Tribute to a reverie.

November 28, 2012

There is a walk between the little town and the promenade and
the wind blows as the train rolls past.
And the stone wall is old. And it never changes.
And the sound of the sea amazes me. The most perfect sound. Man has never been able to create a sound as mellifluous as the sound of the ocean.
At the halfway mark or there about’s sits
a quaint old ice cream shack.
And a cliff top.
You can climb the cliff top and sit in a state of unbreakable reverie.
I do this. And when I don’t do this, I wish I was doing this.
And the World doesn’t matter.
And the people don’t matter.
And for a short time, you don’t exist. You were a murmur. A blip on the unfathomable tapestry of time. How comforting this is. The shadows that follow you always, slowly wash away each time the tide pulls itself further out. And you hear them crashing against the rocks, and they are meaningless now. And I feel fine. For just a little while.
Sometimes faces pass below and I wonder who they are. What thoughts are they having. How did they come to be here, today?

“In these deep solitudes and awful cells,
Where heav’nly-pensive contemplation dwells”

And then I stop wondering.
And the waves steal my thoughts again, and wash them away. And It’s calming too.
Thoughts of an introvert are masked in public and chaotic and self destructive in private. It never ceases. “Just be yourself” people tell you, not realising that it takes a tremendous amount of energy and concentration to ‘just be myself’.
But everything is beautiful.
Do you ever get the feeling that no one listens to you? And you want to scream? It is a lonely feeling.
The sound you make, is a blur to them. A faint hum on the wind. An irritating distraction more than anything, that quickly passes and is forgotten. A vacant nod of insincerity crosses their face. So you slowly say less and less. Because it’s easier. And then you write. That’s the beauty of the written word. It is a drug.
You don’t have to see their disapproving, or bored faces staring back, or glaring around the room looking for something more interesting than your apparently lifeless words. It is a drug, and it subsidises your wistful desire to be heard. How arrogant it is to wish to be heard.
I feel like a caricature of myself. And everyone else merges into everyone else until the faces are a haze. I don’t remember a time when this wasn’t the case.
But on the top of the cliff with the quaint old ice cream shack below, and the passing faces, where there is no one to talk to,
there is also no one to not listen to you. And the fleeting sense of freedom is ineffable.
The balance is harmonious and sad, all at the same time.
But it suits me just fine that way.

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Secession from the Union can only happen by violent revolution.

November 13, 2012

800px-Capitol_Building_3

Today, citizens in 20 States over in the US have petitioned the White House’s ‘We Are The People’ site to secede from the Union, based on their continued bitterness that their preferred candidate-for-insanity didn’t win the election.
Amusingly, the secession petitions carry with them a quote from the Declaration:

“…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government…”

– Deriving their powers from the consent of the governed. Well, the governed just democratically chose not to give any power to your candidate. Deal with it. That’s democracy. The form of government has not become destructive to that end. You lost. Democracy doesn’t mean you must win, all the time. If you want to secede, because you lost the election, then you absolutely do not understand democracy or America. It really is amazing what a bunch of regressive idiots will do when a man with dark skin is in the White House.

It is interesting to me, that New York has a petition. It has a couple of thousand signatures so far. What a curious understanding of democracy. Their State voted Democrat. The majority of those in New York, are Democrat. So, if a vote was theoretically put to New York State legislature, based on the will of the people, it would lose. What would secessionists then say? Secede, but only the conservative areas of New York? It really is absurd reasoning… again.

They are unhappy that they have been democratically defeated. So, they’re calling for a new democracy. Because apparently that’s what democracy means. If you don’t win, no longer observe the rules of democracy. But call for a new democracy. Based entirely on you winning. Essentially, secede, until you win. Eventually it’ll come down to individual homes. And then their wife will vote against them. And so they’ll secede from the home.

Granted it’s a very small number of Americans that have actually signed the petition. Just to give you some perspective, my article titled Bad day for bigots has so far today received 11,327 views. The State of South Carolina’s petition for secession so far has 10,722 signatures. 4,679,230 people live in the State of South Carolina. So, that’s 0.22% of the population of South Carolina calling for secession. Not even half of 1%. And less than the amount of people who have viewed one article of mine, in less than 12 hours. If we take Texas, which has the most signatures for secession so far with 67,834, and we note that the population of Texas is currently 25,674,681, we see that a weak 0.26% of the Texan population; just over a quarter of 1%… calling for secession. So, a very small number, by anyone’s standards. Unlike this guy, who thinks it’s practically the entire population, and has curiously “never happened before”:


(Posting Tweets is becoming somewhat of a fun new game for me).

Judging from secession tweets currently occupying Twitter, it would seem that they are citing States Rights (that old chessnut) derived from the Tenth Amendment. The Tenth Amendment States:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

– The inference being, that the Federal government under Obama has wrestled too much power away from the States. Oddly, there weren’t too many calls for secession from right winged Americans when Reagan massively expanded Federal payroll, tripled the National Debt, raised taxes in ’82, ’83, ’84, and sold arms to Iran, all whilst covertly funding terrorists throughout Latin America. But I suppose that’s hypocrisy for you.

The Tenth Amendment is quite clear. But it is not the final say the Founders had on the matter of the supremacy of law in the US. Article 6 states:

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

– Essentially, Federal law is supreme. State law does not override Federal law. Regardless of the ‘Constitution of Laws of any State’, Federal law is supreme. If Congress votes, and the President signs, and the judges see no unconstitutional problem with the law, then whatever bitter and angry ‘Confederates’ think about the law, it does not change the fact that they must abide by it. In the same way that whilst I dislike the changes the Conservative Party over here have implemented with regards the NHS…. I can’t suddenly call for the city of Leicester to secede from the UK. Well, I could… but i’d be wrong. My side of the argument lost the election in 2010. I have to accept that.

The great enlightenment thinkers that provided the US Constitution certainly realised that there may well be some people, after an election goes against them, that might demand secession. And so Article 1 Section 10 of the Constitution states:

“No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or Confederation. No state shall, without the consent of Congress, keep troops, or ships of war in times of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger.”

– Obviously a State, to succeed alone, would have to enter into treaty’s or alliances, or Confederation. Thus breaking the guide set out by the Constitution. The Founders anticipated secessionist nonsense. And they reiterated it AGAIN with Article 4 Section 3:

“Congress will make rules and regulations for territories and for property of the federal government.

– The Federal government owns the land. Specifically, Congress. Congress is empowered by the Constitution, and so cannot act outside of its power. Thus, any secession acted through Congress would be illegal and unconstitutional, rendering it meaningless.
As if that isn’t enough restrictions on right winged States-Rights advocates, then perhaps Article 1 Section 8 Clause 18, which garnered a lot of debate during its ratification process that including it in the Constitution would grant too much power to the Federal Government above the States. Hamilton and Madison argued for its inclusion. And it got included.

The Congress shall have Power – To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

– Hamilton used this clause to defend his Bank of America (arguably the biggest centralisation of power in US history).

States, through their representatives to Congress, give up certain State powers when they vote to ratify certain Federal Laws. Those laws that haven’t been given up to Congress, stay within the remit of the States. That is my reading of the entire subject of States Rights. Talk of secession is not only illegal and unconstitutional; it is based on a very simplistic and flawed reading of the Constitution and the motives of the Founders in particular. More than that; it is based on the undemocratic hysterics of “our candidate didn’t win, so we don’t recognise the outcome”.

These people, the very same people who insist on telling everyone what a ‘real’ American is. If you’re Atheist, you’re not a ‘real’ American. If you’re socialist, you’re not a ‘real’ American. If you support gay marriage or abortion, you’re not a ‘real’ American….. are now showing just how American they are, by demanding to leave the Union, simply because they very democratic principles that America was built on, did not turn up the result they wanted. They should be ashamed.

If they feel disenfranchised, then become politically active. Run for office. If your position isn’t gaining enough support……. maybe that’s because people don’t agree with it. Again, that’s democracy. There’s only so many times you can secede from all forms of social governance, before you’re on your own…. living in a Hobbesian hell hole. Grunting, as you chase your prey, with a spear. The point being, eventually, your point of view is not going to be the most popular. This is how democracy works.

I imagine a seceded Tea Party Confederacy would be pretty hellish. Walmart and Starbucks would be the two parties fighting for power. Leave your house and walk out onto the road? Pay for it! Everything is private! Including the roads you walk on. Don’t have police insurance? Well then your property will be robbed, tough. The land of the free! Unless you’re gay. Which would obviously be outlawed, as a sin against the word of the Lord. The land of the free! Where you have the democratic right to vote…. for a conservative…. You get the idea.

Now, obviously the Constitution sets out how States must act when in Union. There is no legal framework for secession, nor is secession legal. But, once seceded (violently), the States obviously wouldn’t have to abide by US law. The problem for them is, they absolutely cannot secede. Their legislatures are bound by oath to fully support the rules set out within it, and the land belongs to the Federal Government. They therefore, can only secede after declaring war.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution

– James Madison, writing in the Federalist Papers Number 44 progresses this point:

The members of the federal government will have no agency in carrying the State constitutions into effect. The members and officers of the State governments, on the contrary, will have an essential agency in giving effect to the federal Constitution.

