23 June 2011

OAA, Common Council Members ask Governor to Veto Pay for Fired Officers, Leah Vukmir

From Bernie Sanders:
June 21, 2011
More than 5 million American seniors face the threat of hunger and 1 million a year go hungry, according to a report released on Tuesday by Sen. Bernie Sanders at a hearing of a Senate panel he chairs. He made the case that investing in nutrition programs saves money on Medicare and Medicaid spend on more expensive hospital and nursing home care. Sen. Rand Paul, the ranking Republican on the subcommittee, had a different view. A spirited discussion ensued. Watch the video.

Sanders argued that poor nutrition can cause chronic diseases that require costly hospital or nursing home care, according to the report released at a meeting of the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging.
"Investing in senior nutrition and in well-designed senior programs in general saves money for the government because when we do that we keep people out of emergency rooms, nursing homes and the hospital.  The result is substantial savings for government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid," said Sanders, the subcommittee chairman.
Senior Hunger Report
The average cost of a meal delivered to a senior's home is about $5.  A one-day hospital stay typically costs about $1,800. The cost of a year in a nursing home is $77,000.  Clearly, an up-front investment in programs like Meals On Wheels and community meals at senior centers is a more common-sense approach to our budget crisis, Sanders said.

Since the recession began in 2008, agencies on aging across the country have experienced increased demand for meals programs, according to a Government Accountability Office study cited in the report. "As gasoline, home heating fuel and food prices continue to rise, we see many of the seniors we work with being forced to choose between paying for food, fuel, rent or prescription medicines," Ken Gordon, executive director of the Northeastern Vermont Area Agency on Aging, told the subcommittee.

Half of all diseases affecting older Americans are directly connected to inadequate nutrition. "For older Americans especially, hunger and malnutrition can completely undo any investments or advances we might make in better access to health care," according to Dr. Mark Lachs of Cornell University.

"I have seen it over and over again-easily treatable illnesses that could have been quickly and inexpensively handled at home, instead evolved into costly episodes of disability that at best led to costly hospitalization and at worst to indefinite nursing home residence," he added. "Who pays for that care?  We all do."

Find the full length video here.
In Milwaukee:
In a news release today the Milwaukee Common Council sent a letter to Governor Walker imploring him to veto a section of the state budget that repeals current law and requires the City of Milwaukee to pay fired police officers while their appeal is pending before the Fire and Police Commission.  Is it true that republicans are pushing for pay of fired police officers?  Yes, it is.  While teachers, garbage collectors, nurses, social workers, etc. are expendable and should face stiff reductions, fire fighters and police officers are exempt and in essence above the law.  This is a common methodology used by many ego-fascist-dictator-governor leaders who believe that when the armed guards are given gifts, they in turn will defend the ego-fascist-dictator-governor leaders against the will of the people.     

While the veto seems like a no-brainer, it should not be forgotten that the Police Association supported the Walker campaign and Walker has been known to show slight favoritism toward campaign donors. With this administration what may seem obvious to observers is not so obvious to the participants.  Plus to loosely quite Sen. Pryor elected officials don't have to pass IQ tests. 

News Release
Vukmir and marijuana:  "There have been no indications for the use of [marijuana] medically and you can read all the research you want but that is just a plain fact."  Brilliant logic. Watch the video.

It might be tempting to think that for someone who is a trained pediatric nurse a clearer understanding of the purpose of research would be at use.  Unfortunately Ms. Vukmir ostensibly has very little trust in scientific research.  She would much rather put her trust in faith.  So be it.

It is Vukmir's type of reasoning that leads people to believe that although in a situation where all of the conditions are eerily similar if not identical to an earlier situation this time it is different.  For example, when the Afghanistan war was compared to the military action in Vietnam, Pres. Obama reacted that although the situation in Afghanistan looked like a quagmire this time it was different.  The classic comedic farce.

16 June 2011

Badger Care cuts

Dear Representatives,

I strongly believe that the current depression that the United States finds itself in would be much worse in Wisconsin if it were not for the effective health care coverage supplied by the State's Medicaid programs like Badger Care. Defunding these programs weakens their effectiveness, devalues their use, and will lead to further degradation of working, non-working, and those unable to work in Wisconsin.

