Thursday, March 23, 2006


Canada Free Press brings us the words of the Reverend Desmond Tutu, former Archbishop of Capetown and Nobel Peace Prize laureate:

“Osama a child of God: Desmond Tutu”

““God's family,” according to Archbishop Desmond Tutu includes, “Bush, bin Laden, all belong, gay, lesbian, so-called straight-all belong and are loved, are precious.””

Message to the Reverend:

Could you put in a call to your god… Tell him to get his ass down here immediately… His kids are running amok and need a spanking…

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Last Saturday, the eighteenth day of March, marked the 3rd anniversary of the death of Rachel Corrie, the former Olympia Washington resident turned peace activist…

Or terrorist sympathizer, take your pick…

Ms. Corrie was crushed by a bulldozer while attempting to prevent the demolition of houses in the town of Rafah in the Gaza strip near the Egyptian border. Rachel was in Rafah as a guest of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement.

Enough – far more than enough, I think – has been written about this incident. Having all the earmarks of the sensational, this otherwise sad episode provoked deeply emotional responses from both banks of the chasm that separates world opinion on the plethora of issues raised by the turbulent history of the modern Jewish State.

To that ongoing world-wide rant I have nothing to add except to say there is such a thing as a situation where so much is wrong that nothing right remains – which is my personal view of the unholy land today. “Right” departed those contested shores long ago, I think…

There is however one footnote to Rachel’s death that seems to have been overlooked:

On the twenty-third of August, 2005, the last Israeli settlers left the disputed territories of Gaza, leaving the land Rachel thought she was fighting for in the hands of the people she was fighting alongside…

Rachel won.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Yesterday, David Reinhard over at The Oregonian brought us our week’s worth of empty right-wing rhetoric on Iraq:

“The Iraq War”

One more volley in the constant war of words over Iraq would hardly be worth noting except for the target of this verbal assault:

“Is it my imagination, or do many of the anti-war left who sally forth at every bit of bad news seem to want Iraq to fail? I know. That's harsh. They wouldn't be rooting against a peaceful and democratic Iraq or the U.S effort there, would they?”

Blow on, Mr. Blowhard…

Is it my imagination, or is Dave trying to set up a scapegoat?

I’m going to do something I shouldn’t… I’m going to recall Vietnam…

No, I’m not going to try to make the case the Iraq war is “another Vietnam.” Sure, there are parallels – both wars sourced in long-forgotten European colonialism, both wars were unnecessarily prolonged by American blunders, both wars suffered from the weakness of an ill-defined objective… And in both cases the US found itself in the unenviable position of supporting one bunch of bastards over another even though the “good guys” were just as bad as the “bad guys.”

The similarities go on, but so do the differences. Over-reliance on the similarities would be misleading.

Yet there is one parallel that is too strong to overlook: The scapegoating by the war party for its own failures.

Never mind Vietnam wasn’t our war. Never mind the military blunders – blunders that began in the White House - which squandered American military victories. Never mind the troops left to fight a dynamic action from the inherently underdog static garrison position, the army that suffered the death of a thousand ambushes.

Never mind the corruption of the regime we fought to install.

None of that had anything to do with the failure. The failure was entirely due to the American left and their media lackeys. Just ask the revisionist apologists…

It wasn’t Johnson’s blunders… It was Walter Cronkite proclaiming the war lost after the Tet offensive. It wasn’t the tenacity of an enemy who had been fighting their own war of independence in one form or another since 1941… It was Jane Fonda lounging on the deck of an enemy AA battery…

And today it’s the same. It isn’t the defects in the original case for war, defects which by their nature gave the left their most potent arguments. It isn’t an ill-conceived and badly flawed strategy that lost the peace as fast as it won the initial battles.

It isn’t the corrupt Shia militias and their death squads, nor is it the factions whose goal is to dismember Iraq and divide it inequitably, permanently impoverishing a minority as a new underclass.

