Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Orienting the Map Answer

Mark Evanier, word-smith extraordinaire, asks that we put things in perspective:
By now, you've probably seen the video of Miss Teen South Carolina giving a pretty clumsy answer to a question in a beauty contest. Matter of fact, I don't know how you could have avoided it.

We have a guy in the White House sending men and women off to war who gives equally incoherent answers to questions... but somehow, this eighteen year old woman who has no responsibility for anything (and no real job except to just look cute) gives a lunkheaded reply and it's Front Page News.
And since the pollsters are including non-candidates like Fred Thompson in their GOP presidential polls, maybe they should see how Miss Teen South Carolina fares against Rudy, Mitt and John.

After all she is a Republican three-fer: White, Southern and Simple.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blogging Blockhead Bloodsports

Update: PETA reports that Dr. Mario had to put the L-block to sleep.

Michael Vick's statement following his guilty plea in U.S. District Court to Tetris-fighting conspiracy charges
I want to apologize to all the young kids out there for my immature acts and, you know, what I did was, what I did was very immature so that means I need to grow up. I totally ask for forgiveness and understanding as I move forward to bettering Michael Vick the person, not the football player. ***

Tetris fighting is a terrible thing, and I did reject it.

I'm upset with myself, and, you know, through this situation I found Jesus and asked him for forgiveness and turned my life over to God. And I think that's the right thing to do as of right now."
Unfortunately, the "Jesus" found by Vick was an attendees at the Tijuana anime convention where this Tetris fight was taped.

"A Republic -- If you can keep it."

dy·nas·ty ('nə-stē) n., pl. A succession of rulers from the same family or line.

When the English head of state shifted from the Lancaster family (1399-1461) to the York family (1461-1470) back to the Lancaster family (1470-1471) and then back to the York family (1471-1485), England was clearly ruled by dynasties.

If the U.S. head of state shifts from the House of Bush (1989 -1993) to the House of Clinton (1993-2001) back to the House of Bush (2001 – 2009) and then back to the House of Clinton (2009-2013(?)), what, if anything, will that mean for the United States?

Just askin'...

Jack "The King" Kirby Would Have Been 90 Years Old

GOP in the WC

Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) endorses GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and his Republican Family Values

But Craig has resigned as Romney's campaign co-chairman.

He was afraid that his presence as Mitt's right hand-man right-hand man could cause Mitt's campaign to... uh... "stall out".

Bonus: A Sampling of Previous Republican Family Values Revelations

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hail to The King, Baby!

And I was thinkin' how the world should have cried, on the day Jack Kirby died..." -- Monster Magnet, Melt

Brent Staples,
New York Times Education, Race & Culture editor, thinks you better recognize:
The fear of being forgotten after death is endemic in the creative arts. In the case of the iconic comic book artist Jack Kirby, it happened while he was still alive. By the 1960s, Mr. Kirby had already revolutionized the comic book business more than once. Working as principal artist and in-house genius for Marvel, he created a voice and an aesthetic unmatched by any other company.

Marvel took his talents for granted and denied him the credit and compensation he clearly deserved. Worse, he was overshadowed by his loquacious and photogenic collaborator, Stan Lee, who became the public face of an enterprise that depended heavily on Mr. Kirby’s skills. ***

Mr. Kirby did a lot more than just draw. As the critic Gary Groth so ably put it in The Comics Journal Library, “He barreled like a freight train through the first 50 years of comic books like he owned the place.” He mastered and transformed all the genres, including romance, Westerns, science fiction and supernatural comics, before he landed at Marvel.

He created a new grammar of storytelling and a cinematic style of motion. Once-wooden characters cascaded from one frame to another — or even from page to page — threatening to fall right out of the book into the reader’s lap. The force of punches thrown was visibly and explosively evident. Even at rest, a Kirby character pulsed with tension and energy in a way that makes movie versions of the same characters seem static by comparison.
Go read the whole thing.

