An Online Magazine in the Reality-Based Community.

The scourge of meth, and the Bush Admin is MIA

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Shakes Sis has a excellent post up about this Administration's complete waste of millions DEA funds chasing marijuana production while methamphetamine is an all-American, home-cooked scourge that is devastating lives coast to coast.
Meth babies are the new crack babies, as 40% of child-welfare officials surveyed by the National Association of Counties reported an increase in out-of-home placements last year due to meth. Social services, law enforcement agencies, and drug rehabilitation programs struggle mightily against a lack of resources to combat the exploding problem of methamphetamine use, related crime, and meth manufacture, the latter of which is also of grave concern for the environment, with five pounds of toxic waste resulting for every pound of meth produced.

While these problems exponentially multiply in every region of the country, from rural areas to urban centers, the Bush administration drags its feet.
As I commented over at her pad, a friend of mine was living in a middle-class apartment complex and there was a meth lab bust in the apartment across the way. She was able to walk into the apartment before it was "rehabbed" for re-leasing, and the walls were completely black, the cabinets in the kitchen (where the meth was cooked) showed burns, and the whole place smelled awful. Think of how many people might have been killed if these meth dealers had inadvertently blown themselves up.

Here in NC, our House passed a bill to restrict access to pseudoephedrine, but I wonder if it will curtail meth production at all. For instance:

1) drug companies could get an exemption if they proved that their product isn't likely to be used to make meth.

2) To buy cold medicines with pseudoephedrine, you'd have to show a photo identification and be at least 18. You could buy two packs at a time, or three in a month -- up to 300 pills.

3) You would also have to sign your name and address on a form showing what and how much you bought. And you would be videotaped.

4) It allows the sale of all forms of pseudoephedrine in groceries and convenience stores.

Does this make any sense?


Skin and the color of money

"Can black people tan?"
-- a white college student at Fordham, back in 1983, asking me whether I could turn browner in the sun, as we sat outside in the late spring.
My answer to that question, by the way (after I picked my jaw up off of the floor) was to calmly say "yes," and I took off my watch so she could see the contrast between my tan and what was underneath my timepiece. I then held my arm up next to her olive-skinned Italian forearm to show her that my non-tan color was lighter than her skin tone.

Gina was quite friendly and earnest when she asked the question. The fact that she felt comfortable enough with me to ask it, made me feel that she deserved a response that would not humiliate or embarrass her by pointing out her ignorance. I was, however, quite perplexed by the blunt question for several reasons. It made me curious about what she exactly thought "black" meant in physical terms (educating her on the fact that race is a social construct probably would have been too much for her to handle). In her world, though, were we that different? Did she have no concept that all humans just have varying amounts of the same chemical, melanin, that affects the complexion they have? Was she just racist? That last word is loaded. Gina was not outwardly hostile toward someone of another race. To narrowly define that word here -- she is a victim of growing up in a world of cultural, institutionalized racism and lack of exposure to people of another color.

That lack of exposure perpetuates the problem on both sides. It must be hard if you're white, asking a question about skin tone, hair texture or any physical characteristics commonly associated with being "black." You've got to take the leap of faith that the person you're asking isn't going to react badly. If you're black, the insult of the question can cut psychologically deep. Are they judging my whole value by my color? Are they saying I'm subhuman? Am I, yet again, the inferior "other"? The fear of negative reaction on both sides in this politically correct world often ensures much-needed conversations on race will never occur. It doesn't stop the ignorance, the stereotypes, or promote healing on either side when you remove the ability to ask and answer simple questions about difference.

Shakespeare's Sister and I often have open conversations (on and offline) about race and difference. I cherish these conversations because they are free of defensiveness. [An early exchange between us is in the comments of my post, Notorious unsolved civil rights murder case resurfaces.] We have confidence that asking and answering questions about difference leads to more understanding, and ultimately a more coherent view of the politics of division on all sides (and the country's political parties) when it comes to race. When we post items on these topics on either of our blogs they usually garner few comments. We both find this amusing and frustrating -- the PC wall is hard to break down even in the progressive blogosphere.

The Melanin Thing, and the Brown Paper Bag Test
"They said, if you was white, you'd be alright, If you was brown, stick around, But as you is black, oh brother, Get back, get back, get back."
-- A 1947 blues song, "Black, Brown, and White," written by Big Bill Broonzy.
By the way, Broonzy couldn't get the song recorded in America (labels turned him down); he had to do it in Europe.

This whole melanin thing is quite complicated, and cultures around the world are obsessed with it, as human beings follow natural inclinations to categorize and organize things, including people. The assignment of other humans into easy visual cubbyholes by those in dominant cultures makes it infinitely easier to give political and economic power to (or withhold from) whole classes of people. It all spirals down into a pitiful morass of bigotry and insane systems of repression that are also accepted and perpetuated within those populations deemed racially "inferior."

Here at home it's still a taboo in much of the black community to talk about the internecine wars that can be started up over skin tone. It's called Colorism. As Bill Maxwell in a 2003 article in the St. Petersburg Times noted quite nicely...
Colorism has a long and ugly history among American blacks, dating back to slavery, when light-skinned blacks were automatically given preferential treatment by plantation owners and their henchmen.

Colorism's history is fascinating: Fair-skinned slaves automatically enjoyed plum jobs in the master's house, if they had to work at all. Many traveled throughout the nation and abroad with their masters and their families. They were exposed to the finer things, and many became educated as a result. Their darker-tone peers toiled in the fields. They were the ones who were beaten, burned and hanged, the ones permanently condemned to be the lowest of the low in U.S. society. For them, even learning - reading, 'riting, 'rithmetic - was illegal.

When slavery ended, light-skinned blacks established social organizations that barred darker ex-slaves. Elite blacks of the early 20th century were fair-skinned almost to the person. Even today, most blacks in high positions have fair skin tones, and most blacks who do menial jobs or are in prison are dark.
Maxwell describes a phenomenon that I am well-aware of because my mom, who was fair, experienced it and shared the tale with me -- the brown paper bag test. [She was of American black, West Indian and Native American descent, among many other "spices."] Her exposure to the "test" occurred in the 1950s, while living in Brooklyn, NY, she was dating a young gentleman, who was brown-skinned. She was invited to a party in the neighborhood and brought her friend to the dance. At the door, the host leaned in to my mother and said that he could not be admitted with her. She was upset and asked to step inside to discuss the matter. The host was uncomfortable that my mom didn't get the "secret signal", but brought her in (while he waited outside), and was told point blank "He doesn't pass the brown paper bag test." He was too dark, and there was to be none of that going on at this party.

Needless to say, my mom -- and her date -- left that party, embarrassed and hurt.

Maxwell shares Henry Louis Gates's experience with the "test."
In his 1996 book The Future of the Race, Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of the Afro-American studies department at Harvard, described his encounter with the brown paper bag when he came to Yale in the late 1960s, when skin-tone bias was brazenly practiced: "Some of the brothers who came from New Orleans held a "bag party.' As a classmate explained it to me, a bag party was a New Orleans custom wherein a brown paper bag was stuck on the door.

"Anyone darker than the bag was denied entrance
. That was one cultural legacy that would be put to rest in a hurry - we all made sure of that. But in a manner of speaking, it was replaced by an opposite test whereby those who were deemed "not black enough' ideologically were to be shunned. I was not sure this was an improvement."...We separate ourselves by skin tone almost as much as we ever did. If, say, you check out the "desired" female beauties in rap videos, you will find redbones galore.
To further confuse the issue, you have the fairly recent phenomenon (within the last century) of white people desiring darker, tanned skin. It was once perceived that a white person with a tan was a outdoor, lower-class laborer, and that pale beauty was prized. Later the luxurious, coveted, golden tan came into favor as a symbol of health and indicated affluence and the ability to take leisure at the beach (and later the tanning bed).

Acheiving a tan, however, was definitely not desired because whites wanted to be mistaken as "black", of course, given the negative social status that came with that racial identification. Besides, with European features and non-kinky hair, there was still a level of "protection" from that misidentification. In the present day, the pendulum in enlightened circles has swung back to the other side regarding tanning, again for health reasons, because too much sun is linked to skin cancer. Brown is now bad again.

Given this mixed-up cultural mess, is it any wonder why there is a multi-million-dollar industry that profits from the sale of skin-lightening products?

Not comfortable in your own skin? Lighten up.

If you can't beat the system, try to join it. It's a worldwide phenomenon, affecting Asians, Africans, Indians, and other non-European peoples. Women, of course bear the brunt of the pain in this racist syndrome, as the cultures attach light skin tone to the highest standards of feminine beauty. Amina Mire, a university professor in Toronto publishing part of a doctoral dissertation in a special report for Counterpunch, Pigmentation and Empire: The Emerging Skin-Whitening Industry, does an excellent exposé of the health risks posed by products created and distributed by multinational corporations that profit handsomely from this sickness.
At least in the United States, racially white eastern and southern European women have used skin-whitening in order to appear as 'white' as their 'Anglo-Saxon' "native" white sisters. In the United States, women of colour also have practiced skin-whitening. Many of the early skin-bleaching commodities such as Nodinalina skin bleaching cream, a product which has been in the US market since 1889, contained 10 per cent ammoniated mercury. Mercury is a highly toxic agent with serious health implications. According to Kathy Peiss, in 1930, a single survey found advertising for 232 different brand names of skin-bleaching creams promoted in mainstream magazines to mainly white women consumers in the United States.

...For example, almost all the medical literature published by western medical and dermatology journals offer us women of colour as victims of the dubious desire for unattainable corporeal whiteness. This same unattainable desire is often reinforced with horrifying images of the damaged faces and bodies of women of color after using cheap skin-whitening creams containing toxic chemical agents such as ammoniated mercury, corticosteroids, and hydroquinone.


The faces of Black South Africans permanently damaged by long-term use of Over-the-Counter (OTC) 2 per cent hydroquinone based skin-whitening cream.

The emphasis on such 'health risks'has facilitated the production, and marketing around the world, of new and, conceivably, 'safer' but highly expensive skin-whitening commodities and combatant technologies. The emerging 'high-end' skin-whitening commodities are marketed mainly to affluent Asian women to modify skin tone, also to white women as anti-aging therapy.
The multinational "beauty machine"

Mire notes that these large companies operate in a covert manner when marketing their product, always trying to steer clear of the political (and thus financial) impact of marketing campaigns in third world countries of color, where the message is "white is right." With the ability to market and sell in the decentralized, amorphous world of the Internet, these companies remain stealthy, while profiting from fostering Colorism.
Currently, transnational biotechnology, pharmaceutical and cosmetics corporations are engaged in the research and development and the mass marketing of a plethora of new forms of skin-whitening products which can "bleach-out" the "dark skin tones" of women of colour and can remove corporeal evidence of the aging processes, 'unhealthy life-style' and overall pollution from the skin of white women. In North America and Europe, the emerging high-end skin-whitening products have been promoted as new 'therapeutic' regimes which can 'cleanse,' 'purify' and 'regenerate' aging skin. Consequently, in North America and Europe, skin-whitening commodities aimed at white women are often sold under the banner of 'anti-aging skincare.' In other parts of the world skin-whitening commodities are promoted to 'whiten' and 'brighten' the 'dark skin tones' of women of colour.

This growing industry is a lucrative one whose reach is greatly facilitated by systematic use of the internet as the main medium for the dissemination of advertising messages for skin-whitening products and related technologies. Some of the leading transnational corporations engaged in the 'trafficking' of skin-whitening products have extensive e-business domains. Often these companies set up internet domains and e-shops in specific countries such as China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, just to name a few. In addition to such e-business sales drives, extensive use of the internet allows these corporations to avoid both the negative political implications and legal regulatory restrictions they could face if they were to openly promote skin-whitening commodities in North America and European markets.

"BI-White: The skin Pigmentation ID." (Source: http://www.vichy.com/gb/biwhite).

You've heard of L'Oreal, right? It is the world's largest cosmetics company, with sales in 2003 topping $14 billion. But did you know that it is a leading promoter of skin-whitening cosmetics? This is shameless, and brilliant as a business plan, since the market for such products, while distasteful, is booming.
The influence of the pharmaceutical industry is evidenced by much of L'Oreal's promotional rhetoric for skin-whitening cosmetics and related technologies. L'Oreal's ads for skin-whitening cosmetics increasingly blur the line between cosmetic and pharmaceutical claims. Such close integration between the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries has serious social, medical, and political implications. In fact, L'Oreal has already designated some of its subsidiaries, such as Vichy Laboratories and LA Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmaceutique, as quasi-pharmaceutical outlets through which the company can successfully promote skin-whitening and other cosmetics under the rubric of skincare biomedicine.
The Asian markets are targeted just as hard as African ones; in fact L'Oreal tailors its message so expertly and craft its ads so well, you'd think the product should a must-have in your beauty arsenal.
L'Oreal calls this marketing strategy 'Geocosmetics:
More than half of Korean women experience brown spots and 30 per cent of them have a dull complexion. Over-production of melanin deep in the skin that triggers brown spots and accumulation of melanin loaded dead cells at the skin's surface create a dull and uneven complexion. Vichy Laboratories has been able to associate the complementary effectiveness of Kojic Acid and pure Vitamin C in an everyday face care: BI-White.
Another L'Oreal advertisement for skin-whitening brand is called "White Perfect." This particular skin-whitening brand is sold in L'Oreal's Asian markets and online e-shops. In that way, those who live outside Asia can purchase this and other L'Oreal skin-whitening brands over the internet.

...L'Oreal's advertising for skin-whitening commodities reinforces and consolidates the globalized ideology of white supremacy and the sexist practice of the biomedicialization of women's bodies. It is in this specific context of the continuum of the western practice of global racism and the economic practice of commodity racism that the social, political and cultural implications of skin-whitening must be located and resisted. Consequently, feminist/antiracist and anti-colonial responses must confront this social phenomenon as part and parcel of our old enemy, the "civilising mission" ; the violent moral prerogative to cleanse and purify the mind and bodies of the "dark/dirt/savage".
Amina Mire also notes that L'Oreal has 12 major subsidiaries: Lancôme Paris, Vichy Laboratories, La Roche-Posay Laboratoire Pharmacaceutique, Biotherm, L'Oreal Paris, Garnier, L'Oreal professional Paris, Giorgio Armani Perfumes, Maybelline New York, Ralph Lauren, Helena Rubinstein skincare, Shu Uemura, Maxtrix, Redken, SoftSheen-Carlson™. Not all of the above listed L'Oreal subsidiaries deal with the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of skin-whitening products, but it illustrates the reach of the company.

Mire's lengthy, thought-provoking article at Counterpunch is certainly worth the click and your time. It might also be useful to ask a few questions of L'Oreal; after all, these executives, scientists and marketing people do quite well (and I'm sure sleep like babies at night) fostering institutionalized racism, colorism and sexism for a buck.


Lindsay Owen-Jones,
Chairman & CEO of L'Oréal
Web contact form

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Email the article's author, Amina Mire: amina.mire at utoronto dot ca.

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For a look at the issue of effects of racism through the prism of hair texture, read these earlier Blend posts:

* The effects of slavery permeate our society to this day
* The politics of hair (again): school bans white girl with braids
* Good hair day


Thanks to House Blender Impeach Bush for the pointer.


Rick Santorum Unhinged on 'This Week'

I was trying to find a couple of choice excerpts from the transcript of Little Ricky's appearance today on This Week with George Stephanopoulos to share with Blenders. It's maddening because, for crying out loud, the whole thing is such an excruciatingly bad train wreck of wingnuttery that you have to read it all yourself to get the whole picture of the man. He's completely filled to the brim with AmTaliban Kool-Aid -- on an IV of it. And he comes off like a real boob. As I said, I cannot do it justice, go read the whole thing, but here are a few of the topics covered.

On rolling back Roe v. Wade, Santorum's would like a constitutional amendment to ban abortion, even though he has never co-sponsored any that have been submitted.


SANTORUM: And the [Supreme] court is really supposed to be an umpire between the legislative branch and the executive branch. Instead, they’re trying to play the game.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But you say you don’t want the courts to decide, you want the people to decide. And of course, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, each state would have the choice. But I wonder if that’s good enough, given what you believe. If you believe that that would essentially give the states a license to kill, don’t you have to be for a constitutional amendment that would ban abortions in every state?
SANTORUM: Well, OK, let’s just say, let’s say that we did that, that would be the democratic process. Again, it…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But do you support that?
SANTORUM: I would support a constitutional amendment, sure.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How come you’ve never co-sponsored one or introduced one in the Senate?
SANTORUM: Well, because we’re so far away from any potential of doing a constitutional amendment. The bottom line is, what we want is the people to speak on this issue. And I think the most logical way, given the state of play in the American mores, if you will, is having each state legislature, and the Congress potentially, although I would really try to reserve it to the state legislature, have them decide what the collective morality is.
Then it's OK that Massachusetts allows gays to marry, Ricky? Next, Santorum takes on the Radical Feminist MovementTM, which is destroying the family. He can't seem to name any of these wild-eyed, ball-breaking hussies, except Hillary and Gloria Steinem. Georgie S. breaks Ricky's pretty well here...

Graphic: Mike Tidmus.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about something else in the book, radical feminists. A second quote from the book, you say, Respect for stay-at-home mothers has been poisoned by a toxic combination of the village elders’ war on the traditional family and radical feminism’s mysogynistic crusade to make working outside the home the only marker of social value and self-respect. Let’s get specific here. Name one or two of these radical feminists who are on this crusade.
SANTORUM: Well, I mean, you know, you have — you go back to, what’s her name, well, Gloria Steinem, but I’m trying to remember — I can’t remember the woman’s name. It’s terrible. Anyway…
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it’s kind of an important point. Because you paint this broad brush: radical feminists, village elders. Name one.
SANTORUM: There’s lots of — no, there’s lot’s of — well, Gloria Steinem. There’s one. I mean, there’s lots of writings out there…
STEPHANOPOULOS: She’s been on a crusade against stay-at-home moms?
SANTORUM: There’s lots of writings out there, and there is an opinion by the elite in this country across academia, across the media, that stay-at-home motherhood is not adequately affirmed and respected by our society.
...STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, I’m asking you. Where are these radical feminists?
SANTORUM: It comes from an elite culture, dictated, again, from academia, dictated, again, from the Hollywood culture and the news media, that says, the only thing that’s affirming, the only thing that really counts is what you do at work.
Pathetic. It doesn't get any better when he goes after Hillary. All the bluster, and he can't back it up with jack.


STEPHANOPOULOS: Hillary Clinton wrote much the same in her book, It Takes a Village. Do you believe she’s a radical feminist?
SANTORUM: Yes, I do. I mean, read her work and what she’s done on children’s rights. I mean, that’s radical. I mean, you’re talking about giving children the same — that children have rights equal to adults. I mean, that is not a nurturing atmosphere of mothers and fathers taking responsibility for shaping the moral vision of their children. She doesn’t agree with that, at least if you look at her earlier writings.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Have you talked to her about your book?
SANTORUM: We’ve had conversations in passing about it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Tell us about them.
SANTORUM: Oh, just, you know, pass in the hallway, you know, she made a comment to me about that it takes a village, and I responded, no, it really does take a family.
You really have to go read the transcript to see his defense of his statement that "Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm" of the Catholic priest pedophile scandal. George kicks Little Ricky's *ss all over the room on that one. If this is the best he can do, it's no wonder Santorum announced that he's not running in 2008.


Does God hate the Boy Scouts?

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Just asking. After all, if this sort of series of awful tragedies befell random participants at various Pride celebrations around the country, I'd expect Dobson, Falwell, Phelps and company to be broadcasting widely that the disasters were God's punishment against the homos.


Co-founder of 'ex-gay' movement says conversions are bogus, dangerous

(via Americablog). Wayne Besen, author of the Anything But Straight, an expose of the ex-gay movement, has a statement up on his site from one of the co-founders of Love In Action, former "ex-gay" John Evans.

Love in Action, you'll recall, is running the Refuge conversion camp where teen blogger Zach was placed by his parents when he came out to them. Evans says that gay conversion groups "shattered lives."
"In the past 30 years since leaving the 'ex-gay' ministry I have seen nothing but shattered lives, depression and even suicide among those connected with the 'ex-gay' movement," Evans writes in his letter to John Smid, Love In Action's current director. "I challenge Christians to investigate all sides of the issue of being gay and Christian. The Church has been wrong in the past regarding moral issues and I'm sure there will be more before Christ returns."

Evans, a gay man, founded what may be the first modern ex-gay group in San Raphael, Calif. in 1973, along with a heterosexual preacher Kent Philpott. Evans left his life partner of ten years to start the gay conversion group. He later dropped out after he realized it didn't work and his best friend committed suicide because he could not turn heterosexual.

"Having the founder of Love In Action step forward to admonish the ministry he started speaks to the utter hopelessness and futility of these groups, not to mention the danger they represent," said Wayne Besen, Author of Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth (Haworth, 2003). "Most disturbing are the compulsory gay boot camps for teens which are tantamount to child abuse. They should immediately be shut down."
Go to Wayne's site for Evans's entire letter.

Other Blend posts on Zach's story:
* Zach's parents 'come out' about the attempt to 'de-gay' their son

* Why 'ex-gay' programs like Love in Action are immoral

* Zach's story makes the NYT

* Follow-up to Love in Action's 'ex-gay' re-education camp

* Six more weeks in 'ex-gay' camp for TN teen

* Zach to be released from "ex-gay" Love in Action prison


The all-white 'Sundown' in America



House Blender Holly sent me a link to a book that is definitely going to be on my wish list. Jim Loewen, author of Lies My Teacher Told Me, has a new work coming out (in October), Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of Segregation in America. "Sundown Towns" were municipalities that purposely ran whatever blacks that had the misfortune to settle there out of town by physical intimidation, arson, restrictive ordinances -- and for those stubborn darkies that had the gall not to get the hint -- the gun. From the book description:
Highland Park, Texas, home to both George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, did not have a home-owning black family until 2003. Vienna, Illinois, expelled its black community in 1954, burning their homes and sending them fleeing. Eleven Presidents and recent presidential candidates come from sundown towns, including McKinley, Truman, Dewey, JFK, and George W. Bush Signature American edibles that originated in sundown towns include Spam, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, and Heath bars.
Publishers Weekly, which has reviewed the book, adds more detail to the ground covered in Loewen's work.
Located mostly outside the traditional South, these towns employed legal formalities, race riots, policemen, bricks, fires and guns to produce homogeneously Caucasian communities—and some of them continue such unsavory practices to this day. Loewen's eye-opening history traces the sundown town's development and delineates the extent to which state governments and the federal government, "openly favor[ed] white supremacy" from the 1930s through the 1960s, "helped to create and maintain all-white communities" through their lending and insuring policies.

"While African Americans never lost the right to vote in the North... they did lose the right to live in town after town, county after county," Loewen points out. The expulsion forced African-Americans into urban ghettoes and continues to have ramifications on the lives of whites, blacks and the social system at large. Admirably thorough and extensively footnoted, Loewen's investigation may put off some general readers with its density and statistical detail, but the stories he recounts form a compelling corrective to the "textbook archetype of interrupted progress." As the first comprehensive history of sundown towns ever written, this book is sure to become a landmark in several fields and a sure bet among Loewen's many fans.
Kate told me that she knew that there was a sign in Cullman, AL (no longer there) that said "Welcome to Cullman", and as a subhead it said: "N*gger, don't let the sun set behind your back," so we know at least that is one Southern state that is probably in Loewen's book.


DC Rev 'apologizes' for outrageous sermon attacking gays

"But … women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain’t real. That thing ain’t got no feeling in it. It ain’t natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind and stick something in you, it’s something wrong with that. Your butt ain’t made for that."

“No wonder your behind is bleeding. You can’t make no connection with a screw and another screw. The Bible says God made them male and female.”
--The Rev. Willie Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast D.C. (and a former mayoral candidate)
I posted on this dude's unbelievable statements a week or so ago. He got so much heat for these comments that he finally had to apologize, though as with most of the idiots that get caught and have to publicly extract their feet from their mouths, the statement doesn't reek of sincerity when right behind it you reinforce perception of your initial opinion. We report, you decide. (WaPo):
"Some people in the community were offended by the language I used in my message, which I will admit was intemperate," Wilson said in a telephone interview. "I apologize to anyone who was hurt by the language that I used."

He added: "I do not apologize for raising a very serious issue concerning our young girls, some as young as 10 and 11 years of age, who are engaging in same-sex relations."
This is a ridiculous "mistakes were made" kind of cop-out, but then further down in the article, it all unravels in Reverend Wilson's loon-tastic comments.
Wilson said the sermon, which was recorded, was not intended for a wider audience. "As a preacher and teacher, I have a responsibility to address social issues in our community and to make some type of biblical and moral response," he said. [Oh, ok. So it was alright to spew that inappropriate sh*t about strap-ons and hateful language in front of parishioners, including children?]

...He also apologized last night for comments he made about black women. Those remarks prompted meetings this week between Wilson and women on the steering committee of the planned march. In his sermon, Wilson asserted that one reason women become lesbians is because a "lot of sisters [are] making more money than brothers." He also said his son told him that he couldn't get a date to the prom because "all the girls in my class are gay. Ain't but two of 'em straight, and both them ugly."

Wilson said irate calls about the sermon flooded his telephone line and prompted him to change his number. [Hmmmm. I wonder why?]

"I have learned that people can take your message out of context," he said. "I have a right and responsibility to preach to my congregation. They took my message and spread it all over the world."
Please, god how on earth could you take what this idiot said out of context?

Thanks to House Blender and Julien's List contributor Holly for the pointer.


Another blogger on the arson in Florida and supporting community in GA

House Blender Joe Tresh, a blogger and freelance photojournalist, also comments on the gay couple in Florida that had their home torched by bigots who left the spray-painted handiwork "Die Fag" on the steps. Joe, as Blender Mike Tidmus also did today, adds to the list of unfortunate anti-gay goings on. It touches on what I said in my original post on the Florida incident that gay folks and especially straight allies have to be willing to publicly defend their gay friends and acquaintances in less-tolerant environs for change to occur. Here's an action item regarding a situation in Georgia from Joe:
As gay people, we need to reach out more to our neighbors. Mr. Day - sharing no blame for this, just trying to live a quiet life - may find there are neighbors who understand him and don't hate him. He may find someone who thinks gay people are icky, who is beginning to become convinced of our alleged "immorality" because his church told him so. But by meeting Mr. Day and having a chance to see just another person who wants to live a peaceful life, perhaps the neighbor will question the blindness their church leaders are teaching them and accept their gay neighbors for who they are.

Meanwhile, in southern Georgia, somebody's gay neighbors are trying to reach out, but Lamar Advertising Company won't let them. Georgia Equality wants to buy billboards with pictures of gay doctors and firefighters that say "I protect you. And ... I am gay. We Are Your Neighbors." According to Lamar Advertising's James Locke, this doesn't meet community standards.



The fact that we exist does not meet community standards!

Call Lamar Advertising and tell them that they have gay neighbors who are part of the community standard. SHAME on them! Tell them how disgusted you are by their decision to deny our very existence!

Lamar Advertising Company
Corporate Phone Number: (225) 926-1000

Call the main number, use the company directory and leave a message for President Kevin P. Reilly Jr.

General Information: Theresa Doran
Contact their local offices and ask them what their community standards are.


We must be allowed to be seen for who we are. If we can't, the hatred and violence will only escalate, and actions by companies like Lamar will be what fuels the fire.


Blogwhoring, movie pick and open thread

Kate and I are going to see Murderball today. We didn't get to see it at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival a couple of months ago, because it conflicted with another flick we went to, but a friend highly recommends it. It's now out in general release. From the film's web site:


Featuring fierce rivalry, stopwatch suspense, and larger-than-life personalities, MURDERBALL, Winner of the Documentary Audience Award and a Special Jury Prize for Editing at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, is a film about tough, highly competitive rugby players. Quadriplegic rugby players. Whether by car wreck, fist fight, gun shot, or rogue bacteria, these men were forced to live life sitting down. In their own version of the full-contact sport, they smash the hell out of each other in custom-made gladiator-like wheelchairs. And no, they don't wear helmets.

From the gyms of middle America to the Olympic arena in Athens, Greece, MURDERBALL tells the story of a group of world-class athletes unlike any ever shown on screen. In addition to smashing chairs, it will smash every stereotype you ever had about the disabled. It is a film about family, revenge, honor, sex (yes, they can) and the triumph of love over loss. But most of all, it is a film about standing up, even after your spirit - and your spine - has been crushed.
Seen anything good lately?


Frist fried by Cardinal over stem cell research funding

Oooh. The Senate Majority Leader is getting scorched by Cardinal William H. Keeler, chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee for Pro-life Activities, a buddy of Bill Frist's during the Terri Schiavo fiasco. Heh heh heh. Bye, bye 2008. Listen to this flamebait:


"Today Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist announced he will support using federal funds to encourage the destruction of living human embryos for their stem cells. Despite the Senator's disclaimers to the contrary, this position is not 'pro-life.'

"Especially disturbing is the Senator's insistence that human embryos unwanted by their own parents are owed 'the same dignity and respect' as children and adults, but may nevertheless be killed for research material. "Such destruction of innocent human life, even out of a desire to help others, rests on a utilitarian view that undermines human dignity and human respect, as Senator Sam Brownback ably pointed out today in his response.

"Senator Frist's effort to make an analogy with organ transplants also fails, because it would be gravely immoral as well as illegal to harvest any patient's vital organs when he or she is still alive. "Despite his warning against offering 'false hope' to patients, Senator Frist also repeated claims that are untrue or misleading about the unique 'promise' of embryonic stem cells. No one has identified any disease that can be treated only with these cells; no one even knows whether they will ever provide a safe and reliable treatment for the conditions already being successfully treated using adult stem cells.

"These factual issues will no doubt be explored by others. My own central concern is that neither sound ethics nor good government can rest on the principle that 'the end justifies the means.' I commend President Bush for his laudable pledge to veto such legislation."


Like father, like son: George Wallace, Jr. courts the CCC


"There is nothing hateful about those people I've seen."
-- George C. Wallace Jr., welcoming the delegates of the "uptown Klan", the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) to its convention.
Sadly, that bad apple doesn't fall far from the tree. The former Alabama governor George Wallace stood in a school's doorway to try to prevent integration. Once it was clear that Jim Crow didn't fly anymore, he eventually courted the black vote to win re-election to his final fourth term in 1982. You'd think the son, Alabama Public Service Commissioner George C. Wallace Jr., might have learned from the social change that he witnessed while growing up and taken something postive away from those experiences. Apparently he didn't. (SPLC):
The younger Wallace, whose official resumé boasts of an NAACP Freedom Award, opened up the first day of the annual national convention of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a group whose Web site has referred to blacks as "a retrograde species of humanity." More than 100 delegates heard his speech, which went without any immediate coverage in the Alabama print or broadcast media.

There is little debate that the CCC is a racist group. In fact, the head of the Republican National Committee in 1999 warned party members to avoid the group after the Southern Poverty Law Center published an exposé detailing its racism. The CCC was created from the mailing lists of the old White Citizens Councils, which were set up in the 1950s and 1960s to resist efforts to desegregate Southern schools, and which Thurgood Marshall once described as "the uptown Klan." Recently, it has embraced Holocaust deniers and published anti-Semitic articles on its Web site.

In the audience listening to Wallace were a number of leading white supremacists. They included Don Black, proprietor of Stormfront.org, the most influential hate site on the Internet, and former Alabama grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan; Jamie Kelso, right-hand man and Louisiana roommate of former Klan leader David Duke; Jared Taylor, editor of the neo-eugenicist American Renaissance magazine; Ed Fields, an aging white supremacist leader from Georgia; Alabama CCC leader Leonard "Flagpole" Wilson, who got his nickname shouting "Keep Bama white!" from atop a flagpole during University of Alabama race riots in 1956; and the CCC's national leader, St. Louis personal injury lawyer Gordon Lee Baum...He said he welcomed the delegates and spoke about his family and conservative values.


Proud faces of the CCC's racist Right: Don Black, David Duke and "assistant" Jamie Kelso, Jared Taylor, Gordon Lee Baum.

This was not Wallace's first flirtation with the CCC, a group that has grown more openly radical and racist in recent years. Wallace, who was Alabama state treasurer between 1986 and 1994 and was elected to the Public Service Commission in 1998, gave speeches to the CCC once in 1998 and twice during 1999.


Mike Tidmus on the arson in Florida

I shared my thoughts last night on the arson that burned down the home of a gay couple in Lakeland, FL. Surf over to Mike Tidmus's blog. He posts news about additional arsons in Arkansas and Texas, and shares graphic that symbolizes the significance of fire as a weapon of hate and intimidation of the Right:


Has the religious-right, through its continual ratcheting up of anti-gay rhetoric, created a climate in which we can expect to see an ongoing escalation of hate crimes against gay people?

Obviously, the answer is yes.

Are good “Christians” capable of a crime like arson? The divine Miss Polly, at Adult Christianity, points to a couple of incidents of fundamentalist, “Christian” pastors torching their own church’s for profit here and here.

Have Dobson, Sheldon, Perkins, Knight, Wildmon, Falwell and the rest of the religious-right gang declared open season on gay people?

Well, yes they have and no they haven’t. None of them, to my knowledge, have publicly encouraged their flocks to grab a book of matches and a can of gasoline — at least not in so many words.
And, as Mike notes, because these high-profile bible-beaters don't direct the bigoted sheeple to perpetrate these crimes, they can continue to deny any responsibility for fomenting acts like arsons, beatings and killings of gays and lesbians, and still sleep like babies at night.

We have to tie these leaders of the Right to their flock of violent extremists. These arsonists, after all, are their people, their base, their alleged followers of the Holy Word.


Jimi Hendrix, faux queer

Friday, July 29, 2005



The swaggering ultra-het ax-man Hendrix got out of serving in Vietnam by declaring that he was gay, according to a new bio. That's all it took, and he was outta there. As desperate as the Army is now, would a simple homo declaration pass muster or would he have to prove he was a fag in some more concrete way? (Irish Examiner):
Rock legend Jimi Hendrix pretended he was gay to get out of the US Army, a new biography reveals. Hendrix was discharged from the 101st Airborne division in 1962, launching a musical career that would redefine the guitar, leave other rock heroes of the day speechless and culminate with his headlining performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at Woodstock in 1969.

Hendrix’s subterfuge, contained in his military medical records, is revealed for the first time in Charles Cross’s biography, Room Full Of Mirrors. Publicly, Hendrix always claimed he was discharged after breaking his ankle on a parachute jump, but his medical records do not mention such an injury.

In regular visits to the base psychiatrist at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in spring 1962, Hendrix complained that he was in love with one of his squad mates, Cross writes. Finally, Capt John Halbert recommended him for discharge, citing his “homosexual tendencies” – four years before Arlo Guthrie suggested that path for avoiding military service in the protest song, Alice’s Restaurant.




The Sunshine State: gay couple's mobile home set on fire


Chris Roberton (left) and Paul Day on Thursday inspect damage to their mobile home from a fire and look over the epithet painted on their steps. (John Raoux/Sentinel)
"Between Tampa and Orlando, it's just a void. It's a different world. Very behind the times."
-- Paul Day, 25, a gay man torched out of his home by cowardly bigots, in Lakeland, FL.


"For the past six months, I've been saying, 'I want to move; I want to move.' I don't want to be here anymore. It's stressing me out."
-- Christopher Robertson, 23, Day's partner
Love thy neighbor.

[UPDATE: I added some thoughts at the end, rather than posting a really long response in the comments.]

These young men had just completed three months of renovations on their home, at a cost of $15,000, and it all goes up in flames because of some hateful bigots. In this Orlando Sun-Sentinel article, it's noted that hate crimes based on sexual orientation are on the rise in Florida, a higher percentage than ever before.
Paul Day and Christopher Robertson knew life as gay men in Polk County could be rough. They had been called names and taunted by neighborhood teens before. Day, 25, said he even had a mailbox riddled with shotgun pellets once when living near the Green Swamp in the north part of the county.

The couple never thought it would get so bad as Monday, when they returned home from errands to find their house in Kings Manor Mobile Home Park in Lakeland torched and the words "Die Fag" spray-painted on the front steps.

...Monday's case is an arson with burglary, Lakeland Fire Department spokeswoman Cheryl Edwards said. But officials remain tight-lipped about the investigation.

The fire had "multiple points of origin," Edwards said. Day said someone apparently poured a flammable substance all over the carpet and torched it. The home, which just had three months of renovations completed, is in ruins, Day said. The damage is estimated at $15,000. Many belongings, including electronics, were stolen.

Day and Robertson have called Polk County home for most of their lives. As early as high school, Day said he knew he was gay and identified himself openly. Problems with other people, though, have plagued him. He said he called the authorities three times for such incidents as rocks thrown at his home and a shot-riddled mailbox when living in north Polk County.

When Day moved to the mobile-home park a couple of years ago, he said it didn't take long for trouble to begin. He said a group of teens and young adults sometimes taunted him as he checked his mail. "I tried to not associate with people here," said Day, who works at an auto-parts store in Auburndale. "We've just tried to stay to ourselves."
***

It is maddening. In the bigger scheme of things, gay people have the right to live anywhere in the freaking U.S. without having to worry about sh*t like this, just like anyone else. It's sad we have to fight for this right. Of course it's a different thing altogether to ask people to sacrifice their safety and "pursuit of happiness" to homestead in places gays are not wanted. This gay couple didn't have the support of their neighbors; there was no one willing to stop the insults and rock-throwing from escalating.

Coming out is the most powerful thing gays can do, but it cannot be done in isolation; straight allies have to be willing to publicly defend their gay friends and acquaintances. The fear is that people are coming out in such numbers that are scaring these bigots. This is the kind of reaction gays receive when the homo-haters' discomfort has reached a level where they have to make "statements" like this to send a message to recloset or get out.

The homophobes would love nothing more than to reclaim "God's country", and shuttle gays, brown people of any sort, and probably anyone of a religion other than fundamentalist Christianity off to distant areas of Blue. [At some point, they would probably admit to wanting to keep some of those immigrant browns available to perform services for them -- but they should live in ethnic ghettos within convenient driving distance of gated Jesusland.]

At this point in gay rights history, the bigots are now content to cede the deep Blue enclaves to ethnic, religious and gay populations as "lost causes." The real battlegrounds are the suburbs, rural areas and states that have not had to deal with large populations of diversity. I guess the small victory is that they don't want the Blue back; the battle is over the Purple areas from tilting more Blue, and to stop any attempts to "corrupt" the deeply Red areas in any way.

One must also note that in prospective Jesusland, the bible-beaters would not only toss out openly gay folks, but the closeted ones, AND anyone that has engaged in same-sex acts -- throw in those drunken frat boy "explorations", prison homo-sex, all of it.

These folks want to cast a wide net, right? Their whole premise is that the conduct itself is evil and wrong, correct?

Let's say, magically, every person that had participated in what they deem homosexual acts suddenly had a rainbow flag symbol appear on their foreheads, identifying them -- I wonder what the actual remaining population of Jesusland would be if all those people had to get out -- 20% of the original group?

An aside: you can see the Red State desperation in its full flower on the illegal immigration front. All the Red border states are rebelling against Chimpy on this (the Freepers are going apesh*t), and the GOP knows that this is the conflict within its party that threatens to destroy it, not the homo culture war.

The Repugs know that they cannot resolve the gulf between the capitalist pig faction of the GOP and the come-to-Jeebus/working class faction of the party. The Dems have failed to reclaim any of latter faction, and it's the population that stands to lose the most as Bush's "greed is good" base gets its legislative way.

Rove masterfully tied Dem hands by tossing gays out there as the demon to appeal to the God-fearing aspect of this population with great success. The lack of a coherent Dem response sealed the deal, and gays are still the whipping boy instead of the fat cats that are picking Joe-Six-Pack's pocket and taking his job away.


Pelvic thrusts are the devil's work


"...This kind of body motion is a private thing. On stage, performed by a crowd of people we don't know, it degrades the very essence of what makes human beings special."
-- Jane Jimenez, columnist at AgapePress, on how her soul is hot and bothered by pelvic thrusts she sees while in the gym.
People, I cannot possibly make this sh*t up. I am, once again, nearly speechless...

Have you been thinking about pelvic thrusts lately? I haven't, but the more godly among us may be better equipped ponder over what what your hips and mine might be doing in the gym, on the TV, you know -- right in the AmTaliban's sensitive line of vision.

Jane Jimenez, a former elementary school teacher and self-described "freelance writer dedicated to issues of importance to women and the family" will show us the way from head to crotch.
I sit in the MegaGym lobby, waiting for my husband. A big screen television entertains us. Or should I say ... Sean and The Babes entertain us. Sean struts and bobs across the television screen, pointing and rapping. Behind him the Babes gyrate. Rap and gyrate, bodies in motion, bobbing and pointing and thrusting.

Honestly, I sit in a MegaWorld of body parts thrusting, and not one of them is a pelvis. Except for Sean and his Babes.

A mother walks over with her young son, and they each settle into a brown leather chair. Clearly, like me, they are just passing time. For lack of something to do, their eyes turn to Sean. He gyrates with a Babe. He gyrates with another Babe. Two babes at once. And then they do a round of pelvic thrusts. I want to cover her son's eyes. Sean bumps and grinds while his ten Babes get in a tight chorus line. In time with the music, in unison they do pelvic thrusts. A mother and her two toddlers walk behind me heading for the family locker room. I am embarrassed for them.

I want to go to the Customer Service desk and ask why we are not watching a basketball game. Or what about ballet, Nureyev or Baryshnikov doing power leaps across the stage? Or swing dance? Or ice skating? Of all the wonderful things we humans can do with our bodies, in a MegaWorld that exercises every muscle known to man without needing one pelvic thrust ... why are we subjected to big screen Sean and his Babes?

They lick their lips and shoot us sultry glances. [Do you get the sense that she's getting turned on and having "dirty thoughts" by this description yet?] She against him, him against her ... and her ... and her. A chorus line of pelvic thrusts, and I suddenly want this song to end.

Was it only half a life ago that Elvis provoked national outrage with one twitch of a nervous leg? Yet, with a career built on body motions, I never remember Elvis doing one pelvic thrust with a babe onstage.

Pelvic thrusts are common fare in America these days. Most people would consider them no big deal. MTV and Internet porn have given us bigger things to worry about. But, if little things don't matter, I wouldn't be here in the MegaGym trying to undo the damage of an extra ten calories. Big things are grown from little things.
Perhaps the only thing that tops this piece was my post on the Stepford Wives organization of the AmTaliban, Homemakers for America, whose head Kim Fletcher's desire to return to the 1950s ("We are the homemakers. Men build the house. We make the home.") was completely bizarre.


Gay.com billboard in MA comes down


Left: The "offensive" billboard. Right: Brian Camenker, director of Article 8 Alliance: ''You have two men embracing, wrapped in the American flag, advertising a porno website. How can you get more offensive than that?"

An update on yesterday's "Wingnuttery in Massachusetts" post, documenting a Gay.com billboard that, according to local AmTaliban group Article 8 Alliance, was "pretty disgusting" and "desecrated the American flag." Brian Camenker had his sheeple call in to complain to ClearChannel Communications to take the billboard down, which it agreed to do under pressure yesterday. They caved over FIVE phone calls. The official word from CC, at Boston.com:
The image, an ad for the San Francisco-based dating and news website Gay.com, was scheduled to come down tomorrow, but the complaints motivated the company to remove it one day early, said Drew Hoffman, president of Clear Channel Outdoor, a Phoenix-based media company. ''We're very sensitive to the community concerns," he said in a telephone interview from his office in Stoneham. Spencer Moore, a spokesman for Gay.com, said the company was not upset the ad is coming down a day early. Clear Channel received about five complaint calls yesterday, Hoffman said.

...Moore, of Gay.com, said the website is not a pornographic site. It offers online dating services, along with editorial and commercial content, he said. Moore said he had not spoken with Clear Channel representatives yesterday. ''As far as we know, the contract expired," he said. Gay.com is planning a new fall ad campaign, which will most likely include Boston, and it plans to work with Clear Channel again, he said.

Gay.com could, however, pursue legal action against Clear Channel, if it chose to, said Sarah Wunsch, a staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts. The media company may have violated its contract with the advertiser and interfered with its state civil rights, she said. ''It's pathetic that Clear Channel caved in with a complaint from the Article 8 Alliance. I consider them quite a fringe, on-the-edge kind of group."
Article 8 Alliance is also working to overturn same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Here's what replaced the Gay.com billboard:



Thanks to House Blender Todd for the pointer.


The energy bill, by numbers

Yesterday the House approved a massive energy bill, which, as the AP reported, would send billions of dollars in tax subsidies to energy companies. Here is a good roundup, by the numbers from the good folks at Facing South:
INSTITUTE INDEX - Negative Energy

Cost of the "Energy Bill" Congress plans to pass this week: $80 billion



Amount inserted by Speaker Tom DeLay, after conference discussion had closed, for an oil project in his district: $1.5 billion

Amount included in bill for "risk insurance" for nuclear power plants: $2 billion

Amount included for a study of "irradiated fuel": $250,000

Number of Congress members who admitted to knowing what this was after they approved the bill in committee: 0

Total subsidies to industry in the bill, mostly to oil, gas, coal and ethanol interests: $11.6 billion

Amount given by energy industry to political campaigns since 2000: $85.5 million


Frist backing stem cell study funding

"I give huge moral significance to the human embryo, it is nascent human life, what that means is as we advance science, we treat that embryo with dignity, with respect."
-- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (I'm sure, with a straight face)
Hurl alert. It's convenient hypocrisy as usual in DC, when pro-life, cat-killing Bill Frist flips and supports embryonic stem cell research funding. It almost takes your breath away that the telepathic Schiavo video diagnostician can utter anything about the "dignity of human life" at this point. (WaPo):
Breaking with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said Friday he now supports legislation to remove some of the administration's limitations on embryonic stem cell research.

Frist, an abortion opponent who just last month said he did not support expanding federal financing of research on embryos, said his decision was consistent with both his experience as a physician and his anti-abortion stance.

"Now is the time to expand the president's policy because it's promising research, but it must be done in a way that is ethically considerate, that respects the dignity of human life," said Frist, who also is a heart and lung transplant surgeon.

The Tennessee Republican, who has been said to be eyeing a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, said only stem cells from embryos that "would otherwise be discarded," not implanted in a woman or frozen indefinitely, should be considered for research.

Bush has threatened to veto legislation for expanded financial support for stem cell research. A bill to finance more stem cell research has passed the House, but has been stalled in the Senate. Frist's support could push it closer to passage and set up a confrontation with Bush.
The Freepi have quickly turned on Frist, his behind is toast for a prez run, if you believe these folks...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Just another one with no backbone who will not stand by the president."

"Who needs Democrats when the GOP does just fine promoting the culture of death all by itself?"

"Further, I suspect he knows he's not going to be president so he might as well betray his every professed belief for financial gain."

"Rotten traitorous b*stard! And this is the GOP leadership???? Forget it! I am DONE with them. First they ginore the borders. Then they coddle the religion of murder. Now, what the heck? Let's cannibalize the unborn! The GOP is no better than the Democrats."

"I will never vote for him. How dare he use the force of government to make all of us fund this atrocity. It can now be done privately by willing participants. Now I must violate my conscience every time I pay my taxes. SHAME ON FRIST FOR BEING ANTI FREEDOM AND ANTI LIFE!"

"I suspect that Frist's hospitals will reap huge financial gain from this type of research."

"What irks me the most is that he tries to redefine what it is. I no longer respect this man. We are all going to die. We may kill enough babies to find a cure for one disease only to die of something else. Ahhh...but in the meantime there is a lot of money to be made. All the state governments are drooling over the potential windfall, so no surprise a Presidential candidate is doing the same. BUT HE WILL NEVER GET MY VOTE!!!!!!!!"

"Frist is doing such a good job of trying to parse words and split hairs during his performance on C-Span this morning! I cringe every time I hear him say that federal funds are only to be used for "embryonic stem cells, or blastocytes that will, with certainty, be thrown away anyway". I don't need to be presented with medical terms and percentages to know all I need to know about this...killing innocent human life is wrong. Period. I don't think that we were ever supposed to go down the road of invitro-fertilization. I don't think that God ever meant for us to have extra human beings lying around, only to be destroyed and thrown away later on! We've passed the point of no return. We live in a society where the ends justifies the means. Sad."

"Thanks a lot spineless, consciousless Frist for moving to advance human life and babies as a mere comodity for useable body parts like a junkyard."

"Tradeing for Specter-points."

"I don't think that we were ever supposed to go down the road of invitro-fertilization"

"Exactly. We are just creating a market for them, so that they can say "look, it WILL cure this or that, so now we need to CREATE life so we can DESTROY life so that we can "save" life (they will just die of something else). I will never trust Frist again."

"I'm sorry that you do not understand. That's the way it is anyway. It's called conscience. I will not vote for a baby killer if the position will give him power in these moral areas. The result, then, is up to God. I must do what is right with whatever power I have. That means I must vote for a moral person and not just a "lesser of two evils" person. Any time I have compromised on that I have lived to regret it. So I am learning from past mistakes."

"IF Frist is running against a liberal with a similar perspective conscience overrides the opportunity to employ all attributes offered by said party?"

"said only stem cells from embryos that "would otherwise be discarded," not implanted in a woman or frozen indefinitely, should be considered for research."

"This whole statement bothers me. Why are we creating embryos that "would otherwise be discarded" anyway? Also, why are Republicans simply taking this situation as a given? Why are we not challenging it?"

"That's where it all starts. I used to fall for that, but no more. As it is now, the "better than the Democrat" Republicans are destroying everything we want. We have the WH and both houses of Congress and we can't even stop funding NPR and PBS. It's a big fat JOKE -- and the joke is on us. So no, I will vote only for candidates who are moral on the issues they will have power over. I could vote for Frist for dog catcher, but not President. I only have control over one decision: my vote. If someone wants my vote, let him offer moral leadership. PERIOD! Earn my vote or you won't get it."

"This "big tent" Republican Party isn't worth crap! They want to be "all inclusive", and now we are seeing the results of that mentality. They have tried to represent so many different lines of thinking that they have no core values anymore. I've seen it coming for a long time, and I do believe that the Republican Party has seen its last vote from me until they find their conscience and principles again."

"All my RNC mail, and mail from Frist's senatorial office, etc gets tossed with all my other junk mail these days. If I have no voice with those clowns, then they may as well do without my $."

"Frist has girlie-man mannerisms. On that basis alone, he couldn't be elected President."


Congress wants to cut airport security


A "report" on airport security improvements, courtesy of the Bush White House spin machine.

We'll be in long lines come holiday time if Congress has its way. Why do they hate America? (USA Today):
Airline passengers will face longer airport security lines starting this fall if Congress goes through with plans to cut up to 13% of the nation's checkpoint screeners, a top Transportation Security Administration official said Thursday. Thomas Blank, TSA's acting deputy administrator, said the Homeland Security Department is fighting a Senate spending measure that would cut 6,000 of the agency's 45,000 screeners.

The House voted to cut 2,000 screeners in the budget that takes effect Oct. 1, Blank told a Capitol Hill hearing. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees Homeland Security funding, disputed Blank's figures and said the House is not cutting any screeners but is cutting unnecessary management costs. [I'd like to see what that refers to.]

Airport directors predicted enormous lines if 6,000 screeners are cut as air travel hits record levels.
There's a chart on the USA Today page that outlines proposed cuts at particular airports. New York's Kennedy airport stands to lose 162 screeners. Not that the TSA screeners were doing much anyway. Way too many of the ones I encountered over the last year were barely bothering to compare my photo ID to my boarding pass; in one case another didn't even bother with that formality when Kate was going through.

I went back to my personal web site, where I remember posting a rant about airline insecurity back in October of 2001, when everyone was jittery about air travel. I went to NY to attend my 20th HS reunion at Stuyvesant. I'm posting an excerpt here; read and see how not much has changed...
Friday, October 12.

Pre-9/11, I could get into RDU and onto a flight to LGA within 45 minutes. On 10/12, when the new, "increased" security measures were in place, including the national guard presence, I flew again from RDU to LGA for a 7 a.m. flight. I arrived 3 hours ahead, anticipating long processing at the ticket counter and security (and every minute was needed).

The distressing thing was, after waiting on the long security line to get to the x-ray machines with the low-paid, undertrained screeners on the job, my small shoulder satchel sailed through, barely spending 7-10 seconds tops on the belt through the machine and out to the other side.

No one asked me to empty my bag or asked about anything. I expected, actually wanted them to do so because it was stuffed to gills, and contained the following:

* wallet
* cell phone and charger
* pda (palm pilot)
* palm pilot keyboard
* mp3 player
* 35 mm camera
* digital camera
* batteries
* pills/medicines not in the original containers
* insulin pen preloaded
* syringes

That the last two items weren't scrutinized is frightening. I could have gotten aboard my flight and used the syringe to disable the flight attendant, a pilot, etc. It could have been filled with a poison or something. I thought patients with such devices had to provide confirmation or prescriptions or something. even show a medicalert ID. _anything, something_.

Never mind the jumble of electronic devices that could have had dubious uses. the security person "scanning" the bag had no time to really identify what what in there.

I got the feeling they just wanted to herd as many people onto the planes as quickly as possible and "security" was just the presence of the national guard brandishing weapons and barking for folks to put their coats, jackets and laptops on the belt.

I'd like to blame this on RDU's lack of security, but on my return flight from LGA on the 14th, the same bag sailed through unquestioned on the screener's xray belt again.

The bottom line is I don't mind the extra time, if it's actually representing extra security. It currently isn't and they aren't screening what's going into the belly of the plane (and haven't done background checks on workers with access to the plane), so god knows what could be put on board.


Bolton the Walrus: Liar



Oops. He probably just forgot to mention that he was interviewed by the State Department inspector general a couple of years ago about the bogus intelligence that Saddam was seeking nuclear materials in Africa. Oh, no, in Washington, it's just called an "omission."
Bolton was interviewed by the State Department inspector general in 2003 as part of a joint investigation with the CIA into prewar Iraqi attempts to buy nuclear materials from Niger, State Department spokesman Noel Clay said Thursday.

...His statement came hours after another State Department official said Bolton had correctly answered a Senate questionnaire when he wrote that he had not testified to a grand jury or been interviewed by investigators in any inquiry over the past five years. Clay said Bolton "didn't recall being interviewed by the State Department's inspector general" when he filled out the form. "Therefore, his form, as submitted, was inaccurate," Clay said. "He will correct it." Bolton, former undersecretary for arms control and international security, had no role in a separate criminal investigation into the leak of an undercover CIA officer's identity, Clay said.

The reversal followed persistent Democratic attempts, led by Sen. Joseph Biden, D-Del., to question Bolton's veracity just days before Bush could make Bolton's a recess appointment, meaning he could occupy the U.N. post until the end of next year when the current Congress ends.

"It seems unusual that Mr. Bolton would not remember his involvement in such a serious matter," said Biden, the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. "In my mind, this raises more questions that need to be answered. I hope President Bush will not make the mistake of recess appointing Mr. Bolton."
Don't worry, Joe, he will.


Facing South on CAFTA

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Facing South gives a tally of the Dems that went over to the dark side to vote for this completely destructive mess that is CAFTA. Chris Kromm is absolutely right when he says that the Dems that voted for this really stuck a hot poker in the eye of blue collar Southerners. If the party ever hopes to regain the South, it's not going to do it with this kind of vote -- which will destroy what is left of any credibility that the party is for the working family. These Dems cozied up to the corporate interests and the voters will have a long memory.
Bush and the GOP leadership may have had to fight hard to win over half of the Southern Republican delegation in the textile belt, but they didn't have to lift a finger for the other Southerners central to this drama: Southern Democrats.

Eight out of the 15 Dems who cast their lot with this dubious corporate-written trade pact were from the South. Here's the list of CAFTA supporters in the House from the "party of opposition":
Melissa Bean (IL)
Jim Cooper (TN)
Henry Cuellar (TX)
Norm Dicks (WA)
Ruben Hinojosa (TX)
William Jefferson (LA)
Jim Matheson (UT)
Greg Meeks (NY)
Dennis Moore (KS)
Jim Moran (VA)
Solomon Ortiz (TX)
Ike Skelton (MO)
Vic Snyder (AR)
John Tanner (TN)
Ed Towns (NY)
There was no political reason for these votes. None were in danger of losing their seats from an anti-CAFTA vote.

In fact, given that all of the Southern states they represent have been ones that have suffered greatly from past "free trade" deals, this could have been a great way to appeal to blue-collar and middle-class voters. Here's how many jobs have been lost to NAFTA in their states --and these are just numbers up until April 2001, before the Bush recession displaced thousands more workers made vulnerable by NAFTA and other pacts:
Arkansas: 9,829 jobs lost from NAFTA, 1993-2000
Louisiana: 6,613 jobs lost
Tennessee: 25,000 jobs lost
Texas: 41,067 jobs lost
Virginia: 16,758
Also, none of these Democrats are exactly fighting for their political lives. Inspired by David Sirota, an analysis of their 2004 election margins reveals that all of the Southern Democrats who voted for CAFTA got into office with over 55% of the vote -- a virtual landslide.

So these Democrats voted unnecessarily voted for an undemocratic, corporate-written global investment deal guaranteed to alienate hundreds of thousands of working families in the South -- just the people Democrats need to win over if they hope to have any future in the region.
More on the CAFTA aftermath here.


A real vote of confidence

Another piece of foam came off, and it hit the shuttle. May these astronauts get home safely, no thanks to NASA's really detailed approach to quality assurance. Emphasis mine --
Space shuttle Discovery escaped damage from the potentially deadly chunk of foam that broke off from the fuel tank during liftoff, but may have been struck in the wing by a much smaller piece, NASA said Thursday.

Even if the small foam fragment did hit, engineers believe the impact caused no damage of concern, said deputy shuttle program manager Wayne Hale. "This is the closest to a potential hit that we have out of all the data we've got," Hale said at an evening press conference. That's why it generated "a great deal of interest," he added.

Despite the latest development, officials said Discovery still looks safe to fly home in a week, but stressed it will be another few days before the space agency can conclusively give the shuttle a clean bill of health.


Aw shucks, I missed Hannity in Raleigh


Turd.

I'm sure I'll lose sleep over missing out on this one (NC Rumors):
Sean Hannity, in town to work on a story about Jesse Helms, will broadcast his radio show live today from WPTF studios, said program director and morning host Kevin Miller. He will broadcast from 3 to 6 p.m., the time much of the country hears "The Sean Hannity Show." In Raleigh, the program airs starting at 6-7 p.m. on 680 WPTF-AM.

In addition to his other duties, Hannity is the author of the best sellers "Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism," and "Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism."
BTW, there is actually a Raleigh-Durham Sean Hannity Meetup Group. Gads.


Alabama Civil Air Patrol is crawling with homos

So says AgapePress. The winger web rag is two for two today. You get the feeling that the guy in this piece believes there was a sudden homo invasion, ha ha ha ha.
In 2003, the Civil Air Patrol's Redstone Composite Squadron in Huntsville was named the Alabama Air Force Association Unit of the Year. Arnold Staton served as a senior member with that squadron from 1995 until 2003. He says in 2002 he learned that the unit had appointed a "trans-gendered" individual to work as an orientation pilot directly with the young people, unsupervised. Upon further investigation, Staton says he discovered that homosexuals have been appointed to CAP leadership positions without letting anyone know about their sexual orientation.

"I started looking and found out there's other instances in other states where openly homosexual individuals not only serve, they're given one-on-one access in leadership situations with young people," he says. "None of the parents [of the CAP youth cadets] were made aware of [the Huntsville situation]," he says, "so they'll let them serve -- and they don't really want anybody else to know what's going on."

Staton believes CAP leaders have an ulterior motive for ignoring the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military. "You almost would think that Civil Air Patrol's allowance of homosexuals and other deviants in these programs is almost a back-door way to root away at Don't Ask, Don't Tell," he suggests -- adding that such undermining of the policy "could possibly lead to openly homosexual individuals serving in the armed forces."


Wingnuttery in Massachusetts

Oh, please. The latest from AgapePress.
A Massachusetts pro-family group is urging Clear Channel Communications to take down a billboard in the Boston area that advertises a pornographic homosexual website. The large sign that stands along Massachusetts avenue near the M.I.T. campus in Cambridge features two nude men embracing while wrapped in an American flag. The slogan on the sign reads, "Come together. Gay.com."

Brian Camenker of the conservative group Article 8 Alliance points out that the billboard is situated so anyone driving or riding through town could see it. He says the sign's suggestive imagery is "pretty disgusting," but beyond that, "Gay.com is -- I don't think you want to go and see what it is."

What Gay.com is, Camenker explains, is "a pornographic homosexual website [where members] pay to learn how you can 'hook up' with other guys --and it talks about all kinds of pretty disgusting products and homosexual pornography." He is urging pro-family activists to call or write Clear Channel and express their disapproval of the billboard, with its promotion of the homosexual porn site and its desecration of the American flag.



Bush is f*cking low-class pig



[There are arguments over whether this is a "thumbs up" sign on AB, but you go see for yourself and decide.]

Flipping the bird to reporters. What was that about restoring honor and dignity to the White House? Bush is a low-life piece of pseudo-Christian trash that demeans the office in so many ways it's unimaginable. What a g*d-damn, lying, sh*t-can, *sshole, motherf*cker we have as President. He's a f*cking worldwide embarrassment.

Ah, deep breath...had to let the anger out.



I'm sure the Freepers think this is a real class act.

Video is at OneGoodMove.org, hat tip AmericaBlog.


Perv caught videotaping boy released, rearrested


This beast, Donald C. Mason, 34, is charged Tuesday with voyeurism. He told police he was "just screwing around" and denied doing anything wrong.

Sickness in Washington State. It's hard to believe that voyeurism is not considered a crime in either local court rules or in Washington state's sentencing laws, but that is the case, the article says, according to the prosecutor's office.
A man accused of secretly videotaping a 13-year-old boy in a bathroom stall at a Tumwater apartment complex was out on bail in a few hours, which has the boy's parents plenty angry.

The suspect, Donald C. Mason, 34, was rearrested and charged Tuesday with three counts of voyeurism and booked into the Thurston County Jail. It was the second time in 24 hours he had been arrested.

The first time, he paid $2,500 in bail and was released. He temporarily returned to the Alpine Village apartments at 301 T St., where he lives and where the victim was visiting his father, who also lives in the apartments.

The boy's parents wondered how someone accused of a sex crime involving children could be released so soon and with no oversight, especially to an apartment complex where children live. They notified Thurston County prosecutors, who responded by filing charges and asking the judge for an arrest warrant.

"I want to see this taken care of. I want to see this reach a conclusion," said the victim's mother, who is not being named to protect her son's identity. "I was shocked to hear that he was released."

...Police were called after the 13-year-old victim's father confronted Mason outside the apartment complex's clubhouse, where the pool and saunas are located. The boy was in a bathroom stall when he noticed a video camera pointed at him from under the door, police reports say. When the boy opened the door, he found the suspect, who asked: "Did I scare you?" police reports say.

When the boy told his father, the father approached the suspect, who was standing outside the clubhouse with a bag. The father tried to force the suspect to empty his bag and when he wouldn't do it completely, the father ripped the bag away and found the camera, police reports say.

Police reviewed footage from the camera and found shots of the boy, along with film of two young girls also in a bathroom. The camera battery died before police could watch any further, Tumwater police Detective Jon Weiks said.


Shameless self-promotion and open thread



Exactly how I feel today (OK, every day). From My Left Wing's Maryscott O'Connor.

MLW a great community blog, and -- full disclosure -- I've been named a front-page diarists by MSOC. I get to cross-post some of my Blend insanity over at MLW, even getting a little flame action, lol. Check it out.

Also, don't forget to visit my other community haunt, Big Brass Blog, home of way more talented bloggers. :)


The GOP Top 10

Completely ripped from Jon Perr's Perrspectives; you should surf over to there pronto for some serious, side-splitting anti-Chimperor content.
With the Karl Rove PlameGate scandal now in high gear, the Bush White House and the GOP leadership as usual have everyone singing the same tune. Over the last three weeks, their latest smash sound bite hit, "Don't Prejudge An Ongoing Investigation", has jumped to the top of the charts:



Click here for performances of "Ongoing Investigation" by President Bush, Scott McClellan, and RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman.


These women do not deserve to be mothers, part 4


Channoah Alece Green was charged with hit and run and felony child neglect. (Photo: Virginia State Police - Virginia State Police). The greeting on her answering machine with her son: "Praise the Lord," and ending with mother and son urging callers to "have a blessed day."

A couple of Blenders passed this one on to me. Really, it's time to study what is going on in these cases where mothers are deliberately placing their children in harm's way (hot cars, riding them in trunks of cars, or serving them up to be raped). These women do not need to have custody of their children, or for that matter, need to be giving birth to any.

Now, THIS, in Falls Church, VA, we have a lunatic that just dumped her child off on the side of the interstate, driving away, and hitting the child with the vehicle as he tried to get back into the car!
A Newport News woman, who police said abandoned her 4-year-old son on the shoulder of the Capital Beltway and then bumped him with her car as she drove off Tuesday night, was charged with felony child neglect and hit and run, Virginia State Police said.

Channoah Alece Green, 22, was arrested later that night about 90 miles away after she was involved in a two-car crash on Interstate 95 in Hanover County just north of Richmond, said Corinne Geller, a state police spokeswoman. Green, who was charged with reckless driving in that incident, is scheduled to appear in Fairfax County court today on the charges involving her son, Geller said.

"He was trying to get back in the vehicle when she struck him, and then she drove off," Geller said. Police are still investigating, but Sgt. C.F. Kincaid said the child explained that his mother was "upset with him." "He wasn't sitting down [in the car] like he was supposed to," he said.

Kincaid said the boy, who was abandoned near Lee Highway in Fairfax County, appeared in "very good spirits" when he arrived at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was treated for bruises and cuts to his face that appeared to be scrapes from the gravel shoulder.

The preschooler was placed with Fairfax County Child Protective Services, police said. Geller said police were withholding his name, citing an ongoing investigation...The child was very polite, Kincaid said.
It makes you wonder what other abuse this poor boy suffered in the home. Sorry, folks, tie those tubes now, and get this woman some counseling.

