I don't mean that as a compliment, though. I mean that quack can't seem to make up his mind.
And as you'll see in this video below, he has a long history of flip-flopping his stance, and on very many issues, too.
I may not be a Republican, but I have to admit I agree with GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney about half of the time.
I don't mean that as a compliment, though. I mean that quack can't seem to make up his mind.
And as you'll see in this video below, he has a long history of flip-flopping his stance, and on very many issues, too.
South Carolina’s Conservatives for Truth in Politics released a new video this week questioning Republican governor Nikki Haley on recent port development.
In “Selling Out SC,” the group referring to itself as “TIP” says Haley put over 280,000 jobs at risk in a “back-room deal” with the governor of another state.
Earlier this year, the state’s Dept. of Health & Environmental Control blocked the Army Corps of Engineers’ request for a water quality permit, a first step towards dredging of the Port of Savannah in Georgia.
The dredging of a nearby port in another state could harm South Carolina waters, DHEC concluded, and would negatively affect trade in the Port of Charleston, too, which has declined in nationwide ranking in recent years.
The governor arranged a re-hearing on the topic, however, and earlier this month DHEC’s board – who were all appointed by Haley – unanimously reversed its decision. The state now supports improvements to the competing port.
“Shouldn’t South Carolina’s governor be fighting to keep jobs in our state?” the recent TIP video questions in closing.
Last month at a function in Atlanta, after DHEC’s first rejection of the plan and before its subsequent reversal, Haley received $15,000 in campaign donations from Port of Savannah supporters, according to the Post & Courier.
TIP was co-founded last year by Republican activist Cyndi Mosteller and Dr. Dave Woodard, a political science professor at Clemson Univ. Liana Orr, a Columbia realtor, is executive director of the group.
When first formed, TIP’s declared goal was to “ask serious questions of a serious candidate for governor, Ms. Nikki Haley,” specifying questionable claims and controversies regarding the then-state representative, along with her inexperience.
The group released another video in late October right before the general election, calling Haley a “liar” on the issues of her personal taxes and business experience, and alleged she falsely completed her financial disclosure forms.
Another notable Republican in the state recently made legal complaint against the governor over those same disclosure form claims from her 2010 campaign, as well as other similar ethics violations.
John Rainey, notable party fundraiser and former chair of the state Board of Economic Advisors, filed suit on Nov. 17 alleging Haley “exploited her public office for personal gain(.)
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey referred to these claims as a “transparent political stunt,” calling Rainey “a disgruntled Republican has-been.”
Rainey was a financial consultant to the South Carolina campaigns of George W. Bush and John McCain, and is on the state finance team of Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. He’s also aided the campaigns of both U.S. senators from the state.
The proposed dredging will deepen the Port of Savannah to 48 feet, allowing it to better accommodate large shipping vessels. The Port of Charleston, which also hopes for new dredging, has a current depth of 45 feet.
Each extra foot in depth amounts to accommodation of an additional 100 cargo containers aboard a ship, says Jim Newsome of the South Carolina State Ports Authority.
Completion of enlarging the Panama Canal in 2014 is expected to boost shipping along the Atlantic coast.
The Port of Charleston was expected to greatly improve its cargo trade after completion of the Panama Canal project, but could now be subject to significant competition from Savannah following the proposed dredging.
(borrowed from The Literary Phoenix)
The Thanksgiving holiday holds a religious theme for many, but for some it’s in a way that seems quite the opposite of their religion.
Like yesterday’s celebration, for example. Rightwing media told a ridiculous tale of Muslim terrorists attempting to denigrate the country, and by imposing their own terrorist-like religion upon the holiday.
It started with an opinion piece written by Pamela Geller on Monday’s “American Thinker” site.
Citing a “citizen activist” as her source, Geller claimed the Butterball company, a chief provider of the turkey traditional enjoyed for Thanksgiving meals, had produced its birds to be sold in the U.S. in a halal format. (And in case you don’t know, “halal” is a dietary guideline practiced by Muslims.)
Already known to be an anti-Muslim zealot, Geller declared this to be a secretive “scandal” pulled by Butterball.
