Caught In A Landslide

The Republican National Convention opened today in chaos and cacophony. I tried to pay attention for about a minute, but slapping your forehead has limited appeal.

I would gladly pay you Tuesday for a new candidate today.

Lights on, somebody home.

You'll take your candidate and like it, people!

No. No one is home.

I’m thinking of locking my door and baking a new nominating process for both parties.

Valued Destiny Comes To Nothing

This right here is the stuff:

Nazi-Naming Dad Fights for Right to See His Son

Bring it, New Jersey.

Dressed in a Nazi uniform, Heath Campbell marched into a New Jersey courthouse to petition a family court judge to allow him to see his youngest son.

“I’m going to tell the judge, I love my children. I wanna be a father, let me be it,” Campbell told NBC10 Monday before court proceedings. “Let me prove to the world that I am a good father.”

The closed-door hearing at Hunterdon County Family Court in Flemington, N.J., was being held to determine whether the 40-year-old father of four, who gave his children Nazi-inspired names, could visit with his 2-year-old son Heinrich Hons Campbell.

My sister Daria lives out there. I must know if she’s scanning PTA meetings for men wearing epaulets.

The boy was 16 hours old in November 2011 when he was taken from Heath Campbell and his now estranged wife Deborah Campbell at the Hunterdon Medical Center, according to the father.

Do I feel sorry for the homegrown Nazis? I might, because they are completely deluded and the kids are kind of cute. But named for prominent Nazis.

NJ DYFS officials had already placed Heinrich Hons Campbell’s older siblings – Adolf Hitler Campbell, 7, JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell, 6, and 5-year-old Honzlynn Jeannie Campbell – in foster care because of the alleged violence in the family’s Holland Township, N.J. home.

The Campbells gained national attention in December 2008 after a Greenwich Township, N.J. ShopRite supermarket refused to write Adolf Hitler Campbell’s name on a cake for his third birthday. The couple complained the refusal constituted discrimination.

A second store eventually honored their request, but the flap led NJ DYFS to start an investigation into the family.

The agency’s investigation prompted a judge to remove the kids from the couple’s care.

Seldom does one see cause and effect in the same story. Unless it’s a story about a guy who names his children for Nazis.

“I’ve never abused my children, I only name my children and I don’t think it’s right anymore,” Heath Campbell said. He said he hasn’t seen any of his children in two years and that the three oldest children have been adopted by another family.

“Basically, what they’re saying is because of my beliefs and I’m a Nazi, that us people don’t have any constitutional rights to fight for our children,” he said.

Asked whether he felt wearing the Nazi uniform, complete with a swastika patch on the arm and leather boots, into court would help or hurt his case, the father said it depended on the judge.

“If they’re good judges and they’re good people, they’ll look within, not what’s on the outside,” he said.

…hilarious because good people are not Nazis. As a rule, Nazis are bad guys – inside and out.

Heath Campbell started wearing the uniform in June 2012 after forming “Hitler’s Order,” a pro-Nazi organization. He was accompanied to the hearing by a member of that organization, Bethanie White.

White also wore Third Reich garb – with swastika patches – to the proceedings.

The father, who has Nazi symbols tattooed on his arm and neck and had Nazi memorabilia in his home, had previously said he was not a fan of Hitler’s atrocities.

Dr. Phil would pitch his clipboard and throw around the word crazy here.

Heath Campbell says he and his wife have separated and that she has given up her rights to the children.

In June 2012, a New Jersey Superior Court denied the couple’s appeal to return the children home.

Despite my icy heart, I have sympathy for crazy people who do not realize they’re crazy. But wait. Back at the beginning, we saw a link to a TV news video. Watch the reporter’s face in this video.

Nothing but extensive therapy will help this guy.

To Go Around the Long Way

The co-worker I refer to as My Cellmate and I go for walks every day around lunchtime. She sits right on the other side of the cubicle wall, so close I can tell by her Mmm Hmm whether or not her daughter made the doctor appointment. My Cellmate is from a hamlet across the river but local enough that it’s strange she doesn’t know her way around town.

Yesterday, we walked out of the library and across the street, then on to one of the city’s main drags, where we turn and headed toward the park. She pointed across the street.

MC: Is that St. Peter’s Hospital?
Tata: It is.
MC: I was born there! It didn’t look like this then. You can hardly see the old buildings.
Tata: There were three houses in pastel colors they tore down to make room for the new wings. We lived in one of them. My mother walked next door to have my sister Daria.
MC: Do they do abortions here?

I sit next to this woman five days a week and I thought That question could go either way.

Tata: It’s a Catholic hospital. For an abortion, you would go to the other hospital up the street.

I did not say Or that office three blocks up, where I got mine. My Cellmate is not churched-up by any means anymore, but she went to Catholic schools, asks questions about the Catholic high school Dad attended and knows well the church on Somerset Street. Her question could mean a number of things and I gently closed the door on all of them. Unless someone comes at me directly, I’m not going to fight this out in my office. This, however, should be dragged right to the front door of St. Peter’s Basilica.

