• The minaret reference in my earlier nonsense was supposed to be coming from the point of an ignorant racist.

    In other words, if you thought "damn, my Dad sounded just like that" then I was probably successful.

    The process of banning said minaret in my earlier post was entirely ficticious and was not inteded to represent or approximate any person or persons, real or factious. Unless, of course, you're a phobic prick, in which case yeah, that was you!

  • One of my greatest pleasures is watching the tranquil, snow-buried slopes that comprise the western Alps. Whether it's getting lost in observing the completely human-less processes of snow accumulation (fall) or reduction (melt, evaporation, wind erosion)... OR watching the humans that try to interfere incur serious bodily injury... Well, either way, it's a great show for a free ticket.

    So there was no damn way I was gonna let ANOTHER one of them whatever-you-calls-its get between my eyes and whatever was behind them. I have rights y'know.

    So I just tried to identify as many of THEM building another one of THOSE as I could (an aside - Ann Coulter's paint chip isn't nearly as helpful as she'd lead you to believe)... and we all came to an understandin'.

    Anyway, I'm glad someone else brought this up. There's just no way anyone who has to wrap that much stuff around any or all of their body could understand or appreciate...

    Hold on, looks like MS just left a comment... oh... my... well, MS makes a good point. You never know when some rube might actually believe something... ummmm....

    ... and to think my mother was convinced that my striking Rosanne Rosanadana impersonation would never be of any use.

    never mind

    [just a little Christmas morning {here} snark; now back to your originally scheduled conversation]

  • comment on a post Can your conscience live with killing the bill? over 4 years ago

    I'll neither be throwing any sort of excrement, nor eternally condemning anyone to hell based on their opinion of the Senate Health Care Bill...

    ... but I will pop my head up from a situation-forced semi-retirement to add my thoughts on this controversial and critical issue, which will markedly impact both health care access and availability, and the greater American economy...

    There are lots of details that hundreds of people have authored and edited and adjusted and tweaked and pushed and pulled... and these details and their implications and potential applications should be analyzed obsessively, so that we progressives can push for the good and work to recind the bad, even if we all don't come to a unified conclusion on some aspects.

    But to me the bottom line is this... unless the bill is seriously detrimental in some way, it really needs to get passed!

    We need to give the Federal Government a foot in the door of the health care delivery system. This bill will give the Governmennt a role in getting insurance to more people... and do a lot of other things that aren't so great... but these things can be CHANGED as time moves on!

    THE HEALTH CARE DELIVERY SYSTEM STRUCTURE, AND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S ROLE IN THAT STRUCTURE, IS MUCH MORE EASILY ##CHANGED## THAN ##INITIATED##!

    {note hand-wringing of the last 11 months if you don't believe me}

    If we get that foot in the door, we can start shaping things more favorably for the general population. At that point, changes that could be significant and truly reforming of the HC delivery system structure could be proposed and much more easily implemented than the rather less life-shattering "Health Care Reform" we're working on now and which looks like it could pass!

    Once "reform" is implemented [current bill], future substantial changes/reforms [in the true sense] will play like tweaks to the major overhaul which will then have already occurred [if current bill passes].

    Really, unless the bill institutes mass murder or some [more realistic] other seriously deleterious policies, I think we need to do this while we have the chance!

    We get that foot in the door, and working ourselves inside so we can make more substantive and beneficial "tweaks" or "alterations" later, is the only way to go I think.

    We've been trying to get a foot in this door for 60 years. Let's strike while the mood is marginally with us, so we don't have to wait another 6 decades just to get back to this square (which I got sick of back in 1993).

    ... and really, I don't think it'll play as poorly politically as many think. Dems can claim a major accomplishment that has been on America's mind for 60 years, and the downsides of the compromise legislation can be worked on as time progresses and we all see how well and if each aspect is working.

    Just my $0.02

  • comment on a post GS has your healthcare in their backpocket over 5 years ago

    ... from WSB, though initiated by the diarist. Crack open that secret world, and soon the truth comes pouring through.

    WSB gives as cogent a summary of what's REALLY been going on as I've seen, though a few complexities were omitted (for time and space constraints, understandably).

    Actually GS left more than the Simulcrons when they took our money and ran. To ensure continuity of invisible omnipotence, they left 3 primary camps to make sure everything kept going along as planned...