***

Lest you think I'm being overly harsh on this woman, it's just that I'm sick of these stories. So many children, many who end up in foster care, are f*cked up by drug-addled mothers and fathers, then they get a double-dose of anguish because they are shuttled around from foster home to foster home, prisoners of the system.

Two women that I know here in NC are foster parents (a lesbian couple that independently had fostered children before getting together). They are appalled by the inattention the state pays to foster situations. And they have nothing good to say about the birth parents either, who cycle in and out of rehab, counseling and numerous attempts to get them on the straight and narrow. They are now attempting to adopt some of the kids in their care, because it's clear the mother isn't going to be in a place to take them back.

In that case, the mother goes through cycles of rehab and counseling, then gets knocked up (safe sex, what's that?), and starts the whole abuse problem over again. She's working on shooting out the fifth baby -- and each has a different father that then skips out. The next baby will end up in the foster care system in short order.

The state will not pay for Norplant to stop this irresponsible woman from getting pregnant again. She's clearly not disciplined enough to take the pill, which the state does offer, and of course permanent sterilization is against the law. But what is the answer? Who will care for these kids?

This couple has asked, in frustration with the situation (both of them are black), why can't these the tubes be tied in cases like this? Everyone knows this situation is going from bad to worse, and the state is powerless to stop this societal train wreck from occurring. So many children, particularly those of color, are the victims of a system that choosed not be healed (you think a proposal to raise taxes to tackle the scope of this problem will ever pass?).

To get anywhere near solving this problem means frank talk across the political spectrum about the socioeconomic situations and problems that are the cause of abusive behavior AND the personal responsibility of adult citizens who have children that end up in the social services system.

***

UPDATE.

And, yet another, this one sent in by Blender Jim.



Angry mom abandons son, 7, on roadside.
Fed up with arguing, mom pulled over to the side of the road. "Get lost," authorities said she told her son Tuesday. He got out. She drove off. One problem: Her son is 7. Now Lori Heine, 46, is in the Pasco County jail, charged with child neglect. The reason for the dispute: McDonald's Happy Meals.

The boy wanted a Cheeseburger Happy Meal and a Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, the mother told police. He told officers his mother said he couldn't have any of the burgers she bought. According to police, the mother doesn't deny abandoning the boy.

"She told him to get out of the car and go away for a while," Zephyrhills Police Capt. David Shears said. Police say the mother kicked the boy out of the vehicle outside the closed Hercules Aquatics Center at 38110 State Road 54 and drove off, leaving him alone.

He wandered next door to Zephyrhills High School's baseball diamond, John F. Clements Field. The Zephyrhills Snappers were playing the Orlando Shockers in a Florida Collegiate Summer League game. The boy walked up to a spectator and asked for help, saying he couldn't find his mother.

"He advised the (spectator) that his mother was angry at him and told him she was never going to come back and pick him up," Shears said, "and she drove away." The spectator called police at 8:23 p.m. But officers don't know what time the boy, whose name they did not release, was left alone, or for how long. The aquatics center closes at 7 p.m. Officers took the boy to police headquarters and contacted the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Soon after, they got a call from the boy's sister, 23-year-old Kymberly Simms, reporting her brother missing. Police told her they had the boy at the station and to bring the mother for DCF to question.

... When Heine arrived at the police station, officers reported that she appeared intoxicated. "Ms. Heine advised that she sat in the car drinking beer and that when it was getting dark she could not locate her son," Shears said.

The mother told police she tried to look for him.


Other Blend posts:

These women do not deserve to be mothers
These women do not deserve to be mothers, part 2
These women do not deserve to be mothers, part 3.


Flying the friendly space of NASA

Wednesday, July 27, 2005



No Flights Until Foam Issue Fixed.
The shuttle Discovery, like Columbia, lost a large chunk of foam debris during liftoff that could have threatened the return of the seven astronauts, NASA said Wednesday. While there are no signs the piece of insulation damaged the spacecraft, NASA is grounding future shuttle flights until the hazard can be fixed.

"Call it luck or whatever, it didn't harm the orbiter," said shuttle program manager Bill Parsons. If the foam had broken away earlier in flight — when the atmosphere is thicker, increasing the acceleration and likelihood of impact — it could have caused catastrophic damage to Discovery. "We think that would have been really bad, so it's not acceptable," said Parsons' deputy, Wayne Hale. He said every indication so far is that Discovery is safe for its return home.
Uhhhh...really bad? That instills mucho confidence. One can only hope they don't have CNN in the shuttle so that the astronauts up there don't break into a sweat.

If NASA was an airline, it would be permanently grounded. All those hundreds of engineers just can't fix this damn thing to make it passenger-worthy, I was over at The Alternate Brain today, where The Fixer posted the following about the launch before this grounding news came out:
Head guy: Wow, we got it up there.

Other guy: Yeah, now we have to check for damage from the shit falling off. Is it because I fix things for a living, or does anybody else have a problem with this?
[. . .]

A 1 1/2-inch-wide bit of tile captured on camera appeared to fly off the shuttless belly, on the edge of a door that encloses the nose landing gear. It was not clear if the tile had been struck by anything. Pieces of tile, which protect the shuttle from searing heat on return to Earth, have been lost on past flights without preventing a safe homecoming. [my emphasis]

[. . .]
If an inch and a half piece of tile can critically damage the fucking thing, why the fuck is it flying? Especially since little shit falls off the thing constantly on takeoff.
As I said at over at The Brain, Is there no QA with this thing? Besides the fact that the same problem occurred this time with the foam breaking off, they still didn't fix the fuel indicator problem that grounded it last week -- NASA couldn't find the source of the anomoly. So they launch anyway, since it was a redundant system. Is that like kicking the tires or just rebooting the computer? What are our tax dollars paying for?


Tucker Carlson gets it in the 'nads



Jane over at Firedoglake just gave a swift kick to the bow-tied boy brute of the MSNBC airwaves, and you can feel it all the way over here.
Why Nobody Watches Tucker Carlson: Reason #9,675 - Because he's a world-class beatoff.

Tonight Tucker advanced the argument that Islamic clerics should be protesting against terrorists by booting them from the faith.

Before going any further with his career as a shill for the religious right, he might want to familiarize himself with exactly what it is that Christian fundamentalism believes in. Specifically he should take a look at John 3:16, which in addition to being the sandwich board of choice for street corner nutjobs everywhere is also the heart of the Christian gospels:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Dig it, Tucker: it doesn't matter what kind of heinous ass-raping, fratricidal racist thug you are, if you profess faith in Jesus Christ your name is already on the guest list at the pearly gates, and there it will stay, no matter what you do in this life. That is why Preznit Never Responsible can do enough blow to deviate the septum of a rhinoceros and still be beloved by Christo Fascists everywhere.
Whew.


Please god yes - Ted Nugent for MI gov in '06



A newsflash from That Colored Fella that certainly deserves sharing here -- the possibility that Motor City Madman Ted Nugent will run for governor of Michigan in 2006, reported in the Detroit Free Press.

As TCF notes below, the potential for political mayhem a la Alan Keyes makes one salivate anticipating sound bites and debates; TCF also muses about the GOP's other up-and-coming "stars." The bench is w-e-a-k.
Anyone familiar with the extremist, loony ideology of this perennial Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame reject, knows he has the embarrassing potential of an Alan Keyes for the Republican Party – but, just enough perceived appeal of a potential winner (think Schwarzenegger) for the GOP to overlook it all. Yet, for all his supposed popularity as a Rock legend, there’s a political analogy to be gleaned from the fact that his Chicago area fan base can be held in no larger a concert venue than the House Of Blues.

While the Democrats are fielding impressive state and national candidates for the 2006 Midterms like Kweisi Mfume in Maryland, Harold Ford Jr. in Tennessee, and Elliot Spitzer for New York Governor, ‘retired’, former Congressman J.C. Watts Jr. looks like the best the GOP will ever do, considering the prospective members of the quorum-challenged Black Republican Caucus such as Lynn Swann, Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, and the joke that is Ohio Sec. Of State, Kenneth Blackwell.
See related: What Florida Repugs think about 2008



Is this why Rush got hooked on Oxy?

AmTaliban web newsrag AgapePress, as always, provides a stimulating item of the day - this time it's advice and analysis of the burgeoning prescription drug abuse problem, courtesy of the Christian Medical & Dental Association.
[Psychiatrist Dr. Robert Rogan] observes, prescription drugs are extremely accessible to kids, whether they get them from their friends, from a neighbor down the street, or from their parents' own medicine cabinet. And as alarming as the rise in abuse of these prescribed medications can be, he adds, the illegitimate ways some people acquire them can be even more shocking.

"We had one situation in one of the places where I worked," the doctor recollects, "where a neighbor of this patient called in and said, 'Hey, look -- do you know that [likely Good Christian and Republican voter] Mrs. So-and-so is selling Xanax for five dollars a pill?' Of course, we're thinking Mrs. So-and-so just got her prescription filled here last week because she has all these panic attacks. And we realized we'd been deceived."

But the higher rates of prescription drug abuse could also be related to a spiritual root cause, Rogan points out -- namely, a lack of trust in God. "If you look at it from a spiritual point of view, people are trying to replace faith and God's character-building experiences with a pill," he says.

"I mean, one of the things in our lives that God uses to build character is trials and tribulations," the Christian physician continues. "But if you can get hold of a pill to take away the anxiety-producing effect of trials and tribulations, you can get out of experiences that build character."
Somehow, belief in God didn't stop El Rushbo from doctor-shopping, internet surfing and sending his maid to do back alley deals for the 20,000 pills to satisfy his hillbilly heroin habit. He's got plenty of self-induced legal trials and tribulations that he'll need some extra special help with. I don't think Rogan will be writing a prescription for him.

You have to wonder what kind of counseling patients get from doctors like Rogan? Does he tell people with depression to pray it away? What about panic attacks -- should some just drop to their knees and trust it will all go away? The idea that a pill cannot solve everything is valid -- alternative therapies should never be dismissed wholesale, but this article raises more questions about the kind of medical practice this guy is running, and what the Christian Medical & Dental Association does. Here is part of its statement on Sharing Faith in Practice:
As Christians we should share the good news of Jesus Christ. Christ has explicitly called us to make disciples.

As Christian physicians and dentists we seek the well-being of our patients in our covenantal relationship with them. Clinical studies have demonstrated the importance of spiritual health in physical well being. It is concern for the well-being of our patients that leads us to take a spiritual history from and share our faith with our patients.

As Christians we acknowledge the central role of the Holy Spirit in the process of evangelism. We rely on the discernment provided by the Holy Spirit to know when and how it is appropriate to share our faith. We recognize conversion is the Spirit's work, not ours.

Our faith should be implicit in our actions. We should be prepared to share our faith with patients and colleagues when our actions and the Holy Spirit prompt them to ask us questions. We should readily accept invitations from our patients to pray with them. We should offer to pray with our patients when they have indicated a belief in God and a practice of prayer. Some physicians and dentists choose to make their faith manifest through their statements, attire, or their office environment. Such indicators are not inherently disrespectful of patients and have the beneficial effect of making them aware of their doctor's faith perspective.
Well, there you go.


I want my money back



I feel like I was just pickpocketed. Turd Blossom, Scooter and the 12-hour Card received raises. Oh wait, I was robbed -- Hail to the Thief.
The top pay for senior White House aides, including Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove and Legislative Affairs Director Candida Wolff, mushroomed to $161,000 at the beginning of July, according to a list sent to Congress and obtained by National Journal, RAW STORY can reveal.

Democrats raised the issue on the Democratic Congressional Campaign website Wednesday morning. "Long live the era of personal responsibility!" they wrote. Rove and Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Scooter Libby both got raises; each has been questioned by a grand jury about their role in the outing of a covert CIA operative.
The complete waste of our tax dollars on these lying bastards is exacerbated by the billions wasted in Iraq, and now news in today's USA Today that Chimpy's runaway Medicare prescription program will drown us in an even worse sea of red ink (surprise!), courtesy of the liar in the White House.
If seniors with chronic medical conditions sign up in droves but healthy people stay away, insurers won't be able to sustain the program. If the costs keep rising — the original $400 billion estimate for 2004-13 already has been adjusted to about $720 billion for 2006-15 — the program will greatly increase the federal budget deficit. And if any problems cause Congress to re-examine the issue, lawmakers could include the type of government price controls on drugs that the Bush administration and the pharmaceutical industry have opposed.


Brit watchdogs: sexy guys make women drink too much


If you're in Great Britain, you'll see more bodies like the one on the left shilling booze, and no more hardbodies like Pitt.

This is a preposterous story. It smells like BriTaliban wingnuttery, intended to help stem binge drinking. What science is behind this? Hmmm. I don't think most of the students around campuses here are paying attention to commercials when the kegs arrive, but maybe the Brits are just different.
Lambrini, the popular sparkling drink, is the first to suffer. Its manufacturers have complained after watchdogs rejected its latest campaign because it depicted women flirting with a man who was deemed too attractive. The offending poster featured three women “hooking” a slim, young man in a parody of a fairground game scene. Harmless fun to lead its summer campaign, Lambrini argued.

But the Committee of Advertising Practice declared: “We would advise that the man in the picture should be unattractive — overweight, middle-aged, balding etc.” The ruling continued: “We consider that the advert is in danger of implying that the drink may bring sexual/social success, because the man in question looks quite attractive and desirable to the girls. If the man was clearly unattractive, we think that this implication would be removed.”

The ruling comes after ministers’ warnings to the drinks industry to take measures to tackle binge-drinking or face legislation. The new CAP code instructs that “links must not be made between alcohol and seduction, sexual activity or sexual success”. Romance and flirtation are not forbidden but adverts must not be aimed at the under-18s or use celebrities in a “sexy” or “cool” manner.


On your knees in Michigan



(via Raw Story).


Hop over to Shakes Sis

For some interactive Rovian fun: Hastert La Bevis, Baby.


CAFTA on the edge because of the South


Republican Sue Myrick of Charlotte will vote for CAFTA, but she's worried about fallout on her possible gubernatorial aspirations. Boo-hoo; The Hammer is cocky that it will pass.

Whoever advised Bush that the Central American Free Trade Agreement would be an easy sell in Red Southern states is a politically tone-deaf dolt. Support for CAFTA, despite the Bush roadshow (including a pathetic trip to the Tar Heel State), is flagging, but as Chris Kromm at Facing South notes, Tom DeLay is pumping up the troops, and southern votes will make the difference.
As Congress gears up for a vote tonight on the Central American Free Trade Agreement -- and Texas Rep. Tom DeLay promising a win -- the heart of the fight is in the U.S. South. As the Raleigh News & Observer reported on Monday, the region just isn't going for it:
The lack of support [for CAFTA] in the GOP-leaning textile belt, the industrial area that stretches across the Piedmont from Virginia to Alabama, is a major reason the administration is having difficulty collecting enough votes in the House for CAFTA to pass.
For example, listen to the words of Rep. Walter "Freedom Fries" Jones (R-NC), who despite Bush's pro-CAFTA photo op in NC this month is standing strong in his anti-corporate trade deal stance:
In a press conference yesterday on Capitol Hill, Third District Representative Walter B. Jones joined Republican Members of Congress to speak out against the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

"CAFTA is not going to help the people of Central America, and it certainly won’t help those American workers who will lose their jobs," Jones said. "If CAFTA becomes the law of the land, this country is setting itself up to become a second-rate manufacturing country."

"The American people are looking to us—Republicans and Democrats—to draw the line in the sand and save American jobs," Jones said.
The rest of North Carolina's Congressional bipartisan delegation is similarly skeptical. As the N&O reported, "Bush can count on the vote of only one of North Carolina's 13 members of Congress -- Republican Sue Myrick of Charlotte -- to ratify the trade agreement" -- and there's even talk that she's sweating the political fallout.
Ha ha ha ha. Sue Myrick!? If she's thinking of running for governor (something the Repugs here are floating), a yes vote on CAFTA will tank that. Hoo-boy, is she a moron.


John Dean: Bush has to run for cover behind private attorney over Plame leak

This is explosive. No wonder Dumbya's giving legalese answers. It's not a matter of what does he know, it's why does he need to hide behind a private attorney if he doesn't know? John Dean, writing on FindLaw:
Recently, the White House acknowledged that President Bush is talking with, and considering hiring, a non-government attorney, James E. Sharp. Sharp is being consulted, and may be retained, regarding the current grand jury investigation of the leak revealing the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA covert operative.

(Plame is the wife of Bush critic and former ambassador Joe Wilson; I discussed the leak itself in a prior column, and then discussed further developments in the investigation in a follow-up column.)

This action by Bush is a rather stunning and extraordinary development. The President of the United States is potentially hiring a private criminal defense lawyer. Unsurprisingly, the White House is doing all it can to bury the story, providing precious little detail or context for the President's action.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Bush explained his action by saying, "This is a criminal matter. It's a serious matter," but he gave no further specifics. White House officials, too, would not say exactly what prompted Bush to seek the outside advice, or whether he had been asked to appear before the grand jury.
Dean's conclusion is that Bush has no choice to hire outside counsel in order to ensure attorney-client privilege, ironically because of Ken Starr, who contended in two cases, that there is no such privilege if goverment lawyers are involved in criminal cases. Based on that precedent, Chimpy has to know way more than what he's publicly stated about the Plame leak -- and that any White House flunkies that are aware of what he knows (and when he learned it) will be flipped by prosecutor Fitzgerald.

Burn him.

[As commented oddjob noted, Bush may also be worried about covering up the tracks on the leak, even if he doesn't know it all, which in itself, still lands him in hot water.]

Also: Raw Story reported that Sharp had shady dealings in the past, and that he's such a shadowy figure, that when he was retained, our boy Scotty "press punching bag" McClellan was very coy in the announcement:
White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters June 3 that the lawyer’s name was Jim Sharp, but refused even to confirm whether he is James E. Sharp, a Washington attorney.

But the smokescreen around Sharp goes far deeper than that, and perhaps for good reason. The only other president to hire a private attorney for acts committed while president, Richard Nixon, eventually resigned from office.

Sharp long has cloaked himself in secrecy, even taking the unusual move of paying to have his address and telephone number removed from the major Martindale legal directory. He was an assistant district attorney before he came to Washington and has a history of taking on cases with political implications.
Hat tip to DKos diarist AlyoshaKaramazov


Jesus' General on Karl Rove's concubine


Karl's porking lobbyist Karen Johnson? Right: Karl measures up. Oh it's heinous, but as Gen. JC Christian, patriot says: "it would put an end to all the talk about Mr. Rove and that harlot, Jeff Gannon."

Hysterical letter to Ms. Johnson. I'm not the only one trying to erase Jeffy Lube/Turd Blossom imagery from my mind. (Link added)
Every time I think about it, I get this mental picture of Mr. Rove on all fours like Ned Beatty in Deliverance, his flabby flesh rippling and his belly and man-breasts bouncing in a rhythm dictated by Gannon's furious pounding and punctuated by Karl's calf-like bellows. I'd rather not have to picture that anymore.


Falwell: kids identifying as gay = horseplay on the interstate



Not surprisingly, Rev. Tinkywinky publicly endorses the forced induction of teens into "ex-gay" camps. He did so at the "ex-gay" Exodus International conference in Asheville, NC over the weekend (I posted about it here), and he opened his portly piehole to share this wisdom.
Speaking at the annual conference of Exodus International, the nation’s largest religious group promoting the idea that gays can change their sexual orientation, the Rev. Jerry Falwell endorsed forcing gay kids into counseling designed to change their sexual orientation.

Jerry Falwell compared allowing a child to identify as gay with allowing children to play on the interstate. Falwell went on to dismiss psychologists’ claims that consent is fundamental to a healthy counseling relationship and that parents should not force their gay kids into therapy.
Check out the editorial on Morons.org, Falwell Endorses Child Abuse for Gay Kids.


What is Rummy doing?


Official caption: U.S. Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld says goodbye to Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari after a meeting Wednesday July 27, 2005 in Baghdad, Iraq. Rumsfeld was visiting Iraq to meet with U.S. troops and the senior U.S. and Iraqi military personnel and local governmental officials. Iraq's transitional prime minister called Wednesday for a speedy withdrawal of U.S. troops and the top U.S. commander said he believed a 'fairly substantial' pullout could begin next spring and summer. (AP Photo/ Joe Raedle, pool).

This inspires confidence:
The effort to build a reliable Iraq security force has been slowed by a number of problems. One that can be traced to the earliest days of the U.S. military occupation was the virtual disintegration of the Iraqi army that existed when American troops invaded in March 2003. Some say this was made worse by the decision of L. Paul Bremer, the U.S. civilian administrator of Iraq starting in May 2003, to formally disband the Iraqi security forces.

Another problem has been infiltration of the security forces by insurgents. In its report to Congress last week, the Pentagon acknowledged that this remains a problem and it still is unable to say just how much infiltration there is, despite efforts to improve vetting of recruits.
It's all under control...





Then we have the U.S. take on it, via Reuters.
The United States hopes to sharply reduce its forces in Iraq by the middle of next year, its top commander on the ground said on Wednesday. The remarks by General George Casey appear to have been the first time since the insurgency worsened sharply in April that top Pentagon officials have suggested a timeline for withdrawal.

Casey's comments came as al Qaeda in Iraq said it had killed two Algerian envoys kidnapped last week, according to an Internet statement, and coincided with a new poll showing most Americans now think the United States will lose the war in Iraq. At a briefing with visiting Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Casey said he expected troop cuts after elections due in coming months -- a referendum on a new constitution in October and an election for a new leader in December.

"I do believe that if the political process continues to go positively, if the developments with the (Iraqi) security forces continue to go as it is going, I do believe we will still be able to make fairly substantial reductions after these elections -- in the spring and summer of next year," he said. Early this year Casey made a similar prediction, but U.S. officials have avoided suggesting a timetable since violence worsened sharply after the new government took power in April.
The Chimperor has no clothes, and the polls show it -- thus the timing for these announcements of a drawdown, as if the insurgents are going to comply and stop bombing the hell out of the country. A USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll cited in the article shows:

* 32 percent of respondents believed the United States could not win the war in Iraq.
* Another 21 percent said it was possible the United States could win but they did not believe it would.
* Just 43 percent said they were confident of victory.
* 51 percent of Americans believe the government deliberately misled the public about the presence of banned weapons in Iraq.

Also, Michael at AmericaBlog rightfully points out that along with this bluster from Rummy and the Iraqi minister, there still aren't enough appropriately trained Iraqis to secure the country, and the Pentagon knows this -- yet the MSM keeps shoveling out the bullsh*t:
But what about this paragraph in the New York Times:
Mr. Rumsfeld also called on the Iraqi government to assume greater responsibility over time for the 15,000 detainees now in American custody in Iraq; to allocate enough money in future Iraqi budgets to field security forces that are capable of replacing many of the 22,000 foreign allied forces that plan to leave Iraq by year's end; and to improve cooperation between the Iraqi defense and interior ministries to enhance the combat readiness of Iraq's 170,000 military and paramilitary police forces.
Iraq does NOT have 170,000 forces. How can the NYT blithely repeat the figures of the Bush administration when we KNOW they are a lie? Iraq does not have 170,000 military and paramilitary police forces by any reasonable standard of measurement. As of a few weeks ago, this figure included about 2000 Iraqi troops capable of fighting on their own and some 9000 troops who can fight with US assistance.

That leaves about 160,000 troops THAT CAN'T FIGHT AT ALL. Scattered reports by the MSM also indicate that properly equipping them is proving nigh on impossible -- can you really pretend to have 170,000 troops when even if they could fight they don't have the weapons to do it with? How can the NYT justify repeating this lie without breaking it down? Even Bush felt compelled to make clear in his national address that not all were combat ready. "Not all" combat ready as in "virtually none." Uh, not even close. Iraq is barely halfway to replacing the measly 22,000 troops fro other countries that will be leaving in five months. And at this rate it is years away from being able to replace our troops --unless we pull out and don't worry about Iraq sinking into chaos.


Choose: your Audi's window or your kid burning up inside it?

I posted a couple of weeks ago about the insane stories of a child-locked-in-the-hot-car (here and here), and as this summer is one of the hottest on record, we were certain to see more tragic cases. This one is completely over the top, not only because this Connecticut woman locked her child in the steaming car, but she didn't want the emergency workers to break the glass of her precious Audi to save the kid.
A Stamford woman was arrested yesterday after she accidentally locked her 23-month-old son in her steaming hot Audi, then refused to let emergency workers break the window to free him. Susan Guita Silverstein, 42, of 124 Fieldstone Road, was charged with reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor.

Her son, who police said was "nonresponsive" when he was removed, spent more than 20 minutes in the car before the window was smashed open. "As soon as they told me the air conditioning was not on, that's when I told them to break the window," said Capt. Susan Bretthauer, who ordered the command over the radio.

Silverstein went to the HomeGoods store on High Ridge Road to shop and inadvertently locked her keys in the car with the child in the back seat, Sgt. Robert Shawinsky said. Silverstein called 911 at 1:03 p.m. and the dispatcher advised her to break the window because it was so hot, Shawinsky said. Silverstein refused and requested assistance, he said.

Police and firefighters arrived to find the toddler locked in the back seat of her silver Audi A4, which was parked near the side of the building. Silverstein asked firefighters not to break the window of the Audi, so they tried to use a lock kit, but it didn't work, Shawinsky said. Silverstein continued telling firefighters she did not want them to break the window, according to police reports. She then told them to stop and that she would go home to get a spare set of keys, police said.

...While Silverstein was gone, Bretthauer said she learned that the child had been in the car more than 15 minutes, so she ordered emergency workers to break the window. Firefighters broke open the front driver's-side window and removed the boy....When she returned to the parking lot with the keys, Silverstein was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police cruiser.


Hoosier gals arrested for drunk driving an inoperable car

Another for the books. Not eligible for a Darwin Award, but we may see them take a crack at it down the road.
Two women who took turns steering a broken-down vehicle face drunken driving charges after their slow-moving car crashed into a parked car.

Kaylyn Kezy, 34, of Gary, was pushing the disabled car, while Melissa Fredenburg, 32, of Chesterton, steered from the passenger seat, police said. The two were moving the car into a parking lot at a nearby motel early Friday in the city about 10 miles east of Gary. Police said both women had a blood-alcohol levels of 0.17 percent, more than twice the state's legal limit to drive.

Authorities said the women were operating the vehicle while intoxicated -- even though the car's engine wasn't working. A prosecutor acknowledged the charges could be difficult to prosecute in court.


The ratings slide of the sheeple mind control machine


WMAL radio wingnut mouthpiece Graham's ratings are in the toilet.

House Blender Paul in SF emailed me some observations (and a few good links) last night. The right-wing steamroller is running out of gas -- finally. Note: Michael Graham, the talk show host he refers to pictured above, is another Rush-lite bimbo ("Now broadcasting from the Ronald Reagan Studio").
Hi Pam,

I started reading this article about yet another conservative talk show host spreading hate, and while Michael Graham seems pretty typical of the breed I came across some figures which makes me wonder, when put alongside the plummeting poll numbers for trust in our great leader and our ability to win the war , if maybe, just maybe, the Republicans are waking up.

This is what caught my eye (the emphasis is mine):

Graham, who broadcasts locally, is one of several conservative hosts heard on WMAL (630). The station's daily lineup includes the syndicated Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity programs.

After rising slightly during the months preceding the presidential election last year, WMAL's audience ratings have fallen precipitously. Exact ratings for Graham's 9-11:45 a.m. time slot are unavailable, but WMAL's morning programming, which includes part of Graham's program, are off 25 percent since last year. The station overall has lost 41 percent of its core 25-to-54-year-old audience in the past 12 months, dropping from 158,200 individual listeners per week to 116,600.

I've just been googling to see if WMAL's loss of listeners is an aberration or if it is part of a trend.  In an article about Air America I read that "virtually all political talk in New York (and indeed the whole country) showed a decline in the first quarter of 2005" and "AA's Randi Rhodes on in the crucial afternoon drive-time, went UP 33%, while the conservative talk shows in same time slot on WABC and WOR each went DOWN 33%."

The Washington Post weighed in on the subject at the end of April with an article headlined " Local Listeners Tune Out Talk Radio" .

Fox News ratings also seem to be tanking:
April '05 marks "the sixth consecutive month where FNC declined versus prior month in M-F, primetime P25-54 (every month since Nov '04)," CNN's press release says. The 25-54 demo is coveted by advertisers. One insider called it a "downward spiral."
Gee, the sheeple are tuning out the mind control beams, the press has finally grown a pair and are actually reporting real news.  Things are starting to look a little better.

Let's hope that this is a trend.
Radio station managers are out to make a buck, so if ratings drop for hate/bigot radio -- and advertisers flee -- these losers will find their shows axed. I have a feeling, however, that the ratings for those that survive will rise again as elections draw near and the Right needs to work up the masses.

The question is, will the sheeple buy the bullsh*t then?


Good clicks from Blenders



Here are some items to check out...

* From Holly -- Some Papers Pull, Edit 'Doonesbury' Strip. Guess Bush's pet name for Rove, Turd Blossom, was somehow offensive to the sensitive editors of papers? Click to enlarge.


Lee Salem, editor at Kansas City-based Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes the strip to 1,400 papers, said the complaints from 10 to 12 newspapers weren't unexpected. As opposed to other times when editors have objected to Doonesbury content, the syndicate did not send out replacement strips.

"Given the coverage of Karl Rove, we thought it was appropriate, especially given the history of the strip," Salem said.

* Ms. Julien is impressed by some enlightened Hoosiers writing in to the Indianapolis Star. One who "gets" that Rove is a criminal; another calling for the Toad's resignation; and another that cries "Don't protect Karl Rove with a shield law." Folks in that Red State are getting restless, Chimpy...

* Blender Patrick passed on one of Santorum's ass-hat remarks and a link to a study that completely dismisses the insanity. The comment is from Ricky's new book, It Takes A Family:
"The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong."
Steven P. Martin, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at The University of Maryland-College Park who just released a monumental study of divorce, the divorce rate is directly correlated to a lack of education, especially among women.
"However, contrary to the arguments put forward by Mr. Dobson and others, the divorce rate is not increasing due to the demand by gays for marital rights. The culprit appears to be far less sinister, and much more pervasive. According to Steven P. Martin, Ph.D., a professor of sociology at The University of Maryland-College Park who just released a monumental study of divorce, the divorce rate is directly correlated to a lack of education, especially among women."
Patrick notes, "Well guess someone should send him Dr. Martin's research. Oh forget they use real methods of research.

* Richard at All Spin Zone is on a campaign to get Headline News' Nancy Grace to cover missing persons other than Natalee Holloway (Missing Pregnant 25 YO Mother Alert [Non-White Division]). A fundraising drive is here.
Latoyia Figueroa is still missing after 8 days. And as tragic as the Natalee Holloway case might be, Natalee doesn't have a seven year old child wondering where she is, nor was Natalee (to the best of our knowledge) 5 months pregnant.
* Paul points to this horror: Members of a California battalion in Iraq are under investigation for alleged abuse of detainees and extortion of merchants.
"Members of the battalion caused a stir last year when several were quoted in a Times story expressing concerns that their training was poor and inadequate. Some soldiers in the battalion blame its current woes on their allegedly poor training."

"This is a battalion that is just rotting," one (battalion member) said. "There is no trust in each other. There is no confidence in leadership."
* Bonus points to Paul for finding this unhinged story: Bin Laden Cocaine Plot Fell Through. The breathless Fox coverage is as amusing as the thought of this plot:
Usama bin Laden tried to buy a massive amount of cocaine, spike it with poison and sell it in the United States, hoping to kill thousands of Americans one year after the Sept. 11 attacks, The Post has learned.

The evil plot failed when the Colombian drug lords bin Laden approached decided it would be bad for their business — and, possibly, for their own health, according to law-enforcement sources familiar with the Drug Enforcement Administration's probe of the aborted transaction. Sources said the feds were told that bin Laden personally met with leaders of a Colombian drug cartel to in 2002 to negotiate the purchase of tons of cocaine, saying that he was willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to finance the deal.

Bin Laden hoped that large numbers of Americans dying from poisoned coke would lead to widespread terror.


Going below Rove's belt

Tuesday, July 26, 2005



The imagery is grotesque, but this is where it's going -- Karl's possibly wandering wiener and Bush Pioneer and President of Infrastructure Solutions, Karen Johnson. From Radar Mag:
For years, political insiders in the Lone Star State have whispered about Rove’s close friendship with lobbyist Karen Johnson, a never-married, forty-something GOP loyalist from Austin, Texas. The two first became close when Johnson sat on the board of then-Governor George W. Bush’s Business Council over a decade ago. Their friendship reportedly deepened after Bush appointed Johnson—a little-known spokesperson for the Texas Good Roads Association—to a seat on his Transportation Department transition team in 2000. The plum appointment enabled Johnson’s lobbying firm, Infrastructure Solutions, to snare such high-paying clients as Aetna and the City of Laredo. Sources say Johnson now frequently travels between Washington D.C. and Austin, where she frequently appears at Rove’s side at parties and unofficial functions.

Although there is no evidence that their relationship is anything but professional, the close association between the married White House aide and the comely lobbyist has long raised eyebrows in conservative Texas circles. Asked about the pair, a prominent political journalist who has written extensively about Rove says, “I’ve heard the stories, but I would never write about Karl and Karen. If you want to keep your job as a reporter in Texas, you make believe you don’t see them together.”

...Asked to comment on Rove’s relationship with Johnson, a White House spokesman firmly declined to discuss the matter, saying that their relationship was “the business of these two individuals who have personal lives…I don’t think that’s something that the White House should comment on.” A new air of civility in Washington? Don’t count on it.
Ms. Johnson, if this is true, you can certainly do better than this gargoyle.

More on Karl Rove's concubine here.


Freak in the Big Brass Blog mailbag

OK, this one came to the email account Shakes Sis and I share for Big Brass Blog. I thought that the emailer that sent his homo-tirade to me last Saturday was untethered from reality, but this person takes the cake.
Subject: In you'r World
From: "joe"
Date: Tue, July 26, 2005 3:36 pm
To: mail at bigbrassblog
It sure seems to me You're World has to much Prozac,Pot ,and Crack.I my self cannot understand how anyone with a half of a brain,could believe some shmuck,who just sits reed's and regurgitates,what he read,after milling it around in a drug,clouded half of a mind,why do you think an anyone would believe you. At least the News Media has a structure,they do not print obvious lies,think it's called integrity??.They have others who monitor their news,for truth,and will call them on it,like Dan Rather,who monitors yours Bevis ?? Just thought I would drop you a line,so the rest of your life is not wasted
Maybe this will lead to another phenomenon like:



Zach to be released from "ex-gay" Love in Action prison


Refuge is an 'ex-gay' brainwashing program led by "former homosexual" John Smid. This is where the fundamentalist parents sent their son Zach, young blogger, sent him after he came out to them.

A PFLAG release updates us that Zach is being released from the "ex-gay" camp this week, and puts the word out about the dangers of the "reparative therapy" movement, of which James Dobson is a major proponent.
As Zach Stark, the Tennessee teen who recently gained national attention after blogging his fears of being sent to Love in Action, is released from the program this week, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) calls for an ongoing and substantive discussion about the effects of "reparative therapy" on young people and their families.

"As families who have faced these very issues in our own lives, we must give Zach and his family the space and privacy they need to deal with this situation," said Jody Huckaby, PFLAG's executive director. "We also must insist, as allies and advocates for our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) loved ones, that 'reparative therapy' programs are not allowed to prosper unchallenged at the expense of our family members and friends.

The "reparative therapy" industry uses disproved medical theories to "cure" GLBT persons and preys upon those in pain and confusion about matters of sexual orientation. Their claims and methods have been roundly denounced by the American Medical Association (AMA), American Psychiatric Association (APA) and other medical professionals.

PFLAG applauds greater scrutiny of "reparative therapy", "conversion therapy" or "ex-gay" programs. Because of the attention surrounding Zach's story, the Tennessee Department of Health began an investigation and notified the unlicensed Love in Action that it was functioning illegally by claiming to offer therapy and could face prosecution by the district attorney.

Immediately before entering the program, Zach wrote, "I've been through hell. I've been emotionally torn apart for three days" and "Honestly how could you support a program like this? If I do come out straight I'll be so mentally unstable and depressed it won't matter."

Zach's fears were well-founded. According to the AMA and APA, "reparative therapy" does not work. But the dangers of these programs are real. At a minimum, those in "reparative therapy" must cope with the emotional damage of being relentlessly badgered with fear tactics and being told to change who they are. At worse they are at risk for self-destructive behavior including suicide.


Sanctimonious, influential and homophobic head of Focus on the Family, James Dobson. (Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press)

Mary Lou Wallner and her husband Bob know the damage of "reparative therapy" all too well. Speaking at a recent PFLAG conference in Bothell, Washington, Mary Lou told the audience that her reaction when her daughter came out was based on the teachings of Dr. James Dobson, a leading "reparative therapy" proponent. "I raised my kids on Dobson. I read his books and listened to his radio broadcasts for years. In December of 1988, when she was about 21 years old, my daughter wrote us a letter and told us that she was a lesbian. I flipped out and…the next nine years were pretty stormy. Then in February of 1997, at age 29, she committed suicide."

"Looking back, I think a lot of it had to do with the way I taught her about homosexuality. I have since come to understand that almost anybody gets depressed if they can't be who they really are."
Other Blend entries on this story:
* Zach's parents 'come out' about the attempt to 'de-gay' their son

* Why 'ex-gay' programs like Love in Action are immoral

* Zach's story makes the NYT

* Follow-up to Love in Action's 'ex-gay' re-education camp

* Six more weeks in 'ex-gay' camp for TN teen

Thanks to House Blender Misty for the pointer.


Hell in the air b*tch session

NYT columnist David Brooks is usually a turd, but I agree with him on this one - Pain, Agony, Despair: Flying With Children. Read, come back and comment.

On some recent flights, we've experienced: 1) parents desperately (and unsuccessfully) trying to corral their children by yelling; 2) parents completely ignoring their kids who are acting out (guess they gave up long ago); 3) parents getting pissed at other passengers for even mildly mentioning that they need to monitor their kids in flight (I wouldn't even dare do that one). Even if Kate and I had "noise-cancelling" headphones, it wouldn't have mattered in some of these cases.

I received an email a couple of months ago about an entry on my wedding page (about kids on one of our flights) from a mom that berated me for saying this:
We got in around 1:30 PM PST, after a long heinous first flight with squealing, screaming, out of control kids torturing us the whole flight. I thought Kate was going to explode, lol. It was one of those cases where the parents were obviously children too.
I was accused of not being sensitive to the fact that it's a long flight and that kids get bored (this was a two-hour leg). I had to write back and explain that this child kept getting unbuckled and running down the aisle, standing and jumping on seats and was completely wild.

The poor flight attendant, who couldn't seem to get the mother to do anything to control or monitor her daughter (the mom was sitting a row in front of the kid, talking animatedly to a friend, blissfully "unaware"), asked nicely, then asked tersely, and then blasted over the PA: "'Tiffany' please sit down now and buckle your seat belt!" Even then, the mother didn't get up to do it, the daughter did it herself.

Trust me, this isn't about dislike or intolerance of kids (my cousin just had a baby last week that I can't wait to see) -- I just don't get it. My mother never allowed us to fly/travel and behave that way, and that included multiple 10-hour Amtrak trips from NC to NYC when we were small. Then again, both of us were more easily amused than children traveling today - they seem to have an extremely low threshold for boredom. We could handle coloring books, reading or other "primitive" forms of entertainment that existed back in the day. We had no iPods, portable DVDs, GameBoys, etc. -- a good portion of today's kids have all of those things and it still isn't enough to keep some of them still, even for a couple of hours.

What on earth is the solution? "Family-friendly" flights or sections on the plane?

And if they allow cell phone use while in flight, that will put me over the edge. What is so important that it cannot wait until the plane lands?

(Hat tip, The Green Knight).


What Florida Repugs think about 2008


For every voter in Florida that thinks of the image at left, the holy rollers will obsess over the images on the right.

Some outfit called Angus Reid Global Scan, polled a bunch of GOP folks in Florida to see who they favored for prez in 2008. It came back with Rudy Giuliani on top. This is a little surprising, but Rudy's got no shot with the AmTaliban vote. What do you think of this list? Santorum's out, but heaven help us if we have to deal with Mitt "F*cking" Romney. Bill Owens looks like he needs work on a little name rec, eh?
In the 2004 election, Republican George W. Bush won Florida’s 27 electoral votes with 52 per cent of all cast ballots. In 2000, weeks of recounts and court injunctions concluded in a 537-vote victory for Bush over Democrat Al Gore. Since 1972, the only Democrats to carry Florida in a presidential election are Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1996.


Source: Strategic Vision
Methodology: Telephone interviews to 1,200 registered Florida voters, conducted from Jul. 16 to Jul. 20, 2005. Margin of error is 3 per cent.


Culture shock: TV Guide changing format


A prototype of the new TV Guide format, left, is seen alongside the current issue. The Clay Aiken issue actually has two different covers, this one and a head shot. I cannot decide which one is more screamingly queer, but the headlines on both Clay covers are hysterical (this one has the phallic mic to boot). (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

TV Guide Relaunching As Larger Magazine. This will be the end of an era, though this move is not surprising, given the saturation of cable in the country, which as on-air guides, and the internet, which has online listings. There's no need for a hard copy of program schedules anymore. Research by TV Guide indicated people wanted to see fewer listings and more stories about TV shows and stars.

Well, isn't that what InTouch and USWeekly are for?


German police have secret 'gay database'

Someone in Bavaria (and other German states) is smoking crack. Tracking gays in a secret database is not only bad PR, but it's ominous, despite whatever doubtful benign motivations there might be (uh, pink triangles, anyone?). And tagging them by subcategories, such as by sex practices (!?). This is out of control.
German LGBT groups are expressing outrage over reports that police in three German states are keeping secret computer files on gays. Der Spiegel reports that the names of gays who have been in any way involved in the legal system - either as suspects, victims or witesses - are being gathered on the database.

The three states are identified as Bavaria, Thuringia, and North Rhine-Westphalia. Both Bavaria and Thuringia are ruled by conservative governments. North Rhine-Westphalia is governed by a center-left coalition of Social Democrats and Greens. By entering "omosex" German for homosexual, police can call up all data files on cases in which gays have been involved. The database also reportedly allows for subcategories to be entered - such as groups, meeting places, or types of sex such as S&M.

Gay groups have denounced the database is intrusive. A member of the federal parliament goes further. Volker Beck, who often speaks out on subjects of concern to the LGBT community says it conjures up memories of the country's Nazi past. "[It] brings up unpleasant memories of old police practices such as the keeping of 'pink lists,'" Volker said in a letter to the interior ministers of the three states.

The "pink lists" were kept by the Nazis of all suspected gays and used to persecute them. The Nazis required "sexual deviants" to wear the pink triangle.

...It is not known how long the police departments in the three states have been collecting information on gays. The association of German gay and lesbian police officers, VelsPol, says it suspects that the practice of collecting names and information gays is more widespread than in just the three states named by Der Spiegel. Bettina Skol, in charge of the protection of personal data in North Rhine-Westphalia describes the practice as "highly dubious".


No Ricky in 2008



Sigh, no Santorum on the prez campaign trail, no glee of watching his self-loathing gay homeboy and communications director Robert Traynham. I wonder who will pick up the mantle of spewing stupid homophobic comments for the media?

The Pennsylvania homo-hunter is running for re-election to the Senate in '06, so we'll still get to beat up on him for a while yet. If he loses that race, he's bound to turn up writing columns for AgapePress or some other wingnut rag or lobbying on The Hill.


Sitemeter tanked my stats

Man that sucks. The Blend's visitor average was screwed up because the Sitemeter server SM2 blew up on Sunday/Monday. It was over 1200 visits a day, and now it's down to 900. Damn them. It would keep saying that the "report wasn't available", yep, and it wasn't counting either. Bleh. At least the Blend has good Webalyzer stats for July. The average visitor count is 2473 with a high of 4637.

Anyway, here are the top search strings that bring folks to the Blend. Strange, but true:
1 365 2.33% the l word
2 308 1.97% gay sex
3 306 1.95% ann coulter
4 290 1.85% lesbians
5 223 1.42% jeff gannon
6 181 1.15% david lee roth
7 168 1.07% the L word
8 165 1.05% porky pig
9 161 1.03% redneck
10 143 0.91% piss on ford
11 136 0.87% slut
12 128 0.82% l word
13 128 0.82% nuclear bomb
14 127 0.81% rednecks
15 107 0.68% Joseph Edward Duncan III
16 100 0.64% chia pet
17 94 0.60% The L Word
18 93 0.59% ass sex
19 83 0.53% Ann Coulter
20 83 0.53% laura ingraham




Toss TX Gov Rick Perry: gay-friendly candidate Chris Bell in the wings

Monday, July 25, 2005


Chris Bell is close to a decision on whether to make a run to toss the current, homophobic governor out on his *ss.

Good luck to Chris Bell in Texas. If he decides to run against homo-bigot Governor Rick Perry (see "Rick Perry, eat my dog's waste product"), it's likely to get extremely ugly. (Dallas Voice):
Texas Gubernatorial hopeful Chris Bell stopped just short of announcing he would try to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the 2006 election during an appearance at a Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting on Tuesday night. I’m leaning heavily toward making a go of it,” said Bell, a former U.S. congressman and Houston City Council member who grew up in Highland Park in the Dallas area.

Michael Moon, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, said that Bell charmed the audience of about 100. “A lot of folks came up to me after the meeting,” Moon said. “They were extremely impressed with him.” Bell has crisscrossed the state since January in an exploratory campaign to determine if he will run. Part of the research involved a meeting with former Gov. Ann Richards last week, he said.

“My friends, this is our time,” Bell said. “We are the ones, we’ve been waiting for and it’s time we get in this fight.” If he runs for the governor’s office, Bell said that he would link his campaign to the anti-gay-marriage amendment that will be on the ballot in November 2005 by opposing it. Obviously, it is unnecessary,” Bell said. “It is nonsense.” State law already prohibits marriage between same-sex couples, and no court in Texas would be likely to ever challenge the law, he said.

Bell, who filed an ethics complaint against Tom DeLay, majority leader in the House of Representatives, when he was a congressman, said that Governor Perry’s and other conservatives’ support of the amendment is a transparent effort to drive wedges between the state’s voters. He said that the measure goes against everything he envisions for a “new mainstream” in Texas. Bell said that Governor Perry leads a government that no longer reflects the ethics and values of the majority of Texans. The current government’s office panders to the wealthy, the politically well connected along strict partisan lines.

“In the mainstream I’m talking about there are no big people and no little people,” Bell said. “We recognize that we are all in this together. We can’t afford to leave anyone behind.” Much of Bell’s speech was dedicated to lambasting Governor Perry, whom he described as being incapable of leading a silent prayer. Bell told about the gay Democrats and their visitors at the meeting that he would offer the state’s GLBT community the same representation and benefits that he planned for the state’s other communities.
“I find that my friends from the GLBT community don’t want anything specifically designed for themselves,” Bell said. “They care about the same things that everyone else does. I think the biggest mistake that people in politics make is assuming that folks from the GLBT community are so very different from themselves.”

Bell, who is married and the father of two, said that heterosexual people often ask him about the gay and lesbian community. “I explain that they put their pants on the same way you do,” Bell said. “They just might be a little tighter sometimes.”

Bell said that he would announce his decision about running at the end of July.
* Chris Bell web site
* Endorsement site
* Chris Bell swag


AmTaliban Tony Perkins: AFL-CIO schism is caused by the homos



Did you get the memo? Our homosexual agenda is the real reason the AFL-CIO is roiling, says Family Research Council's Tony Perkins.
Four major unions, The Teamsters, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Unite Here, walked out of the AFL-CIO's convention in Chicago. It is anticipated the four disaffected unions, consisting of a total 5 million members, made the move in anticipation of leaving the union federation completely. The move follows years of AFL-CIO involvement in issues that closely tied union members, normally seen as socially conservative, to very liberal causes such as gay marriage and abortion.

Last year, the AFL-CIO came out against the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment that defined marriage as between one man and one woman. Just this last March the union passed a resolution titled "Support for the Full Inclusion & Equal Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender People in the Workplace," which advocated for full marriage rights for homosexuals. Former Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa once said, "I have many faults but being wrong isn't one of them." Until the AFL-CIO realizes its mistakes and turns away from a liberal agenda and back to issues that actually affect workers, they can expect to stagnate and to alienate many Americans.
This is complete bullsh*t and 'Radical' Russ calls it out -- with information on the union's stance on gay rights that even Tony could understand -- if he wasn't so blinded by bigotry and the need to manipulate the flock of sheeple.
Oh, yes, of course! How in the hell could union members support their leaders in a push for equality and support of all workers, even the ones who might screw differently at home? No wonder the SEIU, UFCW, Teamsters, and Unite Here broke away!

Uh, well, except for this:
"This contention affirms SEIU's commitment to equal rights for all our members regardless of sexual orientation.

SEIU will make it a collective bargaining and legislative goal to ensure that all members enjoy equal rights and benefits.

SEIU will support the right of same sex couples to access the full and equal rights responsibilities and commitments of civil marriage and oppose laws in constitutional amendments that deny that right.

SEIU will resist any attempt by anti-worker forces to use this issue in elections this year or beyond to divide working people in order to elect candidates with proven track records of favoring corporate special interests at the expense of working families."
And this:
The Teamsters Human Rights Commission is proud of the strength that is drawn from the diversity within the union's ranks.

Further, we recognize the need to educate, and to learn that different physical and cultural qualities such as "race, age, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, disabilities, or national origin" make individuals unique and deserving of respect.

The Commission will actively work to involve all members, crossing the barriers of division; increasing opportunities for participation; fighting the discrimination that weakens, and uniting our great union. The Commission will build a network of communication, creating a powerful voice to advocate dignity and justice on the job, in the community, member-to-member, neighbor-to-neighbor, throughout our nations and around the world. The Commission will use its energies to strengthen our great union, preserving its foundation for future generations of Teamsters.
Check out Russ's pad for more; I'm going to check out my pocket version of the homo agenda to plan out the rest of the week.


Hmmm...she looks vaguely famliar



Visit The Heretik, featuring Anne Coldsore's "Die, Liberals, Die."


The purpose-driven man

Man Heading To Church Hits 130 MPH. This high-speed chase went from Wyoming into Colorado.


Church of England: ministers can marry, but no sex

I had to read this twice to be sure I wasn't missing something. The gyrations these churches are going through to figure out how to handle the homos in their midst are just crazy-making.
The Church of England will today give its blessing to gay clergy who want to enter into civil partnerships. But the Church is refusing to accord civil partnerships the status of marital relationships and gay clergy will be told that they must remain chaste.



The “sexless marriage” code for gays, to be published today, has been prepared by a working group headed by the Bishop of Norwich, the Right Reverend Graham James. The established Church’s complex manoeuvrings are the result of having to remain on the right side of the law while abiding by Church doctrine.


Forget GTA: San Andreas - get 'Left Behind'



All this hubbub about porno scenes in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Please. Good Christians everywhere will soon have a plethora of faith-based video games to enjoy!
That emerging market segment will be in focus at the fourth annual Christian Game Developers Conference (July 28-30, Portland, Ore.), which hands out awards for the best Christian games of the year and looks to "equip game developers to glorify God." Sector insiders suggest that like the Christian music market, the religious gaming market has strong potential.

N'Lightning Software CEO Ralph Bagley believes half of the video game crowd is Christian. His company was the first of about 100 Christian game developers to invest in the creation of PC games. Its first title, "Catechumen," cost $830,000 to develop and has sold about 80,000 copies worldwide since its 2001 release, according to the company. The second game, "Ominous Horizons," cost $1 million to create and has sold more than 50,000 copies, it said.

...Go Play Research video game analyst Billy Pidgeon said "socially conservative Christians may not want their children to play games at all. . . . On the other hand, when kids are asking to play video games, Christian parents may find these games an acceptable way to promote their values, while keeping their children entertained."

...Another major factor is the unveiling of the first PC release from Left Behind Games, which will translate content from a 13-volume book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins that has sold more than 63 million copies.

"Left Behind: Eternal Forces" is a real-time strategy game set in New York during the End of Days, which will allow gamers to choose between the angelic Tribulation Forces and the demonic Global Community Peacekeepers in a multiplayer online mode. The game is set to ship before Easter.


Anti-winger talking points

I'm passing along some great reverse-the-participant talking points to toss at GOP Kool-Aid-drinking A-holes that you encounter, courtesy of IndyScott. Most of them probably will strain their brains trying to visualize these, then go into overload and ultimately denial (or start quoting scripture), but hey, it's fun to try. I added some photos for a dash of flavor.
* If Bill Clinton had been in charge of the national security of this country on September 11, 2001 and terrorists murdered 3,000 Americans, what would you be saying about him?

* If Bill Clinton had invaded Iraq based on WMD that didn't exist, what would you be saying about him?



* If Bill Clinton had dressed up in a flight suit and landed on the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln five weeks after the war began and told us it was over, what would you be saying about him?

* If Bill Clinton had said "Bring 'em on" and encouraged Iraqi insurgents to kill American troops, what would you be saying about him?



* If Bill Clinton had made us the face of torture in the world, what would you be saying about him?



* If James Carville and other members of a Clinton White House outed an undercover CIA officer during a time of war, what would you be saying about them?



* If Bill Clinton had sent troops to Iraq without adequate body armor and other equipment, what would you be saying about him?

* If Bill Clinton's hatchet-men claimed that John McCain and Chuck Hagel never served honorably in Vietnam and didn't deserve their medals, what would you be saying about him?



* If participants at the Democratic National Convention handed out Purple Heart band-aids to mock McCain and Hagel, what would you be saying about them?



* If a male prostitute posing as a White House "reporter" for a left-wing media organization was throwing softball questions to Bill Clinton, what would you be saying about him?



* If the Clinton White House had paid off Molly Ivins and Paul Krugman to endorse administration policy in friendly opinion pieces, what would you be saying about him?

* If Bill Clinton's administration had inherited a budget surplus and turned it into a $400 billion deficit, what would you be saying about him?

* If Bill Clinton had been elected without winning the popular vote, what would you be saying about him?



* If Bill Clinton's electoral victory was decided by roughly 500 votes in a state where Bill Clinton's brother was the Governor and his state campaign co-chair was the vote-counting Secretary of State, what would you be saying about the integrity of that election?



* If Al Franken (not Rush Limbaugh) had three failed marriages and a drug habit, what would you be saying about him?

* If Michael Moore (not Bill Bennett) had a gambling addiction, what would you be saying about him?



* If Keith Olbermann (not Bill O'Reilly) had a phone sex addiction, what would you be saying about him?



* If Bill Clinton (not George W. Bush) was born into political and financial royalty with a grandfather in the Senate and a father who would later be President of the United States, would you still consider him to be "one of us" or "authentic" or "a guy you'd want to have a beer with"?


Fourth Amendment - what's that?


New York City police officers stand over men who were detained briefly after a bomb scare on a double-decker tourist bus in New York City. No explosives were found and the men were released. (AP)

The leash of the sheeple is being jerked again, conveniently when citizens should keeping its collective eyes on the den of thieves and liars in Washington.

CBS has a story posted on the jitters of average folks on mass transit systems around the country. These people are willingly tossing their privacy rights out the window for safety's sake, and to trust the Bush Administration (daddy) that it will all be just fine. Is this a replay of last year? Good night, the sheeple fall asleep as if they were on the continuous Ambien drip.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Monday the events in London and Egypt are reminders of the kinds of threats "that continue to plague the civilized world."

Chertoff said the general state of preparedness in the U.S. has risen and "code yellow (elevated threat) is now a more robust color than it was perhaps a year ago."

The nation's transit systems remain on code orange (high threat level) following the latest overseas attacks.

Pointing to the need for a balanced approach to homeland security, Chertoff said while the government must remain flexible, "we will lose this war if we turn ourselves into a fortress."

New York City police and bomb-sniffing dogs search the belongings of tourists evacuated from a sightseeing bus in Manhattan Sunday afternoon. Nothing dangerous was found. (AP)

There's a good diary up on DKos on this subject, and one apt observation is that you'll be just fine as long as:

* You're white
* Don't have an accent.
* Don't wear any ethnic clothing.
* Don't wear pants with pockets.
* Don't laugh
* Don't smile
* Don't sweat
* Don't have any expression whatsoever.
* Don't be Middle Eastern
* Be blonde haired and blue eyed

I would qualify this list by saying at this point, just being a tad too swarthy or brown-skinned is enough of a tip-off for law enforcement to search you down to the skivvies, since the man accidentally shot in London was Brazilian. In other words, we're really talking about is that folks with an Ann Coulter melanin level are off the hook.

My poor brother is over in London now, heaven knows he fits the physical profile. I am sure he'll have a fun time getting home.

As more than one person has noted to me, Osama scored a TD with his 9/11 plan. A Kossack hit it squarely on the head.
All it took was a few airplanes, a fraction of deaths compared to those who die in American car accidents, and our whole daily living has been turned upside down. Civil liberties have been flushed down the toilet, racial, ethnic and religious tensions have risen, and many people walk around in fear. Increased costs for the so-called security at places like airports.
Our country is coming undone by its own fear, and the sheeple are willing to let an already power-mad, rights-abusing government to continue its assault on our civil liberties for its own purposes.


The AFL-CIO upheaval

Surf over to Facing South. Chris Kromm has an excellent post on the ongoing fallout at the AFL-CIO and its impact on the region, as the union braces for a split in its ranks. The Service Employees International Union, with 1.8 million members, and the Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers International unions, which have roughly 1.4 million members each will boycott the national convention.
Yesterday, the Change To Win coalition of insurgents, led by Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union, announced they were boycotting the gathering, which marks the beginning of the final chapter of the AFL-CIO as we know it.

Make no mistake -- the implications of these events, especially for labor in the South, are potentially huge. Perhaps more than any region, there's a desperate need for a new vision for labor in the South, one that grapples with a host of difficult challenges: the decimation of textiles and other staples of the old manufacturing economy, a hostile anti-union climate, the rise of new immigrant populations, persistent poverty and underdevelopment in the African-American "black belt," and so on.



A labor movement which takes the call to "Organize the South" seriously would be an historic and welcome development -- over the last 50 years, there have only been two concerted, broad-scale efforts to organize in the region: Operation Dixie, the CIO's massive post-WWII drive, and the late-60s/early-70s insurgencies by the United Mine Workers (think "Harlan County, USA") and textile workers ("Norma Rae"), both of which the Institute was intimately involved in. Any attempt to revitalize labor in the South will have to use innovative approaches and find new points of leverage in the union-hostile region, which requires resources and a willingness to take risks not in abundant supply in the movement today.
Go read the rest. This upheaval, while a good thing for stagnant unions overall (membership has dropped like a rock), is probably causing some serious Dem leadership headaches, as the AFL-CIO has been a foundation for fundraising and providing get-out-the-vote person power in election cycles. Anything that threatens to up-end that will be an interesting problem for the party to address.

It's a safe bet that many blue collar, union and non-union workers at this point vote GOP, even if they don't like "The Man". It's because the wingnuts and the Rove machine have convinced them that the "family" is undersiege by the godless, homo-loving Dems, and that W is a guy you'd like to have a beer with.

Same thing with black pastors being bought off and homophobia being cultivated by the Right in the black community. Dems are just letting it happen because they think these groups have no other party to turn to. Wrong. They will leave or just stay home.

Shakes Sis also weighs in.


Follow up to my little Saturday email

A good lunch laugh...Jon over at Pensito Review gives his take on House Blend visitor Mr. Lundey's Saturday love letter to me -- and to "carpet munchers, pole smokers, fudge-packers and patty cakers" [whatever that is] everywhere.
One thing I have learned in my 49.999999 years on the planet is that when it comes to sexuality there are two kinds of people: those who are comfortable with the way God (and by that I mean Nature) created them - and those whose sexual desires are so repressed that they are expressed in twisted, tortured and hateful ways.

As a gay person, I do not think about - much less dwell on, day after day after day - the particular sex practices that straight people enjoy. I mean, it’s fine - yall do whatever floats your boat. To each his own. Whatever, whatever.



So I wonder why ostensibly straight people like this Mr. Lundey - or opinion-makers whose views he has regurgitated here like Pat Robertson, Donald Wildmon, Jerry Falwell and especially Jesse Helms - spend so much time obsessing about queer erotic practices?
Take a look at those faces of "leadership" - what are the odds that they have a "normal" life in the sack?


Bushies more like the Nixon WH every day


Secretary Rosemary Woods demonstrating how she may have erased tape recordings in the good old days of Tricky Dick; Gonzales gave the Rove and Co. plenty of time -- 12 hours -- to burn out the motor on the shredder.
"The real question now is, who did the chief of staff speak to? Did the chief of staff pick up the phone and call (Bush political adviser) Karl Rove? Did the chief of staff pick up the phone and call anybody else?"
-- Democratic Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware
Did Gonzales have a shredding party? Like the story of Nixon's secretary Rosemary Woods accidentally creating a "gap" in the infamous tapes, did Alberto give not only Andy Card, but also bad penny Karl Rove advance warning to destroy evidence? This "12-hour gap" (of time and credibility) is getting the attention of the press. Here's Reuters:
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said on Sunday that he immediately told White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card -- but delayed telling others -- when the Justice Department launched an investigation into who leaked the identity of a CIA operative.

Gonzales, who at the time was White House counsel, told CBS's "Face the Nation" that he waited until the next morning to discuss the issue with President Bush and to formally notify the rest of the White House staff, requiring them to preserve any materials connected to the investigation.

...A New York Times columnist reported on Sunday that Gonzales was notified about the investigation on the night of Sept. 29, 2003, but waited 12 hours before telling the White House staff about the inquiry.



Asked about the report on CBS, Gonzales said his office was notified about the investigation at about 8:00 p.m. and that he had his staff "go back to the Department of Justice lawyers and ask them, 'Do you want us to notify the staff now, immediately, or would it be OK to notify the staff early in the morning?"'

"And we were advised, go ahead and notify the staff early in the morning, that would be OK," Gonzales said. "Most of the staff had gone home. No one knew about the investigation."

But Gonzales said he did tell one person at the White House -- Card.

Gonzales said he told the president first thing the next morning, "and shortly thereafter, there was notification sent out to all the members of the White House staff."


Did Roberts favor a ban on interracial dating at Bob Jones?

Judge Roberts also kept a file on at least one other contentious civil rights issue, the conflict over the government's right to strip the tax exemption of Bob Jones University because of its ban on interracial dating. That file is not among those presently available for review, according to the library's listing.
--New York Sun article, on Roberts papers held in the Reagan library that will not be released without permission from the Bush Admin
These papers must be made available.

Chimpy's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge John Roberts Jr., obviously has information on his positions on civil rights that are relevant to his confirmation, but the Reagan library archivist says they will be released only upon request of the Bush Admin. Roberts served as associate counsel in the Reagan White House, and while there are 4000+ documents publicly available, most of his work hasn't been processed.

Aside from the fact that we may learn Robert is a legal friend of Bob Jones University's right to discriminate (the school eventually lifted its policy), the article focuses on a case where Roberts made an intellectual case to limit our country's federal anti-discrimination laws. He advised the administration not to follow his counsel for political reasons.
The memo obtained by the Sun deals with legislation proposed in the wake of a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that interpreted the federal law against sex discrimination in education, known as Title IX, to apply only to the "specific program" at a particular school that benefited from federal assistance.

Civil rights advocates decried the ruling in Grove City College v. Bell because it threatened to leave the academic and athletic programs at some schools outside the scope of federal gender-equity mandates. Some warned that the court's rationale could undercut anti-discrimination laws across the board. Some conservatives also criticized the decision. They argued that only schools taking direct aid from the government should be subject to federal civil rights laws. Grove City College had deliberately rejected federal help, but some students had accepted financial aid.

Judge Roberts sided with the conservative critics, at least in theory. "There is a good deal of intuitive appeal to the argument," he wrote. "Triggering coverage of an institution on the basis of its accepting students who receive federal aid is not too onerous if only the admissions office is covered. If the entire institution is to be covered, it should be on the basis of something more solid than federal aid to the students."


Eminent domain and Souter's family home

House Blender Paul points to this article on some really pissed NH residents that want to punish SCOTUS Justice Souter for the recent ruling on eminent domain. They want to tear his house down and put up a hotel and condos.
People from across the country are getting behind a campaign to seize Supreme Court Justice David Souter's farmhouse to build a luxury hotel, according to the man who came up with the idea following a Supreme Court decision favoring government seizure of private property.

"We would act just as these cities have been acting in seizing properties. We would give Souter the same sort of deal," said Logan Darrow Clements, of Los Angeles. Town Clerk Evelyn Connor has had to return checks from people wishing to donate to a hotel construction fund. A rival proposal from townspeople would turn Souter's land into a park commemorating the U.S. Constitution.

...Souter was one of five justices who sided with the city of New London, Conn., last month in a decision favoring government power to seize private property by eminent domain. The city plans to build a private hotel and convention center, office space and condominiums.

The 65-year-old justice has lived for decades in his family's home in this central New Hampshire town, about 15 miles from Concord. His 8-acre property is undisturbed by neighbors whose yards are strewn with rusting farm equipment and old pickup trucks. The house, more than 200 years old, is one of the few remnants of the original East Weare village, which was seized 45 years ago to make way for a dam.


How can we beat the Right at their game?

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Mubarak Dahir, of Express Gay News has an editorial online, Put up or shut up, about the disparity in fundraising success between the gay community and the Religious Right. While corporate and private philanthropies give about $30 million annually to support gay and lesbian-related concerns, a study notes that individual giving lags. The Right knows how to bring in the buxxx by using the scare tactics of the encroaching gay bogeyman on the family.
A recent study by the New York-based organization Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues unveiled an unfortunate problem with gay and lesbian groups across the country, whether they were local or national institutions: Our organizations are woefully underfunded.

The study, released in April of this year, looked at the charitable giving patterns of the country’s top 1000 corporate and private foundations through the fiscal year of 2002. It found that only one-tenth of one percent of all the money given to charitable causes went to organizations working for gay and lesbian causes. Furthermore, the overall percentage of money going to gay and lesbian causes from such foundations remained flat for 13 years, from 1989 to 2002, the last year that was included in the study.

