Posted in Andrew Breitbart, Anthony Weiner, C-Haze, Congress, Current Events, Democrats, Liberal, Marriage, News, Politics, Twitter

Weiner, Weiner, Pants on Fire

Well, it appears Representative Weiner really is a weiner after all, as he finally admits to both taking and sending the dreaded penis pic

A shot that was seen around the world!

Senator Anthony Weiner stated today that yes, the picture depicting him in all his boxer-brief glory was, in fact him. Further, he was not hacked, and the picture was sent purposely (though as a joke) to a woman via Twitter.

Mr. Weiner, a newly wed who has been married less than a year, further admits that this is not the first sexually inappropriate relationship he has engaged in online, saying there have been perhaps six such cyber-encounters over the past three years. Some of these relationships have occurred since his marriage, though he denies having ever been unfaithful.

I’m sure his wife finds that nugget of information quite comforting, assuming she can bring herself to believe a single word that comes out of his ever-moving mouth.

It seems Rep. Weiner and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, discussed his online behavior prior to their wedding, and have no intention of splitting up over this.

Hell, when it comes to politicians, this scandal is lukewarm compared to what we’ve become accustomed to, right?

I wonder if, while assisting Clinton, Ms. Abedin learned a thing or two about how to swallow the humiliation that comes with learning, quite publicly and in real time, along with the rest of the world, that one’s spouse is a cheating bastard.

Personally, I’m quite shocked.

I thought, from the moment this story was published, that Rep. Weiner had been targeted by Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart in an effort to embarrass the Congressman. Breitbart has lost a lot of credibility in general, after his not-so-nice attempt to paint U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Shirley Sherrod as a racist hater of all white people.

You know who I’m talking about- the guy who heavily edited Sherrod’s real nice feel-good speech from a zillion years ago, in an effort to make her look like a mighty Black Panther-ette. He’s also the guy who helped kill ACORN, due to his involvement in the extreme manipulation of the James O’Keefe video.

None of that, however, is why I was so surprised to learn Weiner’s dirty little Twitter secret.

For me, the reason was simple. Twitter is so… well… PUBLIC! Who in their right mind, especially anyone with more than 40,000 followers, who is married,  would Tweet a picture of his privates to a member of the opposite sex who is decidedly NOT his wife? He does know Twitter is public, right? I mean, he does expext his tens of thousands of followers to see the stuff he actually tweets to them, I’d imagine.

So what in the world was he thinking?

Weiner was thinking with his weiner!

This man clearly revels in punishment.

Maybe he’s like the cyber-version of those people who like to get spanked or something.

I don’t know if Representative Weiner needs to resign or not. I’ll leave that decision to his wife and him.

Hopefully, however, we can rest in knowing that Weiner’s weiner has been properly covered.

Posted in 9/11, Barack Obama, Birther Movement, C-Haze, Change, Congress, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, Environment, Extremists, Fox News, George Bush, Glenn Beck, Liberal, News, Police Officers, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Socialism, Terror, Terrorism, Truther Movement, Van Jones, War on Terror

Van Jones, Truthers, Birthers, and an Ugly Reality

We need to talk about Van Jones. We need to talk about his past, we need to talk about his resignation as the White House’s environmental advisor- and we really need to talk about whether or not he’s been victimized by the GOP.

Van Jones was made a household name by right-wing Fox News talk show host Glenn Beck. I’m not a regular Glenn Beck watcher- he’s way too emotionally unstable for me to be able to take seriously. Listening to him induces extreme anxiety, and I’m always afraid he’s this close to having a colossal meltdown. The net result is something akin to a child, trying to bravely sneak a horror movie that she has no business watching. She’s sitting in front of the TV, hands covering her face, peaking through her fingers at the screen…

… Should she watch?

But oh!

What if something happens!

Blah!

That’s me when Beck is on the air. He’s a trainwreck, and I find myself waiting for the whole show with him in tow to derail in front of my very eyes.

Quite stressful.

It’s for this reason I wish I could say Glenn Beck has finally lost his marbles, and is oh-so-wrong about all things Van Jones. Unfortunately, in some ways, the guy (Beck, that is), nutty as he may be, actually made some good points about Mr. Jones.

Van Jones, as no one in their right (err… correct, that is) mind would argue, is a polarizing character. To say he’s controversial would be an understatement. His radical views have been well-documented in the past- he is a bona-fide Truther, among other things (I don’t care what he claims, people- evidence is evidence). He feels that the Bush Administration, along with other high-level government officials either knowingly instigated 9/11, or through purposeful gross negligence allowed it to happen, all to give Bush and cronies an excuse to start an oil war in Iraq.

