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Impeach-y

File:Sarah-palin-wonder-woman.jpg

Palin, you ain’t no Wonder Woman! (Orion Blastar)

Just when you thought it was safe to read the latest political news online, out pops the usual, whiney and completely ridiculous Sarah Palin to share her thoughts and opinions. And though it should come as no surprise, her latest rant supports the impeachment of President Barack Obama due to his “purposeful dereliction of duty.”

“Enough is enough of the years of abuse from this president,” the former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate said recently. “His unsecured border crisis is the last straw that makes the battered wife say, ‘no mas.’”

I’m sorry, but does this comment strike anyone else as being extremely racist?

Better yet, consider this more important question: How is Sarah Palin still relevant—and does anyone really give a shit what she has to say besides the news media?

Sorry, but I view Sarah Palin in the same light as conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh: a GOP nut job who feels obligated to share her opinions even if no one asked for them. It reminds me of that old saying that “opinions are like assholes; everybody has one.”

Only in this case, it seems to be the assholes doing most of the talking.

Strapped in Georgia

Yeah, this looks like a good idea (GOP USA)

Yeah, this looks like a good idea (GOP USA)

I just heard that Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia signed House Bill 60—or the Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014—into law earlier today. Known as the “guns everywhere bill” by its opponents, HB60 specifies where residents can carry firearms and includes provisions that could allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring guns into churches, bars, government buildings, schools and even airports!

The parking lots, shops and other areas in front of security checkpoints, I mean. As far as I know, carrying guns into the airline terminals is still a no-no.

Heavily promoted by the pro-gun group GeorgiaCarry—and opposed by organizations like Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), which called the bill “extremism in action”—HB60 will go into effect on July 1st whether people like it or not. And while it doesn’t allow guns everywhere—business owners can choose whether or not to allow them in their establishments—the bill does have some people worried.

“Among its many extreme provisions, it allows guns in TSA lines at the country’s busiest airport, forces community school boards into bitter, divisive debates about whether they should allow guns in their children’s classrooms, and broadens the conceal carry eligibility to people who have previously committed crimes with guns,” Pia Carusone of ARS said recently. She also mentioned that this legislation was “opposed by Georgia law enforcement, county commissioners, municipal leaders, and the Transportation Security Administration for its potentially harmful impact on Georgians’ safety.”

Of course, the folks at the National Rifle Association could not be happier—especially since they endorsed Deal for governor and gave him an “A rating” during his 17 years in Congress. He returned the favor, so to speak, when he addressed attendees at the picnic where he first announced the bill’s passing: “The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should be at the forefront of our minds.”

Celebrate more guns, come on! Rep. Rick Jasperse throws high fives to congratulate his pals on passing HB60 (Atlanta-Journal Constitution)

Celebrate more guns, come on! Rep. Rick Jasperse throws high fives to congratulate his pals on passing HB60 (Atlanta-Journal Constitution)

While I agree that Americans’ constitutional rights are important, I still have trouble understanding how more guns in public places will make things better. One argument I always hear in support of guns is that if criminals have them, then so should their potential victims—to even the playing field, you know? I also hear people mention how concealed weapons permits are only issued to citizens who first pass background checks and psychological exams, implying that they are stable and well-adjusted enough to handle this potentially deadly responsibility.

This may be true for some, but how many times have we heard post-tragedy interviews where people say things like “he was always so quiet and friendly” or “I never suspected she was capable of hurting others”? ALL THE TIME!

Don’t get me wrong. I grew up with guns, enjoy shooting them and keep several in my home for protection. Does this mean I’m incapable of losing it, arming myself to the teeth and popping caps in everyone I see? I consider myself to be a fairly sane person—aside from a handful of psychoses, which we all possess to some degree—but even I can’t say with absolute certainty that I would never snap and do something horrible… with or without a gun. We all have a dark side. And no matter how hard we try, it will make the occasional appearance during the course of our lives. Of that you can be sure.

So kudos, Georgia, for ensuring more of your residents will be strapped in public places—especially in bars and other so-called watering holes. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 43 years, it’s that few things mix better than alcohol and firearms!

