Category Archives: Blowhards Who Should Keep Their Traps Shut

Palin Blasts Supremes’ Support Of Anti-Gay Church

The Westboro Baptist Church picketing at the m...

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On March 2, the United States Supreme Court ruled in favor of Westboro Baptist Church’s right to picket funerals, espousing anti-gay rhetoric such as “God Hates Fags,” “You’re Going to Hell” and, as shown in the picture here, “Fags Are Worthy Of Death.”  In an 8-1 vote, the Justices ruled that such behavior was protected speech under the First Amendment.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote:

But under the First Amendment, he went on, “we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.” Instead, the national commitment to free speech, he said, requires protection of “even hurtful speech on public issues to ensure that we do not stifle public debate.

In the case at issue, the church picketed the military funeral of Matthew Snyder.  Interestingly, Matthew was not gay.  Matthew’s father sued and obtained a $5 million verdict against the church, which has now been set aside.

Surprisingly, conservative politician/commentator, Sarah Palin, initially blasted the High Court’s decision on Twitter, tweeting:

Common sense & decency absent as wacko “church” allowed hate msgs spewed@ soldiers’ funerals but we can’t invoke God’s name in public square

Subsequently, in an interview with the Daily Caller, Palin sought to “clarify” her remarks, saying:

Obviously my comment meant that when we’re told we can’t say ‘God bless you’ in graduation speeches or pray before a local football game but these wackos can invoke God’s name in their hate speech while picketing our military funerals, it shows ridiculous inconsistency.

Assuming Palin’s frustration is genuine, which I do for purposes of this article, I can understand where she is coming from.  Frankly, I am saddened that she felt the need to so quickly, sort of retract/clarify herself.  Where she seems to be coming from is quite legitimate, if you ask me.  Why is that, in certain circumstances, we cannot invoke religious verbiage or iconography – even if done so peacefully – but this rogue band of crazy, half-witted, inbred hate-mongers – pretending to be followers of Jesus Christ – get the full panoply of First Amendment freedoms?

As an attorney, I can – intellectually – comprehend the arguments on both sides.  On a personal level, I can even support the outcome, belonging as I do to a traditionally dis-enfranchised group that often needs First Amendment protection to make its own public case.  From a viewpoint based purely on political strategy, I can even see the benefit in exposing such idiots to the light of day rather than forcing them into the shadows where they fester like a stinking boil on the butt of Lady Liberty herself.

And yet, the difficulty I have – and which Palin may be trying her best to express – is that it does seem to be the case that this “church’s” hate-filled expression has received judicial imprimatur, while arguably neutral, civic expressions that merely touch upon religion are so frequently scorned or called into legal question.

What message are we sending?  Peaceful, neutral expressions of faith are a no go.  But, hateful expression is in.  In my opinion, true Christians ought to be concerned about this decision.  And, this “church” ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Furthermore, if they truly believe in Hell, they ought to be very afraid.  As my granny would have said, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

Jesus Wept

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The Dangerous Workings Of Sarah Palin

If you want to hear the real sound of “100% wacko,” then just listen to Sarah Palin.

In the wake of the shooting of Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, many around the country blame Palin’s “incitement to violence”-style rhetoric and imagery which includes, among other techniques, use of the now-infamous “cross hairs” map that – rather literally – targets Democratic leaders.  The “cross hairs” map is pictured below:

At the time of writing this article, the “cross-hairs” map was still publicly posted on Palin’s Facebook page.  Furthermore, in response to criticism, Palin says that she (and her cronies) are being unjustly blamed for the attack; it is their right to free speech that is being trampled.

In other words – just in case you missed it – Palin is the real victim here.  It is not Congresswoman Giffords whom Palin targeted with her map and other violent-provoking rhetoric.  No way.  It is not the federal judge killed by the gunman.  Uh-uh. It is not even the 5 others that were killed in the shooting, including a 9 year-old girl who just happened to have been born on 9/11/2001.

Nope, Sister Sarah is the victim here – she, her cronies, and, well, I suppose the First Amendment.  You remember the good-ole No. 1, don’t you?  It is part of that pesky document called the Constitution that so many dangerous, half-crazed, ne0-con zealots can never seem to stomach – until it becomes useful to wrap themselves up in it for protection and justification.