“Non-Muslims in America and Europe don’t deserve to have halal turkey forced upon them in this way, without their knowledge or consent,” Geller wrote.
Even worse, she implied that Butterball was attempting to sneakily convert its American consumers to the Islamic faith. “Infidel Americans are unwittingly going to be serving halal turkeys to their families this Thursday. … Halal turkey…is just the opposite of what Thanksgiving represents,” Geller claimed, calling for a boycott of Butterball products.
She even created a “Boycott Butterball Turkey” page on facebook. And the story got taken from there all over the rightwing side of the worldwide web.
Islamophobic sites such as Jihad Watch (“You’re eating halal”), Bare Naked Islam (“WARNING!”), and Now the End Begins (“Butterball Turkeys Support Islamic Terrorism”) promoted the rumor. From there it went to conservamedia The Blaze (“Islamic Butterball?”). Two other “Boycott Butterball” pages made it to facebook, as well (1 and 2).
And on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, it wound up on Bryan Fischer’s radio show on the American Family Network. (See video)
Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, Fischer stoked the phobic flame a lot higher. “Every single, solitary Butterball turkey in the United States of America has been sacrificed to Allah,” he repeated several times. The poultry was “ritually slaughtered, as according to Islamic practices, and has had an Islamic prayer prayed over that bird while it’s being slaughtered.”
In other words, these sources were claiming that Butterball was forcing Americans to practice rites of a religion they declare to be an enemy of the U.S., as well as an enemy of the Christian faith. Thus, it was implied, Butterball itself must be some Muslim extremist.
But this story about Butterball turkeys amounts to chicken feed, it turns out. It’s not true.
“Our domestic products are not halal certified,” the company told MSNBC’s “Rachel Maddow Show” in a formal written statement.
Anything it sells overseas to countries with halal guidelines is prepared in halal format (which, as you’ll read about just further down, doesn’t require any bizarre rituals), but that’s to allow those particular birds to be sold there and there alone.
“(O)nly turkeys exported to specific countries are certified halal.”
Wrong once again, rightwing media.
They weren’t just assaulting Butterball, either. It was avenue for them to launch attack on the whole Islamic faith, somehow using dietary restrictions as examples of religious terrorism.
Doing so, though, only reveals the ignorance of these rightwing sects. There are other faiths, including Christian churches, that practice dietary restrictions, too, after all.
Take Catholics, for example. During the season of Lent right before Easter Sunday, Catholics are to avoid eating any meat on Fridays. (This restriction was once to be held throughout the 40-day period, by the way, and not just on Fridays alone; as a Catholic myself, I’m glad to have entered the world after that was changed.)
Mormons don’t stay away from meat, but are to have it in limited quantities, though. They also refrain from caffeine and alcohol.
Seventh Day Adventists steer clear of alcohol, avoid caffeine for the most part, and don’t eat pork or shellfish. Many of this faith are strict vegetarians, even.
The halal dietary recommendations practiced by Muslims are very, very similar to the kosher practiced by those of the Jewish faith, too. No pork or birds of prey, the slaughter of animals to be consumed should follow a routine of sorts, and any blood is to be rejected and disposed. Jews also avoid shellfish, and can’t consume any grape products made by non-Jews.
Many Native American and Meso-American tribes were historically vegetarian in their faiths, like the Choctaws, Cherokees, Aztecs and Mayans. Meat was only eaten in circumstances when other foods were not readily available (such as during the winter following a bad harvest season), and only after rituals thanking the animals, and the supreme being who created them, for their sacrifice.
Add in the dietary restrictions of Hindus, Sikhs and many other religions (even Rastafarians), and you’ll see that such practices – even if they vary somewhat from faith to faith – are all quite similar in both purpose and format.
Simply put, these dietary practices are goals that everyone receives proper nutrition, refuses things that could have negative health effects, avoids things that could steer one away from faith, and shows some respect and appreciation for the living things we slay for our own consumption.
And how is the halal requirement of Muslims employed in the case of a turkey? Well, in a method known as “dhabihah,” you’re supposed to use a sharp knife to get the job done quickly and with as little pain upon the animal as possible. Hit both arteries but avoid the spinal cord.
