"The tree of liberty grows but in one direction -- by adding rings." -- John Berry

November 3, 2010

A Progressive Licks His Wounds ... and Moves on!

I know I haven't blogged in awhile. My schedule this year has been quite busy, and there just hasn't been time to spout my views.

But, with yesterday's election, hopefully I'll be more inspired to write. In the meantime....

With the Speaker of the House Corporate Profit Boehner looking like he'll rule the House, America, welcome back to Dubya's Economic Policies!

September 25, 2010

September 24, 2010

The GOP's "Pledge to America", or "How We Almost F***** Up America Once and We Want to Do It Again"

Yesterday, the GOP released it's "Pledge with America", a consortium of failed policies that derailed our country once into the toilet, repackaged with a gimmicky new name and a big stinkin' bow of horse hokey. This "Pledge" is designed to put back on track a GOP party besieged by the Tea Party, corporate lobbyists, and conservative billionaires needing a bail out.

Back in the 1990's, the Republicans issued a "Contract with America" that pledged all sorts of hooey to get them into power in the Senate, which ended up in a disastrous government shutdown until they retreated with their tail between their legs. Oh, and while Mr. Gingrich lambasted our president for indiscretions, he himself was parlaying his own indiscretions as well.

When I first heard about "The Pledge" I thought it interesting they chose that word and not the more permanent sounding "contract"again. My guess is that the term "contract" evokes a legal, binding agreement that they will actually do those things. A pledge is sort of more of a general agreement, a vow, so to speak, which we all know the aforementioned Gingrich doesn't put much stock into.

Anyway, while I haven't and will not read "The Pledge", apparently the GOP plan is to restore America to the glorious days of this idiot...

Here are some of the pledges in the document:

1) Repeal the current health care bill, so that...

... it will be legal again to drop children with pre-existing conditions from insurance policies
... insured citizens start paying again for preventive health care options like immunizations and mammograms
... ensure that health care providers return to the days of 100 billion dollar profits and huge bonuses

2) Make permanent the Bush tax cuts, so that...

... the millionaire and billionaires in our country continue to receive a large stimulus bailout to relieve their overdue suffering of stifling tax bills

Yawn. This is totally boring me. Let me just end this piece by mentioning the main architect of this "Pledge to America" is a man named Brian Wild. Brian Wild works for John Boehner, but before he worked for Mr. Oompa-Loompa, he worked as a LOBBYIST for ..... AIG. Yup, that AIG.

America, you really wanna put foxes in charge of the hen house? 

As always, here is Jon Stewart's BRILLIANT take down of the Pledge's "New Ideas":

September 14, 2010

The Senate GOP's Latest Idea: The Billionaire's Stimulus Bill

In case you haven't heard the latest in Republican hilarity, the Senate GOPers have a great idea. They want to pass a "Billionaire's Stimulus Bill".

You see, the Bush tax cuts passed in 2001 are scheduled to come to an end this year. While there is momentum to preserve the lower and middle class tax cuts for Americans struggling to make it day by day, there is also momentum to end the cuts for those making more than $250,000. Except Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, who wants to pass ensure that our country's poor billionaires receive stimulus money this year.

McConnell has circled the wagons of Senate Republicans, and declared war on ending the tax cuts for the Rupert Murdoch's of the country. Apparently, their billion of dollars in salaries, yachts, houses around the world, BMW's, and stock options are in peril due to the struggling economy.

McConnell wants to ensure that they have an additional $700 billion dollars over the next ten years because they are suffering so much. This $700 Billionaire Stimulus Bill is not paid for either, unless you count taking food out of the mouths of our children, taking away health care from our seniors, and kicking our unemployed citizens out of our homes.

We shouldn't be surprised that McConnell wants to pass this Billionaire Stimulus Bill. After all, they are his closest friends lobbyists, aren't they?

September 12, 2010

John Boehner's Speakership, or How Mr. Oompa-Loompa Turns our Government Over to Big Business

With polls seemingly swinging towards Republicans, who responsible for the mess we are currently in, AKA "The Republican Recession",  a very frightening possibility is "Speaker of the House Boehner." I shudder at the possibility.  Times are tough right now. Still tough. Republicans spent eight years running our economy into the ground, and their desire is to put the idiots back in charge of the government?