It isn’t the ineptness of the new Iraqi army, running about blindly, as it did in Operation Swarmer, unable to even catch up to the enemy they were sure was waiting to be caught…

No, it isn’t any of that. It’s “the left”… It’s Hollywood… It’s Cindy Sheehan and her collaborators in the left-leaning press…

It’s turncoats like Bill Buckley and George Will…

Just ask Dave and his colleagues among the scapegoaters. Everything would be fine if they could only silence all dissent, obscure all the lies, and bury all the blunders…

It’ll end eventually, this misadventure in the Fertile Crescent. A “democratic” government will be formed –by Western standards more theocratic than democratic but at least elected – and the Iraqi economy will slowly rebuild itself. Of course, the violence will likely continue because its ultimate source is the same tribal cesspool that put Saddam in power in the first place and left him there for twenty years…

And of course the faux stability created will survive only as long as American troops remain in Iraq to prop it up. After we go – whether that is in two years or twenty – the wolves will descend once more upon the ancient city of the Tigris, bringing their new Saddam.

Eventually, the cause which Americans have bled for – a western friendly, democratic Iraq - will be lost.

But it will all be the fault of the mostly peaceful actions of individuals in a country half a world away who didn’t back their President, right or wrong, come hell or high water…

A little advice for Dave and his fact twisters:

All you need right now to really fix the blame where it belongs is Cindy Sheehan perched on an enemy gun – maybe an Iranian gun, since that’s where our mis-leaders intend to send the army to die next…

Better yet, your warmongering neocon colleagues need to talk Susan Sarandon into sitting on the gun instead… Sheehan hasn’t got the legs for it…

Thursday, March 16, 2006


NewsMax follows the progress of efforts to apply law and regulation to internet bloggers who express political opinions which might affect the candidacies of members of Congress:

‘FEC Delays Ruling on 'PoliBlog' Speech”

At issue is the application of the “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002,” better known as the McCain-Feingold Act, to internet “Polibloggers.” According to NewsMax:

“The Federal Election Commission has postponed a long-anticipated decision on whether to apply the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform law to political speech on the Internet… It appeared that FEC Commissioner Michael Toner wanted to give Congress a chance to pass the Online Freedom of Speech Act proposed by Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling.”

The FEC ruling was postponed until March 23rd. Meanwhile, the aforementioned bill is currently in the House Rules Committee and will not be considered again until March 27th…

Blood pressure time…

The “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002” is, IMO, the most blatantly unconstitutional law ever enacted by the US Congress – and that’s saying a lot. In an America ruled by the Constitution such a law would have been seen as what it is: A clear violation of The First Amendment, whose clear intent was to protect political speech.

“Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press”…

However in the fallen America of today, ruled by a mostly corrupt political class intent on its own survival, callously uncaring of the rights of the citizens and supremely disdainful of those citizens’ abilities to make intelligent electoral decisions, the McCain-Feingold “Incumbent Protection Act” is par for the course…

And a damned good argument for armed revolution…

But it’s the law and if law itself is to avoid following the political class into its pit of evil, the law must be evenly applied. Bloggers clearly wield huge influence today, being capable of reaching and even organizing thousands of voters literally overnight – an activity that otherwise would require the expenditure of huge sums of money.

And after all, the “Camel through the needle eye” justification of The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 was the equally specious notion that speech and money were interchangeable. And since the corrupt brigands in Washington can be bought – cheap – money must be regulated because buying off Congress is the province of Jack Abramhoff and his peers. Ordinary citizens should never contribute enough money – or money equivalents - to a political cause to influence it.

After all, if “we the people” had real influence, the Establishment hacks might have to choose between listening to the people and keeping their over-paid and over-privileged positions…

So we need to regulate internet “free speech” immediately. And we need to make that regulation as complex as possible so even if bloggers try to follow it there will inevitably be screwups whose perpetrators can be fined into poverty and jailed for felony free speech. That, along with the inevitable fool prosecuted for defiance should be sufficient to cow the masses and protect those incumbents who voted to create this travesty of self-protection in the first place.