No songs or dance or chants or religious rituals are required, unlike what those rightwingers want you to believe. Out of sympathy for the animal (one of God’s creatures, you know), it’s recommended you just get it over with fast. That’s it.
So what’s wrong with it? In fact, this method seems quite humane, doesn’t it? Sort of Christian, even.
And that’s a key point that these so-called Christian rightwingers should keep in mind before they start their next anti-Muslim campaign with no foundation.
After all, when they engage in these silly attacks on that faith, they are actually attacking their own faith, too.
Islam is a format of faith adapted to and delving from specific culture, much like the Greek Orthodox, Mormon and Lutheran Churches are within the wide range of Christian faiths. (Shoot, even voodoo is Christian, developed within the Caribbean culture of long ago.)
And these rightwingers need to take a quick peek at the Koran used in the Islamic faith before they throw it into the fire at their next burning.
It mentions Christ by name over two dozen times – more times than Mohammed, even. (And no matter what the right-wing zealots say, Mohammed is only listed to be a human prophet in the Koran and not a god himself).
Our one God chose the Virgin Mary to give birth to Jesus, it reads.
The Koran says Christ performed miracles while on earth.
And, according to the Koran, Christ holds the throne in the Kingdom of Heaven, and will return to earth in a second coming on the Day of Reckoning.
Sounds like what you learned in your Christian Sunday School, don’t it?
(The Koran also tells the tales of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Joseph, David, Solomon and many others you’ll find in both the Christian Old Testament and Jewish Torah.)
Just like belief in these holy principles is required of all Christians, Muslims are required to believe them and believe in Christ, too.
And like Christianity adapted directly from Judaism, growing mainly in western cultures, and includes the Jewish Torah in its bible (the Old Testament), so too did Islam develop directly from Christianity, this time in Middle Eastern cultures, and with tales of Jesus in the Koran.
But unlike Christianity, which is very separate from the faith from which it originates by declaring the One God in a separate, new and three-fold format, Islam maintains belief in the icon from which it developed. It recognizes Jesus very close to the ways all Christian churches do – the miracle-performing Son of God who will rise again.
All told, it seems quite clear that these so-called Christians who took antagonistic stabs, using an argument without any foundation that they accelerated with unfounded, unproven and completely made-up claims, only wound up rather non-Christian in their rightwing zealotry.
Lying is a sin, after all.
Of relativity: Xenophobic (ha)boobs strike again
from a 2009 Tea Party rally
Americans who watch “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” are more up-to-date and correctly knowledgeable of current events, according to a recent PublicMind Poll™ conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson Univ.
Yes, it’s certainly strange that a 30-minute entertainment show on the appropriately-named Comedy Central television network is more informative than actual news media.
But a focal point of the study isn’t odd. It should be, true, but … we’re all well used to the fact that the Fox News network tells its viewers nothing but crap.
And sadly enough, it seems to be working. Fox viewers knew significantly less about current news on the national and global levels than those who rely on news from all other media – national and local television, national and local newspapers, and even political blogs.
Not only do Fox fans know squat about current events, but they even know less than folks who don’t watch or read any news at all – 18 percent less than those media-hermits, in fact.
Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll, concluded, “ the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don’t watch any news at all.”
But this has been par for the course for quite a while now. For example:
This isn’t necessarily a reflection on the intellect of those viewers (well, not necessarily, at least), but clearly indicates their gullibility.
Fox News reports complete garbage, such its recent claim “we caught Bin Laden by waterboarding”; telling the public that the pepper spray infamously used against peaceful protesters at UC-Berkeley was just “a food product”; that an Obama budget proposal was “four times bigger than Bush’s costliest plan”; and the list goes on.
This compilation by Media Matters might be a couple of years old, but it’s still very indicative of what we get from the Fox network.
(posted on youtube by mediamatters4america)
And there seems to be little anyone can do about it. Fox already testified in federal court that it had every right to lie in its broadcasts, and because there’s no law against knowingly distorting news with deliberate intent to misinform, it argued. Fox News won the lawsuit.
