Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Democratic Party is Marxist? I think Marx would have something to say about that...

The Democratic Party is, as I have said, a center-right political party. It is pro-capitalist, pro-business, and generally in favor of small government and low taxes. Democrats do not call for organizing workers into a revolutionary party to overthrow capitalism and institute a worker-run cooperative economy.

Marxism is a political theory that attempted to define a series of scientific steps to achieve a communist utopia. Marxist theory states that capitalism is a necessary phase in human social development, but that its inherent internal conflicts, which are caused by the struggle between business owners and workers, will lead to its downfall. Without getting into too many details, the idea behind Marxist theory, also known as scientific socialism, is that the exploited workers will organize into a revolutionary political party and overthrow the corporate system. Through a series of steps, the workers will consolidate power and work to create an egalitarian system where production is based on human need rather than profit. The end result of these steps is the dissolution of government itself, the "withering of the state," and the creation of a totally egalitarian society based on the credo, "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need."

If anyone can quote me a passage in the Democratic Party platform that even remotely resembles the above paragraph, I will be very surprised.

I just wish people would be slightly more careful when throwing around terms. Marxism is a very specific political theory. Neither of the two major political parties subscribe to it.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Peeling the Onion: BOK Center First Impressions

From the outside, Tulsa's new arena is a masterpiece of shiny metal, swirling shapes, and massive expanses of glass. It's an audacious example of digital architecture that only Cesar Pelli could have come up with. It's a giant, gleaming, silver onion.

Once you go inside the onion, however, something smells a bit rotten. Your eyes are assaulted by raw concrete, jagged angles, exposed duct work, and a general feeling that the construction workers forgot to finish building the place. There are also some rather bizarre decisions in how to integrate interior spaces with the bold lines of the exterior. There's a ramp that goes up to the second level. You'd think it would follow the sweeping lines of the place and wrap around the building. But you'd be mistaken. Halfway up the ramp, you are stopped by an ugly concrete wall blocking you from going any further. It's not a full wall, and you can see over it the rest of where the ramp should go, a vast expanse of raw concrete that is mind-bogglingly ugly. The ramp doubles back on itself.

The building is full of raw concrete pillars, exposed ducts, unfinished bits, and just general ugliness that clashes dramatically with the smooth metal and white columns of the exterior. It's like Mr. Pelli had a vision for the outside of the building, but he had no idea how to put together the interior.

It's a bold, bizarre, jarring, incomprehensible piece of architecture, completely out of touch with the rest of Tulsa, and almost completely devoid of aesthetic beauty.

Hey "Reverend" Dobson, you want some weather to pray for?

How about praying that everyone in the Gulf Coast, especially New Orleans, finds safe shelter from Hurricane Gustav? How about praying for the levees to hold? How about praying for our first responders, asking God to give them the strength they need to care for the most vulnerable? How about praying that we don't see another Katrina?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy Friday (really delayed post)

In honor of John McCain's stunningly moronic VP choice, here's someone who looks like her and is probably just about as qualified for the job:

Hey fundies - your girl Palin is not as much of a homophobe as you might like

She also surprised Alaska's conservatives by vetoing a bill that would have denied state benefits to same-sex couples (though that might help her appeal to less socially conservative independents).


Ooh, she doesn't hate "the gays!" Are you sure you can support her?

You know, Bob Barr's still out there. Or hell, I'm sure the American Nazi Party (or its cousin, the Constitution Party) has a candidate this year, if you're not happy with the libertarian party's social policies.

Hey, where's my Friday video, Sinister??

Well, my dear, faithful readers, it will arrive in a plain brown envelope later this evening. It's been a complicated day.

How many houses does the Republican ticket (combined) own?

McCain: 11 houses.
Palin: 3 houses.

Fourteen. Fourteen houses.

If you're keeping track:

Obama: 1 house.
Biden: 1 house.

Two houses.

Now, which campaign has more in common with you?

Holy Toledo....or Anchorage....

McCain has picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

That's ...different.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let's not make a big election about small things.

I need some time to digest Obama's speech, but I have to say this.

This speech was an unprecedented statement of the strength, character, and intelligence of Barack Obama, and a strong contrast with John McCain. The fact that Obama was able to fill a huge football stadium with people for this speech represents a unique moment in American history.

This was one of those historic speeches that will be embedded in the American narrative. Obama has added his voice to "I have a dream" and "Ask not what your country can do for you."

The cynic in me could dissect and pull apart and criticize this and that about the speech, but that would go against the spirit in which the speech was given. It's hard to break through a cynical shell once it's in place. Obama has hammered through a lot of individual shells during this campaign, and tonight he took a sledgehammer to the overall cynicism of American politics.

I think that MLK Jr. would be proud of Barack Obama as an inheritor of his dream.

So, Senator McCain.

Let's dance.

Now that's an invocation I can get behind

Rabbi David Saperstein - I've met the guy; he's one of the leaders of the Reform Jewish movement in America. He gave an excellent invocation that was inclusive, positive, and unifying.

On another note, C-Span Radio is my friend.

Are you kidding me?

Biden and Clinton both gave great speeches last night, but I still say the speech of the night was given by John Kerry. Here's a great highlight:

I have known and been friends with John McCain for almost 22 years. But every day now I learn something new about candidate McCain. To those who still believe in the myth of a maverick instead of the reality of a politician, I say, let’s compare Senator McCain to candidate McCain.

Candidate McCain now supports the wartime tax cuts that Senator McCain once denounced as immoral. Candidate McCain criticizes Senator McCain’s own climate change bill. Candidate McCain says he would now vote against the immigration bill that Senator McCain wrote. Are you kidding? Talk about being for it before you’re against it.

Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself. And what’s more, Senator McCain, who once railed against the smears of Karl Rove when he was the target, has morphed into candidate McCain who is using the same “Rove” tactics and the same “Rove” staff to repeat the same old politics of fear and smear. Well, not this year, not this time. The Rove-McCain tactics are old and outworn, and America will reject them in 2008.


Great stuff. Again I ask, where the hell was this John Kerry in 2004? I would have actually voted for him with a little bit of enthusiasm.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Post title edited after effects of martinis have worn off.

I don't see how the Repugs can possibly beat this. Biden's speech was fantastic, and the "surprise" appearance by Obama was just bloody brilliant.

Go Dems!

Night three - preliminary thoughts

1) The roll call vote was interesting - I like how Clinton did the whole acclamation thing to stop the vote and declare Obama the nominee. I feel a little bit bad for those states after New York - those delegates didn't get to spend 5 minutes yakking about their state, saying "The home of bleah and blah and whatnot." I kind of wanted to hear the Oklahoma delegation. Ah well, whatever works.

2) Bill Clinton hit all the right notes and hit them hard. He made it clear that Obama is ready to lead on day 1, and he got in some great jabs against McCain.

