Force Conservatives To Throw The ‘Discrimination Switch’

Back in 2004, California’s Supreme Court did something completely disgraceful when they annulled the marriages of 4000 gay couples on procedural grounds without considering the larger question of whether denying homosexuals the right to marry is even constitutional. In 2008, though, they corrected themselves ruling that homosexuals did, in fact, have a constitutionally protected right to marry.

Predictably, this has thrown California’s conservatives into a tizzy. Faced with the prospect of 10’s of thousands gay marriages before they get their chance to officially write discrimination into our constitution, they’ve asked the court to stay its ruling until after the November election. Moreover, they’ve been joined by the Attroneys’ General of ten states that aren’t prepared to consider the question of whether or not to recognize gay marriages performed in California.

But, like death penalty advocates who’ll never be required to ‘throw the switch’, these cowards want to keep gay marriage hidden from public view until they can make it a non-issue. After all, it’s a lot easier to convince the electorate that gay marriage is the downfall of society when there aren’t any happily married gay couples around to put the lie in your stance—when you never have to face the people whose rights you’ll be taking away.

The court, however, should not give in and conservatives who support this nonsense should be exposed as the intellectually dishonest throwbacks they are. They should have to explain and, whether they succeed or fail, have their noses rubbed in their folly. Not a hundred, nor a thousand, nor even ten thousand gay marriages are enough. We should have one marriage for each and every conservative that would deny homosexuals equal protection under the law, and on election day those conservatives should be forced to personally confront the couples whom they would make into second-class citizens.

iNews Friday – 5/30/2008

From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi headline translator (Updated)

Headline: Two shot at Seattle Folklife Festival
Translation: Music critic for NRA newsletter didn’t like the drum circle

Headline: Former President Carter says Israel has 150 nuclear weapons
Translation: Israel knows a guy in the Garment District who gets them wholesale

Headline: Protests Planned for Rules Committee Meeting
Translation: Both quarterbacks injured in Democrats’ intrasquad scrimmage

Headline: White House ‘puzzled’ by ex-spokesman’s book bashing Bush
Translation: “I can’t spend all day looking up Scotty’s $5 words in Roger’s Theo-aurus Rex,” Bush says

Headline: McClellan on receiving end of White House spin machine
Translation: Cheney turns spin machine to MAX setting – “Bend over,” he tells former White House spokesman

Headline: Senators Say Report of Planned US Strikes On Iran Absolutely Untrue
Translation: As far as they know

Headline: Houston to spend up to $150000 defending police beard ban
Translation: Policy threatens Houston’s elite Rock Hudson squad

Headline: Signal From Mars Is Restored
Translation: Remastered Bowie classic a must-download
Translation (Turbo mode): Ari Fleischer says Scott McClellan is controlled by alien overlords

Headline: George Clooney Possibly Single Again
Translation: Hillary Clinton says race for Clooney far from over

Headline: Comic actor Harvey Korman dies
Translation: “It’s ‘Hedley’.”

Headline: Dunkin’ Donuts pulls Rachael Ray ad after complaints
Translation: Michelle Malkin blames Sting for Kaffiyehgate – demands rocker apologize for wearing one on Zenyatta Mondatta album cover
Translation (Turbo mode): Patriotic objections to Ray appearing in public with hair uncovered, face painted like a harlot, flaunting her right to vote in tight short-sleeved top
Translation (Turbo-overdrive mode):  Falluja’ Falafels pulls ad after objections to “Official Bikini Inspector” t-shirt worn by Persian movie star Parsa Pirouzfar

Don’t judge Iraq until you’ve been there, says McCain – wins support of travel industry

The American travel industry today gave its support to presumptive Republican nominee for president John McCain.

The industry was buoyed Wednesday when McCain told a campaign rally that Barack Obama is unprepared to deal with Iraq.

“Senator Obama has been to Iraq once a little over two years ago,” McCain told a Mommy and Me group at a Reno, Nevada, Boys and Girls Club.

“We have got to show him the facts on the ground so he can listen and learn. Can you say ‘listen and learn,’ boys and girls?”

“You can’t pass judgment on our Iraq policy until you’ve been there,” McCain went on to say, and then passed out cookies and juice boxes.

McCain’s remarks were music to the ears of Yasser Frandle, president of the Federation of Agents for Travel and Hotels (FATAH).

