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It's been a while and we need to regroup, discuss the state of affairs, come up with new ideas and have fun.

On the fun side, we are going to try a potluck

A potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food prepared by the person or the group, to be shared among the larger gathered group. Synonyms include: potluck dinner, spread, Jacob's join,[1][2] Jacob's supper, faith supper, covered dish supper, dish party, bring and share, dutch, pitch-in, bring-a-plate, dish-to-pass, fuddle.
Simple enough,  bring something we can all eat.
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 I'm bringing some "empanadas".

It's susans idea, she is bringing a vegetarian dish.  Others are bringing interesting dishes as they indicated in the last diary about the get together.

Please Kosmail susans if you are coming and she'll send you the address.  It's in North Hills

So you may have to take the 405 through the Sepulveda Pass.

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If you come by bus or if you take the Orange Line (very Kossack of you) or the train to Van Nuys.  Let susans know.  Some of us who live nearby will pick you up so you don't need to walk.

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It's going to be a nice sunny day.

So come to the San Fernando Valley, meet other Kossacks and grow your network.

Poll

Los Angeles is the greatest because...

36%7 votes
5%1 votes
31%6 votes
5%1 votes
5%1 votes
15%3 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

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A special election on May 19 will determine whether Susan Bonilla or Steve Glazer gets to be a California Senator representing the 7th Senate district.  Susan came 2nd in the March 17th primary.  

Glazer received 38,411 in the primary while Bonilla got 28,389, about 10,000 votes less.  However,  the next candidate was Joan Buchanan who received 25,534 and she endorsed Bonilla.

True, the Republican in the race came 4th and received 18,281 and endorsed Glazer (another red light when a Republican endorses a Democrat) before withdrawing from the race 1 month before the March primary.  So many of the votes Glazer received were probably Republicans.  Republicans that voted for Michaela Hertle even after she withdrew will probably not participate in the special election.  So it will be close and we can make a difference.

“I am endorsing Steve Glazer for California State Senate District 7.  Mr. Glazer has proven that he can work with Republicans and Democrats alike to find common sense solutions to our state’s needs”, said Hertle.  “He is not beholden to labor or other special interests, as seen by his opposition to BART strikes.”
The choice in ths special election in DailyKos' backyard is clear, Susan Bonilla, a great Democrat or Steve Galzer a blue dog.
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I'm far from the district but as a Single Payer activist I will do what I can to support Susan.  She is all for Single Payer, Glazer is not.  And we need Single Payer supporters in Sacramento so that what happened in 2012 doesn't happen again and so we can get to Single Payer however convoluted the road map has become in the era of Obamacare.

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As a matter of fact, the recently launched Single Payer PAC has picked Susan as the first candidate to support.  You can donate to her campaign via PayPal on the PAC page or donate to her campaign directly via ActBlue on her website.

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Another red light, SF Gate seems to endorse Glazer;

Steve Glazer: A moderate Democrat, actually;

It’s true Glazer has business support. But that’s because private enterprise needs Democrats who are, as California Chamber of Commerce Veep Marty Wilson put it, “reform-minded” and “will stand up to the unions.” The chambers’ JOBSPac has spent more than $180,000 to help elect Glazer, a Democrat who helped push through a big tax increase, because the chamber is desperate to elect Democrats willing to buck the left’s entrenched interests.
 And those progressives in the  Chamber of Commers obviously love Glazer even if he is a Dem.

If you still have doubts, compare the endorsements of  Bonilla vs. Glazer. Interestingly, Governor Jerry Brown has not endorsed Glazer even though he is one of his top advisors;

Glazer is known as Jerry Brown's leading political strategist.
A yellow light at least IMO.

And this from Calbuzz;

Op-Ed: Why Unions Back Bonilla Over Glazer

Bipartisan Bonilla: Experience is one reason labor backs Bonilla. A former high school English teacher, she has built a reputation in the Capitol as a workhorse who tackles tough issues. Susan has teamed up with Gov. Jerry Brown on a landmark restructuring of the state’s local education funding formula, and won bipartisan praise for her handling of the “Uber” bill last year as chair of the Assembly’s Business and Professions Committee.
On income inequality, Glazer has refused to support an increase in the minimum wage, a bread-and-butter Democratic issue supported by Bonilla, not to mention President Obama and Gov. Brown.