– State officers must abide by the Constitution. They are compelled by its powers. Therefore, given that the Constitution limits States rights, and places Federal law as supreme, and compels representatives in Congress and State Legislatures to abide by it, by oath, it follows that secession cannot be brought about by legal nor peaceful means. The only way these people can secede, is violent overthrow of their State legislature. And to do that, simply because your candidate lost an election, is abhorrent.

I wrote my political thesis on President Lincoln’s relationship to the pro-slavery movement coming out of the South. And what stands out more than anything, as it does today, is that hysterical right winged lunacy pushed Lincoln into a vehement abolish-slavery position that he absolutely did not support in the run up to his first election win. He simply expressed his intention to prevent the spread of slavery westward, thereby keeping Congress 50% free, 50% slave. The Confederacy did not just want to preserve their right to hold human beings as slaves, they wanted to expand it as far as possible. Lincoln was worried that slavery would be Nationalised. He did not wish to outlaw slavery in the South, until pushed to it, by a manic, overly paranoid Confederacy. An over paranoid Confederacy, that whilst completely discredited, is still in part using the same hysterical tactics it used 150 years ago.

The reason they wish to secede this time is simple; they didn’t win an election.


The BBC Scandal.

November 11, 2012

“In the light of the fact that the director general is also the editor in chief and ultimately responsible for all content; and in the light of the unacceptable journalistic standards of the Newsnight film broadcast on Friday 2 November, I have decided that the honourable thing to do is to step down from the post of director general.”

-George Entwistle

Entwistle really never had a chance. He became Director General of the BBC, and within days, the BBC was embroiled in a scandal that he could not possibly have foreseen. By a strange mix of job titles and responsibilities, the DG is also editor-in-chief as set out by the BBCs constitution. This is a flawed mix. It requires an extraordinary amount of oversight from one job, given the size and scope of the Beeb. So for that reason, Patten is right that the management at the BBC needs radical overhaul. It is absolutely the case that the Newsnight program was flawed, massively, (though they showed restraint in not naming the Tory Peer) and a fundamental degree of irresponsible journalism is at the heart of that. Entwistle did the decent thing, and resigned. He absolutely had to. There is no excuse for lack of oversight of one of the most controversial shows Newsnight has aired.

The issue I see with the direction the BBC crises is taking, is that it is slowly becoming surrounded by the vultures on the Right who take ideological issue with the BBC as a tax payer funded institution, rather than the moral and structural problems that the BBC is currently facing. It is opportunistic nonsense that chooses to ignore the mass of despicable scandals the commercial media is currently embroiled in.

The Savile scandal, is not to the BBC what hacking was to News International. The abuse scandal involves people, not businesses. Savile used his position at the BBC to abuse, by the abusers go far beyond the BBC. Phone hacking is entirely the realm of commercial media, for the purposes of profiting as commercial media. Newsnight made a catastrophic mistake, but it remains a trusted and excellent provider of quality news. The agenda of those who seem to be hysterically painting Newsnight and the BBC as some sort of evil empire, rotting away, should not be mistaken. They are not morally outraged. They are ideological enemies of the BBC and nothing more.

The scandal must focus on the structural problems that lead firstly to the abuse scandal involving Saville (though the BBC’s Child Protection Policy, now ignored apparently, is pretty strict and the sort of abuse by people like Saville absolutely couldn’t happen again at the BBC) and the failings of the Director General to adequately perform his job as editor-in-chief. It must not focus on the public vs private media battle. And here is why.

The feigned right winged moral outrage is pretty intriguing, as well as damned hypocritical. Take today’s Sun. As we know, the Sun is a Murdoch owned newspaper. Here is the front page:

– Here the Sun takes the moral high ground. Entwistle had to go. The words ‘slur’ and ‘chump’ suggest an air of journalistic superiority from The Sun. They are poking Entwistle, for doing the decent thing and resigning, noting that responsibility ultimately lies with him. And yet for all their moral rage, I don’t seem to remember any Sun editors, journalists, or owners resigning when they spent weeks wrongly accusing Christopher Jefferies of the Joanna Yates murder, simply because he looked ‘weird’…

– Not only did no Murdoch executive do the honourable thing and quite after Jefferies. They still haven’t quit over the disgusting handling of the Hillsborough disaster:

And it strikes me as wholly hypocritical of an organisation that quite happily hacked the voicemail of a dead schoolgirl, deleting messages, thus giving the family hope that she might still be alive – to take to the offensive and attempt to undermine the BBC at every possible turn. Here is perhaps the highlight of the day yesterday for me. A tweet from Rupert Murdoch:

– This is unbelievable hypocrisy. For those of us who sat and watched Murdoch at the Leveson inquiry, we recall the amount of questions asked to Murdoch on his knowledge of the widespread phone hacking scandal at the News of the World, to which almost entirely, he answered: “I don’t recall“. Asked about his bidding for the Times and Sunday Times, and his lunch with Thatcher to discuss, “I don’t recall”. In fact, he didn’t even remember having the meeting, apparently. A meeting that would have been incredibly important, given the size of The Times. Asked whether he’d supported Blair because Blair agreed that there would be no tighter control on his media operations (tighter controls, may have prevented hacking the voicemail of a dead school girl), Murdoch said: “I don’t recall”. On the subject of wide spread phone hacking, James Murdoch, then Chief Exec. of News Corp Europe and Asia said:

“None of these things were mentioned to me”

– When asked about whether he had seen a report of overwhelming evidence of illegal practices at News of the World, said:

It didn’t seem necessary for me to ask for a copy

– A Parliamentary Select Committee report stated that James Murdoch had shown:

“Wilful ignorance”

“This culture, we consider, permeated from the top throughout the organisation and speaks volumes about the lack of effective corporate governance at News Corporation and News International,”

– Pretty damning. The Parliamentary Select Committee are not the only ones to condemn James’ handling of the Phone Hacking scandal.

A recent report by Ofcom stated that James Murdoch….

“…..repeatedly fell short of the conduct to be expected of as a chief executive and chairman”

One could say he did the decent thing and quit. Except, he stepped down as Chief Exec, but remained as Deputy Chief Operating Officer at News Corp and looks like he’s heading for the top job at Fox in the US. Remember all of this, when you look at that tweet from Rupert.

It is unsurprising that the Murdoch family is using the BBC crises to promote its own particular brand of right winged, anti-BBC bullshit. At the Leveson Inquiry, when asked about the decline in local newspaper circulation, he blamed the BBC entirely. At the Edinburgh International Television Festival, James Murdoch said this:

“There is a land grab going on – and it should be sternly resisted. The land grab is spearheaded by the BBC. The scope of its activities and ambitions is chilling.”

– Spearheaded by the BBC? He clearly believes the BBC has too much market influence in the media business. And yet, the BBC can most definitely not be considered an election decider as a media outlet. Whilst News Corp, well, even by its own remarks, insists it won the election for the Tories back in 1992:

– It would seem that Murdoch thinks it is perfectly acceptable for his empire to choose exactly what the public should be exposed to when it comes to political information, to have meetings with top politicians in order to strike deals in return for News Corp support, yet it is not acceptable for the BBC to exist at all. Is the BBC really spearheading a land grab? Is the media World drowning under the sheer power of the BBC? Is News Corp struggling in this landscape?
Well, here is a list of Media outlets owned by the Murdochs:

