Friday, August 31, 2012

Who Was That Masked Man, Anyway?


 

No - Good Guess, But It Was Joyce, Jnr.




Joyce, Jnr. also written as Joyce, Junior or Joyce, Jun'r in Colonial times, is a nom de plume adopted by an unknown Bostonian, a Revolutionary hero who stopped the 18h century version of Conservatives in their tracks before they could undermine the American Revolution in Boston, Tories who were traitorously working behind the lines with our British enemies, halted by the collective, All-American institution of tar and feathering.

The original "Joyce" was Cornet George Joyce, a participant in the execution of Charles I (
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_I_of_England), and one of the few online references to his brief yet fascinating history is here. (You may scroll down to just after page 88, however it is worth looking at the whole document to get a flavor of the Revolutionary times in Massachusetts not covered in our high school American history textbooks.)

Who Was Joyce, Junior?

Esther Forbes introduced a strange figure in her classic biography of Paul Revere "
Paul Revere - And The World He Lived In," (American Heritage Library, 1942: "For years this threatening anonymous name appears in newspapers, placards, broadsides. Oily and deadly, 'Joyce Jr' weaves his way through the history of the town. Nothing upset his aplomb and dignity. For this quaint figure the folk mind had gone back for a hundred years and more, for it was Cornet Joyce who had captured Charles the First and delivered him over to the army.

It was believed that Joyce had been one of the two masked men who had stood beside the block when the king's head fell. And in the popular mind (but not in history) Joyce himself had actually beheaded the king. He was a symbol of popular revolt against government -- hardly a real man at all, as much as a masked crusader.

Boston had dropped his first name (It was George), taken him to herself, and added the "Junior." As the masked leader who led the annual anti-Catholic Pope's Day parade in Boston (Guy Fawkes Day in England), Joyce morphed into a revolutionary leader who aided the Sons and Daughters of Liberty as their "Chairman of the Committee for Tarring and Feathering" in Boston and surrounding towns.

Joyce vs. the Tories

The Tories, the aristocratic party of yesteryear, not only spied on the colonials but many in the merchant class milked illegal profits from their fellow countrymen by selling scarce goods at inflated prices. They also refused to accept payment in paper, favoring metal specie. Black marketing was held in particular abhorrence by the Colonists. The practice depreciated an already weak currency of the citizenry, who were struggling after the end of the devastating French and Indian Wars in 1763. Many towns lacked an effective constabulary to arrest the war profiteers, so in Boston activists like Joyce took command of the "mobs" to seek out and punish the war profiteers and other Fifth Columnists.

From the time of the Stamp Act in 1765 through the middle years of the Revolution ending in 1777, throughout the Atlantic coast, American Tories were pursued by the colonial patriots. If not summarily executed the Tories might be banished from the towns and cities when caught, hung in effigy when they evaded capture or, the most ignoble of punishments, stripped, tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail.

Joyce's method was to post notices in public and in the press promising dire punishment for the those American royalists he named as traitors to their country. Failure to obey his commands was foolish as Joyce could lead mobs of up to a thousand angry Colonials ready to tar and feather their enemies.

Joyce Introduces Himself to Boston.

On Saturday morning, January 15th, 1774 - only a month after the Boston Tea Party - an announcement was posted all over Boston town and in the Boston Gazette, the Essex Gazette, and the Boston News-Letter.

"Brethren, and Fellow Citizens! YOU may depend, that those odious Miscreants and detestable Tools to Ministry and Governor, the TEA CONSIGNEES, (those Traitors to their Country, Butchers, who have done, and are doing every Thing to Murder and Destroy all that shall stand in the Way of their private Interest), are determined to come and reside again in the Town of Boston. I therefore give you this early Notice that you may hold yourselves in Readiness, on the shortest Notice, to give them such a Reception, as such vile Ingrates deserve. JOYCE, jun.
(Chairman of the Committee of Tarring and Feathering)
If any Person should be so hardy as to Tear this down, they may expect my severest Resentment. J. jun."

And shortly after on March 28, 1774 we see that Joyce, Junior's services were already in demand by other townspeople in the Colony with Tory "problems."

"A CARD. The Plymouth Protestors present their Compliments to JOYCE, jun. and ask the Favor of him to make Preparation for a Reception of a select Committee from their Body, who propose to honor the Metropolis with a Visit .
The "Plymouth Protestors" apparently met with Joyce, and as we shall see, those Tories who ignored Joyce's threats soon found out the threats were not idle ones."

A Contemporary Account.

An anonymous narrator writing in the Boston Daily Advertiser on November 9, 1821 credited Joyce, Junior and his cohorts with actions leading to the Boston Massacre, and ultimately the Revolution:

"A man used to ride an ass with immense jack boots and his face covered with a horrible mask and was called 'Joyce Jr,' he wrote. "His office was to assemble men and boys in mob style and ride in the middle of them, and in such company to terify the adherents to Royal Government, before the Revolution. The tumults which resulted in the Massacre, 1770, was excited by that means. -- Joyce Junior, was said to have a particular whistle which brought his adherents, whenever they were wanted."

Yet another contemporaneous description of Joyce, Junior surfaced in a letter to a London paper when a local Tory informer divulged the names of sixty-two Bostonians who were leaders of the local rebels - including John Hancock, Benjamin Church, Joseph Warren, and Paul Revere. He noted that one of the Revolutionaries was "...(name somehow ripped off in one version. In another, he was identified as John Winthrop), Alias Joyce Jr., chairman of the Committee for Tarring and Feathering, who is now strolling the West Indies."

Even Revolutionary heroes had vacation time 200 years ago.

Joyce Criticizes Cruel Punishment For Villain of "Lesser Consequence."

 
 
 
In the beginning of his role as "Chairman," Joyce disassociated himself from a particularly vicious tarring and feathering of Tory John Malcolm on January, 25, 1774. Malcolm, described by Forbes as "...fifty at the time, violently loyalist in his feelings, and undoubtedly touched" had run up to the second story of his house to escape a warrant for his arrest after assaulting a local resident, George Robert Twelves Hewes. Armed with a pistols, a sword and an ax, he was boasted to the crowd below that he would "split down the Yankees by the dozen and receive twenty shillings sterling a head."

"Ladders were put up. He was disarmed and passed down to a cart waiting below. He was taken to a wharf, stripped to the waist, and painted with tar. The contents of two feather pillows were stuck to the tar. By now over a thousand people had gathered. For four hours the poor creature was carted all over Boston. To King Street, the Liberty Tree, out to the gallows on the Neck (where he was forced to drink the health of all eleven members of the royal family in tea, and nearly burst). Back to the Tree and King Street again, then to Copp's Hill. At every stopping place he was flogged. After four hours of this torture, half frozen and seemingly half dead, he 'was rolled out of the cart like a log.'"

