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Anyone But Bush For President

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George W. Bush
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George Bush
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Flush Bush!
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UserlandLast Updated: 3/18/04; 11:39:44 AM

March 2004
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What is the most damning W truth of which most Americans are unaware?

Holes in the official story of the 9-11 attacks
How massive a deficit W has created in 3 years
How the rest of the world views W and US policy
How unintelligent and unqualified W really is
How W's tax cuts affect the mega-rich vs. working people
How W's war has made terrorism more likely
Israel's actions toward Palestinians
No WMD in Saddam's Iraq
W's AWOL from National Guard
What most Iraqis think of the US occupation

Recent Posts
Flush Bush in 2004! Toilet
Saturday, March 13, 2004

Amish in the City? (or Reality TV is Truly Terrible Trash Television!)   

Hollywood Amish

As spiritual cousins to the Amish, Mennonites feel a particular distaste at the prospect of an Amish-based "reality" TV show proposed to air this summer on UPN.

After plans for Amish in the City emerged in late January, we thought such a preposterous concept would soon vanish on the shifting tides of taste. Unfortunately, we misjudged the network's determination to make Amish in the City its latest prism of comedic distortion, this one directed at an already misunderstood, and often exploited, faith group.

The premise of the show calls for a group of Amish young people to move in with city-dwelling Gen Y'ers, with the resulting disjunction generating millions of dollars in laughs for UPN. The expectation, apparently, is that the Amish youths will "freak out," as network honcho Les Moonves said, when they see the debauchery available in the combustion-driven world.

Whether this will make "interesting television," as Moonves also asserted, we leave to the masses already gorged on The Osbournes and My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance.

But that such a show is an insult to the Amish, or even to Christians in general, stands without a doubt. [I'm not sure how such a show would be an insult to garden-variety Christians more so than to anyone else, but OK...] In fact, a lot of "reality" TV is insulting - to the people involved and even to the viewers who bask like radishes in its headache-inducing glow. It is also an insult to those whose insurrection scuttled CBS's proposed New Beverly Hillbillies series, which was just Amish in the City with a cee-ment pond.

[As someone who pays very little attention to 99% of anything having to do with TV, I hadn't heard about the protest that arose from this proposed show, but the group that ran a newspaper ad against it made some excellent points. A lot of things confuse me in life, but there's one thing I'm pretty sure about: we don't have much chance of evolving beyond our current human condition if our most popular forms of humor stay confinded to those that ridicule and degrade the different and the disempowered. I'm a big fan of political/social satire that highlights foolishness and faulty thinking on the part of the famous and powerful, but capitalizing on ignorance and prejudice to make fun of people like the Amish and the rural poor is a very different thing—and a very tasteless, unenlightened one a that!]

We encourage anyone who opposes such programming to complain not only to UPN, but to its sponsors. If UPN can't see the emptiness of such a show, perhaps a threat to their advertising coffers will prove more enlightening. And if this fails, just boycott the show, or take a lesson from the Amish themselves and throw your TV on the brush pile behind the barn.

After all, an unwatched show is almost like no show at all.

I did not know until I was educated by a Judging Amy episode (besides Gilmore Girls, my favorite currently-airing shows are CBS dramas, although I don't get to see them that often) about the fact that Amish young people who are coming of age are encouraged to spend a year in the "real world" before deciding of their own free will whether or not to join the church themselves and live out their lives in the Amish way. That in and of itself is pretty darn enlightened and speaks profoundly to the wisdom of the Amish culture.

Even an editorial on the CBS website speaks out against the UPN show idea! (Not that CBS itself would have any right to decry stupid reality shows, but I guess this guy is allowed to have his own opinion, which is reassuring!)

This guy, who does have a name, which is Lloyd Garver, has another great opinion piece on the political distraction value of the anti-same-sex-marriage hysteria of Bush and his right-wing friends. He starts out on a comic note: "When I first heard the term 'same-sex marriages,' I was against them. I figured just because a couple is married, why should sex always have to be the same? All right, I didn't really think that about same-sex marriages, but I also didn't think they would become such a big deal. I guess my fingers slipped when I was taking the pulse of America, because boy, was I wrong."

