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Sunday, July 31, 2005

 

Speaking of separation of Church and State

Now this is just sick...

From MSNBC
TOLEDO, Ohio - Police helped the Catholic Diocese of Toledo cover up sex abuse allegations for several decades, refusing to investigate or arrest priests suspected of molesting children, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The (Toledo) Blade, relying on interviews with former officers and a review of court and diocese records, found at least five instances since the 1950s of police covering up allegations of abuse.

Four former officers said Police Chief Anthony Bosch, a Catholic who headed the Toledo department from 1956 to 1970, established an unwritten rule that priests could not be arrested.

“You would have been fired,” said Gene Fodor, who served on the force between 1960 and 1981.

In some cases that resulted in charges, authorities blocked the release of files to the public. In others, priests were transferred to different churches or sent away for treatment.

The Rev. Robert Lamantia, who oversaw the transfer of a priest who was suspected of abusing a boy, said church officials knew police would not investigate.

‘Wasn’t part of our policy’
“It doesn’t look good today, but it wasn’t part of our policy that this was considered to be a crime against youth and it had to be handled by police,” Lamantia said.

Police told the newspaper much has changed since the sexual abuse crisis began unfolding in 2002 and insisted that priests suspected of crimes no longer receive special favors.

The diocese refused to discuss its relationship with law enforcement in the past, saying to talk about it now would only hurt abuse victims.

“Many (victims) who have responded have spoken of their anguish at each republication of previously published stories about their experiences and those of other survivors,” Bishop Leonard Blair said in a statement.

After Bosch left the Toledo department, the cover-ups continued, the Blade reported. Bosch died in 1982.

Jim Richards, who worked as the diocesan spokesman from 1971 to 1995, said church leaders knew whom to call to keep cases quiet.

A retired police detective who also worked as a private investigator for the diocese said he did not file police reports about suspected priest abuse.

‘Not this time’
“I can tell you that there was always somebody they could go to in the police department,” Sgt. John Connors said. “And I can tell you that, at one time, I was that man.”

No priest was arrested for sexual abuse until 1984, when an officer found a priest in a mall restroom, receiving oral sex from a teenager, The Blade reported.

“I was not going to follow the department policy — not this time,” said officer Bill Gray, who is now retired. After the arrest, Gray said he got harassing phone calls from his fellow officers.

After the priest was sentenced, the judge and prosecutors agreed to seal his record. Gray still maintains his own files, because he suspected the case might be hidden.


 

hmmm.... I wonder if this would work on "Dubya"

Or would the church performing exorcisms on political figures perhaps violate the separation of church and state?

Fron CNN
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- An outspoken Catholic cardinal took his war of words with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to a new level in an interview published Sunday, calling him "a paranoid dictator" who needs "an exorcism."

Rosalio Castillo, Venezuela's only cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church, also accused Chavez of rounding up more than 100 political prisoners and torturing some captives.

"There is no democracy here (in Venezuela)," Castillo told Colombia's main newspaper, El Tiempo. "This is a despotic government."

Chavez, who insists he supports democracy, is up for re-election next year, and recent polls suggest he is strongly favored to win.

Earlier this month, Castillo warned that Chavez was gaining too much power and becoming a dictator. Chavez, in turn, called Castillo "a bandit" who "has the devil inside him."

In Sunday's interview, Castillo said his comments on Chavez are not personal, and said they fall in line with the opinions of other church leaders in Venezuela.

"The difference is in the way it's said. There are those who speak diplomatically, and others like me who speak clearly so that everyone understands," the 82-year-old cardinal said.

The Roman Catholic Church has been one of the most critical voices of Chavez, a former paratroop commander and self-styled "revolutionary."

The church is also one of the most trusted institutions in the poverty-stricken South American nation. More than 90 percent of Venezuela's population is Roman Catholic, and church leaders and local priests wield tremendous influence over many of its citizens.

Asked whether he would send a blessing to Chavez, Castillo said: "More than a blessing, I'd give him an exorcism."

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

 

Swift Boating

Verb: to destroy the character of an honorable indavidual by making false outlandish accusations.