The New York Times published an article in the Sunday edition that is chilling. It accounts of Rep. Boehner's connection to big corporate lobbyists. They have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to his campaign, and have a direct line to him. Boehner's corporate bigwig friends don't deny a thing.
Does he have a lot of relationships in this city? Yes, absolutely,” said Mark Isakowitz, a friend whose Republican firm represents more than three dozen financial, telecommunications, energy and consumer products companies as diverse as Coca-Cola and Zurich Financial Services. “But I think all the good lawmakers do.”
The question the country needs to ask itself is: Are we willing to turn over the Speaker of the House to Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R. J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS? Can you imagine it?

I'd like to call the first session of the 112th Congress to session. Thanks to my corporate ... errr, constituents for putting me here today. As first order of business, I'd like to call my lobby .... err, constituent from the state of Goldman Sac.... errr, Ohio, to bang the gavel.
Ms. Bachmann, may I remind you that we are in charge of the House and therefore...
Ms. Bachmann, you don't need to obstruct anymore. We talked about this in my office earlier. Remembe....
(interrupting yet again)
Okay. You leave me no choice.
From behind the dais, Boehner pulls a lever and Bachmann falls through a trap door in the floor. Everyone, including Republicans applause.
Best use of stimulus money that I voted against!
Okay, may I resume my business? I'd like to introduce guest Speaker of the House, CEO of Goldman Sachs  Lloyd Blankfein to open business today. In fact, Goldman Sachs will have the chair for the next two months. He'd like to toss out all Wall Street reform measures.
Next, I'll turn over the chair to Nicholas E. Calio from Citibank. Citibank wants to do away with any pesky rules that actually protect customers from random interest rate hikes. In fact, he wants to allow credit cards to charge 100% daily interest.
Hurray! Hurray! More profits! More stock options!
(pulling out a list from his pocket)
Then we'll turn over the gavel to Google. 
End Net Neutrality! Allow Rupert Murdoch to control the Internet!
How about turning it over to United Health Plan? That way, we can drop those 32 million Americans who were covered under Obamacare, allow big corporate health companies to raise their rates, and start killing poor people again!
Bachmann shrieks loudly in complete and unrestrained ecstasy from underneath the house floor.
Yes, Michele. I knew that would do it for you. Let's see, who else may I sell this chair to? Walmart? BP?
Excuse me, Speaker. Osama bin Laden is on the phone. He'd like to donate two million dollars to your campaign...
(swings gavel)

 Speaker Boehner: American's Democracy for sale.

September 7, 2010

Shooting Fish in a Barrel: My Response to Last Week's Palinism

On August 19th, Republican Stooge failed VP candidate Sarah Palin tweeted this charming blurb:
Liberals defended Shirley Sharrod, lecturing about importance of hearing statements "in context" For everyone except Dr Laura of course.
Her moment of brilliance served as a new feature to my blog, a weekly "Palinism" that highlight's the woman's endless stupidity. This charming one was my first. Here is my response.

First, let's ignore her misspelling of Shirley SHERROD's name. One cannot expect someone with an IQ along the leeward side of the bell curve to actually worry about the spelling of a last name. Let's bravely journey to the content of her posting.

Sarah Palin is actually suggesting by this comment that there is an actual context to use the n-word in conversations in America today. Let me repeat that: Palin actually believes that Americans can go around spouting racial epithets in conversation as long as the "context" supports it.

What, may I ask the witless wonder, what context is that? In what world would she engage a group of African-Americans, or even a single Black-American, with usage of that word? Knowing that the likelihood of her talking to anyone but a White-American is nil, let's put it in that context. Is she going to stand on a stage and use that term in a political rally? How about at a dinner party? In a private conversation?

Does she really think there is ANY context in which it is okay? For she seems to suggest that there is, and she seems to suggest that the context in which Dr. Laura was using it was acceptable.

Well, I have news for my fine feathered and fickle friend to the north, the woman who couldn't complete a term as governor because she wanted to rake in the big bucks speaking at Tea Parties. That news is that there IS no context you can use that word in any way, shape or form in America. Period.

September 6, 2010

End of an Illegal War: Iraq in the Mirror

This week marked the official "end" of the US military involvement in Iraq (although we know its not really the end as we continue to support them). President Obama's speech announcing the cessation brought me back to a time, about eight years ago, when this illegal war started.