3) That's as may be, but I'm sorry, so far, the award for kickass speech of the night goes to, of all people, John Kerry. His speech was incredible. Why wasn't he like that in 2004? The tribute to Obama's uncle was touching and authentic. That's a true hero - someone who liberated a concentration camp. I have no idea where this Kerry came from, but like I said, he was nowhere to be found in 2004. Right on, Senator.

Wake up, America!

Kucinich throws down.



A speech you probably didn't see last night unless you were glued to C-Span.

Kucinich is great - he's so bloody earnest and strident and energetic. Yes, he's over the top, and he likes big grandiose metaphors that don't always work, but this is still a good speech.

Sign the petition for more open primaries and voting laws

The Independent Movement has a petition on its site:

We the undersigned independent-minded voters, want to change our political process so that our elected officials act in the interests of the American people, not the political parties nor the special interests that control them.

We recognize that despite the vast increase in voter participation this year, and the enormous momentum for profound political change, business as usual will continue in Washington unless we have a clear plan to reform our electoral process.

Therefore, we urge you to publicly support the following political reforms:

1. Non-partisan redistricting (an end to gerrymandering!) to stop politicians of both parties from drawing non-competitive district lines.

2. Extending open primaries from 31 states to all 50, allowing independent, non-aligned voters to vote in the first round of voting.

3. Removing obstacles to voter registration by permitting Election Day Voter Registration, online registration and other reforms to increase voter participation, particularly among young Americans.


I support this effort wholeheartedly.

Michelle Obama at the GLBT caucus - stirring words

In the world as it should be, we recognize that equality in relationship, family, and adoption rights isn't an abstract principle, but goes directly to whether all Americans can lead lives of dignity and freedom.


Right on, Michelle.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thoughts on night two

1) How was Mark Warner the "keynote" speaker? His speech was sandwiched between several other speakers, and very little distinguished it from the other speeches. His speech was a cascade of platitudes, and it was easily forgettable.

2) MSNBC was more interested in yakking than in covering the convention. C-SPAN ran all the speeches in their entirety, but every time I switched back to MSNBC, Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann and David Gregory were yakking about something or other and drowning out the speakers. The one exception was the Clinton speech.

3) Hillary's speech was exactly what it needed to be. She was forceful, strong, passionate, and as politically honest as she is capable of being. I don't think anyone can really criticize much in this speech - it was pretty damned good. A lot of good zingers - including the line about the Twin Cities / John McCain/Bush being awfully hard to tell apart. Chris, Keith and Rachel Maddow all agree it was a knockout speech. Great line about Harriet Tubman, great "ask yourself why you were in this campaign" bit. She kicked ass.

4) The whole evening was about tearing down McCain - the repeated refrain was "we can't afford 4 more years" hammered over and over again. The Dems played a lot of good offense against the other team. Even James Carville, what a dick he is, should be satisfied with how strong this evening's attacks were.

MSNBC Convention Coverage

The sweetest sound - the crowd behind the panel drowning out Pat "Little Adolf" Buchanan with a chorus of boos.

DNC Convention Coverage

Sinister will provide analyis of the DNC convention. I have been following the coverage, but I haven't had a lot of time to digest it.

A few preliminary notes:

1) Bravo to Ted Kennedy - he demonstrated great personal strength last night and demonstrated why he continues to be a progressive leader. Jeers to the media who used the speech as an excuse to eulogize the man before he's even dead. We don't know how long Kennedy has. Let him have his time.

2) Bravo to Michelle Obama - her speech was human and authentic, and it struck the right note to introduce Barack as a faithful and passionate husband and father.

3) Ouch, my teeth to the sweetness cascade as Barack spoke to his wife & daughters by satellite after Michelle's speech. It was an adorable moment. Maybe too much so.

4) Continued blech to Nancy Pelosi. I didn't watch her speech. I'm still supporting Cindy Sheehan.

5) Bravo to Howard Dean for his 50-state strategy that is putting states like Virginia, Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska in play this year, and that will give the Democrats a big majority in both houses of Congress. Dean continues to demonstrate the kind of forward, progressive thinking that the Democrats have needed for ages.

6) Jeers to a lot of the media coverage from the major networks, and the vapid speculating over the whole "Clinton-Obama" feud that, frankly, really doesn't exist anymore except as a media creation.

7) Jeers and a half to James Carville, who couldn't wait to slam his own party this morning for perceived "weakness" on the first night. The speeches by Kennedy and Michelle Obama were powerful statements about what the Democratic Party stands for, and what America can expect from Barack Obama. There is time to go negative, but last night was about unity and purpose.

That'll do for now - more tonight.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Is Cindy McCain an alien?

Today on the Randi Rhodes show, guest Stephanie Miller said of Cindy McCain,

"She looks like one of those aliens from V."

V was a TV series back in the '80s about lizard creatures that take over the world and hide their lizard skin under a layer of human skin.

Well, let's see.

Could this:



be under here?



You be the judge.

Listening to the DNC convention on C-span radio

Well that pissed me off. I would have thought the Democrats would be more sensitive than to do a blatantly Christian invocation. As a "party of inclusion," they should have had a non-denominational and inclusive prayer (or no prayer at all).

Sabotage the AFA

For those of you who don't know, the American 'Family' Association is an ultra-religious hate group dedicated to narrowing the definition of "family" so that it excludes as many people as possible. Their latest campaign is to send Hallmark messages demanding that the company discontinue producing cards for gay marriages.

I just got onto their website and used their form to send Hallmark a message in support of selling gay marriage cards. I don't quite know if this actually accomplishes anything, but it felt good to sabotage the AFA's hate campaign in some small way.

Might be something some of you want to do.

Know people who aren't registered to vote?

Send them to

http://www.voteforchange.com/

a website designed to help people register with easy instructions and state resources.

Hmm. Interesting linguistic thing re: "historic" vs. "historical"

Usage Note: Historic and historical have different usages, though their senses overlap. Historic refers to what is important in history: the historic first voyage to the moon. It is also used of what is famous or interesting because of its association with persons or events in history: a historic house. Historical refers to whatever existed in the past, whether regarded as important or not: a minor historical character. Historical also refers to anything concerned with history or the study of the past: a historical novel; historical discoveries. While these distinctions are useful, these words are often used interchangeably, as in historic times or historical times.


I was curious about this because a lot of folks are referring to the "historical DNC convention." My understanding has always been that "historical" referred to things that happened in the past, and "historic" was the sense that something was a significant event in history. Apparently, dictionary.com, quoted above, says that the two words can be used interchangably. Merriam-Webster seems to agree.

