Monday, November 30, 2009

Seattle's Moisture Festival Needs Your Votes To Win $25K

Seattle very own Moisture Festival, the annual comedy, variete and burlesque festival, held in venues throughout the city each spring needs your votes on facebook. The festival dates this year are March 11 through April 4, 2010. The Moisture Festival is one of the eligible non-profits in the Chase Community Giving Campaign where people with facebook accounts vote for their favorite charity. One hundred non profits who receive the greatest number of votes will get $25K each. Voting ends December 11th, so vote today. You can vote for up to 20 of your favorite charities at the Chase Community Page. Just use the search box to find your favorite charity or non-profit and cast your votes.

Moisture Festival Photo Book Released...

If you wonder what The Moisture Festival is all about your in luck because The Moisture Festival Photo Book has just been released. The book is available through Fremont Place Books while supplies last. These books are gorgeous and would make a wonderful holiday gift plus help raise money for the festival.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Palin Related Quote Of the Day

drip, drip, drip....

"They're like poisonous snakes in the grass who spew nothing but venom.They just lay in wait and they attack you until you're dead."

Says Mike Wooten The Alaska State Trooper at the center of Sarah Palin's so-called Troopergate Scandal which impeded her run for the vice-presidency and stained her record as Alaska governor has broken his more than year-long silence since his embattled divorce with Palin's sister, Molly, became a cause celebre during last year's presidential campaign.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Giving The Devil The Benefit Of The Law

There has been much whining by the usual suspects on the right about Attorney General Holder's decision to try certain al Oaeda plotters in the Federal Court in New York. What fear driven poppycock. These fear filled Republicans embolden the terrorists with their hysterical outbursts and demonstrations. You'd think that these criminals had the power to walk through walls after listening to these Republicans.

Last night I happened to be watching the 1966 Movie, A Man For All Seasons, and one particular scene in the movie pops up where the magnificent actor Paul Scofield, who plays Sir Thomas More, explains the power of law over the ever changing whims of people to just take the course of least resistance when considering justice. I said that the scene dialogue explains wonderfully why these men must be tried in open court even if they are devils. Yes devils they may be but they have the right to the laws of this land.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hypocritical Conservatives All In A Twit About Obama Bow

As we all know conservatives love to conjecture about what Jesus would do. One thing he apparently did do is preach and demonstrate humility. As in the story popular in Christian mythology of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.

So why the hell are conservatives so worked up when our President does the same thing when he shows respect and humility towards the Japanese emperor. The Republicans love to promulgate the popular American myth that our national leaders show weakness by doing such things as bowing to any other head of state. When in fact such a demonstration shows wisdom and, yes, humility. The important thing I would say is what the Japanese think about this demonstration of respect rather then what we think.

Monday, November 09, 2009

John Aravosis As Drama Queen Boycott America Blog Not the DNC

Someone told me once that boycotts don’t work and I think this one won't work either.

I think that John Aravosis over at America Blog and some other leaders of the gay community have gone too far in calling for a donor boycott of the DNC, as they have done today, because of their perceived lack of progress by the Obama administration on the major gay issues of the day. Aravosis lists in manifesto style a number of grievances in his “don’t ask don’t give” call for a boycott.

He then goes on to demand that the Obama administration immediately address the major concerns of the gay community. They want what they want when then want it I guess. The list includes all the major concerns of the gay community, including repeal or reform of DATA, DOMA and ENDA before we should once again begin sending our donations to the DNC. I guess we are suppose to not make contributions up until the 2010 elections if necessary even though common sense would tell you that most of these issues have little real chance of being resolved even if the Obama administration started today with new resolve to address them.

Aravosis has been rather out spoken in his on going attacks on the President’s agenda, gay and otherwise, since the election. But what appears to fuel the attacks on the President is Aravosis somewhat personal agenda and timetable on the lack of progress by the new administration on gay issues. Aravosis may of been pushed over the edge by comments made last week by the treasurer of the DNC who indicated in a leaked email that America Blog continuing attacks on Obama were at the heart of growing "gay problem". America Blog editor and co-boycott creator when ballistic in a response and Sudbay and Aravoisis have probably been stewing for payback every since.

Today we got the announcement of the boycott. Making me think that the boycott is more about John Aravosis personally and America Blog then a constructive ways to bring about changes in gay rights. After reading the anti Obama rants of Aravosis for a long time I find him to be rather predictable.

I expect that I will be looked upon as being homophobic or worse for questioning the boycott. Bloggers like Aravosis and Dan Savage are not often questioned from those on the left, but I simply disagree. What I see is high handed and counterproductive grandstanding, personal score settling and actions that can do real harm to the long term agenda of both gays and progressives. I'm reasonably sure most lefties will more then willingly jump on the boycott bandwagon. I would hope you'd think for yourself on the wisdom of this ploy.