When Glazer was asked about the minimum wage at a candidate forum last year, he replied that, “Most of these jobs are being provided by small business people in our communities. I think you should talk to them. I think they’ll tell you things aren’t so grand,” hardly what we expect from someone running as a Democrat anywhere, especially in one of the wealthier enclaves of California.

Glazer also has angered environmentalists by suggesting that he’d push for unspecified major changes in the state’s landmark California Environmental Quality Act (better known as CEQA). By contrast, Bonilla, scored 81 percent on the California League of Conservation Voters scorecard.

Bill Clinton, Jerry Brown and Dianne Feinstein are all moderate Democrats. But none has crossed labor like Steve Glazer. He is pushing policies that damage the middle class and reflect the California Chamber of Commerce‘s agenda. His victory would signal that there is not much difference between Democrats and Republicans on economic issues. That is precisely what corporate interests want in California.
So if you want a better Democrat in Sacramento and if you are a supporter of Single Payer, please get involved or at least donate.
Discuss

The Single Payer movement is moving forward in California.  We are kicking off the new strategy on Monday.  

The ultimate goal is to apply for a "waiver" under the ACA in 2017.  For this we need several things but paramount is the state legislature to budget and complete the economic impact study.

But this Lobby Day we will focus in supporting SB 4, the Lara Bill. The idea is to make healthcare available to 3-4 million undocumented workers in California.  Senator Lara is one of the biggest Single Payer supporters in California and will be leading the effort in Sacramento.  This SB 4 is good and it's a step in the right direction.

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Hundreds of activists organized by the AllCare Alliance will be bused in on Sunday.

There will be speeches and events at the Leadership Conference. Here you can get a ticket (nobody turned back) and even a hotel room and bus ride.

This is a diary I posted 5 years ago for another Single Payer Lobby Day.

If you can't make it perhaps I can talk you into signing this TakePart petition supporting SB 4;

Sign On: California Needs Health for All!

I'll be in Sacramento on Sunday through Wednesday morning meeting with legislators, attending the Leadership Conference and Alliance board meetings.

But I will hive time for dinner and drinks in our state capital.


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Discuss

99 Rise was founded about 3 years ago in Los Angeles by my friend Kai Newkirk.

99 Rise is the tip of the spear in the movement to overturn Citizens United and get money out of politics.

Today these five 99 Risers were arrested in the US Supreme Court;

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Protesters again disrupt U.S. Supreme Court proceedings

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Protesters disrupted U.S. Supreme Court proceedings for the third time in just over a year on Wednesday, with several people shouting out before the nine justices heard oral arguments in a bankruptcy case.

The protesters criticized two court rulings that pared back campaign finance restrictions.

5 arrested at Supreme Court after courtroom protest of campaign finance decisions
The first protester rose from his seat among spectators in the courtroom just after the justices took the bench at 10 a.m. "I rise to claim our democracy, one person, one vote," he said.

Chief Justice John Roberts initially joked that he didn't think the court's scheduled arguments in bankruptcy cases "would attract such attention." But Roberts turned serious as the protests continued and warned that anyone disrupting proceedings could be charged with criminal contempt.

This is the third time 99 Rise activists get arrested in the Supreme Court.

This is the video of the first arrest back in February 2014;

It is the only video ever taken inside the Supreme Court.

This was an impressive act of civil disobedience by my friend Kai. So I decided to support his organization and I help them with the March for Democracy.

The March for Democracy arrives in Sacramento on Sunday

The march was joined along the way by many famous people including Lawrence Lessig and Dolores Huerta.  And many Kossacks joined us in the Capitol, including Meteor Blades and navajo.

Many organizations and activists are doing what they can, 99 Rise specializes in non-violent civil disobedience.  And 99 Rise is now a nationwide organization.

Any support is welcome.

Below the fold is the 99 Rise press release

Continue Reading

In the XX Century, humanity became aware for the first time of the possibility of causing the end of the world by nuclear war.  Dr. Strangelove made fun of total war but in the back of our minds we did not laugh and some thought we should prepare.

Those who studied the consequences of nuclear war knew very well that it would be the end of humanity as we know it.  Others tried to figure out how humanity could communicate after nuclear war;

Paul Baran, the link between nuclear war and the internet

The Doomsday Clock is back to 3 minutes before midnight, the worst since 1984 and 1949.

