Friday, October 26, 2007

Careful - He bites

This could be in reference to Bush's penchant for vetoing good bills multiple times. He vetoed Stem cell research twice, and it looked like he might be vetoing the SCHIP again. But no need- the House didn't get the 2/3's majority it needed, despite the support of 44 Republicans for the bill. So really, the blunder falls partly on the House, and the supporters of the bill who failed to drum up enough support. That said, just like it's pretty hard to get someone to quit a habit, like smoking, its also extremely hard for some Republicans in the pockets of big tobacco to change their spots for a few poor children. A clever add campaign for SCHIP might have been something Dickens-inspired... perhaps some young scamps asking "please sir, I want some more... health care," and showing a fat, lazy republican (modeled perhaps after Thompson) yelling "More?!?!" and then have him aim shots at the child's head with used needles, between drags on his cigar.

But back to Bush - what this unyielding sense of take-no-prisoners politicking really shows is Bush's inability to compromise. We've seen it many times before, but this time it is after his accusation that D.C. is too partisan. Well, the partisanship comes from the stern - and Bush has been hogging that space for almost seven years, doing his best Leo DiCaprio. The really scary part about this is Bush will continue a record of making repeatedly bad choices, despite the similar outlook before he decides. And this is particularly problematic when it comes not just to domestic policy, but war policy. Bush could learn from the mistakes made in Iraq so far, but too the most extent, he refuses to see the problems. And when he and his entourage look at Iran, they see a new target. Now, Iran does have some explaining to do, for sure. But the Bush administration, baiting its breath on the coasts with it's aircraft carriers, is in jeopardy of repeating its mistakes, just swapping out all its war policy memos - taking the "q" and inserting "n." And some Americans aren't the only ones who are extremely apprehensive. The Brits, our pals across the pond, are even scared to alert the FBI or the administration about potential threats or military action taken against Iranians in around Iraq, fearful it will fuel retaliation, or at least be part of the argument for the US to insight an attack. It's time for Congress to step up, and enforce their checking and balancing powers - the idea that a president can call a war, without congressional approval is problematic- there is a constitutional clause allowing the president to go forward in states of absolute emergency. But you can bet that the Bush administration has made plans(albeit flawed ones), and will carefully orchestrate its implication if they so choose, without the right bestowed to them officially from congress, at least before they actually start. This can't happen again- we would just be flushing ourselves down to the next, deeper circle of foreign policy hell.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Once you Pop

Bush just can't seem to stop, vetoing the sCHIP that is.

Hopefully they'll get enough GOP support to override the veto...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Eviscerate This

vis·cer·ate / remove the entrails from; disembowel: to eviscerate a chicken. deprive of vital or essential parts: The censors eviscerated the book to make it inoffensive to the leaders of the party.
3.Surgery. to remove the contents of (a body organ).

Large fancy word for some, yes. But a CDC source had no trouble applying it accurately to what the Bush Administration did to the health risks of climate change report originally submitted to the white house by the CDC's Dr. Julie Gerberding( The good doctor submitted her report to the white house prior to delivering the administration's "edited" (a.k.a. eviscerated) version to the Senate Environment and Public Works Commission on Tuesday. What she originally submitted was a detailed fourteen page summary. What regurgitated out of the administration's sewage-laden pipeline was a dramatically eroded report of only four pages. The white house couldn't have been concerned with time limits or brevity -this was not an Oscar speech, where the nominee is quickly shunted off the stage as the music abruptly puts their hallow thank yous into discord; this was an official report for long-winded Senators, who thrive on inflated accounts and bureaucratic dalliance. If anything, they would applaud the white house and the CDC for their through approach to topic.

