Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

5-Point Guide To The Fiscal Showdown

“…Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, want to scare Americans into accepting yet another extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% and deep cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. So they've created a "fiscal cliff" boogeyman.

Unfortunately, if you're following the media story, you may believe Republican claims that the world's about to end. But the only thing going off a cliff on December 31 is the ability of Republicans to hold our economy hostage for the sake of the rich (read below to find out why!).

5-Point Guide To The Fiscal Showdown

    1. The "Fiscal Cliff" Is A Myth. As Paul Krugman put it, "The looming prospect of spending cuts and tax increases isn't a fiscal crisis. It is, instead, a political crisis brought on by the G.O.P.'s attempt to take the economy hostage."1 Republicans are manufacturing this crisis to pressure Democrats to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and accept painful cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
    2. The Bush Tax Cuts Finally End December 31. If Congress does nothing, the ax will fall on all the Bush tax cuts on New Year's Eve.2 Then, on January 1, the public pressure on John Boehner and House Republicans to extend the middle-class tax cuts (already passed by the Senate and waiting to be signed by President Obama) will become irresistible.3 So the middle-class tax cut will eventually get renewed, and we'll have $823 billion more revenue from the top 2% to do great things with.4
    3. The Sequester. The sequester is another political creation, forced on Democrats by Republicans in exchange for lifting the debt ceiling last year to avoid crashing our economy.5 It's a set of cuts (50% to a bloated military budget and 50% to important domestic programs) designed to make both Republicans and Democrats hate it so much that they'd never let it happen.6 And the cuts can be reversed weeks or months into 2013 without causing damage.7
    4. The Big Three. Nothing happens to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits on January 1—unless Republicans force painful cuts to beneficiaries in exchange for tax increases on the wealthy, which are going to happen anyway if Congress does NOTHING.8 So, there's literally no reason benefits cuts should be part of the discussion right now.
    5. We Should Be Talking About Jobs. The real crisis Americans want Congress to fix is getting people back to work. And with just a fraction of that $823 billion from the wealthiest 2%, we could create jobs for more than 20,000 veterans and pay for the 300,000 teachers and 52,000 first responders, which our communities so desperately need.9 That's not to mention jobs from investing in clean energy and our national infrastructure. “

The above is from MoveonOrg


1. "Hawks and Hypocrites," The New York Times, November 11, 2012

2. "Bush-Era Tax Cuts," The New York Times, November 9, 2012

3. "Boehner Is Bluffing," Slate, November 9, 2012

4. "CBO: Ending High-Income Tax Cuts Would Save Almost $1 Trillion," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 24, 2012

5. "The sequester, explained," The Washington Post, September 14, 2012

6. Ibid.

7. "Let's Not Make a Deal," The New York Times, November 8, 2012

8. "How the Across-the-Board Cuts in the Budget Control Act Will Work," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, April 27, 2012

9. "Veterans' Jobs Bill Blocked in the Senate," The New York Times, September 19, 2012

"Jan Schakowsky Announces New Budget Plan With Focus On Jobs," The Huffington Post, August 10, 2011

"Fact Sheet: The American Jobs Act," The White House, September 8, 2011

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP's War on Women

by Glenn Littrell

It has been awhile since I have had the time to update or supplement this list (FEB 2011). In the time since posting this the right-wing has continued to create potential additions to it, the numbers are huge and to back track and list them would be a monumental task. They continue to put their foot in their mouth even though they have made so many apologies that it is clear they know its damaging them, but their problem is, and many of their apologies bare this out, they apologies for saying it out loud not for believing it. It should concern female Republicans that their male colleagues continually let the cat out of the bag so much that they should wonder what the guys are saying when they aren’t around.

