Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Think Keith Bardwell is an Ignorant Racist Who Should Resign or Be Dismissed? Seems You're In the Minority.

In part two of "Jesus Christ how much stupider can the people of Louisiana make themselves look?", a poll shows that 41% of people think that nothing should happen to the man who has single handedly revived the tradition of our great state receiving the spot light and shame at the same time. Granted, this is a WWL opinion poll (Link), not scientific, and wide open to multiple votes and abuse, but still. 41%? I suppose we should be grateful, someone told me it got as high as 53% for awhile. The poll is on the left of the article about the lawsuit the couple is bringing against him. Do me a favor and try to swing it back in favor of sanity.

I ask you, is this the face of a racist? He lets black people use his bathroom for Christ's sake! Well, his separate but equal segregated bathroom, not his of course. And it's really more of a half-bath, but you get the point. Black people take dumps in his house, and he's damn proud of it.

Dealing with the lawsuit, I'll admit, I cringed a little when I read it. They are perfectly within their rights to do so, and god knows I feel little to no sympathy for Bardwell. I just hate that I'll now have to deal with people rolling their eyes and saying things like, "Of course they sued. They probably went in from the get go planning on it." You're reading it here first. Anyone who lives in this area, just know that I called it. Thing is, it doesn't matter. Money may make their motives less noble (and I'm not saying this is the case, for all I know the suit is strictly about the principal of the matter), but Bardwell is still being a defiant, racist, asshole. Really sickening part is that he thinks he's being noble, standing up for a principle, the lone voice crying truth in the wilderness. Obviously, he has the local support to back it up, at least the vocal segment. I heard a woman on the radio this morning claiming that he told her mother this weekend that they never asked him to marry them, just if they could get a marriage license from him. The story goes that he, rightly as far as it goes, told them he didn't issue any marriage licenses. They took it as him not wanting to marry them and made an issue out of a non-issue. Only problem is, he is all over the news telling the story we've all heard by now. See? People are now making shit up to justify his actions. I really don't believe that he's admitting on national television to racism, but is ashamed to tell his friends and neighbors? No, the rumor mill and redneck spin doctors are out in full force, trying to make him out as the persecuted party. You can all bite me. Anyone who backs this idiot is single handedly helping to keep this parish, this state, and this country as backward looking as possible. Your doing great guys, keep it up!
Last thought, anyone want to bet this guy's a birther too? I got a hundred dollars that if you ask him, he has, "serious doubts" about Obama's nationality. Just saying.

Tort Reform Makes a Great Sounding Counterpoint, Doesn't It?

Thing is, it's not the magic bullet the GOP wishes it was. To be fair to everyone, even if would make a huge difference, it still wouldn't have a chance in hell at getting passed. Considering that Lawyer seems to be a very popular profession amongst our legislators, as well as the fact that the ABA has mucho pull, any meaningful tort reform is, and will be DOA. At the same time, and this is just personal speculation, every time I hear a legislator talk about it, I just know that while it sounds like they're talking about protecting doctors (a noble goal, hell my Dad's one), they will sneak all their corporate buddies onto that same train. I'll talk about that further on, but trust me, that's a horrible idea.

But what if the Legislative branch was full of doctors? We know they'd pass it in a heart beat. What would the ultimate savings for the country be? According to FactCheck.org, around 0.5% (Link). Sure it's savings, but it is hardly the answer that will, or even could replace the public option in any meaningful reform. By all means, include it. I have absolutely no problem with that. But realize that it's impact will be negligible.

As for my personal feelings on tort reform, here is another one that I'm conflicted about. Well, not so much conflicted as of two opinions, depending on circumstances. What can I say, I'm complicated. Anyway, on the one hand, I think there should be reasonable limits on how much you can be awarded, as well as rules to discourage frivolous suits. But let me clarify. That really only covers suing individuals and small businesses. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm all for the ability to sue the living crap out of any Mega-Corp that makes it's living killing and exploiting people. You know, Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, ummm, Health Insurers.  The system that allows them to exist is so broken as to be laughable if it wasn't so serious. Suing them out of existence is extremely justified. Replace them with corporations that are just as big if you want, but make sure these new entities understand that there are rules in a civilized society, and the failure to follow those rules will result in severe penalties. As it stands now, we have allowed our social contract to degenerate back to the days of "might makes right." Only instead of the village strong man or the government oppressing us, we've allowed business to dictate terms. It has to stop, and the only way to make sure it will is to draw a line in the sand. It's not socialism, it's not radicalism, it's not contrary to American values. In fact, I'll argue that fighting the soulless corporations is the highest expression of liberty and justice in our nation today. You want to be a new founder? You want to save the country? Start by passing Health Reform. Your children and grand-children will thank you.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Alan Grayson: Gotta Admire the Guy

OK, so Alan Grayson is starting to make more waves, and it's for very good reasons. When I first saw his "Don't Get Sick" speech, I had two thoughts. One was that here was the Dem version of Joe WIlson, albeit a more polished one.  Dems just don't say things like that and mean it. It had to be for the attention. Second was that I didn't care about his motivations. For me, though I doubt this tracks for Joe Wilson's supporters, there is a difference between what Grayson and Wilson did. Grayson actually had facts and figures to back up his claim, and he made it on his time, not interrupting anyone. You know what though? Reading that back, that's bullshit too. This supposed lost age of civility in our public servants ranks up their with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. We hear a lot about it, but no one reputable has ever really seen it.  Historically its a fiction, and the quicker we realize and discard that fact, the quicker we can stop getting our feelings hurt when we hear something we don't like.