The Boston Gazette corroborated the event, noting that the mob "tore his Cloaths off, and tarr'd his Head and Body, and feathered him, then set him in a Chair in the Cart, and carried him through the main Street into King-Street, from thence they proceeded to Liberty-Tree, and then to the Neck as far as the Gallows, where they whipped him, beat him with Sticks and threatened to hang him." (It was rare that Tories were tarred and feathered more than once, but Malcolm certainly was more obnoxious than most. According to the local papers he was 'genteely TARR'D and FEATHER'D' on the first of November,1773 -- fully clothed, which often indicated a minor offense.)

But Joyce thought the crowd went too far and posted a new handbill five days later on January 30th:

"Brethern and Fellow Citizens This is to Certify, that the modern Punishment Lately Inflicted on the ignoble John Malcolm was not done by our Order. We reserve that Method for Bringing Villains Of greater Consequence to a Sense of Guilt and Infamy. Joyce Jun'r. Chairman of the Committee for Tarring and Feathering. If any person be so hardy as to tear this down, they may expect my severest Resentment Joyce jun'r

Intentions aside, Forbes says, "This is typical 'Joyce Jun'r' literature. His character is mild, lofty, unctuous. He rarely threatens more than 'resentment,' yet there is something definitely unpleasant in his studied courtesy...Oily and deadly 'Joyce Jr' weaves his way through the history of the town. Nothing upset his aplomb and dignity."

Banishment: Better Fate Than Tarring and Feathering.

A Letter in the Boston Gazette on March 17, 1777 written by one of the leaders of the Sons of Liberty to Joyce, Junior identified several Tories with "dangerous designs" by name. They asked their masked leader to use whatever methods he deemed "best" to drive the "Miscreant Tories" out of town.

JOYCE, Junior, PRESENTS his most respectful compliments to those chosen few, who early and faithfully engaged in the Cause of Liberty and their Country, to oppose those Sons of Tyranny who took Shelter behind the British Tyrant's Edicts, and Band of Hireling Vassals, That he is once more returned from Correcting those Miscreants, after almost two Years Absence; That he will meet them at the *old place* of Rendezvous toMorrow Evening, 7 o'Clock, in Order to Consult the most effective Ways and Means to carry into Execution the Act of this State to prevent Monopoly and oppression; To see what is best to be done with those shameless Brass Faced Tories, who have the Audaciousness to remain among this much abused and insulted People, and still carry on their Trecherous Designs; To take the best Methods to get rid of a Set of abandoned Miscreant Tories, who have been drove out of the several Towns in this State for their Villainous Doings, and have taken Shelter in this Town; To take some effective Method to prevent their frequent Meetings, and Act upon all such Matters as shall come before them. N.B. I desire you would make a proper Enquiry of a Rescinding Calf, a Malden Porter, a Cape-Ann Serjeant and a Refugee Upham.

(The "Rescinding Calf," et. al. were nicknames for suspected Tories: The Rescinding Calf was Dr. John Calef of Ipswich, a Malden Porter was Dr. Jonathan Porter of Malden - later exonerated by the township in Malden in a letter to the Independent Chronicle, Epes Serjeant of Cape Ann was third man, and the Refugee Upham was was Joshua Upham of Brookfield, Massachusetts who "relocated" to Canada, becoming the Justice of the Superior Court of the Province of New Brunswick.)

And on April 19, 1777, on the second anniversary of the Battle of Lexington, Joyce, Junior and 500 men seized five "Tory Villains" marched them to Roxbury neck, commanding them never to return to Boston.

That night handbills were posted through the town. A lengthy warning was sent for publication to Benjamin Edes, the sympathetic owner of the Boston Gazette, addressing those "Villains of Greater Consequences, and published on April 21st":

Mr. Edes, Omit publishing the following at your Peril. A NOTIFICATION. WHEREAS, by my express Command, this Day, five Tory Villains were carted over the Line on Boston neck, viz. William Jackson, Nathaniel Cary, James Perkins, and Richard Green, of this Town, and a certain Epes Sarjeant, of Cape Ann, Persons, whose Characters have been so uniform for some Time past, as not to be marked even with the Shadow of a Virtue: -- AND whereas there are many more of the same Stamp in this Town, and others daily coming in from the Country, because the Towns they resided in could no longer bear their unparalleled wickedness, lest they make others as bad as themselves. --AND whereas I have certain Information of a Gang of Tories, who have Weekly Meeting at particular Houses in this Town, under Cover of the Night, then and there consulting and wickedly contriving to ruin, if possible, this once happy Land: -- AND whereas there are several Merchants, Shopkeepers and others in the Town, who have a large Quantity of Dry Goods, and West-India Produce, which they have secreted, and still refuse to sell, altho' the good People of this State, and the Army, are in immediate Want of such Articles; and others that do sell, are guilty of many wicked and evil Practices, in adulterating certain of their Goods, and others refusing Paper Currency; -- AND whereas, notwithstanding the many good and wholesome Laws of this State, Villains of each of the foregoing Denominations, either by Evasions, or by having their Causes supported by Persons of a certain Class, called Moderate Men, alias Hypocrites, escape condign Punishment: -- I HAVE therefore thought fit to issue this my NOTIFICATION, strictly charging and commanding all Persons who are guilty of any or all of the Vices and Enormities herein before enumerated, that they forthwith cease from all such nefarious Practices, otherwise they may rely on Judgment without Mercy; and who, if I hear any more of their Impertinence, shall endeavour to teach THEM Wisdom. I DO hereby require, in Compliance with the good and wholesome Laws of this State, and for the Good of the Public, for whom I stand forth, That all who have left Butchering, Droving, Horse jockeying, Shoe-making, Sand-driving, and assum'd selling by Wholesale or Retail West India Goods, and all others in the same Business, and of Huxtering, that they forthwith open their Stores and shops, and sell openly and publickly, Rum Sugar, Molasses, Cotton-Wool, &c. &c. at the Prices stipulated by Law. I DO further command and require all Meetings of Tories to cease from this Time, or else I shall take an Opportunity of breaking up their further gossippings at the Widows. And I do Caution the said Widow from permitting her Son going with any more Letters to Reading and Concord. I most affectionately return my Thanks, to those free Sons who gave me their Assistance this Day. I shall notify when I would be glad to see them again. JOYCE, Junr.

Abigail Adams Confirms Fate of Tory "Villains."

In a letter dated the next day on April 20, 1977 Abigail Adams briefed future President, her husband John:

"I hate to tell a story unless I am informed of every particular. As it happened yesterday, and to-day is Sunday, I have not been so fully informed as I could wish. About eleven o'clock yesterday William Jackson, Dick Green, Harry Perkins, and Sargent, of Cape Ann, and A. Carry, of Charlestown, were carted out of Boston under the direction of Joice junior (Abigail was an indifferent speller, but others applied different spellings to Joyce also), who was mounted on horseback, with a red coat, a white wig, and a drawn sword, with drum and fife following. A concourse of people to the amount of five hundred followed. They proceeded as far as Roxbury, when he ordered the cart to be tipped up, then told them if they were ever caught in town again it should be at the expense of their lives. He then ordered his gang to return, which they did immediately without any disturbance."