Here’s a news bulletin for Sister Sarah – you can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end, you still got a pig.  And, in this case, a rather dangerous pig.  In this case, we have a pig willing to use this tragic event to transform herself into some kind of victim or martyr; or, at the very least,  Constitutional champion.  In so doing, Palin is revealing either a profound degree of psychological disturbance, or she is demonstrating her willingness to stoop deep to promote her own domination agenda.  Maybe both.

Also shocking are those that have publicly defended Palin.  For example, Barbara Walters feels Sister Sarah’s pain, saying that it is unfair to blame her for the shooting.  Although I normally regard Walters higher than most, not on this occasion.  As Lynn M. Paltrow noted in her “Open Letter to Sarah Palin,” Congresswoman Giffords – in particular – criticized Palin’s methods, including the “cross hairs” map.  What a coincidence, eh Babs?!?!

Walters is, of course, known for her own brand of “in your face” journalism.  However, as she should know, speech that promotes the public good by encouraging debate or controversy – even spirited or agitated – is not the same thing as the self-indulgent calculations of a demagogue trolling her cult of personality for violence with military-style words and imagery.  For example, evidence continues to mount suggesting that Palin’s racists comments aimed at President Obama has led to death threats against the President.

If Sarah Palin’s brand of “speech” is protected, then we ought to start now and re-write every Constitutional law textbook so that they feature the likes of Charles Manson and Jim Jones alongside Constitutional champions like Mary Beth Tinker (pictured below), Clarence Earl Gideon and Rosa Parks.  Hyperbole, you say?  Sarah Palin is nothing like Jim Jones?  How would we know that – until it is too late?

What if we suddenly learned that Sarah Palin had direct ties to a terrorist organization whose mission is to cause anarchy and civil unrest in the U.S. to destroy democracy?  What is the gunman in this case had ties to the same organization?  Suddenly, it might seem as though Palin’s comments were something less akin to pure free speech and something strikingly closer to conspiracy.

Even if Palin’s “speech” is protected, let us not dignify that which does not deserve dignity.   A lot of very undignified “speech” is legally protected by our Constitution, whether we like it or not.  That does not mean dignified citizens should go out of their way to be cheerleaders.

Mary Beth Tinker talks to students at Cardozo High about their constitutional rights. In eighth grade, Tinker was suspended for wearing a black armband, inspiring a Supreme Court case that upheld students' freedom of expression. (By James A. Parcell -- The Washington Post)

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Scalia To Women: Corporations Have Rights, Not You

Official portrait of Supreme Court Justice Ant...
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Just how ridiculously narrow-minded and oppressive will U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia get?  It boggles the mind when you consider his latest rant.

In an interview with the online publication California Lawyer” this past week, Scalia declared that the 14th Amendment does not protect gays or women from discrimination.

Scalia stated:

Q. In 1868, when the 39th Congress was debating and ultimately proposing the 14th Amendment, I don’t think anybody would have thought that equal protection applied to sex discrimination, or certainly not to sexual orientation. So does that mean that we’ve gone off in error by applying the 14th Amendment to both?

A. Yes, yes. Sorry, to tell you that. … But, you know, if indeed the current society has come to different views, that’s fine. You do not need the Constitution to reflect the wishes of the current society. Certainly the Constitution does not require discrimination on the basis of sex. The only issue is whether it prohibits it. It doesn’t.

If I understand the good Justice, taking into consideration his opinion in the recent Citizens United case, corporations have constitutional rights but women and other minorities are free game for discrimination, at least as far as the 14th Amendment goes.   Do you find it astounding that a jurist sitting on the Nation’s Court of Last Resort thinks that AT&T or Halliburton or BP has more rights than your mom does or your sister?  I do.

We all need to think very seriously about Justice Scalia’s comments.  Think about them in the context of this quote which I am re-printing from an excellent article in U.S. News’ Politics blog:

“…laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

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VIDEO UPDATE! Hey Gingrich! Haven’t You Ever Heard The Old Schoolyard Saying, “The Smeller Is The Feller?”

