Thursday, November 02, 2006

Virginia Sheriff & Deputies Busted

CNN reports that about 14 people are a part of this deal.

Its pretty simple. The "good guys" confiscate the drugs on the taxpayers dime. Then the "good guys" sell the stuff out the back door.

SOME of the stuff they sell could get confiscated three or four times....thus sold three or four times. Its genius. And the folks getting arrested during all this are eating meals on the Virginia taxpayer.

The ONLY answer for this madness is to STOP THE WAR ON DRUGS. Legalize. Educate. Tax. Cut out the crooks profit margin.

Read a nice article on legalization here.

Plus, read the next article for another "War On" which can't be won.

Americans are so gullible....and as much as I love my own church, I can't help but believe its the churches that are perpetuating this "prohibition" thinking. I've got nothing against saying "hocus pocus" and making all the substance use and abuse go away. But here's the thing: IT AIN'T HAPPENING. And Prohibition proved a FAILURE 70 years ago!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Olbermann's Transcript on Kerry Apology

Here it is along with the video at Crooks and Liars.

My reaction to this is so odd. When Keith gets real like this, I'm amazed at how genuinely shocked and nervous I feel...for him...for myself...for America.

And then I think about how Rush and Hannity and Coulter have been ranting freely for years in subjective, one-sided spin zones, calling out Clinton and the libruls.

But it feels different, doesn't it? There's just this overwhelming sense that this government of Cheney, Rummy and Bush won't tolerate Olbermann's courage.

As to the Kerry issue, here's what he said, and without question ALL he did wrong was leave out ONE TWO-LETTER WORD in his statement. You can even see him look down at his notes at this very time, seemingly a bit lost. Now watch what the missing two-letter word does to his speech:

Leading up to the actual sentence, here's what happened, to quote Olbermann:

With bitter humor, he told the students that he had been in Texas the day before, that President Bush used to live in that state, but that now he lives in the state of denial.

So we have Texas, Bush's home state, and he's now in the "state of denial". Then follows the infamous quote:

"if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you can get stuck in Iraq."

Now add the one word: US. US. As in WE. You can get US stuck in Iraq, Mr. President. Alternatively he could have said "America". "If you don't, you can get America stuck in Iraq".

Kerry was talking about a President who has gotten by on anything and everything but studying. On anything and everything but making himself aware of the issues, of the cultural and religious realities of the Middle East. On anything and everything but the history of that region and why it will NEVER be a democracy.

But he left out one word. Now he's been forced to apologize.

Let me ask one question as food for thought:

How many misguided or mistaken quotes do we remember from the Vietnam War? How many politicians are remembered for one sentence they uttered concerning soldiers or marines or sailors or the Presidency during that war? None.

Yet how DOES history remember that war? Remembers it loud and clear.

Even if this quote of Kerry's does keep the Republicans in power, it won't be remembered. It is this war that will be remembered by the next generations. This will be especially true when the next generation of terrorists attempt over and over to strike us again...because perhaps of the parents or siblings they lost in Iraq in the early years of this century.

(If you or a loved one is in the military and you think I am slamming you, I hope you will take my word that you are mistaken. Just as I love the mentors in my life who fought in Vietnam, I will love you. You have done your job as you were trained, professionally and nobly. You have no power over the politics of the cause or the psychology of Islamic freak jobs. Hear this: Just as the "War on Drugs" can't be "won", neither can the "War on Terror". Israel is about as big as a New England state, and if a nutjob wants to strap a bomb on himself and push the button, there's not a damn thing they can do about it. No more than the police can stop every cocaine deal. Only human psychology and education can fight drugs, and the same is true of fundamentalism and violence. As soon as they stop believing in the 50 virgins, and start believing that their real life sex drive is normal, they will stop. We must find a way to further that message.)

Here are my predictions for the elections:

The Democrats will gain no more than 15 seats. In the Senate, the Republicans will definitely keep the majority.

