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The Hand of Gawd Almighty… 10 January 2010

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, 2012 Re Election, California / Pacific Coast, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, Portugal, San Francisco, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
50 comments

A large lenticular cloud (also known as a UFO cloud) caps Mount Hood in Oregon, during the search for two missing climbers. A third member of their party was discovered dead last weekend (about 3 weeks ago, this being from UK Telegraph’s Pictures of the Day, December 18, 2009) [Picture: AP]

hmm Sometimes in the magic of the earth, its atmosphere and outer space, you can almost, but not quite, see why people believe in a god… The cloud is nearly a soft possibly protective shroud for the dead. 

Of course it and other weather hampered search teams on critical days.  The last two on the mountain were not found, not rescued. 

No “joy cometh in the morning” for them. 

When my father was about 20 he climbed Mt Hood… and always said he “thought he would die”, but managed not to.  I never quite grasped how real that was until some years ago when the mountain claimed 9 in one climbing party.

God.

Local CBS this morning had on a pretty decent local legal analyst.  It seems clear that the aftermath of Prop 8, here in California denying SSM, will lead to the US SC.  Where the hinge will be if gays are to be a protected class, as are African Americans and others.

Feel the chill wind of an unloving god:  Thou Shalt Not… grasped by the pols.  Their mouths, teeth and tongues ready to masticate human life.  To a pulp.

Render unto Caesar…

I don’t see that, expansion of the protected class status, being agreed to by 5 of the 9, much less allowed by the elected class, both white and black.

Glory to God in the Highest.

As the legal access to SSM opens in Portugal… the president, it is reported, will not veto the law and the PM said it will “wipe away needless pain”… as Spain lives peacefully with SSM, as Mexico City leads the way…

The legal analyst mentioned the specific glory that will impede a freedom:   Pols don’t want to anger religious voters, of either party.

Glory.

A lot of worshippers of god, where ever he may be, are in a hidey-hole.

All glory to some vaporous god and none to flesh and blood, man and woman?  Seems that way to me.

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The mouse and the leopard 4 June 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Afghanistan War, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Egypt, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Iran, Iraq War, Israel/AIPAC, Riyadh, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health, WAR!.
54 comments

A mouse steals food from under the nose of a leopard at the Santago Rare Leopard Project in Hertfordshire. [CASEY GUTTERIDGE / SOLENT]

From the Telegraph:

Instead of pouncing on the the mouse, the 12-year-old African leopard, called Sheena, simply watched as it fed on scraps of meat thrown into its enclosure.

At one stage she tried to nudge the mouse away with her nose, but the mouse carried on eating regardless.

“I have no idea where the mouse came from – he just appeared in the enclosure after the keeper had dropped in the meat for the leopard.

“He didn’t take any notice of the leopard, just went straight over to the meat and started feeding himself. But the leopard was pretty surprised – she bent down and sniffed the mouse and flinched a bit like she was scared.

“In the meantime the mouse just carried on eating like nothing had happened.

“It was amazing, even the keeper who had thrown the meat into the enclosure was shocked – he said he’d never seen anything like it before.”  snip

***

As for Ob

From royal horse farm to the Sphinx to Dresden to landstuhl to Buchenwald to D Day beaches to Paris in 4 days.  Watch him streak by and speak — all at once.  Brilliant!

Angry Arab pounded this out at his site (I am stealing the whole)… in one long push.  I put in paragraph breaks…

Obama Speech: Part Vapid and Part Sinister

I did not expect much. I mean, you know the routine by now.

When presidents change, they merely change the Zionist Middle East “expert” at the White House who guides the president. Something happened in Middle East policy making in the White House in the Reagan administration. They no more trusted a real Middle East expert to guide policy making (this is party the obituary of the Arabists in Robert Kaplan’s book by that name). You no more had a William Quandt at the White House: somebody who is a trained Middle East scholar who is truly balanced in his views of the Middle East.

By the Reagan administration, that was killed. Reagan’s White House had Geoffrey Kemp (who is now at the Nixon Center) and it went down hill from there. I met Kemp a few times and he is a nice guy but he is no William Quandt. Kemp looked at the Middle East from the standpoint of Cold War calculations and from the standpoint of what is best for American-Israeli relations. The George H.W. Bush’s White House had Richard Haas he was no expert on the Middle East.

Clinton selected Martin Indyk and that set the stage for the appointment of Zionist activists (with no Middle East expertise like Elliott Abrams) to take over Middle East policy making. This coincided–what a coincidence–with the change in Middle East programs at Washington, DC thank tanks. I mean, when I first came to the city, you could find non-Zionists at DC-based think tanks, including at the American Enterprise Institute.

It is ironic that the political culture of the capital became more Zionist after the end of the Cold War when much of the support for Israel and its aggression was predicated–according to advocates–on Cold War arguments. So you can argue that Bill Clinton established a precedent of hiring (non-American) Zionist lobbyists/activists as Middle East advisers.

So when I woke up and read the transcript of the speech I started thinking about the process of drafting the speech. It was compiled together from various different elements that were contained in speeches of US presidents before, including speeches by none other than George W. Bush.

He begins the speech by attributing the reasons for Muslim hostility to the West to colonialism, Cold War and then modernity–kid you not.

By the introduction, I knew that he is and will be missing the point.

And his talk about Muslim dignity and the lack of incompatibility between Islam and human rights have been contained in speeches–many of them indeed–by George W. Bush. And these quotations from the Qur’an are really old: they started with Jimmy Carter and in order to justify US support for Camp David. Remember that this began even earlier in the declaration to the Egyptian people by Napoleon’s expedition (and at least he had at his disposal real Orientalist, Silvestre de Sacy, and not Jeffrey Feltman or Daniel Shapiro: and there is very little on the latter. He works as the Middle East expert at the National Security Council of Obama’s White House. He did not study the Middle East and worked on the staff of various Zionist members of congress including Diane Feinstein. His resume include bragging about his work on the hill: he spearheaded work to ban Al-Manar from the US and to push for the Syria Accountability Act, meaning he implemented orders from AIPAC–not more and no less).