...This becomes more troublesome when viewed against the backdrop of just how much money anti-gay fundamentalist groups are successful in raising to promote their anti-gay agendas. The organized religious right raises an estimated $400 million annually to push their agenda, of which defeating gay rights is a cornerstone. In 2004 alone, conservative forces raised an estimated $125 million to fight same-sex marriage at the ballot box in numerous states.
Dahir goes on to note that it takes a good deal of cash to raise visibility about gay rights issues - media buys, lobbyists, educational outreach at both national and state levels, and that we need to pony up.

I agree that grassroots support should be heartily encouraged. I will say that I was extremely disappointed by Human Rights Campaign in the 2004 campaign. HRC's effectiveness was pretty much summed up by the decision to roll a billboard truck around NYC during the GOP convention with "George W. Bush: ‘You’re Fired" emblazoned on it. Highly visible, highly ineffective as a tool. HRC could have been pouring more funds into state-level activities, especially where marriage amendments were on the line. Then there's the matter of the organization playing it safe with a sad, gawdawful position on outing gay hypocrites working to pass anti-gay legislation ("HRC continues to maintain a policy that politicians who maintain gay private lives should not forced out of the closet based on their public positions on gay issues") . The word "outing" when referring to the these hypocrites needs to be in quotes. These losers are people that are otherwise publicly out among friends and co-workers -- cruising and socializing as a homo at night. By day, they re-closet themselves to right-wing constituents and organizations that you know would hate their guts (or your Repug candidate that you work for) -- it's bullsh*t.

Folks, gay lobbying groups playing nice at this point hasn't garnered much success. Organizations of HRC's size cannot expect to get a dime out of me again unless they have a better plan for the next election cycle.

***


Also, there has to be better coordination with progressive straight allies for gay rights to get anywhere.

There's a great article on MSNBC's site, A Straight Perspective, that addresses this issue head on. It contains an interview with husband and wife Ian Ayres and Jennifer Gerarda Brown, law professors, who have written a new book, “Straightforward: How to Mobilize Heterosexual Support for Gay Rights,” that gives tips on how straight allies can support gay civil rights.
NEWSWEEK: How would you characterize the current political climate toward gay men and lesbians in the United States?
Jennifer Gerarda Brown: We certainly, in the fall of 2004, saw the expression of some pretty strong anti-gay sentiment in the form of those 11 state amendments [outlawing gay marriage]. On the other hand, polling shows very high levels of support for equal employment rights for gay people and some discrimination protections for them.
Ian Ayres: We think that particularly the time is right to push forward for employment equality. We got employment equality on the books with regard to African-Americans before we got marriage equality.

What lessons can gay-rights activists take from the movement for racial equality?
Ayres: There are a lot of people who wouldn’t consider joining an all-white county club or drinking from an all-whites water fountain, but they are willing to marry when their gay and lesbian friends cannot marry, or to join a club that does not accept gay members, such as the Boy Scouts. Just making the analogy sometimes changes their behavior.
Brown: Non-gay people need to become more active, just as white people were active in the civil-rights movement and men were active in the women’s movement of the 1970s.

...You discuss “heterosexual holdouts,” straight couples who boycott marriage. Can this be done on a scale that would pressure politicians?
Ayres: When you ask somebody would you drink from a whites-only water fountain, people say “No!” Well, your not drinking isn’t going to cause the legislature to change a water fountain. “Well, I don’t care if it changes it or not, I’m just not willing to do that,” [they might respond] … But I’m standing here right now with a wedding ring on my hand! It is reasonable for people to go ahead and take the benefits of discrimination, but it then calls upon you to do something to share some of those benefits, to make amends for taking these ill-gotten goods.
Brown: Rather than boycotting marriage, heterosexual couples can say, “OK, we will marry, but let us do something to help this movement. Let us ask our guests to donate money to one of the gay-rights advocacy organizations in lieu of gifts, or let us say a prayer at our service that we hope one day for greater equality for couples who want to commit in this loving way.” There are so many things that people can be doing that are affirmative.

Thanks to House Blender Patrick for the pointer.


Throw away the f*cking key


Investigators Say Accused Child Molester Was Writing Memoir About Alleged Prolific Abuse. This is so sick; the only saving grace is this lower-life form left a paper and digital trail of his perversions that should result in a conviction. With his rap sheet, why was this man freed time after time to roam the streets to perpetrate crimes against children?
A man who authorities say could be the nation's most prolific child molester was crafting a lengthy memoir about his sexual exploits with boys when he was arrested, police said.

Authorities also said they have cracked "99 percent" of the detailed code that Dean Schwartzmiller used in notebooks he kept, apparently to chronicle crimes both real and imagined. Schwartzmiller was arrested earlier this month after investigators said they discovered notebooks with 36,700 handwritten entries of boys' names, descriptions of their anatomy and codes for suspected sex acts. The notebook entries, apparently coded for each boy's anatomy and personality, are being entered into a spreadsheet, but police said they have not determined how many victims there were because many items are duplications and some may describe Schwartzmiller's fantasies.

San Jose Police Lt. Scott Cornfield said investigators seized a typed memoir that Schwartzmiller had been writing about his exploits with boys. The manuscript is about an inch-and-a-half thick. In Schwartzmiller's words, "every boy was beautiful and every one wanted him," Cornfield said.

Schwartzmiller is being held without bail on one count of aggravated sexual assault on a child under 14 and six counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child under 14 involving two 12-year-old cousins. He faces two life sentences if convicted.

...Police also said they confiscated CDs, DVDs and videotapes, including child pornography, as well as computer servers and hard drives, which are being evaluated by specialists at the FBI's Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory in Menlo Park.

Investigators say Schwartzmiller, who went by a variety of aliases and earned a living doing stucco work, repeatedly avoided trials and got out of jail or prison early. Despite his lengthy criminal record, he was not required to register as a sex offender. It was a minor traffic accident on May 17 that brought Schwartzmiller to the attention of San Jose police. According to police, Schwartzmiller appeared ready to exchange information until the other driver suggested contacting the police.

That's when Schwartzmiller fled. Police tracked down his address and went to his home but he was not there. However, they spoke to his roommate and former prison buddy, Fred Everts, 34. Suspicious, they checked Everts' background and found that he had two previous molestation convictions and arrested him on an outstanding warrant for a parole violation in Oregon.

Meanwhile, Schwartzmiller heard about Everts' arrest and quickly fled to Washington state. From there, he called one of the boys he is accused of molesting and asked him to go to his house to "remove and destroy paperwork, CDs, computer drives and other items," a police report shows. The boy and his siblings decided to tell their mother, who went to police with evidence, including a CD containing photos of her semi-naked son. Schwartzmiller was arrested two days later.


What's the matter with Kansas -- on gay adoptions?

“We need to have a policy to have a mother and father as adoptive parents. We have a policy that allows more than that. I think that adoption should be limited to homes with a mother and father.”
-- KS State Rep. Steve Huebert (R-Valley Center)
This politician and his like-minded citizens are what's wrong. In April, Kansas became the 18th state to rewrite its constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman and so now a movement to deny gays the ability to adopt foster children is next on the wingnut menu. According to an article on 365gay.com, the current law is silent on whether gays or lesbians can adopt foster children and unmarried couples can’t adopt foster children jointly. An unmarried individual can adopt and live with another person, but only the individual who adopted would gain legal custody.
A joint legislative committee will review “adoption criteria” for foster children this year. It could recommend changes that the Legislature may — or may not — deal with next year...Despite Huebert’s interest and his success in getting a review, it’s not a front burner issue with every legislator.


“In the great scheme of issues that need to be resolved by the Legislature, this isn’t at the top of the list,” said Senate Majority Leader Derek Schmidt, R-Independence. “I haven’t spent a lot of time worrying about it.”

...Huebert said he isn’t crusading against gays and lesbians. “I have been getting different calls and people who say I am trying to attack the homosexual community, and that is not my goal,” Huebert said. “Some say it’s a political issue, and that’s not my goal either.”
Note: Florida and Mississippi prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting. Legislation to prohibit or limit gays and lesbians from adopting or becoming foster parents failed this year in Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.


'The greatest health care system in the world'

How many times have you heard that? It's usually in the context of our current system being placed in jeopardy if we were to move to a single-payer system. Our great care would suffer under socialized medicine, and choice would be eliminated, blah, blah, blah. Well our current 'great' system failed this woman in Whittier, CA...
A woman and her husband said they delivered their baby boy in the toilet at their home after hospital staff told the mother she was not ready to give birth. The couple, Leah and Richard Robles Jr., said they spent five hours at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital on July 9 but went home after they were told she was not ready to deliver. Fifty minutes after arriving home, Leah had the baby in the toilet after feeling the urge to use the restroom.

The baby, Richard Robles III, is healthy. The hospital's spokeswoman, Wendy Flores, said she could not comment because of federal patient privacy laws.

Leah, who also has a 5-year-old daughter, said she and her husband went to the hospital because she was past her due date, bleeding and having contractions less than two minutes apart. When the couple returned home, Leah used the toilet, and suddenly realized she was having the baby.

She yelled out to her husband, "I think I'm having the baby." Her husband yelled back, "No you're not, honey. Come back to bed." A few seconds later, Richard Robles III emerged face up in the toilet.


Mike Tidmus: Christ in, er, on the White House



Another gem from Mike:
The religious right’s proposed addition to the White House. The above artist’s deception was based on architectural working drawings smuggled out of the Focus on the Family compound.

I’ve received a tip from my not-so-ex gay mole within Focus on the Family that at the upcoming Just Us Sunday II, Tony (KKK) Perkins, James Dobson, Phylis Schoofly, and Albert Mohler intend to unveil their plans for a massive addition to the White House in Washington, DC. The addition (pictured above) should be completed by late 2007, just in time for Just Us Sunday VI.

Styled in the manner of German sculptor Arno Breker (Adolf Hitler’s favorite artist), the colossal statue of Christ the Redeemer will soar to a height of approximately 120 feet (that’s 36.576 meters for you godless Europeans and Canadians) above the existing White House roofline. With the planned nighttime illumination, it should be visible from as far away as millionaire televangelist Pat Robertson’s Virginia Beach estate and private airstrip.


White House plans to squirrel away Roberts documents

In yet another "hide the papers" folly, the Bush team is going to claim attorney-client privilege to keep a paper trail of SCOTUS nominee John Roberts's past work in the White House under wraps.
The Bush administration does not intend to release all memos and others documents written by Supreme Court nominee John Roberts during his tenure with two Republican administrations, a White House representative said Sunday.

Fred D. Thompson, the former Tennessee senator who is guiding Roberts through the nomination process on behalf of the White House, said material that would come under attorney-client privilege would be withheld. He said previous administrations, both Republican and Democrat, have followed that principle. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said requests for documents would be considered on a case-by-case basis from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will consider the nomination.

"There is often an accommodation that is reached with respect to requests for information, and I suspect that's going to happen in this case," Gonzales said on "Fox News Sunday."

The committee has yet to make a request. But some Democrats, including Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, have urged the White House to release such documents "in their entirety." Roberts worked in the Reagan White House counsel's office from 1982-1986. Roberts also was principal deputy solicitor general in the administration of the first President Bush. "We hope we don't get into a situation where documents are asked for that folks know will not be forthcoming and we get all hung up on that," Thompson told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said other nominees, including Chief Justice William Rehnquist, have provided material they wrote in confidence while working in the Justice Department. "There's so much precedence for that," said Leahy, the senior Democrat on the committee. "It's a total red herring to say, 'Oh, we can't show this.' And of course there is no lawyer-client privilege. Those working in the solicitor general's office are not working for the president. They're working for you and me and all the American people," he told ABC's "This Week."


Denny Hastert wants to serve again

In a move that will make Shakes Sis nauseous, ham-fisted knobend, Denny Hastert will run again.


House Speaker Dennis J. Hastert (R-Ill.) who has been vague about whether he would give up the reins at the end of this Congress, told a group of supporters that he planned to run again and serve as speaker for the rest of President Bush's second term. Ron Bonjean, Hastert's communications director, said the speaker told an audience of about 80 at a fundraiser last week at the Chicago Club that he would run again "at the urging of his constituents and the president."


'Raging Grannies' ready to go to Iraq, but not the Yellow Elephants


So, when are the young, gifted, able-bodied Republicans going to enlist? The grannies are ready.
A group of anti-war senior citizens calling themselves the "Tucson Raging Grannies" say they want to enlist in the U.S. Army and go to Iraq so that their children and grandchildren can come home.

Five members of the group -- which is associated with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom -- are due in court Monday to face trespassing charges after trying to enlist at a military recruitment center last week. The group has protested every week for the last three years outside the recruitment center.

"We went in asking to be sent to Iraq so our kids and grandchildren can be sent home, but rather than listening to us, they called the police," said 74-year-old Betty Schroeder. "It was their place to tell us the qualifications, but they wouldn't even speak to us. They should've said, `You're too old."'

Schroeder said her group may approach the Pentagon to see if they could be sent to Iraq. Nancy Hutchinson, spokeswoman at the Army recruiting headquarters in Phoenix which oversees Tucson's recruiters, said people who disagree with the war should be contacting their legislators instead of bothering recruiters.
Visit Operation Yellow Elephant for the latest on the 101st Fighting Keyboarders of the Right.


From the Blend homo-hating mailbag

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Here's a satisfied customer at the Blend. I haven't responded to Mr. "Robert Lundey" yet, but maybe this is just as good as replying. I'll just share it with you all, my friends (unedited).
Subject: Amazing Website
From: "Robert Lundey"
Date: Sat, July 23, 2005 10:23 pm

Why is it that anytime someone disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle, they are a "homophobe?" You stupid ignorant homos who made up that word are so DUMB that the logic of the word as it relates to those who are accused of being one makes no sense. "Phobe" signifies fear, who is afraid of you warped people? Why dont you carry your nasty carpet munching and pole smoking selves to a secluded island and do all the nasty fudge-packing and patty caking you want to. Stay to yourselves so your nasty lifestyle will die out. The reason faggots and lesbos get such a bad name is because of dyke bitches like you who are always pointing fingers and looking for handouts. You call a guy, who happens to be a pator a homophobe because he is against homosexuality? I am no Bible scholar, but I do know there are various places in the Bible that teach against that perverted lifestyle. If this guy did not follow his Bible, then he would be going against God. Lets see support the rump rangers and butches or support God...no contest! and dont give me your crap about God being a loving and accepting God. He loves everyone, just not there lifestyle. I know this stuff and I am not even a Christian! Get a life you nasty muff diving dyke whore!
This kind of dumb*ss is exactly why I blog. It's great motivation. Not that I think I'll have any impact on this dude -- he's too far gone -- but if I can rile someone up by merely stating my observations about the world I live in, then it's great to have a venue to expose such wingnuttery and ignorance.

I get pleasure out of the fact that, Mr. Lundey had to have wasted at least a half hour last night (given the intelligence level exhibited) wiping the drool from his chin and the keyboard while he thought about "muff diving" and "pole smoking" as he typed his vitriol.

He obviously had nothing better to do on a Saturday night, including stroking his own inadequate pole.

Karl Rove, Chimpy, Dobson and Falwell -- this is your base. You scam it, you own it.


Green Knight book review: Bernie Goldberg's 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America



I had a good laugh at this one. A snippet:
And it really doesn't take much time to read through Goldberg's book. It's pretty standard culture war stuff, and it's not designed to tell anybody anything they haven't already heard. For example, his one-sentence entry on Michael Jackson basically says that Jacko's inclusion is self-explanatory. Goldberg has no need to explain why he's there. Similarly, his one-word entry on Courtney Love (the word is "Ho") simply assumes that the reader already agrees with Goldberg. Most wretched of all, the entry for Michael Moore, who is at number one, consists of nothing more than a picture and a single, short, out-of-context quotation (Why the picture? Well, uh, Michael Moore is fat! Ha ha ha ha ha!).
I love The Green Knight's observation that the only bloggers who managed to rate entries in Bernie's book are Kos and James Wolcott. ["If I were Atrios, I'd be kind of offended at being left out!"]

The Amazon entry for the book is here. My post on the book's release is here.


Bush Admin hides Abu Ghraib images of child rape


“Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys/children in cases that have been recorded. The boys were sodomized with the cameras rolling. The worst about all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking that your government has. They are in total terror it's going to come out.”
-- Journalist Sy Hersh, in a 2004 speech, on rapes of minors by U.S. soldiers caught on camera at Abu Ghraib
The lack of U.S. response to the request by the Human Rights Campaign to condemn Iran for the hanging of two gay teenagers is understandable now, because our government has no moral authority to do so. It really doesn't look good when we have soldiers on tape raping boys held at Abu Ghraib -- and Bush's Pentagon is hiding the evidence.

An article in Editor and Publisher, Pentagon Blocks Release of Abu Ghraib Images: Here's Why, Greg Mitchell reports that the Pentagon refused to cooperate yesterday with federal order to release tapes of the rapes and other abuses to the public for political reasons. Guess who filed the FOIA lawsuit to get this released -- the ACLU, one of the organizations with a nice thick file (1200+pages) being monitored by Bush's FBI as a possible terrorist threat (covered here on the Blend last week).

The puzzle pieces are all fitting together nicely aren't they?
A Republican Senator suggested the same day they contained scenes of “rape and murder.” No wonder Rumsfeld commented then, "If these are released to the public, obviously it's going to make matters worse."

...Just a few that were released to the press sparked the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal last year, and the video images are said to be even more shocking.

The Pentagon lawyers said in a letter sent to the federal court in Manhattan that they would file a sealed brief explaining their reasons for not turning over the material. They had been ordered to do so by a federal judge in response to a FOIA lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU accused the government Friday of putting another legal roadblock in the way of its bid to allow the public to see the images of the prisoner abuse scandal.

One Pentagon lawyer has argued that they should not be released because they would only add to the humiliation of the prisoners. But the ACLU has said the faces of the victims can easily be "redacted."
The first stories about these images and video surfaced back in May 2004 in Sy Hersh's The New Yorker, article "Chain of Command".
In his news conference last Tuesday, Rumsfeld, when asked whether he thought the photographs and stories from Abu Ghraib were a setback for American policy in Iraq, still seemed to be in denial. “Oh, I’m not one for instant history,” he responded. By Friday, however, with some members of Congress and with editorials calling for his resignation, Rumsfeld testified at length before House and Senate committees and apologized for what he said was “fundamentally un-American” wrongdoing at Abu Ghraib. He also warned that more, and even uglier, disclosures were to come. Rumsfeld said that he had not actually looked at any of the Abu Ghraib photographs until some of them appeared in press accounts, and hadn’t reviewed the Army’s copies until the day before. When he did, they were “hard to believe,” he said. “There are other photos that depict . . . acts that can only be described as blatantly sadistic, cruel, and inhuman.” Later, he said, “It’s going to get still more terrible, I’m afraid.” Rumsfeld added, “I failed to recognize how important it was.”

NBC News later quoted U.S. military officials as saying that the unreleased photographs showed American soldiers “severely beating an Iraqi prisoner nearly to death, having sex with a female Iraqi prisoner, and ‘acting inappropriately with a dead body.’ The officials said there also was a videotape, apparently shot by U.S. personnel, showing Iraqi guards raping young boys.”
In all those months that have transpired since Hersh's report it's clear that the Pentagon was keenly aware of the PR disaster on its hands -- this fragile illusion of competence and compassion (and putting the few soldier patsies away [Graner, England], of course) has kept this illegitimate war afloat. It's no surprise why the push to renew the Patriot Act and all of its capabilities to attack our civil liberties was needed. The War on Terror has conveniently justified its need to monitor "enemies" that would threaten to expose its lies, like the ACLU. Our country is under attack from within. Bush and his cronies are a cancer on the presidency and a threat to our freedom and it's happening without a shot being fired.

Thousands dead, thousands maimed. No democracy as we know it in sight as Iraq continues to descend into chaos. Troops honorably serving whose families are on food stamps, and are being pressured to re-up for an additional tour. These same troops are also returning to find that they don't have adequate access to health care. Their reputations cannot and should not be swept in with the criminal behavior of some of their colleagues. A cover-up hurts everyone -- the Pentagon has let everyone in this situation down, and become part of this Administration's seemingly unendless list of amoral criminal activities.

The President and his chickenhawk, amoral, criminal servants have counted on the sheeple to be pacified, manipulated and completely out of touch with the harsh reality that they are being lied to and played. This has to end.

***

The Freepi are conflicted about this...we've got calls to burn/destroy the videos by some, actual concern that it will hurt the Chimperor by others, and less creatively, finding yet another way to "blame the homos"for the atrocities.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Dems are at it again."

"This won't hurt a bit."

"Burn 'em."

"I believe there are some lines we should not cross. What the whole story behind some of these incidents is, we'll probably never know. The ACLU and the democrats have throughly destroyed their ability to be viewed as objective critiques. When we're talking about terrorism and bombings that may kill anywhere from tens to millions, the gloves are considered off by me and most civilized humans. The terrorists have written the rules for these times. They want to kill indiscriminately, yet be treated by Geneva convention rules. LOL, fat chance. Live like a rabid dog, get treated like a rabid dog. ACLU, democrats... neither of you are fit to judge anyone."

"If they have video footage of our soldiers committing (or setting up) child rape...I'm gonna be one pissed off American."
s, gentlemen. We should not turn our eyes from that."

"So what is shown on the 87 photographs and four videos from Abu Ghraib prison that the Pentagon, in an eleventh hour move, blocked from release this weekend?"

"Karl Rove talking to a report from the Ladies Home Journal and revealing a recipe from the CIA cafeteria."

"I agree that the ACLU and Dems have no credibility....but if Rumsfeld is disgusted by the photos/video and they are legitimate (not faked in anyway), then can we not admit this is a problem...deal with it and fix it?"

"Lets not forget that our own media desperately avoided showing an American getting his head slowly sawed off at the hands of islamderthal scum."

"Actually, what this article points to is the absolute and total failure of "don't ask, don't tell" to properly serve military purposes in a war."

"If these stories are true, these men and women have done far more than just disgrace their country and their uniform. They should be prosecuted no less vigorously than the likes of John Couey or that POS Duncan."

"This was Seymour Hersch speaking before the ACLU so he can't be held responsible for his words (he thinks). Let's hope it's not true. Otherwise the Army is allowing homosexual predators into its ranks. Let's hope the recruiters aren't that desperate."

"I can laugh about the panties on the head...but this sounds way more than that....if it's true. With that said, I don't know that they are going to do about the photos/videos. I believe in an open society, but releasing these photos would put our soldiers and US citizens in grave danger. I have no answer. Where's Solomon?"

"Even alleged rape? If these prisoners had anything important or informative to add, they wouldn't be sitting in Abu Ghraib. I personally think this emphasizes a breakdown in command, not orders on high. War does not give carte blanche to depraved behavior."

"As far as I'm concerned, this may be one where the President should go to the mat and order them not to be released. This could be harmful to national security right at a critical time in Iraq."

"It is being dealt with and fixed. This is old news. The quotes are from over a year ago. The only thing this piece is about is whether more pictures go out to the public. Nothing has been shielded from the prosecution of the Abu Ghraib goons. Take a breath, people."

"This may very well make some of us rethink our stance on what exactly is acceptable in such an environment. If the truth is the truth, we should discuss it as Americans. This is how you avoid being blindsided. Transperancy is the best policy, gentlemen (and ladies)."

"It would only attract more attention. Kind of a Catch-22 if you ask me."

"Where indeed. Though if it were in my power, these videos and photos would have been used in a closed military tribunal and then destroyed. If the Rumsfield and Graham quotes are accurate, this can't be shrugged off. But I'm suspicious about Hersh. How could he have seen the videos?"

"The only reason I'm giving this story any consideration is because of Rumsfeld's comments about the nature of the photos/videos. I may be a fish taking the bait, but is it any worse than an ostrich hiding his head in the sand over bad news?"

"If the images truly are that bad, I think they'd attract a lot more attention than if we simply refused to turn them over. They'd be used as propaganda by the islamo-fascists for years. Abu Ghraib wouldn't have had nearly the shelf life as a story without those pictures."

"We can't put everything under the umbrella of "we are at war." I may not be the most Gung-Ho of cons out there, but I belive that blind devotion is akin to ignorance and homeland (in)security."
Hat tip, AmericaBlog


When will they stop trying the 'gay panic' defense?

Someone tried it again in New Zealand. It didn't work. Perhaps the defendant didn't realize that his history of paying to boink a man wouldn't be compatible with such a defense. Oh, and he stole from the guy he that killed.
A New Zealand jury convicted a college student of murdering a gay stamp collector after deliberating overnight. The defendant, Dick Faisauvale, 19, claimed that Robert Hunt sexually attacked him after inviting him home for a meal.

Faisauvale told the Auckland court he feared he was going to be raped, so he cut and stabbed Hunt 42 times. Faisauvale's attorney, Panama Le'au'anae, told the jury that Faisauvale was not a cruel, cold, conniving, calculated killer, but a young man who feared for his safety.

But the prosecutor, Philip Hamlin, told the court that Faisauvale was not as innocent as he claimed. Faisauvale even admitted he had previously been paid for sex by another man. Hamlin added that Faisauvale told a friend he took a knife to steal Hunt's TV, DVD and car. The court agreed with the prosecution, convicting Faisauvale of murder.


Queer-bashing at Latvia Pride parade


Bigot: Latvia's Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis

Anti-gay violence erupts, and again, officials, by publicly stating intolerance, fan the flames of bigotry.
Latvian police have arrested protesters after they shouted insults and threw eggs at people taking part in the Baltic state's first gay pride march. The few dozen marchers were outnumbered by hundreds of protesters who blocked the narrow streets of the capital.

Police were forced to alter the march route and to form a chain around the parade participants to protect them. The march had sparked outrage in Latvia and only went ahead after a court overturned a council ban on the event. Officials said that six of the protesters had been detained for their part in disrupting the march.

Prime Minister Aigars Kalvitis had opposed the event, saying Riga should "not promote things like that". "For sexual minorities to parade in the very heart of Riga, next to the Doma church, is unacceptable," he told LNT television on Wednesday.


Closeted gay Alberta avoids the altar even after gay marriage is official


Partners Keith Purdy and Rick Kennedy (right) arrange to sign their marriage license. Chronicle photo by Kim Komenich

I knew, based on news reports and exchanges with Canadian Blenders that Alberta was extremely conservative. Alberta Premier Ralph Klein finally relented on his opposition to gay marriage once it was practically a done deal. But the truth of the matter is, the closet is still keeping gay residents from getting hitched. I thought this story was particularly interesting because of the juxtaposition between our Red state rednecks and the Canuck ones.
On the first day that gays and lesbians in this conservative Canadian province could get a license to marry, just five same-sex couples did so.

But this province is known as the Bible Belt of Canada and is the only one in the famously liberal nation that celebrates family values with an official holiday.

Canada on Wednesday became just the fourth country in the world to allow same-sex marriages, but many in Alberta simply aren't ready to accept so radical a notion. Eight of the nation's 10 provinces and one of its three territories have in recent years allowed gays and lesbians to marry, but most people in Calgary, which culturally is closer to the red states of the American heartland than the progressive cities of Toronto and Vancouver, are only grudgingly following suit.

"You could transplant here from Dallas and there's no difference, other than the accent and the weather," said Darcy Schack, the spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Association in Calgary, who also runs a firm that builds oil drilling equipment. "It's very much an oil-driven town, very redneck and very conservative."

Calgary, a thriving city of about 1 million people roughly 450 miles northwest of Spokane, Wash., is the province's largest city, and it guards its image as a frontier town of rugged individualists. Even its gay community defines itself differently than most. Here, the most popular event of the year is not Gay Pride, but the Gay Rodeo, where serious cowboys ride bulls and serious drag queens wrestle steers.

The city's gays and lesbians say they are more cautious about protecting their sexual orientation in a province considered Canada's stronghold of resistance to same-sex marriage. And though they've won a right that would have gays and lesbians in many parts of the United States lining up to be married -- as was the case last year in San Francisco -- many here chose to stay home instead.

"It's a very closeted gay community," Schack said after learning the small turnout for marriage licenses Thursday. "One couple was planning to marry but ended up just going on holiday. A couple of people were looking at it but just backed off. It's a little shocking."

When the change came, it came quickly. Overnight, marriage licenses throughout Alberta went from denoting "Bride" and "Groom" to "Partner 1" and "Partner 2."

"Growing up, you knew that you would be unable to marry or, if you did, you would be unhappy," said Woody George, 31, who has been with his partner, Scott Middleton, for five years. The couple participated in a mock Newly Wed game Wednesday night at a Calgary bar, though neither they nor any of the participants were newly married. "Now that we can, it defines what Canada -- and I would think the United States -- is all about: Everybody is equal."
I added a few Freepi comments as a bookend.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"It's because their relationships are based on dysfunctional sex practices, and they require multiple partners to satisfy their unnatural lusts. Their strange unions have nothing to do with love or a life time commitment like a real heterosexual marriage."

"Calgary is THE best city in all of North America, in my humble opinion. And yet most of Alberta is so "redneck and conservative" that it makes Calgary look like a den of Communist homosexuals in comparison."



"So why doesn't the province secede from the sewer that is modern Canada?"

"This is not a shock. I seem to recall reading a recent article somewhere that stated that the "marriage" rate for homosexuals in one of the European countries where it has been legal for a while was far far below heterosexual married couples."

"There is a stronger secessionist sentiment in Alberta than in Quebec, but you don't hear about it very much because Alberta is so far west and doesn't get a lot of media attention. Ironically, the North American Free Trade Agreement has done more to keep Alberta in Canada than anything else. This is because NAFTA specifically prevents the Canadian government in Ottawa from implementing the kind of excessive control of the Alberta oil and gas markets that devastated the province back in the 1980s under Trudeau's National Energy Plan. The secessionist movement in Alberta will probably get stronger over time, but the reality is that Canada is such a large and sparsely-populated country that the Federal government in Ottawa isn't even capable of enforcing most of the laws it passes (hence the large-scale violation of the mandatory gun registry laws that goes on in Canada's rural areas)."

"I grew up in Ottawa, but have lived in the west since 1973 (Calgary since '86). I'd love Alberta to secede, especially to become the 51st State. If I knew of a credible separatist movement I'd join in a minute."
***

Also, see this related story: Prince Edward Island dragging its heels in implementing Canada's new same-sex marriage law.


This is when I don't like being right - man shot in London wasn't a bomber

I called it yesterday about the London bomber.
Was he or wasn't he a terrorist? An earlier report referred to this man as "a would-be suicide bomber ." This AP report below seems to blunt any sort of description. If he wasn't a bomber, then you know the threshold has been crossed when you have to start worrying about public safety on both sides -- the terrorists and the nervous, trigger-happy police -- an urban nightmare.
From the BBC:
A man shot dead by police hunting the bombers behind Thursday's London attacks was unconnected to the incidents, police have confirmed.

A Scotland Yard statement said the shooting was a "tragedy" which was regretted by the Metropolitan Police. The man was shot dead after police followed him from a south London flat to Stockwell Tube station on Friday. Two other men have been arrested and are being questioned after bombers targeted three Tube trains and a bus.

The statement read: "We believe we now know the identity of the man shot at Stockwell Underground station by police on Friday 22nd July 2005, although he is still subject to formal identification. "We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005.

"For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets." The statement confirmed the man was followed by police from a block of flats that was under surveillance. The man's death is being investigated by officers from the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, and will be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Now if this happened in the U.S, officials wouldn't have so quickly admitted that the killed person wasn't a target. At least Scotland Yard ponied up right away.

Oh, and the Freepi obviously got wind of this story and began posting crap, but I got there too late because the thread, "Scared UK Cops Murder Man In Cold Blood on Subway (Liberal Barf Alert)" was already pulled.

A BBC update identifies the man as Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, 27.

Thanks to House Blender and Julien's List contributor Holly for the pointer.


Agape Press unhinged wingnuttery nuggets - and open thread

Today's "news" roundup over at Agape Press has so many tasty tidbits that I decided to share some with you. Consider this an open thread and blogwhoring opportunity in the comments!

* ...Alan Chambers says leaving behind his life as a homosexual man was the equivalent of the Hebrews' biblical exodus from slavery in Egypt. Chambers, who is president of Exodus International, addressed hundreds of Christians at the 30th annual Exodus Freedom Conference, which bills itself as the largest annual gathering of former homosexuals. [I posted on this here.] He said homosexuality is "a bondage issue," but "there's an alternative." This week's gathering at a Southern Baptist conference center outside Asheville, North Carolina, brings together leaders of Exodus-affiliated ministries, people who identify themselves as formerly homosexual, and others linked to the movement for six days of speeches, workshops and fellowship. Rev. Jerry Falwell is to address the conference today.


* More crap from discredited homo-bigot "scientist" Paul Cameron [last post on this cretin, about homos and DUI levels, is here]: ..A Family Research Institute spokesman says a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals some interesting facts about what homosexuals and smokers cost the American taxpayer in terms of health-care expenses. The Institute's Dr. Paul Cameron has taken the CDC numbers and broken them down to an individual level. By his calculations, smokers cost U.S. taxpayers $156 billion a year. "For direct medical costs, days at work lost, all the indirect cost of fires and whatever, it figures out to a little over $3,000 per smoker, per year," he says. But on the other hand, Cameron notes, homosexuals cost American taxpayers $102 billion a year. And since there are so few homosexuals as compared to smokers, he says the individual cost is more than $25,000 per homosexual per year. This calculation is based on the AIDS factor alone, without taking other unhealthy aspects of the homosexual lifestyle into consideration, such as transmission of other sexually transmitted diseases or the high incidence of depression and attempted suicide among homosexuals.


* ...Not all conservatives are happy with President Bush's nomination of John Roberts to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice. Some prominent right-wing voices are raising questions as to whether enough is known about the nominee. One who has voiced that sentiment is columnist and best-selling author Ann Coulter. And another syndicated columnist, Harvard Law School student Ben Shapiro [Pam: and author of Porn Generation: How Social Liberalism is Corrupting our Future], shares Coulter's concerns about Roberts. "He's a stealth candidate," Shapiro asserts, "just like [David] Souter was. We don't know where he stands on Roe v. Wade. His only statement on Roe v. Wade came as a brief that he signed back in 1992 ... that cannot be guaranteed to reflect his actual views." The 21-year-old conservative [ATTENTION: Operation Yellow Elephant!] feels Bush should have chosen a judge more definitively to the Right and perhaps even controversial. Shapiro says Bush should have nominated someone like Judge Michael Luttig and forced the Left to filibuster a highly qualified candidate.


* What is the Center for Moral Clarity, and why is this boob running it?...A Christian minister and author who was a key voice among Evangelicals voicing biblical viewpoints during the presidential race last year indicates he is pleased with George W. Bush's choice of Judge John Roberts as a Supreme Court nominee. World Harvest Church's Pastor Rod Parsley is the author of the book Silent No More, which tackles American cultural issues from a biblical viewpoint. He also founded the Center for Moral Clarity during the 2004 election year. Since the announcement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's retirement plans, Parsley says he has encouraged people of faith to be just that -- people who believe, by faith, that the President would keep his campaign promise to choose strict constructionist nominees, which Parsley feels Bush has done in Judge Roberts' case. "The President went through the list of all those candidates and put forth what he believes in his heart is the best nominee to the Supreme Court," the pastor says, "and I think everyone is just amazed at what a brilliant pick this was by our president." Parsley says Bush showed not only his brilliance but that "he's a principled man, a man of prayer," [Was Chimpy on his knees again?!] by nominating Roberts, a judge who was appointed to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals only two years ago and confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a vote of 16-3, then unanimously confirmed again by the entire Senate.


Third birthday of DSM : will it get three more?

As Shakes Sis noted, the DSM milestone is an unhappy anniversary.
It's been three years since President Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair began to construct a case for a war in Iraq.

IIt's been three years since they fooled (many of) the people they ostensibly represent into believing that the war was a necessary evil, in spite of its being an unnecessary but inevitable consequence of a collective foregone conclusion, at best.

It's been three years since the governments of two of the most powerful nations in the world conspired to provoke Saddam Hussein into a war, used the UN to deliver an ultimatum that had no out clause, and fixed the facts and intelligence around an unprecedented policy of preemption.

...It's been three years of fearmongering, divisive politicking, mistreatment of prisoners, encroachments on civil liberties, hiding the realities of the war, manipulating and controlling the media, marginalizing dissenters, seeking revenge on critics, and lies.
Yep, and we could be looking at three more years unless we can take this administration down.

Congressman John Conyers, the kick-ass rep from Michigan, has been all over the Downing Street Minutes and the Rove scandal. He has a DKos diary up, and it's a fitting item to post, as it is the third birthday of the original Downing Street Minutes. You can thank Conyers for all his hard work in the diary.
Today, I released my current version of the time-line both leading up to and subsequent to the Iraq war, entitled "Last Throes of Credibility: Five Years of Lies and Deception." Both the full 36-page time line and the summary and conclusions can be found at afterdowningstreet.org. I owe many thanks to the Kos community for helping me develop this interim chronology. We reviewed every single comment made at this cite several weeks ago, and were able to use a great deal of them. Those not used are still being retained in our files.

However, I am not done yet. It is just a draft, and obviously, the story of DSM, Rovegate, and the ongoing deception in Iraq is still evolving. If you get a chance, review the chronology, and let me know of any gaps or omissions that you see. I hope to update and finalize and continue the investigation based on these important facts. Thanks again for your help in this important endeavour.
You can read all of Rep. Conyers' DKos diaries here.

Also, The Raw Story has an ace, easy-on-the-eyes timeline that makes it smooth sledding for folks that dare not wade into the reams of memos, stories and news articles on how we got into the mess we're in over in Iraq. Check out The Path of War Timeline.



Don't forget to stop by the Big Brass Alliance and see what our group of 746 bloggers strong is saying. You can join the Alliance, submit pointers to your posts about DSM and Rovegate, and use our message board/forum.

BBA was formed in May as a collective of progressive bloggers who support After Downing Street, a coalition of veterans' groups, peace groups, and political activist groups formed to urge that the U.S. Congress launch a formal investigation into whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. The campaign focuses on evidence that recently emerged in a British memo containing minutes of a secret July 2002 meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his top national security officials.

***

And what's cooking on Rove? Well it's getting even worse for the dude, if you can believe it. From the LATimes, CIA Probe Moves from Leak Source to Perjury, Obstruction (hat tip, AmericaBlog):
The special prosecutor in the CIA leak investigation has shifted his focus from whether White House officials violated a law against exposing undercover agents to determining whether evidence exists to bring perjury or obstruction of justice charges, according to people briefed in recent days on the inquiry's status.Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the special prosecutor, and his team have made no decision on whether to seek indictments, and there could be benign explanations for differences that have arisen in witnesses' statements to federal agents and a grand jury about how the name of Valerie Plame, a CIA agent who had worked undercover, was leaked to the media two years ago.


Bob Knight: ACLU's part of the homo agenda

Friday, July 22, 2005



"The ACLU is probably best described as the 'Anti-Christian Legal Unit,' because Christians kids in these public schools are being told that their beliefs amount to a form of bigotry."
-- Robert Knight, Culture and Family Institute
I almost can't believe it -- it is two in one week on the Blend for the penis-possessing head of Concerned Women for America, Robert Knight. Gentle readers, you had your last chuckle this week over Knight's repeated obsessing about homos.

He's flapping his lips again today, aiming at both homos and the ACLU in one shot over at Agape Press, "ACLU's Pro-Homosexual 'Bullying' Tactics Reminiscent of Chairman Mao."
In California and Kentucky, the American Civil Liberties Union has gone to court to force reluctant school systems to take part in pro-homosexual promotions. Settlement of an ACLU court case in California includes a mandatory daylong faculty training on what the legal groups calls "diversity, discrimination and harassment, focused primarily on issues pertaining to actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity." And earlier this month in the Bluegrass State, the ACLU accused the Boyd County Board of Education of failing to hold up its end of an agreement to provide mandatory training focused on "sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination."

Bob Knight is director of the Culture and Family Institute (CFI), affiliated with Concerned Women for America in Washington, DC. Knight contends the ACLU is trying to undermine parents' values. "The ACLU is probably best described as the 'Anti-Christian Legal Unit,' because Christians kids in these public schools are being told that their beliefs amount to a form of bigotry," he says.

The CFI leader believes the ACLU is employing Chairman Mao's technique of re-indoctrination. "The ACLU is telling these school officials and parents 'We're going to educate your children about homosexuality, whether you like it or not -- and we're going to do it armed with court orders. That's why we're taking this to court,'" Knight shares. "This is bullying of a major sort."

In the Kentucky situation, parents have resisted pro-homosexual promotions, holding their children out of school on a designated "sensitivity training" day. According to the ACLU, only 502 of the 965 high school students and 462 of the 730 middle school students attended the training. That infuriated the ACLU, Knight says.

"The ACLU has come back to court saying parents can't do that. [Essentially they are saying] 'You must force your children to sit through our sessions that we have dictated to be the truth,'" he explains. "I mean, these people are totalitarian-minded bullies."


Santorum's state considers same-sex benefits



I hope someone asks Ricky what he thinks about this. After all, the idea of same-sex benefits must have crossed his mind, since he has his own personal homo on staff in DC? You think Santorum and his boy wonder communications director, Robert Traynham II, an out, black, gay man, ever had any heart-to-heart conversations about whether he's worthy of benefits if he has a partner? Nah, Traynham's such a self-loather that it's mind blowing.

Thank goodness a decision on PA state benefits isn't in Ricky's hands, this is Ed Rendell's fight.
The Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund board voted unanimously yesterday to study the cost of extending health benefits to the same-sex and heterosexual "domestic partners" of state employees.

Determining the price tag would be the first step toward making a politically controversial move -- actually providing state benefits to workers' domestic partners. It's a move that Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell supports but many socially and religiously conservative Republican legislators oppose.

Rendell supports the move "as a matter of fairness," said Kate Philips, his press secretary. Philadelphia city employees had domestic partner benefits when Rendell was mayor in the 1990s, she said.

Two top House Republicans, Majority Leader Sam Smith and Appropriations Committee Chairman Brett Feese, are upset about the Benefit Trust Fund board's action. "It is not the place of political appointees and union representatives to unilaterally create state policy," they said. "To consider acknowledging legally unrecognized relationships ... the PEBTF would be usurping the powers of the General Assembly."

But trust fund board Chairman David Fillman said the decision on extending benefits rested with state unions and the executive branch of state government, headed by Rendell. The board represents about 84,000 workers.


Will Condi listen? Asked to condemn Iran for executing gay teens



HRC calls for Condi to actually do her job in a letter. Let's see if the result is crickets chirping as the administration ignores this heinous act in Iran; maybe she'll consult her husband her boss about this. The official reaction from the State Department so far: "The State Department said that it had not seen the letter and would not comment on it until it had been studied."
The nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization Friday urged Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to condemn the execution of two gay teens in Iran.



Thursday news emerged that the Iranian government had executed the two teens after a religious court found them them guilty of homosexuality. One of the teens was 18, the other, according to the Iranian Students News Agency, is believed to have been 16 or 17. The English language Iran In Focus also reported the executions saying the teens were hanged in public in the city square in the northeastern city of Mashhad on July 19.

"This crime warrants an immediate and strong condemnation from the Department of State," said the Human Rights Campaign in a letter Friday to Rice. "Atrocities committed by foreign governments against all people must be condemned swiftly and forcefully by the world’s greatest democracy. We urge you to do so.

"The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was signed by the UN General Assembly in 1948, declares that every human should be guaranteed the fundamental right to life, liberty, and security of person and every human should be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Tragically, this guarantee of basic human rights does not exist for GLBT individuals in certain regions of the globe."


Microsoft releasing new Windows OS in August



I can safely say that at my workplace,we will not be an early adopter of any new Microsoft OS. No end of f*cking bugs, patches and security holes (we're a mixed platform environment of Macs and Win-OS workstations). Some other shop can be Bill Gates's beta tester.
Microsoft Corp. dropped the code name Longhorn on Friday, announcing the next version of its flagship Windows operating system will be called Windows Vista. The world's largest software maker also said it will release the first of two test versions to developers and information technology professionals by Aug. 3.

The company did not say when it expects to release a second test version to a broader audience, but said it remains on target to ship the oft-delayed update to Windows XP sometime in the second half of next year.

[And the punchline...]

...The operating system will also be designed to better protect computers against viruses and spyware.


Kansas City: Lesbian couple beaten by woman with bat

Let's see...hangings of gay teenagers in Iran, gay bashings of lesbians at home. We're only a stone's away throw from what happened abroad. (365gay.com)
Kansas City police are search for a woman who attacked a lesbian couple as they walked hand-in-hand near their home. The names of the victims have not been released by police for their own protection.

Police said the couple told them that they were walking in the area of 39th and Holly streets when a female passenger in a passing pickup truck yelled slurs about their sexuality at them. After the pickup rounded the corner the woman got out of the truck and began swinging at the couple with a baseball bat.

One of the victims, a 23-year-old, suffered a concussion in the attack. The attacker then calmly walked back to the truck, got in, and drove off. She is still at large. Neither victim was able to give a description of the pickup's driver.

This was not the first physical attack based on sexual orientation this year, according to Doug Riley, who runs an anti-violence program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims in Kansas City. “But it is one of the most violent,” he told the Kansas City Star.
House Blender Russ shared pearls of wisdom by Eric Rudolph yesterday in the comments of the Iran gay teen execution post.

Homosexuality is an aberrant sexual behavior, and as such I have complete sympathy and understanding for those who are suffering from this condition. Practiced by consenting adults within the confines of their own private lives, homosexuality is not a threat to society. Those consenting adults practicing this behavior in privacy should not be hassled by a society which respects the sanctity of private sexual life. But when the attempt is made to drag this practice out of the closet and into the public square in an "in your face" attempt to force society to accept and recognize this behavior as being just as legitimate and normal as the natural man/woman relationship, every effort should be made, including force if necessary, to halt this effort.

--Convicted domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph

and how about this...


"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage...it will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
-- James Dobson



"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularise America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.' "
-- Jerry Falwell, on who was really responsible for September 11
People, we must hold the American Taliban (the Falwells, the Dobsons) responsible for stirring passions of bigotry in people like Rudolph. Even if the Right attempts to dismiss him and distance themselves from him -- he is part of their flock. He considers himself a committed Christian in a holy war.

I'm sick of all of this sh*t.


Gay and Christian Tar Heels documentary this evening



Kate and I plan to go to what looks to be an interesting documentary/chat session down at the Durham Arts Council this evening. It's Coming Out--Coming In: Faith, Identity and Belonging.
Two screenings of 32-minute documentary. The interview subjects are gay and lesbian N.C. Christians of all ages and walks of life who are reconciling faith with sexual orientation, and who take us beyond the debate to reveal the everyday lives of faithful people who are also gay and lesbian. The Rev. Laurie Hays Coffman will lead a discussion after both showings. PSI Theatre, Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St. 560-ARTS. www.coming-out-coming-in.net.


Rove and Libby are in deep sh*t



Rove, Libby Accounts in CIA Case Differ With Those of Reporters. Someone is lying and the reporters don't have a reason to. Boy this is getting weirder and more dangerous for the Bushies by the minute.
Lewis ``Scooter'' Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, told special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald that he first learned from NBC News reporter Tim Russert of the identity of Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame, the wife of former ambassador and Bush administration critic Joseph Wilson, one person said. Russert has testified before a federal grand jury that he didn't tell Libby of Plame's identity, the person said.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove told Fitzgerald that he first learned the identity of the CIA agent from syndicated columnist Robert Novak, according a person familiar with the matter. Novak, who was first to report Plame's name and connection to Wilson, has given a somewhat different version to the special prosecutor, the person said.

These discrepancies may be important because Fitzgerald is investigating whether Libby, Rove or other administration officials made false statements during the course of the investigation. The Plame case has its genesis in whether any administration officials violated a 1982 law making it illegal to knowingly reveal the name of a covert intelligence agent.
It gets even better in today's NYT. More evidence comes out that these two jokers were also knee-deep in conspiracy plans to protect the Chimperor after his dissembling during his State of the Union address.
At the same time in July 2003 that a C.I.A. operative's identity was exposed, two key White House officials who talked to journalists about the officer were also working closely together on a related underlying issue: whether President Bush was correct in suggesting earlier that year that Iraq had been trying to acquire nuclear materials from Africa.

The two issues had become inextricably linked because Joseph C. Wilson IV, the husband of the unmasked C.I.A. officer, had questioned Mr. Bush's assertion, prompting a damage-control effort by the White House that included challenging Mr. Wilson's standing and his credentials. A federal grand jury investigation is under way by a special counsel to determine whether someone illegally leaked the officer's identity and possibly into whether perjury or obstruction of justice occurred during the inquiry.

People who have been briefed on the case said the White House officials, Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby, were helping prepare what became the administration's primary response to criticism that a flawed phrase about the nuclear materials in Africa had been in Mr. Bush's State of the Union address six months earlier.

They had exchanged e-mail correspondence and drafts of a proposed statement by George J. Tenet, then the director of central intelligence, to explain how the disputed wording had gotten into the address. Mr. Rove, the president's political strategist, and Mr. Libby, the chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, coordinated their efforts with Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser, who was in turn consulting with Mr. Tenet.

... It is not clear what information Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby might have collected about Ms. Wilson as they worked on the Tenet statement. Mr. Rove has said he learned her name from Mr. Novak. Mr. Libby has declined to discuss the matter.

The effort was striking because to an unusual degree, the circle of officials involved included those from the White House's political and national security operations, which are often separately run. Both arms were drawn into the effort to defend the administration during the period.


More urban chaos - London police kill man at the Underground

Was he or wasn't he a terrorist? An earlier report referred to this man as "a would-be suicide bomber ." This AP report below seems to blunt any sort of description.

If he wasn't a bomber, then you know the threshold has been crossed when you have to start worrying about public safety on both sides -- the terrorists and the nervous, trigger-happy police -- an urban nightmare.
Police shot and killed a man wearing a thick coat at a London subway station Friday, a day after the city was hit by its second wave of terrorist attacks in two weeks. The man died after being shot by officers at the Stockwell subway station in south London, police said.

Passengers said a man, described as South Asian, ran onto a train at Stockwell station in south London. Witnesses said police chased him, he tripped, and police then shot him. "They pushed him onto the floor and unloaded five shots into him. He's dead," witness Mark Whitby told the British Broadcasting Corp. "He looked like a cornered fox. He looked petrified."

Whitby said the man didn't appear to have been carrying anything but said he was wearing a thick coat that looked padded. Alistair Drummond, of the London Ambulance Service, said paramedics had been called to the station at 10:10 a.m.

Service on the Northern and Victoria Tube lines, which pass through Stockwell, was suspended because of the shooting, British Transport Police said. Stockwell is one station away from the Oval station, which was affected by Thursday's attacks.
Meanwhile, NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg rolls out the new bag search policy on the Big Apple's subway system. As I pointed out yesterday, this is a feel-good measure. The searches are going to be "random". You know what that means, even despite the "no racial profiling" statement. Like they are going to admit to it? Even more ridiculous is the claim that it will be a check of every certain number of passengers. How is that going to be effective if you check person #5's bag and person #7 has the bomb? Come on, what a f*cking mess.
"We just live in a world where, sadly, these kinds of security measures are necessary," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in announcing the new police searches of subway passengers' backpacks and packages.

"Are they intrusive? Yes, a little bit. But we are trying to find that right balance," he said.

Similar random searches will be conducted by Metropolitan Transportation Authority police on suburban commuter trains.

New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said passengers would ideally be searched before they pass through the subway turnstiles, although they could also be checked once inside the system. "It might slow individuals down, but we will do it in a reasonable way," said Kelly, vowing that police would search "every certain number of people" and not engage in racial profiling.

The commissioner said the new policy, effective immediately, would last "as long as necessary" and asked the public to help by avoiding bringing backpacks or bulky packages onto subway trains.


Faith and fraud on DVD - and in the White House

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Was out with the missus at the local Target this evening, just milling about, as we usually do each week, hoping that products don't leap into our cart, lol. We cruised over to the DVD section, which seemed to have been ransacked during the week (a lot of them were $7.50 or $9.99, so that's not surprising). I picked up a copy of Deliverance (1972, yes, youngsters, the flick with the Ned Beatty-raped-by-the-hillbilly-crackers scene). I know, I'm a freak, but it's otherwise a really beautifully shot and moody film. It's also notable because of a good performance by the pre-rug, pre-crazy Burt Reynolds.

Anyway, over in the documentary section, I see this DVD, George W. Bush - Faith in the White House, pick it up and burst out laughing and handed it to Kate. This was obviously released before the election, but I had forgotten about it. All I can say is that it is the most ridiculous and pathetic piece of propaganda I've seen in a long while, especially in light the escalation of the ethics-free administration's activities...



I turn it over and read the description, I nearly come unglued right there in the store. This is a full-blown Rove production.
No sitting president since Abraham Lincoln has talked as much about God as George W. Bush, and none has so boldly, publicly, and genuinely lived out his faith on the job. As the leader of the free world, Bush bears an enormous responsibility, and its weight drives him to his knees…in prayer and supplication.

[OK. There are so many ripe jokes in next paragraph; please feel free to have at it. ]

Says BBC correspondent Justin Webb, "Nobody spends more time on his knees than George W. Bush. The Bush administration hums to the sound of prayer. Prayer meetings take place day and night. It's not uncommon to see White House functionaries hurrying down corridors carrying Bibles."

This powerful program is a unique insider's look at how one man's dedication to prayer and the daily application of God's word transformed his life and leadership. His dependence upon God gave him the clarity of vision and quiet confidence needed to lead us through the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the ensuing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
My question -- was Karl one of those "functionaries" running down the hallway with The Good Book while leaking on his cell to The Prince of Darkness?

Anyway, I wasn't going to spend a dime on that sh*t, but Kate got all excited to see what kind of reviews this DVD received on Amazon. So, here's a few excerpts for your entertainment.

5 out of 5 stars George W. Bush, the greatest president of all time, June 8, 2005

I heard about this DVD from my church group. I love that he's so religious. Who says you have to separate church and state; that's a horrible rule. That's how Bush won the election, because good [smart] christians like myself voted him in. Satan would have risen from the underground if Kerry took over. If it weren't for us hard working Christians, America would be in a nucular holocaust by now.

Fake in the White House, April 11, 2005

...Bush's conception of faith is so flawed it's remarkable more thoughtful Christians haven't called him on it publicly. No matter how ardent your beliefs, if they're factually incorrect then that's that. I can believe in my heart of heart that two plus two does not equal four. Doesn't make it so. But because Bush looked into his heart and "prayed on" whether invading Iraq was the right thing to do, we're now supposed to forget that the invasion was not only morally reprehensible but based on at least incomplete and very likely purposely skewed intelligence analysis? Think I'll pass on that Kool-Aid.

Bush is the worst president ever. That's pretty clear by now to anyone (a) older than 8, (b) not a member of the Bush family, or (c) who can and does read. How much more evidence do we need? Like when he said he looked into Vladimir Putin's eyes and "saw his soul." This, despite Putin's increasingly autocratic and racist policies, including the continued oppression and murder of his own countrymen? Or like when he said the jury is still out on evolution?

...This DVD just adds ammo to the inescapable conclusion that Bush is a pious fraud. From his fake Texanisms (your blue-blood Connecticut family spent tens of thousands of dollars to put you through Harvard AND Yale and you STILL can't pronounce "nuclear"?) to his cynical and exploitative (see e.g. Terri Schiavo) religiosity, George W. Bush stops being sincere the second he wakes up. He's a bigoted, myopic little child of privilege who should be given a gun and sent to fight alongside the soldiers he's thrown into the meat grinder. I know he chickened out the last time such an opportunity dropped into his lap, but it's never too late. Proceeds from this DVD could be used to buy him a one-way ticket to Fallujah so he can put that spiffy flight suit to use. But since Bush has clearly played the Jedi Mind Trick on the filmmakers, that's not likely to happen.

So...why the two stars? Because the "Left Behind" crowd will spend two more hours in front of their DVD players and two less hours picketing Planned Parenthood clinics. Anything that sedates the farthest right fringes of American religion is good by me. Plus, there's something kind of appealing about watching a puff piece on someone you just know is ultimately going to be shown for the charlatan they are.

Bush Haters Beware!, March 11, 2005

This is an amazing documentary told through the eyes of people who have known President George W. Bush. The documentary makes it clear that when the President brought up Jesus Christ it wasn't to get votes by some hungry politician it was because his Christian faith really means a lot to him.

We hear about the things that the public would never know about if it weren't for people like some of the ones interviewed. God seems to truly have turned a reckless youth into a humble and devotional man. Like President Reagan and his fight against communism, President Bush also seems to feel that God is using him to better the world.

President Bush comes off as humble, prayerful, and touched by God in this documentary, in fact, someone who kisses the bandages of a wounded soldiers arm and breaks into tears and prays he sounds more like a future saint than a president of the United States.

The true character and image of George W. Bush comes out in this well made documentary on the faith of this President. Highly recommend!


A sick world - two gay Iranian teenagers executed



[UPDATE (7/23): a followup post - Will Condi listen? Asked to condemn Iran for executing gay teens

[UPDATE (9:26 PM): House Blender Warren captured the now-pulled Freeper thread (guess it got too out-of control for them). I have the first page here.]

Journalist Doug Ireland has the details on a story that will make your blood boil. I don't even know what to say.
Two gay Iranian teenagers -- one 18, the other believed to be 16 or 17, were executed this week for the "crime" of homosexuality, the Iranian Student News Agency (ISNA) reported on July 19. (The ISNA report is in Farsi, and was translated into English by the British gay rights group OutRage!, which released its report today--ISNA also provided the terrifying photos of the teens' last moments you see on this page.) The two youths -- identified only by their initials as M.A. and A.M., were hanged in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran, on the orders of Court No. 19. The hanging of the teens was also reported by the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

Consensual gay sex in any form is punishable by death in the Islamic Republic of Iran. According to the website Age of Consent, which monitors such laws around the world, in Iran "Homosexuality is illegal, those charged with love-making are given a choice of four deathstyles: being hanged, stoned, halved by a sword, or dropped from the highest perch. According to Article 152, if two men not related by blood are discovered naked under one cover without good reason, both will be punished at a judge's discretion. Gay teens (Article 144) are also punished at a judge's discretion.

Rubbing one's penis between the thighs without penetration (tafheed) shall be punished by 100 lashes for each offender. This act, known to the English-speaking world as frottage,' is punishable by death if the 'offender' is a non-Muslim.   If frottage is thrice repeated and penalty-lashes have failed to stop such repetitions, upon the fourth 'offense' both men will be put to death.

...And Outrage, in its release about the gay teens' execution, noted that, "according to Iranian human rights campaigners, over 4000 lesbians and gay men have been executed since the Ayatollahs seized power in 1979. Last August, a 16-year-old girl was hanged for 'acts incompatible with chastity.'"

In the case of the two teens hanged in Mashhad, "They admitted having gay sex (probably under torture) but claimed in their defense that most young boys had sex with each other and that they were not aware that homosexuality was punishable by death," according to the ISNA report as translated by Outrage. "Prior to their execution, the gay teenagers were held in prison for 14 months and severely beaten with 228 lashes."
Who is monitoring sexual behavior? Are there community spies that can report a second or third instance of an infraction? I feel sick that human beings can do this sort of thing to one another.

They were just getting started when I posted, so there's probably even more foulitude up there now.

Actual Freeper Quotes

"And a big fat yawn from the Homofascist lobby. Somehow, this was Bush's fault, he shuoldn't have provoked them."

The religion of compassion and peace. All facsist regimes seem to attract the worst elements of it's society to deliver punishment."

And yet the Left reverse Islam and sees the US as evil...so let I suggest we put through a bill that would allow immigration to anyone in the Democrat party to move to Iran at US government expense...we'll pay the ticket if they agree to stay there."

Someone with a kamikaze DUmmie account (mine isn't) needs to post this over there and see what happens."

Quite a double standard these islamists have, after hearing about the rampant buggery in afghanistan. Maybe they were too close in age."

But the gay activists are more concerned with outting Gannon and Santorum's staffer. Funny how they never lift a finger against TRUE anti-homosexual folks. But then, those eeeeeevil republicans don't actually kill gays in retaliation, as the gay lobby would like you to believe, whereas these folks do. Keep at it, gay lobby. Keep whining about Matthew Shepard (how many years ago? and how long has his killer been jailed?) and pretending Americans who simply don't want your lifestyle foisted on them are the devil, while real evil is in front of you, but might actually require some risk on your part to confront."

Or the proponents of the anti-homosexual marriage amendments. Their "hatred" stirs up "hate crimes" against Homosexuals."

The executioners wore masks fearing reprisals and anti-riot forces put the entire area under their control to prevent outbreak of public protests. The Iranian public isn't 100% unified behind their Islamo-fascist leaders??"

Maybe one made the fatal mistake of "squealing like a pig.""

Maybe they were too close in age."

No, it's because they weren't sheep or camels."

Wow, this will have the gay libs supporting Bush's war on terror, seeing how the islamofascists really have it in for gays, right? (trying to stifle laughter)"

gads! When are they going to learn & give up/change/ keep quiet about their lifestyle?"

They shirts sure are clean and pressed while the rope is being around their necks for them to have been flogged 228 times. . ."


Thanks to House Blenders Wayne and Paul for the pointers.


Pope: 'gay marriage distorts God's plan'



We already have a Canadian cardinal refusing to baptize the child of gay parents; and Ratz is ready to purge the gay priests. Now here's more Vatican homo-fixation, blasting Canada, through its house organ...
The Vatican newspaper on Thursday attacked Canada's legalization of gay marriage, calling it a distortion of God's plan for the family.

Canada became the fourth nation to grant full legal rights to same-sex couples when the Supreme Court's chief justice signed legislation Wednesday.

"The distortion of God's plan for the family continues," said L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican daily. "In Canada, homosexual unions have become equal to marriage."
This is more important than the abuse of thousands of children by the church's men of the cloth? The lying, the payoffs, the cover-up? This man has no moral authority whatsoever.


Police to Check Bags on NYC Subways



How long is this going to last? Please, people, that's not going to stop a determined terrorist, and the delays will probably make more than a few New Yorkers homicidal. Stop playing mind games.


You must see 'Double Super-Secret Background'



A great Flash cartoon by Mark Fiore at SFGate.com.


Danger, danger: plastered homos on the road


Paul Cameron (L), the bogus scientist behind the homophobic insert that ran in the Washington Post last year is at it again. Right: It should be noted that Cameron was booted from the American Psychological Association "for a violation of the Preamble to the Ethical Principles of Psychologists."

Good god. Discredited wingnut homophobe scientist Paul Cameron just cannot contain himself, this is completely unhinged. Gays Twice as Apt to Drive Under the Influence. Here's this howler from the Family "Research" Institute:
Have you ever wondered why so many gays and lesbians are involved in auto accidents? Perhaps its because they are twice as apt to drive under the influence. 25% of homosexuals as compared to 14% of straights said that they drove under the influence of drugs or alcohol last year. Gays were more apt to drive impaired than straight men - 32% to 19%, and lesbians than straight women - 17% to 8%.

"Driving is a serious responsibility," said Dr. Paul Cameron, Chairman of the Colorado-based Family Research Institute, who just published the report in the peer-reviewed journal Psychological Reports. "Everybody on the road, not just the driver, is endangered by this self-centered and caviler behavior. This is further evidence that gays' devil-may-care attitude toward sex spills into other areas as well. As Shakespeare's Pericles warned, one sin 'another doth provoke.' In light of the many social harms of homosexuality, many documented in our analysis of this Centers for Disease Control study, the coming U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Lawrence v Texas, which gave constitutional protection to homosexual conduct. "

Men were twice as apt to drive under the influence as women. But blacks were less apt than whites to do so - only 7% did so in the past year. Black men were less apt than white men (11% v. 19%) and black women less apt than white women (3% v. 8%).

"This blows a hole in the 'we endanger others because society doesn't fully accept us' argument," said Dr. Cameron who headed the three man team that published the study. "Disturbed people endanger others. This indifference to the wellbeing of others isn't due to discrimination. Blacks have been discriminated against for hundreds of years, and they behaved more responsibly than whites in this area."

"This is one of the many findings that clue the public as to why the U. S. Centers for Disease Control has not broadcast the sex information from its 1996 study," said Dr. Cameron. If blacks, shunned by some segments of society, are less apt to drive under the influence, you can't sensibly excuse homosexuals on the grounds that they drink because they feel alienated. Homosexuality, drunken driving - both are dangerous choices for the actor and the society in which he performs."
How soon will we see this appearing in the "mainstream" wingnut press? People, this is what they are after. Recriminalization, re-closeting, and "re-heterosexualizing" fags and dykes out of society, using bogus science and "facts" generated by self-loathing quacks.

Also, I hate to disappoint the "scientist," but alcoholism is sadly abundant in the urban black communities, thanks to the practice of locating a liquor store on nearly every block in predominantly minority neighborhoods in NYC, for instance. The fact that most don't need a car to get liquored up probably skewed his "findings."

UPDATE: this winner's activities have also been covered by the Southern Poverty Law Center:
After losing his job teaching psychology at the University of Nebraska, Cameron set himself up as an independent sex researcher in the late 1970s, churning out scores of anti-gay pamphlets that were largely distributed in fundamentalist churches.

Cameron's "studies" falsely concluded that gay people were disproportionately responsible for child molestation, for the majority of serial killings, and for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Gay people, according to Cameron's research, were obsessed with consuming human excrement, allowing them to spread deadly diseases simply by shaking hands with unsuspecting strangers or using public restrooms.

"Of all the vices," Cameron concluded in a pamphlet called Medical Aspects of Homosexuality, "only homosexuality constitutes a conspiracy against society."


Thanks to House Blender LBfun4me for the pointer.


Explosions reported on London Underground, bus


Not again...(CNN):
At least one person has been injured following reports of three small explosions on London's transport system, police say.

The incidents came two weeks to the day since bombs on three Underground trains in London and a double-decker bus killed 56 people including four bombers.

CNN's Matthew Chance said police told him a device exploded in or around Warren Street Tube station in the center of the British capital.



