Observations on the world today.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

If the Media is So Liberal, Explain This 

One charge against DeLay dismissed

In asking that the case be thrown out, DeLay lawyer Dick DeGuerin argued that one of the charges -- conspiracy to violate the Texas election code -- did not even take effect until September 2003, a year after the alleged offenses occurred.
That was the last paragraph of the story. I may be mistaken, but I don't think this is factualy correct. DeGuerin did not argue that conspiracy did not exist until September 2003. He argued that the specific law Delay is charged with conspiring to circumvent did not exist until 2003, and therefore Delay could not have conspired to violate it.

Saying that conspiracy to violate election law did not exist as a crime until after the alleged crime occurred is something that muddies the concept more than it needs to be muddied. The fact is the law did exist, but it was vague and there is some question as to whether Delay could have known that what he was having others do might even be considered a violation of the law before it was clarified. Furthermore, since even if it had been clear to those who actually violated the law on Delay's behalf that what they were doing could be considered criminal, since Delay did not himself violate the law in question is it reasonable to argue that he conspired to violate it. It's a tricky question, but it is worth understanding.

Here's the answer as I see it. If Delay is convicted of money laundering, it then seems clear that he knew giving the money directly was against the law. One doesn't launder money if there is no need. Therefore, he must have known that he was having people violate election law. And if he knew it, then it was a conspiracy and he was in on it. And, yes, conspiracy to violate election law was indeed a crime prior to 2003.

Monday, December 05, 2005

An Open Letter To Joe Fitzgerald 

The following letter appeared in today's Pitsburgh Post-Gazette:
Merry Christmas

In regards to Jason Johnson's Dec. 2 letter, "We're Celebrating Christmas, not 'Holiday' ": Jason, I'm with you.

I'm sick and tired of all this political correctness. Nobody cares about offending me (white male, 30s, Irish descent). I'm offended by people who don't put their hand over their heart or take off their caps off or turn their back when the National Anthem is being played. But who cares if it offends me?

I'm offended when people of non-Irish decent use St. Patrick's day as an excuse just to get drunk and act like stupid, idiot, morons. I'm 100 percent Irish and I don't drink! Why shouldn't I be offended, but who cares if it offends me?

Hell, I bet I just offended someone by saying stupid, idiot, morons! Do I get offended by Notre Dame "Fighting Irish"? I'm 100 percent Irish and I don't fight but you don't see me whining and complaining.

So, what -- I'm not supposed to put Christmas decorations in my yard because it might offend someone somewhere?

Do I get offended when I get called a "cracker"? Yes, I do ... but who cares if it offends me!

Dear Joe,

I'm a white male, early 40s, Irish descent. So What? When people say things that are designed to offend me because of my gender, age or ethnicity I can afford to shrug it off. Call me cracker. I won't care either, but not because I have a thicker skin. I won't care because I know that it's coming from a group that people like you marginalize, and so the name calling won't actually do anything to bring me harm. But if I was black, or Asian, or hispanic, or gay, or female or elderly, or any other minority or marginalized member of society, you'd best be darned sure I'd be offended if you chose to call me a name designed to further marginalize me, pal.

The problem is not simply that the kind of behavior you are talking about is not PC. The problem is that it is rude and hateful. Nobody wants to be rude and hateful in public, and the public sure doesn't want to have to be confronted with rudeness. So society devises unspoken rules of decorum. If you call a black man nigger in a crowd, don't be surprised to find yourself ostracized. That's not society's fault. It's yours for confusing ignorance with self-assertion.

You brought up being offended by people who don't put their hands over their hearts during the National anthem. What fucking century do you think you live in, Joe? Around the midddle of the previous century, it may have been PC to be offended by individualism, but that was then. And as SE Hinton noted back then, this is now.

But you still have the right to be offended by people who refuse to recite the pledge or whatever. Personally, I'm offended by people who think that in a land founded on religious and political freedom that patriotism is reciting an oath of fealty to a piece of cloth through the recitation of a thinly veiled government sanctioned prayer, but that's just me, and nobody can scorn you for being so offended. Well, they can, but they shouldn't. Well, I think they should, but you can think they shouldn't ... but you'd be wrong.

Anyway, let's get to the crux of your letter. When people say, "Happy Holidays," it doesn't mean that they are worried that Christmas offends people. It means that they are concerned that people who don't celebrate the birth of Jesus will feel an obligation to recognize their greeting, and maybe even return it. And why should those people be so burdoned? We live in a secular society made up of many creeds and faiths. Why would you even want to wish a Jew merry Christmas? Would you want a pagan wishing you a happy Salmhain? Would you be comfortable receiving a Muslim's invitation to enjoy your Eid? Of course you wouldn't. So how is it a burden on you to not inflict the same discomfort on them?