After months of requests from the BBC, the Spanish government finally put forward Angel Nunez from the justice ministry to talk to me about Spain’s stolen children.

Asked if babies were stolen, Mr Nunez replied: “Without a doubt”.

“How many?” I asked.

“I don’t dare to come up with figures,” he answered carefully. “But from the volume of official investigations I dare to say there were many.”

Lawyers believe that up to 300,000 babies were taken.

The practice of removing children from parents deemed “undesirable” and placing them with “approved” families, began in the 1930s under the dictator General Francisco Franco.

At that time, the motivation may have been ideological. But years later, it seemed to change – babies began to be taken from parents considered morally – or economically – deficient. It became a money-spinner, too.

The scandal is closely linked to the Catholic Church, which under Franco assumed a prominent role in Spain’s social services including hospitals, schools and children’s homes.

Nuns and priests compiled waiting lists of would-be adoptive parents, while doctors were said to have lied to mothers about the fate of their children.

Yes. You read that right. Imagine living this nightmare:

In 1971 Manoli, who was 23 at the time and not long married, gave birth to what she was told was a healthy baby boy, but he was immediately taken away for what were called routine tests.

Nine interminable hours passed. “Then, a nun, who was also a nurse, coldly informed me that my baby had died,” she says.

They would not let her have her son’s body, nor would they tell her when the funeral would be.

Did she not think to question the hospital staff?

“Doctors, nuns?” she says, almost in horror. “I couldn’t accuse them of lying. This was Franco’s Spain. A dictatorship. Even now we Spaniards tend not to question authority.”

The scale of the baby trafficking was unknown until this year, when two men – Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno, childhood friends from a seaside town near Barcelona – discovered that they had been bought from a nun. Their parents weren’t their real parents, and their life had been built on a lie.

Juan Luis Moreno discovered the truth when the man he had been brought to call “father” was on his deathbed.
Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno Antonio Barroso and Juan Luis Moreno took their story to the papers – and opened the floodgates

“He said, ‘I bought you from a priest in Zaragoza’. He said that Antonio had been bought as well.”

The pair were hurt and angry. They say they felt like two dogs that had been bought at a pet shop. An adoption lawyer they turned to for advice said he came across cases like theirs all the time.

How can justice include the church in Spain going on in peace – again?

Alive And Well And They’re Living

This morning, I woke up knowing what one significant word had fallen out of the public discourse.

PROGRESS.

Progress meant charging into the future, with technology and science that would benefit us all, from greatest to least, young and old, rich and poor alike. Sure, a few of us might trampled underfoot, but we would all benefit. The interstate highways. Household appliances. The space race. New materials. New ways to fight disease. New ways to spread messages and tell stories. New frontiers in education and health. Progress meant we would live longer, happier, more productive and prosperous lives. And now we have crazy coots standing up at townhall meetings across the country refusing to contribute another dime to our mutual prosperity because people who are not old, straight, white and Republican can’t be shipped back to Gay Brownislavia. No one is asking these crazy people important questions like:

1. Hey crazy, if you have a plan, what does the goal look like? Like where you live, circa 1950 or like Santiago, Chile in 1970? Because neither was good for a whooooole lot of people and both very bad for a lot of people.

2. Hey crazy, there is every possibility your plan will ruin the country, destroy your life and take the world economy with it. Did you take that into account? Because when peace, happiness and prosperity are the other option, it would be a giant sign of CRAZY not to take that second thing.

Note to users of the word ruin the way teens spit it at strict parents: ruin is a permanent state. Ruin means the Colosseum in the center of Rome won’t be hosting track races because it’s a ruin, a thing broken literally forever. Cannot be fixed or restored to hunky-doryosity. That is what the Tea Party is poised to do to our economy and as a result our country, and we wouldn’t just pop up from economic ruin in 2013 after – say – fifteen years and say, “Shit, those selfish fuckers can party. It was a joke for hundreds of years, but we actually ate some babies.”

If our public discourse is not about Progress it is necessarily about Ruin.

I want someone to stand up and talk about our better future and the Progress that will get us there.

You Tell Me What’s Going

When I saw the commercial for this, I growled, “Grrrr. Ruh roh.” I don’t have to see this movie to know it’s bad news. For crying out loud, it’s called The Help, which, if you know anything about using or have ever used words yourself, should tell you this movie is the latest in a long series in which White folks tell you all about Black folks.

It will not startle you to discover I am not alone in feeling that way. Further, that Oprah loves it in 2011 caused me to frown until I developed a headache, which helped me forget where I read about Oprah. About that, I have mixed feelings.

You Shake Their Hands Off

Unless you live under a rock or in America, you’ve heard about this.

The Candidate Vow:
Therefore, in any elected or appointed capacity by which I may have the honor of serving our fellow citizens in these United States, I the undersigned do hereby solemnly vow* to honor and to cherish, to defend and to uphold, the Institution of Marriage as only between one man and one woman. I vow* to do so through my:

* Personal fidelity to my spouse.

* Respect for the marital bonds of others.

* Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.

* Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.

* Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.

* Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended “second chance” or “cooling-off” periods for those seeking a “quickie divorce.”

* Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.

* Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.

* Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.

* Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.

* Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.

* Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.

* Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA?s $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.

* Fierce defense of the First Amendment?s rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech22, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.

That’s not very exciting. Any moron with a full set of Crayolas can write a pledge, but it takes a special kind of moron to write this and demand candidates for the Presidency of the United States sign it.

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

Ed, brilliant propietor of Gin and Tacos, says it best:

I…see.

I’m still trying to find words for how completely I don’t. That’s what the psychopathic monsters writing pledges count on: that candidates will say anything to get elected and that people like me will be rendered speechless. So many people were rendered totally speechy and backlashy that the sponsoring organization (I’m not linking to those depraved motherfuckers) removed that paragraph about the relative merits of slavery on the African-American family. Michelle Bachmann signed that blood oath, then said she hadn’t read it. That’s…I don’t know.

I’m still speechless, but the words career-ending abomination spring effortlessly to mind.

I Don’t Pray That Way

It’s frustrating to listen to the Disciples of the Sacred Profit Margin discuss privatizing public services. They see dollar signs. I see crumbling infrastructure. Shortly after that bridge collapsed in Minneapolis, a Libertarian friend actually had the nerve to say that the bridge collapsed because government can’t provide public services. I said bridge building and maintenance cost money and must be funded at a consistent, appropriate level. He said, “Business has to be allowed to conduct business.” Well then. You can step through the looking glass, but I’m not going to join you.

This is very, very simple: pretend you’re in charge of an agency’s budget. Your government agency provides a service, let’s say it’s lining up lawn gnomes in a perfect grid on a city’s public square. Your agency employs four people to keep the all-important gnomes clean, perfectly painted, facing in the correct direction and level. You decide you’re feeling trendy and want to privatize your gnome service. The first thing, after you’ve chosen your private gnome service, will be those four employees, who probably live in your city, will lose their jobs. The gnome service will hire three exploitable people, pay them less and your gnomes will lose their gleaming colors, grid-like pattern and correct orientation when the smaller workforce cannot maintain the same standards as a larger, dedicated staff. At first, your trendy move makes you look like a genius. A few years down the road, when your agency’s funding dries up because those gnomes have become a dangerous embarrassment, you look like an idiot. And you are an idiot.

Now of course, a gnome service is silliness itself, but many if not most government services are provided by the government because our society as a whole struggles with societal problems and our lives depend on that struggle. We must have roads and bridges that do not collapse. We must have hospitals, communications, national defense, emergency services, commerce and support for those among us who need help. This is not optional and mostly not negotiable. You cannot argue that your agency charged with feeding poor children the only regular meals they receive could maybe get by feeding fewer children less nutritious food – because, and I shouldn’t have to say this, that is BARBARIC. Deferring maintenance on bridges and roads doesn’t make you a genius. It makes you shun-worthy. You should be shunned, you agency head, you. So let’s look at our graph above. I’ve never made a graph before and I was surprised I didn’t give up and go for the Crayolas. It’s very simple: privatizing government services is stupid and the road to societal ruin.

You have a budget. You can organize your department, compensate your people appropriately, provide considerate services and set a high standard for those services. Provide those services and you are a hero. When you privatize, part of your budget peels right off the top for someone else’s profit, your workers lose their standard of living and your service deteriorates.

It’s simple. Get it? This person is starting to:

We’ve all been so brainwashed by 30 years of “government is the problem” bullshit that we’ve forgotten that the sole and entire purpose of privatizing government responsibilities is to enrich corporations at the expense of middle-class taxpayers.

It is always cheaper and more effective to pay public employees to do it, and do it right.

No, we didn’t all get brainwashed. We didn’t all forget who was making money and who was losing out. I’m sure you’re surprised at how much damage thirty years of cult behavior has caused, but thank you for joining us in a more real world now.

A Man Afraid Has No Shame

I had to work up the nerve to watch this video. Of course, I live in Jersey and stuff blowing up is kind of – well – normal, but even so, I was not sure I was prepared for what I might see. Turns out the explosion itself is rather banal now that we’ve all watched the Mythbusters blow up non-dairy creamer just for kicks.

CNN’s Larry Kudlow may have the money quote for this terrible -even horrible – disaster:

“The human toll here,” he declared, “looks to be much worse than the economic toll and we can be grateful for that.”

Larry – I will be calling him Larry because I’m too freaking lazy to type That Vomitrocious Ghoul over and over – has long forgotten the Heroes of Chernobyl, who saved Europe. That story wasn’t widely reported in the West and not at all until much later. Granted, it’s hard to remember history when this is the morning’s news.

About 2,000 bodies found on coast of Japan’s Miyagi-Kyodo

March 14 (Reuters) – About 2,000 bodies were found on Monday on two shores of Miyagi prefecture in northeast Japan following last week’s massive earthquake and tsunami, Kyodo news agency reported.

That’s the entire news report. This human toll is not Larry’s problem. In fact, even as explosions continue to rock the imploding reactors, you can expect Larry to segue neatly into what investors are doing in three, two, one…