Monday, March 27, 2006

Who would Jesus torture?

These numbers say all that you need to know. In a recent survey by Pew Research Center for People & the Press, the participants were asked the following question:
Do you think the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can often be justified, sometimes be justified, rarely be justified, or never be justified?

And here's the breakdown of those who answered "never" by religion/race:

Catholics: 26%
white Protestants: 31%
white Evangelicals: 31%
secular: 41%

Do I need to comment? The numbers do plenty of talking all by themselves.

Why is Ann Coulter still a free woman?

"We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens' creme brulee." --Ann Coulter, Little Rock, January, 2006

Again, I ask, why is Ann Coulter still a free woman? Threatening a public official is no joking matter, even though, according to Patriot News columnist Dale Davenport, Coulter stated, "That's just a joke, for you in the media."

What would happen to you or I if we suggested poisoning Antonin Scalia? You know damn well what would happen.

Davenport put it best:
But there are some things that shouldn't be subject of "jokes." Assassination of public officials is one, principally because there are people around who, given the chance, wouldn't hesitate to pull the trigger.

Patriot News, Davenport op-ed: Justice at Risk

Meanwhile, the York Daily Record reported in Friday's edition that Judge John E. Jones III, who presided over the Dover intelligent design case, needed protection from U.S. Marshals in the days following his decision that debunked intelligent design as science. No single e-mail posed a direct threat, according to the paper, but the tone was strong enough that the Marshals decided not to take any chances.

The solution here is clear: The FBI needs to get serious about prosecuting those who threaten judges. What can we do? Write to the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who just happens to be from Pennsylvania, our senior Senator Arlen Specter. Here's the link for Specter's contact info. Don't write to D.C. Mail takes forever to get through due to the inspection process. Send a copy of Davenport's column and ask Senator Specter, "Why is Ann Coulter still a free woman?"

We're not delusional here at NLM. I know the readership is basically a few of my friends, but I would encourage anyone who comes across this post to copy-and-paste it and forward it along.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

200,000+ gallons of oil spill at Big Oil's "model", Prudhoe Bay

Did you know that the largest oil spill ever in Alaska's North Slope occurred during the first week of March? I didn't know until reading this article in last week's Time. Where was the mainstream media on this story? I don't have a news routine where I read x newspapers and hear y radio reports, but I read and listen enough that I generally catch most of the biggest stories. This one slipped by.

A Google News search of "Prudhoe Bay" finds that most of the coverage, other than an initial Reuters report, is from the west coast- San Diego, Seattle, and Anchorage.

All told, the spill totaled 267,000 gallons of petroleum, which leaked through a hole in a pipeline.
BP says that it increased corrosion-management spending 16% from 2004 to 2005 to meet these challenges. But an alarming Department of Transportation document obtained by the Anchorage Daily News raises questions about BP's diligence in inspecting its pipelines, pointing to no fewer than six other anomalies found on the same 10-mile stretch of pipeline, including a spot where the pipe had corroded so badly it was less than 0.04 in. thick. (my bold)

Now, Prudhoe Bay is supposedly the industry's model of how drilling can co-exist with the natural environment. Hopefully, Big Oil's dream of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge also leaked away with all of that oil.

In other green news, Time's cover story this week is on global warming and how the crisis is here, not decades away.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

"Religious Right is losing control"

Finally, someone is standing up to the bullies at the bully pulpit. Rev. Jim Wallis from Sojourners reports that evangelicals who care about the environment ("creation care" they call it) are continuing with their campaign despite James Dobson and his crew of thugs asking them to veer away from global warming because there is no "consensus" on the issue:
In January, the Religious Right reared its head. In a letter addressed to the NAE - signed by 22 of the Right's prominent leaders, including James Dobson, Charles Colson, Richard Land, and Louis Sheldon - they said, "We have appreciated the bold stance that the National Association of Evangelicals has taken on controversial issues like embracing a culture of life, protecting traditional marriage and family." They then went on to say, "We respectfully request, however, that the NAE not adopt any official position on the issue of global climate change. Global warming is not a consensus issue." It was a clear effort to prevent the NAE from taking a stand on environmental issues and even to veto the whole effort. Stick to our core issues they implied - meaning abortion and gay marriage. Five years ago, so powerful a group of conservative Christian leaders probably could have tamped down this new evangelical effort that served to broaden the range of moral values and issues of biblical concern. But not this time.

