Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bogus study panics public, parents and politicians—again.

This one story is an illustration of American politics writ large. And the Village Voice deserves credit for exposing it. The unfortunate thing is that they don’t seem to understand that the story is repeated over and over under the guise of dozens and dozens of other “urgent” issues.

The “crisis” begins with an advocacy group, the Women’s Funding Network, and similar local groups, such as the Atlanta’s Women’s Foundation. These groups were convinced, based on what remains unclear, that there was a crisis of child prostitutes. And they wanted government funding to address the crisis they discovered.

The Atlanta group had approached the state of Georgia with their begging bowl out. They only got 20% of the funds they wanted. Kaffie McCullough, from the group, admitted: “We had no research, no nothing.” Apparently with nothing to back up their assertions they still managed to get one-fifth of the funds they wanted. Now they approached an organization named the Schapiro Group to produce a study that would find the crisis they were looking to solve.

Deborah Richardson, from the WNF, announced the results: “An independent tracking study heard released today by the Women’s Funding Network shows that over the past six months, the number of underage girls trafficked online has rise exponentially in three diverse states.” They had dramatic numbers, as you knew they would. In Michigan they claimed it increased by 39.2%, up 20.7% in New York, and up 64.7% in Minnesota.

The media spread the story, and the result, according to USA Today was a “growing movement of women’s groups, celebrities, human rights activists ad state officials.” Of course the politicians, like vultures looking for rotten bodies, come swooping in to show they are concerned, to buy votes from identifiable political interest groups, and to scare taxpayers in funding some new project “to save the children.” Congresswoman Jackie Speier, D-CA, told Congress that these children “need specialized resources.” Richardson bragged, “We have more data and more momentum.”

And they had a new bogeyman—Craigslist and other on-line sites where individuals looking to “hook-up” with others would advertise. Loud-mouthed politicians like Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General for Connecticut, called these sites “online brothels” and began attacks to remove all adult ads.

As for the political interest groups, PIGs, promoting the “study,” they got oodles of cash taken from taxpayers, many of whom are having a hard time making ends meet. The Atlanta group was thrilled. They went to the legislature with the new "study" and came away with a bucket-load of greenbacks. McCullough said: “The research costs money, but we’ve been able to broker—I don’t know what it is now, I think it’s over $1.3, $1.6 million in funding that we never would have gotten.”

It wouldn’t be the first time, nor will it be the last, that a PIG has produced a bogus study in order to create a scare campaign in order to access millions of dollars in funding. Remember that the funds McCullough bragged about are only for her one group in Atlanta. It doesn’t reflect funding other groups got in other states using the same study.

The Schapiro Group came up with a unique method for determining the number of juvenile prostitutes, and it didn’t have anything to do with hard numbers, like arrests. Instead they looked at photos posted online of women who were seeking sexual partners. They then “guessed” the age of the women in the photos and noted that number, as if it were factual. This is the basis of the so-called study that set off a media sex frenzy, got Craigslist censored, had two-bit politicians fuming at the mouths and no doubt inspired many a sermon on the revival circuit.

To confirm their study, the Group did a back up “study.” Here is how Village Voice describes it:

Before conducting its full study, the Schapiro Group tested the accuracy of its method in a sample of 100 observers. At one point, the 100 observers are described as a "random sample." Elsewhere, they are described as "balanced by race and gender."

These 100 adults were shown pictures of teenagers and young adults whose ages were known, and were asked to guess whether they were younger than 18.

"The study showed that any given 'young' looking girl who is selling sex has a 38 percent likelihood of being under age 18," reads a crucial passage in the explanation of methodology. "Put another way, for every 100 'young' looking girls selling sex, 38 are under 18 years of age. We would compute this by assigning a value of .38 to each of the 100 'young' girls we encounter, then summing the values together to achieve a reliable count."

This is dense gibberish posing as statistical analysis.

When the team went on to conduct its full statewide study, it simply treated this 38 percent success rate as a constant. Six new observers were then turned loose to count "young-looking" sex ads on online classifieds sites like Craigslist and Backpage.

That total count was then multiplied by .38 to come up with a guesstimate of how many children were being trafficked.

None of the “investigators” that Schapiro Group used were experts in research. None had ever studied the issue of prostitution in general, or juvenile prostitution in particular. And no one bothered to verify if the guesses corresponded with reality, or if the photos they viewed were either current, or actually the woman running the ad. Of course no prostitute would try to use an old photo in order to attract customers. And you would never get one who would run a completely unrelated photograph in order to solicit business.

The methodology used actually indicates that there were no real children involved in these ads. That the hired guns for the Group had to "guess" if the person was above or below the magic line of 18 years of age indicates that very few, perhaps none. of the advertising women were clearly below the age of 18. You might have a 16-year-old who passes as 19, or vice versa, but it is much less likely that you would have an 11-year-old who looks 19. The methodology used indicates that all of the participants appeared to be over 18 years of ago, who proves that none of them appeared to be under the age of 18.

Then Schapiro Group would come back later and run the same bogus study a second time proving that the number of child prostitutes had escalated. Thus the crisis was proven, funding flowed and greedy PIGs increased their take to solve a crisis that no one can show actually exists. And no one connected to the study can verify how the photos were found, how they knew the ages of the test samples, or whether any of the photos of “prostitutes” actually represented the women advertising services.

McCullough defends the study saying “it is the same scientific methodology that science has been using for a long time to measure endangered species.” Calling something “science” twice, just two words apart, doesn’t actually make it science. And, if the same sort of bogus methodology is used by other PIGs for their causes, it doesn’t prove the methodology is scientific, or correct, just that it is politically expedient.

Actual arrest statistics do not exactly bolster the fear campaign that the PIGs need to rip off the taxpayer. According to the FBI about 75% of all jurisdictions report their arrests. The number of arrests per 100,000 juveniles—defined as between 10 and 17 years of age—was 5. The FBI says that arrests of juveniles for prostitution and “commercialized vice,” in 2007, amounted to 1,500 cases.

