Thursday, October 20, 2011

One Million Moms is Fucking Scary

So, there is this group out there called One Million Moms.  First off, they are an activist organization that is trying to clean up the moral failings of America.  They are also a "Project" of the American Family Association.  Take note, any activist organization that uses the words "Family" or "Justice" is likely to be a right wing crack pot organization.  Oddly enough, the AFA is such an organization.  Anti-women, anti-gay, and pretty much every over nasty and disgustingly wrong aspect of morality you can think of.

Anyway, this OMM group has called for a boycott of Ben & Jerry's Schweddy Balls ice cream.  They have called for a boycott of DWTS sponsors because ABC actually mentioned what the meaning of transgendered was.  DWTS is now accused of promoting the pro-homosexual agenda.  They are claiming credit for the cancellation of "PB Club."  That is Playboy Club, but apparently they can't bring themselves to spell out Playboy.  Adult toys being sold on Pharmacy websites.  Etc., etc.

One of their bigger campaigns is to have Google and Disney pull their support of the "It gets better" campaign to help counter the bullying experienced by LGBTQ youth in this country that has led to numerous suicides.

You can scroll through the various list of things they find offensive.  Basically, this is just a branch of the hyper-bigoted AFA.

My Issues with Obama

Before I get accused of being an Obama sycophant, I just probably take a few sentences and mention all the things that his administration has done that has really disappointed me. 

First, his failure to tackle the torture issue.  Under Bush, the US committed torture.  Plain and simple.  There are two parts to this.  One, Obama did nothing to look into the prosecution of those that committed torture.  Two, it now appears that we have outsourced our torture to other nations by shifting "enemy combatants" to other countries that may not be so unkind to certain interrogation techniques. 

Second, Obama claimed to want to be a very transparent administration.  While this administration is indeed far more transparent that probably any President before, this Administration has fought just about every attempt by the public to gain information via the Freedom of Information Act by citing the States Secrets Act.  As a side note, shame on the courts for granting just about every request made by the Obama Administration.

Third, signing the extension of the Patriot Act.  This is one of the most unpatriotic and unconstitutional pieces of legislation ever written and both Dems and Repugs alike extended it with nary a wimper as to how much of our rights have been forfeited.  The existence of the Patriot Act alone is indication that the terrorists already won.

Fourth, his massive clamp down on marijuana and medical marijuana.  Massive savings at pretty much every level of government, from towns up through the Feds, would save billions of dollars a year by simply ignoring much of the petty, misdemeanor possession charges.  Police would be redirected toward other crime prevention.  Prosecutors could focus more on felony cases.  Less money would be spent on incarceration and courts.  This alone would probably be a non-trivial stimulus to the economy.

Fifth, his inability to take control of the true message during the all of the deficit an debt ceiling debacle.  The Republicans set the message early and Obama had no choice but to give in to their whims or else the GOPers would have crashed the economy.  He is finally getting now, but the Repuglicans are brazen now.

Sixth, his ordering of the killing of the American born terrorist, al-Awlaki.  When I wrote that blog, I wasn't  sure how I felt about that act, but now I believe it was illegal and leads us down a slippery slope.  Not unlike what Bush did with the torture memos.  At the very least, al-Awlaki should have been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury for various crimes.  Treason being one of them.  Then issuing a request to the Yemen government to apprehend him and extradite him to the US.  Had al-Awlaki been killed in that attempt, so be it.  But at least the due process of law for an American citizen would have been followed.  Also, if there was any evidence that he rejected his citizenship, then the Administration should have asked a court to reject his citizenship.  This would have opened up the drone attack as a true military operation against a sworn enemy of the US.

Occupy, Sabotage, and the Liberal Media

I see that I have been neglecting my blog again.  Truth is, I am sort of disgusted by the same old shit from the Republicans and their blatant attempt to sabotage our economy as the 2012 election approaches.  So, with that in mind, I have not paid much attention to the whole Occupy Wall Street movement and its various off shoots.  Part of me wants to say, "OK, whatever."  But there seems to be some real grass roots stuff happening here.  There is no consistent message.  There is no spokesperson.  It is just a lot of people kind of tired of the Wall Street class warfare.  I don't even think it is really targeted at Republicans either, although, their efforts to call our freedom to assemble "anti-American" doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.  They didn't seem to mind the various Tea Party assemblies back in the day, but, oh well, just another example of Republican hypocrisy.  The real target simply seems to be obscene amounts of money.  Now, I don't really think they care if Banker John Doe makes a lot of money.  What they are tired of is that they are resisting any and all efforts to get the economy moving again.  New Flash!  Trick down economics does work!

I do have one question for every OWS protester out there.  Did you vote in 2010?  Will you vote in 2012?  Will you get your friends to vote?  Your family?  The Republicans have passed legislation in dozens of states to make it harder for folks like you to vote, so, pick it up, follow their idiotic rules, and get yourself registered and eligible to vote so we can wipe these misogynistic assholes out of the state legislatures and out of the House of Representatives so that we have a real chance of growing our economy again. 

