Erick Erickson Is Like A Pudgy Modern Day Gated-Community Lincoln

As you may have heard, there are many citizens of this fair and Godly land of ours who have, after four years of hard concentratin’ and cypherin’, just recently figured out that the President guy is a black Black Man and, HO-lee-shit! “there goes the neighborhood”, and now they want to break up the band just like they did in 1860 because that turned out so awesome … for modern day Civil War re-creators.

But cooler heads are prevailing and conservative public intellectuals such as Erick Erick Erick Erick Erick Erick “Erick ” Erickson will have none of this seditious talk and, as God is his witness, he will never go hungry again nor will he stand by and let this great country be rent asunder by his brethren and sisterenren:

Barack Obama won the election.

He did not win by stealing the election. Voter irregularities always happen. It is one reason we support voter ID rules. But even in the worse scenario of reports out there, there were not enough tales of voter irregularities to matter nationwide. This is another benefit and built in safeguard of the electoral college.

Barack Obama won. He won by turning out the most people in a well run campaign. In other words, he won fair and square.

We here at RedState are American citizens. We have no plans to secede from the union. If you do, good luck with that, but this is not the place for you.


So let’s add dabblers in this latest nuttiness to birthers as a category of people we do not welcome at RedState. Our aim is to beat the Democrats, not beat a retreat to a Confederacy that Generals Grant and Sherman rent asunder well over a hundred years ago.

Even here at RedState, while we may not much care for him, President Obama is still our President and we are still quite happily citizens of the United States. If we must drain this fever swamp that’s taken hold of a few people on the right over this past week before we can drain the swamp in Washington, so be it.

I am of two minds about this.

On the one hand, while I appreciate Erick3‘s desire to not go though with a messy divorce, with the divvying up of who gets what (yes, Texas, you can leave, but Austin is rightfully ours. You can have the copy of Cracked Rear View and David Mamet) those of us on the left aren’t entirely averse to saving a few bucks on cutting loose a few states that aren’t pulling their weight.

On the other hand, it might be fun to watch conservatives attempt to drain their own in-house fever swamp. Like watching Notre Dame play USC in football, we can always sit back and just root for injuries….

Nobody Gives A Shit.

Once again we are being lied to.  Once again we are faced with the disastrous environmental consequences of our insatiable desire for profit…..and the mass media is….wait for it…..silent.  Are you aware of what has been going on in Southern Louisiana?  Have you seen any information on the news about the sinkhole?  About the pending death of the entire southern part of that great state? Hmmmm….WTF?  Enenews has been following this terrifying story since the sinkhole was but a wee depression.  I have been reading updates every day- and it makes me sick.  Why is the government hiding this information from the people?   Why?  Perhaps it’s for the same reason that the true impact of the Fukushima disaster is being withheld: The truth is an affront to profit.  These disasters need to be public knowledge- we need the truth in order to make informed decisions about how we want to live our lives.  I cannot live like an ostrich with my head buried in the sand, or worse, living in some kind of twisted self-delusion,a  panglossian nightmare, looking in the mirror and repeating over and over how we live in the best of all possible worlds, until my children become sick with radiation poisoning or succumb to some other modern capitalist disease.  I haven’t posted here for a while, my life being ravaged by unemployment and having to deal with the realities of trying to educate my autistic son within the narrow confines of what we call our public education system. But I felt that this story needed to be told- If not by somebody else- then by me.  This needs to be shared.  People need to know what is going on, what is is being wrought upon this earth in the shallow name of profit.


And last but not least this bit of unbelievable bullshit from the super-happy-fun government of Japan:

The Fiscal Cliff Impacts You

Sometimes things don’t turn out right. It is easier to believe everything is going to be fine, but the reality we have seen through history should humble each of us. Look around the nation and the globe at the various crises facing average people. What would you do once you realized it was too late to stop something you could have influenced? Let’s get real: There is still time.
Global Noise Day 13 Oct 2012

Peaceful protest is beginning to turn violent in Europe. Police control crowds with little concern for the safety of civilians; it is action meant to quell an insurrection. In the U.S., we see a sudden rise in the popularity of secession petitions in nearly every state as we rush toward the fiscal cliff with no sense of positive resolution.