He goes on to ask some of the questions I myself have asked: "In the past two weeks, thousands of gay couples were married in San Francisco. Is your respect for marriage smaller than it was two weeks ago? Is your marriage less important to you now? Do you love your spouse any less than you did before the 'Valentine's Day weddings?' If your marriage is affected by the marriages of some strangers, don't blame the bride and groom. Blame your marriage." Indeed. "What about all those celebrity weddings — like Britney Spears' — that seem to make a mockery of marriage? Should we pass a constitutional amendment forbidding flighty famous folks from tying the knot? What about that cousin of yours who married that guy that everybody knew would treat her horribly and eventually leave her? Should there be a constitutional amendment to prohibit that kind of unfortunate marriage?" How about a law requiring pre-marital counseling? Maybe even one requiring pre-divorce counseling! Sounds much more reasonable to me that a right-wing, anti-gay, anti-family, anti-marriage Constitutional amendment!

And here's the most important question: "If you're against gay marriages for legal, ethical, or emotional reasons, you're certainly entitled to these feelings. But do you believe it's such an important issue that things like national security, the economy, and foreign policy should be pushed aside so time and money can be spent on passing a constitutional amendment to prohibit them?"

Garver's article isn't just about SSM but more generally about the way hysteria over "threats to our nation" caused by "sexal immorality" serves to keep us from focusing on important issues. Another recent example is the whole Janet Jackson breast silliness. Garver writes: "Faster than you could say 'Lewinsky,' Congressional committees were formed to investigate 'Nipplegate' and other offensive fare being foisted on us by machines with an 'off' button. But how long did it take for a committee to be formed to investigate why we received such poor intelligence on Iraq before sending over American soldiers to risk their lives?" And perhaps more importantly: what real power does this commission have, and will we actually know the outcome of its investigation any time in the next decade? I keep asking: where's the moral outrage in this country over real threats and atrocities like the Dubya regime's new "pre-emptive" war policy and its incarceration of hundreds of people, including children, in an illegal prison in Cuba?! As George Carlin said, our priorities are seriously screwed up. Really, truly warped.

7:02:11 AM  |  This is Post #176  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Friday, March 12, 2004

Hair-Brained Humor   

DEMS SHOCK AS KERRY'S HAIR SPLITS! - 01/23/2004 - The Democratic Party is in turmoil tonight after the shock announcement that Presidential hopeful Sen. John Kerry's hair has split from the party and is to run as an independent ...

So I'm not the only one who thinks there is soemthing odd about that man's hair!

5:46:08 PM  |  This is Post #173  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Computerized Voting   

"The core of our American democracy, members, is the right to vote. And implicit in that right is the notion that that vote be private, that vote be secure, and that vote be counted as it was intended when it was cast by the voter. I think what we're encountering is a pivotal moment in our democracy where all that is being called into question [^] the privacy of the vote, the security of the vote, and the accuracy of the vote. It troubles me, and it should trouble you." —Kevin Shelley, CA Secretary of State, December 2003

Verified Voting Campaign
True Majority: The Computer Ate My Vote
The California Voter Foundation's Voting Technology Page

5:32:48 PM  |  This is Post #171  |  Permanent URL:   |  

"Age is not a factor in determining detention"   

Boy Imprisoned By US Military

How can age not be a factor??! We are violating international law! You can't hold a 12 or 13-year-old boy at a military prison facility—it's barbaric! It's mind-boggling! Thank the Goddess that we did not mistreat them (although apparently the one boy was abused at least early on in his ordeal), but that hardly makes it all OK! Is it not absusive to kidnap these children from their country, steal them away from their families and friends, and imprision them in a foreign country half way around the world?! Is that not a human rights violation? A war crime? I don't care if they had been made into fighters by the Taliban (which they all deny!)—would that have been their fault?! Most Americans don't think kids their age have the maturity to decide whether to have sex; we don't allow them to drink or vote (or drive, at least for the youngest one!); and yet somehow they're mature enough to be held as "enemy combatants" in a military prison?!!

It is no wonder they world despises us! We are delusional—at least our leaders are, along with those Americans who support their activities! Thankfully they were treated reasonably well and educated and allowed to play. I am so very grateful to the Universe for any amount of sanity on the part of our military and our leaders. But that doesn't make the absurd injustice of their kidnapping and year-long imprisonment in any way less appalling! And it's still going on: there are still juveniles imprisoned right now by our military. Where is the public outcry?! The public goes into immediate action when an American child Asadullah's age is kidnapped! Is an Afghan child not as valuable and precious as an American one?! Are we a nation of zombies made blind and braindead by the deceptive war propoganda of the current Administration?! What the hell is going on?!

1:33:31 AM  |  This is Post #168  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Thursday, March 11, 2004

What's worse, screwing an intern or screwing the country?!   