    The Freemasons, the Illuminati, and that group whose name I can't recall in which stuffed-shirt Ivy League bigwigs get on their knees and crawl through a mile of dog shit so they can gain membership in an elite group that nobody's ever heard of.

    (I know that description applies to several entities but one of you will know what I'm talking about.)

    Anyway, they've all been orchestrating a lot of what's been going on too, though a few others were subsequently spawned to ensure different segments of the world's population continue to plod along their predestined paths.

    Specifically, the Knights Templar, Opus Dei, and George Soros have been working in parallel with the others.

    They're all funded by GS of course. GS purchased all our money centuries ago in exchange for the coal reserves which we creduously worship for their gift of air conditioning even as their burnt remnants slowly shepherd us as a species toward extinction. This fate is now immutable: GS owns the universe's money, leaving nobody on Earth to pay the cap and trade tax.

    Generally these entities work in relatively harmonious transcendently-controlling omnipotence, although Opus Dei got the short end of the funding stick (because who would want to fund such a sprawling group of cloyingly stodgy pricks). It all worked out in the end, though, as Opus Dei found a mechanism to fund itself by selling Jesus Christ's progeny (beginning around the 15th generation) to Thai prostitution houses on their 12th birthday.

    (Don't look at me like that -- didn't ANYONE here listen to Ron Paul during the last Presidential campaign?)

    So what's it all mean?

    We're FUCKED! Always have been, always will be.

    Time to accept it, and move on to the next blog post.

    Apologies if this offends anyone, or encourages anyone to start filling out forced committment papers. I've not slept much this week, I'm punch-drunk, exhausted, you know how it gets. I saw an opening and decided to get a lot of repressed bullshit off my chest. I feel better now, even if you don't.

  • ... is really Glenn Beck in drag? Why else would she have such difficulty spelling her own name?

    Off topic I know, but just curious.

  • on a comment on Without the GOP is Just Fine over 5 years ago

    In additon, I don't think the cost savings of just getting everyone covered has been discussed sufficiently. Everyone worries about 'higher taxes' and indeed I can see why a small business owner would be seriously worried based on some things being asserted.

    What seems overlooked and overwhelmed by the frenzied fear that taxes might go up in order to get everyone covered is that WE'RE ALREADY PAYING FOR UNCOVERED AMERICANS THAT USE THE HEALTH SYSTEM AND CAN'T AFFORD TO PAY FOR IT - Health care providers jack up their prices in order to absorb those losses, which in turn raises both insurance premiums and the portion of our health care bills that we're responsible for.

    Of course, that's just fine because at least that money isn't going to the government. Sure, government intervening to cover all Americans might reduce everyone's health care costs since providers won't have to factor uninsured recipients of care who can't pay into the costs they charge everyone else.

    And that should also allow for lower insurance premiums, particularly with a public option which would, besides cover everyone, allow the government to keep private companies honest as they analyze their own premiums and costs.

    BUT that doesn't matter because there might be some quantity of money that goes to the government in the process, and that would be a tax increase.

    Whether or not the net amount that comes out of someone's pocket might be lower is irrelevant, because some of what gets spent might go to the government, and that's a tax increase. Dear God, we can't have a tax increase!

    Seriously, this is what the debate sounds like to me. Nobody with any visibility has taken it upon themselves to assess the total amount that will come out of someone's pocket in the evolving set-up. All I see is people either screaming about increased taxes, or claiming there will be no increase in taxes.

    WHY are paying taxes so much more onerous than paying some other entity an unnecesarily-large amount of money?

    I mean, if some segment of the population has a sharp net increase in the amount that comes out of their pockets toward the cause of health care in the evolving set-up, that needs to be addressed I think. Maybe some of the proposals are too burdensome for small business owners. I don't know. Maybe the terms of the legislation will create a confluence of events such that shoe salesmen will suddenly be paying 50% more toward the cause of health care for whatever reason.

    The important part to me, which I can't believe nobody of any stature has studied in any detail, is how much money comes out of everyone's pocket toward the cause of health care, new vs. old system. Whether or not some fraction of that outlay could be termed 'taxes' is irrelevant.

    But it's the only thing that matters to all the politicos and talking heads arguing about the forthcoming legislation.