Reprinted by author from The Ampli-Gistics Blog:

In case you haven’t heard, Newt Gingrich has a new book, “To Save America.”  In it, the former Speaker of the House, who was drummed out of power by his own party, states:

[Obama’s] ”secular-socialist machine represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union once did.”

Let’s get a few things straight from the word go.  First of all, a guy with a face as ugly as Newt Gingrich has about as much chance of saving America as a turd in a punchbowl.  I mean, for God’s sake, that mug of his would curdle milk!

Second, Newt reminds me of that kid from second grade that used to ceaselessly mine his nose for hidden discoveries.  You know the one I mean – the kid that everybody wanted to punch really hard (and often did).  At our school, that kid was named “Georgie.”  Here, we have “Newt.”

But, seriously, do these guys have nothing else in their arsenal of insults but the Nazi card?  It seems to me that Newt is muscling in on Glen Beck territory, and Glen might want to consult his lawyers about this outrage.

In the meantime, going back to the schoolyards of yesteryear, we had a saying when someone let one go.  Not a noisy one, mind you.  The “silent but deadly” kind.  The saying went like this (said tauntingly with fingers pointed):

“Smeller’s the feller; smeller’s the feller, smeller’s the feller!”

At the risk of being condescending to my learned colleagues here on Amplify (which I do not intend), the saying meant that the kid who was the first one to pinch his nose and go, “Oh my God, what is that awful smell?!?!?,” was, invariably, the foul culprit polluting the air with his (it was, rarely, her) stench.

So, Newt, the next time you want to accuse someone of being a Nazi, Fascist or other anti-liberty sort, you might want to remember “smeller’s the feller,” and save us from your putridity.  There is precious little clean air left on this planet, and it’s getting harder and harder to breathe.

Video Update:

Gingrich found himself on the defensive during recent sit-down session with a local reporter from the Des Moines Register.  The Des Moines Register is about as center-of-America as you can get, and this reporter definitely earned a gold star in my book for not letting the former Speaker off the hook when he tried to distance himself from some of the fiery rhetoric from his book, To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular Socialist Machine.

A portion of the interview has been downloaded to the Box for you to view.  As one viewer right commented, it is always interesting “when wingnuts bring their bombastic rhetoric, perfectly crafted to satisfy their core audience of like-minded wingnuts, into contact with the wider world, and they’re stung by a reaction they didn’t expect.”

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To Congresswoman Michele Bachmann: Try ‘Honesty’ For A Change; You Will Find That In The Dictionary Before You Get To ‘Hypocrite’

Our Nation faces a profound crisis, my friends.  We face a crisis of ethics and principles because, as best I can tell, we live in a country where many of our most outspoken leaders are bereft of either.

The poster child for this ethical crisis is Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, pictured below.

I have watched and listened to this Queen of the Harpies for months now, and I am utterly convinced that she grits those Chiclet teeth of hers together to hide the forked tongue with which she spews her treasonous venom.  However, I don’t intend to write about her rabble-rousing statements here.  She is already well-known for such statements, which is what makes her the darling of those hat-wearing imbeciles, the Tea Baggers.  Instead, I intend to remark on a more common problem that this “lady” suffers in spades – she is a two-faced liar.  Moreover, liberals, moderates, and conservatives everywhere who have any interest in integrity in government should start calling her out for what she is.

While Ms. Bachmann spouted off against President Obama’s financial reforms, her District – the Sixth Congressional District – languished with the worst foreclosure rates in the entire State of Minnesota.  In 2008, the district had the highest number of foreclosures in Minnesota and the highest rate of foreclosures. When 2009 drew to a close, that sad trend continued, but did nothing to abate Bachmann’s arrogance or idiocy.  Moreover, according to new data from HousingLink and the Minnesota County Sheriffs’ Offices, the Sixth Congressional District continues to be disproportionately impacted by the foreclosure crisis despite its representative’s reticence to vote for foreclosure relief legislation. Why should she?  It’s not her house on the chopping block, is it?

