Wednesday, February 23, 2005

More Work to be Done

Last week I posted some info regarding Red/Blue states and hate groups.

On the surface, the post was in response to some of the tenuous connections made by a Ponte column over at Moonbat Central. Silliness to counter silliness, so to speak.

Take some valid data, and draw the picture you want with it. Take the same map by the SPLC and you could say all the hate groups live near water, etc etc blah blah.

The first part of this study will be to look at those hate groups defined by the SPLC and study their origins, their beliefs and their political aspirations. Each group will be researched individually and summaries and findings will be posted accordingly.

Obviously, there is much more work to be done on this study, and it will take some time. In fact, I’m figuring this research project will take a minimum of 3 years, and will probably go on for some time after that.

During this research project, I’ll be asking some of my comrades to provide content for The Pepper Farm. These folks represent a wide range of political views so this should be fun as well.

So today we have reader Thomas providing the content for today. Please enjoy!

Ownership Society

‘Ownership Society’ has become the latest buzz word to enter our lexicon. President Bush and his administration have been pushing the “privatization” of Social Security and of a Medical Savings accounts. Theses are just two components of what some say is the coming of an ownership society.

On the surface Ownership society sounds good. The Bush administration seems to be pushing for all to depend on themselves rather than the government.

The definition given by the Cato Institute is: An ownership society values responsibility, liberty, and property. Individuals are empowered by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them owners instead, in control of their own lives and destinies. In the ownership society, patients control their own health care, parents control their own children's education, and workers control their retirement savings.

Ironically, before social security we had and ownership society. Prior to the stock market crash of 1929, we had the roaring 20’s. This was an age of relative openness compared to the previous generation of the Victorian age. Women’s hair got shorter as well as their dresses. The new music, Jazz, was the rage. Couples were doing the Charleston, the Lindy and involved in dance marathons that resembled vertical sex. There were seemingly non-stop parties in our major cities during this time. Due to Prohibition, alcohol actually became more alluring.

There were also many millionaires that were made during this time. The market was on a steady rise due to our victory in World War I (The Great War, as it was called before World War II).

It all came to a screeching halt in October of 1929. All people were affected by this crash from millionaires to the working class. Millionaires lost value in their stocks and their status. Some committed suicide rather than return to a life of poverty. Working class people lost their jobs as the economy came to a halt. There was no safety net in place and homeless shelters and soup kitchens sprang up across the nation.

Social Security was meant to be a baseline safety net for those in our society who cannot take care of themselves: The elderly, the disabled, and the mentally handicapped. Those of us who can take of ourselves, do so. Those of us who can own ( buy homes, buy other property, have savings plans, etc…), do own.

If this ownership society takes hold, America will become a fascist oligarchy state where a few corporations will own the vast majority of the resources. Example: There are a very few individuals that control nearly the entire media in the United States such as GE, Viacom and Disney, to name a few.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Blue States, Red States, ..and Hate

This is just a prelim and once I have more data and pretty pictures to go with it, there will be another post.

HOWEVER, perusing Moonbat Central I came across this and had to respond.

This is the crux of my post, with some added comments at the end:

The Southern Poverty Law Center offers a map of hate groups monitored in the United States in 2003.

Compare that map with the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election electoral map.

Now, analyze the population of each state and whether the state went red or blue, and by what percentage of the population.

Research is ongoing, but here is a quick breakdown of what the data shows:

California voted Democrat at 54% of the population.

Texas voted Republican at 61%, Georgia at 58%, South Carolina at 58% of their respective populations.

1. Calif. has 45 identified hate groups, and a population of 35.48 mil.

2. Texas has 53 identified hate groups, and a population of 22.11 million.

3. Georgia has 53 identified hate groups, and a population of 8.68 million.

4. South Carolina has 45 identified hate groups, and a population of 4.14 million.

Note the population of Calif. is roughly the same as the total population of Texas, Georgia and South Carolina, and yet the number of identified hate groups in these 3 states is over 3 times that of California.

