Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Many thanks to the Seminal

for posting my article about CUFI.

By the way, I requested a pamphlet on Israel from CUFI. I'm interested to see exactly what they're telling their followers to believe. It should arrive in 4-6 weeks.

Gore "thinking about running"

at least according to a Daily Kos blogger who spoke to him.

It's funny. In 2000, I hated Gore and I thought the 2 parties were no different from one another. I still think, as I explained below, that the Democratic Party is waaay too cautious about a lot of stuff, and I'm consistently disappointed by them, but I've changed my tune about Gore. I met the guy in 2002 during a campaign in Florida I was working for, and heard him speak. He's actually a really likeable, pleasant, intelligent, sharp, speaker. And he's done a lot of good raising awareness about global warming and the climate crisis.

My question as always to Mr. Gore is this: What did you and Pres. Clinton do for 8 years for the environment? Did you force car companies to increase emissions standards? Did you roll out the bully pulpit and demand that we sign Kyoto? Not quite. Yes, they were working against a Republican Congress, but still. I've never believed that the Clinton administration did enough for the environment. Thus, my continued skepticism about Gore, although I do believe he'd be a decent Presidential candidate in '08.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cindy Sheehan's disgust

Here's a link to Cindy Sheehan's full post on DKos.

Although I can never ever possibly know what it's like to lose someone in a war, I can sympathize with Sheehan's frustration. It's sad to see someone as genuine and passionate as Sheehan get chewed up and spit out by the system.

As she says:

The most devastating conclusion that I reached this morning, however, was that Casey did indeed die for nothing. His precious lifeblood drained out in a country far away from his family who loves him, killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think. I have tried every since he died to make his sacrifice meaningful. Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most.


One point Sheehan makes here is that a lot of the Progressive left abandoned her when she started criticizing the Dems for their political cowardice and stupidity and utter failure to end the war despite the huge mandate they were clearly given in November to do so. I share Sheehan's frustration with the two party system, and while I was in college and for a few years afterwards, I was involved in third party politics. The trouble with third parties is that a) there are way too many of them and they mostly have about 4 members each, b) none of them get along enough to work together, and c) the whole electoral system is so utterly and completely stacked against third parties that you have to be a millionaire like Perot or Mike Bloomberg to even consider a run. Even Ralph Nader couldn't break 10% of the vote, and he had basically a national campaign. I myself worked for David McReynolds, a great peace activist with the War Resister's League and the Socialist Party's candidate for president in 2000. The SP-USA couldn't even get on the ballot in most states. That's just ridiculous.

Anyway, I salute Sheehan's courage, and I sympathize with her frustrations. I don't feel that I have the right to criticize her decision to quit her fight, because I really can't put myself in her place, I can't know what she's had to go through to make this decision. I hope she continues to speak out in whatever way she feels she can, and I urge all activists to take Sheehan's core point to heart: apathy is fatal.

Monday, May 28, 2007

I grow balls of steel

and submit my letter about CUFI to the New York Times.

Wish me luck!

I flesh out my argument against CUFI

and submit it to The Seminal:


John Hagee's nights "to honor Israel" do nothing to honor Israel. Instead, they bring to light some fundamental philosophical and theological differences between most modern Jews and a large portion of fundamentalist Christians.

Christians United for Israel, Hagee's organization, is led by several prominent far-right evangelical leaders, including the recently departed Jerry Falwell, Gary Bauer, and the head of the Christian Broadcasting Network, the channel that spews Pat Robertson's filth.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to honor the Jewish people and the Jewish state while advancing a homophobic, anti-feminist, anti-environmentalist, theocratic political agenda. To truly honor the Jewish people, evangelicals should hearken to Jewish ideas of equality, social justice, religious liberty, and environmental stewardship. Until evangelicals abandon the politics of hate and divisiveness, many modern Jews will not be comfortable allying with them on the issue of Israel.

