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Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 2,634

Journal Archives

Huckabee is un-Koalafied! nt

Absolutely essential history in that documentary.

I'd also recommend this song of Randy Newman's:


with an updated verse I sang to myself to make sense of it all back in 2005:

President Bush flew over in an aeroplane,
With a fat man named Karl Rove hired to be his brain.
Then he said "Heck of a job" to his friend Mike Brown,
'Cuz the plan all along was to let the brown folk drown.

Lyrics for this one updtaed verse copyright 2005 by appal_jack, fwiw, and writtin in commemoration of these photos:



I commit myself as a bulwark AGAINST going down that road.

Given that actual American blood was shed in order to achieve the successful codification and enumeration of the precious rights in both Second and Fourteenth Amendments (and all the rest of our Constitutional rights besides), how about we as Democrats be the ones who REALLY stand up for the whole Constitution? We can let the Trumpuglicans be the ignorant revsionists...


She systematically excluded any discussion of single-payer from her show until it was too late.

I called twice when the health care debate was happening, and each time when I got through (to ask about single-payer) the operator ("Dorie," I think at the time) told me that my question or point was not germane to the conversation. I translated that as "we find single payer to be outside the realm of acceptable possibilities."

I count that as a dirty trick. These days, I'm thinking that she considers Bernie Sanders to be outside the realm of acceptable possibilities as well, and is ready and willing to employ similar dirty tricks.

While my second example may not have universal agreement on DU, Diane Rehm also never (and I mean NEVER) lets facts get in the way of her advocacy for more gun control laws.

I agree that she often hosts and facilitates a good discussion. But there seem to be a few issues where she has an axe to grind, and with them she can be ruthless and play dirty. I actually like and appreciate that she is as every bit as much an advocate for women's health and reproductive freedom issues. Anti-choicers can get away with no shit on her show, and that's rare in mainstream media.


Is the effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood a Bill of Attainder?

All the discussions I have heard and read about Republican efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood seem to state that Planned Parenthood would be specifically and arbitrarily excluded from receiving federal funds for normal and proper non-abortion medical services to women. This specific and arbitrary exclusion strikes me as the very definition of a Bill of Attainder:


As the Wiki link notes:
A bill of attainder (also known as an act of attainder or writ of attainder or bill of pains and penalties) is an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without a trial. As with attainder resulting from the normal judicial process, the effect of such a bill is to nullify the targeted person's civil rights, most notably the right to own property (and thus pass it on to heirs), the right to a title of nobility, and, in at least the original usage, the right to life itself.

And, the US Constitution specifically prohibits Bills of Attainder:
The United States Constitution forbids legislative bills of attainder under Article I, Section 9. The provision forbidding state law bills of attainder, Article I, Section 10, reflects the importance that the framers attached to this issue.

Within the U.S. Constitution, the clauses forbidding attainder laws serve two purposes. First, they reinforced the separation of powers, by forbidding the legislature to perform judicial or executive functions—since the outcome of any such acts of legislature would of necessity take the form of a bill of attainder. Second, they embody the concept of due process, which was partially reinforced by the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The text of the Constitution, Article I, Section 9; Clause 3 is "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed".

(Again from the above Wiki link - emphases in above quotes are mine)

While I certainly hope that the effort to de-fund Planned Parenthood fails on its own merits: it's a terrible idea that will only harm women (and children too) by hobbling an important nonprofit element of the medical services community, I wonder if challenging this ridiculous legislative push on Constitutional grounds would also be worthwhile.

What do the legal scholars and incisive minds of DU say?

Let's stand up for women's reproductive freedom and health every way we can.


Of course. What Americans need in a leader for 2016 is plausible deniability.

Yesiree, bob. What do Americans, faced with a jobless recovery, declining wages, ecosystem collapse, staggering corruption in the corporate and defense sectors, racial tension, urban decay, financial sector malfeasance going unpunished even as it continues to bankrupt Main St. USA, and raft of other serious societal problems really need and demand? How about a continuously duplicitous, insincere-sounding 'leader' with a passable quantity of plausible deniability to provide a veil over her ongoing work on behalf of the 1%?

I can hear the roars of approval from here.


Tom Petty is a true gentleman and a real rock star.

This is exactly the message that (white) southerners need to hear. The Stars & Bars really were an icon of the (white) south for much of the 1970's and 1980's. I loved the Dukes of Hazzard as an eight year old boy, and had no idea back then who "General Lee" was, nor the meaning of the flag painted on the roof of a cool car that bore his name. The Dukes were just "good ol' boys... makin' their way the only way they knew how." To me as a kid, their ways involving moonshine, pretty women, fast cars, and a gentle sort of lawbreaking rebelliousness where no one ever got really hurt and the good guys always prevailed some how were great. Of course, now I can bring feminist, historical, and anti-racist perspectives to the old show in a way that I could not as a kid (and thus I find more and different meanings), but even through all that I do still appreciate the message of rebelliousness with honor and kindness that the Bo & Luke Duke embodied. The show is a part of my past, and I choose to recall its good parts, while also not choosing to watch it or otherwise celebrate it much in the present...

