Tuesday, August 29, 2006

You know a recent discussion in my blog made me think. If the right cares so much about babies born out of wedlock or to rape victims, how come they do not do anything to help fund child care for the baby? How come if the baby is put up for adoption, they not call for the funding of adoption programs and centers?

Is it because once the baby is out of the womb, they do not care about the baby or what happens to him/her? Somehow the reason that pro-choicers would not support such legislation does not satisfy me necessarily.

The fact is the GOP loves to use abortion as a wedge issue, but when it comes to walking the walk, they are afraid to walk the plank. I don't know why the Democrats don't stress this out, but abortion when put up against economic issues such as giving corporations the right to screw the people over economically always comes up short. The example I allude to countlessly ad nauseam is the vote of the 37 senators considered most pro-life when it came to allowing the EPA to use data from studies conducted by pesticide companies which used pesticides on pregnant women who have yes, you guessed it fetuses.

Many of these babies will be put up for adoption, so shouldn't it make sense that if South Dakota was going to ban abortion except when the mother's life was in danger, to also fund foster-care programs, adoption programs, and child-care programs? Wouldn't it make sense to fork aside some funds to ensure that these babies find loving homes where they could lead productive lives?

Or does the criticism and charge that right-wingers only care about the baby if he/she's in the womb ring true more than ever today? So, many of these politicians believe that well the mother should bear all the responsibility for taking care of her child? Is that what it is? Well then, maybe some Republican should bring up a child care bill. Hell, rescind the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% of the country and see how much support is drummed up. My guess is that Republicans and our supposedly pro-life president will not support this bill if the richest Americans have to pay for it. Would they support it even if the tax cuts weren't on the line or would this be another social program that the government shouldn't have to pay for?

Kudos to Senator Coburn for going against the majority of his party in voting no on that legislation. At least he is being consistent on this issue, but shame on the "pro-life" senators who chose money over the unborn.

The right believes in a lazy form of pro-life ideology: they believe that if you ban abortion, then abortions will magically disappear because everyone will be loathe to break the law. How NAIVE! They believe that just being against abortion and stem-cell research will be enough, that they don't have to call for better economic conditions that help lower the rate of abortions. They do not believe in providing a social safety net to ensure that mothers do not have to resort to abortion because they are impoverished and cannot afford to have the baby. Many on the right do not believe that corporations should be prevented from testing their products on pregnant women such as the example I have provided above. Is this pro-life ideology? Many of them do support executing those on death row, even though a true pro-lifer would claim that one innocent executed is one too many when hundreds could potentially be exonerated and probably some have even been executed. I challenge the right to bolster the middle class and the poor so that mothers have a decent income to start a family. I challenge them to put ideology aside and work towards reducing the number of abortions. I challenge them to put their loving rhetoric about how every baby needs a chance and start providing them with one to succeed in life instead of having to rely on the lottery which determines if you'll be born into a rich family or not.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Will Americans be fooled by the administration’s rhetoric concerning Iraq Iran with a N this time around or will they see that it is indeed recycled rhetoric? Will Iran be tied to 9/11 as Brent Cunningham of the Columbia Journalism Review speculates? Yes Iran is a threat, but is it the boogeyman that the Litterbox and his minions will hype it into just in time for the midterm elections? (Vote GOP or Iran will NUKE your cities!)

The fact is Iran can spew all hate towards Israel and all desire that it’ll be wiped off the map, but would they do anything against Israel knowing that one attack would be enough to invite perhaps a nuclear strike? Maybe the Iranian president’s rhetoric is just populist rhetoric to muster up support from the masses or maybe he is unhinged, but Iran would never attack Israel for that reason. But you wouldn’t know that from the neo-con’s rhetoric. You’d think that Iran was planning a nuclear strike on New York City or the heartland!

This is why they outed Valerie Plame. The administration does NOT want reliable intelligence on the supposed threat from Iran if it exists. They didn’t want reliable intelligence on the WMDs in Iraq that have not been found. They did NOT want reliable evidence to debunk the supposed link that Saddam had with Al Qaeda and the September 11 attacks. It is not surprising that over 60% believe that Saddam helped plan or even was the MASTERMIND of the terrorist attacks. The administration wants a cowed CIA to cherry-pick at best or to distort at worst all evidence so that it could support their rush to war. The administration is supposed to use the evidence and then make a crucial judgment whether to pull the trigger or not, but everything has been turned upside-down in Litterboxland. Now, intelligence is twisted to “vindicate” the administration’s ideology and the administration is trying to pressure the CIA to present intelligence that fits the pResident’s world view.

Will we hear Bill Kristol say that striking at Iran would be a cakewalk? Will he say that a tactical air strike perhaps with nuclear weapons would be enough to take out the Iranian “threat?” Is he naïve enough to think that the Iranians only have one nuclear site? Iran Focus reported that Iran has over 300 reported nuclear sites in the whole country. Is Bush prepared to bomb out all 300 sites? Do we even have reliable intelligence on those sites? Perhaps if the BUSH administration wasn’t so adept at outing CIA operatives for political points, maybe we would.
In fact, let’s take this further. Let’s fulfill the sick, twisted fantasy of the Savage Weiner and the other right-wingers who want to turn the Middle East into a parking lot. Let’s just bomb the whole nation to the Stone Age. Let’s bomb Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus and see what the whole world does. Maybe they’ll send flowers and candy to the White House praising us for taking out the Middle East and bringing our version of the Pax Americana to the world. Yeah, let’s see how nuking the Middle East wins us friends and solves problems. Right-wingers are so damn naïve or have their heads stuck up so far up the wrong end that they actually think that this would solve everything. They don’t see that we would just confirm that we are the rogue state and deserve to be a pariah in the court of world opinion. But at least the Rapture would come, wouldn’t it, once the bodies start to pile up in the Middle East?

