Marriage is love.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Noe Accused of Stealing Funds

Ohio News Now and WBNS10-TV Columbus
Sep 30, 2005, 09:39 AM EDT
Reported by Ted Hart

Coin dealer Tom Noe is accused of moving $240,000 in state money to a personal account and using that money for personal use.

Attorney General Jim Petro says they are finding more and more direct evidence that Tom Noe was stealing from the rare coin fund that belonged to the Bureau of Workers Compensation.

Noe was supposed to be investing in rare coins. First, the BWC gave him $25 million to invest, that was called Coin Fund One. He was then given another $25 million, called Coin Fund Two.

The attorney general says it's now clear that on two days in December of 2002, Noe shifted $120,000 of Coin Fund money to help pay for a home on Catawba Island.

"From Coin Fund Two to vintage coin to Tom Noe, the same exact amount then used to pay off an obligation that acquires that property at Catawba. To me, that's a pretty darn good tracing," says Petro.

Petro also unveiled evidence of check forgery by Noe and showed how Noe may have moved money from one coin fund to another to make it appear as though it were turning a profit.

The attorney general is asking the court to take custody of all of Noe's personal and business assets.

Petro says he expects to eventually win a judgment and wants to make sure there's still some money there when that time comes.


WP: White House Condemns Bennett

Watch them eat each other up....

Former education secretary touched off an uproar by linking crime rate, abortion of black babies...


Out of the howls of babes...

In the Reuters Odd News: Pope Scares Child ...

First he scares monks so much that their leaders have sent a delegation to Rome to beg him to back off. Now he's turned his terrifying countenance to small children. I feel for the kid. I think the Ratz is pretty scary, too.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

NY Times: Judith Miller Sprung!

Times Reporter Free From Jail; She Will Testify

Judith Miller agreed to testify in the C.I.A. leak case after she obtained a waiver offered by her source, I. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff...


The Rite of Brillantly Executed Justice

The powerful Goddess Athena passed down to her faithful human sisterhood of worshipers several extremely powerful goddess rituals. One of those rituals was the “Rite of Brilliantly Executed Justice” The sisterhood traditionally performed this ritual before a trial or before some sort of judgment proceeding to help insure that those responsible for rendering judgment would be clear minded and fair and pass their judgments with brilliantly executed justice – hence the name of the rite. For today, to appropriately mark the confirmation of John Roberts, I think the entire sisterhood of women in the US should perform the following rite. This rite should be repeated for seven days. The Rite of Brilliantly Executed Justice is extremely effective.

The Rite:

On a piece of parchment paper write down the liberties you value most as a women in this country. Consider the ones we usually take for granted, like for instance, the right to vote. Document them all.

While burning a red pillar candle hold your list above the flame in the smoke while chanting the following words, “may you render only brilliantly executed justice” over and over again for at least 7 minutes.

Blow the candle out. Fold your paper and seal it shut with the wax from your candle.

Deliver it to the doorstep of the Adjudicator in question, ( I think in our case, mailing it would be fine).


Unfortunately there is no ritual. However, at this point I am beginning to believe that the above mentioned incantation would be as effective or maybe even more so then the constant mantra of reason we have sent out to those we’ve hired to represent us. We have followed all of our instructions. When instructed us to call our Senators, we did. When Naral told us to send letters, we did. When we got emails asking us to sign electronic petitions, we did. Yet, here we are, once again feeling pretty much powerless to absolutely protect our most basic freedoms as women in this country. However, and this is a big however, we may not be as powerless as we think. We have to change our thinking from victim mode right now. We have fought for our rights before and won under very difficult circumstances. The thing we need to act on immediately is that the Senators, Republican and Democrat alike who voted to confirm this complete unknown are people we HIRED TO REPRESENT US.

I took a management class once that highlighted the uplifting subject of firing employees. I will never forget one of the guidelines was that it’s better not to completely blindside an employee with the bad news. Maybe a few days in advance meet the unfortunate soon to be unemployed in the lunch room and ask them in passing if they’ve always wanted to be, lets say a file clerk. When they answer, “no”. This gives you the perfect opportunity to encourage them to follow their dreams. This planting a “subtle seed” that they may be looking for a new job. Today I sent my Senators that voted for this confirmation a link to, where they can place their online resumes. I’m hoping this gives them the subtle impression that they may be looking for a job.

All women in the US should be praying, dancing, chanting, or whatever they do, that our liberties as equal citizens are protected by this man. My mother, my sister, and I have agreed to just silently bless his robes every morning over our yogurt, bless the robes, that when he puts them on he does what he’s promised – leave politics behind and brilliantly execute justice.


WP: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Gay Marriage Bill

By STEVE LAWRENCE, The Associated Press
Thursday, September 29, 2005; 7:29 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif, -- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger followed through Thursday on his promise to veto a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in California, saying the issue should be decided by voters or the courts...


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Letter to Wannabe John Kerry

Tonight I got yet another smarmy email from "" asking me for MORE money. I had moved his (weekly) emails to my junk file but didn't want to permanently unsubscribe in case I might miss something important. Well, tonight I realized that:

John. Kerry. Never. Has. Said. Anything. Important.

...and he never will.

To that end - when I "unsubscribed" and they asked "why??" - I replied as follows (please excuse the less-than-optimal grammar; I was pissed):

Mr. Kerry you have let down an entire population of Americans. You have back and forth movements for/against war every month. I know you have NO idea what it is like for a "regular" Democrat and that whomever wins in office, you are fine. For heaven's sake will you just CHOOSE what you stand for - however you have lost my vote.

If I were you I would read Huffington's post/story about your most recent war support comments...if I were you I would cringe with embarrassment and perhaps re-think or maybe consider for the first time what I was supposed to stand for in 2004.

You let down a lot of people - particularly the ones who took to heart the email money-requesting campaign prior to the 2004 election which specifically stated that you "needed money to help pay for the recount" which you PROMISED you would do.

Did you?

No - you kept those funds - some people gave you an entire weeks' salary for your "recount" fund - and you socked the money away in an interest-bearing account for your "next" run.

In my mind you stole from the people - you lied in your email.

Please stop sending your baseless emails.

Your words were lost on me when you 1. Lied in your recount fund request and 2. When your most recent war comments told us to look on the "bright side."

Please go enjoy your life and stop distracting real Democrats from working with us to enjoy ours.



Miami Beach, FL


When the rubber meets the road twixt Damascus and the Big Easy...

Poor Mike Pence. He's facing the hard reality that his party is that of "No Tax but Spend, Spend, Spend" -- that even his smarmy version of fiscal responsibility will be sacrificed on the altar of "Write Bad Checks to Shore Up Shrub's Fading Image". The description of his embarrassed aide's hasty denouement with a group of Pence's bluest (or should I say reddest?) and truest of believers in Pence's mission to reduce the federal government to something even the most federalistic of the Founders would have found too small in Dana Milbanks' Washington Post Washington Sketch column, Deep Pockets, Small Government and the Man in the Middle, is priceless.

Odd that Pence didn't really catch 'offset fever' full blow when his party's powerful were cutting taxes and writing rubber checks for the Iraq War but, when the emergency needs of Americans, particularly poor and disproportionately African-American ones were the subject, he and his best pals of the radical fiscal kind suddenly looked up to recognize that their legacy will be the biggest deficit ever. Not that he minds enriching the corporate crowd at the taxpayer's expense but he's in a big funk that he won't be able to do it by hurting 'the least of these his brothers' in the process.



And on the MSM, no less...not hidden in some progressive blog.

*yuk yuk


Can I just tell you that this makes complete sense to me?

I read this article yesterday and finally feel some scientific validation for what I have been suspecting since my mid-teens.

