Friday, July 28, 2006

The antidote to GOP poison pills? Poison pills of our own...for great justice!

As predicted, the GOP decided today to fuck over those who make the minimum wage just in order to enrich the richest Americans who are obviously so oppressed by this so-called "death tax."

So evil, yet so ordinary for the GOP: Their attempt to tie the minimum wage to a cut in the estate tax, which many Americans think they have to pay because the GOP has framed it as a death tax. Everything they do in Congress has to benefit the wealthy and the well-connected. Funny how these supposed Men of God who tout their so-called morality do not "help the least of our brothers and sisters." I'm sure Jesus did not mean the least numerically of our brothers and sisters.

"It's political blackmail to say the only way that minimum wage workers can get a raise is to give a tax giveaway to the wealthiest Americans," said Sen. Edward Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass. "Members of Congress raised their own pay -- no strings attached. Surely, common decency suggests that minimum wage workers deserve the same respect."
Will the Democrats capitalize on the House Republicans' obvious cynical ploy to enrich their cronies at the top? Tune in to find out...
"It's the one chance for Democrats who want to get a minimum wage increase," the aide said.

You know, why couldn't the Democrats do the same when it came to the Interstate Abortion Bill recently passed by the Senate? Why couldn't the Senate Democrats offer an proposal to some bill that some Republican senator sponsors, rescinding the tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans to pay for adoption services, foster care, and sex education to try to reduce teen pregnancy rates? When this bill goes to the Senate, let us offer amendments to the bill to fund abstinence-only education and marriage counseling by doing away with tax cuts on those who don't need them. Of course it would be rejected by the Republicans who care more about their Big Business allies and the wealthy than they do with fetuses and blastocysts. Why couldn't they drive a wedge between the corporatists and the Religious Right like the Republicans are so keen on doing to the Democrats? Why couldn't they offer poison pills of their own?

The title of the article was "Republicans tie minimum wage to tax cut." Now why couldn't we tie oh let's say tax cuts to abstinence education? You know let us play that same cynical game by including a proposal in the next tax cuts bill that would fund abstinence-only education with rolling back corporate subsidies and tax cuts?

Those who make the minimum wage yet still vote GOP, I hope you're really happy. Your wages and economic situation is not getting any better no matter what Bush says about the economy, but at least gay marriage is facing setback after setback in this forsaken nation, at least the "queers can't get married!" You made your litterbox with Bush, now roll in it. (Yes, I'm extremely frustrated and it's not productive to yell, but sometimes you just have to let it out!)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Think Progress just obtained a press release that said this...


Media Advisory

Secretary of Energy to Observe One-Year Anniversary of the Energy Policy Act of 2005

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, July 26, 2006, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Samuel W. Bodman will join Senator Pete Domenici and Congressman Joe Barton to deliver remarks at an “EPAct at One” celebration. Secretary Bodman and Chairmen Domenici and Hobson are expected to discuss the importance of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, America’s first comprehensive energy legislation in over a decade. They will also highlight progress towards implementing the Act intended to increase the United States energy security and reduce its dependence on sources of energy from unstable regions of the world.

WHO: Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman
U.S. Senator Pete Domenici (NM)
U.S. Congressman Joe Barton (TX-6th)
Representatives of industries who are benefiting from tax incentives available through the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

Funny isn't it? How Republicans and their energy executive allies can party it up in Washington while giving you the middle finger. You'd think that a party who was ashamed enough to try to hide its ties to the wealthy, well-connected and corporations behind a curtain of faux populism based on bashing and discriminating against gays wanting to get married and flag burning would try to hide such an affair. You'd think they'd try to preserve their populist, common-man image but those images were nothing more than William Henry Harrison's faux log cabin (he came from a wealthy Virginia family) and nothing more than Bush's "let's have you stockbrokers take off your ties so it looks like middle-class citizens support my tax cuts to the wealthy" game. What kind of party am I talking about? Well Think Progress reported that the White House held a one-year anniversary party for the Energy Firm Welfare Act, I mean Energy Policy Act of 2005 to celebrate the giving away of $14.5 billion to an industry that was already making obscene profits and didn't need them.

Poor Poor Compassionate always complain about money going to welfare and social programs for the disabled and children, but you stay silent when the Litterbox Adminstration shits away your hard-earned cash and gives it to an industry which is benefiting from the war in Iraq which wasn't fought for oil but to drive prices up by preventing Iraqi oil from flooding the market.

So the message is this. We're looking inside the window while these pigs are gobbling up the gourmet food while we get the slops. A person I forgot where mentioned Animal Farm's final scene. This is exactly that except now that we have Cheney and his cronies telling us to "go eat some cake."

and if you really think that this money on tax breaks is going towards "cleaner-burning" coal plants, then you really need to be raptured up.

Remember when there was that huge uproar earlier in the year and the Republicans came out and complained that the companies were making too much of a profit? Remember how they wanted to give you $100 so that you could piss it all away within a matter of two weeks at the pump? Remember any benefit that came out of all that hullaboo? Of course not, because as this party shows, they were never serious about taking on the energy and gas industry and Big Oil. Of course not, but in an election year, they had to show that yes, they too felt your pain, that they could feel empathy for the common voter, while celebrating with an industry and not divulging what Cheney and his gang of energy execs were planning for the energy bill. We did not know anything about it until it virtually came to the floor of Congress, because if we did know, we would have been up in arms, but then again, Bush fooled us with his faux populism proclaiming that the energy bill was needed to drive down the price of fuel at the pump, blaming Democrats for obstructing this abomination of a bill which did not drive prices down as it was touted it would do.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sexist attitudes that brought upon the interstate abortion ban need to be addressed

with focus on fundamentalist Christian preachers

As the interstate abortion bill has been documented here, I would just like to chime in in what is an emotional topic and to explore where these attitudes come from. There was a study done on clergy and attributing blame to rape victims and I think that even though it was written four years ago, it is still highly relevant today. The main point of the study done by Jane P. Shelton? The more conservative, the more fundamentalist, the more sexist the clergyman is, the more likely he is to attribute blame to the victim.

The fact is it is not enough to go on the attack but it is also important to educate and to dispel these rape myths. These rape myths are permeating through our society and these need to be addressed as these lead to such asinine quotes such as Bill Napoli's infamous exception to an abortion. If you want the quote, here is the classic...

A real-life description to me would be a rape victim, brutally raped, savaged. The girl was a virgin. She was religious. She planned on saving her virginity until she was married. She was brutalized and raped, sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it, and is impregnated. I mean, that girl could be so messed up, physically and psychologically, that carrying that child could very well threaten her life.

So basically, he's saying that you know the child shouldn't be punished unless the mother was a virtuous Christian virgin who was psychologically devastated, as if only woman and girls who fit this profile were damaged from rape, as if only Christian virgins decried the fact they were being raped. The others must be enjoying their rape so why should they have an easy way out? The others must have secretly been turned on and we all know that women can't control their sexual urges so why should they be rewarded for them?

As a psych major currently, I did a paper analyzing a study documenting Asian attitudes compared to Caucasian attitudes and many of these myths were the same as the ones being spread by these fundamentalists and their Republican enablers. It is only sluttish and non-respectable women who get raped. A rapist would never dare target a respectable woman. Do you know that in places like Taiwan, rapists often give marriage proposals to their victims in order to escape the legal ramifications and that the legal system over there is often impatient at a woman who does not accept this proposal? So basically their attitudes are the same and they both subscribe to these heinous rape myths which encourage a culture where rape victims are laughed at and scorned instead of helped. These lead to attitudes where the innocent are condemned even to the point where the victim's own mothers sympathize with the rapist over their daughters!

You know, maybe we should go further on the attack by comparing their attitudes of blame to those who practice honor killings. You know how they love to condemn honor killing, right? Well if you read about their attitudes, it is just the same. The rape victim has brought upon dishonor to the family because she allowed herself to get raped. No honorable woman would be targeted, no rapist would dare go after her. Therefore, she must be a slut and is a stain upon the family honor. Sound like a stretch?

