published Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

The Pit Crew

about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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ShalinShah said...

Excellent cartoon once again!

The irony would be if those mechanics were unionized.

March 3, 2011 at 12:38 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Where is the racy DemocraT (ic) Tesla sitting outside the garage door clay?

March 3, 2011 at 12:40 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Karl Marx should be sitting in the Tesla.

March 3, 2011 at 12:44 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

I recall a cartoon of similar thrust when Carter was President; but Carter did such a lousy job, he elected Reagan. Since Obama has seen joblessness go up while deficits go up while the incompetent government grows, he may well elect whoever the Republicans nominate. He's already elected a GOP House, and given Massachusetts a GOP Senator.

March 3, 2011 at 1:03 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

"The wicked fall into the pit that they dig for themselves"--and this includes the GOP wicked (the Bushes were mediocre Presidents) as well as Democrats/liberals.

March 3, 2011 at 1:07 a.m.
SeaSmokie59er said...

The Fox News sponsor sticker must be on the other side.

March 3, 2011 at 1:42 a.m.
blackwater48 said...


BRP, so you really want to snort about Democrats driving Teslas? I guess you mean that in a pejorative manner for reasons that truly escape me.

From Discovery I found this result from a road test:

"The Tesla Roadster ... is fast, fancy, handles like a dream and goes like a rocket, but it's virtually silent and it'll never burn a single drop of gasoline."

Oh there it is. I missed it the first time. IT DOESN'T BURN GASOLINE.

Right. (Tea) party on, dude.

March 3, 2011 at 1:58 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

blackwater, I would love to drive a Tesla, saw one at the Detroit Auto Show recently. It is a great metaphor for DemocraTic policies don't you think? Sounds good, lots of fun to talk about, it will even work. But it won't take you as far as the old fossil fuel burner and no one can afford it!

March 3, 2011 at 2:30 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

I tried to upload a picture of a Tesla with clay's head sticking out of the driver's seat as my avatar but this site does not like me and will not take an avatar from me!

March 3, 2011 at 2:34 a.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Dang blackwater, I just noticed where you are hailing from. I have a brother who lives aboard a sailboat and is presently in the Tampa/St Pete area. I thought your original avatar picture looked familiar...

March 3, 2011 at 2:46 a.m.

great cartoon!!

I guess the engine makes ONE mile per gallon to satisfy the Oil-buddies.. I hope it has parking-sensors, not that Michelle Bachman crashes the car when trying to park backwards, with Glenn Beck on the back seat as finance minister...

March 3, 2011 at 4:15 a.m.
EaTn said...

That's Gingrich under the car making sure it's locked in reverse. I'll be doing a crossover vote in the primaries to support Newt. I figure the only democrat he could beat would be John Edwards.

March 3, 2011 at 6:34 a.m.
blackwater48 said...


BRP quipped, "But (the Tesla) won't take you as far as the old fossil fuel burner and no one can afford it!"

Cute metaphor but wildly off the mark. You might as well compare a Yugo to a Lamboghini. There are affordable electric cars on the road today and even more coming. OIl prices are unstable due to unrest in the Middle East which will only drive up demand.

One hundred years ago I bet there were two guys having a similar discussion on the future of transportation. One said, Cars are the future. (There were electric cars back then too.) The more cars they make the cheaper they'll get.

The other argued, Cars are too expensive and unreliable. You'll never replace the horse. Besides, I work in a buggy whip factory and if cars take over I'll lose my job.

March 3, 2011 at 8:32 a.m.
pmcauley said...

The first models of the telsa are expensive but they are the prototype/concept cars. The later cars will be cheaper. Man is it ever a nice looking car! I take one thanks pm

March 3, 2011 at 8:42 a.m.

Claydo should worry about his own team. But then, he would no longer be a tool for The Whitehouse media goons.

March 3, 2011 at 8:42 a.m.
blackwater48 said...


A recent poll showed NJ Governor Chris Christie leading Obama 43% to 40%. That's a strong number for anyone consider entering the Presidential race.

But there's another poll that lets the air out of the tires, so to speak. Christie's approval rating in New Jersey is only 48%. These are the voters who are used to his bombast, familiar with his policies and know him best.

In a head to head contest among New Jersey voters, Obama beats Christie by 17%.

That's why he's not running in 2012.

March 3, 2011 at 8:46 a.m.
fairmon said...

Is it time for a new car, driver and sponsor to challenge the two that are now the only contenders? Good drivers are hard to find but a really good driver can get sponsors and a ride.

