Jesurgislac’s Journal

November 12, 2008

Yes I am

If you don’t want to live in a dark, evil country post this in your blog:

You know, I’ve studied history, I’ve read about America and you know something, if it weren’t for liberals, we’d be living in a dark, evil country, far worse than anything Bush could conjure up. A world where children were told to piss on the side of the road because they weren’t fit to pee in a white outhouse, where women had to get back alley abortions and where rape was a joke, unless the alleged criminal was black, whereupon he was hung from a tree and castrated.

What has conservatism given America? A stable social order? A peaceful homelife? Respect for law and order? No. Hell, no. It hasn’t given us anything we didn’t have and it wants to take away our freedoms.
(more…)

My Obama Wish List: 7

What’s next?

7. Investigate the Department of Defense for all those implicated in the torture of prisoners held by the US military.

Everyone who worked there during the Bush administration who could have known about the torture of prisoners before they read about it in the papers, must be investigated to discover if they did.

If they knew about the torture of prisoners and did not speak out, the minimum penalty exacted should be to be fired from their post and banned for life from any government employment: prosecution may follow. And yes, that includes the officers whose crime was “merely” to ignore the reports of lower-ranking soldiers that US soldiers were torturing prisoners. The more senior the position held, the more strongly an investigation should push for prosecution. Neither Donald Rumsfeld nor Robert M. Gates should be exempt.

Okay, break’s over!

November 11, 2008

Remember: this is not the way to put an end to war

He’s five feet two and he’s six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He’s all of 31 and he’s only 17
He’s been a soldier for a thousand years

He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain,
a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
and he knows he shouldn’t kill
and he knows he always will
kill you for me my friend and me for you

And he’s fighting for Canada,
he’s fighting for France,
he’s fighting for the USA,
and he’s fighting for the Russians
and he’s fighting for Japan,
and he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way

And he’s fighting for Democracy
and fighting for the Reds
He says it’s for the peace of all
He’s the one who must decide
who’s to live and who’s to die
and he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He’s the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can’t go on

He’s the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can’t you see
this is not the way we put an end to war.

My Obama Wish List: 6

What’s next?

6 Withdraw all US troops from Iraq.

Well, okay, even McCain would have had to do that. Bush was supposed to set a timetable for withdrawal a year ago. The US military is overstretched, exhausted, and so near breaking point it’s not even funny.

Better Dunkirque than Thermopylae.

Okay, break’s over!

November 10, 2008

My Obama Wish List: 5

Filed under: Bad Stuff Happens,My Obama Wish List — jesurgislac @ 8:39 am
Tags: ,

What’s next?

5 Repeal the USA-PATRIOT Act.

Does anything more really need to be said?

Okay, break’s over!

November 9, 2008

Closing Guantanamo Bay

Twenty-four hours ago, I went to a demo organised by kids from my old school. (I didn’t take photos because I couldn’t find my camera, dammit.) They got support from Amnesty International and Stop the War, and from their headteacher (the school’s changed quite a bit since I was there!).

A lawyer talked about how the Bush administration’s consistent pattern, facilitated by lawyers in their service, had been to deny what they were doing, to minimize what they were doing, and to reframe what they were doing.

The MP for the constituency in which my old school stands, talked about how the UK Government had supported the US government’s lies and attack human rights.

Three students from the school made short and passionate speeches against the kidnappings and torture of the US: the last student also told Barack Obama – a message that I wish Obama could have heard – that this was Obama’s chance to prove he was truly going to change: to close down the gulags. To apologize to the victims who have suffered for so many years of American extra-judicial imprisonment. To give those against whom there is a case a fair trial.

To publish these people’s names: to admit they are there. The US government moves prisoners around the world, from one gulag to another.

To end this monstrous injustice that has become both a symbol of the US’s position in the world and a real horror for so many people who have spent years in the cages of the US and for the people who have lost kindred or friends to these cages.

The demo lasted half an hour: not long. We stood in the rain and sun and listened, a hundred or more of us. No reporter had attended, though several had been invited: apparently Guantanamo Bay is “not newsworthy”.

My Obama Wish List: 4

What’s next?

4. Investigate the 84 Bush-appointed U.S. Attorneys who were not sacked

At least nine U.S. Attorneys were sacked because they did not comply with the Bush administration’s orders to be partisan and to make use of their powers to support their party and the Bush administration.

The U.S. Attorneys who were appointed by George W. Bush and who were not sacked must be investigated to clear them of the presumption that they escaped sacking because they were willing to use their powers as partisan tools of the Bush administration.

Especially given the Bush administration’s willingness to use the U.S. Attorneys to electioneer by falsely incriminating Democratic candidates and shielding Republican candidates for office.

Okay, break’s over!

November 8, 2008

The awful self-pity of the self-righteous bigot: reprise

About a week before the election, Orson Scott Card posted a lengthy whine about how it was so unfair that his gay friends wanted him to treat them as equals and as friends, and people were being so mean to him just because he was campaigning – as a Mormon in North Carolina – to take away civil rights for a group of people in California. Why couldn’t these people be kind to him? Tolerate his intolerance? (The awful self-pity of the self-righteous bigot.)