But now, the reason why the clock has been moved 2 minutes by the Atomic Scientists  is because of global warming;

Extreme weather, such as long-lasting droughts, outsized storm systems, and increasingly erratic monsoon seasons --is already reducing agricultural yields, causing fresh water sources to dry up, and leading to increased flooding of coastal cities around the world. While these are the kinds of effects from global warming that environmental scientists have been predicting, government policies have yet to encourage the changes in energy use and human settlement that could stave off the very worst results and mitigate the suffering that is now bound to occur.
More bellow the orange mushroom cloud.
Poll

What will most probably en the world as we know it?

11%7 votes
59%36 votes
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| 61 votes | Vote | Results

Continue Reading

Sun Feb 08, 2015 at 04:29 PM PST

100 years of Birth of a Nation

by Shockwave

If when you grow up you hear your parents say racist things at home they will stay with you until you make a conscious effort to disconnect with that mindset.  If you don't, what your parents said will resonate in your mind all your life.

The first blockbuster produced in Hollywood celebrates 100 years from the February 8 premiere in 1915, Birth of a Nation.


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The top review in IMDB (link above) says;

The film is the story of two families, one Northern and one Southern, and how their lives would be intertwined during and after the Civil War. It focuses on two sons who fought in the war, and the effects their fighting would have on their families, mostly focusing on how one son would go on to be the founder of what we now know as the Klu Klux Klan. What I found most interesting is that a group we now speak of in such evil tones are represented in the movie as the defenders of all that is good and holy. When put in it's historical context and we realize that President Woodrow Wilson talked about the movie in such high praise, it gives us a real appreciation for how the world we live in has changed.
The world has changed, an African American is in the White House and the KKK is not lynching African Americans as in this scene from the film (left) or like in this scene from real life (right).
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As the IMDB reviewer says, Birth of a Nation broke new ground thanks to the direction by D.W. Griffith.  The battle scenes became the new standard in Hollywood.

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D.W. Griffith remained controversial all the way to 2000 when the Directors Guild of America retired his name from the highest professional honor they give out.  Some people disagreed with this move;

Griffith was being used as scapegoat not only for an industry but for the country as well. Remember, in 1915, the First World War having just begun, women—-black or white—-still didn’t have the right to vote. Do we no longer revere Washington or Jefferson because they kept slaves? In his brilliant documentary on the black heavyweight Jack Johnson of the 1910s, Unforgivable Blackness, Ken Burns quotes lengthy, virulently racist passages from such contemporary newspapers as The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune. As Robert Graves has pointed out, it is impossible not to be a part of your times, even if you are against them.
But let's put some more context;  Birth of a Nation was the first film in theaters to charge $2.00 for a ticket, it broke all attendance records, it was voted one of the top 100 American films by the American Film Institute, it was the first film ever shown in the White House, etc.

I diary about this because I stumbled on this article that resonates with me;

A patently offensive 'Birth of a Nation' turns 100

No one, back in 1915, had ever seen anything like D.W. Griffith’s Civil War blockbuster — with its sheer length (three hours), epic battle scenes, innovative use of tracking shots, cross-cutting and expressive close-ups. The climactic ride-to-the-rescue had audiences on their feet, wildly cheering and applauding.

Only thing, of course: The heroes riding to the rescue were the Ku Klux Klan (scored, in the original showings, to a live orchestra playing “Ride of the Valkyries,” an effect echoed 64 years later in “Apocalypse Now”). And the villains were African-Americans.

“The images are so blatant,” said Wartyna Davis, an associate dean at William Paterson University in Wayne, who has taught courses in African-American politics and popular culture and politics, and has screened excerpts from the film for her students.

Fools, upstarts, vicious rapists of white women: Those are just some of the black caricatures (many rendered by whites in blackface) that make “The Birth of a Nation,” today, a film to be more deplored than shown. “Clearly, this film is saying that black enfranchisement equals white subordination,” Davis said. “That still resonates in some political circles.”

And this is an offensive film, not just by the standards of our own time, but also for many back in 1915, when it spurred the mobilization of African-Americans as few things before or since.

