Archive for April, 2005

13 redux

Friday, April 15th, 2005

“Well I heard, uh, a minister the other day talking about, uh, the great injustice and evil of the men in white robes, the Klu Klux Klan, that, uh, roamed the country in the South, and, uh, they, uh, did great wrong to, uh, civil rights and to morality, and now we have black robed men, and, uh, that’s what you’re talking about.”

…………….

For what it’s worth, Mark Levin provides a… smackdown???

They dismiss the early history of the Court, legitimate criticism as provoking threats against judges, and so forth. They’re so enamored with and committed to government by the judiciary that the same critical thinking they use in analyzing the elected branches is absent here. This is simply intellectually dishonest. So, they prefer to demonize Dr. Dobson, or Tom DeLay, or John Cornyn, or whomever. But it’s time to engage on the substance.

John Cornyn, you remember said this.

In Response

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

A DK posteth to this:

What if it was Hitler? By-the-way, Bush II may be the most destructive force on the planet…wouldn’t you and I have an obligation to save the planet?

To save America, our economy, the economies of the world, to save us from a completely polluted and destroyed planet? Wouldn’t it be sacreligous not to step aside?

Stopping the next Hitler (Instead of killing the jews and taking over europe, our Hitler is killing the muslims and taking over the world with the Neo-cons) from destroying the world?

Just curious…

Considering the case of Germany circa 1930s through WWII. On the other hand, if s/he stepped aside and let the bullet hit Adolf Hitler, considering one’s own life more valuable than the head of state, the German society at large would be asking for his/her head. (It might be a minor historical footnote circa 1930.) But the case is pretty well settled according to Nazi ideology as to which is more important — the individual or the state — all in the state’s favour, of course.

A Hitler Assassination attempt is comically dramatized in Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator.

Bush, incidentally, curiously seems as though is receeding into history very early in his second term. The general effect sort of mesmerizes me, as the political whirlwind shifts to other figures who at least supposedly control the balance of the future.

Mississippi

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

In consideration of the Larouchite who is challenging Mississippi Senator Trent Lott for 2006, Eric Fleming (response found in a post a couple days later, and a couple blog entries up)…

A choice between a person who sayseth:

In all fairness, let’s start with the truths. In the past, I have attended LaRouche events, as have several of my legislative colleagues. I have actively participated in causes with LaRouche, like fighting the closing of DC General Hospital and stopping the country of Mexico from selling their natural gas and oil rights to Enron. I have even given a glowing endorsement for his candidacy for President of the United States.

,a glowering endorsement of a Lyndon LaRouche presidency… versus a candidate who sayseth:

“I want to say this about my state. When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”

… a glowering endorsement of Strom Thurmond’s 1948 Segregationist Campaign.

One candidate is excoriated, rightly, for his associations. And will receive less than 30% of the vote. The other is the fourth most powerful Republican Senator (downgraded from first most powerful due to those comments), and will receive over 70% of the vote… following his declaration of adoration for such a “problem solver”.

Two nutballs. One mainstream. One not mainstream.

Is there a third-party candidate Mississippians can vote for?

……….
UPDATE: The state Senator replied over at Politics1.com. The relevant postings:

Rep. Erik R. Fleming: I have enjoyed reading the comments posted about this issue, yes even yours, Corey. It is good to see people expressing themselves in a forum that is not driven by advertising dollars or other limitations. I am happy that Ron wrote that article because I know there is another forum out there devoted to true political discourse.

Now having said that, I did not respond to save my campaign. I repsonded because I felt that I needed to tell my side of the story, since that opportunity was not given to me prior to the article being published.

Without splitting hairs, I do not like polarizing comments, no matter if it is from LaRouche or Lott. Lott is one of my constiuents, so I have dealt with him. I have been involved with issues that LaRouche has been involved with. I have met with other controversial figures in the political diaspora, i.e. Sharpton and Farrakhan. You don’t always have to agree with them, but as a public servant and a political junkie, I have availed myself to those opportunities.

To be honest, I have not been involved with LaRouche since the end of the Presidential Primary. I have not returned their calls or attended any functions. I didn’t become important to them until I was an elected official, so they have tried to use me, and rightly or wrongly, I have used them to have access to certain opportunities, i.e. Mexico.

I am sorry to those people that believe that my association with Larouche is an insult to their sensibilities and has diminshed their hopes of unseating Lott.

I will press on with my campaign, though this cloud hangs over my head. I made a bad judgment call and I have to live with the consequences. Like someone wisely said on another blog, the primary will weed out the pretenders and the contender will emerge. If that is me, I will be honored and will fight a vigorous campaign.

I do not expect humans to forgive me for my mistakes, but as I pray for forgiveness from God, I also ask for wisdom to do the right thing. My mistake was fighting for a cause and not being careful of who was in the fight with me.

Even my letter of endorsement was a form of protest to deal with the issue of inclusion within our party. I knew then, as I know now that he can never be elected President. That, however, was the worst mistake of all, but my anger clouded my instincts at the time.