Now please don’t misunderstand me. I think the current downturn this country is experiencing can be traced back to that cluster-fuck we like to call the Iraq War. Do I blame the Bush Administration? Yes I do. I also, however, blame Bush Sr.’s Administration for not toppling Saddam Hussein during Desert Storm, when he was all but handed to us on a silver platter… I blame the Clinton Administration as well, for not taking down Bin Laden when a similar opportunity presented itself… and above all, I blame each and every member of Congress- both Democrat and Republican- who voted to send our men and women into that country to begin with.

Need I remind any of you that we have lost more soldiers in the War on Terror than we lost on 9/11? For what? The answer, sadly, is that we lost them for nothing, other than the need of some politicians to settle a score that they, themselves, were responsible for creating at the start.

There is plenty of blame to go around. None of it, however, centers on a vast conspiracy, but instead was created by a bunch of short-sighted people who at the end of the day couldn’t tell their asses from a hole in the ground.

It is common knowledge today that Van Jones signed a petition in 2004 that asked for hearings to determine whether politicians had knowingly allowed the events on 9/11 to occur. Personally, I think politicians did allow the terror attacks to occur, but realize that they didn’t knowingly do so. They ignored a whole lot of signs that pointed to a colossal attack, instead preferring to believe that as the Good Ol’ U.S. of A, we were invincible.

Costly mistake, but an honest one nonetheless.

Van Jones has tried to back pedal on this petition he signed… claiming that while he allowed his name to be placed on the form, he does not subscribe to any conspiracy theories regarding 9/11 or our subsequent invasion of Iraq.

It was at this point that Jones became a liar.

You see, he didn’t just sign a Truther petition in 2004. A full two years prior to that,  in 2002 he organized a march for the Truther Movement.

Yet this college educated lawyer wants us to believe he had no idea what the hell he was signing when it came to this particular petition?

Doubtful.

With regards to the actual truth, here’s what we really know about Van Jones:

Jones was born in 1968. He is an environmental activist, a civil rights advocate, author and lawyer.

After graduating from Law School, rather than take an offered job in Washington, DC, Jones instead moved to San Fransisco. He joined a controversial organization called STORM (Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement). This organization was decidedly Marxist, sympathizing with Mao-ist peasants, and was in part created to combat the issue of police brutality.

He was famously arrested for his role in the Rodney King protests, though charges were later dropped. It was during this same time period, in 1995, that Jones began actively identifying himself as a Communist.

Jones is also responsible, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for starting Color of Change, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving a larger political voice to Black America. That year he also began actively advocating for a Green America, becoming an environmentalist, and starting an organization called “Green for All”. Green for All promotes environmentally-friendly jobs in poor communities.

In 2008 he found moderate success when his book, “The Green Collar Economy” hit the New York Times top 12 list.

In March of 2009, Van Jones joined the Obama Administration as the environmental czar.

I would argue that Mr. Jones has done some wonderful things in his life. He has advocated for a greener world, and has worked tirelessly to help minorities succeed in this country. The problem is that he does not have the gift of words. While doing great things for millions of people worldwide, he simultaneously suffers from a terminal case of foot in mouth disease, which has proven to be his downfall.

Honestly, I don’t even care that the man once identified himself as a communist. I wish my biggest college-era transgession was to pick the wrong political party to align myself with. People change, and with age, we mature. That’s the general idea, anyway. I don’t even have a huge problem with the fact that Jones once famously claimed that white people and white corporations were purposely dumping their waste and polluting communities that predominantly consisted of people of color. Personally, given some of our nation’s history, that isn’t difficult for me to believe.

I applaud the fact that at some point, realizing that his more extreme views were not affecting the change he desired within the U.S., he decided to work within the system as it’s designed… no longer calling for revolution, no longer trying to make waves on the outer fringes of society.

It doesn’t even bother me that he recently referred to Republicans as assholes.

I live in a country where it isn’t supposed to phase me that people are calling my President a terrorist, a communist, a Marxist, a socialist… and are bringing guns to townhall meetings in hopes of shooting our Commander in Cheif like he’s a wild animal, and it’s deer season. I live in a nation where outright calls for our leader’s death, and pastoral prayers hoping he’ll keel over from brain cancer are the norm. Someone calling the GOP a bunch of assholes honestly doesn’t get me too excited.

What I cannot reconcile are the similarities between The Truthers and The Birthers. Van Jones’ affiliation with the Truther movement is exactly why he needed to resign. And every jerk Birther needs to do the same.

These two groups- they are both extreme, they are both radical, they both promote dangerously false claims, and they have no place in our government.

