Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: October 2005 .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Sunday, October 30, 2005

The dominoes are beginning to topple

Poor Ol' George didn't have a very good week. Still hurting from his administration's pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina and the general public's dissatisfaction with the War on Terra, now he has to deal with Harriet getting "miered" and his veep's chief of staff being indicted.

Back when Bush nominated Miers for the Supreme Court, a general hue and cry made it's way across all party lines - "what is he thinking?". And the short answer, of course, is "he's not". Dubya prides himself on his gut instincts, and that's what he used in this case. Nominating someone with no experience, credentials, or temperament for the job was strictly a gut call, and now it's biting him in another part of his anatomy.

And as for Lewis "Scooter" Libby (I'd love to hear the back story about that nickname), it's indicative of the culture in the Bush White House, and the investigation's not over yet. I kinda hoped Karl Rove would have been one of the first to be indicted, but at least he hasn't been cleared yet.

The indictment indicates that Libby wasn't working alone, and that Dick Cheney's office went to great lengths to find out everything they could about Joseph Wilson, the trip he took to Niger, and his wife. It indicates that they knew Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, worked in the CIA's counterproliferation division, and that she most likely was undercover. Yet they decided to reveal the information to the press anyway, in order to retaliate against Wilson for speaking out against supposed data that the administration was using to promote the invasion of Iraq.

Some pundits are saying that this investigation is a witch hunt, and is politically motivated. Yet the lead investigator, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, was appointed by Bush. And if he was politically motivated, he'd have trumped up charges against Rove, who's a much bigger fish than Libby.

In fact, all of the ethics and legal challenges being made against the Republican leadership are being called politically motivated. I won't argue that point, because what I'm writing now - in fact the reason that I started this blog - is because of political motivation. I demand that our elected and appointed officials act in my, and my fellow citizens', best interest. Not in the best interest of contributors and polical cronies. I expect them to be honest, fair and impartial.

I know, I'm asking for a lot. It would be much harder to find an honest politician than a dishonest one. By definition, anyone who seeks public office is not qualified to serve in it. You could swing a stick in the Halls of Congress and hit half a dozen crooked politicians. With your eyes closed.

Which is why this witch hunt is so easy. Powerful men such as Tom "I am the federral government" DeLay aren't used to the 'little people' telling them what they can and can't do, and they step over the ethics line. Sooner or later, they'll get caught and have to face the music, as the former House Majority Leader DeLay is now for money laundering and conspiracy.

Then there's Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, facing insider trading allegations. And Jack Abramoff, who less than a year ago was one of the most powerful influence peddlers in Washington, and now he's virtually dropped off the radar screen.

Bush was elected in 2000 on the promise to restore honor and dignity to the White House. Five years later its even worse than before he took office. Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about sexual relations with an intern, and yes, that was politically motivated also (the impeachment, not the relations). Now we have senior White House officials, possibly up to and including the Vice President, lying about the need to invade a sovereign nation and start a war that has claimed 2000 American lives and counting and shows no signs of ever ending.

Abramoff, DeLay, Frist, Libby, Rove, Cheney. The dominoes are beginning to topple. And this particular politically motivated pundit won't rest until the last bone falls. The one that sits in the Oval Office.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Game over

I wasn't even going to write about the World Series at all. After all, every publication in the country has journalists covering this event, so what could I add of value? But Wyld Jr. tells me that he and his friends were following my coverage of the playoffs, so I'll do one for the Gipper, as it were (I know, wrong sport, but play along, wouldja?)

Back in July, our own hometown newspaper (the Houston Chronicle) wrote the Astros' season off as over. I believe the headline had R.I.P. in it. Three months later we were in the World Series. That's the kind of wild ride we've been on here in Houston for the past few months.

First there was the amazing wild card race. Then the more amazing playoffs. The 18 inning game (that's two regular games!) to finish off Atlanta. Five exciting games against St. Louis, which could have easily been seven.

And then the World Series. First time ever for Houston, first time in 92 years for the White Sox. The battle of the stepchildren, if you will. And although we didn't win a single game in the series, I'm proud of the Astros. They played like Champions. They never quit, they were gentlemen throughout, and they went down swinging.

I have to admit, I've watched more baseball in the past two months than I have all season. I only went to one game at Minute Maid Park this year. But I have a feeling that'll change next year.

