Politikal Culture


Here’s my latest venture. A unique forum to discuss politics and culture.  It’s also the official home of the Monster Militia, dedicated to the fun radio stations of Real Radio 104.1 in Orlando. A fun place to be you…join us at POLITIKAL CULTURE!

 

Changing, Not Usurping, The Right to Vote


Here’s some interesting facts about voting.

One: Vote fraud is nearly non-existent.

Five years after the Bush administration began a crackdown on voter fraud, the Justice Department has turned up virtually no evidence of any organized effort to skew federal elections, according to court records and interviews.

Although Republican activists have repeatedly said fraud is so widespread that it has corrupted the political process and, possibly, cost the party election victories, about 120 people have been charged and 86 convicted as of last year.

Most of those charged have been Democrats, voting records show. Many of those charged by the Justice Department appear to have mistakenly filled out registration forms or misunderstood eligibility rules, a review of court records and interviews with prosecutors and defense lawyers show.

In Miami, an assistant United States attorney said many cases there involved what were apparently mistakes by immigrants, not fraud.

In Wisconsin, where prosecutors have lost almost twice as many cases as they won, charges were brought against voters who filled out more than one registration form and felons seemingly unaware that they were barred from voting.

Two: When voting irregularities are present, it’s normally due to human error, not fraud:

When The Wichita Eagle looked into the local cases on the list, the newspaper found that almost all were honest mistakes: a parent trying to vote for a student away at college, or signatures on mail-in ballots that didn’t precisely match those on file. In one case of supposed “fraud,” a confused non-citizen was asked at the motor vehicles bureau whether she wanted to fill out a voter registration form, and did so not realizing she was ineligible to vote.

Three: Voting laws are specifically designed to disenfranchise the (supposedly liberal) youth:

College campuses across the nation are teeming with students ready to exercise their right to vote, one of the few perks that comes with turning 18. Yet, instead of encouraging students to take part in this rite of passage, some states are imposing voter ID requirements that make it much harder for them to vote.

The fact that some Republicans see these new voter restrictions as a good thing shows their complete disregard for the democratic process. Moreover, it is demonstrative of their reasonable fear of losing the upcoming presidential election.

At first glance, the laws do no seem that restrictive. The new laws are requiring voters to present government-issued IDs, such as a passport or drivers license. However, when considering that a significant portion of students only carry a form of student ID, it becomes an issue. Additionally, other laws being endorsed by Republican lawmakers regarding voter ID can be interpreted as prohibiting out-of-state drivers’ licenses; thus, excluding more students from being able to vote.

Four: Voting laws are also targeting the elderly, poor and black:

The report calls the laws “coordinated efforts to suppress the growing voting strength of communities of color, the poor, the elderly, the disabled, and the young. It says the laws are part of a historical cycle of expanding rights for minorities, especially blacks, followed by attempts to restrict those rights. As an example, it cites the days of poll taxes and literacy tests that followed the passage of the 15th amendment, which gave former slaves the right to vote.

Five: There are, however, problems with voting laws…and they are not due to students, elderly, or black:

The United States’ voter registration system is in chaos — about 24 million registrations are no longer valid and nearly 2 million dead people are still on voter rolls, according to a new report Tuesday.

Along with the one of every eight voter registrations that is not valid or has significant inaccuracies, there are 2.75 million people currently registered to vote in more than one state, the Pew Center on the States study found. And the millions of problematic registrations aren’t the only issue — researchers estimate at least 51 million eligible U.S. citizens aren’t registered to vote. That’s nearly one in four, or 24 percent of the eligible population.

Additionally, about 12 million records have incorrect addresses, meaning it’s unlikely any mailings can reach these voters, the research in the report shows.

Yet, there is an answer:

The slow and ineffective paper-based systems are also expensive, Pew found. It costs the U.S. 12 times more to maintain a voter list than it does for Canada, which spends just 35 cents to keep up its list in an election year. And in Canada — which has innovative technology and data-matching methods in place — 93 percent of the eligible population is registered, the survey points out.