I was teaching at an elementary school in Beaverton, and fearing that a righteous and out-of-control president would attack a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. All of the blabber about "WMD's", secret laboratories, and other "vainglorious piffle" didn't convince me one iota of the legitimacy of the action.

That evening, I watched the president announce his intentions for declaring war, lying up the wingwang to the citizens of the United States, and was greatly sickened by it. So much so that I sent an e-mail out to my friends suggesting they wear black the day the bombs starting falling, as sort of a protest. Several people at school that day did, including me.

Before the war, I engaged in a brief discussion of the merits of the war with a relative. She tried to convince me that the war should happen because Saddam Hussein was a "bad man". I responded if we launched wars against all of the countries led by "bad people" in the world, we'd launch 15 different wars on that day, if not more. Was that a criteria to kill our soldiers?

And eight years later, and what do we have? What have we accomplished in Iraq? That question remains both unanswered and unanswerable. Hussein is no longer in power, but Iran, no longer having to battle an enemy who kept its power in check, now has the capability of running the gamut in the region.

The true legacy lies in a couple of numbers:

Estimated US Servicemen killed: 32,000
Estimated Iraq civilian death toll: 97,000 - 106,000

Once, during a discussion with a friend about this illegal action, I was labeled a "pacifist". Apparently, my opposition to attack countries that had nothing to do with 9/11 logically meant that I opposed ALL wars. I tried to respond, somewhat to deaf ears, that I wasn't. I cannot fathom the south ending slavery on its own volition. I do not think that Hitler would have retreated from his conquest of the world.

However, I did oppose this war. A war built on a sandy foundation of falsehoods, misrepresentations, and out right lies. It was an illegal action, period. And I, for one, am glad its over. I just hope that we haven't destroyed Iraq and caused far more damage than there was the day before we bombed the crap out of them. However, I feel that hope is a dim one, indeed.

As always, Rachel says it more eloquently that I:

August 29, 2010

Reflections in the Lincoln Memorial Pool: Glenn Beck's Ego-a-Palooza

The main theme of Glenn Beck's "I Have an Ego" weekend was "Restoring Honor". This is how we "restore honor" in America:

This makes me think of the days after 9/11, when patriotic fever was running rampant through our society, and all of a sudden, commercials on the television appeared to purchase "AMERICAN FLAGS FOR YOUR CAR! FOR 9.99: SHOW YOUR PATRIOTISM TODAY (shipping and handling extra). I doubt the nearly 3,000 people who died in the Twin Towers were hoping for capitalists to make a buck on their demise.

The last picture is probably the most laughable. Equating Fox News with Paul Revere? Really? There is only one person that is fooled by that sign, and its the person carrying it.

Apparently, in the rally unwatched by me (I had to clean the oven yesterday so I missed it), Beck decided to spend some time taunting Keith Olbermann (all the while he would never consent to talking with Olbermann, Maddow or Schultz about political issues....).

Here is Olbermann's take, recorded a couple days prior to the rally.

August 28, 2010

Real History at the Lincoln Memorial, and It's Aint Beck's Ego

Today, radio shock jock Glenn Beck channeled his inner Jerry Falwell and besmirched not only the Lincoln Memorial, but Martin Luther King, and the civil rights movement that inspired generations towards the still unmet goal of equality.

I spent absolutely no time watching any "news" coverage of the event. Instead, I wanted to post two truly historical events that occurred on the very same steps that Beck dishonored by his "I Have an Ego Rally".

The first occurred in 1939, when famed opera singer Marian Anderson was denied an event singing in the Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, stalwart civil rights supporter, resigned from the group and organized an outdoor concert by Anderson on the steps of the Memorial. The event was immortalized in one of my favorite children's picture books The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights.

The sight of an African-American woman standing in front of the president who signed the Emancipation Proclamation is stunning.

Watch below:

The second event needs little introduction. It occurred on August 28, 1963.

Now, that's history.

August 27, 2010

Glenn Beck's "I Have an Ego" Rally

Tomorrow, Glenn Beck and a group of his Borg "supporters" are converging on the Lincoln Memorial in an effort to "Restore Honor" to ... well, Glenn Beck's ego. You see, his ratings have been in the tank lately, and he's not getting the usual mindless promotion from the media cabal of the Republican Party Fox News. So, he picked Washington DC, and a "random date" to have his rally.

