Saturday, April 18, 2015

7 politicians who praised Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand discusses the film 'Song of Russia' before the House Un-American Activities Committee in Washington, D.C., Oct. 20, 1947. | AP Photo
A handful of lawmakers have voiced support for the Russian-born novelist.

Rep. Paul Ryan once credited the philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand as “the reason I got involved in public service,” but this week he’s singing a new tune, telling the National Review’s Robert Costa, “I reject her philosophy.”

Here are seven other politicians who have talked up Rand:

1. No, Sen. Rand Paul wasn’t named after Ayn Rand, but the Kentucky Republican told supporters in 2009 that he “cut [his] teeth on Ayn Rand in high school” and has read all of her novels.

2. In a 1966 letter, Ronald Reagan wrote, “Am an admirer of Ayn Rand …”

3. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson calls “Atlas Shrugged” his “foundational book,” and the Republican said in a 2010 debate the novel is “a warning of what could happen to America.”

4. Like his son Rand, Rep. Ron Paul went through an Ayn Rand phase.

In 2007, he told Dartmouth students that “she had a lot of influence on me,” but he has also criticized her take on religion and Christianity as seeming “so cold.”

5. Each year, Justice Clarence Thomas hosts a screening of the 1949 film version of Rand’s novel, “The Fountainhead,” for his four new law clerks.

6. Gary Johnson, the former New Mexico governor and current Libertarian candidate for president, gave his fiancée a copy of “Atlas Shrugged” when they started dating, and told her, “If you want to understand me, read this.”

7. Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford penned an essay for Newsweek, “Atlas Hugged,” just months after his affair was exposed in 2009.

He said he was “blown away” by Rand’s novels in the ’80s, but “since then, I’ve grown more critical of Rand’s outlook because it doesn’t include the human needs we have for grace, love, faith, or any form of social compact.”

Abortion is a made up issue designed to coalesce a right-wing political movement. 
It isn’t even mentioned in the Bible unless you consider the obvious implications of the ordeal of the bitter water in Numbers 5.

Everyone has a right to make their own decisions about abortion and we believe if someone is against it they shouldn't have one. 
No one has the right to impose their beliefs on this topic on others, especially when right-wing Biblical interpretations are fabricated for political purposes. 

conservative "Christians" won't read won't read any further than this. 
They just can't handle hearing something that could bring down their entire psychological house of cards. 
That means it's up to us to educate ourselves and educate those around us who will listen.

It's very interesting to note that in Jewish law and tradition an unborn fetus is not considered a person (Heb. nefesh, lit. “soul”) until it has been born. 
The fetus is regarded as a part of the mother’s body and not a separate being until it begins to egress from the womb during parturition (childbirth).

Things haven't always been the way they are now with American Christianity.

A 1968 a symposium sponsored by the Christian Medical Society and Christianity Today, the flagship magazine of evangelicalism, refused to characterize abortion as sinful, citing 'individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility' as justifications for ending a pregnancy.

In 1973, Wallie Amos ‘W. A.’ Criswell, President of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1968 to 1970, had this to say:

“I have always felt that it was only after a child was born and had a life separate from its mother that it became an individual person, and it has always, therefore, seemed to me that what is best for the mother and for the future should be allowed."

Enter con-man Paul Weyrich, the late religious conservative political activist, co-founder of the Heritage Foundation, and Godfather of The “Christian” Right, who literally shopped various issues trying to galvanize a conservative “Christian” movement.

His hypothetical “moral majority” needed a catalyst—a standard around which to rally. 
For nearly two decades, Weyrich, by his own account, had been trying out different issues, hoping one might pique evangelical interest: pornography, prayer in schools, the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, even abortion. 
“I was trying to get these people interested in those issues and I utterly failed,” Weyrich recalled at a conference in 1990.

