Political Tidbits 8/16/06

Political Tidbits: A response to the Same-Sex Marriage Crowd; Another dictator dying? Much More.

Pic of the Day
Painted ceiling in smoking room

Quote of the Day
We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters,
Your brothers, the school, the teachers -- you can blame
Anyone but never blame yourself -- it's never your fault.
But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change, You're the one who has got to change. It's as simple as That, isn't it? -- Katherine Hepburn

Web Site Worth the Visit
Changing the Radio Dial on the Internet

Most of the big talk radio shows have live streams on the Internet. Below a site that provides links to all the radio streams.

Internet Radio Shows


Some things to ponder...

  • I planted some bird seed. A bird came up. Now I don't know what to feed it....
  • I had amnesia once -- or twice....
  • I went to San Francisco. I found someone's heart. Now what? ....
  • Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic....
  • All I ask is a chance to prove that money can't make me happy....
  • If the world was a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses
  • What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?
  • They told me I was gullible ... and I believed them....
  • Teach a child to be polite and courteous in the home, and when he grows up
    he'll never be able to merge his car onto the freeway....
  • Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone....
  • One nice thing about egotists: they don't talk about other people....
  • My weight is perfect for my height -- which varies....
  • I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure....
  • The cost of living hasn't affected its popularity....
  • How can there be self-help "groups?"
  • If swimming is so good for your figure, how do you explain whales?
  • Show me a man with both feet firmly on the ground, and I'll show you a man
    who can't get his pants off....
  • Is it my imagination, or do buffalo wings taste like chicken?

  • Political Tidbits

    What's Going on With Castro?

    Perhaps the only good thing about despots and dictators is that they eventually die.

    With Castro, the long wait for him to die began when I was a dewy-eyed adolescent and as the Cuban missile crisis dominated the news.

    I recall those days very well. It was my first foray into politics although at the precious age of 14 years it was all complicated and convoluted to me just yet. I do recall the hysteria of my fellow students as the crisis unfolded. John F. Kennedy, the REAL JFK, demanded that the Soviet Union dismantle its missiles located in Cuba and aimed directly at the United States. This was the LAST time myself has ever witnessed a DEMOCRAT take a firm stand on defense, the absolute last time I've ever seen such a thing in my life time.

    But of course JFK had no choice. There were huge missiles aimed at the U.S. Fidel Castro was the dictator the world loved and Cuba's strategic location near the U.S. was his claim to fame. The U.S. President had no choice but to demand those missiles get taken down immediately. Or else.

    The hysteria stemmed from that "or else" factor. Americans didn't know what would happen "or else" but we all had some notion that it wouldn't be good.

    Fidel Castro took his celebrity dictator status to great lengths throughout the years. The man even managed to develop a strange cult of Castro-lovers from the U.S., one major cult member being James Carter, former President and lover of all nasty dictators across the planet. These Castro-lovers painted a pretty picture of a Cuban paradise complete with free medical care and unlimited social benefits.

    This is not the case, of course. If Cuba was so freaking lovely, how come its people regularly risked death to escape their socialist paradise? The Castro lovers cannot answer this.

    The Soviet Union backed down and removed their missiles but this is the sort of thing Castro allowed foreign interests to do. Even now Castro is all involved with South American terrorism and other dictators and despots of the region. In order to keep his beloved power and the international goodies it gave him, Castro had to keep the Cuban people in check.

    After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the U.S. implemented a boycott of Cuban goods, a boycott that has been in place since those mid-sixty times of turmoil. In addition, American aid to Cuba was discontinued.

    In due course, so went the logic, Castro will die. Then, with the carrot of renewed American trade, a new, hopefully more Democratic, leader will emerge.

    Castro and CarterI must wonder, now over forty years past the Cuban missile crisis, if that old scenario re Castro still applies. If so, then behind the scenes somewhere down there in Cuba, an American representative is talking to a whole bunch of people. I don't care about Fidel's brother Raul, who I conclude either does not exist or is extremely shy. It does not seem to be happening with Raul who should have stepped up to the national podium a long time ago such is the usual order of national events when a leader is either sick of dying.

    As for Castro, I'm not convinced he's even with us anymore.

    It's "Weekend at Bernie's" down in old Cuba. The next few weeks should be of great interest to Cuban-Americans.

    HAVANA (Reuters) - Cuba has set in motion a peaceful political succession, dashing U.S. government expectations of chaos following Fidel Castro's hand-over of power to his brother, a leading Cuban intellectual and government member, Roberto Fernandez Retamar, said on Monday.

    "They (the U.S. government) had not expected that a peaceful succession was possible. A peaceful succession has taken place in Cuba," Fernandez Retamar said at a news conference.