The problem in Van Jones’ case is that he did not convincingly leave radicalism, nor did he wholeheartedly embrace a more follow-the-rules, mainstream approach to getting the job done.

If he was honestly appalled that his name was attached to a petition espousing nonsensical conspiracy theories about our nation’s largest tragedy, he should have made those views known before he got caught by the likes of Glenn Beck.

Unfortunately for us, Jones certainly isn’t the only whacko we have our hands full dealing with.

There are Republicans in Congress (Representative Bill Posey, Florida) today that subscribe to the dangerous vitriol being spewed by the Birthers… and there are (former) Democrats in Congress (Cynthia McKinney) who subscribe to the nastiness being put forth by the Truthers.

For every lame-brained Truther petition out there, an equally ridiculous Birther petition, claiming Barack Obama is really the son of Al Qaeda, in cahoots with every terrorist known to man is in existence as well.

Prominent people are buying into both brands of idiocy.

Every last one of them needs to go.

If they won’t go willingly, we need to boot them- all of them- out the door.

We are living in terrifying times… polarizing times… where political discord is no longer an opportunity for open, honest, intelligent conversation, but is instead giving rise to left-and-right-wing maniacal idiots. It is only a matter of time before real violence erupts, and the regular people of America… you and I… need to be getting pissed off about it.

Van Jones is nobody’s victim… the only regret I have is that we aren’t kicking more radicals just like him- on both sides of the political spectrum- to the curb.

Posted in Abortion, Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly, C-Haze, Comments, Conservative, Current Events, David Letterman, Democrats, Elections, Hate, Holocaust, John McCain, Liberal, News, Politics, President, Republicans, Sarah Palin, Sean Hannity, Sex, Terrorism, War on Terror, Willow Palin

Abortion Docs, Jew Haters, Extremism and the GOP

Let’s just jump right in, cuz I really do have a lot to say.

Today I have right-wing extremism on my mind… something I’ve been mulling over lately… and something that truly makes my blood run cold.

It’s terrifying.

… And it’s escalating quickly.

Since Barack Obama descended on the scene with his eye turned to the presidency, we have seen this country’s lunatics come out in full force.

During the campaign we heard about assassination plots, accusations of Obama’s false ties to Muslim terror groups, chants and rants at Republican rallies calling for his death and accusations of treason.

Talk about foreshadowing… we all saw it unfolding. Most of us understood, upon witnessing the GOP presidential candidate and his running mate’s unwillingness to condemn the behavior (until it was much too late, that is), that the worst was yet to come.

We were right.

Now, within the past couple of weeks, we have learned of the brutal murders of Dr. George Tiller, an American abortion doctor and of another fellow American- a security guard named Steven T. Johns– at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC.

Both men were murdered by right-wing extremists- Tiller was killed by a well known pro-life advocate, Johns died at the hands of an 88 year old white supremacist and anti-semite.

The killers have been charged with murder, but inexplicably, neither men have been charged with any counts of terrorism. If these terrible acts of violence against Americans do not qualify as domestic terrorism, nothing does.

Perhaps as terrifying as the crazy people perpetrating this violence are the powerful “main stream” conservatives behind them, the people who in essence stir the pot… and then sit back, showing false horror, as it all comes to a boil. These are people you’ve all heard of… many of you even support their political and religious beliefs…

… Millions of you voted for at least two of them to become your next president and vice president, and you allow the others into your homes and cars by way of television and radio each and every day.

You know exactly who I am referring to.

John McCain, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and friends did not single-handedly cause the recent bloodshed on American soil by right-wing extremists.

They did, however, incite much of the ugliness we see today, and those that didn’t incite it, stood back and did nothing to cause the boiling pot to simmer, or cool off.

As a result, it has boiled over.

Now that these so-called leaders have stirred and heated up what I’ll call the “Crazy Pot”- essentially giving psychotic people a free pass- morally, at least- to terrorize and kill, they sit back, feigning shock and confusion… doing their very best to distract us from the facts- the fact that they are contributing to a violently divided nation.

It’s almost as if in realizing that their own party is falling apart, they have made the decision to fight- not to save the GOP or our very nation- but to take every last one of us down with them.

I do not understand the lack of outrage.

Where is the anger from my fellow Americans, both Conservative and Liberal alike?

I posted a piece on this site yesterday about David Letterman’s inappropriate comments regarding Willow Palin, Sarah Palin’s 14 year old daughter. I received hundreds of hits on that particular post alone, and the moral outrage seen in my comments section was mind-boggling.

Letterman’s joke was idiotic, and it wasn’t funny… but he didn’t kill anyone.

