Thursday, April 28, 2005
"I don't look at it as censorship," says Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."
What, exactly, is he trying to say here? It's only censorship if its not done for a reason, like if they flip a coin or something? I mean, because anything done for the good of the people isn't censorship, right?
Alabama Uber Alles!
I think the best solution to get rid of this guy is for gays not to condemn him, oh no. They should embrace him, and endorse him in the most enthusiastic manner possible. They should take out ads on his behalf in the next election, and with no reservations declare him a great friend to the homosexual community.
Anyway, here's the article:
(CBS) A college production tells the story of Matthew Sheppard, a student beaten to death because he was gay.
And soon, it could be banned in Alabama.
Republican Alabama lawmaker Gerald Allen says homosexuality is an unacceptable lifestyle. As CBS News Correspondent Mark Strassmann reports, under his bill, public school libraries could no longer buy new copies of plays or books by gay authors, or about gay characters.
"I don't look at it as censorship," says State Representative Gerald Allen. "I look at it as protecting the hearts and souls and minds of our children."
Books by any gay author would have to go: Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal. Alice Walker's novel "The Color Purple" has lesbian characters.
Allen originally wanted to ban even some Shakespeare. After criticism, he narrowed his bill to exempt the classics, although he still can't define what a classic is. Also exempted now Alabama's public and college libraries.
Librarian Donna Schremser fears the "thought police," would be patrolling her shelves.
"And so the idea that we would have a pristine collection that represents one political view, one religioius view, that's not a library,'' says Schremser.
"I think it's an absolutely absurd bill," says Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
First Amendment advocates say the ban clearly does amount to censorship.
"It's a Nazi book burning," says Potok. "You know, it's a remarkable piece of work."
But in book after book, Allen reads what he calls the "homosexual agenda,"
and he's alarmed.
"It's not healthy for America, it doesn't fit what we stand for," says Allen. "And they will do whatever it takes to reach their goal."
He says he sees this as a line in the sand.
In Alabama's legislature, the reviews of Allen's bill are still out on whether to lower this curtain for good.
WS: Of your political views, some people believe that you want to impose a conservative perspective. Then we read that you are actually quite pragmatic and, with FOX News, you just saw an opportunity to serve this group of people that would like to see a more conservative news service.
MURDOCH: We don’t agree with that. We are fair and balanced and we challenge anyone to show FOX News has any bias in it. People appreciate it for a number of reasons: it’s better presented, it’s more entertaining. We are first with the news. We beat CNN time and again on every big story. The major networks have been openly biased to the point of being very leftist. That’s different from being middle-of-the-road. I don’t call myself a conservative. I call myself an independent. Look at who our newspapers have supported. Democrats [in the U.S.] and Labour parties in Australia and Great Britain. They have been the best alternatives for our readers and for the countries that they serve.
Media Matters, being the true investigative reporters that they are, stepped up to the plate with this doozy of a reply:
Dear Mr. Murdoch:
I was intrigued to read your recent statement to World Screen magazine about alleged conservative bias at the Fox News Channel. "We are fair and balanced and we challenge anyone to show Fox News has any bias in it," you said.
My organization, Media Matters for America, has been monitoring the U.S. media, including Fox News, for nearly a year. We try to avoid using the term "bias" in describing news coverage, preferring to focus on the observable content of news stories, rather than try to discern the private attitudes of those who produce them, which amounts to speculation. Still, we can't help noticing a pronounced rightward tilt in your channel's news programs.
Attached you'll find just a few of the many examples that Media Matters has compiled, which demonstrate that conservative voices on Fox far outnumber progressive voices; that Fox anchors, reporters, and ostensibly non-ideological guests routinely inject pro-Republican opinion into "news" programs; and that even Fox's "hard news" anchors and reporters regularly distort the news to further the GOP agenda.
Many more examples of Fox News' promotion of conservative misinformation can be found on the Media Matters website.
Finally, Media Matters responds with a challenge of its own: Because we suspect your challenge was rhetorical, rather than a reflection of a sincere desire to assess Fox News' "balance," I suggest submitting these examples to a mutually-agreed-upon panel for review. Let's let a neutral body, rather than the CEO of Fox News' parent company, decide if Fox News "has any bias in it."
President & CEO
Media Matters for America
That's followed by an entire list of examples, all of which are pretty eye-popping, especially for someone who attempts to avoid the channel at all costs (and yes, I have watched it in the past, I just no longer choose to waste my time with it). Kudos to MM!
Tuesday, April 26, 2005great article yesterday, fully worth the read:
Frist's Message of Divisiveness
The Progress Report Posted April 25, 2005.
Senator Frist steps up to the circus that is 'Justice Sunday' and promotes doing away with the democratic right to the filibuster. Story Tools
Yesterday was the much anticipated "Justice Sunday," the offensive event sponsored by right-wing religious groups willing to pervert their religion for misbegotten political purposes. Though hundreds of religious leaders, even his own reverend, implored Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) to reconsider his participation in the event or "use that opportunity to repudiate the message of divisiveness and religious manipulation that is at the core of the gathering," Sen. Frist did neither. Instead, Frist joined the festivities through a videotaped statement -- a "stunt that in itself [imbued] 'Justice Sunday' with a touch of all-American spectacle worthy of 'The Wizard of Oz'" -- and "stepped up his threats to change Senate rules ... while simultaneously calling for 'more civility in political life.'"
At the beginning of the event, Family Research Council President and event organizer Tony Perkins stated, "We are not saying that people who disagree with us are not people of faith." However, the flier promoting the event read, "The Filibuster against People of Faith: The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith." This was not the only attempt to rewrite history during the telecast. In denouncing the filibuster, Frist claimed, "I don't think it's radical to ask senators to vote.... I don't think it's radical to restore precedents that worked so well for 214 years." In 2000, Frist was among a group of conservatives who voted to filibuster an appeals court judge nominated by then-President Clinton, because he had already decided Judge Richard Paez was "out of the mainstream of political thought and ... should [not] be on the court."
