Thursday, November 30, 2006

Free speech.

Keith Olbermann lays the smackdown on Newt.

Speaking of free speech, it does include the right to post confusing, illogical rants on my blog. But considering the recent study linking support for Bush directly to mental illness, it may not be a good thing to, well, spout right-wing crap. To rebut several arguments made on this blog recently:

1) Equal rights do not equal special rights, and a "civil union" for same-sex couples is exactly the same thing, and has exactly the same arguments behind it, as separate water fountains and schools based on race. Remember, back in the day, the same bigots who hate the idea of me and my partner getting married were horrified by a black man and a white woman getting married. That also violated the sanctity of marriage.

2) Six muslim men praying privately to themselves at an airport is hardly the same thing as forcing public school students to participate in state-mandated religious observances. I'm frankly stunned that somebody would even make that comparison.

3) You don't go into a war without a plan to win it? Really? Do I even have to make a counter-argument here? Alright then, what's our plan to win in Iraq? Go on, tell me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

"Civil War" in the news

For the record, I agree that Iraq is in a state of civil war. Actually there's nothing civil about it. But here's what I don't get. Why did NBC do all of this meta-reporting, announcing that it would refer to the conflict as a civil war in a very formal and dramatic fashion? Doing so allowed the focus of the story to become the reporting of the war, rather than the war itself. NBC is the story now, not the hundreds and hundreds of dead civilians and soldiers in Iraq. Wouldn't it have been simpler for NBC to have just used the term "civil war" in a story about Iraq, and not commented on it further? There are occasions when meta-reporting is appropriate, if bias is perceived or other factors call into question the reporting itself. But why is the decision to call a spade a spade, or a civil war a civil war, in this case, so incredibly controversial that it requires an overdramatic Matt Lauer moment?

Plus, can someone point me to an NBC story about the war in Iraq in which the term "civil war" is actually used, and isn't referring to NBC's decision to use the term "civil war?" I can't find any.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And in "people being stupid about religion" news

Six Imams thrown off a flight for praying. A Christian employee of British Airways loses an appeal over wearing a cross over her uniform. Just two examples of recent insane things happening on our airways.

Ok, issue #1.

Have we, since 9/11, lost the ability to tell the difference between a peaceful group of religious leaders expressing their faith, and psychotic mass-murdering terrorists bent on world destruction? If we have, then we're in for a world of hurt. I see lawsuits brewing over this, but more importantly, I see a further exacerbation of justifiable bad feelings welling up from a harassed and scapegoated Islamic community in America. This incident is outrageous and quite frankly frightening, and I can't stress enough how utterly wrong it was of the airline to act in the way that it did here.

Issue #2.

If I worked for British Airways, and I knew that they had a policy against wearing religious symbols over uniforms, I would deliberately and pointedly wear a magen david to work every day until someone confronted me about it. Europe is going into a very scary place right now, banning headscarves in France, and attempting in many other countries to curb the rights of observant Muslims to display their faith openly, and now denying people the right to wear a simple religious medallion over their work uniform? I do not approve.

Happily, there is good news out there.

Israel's high court has demanded that Israel recognize same-sex marriages performed in other countries. Obviously, Israel can't mandate same-sex civil ceremonies in Israel, because of the religious monopoly on marriage. But, a same-sex couple who gets married in Canada, legally, will now be married in Israel, legally. That's good news.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The marriage equality fight

Well, we may not have the right to marry in this state, but apparently we can get a divorce. Last Friday's Tulsa World had an article about a judge who granted a same-sex couple a divorce without realizing that they were a same-sex couple. Kind of a funny anecdote, but it's a good illustration of really why this whole fight is absolutely insane, and how denying same-sex couples the right to marry is as arbitrary and ridiculous as denying blue-eyed people the right to play golf with brown-eyed people. Then again, the way country clubs work, as long as neither of them are Jews, it's ok, right? But I digress.

I think we're making progress in the marriage equality fight. In 2004, voters in quite a few states, including this one, stood up and said "yes, by golly, we're bigots!" in overwhelming numbers. This year, a whole bunch of other states stood up and said that, but Arizona lifted up its hand and said, "um, hey, this isn't right, guys, wait a sec," and voted not to be bigots. That's progress. It's standing still instead of moving backwards, but it's still progress.

Between now and 2008, I think the goal of the marriage equality movement should be to talk in terms of strengthening family values by making marriage inclusive, encouraging marriage as a stable family structure. If we speak the language of the right-wingers, maybe we can change their minds. I know one thing that isn't going to help: more parades with guys on leashes wearing leather, and buxom drag queens screaming and prancing around like maniacs.

