Pick & Choose
Now that the Religious Right is back in the news with their lamebrained crusade against Reagan & Bush appointees (hey, that Clinton appointee sided with the Shindler family), it looks as if they're dividing their time. Part of it will be devoted to smacking "activist" judges around while the other portion will be used to castigate those homosexuals. It's awfully funny to watch these yo-yos like Dr. James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Rev. Lou Sheldon, and the rest jump through theological hoops in an effort to deny gays their rights and freedoms in our nation. The most common hoop they jump thru is the one where they point to Leviticus 20:13 which states that men bumping nasties is an abomination and should be put to death. We all ready know that such right-wing loons as Randall Terry and other strict Reconstructionists would love to start killing all the gays and lesbians for they've said so. A quick search on Google will point one to them and most Fundamentalists believe that America would be better off if we instituted God's laws instead of relying on our own man-made laws like our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. In fact, some of them go so far as to suggest that anything in God's law should trump all the man-made laws we've made for ourselves. As a result, I've been combing through Leviticus to see if there are other abominations in God's eyes that should result in death and I've quite a number of them. Just before the big homosexual bombshell, God says that anyone who curses their parents shall be put to death. My question is if these Fundamentalists are so keen on wanting to rid America of gays, why aren't they also ridding America of all those whom have cursed their parents? By simple process of elimination, we can conclude that the offspring of these high-profile Christian fundamentalists have cursed their parents at one point so why haven't they killed them yet? Seriously, why haven't these people tore a page from Tony Soprano's book and whacked their kids for cursing them? Let's move on to verse 10 which says that any man that has committed adultery by sticking their dicks into another woman (be it some random women out in society or the chick next door) should immediately be put to death alongside the chick they were banging. When was the last time these Christian fundamentalists skewered a coupe of people guilty of this under their noses? According to my own math (and experiances as a former Christian fundy), adultery among the church is a HUGE problem and yet nobody offs these motherfuckers. Why is that? Jumping ahead to verse 15, we find that those who commit beastiality must also be put to death along side the animal they were screwing. Again, the father one ventures south of the Ohio Valley, beastility becomes a big problem. This is red-state, Bible-believing America, folks. Certainly they know people who loves to fuck a sheep now and then. Maybe even a goat or two. Why aren't we hearing about the deaths of these sick bastards on the news at the hands of their congregations? There's also a law regarding not wearing clothing of mixed fabrics which if were instituted by the Tali-Born Again, nobody would be left alive. Once - just once - I'd like to see Larry King ask one of the prominent leaders of the Religious Right why haven't they've either committed suicide or killed one another for wearing clothing of mixed fabrics and so far, hasn't been done to my knowledge. This all leads me to a bigger question for the Religious Right: Why is it fine and dandy for you people to pick and choose which parts of the Bible to follow and which parts not to follow and - in light of that - where do you get off imposing the parts that you don't follow personally onto everyone else? In other words, why are you people repeatedly demanding more from others than you do of yourself? Last time I checked, that was hypocracy - something Jesus didn't like. But apparently it's cool for God's people to take "creative license" with The Bible. Afterall, the Catholics don't physically baptize people by total immersion in water, do they? Most of them just either shake a wet scepter at you or draw a wet cross on your forehead and that's it! That's not how it was done in Jesus' time. I can't find no Scriptural evidence that suggests that Jesus nor his disciples ran around with scepters dipped in water and shaking them on someone, sprinking them with water. Can't find them drawing wet crosses on people, either. What about the Baptists. Granted, some of 'em do immerse people in water, but those "dippers" are getting it all wrong just as much as the Catholics are. What's up with that? Better yet, they like to claim that anyone who hasn't been water baptized after asking Jesus into their heart isn't totally saved at all and could lose their salvation. That's problematic because their favorite and most quoted apostle - Paul of Tarsis - testifies in the Bible that he could count on one hand all the people he baptized. Then, he turns around and says the unthinkable: he claims that God didn't send him to baptize at all. Now, if God didn't send him to Baptize and a water baptism after conversion is necessary for salvation, that means there's a whole shitload of fuckers -- basically the entire populace of Galatia -- that are currently in Hell thanks to Paul for NEVER baptizing them at all. What's up with that?!? Either water baptism is important or it isn't. Seems to me Paul didn't think it was important otherwise he would've been baptizing alot more then he did. Since he didn't, how the fuck can the Baptists keep claiming that water baptism is essential for salvation or for a Christians walk through life? Oh, what about those contradictions that the Christians claim do not exist in The Bible. Tell me, was it 4000 stalls or 40,000 stalls (1 Kings 4:26 -- 2 Chronicles 9:25) that Solomon built? Who is the father of Joseph; Jesus's Step-dad -- was it Jacob (Matthew 1:16) or Heli (Luke 3:23)?!? Oh, and I can't get started on THE BIG ONE for doing so would spoil one of my manuscripts that I plan on Blogging at some point. What this all boils down to is this: Since they're picking and choosing which parts of The Bible to believe and which to discard, feel free to do it, too. If the Religious Right want to come down on you for doing so, just remind them that they've been picking and choosing for a hell of a lot longer than you have. We're talking thousands of years compared to your double-digits. Fuck 'em and shame on them. Shame on them for perpetuating gay rights and abortion as issues more important to Jesus than healing the sick, helping the poor, and feeding the hungry. Shame on them for voting for politicans that help the rich get richer in spite of the fact that Jesus said that it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God. Shame on them for empowering the elite over the unfortunate. Shame on them for being convenient auxillaries of the Republican agenda thats always been regressive instead of progressive. Lastly, if any of them are reading this and want to perpetuate the idea that I'm at war with "people of faith" such as they are, I only need to remind them that in order for me to conduct a war against "people of faith", my subjects actually have to have faith. They don't have faith! If they did, I'd know them by their fruits. The fruits of the Religious Right clearly are reserved for one and not for all.
