I'm a Democrat and proud to be one, but this official history of the Democratic Party is a complete joke. The facts have been cherrypicked so much that it's laughable. They mention we retook the Senate in 2001 but fail to mention us losing it a year later. Apparently nothing happened between 1976 and 1992, according to the history.
This kind of political discourse gets us nowhere and diminishes our credibility. No further points, your honor.
- 1. Daily Kos
- 2. 538.com (Nate Silver)
- 2. Eschaton (Atrios)
- 3. Huffington Post
- 4. Juan Cole
- 5. The Black Commentator
- 6. This Modern World
- 7. AMERICAblog
- 8. Talking Points Memo -- Joshua Marshall
- 9. TalkLeft
- 10. MyDD
- 11. ed fitzgerald's unfutz
- 12. Eschaton (Atrios)
- 13. Hoffmania
- 14. Pharyngula
- 15. Billmon
- 16. Eric Alterman
- 17. Unclaimed Territory
- 18. Bartcop
- 19. Left in the West
- 20. The Blog From Another Dimension
Recommended News Resources
- The Nation
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Recent Battles in the War on Corporate Evil
- Obama is a Creeper
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- Rick Santorum is a Piece of Shit. "In a spirited d...
- Americans Reject Corporate Evil For the rest of ou...
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This Date in History
Monday, August 29, 2005
|Must Read Classic Onion Article: "Bush, 'Our Long National Nightmare of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over."|
I'll be back with something more serious later this week.
Friday, August 26, 2005
|Stop Complaining About Gas Prices. Please.|
Lately it's become way too common to hear people whine about how high gas prices are. It's a conversation topic on the level of the weather -- it affects everyone but there really isn't much to say beyond that. Let me explain.
Gas is composed of rotting dead animals. We're running out of them and no new gas is being made. Hence, prices will continue to rise no matter how much you bitch about it.
Folks, prices will be $5 within 2 years so get used to it. As is, we aren't paying very much at all for gas compared to the rest of the world. The national average in Sweden is $5.66 per gallon; in the Netherlands its $6.56. Turkey pays $7.50 per gallon. The reason we pay so much less is because we hardly tax gas at all. This discourages people from taking public transportation and hence makes the environment worse. The benefit from our low tax strategy goes exclusively to the huge oil corporations who see profits rise when consumption rises. The common man in Sweden feels a hit when he pays twice as much for gas, but he also has free healthcare. Further, each of us individually benefits when society benefits. Society unquestionably benefits from fewer people burning fossil fuels and destroying the ozone layer.
High gas prices should make us realize that the price we are paying for gas really isn't the actual cost associated with using gas. The problem with gas prices is that no one is considering the social cost of using gas. The corporations don't need to -- they've passed that cost onto us. And far too often, normal people like you and I don't consider the social costs of using gas because we don't feel it as immediately and directly. High gas prices are the corporations' way of cashing out on the oil market while it still exists. They are getting ridiculously rich at our expense. Once the oil's gone, they'll all be dead anyways. But we can't expect anything less or more from soulless, unregulated corporations -- they will always do anything to help their bottom line. We need to be the agents of change. We need to stop driving gas guzzlers. One way to do this is to attach social stigmas to owning inefficient cars like SUVs. Ridicule your friends for destroying the environment. Mock their gas bill and compare it to yours. Joke about how their giant car portends a small something else. Another, more serious, way of saving money on gas is using less. Take public transportation to work and school. Don't drive 2 blocks; walk.
Of course, we all want to prevent the day where no one can drive because gas is $20 per gallon and the corporations give us no other options for energy. We need to conserve gas drastically while simultaneously developing a detailed action plan for weaning our dependence on it. President Gore likely would have made significant progress in this area; George Bush certainly hasn't.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
|The War on the Civil Justice System|
George Lakoff, a UC Berkeley professor of Linguisitcs, speaks extensively about how progressives can fight the myth of "tort reform." Lakoff is the author of Don't Think of an Elephant!, a shorter version of a book he wrote titled "Moral Politics." Lakoff has a novel perspective on how the choice of language ultimately affects political debate. The crux of Lakoff's thesis is that Democrats do a terrible job of discussing the issues because we always discuss the issues within the frames set by Conservatives. Frames are the way in which we look at issues; these frames are shaped by our core moral values. So when a liberal tries to discuss why "tort reform" or "tax relief" is a bad idea, it's a lost cause. Those are terms with positive connotations that tug directly at conservative frames. The challenge, says Lakoff, is for liberals to use different frames that more accurately reflect the heart of the issue. Instead of speaking of "tax relief", we need to talk about tax cuts for the rich; instead of tort reform we need to frame the debate as a war over the continued validity of the civil justice system. Lakoff argues we should refer to trial lawyers as "public protection attorneys." The difficulty is in finding marketable terms.
