Friday, April 29, 2005

All Right, It's ON

Warning - I may lapse into swear words in the post. Can't say how angry I'll get as I write.

There's a piece at Raw Story published on Wednesday. It talks about how Republicans re-wrote the descriptions of some Democrat-proposed amendments to a bill.
"At least five amendments to this bill, which were designed to protect the rights of family members and innocent bystanders from prosecution under this bill, were rewritten as amendments designed to protect sexual predators from prosecution and were then included in the committee report as if that was the original intent of the authors. The thing is, sexual predators were not mentioned anywhere in any of these amendments. I asked the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee about this deception yesterday afternoon at the Rules Committee hearing.

"And instead of decrying what I certainly expected would be revealed as a mistake by an overzealous staffer...The Chairman stood by those altered
amendment descriptions.

"He made very clear to the Rules Committee that the alterations to these members' amendments were deliberate. When pressed as to why his committee staff took such an unprecedented action, the Chairman immediately offered up his own anger over the manner in which Democrats had chosen to debate and oppose this unfortunate piece of legislation we have before us today.

"In fact...He said, and I quote..."You don't like what we wrote about your amendments, and we don't like what you said about our bill."
Here's what this bill does - it makes damn sure that a minor who wants an abortion needs parental consent. In case you don't know how I feel about this, I personally do not believe that an unborn fetus is yet a viable life, and aborting a pregnancy does not, in my mind amount to murder in any way, shape, or form. Killing babies? Murder. Killing unborn fetuses? Not Murder.

So, if I hear of a MINOR who has become pregnant that wishes to have an abortion, my usual first thought is, "Good for her. She understands that she's too young to take on that kind of responsibility". Because having a baby is a responsibility, and even if you intend on giving birth and then giving the baby away, I know all too well that hormones are a stone cold bitch, and the experience changes you forever. Aborting a pregnancy is not the easy way out, it takes a different kind of toll, but a newly made person isn't then around to also have to suffer from the mistake. Some people can handle having a child, some people can give a child away. Some people can't. People who know that they're in the "can't" category do not earn scorn from me, but rather respect for recognizing the facts.

There are people who disagree with me. I understand and respect that, too. I would never force someone to have an abortion. Not if it went against their morals, if their conscience couldn't allow it. But people who would take that right away, well that pisses me off.

That's how I read these types of laws, you see, as controls over kids who would defy parents. Why require parental permission if you weren't assuming that in most cases it would be denied? If that girl - and remember, we're talking about girls, here, not yet 18 - wants to terminate her pregnancy, that says to me that it does not go against her conscience to do so. Does it go against the beliefs of her parents? Perhaps. But guess what? Their little girl is pregnant. That probably goes against their beliefs, as well.

I'm going to set aside the rape scenarios, here, because I can't fathom the concept of someone who would want to force a girl to bear a child begotten by violence. Yes, I understand that even in that situation there are those who would choose to continue with the pregnancy and have the child, and that's their right. Those who would not choose that path need to be able to take the other route legally without molestation. Period.

Lets go back to the scenario where a female under the age of 18 has had sex willingly, and has become pregnant. This female realizes that she does not want to become a mother at this time. I feel that making her do so is an unbelievable imposition. In fact, imposition seems to mild of a word to use. Punishment? Damnation? Curse? Motherhood is serious, and forcing it on unwilling young females is recklessly cruel. My rights stop where yours begin, and so it follows that the rights of the parents to impose religious restrictions upon their daughters stops where her body being forced into becoming a breeding ground begins.

So these amendments that were proposed, they were intended to protect parties who aided a pregnant minor by transporting them across state lines for the purpose of getting an abortion - whether they're a knowing party or not. If the bill passes as written, a parent of one of these girls could sue the taxi driver who drove the girl to her destination. That is beyond ridiculous. There's no protection for grandparents, or siblings, or cousins. This is a ridiculous open door for the litigious.

And how, pray tell were these amendment descriptions re-written? They all mention that the amendments would protect sexual predators, when they would do NO SUCH THING! There's no mention of sexual predators in these amendments. These re-writes are bold-faced lies, created by people who favor the idea of a parent being able to force their child into childbearing.