Exxon Mobil Corp., the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said Thursday that first-quarter earnings soared 44% from last year, due mainly to strong crude and natural gas prices. The company said it will boost its share repurchase rate by $1 billion in the second quarter.USA TODAY
Net income surged to $7.86 billion, or $1.22 per share, from $5.44 billion, or 83 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding a $460 million gain on the sale of Exxon's stake in China Petroleum and Chemical, the company earned $1.15 per share in the latest quarter.
Total revenue climbed to $82.05 billion from $67.60 billion last year.
Exxon-Mobil Posts 44% Jump In 1Q Profits
April 28, 2005
Royal Dutch/Shell comfortably beat analysts' forecasts to report a 28 percent rise in first-quarter profits on Thursday, helped by surging oil prices and strong refining margins.ABC News
Shell, the world's third-largest oil group, said it expected high oil prices to underpin its strong performance for the year ahead.
Shell Profits Beat All Forecasts
April 28, 2005
ConocoPhillips, the nation's third-largest oil and gas company, said today that first-quarter earnings soared year-over-year on high oil prices, though they were partially offset by unplanned downtime in the company's exploration and production unit.The Houston Chronicle
Net income jumped to $2.91 billion, or $4.10 per share, from $1.62 billion, or $2.33 per share, a year ago. Total revenue was $38.9 billion, up from $30.2 billion last year.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for ConocoPhillips Co. to post earnings of $3.29 per share in the latest quarter.
"Overall, our performance for the quarter was good, and would have been stronger without unplanned downtime," said Jim Mulva, chairman and chief executive officer.
ConocoPhillips' profits shoot higher
April 27, 2005
The president said he understands the pain consumers feel with such high gasoline prices. "Millions of American families and small businesses are hurting because of higher gasoline prices. My administration is doing everything we can to make gasoline more affordable." Still, he said that his plan would do little to lower prices in the short term.The Washington Post
Bush supports a mix of incentives, tax breaks and regulatory changes to increase domestic production of energy, including oil and several renewable fuels. The House recently passed a bill loaded with tax breaks for oil and gas companies, some of which Bush opposes. The Senate is considering its own plan.
Bush's Social Security Plan Would Cut Future Benefits
April 29, 2005
"...Not all those who say LORD, LORD"
You wanna know why Christian fundamentalist want school-led prayer?
Because they wanna see this happen on Hannity & Colmes one night: ---------------------------
HANNITY: "In a landmark Supreme Court decision yesterday, school prayer and The Bible was allowed back into our public classrooms. Here's a video tape of some kids in Achin' Asshole, Alabama who wasted no time excercising their newly granted freedom which should've never been taken away in the first place by people like you, Alan."
COLMES: "Well, I didn't take it away. Great, upstanding, tolerant, and open-minded people long before me did and let's be clear on one thing, Sean..."
HANNITY: "Oooh, look. They're praying over there. Isn't that..."
COLMES: "As I was saying before you tried to derail me, I want to make clear kids praying in a school doesn't bother me per se. I'm just concerned if equal accomodations will be made for Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Rastafarians, or other faiths because, if not, then ..."
HANNITY: "Why do you hate America, Alan?"
COLMES: "Excuse me?"
HANNITY: "It's a simple, honest, question: Why do you hate America?"
COLMES: "Sean, hating or loving America has nothing to do with..."
HANNITY: "I mean you liberals lost - AGAIN. You've finally been beaten on this issue! These kids are praying in their schools over there and here you are wanting to argue and debate like always. Why can't you liberals just admit defeat and give it up. I mean, this is GREAT! They're praying over there ..."
COLMES: "Big deal. They're praying. Doesn't mean the battle is over."
HANNITY: "Alan, it was a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The battle is over. Big deal?!? That's all you've got to say? Big deal?!? Ugh, this is just sickening and typical of you people on the left. I mean, they are *praying* over there."
COLMES: "Nevermind, Sean. Let's move on. Also today, another report of ethics violations against Tom DeLay cropped up..."
HANNITY: "Why did you change the subject, Alan? Those kids praying over there making you unconfortable?"
COLMES: "Well, we're not going to agree on this and there's more show to do..."
HANNITY: "Gosh, Alan ... I mean, they're *PRAYING* over there on that public school lawn!"
COLMES: "We've covered that allready. Moving on now to Tom DeLay ..."
HANNITY: "Alan. Praying. Over there."
COLMES: "... words is now that GOPUSA, the Republican outfit in recent news that ran Talon News website and employed the many talents of former White House..."
HANNITY: "Alan. Look. P-R-A-Y-I-N-G! Oh, that's just awesome."