The 1978 Senate races demonstrated to Weyrich and others that abortion might motivate conservatives where it hadn’t in the past. 
He saw his opening and he never looked back. 
He and his buddies Francis Schaeffer, Jerry Falwell, Richard Viguerie, and others were off and running in the creation of The "Christian" Right.
This article in Politico explains the entire early ugly history in great detail. 
It is a must read. 
 ... As you will learn, abortion was just a ploy to rally a herd mentality. 
Bigotry was the real motivation behind the madness of Paul Weyrich and his bunch.
There are of course many other facets to this story. 
Frank Schaeffer picks up where Politico left off in his book,

"Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back."

Frank's book is another "must read" for seekers of the Truth.

In the past 5 years South Carolina police have 
fired their weapons at 209 people and not one
officer has been convicted.

Dear Dot,

Last Saturday, South Carolina Police​ Officer Michael Slager shot Walter Scott eight times—killing him—and then immediately began the cover up.

Officer Slager moved evidence around and lied on the record about what actually happened.

If it weren’t for video footage released by the New York Times a few days later, he probably would’ve gotten away with it.

But since the release of the video Slager has both been fired and indicted with murder charges.

Yesterday a donation drive was started on Indiegogo to raise money for Officer Slager in the aftermath of Walter Scott’s murder. So far five fundraising pages have been created and Indiegogo is refusing to take them down, which is outrageous.

Demand that Indiegogo remove these disturbing and hurtful fundraisers from their platform, which enable Officer Slager to profit from killing an unarmed Black man.

Indiegogo is defending the fundraising drive by using language that we’re all too familiar with.

The company is claiming that they’re an “open” platform and that they "don’t judge the content of campaigns."

But we know that there is no such thing as a neutral technology platform.  

By allowing a fundraising drive in support of a killer cop who lied to avoid charges, Indiegogo is taking a stand. Instead of standing on the side of justice and decency, they’re standing with those who fail to acknowledge the policing crisis Black and brown people face in America.

Walter Scott’s horrific death doesn’t stand alone.

In the past 5 years South Carolina police have fired their weapons at 209 people and not one officer has been convicted.

This is a harrowing statistic.

That’s why ColorOfChange members in North Charleston and across the country are rising up to demand an end to discriminatory police violence.

With our nation paying more attention to policing than it has in years, now is the time to hold Indiegogo accountable.

They must do what's right and put an end to campaigns that endorse anti-Black police violence.

Last year we launched a campaign targeting GoFundMe after they made a similar argument about being a “neutral technology platform.”

GoFundMe failed to take down a fundraising drive in support of Darren Wilson, which raised over $430,000 and which the company profited from.

But after 130K ColorOfChange members spoke up--and after a couple months of consistent pressure--GoFundMe donated these profits to the Ferguson-Florissant school district.

Months later we know that GoFundMe remembers our campaign.

When a similar Michael Slager fundraiser was started on their platform this week, GoFundMe took it down immediately. This is the power of collective action. When we act together, we win.

These kinds of fundraising drives on the most popular platforms cannot be allowed to stand.

They send the exact wrong​ ​kind of message.

That you will be supported and even celebrated in the aftermath of taking Black lives.

​We must put an end to them once and for all.

Thanks and peace,
—Arisha, Rashad, Matt, and Bhavik
   for the ColorOfChange team

Friday, April 17, 2015

Derivative (finance)

In finance, a derivative is a contract that derives its value from the performance of an underlying entity.

This underlying entity can be an asset, index, or interest rate, and is often called the "underlying."

Derivatives can be used for a number of purposes, including insuring against price movements (hedging), increasing exposure to price movements for speculation or getting access to otherwise hard-to-trade assets or markets.

Some of the more common derivatives include forwards, futures, options, swaps, and variations of these such as collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and mortgage-backed securities.

*Payments made to seller of swap. Seller agrees to pay off third party debt if this party defaults on loan. A CDS is considered ...

Most derivatives are traded over-the-counter (off-exchange) or on an exchange such as the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, while most insurance contracts have developed into a separate industry.

Derivatives are one of the three main categories of financial instruments, the other two being stocks (i.e., equities or shares) and debt (i.e., bonds and mortgages).

Democrats in Oregon of All Places Just Torpedoed a Bill to Expand Abortion Rights

Here's how quickly the prospect of expanding abortion rights can kill a piece of legislation.

