Sunday, October 28, 2007

Senator Larry Craig and bathroom stalls

I know I am a bit late on this one, but since the good Senator keeps popping up trying to defend himself, and I wanted to throw a bit of water on the 'honorable' Senator from Idaho, I thought I would just get this off my chest.

I have a bit of trouble accepting Senator Craig's story. That having been put out of the way I have a couple of comments on the overall situation before I actually analyze his story. Personally, I do not give a rats bare behind whether Senator Craig is gay, straight, bi-sexual, sleeping with sheep on weekends (as long as the sheep is consenting), or likes playing with a rubber reproduction of human anatomy. As long as everyone involved is a consenting adult, it is none of my, or anyone else's business. (Good, I got that out of the way.)

So let me analyze the story that Senator Craig has told(As a point here I spend a lot of time in bathrooms and public restrooms because of Crohn's Disease.):
1. He was just waiting for a stall to open, not 'staring' in to the 'sting officers' stall to check him out. I will just 'jump in' as they say; when I am in a bathroom waiting for a stall, I will rarely stand outside a specific stall because I don't like when someone is standing outside my stall. On this point we will give Senator Craig a pass, mostly because I do not know the set up of the men's room in question or how busy it was at the time Senator Craig was in need of his relief.
2. I have a wide stance while going to the bathroom. Aside from this being far into the realm of more information than I needed to know about Senator Craig, we are crying BULLSHIT on this one. I do not know the waist line of the Senator's pants, but if he were sitting down to do his business, and had pulled his pants down, his legs would only go to a certain distance out. With this excuse Senator Craig is either is much fatter than he looks on TV (which I doubt) or he didn't have his pants down. If he didn't have his pants down, then why was he in a stall to begin with, and if he is very fat, he probably shouldn't have fit into a standard size stall.
3. I wasn't waiving under the stall wall, I was reaching for a piece of toilet paper I dropped. Well aside from the yuck factor of picking up toilet paper off of a dirty bathroom floor. I believe we shall categorize this one as BULLSHIT as well. As stated above, I am unfortunate enough to have to use a lot of public bathrooms. While I don't claim to be 'normal' I don't really believe that the upstanding gentleman from Idaho was trying to pick up toilet paper that fell under the stall. The only time I pick up toilet paper I have dropped in a public bathroom is when I have another piece of toilet paper in my hand. (I don't know what is on the floor and I have a compromised immune system.
4. Senator Craig's response to being informed that the person in the next stall was a police officer and that he was under arrest. "Do you know who I am, I am a US Senator." This is definite the statement of a person trying to intimidate the officer. Our response: "Senator Craig, nobody is above the law in the United States."
5. I only plead guilty because they were pressuring me and I felt that it was the best way to quickly resolve the issue. Our response was and is, you don't plead guilty if you did nothing wrong. We also felt that his trying to quickly make this go away seems to be an odd approach.

We have one other point that we feel needs to be added here. When Senator Craig stood up as this story broke and assured everybody that he was not gay, has never been gay, and loves his wife we were skeptical. When we found out it wasn't the first time that the 'honorable' Senator had done this it really raised some questions. In our final analysis we have come to this conclusion: Senator Craig should resign his seat for clearly lying to the public about this incident and also for pleading guilty to a crime he claims he didn't commit. If he plead guilty and was guilty of nothing, he has poor judgement and should not be in a decision making position. If he is guilty of something in that bathroom than he should resign because he is a liar and a hypocrite and that does not a good Senator make.

BOTTOM LINE: We feel that Senator Craig is a closeted Homosexual (not that that is bad) and that he should come clean on his sexuality, he should also apologize to the people of the State of Idaho for being such a yutz and lying his way through the years.

We call on Senator Craig to stop the political bullshit road show, admit that he is lying about the incident in Minneapolis, and resign his post. Then maybe the Senate can look at something important, like whether Move On.Org or Rush Limbaugh should be discussed in the Senate for something stupid they did.


Church and State

I know the concept of the separation of Church and State seems to be one that Evangelical Fundamentalist nut-jobs seem to have a real problem with. The term that is coming to be used for many of the leaders of this movement is Dominionists. This is the 'Christian Right' that seems to believe that this country was founded by a men of 'high value' Christian morals. (Say like Ted Haggard or Larry Craig.) Men who were beyond reproach; and who followed every tenet of G-D's law. Men like George Washington, who had more maids in his residence during his Presidency than he had years in his Presidency and he also had quite the reputation as a ladies man, Thomas Jefferson, who is well know to have had a long term relationship with one of his slaves (whose name escapes me at the moment) as while the US Ambassador to France she essentially was treated as his wife by the French, Benjamin Franklin, a man who was so morally upstanding that he had an illegitimate son live with his family for a while before arranging for him to become a Royally appointed governor.