For once in this administration, can it PLEASE try pressuring Iran through diplomacy and get the court of world opinion on our side instead of alienating our allies and isolating us like the time we went into Iraq with the Coalition of the Willing which included some island countries in the Pacific?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Deceptive Petition-gathering processes threaten gay marriage in MA

Saw this on AmericaBLOG

VoteonMarriage.org which seeks to overturn Massachusetts' historic gay marriage law has turned to Arno Petition Consultants which has been accused of fraudulent petition-gathering tactics to help get its proposed measure that would overturn the gay marriage law in 2008, Knowthyneighbor.org reports. Voteonmarriage.org reportedly supports the Benefits Fairness Act which supposedly

amend existing laws to extend the following rights and benefits to reciprocal beneficiaries:

1. Hospital visitation rights;

2. The right to designate a reciprocal beneficiary to make health care decisions in the event the other reciprocal beneficiary is unable to do so;

3. Automatic revocation of a health care proxy upon the termination of a "Reciprocal Beneficiary Contract";

4. The right of the surviving reciprocal beneficiary to authorize organ and tissue donations unless the deceased reciprocal beneficiary has specifically and previously indicated otherwise;

5. The right to make funeral arrangements for one another;

6. The right of insurers to include reciprocal beneficiaries, like relatives:

a. In a liability insurance contract;
b. As recipients of annuities under a group annuity contract;
c. In a group life insurance contract;
d. As recipients of life insurance proceeds in the event no designated beneficiary is alive;
e. Under any general or blanket accident or health insurance policy;

7. The right to have health coverage extended for a period of 39 weeks, when a policyholder of a group medical insurance becomes ineligible because of involuntary layoff or death;

8. The right to create a tenancy in common or joint tenancy with survivorship for a home;

9. Certain rights under the Homestead Protection Act which protects home ownership in the event of personal bankruptcy;

10. Inheritance rights when there is no will;

11. Next of kin status for the reciprocal beneficiary of a mental health patient;

12. Right to recover damages arising out of injury to the reciprocal beneficiary.

However, me thinks that gay couples would not be included in this category and the "pro-marriage" website does not mention them. Me thinks that this is an attempt to cast a humane face on the anti-gay marriage movement, to show the people that they're not really the cold-hearted, hard-ass, mean-spirited people that they truly are. Me thinks this is an attempt to sanitize their image to run away from the stereotype of the mean, hypocritical, un-Christian fundie.

The following scenarios have been reported:

Scenario 1 - Citizens were told they were signing the wine petition when the anti-gay marriage petition was actually presented.

Scenario 2 - Citizens were first asked to sign the wine petition and then asked to sign again on a second page. The second page was actually the anti-gay marriage petition.

Scenario 3 - Citizens were told they were signing a petition to protect gay marriage when it was actually the anti-gay marriage petition.

This is supposedly the party of high morals and family values. Well I did not realize that it's apparently okay to lie about your intentions when you're supposedly doing "God's work." I did not know that it is apparently okay to lie and cheat as long as God "approves" of what you're doing.

This is a common deceptive practice I've encountered on the right when it comes to petition signing. First, they'll give you a list of petitions about 10-12 pages deep. Most of it will be like some environmental issue or progressive one. Sometimes it'll even be about preserving the Clean Air Act or something like that or save some stretch of land. They'll pressure you into signing, perhaps instinctively sensing that you're in a hurry which means they can bother you into signing just to get them to shut up. Then as you sign and sign these petitions, you'll finally get to their poison pill of a petition usually towards the bottom after you've wearily gone through 8 signatures along with including your address and email or whatever. By that time, you just want to get the fuck out of there and get to class or whatever. By that time, you're not reading the petitions if you're in a hurry, but you're signing.

My guess is that happened in the anti-gay, anti-family Massachusetts movement's zealous rush to get a measure on the ballot that would overturn the gay marriage law. The fact that they have to hide their intent shows that they are not really proud of doing God's work. They love to trumpet their faith for everyone to see, they love to be the Pharisee that prays in the streetcorner for everyone to marvel at. They love to be the Pharisee who walks with a glum face to show everyone that he's fasting. They love to talk about "loving the sinner, but hating the sin" when it is clear that their mean-streak wants to make our gay brothers and sisters second-class citizens. If they could, if they could, they would even try to take away citizenship and the rights that come along with it, but fortunately we're too far on the road to progress for that. But in this case, they are ashamed, because they have to hide their intentions. If this is supposedly God's work, should they not be proud and have it on the first page and proudly proclaim that this is a measure to "protect the sacred institution of marriage?" This applies to the Creationists in Dover who tried to hide the fact that ID was Creationism dressed up in science even though they proudly professed the fact that they were Christians. Why is it that these religious folk feel that they have to hide the fact that they're doing "God's work?"