Obama is not a man of courage: if he was politically courageous, he would have said that Al-Azhar under the rule of Nasser was a force of progressive thought, enlightenment, state feminism support, and quasi-secularism. Under American puppets, Sadat and Mubarak, Al-Azhar became a force of obscurantism, fanaticism, misogyny, religious intolerance, and violence. Al-Azhar does not deserve any praise whatsoever. The Copts, Freethinkers, and women all sufferes because of rulings from Al-Azhar. Ideas of Al-Qa`idah and religious fanaticism’s in general should be blamed on that obsolete institution which serves as a tool of the dictators in Egypt.

His reference to the early roots of Islam in America is so disingenuous: he has one bland quote from John Adams and leave out various expressions of bigotry against Muslims by founding fathers.

And he then condemns (unspecified) Western stereotypes of Muslims and then matches them with what he calls Muslim stereotypes of America as empire. But those two are not symmetrical: American stereotypes of Muslims are racist and essentialist, and the notion that the US is a war mongering Empire is shared by none Muslims and Muslims alike around the world. The literature about the US as Empire is written largely by Westerners.

So Obama is asking for a bargain: to end Western racism (but not wars) against Muslims, Muslims need to stop attacking US foreign policy and wars. This is chicanery–don’t you like those old fashioned words?

He talks about the US as a force of “progress.” How untrue for Obama’s audience: the US has consistently opposed forces of progress and advancement in the Middle East: in every conflict between an oil Sheikh or a polygamous prince against progressive socialists or Arab nationalist secularists, the US has always sided with the polygamous princes who have been in alliance with religious kooks and advocates of “holy wars.” Hell, he just came from Saudi Arabia where he praised the wisdom of the Saudi king and he wants to talk to me about “force of progress”? Maybe if you can bring up the issue of Wahhabi fanaticism I would believe you.

He said that his personal story as an African American (with an African Muslim name) who was elected president is not unique. Yes, it is: and it was not easy: and his name was mocked during his campaign, and he made his best to distance himself from anything Muslims.

So here, Obama is assuming that his Cairo audience are a bunch of idiots who did not follow his campaign and the reactions that it generated.

He adds that Muslims in America enjoy education and income above average Americans. Yes, that is true, and I hate when people say that: the reasons is due to the racist/cl assist rules for the immigrants from Muslims/Middle East countries: only those who high degrees are allowed into the country, while poor people from other countries are allowed. If you are in the Middle East, your chances of being allowed into the US are related to the high degrees you hold. He said that there are mosques in the US but does not mention that many communities fight tooth and nail against those mosques.

His references to Iraq and Afghanistan are largely apologetic: and he does not mention that his past critiques of the invasion of Iraq was asking to the criticisms of the Israeli occupation of West Bank and Gaza in Tikkun: that it is based on what is good or bad for Israel, and not for what it does to the victims.

He talks about Taliban and Al-Qa`idah’s killing of Muslims (and Muslims know that they have killed Muslims) but he does not mention that Bush administration and Obama administration have also been killing innocent Muslims: if anything, the rate of bombing from the air may have increased over Afghanistan under Obama: the advocate of the surge in Afghanistan versus Bush, the advocate of surge in Iraq. What a difference.

I was offended by his lecturing to Muslims about Jewish suffering: as if the audience is entirely anti-Semitic. There are anti-Semites in the US and he does not lecture to them. He spoke about the repugnant practice of Holocaust denial but did not mention that the literature is entirely Western in that regard.

And he then moves from a discussion of the Nazism to the Arab-Israeli conflict. What is his point here: that because of Nazi crimes, the Palestinians need to accommodate Zionist crimes on their lands? This is the most offensive section of course: he talks about the Palestinians without identifying who was doing those bad things to them. Look at this sentence: “have suffered in pursuit of a homeland. For more than sixty years they have endured the pain of dislocation.” So their suffering is due to their pursuit of a homeland: so they should stop the pursuit and the suffering will go away.

He then mention the “pain of dislocation.” What is that o Obama? Is that like a shoulder dislocation? He refers to Palestinian reference to “for Palestinians to point to the displacement brought by Israel’s founding” but never mentions Israeli wars, attacks, and invasions and yet he makes specific references to Palestinian violence thereby making it clear that adheres to White Man standards: that only Israeli lives matter. I mean, if you compare the killing and terrorism between the two sides, the Israeli side clearly comes out on top in terrorism, wars, and aggression.

He then lectures the Palestinians: “Resistance through violence and killing is wrong and does not succeed.” I read that and thought: wait. Did you not in the early part of the speech bragged about how the US fought (non-violently, I may add) against British Empire? I should lecture Obama here: why didn’t the US resort to non-violent resistance against the British Empire?

How could he speak about nuclear weapons without even mentioning the Israeli arsenal? That was another insult to the intelligence of the audience: maybe Jeffrey Feltman and Daniel Shapiro told him that Arabs don’t know that Israel has nuclear weapons. His words about democracy are just as empty as they were under Bush: he just returned from Saudi Arabia, for potato’s sake, and he has just refused to label Egyptian dictator as…autocrat.

One of the most offensive part of the speech was his reference to religious freedom: he concludes that section by praising the Saudi imitative for inter-faith dialogue. So Obama takes Wahhabi doctrine as the model for religious freedoms. I understand you, now Obama. I understand you very well.

PS There is much more to be said but I got bored and have to continue grading.

Posted by As’ad at 7:53 AM

I listened to it live this morning.. and caught the call-ins right after to a local program… 😆  first caller had a religious experience listening to it.  Lordy.