Not every juvenile prostitute is arrested, but then some are arrested multiple times. We don't have hard numbers but there is no indication that we are talking about some significant percentage of teens, let along actual children. Ask yourself if you are worried about teenage “forgery” rings or counterfeiters. Perhaps you should be since a teen is twice as likely to be arrested for that as for prostitution. They are four times more likely to be arsonists. No one thinks those crimes “are out of control” among teens yet they are far more likely for teens than prostitution but they don't get millions in funding to solve the crisis. But then it doesn't include something as racy as sex, to attract attention.

The other thing to keep in mind is that most of the arrests are not 12-year-olds in mesh stockings. Most are teens above the age of 16. And most these teens are legally allowed to consent to sex, just not for cash.

How does this compare to adult prostitution? In 2007 there were 76,100 adults arrested for the same offense. Teenaged prostitutes were 1,500. I believe that translates in less than 2% of all prostitutes arrested are under the age of 18 at the time of the arrest. And even then most of them are legally above the age of consent and not actually children.

PIGs use children constantly to stir up emotions. When the Left wanted to create a gun crisis they talked about the number of children killed by guns. They didn’t tell people that “children” included 17-year-old gang members killed in turf wars over drug sales. They wanted the public to think of wide-eyed tykes playing with their puppies who accidental stumble across a gun and kill themselves, along with the poor little puppy as well.

Some years ago I first came across this sort of bogus fear campaign about “child” prostitution when another PIG member claimed that millions of children were regularly being prostituted at truck stops and street corners around the country. I tried to find how this number was generated. The piece I wrote on the matter has been lost, but I will reconstruct what I can remember.

The woman who manufactured the factoid was a feminist ideologue convinced that girls were being terribly exploited. She found a rabid Los Angeles police officer who was equally convinced that it was boys being prostituted by homosexuals. He had a gut hunch that some 100,000 boys were involved in this massive trade that he was intent on exposing. The feminist in question then took the “hunch” of the police officer and concluded that if that were the case of boys being prostituted, then the number of girls in the same boat had to be at least twice as large. So she doubled the number and added it to the original hunch.

But she wasn’t finished. She then claimed that if this new number was the number of child prostitute “we know about” then there were at least ten times as many out that we didn’t know about. That lead to 3 million child prostitutes being used as the figure of the day.

At the time this claim was made there were around 29 million children 10-17 years old in the country. Apparently one out of ten of them was out there prostituting for a living. Absurd!

At about this time there was a national panic about “stranger danger” and child abductions. The papers spoke of 2.5 million missing children per year. They didn’t tell people that the term was so widely defined that any kid who was away from home for a few hours, without the parents knowing his or her location was “missing.” They left out that over 90% of actual “abductions” were custody disputes with one parent taking the child with them against the consent of the other parent. In the end the actual number of stranger abductions was miniscule.

There was also a bogus panic about satanic child-molesting day care centers. Thousands of people were arrested across the country and hundreds of people were prosecuted and convicted using very dubious “interviewing” methods created by PIGs to promote their agenda.

Out of these panics came entire government departments such as the Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Hundreds of millions of dollars were redistributed to the PIGs for their use to discover new problems and lobby for new laws. Out of those panics we also got the various sex offender registries and the laws to protect teens, laws that are now putting tens of thousands of teens on the offender registries for normal adolescent sexuality. We passed laws, based almost entirely on manufactured panics, which today are classifying teens, who take naughty pictures of themselves, as child pornographers.

Politics today relies upon manufactured panics. Take a problem, no matter how small, blow it out of proportion. Try to drag “children” into it anyway you can and then scream about protecting the children. Bolster your case with a bogus study, using dubious methods, and the media will beat a path to your door breathlessly telling paranoid parents of the newest threat to their children. Politicians will promise to solve the crisis provided they get more power and taxes are increased. The PIGs line up with their hands out, millions are doled out. In the end the PIGs are at the through happy and full, for the time being. The politicians are more powerful than ever. The parents feel parent, even though their children are no safer than before. Taxpayers have less money in their pockets and everyone is just a little less free than before the panic was created.

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Toilets and sex.

I was listening to a paleoconservative railing against government regulations of things like shower heads, toilets and light bulbs. I'm with him on that.

On a recent trip to San Francisco I used the toilet in my hotel room, which is sort of the point to having the room, along with other things like showering and sleeping. But the low-flush toilet simply wouldn't flush things away properly. It didn't have the power it needed to flush solids away. With such commodes I find that I flush several times. Lots of people I know say they do the same thing. In the end they use more water.

But what got worse was the toilet clogged. That was making it impossible to use at all. The hotel was a small one and the time of night meant there was no one to solve the problem. I had to go to the front desk and borrow a plunger, which was needed several more times over the next two days. It really was a shitty experience.

And that brings me back to the paleoconservative. Paleoconservatives are for free markets, for a non-interventionist foreign policy, but tend to be very socially conservative. One, who even pretends to be a "libertarian," claimed that a libertarian society would have to physically remove gay people in order to survive. It probably wouldn't surprise you to learn he is anti-immigraiton—well to be precise he is against immigration by non-whites most of all.

Freedom of choice for toilet bowl power! Great, but exactly why have freedom of choice for your toilet bowl but NOT for your spouse?

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

The biggest buffoon in law enforcement.

Maricopa County (AZ) Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one of the biggest buffoons in law enforcement. The Sheriff is contemptuous of the Constitution and and the idea of limited government. He likes to pull publicity stunts that cost the taxpayers millions of dollars per year, just to keep his name in the news. Watch this.

Arpaio, with the B actor Steven Segal in tow, along with a Hollywood film crew to record his antics, used armored vehicles, including a tank, along with a SWAT team to arrest one single, peaceful man who was home alone. His crime was cock fighting. Yep, the man ran cock fights, didn't own a gun and was never known to be violent. A troop of Girl Scouts could have arrested the man, but not the sissy-force under the command of Sheriff Joe: America's Most Arrogant Thug.

Arpaio has done television shows before where he brings in the cameras to play up his antics. Joe's thugs are known to be violent and racist and prisoners in his command have been so badly beaten, or killed, by his armed gang of sheriffs that he has cost Maricopa County millions of dollars in settlement costs to victims, or to their families.