By Molly Redden

In February, a group of state lawmakers introduced a bill that would require insurers to cover the full spectrum of women's reproductive services at an affordable price. Just two months later, the same lawmakers have killed the bill.

The section calling for abortion coverage proved just too controversial.

This didn't happen in the Rust Belt, or in a purple state where Democrats hold the statehouse by just a vote or two.

It happened in Oregon, where the Democrats control both chambers of the legislature by a supermajority and where the party has a lengthy history of going to the mat for abortion rights.

The tale is an illuminating one as progressives contemplate how to respond to the historic number of anti-abortion laws that have passed in the last five years.

It's also an important dose of reality.

Conservatives have enacted more abortion restrictions in the past few years than they have in the entire previous decade.

In January, though, several news reports circulated that made it seem as though a full-fledged progressive counter strike was already under way.

The stories were based on reports by the Guttmacher Institute and the National Institute for Reproductive Health, pro abortion-rights think tanks.

They found that in 2014, dozens of lawmakers introduced dozens of bills—95, by Guttmacher's count—supporting women's reproductive rights, surpassing a record set in 1990.

"A Record Number Of Lawmakers Are Starting To Fight For Reproductive Rights," one headline announced.

Another read, "Inside the quiet, state-level push to expand abortion rights."

It's certainly true that the tidal wave of new abortion restrictions has inspired a progressive backlash.

But the suggestion that the two sides are evenly matched, or even approaching that point, is out of line with reality.

Just four of those 95 measures were eventually passed into law.

One of them was a Vermont bill to repeal the state's long-defunct abortion ban, in case the makeup of the Supreme Court allowed the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade—a looming danger, but not the most pressing issue facing abortion rights.

By contrast, last year alone conservative lawmakers introduced 335 bills targeting abortion access; 26 passed.

And in two states that are overtly hostile to abortion rights—Texas and North Dakota—the legislature wasn't even in session.

That's part of why you can expect this year's abortion battles to be even uglier.

But it's not just about sheer numbers.

At the same time that progressive lawmakers were pushing forward-thinking laws, the 2014 midterms undermined their efforts.

In states where there were serious efforts to expand reproductive rights—Colorado, Nevada, New York, and Washington—Democratic losses on Election Day have placed those plans on indefinite hold.

Here's how things fell apart in Oregon, according to the Lund Report, an Oregon-based health news website.
[Democratic health committee chair Sen. Laurie] Monnes Anderson said the abortion language was so toxic that "leadership"—her caucus leaders—would not even allow her to have a public hearing on SB 894, let alone move it to the Senate floor. She said House Democratic leaders were also involved in the discussion over whether the bill could see the light of day.
Meanwhile, in the time it took for Oregon to abandon this bill, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, and West Virginia passed 10 new abortion and reproductive rights restrictions.

What happened in Oregon shows just how much reproductive rights advocates are playing catch-up, even in states that appear friendly to their agenda.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015


'Republicans refuse to acknowledge this...

Thanks to @[177486166274:274:Being Liberal].'

Documentation of Official U.S. Knowledge of Drug Trafficking and the Contras

The National Security Archive obtained the hand-written notebooks of Oliver North, the National Security Council aide who helped run the contra war and other Reagan administration covert operations, through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed in 1989.

The notebooks, as well as declassified memos sent to North, record that North was repeatedly informed of contra ties to drug trafficking.

In his entry for August 9, 1985, North summarizes a meeting with Robert Owen ("Rob"), his liaison with the contras.

They discuss a plane used by Mario Calero, brother of Adolfo Calero, head of the FDN, to transport supplies from New Orleans to contras in Honduras.

North writes: "Honduran DC-6 which is being used for runs out of New Orleans is probably being used for drug runs into U.S."

As Lorraine Adams reported in the October 22, 1994 Washington Post, there are no records that corroborate North's later assertion that he passed this intelligence on drug trafficking to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 2

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Those new-fangled electronic voting machines
work so well, they count your vote
BEFORE you push the button!