Publishers:
HarperCollins book publishing company
HarperCollins India (40%) joint venture with India Today Group
Zondervan Christian book publisher
Inspirio – religious gift production.
Newspapers
Australia….
The Australian (Nationwide)
Community Media Group (16 QLD & NSW suburban/regional titles)
Cumberland-Courier Newspapers (23 suburban/commuter titles)
The Courier-Mail (Queensland)
The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
The Cairns Post (Cairns, Queensland)
The Gold Coast Bulletin (Gold Coast, Queensland)
The Townsville Bulletin (Townsville, Queensland)
The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales)
The Sunday Telegraph (New South Wales)
Herald Sun (Victoria)
Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria)
The Weekly Times (Victoria)
Leader Newspapers (33 suburban Melbourne, VIC titles)
MX (Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane CBD)
The Geelong Advertiser (Geelong, Victoria)
The Advertiser (South Australia)
The Sunday Mail (South Australia)
Messenger Newspapers (11 suburban Adelaide, SA titles)
The Sunday Times (Western Australia)
The Mercury (Tasmania)
Quest Newspapers (19 suburban Brisbane, QLD titles)
The Sunday Tasmanian (Tasmania)
Northern Territory News (Northern Territory)
The Sunday Territorian (Northern Territory)
The Tablelands Advertiser (Atherton Tablelands and the Far North, Queensland)
Fiji
Fiji Times (National) (10%)
Nai Lalakai (10%)
Shanti Dut (10%)
Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (National) (62.5%)
UK and Ireland newspapers, published by subsidiaries of News International Ltd.
News Group Newspapers Ltd.
The Sun (published in Scotland as The Scottish Sun and in Ireland as The Irish Sun)
The Sun on Sunday
Times Newspapers Ltd.
The Sunday Times
The Times
The Times Literary Supplement
US newspapers and magazines
The New York Post
Community Newspaper Group
The Brooklyn Paper
Bronx Times-Reporter
Brooklyn Courier-Life
TimesLedger Newspapers
Dow Jones & Company
Consumer Media Group
The Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal Europe
Wall Street Journal Asia
Barron’s – weekly financial markets magazine.
Marketwatch – Financial news and information website.
Far Eastern Economic Review
Enterprise Media Group
Dow Jones Newswires – global, real-time news and information provider.
Factiva – provides business news and information together with content delivery tools and services.
Dow Jones Indexes – stock market indexes and indicators, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
Dow Jones Financial Information Services – produces databases, electronic media, newsletters, conferences, directories, and other information services on specialised markets and industry sectors.
Betten Financial News – leading Dutch language financial and economic news service.
Local Media Group
Ottaway Community Newspapers – 8 daily and 15 weekly regional newspapers.
STOXX (33%)- joint venture with Deutsche Boerse and SWG Group for the development and distribution of Dow Jones STOXX indices.
Vedomosti (33%) – Russia’s leading financial newspaper (joint venture with Financial Times and Independent Media).
SmartMoney
The Timesledger Newspapers of Queens, New York:
Bayside Times, Whitestone Times, Flushing Times, Little Neck Ledger, Jamaica Times, Astoria Times, Forest Hills Ledger
The Courier-Life Newspapers in Brooklyn
The Brooklyn Paper
Caribbean Life
Flatbush Jewish Journal
Times-Herald Record (Middletown, New York)
The Leader – Corning, NY
Magazines
U.S.A
SmartSource Magazine (weekly Sunday newspaper coupon insert)
Australian
Alpha Magazine
Australian Country Style
Australian Golf Digest
Australian Good Taste
Big League
BCME
Delicious
Donna Hay
Fast Fours
GQ (Australia)
Gardening Australia
InsideOut (Aust)
Lifestyle Pools
Live to Ride
Notebook
Overlander 4WD
Modern Boating
Modern Fishing
Parents
Pure Health
Super Food Ideas
Truck Australia
Truckin’ Life
twowheels
twowheels scooter
Vogue (Australia)
Vogue Entertaining & Travel
Vogue Living
Inside Out (UK Based Magazine)
Music and radio
Fox Film Music Group
Russia
Nashe (50%)
Best FM (50%)
Fox News Radio
Sport
50% of the National Rugby League (Australia and New Zealand)
Majority ownership of the Brisbane Broncos (68.9%) and full ownership of the Melbourne Storm rugby league team.
Colorado Rockies (15%)
Studios
Fox Filmed Entertainment: 20th Century Fox’s parent company
20th Century Fox: a film production/distribution company
Fox Searchlight Pictures – specialised films.
Fox 2000 Pictures – general audience feature films.
20th Century Fox Television – primetime television programming.
20th Television – television distribution (syndication).
Fox 21 – low scripted/budgeted television production company.
Fox Television Studios (productions)- market specific programming e.g. COPS and network television company.
Fox Television Studios International
Fox World Productions
Fox World Australia
Fox TV Studios France
Fox TV Studios India
Natural History New Zealand – natural world documentaries, non-fiction programming.
Fox Faith – Promotion and distribution of Christian and related “family friendly” movies on DVD and some theatrical release.
Fox Studios Australia, Sydney, New South Wales
Blue Sky Studios – production of CGI films e.g. Ice Age.
Fox Entertainment Group
New Regency Productions (20%) – general audience feature films.
Regency Enterprises (20%) – parent company of New Regency Productions (50%).
FOX Star Studios New Delhi, India
Broadcast
Fox Broadcasting Company (Fox), a US broadcast television network
MyNetworkTV, a US broadcast television network
Fox Television Stations, a group of owned and operated Fox television stations
Saeta TV Channel 10, channel of Uruguay
ITV plc (7.5%), a British broadcast television network and the UK’s largest advertising revenue based broadcaster
News Corp Europe
bTV, a broadcast television network in Bulgaria. They sold this to CME in February 2010.
B1 TV (12,5%), a broadcast television network in Romania, in partnership with Ismar International NVkkkk
Fox Televizija, a broadcast television network in Serbia (49%). They sold this to Antenna Group in January 2010
Fox Turkey, a Turkish terrestrial channel (56,5%) (formerly TGRT)
Imedi Media Holding (100%), a Georgian radio and TV broadcaster.
Imedi Television
Radio Imedi
Israel 10 (9%), a terrestrial channel in Israel.
LNT (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
TV5 Riga (100%), a terrestrial channel in Latvia
Cielo (100%), a free channel in Italy
ANTV (20%), a private television station in Indonesia, under the administration and label of STAR TV
Prime Television New Zealand – commercial TV station, interest held through stake in SKY Network Television
Satellite television
British Sky Broadcasting, United Kingdom & Ireland (39.1% holding). In practice, a controlling interest.
Sky Network Television, New Zealand (44%)
Sky Italia (100%), Italy’s largest pay TV service (previously owning part of Stream TV)
Sky Deutschland (49.90%), Germany’s largest pay TV provider
Tata Sky (30%), an Indian DirectToHome TeleVision Service Provider. (in partnership with Tata Group (70%))
Foxtel (25%), Australia, a joint venture with Telstra (50%) and Consolidated Media Holdings (25%)
FOX Italy, Italian Broadcast and Production Company (with 2 HDTV)
Star TV Channels (Satellite TeleVision Asian Region), an Asian satellite TV service having 300 million viewers in 53 countries, mainly in India, China & other Asian countries
Phoenix Television (17.6%), satellite TV network with landing rights in Hong Kong, and select provinces on Mainland China.
Cable
Cable TV channels owned (in whole or part) and operated by News Corporation include:
Fox Business Network, a business news channel.
Fox Classics, a channel airing classic TV shows & movies
Fox Movie Channel, an all-movie channel that airs commercial-free movies from 20th Century Fox’s film library
Fox News Channel, a 24-hour news & opinion channel
Fox Sports Networks, a chain of US regional cable news television networks broadcasting local sporting events linked together by national sports news programming. Local channels include “Fox Sports Southwest”, “Fox Sports Detroit”, etc. (some affiliates are owned by Cablevision).
SportSouth, a regional sports network in the United States, with its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, and affiliate of Fox Sports Net.
Sun Sports a regional sports network in the United States, with its headquarters in Miami, Florida, and affiliate of Fox Sports Net.
Fox College Sports, a college sports network consisting of three regionally aligned channels, mostly with archived Fox Sports Net programs but also some live and original content.
Fox Sports International
Fox Soccer Channel, a United States digital cable and satellite network specialising mainly in soccer.
Fox Soccer Plus, a sister network to FSC, but including coverage of other sports, most notably rugby. Launched in 2010 after News Corporation picked up many of the broadcast rights abandoned by Setanta Sports when it stopped broadcasting in the U.S.
Fox Sports Middle East – English language sports network airing in Middle East countries including Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE & Yemen.
Fox Pan American Sports (37.9%) – joint venture with Hicks, Muse, and Tate & Furst.
Fox Sports en Español (50%), a Spanish-language North American cable sports network; its sports line-up is tailored to appeal to a Latin American audience.
Fox Sports en Latinoamérica, a Latin American satellite and cable sports network.
FX Networks, a cable network broadcasting reruns of programming previously shown on other channels, but recently creating its own programming, including the Emmy Award-winning programs The Shield and Damages.
SPEED
FUEL TV
Big Ten Network, cable and satellite channel dedicated to The Big Ten Conference, launched Aug 2007 (49%)
National Geographic Channel (joint venture with National Geographic Society) 67%
National Geographic Channel International 75%
Nat Geo Mundo (joint venture with National Geographic Society)
Nat Geo Wild (joint venture with National Geographic Society)
Fox International Channels, domestic cable channels offering different formats of Fox programming in over thirty countries worldwide.
Fox
Fox Life
Fox Life HD
Fox Crime
FX
Fox Horror
Fox Movies
Fox Sports
Speed Channel
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel HD
National Geographic Wild
National Geographic Adventure
National Geographic Music
National Geographic Junior
Cult
Next:HD
Voyage
Real Estate TV
BabyTV
Fox Toma 1 – Spanish-language television production.
Fox Telecolombia – Spanish-language television production. (51%)
Utarget.Fox – European and Latin American online ad company, plus now handles TV ad sales.
Central & South America
Fox Latin American Channels – channels available in over 17 countries in Latin America
National Geographic Channel
National Geographic Channel HD
National Geographic Wild
Nat Geo Music
Universal Channel
Universal HD
Fox Channel
Fox HD
FX
Fox Life
Syfy
Fox Sports
Speed Channel
Baby TV
Utilisima
Fox One-Stop Media – advertising sales for company owned and third party channels in Latin America
LAPTV (60%) (Latin American Pay Television) operates 8 cable movie channels throughout South America excluding Brazil.
Telecine(12.5%) operates 5 cable movie channels in Brazil.
Australia
Premier Media Group (50%)
Fox Sports 1
Fox Sports 2
Fox Sports 3
SPEED
FoxSportsNews
Fuel TV Australia
Premium Movie Partnership (20%) – movie channels, a joint venture between 20th Century Fox, Sony, NBC Universal, Viacom and Liberty Media
India
Hathway Cable & Datacom (22.2%), India’s 2nd largest cable network through 7 cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai & Pune
Taiwan
Total TV (20%), Pay TV platform with JV partner KOO’s Group majority owner (80%). News Corp also has a 20% interest in the KOO’s Group directly
Internet
News Corp. Digital Media
Foxsports.com – website with sports news, scores, statistics, video and fantasy sports
Hulu (27%) – online video streaming site in partnership with NBC Universal and The Walt Disney Company.
Flektor – provides Web-based tools for photo and video editing and mashups.
IGN Entertainment – Internet entertainment portal (Includes the sites IGN, GameSpy, TeamXbox, 1up.com, and Askmen.com)
Giga.de
Slingshot Labs – web development incubator (Includes the sites DailyFill).
Strategic Data Corp – interactive advertising company which develops technology to deliver targeted internet advertising.
Scout.com
WhatIfSports.com – sports simulation and prediction website. Also provides fantasy-style sports games to play.
Indya.com – ‘India’s no. 1 Entertainment Portal’
ROO Group Inc (5% increasing to 10% with performance targets)
News Digital Media
News.com.au – Australian-oriented news website
News Lab
CareerOne.com.au (50%) – recruitment advertisement website in partnership with Monster Worldwide.
Carsguide.com.au
in2mobi.com.au
TrueLocal.com.au
Moshtix.com.au– a ticket retailer
Learning Seat
Wego News owns minority stake in Wego.com
Netus (75%) – investment co. in online properties.
REA Group (60.7%)
Realestate.com.au
Casa.it (69.4%), Sky Italia also holds a 30.6% share
atHome group, operator of leading realestate websites in Luxembourg, France, Belgium and Germany.
Altowin (51%),provider of office management tools for realestate agents in Belgium.
Propertyfinder.com (50%), News International holds the remaining 50%
Sherlock Publications, owner of hotproperty.co.uk portal and magazine titles ‘Hot Property’, ‘Renting’ and ‘Overseas’
ukpropertyshop.co.uk, most comprehensive UK estate agent directory.
PropertyLook, property websites in Australia and New Zealand.
HomeSite.com.au home renovation and improvement website.
Square Foot Limited, Hong Kong’s largest English Language property magazine and website
Primedia – Holding co. of Inside DB, a Hong Kong lifestyle magazine.
TadpoleNet Media (10%) Hosts of ArmySailor.com
New Zealand
Fatso – leading online DVD subscription service (ownership through stake in Sky Network Television).
Fox Networks – one of the largest international ad networks.
Expedient InfoMedia blog network.
Other assets
NDS Group – Conditional access technology and personal digital video recorders (PVRs) (49%)
SiVenture
Jungo
CastUP
Broadsystem Ltd (UK) – Telephony provider for media companies, bought in 1991
Broadsystem Australia (Australia)
Broadsystem Ventures (UK) – provider of cheap-rate telephone calls, particularly for customers of Sky Television. Bought outright in 1999.
Jamba! – Mobile Entertainment/Mobile Handsets Personalisation/Games.
News Outdoor Group – Largest outdoor advertising company in Eastern Europe with over 70,000 ads including billboards and bus shelters, operating in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Israel, Poland, Romania, Russia (96 cities), Turkey & Ukraine.
Maximedia Israel (67%)
Mosgorreklama (50%) – Russia sign and marketing material manufacturer
Kamera Acikhava Reklamclik (?) – leading outdoor advertising company in Turkey
Australian Associated Press (45%) – real time news service.
STATS, Inc. (50%) – worlds leading provider of sporting information and statistical analysis (a JV with Associated Press)
Fox Sports Grill (50%) – Upscale sports bar and restaurant with 7 locations – Scottsdale, Arizona; Irvine, California; Seattle, Washington (U.S. state)|Washington; Plano, Texas; Houston, Texas; San Diego, California; and Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state)|Georgia.
Fox Sports Skybox (70%) – Sports fan’s Bar & Grill at Staples Center and 6 airport restaurants.
News America Marketing (US) – (100%) – nation’s leading marketing services company, products include a portfolio of in-store, home-delivered and online media under the SmartSource brand.
Rotana (9%) – Largest Arab entertainment company owned by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal
The Daily – iPad only newspaper delivered daily.
Making Fun – social game developer for making games for social networking sites, smartphones, tablets and other devices.
Stockpoint