My guess is that Scenario 2 is most likely.

This is why one must be EXTREMELY careful when it comes to petition signing because you never know whether you'll encounter a sheep in wolves' clothing. OFTEN these right-wingers will cast themselves as progressives, especially here in California to get those signatures. For example, I've found petitions calling for a measure that would INCREASE the length of a teacher's tenure and the "right to work" petitions buried under progressive or liberal-friendly petitions. My guess is that they throw away the signatures for these petitions and only keep those that they approve of. This is why people need to take the time to read. If you're absolutely in a rush, just ignore the petition-gatherer. If they constantly harass you, this is just more proof that something is amiss and that it isn't pretty.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Judge rules warrantless wiretapping program unconstitutional

A victory nonetheless in the Litterbox Wars but this fight isn't over. It is a given that the administration would appeal to the Supreme Court and this is where it will get ugly. A federal appeals judge has ordered the NSA program halted for she ruled that it is unconstitutional.

DETROIT - A federal judge ruled Thursday that the government’s warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it.

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit became the first judge to strike down the National Security Agency's program, which she says violates the rights to free speech and privacy.

The Culture of Nixonian politics which has its mantra that says. "It's not illegal if the president does it" needs to be stopped right here and now, otherwise we will replace our system of checks and powers with a system where two branches of government are subservient to the first. This is not what the founding Fathers intended. They did not intend to turn the president into a king accountable to no one.

Federalist Paper #51
In order to lay a due foundation for that separate and distinct exercise of the different powers of government, which to a certain extent is admitted on all hands to be essential to the preservation of liberty, it is evident that each department should have a will of its own; and consequently should be so constituted that the members of each should have as little agency as possible in the appointment of the members of the others. Were this principle rigorously adhered to, it would require that all the appointments for the supreme executive, legislative, and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the same fountain of authority, the people, through channels having no communication whatever with one another. Perhaps such a plan of constructing the several departments would be less difficult in practice than it may in contemplation appear. Some difficulties, however, and some additional expense would attend the execution of it. Some deviations, therefore, from the principle must be admitted. In the constitution of the judiciary department in particular, it might be inexpedient to insist rigorously on the principle: first, because peculiar qualifications being essential in the members, the primary consideration ought to be to select that mode of choice which best secures these qualifications; secondly, because the permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in that department, must soon destroy all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them.
The only problem is the Chimpeviks have strayed from the spirit of Federalist Paper #51 in their Supreme Court appointments and this is where we will rue the day the Democrats turned around on bended knee and bowed down to the president's demand that they appoint his nominees who were supposedly moderate and would practice judicial restraint but are in reality right-wing extremist activist judges who use the law to promote corporatism and the accumulation of executive branch power. Any dumbass could see that these were no moderates, but what could you expect from the Gang of 14? It seems that Alito and Roberts know that they are beholden to the Litterbox for their jobs and quite clearly vote in favor of his interests instead of destroying "all sense of dependence on the authority conferring them. It seems that Bush has installed a Crony answerable to him only everywhere whether it is the Supreme Court or a regulatory agency and this my friends, will most likely screw us over when (not if) this case is appealed.

State secrets excuse has become a convenient one for the Litterbox Administration as Glenn Greenwald notes here, but was rejected here. However, the data-mining by ATT part of the lawsuit was dismissed for lack of confirmation.

This is an important victory but don't expect our Mainstream Media to broadcast it to the American people. It is more important to discuss the sick details of JonBenet Ramsey's final hours to the American people in their need to discuss the gory details. Just reading the link on Yahoo news is enough to disgust you but the media obviously feels the need to go into more detail when this should not be news that is broadcast to the whole American people as the most pressing issue of the day. I'm surprised Fox News even had a tiny link in its latest headlines bar about this judge nixing the NSA program but the whole front page was devoted to JonBenet and her killer. Apparently "Who is John Mark Karr?" was obviously more important than a judge standing up to the belief that the president who thinks he's a wartime president can trample over the Constitution. MSNBC has more of the same, and at CNN.com, three of the four videos are on this case and the other is about a superbug that has some doctors worried. I do not feel the need to dignify their coverage by linking to it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cats understand that we need to promote respect for everyone regardless of gender...

Please go here to the Carnival Against Sexual Violence (the 5th edition) for more information about rape, sexual harassment, and sexism. There are excellent blogs that are featured here that all contribute towards the raising of awareness in what has become a sort of condoned, if not acceptable culture of sexism which promotes a "boys will be boys" mentality anywhere from the Pentagon to the office.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Cheney: vote for Republicans or else DIE! DIE! DIE!

Let's face it. The Scratching Post of all Scratching Posts, Dick Cheney should come out with a voter's guide that orders Americans to vote for certain candidate that only he approves of. It would be consistent with the utter contempt he holds for the average American voter. How else could he come out and basically imply that voting for Lamont was like exactly what Osama Bin Laden ordered? How else could he come out and say that the voters chose wrongly and pretty much enabled terrorism? How else could he come out and say we voted for the Al Qaeda ticket? (Didn't he say that if you voted for John Kerry, you would DIE in another terrorist attack and it would be well-deserved because you didn't follow Daddy Republican Warbucks' orders?)