March 3, 2011 at 9:23 a.m.
canarysong said...

Gosh, just turn the topic to cars and you guys get fired up with inspiration! I think Clay has a whole team of creative assistants here that can help him embellish his cartoons!

If BPR thinks Tesla is frivolous, he should keep in mind that some of the technology that is developed for race cars (think Formula One, not Nascar) eventually finds its way into affordable passenger cars, making them both safer and more efficient. Unlike Reaganomics, this 'trickle-down' actually works.

March 3, 2011 at 10:34 a.m.
blackwater48 said...


Feel free to steer the conversation in another direction. This thread is full of backseat drivers!

Continue to yield to reasonable arguments, merge your thoughts into coherent sentences, and put the brakes on hateful rhetoric.

And may I offer these words of vehicular wisdom:

“If everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane.”

“I never really learned to swear until I learned to drive.”

“Anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac.”

“The shortest distance between two points is under construction.”

“I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol.”

And finally,

“Hug your kids and home but belt them in the car.”

March 3, 2011 at 11:13 a.m.

A lot is riding on how the intern does with his learner's permit.,14283/

March 3, 2011 at 11:38 a.m.
Hoppergrasser said...

Thought for today...

"I think Congressmen should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we could identify their corporate sponsors.

March 3, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.
eeeeeek said...

wwwtw... you do know that theonion is a humor site, right?

March 3, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
canarysong said...

Yippee! We're doing Onion material?! I have been dying to share this..... (I've excerpted parts)

"Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth:

WASHINGTON—In a strong rebuke of President Obama and his domestic agenda, all 242 House Republicans voted Wednesday to repeal the Asteroid Destruction and American Preservation Act, which was signed into law last year to destroy the immense asteroid currently hurtling toward Earth.

"The voters sent us to Washington to stand up for individual liberty, not big government," Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said at a press conference. "Obama's plan would take away citizens' fundamental freedoms"

"We believe that the decisions of how to deal with the massive asteroid are best left to the individual," King added

"This law is a job killer," said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who argued the tax increases required to save the human species from annihilation would impose unbearably high costs on businesses. "If we sit back and do nothing, Obamastroid will result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, which we simply can't afford in this economy"

Many GOP members have also criticized the legislation for what they consider pork-barrel spending, claiming the act includes billions in "giveaways" to NASA, nonperishable food manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies contracted to produce mass volumes of vitamin D supplements in the likely event that dust from the asteroid's impact blots out the sun for a decade.

In an effort to counter Republicans' claims, Democrats have asserted that the long-term benefits of preventing the United States from being incinerated by an explosion several billion times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb would far outweigh the initial monetary outlay.

"While I recognize that intelligent minds may disagree on this issue, I believe we have an obligation to prevent our citizens from having their flesh seared off in a global firestorm that transforms our planet into a broiling molten wasteland," Obama added. "I think Americans deserve better."

There is more, to find the rest......,19025/

March 3, 2011 at 12:38 p.m.
EaTn said...

Hoppergrasser said: "I think Congressmen should wear uniforms like NASCAR drivers so we could identify their corporate sponsors. "

Good one. Some wouldn't need a uniform--just stitch all the sponsor decals together.

March 3, 2011 at 12:41 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Good one, Clay Bennett . . . I say it can’t be fixed in time for the race. . . It’s missing too many nuts and bolts to hold it together on the road. . . and the only parts distributer in town is owned by the tea party and they’re out to lunch. . . might as well donate the car to cash for clunkers.

March 3, 2011 at 12:51 p.m.
woody said...

Until yesterday, I didn't really care who would drive this relic into and out of 2012. Even after hearing Newt is 'looking' at a run, I am not really too concerned.

I just ask that he nor whomever else might be inclined to take on the job, don't allow any of those eight justices from their most recent 'decision' to proffer any directions.

I'm thinking theirs are a bit skewed. Just my opinion, but I'll sleep well tonight just having voiced it.

TTFN, Woody

March 3, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.

eeeeeek said...

"wwwtw... you do know that theonion is a humor site, right?"

Yes. My mistake was in thinking that Obama fans could take a joke. I should have known better.

March 3, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.
delmar said...

No worries, whoever gets the keys will drive it into the ditch anyway.

March 3, 2011 at 1:49 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Woody said: “I just ask that he nor whomever else might be inclined to take on the job, don't allow any of those eight justices from their most recent 'decision' to proffer any directions.”

Where have you been, Woody? The TFP Bennett Cartoon board minutes say you took some sort of unauthorized leave of absence – what’s up with this?