Anti-family ballot initiative set for Arkansas vote

A ballot initiative that would bar any unmarried couple from adopting children has made it onto the Arkansas ballot for November. It was sponsored by another one of these "family" organizations who are trying to save the world from the scourge of same-sex couples calling themselves "families." (how dare we!)

Look, if you're all so pro-family, and you're all so anti-abortion, shouldn't you be encouraging people to adopt children, rather than trying to impose a narrow definition of what a family is, thus making it that much more difficult for unwanted children to find a home? Wouldn't a "pro-family" organization be doing everything it could to make sure that every unwanted child has a family, no matter what said family might look like, so that we can reduce the number of abortions (something both pro-choice and anti-choice people can agree needs to happen?)

Again, why can't you "pro-family" people just focus on making your own family better, and leave mine alone?

Andrew Sullivan on marriage equality

The premise used to be that homosexuality was an activity, that gays were people who chose to behave badly; or, if they weren’t choosing to behave badly, were nonetheless suffering from a form of sickness or, in the words of the Vatican, an “objective disorder.” And so the question of whether to permit the acts and activities of such disordered individuals was a legitimate area of legislation and regulation.

But when gays are seen as the same as straights—as individuals; as normal, well-adjusted, human individuals—the argument changes altogether. The question becomes a matter of how we treat a minority with an involuntary, defining characteristic along the lines of gender or race. And when a generation came of age that did not merely grasp this intellectually, but knew it from their own lives and friends and family members, then the logic for full equality became irresistible.

Monday loldog

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

BNN Alert - New Blog: Fourth District Democrat

Please welcome Fourth District Democrat to the blogroll.

Biden.

Alrighty then. I guess that's fine. I just worry about Biden's tendency to be somewhat undisciplined...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Could you just leave us alone already?

There seem to be a lot of folks who are morally opposed to marriage equality and call being gay an "unhealthy lifestyle" that "threatens traditional marriage." I have to ask them a couple of questions.

In your own life, at what point have you, personally, seen a gay couple and thought, "ack! two men in love! my marriage is ruined!!" and what, exactly, led you to that conclusion?

Why, exactly, are you so utterly terrified of giving gay couples the same civil rights that you enjoy?

Is there something you don't like about yourself that leads you to find civil marriage equality so threatening?

Why is denying gay couples civil marriage equality such a priority for you, when the fact that a gay couple is getting married will never actually affect your life?

Why can't you just leave gay couples alone and let us be and love and live just as you have the right to do?

In short, if you don't like us, then please just do us a favor and ignore us. If you can't support giving us civil marriage equality, then at least grant us the right of privacy, the right to be free from insulting rhetoric.

All of these petition drives trying to get McDonalds to stop doing whatever it is they're doing that you don't like, or trying to get Hallmark to stop selling gay marriage cards, that's just hate. Pure, unadulterated, obsessive, hate. It's an unhealthy, sick, and emotionally stunted attitude that would deny consenting adults the right to love each other in peace. Any religious dogma that promotes such an attitude is a dogma of hate.

You need to know that when you justify denying someone civil rights based on religious dogma, you're preaching the same kind of hate that banned interracial marriage. You're preaching the same kind of hate that filled the gas chambers of Nazi Germany. You're preaching the same kind of hate that led to the Inquisition and the Crusades. You're preaching the same kind of hate that justified slavery and the subjugation of women. The rhetoric is exactly the same; you've just found a new target.

I know that this post won't change anybody's mind. You'll just claim that I'm discriminating against your religious beliefs, though you'll say it in more simplistic, reactionary terms. You'll say I'm the one who's full of hate. And maybe I am. Because I hate being told that I'm not an equal member of society with the same rights and privileges that everyone else enjoys. And I hate people who think they have the right to tell me that.

The truth is that I don't care what your religious beliefs are. I just wish that you'd leave me and my partner out of them. I just wish you could see the difference between your right to religious freedom and my right not to be harassed and insulted by your religious beliefs. I just wish you'd practice your religion in a positive, community-building manner, not a divisive, dogmatic, and hateful manner. Religion can be a force for social good, but only when it brings people together.

I'm really not asking for much. I'm not asking you to believe that my relationship with my partner is morally proper. I'm not asking you to support civil marriage equality.

All I'm asking is that you grant me the right to live in a manner that you don't agree with, and that you redirect your critical energies to a more worthy cause. There's a lot going on in the world that you can involve yourself with. Check out the conflict in Darfur. There's a lot to be done there.

I'm pleading with you. Please, if you don't like the gay community, then just leave us alone and live your own life. That's all we ask.

Oh for Pete's sake, Obama. TEXT MEEEEE!!!!!

The suspense is killing me.

Another victory for marriage equality - this time it's an Indian tribe in Oregon

At the request of a lesbian couple, the Coquille Indian Tribe on the southern Oregon coast, in the U.S. West, has adopted a law recognizing same-sex marriage.

Tribal law specialists say the Coquille appear to be the first American Indian tribe to sanction such marriages. Most tribal law doesn't address the issue. The Navajo and Cherokee tribes prohibit same-sex marriages.


Great news. Congratulations to the happy couple. And hey, now their friends can get them an appropriate Hallmark card. :-)

Happy Friday

NSFW

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Great line from Randi Rhodes

"How can John McCain lay broadband across the country when he doesn't know what it is?"

Could someone please explain to me

why the right wing has such a problem with arugula? Seriously. You don't have anything better to use against Obama than what type of lettuce he might choose to eat? If that's the case, you're really, really, really screwed.

Especially when your candidate is such a super-rich elitist that he doesn't see the need to keep track of how many houses he owns.

How many of you have trouble keeping track of how many houses you own?

I own 0 houses. That was easy.

Barack Obama owns 1 home. Also easy.

John McCain is going to have to have his staff figure out how many houses he owns.

Yeah, he's really in touch with the average American, isn't he?

And you want to attack Obama on lettuce.

Lettuce.

I mean, come on. That's so far beyond pathetic that I can't even find a word for it.

Keep at it, Obama

Obama is hitting McCain hard with negative ads. He's also pouncing on McCain's incredible statement that he doesn't know how many houses he owns. How can a guy who has so many houses that he can't count them all call anyone an elitist?

Now Obama needs to jump on McCain for agreeing that we need to reinstate the draft. That'll lose McCain whatever portion of the youth vote he may still have.

Five years.

My partner and I celebrated our 5th anniversary together last night. It was lovely. We went to a ridiculously expensive French restaurant and blew two weeks worth of grocery money on an incredibly sumptuous dinner. It was all worth it. We split an order of escargot, which my partner had never tried. Escargot is the one exception I have to my "I don't eat bugs" rule, simply because it's so delicious. I then had the bouillabaisse, which is a kind of seafood soup. It had mussels, shrimp, some kind of whitefish, and a wonderfully spicy tomato-based broth. My partner had an incredibly decadent mixed grill, with melt in your mouth prime steak, duck, and scallops. We then shared a pair of absolutely perfect souffles, one chocolate, one vanilla. All in all a perfect evening.