She added this paragraph on the next day:

"Have now learned the crime of the carted Tories. It seems they have refused to take paper money, and offered their goods lower for silver than for paper; bought up articles at a dear rate, and then would not part with them for paper."

And finally, a "soldier" posted what was probably the prevailing feeling about their hero along with a call for action - a call for action needed today:

"A True Friend to America, compell'd by the Necessity of the Times, presents his Compliments to Joyce, Jun'r, and tho' he acknowledges the Method of extirpating Tories, would come better from Government, yet he apprehends the Reins at present so lax, that spirited Measures should be taken by some Well wisher to his Country, and one who will proceed in this Business with Order and Regularity. -- He therefore earnestly calls upon this spirited Asserter of the American Cause, to proceed in such Manner as he, with the Advice of his Brethren shall think proper, to clear this Town of all noted and suspicious Persons, who are so injurious to this State in particular, and the United States in general, and who will sooner effect our Destruction by their secret Combinations, Consultations, and other diabolical Practices, than the whole Force sent against us by Great Britain. -- This Country being once Free from these Pests to Society, he trusts in God, Mr. Howe, with all his mercenary Troops, will never be able to effect their Design. The other Towns in this State, are also earnestly called upon, to exert themselves in the Salvation of their Country, by some Measures similar to those taken in this Town; and all Committees of Correspondence, Inspection, Safety and others, are desired to keep a strict Watch upon the Motions of these wicked designing Men. The Intelligence we have had of burning Stores at Danbury, is sufficient to rouse us from our present Lethergy, and I dare aver, many of these internal Enemies would, with pleasure, convey the British Troops to our most valuable Magazines - A Word to the Wise is sufficient.
Joyce, Jnr., my *nom de guerre* is inspired by an obscure Bostonian pre-Revolutionary War hero who, as the "Chairman of Tar & Feathering" in Boston, Massachusetts, led the people to seek out and punish or evict from the town the 18th century version of Conservative enemies; the fate of those unfortunate enough to find themselves caught by Joyce and his followers, was to be ushered out of town propped upon a wooden plank, and festooned from head to tail with tar and feathers.

Vigilantism.
Joyce, Jnr was a Vigilante. Vigilantes, like those affected by assassins or terrorists, are thought in the eyes of the object of the tar and feathering as extralegal entities, but as Courts of Last Resort to the participants in the absence or ineffectiveness of legal institutions. (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigilante)

The theory that Joyce was merchant John Winthrop, Jr., son of a Harvard professor and a 1765 Harvard graduate, is a fascinating one, if only to compare one of Winthrop's own ancestors in a painting with "V" - the protagonist from the film *V is For Vendetta.* (
http://wikipedia.org/wiki/V_for_Vendetta or http://wikipedia.org/wiki/V_for_Vendetta_(film)


Though vigilantism has a long history going back to ancient times, Joyce, Jr. was one of the first of a long line of vigilantes in the New World, citizen groups who felt that the law was unable, or unwilling to assist the downtrodden from criminal actions: the Regulators in pre-Revolutionary North Carolina; the California vigilantes in the mid-1800s - notably the San Francisco Vigilance Movement; the Montana Vigilantes in the 1860s (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Montana_Vigilantes); other groups in Tennessee and throughout the South; Indiana; Alaska; in the modern era vigilante groups in Finland, China, Thailand, Ireland, El Salvador, New York City; and numerous other countries - even on the seas we count the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (http://wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Shepherd_Conservation_Society) - and on and on.

In fiction, from Robin Hood and his Merry Men to Batman and Robin to rogue cop Dirty Harry romanticize the vigilantes are celebrated as crime crusaders.

Not all vigilantism is morally correct, and some innocents have been victims especially when vigilantes have taken a racist turn - the Klu Klux Klan murdering African Americans and Arizona vigilantes looking to shooting down Mexican border-crossers are prime examples.

Yet Finally Conservatives' ally, the National Rifle Association, together with Conservative legislators and governors, is seeking to arm all citizens with an unstated aim of using firearms to gun down people of color (
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Trayvon_Martin), a form of mass vigilantism. (Were we not once taught in grammar schools that in the West the legality of average citizens carrying guns was abolished as the institutions of law - courts, marshals, and sheriffs - started to develop?)

Hopefully, the ghost of vigilantism will remain buried as we seek to abolish Conservatism by legal means through governmenta channels.

(Reposted from the Page, "Joyce, Jnr.")
 
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“Sorrow is the child of too much joy”

Chinese Proverb 

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Conservatism: Organized Crime By Fat Cats.




In yesterday's post, "Who Are The Rich 1 Percent?," after defining a "Fat Cat" as a "...rich, greedy person who, due to ownership of large amounts of capital, is able to 'live easy' off the work of others," we noted that ".. that Conservatism is a tool masquerading under a manufactured political philosophy, used by the most avaricious and power-hungry of the rich, upper class to take us back to the days of feudalism. Because this so-called Conservatism is nothing more than a criminal conspiracy, it must be outlawed, and outlawed quickly, before it is too late.

"To be sure, we have been conditioned to ignore the criminality of Conservatism all of our lives, but as the earth was once thought to be flat and the center of the universe, objective examination of the Conservatives' role in our history shows us the 'vast criminal conspiracy' in a true light.

We return to the impartiality of Wikipedia today to examine the terms "crime" and "organized crime," to complete the thesis of this site - that Conservatism is not a political philosophy, that it is a criminal enterprise deserving of immediate criminalization.



Crime

Crime is the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority (via mechanisms such as legal systems) can ultimately prescribe a conviction. Crimes may also result in cautions, rehabilitation or be unenforced.  Individual human societies may each define crime and crimes differently, in different localities (state, local, international), at different time stages of the so-called "crime", from planning, disclosure, supposedly intended, supposedly prepared, incomplete, complete or future proclaimed after the "crime".

While every crime violates the law, not every violation of the law counts as a crime; for example: breaches of contract and of other civil law may rank as "offences" or as "infractions".  Modern societies generally regard crimes as offences against the public or the state, as distinguished from torts (wrongs against private parties that can give rise to a civil cause of action).




