Monday, January 31, 2005

About Time: 3 years later, Gitmo Detainees Have Due Process Rights

Boston.com - Judge rules detainees have right to lawyers
A federal judge ruled that Gitmo detainees have basic due process rights before the government can deny them protection under the Geneva Conventions. They have a right to a lawyer and to the courts to see if they are properly detained. About damn time. I have maintained from day one of these detainings that the whole purpose of the Geneva Conventions was to safeguard reciprocal rights and protections, and should always be applied liberally. We, as Americans, expect our military men and women to have these protections: it is only right that we go overboard in protecting the rights of those we capture. Look at the fiascos and atrocities which have happened on this president's watch. Without basic, unalienable rights of all people - not just citizens and governments - we might as well be no better than animals. Sheesh! What a concept!

Saturday, January 29, 2005

New U.S. Education Secretary castigates PBS for "Buster" Lesbian Episode

MetroWest Daily News - Columnists
Barely in office and the new U. S. secretary of education, Margaret Spellings is already pushing a right-wing, Christian platform. This column spells it out fairly well. It looks as though Ms Spellings is going to try to censor anything to do with alternative lifestyles. Watch out single parents - you are likely next. Good heavens! What about the childless couples who are married (like my wife and I)? Are we next because we are married with no plan to procreate? Could be Ms Spellings has a fetish or might be a closet lesbian since the subject is uppermost in her mind and on her agenda. methinks the lady doest protest too much. Live and let live, you homophobes. Buster is a kiddie show for really young kids. They don't care about sex or have the prejudices this mean, hate-monger wants to fill them with (I realize I ended with a preposition - it's a blog, dude!). They just want to know why billy has two moms or two dads or just one parent or is living with their grandmother. Get over it and try to EDUCATE our young - not indoctrinate them.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Silly Right Wing - Pot calls Kettle Black

religious right accuses democrat senators of 'prejudice' - news from ekklesia
I've got to report this story. The Christian Coalition of America, a right-wing religious group, called all the senators who voted against the Rice nomination as Secretary of State "prejudiced" against what they call successful American conservative minorities. These are the same people who try to keep gays and lesbians down, who are against MLK day, and think women should be kept barefoot and pregnant. Come on, these people are fruit-loops. These nuts even say that Bush has "reached out to minorities", like Bush did a big favor by lifting up the downtrodden black and hispanic people he names to positions in his administration. Powell, Garcia, and Rice were successful before Bush came into the picture. Besides, there aren't all that many hardcore right-wing republican blacks and hispanics in the country. Just name me any others who were considered for positions. Reality 1: fantasy - 0.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Bought and Paid For Conservative Commentators

CNN.com - Bush: Pundit payments will stop
Talk about talking heads! It seems that the hardcore conservative right talking heads have been receiving payments from cabinet posts of the Bush Administration to talk up a positive spin on White House agenda items. These are the same people who yell and scream about the liberal media and the Dan Rather fiasco. At least Dan was trying to do a good job. He wasn't being paid by the dems to do it. He thought he had a good news story however it turned out. Bush is a little late to disavow this practice. Notice that our prez only naysayed this practice after his cabinet folks were caught. Ethics and this administration have never met. Come on, dudes! The concept is easy to get - You don't pay for story coverage; you buy ads. Good PR people could get the media to talk about anything! Everyone know all about Jessica Simpson and Paris Hilton. Good PR does not mean ethics go out the window. Sheesh!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

HoustonChronicle.com - Supreme Court broadens police search authority

HoustonChronicle.com - U.S. Supreme Court broadens police search authority
SCOTUS, in an increasingly anti-personal freedoms agenda, ruled that police have the right to have drug dogs sniff the outside of a suspect's car even if they have no reasonable suspicion. The high court did say that the cops could not detain a person too long to await the arrival of a drug dog. This case was out of Illinois where police stopped a man for a traffic stop. Police asked for the man's license, which he had, but they then noticed air freshener scent emanating from the interior of the car. Police also said the driver appeared nervous. So, in comes good ole Fido, the drug-sniffing dog, who reacted to the trunk. Police searched and found $250,000 worth of drugs. The upshot of this new ruling when coupled with other rulings by SCOTUS is this: Expect minimal privacy in your car and in the airport; the cops need no real reason to pull you over for a stop; they have a right to search you as a safety measure; they have a right to handcuff you and put you in their cruiser for their own safety; they can hold you up for as long as ninety minutes while they await a drug dog to sniff your car; If the dumb animal "hits" on your car, they have a right to search your car, even stripping it to see if drugs are in your car. If they find other contraband, you are screwed with no fourth amendment violation having occurred. Think about that the next time you lend your car to your ganja-smoking brother-in-law. You could end up having a junked car with no recourse, or even end up with no car if any drugs were found - even residue. If it is enough quantity to test, it is enough quantity to convict. Remember, dog handlers can always claim that their dog reacted positively to your car. It is a matter of faith that cops don't lie- sheesh!
I feel so constrained, and I don't even do drugs. Can you say police state? I knew you could.