COLMES: "...journalist Jeff Gannon, had used contribution money from one of their many subsidiaries to pay for Tom DeLay to attend a private Log Cabin Republican rally onboard a Princess Cruise. Since the policy for Princess Cruises is double occupancy, DeLay couldn't have gone alone and the leftwing blogosphere is erupting with reports that potential dates with DeLay on that trip could've have been either Jeff Gannon himself, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, or Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehl-"
HANNITY: *grabbing Alan's head and yanking hard towards a studio monitor*
COLMES: "Hey, what the...OUCH!"
HANNITY: "I SAID THEY ARE PRAYING OVER THERE, YOU AMERICA-HATING, GODLESS, LIBERAL FUCK!"
COLMES: "Let go of me, Sean, before things get nasty."
HANNITY: "Or what? You threatening me, Alan?!?"
COLMES: "No, I'm promising you. Let go of my neck before I do something I don't really want to do."
HANNITY: "What's a scrawny liberal dork like you gonna do to --- AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! FUCK!"
COLMES: *with Hannity's crotch in an Iron Claw* "Wanna have something really embarrassing to show Ann Coulter the next time she's in the green room, Sean."
HANNITY: "NONONONONOONOOOOOOO, LEGGO, ALAN!!!"
COLMES: "You first."
*both let go of each others respective heads*
HANNITY: *pointing to Alan and screaming to an off-camera producer* "HE HATES PEOPLE THAT PRAY AND DOESN'T SUPPORT OUR TROOPS!!!!!!"
That's the only reason why the far right want prayer in schools. They merely want it so that they can delude themselves into actually thinking they've accomplished something. Also, they want to use praying kids as a spiritual/political hay just like Schaivo. In other words, they want this so that can appear Godly in front of the sheeple instead of privately in front of God the Shepherd. They don't realize (nor would they care) if they're actually mocking Him with the whole charade.
And The Whores They Rode In On
Break out the Vaseline and spread those ass-cheeks as Cohen's FAIR.Org has published their 2004 "Fear & Favor" report that peels the onions on how politics and big business use our property (the public airwaves) to keep greasing each others' wheels of the for-profit, Corporate, Republican-Owned & Operated, mainstream media (as well as the not-so-mainstream). Wanna know exactly how much dick you're taking up the tail pipe? Let the ménage à trois begin:
Courts have consistently ruled that university administrations have to keep their noses out of college papers’ business, but that didn’t deter Arizona State University president Michael Crow. When ASU’s State Press (10/7/04) ran a picture of a female breast with a pierced nipple on the cover of its weekly magazine supplement, Ira Fulton, who had given ASU $58 million in the previous year and a half, called Crow’s office to complain. Crow immediately dispatched the student affairs president to warn the paper that “funding will be suspended ASAP if not corrected.” Virgil Renzulli, ASU’s vice president for public affairs, claimed the real issue was that the State Press didn’t have a clearly defined content policy; to the students’ response that they follow the Society for Professional Journalists’ code of ethics, he replied, “We think that there may be guidelines more appropriate for student journalists than the ones for other news organizations” (AP, 11/26/04).Though the administration insisted Fulton’s complaint had nothing to do with the crackdown, Crow wrote him an October 16 letter assuring him that “the Office of Student Affairs will be monitoring the newspaper’s forthcoming editorial decisions very closely and working with its management to ensure that the University’s standards are clearly understood. I appreciate your direct engagement on this matter” (Phoenix New Times, 11/18/04).As Crow told the Arizona Republic (11/20/04), “I don’t think we want [the State Press] off campus. I think as an investor in the business, we want some say in how it’s run.” Now there’s an education in how the media really works.
Exactly. It works for the business cretins, the shitbag politicians, and other vested interests by dry-fucking "Joe Taxpayer" not only out of his money and time but his intelligence and property, too. Textbook class warfare if I ever saw it. I know, I know -- some of you people reading this (from both sides of the political fence) will say, "But's its a BIZZZZZZZNESSSSSSS!!"
IT'S MY YARD AND I'M THE LANDLORD!!
What about MY business as one member of "the people"? The public airwaves (which include radio and TV frequencies) are owned by "the people" according to law. Stations are merely leasing them for use via the FCC with the promise that they'll balance out and self-regulate any conflict of interest that may arrise between their wanting to inflate their bottom line and our right to know what the fuck's going on in the world and whose culpable for it. Ahhh, but to cancel out that particular law, there's other laws in the business world that make it illegal for corporate networks who knowingly put the interests of their shareholders distant on their list of priorities. So, when the conflict arises, guess whose more important -- Mr. Big or YOU -- the average American Joe Blow?!?
If you're the landlord and a tenant uses his lease as a means to turn the living pad you're providing him with into a fucking crackhouse, are you going evict his sorry ass ... or you gonna say, "Welp, that's bid'ness! Least he payin' da rent on time!" and leave him to keep turning rocks into cabbage?!? Fuck no. You're going to evict that sumbitch and then have the police cram his drug-pushing ass so far and deep into a federal penitentiary that the warden will have to employ the powers of a good quality slingshot to feed the rotten bastard. So why are we so damn hard on the Main Street drug-pushers and yet keep giving a pass to the Wall Street drug-pushers and the politicians who keep cashing those bribe checks?!? They're pushing their "drugs" in our yard just the same, man, with their Crack-Jesus, their Crack-Fox News, their Crack-CNN etc.
We own the public airwaves so reclaim them when they do this shit and EVICT the sonsabitches, too, while you're at it. Don't threaten to evict them, either. Threats are the insecure so make a promise instead. It'll go farther if you're the type to stick to your guns.