I cannot stand this idea. If this bill passes, if it goes through, I want teenage girls who would be affected by it to know - you can go ahead and call me. I'll drive you across state lines, threat of a lawsuit or not. No one should force you to become a mother against your will, and I'm willing to stand up and fight for you. It's on.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Good Points

Today Mahablog has an excellent point about calling a spade a spade. In doing so, you are not insulting the shovels or the trowels.

I noticed that both Maha and Shakespeare's Sister are quoting Al Gore today. I went and read the speech SS recommended. It's a good read.

Employment Opportunity

Today I have been informed that I should apply for this job.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

I Think It's Politics as Usual

A friend pointed out this article to me:

Probe reveals Vatican priest's clandestine past
(note - why isn't this headline capitalized properly?)
An investigation into communist-era persecution of the Roman Catholic church in Poland turned up documents showing that the Rev. Konrad Stanislaw Hejmo, a Dominican, "was a secret collaborator of the Polish secret services under the names of Hejnal and Dominik," said Leon Kieres, head of the state-run National Remembrance Institute that investigated Nazi and communist crimes in Poland.

Hejmo’s Dominican superior, the Rev. Maciej Zieba, said he saw the files, which he termed "convincing and shocking."
No surprise to me. Maybe there are some people out there who think that priests are incorruptible, but those folks also believe that I'm going to hell, so I could care less about them. Unless they try and *send* me to hell, I guess, but I digress. People are people, and people like money and power. I personally believe that the whole concept of the confessional was set up so that the Church could have secrets to use against kings.

The idea that a priest was acting as a spy surprises me not at all. The fact that someone discovered it while he's still alive, well, that does.

Killing Me Softly

I work in Information Technology. I work for a big company. We have a whole department that deals with viruses and their removal from our environment.

Today, one of the guys in that department sent me an email about this hoax. Not about the hoax, just the actual hoax email, as he believed it.

Is that irony? It might be irony.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Older Than Dirt

But not older than rock art!

Experts put date to UK rock art
Experts have dated the UK's oldest rock art, at Creswell Crags in the midlands, to more than 12,800 years ago
Hey! I bet that REALLY pisses off the people who are so sure that the earth was created 6,000 years ago!

Who am I kidding. They'll just say that those rocks were created fully formed in a state that mimics what would have occurred during natural aging, and that the earth is young, young, young. Because religion is magic!

If I Was Laura...

I'd be pissed!

Hat tip Shakespeare's Sister and Running Scared:

Is This Really A Good Time For Bush To Look Buddy-Buddy With The Saudis?

Buddy-Buddy? That photo couldn't be more romantic if it were Brad and Angelina.

How in the world can the man justify holding hands with a foreign dignitary? They're not on a Sunday jaunt around the gardens for pleasure's sake. They're supposed to be discussing the serious business of oil production affecting the world economy, not how pretty the bluebells are this year. Poor choice of photo op.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Once Again, I'm Thrown

Syria is keeping their promise to withdraw from Lebanon.

Syria Intelligence Quits Lebanon HQ After 29 Years
ANJAR, Lebanon (Reuters) - Syrian intelligence quit its Lebanese headquarters in the border town of Anjar on Monday, virtually completing a pullout of Syrian forces from Lebanon and ending Damascus' 29-year domination.
Now, mind you, I do not know what this means for the area, I simply can't read it. Will it be a time of Lebanese unity, or will there be unrest caused simply by the idea that things are changing? Will the newly liberated Lebanese government continue along the lines it's been travelling, or will new and surprising revelations be made? I have no idea.

Strangest of all is the fact that I can't seem to recall the last time I heard news like this - news of a country making a military promise and then fulfilling it within the time period allotted. If you had asked me a few months ago what countries, under duress, could be counted on to behave like rational adults and not cause chaotic misery, I don't think that I would have come up with Syria right off the bat.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Template, Schmemplate

OK, making a whole new template from scratch was hard, and I'm lazy. Instead, I've come up with this re-colored, used-my-own-banner-version! Yay!