Feminist theorists (e.g., Brownmiller, 1975; Griffin, 1979; MacKinnon, 1987) have asserted that a patriarchal society contributes to rape and to negative attitudes toward rape victims by endorsing rigid, traditional gender roles and by maintaining the status quo through male power,dominance, and sexual violence. In keeping with feminist theory, research has demonstrated that individuals with more traditional attitudes concerning women's roles do assign more blame to rape victims (Acock & Ireland,1983; Brems & Wagner, 1994; Proite, Dannells, & Benton, 1993; Willis, 1992) and have more negative attitudes toward rape victims (Acock & Ireland,1983; Brems & Wagner,1994; Burt, 1980; Ward, 1988) than individuals with less traditional gender-role attitudes. Religious fundamentalism is also likely associated with negative attitudes toward rape victims in that it has been found to relate to discriminatory attitudes toward women (i.e., sexism) and to the lack of importance assigned to issues of equality and broad mindedness (Altemeyer & Hunsberger,1992; Feather,1979;
Kirkpatrick, 1993). In the current study, we investigated clergy's religious fundamentalism and level of sexism, expecting to find, in accordance with previous research, that these variables relate to negative attitudes toward rape victims and increased levels of victim blame.

Perhaps we should ask these clergymen who do hold these beliefs who is the exception. Since obviously they think that only virtuous Christian virgins feel psychological devastation and PTSD from rape, would they allow an exception to Napoli's Christian virgin? Would they support having the law confirm that the minor in question is a Christian, preferably fundamentalist and has never had sexual relations before then? What if the preacher's wife fell victim to rape or even worse, their own wives? Would they heap the judgment they heap on all rape victims upon their own loved ones?

It is clear from the support this will get that people, not just in red states, just do not realize that no matter who you are, how "respectable" you are, how wealthy or well-connected you are, you can potentially fall victim to rape. What is even scarier is that 75% of the respondents in Shelton's study reported having some experience counseling rape victims. Imagine all the damage the more fundamentalist and conservative clergy can do when their message is "suck it up, it's your fault for getting raped" as if the rapist was an instrument of God's "just" punishment. That's the message my friend received from her pastor, that it was her fault for "putting herself in that situation." So she had to do penance and is an outcast in her own church all for the "crime" of being date-raped.

Opponents said the Senate measure could threaten the safety of girls, saying parents might beat their daughters if they find out about plans for an abortion. The proponents' approach "is not to deal with the reality of young people" in troubled families, said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.). He cited the case of an Idaho man who impregnated his 13-year-old daughter and then killed her when he learned she had scheduled an abortion.

In this sick world, the worst thing was not that the father impregnated his own daughter or that he later killed her, no of course not. It was that the daughter was seeking an abortion. I wonder if they would come out and condemn the father for this brutal act of murder just as they would condemn this girl whom they probably believe "had it coming to her" and now is "burning in hell for even considering having an abortion." In this sick world, it is not important to preserve the well-being of a rape or incest victim but to punish her for her crime, her crime of obviously bringing on the rape by leading the rapist on. It is to punish her for something completely out of her control because she must not have subscribed to their harsh standards of morality. It is the same mentality that leads them to condemn the cervical cancer vaccine which they see as one of Satan's wiles to further the sexification of America by giving girls and women who are obviously immoral naïve children who need to be discipline, the innocent belief that sex can have no consequences. It is the same mentality which leads them to advocate abstinence education which has been proven by studies that it does not work in reducing the rate of teen pregnancy.

With all the condemnation these clergymen heap upon rape victims, have they condemned any Republicans who have been documented abusing and raping minors themselves? Have they condemned the members of God's Own Party who sexually harass women and molest children? The silence is deafening and speaks volumes just as it does when they speak out against helping rape victims but rather condemning them.

In conclusion,

Some of these Fundamentalist clergy believe that rapists should be protected or at least should not receive as much condemnation as his victim.

Some of these Fundamentalist Clergy believe that rapists are instruments of God's just wrath, the belief in a just world theory.

Some of these Fundamentalist Clergy believe that a rape victim is no better than a whore who had it coming to her.

Some of these Fundamentalist Clergy believe that rape and incest victims were enjoying their own rapes and could never be psychologically damaged.

Some of these Fundamentalist Clergy believe that if your mother or your daughter was raped, she should not be comforted but rather condemned, scorned, and made into an outcast in the community.

Some of these Fundamentalist Clergy believe that if you're raped, you should heap self-blame upon yourself and do penance.

Some of these Fundamentalist Clergy believe that they have the right if they work at a pharmacy or hospital to judge if you're a Christian virgin and deserve an abortion.

Some of these Fundamentalist Clergy believe that they alone are the arbiters of morality in America and are the only ones with expertise in deciding who gets the morning-after pill or the cervical cancer vaccine.

Yes, maybe I am overgeneralizing based on what my friend experienced and what the commenter has called me out on I admit, and I apologize for the harsh rhetoric born out of intense frustration and emotion, but some of these people hold these views. It's no accident that my friend's church shunned her after they heard...

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

1500-year old Byzantine port discovered

As a Classics major, this highly interests me. Maybe I should have continued on in Classics...

Thank you, o mighty Felines! Thank you for revealing the port. May we offer you some sashimi as an offering?

Monday, July 24, 2006

But what if Inhofe was right?

<thinks for a moment, and then finally sees the light!>

But let's be straight here. I'm glad Senator Inhofe is fighting the biggest threat to America today, a threat unprecedented in our short but illustrious history. A threat that threatens to consume this country and blighten all that makes it great. We survived the Civil War when those plantation owners got all uppity and decided their military upbringing was to be used for treason. We survived World War II fought by the greatest generation. We survived the prior greatest threat to our nation, the Clenis and its unholy blight which threatened to extinguish the light of our children's souls.

But this threat, my friends, the Fourth Reich, may finally destroy this country. What if the Environmentalists commit terrorist acts such as blowing up dams just to prove that global warming is real? What if Michael Crichton's book was a prophecy? What if Hurricane Katrina was caused by Crichton's enviro-terrorists who wanted to show the world that global warming was for real? What if that sham hearing Inhofe presided over was to discuss strategy to defeat these terrorists?

What if these scientists and environmentalists are modern-day Telchines who were said to wield the powers of storms and the snows?
It is said that these men were sorcerers and that they could induce clouds and rains and hailstorms whenever they wanted, and similarly bring on snows. They say that they did this just like the mages do.
- Diodorus 5.55
What if they are modern-day versions of Empedocles?
And thou shalt master every drug that e'er
Was made defense 'gainst sickness and old age—
For thee alone all this I will fulfil—
And thou shalt calm the might of tireless winds,
That burst on earth and ruin seedlands; aye,
And if thou wilt, shalt thou arouse the blasts,
And watch them take their vengeance, wild and shrill,
For that before thou cowedst them. Thou shalt change
Black rain to drought, at seasons good for men,
And the long drought of summer shalt thou change
To torrents, nourishing the mountain trees,
As down they stream from ether. And thou shalt
From Hades beckon the might of perished men.
- Empedocles, fragment 111, translated by William Ellery Leonard
Folks, this is the dire threat that Senator Inhofe is bravely attempting to counter to save us Americans from storms, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, heat waves, blizzards, etc. So please join with me in proclaiming them Nazis and members of the Fourth Reich in the hopes that they would be cowed by the Nazi talk, because who wants to be called a Nazi? Let us proclaim a paean which shall include those immortal words, "GO FUCK YOURSELF" that will rise up to the heavens and summon lightning that will burn these environazis to a crisp, leaving behind the sweet smell of burnt flesh and ozone.

Bush and his cronies are right in forgetting Bin Laden! Who gives a fuck about him when we have mage-terrorists on our own shores who are bringing about more intense hurricanes to prove their point and to brainwash the sheep into believing that Bush is bringing the world to an end? In fact, we will turn their magic against them! We shall mix Stygian water with sulfur and then blast them with it. This should kill them instantly. Or we could always have Pat Robertson call down lightning and meteors from heaven if we're too lazy to do the job...