Why are people more enraged that he, a late night talk show host who makes his living by telling off-color jokes, made a stupid comment, than they are about the fact that two Americans were brutally murdered by politically motivated right-wing nutjobs, mere days apart?

It appears that certain conservatives in this country are so busy being pissed off at those who do not share their same beliefs, that they have missed the forest for the trees.

People are being murdered, and last time I checked, regardless of political or religious affiliation, Americans generally agree that murder is reprehensible. So many of these same people would willingly lynch David Letterman for telling his stupid jokes… while simultaneously looking the other way when members of their own party are killing others.

Prior to Dr. Tiller’s death, for example, Bill O’Reilly was igniting viewers’ anger by referring to him repeatedly as a “mass murderer”, “Tiller the Baby Killer”, and claiming that his abortion clinic was a “death mill”. After Tiller’s murder, O’Reilly mostly toned back his hateful rhetoric- even acknowledging that Dr. Tiller was breaking no laws, but did not address- not a single time- all the right wingers out there that dared celebrate the horrific death of a fellow American.

He showed no real outrage at this violent act of terrorism.

He simply did a lot of back-pedaling, hoping that in doing so, America would not see his (inadvertant) role in this tragedy.

O’Reilly did not shoot Dr. Tiller, but he helped incite the violence and hatred that ultimately led to his death.

This is a disturbingly common trend, and it is downright horrifying.

If half of the people who expressed such outrage at, say, Letterman’s dumb jokes, showed that sort of contempt over the events that led to these two dead Americans, our country would perhaps be in slightly less dire straits.

How disgustingly terrifying.

Posted in C-Haze, Children, Conservative, Current Events, Dating, David Letterman, Democrats, Family, Funny, Humor, John McCain, Liberal, News, Parent, Parenting, Politics, Relationships, Sarah Palin, Sex, Willow Palin

David Letterman, John McCain and Willow Palin

Ok, so David Letterman may have crossed a line with his recent jokes regarding Sarah Palin and her daughter, with some people even calling for his termination from CBS.

I thought the jokes specifically about Governor Palin were pretty funny- and not the slightest bit out of line- though perhaps slightly off-color.

I did, however, cringe at his quip about Palin’s daughter.

The Governor had taken her 14 year old daughter to a Yankees game while recently visiting New York. Letterman joked on his show that during the Seventh Inning Stretch, Willow, the daughter, got “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez.

Disgusting, for sure.

I’m not here to condone Letterman’s comments. Personally, I feel that for the most part, children of politicians should be off limits for all of us- late night comedians included. I do make an exception for people such as Megan McCain (John McCain’s daughter) and Bristol Palin (Sarah Palin’s oldest daughter) because A) they are not minors and B) they have chosen a life in the public eye- Megan as a popular blogger, Bristol as a public advocate for abstinence.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the double standard here.

Can you imagine, for example, had Conan O’Brien quipped, during Michelle Obama’s recent trip to London with her daughters, that Sasha (or Malia- pick a kid), had been knocked up by Hugh Grant?

Or worse, Boy George?

David Beckham?

I realize that politically incorrect, often distasteful humor, is par for the course in late night comedic television… but sometimes, as we all know, lines do get crossed, and feelings get hurt.

Unfortunately, and it pains me to say this- as I am a Letterman fan- his so-called apology on the matter was grossly inadequate. Letterman claims that his joke regarding Palin’s daughter was actually geared towards Bristol Palin, but I’m not buying it. Everyone knows Bristol was not the one who accompanied her mother to the Yankees game, and surely,  considering all of Letterman’s staff, if not the big man himself, someone would have picked up on this fact.

This, at best, was a terrible gaffe on the part of his research department. At worst, he knew exactly what he was saying and who he was saying it about.

Regardless, it was a completely inappropriate thing to say.

What enrages me, however, even more than Letterman’s false and disengenuous apology, is certain Republican politicians’ reactions to his comments.

John McCain, for example, when asked his opinion by news source Reuters, stated, “I don’t understand why Letterman would say that about a young woman… They deserve some kind of protection from being the butt of late-night hosts.”

Really?

Funny, considering McCain’s own comments about then-President Bill Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, on the Letterman show back in 1998:

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?  Because Janet Reno is her father.

It makes one wonder… are John McCain and friends truly against the idea of people attacking the children of politicians… or does it only become a no-no when said politician is a fellow conservative?

Letterman was wrong for saying the things he said about Willow Palin, and that family deserves a genuine apology.

… But as we all know, peoplewho live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Willow Palin deserves our outrage on her behalf. Unfortunately, when it comes from such sources as John McCain, the anger appears phony, crafted, politically motivated and most of all, horribly hypocritical.

