Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Gay Marriage...or what I actually wanted for Christmas

In response to my dear, beloved fellow blogger and tireless supporter, Marc Lord over at Adored by Hordes, I post today on the topic of Gay Marriage. Please read his essay and then chime in here (and there) with your questions, comments, considerations.

Marc's explication, while certainly pro-Gay rights, has the distinct quality of someone who has not walked in an other's black brushed calfskin Prada slip-ons. We live in a compulsorily heterosexual culture--nee world, and understanding what it's like to be constantly on the outside looking in would be difficult for the most compassionate of straight, white, men. And this is not a "circular firing squad" in dissertation form, but an honest rhetorical response. I shall try to address each of his points as succinctly as possible.

1. Actually to begin my arguments for point 1, I have usefully somewhat conflated points 3 and 4 to some degree. Let's begin with Marc's position on the passage or rather repeal of Gay marriage legislation:
...it seems unwise to engineer gay marriage in one leap, to attempt one great span. Not because the concept is wrong, more because a historical analog doesn't come to mind, and it's too much for numerous, strongly established networks of belief to accept. Call them crazy, backwards, intolerant, but winning well requires empathy with the enemy, and the victories which endure often exhibit solid architecture with many points of support. Given the prevailing gaps and conflicts, one might better seek to co-opt or by-pass reflexive oppositions, not galvanize them with gongs in their ears.
"Winning well" is unnecessary and morally insignificant. Opposing thousands of years of religious dogma as to seek "acceptance" is as unrealistic as is the backward-thinking bigots themselves. Playwright/Composer/Lyricist Stephen Sondheim states it well in his musical, "A Little Night Music" when his morose character Henrik sings, "As I've often stated, it's intolerable being tolerated." Acceptance from intolerant hypocrites is as unnecessary as it is undesirable. And "a historical analog" does exist: The desegregation of the U.S. military in 1948.

One might be tempted to put the event of President Truman's Executive Order 9981 as one step of ascendancy in the rubric of the civil rights struggle over two hundred plus years, or start counting in 1868 with Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, but where ever you begin to take note of victories for African Americans, one must keep in mind, as long as there have been Black people, there have been Gays. The modern civil rights movement began in this country mere moments, in historical time, before the gay rights movement and all the progress made in both movements has been incremental. It is the time for the accession of gay marriage to be recognized, of course keeping in mind, it already has been acknowledged as a fundamental right which was rescinded by a slim majority of voters.

The Yes on Prop. 8 campaign was participated in, and funded by, to a great extent, the Mormon Church and it's members. Marc says, "They [Mormons] fought so hard over Prop 8 because, as they understood it, California law would require them to perform same-sex marriages." This is an often propagated lie and unfairly divisive element injected into the yes on 8 campaign to "motivate the base" and further perpetuate the "culture wars" republican strategists use as wedge issues.

2. The term "marriage": Marc calls the concept "fuzzy" and defines the current state of marriage as, "...tradition, tax status, commitment and official blessing." The 'official' definition of marriage has changed many, many times over the span of human history and currently labeled "tradition" changed dramatically in the 20th century from the "traditional" arranged marriages to marriage for love. Anti-miscegenation laws were struck down as unconstitutional in 1967, despite public opinion against such unions by 73% of the American people. The "blessing" is a religious artifice unnecessary for legal purposes; civil ceremonies and state permissions in the form of licensing, blood tests, etc. are the norm in all 50 states. Religious ceremonies must have the proper state documentation in order to be legal. It is of course understandable that couples may want the official blessing of a religious institution, but it is legally unnecessary.

Marc's conclusion that, "...extending the office of marriage changes the nature of family on deep levels.", was not all together clear beyond his assertion that hospital visitation is a necessary component of "family." The American definition of "family" has changed dramatically over the past four decades to include everything from single parent households to Gay couplings and many other configurations of people in communal situations. Family has become commonly, what one defines as family. The legal distinction of marriage is the linchpin which allows for the more than 900 laws, regulations and policies which separate so-called, "civil unions" or "domestic partnership" statutes from marriage.

3. "A rights-based approach..." is supported but compared and contrasted to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation which freed slaves but provided no framework to ensure equal rights for former slaves. Enter the 14th Amendment ratified in 1868 which affords the Due Process Clause and equal protection under the law to all persons. Specifically, the 14th Amendment was used to dismantle segregation laws and is commonly used to further privacy rights such as those encompassed by Roe v. Wade.

While morality cannot be legislated, it can be enforced by law. The GLBT community harbors few fantasies of laws changing peoples hearts and minds but it does extend the concept engendered in the Equal Protection Clause and deliver the necessary bulwark of access.

As a small aside, I would disagree to some degree with Marc's premise that the GOP, "...started out with the most reasonable of propositions, not showing their full agenda, building bigger levers, always keeping their end prize in mind." I lean more to the Naomi Klein model of Shock Theory as a device to rush through legislation and policy that led us to our current financial meltdown and the culture war. Just an aside.