You all pretty much know my feelings about religion - particularly as is being forced down our throats right now:

Let's put the fables of the Bible, or whatever your particular "holy" story book is, back in Sunday School (or whatever day is your holy day).

Please folks, don't allow the wing-nuts to dumb down our next generation any more than has already been done by NCLB. The rest of the world is already laughing at us - we have to import our scientists now as it is - let's don't bring religious fables into equality with knowledge that stands up to the scientific method...if we continue to allow this to happen, we are only going further down the yellow brick road.

China, with all of its brilliant minds, scientifically trained, and now holding a HUGE United States debt, looms in our future...

If they take over, whatcha gonna do...PRAY?
Our country is becoming a world laughing stock, with our archaic views of evolution, women's rights, same-sex rights, and sex education. Our country is overwhelmingly full of self-claimed "believers" in a "higher power". Bunk, I say - it is just an excuse not to take full responsibility for oneself. 'Bean weighed in with an interesting take on "God" in an email the other day - perhaps he will share it in the comments.

However, please take a look at this study: (I have added the highlighting in the text):

The Times

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

RELIGIOUS belief can cause damage to a society, contributing towards high murder rates, abortion, sexual promiscuity and suicide, according to research published today.

According to the study, belief in and worship of God are not only unnecessary for a healthy society but may actually contribute to social problems.

The study counters the view of believers that religion is necessary to provide the moral and ethical foundations of a healthy society.

It compares the social performance of relatively secular countries, such as Britain, with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution. Many conservative evangelicals in the US consider Darwinism to be a social evil, believing that it inspires atheism and amorality.

Many liberal Christians and believers of other faiths hold that religious belief is socially beneficial, believing that it helps to lower rates of violent crime, murder, suicide, sexual promiscuity and abortion. The benefits of religious belief to a society have been described as its “spiritual capital”. But the study claims that the devotion of many in the US may actually contribute to its ills...

The article goes on, but I summarize it here:

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies.

The United States is almost always the most dysfunctional of the developing democracies, sometimes spectacularly so.”

It gets even better:

Gregory Paul, the author of the study and a social scientist...compared social indicators such as murder rates, abortion, suicide and teenage pregnancy.

The study concluded that the US was the world’s only prosperous democracy where murder rates were still high, and that the least devout nations were the least dysfunctional. Mr Paul said that rates of gonorrhoea in adolescents in the US were up to 300 times higher than in less devout democratic countries. The US also suffered from “ uniquely high” adolescent and adult syphilis infection rates, and adolescent abortion rates, the study suggested.

Mr Paul said: “The study shows that England, despite the social ills it has, is actually performing a good deal better than the USA in most indicators, even though it is now a much less religious nation than America.”

He said that the disparity was even greater when the US was compared with other countries, including France, Japan and the Scandinavian countries. These nations had been the most successful in reducing murder rates, early mortality, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion, he added.

Hear, hear!!!!!

Can we please stop hiding behind a book now, and terrorizing our children with guilt, fire, brimstone, and a self-loathing for being interested in sex???

Can we please stop calling body parts "nasty" and "dirty"??

Can we please stop this slippery slope between fable and government??

Ms. Julien


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I Just Can't Help It ...

This is too funny not to post.

Is Bush gay?


He's baaack...

...or, rather, he never quite managed to properly slink away. The CBS Evening News reported that Brownie remains at FEMA as a contractor to help assess what went wrong, as visions of foxes and henhouses danced in my wee little head.

The New York Times describes how the disaster ladies did their part to help ShrubCo fulfill its prime directives:
1) Transfer wealth to the rich from everyone else and/or
2) Distract the pilferees from the fact that #1 is taking place.

And, to complete the trifecta, the Shrubettes in Congress are cooperating with the admin's plan to pay for it all by completing the reverse Robin Hood scheme they were prevented from perfection of during the budget process, particularly more infrastructure cuts (Amtrak in particular), more slashing of the poor's safety net (especially health care for the poor), and taking Big Bird out altogether -- not to mention aiming a stake in the heart of what's left of the Constitution with their statutory plans to enable the king -- er, the prez -- to do with the military that which Gov. Blanco would not permit.

From a Move-On petition appeal:

Here are just some of the most egregious cuts:
* $225 billion cut from Medicaid, the last-resort health insurance program for the very poor.
* $200 billion cut from Medicare, the health care safety net for the elderly and the disabled.
* $25 billion cut from the Centers for Disease Control
* $6.7 billion cut from school lunches for poor children
* $7.5 billion cut from programs to fight global AIDS
* $5.5 billion to eliminate all funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
* $3.6 billion cut to eliminate the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities
* $8.5 billion cut to eliminate all subsidized loans to graduate students.
* $2.5 billion cut from Amtrak
* $2.5 billion to eliminate the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative
* $417 million cut to eliminate the Minority Business Development Agency
* $4.8 billion cut to eliminate all funding for the Safe and Drug-Free schools program

And the list, entitled "Operation Offset", goes on and on.

Which and how many of these cuts move forward in Congress depends largely on the public response this week.

As the reconstruction begins our country faces a basic question: Will we respond to Katrina by banding together to solve national problems, or by helping the wealthy and powerful cut and run while those left behind fend for ourselves?

You can sign the petition here.


Monday, September 26, 2005

Peace. Take Courage.

Peace Takes Courage


The Intelligent Design Debate and Pastafarianism

An article by By SARAH BOXER in the ARTS section of the New York Times.Published: August 29, 2005

But Is There Intelligent Spaghetti Out There?

Artists, too, shall tell his tale: The Flying Spaghetti Monster, the intelligent god of Pastafarianism, with Adam, the first man.


Published: August 29, 2005

Is the super-intelligent, super-popular god known as the Flying Spaghetti Monster any match for the prophets of intelligent design?

This month, the Kansas State Board of Education gave preliminary approval to allow teaching alternatives to evolution like intelligent design (the theory that a smart being designed the universe). And President Bush and Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee both gave the thumbs up to teaching intelligent design.

Long before that, Bobby Henderson, a 25-year-old with a physics degree from Oregon State University, had a divine vision. An intelligent god, a Flying Spaghetti Monster, he said, "revealed himself to me in a dream."

He posted a sketch on his Web site,, showing an airborne tangle of spaghetti and meatballs with two eyes looming over a mountain, trees and a stick man labeled "midgit." Prayers to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, his site says, end with "ramen," not "amen."

Then, Mr. Henderson, who says on his site that he is desperately trying to avoid taking a job programming slot machines in Las Vegas, posted an open letter to the Kansas board.

In perfect deadpan he wrote that although he agreed that science students should "hear multiple viewpoints" of how the universe came to be, he was worried that they would be hearing only one theory of intelligent design. After all, he noted, there are many such theories, including his own fervent belief that "the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster." He demanded equal time in the classroom and threatened a lawsuit.

Soon he was flooded with e-mail messages. Ninety-five percent of those who wrote to him, he said on his Web site, were "in favor of teaching Flying Spaghetti Monsterism in schools." Five percent suggested that he would be going to hell. Lawyers contacted him inquiring how serious he was about a lawsuit against the Kansas board. His answer: "Very."

This month, the news media, both mainstream and digital, jumped in. The New Scientist magazine wrote an article. So did Die Welt. Two online encyclopedias, Uncyclopedia and Wikipedia, wrote entries on the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Web site mounted a challenge: "We are willing to pay any individual $250,000 if they can produce empirical evidence which proves that Jesus is not the son of the Flying Spaghetti Monster."

Now, Mr. Henderson says on his Web site, "over 10 million people have been touched by His Noodly Appendage." But what does that mean? When push comes to shove, will the religion that has come to be known as Pastafarianism do what it was intended to do - prove that it is ridiculous to teach intelligent design as science?