Captain America, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, The Avengers, The Silver Surfer, The Black Panther, The X-Men,
Spider-Man, Doctor Doom, Galactus, Magneto, Darkseid, The New Gods, Mister Miracle, The Forever People, OMAC, Kamandi, The Demon, The Eternals, Devil Dinosaur, Machine Man and Thundarr the Barbarian...

If, before I die, I ever create just one thing as good and as lasting as the least of those -- even The Forever People or Devil Dinosaur -- I will have lived a full and useful life.

Note: February 6, 1994, by the way.

Bottle Rockets in Skokie

It's still not too late

Friday, August 24, 2007

25 Years of CD Memories

In his nod to the 25th anniversary of the compact disc, Oneman confessed that his first cd purchase was Genesis by Genesis.


I was late to the compact disc marketing gimmick revolution because I was poor farm boy and because my dorm-mate's cd player failed to wow me. And the idea of abandoning the portability of my trusty cassette/Walkman combo troubled me.

My roommate took a curious approach to the format change. He asked his folks for a cd player for Christmas and his father replied with the tautological challenge, "What do you need a cd player for? You don't even own any CDs." So my buddy ordered 12 CDs for a penny from Columbia House.

Take that, pops!

And the first CD out of the box, his first CD, was The Best of the Doors. Strangely -- and people are strange -- another of my very best friends also got The Best of the Doors as his first album. Neither of them listen to the Doors anymore.

Another pal doesn't listen to his first CD purchase either. Rather than start his collection with a 12 disc bang through the tried and true combination of Columbia House and mail fraud -- young people "stole music" long before anyone heard of mp3s or Napster -- he bought just one disc to go with his brand new stereo system. And did I mention that his stereo didn't have a cassette player? So my buddy spent two months trapped with Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction. To this day, even mentioning Sweet Child O' Mine causes flashbacks.

My first CD purchase was the poorly produced ... And Justice for All by Metallica. I had already worn out at least one cassette tape of that album, but it took the digital fidelity of compact disc to truly appreciate the utter absence of Jason Newstead's bass from the mix.

Your first CD confessions are welcomed in the comments.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

60K Bicycle Ride

Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Pedal, Bang!

The Big Oh-Five!

Happy Fifth Birthday, Archpundit and Philippe!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Cook County States Attorney May Let R&B Whiz-Kid Walk on Child Porn Charges

From Media Take Out:
[A] source close to the case says that R Kelly and State Attorneys are on the verge of reaching a plea deal. An insider tells, "[The prosecution's] case hinged on the fact that the young woman in the video would either testify for [the prosecution] or not testify at all. Once [REDACTED] agreed testify on behalf of R Kelly, and say that she wasn't the girl in the video, it became nearly impossible for the prosecution to expect a conviction."

And the prospective deal appears all too generous for the 40 year old R Kelly - who is charged with 14 counts of child pornography. According to's source, the deal being offered would allow the R&B singer to escape serving any jail time at all. Tells our insider, "It would be up to the judge, but it's not likely that R Kelly would serve even a day in prison."
I may not know much about the law, but I know that Jack McCoy would never make a deal with a rich punk who videotaped himself peeing on a young girl.

Well... A Misquote is a Kind of Quote...

From Editor and Publisher:
In a report today on Sen. Barack Obama's appearance this week at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Kansas City, New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleney took a decidedly wrong turn in referring to one statement.

Zeleney wrote that Obama "said it was wrong for anti-war activists to protest at military funerals, declaring: ‘It needs to stop'."

The quote at the end was accurate but nowhere did Obama refer to the protesters as "anti-war activists." In fact, the protesters who have caused much outrage have been anti-gay activists.

Obama's exact quote, from a transcript at his campaign Web site, reads: "And our sacred trust does not end when a service-member dies. The graves of our veterans are hallowed ground. When men and women who die in service to this country are laid to rest, there must be no protests near the funerals. It’s wrong and it needs to stop."
The NYT's mischaracterization of Obama's statement is important because the right-wing media will jump all over it.

