Sunday, October 30, 2005


Maureen Dowd Makes Some Good Points-I Know, I Didn't Think She Could Either

What's a Modern Girl to Do? - New York Times: "Female sexuality has been a confusing corkscrew path, not a serene progressive arc. We had decades of Victorian prudery, when women were not supposed to like sex. Then we had the pill and zipless encounters, when women were supposed to have the same animalistic drive as men. Then it was discovered - shock, horror! - that men and women are not alike in their desires. But zipless morphed into hookups, and the more one-night stands the girls on 'Sex and the City' had, the grumpier they got."

Of course, this is not about politics. It is actually about the confusion of 21st century sexuality, from the boardroom to the bedroom to the keyboard. She explores whether the Feminist Movement is extinct. Quite a question as it may be more of a morphing after so many twenty-somethings have watched their families try to have it all ending in crumbles. It is a worthwhile endeavor to attempt understanding what has happened. Do women now care less about having it all? Are women scared to be intelligent and successful as it may be the biggest turn-off to men at their own intellectual level? Do men really want women below them intellectually so that they can mold them into nurturers and care-takers? If so, is this a natural instinct or a fad coming back in fashion? How many equals marry and have successful lives together? Or does the man marry and pretend to have a successful life with his equal, but just have affairs with the secretaries and other intellectual dimwits? What has happened? How does mating happen? They say it is bad to meet people in bars, but how many busy, successful people have time to hang out in libraries? They say it is bad for women to chase men, but aren't some women aggressive naturally? Does that put them at a natural disadvantage? Maureen, by bringing this up, may have done all of us under-fifties a service by making us consider who we want to be. For men, it is whether we want to be shallow and taken care of. For women, it is whether we want to be successful at the risk of not having it all. Interesting questions indeed.

Saturday, October 29, 2005


A LaTi Headline That Should Make Us All Wonder

Los Angeles, California, national and world news, jobs, real estate, cars - Los Angeles Times: "Libby Allegedly Told a Whopper"

"Allegedly told a Whopper"-Doesn't 'allegedly' get lost with the word 'whopper'? Is this a journalistically honest headline? I have already made clear that I want to see Scooter punished if he did as accused, but this headline has him convicted and in shackles. And since when was whopper an appropriate headline word for one of the top ten papers in the country? I expect better than that from Ivy-Leaguers who became journalists to change the world. How exactly does this assist in changing the world for the better?


Sowell Speaks on the Politics of Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks and history�-�Commentary�-�The Washington Times, America's Newspaper: "People who decry the fact that businesses are in business 'just to make money' seldom understand the implications of what they are saying. You make money by doing what other people want, not what you want."

The excerpt above is the one really great line of his piece. Capitalism can actually be an engine for equality and fairness. Imagine. Anyway, another point that I have been wanting to make is the appropriateness of honoring Rosa Parks with a public viewing in the Capitol. Thankfully, the applause, awards and appreciation came mostly while she was alive, so that she could get a sense of her own place in history. I always find it sad when it is primarily posthumous. She was lavished with praise almost from that day in December 1955 to this day in 2005. Being a catalyst for maturing a country is no small feat. We must continue to thank her even after her passing.


Lanny Davis With a Prudent Reminder

New Scandal, Old Mistakes - New York Times: "The best result of this latest scandal, and the hypocrisy and finger-pointing exhibited on both sides, would be for voters to say, 'A pox on both your houses,' reject the scandal culture and gotcha politics of both parties and seek new politics of common cause, collegiality and the public interest. The alternative is that most people will conclude that in American politics today the only standard is the double standard, and the cycles of conflict and rancor will continue."

I saw him yesterday on a show saying much of the same, but it is right. It is important to read the whole article, because he really puts much of this in the proper perspective. Not only that, but he is not quite the partisan hack that we would have ordinarily expected him to be. It seems he is a thinker, much more so than is normally accepted in politics these days. Those that are gleeful or are denying the possible veracity of the indictments are not worth listening to. We need to hear the voices of reason. If Scooter did something wrong, we need to see to it that he is punished. If not, then let's get to the bottom of the leak scandal and be done with it. There is a ton still to know. Novak comes to mind. Reading the tea leaves is a favorite of fans of political games, but these are very complicated and secretive tea leaves. In fact, someone wisely pointed out yesterday that we may never know the real story on this. To Lanny, thank you for reminding us of the ridiculous hypocrisy that is far too common in politics these days!