The area around the station has been sealed off and the Bomb Squad is on the scene to check for other explosive devices.

Transport Police told ITN there was an injury at Warren Street. There are no other reports of casualties.

Scotland Yard is also reporting an incident on a bus at Hackney Road and Columbia Road in east London. A witness said the bus is still intact and a bomb-sniffing dog was on the scene.

An explosion blew out the windows of a bus in the Hackney area of London on Thursday but there were no reports of injuries, bus operator Stagecoach said.

"The driver heard a bang he believed came from the upper desk of the bus. The windows were blown out. There are no reports of any injuries," a Stagecoach spokesman said.

Police said initially they were not treating the evacuations as a "major incident."
More headlines:

Explosions reported on London tube, bus -police

White House Watching London Evacuations


Karl Rove, Scooter, and the missing press briefing transcript

David Corn sees more evidence. Karl and Scooter need some remedial reading lessons, but cause they somehow cannot understand that "S" stands for Secret.
In Thursday's Washington Post, Walter Pincus puts another nail in what ought to be a coffin. He confirms that the already-reported State Department memo that mentioned Valerie Wilson< and that has caught the interest of special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (because a copy was on Air Force One days before the Plame leak occurred) was stamped "(S)" for secret. Pincus writes, "Anyone reading that paragraph should have been aware that it contained secret information." The paragraph did not ID Valerie Wilson as an undercover officer. But if Rove or any other White House aide was shown a copy of this memo and then leaked the info, he or she violated very specific rules about the handling of classified information--rules that the government usually takes quite seriously. But does Bush?
In other, unsurprising news, AmericaBlog reports that a press briefing is mysteriously missing from the White House web site. Sort of like the Coalition of the Willing page that kept shrinking and then suddenly disappeared.

In this caser it's one from July 9, 2003, and has Ari Fleischer answering questions about Joe Wilson and his trip to Niger, and this was an exchange. [You can find it at the Australian embassy's web page (boy, this crew of Bush government drones are dumbasses, aren't they?).]
Q: What's the final language, Ari, your final position on the State of the Union speech and the uranium -- I know they were working on stuff last night, but I never got a chance to read it.

Q: Is this on the record?

MR. FLEISCHER: Yes, we're back on the record. After the speech, information was learned about the forged documents. With the advantage of hindsight, it's known now what was not known by the White House prior to the speech. This information should not have risen to the level of a presidential speech. There was reporting, although it wasn't very specific, about Iraq's seeking to obtain uranium from Africa. It's a classic issue of how hindsight is 20-20. The process was followed that led to the information going into the State of the Union; information about the yellow cake was only brought to the White House's attention later.

But there's a bigger picture here, and this is what's fundamental -- the case for war against Iraq was based on the threat that Saddam Hussein posed because of his possession of weapons of mass destruction, chemical and biological, and his efforts to reconstitute a nuclear program. In 1991, everybody in the world underestimated how close he was to getting a nuclear weapon. The case for going to war against Saddam is as just today as it was the day the President gave that speech.

Q: Ambassador Wilson said he made a case months before that there was no basis to the belief --

MR. FLEISCHER: No, he reported that Niger denied the allegation. That's what Ambassador Wilson reported.

Q: Was that report weighed against other --

MR. FLEISCHER: And of course they would deny the allegation. That doesn't make it untrue. It was only later -- you can ask Ambassador Wilson if he reported that the yellow cake documents were forged. He did not. His report did not address whether the documents were forged or not. His report stated that Niger denied the accusation. He spent eight days in Niger and concluded that Niger denied the allegation. Well, typically, nations don't admit to going around nuclear nonproliferation.
They are fisking the whole press gaggle in the comments at AB.


Sex and the Single Christian

A gripping "Part 1 of a Two-Part Series on Singles, Sexuality, and the Church" is locked and loaded at AgapePress. This mind-numbing article at least acknowledges there's a whole lot of single Christians f*cking outside of marriage. Of course, the lack of ability to control their urges and remain 'sexually pure' is the media and society's fault.
Sadly, the mindset of America's sex-saturated culture is far removed from a biblical depiction of the God-given gift of sex within marriage, sending a plethora of lies to the nation's approximate 82 million singles, as calculated by The Barna Group. Such lies are deceiving all types of singles.

For example, "Christian communities aren't immune to the sexual revolution," Winner writes in Christianity Today. "Three surveys of single Christians conducted in the 1990s turned up a lot of premarital sex: Approximately one-third of the respondents were virgins -- that means, of course, that two-thirds were not."

Without conducting formal research on the notion that sexual activity is increasing among singles who claim to be Christians, Dr. Henry Cloud, clinical psychologist and author, is aware of the problem. "It does appear in today's society that the cultural influences of more sexual expression outside of marriage has had its influence in the church."

...[Jason] Illian was on the third season of ABC's The Bachelorette, a reality series where a single woman searches for her soul mate among a group of 25 eligible bachelors as America watches from their living rooms. Although AFA Journal finds little redeeming value in reality shows like The Bachelorette, Illian viewed his participation in the show as an opportunity to share a godly approach to relationships using a secular platform. His efforts proved worthwhile by increasing his visibility, opening doors for him to share a biblical message in a sex-saturated world and bringing a renewed sense of hope to those seeking purity.


Condi defends the press in Sudan


Condi and Andrea Mitchell probably don't think much of Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail.

You know something is wrong if Condi's coming to the rescue of the news media. What the heck is the problem with these Sudanese officials? It's safe to say that local journalists in Sudan probably take their lives into their hands if they have to talk to government stooges. Freedom of the press need not apply.
US officials and press accompanying US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on a trip to Sudan said they were "manhandled" by security staff at President Omar al-Beshir's residence.

US officials said the security men tried to prevent them and the press from entering the meeting, and tried to confiscate tapes from a National Public Radio reporter, before Rice's spokesman Sean McKormack and others intervened.

Jim Wilkinson, senior adviser to Rice, said he was grabbed and thrown against the wall at the entrance to the residence before he bulled his way through with Rice's personal assistant in tow behind him.

"Freedom of the press is a wonderful thing and we don't appreciate being manhandled at the front door," a fuming Wilkinson told reporters. "Diplomacy 101 says you don't rough your guests up, especially the press." The Sudanese finally relented and let the American press in in two waves.

The US officials were still furious, however, and Wilkinson was seen waving a angry finger at Sudan's Foreign Minister Mustafa Osman Ismail. A Sudanese official quickly came out to the anteroom, where the second group of journalists had been stopped, and apologised repeatedly.

"It is not our intention in any way to bar the press from doing its job," said Khidir Haroun Ahmed, chief of the Sudanese mission to the United States. When the second press group finally entered for a photo op with Rice and Beshir, NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell tried to ask a question about why Khartoum should be believed in its promises to crack down on militias in its western Darfur region, but she was cut off and pushed away by the Sudanese. Wilkinson again angrily intervened, and said "don't ever touch our journalists again".

An enraged Rice came to talk to the press on the plane before taking off for the restive region of Darfur and apologised to Mitchell, saying she was demanding an immediate apology from the Sudanese. "They had no right to manhandle my staff and the press," Rice said. "It makes me very angry to be sitting there with their president and have this happen."


Bye Scotty...leave the warp speed running


James Doohan and the future T.J. Hooker.

Of course most of you by now know that James Doohan, "Scotty," has passed on. His ashes will be sent into space, and rightfully so. I used to watch TOS (The Original Series for you non-Trekkers) when I was a kid and was a big fan of TNG (The Next Generation). Sorry to say, I just couldn't get into DS9 or Enterprise.

BBC News has a nice story about the history of TOS:
The death of James Doohan - Scotty the engineer - has aroused fresh outpourings of affection for Star Trek. Unmistakeably a child of the 1960s, the show was a flop which rose again to become the most famous space series.

The original show tried to look into the future - and eventually changed television on both sides of the camera.

At its quiet start on NBC in September 1966, it seemed that the only thing that would change was the channel - as viewers and critics found Bewitched much more interesting.

...Star Trek had the USS Enterprise which was always commanded by William Shatner (Captain Kirk), was always held together by James Doohan as Scotty, and which presented generally consistent characters that you would come to know and follow.

It was crude: Mr Spock's cold logic and Doctor McCoy's warm humanity were the two sides of Kirk's personality brought out and given voices. But they were funny and they were smart where most space characters were not. The stories were optimistic about exploration instead of fatalistic about invasion. The Enterprise crew became a family and that humanised space opera.




Father of the TV dinner dies

Wednesday, July 20, 2005



To live to 83, he must not have consumed very many samples of his invention. And what exactly was that cobbler-like fruit foulitude in the center compartment?
Gerry Thomas, who changed the way Americans eat - for better or worse - with his invention of the TV Dinner during the baby boom years, has died at 83.

Thomas, who died in Paradise Valley on Monday after a bout with cancer, was a salesman for Omaha, Neb.-based C.A. Swanson and Sons in 1954 when he got the idea of packaging frozen meals in a disposable aluminum-foil tray, divided into compartments to keep the foods from mixing. He also gave the product its singular name.

The first Swanson TV Dinner - turkey with cornbread dressing and gravy, sweet potatoes and buttered peas - sold for about $1 and could be cooked in 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Ten million sold in the first year of national distribution. It was fast and convenient, and fit nicely on a TV tray in the living room, so that you didn't have to drag yourself away from your favorite television show.

Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University, said the TV Dinner "started a change in American eating habits bigger than any change in culinary history since the discovery of fire and cooked foods."

...The TV Dinner drew "hate mail from men who wanted their wives to cook from scratch like their mothers did," Thomas said, but it got him a bump in pay to $300 a month and a $1,000 bonus.


Robert Knight is obsessing about homos again



It seems that about once a month, Bob Knight must have a hot dream about getting boned by a guy. Then he wakes up in a cold sweat, takes a cold shower, prays, then runs to the keyboard, and writes up some unhinged quote that I can make fun of here on the Blend. Here are some earlier gems, which always seem to revolve observations on how powerful gays are, suggesting he's clearly a bottom looking for a daddy, right Bob?
1. "Because there are so many homosexuals in Washington, it's a very aggressive community...You have national homosexual organizations headquartered here -- like the Human Rights Campaign -- that ... wield tremendous influence on Congress."

2. "The homosexual lifestyle is about pleasing oneself, not planning for the future, not setting aside money for kids, not trying to create a situation where the generations come together. It's about having fun. It's about indulging in whatever desire you want at any given time."

3. "Millions of families shop at Wal-Mart, and I think they're counting on them not knowing that Wal-Mart is openly promoting homosexuality. When it gets out that they're [doing that] by actually subsidizing homosexual relationships ... this will tarnish their image."

4. "If the homosexual agenda is enacted, we will see the criminalization of Christianity in a few short years. It is already happening in Canada and Sweden."

5. "Homosexuals dominant the hospitality industry in Washington and are in position to keep tabs on the sexual liaisons of many members of Congress."
The latest entry, posted at wingnut web rag Agape Press, is another screed warning tender hearts about the powerful homosexual agenda.
Pro-family forces across the U.S. are warning about the dangers of a bill introduced in Congress that would grant special rights to homosexuals. Bob Knight of the Culture and Family Institute says the effort is being spearheaded by members of Congress who want the support of the homosexual community and its big money. "Liberal congressmen have now introduced a bill adding 'sexual orientation' specifically to federal workplace protection," the pro-family spokesman says. "This would be the first time, if it passes, that Congress has created a special civil-rights category for sexual orientation." This is a dangerous bill, Knight contends, and he feels its prospects for passage are difficult to evaluate. "Right now, with the ongoing war on terror and the publicity surrounding the president's judicial nominations," he notes, "I don't see a lot of legislation like this advancing -- although sometimes it's under cover of big events that homosexuals and their media and legislative allies tend to push their agenda through." Knight says pro-family advocates are going to keep "a very close eye on this bill." If the legislation passes, he adds, it could set America on a downward spiral into depravity and, meanwhile, open the floodgates to all sorts of special rights groups.


Ann Coulter, plagiarist



How satisfying. The bony ass, bed-worn b*tch of the Reich, Ann Coulter, has been caught cribbing from other conservative writers, according to The Raw Story.
A column penned by the doyenne of right-wing rhetoric Ann Coulter has come under fire for alleged plagiarism, RAW STORY has learned. Much of Coulter's Jun. 29, 2005 column, “Thou Shall Not Commit Religion,” bears a striking resemblance to pieces in magazines dating as far back as 1985—and a column written for the Boston Globe in 1995.

A RAW STORY examination found Coulter's work to be at worst plagiarism and at best a cut-and-paste repetition of points authored by conservative religious groups in the early 1990s. These groups sought to de-fund the National Endowment for the Arts, detailing projects paid for by the NEA they dubbed “obscene.”

...The piece was first questioned by The Rude Pundit on Jul. 1. His post noted that Coulter appeared to have cribbed from a defunct 1993 magazine called The Flummery Digest.


Coulter : "A photo of a newborn infant with its mouth open titled to suggest the infant was available for oral sex."

The Flummery Digest:
"The title of a photo of a newborn infant with its mouth open suggested that the infant was available for oral sex."

Coulter: "A photo of a woman breastfeeding an infant, titled ' Jesus Sucks.'"

The Flummery Digest: "… photograph of a woman breastfeeding an infant was titled 'Jesus Sucks.'"

Coulter: "A show titled 'DEGENERATE WITH A CAPITAL D' featuring a display of the remains of the artist's own aborted baby."

The Flummery Digest: "'Degenerate with a Capital D'...included 'Alchemy Cabinet' by Shawn Eichman, featuring the remains of the artist's own aborted baby."
Actually, you can't blame her, because her writing sucks. It's hard work for our favorite racist, homo-bigot and man-vessel of the right wing elite (after all, her hero Chimpy knows all about hard work). She's so busy speaking to horny Yellow Elephant College Repug types and pimping her nasty self to the Boy Scouts for $30K, that it's hard for her tiny brain to actually compose a regular column on the fly. What's wrong with getting a little bony leg up on that workload?

You can read more about Ann's klepto work (there are many more examples) over at Ron Brynaert's pad: Ann Coulter Writes Like Jeff Gannon


Read 'Radical' Russ's take on Eric Robert Rudolph



I don't want to spin it for you, but Russ has plenty to say on the convicted pro-life, "Christian", domestic terrorist. And the Radical one knows how to slice and dice quite well. Just go read it.


Click over to The UnCapitalist Journal

A new group blog has launched that you should check out: The UnCapitalist Journal. It's a new online community that focuses on issues that the progressive blogosphere sorely needs to cover: global social justice, workers rights, economic globalization, and human rights.

Some of the kick-*ss bloggers involved are ones you may be reading already:

* Charles Norman Todd
* Big Brass Blog's own The Dark Wraith
* The Green Lantern - Gretchen Ross
* Majikthise - Lindsay Beyerstein
* All Spin Zone's's Richard Blair
* Agitprop

I plan to surf over there frequently. See you there!


Best buds - the caption says it all


In this photograph taken in June 2003, Karl Rove, senior advisor to President Bush and Robert Novak are pictured together at a party marking the 40th anniversary of Novak's newspaper column at the Army Navy Club in Washington DC. At the event a number of people wore buttons reading, 'I'm a source, not a target.' Rove is at the center of a controversy about the leaking of a CIA operative's identity which originally appeared in Novak's newspaper column. (AP Photo/Lauren Shay)


Betting on Karl's survival (literally)



Anyone taking bets on the Toad? According to a betting site, Karl's fate is a popular wage.
Sportsbook.com has entered the fray in the latest political storm to rock the White House by offering odds on the future of its Deputy Chief of Staff, Karl Rove. The opening line is that Rove will not be dismissed or resign in the wake of an ongoing criminal investigation, with odds at 1-6.

...The betting line is a reflection of President Bush's seeming flip-flop on the issue based on comments he has offered since the scandal broke in 2003. Initially, Bush said he would fire anyone from the administration found to have been the source of the leak. After Rove was revealed to be the source, however, Bush said he would only dismiss an administration official who had engaged in criminal activity.

Observers are also keenly aware of the President's dependence on Rove as his long-time political strategist and election campaign saviour. Since odds were posted yesterday, bettors have been wagering heavily that Rove will not be dismissed or resign. But with Democrats increasingly calling for Rove's dismissal from cabinet, the President may have no choice but to sack his most indispensable aid.


Save time, use the Rove-bot



I see another blogger out there is looking for an easier way to keep up with the sh*tstorm that is the lying POS Karl Rove. It's a 24/7 effort to keep up with it, right? Worry no more, because Night Light's RJ Eskow has created the brilliant Rove-bot.
I've developed an autonomous Internet program - what is sometimes called a "bot" - to write all future posts on the topic. (These programs are also called "agents," but I don't want to call it that for fear that a Republican will reveal its identity.) Here's how it works:

INPUT:

Today it was discovered that Karl Rove

a) lied to FBI agents
b) lied to reporters
c) revealed nuclear secrets to help a Republican get elected alderman in Swanscote, KY
d) ate a baby

(check all that apply)

President Bush and Scott McClellan both refused to comment, except to say that

a) there is no proof a crime was committed
b) there is no proof a crime was committed that hurt Republicans
c) there is no proof crime is bad

(search news articles for all that apply)

-- Hypocrisy Subroutine --

Rove-bot will now search for contradictory statements made by the President and other Republicans in the past. Please check all statement categories you would like to see included:

( ) My Dad said people who expose CIA agents are scum
( ) We want to hold the White House to a higher standard of behavior
( ) Blow jobs
( ) What the definition of "is" is
( ) We won't tolerate even the appearance of impropriety

-- Press Ineptitude Subroutine --

IF Judy Miller still in jail,
THEN statement re irony of protecting people who are trying to crush whistleblowers, cozy relationship between reporters and the powerful.

IF Judy Miller NE jail (out of jail),
THEN statement about she was not the moral equivalent of

a) Nelson Mandela
b) Martin Luther King in Birmingham jail
c) Duke Cunningham after they get through with him

IF Judy Miller has helped start another war, initiate ***escape sequence***.

In order to distract from the growing Rove scandal, the President today

a) declared war on
- North Korea
- Iran
- the new pro-Iranian leadership of Iraq
- Sweden

b) nominated another Supreme Court judge
c) declared a tax holiday for billionaires
d) ate a baby
--------------------------------------------------------

Preparing to run program. Set levels:

* Snarkiness (1-10)
* Irony (1-10)
* Bitter resignation (1-10)

END INPUT. GENERATING POST.

*******************************


'Ebonics' rises from the dead

My bloggrrrl Shakes Sis is stirring the pot about Ebonics, which is back in the news as a result of this article, Ebonics suggested for district. San Bernadino (CA) is going to incorporate Ebonics into its new school policy to try and target black students, the lowest-achieving group the city district. From the San Bernadino County Sun:
The goal of the district's policy is to improve black students' academic performance by keeping them interested in school. Compared with other racial groups in the district, black students go to college the least and have the most dropouts and suspensions.

Blacks make up the second largest racial group in the district, trailing Latinos.

A pilot of the policy, known as the Students Accumulating New Knowledge Optimizing Future Accomplishment Initiative, has been implemented at two city schools. Mary Texeira, a sociology professor at Cal State San Bernardino, commended the San Bernardino Board of Education for approving the policy in June.

Texeira suggested that including Ebonics in the program would be beneficial for students. Ebonics, a dialect of American English that is spoken by many blacks throughout the country, was recognized as a separate language in 1996 by the Oakland school board.

"Ebonics is a different language, it's not slang as many believe,' Texeira said. "For many of these students Ebonics is their language, and it should be considered a foreign language. These students should be taught like other students who speak a foreign language.'

Texeira said research has shown that students learn better when they fully comprehend the language they are being taught in.
Shakes Sis took the time to thoughtfully view this through the prism of the Democrats' lack of ability to understand black voters, and makes a case that taking this constituency for granted has resulted in myriad socioeconomic problems that have not been effectively addressed, education being one of them. This move to recognize Ebonics, she feels, is a response to the vacuum of solutions.
Linguistics can be a tricky thing, and a subjective thing; there’s not a definitive consensus on when a dialect stops being just a dialect and becomes its own language. There are areas within the United States—a small island off the east coast (the name of which escapes me at the moment) where the inhabitants speak a strange mix of German and English, certain remote enclaves in Appalachia, as examples—where the form of English spoken is so unique as to have spawned endless debate about whether it’s truly a rare American dialect or a language all its own. When one reads about these idiosyncratic tongues, in America or elsewhere, the thing that their native speakers have in common is geographical isolation.

Ebonics speakers are not geographically isolated—not in the same way residents of a small coastal island are, anyway. This dialect, or language, depending on the linguist or sociologist to whom you are speaking, is instead the result of cultural isolation. Whether Ebonics started and/or developed strictly due to immersion in a community of like speakers, or as a result of a search for unique cultural identity, or a combination of both, or different factors altogether, really doesn’t matter in terms of this discussion. The point is that a wholly distinct dialect, which has developed divergently from all other dominant regional dialects to the point of being recognized in some quarters as its own language, happened within a community that has not been given full equality in our society.
I agree blacks have not been given full equality, but I disagree that recognition of Ebonics is a solution. I think it is damaging. I also think this topic is even more inflammatory than the GOP peeling off votes by exploiting black homophobia, something that I've written about extensively. I realize that on this topic, I'm clearly not in step with many progressives. Oliver Willis, notably, is also with me on this position.

Personally, I know that my mom, who was of West Indian descent, is rolling in her grave at the thought of Ebonics as a concept rising again. She died in 1997, so we did have conversations about that 1996 Oakland school board decision to recognize Ebonics. She was appalled. Ebonics doesn't pass the test of say, the Gullah language, a Creole blend of Elizabethan English and African languages, would fall into the category of on that is in geographical isolation (the coastal South), as you mentioned.

It's hard enough to get by if you're black in this country (I don't use African-American either); Ebonics is not the acceptable language of education, commerce or any standard of success in this country. "Shizzle to the nizzle" isn't going to fly in an interview.

Black people know this; they are exposed to the dominant culture and language from day one. Slang or Ebonics is a method of communicating within a social group/community. To elevate it to the status of a dialect that must be "overcome" in order to assimilate into the dominant culture takes the burden of responsibility off of the individual to do so.

The black community needs no more help in this area.

Our culture (and in this case I mean American culture), has made it too easy to blame someone else - the State, the President, your neighbor, "the Man") for why they cannot read and write. Acquiescing to the lowest common denominator of achievement has been an enabling device, sadly, I believe it is part of the reason we have the Acting White phenomenon and the glorification of anti-intellectualism in the black community spurred on by a segment of the hip-hop culture (that also debases women).

I get flamed for this all the time, but no one has made a convincing argument that would change my position on this.

I'll fight for inclusion on every front, but taking this Ebonics path is ultimately destructive for the black community.

What kids need are schools of equivalent quality, smaller classroom size and qualified teachers that are paid what they are worth -- and that's not going to happen when resources are allocated based on property taxes.

***

To frame the subject of accommodating "difference" outside of race (for those of you uncomfortable talking about it), a colleague of mine and I had a long conversation yesterday about how "equal access" in the area of education has gone over the margin of common sense into insanity. She notices this first-hand with some of the kids she deals with in the school system that are using their disability to manipulate both the parents and the school system into not holding them accountable for performing academically.

Since the rightful goal is mainstreaming, what does this mean for academic standards, classroom size, the obligations of teachers, administrators and the State to accommodate these situations? She sees kids that aren't compliant in using the state-provided resources for them to be able to function well in the classroom -- and the parents and kid wonder why they are doing poorly.

The parents, in turn, don't like seeing their child slipping academically and want the State to "do something", provide additional services, or diagnose their child in a way to establish the need for those additional services, when it's sometimes a behavioral problem. It can be frustrating when actual kids with real, aching needs have to move down on the list because of the kids/parents that are working the system. Everyone loses.

The number of kids with ADD, ADHD is exploding, and this cannot be discounted in the woes of the school system. One has to come to the conclusion that either: 1) kids are coming out of the womb f*cked up; 2) child-rearing errors are part of the problem; or 3) something is adversely affecting kids developmentally. Number three is particularly important. There have been recent studies that the act of watching TV (not the content) has a profound effect on actual physiological development of the brain. It affects learning because vicarious viewing replaces real sensory involvement with the real world. [You can substitute "TV" with video games, iPods, GameBoys and the like -- same issue.] This is also where #2 comes into play. If parents have been told to believe that TV can be a good babysitter, an educational tool, they may be inadvertently creating/exacerbating the problem.

Bottom line: too many kids aren't reading as they should, partially because it doesn't provide the brain stimulation those other forms of entertainment do, and add on top of that, they need to be able to sit still in a classroom and LISTEN. This might explain why you've got so many kids that are "incorrigible" and need to be on medication to function in school.

The question that scientists need to answer is whether behavioral modification can eliminate the need for medication, or whether the neural network cannot be re-wired. Is this a family problem or a problem for the state? Is it a personal responsibility issue, or a true ADA-accommodated disability, or is it something in-between? I have no earthly idea. I'm just tossing this out there.

School systems are wrestling with these issues and once you add race/dialect and other socioeconomic issues with a cherry on top, you can see where we find ourselves in a massive quandry. This is almost an overwhelming issue for our educational system to handle. How do you begin to fix this? No one wants to pay to get the job done (raising taxes is never popular), but no one wants to toss good money after bad, either.


Killer Eric Rudolph - unrepentant


This low-life pleaded guilty in April to the Birmingham bombing and three bombings in Atlanta, was sentenced to two life sentences without parole for the Birmingham bombing.
"Those who attempt to save the lives of unborn children and who wish to promote a culture that respects life are now treated as fanatics, threats to American freedom."

"As I go to a prison cell for a lifetime, I know that 'I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith,' "
-- wisdom from the lips of Eric Robert Rudolph during his sentencing.
Victims Have Say as Birmingham Bomber Is Sentenced. The bigot entertained himself by bombing an abortion clinic, a gay bar and the Olympic Park at the Atlanta Games, and considered violence against abortion providers "a moral duty." That pretty much covers the bases as an agent of the right-wing fringe movement. I think that would qualify him as a fanatic.

Thank goodness the some of the victims got to their chance to unload on him.
It was Emily Lyons's first chance to address Eric R. Rudolph, the bomber whose attack on an abortion clinic here in 1998 left her half-blind and maimed. And she had plenty to say.

Ms. Lyons, who had been the director of nursing at the New Woman All Women Health Care clinic, called Mr. Rudolph a coward for making a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, and said, pointedly, that the clinics he bombed were still in operation today and that his attack had transformed her into a public figure who had raised thousands of dollars for abortion services.

And she told Mr. Rudolph at his sentencing Monday morning in Federal District Court, "I have more guts in my broken little finger than you have in your whole body."

Mr. Rudolph, who pleaded guilty in April to the Birmingham bombing and three bombings in Atlanta, was sentenced to two life sentences without parole for the Birmingham bombing. Judge C. Lynwood Smith ordered him to pay $1.2 million restitution to the victims, though he acknowledged that Mr. Rudolph had no financial resources. In August, Mr. Rudolph will be sentenced to two more life terms in Atlanta for attacks on another abortion clinic and a gay club and at the 1996 Olympics...The four bombings injured 150 people and killed 2, Alice Hawthorne at Olympic Centennial Park in Atlanta and Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer, in Birmingham. Monday was the first time victims or their family members could confront Mr. Rudolph directly.

Ms. Lyons, who has been vocal in her disappointment that Mr. Rudolph would not face capital punishment, read a seven-page statement recounting the many ways in which he had worked against himself: he saved the receipt for bombing components bought at Wal-Mart; he left explosive residue all over his trailer; he failed to notice that his intended target in Birmingham, the doctor providing abortions, did not use the clinic's front door; he left the bomb in plain sight instead of hiding it in the bushes; he wrote the word "bomb" in the margin of his Bible; and, ultimately, he failed to stop women from obtaining abortions.

She said she believed that Mr. Rudolph had used abortion as an excuse to kill. "What makes you think you have been appointed to rule every woman in the United States?" she asked.

She also said that he owed his life to his victims' families, most of whom agreed to the plea deal. "You murdered their loved ones, yet they kept the needle out of your arm," she said. "Your efforts did not save you; your victims' families did."

"You have been and will be a parasite on society, costing us millions," she added.
There are more Eric Rudolphs out there, willing to commit atrocious acts in the name of their beliefs. The vocal, strident, unbending rhetoric of the American Taliban inspires violence in their unhinged followers. While they have the right to advocate for their ant-choice stance, they need to accept responsibility, take ownership of the kind of people they associate with and cultivate in their movement. The blood is also on their hands.


Montgomery, AL: Red State Pride


Howard Bayless welcomes attendees to the Montgomery Gay and Lesbian Association's gay pride festival Saturday at Equality Alabama's headquarters on Perry Street in Montgomery.

It's one thing to hold Pride festivals in gay meccas like New York, San Francisco, Atlanta or even smaller friendly enclaves like my town, Durham. It's quite another to hold a Pride festival in a belly-of-the-beast state of Alabama, where being out and proud can get you hurt, or worse.

That's why the gathering last Saturday in Montgomery, Alabama should show people that coming out is the biggest statement anyone can make -- gays and lesbians live everywhere. These people want and need community, and they are, even in what would be considered a tiny gathering in most cities, doing it while facing bigotry and disdain from the likes of the Christian Coalition. It's a triumph and I'm glad to post something so positive -- a significant thing to note is that there were no protestors at this event, even in this deep-South bible-belt city.
The Montgomery Gay and Lesbian Association held the city's first gay pride festival in seven years Saturday.

The event included speakers, live music and a drag show -- with activism as an undercurrent for much of the day's activities.

About 150 people attended the festival at Equality Alabama's headquarters on Perry Street, according to Montgomery Gay and Lesbian Association president Norma Mitchell. Equality Alabama and Soulforce Alabama are two groups that advocate expanding the civil rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.


Howard Bayless welcomes attendees to the Montgomery Gay and Lesbian Association's gay pride festival Saturday at Equality Alabama's headquarters on Perry Street in Montgomery. (Photos by Mickey Welsh/Advertiser)

Angie Milam, 48, said that while Montgomery has gay bars for the younger generation, there is often no social outlet for gays and lesbians of her age group. Milam said Saturday's festival was the first social activity of its kind for all ages.

"Because of their professional lives, (some gays) may not be so open," Milam said. "They came from the time that you don't discuss being gay, and there's nowhere for the older lesbian or gay couples to get together."

Milam and her friends said gays and lesbians from the younger generations are more open about their sexuality, but some in their 20s who were at the festival said being openly gay in Alabama still is not easy. Jonathan Conner, 23, grew up in Prattville. "It's very, very closeted," he said. "It was definitely not something you talked about."
Also see my earlier Blend post, Fight of Flight: queer edition, on the debate about strategies for gays living in Red and Purple states.

Thanks to House Blender Kathy for the update.


Roberts and Rove - political hacks

If it's one thing that Bush has taught us, it's to surround yourself with yes men and party hacks. The Supreme Court nomination of John G. Roberts is no exception. The man worked for Ken Starr, for crying out loud, and participated in the Bush vs. Gore case that ended the recount of the 2000 election - handing the presidency to Bush. Take a look at this and connect the dots -- Roberts career has been full of political hackery and associations -- he's an inside-the-Beltway guy (NYT graphic):



Does this mean he's the worst nominee that Chimpy could have put forward. No. There's not enough of a paper trail to know, and that's probably why Bush picked him. I'm sure more will will come to light about his positions over the coming weeks, but look for those hearings to be awash in non-committal statements that will tell us nothing.

Surf over to Shakespeare's Sister, who also notes that John G. Roberts and Karl Rove are "Two Peas in the Same Political Pod."
It might not seem on its face like Karl Rove and SCOTUS nominee John Roberts have much in common, but there’s one very important attribute they both share—they’re both political hacks. They’ve served their GOP master in different ways, but in the end, neither of them is any more than a political operative who fulfills a certain ideological role within the party. I could tell you all about Roberts’ history with the Republicans, but what difference do specifics make? He’s been a judge for two years, and the rest of his career has been spent in the pockets of GOP power players. This is, in the end, just more of the same from Bush & Co.

And could we really have expected any different? Of course not.
***

Karl's a lying SOB

While I'm at it, last night I read up on this gem by investigative journalist at The American Prospect:
White House deputy chief of staff Karl Rove did not disclose that he had ever discussed CIA officer Valerie Plame with Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper during Rove’s first interview with the FBI, according to legal sources with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The omission by Rove created doubt for federal investigators, almost from the inception of their criminal probe into who leaked Plame's name to columnist Robert Novak, as to whether Rove was withholding crucial information from them, and perhaps even misleading or lying to them, the sources said.

Also leading to the early skepticism of Rove's accounts was the claim that although he first heard that Plame worked for the CIA from a journalist, he said could not recall the name of the journalist. Later, the sources said, Rove wavered even further, saying he was not sure at all where he first heard the information.
Are they going to get a cell ready for the bastard?

Rove is the story that the admin doesn't want anyone thinking, writing or talking about. Unless Turd Blossom is destroyed, even after the Chimperor leaves office, Rove will still be a player for the GOP. He's too good an operator.

I'm just waiting for Bush to pull Osama out of a hat if this SCOTUS pick diversion doesn't do the trick for him.


Canada legalizes gay civil marriage


Alberta's Ralph Klein and Stephen Harper have to suck it up.

Oh what a glorious day. Barring any last issues, Canada will be the fourth country to make it legal, following the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain.

The last four hold-outs, according to CTV.ca -- Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories -- will then strike down their traditional marriage laws to accommodate same-sex civil marriage. One of the adament holdouts, Canuck wingnut Alberta Premier Ralph Klein backed down on this last week, accepting the inevitable. Conservative Stephen Harper is still railing about bringing it to a public vote if he ever comes to power.
Canada's same-sex marriage bill could be signed into law as early as today after it receives royal assent.

The bill was passed by the Senate, 47-21, in a late-night vote Tuesday, a couple of days ahead of schedule. Three of the 95 sitting senators abstained. Parliament passed Bill C-38 in late June ending years of heated debate.

As the debate on the legislation dragged on, Liberal senators threatened to invoke closure and call a snap vote. But the debate ran its course with the last word coming from Liberal senator Ione Christensen who read an e-mail from a Yukon constituent.

"You have no idea what a difference it makes to the human spirit to know that you are treated equally under the law," Christensen said.

There was fierce opposition to the bill from the Conservative Party, religious groups, and even members of the government's own ranks.

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper has promised he won't let the issue rest. He says he'll bring back the same-sex marriage law for another vote if he becomes prime minister. "There will be a chance to revisit this in a future Parliament," Harper said last month. "Our intention is to have a free vote."
Thanks to Canadian House Blender Cat for the pointer (and for following this whole ordeal so closely).


AmTaliban rallies behind Roberts pick

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The bible-thumpers are already online with praise for the SCOTUS nom. Haven't seen Dobson or Falwell weigh in yet:

"The president is a man of his word. He promised to nominate someone along the lines of a Scalia or a Thomas, and that is exactly what he has done."
-- Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council



"a refreshing nominee who possesses an outstanding record of judicial accomplishment as well as a commitment to judicial restraint long missing from so many activist courts."
-- Little Gary Bauer, president of American Values


MoveOn.org has "Fire Rove" TV ad racked up and ready

MoveOn.org plans to launch a TV ad campaign tomorrow calling for lying sack of sh*t Rove to be canned.
A new TV ad calls on the President to keep his word and fire his top political advisor Karl Rove for disclosing the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, a covert CIA agent. The ad features White House spokesman Scott McClellan contradicting his 2003 statements when asked last week if the President plans to fire Karl Rove.

The ad begins airing tomorrow, within 48 hours of the President's flip-flop on an earlier commitment to fire anyone involved in blowing her cover. In June 2004, when asked whether he would fire anyone involved in the Plame outing, President Bush replied, "Yes" to a group of reporters. On Monday, however, the President flip-flopped and added the qualifier that it would have to be shown that a crime was committed.

Two senior White House officials, Karl Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, have been implicated in the scandal for outing the agent.

"The President should stand by his pledge to the American people and fire Karl Rove," said Tom Matzzie, Washington Director of MoveOn.org Political Action. "Karl Rove recklessly and maliciously revealed the identity of a covert CIA operative to discredit critics of the Iraq war. Rove either broke the law or was grossly negligent. In either case, he damaged our national security and shouldn't be working in the White House," said Matzzie.
Here is the description of the ad; you can watch it here:


MoveOn.org Political Action

TV :30

"Fire Rove"

MOP-05-801

VIDEO -- OPEN ON TV IMAGE OF SCOTT MCCLELLAN AT A WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING. ON-SCREEN TITLES REVEAL THE DATE TO BE SEPT. 16, 2003. BELOW THE TV IMAGE, THE WORD 'THEN' IS SUPERED ON THE SCREEN. FROM OFF CAMERA, A REPORTER IS ASKING MCCLELLAND A QUESTION.

AUDIO -- REPORTER 1: Wilson now believes that the person who did this was Karl Rove...

MCCLELLAN: I haven't heard that. That's just totally ridiculous.

VIDEO -- CUT TO FOOTAGE FROM A LATER PRESS BRIEFING - SEPT 29, 2003. MCCLELLAN IS RESPONDING TO A SIMILAR QUESTION.

MCCLELLAN: If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.

VIDEO -- FADE TO BLACK. FADE UP ON A TV IMAGE OF MCCLELLAND AT ANOTHER WHITE HOUSE PRESS BRIEFING, NOW JULY 11, 2005. BELOW THE TV IMAGE, THE WORD 'NOW' IS SUPERED ON THE SCREEN. FROM OFF CAMERA, A REPORTER IS ASKING MCCLELLAN A QUESTION.

REPORTER 1: Don't you owe the American people a fuller explanation?

MCCLELLAN: David, there will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time.

VIDEO -- A MONTAGE OF MCCLELLAN'S EVASIVE RESPONSES TO QUESTIONING FROM THE SAME JULY 11, 2005 PRESS BRIEFING.

MCCLELLAN: The White House is not going to comment on it.

MCCLELLAN: We're not going to get into commenting.

MCCLELLAN: You have my response.

MCCLELLAN: We're not going to get into commenting on it.

MCCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.

VIDEO -- CUT TO END CARD READING: "STOP THE COVER-UP. FIRE KARL ROVE." AT SCREEN BOTTOM SUPER "PAID FOR BY MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION, WWW.MOVEONPAC.ORG. NOT AUTHORIZED BY ANY CANDIDATE OR CANDIDATE'S COMMITTEE. MOVEON.ORG POLITICAL ACTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF THIS ADVERTISEMENT".

AUDIO -- ANNOUNCER (VO): MoveOn.org Political Action is responsible for the content of this advertisement.


State Dept memo had the Plame details

Karl had access to the information about Valerie Plame and he didn't get it from another journalist. It was right there on Air Force One.
More details are surfacing about a State Department memo that's been the focus of a federal investigation into the release of a CIA officer's name.

The classified memo outlines how Valerie Plame arranged to have her husband -- former Ambassador Joseph Wilson -- sent to Nigeria to look into alleged Iraqi attempts to purchase uranium. The memo also disputes Bush administration claims that Iraq was shopping for the so-called "yellow cake."

A retired State Department official said Tuesday that the memo was sent to Air Force One just one day after Wilson went public with his allegations. The official said it was not a "Wilson-Wilson wife memo" but rather a reflection of the department's "disagreement" with the White House over the Iraq-Niger uranium case.

The memo has become a key piece of evidence because it could have been the way someone in the White House learned -- and then leaked -- the information.


Bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq - but not for women


A banner saying "Stop the violence against Iraqi women" was carried at a Baghdad rally over constitutional issues as they affect women's rights. (Adam Nadel/Polaris, for The New York Times)

Maybe it was a sign that Roberts has been nominated for SCOTUS. Since this guy would like to overturn Roe v. Wade, rolling back the clock with women here, why not emulate the draft Iraqi Constitution, which gives equal rights to women only IF they follow Sharia law. This is unbelievable. Billions of dollars, thousands of bombs, who knows how many deaths, and this is what it come to for to the women of Iraq. Have they not suffered enough?

How can Chimpy, Rove and Rumsfeld declare victory if women have fewer civil rights than they had under Saddam.
A working draft of Iraq's new constitution would cede a strong role to Islamic law and could sharply curb women's rights, particularly in personal matters like divorce and family inheritance. The document's writers are also debating whether to drop or phase out a measure enshrined in the interim constitution, co-written last year by the Americans, requiring that women make up at least a quarter of the parliament.

The draft of a chapter of the new constitution obtained by The New York Times on Tuesday guarantees equal rights for women as long as those rights do not "violate Shariah," or Koranic law. The Americans and secular Iraqis banished such explicit references to religious law from the interim constitution adopted early last year.

The draft chapter, circulated discreetly in recent days, has ignited outrage among women's groups, which held a protest on Tuesday morning in downtown Baghdad at the square where a statue of Saddam Hussein was pulled down by American marines in April 2003.

One of the critical passages is in Article 14 of the chapter, a sweeping measure that would require court cases dealing with matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance to be judged according to the law practiced by the family's sect or religion. Under that measure, Shiite women in Iraq, no matter what their age, generally could not marry without their families' permission. Under some interpretations of Shariah, men could attain a divorce simply by stating their intention three times in their wives' presence.

Article 14 would replace a body of Iraqi law that has for decades been considered one of the most progressive in the Middle East in protecting the rights of women, giving them the freedom to choose a husband and requiring divorce cases to be decided by a judge. If adopted, the shift away from the more secular and egalitarian provisions of the interim constitution would be a major victory for Shiite clerics and religious politicians, who chafed at the Americans' insistence that Islam be designated in the interim constitution as just "a source" of legislation. Several writers of the new constitution say they intend, at the very least, to designate Islam as "a main source" of legislation.

...women's groups are incensed by Article 14, which would repeal a relatively liberal personal status law enacted in 1959 after the British-backed monarchy was overthrown by secular military officers. That law remained in effect through the decades of Mr. Hussein's rule.

The law used Shariah to adjudicate personal and family matters, but did it in as secular a manner as possible, pulling together the most liberal interpretations of Koranic law from the main Shiite and Sunni sects and stitching them together into one code.

Critics of the draft proposal say that in addition to restricting women's rights, it could also deepen the sectarian divide between Sunnis and Shiites. The draft also does not make clear what would happen in cases where the husband is from one sect and the wife from another.


Keep the focus on Rove...he's a guilty SOB

Now that I've put a couple of posts up on Roberts, it's back to the bastard-in-chief's puppetmaster. This is a bit of humor completely ripped from buddy "Radical" Russ:

I caught this line on Mike Malloy's show last night and have been laughing about it all day. The topic was whether Bush would now be firing Karl Rove and Malloy was pointing out how ridiculous it was to think that Bush would fire Rove:
Bush won't fire Karl Rove for the same reason Kermit the Frog wouldn't fire Jim Henson's hand.


Quotes about John G. Roberts

From the AP :


"He's brilliant. ... He's someone who is I think obviously well respected on both sides of the aisle. At a time when circuit court nominees were being filibustered left and right, he just really sailed through his confirmation. Given that, I think the president did what he promised during the campaign. He looked for the best and the brightest and he chose someone who would meet the test, the high test, that Supreme Court justices would be required to meet." — Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.

"The president has chosen someone with suitable legal credentials, but that is not the end of our inquiry. The Senate must review Judge Roberts' record to determine if he has a demonstrated commitment to the core American values of freedom, equality and fairness." — Senate minority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. [Is he rolling over?]

"Judge Roberts is the kind of outstanding nominee that will make America proud. He embodies the qualities America expects in a justice on its highest court: someone who is fair, intelligent, impartial and committed to faithfully interpreting the Constitution and the law." — Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

"We are extremely disappointed that President Bush has chosen such a divisive nominee for the highest court in the nation, rather than a consensus nominee who would protect individual liberty and uphold Roe v. Wade." — NARAL Pro-Choice America.

"He's the kind of judge that all of us want — someone committed to applying the law impartially rather than legislating from the bench." — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.


"Who knows about this guy?" — Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.


Well, it's Roberts



Heinous. The usual DC fake-out. I guess they wanted to have folks waste time over Clement and then drop this bomb.

From the Alliance for Justice's brief opposing the confirmation of John G. Roberts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.:
John G. Roberts, nominated by President Bush to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, has a record of hostility to the rights of women and minorities. He has also taken controversial positions in favor of weakening the separation of church and state and limiting the role of federal courts in protecting the environment.

While working under Presidents Reagan and Bush, Mr. Roberts supported a hard-line, anti-civil rights policy that opposed affirmative action, would have made it nearly impossible for minorities to prove a violation of the Voting Rights Act and would have "resegregated" America's public schools. He also took strongly anti-choice positions in two Supreme Court cases, one that severely restricted the ability of poor women to gain information about abortion services, and another that took away a key means for women and clinics to combat anti-abortion zealots.

GOP Stooge

...Mr. Roberts has a longstanding connection to the Republican Party and to right-wing legal organizations. After clerking for Justice Rehnquist, he held significant positions in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and the elder President Bush, where he became Deputy Solicitor General. In 1992, Bush nominated Roberts for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but his nomination lapsed before it could be considered.

Reproductive Freedom

...In two cases, Roberts took positions hostile to women's reproductive rights. He was a co-author of the government's brief in Rust v. Sullivan,10 the case in which the Supreme Court upheld newly revised Title X regulations that prohibited U.S. family planning programs receiving federal aid from giving any abortion-related counseling or other services. The provision barred such clinics not only from providing abortions, but also from "counseling clients about abortion" or even "referring them to facilities that provide abortions."

In a second abortion-related case, Roberts co-authored the government's amicus brief in a private suit brought against Operation Rescue by an abortion clinic it had targeted.14 The brief argued that Operation Rescue was not engaged in a conspiracy to deprive women of equal protection. Roberts took this position in spite of Operation Rescue's admission that its goal was to prevent women from obtaining abortions and to shut down the clinic during its protests. Although the government's brief acknowledged that only women could become pregnant, it argued that conspiring to prevent people from seeking constitutionally-protected abortions did not constitute gender discrimination. It asserted that, at worst, Operation Rescue was discriminating against pregnant people, not women.

Religion

Roberts co-authored two briefs arguing for an expanded role for religion in public schools. In one case, he co-authored a government amicus curiae brief before the Supreme Court, in which he argued that public high schools should be allowed to conduct religious ceremonies as part of a graduation program, a position rejected by the Supreme Court.

In the other, the government argued that barring a religious group from meeting on school grounds violates the Equal Access Act, while granting access does not violate the Establishment Clause.27 The Supreme Court agreed with the government's position.
Aside from those horrific facts, the document also reveals that Roberts was never properly vetted because of Arlen Specter's scheduling of three nominee hearings in one day. Very sly.
Finally, Mr. Roberts is being considered for lifetime tenure on a court that is only one step below the U.S. Supreme Court and is acknowledged to be the second most important court in the country. His nomination must be considered in light of the special significance of that court. Moreover, Judiciary Committee Chairman Hatch's insistence on scheduling three controversial Circuit Court nominees, including Mr. Roberts, for confirmation hearings on a single day ensured that senators had no meaningful opportunity to question Mr. Roberts about his views on a number of critical issues. The Alliance for Justice urges the Senate to reject his confirmation
There's plenty more in the report, on his private practice work for corporations, and environmental business interests. I've saved it as a Word file here.


Ditto on Rove: keep it simple, stupid


Rove #2, courtesy of The Heretik; #3: Morgaine; #4: Mike Tidmus.

Karl Rove outed a covert CIA operative as political payback.
Shakes Sis is right. That line above is the whole story. It is essential that we not get caught up in the intellectual ins and outs of the Rove story when we tell it. It's a bottom line issue about pettiness and lying. When Rove's gyrations are conveyed simply, it pays dividends, as we see with polls taking for the Chimperor. Anybody that spends ten minutes watching human punching-bag Scotty at the briefings can see how bad this is. (Keep standing up there, doughboy.)

Rove and Co. handed this one to us on a silver platter and we better not blow it with navel-gazing commentary.

Get the message into sound bites and 30-second commercials. Sadly the sheeple don't think, they react, so let's play ball. If the sheeple have to wade through tons of analysis to figure out what we are trying to convey, they will switch the channel.


Iraq: ready to cut the cord...


I don't think so, Chimpy. Gunmen shot and killed three Sunni Arab members of the committee drafting Iraq's new constitution as they left a Baghdad restaurant on July 19, police sources said. Drawing Sunni Arabs onto the committee, due to deliver a new constitution by Aug. 15, was the cornerstone of a U.S.-backed strategy of persuading members of the restive minority to resolve problems through peaceful politics. Amid Iraq's continuing violence, there had been some hope the constitutional committee could quickly yield a document the authorities could begin pitching to the public.(Namir Noor-Eldeen/Reuters)


The Condi 2008 drumbeat continues



Why is this fantasy on the Right continuing? It's pathetic. If only Santorum had this much support...
The 2008 presidential race is still a long way off, and Rice, a Republican, is only seven months into her job at the State Department. Still, there are signs that she could take a shot at two historic precedents — the first woman president and the first black.

"She is a fascinating candidate," said Iowa State political science professor Steffen Schmidt, jumping the gun a bit. "She's a woman, she's conservative, she's got a foreign policy background and she's extremely smart."

...On Rice2008.com a $20 donation gets you a choice of bumper stickers, including this one: "Hillary '08? Not if Condi's running." At americansforrice.com, a site promoting a "draft Condi" movement, you can join an online discussion group called Team Condi.

"Condi has it all. An impeccable and impressive resume, brains, looks, artistic talent and accomplishment," gushed a fan named Paul, writing last month on another Web log. "She cannot help but add to the ranks of black and female Republican voters, and would likely be a highly effective and popular president," he wrote.

Unauthorized Condi hats, T-shirts, even bobblehead dolls abound on the Internet, and there is a lively discussion of a forthcoming book by Dick Morris, former political adviser to President Clinton, titled "Condi v. Hillary: The Next Great Presidential Race."

The high-profile job and subsequent chatter about being the administration's superstar give her name recognition that other possible GOP candidates — a few governors, several senators — crave.
Don't you think this little bit of 9/11 testimony will turn up in ads that air over and over?
RICE: I remember very well that the president was aware that there were issues inside the United States. He talked to people about this. But I don't remember the al Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.

RICHARD BEN-VENISTE, 9/11 COMMISSION MEMBER: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?

RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

Now, the...

BEN-VENISTE: Thank you.


Homo-bigot DC pastor gets skewered by rights groups


“Lesbianism is about to take over our community. I'm talking about young girls. My son in high school last year tried to go to the prom. He said, 'Dad, I ain't got nobody to take to the prom because all the girls in my class are gay. Ain't but two of 'em straight, and both of them ugly.’”
-- Rev. Willie Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast Washington DC, sharing more words of wisdom about lesbians "taking over" the community.
I posted about this knob-end on the Blend yesterday with some outrageous quotes that some of you suggested that the good reverend must have one helluva porno collection. I mean really would you want children to hear this in a SERMON?
"But … women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain’t real. That thing ain’t got no feeling in it. It ain’t natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind and stick something in you, it’s something wrong with that. Your butt ain’t made for that."
This pastor of peace is getting his ass handed to him on a platter by the community, and it's well deserved. (365gay.com):
The National Black Justice Coalition Tuesday issued a statement calling Wilson's sermon hurtful and divisive to the African American family. Dr. Sylvia Rhue, Director of Religious Affairs and Constituency Development for NBJC demanded a meeting with Wilson to expalain the remarks.

"Rev. Wilson's church has a history of community work and honorable activities, which makes the Reverend's latest foray into pulpit bullying, name-calling and the outrageous bearing of false witness against lesbians and gay men all the more troubling,” said Rhue. "Rev. Wilson's about face from community conciliator to sexually-illiterate, provocateur has tarnished his legacy, brought public shame to his name and the cause decency in discourse,” Rhue added.

"Incendiary statements such as Rev. Wilson’s are doing nothing to promote community equality. They instead try to ostracize and alienate some members of his congregation,” said H. Alexander Robinson, NBJC’s Executive Director and CEO.

The Washington-based Human Rights Campaign also wants answers from Wilson. "Reverend Wilson has abandoned his truth," said HRC Senior Diversity Organizer Donna Payne. "Just five years ago, the Reverend held a service to bring the black community together over gay issues. He called for the church not to be 'religious haters but people who know how to extend love.' Now he's using the pulpit to rip apart a divided community. It's shameful."


Keep our eyes on the prize - Rove in the clink


Courtesy of The Heretik.

Don't let Chimpy distract you with his SCOTUS games...surf over to The Heretik's pad for an Exclusive Ongoing Criminal Interview with the Toad.


Caption this.


President Bush remains tight-lipped about prospects for filling the vacancy on the Supreme Court, during a news conference with visiting Australian Prime Minister John Howard. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

UPDATE: He's going to make the pick at 9PM tonight. (AP):
White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the Bush administration was asking television outlets to broadcast the speech live. Bush's spokesman would not identify the president's choice. But there was intense speculation that it would be Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans. The televised speech was scheduled for 9 p.m. EDT.

Freepers react to possibility of the pick of Judge Edith Brown Clement for SCOTUS...


Actual Freeper Quotes™

"The Christian conservatives brought these people to the dance. They had better get with the program. Let me state this for the record. I see no difference between Hillary or ANY GOP member as president."

"We'll see. But if Arlen Specter and Senate Democrats are OK with the nominee, I fully expect freedom and the American people to get screwed over once again. I expected it though, it's par for the course."

"President Bush promised a nominee like Justices Scalia and Thomas. At this point in time, it looks like there's no way to know whether this nominee matches that promise. So, unless those promised characteristics come out clearly in the confirmation, I'm going to fulfill my promise to back away from Republicans. This might mean I just won't vote, or it might mean I'll join the Constitution Party. I'll withhold judgement, though, until I see what the confirmation hearing tells us."

"I'm voting for Mickey Mouse next time..."

"And Dubya, lame duck that he is, could hardly care less."

"I've got a real bad feeling about this; has Dubya fvcked us? "

"Appointing someone Freepers aren't sure about is doing exactly that, to my eyes. An appointee that is a question mark is a Souter-to-be. With the Rats and Specter are on board already, you know there are question marks, too. Clement has said Roe is 'settled.' She is terse to the point of extreme brevity in her opinions. She comes across as an administrator on the Circuit Court, not an agitator. But we NEED an agitator. We NEED someone who will not be determining things are 'settled,' but willing to set things aright again. And this feeling iffy about a nominee because there's no there there, that's just not what the GOP's base deserves for its past hard work."

"Souter sailed through the confirmation hearings. So did Kennedy and O'Connor. She has no track record for us to verify anything about her is conservative, it's all Souter and this 'she's got good references' bullshit. We deserve more than this hide-the-ball appointment. If she gets on the Court, only then do we see if there's the payoff the GOP's base has worked for. And then it's too late if there isn't. God, I hope these reports are b.s."

"Pretty foxy looking lady. Wonder what she looks like without the robes. Is she a strict constructionist?"


If it's Edith C., the wingnuts will be mad


Judge Edith Brown Clement, left, is seen with President Bush as he introduces his federal judicial appointments on May 9, 2001, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

[UPDATE: more bio info on Clement below.]

Real Values is still holding firm that the SCOTUS pick will be Edith Brown Clement, and speculates that the Right won't be happy with her...
If, as I have been reporting since last night, the President's nominee to the SCOTUS is 5th Circuit Judge Edith Brown Clement, how will the far right react? They have been bashing Gonzales as too moderate, but check out this Q&A from Clement's confirmation hearing to the 5th Circuit:

Question (by Senator Kennedy (D-MA): Do you believe the constitutional right to privacy encompasses a woman's right to have an abortion?

Answer (Clement): The Supreme Court has clearly held that the right to privacy guaranteed by the Constitution includes the right to have an abortion. The cases handed down by the Supreme Court on the right to abortion have reaffirmed and redefined this right, and the law is settled in that regard. If confirmed, I will faithfully apply Supreme Court precedent.

UPDATE: Reuters has more, including confirmation that the timing has been moved up to take the spotlight off of the Toad. They are openly admitting it, folks. Now we have to see if the press will take the bait. Keep on message.
A leading candidate is Judge Edith Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans, the Republican said.

...Republicans believe that nominating a woman -- or someone who is Hispanic -- might help Bush avoid a bitter partisan battle over his choice for the court, which rules on many social issues like abortion and civil rights.

Sources said the timing of an announcement had been moved up in part to deflect attention away from a CIA leak controversy that has engulfed Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove.

A Republican strategist with close to the White House described Clement as the leading candidate. "She's pretty untouchable," he said. "Plus, it helps take Rove off the front pages for a week."
Oh, and yes, the wingers are mad about any choice that might be perceived as mainstream, and they growing even more strident. If I were Arlen Specter, I'd watch my back.
Pro-life and pro-family groups are outraged over suggestions from some GOP officials that sanctity-of-life advocates should restrict their comments in the debate over judicial nominees. Pro-choice Republican Arlen Specter has called pro-life groups counterproductive and insulting for their outspoken pressure on George W. Bush to keep his election campaign promises by nominating pro-life judges to the federal bench. Meanwhile, even the president is urging pro-life supporters to tone down their rhetoric. But at a recent rally at the White House, Pat Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition issued a vehement response to that suggestion. "Mr. President," he shouted, "you cannot tell us to hand out literature during campaigns, make phone calls in phone banks, canvass neighborhoods and then, on the most critical decision you will make, [tell us] to be still." While the rally took place, eight people -- including six teenagers -- were arrested as they knelt and prayed on a public sidewalk outside the White House.
I've got Freeper commentary on the Clement speculation.


Fight or flight, queer edition

JamesB3 over at The Next Hurrah, has a thoughtful post up about the gay marriage "smokescreen" by the Right. They AmTaliban wants us converted, re-closeted or, well dead. That said, what should gays do? Escape to gay enclaves in big cities?

His position is that there's nowhere to run. He notes that Clinton, while ultimately no friend of gays because of DADT and DOMA, at least wasn't fomenting open disdain for gays and lesbians, which is what we are seeing now.
Bush has repeatedly singled us out as being different. As being a threat to tradition, to the family. He has ostracized us and stigmatized us and he has supported and enabled politicians and evangelists who have used extreme, divisive, and sometimes dangerous language against us (Tom Coburn, Rick Santorum, James Dobson, Lou Sheldon, and so on). The Republican Party seized on same-sex marriage to help shield the mess they have made of this country, and while I will never believe that Bush won the election because of equal marriage rights (he won because of 'the war on terror'), it was successfully used as a tool to distract the media and to disorient and fire up the public.

Many people do not understand that these attacks are not about marriage. Marriage is a smokescreen for various zealots to rally against tolerance of the very existence of a gay person. We are supposed to hide away, deeply ashamed, or to "go straight" before we go to hell.
So does an escape plan make sense? The strategy that gay folks should escape from the Red and Purple states (Red states with Blue enclaves) to safety of Blue states is an illusion, according to James. He feels that our interests in the long run are better served if those in Purple states reclaim them by coming out, getting politically active and protecting their interests. In a deep Red state, I attend to also agree with him -- there's only so much open hostility you can take, never mind outright danger.
The idea that all you have to do to live a happy life is move to a liberal city or supportive state is increasingly naive. Aside from fear for your life, your basic civil rights can easily be stripped away. In "liberal" California, there is a very likely chance that domestic partnerships and co-parent adoption will be banned through the ballot box. You think that can't happen in California? Just think to yourself how many people will get in that booth and believe that all they are doing is "protecting marriage." They will have no idea what they are truly destroying, and the media will only encourage their ignorance.

My point is not to attack these cities or states, or to claim that their tolerance is a facade. And if you are living in a situation where you are constantly harrassed, taunted, or beaten, then you should get the hell out as soon as you can. My point is that I think it is time for gays and lesbians to stop buying into the fantasy that we should all move to gay ghettoes and everything will always be alright. I think that kind of delusion is one of the major reasons so many GLBT citizens don't bother to vote. They assume that as long as they have their friends, or their local clubs, or supportive local laws, nothing that happens outside of their circle jerk will seriously affect them. I think that more gay Americans should consider staying in purple and red states, consider moving back to purple or red cities and states, and fighting at the local level to repeal restrictive laws and elect supportive people. You may not be able to come out to everyone, but you can probably find people you can trust and slowly break down the barriers of prejudice.
You do have to win people over one at a time, on a personal level. That is the only way to counter what these people hear in bigoted churches, and in local watering holes, and in the right-wing media. It's a constant political battle though, working to keep allies in office and the balance of wingnuts in check. Inattention to voting and the issues by gay folks and their allies can mean the difference between a marriage amendment/adoption rights bill/domestic partners legislation (name your civil rights issue) passing or not.


Must read: Salon's series on the horrible "reparative therapy" movement



Salon (subscription req'd, or watch a commercial to receive a day pass) is running a four-part investigation into the Christian "reparative therapy" fraud, which is designed to "de-gay" homos, some even professing to fully convert gays into heterosexuals. The first installment of the series, Turning off gays, ran yesterday.
Last month, the Montgomery County Board of Education in suburban Maryland settled a lawsuit over sex education in the county's public schools, brought in part by PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays). The group is a branch of a national network of "ministries" that claim homosexuality is a chosen and dangerous lifestyle, and that through "reparative therapy" a gay person can be turned straight -- into an "ex-gay."

PFOX won a restraining order in May and successfully halted the county's new sex ed curriculum, intended, among other things, to promote tolerance toward gays by treating homosexuality as natural and benign. A judge concluded the school curriculum did exclude other views on homosexuality -- namely, those of PFOX. Under the settlement last month, the county agreed to pay $36,000 of PFOX's legal expenses. The group also gets a seat at the table in drafting a new sex ed curriculum for county schools.
These groups are making inroads, and the danger, of course, is the result that misinformation will getting out to vulnerable gay teens, struggling with their sexual identity and self-esteem.

The second part, My gay therapy session, is up now, and author Mark Benjamin goes undercover and actually submits himself for "therapy." Just reading the first paragraph tells you what kind of deranged thinking we're up against.
Barry Levy, a Christian counselor and licensed clinical social worker, is explaining to me what causes homosexuality. "Take the young boy who is more sensitive, more delicate, who doesn't like rough-and-tumble, who is artistic," he says. "He can't hit the ball, fire the gun or shoot an arrow. There is a high correlation between poor eye-hand coordination and same-sex attraction."
Thanks to House Blenders Paul and 'Bean for the pointers.



Can of whoop-*ss...opened...again



Painful, and beautiful.
Q What is his problem? Two years, and he can't call Rove in and find out what the hell is going on? I mean, why is it so difficult to find out the facts? It costs thousands, millions of dollars, two years, it tied up how many lawyers? All he's got to do is call him in.

MR. McCLELLAN: You just heard from the President. He said he doesn't know all the facts. I don't know all the facts.

Q Why?

MR. McCLELLAN: We want to know what the facts are. Because --

Q Why doesn't he ask him?
Shakes Sis was quite right about the goings-on at yesterday's briefing -- "The Press Continues to Feast on the Raw Tushy of Scott McClellan." Will he be back for more today?

House Blender Paul emailed me: "During Monday's White House briefing, Scott McClellan said 'The President has great faith in the American people and their judgment.' "

And the American people's judgment?


Skepticism about the administration's cooperation has jumped. As the initial investigation began in September 2003, nearly half the public, 47 percent, believed the White House was fully cooperating. That fell to 39 percent a few weeks later, and it's lower still, 25 percent, in this new ABC News poll.

This view is highly partisan; barely over a tenth of Democrats and just a quarter of independents think the White House is fully cooperating. That grows to 47 percent of Republicans -- much higher, but still under half in the president's own party. And doubt about the administration's cooperation has grown as much among Republicans -- by 22 points since September 2003 -- as it has among others.



Novakula gets to keep his coffin

Monday, July 18, 2005


from Russ.

CNN is sticking by Novak. For now. Billmon rocks on this one.
CNN executives announced today that they will not bury the badly decomposed corpse of columnist and on-air personality Robert Novak, despite complaints from producers that the stench of his putrifying flesh is making it difficult to book guests for the network's talk shows.

"We realize some viewers may be unsettled by the sight of a rotting pile of maggot-infested tissue on their living room television," explained CNN/US president Jonathan Klein. "But Novak has a contract, and we feel that as long as we can squeeze a little more free publicity out of his legal and ethical problems, we have no choice but to keep him on the air."

Klein refused to comment on a recent outbreak of typhus at CNN studios in Washington that left five of Novak's makeup artists dead and 23 hospitalized, citing pending litigation. He also declined comment on the alleged involvement of Novak's personal chef in an interstate graverobbing conspiracy.

"Those charges are under investigation by the police, and it would be inappropriate for me to comment at this tiime," Klein said. "But I can assure you that anyone convicted of a crime and sentenced to a lengthy term in a federal prison will be fired from this network --just as soon as the appeals process has been completed."

Industry insiders say that CNN, which badly lags rival Fox News in the ratings wars, is desperately seeking a long-term replacement for Novak, but so far hasn't found a reanimated corpse willing to accept the job.

"Most zombie journalists have higher standards than that," explained one network source, speaking on quadruple super duper secret sauce background. "And the others are either in jail or have already been signed by Fox."
Finish the rest of this howler at his pad.


Iraq Vet group launching ad attack on Chimpy in WaPo tomorrow


(via Brad Blog)

Oh, baby. Boy when it rains, it pours. Bush's got the veterans nipping at his behind now.

Operation Truth, a nonprofit, non-partisan veterans advocacy organization, is the first and largest Iraq veterans group in America. It's also pissed at the Chimp-in-Chief's policies and is taking out an ad in tomorrow's Washington Post slamming the Administration on its pathetic health care shortfall for these returning vets, many with life-altering injuries. The estimate is $3 billion short of what's needed to cover costs for returning veterans at VA hospitals.

Here's just one on the list of indignities, new eligibility requirements that boggle the mind, given the sacrifices made by those in the military:
As of January, 2004, the VA has also announced new rules that exclude hundreds of thousands of vets whose incomes are now considered too high to qualify for benefits. The income threshold depends on where a vet lives, but ranges between about $26,000 and $40,000 per year. The VA has not pushed any enrolled vets out of the system, but veterans who now wish to enroll will be subject to the new rules.



