No, this is not going to be one advocating "moderation" in the Democrats' position on the war in Iraq. This is not even going to be a critique of the anti-war people in general. This isn't a "Lieberman is right" entry. Without reservation, I oppose the war in Iraq, and agree with Murtha's call to pull the troops out, because, what we feared would happen if we pulled our troops out - a civil war - is already under way in Iraq. So what is this writing about? It's about what the title says it's about: anti-war and left wing nutjobs. NUTJOBS. I am talking about the inconsiderate anti-war crowd that heckled Nancy Pelosi on Saturday (1/14/05). Here's the SF Chronicle report about it, and here's the C-Span archive of the video of the town-hall. In my opinion, what these hecklers did was incredibly stupid, and rude, to be mild. For those who don't yet know what happened, Pelosi was holding a town-hall meeting in San Francisco on national security. She was answering questions, and all of a sudden these people got up and started yelling and disrupting, demanding that Pelosi immediately support cutting off funds for the war (and hence the troops), and force a caucus position against the war. She refuesed, and the heckling got louder. Now, this isn't about whether you agree with the position of the hecklers of that of Pelosi, it is about demeanor, courtesy, and pure and simple knowing who your friends are. The hecklers - I hate to call them protesters, because protest is about making a strong statement, not a loud disruption - have an attitude that is too reminiscent of the right wing of this country: my way or highway. That's what they seemed to believe. Pelosi must agree with them on everything and every action plan, or else they had the right to disrupt the whole thing. Never mind that Pelosi was actually answering questions in a pretty straight-forward way. You can disagree with her, but give her the respect and the courtesy to at least listen while she's talking. This "you're with us or with them" attitude is very very bothersome to me. I can't stand it. Second, the vast majority of the people that were there went to listen to Pelosi, and they deserved the courtesy to be able to listen. They have a right to hear answers to the questions many of them have in mind, without being disrupted with the same thing over and over again. It was an open forum. Pelosi did not screen people out, and she extended every last bit of courtesy to the hecklers. She heard them, their questions, and it was now their f*cking time to hear her. Standing in front of the stage with the signs the way the hecklers did also made it incredibly disruptive for those sitting in the front rows and wanted to actually see Pelosi as she spoke. This was NOT a protest. This was a bunch of nutcases going out there with "you must obey me, and the hell with everyone else" attitude that only serves to discredit the peace movement in particular and the progressive movement in general. People see this on TV and rightly roll their eyes. In the middle of the whole thing, all liberals get painted with a broad brush and our cause suffers. The one principle founding all of our rights is that no one can use their rights to take away the rights of others. You do NOT have the "freedom of speech" to take away other people's freedom of speech. Other people in the forum wanted their questions asked and answered, and every bit as much right to get those heard and answered without nutcases yelling in the middle. Lastly, these nutcases also do us a disservice by refusing to recognize who our friends are, and treating our friends like unwelcome foes. Nancy Pelosi, of all people, is not a foe of the peace movement. She is a friend. I don't understand why these whackos think that treating our friends like trash will win us any points or will further our vision. There is nothting wrong with having a strong opinon and expressing it. But I believe that those who truly believe in their advocacy can make the point without being disruptive, heckling asses. So yeah, I'm pissed. Incredibly pissed. The audience was too. They booed and shouted down these hecklers several times. I'm pissed at these whackos for being self-serving idiots who are so wrapped up in their own emotions or agendas that they don't care about civility, courtesy or the rights of other people to listen to and question their representative in a peaceful environment.
Cross-posted at Out for Democracy. "We will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream," proclaimed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I just heard the speech in its entirety, and if you haven't seen it lately, it's worth watching. Bradblog has the video. It stirred me up inside, giving me chills as he gave hope victory over fear. As he showed love's victory over hate. As he proved that the arc of history does indeed bend towards justice. It's not just an inspiring speech; rather it is one the embodies what America is all about. Dr. King's dream was the founding principle of our land, the words inscribed in stone on top of our Supreme Court: Equal Justice Under Law. Dr. King's vision of America was one where all of her citizens were judged not by the social labels and stigma but by the content of their character. America, at its core a nation of laws, was challenged by Dr. King to enshrine into its laws the simple belief that before the law all people are indeed equal. Lady Justice does not see anything but the law and its equal and fair judgment regardless of what the person before her is. Is that vision of equal justice under the law really so far away from the demands a fair legal playing field for people without regard to our sexual orientation or gender identity? Is it wrong for us to ask for this mighty nation to judge us by the contents of our character and not the gender of the person we fall in love with? Tell me, is it wrong for us - law-abiding, tax-paying, hard-working American citizens - to demand to be treated with equal dignity under the law? Is it so wrong for our families to treated with the same respect as every one else's? Is it wrong for our children to access the same opportunities as everyone else - without fear, favor or shame? Does our sexual orientation bar us from wanting to see justice roll down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream? I think not. In fact, America has stayed silent for too long while her gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens have lived under social suppression, legal discrimination and political humiliation. For too long, America has stayed silent in the face of violence of hatred against us. Too long has America been silent while fundamental individual, social and family rights are denied - in the name of law itself - to her citizens. No more. Just because there are new targets of legal discrimination and political lynching - gays - and just because there are a different set of challenges that is faced - namely, beyond violence, the issues of marriage, adoption, family, health, right to work, protection from hate crimes - does not mean that this is not a struggle to achieve equality for all people. It is. We are a great nation. We are a nation of laws. And justice can't wait. Yes, gains we have made have been significant in the past years, but so have the losses. Today, I say it doesn't matter if you are straight or gay or bisexual, nor does it matter what your gender identity is. Justice is not going to be achieved without our straight friends and families. The one reason that the right wing nutjobs are beating up on GLBT folks is they too recignize our fight as one for civil rights and equal justice. And they know full well that once started, every single movement for equality has ultimately been successful. They know that we will achieve equality and that it's only a matter of time. They know defeat is knocking on their door. Because, Dr. King is right. The arc of history may be long, but it does bend toward justice.
