26 May 2010

Animal Brutality - unbelievable

This post is for all my friends and aquaintances from Ohio. As part of an undercover operation at Conklin Dairy Farms in Plain City (Galloway), Ohio - northwest of Columbus, southwest of Delaware, a video was made of some of the most horrid brutality to animals that I have ever seen. And the worst part is that the farm owner, Gary Conklin, is part of this. Bastard!

*WARNING: This video contains horrid violence and is not for children*

Here is the video. It made me livid:

And to add insult to injury, this farm gets federal subsidies for doing business. This means that Conklin used taxdollars to pay other thugs to beat the living hell out of defenseless animals. Now, I am not a Greenpeace freak and I do like to eat meat, but this stuff is way, way, way out of bounds.

Here is how you can reach Gary Conklin and let him know what you think of his methods:

Conklin Dairy Farms Inc
12939 Us Rte 42 N.
Galloway, OH 43119

(614) 873-8024 
FAX: (614) 873-3383
Email: ConklinDairyFarm@AOL.com 
Gary Conklin, home phone:  (614) 395-2936

My other recommendation is call the prosecutors office for this jurisdiction (Union County - Marysville).

221 West 5th Street
Marysville, OH 43040-1111
(937) 645-4190

There will be a full investigation.  The other recommendation is to completely boycott all products made and sold by Conklin Farms. After all, that is a principle of a free and unfettered market, right? The right of the consumer to buy where he wants to buy and to boycott where he wishes to boycott.

My personal wish is for him and his workers from this video to land behind bars for a long time. May his business dry up and go bankrupt and make way for a dairy farm that knows what it is doing and can make an honest profit without brutalizing animals.

Now, just consider what those bastards could do to people if they don't end up behind bars.... Do you want those kind of thugs in your neighborhood with hammers and pitchforks?

22 May 2010

The Randalization of America

Rand Paul has taken a most fascinating "victory lap" following his resounding GOP Senate primary victory in Kentucky. Why in the world he decided to go on Rachel Maddow's show for his first major post-primary interview, we may never know. But the interview did not go well.

What can we draw from it? Well, Rand Paul is (mostly) a libertarian. This should be no surprise to anyone. His father, Ron Paul, is a very libertarian leaning GOP Representative from TX and has been a thorn in the side of the GOP establishment for a long time.

To be fair to Rand Paul, he probably was not expecting this firestorm. He is also a thinker. This doesn't mean that I agree with him. I do not, on many points. But then again, sometimes he poses a question worth thinking about.

On the other hand, it's not as if Rachel Maddow was trying to trip him up. Rand Paul himself volunteered his viewpoint that he had a problem with 1/10th of the Civil Rights Act (we assume, of 1964, but there are also other "civil rights" acts that have taken place since then), namely, the part about the mix of government and private businesses. Which means we are talking about the age old battle between the left and the right about the "commerce clause". His refusal to answer a simple yes-no question as to whether a Woolworth's Lunchcounter had/has the right to deny service to blacks or jews or gays with a simple yes or no speaks volumes in and of itself. It is a libertarian view, plain and simple. It does NOT make him racist, but his strict adherence to the belief that any mix of government and private sector is wrong or illegal allows racism to flourish where we had worked so hard to stomp it out. His very own point that it was a shame that it took 120 years to end segregation in the south destroys his argument about this 1/10th of the civil rights act, for without the civil rights act IN ITS ENTIRETY we would still have rampant racism in the south, of this I have no doubt.

So, here is the interview. I recommend that you watch it in its entirety:

Paul made similar comments in this interview:


You can see the entire 1 hour interview here.

Response to this has come quick. And this response has come from both the left and the right. Paul was on other networks trying to clarify his points. But there are other videos from the past and quotes from newspapers that are making it hard for him to get out of this jungle. For instance, these comments from 2002:

"A recent Daily News editorial supported the Federal Fair Housing Act. At first glance, who could object to preventing discrimination in housing? Most citizens would agree that it is wrong to deny taxpayer-financed, “public” housing to anyone based on the color of their skin or the number of children in the household.
But the Daily News ignores, as does the Fair Housing Act, the distinction between private and public property. Should it be prohibited for public, taxpayer-financed institutions such as schools to reject someone based on an individual’s beliefs or attributes? Most certainly. Should it be prohibited for private entities such as a church, bed and breakfast or retirement neighborhood that doesn’t want noisy children? Absolutely not.
Decisions concerning private property and associations should in a free society be unhindered. As a consequence, some associations will discriminate...

...A free society will abide unofficial, private discrimination – even when that means allowing hate-filled groups to exclude people based on the color of their skin."

And, instead of making things better, Paul went on CNN and spoke against the "Americans with Disabilities Act":

The problem with this is that the point he makes about small buildings is directly addressed in the law. You can read it for yourself.

"Elevators are not required in:
(a) private facilities that are less than three stories or that have less than 3000 square feet per story unless the building is a shopping center, a shopping mall, or the professional office of a health care provider, or another type of facility as determined by the Attorney General; or
(b) public facilities that are less than three stories and that are not open to the general public if the story above or below the accessible ground floor houses no more than five persons and is less than 500 square feet. Examples may include, but are not limited to, drawbridge towers and boat traffic towers, lock and dam control stations, and train dispatching towers."

Rand Paul should have read the act before having "concerns" about it.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC) really went after Paul for these comments, also for the fact that Paul did his victory speech from an exclusive, private club. Watch:

One of the strongest argments that Clyburn made was: "Here is a man who is answering 14th amendment questions with 2nd amendment responses. This is absolutely appalling".  (3:37)- "He made himself the face and the spokesman for the Tea-Party movement in his victory party on Tuesday night and then he set out the next day to laying out the philosophy of that movement". "They are parsing words, they are sending signals, they are saying things that ought to give us all great pause."

