Saturday, November 04, 2006
I think this would make an excellent Christmas present for a lot of people, especially when it comes from a family member. I have other things this basic design appears on, both on zazzle and on cafepress in Over the Rainbow - Artistic Pride designs, but this design in particular is intended for those special, intrafamilial moments of healing and reconciliation.
You see, those words, on top and bottom, those are just there as placeholders. Oh, I figure "love is love is love" is a pretty good suggestion, but my URL can go away. You just edit it to something personal and meaningful.
The one I may possibly use is "You realize this means we expect twice as many grandchildren."
I don't think there's anything that a child of mine could do that would cause me to stop loving them - and sexual orientation would be the least of my concerns. Good Lord, there are so many worse things - like becoming a racist, or a right-wing evangelical, or a Republican fundraiser, a fate worse even than being a tax collector or pimp.
And even then, I would love them, as I feel is true of any God or Goddess worth respect and notice. (No, I'm not a pantheist; I simply don't presume to tell Him what Gender She should wear in my presence.)
tag: Pride Graphics, Pride posters, Lesbigay pride, Acceptance, Tolerance, sexual orientation, sexual freedom, love is love is love, Rainbow, Gay Pride Christmas Gifts, Pride Cards
BradBlog - from March, but details the sort of errors complained of here occured in Fla. in March. You'd think that would be time enough to fix the problem.
This was sent to me by the Carter Campaign - I have no confirmation as yet, but will be following this and will add to this as I find out more. Meanwhile, please watch your vote carefully, and report problems immediately.
Voter Fraud Alert in Nevada
A Jack Carter voter in North Las Vegas has reported that she cast her vote for Jack Carter and the machine would not register her vote for Jack Carter. Instead, her vote was cast for the None of the Above option.
The Election Protection lawyers are following up on this report now.
It is of vital importance to our democracy and the future of our nation that each and every citizen be vigilant and aware of the potential for voter fraud.
If anybody hears of any incident of voter fraud, intimidation, telephone, e-mail or any difficulties WHAT-SO-EVER with casting a vote, WHETHER in, at or around a POLLING PLACE or ANY OTHER PLACE as we continue through early voting and lead up to election day, please do the following:
- Get the full name and phone number, polling place, time and as detailed a description of the facts of the incident as you know them.
- Call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-737-3367 and pass on the report to the lawyers on call as soon as possible. DO NOT DELAY! Any delay in reporting could prevent effective action from being taken and could disenfranchise more voters.
- Call the Carter Campaign office with the report so that we can be aware of the incidents and make sure it gets followed UP
Any suspicion of voter fraud should be forwarded to the Nevada State Democratic Party’s Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-737-3367.
tag: jack carter, john ensign, Nevada senate race, 2006, vote fraud, electronic voting, Nevada election commission,
Friday, November 03, 2006
Once Upon a Time...: "it is worse than futile to try to solve the problem discussed by Atrios and Sullivan (or any similar problem) in isolation, disregarding this much more fundamental issue. If we're in charge, if we call the shots, then do it -- and be prepared to accept all the consequences. We don't get to choose just those consequences that are 'acceptable,' or that will not be too bloody or too horrifying. If we're going to be occupiers, then be occupiers. If we want to destroy the country in order to save it, then do it, and be judged accordingly.
Otherwise, get the hell out."
I'm not "anti-war" = that's as silly as being anti-rain. I am against being rained upon. Likewise, I have a great aversion to being warred upon. Nonetheless, there are some situations in which one must turn up one's collar, turn one's umbrella into the wind and dare the elements to do their worst.
And this is also the case when the human weather is inclement, such as, say, during the Battle of Britain, or subsequent to Pearl Harbor, when there was really no choice but to put on one's welliles and slog through the mud and the blood.
But in this case, we are the inclement weather, and we are the ones being met with dignity and fortitude. One cannot "win" such a war.
And if someone tells you that, by the Lord Harry, we CAN, ask them what non-abstract provable improvement in life will accrue as a result?
Further ask them, what are they willing to lose to ensure that victory?
For as Silber points out, there is only one way forward to an incontestable victory - and that is to pile up skulls until the memory of the Assyrian Empire is buried beneath them, until the streets run as red as the steps of an Aztec temple, until, in short, everyone in the entire middle east with the will to resist us is dead, or broken beneath the wheels of our chariots.
That, of course, would be what we would need to sacrifice in order to "win." We would have to sacrifice our humanity.
Faced with that choice, I think we need to consider the example of one who may come to be known as the greatest single hero of this conflict.
Iraq War, War Resistance, Impeach,
From f a t c a t politics: WingNuts Reveal Nuclear Secrets
Ironically, it's the New York Times who broke the story repeated above, and Andy Card is already trying to blame the whole mess on them, again. More on that below.
..in recent weeks, the site has posted some documents that weapons experts say are a danger themselves: detailed accounts of Iraq’s secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war. The documents, the experts say, constitute a basic guide to building an atom bomb.
The site is down now, “pending a review to ensure its content is appropriate for public viewing,” according to a spokesperson for the director of national intelligence. (John Negroponte).
I was wondering how the Bush White House would "spin" this. I mean, what could you possibly say in the face of such a terrifyingly dangerous fuckup?
This morning on NBC, former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card excused the Bush administration’s role in posting nuclear weapons secrets on a public web site, and instead blamed the New York Times for having “advertised” the secrets “to the world.”
So, you see, the REAL problem is not that there were actual diagrams and instructions for building a nuclear weapon written in Arabic on a US government website.
The PROBLEM is that the New York Times made it known it was there. It's not a problem that the Administration fucked up, because fuckups in private have no political fallout. And we all know by know that their only reality is political reality.
It's certainly not an act of treasonous incompetence to reveal secrets that generations of patriotic Americans at the CIA, DIA and DOA have lived and died to protect. No, no, not at all. Not if they don't get caught.
