sarahmichelef: (OMG!)
Remember this spluttering freakout from a couple of weeks back? Dennis Prager says that the Bible is the book upon which American society is founded and all that, and if Keith Ellison is allowed to swear his oath of office on the Q’ran, it’s going to be the end of civilization as we know it?

(Never mind that representatives don’t actually take their oath on any book - in fact they do it en masse and the other stuff is just for publicity photos, and never mind that Prager’s suggestion that (assuming that they do take their oath on something) that book HAS to be the Bible would violate the No Religious Test clause.)

No, what I’m really posting to tell you is that Dennis Prager is Jewish. You heard me right. He’s a Brooklyn-living, yeshiva-attending Jewish boy.

And for that, I have been instructed to tell you all, my husband and I are very, very sorry. If it’s any consolation, the President has been asked to remove him from the board of the Holocaust Museum and smack has been laid from various other fronts as well.
sarahmichelef: (keith)
reposting from [personal profile] ellid:
America, Not Keith Ellison, decides what book a congressman takes his oath on

Selected gems, with commentary as long as I can say something that doesn't consist entirely of WTM-FingF?:
  • "He should not be allowed to do so -- not because of any American hostility to the Koran, but because the act undermines American civilization."  With liberty and justice for all, indeed.
  • "First, it is an act of hubris that perfectly exemplifies multiculturalist activism -- my culture trumps America's culture. What Ellison and his Muslim and leftist supporters are saying is that it is of no consequence what America holds as its holiest book; all that matters is what any individual holds to be his holiest book."  SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, ASSHOLE!  READ THE GODDAMN CONSTITUTION!
  • "Insofar as a member of Congress taking an oath to serve America and uphold its values is concerned, America is interested in only one book, the Bible."  That's pretty funny.  I can't decide if I should be offended or not, since technically the Old Testament is part of the Bible.  But something tells me that Mr. Prager wouldn't be too cool with an observant Jew choosing to pledge rather than swear and omitting the Bible altogether.  (Although Prager would have us believe that Jews have been swearing on the Bible, I'd be willing to bet that at least some have chosen not to swear at all...)
  • "So why are we allowing Keith Ellison to do what no other member of Congress has ever done -- choose his own most revered book for his oath?  The answer is obvious -- Ellison is a Muslim. And whoever decides these matters, not to mention virtually every editorial page in America, is not going to offend a Muslim."  Yeah, we wouldn't want to piss him off.  He might call up his buddy Osama and order a strike against Apple Pie.
Give me an effing break.
sarahmichelef: (emo)
I just e-mailed what ought to be the last major revision of my dissertation proposal to my advisor.  It came in at 27 pages of content - which is impressive, since Bob once told me that it should be about 20 pages and I almost always end up with double his recommended pages.  ;^)

And now I'm off to sew on M's tunic and either lament or celebrate election returns.  The polls just closed twenty minutes ago here (they're open for FOURTEEN HOURS, which is awesome) so I don't expect any reliable results on that front yet, though I am very curious to hear who take the New York 26th (Tom Reynolds, chair of the House Republican Campaign Committee, is the incumbent).
sarahmichelef: (keith)
Took TRex with me to vote after I picked her up after daycare. She was pretty amused, I guess, but got impatient towards the end (they only have one machine for each district - four districts vote at our polling place).

In part because I was feeling contrary, I voted almost straight party line. Of course, I did so by voting for candidates nominated by the Working Families Party. (In New York, a candidate can be nominated by multiple parties.) Turns out that this actually has an effect - the order of the lines on the ballot are determined by the ranking of the parties in the previous gubernatorial election - Republicans first because Pataki won last time, Dems second because they came in second, Conservatives third because that line got the third-most votes, etc. So I'm double-happy that I was feeling contrary, because I'd much rather have a "third" party that I support close to the top rather than the Conservative and Libertarian parties (both of which appeared above WFP).

