Friday, March 17, 2006

boycotting Kanab?

I got a great laugh out of this Deseret News story. To me it shows how both sides of the Blue State/Red State talk right past each other and really don't get it.

Kanab, in their infinite creativity, passed a resolution that the Sutherland Institute wrote for them. Fearing the devitalizing scourge of gay marriage and gender equality, their city resolution supports "upholding the marriage of a woman to a man, and a man to a woman as ordained by God." Homes, Sutherland's resolution said, should be open to a "full quiver of children" and young women to become "wives, homemakers and mothers." I am assuming they mean one wife per a household, given the singular use of woman in the above quoted language. I won't even get into the Establishment Clause issue right now.

Aurthur Frommer, founder of the travel advice empire that includes books videos, and a syndicated column advocated to his newspaper readers not to go to Kanab, whose economy is dependant on tourism. Frommer decided Kanab is "homophobic" and "bigoted," but failed to realize lots of towns in Red State America have passed similar fact I think over 20 of the 50 states in the union have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. There are crazier cities and towns in Utah as well (see LeVerkin and Virgin's no-UN zone).

Kanab's reply? "Mr. Frommer obviously doesn't know much about Kanab," Mayor Lawson said. What is there to know? "His primary audience does not visit Kanab. They go to Europe," he said. "They go to places that have given up on the family long ago. That's where they're comfortable."

Yes Europe, where there are no more families and the continent has given up on them. Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't Frommer make travel guides for families on a budget? Sure Americans love to travel to Europe, but not because they have given up on families (even if that were true), but to see castles, museums, royalty, and other old stuff.

Personally, I don't think it is Arthur’s place to tell people to boycott Kanab. The people that would be offended by the resolution would have already avoided after Frommer informed them. The others who think it is funny or support it won't boycott the city. And how many of his readers even know where Kanab is? Or LeVerkin? Or Virgin?

Similarly, what will Kanab's resolution actually do? Make people feel better? Gay marriage has been banned twice statewide, most recently in 2004 by Amendment 3. Those who are gay in Kanab will likely emigrate to a big(er) city to meet other homosexuals and to not feel as outcast. I don't homosexual couples would dare live and raise a family in a small city/town like Kanab.

In sum, both Kanab and Frommer wasted their time and effort on a cultural issue that has little real effect on either party. Both just made themselves that much more ridiculous.

On a personal note, I am traveling to a small western town for the weekend to get a break from working full time this week and enjoy my spring break such as it is. Our motel will have wireless, so I can report from the road if a I feel so inclined. Enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

quote of the day

Conservative Washington state columnist Adele Ferguson promotes school vouchers, defends slavery: “The pony hidden in slavery is the fact that it was the ticket to America for black people.”

Yeah, what a ticket! Nevermind most of the people crammed into the boat died before they even got to North America. Or that folks were beaten to death and or raped by their masters when they got to America. Or that they were enslaved for centuries. Or that it took another century after they were freed to sit in the same schools, drink from the same fountains, wait at the same bus stops, eat at the same lunch counters, etc. as white people. And I won't even get into police brutality, racial profiling, differing employment opportunities etc. Those lucky duckies!

hat tip Center for American Progress

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

cheating and the war on terror

I looks like yet again, the Bush Justice Department has snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. And yet again, they did so by violating the rules which prosecutors are supposed to play by. In Michigan, a case was thrown out after massive prosecutorial misconduct--Richard G. Convertino (the lead prosecutor appointed by AG John Ashcroft) suppressed evidence that might have bolstered the defendants' claims of innocence.

In Virginia, the "20th hijacker" case involving a dude that liked al Qaeda but never actually was part of the plot and might have sorta known about it, the Bush appointees got two witnesses on the phone together and discussed their testimoney, and read back to them parts of the trial transcript. This is highly unethical and violates the exclusionary rule in the Federal Rules of Evidence. The upshot is that the death penalty is off the table for the jurors.

These are just two of the many terror cases the Bush Justice Department has bungled since 9/11. Remember that 'sleeper cell' near Buffalo, NY? All they could get them on was traveling to Afghanistan and going to an Al-Qeada camp...a crime they called "providing support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization."

Is it that these cases are hard to try? That the evidence is always scanty? Or is it that these prosecutors are eagarly tring to make a name for themselves, and in so doing cross the line? It has to be more than a coincidence.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Curiouser and curiouser

When I read the headline yesterday that Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell, I thought 'oh crap.' General Clark agrees with me. "He escaped justice and it's a tragedy for the people of Serbia," Clark told United Press International Sunday.

"They were denied the truth," said Clark, who had met the Serbian leader numerous times. "Milosevic," Clark told UPI, "led the Serb people on a foolish and immoral quest for greater Serbia.

I knew that people would speculate about a murder plot. To wit, this from the Melburne Herald Sun:
Milosevic's lawyer revealed a six-page letter from the former Balkans strongman, written the day before he died and alleging he was being given the wrong drugs in an attempt to kill him.

The letter, dated March 10, was addressed to the Russian embassy. A one-page English-language cover note asked the embassy to forward the letter to the Russian Foreign Minister.

The letter alleged that a powerful drug used to treat leprosy or tuberculosis had been found in his blood during an examination on January 12, said Milosevic's legal aide, Zdenko Tomanovic.

"They would like to poison me," he quoted Milosevic as telling him.

Reading a sentence from an English translation of the letter, Mr Tomanovic said: "In any case, the persons who are giving me the drug for the treatment of leprosy surely cannot be treating me, and especially those persons from whom I defended my country in the war and who also have an interest in silencing me."

Somehow, there was an antibiotic found in Slobo's bloodstream during the autopsy, that is designed to counteract those high blood pressure meds. Was he drugged to death? Was he trying to make himself sicker so he could go to a Russian medical facility and never come back to the Hauge? Did he comit suicide, like his parents had?

Somehow I doubt we will ever know for sure. I am pretty certain that what Slobo said was a lie. No one at the UN or ICC would try to kill him. If anything, some Croat, Serbian, or Kosovar general did the deed. To me, the most likely scenerio is that he tried to get himself sick and did too good of a job.