    Speaking of Castro

    Because there is simply no good or evil to some, Castro has his fans. It seems to me the simple act of allowing the people to choose their own leader would be a sure sign of someone's good intentions. Something Castro does not, or did not, do. Right there I'd have that fellow's number but hey, I'm a simple soul and a humble Blogger.

    Yet a man who absconds with the country's army and creates a happening little police and secret service force loyal to him to keep the peons under control is beloved and admired by a few.

    Below, a list of Nobel prizewinners and others who want Castro and whoever may be his heir to continue on with Cuba's punishing ways.

    Due to increasing threats against the integrity of a nation, and the peace and security of Latin America and the world, we call on the government of the United States to respect Cuba"s sovereignty and prevent an aggression at all costs.

    Among the over 400 signatories were Nobel prizewinners Jose Saramago, Wole Soyinka, Rigoberta Menchu, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Dario Fo, Desmond Tutu, Nadine Gordimer and Zhores Alfiorov.

    Also signing were Juan Gelman, Mario Benedetti, Pablo Guayasamin, Maria Rojo and Noam Chomsky, Frei Betto, Ignacio Ramonet, Bernard Cassen, Miguel Bonasso and Manu Chao.

    Among others the list includes Ramsey Clark, Tomas Borge, James Petras, Piero Gleijeses, Belen Gopequi, Miguel D"Escoto, Francois Houtart, Eduardo Galeano, Danny Glover, Chico Buarque and Oscar Miemeyer.

    Let's take a closer look at one of these Castro-lovers-"Rigoberta Menchu" .

    Central to Rigoberta's story - and the supposed source of her Marxism - is a land dispute in which her impoverished family, working for slave wages on plantations, is intimidated and oppressed by wealthy landowners of European descent. Those nefarious oligarchs supposedly manipulated the government into forcing the Menchu family and other poor Indians off unclaimed land that they had farmed. According to the locals, however, this dispute was really a land feud that pitted Rigoberta's father against his in-laws. "If was a family quarrel that went on for years and years," Efrain Galindo, the mayor of the town, told Rohter. "I wanted peace, but none of us could get them to negotiate a settlement."

    Another Dying Dictator?

    Could God be having a clearance sale on nasty dictators? Because Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe is also the subject of strange speculation. One such speculation is his mysterious trip to China at this time when such trips are not normally done.

    Zimbabwe is another country not served well by its dictator leader. Located in fertile farming country, Zimbabwe has starving citizens and a currency run amok.

    If this is the only way some people can just be free then I call on God now to bring them all home to Satan's lair.

    ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe left the country on Friday evening on a scheduled weekly Air Zimbabwe flight to China amid a veil of secrecy.

    Mugabe's motorcade was seen heading for Harare International Airport just before the departure of Air Zimbabwe's flight to China.

    Several independent sources who were on the flight confirmed Mugabe was on board.

    Mugabe's destination was unknown.

    Government sources said it was most unlikely that he was headed for China, the flight's destination, unless there was an undisclosed medical emergency which some sources in Harare have suggested was the reason for his sudden and unannounced departure on an Air Zimbabwe commercial flight.

    Beyond Same Sex Marriage

    Came across this screed on and believe it now that I read the entire thing with befuddled mind and horrified eyeballs.

    First let's stipulate that I don't think same-sexes should be allowed marriage, at least not in the same terms as heterosexuals. So sue me. Sue the many, many millions of Americans who, in the security and anonymity of the voting booth also vote against same-sex marriages regularly and with vigor.

    If asked in public and anywhere where there might be a contingent of Compassion Police, people tend to avoid the issue in order to not appear without compassion. We all have friends and/or relatives who are homosexual, or so goes the mantra, thus we don't want to be "mean" to those we love or cherish.

    Marriage is an institution to protect the children, let's not fool ourselves here. When a couple seeking marriage cannot have children then there's no need for marriage. If there's a need for legal documentation for other thorny legal issues, it does not have to be a marriage certificate.

    Anyway, from this "vision" as described by this missive from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender, LGBT, organization.

    Let's take a closer look at how this group sees things.
    To have our government define as "legitimate families" only those households with couples in conjugal relationships does a tremendous disservice to the many other ways in which people actually construct their families, kinship networks, households, and relationships. For example, who among us seriously will argue that the following kinds of households are less socially, economically, and spiritually worthy?