Currently there is a congressional special election going on in southern Ohio. The democratic candidate, Paul Hacket, is an Iraq veteran and running strong in this conservative district. His opponent Jean Schmidt must be getting desperate. Her campain's senior advisor is now publicly questioning whether or not Hacket actually saw combat while he was in Iraq.

I understand that Hackett did not participate in combat at all. ... Let's just not act as though we led marines in combat if we did not, okay.


I think it is horrible that tactics like these are being used. In Iraq, the entire country is a war zone, if you are there, you are seeing combat and your life is at risk daily.

 

Kiffmeyer in trouble

Mary Kiffmeyer has been a disgrace as MN secretary of state. In the past election she has picked up on the practice of trying to drive down voter turn outs in order to help your candidates. This is not the way that elections in a free society should opperate. This should give more ammunition to her Critics.

A year after Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer faced election-season questions over how she was implementing a new federal law intended to make voting simpler, a state audit has faulted her office for procedural discrepancies regarding the law.

But the office of the legislative auditor's financial audit did not address the larger issue regarding the new federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA) -- whether the secretary of state's office used the new law and the accompanying money to help increase voter turnout.

 

Labor Split

The big news yesterday was that the teamsters and the service workers unions were both leaving the AFL-CIO. I think that in the long run this will be a political benefit for union members. The main political stratagy of the AFL-CIO has been to throw money at democratic candidates and hope for the best. It's becoming clear that just throwing money at an election doesn't have the same effect that it once did in terms of success. Keep in mind, we outspent Bush in Ohio by millions and millions and look where it got us. The plan for this new union coallition is to try and emphasize new member recruitment. I believe this will prove to be a far more effective way of labor pushing their adgenda. Over the past couple decades union membership has been plummeting. Union membership has been the most likely indicator of whether someone will vote democrat or not. I think the populist approach of recruiting more and more people to be active will be the way that will prove successful with unions and other grass roots organizations. It's nice that people in power finally get this.

 

Labor Split

The big news yesterday was that the teamsters and the service workers unions were both leaving the AFL-CIO. I think that in the long run this will be a political benefit for union members. The main political stratagy of the AFL-CIO has been to throw money at democratic candidates and hope for the best. It's becoming clear that just throwing money at an election doesn't have the same effect that it once did in terms of success. Keep in mind, we outspent Bush in Ohio by millions and millions and look where it got us. The plan for this new union coallition is to try and emphasize new member recruitment. I believe this will prove to be a far more effective way of labor pushing their adgenda. Over the past couple decades union membership has been plummeting. Union membership has been the most likely indicator of whether someone will vote democrat or not. I think the populist approach of recruiting more and more people to be active will be the way that will prove successful with unions and other grass roots organizations. It's nice that people in power finally get this.

 

Heart goes out to them

I was a Boy Scout for many years, and despite the negative PR they've recieved lately, I think they're a great organization. One thing I know is that the scout leaders are completly dedicated to their troops and they would do most anything for them. When you hear about something like this it's just tragic. I really feel for everyone that was affected by this, especially their families of the 5 leaders that died.

Monday, July 25, 2005

 

missed the weekend

Dave and I were out on vacation for part of last week and this weekend. We were out at a cabin with no internet so we didn't have access to the blog. We probably should have given y'all a heads up but some things just get missed. Here's some bonus song lyrics since we missed friday

Eastbound and Down - Jerry Reed


East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
we're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.

Keep your foot hard on the pedal. Son, never mind them brakes.
Let it all hang out 'cause we got a run to make.
The boys are thirsty in Atlanta and there's beer in Texarcana.
And we'll bring it back no matter what it takes.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
we're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
we're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.

Ol' Smokey's got them ears on and he's hot on your trail.
He aint gonna rest 'til you're in jail.
So you got to dodge 'im and you got to duck 'im,
you got to keep that diesel truckin'.
Just put that hammer down and give it hell.