For the folks who're complaining about Occupy Wall Street (or Charleston or Columbia or any of the many other Occupy movements going on across the nation right now), Robert Reich cuts to the point in counterargument:
With government continuously giving superior rights to individuals based exclusively on money (and doing that for corporations, too), what else have we got?
We all (hopefully) know about the Do Not Call registry. It protects the privacy of your home telephone number, and with it you can have your phone number removed from all telemarketing listings to avoid receiving bothersome sales pitches. It went into law in 2004, and was even improved in 2008.
But how many know about the Do Not Track option? The one that automatically tells your browser and the sites you visit to respect your privacy and not follow your every Internet step?
Well, not enough, apparently. And partly because it’s so darn difficult to achieve, thanks to the Top Dog ruling the Internet junkyard.
Google dominates the web, getting a vast majority of all search engine uses. Its latest Google Chrome browser is currently used by 25 percent of the Internet surfers worldwide, too.
But Google does not comply with “Do Not Track” requests from users that their Internet habits not be monitored. The company’s even a bit open about it, too. “You know Google policy is to get right up to the ‘creepy’ line,” Eric Schmidt, executive chair of the company, said at an Oct. 2010 forum.
And in this sarcastic animated video, you can catch a few more actual quotes from Google CEOs that indicate intentional noncompliance with privacy requests:
(posted on youtube by consumerwatchdog)
This Do Not Track option was created by folks with the comp sci department at Stanford Univ.
By its own description, “Do Not Track is a technology and policy proposal that enables users to opt out of tracking by websites they do not visit, including analytics services, advertising networks, and social platforms.”
In a more simplistic nutshell, though, it sends a “back off” message to every website you visit.
When you visit a website, it and the browser that brought you there can immediately keep track of other sites you visit, too. Strangely enough, that same information can be accessed by other “third party” links, such as those embedded in the ads on websites, as well. Through this tracking, the site companies and advertisers can the use the information they acquire about you to determine demographics and plan which ads you’ll see on the Internet. They can also sell that information to other companies.
Under Do Not Track, however, your visit begins with a message to that site: respect your privacy, don’t collect information, and don’t even think about giving any info on your visit to anyone else, either.
Tracking might not seem necessarily invasive to everyone, but the sites you visit, as well as any info you enter to those sites, are still a matter of privacy.
For comparison, should a television network and its advertisers be able to follow your complete viewing history, and just because you channel-surfed your way to their station? Should a newspaper be able to follow which articles you read, or record your answers to the daily crossword puzzle, and then sell that info about you and your reading habits to other newspapers?
Other Internet browsers offer their users the option, including Firefox, Internet Explorer 9 and Safari. If you make that opt-out selection, all sites you visit are given the Do Not Track alert.
Those browsers offer that service willingly, too. A Senate bill on this subject introduced in May 2011 is still in the works, but it’s still not a legal requirement.
But Google won’t offer Do Not Track, and indicates it has no intentions to. And it insinuates refusal to honor the Do Not Track requests issued by other browsers, too.
And how much of an impact can its failure to respect your wishes actually have? “Google's information monopoly extends from 70% of the search market to 95% of the mobile search market,” according to Consumer Watchdog, the nonprofit organization that advocates for consumer rights and which produced the attached video.
That means your privacy could be violated about seven times out of every ten you go online from your computer, and practically every time you surf from your smart phone.
In the meantime, if Internet privacy is important to you (and it should be), you can try other browsers and different search engines.
But before you sign off to go back online under a different browser, visit this Consumer Watchdog page. You can sign the petition on that page requesting Google compliance, and let Google directly know how you feel at the same time through their tracking.
Occupy Columbia’s message this evening might be best summarized by two of the signs some participants toted: “The First Amendment Rules” and “Dear Nikki, I’m Back.”
With support from the South Carolina Progressive Network, at 6 p.m. this local tangent of the Occupy Wall Street movement returned to the grounds of Columbia’s State House facility.
They still remain there tonight, just five days after some were arrested for refusal to leave after dark.
Approximately 250, including casual observers, attended a rally for the first hour. Following the addresses issued by many from an open microphone, attendees enjoyed music and spirited chants, most of which were directly slyly towards Gov. Nikki Haley.