Is that where her lies and hypocrisy ends?  Hell no it isn’t!  Ms. Bachmann has forged quite the national identity for herself by calling President Obama’s health care reforms “socialism.”  Consider this quote from the “good” Congresswoman when encouraging a march on Washington to oppose health care reform:

“Nothing is more effective at reaching a congressman than having a citizen come to Washington, D.C. – not asking for a handout, not asking for tax money, not asking to take some liberty away from somebody else, but just asking for freedom.”

I want to make sure you got that – being a good American, to Ms. Bachmann, means “not asking for a handout” and “not asking for tax money.”  Did you get that?

If that is what it means to be a good American, then why is it that Ms. Bachmann and her husband’s business – Bachmann and Associates, Inc. – take in tens of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money?  What is Bachmann & Associates, you ask?  Bachmann & Associates is a Christian mental health clinic run by Bachmann’s husband.  It opened in 2003, and since that time it has been taking money from Minnesota’s public funds (that means taxpayer money) under two different provisions of law.  Both provisions of law, one known as Rule 29 funds and the other as Rule 31 funds, are voluntary for health clinics, meaning that the Bachmann’s were not required to sign up under these rules to operate their clinic.  They chose to sign up for them!  Now who’s the good American, eh?

That must be the extent of her fraud on the public, isn’t it?  Not so fast.  In addition to the thousands of dollars the Bachmann have received in “socialized medicine” payments, her family is estimated to have received more than $250,000 in farm subsidies over the past decade.  What happened to that whole “not going to Washington looking for a handout” thing, Michele?

The bottom line is this – Michele Bachmann is a hypocrite and a liar.  Her advocacy of issues is selective – it is perfectly ok for her and her family to get rich off of government funds, but damn you if you want to get in on a little bit of assistance to pay for a doctor’s visit.  You are a “SOCIALIST” and any politician who agrees with you is a “SOCIALIST!”

Hey, Michele, while you’re looking up the word “honesty” in the dictionary, you might want to try looking up the word “socialist,” too.  You will find that word a wee bit before the word “succubus.”  For succubus, you only need to look in the mirror.

For further reading on Ms. Bachmann, check out this report from the Minnesota Independent.

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Lawyer – Wait, I Mean Dentist – Orly Taitz Files Lawsuit Against New Health Care Law

Care to know who has joined the “illustrious” group of lawyers filing lawsuits against the new health care bill signed into law by President Obama?  You guessed it, Claimed Lawyer – Apparent Dentist – Birther Queen – and  All-Around Weirdo Orly Taitz.  In a barely-reasoned, badly-drafted Complaint – in which she mis-spells the title of her own court document – Taitz alleges that the new health care law is a:

“VIOLATION OF COMMERCE CLAUSE AND OF PLAINTIFF’S RIGHTS TO GAINFUL EMPLOYMENT AS A DOCTOR OF DENTAL SURGERY UPON DEFENDANT’S IMMINENT SIGHNING OF THE HEALTH BILL”  (Error in original.)

Huh?

But, wait…it gets better. Dr. Orly waxes on, eloquently pleading:

“Health bill, as being prepared and reconciled, will create an enormous machine of governmental burocracy which will intrude into Plaintiff’s practice, will affect her doctor-patient relations, will undermine her Hippocratic oath, will force her to ration medical care and de-facto deny medical care to elderly, whom some committees of burocrats will deem to be too old to receive such care, meaning too old to live.” (Multiple and inexcusable errors in original.)

Orly Taitz concerned me enough when I only knew her to be a sham lawyer, completely incapable of sound legal reasoning, and apparently absent from law school the day they discussed the “actual cases and controversies” clause from the Constitution.  But she’s also a dentist!?!  I mean, I knew she put Dr. in front of her name, but I certainly did not think she seriously meant that she provided, gulp, medical care to actual people.  With sharp instruments and everything!?!