Tuesday’s Main Event

President Barack Obama at a town hall meeting ...

President Barack Obama has some solid town hall skills (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tuesday night will be a knock down, drag out, gritty, dirty free-for-all. The Hofstra University campus will be teeming with excitement as the combatants slash and jab at each other, always looking for the victory that will turn the tide. When the dust finally settles, a champion will emerge and shift momentum back to his team.

This may sound like a football game, but I am obviously referring to tomorrow night’s presidential debate between Democratic incumbent Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. Thus far, the score is 1-0 in favor of Romney, who outperformed the President in their first meeting and kept him “on the ropes.” Obama took a beating, so he will be out for blood this time. And given the town hall format—candidates pacing around the same carpet, fielding questions from audience members, ready to pounce on each other—it should be an affair to remember.

For President Obama, things could not be more desperate. Losing the first debate to an almost unrecognizable opponent—face it, Romney seemed like a different person and surprised Barack with some of his new rhetoric—the President must now go for the jugular with verve and confidence. Likeability isn’t a huge issue for him—not as much as it is for Romney, at least—but Obama still has to appeal to his constituency, undecided voters and maybe even Republicans who just don’t care for Mitt. It’s possible there are a few out there.

On the flip side is former governor Romney. And for him, likeability is the key. In the first debate, he performed well and got many of his points across, partly because Obama just sat there doing nothing. And since that performance, Mitt has been rising in the polls, even passing the Commander-in-Chief in some battleground states.

Mitt Romney

Help us to like you, Mitt (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

Of course, we all know that polls are bullshit and can change faster than Lady Gaga between sets. But people have been talking more about Romney than Obama lately. This gives Mitt some breathing room so he can focus on the most important thing: convincing the American people he isn’t just some rich asshole who thinks most of us are morons. As sad as that sounds—and despite knowing Romney is a decent guy with great business skills—this is what a lot of people likely think. It’s up to Mitt to convince them that they’re wrong.

I know that we’re ultimately talking about politics here—a subject I normally avoid like a reformed crack head running from the pipe—but I’m anxious to see what happens. Obama still has my vote, but Romney could be our next president and I want to know more. Call it research for my own worst case scenario. Either way, there should be fireworks and plenty of the aforementioned bullshit.

After all, that’s what politics are all about. Enjoy the show, ladies and gentlemen!

The French fuel the anti-Muslim fire

Charlie Hebdo makes things worse

UPDATE 5-Cartoons in French weekly fuel Mohammad furore | Reuters.

The satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo just published a number of cartoons that poke fun at the Prophet Mohammad. One even depicted the Muslim religious figure bending over to show his butt and genitals.

This comes only a week after the low-budget film “The Innocence of Muslims” sparked international protests and violence against the United States, most notably in the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya.

Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby of the Arab League was not pleased with the cartoons, but asked offended Muslims to “use peaceful means to express their firm rejection.”

In Tunisia, the ruling Islamist party urged Muslims not to overreact to the cartoons because it might “derail the Arab Spring and turn it into a conflict with the West.”

All of this leads me to one very important question: Why weren’t Muslims instructed to “be cool” when that ridiculous film came to light last week?

The obvious answer is that the film came from America while the cartoons came from France. Of course, the USA never endorsed “The Innocence of Muslims” and actually spoke out against it. But the fact that free speech allowed something like this to be produced and distributed didn’t fly with some Muslims, who immediately started protesting, attacking our embassies and even killing our diplomats.

I haven’t heard of the French receiving the same treatment, even though their government closed schools and embassies in twenty countries just to be safe.

When are people going to realize that just because a film comes from America doesn’t mean it is representative of all Americans or even our government? By this logic, you could also say that Americans support piracy because we allowed three “Pirates of the Caribbean” films to be released, with a fourth already in the works.

Don’t get me wrong: I am not asking for violence to be directed at the French for some offensive cartoons simply because Americans were targeted for an offensive film.

What I am asking for is an end to the violence. People have the right to share their opinions even if others find them offensive. And while pot-shots at religions like Islam are tasteless, they should also be taken with a grain of salt. What matters is that Muslims believe in Islam and know the “truth” based on these beliefs. So what if someone jokes about Mohammed? Does that make him any less important to Muslims?

