Friday, April 22, 2005

Thumbs-up for Krauthammer

Today's column by Charles Krauthammer, who, I must say, is a decent guy and a grounded neo-con, is virtually right on the money. I disagree with the last two grafs, but he does a good job of taking to task the right for threatening the judiciary and dissecting the current situation. I'm not sure what to think yet about his analysis of how the abortion debate got riled up by the Supreme Court ruling it to be a right in Roe v. Wade, which was basically an extension of the process began during Griswold v. Connecticut.
On the whole, though, it was a worthy column, therefore, a thumbs-up from my humble hand and a money quote:

Let us have a bit of sanity here. One of the glories of American democracy is the independence of the judiciary. The deference and reverence it enjoys are priceless assets. The Supreme Court is the only institution that could have ended the Bush-Gore fiasco of 2000 with the immediacy, finality and, yes, legitimacy that it did. (True, liberals, who for half a century employed judicial fiat to enact their political agenda, have been whining for five years about this particular judicial exercise. But the critical point is that, whine or not, the ruling was accepted as law.) Moreover, and more generally, judicial independence and supremacy are necessary checks on the tyranny of popular majorities. [emphasis mine]

Like I said, worth a read or two, and lots to think about.

Another reason why I despise James Dobson

found in the L.A. Times, courtesy of my buddies at Crooks and Liars. Why does this wingnut think he's entitled to such power, and why is he so absolutely arrogant? Men of God should be humble, and his attitude in this article proves that he is no man of God. Money quote(s) [note: Tony Perkins, another wingnut, is quoted in this article]:

Claiming a role by the movement in the GOP gains, Dobson concluded: "We've got a right to hold them accountable for what happens here."
Both leaders chastised what Perkins termed "squishy" and "weak" Republican senators who have not wholeheartedly endorsed ending Democrats' power to filibuster judicial nominees. They said these included moderates such as Sens. Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. They also grumbled that Sens. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and George Allen of Virginia needed prodding. "We need to shake these guys up," Perkins said.
Said Dobson: "Sometimes it's just amazing to me that they seem to forget how they got here."Even Bush was not spared criticism. Dobson and Perkins encouraged their supporters to demand that the president act as aggressively on the judiciary as he has for his Social Security overhaul.
"These are not Bill Frist's nominees; these are President George W. Bush's nominees," Perkins said. "He needs to be out there putting pressure on these senators who are weak on this issue and standing in obstruction to these nominations," he said.

I'm going to go vomit now.


Anyone who has been reading me knows I support gay rights. The New York Times reported that Microsoft, long a leader in this field, has reversed course, possibly because of a threat from some two-bit hack of a preacher who threatened a national boycott of Microsoft. Getting past the Luddite part of that threat (what are they all going to do, stop using technology, or go to other liberals, like Apple?), I am furious that once again, people are using this election as something it wasn't. For instance, this quote:

Dr. Hutcherson, who has become a leading national critic of same-sex marriage, said he believed he could have organized a widespread boycott of Microsoft. He said he told the Microsoft executives, "If you don't think the moral issue is not a big issue, just count the amount of votes that were cast on moral issues in the last election."
"A lot of Christians would have joined me," he said, "But it would have been a lot more people, too."

For the absolute last time: 22 percent is not a F'n mandate!!!!! And if only 22% of 50% of this country voted, that's like 1/10 of the country, meaning that 90% of the country didn't make any judgement on moral values!

This article has other fine gems, too, like:

Dr. Hutcherson, pastor of the Antioch Bible Church, who has organized several rallies opposing same-sex marriage here and in Washington, D.C., said he threatened in those meetings to organize a national boycott of Microsoft products.
After that, "they backed off," the pastor said Thursday in a telephone interview. "I told them I was going to give them something to be afraid of Christians about," he said.

I resent this asshole appropriating my faith and my beliefs on behalf of his jihad against other human beings. I resent the implication that all Christians are part of this bigoted campaign. I am tired of Christianity being hijacked by a group of people who want to go to war with the world because they don't like how it is. Wars against gays, against Muslims, against people who believe in choice, and in some cases, like R. Albert Mohler, Jr., against my Catholic faith. Mohler might possibly win the prize for quickest trip to hell with this statement:

"I believe that the Roman church is a false church and it teaches a false gospel, and indeed, I believe that the pope himself holds a false and unbiblical office."