Parlamentarischer Hagel! Sieg Hagel!... Jackboots everyone! March!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


The Washington Times brings us an unusual report today:

“Tehran elite turning on extremist presidency”

Read this carefully, and read between the lines. It says something important, I think: The outside world’s issues with the current Iranian administration are far different than the issues of the Iranian establishment – and they do indeed have issues.

From the article:

“Millions of low-income Iranians voted for the new president last year, motivated by his firm stand against corruption and pledges to give financial priority to their needs. "His appeal was to those for whom class discrimination is important, and his simple lifestyle gave an air of credibility to his claims," said Nasser Hadian, a political analyst at Tehran University who attended high school with Mr. Ahmadinejad… Mr. Hadian predicted that senior Iranian clerics would continue to support Mr. Ahmadinejad -- or at least not move against him -- for about a year because of that popular support. But privately, he said, they feel he is isolating Iran internationally and putting its economy at risk.”

“Iran's long-term planning [endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei] calls for vigorous efforts to reduce the size of government and to curb subsidies to state-owned entities, which account for an estimated 75 percent of the economy. But the Ahmadinejad budget boosts spending by 25 percent and envisions a 31 percent increase in spending on state enterprises. The 2006 budget also calls on the government to use up to $40 billion of its foreign cash reserves -- generated from oil sales -- to meet the fiscal year's spending needs, in spite of long-term plans calling for restraint.”

It’s the economy, stupid… Iran, it seems, has a lot in common with America… Iran’s capitalists want what all capitalists want – a favorable business climate. Ahmadinejad’s policies are endangering that…

There are a lot of good reasons why the international community should intervene in Iran. Here’s an even better reason not to: By confronting Iran over its nuclear program, the West may in fact be aiding Mr. Ahmadinejad.

“"If they keep piling on the pressure, Ahmadinejad will become a national hero," opines Mousa Ghaninejad, the editor of Iran's best-selling economics daily newspaper, Dunya Al-Eqtisad. "Let the Iranians deal with him. If you leave him alone, he will become a bankrupt politician within a year. With greater pressure, only the extremists will benefit."”

In the case of Iraq, “we” ignored the known power of economics – the force that destroyed the Soviet Union - to rectify untidy situations. The result? A debacle. Ten more years of isolation would have bloodlessly destroyed Saddam Hussein. Let’s not make the same mistake again. This fool Ahmadinejad will run out of fools who will follow him unless “we” provide him with a unifying cause.

Don’t do it.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Just in case anyone is still unclear as to who is in charge - at least in the opinion of the “gentler” sex - I’ve got two from the humor file… At least I hope it’s humor…

“The Genie and Osama”

While trying to escape through Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden found a bottle in a cave and picked it up. Suddenly, a female genie rose from the bottle and with a smile said.
"Master, may I grant you one wish?"

"You ignorant unworthy daughter-of-a-dog!  Don't you know who I am? I don't need any common woman giving me anything!" barked Bin Laden.

The shocked genie said "Please, I must grant you a wish or I will be returned to that bottle forever."

Osama thought a moment. Then he grumbled about the impertinence of the woman, and said, "Very well, I want to awaken with three white American women in my bed in the morning, so just do it and be off with you!"

The highly annoyed genie said, "So be it!" and disappeared. The next morning Bin Laden woke up in bed with Lorena Bobbitt, Tonya Harding & Hillary Clinton. His penis was gone, his knee was broken, and he had no health insurance.

God is good…

“Apples and Wine”

Women are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. Most men don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead they just take the rotten apples from the ground that aren’t as good, but easy. The apples at the top think there is something wrong with them, when in reality, they are amazing. They just have to wait for the right man to come along, the one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

Now men… Men are like a fine wine. They begin as grapes, and it’s up to women to stomp the crap out of them until they turn into something acceptable to have dinner with.

