Friday, April 28, 2006

Republican family values

Republican County Constable Larry Dale Floyd was arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with an 8-year old girl. Floyd has repeatedly won elections for Denton County, Texas, constable.

Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich pleaded no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.

Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins pleaded guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.

Republican campaign worker Mark Seidensticker is a convicted child molester.

Republican Mayor Philip Giordano is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8- and 10-year old girls.

Republican Mayor John Gosek was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.

Republican County Commissioner David Swartz pleaded guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

Republican legislator Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.

Republican Committeeman John R. Curtain was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth is a convicted child rapist in Florida.

Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader and Lutheran church president Dennis L. Rader pleaded guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.

Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.

Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.

Republican pastor Mike Hintz, whom George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.

Republican legislator Peter Dibble pleaded no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

Republican advertising consultant Carey Lee Cramer was charged with molesting his 9-year old step-daughter after including her in an anti-Gore television commercial.

Republican activist Lawrence E. King, Jr. organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

Republican Congressman Donald “Buz” Lukens was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.

Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.

Republican activist Mark A. Grethen convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

Republican activist Randal David Ankeney pleaded guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.

Republican Congressman Dan Crane had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.

Republican activist and Christian Coalition leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.

Republican Judge Ronald C. Kline was placed under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography.

Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.

Republican Committee Chairman Jeffrey Patti was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

Republican activist Marty Glickman (a.k.a. “Republican Marty”), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD.

Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.

Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway was accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.

Republican preacher Stephen White, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

Republican talk show host Jon Matthews pleaded guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.

Republican anti-gay activist Earl “Butch” Kimmerling was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

Republican Party leader Paul Ingram pleaded guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

Republican election board official Kevin Coan was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.

Republican politician Andrew Buhr was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.

Republican politician Keith Westmoreland was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt was found guilty of molesting a 15-year old girl.

Republican County Councilman Keola Childs pleaded guilty to molesting a male child.

Republican activist John Butler was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

Republican candidate Richard Gardner admitted to molesting his two daughters.

Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.

Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. pleaded no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.

Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

Republican city councilman Mark Harris, who is described as a “good military man” and “church goer,” was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

Republican director of the “Young Republican Federation” Nicholas Elizondo molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Republican president of the New York City Housing Development Corp. Russell Harding pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer.

Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen Sr., was found guilty of raping a 15-year old girl. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.

Republican Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the rape of children in Iraqi prisons in order to humiliate their parents into providing information about the anti-American insurgency. See excerpt of one prisoner’s report here and his full report here.

I am not about to claim that there are no Democrats with skeltons in their closet, but then again Democrats don't strut around claiming to be morally superior.

In their defense: Bill Clinton's Penis

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Howard Dean on Wolf Blitzer

DEAN: We had an enormous opportunity, when this president took office, and he said he was going to reach out to Latin America. Instead, he has turned them off. He's been high-handed with them; he's rejected them.

He's ignored the economic plight of their folks. And so, we're getting something that I think most Americans wish we didn't have, which is left-leading regimes in these places. We need a president who will work constructively and cooperatively with our allies around the world so that we really can move capitalism and democracy further into the world and not turn off people. When you turn people off, as the most powerful nation in the world, they are obviously going to do something that is not in our best interest. And that's exactly what's going on right now.

BLITZER: Getting back to the war in Iraq, you were highly quoted when you suggested -- I guess it must be about a month or so ago, that the war was really not winnable any longer. Later you clarified your remarks.

But in the aftermath of the elections, which seem to have been pretty smoothly run -- lots of violence still unfolding in Iraq -- there are plenty of people that say it's still winnable if certain things take place.

Where do you stand on the winnability, if there is such a word, of the war in Iraq?

DEAN: Wolf, I laid out a strategy that I thought would make the war on terror winnable. We need to win the war on terror. We have to protect ourselves. The question is, do we have the kind of leadership in Washington that's going to allow that?

There is a plan put together by Lawrence Corb and a fellow by the name of Bruce Cotulis, who -- Lawrence Cord was in the Reagan administration. It's a plan that I think makes a great deal of sense. It's a moderate plan, calls for strategic redeployment of our troops. While we're removing them from Iraq, we're keeping some in the region to fight the terrorism that the president's invasion of Iraq has spawned in Iraq.

That's a sensible plan for defending America. Right now we have a lot of happy talk. We have some, frankly, folks who aren't treating our troops properly, not arming them and equipping them properly. That doesn't give me confidence about the leadership in this White House.