And now I'm going to sit here and look at my picture of my new political boyfriend.  He's cute.
sarahmichelef: (asshole)
A quote from Seyla Benhabib:
Democratic debate is like a ball game where there is no umpire to definitively interpret the rules of the game and their application.  Rather, in the game of democracy the rules o the game, no less than their interpretation and even the position of the umpire, are essentially contestable.  But contestation means neither the complete abrogation of these rules nor silence about them.  When basic rights and liberties are violated, the game of democracy is suspended and becomes either martial rule, civil war, or dictatorship; when democratic politics is in full session the debate about the meaning of these rights, what they do ro do not entitle us to, their scope and enforcement, is what politics is all about (84).*
Democracy is like Calvinball, people.  Endlessly up for debate.  Also probably safer if we all wear masks.

*Benhabib, Seyla.  1995.  "Models of Public Space: Hannah Arendt, the LIberal Tradition, and J├╝rgen Habermas.  Pp. 65-99 in Joan B. Landes, ed., Feminism, the Private and the Public.  New York: Oxford University Press.
sarahmichelef: (keith)
I don't care, I'm going to keep pointing you guys at links to my new boyfriend.  This one is perhaps the most personally insulting to Shrub yet.  Also, he accuses the RNC of being the biggest terrorists in the United States, which I can't say I really disagree with.
sarahmichelef: (asshole)
Keith Olbermann does it again.

The thing I love the most is the pure contempt in his voice when he uses the term "sir" to refer to President Bush.
sarahmichelef: (asshole)
So Tom Reynolds, Republican Congressman from our area (the NY 26th - not our district, but only by about two blocks) and chair of the Republican Re-election Committee (or whatever it's called), has gone on the defensive.  This is actually the shorter & less detailed of two spots taht are running right now - but the basic content is the same.  He blames the Republican leadership (which apparently doesn't include him) and makes lots of strategic use of the passive voice.  The thing that bugs the hell out of me is the awfully smug tone of the whole thing.

Jack Davis, his opponent (who used to be a Republican but switched parties relatively recently - I don't remember exactly why), has of course gone on the offensive.  My only quibble (not necessarily with that spot, but with other Democratic ones) is with the terminology.  Can we really say that Foley molested the boys?  Like I said the other day, he clearly was acting inappropriately and sexually harrassing them.  But molesting?

As they said on WWDTM this weekend, "How do you separate the men from the boys?  The midterm election!"
sarahmichelef: (mad)
OK, there are a couple of things of which I'm certain.  First, assuming that Mark Foley really did send the alleged messages to the alleged Congressional pages, he  was Just Plain Stupid, and the messages were certainly inappropriate.  Second, any Republican coverup of the scandal warrants some SERIOUS smackdown.  On all levels.  (And hey, it got one of our local congressional races on NPR this morning!)

HOWEVER.  This case has exposed an inconsistency in our sex laws.  There's all this discussion about whether or not the messages Foley sent were simply inappropriate, or if they were illegal.  And yet.  The age of consent in Washington, D.C. is 16, and there's no law regarding age of consent for male-male sex (which my non-legally-educated brain interprets as meaning that it's the same age of consent as for straight sex) (http://www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm).  But from what I'm learning from NPR (in this story), there are laws against soliciting a minor.  This makes NO FREAKING SENSE to me.  it wasn't legal for Foley to send explicit/suggestive messages to these kids, but it would have been legal for them to have sex?  Give me a freaking break, people.  Our country's attitudes about

Mark Foley is guilty of being Just Plain Stupid, but I refuse to call him a pedophile.  And now there's the allegation that he was molested by a clergy member as a kid.  Oyvey.

In other news, the guy who killed the girls in PA apparently never got over the loss of his premature daughter.  I think I want to go cry now.
sarahmichelef: (asshole)
"You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!"

I'd argue that classic blunder #3 is getting involved in an argument about 9/11 with Bill Clinton.  Poor, poor Chris Wallace.  He really should have known better.

And, reposting from [profile] relentlesstoil, Keith Olbermann rips Bush a new one.
sarahmichelef: (emo)
You all know that I turn to my old friend Bryan (whose site is, of course, ably administered by our own [personal profile] belmikey) when I want a laugh about current geopolitical events.

