Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holiday Poem

In line with my last post, please enjoy this, thanks to Leftist Grandpa and of course thanks to Congressman Dingell for his poetic brilliance.

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From Congressman John Dingell, (D) MI, by way of Gordon at
Alternate Brain:

Dingell’s HOLIDAY Jingle for O’Reilly and House GOP

Washington, DC - Congressman John D. Dingell (MI-15) recited the following poem on the floor of the US House of Representatives concerning House Resolution 579, which expressed the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected. “Preserving Christmas” has been a frequent topic for conservative talk show hosts, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly:

‘Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House
No bills were passed ‘bout which Fox News could grouse;
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
So vacations in St. Barts soon would be near;
Katrina kids were nestled all snug in motel beds,
While visions of school and home danced in their heads;
In Iraq our soldiers needed supplies and a plan,
Plus nuclear weapons were being built in Iran;
Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell;
Americans feared we were on a fast track to…well…
Wait--- we need a distraction--- something divisive and wily;
A fabrication straight from the mouth of O’Reilly
We can pretend that Christmas is under attack
Hold a vote to save it--- then pat ourselves on the back;
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger
Wake up Congress, they’re in no danger!
This time of year we see Christmas every where we go,
From churches, to homes, to schools, and yes…even Costco;
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy,
When this is the season to unite us with joy
At Christmas time we’re taught to unite,
We don’t need a made-up reason to fight
So on O’Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter, and those right wing blogs;
You should just sit back, relax…have a few egg nogs!
‘Tis the holiday season: enjoy it a pinch
With all our real problems, do we honestly need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues I say with delight,
A merry Christmas to all,
and to Bill O’Reilly…Happy Holidays.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Xmas Already?

Once again I have been a bad blogger and have neglected my floundering little blog here. But what can you expect -- I've been slightly overworked lately, I apparently have terrible time management skills (otherwise I'd be able to find the time to visit here now and again), and now Xmas is almost here with all its attendant responsibilities.

That's right - xmas . . . I'm not using that shortcut because I don't care about Christmas (hello, if I used the american spelling of my name, christ would be a part of it), I'm using it because time is money people and it's just way easier to type, write, etc. "xmas." So everyone just stop bitching. Its fucking xmas. Dammit. Where's your xmas spirit? And as far as saying happy holidays instead of merry xmas, well, my guess is that people (and places like Target) use happy holidays instead of merry xmas because . . . well . . . shocker . . . not everyone celebrates xmas. Some people actually celebrate other winter-time holidays, like Hannukah (sorry, not sure of the spelling on that one -- is it supposed to start with a C or not?), Kwanza, and Solstice. And, according to the Daily Show, even Zoroastrians have a holiday this time of year. Saying Happy Holidays is just a way of respecting the fact that not everyone is Christian. Besides, the whole idea that the "Christians" in America are somehow being demoralized or whatever the fuck their bitch is this week because people don't say Merry Christmas (happy -- that took a whole millisecond longer to type than xmas) is simply ludicrous. Poor you, yeah right. You people are the majority. You have your man in the white house. Your "God" can be found on our money, in our national songs, and (gasp) in our courthouses. What is your problem? Can you please, for pete's sake, give the rest of a break?

Speaking of Christians, I recently learned that my brother has "become" a Christian. I say "become" because we were born Catholic but weren't really a 'churchgoing' family. He recently started going to new church. And really enjoys it. Of course, that scared the bejesus out of my pagan ass (what the fuck is a bejesus anyway?). I was way paranoid that he was going to become a bible-thumping asshole who stopped talking to me because I didn't think like him, or worse, tried every minute of every day to "convert" me. We've had serious conversations about it. And arguments (although afterwards he said he was mostly just playing devil's advocate to get a rise out of me -- I like to argue, obviously). But those "talks" taught me a very important lesson -- or rather retaught me and highlighted something I already knew. I should not let the radical right, neo-con, fundamentalist wackos speak for all Christians. Those people, who preach hate, and intolerance, and bomb abortion clinics, and beat up gay people, etc. etc., may call themselves Christians, but they're no more Christian than I am. Hell, they're less Christian than I am, in my humble pagan opinion. I may not believe Jesus is my savior (although I do believe he was a real person), or that Jesus is the one and only son of God (sorry, but doesn't the bible say we are all children of god?), but I believe you can't go wrong following his teachings (love thy neighbor, do unto others, and all that). As my brother explains it, true Christians seek to spread the word of God, but allow people to make their own decisions whether or not to listen. They do not judge or condemn people for differing viewpoints or behaviors, because that is not man's job, only God can do that. And they certainly do not use their own religious beliefs to oppress or harm others. And yet, the people who do these things are precisely the kinds of "Christians" I see in the news every single fucking day. It is these type of "Christians" who complain when people write xmas, or say happy holidays. And it is these type of Christians who are giving the "true" Christians a bad name. It is these type of Christians that caused me to be nervous when I heard my brother was going to church instead of happy that he has found something important to him. So all you non-psychos out there -- maybe you should speak up and stop letting the neo-con bunch let the rest of the world think that their brand of Christianity is the only brand out there.
OK -- well, I didn't intend on going off on a religious tangent, but with xmas around the corner, I suppose it could have been expected. All I really wanted to do was stop in, say hi, and maybe recap the past couple of weeks. But since I've already rambled for long enough, I'll save the recap for later.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! (and screw you if you have a problem with that!)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Who knew Indiana & Illinois were so cool?