Wow. Talk about dangerously unhinged. From my point of view that is a perfectly reasonable, and valid, critique of current foriegn policy matters. But enough with opinion, How does Howard deal with facts?

Let's watch

hahahaha. You tell'em Howard.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wisconsin PASSES open source requirement for electronic voting

As background, this legislation was introduced by Democrat Mark Pocan, but the Wisconsin legislature is republican controlled. Nonetheless, the vote was 91-4 in the assembly and 29-2 in the senate. You can read the full text of the legislation here, but some important nuggets:

"If a municipality uses an electronic voting systm for voting at any election, the municpal clerk shall provide any person, upon request, at the expense of the municipality, the coding for the software that the municipality uses to operate the system and tally the votes cast."

As Milly Watt has diaried at Dailykos, Diebold is fighting similar legislation in North Carolina and we may yet face a similar attempt here in the land o' cheese.

Additionally, the previous verification requirement has been strengthened from merely providing a receipt, to requiring that an actual paper ballot to be printed:

"If the device consists of an electronic voting machine, it generates a complete paper ballot showing all votes cast by each elector that is visually verifiable by the elector before the elector leaves the machine and that enables a manual count or recount of each vote cast by the elector."

Hat tip to my new favorite local blog Badger Blues for the story.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Wake Up Call

"When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun?"
- The Clash

Craig Paul Roberts' latest column is unforgiving. This is not the voice of a liberal. This is a libertarian-leaning conservative (an actual conservative, not a neo-con).

One of his many excellent points:

Why is the Justice Department investigating the leak of Bush’s illegal activity instead of the illegal activity committed by Bush? Is the purpose to stonewall Congress’ investigation of Bush’s illegal spying? By announcing a Justice Department investigation, the Bush administration positions itself to decline to respond to Congress on the grounds that it would compromise its own investigation into national security matters.

Anyone who has ever watched a Scotty McClellan press conference knows the refrain: "We do not comment on ongoing investigations". And anyone who is paying attention also knows that's bullshit. They comment when it suits them and then claim that they don't comment when it doesn't.

It is nearly time to put up or shut up. As Howrd Dean says: "voting is the bare minimum, voting is not enough". You have two choices: Fight to save America or prepare a eulogy for the great democratic experiment.

We MUST demand investigations. We MUST demand accountability. We MUST demand the rule of law.


Update: MSNBC has a poll online. Currently running 86% in favor of impeachment.

Friday, December 30, 2005

For What Ails Ya

Ask your doctor about panexa

Bushwellian: Crime is not crime. Talking about crime is a crime.

In the Treasongate scandal, Judith Miller went to jail (and her employer backed her up) stating that reporters had a right to protect their sources. Problem was, the purpose of sheild laws are to protect government whistleblowers from retribution, not to protect the government officials who commit treason. It's really that simple.

Today the Justice Department annouced that they would investigate the story that the president has knowingly and willfully violated the constitution. They won't be looking into the impeachable abuse of power (and in fact that is congress' oversight role), but rather they are going after the whistleblower who told the press. Of course, they only decided to do this when it became clear that a growing number of Americans, on all sides of the political spectrum, believe the president has committed an impeachable offense. So rather than to the right thing and resign, the president has decided to try and change the subject.

The president told the editors of the NYT not to publish the story when they first got wind of it (before the 2004 presidential elections) and they complied (shameful in it's own right) So apparently this administration was aware of the leak over a year ago, and yet they didn't pursue any sort of investigation until it became an issue of self defense (and not national security as the admin is trying to claim).

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Quotes to Ponder

George W. Bush :
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

United States Constitution (Amendment 4):
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Russ Feingold (D-WI) :
"If he needs a wiretap, the authority is already there -- the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act, they can ask for a warrant to do that, and even if there's an emergency situation, they can go for 72 hours as long as they give notice at the end of 72 hours."

George W. Bush :
"I have re-authorized this program [to wiretap without a warrent] more than 30 times, I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups."

United States Constitution (Article II, Section 4):
The President, Vice President and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

Tom Delay (R-TX) (12/10/1998):
"This nation sits at a crossroads. One direction points to the higher road of the rule of law. Sometimes hard, sometimes unpleasant, this path relies on truth, justice and the rigorous application of the principle that no man is above the law. Now, the other road is the path of least resistance. This is where we start making exceptions to our laws based on poll numbers and spin control. This is when we pitch the law completely overboard when the mood fits us, when we ignore the facts in order to cover up the truth. No man is above the law, and no man is below the law. That's the principle that we all hold very dear in this untry."

Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) (12/11/1998):
"I suggest impeachment is like beauty: apparently in the eye of the beholder. But I hold a different view. And it's not a vengeful one, it's not vindictive, and it's not craven. It's just a concern for the Constitution and a high respect for the rule of law. ... as a lawyer and a legislator for most of my very long life, I have a particular reverence for our legal system. It protects the innocent, it punishes the guilty, it defends the powerless, it guards freedom, it summons the noblest instincts of the human spirit. The rule of law protects you and it protects me from the midnight fire on our roof or the 3 a.m. knock on our door."

Chuck Hagel (R-NE) (2/12/1999):
"There can be no shading of right and wrong. The complicated currents that have coursed through this impeachment process are many. But after stripping away the underbrush of legal technicalities and nuance, I find that the President abused his sacred power by lying and obstructing justice. How can parents instill values and morality in their children? How can educators teach our children? How can the rule of law for every American be applied equally if we have two standards of justice in America--one for the powerful and the other for the rest of us?"

Bill Frist (R-TN) (12/10/1998) :
"I will have no part in the creation of a constitutional double-standard to benefit the President. He is not above the law. If an ordinary citizen committed these crimes, he would go to jail."

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) (12/10/1998) :
"When someone is elected president, they receive the greatest gift possible from the American people, their trust. To violate that trust is to raise questions about fitness for office. My constituents often remind me that if anyone else in a position of authority -- for example, a business executive, a military officer of a professional educator -- had acted as the evidence indicates the president did, their career would be over. The rules under which President Nixon would have been tried for impeachment had he not resigned contain this statement: "The office of the president is such that it calls for a higher level of conduct than the average citizen in the United States."

James Sensenbrenner: (R-WI) (12/10/1998):
"What is on trial here is the truth and the rule of law. Our failure to bring the President to account for his lying under oath and preventing the courts from administering equal justice under law, will cause a cancer to be present in our society for generations. I want those parents who ask me the questions, to be able to tell their children that even if you are president of the United States, if you lie when sworn "to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth," you will face the consequences of that action, even when you don't accept the responsibility for them."


n 1: an expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction [syn: lip service] 2: insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Terrorist Threat and the PATRIOT Act

Today's lead editorial in the Wall Street Urinal basically makes the claim that democrats hate America and will rejoice alongside terrorists if the current filibuster (led by Russ Feingold) prevents the PATRIOT Act from being renewed.

Aside from being patently rediculous, I would like to take issue with the statement that
"This ... strategy looks like an attempt to appease their vocal left-wing base that seems to think terrorism is a minor threat, while also dodging any responsibility for killing the Act as they head into next year's elections."

Factcheck time.

Number of deaths from various causes in the US in 2001:
Heart disease 699,697
Cancer 553,251
Diabetes 71,252
Alzheimer's 53,679
Suicide 29,423
Homicide (not counting terrorism) 16,748
Terrorism 2,979

Of course there was a remarkable upswing in terrorism related deaths in 2001. So lets look at the bigger picture.

Causes of death in the US per year, averaged over an 11-year period (1990-2001):
Auto accidents 42,000
Homicide 20,000
Weather-related 611
Fall from a ladder 317
Fall/drown in bathtub 312
Terrorism 287*

(*The terrorism figure includes the 2979 deaths on 9/11/01 and the 186 deaths in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. When these two events are excluded, the figure drops to 0.8 deaths per year.)

As a percentage of total deaths in the US for the years 1990-2001 terrorism comes in at 0.0001% And this doesn't even take into consideration the fact that the vast majority of Americans don't live anywhere near what could potentially be considered a realistic terrorism target. For them, the terrorist threat drops all the way down to non-existent.

If thats not a minor threat, what is?

But why let the facts get in the way of good old fashioned right wing fear mongering? They can't win elections without it: terrorism, homosexuals, and coming to a campaign near you in 2006: illegal immigrants.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Is it just me, or is this disturbing?

According to today's Wisconsin State Journal, the preeminant local news radio station has sold naming rights to it's newsroom to a bank:

Beginning Jan. 1, the WIBA newsroom will be called the Amcore Bank News Center.

"This simply means they get 'name branding' with the description of the news center on air," confirmed Jeff Tyler, vice president of Clear Channel Radio-Madison, which owns WIBA-AM 1310 and FM 101.5. "What listeners will hear on air is something like, 'Now from the Amcore Bank News Center, here's WIBA's Jennifer Miller.'• "

What listeners of course won't hear is "stop that investigative reporting into predatory lending practices or you can kiss the (undisclosed amount of money) goodbye."
Tyler and Amcore would not divulge what was paid for naming rights. But Tyler said "there are many examples of this in broadcasting and in other industries, from stadiums to business schools." Clear Channel Milwaukee's WISN-AM 1130 sold its newsroom naming rights to Pyramax Bank last year.