Lakoff has other ideas that, to me, aren't as strong as his recongition that liberals argue based on conservative frames. Lakoff argues that liberals have a nuturing parent model of government. In our view, government should take care of our basic needs, support us and advance good. We care about the nuturing parent and the government because the lessons we have learned make us want to care. Conservatives, Lakoff argues, have a strict father model of government. In this model, conservatives favor order over the rationale behind the order. The strict father gives orders and rules the home . What he says goes and the family follows because that's the thing to do; reasons for his actions are irrelevant. I think both the strict father and nuturing parent models are interesting, but it is quite a leap to suggest that these models are behind the thoughts of EVERY conservative and liberal.
Still, George Lakoff is a crucial force on the left. We need to stop talking like Republicans and start emphasizing our core values instead. I urge you to check out the link at the top and read what Lakoff has to say.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
John Roberts: Racism and Sexism Could Get Their Own Seats on the Supreme Court
50,000 pages from
I. Radical Racist
Two underreported remarks made by
The implications of this scribble are huge. First,
I've already discussed
I will now swiftly obliterate this modern conservative notion of Constitutional"originalism" or "constructionism".
"It has been objected also against a bill of rights, that, by enumerating particular exceptions to the grant of power, it would disparage those rights which were not placed in that enumeration; and it might follow by implication, that those rights which were not singled out, were intended to be assigned into the hands of the General Government, and were consequently insecure. This is one of the most plausible arguments I have ever heard against the admission of a bill of rights into this system; but, I conceive, that it may be guarded against."
The right wing argues that it is impossible to determine the actual "worth" of a job. The free market, as they see it, is the only accurate way to determine a job's worth. Of course, this requires a leap of logic on the Republicans part -- that a free market for labor exists. The reality is that the labor market is hardly a "free market". Discrimination over decades has lowered the expectations of all women in regards to pay. Employers know that women exist in a separate labor market from men and can freely pay them less. One justification is that "It's the way it's always been." This creates a massive market inefficiency. Employers are harming themselves and their businesses by artificial discrimination. Most of them continue in the practice because of pressure of white male management, discrimination's role as an accepted business practice and fear of alarming investors.
Indeed, discrimination, not comparable worth, is an anti-capitalist notion because it undermines the market and creates inefficiency. Comparable worth is an attempt to correct the inefficiencies that result from sexism. In that way, it is an ultra-capitalist notion bent on restoring the free market and eliminating wasteful inefficiencies.
In addition to inserting racist remarks into his legal work,
This reflects an outdated view of gender roles that places men in the workforce and women in the home.
In addition to a sheltered childhood,
In addition to a sheltered childhood,
Finally, it's worth noting that hard right conservatives are downright giddy about
Early signs point to a measured approach by the Democrats. Party leaders have indicated that they will attack
Still, it’s entirely unclear if the Democrats are serious about contesting
This is a very easy decision for the Democrats and the fact that it is so hard for them to make is a bad sign for the party. The Democrats have the power to prevent
The Democrats win on all these issues. We are right both morally and politically. The Supreme Court nomination hearings are just the kind of dry, factual, heavily politicized, non commercialized, political information opportunties that Americans rarely get anymore. It’s a perfect sounding board for the Democrats to take the offensive and call out the Bush Administration’s radical policies. Choosing a radical who will undermine the rights of women and minorities exemplifies Bush’s hubris. At 50 years old,
Monday, August 22, 2005
|Pat Robertson: The Face of the Republican Party|
Televangelist Pat Robertson, former Republican Presidential candidate, has called for the United States to assassinate Socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The hypocrisy of a Christian minister calling for the murder of another human is plain. To do simply because you disagree with his politics is insanity. Of course, Pat Robertson quickly sounded rational when he spoke of more pressing Republican concerns: "It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop." That's right folks. Venezuela is the fifth largest exporter of oil to the U.S. Couple that with a far left leader strongly critical of Bush and you've got a whole bunch of reasons why Robertson's wish may come true.
