Saturday, July 31, 2004
The Bushites Soften Up
Apparently the new campaign theme is, "We've Turned A Corner", rather than "John Kerry wants terrorists to impregnate your daughter, force your son to run off to San Francisco and marry queer, and expropriate your house". OK I'm exaggerating a little bit. I'm pretty sure it was something close to that.
Anyway, isn't that a short, clever way of saying, "OK, things have really sucked since the Supreme Court put us in charge, but that was all Clinton's fault and the country is finally starting to bounce back from our utter incompetence, and if you re-elect us, we'll do better, we promise! Pinky swear!"
It's a lame theme. I think we are seeing the beginning of the deck chair re-arranging. Sounds to me like the campaign's polls were showing that their constant negative message was turning voters off to them.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Fundamentalist Mormon Molesters
This is sick, sick, sick.
SALT LAKE CITY - The head of the nation's largest polygamous community, headquartered along the Arizona-Utah line, was accused Thursday in a lawsuit of repeatedly sodomizing his nephew and for decades covering up wide-scale sexual abuse of children by fellow members of his sect.
The allegations were the most serious and graphic to be brought against Warren Jeffs, 48, the embattled self-proclaimed prophet of a breakaway religious sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Jeffs and his top lieutenants in the FLDS have been the focus of a series of criminal investigations under way for years by the attorneys general of Utah and Arizona. So far, no criminal charges have been filed against anyone in the church hierarchy, but Thursday's civil suit opened a new track in the investigations.
The lawsuit filed by Brent Jeffs accused his uncle, Warren Jeffs, and two other men, Warren's brothers Blaine and Leslie, of molesting him repeatedly more than a decade ago in the basement of a Sunday school the FLDS ran in Salt Lake City. The Sunday school, known as the Alta Academy, has since closed.
"On repeated occasions, defendant prophet Warren would enter the basement room where the children were located, find (Brent) and instruct him to come to a nearby lavatory," the suit alleges.
"While in the lavatory, defendant prophet, and/or defendant Blaine and/or defendant Leslie confronted (Brent) and instruction him to remove his clothes."
The suit claims that after Brent was undressed, the defendants told him it was "God's will" that he submit to one or all three of the men.
"Defendant prophet Warren then told (Brent) that these sodomizing activities were a way for (Brent) to 'become a man,' " the suit alleges. "The defendant prophet Warren admonished (Brent) that it was God's will that he not tell anyone - particularly his parents - about said activities."
Brent, now 21, was 5 and 6 years old when he claims the serial molestations took place. His attorneys said in the suit that he "decided to come forward with this information after his brother, Clayne, who lived in the same FLDS community, committed suicide."
The Phoenix New Times (a weekly alternative paper) has done an excellent series on the polygamist sects that inhabit the Arizona Strip (the part of the state between the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the Arizona/Utah border). It is a very isolated part of the state and these folks have more or less been doing as they please for decades. It's one of the dirty little secrets of Arizona that this has been allowed to persist. Complicating matters is the reluctance of our state's officials to mess with them; 50 years ago, Governor Howard Pyle was defeated over his efforts to uproot the polygamists. The spectre of TV news programs showing families being torn apart by law enforcement is one no politician wants to deal with, even if said families are nothing like what you or I would consider a family. It's a problem that even our otherwise decent governor, Janet Napolitano, would prefer to ignore.
Here's what goes on in the polygamist cults: a virtual totalitarian theocratic dictatorship where young girls barely in their teens are married off to old men. In order to support their massive families, the cultists commit massive abuse and fraud of tax money and welfare programs, regularly diverting funds meant for education and law enforcement.
And the icing on the cake is the new allegations of incestuous child rape. Maybe when our local TV news directors can find the time to take a break from reporting on whom Ben Affleck is dating now, they might think about sending some news crews to cover this story. With enough coverage, these sick SOBs would be finished for good.
When Dildoes Are Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Have Dildoes
The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals upholds an Alabama sex toy ban:
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld a 1998 state law banning the sale of sex toys in Alabama, ruling the Constitution doesn't include a right to sexual privacy.
In a 2-1 decision, a three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the state has a right to police the sale of devices including electronic vibrators and other products meant to stimulate the sex organs.
Overturning a lower court, the panel rejected arguments that the Constitution protects the sale of the toys, which are sometimes recommended by counselors for people who have difficulty attaining sexual gratification.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented merchants and users who sued to overturn the law, asked the 11th Circuit to rule that the Constitution included a right to sexual privacy. The court declined, indicating such a decision could lead down other paths.
"If the people of Alabama in time decide that a prohibition on sex toys is misguided, or ineffective, or just plain silly, they can repeal the law and be finished with the matter," the court said. "On the other hand, if we today craft a new fundamental right by which to invalidate the law, we would be bound to give that right full force and effect in all future cases including, for example, those involving adult incest, prostitution, obscenity, and the like."
Yeah that's right, one day people are buying dildoes and vibrators, and before you know it, they're humping dogs and box turtles.
Oh, and they'll be wanting to legalize incest too. Because God knows, there's no incest in Alabama, no siree, no cousins humping cousins nor brothers and sisters playing doctor... and by gum, they want to keep it that way!!!
(link courtesy of Jesus' General.
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Anti-Clean Elections Initiative Off Ballot In AZ
A judge ruled Thursday that a ballot measure to stop public funding of campaigns can't go on the November ballot.
Called the No Taxpayer Money for Politicians, the measure sought to repeal funding for the Clean Elections system and prohibit public funding of campaigns for statewide office.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Margaret H. Downie ruled the initiative violated the Arizona Constitution by posing two separate questions in one measure.