Another wanted school children to have to study this speech.  God in himmel.

We are so scrood, from within.

Another tidbit from Angry Arab:

Arab media–according to the Huffington Post

Read this article in the Huffington Post: every Arab media mentioned is funded by an Arab oil dynasty (or by Mubarak’s police state). Do you know how insulting it is to assume that the polygamous oil dynasties speak for Arab public opinion?

Posted by As’ad at 9:51 AM

Dissent is sewn up tight, pushed to an outdoor encampment, far down the road.

***

One last thing… oh this is such bad news

Atlanta – The U.S. Marine Corps is wooing public school districts across the country, expanding a network of military academies that has grown steadily despite criticism that it’s a recruiting ploy.

The Marines are talking with at least six districts – including in suburban Atlanta, New Orleans and Las Vegas – about opening schools where every student wears a uniform, participates in Junior ROTC and takes military classes, said Bill McHenry, who runs the Junior ROTC program for the Marines.

Those schools would be on top of more than a dozen public military academies that have already opened nationwide, a trend that’s picking up speed as the U.S. Department of Defense looks for ways to increase the number of units in Junior ROTC, which stands for Reserve Officers Training Corps.

“Many kids in our country don’t get a fair shake. Many kids live in war zones. Many kids who are bright and have so much potential and so much to offer, all they need to be given is a chance,” McHenry said. “If you look at stats, what we’re doing now isn’t working.”

Last year, Congress passed a defense policy bill that included a call for increasing the number of Junior ROTC units across the country from 3,400 to 3,700 in the next 11 years, an effort that will cost about $170 million, Defense Department spokeswoman Eileen M. Lainez said. The process will go faster by opening military academies, which count as four or more units, McHenry said.  snip

Our local school board voted out Junior ROTC presence on high school campuses..  Gavin openly said he was ashamed of the move and ashamed of “how we look to the rest of the country”.

Of course, I am ashamed of Gavin… so, even steven.

Fiona Ma (D-SF) who had been the Chinatown supe  then moved on to Sacramento, has filed emergency legislation to force JROTC back (with plenty of support of course).  Quite the martial drum majorette she was too, literally and bluntly saying that Sacramento SHALL decide for us, rather than the local board.  And filmed, as she would bark this out, against a back drop of nearly all Chinese students ROTC-ing …

[S]tate Assemblywoman Fiona Ma’s proposed “emergency legislation … to save JROTC” would make San Francisco the only city in the state, probably in the country, required by law to have JROTC classes. It’s an attempt to get state legislators from San Diego to Sacramento to dictate to San Francisco that we must keep the Pentagon’s favorite military recruitment program in our schools. It is an attack on local control of schools that has even pro-JROTC members of the San Francisco school board wondering aloud what she is doing.

The language in Ma’s bill states that San Francisco public schools must “make Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) courses available to pupils under its jurisdiction in grades 9 to 12, inclusive.” Whatever its author’s stated intentions, this language unambiguously requires JROTC classes in ALL San Francisco high schools (“available to pupils under its jurisdiction in grades 9 to 12, inclusive…”), not just the seven high schools which currently have JROTC programs. Wallenberg, SOTA, O’Connell, Marshall, June Jordan, Gateway … get ready for JROTC.  snip

She appeared to be a fanatic, to be blunt.  Leading her own race-based child warriors.  Fucking nutter…. shouldn’t there be white students, Latino students… black students? In that picture?  All goose-stepping? I call for fairness in unfair imposition of martial discipline… HA!.

We had forced recruiters from  the schools… and from the streets in front of high schools, but it hardly matters now.  [IF her legislation passes] they will be INSIDE the high schools.

The Truth Out article says from these mil academies, 5 – 10% join up.

The academies have the support of U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, who ran Chicago Public Schools before being tapped by President Barack Obama. Duncan sees the schools as another option for kids who don’t fit well in a traditional educational setting.

“For the right child, these schools are a lifesaver,” Duncan said.

It is a very sad article, mentioning Paul Vallas who began this in Chicago, the third largest school district in the nation, under Mayor Daley (got a pretzel on the speed dial and an Ed Sec too!)… Vallas then went to Philadelphia and did it again, then on to NO (which the article does not mention other than it is targeted for mil academies) on and on it goes.

Heil.

***

From moiv:

hasn’t that family had enough?

Evidently not. These are both sides of the current marquee on a Wichita “church” whose “pastor” is an ally of Operation Rescue. I hope none of George’s family have to drive past there this week.

***

Plus Ça Change… 2 June 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Lie Down Fall Down Dems, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
31 comments

A previously unseen photograph of Jane Fonda dressed as Barbarella [Photo by Paul Joyce – PROUD GALLERIES]

I landed on this in the pages at the Telegraph.. it is soon to go on display with other photographs of the era:

The 1968 film features a sexually voracious Fonda in the title role in a series of revealing outfits which creating striking images.

Director Roger Vadim, with whom Fonda later had a child, created one of the most memorable female roles at a time when sexual emancipation was a great social issue.
A precis of the plot on film site imdb.com, sums up the sexual nature of the plot: “After an in-flight anti-gravity striptease (masked by the film’s opening titles), Barbarella, a 41st century astronaut, lands on the planet Lythion and sets out to find the evil Durand Durand in the city of Sogo, where a new sin is invented every hour.

“There, she encounters such objects as the Exessive Machine, a genuine sex organ on which an accomplished artist of the keyboard, in this case, Durand Durand himself, can drive a victim to death by pleasure, a lesbian queen who, in her dream chamber, can make her fantasies take form, and a group of ladies smoking a giant hookah which, via a poor victim struggling in its glass globe, dispenses Essance of Man.”