History has demonstrated who will get the short end of the stick in these solutions: the common people. We have seen throughout the world that leaders are continuing to give away nearly everything in tax breaks for the wealthy, cutting services and benefits to the people who paid in to these systems. Soon many Americans will face the loss of the Social Security they paid for all their lives. This issue has been on the table for years on a national scale; when will it make you angry enough to react and take action? Once you realize they stole money you earned? When, after you question the powers that be, you are answered with silence? What if it meant the health care of your mother or child? Could being forced into this situation anger civilians, anger you, to the point of violence, as it has in Europe? At what point will they – at what point will you – say enough?

Those who run our government are detached from the reality of economics. All civilians pay the price for the mistakes of people who live outside the average citizen’s economic circumstances. We the people face the same dilemma our forefathers did: We struggle for honest government representation in the face of corporate violation and the restriction of our given rights as human beings.

Our nation’s Constitution affords its citizens the right to gather and propose solutions at a constitutional convention. This right has never been implemented. It requires the application of 34 states. Article has counted 42 states with standing applications. According to the Federal Government, the count is zero and always has been.

The federal government does not track the applications.
In fact, Congress ignored numerous requests to stage the nation’s first constitutional convention. On July 9, 2012, the Congressional Research Service reported:

“Between 1973 and 1992, 22 bills were introduced in the House and 19 in the Senate that sought to establish a procedural framework that would apply to an Article V Convention. Proponents argued that constitutional convention procedures legislation would eliminate many of the uncertainties inherent in first-time consideration of such an event and would also facilitate contingency planning, thus enabling Congress to respond in an orderly fashion to a call for an Article V Convention. The Senate, in fact, passed constitutional convention procedures bills, the ‘Federal Constitutional Convention Procedures Act’ on two separate occasions: as S. 215 in 1971 in the 92nd Congress, and as S. 1272 in 1983, in the 93rd Congress. Neither bill was considered in the House, although the Subcommittee on Civil and Constitutional Rights of the House Judiciary Committee held hearings on the general issue in 1985.”

The opportunity to call for a constitutional convention is available to us. We can, we are obligated to, reform our system as citizens. We can improve an already good thing to fix mistakes, loopholes, and oversights. We can adapt to the changing world. Iceland did this recently, with great success. Iceland’s citizens did not bother to meet; they made changes to the constitution to prevent things they knew were wrong. They did not go behind closed doors, they had it online for everyone to read and contribute ideas to.

In last week’s U.S. election, Colorado amended their constitution to legalize marijuana. This is a permanent change that dictates how the future laws will be written. That same idea can be applied to national debt, budget, trade, prohibition, election law, and so forth. We do not need to destroy a system to make it work better, nor should we fear a departure from a status quo that is clearly not working. Small changes have a huge impact.

For instance, consider the way we count votes. We only ask citizens for their first choice. We could choose instead to track a ranked vote, which would allow third party candidates to see more second place votes. The totals would reflect a very different, and possibly a more reflective, popular vote. The way we count votes could change the dynamic of two party politics dramatically.

We as a nation must embrace the opportunity to make changes. We are responsible for saving ourselves from the powerful, the people who write the laws, but who are not subject to their inconsistencies and their failings. Our forefathers went through all of this before, and they had hindsight when writing the U.S. Constitution. They knew that eventually this day would come. We have done an admirable job holding on to our rights and democratic tools, but not long after September 11th, we forgot how important they were. Freedoms were exchanged for false securities. But it is within our power to revive the Constitution to a living, breathing document, and an involved and vocal citizenry is obliged to foster its evolution.

Before the Civil War, many states began holding their own abolitionist conventions. They, of course, did not succeed, and the nation plunged in to a bloody war. It does not matter if we cannot be certain of success; we have to call for what we believe this nation needs. We need to gather, to discuss, to deliberate. For ourselves, for our children, we must fix the problems that a broken system refuses to address. Our Congress needs to hear a clear demand from the American people for an Article V Convection to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Brain drain: The new Israeli diaspora

I recently went to a showing of an excellent British mini-series called “The Promise”  Filmed in Israel, it depicts the struggles of one brave English soldier at the end of the British Mandate period — as he futilely tries to save the lives of his Palestinian friends and fellow-soldiers during the violent and pitiless 1948 takeover of the Holy Land by Zionist thugs.

