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Saturday, February 21, 2004

y'know 

i was just thinking about how i never post here.

The candidate to beat Bush 

In primary after primary, polling during the last few days before the vote as the undecides decide, shows that most Democrats are choosing their candidate based on who they think has the best chance of beating Bush. No single issue or broad philosophical stance matters as much as just sending that shallow frat boy back to Crawford in disgrace. Exit polling confirms this.

Therefore, I think we need to reconsider our slate of candidates. It’s not too late for a grassroots insurgency to sweep the primaries. There is only one possible candidate with a proven record of bringing Bush to his knees. There is only one possible candidate that has knocked Bush out before and can knock him out again. We need to nominate a pretzel.

Oh sure, I hear you saying a food product can’t run for public office. Take a look at the Republican House leadership. Don Young is clearly a vegetable, and not the only one. Take a look at your own state legislature. I’m sure every reader can name at least one vegetable, ham, tub o’lard, or big block of stinky cheese that has been elected and re-elected by the informed voters of your state.

Pretzel, being a Central European bread product, must represent the Northeastern urban or steel belt immigrant ethnic component of the Democratic Party. For regional and other constituent group balance, the running mate must be a Southerner and something other than a food product. We are blessed to have the perfect candidate with its hat already in the ring this year. I am talking, of course, about Gay Penguin. Who better speaks (or squawks, as the case may be) for the Southern constituency than a penguin?

There you have it folks, the unbeatable ticket for ’04: Pretzel and Gay Penguin. Once we nominate them there will nothing left to do except plan the inauguration party.


Friday, February 20, 2004

Exclusive: A Soldier Who Went To Haiti the First Time Says: Send Food, Not Guns 

SoonerThought has an exclusive that tells the story from the perspective of a former U.S. Army lieutenant who was there the first time Aristide went down.

Excerpt:


It is extremely difficult to fight for democracy on an empty stomach. Few of the framers of our constitution and signors of the Declaration of Independence had ever missed a meal. They were wealthy land owners. We brought soldiers to Haiti as the 'champions of freedom' to liberate the Haitian people, when we needed to bring champions of industry to establish business to hire them, bring champions of humanity to feed and clothe them, and bring champions of engineering to give the masses (not just the privileged few) running water and electricity and to clean the human waste from the streets.

Instead, Brown and Root got the power plant running so the wealthy could watch CNN, and the water treatment plant running so they could fill their swimming pools. The average Haitian was completely left out of the mix, left to bathe, use the bathroom, and drink from the same water source they had before - the drainage ditch running away from the wealthy Haitians' houses.

That is why the first 'free' election held after democracy was established only had a 3% voter turnout. A people will not concern themselves with the high ideals of a democratic election until their basic needs for safety, shelter, and food are met.




Thursday, February 19, 2004

Reasearch Question 

I'm starting an essay comparing and contrasting Shrub a Dub to fictional Despotic Presidents. So far I have Furbish Lousewart V. (from Schrodinger’s Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson) and Farris F. Freemont (from Radio free Albemuth by Philip K. Dick) Any other sugestions for comparison?


So Tired 

So what's going on with the MX23 you're asking? Well, the wife and I have adopted a bassett hound puppy (pics to come) to go along with our many cats. As any of you out there who have owned a puppy may know, they are an amazing handful. So Moose (the puppy) along with my oldest cat (a 17 year old persian) being very sick as well as school and work has left me little time to read blogs let alone write them. It's about all I can do to listen to the news on the way to places to stay informed. But I will perservere and keep on blogging. My voice is mostly angry these days, but I'll get back to the tainment part of politainment very soon. I'm trying to meditate and relax...relax.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Paging Dr. Jesus 

From Scopes.com:

President Bush has announced his plan to select Dr. W. David Hager to head up the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. The committee has not met for more than two years, during which time its charter has lapsed. As a result, the Bush Administration is tasked with filling all eleven positions with new members. This position does not require Congressional approval.

[edit]

Dr. Hager is a practicing OB/GYN who describes himself as "pro-life" and refuses to prescribe contraceptives to unmarried women. Hager is the author of "As Jesus Cared for Women: Restoring Women Then and Now." The book blends biblical accounts of Christ healing women with case studies from Hager's practice. In the book Dr. Hager wrote with his wife, entitled "Stress and the Woman's Body," he suggests that women who suffer from premenstrual syndrome should seek help from reading the bible and praying. As an editor and contributing author of "The Reproduction Revolution: A Christian Appraisal of Sexuality, Reproductive Technologies and the Family," Dr. Hager appears to have endorsed the medically inaccurate assertion that the common birth control pill is an abortifacient.

