Saturday, February 28, 2004

Susan Sanford, the copy editor for the Daily Mountain Eagle in Jasper, Alabama, is--to use understatement--a raving fruitcake. In her editorial of February 20, Sanford not only assumes that everyone in the country is a nutcase fundamentalist Christian, she also maintains that "those who do such things [engage in homosexual relationships], and those who think they are amusing---or innocent--are worthy of death."

Want a piece of me, Susan? I suggest you try for my brain, since you obviously came into this world without one. Or perhaps my heart, since you have none.

Just think, if Susan Sanford is permitted to write editorials for the
Daily Mountain Eagle, what must the rest of the staff be like? If Sanford is permitted to promote her undiluted ignorance and hate, what kind of news is being distributed by this paper? And if she is permitted to publish her belief that my gay friends--and all of us who hope daily for equal rights for gay citizens--should die, where is the evil?

That seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? The evil is within this ignorant, hateful, frightened (a little too frightened, if you know what I mean) "Christian" woman.

Feel free to drop her a line:

Friday, February 27, 2004

Democrats are so angry with Ralph Nader. They would put that energy to better use by directing their rage at Terry McAuliffe, who front-loaded the nominating process so that there could not possibly be a real contest. Not that people seem to care. As a result of McAuliffe's machinations, the media's poison camapaign, and the general public's ignorance, Howard Dean--one of the few straightforward campaigners in history--was dramatically eliminated from the race. Dennis Kucinich was deemed "unelectable," too, from the get-go. Of course, neither of them could be allowed to have a chance--they are both sincere soldiers in the war against corporate ownership of America.

McAuliffe has resigned his position as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, but the damage has already been done. We are stuck with John Kerry, or--if something strange happens--John Edwards.

The idea now, of course, is to unite Democrats so that no votes will be syphoned off to Nader, as they were in 2000. As a strategy for defeating Bush, that makes sense. But it does nothing to respect the rights of those who feel that the Democratic Party has betrayed them, nor does it address another significant problem--that in this country, there is a realistic fear that an ignorant, dishonest, corporate-owned, Constitution-bashing, war-mongering puppet could actually be re-elected. That so many people voted for him in the first place is terrifying. That so many will vote for him again is a sure sign that America is a very scary place.

As for me, I will never again vote for a ticket of two white males, no matter what is at stake. It is the 21st Century, and two white males do not represent America, nor can they ever pretend to.

Monday, February 23, 2004

Let the name-calling begin!! Today, Secretary of Education Rod Paige called the NEA a "terrorist organization." Okay, if the teachers' union is a terrorist organization, what does that make Paige, who shamelessly cooked the books in Texas (and was somehow permitted to be a cabinet member)? Where I come from, it makes him a liar and a fraud.

And speaking of No Child Left Behind, one of the White House's great unfunded mandates, what about the fact that Bush, who ran as the "education president" and took credit for Texas's education reform, actually did everything in his power to block the reform? If you think that is outrageous, how about this? During the 2000 election, the news media didn't even bother to check Bush's record, or they would have ended up calling him a world-class liar about education. Which he is.

I have yet to hear of the NEA's committing random and unpredictable violence. But I know we have a president who not only can't pronounce the word "terrorism," but who also hasn't done anything to prevent it. I can sleep at night, knowing the NEA is nearby, but when I remember that I live in a country in which the executive branch wages unnecessary war and strips its citizens of civil liberties--then the nightmares begin.

Friday, February 20, 2004

It makes sense that members of an opppressed class would be sympathetic toward members of another oppressed class, but that often isn't the case. Take, for example, Jesse Jackson, who made it clear in a recent speech about marriage between persons of the same gender that "In my culture, marriage is a man-woman relationship."

Well, Jesse, in a whole lot of people's culture, black folks are supposed to be cleaning houses, sweeping floors after hours and definitely not marrying white folks. We call this attitude bigotry, in case you haven't heard.