As for the eight justices you mention, I’m assuming you’re referencing the “Westboro Baptist” situation, but I’m not sure I understand what you mean. What do you mean?

March 3, 2011 at 2:26 p.m.
Oz said...

We need Col. Allen West to lead the GOP.

March 3, 2011 at 10:24 p.m.
woody said...

Good morning, is true I took some time off to recharge my batteries and attempt to gather some if only I have succeeded..if only...

As to those eight misguided justices I mentioned, I am taking it for granted you didn't read about how they actually concluded that the 1st Amendment rights of some Nebraska 'kooks' were just as or moreso important than those same said rights of a greaving family, anywhere else other than Nebraska. Actually, it was the 'moreso' part which had me concerned.

After reading about their decision, I felt the need to read the 1st Amendment once again..but lo and behold it still says the same thing. So, I have to wonder if the Supreme Court has a different rendition from the one available to all of the rest of us.

I was always under the impression that my or any others 'rights' ended at the outer most point of my person..which is where everyone else's rights are supposed begin. However, I also understand that this case was as much about common sense and respect as it was about 1st Amendment rights.

Apparently neither common sense nor respect is addressed by the 1st Amendment, or we wouldn't be having this conversation. However, I do appreciate your asking. is much too early to be thinking so deeply, Woody

March 4, 2011 at 7 a.m.
woody said...

P.S. to whomever was charged with the format change. I like it.


March 4, 2011 at 7:02 a.m.
blackwater48 said...


Woody, I've been struggling with the Westboro decision, too. Free (Public) Speech is not absolute. 'You can't yell fire in a crowded theater,' is the common example.

Your rights can't infringe on my rights. You have the right to throw a punch, but it's against the law to punch me in the nose. That's assault.

Nazis were allowed to march through a Jewish neighborhood in Gary, Indiana some years back, but there's a big difference. No one was forced to watch the Nazi march. You had a choice of attending or staying home. Westboro is exactly the opposite. Mourners are being verbally assaulted. They are forced to listen, and Westboro's public demonstrations are sickening. Their anti-gay dogma could be demonstrated in dozens of other ways in hundreds of different venues. No, they decide they must scream at the survivors of fallen soldiers.

At grave side.

God almighty.

March 4, 2011 at 8:28 a.m.
woody said...

Thank you, Blackwater.. That's my point exactly.

While I may not necessarily agree with this particular church's message, their choice of 'place and time' is what I find to be totally repugnant. And those eight justices should have taken all of that into consideration. Apparently they didn't.

Oh well, another day..Woody

March 4, 2011 at 8:51 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

"totally repugnant." I actually consider it beyond repugnant, woody. How could these "Christians" honestly think their God would approve of this type of hateful action? Once again, as was the case when the other group of idiots were planning on burning the Quran, I find myself wondering if they've pondered, "what would Jesus do?" We should be praying for both parties in this situation.

March 4, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.
tderng said...

what needs to happen with the westboro CULT is when a fallen soldier is being buried,the nearest military base needs to ask the family if they would like for the cults abomination to be blocked.If the family says yes then the base should send out a full company of soldiers in full battle dress with bull horns and 8foot tall hand held "walls" to surround these abominal people and absolutely drown them out with The Battle Hymn of the Republic blaring from the bullhorns.

March 4, 2011 at 8:58 a.m.
tderng said...

I also wish that when a parishoner of this abomination dies perhaps the families of fallen soldiers should picket their funerals with signs that say "thank God for dead westboro baptist members""and God hates haters","westboro members are going to hell",westboro is a satanic cult" and see how they like it!

March 4, 2011 at 9:11 a.m.
Musicman375 said...

tderng, technically all organized religions are cults, so that's not a very good attempt at an insult.

March 4, 2011 at 9:12 a.m.
tderng said...

musicman,see 9:11 post....satanic cult

March 4, 2011 at 9:25 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Good morning, Woody. I'm so glad to hear that you’ve recharged your batteries.

Indeed, this “Wesboro Baptist” situation is challenging. There is too much hate in the world, and it is particularly distressing when hateful people try to promote and justify their hate under the guise of their alleged religious beliefs.

In the case of the Westboro Baptists, they appear to have a long list of individuals and groups they consider to be “sinful” including – Jews, Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Lutherans, Angelicals, Islamics, Buddhists, and Hindus. It sounds like these people pretty much think everybody is "sinful" except Westboro Baptists.