Yes, as random as the 47th anniversary of the historic "I Have a Dream Speech". Yes, that one. With Martin Luther King, Jr. The one that served as an important marker in the civil rights movement.

Glenn Beck says that the timing is "accidental". That he picked a Saturday near to his "9/12" date that describes his "9/12" movement whose purpose still escapes me (other than feeding Glenn Beck's ego).

So, one question that I have that Glenn Beck won't answer (because he's too busy calling our president who has a white mother a "racist" with "deep seeded hatred for white people of the white culture") is why, if his date was accidental, he is claiming to "reclaim the civil rights movement."

Beck said his rally will be an "iconic event", and then goes on an even more ludicrous route by stating, "we will reclaim the civil rights movement. 
"We are on the right side of history. We are on the side of individual freedoms and liberties and damn it, we will reclaim the civil rights moment. We will take that movement because we were the people that did it in the first place."
This is a classic White male perspective of protecting his privilege in our society by assuming the role of hassled victim. For people such as him, they recognize that privilege in our society is like a giant Jello, and there is only so much to go around. So, if we include our second class citizens fully in our society and political structures, as is sort of promised in the Constitution, then there will be less for him.

Beck has also said his rally will be "nonpolitical". This "nonpolitical" rally has these groups involved with the planning:

  • Tea Party Patriots
  • National Rifle Association
  • Freedomworks (a right wing political group)
  • Americans for Prosperity (another right wing political group)
  • Fox News (a "non participant" but a network that is heavily promoting this ego rally every chance it gets)
And, finally, there is a special guest appearance by none other than the main idiot herself: Alaska "I-Can't-Complete-a-Term" Governor Sarah Palin.

Yeah Beck, you are right. Nonpolitical for sure!

In his excellent book Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, Alexander Zaitchik documents a history of "rallies" by Beck, all designed to show hyper-patriotism and Beck's enormous ego. This is nothing new.

Tomorrow, I shall watch the true speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I'll be thinking about the civil rights movement, and how it gave millions of our citizens a step up from their unequal lives. I'll be thinking about how thirty years before that, a Black singer sang on the steps because she was barred from an auditorium, and how a First Lady arranged for her voice to soar outside. And I'll be thinking about how our country still has miles to go in the what seems to be the endless quest for true equality, and how much more work we have to do.

I won't be thinking of Glenn Beck's ego.

Here is Jon Stewart's hilarious take.

August 19, 2010

"Dr." Laura's Rant: A White Guy Examines Her Racism, and Palin Chimes In As Well

In a previous post, I commented on several parts of the now infamous and hopefully career ending racist rant by conservative radio propagandist commentator Dr. Laura Schlessinger. During that post, I learned that Grand Dragon Dr. Laura went on Larry King, and then in an interview with CNN reporter , defending herself and her "First Amendment" rights. I'd like to comment on some her snippets (again, edited by me), as well as share an insightful bit of racism from Sarah Palin.

Here is a snippet from Larry King:
I don't have the right to say what I need to say. My First Amendment rights have been usurped by angry, hateful groups who don't want to debate, they want to eliminate. So, that's why I decided it was time to move on to other venues where I could say my piece and not have to live in fear anymore that sponsors and their families are going to be upset, radio stations are going to be upset, my peeps, as I call them, are going to be upset."
Dr. Laura again is resorting to a typical White person defense of their unseen racist statements by first avoiding the content of her message entirely. In fact, she once again, in the first bolded statement, not only claims her "first Amendment rights" have been usurped, but then she calls out the groups that are "attacking her" by pointing out the racist remarks. In this sentence, she cleverly does a couple of things: tries to hide behind the Constitution to protect her speech, and then suggest that "angry, hateful" groups are attacking not only her, the but the Constitution as well.

Who does she think these "angry, hateful" groups are? In code, she's talking about groups of African-Americans, like the NAACP. So, now she's connected Black people attacking the Constitution, and then what does she say? "Live in fear"... conservatives always run a "fear based" campaign. Let's resort to the racist ideology of fearing our Black citizens. Well done,  Dr. Laura!

This doesn't even talk about the absurdity of the claim that people are denying her "First Amendment" rights. Of course she has first amendment rights. She can stand on the street corner and unleash her racist vituperation all day long. But while the First Amendment works to protect your right to speak, it doesn't give you protection from the responsibility for that speech. Dr. Laura apologized for her diatribe; but her later defense of said diatribe shows the insincerity of her apology and her incomprehension of the racism behind her comments.

