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Friday, August 31, 2007

Abandon Ship on Bush Administration


Picture courtesy of the White House

When the Titanic went down in the North Atlantic it is said that some of the members of the crew played music till the last possible minute. That simple gesture was a testament to their commitment to the White Star Line and in service to the company.

That does not seem to be the case over at the White House lately does it? Poor George is losing all his playmates and Grandpa VP Dick must be in a tizzy over this travesty of “Cut and Runners”. Boy that sure as hell sounds familiar doesn’t it? Isn’t that the same slam dunk phrase they use to describe Democrats when it comes to the war in Iraq?

In the almost seven years of this administration questionable occupation of the White House, the closet’s are over flowing with bones. It is almost comical that Tony Snow is stepping down for financial reasons. Somewhere in his reasons for stepping down is the fact that he no longer desires to be the Bush water boy. Tony Snow by default of leaving is joining the ranks of Rush Limbaugh as the former self proclaimed water boy for Bush.

Over at the New York Times they have this to say about Tony’s departure…

Tony Snow to Step Down in September
By DAVID STOUT
Published: August 31, 2007


WASHINGTON, Aug. 31 — Tony Snow, whose face became familiar to millions of television viewers as well as the Washington press corps in his two years as chief White House spokesman, plans to leave his post on Sept. 14.

“I sadly accepted his desire to leave the White House,” President Bush said in the briefing room where Mr. Snow has presided since the spring of 2006. “It’s been a joy to watch him spar with you.”

Mr. Snow, 52, said two weeks ago that he would not stay on until the end of the Bush presidency, and that he was leaving because of financial pressures. The father of three, Mr. Snow earned $168,000 a year as an assistant to the president, much less than he made as a conservative pundit and talk-show host on Fox Radio who occasionally criticized President Bush.

Snip ski a roooooo

Mr. Snow will be replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino. “She can handle you all,” the president said with Ms. Perino, who is 35, smiling at his side.

Mr. Snow was the third White House spokesman for President Bush, following Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. His resignation continues a string of departures from the White House as Mr. Bush’s second term winds down. (Today was the last day of work for Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser.)
- New York Times

Yup, the rats are heading for the open seas as the Bush interpretation of the Titanic political ship continues sinking. I would not be surprised to see the Vice President walking around wearing a life jacket on the White House Lawn. Mumbling as he paces how he so much admired Spiro Agnew.

Why is it that our nations Presidency implodes every single time there is a second term? Is there some kind of God like power pill that happens during a second term? This isn’t just something that happened to this current President. Looking back in history it is riddled with the fact that being the President of this country is the mega ego buster. We are a nation of laws, free speech and freedom of the press. Kings have no place in America and our election process weeds out the least desirable of the masses or does it not?

With campaign war chests running into the hundreds of millions it is no longer the message of the voices needed to be heard rather than ability to perpetuate your version of the message to the people everywhere.

I have to ask you, can America elect a President that is not bought and paid for by political donations? I personally do not think so but I may be wrong.

Papamoka

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

This Liberals Opinion on Death Sentences




I am of the firm belief that the worst sentence you can give out is a full term of life in prison. Depending on your crime, solitary confinement for life is not a problem for me. Hard labor for the worst of crimes is not a problem for me. If you kill someone under any circumstance, under any mental state of mind it is murder and inserting a needle into the convicted persons vein’s does not solve the problem. Hanging them till dead or death by lethal gas is the easy road out for the convicted and the state. It perpetuates the problem onto the families of the victims whether we like it or not.

Mothers of murder victims are no different than mothers of the ones that murdered the actual person. They both gave birth to a life and did their best to raise the child with what values they knew. Same school but not all students learn the lessons of life they truly need. Some kids hear the Charlie Brown version of the teacher and other kids hear what they need to hear. The what and the how of those same two children and how they live their lives after they leave the mothers apron strings is anyone’s guess?

Killing one mothers child because another mothers child murdered someone is psychologically wrong to the human spirit. Punishing the child for life for murder by spending the wasted life is the only answer that makes sense.

This leads me to this piece in the Houston Chronicle, I’ve never been to Texas but I love this paper! Governor Rick Perry pulled the plug on an execution today and this is what they have to say about that…

Aug. 30, 2007, 7:01PM
Perry spares inmate set to die today
By LISA SANDBERG
Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry offered a rare reprieve today to a death row inmate who was sentenced to die for a killing he did not personally carry out.

Six hours before Kenneth Foster was scheduled to die, Perry accepted a recommendation from the state board of pardon and paroles and commuted Foster's death sentence to life in prison.

In a statement, Perry said he arrived at "the right and just decision" after carefully reviewing the facts and after considering the board's 6-1 recommendation, which was issued earlier this morning.