Maybe not today, but very soon, the braying asses on talk radio and Fox News will start talking about how "Even Barack Obama is trying to distance himself from the anti-war left." They will then quote or refer to the Times misquote and use it to, once again, portray anti-war activists as hateful and anti-troops.

"Obama is beginning to understand that the anti-war left has gone way too far in their irrational hatred of our men and women in uniform."

Bank on it.

The Return of The Fighting 51st

The man who gave the Democrats their majority in the Senate is returning to public life.

From Talking Points Memo:
Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD), who has been recovering from a brain hemmorhage suffered in December, will make his first public appearance on August 28th, speaking at an event entitled "Thank You, South Dakota." Tim Johnson's staff still will not confirm if he is running for re-election, but if he chooses to run he already has a significant war chest to tap into. Many of his colleagues helped fundraise for him during his recovery, especially Max Baucus from neighboring Montana, who is also up for re-election in 2008.
I disagree with Sen. Johnson on many issues, but if the rest of the DC democrats had demonstrated just a fraction of Sen. Johnson's fighting spirit, the party and the nation would be in a much stronger position today.

A Very Compelling Argument for the Impeachment of George W. Bush

"Will the government respond to the demands of the people? If the government doesn't demand -- or respond to the demands of the people, they will replace the government." -- George W. Bush, August 21, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesday Bat Blogging

If gender has become a battleground at this time, it is worth asking who fights the battles, who receives the wounds and bears the scars, who dies?
- Judith Halberstam, Female Masculinity

If I'd had my coffee, I'd have shoehorned DC's ongoing Batgirl controversy into my previous post about Batwoman.

But I had not, so I did not.

This Scripps Howard piece gives a pretty good summary of the brouhaha, i.e. although "Batgirl was treated from the outset as a serious crime-fighter", the cover of DC's "Showcase Presents: Batgirl" retrospective depicts her as "more concerned with her lipstick than fighting crime." It also notes the gender gap between those who care and those who say "Who cares?"
[T]he cover selection has resulted in a furious debate in fandom, breaking down largely by gender lines. Men generally react with "What's the problem?" -- whereas women generally say, "If you don't see the problem, that is the problem."
It is no surprise that this breaks down along gender lines. Sexism is as central to underwear pervert superhero comics as costumes or super powers. Those troubled by the sexism have to choose between standing and fighting it or moving on to some other form of entertainment.

In my experience, female fans of superhero comics -- a rare and noble breed -- are of the stand and fight variety. I guess they identify with the books heroic battle-against-all-odds themes. Or maybe they were bitten by radioactive spiders. In any event, they are engaged in an ongoing grass-roots fight with the corporate masters and those who don't see a sexism problem in funny books.

By contrast, guys who are really bothered by super-heroic sexism usually move on to some other less embarrassing type of comic or some other form of entertainment. It's one thing to be seen reading comic books, it's another to be seen reading
this type of comic book.

Unfortunately, that leaves "guys who aren't really bothered by sexism" as the vast majority of male super-hero comics readers. Which, in turn, makes them the primary market for super-hero comics.

And speaking of guys who aren't really bothered by sexism

The author of this piece, Mister(!) Andrew A. Smith bravely took a stand for not taking a stand:
I'm going to give DC a pass. I don't know why this cover was selected, but it is historically accurate -- and its drama is derived precisely because Batgirl is acting out of character.

Yes, sexism has always been rampant in comics. But I read "Showcase Presents: Batgirl" with a clear conscience, and I think you can, too.
But when one considers the gruesome manner in which DC terminated Batgirl's crime-fighting career, it seems pretty obvious that she deserved something better.

Out! Out! And Awaaaaaay!

Tom Spurgeon directs us to
[T]he secret origin of the secret origin of the new Batwoman, a one-time recipient of a PR bonanza, who's now so secret you never hear about her.

Surfing the PR of an event with positive ramifications for gay people and then burying that event/character/plotline later on, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is such a part of the American corporate entertainment landscape it would probably have a name except nothing sticks around long enough to give it one.
I agree with Mr. Spurgeon about media corporations' use of the "Look Here! She's Queer! Don't Get Too Used To It!" stunt.