Now, if a man made jokes like that… And a woman heard them… Never mind. My “grapes” get stomped enough as is…

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Orbusmax links a rant over at Oregon Magazine:

“Grizzly Man: The Death of an Idiot”

Oh, read it yourself. You may well enjoy it, if your diet has been a little deficient lately in right-wing hate… All the evils in an old fool’s life rolled up into a single package and projected; personified in an amateur naturalist who got a little too close to nature…

Not that I have any particular sympathy for someone dumb enough to get that close to a Grizzly without at least a .300 magnum for a calling card. Give him a Darwin Award.

But this unidentified author… Fascinating. I wonder: Does he understand that he is exactly the kind the hippies were - are -  rebelling against? The counterculture… Counter to aggressive, intolerant ignoramuses who delight in the misfortunes of others.



This would piss me off… out of Austin Texas reports on a new kind of emphasis patrol:

“Tickets For Good Driving”

“Dozens of Central Texas drivers got pulled over Thursday for doing absolutely nothing wrong…Travis County Deputy Derrick Taylor says his job is to not only look for bad drivers, but reward and encourage friendly drivers…"The big cargo truck that was in front of you and you allowed to get in front of you, that was a very nice thing you did and because it was a safe thing, we want to reward you with a Round Rock express baseball tickets," Taylor tells a good driver.”

OK… So I allow extra time so I don’t have to drive like I usually do… And Deputy Derrick pulls me over and steals my spare time from me…

It would be difficult not to tell him to stick those tickets up his “holster” and quit wasting the public’s money… Before putting the hammer down, hoping  to make up the lost time – and pelt Derrick with a little tire-thrown gravel…


The Seattle Times this morning brings us a progress report of sorts on the Alaskan Way Viaduct:

“Nickels supports public vote on viaduct”

“The Democrat-controlled state Legislature adjourned for the year late Wednesday after agreeing to let Seattle voters weigh in on whether to rebuild the Alaskan Way Viaduct or replace it with a tunnel. The viaduct measure, part of a larger package dealing with regional transportation issues, requires the City Council to either put the choice directly before voters or make the decision on its own. Either way, a decision has to be made by November. Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels, who is pushing hard for a tunnel, said he welcomes a public vote. "We'll go out in November and ask what the citizens think. They'll say no to the Big Ugly, and vote to do it right."”

Disgusted yet, Seattle? I haven’t driven the viaduct in 15 years and I’m disgusted… It’s been almost five years since the viaduct nearly collapsed in an earthquake. It was an issue in the gas tax controversy last year and has generally figured prominently in every debate over transportation spending our legislature has had since the quake.

We have been told time and time again the viaduct is a lit-fuse bomb – not if but when. Nickels and the Council could do this now. They could likely even swing the tunnel Nickels wants:

“State officials have said there's already enough money to rebuild the viaduct at a cost of about $2.45 billion… The latest estimates put the tunnel cost at $3.1 billion to $3.6 billion…City officials say they can put together $3.2 billion for the project, including city utility and street money and $200 million from the Port of Seattle. Raising the additional money, though, could mean an increase in the city's utility rates that would require City Council approval.”

They could do it now, and get it done six months faster… Or they could wait half a year for a public vote. I thought the public already voted when it elected the City Government…

So just what do Nickels and the Council get paid for, anyway?

Not for leading, apparently… Or having balls…


Editor and Publisher reports on a recent Gallup poll pertaining to American attitudes toward evolution:

“Gallup: More Than Half of Americans Reject Evolution, Back Bible”

The poll itself is unavailable except to subscribers, so we will have to accept E & P’s abstraction at face value…

“A Gallup report released today reveals that more than half of all Americans, rejecting evolution theory and scientific evidence, agree with the statement, "God created man exactly how Bible describes it." Another 31% says that man did evolve, but "God guided." Only 12% back evolution and say "God had no part."”

