February 16, 2008 archive

The complicated ethics of superdelegate voting are not *that* complicated

Hard positions have been staked out regarding what the Democratic superdelegates should do if they are mathematically able to determine who wins the nomination for President.  Obama supporters argue that if the popular will — presumably such a will that supports Obama, and putting aside for now the question of how clearly it can be ascertained — is overturned by superdelegates, they will leave the party forever.  More credibly and more importantly, they argue that the large number of new voters who appear to be energized by the Obama candidacy — young Democrats, independents, etc. — will not come out for Hillary.  Clinton supporters argue — here, if not as regards Florida and Michigan — that rules is rules, and that the superdelegates’ untrammeled right to choose the President they prefer cannot be taken away at this late date.

Full disclosure: I’ve been an Obama supporter since shortly after Edwards was held to 5% in Nevada.  I try to be fair about it when it comes to superdelegate voting ethics, though, and I think that there is some room for agreement between these sides.  While many argue that it simply won’t come to this, that superdelegates will not overturn the popular will, it certainly seems possible to me that it might.  I expect Clinton to pull back ahead in the delegate count, with the help of Ohio even without the help of Texas, by the time Pennsylvania’s votes are counted on April 22.  While I believe that Obama should do well enough in the primaries in May and June to finish with a delegate lead, it’s possible that it won’t happen, or certainly possible that that lead will be slight.

By considering what the different possibilities are, I think that we can at least narrow the debate.  We won’t find completely common ground, but we should find more than one would expect after watching this week’s news.  More below.

“the fierce urgency of now”

Barack Obama quotes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr a lot on the campaign trail. Particularly he says a lot about how he is running because of what Dr. King called the “the fierce urgency of now.”

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood-it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect. Omar Khayyam is right: “The moving finger writes, and having writ moves on.”

Those were the words that Dr. King spoke in his address delivered at Riverside Church in NYC on the 4th of April, 1967. The speech was entitled  “Beyond Vietnam.

Asia On Our Minds

Last Word

Little Fish, Bigger Pond

Foreign misfits find that Japan may not be the answer they hoped it would be

It seems to me there are two types of people who come to Japan; those looking to explore a new country and those trying to escape their own. An amazing percentage fall into the latter category. No, they aren’t criminals fleeing justice; they are social outcasts looking for a place to belong. And the reasons they choose Japan have become almost cliché, reading like some overdone recruiting advertisement.

Tired of women in your home country pointing out that you are fat, ugly and lack a personality? Want a career but have no discernable job skills and no motivation, and even McDonald’s won’t hire you? Sometimes wish that you could just disappear, start over, reinvent yourself? Then Japan is the right country for you! Be the Superstar you always wanted to be! Become one of the elite, the special, the Gaijin.

But the truth is, Japan rarely fulfills its promise to the Charisma Man. Many foreign misfits who come to play find themselves stuck on a merry-go-round of disappointment. The fairytale ending in Japan is just that: a fairytale.

Rise Up! Stand Up!

Congratulations to our friends in the House of Representatives who finally stood up to the bully.  In simply stating their case clearly and distinctly and with passion, they’ve exposed the simplistic fear-mongering that has highlighted the Presidents dealings with National Security issues.  

Funkalicious Friday: The Edge of Moistness

Valentines Day continues here on Docudharma, the most  sultrypolitical blog in the world wide web of Loooooooove, Baby!!

Settle in and enjoy, all you lovers out there….


Our Fear Culture and Barack Obama

The topic below was originally posted February 14th, on my blog the Intrepid Liberal Journal and crossposted today at The Wild Wild Left, Independent Bloggers Alliance, The Peace Tree and Worldwide Sawdust.

American politics typically reflects our cultural ethos of the moment. Just consider these questions:

  1. Has our culture promoted community or celebrated greed?
  2. Is our foreign policy based upon cooperation with the community of nations or the imperatives of empire?
  3. Can individuals live in dignity regardless of their profession, economic class, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexual orientation or is gentrified wealth valued above character?

Dildos and Dumbasses

Alright, now for something completely different: I want to talk about sex toys.

Yes, sex toys, you know: dildos, cock rings, cuffs, etc.

My Gentle Readers know what was done to me many years ago. (I can’t “feel” because of those surgeries.) I can’t do plain Jane vanilla sex. For me, it has to be a mind game before I can feel anything. No “Wham, bam, thank you Ma’am” for this girl… I need a scenario, and that involves toys. And I like toy shops, just like any kid does.

So I was very happy to see that the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the State of Texas’ obscenity laws as pertains to toys. Here’s a snippet from the decision:

In its decision Tuesday, the appeals court cited Lawrence and Garner v. Texas, the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 opinion that struck down bans on consensual sex between gay couples.