But you also have to remember that the two major super-hero comics companies, Marvel and DC, have had absolutely no success with long-term development of any new characters for the last 30 years.
The last super-heroes to be added to the pantheon of heroes licensed to movies/tv/underwear/etc. were the new X-Men from 1975. And even they were essentially the retooling of the 1963 Jack Kirby/Stan Lee creation.

For three decades the Big Two have been in the character exploitation business not the character development business. There's no reason to believe that DC treated the Batwoman character poorly just because she was gay. She was treated poorly because that is how DC and Marvel treat all of their characters.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Obama: 15 X 8 is Enough

From Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post reports that the Obama team has had it up to here with all of the debates:
"We simply cannot run the kind of campaign we want and need to, engaging with voters in the early states and February 5 states, if our schedule is dictated by dozens of forums and debates," writes Obama campaign manager David Plouffe in a statement posted on the candidate's Web site Saturday morning. "Ultimately, the one group left out of the current schedule is the voters and they are the ones who ask the toughest questions and most deserve to have those questions answered face to face."

So from here on out, says Plouffe, Obama will only participate in the five remaining debates sanctioned by the Democratic National Committee, two December debates in Iowa and a Sept. 9 debate in Miami to be aired on the Spanish-language channel Univision.

en. Obama connects most effectively with voters when he is telling stories. And I suspect that the Obama team has determined that debates and forums with bite-sized statements from seven or eight candidates are a very poor format for his story-centric communication.

Barack Simpson? Bart Obama?

Am I the last guy to know about the Simpsonizer cross-promotion between the Simpsons Movie and Burger King?
Sen. Barack Obama

The So-Called Review: My Podcasts

This is the first in an occasional series of posts about any darn thing I decide to review about.

The Blogfather, Eric Zorn, recently asked which podcasts I listen to regularly. I subscribe to about 40 podcasts, so it took a little winnowing to make a reasonably sized list. But these were my provisional, final recommendations to EZ and I figured I'd pass them along to you, dear reader.

My three favorite daily podcasts:
1. WAMU's The Diane Rehm Show - Diane Rehm's show is the apex of public service public broadcasting -- like Odyssey on steroids. I hate caller's questions -- I'm talking to you Talk of the Nation -- but this program actually makes them an asset. And Friday's two hour(!) weekly news round up is as good as news analysis gets. I aspire to one day be as good at something as Ms. Rehm is at public radio.

2. Democracy Now! - The Revolution will not be televised. Well, actually it is televised, but only on the satellite dish systems. But I have found no better and stronger voice from the Left.

DN! does have some annoying leftist excesses -- e.g. always calling police "the cops", waaaay too much Cornell West -- but I can count on Amy Goodman's top-of-the-podcast Headlines to give me real news I won't find elsewhere. And it's new news, not just lefty blogger commentary on the news or stories I have read or heard elsewhere in the corporate press.

In addition, the main stories are never duplicative of corporate press. For example: This October, the Federal Communications Commission will open a one-week window, during which nonprofit community groups in the can file applications for their own noncommercial broadcast license. I sure didn't hear about that on WMAQ or WGN... or even 'BEZ.

The downsides are 1) an incredibly slooooow download time and 2) post-Headlines features that are sometimes not of interest to me. See e.g. West, Cornell.

3. KCRW's To The Point - The best public radio daily magazine podcast I've found. Warren Olney's program starts with a timely live interview regarding breaking news. It then shifts to the main story, generally a round table discussion of a hot news topic, e.g. food safety, role of China, the Dems collapse on wire tapping.

Like questions from listeners -- booooo! -- I despise round table discussions with more than three participants. Most hosts simply cannot juggle all of the points of view and personalities of the participants, but Mr. Olney does a damn fine job of balancing as many as six "experts" on his program. He then closes the show with a lighter story.

Not every segment of every program is a winner, but he lets you know whats coming up front and you can listen or not accordingly.