But what the Senator's received was a pared down report, with the vitals missing. And they should have seen it coming - the Bush, a Texas rancher, is apparently also an expert at hacking, hanging, and quartering his legislative pigs for slaughter, the CDC, DoJ, and CIA included. Basically, if it can be made into an acronym, Bush thinks it's perfectly acceptable to abbreviate their findings, with special attention to cutting out the bits that don't roll smoothly off the tongue. To some extent, he and his cabinet can't be blamed - helping him get his pronunciation correct is a noble, if unattainable goal. But time and again, Bush has abused his executive rights, and patronized the Congress and the Judiciary, not to mention the American people, by deciding which bits of information we should be privy to, and how that information is framed, sometimes altogether changing the meaning. Like his take on torture- instead of changing is policy, he just changes the definition of torture to fit his aims. Especially because it comes from Bush, almost everyone with an IQ over 10 should feel hard done by and extremely angry at this patronization. Big oil, transportation, and other large-pocketed businesses are the only ones who appreciate this administrative hack job, and for good reason. People will ignore global warming if the markets are up, but they might take a bit more notice if they start dropping like flies in a pesticide-treated vat. Heat stress, heart failure, respiratory problems, waterborne diseases, and mental health are all serious issues. Take a look at many of the soldiers who come back from Iraq and Afghanistan. They suffer from the battle zones, and the extreme stress of this new, hotter climate. They come back with heart issues, mental health problems like PTSD, and waterborne illnesses like malaria. They cause stress to the health system in America, and the halls of Walter Reed and other VA facilities will sadly be filled for years to come as these soldiers aid. Well, Bush has decided that the next unofficial war he will call without Congressional approval is the war on Global Warming ideology - and every citizen of America, and to some extent, the world, has been unwittingly enlisted. Let's see what happens to our climate, health, and economy after this mission is accomplished.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Take that, male chauvinist losers and fifties-style women who refuse to assert themselves

Check out this sweet study, which proves the link between feminism and better male-female relationships (for all involved!):

Coincidental Renditions?

I think it's time for the creation of a new sub-sub-committee in Congress. It will meet in an undisclosed location, and the only way to address its members, or vice versa, will be through closed circuit television. This sub-sub Committee will be named: "the committee which formally apologizes for all the Bush administration's dastardly deeds, though the committee itself is not at fault and therefore only takes a minute fraction of the actual blame, similar to the US public." Long, yes - but descriptive.

So here's the story:
Apparently, in 2002, the government seized a thirty something Canadian man of Syrian descent as he was traveling through New York's JFK airport. He was then put under the "rendition" program, flown to Syria, and mercilessly tortured. He was released nearly a year later, when he then went back to Canada. He still remains on our watch list. First, although this is a horrible story, because by all accounts he seems innocent - let us not forget he is still one of the lucky ones, in that his story got out, and he physically is no longer detained. That said, this man was sped away on a private jet to a hostile destination, where he would face the actual, not fictional equivalent to the US's tailor-made Pit of Despair. The jury is still out as to whether our Syrian torture pit is run by an albino hunchback, but our President is certainly a shoe-in for the actual role of Prince Humperdink (though there's a feeling that Bush's literary doppelganger is slightly more intelligent). This raises multiple issues - and leads reference back to my previous post on Israel and Syria. No wonder we were so mum about the Israeli bombing... Syria still has it's uses for us, so we don't want to appear too against them. If Israel wanted to do the world a favor, it would try to empty torture camps by threatening destruction on it's next fly by.
As nice as it seems for the House to offer up mea culpas via television to the Canadian, and allow him a few moments to declare his innocence openly, and receive the gratitude of his peers for sharing his horrific experience, it is all show. We can say whatever we want, and for that matter, the President and his administration can say or not say whatever they want as well - the truth of the words should be represented in actions. We shouldn't be looking for long apologies, we should be looking for change in policies. Bush, so worried about too much government spending for poor children's health care, should at least recognize the amassed unforeseen costs in fueling and loading a private jet from the US to Syria, renting out secret torturers for the year, who probably get well compensated, and all this for no good to the public. Let's stop this behavior, this display of utter disregard for international human rights legislation. Bush needs a schooling, and the first course should focus on Geneva.

Side Note: It's unclear exactly how this story was generated. "Rendition," a new line cinemas feature, comes out today. It is no coincidence that this congressional meeting on rendition took place yesterday, and hit the news reels big-time this morning. It should rightly sicken people that either the media, the movie theatres, or the congress (or possibly a collusive combination of those listed), conspired to synchronize these events, to the capital gain for the movie theatres, and the general increase of this topic's exposure for both the Congress and the movie. It is an important issue to consider - that is why this blog entry covers it, but a part of this blogger feels tricked in some way, as if writing about it only perpetuates the agendas of the suits - whether they sit in the board rooms or the congressional offices. I suppose its a win-win for those who believe in movies and in the democratic party's position against the Administration and torture. Despite my reservations and cautions, who can argue with a possibly good movie and a free swipe at the president, really?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


