Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Bible ≠ US Law

An article posted on the TPM Cafe talks about Barack Obama courting the evangelical Christian vote for a possible 2008 Presidential bid. The article mentions that many evangelicals are not fans of Obama because he is a liberal and therefore pro-choice. (Keywords: Bible, abortion, bad.)

One of the comments to the article quotes Exodus to show that the idea that the Bible is anti-abortion isn't true:

Exodus 21:22:
"When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine."
The verse isn't exactly relevant, having more to do with an accident than an abortion, but the writer comments that the transgression doesn't even rise to the level of manslaughter, let alone murder.

Be that as it may, there's a larger point to make here: the Bible is not our Constitution. The Bible is not our law book. Even if the Bible says it's not OK to have an abortion, and it is OK to hate gays, that doesn't have anything to do with the laws of the land.

So we're clear:

Activist judges who want to enforce equal rights for gay people: good.

Activist judges who want to erect shrines to the Ten Commandments on public property: bad.

I think we should erect courthouse shrines to the Constitution, especially to the Bill of Rights.

Of course, some "patriotic" citizens think our freedoms go too far, and support rolling back some Constitutional guarantees, especially during wartime. Proud Americans, but apparently not proud enough.

I want to conserve the Constitution. I want to conserve the Bill of Rights. I believe in the separation of church and state. I believe that all are equal under the law. I'm for a balanced budget, low debt, a strong dollar, fair taxes, fair wages, minimal government intrusion, an effective national defense.

That makes me, in this Bizarro-world nation, a Liberal.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Great moments in television

Watching Franz Ferdinand singing "Come And Dance With Me Michael" on Austin City Limits. ACL used to have an audience made up of middle-aged people in cowboy hats and shirts with snaps instead of buttons. Now the audience appears more reflective of the college town that Austin is. (Otherwise, they might-a strung up that there Scotch boy.)

And speaking of being condescending towards red-staters: Watching Corinne Bailey Rae on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, after first asking "Who the hell is Corinne Bailey Rae?", then asking "Who the hell is Corinne Bailey Rae!"

Yes, it COULD be more disruptive

Especially when my Carbon Monoxide alarm goes off at 13 ppm.

Could it BE any more disruptive?

My condo has polybutylene pipe throughout. Because the original owner did not take the opportunity to get the pipes replaced for free under the class action lawsuit, the condo association has assessed each of us a large fee for the replacement of the recalled material. They said their insurance premiums were getting huge because of the few instances that pipes burst every year.

Lack of planning on their part does constitute an emergency (and expense) on my part.

There are workmen in every room of my home.

I cleared out what I thought they would need access to; it was not nearly enough.

They cut holes in the drywall in the dining room because it backs up to the icemaker line for the refrigerator.

They cut holes in the hall closet because it backs up to the laundry room.

They cut holes in the living room because it also backs up to the laundry room.

They dismantled copper pipe in the laundry room.

They cut holes in the closet in the master bedroom because it backs up to the master bath.

They removed the mirror in the guest bathroom and cut holes in the wall behind it. They also cut a hole next to the toilet.

They cut holes in the closet in the guest bedroom because it backs up to the guest bathroom.

Did I mention I have two cats? One is cowering in the kitchen cabinets; the other is hiding under the guest bed.

There is canvas and plastic sheeting everywhere. There are five guys crawling all over my home, cutting and torching away. My apartment is replete with drywall dust, the smell of blowtorch gases, blue tape, chunks of raggedly cut drywall, frightened animals, the metal-on-metal sounds of buzzing saws, hammering, Spanish, grunting.

Polybutylene has my condo in its octopus-like grip.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Michael Richards is even loonier than I thought

Just when everyone had finally forgotten about him, Michael Richards goes on a racist rant.

Richards was appearing at the Laugh Factory last Friday when he was heckled by a couple of black men. "Kramer"'s response was to scream obscenities and racial slurs for three minutes before leaving the stage.

He looked and sounded like he had lost it. I don't know if he was drinking or on drugs, or whether he needed a drink or was off his meds. The video did not capture the heckling, only Richards' venemous retort.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Screwed in Seattle

The Seattle Times reports that Seattle police arrested 22 females and 104 males in a prostitution sting. Apparently, the cops had received complaints from people in the area who saw the ads on craigslist (not sure how this actually affected the complainers personally, but thank heavens for busybodies).

Craig "Craig" Newmark said, "...we would prefer that they go after violent criminals or crooked congressmen."

The head cop in charge of the sting speculated, "No young girl grows up dreaming of doing this. These prostitutes are women who have had a rough life, whether they're addicted to drugs, or they've been abused or they have some pimp forcing them into it."

Because obviously no woman would possibly choose of her own free will to have sex for money. She must be a victim at the mercy of lowlifes who patronize her. Like who, Chief?

"Bank presidents, state employees, business owners, construction workers, physicians and surgeons."

Oh, I see. The worst element. But they must have met in some seedy dive or back alley, right? No? It was an upscale condo?

"It is easy money...but these women are being exploited and it's degrading," he said. "You should hear what some of these guys have asked our detectives to do—it's disgusting."

Disgusting. To you, Chief. What some of the guys asked the women to do. Not forced. Not raped. Asked. Paid. Requested. From someone whose job it is to provide sexual services.