The Empty Wig on Karl Rove

House Blender Debra emailed me about this Liz Dole letter, so I went to one of my junk email accounts to see if this was in my inbox. I somehow am on the National Republican Senatorial Committee mailing list, so I get all kinds of bizarre emails from Liddy, Frist and the like.

You know the GOP is in a desperate situation when the trot wax figurehead Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) to try to explain how Karl Rove is innocent and it's all a smear. Even Sugar Lips, in her breathless letter, can't sweet-talk any common sense into this drivel.


Monday July 18, 2005

What the Karl Rove Issue Is Really About

Dear Friend,

The attacks from certain members of the Democratic Party against Karl Rove this week have been an absolute disgrace. This is an attempt at personal destruction and political opportunism at its very worst-it is downright shameless.

It has been reported that the liberal extremist group MoveOn.org has been giving the Democratic leadership direction over the last several months. It comes as no surprise that MoveOn.org was the first to call for Karl Rove's resignation this week.

But for members of Congress to take part in this smear campaign, that's an entirely different and truly unfortunate matter altogether. The Democratic leadership even brought the political attack against Mr. Rove to the floor of the United States Senate on Thursday by offering an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would strip his security clearance. Strip his security clearance based on what, hearsay? What an absolute sham!

This excerpt from a statement from Mr. Rove's attorney, Robert Luskin, should help demonstrate why the Democrats are so completely and utterly off base in their political antics:

"Rove has cooperated completely with the special prosecutor, and he has been repeatedly assured he is not a target of the investigation. Rove has done nothing wrong. We're confident that he will not become a target after the special prosecutor has reviewed all evidence."

Majority Leader Bill Frist summed it up quite well in saying, "this is a sad and disappointing afternoon here in the United States Senate."

Based on the information at their disposal, the Democrats have taken reckless partisan attacks to a new level. The Democratic Party leadership is in disarray and they are desperate-attacking has become their modus operandi. They have personally attacked the President's well qualified judicial nominees. They have attacked every single plan that is put forth to address saving Social Security. Howard Dean personally attacked the Republican Party, saying its members have not worked an honest day in their lives. And the Minority Leader Harry Reid personally attacked the President of the United States by calling him a loser and a liar. The Democratic leadership has guided the Party into an abyss-no new ideas, no agenda, just negativity.

Below are some quotes from Senate Democrats that fully acknowledge the points that I am making and should serve as a reminder why it is so important to support the Republican Majority in the United States Senate.

With warmest best wishes,

Elizabeth Dole

There's also a Dkos diary on this.



Inside line on SCOTUS nomination

Real Values says it's going to be Birmingham native Edith Clement that's named tomorrow.


Oregon's Karen Minnis: one-woman bigot crew against civil unions



Carla from Preemptive Karma's got an action item that's worth your time and a blog post of support.

There is a state house fight to pass SB 1000, which would establish civil unions in the state of Oregon and outlaws discrimination by orientation. Oregon recently defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but SB 1000 has passed the Senate and has support from Republicans and the Governor. Polls also show public support -- 49 percent of voters support civil unions compared with 30 percent opposed and 21 percent undecided.

Speaker of the House, Repug Karen Minnis is holding up the vote.
...a spokesperson for House Speaker Karen Minnis (R-Wood Village) said this week the bill, SB 1000, will not surface for a floor vote in the Republican-run state House since it attempts to overrule the state measure approved last November.

She will not bring the bill to the floor, because the bill effectively creates marriage by another word and runs counter to the will of the people,” said Charles Deister, a spokesperson for Minnis.
Apparently she's "the people." Carla notes:
Speaker Minnis knows the bill would pass. The support is there in the House. And that's exactly the reason she won't schedule the bill.

Minnis' fiat is a slap in the face to all Oregonians. This very small minority of individuals is forcing a very large group of citizens from enjoying the most basic of rights: being a legally recognized family and protect individuals from discrimination. Minnis' cowardly and shameful attempt to hide SB1000 from a House vote is a black eye on the entire Republican Party of Oregon.
There's going to be a rally at the state Capitol on Wednesday.

Other posts on this issue:
* TJ from AlsoAlso
* Bryan from GayRightsWatch
* Basic Rights Oregon

You can contact Minnis to give her a piece of your mind:
Email: rep.karenminnis@state.or.us
Phone: 503-986-1200
Fax: 503-986-1201

FYI, other interesting factoids about Minnis, from the dKosopedia:
Minnis is viewed by many as being emotionaly unstable. During the 2005 legislative session, House Democrats tried to get a vote on a no-cuts budget number for Oregon schools.[1]

Rep. [Phil Barnhart], of Eugene, argued that school districts need to know now what the level of state support will be as they develop their budgets, and that the budget-writing committee should know where House members stand before negotiating a final number.

Speaker Karen Minnis and Republicans, despite having vowed in the campaign to put education first, refused to do so. The Democrats' motion was defeated on a party-line vote. Multiple sources in Salem have Minnis storming into Minority Leader [Jeff Merkely]'s office after the floor debate and "dropping multiple F-bombs" on the House Democratic Leader.[2]



There's dumb, dumber, and then there's Tom Tancredo



I read about this story earlier and forgot to blog about it.

Sometimes I wonder how people this stupid get elected to represent the masses. What must the residents in the sixth district of Colorado have thought when U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, in an on-air interview, gave the following response to a question about how the country should respond if terrorists were to strike several U.S. cities with nuclear weapons:
"Well, what if you said something like - if this happens in the United States, and we determine that it is the result of extremist, fundamentalist Muslims, you know, you could take out their holy sites," Tancredo answered.

"You're talking about bombing Mecca," [WFLA's Pat] Campbell said. "Yeah," Tancredo responded. The congressman went on to say that he was "just throwing out some ideas" but that an "ultimate threat" might have to be met with an "ultimate response."

Tancredo released a statement Sunday evening in which he said he was simply trying to figure out what the United States could use as a threat to deter future attacks.

"Among the many things we might do to prevent such an attack on America would be to lay out there as a possibility the destruction of these sites," he wrote.
And what has to be one of the funniest punchlines ever:
His spokesman, Will Adams, said the congressman is a "free thinker" who was grappling with a hypothetical situation.
Adams left out a word. He meant intelligence-free thinker. I'm sure this quip will be floating around on Al-Jazeera and winning folks over.

And in what will send chills down the spine of all voters, Mr. T is shooting beyond the Peter Principle.
Recently, Tancredo has been toying with the idea of running for president, visiting two states important in the early primary season: New Hampshire and Iowa.


Cooter says: New 'Dukes' is too sleazy

"[O]n our show, nobody got hurt, nobody cussed, nobody bled, the good guys won, and the Duke boys were heroes because they always made the right moral choice."
-- Former GA congressman and "actor", Ben "Cooter" Jones, on the new Dukes of Hazzard movie
Yee-haw. Guess good old AmTaliban web rag Agape Press is hard up -- they cannot find anything newsworthy to cover today. I guess Karl Rove imploding just doesn't make the cut.

Anyway, I'd hardly call the original show "Classic TV", but hey, to each their own. Something about seeing a bunch of rednecks chasing each other around in a souped up trashy American car just isn't appealing to me. I don't know if it's family entertainment or not, but it's crap.

Cooter is calling for a boycott. Honey, there's no need. I can't imagine who wants to pay to see this detritus on the big screen.
A former star of The Dukes of Hazzard TV show is urging families to skip the upcoming movie version unless Warner Brothers cleans it up. Ben Jones, who played the mechanic "Cooter" on the popular television series, says profanity and sexual content in the PG-13 film are a "sleazy insult," akin to taking I Love Lucy and "making her a crackhead."



"Other than Daisy's shorts, our show did not have any of that [suggestive content]," Jones says...He says the reason The Dukes of Hazzard is still a hit today on Country Music Television is that "American families are crying out for old-fashioned, clean entertainment." But according to Jones, Warner Brothers has taken a family show and turned it into something "rough, foul, and raunchy."

"It's filled with profanity and sexual situations and sexual innuendo -- and to us, it's like they didn't honor our show as a great family show," he says. "They kind of sleazed it. They trashed it."

Jones, a former Georgia congressman, says Dukes fans should boycott the film unless producer Warner Brothers removes the foul content before the movie is released on August 5. "Unless they clean it up, I'm just saying to Dukes fans that I know: don't go to see this one. Especially, don't take your kids to see it thinking you're going to see a reflection of our show."


Just go here for completely unhinged thinking

Santorum Exposed.


More Rove than you want to know


From "Radical" Russ

Check out The Daou Report for all things Rovian.

Hat tip, Shakes Sis (who landed on the report today too).


Busted


Blast from the past.

After all the serious stuff today, I thought I'd post a little infotainment.

Village People 'Cop' in Trouble With Law. I know, it's not hard news or commentary, but when I read this, and of course saw the picture, I remember those carefree days when I was in high school in NYC and this group was all over the radio. My friend Carole had at least two of their albums.

What was so funny is that even in this outrageous getup, there were women that cooed over these dudes thinking that they were straight. Well, I don't know if they were all gay (I think the "cop" was married to Bill Cosby's TV wife), but please. Remember that godawful flick they made, Can't Stop the Music (directed by Nancy Walker - aka Rosie the Waitress, the Bounty paper towel ad mascot)? Besides being one of the worst films ever, it had a constellation of bad acting in it, including a jaw-droppingly bad performance by a pre-surgically destroyed Olympian Bruce Jenner.

Anyway, this looks like a pathetic fall from partying at Studio 54 with Liza and Halston.
Victor Edward Willis, the original policeman in the 1970s music group the Village People, was arrested by real police who allegedly found a gun and drugs in his convertible. Victor Edward Willis, the original Village People "cop," in front of the other members of the legendary Disco group.

Willis, who co-wrote disco hits such as "Macho Man'' and "In the Navy'' before leaving the Village People in the late 1970s, was taken into custody Monday after an officer stopped his Chevrolet Corvette. Police said Willis didn't have a valid license or identification and at first lied about his name and residence. Inside the car, the officer found a .45-caliber handgun as well as rock cocaine and drug paraphernalia, police said.

Traces of cocaine and other paraphernalia were also found his home at a mobile home park in Daly City, just south of San Francisco, police said. Willis also had an outstanding felony warrant for possession of narcotics.


Setting the low bar for ethics

"My husband wants the very highest ethics in the White House. So, I suspect whenever this washes out, we'll see who did it, if anyone did."
-- First Lady Laura Bush, Wednesday, December 31, 2003, on the revelation of the classified identity of a CIA operative (Valerie Plame)
(via Kos). Don't you remember back when he stole the election the first time about how he was going to have the highest standard of ethics of any administration?

Well, what else is there to say other than our President and his various windbags are lying sacks of sh*t.

September 29, 2003:
McClellan: "If anyone in this administration was involved in it [the improper disclosure of an undercover CIA operative's identity], they would no longer be in this administration."
September 30, 2003"
Bush: "If somebody did leak classified information, I'd like to know it, and we'll take the appropriate action."
Today:
Bush: "If someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration."


DC pastor - lesbianism is "about to take over our community"


"But … women falling down on another woman, strapping yourself up with something, it ain’t real. That thing ain’t got no feeling in it. It ain’t natural. Anytime somebody got to slap some grease on your behind and stick something in you, it’s something wrong with that. Your butt ain’t made for that."

“No wonder your behind is bleeding. You can’t make no connection with a screw and another screw. The Bible says God made them male and female.”
--The Rev. Willie Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast D.C. (and a former mayoral candidate)
Words of wisdom from yet another homo-bigot black pastor. The list of posts about these cretins-of-the-cloth just keeps growing here on the Blend.

Do we want keep people like this man and his flock in the party? How do Dems counter attitudes like this when they are afraid to address gay civil rights issues...(Wash Blade):
Rev. Willie Wilson delivered the remarks at Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast D.C., where he is pastor. Wilson is a former mayoral candidate and serves as executive director of the Millions More Movement march, an effort to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March.

Efforts by gay civil rights advocates to secure a visible role at the march stalled again this week when excerpts from Wilson’s anti-gay sermon came to light. One lesbian march organizer quickly resigned in protest.

"Sisters making more money than brothers and it’s creating problems in families … that’s one of the reasons many of our women are becoming lesbians," Wilson said.
The Blade obtained a copy of this horrifying sermon; the reporter noted that the congregation shouted in approval in the background during Wilson’s sermon.

Establishment Dems, the number of these cases keeps growing, and for all the discussion about how this will play out electorally, I often get pooh-poohed that these folks will continue to vote Democrat. I think it's open to question.

I talked the problem of black homophobia and its possible effect on future votes in a DKos thread:
I think that just saying "let them leave" to these people and vote Republican ignores a simple fact. These socially conservative anti-gay black voters need to be addressed or you'll see Dem defeats at the local level.

Homophobia is learned, people can be brought out of their ignorance and fear. There is a large segment of black voters still willing to pull the lever for a Democrat, but have no problem voting for a marriage amendement as well.

If the Democrats stake out a position in favor of gay rights without addressing this erosion with logical, open discussion on what is an uncomfortable topic for the party the GOP will step in and fill that vacuum with fear.

This is where the progressive black community and black pastors need to get off their duffs and start educating.

There are way too many gay black people afraid to come out for fear of abandonment by their faith community and family -- and they are absolutely right to be scared.

Read the excellent Keith Boykin book Beyond the Down Low: Sex, Lies, and Denial in Black America. He addresses the lack of frank discussion about sexuality in the black community as well as the environment of homophobia in the community that causes black gay men in particular, to lead double lives. The closet is deep.

The churches have only recently begun to acknowledge that the ostrich-head-in-the-sand approach is not only deadly, but immoral, as AIDS races through the community.

The homophobic relatives, neighbors and friends of these gays and lesbians -- the Fee Benamons of the country -- are more than willing to vote for marriage amendments because they don't know an out gay person.

Black gay people must come out.


But without support from our community, and, more importantly straight progressive allies, the religious black community will continue to see homosexuality as some kind of "white" plague.

The religious Right will continue to mold their message of inclusion on their side and tie the "homosexual agenda" to Dems, and siphon just enough voters off (the ones unconvinced by our ball-less Dems' approach to this gay issues) to make a difference.

It's not as if it will take many votes to affect close elections, particularly in Southern states such as NC, which is nationally Red, but in critical parts of the state, solidly Blue in local races. We have so far fended off a marriage amendment only because we have a General Assembly that has not allowed the pending bills (which also ban civil unions) up for debate. If the legislature goes Red because of Dem inattention to this, then we're in for a world of hurt.

Then again, there are enough times I've read discussion on many progressive blogs that basically says "screw the South," so maybe my argument is fruitless on that front.

Thanks to House Blender Laura for the pointer.

Key: black pastor


Ricky's communication director gets an award


Click to see larger animated gif.

Man-on-Dog Senator Rick Santorum's openly gay communications director Robert Traynham wins the latest BlogActive Roy Cohn Award.


This corrupt admin thinks we're all sheeple



But a good number of us are not and we're about to blow. Go read Don't Insult Me at Shakespeare's Sister. She pulls together all the lies, deception and criminal behavior of the Bush Administration into one focused post. It's also on Big Brass Blog.
Something that drives me absolutely insane is when I am treated as a fool. You see, I have a brain, quite a good one as it happens, and I like to use it. When someone tells me something that is so obviously a lie, so clearly absurd and counter to everything that reason and logic would otherwise suggest, it absolutely infuriates me—more so that they demonstrably think I am an idiot, than because of the underlying lie.

This is how the Bush administration treats us all, relying on the fact that most Americans, unfortunately, are either trusting, ignorant, or crooked enough to take them at their empty word. Well, I’m neither gullible, nor uninformed, nor a fan of their Machiavellian ends-justify-the-means strategies, and I’m tired of being treated as a fool. It’s time to get real.
Surf over to her blog for a run-down of the facts that should bring these jokers down.


An improvement on Time's cover



Another beauty from Mike Tidmus.


FBI using the USA Patriot Act to spy on its "enemies" under guise of combatting terrorism


Paul Sancya, AP

More on the FBI's files and its outrageous monitoring of what the Bush administration deems to be organization that pose a threat to security, such as the ACLU shows why the Patriot Act needs reform. Here are stories in today's NYT, WaPo.

Myths about the Patriot Act and links to the Reality, from the ACLU's site:
• There Have Been No Patriot Act "Abuses"
• It Updated Law Enforcement Tools
• It Uses Existing Tools to Track Terrorists
• It Brought Uniformity to Government Agencies
• It Improves Communication Between Agencies
• The New Powers Have Lead to Arrests
• They're Not Using My Library Informatio
• The Patriot Act Has Judicial Oversight
• Critics Misunderstand "Material Witness"
• Critics Want to Appeal the Patriot Act
• The Patriot Act Is Constitutional



My original post on this.

***

Check out the Freeper garbage, real patriots, aren't they?

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"ACLU = JIHAD IN AMERICA VIA A LAW DEGREE"

"I just hope this might lead to the ACLU's downfall."

"The FBI wouldn't be doing its job if it didn't have files on these subversive Marxist fanatics."

"The FBI has identified 1,173 pages related to the ACLU and 2,383 pages about Greenpeace. That's ALL?"

"I'm happy the Feds are keeping an eye on these creeps. The United States has more to fear from domestic traitors than from any foreign terrorists."

""Protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic.""

"I know for an absolute fact that we have not been involved in anything related to promoting terrorism and yet the government has collected almost 1,200 pages on our activities," Romero said. "Why is the ACLU now the subject of scrutiny from the FBI?"

"Because the FBI is preparing to apprehend, "give the guilty b@stards a fair trial," then execute EVERY SINGLE ONE them? Time to celebrate..."

"Maybe the FBI will turn those files over to the IRS where they belong. Although these groups list themselves as 501 (c)(3)'s they are far from charitable organizations and they DO engage in lobbying activities in violation of IRS regs."


A return to the good old days of J. Edgar Hoover: FBI monitoring Lefty groups

Sunday, July 17, 2005

"I know for an absolute fact that we have not been involved in anything related to promoting terrorism and yet the government has collected almost 1,200 pages on our activities. Why is the ACLU now the subject of scrutiny from the FBI?"
-- Anthony Romero, ACLU's executive director

[UPDATE: Welcome AmericaBloggers; you'll also find more information below about the ACLU's Reform the Patriot Act efforts at the end of this post; no doubt it's going to get heat on this as well.]

Holy crap. Has Tricky Dick risen from the dead? Progressive groups watch out, because the Bush administration may put you on a 21st century version of Nixon's "enemies" list.

The Patriot Act is up for renewal, and the ACLU has been active in trying to mobilize attention on this and other issues (including the launch of a citizen activism site over the weekend). It's no surprise that the organization is not well-liked by the Bushies, but this activity of the FBI, going back who knows how long (probably since 9/11), smacks of more retaliation by the administration on a scale that should scare everyone. Environmental and anti-war organizations are also being monitored. These papers MUST be released. (AP):
The FBI has thousands of pages of records in its files relating to the monitoring of civil rights, environmental and similar advocacy groups, the Justice Department acknowledges.

The organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union and Greenpeace, are suing for the release of the documents. The organizations contend that the material will show that they have been subjected to scrutiny by FBI task forces set up to combat terrorism. The FBI has identified 1,173 pages related to the ACLU and 2,383 pages about Greenpeace, but it needs at least until February to process the ACLU files and until June to review the Greenpeace documents, the government said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The FBI has not said specifically what those pages contain. The ACLU's executive director, Anthony Romero, said the disclosure indicates that the FBI is monitoring organizations that are engaging in lawful conduct.

...Justice Department and FBI spokesmen declined to comment, citing the ongoing case. The FBI has denied singling out individuals or groups for surveillance or investigation based solely on activities protected by the Constitution's guarantees of free speech. Officials have said agents adhere strictly to Justice Department guidelines requiring evidence of criminal activity or indications that a person may know something about a crime.

The ACLU has sought FBI files on a range of individuals and groups interviewed, investigated or subjected to searches by the task forces. The requests also are for information on how the task forces are funded to determine if they are rewarded with government money by labeling high numbers of cases as related to terrorism.

The government did release one document it gathered on United for Peace and Justice that Romero said reinforces his concerns. The organization describes itself as a coalition of more than 1,300 anti-war groups.

A memo from Sept. 4, 2003, about Internet sites that were promoting protests at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York was addressed to counterterrorism units in Boston, Los Angeles and New York.

"Why is this being labeled as counterterrorism when it's nothing more protests at a political convention, a lawful First Amendment activity?" Romero asked.
Here we have it, the cover of 9/11 is being used, as tool to intimidate and infiltrate groups participating in Constitutionally-protected activities. The power-grab by this corrupt, immoral administration knows no boundaries.

It makes you wonder who else is being watched -- journalists...bloggers? Anyone this administration perceives to be a threat has to take a deep breath and demand the release of this information. What is happening to this country?

If you add this crap to the fact that Bush should be prosecuted for lying to Congress in his SOTU address about the Niger uranium story (that nailed the coffin that got us into the freaking war in the first place), this administration should be toast. It's a felony to to misrepresent to Congress in a State of the Union address.

I also have a diary up at DKos, "Back to the days of Hoover: FBI monitoring Lefty groups."

***



The ACLU has launched a blog to alert folks on the progress, if you want to call it that, on the reauthorization of the Patriot Act. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Chimpy have urged Congress to renew the law in its entirety. They are praying that the people are not paying attention the serious jeopardy our civil liberties face if changes are not made to this Act, which is set to expire at the end of the year.

Surf over to Reform the Patriot Act. NC blogger Ruby Sinreich is right, it's a real blog, featuring news, first-person posts on the ACLU's work in Congress on this Act -- and you can contribute to the conversation with comments and trackbacks. This site is chock-full of information and tools to help folks mobilize and take action as the political battle heats up, such as RSS feeds, and graphics for your blog to help spread the word. A form to contact your Senators and Representatives is here.



Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

Besides the bill just introduced in the Senate Intelligence Committee (sponsored by Specter and Feinstein), there are three other bills on tap to reauthorize with few changes, still giving the government far-reaching authority to breach our individual privacy in the name of "security."

As Lisa Graves, ACLU senior legislative counsel at the ACLU notes:
The Senate Intelligence Committee's bill from June would make the expiring provisions of Patriot permanent and expand its powers. It would allow the FBI to write its own search orders that businesses would be compelled to comply with for literally "any tangible thing."

The FBI would not have to show any specific facts connecting a foreign power or foreign terrorist with the records they sought: medical records, employment records, gun purchase records, tax records, credit reports, insurance records, bank statements, and records from car dealerships, etc.

They would not even have to get court approval to issue one of these subpoenas. And the recipient of one of these subpoenas is gagged forever from telling anyone about it. This bill also enables law enforcement to track your postal mail if the FBI requests it.

The bill is already awaiting action on the Senate floor, but this bill is really a foil, a chit to force through other "more palatable" bills that would make Patriot largely permanent with no real change.
Myths about the Patriot Act and links to the Reality

Bonus extra for you stooges monitoring this site: An improvement to Time's Rove cover.

Cross posted at Big Brass Blog


Facing down AFA bible-beater boycott, "Pride at Kodak" web site launched


"We will continue to develop a winning and inclusive culture, in which all employees can contribute their best ideas and capabilities. Different perspectives and vigorous debate are critical to developing the best solutions for our increasingly diverse base of customers around the world."
--Kodak CEO Antonio Perez
Now here is corporate support. As I mentioned in a post on Friday, the American Family Association is asking its sheeple to boycott the top ten gay-friendly employers.

Kodak, on the AFA hit list, has unveiled a new portion of its web site that is now dedicated to displaying the corporate commitment to its GLBT staff, customers and vendors. What a nose-thumbing at the AmTaliban! Let's see how far they get with this boycott now. It will likely go the way of the aborted Ford, and bellyflop Disney ones. (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle):
The new "Pride at Kodak" site highlights policies and practices, lists achievements in diversity and makes subtle marketing overtures to the GLBT community.

Kodak is believed to be one of the first major corporations to tailor a Web site to this constituency. The company was responding to a grass-roots campaign mobilized by the Lambda Network, an association of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees at Kodak. "We went to the company and asked, 'How can we serve as good ambassadors for the (Kodak) brand?'" said Amy Friend, manager for technical knowledge management in the company's Health Group and president of Lambda.

...The Web site at www.kodak.com/go/pride was a logical initiative because one of Lambda's priorities is helping the company market itself to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender employees. Company research indicates that 14.2 million people identify themselves as gay, lesbian bisexual or transgender. They have an estimated $450 billion in spending power and are highly active in photography, said David Kassnoff, a Kodak spokesman.

To that end, one section of the new site targets consumers. Pride @ Kodak currently provides tips on how to take great images and how to turn them into gift items. The content will be changed on a regular basis.

Friend and Lori Marra, chairwoman of the Lambda marketing task force, say the Web site makes a statement about Kodak's approach and attitude toward a diverse culture. The site says "that when you come to work for Kodak, you'll get a warm, fuzzy feeling," Friend said. "You end up feeling so valued, you want to work for the Kodak brand."

A gay rights advocate says the new site puts Kodak at the cutting edge and sends an important statement. "I think it's good for Kodak, it's good for employees, it's good for the community to see this. ... It's an incredibly welcoming sign," said Kris Hinesley, executive director of the Gay Alliance of Genesee Valley. Finding Pride @ Kodak on the site "might be the difference between someone doing business with Kodak, or not."
Kodak was a leader in the field in terms of support for the gay community and a supporter of ENDA. From its site:
Kodak weaves the LGBT community into many of its important corporate strategies. Senior leaders partner with LGBT employees to educate and inform all levels of leadership about the value of creating a safe and equitable environment for all employees.

* Lambda, Kodak's employee resource group for LGBT employees and allies, began in 1993
* Lambda's Annual Education Event started in 1995 and now reaches hundreds of employees
* Lambda's "Can We Talk" workshops have become an effective tool for educating leaders at Kodak and other companies
* In 1997, Kodak started offering domestic partner benefits.
* Kodak's HR Associates work with Lambda's HR Partnership Team to understand equitable benefits, policies and practices for LGBT employees.

* Kodak was one of the first companies to implement "Worldwide Guidelines for Employees transitioning in the Workplace."
* Kodak has long-term relationships with LGBT advocacy organizations such as Out&Equal, HRC, GLSEN, and GLAAD.
* Senior leaders have testified on behalf of LGBT legislation such as ENDA (Employee Non-discrimination Act).
* Kodak's Multicultural Marketing has expanded its outreach to the LGBT segment.
Here's contact info for Kodak, if you want to send them words of support. It's guaranteed that they'll be hearing from the minions of the AFA now, with this very public support of the "homo agenda."

David Kassnoff
Global Diversity
Phone: 585-724-2137
Fax: 585-724-3828

Mail Address:
Eastman Kodak Company
2/10/KO - Mailstop: 00554
343 State Street
Rochester, NY 14650


Kenny just can't be straight - with the media


Dissembling, waffling, Mehlman, courtesy of Crooks and Liars.

I was listening to Meet the Press this morning and could not believe the evasive nonsensical crap coming out of Mehlman's "purty mouth." As others are noting (also on Crooks and Liars), Ken is a big proponent of the Chewbacca defense -- using a totally bullsh*t argument that has absolutely nothing to do with the case.

He wouldn't pledge not to attack prosecutor Pat Fitzgerald if he chooses to indict any White House official (oh, like Bush's Brain Rove, just for a sh*ts and giggles example). He just...couldn't...do..it. Argh...
Russert: You say you have tremendous confidence in Pat Fitzgerald.

Mehlman: I do.

Russert: If in fact he indicts White House officials, will you accept that indictment and not fight it?

Mehlman: Uh, first of all, I'm the chairman of the Republican National Committee. I'm not an attorney for anybody. Uh, the fact is, uh, I look forward to his getting to the bottom of this. I can't speak for.

Russert: But, but if he indicts White House officials, will you pledge today because you have tremendous confidence in him that you will not criticize his decision?

Mehlman: Uh, again, I'm not going to speculate. I have tremendous confidence in him. I look to him to get to the bottom of this. Whatever he does, I can assure you people are going to follow and are going to look to abide by, but --

Podesta: Say yes

Mehlman: I think it would be inappropriate for me as the RNC chairman to say what legal strategy people may take in the future.

Russert: But if you have tremendous confidence in him, then you will accept and respect his decision?

Mehlman: I look forward to hearing what he has to say and I intend to respect what he has to say, but again I'm not going to speculate on what he might do.


Video here. Meet the Press repeats at 10 PM on MSNBC.


Is the Catholic church ready to purge the homos?

Pope Benedict is out of his mind. John Allen of the National Catholic Reporter says that the homophobic Pope has a document in his possession that outlines what could result in a purge of epic proportions, and a demonization of homosexuality that is beyond the pale.
Sources indicate that the long-awaited Vatican document on the admission of homosexuals to seminaries is now in the hands of Pope Benedict XVI. The document, which has been condensed from earlier versions, reasserts the response given by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in 2002, in response to a dubium submitted by a bishop on whether a homosexual could be ordained: "A homosexual person, or one with a homosexual tendency, is not fit to receive the sacrament of Holy Orders."

That reply was published in the November-December 2002 issue of Notitiae, the official publication of the congregation.

It is up to Benedict XVI to decide whether to issue the new document as it stands, to send it back for revision, or to shelve it on the basis that for now such a document is "inopportune." Several American bishops were in Rome last week for the June 29 pallium ceremony, and I spoke to some of them about the document.

Privately, some hope Benedict will decide to put the document in a desk drawer for the time being, on the grounds that it will generate controversy and negative press without changing anything in terms of existing discipline. As one bishop put it to me, the policy against ordaining homosexuals is already clear -- the only interesting question is, what do you mean by a "homosexual"? At one end of the continuum, it could refer to anyone who once had a fleeting same-sex attraction; at another, it could be restricted to someone who is sexually active and openly part of a "gay pride" movement. Most people would exclude those extremes, but where is the line drawn in between? Vatican sources have made clear the document will not enter into these details, and hence this bishop believes it's an unneeded headache. Further, the bishop said, the document may make candidates less likely to be honest with formation directors about their psycho-sexual development, even though some degree of experimentation and ambivalence about orientation is not unusual, and by itself should not disqualify potential priests.

"The risk is that we drive the conversation underground," he said.

Yes, as if the church needs more conversations about sexuality to be even further shoved underground than they already are. Sully rightfully points out that Father Mychal Judge, a hero, and openly gay man who died on 9/11 in the collapse of the WTC, would be a casualty again, his dedication called into question by his church's bigoted policy.


Father Mychal Judge, for example, the fire-fighters' priest who died in the ruins of the World Trade Center ministering sacraments to fire-men, would retroactively be deemed unfit for the priesthood. So would literally thousands and thousands of gay priests, bishops, cardinals and popes over the centuries. The old doctrine, however cruel and inhumane, at least concentrated on moral acts and made no distinctions between who committed them. It laid out clear rules and insisted that gays and straights abide by them equally. The proposed policy would instead focus on a human being's very core - and exclude him or her as a result. That kind of discrimination is the definition of bigotry. This is the Church? This is God's voice for human dignity and equality in the world? This is an institution that says all are welcome at the Lord's table? I can only hope and pray that pope Benedict doesn't go there. And if he does, I hope that heterosexual Catholics will rise up and defend their gay priests and friends and family members against this unconscionable attack.
That document is one that needs to go into a desk, the drawer shut, and locked with a key. Will this Pope actually issue this change? The firestorm over this will create a crisis of epic proportions. The church, already strapped for priests, cannot afford to purge a significant chunk of its ranks, and it certainly cannot stand the predicted withholding of funds from Catholics already reeling from the pedophile scandals.

The alternative is that the church will adopt the policy and create some sort of laughable continuum of sexual behavior that is deemed OK versus disqualifying. Can you have homosexual fantasies? Is that OK? How many, how often? Or will we get to the point that men entering the seminary will need to undergo some sort of sexual response testing -- attach electrodes to their genitals, show them pornographic images of men having sexual encounters and boot out any that become aroused?


Bring out the tiny violin for the AmTaliban


Weyrich and Land are crybabies.
"We have very little to show for all these years of electing Republicans. If we don't get a decent nominee, we've got to ask ourselves what we have been doing."
-- Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the Moral Majority, and current chairman of the Free Congress Foundation.


"For President Bush, social conservatives and the senators they helped elect, the moment of truth has arrived."
-- Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention


"A lot of what they've gotten are soft benefits. They've gotten a place at the table," Waldman said. "I think it's made them feel less alone. But I'm not sure it has translated into progress on the key social issues they care most about."
-- Steven Waldman, editor in chief of Beliefnet.com, an independent multifaith Web site
Religious right wants its due from Bush, GOP. Hilarious ChiTrib article out today. The AmTaliban is starting to sweat. They aren't sure whether Chimpy is going to let them down on their pet values issues. And they are whining.
For a quarter-century, a politically awakened movement of conservative evangelicals and moral traditionalists of other faiths has played an increasingly important role in Republican electoral successes. In campaigns, they have knocked on doors, stuffed envelopes and dependably performed the other mundane but essential work behind winning elections. At the polling place, they have provided a crucial bloc of votes.

Bush would not be in the White House today without their support. Half of his votes in the 2004 election came from religious traditionalists, according to a survey by the politically independent Pew Research Center. And heavy support from evangelicals gave him the margin of victory in such battleground states as Ohio, Florida, Iowa and Missouri.

Yet religious conservatives so far have not had much success on the issues that matter most to them. Reagan gave them hope but little in the way of action. President George H.W. Bush never seemed quite comfortable talking about their issues.

Abortion is readily available, with few legal restrictions. The gay rights debate has moved from employment discrimination to marriage equality. Pornography is more accessible than ever. Popular entertainment is full of sex-drenched shows such as ABC's "Desperate Housewives." And the 10 Commandments were just thrown out of courthouses in Kentucky.

It is a source of frustration to some leaders of the movement.
The article gets one thing wrong -- employment discrimination is still an issue. Many big companies and universities have non-discrimination policies; they know it's bad for business and staff recruitment/retention to not value its gay market and employees. However, that's small comfort to gays, lesbians and the transgendered that work for small companies without such policies - they can be fired. Still, the wingnuts are seething.
Religious conservatives heard Bush the candidate regularly tout Supreme Court Justices
Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as models for a judicial nominee. They understood that to mean someone who, like Scalia and Thomas, adheres to a narrow "strict constructionist" reading of the Constitution that does not find a basis for rights to abortion, homosexual sex or sale of pornography and allows a greater role for religion in public life.

Anything less, or any effort to split the difference by picking one strong conservative and one more-moderate candidate if conservative Chief Justice William Rehnquist should resign this summer, "would be a grave error, a missed opportunity and a betrayal," said Phyllis Schlafly, founder of the Eagle Forum.



This president won religious conservatives and especially evangelicals in part through the fluent way he incorporates his personal faith into his public life. Perhaps no modern president has had as profound and overt adult religious experience as Bush, who turned to faith at least in part to overcome a problem with alcohol. He unabashedly cites as his favorite political philosopher "Christ, because he changed my heart." His speeches make deft use of the language and imagery of the Bible. He draws on phrases that ring clear to the evangelical ear, such as the title of his autobiography, "A Charge to Keep," taken from a Methodist hymn.



And he offers a worldview cast in spiritual themes: good versus evil, lightness against darkness.
The article goes on to rub in the Right's faces all the tepid support Bush has given their causes, and some of his other constituencies have gotten more, faster. Makes you smile that they are writhing, doesn't it?

In the win column for the AmTaliban:

* a ban on federal funding for stem cell research
* funding for abstinence-only sex education
* "faith-based" initiatives
* a regulatory stall on permitting over-the-counter sale of morning-after contraceptives.

In the loss column:

Envy:
* Economic conservatives received big tax cuts and an easing of environmental regulations
* Envy: Neoconservatives got their war to topple Saddam

Pissers:
* not assertive-enough backing for a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as a heterosexual union
* tepid support for private school vouchers.
* Chimpy hasn't called for an outright for the reversal of Roe vs. Wade
* The federal ban on "partial-birth abortions" won't fly without the appointment of wingnuts to the Supreme Court

The bible-beaters are wringing their hands that the even with one certain vacancy and another likely on the Court, it's not enough. I'm just wondering -- would these people be sick enough to whack a justice to get what they want? Oh, wasn't that a movie plot? What was that?
The replacement of O'Connor with a justice who rules against abortion rights would not in itself be sufficient to overturn Roe vs. Wade, for which there appears to be a 6-3 majority among current members of the court.

But such an appointment seems necessary if the decision is to be overturned in the near future. The ailing chief justice votes against abortion rights anyway. Besides O'Connor, the only Roe supporter on the court who seems likely to leave soon is 85-year-old Justice John Paul Stevens. The others who vote to uphold Roe are much younger.

"When you look at the arithmetic and actuarial tables, if Mrs. O'Connor is not replaced by a strong, strict constructionist conservative, then it's hard to see how the court will be turned around in this generation," said the Southern Baptist Convention's Land.


Good hair day

I just finished up an interview with a young woman, Heather Barnes, who is doing a documentary project on women and their relationship to their hair, the personal and the political. She found me through my personal web page with my "hair history" and asked me to participate.

She'll be editing it in the fall, and all the interviewees will be invited to see it then. I don't know if Heather is submitting it for any documentary outlets, but I think it would be incredibly interesting for an outlet like the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.

I answered her initial questionnaire for the shoot, which she worked from in the interview. Here are a few.
What was your relationship with your hair like when you were growing up? did you like your hair? hate it? talk a bit about how it affected you, how you used it to express yourself, and any stories you can remember about how it shaped your growing up. (i.e. the first time you felt "peer pressure" to shave your legs, or got a particularly bad haircut, got your first perm, etc.)
My relationship with my hair was extremely complicated as a child. I came from a family of a varied ethnic history on both sides (black, American Indian, West Indian). No one in my family had kinky hair except me, so my mom didn’t really know what to do with it.

I was old enough to experience the "pleasure" of the thermal hot comb around the age of 5 -- you rested it over the gas flame of the stove to heat it up. Then the grease was carefully applied to your hair and that comb sizzled through the kinks till it was bone straight, hissing as you prayed the comb didn't touch your scalp -- inevitably you got scalp burns because the "stylist” screwed up. [By the way, the "stylist" for most folks was usually a relative, but as I said in my case, everyone in my family had straight hair, so my mom had to take me to a salon till she figured out what to do.]

It was clear from an early age that something was “wrong” with my hair since it had to be “fixed.” You also learned not to let it get wet, humid or exercise too hard because if you did, it would "go back" at the least opportune moment. I hated my hair.

***

How does your hair affect you now? How do you use it to express your sense of individuality, your gender identity? Do you think that a person's gender identity is expressed in any way through his or her hair style, decisions about body hair, etc?
I love my hair now. I wear it in locs, which I cultivated myself. I am proud to have locked my hair without anyone’s help and it gives me a sense of identity that is both ethnically aware and someone radicalized at the same time. I do believe that hair length, texture and style do reflect gender identity. When I wore my hair in a short natural (discussed in the next question), I was at times mistaken for a man. Black women, especially in the South at the time, did not wear their hair in natural styles. It automatically pegged you as unfeminine, or as a lesbian. Of course the latter was true, but I still wore makeup, dresses and other gender identity cues.

***

Tell about a time when you wanted to change your hair. Did you go through with it? How did the experience change your perception of yourself?
A landmark decision in the late eighties was to cut off all my relaxed hair – the goal was to transition to a natural style, which I wore for about 12 years because I didn’t want to continue killing my hair and scalp with a relaxer. The freedom I felt after it was done – no more rollers, curling irons, chemicals – it was marvelous. I felt empowered and free from all the time I spent dealing with humidity and rain and exercise and what my hair looked like.

***

Add any other thoughts, anecdotes, or reflections you might have about hair & gender, or the way our culture uses hair as a means of identifying & classifying people based on gender, class, sex, race, creed, etc etc.
By the time a young girl is school age, she doesn't even know what her natural hair texture feels like. That's why you see so many adult black women seeking out information on how to style natural hair (locs, twists, twist-outs, etc.). The styling implements (combs, brushes, conditioners, etc.) used in the dominant culture just cannot be used on kinky hair without often breaking or damaging it. Their mothers have no idea how to handle natural hair other than to "tame" it. You get messages like "you won't get a man if your hair isn't straight" or "you'll shame the family with that bushy head". Crazy crap like that can be found all over hair groups on the Internet. It's as if kinky hair is dreaded leprosy or hairy mole that you want to hide.

Surf over to BET rap videos, and you'll see the 'hos dancing around with straight, processed hair (or it's a weave). Black men have been conditioned to dislike kinky hair on women as well. When you see a natural hair style in the major media, it’s like a cheer for sanity.


More Mike Tidmus brilliance

Photoshop political satirist extraordinaire Mike Tidmus sent along some new goodies for Blenders, a couple of new book releases that you might be interested in.

How about some Zellout? Here's a before and after, no after and before...oh, there's not much difference is there?.



And here's our Man-on-Dog pious family-lovin' author of the moment. Click on it to see the original...



Equally entertaining, is Mike's post:
So, Senator Man-Dog Santorum can type. Who knew? In fact Little Rickie Santorum has a brand new book out in which he tells the rest of us exactly what a family is (and isn’t) and why liberals don’t have real families like his good buddies among the radical, religious-right-wingers.
Mike reminded me that "santorum" was voted the “most outrageous” word of 2004 by the American Dialect Society.


Bush should be prosecuted for lying to Congress

We went to war because of a lie. Several actually, but our clown-in-chief stood up before Congress and the American people and told a whopper and it could send him to prison. Which lie?

In an essay by John Dean written in July 2003, only a few days after Novakula's column (that outed Valerie Plame), he noted that it's a felony to misrepresent to Congress in a State of the Union address. That's exactly what the Chimperor did. Dean fisked Bush's SOTU "facts," in the two-year-old essay, and in light of today's headlines about Toad Rove leaking, dissembling and his role as the architect of the vindictive action by the White House against Joe Wilson, it's sickening.

Looking at the larger picture -- about who in the end is truly responsible for getting us into the Iraq war on the basis of lies, the buck makes stops in several places, and ultimately lands on Bush's desk. Dean:
Purported Bush Fact 7: "The British government has learned Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

Source: Media accounts have shown that the uranium story was untrue - and that at least some in the Bush Administration knew it. I will not reiterate all of the relevant news reports here, but I will highlight a few.

The vice president's office had questions about the Niger uranium story. Ambassador Wilson was dispatched to learn the truth and found it was counterfeit information. Wilson advised the CIA and State Department that the Niger documents were forgeries, and presumably the vice president learned these facts.

The Niger uranium story was reportedly removed from Bush's prior, October 7, 2002 speech because it was believed unreliable - and it certainly became no more reliable thereafter. Indeed, only days after Bush's State of the Union, Colin Powell refused to use the information in his United Nation's speech because he did not believe it reliable.

Either Bush's senior advisers were aware of this hoax, or there was a frightening breakdown at the National Security Council - which is designed to avoid such breakdowns. Neither should be the case.

In fact, it is unconscionable, under the circumstances, that the uranium fabrication was included in the State of the Union. And equally weak, if not also fake, was Bush's final point about Saddam's unconventional weapons.
Dean goes on to speculate about what is really scaring the White House. It explains why, given the hot water Karl Rove is in about his leaks and alleged crimes, the White House prefers this diversion to the alternative. Rove is small potatoes compared to what could happen if enough noise is made by the mainstream press about Bush and his lie.
It Is A Crime To Make False Statements To Congress

Could Bush, and his aides, be stonewalling because it is a crime to give false information to Congress? It wasn't a crime in President Polk's day. Today, it is a felony under the false statements statute.

This 1934 provision makes it a serious offense to give a false information to Congress. It is little used, but has been actively available since 1955. That year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Bramblet that the statute could be used to prosecute a Congressman who made a false statement to the Clerk of the Disbursing Office of the House of Representatives, for Congress comes under the term "department" as used in the statutes.

Two members of the Bush administration, Admiral John Poindexter and Elliot Abrams, learned about this false statements law the hard way, during the Iran Contra investigation. Abrams pled guilty to two misdemeanors for false statements to Congress, as did Robert McFarlane. (Both were subsequently pardoned by President George H.W. Bush.) Poindexter and Oliver North fought the charges, and won on an unrelated legal technicality.

Later, one of McFarlane's lawyers, Peter W. Morgan, wrote a law journal article about using the false statements statute to prosecute executive officials appearing before Congress. Morgan was troubled by the breadth of the law. It does not require a specific intent to deceive the Congress. It does not require that statements be written, or that they be sworn. Congress is aware of the law's breadth and has chosen not to change it.

Maybe presciently, Morgan noted that the false statements statute even reaches "misrepresentations in a president's state of the union address." To which I would add, a criminal conspiracy to mislead Congress, which involved others at the Bush White House, could also be prosecuted under a separate statute, which makes it a felony to conspire to defraud the government.
How can this story be blasted onto the media radar? This is all connected people -- the Downing Street Documents, Rove's criminal activities -- it must be broken down so that the media and the sheeple can digest this.

As long as these charges remain clouded in dense political discussion on the Left and not turned into simple, good sound bites, the Repugs know that they can hide their criminal activities from the sheeple. They will tune out and turn the channel to American Idol. We need a 30-second commercial outlining this Administration's web of criminal behavior, lies and retaliation against its perceived "enemies."

Hat tip to LilNubber, in Kid Oakland's excellent diary, be unreasonable.


Falwell was roto-rootered

Just an update to last night's post before I go beddy-by...


The Rev. Jerry Falwell underwent a successful heart catheterization Friday at the Cleveland Clinic. Doctors found that an internal artery in the 72-year-old pastor’s heart was 70 percent blocked. The doctors at the nationally-known Cleveland Clinic opened up the artery with several stents.

“I’m coming home tomorrow (Saturday),” Falwell said. “I’ll be preaching on Sunday.”
Damn.

Other news of the night...a diary of mine got promoted to the front page on DKos. That's a first. I didn't even know it was on the front page till House Blender Drew posted a comments. Lots of good discussion in there, up to 150 comments on a Saturday night, so that's not too bad.



Oh, and on Meet the Press, the guests will be: Matt Cooper, Tony Podesta, Ken Mehlman and Bob Woodward.

Open thread...post whatever comes to mind.


Little Ricky's bobbing and weaving about his gay communications director

Saturday, July 16, 2005


"If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything."
-- First-class public homophobe Rick Santorum (R-PA) on the Lawrence v. Texas case


"It is entirely unacceptable that my staffs' personal lives are considered fair game by partisans looking for arguments to bolster my opponent's campaign. Mr. Traynham continues to have my full support and confidence as well as my prayers as he navigates this rude and mean spirited invasion of his personal life."
-- Rick Santorum, on his communications director Robert Traynham, who was already out of the closet

[UPDATE: I relieved my headache by traveling to Freeperland, scroll to the end of the post.]

You've got to be f*cking kidding. I don't know who is the lower life form, Rick or his self-loathing communications director. After Robert Traynham confirmed that he was gay in an interview, the Senator from Pennsylvania probably had indigestion that this black cat was out of the bag. But he's attempting the spin...
According to PageOneQ, an online gay and lesbian publication, director of communications Robert L. Traynham, said that he was an "out gay man who completely supports the senator."

Santorum, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate leadership has been an outspoken opponent of homosexual rights and a leading proponent of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Santorum, who was traveling in Pittsburgh, released the following statement:

"Robert Traynham ... is widely respected and admired on Capitol Hill, both among the press corps and among the congressional staff, as a communications professional. Not only is Mr. Traynham an exemplary staffer, but he is also a trusted friend confidente to me and my family. Mr. Traynham is a valued member of my staff and I regret that this effort on behalf of people who oppose me has made him a target of bigotry in their eyes.

...Mark Rodgers, chief of staff at the Republican conference, which Santorum chairs, said, "Robert is a tremendous employee and we're all for standing by him." Traynham's homosexuality was not news to the senator or his staff, he added.
Let's back up a bit. So Ricky has no problem working with homos, he just doesn't want them to have any of the civil rights that he has. What about ENDA? Does he feel that it is ok for an employer to be able to fire an employee for being gay? He needs to clarifiy his positions. He's got so much bigotry on the record, it's going to be hard for him to weasel his ass out of this. I hope the press beats him senseless.
In supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would prohibit gay marriage, Santorum has equated homeland security with the sanctity of traditional marriage. He has referred to gay marriage as "messing with the basic family unit."

On the marriage issue, Santorum also said: "In every society, the definition of marriage has not ever to my knowledge included homosexuality. That's not to pick on homosexuality. It's not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be."
How, tell me HOW can Traynham sleep at night working for a man that says crap like this. My head hurts.

There is severe bloodletting going on over in Freeperland, and it has opened up a lot of nastiness and backstabbing. It's a hoot. It's complete chaos and contradiction. What seems to be the most interesting thing about many of the comments is that they support the principle of not discriminating against gays in hiring (since it serves their purpose of defending Santorum), though any attempt to codify it (ENDA) would split this group wide open. Writhing in their hypocrisy, and they know it. Enjoy.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Santorum is a self serving HYPOCRITE! His "personal life" is PUBLIC when you are in a PUBLIC position. Defending a homosexual when you claim to be AGAINST their life style choice is disgusting when it BENEFITS you. Disgusting."

"How could he be "outed" if he was already out"?"

"When will the left realize that there are homosexuals who are conservative and do not support the militant homosexual agenda? When you get right down to it, this is really no different than women who do not support radical feminism."

"Exactly. I know many conservative Republicans who are homosexual, some are out of the closet and some aren't. Some of the biggest Republican lobbyists and fundraisers in Washington are homosexual. Some of you would be very surprised to know how many of them worked in the Reagan White House, and how many of today's current conservative leaders are homosexual. If we went on a witch hunt to get rid of them, we would not have much of a party infrastructure left. [Holy crap -- name names, sister!]"

"Either you're right and we need to do some housecleaning, or you're wrong and you've just smeared by innuendo a good portion of the party infrastructure. My guess is the latter."

"I disagree that they infest the entire party either, except for the so called Log Cabin Republicans, who make noise out of all proportion to their numbers."

"[Freeper smackdown...] Homosexuality would make a staffer a good candidate to be a "Trojan Horse"--err, Sh*tland Pony...The staffer would have means and opportunity to ferret out information on Republican legislative initiatives, parlimentary tactics on upcoming votes, etc., and give them to Democrats in order to allow them a more effective counter... I mean, look at it this way. How many Conservative Christians does Hillary Clinton have on her broomstick staff? Full Disclosure: If we do devastate the Republican Party infrastructure by removing avowed homosexuals, the most likely result is that the GOP would stop trying to be "liberal light.""

"It's nobody's business if Santorum's aid is gay or not. Does he do a good job at his work? Santorum thinks so. That's all that matters. [Wait, wait...does this Freeper support ENDA? Fraud...they must be banned!]"

"So you think Sen. Santorum should have a policy of not hiring homosexuals who are otherwise qualified to work for him, or he should fire any staffer who reveals himself or herself to be a homosexual? You think that would go over well with the people of Pennsylvania?"

"Since I do not believe a conservative can support homosexuality, this makes me doubt Sen. Santorum's conservative credentials. However, a libertarian Republican can support ignoring individual sexual choices. It helps me explain some of what I've seen in Santorum."

"IMO Santorum is not supporting the homosexual lifestyle. It's quite probable that the discussion of this man's sexuality never took place between Santorum and his aide. Why should it? As long as an employee is not "in your face" about it, and does a good job, why should it matter? There are lots of ways for an individual to sin. Should all sinners be disqualified from gainful employment?"

"A conservative who supports man/woman marriage does not have to hate homosexuals. Supporting man/woman marriage means it is the basic unit of a stable long range growth and savings society. That unit deserves the special status of marriage as it is our economic engine, main savings and investment unit and produces the most healthy children to continue all of society. Supporting marriage does not mean hating homosexuals. They can live and work among us and be left alone as long as they do not flaunt their life style in our living rooms, front yards or in schools where our children are educated. They even can have their "dykes on bikes" parade as long as we get notice and we can then take the kids away to the zoo that day. Both life styles can co exist with some modest accommodations. Conservatives can still have moral reasons to not promote homosexuality without hating or attacking those that are of that persuasion."

"Rated 100% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003)
Rated 25% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
# Voted NO on background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
# Voted YES on loosening license & background checks at gun shows. (May 1999)
Rated 0% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. (Dec 2003)"

"If I really loved a person as a friend, or as a loyal boss, I'd be concerned if that person's, (even private), ethical and moral decisions and actions were going to lead to his or her soul being condemned to an eternal, fiery punishment combined with unspeakable tortures and worst of all everlasting alienation from Almighty God and His loving Son; and I'd counsel the person to try to repent. That would be 'true love'. How could anyone be considered 'loyal', 'supportive' or even 'loving'--to go with the times and fashion--and to turn a blind eye to the fact that in the next life after this one, after judgement is passed as promised, there will be hell to pay quite literally, by those who insist in doing what has clearly not been allowed for thousands of years, written and warned about a number of times of sacred scripture. True, homosexuality backed up it's physical/carnal acts are not the only sins. But it is chief among them."

[Holy crap -- name names, sister!] "But a lot of people here (not this thread, necessarily, but FR as a whole) do not want gays even walking among us.One woman was agahst that I was living down the street from a gay couple. Like I should have run them out with torches and pitchforks!"

"I disagree. God is offended by all sin."

"More bullying by the fascist left. That said, Santorum should have known better than to hire the guy. It just causes trouble. This poor judgment doesn't speak well of his re-election chances."

"You cannot have a gay person as a friend? What if you work with a gay person, do you refuse to deal with him? If you live next door do you refuse to say hello? Gay people exist. You can hate the lifesyle, you can hate the gay activist agenda, but you shouldn't hate the individual."

"My oldest son worked at the Capital after he left the Marine Corps. He told me there are so many homosexuals working in , and around there."

"Either you're right and we need to do some housecleaning"

"You want to PURGE homosexuals from the GOP? Is that what you're saying?"

"Are you saying Gays shouldn't have jobs?"

"I would rather not have mentalliy ill sex perverts of any kind working in our U.S. Senate offices. Especially as high positioned staffers."

"This guy's actions are between him and God. If he is a good advisor, a good political mind, I say hire him. I'm sure you can find some gamblers, adulterers and drinkers on staff if you looked, too."

"Since you bring up Dick Cheney should he stay away from his daughter too?"

"Sam Brownback already has a policy against hiring gays on his personal staff. I don't know if any other senator does..."

"I love Sam Brownback, and pray for others like him."

"Apparently some of us are vile homophobes . . . (Not directed at you certainly)."

"Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. It was a BIG DEAL to God."

"So what would you do if you worked with a gay person? Do you ignore them? How should we handle this? It's fine to say Santorum shouldn't hire him, but who should? And then should everyone in that company have to agree so as not to risk sending the whole lot of them to Hell? Is my whole neighborhood going to Hell because we don't kick out the gay couple? They will always be among us, they always have been. Unless God is going to conveniently kill them all every once in a while a la Sodom, we have to live with them."

"Just watch HBO, and see the unnatural acts they perform. It harms their bodies in many ways other than just getting, and spreading aids etc.. The whole lifestyle is very sad. I know because I have actually had homosexuals who I considered friends , who confided some of this sad, sick stuff in detail to me."

"I suspect if it were one of Hillary's aides who had been "outed" some folks' reactions would be quite different.[DING DING DING!]"

"I don't think homosexuality is compatible with conservatism. It's entirely contradictory. Conservatism is about preserving past values and slowly accepting (after reflection and testing) new ideas that come around. Since homosexuality is destructive of human beings, then there can be no acceptance of homosexuality by conservatism. Conservatives are truly compassionate by this attitude. The destructive attitude is the one that tells these children of God that they should just go ahead engaging in their physiologically destructive behavior."

"I have worked with homosexuals before, thats how I know how they like to push it off on other weak minded people. It would be easy to live and let live if they kept there agenda to themselves. Working, and pushing "the homosexual agenda" in high governmental places is somewhere I don't want them to be, especially working for professing-conservatives."

"I have said that homosexuality is imcompatible with conservatism....(Andrew Sullivan is a case in point.) Of course I think conservatives can associate with homosexuals. I just don't think homosexuals can ever be conservatives....it's a contradiction in terms. Also, I think conservative institutions, politicians, etc., should be able to hire those of like mind to themselves. I think there's good reason for them to want people who match their philosophy in their top leadership positions."

"Like I said before if Mr. Traynham wasn't happy working for Sen. Santorum, he could have left long ago. Did it ever occur to you that Sen. Santorum may have an influence over Mr. Traynham, such as if he didn't work for Sen. Sabtorum, he could be reveling in the promiscuous sex meth culture that is so pervasive in liberal radical homosexual circles."

"What about an adulterer? What about someone who got divorced because they "just weren't in love anymore"? What about someone who doesn't believe Jesus is the Son of God? What about someone who engages in unclean acts? All of these people are practicing sinners are they not? Would Santorum be condemned if it were discovered that one of his staff members was living with someone without being married? That is just as much a sin as homosexuality."

"Defending a homosexual when you claim to be AGAINST their life style choice is disgusting when it BENEFITS you."

"Huh? If you were Santorum, would you have opted for "I am against homosexuality so I fired the fag on the spot?" I think his statement was entirely appropriate."

"Santorum has just identified a new minority to which the GOP should pander. This little kerfluffle has added a new dimension to the idea of CYA. Personally, I think that there's no reason to get too upset about having a homosexual working for him. As long as he didn't make it an issue, it's not really anyone's business who he's bed wrestling with. This whole homosexual thing is stupid anyway. It's like running around telling everyone you like Italian food. It's a preference, just like any other."

"I frankly don't understand what's disgusting...and I think your attack on Sen. Santorum is inapproriate and out of line."

"I just don't think it's important to scroll back and try to understand what you're attempting to say. Have a good day."

"Try not to be so sanctiomonious, your hypocrisy might show."

"STFU! Why are you injecting your personal venom?"

"I'm not getting personal; I'm merely stating a fact. Most of the people on here have a gay in their family; it can happen to ANYBODY. And judging from some of the coments, I'd feel sorry for some of those kids. You know that old addage of "There but for the grace of God goes me." I suggest you remember that before you pontificate to the rest of us."

"If they didn't insist on special parades and an outrageous over-representation in the evening tv shows and movies,didn't try to tell obvious lies about their intent when wanting to be scout leaders ,etc. then I wouldn't know and wouldn't care. Homosexuals these days are into recruitment, not acceptance. I don't believe the courts were correct in extending special protections to the un-natural acts of those afflicted by a mental disorder; instead they ought to be helped to control their urges."


Haiti is imploding...Bush unraveled its democracy

This is another case of the media sleeping, and the masses of sheeple that generally take little interest in a story where people don't look like them, and won't work to identify with them when it's easy to flip the channel. It's easier to keep stories like the implosion of Haiti at arms length. We're talking mass murders, genocide. CN Todd of Freiheit und Wissen asked his fellow bloggers last week to take action by blogswarming 100 posts in 10 days.

With all of the Chimperor's talk about spreading democracy around the globe, it's obvious, if you look at the situation in Haiti, that the average person on the street there knows Bush has shown a strange way of exporting it. In 2004, our president forced out the legitimate, elected President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who "resigned" and was flown off to the Central African Republic by the our government. No one really knows what the circumstances are that surround Aristide’s departure and treatment in CAR; the U.S. and France have blocked a UN investigation.

Haiti's the poorest country in this hemisphere, and it's not on the radar of your average American, certainly not mine. It is a mess, a military state of chaos where the poverty is wretched, and the seemingly endless violence in the shantytowns perpetrated on citizens by its corrupt police has been ratcheted up by by UN peacekeepers, brought in to "stabilize" the situation. In reality, it's political oppression on a country-wide scale, a downward-spiraling state of fear and panic where public demonstrations are fired upon and people are being slaughtered in their homes.

The latest controversy is the role of UN troops in a massacre, an escalation of violence that terrorized the residents of Cite Soleil.
On July 6 in Cite Soleil, a weeping Fredi Romelus, recounted how UN troops lobbed a red smoke grenade into his house and then opened fire killing his wife and two children. "They surrounded our house this morning and I ran thinking my wife and the children were behind me. They couldn't get out and the blan [UN] fired into the house." Exclusive video footage from a HIP reporter captured the interview as well as the images of the three victims. Lying in blood on the floor of the modest home were Mr. Romelus's wife, 22 year-old Sonia Romelus who was killed by the same bullet that passed through the body of her 1 year-old infant son Nelson. She was apparently holding the child as the UN opened fire. Next to them was her four year-old son Stanley Romelus who was killed by a single shot to the head.

Officially, the UN has responded that they only opened fire after being fired upon and have discounted non-combatant casualties. The HIP video shows 31 year-old Leonce Chery moments after a headshot ripped through his jaw. Chery was clearly unarmed as he lay bleeding to death in a pool of his own blood. In fact, the majority of the victims shown on the video were unarmed falling prey to a single shot to the head.

The international medical group Doctors without Borders, reported 26 people from Cite Soleil were treated for gunshot wounds at St. Joseph's hospital following the UN operation on July 6. According to reports, 20 of the injured were women and children and one pregnant woman lost her child during surgery. Many wounded and untreated victims of gunshot wounds are reported to be hiding in Cite Soleil. They fear leaving the area to seek medical treatment for fear of reprisal by the UN and the Haitian police.
The bottom line is that the violence will continue as long as the media sleeps. With the call for a U.S. military presence to help further secure this militarized state to protect Haiti's elite (who have everything to lose), this is an issue that the media needs to pay attention to, given how stretched our troops are now. Does this country want our troops deployed in Haiti because of the fallout from that 2004 U.S.-orchestrated coup? Is that serving democracy?

How on earth can Haiti hold elections in October under these circumstances?

Resources:
* Haiti Emergency Relief Fund
* Haiti Action Net - The perfect one stop resource for news updates, media analysis, and action alerts.
* The Haiti Coup One Year Later - Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! considers the role of the U.S. in the overthrow of Aristide including a personal interview with the man himself. She also has great quotes from Rumsfeld, Powell, and Scott McClellan denying that Aristide was kidnapped and taken hostage.
* Haiti Horror - A new article by Anthony Fenton on the year of struggle for Haiti since the coup, evidence of the U.S.'s and Canada's role, and the
ongoing effort of Western nations to keep Haiti dependent.
* Why did Canada support a U.S. coup in Haiti? - a great piece by Tom Reeves on Canada's support for Bush's coup.
* Chaos Upon Chaos: Haiti After the Press Went Home - An article at Alexander Cockburn's online journal CounterPunch. Details the real task of the so-called U.N. peace-keeping troops.

Hat tip to Shakes Sis, who wrote a great essay on this.


More than you want to know about Darth Cheney's fluids



He went to the parts shop, er, the doctor today and the AP tells us the following. [I'm sharing because I just know you really want to hear it.]

* The VP had a colonoscopy, an upper endoscopy and vascular screening

* He suffers from a mild case of esophagitis, the AP gives us details: "Esophagitis frequently occurs when acid-containing fluid flows from the stomach back into the esophagus. Other possible causes include excessive vomiting, surgery and some medications."

* Darth has "identified small, dilated segments of the arteries behind both knees."

* A pacemaker implanted in his chest in June 2001 was working fine and that it has never had to be activated.


I love it - The Avenging Angel

Click over to Jon Perr's Perspectives for his top-notch Avenging Angel feature. As he says, "So Many Guilty. So Little Time to Punish Them All."
The Avenging Angel metes out punishment to the worst perpetrators of the vast conservative assault on the United States. Through public exposure of their hypocrisy, sexual perversities, marital failings, political skullduggery, influence peddling, corporate crime and other common peccadilloes of the right, the Avenging Angel delivers retribution to the incredibly guilty in the form of bad press, broad ridicule, and ideally, incarceration. Regardless, for all of those on the lists below, a particularly warm seat has no doubt been reserved in Dante's inner circle.
This should be linked up directly to the Conservative Values Monitor that Russ is now tending to. Here's the Angel scale of punishment...



Here are just a few sorry souls that the Angel has visited upon to mete out punishment. These had me laughing out loud. So deserving.
(Two sets of wings) Scott McClellan (July 2005)
McClellan, the idiot non-savant in the White House press office, suffered a severe smiting this week for his lies in Karl Rove's outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. For two days, the usually docile press corps beat Scott like a rented mule over his bogus 2003 claims that the allegations against Rove were "ridiculous" and that the President "knows" Rove was not involved.  Mercifully for McClellan, his problems can only get worse if rumors of a bizarre love triangle with Rove and Jeff Gannon turn out to be true.

(Two sets of wings) Senator Bill Frist (June 2005)
Doctor Frist got his comeuppance this week for his witness malpractice in the Schiavo tragedy. Mr. Tort Reform himself had proclaimed on the floor of the Senate that based on video footage, Schiavo was not in a persistent vegetative state and that "she certainly seems to respond to visual stimuli." The autopsy showed otherwise, as Schiavo suffered massive brain damage and total blindness.  Perhaps it's time, the Angry One scoffs, for Dr. Frist to his previous practice of dissecting cats for fun and frolic.

(Five sets of wings) Jeff Gannon/J.D. Guckert (February 2005)
The Avenging Angel celebrated his first 5-star smiting with the exposure of Talon News Service and its "reporter" Jeff Gannon (nee J.D. Guckert) as a conservative front. Thanks to the work of AmericaBlog, DailyKos, Atrios, Media Matters and many more, White House press secretary Scott McClellan's pet reporter and Bush softball-thrower Jeff Gannon was exposed as a fraud doing the dirty work for GOPUSA. The Angel notes with satisfaction that future presidential historians will remember Gannon as "Bush's Man Date."

(Four sets of wings) Bernard Kerik (December 2004)
The former New York police commissioner and Bush Homeland Security nominee saw his 15 minutes of fame come to a screeching halt this week.  From nanny problems, affairs and Korean bastard love children to questionable stock deals, conflicts of interest, and possible mob ties, the ethically-challenged Kerik makes Tom Delay look like Mother Theresa.  The man who was W's attack dog and Rudy's bitch will now hopefully disappear from sight.  A pleased Avenging Angel recommends a cave in Waziristan.