The image, taken by Paul Joyce, will sit alongside signed photographs of the artists Bill Brandt, Brassai and fellow photographer Ansel Adams, who gained fame for his black and white landscapes. snip

I saw it when it came out, as a high schooler in Europe and found it hilarious. I have heard Jane say the costumes were very uncomfortable. I bet.

I saw the movie again, about 20 years later and found it draggy.  I mean, slow moving… tho I suppose it has elements of drag queen in it too…

Last I heard, Jane was one of the bigger Dem party donors (13 million across a couple of election cycles, a mid term and a GE) and had found Jesus. Praise be.

Other than that I read an article in the Guardian that indicated ipso facto the US has dispatched marshalls to guard ”some” clinics.

This was moiv’s response, from an abortion clinic in a red state, about ”extra security”, so easily off the lips of Holder:

Oh, hell no. Don’t expect that they will, either, not real protection. If it’s like the 90s, they’ll send out an agent or two to do a “security assessment” and advise us on what we should do to make ourselves safer — as if we needed tips. Then they’ll give us their phone numbers and tell us to call if we need to.

She also wrote this about which Operation Rescue telephone number was in Roeder’s car when he was picked up:

The terrorist had the phone number to a woman who’d been involved in clinic bombings w/ Op Rescue, and now acts in their PR arm.

That would be Cheryl Sullenger, Troy Newman’s perennial right hand. If anything, she’s even worse than he is. She’s the one who filed 18 complaints against George [Tiller] with the Kansas medical board about 15 minutes after the jury acquitted him of all 18 trumped-up counts.

Myself, I hope moiv has a conceal carry permit.

I wonder, did Ob and the always grandstanding Oblings not realise what going to Notre Dame and, as high profile as possible, lecturing everyone, on all sides of the issue, might do?  Or could do?

That ‘come together, little children, for Daddy’ did not work.

[yes I’ll get off this stick, probably by tomorrow]

Flat earth… 1 June 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Culture of Death, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
21 comments

World view according to Homer, prior to 900 B.C.

The Homeric conception of the world represented as a flat, circular disc of land surrounded by a continuous ocean-stream remained a popular notion in the Greek world even after many philosophers and scientists had accepted the theory of the sphericity of the earth enunciated by the Pythagoreans and subjected to theoretical proof by Aristotle. In this interpretation the world is like a plateau on the top of a mountain; inside this, close to the surface of the earth, lies the House of Hades, the realm of Death, and beneath it Tartarus, the realm of Eternal Darkness. The plateau of the earth is surrounded by Oceanus, the world river, and from its periphery rises the fixed dome of the sky. The sun, the moon, and the stars rise from the waters at the edge of the dome, move in an arc above the earth, and then sink once again into the sea to complete their course beneath the Oceanus. The atmosphere above the mountain of the earth is thick with clouds and mist, but higher up is the clear Æther with its starry ceiling.  [from this site]

***

The killing of George Tiller, not even 24 hours later, is being swept away from some news pages, minimised elsewhere… it rides at the top of the page in the LAT, rides a blaring tabloid banner at HuffPo… NYT has barely bothered to update their bare bones ‘re cap the doc’s past’ version…And it is of no interest this morning to NPR, not even in their news recaps (the did skim past it just now in their 5 AM update)…. It’s all Sotomayor.  And everything you ever wanted to know about numchuks! Or the strange case of the Air France plane, simply missing over the Atlantic…  GM.

Well, perhaps later in the day, when NPR denizens have had tea and crumpets and can face harsh realities at home, and not in some third world spot, carefully reported on, from a distance and with academic interest, to make us think we are safe and sound.

ABC is carrying the story on their site, with a bit of interest on extended security (boy does it sound grudging) for clinics and personnel…

Stolz said that Wichita police would be considering whether they need to do more to protect the clinic.

“We will look at security measures as a second facet of this investigation,” Stolz said at a news conference after the suspect was arrested.

Attorney General General Eric Holder said protection would be offered to abortion providers.

“I have directed the United States Marshals Service to offer protection to other appropriate people and facilities around the nation,” Holder said in a statement released late today by the Justice Department. “The Department of Justice will work to bring the perpetrator of this crime to justice. As a precautionary measure, we will also take appropriate steps to help prevent any related acts of violence from occurring.”

…and some bits of interest on the ex wife of the shooter.  She divorced him in ’96… partly due to his opinions on abortion.

Lindsey Roeder, the suspect’s ex-wife, said she came home from church today to find FBI and ATF agents going through her house in Overland Park, Kan., which is about three hours outside Wichita.

When they said they were there investigating the killing of a doctor who provided abortions, she felt instantly that her ex-husband was likely involved.

Lindsey Roeder said it was Scott Roeder’s strong anti-abortion views that led to the couple’s 1996 divorce. She said her ex-husband never kept quiet about his views on abortion.

“My family does not condone or support what Scott has done. This event is a tragic and senseless one and our thoughts and prayers are with the congregation and the doctor’s family,” Lindsey Roeder said.

She said her former husband was a member of the Freemen in Missouri and has a criminal history that includes an 1996 arrest for various parole violations and having bomb making materials. She said he did do some time on charges related to those issues, but was released on a technicality.

She said that Friday night Scott Roeder was adamant about seeing his 22-year-old son, Nick, who she claimed has tried to avoid his father and only saw him about once every six weeks growing up.

“My son is only related to his father by blood and does not believe in any of the same views his father does,” she said.

The two did meet Friday night, though, she said, and she believes the meeting was meant as a goodbye from father to son.

In the middle of the night I caught the repeat of MTP and since all the news is of Sotomayor and her life story (and numchuks!), Richard Wolffe did bother to remind that Obster had to be talked out of voting for Roberts… and that he appeared at Dkos in 2005 in the role of APOLOGIST for the Dem party ‘Yes on Roberts’ voters.  Which I well remember.  Even tho I – and others – had been banned already.