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Re-Post About Galloway

I wrote a post a few days ago on a story about Galloway's charges, but the post came out badly. Without the link and excerpt, I will post what I wrote in response as it has now become bigger news. It may be less necessary, but it was what I was thinking at the time.
-Galloway's Senate testimony was certainly big news. The fact that he likely lied and was a Saddam crony seems to be lost in the headlines. Let's see, he was just on Bill Maher's show recently. Do you think Maher will cover this? Naah. I didn't see it on any front pages. It was even just a small blip on Fox News as far as I could tell. This should be much bigger news, as his stature in Britain gave him a soapbox that it seems now was not deserved. When those that supported the war suggested to anti-war folks that some of the reason that people like Galloway, Chirac and Schroeder were anti-war was because they were trying to protect the fact that they were taking kick-backs, we were called conspiracy theorists. As my Dad sometimes says, "sometimes when someone thinks people are out to get them, it is because people are actually out to get them". Conspiracies are ususally not a favorite of mine, because they often cannot be proved. This time, however, we may just get proof. Let's all please show this man for the ever sleazy man he is, and not bury this story. It is a disservice to all that listened to him thinking he had a superiority over us dopes. Truth is, he was likely just continuing to cover up his crime.


Danforth Criticizes Christian Sway in GOP

Danforth Criticizes Christian Sway in GOP - Yahoo! News: "LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Former Sen. John Danforth said Wednesday that the political influence of evangelical Christians is hurting the Republican Party and dividing the country.
Danforth, a Missouri Republican and an Episcopal priest, commented after meeting with students at the Bill Clinton School of Public Service, a graduate branch of the University of Arkansas on the grounds of the Clinton presidential library.
'I think that the Republican Party fairly recently has been taken over by the Christian conservatives, by the Christian right,' he said in an interview. 'I don't think that this is a permanent condition, but I think this has happened, and that it's divisive for the country.'
He also said the evangelical Christian influence would be bad for the party in the long run."

His fears on this are running through many of our minds. Religion can be a private matter. As it relates to government, there are many of us who think it should be. When one considers that at least a couple of our Founding Fathers were Deists, not evangelical, we can clearly see that they saw a danger in the mixing of politics and religion.
In a recent conversation with my father, we discussed how diverse, religiously, the country was at its birth. With Indian cultures surrounding what were becoming cities, the various different views of Christianity, be it Anglican or Catholic, etc., there was at least some diversity of religious thought. It seems to me, however, that they were escaping from a place where religion was forced on them by the Establishment. The separation of Church and State was an experiment based on bad experience with these two very powerful institutions acting as one. This experiment allowed for the diversity of religious thought. That is the important part of it. They did not say that there would be no religion allowed. Quite the opposite. They said that religion should be a personal decision, and that all should be allowed to practice their own religion without persecution, meaning also that people would have the choice to be free of religion.
I don't mind that some religions find certain political philosophies more in line with their values than others. I mind that there has been a hubris formed as a result of a second term win of "their guy". This hubris of both the religious right and of the politicos that won has been a distraction from the original reasons they were placed there. When Falwell and Dobson get air time to discuss the nominations for the Supreme Court or other such political dealings, it is a sign that we are experiencing a melding which many of us do not think was intended.
For the good of a party that has stood for religious freedom, let us free ourselves from the grasp of religion on this party.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


I Have Been Waiting Breathlessly For This!

Calling Galloway's Bluff - The Senate uncovers a smoking gun. By Christopher�Hitchens: "Just before my last exchange with George Galloway, which occurred on the set of Bill Maher's show in Los Angeles in mid-September, I was approached by a representative of the program and asked if I planned to repeat my challenge to Galloway on air. That challenge�would he sign an affidavit saying that he had never discussed Oil-for-Food monies with Tariq Aziz?�I had already made on a public stage in New York. Maher's producers had been asked, obviously by a nervous Galloway, to find out whether I had brought such an affidavit along with me. I replied that this was not necessary, since his public denial to me was on the record and had been broadcast, and since it further confirmed the apparent perjury that he had committed in front of the U.S. Senate on May 17, 2005. I added that I wanted no further contact with Galloway until I could have the opportunity of reviewing his prison diaries.
That day has now been brought measurably closer by the publication of the report of the Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. This report, which comes with a vast archive of supporting material, was embargoed until 10 p.m. Monday and contains the 'smoking gun' evidence that Galloway, along with his wife and his chief business associate, were consistent profiteers from Saddam Hussein's regime and its criminal exploitation of the 'Oil for Food' program...
Yet this is the man who received wall-to-wall good press for insulting the Senate subcommittee in May, and who was later the subject of a fawning puff piece in the New York Times, and who was lionized by the anti-war movement when he came on a mendacious and demagogic tour of the country last month. I wonder if any of those who furnished him a platform will now have the grace to admit that they were hosting a man who is not just a pimp for fascism but one of its prostitutes as well."

