In today's New York Times I came across this bone-chilling, hair-raising, stomach- turning news:
For months, the White House has been running the names of potential nominees by conservative groups like Focus on the Family, an evangelical ministry based in Colorado Springs, and the Family Research Council, said Jordan Lorence, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal group established by a consortium of conservative Christian organizations.
It seems the sky really is falling, when James Dobson essentially has veto power over Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's replacement.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said she will retire, letting President George W. Bush nominate a replacement and setting up a clash over the future of the Supreme Court.
Bush will make a statement on O'Connor at 11:15 a.m. in the White House Rose Garden, spokesman Scott McClellan said. The president is not expected to announce a successor at that time, McClellan said.
Okay, folks. It is time to steel yourselves and brace for the real Culture War to begin. What we have seen so far is nothing compared to the battle we are about to encounter. The Religious Right has deviously been planning a takeover of civil government so they can install a theocracy. Stocking the Supreme Court with fundamentalist sycophants is crucial for them to accomplish their dubious goals. We cannot let them destroy our nation and turn the U.S. into a backward, intolerant, Neo-Puritan state.
The future is in our hands. We must rise to the challenge and defend the freedom and independence of the courts. Over the next few weeks, liberal and moderate groups are going to ask for your help. Please, be there for them to make sure America remains a free nation for future generations. The stakes are high and and the consequences great. Together, we can stop America from sliding into the hands of right wing zealots who want to remake America in their destructive image.
According to the Washington Post, outside advisers believe the front-runners are U.S. Court of Appeals Judges J. Michael Luttig of the 4th Circuit and John G. Roberts of the D.C. Circuit, both considered strong conservatives. Bush might also prevail upon his reluctant friend, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, who would be the first Hispanic justice but is seen by some conservatives as unreliable on issues such as abortion and affirmative action.
Other possible candidates include Appeals Judges Samuel A. Alito Jr. of the 3rd Circuit, Michael W. McConnell of the 10th Circuit, Emilio M. Garza of the 5th Circuit and J. Harvie Wilkinson III of the 4th Circuit. White House advisers doubt that Bush would elevate a current member of the Supreme Court to chief justice.
Here are some words of wisdom by Washington Blade Managing Editor Kevin Naff:
"The Damage caused to young gays by the views of "ex-gays" should not be underestimated. The two greatest weapons that opponents of gay rights wield against us are charges that gay men are pedophiles and that homosexuality is a choice. Overcoming those two obstacles would mean instant victory for the movement."
It is amazing that our major gay rights organizations don't get this simple concept. As long as people believe that homosexuality is casual choice, we lose. Period.
The gay groups should start multi-million dollar projects to defeat the ex-gay myth. After all, the religious right is placing millions of bucks into ex-gay propaganda. Why do you think that is? Maybe because it works? Duh.
Our gay groups can spend all the money they want on politics and posturing. But, until they destroy the false notion of "choice" they are throwing our hard earned money down the toilet. I hope they will soon see the wisdom in taking on this challenge. The quicker they wake up, the sooner we will be following in the footsteps of Spain and Canada. I plan to write more on this crucial topic later.
Spain, by a vote of 187-147, has become the fourth country in the world to give equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. The other nations are the Netherlands, Canada and Belgium.
In Canada, the Liberals' controversial same-sex marriage legislation passed final reading in the House of Commons Tuesday. It is expected to become law before the end of July.
Meanwhile, in the last few weeks, the United States has debated creationism in the classroom, a marriage amendment to write gay people out of the Constitution, a flag burning Constitutional Amendment and whether ostentatious displays of the 10 Commandments can be shoved down peoples' throats in public, taxpayer financed settings. It is embarrassing to see enlightened nations move forward, while we rehash the debates of the Dark Ages.
Is it not time for America to wake up and take back our nation from right wing extremists? All they have brought America is ignorance, poverty, war and deficits. The right wing is terrible for this country and must be defeated, so America can again lead the way in freedom and liberty. In the meantime, let's proudly celebrate the advances made in Spain and Canada.
Show your support for these countries by taking a vacation and spending lots of money. You know that $1,000 contribution you were thinking of giving to your Congressman who won't support the freedom to marry? Instead, use it to buy a plane ticket to Madrid or Montreal. Let's reward our friends. I've been to both countries and they are beautiful, and lot's of fun!
I am very excited about the launch of Logo, the MTV-sponsored all-gay cable network that will initially be available in 10 million homes. Here are twelve shows that would be a safe bet to succeed:
The White Party CSI: Forensics experts investigate and track down an evil drug dealer who sold a lethal combination of poppers and Viagra at a Miami circuit party.
Metro Guy For the Queer Pig Sty: This show is dedicated to all the beer guzzling, plaid-shirt wearing, fat, pale gay men who think Universal Gear is a shop that fixes tractors. In this stereotype-breaking show, a gang of five straight Metrosexuals enters a Bear's house and teaches him how to properly shine his leather thong and trim his back hair.
Survivor: In this highly anticipated show, 10 "ex-gays" will be airlifted and placed on an island stocked with sex addicted A&F Models. Each time an ex-gay breaks down and sodomizes, he is booted off the island. This show should have extraordinary ratings, but there is a reasonable fear that none of the ex-gays will make it to the second episode.
(Gay Couple Celebrates In Igloo; While, U.S. Is Frozen In Dark Ages)
The House of Commons voted 158 to 133 to adopt controversial legislation that will make Canada the third country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. Congratulations to our great neighbors to the north for their courage and strength.