June 22, 2025

 Last chance to register your uterus!
If you want to use that uterus this year, 
you must get it registered before

 June 22nd!
You don't want to get caught using an
unlicensed uterus, do you?

The uterus police will be making

unannounced (cold calls) "visits" to all
middle-class neighborhoods

 starting June 22nd.

  Have your papers in order!
Don't piss off the uterus police!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

10 Reasons Why You Should Vote Republican

By LaFeministaFollow

1. You want to finance the wealthy?

You think the banking bailout wasn't enough for the elite?

They need tax breaks to invest more in the developing world so their companies become more profitable?

Please give them tax cuts to do so.

Do you want to decrease unemployment overseas, give corporations tax cuts and breaks to finance their move to the land of cheap labor of their choice?

So what if the workers are to young or kept in dormitories and the conditions resemble those of forced labor.

You really want that stuff to be so cheap that you can afford it on the unemployment line?

Well then:

Vote Republican.

2. You believe victims of crime are whiners?

Two wrongs make a right?

Women who are raped and become pregnant should be forced to carry the baby of a crime?

That those complaining of sexual and moral abuse at work are just lazy and have no right to be treated equally at the workplace?

Vote Republican.

3. You believe government services are a waste?

That the fire department, police, schools and hospitals are a drain on the economy we cannot afford.

That only the private sector could provide these at an affordable rate, and so what if you cant afford it?

That protecting the environment serves no purpose and is a drain on corporate reserves when the are forced to abide by the minimum guidelines?

You believe that market forces are enough to prevent poisonous baby food?

You believe tearing apart mountains or flooding the sea with crude oil are all just part of a viable business model?

Vote Republican.

4. You believe whites are the victim of racism?

That this is your country and you want it back, and you believe the days of slavery made you freer?

You need someone to look down upon because your life is crap?

You need to blame someone else for your own failure to compete in an open market and its all because minorities have some legal protection?

You believe that illegal immigrants are taking your jobs away but if you were offered the same working conditions you would run away screaming?

Vote Republican.

5. You don't believe in social programs?

Well Medicare, Social Security, and SCHIP are drains on those who can afford not to need them.

So they should be privatized and hence only serve those that can afford them in the first place.

Just think of all that extra money in the stock market you can cheer it volatile rise and spectacular collapse.

Heck that's the free market for you, so what if the big boys stole all your cash.

That's the American dream right there!

Love it?

Vote Republican.

6. It's not what you do but what you say that counts?

That even if you are a total sleazeball but say the right things all will be forgiven.

That you can lie and steal and waste tax payers money so thoroughly yet claim still to be fiscally conservative with a straight face, and that you can believe and admire others who do the same thing?

Vote Republican.

7. Affordable health care is an affront to sanity.

It was much better when the insurance companies could cover whom they liked.

The rate hikes every so often filled you with joy?

That only those with the resources should have access to what you believe was the best service in the world despite all evidence to the contrary?

Vote Republican.

8. Rules are only for poor people?

You believe that making the rich even richer is part of the American dream even though you are more likely only to get there if you win the state lottery?

You believe that by supporting the grotesquely wealthy is your sure way into nirvana, and you will protect them come hell or high water even though they laugh at you?

Vote Republican.

9. You believe we are on the road to socialism?

The only way to stop this is to hand over government to the corporations and that democratically elected politicians should bow to the will of the very few?

The only good government is one that doesn't interfere with profit taking and is better neither seen or heard?

That this rule by the elite is the way to go?

Vote Republican.

10. Your own freedoms are best guaranteed by removing the rights of others?

You believe that LGBT folk don't deserve the same rights as anyone else since this would infringe if not totally destroy your own, it would in fact cause you deep an abiding pain?

You believe that the freedom to worship is a christian right, and any other religion is just plain un-American, and Muslims have a special right to be hounded no matter what?

You believe that to avoid the imposition of Sharia law one must impose fundamentalist christian doctrine first by applying old testament laws?

Vote republican.

If this is the case by all means VOTE REPUBLICAN and may your god watch over you, because I sure as hell wont care what happens to you.

Originally posted to LaFeminista