Criminalization

States control the process of criminalization because:
  • Even if victims recognize their own role as victims, they may not have the resources to investigate and seek legal redress for the injuries suffered: the enforcers formally appointed by the State often have better access to expertise and resources.
  • The victims may only want compensation for the injuries suffered, while remaining indifferent to a possible desire for deterrence.
  • Fear of retaliation may deter victims or witnesses of crimes from taking any action. Even in policed societies, fear may inhibit from reporting incidents or from co-operating in a trial.
  • Victims, on their own, may lack the economies of scale that could allow them to administer a penal system, let alone to collect any fines levied by a court.  Garoupa & Klerman (2002) warn that a rent-seeking government has as its primary motivation to maximize revenue and so, if offenders have sufficient wealth, a rent-seeking government will act more aggressively than a social-welfare-maximizing government in enforcing laws against minor crimes (usually with a fixed penalty such as parking and routine traffic violations), but more laxly in enforcing laws against major crimes.
  • As a result of the crime, victims may die or become incapacitated.




Organized Crime

Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are politically motivated. Sometimes criminal organizations force people to do business with them, as when a gang extorts money from shopkeepers for so-called "protection"   Gangs may become disciplined enough to be considered organized. An organized gang or criminal set can also be referred to as a mob.

Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as the RICO Act or simply RICO, is a United States federal law that provides for extended criminal penalties and a civil cause of action for acts performed as part of an ongoing criminal organization. The RICO Act focuses specifically on racketeering, and it allows for the leaders of a syndicate to be tried for the crimes which they ordered others to do or assisted them, closing a perceived loophole that allowed someone who told a man to, for example, murder, to be exempt from the trial because they did not actually do it.
 
RICO was enacted by section 901(a) of the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 (Pub. L. 91-452, 84 Stat. 922, enacted October 15, 1970). RICO is codified as Chapter 96 of Title 18 of the United States Code, 18 U.S.C. § 1961–1968. While its original use in the 1970's was to prosecute the Mafia as well as others who were actively engaged in organized crime, its later application has been more widespread.
 
"Rico"
It has been speculated that the name and acronym were selected in a sly reference to the movie Little Caesar, which featured a notorious gangster named Rico. The original drafter of the bill, G. Robert Blakey, refused to confirm or deny this.
 



Criminalization II

...a focus on the victim promotes rights selectively for certain victims, and advocates the assumption that some victim rights are more important than competing rights or values in society.   For example, an Islamic feminist might seek consistency of treatment for women as victims and, therefore, demand the decriminalization of abortion, adultery, and seduction (Zina is a Hudud offense in sharia law), and the criminalization of domestic violence and sexual harassment.

Procedure

The criminalisation process defines and classifies behaviour. It broadcasts the laws so that no-one may have the excuse of ignorance, and disposes of those who will not obey. There are now more criminal laws and they are penetrating deeper into the social structures of modern societies. Crime control has become an industry, yet it remains ineffective in providing protection to all its citizens from harm. Such as it is, the process is made up of three components:
  1. Creation of a social order. This is both a socio-economic process, a "...fundamental ordering of social relations so that those things necessary for social survival can be produced and distributed in some predictable fashion" and an ideological process so that there can be a "...development of values, beliefs, and ideas related to the concrete tasks of production and distribution."  Thus, society must develop the apparatus of law creation, law enforcement and punishment and the system must be acceptable to the majority of those who live in the community. If the laws do not match the general mores, their enforcement will be a source of friction and disharmony. Conformity to the social order must, for the most part, be self-enforced.
  2. For the times when self-enforcement fails, society must create a legal order. This part of the process sees the centralisation of power within the institutions of the political state. Some states justified the criminalisation process as demonstrating their concerns about safety and security, the policy of control, policing, criminal justice, and penal practice. The modern state is decentralising and privatising its functions. This is changing the character and content of the remaining institutions of the state which must now work co-operatively with other for-profit agencies.
  3. The political order must realign so that the remaining political entities such as legislatures and judges set agreed targets for state control and then produce actual outputs of the legal order, i.e. of people defined as criminal and processed through that system.


We have now tied the greediest of the upper classes, those with wealth who are subverting our political system for their own ends through criminal activities hiding under the false political philosophy called "Conservatism," even as their paid propagandists and legislators brainwash their "sheeplets," those unfortunates of our society who are intellectually challenged, barely literate, yet able to vote.

Conservatism can and must be criminalized.  The laws are in place to implement criminalization and only the will of the Nation is needed to finally put an end to the criminal organization that has been the ruin of democracy in our country.

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“I worked so hard for that first kiss
And a heart don’t forget something like that."

Tim McGraw

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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Who *Are* The Rich 1 Percent?







Loren (I hope you'll forgive me for taking the liberty of using your first name, I feel that this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship), with thousands of sources to pick from, with so many different prejudices and viewpoints abounding on the internet, I'm sure that you'll have little objection to our using "the peoples' encyclopedia," Wikipedia, as an unbiased source, with no ax to grind, to answer your question, "Tell me, what amount constitutes "rich" and who sets the level?"

As a peruser of  a goodly sample of the posts from this site, as well as one who has obviously examined, then analyzed the pages within the tabs under the site's banner, I know that you are constitutionally unable to make the fatal fallacious error of the Conservative sheeplets by equating my attack on the greediest of Conservative fat cats, those who criminally exploit the political system for their gain to the detriment of the poor and middle classes, to the extermination of all those with a net worth,say, of a million dollars.  And since parenthetically, your spelling, grammar, and sentence structure labels you as liberally-inclined as opposed to those of a more conservative bent, you deserve an honest, and lengthy answer.

And so Loren, via Wikipedia:


Upper Class

Historically in some cultures, members of an upper class often did not have to work for a living, as they were supported by earned or inherited investments (often real estate), although members of the upper class may have had less actual money than merchants. Upper- class status commonly from the social position of one's family and not from one's own achievements or wealth. Much of the population that composed the upper class consisted of aristocrats, ruling families, titled people, and religious hierarchs. These people were usually born into their status and historically there was not much movement across class boundaries. This is to say that it was much harder for an individual to move up in class simply because of the structure of society.



The American Upper Class describes the sociological concept pertaining to the "top layer" of society in the United States.  This social class is most commonly described as consisting of those with great wealth and power and may also be referred to as the Capitalist Class or simply as The Rich.   Persons of this class commonly have immense influence in the nation's political and economic institutions as well as public opinion.

Many politicians, heirs to fortunes, top business executives, CEOs, successful venture capitalists and celebrities are considered members of this class. Some prominent and high-rung professionals may also be included if they attain great influence and wealth. The main distinguishing feature of this class, which is estimated to constitute roughly 1% of the population, is the source of income. While the vast majority of persons and households derive their income from salaries, those in the upper class derive their income from investments and capital gains.   Estimates for the size of this group commonly vary from 1% to 2%, while some surveys have indicated that as many as 6% of Americans identify as "upper class." Sociologist Leonard Beeghley sees wealth as the only significant distinguishing feature of this class and, therefore, refers to this group simply as "the rich."