4. Here's where I get a little cranky. Mark posits,
"Few Mormons would object to granting medical visitation rights to domestic partners. There should be a law for that! Corporations would assemble more resistance to employee benefits to civil unions than would Mormons. And there should be a law for that! This is ground begging to be taken, ground which builds into the larger cause. Obviously these base-battles won't be won uniformly; there will be a hodge-podge of uneven progress across states and churches. But it will be progress, and far less risky than coming by Federal fiat."
No one in the GLBT is seeking Mormon 'permission.' LDS can object on whatever grounds they prefer but their permission for Civil Rights for ALL Americans is not their provenance and cannot be based on the morality of a particular group. Federal adjudication becomes the bottom line for ensuring civil rights for ALL Americans. Additionally, marriage versus civil union/domestic partnership creates a tiered, hierarchical division. When marriage is available to Gays, it is inexorably linked to heterosexual unions and any legislation pertaining to marriage would include everyone ameliorating specific Gay-only laws. Heterosexuals would be forced to protect Gay marriage rights as fiercely as their own indistinguishable marriage rights. Separating and creating a two-tiered system only promises the slippery slope of Brown v Board of Education and some variant on the BOE "separate but equal" argument.

And another thing while I'm at it
...Why is it that Gays are always the ones getting thrown under the bus? Even by the so-called 'left.' The latest bus-tossing comes with Obama and his invitation to anti-gay bigot Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Warren, who has compared Gay relationships to incest and pedophilia, is nice how-do-you-do slap in the face to the GLBT community. Why is it in Obama's new spirit of a 'team of rivals' and "we all must agree to disagree" is it that Teh Gay and basic human rights are simply ignored?

To quote columnist Dan Savage,
" You know, there ain't no white supremacist giving an invocation at the inauguration, nobody who authored, 'Barack Obama is a super-secret-Muslim-terrorist-emails' is giving an invocation. The only people it seems in America today who are expected to join hands with, and agree to disagree with, and make nice with, and just try to get along with the people-who-hate-us, are fags and dykes. No anti-Semite would be invited to participate. No racist would be invited to participate. No fire-breathing atheist, religion-basher would be invited to participate in the inauguration, but Gay-bashers are welcome at Barack Obama's inauguration. It's kinda pissing me off..."

Not to mention that in the arena of " civil rights", it's always Gay rights that get sent to the back of the bus so to speak in the hierarchy of civil rights issues. And that is downright uncivil.

I appreciate Marc's thoughtful and well written missive but can't reiterate strongly enough that separate but equal is neither nor.

Finally, if you don't believe in Gay marriage, don't marry a Gay.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Xmas Happy Holidays


In the words of the immortal Dr. Suess as spoken through the Grinch: ...he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas - perhaps - means a little bit more!”

And for good measure, best one man Santa band ever.

VA Holiday

...Or 'How the VA got a new boss and the truth came out.' While not A Dr. Phil fan, he did a show that was worth watching. According to the VA Watchdog website, Rep. Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, say that the VA lies to Congress. Col. David Hunt, Fox News analyst, talks of "criminal" activity and says someone should be doing a "perp walk." Tammy Duckworth, head of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, tells of her terrible experiences with the VA. and veterans tell heart-wrenching stories of trying to get the care they need and have earned.Also... you'll want to hear Dr. Phil explain why the VA canceled their appearance on the show.


Parts two through six can be viewed here at VA Watchdog's website. Hopefully the present of presence will come to the VA in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Warren Fallout

Pam over at Pam's Houseblend has a good piece up about the Rick Warren debacle.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rope

And why I am at the end of mine...

Why has O picked Rick Warren, the Evangelist-Intolerant-Extraordinaire to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration? What the fuck?

This is Obama's second choice that inclines me to question his judgment as well as his position on basic human rights for Gay an Lesbian persons. I'm all for inclusion, though my personal preference is a trip to the woodshed, as Obama espouses support for the GLBT. I'm more appalled by this choice than by Ken Salazar for Interior. Where is the civility, the balance, the Left in O's cabinet decisions?

Another nail in the coffin of the democrats spineless response to what is right and fair. The Human Rights Campaign, a LGBT advocacy group has written an open letter to Obama about his choice being not only insensitive, but dangerous.
Let me get right to the point. Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans. Our loss in California over the passage of Proposition 8 which stripped loving, committed same-sex couples of their given legal right to marry is the greatest loss our community has faced in 40 years. And by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Death By Chocolate

My sincerest apologies for being away so suddenly and unexplainedly. I find myself engaged in the politics of living full force as the one year anniversary of the break-up of my relationship shows up on my doorstep. It has been a whirlwind these last few weeks, with work, no work, travel, dating , no dating, sex, no sex, you get the idea. Music seems to be, yet again, my only refuge from the doldrums, the pensive, exhausting, roundabout I've been on lately. Sia continues to be my muse and her song styling lulls me into a false sense of security or sumthin'. Let her sing to you. [Production Note: Beck on guitar and Giovanni Ribisi does back-up vocals...who knew??]



