Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama, Wright, Hypocrisy, and Racism

With all the political foo-fa-rah going on about Barack Obama's ex-paster, Jaramiah Wright, I wanted to weigh in with my opinion. This is nothing but racism, racism, racism. When white people (even pastors) say stupid shit it does not become such a whirlwind. Fer fuck's sake, McCain has cozied up to Jerry Falwell after calling him an agent of intolerance back in 2000. Since McCain denounced him in 2000, Falwell has said that Jews can't go to heaven unless they accept Christ, that the Prophet Mohammed was a terrorist and that gays and feminists bore responsibility for 9/11. Is that any crazier than what Wright has said? No, but Wright is scarier because he is black.

What about the stupid-ass song that was sung at one of the Republican debates? The Church of God Choir, from Springfield, Ohio, reworded God Bless America as Why Would God Bless America.

The lyrics are:

Why should God bless America?
She’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back
On everything that made her what she is

Why should God stand beside her
Through the night with the light from his hand?
God have mercy on America
Forgive her sin and heal our land

The courts ruled prayer out of our schools
In June of ‘62
Told the children “you are your own God now
So you can make the rules”

O say can you see what that choice
Has cost us to this day
America, one nation under God,
has gone astray

Why should God bless America?
Shes’s forgotten he exists
And has turned her back on everything
That made her what she is

And on and on and on. This is a very similar sentiment to Wright's "god damn America" rant, albeit less incendiarily delivered.

Finally, Obama's speech on this matter (March 18, 2008) should have put this matter to rest. He condemns Wright's statements. Watch it for yourself:

But the hypocrisy and racism roll on. And to many Obama will be guilty by association no matter what he says. I'd hate for something so stupid to be his undoing... but I wouldn't be surprised.

Is That Oversight I Smell?

Yahoo News reports: House Democrats demanded documents Thursday about a multibillion-dollar overseas contracting loophole to track down how — and why — the Bush administration slipped it into plans to protect taxpayer money.

Isn't it about time to track down where all of the missing money is that was sent to the war effort, but then looted by war profiteers? But I understand why the president wouldn't want to pursue war profiteering, I mean, after all, some the biggest war profiteers are his family members! Why aren't more people outraged that billions of dollars are unaccounted for, and there are widespread allegations of waste, fraud and war profiteering.

If you read that first Yahoo News story a little further, it notes that: The United States has spent more than $102 billion over the last five years to help rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. In that time, the Justice Department has uncovered at least $14 million in contract bribes in those two nations alone.

I hate that we are spending so much on this war in the first place, but the least we could do is try to ensure that we are competently spending what has been allocated!

McCain's Corrupt Past

I wonder when the press and Dems will get around to spreading the muck about McCain's corrupt involvement as one of the Keating Five, which was part of the S&L scandal of the late 80's? To me, at least, this is much more interesting than some crazy preacher at Obama's church or Hillary Clinton's tax records...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

RIP Arthur C. Clarke

Arthur C. Clarke, sci-fi author and thinker, passed away Wednesday in his home in in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he had lived since 1956. He was 90.

I've read quite a bit of Clarke's fiction and I enjoyed most of it. Some of my favorites include:

That last one, co-written with Stephen Baxter in 2000, was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. It postulates the end of privacy with the ability to use quantum physics to open up singularities that can be used for remote viewing... even viewing into the past. The possibilities it opens up are limitless... and frightening. His ability to imagine things like this made him one of the true visionaries of our time.

He will be missed.

Even Ronald Reagan is too Far Left for Today's Right

All the right wing talking heads who blather on and on about how much they love Ronald Reagan and how we need a new Reagan and how they are Reagan Republicans are completely full of shit! If Ronald Reagan tried to run on his record today, he'd never get elected. And I'm not talking about his 1960's racist record - I'm talking about the things he did while in office in the 1980's.

I can hear the right wingers shudder and gasp collectively in a Limbaugh-esque voice "What? You must be crazy!" But I'm not... consider:

Ronald Reagan helped to raise taxes in the early 1980's. Don't remember that or don't believe me? Check out TEFRA, described in 1988 by Sheldon Richman as "the largest tax increase in American history". Could a tax and spend Reagan get elected in 2008?

What about his position on illegals? Reagan was one of the first to call for amnesty! He signed the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986, which granted an unprecedented amnesty to aliens who had resided in the United States since before 1982. How could the soft-on-illegals Reagan get elected in 2008?

This country has gone so far right that positions which only a few years ago would have been regarded as bat-shit crazy are now viewed by many as not only sane, but the majority position of one of our two parties.

Well, maybe the right wing war lovers can still embrace Ronnie... after all, he did want to declare Russia illegal...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

On Creationism vs. Intelligent Design

Ten Commandments Weekend?

Joe Lieberman and Sam Brownback are up to some crazy shenanigans in the US Senate. They have introduced S. Res. 483 which wants to officially recognize the first weekend of May 2008 as "Ten Commandments Weekend." After a plethora of ridiculous "whereas..." clauses, it reads:

Resolved, That the Senate—
  1. recognizes the first weekend of May 2008 as ‘‘Ten Commandments Weekend’’;
  2. celebrates the Ten Commandments as a significant aspect of the national life of the United States; and
  3. encourages citizens of the United States to reflect on the integral role that the Ten Commandments have played in the life of the Nation.
First of all, I find many of the 1o commandments repugnant and I want nothing to do with recognizing, celebrating, or encouraging reflection on them.

Secondly, most blowhard right-wing xians blather on and on about these commandments without realizing that the biblical penalty for violating them is death.

Thirdly, if we have to have a weekend celebrating a religious list, how about Sermon on the Mount weekend; or just Beatitudes weekend? But for some reason the commandment zealots (and, indeed, a lot of xians) don't embrace that particular part of the bible so much. I wonder why? OK, I know why Lieberman doesn't, he's Jewish; but what about Brownback?

Fourth, and most importantly, don't you think the US Senate should have better and more important things to tend to?