Mr. Henderson, who said in an e-mail message that his divine vision was induced by "a lack of sleep and a mounting disgust over the whole I.D. issue," has wit on his side. His god not only resembles human brains (proof, a fan writes, that "we were created in His image") but also looks like the kind of bacteria that proponents of intelligent design hold up as too complex to be the work of evolution alone.

Two dozen academics have endorsed the pasta god. Three members of the Kansas board who already opposed teaching intelligent design wrote kind letters to Mr. Henderson. Dozens of people have posted their sightings of the deity (along with some hilarious pictures). One woman even wrote in to say that she had "conceived the spirit of our Divine Lord," the Flying Spaghetti Monster, while eating alone at the Olive Garden.

"I heard singing, and tomato sauce rained from the sky, and I saw angel hair pasta flying about with little farfalle wings and playing harps," she wrote. "It was beautiful." The Spaghetti Monster, she went on, impregnated her and told her, "You shall name Him ... Prego ... and He shall bring in a new era of love."

Parody is a lot of fun. And parody begets more parody, especially on the Internet. It's contagious. But has anyone ever converted to a parody religion?

The history books show that parody isn't always the smartest strategy when it comes to persuasion. Remember Galileo? Some recent scholars say that it may not have been his science so much as his satire, "Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems," that got everyone steamed up. Under threat of death, Galileo ended up recanting his view that the earth revolves around the sun, and had to wait 350 years for vindication.

And yet the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster flourishes. It even has schisms. A rival faction, based on SPAM (Spaghetti & Pulsar Activating Meatballs), has formed. And there's bickering, Mr. Henderson said in an e-mail message, about whether the god is made of spaghetti or linguini. Those people, he noted, "give me a headache."

[Update: This story is back in the news. The originator of this 'religion' has been offered a book deal.]



This just in (hat tip to Julien's List guest contributor Mario):

President Bush…perjury and corruption charges looming?
Published on 25 September 2005 | Source: Greg Szymanski


Can we please cut the CRAP...

...of (Un)Intelligent Design, already??

New Analyses Bolster Central Tenets of Evolution Theory
Pa. Trial Will Ask Whether 'Alternatives' Can Pass as Science

Let's put the fables of the Bible, or whatever your particular "holy" story book is, back in Sunday School (or whatever day is your holy day).

Please folks, don't allow the wing-nuts to dumb down our next generation any more than has already been done by NCLB. The rest of the world is already laughing at us - we have to import our scientists now as it is - let's don't bring religious fables into equality with knowledge that stands up to the scientific method...if we continue to allow this to happen, we are only going further down the yellow brick road.

China, with all of its brilliant minds, scientifically trained, and now holding a HUGE United States debt, looms in our future...

If they take over, whatcha gonna do...PRAY?


Iraqi Women Watch Their Rights Continue to Slip Away...

Every time I think of that f*cker in the WH blubbering "Freedom is on the March" I want to hurl. Pam of Pam's House Blend brings continued coverage on what is happening to women in Iraq under the new "progressive" (as termed by dumbas*es in the Bush admin) constitution:

Iraqi women say freedoms are slipping away

Julien's List posted about thit, on Aug 21:

So, after all the lives lost in Iraq, the US just threw women's rights down the toilet

Pam has also posted this previous coverage on Aug 22:

The Iraq mess and the rights of women

Whether you are a man or a woman, are you not human???? How can anyone sit back in their soccer mom minvan or beamer and NOT CARE a flying f*ck about what is going on - and that we are responsible for it??

Dubya is peeing his pants like the spoiled child he is over his poll numbers (his minions cannot hide them from him now) - so he just wants to get SOME semblance of a constitution - ANY constitution - so he can howl "Meeshon A-complisht" again. I guess once he makes sure that women have no rights at all in Iraq, he can focus on his domestic policy - decreasing to the lowest degree all rights for women in the US.

Ms. Julien


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Where are the Dems?

Can someone please tell me?

Can we fire all the dems, NOW, please, and start fresh with a nice new party?

Get the LGBTs with their large expendible incomes, and more of the MAJORITY of the people who now oppose this war our Preznut had to lie about to get us into...

AND GET A PARTY THAT WILL GET US OUT OF THE QUAGMIRE WE ARE IN (Liberals and Conservatives are both swilling down the drain, but at least the Liberals realize it...)


THIS is what Democracy looks like...

Thanks to Brad Blog - he has the video footage of the over 150K good citizens who have taken time to travel to DC, and let the idiot in the WH and his entire crony-based, corrupt, PNAC-infested administration know:



Saturday, September 24, 2005

Chari's Rant

Today Chari says,
"There are a number of things that bother me at any given time with regard to current political events. Of course, If I posted on them as they made their presence known, my tagline wouldn’t be, “I blog, therefore I rant”; it would be more like, “Want some cheese with that whine?”

She goes on to name things that bother her about what's going on in this country,

"First, John Roberts. What in the hell is wrong with the Democrats who can’t seem to find one vertebrae amongst themselves ... Hello — women do have the right to vote nowadays. It would be nice to acknowledge that ..."

"Next, deficit. Why is it so difficult for so-called conservatives in this regime to understand what fiscal responsibility is? Or to put it in simpler terms — you cannot cut taxes while you increase spending, fund a war, rebuild hurricane-ravaged areas and expect to decrease the deficit. "

"...Bring the troops home, along with the money we’re spending over there — and use it for domestic issues...

"Now, Intelligent Design. Who the fuck are you trying to kid? The theory of evolution is based in scientific fact — you know, something that can pretty much be proven. ...Science is secular. Which means it can be applied to all situations, regardless of the religious beliefs of any given person... I.D. is not secular, is not scientific and can’t be applied to say, a Buddhist’s outlook on the way things developed over time..."

"This country was founded on Freedom of Religion. That would also include freedom from religion, if one was so inclined. People came to this country to get away from being told how to worship and who to worship. No one is saying that Christians can’t worship the way they want; they just need to understand that others are free to worship [or not worship] the way they want as well. It doesn’t mean anyone is persecuting you. Grow up."

"Don’t get me started on BushCo’s apparent determination to completely destroy our government and any semblance of civil rights or privacy rights."

Stop by SoapBoxBlog to read it all.


Marginalizing a Majority

Here's another good article found on

Can You Marginalize a Majority?
By Dan FroomkinSpecial to
Friday, September 23, 2005; 11:51 AM

In a move to preempt the antiwar protesters converging on Washington this weekend, President Bush yesterday put forth the following equation: Withdrawing from Iraq equals letting the terrorists win equals more 9/11s. The White House's goal is to cast anybody who supports a pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq as sadly delusional, reckless and not to be taken seriously. But Bush may be in trouble here, because he's trying to marginalize a majority.


Check this out. I've recently discovered, because visitors to my 'bunny' blog have come from there. It's a cool online tool.

Here's what the guy who designed the program says about it,

" Every sixty seconds BlogsNow generates a new list of topics. Reflecting what weblogs are talking about right now. BlogsNow will show you trends and breaking news faster than any other tool. Please credit BlogsNow if you blog about links you found here.Click here for news about BlogsNow in my weblog.Andreas Wacker · "

Here are links (found in BlogsNow) to a few articles I found interesting: Pattern of Abuse -- Page 1

The Porn of War

Capitol Hill Blue: Dangers of a Drunk Dubya

ABC News: School Expels Girl for Having Gay Parents - Airliner fakes emergency so passengers can watch soccer game - Sep 21, 2005

President Struggles to Regain His Pre-Hurricane Swagger

The Left Coaster: Top Republican Tells Post: Laura Has Taken Away Bush's Swagger

Regarding that last link, is there maybe a little misogyny going on here? The president's men are blaming his wife? Yes, let's blame Laura Bush, and suggest she's castrated her husband, rather than acknowledge the reality that this administration has done incredible damage to this country without any help from the First Lady. It's not her fault that we, citizens of the USA, have been lied to by her husband and his cronies from the beginning of the first term. It is not her fault that everything her husband has touched has turned out badly for this country.