Country wide, the total number of hate groups in RED states is 553, and the total number of hate groups in BLUE states comes in at 218.

This comparison alone reveals hate groups in RED states vs. BLUE states is just under 3 to 1.

The knee jerk reactions will follow from both sides of the political spectrum, but there is more research to be done. Education will be the biggest factor based on preliminary findings is my guess.

What does it all mean?

I have too much to do and am not using my time wisely.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Poe is Leaving the Building...

Only to enter another one.

Richard Poe is closing his forum ‘indefinitely’, maybe ‘permanently’.

That’s kind of a shame, I had just began to engage Poe in one of his pet projects, the lifelong battle to smear the Hillary Clinton. The interaction was supposed to be about a Bush Dynasty, but somehow Poe feels that disussing Hillary is so interwined with a Bush Dynasty, that it would be impossible to discuss one without the other.

I know he is unique in this endeavor, which is why I had to open my big mouth and bust Poe in the comment section of an interview he did with Jamie Glazov on FrontpageMagazine.

While my assessment of Poe may have been…plausible, my words were a bit over the top. Poe is still a journalist of some sort, and he does have some credibility…

That being said, Poe’s new gig is managing editor of Moonbat Central. This new blog will be an extension of Frontpage Magazine, with some of your favorite FPM writers doing the daily posting chores.

A quick look at Moonbat pretty much tells the tale. However, for a more in depth analysis, please visit SadlyNo!. One of my favorite blogs along with World O’ Crap.

WOC recently gained more fame by exposing that Gannon character and in doing so highlighted how the War on Terror Preznit runs a tight security ship at White House Press Briefings.

Run yourself over to SadlyNo! and World O’ Crap. They’re both good reads and pretty damned funny!

If you are offended by their content, perhaps you are the content!?

Friday, February 11, 2005

Dress Code Anyone?

Reader Thomas sends us a link concerning the Virginia legislature’s attempt to pass an indecent exposure bill aimed at those individuals that like to wear their pants around their knees.

While I find that particular style of dress rather silly, I find attempts to legislate such silliness just as silly. Apparently, so do most people. Jay Leno made a joke about it last night on the Tonight Show.

Couple this with the desire of creationist wanting to add stickers to textbooks in Georgia and it’s just a couple more obvious signs that fundamentalists are thrilled Bush was re-elected President.

George’s constant thumping of same sex marriage is nothing more than fanning the flames of the religious right-wingers. Bush knows the Constitution will not be amended to include religious dogma, but as long as he waves the anti-gay carrot around, he’ll continue to get the support of the religious right.

So, pull yer pants up and let's go bash some gays!

Anyone Surprised?

Some interesting comments from an AP article today citing a drop in Bush’s approval rating:

"I voted Republican, but it looks like things are going downhill," said Kenny Sproull of Lexington, Ga., who works in construction. "I'm a self-employed contractor and a lot of Mexicans are moving into the state. We can't compete with them price-wise."

"I agree with almost everything President Bush says," said Beverly Bowman, a nurse who lives near Phoenix. "I think the Social Security thing has to be fixed."

"I'm unhappy with the whole package" of the Bush administration, said Janet Luzzi, a Democrat and a government finance director from Eureka, Calif. "The good news is that we have four more years and then we're done with him."

"Many in the public are not getting the full Iraq story, said Republican William Reid of Columbus, Ohio."
"Reid watches for newscasts that he says "tell the real story about the good things that are happening over there, about soldiers helping kids and giving them food."

Yeah, the real story: soldiers helping kids and giving them food. To hell with all that other stuff.

"Just over four in 10, 42 percent, said they approved of the president's handling of Iraq, while 57 percent disapproved.
Since the elections that were considered fairly successful, insurgent attacks have resumed, killing both Iraqis and U.S. troops."

Mission Accomplished!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

North Korea Says It Has Nukes

North Korea announced today it has Nuclear Weapons. There is debate on whether or not this is true, and if it is, how many weapons it has.