I can say this, and I apologize in advance if I offend any of my Muslim readers: Islam’s image is far less affected by satirical films and cartoons than it is by all the violence that erupts when people overreact to them. I urge Muslims everywhere to stop the violence and to instead focus on what really matters, like increasing awareness of Islam and finding positive ways to connect with people in other cultures.

Hate will only take you so far in this world.

Romney opens mouth, inserts foot

 

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Mitt Romney – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

The Associated Press: Romney: Nearly half believe they are victims.

Could things possibly get any worse for Mitt Romney‘s presidential campaign?

The day after Ambassador Stevens was killed at the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, Romney criticized President Obama’s response to the protests in the Muslim world. Recent polls show that only 26% of Americans approved of Romney’s comments, and he even drew criticism from many fellow Republicans.

And that may have been one of Mitt’s good days given the most recent news.

The Associated Press reported that a hidden-camera video of Romney addressing wealthy donors just surfaced. Since no one says it better than the candidate himself, here’s a little excerpt:

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what, There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it,” Romney said. “47 percent of Americans pay no income tax… my job is not to care about those people.”

As soon as he heard about the video, Romney immediately called a press conference, agreed the comments were “not elegantly stated” and predictably claimed they were taken out of context. Could he be telling the truth?

I doubt it.

Romney seems more interested in the needs of the wealthy than the needs of average Americans. To him, we are “victims” who depend on the government for everything and never pay our taxes. Even if these comments were taken out of context, they still hurt the people who are struggling out there in a weak economy. The same people Romney keeps asking to support him in November, mind you.

I can give Romney the benefit of the doubt where this video is concerned, but only because he has embarrassed himself on so many other occasions. I decided a long time ago that he wasn’t the right leader for our country. I”m not saying Obama is, either, but he’s certainly the lesser of two evils.

Would I be willing to change my vote if Romney dazzled me before November? Of course.

But the odds of him embarrassing himself again before Election Day are so much better.

Obama alienates black clergy

English: image of barack obama

Barack Obama supports gay marriage (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

African-American Christians waver over vote – Yahoo! News.

Believe it or not, but some black clergy are advising their congregations to stay home on Election Day rather than voting for President Obama. Why?

Because Obama supports gay marriage. And Romney isn’t a suitable alternative since some believe Mormonism to be a cult, perhaps even a racist one.

I don’t know about you, but I find this beyond ridiculous for a number of reasons, the first of which is historical.

The ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution in 1870 ensured that no citizen would be denied the right to vote based on their color or ethnicity. Slavery was abolished with the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, of course, but the right to vote finally gave blacks the power to participate in their future and placed them on equal footing with their white counterparts, at least at the polls.

Now more than 140 years later, there are black clergy urging their flocks not to vote? Is this right no longer important to them? To me, a write-in vote for some non-candidate would be preferable to not voting at all. Isn’t one of our duties as Americans to actively participate in the political process, after all?

Another reason this story bothers me involves the whole gay marriage controversy. Here we have a marginalized group of people (gays) who are being denied rights that other Americans possess simply because they are different. Opponents to gay marriage even use the Bible to prove that homosexuality is wrong and that gays do not deserve treatment equal to Christians.

Is any of this sounding familiar?

Slavery

Slavery (Photo credit: quadelirus)

I’m no history buff, but it seems to me that blacks were once treated the same way that gays are being treated today. They were marginalized and mistreated by whites during slavery, some of whom even used the Bible to prove blacks were inferior to other races.

So it’s hard for me to understand how some blacks clergy could be so quick to deny equal rights to gays, not to mention refusing to vote for Obama simply because he’s willing to recognize their rights.

Since when did freedom only apply to some Americans rather than all of them?

I sincerely hope these clergy realize how refusing to vote in November might make a statement, but will also rob them of the freedom their ancestors fought so hard to obtain. And the people they hope to deny the right to marry, namely gays, likely feel like their ancestors did back then: mistreated and ignored.

History doesn’t always need to repeat itself, does it?