Sometimes, though, he hits you where it counts, and it's not even funny anymore because it's so, so true, and he's just putting it more bluntly than anybody else does.  Like today.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
An ad for this book popped up in my sponsored ads on GMail as I was reading the comments on my previous entry.

Take from it what you will.
sarahmichelef: (asshole)
To quote TRex, "Imanaboat!" (I'm gonna vote.) She was very excited about the idea, but I think a bit disappointed when there were no nautical craft present. She did like pulling the big red lever to register the votes, though.

Didn't know a damn thing about the local elections; I pretty much pointed and guessed. In state races, it didn't really matter whether I voted for Spitzer or Suozzi. There was a poll a couple of weeks ago in which Spitzer had a 13 point lead...among Republicans. I didn't even realize Hilary had an opponent, which is too bad, since from what I've heard of him after the fact he's a candidate I would have been interested in (anti-war union organizer).

In the national picture, I just can't get that upset about Chaffey getting the nomination in RI. He's more liberal than many of the Democrats currently in the Senate (Hilary being a good example!). I guess I'm not that wedded to the Democratic party - I'm more interested in what a person is going to do once elected rather than what party theyr'e from.
sarahmichelef: (Mad)
Yesterday on Talk of the Nation they were talking about the Senate debate of the Marriage Protection Amendment. They had some guy on declaring that the point was to protect marriage as it has always existed - between one man and one woman. I simply turned to the radio and said "Are you trying to make me homicidal?" The good news is that the timing couldn't be better for my class, since we're talking about the gay rights movement and gay marriage on Thursday.

And then this morning they were talking about the damn immigration reform bills. I want them to decide why we need to militarize the Mexican border. Is it because the brown folks are coming and taking all those lovely meatpacking and strawberry-picking jobs that Americans are beating down the doors for? Or is it about terrorism? But the thing that made me jump up out of bed yelling at the TV was the following sequence:

  1. Shrub wants to militarize the Mexican border.
  2. The US-Canada border is the longest international border in the world, and it's really very porous.
  3. The recently-foiled terror plot in Ontario is evidence that we need to tighten border security with Canada.

That's right. Because when a bunch of Canadians make plans to go all Timothy McVeigh/Terry Nichols on Toronto and Ottawa's collective ass, we need to worry about our safety.

Oh, and here's one for [livejournal.com profile] cranky_dragon. Did you know that Canada's loose immigration laws are one of the reasons we need to be concerned? Yeah. Thought you'd appreciate that one.
sarahmichelef: (OMG!)
Moussaoui gets life in prison.

I'm shocked, frankly. Given that he's the only person likely to be tried for 9/11, and how long the jury deliberated, I was sure they were going to sentence him to death.
sarahmichelef: (Default)
political meme from baronessmartha )
To bad "commie" wasn't an option. ;^)
sarahmichelef: (Default)
Had a good conversation with my friend John last night... among other things, we talked about the Dubai Ports World issue. And here's my take.

First off, the company would, as I understand it, be taking over the business end of things. Not the entire operation, just the business end. The day-to-day operations, while overseen by the new company, would still be in the hands of American employees, etc.

Second off, the managing company is only one link in a huge security process around imports & exports. This NPR story goes into the details a little bit. Basically, security for the ports is provided by employees of the port (who would, if the deal goes through, be employees of DPW) AS WELL AS the US Marshals and the Coast Guard. In a story yesterday NPR interviewed the security guys and the guy in charge of operations at the Port of Newark, and they described the whole security process, a good portion of which is in the hands of the U.S. government.

Third off, a huge number of U.S. ports are actually managed by non-American companies.

Why is there a huge uproar now, then? To my mind, the answer is simple xenophobia. The arguments being made by the legistlators who are drafting legislation to block the deal are that "some of the 9/11 hijackers came from the UAE." Yeah, and Timothy McVeigh came from the United States. We can't hold an entire nation, and entire ETHNICITY responsible for the actions of some extremists. What the response to the deal says to me is that we (as a nation) are afraid of Arabs.

And that does NOT sit well with me.

So help me, I agree with the President.

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