Tuesday, February 03, 2009

THis is a More...fucking test

Thursday, November 23, 2006

An appropriate topic to accidentaly post about. . .

The post you might have originaly read here was a comment I was writing to another blog. I write them here if I want to post hyper-link, then discard them. This one, I accidentaly posted - I thought I deleted it, but apparently I did not. The comment was going to Dispatches from the Culture Wars, my brother Ed's blog - here. The exchange between myself and Greg Byshenk, is where the accidental paost came from.

Since I got onto the topic of the proliferation of SWAT raids, for non-violent, under-investigated cases, I'll go with it. Perusing Radley Balko's White Paper, Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America is a good place to start. Check out this, this and this - let the conversation continue in comments.

FYI, I am dead against the "war on drugs" and I am dead against the overutilisation of SWAT teams in law enforcement. As well as seeking to legalise and regulate currently illicit drugs, I also believe in legal gambling and prostitution.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Wow, this is great thus far

A report for the Cato institute that I have been anticipating with great excitement - and thus far I have not been dissapointed. After I have read it I will expound further but here is a link to Cato - you can buy it or download it in PDF.

Friday, June 30, 2006

I can already hear the cries of activist judges destroying our way of life. . .

From the trecherous NYT, Sen. Orin Hatch -
"restore the constitution to what it was before unelected jurists changed it five to four." He went on to say, "Five lawyers decided 48 states were wrong."
Those five lawyers were the top jurists in this country, the equal of our president and the senator as well. Those five lawyers are justices of the Supreme Court. And for the record they did nothing to "change" the constitution.

With what sychophantic "conservatives" are likely to call a liberal activist ruling, by the Supreme Court yesterday on Hamden - we find they are again doing their job - protecting us from the excesses of an administration run amuck with power. Providing us with soemthing lacking these last five years - checks and balance.

What is frightening is that this was a close ruling. If Roberts hadn't needed to recuse himself it would have been a 5-4 ruling. One vote away from a true imperial presidency. Now in this specific case, of course, Roberts recused himself having already ruled on it while on a lower court - but in future cases (of which there will be at least a few) involving this tyrranical theory of the unitary executive we can be fairly confident where his vote will go.

Being a man of faith I am praying hard, for the remaining "liberal" (3 of whom are republican appointees) justices good health and well-being.

Also, I am looking forward to hearing the right calling for more violence against judges. . .

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A superiority problem and thoughtful debate

In a discussion of homosexuality at Ezra Klein's blog I was accused of being a lesser person by a man whom I have debated before - Fred. He explained that he is in fact better than I am because he believes he has a stronger belief in democracy than I do. Debate under such circumstances becomes impossible. When one decides that they are so very right and the other person is so very wrong that they are actually better than the other - there is no point in further discussion.

The reason I have enjoyed debating Fred in the past is that I truly do not understand the line of reasoning some people use to promote many conservative agendas. In this case a belief that it is just fine for people to discriminate against other people due to their sexual preference. I honestly do not understand why some folks can think that is ok. So I talk to him, question, try to figure out where he is coming from. I have not always been smiling and kind in my responses to the few arguments he will actually try to answer but I apologised the one time I made a personal attack, made when I was angry, tired and stressed out. Not a valid excuse for bad behaviour - but I did apologise. And subsaquently we have had reasonable if heated arguments.

Then he attacks me. I was neither rude nor condescending and I made no assumptions about his motives. Yet he turned around and presumed I believe something I do not - then judged me to be less than he.

Let me be clear. I believe in a democratic process to vote for equality for all people regardless of sexual preference or any other minority - including those involved in any single religion. And while the right to religious expression is specificly written into our constitution, the right to be free from discrimination in employment, housing or public business is not. Our courts decided that we have an inherent right to be free of discrimination due to many things - including religious preference, because of our constitution. Some courts have even said that homosexuals have inherent rights to be protected from discrimination - even while our politicians played catch up writing laws prohibiting discrimination in a variety of arenas, for a variety of reasons.