So, with all the blatant Republican hypocrisy, the clear attempts and avoiding any and all responsibility for governance, the obscene attempts to paint Obama as the one not willing to compromise, the massive public support of pretty much every aspect of the Obama job plan, where the hell is our liberally biased media and why aren't they saying anything about it?  Yes, they are covering the story, but they aren't asking the right questions.  They are simply reporting politics and not discussing facts.  They seem to be so afraid of being called out as bias that they are afraid to call a spade a spade anymore.

I won't even start of the actual Republican presidential candidates.  The ones currently in office are fucked up enough.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On the Passing of Steve Jobs

I've never been a big fan of Apple.  That really had nothing to do with Steve Jobs personally.  I'm not really a fan of the Apple business model either.  But, that doesn't mean I can't respect the contributions of Jobs to fields of personal computing and personal electronics.

I often tease friends about turning to the dark side as the seem to slowly covet a new Mac laptop or the iPhone.  While I don't see myself ever getting one of those devices, I have owned a couple of iPods.  I have thoroughly enjoyed the musical freedom that those devices have given me.

Without question, Jobs was an innovator, and his contributions will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Arkansas Atheist Ad Campaign

An atheist bus ad campaign rolled out in Arkansas today.  The background story is of interest here because the ad, which says, "Are you good without God?  Millions are" was considered too controversial by the bus company and demanded a $36,000 security deposit to protect the bus company against vandalism. 

So, let's think about that for a second, the bus company was worried that people would be so enraged by that little sentence up there, that they wanted a special consideration made to run the ads (after a court ruled they had to because it was discriminatory not to).  The court ruled that $15,000 was fair (it isn't) and the Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason paid.

So, let's think about this, part two.  Who do you think the bus company was worried about vandalizing the ads?  Who else?  Christians.  What does it say about Christians that the bus company would be worried about them vandalizing their buses?  Hmm.

Would the bus company have been concerned about vandalism had the ad been a Christian message?  Probably not.  What does that say about the non-theists?  Hmm.

The Killing of Al-Awlaki

About a week ago, a US drone killed Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen.  He was purportedly a high ranking member of Al-Qaida and actively involved in plots against American interests.  The interesting point of all this is that he was American born, and therefore an American citizen.  So, the question becomes, was it legal to kill him without any legal due process?

I will say that my first reaction was good riddance, but at the time, I didn't know he was an American citizen.  Is it hypocritical to believe that Guantanamo Bay should be shut down all of its prisoners tried in a US Court of Law allowing due process of all, regardless of their citizenship, and then turn right around and not bat an eyelash at the killing of al-Awlaki?  How do the rules of engagement with respect to a war play out when the entity you are at war with is not a nation-state?  As an apparent "officer" of such a military entity, or as an acknowledged leader of such an entity a valid target in war?

While it is apparent that no US court will be willing to rule on such an issue since War Powers tend to be left to the discretion of Congress and the office of the President.  The one entity missing in all of this is Congress.  Congress should pass laws with respect to this type of action so that the guidance for the President is clear.  To avoid doing so is skipping out on its responsibility to enact such laws and therefore, they should not be so willing to criticize the President for this action.

I also can't help but think that if Bush had done this, there would be no end to the praise coming from the right as opposed to the guarded questioning of the legality we see today.  Also, to be fair, there are plenty on the right who applauded this action as well.  Again, whether I am bothered by that, I don't really now.

If I had to choose a side on this fight, I would say that I would be supportive of the action since he, by all appearances, was an active leader in a sworn enemy of the United States who willing left US soil to engage in activities against his country.  On the other hand, I can think of other situations where somebody has committed treason and left the country.  Under those circumstances, I'm sure the US would attempt to capture and extradite them to face trial.  The question then becomes, was he acting in the interest of a sworn and active enemy of the United States.

Lots of food for thought.

The Amanda Knox Tragedy

I have read only bits of pieces of the Amanda Knox story.  Certainly, there is something to be said of a trial by the press.  But the real tragedy is that a young woman was murdered four years ago and her killer is free, whether it was Knox, or her boyfriend, or somebody else out there.  Even if Italian prosecutors can successfully appeal an acquittal (that sounds so weird), I doubt the US would extradite at this point.  It would make for some interesting international relations.  But, at this point, even if the Italian police were to reopen the investigation without Knox and/or her boyfriend as suspects, it sounds like all the evidence is so tainted at this point that it may not be worth bothering.  The same thing can be said about the Casey Anthony trial, or the Troy Davis trial, or the Memphis 3.  When prosecutors are so focused on getting somebody, anybody, found guilty of a high profile crime, then there become two tragedies, the trials of the innocent and what they must endure, and the trials of a grieving family who must watch their killed loved one as nothing more than a footnote to a circus.