Saturday, July 04, 2009

Like Calling Halloween Revelers Devil Worshippers

The folks at The Washington Post have had a tough week - selling access to lobbyists and all that - so maybe the op-ed page editor missed this one trying to figure out how to start putting the pieces of the paper's shattered reputation back together.
. . . I'd like to suggest a little surgery that will make the symbol more appropriate today: Let's get rid of The Poem.

I'm talking about "Give me your tired, your poor . . . " -- that poem, "The New Colossus" by Emma Lazarus, which sometimes seems to define us as a nation even more than Lady Liberty herself.

Inscribed on a small brass plaque mounted inside the statue's stone base, the poem is an appendix, added belatedly, and it can safely be removed, shrouded or at least marked with a big asterisk. We live in a different era of immigration, and the schmaltzy sonnet offers a dangerously distorted picture of the relationship between newcomers and their new land.

First, as to the contingency of the poem's inclusion on the Statue of Liberty, all I can say is: So what? The Declaration of Independence was ratified by the Continental Congress, at least acting as the committee as a whole, on July 2, but final voting and signing was delayed due to in-fighting among the delegates. So, is Independence Day really July 4th, or is it July 2nd? The colonials could have lost the war, and the Declaration would have been burned, its words a mere rumor 233 years later.

History is full of contingencies, which does not make their symbolic import any less meaningful for their being singular events that could have been otherwise.

We are a nation of immigrants, from the Spanish settlers from Florida to the west coast, to the French from the upper Mississippi through the northeast, to the English and Scots-Irish along the eastern seaboard - immigrants all. The various waves of "new" immigrants - Germans, Irish, Italians, Poles, Russians, Greeks, Ukrainians, Chinese, Mexican and Central American, on and on - have added to the wealth of our culture, and the beautiful kaleidoscope that is the American public. For tens of thousands, the sight of the Statue in New York harbor was a sign they had made it from the shtetls Russian and Poland; the arbitrary and capricious rule of monarchs in Austria-Hungary; the chaos of anarchy on the Italian peninsula and the misnamed "Holy Roman Empire". Whatever else their reasons may have been for coming here, they came to breathe a little easier, to work a little harder, to live their lives without interference. The nation they have made has rarely lived up to the ideals of Ms. Lazarus' poem - our nation has occasionally turned its back on those who yearn to breathe free, and the golden door has slammed shut, the light beside it extinguished in a short-sited desire for non-existent purity - but the two together - the Statue and the promise of America embedded in Emma Lazarus brief yet powerful words - give to us, and those who have come here, a vision of what America should be, and can be when we listen to the better angels of our nature.

To erase the words of the poem, to eradicate that vision in the name of historical "accuracy", would do violence to the hope and promise we offer the world. It would eradicate the idea that we offer the world a better vision of what it means to live, and live freely, to be both American and Irish, or Italian, or Greek, or Korean, to add to the whole without subtracting from the parts.

Ugly words and bad history have no place on the one day when all Americans should remember the promise our nation has made, the on-going experiment in liberty and self-governance that is the United States of America, and the many gifts so many people from far-flung places have given to us.

Saturday Rock Show - Independence Day Edition

Something different for your Independence Day celebration, it's Jefferson Airplane and "Volunteers In America":

Friday, July 03, 2009

Palin In Comparison UPDATE

Leaving aside the tabloid-like attention to the multiple dysfunctions of her family - which, in truth, are no different from most others, just writ large because of her role in national life last fall - I think Eric Kleefeld's take on Gov. Palin's announcement is both more interesting and important. Indeed, the whole TPM discussion on the matter seems to be spiraling in toward the simple reality that the multiple instances of (at the very least) unethical behavior would, given time, catch up with her. Whether it's harassing individuals through the state power, turning the state offices in to a private fiefdom for her cronies and friends, or the recent blitz of information on her relationship with members of the McCain campaign which show her not only in a bad light, but actively detrimental to the Republican Presidential campaign (this last, while hardly criminal, is some of the serious rough-and-tumble of politics that, apparently, she finds it difficult to take).