Foster, a former gang member from San Antonio, was sentenced to die for being an accessory to the murder of 25-year-old law student Michael LaHood Jr., who was killed in 1996 at age 25. Foster, who was then 19, was the getaway driver in a car some 80 feet away from where one of his buddies shot and killed LaHood during a botched robbery.
- Houston Chronicle

Some people are of the opinion that an eye for an eye is the bible way but it is not the way of the human spirit. An ideology has risen in this country from the bible thumpers that God is a just God and he demands an eye for an eye. Wasn’t that thought written by just a man?

Anger is a very strong emotion and with the murder or death of a child I can comprehend and understand the emotion any parent could go through. Hate, despair, as a parent can send your mind down the road of revenge but revenge comes with a very heavy price. The short term gain in human spirit will not last and the mind is a funny device with many buttons to push and some of them it is best not to even dare push.

What about the emotion after the sentence is fulfilled and the trap door to the hanging is released for the murderer in the mind of the mother of the victim? Somewhere in her mind is the thought that she just killed another mothers child and she is no better than the murderer of her own child then. It can happen and then what? Glory for seeing the scales of justice balanced only makes the weights of justice balance for the moment. Down the road regret and compassion are all that is left for two mothers with one another each having a child in the grave.

Does that make any sense? In my mind it does not!

My main point is that our nation and our states need to look at the death penalty and re-think it. If we can spend a billion dollars a day to fight a war thousands of miles away from our shores can we not build the largest rock busting prison colony? I firmly believe that a life at hard labor is more justice than putting the even remote possibility of the thought on the victims families mind even if it is ten or twenty years down the road that they could have been or were remotely responsible for a state sanctioned murder.

I have to offer my thanks to Governor Rick Perry of Texas for commuting this sentence to life in jail. In doing so he did not save one life, he saved two mothers lives as well. Nobody else will no how many other lives he saved by this one simple stay of execution.

Having the death sentence is not a deterrent to crime of the worst kind it is a continuance of the crime beyond the actual event for both families effected by the actual crime. It’s just okayed by the state? If we can't trust them with our tax dollars can we trust them with sanctioned by murder?

Papamoka


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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Senator Craig isn’t Gay, He Just Solicits for Gay Sex?



Why am I not amazed that yet another anti gay, might be gay Republican is going down in burning hot pink flames? For the record Senator Larry Craig claims to not be gay. Sorry Larry, the math just will not add up for you given the current guilty plea. If it walks like a duck, quacks likes a duck, chances are that it isn’t a Bison.

I don’t have any issues with gays or lesbians. Some of my and my families closest friends live their lives as they choose and I’m proud to be their friend. I do however have an issue with a homophobe like soon to be former Republican Senator Larry Craig that claims not to be gay and uses his office to push an anti gay and lesbian agenda. Meanwhile in the dark closet of his own mind he sort of likes the idea of being gay but can’t admit it because he is a proud Republican. Either that or his wife will kick his fuchsia tinted ass? I’m not sure where to go with that last statement.

Over at the Boston Herald they have this great piece from the Associated Press on Larry’s dilema…

Craig says he did nothing wrong, isn’t gay; GOP leaders call for investigation
By Associated Press
Tuesday, August 28, 2007 - Updated: 06:06 PM EST


BOISE, Idaho - Under fire from leaders of his own party, Idaho Sen. Larry Craig on Tuesday said the only thing he had done wrong was to plead guilty after a complaint of lewd conduct in a men’s room. He declared, "I am not gay. I never have been gay."

"I did nothing wrong at the Minneapolis airport," he said at a news conference with his wife, Suzanne, at his side.

Craig’s defiant news conference came as Senate Republican leaders in Washington called for an ethics committee review into his involvement in a police sting operation this summer in the airport men’s room.

"In the meantime, the leadership is examining other aspects of the case to see if additional action is required," Sen. Mitch McConnell and other top GOP lawmakers said in a written statement.

Snipski…

Do you think that maybe they are going to throw Larry a coming out of the closet party or a going away party? This one is going to be a close call. There’s more to this story…

Craig entered his plea several weeks after an undercover police officer in the Minneapolis arrested him and issued a complaint that said the three-term senator had engaged in actions "often used by persons communicating a desire to engage in sexual conduct."

Snipski…

I’m sure this was a misunderstanding… Umm, then again I might be lying to push my stubbornly liberal and left wing agenda to take over the world. I think I might send that in to Rush Limbaugh just for laughs… Again! There’s more…

The conservative three-term senator, who has represented Idaho in Congress for more than a quarter-century, is up for re-election next year. He said he would announce next month whether he would run again.

Craig, who has voted against gay marriage, finds his political future in doubt in the wake of the charges, which have drawn national attention.

Craig, 62, has faced rumors about his sexuality since the 1980s, but allegations that he had engaged in gay sex have never been substantiated. Craig has denied the assertions, which he calls ridiculous.