Talk to Kenny - GOP launches a blog

Well, this should be interesting...head on over to the GOP blog (set your barf meter to high), and you can actually leave comments (Repug blogs rarely have them). I didn't waste my time registering to comment. I did foul my keyboard going over there to bring this gem back. Ken Mehlman posted about his little trip to the NAACP convention. The KenBot types, probably with a straight face (ha, ha)...


A few hours ago I had the opportunity to speak to the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I told their members that I am proud to be Chairman of the Party of Lincoln and today's appearance meant a lot to me on a personal level because my grandfather, Joseph Mehlman, was a NAACP member. I shared with them the message I deliver everywhere I go that no matter how many elections Republicans win, no matter how many times we hold the White House, no matter how many seats in Congress, how many governor's mansions, how many state legislatures we win, the party of Lincoln will not be whole again and won't truly reflect the dream of African American political empowerment until we effectively and forthrightly respond to the cause of the African American community.
Sigh. Just what can you say?

Anyway, here are the blogs that the GOP vetted to be one of the chosen few on the GOP blogroll:

Hugh Hewitt
Powerline
GOPBloggers
Blogs For Bush
RedState
National Review
Instapundit
Captain's Quarters
PoliPundit
Little Green Footballs
Outside The Beltway
Patrick Ruffini
Trey Jackson

Or did they vet this list at all? Oliver Willis notes that the choice to put Little Green Footballs on that list is shocking, given it's Freeper-level discourse and attacks on Islam that certainly don't mesh with Chimpy's official line.
On the RNC's list of blogs it recommends reading are some of the usual suspects, including Patrick Ruffini, Powerline, Trey Jackson, Blogs for Bush, and others. But one site sticks out - Little Green Footballs (LGF), operated by Charles Johnson, is notorious for being a promoter of and haven for some of the most virulent anti-Muslim and anti-Islam hate speech on the web.

The RNC's recommendation of the Little Green Footballs site - one of only fifteen selected - would seem to be in stark contrast to President Bush's repeated proclamations that "Islam is peace".
ODub goes on to present some damning quotes from the creatures at LGF that are well, unseemly to say the least.
“Who gives a rat’s patoot what this Arab, or any of them for that matter, thinks? Actually that’s a mistake. As Muslims they are not trained or permitted to think.” [LGF, 1/16/2005]

“How can these vermin [Palestinians] have a country? How can these vermin be allowed to live?” [LGF, 6/20/02]

“Perhaps something more like targetted genocide at the religious muslims will become necesary.” [LGF, 4/30/03]

“They [Palestinians] don’t need statehood; they need sterilization.” [LGF, 2/9/03]

“Forced sterilization, and full occupation to keep them under control until the problem solves itself in about 50 years.” [LGF, 2/27/03]
Hmmm. Sounds like the GOP is really the Big Tent party of tolerance and the Party of Lincoln. Guess folks can drop Ken a line and ask him if LGF represents the worldview of our dear leader and his party. The RNC's email: info@gop.com.

Hat tip to Robster at Wonkabout.


CNN/Money's best places to live in the U.S.



The article is here.

The finalists:  1-25 26-50 51-75 76-100

The contenders:  State by state breakout

So, here's how my town stacks up at #92:




I love House Blender (local blogger and fellow Phelps counter-protestor) ae of Arse Poetica reacts to the news):
Three other NC cities make the Top 100: Cary, Clemmons, and Huntersville. My take: Cary, Clemmons, Huntersville?? Henh? Cary [No. 34] -- yeah, if you're into rich white people. Clemmons [No. 100] -- yeah, if you're into rich white country people. Huntersville [No. 76]-- um, never heard of it.

Durham's where it's at, baby. Nestled right there between Vancouver, WA, and Lincoln, CA, keepin' it real.
BTW, I've never heard of Huntersville either, ae.


Young Republicans, come on down


Oh, the irony. (via Kevin Drum, hat tip to Operation Yellow Elephant)
"By next fall, we'll have expended our ability to use National Guard brigades as one of the principal forces. We're reaching the bottom of the barrel."
--Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a retired four-star Army commander who was dispatched to Iraq last month to assess the operation


Blogging the Patriot Act reauthorization



The ACLU has launched a blog to alert folks on the progress, if you want to call it that, on the reauthorazation of the Patriot Act. Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and Chimpy have urged Congress to renew the law in its entirety. They are praying that the people are not paying attention the serious jeopardy our civil liberties face if changes are not made to this Act, which is set to expire at the end of the year.

Surf over to Reform the Patriot Act. NC blogger Ruby Sinreich is right, it's a real blog, featuring news, first-person posts on the ACLU's work in Congress on this Act -- and you can contribute to the conversation with comments and trackbacks. This site is chock-full of information and tools to help folks mobilize and take action as the political battle heats up, such as RSS feeds, and graphics for your blog to help spread the word. A form to contact your Senators and Representatives is here.



Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

Besides the bill just introduced in the Senate Intelligence Committee (sponsored by Specter and Feinstein), there are three other bills on tap to reauthorize with few changes, still giving the government far-reaching authority to breach our individual privacy in the name of "security."

As Lisa Graves, ACLU senior legislative counsel at the ACLU notes:
The Senate Intelligence Committee's bill from June would make the expiring provisions of Patriot permanent and expand its powers. It would allow the FBI to write its own search orders that businesses would be compelled to comply with for literally "any tangible thing."

The FBI would not have to show any specific facts connecting a foreign power or foreign terrorist with the records they sought: medical records, employment records, gun purchase records, tax records, credit reports, insurance records, bank statements, and records from car dealerships, etc.

They would not even have to get court approval to issue one of these subpoenas. And the recipient of one of these subpoenas is gagged forever from telling anyone about it. This bill also enables law enforcement to track your postal mail if the FBI requests it.

The bill is already awaiting action on the Senate floor, but this bill is really a foil, a chit to force through other "more palatable" bills that would make Patriot largely permanent with no real change.
Myths about the Patriot Act and links to the Reality, from the site:
• There Have Been No Patriot Act "Abuses"
• It Updated Law Enforcement Tools
• It Uses Existing Tools to Track Terrorists
• It Brought Uniformity to Government Agencies
• It Improves Communication Between Agencies
• The New Powers Have Lead to Arrests
• They're Not Using My Library Informatio
• The Patriot Act Has Judicial Oversight
• Critics Misunderstand "Material Witness"
• Critics Want to Appeal the Patriot Act
• The Patriot Act Is Constitutional


Durham HS receives award for The Laramie Project


The cast and director, Doug Graves, after the Saturday's matinee performance that Kate and I attended (the cast posed for me afterwards).

The Independent Weekly, our local progressive paper here, has given its 2005 Triangle Arts Valor Award to Durham School of the Arts cast, crew and director of Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project's The Laramie Project "for demonstrating considerable artistic integrity, and for their courage in facing the advocates of holy hatred."

The school put on the play back in early May, and faced down the protests of Fred Phelps's minions of the Westboro Baptist church, who came to Durham and picketed the show each day, spewing hateful nonsense, which I covered on the Blend as well.


Losers. Jonathan Phelps was dressed in a red poncho, shouting "Save The Gerbils!" and "Stop the Sh*t-eating Fags" and other un-Christian-like bile.

They were outnumbered ten-fold by local residents and supporters of the amazingly talented director (and former neighbor of mine) Douglas Graves and the students. (See my post and comments on the staging of the play, Triumphant production of The Laramie Project).


Anni Simpson, Bill Blake, Cristiana Krtalic, Eliza Bagg, Sam Hensen, Elizabeth French, Max Kaufman, Tulani Hauger-Kome, Adrian Boyes, Carmen Ivey, Lucas Campbell, Ryan Deal, John Douglas, Charlotte Valentine, Colin Moore and Ryan Kay. (Photo By Lissa Gotwals)

The Independent mentions the bravery and resolve of the students.
On the last night of the performance, the 10 cast members held hands and walked outside to see the demonstrators before the show--"not as an act of defiance," freshman Eliza Bagg quickly noted, "but an act of approaching them."

After a few moments of silence, Carmen Ivey, a junior, recalled that the counter-protesters on the opposite side of the street turned away from the anti-gay demonstrators and cheered the performers. Valentine summed the moment: "There was just so much support, so much love we felt there."

The colleagues we haven't named yet were with them: juniors Lucas Campbell, Ryan Deal and Tulani Hauger-Kome, founder of DSA's Gay-Straight Alliance, and seniors John Douglas and Colin Moore. So were Graves and assistant director Elizabeth French, a senior.

The crew waited inside: technical director Daniel Deter, stage manager Sam Hensen, light designer Ryan Kay, prop mistress Adrian Boyes, Chris Austin on the light board with Jasper Pettie assisting, Anni Simpson on the sound board, and projectionist Bill Blake.
As I noted in one of my earlier posts, Kate and I were deeply moved by the depth and range of these young people (ranging from freshmen to seniors). Each and every one did amazing work on stage in what is an emotionally draining piece for all of them, tackling multiple characters, often with diametrically opposing viewpoints.

More info:
* The Matthew Shepard Foundation, founded by Dennis and Judy Shepard
* site on the HBO film version and action items at Tolerance.org

Earlier posts on this:
* Triumphant production of The Laramie Project in Durham
* Photos from day two of the Phelps Hate Machine in Durham
* Local media coverage of Phelps clan's visit to Durham
* First shots from the Westboro Baptist Church protest in Durham, NC
* Daily Kos diary: Westboro Baptist Church protest in Durham, NC



Zach's story makes the NYT

There's a long piece in the NYT on Tennessee gay teen Zach and the fraud that is the Refuge 'ex-gay reparative therapy' camp. We've discussed this case quite a bit on the Blend over the last several weeks, including the recent post, "Zach's parents 'come out' about the attempt to 'de-gay' their son."

The Times article by Alex Williams uncovers a bit more information, but it mostly covers the ground that's been pieced together in other reports. It's a good read. It is mind-blowing to think of what passes as "therapy" places like Refuge. [It should be noted that Refuge's "warden," John Smid, is now removing references to therapy from its Web site and insists that the program is a spiritual, not counseling, center.]

The level of control over the inmates (and that's really how they are treated) is disturbing, and revolves around isolating them from the outside world, and ridiculously monitoring "pansy mannerisms" in men and making sure the only thing "butch" in the joint are the therapized guys tossing the pigskin.
Excessive jewelry or stylish clothing from labels like Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger are forbidden, and so is watching television, listening to secular music (even Bach) and reading unapproved books or magazines. "It's like checking into prison," said Brandon Tidwell, 29, who completed the adult program in 2002 but eventually rejected its teachings, reconciling his Christian beliefs with being gay.


"Refuge-ee" Brandon Tidwell. (Photo: Rollin Riggs/NYT).

Physical contact among clients other than a handshake is forbidden, and so is "campy" talk or behavior, according to program rules that Zach posted on his blog before he began at Refuge. Occasionally, recalled Jeff Harwood, 41, a Love in Action graduate who still considers himself gay, some participants would mock the mandatory football games.

"You could get away with maybe one limp-wristed pass before another client would catch you," he said, seated on a tattered sofa in a funky cafe called Java Cabana in the trendy midtown district of Memphis.
As we all know, ex-gay ministries Like Love in Action/Refuge and Exodus refuse to produce statistics of "heterosexual conversion" success rates of their programs. Jeff Harwood came out of the adult program in 1999, and he says in the article that of 11 fellow former clients he has kept track of, eight once again consider themselves gay. In fact, the tepid, sad endorsement of Refuge from one young interviewee in this article is completely unconvincing. It leaves you wondering just how long it will be before he steps into a gay bar to "test" himself, and "fail" by acting on his natural attraction to men -- then experience endless guilt and suffering because of his past indoctrination.
Although critics say such programs threaten the adolescent psyche, at least one teenager who considers himself a successful graduate does not agree. "In my experience people who struggle with their sexuality are more mature in general," Ben Marshall, 18, said. He recounted being in turmoil, growing up gay in a conservative Christian household in Mobile, Ala.

In 2004 his parents sent him to Refuge. "I went to Memphis kicking and screaming," he said. "I had grown to hate the church for the militant message it gave off toward homosexuality."

While enrolled he spent days listening to stories of the pain that homosexuality had caused clients and their families. Slowly, he said, his attitude changed. He ended up choosing to continue in Love in Action's adult program for nine months. While the program has a "high rate of failure," he said "there are enough successes to know I'm not alone."

But even success comes only through continuing struggle.Although he plans to date women in the future, Mr. Marshall said, he is avoiding any romantic relationships for the time being. " In all honesty, I'm just trying to figure out how to deal normally with men before I start to deal with women," he said.
The goal of becoming a "happy, healthy, heterosexual" is not even seriously promoted by most of these "ex-gay" ministries at this point, since they are well aware of the fact that so many graduates 'go back." Even John Smid's own words cannot muster up a lot of confidence about the "ex-gay" movement. Can you believe this --
The goal of the program, said Mr. Smid, who said he was once gay but now renounces homosexual behavior, is not necessarily to turn gays into practicing heterosexuals, but to "put guardrails" on their sexual impulses.

"In my life I've been out of homosexuality for over 20 years, and for me it's really a nonissue," Mr. Smid said. "I may see a man and say, he's handsome, he's attractive, and it might touch a part of me that is different from someone else," he said. "But it's really not an issue. Gosh, I've been married for 16 years and faithful in my marriage in every respect. I mean I don't think I could white-knuckle this ride for that long."
I wonder what else is touching a part of him.


Another open thread and blogwhoring

Friday, July 15, 2005

There's still stuff perking out there...share.

A headline for you: Doctors find blockage in Falwell artery, seek to open with stents.



There's a blockage, but I'm not sure it's an artery.


You must go to Crooks and Liars now for CNN's "That's bullsh*t"

This is a ROTFLOL moment on live TV ...
Lou Dobbs Tonight, (7/15/05) as Lou was introducing a piece on the Rove story.

Lou says, "...Rove testifying that he first learned about Plame from columnist Robert Novak, a CNN contributor. Danna Bash reports." Immediately after that you can clearly hear a female voice on mic whispering "that's bullshit". Then Dana Bash continues with her report.
Windows media file



Like a bad penny: 'Justice Sunday' part 2


Fun from the first time around.

Back in April I asked the question "Are the political Endtimes near?" referring to the freakshow of Tony Perkins, Dobson and Co.'s American Talibannery telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees. Now it's time for the sequel, and there will be a cavalcade of stars on the Right rivaling the number of Hollywood has-beens you'll see in a rerun of The Love Boat.

The official title of this gathering is Justice Sunday II: God Save the United States and This Honorable Court! (is that anything like Airplane! with that meaningful exclamation point?), and they are primed and ready to go, to tell the faithful sheeple to lobby for a fundamentalist on the bench.
Two Rivers Baptist Church in Nashville, Tennessee will host Family Research Council's simulcast television program, "Justice Sunday II -- God Save the United States and this Honorable Court" Sunday, August 14. Justice Sunday II, the follow-up to "Justice Sunday -- Stopping the Filibuster Against People of Faith," will broadcast live in churches across the nation in addition to being carried on hundreds of radio stations, via satellite and web-cast on http://www.justicesunday.com.

Here are the stars...



Phyllis Schlafly -- Eagle Forum
Dr. Jerry Sutton -- Two Rivers Baptist Church
Senator Zell Miller -- (D-GA)
Tony Perkins -- Family Research Council
Dr. James Dobson -- Focus on the Family
Chuck Colson -- Prison Fellowship Ministries
Bishop Harry Jackson -- Hope Christian Church
Bill Donohue -- Catholic League
Cathy Cleaver Ruse -- Family Research Council

Plus! -- Musical Performances by: Lee Greenwood, Rebecca St.James and Jett Williams



What: National television and radio simulcast; Broadcast in churches across America

When: Sunday, August 14, 2005 -- 7 pm EDT

Where: Two Rivers Baptist Church
2800 McGavock Pike
Nashville, TN 37214


How's this for sportsmanship?



There's nothing like playing in a T-ball game, if you're a kid. Learning about team spirit, sportsmanship and camaraderie...it's a good thing, as Martha would say. Unless you're a kid with a disability -- because you have to worry about getting whacked by a teammate on the orders of your coach. Nice life lesson, isn't it?
A T-ball coach allegedly paid one of his players $25 to hurt an 8-year-old mentally disabled teammate so he wouldn't have to put the boy in the game, police said Friday. Mark R. Downs Jr., 27, of Dunbar, is accused of offering one of his players the money to hit the boy in the head with a baseball, police said. Witnesses told police Downs didn't want the boy to play in the game because of his disability.

Police said the boy was hit in the head and in the groin with a baseball just before a game, and didn't play, police said.

"The coach was very competitive," state police Trooper Thomas B. Broadwater said. "He wanted to win."

Downs has an unpublished telephone number and couldn't immediately be reached for comment Friday. It was unclear whether he had an attorney. He was arrested and arraigned Friday on charges including criminal solicitation to commit aggravated assault and corruption of minors. He was released from jail on an unsecured bond.

The alleged assault happened June 27 in North Union Township, about 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, authorities said.
Thanks to House Blender and Julien's List contributor Holly for the pointer.


BradBlog: Comcast admits filtering mail from www.afterdowningstreet.org

This is bad. How will you know if your ISP has a political motive to filter mail so that your intended recipient never receives it? The answer is that you likely won't. The Brad Blog reports that highly unusual behavior by cable company and Internet service provider, Comcast Corporation. It has been automatically deleting email sent to Comcast customers with the text "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the email.

AfterDowningStreet.org was the citizen's launchpad to the campaign to get the Downing Street Minutes and documents into the press, so having email go into a black hole directly impacts organizing efforts.
The discovery that email was being secretly filtered was made after an investigation conducted by ADS co-founder, David Swanson who reported that many coalition members did not seem to be receiving email alerts and others messages being sent by the group.

The BRAD BLOG has been able to independently confirm that email sent to two different Comcast customers with the text "www.afterdowningstreet.org" in the body of the mail, is not currently reaching those customers as expected. Though messages with only "afterdowningstreet.org" are, in fact, able to get through to those same customers without a problem.

In a statement released by People-Link.org, the Internet host for the AfterDowningStreet.org domain, the directors of the "progressive" firm charge that the filtering is politically motivated and both they and Swanson have requested people contact Comcast to complain. While it is not uncommon for Internet Service Providers, or ISP's, to filter out messages sent to their users by domains which are known to send large amounts of unrequested junkmail, or "spam", Comcast acknowledged to Swanson that AfterDowningStreet.org was not on their list of domains alleged to have sent such email.
Go read it all for yourself, including the full statement by the directors of May First/People Link, who wrote: "This goes far beyond the normal anti-spam measures taken by major providers and represents an effective blocking of constitutionally protected expression and the fundamental right to organize and act politically on issues of concern."

Tin foil hats, anyone?


House Blend gets another link from Freeperville

I've been cited in the land of the Freepi once before, referred to as "a female homosexual."

Today it happened again. They finally picked up on the "gay" toddler murder story. [The actual thread I found this on was an unrelated one -- "Man sentenced for running over his partner,"]

Actual Freeper Quotes™

The homolefties were all over another story yesterday:

[AmericaBlog] Dad Beats Three Year Old Son To Death: Thanks, Radical Right
[The Blend] Dad convicted of beating 'gay' toddler to death

"I wonder if they'll chomp on this one as well."

"I wonder where that perspective came from. The article I read indicated the father was upset that the boy had wet himself."

"Do you have some links? The stories I found all said the father was afraid his son might be gay, so he was trying to masculinize him."

"Links would be good. It might explain why the child was put in protective custody in 2002 and exactly how old he was at that time as well as how old he was at the time of his death. I have a feeling that this is a case of ascribing motives to a brain dead low life to fit an agenda that is being promoted incessantly."

"Here's the link I found: I can't find the story I was thinking about, where a toddler was beaten (I thought to death) for wetting himself. The wording is a little different from this report then the two pro-gay sites."
They really didn't want to touch the toddler story with a ten-foot pole. Still no thread of its own on the FR. Guess they couldn't come up with any snark or even "sanctity of life" statements. That was big of them, the cretins. Hi fives all around...



AFA goes after Diversity Top 10 companies



Donald and Tim Wildmon have nothing better to do than jerk the chains of their American Family Association sheeple over anything related to homosexuality. The latest wingnuttery is a call to punish Diversity Inc.'s "Top 10 Companies for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Employees."
The editors chose these companies by first counting organizations that filled out its Top 50 Companies for Diversity survey and indicated that they actively recruit homosexual, bisexual and transgender employees; have non-discrimination policies including sexual orientation; and offer domestic-partner benefits for same-sex couples. The publication also studied the corporate websites of the companies to see if they made "GLBT" employees and customers welcome.

Wildmon believes Christian consumers need to think twice before they patronize companies that support the homosexual agenda. While the pro-family spokesman admits it is impossible to boycott all companies that have homosexuality-affirming policies and practices, he says consumers can make a difference. "One company losing five to ten percent of its sales will send a clear message to every company in America," he asserts.

"Now, obviously there are some companies that are protected," the AFA chairman points out, "because they are not oriented toward the retail public. But they will get the message." However, he adds, "Most of the money that's going from the corporations into the homosexual groups to support gay marriage are coming from companies that have retail products consumers buy every day."
So who's on the hit list? The usual suspects, but a few that I have a bone to pick with for different reasons.
* Eastman Kodak
* Ford Motor Company - the AFA had to can its earlier unsuccessful boycott
* Citigroup - this company is on my hit list too -- for its predatory lending practices.
* Pepsico
* Merck and Company - on my hit list for the Vioxx fiasco and its corrupt, golden parachute-receiving execs.
* Allstate Insurance - it was already under a boycott for allegedly anti-Christian actions and "indoctrination" of its employees to accept the homo agenda.
* Coca-Cola Company
* D&T USA (Deloitte & Touche)
* Kaiser Permanente
* Visteon Corporation - this is an automotive systems and glass supplier, so I don't know how the AFA is going to affect it in any significant way.


Homo-news in Durham: spurned wife sues ex-hubby's boyfriend

The Durham Herald-Sun is reporting a different kind of alienation of affection lawsuit here that also managed to make the wires over at 365gay.com. We've got a few cobweb-laced laws on the books, and this is one of them.
An unusual same-sex alienation-of-affections lawsuit has been filed against Stephen Glenn Barefoot of Durham, accusing him of wooing away a woman's husband. Barefoot had little comment Thursday. "If there is [such a lawsuit], I don't know about it," he said. "I haven't seen it. It's news to me."

Court officials said all alienation-of-affections lawsuits are rare and that same-sex complaints are almost unheard of. In fact, North Carolina is one of only about a dozen states that still allow such court claims. Some legislators believe the alienation-of-affections doctrine is hopelessly antiquated. And there have been at least two unsuccessful attempts to remove it from the books in the Tar Heel State.

In the Durham County Superior Court lawsuit, Pamela Lavone Putjenter alleges that Barefoot began to "willfully and intentionally seduce, entice and alienate the affections" of her husband in January 2002. She says her husband, Ronald Joseph Putjenter, eventually admitted to the alleged affair. As a result, the "genuine love and affection" between the Putjenters was "lost and destroyed," and the couple separated in March 2004, the suit adds. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages of at least $10,000 each.

The state Court of Appeals tried to eliminate alienation-of-affections claims in 1984, saying they were an outdated throwback to a time when husbands were thought to own their wives. Such lawsuits were "uncultivated and obsolete" in the late 20th century, the judges said. But the state Supreme Court overturned the appeals court a year later, saying the lower court had exceeded its authority. Alienation-of-affections claims remained on the books.

...To win an alienation claim, the plaintiffs must demonstrate they had a relationship of "genuine love and affection" with their spouses to begin with. Otherwise, there would be nothing to be alienated.


Blog launch: My Left Wing

Head over to the talented Daily Kossack Maryscott O'Connor's new pad, My Left Wing. It's set up like DKos, as a community, so you can read her good work (and that of her contributors) and post your own diaries.
Now, Daily Kos is a Democratic blog, its focus primarily on Democrats and rebuilding the Democratic Party – Reform Democrats has been the recent terminology, and an excellent term it is, too.

My Left Wing is a Liberal blog. While its founder (me, that is – Maryscott O’Connor) is absolutely a Democrat, My Left Wing is intended as a watering hole for all walks of liberal life. Democrats, Greens, Independents, Socialists, Libertarians – anyone who shares even a few of the attributes we have come to call “Liberal Values” – will likely find their niche at My Left Wing.


'Exclusive Brethren' religious sect behind anti-gay ads in Canada

That name of this group sounds like something out of Austin Powers -- The Exclusive Brethren. WTF is that? Our AmTaliban are not quite as creative (Christians Reviving America's Values [CRAVE] tries a bit too hard).
A secretive religious sect is behind an aggressive but anonymous direct-mail and advertising campaign against gay marriage that has triggered complaints in Parliament and in the media from MPs and ordinary Canadians from B.C. to Atlantic Canada, The Vancouver Sun has learned.

Some members of the ultra-conservative Exclusive Brethren, who shun relationships with non-members and require their women to wear head scarves in public, organized and funded the campaign, a sect member confirmed Thursday. The campaign's sponsors identify themselves in the provocative ads and mail-outs only as "concerned Canadian parents," or CCP, with a post office box address located in a Toronto convenience store.

But an employee at the 7-Eleven store said Thursday CCP stopped paying for the box at least three months ago, so all incoming mail is being returned. The latest CCP initiative was a full-page ad this week in The Hill Times newspaper, a Parliament Hill weekly, telling senators studying Bill C-38 that gay marriage will never "rise to this standard [of being an] honourable relationship."
The Brethren, according to the Vancouver Sun, are estimated to number between 50,000 and 200,000. They are evangelical Christians (but are not members of the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada). Members live primarily in North America, England, Australia, and Argentina. This group even has publicly supported Chimpy (he really attracts that mainstream audience, doesn't he?).
Members of the Brethren in the U.S. also broke the sect's tradition of non-involvement in politics by spending more than $500,000 US last year to promote President George W. Bush, though the White House later condemned the group's "shadowy" nature.

...The CCP name, based on legal advice, has been deliberately written in lower case because it has no official status and isn't registered anywhere, Heggie said. CCP sent tens of thousands of flyers to Canadian households this spring declaring: "URGENT! A MESSAGE TO ALL (name of riding) FAMILIES," and urging constituents to contact their local MP, who was identified along with the MP's addresses and phone numbers.

Marriage, the pamphlet warns, is "about to be dumped into the garbage can of history."

The Exclusive Brethren was formed in 1825 in Ireland, when a group left the Church of Ireland because they felt it mingled to much with the secular world. "They've always had a strong sense of separation from the world, which [they think] God has likely handed over to Satan," Ian Markham, dean of the Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, told the St. Petersburg Times in January.


Unintentional laff riot: 'Real Men are Republicans: Democrats are Metro-sexuals'

What does it look like when someone tries too hard to cram as much sexism and homophobia into a blog post for attention? Take a look at this below. It's by Will Malven of the Tin Ear/Men's News Daily. You may recall that MND is a conservative site often aligned with the late Talon News Service, home to man-whore Jeff Gannon's old reports. I guess I'm guilty for giving Malven attention, but it's too good to pass up. I guess this is his way of offering advice to the Dems from the wingnut perspective. There's a dick-wagging contest at play along with a complete sense of inadequacy in his bluster.

Please, Blenders, read with caution; you may fall out of your chair while laughing and hurt yourself.
It seems that the Democrat Party has become the party of whine and cheesy. America used to be a nation that prided itself with the can-do attitude. Self-reliance was embraced over government reliance. The plaintive calls of “I can’t.” and “It’s not fair.” were rarely heard from adults. Much as the legendary British “Stiff Upper Lip,” Americans had the “Stolid, Stony, Silence” of the self-reliant man. We have “progressed” from the rugged “Mountain Man” to the whiney, effete “Metro-Sexual” in a few short generations. Much of this has been the result of the policies of Quasi-Socialism set in place by the dominance of our government by the Democrats during the last century. This culture of don’t worry Uncle Sam will do it for you has stripped many Americans of their self-worth and independence. Reliance on governmental assistance has made a large number of Americans dependant people. America cannot afford to leave its security and future in the hands of an emasculated, directionless, Democrat Party filled with old, outdated ideals. John Kerry was the perfect representative of his party just as Al Gore was during the 2000 election. Their core beliefs depended on the latest opinion poll. Whither the wind didst blow, thither did they venture with their policies. Kerry’s vanity drove him to botox and the tanning booth, Gore’s to a woman advisor (Naomi Wolf) for instructions on how to be a man.

...These days, Real Men are Republicans. George W. Bush didn’t need anyone to tell him how to be a man he came by it naturally. I never cared one bit for those Democrats of old. They were ever a thorn in the Republican’s sides, and often didn’t give Republicans a fair shake, but you had to respect them. Those men stood their ground and loved their country. If the Democrat Party wants to survive the decade they better find their MOJO, because right now it looks like their candidates for president would be more appropriate vying for a Tony Award than for the position of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Margaret Thatcher was a Real Woman, meaning that she was more of a Real Man then either Gore or Kerry, or even Clinton.

Hint to Democrats: Real men are forged by life not counselors. They don’t need to drive a giant 4-wheeler for appearances; they drive them out of need. They don’t drive a pick-up truck to look tough. “Image” is not important to real men, being genuine is. Being a real man is not an affectation, you don’t go to the local therapist to learn to be a man. You learn it by taking the hard knocks that life gives you, standing up, dusting yourself off, and getting back into the fight one more time. Gore and Kerry failed the Real Man test by trying to be something they were not. George Bush passed it by being himself. Real Men respect themselves and they respect others. Real Men talk straight and they do what they say they’ll do. If a Real Man gives you his word, you can take it to the bank. Example: Karl Rove did nothing wrong. I know this, because if he had, Bush would know and if he knew, Rove would be out instantly, because Bush said so. They don’t talk down to people, and they don’t make fun of them unless they’re in on the joke. If they laugh, they laugh with you not at you. If they like you they will rib you and tease you, if the don’t, they’ll ignore you. George Bush doesn’t respond to polls, because he already knows where he’s headed. In that, he’s just like Ronald Reagan. Oh yeah, and as to Bill Clinton, don’t confuse Narcissism, lechery, and amorality for manliness. It’s not machismo, just pathological.


I'm stepping out for a few hours

Open thread, blogwhore at will, keep posting headlines, commenting and such, friends.

[Kate goes out of town to a conference in Myrtle Beach, SC for four days starting tomorrow afternoon, so I'll be moping. :( ]


Wingnuts lobby for Roy Moore nomination to the Supremes



First it was the hilarious suggestion of Empty Wig Dole for the Court, now this -- Roy "Ten Commandments" Moore.
A coalition of conservative Christians on Thursday delivered petitions to the White House calling for the President to nominate former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Putting Moore on the bench "could bring about a turning point in our jurisprudence and in our culture, back to biblical morality and forward to a restoration of the constitutional design and system of liberty set forth by America's founding fathers," Howard Phillips, chairman of the Conservative Caucus told reporters at a Washington news conference.

In 2003 Moore was removed as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court after the state's nine-member Court of Judicial Inquiry found he had violated judicial ethical standards for defiance of a federal judge's order to move his Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of the state courthouse.

Moore has a long record of anti-gay rulings.

In February 2002 when the state Supreme Court ruled against a lesbian mother who was seeking custody of her three daughters Moore used a litany of homophobic adjectives in his written decision. Moore said that homosexuality is "an inherent evil" that should not be tolerated. His decision went on to say that the mother's relationship made her an unfit parent and that homosexuality is "abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature, and a violation of the laws of nature."


Taliban father of the year Alan Keyes (shown with kicked-out-of-the-house lesbian daughter Maya).

...Two other high profile conservatives joined Phillips - the Rev. Rob Schenck, president of the National Clergy Council and former Republican presidential candidate Alan Keyes. "Above all, the appointment of Roy Moore would provide a genuine opportunity for the first debate before the whole American people over the critical question of judicial supremacy," Keyes said.


Man-on-dog Santorum has an out communications director


Rick loves his on-staff self-loather.

Heinous. The world is coming unglued. How on earth is do you make sense of the Senator from Pennsylvania's employment of an out gay person on his staff, given Rick's unhinged homophobia? Oh that's right, this is Washington. It also explains why Robert Traynham II, an out, black, gay man, defends the dog-loving Santorum. I need to barf. From Mike Rogers of PageOneQ:
In a phone call recorded by PageOneQ and blogACTIVE.com, Robert Traynham, Director of Communications for United States Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) has said he is an out gay man who completely supports the Senator.

When asked how a gay man could speak for one of the nation's most notorious homophobes, Traynham, left, protested that has "been with the Senator for eight years." Traynham went on to say "Senator Santorum is a man of principle, he is a man who sticks up for what he believes in, I strongly do support Senator Santorum."

When pressed on whether he supported the Senator's stands on lesbian and gay issues, Mr. Traynham abruptly ended the phone call by saying "Senator Santorum is a family man. I have been with Senator Santorum for eight years and I am very proud to be with him."

An attempt to follow-up with a question was met with Mr. Traynham hanging up the phone.
Will the Log Cabin psychos please take out this homophobe enabler? Don't hold your breath. This is crazy.

From a 2003 Harvard symposium at which Traynham appeared, he unleashed these enlightening quotes:
“The only time I think about being an African-American is when I get up in the morning to shave, when I look in the mirror,” said Robert Traynham, deputy staff director for the Senate Republican Conference. “Being black has nothing to do with my job—zero.”

“Those who are romantic about the Confederate flag, that’s our base. We need their support; this upcoming election is going to be close,” Traynham said.

As for gays in the Republican party, Traynham said, “I have a lot of friends who happen to be gay.”
People, do you get this? He's not some lone nut, as much as I'd like to think he is. I've been posting about these black defectees from the Democratic party all week and how the Right has found fertile ground.

What Traynham is, my friends, is the most dangerous kind of turncoat. He has no conscience -- how can he work for a man and a party that is openly hostile toward gays and minorities? Not just a dismissive party, but one whose base has such contempt for who he is that they work each day to legislate his rights away. Good god.


Fred 'The Rotting CryptkeeperTM' Phelps is mad at Chimpy

I think the Chimperor is on Fred Phelps's hit list. And I must have been completely wrong about our president. According to "God Hates Fags" Fred, Bush is way into the homo agenda, given all of the faggotry in his inner circle. Click to enlarge...



And continuing its series of "Love Crusades," the Westboro Baptist Caravan is heading over to picket another fallen soldier's funeral.



Suspect in London bombing a former N.C. State student


N.C. State's last address in Raleigh for El-Nashar was in a single-story, 7-unit building on Jackson Street in Raleigh. Two neighbors said they had moved in since 2000 and did not know el-Nashar. (Robert Meikle, WRAL)

From NC State's student paper, TechnicianOnline, this AM:
One of the individuals sought for questioning in the investigation of last week's London terrorist attacks was previously an N.C. State student. According to a report from the Times of London, detectives are now interested in locating Magdy el-Nashar, a former graduate student who attending classes in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering during the 2000 spring semester.

The Egyptian-born El-Nashar left NCSU that fall to seek a doctorate from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. According to a statement from the University of Leeds Thursday, el-Nashar was involved in biochemical research, sponsered by the National Research Center in Cairo, Egypt. El-Nashar, who received his doctorate from the University of Leeds in May 2005, conducted the research with a six-member team.

According to the Times, London Metropolitan Police discovered that el-Nashar rented one of the apartments searched in Leeds where Police found explosives Wednesday. Officials at the University of Leeds said el-Nashar has not been seen on campus since July 1. Neighbors also said he left Britain recently, citing a problem with his visa.

Times of London article
As usual, the Freepi are completely out of control, with some wavering bits of sanity. Some way, any pathetic way, they desperately try to find a way to blame the Left.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"It's time to put certain courses of study - chemistry, nuclear science, and related fields - off limits to Muslims."

"Our greedy universities and their clueless leftist administrators will let anyone take courses if they have the cash. They have no loyalty to the USA, as is obvious when UC gives Ward Churchill a BONUS for his treasonous state-sponsored rantings."

"It's time to put certain courses of study - chemistry, nuclear science, and related fields - off limits to Muslims. You may want to have a word with the publishers of scientific textbooks...many of them were falling over themselves to rush to sell their goods at the Tehran Book Fair."

"How about putting the US off limits?"

"If you can name one Representative, Senator or Governor who favours this, I'll be interested in hearing about him / her. Until you have at least one elected political leader who is willing to do so, that idea cannot be taken seriously."

"Let's put it this way, no Western government is going to exclude or deport a group of people on the basis of their religion. If you said, ban all people from Saudi Arabia, that might work, as Saudi is a sponsor of terrorism. However, banning someone on the basis of their religious faith will go against the Constitutional spirit of freedom of religion, and also hand a weapon to the left. "

"That is correct but is Islam truly a religion? A case can be made that it is a political ideology hiding under the guise of religion. [Alrighty then, well I guess we could say the same thing about AmTaliban evangelical Christianity.] While Islamics openly state they plan to conquer nations, we never hear the head of the Church of England, the Pope, or other religious leaders doing this. The US banned Communists from the country in the 50's so the precedent has been set."

"I am at a US research/gradaute degree unversity and we are a service industry much like McDonalds. If you are here (US governement lets you in with a visa allowing you to study) and want service--you probably get it. For graduate study, decisions are usually made at or at least start with the local (department/disciplinary) level within the university rather than by some adminsitrator on high. So if US students do not apply, we still have hamburgers to sell as it were. It will take a concerted national policy effort to change that in a meaningfull way. Otherwise the happy meals still keep getting sold."

"Hmmm... He is undoubtedly tied to John Edwards who sponsored his entry visa. No wonder Edwards won't attack our enemies" [What the f*ck kind of pathetic stretch is this? Oh, what a howler.]

"Does this kill the NC Illegal Immigrants In State Tuition Plan ?"


Rush is nostalgic for the 'Southern Strategy'


Hope the "New Black Republicans" check out "Hillbilly heroin" addict, and GOP mouthpiece/talk show host Rush Limbaugh's thoughts on Ken Mehlman's apology.

As House Blender Patrick said in his email on this, "any African American that thinks this is their party has lost their mind."

Here's what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Kenny Mehlman's "apology" to blacks for the GOP's "Southern Strategy" of the past yesterday, courtesy of Media Matters:
LIMBAUGH: President Bush skipping this week's annual NAALCP convention for the fifth straight year, but that's not preventing the White House and the Republican Party from waging a drive to woo African-American voters. Ken Mehlman of the RNC is going to the NAALCP convention, and he is basically going to tell them how the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln lost its way with African-American voters over the years and how determined the party is to get them back. He said, "We can't call ourselves a true majority unless we reach out to African-Americans and make it the party of Lincoln. There was a time when African-American support turned Democrat, and we didn't do enough to retain it. Now we want to build on the gains we made in the last election."

Know what he's going to do? He's going to go down there and basically apologize for what has come to be known as the Southern Strategy, popularized in the Nixon administration. He's going to go down there and apologize for it. In the midst of all of this, in the midst of all that's going on, once again, Republicans are going to go bend over and grab the ankles. They're going to the NAALCP. This is like going into Hyannisport and apologizing to [Sen.] Ted Kennedy [D-MA] for whatever and expecting him to become a supporter. It's like showing up at the [Sen.] Chuck Schumer [D-NY]-Joe Wilson press conference in 20 minutes and saying, "Okay, Ambassador Wilson, we apologize. We hope you'll support us. We can't become a majority party until people like you are voting for us." It is just -- it's absolutely absurd.


DKos diary: Who are these Black Republicans?

I edited those Blend entries and posted it. Feel free to contribute comments there.


Rove is toast



How will Chimpy spin this to keep Rove on? ROVE MUST BE FIRED. There's no way out now; he divulged Plame's CIA status to Novakula. From today's (Fri) NYT:
Karl Rove, the White House senior adviser, spoke with the columnist Robert D. Novak as he was preparing an article in July 2003 that identified a C.I.A. officer who was undercover, someone who has been officially briefed on the matter said.

Mr. Rove has told investigators that he learned from the columnist the name of the C.I.A. officer, who was referred to by her maiden name, Valerie Plame, and the circumstances in which her husband, former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, traveled to Africa to investigate possible uranium sales to Iraq, the person said.

After hearing Mr. Novak's account, the person who has been briefed on the matter said, Mr. Rove told the columnist: "I heard that, too." The previously undisclosed telephone conversation, which took place on July 8, 2003, was initiated by Mr. Novak, the person who has been briefed on the matter said.

...The conversation between Mr. Novak and Mr. Rove seemed almost certain to intensify the question about whether one of Mr. Bush's closest political advisers played a role in what appeared to be an effort to undermine Mr. Wilson's credibility after he challenged the veracity of a key point in Mr. Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech, saying Saddam Hussein had sought nuclear fuel in Africa.

...After saying in 2003 that it was "ridiculous" to suggest that Mr. Rove had any role in the disclosure of Ms. Wilson's name, Scott McClellan, the White House press secretary, has refused in recent days to discuss any specifics of the case. But he has suggested that President Bush continues to support Mr. Rove. On Thursday Mr. Rove was at Mr. Bush's side on a trip to Indianapolis.

...This is not the first time Mr. Rove has been linked to a leak reported by Mr. Novak. In 1992, Mr. Rove was fired from the Texas campaign to re-elect the first President Bush because of suspicions that he had leaked information to Mr. Novak about shortfalls in the Texas organization's fund-raising. Both Mr. Rove and Mr. Novak have denied that Mr. Rove had been the source.

...Mr. Bush's White House has been characterized by loyalty and long tenures, but no one has been at Mr. Bush's side in his journey through politics longer than Mr. Rove, who has been his strategist, enforcer, policy guru, ambassador to social and religious conservatives and friend since they met in Washington in the early 1970's. People who know Mr. Bush said it was unlikely, if not unthinkable, that he would seek Mr. Rove's departure barring a criminal indictment.
This *sshole is a national security risk, and Chimpy's little pledge to fire the leaker is going to be asked 72 different ways for days on end. His only hope is press fatigue about asking.

Oh, and this leaves little patsy Scotty McClellan, left holding the bag of lies and obfuscations, and it must be feeling pretty damn heavy right now.


Zach's parents 'come out' about the attempt to 'de-gay' their son



“To me it's not what's right and what's left, it's what's right and what's wrong. My wife and I will stand by that 'till the day we die, as far as homosexuality is not in God's plan – it's wrong."
--Joe Stark, father of Zach, the teen that was sent to the Love in Action 'ex-gay' camp
I just don't know how much homophobia I can stomach in one day. But here's one more.

You'll recall my earlier post, "Why 'ex-gay' programs like Love in Action are immoral," about Zach, the young blogger that was being sent off to ex-gay camp by his parents. This story later caught the attention of the media, and there was an investigation by the state of Tennesee to see whether the institution, Refuge, an arm of Love in Action, was credentialed or qualified to treat young people, held against their will.

Now we know that Zach is real, and his parents are the ones "coming out' to defend their attempts to "de-gay" their 16-year old son. This report is from Pat Robertson's CBN, but it covers it well.
Can parents help children struggling with same-sex attractions turn away from the homosexual lifetsyle? One Memphis father says they can – and the city's gay community is none too happy about it.

Joe Stark did what he believed any responsible Christian parent would do. In late May, Joe’s 16-year-old son, Zach, told his parents he was gay. The Starks, devout Christians, enlisted the help of “Love in Action International,” a Memphis-based ministry that provides prevention and treatment for behaviors like homosexuality and drug addiction.

But little did the Starks know that their actions would create a firestorm among local homosexuals. In an exclusive interview with CBN News, Joe talked about his decision to enroll Zach in the “Love in Action” program, and the controversy that has followed. “We felt very good about Zach coming here because… to let him see for himself the destructive lifestyle, what he has to face in the future, and to give him some options that society doesn't give him today,” Stark said. “Knowing that your son... statistics say that by the age of 30 he could either have AIDS or be dead.”

The Starks' story took on a life of its own when Zach began posting his thoughts on an Internet blog. "My mother, father, and I had a very long 'talk'" he wrote, "…where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist Christian program for gays… I’m a big screw up to them, who isn't on the path God wants me to be on. So I'm sitting here in tears."

“Zack has got a mind of his own, and that's a God-given gift,” Joe said. “And Zack will have to make those choices when he is an adult as to what exactly he is going to do with his life. But until he turns 18 and he's an adult in the state of Tennessee, I'm responsible for him. And I’m going to see to it that he has all options available to him.”

It wasn't long after Zach's blog appeared online that protestors began lining the streets outside “Love in Action.” They said that homosexuality is not a choice but something that comes naturally – and that Zach is being deceived by his parents and “Love in Action.” “When you ask someone to live in a lie, it's a dangerous, dangerous slope that you're running down,” one protestor said.


Propagandist and satisfied "ex-gay", John Smid.

But according to Rev. John Smid, homosexuals do have a choice – and his life is a perfect example. Smid is “Love in Action's” executive director, and he left the homosexual lifestyle in 1984. He's been happily married since 1988, and he wants others like him who have struggled with homosexual feelings to know that they do not have to act on their same-sex attractions.

“I just see so many people who want to discount my life,” Smid said. “My story, my life, my experience, counts. And I have found tremendous freedom from homosexuality and a deep level of change in my life that would have never occurred had I never been given the opportunity to leave homosexuality.”

Smid credits his faith in Jesus Christ for giving him the courage to leave homosexuality behind. But his stance is anything but popular among gays and their allies. Since the Zach Stark controversy began, “Love in Action” has been investigated by the state of Tennessee over allegations of child abuse. Although they were cleared of all charges, the stigma remains, and those who have followed the case closely say that's unfair.

“The child services of the state dismissed the charges,” said Mike Fleming, a local radio host. “And I frankly think that the bottom line of this is that homosexuals are afraid that this does work, and they have set out to destroy “Love in Action.” I don't think there can be any doubt about that.” [There's a second investigation under way. Tennessee's Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities Department has opened its own query because Love in Action is also offering counseling in drug and alcohol addiction. State officials say the organization can't do that without a license.]

Gay groups have criticized “Love in Action's” techniques as heavy-handed. Clients are forbidden from listening to secular music, using the Internet, or wearing sexually suggestive clothing. But Joe says that's one of the program's strengths. “A lot of things that Zach spent a lot of his time doing were taken away,” Stark said. “And I can see why they do it now. It's because, if you're not doing those things, then what are you doing? Sometime or other, you have to communicate with your family. And that's a big thing that has happened in our family – Zach is communicating a lot more with us.”

But critics say “Love in Action” doesn't work for everyone. According to one former client, the program actually helped him to embrace his homosexuality. He calls the program "unrealistic."

Rarely in life will you ever live that closed off from the world,” Brandon Tidwell, a former client of “Love in Action,” said. “It's very, I think, deceiving, or misleading, or creates a false hope for people, to help them to create change in that very isolated environment, and then move out into the real world and try to continue to…understand themselves in a whole different way.

Smid points out that all of “Love in Action's” clients, including Tidwell, have grown closer to their parents as a result of the program. Many came away with a better understanding of Jesus Christ as well. As for Zach, the jury is still out. But his father remains steadfast that he made the right decision for his son.

“To me it's not what's right and what's left, it's what's right and what's wrong,” Joe said. “My wife and I will stand by that 'till the day we die, as far as homosexuality is not in God's plan – it's wrong."
Here are my other posts on this story:

Follow-up to Love in Action's 'ex-gay' re-education camp

Six more weeks in 'ex-gay' camp for TN teen

Update on the Tennessee teen held at Love In Action's "ex-gay" camp (includes a portion of one of the Child Abuse reports filed with the state by House Blender Paul Chirumbolo, a licensed Marriage and Family therapist.)

Love In Action International Inc.
4780 Yale Road - Memphis, TN 38128
(901) 751-2468
info@loveinaction.org
The Love In Action team:
http://www.loveinaction.org/default2.aspx?pid=29

Thanks to House Blender Nathan for the pointer.


Christian Coalition knob-ends in Montgomery, AL scared of Pride

Thursday, July 14, 2005

I received an email from House Blender Kathy that has some incredible wingnuttery from the Christian Coalition of Alabama . Remember that I mentioned earlier in the week that Equality Alabama's 4th annual Day of Equality will be on September 10 in Birmingham. Well, they are having a Pride celebration in Montgomery on Saturday (or as they would term it, an invasion), and boy the AmTaliban is ready with a smear campaign, a particularly low-rent and ignorant one at that (they have to explain what "drag" is -- hilarious. The scary part is that they publish a photo of the location of Equality Alabama. Given the state's history, it's not out of the realm of possibility that they could be threatened with violence and/or vandalism. From Kathy's letter...
Here is a picture of the new Equality Alabama office, which is right next door to the family planning clinic and just down the street from the Governor's mansion and the home of John Giles, head of the AL Christian Coalition. My brother has spearheaded the office renovations, and he sent this to me. Thought you might get a kick out of it. I'm sure you'll note that the inflammatory pictures of gays in makeup and drag didn't come from Montgomery. I didn't bother to correct the CC's spelling.


Gays Gearing Up for 2006 Marriage Protection Amendment Vote


Gay and Lesbian Groups Advance Presence



Abortion Clinic and the 821 South Perry Street Alabama Building

Gay Pride Festival Invades Montgomery
Saturday July 16th
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Montgomery AL
821 South Perry Street

The gay and lesbian interest isup their Montgomery presence by moving next door to Health Services clinic at 821 South Perry Street (just a few blocks from the Governors Mansion). The Montgomery Gay and Lesbian Association, formed last fall, is hosting the festival along with the gay rights activist group Equality Alabama.



The Gay Pride Festival held by the Montgomery Gay & Lesbian Association will start at 10 a.m.last til 4 p.m. Saturday July 16th. Location: Equality Alabama headquarters, 821 S. Perry St. Events include Live music, speakers from Equality Alabama and Soulforce Alabama and a drag show (In a drag show dress up as the opposite sex.)

...Action: Let's be prepared for the June 2006 constitutional amendment votewill preserve the sanctity of traditional marriage.

1.a CCA Church Liaison
2.Register every Christian To Vote
3.Educate Christians on current issues

http://www.ccbama.org


500 Adams Avenue, Suite 18 Montgomery, AL 36104 (334) 832-4688, cca@ccbama.org




Black Repug gets the cold shoulder from GOP - but it's better than being a Dem

Here's yet another facet of the "New Black Republican." We have the side represented by Fee Benamon, who sees all joy, grace and acceptance in the Big Tent, and now we have the apprehension (but also hope and desire to be accepted into the Repug fold) of Nelson "Joseph" Taylor. He sees first-hand that all is not well in his party -- but he refuses to call it outright racism -- even though it's obvious what he's talking about. He knows that tent isn't big enough, but he wants in.
President Bush has taken the lead in being historically inclusive and many republicans have privately (with little fanfare) taken up the cause by demanding that, black republicans have open access to the GOP political structure and leadership.

I felt overjoyed by the responsiveness of dozens of my fellow young republicans who warmed up to my wife and me with an incredible sincerity in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, too many republicans are stuck on stupid and are resistant to change. Words can't explain how unwelcoming the looks, behavior and lack of engagement from some fellow republicans left my wife and I discouraged at times during the convention (despite my initiating with them). If I had a weaker constitution or a lack of self-confidence I would've allowed my discouragement to fester into a social/political retreat.

But, I'm just not that guy; so, I won¹t give up and won't stop working with my white brothers and sisters because I know they'll eventually realize that African Americans want the same things they want and that there is no need to be so standoffish.
This essay is just plain sad. He wants so much to be loved and accepted in this party; he truly believes in the libertarian principles that used to exist in the GOP. Unfortunately those folks are on the sidelines, supplanted by the strength of the AmTaliban and what he calls the "Country Club" Repugs. Neither wants the darkies in the party. But he speaks the truth, even in the haze of self-loathing.
There are two kinds of white republicans that are going to destroy the GOP if we let them. They are the so called "Country Club" republicans and the "fascists" or "Right Wing Socialists" who hide among us.

I am a proud capitalist pig and advocate the use of Country Clubs (even the ones not open to black folk ­ it's a freedom of association thing). The problem is that, the republican cats that would frequent a Country Club which, openly rejected qualified black applicants on the basis of race tend to bring that snobbery into the political game and our economy. The hard leftists sometimes find their political rhetoric about my GOP being validated by Country Club republicans actions and they tout this validation at every opportunity while of course, ignoring the rampant bigotry of the left.

The right wing socialists on the other hand are far more serious. They would legislate from the bench just as quickly as an ACLU democrat would so long as; the ruling was something they wanted. Right wing socialism is simply "authoritarianism" that like its leftwing cousin it too assumes that we the individual are too stupid to handle freedom responsibly.
Folks like this are ripe for the picking, Dems. How can we get this man back in the party? Is he too much of a capitalist pig to be concerned about his rights? Maybe so, but it's a sad state of Democratic Party affairs when a black person is willing to tolerate the abuse of these backwards GOP bastards to join a party that talks the talk (even if it cannot walk the walk). Nelson "Joseph" Taylor doesn't hold back about what he thinks of the Democrats, and I can tell you from people I know, he's not a lonely voice:
Regardless of whatever differences I may face with my fellow republicans I know for sure that the leftist democrat response will be what it has been toward young black leaders banging on the door of the powerful elite --­ nigger take your place at the back of the political bus, do not pass go, do not forget to collect your welfare/unemployment check and thank you for flying perpetual poverty airlines.
***

Note: I posted over at Shakes Sis's pad that rants of mine on race topics rarely garner significant comments here, which is interesting. I have my own thoughts on why this may be the case:
1) most of the folks reading may not be of color and don't feel they can speak to these issues (which is nonsense, of course). I talk about all kinds of things that I cannot personally relate to (look at the Freepi, for god's sake).

2) folks don't have any real answers as to how the Dems can do anything about this erosion.

I just don't get the second one at all. No, I do. It's the whole ball-less factor. Just like the Dems run away from gay issues, they refuse to acknowledge that the base is taken for granted. When I read Fee Benamon's piece, it was so pathetic, she really buys that the Repugs are her friends...they will turn on her and it won't be pretty. But what's the alternative?

In many ways, I don't blame her. The Dems are letting her be seduced by the lies because they don't want to put in the public effort to retain the base. They are too busy chasing soccer moms or security moms or Joe Six-Pack - code for suburban, working class and upwardly mobile whites that are working hard to move into gated communities away from the colored masses, as if all black people are part of the underclass. Remember that animated section of Bowling for Columbine?

This machine is broken, folks. The next election cycles are going to be very interesting and very disturbing if Dems run on autopilot and we all don't put the cards on the table.


Bush: 'I've Made Opportunities for Blacks'


Bush at the Expo. Good night.

What a pair he has. Great Caesar's F*cking Ghost, the bullsh*ttery flows like Niagara Falls, from the beginning to the end of this:
Bush told the Indiana Black Expo that he believes in an America where all people, including blacks, have the chance to own homes and businesses and share in the country's prosperity. He also took credit for narrowing the gap in test scores between black and white elementary school students, according to test results released Thursday by his Education Department.

"I see an America where every citizen owns a stake in the future of our country and where a growing economy creates jobs and opportunity for everyone," the president said, his voice echoing in the cavernous RCA Dome, where more than 3,000 people packed luncheon tables on the floor below empty stands.

Bush appeared in Indianapolis instead of attending the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's national convention, which he has avoided since taking office. The White House said again that he couldn't attend because of a scheduling conflict.

...Bush touted his efforts to improve education, health care and Social Security and to increase aid to Africa and religious organizations that provide social services [Hear the "AMEN" from his oinking, toadying cabal of black pastors at the taxpayers' trough.]. The group presented Bush with a lifetime achievement award, citing his efforts to help former prisoners become productive members of society and other programs benefiting minorities.

"I see an America where every person of every race has the opportunity to strive for a better future and to take part in the promise of America -- that's what I see," Bush said.

"And I believe the government has a role to play in helping people gain the tools they need to build lives of dignity and purpose," he said. "That's at the heart of what I call compassionate conservatism."

...The NAACP's national board last month selected a new president, retired Verizon executive Bruce S. Gordon, who is expected to be confirmed Thursday and has pledged to build relationships with the White House. McClellan said that he was sure Bush would find time to sit down for a talk with Gordon. [Don't hold your breath, Bruce.]
The AP article also puts in a few digs in the article...

* Bush received just 11 percent of the black vote in 2004.

* Bush has not spoken to the NAACP since the 2000 campaign, after the NAACP National Voter Fund ran an ad that portrayed him as unsympathetic to the dragging death of James Byrd in Texas.

* Blacks, many in Florida, complained they were disenfranchised by confusing ballots and mechanical errors.

* The Internal Revenue Service is investigating whether NAACP officials' attacks on the Bush administration are partisan comments that violate the group's nonprofit status.

* NAACP officials have called Bush an illegal president, compared his anti-abortion views to the Taliban and called his trip to Africa a photo-op. [Bahahahahahaha - beautiful...]


Dad convicted of beating 'gay' toddler to death

He was trying to teach him how to fight...He was concerned that the child might be gay.'"
-- Shanita Powell testifying against her brother-in-law, who beat his three-year-old son to death.
[UPDATE: Paris was convicted after a little more than three hours of deliberation, of second- degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of his 3-year-old son.]

Out of f*cking control. What on earth is happening in this country? Ex-gay ministries...DOMA...FMA...Fred Phelps/Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson/James Dobson...blaming 9/11 on homos...it all finally comes down to this level of insane violence, doesn't it?

Fellow Bloggrrrl Ms. Julien points to what can only be called a bloody feather in the cap of the American Taliban. From an earlier story on 365gay.com with details:
A 21 year old Tampa man is charged with murder after his 3-year old son was pummeled into unconsciousness and then died. Ronnie Paris Jr. went on trial for his own life this week in a Tampa courtroom. The toddler's mother, Nysheerah Paris, testified that her husband thought the boy might be gay and would force him to box.

Nysheerah Paris told the court that Paris would make the boy fight with him, slapping the child in the head until he cried or wet himself. She said that on one occasion Paris slammed the child against a wall because he was vomiting.

The court was told there had been a history of abuse by Paris. Prosecutor Jalal Harb said that in 2002, the Florida Department of Children & Families placed the child in protective custody after he had been admitted to the hospital several times for vomiting.

He was returned to his parents Dec. 14. A month later he went into a coma and was rushed to hospital. Six days later he was removed from life support and died. An autopsy showed there was swelling on both sides of his brain.
He's a f*cking three-year old. What is happening, Governor Jeb? Is he going to make a public comments about the culture of life in this case?

How on earth did Mr. Paris (and it's hard to think of this cretin as a human being) "know" a three-year-old's sexual orientation? Besides, even if a mother shoots a g*ddamn fairy faggot princess out of her uterus, no amount of beating, electroshocking or any other Gitmo-worthy torture is going to make that child butch up and be straight. The glory of parenthood and the giving of life apparently goes out the window when you've been indoctrinated by the level of homophobia hysterics and fear our culture continues to produce. I cannot fathom how sad and angry this makes me, but I can guarantee the Reich isn't going to take one iota of responsibility for this f*cking sick bullsh*t.

No Freepers have surfaced to comment on this one (yet).

Hat tip back to Paul the Spud.


Could the other leaker be Ari Fleischer?



Jon over at The Pensito Review speculates...
With all the attention riveted on Karl Rove as a person of interest in the Plame leak investigation, we should remember that in Bob Novak’s 2003 story in which he revealed the identity of undercover CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, he said he had learned her identity after speaking with two “senior administration officials.”

We can assume that Rove was one of these officials. If we further assume that only two senior officials were leaking, it is likely that the second leaker is likely also the confidential source whose identity New York Times reporter Judith Miller went to prison to protect.

Miller talked with at least one senior administration official about Valerie Plame, in July 2003, around the same time that Rove was speaking with Matt Cooper at Time Magazine. But if Rove were Miller’s source, it is hard to imagine that he would let Cooper off the hook but not his pal Judy who was such a loyal Administration stenographer during the run-up to the war.

Who could the second source be? Here’s who:
People familiar with the inquiry say [special prosecutor Patrick] Fitzgerald also is reviewing testimony by former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, though it is not clear whether the prosecutor is focusing on him or seeking information about higher-ups. Fleischer last night refused to comment.
...If the second source is Ari, he is apparently unburdend by the fact that a reporter he was spinning is in jail. That is, unless he’s cowering somewhere, terrified that he too could well be faced with prison time.


Denial is a power thing


Mehlman whips yet another unbelievable statement out of his ass
"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out," Mehlman says in his prepared text. "Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."
-- Amazingly heterosexual, genuinely "apologetic" RNC head Ken Mehlman
He has no f*cking shame, does he? But his message is selling to a select crowd of color that's on the payroll.
It was called "the southern strategy," started under Richard M. Nixon in 1968, and described Republican efforts to use race as a wedge issue -- on matters such as desegregation and busing -- to appeal to white southern voters.

Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, this morning will tell the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee that it was "wrong."

Mehlman, a Baltimore native who managed President Bush's reelection campaign, goes on to discuss current overtures to minorities, calling it "not healthy for the country for our political parties to be so racially polarized." The party lists century-old outreach efforts in a new feature on its Web site, GOP.com, which was relaunched yesterday with new interactive features and a history section called "Lincoln's Legacy."

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean spoke to the NAACP yesterday and said through an aide: "It's no coincidence that 43 out of 43 members of the Congressional Black Caucus are Democrats. The Democratic Party is the real party of opportunity for African Americans."
The Freepi were all over this one. Some are mad at Mehlman for "caving." I wonder how the black wingnuts at Project 21 feel about some of these statements...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"It was extremely effective, I doubt that it was entirely ethical, but it IS politics."

"Until the Democratic Party apologizes for slavery and Jim Crow-- that's how we got where we were by 1972-- Mehlman has no business apologizing for the Southern strategy."

"This won't satisfy them and is a waste of time. If Mehlman were ethnically African he would be declared "non-black" for being a Republican by this crowd."

"When does Howard Dean admit that the race-baiting that the DNC does among the Black community was wrong? What's that? Oh, right. They still actively do it."

"This is truly a moronic approach. It was no more wrong for the Republicans to play the race card than the Democrats. Indeed it is the Democrats who have most consistently stirred up racial hatred and division for political advantage. The Republicans did nothing more than pick up the broken pieces that the Democrats threw away when they abandoned their former Jim Crow allies and jumped in bed with the civil rights movement, abruptly switching sides after a hundred years of oppressing blacks. It's fair to say that southern whites were a lot more openly racist when they were allied with FDR than they are now, as Republicans. What Mehlman should be doing is appealing to blacks' self interest instead of confirming all the lying Democrat stereotypes about race. What have blacks gained by selling their votes to one party for a mess of pottage? What have the Democrats given them in return for their unprecedented 95% support?"

"I don't understand why the dumba-- Democrats should be our model. Democrats play to their fringe and refuse to be accountable; their result is continual losing. Republicans are aware of both their base and the swing voters, while recognizing the need to keep expanding that base. If that takes an apology -- especially for something which never was all that nice -- so be it. More votes for us."

"The only question I have is whether conservatives want to expand the base, or whether they want to continue complaining about how the black community does not vote in their best self interests. No party is perfect on race. The Republican party, imo, has a far better record but it DOES have it faults in past. Acknowledge them, make no excuses, apologize and build new communication. I have no fault with the approach so long as it is rooted in fact. If Republicans start apologizing for what they didn't do, I'd have a problem. The Republican Party under G.W.B. is the first in my memory to make SERIOUS efforts to change the status quo of the voting patterns. This is a part of that effort and there is nothing morally wrong in this approach. Quite the contrary."

""Hispandering," however, is perfectly acceptable. That is called "strategery." Hopefully the Hispanics are not as sharp as the blacks and will think the GOP actually cares about them. < /extreme sarcasm > I'm sorry, but I can't keep up with all the pandering any more."

"Totally moronic."

"Yeah, let's get them pork! Buy `em off! That will make them vote Republican! And it'll make the GOP even less conservative. What a great idea! /sarc"

"Will these guys ever learn, this will be in the NAACP hit ads against Republicans next year saying you see we told you the white christian party exploited race to win elections."

"Agreed! And this is so like the Republican Party, to pull up something almost no one was thinking about, and putting it up on the radar. (Or, maybe they know a s-storm is coming, and they want to get out in front of it.)"


Well, which is it, safe or dangerous???

Something worth pondering...the title of the post is from a letter from House Blender Paul.
Pam,

I'm getting really confused. First I read:

http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20050712-104006-8582r.htm

"The dangers faced by American troops in Iraq have been exaggerated, adding to the difficulty of recruiting soldiers at home, the Army general in charge of National Guard forces said yesterday. " ...I lose, unfortunately, more people through private automobile accidents and motorcycle accidents..."

I then I read:

http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news2/latimes0012.html

"Until last month, Cheryl D. Lewis had never fired a gun. A civilian worker with the Department of Defense, she didn't even know how to hold one.

Even so, Lewis found herself squeezing off bursts from a Colt submachine gun at a firing range in the rolling West Virginia countryside. She also blasted targets with an AK-47 assault rifle, a Remington pump shotgun and a Sig Sauer 9-millimeter pistol.

Lewis, a communications specialist, has volunteered for Iraq, the world's most dangerous foreign assignment for federal workers, contractors and diplomats. Like every employee assigned to the massive U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, she was required to take an eight-day course on the uniquely treacherous and unpredictable conditions in Iraq."



If Iraq is safer than driving on the L.A. freeways than why are even the friggin' secretaries required to take an eight day firearms training course? Inquiring minds want to know.

Paul


Praise Jeebus: biblical creation exhibit banned from OK zoo

Is there any place the AmTaliban doesn't want to infest? This time it's a freaking ZOO. Even though this was shot down, you Okies are screwed if 60 percent of Tulsa residents identify themselves as creationists. Is the earth flat too?
The Tulsa Zoo in Oklahoma is being accused of censoring an exhibit that explains the Genesis account of creation. A month after approving the display, the Tulsa Park and Recreation Board reversed course and voted 3-1 to disallow the proposed biblical creation exhibit.

...Dan Hicks, the local Christian architect who the proposed the biblical creation exhibit, has condemned the oversight board's change of heart as a violation of Tulsa taxpayers constitutional liberties. He maintains there must be something very special about the Genesis account of creation for the Park and Recreation board to insist on suppressing it, especially when the zoo already features religious symbols in other displays, including a statue of an elephant-like, Hindu deity.