“Just as in Lawrence, the state here wants to use its laws to enforce a public moral code by restricting private intimate conduct,” the appeals judges wrote. “The case is not about public sex. It is not about controlling commerce in sex. It is about controlling what people do in the privacy of their own homes because the state is morally opposed to a certain type of consensual private intimate conduct. This is an insufficient justification after Lawrence.”

Take that one you tight-assed moralistic fuckmooks. What you do or don’t do in your bedroom is your business… and there’s no fucking way in Hell that I will have my fantasies and pleasures regulated by your thoughts via a gov’mit machine. And by the way, this is not about morals, but mores (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mores), and I don’t have to abide by what others think on the subject of sex. I’m already a victim of those kinds of thought patterns as to what I am genetically and genitally. I can’t procreate due to the edicts of Societal norms, but I should be able to have a little fun in my freakin’ life. (These mooks have already ended my genetic line.)

I’m not a cross-wearer, and I do not wear sackcloth and ashes (so damn out of style). I don’t adhere to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic B/S, especially when it comes to the personal. I don’t have to because I’m a citizen of the United States, a country whose founding documents promises “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”. My life is MINE, not the property of some deranged, wanna-be Middle Eastern fuck from the Third Millenium B.C.. (The Goddess is a different story: “All acts of Love are Holy in My eyes”.)

Pursuit of Happiness? Chase me around the house, “capture” me and take me to the bedroom. (No, I’m not going to let you in on the details of my fantasies.) Let’s play with each others’ bodies. Let’s be Human.

What is it with this poop about sex toys? I mean, don’t you want your partner to feel something? To engage in a loving fashion that brings good feelings and some thrills? To be Human? To make them “feel the Earth move…”?

Intimacy is everything, and skin-on-skin is important. We are social creatures and this is part of that. Without these kinds of activities, all we become are walking ‘puters with no feelings. And if that happens, we are no longer Human. And we become dangerous to each other.

So go down to your local sex toy merchant and make some purchases. Show the world that you have individual tastes and needs. Tell the religionistic nuts that they aren’t in control of OUR lives. Let ’em know that they can just fuck off and die. “Orgasms for Peace”.

And now I must go to the shop and pick up a few things. I have a “burning desire”.  

Friday Night at 8: Brittney!

If it isn’t sex, it’s women in trouble, honest!

I get frustrated at work sometimes … my fellow secretaries, although quite intelligent and good women, are not interested in politics and when they do take time from their busy lives, they are more interested in reading about sex, relationships, Brittney Spears, Paris Hilton, and for a while there Whitney Houston was a big topic.  Oh … and now we also have Amy Winehouse.

What’s so compelling about these conversations?  What is so fascinating about reading and then talking about celebrity women in trouble?

This isn’t a new phenomenon, of course.  But our lamestream media (h/t lasthorseman) has market tested these kinds of stories to a fine edge … and thus we will see a Brittney Spears story take precedence over the fact that America commits torture.

Read a book once by Norman Spinrad called Little Heroes about, among other things. the music industry.

In Spinrad’s not too distant future, a Los Angeles based monolithic music corporation called MUZAK has pretty much taken control of commercial music.

Muzak’s employee pool is made up of creative music-and-visual tech wizards coopted into the corporation so they won’t be competition –“voxbox” players who can reproduce any kind of sound or voice, image engineers, etc.

They also have hired masses of market testers.

The corporate heads (or “the pinheads upstairs” as Spinrad’s character, Gloriana O’Toole, calls ’em) decided with glee that they should create a completely artificial rock star and thus rid themselves of their pain in the ass human ones who cost so much money and are so ill behaved and arrogant.

It’s a great book, and I recommend it to anyone.

Torture is on the table. Why, again, is impeachment not?

OK, so this is what pisses me off.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey (thanks for that one, Schumer and Feinstein) says that waterboarding would be torture if it were done to him.  And Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell says that waterboarding (you remember, something that the Attorney General would say is torture if done to him) would require the president’s consent and legal approval from the attorney general.  Oh yeah, CIA Director Michael Hayden said that waterboarding (again, something that the Attorney General not only would say is torture if done to him, but also something that both he and the president would have to personally sign off on in order for the CIA to engage in such acts) was actually done to three detainees while in US captivity.

By the way, all of those statements were made before a Senate committee and presumably none of the three individuals were lying when they made those statements.  

But wait, there’s still more here.  

Pony Party: Hell

Hell dot com

What The Hell Is Hell Really?

Catholic Encyclopedia

You’re Going to Hell

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