I’ve read some of the legalese surrounding this particular case and the facts involving the decision get pretty technical. Since death notices and funerals are published in the newspapers they are considered public events as opposed to private events.

In this particular case, the protestors had notified the authorities in advance that they were going to be at the funeral, and had complied and cooperated with law enforcement’s guidelines as to where their picketing would be staged. “The picketing was conducted under police supervision some 1,000 feet from the church out of sight of those at the church. The protest was not unruly” there was no shouting, profanity or violence.”

The family members were aware the protesters were at the funeral, but didn’t actually see what was written on the protest signs, and didn't become fully aware of all the details about the protest until later on that evening when they saw the news coverage of the protest.

[Chief Justice Roberts , Opinion of the Court]

March 4, 2011 at 10:36 a.m.
woody said...

Thank you, Mtnlrl. And as sure as I am that "The Court" dealt with this case as legally and sensitively as they possibly could, it still leaves me with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and one more question.

If "Ignorance of the law is no excuse" then shouldn't this church's ignorant practices be held to the same sort of standard??

It's a rhetorical question, of course. Still it begged to be asked.


March 4, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
mtngrl said...

L4F - you are free to be as offensive as you want, and we are free to call you a politically incorrect offensive bigot when you are. That freedom works both ways.

When you state "I don't want to hear any liberals to talk about so-called "civility"" that sure looks like a call for censorship, so what are you really trying to say here?

March 4, 2011 at 11:10 a.m.
canarysong said...


Is that really the kind of society 'libertarians' think would be best, one in which each of us just barely stays within the limits of the law and no more? Think about what our interactions with each other, both personal and professional, and our treatment of the environment would be like if those were the guidelines that we all followed.

Gee, I'm glad you're not my neighbor!

As soon as I wrote those words I realized that it is exactly the way my libertarian neighbors DO behave. There are very few ordinances of any kind where I live, and a number of my neighbors who call themselves libertarians have an attitude of "I'll do whatever the h@ll I want and I don't give a **** how it affects anyone else". To us they just seem to be rednecks who like to get high all the time and don't want anyone telling them what to do or asking them to help pay for the roads and other amenities that they use. Conservatives like to paint liberals as 'spoiled', but I have to say, the libertarians that I have met have been spoiled and selfish to the extreme. I hope that what I have seen is not the norm.

March 4, 2011 at 12:13 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

blackwater48 screamed, “ELECTRIC CARS ARE THE FUTURE”!

I am sure they will have a role. We still have not seen one that has near the range most of us need from a car, and few of us can afford to have a city car and a touring car in the garage. If they were selling one that had the range and made economic sense I would be one of the first to buy one.

If our president was smart he would do everything he could to reduce the price of electricity. Instead he works to dramatically increase the price of electricity (his words, not mine). Pretty stupid if you ask me!

If we had thebama in office when the Model T was coming out he would have been restricting oil drilling and taxing the hell out of everything oil. We’d probably still be riding horses! (Just kidding all you libs, you can spare all the hissing and spitting)

March 4, 2011 at 12:53 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

Interestingly enough, I am looking at a flyer right now that claims they have pallet quantities of used grade B solar panels, with a 20 year warranty, for as low as $0.74 per Watt. Now THAT is a price that makes sense.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if stodgy old BRP was the first in this hot bed of environmental loons to take his house off the grid. You guys talk, advocate and vote all things environmental. What are you really doing about it though?

While you are paying through the nose to charge your Leaf using Obamapower I’ll be completely energy independent. :)

March 4, 2011 at 1:13 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...


I relate to your feelings about this in a lot of ways, but what has helped me to sort out this particular situation is to focus on the 1st Amerndment, and the right of each and every one of us to follow his/her own conscience with regard to religion, which, of course, includes these people who called themselves the Westboro Baptists.

Since there are so many biblical passages in the Christian bible warning believers against the judgement of others, it hard to believe the actions of these Westboro Baptists are due to just ignorance, especially when you take a close look at some of the sinister and viscious things the Westboro Baptists are saying.

Clearly, the signs of the Westboro Baptists suggests they’re coming from something a lot lower than divine inspiration – it’s more like plain old hate, ugliness and arrogance. It’s too bad these Westboro Baptists continue to get so much news coverage. I suspect if the news coverage disappears, the Westboro Baptist will disappear.

March 4, 2011 at 1:53 p.m.
canarysong said...

BPR- "You guys talk, advocate and vote all things environmental. What are you really doing about it though?"

Most liberals are not just 'all talk'....

