Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.
"I don't look at it as censorship," says State Representative Gerald Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."
Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" has lesbian characters.
Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is. Also exempted now Alabama's public and college libraries.
Librarian Donna Schremser fears the "thought police," would be patrolling her shelves.
"And so the idea that we would have a pristine collection that represents one political view, one religioius view, that's not a library,'' says Schremser.
"I think it's an absolutely absurd bill," says Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
First Amendment advocates say the ban clearly does amount to censorship.
"It's a Nazi book burning," says Potok. "You know, it's a remarkable piece of work."
But in book after book, Allen reads what he calls the "homosexual agenda,"
and he's alarmed.
"It's not healthy for America, it doesn't fit what we stand for," says Allen. "And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal."
He says he sees this as a line in the sand.
In Alabama's legislature, the reviews of Allen's bill are still out on whether to lower this curtain for good.
Editor's Note: When the time for the vote in the legislature came there were not enough state legislators present for the vote, so the measure died automatically.
…All too many Christians have behaved as though the Devil were a First Principle, on the same footing as God. They have paid more attention to evil and the problem of its eradications than to good and the methods by which individual goodness may be deepened, and the sum of goodness increased. The effects which follow too constant and intense a concentration upon evil are always disastrous. Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the Devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes even perceptibly worse than it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself.
The Devils of Loudun, p. 175
The rules were approved in January by the Republican-led House after Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas was admonished by the ethics panel on three separate matters in 2004.And just in time, as it was just revealed that
Republicans on the committee said they would open an investigation of DeLay's handling of overseas trips and gifts as soon as the impasse over the rules is broken, the Post said.
... The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the package was certain to include a reversal of the rule that would automatically dismiss an ethics complaint after 45 days if the committee is deadlocked, according to the report.
A House Republican aide told the newspaper the automatic-dismissal rule was "the rule that is most commonly believed to be designed to protect Tom DeLay" and that it was "impossible to win the communications battle" on it.
The airfare to London and Scotland in 2000 for then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was charged to an American Express card issued to Jack Abramoff, a Washington lobbyist at the center of a federal criminal and tax probe, according to two sources who know Abramoff's credit card account number and to a copy of a travel invoice displaying that number.Charge it? Hell, charge him!
What a bunch of fucking assholes. No, seriously.Hyde Admits Impeachment Payback22 April 2005
Let’s see. It cost $60 million in taxpayer’s money. Tarnished the Democratic Party and Al Gore during the 2000 election, and since. Distracted the country from Al Qaeda leading to the deaths of 3000 people.
For a 20 year old payback. Because they had to stand for something???
"Andy Shaw: Was it payback?Hyde: "I can't say it wasn't, but I also thought that the Republican party should stand for something, and if we walked away from this, no matter how difficult, we could be accused of shirking our duty, our responsibility.”
Mr. Soros was the guest speaker at the regular Wednesday morning strategy meeting led by Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, at ATR's offices on L Street.
Mr. Soros' appearance was a surprise. Those in attendance greeted him politely, with some offering to work with him on issues on which they could find common ground -- such as preserving civil and personal liberties.
"He, in turn, praised them for the "tremendous energy and enthusiasm" they showed for their various causes, most of which he had "fundamental disagreements" with, he said."
According to the Miami Herald, which has covered the case more thoroughly than any other outlet, "each rehabilitation facility treated her with aggressive physical, recreational, speech and language therapy, moving her arms and legs, trying to rouse her with scents. But according to court filings, Terri was not responsive to neurological or swallowing tests."...
..."She suffered from bile stones and kidney stones, according to court papers, and had to have her gallbladder removed. She has 'drop foot,' where her foot twists downward, and the ensuing pressure resulted in the amputation of her left little toe. She frequently developed urinary tract infections, diarrhea and vaginitis. Several cysts were removed from her neck. Several times, her feeding tube got infected.
Labels: terri schiavo
Hey ass hole [sic]. Tom Delay happens to be my congresman [sic] and I am happy with the job he does for me and my district. Why don’t you get the F@&* out of our district and leave us alone. Better yet, come speak to me personally and I will show you what I think of you.Kevin Cole
Pealrand [sic], TX
Just another fine day in the United States of Republika. But it did cause the number of people going to said exhibit to spike.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, just prior to the public opening of "Axis of Evil, the Secret History of Sin" at Columbia College's Glass Curtain Gallery, the agents arrived and took pictures of some of the art pieces -- including "Patriot Act," showing President Bush on a mock 37-cent stamp with a revolver pointed at his head. (See the Sun-Times link for the visual.)