Part of the problem in the U.S., researchers say, stems from many states still using paper-based systems. Millions of paper applications have to be printed and election offices must do the data-entry by hand — which means most states face an expensive, inefficient process of updating voter rolls each election year.

The fix is online voter registration, according to Pew. “It is in fact more secure than the traditional paper methods of voter registration,” Becker said.

“Voter registration is the gateway to participating in our democracy, but these antiquated, paper-based systems are plagued with errors and inefficiencies,” Becker added in a statement. “These problems waste taxpayer dollars, undermine voter confidence, and fuel partisan disputes over the integrity of our elections.”

Becker pointed to Maricopa County in Arizona as a prime example of a place that has successfully transitioned to an innovative system — with online voter registration, the county has saved more than $1 million over five years.

The solution? We need a concerted effort, through contact with our representatives in Congress, to ensure a speedy conversion to a legitimate, fair, non-discrimatory – and above all, uniform – reform of our voting laws. It’s time to bring our voting laws into the 21st Century.

It’s Now A War on Contraception


In the aftermath of the stunning reaction of extremist Catholic Bishops (you know…the guys who’ve taken an oath of celibacy) to President Obama’s recent rules regarding contraception, nothing rings more true than the fact that the Class Warfare initiated by the Republican Party and it’s increasingly effective off-shoot, the Tea Party, have a strong and hate-filled contingent of those waging not only a War on the Poor and Middle Class, but a War on Women.

First there was the fiasco that nearly (and may still) bring the once-honorable Susan G. Komen Foundation to it’s knees in submission thanks to a political agenda set forth by Republican and staunch opponent of Planned Parenthood, Karen Handel, who weaseled her way into the hierarchy of that group. What came out of the bloody fray was a once proud Foundation whose name will from now on connote the seedy side of political posturing and influence.

Next was the recent contraception policy set forth by the Administration that precipitated a manufactured outrage from the religious right, Constitutionalists, and the Catholic Church in particular.

Failing to realize the issue had less to do with a constitutional freedom of religion issue and more to do with the right of the individual, regardless of employer or religion, to seek contraception in pursuit of their own health, financial status, and well-being, the religious right used the issue to return to their heyday of the 1980’s, that of the so-called Moral Majority – of which they are neither.

The issue should have been a non-sequitur following the President’s compromise making the issue one between the patient and the patient’s insurer, which it always should have been. With support from the Catholic Health Organization, who’s Director, Sister Carol Keehan stated the resolution “protects the religious liberty and conscience rights of Catholic institutions”,  while the Catholic United issued a statement of support stating that President Obama “has shown [them] that he is willing to rise above the partisan fray to deliver an actual policy solution that both meets the health care needs of all employees and respects the religious liberty of Catholic Institutions”.

Other groups and institutions praising the President’s compromise include:

Catholic Charities: “Catholic Charities USA welcomes the Administration’s attempt to meet the concerns of the religious community and we look forward to reviewing the final language. We are hopeful that this is a step in the right direction and are committed to continuing our work to ensure that our religious institutions will continue to be granted the freedom to remain faithful to our beliefs, while also being committed to providing access to quality healthcare for our 70,000 employees and their families across the country.”

Rev. John Jenkins, President of the University of Notre Dame” “We applaud the willingness of the administration to work with religious organizations to find a solution acceptable to all parties.”

Broad Coalition of Faith Community Leaders: “Today the Obama administration announced an important regulation that will protect the conscience rights of religious organizations and ensure that all women have access to contraception without a co-payment. We applaud the White House for listening carefully to the concerns raised by religious leaders on an issue that has provoked heated and often misinformed debate. This ruling is a major victory for religious liberty and women’s health. President Obama has demonstrated that these core values do not have to be in conflict.”

That should have brought an end to the consternation. But no! The Catholic Bishops (you know – those guys who’ve taken an oath of celibacy) still aren’t happy!