And I say it doesn't matter much either way. The Bush Administration runs this country, and Nancy Pelosi is ill-equipped, if equipped at all, to fight the true problems this administration has created.

In is too late. Our scars from Iraq, our place in the world, our deficit, and our polarization nationwide are all embedded now. We will see no improvement in any of these for at least ten years.

My Dad is 68. He is approaching a stage in his life that is very reflective. Three times now in the past couple of months, he has said, "I don't know what my grandchildren are going to face, but they will not live in the world that I knew. We threw away our super-power status, and they will live in a third-world country."

The thing he is saddest about, I can tell, is that he is powerless to change it, and guilty that he is leaving them behind to face it. He is so focused on this, I think, that each time he doesn't remember that he's already said these things to me out loud.

I feel guilty about it too. I voted for Bush in 2000.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

CNN Profiles "Hell House"

I wish I could link to this, but the feature is not on their site at this time.

The Hell House they visit is in Plainview, TX, and its rife with high budget horror costumes and special effects.

Its also rife with different "sin" rooms. The first one, for example, shows a demon leading a gay marriage. He says that being gay leads to death by AIDS and an eternity in hell. Apparently it didn't get any better from there.

To say the least, this disturbs me, a Christian. Obviously there are a world of things wrong with this, but I just want to cover one particular question I have:

If they scare these people into "accepting Christ" on the basis that they will get to avoid hell, is that really a Gospel principle, as the pastor claims in the piece?

Did Jesus really say He wanted us to follow Him for the purpose of staying out of hell? Certainly Jesus said there would be a judgement. But I'm not sure He gave this as the REASON to follow Him.

The Gospels don't report that Simon and Andrew or James and John followed Jesus after He said, "Follow me or I'll strike you dead"....or even "Follow me and I'll give you mansions in heaven". Jesus just said "Follow me". Or "Follow me and I'll make you fishers of men".

Seems to me if I follow Him because I'm only interested in avoiding punishment or gaining heavenly rewards, then I'm missing the whole point of the very selflessness He taught.

I suppose it is easier to get a 12 year-old to walk down the aisle if you appeal to their emotions, especially if you show them a visual of them burning in hell because they drank a beer.

But I honestly don't see a whole lot of difference between this and converting someone to Islam by the sword in the middle ages. A person converts for all the wrong reasons. And a person, for the rest of their life, perceives God as a maniacal dealer of fiery death to 80% of all the people He ever created.

You may not believe in God.

I may not believe in a God who burns 80% of His creation.

But you and I should both realize that some things are real whether we believe them or not. So God could certainly turn out to be the Being that some fundamentalists believe He is.

If that be the case, I hope you live in the Southern United States and dropped by a Hell House or a Tent Revival at some point in your life, and then repeated the correct words they taught you.

If you are one of the other 4 billion people who haven't heard it explained in that particular theology, (or if, like me, you disagree with that theology, even though we've experienced Fear Evangelism), then I don't know what will happen to us.

As for me, I depend on the true grace of God to be infinitely greater than these people believe it to be. And I depend on Jesus' death and resurrection to be accomplished for infinitely more of God's creation than these folks dream.

George Allen Hasn't a Novel Idea

How pitiful is George Allen?

First he initiates this make-believe controversy about Webb's novel being Triple-X rated.

Now Anderson Cooper at CNN is reporting that its all Allen is talking about at every opportunity. Apparently this is because Allen is sucking in the demographic of women voters.

Why does this man think women are that weak minded that they would change their vote due to FICTION?

I can see men being that stupid WAY before women. Hell, women love fiction. My own mother, and there is no more conservative, loves her Danielle Steele and Harold Robbins and James Joyce. My mother would never get one of those authors' creativity mixed up with the reality of the people they are.

As a matter of fact I think she would, if she lived in Virginia, be thinking right now...."That's all George Allen has got? This close to the election?"

The interesting thing to me is that the public polls released by the media don't show him to be losing so bad as to panic with this kind of strategy. Either he has polls that we don't know about, or he and his advisors are plumb stupid.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Voting Machines

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but during the last presidential election I began to get suspicious about the Diebold voting machines and how easy it would be to rig an election.