I don't want to get the merchandiser's hopes up. I won't be going out and buying every promotional item available like the average consumer. I still have shirts and hats from the Rockets' championship years. But I'll probably buy a few five dollar hot dogs, so if you own stock in Aramark, hang on to it.

I love baseball. It's the one game that I can still play in my old age without getting seriously damaged. Sure, I can still throw a football, but one good tackle and I'll be watching those Mobility Plus commercials with more interest. Likewise hoops. Anyone who says basketball isn't a contact sport hasn't played in my neighborhood.

Baseball brings out the best and the worst in people. You can tell who a person really is by how he or she plays baseball. Honor, dignity, selfishness, foolish pride - they all come out while you're playing the game.

And the Astros have shown that in the past few months. Honor, dignity, and yes, even foolish pride, but I'm still proud to call them my team.

Roger Clemens, Andy Pettite, Craig Biggio - these guys live in my town. Some of them grew up here. While Houston was showing itself for the world class city that it is in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, these guys were representing us in Major League Baseball. And represent they did. They made it to the World Series, for the first time ever.

So as they go home to their family and friends, I hope they can rest assured that in my eyes and many others', they are champions in the truest definition of the word. They played with honor and dignity through the good times and the bad.

After all the excitement, the heartaches, the extra innings and the extra snackage, I have to say that I had fun. And that's what the game is all about.

The spark may have gone out,
but the candle still burns

Rosa Parks, "the mother of the civil rights movement" passed away this week at the age of 92 in East Detroit, Michigan.

Known predominately for her refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, she led a long and productive life trying to bring equality to her people and other minorities. Because of her, legal segregation is a thing of the past in America, and December 1, 1955 has become a day of celebration.

On that day Rosa, forty-two years of age and tired after a long day as a seamstress, let one full bus pass in order to secure a seat on the next. In those days, there were three sections on the buses in Montgomery, Alabama - the four front rows for whites only, the back rows for blacks only, and the middle rows, which could be used by blacks, but if the white rows were filled and even one white wanted to sit in the middle rows, all of the blacks in the middle rows had to give up their seats.

The Jim Crow rules for the public bus system in Montgomery almost defy belief today. Black customers had to enter the bus at the front door, pay the fare, exit the front door and climb aboard again at the rear door. Even though the majority of bus passengers were black, the front four rows of seats were always reserved for white customers.

Bennett wrote: "It was a common sight in those days to see Black men and women standing in silence and silent fury over the four empty seats reserved for whites." Behind these seats was a middle section that blacks could use only if there was no white demand. However, if so much as one white customer needed a seat in this "no- man's land," all the blacks in that section had to move.

Bennett concluded: "This was, as you can see, pure madness, and it caused no end of trouble and hard feeling." In fact, Parks herself was once thrown off a bus for refusing to endure the charade of entry by the back door. In the year preceding Parks's fateful ride, three other black women had been arrested for refusing to give their seats to white men. Still the system was firmly entrenched, and Parks would often walk to her home to spare herself the humiliation of the bus.

Needless to say that on that fateful day, a white man wanted to sit in the middle section. The driver ordered Rosa and three others to give up their seats. The other three blacks complied, but, tired, Rosa refused to give up her seat. The driver threatened to have her arrested, yet she still refused. The police officers asked the driver if he wanted to swear out a warrant or let her go with a warning, and to the Jim Crow South's detriment, he had her arrested. Incidently, this was the same driver who threw her off the bus for refusing to enter through the back door twelve years earlier.

She was arrested, booked and fined $14. On the advice of her attorney, her husband and her mother, she decided to fight the conviction, and the rest is history. Her cause, spearheaded by a young pastor from the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church named Martin Luther King, Jr., led to a boycott of city buses that lasted 382 days, caught the nation's attention and was financially devastating to the bus company. Her case eventually made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, which essentially put an end to legal segregation.

This was not her first foray into the civil rights movement, nor would it be her last. Dismayed at the hatred and bigotry shown to her kin that returned from serving their country in World War II, she became involved in the "passive resistance" movement, resulting in her earlier bus ejection.

She continued her work for civil rights until recently, when she became ill. She left behind a legacy that includes the end of legal segregation (at least as far as race is concerned), decades of public service and a Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the nation's highest honor awarded to civilians.

Yet with her passing, we are reminded that there are still many more challenges ahead.

Although race segregation is illegal, there are still many injustices in our society. True equality is not yet here, as evidenced in the official response to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. And a new segregation based on homophobia is being legislated across the country.