Pedophilia, rape and teenage sex are not humorous topics- regardless of who is making the joke, or who the joke is about.

It is, after all, a national epidemic, as Sarah Palin and family know first hand.

Perhaps, instead of duking it out over which public figures’ children are and aren’t off limits, our time would be better spent advocating on behalf of the children who find themselves the butt of these most reprehensible jokes.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, Liberal, News, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

Judge Sotomayor, New Haven and Reverse Discrimination

Along with bogus charges of racism, we are now hearing rumblings of discontent regarding Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s ruling in the infamous New Haven firefighters’ reverse discrimination case.

First, a little background.

New Haven, CT adopted a written exam in 2003 for the purpose of determining which of the city’s fire fighters are eligible for promotion to Lieutenant and Captain within the department. The city ended up throwing the test out a year later, after determining that no eligible black workers had passed the exam.

A white fire fighter by the name of Frank Ricci scored exceptionally high on the test, and would have received the promotion, had the test not been deemed inadmissable by the city. Ricci in turn sued the city of New Haven for reverse discrimination, claiming that he was in effect losing his rightful promotion as a result of a policy that catered to blacks and minorities.

The trial court disagreed, and Frank Ricci lost the case.

Ricci appealed the lower court’s decision to the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, where it fell into the lap of Judge Sonia Sotomayor (and 3 other judges, as part of a panel. For the sake of this post, we’ll just talk about Sonia Sotomayor). Sotomayor rejected the appeal, upholding the lower court’s ruling. The case is currently being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, with a ruling expected by late June of this year.

Judge Sotomayor’s decision was a controversial  one, especially among conservatives, who tend to believe she should have sided with the fire fighters.

If one truly understands how the oft-squeaky wheels of justice turn, and the responsibilities of an appeals court judge, the case isn’t quite as controversial after all… and one begins to see it has less to do with Judge Sotomayor and more to do with the legal precedent she had no choice but to utilize in making her decision.

The city of New Haven did not simply throw the written test out because it felt like it, nor was the test deemed inadmissable by a single party, hell-bent on building a blacks-only department.

Hardly.

The test was found to be in violation of Title VII, which is the federal civil rights law that requires employers to consider the racial consequences of any hiring or promotion practice. Whether on purpose or inadvertent, if the practice excludes minorities, it is illegal. The New Haven test, according to the law, was an illegal promotion tool, as eligible black fire fighters were not able to pass it. As a result, the city had no choice but to throw the test out.

If one is to take issue with this situation, the issue must be taken with the law itself- Title VII- not with the city’s actions, nor the judges’ rulings on the case.

The city, as well as the trial court, and most especially the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals, were simply following the applicable law.

Most would agree, whenever possible, it is important that a judge apply the already-written law(s) when making a ruling, and follow the constitution to its letter. Generally speaking, it is inappropriate for a judge to disregard current laws in making a decision on a case. The law is the law, no one is above it, and if a law exists when a case is heard, that law must be followed.

This is exactly what Judge Sotomayor did when ruling against Frank Ricci of the New Haven Fire Department. Her ruling was a direct result of her following an already existing law.

Period.

 The 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals was not the appropriate venue to fight the merits of Title VII, and whether or not the law lends itself to the creation of reverse discrimination. Judge Sotomayor was charged with making a decision based on the laws that are already in place- and determining whether the original trial court had correctly utilized the applicable law in making its ruling.

So that’s exactly what she did, and did so using the strong legal precedent that had already been set by her court, her jurisdiction- the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals.

As the GOP knows all-too-well, for Judge Sotomayor to have ruled any other way, her decision would have amounted to Judicial Activism.

Ironically enough, many key Republicans have voiced concerns over Sotomayor, claiming that they are worried she may be a Judicial Activist.

Funny, considering how up-in-arms these same people are today as a result of her refusing to do just that in the New Haven case. 

Judicial Activism occurs when a judge legislates from the bench. Typically, it is a judge’s responsibility to apply applicable law- using legal precedent- in making his/her rulings. Creating new laws is the responsibility of Congress- the Legislative Branch of government. When a judge attempts to circumvent written law, he/she is called a Judicial Activist.

Some famous cases involving judicial activism include Dred Scott, Roe v. Wade, Brown v. The Board of Education and Plessy v. Ferguson. While landmark cases for sure, their rulings were the response to scenarios in which no previous legal precedent existed, and so judges had no applicable law to fall back on. Therefore, they had to interpret the Constitution, resulting in a ruling that in effect created its own legal precedent for future cases to utilize.