It occurred to me last night that we've been together for the same amount of time that I lived in France as a kid. The funny thing is that I remember the 5 years I lived in France did not seem to pass as quickly as these last 5 years have. Of course, I lived in France from age 10 to 15, so it was a very different time in my life.

The past 5 years have been a whirlwind - but in a really good way. I have the Howard Dean campaign to thank for meeting my partner. I was driving back to Tulsa with another campaign volunteer named Anna after a candidate forum in Stillwater where all of the '04 Democrats (except, oddly enough, John Kerry) had appeared. Naturally, we were discussing politics, and I'm sure I got passionate about something or other. Somehow socialism came up, and Anna mentioned someone in her speech class who had given a strident speech in favor of socialism. She said I should meet him. She also said he was a great cook. I was immediately intrigued.

Our first date was a study in awkwardness. Anna was there as a mediator, but after a while I didn't need her there at all. This new, mysterious person had quickly piqued my interest, and I wanted to take him away and learn more. Unfortunately, Anna didn't get the hint. Our date moved to another venue, and I could tell almost immediately that there was a future here.

We meshed into each other's lives like puzzle pieces or some other cliche. He constantly impressed me with his kindness, his intelligence, his passion, and his independence. Within a year we were living together, because it was the natural thing to do. We've been living together ever since.

Our relationship evolved along a path of wonderful inevitability, and there was never a point when one of us asked the other, "Will you spend the rest of your life with me?" The idea of having a commitment ceremony was batted around for a couple of years before we finally decided to plan it. Then, in October of 2007, we became the first same-sex couple in Oklahoma to stand up in a synagogue and commit ourselves to each other before God, the Rabbi, and the congregation. It was a beautiful ceremony, marred only by the knowledge that civil marriage equality would continue to elude us.

Five years after I met my partner, I can't imagine life without him. I could go through a whole list of cliches about pieces fitting together, about soulmates, about finding that one person who really completes you, but that's what we have.

Now, we're looking forward to a new adventure, starting over in a new city, both of us going to school to better ourselves. It's an exciting and slightly frightening prospect, but I know that we'll figure out the kinks and the details just like we always do.

Five years. I'm looking forward to the next fifty.

Love ya, M.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Obama touts single-payer health care

A Murdoch Street Journal article quotes Obama as saying that if he were to build a healthcare system "from scratch," he'd go with a single-payer system. His campaign health care plan calls for a much less sweeping overhaul, with more affordable private insurance and Medicare expansions, noting that dismantling the whole private insurance infrastructure in one go would lead to chaos and job losses.

But still, the idea that Obama might be open to single-payer is excellent news. Single-payer health care is the only fair, sane, equitable, and comprehensive solution to America's health care crisis. It is also by no means the same thing as "socialized medicine." Single payer health care merely refers to a payment system in which the government provides health insurance to all citizens and pays everyone's medical bills. Socialized medicine is a more comprehensive and radical system in which the entire health infrastructure of the country is owned by the government (hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, doctor's offices, etc), and doctors and nurses become employees of the State. Nobody in mainstream American politics is calling for such a system.

Something occurs to me.

Those of you complaining about the BNN influential blog ranking system and claiming consternation over this humble blog's high ratings should consider this.

If this blog isn't "influential" in the Oklahoma blogosphere, then why is it that so many of you have posted articles criticizing me, applauding me, or saying that I should burn in the fires of the Inquisition? (That's just a sample!)

Surely, if this blog were so completely non-influential in Oklahoma politics, then nobody would post about it. Yet some folks just can't shut up about me. To my mind, that means I'm doing a least a little bit of influencing - even if I'm just influencing people to write angry posts about what an evil demonic perverted heathen I am.

Makes you think, doesn't it?

Also, on another note.

I hate to break it to you, but the following types of people do live in Oklahoma:

1) Gay people
2) Jews
3) Gay Jews
4) Liberals
5) Left-handed people
6) Gay left-handed Jewish liberals

Keith's post on Rachel Maddow

Funny post by Keith Olbermann announcing Rachel Maddow's new show.

Congrats to Rachel Maddow

Last night on Countdown, it was announced that Rachel Maddow will be getting her own show on MSNBC, directly following Keith.

I couldn't be happier about this development. Maddow is intelligent, perceptive, funny, and politically astute. Her Air America radio show is always engaging and entertaining.

Beyond that, though, any day we can get a good progressive on cable news to counter the fascists like O'Reilley and Glenn Beck is a good day.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

For the record

Things I don't hate:

1) Tulsa
2) Oklahoma
3) Christianity
4) Apple Pie
5) Baseball
6) America

Things I hate:

1) Bigotry
2) Homophobia
3) Stupidity
4) Religious extremism
4) People who leap to irrational and insulting conclusions based on extremist political preconceptions.

A note to Stan Geiger.

1) Please see this post. It explains how I'm completely unconnected from the rating system for BNN.

2) I didn't get to see all of your rant, because I can't get your site to load (which might be part of the problem), but the part I did see had at least one glaring inaccuracy.

I'm not an atheist.

I'm Jewish. Quite proudly so.

However, like most sane and rational humans, I believe that atheists have the same right to believe what they believe as do Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Sikhs, Wiccans, Satanists, and everyone else.

Now, can you stop whining like John McCain about your supposed unfair media coverage and, as Keith Olbermann put it last night, grow up?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Creative Commons license

Sinister, meaning this blog and its contents, is now licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License. In a nutshell, you're free to redistribute what I write here, as long as you credit me and don't use my work to make money for yourself.

Here's the license:

Creative Commons License
Sinister by Ethan Jones is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at www.sinisterblog.com.

It is posted at the bottom of the blog.

OK-Sen: Rice 41, Inhofe 50

The race is in single digit territory now. Looks like Rice's television advertising is really making a difference. The more people get to know him, and realize how utterly different he is from Inhofe, the more they want to vote for Rice.

Go Andrew Go!

http://www.andrewforoklahoma.com

Musharraf Quits

Pakistani military ruler Pervez Musharraf has resigned to avoid impeachment charges.

Musharraf, despite being one of our purported "allies" in the "war on Terror," seized power in 1999 in a military coup and has suppressed democracy in Pakistan throughout his rule. He has also signed deals with tribal leaders near the Afghan border that allows them to operate with impunity and harbor all kinds of nasty characters, including, quite possibly, Osama Bin Laden himself.

Musharraf's resignation is a big deal for Pakistan and a big deal for the political dynamic in that region. We'll have to wait and see who comes to power to replace him and what, if anything, they can do to curb the power of the tribal sheiks and work to hunt down the leaders of Al Qaeda.

