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My Letter to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee

Posted by libhom Monday, January 30, 2006 4 comments

I sent the DSCC the following letter and used their pre-paid envelope to do it.

--------------------------------------------------------

I am shocked and horrified that the Senate Democrats failed to filibuster the nomination of Samuel Alito to the US Supreme Court despite the fact that there are more than enough Democrats in the Senate to accomplish the task.

They should be ashamed of themselves. Every Senator who voted against the Alito filibuster violated his or her oath of office to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. There is no excuse for this dishonorable and unpatriotic behavior.

It also represents a failure of the Democratic Party as institution. The Democratic Party constantly pays lip-service to its core constituencies while caving to the Religious Right and corporate donors. Symbolic votes by some Democrats against Alito are not enough. The party as an institution has an inescapable patriotic duty to do everything in its power to block dishonest and dangerous extremists like Alito from the US Supreme Court.

How many times will the Democratic Party betray me as a gay man, an atheist, a liberal, and an American? How many times will so many Democrats kick me in the teeth and then expect me to say “thank you” and write them checks? Do you really think I want a penny of my money to go to supporting people like Robert Byrd who embraced many of the KKK's core values (e.g. racism, sexism, homophobia, and Christian supremacy) by voting to confirm Alito?

Instead, I will give money to Green Party candidates who are running against Senators who did not vote for the Alito filibuster.

Please take me off of your mailing list.

Is Chafee Really Moderate and Pro-Choice?

Posted by libhom Sunday, January 29, 2006 2 comments

Senator Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island generally has marketed himself as a moderate, pro-choice Republican. Yet, his voting record on the Bush Administration's judicial appointees strongly contradicts the marketing. Chafee has voted for all of Bush's appointees, no matter who extreme and rabidly anti-choice those appointees might be.

The biggest test will come with the Alito Filibuster. If Chafee votes against the Alito Filibuster, it will prove that Chafee is a right-wing extremist dedicated to eliminating the right of women to choose on abortion. No amount of spin will fool informed voters and donors after this one.

Contact the Chafee Campaign and demand that he vote for the Alito Filibuster.

info@chafeeforsenate.com
Phone: (401) 921-1920 Fax: (401) 921-1980 Email: info@chafeeforsenate.com

Has Byrd Really Rejected the Values of the KKK?

Posted by libhom Thursday, January 26, 2006 1 comments

Former Ku Klux Klan member Senator Robert Byrd has officially disavowed the KKK for years. Yet, there have been published reports that Byrd will oppose a filibuster against Samuel Alito and may actually vote to confirm Alito to the Supreme Court.

This is disturbing. Alito embodied the racist, sexist, and homophobic values of the Ku Klux Klan throughout his adult life. Even worse, Alito often has used his position as a federal judge to violate statutes and the US Constitution in order to promote those bigoted values.

If Byrd does not support the filibuster of Alito, he will be making it clear that he may no longer be a card-carrying member of the KKK, but that a part of him will always cherish the KKK's values.

Chile's Next President Will Be an Atheist

Posted by libhom Sunday, January 15, 2006 1 comments

The election victory of Michelle Bachelet is getting a lot of deserved attention because she will be Chile's first woman president. The ability of Chilean socialists to hold that nation's presidency is being interpreted as part of the overwhelming popularity of the left in South America these days.

However, something very important to freethinkers often is ignored. Bachelet is an atheist.

During the campaign, she was famous for saying, "I am a divorced woman, an atheist and a socialist; and I will be the next president of Chile.” Dan Quayle would be even more upset to learn that she is a single mother.

I wonder how long it will take before America elects our first woman president. How much longer will it be before we elect of first openly gay and openly atheist presidents? Social progress in the US is lagging because of the obvious problem of the Religious Right.

One has to wonder. Will Americans have to turn to socialism in order to gain basic political progress that should be supported by everyone, regardless of their views on economics?

It can be so funny watching the Christian Taliban stumble with its latest scheme to undermine the teaching of evolution in public school science classes: “Intelligent Design”

The theory, based on the odd assumption that a high degree of complexity necessitates an intelligent designer, may seem superficially helpful to the Talibanists' cause. However, if humans were designed, rather than being the products of evolution, there is a significant problem: aspects of human anatomy and physiology that do not work very well.

In Christian theology, the deity is all-wise, all-powerful, and all-knowing. Such a deity could not produce organisms with flaws such as the following.


  1. Humans have an appendix, an organ that accomplishes nothing for us and can kill us if it gets infected, which is a reasonably common occurance.

  2. Male-pattern baldness

  3. The human cravings for foods that are bad for us.


While items 1 and 3 are easily explained in evolutionary terms, they could only be the results of an intelligent, but imperfect designer, bad news for Christianity. The appendix is a reduced vestige of a caecum, an area of the intestinal tract that primates use to digest cellulose. Digestion of cellulose no longer is done by humans, who can get their nutritional needs met through meat and the remaining molecules of plants.