The members of the tiny capitalist class at the top of the hierarchy have an influence on economy and society far beyond their numbers. They make investment decisions that open or close employment opportunities for millions of others. They contribute money to political parties, and they often own media enterprises that allow them influence over the thinking of other classes... The capitalist class strives to perpetuate itself: Assets, lifestyles, values and social networks... are all passed from one generation to the next." -Dennis Gilbert, The American Class Structure, 1998.
 
Sociologists such as W. Lloyd Warner, William Thompson and Joseph Hickey recognize prestige differences between members of the upper class. Established families, prominent professionals and politicians may be deemed to have more prestige than some entertainment celebrities who in turn may have more prestige than the members of local elites. Yet, contemporary sociologists argue that all members of the upper class share such great wealth, influence and assets as their main source of income as to be recognized as members of the same social class.   As great financial fortune is the main distinguishing feature of this class, sociologist Leonard Beeghley at the University of Florida identifies all "rich" households, those with incomes in the top 1% or so, as upper class.

"Upper-class families... dominate corporate America and have a disproportionate influence over the nation's political, educational, religious, and other institutions. Of all social classes, members of the upper class also have a strong sense of solidarity and 'consciousness of kind' that stretches across the nation and even the globe." -William Thompson & Joseph Hickey, Society in Focus, 2005.

Millionaires

Households with net worths of $1 million or more may be identified as members of the upper-most socio-economic demographic, depending on the class model used. While most contemporary sociologists estimate that only 1% of households are members of the upper class, sociologist Leonard Beeghley asserts that all households with a net worth of $1 million or more are considered "rich." He divides "the rich" into two sub-groups: the rich and the super-rich. The rich constitute roughly 5% of U.S. households and their wealth is largely in the form of home equity. Other contemporary sociologists, such as Dennis Gilbert, argue that this group is not part of the upper class but rather part of the upper middle class, as its standard of living is largely derived from occupation-generated income and its affluence falls far short of that attained by the top percentile. The super-rich, according to Beeghley, are those able to live off their wealth without depending on occupation-derived income. This demographic constitutes roughly 0.9% of American households. Beeghley's definition of the super-rich is congruent with the definition of upper class employed by most other sociologists. The top .01 percent of the population, with an annual income of $9.5 million or more, received 5% of the income of the United States in 2007. These 15,000 families have been characterized as the "richest of the rich".


This leads us to the pejorative term, "Fat Cat," again, as defined in Wikipedia.



 


Fat cat is a political term originally describing a rich political donor, also called an angel or big money manThe New York Times has described fat cats as symbols of "a deeply corrupt campaign finance system riddled with loopholes", with Americans seeing them as recipients of the "perks of power", but able to "buy access, influence policy and even veto appointments."

It is also commonly used to describe a rich, greedy person who, due to ownership of large amounts of capital, is able to "live easy" off the work of others.

And the term "Fat Cat" leads us to the word "Oligarchy."

Oligarchy

Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning "a few", and ἄρχω (archo), meaning "to rule or to command") is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who pass their influence from one generation to the next.

Throughout history, oligarchies have been tyrannical (relying on public servitude to exist) or relatively benign. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, but oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy.

In The United States

Some contemporary authors have characterized the United States' current state of affairs as being oligarchic in nature.

Simon Johnson wrote that "the reemergence of an American financial oligarchy is quite recent," a structure which he delineated as being the "most advanced" in the world   Jeffrey A. Winters argues that "oligarchy and democracy operate within a single system, and American politics is a daily display of their interplay."   Bernie Sanders (D-VT) opined in a 2010 The Nation article that an "upper-crust of extremely wealthy families are hell-bent on destroying the democratic vision of a strong middle-class which has made the United States the envy of the world. In its place they are determined to create an oligarchy in which a small number of families control the economic and political life of our country."[

And we ultimately tie the ambitions of the greediest of the upper classes to their yearning for a feudal system.




Feudalism

Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.

Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum (fief), then in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the medieval period. In its classic definition, by Francois-Louis Ganshof (1944), feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords, vassals, and fiefs.

There is also a broader definition, as described by Marc Bloch (1939), that includes not only warrior nobility but all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clerics, and the peasantry bonds of manorialism; this is sometimes referred to as a "feudal society". Since 1974 with the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's The Tyranny of a Construct, and Susan Reynolds' Fiefs and Vassals (1994), there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.

And finally, to link the upper classes' actions in subverting our political system for their own use:

 
 

"In criminal law, it is viewed as one of the necessary elements of a crime. The standard common law test of criminal liability is usually expressed in the Latin phrase, actus non facit reum nisi mens sit rea, which means "the act does not make a person guilty unless the mind is also guilty."

So ends the Wikipedia definitions - with no editorial input from the undersigned.  Thus, we can assume the definitions to be fair and non-judgemenetal, reality and not fantasy.

The theme of this site, Loren, and I invite you to explore the site more fully - especially the tabs, "Objections Rebutted" and "The Birth of This Blog" - is that Conservatism is a tool masquerading under a manufactured political philosophy, used by the most avaricious and power-hungry of the rich, upper class to take us back to the days of feudalism.  Because this so-called Conservatism is nothing more than a criminal conspiracy, it must be outlawed, and outlawed quickly, before it is too late.

To be sure, we have been conditioned to ignore the criminality of Conservatism all of our lives, but as the earth was once thought to be flat and the center of the universe, objective examination of the Conservatives' role in our history shows us the "vast criminal conspiracy" in a true light.

Note a current story: "Newt Gingrich At The RNC: The Wealthy Are 'More Noble.'"

“We need to reassert,” he said, “the nobility of creating jobs and wealth.”

Your friend,

Joyce, Jnr.


 

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“Most people think life sucks, and then you die. Not me. I beg to differ. I think life sucks,
then you get cancer, then your dog dies, your wife leaves you, the cancer goes into remission,
you get a new dog, you get remarried, you owe ten million dollars in medical bills but you
work hard for thirty-five years and you pay it back and then -- one day -- you have a massive
stroke, your whole right side is paralyzed, you have to limp along the streets and speak out of
the left side of your mouth and drool but you go into rehabilitation and regain the power to
walk and the power to talk and then -- one day -- you step off a curb at Sixty-seventh Street,
and BANG you get hit by a city bus and then you die. Maybe.”

Denis Leary (American comedian and actor, b.1957)

 

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Rich Are Greedier Than The Poor...WAY Greedier!.



Ips-dc.org's article, "Executive Excess 2012: The CEO Hands in Uncle Sam's Pocket - How Our Tax Dollars Subsidiz Exorbitant Executive Pay,"somehow struck this poster as less than a huge surprise.  ("Nationwide, budget cuts have axed 627,000 public service jobs just since June 2009. Schools, health clinics, fire stations, parks, and recreation facilities—virtually no public service  has gone unsqueezed. Tax dollars haven’t seemed this scarce in generations.  Yet tens of billions of these scarce tax dollars are getting diverted. These tax dollars are flowing from average Americans who depend on public services to the kingpins of America’s private sector. They’re subsidizing, directly and indirectly, the mega-million paychecks that go to the top executives at our nation’s biggest banks and corporations.")