Pat Robertson is the founder of the Christian Coalition and a huge supporter of President Bush. Last January he said that "I think George Bush is going to win in a walk...I really believe I'm hearing from the Lord it's going to be like a blowout election in 2004. It's shaping up that way."
If you have the stomach for it, I highly recommend going right to the source and checking out Pat Robertson's website. The linked part of the site is titled "Operation Supreme Court Freedom". On his site Robertson asks people to "Pray that additional vacancies occur within the Supreme Court." Without saying it outright, Robertson been calling for Americans to pray for a death of a Supreme Court Justice.
Meanwhile, Robertson's site also makes a none-too subtle reference that implies the Democratic Party is the party of Satan: "Pray that any plan of the enemy for the Senate confirmation hearing would be thwarted. Take authority over the schemes of Satan concerning the Supreme Court."
The Republicans and their corporate cronies are panicking about Chavez's discussion of ending oil exports to the US. Murder based on oil profits is unacceptable. Although conservatives charge that Chavez is starting a Latin American arms race, Chavez poses no threat to us. The reality is that Chavez is quickly spending his country into debt with overzealous social programs that he uses to stay popular. He's a harmless spendthrift who, most importantly, was democratically elected.
If a liberal leader called for the assassination of a foreign President, his career would be over. We shall see what happens with Pat Robertson, but I doubt much will come of it.
The People Disapprove.
We need to keep in mind that although things seem rough right now, there is hope for change. Despite the Republican domination of all three branches of government, the corporate media and big business, we do not live in a one party country. George W. Bush's approval rating has fallen to a horrific 36% according to a new American Research Group poll.
At this point in their second terms, Clinton was at 61% and Reagan was at 57%. Of course, both men won re-election by much more comfortable margins than Bush.
The trend, however, is to increase, not decrease, your support as you enter your second term. The thinking is that without the heat of an election, the President becomes more popular now that the daily opposition is gone. Bush has defied that trend and has far less support now than when he squeaked out a victory over John Kerry last November.
The larger issue of how Bush is serving a second term despite the lack of support both on election day and today remains a bit of a mystery. Did Bush's campaign of fear push swing voters to stick with the status quo? Or was there really something to the exit polls that indicated John Kerry winning the election? I'll reexamine the 2004 election at some point in the future. For today, we need to remember that we can win the war of ideas because the American people are on our side.
Tomorrow: The Case Against John Roberts, Part III
Friday, August 19, 2005
|Happy Birthday President Clinton.|
Today, William Jefferson Clinton turns 59. It is hard to believe that he was President just 5 years ago in light of how much has changed. We went from unprecedented peace and propserty to unending war and poverty. The government shrank during Clinton's Presidency just to explode in size under Bush. We went from an era where the Corporate Media wouldn't let the President get away with telling a lie about private sexual relations into an era where the Corporate Media won't even ask questions about the President's lies about the rationale for war. Clinton was pro-business, make no mistake, but he also understood the importance of keeping corporations honest. Clinton appointed honest officials to oversee federal agencies; Bush appoints members of industry to regulate themselves.
In short, it's been 5 years since we had a real President. Today President Clinton devotes his energy to one issue: helping stop the spread of HIV and AIDS across the world, particularly in Africa. Bush will probably work for war profiteers like the Carlyle Group when he retires -- just like his father does now.
President Clinton is an American hero who makes me believe that great people will be enough to save this country from the corporate interests attempting to destroy it.
Thursday, August 18, 2005
|The War on Dissent |
Part of the success of her vigil is that
At first, Sheehan's story didn't affect me much. I feel great sympathy for
Soon the front page of every major website and newspaper was plastered with a fierce debate about the war.
Why did we go to war with
That's when they revealed their true colors. Sometimes you don't really find out about a person until the proverbial shit hits the fan. The Republicans had the difficult task of arguing against a grieving mom who lost her son defending our country. All she's asking for is a chance to ask Bush the same questions that we are all have been asking ourselves.