From the December 2, 2205 issue of New Jersey Lawyer Daily Briefing... (emphasis is mine)

The state of Illinois requires pharmacies that dispense contraceptives approved by the Food and Drug Administration to fill prescriptions for emergency birth control, commonly called the "morning after" pill. But four Walgreens pharmacists in the St. Louis area have refused to fill the prescriptions, saying they're exercising their religious or moral objections. Walgreens responded by putting the four on unpaid leave. So far, six other pharmacists have sued over the rule imposed in April, contending it forces them to violate their religious beliefs. Many of the suits were filed by Americans United for Life, a public-interest law firm in Chicago. The state could revoke the license of both a pharmacy and the store's chief pharmacist if they don't comply with the regulation.

Fucking Walgreens rocks! And apparently so do the laws in Illinois. I mean really, how freaking awesome is that? Of course who knows what the hell will happen with the lawsuit, but seriously -- if you don't want to hand out what has been legally prescribed then don't be a fucking pharmacist. I really don't understand where the fuck these guys get off (and excuse me, but if I had to fathom a guess, my guess is they are all men, and white men at that). In the words of John at AmericaBlog, "I already have a priest, and he doesn't work at Target." (11/14/05). Or Walgreens, as the case may be. OK -- I don't have a priest, but I do have a doctor. And if she prescribes something for me, these guys fucking JOB is to give it to me. If they can't manage to do that because they have some moral objection, then find another fucking career. Because if pharmacists get to decide what drugs people were allowed to have, they aren't pharmacists anymore -- they're doctors. And most people generally prefer that their doctors went to, oh I don't know, medical school? I would love to just bitch-slap one of these guys. But at least Walgreens gets it. Go Walgreens.


The speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives is barred from mentioning Jesus Christ or endorsing any religion in prayers at the beginning of legislative sessions. While U.S. District Judge David Hamilton didn't ban prayers completely, he ended a 188-year tradition when he ordered that any person chosen to give the invocation must be instructed that it must not advance one faith or be used to convert listeners. The American Civil Liberties Union sued the state, contending the prayers overwhelmingly promoted Christian values to the exclusion of other beliefs.

I swear, I want to go to Indiana and shake Judge Hamilton's hand. Because the ACLU was right. And its about time someone started recognizing it and started treating Christianity, and Christians, just like everybody fucking else. Maybe if enough people do this, Christians will start to recognize that their religion and their beliefs do not make them almighty. Maybe they will realize that freedom of religion doesn't mean they are free to push their religion on the rest of us. Thank you Judge Hamilton. Let's just hope the judges on the Court of Appeals share your good sense.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

On issues of equality, America lags behind...


That's right folks -- the good 'ole land of the free has just been surpassed when it comes to equal rights for its citizens by that former bastion of apartheid and all things unequal, South Africa.

OK, granted, South Africa has what could perhaps be called the most liberal constitution in the world -- banning discrimination based on sexual orientation when no other constitution in the world does, for example -- but that doesn't negate the fact that people, gay people anyway, will be more free there than they will ever be here.

Less than a week ago, South Africa's high court, in an 11-1 decision, announced that the country's
ban on gay marriage violates their constitution. The South African parliament has one year to amend its marriage laws. What if they say screw you to the court? Doesn't matter. If parliament fails to act, the legal definition of marriage will change automatically at the expiration of the one year deadline. That means that one year from today, if not sooner, South Africa will become the first country in Africa, and the fifth around the world, to legalize gay marriage.

My question is simply -- what the hell is wrong with our country? Everyone likes to throw around words like "freedom" and "equality", but no one really seems to understand what those words mean. Not only do we not provide for gay marriage on a federal level, we actually have the Defense of Marriage Act (signed by Clinton of all people). What the fuck is up with that? We might as well be living in the stone age. And not only on the gay marriage issue, but others too -- one issue that particularly comes to mind is the death penalty. At least we are still part of the majority on the gay marriage issue (that doesn't make our position right, but it makes sure we don't look like total extremists either). With the death penalty, we are only one of three democracies in the world that have the death penalty and 97% of all executions are carried out in four countries -- us, China, Vietnam and Iran. Nice bunch, wouldn't ya say? My gravest concern is that what has happened in Spain, and Belgium, and now South Africa, will spread around the world and country after country will realize the error of their ways. And there we will be, still banning gay marriage, sitting on the sidelines with our legalized death friends.

Thinking about all of this, more and more I wonder if perhaps my thoughts of leaving the country and returning to the motherland following the 2004 elections should not have been so hastily thrown aside. Excuse me while I go call the consulate.