The report goes on to relate the not surprising information that belief in the Biblical account is stronger among Republicans than Democrats, rises with age and declines with educational attainment. Interestingly, more people seem to believe in God than believe God created man. According to a FoxNews poll – admittedly a bit old – 92% of Americans profess a belief in God. From 6/18/2004:

“More Believe In God Than Heaven”,2933,99945,00.html

An insecure Atheist might lash out at the foregoing, suggesting the Gallup results demonstrate belief in God is inversely proportional to education and directly proportional to senility… And then go on to ask what good it does to poll - on an extremely technical scientific question - a Nation of people who know more about “The Simpsons” than the first amendment…

“Doh! Americans Know 'The Simpsons' Better than First Amendment”

But I’m not insecure so I won’t…

Seriously, this is a very encouraging result. Consider it: Fully 12% of the poll respondents have managed to overcome the power of the instinct of religion coupled with the power of social conditioning in this still overwhelmingly religious Nation to arrive at the most logical conclusion. 12% put reason ahead of emotion-based belief. That’s progress; especially for a species that has – in fact often still does – commit murder over religious belief.

Man is a primate who is locked in a co-evolutionary loop with his tools. The maker makes the tool; then the tool teaches the maker to make a better tool. The last few hundred years or so our tools have been evolving faster than we have.

Maybe we’re catching up…

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


The news broke this morning that three persons have been apprehended in connection with the recent church fires in Alabama. FoxNews fills in the details:

“Sick 'Joke' Arrests in church arson spree”,2933,187183,00.html

Agents from the BATF allege we have Matthew Lee Cloyd, 20, Benjamin Moseley and Russell Lee DeBusk Jr., both 19 to thank for this little prank…

From the article:

“Moseley told agents on Wednesday that he, Cloyd and DeBusk went to Bibb County in Cloyd's Toyota sport utility vehicle on Feb. 2 and set fire to five churches. A witness quoted Cloyd as saying Moseley did it "as a joke and it got out of hand"… Moseley also told agents the four church fires in west Alabama were set "as a diversion to throw investigators off," an attempt that "obviously did not work."

I can’t help but wish it had been some whack-job fringe group or someone with a grudge against the Baptists. At least then there would some kind of insane “justification” involved. Instead we have three “men” out for nothing beyond a good time… I’m reminded of the recent assaults on homeless persons, caught on tape.

Little thought of consequences - I bet they weren’t spanked as kids…

Scratch nine churches and three lives…

Or maybe they can be rehabilitated. Here’s my suggestion: They should be required to work, free of charge, on the reconstruction of those churches. Work all day; go back to jail at night. Work every possible day until all nine are rebuilt doing anything they can – even if it is only shoveling debris or packing lumber and hod…

They would learn valuable skills this way, which they could use for the next twenty years or so, working to pay off the rest of the damages. Let ‘em keep enough to survive and not a penny more.

They won’t think it’s funny anymore…

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


FoxNews Opinion Dynamics has released a new poll on South Dakota’s draconian abortion ban:

“03/07/06 FOX News Poll: Majority Opposes South Dakota Abortion Law”,2933,187083,00.html

“The poll finds that 59 percent of Americans would oppose the South Dakota law in the state where they live and 35 percent would support it.”

I told you so… Try to pass this on a National level and the Nation will stampede left…

Beyond this specific law, support for the pro-choice position wanes predictably. Still, “Overall, about half (49 percent) of Americans say on the issue of abortion they are pro-choice and four in 10 (41 percent) say pro-life.”

For the whole poll:

One final note for poll watchers…

NewsBusters has made a great deal out of what they interpret as “slanting” of certain recent poll samples by ABC and CBS. One complaint is that more Democrats are polled than Republicans. For example:

The CBS poll sample taken at the end of February consisted of 37% Democrats, 35% independents, and 28% Republicans.

