Tuesday, June 14, 2005

News From the Empire

Regular readers of this blog know that I do not often wax political -- partly because it's really not my blog's reason for existence, and partly...well, partly because I have a fairly new laptop, and I'd hate to ruin it by disgorging throw-up on the keyboard on a regular basis. But some days things need to be said, and this is one of those days. So, with no further ado:

Item: The Anti- Anti-Lynching Senators

You might wonder, here in Anno Domini 2005, what sort of knuckle-dragging Neanderthal would not endorse a Senate bill apologizing for the government's dereliction of duty in not condemning the practice of lynching. Well, actually, there are six, and counting:

Senator Richard Shelby, R-Alabama
Senator Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi
Senator Trent Lott, R-Mississippi
Senator Lamarr Alexander, R-Tennessee
Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas

Thanks to Bloodless Coup for this information, which is being updated. You might also find it interesting to read the official websites of these legislators to see what kind of legislation they are willing to publicly endorse.

Item: Kill the Messenger

A U.S. House panel has voted to eliminate all public funding for PBS and NPR. Their recommendation would cut 25 percent of federal funding for public broadcasting this year -- that's $100 million -- and end funding altogether within two years. This is just the latest salvo in an ongoing assault on public broadcasting. Kenneth Tomlinson, chairperson of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting -- an organization set up, ironically, to protect public broadcasting from partisan bias -- is a Republican with a close relationship to the Administration, spent public monies on ridding public broadcasting of "liberal bias," and conducted a secret investigation of the program NOW, formerly hosted by Bill Moyers. In doing so, Tomlinson appears to have been ignoring his own surveys of public broadcasting consumers, who express satisfaction with the fairness and balance of news programming.

To read more about this, check out "Keep the Public in Broadcasting" . And let your own legislators know how you feel about this attempt to kill public broadcasting.

Item: The Rich Get Richer

The increasing gap between haves and have-nots has become so worrisome that Alan Greenspan -- not exactly a raving Bolshie -- and other economic policy makers are expressing concern about the future of democratic capitalism. You can read more about it here .

When in Rome...have a cookie. (See below.) And pray that you won't be asked for a pinch of incense and a "Kaiser Kurios!" Sometimes it's all you can do.


Chaz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
greg said...

Well, here's the deal. Cornyn and Hutchison are my legislators, or at least my Senators. My Congressman is a guy who got elected without Democratic opposition (I voted write-in) after my city (Austin, TX) was disenfranchised by Tom Delay's redistricting coup. Let's see, my district runs from Austin to Houston, another runs from Austin to El Paso, another runs from Austin to Brownsville. Get a map of Texas and be amazed. So as much as I'd love to help, the revolution done already happened here. Makes me proud to be a Texan. NOT!!!!

LutheranChik said...

Eeeuw. My condolences. On the other hand, you have Molly Ivins and Austin City Limits and decent Mexican food, so it's not all bad...

LutheranChik said...

Well, now I'm going to have to take that back:

Gay and Texan? Then Move, Dammit

bls said...

Good to hear Greenspan is speaking up about this. More Republicans are speaking up these days, in fact, against the excesses of this government and the "religious" right. I think sense will finally prevail, eventually, although of course that could be overly optimistic of me.

And the thing about Public Broadcasting is a real bummer. My reps will definitely be hearing from me - although I really don't think they'd ever vote to abolish.

Thanks for the info, and the links.

Sheryl said...

Ya gotta love the deep south. Here in Louisiana, one of the items up for vote in this legislative session was a bill making it illegal to discrimate based on sexual orientation in state jobs. This bill already stalled twice in two different House panels.

When it came up for discussion again, some representatives voiced reservations because "It would be a major disruption of the work place if someone came to work in drag." Also testifying against the bill was a minister who said "If you want God to bless this state, then I urge you to vote against anything that would violate his laws"

It did end up passing the house panel, with them amendment that state agencies can still impose a dress code that says that males must dress in male clothing. It will go up for vote in the whole House in the next session.

It just makes you wonder.

LutheranChik said...

I was happy when the Michigan Legislature, a couple of years ago, spent considerable time and money debating a proposed State Insect. IMHO keeping them occupied with stuff like that prevents them from being dangerous.

greg said...

My officemates always complain about the inefficiency of Government, but I'm all for it.

Sorry for the outburst, but this topic is near to my heart. About 5 months ago I applied for "Skilled Immigrant" status in New Zealand, and was accepted, and so have had to think hard about whether or not I want to take Mr. Perry up on his offer. It is certainly tempting to just leave the right wing to their inevitable fate. If a bunch of people want to get together and be stupid, who am I to try and talk them out of it? Why shouldn't I let them have their values, however misguided I may find them, while I move to a place where people largely share my values?

I'm not really sure that I know the answers to these questions, but I know that leaving just feels wrong to me. However, I'm unclear on what is motivating me to stay. Ego (not wanting to run from a fight)? Love (for my parents who are to old to come with us)? Fear (of leaving behind a place where I and my family are comfortable)? Anger (Austin is a liberal town - why should I allow conservatives from elsewhere to change this)?

I'd like to believe that it is none of these. I'd like to believe that somehow, it is my duty to stay and stand up for what I believe. I'd like to believe that living a Christ-like life means engaging my neighbors with love and understanding, even while they are behaving badly. It means not giving up on them, even if they want me to give up on them. It means not giving up on them even if it will cost me personally to stick with them.

But then I start to think that I must have some sort of Messiah complex. Sometimes ones motives can be so hard to discern. Sometimes the "Right Thing" can be so hard to discern.

LutheranChik said...

Greg: I know exactly what you mean about the Messianic complex thing, on a smaller scale. As you've probably read, I've recused myself from the Beliefnet debate forum, because it's just an unhealthy place for me to be. And I feel bad...I feel bad for my beleagured fellow mainliners, and I feel bad for my gay friends (some overlap here), because there's strength in numbers. But then I think, "Who do you think you are, that your presence on that forum is somehow singlehandedly holding back the barbarian onslaught? Think you're just a little bit special?" [Church Lady voice]

Looking at the bigger picture...logistically, I'm not moving anywhere because I have two elderly loved ones in various states of dependency to think about. But I've thought about, in the future, if I really want to stay in a state that is so retrograde (in more ways than one...we're also tanking economically), or at least stay in a small town rather than move to a more progressive urban area like, say, Ann Arbor. I don't know. I could always make a run for the border, LOL, but I don't know if the Canadians want a middle-aged liberal-arts-major generalist taking up space in their country.;-) I joked with someone recently that Germany has a "right of return" policy for persons who can prove German ancestry, so maybe if worst came to worst I could pull out my family geneology and demand asylum;-)...but they've got their own problems over there.