And how are you going to beat John Coltrane's Love Supreme as a theme song? You're not.

Posthumous Award: Radio Open Source - Chris Lydon and Mary McGrath's late, lamented program was one of the highlights of my radio listening life. It didn't matter what the topic was, Open Source almost always hit a home run. Who knew that I would find an hour about Japanese baseball fascinating? Not me. The show was damn near perfect and, apparently, too beautiful to live.

If you doubt me, you can download mp3s of every show from it's all too brief life here:

My three favorite weekly podcasts:
1. WNYC's On the Media
2. WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio's Sound Opinions
3. WBEZ/Chicago Public Radio's This American Life

These three programs are available over the air on Chicago Public Radio, 91.5 WBEZ, so you are probably familiar with them. If you aren't, just go subscribe to them right now.

Seriously, right now.

Go on, we'll wait...

My three favorite weekly podcasts not available on WBEZ:
1. BBC's In Our Time - It's like auditing a different humanities class every week. The very best podcast on the internet.
2. KCRW's Left, Right and Center - A personality-driven weekly news round up. Fortunately, I enjoy the personalities of Robert Scheer (Left), Tony Blankley (Right), Matt Miller (Center) and Ariana Huffington (Other).
3. New York Times Book Review - Usually good, sometimes really good. At 24 minutes it never overstays its welcome.

Irregularly cast podcasts:
1. Cory Doctorow's Craphound - Right now this podcast is at a nadir -- Cory's is reading Bruce Sterling's classic The Hacker Crackdown -- but his talks and interviews about copyright and cultural citizenship in the 21st century are cutting edge and accessible.
2. BBC Documentary Archive - I like radio documentaries. So sue me.
3. On Words with John Ciardi - The late John Ciardi teaches history, geography, ethnology and sociology in five minute etymology lessons. Pretty cool to geeks like me.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to put them in the comments.

Update Mr. Zorn has posted his podcasting column and listed the top podcasts of some of his e-mail correspondents.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Heart Breaking Tale of Tony Snow

Mark Silva, of your Chicago Tribune, reports that Tony Snow will cut and run before the end of the Bush administration:
Snow, who earns $168,000 as an assistant to the president, was appointed in April 2006.

"I will not be able to make it to the end of this administration, just financially," Snow told the AP.
The base pay for a private in the United States Army is $15,282 per year, by the way.

But Bush's mouthpiece can't "make it" financially on over ten times that amount.

UPDATE 18AUG08 -- He's not kidding. Tony $now, the man who has told Americans that every damn fool pursuit of the Bush administration is
absolutely necessary to our nation's prosperity and security, is ducking out on his role in the administration for money.

From Reuters Limited via Yahoo:
"I've already made it clear I'm not going to be able to go the distance, but that's primarily for financial reasons," Snow said on conservative radio program "The Hugh Hewitt Show."

"I've told people when my money runs out, then I've got to go."
Just once, I'd like to see a Bushite make a sacrifice -- as if living on $168K is "a sacrifice" -- in the interests of furthering the policies and programs that they claim are so vital.

And I have some financially-strapped friends in the armed forces who desperately need a "when my money runs out, I gotta go" clause added to their contracts.

Don't Let the Door Hit Ya Where the Dog Shoulda Bit Ya.

John Nichols of the Nation magazine bids J. Dennis "Denny" Hastert adieu:
Among the fifty men and one woman who have held the speakership since a German-born pastor named Frederick Augustus Conrad Muhlenberg filled the position for the First Congress, there have been more than a few disappointments. Aside from the indicted, the disgraced and the disreputable, there have been the indefensible -- like Howell Cobb, who used his pre-Civil War speakership to promote the extension of slavery. Cobb would eventually find his true calling as the speaker of the Provisional Confederate Congress and the acting president of the southern states that seceded from the U.S. in treasonous defense of human bondage.

Could the shambling, ineffectual and frequently inarticulate Hastert really have been a worse Speaker of the House than a crude proponent of slavery, or a crook like Jim Wright or a conniving partisan like Newt Gingrich?