Joint Chiefs of Staff News

Jersey Blogging, National blogging, I got it all rolled up into one, today.
President Bush has nominated Marine General Peter Pace (He's originally from NJ, according to the bio) to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Not sure how I feel about it yet, all I remember is him on TV when the war was still "on", talking about how awfully Saddam's troops were behaving. That sounded true enough to me.

I can't say that I know much more about him yet than the bio that I've linked to. At least, though, as he is currently Vice Chairman, this nomination doesn't seem completely out of left field to me.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Ratzinger, Nazi

I get a ridiculously small number of hits each day. It's enough to make a girl feel unwanted. So, along with all you people who search for "Para Bailar la Bamba", I'd like to welcome all of you who got here through the "Ratzinger, Nazi" search.

Thanks, Barry, for the tip!

I'm still wasting all my time on a template. I may throw something that's only slightly different from this up tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

No Comment

Today, I am working on designing my own template. It's time. While my current template, designed by Jeffrey Zeldman is indeed quite lovely, the fact is that he designed it, not me. I can do this, and by now I really should have. Hope it doesn't take me weeks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Different Sides of the Same Coin

I suddenly realized that I'm not spending enough time reading Anne Coutler's web site. This morning on the radio, I heard the DJ say that she brought "intelligence and wit" to the conservative political forum.

"What?", I thought, "I thought she brought unfair exaggerations and cruel remarks about killing people for disagreeing with her. Maybe I haven't been paying close enough attention!"

So, I went over to and read what's up on the ol' front page. Jackpot - it's a piece about people throwing pies at her!

Late in the column, we find these wise words:
What might work better is some form of disincentive to liberals who engage in violent behavior whenever they hear an idea they don't like but can't come up with words to dispute.
My goodness, that's certainly right! People should not resort to violence! I'm with her! Except that I'd already read the paragraphs leading up to that one, like say, this bit:
Unfortunately for them, Republican men don't react favorably to two "Deliverance" boys trying to sucker-punch a 110-pound female in a skirt and heels. The geniuses ended up with bloody noses and broken bones.
- or this bit:
In the five months following the liberal ass-whupping in Arizona — I mean "fact-driven debate"
Ah, I see now. I've learned 2 things from this Anne Coulter piece:
  1. Anne Coulter is really, really proud about how skinny she is, otherwise I can't see why she'd mention it. I mean, would it be more fair to throw pies at a heavier woman, or a big, strong Republican male who could bat away the pie as if it were the merest gnat? Is a pie a dangerous weapon when thrown at such a skinny woman, because if any got in her mouth, her pencil skirt might suddenly burst? Why is her size important?
  2. Violence is wrong if it's being used against conservatives, but just fine - funny, even - if it's used in retaliation against men armed with LIFE THREATENING PIES!

Protesting the Old-Fashioned Way a college.

Saw this at The Opinion Mill.

Tent State University

I think I'll stop by later today, you know, before I go vote in the Annual NJ School Board Elections.

It's in Public, Silly

Bloggers are not writing in diaries and keeping them in their desks. Well, maybe they are, but what I mean to say is that blogs are forums that are published in a place where anyone in all the public world with an internet connection might read them. It is not a private place.

When the Blogger Blogs, Can the Employer Intervene
As the practice of blogging has spread, employees like Mr. Kennedy are coming to the realization that corporations, which spend millions of dollars protecting their brands, are under no particular obligation to tolerate threats, real or perceived, from the activities of people who become identified with those brands, even if it is on their personal Web sites.

They are also learning that the law offers no special protections for blogging - certainly no more than for any other off-duty activity.
Of course not. If I were to write a letter to the editor of my local newspaper about how my project at work was going, and I talk trash, would I expect to keep my job? Why would I ever think that? Publishing your name, address, and employer, and then talking about the inner workings of your workplace is ill-advised. It can harm your company - the people who *pay* you - and probably will.