MR. WOLFFE:  But here was someone who leaned very heavily towards voting for John Roberts, and he had to be convinced out of it by his staff, his then chief of staff Pete Rouse, now a senior adviser in the White House, saying, “Look, this isn’t Harvard Law School’s moot court, this isn’t an exercise in, in debating.  If you were to vote for him, you’d have to live with the consequences.  And, by the way, Republicans are not going to reward you 20 years down the road anyway.” So the interesting thing is here, here’s a guy who wants to be unconventional, who actually wanted to right with his party; in the end votes, for political reasons, against John Roberts.  But the postscript is that he goes on Daily Kos, this very activist, progressive Web site, and says, “Stop castigating Democrats who voted for, for John Roberts, because”…

MR. GREGORY:  Mm-hmm.

MR. WOLFFE:  …”you know, we’re all in this together.” And I think, you know, he picks fights because he’s struggling with that tension between being a renegade and being a conventional politician who can get things done.

Actually, versions I have read, his aide strongly advised him it would not benefit him in a Democratic primary to have voted for Roberts. They may brandish fig leaves, but Roberts and Alito are unequivocally against abortion.  Lordy.  Obster might have been asked about that… if his pro-choice and pro-single payer and labor and other stances were just done to win votes with the tedious liberals of Hyde Park.

He is a conservative. He is a self professed born again.  What more do people need to know?

Pity people miss it, don’t want to know, are happy to believe in fictions all the while claiming, somehow or other without ever reading much about him, to know of substantiated (in their minds) non-fictions to do with him and his…  as they cling to vaporous dreams of nothing.

No war obsessed nation is going to put up with abortion rights, it just is not.

6 to 1.. the California SC caved… to the religious yahoos. 26 May 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, California / Pacific Coast, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, la vie en rose, San Francisco, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
92 comments

Demonstrators in favor of same-sex marriage wait in front of San Francisco City Hall for the California Supreme Court to rule on the legality of a voter-approved ban on same-sex unions. [Paul Sakuma AP]

From the LAT:

[I]n addition to rejecting the gay-rights lawyers’ contention that Proposition 8 was an illegal constitutional revision, the court also flatly discarded Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown’s argument that the measure was unconstitutional because it affected an “inalienable right.”

But the court said “well-established legal principles” require that Proposition 8 be applied only prospectively, leaving intact same-sex marriages that occurred before the November election.

“The marriages of same-sex couples performed prior to the effective date of Proposition 8 remain valid and must continue to be recognized in this state,” George wrote.

Justice Carlos R. Moreno, in the lone dissent, warned that today’s ruling “places at risk the state constitutional rights of all disfavored minorities.”  […]

“It weakens the status of our state Constitution as a bulwark of fundamental rights for minorities protected from the will of the majority,” wrote Moreno, the court’s only Democratic appointee.

Justice Joyce L. Kennard, who joined the majority last year in giving gays the right to marry, said in a separate opinion that Proposition 8 was not sweeping enough to be a constitutional revision, which can only be placed on the ballot by a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.

Noting, as the majority opinion did, that judges must set aside their personal views, Kennard said the court was required to follow the state Constitution and the court’s previous rulings.

“And when the voters have validly exercised this power, as they did here, a judge must enforce the constitution as amended,” Kennard wrote.

Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, a former civil rights lawyer who also joined last year’s ruling in favor of marriage rights, wrote separately because she disagreed with the majority’s definition of a constitutional revision.

“The drafters of our Constitution never imagined, nor would they have approved, a rule that gives the foundational principles of social organization in free societies, such as equal protection, less protection from hasty, unconsidered change than principles of government organization,” she wrote.

The court declined to determine whether same-sex marriages performed outside of California — and not formally recognized by the state prior to the election — would be legal in California. The court said it did not hear arguments on that question and “it would be inappropriate to address” it today.

The case for overturning the initiative was widely viewed as a long shot. Gay rights lawyers had no solid legal precedent on their side, and some of the court’s earlier holdings on constitutional revisions mildly undercut their arguments. …snip…

Well.. I think we should just vote on everything.  LOL.  Give it a whirl.  Watch rights disappear.  We are united in our divisions.

IIRC it has been strongly suggested, rumored… that Werdegar is gay.  I wondered when I read it was 6 to 1, if she was the hold out.  But no!  It was a Latino male.

So… we have some 18,000 SSMs… upheld.  And it is banned for everyone else.

You have to love schizophrenia.

***

As I find things of interest on Sotomayor and reactions will post in thread.  She is being called “a moderate” out here, with indications of some rulings that will provide ”concern” for liberals.  Apparently last time her name was up, her nomination to the Fed bench was in congress, Hatch voted YES on her.

So Ob may get what he wanted, supposedly he wants a high YES vote on his pick.  On the other hand, who knows what the conservatives are hatching… 😉

She is tangled up in the New Haven firefighter case that is now before the SCOTUS, on the bench there she voted for throwing out the promotional test on the grounds it was tainted – when no black firefighters were able to do well enough for promotion to captain….  Oh well.

You know Ob… make the conservatives happy.  And wealthy.  And whatever else he can serve up for them.

Still the weekend.. ;) 24 May 2009

Posted by marisacat in 2010 Mid Terms, Abortion Rights, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health, WAR!.
59 comments

A new collection of bathtubs designed to look like women’s shoes have gone on sale. The tubs cost up to £17,000. The user reclines with their feet at the toe end of the shoe and their head towards the heel. Water trickles from a jet at the heel Picture: SOLENT

Jeff Cohen of FAIR has a post up about the coming SCOTUS pick…

[O]n this topic (like others), Obama speaks eloquently. . . out of both sides of his mouth.