On another note, I'd like to know if there is a Pat Robertson Watch, some kind of organization that keeps an eye on the over-the-top things he says on his 700 Club, things that could very easily be heard by his followers as a reason for violence against glbt folks in this country. He tries to act so innocent in what he says, but the messages are there. Anyone who listens to him and believes the things he says could easily commit violence, at the least emotional violence, against their own family members or against neighbors or coworkers or strangers.

PR is quoted in mainstream media. He is a friend of the Bush administration. He revels in his protected free speech rights. Last night, I happened across his show. They were talking about hate crimes legislation. They put such a spin on it that they totally distorted the intent of that kind of legislation.

PR brought out a woman who repeatedly said that hate crimes legislation treats one crime victim as more important than another. And, they both kept circling around that lie. They kept presenting it as a situation where someone just happens to be the victim of a crime (PR said something like "if I say homosexuality is wrong, and someone in my congregation happens to get into a fight with someone who turns out to be a homosexual ...").

I am sure that the people who listen to these 'preachers' and 'teachers' who pretend they are speaking for God, at least the ones who think for themselves and look at what's really going on, can see that hate crime legislation is to protect people from attacks against them because of their race or gender or sexual orientation. They left that part out entirely.

Another lie they wove into it all was that sexual orientation is something that can be changed. They said you can't change your race or your gender, but you can change your sexual orientation. I'm not even sure they said both race and gender cannot be changed. Their focus was on saying that sexual orientation can be changed, so why should those people be protected from crime more than anyone else. They completely skirted the reality that the legislation is to protect people who are attacted because of who they are. It was as if they were saying, "They aren't supposed to be that way. They can change. So, why should they be protected from violent crimes?"

Likewise, I am sure that those who choose to think for themselves also can see that gay couples who live in long-term, committed relationships are no threat to them or to their marriages. How could a solid, committed relationship between a man and a woman be affected in any way by the solid, committed relationship of any other couple?

I'd be interested to know how many marriages and divorces have been obtained by the people who decided to throw that girl out of their private school because she has two moms who have been together for 22 years. And, I'd be interested to know how many of their faculty they'd have to fire if they applied their 'morality' rules to faculty. Actually, I'm NOT interested at all in their personal dramas. I just think it's hypocritical, unChristian, and just plain wrong to do what they did. (ABC News: School Expels Girl for Having Gay Parents)

update: I just read this over at, commentary about the kid who was thrown out of school for having lesbian parents. It's worth reading. The comments that follow are pretty interesting, too.


Friday, September 23, 2005

Martha Stewart/Apprentice Ponderings

Well, I was looking forward to seeing Martha Stewart's debut of her own Apprentice, and was majorly pis*ed when I missed it - I found the re-run on CNBC about 20 minutes after it had started last night, and liked it. Exact same theme as The Donald's venture - except for a couple of notable differences: they stay in lofts instead of penthouse tower suites, the end line is "you just don't FIT IN" as opposed to "You're fired"... fine and dandy.

One thing did really catch me though, and I have been thinking about it all day. Everyone - everyone - in the original Trump Apprentice called Mr. Trump, well, "Mr. Trump." ("Mr. Trump will see you now..."). The contestants, the staff, even the high level exec guests called him "Mr."

On the Stewart show - she is "Martha." - even the token receptionist says "Martha will see you now..." as opposed to "Ms. Stewart."

Why? Is it because she is just so much "nicer" than the Donald?? Hmmm....dont' think so.

Or is it an overall societal impression of a female exec not being treated with the same "respect" as a male exec??

Enquiring minds want to know....what's your take?


Julien's List Fully Supports Shakespeare's Sister

The girl is SPOT ON. Read this....


Thursday, September 22, 2005

Why Moderation does not Work: one pundit's prediction? President Hagel

I just read this over at the Huffington Post.

I'm posting the whole thing here, anyway: it's short, it's to the point, and it clearly illustrates the "step to the center" stupidity of Democrats unwilling to both fight and to come forward and push new, useful, eye-popping ideas.

The Next President of the United States

The American people are rejecting the Bush Administration by ever-increasing percentages. That may be good news -- for the GOP. As leading Democrats stumble toward a mythical "center" in search of votes, one smart Senator is showing how a conservative Republican can win in '08.

Meet the next President of the United States: Chuck Hagel.

Call it Bush Fatigue, and it's driven by two factors. The first is a widespread perception that Iraq was a mistake. Only 44% of Americans think we did the right thing by invading, yet leading Democrats still refuse to argue against the rationale for war. The second is the growing understanding that the Administration is rife with incompetence and cronyism. Democrats are waiting for this issue to turn voters their way, but incompetence and cronyism are behaviors, not policy positions. A candidate from either party can claim he'll do better.

Which brings us to Chuck Hagel. A staunch conservative, he's a media-savvy former broadcaster, a decorated Vietnam veteran with an entrepreneurial background. Despite his right-wing background and his past loyalty to the Bush crowd, he's been bashing their management of the war for some time now. He never hesitates to point out to reporters that this makes him a "maverick." And, as a former businessman, he can present himself as the honest and competent "CEO President" we were promised with Bush.

Following Bill Clinton's lead, none of the top Democratic candidates seem to be brave and honest enough to say what the American people already know: the war was a mistake sold on lies. Faced with two candidates who say that the only problem with Iraq is poor management, who are the voters going to trust: the armchair quarterback or the decorated veteran? And who inspires more confidence on the competence question: the ex-CEO "straight-shooter" with a logically consistent position, or the career politician from the "I-voted-for-it-before-I ..." crowd?

Chuck Hagel's conservative enough to make it through the reactionary hazing of the GOP primaries, yet able to stake out a position as an anti-Bush. The Democrats seem to be deluding themselves again into thinking that events will do for them what they can't do for themselves. While they wait expectantly, one Republican senator is walking down the road to the White House.

If Hagel's the Ghost of Presidents Future, Democrats may echo Ebenezer Scrooge's question: "Are these the shadows of the things that Will be, or are they shadows of things that May be, only?" The answer's in their hands.

by RJ Eskow, The Huffington Post


Family Values, Indeed!

In keeping with Ms. J's post (below), I also noted this article in "The New Republic."

This article explains why hard-assed hardball needs to be what Dems play - NOT playing nice. Putting our noses in the air and saying, "We're above mud-slinging! We're better than you! We are fair, ethical, educated and nice!" is why we have brown faces - the same brown faces the conservatives point to and say, 'See! Brown-noser! Flip-flopper!'"

The insights come from a spectator watching how the GOP trains their College Republicans on how to fight.

While registration is required at The New Republic, learning this lesson may well be the key to our future: I encourage all to read what the author has to say.

The Article:



America's Favorite Home-Town Commentator

I try to keep my limited posts to original content, as most regular readers know. Unfortunately, doing so requires taking time out of my current life - which means taking time out of Medical-Surgical clinicals to write: writing does not happen much.

I did read this essay in Salon, however - and I am keeping the author's ID a bit of a secret until the end. America's gentle voice on the radio has gotten harsher over the last few years - but this?

This essay I loved precisely because it is a bit harsh - and more so because it is brilliant.

I hope you like it, too.

