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Good Point

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This speaks for itself:

Do Not Ask Why

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I do not understand. What is it with the Republican conservative movement's inability to work and play well with others? Are they that rigidly locked into a literal, concrete form of thinking that they can not tolerate any deviation from their societal comfort zone? Is their fear of change so overwhelming that they lose all sense of respect and decorum? Are they truly suffering from a belief in their inability to deal with natural change?

In the end, all I see are cowards unable to accept human society as it has always been: an evolving, changing system of concepts, theories, and expectations that are fluid and ephemeral; defying the understanding of the very makers of the systems, leaving them utterly overwhelmed and unable to recognize there is no answer to the question 'Why?"

Only The Onion

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After the last post, I could not help but laugh at this:

The openly gay teen, who came out to his parents at age 14 and has had a steady boyfriend for the past seven months, said he first began to suspect he might be different last year, when he started feeling an odd stirring within himself every time he passed a church. The more conservative the church, Faber claimed, the stronger his desire was to enter it.

"It's like I don't even know who I am anymore," the frightened teenager said. "Keeping this secret obsession with radical right-wing dogma hidden away from my parents, teachers, and schoolmates is tearing me apart."

I know, I know. I should not laugh at the pain and suffering of others, but no one has slipped on a banana peel in front of me in an age. So, forgive me if I find humor in this poor kid's suffering.

More here.
I am posting this at the Snelling Ave Dunn Bros. Coffee shop. Unfortunately, there were no available tables with outlets close by. Actually, every table was taken. So, I am sitting out back, which is great today, considering it is 60 degrees right now, but also lacks outlets. Anyway, work was quick, with only one consult. But it did require an assessment, and a DHS one at that.

DHS is Department of Human Services. In Minnesota, for publicly funded patients, we have to fill out a particular form, which is 18 pages long. Most of the Minnesota care HMOs (there are four of them that manage health care for Minnesota) require it to be completed, even if they are not going to get state funding for treatment.

See, many, many years ago, something called Rule 25 was created to help under-insured people get funding for treatment. These people could be employed, have health insurance, but not have substance abuse benefits, But, as in all things deemed welfare, the financial requirements became so strict, the original target population was restricted from receiving aid, and only the poor got the funding. Get a job, and you lose your funding.

Anyway, the funding was a combination of Federal grants with a certain level of matching state funds. From what I understand, Minnesota was better than most states at getting the money out there for treatment. Wisconsin, at least when I first sobered up in the mid 80s, was not so good at it.

As seems to be the case these days, in an effort to prove government inefficient, a re-write by the state (controlled by republicans, I deem, though can not prove) was done on Rule 25 recently, and they created a bloated assessment tool that goes above and beyond any reasonable effort at assessing for abuse or dependence. In my opinion, it was created with the mind-set that we had to discover a lifetime of issues in 40 to 60 minutes.

A psychiatrist that works for one of the county mental health services complained the assessment was a complete waste of time; that it attempted to be a tool for developing an actual treatment plan - instead of it's original function - which was simply to determine the necessary level of care for a person.

One of the biggest problems with my field is that it is very politicized, especially in the last decade, as Christian organizations attempt to insert their ideology into treatment services. I came across a little flier that was clearly written to coop the original intent of AA, and in direct opposition to one of the traditions, which clearly states attraction rather than promotion. This flier was describing the means to evangelize the 12 step concept.

In all things both conservative and Christian, it is a return to shaming the drunks and drug addicts. Considering Bill W. spent the first 8 months of his sobriety attempting that path, and failing, I suspect we will not really hear of any statistical success from this move. Prior to AA's creation, there really was not documented success at dealing with addiction.

In the end, I have to say I grow tired of my field. It seems more mired in bureaucracy then at any time in my 19 year career. All I want to do is help people find their way out of the hell that is addiction. Instead, it has turned into another battle ground for which ideology is the best.  

Don't Believe My Last Post?

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Then listen to the son, and co-founder, of the man who helped build the modern conservative christian movement.

Legacy Chooses

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Ian Walsh believes President Obama is just about done being proactive. I agree.

The Republican/conservative brightness before the burn out I keep thinking is happening, only gets brighter and brighter, and not in a good way. As the Birthers, Tea baggers, and generally just mad at the world types, descend upon the town hall meetings, I realize that my imagining of their behavior falls quantitatively short of their capabilities.