Yes, I suppose there's the concept that you can blog anonymously, but that's very tricky. Somewhere, someone will know who you are, and if the kind of things you're discussing are illegal, that person will be obliged to give you up, if confronted.

You work somewhere with conditions so bad that you feel they must be exposed publicly, and you feel it's your duty to do so? Fine. Do it. But do not expect to keep that job when it all comes out.

I do not talk about my work on my blog. You know why? Because I have the best job in the whole wide world, and I want to keep it.

Monday, April 18, 2005

In My Email Today

From MSNBC News Headlines:

"Cardinals hold special Mass
Roman Catholic cardinals held a solemn Mass praying for divine inspiration on Monday, preparing to lock themselves away from the world to elect a successor to Pope John Paul II."
"The new pope has already been chosen by the Lord. We just have to pray to understand who he is," Florence Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, considered by some to be a dark-horse candidate, told believers who gathered for Sunday Mass at his titular church in Rome.
Wow. I think this is the only time in recent memory that I actually believe that someone means divine inspiration when they say that. They're actually trying to listen to God! For real!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Too Lazy to Make My Own

Too lazy to make my own post, I'm hijacking one from Running Scared:

Avi and Russel - a love story

Jazz talks about an Israeli couple who have gone to Canada to marry. They state their intent of having Israel recognize their marriage. Jazz says:
I don't know if they will face an easier time than here in the current Christo-fascist climate in America, or a harder time. Perhaps some of our Jewish authors/readers can help me out there. I really have no idea what the prevailing view of gays and lesbians is in Israel. I sort of have the impression that most of the homophobic trends in religion came from the old testament... Leviticus and that crowd. Then again, I could be totally off base. Perhaps they embrace a far more tolerant society there than we currently have in the U.S.
Now, I've got me a bona-fide B.A. in Hebraic Studies, I do, so I answered in a comment:
Ooh, I suspect they'll have a real stone bitch of a time. The laws in Israel, unlike the laws here, really *are* Old Testament based. I mean, people aren't putting out each other's eyes for stealing goats, but there's a serious religious base, and it's on purpose. If these two gentlemen manage to get their status changed, I'll be really surprised.

Jews don't spend a lot of time talking about sin and punishment because the emphasis is that punishment for sins against man is given out by man, and punishment for sins against G-d (I had a really hard time deciding how to write that) will be given out by G-d, but you know that the Orthodox feel that we're on earth to "be fruitful and multiply". Homosexuality doesn't fit in with that agenda.
Personally, I think that if 2 men or 2 women want to get married, they should go on ahead. It doesn't hurt anyone for these people to be happy. This is a prime example of a reason why I call myself a bad Jew - I know all the rules, but I just can't follow them. Can't, or won't, but definitely don't. And yet, I know that I'm Jewish, I guess I should cut all the non-dogmatic people out there who call themselves Catholic a break, huh?

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Recovering Economy

Reading an article on MSNBC about trendier items at Walmart, and I came across this paragraph (emphasis mine):
Unlike Wal-Mart, whose core customer still hasn't benefited from a recovering economy, Target is less vulnerable to consumers' financial constraints; it attracts a more upscale customer while keeping its budget shoppers.
Now, I've been working on a budget. A real budget, and I've been analyzing everything that I spend in a fashion that I've rarely done before. I compare it to costs, and to how much of a raise I got this year (less than cost of living, despite a good review). Gasoline is now 10% of my monthly salary. Milk is more than twice as expensive as nutritionless soda. Fresh foods are wickedly pricey when compared to frozen crap that I refuse to eat. When discussing how I am now making more and yet getting/having less, I asked, "How can this be?". My answer was, "Perhaps the economy's crap".

Are we really recovering?

RIght to Laugh My Butt Off

(Hat tip Mike over at Running Scared)

Terri Schiavo's parents have agreed to sell their list of supporters to a direct-mailing firm.


Right to life - in solicitation hell!

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Party Time!

Happy second blogiversary, Running Scared. We loved you even before you let us join in your reindeer games.

It's Almost Enough... make me think of becoming a Republican.

