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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Emerging Republican Minority

Fortunately for the overwhelming majority of our citizens, the Republican Party is headed for the crapper. Paul Krugman analyzes why in his column of 3/26/07 in the New York Times. Some excerpts and my comments follow:

"...According to the American National Election Studies, in 1994, the year the Republicans began their 12-year control of Congress, those who favored smaller government had the edge, 36 to 27 per cent. By 2004, however, those in favor of bigger government had a 43 to 20 % lead."

"And public opinion seems to have taken a particularly strong turn in favor of universal health care. Gallup reports that 69 per cent of the public believes that "it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have health care coverage", up from 59 per cent in 2000."

"The main force driving this shift to the left is probably rising income inequality. According to Pew, there has recently been a sharp increase in the percentage of Americans who agree with the statement that "the rich get richer while the poor get poorer." Interestingly, the big increase in disgruntlement over rising inequality has come from the relatively well off--those making $75,000 a year."

"Indeed, even the relatively well off have good reason to feel left behind in today's economy, because the big income gains have been going to a tiny, super-rich minority. It's not surprising, under those circumstances, that most people favor a stronger safety net--which they might need--even at the expense of higher taxes, much of which could be paid by the ever-richer elite..."

MrKen ponders why so many Americans continue to put up with the obvious and growing inequities of American life.

Some observers perceive that many U.S. citizens suffer from the "rose-colored glasses syndrome". These citizens are taken in by the main "talking point" of the elites in power; i.e., they try to misrepresent our economic/political system as being really much fairer to most of us than it actually is, in reality. The modern U.S.A. has morphed from its genesis as a modest republic into a super-agressive imperialist plutocratic empire, governed by and for the super-rich & the corrupt corporations that represent them.

Move over
Roman Empire! The U.S.A. is the 'big gladiator', now! And we have copied your tried & true formula of "bread, circuses & war" to keep the unwashed masses at bay...

Is the downtrodden & super-stressed middle class & the heavily persecuted lower class finally coming out of their "Neocon-induced" slumber? I surmise that many Americans are finally beginning to realize that real "equal opportunity" and the "American Dream" haved moved well out of reach for them.

But can they do anything about it?

Link to Paul Krugman's colums:

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Saturday, March 17, 2007

Finally, something good about being old..

BERLIN (Reuters) - A brothel in Germany hopes to capitalize on the growing number of retirees by offering them a 50 percent discount for sex in the afternoon.

The "Pascha" in the western city of Cologne has introduced reduced rates for sex sessions for clients aged 66 and above -- provided they can prove they are old enough.

"All clients need to do is show us some proof of age," said a spokesman for the brothel's managing director Armin Lobscheid. "A 'normal session' costs 50 euros with us -- and we're now paying 50 percent of that for these older guests."

"We don't earn as much money, but we're establishing ourselves across a broader range of age groups," he added.

After testing the water with reductions for senior citizens once a week, the Pascha decided earlier this month to offer 50 percent off sex services between midday and 5 p.m every day.

"There's been plenty of demand and people have certainly been taking advantage of the offer," the spokesman said. "Older folks are more active than you think."

The brothel's Web site is keen to stress this point.

"Life begins at 66!" it says in an advert for its "senior citizens afternoon" next to a picture of a motorcycle rider.

Curtesy of Yahoo 'Odd News' & Reuters Link:

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Highest Ranking Atheist in American Politics Breaks Long Standing Taboo

From the New York Sun (3/13/07):

'Rep. Fortney 'Pete' Stark Jr. of California is breaking long-standing taboo by declaring himself a nonbeliever. The 18-term Democrat made the unusual declaration after being queried by secular groups running a contest to find the highest ranking atheist in American politics.'

' "...When the Secular Coalition asked me to complete a survey on my religious beliefs, I indicated I an a Unitarian who does not believe in a supreme being," Mr. Stark, 75, said in a statement mailed to The New York Sun.'

'Atheist groups hailed Mr. the first member of Congress to declare that he does not believe in God...'

'...Mr. Stark's declaration notwithstanding, the contest sponsored by the Secular Coalition of America hardly had politicians clamoring to embrace nonbelief. A spokesman for thr group...said...the only other politicians willing to identify themselves as nonbelievers were two school board members and one town meeting member. Aside from Mr. Stark, no state or federal official at any level agreed to be named as an atheist.'