Then, Ian had this to say:

They took the lesson of the Clinton administration to be "don't enflame (sic) the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues, and don't slash the military".  They were, of course, wrong: the radical right (and there is hardly a non-radical right left) will oppose Obama no matter what he does and if Obama is unwilling to use to the full might of the administrative apparatus against them, they will simply take advantage of his weakness to escalate.  Tactics which are seen to work, will not be abandoned, to the contrary, they will be used more and more.
don't enflame (sic) the fanatics on the right--avoid social issues

Suddenly, my imagination made a quantum jump that pictured a radical increase in the use of deadly force, with a resultant increase in dead minorities (including gay, lesbian, and transgenders).

Now, I am not about to believe one way or another that President Obama understood this possible scenario. Still, to pick health care as his first major policy push might have been for other reasons besides the time was right. Regardless of whether he recognized it was a policy that could result in the least amount of insanity and violence, in the end, it is what happened.

Ask yourself this; had President Obama picked an African American jurist for the Supreme Court, just what kind of push back do you think would have happened? Unlike health care, an African American nominee to the Supreme Court is a racial element that would have inflamed the radical right even more then the current push for health reform. I don't know about you, but my imagination in this situation includes some serious killings, maybe even a lynching or three.

What? You think that's too far? If there are calls by influential leaders of the radical right for people to bring guns to town hall meetings, my suggestion of lynchings had President Obama attempted to place an African American on the Supreme Court is going to far? Considering how easy it is for the radical right followers to kill gays, lesbians, and transgenders during less politically decisive times, any push to end DADT, or otherwise legislate equal rights for sexual orientation, would suddenly result in a decrease of killings? We are talking about a section of the electorate that thinks it is funny to print out liberal hunting licenses.

So, for whatever reason, President Obama went the path of least resistance. But, Ian is right. No matter what policy the President pursues, the radical right will fight back. And they will use any action they perceive to have already been effective. If the push for health reform does stall, and no bill is forthcoming this year, I too believe the President is dead in the water. He will achieve no further legislative goals. And even if he does pass health care reform, I still believe he's dead in the water, simply because the radical right, already inflamed and instilled with an Armageddon mindset, will simply believe the end is nigh and make a homicidal/suicidal push. They are going to take as many with them as possible.

In my opinion, any further legislative attempts by the President and violence is assured. It is already occurring. If President Obama manages to shove a version of health reform through congress, he's going to be faced with one angry, pissed off radical right. He will pretty much be unable to overcome any further resistance because civil unrest is only going to continue. Chances are, it will take up most of his administration's attention.

So, once he's done with as much of the legislative work he can realistically achieve, I suggest he turn his attention to judicial/legal house cleaning. Unleash the Justice Department and force a searching and fearless constitutional inventory of our government. There is a world of hurt in it, with much latent corruption and incompetence set to cause further decades of pain and suffering, thereby weakening our country. If he truly wants to be seen as an agent of change, the more important task he faces is exposure of the past administration's eight years of malfeasance and criminality. Hell, cleaning up the last 30 years of modern conservative governance is one damn fine legacy, if you ask me.

Now, I do not believe President Obama wants that for a legacy. But most people do not get to choose their destiny, it chooses them.


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It's getting to the point where you can count the number of Republicans who aren't bed-hopping hypocrites on one finger. We won't discuss which finger to use. I'll leave it up to you to decide. But it's becoming so commonplace that the Washington Times felt the need to make a comment.

Extramarital affairs, gambling, alcohol abuse, prostitution and sexual pursuit of minors have taken a toll on the GOP.
Now, I'm not sure that alcohol abuse has really been part of the toll. It's been the fall back position to excuse, justify, or otherwise cover up the other problems. Which brings me to my next point; how far our politics have devolved that the once reprehensible, sinful behavior of consuming alcohol beyond socially acceptable limits is now perceived as a viable excuse.

My, how the mighty have fallen.

Some Pols Just Don't Get It

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Any moron with half a stem.... err, brain cell knows that if you increase funding to any area, you increase the potential for job expansion.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A top congressional Republican on Sunday criticized President Barack Obama's expected decision to reverse the Bush administration's limits on embryonic stem-cell research, calling it a distraction from the country's economic slump.
Cantor may wish to spin this move by President Obama as a distraction, but in essence, it's simply his fear at losing ground on stem cell research. Face it, you ideological neanderthal, your side lost the overall election in 2008. Get over it. And stop your whining, it shows your intellectual immaturity.