So quite obviously the real reason that the Murdoch’s are hostile to the BBC at every possible opportunity, is that the BBC is embedded into the market, and cannot be bought out, or beaten out of the market, by the Murdoch’s, despite the Murdoch’s having such power and influence over what we see, hear, and think.

Let us also not forget just who commercial media – such as News International – are accountable to. Advertisers deciding what makes the news, can be devastating for press freedom. We must get out of the mindset that government control over press freedom is terrible (which it is) yet corporate control is ‘free’ (which it isn’t). For example, the Times reported in 2005 that General Motors had pulled it’s advertising for the L.A Times, after the L.A Times called for Rick Wagoner, the CEO of General Motors, to be sacked.
Morgan Stanley went one step further in May 2005 and added threats into it’s advertising contracts with newspapers across America, the following:

“In the event that objectionable editorial coverage is planned, news agency must inform Morgan Stanley, as a last minute change may be necessary. If an issue arises after hours or a call cannot be made, immediately cancel all Morgan Stanley ads for a minimum of 48 hours”.

Advertising, big business, has the potential to control what makes the news, and that is far more worrying that a large publicly funded BBC. As is the fact that media outlets that do not follow mainstream pro-free market fundamentalism, cannot attract advertisers. Advertising distorts the media market more than any other form.

Let us not forget that the BBC is at the very forefront of quality programming.
Blue Planet, Planet Earth, Francesco’s Venice, Walking With Dinosaurs – all great BBC documentaries. Blackadder, Fawlty Towers, The Young Ones, The Office, The Mighty Boosh – all great BBC comedies. Question Time, Newsnight, The Politics Show, Panorama, the coverage of Parliament – all great informative BBC shows. Panorama is by far the best investigative broadcast on British TV. There is no other show that comes close. It exposed bribery at Fifa before the voting for the 2018 World Cup, in 2010, whilst The Sun was busy telling us that a shop had banned a toy pig in case it upset muslims. In 2011, Panorama exposed care home abuse on a huge scale (where were the commercial investigative journalists?) An investigation that even the Daily Mail said:

“Without the investigation by the BBC’s Panorama, given huge coverage in the Mail, the abuse of patients at Winterbourne View might be continuing to this day.”

In 2009 it aired an investigation into the child sex abuse scandal surrounding the Catholic Church and suggested that the Pope may have known more than the ‘nothing’ he claims to have known about the scandal.
– Let’s not lose sight of what makes the BBC so essential.

The BBC is without a doubt the best news and information platform in the UK. It is revered the World over. It inspires creativity, and ingenuity in its programming. It 99% of the time performs quality journalism, essential to a country like the UK in which gutter journalism is the norm. It is not beholden to advertisers, it doesn’t provide support for political parties in exchange for an easy ride through to owning, for example, BSKYB. It makes mistakes, it has massive internal issues, and it is going to have to deal with its shady and frankly disgusting past when it comes to child abuse. It must remain independent, impartial, and public. We must protect it. It cannot be allowed to fall because of the noise created by those on the right who have longed for the day that it is privatised. It’s independence and its impartiality are crucial. Addressing misleading remarks by dutifully resigning is the right step (A step that Jeremy Hunt unfortunately chose to ignore) But restoring integrity and quality is the most important hurdle it must over come. A hurdle that media outlets like Sky, The Sun, Fox, and the Daily Mail (surprisingly all right winged) kicked over and pissed on long ago.


Why the Republican Party lost

November 10, 2012

Ohio. An important State for any Presidential candidate to win. No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio. And so you’d expect Republicans to be a bit less malicious in their campaigning tactics when trying to win over potential key voters. And yet, in 2010 Medina County Republicans put out this leaflet. You should probably cast your eyes down to the most telling part, and the epitome of the problem with the Republican Party today:


– Not only is the problem in the horrendous sexism, but it’s also in that…… it isn’t surprising.

Republicans are reeling, trying to figure out what went wrong. From calls that the Romney campaign was not right winged enough; to calls that the Romney campaign was not moderate enough; to calls that Obama rigged the election. To Karl Rove not convinced that Obama actually won the election; To calls that Republicans need to appeal to minorities more. All of which do not address the actual problem; the Republican Party has an ideology problem, both economically and socially. Appealing to ‘minorities’ means nothing unless the underlying bigotry and ignorance is addressed. Cloaking inherent racism, sexism and homophobia behind more creative language hides nothing. The country is more liberal than they think. It is not a suspicious, homophobic, sexist country of multimillionaires.

In the UK the Conservative Party is quite generally known as the Nasty Party. They alienate, they belittle, and they discriminate. They open their mouths to say pretty vicious stuff, and nothing else. The Republicans are no different.

The fact that Republicans manage to attract any female voters strikes me as incredible. Republican news anchor Ann Coulter, reflecting a general Republican anti-women stance once said:

“If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It’s kind of a pipe dream, it’s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. ”

– Even female Republicans, are anti-women. This is a paradox of right winged America. They seem to insist as much as possible that they are true Patriots. Real Americans. Defenders of the Constitution. And yet, they apparently call for secession whenever a democratic decision does not go their way, they call for the right to vote for women to be revoked, and then they completely ignore the distinct separation between Church and State as laid out by the Founders and their enlightenment thinking, with things like this…..

“We’re bound together by common values. That family is the most important institution in society. That almighty God is the source of all we have.”