Yes, there's

The Sex Scandal Gap

Dear Democrats,

In light of this latest prostitution bust involving another hypocritical Republican, isn't it is time we stepped up our game? Are Democrats going to let the GOP completely monopolize every anti-sex scold caught with prostitutes news story?

Our party has a rich history of sex scandals, but by confining our sex lives to our spouses and significant others, we are in grave danger of letting the Republicans make sexual hypocrisy a cornerstone of their brand.

The time to act is now.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Bush Officially Brainless

Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post on the departure of Karl "Bush's Brain" Rove:
After years of being lauded as a political genius, Rove nevertheless leaves his party in worse shape than he found it, with his boss profoundly discredited in the eyes of the American people.
And not just his party.

He also leaves the nation in much worse shape.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


Bridget Dooley,

I'm calling you out!

Top it, my friend... If you can!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Still Too Soon

I have no doubt that this Tom Toles cartoon will really, really, really piss-off some folks in Wheaton:

Action Jackson

avatars myspace

Mark Brown of your Chicago Sun-Times has some context.

"Cats and dogs living together!"

Mass hysteria!

The Chicago Sun-Times has entered into an historic distribution agreement with the Chicago Tribune, contracting to have copies of the Sun-Times and 10 of its sister suburban dailies delivered to subscribers by its larger rival, it was announced today. ***

"Like all strategic alliances, there's value created on both sides," Tony Hunter, the Chicago Tribune's senior vice president for circulation and operations said. "They're going to get better service and they're going to get efficiencies ... and we're leveraging our infrastructure to create value." ***

Hunter dismissed antitrust concerns, calling the distribution agreement "pro-competitive."

"It is in fact improving the service for their customers and creating better service opportunities for advertisers," he said. "We're going to continue to fiercely compete on marketing, price, product promotion and content. We're going to continue to go after the marketplace that way."
No doubt every news consumer in the Chicago metro area will benefit from this "pro-competitive" move.

Who Do You Love?

The good folks at Boing-Boing steered me towards the Pick Your Candidate site.

Here are my decidedly unsurprising results followed by issues on which the candidates and I disagree:
Kucinich 77 - No Child Left Behind

Gravel 66 - (you have no disagreements with this candidate)

Obama 49 - Patriot Act, Border Fence, Same-Sex Marriage

Clinton 45 - Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Iran - Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage

Edwards 45 - Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Iran - Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage

Richardson 44 - Death Penalty, Patriot Act, Iran - Military Action, Same-Sex Marriage

Biden 41 - Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Same-Sex Marriage

Dodd 40 - Death Penalty, No Child Left Behind, Patriot Act, Border Fence, Iran - Military Action

Paul 19 - Abortion Rights, Embryonic Stem Cells, ANWR Drilling, Kyoto, Guns - Background Checks, Citizenship Path for Illegals, Border Fence, Net Neutrality, Minimum Wage Increase, Same-Sex Marriage, Universal Healthcare
I suspect that if the questionare was slightly more nuanced, Sen. Obama would have scored higher.

For example, I checked strongly opposed when it came to the so-called USA-PATRIOT Act even though I believe that some key parts of the bill are necessary to protect the nation. And Obama is listed as pro-(s-c)USA-PATRIOT Act, even though he worked with Russ Feingold and libertarians on both sides of the aisle to curb the Act's excesses.

I don't know that I would have ultimately voted with Sen. Obama, but I know that we are not exactly diametrically opposed on the subject of (s-c)USA-PATRIOT.

Nevertheless, the final order of candidates on the issues did not surprise me in the least.

"And don't worry your pretty little heads about our nation's foreign policy..."

I got the same take-away message from the labor forum as Matthew Yglesias:
[O]n the merits Hillary Clinton's notion that it's inappropriate [for Sen. Obama] to debate Pakistan policy in public doesn't really make sense to me. Just deciding that we can trust our overlords to do the right thing -- even if they're Democratic Party overlords -- hasn't worked out extremely well for us in the past.