But it IS apparently "an attempt to affect the election" to let the American people know that the Administration has, once again, carelessly blown or squandered a major portion of US national security in the name of... what?
The campaign for the online archive was mounted by conservative publications and politicians, who said that the nation’s spy agencies had failed adequately to analyze the 48,000 boxes of documents seized since the March 2003 invasion. With the public increasingly skeptical about the rationale and conduct of the war, the chairmen of the House and Senate intelligence committees argued that wide analysis and translation of the documents — most of them in Arabic — would reinvigorate the search for clues that Mr. Hussein had resumed his unconventional arms programs in the years before the invasion. American search teams never found such evidence.
Considering these facts, I think "attempting to affect the election" is a pretty damn good idea. But that is beside the point. Newspapers do not exist to cover the president's ass. Some do, some don't, but that's according to their own whim and to the degree they think prudent. I think it would be damn imprudent for any journalist of any political persuasion to turn a blind eye a situation that could cause you to get blowed up. Again.
Officials of the International Atomic Energy Agency, fearing that the information could help states like Iran develop nuclear arms, had privately protested last week to the American ambassador to the agency, according to European diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the issue’s sensitivity. One diplomat said the agency’s technical experts “were shocked” at the public disclosures.
Early this morning, a spokesman for Gregory L. Schulte, the American ambassador, denied that anyone from the agency had approached Mr. Schulte about the Web site.
The documents, roughly a dozen in number, contain charts, diagrams, equations and lengthy narratives about bomb building that nuclear experts who have viewed them say go beyond what is available elsewhere on the Internet and in other public forums. For instance, the papers give detailed information on how to build nuclear firing circuits and triggering explosives, as well as the radioactive cores of atom bombs.
“For the U.S. to toss a match into this flammable area is very irresponsible,” said A. Bryan Siebert, a former director of classification at the federal Department of Energy, which runs the nation’s nuclear arms program. “There’s a lot of things about nuclear weapons that are secret and should remain so.”
In what diseased corner of what mad brain would it seem appropriate to release materials such as this without even a once-through to catch the obvious things, like, say, chemical diagrams, electronic circuits and the Arabic words for "Uranium" and "Plutonium?" I assumed that something like this must have been done. Clearly, I overestimated the intelligence of the Director of National Intelligence.
If I had a terribly suspicious mind, I might be tempted to think that this was part of some elaborate plot to ensure that terrorists COULD build nukes. After all, if they did build a nuke, it could become a pretext for all kinds of things that recent legislation indicates the President would like to do.
But "Never presume malice when stupidity is a sufficient explanation."
The director of national intelligence, John D. Negroponte, had resisted setting up the Web site, which some intelligence officials felt implicitly raised questions about the competence and judgment of government analysts. But President Bush approved the site’s creation after Congressional Republicans proposed legislation to force the documents’ release.
I don't find it difficult to believe that this mess was caused by a state of sheer, comprehensive, willful ignorance. I'm quite sure that nobody even bothered to riffle through these documents to look at the pictures, and if anyone did, it was obviously not anyone with degrees in chemistry or nuclear physics. People with fact based mindsets like that, well, they just aren't politically reliable, are they? And after all, could a bunch of sand-monkeys really come up with anything that dangerous?
Let's remember what the Directorate Of National Intelligence really does: It's the department in charge of telling the President what he wants to hear.
The cold reality is this: It doesn't matter WHY the Bush Administration gave atomic weapons to terrorists. We have to assume they did. Here’s what was revealed, and how long it was available:
In September, the Web site began posting the nuclear documents, and some soon raised concerns. On Sept. 12, it posted a document it called “Progress of Iraqi nuclear program circa 1995.” That description is potentially misleading since the research occurred years earlier.
The Iraqi document is marked “Draft FFCD Version 3 (20.12.95),” meaning it was preparatory for the “Full, Final, Complete Disclosure” that Iraq made to United Nations inspectors in March 1996. The document carries three diagrams showing cross sections of bomb cores, and their diameters.
On Sept. 20, the site posted a much larger document, “Summary of technical achievements of Iraq’s former nuclear program.” It runs to 51 pages, 18 focusing on the development of Iraq’s bomb design. Topics included physical theory, the atomic core and high-explosive experiments. By early October, diplomats and officials said, United Nations arms inspectors in New York and their counterparts in Vienna were alarmed and discussing what to do.
So from September 20, 2006 to the evening of November 2nd, 2006, these documents were freely available to anyone who cared to look, which would include every intelligence agency in the world with any intelligence at all.
We have to rebuild our national security apparatus based on the assumption that those documents, which WERE available for weeks, are now common knowledge. Now, these documents will not help some random terrorist whomp up a nuke. It will require an already existing expertise – such as, say, exists in Korea. It could dramatically shorten the process of a non-nuclear state becoming a nuclear one, that is quite certain; as the documents contain a snapshot of the progress Iraq had made to a point some say would be about a year away from a functional nuclear weapon. Now, combine that with bits and pieces of information gleaned elsewhere and the result is a possibility of a Hiroshima type weapon lurking in the container port nearest you within the next couple of years.
Do you feel safer now?
There are some mistakes that you do not make. Ever. One of those mistakes is giving away highly classified materials that can cause one of your cities to go "pouf."
This administration would rather have left that material up on the site then call attention to their error by taking it down. Or in other words, YOUR life, and the lives of everyone you know are as nothing compared to them winning a midterm election.
Think of it: An Atomic Katrina in New York Harbor counted as "an acceptable risk" to maintain political power.
That is a chilling thought. Take that thought with you into the voting booth. Tell everyone you know. After you vote, tell every Republican candidate WHY you voted against them; from Senator down to dogcatcher.
That of course leads me to my own Sen. John Ensign, who serves on the following committees.
o Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support (Chairman)
Yeah, he's not just some senator. He has some pretty important duties that require that he have something to say about this situation and about his own involvement in this particular political stunt.