Generally speaking, I am no fan of Judicial Activism. I think the law is in place for a reason, and if I disagree with a law, the proper venue for me to express my dissatisfaction is with my congressional representatives. They are the people charged with making the laws, while judges are responsible for upholding them, as written.

I don’t know how I feel about the New Haven case. 

I  sympathize with Frank Ricci. I learned, while researching this case, that he is dyslexic, and had to work exceptionally hard to pass the test- let alone score as highly as he did.

However, I also sympathize with any hard-working minority, who as the result of a racially-skewed test, is effectively shut out of a promotion process that he or she deserves to be a part of as much as anyone else.

Overall, I am happy that a law such as Title VII is on the books, and I’m happier that it’s a federal law. To me, any law that makes discrimination illegal in all 50 states certainly has its merits.

If anyone, I fault the city of New Haven in this case. Had they come up with a non-biased test to begin with, both Frank Ricci and any other qualified employee would have been promoted… and everyone would be happy. I applaud the city for taking the steps necessary to correct its error by throwing out the test, but I mourn the casualties such an action created. Sometimes the right thing to do is not the easy thing to do… and sometimes when we make mistakes- even honest ones- it’s the innocent bystanders that are hurt the most.

Frank Ricci, it seems, has suffered quite a bit, as have other hard-working minority fire fighters. Every last one of them deserved a chance at bettering themselves… and yet all of them have suffered greatly.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Democrats, La Raza, Liberal, News, Newt Gingrich, Policy, Politics, President, Race, Republicans, Sonia Sotomayor, Supreme Court

Sotomayor, Supreme Court and Spindoctors

One of my readers hipped me to “La Raza”, while commenting on my recent post on Judge Sotomayor- stating that she is a member of this particular group.

I didn’t know anything about the organization, and promised to research both the group and the judge’s alleged ties to it.

What I learned, not surprisingly, is that what’s often thought to be common knowledge isn’t always accurate information.

How dangerous misinformation can be.

First of all, let’s talk about that which cannot be disputed. La Raza is a Latino organization that currently operates in the U.S., and is active in 41 states. It’s a relatively large group, with over 300 local-level affiliated groups that are under the La Raza umbrella.

Officially known as the National Council of La Raza, its website claims that as “the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States, NCLR works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans”. To meet its objective, La Raza gives a latin prospective via applied research, focusing on five areas: assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health.

Founded in 1968, the group claims to be a private, tax-exempt, non-partisan organization that is headquartered in Washington, DC.

Now, on to a couple of misconceptions.

Some people have a lot of negative feelings about this organization, as obviously, being hispanic in nature, there is the perception that La Raza is an open-borders advocate, or a lobby group for illegal aliens. The organization has been bastardized, based on inaccurate data.

An opinion is an important thing to have, and as free-thinking Americans, our opinions will not always gel with one anothers’.

It is inconscionable, however, to base one’s opinions on something that isn’t even true.

La Raza, according to its website, does not support a United States of America that has open borders. They absolutely recognize- and support- this country’s right, as a sovereign nation, to control its borders. In fact, in 2005, the National Council of La Raza supported, in partnership with such Republicans as John McCain (R-AZ) , Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ), the Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act. This bill, among other things, provided for the stronger enforcement of labor and immigration laws. It was to help secure our borders while keeping America safe in the process.

The organization certainly supports immigration reform, but it just as fiercely advocates for a strong enforcement program as well. The group has never condoned the act of illegally crossing the United States of America’s borders.

Another misconception about La Raza is its name, and what it translates to mean. Many people claim the name means “The Race”, which understandably makes quite a few folks uncomfortable. A white organization would get ten different kinds of hell, were it named “The Race”, most especially if a Supreme Court nominee were rumored to be a member.

*Shudder*

Can you imagine?

La Raza, however, does not mean “The Race”- this is merely a loose and factually inaccurate translation- but rather,  “The People” or “The Community”. Certainly “The People” has a much less Hitler-esque tone, and suddenly, the group doesn’t seem quite so threatening anymore.

Hispanics, if we are honest with ourselves, do not have an easy time in America. Obviously it is not impossible to be both hispanic and successful, much like one can be black and successful, but like many other minorities, Latinos do face a certain amount of bigotry, unfair stereotypes and all-out hatred. La Raza tries to make these speedbumps a little more manageable, fighting to make sure Hispanics are afforded the same opportunities as non-minorities (translation: white people).

Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, is a memberof the National Council of La Raza.

Some people act as if we should be shocked by this, but realistically, looking at Sotomayor’s history, along with La Raza’s stated mission, it all becomes quite understandable.

Not only that, but it isn’t a negative thing in the least.

