Friday, August 25, 2006

Let's (Not) Do the Time Warp Again

I believe this article says all that needs to be said. Please note that the date of the article is 2006 not 1956.

Damn. Just damn.

Black students ordered to give up seats to whites
Status of Red River Parish bus driver is unknown
August 24, 2006

By Vickie Welborn

COUSHATTA -- Nine black children attending Red River Elementary School were directed last week to the back of the school bus by a white driver who designated the front seats for white children. Click here to read the full article.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Last Broken Promise

OK, folks hang onto your hats and while you're at it, grab your sons, brothers, husbands, uncles, nephews and male cousins, especially if they're 35 or under. According to this post at the Carpetbagger Report, it seems the possibility of the draft again looms it's ugly head.

During the 2004 Presidential Election Debates, George W. Bush was asked about the draft. The question and a portion of his answer are below (the full text of his answer can be read here).

Mr. President, since we continue to police the world, how do you intend to maintain our military presence without reinstituting a draft?

I hear there's rumors on the Internets (sic) that we're going to have a draft. We're not going to have a draft, period. The all- volunteer army works. It works particularly when we pay our troops well. It works when we make sure they've got housing, like we have done in the last military budgets.

An all-volunteer army is best suited to fight the new wars of the 21st century, which is to be specialized and to find these people as they hide around the world.

Now, forget all this talk about a draft. We're not going to have a draft so long as I am the president.

Well, like father like son. W's Daddy, George H. W. Bush, stood before the American people during and trumpeted his now famous line: Read my lips - No new taxes. Of course he went on to break his promise and raise taxes anyhow. And folks were still pretty mad about come election time which explains how he only ended up serving one term and why we ended up with Bill & Monica doing their thang in the oval office. People were ready for the President to lighten up a bit (but I don't think that much.

I'm pretty sure there were several million people hanging onto W's every word when he made his promise about the draft. I'm sure there were many mothers and fathers who breathed a sigh of relief and went ahead and spent the emergency "Send Our Kid to Canada" money because at the time of re-election between folks getting blown up and even the stop losses getting, well, stopped, they're just weren't that many folks wanting to go to Iraq or Afghanistan.

But now, according to this section of the ABC News Website, The Blotter, it seems that he may be just about to break that promise. The official quote from Cheney (who is the voice and backbone of the Bush Administration) leaves a lot to be desired for anyone hanging on to hopes that a draft is impossible and as they put it "unlikely".

"We keep the provisions for the draft in case circumstances should arise where it might be needed," he said, "but I don't foresee the development of those kinds of conditions any time in the future."

Considering the many broken promises of this President and his Chickenhawk Administration, how are we supposed to believe that the draft, which Bush/Cheney assures us is "unlikely" has always been a near certainty? Especially when the military encourages stunts like this.

How many lies will the American People tolerate before we realize that Impeachment shouldn't just be a debate anymore?

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Back to School

A mother sitting on the bench outside the fitting room, looking sad, dejected and angry.

A girl inside one of the fitting room cubicles, crying and angrily trying on mini-skirts.

"What do you think?"

"I don't care."

Yep, it's back to school shopping again.


Today, I take her to her school's back-to-school picnic. No sooner than Arabella gets her Freshman Schedule and a ticket to get her drink and hot dog, she ditches me to go find her friends.

I stand there and eat my hot dog and drink my drink, standing near some people I almost know but not sitting down because they don't invite me to. After I finish my Ohana Raspberry Lemonade and eat my hot dog, plain because who wants to fumble with ketchup and mustard while juggling a purse and a drink with no plate and no place to sit. I stand in the half shade for a while, walk into the school and try to spot her. I recognize one girl with burgundy streaked hair and ask her where Cynthia is but I must sound as exasperated as I feel because she just shrugs. I walk around for another second or two and decide screw this. She doesn't really miss me and I'm sick of getting parentally dissed and I'm really not looking forward to hanging around like a dejected wall-flower for the next four years because she doesn't want to be the uncool one with her mom when in reality, since it was a back-to-school event, everyone was there with at least one parent in tow.

But I get the clueless kid who thinks it's ok to ditch her mom. Screw it. So I came home and decided to catch up on my blog. She'll figure out I'm gone eventually and if it's dark when she calls, I'll go get her. If it's still daylight, she'll have to walk.


I never thought that this would be my relationship with my kid. Most days it's not. But I see the pangs of adole....

Ah, the phone rang. It was her asking me why I left her. The nerve! I left her? She ditches me, does the tour of her classes by herself (and I really would have liked to have met her teachers maybe we'll do the whole thing again since I said I'd come get her even though it's daylight) and supposedly, I left her.

I've got four more years of this kid pretending that I'm not really her mother, just her chauffeur.

No matter how much you try to prepare yourself for that, no many how many times you read it in a book or see it in a sitcom, and even if you know that your kid won’t be any different than the millions of other kids…

It still hurts.


So I went back. And she very graciously and kindly asked if I would like to meet her teachers. We walked around the school, met the teachers, she showed me where her new locker would be.

She can be very kind when she wants to be and she was in a very light and determined way doing her best to be a good hostess on our little tour this time around.

As we were leaving I asked her outright, "Am I going to spend the next four years suffering from "Chauffeur Syndrome"?

"What's that."

"Where you walk around pretending I'm not really your mother, just your "ride".

She had the grace to look sheepish for a moment and even at that she still had to think about it for a moment or two.


Ok then.

And the rest of the evening was all right. We ordered Chinese.

Tomorrow school begins.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor Rocks!