I thought this was just Card being a whiner – his other posts against equal marriage and religious freedom have included self-pitying references to how outrageous it is that people actually call him a homophobe for his open support of anti-gay discrimination and legal persecution of LGBT people.

But now it appears that the leadership of the LDS Church has taken to whining about how people reacted to their bigoted campaign against equal marriage in California:

It is disturbing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is being singled out for speaking up as part of its democratic right in a free election.

What, everyone should just have ignored that infamous letter from First Presidency urging the membership of the Church in California to campaign for Proposition 8? Funny, I hear that bishops who tried to be low-key in their response to that letter were being criticised by church leadership for not making their political campaign strong enough. If you don’t want to be singled out for speaking up, the solution is simple: don’t speak up.

More hypocrisy:

Members of the Church in California and millions of others from every faith, ethnicity and political affiliation who voted for Proposition 8 exercised the most sacrosanct and individual rights in the United States — that of free expression and voting.

Yes. But just voting for Proposition 8 wasn’t what that letter from the First Presidency was all about. Most of the funding to support the “Yes on 8″ campaign came from outside California. It’s reported that the majority of it came from LDS members, who had been urged by their church leadership to support Proposition 8. In June, the First Presidency wrote:

We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage.

That is a clear call to campaign against religious freedom in California, and against the freedom to marry. Not just to vote against it. Churches which campaign politically lose their tax-exempt status: this was a political campaign conducted by the LDS church. Trying to reduce down to LDS members just voting is a lie.

And again:

While those who disagree with our position on Proposition 8 have the right to make their feelings known, it is wrong to target the Church and its sacred places of worship for being part of the democratic process.

In the New Statesman article (also linked to above), a bishop called Robert Bennion would deliberately take members of his congregation off church property in order to discuss what they might do to support Proposition 8.

“So far I’ve worked very hard to keep this whole thing at arm’s length,” Bennion said. “I see this as purely a political endeavor, which is why I don’t allow any campaigning during church time or on church property. In my mind, it’s possible to be in favor of Proposition 8 without being anti-homosexual.”
While Bennion’s Switzerland impression may seem like on good idea on paper, in reality he’s taken the one position that would make him a target for both sides. His superiors within the church, for example, have repeatedly requested that he get more involved in the issue, but their phone calls are easily ignored and Bennion himself can’t help but smile when the click of a button sends their emails from his inbox to the trash can.

Honour to Bennion for trying to keep a “sacred place of worship” separate from the political campaigning demanded by his church leadership, but it’s clear Bennion was an exception, not the rule, and an exception that came under attack from church leadership. If you base a political campaign in a church, you have no moral grounds for asking political protesters to stay away from your church.

The whine from the LDS finishes with the following piece of stunning hypocrisy:

Once again, we call on those involved in the debate over same-sex marriage to act in a spirit of mutual respect and civility towards each other. No one on either side of the question should be vilified, harassed or subject to erroneous information.

This from the church that funded a campaign consisting wholly and entirely of disrespect, incivility, vilification, harrassment, and lies.

Why be such whiners? I suspect it’s a symptom of privilege. (Sadly, I think another example of this is the white/racist reaction blaming the success of Proposition 8 on the “black vote” – see this journal entry for a breakdown of the issues, a numbers breakdown, and of course Pam’s House Blend.) You complain about not being treated with respect when you are absolutely accustomed to being immune from criticism from that source. One Mormon man was complaining in an earlier thread that after he’d posted a long comment calling me an infected, inferior, abusive creature not deserving of equal rights, I wasn’t being as polite to him as he evidently felt he deserved…


Update: from the demo in Salt Lake City which the LDS church took exception to: “Let us all call for greater love, better understanding, dignity and respect toward all — regardless of race, regardless of faith or lack of faith, and regardless of sexual orientation.” In that article from the Mormon Times, by the way, the author Jared Page blandly lies that “the church did not contribute directly to the campaign”.

My Obama Wish List: 3

What’s next?

3. Repeal DOMA.

The Defense of Marriage Act (PDF) is a piece of bigoted nonsense that Bill Clinton should have vetoed. (Though to be fair, if he had vetoed it, you can bet the Republicans would have brought it back after 20th January 2001.)

Once DOMA is repealed, same-sex couples who are legally married must receive all federal recognition and benefits. The states which have passed legislation or constitutional amendments declaring that they don’t have to give full faith and credit to marriages or civil unions they don’t like, will have to deal direct with Article 4 of the US Constitution, which says rather definitely (and is backed by case law) that they do.

Okay, break’s over!

Joy to the world

Filed under: Full of win — jesurgislac @ 12:16 am
Tags: , , , , ,

On 20th January 2009, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney will no longer be President/Vice President of the United States. John McCain and Sarah Palin did not achieve their Brain/Pinky goal of taking over the world.

Barack Obama is President-Elect of the United States.

These things are still true.

And… Fred Clark just began his next series of Left Behind Fridays.

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