slothropia.com

News, politics, progressive culture, music, acoustic music

Archive for May, 2007

No Justice, Peace for Now

without comments

Yesterday the old white guys, and Uncle Clarence, on the Supreme Court decided that victims of workplace discrimination have fewer rights and avenues of redress than they thought they did.

The court ruled 5 to 4 that Lilly Ledbetter, the lone female supervisor at a tire plant in Gadsden, Ala., did not file her lawsuit against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. in the timely manner specified by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In dissent, Justice Ginsburg spoke from the bench:

“In our view, the court does not comprehend, or is indifferent to, the insidious way in which women can be victims of pay they get discrimination,” she said.

I vote for indifferent. They get it, but the fascist majority on the bench is there to serve the interests of those who have power against those who do not.

Like the Bush/Gonzalez Justice Department.
I’m not making any predictions here, and I always pray for peace and hope for the best, but if the average American begins to feel that there is no way for an average American to be treated fairly in the courts…well golly, who knows what will happen. People will open their windows and yell maybe???

Written by slothropia

May 30th, 2007 at 9:45 pm

Posted in SCOTUS

Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer”

without comments

Thanks to Kevin Drum for posting this and to McJoan at Kos for letting me know about it.

O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle — be Thou near them! With them — in spirit — we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it — for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

Written by slothropia

May 28th, 2007 at 11:28 pm

Posted in War

Not All GOP are Wingnuts

with one comment

I’ve been musing lately about the plight of Republican mouthpieces on the various news ands talk shows (mostly cable). How do they get it up theses days? How do they defend the indefensible?

The war, the U.S. Attorneys scandal, the economy (unless your a stock market playah), gas prices. 72% say the county is on the wrong track. If I were a GOP strategist assigned to Hardball duty, I would just go on and say “Yup, Bush is obviously an idiot. We screwed up.”

Kind of like what P.J. O’Rourke did on Real Time tonight. Plus Ron Paul was on with Maher, so that made two Republicans talking sense at least part of the time.
.

Written by slothropia

May 25th, 2007 at 10:16 pm

Wake Up Call for Spineless Congressional Dems

without comments

I didn’t see this Olberman comment live because I was playing outside but I think he captures what a lot of Democrats and Dem leaners are feeling right now.

Also see tonight’s Daily Show for vicious satire at Dem expense.

OK, so its hard to get bills pat the President if he doesn’t like them, and he doesn’t like anything which might shorten the war. But it is my very clear sense that the public (aside from 28% or so) want the Democrats to keep trying. Today’s surrender will please no one but that small minority that thinks the U.S. is doing splendidly in Iraq and around the world. For Democratic voters and suppporters, though, it is a very dark day indeed.

Guess I’m voting for Kucinich.

Written by slothropia

May 23rd, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Dems: Everybody’s shouting, “Which Side Are You On?”

without comments

Thanks to the GOP’s well earned troubles, Democrats in Illinois are enjoying pretty good times. All state wide executive branches are in Dem hands as well as both houses in the legislature. Remember though, the Land of Lincoln is also the land of the INOs, as in Dems in Name Only (DINOs) or Republicans , etc. (RINOs).

So while the Democrats can realistically look forward to years of state wide dominance, they also posses an opportunity to royally fuck things up. They will be rewarded for pursuing populist and progressive policies and punished for practicing politics as usual.

Case in point: electricity rate increases. On January 1 of this year, a long time electricity rate freeze expired, leaving the two major energy utilities free to raise rates. When they had a chance, the monopolies acted like monopolies, raising rates to hardship levels for many customers.

With the aforementioned majorities in both houses of the legislature and a nominally Democratic governor, the Dems have a golden opportunity to save consumers and move toward a rational state level energy policy. Too bad they’re conflicted and unable to act in the best interests of the public or their own political selves.

Written by slothropia

May 23rd, 2007 at 8:55 pm

Thatcher/Reagan/Mulroney/Sarkozy Wins!!

without comments

I was disappointed but not at all surprised to learn today that the French rightist (well, centre rightist anyway) candidate has won the presidential election in that country. Now the French will learn to regret an unfortunate decision made in a moment of national discontent.

I don’t know what Sarkozy’s agenda is in any detail, but I doubt if it is as ambitious as Thatcher’s or Reagan s. It also remains to be seen if the French right will win the upcoming parliamentary elections. Right now I would not give odds either way.

Still, there is a chance now that one day France will be forced to ponder the results of conservative misrule and say to itself, “What the fuck were we thinking?”

Conservative governments  always often promise to solve problems and then proceed to make them worse. In America, the conservative era that began with Reagan is ending ingloriously, with the meltdown of the administration of Bush the Younger. Name a portfolio and tell me the Right has made improvements over the last quarter century. National security? it is to laugh. health care? again, Ha Ha.

Are there serious issues in the U.S. air traffic control system? Blame Reagan.

And on and on. And yet the 10 rich white guys the GOP has to choose from invoke the name of Saint Ronnie in lieu of addressing voters’ concerns realistically. That’s fine with me, since they are all doomed to failure. It is just too bad, the French have to find out what price you have to pay to get out of going through all these things twice.

