Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for September, 2007

Living in the future

Posted by Greg on September 29, 2007

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | Leave a Comment »

The real phony

Posted by Greg on September 29, 2007

Posted in My Musings | Leave a Comment »

Japanese journalist murdered in Burma

Posted by Greg on September 29, 2007

I’ve not written about the unrest in southeast Asia, but this footage shows what the people are up against.

The Times Online has  coverage of the murder.

Posted in International | 2 Comments »

Duke apologizes to victims in lacrosse case

Posted by Greg on September 29, 2007

Richard H. Brodhead, president of Duke University, apologized to the players and their families for the university’s failure to actively support them.

You can read about it here and here.

Posted in Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | Leave a Comment »

Feigned outrage indeed

Posted by Greg on September 28, 2007

Clinton gets it right.

Posted in Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap | Leave a Comment »

Advanced gaydar?

Posted by Greg on September 27, 2007

From satirist Andy Borowitz:

Just days after asserting that there are no homosexuals in Iran, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today invited United Nations inspectors into his country to search for homosexuals.

“We have nothing to hide,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. “You can search the entire country – even the airport bathrooms.”

While some senior U.S. diplomats expressed skepticism about the Iranian president’s offer to allow U.N. inspectors to search his country for homosexuals, Mr. Ahmadinejad attempted to silence the skeptics by permitting the use of “advanced gaydar technology” as part of the proposed inspections.

“In Iran we have the most advanced gaydar in the world and we are prepared to share it with you,” he said.

In the immediate aftermath of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s speech, it was unclear as to who would lead the U.N.’s inspection efforts, but most diplomats assumed that the task would fall to Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

At a press conference at the United Nations, Mr. ElBaradei acknowledged that he had no previous experience searching for homosexuals, but said that if chosen to lead the inspection effort he would make sure that the inspections were “rigorous and thorough.”

“The possibility that Iran may possess homosexuals is a serious matter to the world community,” Mr. ElBaradei said. “There has been evidence for some time that Iran may be attempting to build a Broadway musical.”

Elsewhere, President Bush made his first official comment on the situation in Myanmar, telling reporters, “I will support whichever side is easier to pronounce.”

Posted in Humor | Leave a Comment »

Tom Allen gets it

Posted by Greg on September 26, 2007

Check out his site:

“I respect General Petraeus and honor all of our troops. They have done a phenomenal job and done everything that we have asked of them. General Petraeus is a soldier who simply takes orders from the Commander-in-Chief, President Bush.

Unfortunately the President and his Republican allies in Congress have continued to order General Petraeus and the rest of our troops to continue fighting. What we need is a plan to bring our troops home.

I voted against this resolution today because I believe it is the job of the Congress to bring our troops home, not legislate free speech.”

HT: Americablog

Posted in Civil Rights, Congress | Leave a Comment »

Uncommon common sense on the Constitution

Posted by Greg on September 26, 2007

Breathing a welcome sigh of liberty and justice for all into the Bush administration’s carefully cultivated culture of fear and paranoia, a federal judge ruled, correctly, that elements of the Patriot Act violate the Constitution.

A federal court on Wednesday struck down two provisions of the Patriot Act dealing with searches and intelligence gathering, saying they violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures with regard to criminal prosecutions.

“In place of the Fourth Amendment, the people are expected to defer to the executive branch and its representation that it will authorize such surveillance only when appropriate.”

The government “is asking this court to, in essence, amend the Bill of Rights, by giving it an interpretation that would deprive it of any real meaning. The court declines to do so,”

I feel inspired to sing…

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise him, all creatures here below; Praise him above ye heavenly host…

Er…um, focus Greg, there was a point here…

Seriously folks. This is a long overdue assessment, and a big deal. God willing, only the first of many as the courts reassess the role of the Constitution and the rule of law within US borders, and with regard to US citizens and their rights. The Bush Administration and their loyal Bushies in Congress and the judiciary have been using the Constitution as toilet paper for far too long. Their protests, to the contrary, the Bill of Rights does matter.

A couple other voices:

Van Der Galien Gazette:

Though much has happened since the tumultuous times after 9/11, it’s still crystal clear in my mind how the administration redefined patriot to mean a person who agreed, without question, in their plans to secure the nation, regardless of what Constitutional compromises might be required. Republicans, led by Bush and Cheney, proceeded to use patriotism as a club to beat down dissent, a heavy-handed tactic that only worked because of the word’s new meaning.

The Patriot Act was one of the primary products of that politically brutal effort and one that I think history will show to have been a mistake for the nation.

Probable cause, like habeous [sic] corpus, is a central tenet of the justice system. It should not have been skirted for the last 5 years and should be restored to its rightful place as a right held by all Americans, the sooner the better.

Americablog:

Another defeat for George Bush’s effort to destroy our basic civil liberties. A federal judge actually believes in the Constitution

Posted in Bush Adminisration, Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

Marriage mores

Posted by Greg on September 26, 2007

Interesting stuff from Gallup on attitudes toward interracial marriage:

More than three in four Americans say they approve of marriages between blacks and whites — similar to the results measured in 2003 and 2004. As recently as 1994, less than half of Americans approved. The vast majority of whites and an even larger majority of blacks approve of interracial marriages. Older Americans — regardless of race or ethnicity — are less inclined to support interracial marriages than are younger Americans, but still, older Americans show majority support.