During this movie, I cried a lot.

And after the film was over and refreshments were being served (“Never turn down free food,” is my motto!), I had an interesting conversation with some guy who currently works down in Silicon Valley.

“You know,” he said, “things are changing rapidly in Israel right now.”

“You mean that it’s no longer the same-old same-old there any more?  With Israeli neo-cons trying to pass themselves off as pious Jews while happily committing mass murder and partying all night in Tel Aviv — and Christians and Muslims constantly getting beat up and shot at for the crime of making olive oil while Palestinian?”

By this time I had become rather cynical about Israeli neo-con mercenaries and land-grabbers — almost as cynical as I’ve become about the neo-con mercenaries and land-grabbers here in America too.

“Well, of course there’s still that,” the techie guy replied, “but something else is happening in Israel now as well.  People have started to leave there en masse.  And not just the usual ones either — not just the poor abused Palestinians still trying to sneak over the border into Jordan or Egypt.  And not the discriminated-against Sephardi Jews either, at the very bottom of the Israeli social pecking order, last hired and first fired, who you wouldn’t want dating your daughter.”

“Then who?”

“The technological elite in general are now leaving in large numbers.  And formerly-Russian tech experts in particular are leaving as fast as they can.”  Interesting.  Hmmm.

“Are you talking about the kind of people referred to in all those Israeli-sponsored subway ads,” I replied, “bragging that Israelis have invented thus-and-so hot new gadget or found a cure for this or that horrendous disease?  Those are the ones that are leaving?”

“Like rats from a sinking ship.”  I guess no one with any brains wants to keep living in a country where its leaders are always either declaring war, waging war or industriously hunting for a new war to declare.

“This new brain-drain is actually happening right now — and pretty soon all the people who will be left living in Israel will be the hotel maids, the IDF hard-liners, the land-grabbing neo-cons and racists, haters and religious nuts.”  Good grief.

“You have to understand that much of the current Israeli scientific community had originally immigrated to Israel from Russia in order to get away from all the persecution, corruption, wars, lack of civil rights and poverty that existed there before, during and after the breakup of the old USSR.”  And from the winters of course.

“Many of these Russian immigrants were not even Jews.  They were gentiles who just wanted to get out.  And, once in Israel, they discovered that it wasn’t the land of milk and honey that they had expected.  And so now they are leaving Israel also, moving on.”

“Where to?”


PS:  I’m currently in the middle of reading Jimmy Carter’s fascinating memoir, “White House Diary”.  Good grief!  If only we had elected Carter for another four years instead of that lying skunk Reagan, America would be in so much better shape right now.  For instance, the whole world loved Jimmy for his heroic stands on civil rights, which gave the United States even more love, sympathy and cachet back then than we’ve ever had since, even on the day after 9-11 (before Bush bungled it).

And Carter didn’t “give away” the Panama Canal either.  He traded it for the whole world’s good will and to make up for what Nixon, Kissinger and the CIA had done to Chile, Argentina, etc.  Back then, Carter could go into almost any country on the planet and get a standing ovation — while Nixon, Reagan and both Bushes only got rotten tomatoes.

Plus if we had listened to Carter back in the day, perhaps global warming, 9-11, Hurricane Sandy and Karl Rove also might have been avoided!

And if only we had listened to Carter back when he warned us again and again about how Israeli neo-cons spoke with forked-tongues.  And they still do.  And now we’ve got a whole new crop of neo-con serpents all of our own here in America as well!   Plus now various neo-con Red States are actually threatening to secede.  Ah, if only they WOULD.  Just think of all the money the rest of us would save.

Can’t you just picture Arkansas out spending billions of dollars on its 800-odd military bases around the world or dealing with the Benghazi crisis?  Or Alabama supplying Israel with F16s, cluster bombs and white phosphorus?  Or South Carolina scaring China into adjusting its trade deficit?  Or oil-depleted Texas trying to intimidate OPEC, Iran, Kuwait, Iraq, Venezuela and the Saudis?  Or Tennessee happily trying to tell Putin or even North Korea to go to hell?

Now that I think about it, secession could actually be the final key to finally putting an end to America’s “endless wars”.

Maybe Lincoln should never have tried to save the Union after all — except for perhaps New Orleans and Nashville.