The scandal had already taken a political toll. On Monday, Craig resigned from a prominent role with Republican Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. He had been one of Romney’s top Senate supporters, serving as a liaison for the campaign since February.
- Boston Herald

This is horrible! Mitt Romney must be devastated at losing his “Not Gay” Senator in his campaign support team. I’m sure the clock didn’t tick a second when Mitt took that resignation and filed it under accepted. No gays at Mitt R Us is safe once more from all that gay stuff and drapes that co-ordinate with the room. I can hear the sigh of relief at one of Mitt’s mansions now.

I’m not sure what the big deal is but apparently you can not be a card carrying Republican and also be gay. I guess it sends the wrong message to the party. Does that make them the party of exclusion? All the signs from Mitt and his crew says so, then again all the Senators Republican so called friends are bailing on him too.
One thing that is certain in this whole mess is that the Senator did enter a guilty plea and that in itself is the whole story. The other certain point is that somewhere in Idaho the Republican party is having a sissy fit trying to find a manly man to take their Larry’s place. Did I write that out loud?

No offense intended to the gay or lesbian community. Republicans just seem to be full of hypocrisy these days and thank God above for that! Just walk away Larry, you are a disgrace to your party and your state. Hypocrisy is not the path traveled with great rewards.

Papamoka
Other folks talking about this issue...


Gun Toting Liberal


Please feel free to steal this piece or link to it.


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Monday, August 27, 2007

Bloggers Choice Award 2007 Nominee!



Holy f#$@!*# Batman! This fact came totally out of left field for me. My little site has been nominated by a scout from Bloggers Choice Award for best political blog! I am jumping out of my freaking skin with excitement. I never would have thought that my words written here would even show up on the big boys radar but they apparently have. Thank you President Bush for all that you and your people have done to make this all possible.

Thanks to Mom and Dad, God rest their souls, my loving wife for putting up with the clicking of a keyboard at late hours of the night, my children … hold on. I don’t want to get big headed and take the limo ride to the awards just yet. Apparently, I need votes. I just got the email from them telling me that I was nominated so my spirits are very high tonight. I just feel so pumped up that my blog has been nominated so early in the voting process. That is a huge event in itself. That blows my mind and they scouted me from the award agency.

Maybe, just a maybe this little corner of the world has been heard? I look forward to accepting the 10,345,222 place runner up email notice.

But I sure as hell am posting the nomination notice up in the side bar and if you like what you read here… vote often for Papamoka Straight Talk!

To be honest with you, I haven’t even checked out the fact that my site is even nominated but I think I will just for giggles.

Then again maybe I won’t. It’s like that $100 million dollar lottery ticket you have and you fear to see if you won because the chances are you might have lost are greater.

Papamoka

More than ever please feel free to link to this post! Umm and if this is true vote...


Try this link to vote... you might have to enter papastraighttalk.blogspot.com in the search box.

The Van Der Galien Gazette has linked to and voted for this site...

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WHY NOT JUST NOMINATE HEDLEY LAMARR AS A.G.?

This CNN story, Bush: Gonzales' 'good name dragged through the mud'gives a glimpse into the bizarro world of the Bush administration.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Monday said he reluctantly accepted the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, whose "good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons."
After months of standing by his top prosecutor and "close friend," Bush spoke briefly in Texas to praise Gonzales, saying the attorney general endured "unfair treatment that has created harmful distraction at the Justice Department."
Bush said it's "sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person" is impeded "from doing important work."

While we're getting all ripped up about honorable people being impeded from doing important work...anybody ever heard of Valerie Plame? John McCain and John Kerry had THEIR names dragged through the mud by...somebody. It's hard to remember much any more what with all these rats leaving a sinking ship.

I just find it absurd for a president whose entire agenda has depended upon smear and fear and mud-slinging to be upset that his own tactics are used against him. I'm not going to say that Alberto Gonzales is an amoral robot without any scruples. I will say that like many in this administration, he placed loyalty to a man above his loyalty to an oath.

It's happened before....and with Democrats, too. But it makes it no more palatable that it is so. Whether Republican or Democrat; liberal or conservative, this nation deserves a LOT more than what it has received from George W. Bush and those loyal to him, and him only.

The idiotic genius of Karl Rove was his use of the smear long after a campaign ended. For, in the Bush years the campaign never really ended. Each day was a further advance of the offensive, common sense and the constitution be damned.

So I wouldn't be shocked if Hedley Lamarr, the egomaniacal and ruthless attorney general in BLAZING SADDLES had his name put forth to replace Mr. Gonzales.

But then, maybe not. Hedley would be too tame for this outfit.

Michael Linn Jones

Cross posted at Michael Linn Jones... an amazing read!

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Weekend Round Up...

Just another check on what is going on around the blogosphere and what people are saying lately. I happen to have this special affection for bloggers that write not just okay but damn well and for the record, I don't consider myself in the ranks of some of these links. For some people there is a deep passion in thier writing and you can feel that passion when you read it. Those are the kind of people I like to read.

Starting off the list is Grandpa Nate who is no relation but he has the VATI bug and the full conviction of his belief right there in his post. Vote Against the Incumbents is his site and I look forward to more posts from him in the future.

