Thursday, June 26, 2003

Remember this Date:June 26, 2003: the day that sodomy laws were struck down. The Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling struck down the Texas statute barring sodomy saying that constitutional protections for sexual privacy is for all. As some scholars have noted, this puts such silly prohibitions on gay marriage on very shaky ground. Of course the far right is saying that, well, Sodom is just around the corner. Oh please. What this ruling is saying is that gays and lesbians have a right to privacy and not have the state sticking its nose in what is private. This is a conservative ruling in that the state is limited from peeking into the lives of people, espcially their love life. It is interesting that four of the six justices that voted in favor were appointed by Republican presidents. A spokesman for the Family Resource Council grumbled about that and says we need more "strict constructionists" who don't engage in "social engineering." Huh. It's not like the far right doesn't engage in social engineering of its own. And is allowing people to have the right to sexual privacy an act in social engineering or is it saying that even those who don't fit into societal norms should be allowed the same respect as anyone else?

Next stop, gay marriage.

Monday, June 23, 2003

Venom doesn't Sell:David Brooks is one of my favorite writers and he hasn't failed this time. He hits it on the nail that the Democrats seem to be cracking under pressure. If they keep this up they won't have a shot in 2004.

Friday, June 20, 2003

This Time It's not Personal:I was listening to Minnesota Public Radio where two columnists from the St Paul Pioneer Press were chatting about the visit from the President yesterday. One columnist who leans conservative, gave a more balanced perpsective of the President and his handling of the economy. The other one, who leaned liberal was boorish, calling the visit a campaign visit. There was no balance from him. He sounded pretty sure of himself and that just turned me off. I turned down the volumn after that.

I think one of the reasons that liberalism is in decline here in America is because it is no longer the working man's ideology. But not anymore. It still claims to care about workers, but in many ways they don't act that way. Also, they seem to think that they can just run on their history. Case in point was the 2002 Senator's race in Minnesota. Paul Wellstone had died tragically in a plane crash and Walter Mondale stepped up to the plate. In the one debate with the GOP candidate, Norm Coleman, Mondale was mean to Coleman painting as a waterboy to extremist Republicans and touting the fact that he was in the Senate before and would get senority. He did not paint a picture for the future, just shared the past. Coleman, on the other hand, was gracious to the former Vice President and reminded people he wanted to "change the tone of the Senate." Coleman won because he came accross as pleasant and respectful. Mondale lost because he could not offer a plan and relied on the Democrat's history.

Meanwhile, liberals have also seemed to stop really caring about the lives of working class Americans. Yes, they talk about them and unions support them, but the ruling leaders of the Democrats come are upper middle class and no longer speak the language of the working person. The reason that the GOP is making in roads with the common man even though their policies don't reflect that is that they present a more common demeanor. The reason Bush is so popular, is because he presents himself as the common man. People like him. Bill Clinton understood this as well. I do wonder if the people running for President get that.

What's also interesting is how personal liberals are taking this election. It's not that it shouldn't be, but all this hatred of Bush can't be good. Simply saying to the electorate that one hates Bush is not going to put a Dem in the White House. They have to present a vision. What is their version of America? You can hate W. all you want, but people want to know WHY they are voting for someone.

Of course these are all the musings of a Republican.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Go North, Young Man: Well, if you are gay or lesbian and want to get hitched, how about a nice trip to Montreal? According to this story Canada will become the third nation in the world to allow gays to have the same marriage rights as hetrosexual couples do. Of course, the radical right will go crazy about this and will talk about the Sodom of the North and all that. But that will not be the case. Gays simply want to freedom to marry just like straights, no more, no less. Hopefully with this example of gay marriage taking place right at our doorstep, maybe we can start seeing some action take place here in the states.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Counting the Cost: I remember watching the historical miniseries on the New York City a couple of years ago. It talked about a fire that took place in a crowded sweatshop. The owners did not leave many exits and many of the workers, mostly women, were burned or fell to their deaths. As a result, new workplace laws were passed to ensure that such a tragedy would never happen again. David Broder writes about Grover Nordquist's plan to keep pushing for tax cuts. Of course tax cuts sound good and sometimes they are needed. The right wing of the GOP has used a good tool to support their ends of getting government out of things government should be concerned about. If taxes are repeatedly cut, we stand lose more government services that affect everybody. We may not like our money going to welfare cheats, but what about to making sure that our workplaces are safe? Or would we like that the food that we eat is no longer inspected by the government? Do we care that there is a Centers for Disease Control that is on the frontline on emerging diseases and against any biological terror threat? We may get our tax cut, but it will come at a grave cost. Of course the right wing won't tell you that, though. They will tell you that you can have your cake and eat it too. But as Reagan once said, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Understanding the NeoCons or NeoCons on the Run: There is good article in this weeks' Newsweek that helps explain the mind of the leading neocons like Paul Wolfowitz. Being a moderate Republican who champions the alliance building approach to foreign policy, it is hard to see this thinking as benign. It seems that the neocons have this high view of creating democracy and not realizing the tough work that needs to be done. Also, while the neocons can pat themselves on the back for dispatching such a brutal regime as was Saddam's you have to wonder how important human rights really are for neocons. They claim the human rights are important and scorn those who want to take a more cautious approach. Then why have they been so silent on the killing taking place in the Congo? It has been estimated that maybe 3 million have died in the fighting that has taken place. Why are they not shaking their fists about this?