Let me stress that point: the leaders of Al Qaeda, including, perhaps, Bin Laden himself, are hiding on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, protected by the government of Pakistan.

Note what country is not mentioned anywhere in that description. Starts with an I. Ends with a Q.

Monday Loldog

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Into the Void

Finally, here's something from NIN's 1999 double album, The Fragile.



Again, in case it's not clear by now, none of these videos should be assumed to be "safe for work."

Discipline

From NIN's most recent album The Slip, here's Discipline:



I have no idea if this is actually the real video for this song. I do know that it was featured on NIN's website for a time, but my hunch is that a fan made this and the band found it amusing enough to feature on the website.

Head Like A Hole

From NIN's debut album, Pretty Hate Machine, released in 1989.

Survivalism

A more recent song, Survivalism, from NIN's dystopian future concept album, Year Zero.

As promised

"Closer" by Nine Inch Nails, from the album Downward Spiral.

Definitely not safe for work.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Anti-McCain Site: No John!

Anti McCain site. I don't know a ton about it, but there it is.

BOK Center finally gets good music!

One of the Great Ones of angry industrial rock, Nine Inch Nails will play the BOK center on November 22nd.

Hell of a lot better than the Eagles, Celine Dion, that American Idol thing, or whatever.

Rock.

In celebration of this news, I will probably post a couple of NIN videos here this weekend, so you can share in the wonderfully noisy angst that spews forth from the demented genius of Trent Reznor's mind.

Sir Penguin?

Nils Olav already has medals for good conduct and long service. He made honorary colonel-in-chief of the elite Norwegian King's Guard in 2005. And on Friday he was knighted. Not bad for a 3-foot tall penguin _ actually, three of them.


-snip-

Cute story.

Life, the Universe, and Everything

In a few months, I'm planning to make some major changes to my life. My partner and I are moving to Portland, Oregon, a place where we believe we'll be happier, healthier, and more comfortable. After five years together (almost exactly - our anniversary is the 20th), we've grown kind of set in our ways here in Tulsa. The move to Portland will really shake up our routine.

We're going from a city where cars are absolutely indispensable to a city where we won't even have cars. Instead of commuting to work on a Tulsa moonscape spending hundreds of dollars on gas, insurance, and maintenance each month, we'll be using efficient, comprehensive public transportation. Instead of driving to the grocery store and getting a week's worth of groceries, we'll be walking to the store and getting things for one or two days. We'll ride bicycles, and we might buy a scooter, which will get about 100 miles per gallon.

We probably won't have air conditioning, as it only gets hot enough to need it in Portland for a few days out of the year. We won't get hundreds of channels of cable television, because there will be many more things that we can do outside of our apartment. My partner will go to school at a real university, instead of a horribly managed community college where he's constantly frustrated by inept instructors and an incompetent financial aid office. In short, we'll be active, engaged, alive, and aware of the world, instead of living this kind of half-dulled couch and television and computer gaming existence we have in Tulsa.

Of course, we're both a little nervous about making such a major transition in our lives. There is a lot to consider. The move itself is going to cost a lot of money. It will be a challenge to find a good job and a nice apartment from halfway across the country. And once we get there, there's no guarantee that we'll actually be happy.

The thing is though, I've spent too many years of my life just kind of coasting along and not taking risks, lazily taking life as it comes and taking the easy road when faced with a difficult choice. Moving to Portland is a major gamble, and it will allow both of us to kind of reboot our lives. And we'll have a network of friends already established in the city once we arrive, so we won't be totally lost and out of our depth.

I'm convinced that despite the challenges, this move will be good for us. I grew up in Tulsa, and it's always going to be the place that I call home. But I also grew up in Paris, and I miss the urban dynamic that Paris provided and Tulsa sorely lacks. I miss being able to sit at a sidewalk cafe for hours on end. I miss being able to walk in a city without worrying about being run over. I miss being able to hop on public transportation and go anywhere I want.

Portland seems to provide a good balance between the urban dynamism of Paris and the affordability and comfort of Tulsa. It is a city that is well designed, walkable, alive, and full of great restaurants, cafes, and museums. At the same time, it's small enough that it won't seem overwhelming.

Clearly, we'll have to see where we are a year from now to determine whether we made the right choice. The only way to really know whether you've made the right decision is to make the decision and see what happens.

So the decision is made, and we'll see what happens.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What happens when we can't be the world's police anymore

The United States has no way to respond to the Russia-Georgia situation. We have no diplomatic leverage, because our international credibility has been ruined by the Bush regime. We have no military leverage, because most of our military is in either Iraq or Afghanistan. We have no economic leverage, because we've sold our economy to China.

All we can do, it seems, is threaten to kick Russia out of the G-8, and refuse to participate in a joint military exercise with them. Neither option gives Russia enough of an incentive to stop the fighting.

This conflict is a stark example of a new reality developing on the world stage. America is no longer the world's police force. It cannot rush into countries and stop conflicts. It cannot change the behavior of bad states. It cannot influence global diplomacy in quite the same way as it once could.

This new reality has developed over quite a few years, but there are several factors that have come together to bring it into focus.

Europe has risen up and taken the stage as a new global economic and political superpower. At the same time that we've been pawning ourselves to China, developing a huge trade deficit, and driving down the value of the Dollar to dismal levels, Europe has been building up a strong economic foundation, with the Euro now challenging the almighty British Pound for the title of most powerful currency.

China has also become a power player, since they basically own us. We can't really tell the Chinese to stop investing in Darfur, because we don't want to get the Chinese angry at us and have them call in our debt. We can't really call out the Chinese on human rights violations in their own country, either, because, along with the debt issue, the Bush regime has destroyed any credibility we might have once had on human rights issues.

Russia's 21st century development has been an exercise in recreating the authoritarian government structures and military might of the old Soviet Union without the Stalinist propaganda, while maintaining the illusion that they're still a developing democracy. This latest move into Georgia is simply an extension of the Russian desire to reestablish itself as a global superpower in opposition to the United States and the so-called "West." Former Eastern Bloc countries need to take notice of Russia's actions, because if Georgia falls, Russia could be emboldened to make further moves.

And we can't do a damned thing about it.

The old MAD defense of the Cold War era isn't an option anymore. Sure, we could nuke Moscow, and sure, that would probably lead to a global nuclear holocaust which nobody would win. But the threat of that global nuclear holocaust will fall flat, because we're not poised on the brink of it anymore, and the international community would not allow it to happen. The stakes have changed so much since 1989 that the idea of the United States and Russia duking it out is a completely different dynamic, one that leaves us with no options for stopping Russia from doing pretty much anything it wants.