I love the works of Michael Linn Jones because of the way he subtly inserts his southern humor into his pieces. Given the chance to write humor he excells at it to the point of pissing your pants laughter. Anyone over eighty and under two years old will need to check your protective undergarments after reading his humorous pieces. All of his other posts are simply out of this world logical reads that wrap your mind into the words.

Bring IT ON! has the best of the left and center points of view and the writers there amaze me with their ability to put an opinion on the political spin coming out of our nations capitol. Must read site! Unless of course you think George W. Bush is the second coming...

Lefty over at A View From Battleship Cove has the Bay State covered and so does Aces Full of Links. Both great reads.

Then there is one of my favorites, Gun Toting Liberal. The owner of the site and I are friends so I am biased. Then again he demands free debate about the issues from any point of view and that is a refreshing requirement around the blogosphere. We don't always agree but the fun of that is talking about the issue and letting the world know what you think. Debate the issue and not the commentator is definetly different.

One other amazing site to check out is Specious Reasoning. Marq writes often and he pulls no punches in his posts. Bush is an ass and he points out why with great links to back up his posts. Once again the passion and conviction of his thoughts are all right there every post.

Then I have to add The Moderate Voice as a must read too! Joe Gandelman has a group of people that blow me out of the water with all of the topics they cover. He and his group of writers is up there with another amazing crew of political opinion writers like Steve Soto of The Left Coaster. Both of these guys are huge as far as links go and I recommend them both highly. There is a reason for their success. Read it in thier posts.

I wrote this piece because of a post I read at A View From Battleship Cove. Lefty wanted to know if there were any good reads he should check out. This little piece only touches the surface.

As a writer of political opinion I like to keep my mind open. Reading other writers that are similar to my line of thinking has been a great influence in my life. Chell's Roost has inspired me to not take everything for granted and just enjoy life. Our life is all around us and it is up to us to take advantage of every momment.

I didn't include Crooks and Liars in this post up till now but I should. They don't need the praise from me because they have it down pat. I visit them daily like I do many of the posts I listed for a reason. Information is the key to change and change is all about the reader. Rock on Mike and keep up the mission of spreading the word of all the little folks like me.

Papamoka

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Mitt Romney and Health Care is an Oxymoron


Health care for all of our nations citizens is just as important as a roof over every citizens head. Mitt Romney the former Governor of Mass a Two Sticks is proposing a scam in his latest “Health Care Plan”. Just like W he is proposing to push even more back on the plates of the states and the dinner table is already overcrowded. What scares me the most about Mitt is that he was a Governor and had more pushed back onto his plate by his patron saint George W and he is proposing more of the same? If that doesn’t make you shake your head and go “Hmmm” then I don’t know what will.

I’m a Liberal and I don’t hide that fact at all in any of my pieces. I simply believe that healthcare for all of our citizens should be a right and not a hypocritical oath obligation by over stressed hospitals with full emergency rooms. While Mitt and George think it is okay to pass the buck I do not.

Our nations treasury is a hot bead for privileged projects and waste by people that dare to call themselves statesman. Let us just accept that for a fact. I don’t think Social Security is busted. Medicare is not busted and some reports actually state that Medicare is run far more efficiently than any HMO in America.

Our nations health care is busted and just like the poor houses and Potter’s graves of pre Social Security should be the path of the HMO corporations of America.

Over at the Boston Herald they have this to say about Mitt’s version of NOT health care…

Romney proposes market-based health care changes
By Associated Press
Friday, August 24, 2007 - Updated: 05:24 PM EST

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -The nation’s health care system should be overhauled through plans tailored to individual states, not through a federal government takeover, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Friday.

As Massachusetts governor, he signed a law aimed at helping people who lacked health insurance. He is trying to take an issue popular among Democrats and put a conservative spin on it.

"A one-size-fits-all national health care system is bound to fail. It ignores the sharp difference between states and it relies on Washington bureaucracy to manage," Romney said. "I don’t want the people who ran the Katrina cleanup to manage our health care system."

Snip A Rooooo

"The problem of the uninsured is a problem for all Americans," he said, because those who can pay for health insurance help foot the bill for those who cannot.

Instead of using federal money to reimburse hospitals for treating people without insurance, that money should be used to help low-income people buy insurance at a lower cost, Romney said.

"No more free rides," he said. "Everybody pays what they can afford."
- Boston Herald

Everybody pays what they can afford? That’s a nice sentiment if you are sitting on a couple hundred million Mitt!

Mitt Romney and his idea for healthcare is to blame the poor for not being able to afford to pay for health care. If that doesn’t work the plan that he and the Democrat lead legislature enacted penalized the poor for not paying for health insurance via a tax penalty. Umm, I tend to think that the poor amongst us will feed their families first and secondly provide a roof over their heads. Mitt’s saving grace health care plan in this state slapped the poorest amongst us just for the sake of being poor.

