Friday, March 18, 2005

Debunking Schiavo Myths

Majikthise has great roundup and critique of the effort to make Terri Schiavo a martyr of the right. I'm just going to say again, get a living will!!!!!!! Please, check out Majikthise's post. It's a great way to rebut arguments that focus on Mrs. Schiavo being capable of recovery and criticize her husband for his efforts to allow her to die. Imagine being a soul trapped in that body. Horror. Poor woman.

Fighting the Federal Censorship Commission

Recieved this email from Wes Clark. Says everything about the FCC these days, doesn't it?

Respect the Sacrifice -- Protect the Freedom -- Stop Government Censorship Today
Dear Stephen,

This past Veterans Day, ABC honored America's vets for a third straight year by airing "Saving Private Ryan." But 66 local ABC affiliates, bullied by a small group of right-wing zealots who objected to the realistic violence and language in the film, asked the Federal Communications Commission for a ruling to protect themselves before proceeding.
How did the FCC respond? Silence. They left the stations hanging out to dry. And these 66 affiliates, fearing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines, chose not to air "Saving Private Ryan," depriving one-third of the country from watching it.
Just a few weeks ago, the FCC finally ruled that the stations could air the film -- but it was too little, too late. And in the meantime, the damage to our democracy had been done -- a small group of right-wing zealots had held these stations hostage, using the fear of fines as a political tool, and the FCC played along.
This kind of de facto censorship is wholly unacceptable. We deserve a government that will stand up to these groups, leaving the decision about whether or not to watch these programs up to us. That's our right as Americans. That right was secured by the sacrifice of the fighting men and women portrayed in "Saving Private Ryan" and by all of us who have served in America's armed forces.
I urge you to email FCC Chairman Kevin Martin by signing my petition below and demand that he end this de facto censorship. Tell Chairman Martin that we will not stand idly by as the government enables the erosion of one of our most precious freedoms.
And then invite everyone you know to join our cause.

Wes Clark

Go Gators!

My alma mater, the University of Florida, is tipping off in the first round of the NCAA's.
Hopefully, we can make it to the Sweet 16 at least this year. GO GATORS!
If the Gators and BC Eagles face times..

EDIT: Holy crap. They play like that against Villanova, they lose. And ESPN Scoreboard sucks..took five minutes to update the freaking score. It says we are up by 15, and I turn the audio on the TV and hear 'Ohio is on a 16 to 2 run!' Geez.

Steroids on the brain

Eric Wilbur is full of crap. He complains that McGwire didn't really answer questions, and that at these steroid hearings,
"Baseball personnel made House representatives look good over an eye-opening 11 hours. It was that dark a day for the National Pastime."

C'mon, what the hell is the point? That steroids are bad? Well duh. Look, it is horrible that young athletes have died because of steroids, but don't blame it on MLB. Where were the coaches of these kids? Their peers? Their families? I love how we blame others for this problem, but don't look at ourselves. In no way was it a 'dark day' for anyone but the taxpayer and the TV viewer...and McGwire would still have my vote for the Hall of Fame.

Fenway Park: The New Olympus?

Ya know, politics divides us, but it is baseball, my dearest passion (edit: after my wife of course!), that can unite us. Except Yankee fans. They still suck. Bastards. Ahem. And this Globe article by Dave Ropiek on Fenway renovations is exciting. My favorite paragraph is the last one:

"So, see you in the new/old/rickety/modern Fenway. Opening Day is April 11. The Yankees will be the opponent, and they'll get to watch with the rest of the crowd the best change of all: The raising of the World Championship flag over Fenway Park. "

Everybody together now: 'Let's go Red Sox, let's go!'

The End of Containment

Matt Welch has a short and sweet tribute to George Kennan, a primary architect of American foreign policy in the Cold War. The man was, is, a legend and a man at least partly responsible for containing Soviet expansion after World War II. Certainly, the policy of containment had major flaws (like, oh, the fiasco that Vietnam turned out to be), but it could be argued that it did what it was intended to do: halt the spread of Communism in Asia and Europe by demonstrating American resolve.

Media Bias

Todd Zywicki at The Volokh Conspiracy (two links to them in one day. No doubt their traffic will increase by .000000000000000001% thanks to me!) makes a good point about the modern American media, whether you are talking about left wing bias, right wing bias, or clown wing bias:
"Something that doesn't happen every day--when I signed in at CNN yesterday to be on Lou Dobbs's program (Lou wasn't there though), the signature right above mine was Jose Canseco. And the lead-in story to my segment was Robert Blake's acquittal.