I was not aware of WISN's prostitution, but I don't live in Milwaukee. But just the fact that Clear Channel is telling me not to worry, makes me worry.

In a society that is increasingly becoming a coporatocracy, it is bad enough that most people get their news from profit driven corporations, but this move shreds what little indepentent journalistic integrity the fourth estate had left.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

CNN grants veto power to Senators

CNN was probably referring to Russ Feingold's threatened filibuster, but you would expect professional journalists to know the difference. This may be what Atrios calls "journamalism"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sammy sammy bo-bammy banana-fana-fo-fammy me-mi-mo-mammy SCALITO!

I have not yet written anything about this guy, but the news just keeps getting worse. So here goes.

First of all, this guy is a right wing extremist judicial activist. How do I know? George W. Bush appointed him.

Dubya only appoints cronies or right wing whackjobs - his preference of course is that they are both (like FEMA's Michael 'heckovajob brownie' Brown). But since his appointment of crony Harriet Miers was derailed by the extreme right because she was not extreme enough, he realized that he had to appoint a serious nutjob to appease them. (Just because Harriet Miers was a lawyer for 27 years, president of the Dallas Bar Association, and the president of the Texas Bar Association that doesn't mean she knows anything about the constitution, or law for that matter, at least that's the best I can make of the wingnut's smear campaign.) So under extreme pressure from MAnn Coulter, Harriet Miers withdrew her nomination before she got to have her upperdown vote

Enter Sam man.

So what do we know about this guy?

For one thing, he has read the constitution, at least selectively. For another, he wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. (Alito defends his statements as that of someone trying to get a job - so either he lied on his application, or he is lying now). He also doesn't have a problem with police strip searching 10 year old girls with no just cause or warrant. In fact, he doesn't seem to be a big fan of the constitutional protection from 'unreasonable search and seizure' at all. Or maybe he skipped that part of the constitution. It also appears that he dislikes women and minorities but loves the notion of an aristocratic ruling class - how else do you explain including membership in an organization dedicated tokeeping women and minorities out of Princeton on your resume? (Samuel Alito explains it by denying he was in it, so either he is lying about not being in it, or he was lying about being in it when he put it on his resume.)

Even though I personally, along with the majority of Americans, find all of the positions listed above to be repulsive, those of us in the reality-based community realize that the current administration has no intention of nominating anyone for a seat on the SCOTUS who doesn't regard civil and privacy rights with disdain. But his opinions on these issues, no matter how controversial, do not automatically disqualify him from a seat on the bench.

What disqualifies him is his utter lack of ethics.

He lies.

To congress.

Here is the specific testimony during Alioto's 1990 confirmation hearings (page 43):

Q: Explain how you will resolve any potential conflict of interest, including the procedure you will follow in determining these areas of concern. Identify the categories of litigation and financial arrangements that are likely to present potential conflicts-of-interest during your initial service in the position to which you have been nominated.

A: I would adhere to the applicable standards for disqualifications, including Canon 3C of the Code of Judicial Conduct, 18 U.S.C. 207, and related regulations. I would dhere [sic] to Canon 5 to minimize the risk of future conflicts. I do not believe that conflicts of interest relating to my financial interests are likely to arise. I would, however, disqualify myself from any cases involving the Vanguard companies, the brokerage firm of Smith Barney, or the First Federal Savings & Loan of Rochester, New York. I would disqualify myself from any case involving my sister's law firm, Carpenter, Bennett & Morrissey, of Newark, New Jersey. I would disqualify myself from any case in which I participated or that was under my supervision in the United States Attorney's Office or in any prior position.

You can read the code of conduct yourself at the United States Federal Courts website but in a nutshell judges may not hear cases in which they have either personal knowledge of the disputed facts, a personal bias concerning a party to the case, earlier involvement in the case as a lawyer, or a financial interest in any party or subject matter of the case.

From reuters...
When Alito became a federal appeals court judge in 1990, he promised to recuse himself from cases involving Vanguard mutual funds, because he had personal investments through the company. Yet he participated in a case decided in 2002 involving Vanguard.

Even in the often murky gray world of law and ethics, that is pretty clearly a violation of the Judicial Code of Ethics. Alito's defenders are quick to point out that he was not legally required to recuse himself. That is completely true, and completely irrelevant in that Samuel Alito had specifically stated he would recuse himself from cases involving Vanguard when he was being confirmed.