Hicks feels it is only fair to include a display that expresses Christian beliefs about origins since polls have shown that well over 60 percent of Tulsa residents identify themselves as creationists, while only three percent identify themselves as naturalists -- people who do not believe any supernatural agency was involved in the origins of life and the universe. Nevertheless, he says, "Based on the content of this material, it's been censored."

...Hicks believes the Tulsa Park and Recreation Board that originally approved the creation display for the zoo ultimately caved in to the demands of a vocal minority. He contends that the Interfaith Alliance, Tulsa Metropolitan Ministries and others of "these groups that claim to be all about tolerance and inclusion" are actually "more like political action committees affiliated with Americans United for Separation of Church and State."
And so he has a problem with the separation of church and state -- my Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas (oops, Oklahoma) anymore.

What I don't understand (and better informed religious people and theologians please dive in) is why is the origin of life all or nothing for these people? Is it not possible to believe in a theory of evolution (not necessarily strict Darwinism) that meshes with biblical creation -- some force created life which then evolved? Of course that won't work for the numnuts that take each word of the (much mistranslated) Bible literally -- they believe the earth is only something like 6,000 years old, but those folks aside, what's the problem with a hybrid theory?

Maybe I just need a morning cup of tea and I'll have the answer. Or not.



A counter balance to the 'ex-gay' insanity

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


Singer Jallen Rix went through "conversion therapy" and now campaigns to let people know -- it doesn't work.

Support groups, professionals coordinate to counter Christian activists.
A decade ago, Jallen Rix was a well-known singer and songwriter on the gay pop scene, touring the country behind an album that was nominated for three Gay & Lesbian American Music Awards.

He still performs, but now he is equally as well known — probably better known, in fact — as a gay Christian activist and educator exposing what he says is the damage done to gay men and lesbians by religious and psychological programs that seek to reverse their homosexuality.

Rix knows the effects firsthand. Raised in a Southern Baptist household, he attended an evangelical college and tried what is known as “conversion therapy.” It didn’t work. For the last few years, Rix has been working on a doctorate in sexology and speaking at events like this, a one-day conference organized in suburban Seattle by Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG. Called Love Welcomes All, it was put together in direct response to a much bigger nearby conference put on two weeks earlier by Focus on the Family, the international evangelical ministry led by Dr. James Dobson, who believes homosexuality is largely a learned condition that can be treated.
The article outlines the research and current thinking that may upset Dobson and his crew -- acceptance that homosexuality has a biological component and is not something that can be "erased" with therapy, electro-shock treatments or other horrific aversion methods. Actually, it probably doesn't bother them since they can rely on bogus "science" from Paul Cameron or Jeffrey Satinover to prop up their bigotry.
Supporters of the biological explanation for homosexuality have the weight of science on their side. All of the major medical and psychological professional organizations — from the American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association on down — state that sexuality is predominantly determined by chemical, hormonal and genetic conditions in the womb. They are clear in declaring that homosexuality is not a disease or a pathology that can be changed; most go a step further and strongly question whether it is even ethical for a medical professional to help clients try to change their sexuality.

Public opinion appears to be turning their way. In a series of polls by the Gallup organization over the last three decades, the percentage of Americans who agree that homosexuality is not a choice has slowly doubled, to nearly 40 percent. More striking is that acceptance of homosexual behavior is dramatically higher among younger Americans than among their parents: A 2001 survey by Zogby International and Hamilton College found that more than 80 percent of high school seniors nationwide believed that gay men and lesbians should be “accepted by society.”
Still, the power of the ex-gay movement is disturbing. With the AmTaliban riding high, the popularity of these programs is not in dispute.
The ex-gay movement is a “big industry,” said Dr. Doug Haldeman, a psychology professor at the University of Washington who is president of the Association of Practicing Psychologists.

The fact that Focus on the Family was able to draw more than 1,200 people to its conference two weeks ago is troubling, said Haldeman, who co-wrote the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Clients. So-called conversion therapies are ineffective and dangerous, he said, because “sexual orientation can’t be changed.”


Dems, what are you going to do about blacks leaving the party?

"Most black people are against Homosexual marriage, or anything of the sort. Many blacks switched and voted for President Bush over this big issue last year during the Presidential election. That and the issue of abortion. Those seem to be the two biggest topics that have dominated news headlines in the past few years. Black people want to keep our traditional values. So we turn to the Republican party."
-- Felicia (Fee) Benamon, wingnut political blogger
Just so you know, Fee Benamon actually quotes the Free Republic, if that tells you anything. She may be on the fringe of the conservative movement, but her opinion piece on NC Rumors is exactly what the Dem establishment needs to hear. It's the sound of the socially conservative, religious black voter taking their toys and going over to the open arms of Ken Mehlman to play. The GOP has been spinning its web of lies for quite some time now, pushing all the emotional political buttons in the black community that are sure to siphon off just enough votes toss races to the Repugs.
President Bush has been the only President in history to ever elect so many people of different racial backgrounds to his cabinet. The more notable ones are Colin Powell & Dr. Condoleezza Rice. She is the first black lady elected as Secretary of State. She is an inspiration to me. She's a hard worker, very intelligent, and is TOUGH! President Bush saw something in her, she had the qualifications (stellar qualifications might I add) and is doing quite wonderfully now. President Bush sees no color, only your accomplishments. I am glad to see more conservative journalists, and people in the media emerging. Funny how we conservative black people who support the Republican party get labeled as "Uncle Toms, Aunt Jemima, sell outs, etc." [See the post "Black wingnut Armstrong Williams - whore of the Bush admin] Anything racist like that. What is wrong with thinking for yourself and making a decision what party to support? Everyone assumes that blacks will automatically vote Democrat. Well, not anymore.
You almost don't know where to begin here, but suspend your knowledge at how completely vapid and ridiculous Condi has been in this admin -- just for a minute. If we're counting colored heads, I will give her that -- Bush has made his appointments of color where it counts -- in highly visible and powerful positions. The Dems are going to have to explain themselves to a black audience that is now paying attention to a party that has taken this consituency for granted. The message is stale, the politicians only show up at a church to mingle with black folks when the vote is on the line. That's hard to defend in a sound bite. Actions speak louder than words.

It's also incredibly hard for Dems to fight back when the pastor in the pulpit is on the faith-based initiative take, Bush's minions are seducing supposed pious leaders of the community and the joke is going to be on the black community. Otherwise, why you have someone like Fee Benamon saying (I presume with a straight face):
The next time you go to a gathering of Republicans, look around. These are people who are bonded together by their love of family, conservative values & traditions, love of God, etc. It shows mightily. I have seen many people of different backgrounds at Republican gatherings. There is such an atmosphere of love when I attend. It's not at all like what you hear. I have experienced no racism whatsoever. Only good friendships and a welcoming spirit. The Republican party has come a long way, but it still has a ways of getting out its message to blacks and other ethnic groups. It is definitely a party of inclusion of all people.
Remember, with the country basically divided in half politically, it will only take a sliver of votes from blacks and Hispanics to make the difference in many races. Are the Dems ready to step up and make a real case -- an politically attractive case -- why minorities should stay in the party?



I have to quote the fabulous Congressman from my state, Democrat Mel Watt, who seems to be one of the few elected officials not afraid of the land mines.
First of all, we allowed Republicans to say we were advocates of gay marriage rather than framing it as a personal liberty issue or standing up and saying we don't believe in it. We ran away from that; nobody wanted to talk about it, we knew it made people uncomfortable. Instead of having our community engaged in open discussion about it and moving on to other issues or seeing how it related to pocketbook issues, we let the Republicans control the message...You can't avoid these issues. For us to bury our heads in the sand and say these issues aren't to be discussed, that's just unrealistic. We need to be talking about them in our own terms and not allowing [Republicans] to define themselves as the moral arbiters of what's right and wrong.

...I think they chipped off more black voters than we would have liked for them to chip off. You don't have to chip off a lot of black voters, Republicans have found over the years. Just as the Democrats have found if they chip off some of that center, you don't have to move a lot of voters but you have to move some. We haven't been able to move those voters at the center toward the Democrats. Republicans have been successful in moving some African Americans and progressives on issues of security, religion, abortion, gay marriage. Those issues move enough people or get them wavering enough that they say, 'Well, the election is too difficult. I think I'll just stay home.'


Talking point: Karl's balls are in a vise



That was a paraphrase of the slam-dunk David Corn just posted. Karl and Co. and (and Kenny Mehlman) can't hide behind statements like these:
"The fact is, Karl Rove did not leak classified information."
-- Ken Mehlman, head of the RNC

"I didn't know her name. I didn't leak her name."
-- Karl Rove of Valerie Wilson/Plame last year on CNN.

"He did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA."
-- Robert Luskin, Rove's attorney
...and here's why, from Corn's blog:
According to Cooper's email, Rove told Cooper that "Wilson's wife"--not "Valerie Plame," or "Valerie Wilson"--worked at the CIA. But this distinction has absolutely no legal relevance. Under the relevant law--the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982--a crime is committed when a government official (not a journalist) "intentionally discloses any information identifying" an undercover intelligence officer. The act does not say a name must be disclosed.

By telling a reporter that Joseph Wilson's wife was a CIA officer, Rove was clearly disclosing "identifying" information. There was only one Mrs. Joseph Wilson. With such information in hand, Cooper or anyone else could easily have ascertained the name of this officer. (A Google search at the time would have yielded the name--and maiden name--of Wilson's wife.) Revealing the name is not the crime; it's disclosing information that IDs the officer.

Imagine if a government official told a reporter, "At 3:15, a fellow in a green hat, carrying a red umbrella and holding a six-pack of Mountain Dew, will be tap-dancing in front of the Starbucks at Connecticut Avenue and R Street--he's the CIA's best undercover officer working North Korea." That official could not defend himself, under this law, by claiming that he had not revealed the name of this officer. The issue is identifying, not naming. Rove and his allies cannot hide behind his no-name claim.
And if the Repugs can come up with Talking Points, so can we. Shakes Sis has a nice long list over at her pad from eriposte at Left Coaster:
TALKING POINT: Valerie Plame (Joseph Wilson's wife) was not covert.
FACT: She was.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove did not leak Valerie Plame's name.
FACT: Please. Her name was not the secret, her identity was (which is the issue here) and he leaked that. (also see here and here).

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove was "not the leaker".
FACT: Rove's attorney's statement and Cooper's email shows this claim is false. Rove did leak Plame's identity. (Whether or not this is found to be prosecutable is another matter).
P.S. It's not like this is the first time Rove has been in the spotlight for leaking secrets.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove has never lied about his role in this matter.
FACT: Yes, he has.

TALKING POINT: The White House has never lied or misled people about its role in this matter.
FACT: False.

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove never knew that Valerie Plame was covert.
FACT: Really? Then why not state this on the record, something Rove's attorney refuses to do.

TALKING POINT: Matt Cooper of Time magazine "burned" Rove.
FACT: Rove's lawyer, who made the above fake claim, himself has been expounding again and again about how Rove gave complete waivers to all his journalist contacts to testify.

[Shakes' note: I think Luskin's claim that Rove was "burned" was in reference to Cooper "distorting" his conversation with Rove to make it look like Rove was talking about Plame just to be vindictive toward Wilson, rather than in reference to Cooper talking to Fitzgerald. Nonetheless, it's a ridiculous assertion, since Rove's claim is that he wasn't calling to be vindictive, but to let Cooper know that Wilson wasn't credible. See two paragraphs below on the debunking of that premise.]

TALKING POINT: Bob Novak used the word "operative" by accident and his sources did not say she was one.
FACT: This is false, after-the-fact spin from Novak.

TALKING POINT:

Rove "was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story" based on Joe Wilson's "false premise" (that DCI Tenet or VP Cheney authorized his trip)
FACT: False. Moreover, Joe Wilson did not make such a claim before Rove exposed Valerie Plame's identity.

TALKING POINT: The Senate Intelligence Committee said that Valerie Plame was the one who set up Joe Wilson's trip.
FACT: False and false. (Also see here). (In fact, there is no consensus view that Valerie Plame even suggested that Wilson be sent on the trip.)

TALKING POINT: The White House/GOP cannot comment on questions regarding Rove or his role because of the ongoing investigation.
FACT: False. A completely bogus claim considering that they are talking behind the scenes or issuing false/misleading press releases (also see here and here) spreading fakery about Wilson. (Not to mention, they felt free to comment self-servingly about the whole matter until the Rove story broke.)

TALKING POINT: Karl Rove is not a target of Fitzgerald's investigation.
FACT: He is a subject of the investigation.

TALKING POINT: The Butler Report etc. vindicated Bush's "uranium in Africa" State of the Union claim
FACT:

False. The Butler Report was intended to exonerate Tony Blair and George Bush to prevent them from facing criminal charges. For obvious reasons, it excluded reams of information about Bush's claim that showed that the White House lied through it's teeth in defending Bush's claim. (Indeed, as the link shows, people from the NSA, CIA etc. themselves stated that the SOTU claim did not have a sound backing.)

TALKING POINT: This is all just a partisan attack by Democrats (or Joseph Wilson)
FACT: False. The GOP leadership has a habit of minimizing numerous acts of treason from individuals inside the Bush administration over the last several years, by smearing truth-tellers. This is just the latest episode among many. In private, even Republicans admit that this kind of nonsense would have resulted in Congressional hearings "in a second", if the President had been a Democrat. Not to mention the hypocrisy of Rove himself.

TALKING POINT: Even if Karl Rove leaked Valerie Plame's identity, it's no big deal and deserves a medal.
FACT: The GOP's Ed Gillespie and George Bush disagreed (with an emphasis on 'd'). In fact, if it's so not a big deal, why all this intrigue about what the White House can or cannot comment on? Just tell the truth then rather than hiding behind reporters and smears of people who had nothing to do with the expose. (As for medals, it probably deserves a medal in prison, to define the "role model" for fellow prisoners at Gitmo - while eating rice pilaf in the process).

TALKING POINT: There was no legal crime committed with the Plame expose.
FACT: False and false. So much for offering "a stiff dose of truth" instead of "more lectures, and legalisms, and carefully worded denials".

TALKING POINT: Joseph Wilson supported John Kerry.
FACT: So? He also supported Republicans in the past (before they turned on him and his wife, treasonously) and was recognized by George Bush Sr. for his bravery against Saddam Hussein in Iraq - where he was ambassador before Gulf War I.

TALKING POINT: President Bush is committed to upholding the honor and dignity of his office.
FACT: For the umpteenth time, false, false and false.


Celebrating 30 years of 'ex-gay' fraud in Asheville


Rev. Tinkywinky's bringing his bigoted butt into my state. Right: "ex-gay" (!) head of Exodus, Alan Chambers: "We continue to hear from many who are hungry to hear about the freedom we have experienced."

Asheville, NC (ironically a.k.a. a-SHE-ville because of the high lesbian population) is going to be the site of fraudulent "ex-gay" ministry Exodus International's 30th anniversary conference. So the homos will have plenty of opportunity to mix and mingle with the "ex" homos. How much you want to bet that the local queer hangouts will be overflowing with out-of-town guests?
The ministry is commemorating the milestone at its annual Freedom Conference, scheduled for the week of July 18 at Lifeway Ridgecrest Conference Center in Asheville, North Carolina. This largest annual gathering of former homosexuals will feature more than 60 speakers, including many experts in the fields of gender identity, counseling, and theology.

Exodus International president and former homosexual Alan Chambers says both the organization and the "ex-gay movement" have seen tremendous growth over the past 30 years, and "We continue to hear from many who are hungry to hear about the freedom we have experienced." He adds that the world is often unaware of the hundreds of thousands of people, like himself, who accepted the false "born-gay" message and silently struggled with unwanted same-sex attractions. The 2005 Freedom Conference speaker roster includes Joe Dallas, former staff member at the pro-homosexual Metropolitan Community Church; pastor and educator Dr. Jerry Falwell; Christian musician and former homosexual Dennis Jernigan; and Dr. Nancy Heche, a counselor and psychotherapist whose daughter, Anne Heche, was involved in a highly publicized homosexual relationship with actress-comedian Ellen DeGeneres. This year the Freedom Conference offers a new feature specifically targeting young people -- its first Youth Day event, designed to facilitate discussion with teens on issues surrounding biblical sexuality.
Anne Heche's mom llikes making the "ex-gay" rounds. She turned up at a Dobson Love Won Out conference in Seattle in June.

Here's the conference's web site. Check it out and see the committed "ex-gays." They've got a "Conference Worship Leader and Drama Team" for crying out loud. I really have to wonder about this chick and her "credentials.":


Janelle Hallman: Janelle is a dynamic speaker nationally and internationally. She creatively addresses issues related to human brokenness, gender, sexuality and redemption and healing. Janelle is a licensed professional counselor specializing with women in conflict with same sex attractions and emotional dependencies. She has spoken for Focus on the Family and Exodus, and as well has served as an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary. She is the Executive Director of Desert Hope Ministries. Janelle also is a board member of NARTH.

She is fresh and relevant as she creatively addresses issues related to human brokenness, God's plan for male and female, sexuality, and redemption and healing in general. Her passion is to share God's word in a way that speaks to some of our deepest needs as broken and hurting people.
As I said, the hangouts will be packed.


Canadian Taliban pleading for QE2 to stop gay marriage


Can the Queen save Televangelist David Mainse from witnessing a homo marital invasion?

This is about as pathetic as it gets. Call me a sadist, but I love hearing about them writhing in pain over the inevitable.
An evangelical Christian group is begging Queen Elizabeth to intercede and stop Canada's same-sex marriage bill from becoming law.

David Mainse, a televangelist who has opposed LGBT civil rights for nearly forty years through his 100 Huntley Street ministry, is leading the effort. Mainse in 2003 turned the TV business over to his son to devote all of his efforts to defeating same-sex marriage legislation, but is still a regular on the program where he denounces gays.

He's urging his supporters to write to Queen Elizabeth to ask that she put her royal foot down and refuse royal assent to the bill after it passes the Senate next week.

..."Our beloved Queen Elizabeth II, I know that the refusal of the Governor General to give royal consent would precipitate a crisis. Millions have nowhere else to turn but you," Mainse wrote in the letter to Buckingham Palace. "Should you act in this, millions of us would surely become more fervent supporters of the monarchy than ever," he wrote.

"Please help humanity everywhere to begin a reversal of this morally and socially destructive trend."


Blogwhoring for Blenders and open thread



I'm way busy at work this AM, so grab a cup of java off the bar and fill us in on what you're blogging, reading or surfing about...links and snippets, please!

Worthy of your mouse click:

* David Corn's column today, In Rove Scandal, Spin Turns into Stonewalling takes a look at the White House/Repug strategy that might hold off the press dogs, and the spin machine that's on full wash cycle.

* Fellow Big Brass Blogger The Dark Wraith has a new message board up. Dive in!

* If you're a NC blogger, surf over to Tar Heel Tavern and think about contributing to the weekly roundup!

* Queer gathering and activism in unfriendly territory: Equality Alabama's 4th annual Day of Equality is Saturday, September 10 in Birmingham. It's great to see that people are organizing to come out and be out in a state that is legislatively and culturally hostile to the LGBT community. They need the support. The schedule is here. House Blender Kathy invited Kate and I to attend if we're down that way; Evan Wolfson is this year's keynote speaker. Last year, the gathering had 150-200 people at the workshops and around 400 at the banquet featuring out financial expert Andrew Tobias.

* The Fixer at The Alternate Brain gives the Discovery crew good wishes on today's launch.

* Russ has a disturbing piece up, Questions arise over jail inmate's beating death, that really makes you wonder the system: "Last weekend I blogged the story of Dennis J. Saban, a 43-year-old man who had turned himself in on drug charges in an attempt to make a fresh start in his life, who was then housed with a violent murder that beat him to death in his cell."


Raw Story: GOP talking points on Rove

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Well, well, despite the "ongoing criminal investigation" allegedly locking down the information flow, there sure is a lot of well-informed buzzing going on at the RNC. They must be telepathic over there, but of course the signal is scrambled because the talking point doc is full of rubbish, attempting to destroy the credibility of Joe Wilson. Talk about hardball.


For Christian porn addicts -- especially those on the road...



Man On The Road's goal is to help you live a life of integrity and purity on the highway.

For the "I'm not sh*tting you files." You just cannot make this stuff up.
The Web Evangelism Bulletin reports that Christian author and ministry founder Tom Burford, who runs the FiresofDarkness.com site as an outreach for pornography addicts and those who love them, has launched a new site targeting men who frequently travel away from home. ManOnTheRoad.org is an extension of the Man On The Road ministry, headquartered in Madison, Tennessee. The recently launched website has a particular emphasis on helping men avoiding the many temptations that arise from life on the road. Buford feels a deep concern for men who travel for a living, particularly since he has been a truck driver and was also a bus driver for years -- first for Trailways, then for entertainers ranging from the rock band Twisted Sister to the legendary Johnny Cash. Through the Man On the Road ministry and website, Burford hopes to reach truck and bus drivers, pilots, salesmen, entertainers, and other men who travel for work. "We are trying to reach them where they are without being preachy," he says. Burford, who wrote Riding a Dead Horse: Carousel to Hell, the story of God's miraculous redemptive work in his life, and the novel Fires of Darkness, points out that he knows first-hand the dangers that lie in wait for men who fail to guard their hearts and minds on the road.
Are you up for reading the novel? Here's some more info for you dirty bastards...

Riding a Dead Horse: Carousel to Hell
Is there life after pornography? Porn addicts on your church pew? Read the encouraging story of one man's terrible journey to bottom of the pit that pornography addiction dug for him and of the miraculous touch from God that lifted him out of that pit in Riding a Dead Horse: Carousel to Hell by Tom Buford, founder of Fires of Darkness.
Have you had enough yet? I want to pass on some mind-blowing steps you may want to take if you really feel the need to eradicate the porn from your life, courtesy of Tom Burford, who must speak from experience...
  Delete electronic email addresses from your computer or online email to cut off your access to those you've been in unhealthy affairs etc.

  Remove those bumper stickers or license plate frames on your cars that remind you of a lifestyle you wish to leave behind.

  Replace the car-scent thing that hangs in your car with one without graphic pictures.

  Remove all the images from your locker at the gym.*

  If you have a fireplace, burn it all. (Use caution if you are burning VCR tapes, or anything toxic. You need to breathe fresh air. Make sure you have good ventilation and your FLUE IS OPEN to your fireplace so you don't smoke up your home). Or shred it.

  Other items not listed here that supports your addiction.

  After the destruction party, throw it all into the trash!

  Delete any (inappropriate) websites you have created*.

  Burn, shred or destroy any written materials or written records of websites or sources where you have found porn.

  Go through your computer completely and destroy all images you have saved. Do not back up these files - erase them.

  Format all external disks where you store the images - floppy disks, zip disks, etc (not your hard drive) using "full format" feature.

  Use "Defrag" feature - see your computer manual or the help file on your computer.

  Go through your "favorites" or "bookmarks" ("favorites" is for Microsoft Internet Explorer, "bookmarks" is for Netscape Navigator) Delete all references to your addiction.

  Call your phone company and place a block on area code 900 phone calls.

  Stop renting the wrong types of movies.

  Change your routine where you eat meals or "entertainment".

  Change your "entertainment" so you are not exposed to temptation. This can mean different things for different people.

  If your roommate has anything in this list and doesn't want to get rid of them - you may have to move out!

  If your addiction is one with another person other than your wife or committed partner, restore yourself with your wife or partner and do whatever is necessary to end the wrong relationship. Get guidance from a pastor, priest, counselor or close friend who has a lot of integrity.

  For travelers, tell the front desk to unauthorize or disable the naughty cable channels, or ask them to remove the television from the room. - Don't rent the bad or questionable movies.

  While traveling, If you go somewhere to use internet service - take a person with integrity with you.

  While traveling, make arrangements with someone at your home (or in one of the support groups listed in the links page) - to call them when you arrive at the hotel - let them know you're not going to go to the wrong places. Be honest.

  Do not go through this alone!

  Go get filtered Internet!

...LASTLY, AND MOST IMPORTANT - Develop a spiritual hunger for God - the closer you draw to God, the less and less you will want porn.
I hope you all are wiping your eyes from crying. I just couldn't stop laughing as I typed this up. I think that I've found the most ridiculous wingnuttery and then...well, these people come up with more.


Show some character, you lying pr*ck in the White House

Sully hits the nail on the head. It's the lying and dancing around what's happened. It hasn't been THAT long since the Right was getting its jollies by endlessly dogging Clinton for his dance of dissembling about a freaking blow job. That era seems so quaint now...
Two points, briefly:
1. People need to stop hiding behind Clintonian semantics here and understand that even if no actual technical violation of the law is found in the Rove/Plame case it will still be true, based on what we know now from the Time emails, that White House actions compromised a CIA asset during a time of war. What would Hannity, Limbaugh, Scarborough and all the cable loudmouths be saying if it had been Sidney Blumenthal?

2. Scott McClellan once told the American people that Karl Rove was not involved in any way, and that the President would remove anyone found to be involved. During the Lewinsky scandal many people insisted that it was not the sex that bothered them, but it was the lying, spinning, parsing, and direct misleading of the American people that offended them, and that came to define the Clinton White House. What would the cable loudmouths be saying if instead of McClellan it had been McCurry?

This isn't about technical violations or a game of gotcha. It's about character, and George Bush needs to show some.


Bush gets a Speedo. Add comments


President Bush talks with Pepperdine University senior Sean Rooney, from Malibu, Calif., during a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, Tuesday, July 12, 2005 honoring the 2004-2005 NCAA sports champions. Roony, who is a member of Pepperdine's volleyball team, gave Bush a surfboard named 'Surfboard One.' (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

While Scotty McClellan roasted over the open fire over the RoveToad, Chimpy had important business to take care of.
President Bush, honoring 15 champion college athletic teams Tuesday, received a bevy of gifts in return, including a surfboard and a Speedo he playfully said he won't wear — "in public, that is."


Scotty is on the slow-roast grill as we speak



[UPDATE: the carnage is over (for today). I swear he was holding back the tears -- the grill marks on his ass must hurt from all of it. He was practically begging the press corps by the end to forgive him for having to get out there and dissemble and obfuscate.]

How many times can you refer to an "ongoing investigation" before you look like a total ass? I think we reached that point sometime yesterday. Scotty McClellan is doing a repeat of yesterday live on CSPAN2 (1 PM). The man is so in over his head -- where's that Bush loyalty now?

He really looks like a deer in the headlights, saying he knows the press wants to get to the bottom of this -- as much as Chimpy does, omfg. He's probably having night terrors after yesterday, and like Groundhog Day, he came to work and it's happening all over again. . Boy, David Gregory is all over his *ss again, and Terry Moran called out about the talking points that Mehlman is circulating from the RNC and asking Scotty where this information is coming from in the White House -- oh god, it's beautiful. The mouthpiece dodges that one as well, telling him to refer to the RNC.

"Is Karl Rove a liability?" - Bob Franken, CNN. Hahahahaha.

"Has Rove apologized for putting you on the spot? Did he apologize to you for telling you he was not involved?" - Helen Thomas

Oh this is rich. Too bad I cannot live blog it all. I think John over at AmericaBlog is.


Army study: Lack of GIs may force cut in mission goals

Here's where things stand on the recruiting front for the Army. With only three months to go in fiscal 2005...
* The Army is 40 percent short of its goal of recruiting about 80,000.
* To meet that threshold, it would have to exceed its recruiting goals by an average of 2,600 individuals in each month.
* In June it exceeded its monthly goal by 507 recruits (the goal was just 5,650 new troops, the second-lowest total for the year).
* The Army failed to meet its recruiting goals in each of the preceding four months.

To fan the flames, the title of this internal report really says it all: "Stretched Thin: Army Forces for Sustained Operations." They need more time to study it, they say. How about: Rummy's policy is a f-a-i-l-u-r-e. Does that require additional review?
Numerous critics and outside defense policy groups have warned that the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan has taxed the Army so badly that it will have difficulty meeting any new crises elsewhere, but the new assessment comes from an in-house undertaking prepared by the RAND Corp.'s Arroyo Center, the Army's federally funded research institute.

"The challenge the Army faces is profound," senior RAND analyst Lynn Davis, lead author of the report, said in a statement accompanying the study. "Any approach is fraught with risks and uncertainties, along with significant costs and some possible changes in the Army's long-term goals."

Even as the Army was studying the report, it announced Monday that it is augmenting its troop strength in Afghanistan this month with a battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division that just returned from Iraq in March.

...The report--"Stretched Thin: Army Forces for Sustained Operations"--was to have been released Monday, but a RAND spokeswoman said it had been postponed to allow "further review" by the Army. Nonetheless, Davis indicated the report raises significant questions about the Army's future and the burdens the Pentagon and taxpayers will have to bear to field adequate forces.

The study further calls into question the Pentagon's ability to carry out its policy of maintaining the capacity to fight two major regional wars simultaneously while also providing troops for national security at home and the war on terrorism.
Thanks to House Blender Paul for the pointer.


Cat got your tongue, Chimpy?


Uncomfortable at that photo op, huh? Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong watches as the wheels grind in Bush's tiny brain.

Uh, oh, Karl.
President Bush, at an Oval Office photo opportunity Tuesday, was asked directly whether he would fire Rove — in keeping with a pledge in June, 2004, to dismiss any leakers in the case. The president did not respond.

For the second day, White House press secretary Scott McClellan refused to answer questions about Rove.
Meanwhile, Richard at All-Spin Zone wants whatever Ken Mehlman is smoking, as he notes that the RNC propaganda desk is working at full steam, but the flopsweat is showing, Kenny:


"It's disappointing that once again, so many Democrat leaders are taking their political cues from the far-left, Moveon wing of the party. The bottom line is Karl Rove was discouraging a reporter from writing a false story based on a false premise and the Democrats are engaging in blatant partisan political attacks."


These women do not deserve to be mothers, part 3

I had to rub my eyes and check to see this wasn't the same story I posted about earlier this month (These women do not deserve to be mothers, part 2). Nope, the other incident happened in California; this time it's a negligent mother driving from Alabama to Virginia, forcing two of her daughters (8 and 10), to take turns riding in the trunk because the four-door sedan was cramped with three other passengers and a dog. The dog got to ride in the car, so I guess they were concerned about animal endangerment, then?

Yes. That's right. Is it me, or is the sheeple quotient just out of f*cking control? What do we do with these people? THEY VOTE.
Cheryl Ann Schoonmaker, 38, has been charged with abuse and cruelty to children for allegedly rotating the two girls in and out of the trunk of the Nissan Sentra during the July 1 trip, which took more than eight hours.

Schoonmaker was driving from Alabama, where she has relatives, to the Loudoun home of her ex-husband, the girls' father, said Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Loudoun sheriff's office. Also riding in the car were the former couple's 12-year-old daughter, a 12-year-old family friend and an infant in a car seat.

...Schoonmaker said that he has custody of the three girls and that they had been visiting their mother for a five-day vacation. This was the first time they had ever told him about being put in the car trunk. However, he said that at other times, they told him about riding in overcrowded cars with their mother.

[Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman] said the girls told him that the 12-year-old family friend was allowed to ride in the car, as was the dog, a Boston terrier. "I don't think my feelings need an explanatory comment about that," he said.

He said that according to the daughters, the mother could have rented a larger car but chose the Nissan Sentra because it was cheaper. "She thought there was no problem with this," he said.

...The incident was at least the third time in less than two months that local women have faced criminal charges after allegedly putting their children in car trunks. In June, a Frederick woman was charged with reckless endangerment after a police officer watched her help her 9-year-old son, her 3-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old friend into the trunk in a shopping mall parking lot. When the police officer pulled her over, the woman said the children had wanted to ride there.

Earlier this month, Tamatha Parker, 33, of Quantico was charged with child abuse after Fredericksburg authorities accused her of locking her two 5-year-old children in the car trunk as punishment for misbehaving in a store.


Diseased perv at Weekly Reader

When it comes to engaging young minds, perhaps no other classroom publication has engaged more eager young minds than Weekly Reader.
-- from the Weekly Reader corporate web site
Shakes Sis points to this one at B3. Did you enjoy Weekly Reader in school? The company is huge nowadays, publishing since 1902 it now has 16 magazines and a host of other publications. Too bad one of its editors is a scumbag pedophile that has a different idea about what "engaging young minds" means. This is a PR nightmare:
Noel Neff, an editor at Stamford, Conn.-based Weekly Reader Corp., was arrested Saturday in a mall parking lot, where he had arranged a meeting with a minor for sex, authorities told the MetroWest Daily News of Framingham.

...Neff, 46, remained in custody Tuesday while he awaits an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Boston, FBI spokeswoman Gail Marcinkiewicz said. He faces two charges related to using "the Internet with the intent to travel to have sex with a minor," Marcinkiewicz said. She declined to give details.


Latest activism from the vermin at AFA




The busy beavers at the American Family Association (the folks behind AgapePress) are trying to work up the AmTaliban sheeple again. This time Nike and Carl's Jr/Hardees are in the cross-hairs. First the footwear maker gets a drubbing.
According to USA Today, Nike has become the first major corporation in America to publicly endorse homosexual "civil unions," a back door move to legalize homosexual marriage.

Nike endorsed a bill in their home state of Oregon which would legalize "civil unions." Homosexual activists are using the "civil union" approach as a back door approach to the legalization of homosexual marriage. Once they get their "civil union" approved, they will then go to court to secure the right to marry. Homosexual activists are working to get other corporations to follow the lead of Nike. Many corporations are already donating large sums to homosexual organizations to support their agenda. Sending a message to Nike will send a message to those corporations poised to support homosexual unions. Your email letter will be sent to Nike President Bill Perez and three other corporate executives.

Bill Perez, President
Nike, Inc.
1 Bowerman Dr.
Beaverton, OR 97005-6453

Primary Phone: 503-671-6453
Fax: 503-671-6300
E-Mail: bill.perez@nike.com
I love the stock letter they have in the "Take Action" online form that the AFA uses. A real hoot:
I am disappointed to hear that Nike has thrown its support behind homosexual civil unions. I will pass this information on to others, and I will find another brand of shoe to purchase.

I hope you will reconsider your support for civil unions (and, indirectly, homosexual marriage), although I doubt very seriously if you will.
Kinda defeatist, eh? Hahahahahaha.

***

The AFA's latest effort, launched today, is a hilarious action against a hamburger joint. All over Paris Hilton's bony *ss.


Carls Jr. and Hardee's (CKE Restaurants, Inc.) are airing a pornographic television ad featuring Paris Hilton to promote its Spicy BBQ burger. Tell CKE to pull this extremely pornographic ad now!

1. Contact your local Carls Jr. or Hardee's store operator. You can find their contact information by clicking here.

2. Call CKE Restaurants Chairman William P. Foley II toll-free. The number is 877-799-7827.
Hey...maybe I'll join this one, not because I think it's pornographic, but because Ms. Skanky-rich-ho-beast is truly over-exposed in a much different sense.


Twisting in the wind is too mild a phrase...



Go read The Heretik...
When people look back at how Bush was undone, yesterday will be remembered as the day the wheels flew of the cart and the BS wagon dumped its load in the White House Press Room. People will not soon forget White House Press Pool Boy Scott McClellan as he struggled to stay above water in an unscheduled match of political water polo. Rove was the ball the press threw by him constantly scoring point after point. It was both ugly and stunning to see. Contrast the McClellan words of yesterday July 11, 2005 with those of so long ago September 29, 2003. You will be drowning in tears or in laughter, cynical or true. Or better see the video of the pathetic contrast in performance provided by the White House itself for September 29, 2003 and yesterday July 11, 2005 and you will see far more than almost two years have passed

Scott McClellan has passed the point of no return. The press no longer attaches any credibility to his words. And if as McClellan says, he speaks for the White House, then the White House has no credibility on Rove, on Plame, on Wilson, on yellowcake, on Downing Street, on the run up to the war in Iraq and the lies that got us there. It all attaches the McClellan first, it attaches to Rove, and it attaches to Bush. What is it? It is hubris, the political rope by which once mighty men hang themselves and then hang around too long for people to see. Cut those bodies down please. You are frightening my children.


Man of steel - Bush passes on NAACP meeting


What do Warren Harding and Bush have in common? Right: perhaps this is the entertainment Bush is looking for at Black Expo.

I wonder why? Maybe because he knew Julian Bond would rip him a new one. Our steel-backboned president will attend Black Expo, where he could mingle freely with the "Acceptable, Friendly NegroesTM" in charge.
When President Bush received two invitations to speak to mostly black audiences this week -- one from Indiana Black Expo and one from the NAACP -- the choice was probably easy.

He could go to Milwaukee to speak to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, whose chairman, Julian Bond, has blistered Bush with criticism. Or he could come to Black Expo's Summer Celebration in Indianapolis, where he would join Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, his former budget director.

Call it intentional or just a fortuitous bit of political timing, but Bush said yes to the Black Expo invitation, while once again declining the NAACP invite. Bush will be the first president to speak at Black Expo -- and has yet to speak in person to the NAACP, except as a candidate before the 2000 election. The last president who never gave a speech before the civil rights group was Warren Harding.
The defense, by his boy Mitch, is enlightening. I guess Bush might be looking for some tap dancing, shuffling and jiving on the agenda.


Daniels said he doesn't think Bush accepted the Black Expo invite to blunt any criticism for not addressing the NAACP.

"Let's just look at (the acceptance of the Black Expo invitation) positively," he said, noting that the two events are very different. The NAACP convention is more political, while Black Expo is much broader, featuring opportunities for business networking, self-help and entertainment. "This is the kind of activity he likes to support," Daniels said of the president.
Thanks to House Blender and Julien's List contributor Holly for the pointer.


Zell caught taking $61K from the taxpayer cookie jar

Monday, July 11, 2005



Well this should shut the old "decency" coot up.
Experts are voicing concerns about how and why former Gov. Zell Miller departed the Governor's Mansion with over $60,000 in taxpayer dollars. Every living Georgia governor, including Jimmy Carter, says they would not have kept the money or considered that it belongs to them.

Miller is busy promoting his new book, "A Deficit in Decency."

But his critics say the former U.S. Senator needs to write another chapter about the money some say did not belong to him. To millions of Americans, Miller is a national treasure, the senator who stands for what's right. "He's somebody who's done the right thing at the right time for all of us," said one Miller fan.

Records uncovered by Channel 2 Action News are raising some experts' concern. "If there's even an inkling of a conflict or an inkling of an integrity issue then that should have been addressed as he left office," said Dr. Hasan Crockett, a political science professor who teaches at the Brisbane Institute of Morehouse College. The issue goes back to 1999 when Miller retired.

He packed his track and in his words was, "Headed for the mountains."

He also left with the mansion allowance, an account provided by Georgia taxpayers, which had ballooned to an estimated $61,000. Said Crockett: "To drain the account and leave the next governor without that account and take that account for whatever reason ... that's very unethical, and I think an issue that should be looked at further."

According to Georgia law, the mansion allowance is an amount specified in the legislature's appropriations act provided for the operation of the Governor's Mansion. We asked the man who wrote those checks to tell us what that means to him. "It was not a salary supplement," said Winford Poitevant, the retired division director for the state's Office of Planning and Budget. "It was a mansion allowance, and that's what (the law) says."

When asked what Poitevant would say if told that Miller apparently left office with tens of thousands of dollars from the mansion allowance, he replied, "To be on the safe side, I wouldn't have done that."

Poitevant said Miller never called to ask about the funds. The state did not list the money as income on his W-2 tax form.

Miller declined requests for an interview, but acknowledges that he kept the money.


Freepers turn on Scotty McClellan



As news of Scott McClellan's out-of-body-experience press briefing performance travels the blogosphere, the Freepi continue to defend Rove. But even in Freeperville, they know someone needs the boot, and for them the sacrificial lamb is plump little Scotty, the press-boob. Oh, and no more press briefings say the Freepi, because the journalists in the corps finally woke up and did their job. That was just way out of line for them...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Mcclellan should have send I answered the question, moveon ;)"

"Don't I recall that clinton cancelled all his press conferences for more than a year? Maybe it's time to follow that example and see what the press has to say about it. Or maybe Bush should imitate clinton's other practice, and lean on their bosses through the IRS and the regulatory agencies until they fire 5 or 6 of the worst offenders."

"McClellan is a wuss. Laura Ingraham for WH spokeswoman."

"He should simply state he's not taking any more questions on that topic. If the next question is about that, he should end the press conference."

"Shut down the press briefings. They serve no purpose if they're only going to be forums for sedition."

"There is nothing seditious about it. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

"grandstanding a$$holery is not sedition. This lightweight doesn't rise to the level of sedition."

"Nothing wrong with asking questions. But practically every Democrat in America has the knife out for Rove. That includes those in the media."

"McClellan isn't helping the situation any. Get somebody in there with a freaking backbone."

"Karen Hughes would be awesome!"

"No more pressers. Cut the morons off. I have a sneaky feeling that someone is going to go to jail, and it's not going to be Rove."

"White House PR stinks. Spokesmen come out too late on issues, McLellan is a cloddy wuss with no ability to dance on his feet. He comes out looking like a dammed fool. Too many GOP TV pundits are silver-tongued wusses also. The President is above using the bully pulpit. GOP congressmen and senators are mostly in hiding when they should be on the capitol steps. Need I go on? I've been ranting on this lack of administration attack and counter-attack strategery for a couple of years. Why the hell don't they listen to me? (barely an LOL)."

"I agree. This guy has always seemed to think he's supposed to be a pincushion for the press..."

"McClellan is a lightweight. And he is reminding me more and more of Ronnie Ziegler during the Watergate era. As in he is utterly ineffective. Time for him to go."

"Wouldn't it be great to see Rush substitute for McClellan at the daily White House press briefing? I can just hear him talking to the whiners like a bunch of toddlers at preschool. Although I'm sure preschool toddlers are much better behaved than the W.H. press corps."

"I could hear Rush now: I'll give a response AFTER one of your newspapers does a front page cover story on why Sandy Berger stole National Archive papers! I agree that McCLellan is NOT the man to tackle the rabid MSM gangsters! Send in a real PR man!"

"McClellan is the worst press secretary I have ever seen."

"I disagree- its a tough job against the enemy (the liberal media whor... I mean reporters) I would have given one of them a pounding long ago as an example to the others..."

"Poor little liberals. They're in a snit over the evil mastermind, Mr. Rove. Of course, in idiot Liberal Land this latest example of attack dog journalism doesn't prove that the Washington press corps is liberal. Oh, no. It merely proves that journalists have very high standards."

"Bush and Rove LIKE that Scott McClellan looks weak. He is not there to look strong. He is there to draw in the press, draw them in, and draw them in some more. They smell blood in the water. They rant, they rave, they damn Karl Rove and pronounce him guilty of a heinous crime, over and over and over. They bully McClellan. They are egged on by his dull, repetitive passivity. So they get out on that proverbial limb, farther and farther and farther...Meanwhile, back at the tree trunk, Bush and Rove are sawing off the limb. People get sicker and sicker of and madder and madder at the MSM. Their ratings sag even lower. More people turn to Fox, talk radio, the internet, etc. Now who do you think wins in those forums... Hmmmmm???"

"That was just awful. McClellan needs to go."
And a bonus dunk for rotten apples for the Blenders, a trip to Lucianne Goldberg's site, which has an equally blessed group of readers...

Actual Lucianne Lunatic Quotes™

"Ari would have handled this much better."

"McClennan is not good. I have no idea why they keep him on. He just comes across as unsure of himself."

"It looks like Rove is going to take one for the team."

"OK, "I" outed Plame, so there! Now drop it! /s Sheesh, he WH presstitutes are like rabid pit bulls. The only way to shut them up is to shoot each in the head."

"Let's see : Rove's involvement becomes known over the weekend then McClellan gets hammered about it on the monday press breifing .....AND this is beating a dead horse ?"

"You know, the Dems and the media have been after Rove for the longest and they will not give it up. I really don't give a rat's behind if he leaked this desk pusher's name or not. So stick that in your pipe Dems and media and smoke it till you choke."

"This horse was dead on arrival, but the Rats are frantic for any meat they can get. Some things make me miss the Clinton days. This would have been a by-the-way, side issue, ignored by the press, and buried by some liberal prosecutor. The rabid, hate Bush/Rove crowd of nipping nincompoops are gathering sticks for the fire. Run Rove run; the kooks are coming."

"Why isn't Valerie Plame, Valerie Wilson???? Another Hillary Rodham, until it is more convenient to take the husbands name, or more useful to her future zmbitions???"

"Looks like the lamestream media is feasting on nothingburgers made out of the dead horse that they've been beating."

"The Rats and Rat media are just keeping their own selfs busy with this BS, because you can`t find (1)one single person out here in Red State America who gives a good spit! we are just tring to plan our vacations.....and WE don`t know or give a hoot about these stupid plame/wilson lairs."

"The Democraps are piling on as well. My favorite was NJ's Lautenberg, didn't he used to be dead, calling for Rove to be stripped of his security clearance. Sure Frank, right after you take Leaky Leahy's clearance AND his seat on the intelligence commitee away. Democraps and presstitutes, what a bunch of maroons."

"I KNOW,, that since Rove DID NOT violate IIPC, and could not have, that I DON'T CARE."

"We're in the fight of our lives with terrorism and the petty old media is playing childish games. I do loathe them."


Read it - Ms. Julien on marriage and semanics

Why gay rights are an issue in the next election, and why we have to hold elected officials accountable for taking a position. Especially the weaselly, ball-less Dems that were too scared by the AmTaliban to say that discrimination is wrong. Here's a snippet from a great post by bloggrrl Ms. Julien over at Big Brass Blog:
"Marriage" to me means that next year, when my partner's H1B Visa runs out, and she will have to return to Canada for two years if she cannot for some odd reason get a job here...that it wouldn't matter because we could get married.

Today, in our current political and evangelical climate, if I went down to Little Havana on 8th st here in Miami and snagged an unemployed, illiterate, illegal, unbathed, immigrant male, I could marry him and get him full rights and privileges of US citizenship simply because he has a penis and I have a vagina, and that, in the mind of too many, transcends any other factors.
In her post Julien continues to make the case that marriage -- the word -- is getting in the way of all the rights and responsibilities that we, as gay people want and need. If it's the word that's making the difference for some in the middle in terms of making a choice to support the effort for equivalent rights conveyed by that civil instutition, then let's get past that. NOW.

Read the rest over at B3. Thanks, Julien.


Yet another AmTaliban org blathering over SCOTUS, ACLU


Yet another evangelical power-freak spouting crap, Don Swarthout: "Most people aren't aware of the kinds of radical positions the ACLU takes. And almost no one knows that the ACLU is raking in your tax dollars to fund their legal war against traditional America. This investigation is all about exposing the ACLU and making their real agenda known to the American public."

This groups are coming out of the woodwork like rats for garbage in the subway. How's this name for another wingnut outfit: Christians Reviving America's Values [CRAVE]. Anyway, here's its latest press release, calling for Bush to appoint someone that will be the counterbalance to Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
On July 13th, 2005 at the National Press Club, a religious organization (representing over 100,000 Americans in all 50 states) will announce that it is:

1. Calling on President George W. Bush to nominate a conservative justice to counter
Bill Clinton's appointment of former ACLU General Counsel
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and;

2. Calling on Congress to hold hearings to expose the ACLU's use of taxpayer money to fund its extremist agenda, and pass legislation to stop this practice.

Bill Clinton gave liberals a justice they could support by appointing ACLU General Counsel Ruth Bader Ginsburg back in 1993. The ACLU is a group that opposes displays of the Ten Commandments in public, opposes the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, supports child pornography and defends the "free speech" rights of a criminal pedophile group. Even though Ginsburg worked for the extremist ACLU for years, most Senate Republicans acquiesced to her out of deference to the president's constitutional authority to nominate justices.

Now President Bush has been elected twice -- with the deciding votes by all accounts being cast by conservative Christians. It is imperative that he appoint a counterbalance to the pro-ACLU Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

...In addition, CRAVE is calling on Congress to hold immediate hearings to expose the ACLU's use of taxpayer money to fund its extremist agenda, and pass legislation to stop this practice at once.

1. The city of San Diego handed over $950,000 in legal fees to the ACLU when they lost a legal battle over city support of the Boy Scouts, which the ACLU calls a "religious organization".

2. The taxpayers of Alabama forked over $549,000 in legal fees to the ACLU and their allies after Chief Justice Roy Moore was forced out of office for displaying a Ten Commandments monument.

3. Loudoun County, Virginia taxpayers coughed up $106,918.25 in legal fees to the ACLU because public libraries were using computer software to keep children from viewing pornography. The ACLU actually got paid to force a county to supply children with pornography at the library!

4. Elkhart, Indiana gave up the fight for a Ten Commandments display on government property because they didn't have the funds to compete with the ACLU's taxpayer-funded lawyers (and even after Elkhart gave up the fight, a liberal judge still forced Elkhart to pay the ACLU $63,000!).

"Most people aren't aware of the kinds of radical positions the ACLU takes. And almost no one knows that the ACLU is raking in your tax dollars to fund their legal war against traditional America. This investigation is all about exposing the ACLU and making their real agenda known to the American public," said Don Swarthout, President of Christians Reviving America's Values.


"Bill O'Reilly of Fox News Channel has called the ACLU 'the most dangerous group in America.' He is absolutely right," said Swarthout. "Too many judges have distorted or ignored our First Amendment liberties. The ACLU knows they cannot get their agenda passed in Congress, so they impose their will on the American people through unelected, unaccountable judges. And they use American tax dollars to fund their extremist agenda. Our intent is simply to educate Americans about this threat to our Constitutional freedom, and convince Congress to act to protect us."

Contact: Don Swarthout of Christians Reviving America's Values, 859-219-1222 or 859-619-2811 (cell); Web: http://www.christians4america.com


Bring out the tiny violin for the Canadian wingnut

Canada's Senate is going to pass the same-sex marriage bill probably by the end of this week, and the wingnuts are wailing in grief already, lololol. Sweeet.
A pro-family activist in Canada says there is very little hope that homosexual marriage will not become the law of the land now that Parliament has passed its same-sex "marriage" bill, known as C-38, and the Senate vote on the bill is largely a formality.


Brian Rushfeldt, co-founder and executive director of the Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC), has been urging pro-family Canadians to contact their senators and urge them to vote against the homosexual marriage bill. However, he estimates the chance that the Senate will do the right thing by voting against the same-sex marriage legislation as "virtually none."

In fact, Rushfeldt says even attempts to temper the provisions of the legislation are unlikely to make it through the liberal Senate's approval process. "There were a couple of amendments that a couple of the senators tried to introduce," he points out, adding, "I don't even think any amendments are going to get passed in the Senate. I think it's going to go through just the way it went through our Parliament with the same wording as Parliament sent up to them. They can just rubber stamp it."

..."All these senators are appointed by our prime minister, basically," Rushfeldt says, "and not just this last prime minister. Our senators are not elected at all; they're all appointed people. They've been appointed mostly by liberal prime ministers, so the high majority of them now are liberal senators."

Therefore, the CFAC spokesman doubts the Canadian Senate will to do anything to derail the same-sex marriage amendment recently passed by Parliament. "There's no way that this thing has a hope of getting stopped, in my opinion," he asserts.


Love it...


Courtesy of Morgaine.

Here's the transcript of Scotty's dissembling meltdown over Rove with the Press Corp, at Editor & Publisher. Crooks and Liars has the video. [UPDATE: I have the video hosted on my site (WMV), in case C&L is jammed.] Scotty, is stepping in the deep doo-doo here. Look at this exchange:
Q: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

MCCLELLAN: Again, David [Gregory of NBC], this is a question relating to a ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than: We're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.

Q: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this"?

MCCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that, as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation, we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.

Q: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you've decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?

MCCLELLAN: I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said. And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation...

Q: (inaudible) when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?

MCCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish.

Q: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything.
You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn't he?

MCCLELLAN: There will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.


GOP wants Myrick for NC governor in 2008


There might be two women on the ballot for governor in 2008 -- Myrick (R) and Purdue (D)

You can't start thinking about these races too soon. The Repugs here are already fidgeting about who to promote for governor here, since Dem Mike Easley isn't running again. A presidential Hillary run is apparently on their minds, so they are looking for a woman to groom to run against the probable Dem nominee, who is also a woman that's our current Lt. Gov. (N&O):
U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick of Charlotte is being asked by some Republicans to look at running for governor in 2008, and the word on the street is that she is keeping the door open. Myrick, a five-term congresswoman, was not available for comment last week. An aide said she was focused on her 2006 re-election campaign.

The thinking among GOPers is that Myrick would be the strongest candidate against Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, whom they consider the most likely Democratic nominee. [Purdue earned an endorsement by Equality NC, the local LGBT grassroots org] They note that gender could be a large factor in 2008, with the possibility of Perdue, U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, a potential Democratic presidential nominee, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina, who will be up for re-election, all on the ticket.

Myrick has had statewide aspirations in the past. In 1992, Myrick unsuccessfully sought the GOP nomination for the Senate, losing to businessman Lauch Faircloth of Clinton. Since then, Myrick has grown in political stature. She has moved into the U.S. House Republican leadership and become chairwoman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of activist conservatives who have urged spending restraint.
Just so you know, here's a list of a few things about Sue:

* Rated 7% by the ACLU, indicating an anti-civil rights voting record. (Dec 2002)
* Rated 0% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
* Rated 92% by the Christian Coalition: a pro-family voting record. (Dec 2003)

* Voted YES on making it a crime to harm a fetus during another crime. (Feb 2004)
* Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad. (May 2001)
* Voted YES on federal crime to harm fetus while committing other crimes. (Apr 2001)
* Voted YES on Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)
* Voted YES on protecting the Pledge of Allegiance. (Sep 2004)
* Voted YES on constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. (Jun 2003)



The story also noted that other Republicans are said to be considering running in 2008 -- a set of good ol' boys...state Sen. Fred Smith of Clayton, former state Sen. Patrick Ballantine of Wilmington and state Sen. Robert Pittenger of Charlotte. Smith was a sponsor of the state marriage amendment. I'd be surprised if this fool got anywhere in a statewide race. The bill's time ran out in this session, the Dem legislature bottled it up in committee, without debate; it'll be back. Ballantine, who ran as "A New Generation of Conservative Leadership" was whooped (13 points) by Mike Easley last time around. Pittenger co-sponsored the defense of marriage amendment.

Update: House Blender Sue posted in the comments about this frightening post on Sue Myrick's blog:
Join Sue Myrick For A
Salute to Leadership

With Special Guest Ann Coulter



On Monday, April 4, 2005
At the Levine Museum of the New South
Dress: Business Attire

6:00pm: Host and Sponsor Reception with Sue and Ann Coulter
7:00pm: General Reception and Keynote Address
8:00pm: Optional Book Signing
And this gawdawful comment from a supporter:
Ann Coulter was fantastic Monday night - our thanks to Rep Sue Myrick and her team for bringing this intellegent and gifted Conservative speaker to Charlotte --Ann's talk was indeed a very close second to the Tarheels winning the National Championship -- and ALL in ONE NIGHT! It was a great event and I wish the very best to our great Representative Sue Myrick and Ms Ann Coulter in the months and years to come!
There's your reason, if you're a Tar Heel, to get off your *ss and work to make sure Myrick goes nowhere near the Governor's mansion.


Dunderhead-in-chief


U.S. President George W. Bush reacts to accidentally misidentifying the Drug Enforcement Agency as he delivers a speech on the war on terrorism at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, July 11, 2005. Bush on Monday called bombings in London an attack against the civilized world and vowed 'we will not yield.' REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst


Inhofe = ass



What do you say behind this inane commentary?
Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe believes liberals have gained a foothold with many religious groups through a single issue, and this observation has him concerned. He claims liberals have convinced some evangelical groups to support global warming initiatives in order to bring in new funding that the Left can spend on other causes. Also, Inhofe asserts, liberals are "trying to suck up some of the evangelical crowd and put them into the issue of global warming. And when they do that, they give up their litmus tests. They give up their positions on abortion, their positions on gay marriage, and all that." However, the Oklahoma senator contends that the theory of global warming is a scare tactic being played up by the Left and the national media and that a number of Christian groups have bought into it. "I'm afraid there's one large organization, the National Association of Evangelicals, who have fallen into this trap," Inhofe laments. Still, he says, "Fortunately, the vast majority understand what it really is." But as for the rest of the Christian community, Inhofe warns, any coalitions involving fundraising with liberals will only lead to problems and wind up helping fund advocacy for issues evangelicals oppose.


Helping Scotty McClellan out



John over at AmericaBlog reports that Scotty was given a wedgie over the Rove leak by the usually sleepy White House Press Corps.

Just in case the White House mouthpiece can't remember what he said about Rove and Plame, he can be reminded of what he's said on the record in past briefings, courtesy of Billmon.


Deer in the headlights at today's briefing (REUTERS/Mannie Garcia).

Also: see the AP story on the press conference, White House Won't Comment on Rove, Leak.


Brain-dead PBS Mann report: Henry Rollins=conservative


Think Henry wants to lunch with PBS head Tomlinson any time soon?

Jane over at Firedoglake is probably getting a ton of hits about this post.

Bush PBS toady Kenneth Tomlinson, the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, commissioned a study of PBS programming by wholly unqualified conservative activist Fred Mann (who received $14,700 of your tax dollars) to find liberal bias in the programming. In The Nation, here's a sampling of the "findings."
Mann begins each of his PBS program summaries with a chart showing guests' ideological leanings. An "L" denotes guests he judges to be liberal; "C" beside conservatives; "N" beside those who are neutral. Among those Mann designated as conservative is the ex-rapper and actor Mark "Marky Mark" Wahlberg, best known for his role as a well-endowed porn star in the film Boogie Nights. While Wahlberg used his June 2, 2004, appearance on The Tavis Smiley Show to promote juvenile justice programs--a liberal hallmark--he also said in passing, according to Mann, that Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ "was a good thing." Another Tavis Smiley guest, Everlast, the rock-rapper who once fronted the Irish-American rap trio House of Pain, was dubbed a "C" for his opinion that some rap music is "sending a bad message to youth." And Henry Rollins, the former singer for the legendary hardcore-punk band Black Flag, was labeled conservative for stating, in Mann's words, that "people who have problems with the war should support the troops." Apparently, feeling sympathy for American servicemen and women is strictly "C."
Jane wrote Henry Rollins to see what he thought of Mann's assessment. Go read his reply to Jane, it's a screamer.


What is wrong with people -- child dies in hot car

The sheeple factor again. I'm almost in despair that this country is so full of stupid, dangerous, negligent people. Each summer it's the same damn, sad story -- kids being left to fry in closed vehicles.
A grandmother is in the Denver County Jail after her 2-year-old granddaughter died when she was left unattended in a car in 90-plus degree heat. Police said Yvonne Mabry, the girl's grandmother, was babysitting Elizabeth Buchmiller and her 5-year-old sister Saturday. A neighbor walking through a parking lot found the child. Rescuers were unable to revive her.

..."The bulk of these accidents don't get prosecuted," said Jan Null, adjunct professor of meteorology at San Francisco State University and co-author of an article published this month in Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. He said 10 states have passed laws making it a crime to leave a child unattended in a vehicle.

The high temperature recorded Saturday was 97. Inside the car it probably exceeded 140 degrees, said Null. The temperature rises an average of 43 degrees an hour. Last year, 35 children died of heat exhaustion after being left in cars. The average is 29. Hundreds more suffer heat illness. Surveys have found that one-fourth of women surveyed admit leaving infants or toddlers unattended in cars.


GOP influence to grow as population shifts south?

This Wash Times article spins that the Repugs benefit most from the shift in population. The South's population is projected to grow by 42.9 percent and the West by 45.8 percent, at the expense of the Midwest (9.5 percent) and the Northeast (7.6 percent). The theory, forwarded by Emory's Merle Black, is that it will be harder for the Dems to win the presidency because of this.
Migration from liberal bastions in the Northeast and Midwest to the Sun Belt states will boost Republican electoral strength in the coming decade, making it tougher than ever for Democrats to win the presidency without carrying states in the South or Southwest.

...Heavily Democratic states such as New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Michigan will go on losing congressional seats and thus electoral strength in presidential elections, political analysts say. At the same time, they say, Republican states such as Florida, Texas, Arizona, Georgia and Nevada likely will gain congressional and electoral clout.

"The net beneficiary of this will continue to be the Republican Party because the population shift is moving into an environment that is heavily dominated by the Republicans," says Merle Black, a professor of politics and government at Emory University and author of books on political shifts in the South. "In the 2002 and 2004 exit polls, we saw for the first time a majority of Southern white voters identifying themselves as Republicans and Democratic identification falling to a low 20 [percent] to 25 percent," Mr. Black says. This doesn't mean that Democrats cannot win, but population shifts give the GOP "a long-term structural advantage," he says, "and assuming they nominate credible candidates, they start with a strong base." He adds: "The Republicans will continue to be the dominant party in the South for the foreseeable future."
Other factoids in the article:

* The share of Americans living in the Northeast and Midwest will fall from 42 percent to 35 percent of the population, while the South and West will rise from 58 percent to 65 percent.

* Ohio, a pivotal swing state in presidential races, will drop from seventh to ninth place in population, while Republican-rich Georgia will move up from 10th to eighth.

* Florida is expected to pass New York and move into third place by 2011

* California and Texas remaining in first and second, respectively.

* California, Florida and Texas are expected to grow by more than 12 million in population and will account for 46 percent of the growth between 2000 and 2030.

The article also notes that among the 10 most populated states, Democrat-leaning Michigan and New Jersey will be supplanted in population by heavily Republican and fast-growing Arizona and North Carolina. I dispute that most of the votes moving to NC are Red ones; our state legislature is consistently Democratic, the cities that are the economic engines of the state are more progressive than the rural parts of the state. I agree that in the national races, NC will continue to go GOP unless the party here can field candidates, like John Edwards, that are able to marshal support from the progressives and the large moderate base of voters.

Let's put it this way -- Hillary will go nowhere in NC.

Also not considered is the fact is that in many of the Northern states, the cost of living is too darn high, the winters are too long, and you can't buy a house if you're a first-time buyer (see Housing Markets Pricing Out Middle Class). That's crosses all political boundaries.

Look what the Freepi have to say; many agree and fear a liberal menace is going to pollute their holy land (too late -- I'm already here polluting the Tar Heel State, lolololol)...

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"It sounds good to me. This is the Lords work!"

"I hope, however, that that doesn't mean that libs from the North are invading the South."

"same thought crossed my mind..."

"People are getting tired of living in liberal rat holes. I don't blame them for leaving."

"But my worry, especially as a Southerner, is that a greater liberal population may be migrating into the red states, slowly turning them into blue states. And that's just wrong."

"As the conditions in the country get worse [due to political correctness (forced socialism)] people will continue to leave the oppressive liberal areas for freer, safer ground. If hell ever breaks loose (terrorism, crime, etc.), they don't want to be stuck living around a bunch of rabid liberals. I think it's a good thing. The good people are being called out."

"AZ is a perfect example of that. Although still conservative I'm not sure Goldwater could get elected here now."

"I'm not sure Goldwater could get elected here now. McCain can.....and does."

"It is up to you to indoctrinate them into Southern Living and that means being a conservative. We are not only to holding our own in California but are starting to shift away from the Democratic party stronghold here. The Hispanic population is starting to wise up and they are switching to the Republican Party."

"What is happening is the republicans and conservatives in strongly blue states are getting fed up and moving. All that does for blue states is leaves them weaker and smaller and bluer. While the people of MA are moving in heavy numbers into states like NH, the Live Free or Die folks are moving out to redder pastures."

"I don't know if you believe in prophecy or not, but as we get closer to the California quake and last world war, the good folks will be lead to safer areas. They'll just "know" where to go."

"Yes, those libs from the north have a way of ruining things down here."

"The more people move to conservative areas, the more crowded they will become. And the more crowded they become, the more liberal they will become. And the more the Republican party will lean to the left to hold on to the votes."

"Well I am from Michigan, a blue midwest state. Even though this state is not the bluest of the blue (like the northeast states are), I have given up on Michigan. I will soon be one of those people who leave for the south (Tennessee). I am not leaving to bring northern values down, just the oposite im sick of people and the liberal values up here. I dont belong here, and im moving somewhere were my values are more respected and my son can grow up with better values. I love the south and im sure ill fit in fine there, and i certainly hope liberals do not succeed in changing it. When this midwesterner gets there it will only get redder."

"Most of the New Yorkers who move to Florida bring their liberal voting habits with them, which is why Palm Beach, St. Lucie, and Broward Counties are such liberal hellholes."

"I'm with you both. I sure as heck hope the emigrants from the North and East don't bring their socialism and hedonist values with them. In a microcosmic sense, that is exactly what's happened here in Columbus. This burgh used to be a bedrock of patriotic, common-sense conservatism. Then wave after wave of lefty transferees showed up from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and the Eastern seaboard and...voilà! Now we've got a big homo population here, an increasingly liberal attitude on social issues, an all-Democrat city hall, and the county has gone Blue every election since '96. I sincerely hope this doesn't happen to the South!!!


Julian Bond's got brass ones



If only some of our elected Dems had them. Julian Bond, chairman of the NAACP, blasted the Chimperor administration last night at the civil rights organization's national convention, held in Milwaukee. You'll recall that the IRS is investigating the NAACP, reviewing its tax-exempt status after Bond's scathing keynote address at last year's convention in Philadelphia. He didn't hold back this time, either. Read and weep with joy that someone is telling it like it is.
Calling the Bush administration's approach to civil rights "deceptive," Bond suggested that the White House has "tried an aggressive campaign to seduce black clergy" to support the administration through its faith-based grant campaign.

"The president likes to talk the talk, but he doesn't walk the walk," Bond told a crowd of about 3,000 gathered at Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center to hear his introduction to the annual convention. Bond said the administration "at best has neglected civil rights issues, and at worst has been aggressively hostile to them" - buttressing that remark with mention of a recent U.S. Commission on Civil Rights report that was critical of the administration.