Yes, I know George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin were all very brave and forward looking people, but men of high value Christian morals? They raised arms in rebellion against their rightful King (George III of England). As I am sure you know, many at the time believed that Kings rose to power by divine decree and that the actions that they took were by divine providence. If all of that was the case, then we should all be English, and George, Thomas, and Benjamin probably would be footnotes in world history.

So what brought this rant on today. I was looking for an article for my wife, and it happened to have been published in 2002 by the US Department of Health and Human Services. While attempting to find said publication on the HHS website I came across this page: Why is this page important, you ask? Well, because it contains a number of articles that were published by the Office of Faith Based Initiatives. Under normal circumstances the I try to ignore this ridiculously named skein of the great American experiment. I happened to open one of the articles, more out of curiosity than anything else, and what to my wondering eyes should appear, not a government generated article on how the Faith Based Initiatives were to be implemented, but a document (48 pages long) written by a church. This seems to me to be a clear attempt to establish some kind of state religion, in violation of that damn inconvenient piece of parchment.

Oh well, I suppose we should just let the Constitutional violations continue. After all, what is an undermining of a secularly established democracy between friends.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ann Coulter

In a recent interview Ms. Coulter claimed that Jews need to be 'perfected.' Many people found this offensive. I did, but not because it is anything that Ann is original in. The 'Messianic Jewish' movement (that is such a big oxymoron I wont even attempt to go into it in this discussion) has been using that term for years. They always refer to themselves as prefected Jews. (This is one of the reasons they 'observe' Jewish holidays.

In addition to the Messianic movements, a number 'mainstream' Christian Movements are 'in-step' with this idea. My wife has stated on a number of occasions she is 'worried about' my immortal soul if I don't accept Jesus. My response is, it is a little hard to accept something that is not theologically in line with my own beliefs. And I find the concept of saying 'you have to believe in ________'in order to go to Heaven a little bit odd. HaShem has never said that, and that is where I come from. It makes little sense to believe that HaShem is merciful and then will send non-Christians to Hell if they don't accept one item of faith. Judaism seems that it is more realistic. Do you follow the rules? HaShem is going to give you the benefit of the doubt if you do. Also Judaism is a little less 'theologically organized' when it comes to what happens after one dies. There is some indication that there is a continuation after death, but no realy theologically concept, at least until one is initiated in to the 'mysteries' of Kabbalah.

I don't know what happens after death. Frankly I don't think I am smart enough to figure out what HaShem wants, I am sure that HaShem doesn't want me to be a Christian because that isn't what He taught my ancestors. As a family, I think that we need to address the Christian world about what it the problem is with their approach and why Chistianity isn't, in any form, related to Judaism as Jews understand it. The fact that a majority of the Hebrews alive at the time of Jesus, didn't accept that he was "the Son of G-D" or the "Messiah" should tell Christians what they need to know about the majority of Jews of the time. (I am leaving the aestetic Ascenes out of the discussion because much of their doctrine became the basis of early Christian Theology.)

To sort of wrap this up: Ann Coulter wasn't saying things that others don't already say, the only reason most people aren't aware of it is because they aren't dumb enough to go on television and say it. Ann Coulter has made a good living playing the Banshee-voiced Harpy of the lunatic-fringe Right-Wing. She has played the lightening rod so long she actually can not say what ever she wants, whether it makes sense or not, and have some other lunatic-fringe right-wing goofballs defending her. They all need to get a grip and stop attacking people who believe differently and start a civil discourse. It isn't going to happen, but then that is good for the Democrats; as everytime some goofball opens their marginally civil oral flapping whole, they are pushing more people to the middle who are going to be likely to vote Democratic in the next election.


Republican Party Pratfalls

Okay, so the President vetos the S-CHIP bill. I don't agree with the move, but that is fine. Could someone please explain what the Republican party as a whole gets out of not supporting an override of the veto.

Lower Income and Lower-Middle Class income earners who do not have health insurance for themselves and their children not at least being able to get good health care for their children seems to be almost a criminal offense. I just don't see what they think they are gaining here. The bill was designed to raise the additional money's needed to pay for the expanded program; and the largest advantage is that by providing health insurance to at least a portion of the uninsured population, we will be saving everyone money on the health care front. (I am sure that everyone knows that the uninsured are 'part of the problem' of health care costs as they tend to wait until a problem is so bad that it is more expensive to treat, and they also tend to use the most expensive forms of health care to get that treatment. As a result of the increase we all, companies and individuals, pay hire health care costs to cover the costs that the facilities need to write off because fo uninsured people.)

In addition to helping control, if only in a small way, the rising cost of health care, the Republicans at least appear to be going against what the majority seems to support.


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