In fact the Environazis have tried to attack us before. Remember the Exxon Valdez spill and all the outrage it produced? Well everyone knows that environmentalist terrorists need pristine pure water to produce their flood magic which they intended to use to flood the coasts to prove that the polar ice caps are melting and that sea levels are rising all due to global warming. Well the Exxon Valdez's captain defiled poured a libation of oil into the water and this foiled their dire plot. To add insult to injury, the environmentalists want to make EXXON PAY for this selfless act of protection!

Senator Inhofe compares scientists and environmentalists to Nazis.

From Senate Majority Project's Outrageous Quote of the Day
In Saturday's Tulsa World, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, reiterated his stated belief that global warming is "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" by comparing it to the lies told by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

It kind of reminds . . . I could use the Third Reich, the big lie," Inhofe said
Last time, I checked, the environmentalist movement and the scientists who are treated as Cassandras by Republican senators not willing to acknowledge their studies, did not commit mass murder of 11 million Jews and other "undesirables." Last time, I checked, the environmentalists did not use science to perform horrific experiments on people Dr. Mengele style. Last time I checked the environmentalist movement did not invade a country based on a false pretense of invasion by Polish "soldiers." Last time I checked the environmentalist movement did not attempt to dominate the world.

But Inhofe doesn't care about history. He doesn't care about historical accuracy because history's probably full of liberal bias anyway. He's probably one of the guys who fell asleep in his history class because either he didn't agree with the obvious liberally-biased teacher who trashed conservatives and right-wingers or he just didn't care. But let me ask you this. Doesn't it make your heart feel all warm and cuddly knowing that a powerful Republican senator is validating the right's hateful rhetoric against environmentalists? Doesn't it make you touched that a powerful politician is resorting to the same rhetoric that hate-talk radio is using to inspire its listeners to commit acts of vandalism?

Folks, this is your senator from Oklahoma. What a national disgrace and befitting for a special place in Kitty Hell where the devil kitties will breathe fire upon his room, slowly warming it until he cannot bear it anymore and repents.

Station KGEZ had been vilifying environmental activists for nearly a year with labels like "Green Nazis" and "The Fourth Reich." Blaming them for economic downturns in the local logging and aluminum smelting industries, the station also broadcast names of local conservationists -- and, in some cases, their home addresses -- as well as the names of some businesses that donated to conservation groups.

Those named on the air had their cars vandalized and received hundreds of harassing telephone calls, some of which included broad threats to kill environmentalists. Bumper stickers with green swastikas or the slogan "Just Say No to the Green Nazis" started appearing on some of their doors.
"Nobody elected the Fourth Reich, the green Nazis, the environmentalists."
- John Stokes, conservative talk-show host in Montana
Typical right-wing inciting of hate, wouldn't you say with their infamous campaigns of listing the addresses and personal information of people on their enemy list? Is it just me or is the majority of these incidents of hate mail and death threats the property of the right?
Acts of vandalism also were committed after he publicized names of local businesses that had contributed to an environmental group. One brewery owner, for instance, found a green swastika plastered on his business. Mr. Stokes believes someone other than his followers perpetrated those acts to make him look bad.
Right, here goes the victimization mentality again! Don't blame my listeners, blame the Environazis who wanted to discredit me by vandalizing the property of their allies.

So Senator Inhofe, is vandalism against those whom you perceive as members of the Fourth Reich just a part of the American way? Oh, by the way, I wonder how Senator McCain feels like being compared to Hitler by a member of his own PARTY? He just sent me a petition on global warming today.

The Victimization Mentality and Bush's Civil Rights Division Part 2

Edit: To conclude, as someone in the Mike MALLOY Boards pointed out, this is affirmative action for conservative right-wing loyalists to which I add that this is just another example of the hypocrisy right-wingers pontificate when it comes to affirmative action. They condemn it while practicing it.

Case point:

Jon Greenbaum , who was a career attorney in the voting rights section from 1997 to 2003, said that since the hiring change, candidates with conservative ties have had an advantage.

So now, it is the conservatives who have been oppressed by those damn liberals who took advantage of the "affirmative action" to stack the division. So in order to balance things out, to even out the "wrongs" that liberals have inflicted upon the conservatives, it's time to use affirmative action itself to bolster unqualified right-wing hacks who do not have an interest in fighting civil rights violations for minorities. Such is the world of the Litterbox where the worst resident in our history can take over the White House ironically due to what Mike Malloy calls the "white man's affirmative action."

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Victimization Mentality and Bush's Civil Rights Division

As the hiring of right-wing partisan hacks for positions in the Civil Rights Division has been documented by pontificator, it is my interest in analyzing the justifications given by these right-wing hacks. It is my belief that they are using the language of affirmative action and turning it upside down to justify turning the Civil Rights Division into nothing more than the old Spoils System which got a president assassinated in 1881.

Quotes are from Charlie Savage's article in the Boston Globe

The Bush administration denies that its changes to the hiring procedures have political overtones. Cynthia Magnuson, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said the division had no ``litmus test" for hiring. She insisted that the department hired only ``qualified attorneys."

Magnuson also objected to measuring civil rights experience by participation in organizations devoted to advancing traditional civil rights causes. She noted that many of the division's lawyers had been clerks for federal judges, where they ``worked on litigation involving constitutional law, which is obviously relevant to a certain degree."
Qualified attorneys in Bushspeak means lawyers who would toe the Bush line, lawyers who would not question the Bush Administration and its ideology. “Qualified attorneys” means that the lawyer must be a conservative, preferably a member of the ultra-conservative Federalist Society, an attorney willing to put ideology over results even though this is what they project onto liberals. They are implying that the career attorneys whom they label as liberals are not qualified and only got in due to a system which favors “less-qualified” liberals than “qualified” conservatives, i.e. affirmative action for liberals! However, Magnuson exposes the Bush Administration’s penchant for disdaining lawyers who have participated in civil rights organizations by saying that you don’t need experience in such areas, just clerking for a federal judge means you’re obviously well qualified to handle civil rights violations.
Other defenders of the Bush administration say there is nothing improper about the winner of a presidential election staffing government positions with like-minded officials. And, they say, the old career staff at the division was partisan in its own way -- an entrenched bureaucracy of liberals who did not support the president's view of civil rights policy.

But Roger Clegg , who was a deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights during the Reagan administration, said that the change in career hiring is appropriate to bring some ``balance" to what he described as an overly liberal agency.
Notice how the Bush administration always falls back to the four-letter L word, liberal. It’s not our fault, there was a liberal bias in the Civil Rights Division that needed to be addressed. We were only trying to put some balance into the division to counter this bias. We needed people who would work with the Bush Administration, not try to obstruct it like the liberals in Congress always do. This is nothing more than the old liberals do not get anything done, but can only obstruct a “fairly-elected” government who speaks for the “will of the people” and believes in the rule of law game. If Bush has a view of civil rights policy, it’s to fan the flames of those who believe that liberals are out to get them, mainly whites who feel that they are the victims of reverse discrimination and Christians who believe that the atheist liberal, Democratic swine are out to crucify them.