But...
Indeed, the worst fears of William Monroe Trotter, the editor whose crusading Boston-based African-American paper, The Guardian, led the charge against the film, were realized. On Nov. 25, 1915, the Ku Klux Klan — until then nearly extinct — came roaring back to life at Stone Mountain, Ga., citing “The Birth of a Nation” as inspiration. By 1926, the new Klan claimed 5 million members.
So Hollywood really got energized by a film that tapped into the racist mindset that survived the Civil War.  Birth of a Nation was the biggest blockbuster, ironically,  until...Gone With the Wind.  This film also glorifies the racist mindset that was necessary to justify slavery.

The racist mindset that resonated with the audiences and made Birth of a Nation such a blockbuster still resonates among most of the Southern whites (and many whites elsewhere) who cannot comprehend how an African American got to be POTUS.  Racism has gone off the charts in much of America after the election of Obama.  Goldwater/Nixon's Southern Strategy capitalized, to this day, on this disease.

And the issue continues to plague Hollywood as demonstrated by the controversies about Selma and the firing of the Sony CEO in part for racist comments about Obama's preferences.

We still have long long ways to go to neutralize the racism that still exists in America.  From Ferguson to the prison/industrial complex, from Hollywood to voter suppression legislation in prominently racist states. It is a fight that can only be won only when whites who get it confront every day and everywhere those who don't, even though these non-racist whites may be in the minority.  And it will take a conscious effort by racist whites to change.

Discuss

I became aware of global warming (that is what I call it, not climate change a term coined by a Republican) back in 2006 when I wrote a diary about it;

Cheney's 1% Doctrine and Global Warming

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Over the years I posted an image of what I believed the consequences would be if we reached the point of no return.  A Mad Max world at best.

The Pentagon knows this too;

Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change

Thankfully Obama is doing something about it in his current trip to India;

U.S. And India Make Climate Change Announcement On First Day Of Obama's Trip

But is it too late?  Have we reached the tipping point when no matter what we do global warming is unstoppable?  Will the defrosting of the permafrost become irreversible?

Permafrost Methane Time Bomb

A vast expanse of permafrost in Siberia and Alaska has started to thaw for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago, marked in dark blue on the map. It is caused by the recent 3+°C rise in local temperature over the past 40 years - more than four times the global average. Peat bogs cover an area of a million square miles (or almost a quarter of the earth's land surface) to a depth of 25 meters. Those in Siberia are the world's largest.

What was until recently a barren expanse of frozen peat is turning into a broken landscape of mud and lakes, some more than a kilometre across. All only in the past 3 or 4 years.

Tipping PointsThis has the potential to release vast quantities of methane trapped by ice below the surface - billions of tonnes of methane. World-wide, peat bogs store at least two trillion tons of CO2. This is equivalent to a century of emissions from fossil fuels.

And today I stumbled on this bit of news;

Doomsday Clock Set at 3 Minutes to Midnight

That's the grim outlook from board members of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Frustrated with a lack of international action to address climate change and shrink nuclear arsenals, they decided today (Jan. 22) to push the minute hand of their iconic "Doomsday Clock" to 11:57 p.m.
Experts on the board said they felt a sense of urgency this year because of the world's ongoing addiction to fossil fuels, procrastination with enacting laws to cut greenhouse gas emissions and slow efforts to get rid of nuclear weapons.

"We are not saying it is too late to take action but the window for action is closing rapidly," Kennette Benedict, executive director of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said in a news conference this morning in Washington, D.C. "We move the clock hand today to inspire action."

So perhaps we have not reached the tipping point, but we do not know.

If I had progeny I would be much more concerned.  

Does what may happen in Washington DC give me hope?

Sen. Inhofe takes charge of Environment Committee

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Senate’s most vocal climate change skeptic, took the gavel of the Environment and Public Works Committee Wednesday, eight years after he gave it up.

The assignment makes him the top senator in charge of two of his passions: fighting attempts to curb climate change and building transportation infrastructure.

This is the guy that wrote a book about this "hoax";

The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future

A perfect example is the entire global warming, climate-change issue, which is an effort to dramatically and hugely increase regulation of each of our lives and business, and to raise our cost of living and taxes. In The Greatest Hoax, Senator James Inhofe will reveal the reasons behind those perpetuating the Hoax of global warming, who is benefitting from the general acceptance of the Hoax and why the premise statements are blatantly and categorically false.
The Republican party, except recently because of Romney the flip flopper, are mostly on the same page as Inhofe.