So although Rosa's spark has gone out, we still need the light from her spirit. It's now up to us to keep the fire burning until all injustice has been burned away.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bring it on!

Bush allies ready to go on offensive in CIA leak probe
claims vs. facts via

Indictments are expected this week in the Valerie Plame incident, in which she was "outed", apparently by senior Bush administration officials. Karl Rove, senior Bush advisor, and Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, are both expected to be implicated in the scandal.

In April 1999, dubya's dad said that exposing a CIA undercover operative was "the most insidious of crimes". In October 2003, Darth Insidious himself said

"...this investigation in finding the truth, it will not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked — and this is a serious charge, by the way. We’re talking about a criminal action, but also hopefully will help set a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop, as well. And so I look forward to finding the truth."

Of course, once the leaks were traced to the White House, dubya refused to comment, claiming there was an ongoing investigation. Now that the investigation is coming to a head, the GOP spin machine is spinning like mad, trying to divert attention away from the true issues.

They're saying that leaks are no big deal, that they happen all the time. Unfortunately for their arguement, exposing an active undercover agent is a treasonable offense, which qualifies as a big deal. "But", they say, "Plame wasn't really an undercover agent, she was a desk jockey". Yeah, right. Trained by the CIA, sent to a foreign country suspected of producing nuclear materials for dubious means, and all she was doing was filing TPS reports? If you believe that, I've got some freshly washed swampland in south Florida to sell you.

They say Joe Wilson lied about his investigation into Iraq buying yellocake from Nigeria, justifying treasonable acts and imperiling national security in order to discredit him. At most, Wilson exagerrated. After all, who was right - Wilson, who said there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, or Bush, who said there were. Now that the facts are out there, I think I'd trust Joe before I'd even consider trusting anything dubya says.

They say that the prosecutor is overzealous, desperate and grasping at straws, trying to get indictments on technicalities rather than real crimes. Actually, perjury and obstruction of justice are real crimes, and coming from senior White House officials indicate a culture of misinformation, corruption and outright falsification coming from the highest levels of government. If we can expose that culture and bring it down based on a "technicality", I say bring it on.

Friday, October 21, 2005

One Trick Pony

After hearing about the conference call that occurred between Bush and a state and federal judge about the nomination of Harriet Meiers for Supreme Court Justice, I understand what this nomination is all about.

At first I wondered why he would nominate someone who isn't even a Judge, whose only claim to fame is that she worships the ground he walks on. It must have been that he was throwing her out as fodder for the detractors so that he could nominate someone else less objectionable and get them past Congress easier. That wouldn't be cool to someone who supported him all these years, but I wouldn't put that past dubya, who has no problem burning anyone in his path in order to place himself in the history books.

But now it's perfectly clear. His only reason for nominating her, and hoping she passes the bar, is because she is pretty much guaranteed to vote to overthrow Roe v. Wade.

It's a sad commentary that the most powerful man in the world, whose whole legacy (aside from plunging us into a world-wide jihad) will be marked by the Supreme Court Justices he puts in place. And instead of placing someone who will interpret the Constitution and make just rulings on the social, economic and societal issues facing us in our challenging future, we're slated to get someone who, with no judicial experience, is going to be there solely to vote on one issue.

Hopefully, the shortsightedness of this president will be seen by the general public.

Already, the right-wingers have seen through the facade. Unfortunately, the general public is even less informed than the wing-nuts, and will believe whatever is displayed before them in the media.

Our only hope is that the not-so-mainstream media will expose this ploy for what it is.

If you're reading this and can see that it has merit, please let everyone know that Harriet Meiers is a "one trick pony". Even if you believe that Roe vs. Wade should be overturned, think of the damage that can be done to our judicial system by allowing someone with no experience in judicating to hold one of the highest non-elected positions in our government - one that can even overturn Constitutional rights that the voting majority insists on.

To me, that's even scarier than an incompetent president that will be in office for three more years.

Money Talks, B.S. Walks

So Tom DeLay, responding to his "wanted man" status, turned himself in to the authorities, and sat through his initial hearing.

The press focused on his smiling face and his clenched hands. At first I thought they were focusing on the fact that his clenched hands, indicating stress, belied the pasted smile he's so famous for.

But then I realized that the reason the cameras were on his hands was because they weren't in their usual position, open and outstretched for a contribution.

It's about time his hypocritical rhetoric is called for what it is. He's been spewing sanctimonious bull defecation for so long, people believe that he actually cares about the issues he professed to believe in.

