What Motivates And Guides Caffeinated Politics?

I was reminded this past week that with over 2,500 posts on this blog, there are some over-riding themes and principles that are repeated over and over.  I thought it might be fun to think of the guiding issues and principles found on this blog, and write them down.

…. The process of governing is more important than the politics of any issue.  In addition a  fair and orderly atmosphere both in electing officals, and creating legislation is required to insure a fair and equal playing field.

….Campaign money, and the ever-consuming need for more and more of it,  pollutes the political process, and undermines the enactment of sound public policy.

…. The Supreme Court (both state and national) requires the highest and most ethical standards applied to applicants.  In the states, it is more appropriate to appoint justices through the merit selection process than to have elections for the judiciary.

…. Drunk driving is a most troubling  problem that will require tough-minded legislators being more interested in doing what is right, than  carrying alcohol for the Tavern League.

…. Tough anti-smoking laws are just common sense.

…. Going with principle (Dubai deal) is more important than following the prevailing political mood.

…. Torture is wrong, and spawns more terrorists while undermining a nation’s moral code.

…. Darfur needs the world.  Sadly, history will severely judge the  majorityfor not caring.

…. Preventive wars are a waste  of a nation’s  treasured resources.

….Israel needs to stop the illegal settlement policy, and Palestinians should have, must have, and will have a homeland to call their own.  When it comes to Israel the tail must stop wagging the dog.

….Polar bears are needing us to care more about them, and to reach an understanding about the need to address climate change.

…. Gun control is needed to insure the safety of the citizenry.  Strict regulations on the manufacture, sale, registration, and usage is the means for a safer nation.

…. Marriage matters, for all.   Period.

…. Cheating on a partner, married or otherwise, is smarmy and wrong.  Getting preachy about this issue is still OK.

…. Books are some of our best friends.

…. Just because a singer is older does not mean that they have less value or creative ability.

…. History is in need of more study and understanding, not only in our schools, but also with the average citizen of this nation.

….Never underestimate the lack of humor from Mormons.

…. Never underestimate the damage one Bishop (Molrino) can cause.

…. When it looks like it is a slow news day check in on the antics of Sarah Palin and the Clampetts of Palinland.

…. Newspapers are the foundation for long-form investigative reporting, and an essential ingredient to democracy.

….Journalists are as vital to the nations democracy and well being as our soldiers, sailors. and air force.

….Radio and TV personalities should be considered guests in our house, and when they offend should be rejected from our premises. 

…. Elvis is still The King.

…. So is Roy Acuff.

…. The Grand Ole Opry is a national treasure, and true slice of Americana.

Obama To Reverse Abortion Policy Today

This also needs to be addressed by Congress so the back and forth ends every time we have a new president.

In a long-expected move, President Barack Obama plans to sign an executive order ending the ban on federal funds for international groups that perform abortions or provide information on the option, officials told The Associated Press on Friday.

Liberal groups welcomed the decision while abortion rights foes criticized the president. Known as the “Mexico City policy,” the ban has been reinstated and then reversed by Republican and Democratic presidents since GOP President Ronald Reagan established it in 1984. President Bill Clinton ended the ban in 1993, but President George W. Bush re-instituted it in 2001 as one of his first acts in office.

The policy bans U.S. taxpayer money, usually in the form of U.S. Agency for International Development funds, from going to international family planning groups that either offer abortions or provide information, counseling or referrals about abortion. It is also known as the “global gag rule,” because it prohibits taxpayer funding for groups that lobby to legalize abortion or promote it as a family planning method.

President Obama’s Statement On Abortion

The thing that struck me as I read the statement from President Obama on abortion, is the idea of the broader judicial principle that government should not intrude into private matters.

As it should be.

Now it is time for international family planning agencies that use federal funds to again have the ability to deal honestly with these matters.  An Executive Order should be forthcoming soon to remedy the “Mexico City Policy’, with swift Congressional action in the next few months to insure that these funds, and their uses, are not political footballs every time a new President takes office.

On the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we are reminded that this decision not only protects women’s health and reproductive freedom, but stands for a broader principle: that government should not intrude on our most private family matters. I remain committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose.