This Fox Poll?

43% Democrats, 18% independents, 33% Republicans, and 6% other / don’t know.

Well, Brent? Are you going to “bust” Fox?


It has long been dogma among pollsters that about a third of the US is staunchly Republican and that excepting races skewed by third-party spoilers our election results largely revolve around turnout and the vagaries of the great undecided “independent” middle. The last two elections notwithstanding, when “independents” have to take a side on social issues they usually choose “D”…

Keep that in mind, you Republicans with showdowns on your minds…


VIA Breitbart, Stephen Ohlemacher of AP reports on a “new estimate” of illegal aliens in the US:

“Number of Illegal Immigrants Hits 12M”

“The Pew Hispanic Center used Census Bureau data to estimate that the United States had 11.1 million illegal immigrants in March 2005. The center used monthly population estimates to project a current total of 11.5 million to 12 million… The report estimates that 850,000 illegal immigrants have arrived in United States each year since 2000… There are about 7.2 million undocumented workers in the U.S., or about 5 percent of the country's work force, the Pew report said.”

The report goes on to report an unintended consequence - Efforts to curb illegal immigration have not slowed the pace:

“The security has done more to keep people from going back to Mexico than it has to keep them from coming in," said Jeffrey Passel, a senior research associate at the center.

It’s surely a coincidence, but if this report is correct, we now have more illegal workers in the labor force than we have unemployed Americans out of it…

We’re losing this one. Time to face up to it.


WorldNetDaily brings word of a monkey impersonating a Democrat in Ohio’s Senate contest:

“Democrat for Senate: Kill practicing 'gays'”

“Candidate says incumbent Republican not advocating biblical values enough”

Merrill Keiser Jr, truck driver, - running as a Democrat because that’s the way he was registered “the last time he voted” – opines:

“I believe that the United States has been moved in a Godless direction by the courts," he told the Sandusky Register. "To get good men on the court, we need good senators… Just like we have laws against murder, we have laws against stealing, we have laws against taking drugs – we should have laws against immoral conduct”…

According to WND, Keiser advocates “making homosexual behavior a capital crime punishable by the death penalty.”

I have a better idea… Not a good one, but better than Keiser’s… Let’s make advocating rule by biblical values in a political campaign a death penalty offense… We’ll call it the “Defense of The Constitution Act”…


Foxnews Business details a proposed merger in the communications industry:

“AT&T: BellSouth Deal Would Lead to 10,000 Job Cuts”,2933,186918,00.html

The article leads by explaining the attrition plan which is expected to cut about 3% of the new combined workforce, explaining:

“San Antonio-based AT&T expects the acquisition announced Sunday to save it $2 billion annually, partly by combining the two work forces.”

Fox notes “The merged company would have 70 million local-line phone customers, 54.1 million wireless subscribers and nearly 10 million broadband subscribers in the 22 states where they now operate. The deal would substantially expand the reach of AT&T, already the country's largest telecommunications company by the number of customers served. BellSouth is the dominant local telephone provider in the Southeast.”

Once upon a time there was a company called Ma Bell… One day Ma gave birth to a bunch of baby Bells… The birth was celebrated by cheerful, rose-glassed pundits who insisted the “consumer” would reap great benefits in cost savings and choice due to enhanced competition.

Instead we got a clusterfuck where many people have multiple providers, each of which sends us a lengthy and largely incomprehensible bill…

Now, through the magic of merger, consumers in the Southeast will reap savings realized “by combining the two work forces”…

So much for the business planners… Right full rudder! Full speed ahead!


FoxNews yesterday brought us an item of profound, enduring significance:

“Beer Guts Save Lives”,2933,186995,00.html

“New research suggests that guys with a little more to love around the middle are more likely to survive a serious car crash than those who maintain a slender bod, HealthDay News reports…As cruel fate would have it, the study says women in wrecks don’t benefit from the bulge at all.”