We need to transform the marriage equality movement, hell the whole gay rights movement itself, from one focused on "pride," whatever that means, to one focused on "rights." Instead of having parades, let's have marches, where we wear, you know, normal clothing, and walk hand in hand carrying signs saying "all we want is equality" and "how does our love threaten your love" and such. No more crazy floats. No more leather daddies and bear bikers. Let's, for once in our fabulous existence, be discreet, and tactful, and diplomatic, and maybe, just maybe, we'll get somewhere.

Remember how MLK's supporters did it. Respectful, non-violent, civil disobedience. Remember how Gandhi did it. The same way. Why do we make a mockery of ourselves every time we venture out in public? What do we hope to accomplish?

We will succeed unless we quit?

Keith Olbermann lays out the real lessons of Vietnam.

Some highlights:

"And the fifth crucial lesson of Vietnam, Mr. Bush — which somebody should’ve told you about long before you plunged this country into Iraq — is that if you lie your country into a war, your war, your presidency will be consigned to the scrap heap of history."


...

"We will succeed against terrorism, for our country’s needs, toward binding up the nation’s wounds when you quit, quit the monumental lie that is our presence in Iraq.

And in the interim, Mr. Bush, an American kid will be killed there, probably tonight or tomorrow.

And here, sir, endeth the lesson."

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Excerpt from Russ Feingold's Statement

Russ Feingold wrote a message on DailyKos in which he repeated his official statement deciding not to run and thanked the netroots for their support of him and our collective victory on Tuesday. A particularly good excerpt:

Yet, while I've certainly enjoyed the repeated comments or buttons saying, "Run Russ Run", or "Russ in '08", I often felt that if a piece of Wisconsin swiss cheese had taken the same positions I've taken, it would have elicited the same standing ovations. This is because the hunger for progressive change we feel is obviously not about me but about the desire for a genuinely different Democratic Party that is ready to begin to reverse the 25 years of growing extremism we have endured.

Blogger problems

So. Those of you on the Sinister mailing list just got about a zillion copies of my last post. Sorry about that. Blogger is having issues. Every time I would hit "publish," it gave me a message, "we're sorry, we cannot complete your request." I finally figured out that it was LYING to me, and my posts were being published after all. So, anyway, my apologies for filling up your inbox.

Russ Feingold Isn't Running

Russ Feingold has decided not to run for President in '08.

That sucks.

I knew he would have been a long shot, but he's one of the best people in Congress right now, and would have made a fantastic first Jewish President.

Right then. Guess I have to look for someone else to support. Vilsack? Unlikely. Hillary? No. McCain? I'd rather gouge out my own spleen with a plastic spork.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

What a day.

It's just...

Candy.

So many demons vanquished. So much vengeance wreaked.

As Howard Dean so eloquently put it two years ago:

"YEAAARRRGH!!!!"

It's down to Tester and Webb

and both look good.

Anyone interested in a celebratory mimosa? :-D

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Claire McCaskill pulls ahead

Missouri Senate race looks good. Virginia is a squeaker, but Webb looks good. Tester is kicking ass in Montana.

And those are the three races we need to win to get the Senate.

Wow.

A particularly sweet victory

FL-22. Democrat Ron Klein defeats Clay Shaw.

Finally.

I worked on Carol Roberts' campaign to defeat Clay Shaw in 2002. Clay Shaw is a bastard of the highest order. It's good to see him go down.

Now this is a headline I like to see.

"NBC Projects Democrats Win Control of House."

Booyah.

Funny note

Greg Pason, the Socialist candidate in the U.S. Senate Race in New Jersey, has nearly 900 votes. What's funny is that those 900 votes represent more people than the Socialist Party USA has members--nationally.

I know this, because I used to be a member.

Still, Greg's a good guy, and I'm glad to see him getting at least a little bit of support.

Pickup #3 in the Senate

Sheldon Whitehouse beats the pants off of Lincoln Chafee.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

3 more, baby, 3 more.

Holy shit

I just giggled like a schoolgirl. I am positively GIDDY. heeheeeeeee.

Fuck me with a spork.

Lieberman wins in Connecticut.

Well, that sucks.

Eat it, Istook!

Brad Henry just projected to win Oklahoma Governor. Istook is finally going to have to shut the hell up.

It takes a fascist

to lose the Pennsylvania Senate Race.

Eat it, Santorum!

Democrats FTW!!!

Monday, November 6, 2006

Where I am politically.