On the Opera forum, members regularly ridicule others personally when they make a unflattering comment about Opera (you'll see below what I mean), but when I mocked somebody a little for being an Opera fanboy (transformed, he claimed, he was from a Firefox fanboy - his words, not mine), my entire post, most of which was substantive, got deleted. So that there is always a record of it, I will keep a record here from now on. Anyway, here is my reply in that thread. ------QUOTE OF RESPONSE START-------
Originally posted by yfan:
[Personal attacks removed by moderator.]Let's see. Pulling ranks isn't personal attack. Saying "go away, you bother me" is not personal attack. Questions like "are you retarded?" aren't personal attacks. But when I put in something personal, that's personal attack. Nonetheless, I realize that moderator decisions are final, and I'll move on, but you could have at least left the substantive portion of my comments. Let me reiterate that part. The OP's comments about Opera are valid. When sites don't work with Opera, even though for the most part it's not Opera's fault, site's just don't. To the user, it doesn't matter much whose fault it is. If you have got a site you check every day, and it won't work in Opera, Opera is probably not going to be their browser of choice. And secondly, Opera's interface and the application as a whole does have a steep learning curve, as I know from experience. Contrary to Sigup's assumption above, I currently have Opera 8.5 running on both my Windows XP and Mac OS X Tiger machines. ------QUOTE OF RESPONSE END------- Ya see what I mean. Oh yeah, my handle on Opera forums is "yfan."
Ok, that was a joke. I don't actually mean Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, is Crazy. But then again, maybe he is. Good crazy. The 2006 Macworld Expo started Tuesday morning in San Fransico. Just go to apple.com and check out Steve Jobs' keynote address to Macworld. Last year, Jobs promised to introduce Macs with Intel processors by June of 2006. Well, the new iMacs with Intel are already out, and Intel notebooks will start shipping in February. And they have a brand new version of iLife, which includes a greatly improved garage band - turning it into a full podcast maker and publisher, and complete with a website creator, iWeb. This is what's so great about Apple. They are always introducing new innovations, new products, new software. But this is also the problem with Apple. People who recently bought a powerbook is going to feel terrible, and maybe even mad at Apple for antiquating his brand new laptop computer. The thing is, you can never keep up. But even given Apple's latest and greatest coming out all the time, this might be the time to hurry up and wait rather than to hurry up and buy. Why? These Intel macs have awesome performance, and run most PowerPC software as well. But until all the applications get up to speed, there is not that much of a point. Secondly, unless you really need a high performance computer right now, I can bet if you wait a year (or two), you will get much more stable computers with much more incredible power and performance. And in the mean time, you can wait and see while the transition happen. Applications are going to be written universally right now, which means that for quite a while, even new applications will continue to run great on your current macs. So if you just can't hold on or you work in an environment where higher and higher performance is the key, run out and get a new iMac today. If not, wait.