But where I live now, there are some (white) neighbors of mine who still choose to fly or otherwise embrace the Stars & Bars. While I try to challenge them to reconsider its meaning and examine the larger message that the flag inevitably sends, I also can understand where they are coming from. My part of NC has been plagued by poverty and inequality. The Depression started here in the 1920's and didn't really end until the 1950's. I know (white) people whose houses lacked electricity and/or even septic systems in their living memory. Plus, from the 1990's on, NAFTA and other manifestations of globalization and corporate power have further ravaged the fabric of this locale. The textile mills are gone. The furniture factories are gone. Unions were decimated in the early 20th Century here and never regained a foothold. Plus, the southern Appalachian mountains are racially homogenous enough that black people are easily portrayed by racists here as a distant and ominous "other," who unfairly suck tax dollars or other resources away. It's a ridiculous portrayal, but it can gain traction in some of these rural circles.

It's not right for anyone to blame any of societal problems on black people, food stamps, or any other bogeyman of the right wing. Nor is it right for white southerners to celebrate an emblem of slavery and secession. But I can understand how it's easy for some (white) folks to do so, and even how a quite awesome guy like Tom Petty got sucked into it back in the early '80's. Those of us with more political experience and better historical educations need to engage those who are still at it now and point out the real villains (corporations and the whole speculative FIRE economy: Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate). What we must NOT do is dismiss these neighbors of mine as simpleton racists who are inevitably enemies of our causes for justice. They might be making idiotic choices when sharing stupid Kid Rock memes on Facebook, but it's frustration with their own blinkered economic situations and misplaced blame at the roots. And underneath that frustration and misplaced blame is the same hunger for justice that all of us (should) have. Misplaced blame plus a hunger for (personal) justice can be a breeding ground for hate and even fascism, and we have to fight against that.

So anyway, I'm really glad that Tom Petty is being awesome (as usual). He has more cred with my (white) southern neighbors than I ever will. La lucha continua. K&R,


PS- All my parenthetical 'white' notations above are because of the racial homogeneity of my particular mountain locale, and because of course the black folks I know were never fooled by the 'heritage not hate' nonsense by which certain white southerners promulgated the Confederate Battle Flag.

This is not 'liberalism, it is 'authoritarianism."

Hillary's enthusiasm for new and expanded gun control laws is entirely consistent with her support for the PATRIOT Act, her failure to condemn the crackdown against Occupy Wall St., her own condemnation of Edward Snowden, her push for a militaristic and coup-supporting approach while serving as SoS. In all these cases, she supports power and privilege over rights for the people.

Very little about Hillary is 'liberal.' True liberalism is a spirit of inquiry, a questioning of authority, a faith in fundamental rights that are truly inalienable, and a commitment to enlightenment processes of open debate as a path toward higher truths. When has Hillary embodied these?

So of course she supports gun control.

Don't be surprised when Americans fail to rally to this particular authoritarian banner, despite its ostensible liberal label. Support for new gun control measures may be a mile wide according to certain cleverly-phrased polls, but it's never more than an inch deep. In 2016, people will be voting about the economy and other core issues. Guns are just red-meat media fodder, and Democrats would do best to say that they support enforcing the current laws and move on.


This is exactly why many of us RKBA'ers argue that gun control is a slippery slope.

I will oppose any gun control measure that I think could start us down this path.

I honor the American tradition of the whole Bill of Rights.


Um, that is EXACTLY the point of the Bill of Rights

First off, the Bible is a collection of Bronze Age myths which some people believe are communicated to us by God as absolute truth, but others believe were the unfortunate result of superstition, patriarchy, and ergot fungus on stored grains. Much as some might wish to make the Bible the law of the land, it is not.

The Constitution, on the other hand, IS the law of the land. It was written less than 300 years ago by the people who founded this nation. It enumerates very specific powers of, and limitations upon government. One of the limitations stated in the Bill of Rights is that the "right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

If you don't like this limitation, the Constitution has a process for further amendment. You can try to undo the Second Amendment, but people like me will be on the other side of the issue, organizing and advocating in its defense.

As for interpretation, that's up to the Supreme Court. Lately, they have been better about the Second Amendment than you seem to wish. I don't always agree with their decisions in other cases, (particularly Fourth and Fifth Amendment cases as of late) but in this system, what they say goes.

SO no, it's not "me, personally."

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