Jackson isn't as bad as Colin Powell, though, who--in his rhetoric arguing against the inclusion of gay citizens in the military--used the exact words that were used decades before to exclude blacks from the military. When questioned about his argument, his response was that blacks don't have a choice about their race.

This is a ridiculous argument. Not only can thousands of gay people tell you that they always knew they were gay, even as children, there is the additional question: Why would someone get up one morning and make a decision that he would choose to be discriminated against, called names, and be a potential victim of violence for the rest of his life?

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Today is a sad day for America: Howard Dean has withdrawn from the race for the Democratic nomination. Though my first choice has always been Dennis Kucinich, Dean was a top-top second with me. Here is a man who dared to say things straight, without wrapping them in TV news show-acceptable double-speak. He has always been against the phony war in Iraq, has always been a proponent for health care for everyone, and has refused to get sucked into stupid arguments over wedge issues.

The news media called him angry. This is a bad thing? I'm furious, myself. Furious that an ignorant, morally-deficient puppet manipulated his way into the White House. Furious that he has done everything in his power to destroy the environment, civil liberties, medical progress, public information, the economy, and our standing in the world. Who in her right mind wouldn't be angry?

The news media called his proposals vague, and said he had nothing to offer outside of his opposition to the war. That is ridiculous. He had a detailed platform that covered everything from the economy to education to health care. He went over it again and again.

The corporate media worked in collusion with an ignorant and lazy public to knock Dean out of the race. Americans will get what they deserve--either another four years of betrayal and destruction, or four years of corporate-wrapped cowardice.

Some choice.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

George W. Bush's resume: identity theory says it better than I ever could.

Friday, February 13, 2004

So now we have a career Republican endorsing a Republican-sympathizing senator to run against a Republican.

Retired General Wesley Clark has spent most of his life as a Republican, and though he claims to be a somewhat liberal Democrat, he conversion came late, and he has yet to really explain it. He is endorsing former liberal John Kerry, who--it bears repeating--voted for:

Tax cuts for the wealthy
No Child Left Behind
The Patriot Act
The Iraq War Resolution

This isn't to say there aren't distinctions between Bush and Kerry: Kerry is intelligent, knowledgable, and not known to be part of PNAC and its subgroups. In the past, he has supported civil rights, gay rights (though as I write this, he is suggesting he might vote for "some form" of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage), and women's rights, and he has an excellent environmental record. But he has clearly given up his liberal values and has gone along with the White House in creating its most dangerous programs.

It's starting to look as though--on the big issues--the only thing the Republican Party has to fear is being outdone by Republicans who call themselves Democrats.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Should the goal of the Democratic Party be to nominate anyone who can defeat Bush? Many people think so; I am not one of them. It is true that Bush is the worst president of my lifetime (and possibly of all time). He is ignorant, dishonest, amoral and hypocritical. (He is also not the president; Dick Cheney is, but we have to go with the elected office here.)

The reason I don't think this is a worthy goal is because it is the best example I can think of of sticking a Band-Aid on cancer. The Democratic Party has become so committed to pretending to have Republican ideals that...well, now it has Republican ideals. Clinton, who was never that liberal to begin with, abandoned many liberal principles in order to gain a second term. Look around at your own senator or congressperson: The chances are enormous that s/he voted for the tax cuts, No Child Left Behind, the Iraq War Resolution and the Patiot Act. "Liberal" John Kerry did.

If the Democratic Party had espoused Democratic ideals in 2000, Bush would not have wound up in the White House. If the Democratic Party had thought of--duh--hauling out Bush's record as governor of Texas and forcing the news media to deal with it, Bush would not be in the White House.

When Howard Dean (who is not that liberal, either, but who makes up for it by being authentic) said he didn't want to turn the campaign into a discussion of "God, gays and guns," he hit on the exact tone needed by the party. Instead, the other Democratic candidates crawl around on the floor, hoping to find some rhetorical crumbs that will get them through question-and-answer sessions about gay marriage, the Second Amendment and the very personal subject of religion. Kerry has even gone so far as to say he would "consider" voting for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage--the most disgusting thing to yet come out of his mouth.

