Archive for April 12th, 2006

I just noticed that a search for "erotic liberated Christian blogs" led a hopeful Internet surfer to my site…

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As I was trolling Eric Coobs’ new website to see what the Burns campaign was thinking about, I came across this post:

Why would the Democrats pretend to care about illegal aliens? What's in it for them?

Well, I decided that the national Democratic Party is getting tired of losing national elections, and falling union membership, and think that a new group of voters, like illegals from Mexico might be able to put them back in power. Heck, they might even get them signed onto labor unions, stopping the decline there, and ensuring nice union PAC contributions.

This reminds me of the story about the guy who went to the shrink’s to look at ink blot tests. After telling his doctor that image after image looked like images of porn, and his doctor concluded that he suffered from sexual perversion, the man barked, “Me, the pervert? You’re the one with all the dirty pictures!”

Coobs’ paranoia in his post hints at how he probably thinks about his pet issues that keeps his favorite party in power. Or maybe Coobs is so unsympathetic to the plight of many illegal immigrants that he genuinely can’t understand why anyone would want to listen to their concerns.

All I know is that many House GOP members are considering flipping on the issue:

…many House Republicans are worried that a tough anti-illegal-immigration bill they thought would please their political base has earned them little benefit while becoming a lightning rod for the fast-growing national movement for immigrant rights.

[snip]

The politics of the issue have shifted markedly since the House acted. Republican lawmakers are increasingly saying they will now consider some avenue to grant illegal immigrants access to lawful employment. And Democrats who voted for the House bill with an eye on their political futures or to preempt feared attacks from conservatives are rethinking their position.

The question Coobs should be asking himself is not, why do Democrats “pretend” to like illegal immigrants, but why are Republicans starting to pretend to like illegal immigrants, and how is he going to flip on the issue on his site without anyone noticing?

On immigration, I think it’s an issue where political opportunity meshes nicely with ideology. Yes, the Democrats stand to gain political capital by supporting a softer stance on illegal immigration. But I think many Democrats truly believe the country should court honest, hardworking Mexican workers, not to create a base of Democrat voters, but because it's the right thing to do.

As a liberal I believe in equalizing opportunity for all. The more people that can enjoy the (slipping) freedoms of the U.S. and the economic advantages of living here, the better. Call me idealistic or starry-eyed, but I believe in these words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty the pursuit of Happiness.

Sure, some illegal immigrants may cause problems. But they’re here. We don’t have the resources to throw ‘em jail, let alone round them up and deport them. Why not give most of them a chance at citizenship? At the very least we should give them guest-worker status.

Lately the Burns campaign staff has been churning out fears of an East- and West- coast liberal conspiracy to win his seat. In a recent Burns’ campaign ad, a voice says “Imagine…a Senate controlled by Hillary Clinton and Ted Kennedy…” Burns spokesman, Jason Klindt, claims that East-coast money is funding the corruption attacks on Conrad Burns. And the latest, from the Great Falls Tribune:

…the April 17 issue of Newsweek magazine quoted an unnamed source as confirming that Burns is “under scrutiny” for his connections to Abramoff, who is cooperating in a Justice Department probe into possible congressional influence-peddling.

“That story was done by a reporter who doesn’t even live here,” Burns said Monday.

The rhetoric: Conrad Burns is under attack by powerful East- and West-coast liberals who have manufactured his association with the Abramoff corruption scandal in order to win Montana’s second Senate seat from the loyal and trustworthy conservative and regular guy, Senator Burns.

The message: Folks, this is all part of the liberal agenda to turn Montana into a suburb of California. Those d*mn outsiders just don’t respect and recognize the superiority of our rural values.

The reality: While it is quite true that out-of-state groups are concentrating financial and political power on the Senate race, and that mainstream East-coast publications are focusing on Burns’ association with Jack Abramoff, Conrad Burns has only one person to blame: himself.

As the increasing number of reports make it clear that the allegations against Burns are looking pretty d*mning, and Burns’ popularity within Montana with voters plummets, an otherwise safely conservative Senate seat has been jeopardized. East- and West- coast politicos, eager to win back Congress, know the seat is vulnerable and are throwing money into the race. At the same time, Burns’ obstinate refusal to acknowledge the Abramoff scandal and to carry on with the race also keeps him in the media spotlight. Conrad Burns has become a household name synonymous with bungling corruption and the type of clownish character media outlets love to profile.

No one’s out to get an “innocent” man. We’re out to get a crooked politico who has brought all the attention down on Montana and the Senate race because of his own d*mn actions.

Creep: Jenny L. Erickson

The heroes were beginning to outgain the creeps, which may be good for Montana, but it's bad for business here at 4&20 blackbirds. But thankfully Jenny L. Erickson of Stevensville wrote in with her two cents to the Missoulian on the recently enacted anti-bully policy for Montana schools:

Proposal protects special interests 

Pamela Erickson in her letter to the editor in the March 22 Missoulian forgot the facts as she wrote to praise the Democrats' “leadership” for “act(ing) on the needs of our children.”

The facts are that the vote in the House to oppose the “bullying bill” was not because it required schools to have a bullying policy but because it required schools to have a bullying policy with one of the categories being “sexual orientation.”

Even the lobbyists for the Office of Public Instruction and the school boards opposed the bill because they said that when you add classifications in such a law, you leave some out and that invites bullying of the ones who are not included by students and teachers.

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If a school does not have a bullying policy in this day and age then they are negligent. If a bullying policy is written with classifications of people who cannot be bullied then they are just as negligent because of the problems it will cause those classifications that are not included.

The Democrats are champions of pushing the homosexual agenda items, one of which is a bullying policy in all the schools with “sexual orientation” as a classification so that they can receive special treatment.