'...A recent USA Today/Gallup Poll...found that 53% of Americans would not consider voting for an atheist presidential candidate. Homosexuals, the repeatedly divorced, Jews, Mormons, Catholics, and women all fared better..."People who don't believe in God are the most distrusted minority in the United States," said a spokesperson for the secular group...'

Mr Ken points out how "conservative/religious zealots" or "CRZ'ys"- like the consistently misinformed 'spinmeister' Bill O'Reilly and t college-dropout Sean Hannity grossly misrepresent the true state of affairs in the U.S., when claiming "secular-progressives" or "S-Ps" have taken over American society. As a spokesman for the American Humanist Association indicated in the Sun article,

"The meager results of the contest undercut claims that secularists have taken over American society. When people say there's a war on Christianity or there's a war on Christmas, they're talking through their hats...He (Mr. Edwords) regularly sees claims that atheists are dominating Congress, the bureacracy, public schools, universities, and the courts. The few of us that exist would be spread pretty thin if we're supposed to be overrepresented in so many places."

Mr Ken observes that most of the world's ills can be placed squarely on the provincialism, fanaticism and prejudices that superstition and its most virulent offshoot, religion, nourish. Logical thought and problem solving do not flourish in such an environment. Faith is the enemy of logic and science.

"...It is thought virtuous to have faith--that is to say, to have a conviction that can not be shaken by contrary evidence. Or, if contrary evidence might induce doubt, it is held that contrary evidence must be suppressed...The consequence is that the minds of the young are stunted and are filled with fanatical hostility both to those who have other fanaticisms and, even more virulently, to those who object to all fanaticisms. A habit of basing conclusions upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree of certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world is suffering. But at present, in most countries education aims at preventing the growth of such a habit, and men who refuse to profess belief in some system of unfounded dogmas are not considered suitable as teachers of the young..."

from 'Why I Am Not a Christian' (1957), Bertrand Russell (bolding/coloring for emphasis by MrKen)

...and are not considered suitable to be in positions of political power, either, MrKen would add...

for more on Mr. Stark, follow this link...

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Bill Maher defends his comments about U.S. 'Dear Leader' & his 'Shooter' sidekick

Bill Maher on HBO & Jon Stewart of Comedy Central are my favorite 'political comedians'. Both are bright, witty and have a highly developed sense of humor.

By contrast, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity are humorless & dull, simply repeating their prejudices ad nauseum. As Al Franken said about college drop-out Hannity, "He just repeats the only 11 facts he's ever learned over & over again." And of course Fox also has the hare-brained Ann Coulter & other assorted loonies.

The following are excerpts from an interview by O'Reilly of Bill Maher. How Maher can stand this asshole is beyond me...

O'REILLY: Now, I want to play a Leno clip, and I want to get your take on it. Roll it. He's talking about — Bill Maher is talking about President Bush.


MAHER: It's not that complicated. The man is a rube. He is a dolt. He is a yokel on the world stage. He is a "Gilligan" who cannot find his (expletive deleted) with two hands.

He is a vain half wit who interrupts one incoherent sentence with another incoherent sentence...

O'REILLY: Competence is fine. You can do that. But I'll tell you what. I have spoken to you one-on-one. I've spoken to President Bush one on-one. He's not stupid. You're not stupid. By calling him stupid on the Leno program doesn't do you any good, Bill. And I'm looking out for you. You know me. I'm looking out for you, man.

MrKen says---Wrong O'Reilly! How would you know if Bush is dumb, as uninformed and dull as you are? And you look out for nobody but yourself, you fraud...looking out for the folks---yeah, right...

BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, comedian/commentator Bill Maher has been doing what he does so well, getting the right wing angry. On his HBO program "Real Time" he said this:


BILL MAHER, HOST, HBO'S "REAL TIME": I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power people wouldn't be dying needlessly tomorrow. If he did die, other people — more people would live. That's a fact.


For the full transcript of this interview, go here:,2933,257352,00.html

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

PATRIOT ALERT: Show Your Support for the Iraq Surge With a Patriotic Poster!

Curtesy of