Every legal American has a Social Security card, why can we not have a national health care right? Beside the fact that HMO’s across America would fold like a deck of cards and all that political graft would go bye bye? That is a line of thought to think about.

All of the people of our nation that work pay into Medicare already so why not take the next step and just expand Medicare for all? HMO’s are a bottomless pit for profit and the medical and health care system is broken. If all employers and all employees are on the same paying field then is that not a fair and balanced way to go? If Mitt Romney’s logic is right that we are all paying for the poor of America and their health care then lets just make it an American right! Just like Social Security this is an issue that once enacted needs to be the third rail of politicians.

Mitt lives in an imaginary world because money is not a problem for him because one hundred or two hundred dollars is nothing to him. Millionaires tend to think that way while they are bitching out the $7.50 an hour minimum wage (Mass Min. Wage) landscaping worker for trimming the hibiscus just a little too much.

Our nation needs healthcare for all and rather than building the private HMO mansions and office buildings that pop up everywhere we need to insure all Americans and their healthcare needs. Look around your city or town and the best of money is spent on magnificent office buildings with an even grander moniker stating what HMO lives there. Yet each year the HMO hikes the rates through the roof to employers who can not pass all the added cost onto their employees. One of the largest budget items in any business no matter what size is healthcare and that cost is paid by the employees and the employer for most companies. If you are lucky then your employer picks up the bulk of the cost. This line of thought would lead me to think that Conservatives would be spear heading a national health care plan but they are not.

Mitt’s plan is more of W and his smoke and mirrors team. Nope, not biting the bait Mitt. John Kerry was a flip flopper but he did not have the shoe collection you have Mitt. What is going to be Mitt’s position next week? I’ll tell you what it is… what you want to hear to vote for him.

Stuffed shirt political award goes to Mitt Romney for pushing health care for all Americans back on the states. Health care for all of America will only be fixed when it is made a right as an American citizen.

Till that happens, promises from political pulpits will be made and broken and campaign contributions will be deposited to protect private HMO and prescription drug companies interests. Somebody point out the Roosevelt in this crowd of money for nothing politicians. It took guts to change America back then, today it takes cash to pocket your convictions in the form of contributions to political campaigns.

My worst fear for America is that she has been totally taken over by the money changers in the temple so to speak. No laws to fix the wrongs will be passed unless the correct amount of silver passes through the temple that is our Congress.

Papamoka

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Arab Teachers Need Not Apply


Back in the day in the turn of the century the infestation as it was called, of the Irish and Scotch in America was a blight on the lower and middle classes of America. By sticking together as families they joined together with other families and given the time that needs to pass they inserted their lives, their history onto the fabric that is America. The Irish and the Scott’s were not alone in this effort. People from many shores foreign to our nation assimilated to the rules and laws and worked the system as they should have.

God bless them all for becoming Americans! If not for the many nationalities and their sacrifices then we would all be tea sipping European snobs with an attitude that would make the Cheshire Cat throw up. Canadian’s might just look up to us but that is a stretch.

Racism in America is not just against people of a different skin color. Religion, lands that any religion come from can scare the simplest of minds if they are told to fear it. It is so easy to spread fear when waving the flag in defense of your position given the violent act against America that was September 11th . Fear is easy, knowing the difference between extremist and an American Muslim educator are two very different things.

In the doorway to America there is a very ugly battle that is going on and fear is at the heart of it and it is happening in the schools started to change racism against an Arab, a Muslim, a Middle East culture that is not attacking America but trying to assimilate.

Over at the Washington Post they have this to say about this educator stepping down because of her faith and her commitment to her school…

In New York, a Word Starts a Fire
Arabic Educator's Brief Defense of 'Intifada' T-Shirts Makes Her a Target

By Robin Shulman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, August 24, 2007

NEW YORK -- The goals were clear when Sheneen Jackson enrolled her son in one of the first public schools in the nation to focus on Arabic language and culture. First, her 11-year-old would master Arabic. Later, doors would open for him in government and diplomacy -- maybe a job at the United Nations, international travel, the prospect of contributing to Middle East peace.

Instead, Jackson discovered that the distrust and tension that infuse many Middle East issues had tainted the Brooklyn middle school.

"It's unfortunate, but I know a lot of people in New York are sensitive," Jackson, 33, a Verizon technician, said of the controversy over the school. "That's the whole premise of the school."

Officials had no sooner announced in February the formation of the Khalil Gibran International Academy than conservative columnists and media outlets attacked, suggesting the principal -- an observant Muslim Arab woman -- might push an agenda of Islamist extremism.

Snip-a-Rooooooo

Daniel Pipes, a pro-Israel conservative who created Campus Watch, a Web site dedicated to exposing alleged bias in university Middle East-studies programs, wrote in the New York Sun that the school would cause problems because "learning Arabic in [and] of itself promotes an Islamic outlook."