Perhaps something about Emerging Threats and Capabilities, as contrasted with our current Readiness and Management support, given a sudden and inconveniently located radioactive crater ringed by thousands of dying citizens.
Say something non-patronizing, John. This is the JOB part of the job, not the POLITICS part of the job.
[Update from the Carpetbagger Report]
I'll spare you the details of the far-right's rants, but Memorandum can point you in the right direction. In summary, conservatives are thrilled by the NYT scoop because, as they see it, the administration published seized Iraqi intelligence documents. If there were detailed secrets about how to make a nuclear bomb, this means … wait for it … Saddam "had a nuclear weapons program and was plotting to build an atomic bomb."Words fail me. Their Kool-Aid is a lot stronger than the stuff Jim Jones womped up.
The right can hardly contain their glee. They were right all along! How foolish does the left feel now!
Uh, no. The NYT article said the documents offered "detailed accounts of Iraq's secret nuclear research before the 1991 Persian Gulf war." This little tidbit isn't buried deep into the article; it's right up in the second paragraph. It's kind of hard to miss.
In other words, the right is taking a humiliating article and making matters considerably worse by misunderstanding what it actually says. The revelations aren't proof that Saddam had an active nuclear weapons program before we invaded in 2003; it's proof that he sought nuclear weapons before we invaded in 1991. Of course, we already knew that.
Jonathan Schwarz offered a handy little summary.
Editor and Publisher: Revealed: U.S. Soldier Killed Herself After Objecting to Interrogation Techniques:
The true stories of how American troops, killed in Iraq, actually died keep spilling out this week. Now we learn, thanks to a reporter's FOIA request, that one of the first women to die in Iraq shot and killed herself after objecting to harsh 'interrogation techniques.' -By Greg MitchellThe money quote:
“Peterson objected to the interrogation techniques used on prisoners. She refused to participate after only two nights working in the unit known as the cage. Army spokespersons for her unit have refused to describe the interrogation techniques Alyssa objected to. They say all records of those techniques have now been destroyed. ...".But that's ok. We pretty much know already.
tag: Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzolez, Torture Memo, Torture, Extraordinary Rendition, Guantanimo Bay, Waterboarding, Genital Torture, Attack Dogs, Stress Positions, Sleep Deprivation, Humiliation, Degradation, Beatings, Hypothermia, Electrocution, Electroshock, Homosexual Rape, George W. Bush, Signing Statements.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Why? Well, it was a confluence of events. I'm pretty sick about Democrats and Progressives equivocating about impeaching George Bush - the only President, in the words of James Dean, to admit to an impeachable offense. If you do not wish to be rid of him for the stupidity, say I, bid him farewell for the incompetence.
And there is enough outright fuckuppery, cronyism, incompetence, malfeasances and injustice - not to mention the vote-rigging and the looting of the treasury to outrage even a pretty hard-line Conservative.
But this is nothing new for me. It was seeing the box on "and yes, I DO take it personally" that tipped me over the edge, beside a post that said this:
it's driving me crazy that the full gravity of what is happening in the u.s. is still not sinking in... yeah, there are liberals and progressives working their fingers to the bone to bring about a change next week... yeah, that's a good thing... but a lot of those same people still haven't fully gotten their minds around the fact that we're dealing with pure evil... there is nothing that these people won't do to win, and that includes rigging the election... i will have to ask friends to apply physical restraints if i have to sit there and listen to pundits explain how the bush team "engineered a dramatic come-from-behind win..." the physical restraints will be to prevent serious harm to both myself and those around me...Both they and I are Nevadans, and we are dealing with the same evils: Jim (the bitch tripped me) Gibbons and John (Cripple Kicker) Ensign.
Our chosen candidates are either to wily in a political sense or personally too nice to say what needs to be said, but there it is. I've been saying it for some time: By their fruits you will know them.
I haven't studied religion, ethics and morality for most of my life to be unsure of my stand here. Anyone who is THIS wrong, for THIS long, with such obviously harmful outcomes is evil - or so close that you pretty much need to chop down their treehouse anyway.
tag: Jim Gibbons, John Ensign, republican pedophiles, George Bush, Impeach, Impeach Bush Coalition
It's a succinct summation in 20 minutes of twenty years of constitutional subversion by the ultra right - the people that believe that you, as an unconnected non person with no wealth or access to the "right friends," have no right to privacy, security in your home, security in your property or right to due process of law.
Think I'm exaggerating? Watch the film. Check the citations. Get back to me. Or better yet, get onto spreading the word yourself.
tag: quiet revolution, roe v. wade, Griswold, privacy rights, constitution, constitutional, separation of church and state, theocracy, theocons, judicial activism
Please read this blog and follow the links she has. Much more is happening and more is at stake than they are reporting on the news, unless you've been watching Keith Olberman (which I strongly suggest you do -- past commentaries by him are on youtube.com and he has transcripts at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036677/ )
On the same day he signed the Military Commissions Act, which allows American citizens to be arrested, imprisoned and tortured without due process, Bush signed into law a provision which revises the Insurrection Act, allowing the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."
He did this without any news coverage whatsoever. None.
Both the MC Act and the Insurrection Act provision were signed into law illegally, because Bush sat on them for longer than ten days beforehand, which is the maximum amount of time according to the Constitution. After ten days without signing, that's considered an automatic VETO, that is, a pocket veto. Bush thinks he can get away
with this, because it's part of his ongoing process of dismantling Constitutional law. The question is, who will call him on it?
You might also read Sunfell's blog at http://sunfell.livejournal.com.
