As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, November 19, 2004

More Morality Police

Tom Tomorrow posted this the other day, but it's too insane not to comment:

A homecoming tradition in which boys dress like girls and vice versa in a tiny Texas school district won't be held Wednesday after a parent complained about what she regarded as the event's homosexual overtones.

As a substitute for ``TWIRP Day,'' the schools ranging from elementary to senior high decided to hold ``Camo Day'' - with black boots and Army camouflage to be worn by everyone who wants to participate.

...OK, so it's better to dress up as a GUN-WIELDING KILLER than as a member of the opposite sex. This is the money quote.

``It's like experimenting with drugs,'' Davies [the mom who complained] said. ``You just keep playing with it and it becomes customary. ... If it's OK to dress like a girl today, then why is it not OK in the future?''

How about, "If it's OK to dress like a killer today, then why is it not OK in the future?"


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Thank you John Dingell!

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) on Majority Leader Tom DeLay (TX-R): "These folks talk about values and decency, but then think it’s okay to change the rules once it appears one of their own may have broken them. This amounts to a work release program for the ethically challenged. We should all remember that a decade ago, Mr. DeLay helped to create this rule. Republicans said at the time they were the party of reform and good government. Now they’ve become the party of moribund hubris."

I am proud to have been your constituent while at my alma mater.

With each passing day, it must become more and more difficult to delude yourself into being a Republican. Glad I don't have that problem.

[UPDATE} In case you don't know what Mr. Dingell is talking about here, the GOP voted in caucus to change their own rules regarding keeping House members in leadership posts despite grand jury indictments. Clearly Tom DeLay knows that he's about to get indicted for his role in a number of growing electoral funding scandals in Texas, and he's protecting his Majority Leader status by pre-emptively changing the rules. What's hilarious is that this was a Republican rule:

House Republicans adopted the indictment rule in 1993, when they were trying to end four decades of Democratic control of the House, in part by highlighting Democrats' ethical lapses. They said at the time that they held themselves to higher standards than prominent Democrats such as then-Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski (Ill.), who eventually pleaded guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to prison.

Like I said, it's more and more difficult to be an undeluded Republican every day.


A word on sex

According to the morality police (who I like to call MINOs, Moralists In Name Only), not only is homosexuality a sin, not only should gays not be able to marry, but apparently, you shouldn't be allowed to have so much as a heterosexual thought either.

Isn't that how the Shaker cult vanished from the face of the Earth?

Your Christian God isn't going to let you reproduce by spores, ya know.


Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Those sensitive Freepers

Just look at what the proud, all-American, compassionate citizens of the Free Republic had to say about NBC News correspondent Kevin Sites, who had the misfortune of pointing his camera in the wrong place and capturing an American Marine shooting an unarmed Iraqi insurgent:

* "Turn Sites over to the terrorists."
* "Fragamundo."
* "No need for anything overt. Unfortunate things happen in combat zones, and if the reporter fails to hear someone yell 'Sniper!!', well, c'est la guerre" [French for "that is war"].
* [In response to a post suggesting Sites's "life is in danger being around the Marines"]: "I would certainly hope so."
* "I hope the Marines advance and leave Sites behind...alone in Fallujah with his terrorist buddies."
* "I don't want the punk killed, I'd just like to see his hair mussed. Jaws wired shut for a few months, food through a straw, that kind of thing."
* "It's Kevin Sites who deserves to be held in contempt and who deserves the losing end of a bar fight."
* "I don't give a flying you-know-what about his safety."

Nice bunch of guys. Just the kind of "values-based" folks you'd love to have a beer with in your house. No wonder us librul Democrats lost; we're not in touch with red-hate America!


What You Reap=What You Sow

We've seen a lot of comebacks the last few years. A war in Iraq. A President named George Bush. Leg warmers. And now, apparently, The Cold War arms race is back!

MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that Russia is developing a new form of nuclear missile unlike those held by other countries, news agencies reported.

Speaking at a meeting of the Armed Forces' leadership, Putin reportedly said that Russia is researching and successfully testing new nuclear missile systems.

"I am sure that ... they will be put in service within the next few years and, what is more, they will be developments of the kind that other nuclear powers do not and will not have," Putin was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency.

