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Friday, July 16, 2004

"Perplexed" 


Godless Americans Group Announces Endorsement of Kerry-Edwards
Press release
Godless Americans Political Action Committee
(7/14/04)
A newly formed group encouraging political action on behalf of “Godless Americans” has announced that it is endorsing the Sen. John Kerry for president and Sen. John Edwards for vice president in the 2004 national elections.

Ellen Johnson, Executive Director of the Godless Americans Political Action Committee, said that the Kerry-Edwards slate was “the clear choice over President Bush, who has spent the last four years eroding the separation of church and state, ‘packing the courts’ with judges who ignore the First Amendment, and imposing a de-facto Religion Tax through the federal faith-based initiative.”

Johnson said that the PAC grew out of the November, 2002 Godless Americans March on Washington that brought thousands of nonbelievers to the nation’s capitol for a rally on the mall.

“There are nearly 30 million Americans who describe themselves as having no religion,” said Johnson. “This includes Atheists, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists, Rationalists and others who have little or no voice in our political process, and who are often ignored by the major political parties.”

“We intend to change that.” [...]

Johnson said that the Kerry-Edwards slate was “the best alternative to four more years of George Bush and Pat Robertson running the country.”

Fifty million people freed from theocratic tyranny must not be enough.


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Thursday, July 15, 2004

Neither America Will be Voting for Edwards 


Edwards' Life Clashes With Campaign Message
David Gelernter
Los Angeles Times
(7/11/04)
Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina seems like a decent and likable man, the political equivalent of a handsome, slightly under-ripe bunch of bananas, just the thing if you are looking for bananas and can't find any ripe ones, or don't know the difference. But I can't believe the public is going to buy this act. Last week, I heard an admiring TV pundit explain, to general agreement from his fellows, that Edwards' "two Americas speech" is his No. 1 asset, followed closely by his self-made-man, up-from-the-working-class life story. The problem is, they cancel each other out.

That "two Americas" stuff suggests a country divided by a barricade, with the poor stuck on one side and the rich living it up on the other. [...]

Edwards' life story shows that his message is false. If your story is "poor boy makes good," your message can't possibly be "this is a two-part nation where poor boys are prevented from making good." [...]

Edwards' whole campaign shtick suggests he's a regular guy, just plain folks, a slob like us. So if he got over this barricade (or barrier or whatever it is), why can't anyone who really wants to? Answer: Anyone can, and everyone knows it. [...]

[H]ow exactly is this retired trial lawyer going to convince anyone or his dog that he has the answer to unemployment? That is rich. How many people have been thrown out of work because of exorbitant insurance rates forced by lawsuit terror — rates that close down businesses while obscenely rich trial lawyers get richer? [...]

Yet Edwards is on to something, in a way. Consider this proposition. "There is something out of whack about the connection between the U.S. economy and U.S. society. The wiring is fouled or the pipes are cracked or something, because the wrong activities (like trial lawyering) keep getting encouraged and rewarded. We need to think this problem through and solve it."

That I believe. What I can't believe is that Edwards will ever say it.

He is unlikely to say: "Ladies and gentlemen, why in God's name should I have made so unbelievably much money as a trial lawyer while gardeners, architects, policemen, civil engineers, physical therapists and Marine lieutenants make so (relatively) little? [...]

Nor is he likely to say: "Look at the Democratic presidential ticket, ladies and gentlemen; now look at the Republican ticket. Four rich candidates. Given that Democrats are the party of campaign finance reform, I'm hardly in a position to point out that our screwball campaign finance laws have turned every politician in the country into a money-grubbing beggar, unless he is too rich to have to bother; before long only multibillionaires will dare run for president.

"And speaking of money-grubbing: I'm hardly in a position to preach sacrifice — but isn't there any way to get more of our brightest young people to pass up law degrees or MBAs and become Talmudists, priests, physicists, archeologists?"

Two generations ago, nearly any married woman who felt like it could stay home and actually rear her own children. Today she's practically got to be married to a trial lawyer to afford it. Anyway, that's what people believe. Is this supposed to be progress? Why?

These are "liberal" questions. Too bad there are no liberal (or conservative) politicians with the cojones to ask them.

Here's a scary thought: How many Americans would become trial lawyers if they didn't have consciences?


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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Get This Guy a Spot at the Dem Convention 

Key excerpts from Saddam in court
BBC News
(7/2/04)

Saddam Hussein: How can you judge me in advance when I have not yet been tried? These are charges and not crimes. I demand lawyers. Do you have a law certificate and since when have you been recognised as a judge, after the occupation or before that?

Judge: Since the days of the previous regime and until now. The coalition authority asked me to hold this trial.

Saddam Hussein (laughing): Then you are trying me by order of the invasion forces. By what law are you trying me?

Judge: I am trying you in accordance with the Iraqi law.

Saddam Hussein: Then you are trying me by the law that I enacted. You are trying me by a law that I approved and ratified.

Saddam Hussein: I do not want to make you feel uneasy, but you know this is all theatre by Bush to help him with his election campaign. The real criminal is Bush.

Michael Moore has taught you well, Obi-wan.


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