Humans crave fat and salt because both were scarce for our ancestors. However, in a perfectly designed organism, cravings would match the current dietary environment.

As for items 2, it can be explained through the concept of neutral mutation. Mutations that have no impact on reproduction (and survival's impact is on the organism's ability to reproduce) have no selective pressures and can become randomly incorporated through a process of what is called “genetic drift.” Males going bald would have little or no impact on reproductive levels, especially among ancestors that seldom lived past the age of 30, and started breeding in their early teens.

“Intelligent Design” is as unChristian as it is unscientific. It is so funny when the Christian fundamentalists end up undermining their own faiths while trying to undermine scientific facts that threaten their faiths. If “Intelligent Design” did not threaten science education, it would just be part of a litany of unintentional humor by religious extremists.

Shalit Makes a Fool Out of Himself

Posted by libhom Sunday, January 08, 2006 0 comments

The Today Show's Gene Shalit showed tremendous immaturity and homophobia in his 1/5/06 review of Brokeback Mountain. Shalit refers to one of the characters as a "sexual predator," because he goes after the man he loves. If a leading man was pursuing the woman he loves, he wouldn't be referred to as a "sexual predator." This double-standard completely discredits Shalit and his review.

Also, Shalit's nervous, smirking style during the review is what one would expect in a video podcast from a junior high school student. If Shalit is too immature to review movies involving same-sex love, then those movies should be assigned to a mature adult.

GLAAD has video of the embarrassing review on its web site.

Support Moveon.org's Efforts to Stop Alito

Posted by libhom Wednesday, January 04, 2006 0 comments

You can join in MoveOn.org's efforts to stop the nomination of Samuel Alito, a militant, anti-American fundamentalist, to the US Supreme Court.

Send letters to your Senators!



Here are some quotes from MoveOn's email on the subject.

AFL-CIO
We are compelled to oppose [Alito's] nomination to be an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court. ...Judge Alito's decisions and dissents show a disturbing tendency to take an extremely narrow and restrictive view of laws passed by Congress to protect workers' rights, resulting in workers being deprived of wage and hour, health and safety, anti-discrimination, pension and other important protections.


NAACP
"We have undertaken an extensive review of Judge Alito's civil rights record spanning his career as a lawyer and a judge...As a result we have concluded that Judge Alito's confirmation would cause a substantial shift in the Supreme Court's jurisprudence on civil rights and that his confirmation would be to the detriment of the nation. Thus, we are compelled to oppose his nomination.


Sierra Club
In the first such move since the Bork nomination of 1987, on December 20 the Sierra Club joined with other national environmental groups to urge Senators to oppose the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. Americans deserve mainstream, independent Justices, with unassailable integrity, who will protect individual rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, Judge Alito's opinions and other statements, combined with a disturbing lack of candor since being nominated, show that Judge Alito cannot be trusted to protect those rights and freedoms.


NARAL Pro-Choice America
Samuel Alito, Jr. of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit is an anti-choice jurist. As a member of the three-judge panel that heard Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey before the case went to the Supreme Court, Alito wrote a dissent in which he argued to uphold even more abortion restrictions than the Supreme Court eventually upheld in its now-famous decision. Alito, who has been called "a favorite son of the political right," would likely vote to eviscerate or eliminate the protections of Roe as a member of the Supreme Court.


Americans United for Separation of Church and State
According to Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr., the First Amendment puts
few limitations on politically powerful majorities' ability to use the
machinery of government to advance their religious views, even at
the expense of the religious freedom of minorities. Replacing Justice
Sandra Day O'Connor with Judge Alito would fundamentally alter
First Amendment law and immediately put at risk many of the crucial
protections for religious minorities that the Supreme Court has
recognized and consistently enforced over the past sixty years.


The Human Rights Campaign
As a Judge, Samuel Alito struck down a school policy that protected gay students from harassment. He is far to the right of Justice O'Connor on due process and reproductive rights. Judge Alito's narrow view of Congress would dangerously threaten Congress' power to enact non-discrimination legislation protecting citizens and has failed to distance himself from a group that advocated discrimination of which he was a member. In short, Judge Alito is the wrong choice for the Supreme Court.


People for the American Way
Samuel Alito has been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit since his appointment by the first President Bush in 1990. In that time, Alito has compiled an extensive, extreme right-wing judicial record on numerous matters of importance to the protection of the rights and interests of ordinary Americans—a record that has earned him the nickname "Scalito" for his ideological resemblance to Justice Antonin Scalia. Alito's judicial opinions demonstrate that he is an out of the mainstream opponent of fundamental legal rights and protections for all Americans and must not be confirmed to the Supreme Court.

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