For those who say, "It's the economy, stupid", I say bullshit. The economy that gives these Wall Street drug-pushers free-reign over the minds and wallets of the little guy aren't jack shit without the little guy -- the marks. Without the poor and the middle class, the rich fat-cats have nobody for their drugs. So what's it gonna be, Mr. Poor or Middle Class "Joe Schmoe" who owns the public airwaves -- are you going to be The Punk Boss or are you going to keep being their Punk Bitch?!?
Personally, I stopped being their Punk Bitch when Reagan killed The Fairness Doctrine, never once looking back, and if these Wall Street crack-dealers are going to engage into the "Class Warfare Without Being Called Class Warfare" game, I'll be around to not only to call their bluff but I'll be stepping to the plate carrying a big stick.
Killed The Banner
Alright, I got sick of seeing the 861.info banner and killed it. I've been asked why I had it in the first place and the reason is really simple: after checking out the Flash presentation of their case, it struck a chord with me in regards to a certain news item we hear every single year around this time -- about how "X" ammount of people ended up paying no taxes at all. Usually, those "X" ammount of people are in the thousands and are well off. The news outlets that publish usually say that these of people who lived tax free for year here did so by milking loopholes and shelters. Entirely possible but every single one?!? Nah ... forgive me for putting on a "conspiracy theory" hat but it wouldn't surprize me if our government knowingly and willingly allows some select people to file their taxes using section 861 of the U.S. Tax Code.
Wouldn't surprize me at all ...
George W. Dumbshit
(Kudos to Think Progress for the skinny)
MR. BENTLEY: And we’re operating in central Iraq. I’ll be back there next week. [Snip]
THE PRESIDENT: How many children you got?
MR. BENTLEY: We have two children. We have a four-year-old son named Patrick, and a three-month-old daughter named Elaine that I just got to meet for the first time.
THE PRESIDENT: Really?
MR. BENTLEY: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: No wonder you’re emotional. (Laughter.) That’s awesome.
MRS. BENTLEY: She was born two days after he deployed.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes, great.
"Things Fall Apart, The Center Does Not Hold"
AxisOfLogic's Chad Inman will surely be placed on Tony Perkins' enemy list...
But the most important piece of Constitutional evidence against Ten Commandments establishmentarians is found in the first clause of the First Amendment of the Constitution. This clause definitively demonstrates that our law is independent of the Ten Commandments and all other religious legal codes. It reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." This clause alone prevents the United States government from ever passing laws based on the first four commandments, which tell us to have no gods but the Lord, not to worship idols, not to blaspheme, and to keep the Sabbath holy. If Congress tried to incorporate those commandments into our laws, it would be an establishment of religion. How can our law be based on the Ten Commandments if a single clause of the Constitution wipes almost half of those commandments out of contention for inclusion in our law? The second clause of the First Amendment also outlaws any inclusion of the first four commandments in our legal code, since that clause protects our rights to free exercise of religion. If we were forced by the government to worship a certain way, as the first four commandments tell us to, then our rights to free exercise would be violated.Better yet, I would add that if our Congress were to institute the Ten Commandments into law, how the hell could they afford the manpower and resources to enforce it? Ask any group that has subverted true religious freedom -- from the Spanish Inquisitors of yore to Al-Queda -- and they'll tell you (grungingly, of course) that enforcement of their agenda simply can't be done without a huge volunteer effort. Hence the reason for raising hell via the grassroots recruitment approach -- those who desire to subvert and undermine true religious freedom have (if finding convenient auxilliaries inside Government turned out to be fruitless) always geared and molded their propaganda in order ensnare the minds of the people to drop everything they are doing and join the revolution. In other words, there can be no true religious subversion without a ready-made audience that has (or will discover to have after enough inoculation) the willing disposition to have their minds enslaved by tyrannical fashions-in-thought. The result is the people not only become the perveyors of religious subversion but also the defacto volunteer militia that'll gladly enforce it (remember that whole "Your Neighbor Might Be A Terrorist And Must Be Watched" meme being trucked out by the Bushies in light of the PATRIOT ACT and John Walker Lindh?) As Antonio Gramsci theorized, that audience is allready out there and one only needs to use the power of institutions such as the media, academia, government, and religion to reach them. He even went to so far as to suggest that once this is done, everything else will natually fall into place (which Herman Goering proved decades ago). It's textbook anarchist religosity cloaked in the politics of FUD -- the exact same thing Tony Perkins and the radical right-wing fundamentalists are trying to do. This is just a small peice of a larger mind-blowing article and it's a must read for everyone. If you don't have AxisOfLogic bookmarked, by all means do so and consider greasing their wheels with a contribution to keep articles like this coming.
Onward Christian Liberals!