The appropriate thing for the Republicans to do is to acknowledge the woman's suffering and then tie in the inevitable human costs to the more noble goals in
Yet you can't look to Bush as the sole voice of the Republican Party. His underlings are doing his dirty work and it's pretty ugly indeed. The Republicans have launched a massive campaign of character assassination against
We have become a monstrous society when the human costs of war cannot be discussed. Even if one supports the war in
My point is this: the beliefs of the American people have no effect on whether or not our enemy will keep fighting us. That is an old rightwing tactic used to squelch dissent. We must be able to discuss the costs of war so that we as a people can constantly evaluate whether we want to continue on the current course. The only real argument in favor of staying in
We need dissenters like
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
|THE CASE AGAINST |
***UPDATE: 38, 000 more papers of John Roberts will be released tomorrow. As such, expect to see a Part 3 in this series.***
Shocking new revelations have emerged that expose
The case against
My previous post on
Of course, the fact that a powerful, rich Republican would support the coal industry at all costs should come as no surprise. It does reveal, however, that
What's very troubling is that
In his 2003 dissent in a case regarding the protection of a
II. NEW DOCUMENTS EXPOSE ROBERTS
That says it right there. His personal views on abortion are only a small part of the issue. If he is against the crux of the Roe holding – that a constitutional right to privacy exists – then he is a radical extremist who will undermine our civil rights at any cost. His associate Bruce Fein frames the debate over Roberts’ views as whether or not he personally is for or against abortion. But when we are discussing a man in not the personal but the legal sense, we are talking about whether or not he would advocate maintaining the constitutional right to choose. It’s clear from his public comments and the words of his friends that he would overturn Roe if given the chance, regardless of his personal views on abortion. Indeed,
But the newly released documents also prove that Roberts is personally anti-choice. He called a conservative “funeral” service for aborted fetuses "an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy." It’s his right to hold whatever view he wants, but it’s pretty clear that only someone who was anti-choice would speak of an “abortion tragedy”. To argue otherwise is comical.
The released documents reveal Roberts as a sexist. When 3 female Republican congresswomen wrote a letter to the White House urging Reagan to support a case granting women equal pay for comparable work, Roberts compared the conservative female lawmakers to Marxists. He believed that determining what equal pay meant would be equivalent to “central planning of the economy by judges.” That’s right folks, Roberts compared Republicans to Communists. That’s as far from mainstream as mainstream can be. This man isn’t fit for mayor of
Roberts doesn’t believe in the right against illegal search and seizure. He must have missed the Bill of Rights, but that’s pretty “mainstream” for a Republican these days. He believes the “exclusionary rule” should be abandoned. This rule prohibits the admission into court of evidence obtained via illegal searches. Losing this rule would lead to more aggressive policing and far more infringement upon our civil rights. More specifically, losing this rule would disproportionately hurt black males since black males are already disproportionately targeted by corrupt police.
III. THE DOCUMENTS THE REPUBLICANS WON’T RELEASE
Despite all of the revelations in the release of the Reagan Library documents, the types of documents which were not released may indicate their content. The White House has blocked the release of Roberts’ memo on the
These documents were not released on purpose. The common thread is one of race. Both of these documents raise the possibility that
The Bush Administration, through their Republican cronies running the Reagan library, spent weeks sorting through these documents. The documents held back were on “national security” grounds. Nixon used to claim national security reasons when he was holding back evidence of Watergate.
There are signs that the Republican Party may have committed a crime and destroyed public documents relating to Judge Roberts. The National Archives, an agency of top notch security, cannot locate a folder that it had regarding Roberts’ views on affirmative action. In an Orwellian fashion, the National Archives’ chief archivist now claims that he can “recreate” the folder’s contents. Perhaps this is legitimate, but what smells like rotten fish is that the last person to check out the files was a Bush administration official in July. If that happened at Blockbuster, they’d call me, and they don’t even have armed guards watching the library. Senators
IV. FILIBUSTER OR BUST
The smoking gun has emerged. John Roberts is a hard right conservative who presents the worst case scenario for reasonable Americans. The Democrats have a very easy decision to make. These new documents provide ample moral justification for using the filibuster to attempt to block Roberts from being elevated to the Supreme Court. The Democrats must be united in their opposition to Roberts. Progressives could very well lose faith in the party if the Democrats roll over and allow the Republicans to remake the Supreme Court as a theocratic, far right institution. The very future of our democracy is at stake and we need whatever bit of political power still remains with the people. There is hope that the Democrats agree with me.
Friday, August 12, 2005
|WHY I AM A DEMOCRAT|
I am a proud Democrat, yet I also believe that corporate power is out of control and must be corralled. How do I reconcile these views?