Right now, in the 11th Congressional District of California - the seat currently held by Delay's corrupt buddy Richard Pombo - there are three Democrats running in the primary: Jerry McNerney, Steve Filson, and Steven Thomas. I wasn't able to find a website for Thomas. But practically speaking, I am going to concentrate on the race between McNerney and Filson and I want to tell you why McNerney comes out better, in my opinion, by leaps and bounds. My reasoning has to do with three factors: political courage, progressive values and credentials, and grassroots battle. Let me say something first though. I know Jerry McNerney in person. I've met him, he knows my name, and he is a terrific person. He is candid, straightforward, kind, and friendly. Anyway, so let's begin. (below the fold) POLITICAL COURAGE In 2004, Jerry McNerney got a call from his son who was serving in Afghanistan. His son told him that there were no Democratic candidates running against Richard Pombo in the 11th Congressional District. Now, before I go any further. Stop. Think. The Democratic party could not find and recruit a candidate. More likely, the establishment did not want to go through the trouble of recruiting a candidate who would, you know, "lose anyway" to Pombo. The Democratic establishment lacked the courage to fight for every inch of the ground before giving it up. Jerry McNerney decided that he was going to step forward and fill in that courage void. He ran as a write-in candidate in the primary. After the first count, he did not have enough votes to get on the November 2004 ballot, but he was close. So he decided to ask for a recount. In our rotten system, he had to take out a second mortgage on his house to pay the $10,000 recount fee that resulted in him picking up enough votes - just one more than required - to get on the ballot. McNerney had no party support. He had no money. He had nothing, except a lot of good people who were willing to stand their ground and fight. And he was going to stand with them and fight. He had the courage to stand up and represent the aspirations of people who were tired of lying down and taking it, people who were tired of Democrats giving up before a battle even began. He was and is the Democrat with the courage. PROGRESSIVE VALUES AND CREDENTIALS I believe that one's values and public stands on the issues of the day is very much indicative of one's courage to stand up for them. Let's start with looking at McNerney's issues page vs. Filson's. Iraq and Foreign Policy: Right off the bat, the word "Iraq" is not even mentioned in Filson's "platform." McNerney, on the other hand, plenty of material on it. He is unequivocally opposed to the war of distraction and choice. Filson? Not a single word. Not one. At a time when we are losing people every day, at a time when this is affecting ordinary Americans. Silence from Filson. Well at least from his website. Call me stupid, but I think this has something to do with that pesky courage thing, you know, the lack of which makes you think, "ooh, I'm in a red district; I better not say anything about that!" McNerney also stakes out comprehensive, progressive positions on foreign policy. Despite being a former Navy pilot, "foreign policy" seems to be a foreign term to Filson. Economy: McNerney has a comprehensive page addressing jobs (help small businesses, make healthcare costs lower), outsourcing, balancing the budget, taxes (stop Bush's giveaway to rich), corporate welfare, fair trade, and infrastructure. On all of them, he lays out a progressive vision and policy strategy brilliantly. Filson has a position too. "Cutting spending," as I said above. Energy: McNerney is a wind energy expert, and he has an extensive principled and practical energy plan to produce 20% of America's energy from clean, renewable sources by 2020. Read more about his positions on his policy page. Filson: "Reverse our dependence on oil through investments in renewable fuels and research and development of alternative energy sources and raising fuel efficiency standards." That is the entirety of Filson's stand on energy policy. Healthcare: McNerney fully advocates universal healthcare, and will accept nothing less. Read his position. Filson? Yeah, let "Medicare negotiate lower drug prices to make prescriptions more affordable for our seniors and needy." That is it. In fact Filson's platform page has only a few concrete things he stands for: let Medicare negotiate prescription drug prices, universal preschool and a "more affordable college tuition", "investments in renewable fuels and research," inspecting cargo, and cutting spending. That's it. Yeah, he has a bunch of condemnations of Pombo on that page, and he makes a blanket "fight for fairness" statement, but nothing when it comes to substance. Issue after issue (you can read more), McNerney takes principled progressive stands and Filson is practically silent. The spelling out of his positions so clearly makes one thing clear: McNerney is a proud progressive, and is not afraid of his own shadow. Filson - at this moment at least - seems to be avoiding taking principled stands consistent with progressive values. THE GRASSROOTS VS. THE ESTABLISHMENT Jerry McNerney's candidacy was in 2004, and is now, a result of a grassroots insurgency that rejected the party establishment's power structure. The DCCC (aka establishment) brought in Filson for two reasons: they saw (from Jerry) that Pombo could and should be challenged, and they wanted somebody who would be beholden to the party hiararchy. Filson is a big campaign donor and friend of Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D- 10th CD), who is no friend of either grassroots or progressives, and recently made clear that she didn't like Dean for telling the truth about Iraq. Go to the DCCC's website and you will see Filson more prominently showcased with a picture and a biography, but not the other two candidates. You will hear a lot of Filson's supporters say that you need Filson because, "McNerney can't win." Hmm... sounds like the same thing the establishment spewed about another certain outsider. Filson, for better or for worse, is the candidate the party establishment put up to stop Jerry McNerney and the grassroots insurgency within the party. At least, I have enough reason to believe so. I hope I'm wrong. McNerney's campaign, I say again, has been entirely a project of the grassroots. People from all over the bay area - DFA people, California for Democracy people, progressive people - have beeen working their butts off for McNerney. We got McNerney on Dean Dozen in 2004, and we plan to do so again. Today, McNerney has the endorsements of San Joaquin Central Labor Council - who decided to give the proverbial finger to the establishment in favor of the grassroots, and the Dean Democratic Club of Silicon Valley - a club I am proud to be a party of. McNerney will not be beholden to anything but ordinary Americans and the values he proudly stands for. Now that I have spelled out the case for Jerry McNerney for the 11th CD of California because of his courage, his progressive credentials and strength, and his grassroots energy, will you please help Jerry? Visit JerryMcNerney.org, and help and contribute if you are in the area. If you are not, and can spare a few bucks, please please donate.
- ► 2012 (423)
- ► 2011 (576)
- ► 2010 (392)
- ► 2009 (44)
- ► 2008 (33)
- ▼ 2006 (13)
- ► 2005 (43)