Arpaio was also closely connected to the corrupt County Attorney, Andrew Thomas, and his assistant Rachel Alexander, who both left office after the Bar Associations investigation showed that Thomas used his legal powers to harass political opponents. In addition the FBI began investigating Thomas as well. The independent investigation of Arpaio's buddy charged 30 ethics violations. Included in that was Thomas, with the help of Arpaio, arresting political opponents on trumped up charges. Judges who ruled against the team were then threatened with legal action for being "corrupt" by Thomas.

Fox News reported that just as Arpaio's gung-ho stunts have cost millions, the "bogus investigations" of Thomas will mean "Maricopa County will likely pay out tens of millions of dollars." Both Thomas and Arpaio have misused their office to threaten political opponents and to imply they are criminals or corrupt.

Arpaio has used armored tanks for non-violent offenses before. In one raid, which I believe was over numerous traffic tickets, the Sheriff's SWAT team, including the tank, attacked a home in Phoenix. They started out by firing tear gas into the house which set it afire. A small puppy that tried to escape the flames was chased by the Sheriffs back into the burning building where it died. But the moronic thugs forgot to put the tank in park, or whatever you have to do to secure a tank. The several ton vehicle started rolling down an incline toward a bunch of parked cars. A mother, with her young infant in the front, barely escaped their vehicle before the Sheriff's toy crushed it. A few second sooner and mother and child would have been killed—all over parking tickets so Sheriff Joe can brag about being America's toughest sheriff. Fascism is as fascism does.

One has to ask how many tens of thousands of dollars were spent by Arpaio just so he could strut in front of TV cameras with a has-been, never-too-good actor. There was no need for tanks and armored vehicles, no heed for a "deputizing" a fake sheriff simply because his "reality" TV show will get you publicity. There was no need to destroy the man's gates, smash his widows and destroy his property. It was all the pompous publicity-seeking strutting of America's worst sheriff, Joe Arpaio.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Can Mormons Live in the Real World?

While I have been rather well informed about Mormon history and theology I never actually read the interview questions used by the church when they issue "temple recommends."

One thing people have to understand about the Mormon sect is precisely how the old fart that run the cult keep people under their control. In Mormon theology the rituals that are performed in the Temple are absolutely necessary in order for Mormons to evolve into gods. Yes, Mormons are not Christians in the classical sense of the word. They don't believe in one god, just one god for this planet. They believe in a multiplicity of gods and believe that the secret rituals, originally ripped off by the con man Smith from the Free Masons, will help the obedient Mormon become a god as well. By the way, contrary to the assumption that many have, the church did not abandon polygamy entirely. They still teach polygamy in the afterlife and will still "seal" Mormon men to multiple "spiritual" wives today.

I find the Mormon sect fascinating because it is one of the most well documented sects in history and the documentation proves it is one gigantic fraud. Joseph Smith was clearly a con man and philanderer. He invented plural marriage only after his wife caught him with other women, including young girls. Many people don't know that Smith's wife and children actually left the LDS cult and helped form a another version of Mormonism, one without polygamy. But the mainstream LDS church believes polygamy will be restored and that the new gods must have multiple wives in the afterlife.

For the Mormon believer the only way to become a god is through the temple rituals, which is where they get their magic underwear—really, I'm not making it up. They are called "endowment" garments, even though they don't do a particularly good job of actually showing off their endowments, if you know what I mean. One of the temple recommend questions is: "Do you wear the garment both night and day as instructed in the endowment and in accordance with the covenant you made in the temple?" A "no" answer is the wrong answer. Mormons are supposed to wear their magic underwear all the time.

Individuals who help Mormons escape the fundamentalist compounds have said that getting them to shower or bath was difficult as they refused to remove the magic underwear. To get them to change into clean underwear required them to keep part of the dirty garment while putting on part of the clean garment. Some would only bath one part of the body at a time, keeping the garments over the rest of the body.

This is the sort of wacky stuff that L. Ron Hubbard would later use to bilk fools out of their cash with his Scientology scam. Both cults are rather similar the way they control and bilk people.

A Mormon who can't get into the temple is thus condemned to an inferior status in the afterlife. He won't be a god at all. The local Mormon church issues temple recommends. Without these passes from the local church a Mormon is effectively denied godhood. I know it sounds like nonsense but these people are big on nonsense, which is one reason they are prime targets for con men in dodgy investment schemes and the like.

The temple recommend is not a lifetime pass. The church regularly reviews members to decide whether they can have the pass renewed. To get a pass one must, for instance, give a tenth of all one's income to the Mormon cult itself. Consider it another dodgy investment scheme that Mormons are notorious for. For just one tenth of your earthly wealth you too can become a god equal to Jehovah! That's a pretty good return on your money. They may as well offer money back guarantees. If you die and don't become a god the church will return your money. All you have to do is put in a claim. Wow! I'll promise naive people godhood for just 5% of their earthly income. Let the bidding commence!

Not only must the Mormon give their wealth to the church but their total loyalty. They are required to confirm that the president of the church is "the only person on earth who possesses and is authorized to exercise all priesthood keys." See, the ancient fart that gets elected president of the church is god's representative on earth, so when the church issues orders Mormons are supposed to obey. When the cult leaders ran a secret campaign to fund the anti-gay proposition in California they used the authority of the church to "urge" members to send millions of dollars to California to finance the bigots. Of course they got caught, lied about what they were doing, and then got caught lying. Lying for the Lord is not an unknown practice among the "saints." Mormons are encourage to actively conceal many of their doctrines from "gentiles" until the gentile in question is hooked. Then the doctrines of the church are slowly revealed to them. Hiding the facts about Mormonism have been a long tradition. Smith lied publicly about the multiple wives he took and the church has been lying since then.

One of the more interesting scandals in the cult was the Salamander letter. A lot of evidence exists to show that Smith was a con man on multiple fronts. And it was believed that he dabbled in folk magic. A Mormon con man, Mark Hofmann, who ran a financial investment scam, was under pressure by Mormon investors to pay them the money he owed them. He didn't have it. But he knew enough Mormon history to forge fake documents that would embarrass the church if they made it into the media.