I'm not fond of depictions of Palin and her family as (in TBogg's phrase) Snowbillies, of discussions of her family, of her daughter and her life, or other aspects that reduce her personal foibles to the stuff of serious discussion. These distractions from the many reasons to be wary of her as a politician, captured nicely here by tristero (although I do not like the use of the word "hate" here), actually make her a sympathetic character. Part of what makes our politics less and less attractive to many people is the line between personal and public has been slowly erased over the past generation, to the point now where Gov. Mark Sanford waxes poetic on finding his soulmate at press conferences, and reporters continue to ignore the reality that he abandoned his office without leaving anyone in charge, regardless of the specific circumstances.

My guess is that Palin had her feelings hurt by recent revelations that her presence on the Republican ticket was viewed as a drag by members of the campaign staff; by the unfolding multiple investigations into possible criminal activity in the governor's office in Juneau; with her refusal to take federal stimulus funds, Palin is denying her state opportunities to build and repair infrastructure and improve employment.

In a place as cold as Alaska, serious heat must be difficult to take. The kitchen of the national spotlight and revelations of the many investigations in to her official conduct got to her, so she's leaving.


UPDATE: This interesting report on polls from the Presidential campaign last fall indicate something that, should it become widely-known, flies in the face of conventional wisdom.
The correspondence between dynamics in her ratings and dynamics in McCain vote intentions is astonishingly exact. Her marginal impact in vote-intention estimation models dwarfs that for any Vice-Presidential we are aware of, certainly for her predecessors in 2000 and 2004. And the range traversed by her favorability ratings is truly impressive. But why? We are unaware of any theory that opens the door to serious impact from the bottom half of the ticket.

Translated to mean - adding Sarah Palin to the ticket doomed McCain's chances at becoming President long before the economy went in to the tank. The first two graphs on the website, if juxtaposed, show quite clearly that Americans were running away from McCain before the financial crisis in September. It isn't the meltdown that doomed McCain, or his odd "suspension" of his Presidential campaign.

It was all Palin.

The moral of the story is simple. We have nothing to fear, electorally, from the right for a while. I believe even failure of Pres. Obama on major policy initiatives will not turn around Republican fortunes as long as they continue to adhere to far-right stances. All the blather is meaningless. The real worry isn't the right. It's corporate obstructionism to serious health-care reform, and bureaucratic obstructionism to repealing DADT. If the Democratic Party in Congress actually had some gumption, they'd laugh every time Mitch McConnell or some other doofus opens his or her mouth, and then go about the business of legislating.

The base loves her, but the truth is, the base is crazy.

Hate Plus Lies Equals The Family Research Council

It would be far more honest to just say, "Don't Let This Faggot Near Your Children!" In the end, all the crap about the "homosexual agenda" and "special rights" are meaningless drivel, meant to cover up the simple reality that they hate queers.

Pushing back is not enough. We need to continually call them out as the haters they are. Bigots. Prejudiced. Say it loud and often.

The Course Of Human Events

N.B.: I know it's a day early, but I'm going to be busy tomorrow - who gets married on the the Fourth, I mean really! - so I thought I'd do this now, while I was thinking of it.

It's a remarkable document. It has no legal force, or else there wouldn't have been a Civil War. It doesn't set forth a system of government. It doesn't order the new nation it declares now exists. Had the war gone badly, the signatories would most assuredly been transported to London for trial and execution. As such, the words at the end take on a meaning far deeper than simple "declaration".

Yet, it is, nevertheless, the piece of paper that created the United States. two decades before the French Declaration of the Rights of Man, we Americans made the far more important, and practical, and workable, declaration that we will make our own way, without kings and parliaments an ocean away, for good or ill, because it is both a right nations have, and a burden a free people bear. Let us still recognize both the opportunity and the dread weight we Americans bear as free people.