This is huge. The Arizona GOP has made destroying the Clean Elections system a high priority. They have already sued five times over it and lost every time. For this ballot initative, the paid signature gatherers lied to voters solicitied to sign their petitions, claiming that politicians were spending their tax money on their own elections. In fact, Clean Elections is funded by surcharges on criminal violations (ie, DUI) and voluntary donations by citizens. I think it's indicative of the anti-democratic bent of the GOP that they would want to discourage average citizens from giving money to political campaigns. When you give money, you naturally tend to take politics more seriously. The GOP prefers to have only the rich and powerful involved.
The GOP knows that if they can kill Clean Elections in Arizona, there's little chance of it spreading to other states. Our hopes for a more representative democracy just got a big boost today here in Phoenix.
Our So-Called Liberal Media
I'm volunteering some of my time and talents to the local chapter of a 527 organization Which Shall Remain Unnamed. I was told the following story by a staffer:
A couple nights ago, a local major network affiliate sent a reporter and cameraman to cover the pro-Kerry activists watching the Democratic convention at the organization's offices.
Before the shooting started, the reporter told a senior staffer, without being asked, "I want you to know I'm a Republican. And when you grow up, you'll be a Republican too."
Another staffer told me that while they had 30some people there, they only rolled the 'crowd' shots early on when there were just two or three people around the TV. They shot no footage of the crowd once the 30some folks were there.
This is what we're up against. Fortunately one of the talents I've volunteered is my video production expertise. I'm going to videotape (on a professional format) their most important press conferences and distribute select elements to media that can't be there, in the hopes that the public will get a more 'fair and balanced' picture of things on our local very-GOP-leaning broadcast media.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Sibel Edmonds Exonerated
Sibel Edmonds is a whistleblower who was translating documents for the FBI after 9/11. She alleges there has been a cover-up of some of the culprits who orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.
In case you need to update yourself see here and here.
From today's NYTimes:
ASHINGTON, July 28 - A classified Justice Department investigation has concluded that a former F.B.I. translator at the center of a growing controversy was dismissed in part because she accused the bureau of ineptitude, and it found that the F.B.I. did not aggressively investigate her claims of espionage against a co-worker.
The Justice Department's inspector general concluded that the allegations by the translator, Sibel Edmonds, "were at least a contributing factor in why the F.B.I. terminated her services," and the F.B.I. is considering disciplinary action against some employees as a result, Robert S. Mueller III, director of the bureau, said in a letter last week to lawmakers. A copy of the letter was obtained by The New York Times.
Ms. Edmonds worked as a contract linguist for the F.B.I. for about six months, translating material in Turkish, Persian and Azerbaijani. She was dismissed in 2002 after she complained repeatedly that bureau linguists had produced slipshod and incomplete translations of important terrorism intelligence before and after the Sept. 11 attacks. She also accused a fellow Turkish linguist in the bureau's Washington field office of blocking the translation of material involving acquaintances who had come under F.B.I. suspicion and said the bureau had allowed diplomatic sensitivities with other nations to impede the translation of important terrorism intelligence.
Unfortunately this is the kind of boring details story most Americans can't be bothered to read or think about (at least unless Michael Moore makes a movie about it) while Bush shamelessly promotes how he's doing such a great job fighting terror by invading a country that had nothing to do with international terrorism while protecting his Saudi friends from being investigated for 9/11 connections.
Monday, July 26, 2004
Ralph Makes Me Want To Ralph
Michigan GOPers have given Nader a big hand in getting on the ballot there:
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader's quixotic presidential campaign says it submitted about 5,400 signatures to get on the Michigan ballot, far short of the required number of 30,000. Luckily for him, approximately 43,000 signatures were filed by Michigan Republicans on his behalf, more than meeting the requirement.
from Josh Marshall.
There once was a twit named Ralph Nader
A well-known consumer crusader.
He helped George Bush win
And would do it again
Fuck you, dictator-enabler.
Limerick For Yoshida
Adam Yoshida is blogging about buggery again. It seems to be an obsession with him. The only people who think about it more are, well, gay men.
This limerick's for you, Adam:
Adam is grossed-out by gays
And all of their buggering ways.
"Do you know what queer men are doing?
We must ban that kind of screwing
Before I try it one of these days!"
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Why Is This Stupid?
I mean, you're fucking kidding me, right?
"I think that bloggers have put the issue of professionalism under attack," said Thomas McPhail, professor of media studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who argues that journalists should be professionally credentialed. "They have no pretense to objectivity. They don't cover both sides."
New York Times on Convention bloggers.
Prof. McPhail needs a damn good wacking with a clue-by-four.
Vote For A Man, Not A Puppet
Charley Reese, a syndicated conservative columnist, has this to say about Dick and Karl's puppet:
Americans should realize that if they vote for President Bush's re-election, they are really voting for the architects of war - Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and the rest of that cabal of neoconservative ideologues and their corporate backers.
I have sadly come to the conclusion that President Bush is merely a frontman, an empty suit, who is manipulated by the people in his administration. Bush has the most dangerously simplistic view of the world of any president in my memory.
It's no wonder the president avoids press conferences like the plague. Take away his cue cards and he can barely talk. Americans should be embarrassed that an Arab king (Abdullah of Jordan) spoke more fluently and articulately in English than our own president at their joint press conference recently.
John Kerry is at least an educated man, well-read, who knows how to think and who knows that the world is a great deal more complex than Bush's comic-book world of American heroes and foreign evildoers. It's unfortunate that in our poorly educated country, Kerry's very intelligence and refusal to adopt simplistic slogans might doom his presidential election efforts.
Why does everyone who criticizes George W. Bush hate America?