In revealing comments to the Detroit Free Press last October about his models for Supreme Court picks, Obama praised liberal lions Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan of the Warren Court as “real heroes of mine.”

Then he added: “But that doesn’t necessarily mean that I think their judicial philosophy is appropriate for today.”

After noting the Warren Court’s powerful role in taking on racial segregation, Obama added a typically frustrating caveat:

“I’m not sure you need that. In fact, I would be troubled if you had that same kind of activism in circumstances today. . .

“So when I think about the kinds of judges who are needed today, it goes back to the point I was making about common sense and pragmatism as opposed to ideology.”   …snip…

It’s so cute the way they call him “pragmatic”…

Less important than his direct quotes, but very interesting, is the set up Cohen provides for the article… let me just give a ringing, GOOD LUCK!

[T]he centerpiece of the Times article was a fascinating study conducted by two University of Chicago law professors (one of whom is a conservative federal appeals judge) analyzing the judicial records of the 43 justices who’ve served on the Supreme Court since 1937.

Four of the five most conservative judges of the last seven decades (Thomas, Scalia, Roberts, Alito) now sit on the Court. With Anthony Kennedy at number ten, five of the ten most rightwing judges are currently on the Court. The current majority, in other words, is almost a conservative all-star team.

By contrast, among the ten most liberal judges since 1937, the only sitting justice is Ruth Bader Ginsburg – she’s number nine. Today’s other three “liberal” justices (Stevens, Breyer, Souter) are in the top 15, but outside the top ten.

All in all, that’s a rightwing-dominated Supreme Court.

The study gives credence to the claim of Justice John Paul Stevens (age 89) that he hasn’t moved left since being appointed by President Ford in 1975, but that the Court has moved right.

And it backs Stevens’ assertion that “every judge who’s been appointed to the Court” since 1971 “has been more conservative than his or her predecessor” – with the exception of Ginsburg (who recently underwent surgery related to pancreatic cancer).

The question facing Obama: Will he continue this trend of shifting the Court rightward?

Unfortunately, from what we’ve seen of Obama’s general penchant for “moderate” appointees who don’t inflame Republicans, it’s quite possible the Court will continue trending rightward – if liberals get replaced with less liberal appointees.  …snip…

…it’s quite possible the Court will continue trending rightward…

More than possible…

Light from above… 20 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, 2010 Mid Terms, Abortion Rights, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
97 comments

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The aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, shine over the town of Stedman east of Fayetteville, N.C [Picture: AP]

One of nine pictures of the Aurora Borealis, Northern Lights from a gallery at the Telegraph

W/R/T Pappas (raised in classic disjointed fashion, by me, in the previous thread):

That’s a far cry from what Pappas said about Kennedy, in part:

“Women have forgiven Kennedy, stuck up for him, stood by him, hushed the fact that he was late in his support of Title IX, the ERA, the Family Leave and Medical Act to name a few.”

When reached in her Albany office, Pappas said she was “inundated” with calls from reporters and would get back to me.

I like it anytime, for what ever reason, someone breaks out of the locked classroom and, even if babbling and feverish, just speaks.

He’s an old goat, the sooner he dies the better and the Kennedys are clearly attempting (probably successfully) to buy the junior senate seat from NYS… It sounds, but I can only guess, that the amounts of monies promised for her self funded run(s) will release enough bucks back to the party, that people will fall in line.  If the voters do too, it’s a lock.

But I am far away and I just guess…

far from the ice storms… 17 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in Divertissements, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
71 comments

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A bee lands to collect pollen on the flower of a Cereus or Hedge Cactus in Cottesloe, Western Australia [Picture: AFP/GETTY]

In the spirit of the bee and the flower… Washington Blade takes a smack at the choice of Warren of Saddleback MegaHooHoo to give the invocation:

[W]arren, outspoken proponent of California’s Proposition 8, is James Dobson masquerading as a moderate. A writer for The Nation observed the following after a 2005 interview with Warren: “Lamenting the ‘tyranny of activist judges,’ who obstruct the will of the majority, he evinces no understanding of minority rights or the judiciary’s role in enforcing them. Explaining his views about homosexuality and gay rights, he notes, ‘I don’t think that homosexuality is the worst sin,’ and, ‘By the way, my wife and I had dinner at a gay couple’s home two weeks ago. So I’m not [a] homophobic guy, okay?’  […]

[W]hy did Obama choose such a person to deliver the invocation? Where are all the influential gay officials on his team who should be advising him about such matters? Obama should rescind the invitation to Warren. His presence on the inauguration stand is a slap in the faces of the millions of GLBT voters who so enthusiastically supported him. There are plenty of affirming religious figures in this country who could step into that role and not alienate and offend scores of Americans. This tone-deafness to our concerns must not be tolerated. We have just endured eight years of endless assaults on our dignity and equality from a president beholden to bigoted conservative Christians. The election was supposed to have ended that era. It appears otherwise.  …snip…

I’ll repeat myself, he really, deep down, wants to nominate a Latina pentecostal to the SC.  No question in my mind….

It’s all so damnably mediocre.

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Should ride at the top of the bullet points of life… 11 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, Abortion Rights, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
105 comments

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Abandoned factory – Brooklyn – Reuters  – The full graffiti is:  No More Corporate Bullshit!  Fuk Wall Street!

works for me…

Someone just popped me this by email (the bolding and coloration from the emailer, italics are mine)… My own guess  for some time now is that there is an outright, but never to be publicly admitted to, deal.  Not that the best known of the womens’ rights, or abortion rights, orgs are all that much (they are not), but I would guess they have been told:

Don’t embarrass Ob and the Democratic majority congress.  This is the best we will ever get, get over yourselves, sell T-Shirts and raise cash on the specter of Palin.  Good luck and don’t call.

Not, as I said, that the orgs care.