The Mormon hierarchy would then use wealth Mormon businessmen as fronts to buy the documents at very high prices. The documents would be "donated" to the church and then hidden away in the president's vault, hopefully to never see the light of day. Yes, the documents were fakes, but the church thought they were genuine when they had them purchased. Hoffman's financial woes were not solved by the infusions of cash from the church. And, to take the heat off, he started killing some of those people clamoring for money. Mormons in Salt Lake City were panicked by the killings, fearing that a Mormon breakaway sect was executing them as heretics—or that a version of the "Avenging Angels" had returned to kill Mormons not living up to the faith, as had been done in the past.

One of the bombs used by Hofmann exploded prematurely and the FBI originally thought he was another victim. But where the bomb was tipped them off that he was the bomber. Investigations showed his financial troubles, his investment scheme, and his "rare documents" business. Investigators wanted the documents the Mormon leadership was hiding away. At first they denied having any such documents but when the FBI wouldn't accept lying for the Lord, the church came clean and handed over the documents, which they still believed to be genuine. The FBI lab proved them forgeries. Suddenly the church was thrilled and publicized the documents as frauds. They never addressed the issue of how they hide them away, when they believed them genuine. And, if they were genuine, they conclusive proved that Joseph Smith, their prophet, was a lying scoundrel. Surely they had doubts about their faith but kept the scam going anyway.

Another question in the temple recommend process is: "Do you support, affiliate with, or agree with any group or individual whose teachings or practices are contrary to or oppose those accepted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?"

This is broader than the kind of questioning that got Joseph McCarthy in trouble. I have to wonder if a practicing libertarian could answer no to this question. Libertarians believe in marriage equality, Mormonism doesn't. They may get multiple spirit wives but gay people can't have just one partner. Libertarians believe in freedom, Mormons do not. Libertarians believe in equality before the law, Mormons do not.

Mormons were stripped of their temple recommends because they supported the Equal Rights Amendment and equality of rights for women.

On the other hand, what honest Mormon can answer that last question without saying "yes" to it? They line up in support of the Theopublican Party, which, as hard as it tries at imposing theocracy in America still falls short of Mormon doctrines. Virtually any civic organization or group they could possibly support will not cling to the silly doctrines of Joe Smith and the subsequent con men who followed in his footsteps. Is this question essentially meaningless? Or is it so broad as to be selectively used against virtually anyone, when the politics of the situation demands it?

One advantage of a "violation" that is so broadly written is that it gives immense powers to the church leadership to deny "temple recommends" and thus godhood, to the saints.

Photo: Brigham Young, Mormon Prophet, and some of his wives.


This is not even a coherent response.

Victoria Jackson became a fundamentalist some years ago after she achieved "has-been" status in Hollywood. Lots of people, who once had fame, seek it again in the most desperate way. Victoria Jackson is one of them. Her only fame today is that she is on the Far Right politically pushing a theocratic agenda.

What I found fascinating is that she seems to have memorized Right-wing slogans but nothing else. She has trouble formatting a coherent reply to anything, stutters a bit and then tries to throw up another slogan. She is a walking bumper sticker for the radical Right.

The woman doing the interview asks Jackson if she is homophobic, saying she was accused of this. But, again, Jackson is not homophobic. She does not fear gay men, she despises them, she calls gay couples marrying "a comedy skit" and "ridiculous." There is no fear, just disdain and insults.

Her answer: "Well, ah, I'm.... It doesn't matter what I think, what matters is what the Bible says." Okay, why? Exactly why should the rest of us worry about what she thinks the Bible says? And why are you avoiding answering what you actually think?

Jackson says she is concerned about the country because "immorality (buzz word) is, well, ah, let's see, secular humanism (buzz word) rules the airwaves (at least she didn't blame the Jews) and it's stealing innocence (buzz words) from this whole generation of children."

How is that? And what does she mean by innocence. This is the idea that sex is immoral and dirty and sinful by nature. And, well as for those gays, all fundamentalists can see with them is sex. They don't see committed relationships or love. They see lust and rampant hedonism, nothing else. They see heterosexuals disobeying their god by having immoral sex. And somehow, that one kiss steals innocence? Innocence apparently is another word for ignorance. In which case Ms. Jackson is very innocent indeed.

Jackson says her teenage daughter can't watch anything because Jackson can't find anything worth watching. (Well, I certainly wouldn't recommend any of her old skits.) But really, there are so many channels with shows that most people would consider "wholesome" this whole talking point, besides evading the question completely, is clearly false.

When the host tries to bring it back to the question and stop the rambling, Jackson calls "homophobic" a "cute little buzz word of the liberal agenda." Wow! Right after accusing a word of being a buzz word she attaches it to Right-wing buzz words like "liberal agenda." Oddly I would think she would be ranting about the "gay agenda" not the "liberal agenda."

Then she waves her Bible, which I should say appears to be one of the copies you find in a motel room, not one you buy at a bookstore. I know she's a nobody now, but surely she doesn't have to resort to lifting Bibles from motels. She says the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Okay, but so what? How does that impact law in a free society? Is she proposing we adopt a version of Christian sharia law? Should we impose the penalty for homosexuality that the Bible mentions? That would be death by stoning, just like those Muslims, whom she also hates, would do?

She then claims: "But it (the Bible) also has gossip listed in the same paragraph as an equal sin." First, no it doesn't. The Bible verses interpreted to mean homosexuality do not then mention gossip and they don't call it an equal sin.

But let us assume that Jackson is right, then precisely why do we see the Religious Right engaging in jihads against gay people and yet we've never witnessed one single campaign against gossips. They have advocated jailing gay people, not gossips. They have thrown gay people out of their churches but they don't disfellowship gossips. Gossips can be in their choirs, not gay people. Gossips can marry, not gay people. Exactly how is this an "equal" sin when we see nothing by the church to stop gossiping while they spend hundreds of millions to strip gay people of the same rights granted everyone else.

They have never treated homosexuality as an equal sin.

Jackson then goes into a rant about how liberalism is "anti-Christ" or "anti-Jesus." Odd, I know many liberals who are quite pro-Jesus.

Attempts to get her on topic fail and she then invents a new factoid that 50% of all teens have some unnamed new STD that they get from oral sex! That appears to be double the most reliable estimates among teens for all forms of STDs combined.

