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ellisonz's Journal
ellisonz's Journal
December 30, 2011

NRA Raises $200 Million as Gun Lobby Toasters Burn Logo on Bread

December 29, 2011, 9:10 PM EST
By Peter Robison and John Crewdson

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) -- A toaster that burns the National Rifle Association’s logo onto bread fetched $650 at an auction last month, just one reflection of the money-making power in the gun group’s brand.

The NRA, which began as a grassroots organization dedicated to teaching marksmanship, enters the 2012 election season as a lobbying, merchandising and marketing machine that brings in more than $200 million a year and intends to help unseat the incumbent president. From 2004 to 2010, the group’s revenue from fundraising -- including gifts from gun makers who benefit from its political activism -- grew twice as fast as its income from members’ dues, according to NRA tax returns.

More than 50 firearms-related companies have given at least $14.8 million to the Fairfax, Virginia-based group, according to the NRA’s own list for a donor program that began in 2005. That same year, NRA lobbyists helped win passage of a federal law that limited liability claims against gun makers. Former NRA President Sandy Froman wrote that it “saved the American gun industry from bankruptcy.”


That didn’t stop NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre from citing what he called “a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and hide his true intentions to destroy the Second Amendment in our country” during a September speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando. LaPierre said the NRA would work to defeat Obama in 2012.


Do you agree or disagree with NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre's allegation against President Obama?

December 30, 2011

Toons: 2012 Calender, Positive Campaigning, the Libertarian Publisher and More. - 12/29/11

By Tim Eagan, Deep Cover - 12/29/2011

By Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons - 12/29/2011

By Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 12/29/2011

By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 12/29/2011

By Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoons - 12/29/2011

By Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle - 12/29/2011

By Rainer Hachfeld, Neues Deutschland, Germany - 12/29/2011

By Pat Oliphant, December 29, 2011 - I think this is the third Newt "returns" cartoon of the month.

By Stuart Carlson, December 29, 2011

By Matt Davies, December 28, 2011

By Ben Sargent, December 29, 2011 - "Abortion Hysteria"

December 29, 2011

Toons: Makin it with Mitt, Droppin the Ball, The End is Near and More. 12/28/11

By Sorensen, Slowpoke - 12/28/2011 12:00:00 AM

By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 12/28/2011

By Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 12/28/2011

By Keefe, The Denver Post - 12/28/2011

By David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star - 12/28/2011

By Luojie, China Daily, China - 12/27/2011

By Clay Bennett, December 28, 2011

By Mike Luckovich, December 27, 2011

By Mike Luckovich, December 28, 2011

By Steve Benson, December 28, 2011

By Drew Sheneman, December 27, 2011

December 28, 2011

Only 1 in 3 American adults can name all three branches of government...

Sandra Day O'Connor promotes civics education
Retired U.S. Supreme Court justice helped initiate an online program called iCivics because not enough Americans know how government works.

By Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times

December 27, 2011
Only about a third of American adults can name all three branches of government, and a third can't name any. Fewer than a third of eighth graders could identify the historical purpose of the Declaration of Independence.

This slim knowledge of civics — and the potential risk it poses to American democracy — captured the attention of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.


O'Connor launched the effort that became iCivics in 2006, the year she retired from the court. It initially focused on the judicial branch alone, but "it became apparent pretty quickly it was needed across the board," she said.

"It's very disturbing," said O'Connor, 81, the first woman to serve on the nation's highest court. "I want to educate several generations of young people so we won't have the lack of public knowledge we have today."


I think we need to redo the entire educational system and put civics/ethics/history on par with math and the three R's...it's an outrage that new citizens are frankly better educated in this subject than the majority of American citizens. I often run across people who put on the pretense of knowing the issues, but in actuality have very little idea how the government actually works beyond perhaps some sloganeering (Tea Party, Ron Paul people, I'm looking at you), and it's frightening how self-assured they can be. I think the propagation of general hostility towards the political superstructure of this country doesn't help; it just seems to make people more pessimistic and self-assured in their prejudice. What behaviors do you see this ignorance expressing itself in?

Teachers what do you think? Why are we failing so badly? How does this influence American life? How can we change the trend?