That sounds great! The US media has ignored Russia's slow descent into totalitarianism up until now, and I don't think this will wake them either. But clearly, the largest country (by landmass) on Earth is one place where freedom is most definitely NOT on the march, and one can look at it as a model for what could (what am I saying could? Is!) happen here. Putin has systematically crushed dissent, used state power to edge aside rivals, and turned the Duma into a chorus of yes-men. And now, in the name of terrorism, they're building new nukes. Which, by the way, we're doing here too.

According to California Peace Action, the Senate Appropriations Committee is expected as early as today to take up an "omnibus" appropriations bill, which will include President Bush’s request for $27.6 million for the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, or nuclear "bunker buster" and $9 million for Advanced Concepts, or so-called "mini-nukes" research. At the CPA website (link above), you can write your Senator to oppose this legislation.

Russia and the United States are hurtling down a familiar path, not necessarily in concert with one another, of arming themselves to the hilt while silencing anyone who disagrees with them. Welcome to "The New Freedom."


Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Standardless Voting

It's not hysteria to talk about the kinds of systematic voter suppression on display in Ohio on Election Day. This posting of the minutes of a public hearing about voter issues is a laundry list of suppression's greatest hits. It includes stories of 3 machines per precinct, 3-hour lines for voting, people getting frustrated and leaving, challenges to black voters, angry and officious precinct leaders, others needing tons of ID just to get a ballot, people voting for Kerry but having it tally for Bush, people on touchscreen machines voting for Nader even though his name wasn't supposed to be on the ballot, handicapped voters not directed to applicable entrances, and finally, most tellingly, GOP areas having none of these kinds of problems. The lack of national standards for national elections is absolutely ridiculous. Nowhere else in the world votes this way, including the elections in Afghanistan this administration is so fond of trumpeting. Is Kabul using touch-screen machines, with one machine per 200 voters, while Kandahar has paper ballots, with one station per 1,000 voters? Of course not.

We have to do something about the voting problems in this country.



This is the headline running on CNN all day, in reference to the recent replacement Cabinet appointment of Dr. Condoleezza Rice: "Misty eyes, peck on cheek mark Rice's nomination to State." Gee, you'd think it was Princess Di's wedding. The media is certainly painting this as the love story to end all love stories. Platonically speaking, of course. (or is it?)

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) was interviewed on CNN about the appointment, and he said "What leaders around the world will know is that when they're talking to the Secretary of State, they'll be just one inch away from the President. That's how close they are."

Wow, I always thought Bush would be bigger. (Sorry, couldn't help the dick joke)

Atrios has noted that these changes in the Cabinet seem like the change from the "grownups" to the younger, not as bright nieces and nephews. If that means that Bush himself is the last grownup left, we're all in for it.


Monday, November 15, 2004

The Slippery Slope

When we decided to torture prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, we brought cruelty into the mainstream of military tactics. We began the downward spiral into anarchy, immorality and lawlessness as a legitimate response to terror. We debased ourselves.

So it's no surprise to me that we're continuing down that road:

The US military is looking into whether an American marine in Falluja shot dead a severely wounded Iraqi insurgent at point-blank range.

Television footage shows US soldiers entering a building as injured prisoners lie on the floor... The images show a group of marines, armed with rifles, entering a building near a mosque.

The mosque had been used by insurgents to attack US forces, who had stormed it, killing 10 militants and wounding five.

At least three severely wounded men are seen in a room inside the building - two are slumped against one of the walls, partially covered with a blanket.

The NBC's Kevin Sites says the wounded men had been left in the mosque after marines had fought their way in on Friday and Saturday.

According to Mr Sites, one of the soldiers points his rifle at the head of one of the injured, an old man. The sound of a shot is then heard.

There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon on the report.

Considering the man being tapped as the new Attorney General considers the Geneva Conventions "quaint" when dealing with terrorism, how could you possibly be surprised? In responding to butchers, we have sank into butchery. We are without respect. And we shall be for the next four years.


Blocked Colin

To nobody's surprise, Colin Powell resigned today, in disgrace if you ask me. Powell's visit to the UN in February 2003 to peddle lies and half-truths about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, all of which later proven unfounded, ended up damaging our credibility abroad, and will forever remain his epitaph. Sadly, Powell was probably the last voice of dissent in the Cabinet, and his departure seems to mean that the war between Defense and State is over, with a clear winner. His likely replacement, Condoleezza Rice, has no such backbone or taste for any disapproval for her beloved boss Mr. Bush.

In the end, Powell played the true soldier by going against his instinct and into the General Assembly in 2003. And like many soldiers, he fell on his sword. He will not be missed by anyone, I imagine.