Apparently, Orly did not get a big enough cup of hot, steaming whoop-ass from her last foray into a courtroom.  As some of you may recall, Orly was sanctioned and severely criticized by a Federal judge last year for filing a frivolous lawsuit against President Obama.  In a 30-page opinion, the Judge criticized Orly for, among other things:

  1. Using “rhetoric” that is designed to inflame the “emotions” of her followers instead of real legal arguments; (Orly:  “What are legal arguments?”)
  2. Failing to properly file and serve the defendants in the case so as to give them notice of the case; (Orly:  “That rule didn’t apply to me, did it?”)
  3. An attempt by Taitz to dump two of her clients because she did not like working with their counsel; (Orly:  “I never said I was a people person.”)
  4. Asking supporters to contact the court in an attempt to influence the decision; and (Orly:  “Is that wrong?”)
  5. Possibly asking some witnesses to perjure themselves before the court.  (Orly:  “They were just little, white lies.”)

You can link to additional articles about Orly here and here.

And, yet, no article about Orly Taitz would be complete without at least one photo of the Dr. herself – now, ask yourself, would you want her standing up for you in court?  Or, coming at you with a dentist’s drill and a pair of pliers?  If you answer yes to either of these questions, you need more than a dentist.

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Child Slavery Reaches Record Levels In Haiti; Poverty Blamed As Cause

There is a startling new report just released by the Pan American Development Foundation, reporting that almost 225,000 Haitian children have been forced into child slavery in Haiti as a result of poverty.  Most of the children – nearly 2/3 in fact – are young girls, and are subjected to extreme physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.

Although the plight of these children is apparently commonly known, and is a source of great shame in the Caribbean country founded by a slave revolt, the practice of enslaving children has become widespread.  According to the report, nearly half of the children interviewed in just one village (257 total ) were living as slaves.

A previous count of the number of enslaved Haitian children was attempted by UNICEF in 2002.  That attempt resulted in a count of 172,000 children, but was criticized as being a gross under-estimation of the problem.  The current report used a broader counting methodology and was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In May 2007, USAID awarded the Pan American Development Foundation $6.4 million to combat trafficking in persons, torture, and organized violence in Haiti.

You can link to an excellent article discussing the problem of child slavery in Haiti here.  The link here is a link to the Pan American Development Foundation.  Finally, I am including a link to a resource showing the current state of slavery conditions in countries around the world as reported by the U.S. State Department, here.

UPDATE!  DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE STRIKES HAITI – REV. PAT ROBERTSON, LIMBAUGH BLAME HAITIANS, OBAMA

A disastrous earthquake struck the already impoverished island nation of Haiti on Tuesday.  The quake measured 7.0 on the Richter Scale, was shallow – only 6 miles deep, and struck the island’s capitol, Port-Au-Prince, especially hard.  The quake, together with the nearly 30 major aftershocks that followed it, have decimated the country.  Thousands were crushed in the rubble as buildings collapsed, and one Haitian Senator fears that the quake may have claimed as many as 500,000 people.  The quake is the largest earthquake to strike Haiti in a century.

According to MSNBC News, the Presidential Palace and most government buildings have been destroyed.  The Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church in Haiti, Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot, was killed.  The scene has been described as one of utter devastation.  President Obama has pledged ‘aggressive’ help, but the generally poor infrastructure of the country is expected to hamper relief efforts.  You can link to President Obama’s remarks here and here.

You can link to articles discussing this disaster here and here, as well as MSNBC News here.

The so-called “Reverend” Pat Robertson remarked that the earthquake was Haiti’s own fault.  Here is the text of what this psychotic had to say about the earthquake from today’s 700 Club:

ROBERTSON: [S]omething happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. Napoleon the Third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you get us free from the prince.” True story. And so the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.” They kicked the French out, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free.

But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other, desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle, on the one side is Haiti, on the other side is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, etc. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island.

They need to have, and we need to pray for them, a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people and the suffering is unimaginable.

Not to be outdone by Rev. Insanity, Rush “the Devil’s Douchebag” Limbaugh, had to get in on the game, saying that President Barack Obama and company would use Haiti to get closer to the “light-skinned and dark-skinned black [communities] in this country” while adding that the U.S. has “already donated to Haiti. It’s called the U.S. income tax.”  You can link to a news article discussing these remarks, as well as Robertson’s, here.

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