For me, a full-time employee raising a family of three whose employer-offered health care costs $15,000 per year for family coverage, changes to Badger Care could mean a total loss of health insurance.  It is feasibly impossible for my family to afford the premiums and deductibles that my employer's health insurance plan mandates.  The $15,000 is in essence nearly half of my yearly salary.

My family is a frugal one.  We do not own cars that require monthly payments.  We do not have cell phones or cable TV.  We have the cheapest internet connection and phone service available and live on a budget.  The depression has made our budget tighter than ever.  But not all people in this country are feeling the same constraints.  This entire debate about affordable health care coverage might be aborted if, for example, the CEO of Aetna did not earn $21 million last year.

It seems to me that in a functional society affordable health care coverage should be available to everyone. Without Badger Care and with the cuts projected, affordable health care coverage will not be available to thousands of Wisconsinites.  The United States is the only country of the OECD members that does not ensure health care coverage for all citizens.  This situation should be very disconcerting for politicians in the wealthiest country.

I urge you to make the decision that benefits the people of Wisconsin the most not the decision that benefits the people of Wisconsin with the most.

one of your employers

Are you with me? Yes or no. NAEP results and Scott Fitzgerald's picture

Earlier this week the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) released results from the 2010  U.S. history assessment.  It should come as no surprise that students didn't do well considering that a few years ago 63% of American 18-24-year-olds could not locate Iraq on a map.  33% of those polled could not find the United States.

Consider Jay Leno.  There was the bit that Leno used on his Tonight Show called Jaywalking.  The one segment I remember was the one with the walker who was shown a picture of Abraham Lincoln.  Jay Leno asked who was in the picture but the walker didn't know.  Leno showed him a five dollar bill and the walker said "Oh yeah, he's on money."

There are millions of Americans who have no clue about what has happened or is happening in our country or in the world.  There are millions of Americans who have no clue where we are in the world or where to find the rest of the world.  Many of those people are running our country.  In fact, they're currently voting on our two year budget in Wisconsin.  I wonder how many Representatives would pass the Grade 12 assessment.  If anybody asked for my hypothesis, I would explain that based on my observations, I would predict that 10-20% of our state and federal representatives would test basic or above.  Anybody out there with enough clout to find out?  But the real testament of America's position in the world is that of the millions of Americans who know nothing about U.S. history or geography most don't care and don't want to know.  The number one reason they don't want to know is that it's too boring for them.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), an internationally standardized assessment that was jointly developed by participating economies and administered to15-year-olds in schools, has revealed that other countries have been far more successful educating their children than the U.S. for years.  So nothing should be too surprising here.  Yet Diane Ravitch, who advocated for our current educational structure during the Bush years, seemed shocked by the NAEP results.  "This is alarming," she said.  Maybe she hasn't been paying attention.

In the NAEP assessment 73% of fourth graders, 69% of eighth graders, and 45% of twelfth graders scored basic or above.  20% of fourth graders, 17% of eighth graders, and 12% of twelfth graders tested proficient or above.  Only 2% of fourth graders, 1% of eighth graders, and 1% of twelfth graders scored at advanced or above.

A couple of examples of questions that proved to be hard to answer for seniors:
One of the central ideas of President George Washington’s foreign policy was that the United States should
  1. play an active role in European affairs
  2. expand its influence throughout the Americas
  3. support democracies and oppose monarchies
  4. avoid permanent alliances with other countries
During the Korean War, United Nations forces made up largely of troops from the United States and South Korea fought against troops from North Korea and
  1. the Soviet Union
  2. Japan
  3. China
  4. Vietnam

The first question was answered correctly by 33.86% of the twelfth graders tested (the correct answer is #4). The second question was answered correctly by 21.92% of students (the correct answer is #3)(see links below if you're interested in trying the test or looking at the results).  As expected, students answered the multiple choice questions with greater ease than they could do with the constructed response.  The multiple choice questions that asked the student to recall a specific bit of information were also answered correctly most often.  Whereas the multiple choice questions that asked for greater exploration and a deeper understanding of events, posed far more difficulty.  Perhaps the most worrisome statistic is how many questions were left blank (only 31.76% of questions were answered by all students) or answered unintelligibly (constructed response rates answered proficiently were extremely low).  No one should be leaving multiple choice questions blank, though.  That just makes no sense - at least take a guess. 