It should be obvious to anyone with an astute interest in politics by now. Balance to conservatives means not 50% liberals, 50% conservatives, they could care less about achieving fairness even though fairness is such a feel-good word. We all want fairness in life, whether it’s fairness in sharing or in opportunity, but fairness to these conservatives is just another way to hide an agenda that seeks total domination. Balance means 100% conservatives who toe the line of the Litterbox Administration. Even though conservatives and right-wingers make up the majority of the hosts and panelists on the television talk shows, they always end up complaining about a liberal bias. This could only mean that they would not be satisfied until the liberal voice is completely drowned out. In the Civil Rights Division, conservatives won’t be satisfied until every liberal attorney is forced out only to be replaced by a conservative. After all, didn’t the Bush Administration “win” the election? Don’t they have the right to play the Spoils System? Doesn’t Bush have the right to fire all the liberals in the division and replace them with loyalists fair and balanced conservatives who will enforce the law without letting ideology get into the way? (Oh, by the way, is it just me or is the Civil Rights division too important to be placed at the whim of the Spoils System? A president was ASSASSINATED because he did not hire one of the guys who thought he should be rewarded.)
Robert Driscoll , a deputy assistant attorney general over the division from 2001 to 2003, said many of the longtime career civil rights attorneys wanted to bring big cases on behalf of racial groups based on statistical disparities in hiring, even without evidence of intentional discrimination. Conservatives, he said, prefer to focus on cases that protect individuals from government abuses of power.
Hiring only lawyers from civil rights groups would ``set the table for a permanent left-wing career class," Driscoll said.
Notice how Driscoll is trying to play into the lawyers = bad, liberals = bad argument the administration and its cronies in the media always like to trumpet to everyone willing to hear. By implying that the Civil Rights Division is nothing more than affirmative action for liberals who obviously are not qualified and advance ideology over results (as if right-wingers did not), Driscoll is playing the liberals are trying to take over everything game with the implication that it is the fault of the vast left-wing conspiracy that your lives are so miserable. He is implying that there is no problem of disparities in hiring, even though Al Franken notes that employers are 50% less likely to call back a person with an African-American sounding name like Tanisha or Tyrone than a person with a name like Frank or Nancy. Driscoll is implying that this is just hype and a scare campaign in that liberals are coddling and fostering what he considers is the African-American’s victim-mentality when the real victims are not who you think they are and that the government has just created a problem and overhyped it.
The academic credentials of the lawyers hired into the division also underwent a shift at this time, the documents show. Attorneys hired by the career hiring committees largely came from Eastern law schools with elite reputations, while a greater proportion of the political appointees' hires instead attended Southern and Midwestern law schools with conservative reputations.

Driscoll, the former division chief-of-staff, insisted that everyone he personally had hired was well qualified. And, he said, the old hiring committees' prejudice in favor of highly ranked law schools had unfairly blocked many qualified applicants.
Translation: The old way of hiring discriminated against Southern and Midwestern law schools which had a more conservative reputation in favor of the liberal, elitist law schools of the East. What we did was to end the practice of affirmative action for these elitist schools in our hiring practices.

The Bush Administration is sending a dangerous message that says that racial discrimination is a thing of the past and now the oppressed have become the oppressor. It is more important to prove that whites are being discriminated against and that Christians are being oppressed than to protect the civil rights of blacks and other minorities. In fact, I see Bush’s vision of a Civil Rights Division as nothing more than a divider meant to rile the emotions of those who are angry at the progress minorities have made under civil rights legislation and those who are angry at a government they see as increasingly falling under the dire influence of Satanic, Democratic, liberal, progressive swine. By focusing on cases such as these, the Bush Administration tries to project the role of oppressor onto the historically-oppressed, implying that once again conservatives who want to just do an honest job are victimized once again by a system of affirmative action which favors liberals who want to advance the notion that America is bad and racist.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Bush isn't against stem-cell research, it depends on who does it...

I would like to address the fact that Bush doesn't lift a finger about private stem cell research companies that conduct OMG, embryonic stem-cell research!

But I thought Bush was against stem-cell research. Did he not say that
"It crosses a moral boundary that our decent society needs to respect, so I vetoed it," he said on Wednesday.

"This bill would support the taking of innocent human life of the hope of finding medical benefits for others."

George W Bush

He is just so pro-life, isn't he? Did he not ban the use of federal funds to promote embryonic stem cell research? So is embryonic stem cell research banned in the United States? Not if Big Pharma and its corporations are involved. In fact, to top it all off, the Republicans get MONEY from these very same companies conducting research many of them are supposedly morally against!

To demonstrate my point, here's a revealing quote from a recent BBC article

But Graeme Laurie, an expert in the legal side of medicine from Edinburgh University, said there was an "underlying hypocrisy" in Mr Bush's position.

"The stated reason for President Bush's objection to embryonic stem cell research is that 'murder is wrong'; why then does he not intervene to regulate or ban [embryonic] stem cell research carried out with private funds and which is happening across the US?" he asked.

"It is a strange morality indeed that pins the moral status and life of the embryo on the question of who is paying for the research."

Now, here's another article from a year ago...

A handful of large companies in the U.S. began pursuing embryonic stem cell research, sparking protests from some Christian stockholders who say such methods are unethical.

According to an April 12 article by the Wall Street Journal, several companies, including Johnson & Johnson, General Electronic and Invitrogen Corp., have already initiated research programs or have plans to use stem cells for studies that range from testing drugs to developing new transplant treatments.

Big companies have largely avoided the stem-cell debate at least until recent years for fear of drawing "fire from religious groups and other opponents," according to the Journal. To date, research using stem cells have been pioneered by university laboratories and a few privately owned biotech companies.

Now I realize that the article is a year old, but this article is highly relevant today especially when coupled with Graeme Laurie's quote as it shows the point that Bush when it comes to private companies and corporations will forsake his so-called morals for the sake of profit. However, should we not take this and turn it around to further attack the Republicans? Should we not drive a wedge into their constituents? Should we not play the "divide-and-conquer" game the Republicans play with us pitting the corporations against the Religious Right?

Debi Vinnegdge, Executive Director of Children of God for Life, encouraged others to contact the companies "at once" and voice "complaint and threaten a boycott!"

Meanwhile, David Prentice, a senior fellow at the Family Research Council in Washington, told the Journal that such protests are quite possible.

"Because of the moral issue, many of us would not want it funded at either the federal or the private level," Prentice said.

Another article from Medical News Today

However, some companies are attempting to keep a "low profile" over their involvement with embryonic stem cells, according to the Journal. A Journal survey of the 12 largest drug firms by sales showed several previously undisclosed research projects involving embryonic stem cells, although many firms denied involvement with stem cells and had policies against such research.

If I have to say about the Christian activists and stockholders protesting these private companies, it is that I give them credit for being consistent. However, should they not hold their so-called God's Own Party representatives responsible? Why did not President Bush call out the companies that are conducting embryonic stem-cell research? Why did he not mention them in his statement concerning the veto? Why did he not call for banning funding for stem-cell research, federal AND private? How come Senator Brownback did not come out against private companies conducting research? How come did he not include them in his snowflake photo-op presentation? Could it be that Brownback is not willing to push his standards of morality on those big corporations that have undertaken stem cell research?

Now it is a pie-in-the-sky dream for me, but seeing dengre make the excellent point that forced abortions probably contributed to Ralph Reed's defeat, could it be possible that we can turn private stem cell research against the Republicans too? The Republicans love to pretend that they are the party of morality, the party of life, but their actions are quite far from this standard. Isn't it time that Democrats call them out on this hypocrisy? If the Dems can capitalize on the veto, could they not add more fuel to the fire by attacking them on another front, perhaps to alienate the fundamentalist base the Republicans count so heavily on?

I don't claim to have the answers, but here goes... Let us have the Democrats point out that Bush has done NOTHING, absolutely NOTHING to curb the corporations who are undertaking stem cell research, including the embryonic kind. Does this mean that Bush will forsake his morals if it goes against a corporation's wish to exploit a technology for future profit? Have the Democrats ask this question. Make the fundies think before they blindly press the screen or pull the lever for Bush. The Republicans have done an excellent job of making voters second-guess any Democratic candidate and are exceptionally adept in cowering the Democrats into the defensive. It's about time we put THEM on the defensive too in more than one front in the debate. It's about time we show these fundamentalist theocrats and their base that they are only second at the trough and are as John Aravosis points out the crazy aunt the Republicans love to shut up in the attic when company comes calling. Let's show them that Bush and Brownback's opposition to stem-cell research is only token opposition that does not dare offend Big Pharma and other companies that could stand to make a future profit off stem-cell research. What would it take for a Senator Feingold or Senator Edwards to call out the Republicans on their hypocrisy when it comes to so-called family values?

What would the Republicans' response be? That the Democrats have no morality to speak out on this issue because they're not God's Own PARTY? Who cares? We should stop caring what the Republicans think about our campaign strategy and take it to their home-field. We've backed down every time the Republicans complained, the latest example being the DNCC ad featuring the flag-draped coffins, but we have not held them responsible for ANYTHING. It's about time this changes now.