Back on track, Grayson is finally taking the GOP game plan and throwing it back in their faces. If your offended by what he said, if you really think he needs to apologize, I have two words for you. Michelle Bachmann. This loon talks about the stupidest shit I've ever heard. No one tracks her down and demands she apologizes for telling her fever dreamed version of the truth.  She is told to shut up, and to quit wasting air that productive human beings could use, but no one tells her to apologize. Even in the midst of the death panel crap.

Grayson's study is not partisan, it is not made up, and it is not slanted. It tells the simple story of people who can't afford or are dropped from their insurance who die as a result. Grayson is telling you the truth, in a way that hopefully will shock people into action.  If what he said offends you, then I suggest you quit following politics. Your skin is way to soft.

I admire Grayson, if for no other reason than he is the first Dem I've yet to see who acts like he is in the party that won in the last election cycle. If all of them would grow a pair like him, even if its just for publicity's sake, this issue would be done and we would have the health care we are entitled to.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rush Limbaugh Wants Obama to Personally Police School Buses

Read First!

Two black kids beat up a white kid on a school bus and it's Obama's fault. Logic please, anyone? Limbaugh has never been known for his even handed demeanor, but this is a new low. What he is in effect saying is that these black kids only had the temerity to beat up the white kid because a black man holds the office of President. If a white man was in charge, they wouldn't have dared.

What about all the beatings that happened during any other President's time in office? Were they responsible for that too? Truthfully, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that people like Rush and Beck set out to discredit anyone who brings up race as a legitimate issue, then push their version of it in your face for their own agenda. Either race is a legitimate topic or not, you don't get to pick and choose.

On a side note, I like the way he tries to be sarcastic, talking about putting white kids in their own buses with armed guards and bars on the windows, but I think he may have overplayed his hand. That remark sounds a lot more like the wish of a person who would rather have segregation back, this time with even more armed guards!

I understand that this is typical Limbaugh hype. More power to him. His ignorance, racism and sheer bile can definitely be entertaining. What makes it dangerous is the large amount of people too blinded by their own inferiority and fears, who believe that he his speaking truth to power. They don't see that he is speaking spectacle to his bank account. Until they do, every real conversation in this country runs the risk of being hijacked into hyperbole and fear mongering. Then we all lose.

Friday, May 22, 2009

African Americans Make Stacy Head Sad

Stacy Head’s emails, both those released by Tracie Washington and those she released herself leave a little something to be desired in terms of drama or embarrassment. To be sure, Head says some things that the more PC of us could be offended by, but hell, we’re not talking Imus level remarks here.

I have not finished reading all her emails, so I’m still holding out hope that there is a bomb in there somewhere. So far all I’ve found that is remotely interesting is her statement in this pdf that African Americans don’t know how sad they make her. I admit, I laughed out loud when I read this. All I could picture was Stacy entering a room, talking to someone behind her. As she turns to face the room, she realizes it is filled with black people. Her shoulders slump, as she walks dejectedly back out of the room. Thanks a lot African Americans. You make Stacy sad!

New Low for the City of New Orleans: They Are Now Too Lazy to Even Do Dirty Work Properly

For those of you who don’t know the whole story go here.

With Stacy Head’s voluntary release of her emails, some steam has been let out of activist attorney Tracie Washington’s attempts to humiliate certain members of the New Orleans City Council. This whole thing is a fiasco, and it makes me sad for the state of government.  Unfortunately, it’s probably not in the way you would think.

All governments do underhanded things to their people, it’s the nature of the beast. We will never get away from it, and it will never change no matter how much we may want it to. For better or worse we accept this everyday of our lives. We hate it but we allow it. The only thing we ask is that our governments at least pretend to play it straight with us. Most of them do, and this allows us to keep our heads comfortably buried in the sand where we like them. So, with all the practice they get doing dirty deeds, is it too much to expect them to be even sort of competent? Ok, so it probably is, but one can hope, right? Anyway I suppose the whole point of this centers around one question. How hard is it to secretly hand emails off to someone? If the government of New Orleans was even halfway competent, we would only know Veronica White’s name because of Stacy Head’s sign holding during city council meetings. Instead, White and Washington go through the incorrect channels to get the emails, while letting everyone know what they are doing. The idiocy is astounding.

What should have happened was that White quietly gets the emails to Washington, who then picks and chooses the most embarrassing to leak to the press. I’ve never even worked in government and I can figure this out. What we have is a cluster that should not even be on our radar. The sad thing is, with all of these emails one could expect to read some sort of bombshell. Instead we get badly spelled missives complaining about food stamp purchases that, let’s be serious, we’ve all said at one point or another. I’m holding out hope though, as I haven’t finished reading all of them yet. Now, Head has gone forward and is releasing all her emails on her own web site. At least it’s supposed to be all of her emails. So far the reading she’s supplied is less than stellar. The final question is, how much confidence can we have in a government that can’t even commit illegal acts competently? I for one won’t stand for it! I demand a New Orleans government that can lie and cheat with the best of them, not this comedy of errors we have now.