Kind of puts it all into perspective."

You know, our media is so damn shallow, and really, aren't their more important issues than Robert Freaking Blake or the ponderings and panderings of Jose Canseco? I disagree with Mr. Zywicki a whole lot, but damn if he doesn't have a point, eh? Dumbing down America, indeed.

Not respecting their authoritay?

Orin Kerr at the Volokh Conspiracy briefly addresses the constitutional questions surrounding Congress issuing subpoenas to stop the feeding tube removal from Mrs. Schiavo. As he points out,

"The power to compel disclosure of evidence doesn't seem to have much to do with the power to block a state court order requiring the removal of a feeding tube."

Well, wherever you stand on this issue, I do hope it has pointed out the importance of living wills. My wife and I are going to get ours done ASAP.

The Republic of Gilead Awaits

Finally, some people get it right about the way things oughta be. These are folks we need to listen to, folks. Some highlights from the Salon article:

"The authors envision a state designed to protect the "integrity" of the
home -- autonomous family units composed exclusively of one woman, one man, and
as many children as possible. As incentive for the mother to stay home and
fulfill her "aptness for motherhood," fathers would be paid a "family wage."
"Home economies" would replace the "control of big government and vast
corporations," whose demands have eroded the sovereignty of marriage-based
families. The tax code would be amended to favor large families and small
businesses. "

"It goes without saying that same-sex marriage does not exist in this prescribed world. In the utopia of "family homes, lawns, and gardens... ringing with the laughter of many children," gay marriage would not only be illegal -- children would be instructed with positive images of chastity, marriage, "husbandry," and "housewifery." "

Hell, women back in the home, elimination of 'deviancy,' lots and lots of kids...I say bring on the Republic of Gilead!
Thanks to Pandagon for the link to the story.

Steroid Show Trial Derailed?

Jesse Taylor has a fantastic short post that greatly summarizes McGwire's testimony to the nonsense steroid commission. Just a blurb:
Baseball Player: "If that's a question, I can't answer it. But Mark McGwire
Mark McGwire: "Hold on, I still have to finish studying the John Kerry
Guide To Answering A Question."

Read the whole thing here.

A Voice in the Conservative Wilderness

Jeff Jacoby of my favorite paper, The Boston Globe, critiques the response of his fellow conservatives to torture. Key 'graphs:

Interrogation techniques that flirt with torture -- to say nothing of those
that end in death -- cross the moral line that separates us from the enemy we
are trying to defeat.

The Bush administration and the military insist that any abuse of
detainees is a violation of policy and that abusers are being punished. If so,
why does it refuse to allow a genuinely independent commission to investigate
without fear or favor? Why do Republican leaders on Capitol Hill refuse to
launch a proper congressional investigation? And why do my fellow conservatives
-- those who support the war for all the right reasons -- continue to keep
silent about a scandal that should have them up in arms?

It is nice to see that not all on the right have lost the concept of what we mean when we say 'American values,' and credit to Jacoby for speaking up (which, it must be said, he has done for a long time on this issue, as has Andrew Sullivan).

A Must Read

Just wanted to recommend Firedoglake, a pretty good blog that I found through Florida Blues. Check it out!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The dead.

Dick 'The Monster' Radatz, one of the greatest relievers in Sox history, is dead after a fall down stairs. At 6'5 and almost 400 pounds, he was a giant of man at his death, though he did not weigh as much during his playing days. A good Globe article on Monster is here.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Damned Yankee...

Mariano Rivera is going to be all better. Yippee. Guy is probably still waking up with images of Dave Roberts and Rivera-killer Bill Mueller flashing in his eyes. It's baseball season, folks, and the Sox are still World Champs. SWEEEEEET.

'Hello, Comrade. We have nothing to hide.'

From Talking Points Memo:

From the Guardian:
"Russia's secret services are shielding Bosnian Serbs wanted by the war crimes
tribunal in The Hague for atrocities committed during the Bosnian war, including
the massacre at Srebrenica, where more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were

Lovely people, the Russians. But then, we have seen Grand Moff Putin's soul, and it is good.

'Bigger, Better, Cheater?'