And in the end, all but 5 of the men were released. It is, after all, only a misdemeanor. Way to spend the taxpayers' money, Chief.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Spare me from the bad movies

I keep seeing trailers for terrible movies.

"Deck The Halls" looks like one. Lovely Kristin Davis may be, but it's not enough to watch Matthew Broderick and Danny DeVito fight about Christmas decorations. I could watch Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad fight over dolls in "Jingle All The Way" instead.

"The Return" goes out on a limb and casts Sarah Michelle Gellar in a horror movie.

"Unaccompanied Minors" is about kids stuck in an airport. Hilarity ensues.

What looks good and/or interesting:

"Casino Royale" (Daniel Craig)
"The Fountain" (Rachel Weisz)
"Children of Men" (Alfonso CuarĂ³n)
"Venus" (Peter O'Toole)

O.J. Simpson is even loonier than I thought

Just when everyone had finally forgotten about him, O.J. Simpson has a book coming out called "If I Did It", published by Regan Books, and Judith Regan herself interviews old #32 during sweeps week. He's set to make millions from the story.

Never mind that he has yet to pay the $33.5 million he owes from the civil trial. For some reason, now is the opportune time for Simpson to cash in on a coy confession of the double homicide he committed (according to the preponderence of evidence) a decade ago.

OJ, please, do everyone a favor: pay up, own up, then shut up.

If you eviscerate, then you must compensate.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The parade passes Kerry by

John Kerry finds himself irrelevant to his party's future as the new Democratic Senate leadership takes a victory lap:

John Kerry, Charles Schumer, Harry Reid, Patty Murray, Dick Durbin

Hallie Kate Eisenberg

Cutie Hallie Kate Eisenberg is 14 these days. Cool.

Ashley Judd on "The View"

Last week, ABC's "The View" featured guest Ashley Judd. At the end of her spot, she happened to mention that there were several "Pakis" living in her vicinity.

I thought the term "Paki" was derogatory, and that "Pakistani" was correct. She clearly didn't mean it as an insult, but the usage surprised me.

That's what I get for living in such a PC age.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I'll have a blue (state) Christmas without you...

This Thanksgiving, I have a lot to be thankful for:

  • Democrats take the House.
  • Democrats take the Senate.
  • Democrats take the state Governorships.
  • Sleazebag Vernon Robinson (R) is handily defeated by incumbent NC Congressman Brad Miller (D), and appears ready to give up trying for elective office. One point of Robinson's attack ad was that Miller was supported by an American Muslim organization, equating all Muslims with terrorists. The one time when Robinson ever won anything, he failed to show up on 20 out of 22 occasions. Bye bye.
  • Rick Santorum loses Pennsylvania. It's probably behind the couch.
  • Jim Webb (D) defeats George "Macaca" Allen (R) in conservative stronghold Virginia. The razor-thin margin goes to show that, once you get outside of NOVA, the rest of the state is still firmly Red.
  • Rush "model of integrity" Limbaugh admits to hypocrisy by saying that, now that the election is over, he no longer has to pretend that he supports the Republican asshats he has been praising.
  • Rummy resigns. Bush admits to lying to the American people when he said he expected Rumsfeld to serve for the remainder of his (Bush's) term: "...the only way to answer that question, and to get you onto another question was to give you that answer..."
  • John "I am the walrus" Bolton may be next on the chopping block.
  • Karl Rove's star is tarnished. "I obviously was working harder in the campaign than he was," said W.
  • Nancy Pelosi (D) is headed to become the first woman to be third in line for the Presidency. The US has never had a female President, Vice President, Speaker of the House, President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, or Chief Justice. We have had a female Attorney General (the first: Janet Reno-Democrat) and a female Secretary of State (the first: Madeleine Albright-Democrat). Her daughter Alexandra's Journeys with George is a classic.
  • All those Republican scandals, including (allegedly):
    • Jack Abramoff (bribery)
    • Mark Foley (NAMBLAn)
    • Don Sherwood (mistress-choking)
    • John Sweeney (wife-beating)
    • Curt Weldon (favors for his daughter's foreign employers)
    • Tom DeLay (you name it)
    • Bob Ney (misuse of public funds)
    • Randy Cunningham (bribery, prostitution)
    • Conrad Burns (Abramoffery)
    • Charles Taylor (money laundering, fraud)
    • Duke Cunningham (bribery, tax evasion, fraud)
    • Scooter Libby (Plame affair)
    • Dick Cheney (Energy Task Force secrecy, Halliburton, marksmanship, etc.)
    • Armstrong Williams (journalism for hire)
    • Jeff Gannon (fake journalism)
    • Alberto Gonzales (torture)
    • John Ashcroft (campaign finance)
    • Michael "heckuva job" Brown (Katrina)
    • George Bush (himself)
    • all those sex scandals

Monday, November 06, 2006

Imitation of Life

I'm curious about the identification of multiracial people as black.

Tiger Woods, Alicia Keys, Halle Berry, Mariah Carey, Barack Obama, Harold Ford Jr., Bob Marley, Dorothy Dandridge, Eartha Kitt, Smokey Robinson, Jimi Hendrix, Langston Hughes, and even Malcolm X: multiracial all.

We don't hear about Tiger Woods: Asian golfer or Halle Berry: white actress.

There used to be the "one drop" theory of miscegenation in the US, from our nation's ignorant past.

What is it now? Is this another example of co-opting by the formerly oppressed?

Aren't we done with this yet?