Written by slothropia

May 6th, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Open letter to Peoria Journal Star

without comments

Today (Tuesday, may 1) the Journal Star published an editorial cartoon depicting Osama bin Laden celebrating a possible deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Is the JS among those (like Vice President Cheney) who argue that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks

I understand that the Journal Star supports the war in Iraq. But the cartoon referred to above is confusing to me. After all, the war against Al Qaeda’s terrorism was weakened when the Bush administration moved resources and attention from Afghanistan to Iraq.

Furthermore, it is obvious that having the United States bogged down in Iraq serves Bin Laden’s strategic purposes. Every day that the U.S. loses blood and treasure in Iraq is a victory for Al Qaeda.

Your newspaper certainly has a right to take any editorial position it likes, but you might want to consider some other opinions. Consider the following:

The political problem of the Bush administration is grave, possibly beyond the point of rescue. The opinion polls are savagely decisive on the Iraq question. About 60 percent of Americans wish the war ended — wish at least a timetable for orderly withdrawal. What is going on in Congress is in the nature of accompaniment. The vote in Congress is simply another salient in the war against war in Iraq. Republican forces, with a couple of exceptions, held fast against the Democrats’ attempt to force Bush out of Iraq even if it required fiddling with the Constitution. President Bush will of course veto the bill, but its impact is critically important in the consolidation of public opinion. It can now accurately be said that the legislature, which writes the people’s laws, opposes the war.

These words were not written by a left wing blogger, but by William F. Buckley at National Review Online on April 28. Mr. Buckley concludes the quoted article this way:

General Petraeus is a wonderfully commanding figure. But if the enemy is in the nature of a disease, he cannot win against it. Students of politics ask then the derivative question: How can the Republican party, headed by a president determined on a war he can’t see an end to, attract the support of a majority of the voters? General Petraeus, in his Pentagon briefing on April 26, reported persuasively that there has been progress, but cautioned, “I want to be very clear that there is vastly more work to be done across the board and in many areas, and again I note that we are really just getting started with the new effort.”

The general makes it a point to steer away from the political implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican Party will survive this dilemma.

No doubt Mr. Buckley is aware of public opinion about Iraq. In a recent CBS/New York Times poll the question was asked, “Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq sometime in 2008?”

The respondents answered this way:

Should         Should Not            Unsure

%                   %                       %

4/20-24/07           64                  32                      4

4/9-12/07             57                  38                      5

I wonder if the public in Central Illinois feels this way?

Today (Tuesday, may 1) the Journal Star published an editorial cartoon depicting Osama bin Laden celebrating a possible deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Is the JS among those (like Vice President Cheney) who argue that Saddam was behind the 9/11 attacks

I understand that the Journal Star supports the war in Iraq. But the cartoon referred to above is confusing to me. After all, the war against Al Qaeda’s terrorism was weakened when the Bush administration moved resources and attention from Afghanistan to Iraq.

Furthermore, it is obvious that having the United States bogged down in Iraq serves Bin Laden’s strategic purposes. Every day that the U.S. loses blood and treasure in Iraq is a victory for Al Qaeda.

Your newspaper certainly has a right to take any editorial position it likes, but you might want to consider some other opinions. Consider the following:

The political problem of the Bush administration is grave, possibly beyond the point of rescue. The opinion polls are savagely decisive on the Iraq question. About 60 percent of Americans wish the war ended — wish at least a timetable for orderly withdrawal. What is going on in Congress is in the nature of accompaniment. The vote in Congress is simply another salient in the war against war in Iraq. Republican forces, with a couple of exceptions, held fast against the Democrats’ attempt to force Bush out of Iraq even if it required fiddling with the Constitution. President Bush will of course veto the bill, but its impact is critically important in the consolidation of public opinion. It can now accurately be said that the legislature, which writes the people’s laws, opposes the war.

These words were not written by a left wing blogger, but by William F. Buckley at National Review Online on April 28. Mr. Buckley concludes the quoted article this way:

General Petraeus is a wonderfully commanding figure. But if the enemy is in the nature of a disease, he cannot win against it. Students of politics ask then the derivative question: How can the Republican party, headed by a president determined on a war he can’t see an end to, attract the support of a majority of the voters? General Petraeus, in his Pentagon briefing on April 26, reported persuasively that there has been progress, but cautioned, “I want to be very clear that there is vastly more work to be done across the board and in many areas, and again I note that we are really just getting started with the new effort.”

The general makes it a point to steer away from the political implications of the struggle, but this cannot be done in the wider arena. There are grounds for wondering whether the Republican Party will survive this dilemma.

No doubt Mr. Buckley is aware of public opinion about Iraq. In a recent CBS/New York Times poll the question was asked, “Do you think the United States should or should not set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq sometime in 2008?”

The respondents answered this way:

Should         Should Not            Unsure

%                   %                       %

4/20-24/07           64                  32                      4

4/9-12/07             57                  38                      5

I wonder if the public in Central Illinois feels this way?

Written by slothropia

May 1st, 2007 at 11:00 pm