East bound and down, loaded up and truckin',
we're gonna do what they say can't be done.
We've got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I'm east bound, just watch ol' "Bandit" run.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

 

More thoughts on Roberts

The senate gang of 14 is saying that there most likely won't be a filibuster of John Roberts. So unless there are any skelatins that havn't came out yet, he will be confirmed. I think I am a lot less concerned about this than a lot of other bloggers are. It sounds like Bush could have picked someone a lot worse than John Roberts for the bench. I am somewhat troubled by his lack of experience on the bench, but i'm not sure how much that will really matter in the end. The man should (and most likely will) recieve a fair public hearing and and up or down vote at the end of it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

 

Bush's pick

Last night President Bush announced that he was going to nominate judge John G. Roberts to the surpreme Court of the United States. Naturally my first thought on that was"who the hell is he?" Well here's the basics of what I've found out. He's only been a judge for the past 2 years, and before that he was a government and private practice lawyer. I'm inclined to agree with Americablog that this record sounds like that of little more than a party hack(and sure as hell not from out party). From what it sounds like, he would be another far right voice on the court. I certainly hope that he is not confirmed for the bench. I don't believe that he is worthy of being on the highest court in our country. Here's is employment background.


Employment/background:
2003-present: Judge, US Court of Appeals, DC Circuit;
1993-2003: Partner, Hogan & Hartson LLP;
1989-93: Principal Deputy Solicitor General, US DoJ;
1986-89: Associate, Hogan & Hartson LLP;
1982-86: Associate Counsel to the President, White House Counsel's Office;
1981-82: Special Asst to the AG in the US DoJ;
1980 -81 Supreme Court of the United States, Law Clerk to Hon. Wm. H. Rehnquist

Sunday, July 17, 2005

 

Hip Hop

One of the best things about college in my opinion is the ammount of new music that I have found out about. One specific thing that I really've started to appreciate recently has been the indie hip hop scene out of the Twin Cities. Atmosphere and Brother Ali were two that really stood out to me. About a week ago, the Star Trib had a really interesting article about Ant the producer that each one of them uses on their albums. It's really an interesting read, Check it out.

Friday, July 15, 2005

 

Friday Song Blogging

Redemption Song - Bob Marley

Old pirates, yes, they rob I;
Sold I to the merchant ships,
Minutes after they took I
From the bottomless pit.
But my hand was made strong
By the 'and of the Almighty.
We forward in this generation
Triumphantly.
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our minds.
Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them can stop the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look? Ooh!
Some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fullfil the book.

Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever have:
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs;
Redemption songs.
Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;
None but ourselves can free our mind.
Wo! Have no fear for atomic energy,
'Cause none of them-a can-a stop-a the time.
How long shall they kill our prophets,
While we stand aside and look?
Yes, some say it's just a part of it:
We've got to fullfil the book.
Won't you help to sing
These songs of freedom? -
'Cause all I ever had:
Redemption songs -
All I ever had:
Redemption songs:
These songs of freedom,
Songs of freedom.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

 

How we should spin Rove

In the past 2 days the republican party has gone on the offensive to try and both discredit the invesigation of Karl Rove and destroy the reputation of Joseph Wilson.
Blah3 has a good idea of how to word things on this one.

Now that the entire Republican party has settled upon their spin to try and simultaneously smear Joe Wilson and defend Rove, there is one short sentence that is guaranteed to stop the spin, dead in its tracks.

This is a criminal investigation, undertaken by the Bush Justice Department, independent of Congressional Democrats, MoveOn, and Howard Dean.

There you have it. Use as needed, glad to help.

 

An Interesting Double Standard

On the Star Tribune's website today was a story about the concerns of smuggling that could come with the tobacco "health-impact fee" (tax). It outlines how in recent years the smuggling of cigarettes has become an increasingly lucrative business as several other states have used tobacco taxes to gain revenue. Should Minnesota raise the "fee" 75 cents it would create the largest tobacco tax anywhere in the Midwest and a "land of opportunity for smugglers."