But he's been caught red-handed trying to achieve his goals regardless of the methods. The ends does not justify the means. He broke the law, plain and simple, and diverted funds to achieve his ends not for ideological reasons, but so that his contributors can achieve their financial aspirations.

It's all about spending money to make money. And because the law didn't allow them to spend money on campaign contributions that would directly benefit themselves, they counted on DeLay to funnel their contributions to get them a majority in the state, and then redraw the state's district to insure their continued majority, in order to continue the cash cow they'd created.

And now the cow has been exposed. DeLay says he'll be vindicated. But even if he walks (which is possible, given the pro-Bush judiciary in Texas), the public has been exposed to how the system works.

Money talks, and B.S. walks. Let's just hope this particular brand of B.S. doesn't walk too easily.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

We're goin' to the World Series!

Woo Hoo!

The boys showed their stuff in game six tonight, and now we're going to find out if they have the gumption to hang out for up to seven games against the Chicago White Sox for the World Championship.

Ausmus stealing home, Biggio RBI, Lane home run. These were enough to get the ball rolling. Everett suicide squeeze leading to a Burke run. Taveras' sacrifice, Ensberg bounces one off Edmonds' glove, Biggio scores.

Finally, we vindicate Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Phil Garner, Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell, and all of the original Killer Bees and others whose main goal in the franchise was a run to the World Series.

The World Series. The golden fleece of baseball dreams. Let's hope that the boys of summer can fulfill their dreams of the Fall Classic.

As much as I admire the White Sox, and sympathize with their winter weather, I hope their fall is disappointing (in more ways than one), and that their winter is mild, but with discontent.

Is today a great day, or what?

The weather's great, the Astros are in the playoffs, and Tom DeLay does the perp walk.

Arrest warrant issued for DeLay

AUSTIN — Today a Texas court issued a warrant for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay to appear for booking, where he is likely to face the fingerprinting and photo mug shot he had hoped to avoid.

Bail was initially set at $10,000 as a routine step before his first court appearance on conspiracy and money laundering charges. Travis County court officials said DeLay was ordered to appear at the Fort Bend County jail for booking.

I, for one, will be checking the Smoking Gun regularly for my own personal copy of his mug shot for my scrapbook.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Denied! (at least until Wednesday)

Wow! What a game!

Game five started slowly enough, and once on the board, the Cards led up until the 7th inning.

Then, Pow! Biggio banks one off Luna for a single. Burke hits a foul that's played into a double off an overthrow to first, then it gets called back. Burke singles, Biggio advances to third. Berkman homers to bring 'em both home. Astros lead 4-2! I could almost hear the roar of the ballpark crowd at my house.

From that point on, the game announcers pretty much called it a victory. They started announcing the credits, talked about how Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott and Phil Garner, all local players without a World Series record, have all been validated. I'm sure t-shirts and hats were being cranked out for sale to the masses.

Then in the ninth inning, the unthinkable happened. Pujols slams a three run homer then struts around the bases. The 'Stros didn't answer, and the Cardinals win 5-4. Rats!

Ya gotta admit though, it was world class play. The Cards stepped up when it counted, and didn't know when to quit, and that's what champions do.

Now our champions need to step up, shake this one off, and git 'er done in game 6.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Three down, one to go

What began with a dismal performance in game one has evolved into a Houston team that leads the series 3-1 and may take the series tonight. With the exciting conclusion of game four last night, the Astros are poised to finish off the series and advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

Brandon Backe was the starting pitcher for the Astros, Jeff Suppan for the Cardinals.

The Astros opened the first inning allowing an Eckstein single, then set the pace for the game with a double play. The first three innings were otherwise uneventful, with the Cards breaking the drought with a run in the top of the fourth. Lane responded in the bottom of the fourth with a home run into the Crawford boxes.

Two more innings of no scoring, then in the bottom of the seventh. Biggio sacrifice bunts to send Palmeiro to third. But Marquis (replacing Suppan) bobbles the ball, and Biggio is safe at first. Burke is up next, starts to bunt, but gets the go-ahead to swing away. Marquis strikes him out, leading to a Burke tantrum in the dugout.

Marquis walks Berkman, leaving the bases loaded with one out. Cards coach LaRusso gets in the home-plate umps face after the final ball call, getting himself ejected from the game.

See, I told you this would be a historic series. LaRusso will make it into the books as the first manager to be ejected in a post-season game since 1999.