Report to Come out Thursday Suggests ‘Enron’ Style Manipulation of West Coast Gas Prices

The video is from the Enron tapes of two traders colluding to defraud the electricity market in California

Just what we’ve suspected seems to have been confirmed. From Kevin G. Hall of McClatchy

West Coast gasoline price spikes in May and October were widely blamed on refinery outages, but new research to be released at a California hearing Thursday shows that refiners continued to produce gasoline in periods when the public was told the contrary.

The information, shared exclusively with McClatchy, comes from Oregon-based McCullough Research, which combed through thousands of pages of environmental documents to conclude that refineries were in fact operating during supposed outages and maintenance shutdowns.

The two primary malefactors were Shell, and Chevron

Specifically, the report alleges that in May, at a time when Royal Dutch Shell’s Martinez, Calif., plant was reported to be down for maintenance for two weeks, it appears to have been making gasoline for at least half that time. That conclusion is reached from state environmental documents showing nitrogen oxide emissions had returned to normal at the refinery a full week before it was reported to have come back on line.

Similarly, Chevron’s Richmond, Calif., refinery was reported down for maintenance for two weeks in May, but emissions data suggests the refinery never ceased operation.

The report doesn’t prove collusion, but it certainly calls into question their motives, if not pure unadulterated greed by the few extortionist suppliers of gasoline.

The hearing will be held by the state’s Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Transportation. And though California is the focus, the conclusions carry national implications, especially because they highlight how little real information on pricing is publicly available, or even available to regulators.

“It certainly does not prove collusion among the principal suppliers, since specific data by refineries is difficult to procure,” McCullough’s report said. “However, the data does suggest the need for an investigation on a refinery-by-refinery level.”

Late Night: Operation ‘Pillar of Defense’: Cast Lead 2

As Reuters is reporting…

Israel hammers Hamas in Gaza offensive

* Israel says major operation may last days

…Israel launched a major offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would “open the gates of hell”.

The onslaught shattered hopes that a truce mediated on Tuesday by Egypt could pull the two sides back from the brink of war after five days of escalating Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes at militant targets.

Operation “Pillar of Defence” began with a surgical strike on a car carrying the commander of the military wing of Hamas, the Iranian-armed Islamist movement which controls Gaza and dominates a score of smaller armed groups.

Within minutes of the death of Ahmed Al-Jaabari, big explosions shook Gaza as the Israeli air force struck at selected targets just before sundown, blasting plumes of smoke and debris high above the crowded city.

Panicking civilians ran for cover and the death toll mounted quickly. Ten people including three children were killed, the health ministry said, and about 40 were wounded. Also among the dead were an 11-month-old baby and a woman pregnant with twins.

Army tanks shelled border areas of Gaza in south and the Israeli navy shelled a Hamas security position from the sea… {…}


Israeli President Shimon Peres briefed U.S. President Barack Obama on the operation, Peres’s office said. He told Obama that Jaabari was a “mass-murderer” and his killing was Israel’s response to Palestinian rocket attacks from Gaza.

“Israel is not interested in stoking the flames, but for the past five days there has been constant missile fire at Israel and mothers and children cannot sleep quietly at night,” said Peres, who visited the border town of Sderot earlier…

You can cut the rank hypocrisy of Peres’ words with a butter knife…!

As Tikun Olam’s Richard Silverstein posits… [cont’d.] (more…)

Be Prepared for Watercooler Wednesday

Hi, y’all.

Tonight I was at the OccuQueers meeting, Occupy Austin’s queer working group. With other members of Occupy, we’re preparing for the opening of the Texas Legislature in January (our state government only meets every 2 years). We’re writing letters to some newly elected queer legislators to ask them to support us, and offering our support to them if they take difficult stands that favor the 99%.

Our allies GetEqual TX shared this miniature documentary about the importance of gays in the Boy Scouts. I thought it’d make a bit of interesting evening viewing for the Watercooler set.

How are you? What’s on your mind? This is the latest open thread.

Sorry Religious Right, But the Gay Community Isn’t Buying What You Are Selling

As far as I am concerned, it’s always a good thing when religious right figures trot their hypocrisies out in the public square.

