Saturday, October 27, 2012

How stupid are they? Oh... My... God! - Birthers Tout Badly Faked Vid As "Proof" Obama Was Born In Kenya

Everything Possible Happens brings you a complete and thorough debunking of the latest insane stupid assholery to crawl out of the fetid swamps of Lower Wingnuttia...

Not content with the insane babbling boobery of Orly Taitz and Donald Dumbshit, the birthers are back, and this time they have PROOF! PROOF, I tell you, PROOF! And the PROOF has already gone VIRAL throughout Lower Wingnuttia! It's out there, man, it's out there!

And what might this, er, "proof" be, a not crazy, not stupid, not wingnut racist fundie moran birther boob might ask?

Vice, a stinking cesspool of a vulgarian loonytoonian website and magazine that I refuse to link to, has posted PROOF, PROOF, I tell you, that Obama was actually born in KENYA and they have the VIDEO to prove it!

Without further ado, here's the hilariously badly faked video...

Did we say debunking? When huge, steaming piles of Teh Stupid come this fast and furious, it's hard to know where to start. For example...

*The video is supposedly a "VHS transfer of a Super-8 home movie filmed by Barack Sr." In fact, there was no Super-8 in 1961, when Obama was born. Kodak didn't release the Super-8 format until 1965.

*The Kenyan flag, Bendera ya Kenya, conveniently placed on the bedboard next to the medical chart, wasn't adopted until December of 1963.

*The woman in the video is obviously NOT the woman in the picture attached conveniently to the chart.

*The picture attached to the chart for no reason whatsoever is actually Ann Dunham's yearbook photo. Why would they attach a picture at all? They wouldn't, but if they did, why wouldn't they use a RECENT picture? What, no passport photo? Are we to believe Ann traveled the world with her yearbook in her purse just in case?

Ann Dunham's High School Graduation Picture
*The 6 inch long umbilical cord in the vid falls off on its own. Real umbilical cords are about 2 feet long and must be clamped, then cut.

*The child in the video is obviously not a newborn, unless it's a 25 pound alert newborn holding up its own head with eyes wide open.

*All newborns are covered in a white, milky substance called vermix, which protects the infant from amniotic fluid. Vermix clings especially in the area around the eyes and folds in the skin. There is no vermix on this "newborn."

*Whoever made this video has obviously not seen a live birth. Something important is missing entirely. Can you say "placenta"? You can say it, but you can't find one in the vid. In fact, the "newborn" comes out amazing clean with no sign of blood, amniotic fluid, vermix or fluids of any kind.

*Momma pops out this humongous, gargantuan, world's largest newborn ever easier than a baseball player spits out a pumpkin seed, and all in just a few effortless seconds. Not.

*And finally, my personal favorite, zoom in on the calendar conveniently placed next to the flag and the pic and you find that EVERY day in August of 1961 is shown as the 4th. Apparently the producers were too bleeping stupid to bother looking up the actual days as the fell in August of 1961, including FRIDAY, August 4th, Obama's birthday.

The lesson here is a familiar one; Never underestimate the stupidity of GOP racist wingnut birther imbeciles.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Iconic Austin Restaurant Pressures Employees To Vote GOP - Threats Of Cuts In Hours, Loss Of Income If GOP Loses, Obamacare Not Repealed

Image from Addicting Info
We've all read about GOP voter suppression efforts, but less attention has been paid to the efforts of private employers to coerce their workers to vote GOP. Service industry workers, especially those who depend on tips to make a living, are particularly vulnerable to this kind of pressure.

Some restaurant chains are already limiting employee hours, essentially creating an all part time work force to reduce labor costs and avoid the employer insurance requirements due to kick in next year under Obamacare. Ned Resnikoff reports Olive Garden and Red Lobster are among those who're experimenting with part time staff...

Rich Jeffers, a spokesperson for (Olive Garden and Red Lobster parent company) Darden, said the company was working on finding the "optimal mix" for satisfying the law's requirements while "address[ing] the cost implications of the Affordable Care Act."