John Roberts, covering for Anderson Cooper on 360, calls out Dr. Laura on her assertion that Blacks voted for Obama simply because of their skin color. When refuted with data, read what Dr. Laura does:
"The point that this woman made, which you don't play ... interestingly ... is her racist statement that whites are afraid of the black man taking over America. I think that was a pretty racist statement." 
Insert buzzer sound. Sorry Dr. Laura. Wrong again. First, Dr. Laura chooses NOT to engage Roberts in a debate about his point: calling her out for saying that Blacks only voted for Obama because of his skin color. She sidesteps the issue (AVOIDANCE). How?  By launching an attack on the Black caller by calling her a racist. Dr. Laura again is taking the recipient of racism and making her into the perpetrator of it. Classic White racist move. Well done again, Dr. Laura!

The question is, can we really blame Dr. Laura for her racist tirades? Is she the one to blame for this, or is society to blame? Well, in short, the answer to the first question is a resounding YES. Why? Being a public mouthpiece, giving information and advice on the radio carries with it a price tag. And that price tag involves educating herself on issues of race in this country. Those who speak about such things should know about such things.

To me, the content of her comments indicates where she is on her (lack of) understanding of issues involving race and equity in this country. She comments from the world she walks in, and that world she walks in is White. She doesn't realize, and hasn't learned, that people who are not White walk in a very different world than we do, which answers my second question.

What's the charming post-script to this story? Yes, of course, CONservative stool pigeon and "I-can't-complete-my-time-as-governor-because-I-can-make-millions-spouting-jibberish" Sarah Palin chimes into the fray with this lovely Tweet (bolding mine):
Dr.Laura:don't retreat...reload! (Steps aside bc her 1st Amend.rights ceased 2exist thx 2activists trying 2silence"isn't American,not fair") - Twitter, August 18th.
Palin's advice? Retreat ... reload. Yes, Ms. Palin. Let's use more of that hateful, hurtful language to make more of our citizenry feel second class. 

You are such a "classy" woman.

August 17, 2010

The Fall of Dr. Laura: It Only Took Herself to End Her Show

Can't you hear it now? "Ding, dong the witch is dead..."

I would have to say that my first true foray into the "political" realm occurred after the above witch called me a "biological error". Back in the late 90's/early 00's, Dr. Laura had a television show that tanked, partially due to an advertising campaign organized by John Aravosis, now of the oft-visited AmericaBlog and Americablog Gay.  It worked, and we moved on to greener pastures while "the doctor" spewed her conservative opinions about life.

Ten years later, it turns out it wasn't a boycott, or disgruntled listeners, or even a pail of water that would silence this righteous broad, but simply, she herself "done her in". 

Last week, it was aptly covered that Dr. Laura went on a racist diatribe in response to a caller dealing with issues of racism. Here is the now career ending phone call now:

Here are some choice excerpts of Dr. Laura's comments, and my take on them:
Dr. Laura: well, listen, without giving much thought, a lot of blacks voted for Obama simply 'cause he was half-black. Didn't matter what he was gonna do in office, it was a black thing.
Me: First. has Dr. Laura spoken with "many blacks" about how they voted? Did she take a survey? And how can she claim to know the operations of some one's mind? 

Her assertion is that black people would vote for a candidate only be because of his skin color, and because they agree with his political positions, his economic philosophy, a desire to shape the Supreme Court more fairly, or the fact that his wife is amazing. Nope, the only reason blacks for a black candidate is skin color. Dr. Laura, that's a racist comment.
Caller: How about the N-word? So, the N-word's been thrown around --
SCHLESSINGER: Black guys use it all the time. Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic, and all you hear is n*****, n*****, n*****. I don't get it. If anybody without enough melanin says it, it's a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it's affectionate. It's very confusing.

Oh, where to begin? Dr. Laura obviously fell asleep in history class, or more appropriately, ignored hundreds of years of our history. Do I really need to tell her that that word is simply not okay for White people to use, in any context and in any way? Does she need to be reminded that thousands of black people heard that yelled at them moments before their death by white crowds, prior to lynching? Prior to being whipped? Prior to being denied their education, and as they walked into a white school for the first time to get their education?
SCHLESSINGER: We've got a black man as president, and we have more complaining about racism than ever. I mean, I think that's hilarious.
Apparently, in Dr. Laura's opinion, all it takes to heal 400 years of oppression, racism, prejudice and bigotry is to elect a black president. Guess she doesn't watch Fox News?