From, September 22, 2005

Sept. 21, 2005 | These are hard times, but then life is hard, as it says in Ecclesiastes: "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong nor riches to men of understanding; but time and chance happeneth to them all." And now scientists have found that football fans experience a 20 percent drop in testosterone after their teams lose a game. Your team goes down to bitter defeat and you sit on the couch, crushed, almost in tears, and your wife snuggles up next to you and blows in your ear and you think, "Oh no, not that again."

Which is one more reason to give up watching football. So instead you write poems and spend a year doing that and gradually realize that they are hopeless, unreadable, a verbal goulash of no interest to anybody. And your wife calls you to come to bed and you think, "Why is she wearing that sheer lingerie? What if someone sees?" Ambition gets in the way of the simple joy of passion, which is in your head. You and she may have been married for a dog's age and despite all the aches and bruises of matrimony you look at each other and get excited. Nobody else understands this and nobody else needs to. But vanity can break the spell.

"Vanity of vanities, all is vanity," said Solomon. Or, to put it a slightly different way, a guy takes his son deer hunting and as they're creeping through the woods, the man says, "Son, this is your first deer hunt, an ancient and sacred tradition marking your passage into manhood, do you have any questions?" and the boy says, "Yes. If you die of a heart attack, how do I get home?"

It's a hard fall for George W. Bush. His career was based on creating low expectations and then meeting them, but Katrina was a blast of reality. The famous headline said, "Bush: One of the Worst Disasters to Hit the U.S." and many people took that literally. Poor black people huddled together in the Superdome were seen on national TV, people stretched out asleep between the goal lines, and a 911 operator broke into sobs telling what it was like to talk to little kids in flooded houses and two weeks later the president had become a New Deal liberal and was calling for a major anti-poverty program in the Gulf and hang the expense. The annual deficit is running around $300 billion, but the president says we can afford a few hundred billion in hurricane repair without a tax increase, even if we call it a "hurricane impact fee."

Meanwhile we are pushing a large deception down the road -- the idea that the war in Iraq is to defend us against terrorism -- at enormous expense to our armed services and also to the Treasury, and for Americans who remember the last time a Texas president told us we must "stay the course," there is a certain sinking feeling.

But that's life. It happened to the Romans and the Mayans and the Sumerians and it's happening to us. In our society, as in those, the Grand Poobah gives the orders and the lackeys, minions, henchmen and stooges carry them out, and when the experimental plane with the lead-covered wings crashes, the minions return to His Eminence and lick his boots and he dispatches a yes man to chastise the fall guy, and then the fall guy whips the whipping boy, and then both of them pound on the goat. And construction begins on a new lead-covered airplane, except this time the lead is twice as thick. It's a supply-side theory: The greater the weight, the greater the buoyancy.

Solomon said, "The thing that has been is the thing that shall be; and the thing that is done is that which shall be done: There is nothing new under the sun." Or, to put it a slightly different way, a man walked into the house with a handful of dog waste and said, "Look what I almost stepped in."

Which reminds me: There is a power plant being built here in Minnesota that will burn turkey manure to make electricity. We have in custody 14 million turkeys, a non-flying bird bred for gigantic breasts, like porn stars, and now, thanks to some bold entrepreneur (perhaps a teenage turkey) who put match to poop and discovered its volatility, Minnesota is sitting on a gold mine. As Solomon said, "The rivers run into the sea and yet the sea is not full." In other words, what's the problem?

- - - - - - - - - - - -

(Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" can be heard Saturday nights on public radio stations across the country.)

© 2005 by Garrison Keillor. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Thanks, gentle voice on the radio: you said what needed to be said!


AP: New Abortion Law Goes Into Effect

A seven-year-old abortion law that goes into effect in Ohio on Thursday is forcing the shutdown of the clinic that sued to overturn the law, the clinic says.

"Essentially this law would be forcing us to run an abortion mill, running people in and out, and I can't in good conscience operate that way," Debi Jackson, director of the Cincinnati Women's Services clinic, said Wednesday, her voice cracking with emotion.

U.S. District Judge Sandra Beckwith ruled Sept. 8 that the law is constitutional. She delayed enforcement by two weeks so that clinics would have time to reschedule appointments and train employees on the law.

The law requires a woman seeking an abortion to meet with a doctor at least 24 hours before having the procedure to get a description of the procedure, its risks and alternatives. It also requires girls under age 18 to get a parent's consent for an abortion.

Under the old system, many clinics would offer patients counseling in person or over the phone, or they could watch a video. The counselors did not have to be doctors.

Groups opposing abortion have said that the law benefits women's health.

Paula Westwood, executive director of the Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati, said Wednesday that the in-person meetings with doctors 24 hours in advance are required for things as minor as sprained ankles and should be required for abortions.

"It requires that parents provide consent, just as they have to do when minors receive ear piercings or tattoos," she said.

Jackson said she would have to find another doctor in addition to the current two to meet the requirement that patients must see doctors in person to receive the counseling. The clinic could not afford the extra doctor more than an hour a day, she said.

"Our facility has always seen patients in advance and over 90 percent come in for in-person counseling," Jackson said. "In addition to the information required by law, our counselors also have long conversations with patients to make sure they are sure of what they want both logically and according to their beliefs. It's not healthy for them if they have problems with it in either of those areas."

Many patients also come from long distances and some fear abusive spouses or parents finding out about their decision, she said.

"This law would also increase the cost of abortions for many patients who can barely afford them now," she said.

Other clinics such as the Ohio Women's Center in Akron say they will be able to provide services, but their patients will suffer hardships.

"For our patients, it will be an inconvenience as far as scheduling and the time they will need to take off from work or school," Lydia Strauss, clinic administrator for the Akron center and its sister facilities in Columbus, Dayton and Toledo, said Wednesday. "It would be especially difficult for single parents and those who have to come a long way to arrange for child care."

Strauss said the law also will double the doctors' workload and require more evening and weekend hours.

Attorneys for the Cincinnati clinic filed an appeal Sept. 16, requesting that Beckwith delay the law until the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati can rule. Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro filed a motion arguing against a delay.

The judge had made no other rulings in the case as of Wednesday, a clerk in her office said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


SHEEPLE! Wake the F*CK Up! This man is NO "family values" President!

Bush Waives Saudi Trafficking Sanctions

(09-21) 18:40 PDT WASHINGTON, (AP) --

President Bush decided Wednesday to waive any financial sanctions on Saudi Arabia, Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism, for failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.

Rest of the story IS HERE. It is just astounding, and it is wrong. And who are the victims?

As many as 800,000 people are bought and sold across national borders annually or lured to other countries with false promises of work or other benefits, according to the State Department. Most are women and children.


How Avian Flu can become a Human Pandemic

Saw an excellent documentary from a WNET series:

PBS WNET Wide Angle with Bill Moyers: H5N1 Killer Flu

UPDATE: Our friend Oddjob spotted this National Geographic feature:

Tracking the Next Killer Flu - OCTOBER 2005


Visual on the numbers - money spent on Iraq



Case in point: Can anyone answer THIS QUESTION??


Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Well Done, Kelli Davis!

Fla School Settles Lesbian Tuxedo Dispute

(Green Cove Springs, Florida) A Florida school district has settled a discrimination claim by a lesbian student whose picture was removed from the yearbook because she was wearing "boy's clothes".

The dispute arose in February when Principal Sam Ward of Fleming Island High School ordered the picture removed when he was proof reading the year book before it went to press.

Ward said that Kelli Davis's tuxedo was not proper attire. The school requires females to wear frilly scoop neck collars.

The county school board and its superintendent backed the decision, which was debated at a School Board meeting attended by about 200 people. (story)

Fifteen of the 24 people who spoke at the meeting were in favor of Davis and nine supported the principal's decision.

