Well I don’t want to blow anyone’s bubble but Jesus according to all I read was a Jew and often called Rabbi.. but each year the right wing wants us to believe that our founding fathers and perhaps mothers created a Christian Country where Christmas was celebrated on the first year of this new government and that recent secular steps to be inclusive or respectful of other religions or ways of living that we in fact are creating a war on Christmas. The following is a bit of history that might pop more than one extreme bubble or balloon.
Epic Stewart Obliterates Fox News for Christmas Outrage
This is going to shock Fox News viewers, but the people who wrote our Constitution didn’t celebrate Christmas. In fact, like Jon Stewart notes, for the first 67 years after the birth of this nation, Congress was in session on Dec. 25th.
How is that possible you ask? It’s very possible to be exact. Christmas is very much a modern invention. The Founders had absolutely no concept of Santa Claus or of Jesus’ birthday. The American government didn’t even recognize Christmas as a holiday until well after the Civil War in 1870. Until then, everyone worked on Christmas if they had a job.
Of course these are simple facts Fox News doesn’t want people to know. They want people to believe that Christmas has always been celebrated in America and that our Founding Fathers created a Christian nation. Nothing could be further from the truth, however. Which is why you’ll never see or hear anything remotely similar to what I just wrote on Fox News. Facts are nothing to be concerned about to Republicans so long live their propaganda machine.
NOW FOR MY VIEW OF THE NEWS
a. End the war on drugs
b. Prescriptions drug deaths
c. Causes of death
d. Immigration and bigots
e. Want to curb violence
f. Santa lost his pansa
END ALL WARS .. GOOD SLOGAN … HOW ABOUT INCLUDING THE WAR AGAINST DRUGS
For 41 years we have been waging the war against drugs at the initial insistence of then President Richard Nixon. In the process we have spent billions of dollars, had many people killed ..many of them innocent and yet the same amount of drugs seems to be coming into the USA.. Interesting that we have not spent the same amount of money to help people off of addictive drugs.
But I should note that the war on drugs has made it easier to arrest and incarcerate people of color. Thus the growth of the prison industry’s growth runs parallel to the expansion of this called WAR ON DRUGS. I have to laugh late at night at comments contacts I have in some prisons who tell me that while they were convicted of drug possession that the same drug is available inside of the prison. In this drug culture there are many pay offs and many who wear uniforms or have the right titles who facilitate drugs coming into the USA , our streets and prisons.
Marijuana is a drug that can and should be easily legalized both in Mexico and the USA. If this were to happen many experts believe that most if not all of the violence would be taken out of the drug cartel wars in Mexico. As of today more than 40,000 deaths can be attributed to Cartel and Military wars in Mexico and the majority related to the control of the Marijuana market.
Some who have been taught to fear Marijuana say that it is a GATE WAY DRUG to other harder drugs and that it is addictive. While there is some evidence of this there is much more additiction in the consumption of Alcohol and it is in fact a bigger GATE WAY.
The sobering fact is that our real addiction is to prescription drugs.. these are readily available from your doctor.. and more readily available to children who are seeking to get high.
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS DEATHS INCREASE ..from Scientific American
The number of deaths and hospitalizations caused by prescription drugs has risen precipitously in the past decade, with overdoses of pain medications, in particular opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers, more than doubling between 1999 and 2006, according to a new study.
In fact, by 2006, overdoses of opioid analgesics alone (a class of pain relievers that includes morphine and methadone) were already causing more deaths than overdoses of cocaine and heroin combined.
“Teens and others have different attitudes in using these drugs,” often presuming the prescription substances are safer and less addictive than illegal drugs such as cocaine or heroin, says Jeffrey Coben, a professor of emergency and community medicine at the West Virginia University School of Medicine in Morgantown and lead author of the new study. “I think that’s a false assumption. Aside from the fact they can be taken orally rather than injected…[many prescription drugs] really are every bit as powerful, addictive and dangerous as heroin,” he notes, adding that, “when you combine them with other sedatives, that mix can become particularly lethal.”
Using data collected by the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, which gathers hospital patient information for about 8 million people every year, Coben and his colleagues were able to assess what drugs were implicated in the majority of poisonings—and in many cases whether the poisonings were intentional or not. The team selected opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers as the focus of the analysis because these substances are “contributing the majority of prescription drug overdose deaths,” Coben says. These categories of prescription drugs can kill and injure people by suppressing breathing, depriving the body of oxygen.
For prescription opioids, sedatives and tranquilizers—commonly prescribed for pain management—the number of hospitalizations for poisonings increased 65 percent between 1999 and 2006 (the first and last years, respectively, for which data were comparable and collected). The number of hospitalizations for all poisonings, including illegal drugs, other prescription medications and miscellaneous substances, increased during this time period as well, but that jump (33 percent) was about half the rate of those for the prescription pain drugs.
Unintentional poisonings from these drugs climbed 37 percent during the seven-year period, the researchers found. Intentional overdoses, in which people meant to inflict self-harm or death, jumped 130 percent (a far cry more than the 53 percent increase of intentional poisoning from other substances in the same time period). Intent was not listed in all cases and can be subject to reporting error. The results are detailed online April 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Poisonings, from prescription drugs and other substances, are classified in medical records as injurious or accidental deaths. But regardless of whether the incidents are listed as unintentional or intentional, they are rarely true mistakes, noted Leonard Paulozzi, a medical epidemiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in congressional testimony in 2007. “Most unintentional drug poisoning deaths are not ‘accidents’ caused by toddlers or the elderly taking too much medication,” he noted. “These deaths are largely due to the misuse and abuse of prescription drugs.”
CAUSES OF DEATH
(2009 – causes of death – annual causes of death by cause)
Cause of death1
Motor vehicle accidents
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
1 Based on the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Second Edition, 2004
2 Drug induced include both legal and illicit drugs.
* Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Murphy SL, et al. “Deaths: Preliminary data for 2009.” National vital statistics reports; vol 59 no 4. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2011. pp. 17-20.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr59/nvsr59_04.pdfComment is free
* Cif America
US immigration laws bow to the bigots and the opportunists
Laws in Arizona and Alabama have given bigots with badges a licence to go after Latinos and the poor
* Gary Younge
guardian.co.uk, Friday 16 December 2011 14.31 EST
America’s standard of living is dependent on exploiting cheap, foreign labour, much of which is undocumented. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
While travelling along the US-Mexican border, from Brownsville to San Diego, I met a man in New Mexico who went by the name of Quasimodo who claimed he “could tell an ‘illegal’ by looking at them”. I found this doubtful, and so asked Quasimodo, one of the Minutemen, an anti-immigrant vigilante group how. “It’s like wild dog versus tame dog. They just don’t have the same kind of look.”
Preposterous as Quasimodo’s claim may sound, this crude and offensive rule of thumb has, in many states, become the rule of law. Legislation in Alabama, Arizona and elsewhere gives police the right to check the immigration status of those they ‘suspect’ of being undocumented.
This has effectively given bigots with badges a licence to go hunting with impunity for “wild dogs”. Earlier this week a Justice Department investigation into Maricopa County, Arizona (which includes Phoenix) found the sheriff’s department conducting raids against illegal immigrants because “dark-skinned” people speaking Spanish were reported congregating in an area.
The 22-page report came just a few days after the supreme court agreed to hear challenges to the constitutionality of Arizona’s law. The decision will have widespread ramifications for a range of anti-immigrant statutes across the country. Given the political complexion of the court there’s no saying how they will rule. Either way, the reality of how these laws are applied and experienced are clear.
When it comes to the push against immigration in the US, two things should be made clear. First of all, it is not in truth a push against immigrants per se but against poor foreigners.
The US has no problem with wealthy outsiders. A rare example of bipartisan legislation recently was the Visit USA Act, by Democrat Charles Schumer and Republican Mike Lee, which sought to fast-track visas for foreigners spending $500,000 on property. It would allow them and their families to live in America for as long as they owned their homes, but not to work or claim federal benefits. It’s unlikely to become law; but it’s also unlikely to be controversial either.
This hypocrisy was highlighted last month when it caught the wrong kind of immigrant, Detlev Hagar, a German Mercedes executive, was arrested after he was arrested because his rental car had no licence plates and could produce only his German ID card. Previously he would have been given a ticket and a court date.
This was generally understood to be an unintended consequence of the law. Put bluntly, it was not supposed to ensnare Hagar; it was one of his low-paid employees they were after.
Secondly, while the real target might be poor people in general, they are aimed at Latinos in particular.
In a written ruling earlier this week, blocking part of Alabama’s law designed to evict undocumented people from their mobile homes, federal judge Myron Thompson, found substantial evidence that “the term illegal immigrant was just a racially discriminatory code for Hispanics” .
He went on to argue that the laws “treatment of children in mixed status families, who are overwhelmingly Latino, is so markedly different from the State’s historical treatment of children in general suggests strongly that the difference in treatment was driven by animus against Latinos in general and thus that the statute was discriminatorily based.”
The Justice Department’s three-year investigation into Maricopa County found the sheriff’s department had “a pervasive culture of discriminatory bias against Latinos” that “reaches the highest levels of the agency.” The very highest level in Maricopa is sheriff Joe Arpaio, the Bull Connor of West and aspiring Republican kingmaker.
A report by the New York Times earlier this week illustrates how this all plays out in real life. It detailed a number of American citizens, all of whom were Hispanic, who found themselves in the crosshairs of the Department of Homeland Security because they ‘looked’ illegal and were not given the opportunity to prove their citizenship.
“I told every officer I was in front of that I’m an American citizen, and they didn’t believe me,” Antonio Montejano told the Times. Montejano, who was born in Los Angeles, was arrested on a shoplifting charge last month and spent two nights in a police station in Santa Monica and another two in an LA county jail cell, until his citizenship status was clarified.