Here are the things that my family is doing to be environmentally responsible. We still have plenty of room for improvement, but we are working on it.

--- Less than 5% of our one acre is lawn and the grass is fed only organic fertilizer (fish emulsion), is minimally watered only during severe droughts, is cut high to minimize its need for water, with an electric mower to prevent emissions. Weeds are controlled only with pulling and with early-season applications of corn gluten. The rest is forest and xeriscaping. Pests are treated only with natural methods.

--- We use only natural, non-toxic cleaners, detergents, and personal products. This not only reduces our own waste-water contamination, but prevents pollution in the neighborhoods where those products are being produced.

--- We minimize our use of paper by using cloth napkins and cleaning cloths. When we do use paper towels, they and nearly all of our other paper products are made from post-consumer materials.

--- We avoid the unnecessary use of disposable products such as plastic utensils, non-refillable pens, disposable shopping bags, even our toothbrushes have replaceable heads.

--- We try to avoid excessively packaged products where we can, and re-use and recycle most of the rest (we are not perfect on this, but we continue to try to improve).

--- Nearly 100% of what we eat is organic. This not only prevents unnecessary air and water pollution, it also protects the health of both farm workers and those who live near farms.

--- We shop local farmer's markets in season to support local growers and to reduce energy consumption from produce being sent in.

--- We have reduced our consumption of 'stuff' in general and find that we don't miss it at all!

--- We keep our thermostat at 65+/- in the daytime and 55 at night. We have no air-conditioning.

--- We have two vehicles that get good gas mileage. We invest in reliable vehicles and take good care of them to make them last. We couldn't buy hybrids, because we HAVE to have all-wheel-drive and there were no all-wheel-drive hybrid cars, only SUVs, which don't get any better gas mileage than our cars do. Maybe the next time we buy there will be more choices.

--- We try to minimize our driving, but that is hard because of where we live.

--- My two sons live in the city. One chose not to buy a car at all and takes the bus or rides his bicycle everywhere (and walks a lot). The other has a vehicle, but has made a commitment (an actual contract!) to use it only when absolutely necessary and commutes by bicycle to work and school, even through most of the winter (he custom-made snow tires for his commuter bike).

It's a start.....

March 4, 2011 at 3:21 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...


While I applaud your responsible style of living, I would like to see support for your claim that, “most liberals are not just all talk”. I am reminded of the George W. Bush ranch verses the TN mansion of the god of the environmental movement - Al Gore.

Liberals talk the talk and Conservatives walk the walk. The names even seem to imply how things really work!

March 4, 2011 at 3:36 p.m.
canarysong said...


Oh yeah, I forgot the little detail of 20 years of my volunteer work on environmental issues. It varies by year, but annually it can be hundreds of hours of my time and thousands of dollars of our money.

Hey, but all we liberals do is talk, right?

March 4, 2011 at 3:46 p.m.
delmar said...

from canarysong - "-- My two sons live in the city. One chose not to buy a car at all and takes the bus or rides his bicycle everywhere (and walks a lot). The other has a vehicle, but has made a commitment (an actual contract!) to use it only when absolutely necessary and commutes by bicycle to work and school, even through most of the winter (he custom-made snow tires for his commuter bike)."

I'm suspecting that this kind of behavior comes from a loving and nurturing upbringing. A product of their environment. I applaud you for a job well done.

To BRP - Oh yeah, Bush is a bastion of environmental integrity.

March 4, 2011 at 3:53 p.m.
canarysong said...

BPR- "Liberals talk the talk and Conservatives walk the walk"

Sorry, not from what I've seen.

And from the people I have known, not only is our lifestyle not all that unusual among liberals, there are quite a few who do much better than we do.

March 4, 2011 at 3:54 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

BigRidgePatriot said: "Liberals talk the talk and Conservatives walk the walk."

Nice try, BigRidgePatriot. Advocating and supporting laws and public policies that poison our groundwater, cause air pollution and expose people to cancer causing poisonous products can hardly be considered "walking the walk" by any stretch of the imagination.

March 4, 2011 at 3:54 p.m.
mtngrl said...

BRP... talk about painting folks with a broad brush! Almost every liberal I know does at least some of the things Canary brought up, and I also know some that are completely off the grid, so what makes you think you would be the first?

I do live out in the boonies, but me and the spouse both work from home, so we only drive once or twice a week. Being on the mountain in the woods means we also do not need air conditioning. Even with both of us at home full time, our highest power bill has never reached $100 (even this winter). The "yard" is completely wooded and we do not even own a lawn mower. We try to reduce waste as much as possible by first not buying things we dont need and watch the packaging, then everything that can be is composted, fire fodder, or recycled. We buy local foods, organic as much as possible.