It is not a huge stretch to afford homosexuals those same protections. The problem from a certain conservative point of view is that this is inevetable. Within decades gay marriage will be looked at the same as inter-racial marriages are in most circles. We will wonder how ignorant we were as a society to actualy buy into that crap. I still hope that we will abolish the legal status afforded marriage and put the legal standard on civil unions. I honestly believe that that is the only way to truly restore sanctity to marriage. But it is clear that this is inevitable. Within decades the voting public will contain a much higher percentage of young people who grow up seeing that gays living together as life partners and even raising families has not led to the destruction of the family. Indeed they will be seeing in many places an emboldening and strengthening of the family unit as more gays grow up knowing they can have longterm relationships and don't have to run around having loose sex.

This is why they are half heartedly trying to strike this bigotry into the constitution. To say that marriage and legal benifits thereof are only available to opposite sex couples. It would take much longer to re-amend the constitution to remove it. Even now a firm majority of Americans believe in legislating anti-discrimination laws and allowing civil unions. Many conservatives like to throw marriage into the fray because there it becomes a little more polarized. But the tide is turning and already supports much of what I advocate.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

It is amazing to me that with every step forward the moderate voices in this country are shouted down and told they are grasping, with no hope for success. The president sits at 36% while congress and the senate have been doing abysmally for nearly a year in the polls, not helped at all by a trickle of Abromoff fare. Yet they act as though they have a manadate from the people to drive this country into the ground. They have destroyed and crumpled everything they have touched - literaly. . .And yet they have the temarity to talk down Russ Fiengold, a true blue, standing strong fighter for the American people in the senate, for attempting to censure the president, the strongest statement a senator can make about a sitting president. (Only the house can impeach the president) This is a man who has stood by his convictions and what he believes all the way. He voted against the "Patriot" act, he voted against war in Iraq - he has, in short, stuck to his guns all the way. And these poor excuses for legislaters we have, would criticize him in any way for wishing to censure bush for the crime of spying on Americans without any lipservice to oversight. Of course the "republican" solution is to change the law and pretend it was that way all along - everythings forgiven misser prezden sah! Any way we can kiss your tush some moh?

If I hear anyone else tell me that I should support the democrats I will scream. These disgusting people are far more concerned about politics than the law. The fact that as of this afternoon 2 more senators had signed on is reprehensible. They all should have been coming strong from the get go on this. There is no question that the man some call president broke the law. Instead of trying to change the law and make it retroactively legal for him to have spied on Americans without oversight - the republicans should be impeaching him and removing him from office. Short of that the democrats should at least stop crapping their pants every time bush mentions terorrism. 67% of Americans finaly understand that this idiot has no interest in making us safer - he has not made us safer - he will always put profit before security. He will put tax breaks for the top .09% of the population before spending on our security - he doesn't bloody well care about anyone but the billionaires. The dems need to come out strong and demand a real investigation and acountability - they haven't and they don't seem to be inclined to.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Yet another reason to abolish the legality of marriage

I found this story via Radley Balko's "The Agitator." It is about an unmarried couple who have been together for thirteen years raising three children. They recently moved from Minniapolis to Black Jack MO and were denied an occupency permit because of an ordinance prohibiting more than three people to live together without ties of marriage, blood or adoption. They were subsequently questioned for an hour about their personal relationship by the city council who then denied their appeal - their next stop is in court.

This is just another example of the inherent discrimination of marriage as a legal institution. I have spoken briefly before about my feelings on marriage. It is a religious institution and should have no legal bearing. People who wish to share in the legal benifits, currently afforded married couples, with their domestic partner should be able to regardless of there gender, religious preferences or desire to be "married." These civil unions should be the only such unions recognized by the state or any court of law. Those who wish to be married are free to do so in accordence with their beliefs but the state has absolutey no reason to recognize or provide any legal standing to said union. If the married couple wishes to enjoy the legal benifits of their relationship they should also have to get a civil union for said recognition.