(via Atrios)
Erosion of Estate Tax Is a Lesson in Politics

Washington has been changing the estate tax. Heck, Republicans want to eliminate it. They speak of "death taxes" and equal treatment for "paupers and billionaires". Well, here's the thing - The portion of an estate exempted from taxation this year is 1.5 million dollars. Next year it goes to 2 million. Now, as things stand, my father's estate isn't anywhere near this. But hey, dad's not an old man, yet, he's got plenty of years to live. What if he takes his comfy nest egg and hits it big with one of his investments? Wouldn't I then want the amount exempted raised to 3.5 million dollars, or even eliminated, as proposed? Because, you know, as much as I love him, I understand that everyone eventually dies, and then, well... kaching!

Do you know me at all? Because if you do, then you know that my answer is "of course not". As much as I feel that tug in my gut that says "Hey, your dad made that money, now it should be yours - OK, mine and my sister's, I know better. I still seem to be one of the few people who keeps saying out loud that we need ACTUAL money to pay for the running of the country, and the rich are the ones who can afford to give it out. This money must come from somewhere, why not those who aren't subject to poverty without that certain percentage? If at some crazy point in the future, I was to find myself actually rich, I would understand that this comes with taxes to match, because I am not a spoiled child who wants to have all the benefits with none of the hard work.

Wait - that came out wrong, seeing as I do actually want all of the benefits with none of the hard work. I want it, but I understand that life does not work that way. If it did, I'd also be able to shoot lightning out of my fingertips and be able to communicate telepathically with animals.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Bolton, National Review, Vocabulary

Or, another chapter in the "What is Tami Reading Today?" primer.

There's an interesting article at the National Review, today, about how Bolton is not as unsuited to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. "OK", I thought, "I'll give that a read". And might I say, I don't know what kind of people read the National Review, but apparently they remember more SAT words than I do. I had to look up both "gravamen" and "vitiates".

The article is by Rich Lowry, and he makes a few solid points. Bolton has indeed been involved in many activities that involved more than one country:
In his current job as undersecretary of state for arms control, he worked on the Moscow Treaty, which codified steep reductions in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals. He was instrumental in the passage of U.N. Resolution 1540, urging countries to crack down on WMD proliferation. He was central in the creation of the Proliferation Security Initiative, a multilateral effort to block the transfer of WMDs. He was the lead U.S. negotiator in the creation of the G-8 Global Partnership Against the Proliferation of WMD, an attempt to secure Russian WMD materials. Just how multilateral can one guy get?
I was reading without that angry red color clouding my vision, the article seemed to be presenting its point fairly well, so I kept reading. Well, I did take exception to the line "This attitude is the international version of the old definition of a liberal as someone who won't take his own side in a fight". That was a bit of a cheap shot. But more or less the article makes a decent argument. Then, of course, I got to the part that didn't ring as true with me.
The second is that Bolton's multilateralism is always in the service of advancing Bush's foreign policy. Since Democrats oppose that foreign policy, they pretend Bolton rejects international cooperation altogether. His version of multilateralism vitiates what for many Democrats should be its chief purpose — frustrating Bush goals abroad. Alas, John Bolton is determined to be Bush's ambassador to the U.N., rather than the other way around, making him the kind of diplomat the Democrats just can't abide.
I do indeed oppose most of Bush's foreign policies, I do. I feel that they smack of superiority complexes and imperialistic goals. To me, advancing these policies *is* rejecting international cooperation. Has Lowry heard some of the things that Rice has said? Does he think that she never really made those comments, or that no one else in the administration echoed the sentiment?

So, as I interpret it, Bolton's version of multilateralism is painted with the brush that builds nations and assumes that the U.S. should be in charge. Isn't having a version of multilateralism that actually translates to "making others play the way we want them to" exactly what we're complaining about?

I don't think that I'm not on my own side if I feel that the U.S. should be working as a member of the U.N. instead of the eldest son and heir.