One of the main topics of news discussion this morning is a juicy little story about the family ties that exist between Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic presidential hopefully Barack Obama. Apparently, they are eighth cousins; proving that truly all presidents and candidates are a highly connected crowd. I don't know how many presidents or candidates you can link together through blood, but the number is pretty startling, even when you exclude the obvious ones (like father and son, husband and wife).
But what is even more startling is the fact that this story is making headlines, when there are so many other important news stories brushed under the data-feeders rugs like unwanted, boring little dust bunnies. And perhaps that's what they are - because no matter what we do, they will not simply be vacuumed away, and for good reason. Take the story a few days ago about Israel's attack on a targeted location inside Syria. What? You didn't hear about this tiny puff of gray lingering in the corners of the news reels for a few days before prizing itself to the inner leg of political coffee tables? You're not alone. Israel, with the help of some friendly international intelligence, including the US, identified a possible nuclear development site in Syria. A site that though not too far along, showed striking resemblances to North Korean stockpiles, etc. This suggests that the two nations are not just pals, but they may be gathering their nuclear dust to gain prominence that would be hard to completely eradicate with an easy Israeli swiffer of planes in the night. It suggests something sinister, and the lack of Syrian outcry, or coverage of an outcry, suggests that they knew the business that was bombed was on the shady side. America doesn't seem to want to touch this one, and is letting Israel handle it. But it seems with all the intelligence people fling around, and the fears swelling around Iran, etc., it would do well to actually acknowledge known threats, or at least attempts to acquire actual nuclear technology. These small nations can go from puny to plutonium, and that is scary. We shouldn't ignore these stories, so that we can truly understand the possible threats. Let's focus more on these nation relations, and less on individual political family trees; please.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Brother, who art thou?

Chicago's DePaul University is conducting a study of gay male brothers, to see if they can pinpoint genetic factors linked with homosexuality. This isn't the first test of it's kind, or the last. This is supposedly the largest study of it's kind ever before conducted, with over 1,000 taking part in the testing. The hope for many of those who agreed to participate in the study is that by showing that homosexuality is linked to biological factors, people who believe it is a purely immoral choice will be swayed by scientific evidence to begin think otherwise.
As any proponent of scientific research, this test is an intriguing one. But there are some concerns, especially with the hope listed above. Although it's not the only reason people are helping with this study, it does drive some to participate, and it's saddening that many overlook the fact that the people they are trying to sway with a study like this will never be swayed, by even the most technically advanced, perfected science. The people they are trying to convince otherwise are the same people that think Jesus rode dinosaurs and women are naught but the rib marrow of an inferior Adam. They will not accept a "study," over a benevolent god, or a old passage in Leviticus anymore than they'll accept a sermon over thirty minutes on Super Bowl Sunday.
That is all humorous, and mostly tame. The people who cannot accept differences in people, and refuse to see the beauty in all peoples and orientations, are laughable.
But the report of this study (found here: explains a much more insidious problem with the results of this study. That being, if they do isolate some "gay-gene," then another issue rears it's ugly genetic head. Because the social acceptance will ultimately lag the discovery of the 'gay gene', (if it exists), people will still be stigmatized. Even straight people who identify themselves as accepting of the gay lifestyle would be leery to choose to have gay children, claiming: they wouldn't want their children discriminated against. These beliefs are categorically in error, but they unfortunately exist. This debate was rampant a few years back, when people realized they might be able to genetically manufacture children, and have parents choose eye color, height, etc. That was largely swept under the national mat, because the costs associated with such engineering are above and beyond most people's range, at least for now. But what's disturbing is a look at other cultures, and even past history, to determine where this social engineering via choosing baby traits might ultimately land us. China, and it's legislation towards population control has lead to the abortion of girl babies, or flat our abandonment of them, because they are not the "desirable" gender in Chinese culture, or at least to some. It's horrifying to think of what science can ultimately manufacture, while simultaneously applauding it's expansive and wonderful possibilities. Let's not make this a chapter from "The Giver," but perhaps it would be best if people gave it a quick re-read.