And by the way, I'm extremely disappointed with the choice of Ken Salazar for Interior.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Night at the Movies

Well sorta. I love Thomas Newman and his score for the Sam Mendes film American Beauty. Two clips featuring his music: The opening of the movie, Dead Already and its final scene, Still Dead. If you haven't seen the movie, spoiler alert.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Harmonizing the Gay

Heh heh alert: eHarmony must now provide dating services for same-sex couplings according to a settlement arrived at by the New Jersey State Attorney General's office.
"Until (Wednesday’s) settlement, eHarmony was more like eNeanderthal for its refusal to include the gay community," said Steven Goldstein, director of Garden State Equality, the civil-rights group active on gender issues. "It’s nice to see eHarmony finally go from the Stone Age to the 21st century."

The Boston Herald has the story.
I encourage any Gay or Lesbian folks to get in on the "free to the first 10,000" offer at Compatible Partners, which eHarmony says will be launched by March 31. The tide will turn people. The religious wrong has pissed off the wrong group for the last time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Long Time Comin'

Seal does a doubleheader, the Sam Cooke classic "A Change Gonna Come" and "Newborn Friend." Also, footage from the 2008 Democratic Convention, "The American Promise," set to music. I'll just have to keep my fingers crossed.





Monday, November 10, 2008

Speaking the Truth

Keith Olbermann brings back his Special Comment to hammer home the inequity and hatefulness of Prop 8. Thanks Keith.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Prop 8 Debacle

Prop 8 in California passed, but if there was a reason it needed to fail, this should clue you in: Lesbian Speed Dating (spew alert)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!!!Just for today, I'm glad there is no need for revolutionary Sturm und Drang.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

44!!!

Need I say more? I just closed up my precinct here in Northern California (election judge) and it was extraordinary. I'm coming off 16+ hour day, am exhausted but happy. I'm goning to eat, drink be merry and shower. I'll check in tomorrow but WOO HOO!! change is a comin'...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

McCreepy Courts the 'Joe Critter Redneck' Vote

McCain pollster Bill-the-Pollster-McInturff talks to MSNBC's Chuck Todd about the 'ideal voter' to pull Senator McAncient over the electoral finish line. "...down-scale, less educated, rural, older, White, voter..."

Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Wickedness of the GOP

Again the Grand OLD Partisan republicans are setting it up to steal the election. Poll numbers are all over the place. McCain internal polls are saying the race is "essentially tied." Election fraud and voter suppression stories are popping up even on in the corporate media despite the right-wing drivel about "voter fraud " and ACORN. All a set-up for the fourth election in a row to be stolen by the immoral GOP. My only hope lie in the extraordinary registration and turn-out of new (and old) Democrats and if the darkside seems to pull it off, on November the Fifth, the American people will pull a "V for Vendetta" of some kind. Is this really America? Have we all been asleep this long?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Saturday Night Music

Rickie Lee Jones Live at Montreal Jazz Festival, "Tigers" Love this song.



"Climbing up the brick to your window using the sharp end of what you said...yeah yeah"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Inconvenience of Posse Comitatus

Enacted after Civil War Reconstruction in 1878, Posse Comitatus (U.S.C. 18-13850) has always been a double-edged sword. The compromise of the North with the South which withdrew Federal troops from former Confederate states and allowed racism and the general disenfranchisement of former slaves to flourish, was also intended to end the federal military from taking part in police actions. Yet once again, the Bush administration stretches law to it breaking point, while pushing our over-burdened military ever closer to the precipice.

News out today from the US Northern Command that the Army's 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will be the nation's 'new police'. The 3rd ID is the most rotated combat component in Iraq and now they're home to do the same duty as part of the newest permanent part of the Army -- CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force.
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

What is played down in the articles out of NORCOM, Ft. Stewart and the Dept. of Homeland Security is the element of CCMRF (sea-smurf) being implemented to 'deal with' protesters and civil disturbances.

Posse Comitatus became law for a number of reasons but first and foremost was so American servicepersons would not be put in the position of turning weapons on the American public. It seems we creep ever-closer to martial law as the reins of power slip from the GOP's fascist grip. As the divides in American ideology deepen, the political landscape of the presidential race features McCain mobs yelling, "kill him...terrorist" and worse, while my beloved military is put in the untenable position of having to defend not the Constitution, but the ideologic policies of a rogue government.

This election can not end soon enough for me.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

AYFKM Alert:

AIG Executives Go ON A 400K Luxury Retreat After Receiving 85 Billion Dollar Taxpayer Bailout

Today on CSPAN Rep. Cummings (MD-D) of the House Oversight Committee gave AIG exec the business.



Really. This is what they do with bailout money. Welcome to the dark side America. Story at Think Progress with a sidebar from Fucked in California blog.

Either Or

At a McCain 'rally' yesterday during the inflammatory speech grandpa made, in response to what he says you can hear from the crowd what sounds like either, "terrorist," or "kill him." I listened several times and can't be sure which it is, but regardless, McCain heard it as you can tell from his immediate reaction, and yet does or says nothing. Is that leadership? Come on. Really. Ask yourself, is it? Certainly McCain is not responsible for what others say or do but if he knows of it he has the responsibility to say something. Think about it. This is not the way to act "presidential."


Note to regular readers:I have recently joined some milblogs as a reader commenter and am posting regularly a some military message boards. I find myself currently on a mission to change minds and am writing not with the choir in mind.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Motivate Yourself

Lifted from the comments at the Unruly Mob's place, Les Enragés.org


I would also like to point out a new button on the sidebar. A link to Dogtown, at Best Friends Sanctuary, the largest animal sanctuary in the states. Click it an give them a look-see and a donation if you can.