One final note. The Declaration was ordered to be read in towns and villages throughout the newly-declared United States of America, so it might be a good idea to read it aloud, or perhaps listen to a recording of it being read. Just to get a feel for it.
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:

Column 1
Button Gwinnett
Lyman Hall
George Walton

Column 2
North Carolina:
William Hooper
Joseph Hewes
John Penn
South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Arthur Middleton

Column 3
John Hancock
Samuel Chase
William Paca
Thomas Stone
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Jefferson
Benjamin Harrison
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Carter Braxton

Column 4
Robert Morris
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Franklin
John Morton
George Clymer
James Smith
George Taylor
James Wilson
George Ross
Caesar Rodney
George Read
Thomas McKean

Column 5
New York:
William Floyd
Philip Livingston
Francis Lewis
Lewis Morris
New Jersey:
Richard Stockton
John Witherspoon
Francis Hopkinson
John Hart
Abraham Clark

Column 6
New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett
William Whipple
Samuel Adams
John Adams
Robert Treat Paine
Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins
William Ellery
Roger Sherman
Samuel Huntington
William Williams
Oliver Wolcott
New Hampshire:
Matthew Thornton

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Not Norm, Just Common

Saw this little video of the decriminalization of same-sex practices in India, and loved the poster I saw on the screen-cap. It reads "Heterosexuality is not the norm, it's just common."

Love it.

A cheer or two for India.

Not Only Are They Clueless, They Hate America And Democracy - Just Days Before Independence Day


Ignorance piled on top of stupid with a dollop of creepy makes it all go down easy, but come back up in a rancid stench.

Like Michael Sheuer, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the rest of the nutty-right, we now get musings on a coup d'etat and its beneficent possibilities.

Hey, Eric, I got something to tell you - the Republicans have been in charge for the vast majority of the past generation and pretty much screwed up everything. We had an election last fall (remember it, it was in all the papers . . .) and you guys LOST because crazy-stupid-right-wing government is an abject failure.

How much more evidence is needed that the right-wing in America is a font of danger? Not a serious threat to our stability, but certainly dangerous in the potential for harm to innocent lives. All this musing about coups and the inherent danger of our gay-Marxist-Islamist-terrorist President is fueling the fires smoldering on the right. It has already boiled over in violence - from Idaho and Oklahoma City in the 1990's to Pittsburgh, Nashville, and even Washington, DC in the past year - and we can expect much more of it.

Here's a clue, if you have a big enough glove to catch it, Eric. There are mechanisms to register your discontent with our current governance. Write a letter to your Congressional Representative and US Senator. Set up an organization to lobby for your pet issue(s). Give money to legitimate groups that will advocate on your behalf. Sitting on your duff in Alabama and writing about the benefits of the destruction of America only confirms that you are crazier than an outhouse rat.

Evidence For An Uncaring Universe

Somewhere in the Third World, an Indian Reservation, or some other sinkhole of poverty and despair, a potential future Nobel Laureate is dying, and this guy is wasting his oxygen.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

If Newt Speaks And No One Listens, Has He Made A Sound?

Who gives a shit what he thinks?

Changing The Argument

Neil doesn't like it when people point out that pro-life arguments aren't really about the Holy Fetus. In fact, Neil doesn't like it when he loses control of the terms of any debate; he can't apply "logic" and point out phalluses, er, fallacies, and somehow "win" the argument.

I would be amused, or concerned, if I cared. The simple reality is this - the right managed to hold itself together through the Civil Rights movement (except for the racist fringe who will always be there, of course). It was the one-two punch of the pill (1964) and legalized abortion on demand (1973) that set the stage for the culture wars and the politicization of the Christian right. Except for the Christian Identity folks, conservatives Christians could accept social, political, and legal equality for African-Americans, because they tended to be Christian, and the terms of the debate were, for the most part, "conservative" (adhering to constitutional principles, equality before God, etc.). The sexual emancipation of women, formerly a wholly-owned subsidiary of maleness, drove them batty.