It's so easy, all he has to do is make a voter form and photoshop the Democrat's head into that infamous picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam. This would reinforce the myth that Iraq = Al Qaeda, Bin Laden = Saddam, Democrats = Al Qaeda that this administration is spewing out to the airwaves, to the unquestioning, subservient media.

But then again, would Americans be fooled by him again if he were to do such a despicable follow-up to his utter damnable commentary? After all, didn't we believe him when he said the insurgency was in its death throes a year ago and that Iraq could attack the United States with unmanned drones? So from now on, we should entrust our democracy to Cheney so perhaps they wouldn't have to tinker with Diebold machines to actually "win."

A party that cannot claim any significant victory on the "War on Terror" even though they would have loved to co-opt the credit the Brits got for foiling the latest credible terrorist plot (unlike these dream scenarios the administration comes up with) is now reduced to linking Iraq to Al Qaeda and insinuating that if you don't vote for Republicans, Osama will then target you for death and destruction.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Save 1-800-SUICIDE: Time is running out!

A few posts ago, I wrote on the federal government's decision to shutdown the 1-800-SUICIDE network in favor of a government-operated system where the government WILL HAVE ACCESS to confidential information or they'll take over the operation. Nonetheless, this does not bode well for the hotline which is 6 hours away from being shutdown. People who call these hotlines rely on confidentiality for numerous reasons. Perhaps they don't want their families to know of their crisis, perhaps they don't want an employer getting word of how he/she called the hotline. Imagine what employers can do to a suicidal person including termination for reasons to cut health care costs?

Our government has room to fund pork projects including that damn bridge to nowhere (a village of 50 people) but cannot fork over badly-needed funds to support the hotline so it can pay its $266,000 bill just because it refused to turn over management to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA)?

"Our concern is that in order for suicide hotlines to be effective, the lines must be completely confidential," Save-1-800-SUICIDE spokesman Scott Goodstein told RAW STORY today. "Who will call a suicide hotline if there is any fear that a record of the call can be made by the government or if they are concerned their call might be logged into a government database?" he asked.

This administration has been the most intrusive into our private lives whether it's through domestic wiretapping or this. We cannot allow SAMHSA to get its hands on confidential information. Who can trust a hotline that will just feed its calls to an interested government? Who can trust a hotline that is controlled by a government interested in getting into our bedrooms and our private lives?

What we have to do
Tell the feds to keep their hands off the hotline...


Analysis of the Pro-War, Pro-Death, Pro-War profiteering right

Original post here...

The PRO-WAR right lives in an alternate universe which bears little resemblance to the world the rest of us live in. For example, Iraq is a threat and could have nuked us or sent unarmed drones to New York City within 45 minutes! North Korea isn't a threat but Iraq was. We would be welcomed with flowers and Iraqi candy by joyful "liberated" Iraqis and the insurgency was in its last throes about a year ago. Osama is no longer a threat but Saddam must have been the secret mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks.

The Pro-war winger's brain works like this: Paint a rosy picture of progress in Iraq and then use it to justify staying the course. It is very, very hard to deal with pro-war neo-cons because of this. We get strange events like this: the pro-war winger says that the people of Iran would welcome us with grateful smiles, flowers, and kisses if we invade Iran even though it has been proven to be false in Iraq. The pro-war winger says that President Bush would never lie his country into war and that intelligence failed him.

To boil this down, once a PRO-WAR winger stakes out a position, then it must forever be correct - no subsequent facts will in any way, shape or form alter the original pro-war chickenhawk position. It doesn't matter that the WMD "found" in Iraq were degraded chemical munitions dating from before 1991 and forgeries that support the rush to war become credible documents. It doesn't matter that our soldiers are dying over there. At any rate, any contravening evidence is likely manufactured by the Real Enemy to cover up the truth.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The White House sees the Red Alert as an opportunity to score political points

Leave it to the international media to finally get the story right. While our media is congratulating Bush and his cronies for doing an effective job on the "War on Terror" out of the goodness of their hearts, the French AFP is reporting that the Bush Administration is planning to get political POINTS out of this.

But let me let an anonymous White House official do the talking here.
Weeks before September 11th, this is going to play big," said another White House official, who also spoke on condition of not being named, adding that some Democratic candidates won't "look as appealing" under the circumstances.
Disgusting and despicable. To the Bush Administration, terror plots are God's gift on Earth because then they could turn around and use them to paint Democrats as defeatocrats and cut-and-runners. They could use it to scare people into voting Republican. While the British do an excellent job in capturing terrorists before they carry out their plots, all what we do is hype up the terror alerts so that they become looked upon with suspicion as nothing more than political stunts to boost the president's sagging poll ratings. Truly a sad day...when the administration cannot hide its pleasure at seeing a terror plot unfold so that they can say that they ARE doing a good job.

Coincidence or not? It's all about Timing...

It gets even worse. Bush and Cheney most likely KNEW about the investigation the Brits were conducting over this terror plot while Cheney was going about with his "since we didn't choose Lieberman, Osama will KILL US" spiel. He knew they were under surveillance for several days and the police could have pounced anytime. Buzzflash notes the timing of this announcement sounds suspicious in that Lieberman's loss to Lamont shows that the people are beginning to see past the litterbox's rhetoric about staying the course in Iraq to fight the war on terror. They're beginning to doubt that the Republicans are strong on national security, and look what comes up? A terror plot foiled just in the nick of time to give Bush and the Republicans the boost they need to fool the people once again that they are the party of National Security?