She says television should engage in abstinence campaigns "instead of trying to make kids gay." She says that last bit so fast and then changes the topic so quickly, it is easy to miss. According to the ditzy Jackson, television is "trying to make kids gay." How do you make someone gay? How many heterosexuals who just watched that clip of the kiss actually suddenly felt an urge to go gay on the spur of the moment? A few might find the incoherent ranting of a chubby, ditzy woman with atrocious headgear a better reason to go gay that the kiss they just witnessed. I suspect, given a Sophie's choice, many a straight man would prefer Blaine in bed than Victoria Jackson, especially if they can't get her to shut up.

Jackson then changes topics yet again, claiming the demonic liberals are "pro-Muslim and pro-gay." Really? What does that mean? Does it make you pro-paraplegic to say that paraplegics should have the same legal rights of other people? She thinks she is showing a contradiction among liberals (and libertarians I might add) because they defend the rights of both groups even though fundamentalist Muslins "kill gays," which is what her Bible says should be done. She says: "That's what's confusing to me." I bet that isn't the only thing she finds confusing. Based on her conversation she must find lots of things confusing.

I will explain it. I don't want fundamentalist Christianity to be made illegal. I don't want Christians to have lesser rights, or greater rights, than anyone else. I say the same thing for fundamentalist Muslims, even though the two groups hate each other and would deny each other rights. See, I'm not pro-Muslim, or pro-Christian. I am pro-individual rights. And liberals who defend the rights of gay people are not necessarily "pro-gay" they are pro-rights for gay people. One can even dislike gays personally and still be supportive of equality of rights. Just because I don't want Victoria Jackson taken out and stoned to death for wearing ridiculous headgear doesn't mean I'm pro-Jackson. I am not pro-Jackson at all. I think she is a mentally dense moron who doesn't have a clue about the facts of life. But I want her rights defended even if I dislike her personally.

Jackson says the only reason she can explain why liberals defend both the rights of Muslims and gays is because "Muslims hate God" and "gays hate his word." Wow! I believe that she believes it. And that sort of logic is evidence of a particularly dumb woman. I honestly don't think she is evil. She isn't intelligent enough to pull off evil.

When the host points out how Glee, which was supposed to be the topic under discussion, was going to include a Christian character in it's spirit of "inclusiveness," something that is the opposite of what Jackson was claiming, Jackson again evades the point and instead lectures about a "spiritual war" urging Christians to get out and bother others with their view on god.

And then, in the spirit of every anti-Semite I've ever met, she ends with: "I have gay friends." Hitler bitched that his own Nazi party was filled with members who each had their "special" Jew they wanted protected. Hitler himself protected the Jewish doctor who had cared for his dying mother. Really, Victoria, do you think that claiming you have gay friends somehow changes the nature of what you are doing?

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Another lie from NOM and Maggie Gallagher

NOM, the National Organization for (sic) Marriage, is one of the most deceitful Religious Right groups around. Often their lies are quite subtle, as they are in this ad. They claim: "After swearing on a Bible to uphold the law and defend the Constitution, he's (Obama) made a shocking move: he unilaterally decided to no longer defend our country's Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, which is the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman."

One thing about this is true, this is a federal law that defines marriage! Ron Paul, pay attention, the State's Rights excuse to defend DOMA is bullshit, even the rotund Maggie Gallagher admits as much. This is a federal definition of marriage which strips the states of the right to define marriage locally.

As for Maggie's lie, notice the way they smuggled into the oath of office something that isn't there at all. The oath of office says:

"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Maggie smuggled into the oath something that is not there. She has her voice over artist intone that Obama swore "to uphold the law and defend the Constitution." FALSE. No president swears to uphold the law, they all swear to uphold the Constitution. Why not both? Simple; sometimes laws violate the Constitution. The president's job is to uphold the Constitution and that sometimes means refusing to defend various laws.

There is another subtle lie in Maggie's new ad (how much Mormon money funded this?). Upholding the law and defending the law are not the same thing. The Obama administration, to their shame I might add, have said they would uphold DOMA, which means enforce it. What they aren't doing is defending it in court any longer.

This is actually rather pathetic if you think about it. As much as the Right pretends to be staunch defenders of the Constitution it is Obama who is on firmer ground here. First, DOMA does violate the jurisdiction of the state's to define marriage. DOMA created a federal definition for marriage, which had never been done before. Marriage was always a state issue. So Obama is defending the Constitutional separation of powers by refusing to defend a law that violates those principles. It is the Maggies and Ron Pauls on the Right who continued to defend the unconstitutional usurpation by the federal government to define marriage.

Second, Obama's oath to uphold the Constitution requires him to oppose laws that defy constitutional limits on power. No, Obama does not do that consistently. He, like Georgie Boy before him, is a power-hungry politicians who creates powers for himself which simply don't exist in the Constitution. He supports a plethora of unconstitutional laws, and wars I might add. That doesn't change the fact that in this case he is right, and the Right is wrong. So, not only is Obama not violating his oath of office, he is actually living up to it, in this one case.

What upsets Gallagher, Morse and other bigots with messages from God, is that Obama is not violating his oath by fighting to impose a religiously defined concept into the law. Listen for just two minutes to the anti-marriage crowd on the Right and you will constant invocations of the Bible, Jesus, God, the Catholic Church, the Mormon Church, ad nauseum. The simple truth is that their religion tells them what marriage ought to be and they then want their religious beliefs enforced on everyone in the country. That has Constitutional issues as well. As hard as they try they simply haven't not come up with anything remotely convincing to support their case, outside of religion.

I am not saying the religious arguments are convincing. Please! The magic man in the sky argument only goes so far and it just doesn't get the same traction it used when most people believed in witches, demons, magic spells, portions and prayers. But in watching this debate for the last few years I've seen little in the way of rational, factual argumentation on the part of the anti-equality lobby. In the end they resort to claims of the supernatural. It was once said that patriotism is the refuge of the scoundrel, well it seems that theology is the refuge of the moron.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Wingnut News Daily Distorts Parental Dispute

I hate to refer to World Net Daily at all because they are such a dishonest, extreme website and they distort the facts regularly. But I want to mention them today to give you an example of just how dishonest they can be.

Their headline, about a New Hampshire case, implies a girl is being forced to attend a public school because of her mother’s extreme fundamentalism. The article, however, quite carefully avoids giving readers any links to the decision or even giving them a hint as to the actual nature of the case. They quote the theocratic, anti-gay Alliance Defense Fund, which was involved in the case.