Some companies found on this website

Geron Corporation
230 Constitution Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025 USA

Telephone: 650-473-7700
Fax: 650-473-7750

On its front page...

Geron is a Menlo Park, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical company that is developing and intends to commercialize first-in-class therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer and degenerative diseases, including spinal cord injury, heart failure, diabetes and HIV/AIDS. The products are based on Geron's core expertise in telomerase and human embryonic stem cells.

Advanced Cell Technologies, Inc.
One Innovation Drive, Biotech Three
Worcester, Mass. 48105 USA
Telephone: (508) 756-1212
Fax: (508) 756-4468

We are a biotechnology company focused on developing and commercializing human stem cell technology in the emerging field of regenerative medicine.

I wonder what the fundamentalists have to say about THAT?! I mean could this be another example of the National Litterbox Administration seemingly delivering on a pro-life issue but not really doing a thing to lift a finger on it?

O btw, CATS love us...especially Chloe.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Prohibition of Shellfish Amendment

Section 1. After one year from the ratification of this article the sale, or transportation of shellfish, including clam, mussel, oyster, winkle, scallop, shrimp, prawn, crayfish, crab, and lobster, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for consumption purposes is hereby prohibited.

Section 2. The Congress, the churches, and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Section 3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution with a simple majority in Congress as this is the law of Leviticus and therefore trumps secular law. The States will have no say in this matter as we must act to enforce God’s Law immediately.

Section 4. Those found in violation of this amendment shall be placed on death row without trial and executed in a swift and fair manner, by stoning.

Section 5. The constitutionality of this amendment will not be in the jurisdiction of the courts as God is higher than any liberal court.

Section 6. To enforce this law, a new police force which will be trained in Biblical law shall hereby be instituted. It shall be named Tribulation Force in honor of the
Left Behind series.

Section 7. All restaurants featuring shellfish will have 10 days to comply with the amendment after it is ratified by Congress or risk seizure by the Tribulation Force.

In honor of the Republicans' devotion to the Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance to the FELINE KINGDOM and to the CATS who protect kingdom under the goddess and Chloe, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all!

Really, they really love the pledge and aren't trying to use it as a political prop...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Why don't the Republicans just pass a law that states Bush is a wartime-president and can do anything he wants?

And so much for Law and Order Republicans...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Found this on Atrios

I found this on Atrios: he does an excellent job in disproving the notion that Hillary was attacking her fellow Democrats when she was really attacking as John Aravosis points out, the "do-nothing" Republican Congress.

I know that we tend to roll our eyes at history thinking, "Why should we study the exploits of dead white men?" (as my History 4C professor would say, not the why should we study part). However, there are lessons we can learn from history so that we do not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Rewind back to the middle of the century, the year is 1948. The 80th Congress, made up of Republicans has just alienated many interest groups such as farmers amd especially labor. After all, back then Congress' priorities included the highly unpopular Taft-Hartley Law or as Truman called it, the "slave-labor" law which included allowing states to ban the closed shop through the passage of "right-to-work: laws, forbidding unions from contributing to political campaigns (funny, how that was considered bad but Big Money wasn't), calling for an 80-day cooling-off period in strikes that threatened national security (there goes that word again, but the Republicans could potentially point out that EVERY strike threatened national security). President Truman asked Congress for stronger price supports for farmers, but the 80th Congress responded by weakening them. He asked them for national health insurance, but they of course refused. Public housing funding and aiding public education were deemed not as priorities that the 80th Congress should persue. Antilynching, anti-poll tax, and fair employment legislation fell by the wayside along with increased unemployment comp and the minimum wage. Everything that TRUMAN proposed, Congress spit in his face by rejecting them.

The cocky Republicans believed that they had the 1948 election in the bag. After all, the Democratic Party was badly split as segregations defected to form the States RIghts Democratic Party while Progressives saw Henry Wallace as their savior. It looked glum for the Democrats and Thomas Dewey, the Republican nominee confidently predicted victory. Instead of rolling over and playing dead like many of our Democrats do (witness the DCCC ad debacle where the Democrats were intimidated into pulling their ad down while Republican (naturally) Senator Dewine continues to exploit 9/11 images for yes, a political ad. BY the way, when will HE be held accountable? Of course not, the Democrats won't do a thing.), Truman went on the offensive. He called the GOP Congress into a special session and dared them to enact all the planks in their platform, but the GOP Congress did nothing. Truman then went across the nation by train condemning the "do-nothing" 80th Congress.

Well, we're in the 109th Congress right now, and yes, things are different, I admit. Instead, we have a hostile press that deems it its duty to print Republican talking points as if it were the Gospel Truth while simultaneously twisting and taking out of context quotes by Democrats. For example, the New York Times which is supposedly considered liberal by the Litterbox Right starts an article with this propaganda gem which can be found on Atrios' site.

Anyone reading this quote in its FULL CONTEXT can see that Mrs. Clinton is talking about the GOP-Dominated Congress which thinks our priorities involve destroying the middle-class while satisfying the rabid hunger of Jerry Falwell and his ilk. The similarities are the 80th Congress and 109th Congress are basically both do-nothing Congresses. Sure, the 109th Congress is quick to act when they sniff an opportunity to pander to the Religious Right such as in the Terri Schiavo case or when it comes to issues like gay marriage which causes the Rapture Right to come barking, foaming at the mouth. You never saw the National Litterbox rush to Washington when he was warned on an August 6, 2001 memo basically declaring that Osama was intent in attacking the United States INSIDE OUR BORDERS. You never saw him rush back when Hurricane Katrina struck. You never saw him Instead of doing something about rising gas prices and reducing our addiction to oil, the GOP Congress thinks that we want to waste our time on issues such as gay marriage and flag-burning. Well according to this poll, the BIGGEST concern we have is Iraq (24%) while the economy is a close 2nd (23%).

What has the Congress accomplished of significance for middle-class citizens? Well, let's see the flag-burning amendment which came up short of the necessary 2/3 votes. Can't see how that affects the middle-class. An energy bill! OMG it'll lower gas prices, right? Wrong, even its supporters said it wouldn't immediately. Basically the GOP Congress thought that the middle-class' top priority or one of them included in giving the oil and gas industry major subsidies that they don't need. Apparently they thought we really wanted our tax dollars to go into such endeavors instead of conservation and renewable energy. A bankruptcy bill that rewards the banking industry at the expense of those who might fall into bankruptcy due to medical emergencies or a death in the family...Yeah, I'm sure the middle-class wanted to be told by holier-than-thou bastards that they were shiftless and lazy and should get another job even though they had to spend a good portion of their money on surgery, because well people should have taken personal responsibility in not getting injured or sick. The Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 which basically was a payback scheme to the asbestos industry and the tobacco industry because it's really your damn fault you were exposed to asbestos even though you didn't know it...Yeah, this helps us.

(Now, let's give Congress credit for passing the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act which prohibits protests 300 feet away from the cemetery an hour before and after a funeral with a fine of $100k and up to a year imprisonment and H.R. 539: Caribbean National Forest Act of 2005.)

We need MORE Democrats denouncing the GOP-dominated Congress for neglecting the nation's top priorities. We need them to be like Harry Truman was in that MAJOR Upset he pulled off in 1948 by telling ordinary Americans that the GOP Congress' priorities don't match theirs and that instead it is in the pockets of big business. Of course, the Republicans have their wild card, a media which is not willing to chronicle Democratic complaints about the cronyism and willing to distort everything that Democrats say while allowing Republicans to say anything without holding them accountable.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

The Army and Sexual Harassment

From the Miles Foundation:
Recent estimates suggest that sexual assault in the military is experienced by three percent of female servicemembers, according to a recent survey released by the Department of Defense.-Armed Forces 2002 Sexual Harassment Survey, 2004. An earlier study conducted by the Defense Manpower Center indicated that 6 percent of female respondents and 1 percent of male respondents were victims of actual or attempted rape.-Department of Defense Sexual Harassment Survey, 1995.