Happy Holidays, Joe, and stop taking your talking points from that idiot Bill O'Reilly.


PS, nobody cares if you put a Christmas display in your yard. Just don't put one in my courthouse. And for the record, a quote like this one; "I'm 100 percent Irish and I don't fight but you don't see me whining and complaining," IS whining and complaining.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Monday Morning Idiot; Fantasy Ticket? 

Once again, the stupidest thoughts on the right come from the fools at Blogs For Bush.
McCain-Lieberman '08?
The headline is funny enough, but wait, it gets better.
It just occured to me yesterday, or maybe the day before. While McCain is about my least favorite Republican and Lieberman is my favorite Democrat, this would make some political sense:
Sure, if your goal is the total dismanteling of the Republican party. But this idiot actually thinks the opposite would be true.
First off, it would just crush anyone else who was running.
It would? Really? A centrist Republican who has alienated the democrat base by kissing Bush's ass and then alienated the GOP by having the balls to oppose torture and a conservative democrat who ran as AL GORE'S running mate? THAT would crush any opposing ticket? Great! do it. And if those two refuse, maybe you can run Colin Powell and Zell Miller.

But why exactly do this? What's in it for the GOP?
by taking the centrist Democrats out of the Democratic voting bloc, it would allow the left to become even more powerful within the Democratic Party and thus ensure that a really far-out, freako-leftist was nominated in 2008.
Umm, huh? Like Lieberman is the balast that has been keeping the democratic party ship from drifting too far to port? Well, it's a theory I guess. But these are the same people who favor intelligent design over evolution, so I guess we can pretty much see how well they understand theory theory.

But even assuming this theory had legs, why do it? Why give over the coveted position of Veep to the enemy?
It is my view that the most important thing in politics right now is to destroy the Democratic Party as an institution
Aha! And apparently this guy actually thinks announcing that plan and then convincing a democrat-who-nobody-likes to assist them in it is somehow brilliant.

Click the link to read the rest. It's hysterical. And the comments are pretty good too.

Hey, I just had a thought. If the Repugs actually run with this ticket, I say we dems nominate a sack of rocks and Jessica Simpson for pres and veep. It doesn't matter which one runs for which. They'd be a shoe-in.

Useless Idiots 

I received an email from someone named Melanie at www.moveamericaforward.org. I thought I would share her letter and my response. First her letter:

The past few weeks we have seen shameless and cowardly actions that undermine our military men and women, not to mention the American mission to rid the world of international Islamic terrorism.

The likes of Congressman John Murtha, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, former Democrat Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Michael Moore, Cindy Sheehan, MoveOn.org and others sunk to new lows.

I know that you must be as sick and tired of these people as I am. Well, actions have consequences. And, we have to call them out for what they have done to undermine American morale and encourage the terrorism in believing they can wait out our resolve to defeat them.

Today I wrote a column, the content of which is being widely distributed via the Internet and talk radio stations: "The Liars of the Anti-War Movement."

You can read it for yourself here:

The anti-war leadership will sink to any level to advance their twisted and sick extremist political views, and they must be held accountable.

And, in the coming weeks, we at Move America Forward WILL hold them accountable.

This column is the opening salvo, and I thought you should read it.

-- Melanie Morgan
Chairman, Move America Forward

P.S. I would welcome hearing your thoughts on this important subject as well. Please don't hesitate to email me back.
Now my response:
Dear Melanie,

You sent me an email and in that email asked me to email you back with my thoughts. These are my thoughts. You are what was known by the communists in Russia as a useful idiot. Not for me. I have no use for you whatever, but for the administraion, you blind loyalty is the kind of useful idiocy that has allowed them to lead us into a useless war and to create a redistribution of wealth that smacks of the kind of elitism that good conservatives are supposed to oppose.

Hillary Clinton is a self-serving opportunist. Nancy Pelosi is a party loyalist who has not properly apologized for the part she played in idiotically giving W the authority to invade and kill off a country of innocent Muslims simply because at the time it was politically imprudent to say that the emperoror has no clothes. And now she has changed her tune only because she smells the changing of the political winds. Say what you will about them. I won't defend them.

But John Murtha is an American hero who has voted his conscience consistently. In America, dissenting opinions are to be respected. In my opinion, you're wrong. Wrong about the war, wrong to be critical of those who see no value in the war, and wrong to continue to support a president who has poven himself at every turn to be the antithesis of everything that this nation is supposed to stand for.

Have fun with your website.

My only regret is that I didn't proof read it. There are a few spelling and grammar errors. Other than that, I think I pretty much nailed it.

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