I assure you I believe that gay rights are paramount and certainly something that the Obama administration needs to vigorously address. But I also think that this type of action hurts all Democrats and gives the enemies of the party fatter to attack the liberals in general and influence the future of votes by moderates. Much of the responsibility for the problem is also misdirected as the responsibility of the President or his administration when action by the Congress is certainly part of the any equation or action on the gay concerns that Aravosis lists. Obama can not arbitrarily undo most of these policies just because he wish it where so. He must build a consensus and he must work with the members of Congress and citizens.

As I have pointed out before at length the gay community has to realize that there are priority when one governs a nation such as ours at this troubling time in our history. Furthermore, one should have to look no farther then to the results of the recent gay civil rights ballot issues here in Washington and in Maine. In Washington more than 47% of voters oppose the ballot issue. In Maine a gay marriage issue outright failed after it was rejected by just over 50% of the voters. Whether right or wrongly the outcome in Maine, a State known for its independence, and the voting from Washington represents nearly half of the people in both States who we know are not sufficiently convinced that gay rights are important or even needed. This is unfortunate but also revealing in what is says about the political power that will have to be harnessed whenever you bring about change on issues that involve the hot button issue of gay rights. Progressive realize that it’s wrong to oppose gay rights but politically it is also necessary to get a majority of people to agree with you before you can actually implement the needed changes.

The other bit of reality needed here is a question of priorities. Should the need for reform on gay issues supersede and risk progress on the other major issue of the day including such things as health care reform or the war in Afghanistan, Iraq or the economy? Sure peoples rights are important but you must also have the political power to make such significant change. Demanding it or wishing it were so will not work if you don’t have the votes or support of the moderates and blue dog conservative law makers.
  • But won’t your pledge hurt Democrats?
  • But if you don’t give money to the DNC, won’t that help elect Republicans who are even worse on gay issues, and other issues Democrats care about?
  • You have to admit, gay rights is controversial – wouldn’t it be political suicide for Democrats to push gay rights? No matter how disappointed you are, aren’t Democrats still better than Republicans?
  • President Obama has only been in office less than a year, why the rush?
  • But aren’t there bigger priorities than gay rights for the Democrats to deal with, like health care and the economy?
Aravosis goes on in his post to list (above) and individually address expected objections to his boycott. I think he then rather self-servingly pooh-poohs all these objections. I would argue that the concerns Aravois himself raises are valid and progressives should think seriously for themselves on each before deciding to join this boycott.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Is Brian Baird Becoming Washington’s Liebermann?

What’s up with Southwest Washington Democrat Brian Baird. He voted with the Republicans to reject the health-care reform bill passed by the House of Representative yesterday. Unlike the other 38 Democrats who voted with the Republicans, and who for the most part come from conservative leaning congressional districts that went for McCain in the 2008 general election, Baird is from a mostly liberal district that overwhelmingly voted for Barack Obama. One would have to say that the majority of voters in WA CD 3 probably expected Baird to vote for passage of the bill.

Baird claims that he was concerned about the rules that governed procedure on the bill limiting any amendments and that the premiums for people with existing insurance may actually go up. He claims he is waiting for more information from the bean counters and therefore could not support the bill. "For these reasons, until more information is available on premium estimates and Medicare impacts, I will vote against the legislation in its current form," Baird is quoted as saying.

Well don’t go all mavericky on us Brain. I wonder if Brian would of changed his vote if he realized the bill was going to fail without it. It actually only passed with two votes to spare 220 to 215. Someone should ask him that question. The defeat of the bill would of probably killed health reform for the foreseeable future. And been a major embarrassment to the President and Democratic leaders in the House. So Baird’s game of chicken was a major gamble for him. Let’s say the bill had not of passed. We probably be calling for his head on a political platter this morning.

Or is Baird crazy like a fox? Maybe knowing his vote was not actually needed meant he could vote no and look like he’s more concerned and into the weeds on the micro details of the 2000 page bill then other Democrats while at the same time throwing a bone to the large number of tea party types that live in the the Third District. Time will tell. We certainly need to keep Mr. Baird’s feet to the fire and make sure he’s not getting so independent minded that he thinks he can override the will of those who elected him.

There will be no perfect bill. If Baird is willing to throw the health reform baby out with the bath water just because he personally requires certain guarantees in the final bill, that's not a good thing. America and WA State need major health reform now even if some aspects of this massive reform bill turn out to be flawed. Overall the bill will be a major step in the right direction. Corrections can be made as needed in the future. One hundred years of whipping this horse is long enough.

Are Proselytizing Atheists Becoming Just Like The Religious Bigots They Condemn

I like Frank Shaeffer , the writer who grew up in the midst of the beginnings of the modern Christian evangelical movement who now rejects their fanatical and heavy handed methods. His new book, Patience with God: Faith for People Who Don’t Like Religion (or Atheism) gives us a look at the other side of the religious coin, so to speak. It claims that atheists often are not really that much different in their fanaticism when compared to the actual organized religious fundamentalist types they are vehemently condemning as lacking in reason or as stupid crackpots.

