Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sorry.... I know this isnt exactly heavy weight stuff

Bill Bennett(yeah the guy next to the black jack tables) lecture the recently deceased Gerald Ford about "decency"

Please help... I cant figure out whats funnier..... Bill Bennett lecture anyone about anything.... Bill Bennett suggesting that Bush and Cheney were inclined to engage in open and honest debate about the Iraq war in 2004, or Bill Bennett lecturing to a dead person.

Saturday, December 23, 2006


First let me start off by saying Happy Holidays to everyone on here.... Which so far means Mitch, Bill and Larry.....

Last year, I received a Christmas card in the mail from an old college friend of mine. In it she gave the obligatory "This is what my husband and I have been doing for the last year, blah , blah" info. But of the most interest and annoyance for that matter, was that she closed her writing with (paraphrase)
'although society wants us to be politically correct and wish people "Happy Holidays", we hope that you wont be afraid to stand up and wish someone a "Merry Christmas"'

Now its probably my undeniable social liberalism that causes me to think of this card 12 months after the fact, but it ties in with something in the news that of late has decidedly pissed me off, the Virgil Goode letter.

Now dont get me wrong, I understand that letters like Goode's are sent all the time, attempts to point out various political bogeymen of the day.
But Goode's is in a class by itself.

Im really not sure where to start my criticism of the letter. There are so many angles from which to make an incision.

Theres the Constitutional angle: Article VI, Paragaph 3 of the U-S Constitution.

"...but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualificatiion to any Office or public Trust under the United States"

Theres the factual angle: Goode writes:

".....if American citizens don't wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran,"

Never mind that Ellison is a convert to Islam to was born and raised in Detroit.

There are the common sense angles:

Things like: why in the hell would we want to swear someone into office on a text on to which they dont assign any theological significance?


'Ours is a nation of laws'(Goode, Tancredo and the rest of the anti immigration crowd love to repeat that one at their convenience), not a nation of religious dogma.

But really the very worst of it is that Goode feeds the ignorant mindset that all Islam is anti thetical to being American. That our "American culture" is under seige from muslim immigrants, and in this case Muslims in general. And that religious freedom is somehow detrimental to freedom itself, and not an integral part thereof.

People like Goode sadly are lacking in many aspects of knowledge. Political savvy and pandering aside. Goode shows a poor fundamental understanding of American history, World history, US Constitutional Law, and the philosophical concepts of freedom and liberty.

Its the misunderstanding of history that leads Goode to offer the same criticism of a Muslim in Congress, that his Congressional ancestors offered of Catholics elected in the first half of the 20th century, and its his misunderstanding of our constitution that leads him to think that swearing in on a bible is some binding legal concept. and its his fundamental misunderstanding of concepts of liberty and freedom that lead him to lament the inevitable change in our society that new immigrants and increased religious diversity will bring.

Free societies change... because freedom itself is a catalyst for change, and the only way halt changes is to undermine freedom. Civil Libertarians need to ask ourselves if we really believe in freedom, and can we accept the social evolution that goes with it.

If not, we need to stop philosophizing about our "libertarianism" and our love of freedom.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

SCTV - Mel Torme's rendition of the Star Spangled Banner

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tim Johnson-apologies to Monty Python

The Vice President enters the Senate cloakroom pushing a gurney.

Mr. Cheney: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint.
(The incoming majority leader does not respond.)
Mr. Cheney: 'Ello, Miss?
Mr. Reid: What do you mean "miss"?
Mr. Cheney: I'm sorry, I have a cold. I wish to make a complaint!
Mr. Reid: We're closin' for holiday.
Mr. Cheney: Never mind that, my lad. I wish to complain about this senator what was elected not six weeks ago to this very assembly.
Mr. Reid: Oh yes, the, uh, the South Dakotan...What's,uh...What's wrong with it?
Mr. Cheney: I'll tell you what's wrong with it, my lad. 'E's dead, that's what's wrong with it!
Mr. Reid: No, no, 'e's uh,...he's resting.
Mr. Cheney: Look, matey, I know a dead senator when I see one, and I'm looking at one right now.
Mr. Reid: No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable senator, the South Dakotan, idn'it, ay? Beautiful parka!
Mr. Cheney: The parka don't enter into it. It's stone dead.
Mr. Reid: Nononono, no, no! 'E's resting!
Mr. Cheney: All right then, if he's restin', I'll wake him up! (shouting at the gurney) 'Ello, Mister Tim Johnson! I've got a lovely fresh campaign contribution for you if you show...
(Reid hits the gurney)
Mr. Reid: There, he moved!
Mr. Cheney: No, he didn't, that was you hitting the gurney!
Mr. Reid: I never!!
Mr. Cheney: Yes, you did!
Mr. Reid: I never, never did anything...
Mr. Cheney: (yelling and hitting the gurney repeatedly) 'ELLO TIMMY!!!!! Testing! Testing! Testing! Testing! This is your nine o'clock alarm call!
(Takes senator off of the gurney and thumps its head on a desk. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)
Mr. Cheney: Now that's what I call a dead senator.
Mr. Reid: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!
Mr. Cheney: STUNNED?!?
Mr. Reid: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! South Dakotans stun easily, major.
Mr. Cheney: look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That senator is definitely deceased, and when you elected it not six weeks ago, you assured us that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged campaign.
Mr. Reid: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords of South Dakota.
Mr. Cheney: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did he fall flat on his back the moment ’e got here?
Mr. Reid: The South Dakotan prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable senator, id'nit, squire? Lovely parka!
Mr. Cheney: Look, I took the liberty of examining that senator when I entered the Senate chamber, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its chair in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.
Mr. Reid: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that senator down, it would have nuzzled up to those lobbyists, taken their bribes with its teeth, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
Mr. Cheney: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this senator wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!
Mr. Reid: No no! 'E's pining!
Mr. Cheney: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This senator is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the chair 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the bench! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-SENATOR-ELECT!!
Mr. Reid: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the desk) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the chamber, and uh, we're right out of senators.
Mr. Cheney: I see. I see, I get the picture.
Mr. Reid: I got a slug.
Mr. Cheney: Pray, does it talk?
Mr. Reid: Nnnnot really.
Mr. Reid: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)
Mr. Cheney: Well.
Mr. Reid: (quietly) D'you.... d'you want to come back to my place?
Mr. Cheney: (looks around) Yeah, all right, sure.