A group called the Stop the Madrassa Coalition coalesced in Brooklyn to fight it. Various blogs, Fox News, the New York Post and the New York Sun variously probed Almontaser's background and editorialized against the school.
- Washington Post

Please read the entire piece at the Washington Post! Think about it and read on here…

Let’s call this what it is and put it out in the open. Is the Arab and Jewish fight still going on in America for the sake of calling someone else Un-American? This isn’t about being an American as much as it is attacking another American out of fear of what has been going on for thousands of years over there. This isn’t there and that is not hear! America is the melting pot of the world for a reason and we tend to accept other people from all over the world for a reason. That what makes another nation weak makes America stronger. Why that happens is not about separation of our people as much as it is about being a true American.

Can we all take a page out of the immigrant Irish Catholic’s to America and immigrant Irish Protestant’s book and pretty much say that the children of those immigrants have forgotten the hate of days and lands long gone? That s just one very obvious example.

While all of our nations nationalities have melted together and families gather for their religious belief and start schools to promote their faith, should we fear them for doing so? I don’t honestly think so. Catholic Schools populate every city in America and so do Jewish learning schools. If your family is fortunate enough your kids can go to private schools that promote your family values and sense of belonging. It’s just people gathering in an educational format that is familiar and comfortable to them as a community.

When people tell you to be afraid of any community or religion or race, then they have no clue as to who or what that community they are attacking believes or inspires their children to be as Americans. Fear of the unknown is easy, selling fear and anger is easy if you tell people who is to blame and declare them Un-American..

You can call yourself a true American no matter how many generations you are down the ladder when you accept the fact that the Statue of Liberty welcomes all. There is no limitation or religious requirement to come to our nation and become an American citizen. Spreading hate from whatever religion you demand is better than another is not American and never should be. Our shores are for all people and Americans that convert to the Muslim faith do not automatically hate people of other religions.

Religion is the battle that is over there, it isn’t here! That is the difference between living in America and living in the Middle East, a place where you could be killed for being a Christian, a Jew, or a Muslim. Freedom of religion is something our founding fathers did not limit to just the chosen faiths. They left the doors open for all.

Think about it.

Papamoka

Other folks talking about Arab issues in America...

But perhaps what is most interesting and dismaying is the sentiment simmering underneath the fear expressed by Mohammed and other New York Arabs that the community is caught in its own terrible crucible, not unlike the ordeals of predecessor communities, like the Italians, the Japanese, the Irish, and the Jews. Dozens of conversations with Arabs of different national backgrounds yield variations on the same theme. "Everyone had to suffer. This is just our time."
Many of the people interviewed for this story refused to give their last names or to have their pictures taken; this included those who had registered and claimed to be "in status." Many said they feared retribution from the authorities for speaking out, implying that being in the U.S. legally is a favor that can be taken away for speaking out of place.
- The Village Voice

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Working the System and it’s Legal?


Picture courtesy of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

How sweet would it be to just work short of two dozen years and retire for life with a full pension. Let’s just sweeten the pot and give you one hundred percent paid medical insurance for life. Would that not be the ultimate job or what?

No you would not be working for some drug cartel or some underworld mob family with friends for life so to speak. Nope, working for this good old boy network in good old Mass A Two Sticks is where you need to fill out an application.

It gets better… How could that be you dare to ask? I’m going to tell you how and you will want to call our 1-800 number and place your order today! You can retire and find state work elsewhere and still collect a full pension without limitations. How can this be Papamoka you might say. Well the Boston Globe has the scoop and this is what they have to say…

MBTA's retirement plan pays off for two
Ex-officials get pension, work government jobs

By Andrea Estes, Globe Staff
August 21, 2007

Two former top officials at the MBTA are taking advantage of the generous terms of the agency's retirement plan, which allow employees to begin receiving a full pension at an early age, while simultaneously collecting six-figure salaries in other government jobs.

Former MBTA general manager Michael Mulhern, 48, who became executive director of the MBTA Employees Retirement Fund after retiring, takes home more than $350,000 a year: a salary of about $225,000 and a pension of about $130,000.

James Rooney, 49, a former deputy manager at the MBTA, now makes $255,000 as executive director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, while drawing an MBTA pension of more than $70,000.

If they were employees covered by the state pension plan, they would have qualified for much less. To get a full pension, most state employees must wait until they are 65, but MBTA workers can receive a full pension after 23 years of service, regardless of age.
If they had retired from the state, Mulhern would have qualified for a $35,000 pension and Rooney just $3,000, and they would have faced strict limits on how much they could earn in a government job.

As the MBTA struggles to pay its bills and has been forced to raise fares three times in six years, some specialists say the pension plan is a fringe benefit the state can no longer afford. The T receives one-fifth of every sales tax dollar paid in Massachusetts.
- Boston Globe

WOW! Does anybody think this is not a sweet deal or what? It gets better… using accumulated sick and vacation time that is good for life you can buy into the early retirement with saved time! If that isn't good enough I hear that you can buy into the plan with cash! Place your order today. The MBTA takes Mass sales tax only. Some conditions apply... ummm somewhere but apply for your pension today! This offer (loop hole) may end soon... or not?