It is very possible that Bush has no intention of leaving office. With the signing of these legislations he now has his final plank of what some bloggers are referring to as the Bush "Enabling Acts". (Do a google search on that.) -emphasis mine: BK
A youtube blogger who signs himself ImpeachKingBushII writes: "We are now one "national emergency" and martial law declaration away from the suspension of our constitution and the dissolving of Congress. He now has all the power under the law to become sole judge, jury and executioner - and dictator."
You might think that this is all so abysmally wrong that everyone else will recognize it and go to the polls next week and begin the process of taking our country back, so you don't have to vote. Guess again -- you ARE "everyone else".
In order to control Congress, the Democrats need 7 more seats in the Senate and 15 in the House. They're not going to get it if we all just sit on our rears and watch it on TV. You have to take voter fraud into account -- Republican dirty tricks, the terrorizing of minorities, the ongoing ratfucks designed to keep potential voters away from the polls. Party leaders know what's at stake as much as you do.
Now, we have no illusions about the Democrats. We know they're not going to Save Us. In fact, we tend to agree with Gore Vidal that America doesn't really have two parties, but one party with two right wings. There is no real voice for the left. However, what twistedchick says about the Democrats makes the most sense to me, and I'm going to reprint it here.I realize that a lot of people have hot-button issues, things that they feel they must vote for every time. If you're a one-issue voter, this time around, I beg you to look at the larger picture. I realize that many of the Democrats in office are not sterling examples of progressive thinking, including a few in my own state. Many of them are Bush enablers. Very few have had the personal integrity to stand up to the White House these past five years. However, laws are not made by individuals but by party politics, and power in the Congress comes from having a party majority. We have suffered greatly under this Republican lock on power for a long time, and it's time to break it by putting Democrats into the majority.
Your personal Democratic Congressman or Senator may not support gay rights or abortion rights or green issues or good sense on immigration -- but you're a whole lot closer to getting somewhere with a majority of Democrats because you can use them to lean on each other to get things done. Do you really think that keeping Republicans in office will take you one inch closer to equal rights for gays and lesbians or a woman's unhindered right to choose when to bear children? I agree that sometimes the choice is not good -- but once the Democrats are back in office we can do a lot to push them into more progressive directions as a majority than we can do now individually.
And there's the larger picture to consider.
We are losing people every day in Iraq. There is no front 'line', no rear support area. It's all front. We went in three years ago to deal with Saddam Hussein -- and since then our military has caused more damage to that country than Saddam did. Osama Bin Laden is either dead or in permanent hiding; my guess is that he's dead. It's time to get out of there, bring the reserves home, put the regular military elsewhere, and find some good diplomats to try to regain some of the respect from other nations that the Bush Administration has drop-kicked into the sewer.
The economy is way, way behind where it should be. We are still reeling from the millions of jobs that were exported, the thousands of factories that closed. People are working two and three jobs just to make ends meet, don't even think about saving money, and the bankruptcy laws were tightened punitively so that there's no way out but more debt for many, many people.
This country has always been a land of multiple cultures, multiple languages. Anyone who doesn't understand that or doesn't agree is trying to sell you the Republican kool-ade. We are not monolithic. We are many, we are complicated, and we have to not let anyone turn this multiplicity into ethnic or racial conflict. I see the possibility of that with the white supremacist groups like the Minutemen on the southern border, and the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in wealthy suburban areas -- Republican areas.
We have lost our Constitutional rights. We have lost our civil liberties. We have lost habeas corpus, which puts us back legally to 1214 and the time of King Johnny Lackland, Richard Lionheart's little inadequate brother. I have documented all this in this column in the past few years, for anyone who doesn't remember.
We have a president who issues executive orders as if they were take-out pizza orders, who talks only to people who agree with him, who has grabbed power like a two-year-old in the candy shop, who cares nothing for the wellbeing of Americans. He and his enablers lie, cheat and rationalize it away. They waste American lives, they torture prisoners and deny them their human rights, they break treaties, and they are doing their best to turn a democracy into a dictatorship and a free republic into a police state.
The only way to remedy any of this is to get Republicans out of office. We need a Democratic majority this time.
(You can read the whole thing, along with her
guidelines on what to do when you vote, at http://twistedchick.livejournal.com/1476457.html.)
I did. It was worth it. A reminder to us all that we need to remember that LiveJournal exists, and there are important voices to be found there.
tag: Military Commissions Act, Insurrection Act, National Guard, due process, internment of civilians, twistedchick, pocket veto, enabling acts, impeach
Carter Blog | Jack Carter for Senate: "John Ensign’s position [on stem cell research] only works if you’re confused: if you don’t understand that embryonic stem cells promise miracles and adult stem cells offer much, much less. He says that he opposes funding stem cell research because it involves techniques that could be used in human cloning. This is flat-out absurd. It’s like saying that because lighting your oven involves the same initial step as one would take to burn down a house, it should be banned as arson. The embryos used in stem cell research are never going to be implanted in women; they will not – cannot – become clones."Aren't you a little sick of this sort of reasoning; banning things because they might lead to some people doing something wrong? This is the same reason why I now have to beg my pharmacist to allow my to buy pseudoephedrine - because if it were more easily available, I MIGHT be tempted to turn it into methamphetamine.
So instead of the drug that works best for my runny nose and headache, I have to settle for a second-best product that doesn't work as well and probably rots my kidneys.
Aren't you a little tired of having your judgment and, yes, your personal honor called into question by those who are clearly unworthy to question ANYONE's judgment, morals or status as law-abiding, ethical citizens?
If you donate to Jack Carter via this link, your donation will be matched three for one. Make a secure matched online contribution of $35, $50 or more today to have four times the impact on building a Democratic majority. In the senate, that's critical. And it's also critical to rid ourselves of a Senator who is simply a Lobbiest in Residence.