And the article, from MSNBC, "Tax Experts: Bain's Tax Strategy Is Unlawful,' was no surprise either. 
("Mitt Romney has benefited from an unlawful tax strategy employed by Bain Capital, three separate tax law experts tell Lean Forward.  'It violates the established tax law,' one put it flatly.")

And no doubt the silly Conservative sheeplets have been trained by the Conservative propagandists to shout out, "So what?  The rich job creators give so much more charity to the poor, so they deserve to pay no taxes."

Wrong again, sheeplets.



From the examiner.com, Study finds rich people give much less to charity than poor people: "A new study shows the mythical talking point of the richest individuals being the most generous*, and therefore the most worthy of tax breaks, to be false. Those with lower incomes consistently donated nearly twice as much of their discretionary income, when compared to more wealthy individuals.

"The study by philanthropy.com accumulated data by following the donation patterns of every state. It concluded that people who make between $50,000 and $75,000 a year donated 7.6% of their discretionary income to charity. Conversely, those making $100,000 or more only donated 4.2%.

"An even curiouser trend found that if the local population contained 40% of people making $200,000 a year then the donation rates plummeted to a paltry 2.8%."


Like all the other lies, while the rich are stealing money from the middle class, the myth of our need to protect the "job creators" from unconscienable taxtion heads the list and is the one that the greediest among the wealthy are anxious that we swallow.  With perpetual propagnda like this it is no wonder that we call for retroactive payback of the assets and income of the superrich to the middle and lower classes when Conservatism is finally criminalized and the upper 1 percent is brought to the docket for their crimes.


Sheldon Adelson In Macau


(* The article notes: "But Austin Goolsbee, in the Times, goes on to wonder why the super-rich don’t give away more of their money, like Buffett. After all, there is no rational reason to have billions and billions of dollars. Nobody can spend that much money, and neither can your kids.

Goolsbee concludes that the answer is social status:
Perhaps they [the super-rich] get something different from having money — clout, power, the ability to dominate an industry. Or perhaps these are just competitive people who care about their position compared with other people on the list.
They accumulate more so they can lord it over the other families who have less — a bit like having enough nuclear weapons to blow up the world several times but making more to stay ahead of the other guy.
"I’m sure that explanation is partially correct, although Buffett and Gates have gotten more “social-status” points for giving away their money than your average billionaire has gotten for being number 287 on the Forbes 400 list.

"I think the simplest answer is that making money feels good. Economists assume that money is just a proxy for future utility, a fungible scrap of paper that we use to purchase pleasurable things. But money itself doesn’t, or shouldn’t, give us pleasure. The dopaminergic jolt of happiness comes from spending, not earning.")

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“It's not easy to juggle a pregnant wife and a troubled child, but somehow I managed to
squeeze in 8 hours of TV a day.”

Homer Simpson 

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Why Do People Vote For Republicans?



Misinformed USA: Why average Americans vote for Republicans

From the examiner.com:

"One can only wonder why average working class Americans would vote for a party that is so obvious in their bias towards the wealthy. It would make sense that someone in the top 1% of the income bracket would vote for the Republican party since they have the wealthiest American's best interest at heart. You could even make the case that highly religious Christians would vote for Republicans even though, at times, they vote against their own best economic interests. So the question remains, while scratching your head, why do working class Americans vote for Republican candidates?

"I recently sat down and spoke with an acquaintance of mine, trying to get a grip on what people are thinking about the future of our country. He said he will vote for Mitt Romney because, "we need a business person to get our debt down." I asked where he got his news, and after trying to deflect from the question, the answer finally came. "I don't pay attention too much, but when I do, I watch Fox."  Fox News is the primary source for information for millions of Americans across the country and that's where the problem starts.

"Whether it's Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity or other right wing ideologues, Fox News is a tunnel vision information outlet with only one particular agenda that is being pushed through. Millions of Americans watch Fox News, listen to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Neal Boortz, Michael Savage and others while getting information from right wing think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute. With big businesses and billionaire allies, the truth and facts in American have gone from a clear right and wrong, black and white situation to muffled shades of gray. It's not to say that Fox News, the Cato Institute and others like them totally lie because that would be too difficult to pull off. What these think tanks do, is take a fact and twist it to fit their own personal agenda, leaving out key information that would contradict with the platform they're trying to create.

"A perfect example in describing the way groups like the Cato Institute operate is a report that came out by alternet.org. In the early 2000s, the Cato Institute released a report that suggested that families receiving welfare were making between $17,000 and $25,000 a year, but the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities countered that claim. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities showed that the average income for welfare recipients was below $9,000 a year, which is nearly $3,000 a year below the poverty line.

"The misinformation also comes from another right wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation. In 2011, when Paul Ryan released the "Ryan" Republican budget, the Heritage Foundation claimed that unemployment would drop to 6.4% in 2012 and to 2.8% in 2022. A report released by the Washington Monthly pointed out that these claims were extremely exaggerated. The CBO, the Congressional Budget Office, showed the errors of the Heritage Foundation's report and the director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis, William Beach, was forced to walk backed the claims."

Heritage Foundation, the Cato Institute, and Fox News can never be believed...there's more, please go to the article --> http://www.examiner.com/article/misinformed-usa-why-average-americans-vote-for-republicans

From economist.com:



"When Mitt Romney was governor of liberal Massachusetts, he supported abortion, gun control, tackling climate change and a requirement that everyone should buy health insurance, backed up with generous subsidies for those who could not afford it. Now, as he prepares to fly to Tampa to accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president on August 30th, he opposes all those things. A year ago he favoured keeping income taxes at their current levels; now he wants to slash them for everybody, with the rate falling from 35% to 28% for the richest Americans.

"All politicians flip-flop from time to time; but Mr Romney could win an Olympic medal in it (see article)."




A study based on 80 years worth of evidence says Democrats are better at economics...from the Washington Examiner:

80-year study: Democrats better at economics

"When it comes to which party is better for the economy, Republicans talk the talk, but it's Democrats who deliver the goods according to an unusual 80-year study of the impact presidents have on growth, personal wealth, the stock market and even 401ks.

"The bottom line, according to Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box: Of the five best economic presidents since Herbert Hoover, only one is a Republican. The paydirt finding: $100,000 invested during the 40 years Republicans had the White House would be worth $126,027. The same amount invested in the stock market during the Democrat's 40 years would be $3,912,210.