Anti-Muslim film incites more violence

A shot from “The Innocence of Muslims” (courtesy of Time Magazine)

Anti-American Protests Over Film Expand to More Than a Dozen Countries – NYTimes.com.

“The Innocence of Muslims” is a low-quality film that has offended radical Islamists and incited violence throughout the Muslim world. The movie depicts the prophet Muhammad as a sadistic and violent person obsessed with sex, especially with young people. Its anti-Muslim sentiment has resulted in retaliation against Americans living abroad, including an attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens.

And to make matters worse, the protests and violence seem to be spreading. Now more than a dozen countries in the region have joined the fray, including Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.

The film was directed by 55-year-old Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, a Coptic Christian from Cerritos, California. A non-profit Christian group known as Media for Christ applied for the permit that led to the filming of “Desert Warriors,” as it was originally known.

The strangest thing about this film is that all of the actors and crew members involved were misled by Nakoula. The true intent and purpose of the film was never revealed to them. And like those offended Muslims out there, they are not happy.

I must confess that I find all of this very disconcerting.

US president Barack Obama has confirmed that the US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens was killed in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Here is the statement in full.

Ambassador Stevens died in embassy attack (courtesy of Getty Images)

Sure, I can understand why Muslims might be upset and offended by an anti-Muslim film produced in America. We don’t have the best reputation in that part of the world and it seems like Americans are consistently targeted, kidnapped or killed when they travel there. Some have even been beheaded by fundamentalist Islamic groups, like reporter Daniel Pearl. They don’t like us and, as much as I hate to admit it, many of us don’t like them. I chalk most of this animosity up to 9/11 and all the wars our government has forced us to fight to protect our oil interests, but that’s another story.

My main issue is this: IT IS A MOVIE! And if you’ve watched the trailer available on YouTube, then you know it’s not a particularly good movie. It is low-budget, has terrible actors and could use some decent sound editing. I seriously doubt it’s the type of film that could convince viewers that Muslims are evil or inferior. If anything, I found myself disgusted by the film itself rather than the content. It certainly doesn’t deserve all the publicity it’s been getting because honestly, it sucks. None of that matters, though.

What does matter is that this film isn’t representative of how Americans as a whole view Islam or those who practice it. Instead, it is the interpretation of one individual, who may or may not have had the support of a fundamentalist Christian organization. In this country, we have freedom of speech and respect the right of all citizens to express themselves openly and without fear of persecution. It is unfortunate when the people expressing themselves are total jackasses, but the same rules apply to them, too.

Of course, it’s not the film as an expression of belief or opinion that bothers people. Muslims are angry because of the way “The Innocence of Muslims” depicts Muhammad and makes Islam look inferior to other world religions, most notably Christianity. I can understand and certainly sympathize. I might not appreciate a film that made agnostics look ridiculous, but I assure you the worst I would do is find another movie to watch instead. Or badmouth it to my friends later, only in an “it really stunk” rather than an “it insulted my beliefs” way. I don’t care what other people think because I choose to believe what I like. It’s called freedom, baby.

The Passion of the Christ

There are all sorts of analogies I could draw at this point. Do you remember when Mel Gibson‘s “The Passion of the Christ” was in the headlines back in 2004? Everyone was up-in-arms about excessive violence, historical inaccuracy and, most importantly, anti-Semitism. But I don’t remember any Jewish people bum rushing the movie studio to murder crew members or burn the place down. And that’s exactly what happened in Libya when Ambassador Stevens was murdered this week, on the anniversary of the September 11th attacks no less.

In terms of “The Innocence of Muslims” being insulting to Islam, I now apply the same logic to another truly offensive and shocking film: “Showgirls.” I am certain that strippers everywhere, as well as actors and filmmakers, truly despise this sorry attempt at entertainment. Of course, occupations like these don’t compare to deep-seeded religious beliefs, but I’m sure you see my point.

“The Innocence of Muslims” is just a movie. A very bad movie.

I am and have always been a firm believer in social justice and the right to protest, so by all means, get out there and organize, my Muslim brothers and sisters. Your voices should be heard. All I ask is that you leave all the violence and destruction behind. It does nothing but eat away at what little tolerance and understanding still exists between our different cultures. There is enough animosity already, don’t you think?