Shaeffer’s point is that no one really knows the truth. Because humans are incapable of knowing beyond any doubt what the truth is when it comes to the existence of god or non-existence of God. He thinks that both sides should start from a place of humility and open-mindedness when they claim that their truth is the only truth. Most often delivered with the added claim that any belief other then their own also renders one ignorant or stupid. Bill Maher, Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins come to mind. I enjoy all three of these men’s ideas, but sometimes I think they take on a rather self righteous attitude and smugness when they argue in support of their atheist beliefs.

My personal experience is one of a person raised as a Catholic who fell away from that religion because of trouble with a number of its tenets. Later in life due to a personal crisis I began to look at spirituality in a different light. It lead me to a belief in god, but this time it was a god that was very personal and surprisingly actually worked in such a way as to revolutionize my perception of what it means to be human and alive. I would also argue that you needn't look to far to see the the destructive nature of dogma, and rigidness of any kind.

The important thing here is my experience of spirituality is extremely personal and what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Being an atheist may work for you after all. But it’s not my experience and I have no right really to dictate or claim or condemn you for what works for you. I guess what’s important is, does what you believe actually work to make your life better and happy and above all make you useful as a human being in concert with other human beings and nature.

I liked Shaeffer’s thinking because I’ve often noticed on a personal level the tendency of religious types to claim that there is only one way to salvation. He makes the point in his book that atheists are in fact claiming rather snobbishly the same thing by condemning and belittling those who believe in god. Who really knows? I guess the question is does what you believe or not believe work for you, and it’s really not anybody’s business to dictate to you what you should believe or condemn your beliefs, no matter what they are.

Here a video excerpt from a interview with Shaeffer from GRITtv about his new book.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Republican Anal Poisoned Mostly White Guys Shout Down Lie Exaggerate Mislead Obstruct In Final Attempt To Block Heath Care Reform Vote In House

Rush Limbaugh, in continuing fixation with his ass or getting penetrated from behind, said you can get anal poisoning if you support liberal ideas. If you can stomach the health care debate in the house you can watch the debate on CPAN live. Below is MSNBC Keith Olbermann segment on Republican strategy of doing nothing. from November 5th show.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Unfolding Blowback Shooting Incident At Fort Hood Shouldn't Be Really Surprising

Whether it's a soldier(s) with PTSD, right wing military trained fanatics who snapped or a latent terrorist attack from al Queda going on at this US Army base in Texas it's the type of blow-back you should expect when you meddle in the affairs, politics and kill people of other nations without real justification. The unfortunate thing about it is that soldiers are both the pawns and casualties, along with their families, of this type of government policy.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Prima-Donna Progressives With Hurt Feelings Decide Not To Vote

Continuing a pre Obama trend…… Or have we not learned anything? For example here in Washington State liberal laziness has most likely placed Referendum 71 in a closer then needed race for approval.

Daily Kos Markos Moulitsas complains that the progressive base didn’t turn out yesterday to vote in large numbers, while the Republican base did, because our feelings were hurt over a perceived lack of progress on major issues we cared about when we all voted in large numbers for Obama in last year's election. If true it really shows that progressives have a perception problem an a very unrealistic view of what is required to bring about major political chance in this country over the long haul, plus their just plain lazy. But, of course if Kos or Huffington Post says it's true then it must be. Every lefty blogger I'm sure will pick up on this shortsighted narrative like the sheep that the conservatives often claims we are.

After all the work of the last few years required in electing a Democratic President I for one have had it with much of the negative bitching and sniping from the left. You’d think nothing has been accomplished. In a continuing sign of the need for instant gratification in every aspect of our life progressives have apparently become disgruntled, having apparently reached the time limit on when their personal political wish lists should have been completed by the new administration and the US Congress.

It seems to me that Liberals and progressives fail to give the Obama administration credit for the progress it has made both in saving the country from complete economic collapse after eight years of the Bush debacle, and historic progress on healthcare reform, mentioning only a few of the accomplishments of the Obama administration in less then a year in office. Instead many progressive and the gay centric blogosphere would rather hang Obama on the cross of you didn’t repeal DADT or DOMA as a litmus test of the success of Obama’s first year in office. As I have said before, gay rights issues are important and crucial but simply not the highest priority given all the major issues and crises which this country faces at this moment in history including two wars.

Kos attempts to make its point with nonsense like, “If you forget why you were elected -- health care, financial services, energy policy and immigration reform -- you will lose votes.” Since when has the Obama administration forgotten about these issues? Last time I looked there has been major and historic progress made on health care and the other issue mentioned are certainly in the hopper. Once again showing that Kos apparently does not have a full understanding of the political process involved. Sure there have been some missteps and false starts by the Obama Administration. But, given the mess they inherited only the unreasonable would not give them credit for what they have done.

Rome wasn’t fucking build in a day folks! I’m sick and tired of all this BS coming from the likes of Kos, Americablog and Arianna Huffington and the rest of the Obama whine filled liberal blogs. It’s one thing to hold the President’s and the Congress’s feet to the fire, its another thing to enable progressive's apathy, bitching or excuses for not showing up to vote based on some exaggerated perception that your not getting your way on your pet issues you think deserve special priority. We should be looking to were we'd like to be in 4 years for god's sake.