We are not perfect and I am sure you could find examples of waste from anyone to point fingers at to try claiming "see, I told you..." but they are still probably doing more than most conservatives, most of the ones I've spoken to believe the resources of this Earth were put here specifically for their consumption.

So what are YOU doing, since you "walk the walk"?

March 4, 2011 at 4:22 p.m.
hambone said...

Has anyone seen the what Micheal Moore did to the Westboro Baptist Church bunch?

March 4, 2011 at 4:23 p.m.
fairmon said...


good post. Let's hope everyone watches the video. Those that want to know what we are dealing with may read the Koran and understand Sharia law. Is it 100% of the world's Muslims? No, polls indicate it is around 80% which is sufficient to be more than concernd.

March 4, 2011 at 5:10 p.m.
fairmon said...

Is it correct to opine that liberals are environmentalist and conservatives aren't? Is it correct to opine that all democratic or republican initiatives are correct or incorrect? What is wrong with getting all the scientific data regarding an issue then each person reaching their own conclusion without influence by a lawyer in congress pretending to be an expert on all matters. I really don't think most are the best info sources on most matters. To read the post here it seems I have to be one or the other and if I don't fully agree either I must be unintelligent and uninformed.

March 4, 2011 at 5:25 p.m.
canarysong said...


I believe the issue at hand was that liberals were accused of being "all talk" and not following through on their stated values.

March 4, 2011 at 5:35 p.m.
BigRidgePatriot said...

mtngrl, mountainlaurel, canarysong,

I have little doubt that you are all in the 95th percentile when it comes to genuine concern for the environment and walking the walk. Good for you!

Despite what the Huffington Post might tell you, conservatives are just as concerned about the environment as liberals. There are good and bad actors in both camps. One significant difference might be that a conservative can see that ethanol as a transportation fuel is a stupid idea and that CO2 is not a pollutant. Why liberals have a problem figuring those two biggies out perplexes me. If you could dislodge those defects from your thinking we would be able to make some hard core progress on the environment and energy independence.

March 4, 2011 at 6:16 p.m.
canarysong said...


No one I know is waving the ethanol banner.

March 4, 2011 at 6:38 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Harp3339 said: "Let's hope everyone watches the video. Those that want to know what we are dealing with may read the Koran and understand Sharia law. Is it 100% of the world's Muslims? No, polls indicate it is around 80% which is sufficient to be more than concerned.'

Why do you keep pushing this Sharia law thing, Harp3339? I beginning to think you’re just trying to stir up a little trouble. You know perfectly well that as U.S. citizens we all must abide by the same laws. Anyone who breaks a law will be prosecuted accordingly. It makes no difference what the person actually believes from a religious perspective – the law is the law.

It also appears that you’re not going about your trouble making very honestly and/or accurately, Harp3339. From what I’ve read, opinions within the various Muslim communities differ greatly as to what Sharia law actually entails. The same is true within the various Muslim countries and their legal systems. According to Wikipedia, there are only two countries that even practice what is considered to be Classical Sharia law:

“The legal systems in 21st century Muslim majority states can be classified as follows:

Sharia in the secular Muslim states: Muslim countries such as Mali, Kazakhstan and Turkey have declared themselves to be secular. Here, religious interference in state affairs, law and politics is prohibited. In these Muslim countries, as well as the secular West, the role of Sharia is limited to personal and family matters.

Muslim states with blended sources of law: Muslim countries including Pakistan, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan, Morocco and Malaysia have legal systems strongly influenced by Sharia, but also cede ultimate authority to their constitutions and the rule of law. These countries conduct democratic elections, although some are also under the influence of authoritarian leaders. In these countries, politicians and jurists make law, rather than religious scholars. Most of these countries have modernized their laws and now have legal systems with significant differences when compared to classical Sharia.

Muslim states using classical Sharia: Saudi Arabia and some of the Gulf states do not have constitutions or legislatures. Their rulers have limited authority to change laws, since they are based on Sharia as it is interpreted by their religious scholars. Iran shares some of these characteristics, but also has a parliament that legislates in a manner consistent with Sharia.”

Link Wikipedia:

March 4, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
canarysong said...


Glad to see you're feeling well enough to join us!

March 4, 2011 at 6:41 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...


Great link! Thank-you. I will only add that I think the points are valid. What do you think?