But what makes this year different from the last time a Democratic president took over from a Republican is that beyond those immediate changes, abortion-rights groups say, they may not press for more sweeping changes that would take legislative action by Congress.

Those include actions like repealing the Hyde Amendment, which bars federal funding of abortions for poor women, or pushing for passage of the “Freedom of Choice Act,” which is intended to write the protections of Roe v. Wade into law, but which would also eliminate many abortion restrictions the court has allowed over the years, such as parental notification or consent laws.

“You’ve got to be practical, you’ve got to be realistic here,” says Keenan of NARAL. “You have to look at the votes. And I just don’t believe the votes are there” for some of the things abortion-rights groups would like to do. 

Douglas Johnson, federal legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, agrees with Keenan. He says that while his side may be playing defense next year, don’t count it out.

“We’re going to mount a very vigorous defense of the existing pro-life policies,” he said. “The ban on partial-birth abortions, the Hyde Amendment, and these other policies have broad popular support and they were won with great effort, and we certainly are going to defend them to the best of our ability.”

Meanwhile, Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood said abortion-rights groups are taking seriously Obama’s pledge to try to change the tone of the debate.

“I think the American people are ready for us to get ideology out of the government and focus on solving problems,” she said. Richards says her group will be happy to focus on things like providing preventive health services to women, including birth control, which is far more popular among lawmakers.

But the biggest abortion fight of all could come in a relatively unexpected venue, as part of the effort to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system. If there is a national health plan, abortion-rights groups will want to make sure abortion is a covered benefit and anti-abortion groups will want to stop that. It could make most previous abortion fights pale in comparison.

Launched into space… 6 December 2008

Posted by marisacat in 2008 Election, DC Politics, Democrats, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, SCOTUS, Sex / Reproductive Health.
109 comments

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The first ever spacewalking teddies M.A.T. and K.M.S view the curvature of the earth at 30km high. The two soft toys were launched into space by Cambridge University and Parkside School on a giant helium weather balloon [Picture: MASONS NEWS SERVICE]

hmmm not pleased to find myself agreeing with Ruth Marcus of the WaPo (in fairness this is not her first cautionary tone on ObRama)… much less Brooks (who agreed with her) much much less Jonah Goldberg the white worm son of long time R operative Lucianne.

Yuck is all I can say.

Marcus on TNH:

JIM LEHRER: Do you have anything dismal you’d like to add to that?

RUTH MARCUS, Washington Post: I don’t know. Are there any more adjectives you can come up with for “dismal”?

I have been actually quite rattled by the inability of anybody that I’ve talked to in the administration, in the incoming administration, and the outside academic world of economists to spin this in any kind of positive way.

It is a bad situation. And I think of it as a situation where you have a patient who’s shown resistance to a lot of antibiotics and systems are failing. And it’s time to really start throwing every piece of medicine that you have in your arsenal or medicine chest at the economy and hope that some of it works finally.

Well… as Bush 41 used to say, we are in deep doo doo.  And no one, no one at all, really has a plan.  Nor are these big original thinkers that Obster has gathered about him.  They are not. They are absolutely from the long time Democratic party paint box.  Whether used or new… and most are used.  As one pundit put it, with an eye roll  🙄 – he can’t seem to even pick anyone from MIT.

If I may say so, Harvard has done us already.  Ruth looked suitably worried… chicken soup won’t be doing the trick here, and she knows that much, at least.

Don’t miss Ruth and David mincing thru the tulips spending so much time parsing FOOD STAMPS.  Finely they parsed and ground it… If we increased the federal Food Stamp program by 50% or even doubled it to  100% it would be a drop in the bucket.  I remember when we invaded Iraq… some shits in government strained their sphincters because it was determined that the long standing food support system in Iraq [under the monster Saddam], of regular monthly distributions of basics and cooking oil, created overages that allowed people (poor people, mind you) to have comestibles to TRADE.

DAVID BROOKS: Well, the standard model is that you spend a lot of money and you pump up demand. But…

JIM LEHRER: From the bottom?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, or, well, in any way you can.

RUTH MARCUS: Or drop it from helicopters.

DAVID BROOKS: Right.

DAVID BROOKS: But some people will send you an e-mail saying, “What we need to do is cut the payroll tax in half.” Some people say, “We need to do $150 billion of infrastructure spending, another few hundred of this, another few hundred of this.”

There are many ways to do it. But there is — but one gets the sense everyone thinks we should do something. No one has a really persuasive thing that will tell you, “Well, this will actually work.” And there’s some sort of magical faith in a magical technocrat who will somehow know what to do, but that magical technocrat is Santa Claus. That person does not exist.

Oh but Democrats have long run on that simpleton’s game.  THIS time they just added the gloss of Magickal Negro.

RUTH MARCUS: Nobody knows precisely what to do. There are clearly smarter ways to throw money at this problem, spending money on things that you would like to spend on anyways, so there are some smart investments. You’ve talked about that in the past.

One of the things that I have been thinking about in the last couple of days — and my mind was certainly focused on it with this morning’s job numbers — is Congress kind of gave up on doing a big stimulus package or any significant stimulus package in its last lame-duck session. It’s now limping again back to town.

The Bush administration has been hostile to the idea of doing any stimulus beyond the pretty small piece of extending unemployment benefits that it did.

I think it’s time for everybody to refocus, think a bit about whether we should do another increase in food stamps. That’s money that gets spent right away. It’s pretty small, but it can’t hurt. [straighten the crown Ruth… you are out in public!  — Mcat]

More important than that, more significant, there is money that could go to state and local governments right away. The Bush administration has been very resistant to this.

But the fact of the matter is, these guys are coming back in January. They are going to start talking about how they have to cut their budgets to balance them.