    Senior citizens living together, serving as each other's caregivers, partners, and/or constructed families

    Adult children living with and caring for their parents

    Grandparents and other family members raising their children's (and/or a relative's) children

    Committed, loving households in which there is more than one conjugal partner

    Blended families

    Single parent households

    Extended families (especially in particular immigrant populations) living under one roof, whose members care for one another

    Queer couples who decide to jointly create and raise a child with another queer person or couple, in two households

    Close friends and siblings who live together in long-term, committed, non-conjugal relationships, serving as each other's primary support and caregivers

    Care-giving and partnership relationships that have been developed to provide support systems to those living with HIV/AIDS

    Marriage is not the only worthy form of family or relationship, and it should not be legally and economically privileged above all others. While we honor those for whom marriage is the most meaningful personal ­- for some, also a deeply spiritual - choice, we believe that many other kinds of kinship relationship, households, and families must also be accorded recognition.

    Above, the missive seeks recognition of other forms of families and for the most part, yes, there are the many sorts of families as delineated.

    I'm not sure what that "Queer" couple jointly "creating" and "raising" a child with another queer person, in two households no less, means. But the notion gives me the willies.
    Right-wing strategists do not merely oppose same-sex marriage as a stand-alone issue. The entire legal framework of civil rights for all people is under assault by the Right, coded not only in terms of sexuality, but also in terms of race, gender, class, and citizenship status. The Right's anti-LGBT position is only a small part of a much broader conservative agenda of coercive, patriarchal marriage promotion that plays out in any number of civic arenas in a variety of ways ­ - all of which disproportionately impact poor, immigrant, and people-of-color communities. The purpose is not only to enforce narrow, heterosexist definitions of marriage and coerce conformity, but also to slash to the bone governmental funding for a wide array of family programs, including childcare, healthcare and reproductive services, and nutrition, and transfer responsibility for financial survival to families themselves.

    It becomes necessary for a blow to the so-called "Right-wing strategists" and above we have it. Because, as LGBT asserts, "the entire legal framework of civil rights for all people is under assault by the Right". The litany continues to a most horrific result due to this manipulation of people by the Right to a grand culmination of actually transferring responsibility for financial survival to families themselves.

    Well, can't have that.
    Our vision is the creation of communities in which we are encouraged to explore the widest range of non-exploitive, non-abusive possibilities in love, gender, desire and sex - and in the creation of new forms of constructed families without fear that this searching will potentially forfeit for us our right to be honored and valued within our communities and in the wider world. Many of us, too, across all identities, yearn for an end to repressive attempts to control our personal lives. For LGBT and queer communities, this longing has special significance.

    The above quote is a little deeper into the document and it's really scary. They want entire communities that will encourage them to explore the widest range of possibilities as regards love, gender, desire and sex.

    What on earth does this mean? Does anyone stop the development of such "communities"? Would "repressive attempts" to control their lives include such as prohibiting having sex with children or marrying one's dog? I know, it doesn't say that but why couldn't include such love, desire and sex possibilities as joining one's dog in wedded bliss?
    The Principles at the Heart of Our Vision

    We, the undersigned, suggest that strategies rooted in the following principles are urgently needed:

    Ø Recognition and respect for our chosen relationships, in their many forms

    Ø Legal recognition for a wide range of relationships, households, and families, and for the children in all of those households and families, including same-sex marriage, domestic partner benefits, second-parent adoptions, and others

    Ø The means to care for one another and those we love

    Ø The separation of benefits and recognition from marital status, citizenship status, and the requirement that "legitimate" relationships be conjugal

    Ø Separation of church and state in all matters, including regulation and recognition of relationships, households, and families

    Ø Access for all to vital government support programs, including but not limited to: affordable and adequate health care, affordable housing, a secure and enhanced Social Security system, genuine disaster recovery assistance, welfare for the poor

    Ø Freedom from a narrow definition of our sexual lives and gender choices, identities, and expression

    Ø Recognition of interdependence as a civic principle and practical affirmation of the importance of joining with others (who may or may not be LGBT) who also face opposition to their household and family compositions, including old people, immigrant communities, single parents, battered women, prisoners and former prisoners, people with disabilities, and poor people.

    The list above is the summation of the LGBT missive and it doesn't seem outrageous. Save that part about "freedom from a narrow definition of our sexual lives and gender choices" which is very vague, a little too vague.

    Hey, I say there's a political forum and may the LGBT community always have the freedom to say their piece.

    May I ever have the freedom to speculate on what it all means and what it all might lead to.

    Truer Words ...

    At times, there is no need for me to re-state or re-configure the words to say it. Reuters and their doctored news photos are way more dangerous than our smirking selves might be acknowledging.

    Till my dying day I intend to keep slapping away at the Lamestream. They create history, ladies and gems. An untrue history. Those doctored Reuters' photos are one very good example of how they do it.