This is the party that thought Paris Hilton's inheritance was more important than $1.5 billion to fund port security including $300 million which is chump change to fund the inspection of ALL suspicious looking containers passing through our ports. This is the party that thought a $1.7 billion missile defense system was much more important.

Let's make this clear. The Bush Administration isn't interested in fighting terror but rather only interested in politicizing it to create an atmosphere of fear in the American populace. By the timing of an announcement such as this or leaking highly sensitive information about the arrest of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan who was tracking down Al Qaeda operatives for the Pakistani government, further compromising the Al Qaeda sting operation, it is clear that terror is just a way to get the voters to vote Republican. They leaked the identity of a double agent because the public was skeptical about a previous terror alert! This is of course TREASON for political purposes. Of course the media won't highlight this as they have an interest in seeing the Republicans in power because they support media consolidation...

Remember this is the administration that pressured the Pakistanis to try to capture high value targets before the 2004 election so it would seem that Bush's War on Terror was working!

But The New Republic has learned that Pakistani security officials have been told they must produce HVTs by the election. According to one source in Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), “The Pakistani government is really desperate and wants to flush out bin Laden and his associates after the latest pressures from the U.S. administration to deliver before the [upcoming] U.S. elections.” Introducing target dates for Al Qaeda captures is a new twist in U.S.-Pakistani counterterrorism relations–according to a recently departed intelligence official, “no timetable[s]” were discussed in 2002 or 2003–but the November election is apparently bringing a new deadline pressure to the hunt. Another official, this one from the Pakistani Interior Ministry, which is responsible for internal security, explains, “The Musharraf government has a history of rescuing the Bush administration. They now want Musharraf to bail them out when they are facing hard times in the coming elections.”
Q But the President, himself, approved the red alert?

MR. SNOW: Correct. It was a recommendation by the Homeland Security Council, by Secretary Chertoff and others.

Q When did he approve it?

MR. SNOW: Yesterday.


Q: When did the President first learn about this plot and the investigation into it?

MR. SNOW: Again, we're being a little careful on operational details. I think it's safe to say to what I said before, which is he certainly has been extensively briefed over the last few days as the operation that took place became more and more imminent.

Q Was part of that during the teleconference on Sunday?

MR. SNOW: Let's see, what day was Sunday, that was the 6th? Yes. Yes.

Update: saw on DailyKos more proof that the Bush Administration knew of this terror plot and used it not to inform the American people, but to politicize the War on Terror, to paint Democrats as willing to surrender to terrorists and to paint Lamont's win as OSAMA's number one goal. Instead of informing the people right away, they had to wait until Lamont's win to get the maximum political effect...This is pure disgusting bullshit as evidenced by this...

Lieberman lost so what do they turn to? That's right! It's time to play PRETTY COLORS!

It’s time for a Red Alert, folks! After a year of no terror alerts, we have achieved a milestone in the Litterbox’s Identify the Colors game.

You know I want to believe the litterbox’s Homeland Security Department, I want to believe that the Brits have actually thwarted a legitimate terrorist plot and I do considering the police worked with MI5. But as AmericaBLOG notes, these so-called Al Qaeda cells on our soil have turned out to be all bark and no bite, with most of them being some friends who did more grumbling than doing and another one where they really were going to defy the laws of physics and try to flood Manhattan! Right, we all know Bush probably doesn’t know jack shit about physics and all…but his propaganda machine dreamt that one up in a hurry. I’m sure not all terrorists are that dumb…

In fact, JuliusBlog put together a chart overlapping Bush’s poll numbers and the terror alerts. Considering many of the plots supposedly cooked up were later proven to be false alarms, it isn’t surprising that many on our side of the political spectrum don’t believe anything this administration says. Why should we believe Homeland Security when it pushes the threat level to Red even though the Brits say that they had a major terrorist plot brewing. Yeah, we’ve heard that before, when the Democrats held their national convention in 2004, or when Bush failed to receive a bounce in the polls after the GOP National Convention and whenever something happened in the News detrimental to Bush in that glorious 2004 of bright and pretty colors!

Lieberman, according to the myth of national security Republicans, is a strong Democrat on the War on Terror which actually consists of Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL). Since Ned Lamont squeaked out an important, earth-shattering victory, the Litterbox Administration knows that its minions in Congress who march in lock-step to the litterbox’s orders are toast due to a failed policy of “stay the course” in Iraq while letting Osama off scot-free, off to make more videos at opportune times. It’s just a mere cynical attempt to scare Americans into believing the rhetoric of the Republicans, that we must stay the course in Iraq and magically these terrorists will be caught. However if we retreat, this will embolden the terrorists to come to our shores more often and we will be less effective in combating the threat of terror.

The Brits have it all right with their intelligence operations through law enforcement. That is what we should be doing instead of invading other countries that have never attacked us before. We should have special-ops forces on the hunt for Bin Laden and Mullah Omar, people who have been forgotten while the Bush Administration goes hunting for more opportunities to increase American hegemony…

Friday, August 04, 2006

O'Reilly: Rape, murder victim was "wearing a miniskirt and a halter top.