What the results indicate is something that was written about in an article for the Atlantic in 2008 called Is Google Making Us Stoopid? In the article Nicholas Carr wrote that the kind of reading "promoted by the Net ... may be weakening our capacity for the kind of deep reading that emerged when an earlier technology, the printing press, made long and complex works of prose commonplace."  Are we losing our ability to synthesis, deduce, support, and discern?  I don't know but I do know this entry is probably getting too long for most surfers.

More than the internet, television plays a role in the development of our short attention spans.  There should be no doubt about that.  Television has made it increasingly difficult to read books.  What used to be an evening relaxing with a good book is now spent ogling at the soft, blue glow of indoctrination.  We do it all for you.  Just ten minutes.  Just do it.  Slogans that mean nothing.  Yes we can.  That have warped citizens into monetary units called taxpayers.  Propaganda that has morphed people into economic categories of consumers and suppliers.  These are classifications that assuage us into the obscurity of namelessness.  We are no longer individuals.  Instead we are becoming statistics that are only significant as a decimal point but in no real sense as human beings.     

Sample Test
The Nation's Report Card - Test Results
All questions on the assessment

“This is a great victory for the
people of Wisconsin, and for the
2nd Amendment. The right to protect
ourselves by legally carrying
a firearm is long overdue, and I’m
glad we’re joining 48 other states
with this law - finally.”
"It's a question of ethics," explains Johnny Caspar in Miller's Crossing.  It is what seems to be missing in politics today, in addition to a platform that Democrats stand for.  Few ethics exist and while the public flounders with the moral dilemmas, legislators are making laws.  And that's always scary.  However, at least with republicans we know what they're after.

Republicans are for less taxes, tax breaks for big business, less regulation (think derivatives and Rockefeller), more government incentives for businesses, punishment, and guns.  They are against gays, drugs, lesbians, people named Obama, public employees, the clean air act, abortion, child labor laws, paid sick days, a living wage, demanding the wealthy contribute more, nationalized health care, and military budget cuts.

Democrats are for ... and they are against Walker and the anti-collective bargaining law.  When we needed the democrats to unify against extending the tax breaks to the wealthy, they did not.  When we needed them to stand up for the environment, they acquiesce.  When we need higher wages, they give in to corporate sponsors.  When we need regulations on the markets, they caved to republican demands. When we needed the democrats to defend the working people in Wisconsin, where are they?  I'm not so sure.  If they made their objectives clear, I think they'd have more support.  I mean do people who vote for neocons really despise gays or poor folks? 

In a way Wisconsin democrats find themselves in a reasonably safe position.  When the fiasco of Governor Walker's era ends, the democrats can blame the republicans for everything bad and still take credit for anything that is good, just ask Newt about that.

We haven't been in good shape in this country for a while.  And that bodes less well for humanity than anything else.  If the wealthiest country in the world fails in taking care of it's neediest, fails to create a public education sector that is cost effective and equitable, fails to plan for future transportation needs, and fails to provide health care for the entire population, how will human kind ever find a solution to these problems?

Economic, educational, health, and income disparity is growing around the world.  At the same time more countries are divided from within (Afghanistan, Sudan, Spain, Ireland, Korea).  The same patterns are occurring in the US.  The political debate is more polarized than ever.  Republicans are spouting far right wing dogma, while democrats sit on their hands and beg for civility as their own discredit evolution (Pryor) and drop their drawers (Weiner).  It's an absolute disgrace.  Who represents the people?

Over the next few days Wisconsin will have a new budget.  Emp. Walker will have successfully passed his agenda.  And we can all be packin' and stackin' 'em while we get them kids a workin' and poppin' out new ones left and right.
C Thomas Sylke Donation

09 June 2011

Walker's China

If there was ever any doubt about it, it must most certainly have been alleviated by the latest and definitely the most regressive proposal thus far, and we've had plenty of them, to come out of this insane Republican majority in Madison.  As has been reported widely, the legislature is looking at revising the child labor laws of Wisconsin to ensure that minors can work 40 hour weeks.  This proposal should alleviate any concerns that these Republicans are just not conservative enough.  It used to be conservatives just wanted to maintain the status quo, like Newt, no offense intended to the squirmy amphibian, Gingrich.  Evidently the Madison neocons would love to recreate 1855, now that's pretty conservative.     