~The prevalence of adult sexual assault among female veterans has been estimated as high as 41%.-Prevalence of physical and sexual abuse in women veterans, Military Medicine, 1996; Factors associated with women's risk of rape in the military, Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2003; and Prevalence of military sexual assault, Interpersonal Violence, 2000.

Thirty-seven percent of women who reported a rape or attempted rape had been raped more than once; fourteen percent of the victims reported having been gang raped.-Factors associated with women's risk of rape in the military, Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2003.

We live in a culture that tends to blame rape victims for their own rapes. We judge them as sluts and loose whores who got what they deserved because no respectable woman would have "put herself" in that situation to be raped. I discussed this in an earlier post about the prevaling attitudes from people from the clergy to ordinary people like us, but it's about time we talk about the army and sexual assualt.

Specialist Suzanne Swift was prepositioned for sex by three sergeants during her first tour of duty in Iraq. Subsequently she was sexually assualted and later refused to redeploy to Iraq for a second tour, instead staying in Oregon. She was arrested and could be COURT-MARTIALED, all because she wanted to escape her sexual tormentors. She is now being held in Fort Lewis, Idaho, not allowed out of the base to go see her mother. Spc. Swift should be LAUDED for her willingness to stand up to the armed forces' culture of sexism (now I'm not saying all our soldiers are but I am discussing the Pentagon's willingness to look the other way when it comes to sexual assualt and rape.) Anyone who believes that women soldiers should be treated with the respect any soldier deserves for fighting for his or her country knows that her going AWOL was justified because how can one live with the threat of impending rape hanging over her head? How can a soldier to borrow Jerry Falwell's infamous phrase, face two different enemies, one from the front and one from the rear?"

If ANYONE should be court-martialed, it should be those who sexually assualted Army Specialist Swift. By not holding those who commit such despicable acts responsible or by dragging its feet when it comes to such issues, the Army sends a message to the women in the armed forces that they are no better than sexual toys to be used at the whim of any soldier who wishes to. This is a despicable message and implies that she is responsible for her sexual assualt and that her going AWOL is a worse crime. It sends the message that to the Army, our soldiers are nothing more than cannon fodder while doing nothing about the sexual abuse our women in the military undergo. It sends the message that a female soldier is valued less than a male soldier, perhaps that one woman equals 3/5 of a man (here we go again!). Hopefully the Army is acting upon it but it speaks volumes such that it takes an outcry to get the Army acting. One cannot blame her for going without leave after all the abuse she underwent, but it seems that the Army does not care only as long as she sucks it up and goes back to Iraq. I suggest that the Army take a look at Post-Traumatic Syndrome Disorder and take it more seriously.

Please go to the petition site to show solidarity with this courageous soldier...

When Republicans talk about relief for the consumer especially when it comes to gas prices,

they like most of the pro-drilling people out there are talking about is more relief for Big Oil. They say that drilling in our coastal waters will drive prices down. Well, didn't they say that invading Iraq would drive prices down? Bush's senior economic advisor Laurence Lindsey specifically said, “The key issue is oil, and a regime change in Iraq would facilitate an increase in world oil,” which would drive down oil prices, giving the U.S. economy an added boost. DIdn't they say that with Iraqi oil flooding the market, prices would plummet and that we would pay a dollar a gallon like the days of old before this OIL ADMINISTRATION came to power? Well, we all know what happened. We're paying a dollar alright, for a 1/3 OF A GALLON. Perhaps what he really meant to say was that it would facilitate an increase in profits.

The Republicans know that their true agenda is to do anything that benefits Big Oil and their other corporate masters which is why they have to mask their intentions by using populist rhetoric. No one likes to pay high prices at the pump and no one wants to subsidize Big Oil. Just like how they sold fear, they are using fear of higher gas prices to try to push their pro-Big Oil agenda. Why does Big Oil need more profits? Why do Republicans think that the combined $63.8 billion in profits for ExxonMOBIL, Chevron and ConocoPhillips isn't enough? $63.8 billion. We would have to earn at least $30.6 million an hour to make that full time in a year.

THE damage coastal drilling does to our waters is staggering. According to a letter I received from the Sierra Club, 500 GALLONS a day are spilled off our coasts. Think of all the damage that does to our marine wildlife. Think of all the damage it does to the fish we eat. We could invest in renewable energy sources but that would cause a ruckus in the ranks of Big Oil and they would come to complain to their slaves in the White House and Capitol Hill about how they're being so OPPRESSED by the Fourth Reich (the right's term for environmentalists).

Republicans think that they can fool you into believing that opening up ANWR and our coastal waters would bring back the days when gas was under a dollar. Hell it was $1.40 in the early years of the Bush Administration and many of us complained that even THAT was too much. Now we're paying $3.00 for one gallon. Republicans think that they can fool you with $100 rebate gimmicks which will only go to Big Oil anyway as we would have used them for more gas, which shows you how much contempt they have for you, the ordinary voter. They think that Congressional Pay Raises are MUCH more important than raising the minimum wage, because well it's so hard to live on a 6-figure income and they do SO much work. (Hell, CRY me a river, assholes.)

Their solution? Blame the DEMOCRATS. It's their fault that gas prices are SO high! It's their fault that they won't let the righteous oil companies drill and rape our lands. It's their fault that gas isn't a dollar. Do you remember the oil rebate they were pushing in the Senate? John Thune (R-SD, naturally) said "A lot of these other things we're talking about today, supply, like ANWR, have had Democrats oppose them in the past, when gas was $1.25, $1.50. Gas is now $3. "I would expect that there would be a lot more bipartisan support for proposals that would increase supply in this country." Well the Republicans had their chance. They said that Operation Iraq Liberation I mean Freedom would drive oil prices down. Well gas is now $3, to take the senator's words. Let us not fall for this shell game again with the SAME rhetoric as coastal and ANWR oil would not be available until 2013 at the latest and if you think that'll instantly cause gas to drop below $1.50 you're a fool and no wonder why the Bush Administration loves you so much.

Besides, when the Republicans came out and said they would support repealing incentives to Big Oil, they knew that the oil executives had declared that they didn't NEED anymore incentives. So it was safe for them to go out and spew their populist rhetoric which attempted to say, "We're actually trying to rein in Big Oil before they go out of control." That was the ONLY reason, otherwise they would not have done anything about it.

Republicans must think that the word consumer means big oil executives...because they use the consumer word a lot.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Look what these Chimpeviks have turned our country into...

U.S. vows to comply with Geneva Conventions.

Truly a sad day when an AP headline has to point out that we will "vow" to follow the treaty we signed. Truly a sad day when that headline shows how far we have plummeted in the Age of the Litterbox. Truly a sad day when we have become a nation that tortures while simultaneously condemning human rights abuses everywhere. My question is "What makes us different?"

Saturday, July 08, 2006

It seems as if Republicans don't give a SHIT about the "will of the people" or the "law of the land"

Those terms are "shorthand for good and bad," said Tony Perkins, the group's president. "Good in that he understands the role of the court is not to create law. That's good. Activist, that's bad."

"Not legislating from the bench to our people means that he will not try to take on the job of the Congress," said William J. Murray, president of the Religious Freedom Coalition, a national evangelical advocacy group.

Once again, President Bush has confounded his critics by doing what he said he would do. He has nominated to the Supreme Court someone he believes will not make law from the bench, but interpret laws in light of the Constitution as the Founders wrote it.
- Cal Thomas

These are quotes from right-wingers when Bush put forth Roberts as his nominee for Chief Justice and judging by them, it seems as if Judicial Activism is primarily the domain of liberal activist judges who want to destroy our supposed Christian nation by rewriting law to fit their “immoral” atheist world-view. If you were to believe those on the right, you would think that it was a vast-liberal conspiracy to usurp the rein of power from those godly, patriotic conservatives fighting to make our country great. You would think that liberal activist judges were plotting to overextend the reach of the judicial branch into our very lives, threatening the balance of power, when it is the executive branch, the Imperial Presidency that threatens to do the very same, making the legislative branch impotent and useless as Bush ignores the very laws Congress passes and reserves the right to decide HIMSELF whether laws are unconstitutional or not. You’d think that conservative judges were only looking out for the country’s best interests by strictly adhering to precedent.