The fact is, the Republican vote more closely represented the will of the Montana voters since 70 percent of the voters had just voted to not give homosexuals the right of marriage in Montana. The Board of Education, wisely, did not require classifications in the anti-bullying policies recently recommended.

Unfortunately I couldn't dig up a text of the actual anti-bullying policy, but based on the Billings Gazette report on the subject, the policy doesn't restrict protection to groups mentioned in the text. Here's the Gazette:

The new requirement says schools must have a policy "designed to address bullying, intimidation and harassment of students and school personnel."

It leaves the details of the policy up to local school boards. But the board does plan to send school districts a list of recommended features for a policy to comply with the order.

One of those features says the policy should "acknowledge that victims of (bullying) are often targeted because their perceived vulnerabilities," which can include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity," as well as race, religion and disabilities.

I'm no lawyer, but I think that a policy that limits protection from bullying to certain groups is in for a world of litigious pain. This description of the policy by the Gazette seems to say the policy only seeks to ensure that school officials are sensitive to certain vulnerabilities, not that certain groups enjoy protection and others don't.

Why? Hm…might it be that some Montanans think that homosexuality is a form of deviance and homosexual teens should be harassed? They may not advocate physical violence against gay teens, but they might not think twice about, say, religious fundamentalist students confronting gay teens with images of damnation or labels of peversion.

That's bullying, folks.

That Erickson failed to mention the other groups mentioned in the "classifications" — the handicapped, racial groups — only underscores her prejudice. That she considers protection for gay teens from bullies is "special treatment," I can only conclude that the "usual" treatment of gays includes getting pummeled now and then, and she'd like to see this treatment continue.

Or, as written in a Helena IR editorial by several workers in the disability community:

The opponents to the enactment of anti-bullying policies are so intent to deny protection from violence to vulnerable kids who are or are perceived to be gay, they are willing to deny this protection to every student. Their position is not just malicious and hateful. It is also shockingly reckless, as it urges the board to leave vulnerable children without protection and deny this important tool to school districts and school personnel to address and prevent this violence.

Hero: Harry Taylor

This one was obvious: Harry Taylor, the man who stood up and spoke out against President Bush…to his face.

Think Progress has the video and transcript:

You never stop talking about freedom, and I appreciate that. But while I listen to you talk about freedom, I see you assert your right to tap my telephone, to arrest me and hold me without charges, to try to preclude me from breathing clean air and drinking clean water and eating safe food. If I were a woman, you’d like to restrict my opportunity to make a choice and decision about whether I can abort a pregnancy on my own behalf. You are –

THE PRESIDENT: I’m not your favorite guy. Go ahead. (Laughter and applause.) Go on, what’s your question?

Q Okay, I don’t have a question. What I wanted to say to you is that I — in my lifetime, I have never felt more ashamed of, nor more frightened by my leadership in Washington, including the presidency, by the Senate, and –

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Booo!

THE PRESIDENT: No, wait a sec — let him speak.

Q And I would hope — I feel like despite your rhetoric, that compassion and common sense have been left far behind during your administration, and I would hope from time to time that you have the humility and the grace to be ashamed of yourself inside yourself. And I also want to say I really appreciate the courtesy of allowing me to speak what I’m saying to you right now. That is part of what this country is about.

Oliver Willis has his pic alongside Rockwell’s visual paean to the First Amendment. It’s appropriate, too. Credit Bush for standing up to the criticism and allowing Taylor to speak, although he really didn’t have any other choice. Also, while Taylor did a great job of expressing how millions of Americans feel about this presidency, he really didn’t challenge Bush on anything of substance. (I admit I enjoy watching Bush try to field a question he knows nothing about, like, say foreign policy.)

Still, Taylor’s calm call for Bush to feel shame for mistakes was a beautiful moment in democracy, and a scene that hasn’t been seen often since Bush assumed office.

If you, like me, want to thank Mr. Taylor for expressing criticism to the president’s face and bravely exercising his right to speech, you can leave a comment at this website.

Links…

Montana Barbies now available! The Missoula Barbie: “This Barbie is made out of recycled plastic and tofu. She has long straight brown hair, archless feet, hairy armpits, no make-up, and Birkenstocks with white socks. She does not want, or need, a Ken doll. If you purchase the optional Subaru wagon, you will receive a free rainbow flag sticker. Available at REI.”

Iran enriches uranium and enters the nuclear club. Does this mean they’re about read to start cranking out nuclear warheads? No, it does not. Iran is still ten years away, according to expert opinion. So why all the fuss now? Answer: we’re caught between two religious fundamentalists struggling in the polls…

And why isn’t the media going bonkers over the nuclear “option”? It should be. Look, it’s no use trying to engage the administration, you can only hem them in. If the media doesn’t pick up the nukes story, we might find ourselves responsible for some of the worst wartime atrocities since WWII. Shouldn’t we at least discuss it?

Geeguy at Electric City Weblog “sure didn’t learn much about racism” from a recent Great Falls Tribune story on interracial dating, but I learned a little from his post. (Wulfgar! riffed on Geeguy’s latest gems, too.)

Play “Follow U.S. Over the Cliff!” Place Rumsfield and Bush quotes in chronological order!

Um, does anyone else think the GOP is paying for a NH man who engaged in election phone-jamming because they’re nice? I don’t think the Republican party would want to create a sense of entitlement, do you?

Cheney booed off the field after his opening-day pitch for the Nats.

Kevin Drum posts about the WaPo’s evidence and revelation that Bush knowingly fabricated evidence of WMDs to support the invasion of Iraq.

And Powell has just come clean: Cheney made him do it. Gee whiz, Mr. Secretary. Isn’t it a little late now?

Meanwhile, Bill O’Reilly, confronted with perhaps one of the biggest war crises in his country’s history reports on…the war on Easter. This is not a joke.




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