An incompetent president, corruption in the highest places, lies from the White House, an unnecessary war, out-of-control spending, loss of jobs, a health care crisis, an educational crisis, the destruction of the environment, the erosion of civil liberties...these are pretty good issues, it seems to me. But if you talk too much about them, you may look like you're criticizing the president and the Republican Party. Well, we wouldn't want that.

What Democratic Party?

Monday, February 09, 2004

While Democrats are preoccupied with nominating candidates without having a clue what they stand for, and while the nation is preoccupied with Janet Jackson's breast, something (else) very sinister is going on in Iowa: Federal subpoenas have been served on Drake University anti-war activists who attended a forum in November.

There was also a subpoena issued to the university itself, ordering the administration to turn over records of the local chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, which sponsored the forum.

This is your Patriot Act at work. The Patriot Act for which John Kerry voted. The Patriot Act that has since been expanded to become beyond Orwellian.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Which of following things was never said or done?

a. Clinton saying he tried marijuana but didn't inhale

b. Gore saying he invented the Internet

c. Dean screaming at the top of his lungs while people looked on stunned

If you answered "all of the above," you are correct.

Clinton said he experimented with marijuana but had trouble inhaling, which is totally different from what was attributed to him in the misquote.

Gore said he was one of the people who pioneered the use of the Internet for the non-educational community; he was indeed.

Dean's spirited speech to his supporters in Iowa was given while he was using a hand-held microphone with all background noise filtered out. The result was that it sounded as though he were in a frenzied one-man show. The reality was totally different.

In all three cases, the lies or distortions were repeated (and continue to be repeated) by anchorpeople, reporters, newspaper and magazine columnists, and guests on TV talk shows. Some of the most "respected" political correspondents in America have passed on these inaccuracies, and now they are part of what people consider "the truth." In each case, the subject was hurt badly.

Why does this happen? One answer is laziness and ignorance. Paying reporters and anchorpeople hundreds of thousands of dollars does not guarantee that they will do their job, and their bosses don't seem to mind at all. Also, the American people have a tendency to believe anything they hear on television, and are loathe to do research. Finally--and especially in the case of Howard Dean--the intent of corporate-owned news media (you know, the "liberal" media) is to destroy anyone who threatens the system.

It is a wonder that anyone with an ounce of integrity or progressive intent even runs for office anymore, so vicious and fast-spreading are the stupid lies that become national legends.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Here are some things that Congress has chosen not to investigate:

The mysterious events involving the "surprise" attacks of September 11, 2001

The ease with which cheating can be accomplished with touch-pad voting machines

The Patriot Act--prior to passing it

The relationship among the Project for a New American Century, key members of the White House and the very early decision to attack Iraq

The news media's right-out-in-the-open campaign to destroy Howard Dean's candidacy with lies, character assasination and manipulation of video

If you're disgusted with Congress because of this shocking lack of attention to the nation's most crucial business, I have good news for you: Congress has decided to investigate Janet Jackson's right breast. So rest easy...the people you elected to represent you are on the job, protecting the republic.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Until a few years ago, I admired Senator John Kerry. He has been consistent in his fights for civil rights, women's rights and the environment. But then something went wrong: He voted for No Child Left Behind, the ironically-named Patriot Act, and the Iraq war resolution--three of the worst ideas to be presented to Congress in the last decade.

He voted for these bills when he should have been shouting at the top of his lungs that they would destroy the idea of a free and progressive America.

Now he is the front-runner in the race for the Democratic Party nomination. He is being rewarded by Democrats for his support of the White House.

And in case we don't get the message that he is part of that White House gestalt, he is running a Bush-like testosterone-fueled image campaign. Kerry on a motorcycle, Kerry on the hockey rink, Kerry killing some animals, Kerry in the Vietnam jungles.

At a time when America should be doing its best to support the candidacy of women and minorities, it is madly in love with "manly" white men. They can hunt, they can kill, they can do sports--America can kick your butt. Hurray for America, testosterone headquarters of the world.

Kerry is a bigger disappointment every day.