Archive for August, 2005

With Rights Come Responsibilities, and Vice Versa

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

The California Supreme Court has ruled that gay and lesbian couples who raise children together will continue to be responsible for the support of those children even if the couples split up.

In the latest ruling to recognize rights of same-sex couples, the California Supreme Court has said gay and lesbian couples who raise children are lawful parents and must provide for their children if they break up….

The decision comes a month after the justices ruled that a California domestic partner law grants gays and lesbians who register with the state many of the same rights as married couples, but does not allow them to marry.

In a sort of bassackwards way, this is an important acknowledgement by the Court that gay and lesbian parents are real parents. Anti-gay groups are, predictably, screaming bloody murder. I don’t understand why they have a problem with parents taking personal responsibility for their own children. Isn’t that what “family values” is all about?

Another Sign of the Times

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

Surprise, Surprise — Pat Robertson Says Something Stupid

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

The “Rev.” Pat Robertson is at it again, asking — as one commenter at another blog put it — who would Jesus whack? And his answer? Why, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, of course. Robertson fears “communist infiltration and Muslim extremism” if the US government doesn’t get rid of Chavez, and he says assassination is the way to go. After all, it’s much cheaper than starting another war with an oil-rich country that hasn’t attacked us.

“We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability,” Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network’s “The 700 Club.”

“We don’t need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator,” he continued. “It’s a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with.”

….

“You know, I don’t know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we’re trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it,” Robertson said. “It’s a whole lot cheaper than starting a war … and I don’t think any oil shipments will stop.”

Does Pat really think he has any moral authority left? It’s time for him to remove the word “Christian” from anything associated with his broadcast network. He could substitute “Dominionist” or “Power Hungry” or maybe just “Wacko”.

Fun Birthday Pic

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Here’s a picture of me and my girlfriends celebrating. I’m the one in the sombrero. This is the official photo provided by the nice people at La Fiesta in Hoover AL. I love how they photoshop in the cake and the presents.

Sticker Shock

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Gas station Sign

Ft. Payne Gas Station Owner Killed by Gas Thief

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

This looks like an unfortunate side effect of rapidly increasing gasoline prices. Husain Caddi, owner of the Texaco station in Fort Payne, was dragged and run over by the driver of an SUV (why am I not surprised?) who elected not to pay the $52 he owed after filling his gas tank. This happened in broad daylight, and I don’t think the driver will be able to claim he didn’t know what he was doing — assuming he’s ever apprehended. The police don’t have a lot of information.

Note: High gas prices don’t justify theft, and they certainly don’t justify murder.

Don’t Worry Your Pretty Little Head About It

Monday, August 22nd, 2005

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a former Middle East specialist for the CIA, appeared on “Meet the Press” yesterday to discuss the new Iraqi constitution and dropped this little gem:

MR. GERECHT: Actually, I’m not terribly worried about this. I mean, one hopes that the Iraqis protect women’s social rights as much as possible. It certainly seems clear that in protecting the political rights, there’s no discussion of women not having the right to vote. I think it’s important to remember that in the year 1900, for example, in the United States, it was a democracy then. In 1900, women did not have the right to vote. If Iraqis could develop a democracy that resembled America in the 1900s, I think we’d all be thrilled. I mean, women’s social rights are not critical to the evolution of democracy. We hope they’re there. I think they will be there. But I think we need to put this into perspective.

What perspective is that? The perspective that women in Iraq could end up worse off than they were under Saddam Hussein? That they could be forced to give up their professions and only allowed to leave their homes if they are accompanied by a male relative? That Iraq could end up with its own Taliban?

I wonder what Mr. Gerecht would think if Iraq were considering denying men the vote.

This pretty much puts the lie to Bush’s stated goal of spreading real democracy in the Middle East. Who cares what the constitution actually says, as long as it’s completed on time? It’s more important that he have the opportunity to proclaim “mission accomplished” once again than it is to insure that all Iraqi citizens have equal status under the law.

I wish I could say I’m surprised.

Justice For All?

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

I’ve posted a couple of times this week about the pitiful state of Alabama’s justice system, so this time I’ll send you over to War Liberal to read Mac’s post. The cuts in funding for court-appointed attorneys aren’t just affecting indigent adult defendants. They are also hurting abused and neglected children who depend on the representation of family court attorneys who are paid by the state. John Giles claims he didn’t realize that when he was making sure that the House didn’t follow the Senate’s lead and vote to restore the funding. I say BS to that. The “Christian” Coalition gives real Christians a bad name.

Bush Standing Firm: 9/11, 9/11, 9/11……

Sunday, August 21st, 2005

President Bush is planning to drum up support for the war in Iraq the next few weeks. As usual, he will invoke September 11 over and over, conveniently ignoring the lack of connection between 9/11 and Iraq. And he will continue to ignore Cindy Sheehan and anyone else who disagrees with him.

Yes, Saddam Hussein was a horrible leader, and I’m personally glad he’s been removed from power, but I can’t forget that we attacked a sovereign nation without provocation. Bush wants to gloss over that inconvenient fact and stay the course, a course that appears to have been laid even in advance of the 9/11 attacks. He doesn’t want to listen to any counsel that contradicts his decisions. His aides call that steadfastness; others see it as stubbornness.

There are all sorts of psychological implications in Bush’s determination to invade Iraq. Having no professional credentials, I hesitate to delve into them, but I will point out that Bush’s family dynamic seems very similar to the one invoked by the “ex-gay” people who insist that sexual orientation is a reaction to one’s relationship with one’s parents. Clearly, not every man with a distant father and a domineering mother ends up gay. However, I can certainly see where a man in that situation would feel he had something to prove — to his parents and to the world.

W has been trying to impress his father during his entire career, following in his footsteps as a businessman, but without any real success. I wonder if he ever took the time to reflect on his own talents and consider what he wanted to do with his life. It appears he let his family’s ambitions push him along into a role he was never suited to fulfill. I think there’s a good reason that the United States doesn’t have hereditary leadership. Children shouldn’t be forced into metaphorical boxes from the day they are born. When we start a Presidential dynasty, we are asking for trouble. And now we have it. The United States and the world are paying the price for the blindness of the voters who put W in the White House for eight years. I wonder how long it will take us to recover.

“The Small Work In the Great Work”

Friday, August 19th, 2005

A beautiful message of hope from Rev. Victoria Safford of White Bear Unitarian Church in Minnesota. Read it; it’s worth the time.