This time, remember that it is YOUR job to stay involved, to interact, to pester, to advocate, to demand and to encourage your elected officials to act as they should. Because this crop of dimwits - they are living examples of the price of apathy.
tag: Jack Carter, pseudoephedrine, individual liberty, Senate Race Nevada, honor, morality, apathy, John Ensign, Stem Cell Research
Here's the abstract:
Pornography, Rape, and the InternetThe arrival of the internet caused a large decline in both the
Todd D. Kendall*
The John E. Walker Department of Economics
pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of accessing pornography.
Using state-level panel data from 1998-2003, I find that the
arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape
incidence. However, growth in internet usage had no apparent
effect on other crimes. Moreover, when I disaggregate the rape
data by offender age, I find that the effect of the internet on rape
is concentrated among those for whom the internet-induced fall
in the non-pecuniary price of pornography was the largest –
men ages 15-19, who typically live with their parents. These
results, which suggest that pornography and rape are substitutes,
are in contrast with most previous literature. However, earlier
population-level studies do not control adequately for many
omitted variables, including the age distribution of the
population, and most laboratory studies simply do not allow for
potential substitutability between pornography and rape.
The general thrust, if you consider the implications, is that a family subscription to Suicidegirls.com is a better investment in the moral welfare of your children than Net-Nanny.
I'd like to add a couple of comments and observations that the Professor Kendall may not have noticed; I'd suggest that the explosion in individually created pornography has also improved male attitudes toward the opposite sex.
There has always been pornography, of course, but classically it has been limited by regulation and that regulation has had the effect of reinforcing dominant cultural stereotypes This would be the "redeeming social value" part, where some sort of trenchant moral consequence is displayed as a price of sexual liberty. One of the worst and most offensives forms of this were the sub-pornographic writings found in the once thriving genre of "True Confessions" magazines.
These were marketed to women as true stories of life and romance, and the stories, mostly written by men, illustrated the price of not being "ladylike." I recall one in which a high school girl buys a padded bra to improve her sweater profile, and as a natural consequence, is brutally raped by the school janitor. The lesson was clear, even with all the throbbing and pulsating.
The same was true for pornographic materials written for men; the more hardcore it was, the more the women depicted were shown to be degraded, inhuman sluts who deserved their fate, although Playboy gently bucked this trend to some degree, there's no question that a Playgirl was and is a sex object first and an interesting person a distant forty-seventh.
But much of which is individually produced by people on the Internet is completely devoid of that message, and carries another: "an it harm none, do as ye will." Some, like suicidegirls, market the person as the fuel for the passion. It facinates that Suicidegirls.com seems to have as many vocal female as male fans. The second most interesting part is that while it's largely shot by women, often with a starkly lesbian aesthetic, it's still very popular with men.
Well, women have always dressed for other women; it's no stretch to undress for them as well. And those of us with y chromomosnes get to enjoy the competition for our attention.
Including me. I have the suicidegirls on my Myspace friends list. And I'm proud to report that it works very well; I haven't raped anyone lately. (Ever, actually. It never seemed like a good thing to do.)
Independent Internet porn does not say that it's anyone's fault for being hurt as a consequence of being sexual, or wearing any particular sort of clothing, even when stories or pictures use that sort of behavior as a plot point. The aggressor is almost always shown to be in the wrong, and often the tables are entertainingly turned.
But the more important point is that the pornography of today is non-compartmentalized. It is increasingly produced by people without masks, using their real names and not particularly concerned about "being embarrassed" about their "youthful indiscretions." Those making it, such as Ana Voog and Ducky Doolittle are very often making it within a life-context and even as an intentional public, political statement.
Young women have learned that it's possible to be safe and be sexual, while young men have learned that a stiff penis is no excuse for bad behavior. And we have all learned that the sky has not fallen as a result.
Personal experience has a way of turning fear into prudence and taboos into cautionary notes. Nothing essential about human nature has been changed, no great ethical sea-change has occurred here, other than one; that ethics are ethics are ethics and they do not fly out the window when your clothes are removed and the neighbors can't see what you are up to.
That is the exact opposite of what conventional, right-wing morality would have you believe - but as you may have learned, the connection between that form of morality and any consistent form of ethical behavior is questionable at best.
tag: Ethics, sex, pornography, Internet porn, rape culture, porn reduces rape, morals, morality, individual freedom, freedom of expression, human sexuality, family values, social tolerance, youth culture, morals, morality, taboo, taboos.
Pam's House Blend: Tears are simply streaming down my face at the thought of your rain-soaked and ruined biblically-based flyers on the evils of homosexuality and the preservation of marriage as well as precious pamphlets about the sanctity of the holy egg and sperm -- and how to keep them from co-mingling until a proper heterosexual marital bond is established.
It appears that the GOP is a party without a moral compass, with a gubernatorial candidate accused of sexual assault, a Senate candidate allowing supporters to physically assault citizens, and a House member who beats his wife -- and that's just surfaced in the last couple of days.
While you are faithfully supporting the troops, a Republican House leader blamed those same troops for Iraq mess. What are you going to do?
Yeah, well, there's a maxim in politics, originated by P.T. Barnum; "Never give a sucker an even break."
You guys are led by folks who very much like to think of themselves as powerful, influential men. Men like the Reverend James Dobson, Pat Robertson and that ilk; men who it turned out could be bought with a pair of cuff-links or a photo-op with the dimwit in chief. This despite it being long since obvious to anyone who is paying attention that the Administration wasn't governing up to the standards of any variety of Christianity, much less yours.
Don't blame the carnival barker for fleecing a mark. That's what Carnies do. If you don't want to be treated like a mark, don't go to the Carnival.
Hasn't the fact that you are on every "Christian Lending" and "Christian Home Business Opportunity" and "Christian Vinyl Siding" sucker list given you a clue by now? These days, all you need to sell some poor diseased pig in a poke is to slap a fish sticker on it's ass and take it to Church with you.
You might want to ask yourself why you are sending money to people who are obviously too dumb to count it, and you might want to ask the other obvious question:
"Am I really THAT gullible?"