Colbert King of The Washington Post has taken the gauntlets off:
To suggest Democrats are out to get "people of faith" is despicable demagoguery that the truly faithful ought to rise up and reject. But will that occur in American pulpits tomorrow? The Christian right counts on the religiously timid to keep their mouths shut. So why not exploit religion for their own ends? They will if we let them. And that's just it. Americans of faith -- and those lacking one -- ought to vigorously resist attempts by power-hungry zealots to impose their religious views on the nation. That means standing up to them at every turn. Oh, it's gets better:
It means challenging them when they say of Americans who support a woman's right to choose; the right of two adults to enter into a loving, committed, state-sanctioned, monogamous relationship; the right to pursue science in support of life; the right of the aggrieved to launch aggressive assaults against racism, sexism and homophobia, that they are not legitimate members of the flock. Where do those on the religious right get off thinking they have the right to decide who is in and who is out? Who appointed them sole promoters and defenders of the faith? What makes them think they are more holy and righteous than the rest of us?Did you catch that, Mr. and Mrs. Liberal Christian? Attention there, Mr. and Mrs. Non-Christian, Middle-Class American with your EverQuest life -- have you got your fucking ears on today? What's the frequency, Kenneth? Pardon me for being insulting and forcefull but I would think that -- after what the Religious Right has been doing to us all for the past few decades -- you'd see that my insults towards you are chickenfeed compared to what they've been using to beat us over the head with and we've only ourselves to blame because we've been silent. We've been turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to them running roughshod over us all for far too damned long. With that said, I'm afraid that there's only one more question to ask... ARE YOU FIGHTING MAD YET?!?!? I am. In fact, I'm so fighting mad that I'm not going to sit here on my ass waiting for people to empower me into action. If it's true that every cause must have their martyrs, then it's also true that every grassroots movement didn't start by some politician getting a conscience one day and deciding to empower the effected people. Seriously, name a politician that empowered women's rights way back in 1848? Name a politican who came along and empowered Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King to do what they did? The answer is none -- when our rights and freedoms are being trampled upon by any sanctimonious group, empowerment has always been the burden of the people and politicans have always been dead last to board the train. When nobody else will empower you, you've got to empower yourself. What I'm trying to say is don't wait for Pelosi, don't wait for Frank, don't wait for Reid, don't wait for Dean, don't wait for DailyKOS, don't wait for John Avarosis, and -- for the love of God -- definately don't wait for the spectre of Barry Goldwater to remind the conservates and Republicans of everything they've forsaken. As much as I like these people, the truth of the matter is if we decide to wait for them (or anyone) to come along an empower us, you'll be waiting forever and none of us have forever. Once again, the burden is ours. So, rise up off your dead ass, roll up your sleeves, and collect your spine. Time to go to work ...
They are not now and never will be the final arbiters of Christian beliefs and values. They warrant as much deference as religious leaders as do members of the Ku Klux Klan, who also marched under the cross.
The Bergen Record in Hackensack, N.J., editorialized that the attempt by the Christian right to dominate all three branches of government "has to frighten anyone who is not a Christian conservative. It should frighten us all." Baloney. It should make us mad. Fighting mad.
"Every single liberal Jedi is now an enemy of the Republic!"
The barkeeps over at Moon of Alabama - have lifted a recent comment by "diogenes" where he confesses about his Christian past over a few shots of sherry. I read this last night in their comments section and loved it. Kudos to the barkeeps for taking his post and letting it shine on center stage.
The Transformation Is Complete!
Regardless what the corporate, profiteering, mainstream media tells us, one should make no mistake: The results of the Schaivo Charade and subsequent violent castigation of all the judges that have presided over the case has peeled away the mask, allowing us to see exactly who (or what) is pulling the strings of the Republican party. Unlike tradition Goldwater-esque Republicanism of yore where the party was a political group first and foremost, what we've seen over the course of the past few decades is a party that - in their starvation for power - has allowed themselves to be transmogrified into something far more sinister and dangerous to this country. The GOP is now a Fundamentalist Christian "Rights" organization first and a political body only when it's convenient. The house that Goldwater built has been sold for a potter's field.
As history has shown us, whenever blind nationalism, religion, and government has joined hands and marched in perfect cadence together, the results are always the same: a country permeated by fascist totalitarians that will literally run roughshod over everyone that doesn't fall in step with their sanctimonious agenda or even dares to express even a minute twinge of dissent. Such things as Constitutional or Civil Rights change from being self-evident into being just capricious, socially-engineered, gadgets that are doled out or taken away all at the whims (and entertainment-value) of the empowered elite, leading one to the ultimate conclusion that the only people that really have any rights are the very self-appointed tyrants and baron-lords that use Lady Liberty's throat for an ottoman.
Of course, we're not totally under fascist rule yet, and with polls suggesting that 89% of Democrats, 72% of Republicans, 84% of liberals, 76% of conservatives, and a whopping 68% of white evangelicals all supporting the rulings of judges that precided over the Schaivo case tells me that there's still hope for us that the "yet" part stays that way. But the recent attacks on judges from the likes of Senators DeLay, Cornyn, and Santorum as well as Edwin Vieira's unconscionable use of Stalin's own rhetoric as a context (perhaps pretext?) for impeaching judges is something that just can't be ignored. Thanks to the glut of Conservative pundits in the so-called liberal mainsteam media, these attacks against judges are being served up as a pancea to the Christian right and Dr. Bill "Cat Butcher" Frist is right there in the middle of the entire slophouse passing out that panacea in little dixie-cups and encouraging the fundamentalists to gorge themselves on it by the bushel. This greatly implies that the atmosphere for a "Christo-Taliban" mob coming to power here is not only ripe but there are people we voted into public service (and thus pay with our tax-dollars) willing to imitate Judas Iscariot by selling us out, too. So what's really the bottom line here? Simple: The "Schaivo Republicans" and the Christian Fundamentalist are essentially equating the demands to legislate their morality along with the ability to practice their faith. Certainly with more opened minded people, they're not one and the same and when the spin and the self-serving bias is stripped away, the truth is there is absolutely nothing baring Christians from public service in America except for their own broken and twisted logic.