Olbermann on Countdown talked with Clyburn about this:

There's more:

In 2008, helping his father's campaign in Montana, Rand Paul also said some fascinating things about the NAFTA superhighway and other such "issues" (North American Union, Amero):

In his interview with George Stephanopolous on ABC, he was not willing to indicate support for the minimum wage:

I can't embed the video, but you can go to it here.

Since then, Rand Paul has been backtracking.

Not surprisingly, FOXNEWS is reporting it differently:

Listen to John Stossel's comments at 3:51 "Private businesses ought to get to discriminate..... but it should be their right to be racist" (4:00)

AMAZING, just AMAZING. And disgusting.

To clarify, I do not think that Rand Paul is a racist. He is an opthamologist, a libertarian and has not read most of the laws he is criticizing. He cancelled his interview on Sunday's "Meet the Press". Apparently, the heat is too much for him, after just four days.David Gregory hit back on Sunday on "Meet the Press":

19 May 2010

Wild and wooly in Alabama!! YEEEEEE-HAW!!!

It takes a lot for a downticket race to produce an ad that is so weird that the whole world notices, but wingnut Dale Peterson has achieved just that in his bid for the GOP nomination for Agriculture Commissioner. His ad is just so wild west that those crazy dudes at funny or die just HAD TO SPOOF it.

First, the original ad (get your popcorn and rootbeer and enjoy!):

And no, ladies and Gentlemen, the SPOOF:

God, what a hoot!!! First, sheep in California. Now, talking horses in Alabama. What's next: Crocs in Florida?

07 May 2010

Did I just see a swastika?

On a recent segment of the RACHEL MADDOX show, she did an interesting report over crazy things happening with statues, for instance, the unveiling of a statue of Stalin in the Ukraine and the protesters and the counter-protesters.

And then she switched to a segment over the 11 stolen statues in Teheran, Iran. As I watched the segment, I noticed a familiar pattern engraved on the base of the one statue (the statue itself is missing, but the base is still there). The pattern is there twice, with what could easily be interpreted as a sword going through both patterns. I did a snapshot of it and hope you will see it as well. To my eyes, the one on the bottom is easily identifiable as a NAZI swastika (Hakenkreuz), but the one on the top looks like it as well, only fancier. It is one of those things that become more obvious the longer you stare at it, a technique often used by artists such as people who, well, make statues. Take a good look.

Now, I am neither a far-right nor far-left type of person. I am pretty centrist in my worldview and not one to go looking for conspiracies. I am, however, a jew and am very concerned about the destructive rhetoric that has been coming out of Iran, especially since Achmedinijhad came to power.

I hope you will take a good look at this. This could be a small news story worth reporting. I think it is. Would appreciate response from other bloggers to see if they see what I see. Feel free to write a response and tell me what you think.

05 May 2010

Totally OT, totally fascinating, totally awesome!!

Eric Whitacre virtual choir:

Singers from :

12 Countries:
New Zealand
The Philippines
United Kingdom
United States of America

Here’s how his virtual choir works (with thanks to benedictionblogson.com.
(American) Whitacre posted a video online of himself conducting one of his own works – in this case, “Lux Aurumque” – with a simple piano accompaniment. Choristers were invited to obtain the sheet music and record themselves singing their individual part in front of a webcam, following his cues on screen and listening to the piano in earphones.
With technical assistance, Whitacre gathered the posted video responses and mixed the audio into an a cappella performance of his work. For extra effect, his producer created a video collage featuring Whitacre and his singers performing on a virtual stage. The immediate effect is quite striking.
….here, you’ll see a real choir in full flight, weaving and ducking in formation like a flock of starlings. It is the ultimate in social networking, live and in Technicolor.
It may seem curmudgeonly to curse the prevalence of online interaction. It has, after all, opened new doors for people who can’t otherwise connect in person for any variety of reasons.
But I think the medium is actually replacing true interaction in many lives. Alienation is the cause of so many troubles in society, from depression to crime to a lack of civic pride. Not to mention obesity and a lack of motivation.
It’s difficult to predict where this phenomenon is headed. What I do know, however, is that an evening with roast beef, fine wine and good friends is infinitely more satisfying than a night perched in front of a video linkup.

Hypocrisy or set-up??

This is not directly related to politics, but the fallout of this story will leak over into politics, for sure...

The Miami Times News broke a story yesterday about Dr. George Rekers, who was, with James Dobson, a founding member of the Family Research Council. Mr. Rekers, a baptist minister, is virulently anti-gay. He has published books on this subject. Here is his website.

According to the Florida paper, Mr. Rekers was caught flying back with a gay hooker after having taken a ten day vacation with him.  You can read the full original story here but also here and here and here and here and, also for instance here. I am including so many examples not to diffame Mr. Reker, but rather, to show that this story has gone viral very, very quickly.

To his defense, Mr. Reker claims that the call boy, who accompanied him on the entire vacation, was only lifting his luggage. He does not, however, deny that he picked-up the call boy from the website where the gay hooker was advertised.

So far, so good. Actually, as far as I am concerned, I couldn't care. Could be that Mr. Rekers was set-up (very, very unlikely, but remotely possible) or that he is a hypocrite on the scale of Ted Haggard (very, very likely). What is more interesting is the reponse that is already forming.

The Family Research council has already scrubbed him completely from their website. Apparently, to them, he never existed. The other four founders bios are listed, his is gone.

More on this story as it develops... we have a weekend coming up, which means that lots of details will be coming out about this...