Sonia Sotomayor, daughter to Puerto Rican parents, was born and raised in New York- in the Bronx- in a public housing project. She knows poverty and discrimination first hand, as the recipient of what amounted to two strikes against her- being both poor and hispanic. This did not make for an easy go of things. Yet she chose not to use her economic status (or lack thereof) or her race as an excuse to fail. Instead, she chose to thrive, putting herself through college and law school- Ivy League, no less- ultimately graduating from both Princeton and Yale, serving as editor of the Yale Law Review to boot.

Keep in mind, this was no trust fund baby. She did it the old-fashioned way, with her own blood, sweat and tears.

Learning of Sotomayor’s background and the adversity she has managed to overcome, it is anything but surprising to learn that she is a member of an organization whose entire purpose is to protect the civil rights and improve the quality of life of Latinos throughout America.

After law school, Judge Sotomayor went on to become the Assistant Attorney General for the city of New York, ran her own private practice for several years, and (due to then-President George H.W. Bush’s nomination), served on the bench for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The Clinton Administration later nominated her to sit on the federal bench at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd District.

The woman is on fire, and has managed to successfully navigate not one, but two Senate Confirmation hearings, after having been nominated for bench positions by two different presidents- both a Democrat and a Republican.

Recently a group of Republicans, led by Newt Gingrich, have accused Judge Sotomayor of reverse discrimination, claiming she’s racist, and therefore should not be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice. Their claims are based on a something the judge said in 2001, while speaking to The University of California Berkley’s School of Law. She said at that time, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Apparently, the fact that Sotomayor admits that she believes her personal life experiences make her a better judge, is offensive to some. The hypocrisy lies in the fact that Justice Samuel Alito, during his own Supreme Court confirmation hearings, said the same exact thing– only about himself, of course- and these same Republicans didn’t bother blinking an eye.

Of course, when Alito said it, we called it “empathy in judging”.

With Sotomayor, it’s racism.

I guess it’s only a problem when the statement is made by a liberal.

The GOP  wasn’t terribly concerned about her qualifications when they confirmed her in the past- twice- but now, suddenly, she’s a racist.

Ah, hypocrisy at its finest.

Though without it, I would have nothing to write about, so onward we go.

I’m not saying we should all welcome Judge Sonia Sotomayor with open arms. Legitimate questions still need to be asked, more information needs to be had. I stated in my previous post, for example, that I am a little leary of her Catholic background and how that may (or may not) translate to her decisions on such topics as abortion, gay rights and stem cell research.

In many ways, the jury is still out.

None of that, however, lessens the importance of committing to forming educated opinions based on fact. My ultimate opinion of President Obama’s nominee may or may not be a popular one, but I take comfort in knowing that my decision will be based on fact and not fear, conjecture or rumor.

Hopefully, all of you will be able to say the same, when that time comes.

Posted in Barack Obama, C-Haze, Conservative, Economy, Liberal, News, Policy, Politics, President, Recession, Socialism, Wall Street

Pete Sessions, Socialism and Barack Obama

As big a political junkie as I am, one would think I’d be past the point of being shocked when a politician says something stupid.

I’m not.

Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) believes Obama is both driving the stock market down and unemployment up on purpose.

He’s quoted in today’s NY Times as saying that Obama “intended to inflict damage and hardship on the free enterprise system, if not to kill it.”

Lord have mercy.

Have we been taken over by a power-crazed maniac whose sole purpose is to wipe out all that America holds dear, so that he can take over the entire world, reigning from Capitol Hill as…

… Gasp…

A socialist dictator?!?!

I suppose the fact that Sessions believes Obama to be some sort of socialist terrorist, hell-bent on thoroughly demolishing Capitalism and the free market as we know it is nothing to be surprised at.

Sessions is, after all, someone who likes to use terrorism- specifically the Taliban– as an example when speaking.

What’s surprising is his deviation from the norm

Typically, he’s the one advocating terrorist behavior…

… At least where his own party is concerned.

It was a mere 3 months ago- in February- that he suggested, during an interview with the National Journal, that perhaps the GOP needed a “Taliban-like” insurgency.

His remarks, he claimed, were the result of what he had determined to be a lack of bi-partisan politics in the House of Representatives.

So clearly, strange terror-esque statements are nothing new.

Not from this guy, anyway.

So let me get this straight.

He wants the Republican Party to act in a non-American fashion… actually going as far as to suggest the party adapt the strategy of one of the worst terrorist, anti-American groups in the entire world to survive… and then condemns Obama for non-American behavior… behavior that he not only condoned within his own party, but completely imagined and fabricated where our President is concerned.

Ok, got it.