But let’s get it straight. Conservatives hailed Roberts as someone who wouldn’t legislate from the bench like those damn liberals always did. They said he would be fair and show restraint. Roberts himself said that he would show “judicial modesty.” HE would RESPECT the WILL OF THE PEOPLE and the LAW OF THE LAND by not CREATING new law. But as the article points out, this judge is nothing more than a servant to Big Business and the core-constituents of the GOP. Perhaps, what we should really call Roberts a Judicial Servant, a judicial FLUNKY, which is defined on as a “A person of slavish or unquestioning obedience; a lackey,” a judicial LACKEY (defined as “a servile follower; a toady”). I don’t care what we call them, but we should get into the framing argument too, Lakoff style. They call our guys judicial activists, let’s point out their slavishness to corporations and conservative causes. Let’s point out that Roberts has decided that well judicial modesty is only for cases where conservative interests are threatened by the plaintiffs. Let’s point out that he will show his judicial modesty when it comes to helping the average American who doesn’t earn a six-seven-figure income.

Let’s ask the average American Joe if he wants labor protections struck down by an ultra-conservative court? Let’s ask the average Joe if he wants environmental protections struck down in the name of unholy profit? Let’s ask the average Joe if he wants a court beholden to Bush’s dream of a police state where dissent is not tolerated and free speech goes down the drain unless Bush and his minions approve of it? Perhaps we should follow Lakoff’s advice and frame it as a family values issue since family values is apparently the domain of conservatives because as he argues the conservatives have framed it as being exclusively on the right. Perhaps instead of going through awkward 150-page explanations which no one is going to read, we should try this family values thing. Does your family value privacy? Does your family want their phone calls monitored? What if your conversations are extremely personal? Is it a family value to allow corporations and factories to pollute the air OUR CHILDREN breathe, the water OUR CHILDREN drink, etc.?

Which brings me to my point about Republicans and respecting the people's decision expressed in the vote...
These liberal activist judges decided that their personal support of gay marriage was more important than the will of the people and the law of the land.
It seems that Republicans only respect the will of the people if they can get the people to vote their way. They always cite the will of the people in gay marriage cases looming before the court. What did Roberts do? He tried to strike down the will of the people who voted in the Oregon Death With Dignity Act by siding with the administration. Isn't this Death with Dignity Act the "law of the land?" I thought judicial activists ignored the will of the people which is so important apparently to the Republicans when it comes to gay marriage, but I guess it doesn't mean a damn when they vote against how Republicans desire them to vote. I guess in that case, the GOP shows their utter contempt for voters by keeping silent when a judge tries to overturn the "will of the people." So are they being lawless just like they wish to portray gay rights advocates as lawless? I thought Republicans were all about the Rule of law and the law of the land, but I guess they show their true colors when they cry and moan about laws they don't like, because when the people vote their way, they are expressing the "will of the people" but when they don't, they are only being sheep willingly being led to the slaughter by the agents of evil incarnate, gay marriage advocates and other liberal "scum."

Of course as this excellent essay points out, sometimes the will of the people HAS to be overruled for the good of all. The Constitution is a LIBERAL document. I shall add another example to back up this excellent article. Back in the days of the Civil War, not many favored giving African-Americans the right to vote much less emancipating them. It took the courage of the Radical Republicans to at least partially write the wrongs our country has inflicted upon them, but of course who were there to block them from achieving their goals? Yes, the so-called moderate Republicans watered down the 15th Amendment allowing the South to impose loopholes that allowed them to disenfranchise African-Americans by instituting poll taxes, grandfather clauses, understanding clauses, literacy tests, etc. But let's get the point here. James McPherson writes, "After much tugging and hauling, Congress passed the first and most conservative version of the amendment" (James McPherson, Ordeal of Fire (New York, 2001), pg. 589. The first version would have only forbidden states to "deny citizens the right to vote on grounds of race, color, or previous condition of servitude while the other versions would have forbid literacy tests and allow ALL male citizens over 21 to vote. Yes those conservatives were Democrats who opposed the amendment, a fact that Republicans love to point out as they try to divert attention away from their record, but things have changed now. Those Radical Republicans were LIBERALS, not conservatives, so nice try.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

On this Fourth of July...

On this Fourth of July, let us all take a time to reflect on what America means and what it means to be a patriot and the word patriotism…

Does it mean that we should all blindly wave the flag while attempting to ban a form of political speech that arouses strong emotions in us?

Or do we give them the right to burn the flag while reserving the right not to be pleased with this action?

Does it mean that we embrace our historical heritage of racism, sexism, and homophobia rather than fix the great wrongs we have committed in the name of Manifest Destiny and “making America great?”

Or do we embrace the dream of the Civil Rights Movement by trying to purge ourselves of the prejudice that pervades through our society?

Does it mean that history teachers should whitewash American history by glossing over the uglier aspects of our history such as the genocide against the natives, John Adams “forgetting the ladies,” slavery and homegrown terrorism against African-Americans, sexism, denying women and minorities the right to vote, etc. just because they might offend so-called patriots who say teachers are a part of a vast left-wing conspiracy to corrupt our youth? Do we cater to those who want to censor American history so it fits their “America can do no wrong” worldview?

Or does it mean that history teachers should teach their students that while America has done good deeds in the world, it cannot escape the darker legacies of its history which threaten to overshadow the ideal America can yet become?

Does it mean that we should deny gays and lesbians the right to marry and the benefits that come with marriage while declaring this non-issue the paramount concern for homeland security? Does it mean that we should deny gays and lesbians the right to marry because we declare that gay marriage destroys marriage while the countless number of Republican elected officials who engage in soliticing sex, adultery and divorce go scot free because they are at least shouting that they are defending marriage?

Or does it mean we fight for the rights and freedoms of all citizens no matter what race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. (s)he hails from 230 years after the colonies split their ties from Great Britain?

Does it mean that we should stand by silently while a so-called president signs laws passed by Congress with no intention of ever obeying them?

Or does it mean that we should fight for the balance of power between the three separate but equal branches of government?

Does it mean that we should blindly support the US in whatever it does including invading a country based on false pretenses of WMD and a fictitious link between Saddam and Al Qaeda?

Or does it mean that we should hold our leaders accountable for misleading the country into war?

Does it mean that we should advocate the detention and even execution of those who do not share our political beliefs?

Or does it mean that we give them the right to say anything they want provided that it isn’t “Fire” in a crowded theater where there isn’t any?

Does it mean that we should attempt to silence the 9/11 widows with useless name-calling and smearing just because they might not share our political beliefs?

Or does it mean that we should defend their right to speak out without vilifying them much as Ann Coulter and her ilk do?

Does it mean that we should blindly and misguidingly (look at deathdisko's comment) declare that the soldier who planned the rape/murder of an Iraqi woman and her family innocent because he is an American and that we value the lives of Americans more than others while simultaneously proclaiming that we are pro-life here?

Or does it mean that we should fully hold those guilty of war crimes responsible even though they are our fellow American citizens?

Does it mean that we should all join in the base attack on the NYT for reporting on common knowledge about a program designed to trace the financial transactions of terrorists which was touted by National Litterbox George W. Bush right after 9/11? Does it mean that we should call for an Office of Censorship that will regulate the media?

Or does it mean that we should defend the NYT because freedom of the press should be guaranteed if not for reasons of liking its reporting.

What does America mean and what should be its future? The future many right-wingers hold for it where the democracy is replaced by a secretive police-state or a fulfillment of the promise made on that hot July day 230 years ago?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Whoops, there goes the "9/11 changed everything" excuse...

Enemies of freedom: the Bush Administration.
Well since Bush claims Al QAEDA hates us for our freedoms, this means he had surrendered even BEFORE the 9/11 attacks which he claimed was a declaration of war. If that's not a "surrender monkey," I don't know what is...