I am glad that Ron wrote the article because it has exposed some truths that I did not know. I have known from friends that LaRouche’s tactics have been at times brutal (NY, circa. 1970) and that there are serious rifts among grassroots activists because of him. But I was puzzled why so many black civil rights activists were in this guy’s corner, so curiousity led me to the conferences.

Those close to me told me in no uncertain terms that if they were going to support me, that LaRouche could not be involved with this campaign. To this date, I have kept my word.

I will not take up anymore space on this blog concerning this matter. To those who have given me the benefit of the doubt, I am humbled. To those who have not, I understand. And to Corey, I hope that one day you just deal with me as a run-of-the-mill Democrat as oppose to something that you think is worse. Oh, and your numbers are wrong, the worse I can do is 36 percent.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity. If you would like to directly ask me questions about this, or anything else, feel free to e-mail me anytime.

Corey: Rep. Fleming,
If you see this and would like the opportunity to bring a sense of closure in a public venue to your association with Lyndon LaRouche, you can choose to answer this simple question:

*Do you completely denounce the consipracy theories espoused by Lyndon LaRouche in addition to all of the racist and anti-semitic comments made by Lyndon LaRouche?*

It is a fairly simple question that I hope can be answered with a yes or no.

The opportunity now exists for Rep. Fleming to choose to bring closure to his LaRouche associations once and for all.

Rep. Erik R. Fleming: Yes

Curious tidings about all this. A protest “support” for anyone else on the ballot instead of the Democratic standard-bearer would make more sense in, say, 2000 or 1996 when there’s literally no one else on the ballot instead of Clinton or Gore. (Thus, I can point you to a guy I know who voted for Lyndon Larouche in the 2000 Democratic Primary due to disgruntlement at Gore/Lieberman.) I don’t know what was on the Mississippi ballot… but I’m pretty sure a Dennis Kucinich was on the ballot, who looked as good a protest (and an authentic one at that) instead of the figure of Lyndon LaRouche.

It probably doesn’t matter all that much. If Lott retired (which he isn’t, having made noises as of late about regaining a spot in the Republican leadership), the Mississippi Democratic Party (what of it there is) would then find a “top tier” candidate and run him (her?). As it is now, there’s probably a party prescient captain or rich businessman who can get the nomination. (I firmly believe in a matter of principle that a political party — whether Republican or Democrat — for its survival has to contest every seat, even unwinnable ones, as a basic show of support for what party members there are to continue their basic fight. And to avoid nominating a stench of, say, LaRouchitism that would cripple the party forward. Beyond which, lightening sometimes does strike… Scandals befall a candidate. We almost had a Democratic Senator from Kentucky defeat Jim Bunning. Had the Democratic Party not managed to replace Torricelli with Lautenbergh at the last minute in 2002, Republican Doug Forrester would be the current Senator from New Jersey.)

Green State

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

I have it on good authority that the citizens of Red State Country (or, if you’re Jeff Gannon with a lousy printer — Green State Country) curse more than their Blue State counterparts. If you don’t believe me, please consult your “redneck” and “urbane sophisticate” stereotypes.

Or consider the lattee-drinking conservatives, who fly from New York to Washington Los Angeles, staring at the window at Flyover Country, marvelling at the Wal-Marts and the Nascars and the farming and the ranching and the religiosity and the simple values that need to be exalted off the rooftops.

I’m thinking of this in context with the supposed meaning behind the Election of 2004. The “Values Voter”s, an idea that you have to wonder hasn’t been squashed a bit as of late. If you notice — the Republican’s two Great Political Attempts post-election haven’t taken them anywhere. Social Security Privitization has stalled, and proven unpopular — there’s your Club for Growth Grover Norquist contingent stalling. (In the meantime, the one party state changes the Bankruptcy law to make it easier for corporations to get by and harder for regular citizens to, but we’ll ignore that sort of stuff for the moment.) And more directly, the Religious Right who have supposedly been declared the most mainstream Americans off of that last election has been proven a bit less than overwhelming by the whole Terri Schiavo fiasco.

There’s a point to which a Democratic Party ends up buying the hype a little too high, and loses sight of the situation. Excise sin, find Jesus, and obscure yet more differences between the parties, and you will find the road the redemption.

But the mythology of the most Republican part of the nation, the West, brings us to an opposing conclusion. Cowboys run around with their herds of horses. They then take their off days and booze and pick up a hooker and gamble away their money. Where is the religiosity there?

Consult the “Montana Example”, the modest bright light on a dark Election day for the letter “D”, particularly within the rural red states. Aside from electing a Democratic governor and a Democratic state legislature, the state legalized medicinal marijuana. A great day for Montana pot-heads? Who knows? The new governor, while running, didn’t touch the Initiative with a ten-foot pill (I imagine it to have been passed with a coalition of Libertarian-minded conservatives and counter-culture types), to avoid the charge of McGovernism, but the message is delivered.

The tranjectory of the Montana politics within the framework of our national politics: a rebuke of the Patriot Act. A request to bring Montana’s National Guard soldiers home from Iraq so, where they will be dealing with the summer’s forest fire season, traditionally the domain of… your National Guard. (Actually, come to think of it, that’s “Homeland Security” right there!)