But one of its prostitutes as well! Oh how I love my Hitchy. Ok, so he's Blue's Hitchy, his wife, but mine too in a harmless adoration sort of way. Please do not just read this excerpt as you mustn't miss a morsel of what he has done to Galloway. Hitchens has put Galloway in an intellectual blender several times lately. He could do that to most any of us, but I am not a sleazeball, and wouldn't attempt to question his intellect or just raw gut feeling as Galloway has so dopily tried recently. Now to my question from yesterday...why is this not big news? His big tour around the country was big news, wasn't it? He was help up as a peacenik hero, and now it is clear he is a thief, liar and could care less about peace. Whenever possible, please blog on this and talk about it loudly in local coffee shops. It must be known that taking the high ground on war often has more to do with money than life and death.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


The Gospel of Hitchy

Tribal Ignorance - What you think you know about Iraq's factions is all wrong. By Christopher Hitchens: "When it comes to Iraq, one of the most boring and philistine habits of our media is the insistence on using partitionist and segregationist language that most journalists would (I hope) scorn to employ if they were discussing a society they actually knew. It is the same mistake that disfigured the coverage of the Bosnian war, where every consumer of news was made to understand that there was fighting between Serbs, Croats, and 'Muslims.' There are two apples and one orange in that basket, as any fool should be able to see. Serbian and Croatian are national differences, which track very closely with the distinction between Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic beliefs. Many Muslims are Bosnian, but not all Bosnians are Muslim. And in fact, the Bosnian forces in the late war were those which most repudiated any confessional definition. (And when did you ever hear the media saying that, 'Today the Orthodox shelled Sarajevo,' or, 'Yesterday the Catholics bombarded Mostar'?)
In Iraq there are also two apples and one orange in the media-coverage basket (as well as many important fruits that, as I mentioned above, are never specified). To be a Sunni or a Shiite is to follow one or another Muslim obedience, but to be a Kurd is to be a member of a large non-Arab ethnicity as well as to be, in the vast majority of cases, a Sunni. Thus, by any measure of accuracy, the 'Sunni' turnout in the weekend's referendum on the constitution was impressively large, very well-organized, and quite strongly in favor of a 'yes' vote. Is that the way you remember it being reported? I thought not. Well, then, learn to think for yourself."

This is only an excerpt, but an important reminder of how little we know. You always learn something when reading Hitchens, always. It is required reading of any person who is desirous of mental exercise.


Human Dignity Indeed

She Set Wheels of Justice in Motion - Los Angeles Times: "Rosa Parks, the Alabama seamstress whose simple act of defiance on a segregated Montgomery bus in 1955 stirred the nonviolent protests of the modern civil rights movement and catapulted an unknown minister named Martin Luther King Jr. to international prominence, died Monday of natural causes at her home in Detroit. She was 92.
Often called the mother of the movement that led to the dismantling of institutionalized segregation in the South, Parks became a symbol of human dignity when she was jailed for refusing to relinquish her bus seat to a white man when she rode home from work on the evening of Dec. 1, 1955.
Her arrest for violating Alabama's bus segregation laws galvanized Montgomery's blacks, who boycotted the city's buses for 381 days until the U.S. Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional."

Whites, Blacks and Americans of all backgrounds owe Ms. Parks a debt, as she clearly was a catalyst for the evolution of American thought. Parks' death is a reminder of how unjust our system was to others with blood of red and dreams like any others. Her constitution that day gave others like her a strength they had not yet known and began a period of growth for the American mind and spirit. In fact, her strength may have been a catalyst for the strength of the late, great Martin Luther King, Jr. I can't imagine a world without Rosa Parks or "I Have a Dream", and quite frankly, I don't want to. In the context of the evolution of man, we all stand a bit more upright because of her and King's time on Earth. We should all be grateful.


Read This

Husband Is Conspicuous in Leak Case: "But nobody disputes this: Possessed of a flamboyant style and a love for the camera lens, Wilson helped propel the unmasking of his wife's identity as a CIA operative into a sprawling, two-year legal probe that climaxes this week with the possible indictment of key White House officials. He also turned an arcane matter involving the Intelligence Identities Protection Act into a proxy fight over the administration's credibility and its case for war in Iraq."