I knew it was good for something… Maybe there is a god…

I’m reminded of a complaint lodged against mandatory airbag installation by a smallish woman who contended airbags were just a device to protect big fat men who refused to wear seatbelts while endangering everyone else… Now it turns out they aren’t necessary, big fat men grow their own airbags…

You’d have thought the airbags in Congress would have long since realized this…


Brent Baker over at NewsBusters is at it again:

“ABC & WPost Skip How Poll Finds Majority Support for Surveillance, Bush Approval Up”

No mention is made of the umpteen other questions not highlighted by the news mavens… Such as “Do you approve or disapprove of the way the U.S. Congress is doing its job?”

Two to one disapproval…

For the rest of the story:

This is a big poll, and includes results going back in some categories as much as thirty years. It made a dandy spreadsheet in Excel, especially if you like graphs with a negative slope…

You know, I think Brent is just plain frustrated. NewsBusters need to commission their own polls so they can tell the talking heads what to emphasize and what to ignore in their all too short encapsulations…

In the meantime, it’s a good idea to continue to read the polls in their entirety, IMO…

At least NewsBusters is a good place to go and link up…

Monday, March 06, 2006


VIA just about everybody:

South Dakota Governor Signs Abortion Ban

Fox does its usual good job recapping:,2933,186961,00.html

The bill criminalizes the performance of an abortion unless it is necessary to save the mother’s life.

It is of course a blatant challenge to the precedents and policies predicated on Roe v Wade…

Bob Cesca over at the Huffington post takes exception to the law’s lack of an exception for rape in a downright ugly posting:

“South Dakota: Where Rapists Live Forever”

The first few lines pretty much sums up his opinion…

“The great state of South Dakota. The Home of Rapist Bastard Children! That's right, Rapists. If you want your twisted, evil chromosomes to live forever, South Dakota welcomes you with open arms.”

Which is probably a good example of the kind of rhetoric which will now be forthcoming…

I don’t know. I think abortion bans are the worst possible kind of butting in: If that sort of meddling is “Constitutional” it shouldn’t be. On the other hand, the Roe decision was a mess… And it must be kept first in mind that overturning Roe won’t criminalize abortion. Overturning Roe will turn one fight into fifty-one – one on every State and one in Congress.

And if you want to see the great American middle stampede left, just try to pass something like this on the Federal level.

So there are two possible outcomes.

1) Roe will be reaffirmed. If this happens expect the religious right to consume itself with fury. This is the promised land in the political desert – if the Republicans don’t deliver this time the only thing left to hope for is Anne Coulter slipping past the guards at the Supreme Court…

2) Roe will be tossed out. Then the fight is on in most all of the States. If I recall correctly, seventeen States legalized abortion before Roe. The question will become a hot-button issue in every State that formerly banned the procedure. I would expect most of them will legalize first-trimester abortion again at least. Until they do, there is the potential of a lot of very angry women suddenly finding a new meaning for a rock and a hard place…


NewsMax today is keeping up with pop queen turned Kabbalah devotee Madonna:

“Madonna to Await Messiah in Israel?”

“Pop star Madonna is house-hunting again and this time she's looking at a house in the Israeli town of Rosh Pina, the location at which the Messiah is expected to appear at the end of the world according to the ancient Jewish Kabbalah tradition… “

For once I hope NewsMax is right… If she’s waiting for a messiah she’ll be waiting forever… And if she’s over there perched on a sand dune by the Sea of Galilee she won’t be over here making bad music…

Thursday, March 02, 2006


Karl Swenson over at leaning straight up and I have been engaging in somewhat of a side-debate over “Pappygate.” Karl has posted some pertinent, thoughtful comments:

“Free Speech at the UW and Beyond”

And I’d like to take issue with some of it…

Karl writes:

"Suddenly, it was not about respect, or race, (re: the comments by the students) it was all about free speech, and suddenly the bloggers and talk radio were under attack as trying to tamper with the opinions of the students, and we are being disrespectful. Can you say "blame shifting"?"

