Category Archives: politics

Too Late to Stop the Hangman?

From Salon:

“Missouri is determined to execute Joseph Amrine for murder even though every prosecution witness and the jury foreman now say he’s innocent and new witnesses point to another man. Why? A federal law says the evidence came in too late.”

The whole story is here.
Please read this, and if you feel that this man may be innocent, contact the governor of Missouri, Bob Holden, asking him to grant a pardon, or at the very least a new trial, using the following contact information:
Governor’s Office In Jefferson City
Missouri Capitol Building, Room 218
PO Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0720
Telephone: (573) 751-3222
FAX: (573) 751-1495

Killing in the name of…

This makes me sick. Just plain sick. According to a report in the New York Times, hundreds, if not thousands of innocent, civilian Afghan citizens have died in US attacks, during the undeclared war on terror.
Now, let me be clear here, because my posts like this usually bring out the name-callers: I am horrified by, and I am still processing the reality of the terrible, terrible attacks on September 11th. I want very badly for the people who did it to be brought to justice, and pay for what they did, and I want to be sure that things like this don’t happen again.
But I don’t think that killing innocent people, identified as “collateral damage”, is right.
Consider this: the people in the WTC and Pentagon, and on those planes were completely innocent, right? Just people, going through their day. Maybe some of them had left a sleeping spouse, at home, or left their kid at school without a goodbye kiss.
The evil sub-humans who murdered thousands of innocent people didn’t have a quarrel with them, personally. Their quarrel is with the leadership and foreign policy of the United States, right? So, from their horribly twisted perspective, the people who died on 9/11: the mothers, sons, infants, fathers, daughters, husbands and wives, were just “collateral damage”, right?
NOTE (4:14 PM): Wrong. They were, as has been pointed out, intentional targets. After many notes and emails, I have really reconsidered my thought here: these people who died on 9/11 were intentional targets, murdered by terrorists, and not collateral damage, as I said. I was way, way, way off, and I’m putting foot into mouth. There is a huge difference between a bomb that goes astray, and the intentional targeting of civilians. I’m really glad that people have pointed out my glaring error, and, rather than pride fully insist that I am correct, it’s much more important to me to admit that I was wrong.
I guess that my point is that I don’t like this concept of “collateral damage”, regardless of whose side you’re on. I also don’t even like the term. It’s too antiseptic, and fails to convey the brutal reality. It should be called what it is: The Killing of Innocent Civilians.
Innocent people do not deserve to die, especially because of a conflict that isn’t between people, but between nations.
If I, or someone I loved had died on that day, I would not want an Afghan child to die in the pursuit of my, or my loved one’s killer.
It also really bothers me that everyone, from the man in the street, to the members of the media, to the leaders in our government, are calling this a war, when congress hasn’t declared war. I realize that this is probably pedantic to most people, but I think that the separation of powers is extremely important, and if the cause is just, the President should ask for, and receive from Congress, a declaration of war. Doesn’t this bother anyone else? I mean, of course it’s a war. But why hasn’t it been formally declared? And, while I’m at it, because I’m pretty sure the flames will begin to surge my way, shouldn’t the my government take a good, hard look at why the rest of the world hates us so much? I mean, let’s get the bad guys, absolutely, but shouldn’t we also take a good, honest, fearless look at our foreign policy, and ask ourselves if maybe we need to make some changes?
Let me clarify just a few other things, too: If you’re a serviceman or woman, I don’t have a problem with you, or the choice you’ve made to defend our country. It seems that every time I question the morality of a war, or the motives of our leadership, I get flooded with emails and comments from insulted members of the armed forces, and I’d like to head that off, if it’s at all possible. The same way that I don’t want to be blamed for a lousy episode of TNG, I don’t blame you for a war that I don’t agree with. I know, a thin comparison, but I think you get my point.
I realize that, in war, civilian deaths are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean that I have to like it, and I fear that there are people who will read this story, and it won’t bother them a bit that a mother lost a son in our pursuit of the terrorists.
Countless Iraqi civilians died during the Operation Desert Storm, simply because they were in the wrong place, at the wrong time, and I heard people proclaiming that they deserved it, because they were Iraqi, and therefore automatically supported Saddam. I think that’s insane.
So this started out as an indignant post about the deaths of civilians in Afghanistan, but it’s turned into some rambling thoughts on the deaths of innocents in any war…I bet I’d get a low grade if I turned this in as a paper, but it’s what’s on my mind today. So there.
I also realize that most Americans are still reeling over the events of 9/11, and I apologize in advance if my thoughts here offend anyone.

Shut that bloody bazouki player up!

Roughy, if ever there was a website for you, this is it.
I have been reading this book, The Four Agreements, in my spare time (when I’m not reading computer books, to help make WWDN not suck), and I have really fallen in love with it.
Has anyone else read this book? I really love it, because, while I actively eschew organized religion, I am drawn towards spirituality and philosophies for bettering yourself.
(yes, I cribbed this from my post in the soapbox, but I thought we needed something nice to talk about, after the flame-fest earlier today [grin] Read “more” for a great comment from that post)
Okay, I know this is totally lame, but I didn’t watch “The Practice” last night, and I wonder what happened…would someone post it in the comments?
Time for bed. There’s some SpongeBob on the way. I promise.

Continue reading Shut that bloody bazouki player up!

He used…sarcasm, sir

Hey party peopole!
I’m doing this thing that I think is really, really funny, and cool: I’m sponsoring the “Weblog of the Millennium” in the anti-bloggies!
See, in their rules, the antibloggies clearly state that I’m not even eligible, and since they’re anti-, and since WWDN recieved so many bloggies…I just thought it was very funny, and stuff for me to sponsor that category. So you should head on over and nominate some cool sites, that aren’t WWDN.
How about that Super Bowl? I missed most of it because I was working, but I’m so glad that New England won…way to go Underdogs!
I did get to see this one commercial, that said that if you use drugs, you’re supporting terrorism, which is nice, because I thought that giving 43 million dollars to the Taliban to kill opium poppies was supporting terrorism, but TV learned me good.
Speaking of Emperor Bush, how about that new budget? Yay! Defecit spending is back! We’re gonna party like it’s 1989! Pick up your Rubik’s Cube, and put some shoulder pads in your T-shirt!
I mean, I didn’t think Bush could do much better than declaring war on the entire world in his State of the Union address, or trying to sneak in another broadside against women’s rights to control their own bodies…but he totally went and did it! That crazy G.W…you never know what he’ll do next!
Darnit. I totally have to leave for work now, just as I was getting my sarcasm mojo workin’
I hope everyone has a great day.
Try this: hold a door open for a stranger today. It’s a nice thing to do :)

I have a dream.

Today, we in America are observing the birthday of the great civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I admire Dr. King for many reasons, among them his commitment to nonviolence. In the face of great violence and adversity, he chose a policy of nonviolence to bring about a very necessary change.
I think that Dr. King’s words about violence bear repeating, and ring especially true to me, today, given all that is going on in our world:

“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it… Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate…. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Dr. King is one of my heroes, and today, I honor him, and his great legacy, by reprinting a speech he gave, which still moves me to tears when I hear it.
Dr. King delivered this speech on the steps at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. on August 28, 1963. It is commonly known as the “I have a dream” speech. Within this speech, Dr. King said, “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I share this dream today and everyday for all people. Let us resolve today to judge a person only by their character. It will be a better world for our efforts.

“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity.
But one hundred years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God’s children. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Negro. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation
until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, “When will you be satisfied?” We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and
tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to
Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor’s lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'”