That's how we got into Iraq.
Democratic candidates -- especially those claiming strong ties to our Land of Lincoln -- need to remember that our government is of the people and by the people.

Not just for the people.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The So-Called War Against Terror

"We’re about to enter the seventh year of this phony war... and we’re losing."
-- Former Republican House Speaker, Newt Gingrich.

Who Are You? Who? Who? Who? Who?

Do you really wanna know?

"Pseudonymous Blogger Name = [First Thing That Pops Into Your Mind] + [Years Of Regret For Not Thinking It Through]

Friday, August 03, 2007

Abortion and a Woman's Right to Choose

From Ohio's Record-Courier:
Several Ohio state representatives who normally take an anti-abortion stance are now pushing pro-choice legislation - sort of.

Led by Rep. John Adams, a group of state legislators have submitted a bill that would give fathers of unborn children a final say in whether or not an abortion can take place.

It's a measure that, supporters say, would finally give fathers a choice.

"This is important because there are always two parents and fathers should have a say in the birth or the destruction of that child," said Adams, a Republican from Sidney. "I didn't bring it up to draw attention to myself or to be controversial. In most cases, when a child is born the father has financial responsibility for that child, so he should have a say."

As written, the bill would ban women from seeking an abortion without written consent from the father of the fetus. In cases where the identity of the father is unknown, women would be required to submit a list of possible fathers. The physician would be forced to conduct a paternity test from the provided list and then seek paternal permission to abort.

Claiming to not know the father's identity is not a viable excuse, according to the proposed legislation. Simply put: no father means no abortion. ***

First time violators would by tried for abortion fraud, a first degree misdemeanor. The same would be the case for men who falsely claim to be fathers and for medical workers who knowingly perform an abortion without paternal consent.

In addition, women would be required to present a police report in order to prove a pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.

Think you've heard enough?

No way. I saved the best stuff for last.

Here's Denise Mackura, the director of the Ohio Right to Life Society:
Pregnancy is a unique human condition and obviously a woman is affected differently than a man.
With that deep understanding of human anatomy, you can see why Ms. Mackura is an authority on the subject of reproductive rights.
As a woman, I can sympathize.
And by "sympathize" Ms. Mackura means "completely disregard the fact that a pregnancy will always affect a woman more than a man."
However, to completely take rights away from the father is unfair.
If there is unfairness, it is utterly dwarfed by the magnitude of the unfairness inherent in allowing a man to force a woman to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term.
Currently, even in a marriage situation, a man has no right to even be informed of an abortion.
Apparently some confusion on the subject, let me clear something up:

A Marriage License is NOT a Bill of Sale.

Now, back to Ms. Mackura:
But if a woman doesn't have an abortion, men sure have a lot of responsibility then.
Since Ms. Mackura's argument is based on "fairness" and she is willing to casually strip women of their rights to prevent some "unfairness" to testis-Americans, perhaps no woman should be allowed to carry a pregnancy to term without the express approval of the he-man who inseminated her.

If this is really about "fairness".

And this really is about fairness, isn't it Ms. Mackura?
It's really not fair.

You'd think that someone who brands herself "pro-life" would know that Life Isn't Fair.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

"So good to meet you. My name is Emmanuel Goldstein."

ABC News provides a little something to keep in mind when you meet a very friendly chap or lovely dame at the Yearly Kos convention:
The FBI is taking cues from the CIA to recruit thousands of covert informants in the United States as part of a sprawling effort to boost its intelligence capabilities. ***

The aggressive push for more secret informants appears to be part of a new effort to grow its intelligence and counterterrorism efforts. Other recent proposals include expanding its collection and analysis of data on U.S. persons, retaining years' worth of Americans' phone records and even increasing so-called "black bag" secret entry operations.

To handle the increase in so-called human sources, the FBI also plans to overhaul its database system, so it can manage records and verify the accuracy of information from "more than 15,000" informants, according to the document.
Will 2008 get to America in time to thwart 1984?


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