If you must avenge this insult and send a message to the film’s creator, though, I have a suggestion: make your own anti-Christian movie and post it to YouTube. Just do me one favor first.

Throw some money at it to hire some decent actors. That way you can add insult to injury by producing a film that doesn’t suck as bad as “The Innocence of Muslims.” I know I can’t wait to see it.

Bear hug backlash

Hug it out, Prez!

Pizza Man Bear Hugs Obama, Starts Yelp Troll War – Yahoo!.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about the bear hug President Obama received during a visit to Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Florida, this past Sunday. Owner Scott Van Nuzer lifted the Commander-in-Chief more than a foot off the ground in a heartfelt embrace.

Of course, this opened the floodgates for all sorts of criticism online.

On the website Yelp, which allows users to rate and review businesses, detractors lashed out at Van Nuzer and gave his business negative ratings. Some claimed his partisanship was to blame.

Fortunately, positive ratings started rolling in and by the time it was all said and done, Van Nuzer’s ratings had skyrocketed.

Although I am an Obama supporter and thought this was a touching scene, I simply cannot understand how something like this could bother people. Would they react the same if Romney had been treated this way by an adoring fan and supporter?

Bear in mind that Van Nuzer is a registered Republican and nevertheless voted for Obama in 2008. He is planning to do the same this November.

This presidential election has been one of the ugliest I have ever seen, but is it necessary to start attacking regular people simply because they prefer a different candidate than you?

I suggest we all take this story for what it is: a nice gesture of love and support. Obama and the Secret Service didn’t seem to mind, so why should we?

Print your own guns

Courtesy of CNET.com

You dont bring a 3D printer to a gun fight — yet – Yahoo! News.

Although this is not a reality yet, it might be possible in the future to print your own gun using a 3D printer, ABS plastic and cheap ammunition.

Several prototypes of gun parts have been successfully created, but a complete and functional printed firearm has thus far been rather elusive. Of course, this doesn’t mean it won’t be possible soon.

Once the process for printing weapons has been established and proven to work, gun control and manufacturing laws would go into effect. Unfortunately, I don’t know any criminals who would adhere to these laws once they started to produce their own weapons.

I know this may seem far-fetched, but it stands to reason that if this printable weapon procedure is perfected, it will definitely be abused. A decent 3D printer can be purchased for roughly $500 and the other materials are fairly inexpensive, too. Why wouldn’t criminals take advantage of this?

Personally, I feel like this technology should never see the light of day. Our society is violent enough without everyone being able to create weapons using their computers and other easily obtained equipment and materials.

Believe me. We have enough problems…

Off with his head

Yildrim and her rapist, the still headed Gilder

Turkish woman awaits trial after beheading her alleged rapist – CNN.

I don’t know why I keep stumbling on to gruesome and disturbing stories like this one from Turkey.

Nevin Yildrim is a 26-year-old mother of two who has been raped repeatedly at gunpoint by her husband’s cousin, Nurettin Gilder. Ever since Yildrim’s husband left town in January, Gilder has been entering her room and threatening to kill her children if she ever told anyone about it. He even took pictures of them with his cell phone that could be used to help keep her in line.

Earlier this week, Yildrim finally had enough.

Gilder called and she was sure he would come to rape her later. And she was right, only this time she was ready for him, a loaded rifle in hand.

“I chased him,” she told authorities. “He fell on the ground. He started cussing. I shot his sexual organ this time. He became quiet. I knew he was dead. I then cut his head off.”

You read that right: she cut his head off. And that was only the beginning.

Yildrim grabbed the severed head by the hair and marched it into the town square. She then approached a coffee house full of men, held the head high and said, “Don’t play with my honor. This is the head of the man who played with my honor.”

She then dropped the head on the ground and walked away, only to be apprehended by authorities shortly thereafter.

I support female empowerment and definitely think rapists should pay for their crimes. So I can understand Yildrim wanting this man dead. But cutting off his head?

She probably should have aimed for the smaller head and forced Gilder to live with his shame and emasculation, but to each her own.

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