The ADF lawyer said: “Parents have a fundamental right to make educational choices for their children. Courts can settle disputes, but they cannot legitimately order a child into a government-run school on the basis that her religious views need to mixed with other views.” All of this is true, but the WND article is being dishonest, they are hiding facts from their normally rabid readers.

They mention the fundamentalist mother and the girl’s father are divorced. They mention the mother has “homeschooled” the girl in her fundamentalist faith. And they talked a lot about religion. What they left out was the actual nature of the dispute.

If you read the WND report you would think that the courts stepped in, said they didn’t like the mother’s religion, and then ordered the girl to go to government schools for no other reason. But the courts did not just step in. While ADF laments the destruction of a parent’s right to determine their child’s education they deceitfully hide the fact that this court upheld a parent’s right in this case: the father’s.

The court did not intervene against parental wishes. It got involved to settle a dispute between both parents. The father was worried that his daughter was not learning how to think, but merely being indoctrinated in the mother’s extreme beliefs. Now, whether or not the public school will teach thinking remains to be seen, but the case was a dispute between two parents with joint custodial rights over the child, with the mother having primary physical custody.

This blog reported about the case one year ago, listing it as one of the top ten lies that fundamentalist were telling about America. We reported then:

Brenda Voydatch and Martin Kurowski were divorced parents of a 10-year-old girl. Voydatch wanted the child home-schooled. Kurowski wanted her to attend a school saying her mother deprived her of socialization opportunities. In this dispute over child rearing by two parents, the court asked a guardian ad litem to investigate. That was done and this individual sided with the father in this case. The guardian ad litem mentioned the small girl’s rigidity of beliefs as reflecting the mother’s. That was enough for the Christianists to leap on it.

Kurowski’s attorney, Elizabeth Donovan, says the “the ruling was based on the girl’s isolated learning environment, and not on her mother’s religion.” Donovan also notes that Kurowski never complained about the mother taking the daughter to church. This was purely about education and socialization, not religion. Donovan said: “When two parents with joint decision-making responsibility disagree and they cannot come to any common ground, we submit it the court.” Once again the incident isn’t what it was portrayed to be. And this was the 4th worst incident against Christians—ah, if all persecuted groups only it had it that good.

In all their talk about parental rights, WND ignored the father's rights. Why? Perhaps because he is not a fundamentalist Christian.

When two parents have custody rights over a child and both are allowed to make decisions, they will sometimes disagree. If they cannot come to agreement the courts are asked to adjudicate. Only one parent’s will can be done since they do not agree. WND has every right to prefer the mother because she shares their far right Chistianist views. They have a right to their own opinions and conclusions, but they are claiming a right to their own facts as well, by refusing to tell the truth to their readers about the actual nature of the dispute.

They know the case was not about denying parental rights. It was about settling a dispute between two parents with conflicting wishes. In that sort of case, a court will always end up disappointing one parent while granting the parental rights of the other parent. WND pretended there was only one parent’s rights involved and ignored the other parent. This was the only way they could present their claims in the dishonest manner that did. An honest presentation of the facts would have undermined their political claims so they chose to be dishonest instead. But that is pretty standard with them.

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Guilt and fried chicken

I picked up some fried chicken at the grocery store and had it on the check out counter waiting for them to finish with the people in line before me. The woman behind was a bit oddly dressed, very odd looking baggy pants, two-toned hair and a piercing of some sort on her face that I didn’t pay much attention to. I would have thought nothing of it until she commented about the chicken.

She asked if that was my chicken on the counter and I said it was. She told me that it smelled so good and told me how much she liked the chicken from this store. And then she said something odd: “But it makes me feel so guilty.”

I assumed she was using guilt in the sense of feeling bad about a diet and was speaking about her health. Otherwise, guilt was an odd word. I certainly understand the concept of guilt, as in hurting someone else. I don’t believe people should feel guilty merely for violating the law. Hell, considering the law guilty ought to be attached to obeying it, not violating it. In the legal sense, guilt is something I attach to violating the rights of others.

The only other form of guilt that I can understand is that attached to religion. Typically this is associated with the pleasures of life. Some guilt is attached to hurting others; in the line of thou shalt not steal. But, in my experience, guilt is too often involved with things such as “thou shalt not feel sexual pleasure,” “thou shalt not enjoy life,” and so forth. This guilt is attached to NOT denying the flesh.

I couldn’t think of a religious reason to feel guilt over fried chicken. Nor was it something that violated the rights of others. So I naturally assumed it had to do with diet, and the impact of fried chicken on weight and other issues. So I responded:

“Nothing to feel guilty about. It’s your body, your business, so you may as well enjoy it.”

But then she started explaining why she felt guilty. She really, really likes fried chicken. But it isn’t “natural.” She talked about hormones and the unnatural way food is processed, etc. It was precisely the kind of lecture I’ve heard from many advocates of “green” living.

Everything she said contrasted things created by humans to the “natural” and assumed the natural was good while human creation was not. Perhaps it was sinful thus explaining the guilt.

I was wrong when I thought she was discussing diet. She didn’t mention calories or any of the items associated with diet. Instead she discussed the bad nature of anthropogenic food versus “natural” items. Chemistry was evil, ignoring the fact that the natural is full of chemicals. It was a faith statement not dissimilar to the belief that there was a perfect garden that humans lost because of their own sinful nature. And that fried chicken was a symbol of the evil side of humanity versus the good that comes from naturally raised chicken, even though it tastes so good. Perhaps, because it tastes so good, the sin is even greater—much the way Puritans implored us to feel guilty about the pleasures of the flesh.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The warped inhumanity of faith.

Normally I don't run videos of faith addicts like this one. But watch it, watch the joy on her face as she describes the massive earthquake in Japan. This is just monstrous and contemptible. (It is also very well done satire but it very well done precisely because it so accurately catches the attitudes of many of the people I knew back in the old days.)

The logic doesn't surprise me. On one had she says that the earthquake was an answered prayer to show the world that God loves them. God apparently showed his loved by raining destruction on Japan. She actually takes this a proof that God is love, because he killed all those people.