A letter to in response to this article (to which I was alerted by True Majority):

What I want to know is when the Democrats are going to start taking some of this information seriously and going after Bush in a big way. Information comes to light every day about how Bush has lied, about sinister neo-con plans to build a military empire and squash all dissent, about the myriad ways in which in three short years the Bush administration has made us less secure, less free, less healthy, and less well-off, but the Dems just don't seem to take it to heart. There's far more serious a case for impeaching Bush than their ever was for impeaching Clinton, but the Democratic party seems unwilling to take any definitive action against Bush, despite many calls from the American populous, and many of us would sure like to know why!

1:27:07 AM  |  This is Post #164  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

The truth about 9-11?   

I've seen some sites on the web that have presented some elaborate challenges to the official story of what happened on 9-11-2001. I don't know if I should take them seriously or not. But a group called the "Family Steering Committee" has put forth some tough questions for GW Bush, and this is a serious group, made of substantial, accomplished individuals who ought to be taken seriously. So I wrote e-mails to the government's 9-11 commission as well as to Bush and to my Senators and Congressional Rep.

From: Madeline Althoff
Subject: Make Bush Answer the Tough Questions!

Dear Committee,

You should extend your investigation, and specifically you should insist that President Bush answer the tough questions put forth by the Family Steering Committee ( Many different people and groups have questions about how 9-11 could have happened and what exactly did happen, but this group in particular is made of extremely qualified, respected indidviduals who deserve to be taken very seriously. If this tragedy could have been prevented, no matter who is responsible, even if it is President Bush, the American public has the right to know. You are the only ones currently empowered to make sure the truth is known and steps are taken to ensure that this kind of national security failure never happens again. Please go above and beyond to make sure nothing has been overlooked and no one has been exempted from your fact-finding mission.

Thank you for your service.

Madeline Althoff
San Jose, CA 95129

10:16:24 PM  |  This is Post #163  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Statement on Marriage and the Family from the American Anthropological Association   

Or, More Proof that Dubya and Right-Wingers are Full of Shit

Statement on Marriage and the Family from the American Anthropological Association

Arlington, Virginia  The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association, the world's largest organization of anthropologists, the people who study culture, releases the following statement in response to President Bush's call for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage as a threat to civilization.

The results of more than a century of anthropological research on households, kinship relationships, and families, across cultures and through time, provide no support whatsoever for the view that either civilization or viable social orders depend upon marriage as an exclusively heterosexual institution. Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies.

The Executive Board of the American Anthropological Association strongly opposes a constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual couples."

1:00:54 PM  |  This is Post #160  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Wedding Church And State (From   

Susan Jacoby's forthcoming Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism will be published in April by Metropolitan Books. The author is also director of the Center for Inquiry-Metro New York.

In 1773, the Rev. Isaac Backus, the most prominent Baptist minister in New England, observed that when "church and state are separate, the effects are happy, and they do not at all interfere with each other: but where they have been confounded together, no tongue nor pen can fully describe the mischiefs that have ensued."

Today's Religious Right is completely out of touch with the thinking of our esteemed "Founding Fathers" and with the nature of our Constitution, which "was written and ratified by a coalition of Enlightenment rationalists and evangelical Christians equally fearful of entanglements between religion and government... the men of faith who helped frame the Constitution were confident enough of the strength of their religion that they did not feel obliged to enlist the aid of government to promote their personal beliefs." [Apparently today's evangelical Christians are less confident in the strength of their religion to hold its own without the benefit of unconstitutional government support!]

My comments: The RR always likes to believe that the Founding Fathers were a group of pious traditional Christians, which is so much bull-dookey: they included Deists, Unitarians, and other "unorthodox" types. Most importantly they were not interested in creating a theocracy: far from it! They were products of the Enlightenment, and they were champions of the separation of Church and State.

8:37:22 PM  |  This is Post #155  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Bush is un-American! Patriot Act is un-American!   

Bush throws red meat to religious right
Mike Keefe, The Denver Post

"President Bush's endorsement of this mean-spirited amendment shows that he is neither compassionate nor concerned with the rights of all Americans," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "Gays and lesbians are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends. They serve as firefighters, police, doctors and professional athletes. They laugh at the same jokes and worry about car payments and credit card debt. Amending the constitution to deny them the same rights we all take for granted just isn't very American."