If anyone is going to stop Russia from whatever it might be planning in the long term, it's going to have to be Europe, or China. Combined, Europe and China have the economic, political, and military wherewithal to stand up to Russia and force them to back down. The trouble is that there would have to be some extreme conditions to force Europe and China to sit down together and work something out.

Condoleeza Rice can go to Georgia, and she can shake her finger, and tell Russia that it's a bad bad boy, but she has absolutely nothing to back her up. This is one problem that the United States of America (property of the People's Republic of China) can't fix.

Endorsement: Jared Polis for Congress (Colorado)

Jared Polis will soon make history as the first openly gay man to be elected to Congress as a non-incumbent. His election will mark a greater victory in the GLBT community's ongoing struggle for equal rights and equal recognition. Please click the link above to learn about Jared's campaign.

Here's an excerpt from a note I received from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund about Jared's campaign:

This milestone is an important one for our community. It sends an unmistakable signal that voters are willing to consider gay people as leaders at the highest level of government, and brings us closer to the American ideal of a truly representative government.

This tremendous victory is the culmination of Jared’s deep commitment to the people of Colorado, and of the hard work and discipline of his entire campaign team. We congratulate Jared and honor his achievement on this important night in the fight for LGBT equality.

Happy World Left Handers Day!

For today only, all you righties out there have to use left-handed scissors.

The Sinister shall inherit the Earth!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I have a problem with Evangelists.

A certain blogger who will remain anonymous has posted a video of a Muslim who "found Jesus Christ."

I'm getting a little tired of evangelists who think they need to convert the entire world to a rigid, narrow dogma.

Muslims have a right to be Muslim. Jews have a right to be Jews. Buddhists have a right to be Buddhists. Atheists have a right to be atheists. None of them have to "find" anyone, let alone Jesus.

To my way of thinking, evangelism, the idea that everyone must convert to a certain religion lest they face eternal punishment, is one of the most insidious and nasty forms of bigotry, and it leads to some really bad policy decisions. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Iranian Revolution, the anti-Jewish pogroms in Europe, the current terrorist campaign to establish a fundamentalist Islamic caliphate throughout Europe and Asia, all of these can be traced to an unshakable belief in religious superiority.

A healthy religious viewpoint can include the conviction that the believer possesses the one true way to salvation. However, a healthy religious viewpoint must reconcile this conviction with an understanding that unbelievers have a right not to believe. Evangelism and proselytizing insult and denigrate those who believe differently.

The bottom line is this. Religious freedom also means freedom from religion.

Post edited to flesh out the arguments and make its tone more diplomatic.

Endorsement: Cindy Sheehan for Congress

Sinister is endorsing Cindy Sheehan for Congress in her grassroots campaign to replace our inept Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

Most activists know Cindy's story. Her son was killed in Iraq. She tried to get the President to listen to her and end the war. She couldn't get her voice heard. She camped outside of Bush's Crawford ranch, and she created a new activist energy that coalesced around her campaign for peace.

She has continued her fight to end this ridiculous war in Iraq, and she remains a true progressive activist to the core.

When Nancy Pelosi took the reins as Speaker of the House, a lot of peace activists and progressives had hope that the Democratic Congress would finally start to investigate and prosecute the war crimes of the Bush regime. We had hope that we could get a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. We had hope that the Republican rubber stamp would be thrown in the dumpster, and a new sense of accountability would reign in Washington.

We were sadly disappointed. Speaker Pelosi and her counterpart in the Senate Harry Reid have pursued a spineless agenda, constantly caving into the Bush regime's extremist agenda of curbing civil liberties and endlessly extending a meaningless war. They have given concession after concession and the American people have nothing to show for it.

The only way for things to change is for good people like Cindy Sheehan to stand up and say, "Enough is Enough." I admire Cindy Sheehan's determination to take on Speaker Pelosi in this race. I hope that her campaign will send a real message to Washington that the politics of fear and capitulation to extremism must be stopped.

A good way to make fun of Fundies

I just discovered this site, larknews.com. It's kind of like The Onion, but its stories satirize evangelists and fundies. I like it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Presidential Chutzpah

President Bush has said that it is "unacceptable" that Russia has "invaded a sovereign..state."

Really?

Seriously. He said that?

I'll give you a minute to think about what might just be wrong with Bush saying that it might be "unacceptable" to invade a "sovereign state."

Got it?

Good.

Done futzing.

I'm done futzing with the blog layout (for now.) Your comments are welcome.

In other news, I spent the weekend sick with some cold-related goop. Yesterday it felt like a sinus infection; I spent most of the day right on the verge of a sneeze. You know how that is when you're about to sneeze - your eyes start watering, your nose starts hurting, and then boom - you sneeze. Imagine 24 hours spent in that split-second before the sneeze actually happens. Yeah, that was fun.

Today the gunk has moved into my lungs, and I'm scaring my coworkers with deep, hacking, painful coughs. Plus, I can't really talk.

But my lovely employer has decided that I get 3 weeks of PTO, and that's it. Once I've used that up, I get NO more sick days, and I HAVE to be here 40 hours a week.

So here I am.

However, the good news is that this cool, rainy weather is a major relief after the triple digits we had at the end of July/beginning of August. Let's keep this up until October.

*hack hack cough cough*

Monday loldog

dog
see more dog pictures

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Obama to announce Veep selection to supporters via e-mail or text

Just got an e-mail to sign up for this:

Want to be the first to know Barack Obama's choice for VP?

http://my.barackobama.com/vicepresident

The Obama campaign is announcing Barack's running mate to supporters via email and text messaging.

Sign up to be the first to know or text VP to 62262 to get the news on your mobile phone.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Let's give the Edwards family some privacy, shall we?

Elizabeth Edwards has made a heartfelt plea on DailyKos that we allow her family some privacy and dignity as they struggle to handle the voyeuristic media coverage over her husband's admission of an affair.

Family matters are family matters. Whether you're a Democrat, a Republican, or other, your family business is your own, and it is no business of the press or the American people what happens in your marriage or your private affairs.

The trouble we get into is that since our culture is addicted to sensationalism and to tearing people down, anytime something like this comes up, we pounce on it, gobble it up, and we can't get enough of it.

John Edwards made a mistake, and whatever happens next is between himself and his family. We don't get a say in it either way. It's none of our business.

Thought for the day

The John McCain of 2000 would not even consider voting for the John McCain of 2008.

Discuss.

Bonus Friday lolcat

Because this one's just adorable:

cat
more cat pictures

I'm catching a cold.

I blame the Republicans.

*cough cough*

Happy Olympic Friday!

Here's Eddie Izzard's take:

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tulsa Airport getting privacy invasion scanner

Tulsa Airport is going to get one of those machines that creates a 3d naked image of you that is beamed to an offsite security screener. Your face is blurred, but they can see your bits quite clearly.