I can see how this would be a legitimate concern. Especially because as the article points out terrorist organizations are beginning to use tobacco smuggling as a source of income. The people that benefit from black markets are almost always criminals. However, though I'm no expert, I have a hard time seeing how tobacco smuggling would become a huge problem simply because of a tax increase. With illegal drugs, the black market prices end up high enough to earn so much profit because it is the only source for the product. However, with cigarettes the black market price would never be able to go higher than the regular commercial price. Most likely it will have to be significantly lower simply because of the danger to consumers of being caught and getting in trouble. I still see this tax as doing more good than harm, especially if it is the only possible solution to our horrible budget impasse.

All in all though, the issues itself raises another interesting question: Why is it that we worry about the effects on the black market of a cigarette tax but don't apply the same logic to the effects of have other drugs be illegal? It is becoming more and more accepted in the scientific community that cigarettes are more fatal than marijuana. And while they might not get as much press as Islamic terrorism, we can all agree that the drug cartels are also very horrible criminal organizations. In fact, the drug market is responsible for an alarming chunk of our violent crimes. Why then does this get ignored but the cigarette black market gets its own article in the trib.?

I see two answers to that question. First, "just say no" is a quick, simple sound bite that is easy to campaign with, much more so that some long spiel about the economics of a black market. Second, the drug legalization lobby is written off as a radical left-wing group of pot smoking hippies, and the tobacco lobby spends millions of dollars every year.

 

Long Term strategy

Wesley Clark is a very smart man and has some good ideas for how we can succeed in defeating Al-Qaeda. He seems to be doing a much better job of thinking long term about what needs to be done in order for us to Win.

But al-Qaeda has evolved since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001.

Relentless pressure by the CIA, Special Forces and many other national intelligence and police efforts has made the old, centralized structure of al-Qaeda unworkable.

And we need to keep up the pressure. But al-Qaeda's new threat is decentralized. Thursday's attacks in London have all the earmarks of such a "franchise" operation, locally planned and resourced with relatively modest means, emulating al-Qaeda without the vulnerabilities of centralized resourcing and direction.


I'm really glad to see that there is a national figure who realizes that we need to do more than kill bad people in order to be safe. We need to be smart and think globally in order to win this fight, but I think it is one that we must win.

But fighting terrorism at home isn't just a matter of "killing terrorists." Terrorists aren't born that way. They are created by their interaction with their surroundings. To win this war, we must defeat the ideology of terrorism, depriving angry young people of their ability to justify their hateful actions in the name of Allah.

This will require not only strong Islamic condemnation of terrorists and their acts, but also a winning dialogue within Islam to defeat Koranic interpretations seeking to justify the use of force against innocent people. We need to encourage "moderates" in Islam to debate, to proselytize and to win over potential terrorists. They are the only ones who can do it.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

 

The die has been cast

Instead of waiting around for Bush to name his pick to replace O'connor on the Bench, the democrats have put out a list of recomendations to replace her. I think this is a pragmatic approach to doing business that will allow for more public debate on the justice instead of the tight lipped secrecy that usually goes along with Bush justice nominees. I think this sort of work could help create more of an air of openness and co operation in our government. Instead of having a big divisive political fight over this.

Top Senate Democrats floated the names of potential candidates for the Supreme Court on Tuesday in a meeting with President Bush, describing them as the type of nominee who could avoid a fierce confirmation battle.

Several officials familiar with the discussion said Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Ed Prado of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, both of whom are Hispanic, were among the names mentioned as Bush met with key lawmakers from both parties to discuss the first high court vacancy in 11 years.

Monday, July 11, 2005

 

Probably too early...

But I'll say it anyways.

Ever since November third I've been fascinated with Montana's new governor. On that day I realized that the Democratic party simply does not work well. Governor Schweitzer was one of our few pleasant surprises. He won decisively in a very Red state. Since winning, he has pretty much had his entire legislative agenda passed. There has already been a lot of talk online about him as a possible presidential candidate. I'm very interested in this possibility. I think Brian Schweiter would be a welcome relief from the recent democratic candidates that we have seen. I am adding a blog advocating his candidacy to the links here.

 

Rove

There are a lot of questions being raised about Karl Rove's involvement in outing Valarie Plume. Now there are allegations that Rove may have committed perjury in denying that he outed Plume's idenity. Kos and Americablog have been covering the situation pretty well. Because of that I havn't been saying much about it. If or when rove is indicted on this I will definatly have a lot more to say about it.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

 

I called it!