For some women, such as those with certain types of diabetes and those undergoing treatment for cancer, pregnancy can be a life-threatening condition. We are concerned that Dr. Hager's strong religious beliefs may color his assessment of technologies that are necessary to protect women's lives or to preserve and promote women's health. Hager's track record of using religious beliefs to guide his medical decision-making makes him a dangerous and inappropriate candidate to serve as chair of this committee. Critical drug public policy and research must not be held hostage by antiabortion politics. Members of this important panel should be appointed on the basis of science and medicine, rather than politics and religion. American women deserve no less.

[edit]

WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. SEND THIS TO EVERY PERSON WHO IS CONCERNED ABOUT WOMEN'S RIGHTS.
2. OPPOSE THE PLACEMENT OF THIS MAN BY CONTACTING THE WHITE HOUSE AND TELL THEM HE IS TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE ON ANY LEVEL.

Please email President Bush at president@whitehouse.gov or call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414 and say "I oppose the appointment of Dr. Hager to the FDA Reproductive Health Drugs Advisory Committee. Mixing religion and medicine is unacceptable. Using the FDA to promote a political agenda is inappropriate and seriously threatens all women's health."


_________
Also posted at The Invisible Library

Sitting at the Lunch Counter 

I'd been following the San Francisco gay-marriage story with some interest, but I've not been riveted to the news. After all, I thought it was just a publicity stunt by the new mayor to get some of that famous California 15-Minute Limelight. But then I remembered the young black men who walked into a Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina on May 4, 1961 and politely expected to be served in the whites-only restaurant. They were taunted, spat on, and eventually threatened with arrest. And no, they were not served. But it was an important demonstration, and it stands in the history of this country as a moment when the universe of civil rights began to shift.

Read the rest at Bark Bark Woof Woof.

Follow the Network 

David Horowitz has been very busy this winter. He has two major projects in the works to bring the left to its knees. So far he’s gotten the most press coverage for his youth group: Students for Academic Freedom. In typical newspeak fashion, the goal of the group is just the opposite of what the name implies. They aim to muzzle liberal professors and force universities to institute an affirmative action program for oppressed conservatives. The name of their program is the Academic Bill of Rights: which just goes to prove that conservatives do too have a sense of irony. (The Rocky Mountain Progressive Network keeps close tabs on SAF.)

His second project is a massive and expensive database that exposes "labyrinthine networks and layered fronts through which the left is able to carry on its corrosive agendas" called Follow the Network. The beta version is up today (who knows how long it will be up or whether it will stay at this address). Though most entries are just placeholders, there are enough names indexed to see how Horowitz defines “the Left.” Simply put, it’s his personal enemies list. Anyone or anything his disapproves of is de facto part of “the Left.” Thus he manages to lump Communists, environmentalists, liberal college professors, Muslim fundamentalists, supporters of public television, IBM, and adult literacy programs into one category and map out meaningful links to join them all. It really is a masterful work of conspiracy mongering.

Although the completed project should have over 10,000 entries, I see some serious absences in the beta version. First, I’m not in it. This database is sure to become the social register for everyone who is a threat to Western values. How can I be taken seriously if I’m not part of it? I wonder if I could sue my way in. Second, how can you put al Qayda, Act Up, and the American Library Association into one network and leave out the Bavarian Illuminati, the Elders of Zion, and David Icke’s shape-shifting interdimensional lizard men? It defies reason.

Monday, February 16, 2004

Regulations? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Regulations! 

It's one thing you can count on; like snow in upstate New York. Conservatives will tell you that the one thing standing between business and unlimited profits is government regulation. According to true believers, if government would just get out of the way of corporations, the laws of supply and demand would provide every product and service for every want and desire at just the right price.

Oh, and by the way, I've got this great bit of land just south of the Florida Keys I'd like to sell you.

In my post "Regulations, Regulations, Regulations..." over at The Fulcrum, I discuss three news stories that set me off on this exploration of government regulations and why, on balance, they are "a good thing."