A man, with multiple children, beats a small child to death. Does that prove his love? What sort of sick masochistic personality would argued that beating children to death is a loving thing? (Oops, I forgot, the Bible certainly endorses beating them, just as long as you stay shy of actually killing them.)

The faith-inflicted reinterpret reality to fit their religion. She prayed that God would show he was loving, thousands of people are killed in a natural disaster, and that is proof that God answered her prayer. It takes a thoroughly demented mind to say that, but it illustrates the length to which believers will go in order to convince themselves that their is proof that their imaginary friend is real.

I'm an atheist, not that you haven't figured that out already. Does this dingbat really think that a god with bloody hands would convince me he existed and was loving? Anyone who would inflict such misery is not loving but a monster. Now, obviously I don't think it was a god who did this. I think it was the forces of nature acting in accordance with physical laws. Plates shift in the earth, they do it all the time. When they do, the ground shakes. Sometimes that causes tsunamis. All too often, people die.

Nature is full of forces which act in ways that are inimical to life. They are not the thoughtful actions of a thinking entity. If they were the actions of a thinking entity then the entity in question can not be reasonably called loving.

The only reason this disaster triggers this sick mental reasoning in this silly woman is that the disaster took place after "Lent" began, when Christians were asking God to prove his love to atheists. The Christchurch earthquake a few weeks earlier apparently was not involved because the Christians weren't on their knees instructing their deity how to behave.

Of all the Christian beliefs prayer, to me, makes the least amount of sense. Why do they need to pray? Can they possibly be telling their God anything he doesn't already allegedly know? How can their actions change his mind? Doesn't he already know precisely everything that will happen? I honestly see a Christians belief in prayer as a way to feel in control of the God they claim to believe in. It is like a belief in magic. It is a means by which impotent people convince themselves that they can direct the universe, or it's creator, to behave in certain ways that are commensurate with their own desires.

And why Japan? How does God, beating up on the Japanese, convince atheists of anything? No answer is giving. She just assumes atheists will look at this horrendous tragedy and think her twisted faith was responsible for it. Surely there are areas of the world where, if God were tapping on the shoulders of atheists, it might be more noticeable. An earthquake in Japan isn't exactly uncommon. It is actually rather anticipated. Now and then they are much bigger than one would expect, but this is no divine sign.

Clearly God is loosing his umph, if anything. If he wanted my attention a fireball dancing across the sky spelling out "repent" might do it. An earthquake in Japan doesn't surprise me, given that the fault lines run through that region of the world. No earthquakes there for decades would be impressive. A god who can't act in a manner inconsistent with what we already know about the nature of reality is not impressive.

And when I think of God sending natural disasters, at least in the United States, he seems to spend more time hitting the God-believing regions of the United States. The most religious area in America is the South followed by the Midwest. The least religious areas are the New England states and the West. So where did God send the worst natural disasters in American history?

• Galveston, Texas, 1900. A hurricane in this part of the Bible-belt killed somewhere between 6,000 and 12,000 people.

• San Francisco, 1906. Earthquake kills 3,000 to 6,000.

• Florida, 1928. Hurricane hits this Bible belt state killing 2,500.

• Louisiana, 1893. Hurricane hits this Bible belt state killing around 2,000.

• Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, 2005. Hurricane hits Bible belt states killing 1,836.

• Central and Southern US, 1980. Heat wave kills 1,700 in the two prime religious areas of the country.

• Fire, 1870. A huge fire sweeps rural Wisconsin killing somewhere between 1,200 and 2,500 people.

• Heatwave, Chicago region, 1995. Some 739 people die in this Midwestern heatwave.

• Tornadoes, 1925, Midwest and South. Tornadoes hit killing around 700.

• Hurricane, Florida, 1919. Some 600 killed.

• Hurricane, New England, 1938. 600 killed.

I stopped at disasters with over 500 fatalities or more simply because this can go on and on but the pattern does not change significantly. If I look at natural disaster with over 100 deaths and under 500 the regional count still shows God punishing the parts of the country that contain the highest number of Bible-believing Christians. There were 19 such disasters in the Midwest and South and only 3 in New England and the West. Another two straddled both sections of the country.

There are reasons that natural forces cluster such disasters in specific areas. The South gets hurricanes because borders warm ocean waters. The West gets earthquakes because the most active fault lines are there. Blizzards hit the Midwest because it gets cold enough, and moist enough, to cause them. Weather patterns favor tornadoes in the Midwest more than in Oregon or Alaska. Natural, explainable reasons determine where natural disasters strike. A tsunami isn't going to hit Utah -- if it does we're all in trouble and THAT would truly be spectacular but I wouldn't count on it proving God existence anytime soon.

But, if there is an intelligent designer intentionally inflicting these disasters, then the pattern he uses in the US would indicate he isn't the god of Christians. He keeps hitting them the hardest.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sadly, this is repeated yet again. Another kid lost.

An IQ of 152, handsome and musically talented, Nicholas Kelo, Jr., was 13-years-old when he made a fatal mistake. He quit the football team because he wanted to concentrate on his music. He joined the school band instead.

Once that happened he became the target of relentless bullying by the "macho" boys at school. Boys who would openly spit on him. His mother, Jacqueline, told the local paper that these kids assumed that any boy who would rather be in the band than play football had to be gay. And so the rumor spread. She says that after that "it spiraled out of control."

She didn't learn the severity of the bullying until after she found Nick had used a gun on himself. He was rushed to the hospital, but nothing could be done.

Nick had told her long before that if ever anything happened to him that he wanted his organs donated to others who could use them. His wish was honored, even while his life was not. In the small town of Rittman, Ohio, four other kids have killed themselves in recent years.

Jacqueline Kelo says she approached the school twice to complain about bullying before. Only after Nick's suicide did she learn that many other parents had also complained that their children were victims of school bullies.

Now clearly, wanting to play music doesn't make one gay anymore than playing football makes one heterosexual, in spite of the stereotypes. But, what if it did? Should it matter? Some people clearly think so and they are fostering the attitudes and climate that, whether they want it to or not, encourages the bullying.

We all know the "God-hates-fags" crowd from Westboro Baptist encourages the kind of hatred that allows thugs to justify their bullying. After all, if the divine creator of the universe (alleged) is willing to torment and burn gay people for eternity, what's a little bullying compared to that? The worst anti-gay bullying in school is nothing compared to what fundamentalists say God wants to do.