Learn More about the Proposed Amendment

Some good news from the ACLU: "In response to a public outcry, the Justice Department has decided to quash a series of grand jury subpoenas issued to anti-war protestors in Des Moines, Iowa. However, the ACLU still has serious concerns about why the subpoenas were issued in the first place and the broad scope of the Justice Department's inquiry."

March for Women's Lives!

Read More about this Investigation

It's definitely time to renew my ACLU membership, because Bush and his facist buddies sure have been keeping it busy trying to safeguard our civil rights!!

7:47:42 PM  |  This is Post #154  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

An open letter to President Bush   

The author of this letter, the Rev. Meg Riley, is the director of the Faith in Action office (of the Unitarian Universalist Association) in Washington D.C.

An Open Letter to President Bush

February 24, 2004

Dear Mr. President,

This morning you felt compelled to introduce an amendment to the Constitution of the United States defining marriage as existing only between one man and one woman.

You say that this will create "clarity." I would like you to share this clarity with my first grade daughter on her school playground, when the children, imitating their role models as they always do, will take up the issue. Because I dread those conversations with every fiber of my being.

Challenged by another child, my daughter will declare forthrightly that of course her two moms are married. After all, we have wedding photos in our home, as any couple does. They show her two moms, fifteen years ago, in front of our Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Smiling, with many of our friends and family members around us.

You see, we have not yet discussed with this seven year old, precocious as she is, the distinction between civil and religious marriage. She knowsonly that we are her parents, the only ones she's known. She knows that we got married in our church, as her aunts and uncles did, and that our neighborhood and church, her school and social circle, involves a significant number of kids with two moms and a few with two dads. She knows that we provide the only stability, the only bedrock, that she has ever known.

Of course she knows that there are people who say that two men or two women cannot be married. She knows that, not very long ago, some people said that no one could marry someone of a different race, but now of course we no longer believe that. But I haven't yet been able to break it to her that some people want to change our Constitution to say that our family isn't part of "We the people". I just haven't found a way to fit it in between soccer and karate and church.

Tonight I will sit her down, after we've done her homework, and have the conversation that I hoped I could avoid. I will tell her that you, the President of the United States, have decided that only a man and a woman can be married, and that you want to make that part of our Constitution. Yes, the document she adores from watching Liberty's Kids and reading Magic Treehouse books. I will tell her that I don't believe this change in the Constitution will happen, not enough people will vote for it. But it does mean that people may say very mean things to her at school about our family. She will be afraid. I will project confidence and good humor, but I will be afraid, too.

I do not want to teach my daughter that the President of the United States does not include our family in the people he serves and protects. I do not want to say to her that the very flag she loves will be waved by people who believe that it does not belong to our family.

Please, Mr. Bush, tell me how I should conduct myself "without bitterness or anger" at this time, as you instructed me today. Come over to my house tonight: you look at my daughter's eyes as they absorb the fact that you, the first President she has ever known, thinks she can no longer be included in the very Constitution of this land. You tell me how to "conduct this difficult debate in a matter worthy of our country." Because I am at a loss.


The Rev. Meg A. Riley
Unitarian Universalist Association
Washington, DC

My comments: What can I say, really? It takes my breath away. The most amazing thing, though, is that there is no chance of it affecting in the least the imbecile we call President, even if he should read it, because I don't think he even has the ability to imagine the perspective of someone very different from himself. It's a stage of human development he's never achieved, and probably won't in this lifetime. But perhaps it could affect some other people, perhaps some people unsure of where they stand in this "debate".

It has to become about real people. Human beings, with lives, jobs, families, just like everyone else. It's too easy when it's just about ideas, traditions, doctrines, theories, politics...too easy for people to say, "yeah, this is what I believe, and I have a right to believe it", without having to consider the very real human beings and relationships and families that stand in limbo at the heart of this issue. The children and parents, the loved ones, the communities, the loving couples, they are all this issue is about. Everything else is rhetoric.

Dubya will never understand that, because he's really nothing more than a spoiled child wearing Daddy's boots and playing emperor. Nothing in his life has given him the ablity see beyond himself and his sense of the world...

But the evolution of the human race depends upon the ability of people to open their minds to uncomfortable ideas, and it's happened a million times before, with a million things most of us now take for granted, and I have to have faith that it will happen again. And it already is happening with today's young people, so it's only a matter of time. And that's what the religious conservatives know, in their hearts, and because they fear change and growth and forward movement, they want to do whatever they can to stop it, but they can't—I have to have faith that we as a human race are better than that, smarter than that, more fair, more compassionate, more able to change and grow towards greater love and greater harmony, embracing all aspects of our humanity... I have to believe that we are capable of so much more than those who believe we are "fallen" could ever imagine...