It seems too easy to believe their is one genetic pinpoint for determination of sexual orientation. But then again, environment can't be held to blame either. The idea of "orientation" itself is an anomaly - it can mean both finding one's position for oneself inside society, or being placed into society and given a role. One thing is certain - any group of society should not be so sectioned off and stigmatized that it leads to suicides, hate crimes, etc. Opinions lean towards hope that some genetic factors can be identified to help show that gays do have a predisposition. But if found, lets not mark these genetic factors as mutations - but simply natural differences. Genes can prove theories - they cannot change hearts and minds. That type of evolution takes place within the most elemental, and simultaneously most complicated of alleles.

Sidenote* - we have to wonder the true motives of this study, given it is "federally funded." Did it escape this catchall-administration's deep christian agenda-woven net, or is this study somehow connected to Bush's tactics in a closeted, department of justice kind of way? Well, if it is, who knows if they'll ever come out.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gore Did Win, at least for himself.

Things have to get bad before they can get better. No one knows that now more than Al Gore. The man lost his presidency, and gained worldwide acclaim, popularity, an Oscar, and now a Nobel Peace Prize. The man once associated with dulcet tones remarkably similar in pitch to Eeyore is now king of the hundred acre wood, i.e. the political and mainstream world. And he wasn't even really trying. There are even lobbies for Gore to start up a campaign, unconnected to his own efforts. I guess there is a connection between relationships and politics - people like you tenfold when you play hard to get. The man beat out nuns and monks and freedom fighters, making his race to the Nobel seem like payback for his check in the 2001 elections.

No one can say for sure how Gore would have done as a president, but despite the almost seven full years of the political equivalent of an un-anesthetized root canal, it can be confidently said that Gore himself is a better man for his defeat, and he is reaping all the benefits. (Plus, if Gore had won, the nation would probably now be on an upswing of Republican support, instead of the highly satisfying dip in approval ratings for Republicans, which is dropping with all the speed and nervous anticipation of a six flags roller coaster.) Gore's the unlikely political rockstar, and to some extent, pop icon. And though that seems a stretch, just remember than Bono was considered for a Nobel too, but I guess he can't always find what he's look for. Gore, in essence, decided after the supreme court's decision, that he would behave as if he had truly been president, and was now enjoying the benefits of years in office. He would tour the world, and campaign for his pet issues, and do charity work. Most ex presidents, Clinton and Bush senior, have gone that route. But the difference here is obvious.

Sometimes, the best woman or man for the job is the one who least wants it. The power and responsibility of the presidency is a weighty thing, and if we forget, it's likely our grasp on reality sinks quicker than cement filled cowboy boots (Read: President Bush).
Why do we have to change a good thing? Gore fed off his feeling of being hard-done-by, and it worked for him. As much as we should admire Gore's works, we should also respect the limits of them. Some people excel as certain things, and we'd be amiss, lest we forget the branding of Gore as nasal, obnoxious, and down right boring during his previous campaign. Gore would make a wonderful advisor, or ambassador. Thrusting him into a campaign, however, would be shoving a political bushel basket over the illuminating talents he has recently put into practice which show no visible signs of abating anytime soon. While he probably wouldn't suck, Americans can' be so selfish. The world (literally all of it, even the ice-caps) needs Al Gore.

So what's next? Well, the ex-politico should go for the triple threat - Oscar, Nobel, and coming soon to an ipod near you - a Gore Grammy-winning croon

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Who needs to keep the keepers?

Rule of thumb: If the peacekeepers leave, you'd be giving yourself another finger by staying.

This week, the UK announced that it would be slashing it's troop presence in Iraq in half in the next few months. Other countries, if they haven't already pulled out most troops, have followed suit. The only stalwart war-hawks are the Poles and the South Koreans, and maybe the Australians. We don't really hear about other country's forces in Iraq around here, but lets look at some numbers:
Beginning of the war: over 50,000 international troops
By mid-2008: less than 7,000

Obviously, this shows the growing opposition to the war in Europe and around the world. Our only allies are dwindling, and we are left with right wing governments and Bush allies (like Australia's John Howard), or basically, little countries that owe us (i.e. South Korea), and not to mention threatened to help out.