The state shutdown is over. I predicted that it would be done by July 10th, and an agreement was made on july 9th at 2 AM. I'm glad to see that it's all over with now. People probably havn't been harmed too much by it, but at the same time it's never good for something like this to happen. Hopefully in future years our elected officials will remember this and do a better job of getting things done.

Friday, July 08, 2005

 

New Ads Explained

You have probably noticed recently that there are more ads on the site than before. This site is now carrying ads for Barns and Noble. They work by giving us a commission of any sales made when someone Links to their site and makes a purchase (so everyone keep that in mind once textbook season rolls around). I like these adds because it allows for us to have a book of the month promotion on here. This month I chose to have my 2 personal favorites as the recommendations. On the Road by Jack Kerouac has always been an inspiration to me both as a writer and as a traveler. The Grapes of Wrath is simply one of the most incredible (and sadly relevant) books that I have ever read. In August, Dave will put up his picks for the month.

 

Fast and Loose Facts

I have heard on several occasions recently some statements by conservatives that have desperately needed rebuttal. I know, I know- Just one? Well, more than that, but in this case I am talking about the people who try to argue that there was precedence for preemptive action in Iraq. I was going to put up a post sometime explaining why all of their arguments were based on factual figments of their imaginations, but fortunately for me, a retired judge in my town, Duane Peterson, did it for me in a guest op-ed piece he wrote for the newspaper.

"On the June 14 editorial page there appeared a column by Michael Reagan, columnist and son of Ronald Reagan. In the column he makes several comments about John Edwards, the recent Democratic candidate for vice president. He goes claims that Edwards should be aware of a few historical facts, and then proceeds to enumerate and describe such facts.


Reagan claims that Sen. Edwards had the identical information before him that the president had when the Senate voted "for the war in Iraq." That would appear to me to be factually incorrect, since the administration had been bending the facts that came to it from the CIA. The Senate had the administration's version of the information which, at best, was colored to favor military action.

He then compares the fact that there were 39 combat-related killings in Iraq in January and 35 killings in Detroit in the same month. The problem with that comparison is that there were no combat-related killings in Detroit that month, and we don't know how many civilian killings there were in Iraq in that same month. He is not comparing apples to apples.

He then states that a large segment of the Democratic Party tries to tell us that since Iraq never attacked the U.S. we had no reason to attack Iraq. He then goes on to cite instances where the U.S. went to war without being attacked. His first example is World War II, about which he states that FDR led us into war against Germany but that Germany had never attacked us.

The problem with that analysis is that after the U.S. declared war against Japan following Pearl Harbor, Germany declared war on the U.S. The U.S. was pulled into that war by Germany, even though it had not directly attacked the U.S. before that. (That fact, of course, implies that German U-boat attacks on American shipping were not acts of war.)

He later says that Harry Truman took us into war against North Korea even though that country had not attacked the U.S. That analysis ignores that American troops were occupying South Korea as part of the defeat of Japan (Korea had been a Japanese colony) and that North Korea invaded South Korea and attacked both American and South Korean military personnel.

He then states that John F. Kennedy started the Vietnam war in 1962 without the U.S. ever being attacked. That statement ignores the fact that the conflict in Vietnam began as an indigenous revolution against the French colonialist's who had occupied Vietnam since before World War I. It was President Eisenhower who first sent American troops (advisers) to Vietnam in the late 1950s. President Kennedy escalated the American presence there after he was elected president. Lyndon Johnson did the biggest escalation after the death of Kennedy.

In conclusion he lauds the accomplishments of President Bush as having liberated two countries, crushed the Taliban, crippled al-Qaida, and put nuclear inspectors in Libya, Iran and North Korea without firing a shot. The problem with those claims is that the Taliban is alive and well in Afghanistan (though not in power as before),

al-Qaida may or may not be crippled (we just don't know), and there are no nuclear inspectors in Iran or North Korea. I don't know about Libya.