Yeah. At least in the context of the herd. When Jesus said, "feed my sheep," it wasn't a complement and he wasn't TALKING to the biggest sheep.
But don't worry. If you can ask the question, you are on the way to recovery. While you are at it, you might wanna check out your Bible for the places where Jesus talks about the evils of homosexuality and abortion. Remember, Christianity is about the things Christ thought important.
Homosexual behavior, prostitution, witchcraft, drinking, gambling, abortion, fornication, recreational drug use; all these things were as common in the days of Jesus as they are today, so if you are looking to an example for how to condemn, chide and shame folks who do bad things, you really should be looking toward what Jesus did.
Sunday school question: what was the only recorded case of Jesus losing His temper? So, then, WHO and WHAT should you have the least tolerance for?
tag: theocracy, theocons, radical right, evangelical disappointment, gullible, religious values, religious conservatives, politics, republican, betrayal, feed my sheep
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
How many Republicans does it take to screw in a light bulb?I don't know about your state, but in Nevada, the only answer is a question...
Gibbons thinks the "truth" is on his side. So how come he and Sig were so busy lying on that infamous night? Jesus' General is working on a new campaign slogan for Gibbons. Current version: "Jim Gibbons don't take no shit from ho's or environmentalists."Jim Gibbons couldn't manage to successfully grope a drunken Christie Mazzio, and once becoming sober, hasn't managed to successfully cover up his indiscretion, even with the help of th Republican activist Sig Rogich and his good, close personal friend, the Sheriff Jim Webb who's first call about the allegations was to Jim.
Jim Gibbons - Republican! Tote Bag
Jim Gibbons - Republican! Kids Baseball Jersey
Jim Gibbons - Republican! Kids Hoodie
Jim Gibbons - Republican! Kids Sweatshirt
Jack Carter, flanked by two well-known quadriplegics from Nevada and their families. Photo courtesy Carter For Nevada.
Yesterday, Jack Carter publicly came out to support stem cell research flanked by people even Rush Limbaugh could not accuse of "faking their symptoms" to "generate sympathy."
"I'm experienced enough and mature enough to take my licks," said Fox, who was shaking during the interview aired Sunday. "But I know the community was really hurt by it. And it really brings up the specter of, 'go away, shut the window, shut the doors, close the curtains and suffer, and don't let us know,' because it's a fearful response."I'm glad to see that Jack understands just how hurtful such responses are, how utterly immoral, indefensable and mean-spirited they are.
I've had tardive diskenesia twice as a reaction to medication myself; I was lucky enough that alternates were available in both cases, because it can become permanant and it is, as Fox says in the above-cited story, "very uncomfortable."
But people like Limbaugh - and the sort of people paying him to spew his vile little invicitives - do not like to see people being different, living counter-examples to their simpleminded views of how things should be. Are you old enough to remember the howls of outrage at laws making wheelchair access to public buildings manditory? There are people who just don't like being around "cripples" and think they should just go away and die quietly somewhere.
Given Ensign's voting reccord, which is solidly for making more cripples in Iraq, but not paying for their needs or the social costs of them being alive for the next 40 or 50 years, I think we can count him as being a solid member of the Cripple-Kicking wing of the Republican Party. Heck, he voted against an amendment intended to help low income senior citizens with cancer pay for their medication.
Kicking young veterans in whelchairs seems almost sporting compared to that.
The amendment itself was very good. Senator Mitch McConnell wanted the bill to offer greater protections to a particularly vulnerable group: low-income senior citizens with cancer, who might otherwise have terrible trouble affording their medication. The vote in favor of the amendment was 97-1.
The one person voting against helping low-income senior citizens with cancer was Nevada’s own Senator John Ensign.
October 30, 2006 LAS VEGAS, NV -- Jack Carter is being joined by two well-known quadriplegics from Nevada and their families, as he appeals for President George Bush and Senator John Ensign to "show some basic human compassion to those who are suffering."
Carter - the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate - was joined by Cyndi Brennan and Sam Schmidt at a news conference this afternoon outside University Medical Center in Las Vegas. Both live their lives in electric wheelchairs since they suffered severe spinal cord injuries in separate crashes in 2000. Schmidt, a former race car driver, was paralyzed in a wreck at a Florida speedway. Brennan was in a car that was struck by a drunk driver in Las Vegas, just a few weeks after winning the biggest-ever Megabucks jackpot.
"These people live in hope that, someday, stem cell research may let them walk once again," Carter said. "But, for now, President Bush and Senator Ensign have smashed those hopes. The two of them are perfectly happy to ignore scientific evidence and deny federal funding for stem cell research, research that could help not only those with spinal cord injuries, but countless others with juvenile diabetes, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, and other diseases. Mr. Bush, Mr. Ensign, shame on you for - once again - failing so many people. Please show some basic human compassion to those who are suffering."
Brennan described stem cell research as her best hope for living a normal life again. "I'm keeping myself in shape and will hopefully be ready for a cure when it comes," she said. "Hopefully we can change things and I can get out of this chair and go dancing somewhere."
Schmidt, who is registered non-partisan, told reporters, "I hope we can support this research by voting for Jack Carter next week and for funding initiatives. Federal funding would get me out of this chair a lot faster."
Jack Carter, a committed Christian, says he sees no conflict between stem cell research and his faith. "I know Jesus wouldn't want anyone to suffer needlessly," he said. "Cyndi Brennan and Sam Schmidt face unimaginable challenges every day. This election marks the last chance to show them the human kindness and compassion they deserve. The time for change is now."There's not a lot in Ensign's portfolio to point to that would exemplify a thoughtful Christian perspective, or even the perspective of someone who actually lives in Nevada and pays attention to the needs and concerns of Nevadans. Sara Carter has been going though his voting record and some of them are just astonishingly mean-spirited and - well, stupid. For instance, Ensign has been almost completely consistent in his opposition to providing body armor and armored vehicles to regular forces and to our own Nevada National Guard.