This is Marco Rubio. Apparently, he is the Republican answer to appealing to alienated minorities. Here, he is promoting the myth that America was founded a Christian nation, and subtly hinting that non-belief, cannot be considered an American value. Thus, in two quotes, we have seen both women and atheists alienated. So that’s 155.6 million women, and 15% of Americans who claim no religion. That’s a lot of people to alienate. Rubio is following the conservative trend of telling people who does and doesn’t qualify as ‘American’. This in itself, is divisive. It works against the Republicans, because not only are their policies seen as having racist, sexist undertones; the rhetoric confirms it. They are shooting themselves. Rubio is also reflecting the Biblical free will myth. In the Bible this myth is simple; you are free to believe in the Christian God, but if you choose not to, you will be punished for eternity. Suddenly there is force, which means there is no freedom in choice. Republicans are similar. You are FREE in America to believe whatever you wish. But if you don’t believe what Republicans tell you, then you’re not American.
We’re not finished with Coulter yet. She of course, can alienate more people pretty quickly. On the subject of 9/11, Coulter needlessly and baseless-ly said:

If Chicago had been hit, I assure you New Yorkers would not have cared. What was stunning when New York was hit was how the rest of America rushed to New York’s defense. New Yorkers would have been like, “It’s tough for them; now let’s go back to our Calvin Klein fashion shows.”

– So now, that’s women, Atheists and the entire State of New York.
It may be unfair to pick on Coulter. She is not representative of the Republican Party. She describes herself as conservative, which of course the Republicans are also. But she isn’t a Republican congress person or Presidential candidate. She says ridiculous shit, because she has books to sell. She perpetuates stupidity, for financial gain. It isn’t Patriotism it is right winged anti-democratic solypsism, with its very very narrow understanding of what is decent and correct. The abusive levels these people will stoop for commercial purposes is possibly more telling that their disturbingly outdated views themselves.
Another commercial bigot, is Rush Limbaugh. On the subject of women, Limbaugh said:

“So Miss Fluke and the rest of you feminazis, here’s the deal. If we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch

– Wealthy white conservative attitudes to women are simply a reactive response from a modern liberal inclusive culture that they very much dislike, because it threatens their unjustifiably privileged position in life.

We can however find just as much disturbing sentiment from Republicans in congress and Presidential candidates pretty easily, along with groups that support and fight for them. They are very dogmatic. Like a religion that never updates with the times. The Republicans, are a religious ideology unto themselves.

The Republican controlled State Senate of North Carolina voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman. Their main support group, “North Carolina Values Coalition”, whose benevolent overlord Tami Fitzgerald said this:

“the people of North Carolina would rise up and vote to keep the opposition from redefining traditional marriage.”

As i’ve noted before, using the term ‘traditional marriage’ comes with an intense amount of problems. Hopefully (and I will email and ask them this) they are going to be consistent and support Biblical marriage in its entirety. As I noted in a previous entry:#

Republicans must be against marriage, if the woman isn’t a virgin. As advocated in Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
Republicans must support the right for a man to have multiple concubines as justified in 2 Sam 5:13 and
2 Chron 11:21.
Republicans must support the right for a man to marry his kidnapped captive (though, only after shaving her head, obviously) as permitted in Deut. 21:11-13.
Republicans must support the right for a man to trade his wife, as property. As advocated in RUTH 4:5-10.
Republicans must support the right for a man to marry his rape victim, if he pays for her: Deut. 22:28.
Let’s be consistent Republicans!

– I look forward to seeing the bigoted bullshit of Tami Fitzgerald support the right for a man to trade his wife as property. Though, judging by Republican attitudes to women, it wouldn’t actually surprise me.
Her organisation went on to just invent ‘facts’:

“….the overwhelming body of social science evidence establishes that children do best when raised by their married mother and father.”

– This simply isn’t true. Along with the idea that sexuality is a choice, or can be cured this is an assertion completely discredited by the American Psychological Association. Here:


Do children of lesbian and gay parents have more problems with sexual identity than do children of heterosexual parents?For instance, do these children develop problems in gender identity and/or in gender role behavior? The answer from research is clear: sexual and gender identities (including gender identity, gender-role behavior, and sexual orientation) develop in much the same way among children of lesbian mothers as they do among children of heterosexual parents. Few studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.

Do children raised by lesbian or gay parents have problems in personal development in areas other than sexual identity?For example, are the children of lesbian or gay parents more vulnerable to mental breakdown, do they have more behavior problems, or are they less psychologically healthy than other children? Again, studies of personality, self-concept, and behavior problems show few differences between children of lesbian mothers and children of heterosexual parents. Few studies are available regarding children of gay fathers.

Are children of lesbian and gay parents likely to have problems with social relationships?For example, will they be teased or otherwise mistreated by their peers? Once more, evidence indicates that children of lesbian and gay parents have normal social relationships with their peers and adults. The picture that emerges from this research shows that children of gay and lesbian parents enjoy a social life that is typical of their age group in terms of involvement with peers, parents, family members, and friends.

Are these children more likely to be sexually abused by a parent or by a parent’s friends or acquaintances?There is no scientific support for fears about children of lesbian or gay parents being sexually abused by their parents or their parents’ gay, lesbian, or bisexual friends or acquaintances.

– So, what we are saying is that Tami Fitzgerald is simply homophobic. Her baseless bullshit is nothing but prejudice dressed up as reason. To ban two loving people from marriage, on the grounds of nothing but a book of fairy tales and private prejudice, is disgusting.
Similarly, Paul Ryan said that Mitt Romney would be a great “defender of marriage”. Against what? We all know he means against gay marriage. Which suggests he means that a gay couple willing to get marriage, let’s say, these two sweet old ladies, Cathy Glass and Carmeh Lawler….

….. are trying to ‘attack’ …. ‘traditional’ marriage. The language is important here. ‘Attack’. It suggests there is a purpose behind the desire of Cathy and Carmeh to get marriage… who have been together for 30 years….. other than just for love. Again, the prejudice is disgusting. The Republicans are on the wrong side of history, again. The opposition to gay equality will be viewed in much the same way as the opposition to civil rights 50 years ago is now viewed. Regressive, bigoted, hate filled and wrong.

So far….

  • Women.
  • The entire State of New York.
  • Atheists.
  • Gay people.
  • Children of gay parents.
    Republicans are really racking up the list.

    Of course we know Republicans main claim this election was to be on the side of the middle class. The mask slowly begins to slide when you note the way that Republicans have dealt with labor unions in the GOPs quest to turn Capitalism back to the industrial revolution. Firstly, we should take a look at the advancements made by labor unions and we should also note that these advancements were certainly not made with the support of people like Mitt Romney…
    End of child labour; healthcare insurance; collective bargaining for wages; minimum wage; paid over time; 8 hour work day; outlawing of job discrimination based on race, colour, sex, or national origin; workers comp benefits for people injured at work. All of these gains would be entirely erased tomorrow, if Romney’s entitlement society for the wealthy were to prevail. They certainly had to be fought for.

    So how to Republicans treat unions? The Republicans in 2011 voted through a number of bills with the express intention of weakening unions. Given that their main donors are massive corporate entities famed for shipping jobs abroad and keeping wages as low as physically possible, it isn’t a surprise. But these were not all bills designed to attack union leaders, or excessive union power (of which, there isn’t any). These were bills strictly designed to make it more difficult for workers to join unions in the first place. And it is all hidden behind the idea that only big business has a workers best interests at heart. Rep. Tim Walberg of Michigan said that unions:

    “….taken actions that directly oppose American job providers.”

    – The problem is, those ‘job providers’ main concern is profit, not person. Unions provide the person, not profit counterbalance. They are essential. To undermine unions, to underfund unions, to make it difficult for people to join unions – the very backbone of the middle class – is, well, a Corporate/Romney wet dream.
    If we were to travel back to the 1950s labor unions were a positive part of everyday life. Corporations and unions acted together in a balanced way, as to be beneficial to everyone. Around the 1970s, that changed, and corporate America took on unions viciously. Mainly Republicans. And mainly for two reasons; large Corporate backing demanded it, and it weakened the Democrat Party. Interestingly, the media helped to distort or ignore the viewpoint of organised labor…. On the subject of the Delphi buyout, Progressive Review published how many paragraphs in the Washington Post, Detroit News and NY Times you had to read before reading the viewpoint of a union;
    NY Times: 26 paragraphs.
    Detroit Times: 22 paragraphs.
    Washington Post: 11 paragraphs.
    There has been a concerted effort to undermine unions for the past thirty years, and a Republican Party will not stop until unions have virtually no power. For some reason, even after the biggest economic crises bought on by deregulated greed of the ‘job creators’… the Republican Party is insistent that these people are our saviours.

    Interestingly, nations with the highest Union membership; Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium….. all came out of the economic crises, pretty strong. And Denmark, Finland and Norway all came top of the UNs ‘World Happiness Report’, which takes into account job security, quality of work and life, and opportunities. Also, they are the most Atheist countries in the World, and have universal healthcare. I’m afraid the US comes in at 11th place. Perhaps looking to that EVIL SOCIALIST EUROPE! for inspiration isn’t all that bad an idea afterall.

    Federal Judge James Leon Holmes, nominated by the Bush administration, once said of rape:

    “Concern for rape victims is a red herring because conceptions from rape occur with approximately the same frequency as snowfall in Miami.”