Friday, April 8, 2005

When You Least Expect It

I never thought that this kind of thing would come out of the Pope's dying - seems that this morning (last night, today, whatever), that the leaders of Syria and Iran forgot to act like crazy separatists and treated Israeli President Moshe Katsav like a fellow human being. And he did it back!
"I told him 'Good morning' and he shook my hand," Katsav, who holds a largely ceremonial post as head of state, told Israel's Channel 2 TV on his encounter with Assad. The Israeli and Syrian delegations had been seated next to each other.

Iranian-born Katsav said he spoke in his native Farsi to Khatami about their common city of birth. Iran officially seeks Israel's destruction.

"The president of Iran extended his hand to me, I shook it and told him in Farsi, 'May peace be upon you'," said Katsav.
Good behavior seen at a solemn occasion? Do you think it might catch on?

Friday Not Pet Blogging at ALL

Sure, sure, they're burying the pope, but I was just over at Cynical Nation, and he's pointed out a really funny headline (if you're an American, at least).

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Things That Make You Say, "What?"

This morning on my ride into work, I was listening to New Jersey 101.5. "But Tami," you may ask, "why?". Well, I usually listen to WPLJ, but this morning they were playing a "phone scam", and I hate those. It bothers the hell out of me when a radio show will call someone just to trick them, and I hate that people find that funny. I understand situational humor, and if I was watching that kind of scenario in a sitcom, I'd probably laugh along with everyone else. When I know that the outraged person isn't in on it, though, when I know that they're really *feeling* that anger, and not just pretending for comedic effect, well, it makes me feel all squirmy inside.

So, I switched to the classic rock station, because the iPod wasn't hooked up (and this reminds me that I left it in the car. Now I have to go down to the garage and get it, nuts), but they were playing commercials, and i have a short attention span. So, I flipped over to 101.5. I listen to them fairly often, knowing that almost always I will disagree with whatever host is on the air, but hearing discussions on local issues is never a bad thing, right? I figure I must be getting something out of it.

Today Jim Gearhart was talking about illegal immigrants, and the fact that banks are now working with the IRS to give mortgage loans to illegal immigrants (also here).

I was cool with this, I hadn't heard about the topic before, and I'm not really sure where I stand on the whole illegal immigration thing. Like everything else, I find that I'm a shade of grey. I'm against people coming here illegally and living without ID so that they can fade into the background and never get caught in their drug trafficking business. I'm against the person who lives here without papers because they committed a terrible crime in another country, even if they're harming no one now that they're here. I'm *not* against people who flee a bad situation the only way that they know how, because getting papers is almost impossible for them in their native lands, if those people enter into the immigration process upon arrival. Or even if they don't, out of fear, I'm still not against them if they're just people seeking a better life. And I'm sure there's a million levels of people in between the extremes, and I'd only give my opinion on them case-by-case. You can't lump people into a giant block like that, it's almost never true.

I was surprised how little the host was saying to contribute to the conversation. It was as if the callers were filling him in on stuff he'd never heard before. That was pretty surprising. I learned a lot of the stuff I know about this by watching cop shows and movies. Does no one watch TV any more?

OK, complete and total derailment (if you want to keep your train of thought, skip this): a woman in her 60's told me that her husband had tried to help out by doing the laundry, but had mixed the colors and the whites, and now all of his underwear was a lovely blush pink. He's in his 60's! Did the man never watch a sitcom in his whole life?! Surely Peter Brady should have taught him that lesson 30 years ago! How the &*!#$^ hell did this woman never show her husband how to separate laundry - EVER - in the 40-some years they've been married?!

Back to the show. Callers were calling in, talking about how they know people who had jobs where they paid taxes, but couldn't get refunds because they were illegals, how some illegals become legals, how our economy would crash without illegals, because they do jobs that other people don't want, and finally, I was close to work, so I listened to one last call.

It was a caller talking about how much money the hospitals of New Jersey have to put out yearly to care for illegal immigrants. He claimed it was projected at $200,000,000 for this year. He stated that illegals are paying taxes, but those taxes aren't being used to pay for the services that they use (now that I'm thinking about it, this isn't making a lot of sense). He finished up with the line, "The government is getting fat".