The balance of this story in WaPo is worth the read. It gives a two-sided view of this man that needs to be contemplated as we near Fitzgerald's findings. None of us know what will come of the Grand Jury, and it seems silly to speculate. Republicans and Democrats alike seem to respect Fitzgerald, so we should just wait and see what has been found while keeping in mind how all of this came about. Kudos to Dana Milbank and Walter Pincus for a balanced story in WaPo today.


Christian Preachers of Hate

Sky Report Channel: "Fred Phelps, who set up the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, told our undercover reporter about the attacks, which killed 52 people:
'Oh I am so thankful that happened. My only regret is that they didn't kill about million of them. England deserves that kind of punishment, as does this country (America)'.
The church, which has 150 followers, recently started picketing funerals including those of American soldiers killed in Iraq, waving banners such as 'Thank God 9/11', 'God Hates Fags' and 'Aids Cures Fags'.
The Sky Report investigation includes secret filming inside the church's fortified compound during a weekly service in which Fred Phelps also denounced the Roman Catholic Church as the 'biggest paedophile organisation in the history of the world'.
Phelps made news just last month when the Daily Telegraph reported that the Swedish royal family were consulting lawyers after discovering that he had made outrageous claims about their sexuality on the internet.
Several members of the Westboro Baptist Church congregation were planning to visit Sweden - placards in hand - ready to spread their message that Sweden is, 'a land of sodomy, bestiality and incest''.

I feel a bit naive that this story surprised me, as there are rednecks everywhere, even Church. It did anyway. While he may have a point about the Catholic Church, I am offended that he could think that somehow the bombings could have anything to do with sexuality of any kind or that he wish it would have killed more people. The Ten Commandments may be a good place to start in terms of living a good life, but this is taking religion and the Bible too far. It is the worst kind of religion. It is the worst kind of thought. It should be condemned by everyone, religious and atheist alike. We should all agree that this kind of thought is sick and sad, and has no place in America or anywhere else. They have the freedom to think it and say it here, but we should shun them when they do.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Here's An Excellent Question

Opinions: "If Christian conservative leader James Dobson is reassured by Harriet Miers's religion, why should I not be scared to death?"

This was my reaction too. The super religious do not represent me very well, because I do not hold all of their beliefs. Where I think the anti-abortion advocates have their heart in the right place, they may cause what could equal a new American civil war. It may not include the colors blue and grey or muskets, but it could be a great risk to our national stability. I am still unsure how I feel about abortion. I just fear changing the status quo, given the very heated debate that could result from such a decision. Let's not forget too that we are talking about a great number of things other than abortion. Do we want prayer in schools? Do we want the ten commandments up in government offices or schools? Do we want to declare ourselves a Christian nation when we have always had a national identity of a melting pot, both culturally and religiously? These are questions likely to be in front of Harriet and her robed friends. Do we want someone who is being touted by James Dobson? I am pretty sure I don't.

Friday, October 14, 2005


What Year is It?

BREITBART.COM - Just The News: "A far cry from sorcerers, satanists and other practitioners whom he dismisses as 'charlatans,' Italian exorcist Andrea Gemma fights the devil only with the strength of his prayers and advises Catholics: 'Don't do this at home'.
A rotund, expansive Neapolitan, the 74-year-old bishop was the first lecturer to face the Catholic Church's latest crop of budding exorcists at a unique course run by clergy at Rome's Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University. The course began Thursday and will run for several weeks.
Faced with a classroom of 50 priests intent on learning how best to take on the devil, the veteran Gemma profiles his ideal comrade at arms, spiritually-speaking: 'Live a holy life, work hard and be devoted to the Madonna'. "

How does one respond to such idiocy?

Monday, October 10, 2005


I Called This One Recently

WorldNetDaily: Robertson: Disasters point to 2nd Coming: "Robertson: Disasters
point to 2nd Coming
Evangelist observes quakes, hurricanes 'starting to hit with amazing regularity'"

I was talking to my Dad recently and joked that the "End of World'ers" were probably readying their underground shelters. I was only half joking, and sadly Robertson had no humor in his suggestion at all.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


An Intellectual Vote...No, Not for US President

Prospect: "Vote for the world's top public intellectuals"

OK, look, everyone who reads this knows that I have a healthy affection for Hitchens, but this gives us an opportunity to pay appropriate tribute. Put your vote in for my favorite chubby, balding bisexual.

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