The Democratic Party takes millions in donations from corporations every year. Most of the party's money came from corporate donors. Further, Democrats sign on to corporate welfare legislation year in and year out. As an entity standing alone, the Democrats appear at first glance to be Corporatists.
However, one cannot examine the Democratic party without considering the nature of our political system as well as the nature of the opposing party -- the Republicans.
First of all, Democrats support corporate interests but they do not support corporate interests above all other interests. The key area that reveals the wide differences between the parties is the issue of the environment. The Democratic Party acknowledges and accepts global warming as a scientific fact. Although they don't do nearly as much as one would like to do on this issue, the Democrats are against drilling for oil in
Secondly, you need to look at the types of corporations supporting Democrats and Republicans. Republican corporate donors are mostly corporate "extraction" executives -- people in the fields of oil drilling, mining and factory farming. These are the absolute worst corporations in terms of the environment because they are unsustainable and environmentally destructive. Democrats, on the other hand, get most of their donations from telecommunications corporations and law firms. While taking money from telecommunications corporations is bad -- the media becomes more corporatized every day -- it's demonstrably better than taking money from oil companies. As for taking money from law firms, I don't have much of a problem with that. True, many of these law firms help support the corporate infrastructure, but at the same time these firms are really just providing additional costs to corporations that drag them down. The fact that so many corporate law firms donate to the Democrats while their clients donate to the Republicans just shows that Democrats are the party more friendly to lawyers. Corporations hate lawyers -- either they are getting sued by them or paying millions in bills to them. Further, lawyers are the reason for every single safety regulation we have today that protect consumers at the costs of pennies on the dollar. Corporations are deeply resentful of the check on their power that lawyers represent. For these reasons, the Democrats should not be ashamed for taking money from law firms.
The Republicans take money from some of the worst corporate offenders. Oil companies overwhelmingly favor the GOP. Shell Oil gave 84% of their donations to Republicans; ExxonMobil 95%; BP gave 62%. Walmart gives 72% of their donations to the Republicans. Giant chemical corporations favor the GOP. Proctor and Gamble gives 77% of their donations to the GOP. The large banking corporations give mostly to the GOP, and they were rewarded this year with a huge gift of corporate welfare known as the "bankruptcy bill". The big car companies all give to Republicans, probably because Republicans guarantee them that cheap, combustion engine cars aren't going anywhere.
Third, you only need to look at the things that both parties have supported to see where there true loyalties lie. Despite the support of President Clinton, the Democratic Party was opposed to NAFTA. Republicans wanted to use the government surplus on tax cuts for the rich; Democrats wanted to solidify Social Security. Republicans want to privitize social security which would drastically reduce benefits while Democrats just want to keep Social Security as is. Republicans have prevented an increase in the minimum wage for 7 years; Democrats keep introducing bills to raise it every year and are shut down by the Republican majority.
Fourth, the nature of the American political system is such that only 2 parties exist. In fact, our system will never feature 3 parties at a time -- just like trying to fit 5 people in the back of your VW Bug, it just wasn't made for it. The reasons for this are complex, but I'll try and briefly sum it up. We have a "winner take all" electoral system. Even if 15% of the people vote for the Green party in every single election, they will never win a seat and have no representation. The only way to get any kind of say in government is to be able to win elections outright. Once 2 parties become entrenched, it becomes impossible for a third party to compete. They have no infrastructure or organization that can keep pace with the established parties. Of course, occasionally random districts will elect an independent to the House. But these instances are few and far between.
But let's assume we did have 3 parties, all of them winning elections across the
A better system is a proportional representation system. In a PR system, if the Greens get 15% of the votes, then they get 15% of the seats. This allows virtually any party to compete at any time. Instead of needing to get 51% of the vote in a given district to gain any representation, all a party needs to do is get 1% of the vote. Congress becomes heavily fragmented in PR systems, however, but this leads to varying alliances between political parties. Often these alliances change depending on the issue. A PR system allows third parties to easily gain power and creates an environment where people can more easily choose a party who meets their interests. The drawback is that you vote for a party, not a person, in PR systems.