If you're not happy about random people seeing all your bits, and you think that this is a bridge too far in the name of "security," you might contact the airport authorities.

http://www.tulsaairports.com/index.cfm?id=8

The ACLU has a page explaining the problem and showing a picture of what these machines can see:

http://www.aclu.org/privacy/35506res20080603.html

Restating a point in a more diplomatic manner.

It's clear that my post on Sally Kern and "Judeo-Christian values" struck a nerve with several people in the blogosphere.

Sometimes my emotions overpower my intellect, and I end up offending people. In an attempt to rectify that offense, let me modify slightly what I said and restate it in a more diplomatic and tactful manner.

Whatever its original meaning, the phrase "Judeo-Christian values" is currently used as code by certain Christians who wish to push an agenda of homophobia and religious exclusionism. Note that I said it is used by certain Christians. In no way am I implying that all Christians share this view. Note also that I am prepared to accept that the phrase "Judeo-Christian values" can have certain valid connotations in the proper context. Jews and Christians do share values: we believe in helping the poor, in loving your neighbor, in the awe and mystery of the Divine.

Sally Kern, however, does not represent any of the values that Jews and Christians may have in common. She represents an extremist agenda that seeks to impose a very narrow, very exclusionary religious dogma on the larger community. For those of us who don't fit into it, Kern's worldview is extremely offensive.

Kern is adamant that because her narrow view of scripture excludes the gay community, that we are somehow a threat. As such, she is determined to undermine our struggle to gain equal rights under the law. She says that we're worse than terrorists. She accuses us of having a nefarious agenda to impose our "lifestyle" on the wider community.

We are not trying to impose a "lifestyle" on anyone. I can't make you gay. You can't make you gay. You're either gay or you're not gay. That's all there is to it. It's like being left-handed. The only thing we ask is that we be granted the same civil rights that the heterosexual community takes for granted.

We want to be able to visit our partners in the hospital. We want inheritance rights. We want to be able to file our taxes jointly. We want to own houses together. We want a piece of paper from the state that says we're equal partners under the law. We want the stuff that straight couples take for granted.

We're not trying to force churches to perform gay weddings. We don't have the right to do that. Churches are private institutions, and as such they have the right to perform or not to perform whatever ceremonies they wish. We can't change that, and we have no interest in trying.

Again, all we're looking for are civil rights under the law. This has nothing to do with morality, sexuality, or religion. It just has to do with civil law.

So, to summarize: we're not trying to impose anything on anyone. All we want is equal rights.

Sally Kern, on the other hand, is trying to impose her narrow viewpoint on us. Her position is that because a lot of people in Oklahoma are against marriage equality, that somehow that makes it ok to discriminate against the gay community. That everyone has to believe exactly as she does, and anyone who doesn't is a grave threat to her own personal sense of morality. She's taking her own personal religious beliefs and imposing them on everyone in Oklahoma. She does all of this in the name of "religious freedom." In Sally Kern's mind, religion is free only if it conforms to her view of it.

Real religious freedom means freedom for all religions and all viewpoints. More importantly, it means that our civil law is not and cannot be based purely on religious doctrine. In practical terms, while Sally Kern has the right to say what she wants, she doesn't have the right to legislate based purely on her interpretation of the Bible. In addition, true religious freedom requires that I have the right to criticize Rep. Kern, and that I have the right to fight for civil marriage equality. However, I also can't use religion as the sole basis for my argument in favor of marriage equality. And I don't. My argument in favor of marriage equality is a purely civil argument, based on American civil values of freedom and equal rights.

I will also restate my previous point. All of this bickering about marriage equality is a distraction from the real problems facing our country and our world. Those of you who spend a lot of time thinking about how much you oppose marriage equality really need to rethink your priorities.

Which is more important: stopping me from getting married, or working to make sure every American has health insurance, so that we can stop being the only industrialized nation in the world that doesn't cover its people?

Which is more important: denying me and my partner equal rights so that if one of us has a heart attack, the other can't visit him in the hospital, or stopping the genocide in Darfur, so that millions of Sudanese people can stop living in a state of terror?

Which matters more: denying me and my partner the right to file our taxes jointly, or working to fix our nation's roads, bridges, and levees, so that the next time there's a hurricane Katrina, we don't have a human catastrophe?

It seems to me that someone who is focused on morality and ethics above all should have no problem answering any of those questions.

I'll leave it there for now. I welcome your comments.

BNN Alert- Miscategorized Blogs

Attention bloggers! If you've been incorrectly assigned a category - ie. if you're a liberal and you've been put in the conservative bin, or vice versa, please let me know, and I'll fix it. Additionally, if you haven't been assigned a category and wish to be assigned one, please let me know. You will know if you've been assigned a category if your blog displays when you filter the list of blogs by "liberal" or "conservative."

So far, "liberal" and "conservative" are the only two categories we have. If you have any ideas for other categories we might want to implement, let me know, and I'll consider it.

On a side note: When I post to Sinister and I don't mention BlogNetNews, I am posting as myself, not as the editor of BNN Oklahoma. As I have previously stated, my own political views are quite separate from my duties as BNN Oklahoma editor.

I had hoped my post regarding Sally Kern would elicit a more civilized response...

But sadly no. Here's my response to Bill Kumpe's bloviating, asinine, and hate-filled screed, in which he simultaneously accused me of using hate-speech, and then, with the same breath, called me an ignorant, depraved pervert. That kind of doublethink is simply breathtaking.

Thus, here is my response to Mr. Kumpe:

I had hoped that my post would elicit a more civilized response from its readers, but clearly you're much more interested in calling me a depraved, ignorant pervert than in having an actual, rational discussion.

So be it. You can mask your hatred and homophobia in whatever religious texts give you the most comfort, but you're still a bigoted, ignorant, and sad excuse for a human being.

All that the gay community wants is the right to be left alone to live our lives in peace. That's all we want. We don't want to force you to have sex with us. We don't want to come over to your house and have sex on the floor and force you to watch us do it. We don't even want to call you and tell you we're having sex. So why is it your business whether, when, and how we have sex in the privacy of our own lives?

Moreover, how is it your business whether we have the right to get married? Despite your bloviating about religiously based common law, we are a nation based on religious freedom and the rights of the individual. Therefore, it should, again, be none of your business whether I want to marry my life partner.

The bottom line is this.

All we want, all we've EVER wanted, is for people like you, sanctimonious, self-righteous, ignorant, fearful, homophobic theocrats, to leave us the hell alone and let us live our lives in peace.

Kisses,

Sinister


I don't understand why Kumpe and his theofascist friends are so utterly obsessed with what I do in my bedroom, and what rights my partner and I have to live together as equal partners, as spouses, just like a straight couple does.