And on our side?

Hillary Clinton does not inspire much confidence based on her Keystone pipeline silence;

Hillary Clinton: "You won't get me to talk about Keystone Pipeline"

So, Hillary Clinton was in Winnipeg and continued her commitment to non-commitment regarding Keystone Pipeline. She is definitely not a climate hawk; witness her thorough support and influence in implementing fracking globally.
So it may or may not be late but until scientists agree that it is, we must do everything we can to address this existential threat.

Everything, money out of politics to defuse the influence of the fossil fule monsters in politics, invest in renewable energy, increase fuel efficiency in cars.  

So let's take a look at the forest before we go after the trees;

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

. Electricity production (32% of 2012 greenhouse gas emissions) - Electricity production generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions. Over 70% of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels, mostly coal and natural gas.[2]
Transportation (28% of 2012 greenhouse gas emissions) - Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation primarily come from burning fossil fuel for our cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes. Over 90% of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, which includes gasoline and diesel.[3]
. Industry (20% of 2012 greenhouse gas emissions) - Greenhouse gas emissions from industry primarily come from burning fossil fuels for energy as well as greenhouse gas emissions from certain chemical reactions necessary to produce goods from raw materials.
. Commercial and Residential (10% of 2012 greenhouse gas emissions) - Greenhouse gas emissions from businesses and homes arise primarily from fossil fuels burned for heat, the use of certain products that contain greenhouse gases, and the handling of waste.
. Agriculture (10% of 2012 greenhouse gas emissions) - Greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture come from livestock such as cows, agricultural soils, and rice production.
. Land Use and Forestry (offset of 15% of 2012 greenhouse gas emissions) - Land areas can act as a sink (absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere) or a source of greenhouse gas emissions. In the United States, since 1990, managed forests and other lands have absorbed more CO2 from the atmosphere than they emit.
My latest project, Earth Accounting, will hopefully help. Consumers making purchasing decisions based on green house gases associated with the supply chain of a product can be part of the solution.
Poll

Have we reached the tipping point?

50%31 votes
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36%22 votes
1%1 votes

| 61 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

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I joined DailyKos over 10 years ago.  It was necessary to keep my sanity.  I thought we had all gone crazy in the build up to invade Iraq and I stumbled on this site and realized that there were people that understood the horrible idea that this was.

Since then I've become an activist in different causes ranging from Single Payer to defending the separation of church and state in the military and from supporting labor unions to getting money out of politics.  We do what we can.

I believe that the wisdom of the crowd of DailyKos users is unmatched and I'd like to tap into it.

In my real life I am a serial entrepreneur in the computer industry.  I have started 6 companies since 1981.  Some did great, others so so mostly because of what I call the "chemistry of personalities".  As I say I have been involved with startups from garage to IPO in NASDAQ, unfortunately not in the same company.

I am attracted to big ideas.  The last startup is still going on since we are suing a huge (and I mean huge) company for patent infringement.

Today I'm involved with a new big idea startup.  I have been working on it for 4 years.  It is called Earth Accounting.

The idea is to empower consumers by giving them easy, complete and 100% transparent access to product sustainability information by simply scanning a barcode with a smartphone (or entering a product name on a computer).

We believe that consumers need to be part of the dynamic to achieve a sustainable economy.

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What do you think?

We have posted several diaries about the overall framework;

Consumers can understand externalities and do something about it
We consumers can do it!
Corporate, Community and Consumer Sustainability
Something new on the Spaceship Earth instrument panel
A new road to a sustainable Earth
Environmental awareness and ethical consumerism
Leanwashing and Consumer Choice
Consumer empowerment for ethical consumerism and sustainability

We have done a lot.   We have filed for a patent, we have a business plan, we have an initial team with good chemistry, we are approaching investors seeking an initial round of $500,000.

These are the things you can do if you if you like the idea and wish to help;

1. Send us any ideas, feedback or suggestions you may have.
2. Help us spread the word through Twitter or Facebook
3. Buy a lifetime membership for $10 by donating through our Indiegogo campaign.  Any donation coming from a Kossack will generate a 20% donation to DailyKos itself.  Make sure you tell us through Indiegogo that you are a Kossack.  

The Indiegogo campaign will do 3 things;

1) Get us some funding to keep things going through the investor round.
2) Identify possible early adopters
3) Network us with supporters with knowledge and connections for further networking.

I hope this diary doesn't get me banned so please Rec it.

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Discuss

On Tuesday there was a US House of Representatives Armed Forces Committee hearing on Religious Accommodations in the Armed Services.  It lasted over 1 hour and 20 minutes.

As far as hearings go it was a real doozy with at least one serious confrontation. You can see the whole thing below.

Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation was one of the witnesses and he leads the fight for the separation of church and state in the military.  Something that many do not believe in.

This article provides a useful summary;

Pentagon's Religious Guidance Spurred 'Tsunami of Confusion'

Nearly a year ago, Congress inserted language into the defense budget bill intended to quell criticism by some that Christian chaplains were not allowed to practice their faith. But testimony by retired chaplains and others on Capitol Hill on Wednesday showed that the language has not settled the debate.
One of the major reasons for the guidance established a year ago was to ensure chaplains could exercise their faith freely. Conservative religious and social organizations, especially those with strong evangelical beliefs, have for years claimed that the military stifles Christian chaplains from exercising their religious liberties.
One of the major issues discussed had to do with a chaplain's own freedom of religion, for example, if a military chaplain performs a funeral for a service person, should the chaplain adapt the sermon to the religious beliefs or lack thereof of the service person  or should the chaplain be able to say the same things as he would say if conducting the service to a group of his or her own faith?  Should the chaplain be able to say "Jesus died for our sins" at a Buddhist funeral?

Since chaplains are promoted into service by their own faith, is any restriction in what they say not a limitation on their own freedom of expression?

Mikey Weinstein expressed his controversial opinion;

Mikey Weinstein, president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a watchdog group that fights improper and illegal proselytizing in the military, said not all the confusion is innocent.

"There is a tsunami of confusion out there, but there's also a lot of willful confusion," he said. "The excuse of I'm sorry, I don't understand, seems very specious ... I think they [commanders] know very well. There is a very purposeful attempt to witness and proselytize irrespective of the Department of Defense directives, instructions and regulations."

The 800 pound gorilla

What was not talked about or discussed at all in the hearing was the makeup of the Chaplain Corps in the US Armed Forces.

Military chaplains are faith mismatch for personnel they serve

While just 3 percent of the military's enlisted personnel and officers call themselves Southern Baptist, Pentecostal or a member of a denomination that's part of the National Association of Evangelicals, 33 percent of chaplains in the military are members of one of those groups, according to Pentagon statistics.

And the disparity could soon widen.

Data from the Air Force indicate that 87 percent of those seeking to become chaplains are enrolled at evangelical divinity schools.

This last article was written in 2011.  I also found this other NYT article about this issue written back in 2005;

Evangelicals Are a Growing Force in the Military Chaplain Corps

Figures provided by the Air Force show that from 1994 to 2005 the number of chaplains from many evangelical and Pentecostal churches rose, some doubling. For example, chaplains from the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministries International increased to 10 from none. The Church of the Nazarene rose to 12 from 6.

At the same time, the number of chaplains from the Roman Catholic Church declined to 94 from 167, and there were declines in more liberal, mainline Protestant churches: the United Church of Christ to 3 from 11, the United Methodist Church to 50 from 64.

Other branches of the military did not make available similar statistics, but officials say they are seeing the same trend.

And this one from WaPo also in 2005;

Military Wrestles With Disharmony Among Chaplains

Pentagon data analyzed by The Washington Post show a substantial rise in the number of evangelical chaplains in the past decade, along with a modest decline in mainline Protestant ministers and a precipitous drop in Catholic priests, mirroring a nationwide priest shortage.

Of the approximately 1.4 million people on active duty in the military, 21.5 percent list their religion as Roman Catholic. But of the 2,860 active-duty chaplains, 355 -- or 12.4 percent -- are Catholic priests.

By far the largest single provider of chaplains to the military is now the Southern Baptist Convention, with 451 chaplains, one for every 40 service members who list their denomination as Southern Baptist.

Although the military has had growing difficulty recruiting ministers from mainline Protestant seminaries, many evangelical denominations place a high priority on supplying chaplains to the military.