While this is a sensitive and often divisive issue, no matter what our views, we are united in our determination to prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce the need for abortion, and support women and families in the choices they make. To accomplish these goals, we must work to find common ground to expand access to affordable contraception, accurate health information, and preventative services.

On this anniversary, we must also recommit ourselves more broadly to ensuring that our daughters have the same rights and opportunities as our sons: the chance to attain a world-class education; to have fulfilling careers in any industry; to be treated fairly and paid equally for their work; and to have no limits on their dreams. That is what I want for women everywhere.

Connecticut Rules Same Sex Couples Have Right To Marry

Breaking news for fairness from Connecticut.

Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry, making that state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions.

The divided court ruled 4-3 that gay and lesbian couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry under the state constitution, and Connecticut’s civil unions law does not provide those couples with the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“I can’t believe it. We’re thrilled, we’re absolutely overjoyed. We’re finally going to be able, after 33 years, to get married,” said Janet Peck of Colchester, who was a plaintiff with her partner, Carole Conklin.

Justices overturned a lower court ruling and found in favor of the plaintiffs, who said the state’s marriage law discriminates against them because it applies only to heterosexual couples, therefore denying gay couples the financial, social and emotional benefits of marriage.

“Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice,” Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote in the majority opinion that overturned a lower court finding.

“To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others,” Palmer wrote.

Connecticut Rules For Gay Marriage

Connecticut rules for fairness with gay marriage.

Connecticut’s Supreme Court ruled Friday that same-sex couples have the right to marry, making that state the third behind Massachusetts and California to legalize such unions.

The divided court ruled 4-3 that gay and lesbian couples cannot be denied the freedom to marry under the state constitution, and Connecticut’s civil unions law does not provide those couples with the same rights as heterosexual couples.

“I can’t believe it. We’re thrilled, we’re absolutely overjoyed. We’re finally going to be able, after 33 years, to get married,” said Janet Peck of Colchester, who was a plaintiff with her partner, Carole Conklin.

Justices overturned a lower court ruling and found in favor of the plaintiffs, who said the state’s marriage law discriminates against them because it applies only to heterosexual couples, therefore denying gay couples the financial, social and emotional benefits of marriage.

“Interpreting our state constitutional provisions in accordance with firmly established equal protection principles leads inevitably to the conclusion that gay persons are entitled to marry the otherwise qualified same sex partner of their choice,” Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote in the majority opinion that overturned a lower court finding.

To decide otherwise would require us to apply one set of constitutional principles to gay persons and another to all others,” Palmer wrote.

Christian American Family Association Sends Homosexual To Olympics

The American Family Association, a freakish little operation run by the odd and always-sweating Donald Wildmon (pictured below) who doubtless you have seen at one time or another on TV spouting anti-gay garbage, has just made real news.

His organization is sending a homosexual to the Olympics.    This is so bizarre that I print the whole article from the Washington Post.

The American Family Association obviously didn’t foresee the problems that might arise with its strict policy to always replace the word “gay” with “homosexual” on the Web site of its Christian news outlet, OneNewsNow. The group’s automated system for changing the forbidden word wound up publishing a story about a world-class sprinter named “Tyson Homosexual” who qualified this week for the Beijing Olympics.

The problem: Tyson’s real last name is Gay. Therefore, OneNewsNow’s reliable software changed the Associated Press story about Tyson Gay’s amazing Olympic qualifying trial to read this way:

Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn’t count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here’s what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he’s certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

“It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Homosexual said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

You might think it’s a joke, until you read the original AP story, which begins this way:

Tyson Gay was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has.

His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn’t count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind. Here’s what does matter: Gay qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he’s certainly someone to watch in Beijing.

“It means a lot to me,” the 25-year-old Gay said. “I’m glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me.”

Contacted by the Sleuth for comment on the software mishap, American Family Association spokeswoman Cindy Robertsin Tupelo, Miss., told us, “I think it was just a fluke.”

Fred Jackson, news director of OneNewsNow, tells the Sleuth his organization has now fixed the software glitch. “We took the filter out for that word,” he said, without uttering the “G” word.

“We don’t object to the word ‘gay,'” Jackson explained, except “when it refers to people who practice a homosexual lifestyle.” And the “G” word, he says, has “been co-opted by a particular group of people.” (People who are g-a-y.)