Mr. Reagan is entitled to express his own opinions in his columns, but he is not entitled to his own facts or history."

Finally somebody has set the record straight! But here's what I don't get... Why are conservatives even bothering with alternative histories? Did we attack Iraq because we'd done similar things before and it had all worked out? Do they need to defend their actions completely on historical precedence? If so, then those are some pretty lame reasons for a conflict that has killed 1,741 Americans (CNN, 7/3/05)). If not, then why bother with the counter-argument? When liberals talk about this being the first time America has ever been the original aggressor why not point out that times have changed and we're not fighting WWII anymore. Or just follow the President's lead and blather on unintelligibly about freedom being on the march.

The only reason for conservatives to try to make up their own version of history is simply that they can't stand to let liberals say anything with out attempting to contradict them. I know this happens on both sides; I don't know whether it is the cause or an effect of our political polarization. But I do know it has to stop. We all need to grow up.


On a side note: Conservatives, you can't call liberals the "blame America first" crowd for complaining about it being too militarily aggressive when you yourselves try to argue it's even more aggressive than we say it is. I dont care which you'd rather whine about, but you can't have it both ways.

 

Friday Song Blogging

Shadows on the Sun - Brother Ali

(We'd like to capture your minds right now)

(What you say)

(Take you a little bit higher)

(What you say) (3X)

[ VERSE 1 ]
I like the snares loud enough to make your eyes blink from it
Only male with the Holy Grail, drink from it
I keep an eye on heaven and a ear to the street
And spread a thick layer of blood, sweat and tears on the beats
My brain rest upon the hip-hop lexicon
That I acquired in the decade of work that people slept upon
I don't rap, I recite the prayers of the inner soul
Of the slave ships' human cargo
Seemingly meaningless rappers flood the market
With shit that make me pace in my room until I rip the carpet
I'm fit to start up this next millennium
Swingin the grappling hook at cackling crooks to finish em
The city dweller sendin telegrams from Neverland
The better man ( ? ) kindly join the caravan
We're like a rock band that pack contraband
And won't hesitate to stomp a man into the rocks and sand
Brother Ali, and if you haven't heard about me
I'm flyin just beneath your radar so y'all can doubt me
Stay on the sonar with crowbars to open minds
There's a ladder you're supposed to climb
Approach a Rhymesayer with a Buggsy Siegel sized ego
You gon' get yourself snatched out the sky, you know the steelo
By now, where, what, why and how
We start the revolution real time, right now

[ CHORUS ]
Yes, leave it to me to create hope where there was none
The human being shall cast shadows on the sun
Leave it to me to create hope where there was none
My inner soul shall cast shadows on the sun
Just leave it to me to create hope where there was none
The human being shall cast shadows on the sun
Leave it to me to create hope where there was none
My inner soul shall, my inner light shall..

[ VERSE 2 ]
I rhyme for cats up in the harbor lights
Prayin they don't starve tonight
And stay positive in the face of a harder life
My chorus light the torch for those on whom the sun set
Verses meant to speak for the voiceless
So let us never be dismayed or afraid
The ground we're walkin on is stained
With the blood of those before us who came
Soldiers in this freedom movement are too numerous to name
Cause the human soul yearns to be free, it's all the same
I rhyme for runaways prayin that they see another day
You gotta make it through the winter to feel some summer days
It's for my natives, it's history in the way their hair is braided
Elephants never forget, that's how they say it
Tell my man [Name] in prison keep grinnin because he's innocent
And tell him that the tests we get are heaven-sent
Listen, I rap for the ones that Johnny Cash wore, the black, for
Black and white women that were turned to crackhores
And I empty everything in the bank to give for it
I empty all the days of my life to live for it
And I empty all the blood in my veins to fight for it
So I empty all the ink in this pen to write for it

[ CHORUS ]