Before you get all Blagojevich on me, just a brief recap of what has transpired in Wisconsin since January. (It's surprising how many people have forgotten that all of this and more has taken place so far).  The evidence exposes where these Weiners are pointing us. 

Our year began with the Packers laying siege to the NFL and hauling the Lombardi trophy home.  But our celebrations were cut short. The Walker administration called for an emergency session in which several very damaging bills passed including
  • Tort reform, limits citizens' recourse in the cases of injury incurred at work, injury caused by goods bought in a store, injury from health care providers, and limits punitive damage claims. This tort reform makes it nearly impossible to sue a distributor, a seller, or a promoter. Which in turn means that if someone (you) is injured by a product bought at Walmart, the injured person's (yours) only recourse may be to seek damages from the manufacturer, who is probably located in China.  Good luck with that lawsuit. In other words, if it's you, you're screwed, unless you're a millionaire, in which case, I know of a great charity to donate to.  Feel free to contact me.
  • Tax breaks for corporations, these are real tax breaks, but don't take my word for it.  Follow my embedded links to the bills.
  • Requiring a super-majority for tax increases, even though states bring in money by raising taxes, it has become significantly more difficult to raise them.  Nothing in here about your property taxes, though.  Those are going up, just wait and see.
  • The formation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to which the governor appoints the employees who will not be state employees but will nonetheless have access to Wisconsin's medical coverage and pension plan.  Nice play by KuningasWalker.
  • Providing the governor with unprecedented power over governmental agencies' abilities to make rules, long live the Kuningas.
  • Redefining the classification of wetlands and an exemption from water quality standards.
  • Passing a budget repair bill that stole collective bargaining rights from public employees, essentially killed the public employee unions.
  • Killing the Milwaukee Paid Sick Day Ordinance, which was passed by a real majority here in 2008.
  • The end of medical coverage for hundreds of thousands of medical assistance recipients across the state because of cuts to the Badger Care program.  The assistance programs have come under direct fire by the Journal Sentinel lately.  They claim that fraud is taking place in the Food Share program but they have no evidence of that.  And it's a small percentage of cards that are being stolen.  But like many issues the journal sentinel reports on, they sensationalized the Food Share program by presenting a 3-page investigative style expose that amounted to accessing some Facebook pages and calling a few people.  That's some brilliant reporting guaranteed to raise the ire of any right-wing wacko who adores Mark Belling or the other shmo on WTMJ.  The real story in Sunday's journal was buried on the second page of the Business section: 
    Republican lawmakers voted to trim taxes for corporations and investors while cutting tax credit programs for the working poor.  On a party-line vote, the Joint Finance Committee approved Gov. Scott Walker's proposals to cut capital gains taxes on certain investments and to cut taxes for multistate corporations.  It also approved cuts to the Earned Income Tax credit program for the working poor.
Proposals still in the pipeline include concealed carry, disinfection of municipal water supplies, eliminating the limit on the number of pupils who may attend virtual charter schools, modifying teacher licensure requirements, eliminating the limit on the reduction in general school aid used to fund independent charter schools, covering certain charter school employees under the Group Insurance Board health coverage plan for local government employees, allowing a charter school to elect to participate in the Wisconsin Retirement System.  And I really could go on here for a long time.  Suffice to say that any bill with the name Vukmir  attached to it is detrimental to the average citizens of Wisconsin but a boon to the organizations that supported her (money ain't for nothing - MMAC).   

The turn of the millennium occurred a few years ago but just which millennium it was may be a bit confusing.  Based on the lists of legislation above that the Walker administration (regime), and that iniquitous, contemptible Leah Vukmir, are passing, someone could guess that we've entered the 20th century when corporations controlled the work force, no safety standards existed in the work place, and children lined up waiting for someone to get hurt on the assembly line so they could take the injured person's place.  This is the situation in many places around the world where international (US, German, etc.) corporations have taken hold.  There is an influx of cheap workers and few labor laws to deal with.  It is what China and Indonesia have in their favor at this moment in time.  But jobs are coming back to America because there aren't the tight regulations that Europe has and China may be a bit too risky.  Plus, many states in the US now have republican governors.  So they're open for business twenty-four hours a day.  This is the situation Scott Walker is hoping for because that's what he is paid to do by those funding his administration.  What a Koch.