"We're not moving people from full time to part time," said Jeffers. Instead, Darden has been "bringing on more people in part-time roles" in the restaurants they've opened since February, when the experiment began. The question the experiment is supposed to answer, he said, is, "Can we continue to deliver our brand experience with more part-time?"
While they say they are not reducing hours for full time employees - a claim disputed by workers and industry experts - the goal is clear. Darden hopes to shift from a mostly full time work force to an all part time work force and thereby avoid the employer requirements of the Affordable Care Act. But Saru Jayaraman, the director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, says Darden is merely using ACA as a pretext to trim labor costs...

Saru Jayaraman, the director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United, alleged that Darden was using the Affordable Care Act as a mere pretext to cut back on labor costs. "Maybe they want to portray that that's the cause of the issue, but it really isn't," she said. As In These Times reported in July, ROC has been engaged in a multi-city campaign against Darden for months over charges of wage theft, grueling hours, unpaid overtime, and even racial discrimination.

Jayaraman also said that Darden was wrong to claim it had not cut hours for full-time employees. "Since we've started the campaign we've received messages ... from workers saying similar things saying their hours are being cut, their positions are being cut," she said.
Now, this trend has come to Obama friendly Austin, and in very disturbing ways. A well known and loved local chain just attached the following memo to the paychecks of all employees. The memo uses scare tactics and well worn wingnut talking points to pressure workers to tow the political line of the owners. The intent is clear; Vote GOP or else.

Regardless of how one feels about Obamacare, this is blatant coercion. This employer is using threats and intimidation to try to brow beat their employees to vote GOP. They don't say they *might* cut back hours for full time employees. They say the *will* turn full timers into part timers. Unless Obama is defeated and the GOP takes the House and the Senate.

Particularly distasteful to me - and many of their employees - is the blatant anti-Obama, pro GOP tired old talking points, many of which simply aren't true, interspersed with scare tactics and direct threats, complete with VERY SCARY ALL CAPS WARNINGS and unsubtle innuendo through Italics...

"...President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act."

" January, 20124 YOU will be to required to get and pay for health insurance."

"The actual bill is over 2,400 pages long..."

"YOU will have to buy insurance. Your employer _may_ help you, but YOU will be legally required to buy insurance."

"THIS IS THE LAW.... The law could be repealed, but that would require a Republican President, and Republican majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives (wink-wink, nudge-nudge). At this point "Hope" is not a strategy (ooh, BURN!). We need to plan our way forward to face the serious challenges that this new law presents to each of us."

I haven't named this restaurant. I know there'll be a clamor to out them, and that may happen in the future. But right now my primary concern is for the employees. Outing the restaurant would no doubt cause a significant backlash here in Obama friendly Austin. Business would suffer. Yes, the owners would take a well deserved financial hit, but it's the employees who would pay the steepest price, especially those who rely on tips. While conservatives might rush in to fill the void left by disgruntled progressives, it's likely not enough, as several servers told me, "Conservatives around here don't tip worth shit."
More important than punishing this one employer is realizing that this is happening all over the country and spreading the word. Businesses large and small are trying to intimidate, scare and coerce employees to vote GOP. Employers are free to have and express their political views, just like everyone else, but when expression turns into coercion, a dangerous line has been crossed. No one of any political stripe should be forced to accept views with which they fundamentally disagree just to keep their job.

My suggestion is instead of seeking to shame this one employer, let's all start asking all of our favorite restaurants and other service businesses if they've pressured their employees in any way.

"Have you or do you plan to pressure employees politically over ACA or any other issue?"

Let's make it a badge of honor for a local biz to proudly say, "No, we have never and would never try to coerce our employees to vote a particular way," and then publicly support those businesses that make such a pledge while avoiding those who don't.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Tempest in a T-shirt - Philly Teen's Shirt Sparks Viral Poutrage in Lower Wingnuttia

A teacher known for joking with her class makes a mild joke about a student's Romney T shirt on dress down day and it's POUTRAGE in Lower Wingnuttia!

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports on how it all started...

Pawlucy was wearing a pink Romney/Ryan t-shirt on a "dress-down" day at school Friday when, she said, Gaymon began making fun of her. An adult aide waved a marker as if to draw an "X" on the shirt, Pawlucy said.

She also said Gaymon called the school "Democratic," and said Pawlucy's wearing of the Romney shirt was analogous to Gaymon, who is black, wearing a KKK shirt.
As students streamed out of the school Thursday afternoon, several groups of students shouted their support for Gaymon, calling her a "great teacher," "really fun," and "nothing like that story."