Winky McWinkerson Goes to the Debate

And doggoneit she did just swell. Yikes, nightmare on Wasilla 's Main Street. Yes, but funny.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Creepy McMeltdown

"If I were a dictator, which I always aspire to be..."
Direct quote from John McCain's meeting yesterday with the editorial board of The Des Moines Register. Finally a little truth creeps onto the "Straight Talk Express." Watch the entire interview or short segments on specific topics, but do listen to Gramppy utter the same famous words as Junior. The clip is: Full Editorial Board, dictator statement begins at 56:50. I would like to point out, as John McCain so often does, that he had long military career. The military is not a democracy. No wonder he wants to be a dictator.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

"Is this the United States Congress or the board of directors of Goldman Sachs?"

Dennis Kucinich's one minute speech has more substance in it than all the talking heads and msm reports over the last weeks. I really love Dennis.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Night Music Club

Abby Ahmad Live in NYC "Tri-Me"


I need to step outside. Another day marks another way. Marks a new reason to hide.
It's true when you slip, you slide. On the ground, been pushed down by this primitive pride. [complete lyrics]

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sarah and the Fatwah

Oh shit alert. IBN tells of the fatwah by a Pakistani cleric because of Pakistani President Zadari's, "shameful behavior."

Lost in the Wilderness

When Palin does the crash and burn, someone ought to let her use one of her lifelines; it's the humane thing to do. Another respected journalist jumps off the Scary Talk Express. Culled from TruthDig:
Calling Sarah Palin’s recent interview with CBS anchor Katie Couric “the last straw,” Newsweek editor and columnist Fareed Zakaria tells Wolf Blitzer on Monday’s episode of “The Situation Room” that it’s not a matter of Palin not giving the right answer when faced with a complex question about the economy or foreign policy, “it’s that she clearly does not understand the question.”
The highlight reel begins at 1:54.

Incurious George and His Imperial Presidency

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia hosted political writer and former Clinton administration senior advisor, Sidney Blumenthal just before the last midterm election. His talk recounts the content of his book, How Bush Rules, and is both prescient and insightful, speaking to the radical departure from constitutional protections and and precedent as exercised by the Bush administration. This 50 minute presentation is extraordinary documentation of the unprecedented attempt of the Bush administration to undermine our democracy and recent-history revisited that should be required listening for any American who cares about our country. Listen. Please. This segment appears about a quarter of the way down the page.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Maritime of Foreign Policy

What, you say? Exactly. Sarah Palin is asea. SNL and Tina Fey have done it again, this time the Couric interview. Scary. They actually used some of Palin's own dialog.

In the case of Palin's debate performance, a little learning is a dangerous thing as observed and roundly condemned by conservative columnist Kathleen Parker in NRO who called for her to resign from the campaign, ""Palin can save McCain, her party, and the country." Included in Parker's commentary was the statement, "My cringe reflex is exhausted."

Godspeed Mr. Newman

We lost a great one last night. Rest in Peace Paul Newman.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Senator McCain counted his mc-chickens before they mc-hatched. Debate polling results.

A Fighting Chance

60 Minutes did a segment last year, A Fighting Chance, on the field medical hospital at Balad AB, Iraq, its personnel, and the CCATT missions to Landstuhl, Germany. I know some of the people in the segment and as a result of being married to a CCATT doctor for the last several years, I understand the anguish. A fact to keep in mind:
"Many hospitals in the United States treat perhaps three or four trauma patients a month. Balad handles 246 monthly, with 150 evaluated for traumatic brain injuries, from admissions totaling 500."
Please watch it and let yourself feel about the people who show up everyday to save lives and those they care for. These medical personnel make the horror of this misbegotten war/occupation a tiny bit easier to bear because of the care these brave people provide. Watch it here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Palin Scheduled For Remedial English Course

At least she should be. The GOP is right to hide her. Certainly until she's taught to construct an intelligible sentence. I now see why it took attending five colleges before she could wrangle a degree. Maybe she should have shot one down from a helicopter. Somebody needs to learn that girl.
From her interview with Katie Couric:
COURIC: You've cited Alaska's proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land-- boundary that we have with-- Canada. It-- it's funny that a comment like that was-- kind of made to-- cari-- I don't know, you know? Reporters--

COURIC: Mock?

PALIN: Yeah, mocked, I guess that's the word, yeah.

COURIC: Explain to me why that enhances your foreign policy credentials.

PALIN: Well, it certainly does because our-- our next door neighbors are foreign countries. They're in the state that I am the executive of. And there in Russia--

COURIC: Have you ever been involved with any negotiations, for example, with the Russians?

PALIN: We have trade missions back and forth. We-- we do-- it's very important when you consider even national security issues with Russia as Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where-- where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border. It is-- from Alaska that we send those out to make sure that an eye is being kept on this very powerful nation, Russia, because they are right there. They are right next to-- to our state.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

No Barracuda

Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart have said it best, so I'll leave it to their eloquence. Click on image to make bigger.Pop by their place and give 'em a thumbs up.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Slacker Uprising!