[ VERSE 3 ]
I glance in the sky and see the same cloud configuration
That Nat Turner saw the day they hanged him
Resisted in the face of adversity with a fist and it was raised
One finger extended, meaning Allah be praised
Spent days in Heaven's embassy
On Qu'ran pages Allah explains this legacy
Angels doubted Adam, Jacob's brothers clapped him
And ancient Pharaohs were too brutal to fathom
If all the earth's oceans were ink and the trees were pens
You could never write the knowledge of God, it never ends
And I know it feels like the whip wounds will never mend
But it's the way of makin the oppressed prevalent men
We standin with humanity at destiny's door
Chanting the war cry, it goes, "Never no more"
So if y'all tryina talk about the horrors you see
Feel free to tell your stories through me

[ CHORUS ]

There's only one God and he's not just above
There's only one man and there's only one love
Till everybody gets what I instill in my seed
For that y'all, we willin to bleed
There's only one God and he's not just above
There's only one woman and there's only one love
We doin this till all of Adam's children are freed
And for that y'all, we willin to bleed

 

Thoughts on London

The members of javelin blog wish to express our profound sadness at yesterday’s events in London. The killing of innocent civilians is never an acceptable or moral way to either make a point or accomplish a goal. Violent measures like this will just breed more violence and pain. Vicious incidents like this help to remind us all that winning the “War on Terror” and keeping our nation and world safe from these sort of dreadful attacks should be a priority. We need to do a better job in the mid east in every way. We need an effective military strategy for Iraq and Afghanistan that involves rebuilding these nations without being perceived as an occupying power. Diplomatically, culturally, and economically we should be building relationships built on a mutual interest and peace and a brighter future for everyone. A very good case can be made that this attack happened because of England’s relationship with the United States, and the actions of these two nations in Iraq. There probably is some degree of truth to this, but liberals should not use this as either an excuse to cut and run when the job is tough nor should this be used as a way of excusing the guilty from responsibility. Fairly often it is easy to get caught up in the politics of these things and wanting to blame disliked leaders for why something happens, but we all do need to remember that people who blow up women and children on busses and trains are bad people.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

 

Good News and Really Good News

First off my new laptop finally arrived today. Those that remember me from my previous blog all remember the story, but for all the newbies here's what happened. A couple days before UMM's finals week began, I somehow managed to destroy my laptop's screen by putting a large crack down the entire length of it. This caused two major problems first, I had all essay finals, and secondly it led to a drastic reduction in what I was posting on my blog. I eventually have been able to work up to being close to the level of where I was back when I had a functional laptop by using my family's computer, but now I should be posting with even more regularity.

And now the Really good news. Ender, who is the volunteer tech. Support assistant for this site since Dave and I are fairly incompetent is now engaged. Congradts dude!

Monday, July 04, 2005

 

Independence day bonus

Have a good fourth everyone

American Tune - Paul Simon

Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I’m alright, I’m alright
I’m just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far a-way from home, so far away from home

I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to it’s knees
Oh, but it’s alright, it’s alright
For we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
Road we’re traveling on
I wonder what’s gone wrong
I can’t help it, I wonder what’s gone wrong

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The statue of liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

We come on the ship they call the mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the a-ge’s most uncertain hours
And sing an american tune
Oh, and it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest

Saturday, July 02, 2005

 

Great ideas from unlikely places

Thanks to Bush's energy policy towards increasing production without giving consideration to conservation and alternative fules, the state of Wyoming has found itself possessing a much larger than expected ammount of state income (at the expense of ranchers and rural residents). Instead of using the money for tax cuts, the governor is launching a campain to use this unexpected revenue for helping out the poor of his state. I think it is great that more and more, especially on a state level, people are turning their attention to the poor. The problem is poverty is one that we are choosing to ignore. We have the ability at this time far better than any other in our plannet's history to ensure that no one goes to bed hungry or dies from completly preventable ailments. I'm going to keep watching this issue. A conservative state like Wyoming is not a place where I expected this to happen. If the governor can win on this issue, it could serve as a model to the rest of the country for how to Win.

Wyoming should take advantage of the mineral boom to enhance the lives of the state's working poor, Gov. Dave Freudenthal and first lady Nancy Freudenthal said Thursday evening during a televised town hall-style meeting.