I have to believe that we are moving toward the creation of a world where all are valued, all are honored, all are encouraged to reach their full potential... I have to believe that there is more Gandhi and MLK Jr., Dorothy Day, Mother Jones, and Cesar Chavez, Del and Phyllis, Gavin Newsom, and Meg Riley, more people like Pastor Michael, this woman, and these two (people who make an effort to reach out, to seek understanding, to bridge divides) in us as a human race than there is Pat Robertson, Fred Phelps, James Dobson, Jesse Helms, Dr. Laura, the Pope, Dick Cheney, Arnold Schwarzenneger, or George W. Bush... I have to believe that we are more, ever so much more than the least imaginative among us... I have to believe all of this to go on every day. To get up and to make an effort. And I have to love the human race in spite of all of its failings, because it is in humanity that I put my faith, in our inherent wisdom and goodness, in our ability to grow and create and achieve understanding...

For the day that is coming when all will be well on this lovely blue-green paradise we call Earth will not be heralded by apocalyptic horsemen and orchestrated by a God on a throne who accepts only some and rejects others. No, it will be heralded by loving words and loving thoughts and loving deeds, by increased cooperation and decreased division, by increased understanding and decreased fear, by the laughter of children and the wisdom of sages. And it will be orchestrated by a million tiny voices calling in unison for peace and freedom and justice for all. I have seen the Promised Land in my mind, in my heart, in my dreams, and I am not alone, so I will have faith in the potential of the human race, and I will work for justice and empowerment and unity, and the Spirit of Love will guide us, somehow, and we will find our way. So mote it be.

Goodnight. :)

11:46:49 PM  |  This is Post #151  |  Permanent URL:   |  

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Nebulous "Threats" to our Nation's Future   

Same-sex marriage rights seem to be the only thing on my mind right now, but it's not terribly surprising, since it's a major news issue at the moment...

For example, earlier today I was visiting with my mom and sister (we had met with my older sister and niece and had a wet weather "fieldtrip" to Ikea, my first time, quite a store), and we went into a Starbucks, so my mom could get some coffee, and I took a look at the local Palo Alto newspaper, and of course it's a font page story that a thousand people will have been married in San Francisco over this long weekend, with hundreds being turned away because City Hall is simply overwhelmed!! (I had to blink back tears again!)

People have come from other cities and other states, waited hours and hours in line, and are ready to camp out on the sidewalk, just to make a public declaration of a loving committment that others can do so easily any day of the week in any city in the country. It's just so absurdly ironic... People are lining up to uphold the marriage institution by joining it, and some fools want to "protect" it by turning them away! What are they so afraid of? As I've read a number of conservatives say, can gays possibly make any more of a mockery of marriage as a serious institution than straights already have?!

And yet here is a quote from a random conservative, writing to a US Senator, that sounds like so many other conservative claims, and yet makes no sense at all...

"The traditional definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman must be preserved, for the sake of our nation's families and our nation's future."

My response: Or what??! Just what the hell is it you fear-mongerers think is going to happen if gays and lesbians get married? How is society going to be anything but better and more stable for it?! One thousand same-sex couples have been married in San Francisco this past weekend. Whether or not their marriage certificates eventually get voided by some court decision, for right now, they have marriage certificates, and they have had the same chance to make public their committment that straight people get every day of the year.

And has the world ended? Has California or San Francisco dropped off into the ocean? Has God smote Gavin Newsom? Have the city's children suddenly morphed into some crazed, depraved, heathens destined to carry out the destruction of the human race? Has everyone in San Francisco suddenly forsaken heterosexual sex and reproduction? (I think my sister and brother-in-law and niece who are redecorating and shopping and excitedly awaiting the birth of my new nephew Gordon would be shocked to hear that!) :P

It's all just so ridiculous! People predicted that interracial marriage, and the end of slavery, and women ordained as ministers, and the teaching of evolutionary biology, and women voting, and black people voting, and women working, and who knows what else(!) would bring about the end of human civilization, and yet here we are, driving SUVs, writing weblogs, drinking lattes, sending rovers to Mars, occupying other countries, and using way more than our fair share of the Earth's resources here today in the good ol' USA. It's amazing how life goes on despite every so-called threat to the foundations of human civilization...

12:41:49 AM  |  This is Post #137  |  Permanent URL:   |  

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