Thursday, November 18, 2004

Libertarian vs. Neocon

Radley Balko, Cato analyst, Fox New Columnist and libertarian blogger has a great collection of predictions about the Iraq War from the architects of said war and libertarian writers. The first part of the piece is some internal fighting between libertarians, but the quotes about the war compiled is great. It is amazing to me just how wrong (or delusional) the Bush administration was leading up to the war. And the American people rewarded that wrongness with a second term. Amazing.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Mandatory minimums

Here's just the latest example of just how screwed up our courts can be. Legislators really need to correct the problems with mandatory minimums, it is insane how we sentence first time offenders, and non-violent drug offenders. Judges are frustrated because they have no leeway to impose appropriate sentences that fit the crime. Prosecutors could be fair and charge people with lesser crimes, or ones that don't carry mandatory minimums, but then they are seen as "soft on crime", the cardinal sin for politicians. So, to keep their jobs, they prosecute, or offer plea deals, but rarely drop any charges, or amend them to fit a more fair penalty phase.

Accross the board, our policies in the drug war are insane and evil. The property siezures, the huge prison sentences, the anti-drug ads all are draconian responses to an un-winable war. Here in the "land of the free", we lock up more of our citizens than any other country, and around half of those prisoners are non-violent drug offenders. Money quote from the linked article-

"...Angelos, 25, will serve more time than rapists, murderers or airline hijackers -- and won't be eligible for release until he's 70."

For dealing pot and carrying a pistol.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

I'll have a grilled Jesus sandwich, extra Jesus

You've probably seen this story, but I just find it too funny not to mention. The Virgin Mary appeared in a grilled cheese sandwich- Bwahahahahaha! The Blessed Virgin, taking form once again on Earth as a lunch item! Hallelujah! My favorite part of the story is that the person has kept the holy sandwich for 10 years, but decided they wanted to "share it with the world", so they auctioned it on ebay. The highest bid was $22,000.00. God bless America, it's got to be the only country somebody could sell a 10-year-old sandwich for as much as a car.

Friday, November 12, 2004

A voice of reason from, well, Reason

Brian Doherty makes a good case for the lefties to calm the hell down. Money quote-

"Even though Bush only pulled a 3 percent margin over Kerry, the winner-take-all aspect of our two-party system makes people feel, unjustly, that the values of the winner have swept the nation. But that isn't true.
More importantly, these results have little, ultimately, to do with the warp and woof of life as it is lived by actual Americans, as opposed to those who let their minds be violently colonized by TV news and radio and political blogs and magazines. The fact is, most Americans don't know much about public policy—which is ultimately a rational choice for them, not some sin, because most of them don't care that much about it, and usually couldn't do much to affect it on the individual level even if they did. "

Money quote II (after talking about a bunch of fun stuff he did recently)-

"Only in America? I don't know, but in America, yes, whoever is president. We are rich, richer than any people in history. (Yes, even most of our poor.) The possibilities of a joyful life are all around us. I say sincerely to people whose political ideologies I find sometimes horrifying: it's a damn shame to let something like the results of an election ruin your chance to enjoy the myriad possibilities of life—real life, not political life—in these United States."

Screw these people

This whole attitude by some on the left of "If Bush wins, I'm moving out of the country" disgusts me. It's as stupid as the "America- love it or leave it" crowd. Just because the country is moving in a direction you don't personally like, does not mean you should give up on it. The pendulum swings, and one of the great things about our country is that the government is set up to be a self-correcting system. People like Barabara Mitchell just annoy the hell out of me with quotes like this-

""I'm profoundly saddened by the results of the election more than anything," she said from London. "I almost feel like an exile. I feel a disconnection with the vast majority of the geographical citizenship of the United States."

Well sorry Barbara, but that's bullshit. There were millions of Americans in the red states who voted for Kerry, and even ones who didn't share more common values with you than you'd care to admit. Real Americans stay and fight for what they believe in. These people should at least have the intellectual honesty to admit they have a problem with the American system in general. Almost every person in the linked article are planning to move to somewhat socialist countries. Overall, most Americans do not support that kind of government.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A wonderful view of North/South relations

Really, too funny!

Thank god the election is over- now back to what's REALLY important!