Now, we in the U.S. can wait for Mexico and even Cuba to eventually legalize the freedom to marry, while we denigrate committed gay couples and debate Creationism. While this is an incredible victory for humanity, we in the U.S. can hang our heads in shame. Instead of leading the way, we are mere spectators, watching others live the very ideals of freedom and liberty that we espouse.
Thank God for Canada. May the United States join the Enlightenment some time in the next century.
This evening, President Bush is going to address the nation on Iraq. What can he say to make the situation better? Bush's lies, combined with awful post-war planning, have left the U.S. with no good options. Here are our three choices:
1) We can quit, pack up and go home. Of course, this will leave the mideast in the hands of terrorists and significantly increase the odds of more terrorist attacks in the U.S.
2) Bush and Cheney can continue to pretend all is well and that we are simply mopping up and looking for the last two or three terrorists remaining in Iraq. But we all know by now - even Fox News Republicans - that this will only lead to indefinite bloodshed and take us down the Vietnam path. Let's be honest, there is no exit to the current quagmire. The status quo is broken and beyond repair.
3) Bush can tell the truth and say that in order to win, America must follow the Powell Doctrine and re-enter Iraq with overwhelming force. This means adding at least another 500,000 troops. The problem is, because Bush lied from the beginning, our military is having trouble recruiting and retaining troops. The only way to solve this problem is through a draft. And no politician -Democrat or Republican - has the guts to state this tragic truth.
So, Bush can say or spin, or spit for that matter, and nothing will change the daunting facts on the ground. It has been said about this war that we "have the toys, but not the boys". Only a draft changes this equation. Don't expect the truth tonight. But, you can expect the long, drawn out truth to come home in flag-draped body bags, as Iraq continues to slide into chaos. Bush is really just wasting air-time tonight that would be better spent showing sitcoms to help us forget the painful mess in which our nation is trapped.
Tennessee officials closed an investigation into a so-called ex-gay ministry because of a lack of evidence to support child abuse allegations. But the Memphis organization that says instilling Christian beliefs can keep gays from acting on their homosexual desires continues to be the center of controversy. (ABCNews.com)
The Montgomery County Board of Education has reached an agreement that binds them to include members of a conservative parents group and a group of former homosexuals in redesigning a new sex-education curriculum.
I presume this will include the flashback therapy promoted by PFOX. This is where a gay man takes a tennis racquet and bangs it against a pillow while screaming out his father's name at the top of his lungs. "DAD, DAD, DAD!!!" The idea is that this will produce a flashback on how Dad traumatized him, giving the patient insight on how he became gay.
Welcome to the new sex education program in Montgomery County. I'm sure Creationism is just around the corner.
The Supreme Court made a prudent decision today to stop the Religious Right from further shoving its unwanted and dangerous brand of religion down the throats of Americans. In a 5-4 decision, the court struck down Ten Commandments displays in courthouses, saying it was an obvious attempt to undermine the separation of church and state.
According to ABCnews.com, the justices left themselves legal wiggle room on this issue, saying that some displays like their own courtroom frieze would be permissible if they're portrayed neutrally in order to honor the nation's legal history.
"The touchstone for our analysis is the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion," Justice David H. Souter wrote for the majority. "When the government acts with the ostensible and predominant purpose of advancing religion, it violates that central Establishment clause value of official religious neutrality."
Very well said. I'm sure the theocrats aren't listening, however, and will launch a fresh series of unpatriotic attacks to destabilize the courts. The truth is, the far right does not want America to be neutral on religious issues. They want the Bible to replace the Constitution. Sadly, The 10 Commandments are used as nothing more than a ruse and a prop for New-Puritans to accomplish their far more radically sweeping goals. Fortunately, the majority of the court was not suckered by this 10 Commandments gimmick.
After six months of presidential speeches, town meetings and maneuvering over White House plans to overhaul Social Security, Republicans are coming to grips with an unpleasant reality: The central pillars of President Bush's proposal have crumbled on Capitol Hill. (L.A. Times)
Finally, Americans are understanding that Bush and Cheney continue to hoodwink them on Iraq. Here are the poll numbers from a Washington Post/ABC News Poll:
A majority of Americans reject claims by the Bush Administration that the insurgency in Iraq is weakening and are divided on whether victory over the insurgents will have a major impact on terrorism elsewhere in the world, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Barely one in five Americans -- 22 percent -- say they believe that the insurgency is getting weaker while 24 percent believe it is strengthening. More than half -- 53 percent -- say resistance to U.S. and Iraqi government forces has not changed. The Post-ABC poll also found that few Americans agree with Vice President Cheney that the insurgency was in its "last throes." That claim, which Cheney made recently in an interview with Larry King on CNN, has been repeatedly challenged by critics of the administration's Iraq policy and defended by Bush officials.
One in four Americans -- 25 percent -- say they believed that the bloody campaign against U.S. forces and the fledgling Iraqi government is on "its last legs." Even among those who thought the resistance was weakening, only half believe that the insurgency was in its final stages.
In the battle against AIDS, the Bush administration is both savior and scoundrel. Washington is the single largest financier of AIDS programs in poor countries. But the administration uses its muscle to extinguish necessary and successful programs it finds politically objectionable, and to carry out ineffective ideological crusades. (NYT Editorial)