If we have just two political parties and you have to choose one side, the question becomes one of comparison: Which side am I going to take? Am I going to vote for the Republicans, the party who denies global warming, the constitutional right to privacy and evolution, the party who gave multiple tax cuts to rich corporations in the face of a recession, the party who called FDR a Communist for proposing social security? Or am I going to vote for the Democrats, the party who launched the war on poverty, the party who fights for the environment, the party who brought us the 40 hour workweek, the minimum wage and unions? It's not even close. You may not support 100% of what the Democrats do and you may not like the fact that they aren't doing enough to curb corporate power, but they are the only alternative to the dark, gloomy future of the Corporatist Republicans. The Democrats are our only chance to save the environment, ensure equal rights for all and end poverty.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
THE CASE AGAINST JOHN ROBERTS
"Had those who drew and ratified the Due Process Clauses of the Fifth Amendment or the Fourteenth Amendment known the components of liberty in its manifold possibilities, they might have been more specific. They did not presume to have this insight. They knew times can blind us to certain truths and later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress. As the Constitution endures, persons in every generation can invoke its principles in their own search for greater freedom."
Although the Constitutional right to privacy may not seem like it has much, if anything, to do with the war on corporate evil, it does. Corporate power is not directly increased by the assault on the right to privacy. Yet the Corporatist Republican Party feels that it has much to gain by attacking the right to privacy. As we know by now, when the Corporatist Republicans are helped, so are the Corporations.
First, to do so riles up the hard right Religious core of their base. Most of these people are poor and have nothing to gain by voting Republican. The Corporatist Republicans, however, have convinced these people to join their side by becoming the leader in discriminating against gays. Many of these poor Corporatist Republicans dislike gays because they feel it threatens their religion; indeed many of these people may not care about gays one way or the other, but feel the need to discriminate against homosexuals because that is the message preached at their church. Some of these people are simply helpless bigots. I would suspect a high number of the anti-homosexual crusade are themselves closeted gay people who deal with their homosexuality by despising it.
Second, the Corporatist Republican party has an interest in ensuring that the rights of the people remain as limited as possible. The so-called "Constructionist" movement is really an attempt to prevent any social change from taking place through the law. I will detail the fallacy of "Constructionism" in a moment, but the reality is that the duty of courts is to interpret the law and fill in the inevitable gaps. The role of the judiciary is not as an "enforcer" of law -- that is for the executive branch. By cutting off the judiciary's ability to implement social change, the Corporatist Republicans will succeed in making the legislative and executive branches into the only way in which to implement change. Since those 2 branches are firmly under Corporatist Republican control (and they don't intend to ever give up that power -- I'll return to this in a future post), disarming the judiciary is a way to ensure that Corporatist Republicans make all the decisions in this country. Even though the judiciary is becoming more conservative with each passing day, the reality is that judges are far more independent and uncontrollable as compared to their Corporatist Republican counterparts in Congress and the Presidency.
With all this in mind, it should come as no surprise that the National Association of Manufactuers, the largest industrial trade association in the
A. THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY (as told by the "mainstream")
Mainstream jurisprudence, as reflected in the quote by
This makes intuitive sense to most thinking Americans. We all want and need the right to privacy within our homes. The Constitution implies that a right to privacy exists in several of the amendments to the Bill of Rights, but it is never enumerated. So-called "Constructionists" claim that if a right is not mentioned in the Constitution, then it is not protected by the Constitution. That only makes sense if you completely ignore the 9th amendment which clearly states "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people." The right to privacy is clearly and obviously a right we all believe we hold, all want to hold and in fact do hold. The 9th amendment was written precisely to defeat arguments by future generations that certain rights didn't exist because they were left out of the Constitution.
Not only are most people in agreement, most Republicans are apparently in agreement as well that a right to privacy exists. 7 of 9 members of the Supreme Court were appointed by Republicans; the majority of those 7 believe in a right to privacy. That is where mainstream jurisprudence lies.
So where does
"The mischief began 40 years ago in the case Griswold v. Connecticut, when the Court struck down a prohibition on contraceptives on the basis of a "right to marital privacy." The bit about "marital" was quickly dropped, and the new discovery became a general right to privacy.
. . . If
First, "bit about 'marital' was quickly dropped because the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment guarantees that married couples and single people should have the same rights.
Second, he refers to the right to privacy as "mythical". Clearly, he does not believe it exists or he would not refer to it as "mythical". Now the Corporate Media doesn’t miss an opportunity to point out that lawyers write briefs for their clients, not themselves, and their personal opinions do not always match up with the work they produce for their employer. That's very true. However,
Further, only a lawyer would parse words and argue that even though
The solution is simple. Each and every Democrat at
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
1,841 dead American soldiers. 1, 702 of them died after President Bush declared "Mission Impossible". Some of them were parents who leave behind children like the charming little boy in the picture.