    Famous Reuters Fake Pic
    Free, civilized nations already work at a great disadvantage against tyranny in the war of ideas. Free people give the media access to their mistakes, but the enemies of freedom do not welcome cameras to the sites of their atrocities. For this reason alone the numbers of gruesome images available from errors or outright crimes from Western-style combatants are far more plentiful than what you'll see from the terrorists and their allies. Must we now heap upon that disadvantage phony images of destruction dispensed as if they were the God's Honest Truth?

    Western media have demonstrated time and again that they lack the requisite skepticism to investigate extraordinary claims from the enemy. This incident is an example of why we can't trust the international media. I've known for months that Reuters is biased, but now I know they are sloppy, lazy, stupid or a combination of all. Their reputation ought to be shot in any fair-minded consumer of news, and shouldn't get it back until they at the very least fire the fools who let this crime against truth slide into the public with their imprimatur

    Tim McNabb 8 07 06

    Speaking of Misleading Lamestream Media

    Some say the vaunted Washington Post is one such Old Media with a warped, anti-American perspective on the world.

    While many would argue for or against this notion, consider the perspective of a reporter from the WAPO, during a dialogue on a Sunday political talk show.

    THOMAS RICKS, REPORTER, "THE WASHINGTON POST": I think it will be. But I think civilian casualties are also part of the battlefield play for both sides here. One of the things that is going on, according to some military analysts, is that Israel purposely has left pockets of Hezbollah rockets in Lebanon, because as long as they're being rocketed, they can continue to have a sort of moral equivalency in their operations in Lebanon.

    Here we have a WAPO reporter declaring that the Israeli Defense Forces done went and found some pockets of Hezbollah rocket launchers and deliberately left them alone! Left them alone, one must conclude, to continue barraging northern Israel and its citizens with rockets that kill and maim.

    The WAPO reporter goes on to explain that such a strategy gives Israel the moral high ground, that the public opinion remains on Israel's side so long as Hezbollah continues to launch rockets at Israeli citizens, thus the IDF deliberately leaves some Hezbollah missile-lobbing sites in action to placate world opinion.

    Suppose the above were stated about the American army? Suppose a reporter accused the American army of leaving missiles to be lobbed by the enemy into our country in order to keep international public opinion on our side?

    The public outcry would be deafening. And, of course, not that the IDF isn't trying to win a war or anything and to leave missile-lobbing sites unfettered is hardly a war-winning tactic.

    The WAPO reporter says he hears about this tactic from "some military analysts". You know, in almost any occupation one can find kooks who will say anything. Should a once well-respected newspaper reporter be seeking out these kooks and reporting as if a cherished tidbit only he knows?

    Flying Below the Radar

    Quietly and with little fanfare another bureaucrat quietly fades into the woodwork with allegations of misappropriation of funds and illegal use of government-provided resources.

    My only comment is "You go, Gonzales". Indeed Bush's choice to head the Justice Department has been cracking whips and taking names. Don't ever believe the Lamestream and Democrat mantra that all these prosecutions indicate a Republican "culture of corruption". For while I'll allow that many Republicans are knee-deep in stuff they shouldn't be, I'd also argue that the very fact that these folks are being monitored, stung and arrested indicates a determination to get those abusing their positions and dealing with them.

    It would be way easier for the administration to simply do nothing about the LA Jeffersons, et al, than to put up with the cacklings of the opposition party that did nothing about this sort of thing when THEY had the chance.

    From a Google Newsgroup and attributed to the Washington Post:
    The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives announced his resignation yesterday, six months after the launch of an internal investigation into questionable spending on a new headquarters and other items during his tenure.

    Carl J. Truscott, a 22-year veteran of the Secret Service who took over as ATF chief in 2004, was under fire for his spending and management practices at a time when the agency was considering sharp cuts in the number of new cars, bulletproof vests and other basics it provides agents.

    Officials declined to say yesterday whether the allegations played a role in Truscott's departure.

    Also Flying Below the Radar

    I was having a post conversation with a Freeper and was informed that recently thousands of Iraqi Shiites held a demonstration in support of Hezbollah. Which frankly surprised me as I hadn't heard a thing about it.

    The Freeper kindly forwarded me a link and go on, our soldiers are dying for these people and they are out supporting Hezbollah?

    That being said, the Muslims are very good at getting large crowds together to scare and/or impress us timid Americans. Who knows who pulled that crowd together and who knows where the marchers were from?

    Further, cast a jaundiced eye to that estimate of "tens of thousands". It is CBS reporting and goodness knows it might have been ten marchers photo-shopped into thousands.

    (CBS/AP) Tens of thousands of Shiites thronged a Baghdad slum Friday to show support for Hezbollah as Arab anger toward Israel mounted on the Muslim holy day.

    Ending With a Sad Smile
    Political Cartoon-Qana

    More Political Tidbits HERE

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