In addition, a lot of Jews are uncomfortable with the apocalyptic undertones of Hagee's organization. Many of the far-right leaders who are involved in Hagee's organization believe in biblical literalism, and their support of Israel is conditioned entirely on a belief that the establishment of a secure Jewish state will lead directly to the second coming of Jesus and the apocalypse.

I don't really think that one can truly "support Israel" if that support is conditioned on the forced conversion of the Jewish people to Christianity in the "end times." One simply cannot genuinely honor the Jewish people while secretly hoping for our destruction.

The support for Israel expressed by leaders like Hagee is unconditional to the point of fanaticism. Many of these evangelical leaders seek only to establish a "greater Israel" without involving themselves in real issues. CUFI's mandate seems to be a purely Biblical one, with no practical grounding in the geopolitical complexities of the issues. Pure, unquestioning, hardline support for Israel, without such understanding, is not only meaningless, it is dangerous.

Many progressive Jews favor a more balanced perspective. We recognize that support for Israel means engaging in the ongoing debate about how best to secure its future, and that compromises must be made on both sides to achieve a lasting peace in the region. We are not afraid to criticize the Israeli government when it does something wrong, and we recognize that, eventually, most of the settlements will have to be dismantled. We are engaged in Israel's future in a real and meaningful way, participating actively in the growth of a Jewish state that honors our traditions, respects our values, and lives at peace with its neighbors. Hagee's hardline bullhorn and Falwell's support for such far-right Israeli leaders as Benjamin Netanyahu only hamper our efforts and bring further division to an already impossible situation.

True support of Israel means support for the Jewish people, as we are, and of our right to religious freedom in our homeland and here in this country. Religious freedom means freedom for all religions, and freedom from interference in our religious affairs. Evangelicals are free to support Israel, but that support must be genuine, and engaged in the real struggle for a lasting peace in the region. Until the evangelical community, and CUFI in particular, gains a more realistic, moderate, and socially progressive perspective, most Jews will not want to ally with them on Israel.

New blog added to roll

The Seminal. They were nice enough to add me to their blogroll, so I thought I'd return the favor. I'm also thinking about submitting my piece about CUFI to them.

An intelligent voice on Israel

The Economist weighs in.


"What self-defeating madness. For peace to come, Israel must give up the West Bank and share Jerusalem; the Palestinians must give up the dream of return and make Israel feel secure as a Jewish state. All the rest is detail."

You'll have to watch an ad to see this content, but it's worth it.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A silver lining in the war spending bill

Well, the Dems caved on the war, but they won a significant increase in the minimum wage, something that has been long overdue. If only the press would do more to report that small victory, instead of harping on Reid and Pelosi's political cowardice in the war funding portion of the bill...

Romney: I'm not intolerant of blacks

"I support different choices & lifestyles. Hell, my best friend is black. I just don't want any of them niggers marrying my daughter."

I'm sorry, Mr. Romney, if you said this about black people, I'd call you a racist. Since you're saying it about me and my partner, then I will continue to call you a homophobe. Also, calling homosexuality a "choice" or a "lifestyle" is akin to calling being black a "choice" or a "lifestyle." It makes no sense.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The entire government has failed us

Once again, the one clear voice in the wilderness is Keith Olbermann.


"Our politics... is now about the answer to one briefly-worded question.
Mr. Bush has failed.
Mr. Warner has failed.
Mr. Reid has failed.
So.
Who among us will stop this war—this War of Lies?
To he or she, fall the figurative keys to the nation.
To all the others—presidents and majority leaders and candidates and rank-and-file Congressmen and Senators of either party—there is only blame… for this shameful, and bi-partisan, betrayal."

Monday, May 21, 2007

Why I have TiVo

Wow.

I am watching the Late Show with David Letterman, which is not recorded on my TiVo. I just timed 7 minutes of continuous commercials followed by less than 3 minutes of actual show.