It shouldn't matter how strong you are - when your friends pull out, it's never a good omen. And let's not forget, these troops were largely a population of "peacekeeping forces," that stayed out of heavily combative zones, and served a more humanitarian role in Iraq. That doesn't mean they didn't face danger, but it was to a lesser extent than the American combat forces continue to face.
The most ballsy aspect of this steady withdrawal of coalition partners is the American response, on the management level. One former Pentagon official went so far as to say: “A British withdrawal and that of other countries really does not matter very much. They’re playing a very limited role.” Imagine that. Yes, the countries leaving are not in combat for the most part - but perhaps that was also part of their strength. American troops bring fire and brimstone, and if this was a parenting situation, we would be the "bad cops." I'm not saying we're "bad," our soldiers are good people - but they have to be tough, to enforce the rules and stay alive. But the international troops, as peacekeepers, were the good cops. Well, the good cop-bad cop approach is only effective when you have both bad and good cops. When you tip the scales so much, and are left with tough parents, the children get offensive, aggressive, and extremely non-cooperative. We've already witnessed this, and unfortunately it looks as though it's only going to get worse.

Words can't execute the utter ridiculousness of Pentagon and Administration officials claiming that the PEACEKEEPERS role and importance in a unsettled and harried country is completely void and superfluous. Yes, because these soldiers aren't going home in body bags, or with psychological trauma and livelong injuries, they must be completely useless. Perhaps if we concentrated on peace, instead of control, our outcomes would lead us to a quicker withdrawal as well. And this stance, one of petulant denial of our allie's helpfulness, and the refusal to acknowledge them with the thanks they deserve, will get us absolutely nowhere, except backwards.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Demo demo

If a blogger invokes poetic silence in their blog, does anyone hear it? Still reeling from the defeat of the SCHIP bill by Bush's veto, that's what yesterday's lack of post was all about. So now, because of the generally slow news week so far, onto a little political chatter.

The democratic front runners seem to understand that this is indeed a marathon, and not a race. Well, at least not yet. They won't have to hit the ground running for at least a few more months, though that does not mean that their languid and light steps are not carefully choreographed. Of course, they can only do so much -- the media likes to take them the rest of the way.

Let's start with the least likely of the most likely candidates - John Edwards. Many might be shocked by this, but to this blogger, this is perhaps the scariest potential candidate of the top three (Edwards, Obama, Clinton). Most might guess Clinton if asked for the candidate with the largest gasp-factor. And to an inattentive political observer, they might be right. But-though gut feelings are never the best bet- Edwards has an aura around him that borders on the ghoulishly disturbing, and some of his views seem to be extreme, and his appearance waxy and vague. If politics were held in a baseball stadium, Edwards wouldn't be out in left field, he'd be upper deck on the third base side, waving from the corner. It seems odd that someone running a second time would be so unstable. He is a man of contradictions, and can we trust whats lying beneath the expensively teased hair?

Obama and Edwards are trailing Clinton in most polls, with Obama holding closer to Clinton. The problem for them, and the positive for Clinton is that all three are not too divergent, and Edwards and Obama are not making any unique and popular stances to set themselves apart. They can bash the Clinton campaign all day, but unless Clinton makes a mistake, that strategy will not get either of them very far. And their similarities are both blessing and curse. Each candidate has released health care plans. For the most part, they are relatively similar. However, Clinton, because of her past work with health care plans during the Clinton administration, was given a whole day of press on her proposed plan. Edwards and Obama couldn't really bash the actual plan, because they're highly similar. So they go for character attacks. But this will not when either the nomination. Character evaluation is pretty much set - unless some new, shocking developments come to light. Although politicians are an unusual breed, they don't tend to make themselves completely different in a matter of months, even if they change parties. So people already know and have decided what they think about each candidate. It is a matter of policy and effectiveness that now needs evaluation. And if this trend continues, with Clinton doing fine, and Obama and Edwards not making much a of a dent, both the men are in a little bit of a whole. You should only take a step back and wait for a big mistake by the opposing campaign when you can afford it, and the odds for such an event are high. At this point, the bet that Clinton will defeat herself is a long shot. It might be best to pick some other favorite tactics.

