Friday, June 20, 2008

Alternative Reality Sources???

I'm surprised he doesn't just Talk With Jesus™ about it.

Oh, that's right! He has to be serious with his Big Oil buds. Unlike with his frothing fundy political supporters amongst the electorate, it wouldn't do for him to go counting on teh bible with that bunch.

{rollin'eyes}

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quote of the Year; So Far . .

Coming to a Planet Under You

"Cities routinely build in the flood plain, That's not an act of God; that's an act of City Council."
Kamyar Enshayan, Cedar Falls, Iowa college professor and City Council member
Actually, in the pic above, that already is a planet under us. Click on the pic to get the description.

And watch out for those pesky "parking lots". According to some apparent Bush appointee* at the National Weather Service (3rd paragraph, page 2) one o' those may be all it takes to cause Costner's Bomb** to flood our backyards.

:-)


* ;->

** Don't know why that flick bombed so bad. It sure as shite weren't no Classic, but it was entertaining enough and a gnarly story to boot. Whatevs...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When "McSame" is an Accurate Appelation

No state power is more fearsome than the power to imprison. Hence the habeas right has been at the heart of the centuries-long struggle to constrain governments, a struggle in which the greatest event was the writing of America's Constitution...

George Will
column of June 18, 2008

One of the few Conservative pundits with whom I frequently find myself in agreement has again laid reality out on the page. Sociologically and politically, George Will may not share my belief in the necessity of the State taking responsibility for those of its citizens who can't quite seem to make it in society, but, unlike certain Presidents and their political dopplegangers, he sure as Death and Taxes doesn't believe the government has some Top Secret right to ignore its own raison d'etre.

McCain and the writ of habeas corpus

By GEORGE F. WILL
SYNDICATED COLUMNIST

WASHINGTON -- The day after the Supreme Court ruled that detainees imprisoned at Guantanamo are entitled to seek habeas corpus hearings, John McCain called it "one of the worst decisions in the history of this country." Well.

Does it rank with Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), which concocted a constitutional right, unmentioned in the document, to own slaves and held that black people have no rights that white people are bound to respect?

With Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which affirmed the constitutionality of legally enforced racial segregation? With Korematsu v. United States (1944), which affirmed the wartime right to sweep U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry into concentration camps?

Did McCain's extravagant condemnation of the court's habeas ruling result from his reading the 126 pages of opinions and dissents? More likely, some clever ignoramus convinced him that this decision could make the Supreme Court -- meaning, which candidate would select the best judicial nominees -- a campaign issue.

[Wouldn't you like to be a prisoner too? For your Country, but of course!]


As an appropriate follow-up, Happy 60th Anniversary of the signing of the UN's International Declaration of Human Rights!

A wee li'l relevant addendum.

Friday, June 13, 2008

{Whew!}

By the skin o' their necks, eh.

US Supreme Court Backs Guantánamo Prisoners’ Right to Appeal

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that foreign terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have rights under the Constitution to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

--snip--

The court said not only that the detainees have rights under the Constitution, but that the system the administration has put in place to classify them as enemy combatants and review those decisions is inadequate.

The administration had argued first that the detainees have no rights. But it also contended that the classification and review process was a sufficient substitute for the civilian court hearings that the detainees seek.

In dissent, Chief Justice John Roberts criticized his colleagues for striking down what he called “the most generous set of procedural protections ever afforded aliens detained by this country as enemy combatants.”

[Our Enemies ARE People Too]


All authorities are more effective in the long run when they realize this.

If the Authority isn't getting its job done, it's generally most likely time for the Authority to be replaced. In this Administration's case, it's Long Overdue.

Kudos to the 5 Justices not afraid to be rational in times of trouble.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Philosolophically Speaking...






What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Existentialism

Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.



“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”

--Jean-Paul Sartre



“It is man's natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”

--Blaise Pascal



More info at Arocoun's Wikipedia User Page...


Existentialism


95%

Hedonism


80%

Utilitarianism


80%

Strong Egoism


55%

Kantianism


45%

Nihilism


45%

Justice (Fairness)


40%

Apathy


30%

Divine Command


0%




Yeah, yet again I've gone an' pilfered another blogger's schtick for a post. So sue me.