Dr. Laura goes on spewing more and more vainglorious piffle until she cuts off the caller, who is patiently trying to educate Dr. Laura on my previous "white people shouldn't use that word". She then launches into a reflection on this call, that is the true object of my disaffection for this clueless calamity:

If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race. ....
We have to be able to discuss these things. We're people -- goodness gracious me. Ah -- hypersensitivity, OK, which is being bred by black activists. I really thought that once we had a black president, the attempt to demonize whites hating blacks would stop, but it seems to have grown, and I don't get it. 
Yes, I do. It's all about power. I do get it. It's all about power and that's sad because what should be in power is not power or righteousness to do good -- that should be the greatest power.
Please note I heavily edited and used bold print for Dr. Laura's comments.

Dr. Laura's use of the word "hypersensitive" several times indicates to me that she doesn't see race as an issue any longer in this country, and falls back on "blaming the victim" instead of addressing the issue.  It's common for White people to fall into "avoidance", a term defined in this remarkable book, Courageous Conversations About Race: A Field Guide for Achieving Equity in Schools. Dr. Laura indicates to me that she has no understanding of her own race, and therefore, cannot possibly begin to see race after another person's point of view.

Her accusation then switches to attacking "black activists", and goes immediately into the fear statement, "blacks demonizing whites". This is the zenith of avoidance. Now, not only is she refusing to acknowledge race, but she turns African-Americans, who are the recipients of racism in our society, into the perpetrators! She might as well start talking about "reverse racism".... oh, well, she does later, but that's another post.

The one thing I agree with her on. Her final statement. "It's all about power." She's right about that, but wrong about the source of power. It's all about her White power and privilege in this society that supports, feeds, and nourishes her ignorance on race issues in this country. 

I can say this to be definitely true because as a White person in this country, it does the same for me. Every day.

I'll blog more about Dr. Laura's ending of her show, and her appearance on Larry King, in another post.

So, Dr. Laura ends her show because of a single caller. I wonder if this caller wouldn't mind dialing up Bill O'Reilly ... Glenn Beck ... Michael Savage .... the list goes on.

August 10, 2010

Gay Judges Judging The Constitution? "Say it Ain't So!" says Tony Perkins

The KKK  Family Research Council is up to its tricks again! Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins has gone on the rampage disputing the ruling
"I think what you have is one judge who thinks he knows and a district level judge and an openly homosexual judge at that, who says he knows better than not only 7 million voters in the state of California but voters in 30 states across the nation that have passed marriage amendments. This is far from over.”
First, there is no evidence that Judge Vaughn Walker is gay. He has not declared it, or outed himself.

But let's entertain the crazy man's idea that an openly gay judge cannot fairly judge a gay marriage case. Obviously, in Perkins' small mind, an intelligent man who attends three years of law schools, and sits on the federal bench for 20 years is not able to think beyond his Johnson when it comes to the law.

Maybe, is it because Republicans are notoriously good at thinking with their Johnsons? Case in point:

"I love women!, God and guns! Now, where's the White Party?"

"No, I didn't not have sex in that stall!"

"It doesn't matter that I was having an affair while lambasting President Clinton for having an affair!"

(Now, it's true that Democrats have had plenty of sex scandals as well. Only, the Democrats don't run on political platforms of "moral righteousness" that the Republicans hypocritically run on).

But I digress...

Let's assume that Tony Perkins is (gulp) correct. A gay man cannot judge the merits of a gay marriage Constitution case because of conflict of interest. Let's go along this journey and see where it ends.

According to Prop. 8 supporters, the case for enshrining bigotry and unfairness in the Constitution is to protect marriage as an arrangement of one man and one woman, also known as (incorrectly, as it turns out) "traditional marriage". This case is just as much about marriage between one man and one woman as it is about gay marriage.

So, if a man who is gay cannot fairly decide this case, then it follows equally that a person that is married cannot be impartial as well. Right?

Imagine them listening to hours of testimony, of gay couples with kids, talking about the harm that the lack of marriage brings to their family. Then, this same person, going home that evening to their legally wedded and legally recognized spouse. How on earth could they be impartial?