Davis contacted LGBT civil rights groups and the National Center for Lesbian Rights sent a demand letter to the school threatening a lawsuit.

In the settlement agreement, the school board agreed to change its senior portrait policy, add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy for both students and teachers, distribute a copy of the new non-discrimination policy to all secondary school students, provide annual non-discrimination training that includes sexual orientation to all faculty and staff, and provide diversity training that includes sexual orientation to all junior high and high school students in the district.

Davis, who began classes at the University of South Florida this Fall, said she was pleased with the settlement.

“I’m just relieved it’s over and that no other student in Clay County will have to go through the embarrassment, humiliation and frustration I went through," she said.

"I hope the new policies will help the faculty understand it’s their responsibility to intervene when kids are being picked on because they’re gay or because they don’t meet society’s stereotype of how they are supposed to look or act.”


Arlen Specter Stands Up to President Bush

Arlen Specter told GWB that it would be best NOT to nominate Justice O'Connor's replacement right now, that O'Connor had agreed to stay for this year:



Oh Boy...

Please send all thoughts and wishes for the safety - and safe and timely evacuation - of those in the path of Hurricane Rita. This just in from the Hurricane Center:


WTNT63 KNHC 211955
255 PM CDT WED SEP 21 2005



>Ms. Julien


Check Out What the FBI Thinks....

...about the infamous PORN SEARCH:

(Hat tip Tireiron Chief - reader over at AmericaBLOG)

"I guess this means we've won the war on terror," said one exasperated FBI agent, speaking on condition of anonymity because poking fun at headquarters is not regarded as career-enhancing. "We must not need any more resources for espionage."

Among friends and trusted colleagues, an experienced national security analyst said, "it's a running joke for us."

A few of the printable samples:

"Things I Don't Want On My Resume, Volume Four."

"I already gave at home."

"Honestly, most of the guys would have to recuse themselves."
"Based on a review of past successful cases," the memo said, the best odds of conviction come with pornography that "includes bestiality, urination, defecation, as well as sadistic and masochistic behavior." No word on the universe of other kinks that helps make porn a multibillion-dollar industry.
Entire story is HERE.

Quoting Holly: *snort

Quoting 'Bean: Feh!


So not impressed

Must be getting close to a floor vote 'cause my e-mailbox is getting flooded with notes from Kerry, Boxer, Reid, etc., looking for brownie points because they're going to vote against Roberts.

I know they're not stupid but I'm not sure they know I'm not.

They can count but they must think I can't. If there's a vote, Roberts is going to get the Republicans' ones -- and enough DINO ones to confirm him because the DLCers won't discipline their own.

That makes these typically overlong statements of opposition as meaningless as a recent Seven Sisters timid white liberal grad's admonishments to her streetwise high school students to sit down and behave themselves. Just like the high school thugs she's wasting her breath on, the Senate Repugs are going to laugh at these protestations and do exactly what they want to do.

My message to these spineless Dems: Either filibuster, tell it like it really is minus the flowers, or shut the **** up.


Confucius Say...

...he who try to play both side of fence end up falling on crotch.

By Arianna Huffington, via Common Dreams:

Bill Clinton's Muddled Attempt to Own the Middle

Since leaving office, Bill Clinton has tried out a variety of positions: Elder Statesman, Prolix Memoirist, King of the Public Speakers, Hospital Bed Campaign Advisor, First Husband-in-Waiting, Disaster Fundraiser, Global Visionary.

But judging from his latest TV appearances, he seems to have landed on a brand new incarnation: Equivocator-in-Chief.

Forget all the nonsense you might have heard about the former president taking on the current one (Drudge linked to a story calling it "a withering attack" and right-wing blogs followed suit) -- in truth, he consistently played both sides of the fence.

On a variety of key issues -- especially Iraq and Katrina -- instead of offering clarity and leadership, he offered a steady stream of have-it-both-ways, “on the hand… and on the other” reasoning.

Let’s start with the Katrina relief effort. After spending the early days of the catastrophe providing cover for Bush (including making the ludicrous claims that the flooding of New Orleans could not have been foreseen, and that we could not make any judgments on the response without being there), he belatedly decided to cast a discerning eye on the administration’s woeful handling of the disaster. “You can’t have an emergency plan that works if it only affects middle-class people up,” he told George Stephanopoulos. True, but not exactly “withering”.

And he took a page out of the GOP playbook by spreading the blame around, pointing the finger for the lack of an effective evacuation plan squarely where it belongs: uh, everywhere. “Maybe the mayor, maybe the governor,” he said when asked who was responsible. And maybe the dog catcher too.

Of course, this is the same guy who 13 days earlier had adopted the administration’s talking points and counseled against playing the blame game, saying “I don’t think we should do it now”.

This too-little-too-late criticism smacks of the worst kind of bandwagon hopping -- and a transparent attempt to placate Democratic anger at his shilling for Bush. Not exactly leadership in action.

The Equivocator-in-Chief was equally all over the map when it came to Iraq...........

.................the rest is HERE.

Ouch! Kinda reminds ya of "Don't ask, don't tell", doesn't it? Another wishy-washy reasoning that has certainly compromised our military.


Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Bread for the World Leads Effort by Heads of Faith Communities to Combat Hunger in the United States

September 21, 2005
Contact: Jennifer Stapleton, 202-464-8123
John Brennan, 202-464-8106

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Every member of Congress will receive a letter today from a prominent group of Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders asking representatives to protect the Food Stamp Program from funding cuts during the federal budget reconciliation process. This letter is the next step in the anti-hunger efforts of leaders who came together on June 6, 2005, for the first Interfaith Convocation on Hunger at the National Cathedral, representing more than 100 million people of faith, to call on Congress and the President to make a new national commitment to fight hunger. This diverse group of signers includes His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Catholic Archbishop of Washington D.C.; Commissioner W. Todd Bassett, National Commander, The Salvation Army, United States; Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Rt. Rev. Philip R. Cousin, Sr., Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“It is unthinkable that in a time when hunger and poverty are on the rise in the United States, Congress is considering trying to balance the budget on the backs of hungry and poor people,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “Hurricane Katrina exposed poverty anew to our nation and highlighted the importance of supporting safety-net programs for those in need. The religious leaders sending this letter to Congress are imploring our representatives to listen to the will of the American people and protect the food stamp program.”

The text of the letter follows:

Care for hungry people is a mandate for every major religious tradition. As leaders from many of these traditions, we appeal to you to protect the Food Stamp Program from cuts in the current budget process.

Food stamps are the frontline defense against hunger for many of the most vulnerable members of our society. More than 50 percent of food stamp beneficiaries are children. Virtually all of the rest are seniors, people with disabilities, or those making the transition from welfare to work. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, one of the first actions authorities undertook was distribution of food stamps, tapping a program that has helped curb hunger for 40 years.

Although we understand the challenge you face in finding $3 billion in savings from the Agriculture Committee, budget constraints do not release us from our obligation to care for poor and vulnerable people. It would be a moral failure to take those cuts from the Food Stamp Program. The number of people experiencing hunger in the United States has been on the rise and our national nutrition programs are as important as they’ve ever been. The unprecedented destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina will force many more people to depend on the federal nutrition programs.

On June 6, 2005, many of us participated with a group of more than 40 religious leaders in the first Interfaith Convocation on Hunger at the Washington National Cathedral. This event was unique in U.S. religious history because of the diversity and level of responsibility of the religious leaders involved. All of us were able to come together to call for an end to hunger. This issue is one on which we all agree.