What is really the sad irony in their militant crusade for destroying the philibuster and impeaching judges is that it reeks of an intolerant and myopic worldview that's completely divorced from the certainty that Republicans will not dominate the three branches of government forever. They don't fathom the idea that Republicans won't always be the majority and concerned Americans could vote in droves for Democrats, Greens, or Libertarians at any moment. When that happens, the Republicans will inherit a very large public backlash that they'll no doubt try to blame on anyone other than themselves (most likely by arguing that if the Democrats would've approved the 10 justices in the first place, they wouldn't have had to pull the plug on the Philibuster). Another sad irony in this whole mess is nearly every judge that precided over the Schiavo case has been appointed to the bench by President Reagan and the only judge that showed any support for reinserting Schaivo's feeding tube was a Clinton appointee. Yet these facts doesn't stop the Republicans and their party-line pundits from schlacking them all with the same "activist" paintbrush or - as in Edwin Vieira's case - glorifying Lenin.
This all just goes to show just how different and dangerous the Republican party has become in their pandering and grandstanding towards their fundamentalist base. Even the late Senator Berry Goldwater saw that handwriting on the wall way back in 1981 when he said the following on the Congressional floor:
However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God's name on one's behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.' Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.'
Decades prior to this in 1964, Goldwater said the following in his Presidential Candidate acceptance speech:
Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed. Their mistaken course stems from false notions of equality, ladies and gentlemen. Equality, rightly understood, as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences. Wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.
I'm convinced that if Barry Goldwater we're still alive today, he take one look at the Republican party and - provided that the visual doesn't give him a coronary - he'd see exactly what I see ... and that's a freak with two heads. The difference is I notice one head as belonging to the late Republican senator serving to remind the party what conservatism stands for (or perhaps reminding them of all they had forsaken) and the other is ... well ... pick your own well-known Christian evangelist. The freak was created by their pandering to religious extremists, giving them and their Bible lipservice, and promising them a seat at their multiple, $1,000 a plate "last suppers" in exchange for money and votes while secretly harboring the intention of keeping the Christian Fundamentalists in the ol' "outer darkness". It's the equililent of a man giving a woman a wedding ring when he has no intentions of marrying her. The result? As the Bible says, the "outer darkness" is a place of much weeping and nashing of teeth but the difference here is those tears and gnashing teeth are of sheer anger. The far right Christian fundamentalist base is unglued. They're ticked off at those Reagan-appointed "liberal activist judges" that "killed Terri Schaivo" and they're also livid with Jeb Bush whom they believe dropped the ball. To put it all differently, the Republican party has imploded (or is about to) and - like a dog with rabies - they're snapping at anything real or imaginary. If the Republicans wish to keep their trifecta of power, the party needs and made a serious decision and fast: Which head of that freak they're going to listen to the most?
With Frist and DeLay showing no signs of backing down and pressing forward with thier crazed agenda, it's apparent they've made their choice already. Now, Howard Dean and his bastion of mostly spineless Democrats have to make a decision of their own: Do they sit on their hands and allow this two-headed freak to run roughshod over the American people or will they stand up in defiance with slingshots in hand, using their bodies to obstruct the warpath this two-headed freak slouches upon in the name of Christian Fundamentalisms' fake Jesus? Howard Dean has made his decision. Whether or not his army of spineless whelps put it into practice is anyone's guess (or hope) but regardless it will also decide whether or not the libertarians within the GOP remain loyal to the Republicans or listen to Lew Rockwell and exit stage left. Granted, libertarians have no love for left-wing liberals but when the nation is confronted by a rapidly statist-leaning Republican party peppered with judge-hating "Fristians" itching to bring about a Taliban-esque rule, they would rather put aside their differences and instead encourage and rally the Democrats to "SLAY THE BEAST" that threatens everything.
Democrats need to heed those cries, gather their spine ... and aim true!
Make Way For The Bigots!
While having a couple shots of Stolichnaya with Billmon earlier tonight, I noticed that he was wringing his towel and had that telltale glint in his eye. That's when you know the man's got a story to tell; a yarn to weave, if you will, about a very brave Max Blumenthal that infiltrated the "Confronting the Judicial War on Faith" conference. He's right about Max's tesiticular fortitude but personally, I wouldn't have infiltrated that fucking compound unless I had been accompanied by a clean Catholic Priest and a Jewish Rabbi whilst armed with a bushel of garlic, a quiver of wooden stakes, a pair of goats' balls, the necronomicon, the gran grimoire (human skinned, of course), and a Wiccan Book of Shadows on top of all them goddamn thorazine hypos (and even then I'd still feel about as naked as Noah after a drunken romp through the ol' vineyard!)
Alas, Max's mission in the belly of the beast is often like that of a waste treatment facility worker: shitty job, but someone has to do it.
DeLay To GOP: "It's Them Damn Liberal Hippies And Their Media!"
Somehow over the past week or so, Tom DeLay survived the GOP's "avon lady". He has since crawled out of his cave and responded to them in the form of (one can only hope) a blood-spewing final gasp:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, hoping to hold support among fellow Republicans, urged GOP senators Tuesday to blame Democrats if asked about his ethics controversy and accused the news media of twisting supportive comments so they sounded like criticism.I don't recall Democrats holding a gun to DeLay's head forcing him to go on all those junkets but -- nevertheless -- DeLay is likening them to the bullish Vic Mackey while trying to paint himself as the innocent Dutch Wagenbach. Too bad for him (and good for us) that some within his own sandbox are seeing right through the paint right down to the Ben Gilroy sleaze.