We live in a culture that condones rape as nothing more than men letting out their sexual desires, because it's part of our evolutionary psychology or something like that, you know man is the hunter and is a natural rapist. Last time that argument was brought forth to justify rape, it was rightfully attacked as nothing more than an excuse for rapists. But my friends, this is lower than low.
O'Reilly: Rape, murder victim was "wearing a miniskirt and a halter top. ... [E]very predator in the world is gonna pick that up at 2 in the morning"

While discussing the recent rape and murder of 18-year-old Jennifer Moore during the August 2 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Bill O'Reilly appeared to suggest that the clothing she was wearing at the time helped incite her killer. O'Reilly discussed several factors that contributed to the "moronic" girl's rape and murder, including that she was drunk and wandering the streets of New York City alone late at night. But in addition to those factors, O'Reilly added: "She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at 2 in the morning."
Now I know that O'Reilly is an opinionated asshole but this takes the cake. He claims to be a moderate but in reality he is nothing more than a right-wing hack. He does not feel any compassion for this victim, he does not feel any empathy towards her. I thought the defense of the victim wearing seductive, suggestive clothing was outdated and even banned in the court of law, but in the court of opinion, sexist attitudes die hard even though they should be buried in the dustbin of history....
: So anyway, these two girls come in from the suburbs and they get bombed, and their car is towed because they're moronic girls and, you know, they don't have a car. So they're standing there in the middle of the night with no car. And then they separate because they're drunk. They separate, which you never do. All right.

Now Moore, Jennifer Moore, 18, on her way to college. She was. 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning. She's walking by herself on the West Side Highway, and she gets picked up by a thug. All right. Now she's out of her mind, drunk.

But isn't that the standard defense now? The victim was drunk so she obviously WANTED to be raped and murdered. She was asking for it!
And the thug is so stupid, he uses her cell phone, and the cops trace it back to him and they -- and they arrest him and charge him with murder.
At least he called the rapist a thug, but other than that, I cannot find any condemnation of the rapist for his vile crime. Maybe he could have come out and condemned the culture of sexism which allows us to excuse rapists for their crimes by suggesting that the victims were Sirens who ensnare us. Instead of pouring down curses and condemnation well-deserved upon the thug, he gets on his case not for raping and killing the girl, but for being stupid, for being caught with his hands in the cookie jar! But this seems to be the culture of responsibility on the far right: it's more important not to get caught than to not engage in criminal acts.

I really love seeing how some on the right-wing always ALWAYS become apologists for rapists by shifting all blame and responsibility to the victim. I really love how he is suggesting that it was her fault for putting herself into that situation. I love seeing how he is implying that the poor victim is nothing more than a slut who dressed provocatively and "got what she deserved." I love seeing how O'Reilly makes himself look even more of an ass than he already is. He's said some despicable things in the past, but this has got to be a new low. I love how he has the gall to spit on the victim's body by calling her "moronic."

As I've said before, conservatives and these holier-than-thou Pharisees have framed the rape issue by completely turning around who becomes the criminal and who becomes the victim. O'Reilly is simply reinforcing the stereotype that women are no better than animals who need to be tamed whether through marriage or even rape. Yes, he used the word predator, yes we all do, but O'Reilly frames it into an issue of the hunter vs. the hunted instead of it being the crime it should be. The theme of the hunt is prevalent throughout mythology and in ancient Greek magic which I hope to study someday, to tame the "beast." Congratulations, O'Reilly, you just put yourself in the Religious Right camp when it comes to rape...by blaming the victim, you are no better than the fundamentalist preachers who counsel rape victims to look inside to see "where they sinned." This is why rape victims are more likely than not to decline reporting their rape, because of the condemnation and ridicule our society places upon them.

As I have said before, this is how the right can turn around and tie this to abortion. Now no one likes abortion, unlike what those on the far right would love to tell you. No one wants to be aborted fetuses, but where do we strike the balance when it comes to a rape victim who has been psychologically damaged and would be further damaged if she carried her baby to term? The far right would love to "punish" the victim by having her "keep" the baby as they love to frame it as an "unwanted child" issue, but that is not their main concern. Their main concern judging on studies done on them and these attitudes toward rape victims is punishment and condemnation. The slut got what she deserved and she's trying to find an easy way out?!

Rape SHOULD NEVER BE CONNECTED TO WHETHER YOU ARE "RESPECTABLE" OR NOT. (Yes, I realize it is all in CAPS but this needs to be...) Rape should NEVER be connected to whether you're drunk or whatever you're wearing or however you're behaving. Perhaps we should learn to keep our dicks in our pants when it comes to someone who cannot give consent NO MATTER WHAT, but until we address this issue, both men and women and change our society's beliefs so that women do not become seductive animals in our thoughts and in our minds, then this will continue to happen.

So O'Reilly, I'll call you out as AN ENABLER OF RAPISTS! You and your ilk give comfort and aid to every rapist or potential rapist...everytime you blame a victim while keeping silent on the criminal.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Nevada GOP: Cheating is just a joke, just a game. Don't get too serious

State GOP resorts to tricks, Democrats say

A campaign mailer sent to Democrats over the weekend said it was from a political action committee called Searchlight. But it didn't have anything to do with Sen. Harry Reid, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Searchlight Leadership Fund.