    This simply makes no fucking sense to me, and makes me want to jam an ice pick into my eyes every time I hear about how taxes, the only form of individual spending that matters, are gonna do whatever.

    [pulling hair out]

  • on a comment on Without the GOP is Just Fine over 5 years ago

    True, although at least early in the new Republican-led HOR that took over after the 1994 election, they really didn't give a tinker's dam about including any Democratic member in anything (the Senate was a different story).

    Interesting to note that Bill Clinton vetoed 37 bills during his 8 years as POTUS, 6 of which coincided with a Republican-led HOR and Senate.

    GHWBush vetoed 44 bills in half the time (though the "opposition" led HOR and the Senate all 4 of his years).

  • on a comment on Plumpy'nut. over 5 years ago

    It's difficult not to react emotionally and with some level of outrage when considering how widespread undernourishment, including outright starvation, is in too many parts of the world. In the map at http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/e ss/img/galleries/global_food_and_agricul tural_perspectives_map_presentation/map0 1.gif (from UN FAO), the number of countries where 20% to 50% of the population are regularly undernourished (read: starving) is nothing short appalling!

    I guess Dan Quayle put it best in his folksy parable alluding to the steps necessary to conquer hunger in October of '92...

    "If you give a person a fish, they'll fish for a day. But if you train a person to fish, they'll fish for a lifetime, and they'll live for a lifetime."

    That about sums it up.

    And while reasonable people can disagree on the relative amounts of money and effort optimally distributed between research and knowledge-increasing activities vs. immediate efforts to reduce human misery and suffering (including starvation)...

    Looking at that map above, then seeing on the news some unfathomably expensive rocket delivering an expensive weapon surely and deftly into areas where people (try to) live, killing and/or maiming significant numbers of people - that just makes my blood boil.

    Of course, some of the people killed by the missle were probably slowly starving to death anyway, so I guess it all works out in the end.

    Thank God for efforts like this, and for the reality check provided by this diary.

    I know it's just a twist on an old joke, but I'd really like to see the day when nutritious food is delivered surely and deftly right where it's needed, and the Air Force needs to hire some empathetic bearded gentleman to make entreaties for more money during an hour-long infomercial airing frequently during the 3am-5am time frame.

    If you pledge a certain amount per month, the Pentagon will send you pictures of the rocket they're building with your money, so you can see it grow and mature...

    That'll be the day!

  • on a comment on Abbas Doesn't Want to Negotiate over 5 years ago

    ... and to a small extent demonstrated the point.

    (I'm sure EA can argue for him/herself, but I was reading and I'm here, so...)

    I don't think EA meant it was necessarily reasonable for a Muslim country to demand Israel's destruction.

    I believe the intended point was that, within a negotiating structure resembling a barter more than a poker game, it would be reasonable to expect the initial position to be extreme and deemed untenable, and so one might reasonably expect this extreme position to be their starting point.

    So I think EA meant reasonable in terms of expectations within that structure, not necessarily reasonable as a viewpoint or position.

    (EA, please feel free to tell me to butt out if I'm wrong)

    Conversely, your outrage showed how someone or some country - coming at negotiations more like one would approach a poker game rather than a barter - would be offended by and not understand taking such an extreme initial position. It could microcosmically demonstrate one aspect of the protracted problems that arise when negotiations try to get started.

    Obviously there's a lot more going on in the complex and distressing Middle Eastern situation - it just struck me that your response to EA's discussion exemplified exactly what EA was saying to some extent.

    How much this actually comes into play in the real posturing between interested parties in the region when the topic of negotiations comes up is, of course, much harder to determine.

  • OH! I think the problem here is that I didn't explain myself too well...

    What I meant to (more artfully) state was not that overturning DoMA in this case could result in one or several over-reaching activist-type decisions from the right wing down the road, like more Plessy v. Ferguson decisions.

    My concern that this particular case, MA AG v. DoJ (or however it parses out), would itself become the Plessy v. Ferguson of the gay rights effort. SCOTUS decisions have historically been tremendously difficult to reverse, and of course it would subsequently be heavily used as a precedent if the challenge were to fail.

    That's what I intended to convey - a SCOTUS decision in this case that is not in our favor could have long-lasting effects, and given the make-up of SCOTUS (and the not-quite-SCOTUS courts), I'm uncomfortable with how probable such a decision might be.