July 2, 1776 and July 2, 2006: a new declaration: this time from the Rapture Right

The Continental Congress decided on the 2nd to sever their ties with Great Britain and it was on the 4th the Declaration was adopted.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and women regardless of the color of their skin, gender, and sexual orientation are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure salvation and meaning for mankind, Religions are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Religion becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new religion, laying its foundation on such principles of love, acceptance, tolerance and the true teachings of Jesus in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that religions long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such religion, and to provide new Guards for their future religious liberty. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these gay men and women, long demonized by the Religious Right; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to speak out against these denominations that seek to do away with them and silence them. The history of the present Religious Right is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the attempted establishment of an absolute Tyranny over America. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

Using the politics of fear and divine retribution, the Religious Right has attempted to silence all dissent from other denominations who if they do not approve of gay behavior, just as equally disapprove of the pilloring and hatred of gays and lesbians the leaders of the Religious Right spew out.

Using the politics of fear and divine retribution, the Religious Right has intimidated ordinary voters to reject civil rights for Americans based on sexual orientation rather than to bring voters together to work together on issues of faith including protection from being fired on the job for being gay.

Using the politics of hell, the Religious Right has ignored the teachings of Jesus in favor of the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who displayed their so-called piety in the streets and sought to oppress the Jews into following their interpretations of the Laws of the Old Testament while ignoring their standards of morality.

The Religious Right has refuted their Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

The Religious Right has mocked other denominations like the United Church of Christ who by understanding the teachings of Jesus, have tried to welcome gays and lesbians as fellow human beings even to the excess of vandalizing a church with the message that its members were sinners.

The Religious Right has condemned Christians who do not hold their beliefs as non-believers and heretics.

The Religious Right has condemned people who do not share their beliefs as immoral and deserving of eternal damnation.

The Religious Right has forbidden legislatives to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance to the gay community; and when they are passed, has threatened boycotts and called down the divine wrath of God as if it speaks for God like the Old Testament prophets.

It has attempted to make Judges dependent on its Will alone for the tenure of their offices.

It has declared an installed puppet the "Man of God" and God's chosen one even though he did not come to power as a result of a fair election.

It has supported an unjust war for the purposes of evangelization of an unwilling people that desire to be left alone.

It has supported an unjust war for the purpose of initiating the Rapture and Armeggedon to harken the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

It has affected to render the Will of God superior to the Civil Power.

It has conspired to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving its Assent to the tearing down of the wall between Church and state:

For imposing their standards of morality on us without our Consent:

For standing in the way of the cervical cancer vaccine.

For condemning us to hell for pretended offences such as voting for John Kerry and not supporting their false idol, George W. Bush:

The Religious Right has abdicated the responsibilities of a Christian religion here, by declaring gays and lesbians out of God's Protection and waging War against them.

It has plundered our state constitutions and destroyed the lives of innocent people who happen to love the "wrong" gender.

It has constrained our fellow Citizens to bear Arms against the gay and lesbian community, to become the oppressors of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by its Hands.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. Religious figures, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, are unfit to be the arbiters of morality of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to ordinary Christians. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by the Religious Right to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of the establishment of separation of church and state here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred as human beings to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. We have reminded them of the dangerous precedent of denying rights and discriminating in our sacred document, the Constitution. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the cats and their servants, in America, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Goddess of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of the United States of America, solemnly publish and declare, That these United States are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to any religion, especially that which desires to become the official religion of America, and that all connection between them and them, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to guarantee civil rights and liberty for all and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor to ensure that the promises of a newly-created America 230 years ago are fulfilled for ALL members of our society.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

To reaffirm our mission statement

Here in Philosopher CATS for Peeing on Bushes, we believe in the TRUTH unlike the other group that inspired this name: Swift-boat Veterans for Truth Lies. We believe in a world where CATS can live healthy and productive lives in a healthy environment in peace where CATS and people come first instead of faux people like corporations and the Almighty Dollar.

The Cervical Cancer Vaccine: A must-have...

"You can't catch the virus, you have to go out and get it with sexual behavior," said Linda Klepacki of Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group based in Colorado Springs. "We can prevent it by having the best public health method, and that's not having sex before marriage."
Ignorance kills...It might be possible to catch the virus by coming into contact with fomites: inanimate objects such as towels and clothing belonging to people who ARE infected. Again science comes dead last when it comes to ideology. As I have pointed out in other posts in livejournal, are we to condemn someone who has touched a towel and contracted the virus as a SLUT even though she was a virgin for example?

The Religious Right refusing to allow their daughters to be vaccinated against a virus that causes a life-threatening cancer just shows how little confidence they have in the raising of their children. Perhaps if they told their children the risks of sexual behavior including AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases, their children would take into mind those things before thinking of engaging in sexual behavior, instead of making it seem like a forbidden fruit or something. For if they truly believed in their ways of teaching their children their standards of morality and ethics or whatever, they would go out in droves to get the vaccination, which would be the ultimate test of their trust in their daughters. Instead, they secretly fear that truly inside, their daughters really ARE sluts because women are not to be trusted with their sexual chastity.

Would not allowing their daughters to get this life-saving vaccine be the ultimate sign of trust? Are we not taught by Jesus about the virtues of trust? I wonder how they feel about their fathers' insinuations that they are sluts whose sexuality has been repressed? Instead the Religious Right and its members have taken the Gospel and perverted it to ensure that they hold power and sway over the lives of their families. Jesus forgave the adulterer but the Religious Right would have much rather stoned her to death without any further thought of compassion and mercy. Mercy is for the weak, rather we should live by the sword. Those who dare to have sex deserve anything they get. By not allowing this boon to their families, all they are doing is attempting through fear to control their daughters' and their wives' lives. I have not researched the literature, but do they hold the same complaint about condoms? Shouldn’t they also come out vehemently against condoms? Of course not, because men have some leeway to be "bad" while women are condemned no matter what. Update: yes, they do because there is some weird science going around that says condoms have holes and "accidents" happen because of the way condoms are manufactured, not through their use.

The ancient way of thinking still pervades through our society and it’s grown outdated. The ancient Greeks believed that women were like animals who could not control their sexual appetites. Marriage was the only way to “tame” them. Lysistrata also shows some of these attitudes in that the women are portrayed as sex-crazed although to be fair, the men are also shown in the same way. I’m reading a book where it makes the case that many of the goddesses of classical mythology dating back to pre-hellenic times were recast in a mold that suited the patriarchal societies that conquered the pre-hellenic societies. For example, the book claims that Hera who symbolized the sacred union between the lunar cow and the solar bull in pre-hellenic times now represented the sacred union between her and Zeus (Spretnak. Lost Goddesses of Early Greece, 21). Pandora as we know her is the cause of all the world’s ills when she released them from her jar, but according to this book, she is the “Giver of all gifts (57).” So too the Religious Right has been taken in with this belief. Women are the cause of all evil, of sin everywhere, of the curse of death while men get off free. Adam is not as condemned as Eve because it’s her damn fault she ate the apple and like the temptress seen throughout literature, she lures Adam into sin according to Genesis. So too today, the Religious Right believes that ALL women are potential Sirens who could entrap virtuous men into a life of sin without for a second considering that it could be the other way around in some cases...

Rape victims, you are not to be spared in the Religious Right's culture of life death. Since rape is obviously your fault, you are a slut who was bound to get the HPV virus anyway.

OK, the thing with Jesus was he healed everyone, no matter who asked for it: the rich, the poor, those whom the Pharisees considered sinners like the blind man. Apparently nowadays, if you're someone who is considered immoral, you are not worthy of life and you are not worthy of life-saving treatment. Life-saving treatment does not suddenly turn off one's sense of right and wrong as they would like you to believe. Getting vaccinated won't mean that you will suddenly go in heat and start screwing everything in sight. It might happen in those twisted fantasy worlds the religious right has conjured up, but not in Earth. Here on Earth, we believe that saving lives is more important than imposing your moral standards on everyone.

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