Just keep in mind when reading the following that this same guy, Virginia State Senator Steve Martin (R-of course!), is the same guy who referred to pregnant women as a "child's host" ("some refer to them as mothers"), and who said that the majority of Americans who support a woman's right to choose are "really sick people." Also interesting is how Martin uses his religion to justify whatever extreme views he holds, even if nothing whatsoever in said religion conforms to those views (e.g., where in the Gospels does Jesus preach that torture is justified? where in the Gospels does Jesus preach that abortion is murder? uhhhh.). Anyway, no matter how you look at it, this is some seriously warped, demented s***, unworthy of any American (or human being), let alone a State Senator. Ugh.
Steve Martin Beth: First, I've not acknowledged or represented interrogation techniques which are not intended to cause physical harm as being "torture." The techniques others keep raising as used by the Japanese, Vietnamese, etc. were intended to cause physical harm without concern for it causing death. The techniques being discussed as part of the US CIA arsenal do not fit that description. As a matter of fact, our special forces go through it and more in training because we know it will not cause them physical harm. I'm not prepared to quote chapter and verse on this, but as you know there are scriptures speaking to loving your neighbors as ourselves, coming to their defense at our own expense, defense of a country and its people, etc.. Do you believe Christ would have us know that 3000 innocent people were about to be killed by a particular person and not do what was within our means to prevent it? What if preventing it involved shooting the person who was about to push a detonation button? If so, why would shooting him be okay but not making him think for a few moments that he might drown? What about the issue of shooting someone who has been shooting at you and those in your home? Even if we were in fact taking the threat's life (we're not, not even putting it at risk) it would be no different than ending the life that is threatening ours. An argument to the contrary would make sense only if you believe that you are never to defend yourself, your family, neighbors, or nation.
P.S. Note that if you go Martin's Facebook page, you'll find a lot of support for his position on torture. For instance, one person writes, "Gonads in a vice? I have no problem with that.....whatever it takes to protect/save loved ones." And another fine fan of Martin's writes, "On board to water board and more if that's what it takes ( and apparently it does )... urghhhhh. Idiots. .. " It's also fun, in a weird kind of way, watching Martin tie himself into logical knots attempting to explain why it's ok to give the government, which he generally seems to believe is evil and should have very limited powers, the power to torture and even kill people, even if it's illegal (which it is), immoral (which it is), unChristian (which it is), etc. With that, check out the screen shot of what Martin posted, and also the following comment he left in the discussion thread.
P.P.S. Martin also claims in another Facebook thread that "those among the 31% [of Americans who oppose the CIA's methods] should not be operating heavy equipment or have access to scissors."
The cloak of silence surrounding intimate partner fatalities is nearly impenetrable. Details are buried with the victims. Family members deny evidence of abuse before their very eyes. But partners who have survived and healed provide a window on the methods and complexity of power wielded by their abusers.
What follows are stories told by women who could be your sister, mother, neighbor, or boss. These women came together in October at Charlottesville's Shelter for Help in Emergency to share their lives; to try to explain and describe how they were bound to their abusers, how they left, and how they continue to suffer though the healing process. Looking at them you would never know what is inside or be able to distinguish them from the staff at the Shelter. These are striking women who you know but who live secret parallel existences; hidden even from themselves.
The stories that follow are at once different and the same. One striking aspect of these is that the methods the abusers employ are from the same kit familiar to anyone who has studied child or elder abuse or, for that matter, financial exploitation of the wealthy in Ponzi schemes. They are just applied in different variations depending upon the situation and prey. If we recognize the tools in the toolkit, then maybe observing them being applied is the red flag to defend ourselves and others. This, as suggested in A Journey Into Intimate Power and Abuse, provides a perspective that hints a "healthy cynicism" is the necessary defense against any form of nefarious advantage.
All of these women were and are like any of us, reaching to achieve their hopes, dreams, and aspirations. What makes us vulnerable is how and when we assign trust. That vulnerability is an aspect of human commerce as is trust. Sociopaths leverage an intuition crafted from their own experiences to recognize prey and know how to "close the sale."
Note: The posters featured here line the walls of the conference room at the Charlottesville Shelter office. Like the stories that follow, there are no names displayed out of respect for the privacy and security of these survivors. (click to embiggen)
It's looking like debate and legislation on the EPA's Clean Power Plan could be the 2015 Virginia General Assembly session's "ObamaCare" for Republicans and Tea Partiers. Turns out the Koch-brothers' front group Americans for Prosperity is weighing in big time, and GOP gubernatorial hopeful, Sen. Frank Wagner, has jumped on the bandwagon big time.