In a perfect world, everyone should still be undecided -- this is a serious nomination. Obama might be young, but he has less of a Republican outrage factor than Clinton does for a general election. But can Obama do the job? These are important notions to consider, very carefully.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Shhh, it's a secret

Not too often nostalgic, you have to begin to yearn for the good ol' days when sexual affairs were kept private, medical conditions were hushed up better than any HIPPA law could do today, and spies stayed anonymous. Okay, so that's kind of pushing it - we like it when our press is able to report all the in-depth stories that they would have possibly deemed indecent to publicize in decades past. As a nation, we covet our information like Marion Jones coveted gold medals and a good reputation - but like her, perhaps we go a bit too far, and later come to rue the results, because we can't delete from our memory what we learned. We may have held the gold medals for a moment, but it's so much harder to give them back than not having them at all. But that argument said, its our right to learn whatever we can, and its the intelligence community's job to keep classified whatever they don't want us to know. Most people have seen enough spy movies and television shows to help reinforce that notion.

But yesterday, the Times came out with a scathing report, citing insider justice department sources that in 2005, a year after the public ruling against torture was made, a "secret" judgment was made by the justice department, revisiting the aspects of interrogation tactics, and supposedly the ruling allowed for interrogation officials to use multiple tactics, such as water boarding, freezing temperatures, etc. to try and force information out of terror suspects. Now, before we discuss the fact that this is completely unethical and categorically hypocritical, not to mention insane for the Bush administration, lets look at the fact that this story was even reported.

While torture of ANY kind is wrong, and we should carefully adhere to the long overdue 2004 ruling calling it "abhorrent," Bush and his cronies have to feel utterly defeated that this "secret" ruling found legs and wandered out into the open (with metaphorical fishnets and red high heels on no less). Alberto Gonzales, that master of the phrase "I do not recall," can at least be credited with not letting this one leak out of his office while still employed there.

While this "secret" ruling is most likely abhorrent in itself (though we'll probably never see the actually ruling), you have to admire the fact that Bush was essentially trying to protect the American people's collective conscience. It's fair to say most people disapprove of torture. Rightly, they judge that if we are going to walk into our people's countries, in preemptive strikes and the like, we better be bringing a superior society to them, and that society starts with us and the values we engender. If we are blissfully unaware of torture committed by secret government agencies because of cover ups, and virtually no proof, Americans can claim ignorance and go on spouting our values of truth and justice in an unjust world. But because we have found out about the torture tactics committed by our own government, especially while living in a climate that is hyper charged with fear, and the teetering see-saw of civil liberties on one hand, and security on the other - we must speak out. And what we have to say is that this type of behavior, even when performed with skewed yet good intentions, is incontrovertibly wrong, and under no circumstances should it continue. Lets not forget, we all have the inalienable right to become a suspect for anything, no matter how innocent, perhaps for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Or our soldiers need our protection as well - how can we be supporting them if they are basically giving other countries the green light to commit similar atrocities upon them, because hey, our country does it too.

(Note: my previous post about Cheney, a Cask of Amontillado, and bricks was made before I learned of the Times report... good foreshadowing, though, don't you think?)

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Veto those Vetos

Luckily, President Bush, a notorious abuser of executive powers, has only vetoed four times. Now, this could be a good thing, but also a bad one, because it suggest that with a Republican majority in Congress before the last midterm election and the Democratic gains, Bush had little to argue with. Or, there's something going on behind the scenes allowing Bush to push his agendas internally without the need to veto; something perhaps involving Cheney, a Cask of Amontillado, and some bricks.

So Bush isn't trigger happy when it comes to shooting off vetoes, and for once we can be glad that Bush at least understands the value of saving your fire power to build up important gestures. But unfortunately for him, and us, his vetoes, small in number though they are, have been completely misfired, and like Cheney's past accident, will probably end up shooting his buddies, and the nation in the ass.

But one great thing can be said about these vetoes. In their miscalculations, they show just how out of touch the Bush Administration continues to be, with an arching scope of irresponsibility and ludicrisness. Here they are in order, from the first, to the more recent veto:
1. Expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cell research
2. War funding bill with withdrawal timetable
3. Expanded federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, again
4. SCHIP veto - children's health care expansion initiative

In four fowl swoops, Bush has alienated a huge portion of American society, probably more people than any other president could boast, given his short list of vetoes, and the fact that really it's only three vetoes, because Numbers 1 and 3 primarily were against the same thing. And his current approval rating attests to this.