I really hate to tell him, but Catholicism was formed by the apostles of Jesus Christ, so while you may disagree with how the Church evolved, Catholicism is not a false faith. St. Peter himself was the first pope, so I don't see the whole unbiblical part either. Mohler, like most of these preachers running around television, are Pharisees, false prophets, and in general, talk out of their ass. I wonder how Catholic Bush voters are going to take to that statement from a board member of Focus on the Family (one of Bush's constituencies).

Not all of my readers may appreciate the DailyKos, but the conversation today about Sen. Barry Goldwater, the father of modern conservatism, is quite fascinating, and one of the main posters, Hunter, found this great quote, which I shall close with:

"However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom.
They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.'
Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism."

I agree with George Will...kinda

George Will had an interesting column today (yesterday?) about our increased reliance on assistance for our fragile feelings. While I feel that we are far too sensitive about things (no dodgeball anymore? Juggling with scarves because it's easier?), I disagree with Will's [expected] allegation that this is the product of a liberal culture and liberals who want to make money. I do believe our President went on both Oprah and Dr. Phil, two people who have made millions off of the self-help culture. In fact, I am pretty sure that both the President and Dr. Phil are conservatives, which is the opposite of liberals, and that kinda kills Will's thesis right there.
Yeah, we need to stop being so sensitive about everything (a lawsuit I wrote about at my old high school seems like it's a good example), and start growing up again. I'm tired of watching teens now mainly bitch about everything being so horrible when they're getting everything handed to them and I was working from the moment I turned 16. In conclusion, Will is A: right about self-help, and B: wrong about it being another liberal culture idea.

Reality watch

I submit to you this week's moment of someone out of touch with reality: Scott McClellan. Here goes.

Q With regard to the Bolton nomination, I'm trying to get my head around 'unsubstantiated allegations.' With regard to the allegations of trying to have senior intelligence analysts removed from their portfolios, my understanding is that the allegations were made by those analysts, independent intelligence analysts, were substantiated by their superiors and have been corroborated by others, and even Mr. Bolton himself concurs that something occurred. So I'm not quite sure what 'unsubstantiated' means about that one in particular.

"MR. McCLELLAN: The accusations that are being made are unsubstantiated. Again, Democrats continue to raise them. These matters have been addressed before the committee. I'm not going to go and dignify these unsubstantiated accusations from this podium by responding to them."

Um, Scott, I kinda hate to tell you, but when the nominee himself admits an incident, and you still call it an "unsubstantiated allegation," you, my friend, have lost touch with reality. The substantiation came from the man you're trying to support from your incredibly shrinking podium, along with, like, four other people. That's a confirmation alright, but not the type you're hoping to see. I'd go find someone else now to fill that spot, thank you.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The sign of a sinking man

Tom DeLay is now attacking Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kennedy, for anyone who pays attention, was one of Reagan's appointees to the Court, and has been a moderate to conservative type for his whole tenure on the Court. So here's DeLay, who in his desperation to find anything that will distract from his own problems, attacking the man for researching cases online.
Here's a unique thought, one that probably hasn't penetrated his paranoid skull yet: Maybe Kennedy is just doing his job, or better yet, not leaving this to law clerks and aides. There's many resources online. Lexis-Nexis' legal research database and Westlaw are two places to research case law histories, and it sure beats using thick books. I took constitutional law, so I can sympathize in this regard.
Granted, DeLay is also furious over the references to international law in the decision on capital punishment for juveniles. Here's the quote from Fox News Radio, via the Washington Post:

Asked if he would include any Supreme Court justices among those he considers activist and isolated, DeLay singled out Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who was named to the court by President Ronald Reagan. "Absolutely," DeLay replied. "We've got Justice Kennedy writing decisions based upon international law, not the Constitution of the United States. That's just outrageous. And not only that, but he said in session that he does his own research on the Internet? That is just incredibly outrageous."