Or just take the quiz yourself! :-)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Warm Swarm of Advertising

We need stuff. Right? I mean, really!, where's the harm in buyinig a mass produced Tickle Me Elmo for teh wee ones.

It all depends, now. Doesn't it.



Over the last few decades I've quietly wanted to be a less voracious consumer. Even though I'm nowhere near what I'd say is close to meeting that want, I've made some headway. Not much. But I'm getting better at it. My problem is that I've been impoverished; not knowing when my next meal would be. Mostly I've just been middle-class lazy, though. When I've had money, I've spent it.

Live and - hopefully - learn, eh.

This one's going on my sidebar soon.

Thanks go to Michael for his Believe Nothing Day post. LOTS of food for thought in that one.

L8

Monday, June 02, 2008

In This Together?

Shankar, as usual, takes a look at one of the more ironic self-defeating idiosyncrasies of our silly, social species.
When Disadvantages Collide
Monday, June 2, 2008; Page A02

One hundred forty-three years ago, women's suffrage advocate Elizabeth Cady Stanton faced a conundrum: With the Civil War over, Stanton had to decide whether to support the 14th and 15th amendments to the Constitution, which enabled black men to vote -- at a time when white women such as herself still did not have that right.

Stanton decided to oppose the amendments: "As the celestial gate to civil rights is slowly moving on its hinges, it becomes a serious question whether we had better stand aside and see Sambo walk into the kingdom first."

The question of what to do when the interests of two groups that had long suffered discrimination clashed with each other split the feminist movement. In order to gain passage of the 19th Amendment, which in 1920 gave women the right to vote, leading feminists jettisoned issues important to African Americans to win support from women and politicians who would have nothing to do with people of color. Without the support of the racists, the amendment might have failed, said Kimberle Crenshaw, professor of constitutional and civil rights law at Columbia University and UCLA.

There were two ironies in this: Stanton, like many other suffragists, was a passionate abolitionist. And in the years before she made her derogatory remark about "Sambo," abolitionists had treated women in exactly the same manner -- excluding them from equal participation in the movement merely because they were female.

The political alliance that the suffragists built helped pass the 19th Amendment, but it drove a wedge into the women's movement. Over the long term, just as relegating women to second-class citizens weakened the campaign for civil rights, abandoning solidarity with people of color weakened the women's movement.

"At the end of the day, what is winning and what is losing?" asked Crenshaw. "Yes, the 19th Amendment happened, but feminism lost its soul in the process."

--snip--

The real question, with the suffragettes or with those in the current political race, comes down to whether groups that face discrimination focus their disappointment and resentment at discrimination -- or at each other.

[We can either Fight Each Other or Fight the Power but we can't fight both and win anything worth fighting for.]

Much as with the political race being run today between Senators Clinton and Obama I don't see anyone losing any souls here. Just one person slamming another hard enough to make that other look less deserving, in hope of proppin' their own diminishing opportunities.

The Big Stink lately has been Clinton's repeated refs to the assassination of Bobby Kennedy as being only one of the reasons she's maintaining the Fight for the Democratic nomination. Unlike her Bosnian Dream this is hardly a bold-faced lie. In plain fact, it's simple truth; as far as it goes. By making that particular allusion though, Clinton seems to once again cross over the line of Civil discourse and into the realm of pandering to the fears of ignorance.

We don't know what might have happened in the 1970's had Bobby Kennedy not been shot, and while the two men's earliest backgrounds are extremely different, their lives of dedication to helping those far less fortunate than average folk raise themselves up to within sight of the American Dream, make me really hopeful that, in this decade, in our time, we may actually get to see what Might Have Been.

As a white man, you know, one of the Rulers of the World, I don't care if a person is "one of my own" or a diametric opposite of me physiologically. I care that what they do and what they say is in accord with what I hope for my country and my species as a whole.

Hillary Clinton, extraordinary woman and incredibly worthy politico though she be, gives me no such hope.