About 30 Occupiers were still present as of 10:30 p.m.
Included in tonight’s participants was state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg), who came not as a legislator, she told WIS-TV, but as individual citizen. “I just feel very strongly that (free speech) is as basic as citizenship.”
Last Wednesday Gov. Haley ordered the arrest of Occupy Columbia participants who, on their 33rd day on the property, refused to vacate for nightfall. Complaints regarding use of the property were made by state legislators, she said earlier that day, calling for an implied curfew on the demonstrators. While their presence was tolerable during daylight, Haley issued threats of arrest should the group remain on the grounds during nighttime hours.
Officers of the state’s Bureau of Protective Service and the Dept. of Public Safety arrested 19 that evening of Nov. 16. Columbia’s Mayor Steve Benjamin and Chief of Police Randy Scott refused to accommodate Haley’s request for aid from city police earlier that same day; Benjamin later called the arrests “unjust.”
No arrests were made tonight, however. DPS directory Leroy Smith informed Occupiers they could remain as long as they used no obstructive objects or furnishings.
Not that the group wasn’t prepared to be arrested, though. “(P)ack a toothbrush and $100” was the advice ProNet gave earlier today to participants who intended to protest any orders to leave the grounds. Progressive Network also offered to aid in legal representation.
Pictures of tonight’s event by photographer Sean Rayford can be seen on his website.
Occupy Charleston’s website features livestream video of this and other events.
Last week, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley disrupted Occupy Columbia’s 33rd day on state capitol grounds, and with the arrest of 23 members. While the organization could continue its occupation during daytime hours, it could no longer be present at night after 6 p.m., Haley said.
Today, however, and with support from other organizations and even the mayor, the group intends to challenge the governor’s orders.
Beginning at 6 p.m., Occupy Columbia will return to the grounds in front of the State House building.
The South Carolina Progressive Network is helping the event in promotion, and calling for its member organizations to aid the cause.
“We are urging citizens who believe that our First Amendment right to petition our government doesn’t end at sunset to join us at the State House from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.,” said Brett Bursey, director of ProNet.
“We will peacefully protest on the grounds, and are inviting legislators to join us in taking a stand for free speech in South Carolina.”
On Nov. 16 Haley held a press conference explaining her orders that Occupy Columbia vacate after dark. She was responding to complaints from state Sen. Harvey Peeler Jr. (R-Gaffney), who specified particular Code of Laws he thought to be in violation, she said. That night, participating members were arrested for refusing to comply with the governor’s orders.
The 23 were arrested by officers with the Bureau of Protective Services and the Dept. of Public Safety, however, and not by Columbia police.
In fact, Mayor Steve Benjamin said he denied request from the governor earlier that same day for city police to respond and arrest.
“It’s not been made clear to us or our lawyers or the chief of police that laws have been broken,” Benjamin said. “(W)e are not going to participate in what we perceive as being unjust arrests.”
Prior to this evening’s standoff demonstration, Occupy Columbia will visit the mayor’s office to offer formal thanks to Benjamin and city police for not honoring the governor’s request for aid, which they still find unjustified.
They’ll meet at the State House grounds at 4 p.m., march to Benjamin’s office at 4:30, and return to the capitol facility at 1100 Gervais St for 6 p.m.
ProNet says it received no reply from Haley, BPS or DPS when it contacted them multiple times last week for clarification on laws allegedly violated. “It’s my guess they don’t have a clue how to enforce an illegal order,” said Bursey, who believes the ‘round-the-clock demonstrations at the State House are protected under the First Amendment.
Backing Bursey’s claim, and with local relativity, too, is a 50-year-old court ruling, says ProNet co-chair Virginia Sanders.
In 1961, the U.S. Supreme Court over-ruled convictions of 187 African-American students who were arrested for a civil rights demonstration on the State House grounds.
The state violated the demonstrators’ rights of free speech, free assembly and freedom to petition, the Court ruled.
If BPS again orders Occupy Columbia’s exit this evening, those who do not comply could be arrested.
Last week, 23 protestors were peacefully cooperative when they were handcuffed and taken into the State House building for processing.
Occupy Columbia will offer livestream video of this evening’s event.