So who, in reality did he alienate? Given, he's already alienated Democratic leaning people, he couldn't help that, but there are other groups that make up a good section of society.
here's a short-list of a few major groups:
1. Medical professionals, scientists (not the creationism ones), researchers, and the like
2. Children, parents, grandparents, (especially low to middle income)
3. Anyone who would like to see Iraq held accountable for it's own government, or those seeking the homecoming of soldiers in Iraq
4. Entertainment industry people, especially lobbyists for stem cell research (including anyone who has seen and loved any number of the Back to the Future movies, or Spin City, or the early Superman movies.)
5. Many, many other groups

And the saddest part is even Republicans recognize the doomed policy of this administration, and the toll it is taking on their votership. That is why this last veto is slightly more controversial - Republicans gave a not altogether unremarkable boost to the support of SCHIP, but still Brambled Bush has no idea of the actual climate, with his political eyes scratched out, and no hope of finding the ideological retinas that would fix his troubled regime.

But luckily for us, if and when a Democrat is voted into the Presidency, they will likely work with a hopefully strong Democratic congress to rescind the trouble Bush has caused, and reverse the vetoes, like this story below attests:;_ylt=Ak4EeDYoq2Mk8NAM0zjCp2qs0NUE

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Not Too Busy. And Don't Apologize.

In reference to Seelye's article posted yesterday (

The tired opinion, the age old cop out:

"Many said yes, guessing that perhaps twice as many men as women, maybe even three times as many men are involved, at least on the traditional politics-oriented sites.
As for why, readers offered lots of reasons, including this newsflash: women are just too busy, often with the household chores that men choose to ignore in favor of going on the computer."

In conversation, I often hear this age old line, "There aren't too many women I know of who have done, or are doing X, but they've been busy with other very important matters," (like taking care of children, cleaning house, etc.)

So it makes sense that a large percentage of the population would use this excuse when discussing why they think women are not as active in politics. Of course, the entire construct of what defines "active" is up for debate. Just because male politicians and male media dub certain outlets as important, doesn't mean that political activity in other facets is less important, or not taking place - it's just got minimal coverage. It's like the age old question: If politicians debate in an empty forrest, does what they say really matter?

There are a few issues that need to be stressed:

1. Women HAVE BEEN and ARE doing X, but they're just not getting the credit or coverage for it. (and they haven't throughout history)

2. Women can be just as aggressive, macho and vulgar as men - and it is completely unfair that they are judged as outsiders when they flex their political muscles. If they have virtual cajones, men shouldn't label them as "unfeminine," because the whole idea of men having the power to be the only sex which can express their vulgar, outraged opinions is a completely social construct founded in nothing but a false sense of dominance. Well, women can be procreant, virile, and energetically potent too. The only problem is that society by and large discourages it. It isn't that women don't produce, or don't try and participate in political debate. Strong women with opinions are labeled "feminazis" or other degrading epithets, in order to strip them of their accepted gender associations and stigmatize the public. Striping down socially constructed gender associations should be a positive - it usually strips down stereotypes, but instead this tactic is used to bully and persuade the general population (men and women) that because these women are performing outside the normal expectations, there must be something wrong with them, or they at the very least have an over-emphasized instability that causes fear because of their threat to the status quo. Well, sometimes the status quo needs to be crushed and beaten to oblivion - and women are just as capable, if not more so, to do it.

The idea that women "aren't doing things because they are too busy with other, more important aspects of a 'female' lifestyle" is a lie propagated by the male majority (and many traditionalist women) which essentially aids those who tell this lie in two more ways:

1. It continues to spread the female/male submission/dominance stereotypes (even fooling some impressionable women) and creates an accepting society and panders to the male expectation of these views.

2. It allows the men and women who spread these notions to sleep at night, by giving them a sense that the tasks assigned to each gender are separate, yet equal. (If we've learned anything from segregation, we would know that this train of ideology ends in an incredibly wrecked and mangled social network).

The fact of the matter is, no one has any truly accurate way of measuring the degree to which women participate in politics, and even if there was a way, the numbers would be skewed because of the social environment woman are forced to navigate through, which says that women who try to do too much, and be too busy are overextending themselves - they should leave those little piddling issues of rule of law and intellectual debate to the men folk. Well, to get all masculine and vulgar - that's a pile of steaming shit.