Houston News Anchor Sinking - is Bill Balleza Biased? An Opinion Piece

I just watched the only Houston Channel that comes in clear enough to catch the local news - KPRC: Channel 2, a Newsweek - Post owned station. One of the multiple anchors reported on the clash in Congress as "democrats using the confirmation hearings to bash the Bush Administration". I wonder whatever happened to fair, unbiased reporting. For those of you new to the process of news reporting, words like "bash" in a story without attribution to someone other than the reporter is considered editorializing. Bash is a subjective word, and is a loaded word - especially when used in a political story. I do watch the other Houston stations when they come in, but Channel 2 is the most adept when it comes to sensationalizing the news. With these anchors, everything is a tragedy, a disaster, or tragic disaster. It is not enough to report what happens; these folks think they have to add "COLOR". During the reporting of the tsunami recently they even used the all those words along with Disaster several times in a sentence; and this was several weeks after the terribly tragic tsunami trounced Thailand. These folks are so bad at good Journalism I think I shall go back into my Media Critic role. You see, the difference between what I can say and what they say is I tell you that part of my reporting is opinion; they pass theirs off as Journalism.
It is okay to have one's bias show in an opinion piece; it is NOT okay in straight reporting.

Police Spend more than $20,000 to Nab Apple-eating Driver for $180 fine

From The Sun UK - Core! What a Massive Waste!
Police in the U.K. didn't like the woman driver's refusal to pay a spot fine (fixed fine assessed by the cop payable at the time the ticket is issued). So, the cops used a helicopter and other expensive equipment prosecuting the driver. After all the evidence was given at the TENTH Hearing, the judge found the woman guilty and fined her the approximately $180. The cops spent more than $18,000 to provide evidence simply because she refused to pay the fine on the spot and demanded her day in court. The cop originally pulled her over for unsafe driving because he thought the driver was using a cell phone - she was eating an apple and said she was not driving unsafe. Three cheers for the driver - three raspberries for the cops.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Rumsfield Has Secret Spy Network Contrary To U.S. Law

US News Article | Reuters.com
One of the hallmarks of a runaway, despotic government is the creation of nonsanctioned spy outfits. If this report is true, then defense secretary Rummy is setting himself as above the law. The logical conclusion would cause one to wonder if this is the type of ammo he used to keep his job when all the other cabinet members left. I wonder what other secrets and law-breaking has yet to be uncovered - what's next? Perhaps secret police in this nation? Will we likely find those in Attorney General Ashcroft's litter? We shall see.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The World interprets GW BUSH in New Term

Terrorism & Security | csmonitor.com
This article is based on excerpts of various news outlets across the world. It looks like a bleak next four years. The prez used some of Abe Lincoln's words to bolster his argument for a preemptive war in Iraq and for possible use of the same in the future. Bush applied Abraham Lincoln's words: "those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves; and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it" to his own phrase "the rulers of outlaw regimes." What is ironic is the man does not see the liberties and freedoms he has curtailed in the USA in the name of security and "freedom". Heavy Sigh

Monday, January 17, 2005

Bush Misses the Point of M L King Day

The New York Times > Washington > Bush Cites Religion as a Pillar for Dr. King
Leave it up to our fearless leader to use M.L. King Day as a bully pulpit to espouse his religious views. Instead of talking of the hardship endured, and the legacy of Civil Rights, Bush chose to make Dr. King a total religious zealot. He does not understand that one can believe equality and freedom was given to all men by a higher power, but it took a man living in the real world to make a stand to enforce those rights. Sheesh! The president, esprcially in these times, should not be a religious zealot. He represents too many idealologies, some of which are agnostic or atheist. I have never felt a president was so far removed from real life and day-to-day issues than this one is. To paraphrase a fine gentleman from The Andy Griffith Show, "He's living in another world!."

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