Students said Gaymon jokes around with her students, but never out of malice.
Samantha Pawlucy shows the Romney shirt that started it all

It's not okay to chastise or humiliate a student for any reason. Clearly that's not what happened here. This teacher is well known for using humor and joking with her class and she was obviously joking here, and every other student in the class knew it.

That said, it was a mistake to single out the T-shirt and a double mistake to joke about the KKK in class. But it wasn't harassment, bullying or in any way malicious. It's the girl's peers that humiliated her, not the teacher. Teenagers toss around taunts and make threats all of the time. Kids can be mean, you know. But the situation has gotten worse...

Angered by a teenager's claims of being humiliated by a teacher over a Romney/Ryan T-shirt, students at Charles Carroll High School ignored warnings from administrators and shouted obscenities out school windows at the girl's parents Friday morning.

Samantha Pawlucy had accused her geometry teacher of humiliating her for wearing the shirt, and stayed out of school after saying she learned students had made threats against her. To calm the situation, district officials addressed students Friday, urging them to leave Pawlucy alone.

Minutes later, some students were heckling Pawlucy's parents, shouting obscenities at them.
 But since you can't go after kids for being kids, her rents, who aren't politically active, went after the teacher. Now, Lower Wingnuttia is in full attack mode. The teacher, who is black, has been receiving phone messages complete with the requisite racist slurs and death threats...

"Watch your back, (nigger). I'mma blow your (fucking) brains out."

Gaymon lives with two of her aunts in Philadelphia; one of them said that she picked up the phone and heard a death threat around 6 p.m. Friday and that after that, they stopped answering the phone. The calls continued, with several callers leaving messages, before the women unplugged the phone, they said.

They played several messages for The Inquirer that were loaded with racial slurs and profanities.
Whatever happened in school that day, it was all in jest, the aunts said their niece told them.

Gaymon was not available to be interviewed.

"She's a jokester. Lynn is like the family clown," one of the aunts said. "When it comes to entertainment, she's the one."
(Gaymon) told (her aunts) she left school on the day of the incident believing her students, including Pawlucy, knew she had been joking.

Gaymon has long been an advocate for students, her aunts said, and had been on good terms with Pawlucy.

Pawlucy agreed that she (sic) gotten along with Gaymon and could see how Gaymon may have been joking. But she said the experience was humiliating.
Gaymon's aunts said she appreciated the support but wasn't happy with the divisive anger.

"Lynn's really hurting about Samantha. She's really, really hurting for that child," one of them said. "Do what Lynn would want, what she always wants her kids to do: Come to school. Do your homework. Be on time. Be respectful."
She said she hoped the Pawlucys would join them in calling for an end to all harassment, threats, and bullying. She said she'll be praying for Samantha Pawlucy and her family in church on Sunday, and wants to see the situation resolved peacefully.
Cheezus fracking crisco, grow a pair, WATB. Most people know better than to go full bat shit crazy over a teen with hurt feelings. Most people don't live in Lower Wingnuttia.

It's the actions of the rents that escalated this situation. The perfectly predictable - to a person of normal intelligence - harassment from her fellow students didn't start until after the parents made a big stink and went running to the media.

This mountain will be reduced back to a mole hill. Talk about teachable moments, at this point I'm guessing everyone involved has regrets, and they should. Lessons to be learned from this incident abound.

The teacher's joke was clumsy and inappropriate, but not malicious. The lesson is be careful what you say, even when you're kidding, especially in a classroom environment. Whom among us hasn't told an inappropriate or clumsy joke?

The lesson for the girl is if your feelings were hurt, say so. She had a good relationship with this teacher. She should have gone to her teacher right after class and said, "That hurt my feelings."

The lesson for the other students is yes, people do have differing political views. It's not necessary to agree with someone's politics to respect their right to express their opinion.

The lesson for the parents is don't take a minor incident in teendom and blow it up into a federal case. Get some bleeping perspective. Your teen is not a special princess to be protected from every pea. Instead of escalating the problem by going into full attack mode, how about actually addressing the problem directly and honestly?

The other, and perhaps most important,  lesson here is for all of us. Be careful. Too many Lower Wingnuttians are dangerous, violent, racist nutbags, and they will react viciously at any perceived poutrage. Death threats and racist slurs because of a joke of questionable taste? Really? WTF is wrong with you people?