Notice what he said. It's "outrageous" that Kennedy used international law in helping him make his decision, but it's "incredibly outrageous" that he does his own research on the Internet, where there are reputable sites with legal information, case law, and the like, including, might I add, the House website and the Library of Congress.
I think the Majority Leader has lost his grip on reality for good. It's a debatable point over whether international law should have any influence over an American constitutional proceeding. While I think execution of juveniles is absolutely immoral and heinous, regardless of their crimes, and that the decision was right, it worries me greatly to see that precedent established.
However, bending Kennedy over for using the Internet for research makes DeLay a Neanderthal of the worst sort. Telling a judge, let alone a Supreme Court Justice, that it's incredibly outrageous to be doing their own research is like telling a doctor that he shouldn't consult medical databases when trying to cure an ill patient, or telling a pharmacist not to look online to see if a prescription might cause a reaction when mixed with another medication the patient has been taking for a chronic condition. Or it's like telling a legislator to pass a bill he or she has had no time to review....oh wait, the House has been doing that under DeLay....nevermind.
This is just further proof that the Republicans, for their own good and for the nation's good, need to replace this man. He just isn't with it anymore, and he's going to become more dangerous as the trouble grows for him.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Oh, this is just great

Congratulations, we've got Aryan idiots running around wanting to team up with Al Qaida and wreak havoc. Even worse, CNN seems to have more information on this than the FBI. Good God, what the hell is happening to this country?

And it won't just die

As I blogged about this weeks ago, it comes down to this. You're a pharmacist, not my preacher, and you don't deserve "protection of your morals" in this case. Filling a legally prescribed prescription is not murder, and "protection of your morals" is for people who don't want to participate in war, for instance. I'm tired of people who think birth control is infanticide. It's NOT. If people would think about this, they would realize it helps LOWER the amount of abortions in the world. And condoms, which my Catholic Church is so crazy about not using, helps prevent the spread of HIV and other STD's.
Mankind has always had sex for reasons other than procreation. Again, the Old Testament is being used far too literally by people who are ignoring the New Testament. I wish people would just understand this for what it is. Humans are what they are. There are far better places to moralize, places where it would do a lot more good, than the pharmacy counter.
I'm not a fan of abortion, either, but sometimes it is necessary, and we should do everything we can to make it as unnecessary as possible, and that means dispensing Plan B or the birth control pill without giving some poor woman a hard time. We reduce abortions by allowing birth control. We reduce abortions by using our heads. Virtually every woman who has one has a very difficult time with it. The choice is not easy. I've seen some of them do it. I know.
I close with the immortal words of Everlast.
"Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom/who said he was in love. He said don't worry about a thing baby doll/I'm the man you've been dreamin' of. But three months later he said he won't date her or return her call/And she sweared god damn if I find that man I'm cuttin' off his balls. And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin' through the doors/They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore. God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes/'Cause then you really might know what it's like to have to choose. Then you really might know what it's like..."

Sorry it's been so slow

But, trying to plan graduation party and trying to actually PASS my last class so I can actually GRADUATE is quite important.
Do understand it will get better after May 1.

Monday, April 18, 2005

And this just in...

Liberals own the media! It's a liberal monoculture! The blogs and talk radio are the only way the conservative message can be heard! So says Regnery blowhard Brian C. Anderson in today's L.A. Times. I find that one pretty funny. Because the last I checked, Fox News isn't liberal. The last I checked, conservatives dominate government. The last I checked, no one has a clue who Brian C. Anderson is!

He claims, among many rich ones, that liberals want Congress to regulate talk radio out of existence, that liberal radio isn't as entertaining, that Air America will die because they only have 50 outlets after a year.

I don't understand why with control of the entire federal government, conservatives continue to have such paranoia about liberals. It's like they're the Soviets of the 1950's, and no matter what, they're going to be a threat to our very existence. As a center-left person, I don't find myself scared by any group that holds no power. I get scared when one group holds all the power, and still acts like Stalin in their mass paranoia. And when Brian C. Anderson gets a prime Op-Ed position in any major newspaper, that's scary.

Crazy mom blows it again

If Michael Jackson gets off, it will be because they kept the victim's mom on the stand until she cracked like a bad egg. Yes, ma'am, people do know who he is now. Sorry to say it, but they also know who you are, and that would be seriously unstable. Read here, here and here.