"No More King, Part II"

It takes a woman all powdered and pink
To joyously clean out the drain in the sink
And it takes an angel with long golden lashes
And soft dresden fingers
For dumping the ashes

Yes it takes a woman
A dainty woman
A sweetheart, a mistress, a wife
O yes it takes a woman
A fragile woman
To bring you the sweet things in life

Except instead of the pale, pink lady described above, picture a strong and wise, brown and beautiful, intelligent African American woman of a youthful 73 (Cheney & Bush's worst nightmare, Condoleeza notwithstanding, and as long as she continues to relentlessly toe the party line).

Either way, it definitely takes a woman to bring us the sweet things in new hope for liberty and a shot at getting our Democratic Republic back instead of the Gothardite Envangelical Conservative Land we've been living in since September 11, 2001.

Well, The Dixie Chicks, Rev. Joseph Lowery, Cindy Sheehan, and Stephen Colbert can all take a bow. They're a few of the people who have been quitte willing to tell George Bush for a while now that he's getting entirely to big for his diminutive, executive britches and it seems as though they are right on the mark.

By now everybody and their grandmama should know that U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has pointedly and strongly ruled that in her judicial opinion (where it actually counts folks) the wiretapping that King George said he could do anytime he wanted was actually illegal, unconstitutional and should be stopped per her injunction. Of course we knew the President didn't have the right to spy on us ad infinitum but it sure is nice to have a bona fide judge back us up.

Of course the Republicans are already howling and their bigotry is all but showing. They're crying foul saying Judge Diggs is an activist judge and a "terrorist sympathiser" who "just doesn't get it". They've explained in 100 different ways why the president can do what he wants, when he wants, inside and outside the law and they're really tired of explaining it but they're going to appeal the decision anyhow and maybe some friendly Republicans up the judicial appeals chain may see things their way. Of course there's no need stop the wiretapping program, judicial injunction or no. No uppity Black woman who's a terrorist sympathiser to boot is going to tell them what to do. Judge Diggs can just take her judicial robes and go home because her opinion doesn't really matter. She's not a white guy anyway.

Don't get me wrong but this whole appeal thing (and the Bush Administrations attitude of "we can do no wrong") makes me so mad. I know, I know, it's all a part of the process but it seems that the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals is chock full of Republicans who will do nothing but overturn this. Not to mention, by the time this thing makes it through the courts Bush could be out of office and I'd really like to see the dictatorial midget and his minions tossed out on their ear long before that.

I'm talking the big "I" word. Yep, Impeachment, baby. And not just Bush. If he goes, we cannot afford to have to Cheney take his place. Cheney and a few others down the line of succession need to go as well. I don't even know if that's possible, but Dick Cheney and Karl Rove running this country together is a match made in hell if I ever saw one.

Well, if Impeachment doesn't work there's always the R word. Yep, I'm talking Revolution, baby.

1776 was over less and I say it's long past due. Too bad most Americans have been talked out of owning firearms because of the myth that "you'll more than likely shoot a family member, someone you know, or yourself than an intruder" which is a bunch of crap.

We don't have a constitutional right to own firearms. We have a constitutional DUTY to own firearms. There's a big difference and we need to learn that difference, head down to the nearest firing range and police classes for firearms safety and then we need to stock up. We need to quit glorifying gun culture and stop giving our kids guns for toys. We need to slap the piss out of the next rapper wearing any kind of blinged out gun at the end of a gold chain (which is a little last Thursday but I swear I saw it in a video this morning as I passed MTV).

We need to remember that the constitution gives us the right to not just vote but to openly protest our government. Despite what we've been told since 2000, dissent does not mean you're with the terrorists; dissent is the citizen version of tough love for our public servants and we need to remind them that just because they're from our hometowns and we like them and all and they have shiny smiles and kids and puppies and kittens on a campaign poster doesn't mean they won't get booted out of office and have to pay the piper if they should betray our trust.

Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has reminded us that we do not have a Constitution that can be circumvented at will and that not one of us, including our President, is above or beyond its sacred guidelines.

If you would like to read Judge Anna Diggs Taylor's decision click here to download the PDF file (you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to open it). It's a bit long and what you'd expect a legal decision to be. But it's in plain English, it's worth reading and like the Constitution it upholds, it's the stuff that dreams are made of.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Cincinnati City Council Gives Away Fountain Square in 7-2 Vote

Under ordinary circumstances, you would think that a headline anywhere that says "Cincinnati Gives Away Fountain Square" would be a hoax or some sort of joke headline.

I wish that this headline were some kind of hoax or joke but it is NOT. As it stands, seven members of City Council voted in an "emergency session" to put Foutain Square in the hands of a private entity, 3CDC.

As a part of this vote giving 3CDC there is also an ordinance which states that Fountain Square is now CLOSED from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. like a playground.

Appalling. And you still think I must be joking, right? As appalling as this may sound, I am not joking.

Jason Haap, commonly known as the Dean of Cincinnati has done two posts about this. Here are the links and they are must reads:

Is 3CDC Taking Over Fountain Square’s Permitting Procedure?
In this post The Dean explains that it looks like council was trying to hide this from the people of Cincinnati by passing this through in ONE DAY by calling it an emergency (see the Dean's reference to Councilman Jeff Berdings "Hurry Up Offense" here).

City of Cincinnati: Say Goodbye to Fountain Square
Here he shows how they actually did it and why the People of Cincinnati now not only have no say over Fountain Square (actually as of the last renovation, we didn't anway but at least the perception was there) and how we now don't even have access to Fountain Square during certain hours on pain of trespassing!

This affects us all and it's about time we let our leaders know that when we elect them it's to REPRESENT US not dictate to us and sell our public spaces to the highest bidder.