But, even those who shy away from outright hatred and violence, and who try to pretend they are moderate opponents to the equal personhood of gay people, are responsible. When buffoons like the over-done Jennifer Roback Morse get up in public and make outlandish claims that equality of rights of gay people will destroy the lives of children, they are sending the not-so-subtle message that gay people are evil. She told the Rhode Island legislature that if gays are allowed to marry it will end up in children "shuttling between 3 or 4 households," their lives apparently in tatters due to the evil homosexuals who want to form legal families.

The hateful rhetoric that comes out of the Right is incessant. And while almost all of them would shy away from advocating violence, even those who want gays killed, like Gary North, would say it should be done by the community (with stones, according to him). Most of the less severe bigots merely want imprisonment, or they want gay people pushed into the closet, maybe by spitting on them on the school bus. The point is that once you target one identifiable segment of the public and deem them to be "lesser than" everyone else, you encourage them to be treated that way. If you want the law to treat such people as "lesser than" everyone else, then why are you surprised when your kids do the same thing to other kids who are imagined to be gay, or who actually are? This is the logical and foreseeable result of the kind of intellectual bullying that cretins like "Dr. J" encourage.

Nor can we escape the responsibility of the schools in these cases. Exactly how can a school, filled with teachers and other adults, fail to notice these incidents? If a boy is being spit upon on the school bus was the driver really so clueless as to NOT know it was happening? And, I can't help but notice that of all such suicides that I have followed have been from students at government-controlled schools, not private schools. I don't know if there are hard numbers of not. Maybe I'm wrong. But I would think that with the high percentage of kids in private schools that we should have had such tragic cases related to those schools. So far I've seen none. I'm not saying they don't exist, just saying it is odd that they haven't surfaced to my knowledge.

Then we have this case below. Watch and read further.

The large boy on the right is Casey Heynes. Casey has been the target of bullies for years. Clearly, and stupidly, they got used to smacking him around and him taking it, not fighting back. So this scrawny little bastard with a tiny brain decides to start hitting Casey several times. Casey finally has enough, grabs the runt, picks him up over his head and body slams him to the ground. Fucking brilliant! I hope when the little prick limped home his father did the same thing to him, which is what he deserved. I suspect, instead, the parents whined and claimed their little beauty was being picked on. The video proves otherwise. He got precisely what he deserved.

Now some will say that Casey should have told the school. Right! Sort of the way Jacqueline Kelo told the school how Nick was being harassed. Better Casey smack the little asshole down than go home and put a bullet through his brain. Casey was expelled from the school.

The public has to be unrelenting with the pressure they put on the career criminals who run the government schools. These unthinking career bureaucrats have to know that bullying can't be tolerated, especially in the unfortunate cases where teachers are encouraging the bullying or engaging in it. And when a kid finally defends himself he shouldn't be the one who is punished.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tea Party Favorite Shows Her Ignorance -- Again

Michele Bachmann is a Ron Paul acolyte, she is also one of the worst conservatives in Congress. The Tea Party types like to portray themselves as "patriots" and admirers of the Founding Fathers. Yet they regularly show their own ignorance of American history. At least I hope they are ignorant, the alternative is just dishonest. For instance, take when Ron Paul wrote, or had someone write on his behalf:

The notion of rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution, or the writings of the Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders' political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government's hostility to religion.

Of course the drafter of the Declaration was Jefferson who swore eternal hostility to the concept of rule by the church. Jefferson warned:
Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own. Among the sayings and discourses imputed to him [Jesus] by his biographers, I find many passages of fine imagination, correct morality, and of the most lovely benevolence; and others again of so much ignorance, so much absurdity, so much untruth, charlatanism, and imposture, as to pronounce it impossible that such contradictions should have proceeded from the same being.And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.

History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between church and State. Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity.

As for the Constitution, I dare you to find one mention of any god in the text of the document. The word "replete" beings full of, abundant. Ron Paul presents himself as an expert on the Constitution and yet he apparently never read it or he would realize there are NO references to God in the Constitution.

Numerous reports and news stories have Michele as Ron's new best female friend and someone who is "learning" her history and views from him. I can see that. Given Ron's claim that the Constitution is full of references to God, is not really that much more silly than Bachmann telling an audience in New Hampshire that she loves the state because that is where the American Revolution started at Concord and Lexington. Of course, neither of those two battles were in New Hampshire, both were in Massachusetts.

Let's be honest, the Constitution, for the Tea Party crowd doesn't really mean anything. It is a magic totem that they invoke to justify ANYTHING they believe no matter how out of sync with the Constitution the belief may be.

Consider the anti-immigration bigotry that these "constitutionalists" exhibit all the time. What does the Constitution say about immigration? Actually not much. It says Congress has the power to "establish a uniform Rule of Naturalization," and that's it. Naturalization means citizenship, not immigration.

At the time the Constitution was written, and for more than a century afterwards immigration meant getting on a boat and coming to the United States, no permission slips required. Anyone was free to come to America and Congress could determine how, after they got here, they could become citizens and apply this to all the States, hence a "uniform" rule of naturalization. The only other reference, vaguely I might add, to this is the 14th Amendment.

It says that anyone "born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States...." So, if you were naturalized you are a citizen. And, if you were born in the US, whether your parents are citizens or not, you are a citizen.

Of course, being bigots the Tea Party types dump the Constitution they pretend to worship and either demand unconstitutional end runs around it, or demand that it be changed to reflect their own prejudices. Ron Paul wants the 14th Amendment guarantee, that anyone born in the US is a citizen, to be removed. Some Tea Party Republicans, at the State levels, are saying the States should refuse to issue birth certificates to children of immigrants and to refuse to acknowledge them as citizens. By the way, the constitution also says that those born here are also citizens "of the State wherein they reside."

Bachmann and her fellow Tea Party types claim they venerate our Constitution and our history. Yet they repeatedly show they don't know our history and that they have complete disregard for the Constitution when it suits them. If this is how those who regularly invoke the Constitution behave, just imagine how bad it is with those who actually dislike it. No wonder liberty is sinking fast.

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