    – That’s right. He made a joke. He of course is only one of many Republicans who don’t particularly like rape victims. And it isn’t a new phenomena of stupidity either. In 1995 Republican Rep. Henry Aldridge told the House Appropriations committee:

    “The facts show that people who are raped — who are truly raped — the juices don’t flow, the body functions don’t work and they don’t get pregnant. Medical authorities agree that this is a rarity, if ever.”

    – There’s that appeal to ‘facts’ again. Republican facts. Not regular ACTUAL facts. And what was the context? That’s right, cutting funds to help poorer women get access to abortion. A disgusting manipulation of facts, to achieve a disgusting end. In fact, all medical institutions entirely refute the extraordinary claim Aldridge made here.
    We all know that this line of reasoning is still alive, after over fifteen years since Aldridge made his ridiculous statement. Todd Akin said:

    If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something.

    – I’m not sure what qualifies as ‘legitimate rape’, other than exposing Akin’s own prejudicial lack of trust in women. And also, AGAIN with the inventing ‘facts’. Really, stop that!
    The Republican position on ‘life’ seems to be pretty clear.

    Onto race.
    Usually I am not surprised by Republican racist quotes. But I must confess, this one shocked me. Arkansas State Rep. Jon Hubbard wrote a book in which he refers to slavery as:

    A blessing in disguise.

    He goes on to say that it is a blessing, because African Americans were:


    “Rewarded with citizenship in the greatest nation ever established upon the face of the Earth.”

    Rewarded! He actually said that. Rewarded. By their superiors.
    And so it goes on….
    Kansas State Senate Speaker Mike O’Neal sent an email to House Republicans which referred to Michelle Obama as “Mrs YoMamma”. This is the same Mike O’Neal who sent an email to friends regarding the President, quoting a Biblical passage which states:

    7 When he is judged, let him come forth guilty,
    And let his prayer become sin.
    8 Let his days be few;
    Let another take his office.
    9 Let his children be fatherless
    And his wife a widow.
    10 Let his children wander about and beg;
    And let them seek sustenance [a]far from their ruined homes.

    He isn’t the only slightly insane racist Republican. Marily Davenport, an elected member of the Orange County Republican Party and central committee sent an email with the title “No birth certificate… now you know why!” with this picture attached:

    – As well as this blatant racism, there is an underlying and subtle institutional sentimental racism behind certain Republican shows of disrespect from the moment Obama was elected. From heckling him in Congress, to refusing to meet at the White House for budget negotiations, to storming out of negotiations, to John Boehner being the first Speaker in history to deny the President’s request on a specific date to address a joint session of Congress. There is a mass of disrespect, as if the President simply isn’t worthy of their respect.

    During the 1970s, the Nixon Administration employed the Southern Strategy in order to win over white voters who traditonally voted Democrat in the past, by appealing to Southern racism. The Nixon strategist who came up with the Souther Strategy, Kevin Phillips, in 1970 said this:

    From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

    – This has been the position ever since.
    The Senator for South Carolina Lindsey Graham in 2012 echoed the Southern Strategy of the Nixon years with this little gem of racist wisdom:

    “The demographics race we’re losing badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.”

    Though it is now masked more creatively; economic opposition to affirmative action. Or Bill O’Reilly’s underhanded racist and sexist remark that:


    “The white establishment is now the minority, and the voters, many of them, feel that the economic system is stacked against them and they want stuff. You are going to see a tremendous Hispanic vote for President Obama. Overwhelming black vote for President Obama. And women will probably break President Obama’s way. People feel that they are entitled to things and which candidate, between the two, is going to give them things?”

    …. the stoking of the racist flames for electoral purposes is still a strong tactic of the Republican Party. O’Reilly went on to say that 20 years ago a candidate like Romney would have beaten Obama. And it’s true. We were still getting used to the idea of Neo-liberalism. Everyone loved it. It was going to trickle wealth down. Everyone was going to benefit. Communities would be lifted out of poverty…blah blah.. utter bullshit. We now know what that economic plan actually achieved; the wealthy like Romney got wealthier, exported jobs oversees, put most of their money into off-shore accounts to avoid actually having to help sustain a social safety net and ladder for others to climb, and then investing in destructive stock market deals that eventually collapsed and plummeted America into a deep recession. The only people who actually believe they are entitled to government handouts, are the very wealthy who for some odd reason have it into their minds that they made their wealth themselves, did not require a stable infrastructure of roads, policing, fire protection, schooling, health protection etc as a framework for wealth to be amassed, and so now having taken everything the well funded system offered them, insist they should not have to pay back into it to sustain it for the next generation. This is the entitlement society.

    And do we really believe that Goldman Sachs, Adelson Drug Clinic, Bain Capital, Crow Holdings, Las Vegas Sands and other top corporate Republican Party donors didn’t want ‘stuff’ had Romney been elected? Did they simply donate out of the goodness of their heart? Las Vegas Sands spent $20,512,550. Pretty sure they could have ‘created’ thousands of jobs with those wasted funds.

    We know that the by-product of tax cuts for the wealthy, especially in the south, is that African Americans get hit the hardest. From the 1960s to today, blatant racism through political process is deplored. So there are more abstract ways to achieve essentially the same racist policies based on white privilege. There is the subtle hint by people like O’Reilly that minorities like African Americans are the problem, due to Welfare. And so cutting entitlements and safety nets certainly has a racial element. We forget that the very reason welfare payments have risen, is because poorer African American communities were targeted for sub-prime mortgages that eventually pushed millions of people out of work, and unable to find work. This has nothing to do with a ‘culture of dependency’ it is simply a safety net for when the very Social-Darwinist system that people like Romney advocate so vehemently, fails miserably, but does not affect those who amassed fortunes when times were good.

    As I noted in a previous article on race in America today:


    Public Policy Polling of Raleigh North Carolina, found that 46% of Republican voters in Mississippi think interracial marriage should be illegal. 14% said they weren’t sure. I cannot comprehend that number. It does indeed show that race is an issue, and specifically with Republican voters.

    – Whilst it is more subtle racism, the Republicans still give of the atmosphere of racism.

    And of course, it is impossible not to mention Mitt Romney’s description of half the American electorate being those who want to live of the Government.

    So, that’s

  • Women.
  • The entire State of New York.
  • Atheists.
  • Gay people.
  • Children of gay parents.
  • Anyone in a Union.
  • Anyone who has had an abortion.
  • Anyone who isn’t white.
  • Anyone who isn’t rich.

    And then there is of course… appealing to irrational fear. Evolution will end my religious freedom ARGH!!! Gay people will end my religious freedom also ARGH!!!! Universal healthcare will kill my nan ARGH!!!! Putting top rate of tax back to what it was before Bush IS COMMUNISM ARGH!!! They are taking away my freedom!! ARGH!!! And you ask “How are they taking away your freedom” to vacant expressions from empty heads who simply repeat what Fox News has told them. Thinking people do not like being associated with a party of irrational fear.

    The most disturbing thing about the Republican Party is their outward claim to be the party for freedom, liberty and individual rights, yet their complete abhorrence of anyone who isn’t like them. They are therefore willing to restrict the most fundamental rights; love, marriage, control of ones own body, as well as opportunity. To achieve this, there are three points of attack:
    1. Subtly claim that the privilege currently given out to white, rich, heterosexual, christian males may be under threat. Offer no evidence for this. For example, there is no reason for anyone to believe that allowing Cathy and Carmeh to marry would somehow destroy Bill O’Reilly’s marriage.
    2. Link it to “Being American”. Again, pose the anti-thesis of this line of reasoning, as ‘anti-American’. As if your life, or your freedoms are under threat.
    3. Read selected Biblical passages. Ignore all context of passage, ignore surrounding passages, ignore all passages that you do not like.
    4. Know that your audience is probably too busy to look up the evidence for what you’re saying, so just say every so often “the research is clear!” and apply it to your argument. Whether it’s clear or not.
    They are willing to invent ‘facts’ and distort scientific research for their own horrid little bigoted agenda. It isn’t that they don’t know how to talk to minorities; it is simply that those minorities have long been defined as the enemies of America, by a very hostile Republican Party.

    To appeal to a wider audience, they can’t just change Republican Party rhetoric to be a bit less vicious. They must change their fundamental principles. The idea of what an “American” is, they must no longer be so arrogant as to claim a monopoly on. They cannot keep up attacks on unionised labor. They must not speak of women as if they are 2nd to men. They must not allow Christian fundamentalism to take over the party. And most of all, they must not act and speak like they are the landlords of America, simply allowing African Americans and Latinos to live in their US. They must, in short, completely change. I am going to say this will take far longer than four years.


