my brother's death you were cheering, you a$$holes!

To all of those tea-jadist assholes at last night’s GOP debate: I don’t generally like to use profanity, but I fear that English is above your comprehension level, so in terms you might better understand, may God damn your worthless souls to hell for all eternity.

I had not planned on watching the debate because it conflicted with more important activities, like a new episode of The Closer.  But even more importantly, it was being held at a time when I had committed to posting a diary for The Grieving Room.  That diary was about the death of my brother from a very painful, uninsured struggle against metastatic cancer.

I had planned to write another separate diary about his journey through what passes for health care in a nation fixated on the profits that that care brings.  In a nation where his death was cheered in front of a panel of politicians, none of whom had the decency to object.  It is not yet a capital crime in this nation to be uninsured.

Steve worked 14 hours a day building beautiful guitars.  Songs will not be sung because he died and will make no more.  Thanks to the Republican Party’s theft of our national wealth, he barely eked out an existence with financial help from my husband and me. Money for health insurance?  Don’t be ridiculous.