In her testimony before Birmingham City Council, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Mary Bauer gave several examples of racial profiling in which Latinos had been identified, on the basis of their ethnicity, as likely to be undocumented. To mention but a couple: in Northport, Alabama, Latino customers were told that their water services would be shut off if they didn’t provide proof of immigration status; a documented Latino from Ohio was told his bank card would not be accepted because he didn’t have identification issued by Alabama. The Monday after the law was implemented the absentee rate for Latino children doubled as families fled. A Human Rights Watch report released this week revealed that one minister lost 75% of his congregation.
This is intentional. I once suggested to a minuteman running for office that there was no way the US could deport all the undocumented immigrants. “We don’t need to deport them,” he explained. “All we have to do is enforce our employment laws and pretty soon they won’t be able to get a job and will self-deport.” So the border ceases to be a just a physical entity and is reproduced in all aspects of American life.
The paradox is that the experience of these laws shows that while America’s conservative politics are dependent on nativist rhetoric its standard of living is dependent on exploiting cheap, foreign labour, much of which is undocumented.
In Georgia, which passed a bill similar to Arizona’s, more than 80% of respondents, by acreage, to a Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association survey, reported around 40% labour shortages, prompting substantial financial losses. In Alabama farmers are reporting tomatoes “rotting on the vine”.
Worse still, their aim of creating a hostile environment stands in direct contradiction to their bid to ensure a safe climate for international capital. Not long after the Mercedes incident a Japanese manager was also arrested in Alabama, even though he had his Japanese driving licence and passport with him. The St Louis Dispatch responded with a bid to get foreign companies to come to Missouri. “Our state has many advantages over Alabama,” argued an editorial in the St Louis Dispatch. “We are the Show-Me State, not the ‘Show me your papers’ state.”
“Alabama has worked so hard to reinvent itself as a destination for global manufacturing. It’s really been a remarkable transformation,” Mark Sweeney, who helps companies find locations for capital investment, told Mobile’s Press Register. “Unfortunately, this law really is counter to that effort.”
Xenophobia on this level comes at a price: either documented citizens work for less or they pay more for their goods. It’s not obvious that they are prepared to do either.
“Just as the Carthaginians hired mercenaries to do their fighting for them, we Americans bring in mercenaries to do our hard and humble work,” wrote John Steinbeck in Travels With Charley in 1968. “I hope we may not be overwhelmed one day by peoples not too proud or too lazy or too soft to bend to the earth and pick up the things we eat.”
Fifty years on these ‘merceaneries’ are neither too proud, too soft nor too lazy. But thanks to bigotry and opportunism, many are now too scared.
WANT TO CURB VIOLENCE IN THE STREETS .. THEN HOW ABOUT CURBING IT IN SPORTS
I have never understood why in sports we continue to allow and honor violence and the violent players.
Recenty in Professional football we have seen a player stomping on another when the opposing player was on the ground. And on another instance a defensive player spears the opposing quarterback with his helmet causing a illegal helmet to helmet hit. It was just awful watching the replay of this.
Then I saw two rival basket ball teams who throughout the game were insulting and pushing and shoving each other. Eventually I saw a full fight erupting that emptied both benches. I wonder if the coaches tried to cool their player down during half or if they stoked the fires that eventually caused the brawl.
And then there is Hockey which allows people to fight for a while before they intervene.. and it seems that each team has players that are called enforcers.. those who are willing to physically mix it.. Many enforcers and other players are seriously injured by these confrontations. It think they should eliminate this element from this game.
I think punishments must be tough for both the player, the coach, the school and/or owner. When they are all getting punished either in suspensions or serious fines then you will begin to see a change in this attitude.
For example a bench emptying brawl should suspend the team from playing its next three games plus a fine. And serious violations of the examples of these rules should be noted in professional football such as helmet to helmet attacks and that the player should be suspended and fined, along with the coach and team owner. And then if this continues to happen that team should be suspended from playing 2-3 games.
And in the case of Hockey ..if the fines, punishment and suspension goes up the line you will see this violence end immediately ..
Unless we are seriously willing to curb violence in sports then how can we tell our youth not to fight or criticize gang members for continuing to do payback and get revenge in a form of violence.. this diet of violence creates an atmosphere where the victims are not just on the field but children, spouses and others.
THIS SANTA LOST MOST OF HIS PANSA (stomach)
Over the past 30 years I have often been asked to play Santa for some poor kids somewhere.. and it has always been fun. In those days I had a very large and protruding stomach and could say a good HO HO HO …and we did not need to steal any pillows for special affects. In this past year I lost 70+ lbs and the invitations to play Santa have disappeared….as have the tummy rubs some young ladies would do of my tummy thinking that perhaps like Buddha I would bring them good luck. But I will still have good holidays since I have learned to recognize and appreciate the many celebrations that go beyond a Christmas tree and obscene shopping sprees.
January El Salvador
February 9-11 Los Angeles
February 23-29 Nicaragua
March 1-3 Denver
Tags: ahora, change, magdaleno, social justice, travel, write-tirement
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