It is too close to the election to take the time to compile the many additions and updates to this list… I will just list the most recent egregious ones in the following FaceBook post of mine following the Murdock statement in the Indiana Senate debate and a recent bill in Pennsylvania:

With right wing Republican candidates practically endorsing various forms of rape (Akin/Murdock) in their anti-abortion stance of protecting the fetus as a morale obligation they then show their hypocrisy by not extending the same moral obligation to the born child. They would condemn contraception to protect the yet un-conceived child, condone rape and incest to protect the unborn fetus, but deny a newborn child medical, and nutritional support simply because the mother had the indiscretion and poor judgment to conceive something as beautiful as a child, while being poor. There was a time in this country were poverty was not seen as an impediment to producing as family.
"...Mourdock ignited controversy when he said that pregnancies resulting from rape are "something that God intended to happen" during the final Indiana Senate debate on Tuesday evening. The president's campaign denounced the remarks earlier Wednesday, calling the comments "outrageous and demeaning to women...."
According to Murdock wouldn't the pregnancy of a single impoverished woman also be "something that God intended to happen"? The list of great people born to impoverished women, married or single would be endless.        


1)  Congress just voted for a Republican amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood health centers, one of the most trusted providers of basic health care and family planning in our country.

2) A state legislator in Georgia wants to change the legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence to "accuser." But victims of other less gendered crimes, like burglary, would remain "victims."

3) In South Dakota, Republicans proposed a bill that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides abortion care. (Yep, for real.)

4) Republicans want to cut nearly a billion dollars of food and other aid to low-income pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

5) In Congress, Republicans have a bill that would let hospitals allow a woman to die rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

6) Maryland Republicans ended all county money for a low-income kids' preschool program. Why? No need, they said. Women should really be home with the kids, not out working.   [personal not: What do the morons propose that abandoned mothers do?]

7) And at the federal level, Republicans want to cut that same program, Head Start, by $1 billion. That means over 200,000 kids could lose their spots in preschool.

8) Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women, and Republicans are taking aim at them too. A spending bill would cut funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

9) Republicans not only want to reduce women's access to abortion care, they're actually trying to redefine rape. After a major backlash, they promised to stop. But they haven't yet. Shocker.

10) And if that wasn't enough, Republicans are pushing to eliminate all funds for the only federal family planning program. (For humans. But Republican Dan Burton has a bill to provide contraception for wild horses. You can't make this stuff up).

1. "'Forcible Rape' Language Remains In Bill To Restrict Abortion Funding," The Huffington Post, February 9, 2011

"Extreme Abortion Coverage Ban Introduced," Center for American Progress, January 20, 2011

2. "Georgia State Lawmaker Seeks To Redefine Rape Victims As 'Accusers,'" The Huffington Post, February 4, 2011

3. "South Dakota bill would legalize killing abortion doctors," Salon, February 15, 2011

4. "House GOP Proposes Cuts to Scores of Sacred Cows," National Journal, February 9, 2011

5. "New GOP Bill Would Allow Hospitals To Let Women Die Instead Of Having An Abortion," Talking Points Memo, February 4, 2011

6. "Republican Officials Cut Head Start Funding, Saying Women Should be Married and Home with Kids," Think Progress, February 16, 2011

7. "Bye Bye, Big Bird. Hello, E. Coli," The New Republic, February 12, 2011

8. "House GOP spending cuts will devastate women, families and economy," The Hill, February 16, 2011 -

9. "House passes measure stripping Planned Parenthood funding," MSNBC, February 18,2011
"GOP Spending Plan: X-ing Out Title X Family Planning Funds," Wall Street Journal, February 9, 2011