Oh, and don't get me started on the whole "that shouldn't be done" statement. Wait, here it is in it's entirety:

"Frankly, federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research can bring on embryo harvesting, perhaps even human cloning that occurs," Cantor said. "We don't want that. That shouldn't be done. That's wrong."
I'm not sure how increasing stem-cell research leads to embryo harvesting. I understand he's afraid that might happen. But it's based on his belief, not any real proof. At least, none that he's offered. However, it's a more honest statement then his earlier bullshit about being distracted.

In the end, I see this as nothing more than an ignorant man showing his cowardice. Nothing gets me more riled than when an ignorant coward attempts to control society simply to feel less threatened. All I can say is he must have a weak God to be so afraid.

There's More To This Story

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My radar went off big time when I read the headline of this story:

Police: Doctor injured when bomb erupts in Lexus

(CNN) -- The chairman of the Arkansas Medical Board was critically injured Wednesday when a bomb placed on the front end of his Lexus hybrid SUV exploded at his West Memphis, Arkansas, home -- a blast heard a mile away, police said.
Something tells me this is going to involve some divisive subjects. The word terrorist has already been thrown into the mix.

Dr. Trent Pierce, a family practitioner, was flown to a hospital across the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, after the 8 a.m. blast, police Chief Robert Paudert said, adding that Pierce may be transferred to a burn center in Ohio. Officials said he was in critical condition.

"It's a terrorist attack on Dr. Pierce," Paudert said. "We just don't know why someone would do this... We're going to find out.

I doubt it's a brown skinned terrorist. More than likely, it's a home grown christian extremist.

(CNN) -- A Florida circuit judge declared unconstitutional Tuesday a 31-year-old state law that prevents gays and lesbians from adopting children, saying "the blanket exclusion" of gay applicants "defeated Florida's goal of providing dependent children a permanent family."
It's coming. All the screeching, snarling, and howling by the rabid right-wing fundamentalists will not be able to stop the eventual recognition by our government of gays and lesbians as equal citizens.

Get use to it, fundies. Your world is coming to an end. And none too soon.

He said many of the evictions involve renters who are paying their rent on time but are being thrown out because the landlord has fallen behind on mortgage payments.

Mortgage companies are supposed to identify a building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but sheriff's deputies routinely find that the mortgage companies have not done so, he said.

"These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said. "They simply want their money and don't care who gets hurt along the way.

"On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."
Good on him. Especially the part about taxpayers having to fund their investigative work for them. And get the heartless corporate bank response:

The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart "was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices." The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.

"The reality is that by ignoring the law and his legal responsibilities, he is carrying out 'vigilantism' at the highest level of an elected official," it said. "The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart's declaration of 'marshal law' should not be tolerated."
What we have here is a budding example of fascism returning to America. When innocent people -- who have done nothing wrong except rent from someone financially insolvent -- are thrown to the street without warning there is something wrong with our country.

Furthermore, where are the cries from the Conservative Christians, the partners of the Corporate American arm of the Republican Party? Why are we not hearing about the abandonment of the teaching of compassion? Why are they not up in arms about an obviously overt, unjust, and heartless act of greed? Is it possible that these God Loving Christians believe Jesus is more sympathetic to corporations than to the meek? No. Can't be. I would never expect such blatant hypocrisy from the...... OUCH!

Damn, there I go, biting my tongue again.........
Bark Bark Woof Woof

Referring to the book of Leviticus, those practices include stoning people for planting different crops next to each other. Mr. Dobson says those laws have been made irrelevant by the New Testament, yet oddly enough, the imprecations against homosexuality in the same book in the Old Testament are left intact and are used as weapons by people like James Dobson to demonize an entire class of citizens and deny them their Constitutional rights of equal justice under the law. And he has the chutzpah to accuse Barack Obama of having a "fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution." Hey, he's the one who said "fruitcake."
How rich. Today seems to be all about pointing out the projection going on over at the extreme right. First Dowd eviscerates Rove, now Mustang Bobby smacks around Dobson.

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Politics is the control of wealth and power. You are being conditioned to condemn politics as petty and boring, thus granting all the more control to the powers that be. You are either a part of the problem or a part of the solution. The choice is yours.


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