Note that Sen. Wagner is Co-chair of Joint Senate/House subcommittee formed to deal with legislation on the EPA's Clean Power Plan. That Subcommittee's first meeting was held on Wednesday, with Sen Wagner running the meeting and only one invited speaker. Who was that speaker, you ask? That's right, none other than our old friend David W. Schnare, General Counsel at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute., there to provide "analysis" (hahahaha) of the "Proposed Clean Power Plan Rule Issued Under § 111(d) of the Clean Air Act." First, a bit of background on Mr. Schnare:
The author of the report, David Schnare, [was] a a Senior Fellow of the Thomas Jefferson Institute. Schnare runs a blog where he has some interesting things to say. For instance:
*Environmental activists are "very sick people" who "quietly rejoice over the potential of millions (billions?) of starving people."
*On global warming, he constantly belittles concerns over it and questions the science. For instance, in August 2007 he wrote, "In a paper soon to be published, Scott Barrett explains why we are not facing a global emergency, why we need not act precipitously and without sufficient regard to the economic consequences, and why we will never reach, nor need to reach an 80% reduction in greenhouse gases." Schnare also claims that "the Scandinavian moose emits 2,100 kg of methane a year, equivalent to the green house gases emitted by an automobile trip of 13,000 km" and concludes, "Thank goodness hunters shoot 35,000 of them each year."
*Also on global warming, Barrett writes, "When it comes to global warming, I'm a skeptic because the conclusions about the cause of the apparent warming stand on the shoulders of incredibly uncertain data and models." Regardless, he writes, "a strategy of relying exclusively on reduction of greenhouse gases is doomed to failure."
*Barrett also claims that "reliance on, and vigorous implementation of greenhouse gas reduction is basically a racist approach with progressive tax-like implications that will further divide the rich from the poor."
These people are truly heinous. Needless to say, Gov. McAuliffe needs to veto any energy legislation sponsored by the Koch brothers' - or other fossil fuels' - front groups, like the Orwellian-named "Americans for Prosperity" (a more apt name would be "The Top 0.1% for Prosperity ONLY of the Top 0.1%, Screw the Other 99.9%"). As for the following "Memorandum," pretty much every word of it is either a lie, distortion, and/or assault on the environment. For starters, the EPA's carbon pollution goals are modest and long overdue (not "overreaching" by a long shot); this will CREATE jobs and BOOST our economy (not "threaten" it in any way); etc. Did I mention how heinous these people are?
To: Members of the Virginia General Assembly From: Sean Lansing, State Director of Americans for Prosperity-Virginia Re:RASP Act Date: Thursday, December 18, 2014
Dear Members of the General Assembly:
On behalf of more than 70,000 Americans for Prosperity activists living in Virginia, I encourage you to support efforts to push back against the overreaching Environmental Protection Agency. The new proposed carbon emissions rule from President Obama's EPA will amount to a federal takeover of the electricity system. EPA proposes that Virginia cut power sector CO2 emissions by 43 percent from 2012 levels by 2030, which will threaten jobs and energy affordability here in our state.
That's why I'm writing to urge you to support the Reliable, Affordable, and Safe Power (RASP) Act. This legislation takes a number of common sense steps to protect families and businesses in Virginia from harm brought on by the regulations.
First, this legislation prohibits our state from submitting or implementing a State Implementation Plan until the legal questions surrounding the new rules are resolved. This will prevent Virginia from wasting precious resources until EPA’s legal authority is clear. Second, it would empower state legislatures, who are accountable to the people, to approve or deny the state implementation plan before it is submitted to the EPA. Lastly, it includes several provisions that instruct the state agencies developing the plans to ensure that it will protect the affordability and reliability of the state electricity system for its citizens.
This legislation also enjoys broad support from conservative organizations. AFP is proud to lead a large coalition of organizations in supporting the the RASP Act, which is online here.
I urge you and your colleagues to support this important legislation and protect Virginia families from the harmful impact of these new proposed EPA rules. I look forward to working with you over this upcoming session.
Thanks to the state's budget deficit, Virginia may finally scale way back a notorious fossil fuel subsidy that currently transfers tens of millions of dollars annually from taxpayers to the pockets of corporations that mine Virginia coal. The Richmond Times Dispatch reports that if Governor McAuliffe has his way, the Virginia Coal Employment and Production Incentive Tax Credit and the Coalfield Employment Enhancement Tax Credit will be limited to $500,000 per year, saving the government $20 million per year.
The refundable tax credits were intended to make Virginia coal cheaper for utilities to buy, and thus more competitive with coal mined in other states. In theory, that was supposed to mean more coal mining jobs in southwest Virginia. In practice, the subsidies meant some coal companies paid no state taxes, and actually received significant cash handouts, even as coal jobs declined. And because the subsidies are based on tons of coal mined and not on the number of people employed, mining companies suffered no penalty from capital investments that maximized production while cutting jobs.