I'm certainly not the first or only person posting Michael Moore's latest film released today, Slacker Uprising

Watch it, download it, pass it around, but most of all let it move you to action. Action may be our only hope in the pre-apocolyptic culture of greed, compliments of BushCo. Click here to watch the film. It is definitely time to 'Slacker up'

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Big News Day in AK! (scroll down fer cryin out loud)




Courtesy of a good friend some photos from the biggest rally in Alaska's history. Also, a note from the organizer herself, who I will keep anonymous
[The] Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men. I had no idea what to expect.

The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It's probably an impressive list. These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber- conserv ative Ancho rage talk show host. Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally "a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots," and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received some nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

I felt a bit apprehensive. I'd been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it's a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren't sent by Eddie Burke, we'll be doing good. A real statement will have been made. I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing "socialist baby-killing maggot" haters.

It's a good thing I wasn't tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody's trunk. When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned. The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn't honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn't happen here.

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn't be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.

So, if you've been doing the math Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin's rally that got all the national media coverage! So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery. Feel free to spread the pictures around to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have things to say.
For the rest of the photos, click here. H/T to Hailee for the pics.

Through the Looking Glass

Image courtesy of Sam Marusich
Gleaned from the comments section of The Swamp(with a wee bit of editing by me):

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.
If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."
Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, you're the quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
Name your kids Willow , Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard Law School and you are unstable.
Attend 5 different small colleges over 6 years before getting your B.A., you're well grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor,
spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people,become chairman of the State Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.
If your total resume is: local TV sports girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town of 9,700 people, 20 months as the governor of astate with a total population of 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive and next in line behind a man in his eighth decade who's had cancer 3 times.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and then left your disfigured wife who waited for you and married the heiress the next month, you're a true Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, offering no other sex education options in your state's school system, meanwhile your unwed, underage, daughter ends up pregnant, while at the same time you cut off state funds for the support of teenage, unwed mothers, and your oldest son is off to Iraq instead of jail, you're very responsible in promoting "family values".

If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community,then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.
If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction, no college education, didn't register to vote until age 25, and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, you're leadership is just what we want in the "lower 48."

OK, much clearer now.
We are through the looking glass people. Do something. Vote and encourage others to do so. This is the biggest election of our lifetimes.

Tin Soldiers

A little interruption in what was a perfectly nice day. From VetVoice:
When two deaths in Iraq were announced late Sunday, something didn't sound right. It wasn't combat, there was no mention of a vehicle accident, and with two dead, it clearly wasn't a suicide...
US Soldier in Iraq Kills Superior and Another Soldier

Slacker Nation: Rise Up

Image courtesy of Ryan Cardone
In an email from blogger and reader Simon Owens, is the link he sent me to his article about Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films and the new documentary by Michael Moore, "Slacker Uprising."

Given all the information we have about republican election tampering and their voter caging lists, not to mention push polls and the ridiculous national polls, which exclude many young people, according to those polls, Obama and McCain are in a virtual dead heat.

Common sense will tell you with republican registrations down, and Democrats being registered in record numbers, something stinks. With Bush's popularity is in the sewer, John McCain's lack of popularity within his own party, the McCain and Pallin lies being uncovered and reported by the corporate media, there seems no way possible this race is so close.

An uprising by today's youth vote might be the only thing that puts Obama over the top. With the GOP bag-o-tricks in full force, an overwhelming win may be the only hope we have of getting these criminals out of office. Watch the trailer and email the link to someone. Let's make this thing go viral.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Best Opener.Ever.

If you missed it, the SNL season opener featured Tina Fey as Palin.
The dialog: Brilliant.
Tina's impression: Worth a million bucks.
The message: Priceless
My My favorite line:
Hil: "I don't agree with the Bush Doctrine"
Sarah (shrugging, giggling): "I don't know what that is"

While there are differing definitions for "FLIRGE" according to the Google, the one that made me chuckle is, First Lady Is Really a Guy Underneath

Sunday, September 14, 2008

McCain's Health Dilemma

I wish the corporate media would talk about John McCain's health, especially with Barracuda waiting in the wings. I remember a few months back some rumor about McCain abdicating his candidacy as the "October surprise" and Jeb Bush or someone equally as vile steps in as GOP presidential candidate. Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films put together a compelling video about why we need to see John McCain's medical records.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Godspeed to Those in Ike's Path

Just a quick prayer going out to all those in the path of this 600 mile wide hurricane now battering the Gulf Coast. Godspeed and batten down the hatches those who have stayed behind. Best of luck to my friends on Mustang Island, all those at Beulah's, and The Laughing Horse who are getting the storm now. Godspeed and good luck to my PJ and CCATT friends at Lackland AFB and Keesler AFB who are flying rescue missions through the duration of this monster hurricane. Cathy, Sean, Jen, stay safe and save lots of lives. A big shout out the the rescue swimmers and Coasties who are hard at work down at USCG Air Station Corpus Christi.