We know that the Obama administration is going to get money to them. Maybe that money would help sooner rather than later. Everybody has to drop their ideology and start to get responsible. [drifting into mumbling and rambling a bit by now.. — Mcat]

DAVID BROOKS: Well, I dropped mine months ago, years ago. And I would agree on the food stamps. I think I would agree on the aid to the states.

RUTH MARCUS: But it’s small.

DAVID BROOKS: It’s small. The aid to the states, the governors this week said they had $136 billion in infrastructure. But the real money that gets sent out the door gets sent to families. And you’re a scared family. You either have lost a job or you might lose a job. You get a check for $900 or $1,000, are you going to spend that money? No way. And so…  [please David, they WILL spend it – and on food!  — Mcat]

Gee whiz.  Let’s worry about the infinitesimal – and increase the starvation.

There is much talk this week out here that children eligible for free lunch  in the public school system has ballooned to 51% of those in the schools.  Over 3 million children.

The kids are NOT ok, because we are starving them.  The school districts have stepped up, an especially strong promise from San Francisco Unified School District that they will maintain the school lunch program for every child who needs it… but inevitably,  it will falter.  Just will.

Unfortunately I agree with Brooks here.. strikes fear in my heart but still, all too possible:

And it seems to me the problem is a mechanism for restructuring this thing.

People want to do it, but nobody in Washington knows how to do it, and nobody in Washington is likely to know how to do it.

And the general principle — and we seem to be following the Japanese example. They had these 15 years of stagnation. And they did their capital injections, which didn’t really work, because they didn’t do enough of them, and then they went through the process we’re now entering of picking winners and losers, and creating essentially these zombie companies which — which are subsidized, which create nonproductive workers, which then strangle productive workers, which get you in this long economic tunnel.

***

Oh yes… Jonah.  The white worm son.  So appalls me he has a column in the LA Times but then so does Max Boot… Obviously I don’t agree with everything in this little schnauzer snarl… (he still flogs that 70% of blacks voted for YES on 8… as does Sully – as of yesterday):

Prop 8 style laws have passed in 30 states. Mormons aren’t to blame for that.

No but they upended Brigham Young and his 55 wives and sent them to CA, with something in excess of 22 million in Mormon money.  That is some carpetbagging!  Won’t soon be forgetting that… It was calculated political strategy for the long arc.  They dealt themselves in, big time, to the cultural wars (poor Ob, soon to get some BIG surprises in the big leagues)… AND they made inroads and investments of time and money with what I can only call demonic religious leadership and congregations, of all colors, in CA.  Very bad news.

However, here Jonah is on to something, similar to the righteousness of the war protests and sit-ins at Dem offices… even those who voted NO on AUMF in October 2002 (Loretta Sanchez, for one), because they are FUNDING the wars…

They then say “Don’t scapegoat  gays for all of marrige’s problems.”  Well, I would say in response, apply that logic inward. Gay marriage is politically unpopular for lots of reasons, and Mormons aren’t even in the top ten.

If opposition to gay marriage is morally indistinguishable from Jim Crow racism, anti-Semitism and the like (as so many of you say), why on earth aren’t you screaming bloody murder at Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Harry Reid and the other Democratic politicians who run the US governmemt? Surely, they matter more than a few Mormon donors.

Why aren’t they bigots even though they hold the same fundamental position as Mormons?

Of course he is right…

Another reason this issue has to be forced to the SCOTUS, along with those 30 states (remember Ob said the 60s were over!) with laws banning same sex marriage on the books.  I notice too that Democratic mouthpieces like  Lessig (anyone who partners with Trippi, much less to ” Change Congress” – don’t miss AdamB’s name on the right bar – is close to dead meat), and fellow travellers like Sully, are working assiduously to steer people away from a remedy in the courts…  Prattling that it lost ”fair and square”.  I am sorry to be rude, but what utter shits.  And operatives.  I like to spit that word out when it applies. (honestly if Adam Bonin is there, can the rest of the Philly legal shits crowd be far behind?)

Hawai’i, despite its many faults beneath the thoroughly ravishable beauty, was a multiracial society in ’61 and had been a state for 2 years –   Obama’s parents’ marriage would have been legal in California, from ’48 forward thanks to the State SC.  But by ’67, when Loving V Virginia made it to the SCOTUS, 16  states on the mainland still banned miscegenation.

[I]n June 1958, two residents of Virginia, Mildred Jeter, a Negro woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, were married in the District of Columbia pursuant to its laws. Shortly after their marriage, the Lovings returned to Virginia and established their marital abode in Caroline County. At the October Term, 1958, the Circuit Court of Caroline County, a grand jury issued an indictment charging the Lovings with violating Virginia’s ban on interracial marriages. On January 6, 1959, the Lovings pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced to one year in jail; however, the trial judge suspended the sentence for a period of 25 years on the condition that the Lovings leave the State and not return to Virginia together for 25 years. He stated in an opinion that:

“Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

After their convictions, the Lovings took up residence in the District of Columbia. On November 6, 1963, they filed a motion in the state trial court to vacate the judgment and set aside the sentence on the ground that the statutes which they had violated were repugnant to the Fourteenth Amendment. The motion not having been decided by October 28, 1964, the Lovings instituted a class action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia requesting that a three-judge court be convened to declare the Virginia antimiscegenation statutes unconstitutional and to enjoin state officials from enforcing their convictions. On January 22, 1965, the state trial judge denied the motion to vacate the sentences, and the Lovings perfected an appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia. On February 11, 1965, the three-judge District Court continued the case to allow the Lovings to present their constitutional claims to the highest state court.

The Supreme Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the antimiscegenation statutes and, after modifying the sentence, affirmed the convictions. The Lovings appealed this decision, and we noted probable jurisdiction on December 12, 1966.

These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the “basic civil rights of man,” fundamental to our very existence and survival. To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State’s citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.

These convictions must be reversed.

It is so ordered.