Burroughs Adding Machine

Social justice, arts and politics, life in New York City

The Congresswoman Who Can Not Tell a Truth

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Where did the lie that President Obama’s trip to Asia is costing taxpayers $200 million dollars a day originate?

Anderson Cooper explains (in a reasoned yet nonetheless disapproving manner) that the ridiculous myth emerged from a businessman in India. However, the source is anonymous and can’t be confirmed. Less than reputable, as Anderson points out.

What’s more upsetting is the conservative media’s use of the bloated number to spur rage toward the President. How better to rile up patriotic, nativist U.S. citizens? Ask Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Worse, buy into the lies put forth by our elected representatives. When Congresswoman Michelle Bachman relates the $200 million myth on Cooper’s program, he calls her on it.

Shame on Bachman for perpetuating misinformation. How do Minnesota constituents feel about the latest of their representative’s falsehoods?

Filed under: minnesota, politics, republican, , , , , , ,

A Whole Lotta Crazy: The Glenn Beck Rally

America is “becoming communist”! We don’t teach patriotism in our schools! Barack Obama is anti-progress, a Muslim, and a racist!

Curious about the right’s viewpoints? This video of Glenn Beck supporters at Saturday’s “Restoring Honor” rally speaks for itself–though it may also test your patience.

Filed under: politics, republican, , , , , , ,

Jon Stewart & A Ridiculous Glenn Beck

Nice to know that you can be off the grid for a month, and things remain relatively the same.

Take the ridiculousness of Glenn Beck, for example.

In the clip below, Jon Stewart skewers the bombastic, offensive, and completely inappropriate plans of conservative nitwit Glenn Beck to deliver a “Restoring Honor” speech on the same date and the same place as Dr. Martin Luther King. Beck, of course, claims that any echoes of King’s historic speech were pure coincidence.

Stewart ain’t buying it, and neither should anyone with common sense. The entire idea of Beck delivering a speech about equality, civil rights, or social justice is laughable. And the audacity to appropriate King’s moment? Can you say “bad idea”?

“Glenn Beck does have a dream,” Stewart says. “Unfortunately, it’s the kind of dream you have when you eat four pepperoni Hot Pockets right before bed.”

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Filed under: black history, comedy, race, republican, social justice, united states of america, , , ,

Rand Paul’s Discrimination Under the Law

I’ve been following Rand Paul’s views on civil rights over the past couple days, interested by the division that Paul seems to make between the idea of racism and the intervention of government. He’s against racial discrimination, but should the government protect citizens from it?

In Paul’s opinion, he makes clear that he does not think the government should step into the realm of private business. He’s a libertarian. And his reluctance to endorse the Civil Rights Act of 1964 supports basic principles of libertarianism: small–if nonexistent–government, individual rights above all, and belief in the free market. When Rachel Maddow put his libertarian thinking to real-life scenarios like private restaurants refusing to serve black customers, Paul refused to answer directly. Though he espouses that he doesn’t support discrimination of any kind, he would not vote to protect these customers. In Paul’s view, the private business owner can discriminate as he or she wishes.

Moreover, Bob Cesca connects Paul’s troubling stand with the Tea Party’s racial issues in The Huffington Post:

However, he obviously supports allowing businesses to engage in racial discrimination with impunity. Evidently, if the government says it’s against the law to run a whites-only business, this is a bridge too far for Rand Paul.

Even more troubling, Paul gave this convoluted and misguided suggestion that goes against ADA access policies. Essentially, his viewpoint for people with disabilities is this: If you can give an employee in a wheelchair a first-floor office rather than spend thousands on installing an elevator for the person to access a second-floor office, than this solution should meet societal standards.

Separate but equal was shut down long ago. However, separate but equal is fine by Rand Paul. Is this viewpoint what we want in a voting member of Congress?

Filed under: politics, racism, republican, , , , , , , , , , ,

McCain: Republican AND Gay Rights Activist?

Not that McCain.

Meghan McCain, daughter of the embattled GOP Senator, spoke to audiences at George Washington University last week. She has never shied away from expressing her opinion, even if it counters her famous father (and coincides with the accepting LGBT position of her equally famous mother, Cindy). She is a proud Republican, and a proud ally to gays and lesbians. The young McCain embodies a synergistic political philosophy that seems to work. Where other gay GOP groups like the Log Cabin Republicans falter when combining conservative ideals with a progressive social agenda, McCain states plainly.

“I am not Ann Coulter. I am not Glenn Beck. I am not trying to be a pundit. I am not trying to have a show on FOX,” McCain said. “My intention is to promote dialogue in this country.”

Perhaps it’s because she speaks to a young, twenty-something audience that McCain’s views seem so progressive. Fundamentalist-type pundits like Coulter and Beck must energize and enable their core audience: an  older, often Christian-identified, group. McCain often speaks to college students, arguing that fiscal conservatism does not necessarily equate with social conservatism.

It’s nice to see that a progressive Republican is not an oxymoron.

Filed under: gay rights, politics, republican, , , , , , ,

Publications

BIOGRAPHY

RECENT PUBLICATIONS
» "Pinays," AGNI, Spring 2016
» "Dandy," Post Road, Spring 2015
» "Wrestlers," Fifth Wednesday, Spring 2014
» "Babies," Joyland, August 2011
» "Nicolette and Maribel," BostonNow, May 2007
» "The Rice Bowl," Memorious, March 2005
» "The Rules of the Game," Screaming Monkeys: Critiques of Asian American Images (Coffee House Press, June 2003)
» "Deaf Mute," Growing Up Filipino (Philippine American Literary House, April 2003)
» "Good Men ," Genre, April 2003
» "The Foley Artist," Drunken Boat, April 2002
» "Squatters," Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America (Asian Am. Writers' Workshop, 2001)
» "Deaf Mute," The North American Review, Jan 2001
» "The First Lady of Our Filipino Nation," The Boston Phoenix, 1999
» "Paper Route," Flyway Literary Review, 1996
» "Brainy Smurf and the Council Bluffs Pride Parade," Generation Q (Alyson, 1996)
July 2020
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About Me

Ricco Villanueva Siasoco is a Manhattan-based writer and non-profit manager. More

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