    But no, I'm not worried that overturning DoMA would result in anything but positive consequences. It's whether or not we get to 'overturning DoMA' should SCOTUS wingnuts rear 5 or more of their ugly heads.

  • I don't know how a SCOTUS ruling might break down, but otherwise I'd have to agree with you here.

    In particular, I always thought the 'Full Faith and Credit' argument against DoMA was the most persuasive - Such Acts, records and judicial proceedings or copies thereof, so authenticated, shall have the same full faith and credit in every court within the US and it Territories and Possessions as they have by law or usage in the courts of such State, Territory or Possession from which they are taken. A marriage, being a judicial act, would seem to fall under this clause of the U.S. Constitution.

    However, I noticed the following from the Boston Globe article about the challenge...

    The lawsuit questions the constitutionality of Section 3 of the law, which defines the word "marriage" for the purpose of federal law as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." It does not challenge the constitutionality of Section 2, which provides that states are not required to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

    To me, attacking from this angle seems to weaken the 'full faith and credit' argument, since the part of the law that says (paraphrasing) same-sex marriages performed in one state need not be recognized by any other states is not the part of the law being challenged.

    Rather, it's the attempt by the Federal government to define the word 'marriage' for Federal purposes that the suit alleges is unconstitutional, in that this power should be left to the states per the 10th Amendment.

    Further, the suit alleges a violation or Article 1, Section 8 - I'm guessing it claims that DoMA violates the charge that "duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States" by providing for selected tax breaks not available to same-sex couples? Not sure on that one.

  • Were you responding to me? If not, forgive me as I've been up too long, but if so, I really didn't intend to make any 'assertion' but to express my concern about how a court might rule on any generic potentially-landmark case, and to state that I didn't much care how DoMA ended up in history's dustbin so long as it did!

    This post was actually inadvertent, as I made a more extensive one along similar lines (which DID contain an assertion or two) a little while later.

  • Just to clarify, I'm not entirely sure what happens with regard to a court case that DoJ refuses to argue, but I'm fairly certain that as in any criminal or civil case, the Prosecution/Plaintiff doesn't automatically receive a positive verdict or any/all requested remedies (for a civil case) just because no opposing arguments are made.

  • Actually, the Federal Gov't made no arguments in either BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION or ROE v. WADE since no Federal statute was involved. Lawyers represented the Board of Education and the Texas Attorney General, respectively.

    My only problem with having this end up in court is that for every BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION, there's at least one PLESSY v. FERGUSON (or worse, DRED SCOTT).

    But it is true that the Dept. of Justice ALMOST NEVER declines to defend a Federal Statute. For a detailed look at this issue, check out http://hunterforjustice.typepad.com/hunt er_of_justice/2009/06/when-does-justice- department-decline-to-defend-statutes.ht ml which was written when a same-sex couple from California challenged DoMA about a month ago.

    As much as DoMA sucks, I'd not support declining to argue it in court because (a) just because DoJ doesn't argue it doesn't mean the challenge would prevail (likely it will, sad to say), and (b) Given the Executive Branch duty to enforce the laws passed by Congress and duly signed into law, I don't believe it is proper for the President or DoJ to decide which laws on the books they will and won't enforce on any given day.

    Taken to an extreme it would render the law-making process almost irrelevant if Presidents start ignoring laws they don't like on a large scale, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, if the Executive Branch decides to stop enforcing a collection of laws, eventually somebody or some entity will take the Gov't to court and tie them up in litigation in an effort to force enforcement, potentially bogging down any administration's efforts to do anything but spend their term of office in court.

    I wholeheartedly support equal same-sex marriage rights and don't really care if they come about via courts or legislation - whatever works fastest and is most impregnable against efforts to reverse such rights.

    It sounds good and would make a symbolic statement if the DoJ just refused to argue the case, but it wouldn't guarantee a decision against DoMA, and any progress made by an Executive Branch refusal to argue against or enforce the law would itself be too easily assailed and reversed on at least a legal basis.

  • The problem with proceeding extra-legislatively is that for every BROWN v. BOARD OF EDUCATION, there's at least one PLESSY v. FERGUSON. Given the current make-up of the courts, that's my main concern.

    Frankly, I'd support whichever of the avenues works most quickly without being easily stopped or overturned.

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