I for one thought that the MBTA was a state run agency but apparently they have a different set of rules to go by. Why should the MBTA have such a sweet heart deal when every other state government job is limited to the laws laid down for state pensions?

Then you have to ask yourself, why the hell isn’t the legislature fixing this hideous and abusive loop at tax payers expense? Jim Braude of 96.9 FM Talk Radio hit the nail on the head today when he stated, and I’m paraphrasing, that it is a simple fact of life that the legislature is not going to fix it because it may upset the trough that they one day hope to feed at.

You as a voter don’t even have a say as to fixing this mess and the legislature will turn its back on this issue just as Finneran proved that it could be done when he over ruled the repeal of the income tax rollback voter approved ballot question. When it comes to disgusting waste, you only have to look as far as Beacon Hill and the gutless gentry club that is our legislature.

Years ago they tossed tea into Boston Harbor for just such a similar outrage. Now all we have to do is flip a few tea bags out the window as we pass through the ever leaking Big Dig tunnels. Please stop and pay the toll though at the end of your protest. Our state really needs the money.
Papamoka

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Vick Walks and Dogs are Still Dead


Picture courtesy of the link below...
http://www.realpitbull.com/abuse.html


Michael Vick has covered his ass in a sweet deal with lenient prosecutors that will possibly end up with his life interrupted for just one year of jail time. That is not good enough and it is a slap in the face to all proud dog owners across our nation. This man should serve twenty years or more and have to face the Kennel Club to get parole even then.

This just goes to show that if you have the high powered lawyer and millions of dollars in your pocket you can get away with murder. I don’t consider the fights that Michael Vick put these dogs into as a sport. What he did was put two animals trained with the worst possible instincts to kill one another for the sake of a few dollars being bet. Is that what a dogs life is worth in the mind of this court? Obviously, his lawyer is better than the courts and Michael Vick is going to walk more or less with just a brush stroke of justice.

Good behavior, he walks in what six or seven months? Over at the New York Times they have this to say about Michael Vick’s plea deal…

N.F.L.’s Vick Accepts Plea Deal in Dog-Fight Case

By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
Published: August 20, 2007

RICHMOND, Va., Aug. 20 — Michael Vick, the star quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons, has accepted a plea offer from federal prosecutors in a criminal case stemming from a dog-fighting ring that was run from a property Mr. Vick owned.

Mr. Vick will probably face a sentence of at least a year in prison under the deal. His future in the National Football League appears bleak.

Mr. Vick is expected to formally enter his plea on Aug. 27. The United States District Judge overseeing the case, Henry E. Hudson, announced the agreement at a status hearing in the case this afternoon.

Billy Martin, one of Mr. Vick’s defense lawyers, said in a written statement: “After consulting with his family over the weekend, Michael Vick asked that I announce today that he has reached an agreement with federal prosecutors regarding the charges pending against him. Mr. Vick has agreed to enter a plea of guilty to those charges and to accept full responsibility for his actions and the mistakes he has made. Michael wishes to apologize again to everyone who has been hurt by this matter.”
- New York Times

When you think about this story you really should put your mind in the place that the dogs are the same as a four or five year old child. Would you allow a child of that age to be condemned to death with its next play date? It is people like Michael Vick that turn a beautiful animal like a Pittbull into a monster and now he too is getting away with it.

Years ago people put the same label on German Shepards because supposedly they could turn on you at any moment. Bull Pippy Poops! Any dog has the ability to turn and defend itself when abused and that is what monsters like Vick and his cohorts in crime did to these animals. Try abusing a child like they did to all of the dogs that died under his circus of bet’s and people would be screaming for the death penalty in a heartbeat for his sentence.

Another millionaire walks and the sickening event of dogs fighting to the death will still continue. Michael Vick’s NFL career is dead and I thank common sense of the upper ups of the NFL for that. What confuses me more is the fact that someone that had the golden ring with the NFL was so stupid and such an animal himself that the NFL never picked up on this little hobby of his? I have to wonder if the people working the recruiting rounds looked the other way?

Justice is blind and dogs will die. This man makes me sick and I honestly believe that a cage the size of a jail cell is to good for him for a one year sentence. Maybe the guards at the prison could forget which cage they are supposed to put the prison dogs in and accidentally put them in with Mikey! One can dream right?

If you love animals like I do, please link to this post and email it to a friend. Show your support of your animal friends and lets send a message to monsters like Vick!

Papamoka

Cross posted at Bring IT ON!

Others talking about this issue...

Well, you said it yourself. You are guilty. You could have killed someone while driving intoxicated, get a DUI a year later and still have your career. You could have watched P-Funk and Q kill a person. You could have shot your limo driver in the face, jumped in your swimming pool to wash off the blood and then tell 20 people what story to tell. You could have done any of these things and still had your career, but you did the ultimate wrong. You harmed innocent animals.