The agents reportedly inquired as to what the artists "meant by their work" -- perhaps taking care of due diligence while also dispensing with the cost of the audio tour. But what came next starts to look more reflective of the aforementioned work's title, and how expression of dissent is treated in America under the Bush administration. According to the Sun-Times, the agents also wanted museum director CarolAnn Brown to turn over the names and phone numbers of all the artists. And, she said, they wanted to hear from the exhibit's curator, Michael Hernandez deLuna, within 24 hours.
Perched amid a stark landscape of sagebrush and expansive brown fields, long silver barns that hold 4,000 cows are linked like barracks in some covert operation. I drive down a narrow, cracked road toward the dairy's main office and pass open-air sheds about 20 feet away, where cows laze in crowded pens atop the brown hardpan of the Idaho desert. Just outside the milking barn, more cows are jammed into an outdoor corral. Amid clumps of dirt and snow, they are lined up, their bodies touching.
In recent weeks, as revelations of Horizon's farming practices have come to light, a collection of consumer groups and organic dairy farmers have erupted in protest. Horizon and similar dairies are capitalizing on the boom in organic foods, they say, but diluting the true meaning of the term. Contrary to genuine organic practices, which entail raising cows on open pastures, where the animals feed on grass, experts say that a substantial percentage of cows at farms like Horizon's are confined to pens, fed a diet of proteins and grains, and produce milk that, while free of hormones, is not as healthy as it could be.
...Scarborough invited the audience to get on their knees. All over the room, people dropped to the floor, heads bowed. From somewhere in the audience, a preacher started up:
"Father, we echo the words of the apostle Paul, because we know Judge Greer claims to be a Christian. So as the Apostle Paul said in First Corinthians 5, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus."...
...Michael Schwartz, the longtime right-wing operative who now serves as Sen. Coburn's chief of staff, made The Hammer sound soft. "This problem that we're dealing with fundamentally is a question of sovereignty," he said. He went on to argue that, "when the Supreme Court says that there is a right to kill babies in the Constitution and therefore we can't have laws against that, or there is a right to commit buggery in the Constitution and we can't have laws against that," it implicitly asserts that "the people have no right to make laws."
As long as the Supreme Court purports to "grade the papers of Congress" -- in other words, to evaluate its laws -- "it is counter to the very basis of this republic." Thus, until America throws out the principle of judicial review, "it is a sick and sad joke to claim we have a Constitution."...
...On a Friday panel titled "Remedies to Judicial Tyranny," a constitutional lawyer named Edwin Vieira discussed Kennedy's majority opinion in Lawrence vs. Texas, which struck down that state's anti-sodomy law. Vieira accused Kennedy of relying on "Marxist, Leninist, Satanic principals drawn from foreign law" in his jurisprudence.
What to do about communist judges in thrall to Beelzebub? Vieira said, "Here again I draw on the wisdom of Stalin. We're talking about the greatest political figure of the 20th century … He had a slogan, and it worked very well for him whenever he ran into difficulty. 'No man, no problem.'"
The audience laughed, and Vieira repeated it. "'No man, no problem.' This is not a structural problem we have. This is a problem of personnel."
As Dana Milbank pointed out Saturday in the Washington Post, the full Stalin quote is this: "Death solves all problems: no man, no problem." Milbank suggested that Kennedy would be wise to hire more bodyguards.
Was Vieira calling for assassination? I'm not sure. The conference's rhetoric, though, certainly suggested that judges deserve to reap the horrors they have ostensibly sown. The affair finished with a rousing speech by recent Republican senatorial candidate Alan Keyes, who drew enthusiastic applause when he said, "I believe that in our country today the judiciary is the focus of evil."
Here's a classic example: During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Dworkin quarreled with feminists who did not consider Bill Clinton's sexual encounters with the White House intern to be sufficiently exploitative to merit impeachment. A principled, reasonable argument could be made that Clinton's behavior was unethical, but Dworkin was never about reason. "What needs to be asked," she told a British journalist, "is, was the cigar lit?"
The statement (it seems too sensationalistic to be called a quip) is pure Dworkin: a ghoulishly creative melodramatic flourish that has little bearing on the matter at hand. Clinton may have acted sleazily, with a callous disregard for the emotional consequences of his actions on a young woman who was too naive and eager-to-please to grasp them herself, but no one suspects or has accused him of sadistically torturing her. Yet Dworkin was never able to enter into a conversation about morality unless the stakes were escalated to the stratosphere. The everyday realm where most of us commit our minor sins against, and injuries to, each other didn't really interest her. She only cared for the Grand Guignol.