It’s interesting to see how recently the tide turned on this.  Loving v. Virginia was only 40 years ago, and it wasn’t until the mid eighties that more people accepted than opposed, and a majority accepting was longer still.

Interesting, perhaps, because for most of us this really is a no brainer and has been for so long.  My wife and I both have siblings that are/have been married to someone not of their race and it’s just been the de facto reality for as long as imaginable to us.

But old bigotries die hard.  Perhaps this suggests how remarkable it is that today’s struggle for marriage equality is progressing as quickly as it is in the hearts and minds of the American people.

Posted in Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

Larry Craig, the gift that keeps on giving

Posted by Greg on September 26, 2007

You know, I’ve been trying so hard to avoid talking about Larry Craig.  Even though my local airport has become a restroom tourist trap.  Even though one can’t help feeling pleasant tingle of schadenfreude as a right wingnut gets caught wanting to take his pants down.  Because Larry Craig isn’t one of those nasty, dirty evil homosexuals.  Not at all.  He’s a perfectly straight gentlemen….just one who like a little manass on the side.

Schadenfreude indeed, yet there are  things that really bug me about it.  It’s so wonderful to imagine, for example, that the Twin Cities are so safe and crime free that police have time to camp in bathroom stalls targeting people seeking consensual sex.  Are they harassing the straight people across the way at the bar, also seeking consensual sex?  If the issue is public sex, there are better ways to go about policing things, ways that don’t involve entrapment and harassment.

And the cop appears to have closed the trap before Craig unambiguously stepped in it.  Of course, the ex post facto pleas of innocence are blatantly political and laughable – had he fought aggressively at the time, he may well have had a leg to stand on from a legal perspective. (Not that anyone with an ounce of sense doubts what this straight man was hoping to pick up off the bathroom floor.)

Of course the GOP wants him to go away.  He embarrasses them.   That’s what makes news like this so precious:

U.S. Sen. Larry Craig said this week he won’t resign until “legal determinations” are made, CNN reported Wednesday.

If his hearing Wednesday in Minnesota doesn’t result in a fast and determinant action, that could mean Craig won’t resign by his self-imposed deadline of this Sunday.

CNN further quotes a “political source involved in discussions about the case,” who said “Craig has made it clear he wants to find a way to stay in office.”

So, we have Craig in limbo, meanwhile back at the ranch interstate whore connoisseur Senator David Vitter  is throwing money at wacko anti science Christianist groups, hoping they don’t throw him to the wolves because he’s such a good Christian.

Some days it must suck to be an intellectually honest Republican…if there are any left…

Posted in Congress, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Right Wingnut Blame America Firsters

Posted by Greg on September 24, 2007

Can you imagine the aneurysm this would cause on the right if Democrats did this?

Posted in Religious Wrong, The Right | Leave a Comment »

No More Dirty Tricks

Posted by Greg on September 24, 2007

Posted in Election 2008 | Leave a Comment »

Fearing speech

Posted by Greg on September 24, 2007

Great piece at Coyote Blog:

I would love to listen to see what kind of supporters he thought he had, and, perhaps more importantly, to see who reacted favorably to him.   You have to pull these guys up into the sunlight and show the world how distasteful they are.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in Civil Rights | Leave a Comment »

Jury selection

Posted by Greg on September 24, 2007

Via satirist Andy Borowitz:

Facing ten felony counts after his ill-fated attempt to acquire sports memorabilia, O.J. Simpson announced today that he would attempt to reassemble the jury that found him not guilty in his 1995 murder trial.

Speaking to reporters in Las Vegas, the former football star said he would “spare no offense” to find the twelve jurors who set him free twelve years ago.

“This current case is a very complicated once – maybe even trickier than my murder trial,” Mr. Simpson told reporters. “It’s important that we have a jury that really knows what they’re doing.”

Mr. Simpson acknowledged that it might be difficult to locate all twelve of the jurors who found him innocent in 1995, but indicated that “all the time and the effort in the world” was worth it.

“Look, I’ve spent the last twelve years looking for my wife’s real killers,” he said. “I can use some of that energy to look for those jurors.”

Mr. Simpson said that in his new trial he would attempt to rekindle nostalgic feelings among the jurors by wearing the same suit he wore during the 1995 proceedings, adding, “If the suit does fit, they must acquit.”

When asked what he plans to do if it proves impossible to reconstitute his 1995 jury, he said, “I’ll settle for Phil Spector’s.”

As for his current scrape with the law, Mr. Simpson told reporters that he had already learned a valuable lesson: “Next time I want sports memorabilia, I’m going on eBay.”

Elsewhere, Starbucks said it will give away 50 million free digital songs to its customers, but in keeping with Starbucks tradition, they will not be the songs the customers ordered.

Posted in Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Humor | Leave a Comment »

Republican obstructionism

Posted by Greg on September 19, 2007

Why does the press call it a filibuster only when the Democrats do it?

Drum reports:

Republicans aren’t just obstructing legislation at normal rates. They’re obstructing legislation at three times the usual rate. They’re absolutely desperate to keep this stuff off the president’s desk, where the only choice is to either sign it or else take the blame for a high-profile veto.

As things stand, though, Republicans will largely avoid blame for their tactics. After all, the first story linked above says only that the DC bill “came up short in the Senate” and the second one that the habeas bill “fell short in the Senate.” You have to read with a gimlet eye to figure out how the vote actually broke down, and casual readers will come away thinking that the bills failed because of some kind of generic Washington gridlock, not GOP obstructionism.

Posted in Congress | Leave a Comment »