A month later, on Feb. 9, a full page ad appeared in The New York Times with the headline: "Our commitment to Jesus Christ compels us to solve the global warming crisis." The striking ad announced the Evangelical Climate Initiative, and was signed by 86 prominent evangelical leaders, including the presidents of 39 Christian colleges. I was speaking at one of those schools shortly after the ad came out and talked to their president who was one of the signers. "I'm tired of those old white guys telling us what to think and do," he said. He is a younger white man who decided to take a stand, even if it was against the old guard of the Religious Right.

Dudes, you got punk'd.

Sojourners: The Religious Right is losing control

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

"Unelected activist judges"? UnAmerican righties

Over at America Blog, there's a thread about increasing concern amongst the judiciary for their safety as a result of the hysterical hyperbole from the Religious Wrong against judges. I posted a reply and decided to post it here, too. I just started reading Contempt: How the Right is Wronging American Justice by Catherine Crier, so I'll probably have more posts on this in the weeks to come.

Here's the post:

The Wrong's ability to get away with this rhetoric for so long shows just how ignorant the American people are about the American system of government. This weekend I watched a rerun on C-SPAN of a forum on Catholics and Public Policy with James Carville, EJ Dionne, Peggy Noonan, and Ed Gillespie. Gillespie pulled out the "unelected, unaccountable activist judges" line, and neither Carville nor Dionne responded.

Now, Gillespie can't be stupid. (Although, he is a conservative.) Surely he knows that the Framers intended for judges to be unelected to protect them from mob rule. Unless he is stupid, one can only conclude that he is completely manipulating the rank-and-file of the Wrong.

That leaves the rest of us in a clear place: Start calling them "UnAmerican" everytime they pull out that line because obviously they don't believe in the American system of government.

Stop the Hillary Express, Get on Board with Russ


As a good lefty, I don't trust David Brooks of the NY Times, but as a card-carrying member of the Stop Hillary campaign, I don't mind his column from Sunday, which is about the ports deal and hits the very reason why I'm not on board with the presumed Democratic front runner:
Clinton didn't seem to mind when officials of the United Arab Emirates kicked in up to a million dollars into her husband's presidential library. She didn't seem alarmed when Dubai poured at least $450,000 into her family bank accounts through her husband's speaking business. She didn't object when the Clinton administration approved a deal for a Chinese government firm to run the Port of Long Beach. But when the Dubai ports deal set off Know-Nothing mobs, she made sure she had the biggest pitchfork.
It also shows Clinton doesn't understand her political weaknesses. First, nobody, not even among her friends, is totally sure she actually believes in anything, or whether she just coldly calculates political advantage.

This all comes in the shadow of Senator Feingold's introduction of a censure resolution against President Bush, and the Democrats, once again, running and hiding from their oath to defend the Constitution:
Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold accused fellow Democrats on Tuesday of cowering rather than joining him on trying to censure
President Bush over domestic spying.

"Democrats run and hide" when the administration invokes the war on terrorism, Feingold told reporters.

Yesterday at the Rally for Equality at the state capitol in Harrisburg, Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Pittsburgh) downplayed how "courageous" it is to stand up for the Constitution. Whatever adjective you use, we need people like Senator Feingold and Rep. Frankel to stand up for what's right and to stand up for the Constitution.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Quotes from the Patriot Act roll-over

"There is no doubt that constitutional freedoms will never be abolished in one fell swoop, for the American people cherish their freedoms, and would not tolerate such a loss if they could perceive it. But the erosion of freedom rarely comes as an all-out frontal assault but rather as a gradual, noxious creeping, cloaked in secrecy, and glossed over by reassurances of greater security." --Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV)

"If Democrats can't stand up on something like this when the president's poll numbers are 34 percent, I just wonder how much right we have to govern this country. You've got to show people you believe in something, not just that you're gaming the issues." --Senator Russel Feingold (D-WI)

I haven't had time to post this because I've been so busy, but effective February 17, my voter registration says "no affiliation". I've had it with the Democrats.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

How the Republicans stole Ohio

Oh, man, this is just too much. I try not to get too aggravated without knowing for certain if these things are true. Nevertheless, here it is:
Therefore, to put it simply: at least 308,000 voters, most of them likely Democrats, were eliminated from the registration rolls prior to an election allegedly won by less than 119,000 votes, where more than 106,000 votes still remain uncounted, and where the GOP Secretary of State continues to successfully fight off a meaningful recount.

If half of what people accuse Bush and his henchman of doing is true, the republic is in serious trouble.

This is must reading.

The Free Press: Did 308,000 cancelled Ohio voter registrations put Bush back in the White House?