Free speech is exactly what this is about - free speech and civility. Karl, by what right do you or others affix blame in this situation?

Karl, you note "A few are being held accountable for their words." Without supporting the statements so many have found unreasonable, I have to ask:

Accountable by whom?

Let's get a couple of things straight here. There is such a thing as minding your own business – so tell me:

How is this matter your business? Or mine?

UW is publicly supported, but the deliberative body the UW Senate is elected by the students. The senators are answerable to their own internal rules and to the student body.

They are not answerable to the general public. You may argue they should respect the sensibilities of the alumni - including chickenhawk Wilbur - and the larger public that helps to support them.

But they are not answerable to us.

Karl, you take exception to my use of the term “coercion:”

According to some versions of these events, some of the senators were not only subjected to reviling e-mails, etc. but also threats. Yes, even empty threats can be coercive. The sheer volume of public condemnation can be coercive. I read many threads on this topic. Some of the posts aimed at these students were downright ugly. I won't repeat them; I'm sure you all read the same things.

I stand my ground. The responses of conservative bloggers were coercive.

I ended up on the wrong side of this. When the matter first came to the public's attention I intended to refrain from commenting on something that I thought a sad footnote to the life of a man who despite many personal flaws distinguished himself heroically at a time when this Nation desperately needed heroes. I would have voted for the memorial - if it had been my issue. It wasn't, and it wasn't the issue of most of the people who jumped in to deride a small group of the 100 UW senators.

A question for Karl and all those who hold with him: Why was the condemnation necessary?

That's what I mean by an almost NAZI attitude. An attitude of aggressive intolerance; an attitude that makes everything "my business."

What the UW senate chose to do or not do isn’t my business - but the verbal / written equivalent of a stoning is.

So yes, Karl, I'm dissatisfied with what you call the wider debate because I don't think it would have occurred in a polite society or should have occurred in this one. In saying that, I in no way support the positions of the senators who have been vilified. But holding them responsible for their positions is the job of their constituencies, not the larger community.  

I'll throw a last stone here, even though I have no right to do so...

Recently we have seen in the Moslem world a wild outpouring of rage over a free speech issue. I think the rage some have expressed in this case is a little closer to that example than many would find comfortable if only they looked to the root. Sure, the stones here are figurative; the "flames" are electronic. But it's still people hurling them.

And some might recall it's been suggested throwing stones is the province of those who have no offences themselves...


VIA WorldNetDaily, we’re informed of a citizen’s attempt to report a terrorist sighting:

“Top terrorist sighting raises no FBI interest”

“Al-Qaida operative known as 'next Mohamed Atta' spotted in California, law enforcement goes AWOL”

“A husband and wife who wish to remain anonymous for security reasons, say they encountered Adnan el-Shukrijumah and other potential al-Qaida operatives, including Aafia Siddiqui, in a small café near Lake Isabella Sept. 7, 2005.”

So far, according to the article, no one in an official position to act has done so…

“The local enforcement officers, including the county sheriff, reportedly neglected to conduct an investigation, despite the $5 million bounty on Shukrijumah's head. Several federal officials, including U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., when notified of the incident, opted to turn a blind eye to the situation, even though they were aware that the suspect in question has been described as the most dangerous al-Qaida agent on American soil.”

The couple could be wrong, of course. It would be easy to make such a mistake…

But what if they were right? Wouldn’t that be maddening? Spot somebody you were sure was a terrorist with a five-million dollar bounty on his head, report it, and … Nothing…

It would be tempting to bag the bastard yourself and then drag his ass into the local FBI office… Where you would probably be arrested for hunting bastards out of season…

The “I told you so” would make it almost worth the hassle…

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