I'm not afraid to say it. I actively despise the Republican Party and all that it stands for. It is a gang of criminals, hypocrites, liars, thieves, crooks, bigots, fascists, and theocrats, whose only goal is the creation of an America that would make George Washington vomit out his own spleen.

They want an America where I'm not free to practice my own religion, but I'm forced to participate in the public display of religions in which I don't believe.

They want an America where my partner and I are vilified and ostracized, and can never have equal marriage rights, but where heterosexuals are free to marry on a whim in Vegas and divorce the next day.

They want an America that goes to war based on lies, and covers those lies with more lies and more lies until the lies become truth.

They want an America where the working class is stripped of the minimum wage and can't make ends meet, but millionaires get a break on their taxes so their heirs can afford one more yacht.

They want an America where habeas corpus means they ask for ID before they waterboard you.

They want an America where secretive private companies control easily manipulated voting machines, so that you and I can't even be sure that our votes count.

They want an America that builds walls around itself, instead of bridges to the world.

They want an America in which every person fends for himself, and hates and fears his neighbors, instead of an America where people work together, as a community.

They want an America where the answer to violent crime is to fill the streets with guns and tell people to shoot first, and forget the questions later.

They want an America in which questioning the government is treason, but when the government itself is lying, then it's the media's fault for reporting it.

They want an America where torturing people is o.k. as long as we don't call it torture.

I don't want that America.

Do you?

Vote.

Keith Olbermann lays out the importance of voting tomorrow, and continues his ruthless evisceration of the Bush crime syndicate.

"Is the conviction of Saddam Hussein the reason you went to war in Iraq?

Or did you go to war in Iraq because of the weapons of mass destruction that did not exist?

Or did you go to war in Iraq because of the connection between Iraq and al-Qaida that did not exist?

Or did you go to war in Iraq to break the bonds of tyranny there, while installing the mechanisms of tyranny here?

Or did you go to war in Iraq because you felt the need to wreak vengeance against somebody, anybody?

Or did you go to war in Iraq to contain a rogue state which, months earlier, your own administration had declared had been fully contained by sanctions?

Or did you go to war in Iraq to keep gas prices down?"


...

"Having frightened us, having bullied us, having lied to us, having ignored and rewritten the Constitution under our noses, having stayed the course, having denied you’ve stayed the course, having belittled us about "timelines" but instead extolled "benchmarks," you’ve now resorted, sir, to this?

We must stay in Iraq to save the $2 gallon of gas?

Mr. President, there is no other conclusion we can draw as we go to the polls tomorrow.

Sir, you have been making this up as you went along."


Click the link for more. Keep sending Keith your letters of support. It can't be easy to be this honest in a corporate media dominated by right-wing spin.

The time has come

Vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the love of God, Vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vote Democrat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Keith Olbermann: Bush Must Apologize

"This president must apologize to the troops for having suggested, six weeks ago, that the chaos in Iraq, the death and the carnage, the slaughtered Iraqi civilians and the dead American service personnel, will, to history, “look like just a comma.”

This president must apologize to the troops because the intelligence he claims led us into Iraq proved to be undeniably and irredeemably wrong.

This president must apologize to the troops for having laughed about the failure of that intelligence at a banquet while our troops were in harm’s way.

This president must apologize to the troops because the streets of Iraq were not strewn with flowers and its residents did not greet them as liberators.

This president must apologize to the troops because his administration ran out of “plan” after barely two months.

This president must apologize to the troops for getting 2,815 of them killed.

This president must apologize to the troops for getting this country into a war without a clue.

And Mr. Bush owes us an apology for this destructive and omnivorous presidency.

We will not receive them, of course.

This president never apologizes.

Not to the troops.

Not to the people."

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

My letter to the Tulsa World

Dear Editor,

I just watched what has to qualify as the most offensive Republican attack ad I have ever seen. It was hateful, bigoted, and mean-spirited. Todd Hiett should be ashamed of himself. His ad attacks Jari Askins because she had the audacity to espouse "tolerance" towards equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. He called her "tolerance" a quality that is "too liberal for Oklahoma." I think all Oklahomans should be insulted by the suggestion that we're all as bigoted as Todd Hiett. Stop picking on the GLBT community, Mr. Hiett. We haven't done anything to you, and we're not a threat to anyone in Oklahoma. All we want are the same rights you and your family already enjoy. If you are in favor of defending family values, Mr. Hiett, then you should value all families. Attacking those whose families are different from yours is not a sign of moral strength; it's a sign of moral cowardice and bigotry.