But this was not an isolated incident.
According to Newsday...

In 1996, Alito ... failed to step aside from an appeal in a case that involved Smith Barney Inc., a brokerage firm through which he also has long invested, say legal records and his financial disclosure reports examined by Newsday.

Alito had also specifically identified cases involving Smith Barney as among those from which he would recuse himself.

Three strikes, you're out:
From the Boston Globe...
Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., who said in 1990 that he would disqualify himself from cases involving his sister's law firm, was a member of an appeals court that reviewed a 1995 case in which his sister's firm represented one of the parties, according to court records.

The code of ethics clearly mentions "personal bias concerning a party to the case". If you don't have a bias toward your sister, you don't have a pulse. But even more troubling is that once again, Alito had specifically stated during his confirmation hearings that he would recuse himself from cases involving his sister's law firm. And once again, he did not.

Clearly Senators would be wise not to believe anything Samuel Alito says during the confirmation hearings, as he has a documented history of lying to get a job.

To be clear, I am not claiming the cases were wrongly decided, I lack the specifics of the cases to make that assertion but it is irrelevant to the discussion at hand. On a lower court, if one of the parties feels as though the judge was biased and should have recused himself and did not, that party has an avenue to have their concerns addressed via the appeal process.

Parties arguing before the SCOTUS have no such recourse. It is therefore critical that any SCOTUS nominee has shown ethical behavior beyond reproach. Samuel Alito fails this test miserably and is therefore unfit to serve on the nation's highest court.

(Update: The Rude One has a slightly different argument for opposing Alito.)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Intelligent Design

I guess I am a little late to the party, but better late than never. The theory of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) actually makes as much sense as Intelligent Design Creationism does to me. And I am firmly behind their push to have it taught in school districts where IDC is taught as science.

The goal is not to replace evolution or IDC, but to suppliment it, as Bobby Henderson's letter to the Kansas Board of Education explains:

I think we can all look forward to the time when these three theories are given equal time in our science classrooms across the country, and eventually the world; One third time for Intelligent Design, one third time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism, and one third time for logical conjecture based on overwhelming observable evidence.

The church of the FSM also makes a very pursuesive argument for converting:
1) flimsy moral standards
2) every friday is a religious holiday
3) FSM heaven has a stripper factory and a beer volcano

I have been touched by his noodily appendage.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Resigning in Disgrace... With Dignity

Perhaps Tom Delay, or Bill Frist or the "at least half a dozen" congressmen under intense scrutiny by the DoJ should take note. But I seriously doubt any will have the balls to give this sort of mea culpa when they get what's coming. They will go down kicking and screaming about the liberal media, the criminalization of politics or some other BS right wing talking point like the pissy little bitches they are.

For those playing at home, the scorecard can be found here

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Well at Least He's Useful

As opposed to Rush, who is an idiot, and a useless one to boot.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The 'Right to Life' Myth

Anti-abortionists (let's call a spade a spade) make the argument that fetuses have a right to life that is protected in the constitution:

"No person shall be ... deprived of life..." - US Constitution, 5th amendment

That's a pretty selective reading of that amendment. It is obvious, in context, that the intent was to ensure due process to those who have been accused of a crime:

"No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." - US Constitution, 5th amendment

In other words, you can't execute someone without trying them in a court of law first.

You can argue if a fetus is a 'person' if you want and you can argue when life begins if you want, but a more important distinction is that the constitution does not protect a fetus on the simple grounds that a fetus is not a US citizen:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." - US Constitution, 14th amendment

If that isn't self-explanatory, let me point out that a fetus is neither 'born' nor 'naturalized'. (It is interesting that most of the same people who argue that the constitution guarantees fetuses' right to life also argue that 'enemy combatants' have no constitutional right to due process for the simple reason they are not US citzens.)

Also of note is the fact that abortion was NOT illegal in the US until the mid 1800s and not enforced until the 1940s.

So since the constitution does not guarantee fetuses any rights, and since abortion was not banned until well after its ratification, the arguement of 'strict constructionists' that Roe was wrongly decided seems to have little merit.

And just because the constitution does not explicitly state that there is a 'the right to have an abortion', doesn't mean that that right does not exist. The 9th amendment must make strict constructionists' heads explode when they contemplate the paradox. After all, we are only entitled to what is specified in the constitution:

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." - US Constitution, 9th amendment.

So strictly speaking, The constitution explicitly includes in it the right to rights not explicitly included in the constitution.