“Over 70% of Americans oppose the war, but to have their opinion count for anything they’re going to have to go to Iraq more than once,” said Frandle. He said the result would be a travel surge, amounting to millions of Americans booking package vacations to Iraq before the November election.

Such a surge would be a real shot in the arm for a U.S. travel industry hard-pressed by rising airline ticket prices, airport delays, the falling dollar, and hotel honor bar costs rising at five times the rate of inflation. Based on expectation of a surge, FATAH’s executive committee voted Wednesday afternoon to endorse McCain.

A rise in election-related travel could also be a boon for Iraq reconstruction, Frandle added, as hotels, resorts and an expansion of the Baghdad airport would be required. He urged the Bush administration to issue construction contracts at the earliest possible opportunity.

In other campaign news, another McCain campaign official has resigned amid questions about his lobbying activities. A forthcoming investigative report by Conde Nast Traveler will reveal that campaign aide Hilton Hyatt has clients in the travel and leisure industry.

Kvatch Kvetches – Stupid Copyright Tricks

KvatchIt’s a good thing higher infringement penalties were stripped from the PRO-IP act being considered by Congress. Because if they hadn’t, copying a CD could have forced you into bankruptcy. Where US copyright law used to treat an entire CD as a single act of infringement…PRO-IP, as originally written, treated each track as a separate incident, increasing the statutory damages to an average of $1.5 million!

But that doesn’t mean PRO-IP has gone away? No sir. It’s still being debated. Seems that when the courts block their ham-handed attempts to sue their own customers, the industry turns to the government for help in the form of a new enforcement agency, the Office of the United States Intellectual Property Enforcement Representative (USIPER)—IP police, tasked with coordinating national and international enforcement.

What’s that you say? “International enforcement”? Indeed. The US has been negotiating in secret with our friends and allies to turn our border patrol agents into a branch of the copyright police force under the auspices of a new trade agreement called ACTA that, among other things, suggests criminal sanctions even when acts of copyright infringement are not motivated by financial gain (e.g., ripping your own CDs to your iPod). ACTA also allows for ‘ex parte equipment searches’, encourages authorities to seize and destroy equipment, and puts in place a framework for copyright holders (i.e., the RIAA) to claim compensation. Though, how the RIAA might claim compensation after your iPod has been trashed, is not really discussed.

So…let’s imagine you’re at the US/Canadian border. The agent, after determining that you’ve got your entire music collection on your iPod, decides on his/her own authority (also allowed under ACTA), to assess you a fine of—and we’ll go easy on you this time—$1 for each of your 80,000 tracks. He tells you to either, “…pay up, or never see your home again” just before destroying your iPod and the evidence that those CDs actually did belong to you.

Chew on that for a second.

“Clinton-Shatner” – Star weighs in to save Hillary from cancellation

Hillary Rodham Clinton has tapped into a grassroots network she hopes is even bigger than frontrunner Barack Obama’s internet-based outreach. Clinton’s new secret weapon? The legion of fans of the Star Trek science fiction franchise — also known as Trekkers.

“We all remember what happened in 1968,” Clinton told a standing room throng of supporters at TrekaMaCon 2008. The sci-fi fan gathering was held Sunday at the El Dorado Motel, Casino and Conference Center in Henderson, Nevada.

“In 1968, tens of thousands of fans organized to write letters to NBC protesting the cancellation of the original Star Trek,” Clinton said.

The fan group, ‘Trekkers,’ is a powerful fan federation that first came into being to gain a final season for that first incarnation of the classic science fiction TV series.

She went on to urge the audience: “Now in 2008 I call on you to set course on a new mission: stop the cancellation of my presidential campaign. Make millions of calls to radio talk shows, write millions of letters to editors, post millions of videos on YouTube!”

She then brought the already boisterous crowd to a boiling point by introducing William Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on the series. “I’m not waiting for the convention, I’ve made my choice — Bill Shatner is my running mate,” Clinton said.

In brief remarks, Shatner called the Democratic Party’s delegate rules highly illogical, saying that it is Hillary Clinton who has proven her overwhelming popularity. “Everyone knows Obama can’t win the big star systems. Warp speed to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue!” Shatner declared.

The fact that Shatner is Canadian should not disqualify him from being a heartbeat away from the Presidency, says Clinton campaign official Terry McAuliffe, pointing out, “Captain Kirk is from Iowa.”