Vukmir's fondness for child labor derives from
her own past when she was enslaved to
fashion.  "Well I learned to sew," Vukmir
Likewise, the Journal Sentinel is dictated by their advertisers, the main source of revenue.  The boat can be rattled but never capsized.

But what should the people do when the boat needs capsizing?

Whine and sulk and that's what blogging is for.

Scott, don't forget our new slogan: Welcome to Wisconsin, America's China.  I'd like to see that one of these days on a bumper sticker or in a block of cheese on the mantel in the governor's mansion.  I'll send that up to you, since you've been looking to redecorate. 

A 1911 Industrial Worker publication advocating industrial
unionism based on a critique of capitalism. The
proletariat "work for all" and "feed all"

Child Labor in America: http://www.historyplace.com/unitedstates/childlabor/
Upton Sinclair's The Jungle is just a great book that everyone should read.  Go read it now.

Robert Ross - Slaves to Fashion

Was what Weiner did really that bad?  I won't condone it as being smart but really all I see is a guy who sent a picture of his Johnson with his briefs.  That sounds like presidential behavior.   Stupidly he lied about it.  But come on, people, these indiscretions sell newspapers and lure site visits but they don't balance a budget or end wars.   Weiner's briefs ought to be handled on a personal level - his personal level not the mainstream news.  I mean let's give it a rest and stop acting like prudes.  What are we going to do next eradicate pornography and prostitutes?  Ron Paul believes a prostitute has just as much right to practice his/her profession as a lawyer has.  And you know what that means - getting screwed could get a whole lot easier - I'll take a class action lawsuit and a blowjob.

The common call from politicians and the layman has been for adult behavior to solve our problems.  I always wondered exactly what they meant by that.  Now it's clear they meant the triple X adult behavior.  And that's all right with me but then we should get more pictures.  News: Congress opens the first government approved porn shop.  That's happened already.  It's called the Senate Committee on Finance and the House Finance Committee.  In Wisconsin, they don't even try to hide the lascivious nature of their group.  The name itself reveals what they're smoking in the Joint Finance Committee.

Just remember how many folks, Ms. Palin, were jabbering about seeing pictures of bin Laden.  They wanted to see a prone dead body but not an erect live one.  Well that might be the sickest twist of the whole story.  More violence, less love.  Perhaps that should be the new republican motto.

03 June 2011

For the love of god

Kara was a happy, active 11-year old.  She and her friends jumped rope, played dolls and beanie babies, and swam. She was a bright imaginative student who was doing great in school.  Suddenly she started feeling incredibly tired even after a full night's sleep.  Her parents knew something was wrong, so they prayed.  They knelt beside their daughter as she slept and prayed that she would be healed.  Kara was now nauseous all the time, and had no appetite.  She was continuously thirsty but she kept vomiting up the fluids she drank.  Her parents enlisted members of their church to pray for their daughter but her health failed to improve.  Within a month, Kara was near death. She slipped into a coma.  Within the day, she was dead. 

18-month old Alayna was born with a birthmark over her left eye.  As she got older the birthmark grew into a small lump.  It continued to grow larger until it swelled so large that she couldn't open her eye.  Her parents prayed for her to be healed.  They anointed her with oils, fasted, and had fellow church members lay their hands on Alayna and pray.  But each week the growth above her eye was noticeably bigger, more obtrusive to Alayna's vision, and more painful.  Her parents remained devoted to prayer but to no avail, the growth covered had now completely covered her eye and was applying pressure that left untreated would lead to blindness in her left eye.

For centuries before there were doctors or hospitals or medical science, people turned to the unknown for aid.  They prayed to the god of rain when a drought set in; they prayed to the god of war for victory in battle.  The stories about Kara and Alayna could have been plucked from the dark ages but sadly they were not.

Madeline Kara Neumann died in 2008 of diabetic ketoacidosis a treatable form of diabetes that even in the advanced stages could have been cured had she been to a doctor.  Her parents were convicted of second-degree reckless homicide and sentenced to spend 30 days in jail each year for six years and were placed on 10 years’ probation.  Two months ago a judge refused their request for a retrial.

Alayna Wyland's story started in 2010 when the DHS took her into custody due to parental neglect.   She might not lose her eyesight in her left eye because of DHS intervention and despite her parents faith treatments instead of seeing a doctor .