So apparently Congress, with nothing else in the world to worry about, have decided that they need to be part of the whole steriod kerfuffle enveloping the world's greatest sport, though fortunately not the world's greatest team. With these hearings on steriods in baseball, Congress is, once again, showboating. What the hell is the point? Baseball just began its new policy, there WAS no policy previously, and honestly, so they took steroids? So what? Eric Wilbur has a post on his blog excoriating those that think steroids are no big deal. I have to disagree.
I must admit that I have had a change of heart on the matter. At first, it really bothered me, and it was the worst form of cheating imaginable. Now, though, after further thought, I have to say that it really does not bother me as much, because players have always cheated!!!! Whether it is with corked bats (Bucky *&^%#! Dent), spitballs, pine tar, emory boards, vaseline, or whatever, players have sought an advantage. Steroid use, while perhaps the most personally destructive, is only the most recent form of cheating.
I realize that these players are supposed to be 'role models,' but to paraphrase Sir Charles, these ain't no role models. It is up to the parents and coaches and peers of younger athletes to make sure that kids don't ruin themselves with steroids, not a function of Major League Baseball or the Players Association.

'What, Me Worry?'

Brad Plumer over at Washington Monthly makes a good point about the 'suggestions' that pushing investigations of Tom Delay over foreign trips paid for by lobbyists (among other things) could come back to bite Dems in the ass (emphasis mine):
But if that's true, then fine, investigate them all! I'm not partisan
enough to care if Democrats' also get burned for breaking House rules. On the
other hand, if they do want to think in terms of partisan warfare, Democrats
need only think back to 1991, when House Republicans led by Newt Gingrich used a
mini-scandal—House members were caught overdrawing from their
private bank without penalty—to whip up public outrage, even though both parties
were eventually found guilty.

I gotta think that whatever is bad for 'The Hammer' is good for Democrats, and if the party can start assuming the attitude and approach that Gingrich himself pushed when the Republicans were the minority, then hell, go for it...but go with caution. Gingrich, after all, is out of office.
Between the Senate position vote on debt vs. benefit cuts from the other day, the ethics issues in the House, and the bankruptcy bill (to a smaller degree, damn 'bipartisan' morons), I think the Democrats are looking stronger on many fronts. But then, I thought Kerry was going to win and I thought Little wasn't wrong to leave Pedro in...well, kidding about that last part!

'Weasonable on Wolfowitz'

As I posted earlier, Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of our New American Century, is being nominated by Bush to be head of the World Bank, pending European approval (ha!). Matt Yglesias makes a good point in that we really don't know what Wolfowitz might do with the World Bank, though we might have suspicions. Perhaps we should reserve judgement. As Yglesias notes:
Preventative wars are not, I take it, something the Bank head is able
to launch.

For some reason, I find that line funny. In any case, perhaps we SHOULD reserve judgement. In the words of a great philosopher, 'Only Nixon could go to China.'

'Well, uh, it's part of the leftie conspiracy against me!'

David Horowitz is a neo-Stalinist, right wing blowhard, but he is a neo-Stalinist, right wing blowhard with a vast network and an agenda to stifle open discussion in the classroom, presented in the guise of 'Academic Freedom.'
And he screwed up. From Media Matters:

Right-wing activist David Horowitz, the president of Students for Academic
Freedom (SAF), which purports to fight anti-conservative bias on the nation's
college campuses, has admitted that a story highly publicized by his group
concerning alleged events at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) "appears
to be wrong," and that "our presentation of this case appears now to have had
several faults." Horowitz made the concession in an
posted on, his online magazine, on March 15, under the
headline, "Correction: Some of Our Facts Were Wrong, But Our Point Was Right."

I think it's great. 'Never mind what I said, my facts were wrong, but you know, what I was trying to say was spot on. You know what I meant.' Well, sorry davey Boy, that doesn't fly in my classroom, and that sure as hell ain't gonna fly with your b.s. About time.
As Jesse Taylor from Pandagon notes:

"Most other people would at least grudgingly admit that they fucked up, and
try to make it about the other times they were right. Horowitz is a special
man...and tries to make it about both."

And later...

"Of course, given Horowitz's attachment to facts, I'm not sure if the Ohio Senate actually exists, let alone whether or not he actually gave testimony to them. Are you wondering what I am at this point? How much fact checking did Horowitz do?"

To quote Nelson Muntz: HA HA!!!

'Let's piss off some MORE people!'

Paul Wolfowitz is nominated to head the World Bank. This blurb from the CNN article I link to might be a good prediction for the way things will be (emphasis mine):
"In addition to Wolfowitz's strong support for the Iraq war, Steve Radelet, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and a former undersecretary at the Treasury, said last week the Europeans were nervous that Wolfowitz would prove similar to former World Bank head and Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. Radelet said McNamara was accused of channeling aid to nations based not on need but on their support of U.S. policy. "

Big Shocker.

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