Truly, this nonsense would be absolutely hilarious if there weren’t several actual, bona-fide yahoos out there taking him seriously.

People do believe President Obama is a closet Socialist.

People do believe that our President hates our country, its governmental structure, its free market economy, our constitution- and all the rights and freedoms we all hold both near and dear.

Never mind that he has yet to take a single fundamental right away from any of us, and in fact has spent his adult life advocating for equal rights- for minorities, women and homosexuals, to name a few.

Never mind that he inherited a real live nightmare of a mess to clean up- and has done more for the average Joe in this country in his first 100 days in office than his predecessor ever did in 8 years.

What is it about him that draws such ire?

Is it jealousy?

Is it the color of his skin?

Is it the fact that he actually cares about people other than the top wealthiest individuals and organizations, and we just don’t know how to accept that kind of compassion?

It’s funny to me how a man who has lived his life trying to protect the dignity of the impoverished and preserve the little things the middle class holds dear, can be painted as the evil villain.

It’s ok, haters.

He hears you…

… And despite your ugliness, he still wants to serve you.

You certainly don’t deserve it.

Posted in C-Haze, Conservative, Current Events, Family, Gay Marriage, Gay Rights, Homosexuality, Liberal, Marriage, News, Policy, Politics, Relationships, Same-sex Marriage

Carrie Prejean, Crowns and Closed Minds

Let’s talk about Ms. Carrie Prejean, shall we?

For those who’ve been living under a rock, she was this year’s Miss USA pageant’s runner up- the current Miss California USA- who has recently found herself embroiled in a whole lot o’ controversy.

During the pageant, celebrity (and openly gay) judge Perez Hilton asked Prejean to explain her views on same-sex marriage.

The contestant was very forthright, explaining that she believes in marriage in the “traditional” sense- as in, between a man and a woman.

Thus, the controversy.

Since that fateful night, Carrie Prejean has seen her name and her character mecilessly dragged through the mud.

Well-known people- especially celebrities- have been quite outspoken in their outrage. Michael Musto (a columnist for the Village Voice) even went as far as to compare Prejean to Klaus Barbie… a notorious Nazi war-criminal who was responsible for the deaths of about 4,000 Jews.

Ouch… Harsh, much?

All this anger is completely misguided, and misdirected- and certainly doesn’t win many points for left-wingers (such as myself) who claim to be all about the preservation of personal freedoms.

Anyone who has read anything I’ve written on the subject of homosexuality knows that I am a supporter of Gay Rights. I believe that same-sex marriage should be legalized in all 50 states.

I am completely unapologetic about my views on the topic.

Obviously, I do not have the same opinion as Ms. Prejean when it comes to this particular subject.

She is, however, being attacked for the wrong reasons.

Just as I have the right to express my opinion in support of gay marriage, Carrie Prejean has the right to express her opinion as well- even when, or maybe especially when- her views are not the same as mine.

This is the U.S., for cryin’ out loud.

She was not wrong for answering Perez’s question honestly.

Perez Hilton, on the other hand, came across as a complete idiot.

I realize he wasn’t going to be happy with Prejean’s response.

But to act shocked?

Give me a break.

His entire home state of California- Carrie Prejean’s home as well- just passed Proposition 8 less than a year ago- banning same-sex marriage- and yet Hilton acted as if he was surprised that this is a controversial issue.

He knew better.

Rather than take issue with someone for expressing their honest opinion- something the Constitution affords all of us the right to do- how about taking issue with the fact that she is now a spokesperson for the National Organization for Marriage?

This is a group that actively lobbies to “protect” marriage, fighting to keep homosexuals from being allowed to wed.

It is an organization that’s sole purpose is to make sure that an entire group of fellow human beings- gay people- never enjoy the same rights that the rest of us take for granted.

Personally, I will never have a problem with someone who has a different opinion than me.

I will always, however, have a problem with a person who works to take fundamental rights away from others.

Ironically, it is Ms. Prejean herself who best described my own views on this issue. When Carrie appeared on the “Today Show” on April 30th, Matt Lauer interviewed her, asking if she thought she should have held “her fire” when asked about gay marriage. Her response:

No. I think this is a huge issue right now. People are very passionate about this issue and I think that regardless of our opinions, Matt, I think that we just need to respect each other, even when we disagree. It’s all about respect. (Emphasis added)

She is absolutely correct.

Where’s the respect for another’s opposing views?

A reader once commented to me-

It seems there is such a hard push from one side over what they see as inequality that they are in effect pushing so hard that they may become and in some cases already are oppressive.

The fact that he’s correct- and that he’s referring to people whose views and visions I always believed I shared is shameful.