And this more recent one in 2012;

98% Christian military chaplaincy reinforces barriers to diversity

The military chaplaincy has a diversity problem and it just got worse. The chaplaincy is currently 98% Christian, 90% Protestant, and 66% “evangelistic” Christian (the denominations that may engage in a more political expression of their religion). The same denominations in the general military population are 70%, 50%, and 19% respectively. This mismatch in the diversity in the chaplaincy is a problem on its face that the military should address with aggressive training and recruitment initiatives.
66% evangelical chaplains vs 19% evangelical service persons?  No wonder we have a problem of religious "accommodation" in the military.  Specially because it is the practice of evangelicals to proselytize since their beliefs requires them to. The predominance of evangelicals in the Chaplain Corps is one of the reasons for the tsunami.
Discuss

Over the years I have been exposed to the tons of hate mail the Military Religious Freedom Foundation receives.  I have posted diaries about the fight against what I call totalitarian Christians and their encroachment in the military.  So have others including my friend Mikey Weinstein, Executive Director of the MRFF and ChrisRodda.  Finally now there is a book about the hate mail, written by Bonnie, Mikey's wife which you can pre-order; "To the Far Right Christian Hater... You Can Be a Good Speller or a Hater, but You Can't Be Both"

The hate mail the MRFF receives ranges from serious death threats to very confused and ignorant (about the separation of church and state).  Most are full of spelling and grammar issues. If I was a Christian and I read this hate mail I would have to conclude that these people are sinners certainly (hate is a sin, right?) and possibly they are possessed by a demon.

So today a billboard was placed in Ventura Blvd. to promote the book and I went there to see it for myself;

What in Gods name photo WhatinGodsnamefront_zps7999fdd4.jpg

Interestingly the original concept for the billboard was this;

 photo 10518fc7-9716-4d06-b5fc-72eb96bf0b9d_zpsedafc723.jpg

But nobody would put that up.  So there is a mobile billboard going around with the original.

In a very serendipitous way, I noticed that right across the boulevard from the billboard there was another one for Cons┼antine;

 photo 6422521c-1acd-4ed0-8ad1-859d3947170f_zpse26e6e7a.jpg

I propose that the fundamentalist Christian right is actually possessed and they need the services of Constantine for a mass exorcism.

Their plan to implement theocracy in America has been going on since the days of Jerry Falwell at least.  And they are getting closer to their goals which include taking over the military.  BTW the vast majority of the MRFF members are Christians who are not considered Christian enough by these evangelical dominionist  fundamentalist types.

The MRFF is also hated by other extremists too, in particular the Stormfront types who are supposedly Christians who hate Mikey because he is a Jew.

As Sinclair Lewis said, "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."  Those of us involved in fighting for the separation of church and state at the MRFF confront these neo-fascists and we hope real Americans will join us because if we fail it's all over.

Discuss

Wed Nov 05, 2014 at 07:04 PM PST

One graphic that tells a story

by Shockwave

I got this one via DCCC email.  

2014 GOTV photo VoterContactChart_20141104_zpshgrzn2az.gif

It shows GOTV door knockings and call banking in the last 3 elections.  The activist base, including most Kossacks, made an effort.  But when the possible voters heard the pitch it didn't resonate.  Too many were disillusioned with Obama's performance perhaps because they were disinformed or perhaps because Obama didn't deliver towards their vision or because or because their life had become harder.

We lost dramatically not because we didn't do the effort, we lost because our messaging and the Democratic party messaging was not right.

As I said before, Bill Maher said it best about what the messaging should have been to crush the anti-Obama messaging of the Tea Party/GOP.  But this framework that shows how Obama's administration has been a success was not voiced by the Dem candidates or the party or PACS.

The activist base was there.  The party grassroots were there.  The message was not.  They work together or nothing happens.

Poll

Did the grassroots and activist base work hard?

85%46 votes
9%5 votes
5%3 votes

| 54 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Sun Nov 02, 2014 at 05:14 PM PST

A GOTV song that should go viral

by Shockwave

I have met Tom English in activist meetings in Los Angeles.  Great man.  And this song he just came up with may make a difference in states like Kansas, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Alaska.

We don't do very well compared to many countries as far as voter participation and we are stuck with twp party dysfunctional system.  But if voters vote I believe the Republican party would dissolve.

Thoughts?

Discuss
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