After the dust settled, Taveras subs for Palmeiro on third. Ensberg hits a sacrifice fly, and Taveras scores for a one run Astros lead. The third out occurred during a commercial, so I didn't see how the side was retired.

Top of the eighth, Ausmus catches an attempted bunt. Edmonds gets called for a questionable strike, gets in the umps face and gets himself ejected from the game with a full count on the board. Taveras snags a potential double fly ball on the hill, something the Cards have not been able to do in this series.

Ninth inning finds the 'Stros still up by one and Lidge pitching. Pujols singles, and so does Walker, sending Pujols to third. Sanders hits to third, Ensberg throws Pujols out at home, cutting of the tying run. During the confusion following the play, Walker steals third, causing another controversy.

The 'Stros ended it with Walker on third with a double play involving a crossover shortstop play, to second to first for three outs. Astros win again, 2-1.

This is gettin' pretty exciting, don't you think? The fifth, and hopefully final, game is tonight. If all goes according to plan, we'll be playing the White Sox in the Fall Classic shortly.

Should I stop shaving and keep wearing my lucky underwear? I'd like to say it couldn't hurt, but I might get a rash, and I don't think Mrs. Card will be too fond of the idea, so I'll settle for my lucky ice-cold beverage and trusty nachos, with extra jalapenos.

And I've got an idea for a new ballpark treat. Fried bananas topped with Reese's peanut butter cup ice cream. I call it "Elvis has 'split' the building".

Maybe I'll wait until after this series...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Looking better and better

Didn't get to see all of game 3, as I was in the wilderness - no phone, no lights, no motorcars - but got back to "civilization" during the sixth inning. Although I didn't see the whole game, I liked what I saw. The 'Stros were playing professional baseball, something that wasn't always apparent earlier in the regular season.

At the top of the sixth Ausmus snags a pip off the baseline and threw the runner out. There was some controversy whether the ball was fair, but if you hit the ball that short, you deserve to be out anyway.

Also in the sixth, Lane collided with Nunez on his way to third base and Nunez went out with a bad knee.

Astros were leading when I turned the game on, but the Cards evened the score in the sixth. The 'Stros regained the lead at the bottom of the sixth.

Qualls did an interesting little dance at the top of the seventh as he dodged a bat lobbed by Taguchi. That'll make the highlight reel. Qualls went on to strike him out to retire the side.

A diving catch led to a double play which ended the top of the seventh inning. Fairly uneventful the rest of the game, although the Cards had the chance to tie the score in the 9th and were denied. Astos win, 4-3.

This could very well be the last professional game played by Roger Clemens, so I feel like history is being made. Of course, if we go the World Series for the first time in our 44 years of pro baseball, that'll be historic also, and of course Clemens will get to pitch again. Plus it'll be a lot of fun.

Well, game four is about to start. Time to crack an ice-cold beverage, whip up some nachos, and watch more history being made.

Play Ball, Y'all!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Astros are back in the series

I knew we weren't down and out when Burke tripled in the second inning, and his foot hit the bag rather than the glove. But is he going to carry this team singlehandedly?

Mulder walked Ausmus intentionally, and then Burke scores on a catcher error. Ausmus snags the steal for second, but to no avail.

Fast forward to the fifth inning. Ausmus doubles, a sacrifice sends him to third, and Biggio brings him home.

Bottom of the fifth, showdown between Oswalt and Edmunds. Guys on 1st and 2nd, full count. Oswalt strikes him out for three outs.

Sixth inning, Berkman gets a base hit on the first pitch. Edmunds' diving snag causes him to run from second base back to first for the first time in baseball history.

Pujols gets a home run in the bottom of the sixth to put the only run on the Cardinals' scoreboard.

Burke makes his first mistake ever in the seventh by undershooting a catch, Molina gets to second base by bouncing one over the fence. Ekstien flies out on a 2-2, inning over.

Eighth inning, Burke singles with two outs to send Berkman home for run 3. Sanders chokes with a tip off his glove for run 4.

Astros win it 4-1, evening the score for their dismal perfomance in game 1.

Looking forward to Game 3. See y'all there!

We still have a long way to go

I was at the grocery store today, and ran into a Mr. Mom (okay, it's an assumption, but it was during working hours, and he was with a 2-year old and an infant, and wearing sweats).

I thought "Cool. Society in my neighborhood has evolved to the point where this is acceptable".

Then I heard his two year-old say, "look, Dad, there's a brown man!".