Beyond that, there’s the idea that environmental issues as connected to hunting issues, and the prototype for your Red-state elected Democrat begins to emerge… (a bit of the “Get off My Land” aesthetic thrown in) at least in the West. I don’t have a clue what the letter “D” can do to churn itself around through the South.

Some conversations with my dad. He receives a batch of material from the State Employees Union. “They always support the Democrat, no matter what.” My response, “Interesting about their support for NAFTA-supporting Clinton.” “Weird how that works.”

Or, “The Democrats sure aren’t any good at explaining why you should vote for them these days.”

That’s sort of a swipe at Kerry’s obfuscation regarding the war. I came out and said that there was no difference between Bush and Kerry on where Iraq is going… and, to tell you the truth, I still believe that.

You burrow all that in with the “What’s the Matter With Kansas” thesis and a basic attack on the DLC, who took the Democratic Party out of the barren landscape the party found themselves in in 1984, and delivered them to the barren landscape the party finds themselves in in 2004. (Except there’s a peculiar sideswipe with which I’m going to explore in one of my next three posts.)

One last commentary, found circa after the election, a Montana voter saying: “I think we’d vote for a Democrat who forthrightly supports gay marriage, if they don’t pussy-foot around the issue.”

This is basically a case of Attitude.

As for gays and lesbians in the frontier… hell… Lynne Cheney wrote a book about it! Today? Maybe convert the issue in with the gun issue, and declare that you will not take away the right of every gay and lesbian their godgiven Constitution right to own firearms? I don’t know.

For the moment, just consult Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin…

It’s Your Money

Monday, April 11th, 2005

I: “A lot of people in America think there is a trust that we take your money in payroll taxes and then we hold it for you and then when you retire, we give it back to you,” Bush said in a speech at the University of West Virginia at Parkersburg.

“But that’s not the way it works,” Bush said. “There is no trust `fund’ just IOUs that I saw firsthand,” Bush said.

“This is what exists,” Bush said, illustrating his point that the promise of future Social Security benefits are simply stashed in a file.

Is that not enough?

A $1.7 TRILLION Treasury Bond.

The W says no. “Imagine,” Bush said in his speech. “The retirement security for future generations is sitting in a filing cabinet. It’s time to strengthen and modernize Social Security for future generations with growing assets that you can control that you call your own — assets that the government can’t take away.”

……………

II: Peter DeFazio, D of Oregon: “The President said, ‘There is no trust fund.’ And then he went on to suggest that our Nation might not honor its debt to Social Security. This is what the President said does not exist.” (I’m assuming he held up a visual aid at this point.)

“Let me read from this. This is a Social Security Trust Fund bond, considered the best investments in the world, U.S. Treasury Bond. This is the most privileged of Treasury bonds issued to Social Security, redeemable at any time at full face value, unlike any other bond that they issue. These are the most privileged of their bonds. The President says it is nothing but an IOU. Well, here is what it says: ‘This bond is incontestable in the hands of the Federal Old Age and Survivors Insurance Trust Fund. The bond is supported by the full faith and credit of the United States. And the United States is pledged to the payment of the bond with respect to both principal and interest.’

“The President questions that?”

III: Perhaps they could invest the social security funds like so:

Since 1998, Ohio has invested millions of dollars in the unregulated world of rare coins, buying nickels, dimes, and pennies.
Controlling the money for the state? Prominent local Republican and coin dealer Tom Noe, whose firm made more than $1 million off the deal last year alone.

The agreement to invest the money in rare coins is rare itself: The Blade could find no other instance of a state government investing in a rare coin fund. Neither the state nor Mr. Noe could provide one.

“I don’t think I’d be excited to invest in rare coins,” Vermont Treasurer Mike Ablowich said. “It’s a little unusual.”

The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation has continued to be the sole investor in Mr. Noe’s Capital Coin funds despite strong concerns raised by an auditor with the bureau about possible conflicts of interest and whether the state’s millions were adequately protected.

And the state has maintained its stake in Capital Coin despite documented problems:

Two coins worth roughly $300,000 were lost in the mail in 2003.

The firm has written off $850,000 in debt over the last three years to cover a failed business relationship.

Mr. Noe has loaned some of the state’s money to a local real estate business that buys and sells central-city homes. A state auditor could not find documents to prove if the loans were sufficiently covered by the value of real estate that a Capital Coin subsidiary held as collateral.

Since the state first ventured into rare coins, Capital Coin has split $12.9 million in profits with the state, with Capital Coin keeping 20 percent, or nearly $2.6 million.

IV: Rare coins… perhaps it’s best to invest in Rob Liefeld?

HM

Saturday, April 9th, 2005

The stat page shows this search result:

saddam hussein striping to nude in front of george w bush then having sex on home made movies

A google search shows that I am #2.

Correct the misspelling (unless it is possible to “stripe” to nude) and I am not on the first 10 pages of google search results.

Anyway…