The Uncounted


News Release from Bethesda Naval Hospital: Post-War Suicides May Exceed Combat Deaths

These deaths are not part of the "official" casualty count, and have not surpassed those of Vietnam veterans, but are near-to-topping the current official combat death toll in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every death connected to the illegal occupation of Iraq and the poorly-directed fight in Afghanistan, is tragic. The Bush administrations 'new math' method of counting which obfuscates the true death and injury toll, is criminal. The American people are far too disconnected from the effects of these conflicts, and the cooked accounting of the true human toll only adds to the lack of attention paid by the 99% of Americans who don't have a dog in this fight.

In all past wars, Americans shared the burdens of war. During the draft, most people had or knew someone serving. During other conflicts, there was rationing, war industry staffed by American women, sacrifices being shared. At the very least, everyone saw the coffins coming home which this administration forbids. BushCo keeps the impact as far away from the public as possible; their idea of support:go shopping.

With the economy being front and center of most American's attention, the chances of this story seeing any light of day or stirring public outcry is negligible.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11 Truth


During this terrible anniversary, if you haven't already, please watch "Loose Change." If you don't want to invest 90 minutes, try the 'highlights' in one minute increments called 9/11 Coincidences. Seven years is long enough to believe the 'official story' of the largest loss of life on American soil from a terrorist attack. Find out who the real terrorists are. Don't trust me or the guys that made the film, do your own research. Best case scenario one can come up with is at the very least, our own government was complicit in the attacks of September 11, 2001. See if you don't agree.

So much new information has been dredged up over the last years with professionals researchers, scientists, and a large number of other professionals bringing expertise in many areas. A good place to start is the 9/11 Truth.org. Another source of information is Dr. David R. Griffin's new, updated, edition of his book, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11,The Cover-up and the Exposé called by Amazon.com "the definitive work..." Dr. Griffin's books are so titled as they relate to the the statements made in the PNAC documents, "...a catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor..." Project for a New American Century, states clearly their intention to create a "global constabulary" with the "New World Order" in mind. PNAC memebers Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Scooter Libby, John Bolton, all members or advisors to the GWB administration. Any of those names look familiar? Other PNAC links appear on the sidebar.

As science fiction/fantasy/fiction as the 9/11 odyssey sounds, there is a massive body of evidence to support that at the very least, the American people have been lied to. If nothing else, ask yourself any one or a hundred of the thousands of unanswered questions about the events of 9/11. Why did George W. Bush continue to sit in a Florida classroom for 7 minutes after he was informed the second plane had hit? Why wasn't he immediately whisked of by secret service to a safe location when informed the United States was under attack? Why did he recount three months later that he had watched the first plane hit when the only known film did not surface until the following day? Push past the not wanting to know what really happened. The truth shall set us free. It's not unpatriotic to ask questions and expect answers.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More of the Same

Here are the two most recent Obama ads. Nice to see him get in their faces.
No Mavricks

The Same

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Compassionate Cat-servative

Lynea Lattanzio runs California's--maybe the country's--largest cage-free, no-kill cat shelter and adoption center. She does it all with the help of a small staff, a large house, helpful volunteers and donations. Take a five minute tour of Lyn's Cat House on the Kings

Friday, September 05, 2008

Choose Bee!

Samantha Bee of The Daily Show rocks! Watch her corner several delegates at the RNC.

Fact-Checking Palin's Fish Story


So much of what Sarah Palin said in her acceptance/ introduction to America speech, was either an outright lie (mostly about Obama) or half-truths filled in with greater lies yet the corporate-owned mainstream media just dictates back to the American people without any fact-checking or challenge.

Media Matters, the watchdogs of the Fourth Estate (no pitbulls with lipstick, mind you), have combed through her spoken text (written by someone else) and tell us what she really said.

1.Media reports Palin's opposition of "bridge to nowhere" but not her previous support for it
2.Palin opposes earmarks, but not her previous requests for them
3.Media promote Palin as "reformer," ignoring state ethics investigation
4.Ignoring numerous ties, media promote idea that Palin "took on" Sen. Stevens when he was her "mentor"
5.Media fail to challenge McCain camp talking point that Palin is "commander in chief' of the Alaska National Guard
6.Media falsely assert Palin supports benefits for same-sex partners of state employees
7.Media ignore McCain's previously stated "threshold" for his VP: "ready to step in on a moment's notice"
8.Media do not challenge McCain camp assertion that liberal blogs dictated timing of Palin pregnancy disclosure
This report merely scratched the surface on the truckload of bullshit the GOP is trying to dump on the American people.

Courtesy of Cujo at Slobber and Spittle, here's a FACT CHECK SARAH PALIN linky.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Oh no he di'int :UPDATE

Oh yes he did. Cracker-ass illiterate, Lynn Westmoreland (GA-R)-- you may remember him from his appearance on The Colbert Report, where he displayed what a dumb-ass hypocrite he is -- called Obama, "Uppity."
Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term "uppity" to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

"Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they're a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they're uppity," Westmoreland said.
Westmoreland so clearly went to the Dubya school of publik speakin'.

Photo: West-
moreland's family were also in attendance at the festivities. Tell me you can't see the resemblance...

Another H/T to WT, The Dependable Renegade

UPDATE: Brian Reynolds, spokesman for rep. Westmoreland, said the congressman stands by what he said. When asked to clarify, Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

Call Westmoreland's office 202-225-5901 and let him know how you feel. That is, unless you think that's 'too uppity'.