For the record, the three branches of government are the Legislative, the Executive, and the Judicial.
December 28, 2011

Toons: Swine, Dinosaurs, Mystery Elephants and More. -12/27/11

By Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico - 12/27/2011

By Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 12/27/2011

By Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com - 12/27/2011

By Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com - 12/27/2011

By Milt Priggee, www.miltpriggee.com - 12/27/2011

By Brian Fairrington, Cagle Cartoons - 12/27/2011

By Ted Rall, December 28, 2011

By Pat Oliphant, December 28, 2011

By Stuart Carlson, December 27, 2011

By Ben Sargent, December 28, 2011

December 27, 2011

LAT: Syria refugees find sanctuary in Libya

Syrians in Tripoli, Libya's capital, wave Syria's old flag during a demonstration to call for President Bashar Assad's ouster. (Mahmud Turkia / AFP/Getty Images / December 9, 2011)

Thousands of Syrians have sought refuge in the Libyan city of Benghazi. They arrive by bus daily in the city, which is still recovering from Libya's civil war.

By Ruth Sherlock, Los Angeles Times
December 26, 2011, 5:46 p.m.
Reporting from Benghazi, Libya—

Even as it recovers from its recent civil war, Libya is fast becoming a place of sanctuary for thousands of refugees fleeing the bloodshed in Syria.

Buses from Damascus, crammed with Syrian families, are arriving daily in the eastern city of Benghazi, the cradle of the effort to oust the late Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi.

"Up to 4,000 Syrian families have sought refuge in Libya in the last weeks, and the numbers are increasing every day," said Mohammed Jammal, a Syrian community leader in the city. "The buses arrive full and go back empty. There used to be two a week, but now there are two a day."

Crammed full with families and young men, the buses pull into the station at all times of the night after a grueling 41/2-day trip, crossing first into Jordan, then across the Suez Canal, through Egypt and down the long road to Benghazi.


The Rats of Libya Salute the Germs of Syria!
December 27, 2011

Toons: Managing Without, Wrong Paul, Mayan Calender, and More. -12/16/11

By Eric Allie, Caglecartoons.com - 12/26/2011

By Joe Heller, Green Bay Press-Gazette - 12/26/2011

By Bill Day, Cagle Cartoons - 12/26/2011

By John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri - 12/26/2011

By Wolverton, Cagle Cartoons - 12/25/2011

By Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com - 12/24/2011

By Yaakov Kirschen, Dry Bones - 12/26/2011

By Iain Green, The Scotsman, Scotland - 12/26/2011

By Ted Rall, December 26, 2011

By Glenn McCoy, December 23, 2011

By Matt Wuerker, December 26, 2011

December 26, 2011


They just don't know where to look or what they should be looking for. Young Americans by the tens of million are embracing music with a political message - it's just not your classic baby boomer protest song. It is much deeper, much darker, and much more disappointed in a society that is failing to take care of its obligations under the social contract that is America. I think it's important to realize that music has come a long ways since the heady days of 1968.

These days there are far more popular genres and an artist is much more likely to engage in subliminal messaging; the message today is far more fundamentally about economics, rather than foreign policy, although that remains an issue, although generally only within the concept of the decaying urban core, bored suburbia, and despondent rural ares. Across hip-hop/rap, metal, reggae, electronica, rock, and pop there is a bubble of discontent over the lack of opportunity that has been bubbling and is now bursting with the election of Barack Obama and the Occupy Wall Street movement. Young people are wide and awake, they're just not mimicking their parents protest music.

Here are 10 representative songs by artists that the authors of this story should have paid attention to otherwise they're just preaching to the baby boomer choir. I apologize for the lengthy response but the last time an article like this was published the discussion would have benefited from something like this. I have excluded the wildly successful Eminem and Lady Gaga who are discussed in a post above. Enjoy the political music, trust me, it's in there:


2001 (This song was banned from radio by Clear Channel after 9/11:


2003 (Off of Hail to the Thief):

2004 (German, but very popular in Amerika):

2005 (Jamaican, Bob Marley's Son - popular in the US):


2007: Remember when John McCain said Nine Inch Nails was his favorite band?

2008: There's about 3-4 minutes of a Malcom X interview at the beginning.