It Should've Been An Interrogation
This morning on C-SPAN2, the National Press Club held a conferrence regarding journalism and blogging that featured panelists ranging from Mathew Yglesias, Wonkette's Ana Marie Cox, and former White House hack Jeff Gannon (most likely representing the corner of Virginia Ave. and 19th Street nowadays). John Aravosis at AmericaBlog served up LIVE play-by-play as the event unfolded and the lads at Crooks & Liars ripped videos so if you want juicy details, head on over there, check it out, and consider droping a few bills to keep 'em afloat.
Personally, I'm just gonna sit here and regret not being able to attend (due to distance and financial reasons) while harboring a complaint that nobody in this whole building full of journalists and bloggers had asked "The Burning Question" (e.g. "How were you able to get a daily press pass for 2 years, Jeff?") they way I believe it should've been asked. Everyone knows that in journalism (and in interrogations, come to think of it) it's not necessarily the question you ask; it's how you ask it. Formulating the question in a certain way will get different results and ff I could've been there, I would've asked it in a completely different way which either would've resulted in three things: (1) an actual answer, (2) a prompt escort out of the event, or (3) a sea of dumbfounded faces.
How would I have worded that question:
Hello, I'm Jay Sizemore and I'm the author of a blog entitled "TBT: The Brutal" Truth. My question to the panel would be more appropriate when addressed to everyone in this room but for the sake of time, the panel can answer this while anyone else in this room may give me their answer after the event. So, with that said my question is how is it that Jeff Gannon for 2 years straight was able to get within shooting range -- be it by bullets or seman -- of our Commander-In-Chief?"
Do you catch the difference? See, when the "Burning Question" is asked in the former way, it automatically lets all those journalists in the audience whom represent the mainstream media (folks that not only lanquished in the same room with him for 2 years but also have time and time again dropped the ball on the details of the entire story) completely off the hook when they don't deserve to be off the hook (I'll get to the reason why shortly). Asking the question my way would have been the equivilent of taking the head of Jeff Gannon with one hand along with the heads of those mainstream media journalists with the other, and mercilessly bashing them together with a deafening *THOCK* that would've reverberated into the ears of everyone watching. Ana Marie would've pissed her pants, John Avarosis would've gleefully shitted in his own, Billmon would've strangled himself on his morning scotch, DailyKOS would've been speechless (save for a thread entitled "O...M...G!"), and those Powerline/Freepers would've had a flatlining stroke. Last (and certainly not least) Jeff Gannon would have been embarrased yet once again and the MSM would've been exposed for the lazy, money-grubbing, chicken-shit bastards they are to millions of viewers. That is exactly what needed to be done at this event LIVE on camera and, sadly, was not.
Since we get nothing but spin from Gannon, the only reason why we should be asking the question to him is to make sure his own pecker steals the spotlight every single time Gannon's ego seeks to bask in the sonofabitch. For the real answer, we should be hammering relentlessly on the MSM, our elected representatives, and The Bush Administration, mainly the MSM. Why such a focus on MSM? Easy -- the MSM keeps telling us that asking loaded questions to the Bush Administration is a sure-fire way to get punished. That alone communicates the idea that the media in this country no longer believes that their Constitutional protections will guard them from a pissed off President gone rogue. If the media no longer has faith in the Constitution, it should tell us that we shouldn't either. At least until Bush is gone (and that's if we even have a Constitution left). Simply unconscionable ...
If we lavish the MSM with the napalm they so rightfully deserve, they might just wake up one day, throw off their self-imposed shackles of oppression, and start holding Bush's feet to the fire. Clearly their oppression is self-imposed because we all know that rights and protections in the Consititution are useless when not excercised and the MSM's rolling over for Bush while kvetching about punishment if they don't is the most ridiculous and pussy-whipped copout I've ever seen from an institution that previously used to thrust the "Freedom Of The Press" in the air as if it were a Bic lighter at a Journey concert, for crying out loud.
The MSM shouldn't get one single drop of sympathy until they quit sitting on their lazy asses waiting for someone to come along an empower them. Instead, the burden of empowerment -- as an exhaustted Rosa Parks discovered many years ago -- lies squarely on their shoulders. They've got to stand up and empower themselves using the Constitution. Repeatedly. Defiantly. Ram that motherfucker down the throats of the Bush Administration as often as their right-wing enablers like to ram the Bible down everyone elses. They'll eventually start doing this if we keep beating them over the heads with the truth and the truth lies ever so conveniently in their apathetic and inconsistant coverage.
GOP To DeLay: "Hello? Mossad Calling!"
*Delay's office door opens*
*DeLay's office door creaks back open and shuts*
John Avarosis had his work cut out for him earlier yesterday as the above three stories came out in rapid succession. At first, John (and the rest of the liberal Blogosphere) figured that one story every other day was just par for the course on the ongoing investigation of ethics violations that DeLay had hoped his usage of "The Schaivo Charade" as political hay would stifle it down some. You know the drill -- another day, another DeLay Defilement!