If one looks at this idea objectively it is not nearly as radical as it sounds. The ability to gain legal benifits for a domestic partnership from a civil union rather than marriage would signifigantly reduce the divorce rate and go a long ways toward truly protecting or I would call it renewing the sanctity of marriage. With the sharp increase in the divorce rate of the 70s and the 80s a lot of people in my generation lost all respect and confidence in marriage as an institution. It has been merely a legal ploy for many people in the last few decades, rather than a sacred and beautiful union. With so many folks crying about "saving" marriage it really seems to be for the best. Removing the legal need for marriage would go a long ways toward renewing it as a sacrement, as an expression of love and sacred trust rather than a tax advantage or legal ploy.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

I am back online

I am back but there are going to be a changes. I am going to be focusing on issues effecting single parents more than anything else. I am developing a ministry within my church specificly for single parents. Being one myself I noticed a big lack of anything for us in my church and in fact in most churches. There are a lot of important ways the church can and should be reaching non-traditional families and that is what I am going to be spending a lot of time working on. I am therefore going to focus my blogging here as much as possible to on single parent and other non-traditional family issues.

I will be allowing myself once a week to post on anything else that has me irked. I am going to stick to this the best I can and see what happens. There are so many things happening that directly effect non-traditional families that I likely won't have a hard time finding things to write about. Healthcare will be a big one coming up soon. I have a lot of things to get done before I get back to posting regularly but I will be back into the swing in a couple of days.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I am temporarily offline

I won't hae the oppertunity to post for a little while as the internet was shut off at my house. It is a long story as to why but suffice to say that while I get along with my roomie famously, life with room mates is not always perfect. I will be back asap - probably in a week or so.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Dark, Dark Day

Today was of deep historical signifigance, our nation is the closest it has ever been to truly falling into the depths of fascism. I keep trying to escape with banal, mindless braincandy but it keeps coming back, as do the tears.

We are one step closer to forgoing our constitution and descending into totalitarianism. The highest court in our land has tipped. Not to the right, not to the republicans but to something entirely different - irrelevance. The same place our congress and senate seem to want to go. We are set back by a generation at least - we may never recover.

I hear talk of this culmimnation of a thirty year agenda. This is more like a 230+ year agenda of men who wanted our country to be founded differently than it was. These men want a government that believes the corporate is the absolute, they believe the president is the representative of the corporate, they believe that everything and everyone else is beholden to that. People are meaningless - money and power carry the only relevence.
J. Edgar Hoover and Joe Macarthy couldn't even dream of this day. The darkest day in our nations short history. I weep for what we have lost.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I hate it when this happens.

I just finished a very long post about my take on the war on terror and our national security. I went to post it and it turns out blogger was down. I lost the second half of it as it hadn't been saved in a while. I will take a little tiem to re-write the whole thing but I will post the first part of it. Also spell check is not working right now, sorry.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

All right let's talk terror. . .P. 1

I can not and will not speak for the democratic party and their plans. I will say catagoricly that the republicans have not, just to be clear, not made us safer. They are not protecting us any better than they were before we were attacked by terrorists from the middle east. Nor do most Americans believe that they are. I can not honestly say that the democrats have a plan that will make us safer but it seems to me that it is far more likely they will do a better job than the current regime. They could do the country a great service by reforming campaign financing by pushing for publicly funded campaigns thus leveling the playing field so we can get real people who actualy care about America and Americans to represent us.

We need a change now more than ever. The current regime is so corrupt that they have weakened our military, refused to outfit our soldiers on the ground, give our boys sewer water for bathing and coffee and now want to invade Iran. Our military is broken and continues to be broken by mismanagement and privatization yet we even think about stretching it even thinner? Give our boys the supplies and armour that they need to stay alive and they might actualy meet recruitment goals.

And bush himself has talked about his feelings on the infamous Osama bin Laden; "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02
"I am truly not that concerned about him."- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden's whereabouts, 3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02) This is not the attitude of people who really care about the safety of Americans from terrorists. Or we can look at his view of the constitution; “I don’t give a goddamn,” Bush retorted. “I’m the President and the Commander-in-Chief. Do it my way.”
“Mr. President,” one aide in the meeting said. “There is a valid case that the provisions in this law undermine the Constitution.”
“Stop throwing the Constitution in my face,” Bush screamed back. “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” (Capital Hill Blue December 11, 2005) This is not the attitude of someone who has America's best interest and safety in mind.