Does anyone else think this is a little bit ridiculous? When the show itself is shorter than the commercials meant to pay for it, then what is the point of the show?


By the way, the only reason I'm watching Dave is because he's got the Jesus and Mary Chain on, which is a band I kind of dig. It had nothing to do with Rudolph the Red Nosed Giuliani.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Song of the Day



"To talk without thinking is to shoot without aiming."

Right on, chicks.

You know, TiVo surprises me sometimes. It has randomly decided to record a Dixie Chicks concert. Now, I dislike country music intensely, but I'm having to make an exception here.

Poets for Peace

I was asked to read poetry today at an event with "Poets for Peace," specifically local poets Rev. Mary McAnally and Deborah Hunter. I hadn't written poetry seriously in years, so it was a bit of a challenge to come up with good stuff. Still, I think I managed it.

Here's what I wrote for and read at the event:

1. So I was asked

to read a poem about
peace
honestly I don't know
if I have it in me
or what possible insight
I could give
I'm no soldier
and I haven't lost anyone
My only connection
is my humanity
burying its head in the sand
because it can't believe
where these kidnappers in chief
have taken this country
strapping us all to a chair
in their dank basement
forcing us to watch them
smear our best intentions
with their own special brand of bullshit.


2. Mission Accomplished

A fool
whose misrule
misconstrued the miscreants

attacked the facts
erasing the shame
of unjust war

but still the rifle
in white gloved hand
stands at attention

and the tense handkerchief
trembles, soaked
in unnecessary grief

as the mute draped boxes
silently march
one by one

hurrah, hurrah


3. exhausted


tired of lies
tired of seeing
good people buy them

compromising principle
we think we're invincible
while the invisible truth looms like teeth
sharp, inevitable

tired of numbers
body counts discounted
by the apathetic demographic

and it seems distance of death matters
massacres at home shock us and awe us
but massacres over there
well, we can change the channel

tired of timetables
fables of benchmarks
we're all marked

our outrage redacted
with the black marker
of unfair
and unbalanced news

I'm tired
exhausted
because every day the lies become heavier
and America's back
can't hold the weight much longer

I'm tired.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The best news I've heard in a long time.

Jerry Fuckwell bites it. W00t! No, I don't mean to sound insensitive. But he was a fascist bigoted fuck fucker. Where's the champagne???

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Song of the Day



"Going to a Town" by Rufus Wainwright

Tell me, do you really think you go to hell for having loved? And not for thinking everything you've done is good? After soaking the body of Jesus Christ in blood...

I'm so tired of you America...

Monday, May 7, 2007

More about CUFI

The executive board of Christians United for Israel contains at least three theofascists: John Hagee, Gary Bauer, and Jerry Falwell. Need I say more? The Jewish people need NOT be getting into bed with these people.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Merde.

Sarkozy wins it. I had hope that Segolene Royal could pull it out, but sadly, non.

Well, this is going to be very bad for the Parti Socialiste. Perhaps the French left needs to regroup, like the right did, when Chirac and his allies created the UMP out of the old Gaullist party Rallye pour la Republique. (Both Chirac in 2002 and Sarkozy in 2007 ran under the UMP banner). Perhaps the Parti Socialiste needs to create its own center-left version of the UMP, trying to draw in supporters of the centrist parties on one side, and the moderate elements of the Parti Communiste on the other. One thing's certain, the Parti Socialiste cannot stand another defeat without serious turmoil.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Bush is a Fucker.

That's all that can be said about a bastard who would veto a bill that would grant federal protection against hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

By the way, happy Labor Day


to every worker in the world. Except those in America. We have a wonderful fake Labor Day later in the year that's more about pool parties than proletarian power.

But seriously, if you're an American, and you didn't realize today is Labor Day around the world, then you should really read up on it. And then curse your boss for making you work today.

Arise, ye prisoners of starvation...

Thank you Tulsa World

for printing my letter. Victory is mine! :-)