"We ... have manufactured nukes for self-defense to cope with the Bush administration's evermore undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the (North)," the North Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said "The North Koreans have been told by the president of the United States that the United States has no intention of attacking or invading North Korea," Rice said in Luxembourg. "There is a path for the North Koreans that would put them in a more reasonable relationship with the rest of the world. "Let's see what the North Koreans do down the road," Rice told reporters on the flight home.

I can't imagine why North Korea would think that the United States has any intention of militarily invading their country.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Abortion vs. Gay Marriage

Andrew Sullivan comments today on a question posed by Jon Rauch.

“The Senate Republicans have vowed to push their anti-gay marriage amendment, even though it won't stand a chance of getting the necessary 67 votes. The point is political and rhetorical. They are trying to build momentum, raise money, and keep the cause of banning same-sex unions alive.”

My guess is that by looking at the polling numbers, waving the anti-gay flag will provide more of that momentum and money the Republicans are looking for.

The American populace is just about split on the abortion issue, but the ‘yuck’ factor of homosexuality shows a greater divide.

Convictions be damned, the Republicans know their base. They know how to fire up the fringe element of the religious right by pushing the idea that gays are dangerous, perverse, have an agenda, evil, and so forth.

The amendment to the Constitution proposed by Republicans to ban gay marriage is troubling. Under the guise of family values, sanctity of marriage, freedom, or something like that, the Republicans want to amend the Constitution to exclude some Americans from participating in what other Americans are allowed to do. On top of that, separate but equal institutions of civil unions is the bread crumb being offered instead.

Some arguments I have heard: “Marriage is not a right”, “I’m sick of the gay agenda”, “Once they can legally marry, they’ll want to adopt children”, “God said homosexuality is an abomination”, and my personal favorite: “This is one more step towards polygamy and marriage to animals and family members.”

By the way, if anyone knows what the ‘gay agenda’ is, could you please post an explanation? None of the gays and lesbians I've met seem to know, so perhaps someone out there could enlighten us.

Well, here at The Pepper Farm we think that if marriage is not a right, then certainly you cannot amend the constitution to remove the privilege or desire for two people to commit to one another. Ted and Sandy’s marriage does not affect mine, why would SpongeBob and Buster’s relationship affect mine?

The idea that gay folks will raise kids seems to scare the hell out of some people, but the idea of single moms, single dads, abusive heterosexual environments, and the fact that there are plenty of children out there that need a good home period, is not addressed.

Hmmm. Perhaps it's the idea of a gay marriage turning out to be a good thing, and possibly that children raised by gay couples might (gasp!) grow up a) normal and b) not be gay.

The incest and animal arguments are hardly worth addressing. Two consenting adults do not equal marrying a dog, or marrying a child. Does this really need to be explained?

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Iraq's Historic Day

Gosh, just an introductory hello and already we have ‘ownership society’, left lane drivers, Iraqi’s appreciating our invasion, and ‘the liberals are all wrong because Republicans are taking over the United States.’

Well, we are going to try and narrow the focus somewhat, and we will start with Iraq.

Yesterday was indeed historic. The Iraqi populace went to the polls despite insurgent threats and violence. One reader asks: “When would Iraqi’s vote in free elections if the U.N. were left in control of the situation in Iraq?” Unless you have a crystal ball, it’s impossible to say.

I guess we should pre-emptivley invade every non-democratic nation in the world so they can have free elections? Of course, they must first be deemed a threat to our nation, our allies, and the world, even if it is completely untrue.

Readers, is it justifiable to make a false case for war, prematurely declare major combat operations over, continually lose American lives, kill how many innocent Iraqi civilians, abuse prisoners of war and call it frat hazing, spend billions of dollars to support this effort, etcetraaaaa, etceteraaaaaa, so the Iraqi people can be free?

Is this the idea of democracy that we are exporting?

It seems some of our right-wing brethren interpret this stance as pessimistic, negative and envious. We are all burnt up cuz Bush’s Iraq is succeeding!!!

Let’s get real people.
Freedom doesn’t have squat to do with the invasion of Iraq.

Tell me dear readers, what do you think the REAL reason for the invasion of Iraq is?