March 4, 2011 at 6:51 p.m.

[3/02/2011: Pakistan: U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Condemns Assassination of Shahbaz Bhatti–Urges Amendments of Blasphemy Law][1]

"WASHINGTON, DC – The tragic and brutal assassination today of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s cabinet Minister for Minority Affairs, was an “outgrowth of that country’s blasphemy law, which fuels extremism and violence rather than keeping the peace,” said the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today.

"Assassinated today in Islamabad by unknown attackers, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the killing. Bhatti was courageously vocal in his call to amend the flawed blasphemy law, which severely abuses the religious freedoms of Christians and Muslims. Bhatti worked tirelessly for interfaith tolerance and understanding.

“The brutal assassination was an outgrowth of that country’s blasphemy law, which fuels extremism and violence rather than keeping the peace,” said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair. “Threats against his life were widely known, but Minister Bhatti continued to courageously advocate against the forces of violent extremism and the blasphemy law,” said Mr. Leo. “The Commission extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Minister Bhatti. He was our friend. He will be missed.”

"Bhatti was a life-long advocate for human rights, and had worked for years as a religious freedom advocate before joining the Zardari government ...

“We believed he was Pakistan’s brightest light of hope for the advancement of freedom of religion and human rights more broadly,” Mr. Leo said. “Who will now take up his work? Do the highest levels of Pakistan’s government have the resolve, courage, and leadership to do so? To date, they haven’t demonstrated those qualities.”

“The assassination today of Shahbaz Bhatti in Pakistan–a true hero for human rights and religious freedom for all–illustrates how barbaric that country’s system of blasphemy laws really is. Blasphemy laws don’t keep the peace, but embolden extremists,” Chairman Leo observed. “After the murders of Salman Taseer and now Shahbaz Bhatti for their advocacy against the blasphemy law, President Zardari must find the political courage to enact meaningful reforms, or Pakistan may well be lost.”

“The United States and the international community need to urge Pakistan in the strongest terms to respect the human rights of all its citizens, bring the murderers to justice, and amend this deeply flawed law,” said Mr. Leo. “Hopefully Pakistan and other countries will learn this lesson before any more human rights heroes are killed.”

"Bhatti opposed Pakistan’s blasphemy law that criminalizes actions and words that are deemed to offend Islam. It carries a life sentence and in extreme cases the death penalty."

March 4, 2011 at 7:40 p.m.

[“Overlooking religious minorities” by Elizabeth H. Prodromou and Leonard Leo (10/04/2009: Washington Times)][1]

“… Turkey, like all nations in a tourism campaign, wants to put the best foot forward. However, as demonstrated in an early September desecration of an Orthodox Christian cemetery in Istanbul, religious minorities in Turkey face problems that go often unreported or are ignored.

“Because of these concerns, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) undertook a fact finding tour of Turkey in 2006. Religious minorities reported that they continued to experience serious problems regarding opening, maintaining and operating houses of worship, as well as serious restrictions on their ability to train clergy, maintain educational and cultural organizations, and own private and collective property. Communities affected include the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox and Syriac Orthodox Churches, as well as Roman Catholics, Protestants and others.

“Anti-Semitism remains an alarming concern, as well. USCIRF also learned of significant restrictions on religious freedom for the majority Sunni Muslim community and the minority Alevis (usually viewed as a unique sect of Islam).

“Because these and other religious freedom problems persist, and the existence of several religious communities in Turkey remains imperiled, USCIRF placed Turkey on its "Watch List" in May 2009.

“Turkey is approximately 98 percent Muslim, mostly Sunni. About 20 percent of that majority are Alevis, who are subject to unofficial and official discrimination because of their heterodox Islamic faith. The Alevi, who do not worship in mosques, for example, have great difficulty getting official permits to build assembly houses for worship.

“The remaining 2 percent of Turkey's population, estimated at 75 million, is comprised of non-Muslim and mainly Christian minorities. The significant restrictions on religious minority communities include state policies and actions that have effectively used religious freedom restrictions to produce the broader political and economic disenfranchisement of religious minorities who, in some cases, are being eliminated from lands that they have inhabited for millennia.

“Today, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Greek Orthodox Church, the seat of Eastern Christianity, is nearly extinct. The U.S. State Department estimates fewer than 3,000 remain and other estimates cut that estimate in half. This experience is shared by other Christian faiths that face similar obstacles to the free practice of their religion.