McAuliffe said Clinton’s strategy would be to seat Trekker delegates to the Democratic Convention — which would be renamed “DemoCon.”

The Shatner era of the Clinton campaign appears to be already locking on target. On Sunday a photo of Obama wearing a Space:1999 costume surfaced on the internet. Pro-Clinton Trekkers also dogged Obama’s Memorial Day appearances in New Mexico, making their presence known by wearing prosthetic pointed ears and making the Vulcan split-fingered hand salute.

One Clinton supporter, Derek Frandle, a freshman at Eastern New Mexico University, said the New York senator is ready on day one to handle a 3 a.m. red alert. “Obama is just a cadet, his policies are just Kobayashi Maru exercises,” Frandle said.

Obama responded on the Trek front today, mentioning in a speech the campaign donation he has received from Leonard Nimoy. In an intergenerational appeal, Obama also told Trekker voters to “Make it so!”

He closed by urging “all Americans — live long and prosper.”

Today Hillary Clinton is leading an away team to Puerto Rico, where a primary will be held June 1.

$6 gasoline…it’s coming

I know, you’re shocked. But that’s what Goldman Sachs is predicting if oil continues it’s upward climb. At $200 a barrel, after adding refining charges, gasoline will need to be priced at $6 to $7 a gallon for the oil companies to remain profitable. Seems they’ve been quietly subsidizing your guzzling habits America. But now even they are running out of cash.

I have to say that it just delights me that I don’t have a car. I realize that I’m actually paying for higher gas prices in terms of rising food and energy costs. Still I’m tickled pink that I’m not getting bitch slapped at the pump.

Peace Trading Credits

As the second publication of the Global Peace Index Rankings was released this week a few interesting thoughts began to surface. Well a list is great, and we really enjoy seeing the US hovering around 97. But it isn’t quite as simple as that.

Just having a list tells us nothing we don’t already know. What we need to do is establish peace trading credits to offset the obvious discrepancies in all this. Good luck to Iceland (#1); but who are they relying on to defend them from an aggressive takeover from Nauru?

Nauru don’t even feature on the list, but just think about the carnage the inhabitants of this rock (sans its wealth of bird shit) could visit on peaceful Iceland if the US, or even #11 Canada were not keeping them apart. Nauru isn’t short of money, but a bit of inhabitable land would be a real boon while they wait for a few hundred years of guano to build up.

The point is, we have an opportunity to emulate the incredible success of carbon trading here. It’s not even a cynical exercise (anymore); being brokers for a dubious crock of shit is considered the mark of a valued world citizen now.

I’m sure others are lining up to make brokering peace credits the next big market. Peace brothers and sisters, and let’s get our bid in.

iNews Friday – 5/23/08


From the iNews 9000 Turbo Wi-Fi headline translator–

Headline: George Takei, Sulu From ‘Star Trek,’ to Marry Partner in California
Translation: “We’re wegistered at Wictoria’s Secret,” says a radiant Ensign Chekhov

Headline: McCain’s lobbyist purge
Translation: McCain continues purging, denies ethics are “too thin”

Headline: Obama tells critics to leave his wife alone
Translation: McCain tells critics to “lay off my meal ticket”

Headline: Clinton Wins Kentucky, but Obama Nears Milestone
Translation: Clinton campaign still Extra Crispy after Kentucky

Headline: US House passes bill to sue OPEC over oil prices
Translation: Litigators switch from billable hours to gallons

Headline: Why regulate marriage
Translation: EPA has secret list of celebrities eligible for Superfund status

Headline: FBI/UMPolice try to recruit informants for vegan potlucks
Translation: U.S. apologizes to emissary from the star system Vega – “They only want to serve man,” Bush says

Degeneres makes McCain look like a tool on national television

Yesterday, Ellen Degeneres confronted John McCain on her show to suss out his opinion on the legalization of gay marriage in California. The soft spoken Senator eventually admitted that while he agrees she should be able to avail herself of a “contract” so that she can have legal rights, and health care, he still believes that marriage should be reserved for a man and a woman. Ellen didn’t back down. She eloquently made the point that women and blacks didn’t used have the right to vote. She identified with them in that she felt like he was sending her to the back of the bus by making her “other”. He agreed to disagree, but had to endure one parting shot…she asked him to walk her down the aisle at her wedding. It’s the Video of the Day over on her site.

* and if you wonder what the Mrs. is up to, she’s earning the Photoshop award of the year