Critics of the subsidies thought they had won their point three years ago when the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) issued a critique of the various Virginia tax credits that was especially critical of the handouts to coal companies. As it describes beginning on page 67, the subsidies did not stop coal employment from falling 54% since 1990, or slow the steady decline in production:
Joe Morrissey - No member of the Virginia House of Delegates dating back to the House of Burgesses has ever been forced to resign. No case or constitutional precedent. However, because of the respect he has for this institution and desire not to be a distraction, he has a few moments ago tendered his resignation as a delegate to the Clerk of the Virginia House of Delegates, effective January 13, 2015. A special election will, not coincidentally, be held on that same date - January 13, 2015. Morrissey then announces his candidacy for the special election! "It's the voters who must decide...right now there is a bit of a cloud or a taint" over my seat. Morrissey says he will seek the Democratic nomination - firehouse primary, convention, whatever process is set, he'll abide by them.
My god, Virginia's Attorney General has to waste his time on crap like this? On the other hand, I suppose in a warped way that "Sideshow Bob" Marshall continues to provide invaluable entertainment, in a freak show sorta way, for Virginia. And that's gotta be worth something, ya know? :)
Note that on November 6, the Loudoun Times reported that Craig Parisot, who's running against Democrat Kathleen Murphy to succeed Congresswoman-elect Barbara Comstock (R) in the Virginia House of Delegates had "said he's making his first run with the forthcoming special." To the contrary, it turns out that Parisot ran for mayor in Maryland town. Also note that Parisot received just four (4) votes in that election. Seriously, that is NOT a typo! The DPVA pounced on this story, as well they should have, asking: "Wonder why Craig conveniently failed to mention that he's run before -- maybe because it was in Maryland? What else will we find he hasn't been truthful about?" Good questions; any answers?
The following email was sent by the young woman in the middle of the case against Del. Joe Morrissey. Although she's 18 years old, ergo an adult, I've deleted her name, as I'd rather not be the one to publicly "out" her in such a sensitive case like this one. Her email is in response to this statement by the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus, calling for Del. Morrissey to "resign from office immediately," and including Senator Mamie Locke's comment that Morrissey had "abused his position of authority and his continued service brings blight on an institution that has stood as an aspiration for democracies for over 400 year." The email further cites the "basic human right to not be preyed upon, especially in the workplace."
Dear Senator Locke,
My name is ***** ***** and I am the young woman in question in regards to the Joe Morrissey matter. I have come across your statement made in respect to the situation. First, let's be clear about one thing, I have not been asked by anyone to comment back upon your statement. I would like to express my deep disappointment of your statement. You have made harsh comments to which you have absolutely no knowledge about. In your statement, you have stated two things that are troubling. 1. The Democratic Party cannot be an organization that stands for the rights and interests of women yet allow someone who has admitted to endangering a young woman to continue to serve as one of our colleagues in the General Assembly. 2.This includes the basic human right to not be preyed upon, especially in the workplace. I intend to make a few things clear.
1. I was NOT "preyed" upon, but rather given an opportunity to explore my passion of becoming and attorney and to pay for my college expenses that my father, whom I've been estranged from since 9 years old had no intentions of doing. For what's its worth Mr. Morrissey and his law firm has been gracious and provided me with more than my father has in my entire life.
2. You have stated that YOU and your democratic colleagues stand to protect the rights and interests of women, however, if that's so, where were YOU and YOUR colleagues when my father was physically abusing me? Where were YOU and YOUR colleagues when my father stole my tuition money, but yet YOU and YOUR colleagues are about "protecting the rights and interest of woman".
Despite the circumstances that I raised in and yet again another tragic issue in my life, I have continued to move pass all evil. I was accepted into a governor high school and finished up in 3 years as an A student. While in high school, I was 1 of 3 students to be accepted to attend Stanford Law School to participate in a mock trial. I have gone on to attend college and still maintain straight A's. I intend help Mr. Morrissey clear his name and reputation. If not for me lying about my age and my family intending to extort money from Mr. Morrissey, he would not be in this situation. I appreciate him dearly for making the decision to enter an Alfred plea (to which he has NOT ADMITTED GUILT), sparing me the trauma of a trial and the embarrassment of my family. Next time you decide to express your opinion and pass judgment, I suggest you reach out and have your facts straight and focus on young ladies who have been beaten, victimized and raped.
Excellent news, looooong overdue! I mean, heck, we have diplomatic relations with Russia, China, and many other unsavory regimes, but not Cuba? Crazy.
Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people. We are separated by 90 miles of water, but brought together through the relationships between the two million Cubans and Americans of Cuban descent that live in the United States, and the 11 million Cubans who share similar hopes for a more positive future for Cuba.
It is clear that decades of U.S. isolation of Cuba have failed to accomplish our enduring objective of promoting the emergence of a democratic, prosperous, and stable Cuba. At times, longstanding U.S. policy towards Cuba has isolated the United States from regional and international partners, constrained our ability to influence outcomes throughout the Western Hemisphere, and impaired the use of the full range of tools available to the United States to promote positive change in Cuba. Though this policy has been rooted in the best of intentions, it has had little effect – today, as in 1961, Cuba is governed by the Castros and the Communist party.
We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. It does not serve America’s interests, or the Cuban people, to try to push Cuba toward collapse. We know from hard-learned experience that it is better to encourage and support reform than to impose policies that will render a country a failed state. With our actions today, we are calling on Cuba to unleash the potential of 11 million Cubans by ending unnecessary restrictions on their political, social, and economic activities. In that spirit, we should not allow U.S. sanctions to add to the burden of Cuban citizens we seek to help.
From the Virginia General Assembly Special Session on November 10, you've just gotta love this one. What happened was this: "During Monday's one-day special session, [Del. Bob] Marshall warned House leaders of dire political consequences after Speaker William J. Howell, R-Stafford, blocked consideration of an amendment that Marshall proposed to prevent wholesale gasoline prices from rising Jan. 1 if Congress does not enact legislation to allow collection of sales taxes for Internet transactions, as provided in the transportation bill Howell sponsored last year." You can watch how the man we affectionately call "Sideshow Bob" for his craaaaazy antics responded to that! Seriously, though, you've got to love Bob Marshall basically being one of only two Republicans (the other being Del. Mark J. Berg) willing to fight to block a tax increase, while just about all the rest of them went along with it. So what's the deal, Virginia House Republicans, are you big-time "tax-and-spenders" or what? Heh.
Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell: "...since the floor amendment addresses a subject matter beyond the scope of House Bill 5010, I'm going to rule that the floor amendment is not germane."
Del. Bob Marshall: "Mr. Speaker, I respectfully will appeal the decision of the chair."
Howell: "The gentleman has that option."
Marshall: "And I'll take whatever consequences the Republican caucus wants to impose upon me."
Howell: "Oh no you wouldn't." (laughter)
Marshall: "Oh yes I will. Make my day and kick me out, because at this point I really don't care Mr. Speaker."
Howell: "OK" (uncomfortable laughter)
Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, December 17. Also, check out the video of President Obama announcing his "action to protect one of America's greatest natural treasures by signing a Presidential Memorandum to protect Bristol Bay." Good news!
1. Jackson reiterates his frequently-expressed, yet still completely false, view that Barack Obama "is not a Christian."
2. Jackson also reiterates his frequently-expresses, yet still completely false, view that America is a "Christian nation."
3. Jackson claims that Barack Obama thinks he's "smarter than the Bible" and "smarter than god." (is this guy utterly obsessed with Barack Obama or what?)
4. He says if "any Christian who goes to a church where they say you ought to support the Democrat (sic) Party...you ought to get out of that church...[because churches like that] do not include the Bible and the word of god."
5. "I say to black people in the Democrat (sic) Party who are caught up in it, as I was once caught up in it...I say to them...touch not the unclean thing."
6. "It is clear that the Democrat (sic) Party has become the godless, anti-Christian, anti-faith, anti-bible, anti-family, anti-life party...Think about the progressive coalition that the party is part of...at some point as a Christian one has to ask, am I being on the lord's side in associating myself with these people...all Christians must come out of the Democrat (sic) Party."
7. "If I love god, and these people are demonstrating they hate god...because god is in the way of their amoral vision of what life ought to be...well then why in the world would any Christian or believing Jew want to be associated with them?"
8. He claims Barack Obama is an anti-Semite (because Obama won't do everything Bibi Netanyahu wants him to do and because he follows long-standing U.S. policy about a two-state solution, settlements, etc.). Yes, Jackson's completely bonkers, but remember, Republicans nominated him last year for Lt. Governor of Virginia.
9. Showing absolutely no self awareness of sense of irony, Jackson says he won't follow Louis Farrakhan because Farrakhan is "full of hatred and evil and lies." Speaking of "full of hatred" and "lies," Jackson really needs to look in the mirror once in a while.
10. He strongly recommends watching Fox News, claims it's really "fair and balanced." He also recommends Rush Limbaugh as a "tremendous source of information." Shocker.
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