"'Our book is a myth buster,' said financial planner Bob Deitrick who co-authored Bulls, Bears with CPA and educator Lew Goldfarb.

"Goldfarb blamed the conventional wisdom that Republican presidents are better economic managers on the inability of Democrats to tell their story. 'Democrats stand on their message so poorly,' he said. 'Republicans, on the other hand, win the salesmanship merit badge every single year.'"

"The duo stumbled on their conclusions while working on a different issue. Researching the impact of politics on stock market trends, Deitrick realized that in the last 80 years, Democrats and Republicans have held the White House 40 years each, minus President Obama's term. They came up with a ranking system based on stock market returns, personal income, economic growth and business prosperity.

"The best period was during the Kennedy-Johnson years, the worst Herbert Hoover, who presided over the Great Depression. In order, the rankings are: JFK/LBJ, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon/Gerald Ford, George W. Bush, and Hoover. Carter was the only Democrat in the bottom half of the list."  (And the OPEC Oil Embargo that impacted the entire world was to blame for the economic crises during his administration.)  Read the rest here --> http://washingtonexaminer.com/80-year-study-democrats-better-at-economics/article/2505194
And the "salesman merit badge" propaganda for this year, or possibly for the last 250 years, is awarded to Mitt Romney.  Conservatives rarely combine a candidate so open for criticism by the electorate with a blatant announcement of their true goals.  The money men don't seem to care this time around if the voters perceive their true colors.

RepublicanDirtyTricks.com wrote:


"Approximately 5000 of these posters littered downtown Dallas days before the Kennedy assassination.  They were the creation of Robert Surrey, a John Birch Society member.  The John Birch Society was founded by Fred Koch, creator of Koch Industries and father of the two Right Wing trust fund billionaires currently employing the same dirty tricks and lies against President Obama.  How much longer will America have to suffer under the manias of Right Wingers?"

Conservatives must lie to cover their tracks, they have always done it, and they always will.  It is time to criminalize Conservatism NOW.

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"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a
beautiful animal.  There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of
her."

"Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it’s worse when they are wearing dark
glasses and have streamers in their antlers because then you know they were enjoying
themselves at a party when they were shot."

Ellen DeGeneres
 

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Voter Intimidation Coming To You Courtesy of The Conservative Syndicate



When you vote this year, are you ready to feel "'Like driving and seeing the police following you?"

Color Lines News For Action, in an article called, "Voter Suppression Groups Post A Million-Person Army To Swarm Polls," said:

"A spin off of the King Street Patriots Texas Tea Party, a group who gained notoriety during the 2008 and 2010 elections for harassing and intimidating Houston voters, True the Vote supports the voter ID laws championed by ALEC and other right-wing groups. But their primary role in the effort to suppress the vote will manifest on Election Day. By then, True the Vote hopes to have trained a million poll watchers around the country to crackdown on cases of voter fraud—people voting on behalf of dead citizens, undocumented immigrants attempting to vote and people voting twice.

"It is an article of faith among True the Voters that such cases are legion and marred recent elections in Texas, for example. But as the San Antonio Express reported, 'fewer than five "illegal voting" complaints involving voter impersonation were filed with the Texas Attorney General’s Office from the 2008 and 2010 general elections in which more than 13 million voters participated.' Nationwide, the prevalence of voter fraud is similarly freakonomically low; in 2007, after a five year effort to prosecute voter fraud, George W. Bush’s Department of Justice reported just 120 charges and 86 convictions.

"This lack of evidence, however, didn’t seem to disturb True the Vote’s National Elections Coordinator Bill Ouren, who one day hopes to have at least two sets of poll watchers at every polling station in America. At the summit, Ouren described how voters should feel while under the gaze of True the Vote observers: “'Like driving and seeing the police following you.'”
 


The Nation reported that Ohio Secretary of State John Husted withdrew from True the Vote's summit after their voter intimidation network was exposed, noting "...A few days before that, The Nation published a report from Ari Berman about how Husted set new early voting rules that upheld the elimination of the weekend before Election Day, including the Sunday that black churches used in past elections for their “souls to the polls” campaign, which helped increase black voter turnout."



Voter intimidation by the Republicans are not new, and is not the only reason to criminalize Conservatism, but it is one of the most anti-American tactics used by the Conservatives, as they try to eliminate the most basic right under our democracy - the right to vote.

Wikidpedia, in their article on Electoral Fraud said, "Electoral fraud is illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both. Also called voter fraud, the mechanisms involved include illegal voter registration and voting, intimidation at polls and improper vote counting. What electoral fraud is under law varies from country to country."




Conclusion:  The Conservative leadership is patently guilty of a crime, making themselves a criminal enterprise.  Electoral fraud is a crime that is a continuous tactic of that same leadership, making them part and parcel of a criminal conspiracy.  Ergo, Conservatism must be criminalized.

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"I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it’s such a
beautiful animal.  There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of
her."

"Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it’s worse when they are wearing dark
glasses and have streamers in their antlers because then you know they were enjoying
themselves at a party when they were shot."

Ellen DeGeneres

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Yet Another Republican Sex Offender


 
Added to a relatively old list of Republican Sex Offenders (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389x1709387), put together long before the Mark Foley, David Vitter or Larry Craig scandals, is the name of hypocritical, anti-gay, moralizing, self-proclaimed Reverend Grant Storms.  The Louisiana Times-Picayune reported on this hypocrit on their website nola.com under the headline:

Rev. Grant Storms, critic of Southern Decadence, convicted of obscenity for public masturbation




"The Rev. Grant Storms, the former "Christian patriot" pastor whose marches against homosexuality at New Orleans' Southern Decadence festival briefly put him in the national spotlight, was convicted of obscenity Wednesday, for exposing himself while masturbating at Lafreniere Park last year.

 "Storms received national media attention in 2003, for his leading his small congregation through the French Quarter during the annual gay festival, Southern Decadence, admonishing homosexuals and calling the city of New Orleans a 'prostitute' for allowing the event that generates tourism dollars. A Bourbon Street merchants association at one point went to court to get a restraining order barring Storms and his followers from using bullhorns. National news media converged on New Orleans in 2003 to cover his protests.

"LaDart also ordered Storms to be evaluated, apparently psychologically. The judge noted that in Storms' confession, he admitted that Feb. 25, 2011, the day he was arrested, was the third time that week that he masturbated in Lafreniere Park.

"In his confession, Storms told Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office Sgt. Kevin Balser he had taken a break from his grass cutting business to sip a beer in the park, where he said he became "horny." He said he put his hands into his underwear, but he never exposed himself.

"'Why do you go to the park and do this, as far as masturbating?' Balser asked Storms hours after the arrest.
"'I don't know,' Storms responded. 'I guess a thrill.'
"'So it's a thrill-slash-fantasy for you?' Balser asked.
"'Yes,' Storms said.