"Drill, Baby, Drill!"


I'm thinking this may not be the best RNC chant line during the speech of a former 2nd place beauty queen from the hinterland (isn't that a Community Chest card in Monopoly?). I'm just saying. And is it an accident that Sarah Palin was Miss Wasilla 1984? Enquiring Minds want to know...

Does anyone else think she has 'crazy eyes'?


In linky-love redux, I have to include WaterTiger's Best.Contrast.Compare.Ever.
Is it me? Or does Sarah Palin look like Dick Cheney in Drag?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Amy GoodMan Arrested at RNC

Democracy Now! anchor and investigative reporter Amy Goodman and two of her producers were manhandled and then arrested by St. Paul police while trying to cover the convention yesterday. Listen to Amy Goodman tell what happened.

GOP Supports the Troops, Yeah Right

Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO), is another one of the worst representatives in Congress. Vote Vets has a new ad running in Colorado in an effort to defeat her. Take a look.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Wake Up America!!"

Congressman Dennis Kuchinch was my first choice for President. Unfortunately, he was the dark, dark horse from the beginning and his supporters knew it but supported him anyway. Not only because is he right, but his left of center common sense is a messagewhich needs to be heard. If you're unfamiliar with Dennis, then listen to his speech last night at the convention. Just outstanding. Go Dennis!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

McCain's Vet Support a Sham


First, sorry for my absence, I've been wicked busy at work and at home, not to mention this campaign season has begun to take it's toll. On to Grampy MCAncient's voting record on vets (and the troops).

Making Sense Of It All has a great piece on just how many lies McCain tells about his support for veterans and active duty troops.
When it comes to his voting record and him claiming to be supported by all veterans groups is obviously false. This would be obvious because even back in 2000 veterans groups have been the most critical of McCain’s voting record.
Frankly, McCain rest on his laurels as a veteran but has an 80% negative voting record, while Obama maintains an 80% positive voting record on veteran's issues and support. I have not heard ONE mention of it in the MSM. Fucking assholes.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

We'll Always Have Paris

Nice response ad to McAncients's Obama-is-as-famous-as-Paris-Hilton:
See more Paris Hilton videos at Funny or Die

I hasten to point out Miss Paris, that offshore drilling won't "get us through the short-term." We won't see any Texas T for at least a decade. Good try though.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Exceptionally American

My pal SadButTrue, part of the Unruly Mob over at Les Enragés.org, has a truly exceptional post up about the harm "American Exceptionalism," via Bush's criminal policies worldwide, have wrought upon international peace and justice. Here's a bit of the post, then get over there and read the rest.
...from the point of view of someone who isn't an American (I'm proudly Canadian, eh?) - is that this is just another example of the idea of American Exceptionalism that has been accepted and even nurtured under the good old Stars and Stripes for far too long.

Ah yes, American Exceptionalism - the bastard child of Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine. The not-quite-so-evil twin of Might Makes Right. Nurtured and fed on a falsehood that is older than the country itself - the idea that the US is so morally superior to everyone else that it can be described as The City on the Hill, The Beacon of Democracy, the Font of Everything That is Good in The World.

And the reason that the world doesn't have to be concerned about the actions of America or its leaders? - because they're just so darned peachy-keen, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed gee whiz golly gosh dripping with good intentions. And if those good intentions turn out to make some US businesses a tidy profit? Well all the better! We'll throw in a slice of hot apple pie, and teach your folks how to play baseball.

And if those good intentions lead to us backing a coup against your democratically elected leader and installing a business-friendly tinpot dictator who starts murdering the opposition? Well shucks, dang, and whoa there Bessie. That never happens! Except for a few times in Guatemala, Iran, Chile, Nicaragua, Panama, and enough places that it's hard to remember them all. But you can rest assured it will never happen again anyway. Trust us.

And not to seem too critical of our well-armed neighbour to the south, I'd like to add that this principle of Exceptionalism is running afoul of another principle that originated in the US, in fact the very principle that the ICC is based on. Yes, that's right, it's called the Nuremberg principle. The idea is that entire countries are not responsible for wars, their LEADERS are. Especially when the leaders in question have been caught in so many lies that no-one can even keep track anymore. And let's not forget that indispensable adjunct to the Nuremberg principle, that the leaders must be held accountable for their actions. Please let's not forget that.

If Bush and his gang of criminals are not held accountable, and significantly if that accounting is not spearheaded by America herself, any credibility you have internationally will be lost forever. Because in Bush's eye's it's not the country as a whole that benefits from this status of City on A Hill, it's himself personally. And that's just not right. As important as it is for the world that Bush be brought to justice it is equally important to America that they take an active role. Else you'll be painted with the brush of complicity in his crimes.

The eyes of all people are upon you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Shadows and Light

It's all I can can bear tonight, long week. Here's where Iwanna be.

Coralie Clément, L'ombre et la lumière

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Women Soldiers Revistited

Somebody just posted a comment to a post I did in March 2007 called, "The Women Soldiers" I felt as a response to this comment I needed to revisit that post. Check the link and read my musings but in short, I addressed the woman now in 'combat' positions regardless of the DoD ban on woman in "direct combat positions." Also focused on the dramatic increase of sexual assault of deployed military women.

