Daily Archives: January 4, 2011

This will make you wonder…..

Did you ever wonder where the Republican Party of today came from? A site called Who Hijacked Our Country printed the 1956 Republican Party Platform:

“The Eisenhower Administration will continue to fight for dynamic and progressive programs which, among other things, will:

Stimulate improved job safety of our workers, through assistance to the States, employees and employers;

Continue and further perfect its programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers;

Strengthen and improve the Federal-State Employment Service and improve the effectiveness of the unemployment insurance system;

Protect by law, the assets of employee welfare and benefit plans so that workers who are the beneficiaries can be assured of their rightful benefits;

Assure equal pay for equal work regardless of Sex;

Federally-assisted construction, and maintain and continue the vigorous administration of the Federal prevailing minimum wage law for public supply contracts;

Extend the protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many more workers as is possible and practicable;

Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;

Provide assistance to improve the economic conditions of areas faced with persistent and substantial unemployment;

Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public.

The protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration.”

Fascinating, no? I particularly liked “Revise and improve the Taft-Hartley Act so as to protect more effectively the rights of labor unions, management, the individual worker, and the public” and “Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex.”

Perhaps the Republicans of today should find out what their party once stood for before the Gingriches, Reagans and Bushes turned it into right wing fanaticism.

How the majority of Americans would like to balance the budget (says a CBS Poll)

The next time you hear Republicans say that most Americans want to get rid of the Health Care plan or some other nonsense to balance the budget, show them the results of this study:
clipped from www.cbsnews.com

Poll: To Reduce Deficit, Most Americans say Tax the Rich More

As Washington gears up for a fight over federal spending and the national debt, lawmakers may want to consider some new polling figures.

A survey from CBS News‘ “60 Minutes” and Vanity Fair magazine shows that most Americans, given a set limited choices for balancing the national budget, would prefer to see taxes increased for the wealthy.
As many as 61 percent said they would prefer increasing taxes on the rich over three other options: cutting defense spending, cutting Medicare or cutting Social Security. Another 20 percent chose cutting defense spending as the best option. Just 4 percent said they would cut Medicare, and just 3 percent said they would cut Social Security.
Perhaps not surprisingly, those with higher incomes were less inclined to say increasing taxes on the wealthy would be the best option. Nevertheless, as many as 46 percent of Americans making more than $100,000 said it was the best option — 26 points higher than the next-preferred option, cutting defense spending.
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Scalia v. Women?

In an article in this month’s California Lawyer Magazine, Justice Antonin Scalia made a statement which sort of makes me jump out of my skin:

CLM: In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?

Scalia: Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t. Nobody ever thought that that’s what it meant. Nobody ever voted for that. If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, hey we have things called legislatures, and they enact things called laws. You don’t need a constitution to keep things up-to-date. All you need is a legislature and a ballot box. You don’t like the death penalty anymore, that’s fine. You want a right to abortion? There’s nothing in the Constitution about that. But that doesn’t mean you cannot prohibit it. Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.

Wow! This means that it is perfectly legal to discriminate against women… pay them less, keep them out of major universities, require them to accept conservative sex laws… and there is nothing in the Constitution (read: the 14th Amendment) to stop it.

This from the Huffington Post:

“In 1971, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that they were protected, in an opinion by the conservative then Chief Justice Warren Burger,” Adam Cohen wrote in Time in September. “It is no small thing to talk about writing women out of equal protection — or Jews, or Latinos or other groups who would lose their protection by the same logic. It is nice to think that legislatures would protect these minorities from oppression by the majority, but we have a very different country when the Constitution guarantees that it is so.”

In 1996, Scalia cast the sole vote in favor of allowing the Virginia Military Institute to continue denying women admission.

Looking a little farther into this issue of Scalia versus Women is this piece from the Young Turks from last September:

This gives less respect for the Supreme Court’s Conservative majority than I had already.

More Than 1,000 Dead Birds Fall From The Sky

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
BEEBE, Ark. — Environmental service workers finished picking up the carcasses on Sunday of about 2,000 red-winged blackbirds that fell dead from the sky in a central Arkansas town.
The birds had fallen Friday night over a 1-mile area of Beebe, and an aerial survey indicated that no other dead birds were found outside of that area. The workers from U.S. Environmental Services started the cleanup Saturday.
Mike Robertson, the mayor in Beebe, told The Associated Press the last dead bird was removed about 11 a.m. Sunday in the town about 40 miles northeast of Little Rock. He said 12 to 15 workers, hired by the city to do the cleanup, wore environmental-protection suits for the task.

Robertson said the workers wore the suits as a matter of routine and not out of fear that the birds might be contaminated. He said speculation on the cause is not focusing on disease or poisoning.
Bird Government Testing, Lightning Or Poison? What Caused Birds To Fall Dead In Arkansas?

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Wow…it’s like an old Twilight Zone Episode.
Any thoughts?

Let’s start the day with a quickie from PES…The Prank Call

(Don’t you just love this guy’s work… I haven’t put one up in a while and I regret it.)