Dworkin came out of and contributed to a subculture of feminism that specialized in this kind of irresponsible overstatement. A certain style developed: Throw out a handful of lurid, grisly anecdotes as if they amounted to an indictment of an entire class of people (usually men), who, if the worst of them can be shown to be guilty of such outrages, must all be equally responsible for them. The shock will soften your audience up enough to keep them from asking just how typical such atrocities really are and how widely condoned. Yes, they do happen, but like the handful of kidnapped little girls during the summer of 2002, such horrors can be made to seem epidemic when they're actually a rarity. Meanwhile, the much less exciting, if far more common, troubles of women who are simply trying to feed their children on inadequate wages, or get a decent job, fall by the wayside.
I would suggest that Dworkin was not at all interested in the freedom of women; she was one of those who wanted to create a new set of limitations on women's choices, illustrated well by her collusion with the religious right and her giving them such a great weapon against freedom of speech by defining what she considered "obscenity" as "sex discrimination." She seemed to believe that no woman could have sex with a man without being deluded, what I call the "poor little dears" theory of feminism. But in my view, I really don't care whether a Puritan prig is left or right--they're all tiresome, destructive morons out to limit thoughts to what they themselves can stand. Jesus, I can only imagine what she thought of the post-feminists.
May she rest in peace; the last thing I want is her coming back. Good riddance.
Labels: terri schiavo
...the Vatican's decision to let Cardinal Bernard Law lead a funeral Mass for Pope John Paul in Rome has prompted outrage back home, where the ousted Boston archbishop is seen as a symbol of a pedophile priest scandal.Huh! And, let's not forget, you also get to be in the conclave that picks the next pope. You naughty, naughty cardinal, I hope you've learned your lesson!
Victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergymen were particularly harsh in their reaction, saying the decision to give Law a prominent role in the pomp and circumstance surrounding the pope's death came as a slap in the face.
"I find it personally very insulting and one more instance of how the Roman Catholic hierarchy protects and promotes even the most egregious among them," said Ann Hagan Webb, a regional coordinator of the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.
"He (Law) protected priests at the expense of children over and over and over again, and this symbolically says: 'We don't care about these children; we'd rather honor him,"' Hagan Webb, a clergy abuse victim herself, told Reuters.
Law resurfaced in American media this week following the pope's death, granting a lengthy interview to ABC News and being photographed at numerous public events.
"From the moment Law appeared on ABC, we have received an overwhelming number of e-mails and phone calls, for the most part from people very much upset by Law's visibility," said Suzanne Morse of the Catholic laity group Voice of the Faithful, which grew out of the scandal.
"When you look at the attacks on [DeLay], there is no there there," says Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, comparing DeLay's ethics controversy with the House impeachment trial of Bill Clinton -- of which then-Republican whip DeLay was the prime instigator. "This is exactly what the Republicans did in 1998. You don't have an issue, you don't have a policy, and go out and play sack the quarterback. For taking on Clinton, it turned out to be a pretty stupid policy. It's attacking a person for extraneous things."
...on the April 6 edition of The Radio Factor, O'Reilly accused DeLay of "exploit[ing] the system":
O'REILLY: All right, how about this Tom DeLay? Paying his wife and daughter $500,000? Wow! What a guy! Congressman from Texas. Very powerful in the House of Representatives, obviously. Got some 'splainin' to do, Tom. ... you Republicans out there, you guys gotta obey the rules. And dancing around the rules, just because you didn't break 'em -- still, a half-million dollars to your wife and daughter -- since 2001 is it? Whoa! So anyway, not a good day for Tom DeLay -- that rhymes. Now, I can't understand guys like DeLay who want to exploit the system.
Labels: terri schiavo
"If death comes from a thousand cuts, Tom DeLay is into a couple hundred, and it's getting up there," said a Republican political consultant close to key lawmakers. "The situation is negatively fluid right now for the guy. You start hitting arteries, it only takes a couple."
quoted by Mike Allen, Washington Post
First, the Post: "A six-day trip to Moscow in 1997 by then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) was underwritten by business interests lobbying in support of the Russian government, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the trip arrangements." It is against the law for member of Congress to accept travel reimbursements from registered lobbyists and foreign agents.