For people like the Neumanns and Wylands, time has stopped in the nineteenth century.  It's astonishing and frightening to think that for many fundamentalists their devotion to ancient, man-made mythology trumps medical science.  (Scientologists are the exception - they are devoted to modern, man-made dogma.)  Their faith in a nebulous, eternal heaven transcends and surpasses progress that could be made during their lifetimes. They are the most conservative among us and the most recalcitrant.

What's interesting is that the Neumanns and Wylands, and similarly the End-of-Worlders, like Howard Camping, continue to believe that there is a god who cares about them - as if human beings are so much more significant than any other life form.  Additionally they can rationalize any misconception or error in judgement.  When asked about why the prayers were ineffective or why the world didn't end, the believers invariably blame themselves or invent a reason.  When Kara Neumann died, her parents explained that it was their fault because they hadn't prayed hard enough nor did they hold enough faith.  Of course, they are dreadfully wrong.  They are at fault, for that they are correct, but not because of their lack of faith.  They are at fault because they refused to seek medical advice.  It has nothing to do with god or obedience or diligence of faith.  It has to do with the ability to reason and question our own ulterior motives.

Because of the continued ignorance associated with archaic, conservative religious views, countless numbers of children die each year in America.  As Shawn Peters pointed out in When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children, and the Law:  "A number of factors make it difficult to determine precisely how many children have lost their lives in such tragic circumstances.  Members ... isolate themselves."  He quotes a minister as saying, "We don't mix with the world."  So to ascertain an accurate number of deaths due to faith-based medical neglect is next to impossible.  Children could have been born, have died, and been buried without anyone outside of the community knowing about it.

Why do these obscure potentially disastrous ideas persist?  Why is society afraid to confront the perpetrators of faith-based medical neglect with more stringent punishment?

I believe that the underlying problem is related to our inability to question our belief systems effectively without being aghast and/or offended.  There's a reason it's called indoctrination - if your beliefs can't be mocked without you losing your temper or feeling infringed upon, you're probably indoctrinated.   In the closed religious communities, the followers express utter devotion to their way of life and are unwilling to accept any alternative world view.  The Wylands are livid that the DHS took away their baby and allowed her to be treated by a physician. 

There are simple solutions to all of these problems.  Acquiescence.  Take religious persecution for example.  Let's just say you're a christian and someone wants you to become a muslim or else someone in your family will suffer.  Here's what you say: Toss me that Zaytuna Cloak and let's head out to the mosque.  Done.  You've just saved our family member and sacrificed nothing.  Clinging to old beliefs for no other reason than because that is in line with tradition, is not productive nor necessary.  It's detrimental and can lead to tragic results.

Or, let's take a more mundane example.  Let's say you found out about a free swim class offered by a christian church.  You really wanted to participate but there's one catch.  The rub is that you have to a be a christian.  You're an atheist.  So what would you do?  I'll tell you: you hang a cross around your neck and thank the lord for blessing you with such lukewarm water.  The lesson in this story: don't cling to non-belief when a free swim class is offered.

There are parents who believe that praying will extricate the 'demons' of sickness from their children.  I mean, holy shmit the exorcism was just a movie.  That wasn't real.  Do these people know about imagination?  For their devotion to god, they've lost a daughter, who very well could have been the future researcher who discovered the cure to cancer.  There are also people who believe wearing a cross to join a free swim class is moral morally wrong.  Are all lies wrong?  How can a lie be morally wrong when everyone benefits?  I get to learn how to swim and the christians get to think that they've found another christian.  That's a win-win.

Peters wrote, "Religion-based medical neglect is a pervasive phenomenon that continues to jeopardize the welfare of children throughout the United States."  That's a testimonial understatement.  More importantly what continues to jeopardize our welfare is the harm caused by idiotic and misplaced devotion.  There are no legitimate reasons to justify obstinate devotion that puts innocents in harm's way.  Ignorance is not an incurable disease.  For the love of god, it's time for some real intervention on the ultra-conservative religious cults.

God bless us, everyone.

Keep abreast of all the wacky, discouraging, tragic, and disparate religious news: http://www.religionnewsblog.com/
Check out American's United fighting to support the separation of church and state: http://www.au.org/
To remind myself how pathetic I am, I watch this.  Hopefully you'll find the same insight.  Watch Mr. Bensusan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXtnpotwW8s