In a deeply religious country like the United States, it is no surprise that the majority of Americans also believe that fighting hunger is an issue of utmost importance. A recent poll conducted by Jim McLaughlin for the Alliance to End Hunger found that 75 percent of likely voters say that even in a tight budget year, the Food Stamp Program should be protected from cuts.

More than one in six children (13 million) in the United States live in households that struggle to put food on the table, giving us the highest rate of childhood hunger in the industrialized world. We implore you to reject a budget that would deprive more working families of food for their children. Any such reductions would break our national commitment to help hard-working people who struggle daily to feed their families and build better lives.

The budget must reflect the best of our nation’s moral values: our resolve that poor and vulnerable people not go hungry.

Sincerely Yours,

Dr. Thomas E. Armiger, General Superintendent, The Wesleyan Church
Commissioner W. Todd Bassett, National Commander, The Salvation Army, United States
Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World
Dr. Peter Borgdorff, Executive Director of Ministries, Christian Reformed Church
The Right Rev. John Bryson Chane, D.D., Bishop, The Episcopal Diocese of Washington D.C
Rt. Rev. Philip R. Cousin, Sr., Senior Bishop, African Methodist Episcopal Church
Rev. R. Randy Day, General Secretary of Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
Dr. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of Churches USA
Rabbi Jerome M. Epstein, Executive Vice President, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism
Mr. Joseph Flannigan, National President, Society of St. Vincent De Paul
Mr. Bob Forney, President and CEO, America’s Second Harvest: The Nation’s Food Bank Network
Rev. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson, General Secretary, Reformed Church of America
The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop, Episcopal Church, USA
Rev. Mark S. Hanson, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Rev. Dr. Stan Hastey, Executive Director, Alliance of Baptists
Imam Yahya Hendi, Muslim Chaplain, Georgetown University
Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)
Dr. Jan Love, Deputy General Secretary, United Methodist Women’s Division
Ms. Joanne Lyon, Executive Director, Baptist World Aid
His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Catholic Archbishop of Washington D.C.
Rev. Brian D. McLaren, Founding Pastor/Minister-at-large, Cedar Ridge Community Church
Ms. Mary Ellen McNish, General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee
Rev. Dr. Roy Medley, General Secretary, American Baptist Churches USA
Mr. Paul Montacute, Director, Baptist World Aid
Dr. Glenn R. Palmberg, President, Evangelical Covenant Church
Rabbi Perry Raphael Rank, President, Rabbinical Assembly
Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III, The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church
Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
Bishop Monroe Saunders, Jr., Presiding Bishop, United Church of Jesus Christ, Apostolic
H. Eric Schockman, PhD, President, MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger
Dr. Carl Sheingold, Executive Vice-President, Jewish Reconstructionist Federation
Dr. Ronald J. Sider, President, Evangelicals for Social Action
Rev. Dr. John Thomas, General Minister and President, United Church of Christ
Dr. Daniel Vestal, Coordinator, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Sister Christine Vladimiroff, President, Leadership Conference of Women Religious
Bishop George Walker, Senior Bishop, A.M.E. Zion Church
Rev. Jim Wallis, Convener, Call to Renewal and Editor, Sojourners
Rev. Dr. Sharon E. Watkins, General Minister and President, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ
Mr. Jim Winkler, General Secretary, General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church
Rabbi Eric H. Yoffie, President, Union of Reform Judaism


Bread for the World is a 54,000-member Christian citizens' movement against hunger. Founded in 1974, Bread for the World's members have lobbied Congress and the administration to bring about public policy changes that address the root causes of hunger and poverty in the United States and overseas. Bread for the World is a nonpartisan organization supported by 45 denominations and many theological perspectives. Please visit our Web site at

Religion Press Release Services distributes press releases, press advisories, photos and other stories on behalf of religious organizations, denominational offices, think tanks, watchdog groups, advocacy groups, coalitions, foundations, colleges, universities, seminaries, publishers and others.


Not to wish life away, but...


Ms. Julien in Miami (Beach)

Hurricane Rita floodwaters cover the streets in Miami Beach, Florida, Tuesday.


Fairness to all, revisited...


Indy Council Could Revisit

Sexual-Orientation Ordinance

Months after it was defeated, an ordinance that would prohibit businesses from considering sexual orientation and gender identity in employment decisions could again be considered by the City-County Council, RTV6's Linda Allen reported Monday.

The ordinance, which also would have prohibited the refusal of housing and real estate opportunities for people based on sexual orientation and gender identity, was turned down in April by an 18-11 vote.

Supporters of the plan, however, intend to have it reconsidered. One of the supporters, Bil Browning, said gays and lesbians experience discrimination every day, and that council leaders therefore need to adopt the ordinance. "They tend to think that this is a special right that they're wanting to give to us. But the right to be able to keep your job and have your job based on how well you perform your job is not a special right," Browning said.

Some opponents of the proposal said current laws were adequate. Councilman Scott Schneider, one of the 18 who voted against the plan in April, said the ordinance would set a dangerous precedent. "Are we going to take every little subset of society that may not be feeling like they're getting a fair shake in something and then allow them whatever the case may be? I just think it's a bad precedent," Schneider said.


Toledo Blade: Taft under fire again for failing to list gifts; 2 more cases investigated

After meeting for more than two hours behind a locked door, the Ohio Ethics Commission yesterday said it is investigating Gov. Bob Taft for accepting two additional gifts that he failed to list on his annual financial disclosure statement as required by state law....


Uh Oh - Here Come the Porn Police

Consenting adults beware (oooohh, Bubba's gonna be pee-issed...). I know we have a raging deficit and a never-ending war in Iraq. I know we face a MAJOR rebuilding effort in the Gulf Region. We have another major storm raging in South Florida and the Keys. Millions of people do not have health insurance (or have to pay thousands a year for it). Our country is facing embarrassment at the exposure of our underbelly - the massive amount of poor who are ignored by the Feds.

But what is our FBI now going to put its MAJOR focus on? Yep - porn.

Hat tip AmericaBlog:

Porn is a top priority for the Bush Department of Justice.
by Joe in DC - 9/20/2005 09:47:00 AM

The Bush Administration is obsessed with sex. Now, the FBI is building a porn squad:
The FBI is joining the Bush administration's War on Porn. And it's looking for a few good agents.

Early last month, the bureau's Washington Field Office began recruiting for a new anti-obscenity squad. Attached to the job posting was a July 29 Electronic Communication from FBI headquarters to all 56 field offices, describing the initiative as "one of the top priorities" of Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and, by extension, of "the Director." That would be FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III.
Hey, it's not like they have anything else to do. And, this isn't about child porn or anything that's illegal. They are talking about "the kind that depicts, and is marketed to, consenting adults."

So all you Red State guys need to know: The Bush team wants your porn.
Glad our priorities are straight, folks. I guess with the sinking poll numbers, Bush has to pander to one of his last major support groups - the wacko fundies who, actually, quite like porn also.


Don't you just love the Republican Values - the real ones, that is - NOT the ones they claim to have when they worry about two men kissing.


MS-NBC vs The Deaf

Moments ago, Gov. JEB appeared on MS-NBC with an urgent Hurricane Rita message to his South Florida/Key West constituents that it's too late to leave now and they should "turn around, not drown".

As is the policy of the Florida governor's office when issuing emergency messages, a signer for the deaf interprets on-screen simulaneously.

MS-NBC first put its logo on top of the signer. Then it superimposed a weather map on top of her. Next it split the main screen with the weather map and governor side-by-side, pushing the signer to the right off the screen altogether.

Then, as if denying life-saving emergency information to the deaf was not enough, MS-NBC interrupted the governor's Spanish-language restatement in favor of having the MS-NBC news readers prattle.

