S.M.B. - Logic and Rhetoric
Saturday, January 10, 2004
CHENEY SUPPORTS A NATIONAL BAN ON GAY MARRIAGE
Despite that his own daughter is a homosexual.
How messed up is that? And through their actions we see their values.
Friday, January 09, 2004
READ THIS BOOK ABOUT TAXES
I watched this guy on Washington Journal on C-Span this morning and he had a whole lot to say about the pro-wealth orientation of the U.S. tax system. The conservative callers would try to claim that this book's author, David Kay Johnston (a New York Times reporter) is a "lib'rul." They would charge that he was insinuating bad things about the Bushies, or perhaps, a conspiracy between the right-wing and the corporate executives. Well, its not a conspiracy, it's a coincidence.
The Democrats ought to be listening, especially the so-called New Democrats who think there's nothing wrong with favoring capital and corporations over labor. Johnston points out that both parties are guilty for the abuses, that most congressman know jack shit about the tax code and that we are part of a trend that has been going on since the mid 1970s. Several economists and researchers have already documented the steady fall of the American worker (and the American family) since the mid 1970s, including "Class War in America" by Charles M. Kelly and "Wealth and Democracy" by Kevin Phillips. I'm buying "Perfectly Legal" by David Kay Johnston today.
Feed your mind.
Thursday, January 08, 2004
NICHOLAS KRISTOF'S COMPELLING COLUMN ABOUT CHRISTIANITY AND POLITICS
Republicans are in trouble when the debate moves to the issues because their policies often favor a wealthy elite. But they have the advantage when voters choose based on values, for here Republicans are populists and Democrats more elitist.I don't think Democrats are "more elitist" as much as I think Northeasterners are put off by in your face religiosity, especially elitist ideas about creationism, salvation and the meaning of faith.
As we move into the religious wars, I wish we could recall how Abe Lincoln achieved moral clarity without moral sanctimony. Though often criticized for not being religious enough, Lincoln managed both of the key kinds of morality — in personal behavior, which conservatives care about, and in seeking social justice, which liberals focus on. To me, each seems incomplete without the other.
My family in the South reject evolution, homosexuality and secularism at least as harshly as my Northeastern peeps and I laugh at Jerry Falwell's fire and brimstone sermons. I don't buy the idea that we're more 'elitist' than they are; the likes of Falwell and Robertson blame us for 9/11, and tell us we're going to hell if we don't act according to fundamentalist rules, so we laugh at their sermons and dismiss their rhetoric as retarded.
TREASURY BREAKS WORD ON E-MAIL ANONYMITY
The U.S. Treasury Department plans to publish nearly 10,000 e-mail addresses on the Web, violating its privacy promise to Americans who used e-mail to comment on a government proceeding.
WATCHING THE NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER
And there's this story about HIV/AIDS and Planned Parenthood in Zambia. Planned Parenthood provides contraception and family planning for many people in Zambia, where 20% of adults are infected with HIV/AIDS. Because Planned Parenthood REFERS people to abortion clinicians (they do not perform abortions themselves), the Bush administration has cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
The average Zambian female bears six (6) children in her lifetime. This is not the time for these self righteous fundamentalist maniacs to cut funding to Planned Parenthood Zambia. Their contraception, education and family planning work is being undermined by Bush and his radicals who are doing everything they can to shape the law of other countries. How many more unintended pregnancies and HIV transmissions will there be because Planned Parenthood cannot do its work effectively?
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION?!
David Kay, who directs the weapons hunt on behalf of the Bush administration, reported no discoveries last year of finished weapons, bulk agents or ready-to-start production lines. Members of his Iraq Survey Group, in unauthorized interviews, said the group holds out little prospect now of such a find. Kay and his spokesman, who report to Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet, declined to be interviewed.
CHECK OUT THIS COLUMN; PROMINENT REPUBLICAN COMPARES ESTATE TAX TO HOLOCAUST
***Here is the column, Eric Alterman gave us the heads up, you gotta read that scrappy blog every day, boy***
This is the way things happen in my business. In October the extremely influential GOP activist and White House insider Grover Norquist was interviewed by Terry Gross on her National Public Radio program, "Fresh Air." By December a portion of that interview was reprinted in Harper's magazine, where, over the holidays, I happened to see it. I am writing about it today because, among other things, Norquist compared the estate tax to the Holocaust.