President Obama’s effort to accommodate the Catholic Church by altering his administration’s rule on birth control coverage has not appeased the church, congressional Republicans or GOP candidates trying to take his job next year.

Their continued anger over a requirement that nearly all employers offer free insurance coverage for contraception — even with changes Obama announced Friday (Feb. 10) for faith-based institutions that object on religious grounds — guarantees that the issue will percolate throughout the presidential election season.

Nor are the politicians who, on any other day, oppose telling others what to do:

Republican leaders in Congress stuck by their plans to overturn the requirement with legislation. The issue “will not go away until the administration backs down,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on CBS’ ”Face the Nation.”

Three of Obama’s potential opponents in November — Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich — thundered against funding birth control under Medicaid or through employer subsidies, calling it a radical overreach by government.

Where will this go? Who will win The War on Contraception? We now have politicians introducing “Personhood” legislation at both the State and National level. We have one State Senator introducing a bill granting “Personhood” not only to embryos, but to sperm!

“However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.”

Will the misogynistic actions of the religious right devolve even further into banning not only contraceptives, but condoms?

Will we be arresting men who masturbate into socks and charge them with murder? 

Let’s hope not. But – considering the insanity we’re seeing today – could it happen?

Another question: What if this craziness actually does result in the banning of contraceptives and condoms? Who will be charged with raising the millions of unwanted children born to mothers who don’t want them?

Catholic Charities?

Occupy Our Town!


I recently learned that the forum I participated on for a very short time (a little less than two years) has bit the proverbial dust. That would be Muchedumbre.  At times I enjoyed sparring with the guys and gals there, other times not so much. For all the drama the Muche caused me, self-inflicted or not, I feel a sadness in it’s disappearance from the interwebs.

Friendships, or other relationships, bring a certain affinity for those who visited, and a few (if not many) true friends.  Social websites, such as Facebook, will never duplicate the closeness of family – good and bad – that the muche did. Facebook, with the identity of a corporate money-maker, doesn’t allow it’s participants the freedom to express themselves without sanction. People are wary of sharing their true feelings (and current photo) on a webpage that can be seen by everyone in the world. Recent changes to Facebook underscore this fact even more succinctly.

In this world of 140 characters and less, we find ourselves living a fast food existence. Internet forums, by nature of design, don’t work that way and are a slowly dying breed. 140 characters or less doesn’t allow for intelligent discourse, and for that matter, unintelligent discourse. Both of which were prevalent on the former Muche. Prone to pages and pages of wordy arguments in the political section, the Muche was equally well-known for up-to-the-minute news from the worlds of entertainment and religion. As well as off-the-wall humor that couldn’t be found anywhere else. And isn’t that what family is all about?

We were an eclectic group of friends who were originally brought together as fans of The Monsters in the Morning on Real Radio 104.1 in Orlando (as well as The Philips Phile, SBK Live, and other radio programs) and morphed through the years to a group who found more to discuss than a radio show; sharing similar interests, pop culture in general, television (including Survivor), movies, food (everyone loves to eat!) an amazing collection of music videos, and politics. We still wish to discuss the Monsters and the Phile and addition, we’ve become the new home of the world famous Just C’s Football Picks!  As an extra bonus, our forum originally was created to discuss ABC’s LOST and is therefore a virtual treasure trove of discussion, speculation and love for the Island and it’s residents.

In the past week or so, I’ve updated my forum, and taken it in a new direction to accomodate and welcome former participants from the Muche.

Until we’re fully up and running a limited number of topics are viewable by Guests. Please visit, introduce yourself, and have fun!

Come on by, sign up, and Occupy Our Town!

A Message From God!


Dear People of Earth:

I did not create this ungodly creature.

That must be the work of my other Son, the Fallen Angel…Lucifer or whatever
name he’s going by now.