Letters of complaint to MS-NBC should go to this address:


My Reply to a Racist Letter I Received

I'm on several YahooGroups email lists. One of the lists is inactive except for one person who sends out jokes. But today, one of the notes was not a joke. It was a forwarded email from someone who had only bad things to say about people in the shelter in Houston. From the tone of the letter, he sounded like someone who went to the shelter with an (anti-black, anti-poor) attitude rather than with an open heart.

It concerns me that this kind of attitude is popping up here and there on the internet in emails and comments. Is this the 'real' attitude in this nation? I hope not! I hope the generosity that has been poured out recently is evidence of the true attitudes of most people.

This was my reply to the anti- letter:

Dear ... list,

I don't know any of you, but I feel that I need to respond in some way to the letter (Fw: thankless evacuee's) about the evacuees from New Orleans.

I do believe that we find what we expect, and we will be met in many situations by what matches our own attitudes. I don't know if the person who wrote that letter was the one whose name was on it. It doesn't matter.

What matters is to me in this situation is that the people who are in shelters now are there because they lost everything. They have lost their homes, their belongings, their pets, and in some cases, their family members. These people have endured a trauma far worse than I have ever experienced.

The author of the letter said he was not their slave. Maybe that was part of the problem. In a situation where the 'least' have lost even the small amount that they had, what they need is kindness and someone to listen and care. The physical things are certainly necessary, but they also need to know someone cares. When I'm in pain, I want comfort, not condescension.

I don't doubt that there are some people whose social skills are not the best. But, I do not believe the worst about an entire group of people based on the actions of a few. From what I have heard, there are far more people who are deeply grateful for the help they've been given than there are people like the writer of that letter described.

I don't see it as our place to demand that people who have just lost everything express their gratitude in pretty words and well-modulated tones. These are people who have been traumatized. I expect them to be angry and frustrated and sad.

I hope that letter was not from the man listed as the author. I hope that those who are going into the shelters to help are doing so with an open heart, seeing in the evacuees their own mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, children, grandparents, relatives of all sorts, friends, and neighbors.

If we can look past our preconceived attitudes to the hurt and the humanity, maybe the experiences we have in the shelters will be different..



Monday, September 19, 2005

A change goin' come...

I was noticing this evening how sunset happened before 7 pm, then the wind blew a bit and ruffled the leaves on the tree in front of my front window the way they don't move when they're young leaves. They're still green but fall is definitely coming.


Ms. Julien is Stayin' Put

South Beach is on the "dirty side" of advancing I am staying in Baltimore with the little dog. We have had a little bit of bad luck with the apartment - no air/water due to a leak, so we have been staying at our favorite Baltimore hotel - the Peabody Court on Mt. Vernon Square (right in the neighborhood we want to buy if we end up here next year, so that is cool).

Wonderdog Verdell is flex as always, plane, apartment, hotel, he is cool as long as he has his person and his favorite friend, Douglas (I mean damn, he really digs this stuffed dog, so we have one in Baltimore and TWO in Miami Beach for him)...

I will keep posting - probably better than I could from Miami. Hope all of my dear friends and "family" in Miami stay safe!!!


WP Editorial: The Other America, 2005

Poverty in America - definitely worth the read!

The Other America, 2005


'Whatever It Costs'

Sebastian Mallaby in the Washington Post

It's hard to say what's worse: The incompetence of the administration's initial hurricane response or the cowardice of its follow-up. Faced with a small hit to his ratings, the president who once boasted of ignoring polls is rushing to spend billions of other people's dollars on saving his political skin. His philosophy is, "It's going to cost whatever it costs." That phrase should be the title of some future history of the Bush era....


Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)

RAC Action Alert: Don't Let Violence Against Women Act Expire

The 1994 Violence Against Women Act is set to expire on September 30, 2005 unless reauthorized. To ensure that essential services continue to be provided to victims of abuse and sexual assault, and that programs to prevent and treat gender-based violence continue, the Senate must vote to reauthorize VAWA before it expires. Let your Senators know that this legislation must be voted on now!

Take Action!

In phone calls, letters, faxes and email, urge your Senators to vote as soon as possible and support the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (S. 1197). To reach your Senators, call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121. You can also send an e-mail or letter to your Senators by going to the RAC Legislative Action Center. For more information, please contact RAC Legislative Assistant Samantha Pohl at 202.387.2800.


Sunday, September 18, 2005

Tennessee may shut down ‘ex-gay’ facility

This article is from the New York Blade.

Tenn. may shut down ‘ex-gay’ facility
State moves against Love In Action

Exodus International’s flagship ‘ex-gay’ residential treatment facility, Love in Action, is facing possible closure by the state of Tennessee for unlawfully treating mentally ill gay men.

Founded in 1973, Memphis-based Love in Action claims that it is the oldest and largest group to focus on the “prevention or treatment” of same-sex attraction.

The organization made national and international news earlier this year after a Tennessee teen wrote on his blog that his parents were sending him to the program in an effort to change his sexual orientation, and appealed for help.

Amidst the outpouring of concern for the teen, reports surfaced that Love in Action clients had been traumatized by their treatment at the program.

Questions arose about whether the facility was operating within the law. On Sept. 12, the state of Tennessee announced that its Department of Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities had determined that Love in Action is operating two “unlicensed mental health supportive living facilities.”

The rest of the article is here.


This is exactly what I meant to say...

My beloved same-sex esposa and I had a little tiny tiff the other day in the check out line at Whole Foods. We each got a magazine for a little reading/cuddling/lounging session planned for later in the evening. My pic? Advocate magazine. Her pic? Vanity Fair. Normally I like the mag she chose - this day, however, I was quite offended by the cover. Paris Hilton "Wears White Her Way" - meaning sparkling white riding pants, and black boots on the bottom half - and on the top half, nothing but a très-$$$$ watch and diamond necklace. Arms covering the "Janet Jacksons", pushing to the middle for a little enhanced cleavage...

Now, why would any self-respecting lover of bodies feminine (and as you can see in the comments stemming from THIS POST, Ms. Hilton's, er, boobies are "just my type...:) be so offended by this cover shot? I tried to explain my thoughts yesterday and, well, sucked at it.

Just today, however, I have discovered that another person feels the same way, and has done a fabulous job of writing why...

From Common Dreams:

I have excerpted the first part of the article, but it is in its entirety a veritable "must-read":

My American Nightmare

A US that Chooses as Its Sweetheart a Billionaire Heiress Notorious for Hardcore Sex is No Place to Be.
by Emma Forrest

A malevolent conga line of recent events has made me wonder if, after eight years, I am still glad to live in America. Some were political: of all the terrible imagery to come out of hurricane Katrina, perhaps none was as distressing as the photo of Bush hugging two African-American victims.

Some were 'cultural': actress Denise Richards explaining how she had to wean her newborn early in order to get her breasts in shape for the cover of Playboy.

Some were financial: when Citibank started sending overdue notices on a credit card for which I hadn't been approved. In June, they said I owed $75 and then in July $91. The bills started arriving around the same time my health insurance was canceled. I find myself crossing Fifth Avenue with exceptional caution, certain I am about to meet my insurance-less demise, distracted by things I want to buy with the credit card I don't own.

And I'm middle class. No one at government level stopped to consider how people who were too poor to own cars or credit cards planned to get themselves out of New Orleans.

So it is a curious dichotomy that in this libertarian time of no 'hand-outs', we nominate a billionaire heiress as the nation's sweetheart. There she is on the cover of this month's Vanity Fair, Miss Paris Hilton, whose ascent from drunken hotel heiress to drunken multimedia star is not the final nail in the coffin of my American love affair. The nail is the celebratory manner in which the esteemed publication portrays her.