Now I could go on and on about how the republican'ts are not keeping us safe but that would not aproach the issue of how we can make America safer. I will leave the disclaimer that I do not speak for any democrats that I know of - they just seem to me to be a more likely group to implement the policies necessary to make us safer.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The disconnect of the democratic party

I was listening to Randy Rhodes yesterday when she talked to Howard Dean. It was frightening to me that she ended up educating the chairman of the democratic national committee. It was quite obvious that he could care less about issues that not only concern the base of the democratic party and independent lefties like myself but issues that concern both traditional conservatives and centrist conservatives. Issues that out-weigh other issues that would generally cause them to vote republican.

The democrats seem to be stuck on republican light and it is going to be the death of the democratic party if they don't wake up and realize that the majority of Americans are ready to talk about taboo issues like some form of nationalized health care, clean air and water, meaningful social reform and, the biggest, campaign finance reform.

I think that one of the fears many democrats have is that real campaign finance reform would lead to the death or at least a decrease in the relevance of the democratic party. While this is true they need to realize that there is a large place for individuals in both republicratic parties of integrity to help lead a fresh system that more accurately represents the will of the people of this great nation. I fear that greed and corruption are so rampant in the halls of capital hill that both parties would rather drive this country into the ground than abdicate this destructive system to one that could lead America back to the forefront of the global community, stepping forward to lead the world into the twenty-first century and beyond. Instead it seems that no one will heed the call of millions of Americans crying out for someone to lead us from the absolute depths this country has sunk to.

Monday, January 23, 2006

About getting a little emotional sometimes

I have been criticized by friends and others for getting emotional in debates. I would like to explain why that's not only ok but important. Too often these debates are way too abstract and end up shying away from the reality that we are talking about real people with powerful interest in what is being discussed.

Take health care, something I still owe a post about. This is one that effects me directly as I am one of the more than thirty million Americans without real access to health care. As a result of the bill pushed through congress at the end of last year it is likely that my son will get cut off Medicaid. Now I will find a way to keep him covered but it will be hard. I eat once a day as it is so that I can provide my son with good, healthy food to eat. If he does get cut off I will either have to eat less than that or I will have to feed him lower quality food. On top of this if he gets cut off it will probably mean his mom and he will also lose food stamp benefits as well, which may mean that I will have to find a way to work more hours which means I will spend less time with him.

I don't piss and moan about my own problems, they are my fault. I am a high school drop-out who could do literally anything I chose with an education - I am that smart. I am fighting to change my situation and it may work out but that is besides the point. Nothing I have done is my son's fault. He didn't ask to be brought into the world with parents who cannot provide for him the way he deserves to be. So this health care "debate" gets me very emotional and makes me very angry. It is absolutely sick that in this country we have so many without health care - including millions of children - it is sick that this country is so far behind so many other nations in this regard.

Then we get to gay "rights." I am not in favor of any special rights for homosexuals but I am adamant that they have equal rights to the rest of us. I get a little emotional when I think about the ten million kids being raised by same sex parents. I get a little emotional when I realize that many of those kids assume that, other than the fact that their parents are the same sex, don't realize that their parents aren't the same as other parents, i.e. they aren't married, at least until the mainstream media shoves this "debate" into their faces. I get a little emotional when I think about the idea that their are people out there who think that these families should be illegal. We are taking so many giant steps backward in this country today that many same sex families in this country are at risk - today.

I get a little emotional when people like Rush Limbaugh accuse me of having a fascination with death. They seem to think that we should just look the other way while the regime in charge of this country causes the deaths thousands of people a year. I get a little emotional when a woman who is awake and aware is cut off her ventilator in Plano Texas because her family doesn't have the money to keep her alive. I get a little emotional trying to imagine the hell she went through in those last moments, betrayed and suffocated by her own body without even the comfort of her mother at her side because she couldn't be brought over here in the time Texas law allotted her. Because I get angry about this - I somehow have a fascination with death - no, I just abhor the bush regime's "culture of death."

And finally, I get a little emotional when the president of this country say that my constitution, the constitution that hundreds of thousands gave their lives that we might have, is just a "damned piece of paper." I get a little emotional when a cabal takes my government and perverts my country into some fascist police state. When the senate, the house, the courts even the media are bent and twisted by the hands of one man I get a little emotional, angry even. This is not some abstract debate, this is our nation being destroyed. And that makes me a little emotional.