The "anonymous commenter" wrote this:

The last entry is correct.[my note: referring to the previous comment about women being able to serve in combat 'limited' positions] Women have been in combat roles for sometime. The Air Force and Navy have allowed them to serve as figher(sic) and bomber piolts(sic) for sometime, and those are combat positions. Also the Army allows women in quasi combat(sic) roles, such as Military Police (they patrol Iraq and guard convoys). I spent a year in Iraq and saw female turret gunners in convoys and female gunners on choppers. One of my female sergeants was a turret gunner and was wounded when her convoy was attacked back in 2004. She recovered, has a Purple Heart and contiues(sic) to proudly serve her country.

I have to laugh at all the lefties who left anti-military comments. Sure some women may face harassment in the military, just as they face it anywhere else but lets not take a few isolated incidents and generalize.[emphasis is mine] Also, remember that these women warriors are armed to the teeth (see the Blog photo, one of the woman is sporting an M16 with grenade launcher), so they are more than capable of fending off anyone who tries to get too fresh.

My response follows:

HopeSpringsATurtle said...
Dear Anon:

On October 1, 1994, the Defense Department issued a policy that rescinded the so-called "risk rule" that gauges the specialties to which women can be assigned. The policy was backed strongly by Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and was the extension of the changes made in April 1993 that opened most aviation specialties, including attack helicopters, to women (Army, March 1994). The policy emphasized that no job will be closed to women just because it is dangerous, but fails to open direct offensive ground combat jobs to women (Army, March 1994). Even today, though, the official policy of the Army and Marine Corps excludes women from combat which precludes 12 percent of skilled positions and 39 percent of the total positions (GAO Report, July 1996).

One more casualty of the war in Iraq brought home to Decatur, Illinois, last weekend. In this case, the soldier's vehicle was hit in Baghdad on June 21st by a rocket-propelled grenade. But this death is one of those that makes this war unique, for it was a woman, 22-year-old Army Specialist Karen Clifton.

She is one of the most recent of more than 80 women (including a friend) who have so far been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, a figure nearly double the number of American military women killed in Desert Storm, Vietnam, and Korea, combined. Some 500 have been wounded, many grievously.

American women are serving in the U.S. military today in ways and numbers unthinkable a few decades ago. They are now eligible to fill more than 80 percent of military jobs, 250,000 different assignments, often serving side-by-side with men.

So far, women have served some 167,000 tours of duty in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, more than four times the number in the first Gulf War. They are not assigned to infantry units, to tanks or submarines, and Pentagon policy officially precludes them from serving in so-called "combat occupations." But in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, where no clear frontlines exist, such distinctions are often hard to make.

Women in both theaters today drive Humvees and trucks, escort military convoys, serve as military police, even pilot helicopters and planes on the battlefield, all of it done under the very real -- and constant -- threat of attack. And like men, many women of the U.S. Armed Services have by now served several tours in the war zones.

Insofar as rape and sexual abuse, one doesn't typically have to sleep with one eye open and armed, on a US military base, in order to not be raped or sexually abused. The incidents of such violence are at an all time high--and most of it is covered up. Your assumption is naive and uninformed, regardless of your "year served in Iraq."

When was the last time you heard of male soldiers having to wake up another soldier in order to go to the bathroom after dark as to no be raped? Waking another woman as an "escort" is the standing order for women while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, many women choose not to disturb the already less-than-advantageous sleep schedule of others, and "hold it." This has caused a precipitious increase in urinary tract infections and dehydration among other maladies.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Double Plus Good

In news today, a new phrase has been given us by BushCo: Aspirational Time Horizon This new-speak nonsense is Chimpy's sycophantic cohorts way of finally agreeing to a timeline for troop withdrawal from Iraq. Admittedly, I have doubleplusgood bellyfeel about what I hope is not just another good duckspeaker from Oceania, er, I mean the White House.
Interestingly enough, notice how "new-speak" is a frighteningly accurate commentary on what the MSM dishes out daily as 'news.'

GWB’s lie-berry

Found this over at friend Lotus' place (and what a place it is...), folo:

GWB’s liberry
The George W Bush
Presiden-
tial
Library
is now in
the planning stages.
The Library will include:

The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.

The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you won’t be able to remember anything.

The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don’t even have to show up.

The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don’t let you in.

The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don’t let you out.

The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room, which no one has been able to find.

The National Debt Room which is huge and has no ceiling.

The ‘Tax Cut’ Room with entry only to the wealthy.

The ‘Economy Room’ which is in the toilet.

The Iraq War Room. After you complete your first tour, they make you go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth tour.

The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with shotgun gallery.

The Environmental Conservation Room, still empty.

The Airport Men’s Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican Senators.

The ‘Decider Room’ complete with dart board, magic 8-ball, Ouija board, dice, coins, pretzels, and straws.

The museum will have an electron microscope to help you locate the President’s accomplishments.

Admission: Republicans free; Democrats - $1,000 or three Euros

And just to compare and contrast for the New Yorker, the above is satire.