"The shows they censored suggest a perspective that is Talibanesque" 


The Bush administration has decided that people with bad hearing have bad judgment, too, and need special guidance from the federal government.

So the U.S. Department of Education is declaring about 200 television programs inappropriate for closed-captioning and denying federal grant requests to make them accessible to the hearing-impaired.

[edit]

The government is refusing to caption Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, apparently fearing that the deaf would fall prey to witchcraft if they viewed the classic sitcoms.

Banning Scoobie-Doo doesn't sound like anything too bad but these are the same folks who started an investigation over a tit shown on TV while those who outed a CIA Agent get a shrug of the shoulders and half a column on page D12. I'd hardly be the first to point out that there is an extreme and disturbing disconnect between those in power and the people they govern. But this is getting to the point where it seriously may jepordize not just what we watch on Television, but how we conduct public discourse.

~Read the rest at The invisible Library

Unabashedly and Unabated 

I'm talking about my continued support of Howard Dean. Not everyone here at the LC is necessarily now or ever has been a supporter of Howard Dean. So my post is not representative of the whole group.

That said, I want to take a moment today to write about what's on my mind.

Today is a big day in Wisconsin. I know a lot of people would have us think that this race is over, and I should just not be wasting my time on this anymore. In fact, they were pretty much saying so straight after New Hampshire. Isn't it funny how some of the same people who were complaining when the first ballots hadn't been cast and we shouldn't be proclaiming "front runners" and "winners" yet, and how even if they were cast, that Iowa and New Hampsire were in reality small potatoes and just not as big a deal as people would want to make them out to be...were/are some of the same ones who have hitched their wagons to the "It's Over Now Express", immediately following N.H.?

I didn't, however. I still believe it's an unfinished process. Can you tell?

For some reason I just kept hoping beyond hope that people would realize that there were still a good deal of states/citizens who had not yet had their say. For some reason, I just kept hoping that all of those people who had been stewing about being tired of the "same old-same old", would actually stick to their guns when they said that, and they believed Howard Dean was the one who best represented them. For some very strange reason, I was hoping that people would realize that this is about all of us having our day, chiming in on our opinion -vis a vis our votes- to decide who we thought would best represent us. Not about anything else, but who we chose on the basis of what that candidate says about his or herself and what their records show about how they voted on matters that are important to us individually. All of our choices for candidates were fine choices, in my opinion, and still are. To me, it's about who inspires me the most and who (still) speaks to what I feel is most representative of my beliefs. Nothing more, nothing less.

Well, I feel that process was hampered and that this process has been once again, been given the shaft for (among other things) yet another catchy, over-used bit of jargon, "Electability". Most of you may have encountered my opinion of this word and how I feel about it in my own blog, and in others. In short, I believe that we have allowed the parameters of our debate about who should/would best represent us and what we want in the next election, to be set by other people -not the individual voter- and those people being among those who are not necessarily concerned about what we want or what is necessarily best...but instead, more concerned about what's in their own best interests, and what will play out better according to their scripts.

It's just my opinion. That's how I feel about the whole thing. In a nutshell.

Despite all that has happened, I still intend to vote the way I always have. For Howard Dean. Why? Because the fact that he is still the candidate who best represents me (albeit not 100%, but no candiate ever will), and that has not changed. It hasn't changed in light of the "gaffes", or gaffes, or "electability", or "the scream". It hasn't changed because his wife still keeps her own last name, has a career other than "adoring wife", or because she doesn't wear make-up, god forbid. It hasn't changed because he's "too angry", because 1) I don't think he is, and 2) I am angry. Well, make that upset and passionate, myself, about what's gone down the last few years and it was about time somebody stood up and said, "enough!". My opinion hasn't changed just because there's a new "front runner". Just like it didn't change when he was the "front runner", and remained under the microscope of 24/7 scrutiny. My opinion hasn't budged, even though Trippi has gone and a new man has stepped in. Al Gore had nothing to do with my support of Howard Dean, before or after the fact. Good for Al. I knew he was a smart man.

My point is, my mind was made up, early on. When I compared all the candidates and decided on the basis of who best represented me. That is how I will vote, regardless of what looks "inevitable" or more "electable" or whatever-able.

Come November though, you can all safely bet who I will not be voting for, and none of this that goes on today will effect that.