Bond landed the Baltimore-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in hot water with the Internal Revenue Service after a speech last summer, in which he attacked President Bush on the Iraq war and for being the first sitting president since Herbert Hoover not to address the group. [Since Chimpy's feelings were hurt, I guess he needed to sic the IRS on their asses for payback. Nice. ]

...The IRS has said its investigation is limited to whether Bond stepped over the line into partisan politics in his critique of Bush, which could cost the NAACP its tax-exempt status. But the NAACP is continuing to fight the federal investigation, and Bond - unapologetic for his remarks - has denounced the audit as partisan bullying.

Bond named and condemned eight U.S. senators who he said dodged an apology for the federal government's failure to pass anti-lynching laws as the Senate - on a voice vote rather than a roll call - passed a nonbinding resolution of apology last month.

Bond also criticized Democrats for not blocking Bush's judicial nominees. He called confirmed U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Janice Rogers Brown the "female Clarence Thomas."

Bond accused black conservatives and blamed foundations that finance conservative groups for rolling back gains for which civil rights leaders have fought. "Having stolen our vocabulary, they also want to steal the just spoils of our righteous war," he said. "They've had a collection of black hustlers and hucksters on their payrolls for more than 20 years, promoting them as a new generation of black leaders." Reiterating comments from his keynote convention address two years ago about Bush and his black supporters, Bond said, "Like ventriloquists' dummies, they speak in the puppet master's voice, but we can see his lips moving, and we can hear his money talk." [OMFG - say, it brother. Please, please, can others call this sh*t out?!]
Lest you've forgotten, here are some of those hustlers he's talking about:


Televangelist Frederick K.C. Price of L.A.'s Crenshaw Christian Center backs Bush and took part in a 100-minister summit opposing same-sex civil marriage; Bishop Harry R. Jackson Jr. (Mr. Contract w/Black America) has gotten into political bed with Ken Mehlman.


Bishop Sedgwick Daniels of Milwaukee's Holy Redeemer Church of God in Christ buys into Bush's faith-based initiatives and "values;" homophobe Rev. Dwight McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX is on board with the homo-hating agenda.


* Philadelphia's Rev. Herb Lusk, pastor of the Greater Exodus Baptist Church has had his coffers filled with a cool million to run faith-based initiatives by the Administration (He gave the invocation at the 2000 Republican convention and called Bush's 2004 win "a great victory."); and last (and most disappointing), Walter Fauntroy, key lieutenant to Martin Luther King and pastor of the New Bethel Baptist Church, who held a much-covered press conference with Bill Frist and Rick Santorum in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

It should be noted that Julian Bond is publicly in favor of same-sex marriage, though the national NAACP has not taken a position on the issue. You best believe he's getting heat from many in the religious black community because of his view.



UPDATE: additions to ministers of tolerance and forward-thinking that are strong Bush supporters. From Time, which named T.D. Jakes one of "America's Best." [He says he has refrained from taking funds from Bush's faith-based initiative so far.]
Jakes has called homosexuality a "brokenness" and says he would not hire a sexually active gay person. It is a common position among conservative religious leaders (Graham, for instance, called homosexuality a sin), but gay Americans would have no reason at all to consider Jakes their preacher.



Rev. Creflo Dollar of World Changers Ministry in College Park lobbied the Congressional Black Caucus to pass a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, and Dollar teaches that God wants His adherents to be rich. To show you how bootlicking this guy is, here's a nice example, from Dollar's own web site:
President Bush is worthy of your prayers and support. He is a man who rises early every morning to seek God and His wisdom through prayer and the study of the Word. This is not the time for Christians to picket, carry protest signs or throw their opinions around. The election is over, and the man in the Oval Office is the one we, as Americans, voted in. Numbers 32:7-13 makes it clear how God feels about a nation divided during a time of war.


***

Here's an oddity of an appearance at the convention... Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (Repug-WI) was applauded when he promised to lead federal lawmakers in extending provisions of the voting rights act that are to expire in 2007. You may recall in an earlier Blend post that our president was asked about extending and strengthening the 1965 Voting Rights Act and he told members of the Congressional Black Caucus that he did not know enough about that particular law to respond to it, he said, and that he would deal with the legislation when it comes up.


He's not off the hook: Sensenbrenner shut down Patriot Act hearings and cut off the mics in the middle of testimony, deep-sixing testimony without comment or issuing any kind of statement.


Secret memo: The Brits want to pull out of Iraq pronto

Sunday, July 10, 2005


Tony wants to leave Chimpy high and dry ASAP.

The Daily Telegraph says they want to pull out of Iraq. No plan, lives lost, a country destroyed, and a coalition of the willing that is at this point, practically nonexistent.
A top-secret paper written by British Defence Secretary John Reid for Prime Minister Tony Blair reveals many of the 8500 British troops in Iraq are likely to be brought home within three months. Most of the rest would return six months later.

The leaked document appears to fly in the face of Mr. Blair and President Bush's pledges that allied forces will not withdraw until Iraqi forces are strong enough to take control of security. The memo, revealed in The Mail on Sunday newspaper, says other international forces under British control will have to be handled carefully if Britain withdraws.

They may also leave Iraq, fearing they will no longer be safe.

Embarrassingly, the document says US authorities are split over the plan. It also suggests one of the reasons for getting British troops out is to save money.

Mr Reid says cutting British troop numbers to 3000 by the middle of next year will save millions of dollars a year, though it will be 18 months before the cash comes through. The document, Options for Future UK Force Posture in Iraq, is the first conclusive proof that preparations for a large-scale withdrawal from Iraq are well advanced.

The Blair Government's public position is that British troops will stay until newly trained Iraqi forces are ready to take control of security. Less than a fortnight ago, Mr. Blair said it was vital the US-led coalition remained until Iraq stabilised. Mr Bush endorsed his comments.

The memo leaves little doubt that Britain plans to take its lead from the White House, where an increasingly unpopular Mr Bush is under huge pressure from the US public to bring American troops home fast.
Update: The Heretik has the text of the memo, noting that there will be an incredible amount of spinning on this, so read for yourself and decide what it says.:
Paper by Secretary of State SECRET - UK EYES ONLY

1. ISSUE

We will need to reach decisions later this year on likely future UK force structure and disposition in Iraq into 2006.

This paper sets out some of the key contextual considerations; identifies areas of uncertainty; sets out what we know of US planning and possible expectations on the UK contribution; and assesses the potential impact on UK decision making.

2. Decisions on coalition, and within that, UK force levels will be governed by four factors, all of which are subject to a greater or lesser degree of uncertainty:
* Internal Iraqi pressure for further force posture changes.
* Successful progress in the potential process and extension/renewal of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546. (Mail on Sunday footnote 1)
* The continued development of the capability of the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF).
* The security situation.

3. None of this, however, undermines the Multinational Force Iraq (MNF-I) (Mail on Sunday footnote 2)broad security strategy of:
a) Working with the Iraqis to contain and restrain the insurgency.
b) Assisting and encouraging the development of Iraqi security forces and structures which can progressively assume responsibility for all aspects of security including dealing with the insurgency, and thereby:
c) Enable MNF-I force reductions and eventual withdrawal.

4. US POSITION

US political military thinking is still evolving. But there is a strong US military desire for significant force reductions to bring relief to overall US commitment levels.

Emerging US plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006, allowing a reduction in overall MNF-I from 176,000 down to 66,000.

There is, however, a debate between the Pentagon/Centcom (Mail on Sunday footnote 3) who favour a relatively bold reduction in force numbers, and MNF-I whose approach is more cautious.

The next MNF-I review of campaign progress due in late June may help clarify thinking and provide an agreed framework for the way ahead.

5. (Technical details)

6. UK POLICY CONSIDERATIONS

The current ministerially endorsed policy position is that the UK should not:
a) Agree to any changes to the UK area of responsibility.
b) Agree to any specific deployments outside Multinational Division South East. (Mail on Sunday footnote 4)
c) Agree to any specific increases in the roughly 8,500 UK service personnel currently deployed in Iraq.

7. Looking further ahead, we have a clear UK military aspiration to hand over to Iraqi control in Al Muthanna and Maysan provinces (Mail on Sunday footnote 5) in October 2005 and in the other two Multinational Division South East provinces, Dhi Qar and Basra (Mail on Sunday footnote 6) in April 2006.

This in turn should lead to a reduction in the total level of UK commitment in Iraq to around 3,000 personnel, ie small scale, by mid 2006.

This should lead to an estimated halving in the costs which fall to the reserve, (Mail on Sunday footnote 7) around £1 billion per annum currently. Though it is not clear exactly when this reduction might manifest itself, it would not be before around the end of 2006.

8. None of this however, represents a ministerially endorsed plan. There is a good deal more military analysis to do which is under way. We will need to consider handling of other MND SE allies.

The Japanese reconstruction battalion (Mail on Sunday footnote 8)will for example be reluctant to stay in Al Muthanna if force protection is solely provided by the Iraqis. The Australian position, which is highly influenced by the Japanese presence, may also be uncertain. (Mail on Sunday footnote 9)

NOTE

I will bring further and more specific proposals to DOP-I (Mail on Sunday footnote 10) for the future UK force posture in Iraq, including handover to Iraqi control and subsequent UK military drawdown.

John Reid.

Mail on Sunday footnotes

Footnote 1:(UN resolution authorising allied troops presence in Iraq)
Footnote 2: (The Multinational Force of Allied troops in Iraq)
Footnote 3: (Centcom is the US military command centre in the US)
Footnote 4: (Not get involved in operations outside area around Basra under UK control)
Footnote 5: (two of the four provinces around Basra in UK control)
Footnote 6: (the other two UK run provinces)
Footnote 7: (The UK Treasury Reserve)
Footnote 8: (Japan has 550 engineers in UK area of Iraq)
Footnote 9: (Australia has 1,400 troops in Iraq ,whose main job is to protect the Japanese)
Footnote 10: (The Defence and Overseas Policy, Iraq sub committee of the Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister)


Police officer tries to 'convert ' SC drivers


Drivers of a car with this bumper sticker were told to "listen to the Baptists" by an officer of the law.

This is out of f*cking control.
A traffic stop in Greer, S.C., this month is turning into a holy war of sorts, as a practicing Druid couple claim they were targeted by a Christian police officer who tried to convert them away from their pagan belief.

Debra and Tony Gainey say they were pulled over because they had a bumper sticker reading "It's A Druid Thing." Druid couple believe this bumper sticker prompted traffic stop.

Tony Gainey was driving at the time of the stop June 10 and was taken into custody on charges of driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle with an improper tag and failure to have proof of insurance. "The reason they were stopped was the tag was improper on the vehicle," Greer police Lt. Cris Varner told WHNS-TV.

But Debra Gainey, a minister at the local Emerald Sanctuary Druidic Church, believes it was the druid sticker that prompted the traffic stop, as evinced by the conversation with officer Tony Stewart. "[Stewart said], 'Did those bumper stickers come on the car or did you put them on?' and I said I put them on," Debra said.

She says the officer asked if she knew what they meant. "So he started talking to me about God and Jesus Christ. ... I just felt like he was really getting into it, I had never expected to actually follow-up with a letter or anything."

According to Mrs. Gainey, the officer sent a card and letter to her home address days later. "In this letter, he promises our problems will continue unless we listen to the words of the Baptists," she told the station. "We're feeling like those are threats."

"It's just kind of flabbergasting to be told that because it says Druid that we were singled out," she continued. "I don't think it's a matter of his religion or my religion, it's a matter of violation of our Constitution and trying to take that away our freedom that we are guaranteed."

The Gaineys have filed a civil-rights complaint, and the matter is now under investigation.
(via Raw Story)


Katherine Harris is pissed at the Bushies and GOP



The Hill has a hysterical story of the in-fighting over Katherine Harris's bid to unseat Florida Senator Bill Nelson next year. She laid down for Bush by tossing the election to him in 2000, and she wants payback -- and her camp has been flipped the bird by Rove and the Empty Wig.
Frustrated with the White House and a key Republican, supporters of Rep. Katherine Harris' (R-Fla.) 2006 Senate campaign lashed out at the administration yesterday for seeking to convince another prominent GOP official to enter the race.

"It's unimaginable that the White House folks and the National Republican Senatorial Committee would be so disloyal to Katherine Harris, especially after all she has done for the Bush family and the Republican Party," a Florida political operative who supports Harris said. "It's unconscionable and a stab in the back."

Harris backers are irritated that State House Speaker Allan Bense met with White House chief of staff Karl Rove and NRSC Chairwoman Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.) this week to discuss challenging Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) next year. The operative added, "If it is true, they should be ashamed and embarrassed, considering she stepped aside at their request for the president and Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) in 2004. It's her turn."

..Some GOP officials fear that Harris, who became a household name during the prolonged 2000 presidential election, is too polarizing a figure to defeat Nelson.

Others Republicans disagree, with one saying that Democrats and pundits "said the exact same thing about Bush's re-election in 2004…The polarization is a made-up word by people who fear her." Another GOP official said, "Polarizing can be a plus," explaining that she has strong support from many Republicans and hope to enhance her negative numbers over the next 16 months.


An Oregon band blows a kiss to The Rotting CryptkeeperTM

Russ posted a howler that he passed on to me. It's about a Portland, OR band called I Can Lick Any SOB In The House and its video/song: [F*ck Fred Phelps & the] Westboro Baptist Church (link is to the concert video).

From the band's site:
The album's most outrageous song, "Westboro Baptist Church" takes a stab at Westboro Baptist Church head Fred Phelps and their website, http://www.godhatesfags.com.



"Fuck Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church, fuck him long and hard, until his rectum hurts" and "Now if God hates fags, you asshole, I'm sure he hates you more" are just two of the song's controversial lines. The song also shouts out to others, including George W. Bush ("He prays to a God that hates his guts, then he sends young boys to die"). The 700 Club's Pat Robertson ("Took all my grandma's money, gave it to the 700 Club"). And faith healer Benny Hinn ("He claims he's a faith healer, but he's just a charlatan").


Rove was the leak


Ironically, Rove was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. Influence is an understatement, isn't it?

Forgot to post about this earlier, but Shakes Sis covers the exposure of the lowlife Toad well. Matt Cooper names him. Here's the Newsweek piece link.
It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. "Subject: Rove/P&C," (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. "Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation ..." Cooper proceeded to spell out some guidance on a story that was beginning to roil Washington. He finished, "please don't source this to rove or even WH [White House]" and suggested another reporter check with the CIA.

...NEWSWEEK obtained a copy of the e-mail that Cooper sent his bureau chief after speaking to Rove. (The e-mail was authenticated by a source intimately familiar with Time's editorial handling of the Wilson story, but who has asked not to be identified because of the magazine's corporate decision not to disclose its contents.) Cooper wrote that Rove offered him a "big warning" not to "get too far out on Wilson." Rove told Cooper that Wilson's trip had not been authorized by "DCIA"—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, "it was, KR said, wilson's wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip." Wilson's wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA's Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division.
Shake Sis rants, "How much more of this shit are the American people going to swallow before they demand that the entire lot of criminals running the joint are roughly escorted out the fucking door?" Damned if I know, but what I do I know is that the sheeple have been well-trained to swallow anything that comes out of the administration (and like it).

David Corn also comments on the implications of Rove's "outing."
The newsmagazine has obtained documentary evidence that Rove was indeed a key source for Time magazine's Matt Cooper and that Rove--prior to the publication of the Bob Novak column that first publicly disclosed Valerie Wilson/Plame as a CIA official--told Cooper that former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife apparently worked at the CIA and was involved in Joseph Wilson's now-controversial trip to Niger.

To be clear, this new evidence does not necessarily mean slammer-time for Rove. Under the relevant law, it's only a crime for a government official to identify a covert intelligence official if the government official knows the intelligence officer is under cover, and this documentary evidence, I'm told, does not address this particular point. But this new evidence does show that Rove--despite his lawyers claim that Rove "did not tell any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA"--did reveal to Cooper in a deep-background conversation that Wilson's wife was in the CIA. No wonder special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald pursued Cooper so fiercely. And Fitzgerald must have been delighted when Time magazine--over Cooper's objection--surrendered Cooper's emails and notes, which, according to a previous Newsweek posting by Michael Isikoff, named Rove as Cooper's source. In court on Wednesday, Fitzgerald said that following his receipt of Cooper's emails and notes "it is clear to us we need [Cooper's] testimony perhaps more so than in the past." This was a clue that Fitzgerald had scored big when he obtained the Cooper material.

This new evidence could place Rove in serious political, if not legal, jeopardy (or, at least it should). If what I am told is true, this is proof that the Bush White House was using any information it could gather on Joseph Wilson--even classified information related to national security--to pursue a vendetta against Wilson, a White House critic. Even if it turns out Rove did not break the law regarding the naming of intelligence officials, this new disclosure could prove Rove guilty of leaking a national security secret to a reporter for political ends. What would George W. Bush do about that?

...Bush issued a straightforward statement about the Plame/CIA leak:

There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. If there's leaks out of my administration, I want to know who it is, and if the person has violated the law, the person will be taken care of.

Perhaps Bush won't have to "take care of" Rove if this new evidence does not lead to a prosecutable violation of the law. But Bush also called on any government official with knowledge of the leak to "come forward and speak out." Has Rove done so? No. So it seems he violated a presidential command. Would Bush be obliged to fire him for insubordination?




The sheeple impact, part 3

This is the "wifey" Kate speaking...my "inaugural post", highlighting 3 issues close to my heart :) Hearing (I'm an audiologist), the state of Alabama (my birth state), and the state of the American media (we know in general, it sucks).... Just wanted to provide some insight into the report about Toyota planning to build vehicles in Woodstock, Ont., and the story's reference to illiteracy in Alabama (re: the Honda plant). This is yet again another case of the media not doing all of its homework....



While I am not denying that literacy, or lack thereof, as the case may be, is a big problem in AL, I do not feel that this information is complete without considering that this particular plant (Honda) is in Lincoln, AL. Lincoln is located in Talledega County. Also in Talledega County is the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB). Consequently, you have a significant number of the (big-D)Deaf population clustered here. Because their first language is ASL (American Sign Language) or Pigeon (some varient form of sign which can be composed of gesture, some ASL and other signs) sign, the rate of illiteracy of members of the Deaf community is significantly higher than in the "Hearing" population. I imagine that many of the prospective employees for Honda would be deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals who have settled in or around Lincoln as they are also participating members of the Deaf community. I think referring to data from the plants in Vance (Mercedes) and Montgomery (Hyundai) would have provided additional insight....

And while I am on a roll, and have your attention ;), I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you loyal readers for your love and support of Pam and all of our "issues" :)


Will the cowardly bigotry ever stop?

House Blenders Holly, Paul, Drew and have emailed me about the latest hate patrol items in the news. Bigotry and ignorance in America just keep on coming, 24/7. You cannot tell me that the free-flowing AmTaliban commentary of Falwell et. al, such as the homo-bigotry he spewed yesterday, wrapped in bible verses, is not like pouring gasoline on a house on fire.

* First off we have the UCC church burnings in Virginia. The United Church of Christ, since the General Synod approved a resolution supporting same-gender marriage equality, and it's no surprise that it is getting grief from faceless cowards that need to commit arson and vandalism to show their disapproval. It's a sad state of affairs when the president calls for vigilance against terrorists -- but he's not talking about these home-grown agents of terror.
St. John's Reformed UCC in Middlebrook, Va., was vandalized sometime early Saturday morning (July 9) with anti-gay graffiti. Fire was set and caused damage to a portion of the church, but did not spread throughout the entire building, according to the Rev. John Deckenback, the UCC's Central Atlantic Conference Minister.

"An attempt to torch the building was not successful," he said. Police and church leaders believe the attempted arson came in response to the UCC's General Synod gay-affirming vote on July 4 when delegates overwhelmingly approved a resolution supporting same-gender marriage equality. "The graffiti appears to be related to Synod issues," Deckenback told United Church News. "We have put out a note to all our clergy and congregations in the area, asking them to be vigilant and to be in prayer."

The Rev. John H. Thomas, the UCC's general minister and president, said the entire 1.3-million-member denomination would be offering prayers of support for St. John's Reformed UCC and its pastor, the Rev. Dorcus J. Lohr.

"My heart goes out to the people of St. John's UCC in Middlebrook," Thomas said. "The violation of sacred space is traumatic for a congregation, particularly when a message of hate targets a church's efforts to reach out in the spirit of Christ's love to all people."

"I knew that the decision of our General Synod on July 4 to affirm marriage equality for same-gender couples would be controversial both within and beyond the church," he said. "It saddens me to realize that, for a few, disagreement has moved to acts of violence."

...Earlier this year, Deckenback said, two other churches in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley were vandalized near the time the United Church of Christ's Stillspeaking Initiative began running television ads welcoming all people, including gays and lesbians.
There's also a DKos thread on the topic, Extinguish the Fires of Hate.


Brian Leftwich, a member of the Roberts Street Church of Christ in Sparta, Tenn., looks at the ruin left by a fire that officials say was the work of an arsonist. No injuries were reported in the rash of fires that broke out just before 5 a.m. yesterday, officials said. Derek Wilson, a Sparta city firefighter, surveys damage at Roberts Street Church of Christ yesterday in Sparta, Tenn. Seven separate fires destroyed a church, heavily damaged another church and burned five vacant houses, authorities said.

* In Sparta, TN, we've got more churches ablaze.
Seven arson fires broke out yesterday in a neighborhood in this small Middle Tennessee town, inflicting heavy damage on two black churches and burning five vacant houses, authorities said. Sparta police detective Allen Selby said there's no evidence to suggest the arsons were part of a racist hate crime, but authorities are not ruling out anything.

No injuries were reported in the fires, which broke out just before 5 a.m. in the White County seat, 75 miles east of Nashville. The churches that burned were on the same street. As firefighters arrived to fight one fire, Selby said, "They looked down the street, and the other church was fully involved."

The FBI, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and White County Sheriff's Department are investigating. The FBI was called in because federal law covers church arson. Authorities have interviewed 17 people, and two of those interviews were conducted at the White County Jail, but Selby said there are no suspects yet.

Roberts Street Church of Christ was destroyed while Kynette United Methodist Church was heavily damaged. Both served black congregations, Mayor Tom Pedigo said.

About 5% of Sparta's 5,000 residents are black, according to census figures.

"I think, as far as the total community is concerned, I don't see any racial implications to it," Pedigo said. "We're searching all avenues we can. We want to find the answer to this as soon as possible, and I think we can."

Only the front wall remained standing at the Church of Christ, a cinderblock building with white vinyl siding.

Church member Tommy Leftwich lives nearby and saw the building in flames. "It was a hurtful feeling, an empty feeling in my stomach. I've spent many a year in there," Leftwich said.
* Next on the list is the Klan fliers being passed out in Ohio, in Hamilton (Holly notes is just north of Cincinnati and Amelia is east of Cincinnati). As with the cowardly cross-burnings in Durham, these losers don't have the balls to show their bigoted faces.
Robed and hooded Ku Klux Klan members distributed white supremacist literature in a Hamilton neighborhood late last week in a city where a 9-year-old girl was raped June 19, allegedly by a Hispanic man.

...Elmer Thompson, 35, said he was shocked at 3:30 a.m. Friday when he opened the front door of his Corwin Street home in south Hamilton to leave for work, and found a man dressed in white Klan garb on his doorstep. "He had one foot on my step and was in a bent-down motion to lay the envelope on my porch," Thompson said. He said the man tried to hand him a flier but Thompson let the literature fall to the ground, telling the man he wasn't interested. The man walked off without saying anything.

...The flier was similar to what was distributed in mailboxes and on cars in the area of B and Franklin streets and Ross Avenue in the city's west side a week earlier. The fliers contained references to the rape case and contact information for the Imperial Klans of America in Amelia, Ohio. A picture of the rape suspect, Alfredo Lopez-Cruz, was on the flyer.

The flier said: "Your child might be next" and recommended the country be "cleansed."

[Actually, in an earlier story on this incident, the description of the flier was more specific.The flier contained the words "WANTED" and a picture of Cruz. "Your child might be next." "The time is now to stand against this and cleanse our 'Country' of this brown flood.]

City officials and church leaders who work with the Hispanic community have been trying to ease tensions in the ethnically diverse Sycamore Street neighborhood near downtown since the rape. Police think an arson fire at the Sycamore Street house where the rape occurred was retaliation.


Blogtherapy



London and the world respond in a blog of photos and graphics thumbing collective noses at the terrorists. Go take a look.

Thanks to Cat for the pointer.


Russ kicks Jeb's booty

Saturday, July 09, 2005

My buddy Russ over at Radical Writ doesn't hold back on the Bush fools. Tonight Jebby is rubbing his tush, since Russ has kicked it with relish in the post, "Jeb's 'Culture of Life™' doesn't apply to poor li'l black girls."

You must read the whole story. Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's Department of Children and Families was convicted of "institutional neglect" that led to the near beating death of the then-2-year-old Marissa Amora at the hands of her known-to-be-abusive guardians. A jury awards her $35 million for damages and future health care costs. So now Bush is trying to have the entire award thrown out (not reduced, eliminated!) so the now-6-year-old will end up with no way to affort her lifelong medical care. Read it all; here's a taste to tide you over:
If Marissa were, say, a nice white woman in a vegetative state whose case had been taken up by powerful financial and political interests then ballyhooed into a national media carnival, then doubtless Jeb would even now be dabbing his eyes as he knelt for a photo-op at her bedside.

But because Marissa is "nobody" -- one of the poor, the powerless, the "insulted and injured," in Dostoevsky's phrase -- she can be flushed down the toilet and no one will notice. For the aim of Bush's legal maneuvering is clear: he wants to "run out the clock" on Marissa, litigating the case quite literally to death, until her family sinks beneath the overwhelming financial and physical burden of keeping her alive and at some point her makeshift, overstrained support system suffers the inevitable breakdown.
What do you expect from the grandsons of Nazi war profiteer Prescott Bush? (Whoops, I said the "N" word!)


Conservative joins San Francisco gay life for reality show

OK. This reality TV stuff is just getting out of control, but I'd almost tune into this one.
It may have been awkward enough for Ryan Hickmott of Oxford Township, Mich., to spend a month out of his comfort zone, but it was made more so as his experiences were chronicled for the FX network reality show 30 Days. The television show by Morgan Spurlock, creator of the Oscar-nominated 2004 documentary Super Size Me, pairs polar opposites, forcing them to view life from a different perspective.

Hickmott is a 24-year-old straight conservative devout Christian in the Army Reserves who spent 30 days living with a gay man in a predominantly gay San Francisco neighborhood. "I go out there and everybody's looking at me like I'm the oddball," Hickmott told The Oakland Press.

Hickmott said he went into the show believing homosexuality is a sin and that gays do not belong in the military. While in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood, Hickmott attended a gay church, worked at a neighborhood wine and cheese shop, met with about 40 gay military veterans, and played on an all-gay softball team. After the experience he said he still holds his religious beliefs but has become more open-minded. "The thing I realized out there is gay people and straight people are the same," Hickmott said. "There are no differences."

... In some of the show's other episodes Spurlock and his wife attempt to survive for 30 days working minimum-wage jobs, a concerned mother of a college student goes on a 30-day drinking binge, and a devout Christian man lives with a Muslim family in Wayne County's Canton Township. The show airs Wednesdays. As for Hickmott, he said he's not looking to be on television again. "I'm not looking to do anything," he said. "I'm just back living in Michigan doing what I do.


Will Falwell's God come take him already?

Here is a reality of the Bible: It clearly forbids homosexual behavior and, for that matter, any sexual activity outside the bonds of male-female marriage. The Word of God unmistakably speaks against homosexual behavior in Romans chapter 1, describing a time in history when, as today, men and women gave themselves over to unnatural sexual relations. There can be no mistaking that these passages condemn same-sex relationships.
-- Rev. Jerry Falwell, WorldNetDaily, July 9, 2005
I am sick of Rev. Tinkywinky. He and his friends of the Arlington Group have made a shambles of what it means to be part of a faith community in America. The reason for regurgitating the usual bullsh*t above is that he (and Dobson and Robertson) are pissed at the Christian Alliance for Progress, a coalition of progressives in the faith community that has formed to counter the American Taliban view that the country belongs to the evangelical fringe. You have to read it to believe it. His column for WingNutDaily just turns your stomach.
Last month, a new leftist religious organization announced its inception to battle the alleged domination that Dr. James Dobson, Pat Robertson and I have on modern-day politics. This organization, the Christian Alliance for Progress, is hardly "Christian."

You may say, Falwell, that's a pretty harsh statement. Well, let's take a look at this new group so we can determine if it are actually exhibiting the precepts of true Christianity.

In announcing its formation, the Christian Alliance for Progress unveiled what it called its "Jacksonville Declaration," an open letter to the political and church leaders of the religious right that "challenges and invites them to return to a Christian foundation of compassion and justice, values that Jesus passionately taught and lived."

...the Christian Alliance for Progress says it will "speak out when conservative Christians misrepresent the Gospel to support their misguided political positions." These positions include "equality for gays and lesbians" and "honoring the sanctity of childbearing decisions through effective prevention, not criminalization of abortion."

It sounds like the Alliance got its talking points from Howard Dean. The group is simply falling in line with untold numbers of past liberal church groups that have promoted abortion-rights, homosexual rights and anti-war sentiments.

...Dr. Ed Hindson, renowned theologian and Liberty University professor, writing in the August issue of National Liberty Journal, stated: "If liberals want to debate these issues on biblical grounds, let them go right ahead. Because they will lose, not only the debate, but also any influence they might hope to have among spiritually minded people. They are correct when they insist we do not speak for them, and they certainly don't speak for us. Their new Alliance for Progress will simply result in one more organization in regress."

Many Americans are seeking to discover the true peace of Christ and real meaning for their lives. While evangelical Christians will continue to be denounced and despised by the fashionable left, we must continue to devotedly and passionately take the truth of the Gospel into the world.

It is my sincere pleasure and privilege to be laughed at and scorned because I have chosen to walk with and live out my life in servitude to the Christ of the Bible.


Just like my country's sheeple


When I read this, I immediately thought about the 2004 election, and the state of our country.
First one sheep jumped to its death. Then stunned Turkish shepherds, who had left the herd to graze while they had breakfast, watched as nearly 1,500 others followed, each leaping off the same cliff, Turkish media reported.

In the end, 450 dead animals lay on top of one another in a billowy white pile, the Aksam newspaper said. Those who jumped later were saved as the pile got higher and the fall more cushioned, Aksam reported.

"There's nothing we can do. They're all wasted," Nevzat Bayhan, a member of one of 26 families whose sheep were grazing together in the herd, was quoted as saying by Aksam.


The sheeple impact, part 2


New President of Toyota Motor Corp. Katsuaki Watanabe said that the automaker plans to build a new plant in Canada. (AP/Shizuo Kambayashi)

This administration was elected by the non-critical thinking, easily shaped sheeple. As our cowboy Chimperor burns our tax dollars on war, waste and destruction, billions that could improve our education and health care systems aren't in the coffers. And now there's more proof the long term damage on this front to our economic base is biting us in the ass.

Canada, our progressive, trashed-by-the-Freepi neighbor to the north is going to laugh all the way to the bank, while our sheeple worry about gay marriage, the Ten Commandments and other bullsh*t when Johnny and Jane can't f*cking read.
Toyota to build 100,000 vehicles per year in Woodstock, Ont., starting 2008

Ontario workers are well-trained. That simple explanation was cited as a main reason why Toyota turned its back on hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies offered from several American states in favour of building a second Ontario plant.

Industry experts say Ontarians are easier and cheaper to train - helping make it more cost-efficient to train workers when the new Woodstock plant opens in 2008, 40 kilometres away from its skilled workforce in Cambridge.

"The level of the workforce in general is so high that the training program you need for people, even for people who have not worked in a Toyota plant before, is minimal compared to what you have to go through in the southeastern United States," said Gerry Fedchun, president of the Automotive Parts Manufacturers' Association, whose members will see increased business with the new plant.

Several U.S. states were reportedly prepared to offer more than double that amount of subsidy. But Fedchun said much of that extra money would have been eaten away by higher training costs than are necessary for the Woodstock project.

He said Nissan and Honda have encountered difficulties getting new plants up to full production in recent years in Mississippi and Alabama due to an untrained - and often illiterate - workforce. In Alabama, trainers had to use "pictorials" to teach some illiterate workers how to use high-tech plant equipment.

"The educational level and the skill level of the people down there is so much lower than it is in Ontario," Fedchun said.

In addition to lower training costs, Canadian workers are also $4 to $5 cheaper to employ partly thanks to the taxpayer-funded health-care system in Canada, said federal Industry Minister David Emmerson.
Let's see Chimpy, Rove and Mehlman defend that in the next election cycle.


Another sick bastard

How many of these pervs walk among us, and why is the statute of limitations on this crime in California only one year?
A doctor at Modoc Medical Center has resigned after he was charged with possession of child pornography involving videotapes of girls undergoing examinations at the hospital. Dr. Owen M. "Sandy" Panner Jr., 57, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Modoc County Superior Court on the single misdemeanor charge of possession of child pornography. The charge was filed in court Friday.

Larry Barnes, Modoc County assistant district attorney, told the Herald and News newspaper in Klamath Falls, Ore., that Panner had videotapes recorded in 2001, when the hospital discovered cameras hidden in two examination rooms. An investigation failed to determine who had hidden the cameras. Barnes said he could not pursue any other charges against Panner because a one-year statute of limitations had expired. Under California law, possession of child pornography is punishable by up to a year in the county jail, he said.

Panner has practiced at the hospital in Alturas for several years. Barnes said he resigned after he was questioned. Panner, contacted by telephone Friday, declined to comment to the newspaper. A man who answered a phone listed for Dr. Owen Panner in Alturas declined to talk to The Associated Press.

Barnes said there were a number of patients who were taped, including both adults and children.


Luther, closeted to the end


His female fans must have had a zero gaydar factor.

I didn't comment on Luther Vandross's passing last week, which happened while I was away. The man seemed gay as the day is long, but you didn't see any of that in the mainstream media coverage. I wasn't a big fan, but even back in the 80s heyday, everyone was talking about whether Luther was "family." In this week's Southern Voice, there's a great piece by Chris Crain, "The straight-washing of Luther Vandross."
A famous artist whose life is such a story of contrasts would make for fascinating study, and great reading, but you wouldn't know it from the obituaries and "appreciation" stories published in the mainstream press after Vandross passed away on July 1. With rare exception, the straight press sidestepped long-standing speculation that Vandross the "lifetime bachelor" was, in fact, gay.

...Gay columnist Keith Boykin wrote in January 2002 that Vandross was asked about being gay on the BET show "Journeys in Black," and refused to answer the question. In the history of humanity, no straight man - and certainly no straight African-American man - has ever refused to answer that question.

The less explicit clues to Vandross' sexual orientation were also there, enough to make even the least sensitive gaydar scream "BLEEEP!" Vandross counts girl groups and Dionne Warwick as his primary musical influences, and his early breaks came with gender-bender David Bowie and gay icons Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand. An early Vandross tune made into a Broadway musical ("The Wiz"), and he formed a group with semi-closet case Nile Rogers of the disco supergroup Chic before either was famous. Vandross went on to send the lead vocals in Chic's dance hit "Dance! Dance! Dance!" Hello? Hello? Hello? Anyone home in homoville?
The real problem is that the news media, which has no problem recounting the endless het romances of stars (real or alleged), is squeamish about even asking a star whether or not they are gay - how is this journalism? In Vandross's situation (as well as in the posthumous media de-gaying cases of Susan Sontag and Ismail Merchant), the coverage bends over backwards, straining any sense of credibility, to avoid any fact-finding about the subject in question that might reveal they were gay, even if the person was openly gay in their social circles, but not to their fan base. Why is there a need to preserve a straight fantasy in death?
Give the Post credit for at least mentioning the speculation, one step better than his obituary in the New York Times, which noted in the lead that Vandross "spun romance into hits" but about his own romantic life noted cryptically: "Mr. Vandross is survived by his mother." The Los Angeles Times, which published Miller's criticism about the de-gaying of Sontag, similary straight-washed Vandross.

But the F-minus goes to the Associated Press, which cheerfully reported that Vandross' weight "fluctuated so much that rumors swirled that he had more serious health problems than the hypertension and diabetes caused by his large frame." Can you say "AIDS," everyone?

What's more, AP reported about Vandross, "the lifelong bachelor never had any children, but doted on his nieces and nephews. The entertainer said his busy lifestyle made marriage difficult; besides, it wasn't what he wanted." Can you say "gay," everyone?

If AP can't, Answers.com and Wikipedia can. The exact same information - in the exact same words - is reported on that site under a section of Vandross' bio titled "Sexuality" that deals expressly with rumors that the singer was gay. Wikipedia goes on to repeat the Vandross non-denial on BET's "Journeys in Black." Craig Seymour's biography of Vandross, "Luther: The Life & Longing of Luther Vandross," also deals at length with the gay rumors and doesn't debunk them.

Does any of this "prove" Vandross was gay? Maybe not, but it's enough to make it into stories about his life. Of course Vandross is partly responsible for the lack of real evidence here, but so is the mainstream media, which interviewed Vandross countless times in his career without ever reporting (or even asking?) anything about his romantic life.
Perhaps the only clue Luther left his audience is the fact that he recorded the Roberta Flack standard, "Killing Me Softly" back in 1994 without removing the masculine pronouns. "I felt all flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd. I felt he'd found my letters and read each one out loud."


Will you be able to stop laughing - Empty Wig Dole for Supreme Court



Whoever Hearst Newspapers columnist Stewart Powell is, whatever credibility he had is shot. Anyone that thinks we need surgically preserved Elizabeth Dole (a.k.a. "Empty Wig","Sugar Lips" or "The Joker") on the high court must be quite a few pancakes short of a stack. (N&O):
If you are looking for a dark-horse candidate for the U.S. Supreme Court, you might consider U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina. There has been a small buzz surrounding Dole after the announcement last week that Justice Sandra Day O'Connor would be retiring.

The buzz is apparently not based on anything more substantial than speculation prompted by Hearst Newspapers columnist Stewart Powell. But the thinking is that Dole might be confirmable by the Senate because she is a senator with a long resume and a conservative Bush loyalist who is not regarded as an ideologue.

The downside is that Bush may be looking for someone relatively young who would serve on the high court for decades. Dole will turn 69 later this month. Another negative for Bush is that the appointment of Dole would mean that Gov. Mike Easley would get to name a Democrat to the U.S. Senate seat until an election could be held in 2006.

There would be no small irony if Dole were to fill the O'Connor seat. Dole, then a 44-year-old assistant to the president, was on President Reagan's short list for a Supreme Court vacancy in 1981. Instead, Reagan made O'Connor the first woman justice. Dole, a graduate of Harvard Law School, practiced law for several years before entering public service.


Homo agenda makes bakery lose its cookies



"I don't want my company to be seen that way, and certainly personally do not want to do things that would promote people making that type of choice."
-- Ellison Bakery GM Todd Wallin, on pulling its ads from a trade magazine's that supports Kraft's sponsorship of the 2006 Gay Games


This is so tiring, posting about knob-end companies like this. I mean, how much more can you take of the "love the sinner, hate the sin" bullcrap.
For years Ellison Bakery has advertised extensively in Dairy Field magazine, a trade publication for the dairy industry. Recently, however, Dairy Field ran an editorial critical of conservative pro-family groups such as the American Family Association for censuring Kraft Foods for its pro-homosexual policies. AFA has particularly targeted Kraft lately because of the food company's sponsorship of the 2006 Gay Games in Chicago.

Upon seeing the editorial criticizing the pro-family group, Ellison Bakery general manager Todd Wallin quickly pulled the company's $20,000 advertising account from the magazine. "This is not a personal attack against people who have chosen this type of lifestyle," he hastens to explain, adding that homosexuals, like all people "are created in the image of God." Nevertheless, the executive adds, "I don't support things that would promote people making those bad choices."

Wallin says his immediate reaction to Dairy Field's decision to run the editorial was to decide on behalf of Ellison Bakery to "pull all advertising for the remainder of the year if the owners agreed that would be an appropriate thing to do." He then sent an e-mail to the president of the publishing company, Stagnito Communications, as well as to the vice president and to the woman who wrote the editorial, expressing his concerns.

Ellison Bakery, which is based in Fort Wayne, Indiana, produces cookie products for the ice cream industry. The general manager points out that he made his decision to pull the company's ads with Dairy Field out of a sense of corporate and personal responsibility. He describes pulling the ads as an expression of values -- and certainly not an attack against homosexuals or those who support the homosexual lifestyle.
Dairy Field Magazine
Stagnito Communications Inc.
Phone: (847) 205-5660

James Dudlicek, Editor, jdudlicek@stagnito.com
Matt O'Shea, Publisher, moshea@stagnito.com

Ellison Bakery
4108 Ferguson Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809
260-747-6136
Web form


X-rated 'GTA: San Andreas' setting AmTaliban on fire

Friday, July 08, 2005



I've not played this, but who's surprised that the programmers of the video Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas put in an Easter Egg, or undocumented extra "treat" that can be unlocked by those in the know. RockStar Games is in hot water because its "treat" is apparently pretty damn randy. The question is whether the patch (from a third party source) that enables the porn mod is actually additional programming put into the game, or the content was already there and the code just gives you access to the fun.
Graphic sexual content that appears in a popular video game is giving family advocates a new reason to be offended. In the sex-and-violence-themed game ``Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas,'' the main character tries to avenge the murder of his mother in the gang-ridden streets of his hometown -- and picks up women along the way.

The sexual content, which fills in what publisher RockStar Games left to the imagination in the versions sold in stores -- was either ``unlocked'' by game enthusiasts who discovered it in Rockstar's code, or introduced by inventive third-party hackers. That content has irked The National Institute on the Media and the Family, a Minneapolis-based group that issued a nationwide parental alert Friday denouncing the game and its creator.



``While San Andreas is already full of violent behavior and sexual themes, the pornographic sex scenes push it over the edge,'' David Walsh, the group's founder, said Friday. The sex scene in GTA3, as the game is commonly known, was allegedly unleashed by a game enthusiast from the Netherlands. The author claims his game modification called ``hot coffee'' is merely a small download that allows the player to access sexual content that exists in off-the-shelf copies of the game from New York-based Rockstar Games.

The AP sent e-mails to the author of the mod, but there was no immediate response from him or the co-author.

Admittedly, ``Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'' is already one of the more violent and lurid games on the market. It's full of speeding cars, gangs and gunplay, and ``girlfriends'' who invariably met on the street wearing skimpy clothing. After downloading and installing the patch, a new world opens up, according to the author of the game modification patch, in which ``the girlfriends will now be completely nude,'' according to a short text document included with the patch.

...``This is about kids,'' Walsh said. ``Can you imagine the impact of 13, 14 and 15 year old boys literally enacting this scene?''
My question is why are kids this age playing a game rated R? Isn't that the purpose of the ratings anyway -- to let the PARENTS decide what their children should play?

Thanks to House Blender Paul for the pointer.


FDA: Viagra needs warning label - it could make users go blind



That's not what your mother (or the church) told you that would make you go blind.
The government on Friday ordered warnings onto the labels of Viagra and two other impotence drugs that some users have developed a form of blindness — while cautioning that it's impossible to know if the pills are to blame. Food and Drug Administration's move comes as the agency is under intense pressure to investigate more aggressively and warn the public about drug side effects.

At issue is sudden vision loss when blood flow to the optic nerve is blocked, a condition called NAION or non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.NAION is considered one of the most common causes of sudden vision loss in older people, with anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 cases a year. Moreover, risk factors include diabetes and heart disease, two of the leading causes of impotence.

The FDA has 43 reports of NAION among the impotence drug users: 38 for Viagra, four for Cialis and one for Levitra. They include varying degrees of vision loss, including blindness.


Fred Phelps: master of calamity

Russ notes over at his pad that The Rotting CryptkeeperTM didn't wait for the dust to settle in London to comment.
And no, I'm not going to link to his website... just trust me that this is what is posted there in big bold letters:

Thank God for the bombing of London's subway today - July 7, 2005 - wherein dozens were killed and hundreds seriously injured. Wish it was many more.

Because, you see, God hates gay people and since the UK government won't endorse the stoning of gay people, God lets extremists kill people in the UK with bombs. If only there were no gay people, all the terrorist activity would be stopped by God.

Just in case you're a new reader or you suffer from sarcasm impairment, Fred Phelps is the former civil rights lawyer (!) who runs the Westboro Baptist Church and the website GodHatesFags, who regularly shows up to protest at gay pride events, memorials for AIDS victims, and even the funerals of US soldiers. I'd say that he gives Christianity a bad name, but that's plainly obvious. He gives humanity a bad name and is #1 on my list of Obituaries I Can't Wait To See.
***

As I'm a veteran poster on the Phelps clan, Russ's post prompted me to see for myself what else Fred and the Westboro Baptist Church were up to. Here's more on our friends across the pond.

England: Island of the Sodomite Damned

Tony Blair and his Bitch Barrister Wife
These two have let England to irreversible doom, pushing the fag agenda. It is now a crime to preach God's truth about fags in England. Blair wants to be president (Antichrist) of EU (European Union), whose laws also criminalize Gospel preaching.
Also, the traveling Phelps band of hate takes its roadshow on July 11 to Bentonville, Arkansas, home of "Wal-Mart fag headquarters and sodomite whorehouses." He's been celebrating the "second week in hell" of John Walton, who was killed in a plane crash. Apparently in Fred's eyes, Walton was a big fan of the homo agenda too. Who knew that Wal-Mart was "one the spearheads of gay rights worldwide"?






This and that in the mailbag



A few items that came to me from House Blenders...

* Gary passed along this link of good news: Same-sex civil unions bill OK'd by Ore. Senate. (KGW Video here, registration required).
In a historic vote Friday, Oregon state senators passed legislation to allow same-sex civil unions. The vote at the state capitol in Salem was 19-10 in favor of the measure. Senate Bill 1000 would create civil unions and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, public accommodations and public services.
Gary also notes, that in an OregonLive article, the measure will likely have trouble in the House:

Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski supports the civil union bill.

Chuck Deister, spokesman for House Speaker Karen Minnis, said there are no plans to bring the bill to a vote in that chamber. The measure has the support of Democratic Gov. Ted Kulongoski. After the Senate vote, Kulongoski drew cheers and applause from dozens of gays and lesbians who traveled to the Capitol to listen to Friday's Senate debate. Kulongoski, at an appearance with Senate sponsors of the bill, called on the crowd to lobby the House Republican leaders to allow a vote on the issue. "The House has to deliver this bill," Kulongoski said. "Let's go and tell the House, `we want this bill before we go home.'"
* Nancy Goldstein has a roundup of noted folks to see who they would nominate for an "American Patriot Award". Among the respondents:
- J. Richard Cohen (President, Southern Poverty Law Center)
- Marjorie Hill, PhD (Director of the Women's Institute at Gay Men's Health Crisis)
- Irvin Kershner (Director, "The Empire Strikes Back")
- Jennifer Gonnerman (journalist for the Village Voice, and author of "Life on the Outside," a finalist for this year's National Book Award)
- Hillary and Julie Goodridge (lead plaintiffs in Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health, the ground-breaking case that established the right of same-sex couples to marry in Massachusetts)
- Dr. Paul Farmer, Cofounder of Partners in Health (PIH)
- Carmen Vazquez, Deputy Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda
- Steve Gerber (creator of "Howard the Duck")
- Malika Saada Saar, JD (Executive Director of The Rebecca Project for Human Rights)
- Michael Musto (journalist for the Village Voice)
- Todd Hanson (editor for "The Onion")


* JC in AR asks, "I was just on Dell's website checking out home pcs and they have a "no sissies allowed" ad--my first impression was to be really pissed since I am sitting here at a Dell computer. Am I being too sensitive or what???"

Well, we report, you decide. I guess I don't know that if I came across this ad when surfing I would have taken offense; the statement seems to imply that you can't be a hot gamer if you're effeminate (or, perhaps in the world of computer geekdom, you're a wuss) if you don't have a speed demon computer for the latest release of Halo. Maybe they should have used wimp.

* Holly points to Two Black Churches Burn in Tennessee Arson. This occurred in Sparta, a town of 5,000 people (about 75 miles southeast of Nashville). The story says about 5 percent of its residents are black, though the locals seem to think there is no racial motive.
Seven arson fires broke out Friday in a neighborhood in this small Tennessee town, inflicting heavy damage on two black churches and burning five vacant houses, authorities said....Sparta police detective Allen Selby said there was no evidence to suggest the arsons were part of a racist hate crime, but authorities were not ruling out anything. "I think as far as the total community is concerned, I don't see any racial implications to it," Pedigo said. "We're searching all avenues we can. We want to find the answer to this as soon as possible."

The FBI was called in because federal law covers church arson, authorities said. Authorities have interviewed 17 people and two of those interviews were conducted at the county jail, but Selby said there were no suspects.
* And last, but certainly not least, Chris over at Facing South posted on the mind-blowing cashflow machine known as Halliburton -- "I'm not sure which is more dubious: that Halliburton has received another $5 billion contract for logistics support in Iraq, despite being under multiple investigations for fraud, overcharges and abuse -- or that the Army didn't feel moved to mention their latest deal with the scandal-ridden contractor":
Linda Theis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Field Support Command in Rock Island, Ill., said the military signed the work order with Halliburton unit KBR in May.

The new deal, worth $4.97 billion over the next year, was not made public when it was signed because the Army did not consider it necessary, she said.

"We did not announce this task order as this is really not something we ever really thought about doing," Theis said.

Halliburton, run by Vice President Dick Cheney from 1995 to 2000, has been under scrutiny for its contracts in Iraq, and several U.S. government agencies are looking into whether it overcharged for some work.

In March, a former KBR employee and a Kuwaiti citizen were indicted on charges of defrauding the U.S. government of more than $3.5 million by inflating the cost of fuel tankers.

A top U.S. Army procurement official said last week that Halliburton's deals in Iraq were the worst example of contract abuse she had seen, a claim KBR rejected as "political rhetoric."


AgapePress wingnuttery roundup

AmTaliban mouthpiece AgapePress has a cornucopia of wingnuttery up. Here's a sampling...


* Alberto won't go over well with the AmTaliban, according to Tim Wildmon. The idea will be promoted by liberal groups and Democratic senators that somehow President Bush owes it to "America" to name someone like Justice O'Connor to replace Justice O'Connor. That is a standard pulled out of thin air. President Bush doesn't want the court to remain the same. That was one of the main issues of his campaign. The American people who voted for him understood that and factored it in when deciding between him and John Kerry. President Bush has said before that he desires to name justices who think more along the lines of Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, not Sandra Day O'Connor.

On another level, the conservative movement has made it clear to President Bush that they have worked too hard for too long to have another stealth candidate like David Souter put up. For those who don't remember, the first President Bush's chief of staff John Sununu told his boss and the conservatives to "trust me" that Souter was -- indeed -- conservative. Well, we trusted Sununu and we got duped. That is not going to happen this time if conservative leaders have anything to do with it -- and they do. This is why current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is not acceptable to most conservatives because he is a great unknown.

* Arkansas Gifted Program Angers Parents With Explicit Homosexual Curriculum. A spokesman for Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee says students should not have been exposed to a sexually explicit play at a summer educational program for the state's gifted high school seniors. Some parents of students at the Arkansas Governor's School (AGS) in Conway recently expressed outrage that their children were asked to read from the script of a homosexual soap opera called "Angels in America" and discuss it in class. Last month, a student who took offense at the play's frank talk of homosexual sex left AGS after just five days of the six-week summer program. ...Chris Pyle, the governor's Family Policy Liaison, says the play violated the Arkansas Governor's School's policy on content standards for minors...Iris Stevens, an Arkansas parent who removed her son from the AGS program several years ago, believes the state's summer school for academically gifted students was then and is now involved in what she calls "liberal brainwashing." Stevens says she was "appalled at what went on," and she advises parents "Don't -- don't trust that place with your children."


OMG. The rug.

* In his new book, Imagine! a God Blessed America (Broadman and Holman, 2005), Dr. Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention says Christians must first get the sin out of their lives before a moral awakening can occur across their country. Land says revival is possible in America, but the nation must return to its spiritual roots by turning back to God and ceasing to live the way the rest of society lives. "We're always saying 'God bless America,' always praying, 'God bless America,' and always singing 'God bless America," the SBC leader says. "Well, if we want God to bless America, God has laid down the standards under which He's going to do it. If enough of his people get right with Him, then He says He will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land."

* More on the four-wheel homo agenda. Cadillac, a division of General Motors, is the presenting sponsor for the second annual PlanetOut, Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year Award contest. This award honors "a dynamic lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual business leader, or leaders, whose character combines the spirit of entrepreneurship with a drive to enrich the lives of those around them." The recipient of the 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year Award will receive $5,000 and a commemorative prize, to be presented at the 2005 Out & Equal National Workplace Summit September 22-24 in Denver, Colorado. The "Entrepreneur of the Year" will also be profiled on Gay.com and and PlanetOut.com. General Motors, the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, is listed by the Gay Financial Network as being among the 50 most powerful pro-homosexual publicly-traded companies in America. According to truenews.org, each of the companies so listed "strongly promotes homosexuality within its workforce" with policies like same-sex domestic partner benefits and pro-homosexual diversity training.

* (this one is just rich -- the dude's from NC) Christian Doc Speculates Why Americans Rank #1 in Mental Illness. Psychiatrist Dr. Robert Rogan, a spokesman for the Christian Medical Association, says one reason for this statistic may be that Americans are more attuned to feelings than people of many other societies. "It certainly appears in our culture that we're noticing mental illness more and more," he notes, and "there certainly is an element of being socially more aware of things."

...But while Americans may express more of their inner life, he contends there has traditionally been a spiritual buffer in their culture that helped to address and contain many of the mental health crises that occur. "A lot of times when we have [psychological] problems or issues," Rogan says, "when the church was maybe more predominant in our society and maybe more active, a lot of these things may have been just absorbed into the natural caring that you got in a church-like Christian community." However, the CMA spokesman contends, taking God out of the public realm has removed some of these protections.
Oh, and Rogan was responsible for this gem of a quote, denouncing the American Psychiatric Association's move to back gay marriage:
"I guess if you want to see that [homosexual marriage] helps mental health, you may be able to see it. Personally, from my experience, I have not seen that as a strong point for mental health. The people I’ve dealt with in a professional sense that have been involved in that kind of lifestyle have not been happy people." -- (Agape Press, May 26)


Happy birthday to me

Vanity post for the day to announce that I am officially ancient as of 6PM.


Here I am, leaving the now-gone Lincoln Hospital in Durham, NC, 42 years ago. [The hospital served Durham's black residents during the Jim Crow era. The original building was torn down in the 70s when the integrated Durham County Hospital was built. A community health center is on the old grounds.]


Feeling really OLD: Here I am, the little blondish child with the smart handbag, on a visit to NYC (my hair darkened to all brown once I was in grade school). I am standing outside the IND line subway station -- do they even refer to the train lines as IND, BMT and IRT anymore? I visited the World's Fair site in Flushing Meadow Park, Queens (I think this was taken just before the Fair closed). Right: the Unisphere from that Fair. I couldn't locate the pic of me taken riding in one of those little pedal-cars around the Unisphere.


Future host of the House Blend, already recounting a story.

Now back to regular programming...


BTK: the demon made me do it

Thursday, July 07, 2005

"I just know it's a dark side of me. It kind of controls me. I personally think it's a — and I know it is not very Christian — but I actually think it's a demon that's within me. ... At some point and time it entered me when I was very young."
-- BTK serial killer Dennis Rader
This is one of the most tired-*ss, simple-minded defenses. Thankfully he pleaded guilty, but does he expect leniency? Who in the hell is going to fall for that? [Kate interjects, "well considering the state this nation is in, they could sell this one."] This ranks up there with the "Twinkie defense" and the "gay panic" excuse.

Not only does Rader want to blame it all on demons, this SOB says he knew that he was a sick perv from childhood, but someone, anyone, should have been responsible for seeing he had unhealthy sexual proclivities.
"I have a lot of remorse. I'm very sorry for them. It is something I wouldn't want to happen to my family," he told KAKE-TV. The interview was conducted Saturday; some of it was aired Wednesday night with additional portions to air Thursday.

Rader, who pleaded guilty last week to 10 first-degree murders in the Wichita area from 1974 to 1991, nicknamed himself BTK, for "Bind, Torture, Kill," as he taunted media and police with cryptic messages about the crimes. He faces sentencing Aug. 17.

Rader, 60, said his problems began in grade school, with his sexual fantasies that were "just a little bit weirder" than other people's. "Somewhere along the line, someone had to pick something up from me somewhere that there was a problem," he said. "They should have identified it."


Rehnquist to step down tomorrow?


Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist departs his home in Arlington, Va., Wednesday, July 6, 2005. Now 80 years old and suffering with thyroid cancer, Rehnquist smiled when asked if he will be announcing his retirement from the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Chief Justice been at death's door, but he made it past the election. It won't be a surprise if he announces his retirement tomorrow, but damn. Chimpy doesn't deserve two shots at the Supreme Court. The BradBlog has the goods.
Received this moments ago from our friend Tony Trupiano of The Tony Show who received it himself via Email just moments after going off the air and thus was not able to run it. He tells The BRAD BLOG that he considers his source for this to be "golden"...
Just spoke to a Senate press secretary who said Republicans on the Judiciary Committee let them know that they should be prepared for Rehnquist to make a statement sometime between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. tomorrow morning and not to schedule anything during that time. Please be advised.


Visit Perrspectives: The Karl Rove Whack-a-Mole Contest



Want an iPod? If you hate Karl Rove and you're creative, check out Jon Perr's Perrspectives.
How to Play

The contest is simple. You get to sentence Karl Rove for his crimes; the best and most fitting punishment wins the contest.

While Rove may not technically have violated the law in outing a covert CIA operative, he is nonetheless long overdue for retribution for his dirty deeds and politics of payback. To enter the Perrspectives Karl Rove Whack-a-Mole Contest:

Use the Perrspectives Feedback Form to pronounce your verdict and sentence for Karl Rove.

You may enter as many times as you’d like. However, any entry involving violence or torture will be disqualified, even if deserved or within the guidelines of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ 2002 memo on the treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

The deadline for contest submissions is August 3, 2005, the fifth anniversary of candidate George W. Bush’s promise to "uphold the honor and dignity of the office."
What You Can Win

The person whose entry contains the best, funniest or most appropriate punishment for Karl Rove wins the contest. While personal injury is out, fitting punishments can run the full gamut of the ironic, mean-spirited, tasteless, and otherwise biblically just. For example, having Karl Rove share a prison cell with OxyContin junkie Rush Limbaugh is permissible, as would be having Rove marry Limbaugh on the steps of the statehouse in Boston. Prison, community service, a tour of duty in Iraq, or a stint as an NAACP spokesperson would also be fine.

Winners of the Perrspectives Karl Rove Whack-a-Mole Contest will receive:
First Place. To commemorate Karl Rove being shuffled off to prison, the Grand Prize Winner gets a 1 GB iPod Shuffle.

Second Place. To celebrate Rove being "frog-marched out of the White House", the second place finished receives the video game "Frogger" (for PS2, xBox or GameBoy).

Third Place. The third place finisher wins the home version of the Whac-a-Mole game.


Which contains more bullsh*ttery?


A screen grab from the Islamist web forum Al-Qalaa shows a statement posted by the previously unknown Al-Qaeda-linked group, 'The Organisation of Al-Qaeda Jihad in Europe, claiming today's attacks in London.
"Heroic mujahedeens carried out a sacred attack in London, and here is Britain burning in fear, terror, and fright in the north, south, east and west."
-- Organisation of Al-Qaeda Jihad in Europe
"We will find them. We will bring them to justice. And at the same time we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate."
-- The U.S. Chimperor in Chief
Geez. I can't tell which statement contains more pissing contest bullsh*ttery, the statement of alleged perpetrators of the London bombings, or Bush's crap. It's like these folks have been watching every grade-Z action flick imaginable.



If you've ever seen The Delta Force (1986), you know what I'm talking about. Good god, what stereotypical portrayals of Arabs (specifically Lebanese terrorists - Katie gets a rise out of this, it's one of her favorite bad movies. The name of the terrorist organization in that flick was "The Brotherhood of the New World Revolution" [!]. The 80s synthesizer soundtrack alone puts her into hysterics). Anyway, the sorry truth is that the terrorist threat isn't idle. They can actually deliver on the hyperbole. (AFP):
The previously unknown group said that the string of attacks in the early morning London rush that killed at least 37 people and wounded scores of others were in revenge for Britain's military action in Afghanistan and Iraq.

..."We have repeatedly warned the government and people of Britain, and we have now fulfilled our promise and have carried out a sacred military attack in Britain," it said.

"We continue to warn the governments of Denmark, Italy and all the Crusaders that they will meet the same punishment if they do not withdraw their troops from Iraq and Afghanistan."

The group addressed the Arab and Islamic world, saying that "it is time to take revenge from the Crusader and Zionist government in Britain, in retaliation for the massacres that Britain is committing in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The synchronised nature of the four blasts, which went off within an hour of each other in the early morning rush, recalled similar coordinated Al-Qaeda-claimed strikes that have rocked the United States, Spain, Turkey and other countries in the past years.

There was a particular similarity to the 10 blasts on four packed early morning peak commuter trains in Madrid on March 11, 2004, which killed 191 people and injured 1,900 more in what was Spain's worst terror attack.

"If you look at the modus operandi, this is definitely the work of radical Islamic terrorist organisations with the attempt to achieve mass civilian casualties," said Boaz Ganor, director general of Israel's International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

However there was no way of confirming the veracity of the website statement. Shortly after the claim was published, the al-Qalah site -- used in the past for a number of Islamist messages -- went offline and has been blocked ever since.


Darth's spare parts and colon shop



More than you really want to know. He's a heartbeat away from the Presidency or a pine box, depending on your point of view.
Vice President Dick Cheney will undergo a routine exam Friday to check the condition of a high-tech pacemaker that was placed in his chest in June 2001.

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said the tests at George Washington University Medical Center would include a physical exam, an electrocardiogram, an echocardiogram and a stress test. The vice president planned to be back at work later in the day, she said.

"It's a routine physical," she said. She said the vice president also would have a colonoscopy later this month.

Cheney has had four heart attacks, though none as vice president. His last checkup was in May 2004, and determined that his pacemaker, called an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, was working fine and had never had to be activated.
Whew. Don't I feel relieved. Do you really believe he's never gotten it jump-started, given this post from a few days ago, by Arianna Huffington, that he was rushed into a cardiac unit in Vail, CO -- under the guise of a problem with his bum knee?


I really have to hold back the urge to hurl



Does the bastard have to sound like a freaking slimy used car salesman, croaking out hoary, stale, and ridiculous statements like this (you can practically hear his voice, like nails on a chalkboard):
"Their resolve is as strong as my resolve. And that is, we will not yield to these people, will not yield to the terrorists."

"We will find them. We will bring them to justice. And at the same time we will spread an ideology of hope and compassion that will overwhelm their ideology of hate."
It's like Rove or Darth Cheney turned the key in his back and out comes the stock cowboy pile of steaming, flaming sh*t, exploiting the situation to puff out his chest and pretend to be a leader, instead of The Pet Goat. He'd be the deer in the headlights again if it happened here, but no he can coast on this one, and sadly for us, watch the sheeple polls rise again.


Vigilance, Freeper-style


A still taken from a mobile phone video camera, aired by SKY TV as passengers are evacuated from an underground train in London. (AP Photo/SKY TV)

The insane minds over in the slime of Freeperland took the call for vigilance seriously. Maybe a bit too seriously. In response to the London terrorist attacks, a thread popped up in a round-up of related postings entitled, "Secure USA borders NOW, President Bush. Political Correctness be damned." Apparently the most urgent threat is Mexican workers, not Al Qaeda.

Actual Freeper Quotes™

"Code Orange in Boston, NYC, DC, Atlanta. Unfortunately, it's still Code Green at our borders."

"secure them with WHAT?"

"While I don't want to be too hasty, I think this is becoming more and more of a necessity nowadays. If the Brits's commitment to fighting terrorism isn't reborn in the wake of these attacks then the U.S. is alone, aside from Israel and Japan, and likely Australia (Israel and Australia having moderate-severe problems of their own). We need to look at the borders again, if nothing else, and check for weaknesses."

"Anyone have the comments from President Bush that were released a short time ago?"

"You'll see he has no plans to secure the border, he plans to erase them. We're no longer citizens of the United States. We're citizens of North America. Soon we'll be citizens of the World."

"I only caught the part where he wants us to be "extra vigilant." I think this is too lax an attitude. I think we should be "double dog vigilant.""

"I was just screaming those same words at my PC. So loud that the cats took cover."

"It's probably too late for London. Many parts of London now resemble Baghdad. No kidding. The Mid Easterners are everywhere."

"They are already here. W squandered 5 years of open borders. He even condemne the Minutemen Project. He's a Fox ass kisser."

"I dont know, but I think we need to calm down and take a deep breath and THINK. all this garbage about screaming or nuking people or whatever needs to stop....." [OMG...Sanity!]

"When I woke up this morning and turned the tv on, I heard that there were suicide bombings. I honestly thought it was here in the US because I'm quite certain this will happen here."

"I've heard that. Mass migration is destroying Western Civilization."

"Yes. Let's speed up the withdrawal of those armored and mechanized brigades in Germany. Put them, along with brigades already in CONUS, on our southern border. And when these brigades get to the border I don't want them just sitting in garrison. I want them patrolling the border with a basic load of ammunition and orders to waste anything crossing the fence." [Has he seen too many Chuck Norris flicks?]

"For starters land mines, at least until we can fully man the border. [OK. This is just f*cking frightening.] It would take less time to train and man a border patrol force than it would take to train and man the Iraqi military. Anything is better than the status quo."

"land mines? so you are willing to KILL men women and children to satisfy your fear? I know if I were in charge I wouldnt ask my military to do that, they have other things to do and besides that, I seriously doubt we could put enough land mines down across our borders to significantly make that much of a difference in the first place. The Russians tried that in Afghanistan when they withdrew. Hell the Russians loaded all of their planes with land mines and rolled them out as they flew out of the country. It didnt do ANYTHING to stop the Afghans. It would only be a matter of time until the illegals know their ways through the mine fields. there are better ways and land mines ARE NOT it. Besides why would AQ want to go across the border? It is quicker, easier an