They can't. According to Tony Perkins.

So, I guess if we followed this line, then all of the voters in California who are married couldn't be impartial on the issue and their votes need to be discounted.

Oh, let's continue with this....

  • Any African-American judge needs to recuse themselves from cases involving race. Actually, White, Latino, and Asian, and every other person in this world cannot judge a civil rights case on race because they couldn't be fair.
  • Every Supreme Court judge who has declared a religion must recuse themselves from cases judging the separation of church and state because they couldn't be fair.
  • Let's leave any sex discrimination case to judges who are neither male nor female, because their sex will get in the way of a correct decision.
  • Any judge who has stock in a corporation? They'll need to recuse themselves on corporate law cases (goodbye Citizens United ruling!
Dear Mr. Perkins, I know you can't possibly mean that any judge who even has a tangential connection to a case is not qualified to judge the merits of a case. 

I know what you really mean is that your position in this case is based on bigotry. Your position in this case is based on lies. Your position on this case was only able to provide two quickly discredited witnesses (where were you when they needed people to defend Prop. 8, Mr. Perkins?). 

Your position is indefensible. Your position is illogical. So your only defense in this case? Attack the man.

That's an attack of last resort, and a sad one at that.

August 6, 2010

A Rainbow Target on Target: They Believe in Inequality 3x as Much

Recently, I've blogged about the $150,000 headache that Target has dealt with since giving money to a group that supports a candidate who would unconstitutionally deny me my equal rights in this country.

The latest effort to calm the waters was a non-apology apology for the donation, written in a letter by Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel.


"The intent of our political contribution to MN Forward was to support economic growth and job creation. While I firmly believe that a business climate conducive to growth is critical to our future, I realize our decision affected many of you in a way I did not anticipate, and for that I am genuinely sorry."

So, he is sorry that ... that ... the decision affected some people in a way that he can't/won't define? What exactly is he sorry for? And if you look at the entire text of the letter, no where does he make steps to rescind the donation, nor make up for it by donating an equal amount of money to another cause that would support my equal rights.

Nope. So in my books, this is an "non-apology apology", and one that is cold at best.

So first, he tries to stifle the controversy by touting Target's 100% favorable rating by the gay equality organization Human Rights Campaign. Crickets chirp, and the boycott Target Facebook page gains another 20,000 members in the meantime.

The next step? Offer this letter with a "genuinely sorry" comment on it, while leaving the group with $150,000 to continue to fund ads of this bigot.

(Incidentally, the Tom Emmer currently running for governor had this to say about Target, ""The sad part to me is, I thought we were supposed to be able to exercise our rights of free speech." First, Mr. Emmer, do you mean "We the people" or "We the corporations". Oh that's right, in the eyes of the Supreme Court, corporations are people so they have a constitutional right to buy elections and the right to lie to me.  Oh, by the way, I'm a person and are the 45,000 other people on the boycott Target Facebook page, and we have a right to express our free speech. Mr. Emmer, I know it's confusing because we are not  corporations.)

At any rate, more information has been discovered by the infamous website "Open Secret" which tracks donations for certain causes and politicians. To save you some time, here is the screen cap of the Target donation. What do you notice?

Oh yeah, Target, which earned a 100% on the HRC rating scale,  donated money to the "Protectmarriage.com" cause, which fought to pass the unconstitutional Proposition 8 in California. It was a cause they believed $3,250 in.

Closer inspection also notes that Target donated $750 to defeat Prop. 8. Ultimately, it means that they believe in my unequal rights 3 times as much as they believe in my equal rights. And get a load of the the measly $100 donation to the No on 102 campaign, 102 being Arizona's version of Prop 8.

Where does this leave all of us? Well, Target still has miles to go before this news oil spill is cleaned up. In the meantime, I'll post a picture of my own investigation into Target's political bent.

I recently went to a Target (well, within the last couple of weeks) and snapped this picture of their book section.

What do you notice? See all of the "Pro-Obama" books? Nope. Laura Ingraham. Mark Levin. Sean Hannity. Bill O'Reilly. Newt Gingrich. All conservative hacks. Oh, and Laura Bush's new book too (but she supports my equal rights, so she is okay).

And this is in liberal Beaverton and in Oregon.

I'm just sayin'.