At the time, DeLay reported that the $57,000 Moscow trip was paid for by a Beltway non-profit outfit. "But interviews with those involved in planning DeLay's trip say the expenses were covered by a mysterious company registered in the Bahamas that also paid for an intensive $440,000 lobbying campaign," the Post reports.
This is now the third overseas trip taken by DeLay that appears to have been paid for by foreign agents. Making matters worse, the lobbyist at the center of DeLay's Moscow trip was the notorious Jack Abramoff, who is now at the center of a federal influence-peddling and corruption probe investigation.
Then there's the Times: "The wife and daughter of Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, have been paid more than $500,000 since 2001 by Mr. DeLay's political action and campaign committees." The paper notes the women's duties, "were described in the disclosure forms as 'fund-raising fees,' 'campaign management' or 'payroll,' with no additional details about how they earned the money."
Over the last three years DeLay's wife and daughter have received, on average, monthly paychecks worth $4,000.
DeLay's political action and campaign committee, Americans for a Republican Majority, is already the target of a criminal investigation, with its executive director "indicted in Texas last year on charges of illegal fund-raising, and prosecutors there have refused to rule out the possibility of charges against Mr. DeLay in the continuing inquiry," notes the Times.
Now, I'm not crowing at all. Well, maybe just a little. Okay, okay, I admit it--it's difficult to type when you're dancing about singing "I Love Life" from Scrooge. Look, if you've been reading this blog for even a month or two, you already know I've been conducting a death watch for DeLay's career ever since he used DHS to facilitate his gerrymandering of Texas. (And DHS, as we all know, has nothing better to do than to assure the political future of corrupt Republicans--hell, that's its whole purpose)
"I believe we have a fair and independent judiciary today. I respect that."This is to be contrasted with DeLay's vows of retribution.
DeLay, a Texas Republican, said afterward: "We will look at an arrogant, out-of-control, unaccountable judiciary that thumbed their nose at the Congress and president when given jurisdiction to hear this case anew." In a written statement, DeLay said: "The time will come for the men responsible for this to answer for their behavior."
Frist, asked about the furor over the case, told reporters, "I will let members (of Congress) ... speak for themselves."My, that's cold.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) says Democrats suffered major setbacks in the 1990s when an ethics-challenged leader -- House Speaker Jim Wright (D-Tex.), who resigned in 1989 -- became a larger symbol of his party than its platform issues. "That's a cocktail for disaster," Graham said. If a political leader's personal problems are coupled with "some policy decisions that are disconnected to the public, then you've got an opening" for trouble, he said. "If we don't watch it, it could happen to us."
Graham is wary of some Republicans' calls for further Schiavo-inspired legislation, such as a federal definition of "persistent vegetative state." The states, he said, "are capable of defining end-of-life terms."
And then some words from a Republican pollster, in a position to know reality better than most in the party:
Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio said several national surveys found that 60 to 80 percent of Americans opposed Congress's March 20 intervention in the Schiavo case. Federal courts promptly rejected the lawmakers' directive to review a series of Florida court decisions allowing Schiavo's feeding tube to be removed. One appellate judge chastised Congress and Bush for their actions.
Fabrizio said voters "are probably wondering why we can't get deficit reduction or tax reform or Social Security reform as quickly as we got the Schiavo bill" from the Republican-controlled Congress. Because conservative Christian activists were seen as pushing the legislation, he said, "that's a symbol of what your [party's] priorities are, and you'd better show them another symbol."
...former GOP senator John C. Danforth of Missouri, an ordained Episcopal minister, wrote a New York Times op-ed article criticizing his party's emphasis on opposing stem cell research, same-sex marriage and Schiavo's husband. "Republicans have transformed our party into the political arm of conservative Christians," he wrote.It appears God's veil of protection is about to be removed from DeLay.
[T]he Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an entity of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer or agent of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official or personal capacity), concerning that entity's, officer's, or agent's acknowledgment of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government....
...SEC. 302. IMPEACHMENT, CONVICTION, AND REMOVAL OF JUDGES FOR CERTAIN EXTRAJURISDICTIONAL ACTIVITIES.
To the extent that a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States or any judge of any Federal court engages in any activity that exceeds the jurisdiction of the court of that justice or judge, as the case may be, by reason of section 1260 or 1370 of title 28, United States Code, as added by this Act, engaging in that activity shall be deemed to constitute the commission of--
(1) an offense for which the judge may be removed upon impeachment and conviction; and
(2) a breach of the standard of good behavior required by article III, section 1 of the Constitution...
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