Monday, June 16, 2003

The People Are Speaking: I either love or hate William Safire. Today, I like him. Take a gander at this column about the big media sellout that happened when Michael Powell bowed to the likes of Rupert Murdoch and the vociferous reaction. People on the left and right have come together to take action to stop this power grab. It is nice to know that people still care enough to get involved in politics, because sometimes, politics does matter.

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Still Here: Sorry that I haven't been posting as much lately. Things have been busy here, but I'm still around. Just a reminder, you can contact me a

Friday, June 06, 2003

Old Liberals vs. New Liberals: This is really a bad time for the Dems to be acting like their party's mascot. At a time you'd think they'd be united behind beating Bush, they are sniping among themselves. The Washington Post has an interesting story a meeting of constituents from the party's liberal wing. They are not only attacking Bush, but the more centrist Democratic Leadership Council. It's interesting when people talk about liberalism, because the liberalism of people like FDR or Truman seems very different from the liberalism of today. For one thing, when you thought of liberalism, it was based on the working class. It was more of the common man. They were main street America. Today, liberalism has come to represent people mostly from the upper middle class who are more educated and seem to look down on working class. Somehow the modern liberals want to link their heritage to the old liberals but the two are very different. If you want to read about the change in liberalism, read E.J. Dionne's Why Americans Hate Politics.

oops: Okay, it seems the Guardian out of Britain was doing some very sloppy reporting. Wednesday's about Wolfie saying the recently concluded war was about oil was not correct: it took Paul Wolfowitz's quotes out of context. I wondered about this when this bombshell failed to appear in other dailies. Sorry for the mistake.

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Yes, It's About Oil: Remember when the Left was screaming "No blood for Oil" and many people thought this was about imperialism or WMDs or anything else and not about gassing our SUVs? Well Paul Wolfowitz finally let be known that yes, we went into Iraq to take over their oil. No, we were not concered that Saddam had weapons that would destroy American cities, we just wanted to black gold. Heads should roll for this. Blair should not be PM in Britian anymore and Congress should go after the Bushies. This is big.

Smoke 'em if you got em: Now, I have not said much about smoking on these pages. Acutally, I haven't said anything about it. Until now. I want to say from the start, I don't smoke; never have seen the need to. I would also add, that my father was a smoker until 1980 and the result was a heart bypass operation a decade ago. I don't think smoking is healthy and people should be encouraged to quit. However, there is a big difference between encouraging people to quit and shaming them. The anti-tobbaco lobby has made it a point to demonize what was once a pesky habit. People now think they are going to die if the breath tobbaco smoke but they ignore the SUVs that are clogging our highways and affecting the environment. So, it's no suprise that the Suregon General has called for an outright ban. This happens when you make something so evil: of course it has to be banished from the face of the earth. And so we enter a new prohibition, that will likely fail as did the prohibition against liquor 80 years ago. When you make something like liquor or cigarretes forbidden, you only drive up thier mystique, you don't stop smoking or drunkeness.

Yes, tobacco is harmful. However, save making sure children don't use it, once a person is an adult, they must make their own informed decisions. I don't think we should force people to not smoke or not be fat; they have to make that choice knowing the consequences.

There, I spoke my mind. And I don't care if you don't agree.

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