Quite the opposite: The mailer listing judicial candidates came from officials with the Clark County Republican Party.

Democrats on Monday called the flier an attempt to deceive Democratic voters. But the Republicans behind it said it was just a bit of harmless fun and did not violate any rules.

The heading on the flier said, "We know that the judicial candidates listed below share our desire to protect the rights of minorities and the individual from the majority. We support their election to office and ask that you cast your vote for them as well."

It then lists exclusively Republican candidates for the offices of Nevada Supreme Court, Clark County District Court and justice of the peace.

So if it was a joke, then this means that the Republicans aren't serious about protecting the rights of minorities...big surprise there...

The mailer is identified as coming from Searchlight Group PAC. Reid was born in the Nevada mining town of Searchlight and is the author of a 1998 history of the town titled "Searchlight: The Camp That Didn't Fail."

County Republican Party chairman John Hambrick said he and party Executive Director Tim Robison put the mailer together. The PAC, he said, was "formed to do things like this."

So is he admitting that the PAC is engaging in dirty tricks or is he admitting that his PAC is nothing more than a JOKE?

"The purpose was to hopefully put people we believe to be more conservative in their viewpoints before a part of the voting public that might not otherwise consider them," Hambrick said.

Then why resort to distortions and misleading those voters? Either you really think the voters are dumb or you have no confidence in your own candidates to win if they truly reveal their positions. But isn't that what the Republican party is all about? If they came up honest in their platform, suggesting that they really didn't give a damn about gay marriage and abortion and that all that they wanted was to enrich their rich cronies like the big corporations and Big Oil, then would they really win the elections fair and square? Of course not, the Religious Right wouldn't turn out in droves to vote like sheep, automatically pressing the button for Republican or pulling the lever without a thought in the world.

The mailer was sent to Democrats considered likely to vote in the primary based on their voting records, Hambrick said.

He said the flier was not an attempt to deceive or confuse. "We wanted to have some fun," he said. "It was tongue in cheek. Why not?"

Before sending the mailer, lawyers confirmed that it did not violate any laws or regulations, Hambrick said.

Apparently if it was so fun, if it was a harmless joke, if it was not meant to be taken seriously, why did they have to check up on their attorneys? I'm sure they'd get away with it if it were a harmless joke...

"I don't see any deception here," he said. "I don't think Democrats are that dumb."

No, you may not think they are but you're HOPING they are. There's a difference...but apparently lying has become so epidemic in the Republican Party that they just don't realize it anymore. This is supposedly the party of morality.

Kirsten Searer, spokeswoman for the state Democratic Party, said the flier probably was not illegal, but it was unethical. The party sent an e-mail alert to its members Monday about the mailer.

"Most Nevadans associate Searchlight with Sen. Reid," she said. "By calling it Searchlight and putting in language about protecting the rights of minorities, they were clearly trying to make it look like it came from Sen. Reid."

Democrats who received the flier might be duped into voting for the listed candidates in the mistaken belief that they were favored by Reid, she said. "This is further proof that Nevada Republicans will do anything to get elected," she said.

"We believe our candidates are strong enough to stand on their own. They don't have to try to fool people to get elected," she said.

The damage this "joke" can do is documented here...

"When I first saw it, I thought it was from Harry Reid," Sandy Hogan said. Had she not already voted, she might have taken the mailer's suggestions, although her husband probably would have set her straight, she said.

I guess it's a grand joke when people who might have been fooled vote the way the mailer wanted and then realize that they have been duped by the Republican Party. There are no do-overs when you've already turned in your absentee ballot at least not that I know of. I'm sure they're laughing quite heartily over being April FOOLED or psyched. I'm sure voters that your party has disenfranchised were sharing "good ole times" stories over a beer with you, laughing over bygones...after all it's just a joke, right?

It speaks volumes when a party has to go to quite such lengths to distort the other's positions. First you had Hindrocket blatantly cut off the video of a interview with Rep. John Dingell to suggest that he did not oppose Hezbollah. Then you had Santorum's campaign falsely claiming that Bob Casey had the endorsement of Al-Jazeera suggesting that he was in Bin Laden's camp. Back in 2004, there was the RNC Mailing that suggested that liberals would ban the Bible and destroy Christianity.

It's the CONTEMPT, stupid. It's the contempt the Republican Party has for voters on either side. Otherwise why would they have to play a shell game to hoodwink their voters into voting Republican and against their own economic interests?

I've seen these kind of tricks especially when it comes to petition signing. They'll have a petition about some environmental issue or a progressive one such as raising the minimum wage, but they'll stick a petition about "right to work" or increasing the requirements for teachers to met tenure at the bottom after you've wearily gone through like 8-10 petitions.