Now there's another angle on this. News broke yesterday that a California company is being investigated for connections to Venezuela and their menacing little dictator.

I wonder if there's been a poll on this? I wonder if Americans favor automating elections to the point that one bright programmer could choose the winner?

Now I've got a strong feeling that people are already screwing with electronic results...or at least fondling or heavy petting them. But won't it be funny when all this comes to fruition in about 2008? Can't you see Diebold "closely watching" the blue states, while Chavez puts it to the reds? Here's Wolf Blitzer on election night: "Well, contrary to our exit polls, it appears that Mississippi has gone for Hillary Clinton and Barrack O'Bama, while New Jersey has solidly gone for Jeb Bush and Bill Frist."

Is this not just another example of our lethargy? What would have to happen in this country to make people say, "hey...wait a minute"? Could Dick Cheney hold a press conference today and say,

"Thank you for joining us today, ladies and gentleman. I won't take any questions, but I want to lay out a few changes we will instigate in future elections, beginning immediately. This will save the taxpayers billions and will allow all of America to openly observe the process, exclusively on Fox.

"On the first Tuesday in November, we will invite a select group of citizens to Rootenpoot, Arkansas. These will be Americans who will go through the same fair and balanced selection process that we use to admit people to appearances by President Bush.

"We will subsequently have Bill O'Reilly as a guest moderator. He will verbally call the name of each candidate, and then say, 'All in favor, say Aye'. Mr. O'Reilly will then respond with 'The Ayes have it', and our great country will have its next generation of leadership.

"If you have any questions about the minor details of the process, tune in to Sean Hannity tonight, and he will tell you why its the only way to go. Thank you and good night."

Many thanks to Mark Rayner and The Carnival of Satire.
To those of you who found BTH in this issue, I hope you'll look around and leave some comments.

More White Women in the Senate Race

This time the white woman isn't
an actress pretending to chat up Harold Ford in a racist campaign ad.

This time it is Ford's opponent's daughter in a liplock, featured in her Facebook page.

In case the story becomes subscription only after today, I'll quote the high points written by Wendi Thomas:

But will the conservatives who believe homosexuality to be an abomination be turned off by the same-sex exploration of Corker's college-age daughter?

Will Corker's base question his parenting skills, given that he didn't teach his teenage daughter not to share her kissy-face moments on the Web with the world, especially not when daddy is trying to run a conservative campaign?

Although Junior could get plenty of mileage out of Julia's indiscretion, he's chosen not to. His camp, on the high road alone, won't mention Julia's kiss in any ads.

"Harold Ford is not going to attack Bob Corker's family," Ford campaign adviser Robert Sepucha said Friday.

For its part, Corker's staff says Julia was acting "silly."

The sexual orientation or legal sexual activities of the candidate or his family don't matter -- unless you've been courting the vote of people who oppose same-sex marriage and all things gay and lesbian. Then they do.

It was gutsy of Thomas to cover this story. Some will say it was the liberal media doing the Ford campaign's dirty work for them.

But I don't think so. Read my same sentiments in the Bill O'Reilly story.

This story is the same paradox. People who are going to vote for Corker are just like those who pay O'Reilly to give speeches. These things can easily be rationalized or justified, as long as the candidate promises to legislate morality for OTHER people, or the radio host promises to preach morality to the masses.

Yes, chances are this is a heterosexual girl doing things that turn hetero guys on. But here's what this Facebook photo proves to me:

No matter what the "law" says, these "morals" that make fundies come out and vote for Republicans are behaviors and lifestyles that WILL NOT go away. Just as sure as there's no stopping two blondes from kissing in a bar to get attention...whether its legal or not.

So why not cast your vote on the basis of who will manage our economy, our foreign relations, our security, and other traditional government roles, rather than solely on the basis of gay marriage and abortion?

I just don't understand it.