This remark, so bizarre and tasteless that I felt it deserved checking, sent me to the transcript of the show, where, sure enough, it was confirmed. In it Norquist referred to the supposedly specious argument that the estate tax was worth keeping because it really affected only "2 percent of Americans." He went on: "I mean, that's the morality of the Holocaust. 'Well, it's only a small percentage,' you know. I mean, it's not you. It's somebody else."
From the transcript, it seems that Gross couldn't believe her ears. "Excuse me," she interjected. "Excuse me one second. Did you just . . . compare the estate tax with the Holocaust?"
Norquist explained himself. "No, the morality that says it's okay to do something to a group because they're a small percentage of the population is the morality that says the Holocaust is okay because they didn't target everybody, just a small percentage." [snip]
In fact, the moral equivalency Norquist concocts is his own -- and it speaks volumes about the morality of anti-tax Republicans. To them, the rich owe nothing -- just like the poor, they would say. (The difference between rich and poor escapes them.) This is unbridled selfishness in the guise of ideology and makes wealth the moral equivalent of ethnicity or religion or even sexual preference. To Norquist, distinguishing between rich and poor is like making a selection at Auschwitz. It not only trivializes the Holocaust, it collapses all moral distinctions.
When Trent Lott praised Strom Thurmond, the longtime segregationist (and laundry room Lothario), he revealed a mentality that not even Senate Republicans could publicly support -- and Lott had to resign as majority leader. Norquist has gone even further, likening the morality of mass murder to the imposition of a tax on the rich. At his next meeting of GOP activists, someone ought to ask him if he's out of his mind. If no one does, it's because they all are.
Copyright 2003 The Washington Post Company
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
HAPPY THREE KING'S DAY TO MY CATHOLIC SISTERS AND BRETHREN
Take that tree down tonite, and enjoy your new goodies.
CHECK OUT THIS ECONOMIX BLOG
There's a link on the blogroll too.
He backs up Krugman in his latest posting, this guy is a sophisticated mofo. Read his site early and often if you want more evidence to use against your right-wing adversaries.
DON'T JUST SIT THERE, DO SOMETHING!!!
In November, Republican House negotiators blocked a provision that would have created criminal penalties for war profiteers and cheats who try to defraud American taxpayers and cash in on the relief and reconstruction efforts in Iraq.Go to Act for Change to do something about it!
The provision has now been introduced as a stand-alone bill, and in light of recent questions about Halliburton and price-gouging, the bill should be passed quickly to ensure, as President Roosevelt once declared, that "a few do not gain from the sacrifices of the many."
Monday, January 05, 2004
HAPPY NEW YEAR OF THE LEFT!!! RICARDO IS BACK!!!
Bush is apparently wearing badly on the money conservative base. They're 'simmering' about his spending. Bush is a trick for the Pentagon hoes.
"Re-election has become the focus of Republicans in the White House and Congress. And those in power have determined the road to staying in power is paved with government spending," said Brian Riedl, who monitors the budget for the conservative Heritage Foundation...The Bushies think tax cuts for the rich, ballooning Pentagon spending and corporate tax loopholes amounts to fiscal restraint. At least their reasoning is consistent--these idiots also think that blowjobs amount to high crimes and misdemeanors, gay marriage amounts to the end of the family, and that an illegal war amounts to fighting terrorism rather than creating more terrorism.
..."President Bush has been resolute in pursuing his priorities of winning the war on terrorism, protecting the homeland and strengthening our economy. In pursuing those, he's also exercised fiscal restraint," said Joel Kaplan, deputy director of the White House budget office.
The illegal war has made army service less attractive for Americans, and our peeps in the Army have been streaming out as quickly as possible. The Army is under an order to keep outgoing soldiers from going out.
WASHINGTON (AP) - About 7,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan who were planning to retire or otherwise leave the service in the next few months are getting new marching orders: Stay put.They know that Bush lied them into Iraq, and they don't want to be part of a dishonest cause. I would venture that most soldiers, like most people, are honest, decent people and Bush has underestimated the soldiers and the people at large. Now, Bush is using our soldiers to create a new anti-Ba'ath Iraqi secret police. I guess one secret police force is better than another.
THE KNICKS ARE COMING BACK!!!
The Knicks got Stephon Marbury, Penny Hardaway and Cezary Trybanski from Phoenix for Antonio McDyess, Howard Eisley, Charlie Ward, Maciej Lampe, the rights to Milos Vujanic, two first-round draft picks and cash. The Knicks have finally addressed their biggest demon--the lack of a good point guard. Allan Houston and Stephon Marbury in the back court, Penny Hardaway and Keith Van Horn at forwards (?), Dikembe Mutumbo at center.
I thank the basketball god(s).