Ironically enough, one of the biggest human problems we have at the moment is dealing with traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries caused by the Iraq War . We have been getting very good at saving people who would have simply died in earlier conflicts. Now they survive - somewhat. The most promising likely treatment? Stem Cells. So if you don't support stem cell research, you might want to consider what that yellow ribbon magnet REALLY stands for.
We already have thousands of brain and spine injured veterans to whom Ensign and his ilk smugly deny hope, all in the name of not injuring "babies." That's how they lyingly describe the eight-celled blastocysts we are really talking about. Adding insult to brain injury is no strain for ensign - he also has voted against body armor when it made him look like he was concerned about the deficit, without cutting anything important to his sponsors.
Why? To gain the votes of the self-rightious, judgemental and ignorant, the single issue voter s who are too stupid to want anything good, who's concerns are soley limited to ensuring that nobody else ever does anything they disapprove of.
The "Sanctity of Life" does not extend to the Post-Born, apparently.
You see, it's that strict father model, the strict father who's response to any request is "no."
No, you can't have body armor, who do you think you are? Don't you have any faith in your Commander in Chief?
No, you can't have stem cell research; your injuries are a challenge God intends for you. Suck it up.
No, you can't have an abortion - I don't care what your doctor says pregnancy will do to you. Your doctor is a Godless Liberal!
An EDUCACTION? With real facts? NO! You are lucky we teach you to read and use a calculator! Now pray to Jesus I don't report you as a terrorist!
LIVING WAGES? With medical benefits and a pension? What kind of Commie are YOU?
Have you seen him vote for any expansion of VA coverage, or wider availability of access to care for medicare and medicaid patients?
No, I haven't either.
Of course, that's because "no" is his answer to any constituent issue that might cost money that could otherwise be diverted to a large Republican sponsor. The answer to Haliburton, Pfizer and Standard Oil is always yes. On the oil frontier, considering Nevada's wealth in geothermal, wind and solar energy potential, his loyalty to the Bush Oil Cartel is idiotic even by Republican standards. Had Ensign been a voice for a RATIONAL energy policy, we would be hip deep in federal research dollars, and probably well on our way to a statewide surplus of high-dollar exportable energy. When the sun shines the brightest, that's when the air-conditioners in California all switch on at once.
Instead, he's been a voice for cutting back research into alternate energy reserach. Now, I'm no tree-hugging Green, but oil is a limited commodity, so is natural gas. Renewable energy is the way to go, and cheap energy is the key to a state, national and global rennesance. I mean, if you don't believe someone like me, consult the most conservative futurist I know, Larry Niven. He's right as far as it goes, too. There is hardly any social ill we have that would not be vastly reduced by making energy cheap, reliable and universally available. Nevada could be and should be on the forefront of that initiative.
But John Ensign's party comes before his state, and George Bush comes before all. Ensign's entire appeal to the electorate is that he will prevent OTHER people from getting any goodies they "shouldn't be entitled to," unless they are very, very rich. In which case, he won't make them pay taxes.
So, if you are a Conservative voter and you don't have an estate amounting to over 10 million dollars, this isn't really a difficult choice.
Cart is no wild-eyed Liberal nightmare. He's a good ol' boy with some damn fancy degrees and a lot of practical business experience; he knows about accountablity and the difference between theory and practice. That alone makes him anything but a classical liberal. He's had to live within budgets, balance books and meet payrolls. In fact, he's a fiscal conservative - a real deficit hawk, not one who pretends to be one in calculatedly futile ways or mean-spirited ways.
And he's studied nuclear engineering. Heck, he can SAY "nuclear." Seems like a good bit of learning to have, what with Yucca Mountain and the fact that we are needing to reconsider our nationwide nuclear energy policy.
His easy confidence with numbers and facts alone would be a refreshing change in Washington, where I'm convinced the vast majority are incapable of counting to twenty with their shoes on.
He's also a Constitutionalist and is all fired up about civil liberties, individual privacy and George Bush's Imperial ambitions. He doesn't much care for messing in the affairs of other people, an attitude that is absolutely appropriate for Nevada, your one-stop shopping district for heterosexual "sins," such as lust, gambling and gluttony.
This is not a state where an obsessive focus on controlling the bad habits of other people is a great idea - that's half of our economy, at least. And I for one would not be peeking over any tall fences in rural nevada. Could lead to "death by natural causes," as the frontier doctors used to call it when a lapse in judgement led to perfectly understandable bullet holes.
But what, you tremulously ask , about "the war on terror?" Well, Jack is for actually ending the terrorist threat. That means doing something that will actually work: securing our borders, our port facilities and making air travel really safe instead of pretend-secure.
There will always be terrorists, of course - just there will always be schoolyard bullies and the people they grow into - people like George Bush. People who's imaginations are so limited that violence is the first and only possible answer to the complicated problems that frustrate them. The best response to such idiocy is an individual trip to jail or the gallows as may seem appropriate. Digifying such temper tantrums by calling it a "war" indicates the idea there is a legitimate struggle for something someone is "entitled" to fight for.
They aren't. Terrorists are criminals; they are no different or more noble than bank robbers or rapists, deserve no better outcome if found guilty and do not deserve the martyrdom torture and incarceration without trial brings them. The should be given speedy trials and if found guilty, punished appropriately. Say, 25 to life at hard labor building a secure nuclear repository with shovels.
Fghting a "war on terror" is exactly like fighting an oil fire with a hose. You just spread the fire.
That's what Carter talks about, and he makes a good deal of sense, because he is a sensible man. Probably argues with his Dad a lot, and has learned to make a good case along the way.