The OneNewsNow story about Gay, which was spotted by blogger Ed Brayton at scienceblogs.com, as well as by gay blogs, including PageOneQ, even included these nice details about Mr. Homosexual’s qualifying sprint:

Wearing a royal blue uniform with red and white diagonal stripes across the front, along with matching shoes, all in a tribute to 1936 Olympic star Jesse Owens, Homosexual dominated the competition. He started well and pulled out to a comfortable lead by the 40-meter mark. This time, he kept pumping those legs all the way through the finish line, extending his lead. In Saturday’s opening heat, Homosexual pulled way up, way too soon, and nearly was caught by the field, before accelerating again and lunging in for fourth place.

But as Brayton at scienceblogs discovered, OneNewsNow’s filter didn’t work perfectly; the “G” word did slip through, just once:

Gay’s race came with the wind blowing at 4.1 meters per second; anything above 2.0 is not allowed for record purposes.

“I didn’t really care what the wind was,” Homosexual said.

The gay site goodasyou.org, which has long chronicled the AFA’s practice of changing AP copy to suit its conservative agenda, looks like it was first to spot the Gay gaffe.

The blog Agitatoralso found this gem of a story on the AFA’s OneNewsNow site, from a June 27 story article about NBA player Rudy Gay:

Memphis Grizzlies backers hit the hay hoping that Kevin Love would open things up for Rudy Homosexual in the frontcourt.

Incidentally, Jackson, the OneNewsNow news manager, tells us his organization doesn’t mind using the “L” word to refer to women who are homosexual. Asked how he would refer to Vice President Dick Cheney‘s gay daughter, Mary Cheney, Jackson said, “We would probably refer to her as a lesbian. Or homosexual.”

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Supreme Court Ruling On Handguns Wrongheaded

It was a long awaited Supreme Court decision by those who correctly see the need for restrictions on handguns in our nation, and those who somehow have come to feel that unfettered access to handguns is a right.  With the ruling this morning from a highly divided court the opinion read that individuals have the right to own guns for self-defense and hunting.   There is now for the first time a clear ruling on the matter.  But the debate will not stop.

The fact is there must be more stringent regulation of guns when the statistics of deaths from handguns are looked at.  The long history of guns in America, and the interwoven love affair that many have with these weapons is frankly a very weird and complex one.  I fully understand the difficult lay of the land on this matter as a more enlightened approach to gun ownership is sought.

CNN put the case in perspective.

The Second Amendment says, “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The wording repeatedly has raised the question of whether gun ownership is an individual right, or a collective one pertaining to state militias and therefore subject to regulation.

The Supreme Court has avoided the question since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791. The high court last examined the issue in 1939 but stayed away from the broad constitutional question.

I find the slaughter from handguns that we all read about in the paper each week so senseless.  Most painful are the weekly stories of sadness that result from guns because the owners of the weapons are clearly not responsible enough to have them.   Bottom line is there are just too many handguns in America.

A 3-year-old Joliet boy died Wednesday afternoon after a loaded handgun he was playing with went off in his home on the city’s east side.

The child, Julius Rogers, apparently was alone in the living room playing with a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun around 12:40 p.m. when it fired a round that hit him in the head, said Joliet Police Chief Fred Hayes.

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Channel 3’s Neil Heinen Said It All About Gay Marriage

The editorial by Neil Heinen on Channel 3 regarding gay marriage was short and to the point.  And loaded with truth.  Thanks Neil!

It deserves a read. 

There are quite a few gay and lesbian couples getting married this week in California, the second state after Massachusetts to legalize same-sex marriage.

We’d like to say we’re struck by the joy of these newlyweds. Except the joy seems so similar to that of other newlyweds. In fact, if you take away the television cameras and the odd protester it all seems rather ordinary.

It’s not of course. What heightens the joy we witness is the long history of discrimination now at least temporarily legally ended.

Also extraordinary is the reality that there will be efforts to override the California Supreme Court decision with a new discriminatory law. But we believe history will reflect that this week is another step toward the inevitable day when we will recognize and accept the dignity and civil rights of all regardless of sexual orientation.

And while it still irritates that Wisconsin has chosen to deny that dignity and those rights, the day draws nearer, enlightened state by enlightened state.

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