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At what point do we need to consider that the increasing protest after death at the hand of police is not "rioting", but the beginning of revolution? The revolution is misdirected against police, but the uprising is rightly aimed at a system that is using police as a tool of institutional racism.

Good men and women in blue are being asked to pacify a populous that has been devastated by corporate powers shipping jobs overseas, suppressing and depressing wages, silencing collective bargaining and worker organization, and stealing retirement funds. That the hurt is greatest among African Americans is no coincidence, because racism is a division deliberately fostered in media and law by the powerful, with the intent to divide and weaken the larger population. Set factions of us against each other and we will never become the powerful team of citizens that could bring about a change, could demand and create justice.

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A fetus is deserving of protection because it is a "potential person". A Honduran 12 year old is not deserving of protection because...?

Well, I think I have the solution to this vexing contradiction among the policies of those who foam at the mouth equally in opposition to harming "potential" children AND in favor sending real ones to their squalor, human trafficking, and death.

There are no more "illegal aliens". There are only "potential citizens."

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We all seem to be on the same page about how horrifically stupid, sexist, and misogynist were Rep. Akin's remarks about "legitimate rape". No question that, on its face, there is a responsibility for him to unequivocally apologize and sincerely recant...however improbable or impossible that he could or would.

But if he were to do that in the next hour, the contamination of the discourse on rape has already occurred. Even men whom I know "know better" have fallen into lapses of language and judgment that unwittingly support erroneous myths about rape. One normally thoughtful fellow wrote me the following in response to some of my objections to Akin's comment:

"I think Akins was trying to make a distinction between 1) an actual rape, as opposed to, 2) one of thousands of false claims of rape...". (emphasis mine)  I responded with the following:

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Mine eyes have seen the glory of the art of compromise!
All the partisans were bickering, but now they're getting wise.
Tired of the bloody noses, weary of the blackened eyes:
The Center is Reborn!

Ahh, if only it were more than a song parody.  But sad news from beleaguered Wisconsin points up the problem with moderation these days: No good songs.

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Mitt Romney's statement to a campaign questioner that "Corporations are people, my friend!" reflects his personal and legal view of Citizen's United (I hope he didn't come up with that all on his own!), then what ramifications are there for his actions at Bain Capital? Is what he and his company did to the corporations they took over reflective of his attitudes toward real human beings?

If so...

...then wouldn't his breaking of those corporations into its functional units that other corporations could install and use as their own make him an "organ dealer"?

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Women's health just finished second behind extremist politics.

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Cory Booker's excellent critique of putting same-sex marriage to a New Jersey referrendum Cory Booker on Gay Marriage NJ Ballot Initiative elicited a comment including an argument I thought had largely passed into the obscurity it deserves.

The "Only Breeders Should Marry" argument - essentially that the begetting (his term) of children is the overwhelming priority for the institution of marriage, and the capacity to do so is present only in heterosexual marriage - is in the gentleman's comments, and I will not reproduce (no pun intended) them here. But I offer this rebuttal:

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When the limits of free speech are discussed, the above rubric is employed to demonstrate that speech which causes immediate and significant danger to the public is not protected by the First Amendment.

But what if the theater is in flames, and a person in a position of authority and responsibility for the theater's audience shouted, "There is no fire! Go back to your seats and enjoy the show!"  Would that not also fail the test of protected speech, properly resulting in criminal charges of public endangerment and willful negligence, at the very least?

This is what Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield has done: used his position of authority to tell his constituents (and anyone else listening) that there is no danger - when, in fact, he either must know better or is choosing to deceive himself and others for ideological reasons.

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Wed Nov 02, 2011 at 07:35 AM PDT

I HATE LIBERALS!

by Mark Throckmorton

So said the bumper sticker in big, black, block letters on the pickup truck. (The gun rack in the rear window of the cab sent the same message to anyone paying attention, I suppose...)

A dear friend grew up in the town of Liberal, KS, which is not--and probably never was--politically left-of-center. The name came from the fact that, among the villages along the trail to the southwest frontier, this town was "liberal" when it came to sharing its water with travelers.

That is the essential meaning of "liberal": that we are generous with the resources with which we have been blessed. The opposite of "liberal" is not "conservative", but "miserly", "parsimonious", or "stingy". Because the modern face of conservatism has become the latter three, they do not "conserve" the essential foundations of our egalitarian society, but slash and burn them with reckless abandon.

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Billy Bob: "Hey! Didjya hear that under Guverner Perry, thirty thousand new jobs was creeayted in Texas...durin' the Reee-session!"

Tommy Joe: "Yep. And to feed my chilluns and keep my house, I'm aholdin' down 3 of 'em."

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Tahlequah, OK, USA – Perhaps hoping for the sort of instant notoriety gained last year by Quran-burning Florida pastor Terry Jones, a little-known clergyman in the Ozark Mountain foothills says, “God has changed my heart: I now do believe that the Almighty does use disasters to punish the sinful and ungodly.”

For decades, The Rev. Martin Thrasher had dismissed the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson when they claimed that calamities such as AIDS, Hurricane Katrina, and the Haiti earthquakes were visitations of God’s well-deserved judgment on the disobedient and degenerate of the earth.

“I didn’t used to believe God worked that way”, he explained, “Because innocent people were getting hurt, too.”

But events of last week have brought on a conversion experience for this small town, liberal preacher. He says God has revealed to him that the Heavenly Father has taken off his belt and is “givin’ a whippin’” to unrepentant evil-doers through the earthquake and hurricanes that recently punished the Washington, DC area.

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Wed Jul 20, 2011 at 07:30 AM PDT

Definition: "Tea Party"

by Mark Throckmorton

A well-intentioned, fiscally conservative movement that has been duped into opposing anything the government has done to benefit its members, and to embrace everything that commercial and corporate entities have done to exploit Americans.

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