Jim Gearhart ended the call with his response, "Yeah, but who's the government? It used to be us."

What? What the hell does that mean?

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Rational Measures

We all know that terrible things are going on in Darfur. I would venture to say that the majority of us would be glad to hear that the acts of genocide being committed had stopped, and that an entire race of people is no longer being systematically wiped out. I would venture even further to say that there's a goodly number of people who want something done about it. But what? Send over the military? That doesn't seem like such a keen idea ever since we got so bogged down in Iraq that we're beginning to understand that we're there for the long haul. So, without violence, what's a country to do?

Withhold other things. There's a bill sponsored by senators Corzine, Brownback, Dodd, Durbin, Feingold, Lieberman, Talent, Dewine, and Coburn that proposes doing exactly that. It includes things like an extension on the arms embargo (yes, we should STOP SENDING MORE WEAPONS), and sanctions against people performing these atrocities. Sanctions against people, against a government, not violence against innocent citizens. These are the kind of steps that should be taken before violence is resorted to. Sometimes they even work.

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Probably Unnecessary

You know, everyone's writing about the pope. He was in every single mainstream newspaper in existence, yesterday. OK, I didn't confirm that, but I'd take the bet, if it was offered. So really, there's no need for me to blog about it. The thing is, I was having an email conversation with a friend, and I really felt like I managed to capture my feelings about the whole thing really well. You know how sometimes you write something, and then you look at it, and you think, "Yes, that's exactly what I meant to say"? Well, that's how I feel about the following paragraph.

...Me, well, you know that I like to take everyone individually, and look at them as a person. To me the pope appeared to be a really constant guy who honestly believed that he was bringing the word of God to people. While he was a complete bastard to women who wanted some kind of control over their bodies and homosexuals - a *complete*, unfeeling bastard - he was in fact simply acting in the way that he thought God wanted him to. He may have trampled all over people's rights, but when it came to the sanctity of life, he meant it with every fiber of his being. He would never support violence or war, and that was a good thing. So no, I can never "like" a pope, simply because I feel that Catholicism itself is a dominating, unfriendly force that does little good in the world. But John Paul II the guy? I could probably work with him on feeding the poor or something.

Monday, April 4, 2005

I'm Not Needed Here

There has been a bill introduced to "limit the jurisdiction of Federal courts in certain cases and promote federalism".
Constitution Restoration Act of 2005 - Amends the Federal judicial code to prohibit the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal district courts from exercising jurisdiction over any matter in which relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government or an officer or agent of such government concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government.

Prohibits a court of the United States from relying upon any law, policy, or other action of a foreign state or international organization in interpreting and applying the Constitution, other than English constitutional and common law up to the time of adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
...up to the time of adoption of the U.S. Constitution. Anyone else have a problem with ignoring 200 years of experience when making laws?

Anyway, as I've said in my title, I don't even need to write about this. All I have to do is point you towards Brilliant at Breakfast and Digby. They say everything that I would want to.

Friday, April 1, 2005

I'm a Joiner

I'd like to point out that I'm not angry with Wonkette for being cute and famous, but I do think that a
panel "to discuss the meanings of the words "journalist" and "blogger" and whether the two are different things or one and the same
should include some serious bloggers, and *no* fake journalists. In light of this, I've added my name to the list of signatures on this letter, found at The Agonist.

The Gentleman from New Jersey

(an article emailed to me by Tata)
Go, Frank!

Sen. Lautenberg rebukes DeLay over Schiavo remarks
Our nation’s judges must be concerned for their safety and security when they are asked to make difficult decisions every day. That’s why comments like those you made are not only irresponsible, but downright dangerous. To make matters worse, is it appropriate to make threats directed at specific Federal and state judges?
Damn skippy, it's inappropriate!

Friday, I'm all about the animals

It’s no joke: Even animals "laugh"
Studies by various groups suggest monkeys, dogs and even rats love a good laugh. People, meanwhile, have been laughing since before they could talk.
Elephants talk, rats laugh. How cool is science?

I truly love animals. Pets give us unconditional love and companionship, and cows are absolutely delicious.