Anyhow, back to the business at hand. Billions (ya got that?) of years ago when I created this little place called Earth, my instruction manual (I believe you call it the Bible?) had  distinct instructions regarding the punishment you would receive for messing with my creation.

Quite frankly, all this drilling, deforestation, smog, and other assorted poisons are destroying what I’ve created. Not to mention all those wars and bigotry going on. Not nice! And I’m pissed. But I haven’t done anything yet…

Now, I know some of the Fallen Angel’s other creatures, folks like Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, have been foaming at the mouth lately about me taking retribution in the form of environmental calamities because some nice black man raised the debt limit….

{Side note: Do you idiots have any idea how much it cost me to create the ground you’re walking on? Gazillions! I went over budget so many times I had to sacrifice my other son! Fuck! Spend that money, America! You can’t take it with you!}

Damn…sorry about the rant. Anyhow, no. I didn’t send the earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes down from my lofty perch up here in the clouds just because the Republicans prayed for it as some kind of divine retribution. I mean, seriously…why would I want to listen to those  simpletons?

Hold on. I need a stiff drink. Ok. I feel better now. What was I saying? Oh. Yeah. Retribution…

You want retribution, Palin? Bachmann? Perry? Here ya go!

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A 6.8-magnitude earthquake in the Pacific Ocean prompted a brief tsunami warning early Friday morning for Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.The warning was canceled after only a small wave was recorded in the community of Atka, Alaska.

“In Atka, they had a little bump of a wave, but nothing of any kind of a destructive power. Just a wave,” said Jeremy Zidek, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Homeland Security.

The earthquake struck at about 2:55 a.m. AKDT, and there were no initial reports of injuries or damage, according to the United States Geological Survey.The tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas of Alaska from Unimak Pass to Amchitka Pass, remote and not heavily populated areas.

There. Done! Now quit blabbering nonsense and help that nice black guy create some jobs for America!

Love,

God Almighty

(But you can call me God)

Jerry Buell Is A Bad Teacher!


There’s this story in the local press regarding a teacher in Mt. Dora, Florida, Jerry Buell, who was suspended for posting what one could consider hatred towards gays on his personal Facebook page.

‘A Florida high school’s “Teacher of the Year” has been suspended for an anti-gay post he wrote on his Facebook page last month.

Jerry Buell, a history teacher at Mount Dora High School in Mount Dora, Fla. wrote on his Facebook page that he “almost threw up” when he was having dinner and news came on of New York’s decision to allow same-sex marriage showed up July 25.

“If they want to call it a union, go ahead,” Buell wrote, according to ClickOrlando.com. “But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???”

Left out of the above, but included in a story on FOX Radio, was this statement from Buell:

“And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement.”

See…here’s the deal, Mr. Buell. You, Sir, are a teacher. Teachers are role models for students, who often look up to them for advice when troubled. Your job is to guide the student in the quest to make his or her own logical decision regarding a topic, not to give them your personal opinion.

You are there to instruct the student, not pontificate. That includes posting on a Facebook page that you made public by choice. Do you have students as friends on your Facebook page? Do your students view your Facebook page? Of course they do.

Therefore, you have failed in your responsibilities as a teacher.


I’m not going to delve into your supposed First Amendment rights. Your obligation to your students trumps any rights of personal expression you may feel you have in the public atmosphere.

Teacher of the Year? You don’t deserve that honor, Sir.

NOTE: Discussion of this topic can be found on my forum.You’re welcome to join in!

Bachmann 2012!


I give up. There’s nothing we can do. All the hard work of President Obama and the Democrats is useless now, sucked away in the annals of history. In fact, John Boehner should just hand over the gavel and resign as Speaker of the House, submitting the floor to her. Rumor has it that former Rep. Anthony Weiner will cross party lines and become her Campaign Manager. This ignorant, bigoted bimbo has sealed the Republican nomination for President and will win the election in a landslide blowout…based solely upon the votes of horny, stupid Republican and Teabagger male. You know, the same ones who fell in love with Sarah Palin four years ago in a bikini.