"The incident immediately raised speculation that Storms was a pedophile, because he masturbated with children nearby. Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute shot those allegations down outright Wednesday, saying in opening statements that detectives found no evidence of child pornography on his computer or cell phone, and there was 'never a shred of evidence (showing) that Mr. Storms was masturbating to children.'"



Just a coincidence?

The difference between Conservative and Liberal "sex offenders" is vast, with the additional element of irony - the Republican Party claims to be the party of "family values," and identifies itself with sexual mores associated more with the values of the Victorian era than the 21st century.

As stated so often here, the positions of morality and Christian values are merely a smokescreen to attract the intellectually challenged sheeplets to vote Republican.  The true values of the Republican Party are about Money and Power for the exclusive enjoyment of the upper classes.  When the sheeplets discover that it is the Progressive movement that possesses values associated with the Christian beliefs - charity, compassion, and inclusiveness - and that they are being taken for a ride by the Conservative leadership and its propagandists, then the Conservative criminal conspiracy will be no more.

But is it too late?

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"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."

Ralph Waldo Emerson"

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Conservatism - It's Still Your Grandfather's Party

 




Two days ago, Thinkprogress.org posted the following article:

GOP Approves ‘Most Conservative Platform In Modern History’

 
"A week from the 2012 Republican National Convention, Republican committee members spent Tuesday articulating and affirming the principles they stand for in a draft of the official party platform...
 

Here are some highlights:
  • NO ABORTION IN CASES OF RAPE OR INCEST.
  • SALUTE TO MANDATORY ULTRASOUNDS.
  • NO LEGAL RECOGNITION OF SAME-SEX COUPLES.
  • REPLICATE ARIZONA-STYLE IMMIGRATION LAWS.
  • AUDIT THE FED. The pet project of Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) to audit the Federal Reserve has now been embraced as an official Republican goal. For the first time, the platform calls for an annual audit of the Federal Reserve.
  • NO WOMEN IN COMBAT..
  • NO STATEHOOD, MORE GUNS FOR WASHINGTON DC.
  • NO NEW TAXES, EXCEPT FOR WAR

The "Audit The Fed" nonsense is a bone tossed at the Ross Perot wanna-be and failed-yet-troublesome presidentialial candidate Ron Paul, but the remaining planks are merely the memes needed to attract the Conservative sheeplets to the voting booths.

The underriding tenet of this site has been to remind us that the front group for the Conservative leadership has one purpose - to provide the political and economic structure in this country to take us back to the Age of Feudalism, and that every other stance they take is nothing but smoke to distract us from their true goal of wealth and power.



This year's Party Platform is a nauseating framework to that picture, a call to the right wing faithful and the Protestant Evangelicals who are the backbone of the right wing electorate.

What should American political leadership be concerned about in today's world?  For one, Epi.org reported on a new study:

U.S. poverty rates higher, safety net weaker than in peer countries

Poverty rates in the United States increased over the 2000s, a trend exacerbated by the Great Recession and its aftermath. By 2010, just over 46 million people fell below the U.S. Census Bureau’s official poverty line (according to data from the Current Population Survey).






We see that the GOP wants no abortion in cases of rape or incest and no legal recognition of same-sex couples, but where is the language that is going to help lift us out of our downward spiral towards a third-world status? 

A few days ago in an opinion article on cnn.com by LZ Granderson titled, "Wake Up, It's Not Just Akin," Granderson, a senior writer and columnist for ESPN the Magazine and ESPN.com noted:

"The truth is the 'legitimate rape' comment made by U.S. Rep. Todd Akin -- as in pregnancy from 'legitimate rape' is rare -- is not a GOP anomaly but rather another disturbing glimpse into the viewpoint too many social conservatives have about women's health and reproductive rights. And if abortion is not among the 'real issues,' why is the GOP platform committee considering adding a ban, with no mention of exceptions, to this year's to-do list?

"Last March, in a discussion in the Kansas House about whether women purchase separate abortion-only policies, Republican state Rep. Pete DeGraaf suggested women should plan ahead for rape the way he keeps a spare tire. A few weeks later, Indiana state Rep. Eric Turner, a Republican, said some women might fake being raped in order to get free abortions.
 
"Former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum suggested doctors who perform an abortion on a woman who becomes pregnant from an attack should be thrown in jail and this year suggested rape victims who become pregnant from an attack should be forced to keep the baby and 'make the best out of a bad situation.'
 
"And we're to believe Akin is just a one-off.
 
"Please.
 
"More than 200 Republican members of Congress joined him in co-sponsoring House Resolution 3, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, when it contained language restricting the exception for federally funded abortions to "an act of forcible rape or, if a minor, an act of incest."
 
"Forcible rape.
 
"That's not too far from "legitimate rape"
 
"So vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan can try to backpedal away from Akin as fast as he can, but his name is still on the record in support of that bill, with that language. He can say he's in line with Mitt Romney and would not ban abortions in the case of rape, but it's his name attached to House Resolution 212: Sanctity of Human Life Act, which would have done just that."
 


And here is what happens in the real world (from truth-out.org):

Millions Go Hungry as Congress Considers Food Stamp Cuts and Drought Threatens Crops

Congress Considers Cutting Food Stamps
 
"With millions of Americans struggling to stave off hunger, anti-poverty groups are asking that Congress abandon proposals to cut off support for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which supplies assistance commonly called food stamps.
 
"'The numbers underscore the point that people still continue to struggle, and that cuts some in Congress are proposing to our nation's nutrition safety net will only worsen a bad situation,' said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center.
 


And the Conservative sheeplets will ignore who gets hurt the most - the Red States - a stunning example of voting against one's best interests:
 
"Regional Food Disparity
 
"In general, more people living in Southern states report struggling to pay for food. Mississippi tops the national Gallup list, with 24.9 percent of those polled in the state reporting struggling to pay for groceries during the past year. Alabama, Delaware, Georgia and Nevada join Mississippi as the top five states where people face food hardships.
 
"People living in Southern states will also be hardest hit by increases in food prices due to drought, according to Gallup. People living in the Mountain Plains and Midwest states that make up America's breadbasket are least likely to face food hardship. North and South Dakota top the list of states where residents are least likely to go hungry."
 
 
Liberals and Progressives - and some in the Middle - are fond of saying that "this is not your grandfather's Party, but the sad truth is that the Party is only louder.  The leadership is the same.  A minor difference is that more of the sheeplets are in office than usual but there is little that the leadership can or wants to do about it as long as the Party command majorities in Congress, have control over the courts, and possess the White House.  It is still your grandfather's and grandmother's Party, but now is the time to do something about this criminal syndicate masquerading as a political party - abolish it by criminalizing Conservatism.

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"For every man willing to help those less fortunate than himself, there are ten others ready
to exploit him."

Christopher Fowler, *Seventy-Seven Clocks.* 

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