But, two more popped up soon afterwards, leaving us Liberal bloggers (including yours truly) only two choices as to what really happened here: Either Jesus loves us America-hating liberals or the GOP had administered the political eqivilent to a Mossad assassination, capping three very large, gaping holes to the backside of Tom DeLay's crooked-ass gourd. As much I'd like to say both, most likely it's the latter case for I'm sure this nation has no shortage of Freepers who would devote gigs of bandwidth and harddrive real-estate arguing that God doesn't love us dirty liberal hippies ... because some of us still might smoke pot which is contrary to Dear Leader's "Culture of Life" horseshit (personally, I haven't touched a good-sized hoogar in since 1989, but try telling that shit to them!)
Granted, you might be thinking, "Awww, you need to crush some more tinfoil on your rabbit ears, Sy!" but let's put this in perspective. Frist initially kissed DeLay's "Culture of Life" ass the entire time of the Schaivo mess and went on a "liberal activist judge" attack-spree when she eventually died. DeLay then moved to hold the entire Republican Party hostage if any of them dared to bail on him. Since then, DeLay, Frist, and the other "Schaivo Republicans" were getting tarred and feathered by Democrats as well as roughly 82% of the American public and a recent Gallup Poll says President Bush's approval rating has dropped to 45%, putting him in the history books as the lowest approval level of any president at this point in his second term since World War II.
Then the shit started to hit the fan just a few days ago when Sen. John Cornyn committed treason live on the Senate floor by suggesting that the recent trend of violence against judges is "certainly without justification" since judges aren't held accountable by the public, implying that the judges bring the violence upon themselves. It was these weasel words that earned Cornyn heaping ammounts of scorn as Cornyn was doing nothing more than adroitly inviting domestic terrorism against judges, thus giving aid, confort, and sympathy to far right extremists whom regularly entertain such lunatic ideas (Tim McVeigh, anyone?)
But it was also these weasel words of Cornyn that gave Frist -- who is entertaining a presidential run in 2008 -- great pause. He's now backpedaling on his initial "activist judges" spiel; a complete 180 shift and one that has spurred much weeping and gnashing of teeth over in Freeper-Land. Frist's sudden 180 is in direct defiance to DeLay's holding the GOP hostage for refusing to protect him. With Frist calling DeLay's bluff, some withing the Republican party are standing up and coming clean with even more of DeLay's dirty laundry. Drudge's bombshell regarding DeLay's cashing in on Russians implies that he was hand-delivered this story by Republicans and told to sit on it in case the GOP ever needed to pull a political hit on their own foaming-at-the-mouth Majority Leader, leaving us with only one question: who ordered the hit?
Regardless, Tom DeLay is a done, done, done and much appreciatation is in requisite to John Avarosis at AmericaBlog for putting in the overtime bringing this to us all. By all means, hop on over there and help grease his wheels with a financial contribution to keep his blog going.
In closing, I've discovered in an interesting irony in Tom DeLay's political demise. It is rumored that In the mid 1980s, Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen was asked if he could explain why Queen was popular all over the world instead of America. Personally, I believe the video to "I Want To Break Free" had the unfortunate result of souring America towards their music since the band was completely decked out in drag. The tongue-in-cheek nature of that music video was completely lost on an American populace driven to homophobic intolerance and ignorance in the 80s thanks to the Moral Majority. Nevertheless, is it rumored that Freddie said in response, "I really don't know and I suppose I'll just have to die in order to gain America back." That's exactly what happened -- Freddie Mercury died of AIDS, Wayne's World immortalized him, and American demand for Queen went thru the roof. Freddie was not only a man ahead of his time but clearly a prophet as well. Don't believe me? Next time you hear "Radio Gaga", think of how Clear Channel has done to radio exactly what Freddie feared would happen. The man's a fuckin' prophet.
What does Freddie Mercury have to do with Tom DeLay?
Here we stand or here we fallThat's what we're doing now.
History don't care at all
Make the bed, light the light
Lady Mercy won't be home tonight
You don't waste no time at all
Don't hear the bell but you answer the call
It comes to you as to us all
We're just waiting for the hammer to fall
Oh every night, and every day
A little piece of you is falling away
But lift your face, the Western Way --
Build your muscles as your body decays
Tow the line and play their game
Let the anaesthetic cover it all
Till one day they call your name
You know it's time for the Hammer to Fall
Just waiting for "The Hammer" to fall. Atrios said it best -- open microwave and insert popcorn.
The Wake Up Call
Sometimes, when you say the words "Christian Commentary", people tend to freeze up. Not just non-Christians but Christians, too. The former believe that their godless lifestyle will be trampled upon by the writer while the latter immediately jump into judgement mode, ready to spew hellfire and damnation if the writer's commentary has even the slightest hint of "alternative gospel" that contradicts what the reader was indoctrinated with by the self-appointed leaders of their church (or their parents). Liberal Christians, such as I, usually think that the commentary is just going to be another Pat Robertson-esque rant that's good for a few laughs while secretly wishing (and praying) that we'd find a Christian wordslinger that at least appears to have his or head on straight.
This is going to be one of those times for I present to you Dr. Gerry Lower, a man whom -- after reading his articles for a number of years -- has got to be the only Christian Commentator that has all his nuts and bolts screwed tightly into his well-educated noggin as opposed to the usual wingnuts (Fallwell, et al). His latest commentary appears courtesy of our good friends at Axis Of Logic and deals with the difference between Thomas Jefferson's God thru the eyes of both liberal and conservative Christians. A real insightful and truthful read as always!