So basically, this is what it has come down to. The right-wing thinks it's all fun and games to distort the other side's positions much as secession commissioners tried to distort the North by implying that Yankee preachers would come down South to force slaveholders to marry off their daughters to their slaves in the hopes of either disenfranchising voters or having them vote against their own interests. Another example is the time when the anti-ERA campaign tainted the other side by linking ERA to civil rights legislation implying that ERA would desegregate bathrooms, alluding to the specter of interracial rape to scare off women voters who might have supported ERA. Think of the disenfranchisement throughout history African-Americans, women, and other minorities faced. So basically are poll taxes, grandfather clauses, literacy tests, flyers telling African-Americans to vote the day AFTER the election just a joke too?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

You know,

The Senate voted Tuesday to open 8.3 million acres of federal waters in the central Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling, setting up a confrontation with the House which wants even more drilling in waters now off-limits.

something tells me that record profits for Big Oil are never enough. Who gives a fuck about raising the minimum wage $2.10 over a period of three years when our poor oppressed oil companies are crying due to all the condemnation we Americans heap upon them for profiting off our misery doing an honest day's work (because we all know oil executives work harder than the rest of us Americans combined...

So basically we have to drill in the gulf so that Big Oil will have an excuse to say prices will go down. After all, didn't the Iraq war drive down prices too? Aren't we paying $3.19 for three gallons of gas now? No wait, that's per gallon?! Hell, it's hard work ripping off the American consumer!

Can you imagine a fundamentalist Christianity faith-based suicide prevention program

Help Save 1.800.SUICIDE

What we're seeing here is nothing more than a purge of services the Bush Administration and its allies would like to see replaced by a faith-based substitute of sorts or at least a substitute that they can control. Do you remember the ruckus conjured up by the Religious Right over SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) when they requested that a federally-funded conference on suicide prevention remove the words "gay," "lesbian," "bisexual," and "transgender" from its program? It was like they were trying to purge any acknowledgement of the GLBT community and to marginalize them even though a gay teen commits suicide every five hours, unable to deal with the stress and pressure society places upon him or her.
Despite the fact that almost 2 million callers have reached help and hope over the last 8 years, and a government funded evaluation stating the benefits of 1-800-SUICIDE, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), a division of Health & Human Services, has decided to create their own government run system where they would have direct access to confidential data on individuals in crisis.
Now that the fundies are in control of SAMHSA, can you imagine the damage they can do to a suicide hotline if that comes under their control?

Let's envision the scenario here. A young gay teen distraught over life calls Bush's new suicide prevention line and explains that he is depressed. The last thing he is expecting is to be proselytized to and judged, he just wants someone to talk to. Society has placed an unbelievable amount of stress upon him, even in places where a gay person might not be taunted or harassed, what's to say that he or she doesn't suffer from historical discrimination (Troxel et. al., 2003), or the feelings of stress experienced from being one of the few members of a race or in this case different sexual orientation among a majority? I wonder if there has been research done on members of the GLBT community to see if this is applicable to them... What if the person on the hotline asks, "Are you gay?" What's that supposed to do with suicide prevention? You might ask...What if the teen says yes and the person responds, "well that's your problem. Embrace the Lord Jesus, turn away from your sinful lifestyle, and be reborn as a child of God," or "Homosexuality is an abomination" and your depression is from Satan controlling your mind and clouding it, preventing the Lord from working his wonders on you." After a long period of silence, the person directs him to reparative therapy which has been condemned by the APA.

From Religious Tolerance.org...

Common conservative Christian usage Common usage by other groups
Homosexuality is a behavior. Homosexuality is an orientation
Homosexuality is what one does. Homosexuality is what one is.
Sexual preference Sexual orientation
"I am cured of homosexuality" OR
"I am an ex-gay."
"I was a sexually active homosexual; I am now homosexual who has chosen to be celibate."
"I was once in the homosexual lifestyle, but I am a heterosexual now." "I was a bisexual who engaged in same-sex relationships. My orientation is still bisexual, but, I now choose to have only relationships with the opposite gender."
A person involved in the homosexual lifestyle A person with a bisexual or homosexual orientation who is sexually active with members of the same gender.

Let me ask you, do these teens need more judging from a suicide hotline when they get condemnation, ridicule and harassment from mainstream society? Robert Kastenbaum, a renowned expert on the psychology of dying and the death process, much like every expert on suicide urges that those who are in suicide prevention absolutely avoid provoking the suicidal person to suicide. What's to say, that a self-righteous fundamentalist is thinking about that over a chance to save a soul from the fires of hell? What's to say that a fundamentalist in charge of this line might not provoke the suicidal teen to suicide with his/her judging and condescension? You're supposed to stay away from judging and value judgments such as "suicide is wrong, you can't do that." The fundamentalists seem to send a mixed message when it comes to homosexuality such as God hates homosexuality but we must love the sin, not the sinner. Since homosexuality is not a choice, would that mean the person is an embodiment of sin? Some message of love, eh?

What if the fundamentalists subscribe to suicide myths much like many of them tend to subscribe to rape myths? What if they pass on the belief that "suicide is a sin," "suicide is the ultimate hubris against God because only He can ordain when your life ends?" Suicide prevention lines are not supposed to judge people. Judging is the LAST thing a suicidal teen needs.

Everyone who relies on the suicide line is in danger if the government establishes its own suicide hotline where it can access the information of everyone who calls it. Our administration seems to favor these faith-based groups, especially those of the fundamentalist variety and to me, that's the greatest danger any suicidal person is facing, giving the penchant these people seem to have of proselytizing and judging.

and the whole PRIVACY issue: What does the Bush Administration want with the information of those who call into the suicide prevention line?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?