  • Bad day for bigots

    November 7, 2012

    The Twittersphere is alive today, as it was last night, with the incoherent, fact-less ramblings of the bigots trying to grasp what happened to their crusade to turn America back sixty years. And we know why.
    Obama wins the Presidency.
    Tammy Baldwin is elected first openly gay Senator, for Wisconsin.
    Gay marriage is legalised in Maine and Maryland by popular vote.
    And recreational use of maurijuana is part legalised in Colorado and Washington State.
    For liberal America, this has been a great day for progress.
    It is, however, the worst nightmare for crackpot conservatives, whose bullshit amplifier; Fox News has spent the past four years referring to anyone slightly left of Hitler, as Communist, Marxist, Nazi, Muslim, anti-white, anti-American, Socialist, terrorist sympathisers in a seemingly ineffective attempt to scare people on a constant basis. Nevertheless, some people are hanging on to the bigotry that was dealt such a swift blow last night. Here are a few of my personal favourites:


    – Hitler? Really? We are seriously suggesting President Obama….is similar…. to Adolf Hitler? REALLY?
    As pointed out in an earlier article, it is incredibly easy to draw tenuous comparisons between any politician and Adolf Hitler. For example, the first thing Hitler did on coming to power, was to completely destroy all union power. Similarly, Mitt Romney pledged his total support for Ohio’s anti-union laws, he has also claimed that teachers unions ‘deaden’ student achievement. Clearly this means that Romney is a nazi who wants to kill 6,000,000 Jews and enslave the World. And by clearly, I mean…. not at all, because it’s massively fucking irrational.

    Normally i’d ignore this, but I thought – perhaps naively – that I might engage one of these insane right wingers in order to try and figure out why Obama is basically Hitler. So I did. I asked why Obama is a ‘socialist’ or a ‘nazi’. The response? ….

    – Oh, well that clears it up! Obama is like Hitler because Europe is too used to America being the backbone of our defence. How could I not have seen this before? Obamanazi!

    The ramblings continued:

    – His first comment is of course ludicrous. The point being, that taxing the wealthy is somehow punishment. The ignorance comes from the fact that this mentality basis itself on the idea that success, is entirely individual. It chooses to ignore the public schools that pay teachers next to nothing to produce an educated workforce, or the public funded roads that the successful use to transport, the police protecting their property. Tax is the price you pay for belonging to a civilised society. The most fundamental principle of which, is protection of the most vulnerable. It is not punishing success, it is helping to maintain the ladder for future generations to climb, rather than kicking it away so that people like Mitt Romney can afford a new yacht. Capitalism is by far the best method to allocate resources efficiently. But at its core, it is amoral. You regulate, and you tax, to prevent it from becoming immoral.
    Onto the second point………Just like Hitler! Lying means he is just like Hitler. I cannot remember a time when a politician didn’t lie a little. Even before Hitler. There is quite obviously a different motive for someone to relate a politician they dislike, using a rather weak link, to Hitler. It is to perpetuate irrational fear. Nothing more. So I pointed out the massive inconsistencies in the Romney campaign rhetoric; which as pointed out in a previous article on here, is full of horrid little manipulations…… to which I was given the incredible reply:


    – Yup. It is perfectly acceptable for a Presidential challenger to lie and manipulate, purely because he isn’t President yet. It is perfectly acceptable, apparently, for someone to manipulate you, to practically steal your democratic right to vote, on the basis of bullshit. That’s absolutely fine apparently, as long as he’s a contender.

    He then finished his term as King of Bullshit Mountain, at about 1am British time, with this little gem:

    – Naturally, a few hours after he posted this, I am smug.

    A few other glorious tweets from the crazed American Right Wing:

    – Right Winged American Patriotism. Swear allegiance to the Constitution and the democracy it so beautifully created….. unless things don’t go your way. And then, invoke the memory of slavery. Brilliant life choice.


    – So, that’s half the American electorate who, according to Romney, are government dependent, and one girl who wants an abortion. Seems legit.


    – Anti-homosexuality tweet from Christian fundamentalist group with very little support. Thankfully, there are very few anti-homosexuality tweets out there, when Tammy Baldwin had been pronounced the winner for the Wisconsin Senate seat. 99% of tweets were congratulatory, and supportive, hailing progress.


    – God wanted you to vote Romney. Jesus is a massive fan of private health insurance.


    – Okay…. Mein Fuhrer, suggests Hitler. Hitler was of course in control of a Party whose main goal was a State based on Nationalist principles built on the idea of a superior race. The economy was used to promote the image of the power of the State through the military. It was vehemently opposed to communism; a system based on the idea of total egalitarianism in which an economy reflects the necessity to disintegrate class structures, and has absolutely nothing to do with race, the military, the myth of the ‘Nation’ or anything else that a Nazi government desires. And yet, this crazed Right Winger merges the two polar opposite concepts, into one. And what’s the reason? Again, scare tactics. In reality, President Obama is can in no reasonable way be described as either a nazi, or a communist (even if Glenn Beck tells you differently).


    – All true. Except…

  • Prime Minister, not President.
  • HE, is a SHE.
  • She is an Atheist.

    – So in fact, none of it is true. But a career at Fox News seems imminent for this young lady, whose ‘make-shit-up’ strategy fits their profile perfectly.
    Also, Australia has universal healthcare, no death penalty, evolution is taught in pretty much all schools, creationism is rejected, and compulsory voting. Sounds like an ideal country for right winged anti-universal healthcare, anti-atheism, creationist, death penalty supporting bat-shit crazy Republicans.

    So, Romney concedes defeat. Fox News concedes that Obama won fairly. Even Donald Trump isn’t questioning the outcome. Lawyers aren’t questioning the outcome. No one is seriously questioning the outcome. Because that would be ridiculous. Unless of course, you’re an overly dramatic Republican, in denial, in which case….


    – I don’t understand what God has to do with this? Are rational thinking people a threat? Let’s not forget that Jefferson was a Deist who did not believe in a personal God who intervenes in human affairs. Benjamin Franklin was an Atheist. And the Constitution and Declaration are specifically pro-enlightenment, and anti-religion in their content. The World is a much better place because of secularism and the ideals of the Englightenment.

    – What I have learnt from this entire election from social media, is that the more vehement right winged Americans; whilst acting Patriotic, are actually very very undemocratic, very despotic, and only like it when they have power or their poisonous and largely discredited ideas control everything. They cannot accept defeat. They threaten. They scare. Their rhetoric is baseless but full of fear. They have no concept of ‘socialism’. If they truly understood it, they would accept that no President can be regarded as ‘Socialist’ since the beginning of the Union. Probably closest, was Teddy Roosevelt. In fact, every 20th Century Republican pre-Reagan, would be considered ‘socialist’ by todays’ Right winged American standards. To associate universal healthcare with the sort of feared Socialist totalitarian dictatorships of old, is disingenuous and a manipulation of facts (the fact being, that every industrialised country with a nationalised health service, out performs the US private system by a huge margin on every important measure; child mortality, life expectancy, per capita cost). Obama is simply a conservative in the old Disraeli tradition. One Nation Conservatism. He is in no way a socialist. He is just not a free market fundamentalist that appears to have infected the Republican Party as of late.
    America, according to these people should always be ruled by overly religious, bigoted, free-market-fundamentalists….. nothing else is acceptable, and if America doesn’t vote in line with that, then they get angry, and threatening, and violent.

    I am happy and relieved that the majority of the American public, have voted to defeat such a venomous ideology. They have quite overwhelmingly voted for progress, for tolerance, for dignity and for the majority rather than the wealthy few. Something we in Britain seem to have chosen to ignore, in 2010.

    Four more years.


  • Election Day 2012

    November 6, 2012

    It is telling, just how desperate Republicans have become at this time, when ex Republican presidential candidate, endorser of Santorum, and ex-Reagan secretary for Planning and Budget in the Department of Education posts an article on his facebook wall accusing Obama of being a Marxist simply for using the term ‘Forward’:


    The intense lack of focus on issues, on offering any sort of solutions is telling. Bauer offers nothing. No new ideas, no ingenuity. Simple, and ridiculous weak attacks on wording.
    Bauer is a Christian. Deeply Christian. He believes secularism is destroying Christian values. In an article for ‘Campaign for Working Families’ Bauer states:

    “The removal of the only reference to God from the Democratic Party platform is telling. Under Barack Obama the Democratic Party has become more secular and more hostile to faith-based voters. On issues ranging from the sanctity of life to traditional marriage, Obama’s Democratic Party has embraced positions contrary to the values of heartland America, values rooted in our Judeo-Christian traditions and expressed in our founding documents. Values voters will respond in November.”

    Now, leaving aside the fact that America’s founding documents are a symbol of secularism and the Enlightenment… not Christian values; if we’re judging people by their wording, as Bauer did by posting that article, he must be consistent, here’s a speech from Hitler, in 1933:

    “Today they say that Christianity is in danger, that the Catholic faith is threatened. My reply to them is: for the time being, Christians and not international atheists are now standing at Germany’s fore. I am not merely talking about Christianity; I confess that I will never ally myself with the parties which aim to destroy Christianity.”

    – Sounds a lot like every speech Bauer ever makes. If he has the nerve to suggest Obama is a Marxist because he used the term ‘forward’ in his campaign, then we must be consistent and say that Gary L Bauer is a Nazi. Probably Hitler himself. See how easy it is? This has been the Republican strategy for about four years.

    Onto the main topic of this article.
    Today is election day in the US. And whilst most of the World cannot fathom why any reasonable human being would vote for a bigoted and economically illiterate Romney Presidency; the polls are pretty even. I even heard a suggestion that New Hampshire might be the State to play kingmaker.

    I laid out in a previous article Why the Romney economic plan based on ‘job creators’ is a manipulation of fact and devoid of all reason. Today i’d quite like to lay out the accomplishments of President Obama. We know he hasn’t always been the President that expectation demanded of him back in 2008, but that’s not to say he hasn’t achieved a heck of a lot of good, and progress in the past four years despite two years of Republican (and right winged Christian) attempts to derail his agenda at every possible opportunity; usually without regard for the national interest.

