Thursday, April 29, 2010

When It Comes to Energy, Two Pictures Are Worth ...

... all the words in the world.  These are from The Huffington Post (

Which one of these images do you think should represent the future of America's energy?  Note to Charles Krauthammer:  the latter image is the result of the same type of "sensitive drilling" you think we desperately need in the Alaskan Natural Wildlife Reserve.  I can only imagine how sensitive this is going to be for the people of Louisiana.  C'mon, Chuck--wasn't Katrina enough?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Conservatives Are So Patriotic That They Love Two Countries

And here's what one person has to say about that.  I couldn't agree more.  A worthy read, as we approach the end of Confederate History Month.

Monday, April 26, 2010

One Small Step for Neil ...

... one giant leap for the New Frontier.  Not long afterwards, Obama laid out his own vision for the space program.  It was somewhat half-cocked; it makes more sense to use Moon missions (and a lunar base) as a foundation for any trips that are further Out There.  But at least Obama seems to understand the role that space places in the growth of our country as a forward-thinking society.

If only I felt sure that a majority of our people shared that spirit.

Think Conservatives Don't Believe In Climate Change?

Think again, after you read this.  Is it any accident that Katrina turned Louisiana into a redder, or more purple state, than it had previously been?  Not to the wing-nuts and their fellow travelers in the GOP.  They want everyone to think that climate change is a hoax, so that they can use it to cement their control over rest of us.

Memo to the new Silent Majority:  DON'T LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT!

We're Being Governed At Gunpoint

And here's the proof.  Arm yourselves, liberals.  At the very least, it will give them something to think about.

The Supreme Court No Longer Follows The Illiction Returns ...

... to paraphrase Finley Peter Dunne.  In three out of the last four presidential elections, liberalism has prevailed in the popular vote.  But the membership of the Supreme Court continues to veer to the right, even to the point at which prominent, qualified liberal candidates cannot even be considered for vacancies.  Even a hint of liberalism is enough to diminish a candidate's chances.

This is what everyone should keep in mind as President Obama tries to build a consensus around a replacement for the retiring Justice Stevens.  He, and we, would be better off ditching the Republican idea of consensus (join us or die), and appoint a truly liberal justice to achieve that goal Republicans love to talk about so much when they're in the minority--restoring "balance."

My personal favorite?  Her.  Anyone who successfully represents a President at an impeachment trial has professional qualifications that are above reproach.  And her sheer presence on the Court would drive Clarence Thomas up the wall.

Or how about this?  It would be a long-overdue gesture to heal our nation's oldest wounds.  And it would be almost as historic as Obama's election was.

In any event, Mr. President, to hell with consensus and finding the Washington media's idea of a happy medium.  Do the right thing, and restore the people's will to their highest Court.

Why Every Thinking Person (And Hopefully Some Non-Thinking Ones) Should Link To

This.  And this.

If socialism means feeding a nation's military at the expense of its most vulnerable citizens, well, by golly, we're as socialist as they come.

Should We Invite Them Over For Tea?

That's what one columnist thinks.

Unfortunately, I think that she's guilty of giving the tea-baggers more credit for being a true grass-roots movement than it actually is.  In the first place, demographically speaking, they're Republicans.

And, in the second place, they're not even a significant plurality of the American people.  I mean, come on--even George McGovern had better numbers.

The Tea Party is an ongoing media event, organized by media-savvy Republicans attempting to create an atmosphere of hate and fear designed to intimidate a lawfully-elected liberal government.  And the media, which always has mostly been conservative-owned, is lapping it up.

I'd almost rather die that paraphrase Richard Nixon.  But where the hell is the real Silent Majority when you really need them?

The Gates of Hell Have Prevailed

My good friend and fellow blogger John Tierney has made several posts regarding the wounds the Catholic Church has inflicted upon the children entrusted to it--and, by extension, upon what's left of its reputation and treasure.  Take a look.

There are two questions here:   Does the Church deserve to survive, and will it survive?  The short answer to the first question is no.  Any institution that violates the trust, health and safety of society's most vulnerable members, and the faith and funds of the parents who entrusted them, has no business getting a second chance.  If it were solely up to me, I would dissolve the entire corrupt institution tomorrow, saving only its better buildings and converting them (pun intended) to some more honorable use.  The Sistine Chapel as a theatre, anyone?  Or even a disco?

But I think it will survive, albeit in a shrunken form, nourished by the weight of its role in human history and the need of people to believe, along with their need to have their beliefs structured in some sort of system.  If that happens, I think that a total re-thinking of its views on sex and gender is the only way to avoid a repeat of the current disaster at some point.

George Will once wrote that, when one comments on a news story that has a bearing on one's personal life, one has an obligation to disclose that fact.  Sadly, I agree with him.  I have had close relationships with a number of people who, I have reason to believe, were almost certainly abused by the Catholic clergy, and I have seen first-hand the damage that this has done not only in their lives, but in mine as well.

It is catastophes of this sort that lead me to disbelieve in religion, even as I affirm my own personal belief in God.  I went through a very heavy fundamentalist phase in my early adulthood, and came out of it believing that the goal of fundamentalism is not so much to honor or worship God as it is to try and capture Him (Her, It, or Them) for purely self-interested reasons.  This is why I prefer to worship God on my own, loosely gripping Him by the hand of faith, rather than be gripped by one or more churches that, sadly, have lost their way ... if they ever had it at all.

If you want to feel better about this mess, put not your trust in the princes of Catholicism.  Reach out to their victims, and help bind their wounds.  That's the only way to make God visible in the first place.

Silence Is Not Necessarily Golden ... Or Is It?

Hmm ... so it's now been nearly three and a half weeks since I've posted anything.  Well, there is a reason, and I'm happy to talk about it!  Even if it has nothing to do with politics or current events.

I became a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) late last year and, over two weekends this month, completed my first project as a member of the union.  I play the lead in "The Most of Things," an independently-produced short subject that, hopefully, will make it into several film festivals later on this year.  The character I play is a man named Jake, who (after mourning the death of his only friend and failing at suicide) gets an unexpected opportunity to turn his life around.  The shoot, in upstate New York, was a phenomenal experience; I got to work with uniformly terrific people both behind and in front of the camera.  And I got paid (or will get paid) for doing it, too, which feels really good after having pumped untold hours of energy into avocational acting (much of which, I hasten to add, was well worth it).

I have, however, been keeping track of things, and hope that I can pack a month's worth of posts into the next four days.  For better and for worse, there's certainly lots to talk about!

Friday, April 2, 2010

An Early Warning Sign Of Disaster?

You decide.  He was so pleased to be written out of "House" for a chance to work in the White House, and now he wants to go back to Harold & Kumar?  Maybe he knows something about the future of the Obama administration that the rest of us don't know--and should.

If You Read Nothing Else (Here Or Elsewhere), READ THIS!

Without a doubt, the only political analysis of our country I've ever read that's worth a damn.  And you wonder why I think liberals should arm themselves.

Republicans can never win on a level playing field; only on one that they tilt in their favor.  We have to stop helping them--by any means necessary.

Mark my words.  Another Republican Congress will produce another Oklahoma City--or worse, another 9/11.  Like the Terminator, the Right in this country can neither be reasoned or bargained with.  If democracy in this country is to survive, it can only be destroyed.