“For more than 50 years, the Turkish government has used convoluted regulations and undemocratic laws to confiscate hundreds of religious minority properties, primarily those belonging to the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Roman Catholic and other communities. The state also has closed seminaries, denying these communities the right to train clergy …"

March 4, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.
Clara said...

Canarysong and mtnlaural,

Thanks for your support.

The following might be off topic but I'm seeing a great deal of that today.

March 4, 2011 at 9:43 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Thanks again for an interesting link, Clara.

I followed one of the other links connected to the story and noted the U.S. Chamber may be involved in some kind of dirty trick business targeting ThinkProgress - a good site for info. It's unsettling to learn the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is involved in such stuff.

Speaking of dirty tricks, I note that Fox News has experienced some difficulties getting into Canada – they have a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.

“Fox News will not be moving into Canada after all!

The reason: Canada regulators announced last week they would reject efforts by Canada's right wing Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, to repeal a law that forbids lying on broadcast news.

Canada’s Radio Act requires that "a licenser may not broadcast....any false or misleading news."

March 4, 2011 at 10:48 p.m.
canarysong said...

Thanks for the great links, Clara and mountainlaurel. (Fox lying? I'm shocked!)

Hambone, please be more specific; I'm interested.

March 4, 2011 at 11:40 p.m.

"Numbering some 35 million, the Kurds are the world’s largest stateless people. Inhabitants of the region of Mesopotamia in the Middle East, the very birthplace of civilization itself, the Kurds are a distinct people with a history, culture, and language all of their own.

"Trapped within the borders of repressive and murderous Middle Eastern states, such as Turkey, Iraq, and Iran, the Kurdish cries for self-determination have gone largely ignored by the outside world. When Saddam Hussein murdered thousands of Iraqi Kurds with poison gas in Halabja in 1988 and butchered tens of thousands more in the aftermath of the Gulf War, the world paid brief attention to their plight. But for the Kurds of Turkey, no one seems to shed a tear.

"Since 1984, a brutal war has been raging in southeastern Turkey, in an area which makes up a large part of Kurdistan, the traditional home of the Kurdish people. Since 1987, the entire region has been under martial law. The government of Turkey, with one of NATO’s largest armies and Europe’s worst human rights records, has carried out a scorch-earth campaign which has devastated the region. More than 35,000 people have been killed, more than 3,000 Kurdish villages destroyed by Turkish troops, and some 3 million Kurdish civilians forced to flee their homes. Death squads have taken the lives of hundreds of journalists, Kurdish politicians, human rights activists, and leading intellectuals. Nearly 500 people have died of torture in Turkish jails. Dozens more are still missing. The mothers of these disappeared persons gather in silence every Saturday morning in Istanbul to pray for their lost sons and daughters."

March 5, 2011 at 9:10 a.m.

“Kurds try to be heard as world turns deaf ear” by Joshua L. Weinstein (15/04/2004, Portland Press Herald)

"Like his people, Kani Xulam is used to not being heard.

"Kurds have been deported from their villages. They have been forced to stop speaking their language. They have been tortured. They have been killed en masse.

"Yet rarely, Xulam told an audience of about 60 in Portland on Wednesday, has there ever been much notice.

“It is,” he said, “as if the world has gone deaf.”

"Xulam, the executive director – and sole staff member – of the American Kurdish Information Network in Washington, D.C., is working to change that.

“Somebody has to tune us up, and that somebody is us,” he said.

"In his presentation, he explained that the Kurdish people have historically lived in the mountains of what is now Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey and parts of the former Soviet Union. Although they are Muslim, they are not Arabs. They had (sic)[have] their own language, their own culture.

"It was the Kurds whom Saddam Hussein killed with chemical weapons before the first Gulf War. Kurds also were expelled from their homes in Turkey and jailed in Syria.

"They are, he said, despised by Arabs.

"Because of their history, Xulam said, the Kurds in Iraq are wary about what will happen to them if U.S. forces leave that nation.

"About 20 percent of Iraq’s population is Kurdish. The other 80 percent, Xulam said, is “virulently anti-Kurdish.”

"He compared Arabs’ outlook toward Kurds to Germans’ attitudes toward Jews during the Nazi era.

"With that in mind, he said, he fears that if U.S. forces leave Iraq, there could once again be wholesale slaughter of Kurds."

March 5, 2011 at 9:19 a.m.
ckit1477 said...

I know that the pit crew is a hard job. they have to insure that all the parts are in properly maintained... and also they have to check come of the hoses like power steering hose if there's any leak...

November 5, 2011 at 3:54 a.m.
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