Don't we have more pressing issues happening in the world? Calling me a pervert isn't going to lower the price of gas, stop the war in Iraq, or get anyone relief from foreclosure. Railing against marriage equality isn't going to give healthcare to anyone, fix unemployment, or rebuild our nation's infrastructure.

So my message is this, and it has always been this.

LEAVE US ALONE! GO FIGHT FOR STUFF THAT ACTUALLY MATTERS!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Please, Rep. Kern, leave us out of it.

Sally Kern has said that she is a "warrior for Judeo-Christian values."

Please, Rep. Kern, leave us out of your hate crusade.

First of all, there is no such thing as "Judeo-Christian values." That's a phrase made up by certain Christians who want to feel better about thrusting their supposed moral superiority on the world. They throw "Judeo" into their "values" so as not to seem exclusivist. The truth is that the phrase "Judeo-Christian Values" is code for homophobia and religious discrimination.

Unlike Rep. Kern and her theofascist ilk, most Jews believe that God created all people equal, and that no one religion or ideology has a monopoly on the truth. Most Jews believe that our most important task is to repair the world, to make it a better, fairer, more beautiful place for our children and our grandchildren.

More specifically, the Reform Jewish movement was ordaining gay and lesbian clergy and supporting the repeal of sodomy laws as early as the 1970s, and came out in favor of civil marriage equality in 1996. The Conservative Jewish movement is moving in the same direction, voting to ordain gay clergy in the early 2000s. It's only certain sects of Orthodox Judaism that still cling to an anachronistic and insular view of morality and reject GLBT equality.

Thus, if Rep. Kern wants to talk about "Judeo-Christian" values, and then preach hate and religious superiority, she's going to have to contend with those of us in the "Judeo" side of that who find her views abhorrent and dangerous.

Blood donation.

There's a blood drive at work today, and once again, I won't be participating.

Since 1977, the FDA has prohibited gay men from donating blood. That leaves those of us who want to donate with two unappealing options. 1) Don't donate. 2) Lie.

I've chosen the first path anytime I'm presented with an opportunity to donate, because I don't think I should have to lie to donate blood.

The FDA's reasoning behind this prohibition is that men who have sex with men are more at risk for HIV and other diseases.

But what about those of us in committed relationships, who have had a steady partner for years, who are completely monogamous?

The implication of the FDA's position is that gay men tend to have a whole lot of anonymous, unprotected, unsafe sex. Thus, their response is to ban all of us, even those of us who have been safe and monogamous for years.

My question to the FDA is this: what about the straight man who bangs a different chick in a bar bathroom every night? I'd argue that there are a significant number of straight men who do that, and that certainly puts them at risk of disease and contaminating the blood supply. By your own logic, you should therefore ban straight men from donating. And by the same token, you should ban women, because lots of women let themselves get banged in bar bathrooms by anonymous strangers.

Boom, we now have nobody who can donate blood.

It's an assinine policy, and I hope that the FDA will reconsider it. Gay men's blood is just as safe as straight men's blood, and we have a lot of technology at our disposal to test blood for disease. Therefore, collective exclusion of one whole group is simply bigoted, discriminatory and ignorant.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have to give props to....Paris Hilton?!

Click the link to launch the video player - Paris Hilton has made a "response ad" to McCain's ad comparing Obama to her and Brittney Spears.

It's hilarious. I have to give her massive props. I never, ever thought I'd be giving props to Paris Hilton. But this is funny.

BNN Notice - Inactive Blogs

I just purged two more inactive blogs from the BlogNetNews Oklahoma feed. There are a couple of blogs that are right on the edge of the 3 month cutoff. If you want to continue being a part of BNN, please post something.

Latest poll shows Obama trailing badly in Oklahoma (as expected)

Obama isn't going to win Oklahoma in November.

But there is something happening here.

In 2004, I saw very few Kerry bumper stickers and yard signs around town. Maybe a handful.

Recently, however, I'm seeing Obama bumper stickers and yard signs everywhere. I can think of two possible reasons for this. The first reason is probably more likely: I'm spending most of my time in Midtown, which can kind of be thought of as Tulsa's "liberal oasis." The second reason, which would be really something, is that Obama is getting more traction here than the polls show.

Again, I'm leaning towards the first reason. I don't see much visible support for Obama when I go down to South Tulsa. But if Obama is gaining more traction in Tulsa than the polls show, then that's a pretty significant thing, and it bodes well for down-ticket races, especially Georgianna Oliver's race against John Sullivan. If Obama can energize enough Dems in District 1 to go to the polls, Oliver might just have a shot. Obama might even help Andrew Rice, who is also trailing in the polls.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Who the hell do I think I am?

There's been a bit of controversy over the BlogNetNews "political influence" ranking system. Some folks, who will remain anonymous, are not happy with their own particular ranking, and are taking it out on those of us who, through no fault of our own, find ourselves near the top.

Look, I don't have any idea how David, the guy who runs BlogNetNews, comes up with his ranking system. I also have no idea how Sinister made it to the top. Honestly, it doesn't make a difference to me either way. I just throw my brain juice out at the world, and I don't really care or control where or how it sticks. Sinister is a blog made up of single-sentence exclamations and multi-paragraph rants. Sometimes my posts are well thought out, and sometimes they're just something that was on the top of my head that I wanted to mention. I also post pictures of cute dogs, and silly videos. How exactly does that make me "influential" in the political blogosphere? In other words, who the hell do I think I am with a high ranking on BNN?

I have no freaking clue.

Look, BlogNetNews is one website in a sea of billions. You shouldn't take your ranking on it too seriously. It's just one guy's idea of where you stand. Unless you really care what that one guy thinks of you, then why worry about it?

Most of all, don't take it out on me. I have absolutely no connection to the BNN ranking system whatsoever. I'm just the editor of the Oklahoma feed. My job is to add blogs when they request it and delete blogs due to inactivity. That's all I do for BNN. Everything else is controlled by David Mastio, the overall BNN editor. If you have a complaint, talk to David.

That is all.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

BNN Alert - New Blog - T-Town Tommy

Please welcome T-Town Tommy, a Libertarian blog.

We don't currently have a Libertarian category on BNN Oklahoma. However, if more of you want to be labeled as Libertarians, please e-mail me, and if I have enough of a response, I'll create a Libertarian category.

Friday, August 1, 2008

What the hell is with this city??

Why is Tulsa's crime rate so damned high, especially when it comes to robberies and home invasions? It's a little worrying.

I'll take $1,000. Thanks!

Obama is proposing an emergency $1,000 energy rebate. Yes, please. Screw whether it'll help anything. I'm moving in March - $1,000 will go a long way towards that move.

Happy Friday (Again!)

Just because I'm in a Rufus kind of mood:

Happy Friday!

And now, Rufus Wainwright will perform a Judy Garland classic: