Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The New Jim Crow

Hobby Lobby is not a slippery slope, it's greased wall that will now have to be climbed before laws like Mississippi's new "Jim Crow" can be challenged.

The Supreme Court, well the 5 Roman Catholic Men on the Bench, have started to dissect according to particular beliefs of particular denominations.  If people are worried about Sharia law, perhaps the should broaden that to any law that is based on a particular set of religious sectarian beliefs.  That's the real issue in Iraq. America was not established as a theocracy. Separation of Church and State was particularly meant to avoid a theocracy.  It has struggled to hold it's own amidst many challenges. It has been eroded by "In God We Trust" and the addition in the 1950's of "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.  Prayers, specifically Christian, are now allowed in public meetings thanks to those 5 Roman Catholic men.

This stuff scares me...

Mississippi's Religious Freedom Restoration Act now allows businessowners to turn away LGBT customers if they claim their existence conflicts with their religion.
The law passed in April and was quickly signed by Republican governor Phil Bryant; it went into effect July 1. Several cities in Mississippi, including Jackson and Hattiesburg, are challenging the insidious law by passing resolutions affirming all patrons are welcome. Equality Mississippi is distributing stickers that proclaim, "We don't discriminate: If you're buying, we're selling."
The American Family Association has found a way to take umbrage with the stickers.“It’s not really a buying campaign, but it’s a bully campaign, and it’s being carried out by radical homosexual activists who intend to trample the freedom of Christians to live according to the dictates of scripture," AFA's Buddy Smith stated, according to Pink News.
Local merchants and professionals like chef John Currence bristle at the law's effect on the state's already inhospitable reputation. “We are not going to sit idly by and watch Jim Crow get revived in our state," he said, vowing to fight the law. Similar legislation is wending its way through Kansas.

From The Advocate July 6, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Where's the Beef? In the PROUD Whopper!

It's been a while since I have tended this blog. Here's a great reason to get back into the swing of things!


Monday, April 28, 2014

Rating the Cosmos

Being in a household without kids, I rarely think about the rating code.  This evening I was watching Cosmos, the reboot of Carl Sagan's series with Neil DeGrasse Tyson: pure science and presented with the latest digital graphics.  It is awesome in the true sense of the word.

So why is it given the TV rating of PG?  The sub ratings tell the story.  "V" for violence and "D" for suggestive dialogue.  I suppose nothing is more violent than a super nova (except a hyper nova), but that rather distorts the intent of protecting the innocents from Game of Thrones type brutality.  But "challenging dialogue," usually reserved for talk about sex?

Of course you know the reason this is challenging dialogue.  It challenges the Biblical literalists. Evolution and an earth 4.5 billions years old rather than 6,000 is too much to discuss with the kids.  I wonder how old a child must be before PG does not apply?  Ratings are applied by the network.  How must you be before Fox thinks you must be before you "question everything?"

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Facts? Who needs facts when you are talking about the ACA?

If you ever thought that the Kochs’ attack ads weren’t full of egregious lies, take a look as the non-partisan Washington Post Fact Checker debunks some of their recent attacks against Democrats.

Claim in Koch Attack #1: “I found this wonderful doctor and a great health care plan. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare. Now, the out-of-pocket costs are so high, it’s unaffordable. If I do not receive my medication, I will die.”
Washington Post Fact Check:
FACT #1: “[She] suggested she had lost her ‘wonderful doctor’ when in fact she could keep that doctor in the new plan.”
FACT #2 “Her premiums were cut in half, from $1,100 a month to $571.”

Lie Detector: “One cannot claim that a plan is ‘unaffordable’ when over the course of the year it will provide you with substantial savings.”
Claim in Koch Attack #2: “Our health insurance plan was canceled because of Obamacare...This new plan is not affordable at all. My husband is working a lot more hours just to pay for these new increases.”
Washington Post Fact Check:
FACT: “The family qualified for Medicaid, but she was opposed for philosophical issues… So the family opted for a more expensive plan”

Lie Detector: “It is [the family’s] right to choose a more expensive plan. But it makes her claim of ‘unaffordable’ harder to swallow.”
Claim in Koch Attack #3: “Health care isn’t about politics. It’s about people. And millions of people have lost their health insurance, millions of people can’t see their own doctors, and millions are paying more and getting less.”
Washington Post Fact Check:
FACT #1: Many have not lost their health insurance -- “Many [have been] rolled into new plans, and Obamacare has reduced the number of uninsured.”
FACT #2: People don’t lose doctors because of Obamacare -- “This was true before Obamacare; employers changed plans all the time.”
FACT #3: People aren’t getting less for more -- “Obamacare mandates many new benefits.”

Lie Detector: “Once again Americans for Prosperity makes sweeping claims about the health-care law that lack context or offer a misleading picture.”

Sunday, March 2, 2014

OSCAR: Best Picture

For the second year in a row I have seen all the nominated Pictures.  My impressions...

American Hustle:
Totally entertaining. Great ensemble cast. How fun it is to find out the background behind an event that happened when you were alive.

Captain Phillips:
Best Picture? Really? Give me back 5 nominees.

Dallas Buyers Club:
Must see. A story that is little known, but should be well known. Best Actor to to Matthew McConaughey, hands down.  The rest of the cast is amazing. Kyle's pick for Best Picture.

Stunning visuals. This will win every special effects award and probably best director, though the later challenges my understanding of director.

Great concept.  I bit full of itself.

THE BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR!  Understated everyman exceptional study of small town middle America.  Funny, touching.  What i missing in movies is back.

Fantastic.  All "Christians" should see this.  Chritianity is summed up in one line in this movie.  You WILL know it when you hear it.  Live it.

12 Years a Slave
Slavery is bad.  It's really, really bad.  We know that.  Good flick.  Not great flick. Lupita will win.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Educating Prisoners: A Reponse to Congressman Chris Collins

In his irregular email newsletter, my representative, Chris Collins (R-NY 27th) let me know that he was sponsoring legislation to stop Gov. Cuomo's plan to allow prisoners to take college courses at state expense. 

My note to the cogressman:

Representative Collins:

I recently received your email stating that you are sponsoring legislation to stop Governor Cuomo's funding of College Education for Prisoners.  There are many of the Governor's policies and initiatives with which I disagree.  This is not one of them and I believe that your efforts are short-sighted.  We no longer have penal colonies, we have correctional facilities.  While recidivism is a problem, it can only be reduced by attempts to release prisoners who are more prepared to be released into society equipped to cope and become employed.  What the Governor proposes is actually the fiscally responsible thing to do in the long run.  It is consistent with the society in which we live that only looks at the here an now to take your position.  But we owe it to the future of New York and the US to invest in the future. Education at all levels and available to all is that sound investment.

Thank You for taking the time to read this.  I hope you will thoughtfully reconsider your position.


Neil D. Houghton
3873 Rush Mendon Road
Mendon, NY 14506