    Obama’s biggest achievement must be the Healthcare Act. Now that the fear has died down… fear created and perpetuated by a Republican Party that consider anything slightly left of Mussolini to be “Socialism”, people seem to be starting to like the idea of ‘Obamacare’. Of course, it isn’t ideal. The ideal is universal healthcare. We can bicker about “Omg it’s socialism!!!” all we want. We can even bicker about if government is capable of providing healthcare, on a very fundamental basis if we want. But we must look at the facts. Here is what the World Health Organisation says about two systems. The American private insurer system (before Obamacare), and the British National Healthcare system.

    Life Expectancy M/F
    USA: 76/81
    UK: 78/82

    Distribution of causes of death among children aged <5 years (%)
    USA – Injuries: 22
    UK – Injuries: 4

    Case detection rate for all forms of tuberculosis (%):
    UK: 94
    USA: 89

    Under-five mortality rate (probability of dying by age 5 per 1000 live births):
    UK: 5
    USA 8

    Adult mortality rate (probability of dying between 15 and 60 years per 1000):
    UK: 77
    USA: 106

    Per capita total expenditure on health at average exchange rate (US$):
    UK: 3285
    USA: 7410

    General government expenditure on health as a percentage of total government expenditure:
    UK: 15.1%
    USA: 18.7%

    A quick analysis suggests that the UK pays less per capita, our government spends less on our health system than the US, and yet we have “Socialised” healthcare, we’re living longer, and our children are less likely to die at a young age. And yet, all of this is grossly overlooked in favour of ideological dogma regardless of how backward, and ultimately deadly it is. And it isn’t just the UK, look to Sweden, Norway, and any other industrialised, civil society with a universal healthcare model, and you will see similar results. A private healthcare system is not only horrendously barbaric, it doesn’t work.
    Obama has made progress in correcting that problem.
    For all their concern about the deficit, Republicans choose to ignore the FACT that the Congressional Budget Office stated that ‘Obamacare’ will reduce the deficit. Here, see for yourself: CBO Report. To repeal it, would cost around $230bn. Another CBO report states that in the next ten years, ‘Obamacare’ will cover a further 33,000,000 Americans who otherwise would have no coverage (the very idea of not being covered for healthcare, baffles and disgusts me). Here, see for yourself CBO Report. NOT ONLY THAT but ‘Obamacare’ incentivises small businesses by offering a 50% tax credit, if they insure their workers.
    Republicans adding to the deficit, whilst making life harder for average people, whilst enriching wealthy insurers, whilst ignoring small businesses? SURELY NOT!

    Former House of Reps Republican in Delaware, Mike Castle voted to kill the stimulus bill, the health reform bill, financial regulation reform etc etc etc. On the stimulus package, Mike Castle said this:

    “We cannot spend our way back to economic prosperity,”

    He hates the idea of a stimulating the economy! Doesn’t think government should stimulate the economy. So, obviously he’s going to be consistent in his condemnation, right? Well, no.
    … Castle then accepted $5,230,610 of stimulus money, stating:

    These grants, totaling more than $5 million, will help the invaluable organizations and programs which are working to help the homeless, hungry, and those facing economic hardship throughout the State.

    – Suddenly, government CAN help to eleviate poverty, and hunger, and provide help to the most vulnerable. Republicans oppose programs in order to entice their over privileged support base, and then cowardly support the program when it might win them some votes among the less wealthy in their constituencies.

    Every Romney/Republican Speech is a vomit inducing display of feigned patrotism. …. “What would I do?.. Well i’d make America great again!” It seems, if you lack any detailed plan for running the highest office on the planet, then the next best thing is to win over idiots, with sentimental nonsense.

    Economically, whilst it’s slow, the US economy is growing. If we contrast that with the austerity lead (Romney-esque) governments across the World, we see a different story. Austerity has failed everywhere. The UK has had to endure three years of it, and so far we’ve had another huge recession (the biggest since the 1950s) no growth over the entire year, and horribly stagnating wages. It fails. The opposite is true of the Obama economy. It is moving in the right direction. If you think slow Keynesian inspired growth is bad, then you’re REALLY going to hate Romney inspired recession.

    Taxes too high? Well, if you’re a Republican prone to ‘make shit up’ then yes. But, if you rely on evidence, as the Washington Post did, you will see that:


    “A USA Today analysis found last year that if we include everything — federal, state, and local taxes, including income, property, sales, and other taxes — the percentage of personal income that’s paid in taxes is still at its lowest level since 1950.”

    And since when has it become acceptable, and in fact, preferable, for a ‘business minded’ person to be a President? Businesses are run for profit. People are very much a secondary concern. Democratic accountability does not exist in a business setting. I cannot vote for who runs the gas and electricity companies. I can move to another. Yet, there are very few, and all of them offer poor service. The object is money. It is profit. People become statistics. The interest of business leaders, is to enrich themselves. They are economically illiterate, and dangerous. Their word, it seems, is taken as gospal. This couldn’t be proven any more than in the UK. In 2010, before the general election, 35 of the Nation’s top business leaders signed a petition in support of the Chancellor George Osborne’s austerity plan. They said, quite amusingly:

    There is no reason to think that the pace of consolidation envisaged in the Budget will undermine the recovery. Business is amoral. It is regulated it prevent it becoming immoral. Business minds are self interest. This, of course, is not always a terrible thing. A majority of the time, it works. But at its most fundamental, it is dangerous.

    The private sector should be more than capable of generating additional jobs to replace those lost in the public sector, and the redeployment of people to more productive activities will improve economic performance, so generating more employment opportunities.

    – Two and a half years later, the ‘pace of consolidation envisaged in the Budget’ has absolutely choked off recovery. The private sector has not generated any additional jobs. We hit another recession. And wages stagnated. This is the legacy of listening to those with a ‘business’ mind when it comes to national governance.

    The repealing of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell must rank up there with great liberal policies, alongside civil rights legislation of the 1960s (which of course, conservatives opposed). Obama also admitted, tacitly, that he is no longer opposed to gay marriage. This was a risky move, but showed courage and conviction, when faced with such hostile bigotry. Whilst in Michigan, I saw a Republican billboard with “Obama supports gay marriage, and abortion…. do you?” And I thought…. Yes. I do. Because i’m not a crazed Christian bigoted fundamentalist from the 4th Century. To prevent full rights to loving couples, based soley on a very fundamental and selective view of a Biblical passage is so thoroughly beyond the realm of reason, it should be ridiculed, and argued against, and kept as far away from public policy as possible. If we are to continue to believe that the concept of marriage is based entirely on Biblical principles, then, like with Bauer, we must be consistent:
    Republicans must be against marriage, if the woman isn’t a virgin. As advocated in Deuteronomy 22:13-21.
    Republicans must support the right for a man to have multiple concubines as justified in 2 Sam 5:13 and
    2 Chron 11:21.
    Republicans must support the right for a man to marry his kidnapped captive (though, only after shaving her head, obviously) as permitted in Deut. 21:11-13.
    Republicans must support the right for a man to trade his wife, as property. As advocated in RUTH 4:5-10.
    Republicans must support the right for a man to marry his rape victim, if he pays for her: Deut. 22:28.
    Let’s be consistent Republicans!

    Gaddafi. Bin Laden. Weakened Mubarak’s position by telling him to reform, or step down. Has not jumped into conflict with Iran, relying instead on diplomacy, but also strong with providing sanctions on Iran by signing into law a bill to punish companies aiding Iran’s petroleum sector.

    Between 2010 and 2011, Obama increased Department of Veterans Affairs budget by 26%. Conversely, Paul Ryan suggested cutting aid to Veterans who do not suffer from combat caused medical problems. Essentially, Republicans (strong national defence) are happy to use you to defend the country, and then forget about you when you get home, and paint you as a drain on the economy. Let’s not forget that those cuts to Veterans benefits would be paid for, by a massive tax cut for the wealthiest.

    Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act, EPA restrictions on toxic pollution. Omnibus Public Lands Management Act expanding wilderness protection. Cancelled anti-ballistic missile systems set to be placed in Czech and Poland, saving $1.4bn. Kickstarted renewable energy research through stimulus funding on unprecedented scale. Used diplomacy to convince BP to put aside a $20 billion fund for victims of Gulf oil spill, without any power to force them to do so. Children’s Health Insurance Authorization Act provides coverage for 4 million more children by raising taxes on tobacco. And for me, one of the most overlooked and yet most vital advancements the US has to thank President Obama for, is the ending of Bush-era restrictions on stem cell research. This is perhaps the most important scientific area of research at the moment. For Republicans to deny it, is a disgrace.

    President Obama has achieved a lot in four years, despite Republicans opposing absolutely everything, and ensuring the word ‘Socialism’ is forever attached to anything Obama says or does. It is of course a basic misunderstanding of what Socialism is. The definition becomes irrelevant because the word is enough to strike irrational fear. The use of terms like ‘Socialism’ or the obsession with dethroning the President by suggesting his isn’t American, or any other empty attack point goes to prove nothing more than the fact that the Republican Party has absolutely no solution for any problem. It just wants power.

    I cannot believe a country that has come so far forward in four years, would elect to fall twenty years into the past.
    This is why I am certain President Obama should be given four more years.

    EDIT: And has now been given four more years. Excellent choice America.