This is America and people are forgiven, but this is not forgivable to many. - Falcon Reporter

Then there is this too...

Some of these dogs were perfectly healthy but because they couldn’t fight or make them money they disposed of them like so much trash. These actions should make any normal human being sick. -Megsmakeup.com

Boxxet - Altlanta Falcons has linked to this post...

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Military Deaths Just Being a Number


Picture courtesy of Patriot Guard Riders

While many of us bloggers bitch and moan about the war in Iraq and our reasons to oppose it or support it our children from both sides of the argument are still dying. That fact alone is nothing to beat your chest over regardless of what point of view you have concerning the war. Burying a child is still the same and your political affiliation does not matter. Undertakers and funeral homes have all the rituals and pomp and circumstance for any service required. Mothers will cry and be broken hearted and fathers will be proud and strong to support the family left behind. Tears of the fathers will be shed when not a soul is looking but the lost child from above.

From my very liberal mind I understand fully the need for a national defense and I fully support all of our troops and members of our military. One of the last things that I want to do is attend a funeral for a fallen soldier friend or family member because I know how much heart ache the parents are going through. It’s so easy to toss stones when you have never served in the military. It’s even easier if you only look at one side of the equation that is the war in Iraq, Afghanistan or wherever our military is sent. Stones are easy to pick up but serving your country is not. That commitment takes guts and it is the children we have and our brothers and sisters that made that commitment that we need to respect.

Serving in our nations military is never about politics. It is about honor and respect for what has been given to you as an individual and your personal choice to give back to America. For some people that is the ultimate price to pay and for others it is the experience of a life time that will never be equaled.

For the families that have to bury a loved one killed in war time, I offer my humblest of condolences and my families prayers. I also offer you thoughts of many grateful Americans that are The Patriot Guard Riders. They and I appreciate your lost family members sacrifice in service to our nation in our United States military. With dignity and respect The Patriot Guard Riders ride for the family and support the fallen soldiers and I am so grateful that there are people like them around to do that. It touches my heart and I think that it means so much to the families to know that absolute strangers will travel thousands of miles to just stand quietly with our nations flag waving in support of the family that is burying a loved one.

No greater loss to a parent is to bury a child. Knowing that many people that belong to The Patriot Guard Riders that care is a gift in a time of great sorrow. It is a memory that will never be lost.

Thank you Patriot Guard Riders for supporting the troops by being there when their families need you the most. If the families do not ever get the chance to thank you then you have a blanket thank you here. Ride hard, ride fast, and ride because you believe you are just in your mission. Thank you!

Hopefully, we can end your missions and our nation and our military will still respect bloggers like me posting to end the war and bring all of our troops home alive and well.

Papamoka

Soldiers Angels New York... is talking about this issue

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Friday, August 17, 2007

I am a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I found this little quiz over at Michael Van de Galien and I had to take the test. I know for a fact that I am not a Dagwood Sandwich and I'm pretty pleased to be a grilled cheese. What concerns me is that I honestly think the wife is a Ham Sandwich!

You Are a Grilled Cheese Sandwich

You are a traditional person with very simple tastes.
In your opinion, the best things in life are free, easy, and fun.
You totally go with the flow. And you enjoy every minute of it!

Your best friend: The Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Your mortal enemy: The Ham Sandwich


Papamoka

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Daily Kos on Colbert

This is a must see interview of Kos on Colbert....




Special thanks to Comedy Central

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Blogger Friend in Need

Education of the mind is something that I encourage of every parent and every student or child that has the chance to read his post. I don't have a large audience, that fact alone gives me a ton of snuggle room. My friend Joe Gandleman over at The Moderate Voice has a contributor to the site that needs some help. If you have never read The Moderate Voice then you are missing a venue that is a must read and the person that I am directing the point of need to is just one contributor to that site.

Blogging isn't a money making adventure as much as it is a heart felt obligation to talk to people and let them know what is happening in the world and in America. It takes time and effort and it takes time away from your family and friends to do it. A ton of time. Links posted on any piece just do not show up there. Research and vetting are done and dozens of leads and links are cast aside to match any topic discussed. Blogging takes heart and soul and when it is done right it makes a difference in our world.

Please follows the links below and do as little or as much as you can to offer support to the writer that is in need.

Blogging is hard on anyone and paying to live is another fact. If you enjoy the words and works of the writer then please do what you can for him. He isn't asking for much but the number of readers contributing just a dollar or two can help him to write every single day and still go to school.

I learned of Michael's site through my good friend Michael Linn Jones. Yet another from the heart blogger and amazing writer. Isn't it ironic that we are all after the same thing and chasing the truth is just one blog post away. Support your bloggers and know that most of us are not in it for the money. Then again some of us need a helping hand now and then to keep on going.

Please contribute what you can. Click on the links to The Moderate Voice or Michael Van de Galien below to do so. I thank you in advance for doing so.

Papamoka

The Moderate Voice

Michael Van de Galien

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