Lying to start a war is more than an impeachable offense. It is treason of the first degree. It is blatantly immoral.
Reported civilian deaths are between 23, 456 and 26,559, depending on whose statistics you use. The government could make this easy and count dead civilians, as they have done in past wars, but the Corporate Republican party found this practice useless to their narrow interests. Worse yet, these are only reported deaths. Obviously, many more civilians have actually died. A study performed late last year estimated that as many as 100,000 civilians were killed as the result of Bush's war.
Your Christian President is personally responsible for the death of at least 25,000 people. All this to acheive electoral success. Future generations will never understand how after Bush's treasonous lies, we returned him to the White House for another term.
Tomorrow: The Case against John Roberts.
Monday, August 08, 2005
|The great Justice Stevens explains how the death penalty is making a mockery of our judicial system. I had to point out this article for three reasons.|
One, Stevens points out how the death penalty is a tool of the powerful imposed upon the weak. Defendants who get the death penalty are often denied proper legal representation. He doesn't say it outright here, but we know that black Americans bear a disproportionate burden of being poor and being executed.
Two, Stevens shows how this barbaric process undermines our legal system by turning trials into a farce. People opposed to the death penalty can be excluded from juries based upon this fact; the result is that a defendant is no longer exposed to a jury of his "peers", but rather to a group of people that skews heavily rightward. Statements from victim's families have nothing to do with the legal issues of the case, yet the law allows them to be read in court. The result is that people's lives are literally being taken away based upon emotion, not the rule of law. Stevens also points out how elected trial judges may favor the death penalty so as to please a constituency eager for blood, regardless of whether or not the death penalty is warranted.
Third, we all need to remember this great man. Stevens is 85 years old and the most liberal member of the Supreme Court. Although he is in good health, it is not outside the realm of possibility that he will die before Bush's term expires. Should President Bush replace Stevens with a Scalia style conservative, the Supreme Court will become an enormously powerful tool of Corporate Republican wishes. We should all keep our fingers crossed and knock on wood that Stevens survives to see another Democratic president.
|A buried story on out of control oil profits. Hmmm, wonder why our corporate media isn't interested in this juicy nugget?|
In the second quarter of this year, Exxon Mobil had a 32 percent boost in profits. Royal Dutch Shell's profits were up 34 percent, British Petroleum was up 29 percent and ConocoPhillips saw its profits increase a staggering 51 percent.
These out of control profits show how much the oil companies can afford to lose. I explained last time why oil companies, like any corporation, don't pay the costs to society that result from their business. Many conservatives would tell me that they shouldn't have to by claiming that "If corporations are forced to pay the costs to society that result from corporate actions, then many corporations will go under. Your liberal plan is going to destroy America."
First, these record profits show that the oil companies can easily afford to give up some profits in exchange for some steps towards sustainability. Those figures above don't even consider the sheer amount of oil profits, just the increase in oil profits over the last quarter alone. Oil corporates are awash in cash due to unending demand, low costs and a Corporate Republican party that considers oil companies blameless for the ills that the burning of petroleum causes.
Second, perhaps the conservatives are right when they say that some corporations will be destroyed if they have to pay the costs to society that result from their corporate actions. We need to understand and accept that this isn't a bad thing. Certain activities just don't pass a cost-benefit analysis when we factor in the costs to society. Those plastic bags for vegetables at the supermarket are a great example. We all use them so much that most people could not fathom life without them. But the costs to society of increased landfills and wasted petroleum are far higher than any benefit from the use of these wasteful bags. After 30 minutes of use, the bag survives another 100,000 years.
Part of transforming America into a sustainable economy is accepting that certain parts of our lifestyle must be left behind. I'm not saying that Americans should live in huts and suffer endlessly; just that we need to be aware of the social costs of certain acts and be prepared to do away with wasteful activities.
Out of control oil profits show that oil corporations can easily afford to reimburse Americans for some of the costs that come from their destructive enterprise. In the long run, however, it's clear that oil consumption and production becomes an increasingly unsustainable one with each passing day. The time will come in the very near future where we will need to accept our addiction to oil and quit it cold turkey. There is no amount of money that can reimburse America for the destruction of the environment. The polar ice caps cannot be bought with cash.