Resurrecting certain ugly facts from the early conception-control movement (Margaret Sanger's indelicate support of eugenics and racism) allows anti-choice folks to paint the pro-choice movement with the brush of supporting the slow death of minorities through abortion. This isn't helped by the too-often-used arguments of some in the pro-choice movement of the poor, minority woman who needs abortion more than middle-class white women (I've never liked this particular argument, and cringe when I read or hear it).

The creation of the human embryo/fetus suddenly being a creature imbued with full Constitutional rights and an equal claim upon our moral feeling is actually a clever move. As a parent, I recognize the power inherent in pictures of a developing fetus - especially when it's my own. The problem, of course, is this is a distraction, a non-sequitur, and just plain wrong. The issue isn't the sacred pre-born. The issue is full human agency for women, a threat to small-penised men everywhere. As long as women are objects of male sexuality, they are no threat. Once free to make the full spectrum of choices that were formerly the sole provenance of men, they become not objects, but fully-realized subjects. As objects, women cannot - and would not - turn down a man. As subjects, they are perfectly free to agree to a tryst or not. They can decide when, where, and with whom to have sexual relations without any input from men (especially from their husbands).

The facts are ugly, and the reality is that Neil is just plain wrong. The issue isn't the fetus. The issue is women's freedom. I realize he thinks he has the market cornered on arguments. Sad to say, he's wrong there, as well.

With the recent shift toward an uneasy consensus on abortion, the anti-choice movement has shifted toward a more vociferous voice on conception-control, as I noted yesterday. The long and short of it is this - these folks don't want women having sex, except with them. When they do, they should be publicly humiliated, regarded as the sluts and whores they are, dismissed from our care and consideration. Anything else is just a bunch of babble and burble.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Morality Police

There are few things guaranteed to make me want to beat my head against a wall more forcefully than the constant barrage of statements that boil down to this: "Being a Christian means being a good person."

I would challenge those who make this statement to show me where, exactly, in the Bible it says this. Now, I know people will point to Colossians, various passages in the Gospels, Hebrews, and even the Revelation to John. My counter-argument to this is quite simple - reading these passages in a simplistic, moralistic sense, misses the deeper point that these are addressed as opportunities through grace rather than a new moral code mandated by God. Even as we are offered a glimpse of the possibilities inherent in the new life offered by Jesus Christ, there is the recognition that some will fall short. Congratulating oneself and one's fellow Christians on one's good behavior is as meaningless as talking about the final disposition of oneself or others before the throne of God.

Yet, we hear it again and again. From alleged Protestants no less - it's as if Luther's simul iustus et peccator was never uttered. Luther is, indeed, a prime example of this very dictum. His private behavior, as revealed in his table talk, would make most Lutherans (and others) blush; yet, his abounding sense of the saving power of the Holy Spirit, his deep affection for his family, his voluminous musings on the power of grace to overcome sin and his own view of the Devil as an active force in personal and social life are ample testimony against any simplistic reduction of Christianity to some kind of middle-class morality.

The possibilities in the Christian life become stunted if we start worrying whether or not God wants us to be good little boys and girls. God becomes reduced to a stringent, prudish parent. We become afraid that our lives are unfolding before the cosmic censor, notepad on a clipboard, putting checks beside various things we do and say.

The first thing we are to do is to love God. We are called, then, to love our neighbors, defined as pretty much anyone in any given state. As far as I'm concerned, that leaves things pretty much open as far as how we go about living our lives. We are not offered salvation to become citizens of a divine dictatorship. Indeed, St. Paul is more than clear - we are freed for freedom's sake. We are to be about the work of returning the world to God, always remembering that God loves it enough that Jesus Christ volunteered to come and die for it. While there are ample quotes that purport to show otherwise, world-hating, world-denying is antithetical to the Christian life. We are called to love the world as it is, but also to make it better.

We should consort with drunkards and prostitutes. We should not worry whether or not someone or other is cheating on his or her spouse, but offer our love and help, seeking to assist that person in figuring out what's wrong, so that the relationship can heal. We should celebrate the real love of real people, and not worry whether or not the couple is of different genders or not. After all, there is little enough real love in this world.