I only posted the link to have a reference, but come on! Who really gives a rat's ass about Laci Peterson, Michael Jackson, that Mormon chick, Kobe and Kate Faber, that other Mormon chick, etc. (beside their families of course)?

The fact that the media drools over these stories and gives us daily/hourly updates, dissect it all before charges are even brought, it's all just so... pathetic really. I just don't understand the interest- but maybe it's simply interest created by the media, I don't know. What I do know is that it is NOT NEWS! It is sensational bullshit that distracts the people from important matters. It's easy work for lazy journalists. It's mindless drama for bored housewives. And the "news" covers it more than they cover, say, Social Security reforms, senior drug benefits, the list goes on.

I know, I know, that stuff is BO-RING!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

States rights? Conservatives? I think not...

So, Bush and Ashcroft are appealing Oregon's "Death With Dignity Act". Now, anyone is free to correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Republicans and conservatives supposed to be the big defenders of states rights? That's how they always campaign, yet somehow when elected, the principle changes to "the states should decide for themselves... unless they disagree with our positions".

For example, several states have passed measures legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. Bush and Ashcroft's reaction has been to raid smoke houses, arrest cancer and AIDS patients and trample all over the laws that the states voters passed. Now, Ashcroft is appealing assisted suicide. But the best part is the grounds they are appealing on-

"At issue for the court now would be the bounds of a federal law declaring what drugs doctors may prescribe. Traditionally states, not the federal government, regulate medical practices."

So not only are they trampling on states rights, they are doing so on a technicality! It's the drugs they are worried about! How is this hypocrisy reconciled by the right? I would really like to know, but I am suspicious it would come down to "moral values", ie: life is good, and drugs are bad, mmmmmkay?

Of course, shouldn't that be up to the states to decide, my two-faced, hypocritical, arrogant Republican friends?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Teaching creationism....still?!?

It's amazing to me that this discussion is still going on. I can't believe we are still in a country where people are trying to get belief taught as "science" or a valid theory in 2004. Can't we as a society all agree, there has to be valid evidence for something before it's taught in our schools?

What I would love to see is every religious group sue to have their creation myths all taught with equal time. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, New Agers and voodoo priests all get to have their religions myths get equal time with Christian creationism and evolution. That part of the curriculum could then take a month to get through. Fun!

Not to be an insensitive asshole but....

How come 9/11 victims families receive so much money? I realize it was a unique tragic event, but the victims of say, the Oklahoma City bombing didn't receive this kind of cash (on average $3.1 million per/victim). The money is billions of dollars from government and insurance companies. This is not "free" money, it comes from somewhere, taxes or premiums. I just don't see how the poor survivors of 9/11 are entitled to any more money than the victim of a car jacker. Both people were robbed of their lives by a violent asshole(s); why is the person who was in the towers life worth more?

Will we pay the victims of the next attack this kind of cash when (if) it happens? Will we all pay more in insurance because of what it costs the insurance companies to prepare and save for these kinds of events? Can the survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing come back and ask for more dough from the government? Just something to think about.....

Friday, November 05, 2004

What the Democrats better do

Now that the elections are over, and the Dems lost, they need to live up to their responsibilities as the counter-balance to the Republicans. With all 3 branches of government controlled by one party, the Dems absolutely must stand firm, and use the filibuster when necessary. They completely let us down after 9/11, rolling over on just about everything the Bush camp introduced. Doing so also put them in a weak position during the elections, trying to explain why Iraq, the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, etc. were bad ideas and wrong, and at the same time, explain why they voted for them.

The Dems must find their backbone now. No trying to be moderate, no trying to appeal to the swing voters for the mid-terms. Bush is going to appoint at least one Supreme Court Justice, and the Dems need to insure that he is not a neocon, far-right ideologue. Those choices are ones that effect the country for years, and the Dems have to vet the candidates well. They also need to really scrutinize what the Bushies try and do with the War on Terror, and in Iraq. I think they completely let us down and abdicated their responsibility. They need to return to the idea of being the loyal opposition, or our country is in trouble.

One more thing- this should be recognized by Republicans as well. One party government is never a good thing. A democracy needs checks and balances to work. If Republicans think it's grand to have won everything, just remember, you might not recognize your own country in a few years.