December 24, 2011

Toons: Doing Nothing, Parades, a Syrian Cartoonist, and more. 12/23/11

By Kirk Walters, Toledo Blade - 12/23/2011

By Kirk Walters, Toledo Blade - 12/23/2011

By Taylor Jones, El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico - 12/23/2011

By RJ Matson, The St. Louis Post Dispatch - 12/23/2011

By Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News - 12/23/2011

By Jimmy Margulies, The Record of Hackensack, NJ - 12/23/2011

By John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune, Missouri - 12/23/2011

By Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 12/23/2011

By Randy Bish, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - 12/23/2011

By Bob Englehart, The Hartford Courant - 12/23/2011

By John Cole, The Scranton Times-Tribune - 12/23/2011

By Brian Fairrington, Cagle Cartoons - 12/23/2011

By Ted Rall, December 23, 2011

By Tom Toles, December 22, 2011

By Stuart Carlson, December 24, 2011

By Matt Wuerker, December 22, 2011

Jeff Danziger looks back at the year: http://www.danzigercartoons.com/

Happy Holidays to all the political cartoonists who make the often wretched days of our lives more bearable through the art of laughter.

A Special Note:

This holiday season please keep Ali Ferzat, his family, and the people of Syria, who continue to suffer under the brutal regime of Bashar Assad, in your prayers for peace and goodwill among men.

Ali Ferzat (Arabic: علي فرزات‎; born 22 June 1951, Hama, Syria), is a renowned Syrian political cartoonist. He has published more than 15,000 caricatures between Syrian, Arab and international newspapers.[1] He serves as the head of the Arab Cartoonists' Association.


Ali Farzat on December 10 was a recipient along with 4 other individuals involved in the Arab Spring, including Mohamed Bouazizi, to receive the Sakharov Prize "established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought."


Ali Ferzat remains in Syria and was not permitted to attend the awards ceremony in Paris on December 14, "He sent a video message expressing his grief and sorrow at the number of victims in Syria which 'increases with every minute.'"


Syrian cartoonist Ali Ferzat poses in his atelier in Damascus, Syria, (AP).

His final cartoon before the beating:



By Nate Beeler, The Washington Examiner - 8/29/2011

December 23, 2011

Strange But True: Ron Paul Thinks The American Civil War Was 'Unnecessary'

Thu, 12/22/2011 - 8:38am —
Avi Zenilman

Texas Rep. Ron Paul, the anti-government GOP presidential candidate who is now surging in Iowa, is not a fan of Abraham Lincoln. He believes the Civil War was a "senseless" bloodbath that was the result of Lincoln's desire to "enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic."

"He shouldn't have gone to war," explained Paul in a December 2007 appearance on Meet The Press. Failing to fight for the union, however, would not mean embracing slavery -- after all, it was on its way out, and in 1833 the British Empire had successfully abolished it without violence. His advice to the north: "you buy the slaves and release them. How much would that cost compared to killing 600,000 Americans and where it lingered for 100 years?"

In other words, the "Godfather of the Tea Party" thinks the best policy would have been a massive public bailout of slaveowners. (There was no federal income tax until 1861, when it was implemented to fund the war.)

The rebels never indicated they were willing to sell off their slaves. The "peculiar institution" of owning human beings dominated the political and economic culture of the states that seceded. In March 1861, a few weeks before Lincoln's inauguration, the newly-minted Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens explained that the new government rested "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."

One more paragraph: http://nationalmemo.com/article/strange-true-ron-paul-thinks-american-civil-war-was-unnecessary

Profile Information

Name: Zachary Ellison
Gender: Male
Hometown: Los Angeles
Home country: United States of America
Current location: Los Angeles
Member since: Tue Oct 4, 2005, 03:58 AM
Number of posts: 27,711

About ellisonz

Zachary Ellison is an Independent Journalist and Whistleblower in the Los Angeles area. Zach was most recently employed by the University of Southern California, Office of the Provost from October 2015 to August 2022 as an Executive Secretary and Administrative Assistant supporting the Vice Provost for Academic Operations and the Vice Provost and Senior Advisor to the Provost among others. Zach holds a Masterís in Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Policy and Planning from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. While a student at USC, he worked for the USC Good Neighbors Campaign including on their newsletter distributed university wide. Zach completed his B.A. in History at Reed College, in Portland, Oregon and was a writer, editor, and photographer for the Pasadena High School Chronicle. He was Barack Obamaís one-millionth online campaign contributor in 2008. Zach is a former AmeriCorps intern for Hawaii State Parks and worked for the City of Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation. He is a trained civil process server, and enjoys weekends in the great outdoors. Find me on: https://zacharyellison.substack.com/
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