Like my previous post on abortion, this is kind of a repeat. I say it again, however, to make the point that I have no interest in discussing morality in the context of the Christian religion, with anyone. Morality is for people who have something to hide, as far as I'm concerned. They are far more worried they're going to get caught, so they deflect attention to the actions of others.

Once More, With Feeling

I've said it before. I'm quite sure I'll say it again. Today, Duncan says it.
Lots of people are squishy about abortion, though I firmly believe the vast majority of people in this country are pro-choice for me if not for thee, but those involved in the anti-abortion movement don't just care about embryos and fetuses, they care about punishing women for unapproved fucking.

He is commenting on this little nugget from Matt Yglesias.
It’s precisely because of stances like this that it’s very hard to take the “abortion is murder” crowd seriously when they say abortion is murder. Their revealed behavior indicates that they don’t actually find abortion especially problematic, but just place it on a spectrum containing a general aversion to women controlling their own sexuality

Which is why I get so peeved when people start shedding crocodile tears for all those "pre-born" babies, fully-human fetuses (feti?), and other non-existent fetishes. It isn't about the poor suffering fetus, screaming with non-existent vocal chords from the depths of non-existent lungs from pain felt through non-existent nerves.

It's all about power over women, and the deep fear of women's sexuality.

And, of course, forcing poor people to pay for their sins, but not rich, white, Republican governors.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Health Care Competition

TPM has a little post up making a point too often lost in the ill-informed hysteria over "OBAMACARE!!!"
This won't come as the slightest surprise to those versed in health care policy issues. But I fear it's only barely permeated the health care reform debate in the country, certainly in Washington. And that's this: the opposition to a so-called 'public option' comes almost entirely from insurance companies who have developed monopolies or near monopolies in particular geographic areas. And they don't want competition.

Note, I'm not saying more competition. I'm saying any competition at all. As Zack Roth explains in this new piece 94% of the health care insurance market is now under monopoly or near-monopoly conditions -- the official term of art is 'highly concentrated'. In other words, there's no mystery why insurance costs keep going up even as the suck quotient rises precipitously. Because in most areas there's little or no actual competition.

During his press conference last week, the President made it abundantly clear that the arguments about the public option were illogical on their face. Since no one is seeking to replace private insurance with a single-payer program, but rather offer a public option as something to compete with private health insurance; and, since this is true, and conservatives and Republicans argue continuously that a public plan would be costly, inefficient, and riddled with bureaucratic obstacles, what in the world are they worried about?

The answer is pretty clear.

I have yet to read a substantive criticism of a public health care plan. All one hears is "SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!!! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!" And, of course, the "r" word, which is meaningless since we already ration health care based on ability to pay. So, on the one hand we have the insurance companies and a few of their mindless enablers screeching meaningless drivel. On the other side we have a large majority of the American people, the President of the United States, several members of the United States Senate (not including, unfortunately, Max Baucus, who has come out forcefully against any public option whatsoever, favoring "co-ops" which are just HMOs by another name).

I am confident my Senators, Roland Burris and Richard Durbin, will do the right thing. I am also confident my Representative, Don Manzullo, will not. I would urge you, if you even suspect either your Senator or Representative is wavering, on the fence, could go either way (and not in a good way), send an email, give 'em a call, send a letter. Don't send a petition.

One note. I do not urge people to call Senators or Representatives from outside one's own state or district. What possible reason would a Senator from California have to listen to anything I say?

Music For Your Monday

It's all about the weather.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Be Warned

A longish post is stewing in the innards of my brain on the history and present state of nuclear weapons policy and diplomacy. It is only half-formed, will likely stir a few of my more liberal readers to post great "Harrumphs" of outrage, and probably be as wrong as it is right. In any event, since the news has been taken over by Michael Jackson's corpse, and the lid is tightening on Iran, and no one seems to care that violence in Iraq goes on unabated, there is little else going on.

Some pre-posting thoughts on the issue might be nice.

Virtual Tin Cup

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