My only concern is that we as a community don’t take advantage of this more. Take former Family Research Council head Janet Parshall for example:

The above excerpt is from a ridiculous documentary she filmed with the American Family Association in 2009 entitled Speechless – Silencing the Christians. The documentary, with her as the host, makes inaccurate charges that gay equality will lead to the silencing and “persecution” of Christians. As you hear her ramble, please be aware that many of her claims are false, but I am sure you already know that.

But what I take from it is the false theme of “persecution” Parshall trots out. Using it, she implies the gay community are the aggressors. That we are the ones who use threats and ugly language against those we oppose.

It’s a bizarre thing to take in when one listens to a recent interview Parshall conducted with FRC’s Peter Sprigg and hear her claiming that marriage equality is a creation of Satan.

In case you need to keep to itemize certain realities, Parshall believes that gays gaining any form of equality is dangerous to Christians’ rights of free speech. But her calling marriage equality a tool of the devil is right on.

Parshall’s hypocrisy reminds me of the Kirk Cameron controversy earlier this year when he attacked gays, was criticized heavily for it, and then pleaded victimhood while hiding behind his so-called Christian beliefs.

And it made me realize a point which we hardly discuss.

To Parshall, Cameron, and other religious right talking heads and organizations, it’s not enough for them to feel the negative way they do about the gay community. They seem to not only be angling to denigrate us unchallenged but also want their world view of homosexuality to be the prevalent view.

Think about it. Every time there is something which remotely puts the gay community in a positive light, these people and their groups trot out a stupid argument in which they push offensive phraseology like:

“Americans don’t want the gay agenda rammed down their throat,” or “parents don’t want their children indoctrinated in the homosexual lifestyle.”

The way they talk, the gay community sound like we are not Americans, we don’t pay taxes, we aren’t raising children, and we have no say whatsoever in the making of the laws which would govern our lives.

Let me put it as succinct as possible. People like Janet Parshall and organizations like the American Family Association want to control our lives. They want to put us in a box of sadness and self-hatred, where we settle for dangerous fumblings in public restrooms and parks for good relationships. Where we are content to grow old and alone because we feel that we are not worthy of creating families. Where we accept whatever so-called “tolerance” they give us because we feel that we don’t deserve dignity.

Sorry guys, but I feel safe in speaking for the vast, vast majority of the gay community when I say get over yourselves.

You see, many of us have had that taste of sweet champagne which comes with the revelation that we are worthy of equality. And when you taste that champagne of equality, you don’t go back to the bitter, lukewarm water of low self-esteem and self-denial.

You don’t settle for a place in the corner when you have just discovered that you are part owner of the castle.

So my advice to the Janet Parshalls of the worlds, the Peter Spriggs, the American Family Associations is simple:

Give it up. Turn it loose. Because sooner or later, equality will be ours, regardless of you.

The Exclusionary Rule: What Is It and What Does it Mean?

Cross Posted from Frederick Leatherman Law Blog

Mark O'Mara gives a press conference
Zimmerman lawyer Mark O'Mara

The SCOTUS created the Exclusionary Rule in Weeks v. United States, 232 U.S. 383 (1914) to prohibit the prosecution from using evidence against a defendant that federal law enforcement officials had seized from the defendant’s residence without a search warrant, a violation of the Fourth Amendment prohibition against residential searches without a search warrant issued by a neutral and detached magistrate upon a finding of probable cause to believe that the defendant’s residence contained evidence of a particular crime.

At first, the rule only applied to federal law enforcement officials, not to state law enforcement officials. The SCOTUS eventually extended the rule to cover unlawful searches by state law enforcement officials via the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643 (1961).

The rule is not absolute, however, because a person can consent to a search of their residence, so long as their consent is obtained freely and voluntarily, not as the result of an assault, a threat or a false pretense.

The consent exception has produced a number of sub-rules to deal with situations that come up frequently where one person (e.g., a girlfriend) voluntarily consents to a search of premises they share with another and the search turns up evidence that the prosecution seeks to use against the other person (e.g., a boyfriend).

Generally speaking, these sorts of cases are decided on the basis of whether the defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place where the evidence was discovered and seized. Consent to search a common area of a home is valid as to all occupants, whereas consent to search another person’s room is not valid. Similarly, consent obtained from a motel or hotel clerk to search a person’s room or from a landlord to search a tenant’s room or residence is invalid.