Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Golden voice of the Great Southwest

U. Utah Phillips, 1935-2008

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Yum-o! Dunkin Donuts supports terrorism.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bob Wright and Jack McCullough--ego trip edition

Okay, I know this is blowing my own horn, but I can't help it.

I've mentioned before that I'm a regular viewer of, a site that posts diavlogs, generally setting up disagreements between the two interlocutors.

Today I get Bob Wright and Mickey Kaus not only to mention one of my comments, but to both agree with it.

Is "don't ask, don't tell" on the way out?

Good news from the 9th Circuit: They've ruled that a military policy of discharging every gay service member may violate the law.

May 21st, 2008 | SEATTLE -- The military cannot automatically discharge people because they're gay, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday in the case of a decorated flight nurse who sued the Air Force over her dismissal.

The three judges from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals did not strike down the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But they reinstated Maj. Margaret Witt's lawsuit, saying the Air Force must prove that her dismissal furthered the military's goals of troop readiness and unit cohesion.

The "don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue, don't harass" policy prohibits the military from asking about the sexual orientation of service members but requires discharge of those who acknowledge being gay or engaging in homosexual activity.

. . .

"When the government attempts to intrude upon the personal and private lives of homosexuals, the government must advance an important governmental interest ... and the intrusion must be necessary to further that interest," wrote Judge Ronald M. Gould.

One of the judges, William C. Canby Jr., issued a partial dissent, saying that the ruling didn't go far enough. He argued that the Air Force should have to show that the policy itself "is necessary to serve a compelling governmental interest and that it sweeps no more broadly than necessary."

My first Obama spam

As a delegate to our state convention, pledged to support Obama, I've been getting a lot of emails from other Obama delegates who want to be delegates to the national convention. I would say it's way more than I got in 2004. Today was a new one, however. I got my first true spam in the guise of an Obama mailing.

Here's part of the text:

Email-Subject: Where to find stronger general election weapon for Obama of Democratic Party? The latest evidence shows that Bush was the killer of the crisis of second mortgage loan true …how Bush trade out the power of control exchange rate beg for Communism China for betray benefits of American & Japanese…behind letter to Obama of Prospective President of USA!

As the office of Obama general election do not have either fax number or email address, please transmit to Obama urgent!

Zhen-man Lin


The Email records for Republic-party are stated as below

It goes on, with the kind of illiterate text you often see in Nigeria scam messages, and links that you wouldn't want to take the chance of clicking on.

It's a brave new world, eh?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The answer to all your theological questions

Wonder about the problem of evil? The sacrifice of Jesus? How light started?

Now we have all the answers, in one handy web page.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Free speech in the land of the free

We constantly hear about how un-American the people who don't like the Pledge of Allegiance, or who don't like it being turned into a religious shibboleth, are. If you're a real American, committed to American values, you'll stand and salute, right?

Well, a group of students got their own lesson in American values last week. As they had all school year, they didn't stand during their classes' mandatory Pledge observance, so they were suspended.

That's right, despite the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court has said that students can not be required to participate in Pledge observations, this school has decided that the correct consequence of exercising their First Amendment rights is supension.

Students suspended for not standing for pledge

May 12, 2008

By Paul Walsh Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Three small-town eighth-graders in Minnesota were suspended by their principal for not standing Thursday morning for the Pledge of Allegiance, violating a district policy that the principal now says may soon be reworded to protect free speech rights.

"My son wasn't being defiant against America," said Kim Dahl, mother of one of the students, Brandt, who attends Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton Junior High School in northwestern Minnesota.

Yup, "with liberty and justice for all."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Feel like a pizza?

Get a load of this.

The Times on ethanol

The Times has an editorial today on the environmental harms and public policy issues of ethanol fuel. It contains facts that I didn't know, including that ethanol is not consuming 25% of our corn production. If you were wondering about the high prices, both here and in Mexico, look no farther.

The time has come for Congress to rethink ethanol, an alternative fuel that has lately fallen from favor. Specifically, it is time to end an outdated tax break for corn ethanol and to call a timeout in the fivefold increase in ethanol production mandated in the 2007 energy bill.

The editorial explains that not only does corn ethanol cause food shortages, it contributes to global warming. What the editorial doesn't mention, but seems equally important, is that it discourages energy efficiency by enabling us to pretend that we will have abundant sources of energy even beyond peak oil. I encourage you to read the rest of it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Congratulations, Josh!

Josh Marshall has a new baby. As someone who's admired Josh's work for years, I just have to congratulate him for the wonderful news.

You can fool 18% of the people . . .

Good news from a survey that isn't explicitly about the election.

NEW YORK ( -- Eight in 10 Americans believe that the government's $110 billion effort to help consumers will not boost the economy, according to a poll released Friday.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll conducted April 28-30 found that 82% of Americans believe the stimulus package will fall short - compared to 70% in February.

We can take it as a given that Bush does nothing for the good of the country, so it's obvious that his tax rebate scheme was done to make him and, by extension, McCain, look like Santa Claus. So then, when November rolls around, you'll go to the polls thinking, "These Democrats are going to raise my taxes, whereas Bush and his friends are actually making life better, so I'll vote for McCain."

The good news is that it isn't working. We may have identified how far the rulers can go before exceeding the limits of the credulity of the American people, and this may be it.

Of course, ask me again on November 5.

Clinton: hard-working=white

Lots of my friends have talked about their dislike of Hillary Clinton, how they'll never vote for her even if she wins the primary, and so on. I've never had that view, although I admit it isn't for entirely rational reasons. When I was starting out as a Legal Services lawyer she was on the board of the Legal Services Corporation, and this was during the years when Reagan had Legal Services as one of his main targets in his war against the poor. Also, when Bill Clinton was president and decided to follow in Reagan's footsteps by kicking massive numbers of people off welfare, many of us assumed (I'll admit that we were probably wrong) that Hillary was opposed to what he was doing.

Now, though, it's gotten harder to hold onto any good feeling for her, and here's another example of why that is.

Here's what she said in an interview with USA Today:

"I have a much broader base to build a winning coalition on," she said in an interview with USA TODAY. As evidence, Clinton cited an Associated Press article "that found how Sen. Obama's support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again, and how whites in both states who had not completed college were supporting me."

Notice that phrase: "working, hard-working Americans, white Americans"?

What are we supposed to take from that, except that she's saying that the "hard-working" is another word for "white"?

She really has to go, and fast.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Let's beat this son of a bitch like a rented mule

Yeah, McCain.

Here's what he's doing now. He wants you to think he's the voice of the veteran, the warrior, the true patriot.

If he is, why is he fighting Jim Webb's new G.I. Bill?

The G.I. Bill after WWII was extremely important, and not just because it rewarded the soldiers. The G.I. Bill was an intentional plan to create a middle class. It supported veterans, sent them to go to college, and helped them buy homes. The kind of social planning that the R's now eschew created the suburbs and the suburban middle class.

Meanwhile, McCain sits up and barks when the administration says no.

How many contradictory ideas can people hold about McCain before their heads explode?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Vietnam; Kent State Massacre May 4, 1970

Friday, May 02, 2008

What's behind intelligent design?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Five Years Ago Today

Yes, it was May 1, 2003, that Bush did his little dance in his pilot outfit. I'm sure glad we won five years ago, so we can concentrate our national energies on other important challenges.

Thanks, Ralph.