10. Ibid.
"Birth Control for Horses, Not for Women," Blog for Choice, February 17, 2011

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Role Of Fearful Rhetoric

by Glenn Littrell:jkelly
When you use fear or hate to motivate people to act you are pushing them to act in a manner that might be less than rational. Fear and hate are emotions, and emotions often lead to irrational thought processes and actions. When you include rhetoric that is less than truthful, peppered with innuendo, or dependent on misinformation or faulty conclusions you loose control of your message, allowing it to be co-opted by those that might be inclined towards your position but with a level of emotion that keeps the proper perspective, your more focused and more objective prospective, from being held in check by rational thought. The end result is that those you may have influence on, who look to you for leadership, may not always pickup on your sarcasm, irony, or other forms of making a point as being subtle wordplay. Because you have them on the edge of their emotional chair hanging on to every fear laden word you utter they may see your references like 'second amendment remedies' as anything but subtle.
This 'Upcoming Event' with Jesse Kelly may not have been intended to suggest violence against his opponent by a rational person, but Mr Kelly was running for Congress, a leadership position. Whatever his point was with this event, campaigning on messages that provoke emotions tends to expose his point to a wide spectrum of interpretations. Palin with rifle cross-hairs on her political 'targets', "don't retreat, reload" , Beck with his inflammatory references to Stalin, Hitler, etc., O'Rielly with his Islamaphobic characterizations, Bachman with her Democrats are anti-American and should be investigated, Limbaugh with his spineless rhetoric,and so forth and so forth.
Now look at Mr. Kelly's "Upcoming Event" and tell me what its all about!
How many times have we had to hear about how anti-America Obama is based on 'connecting the dots' or vague 'patterns of behavior' as proof from the above mentioned idiots. Well let's play connect the dots with the above demagogues and this "Upcoming Event" and the other references above and below!!!!!!
“Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.”  Voltaire

Unfortunately the right wing is going to spin this atrocity away from their doorstep. They'll ignore their own claims that hateful Islamic rhetoric caused the Ft. Hood tragedy and chalk this shooting up to just another wacko.
There should be little doubt that whether this guy is associated with right wing hate groups, or even turns out to be a left wing wacko, or someone who came to his delusion without ever seeing FOXNews or hearing Rush, he did not live in a vacuum.
If he was anti-Rush, or a disillusioned liberal, he may have seen the right wing’s cries for violence as a threat to himself; if he was a right-wing fan who believed the claims of death panels he may have feared for his elderly grandparents; if he never watched TV, listened to the radio, or went on the internet he may have been exposed to hateful rhetoric, unfiltered by anyone outside of his little circle of friends.
I don't believe that Rush, Sarah or O'Rielly can talk anyone into murder, but I believe people who are in a position of leadership, influence or authority can scare people into over reacting out of fear and hate.  Rush, Sarah and others make millions of dollars influencing people. Their stations charge millions of dollars to sponsors that know just being associated with their shows can result in increased sales. Marketing/advertising is a billion dollar business based on influencing and directing people daily.
When their self-righteous fear-mongering stirs up mob mentalities [Tea Party] then they share the blame.
They raised cane when Obama used the word 'enemy' in a speech and cried racism when he used a 'back of the car' reference, but they routinely hurl words like socialist, target, anti-americanchristianwhatever, 'take out Harry Ried', reload, second amendment remedies, etc., etc.
This incident is going to do little to make them back-off the hateful rhetoric, its too valuable to them, they'll rationalize this away and then things will be worse not better. This incident will be the greater divide not a wake-up call.

After the Arizona shootings a spokesperson for Palin tried to say the ‘bulls eye s’ were not gun sights but ‘surveyor pins’.
But in the screen capture [right] of a Palin Tweet she refers to the graphic and the “bulls eye icon” herself.
We can’t shout fire in crowded theater for a reason. It is ill-advised to do so even when there is a real threat of fire. The reason is not because a warning isn’t important because it is, but how we alert the crowd to the fire is important to how they react to it. Rational people will react in an orderly manner, will access the situation and keep their heads, allowing for an orderly exit. Some people, perhaps less rational or prone to panic, may become anxious and panic. I think that we can all agree that how we deliver the message may determine the level of panic. To shout fire nearly guarantees that the few who might panic will and their panic becomes contagious. On the other hand a hurried but controlled announcement may keep the majority calm and the ones likely to panic may find the lack of panic in the majority calming.
NOTE 3: 1-13-2011 More examples of Fearful Rhetoric are listed on the ‘part 2’ post of this article. All future updates will be posted to the ‘comments’ section there [TOTW: Other Examples Of Fearful Rhetoric]. Feel free to post your own comments here or on Facebook. Comments are not moderated before showing, but they are reviewed for civility. Please do not use the ‘Anonymous’ option, use the ‘Name/URL” option with a nickname if you wish to remain anonymous. This will allow responses to you in the comments section to not be confused with anyone else. Thank you:                                 GlennDL.
For full text of Robert Kennedy’s speech “Mindless Menace Of Violence” click here.

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