Out of the mouths of babes, right?

I thought we were making progress. I thought we were finally becoming color blind, and that we could accept people for who they are rather than what they look like. I mean, all of the people involved were probably Christians. The stay-at-home Dad and the Brown Man both had the aura of someone who would help others at need, were active in their church, and had given money to hurricane relief.

Yet they were worlds apart. Even in the same grocery store, they were from different worlds.

It wasn't the Brown Man's fault. He wasn't even brown, he was very black, yet he was classified by this toddler as an oddity. And this was in a neighborhood that is fairly integrated.

Maybe it's just me. Maybe the toddler and his family are evacuees from a world where there are no black people. But I was struck by his comment that there are still social circles out there that see anything different than themselves as something to be critical of.

And as long as there are still those attitudes, it reminds me that we still have a long way to go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Deja Vu

Astros and Cardinals in the conference championship. Just like last year. But this time the 'stros are coming off of a historic, emotional 18 inning win from a Chris Burke homer to land them in this position. Things should be different this year, right?

Not necessarily. With bases loaded and one out in the third inning, Berkman hits a line drive to second base resulting in a double play. Inning and effort wasted.

Burke heated things up in the seventh with a two run homer, his first at bat, and his first swing, since his 18th inning home run on Sunday. But things fizzled after that. Pettit pitched more balls than strikes. Springer, his reliever pitched a critical walk with Pujols up to bat next.

A few questionable strike calls, some anxiety in the top of the ninth as chances slimmed, and ending with a Viscaino fly ball for out three.

Hopefully this won't be a repeat of last year's playoffs. But after the amazing wild card race this year, I'm backing the boys. Let's see what happens tomorrow night...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

It's been seven days since my last cofession. In that time I've had evil thoughts about the president, the indicted House Majority Leader, and everyone else who is trying to run this country into the ground in Your name.

I believe in the teachings of Jesus. He embodies what a Christian should be. He fed the hungry, healed the ill, and taught love, compassion and tolerance. He hung out with reforned prostitutes, theives and common folk. The only time he got angry, according to my Bible studies, was when the moneychangers in the temple were profiteering from the faithful.

Oh, how things have changed in 2000 years. The moneychangers are not only profiteering from the faithful, they've changed what it means to be a Christian. The new morality is not about love, compassion or tolerance, or even caring for the poor, hungry and ill. It's about strict adherence to a lifestyle dictated by the priveliged few, or risk losing rights guaranteed to citizens in the Constitution.

It's about losing the right to die with dignity and without pain. It's about taking choice away from those who are most affected by those choices, such as women whose lives are at risk by an unwanted pregnancy. It's about those who choose life partners that don't meet the approval of the theocracy losing basic insurance and visitation rights.

What has historically been a political party dedicated to minimum government intervention in our lives is now populated by self-righteous hypocrites who want to control every aspect of our lives except those that allow us to profit from the most vulnerable among us.

It's about allowing those most vulnerable to go hungry while oil companies rake in record profits. It's about allowing companies like Halliburton to pay less than minimum wage to rebuild the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast using migrant labor while that region's own citizens are struggling to find jobs they lost because of the storms.

Christianity has had its dark ages as it matured into one of the three major worldwide religions. There were the Crusades, the Inquisition, even McCarthyism. And now it seems like we're headed into a new "dark age" as the focus of mainstream Christianity seems to be condemning lifestyles other than their own and denying rights and dignity to those that don't match their ideal - an ideal that they themselves have a history of failing to live up to.

Lord, I pray that that You show these people the error of their ways. Not through fire and brimstone, because I believe that Jesus would have shown compassion and mercy, but if it takes pestilence to get their attention, then so be it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Doncha just love it...

DeLay is scrambling to retain his power in the House. Amid allegations that he's abused his power, he's trying to retain it by working wih Dennis Hastert to maintain status quo.

That's the case for now, but the grand jury indictment will determine whether or not his Texans for Republican Majority violated campaign rules by providing campaign dollars directly for candidates - which it appears is the case.

For all practical purposes, Tom DeLay is guilty of using his power as the Hammer to swing control of the Texas House of Representatives towards the Republicans, and he he did it illegally.

Let's put him in jail, and move forward by getting Texas back on track. The main priorty now is providing services to victims of Rita and other natural disasters. Once that's done we can redirect Texas's resources toward's where they're really needed, instead of subsidizing corporations and industries.