Finally, you have to realize that a brand new Democratic Senate will have one hell of a time doing anything until it's spent a lot of time UNdoing what has been done. That is a source of comfort to anyone concerned about their life, their liberty and their property when Congress is in session.
tag: Jack Carter, Nevada Senate Race, John Ensign, Values, Stem Cell Research, Michael J. Fox, Picking on Cripples, senior citizens, medicare part D, Body Armor,
Monday, October 30, 2006
Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts — not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.The only thing that makes the United States worth preserving is the Constitution. To replace it with the "Plan for a New American Century" that amounts to willful Imperialism by means of warfare and economic coercion gives us - the Citizens of this unique compact - little to no benifit at the price of causing great and lasting contempt and hatred toward us. In effect, it means we create the very boogyman we are told might be under the bed.
I believe it is an established maxim in morals that he who makes an assertion without knowing whether it is true or false, is guilty of falsehood; and the accidental truth of the assertion, does not justify or excuse him.I think we've had quite enough of that, frankly - and not just on the War, but on every single issue of critical importance, from global warming to education, to health care. Unproven platitudes are provided in place of policy based in facts, reality and experience.
But if we deal with each other and the world in general according to the principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution taken as a whole - sweeping aside, for a moment, the vast clutter of treaties and international law - we shall be well rewarded.
All we need to do is live up to our own standards, even when it costs a few pennies more to do the thing that is right, instead of the thing that is conveinent, or the thing that "plays to the base."
In other words, we need a political culture that inspires, instead of dragging us down into the mud with our "leaders."
The best cure for such leadership, of course, is to stop following them and encouraging their folly.
Abe Lincoln quotations, war on terror, war president, george w. bush, terrorism, warfare, liberty, freedom, constitution, ethics
Sen. George Allen of Virginia, being a good Right-Wing Christian and all, was no doubt praying to God for a way out of the mess his Macaque remark put him into.
And God or Providence responded with a golden political opportunity, one that, had he been capable of recognising it, might have saved his political career and perhaps even his Presidential ambitions.
He just forgot one thing. She has a helluva sense of humor!
Yenta Mama Allen
Odd how this all seems to revovle around George Allen's relationship with his mother. I guess we could call this a "schaudenfreudian slip."
George Allen; Racist
George Allen posing with Charlton Heston and three members of the Consesvative Citizen's Council.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Very interesting, both of them. By the by, my results:
Different does not mean Broken Small Poster
Your Aspie score: 179 of 200
Your neurotypical (non-autistic) score: 25 of 200
You are very likely an Aspie, it concludes; meaning I'm very likely diagnosable as being on the AS spectrum. I'd say certainly, as the quiz is composed of the sorts of questions used to diagnose Aspergers - but it all comes down to whether the person with the sheepskin on the wall agrees. So far, I haven't felt the need for the outlay.
The questions and their implications explain a great deal, whether or not you are Aspie, or even interested in aspergers - because they imply a radically different being in terms of social organization, connections, interests and thought processes.
While the Neanderthal theory of origin is interesting - even fascinating - it does not explain how or why the genetic legacy was preserved to this day - I mean, other than the obvious, that people were attracted, mated and had successufl offspring.
What we need to look at is how and why they were successful.
I would suggest that the niches for Aspies, prior to the Enlightenment would be Wizard, Priest and Bard. Those niches did not disappear, though to some degree they evolved and mutated.
But we seek out caves and cloisters, comfortable routine and time to pursue our own thoughts. In return, we collect vast reams of data and make unusual and valuable correlations. We also have the ability - or some would say the poor taste - to be honest as a default state. Lying is a learned skill for us, and usually deception or misdirection is used to lead an NT to an understanding they could not directly reach if just told the truth.
Today, you will find Aspies concentrated in industries and fields that permit them to be alone in their offices with the tools of their trades; commonly computers, but more broadly they are brain-oriented tasks. Temple Grandin has referred to NASA as "the world's largest sheltered workshop."
This is true enough, viewed through the perception that there's something wrong with being aspie or autistic, when in fact, there are ancient and practical ways of living quite well as an Aspie. Most of those ways create a situation that is comfortable for the aspies, establishes a class of person to interface with neurotypicals on the behalf of the aspies and of course, puts up barriers in the way of the nearly irresistible urge of NT's to poke us to see if we are paying attention, have noticed their status or like them as persons.
I'm not saying that Aspies are better than neurotypicals - there are many things we are not better at, and frankly shouldn't even attempt. Most sports, for example. Competitive environments. Politics. Social policy.
When you need someone to put several facts together and come up with new facts, without giving two hoots as to whether those facts are welcome, that's what Aspies do best. An objective approach comes naturally to us; we do not tend to work toward a preordained conclusion, so we are pretty good engineers, researchers, archivists; knowledge workers in general. We do not reason emotionally because - well, emotion isn't accessible to us that way.
That's a huge disadvantage if we are at a cocktail party or trying to influence people in large groups for political reasons, it's a great advantage if you need to know why your attempt to influence a large group failed, or more likely, what would be the most elegant solution to an engineering problem.
Every social structure requires reliable, objective, knowledgeable advice on a wide range of topics in order to succeed, and to the extent that it organizes itself to accommodate Aspergers and other neurodiverse persons, it will dramatically increase it's chances for success.
It's wise to remember that Microsoft has made billions by being Aspie-friendly.
The trick, of course, is having the will to overcome the very strong neurotypical tendency to react toward people who are fundamentally different in a xenophobic way and to resist the temptation to manage aspies as one would manage neurotypicals.
One only needs to read the websites of the "curebie" crowd to realize they are xenophobes - and particularly terrified ones.
But "different is not broken," nor is differenced dangerous by definition.
So don't poke the aspies. And don't fuss about the horrible prospect of an Aspie Diagnosis in your child. Invest in it. That college fund could pay off big time.
tag: aspergers, aspergers syndrome, aspie, autistic, autism, neurotypical, autistic pride,
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