"This state has an immense amount of working poor," the governor said, adding that the unemployment rate is low because many people are working multiple jobs - often for employers who cannot afford health insurance for those workers.

"We need to talk about the working poor, the people whose opportunity to move up is going to be dependent on changing their skills and on changing the mix of jobs that are available in the state for them."

The chief executive and his wife were part of a forum at the Riverton library shown on Wyoming Public Television.

Freudenthal said his administration is encouraging the Wyoming Business Council to attract not just any jobs but ones that pay above the average wage in each county.

 

Rove Is A Traitor!

One result of the last SCOTUS session was that two reporters had to either give the identity of who ever outed the Idenity of undercover CIA agent Valarie Plume or face jail time. One of the reporters has decided to talk, and the name they gave was Karl Rove. In trying to take revenge agaisnt someone who tried to discredit the Iraq war perposal, Rove broke federal law and gave away the idenity of a CIA official. This man should be in jail right now.

What we're going to go to now in the next stage, when Matt Cooper's e-mails, within Time Magazine, are handed over to the grand jury, the ultimate revelation, probably within the week of who his source is.

"And I know I'm going to get pulled into the grand jury for saying this but the source of...for Matt Cooper was Karl Rove, and that will be revealed in this document dump that Time magazine's going to do with the grand jury."

Other panelists then joined in discussing whether, if true, this would suggest a perjury rap for Rove, if he told the grand jury he did not leak to Cooper.

Friday, July 01, 2005

 

Friday Song Blogging

Drunk Again - Reel Big Fish

If I had a dollar bill for every time I’ve been wrong
I’d be a self-made millionaire and you’d still be gone
So hand me down my best dress shoes and my best dress shirt
Cause I’m going out in style to cover the hurt
And all I wanna do all day is spend it in bed
But that’s bad for the body and even worse for my head
So I’ll try and find a place where no one will ask me a thing
It’ll help to forget and help me to sing

Cause now I’m drunk again
The means to my end
And I’m scared of myself
Cause now it’s the same the faces and names
And I’m scared of myself again

Have you ever wanted to wake up from your dreaming
Scared you so bad you couldn’t control your heart or your breathing
Well walk out the door with me on the floor
You don’t care how I’m feeling
I guess a weak and tired and frightened man is no longer appealing

Some people have a gift of reaching right into your soul
and finding the whole and making it
bigger
Baby sometimes I think I catch ya crackin’ cynical smiles
and in a short while you’ll be my
heart’s grave digger
Well there’s not much I can do
Cause I’m at the mercy of you
So baby I guess we’re through

Cause now I’m drunk again
The means to my end
And I’m scared of myself
Cause now it’s the same the faces and names
And I’m scared of myself again
Cause now it’s all the same the faces and the names
So go walk out the door you don’t believe me no more
And I’m scared of myself again

If I had a dollar bill for every time I been wrong
I’d be a self made millionaire and I wouldn’t be singing

 

Shut Down

The MN government is shut down now. Here is the State gov page for the shut down; it contains all of the info about what is still running and what isn't. I stand my my initial prediction that this won't last more than a week. This won't make anyone look good especially the governor who has appeared the least willing to negotiate and compromise.

 

O'connor's out

The key swing vote on the Surprime Court, Justice O'connor is retiring. I think this decision is taking a lot of people by surprise. She's been the swing vote on Roe V. Wade so most likely Bush will try and put a stealth Pro Life justice on the bench. Knowing that, the senate democrats will put up on a big fight on this one. This should be a fun one to watch.

Kos has suggestions on what you can do once Bush has a nominee

Whatever happens with the Supreme Court nomination battle that is about to ensue, it's going to happen fast. Here are some things you can do right now:

* If you have a cell phone, sign up for People at the American Way's Mass Immediate Response site. This way, you'll be able to receive text message action items instantly as events break. (If you signed up during the nuclear option fight, you'll need to re-sign up.)

* Also sign up with the Save the Court, another PFAW website devoted specifically to this issue.

* Recruit friends and family members to the cause.

* Write to the President, telling him he should choose a consensus candidate to replace O'Connor.

* Contact your Senators to tell them the same thing.