Sen. Frist shied away from attacks on the judiciary by saying, "When we think judicial decisions are outside mainstream American values, we will say so ... the balance of power among all three branches requires respect -- not retaliation. I won't go along with that." Frist may claim not to go along with it, but a man is often judged by the company he keeps. Focus on the Family's Chairman James Dobson -- who also participated in the event -- recently compared the Supreme Court to the KKK, chided the Court's majority as "unelected and unaccountable and arrogant and imperious and determined to redesign the culture according to their own biases and values, and they're out of control." Furthermore, both Dobson and Perkins have been caught plotting how to undermine judges with whom they disagree.
Monday, April 25, 2005
For those three people who didn't know, Bill Frist, gentleman and scholar that he is, appeared at a megachurch yesterday to talk about how all liberals hate God and Jesus and want to have hot, hot, three-ways with Satan and Baal. And mind, that's just the liberals! That's not even getting to the hot Chthulhu action the judges are getting!
Now, all sexiness aside, how on Earth did this guy become a doctor? AIDS transmitted through tears, Terri Schiavo...well, I guess he is qualified for an MD in dumbassery. Or is that douchebaggery? Did he double-major?
Anyway, from the New York Times:
Frist Seeks Christian Support to Stop Filibusters
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
Published: April 25, 2005
LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 24 - In a Sunday telecast organized by Christian conservative groups to denounce the Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking judicial nominees, Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee stepped up his threats to change Senate rules to circumvent those blockades while simultaneously calling for "more civility in political life."
In a short videotaped statement included in the telecast, which was called Justice Sunday and emanated from a packed Baptist mega-church here, Dr. Frist, the Senate majority leader, neither referred to religious faith nor addressed criticism that the event was inappropriately dragging religion into a partisan battle.
Instead, he focused on accusations by Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, that Dr. Frist was a "radical Republican" for participating in the telecast, which aimed to build conservative Christian support for his threat to eliminate the filibuster of presidential nominees - a parliamentary tactic that allows at least 41 senators to reject a nominee by indefinitely forestalling a vote. Democrats, who hold 44 Senate seats, have vowed to virtually shut down Senate business if Dr. Frist follows through.
"I don't think it's radical to ask senators to vote," Dr. Frist said. "Now if Senator Reid continues to obstruct the process, we will consider what opponents call the 'nuclear option.' Only in the United States Senate could it be considered a devastating option to allow a vote. Most places call that democracy."
About 2,000 people packed into the Highview Baptist Church here for the telecast, and organizers said it was broadcast to several hundred churches by satellite, thousands of people over the Internet and 61 million households over Christian radio and television stations.
Liberal groups, meanwhile, stepped up their attacks on both Dr. Frist and the proposed rule change. About 1,200 liberal Christians gathered at a rally at a Presbyterian church here to protest what one speaker, the left-leaning evangelical Jim Wallis, called "a declaration of a religious war" and "an attempt to hijack religion."
Separately, MoveOn.org, a liberal advocacy group, said it was paying $700,000 for television commercials attacking the rule change, including some depicting a herd of Republican elephants trampling Congress. Its organizers said they would hold 120 rallies around the country on Wednesday, including one in Washington with a speech by former Vice President Al Gore. Mr. Gore's participation "elevates the fight beyond D.C.," said Ben Brandzel of MoveOn.org.
Marking a new stage in the confrontation, Dr. Frist singled out Judge Priscilla Owen, one of the blocked appeals court nominees, for praise in the telecast. The comments were a sign that Republicans have picked her to put forward for a vote to test the will of Democrats.
As the arguments on both sides heated up, senators scrambled to position themselves on middle ground. In the same telecast, Dr. Frist repudiated the comments of some in his party, including the House majority leader, Tom DeLay, about punishing judges whose rulings they consider out of line.
"When we think judicial decisions are outside mainstream American values, we will say so," he said. "But we must also be clear that the balance of power among all three branches requires respect - not retaliation. I won't go along with that."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and an organizer of the telecast, declared at the outset, "We are not saying that people who disagree with us are not people of faith." Democrats, he argued, were forcing members of the judiciary to choose between public service and their conservative Christian views by denying them judgeships because of their stance on abortion or other social issues.
Other speakers in the telecast, however, took a different view from Dr. Frist. Dr. James Dobson, founder of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family, whose political sister group was a sponsor of the event, defended Mr. DeLay and his attacks on the judiciary, calling the Supreme Court "unaccountable," "out of control," and a despotic oligarchy.
Dr. Dobson accused the justices of "a campaign to limit religious liberty" through 40 years of decisions limiting publicly supported expressions of religion. The founding fathers, he said, intended for the president and Congress to "check the judiciary and it hasn't done it," he said.
"You have a court that is out of control," Dr. Dobson said.
One Republican senator, however, distanced himself from the telecast as well as the attacks on the judiciary. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, who supports changing the confirmation process, said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday" that the groups behind the telecast should "not to go down the road of saying that the Democratic senators are not people of faith or questioning their religious - that they're religious bigots."
"I don't think that helps the country," he said, "and I don't think that's fair."
Senate aides say they expect any confrontation to be postponed past the May recess next week. Dr. Frist has said he intends to offer a compromise, although it would still entail approving the blocked judges.
Senator Arlen Specter, the Pennsylvania Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday that he was urging colleagues to look beyond party loyalty to resolve the impasse. "I think it is really necessary for Democrats not to follow a straight party line on voting for filibusters and Republicans not to follow a straight party line on voting for the so-called constitutional nuclear option," he said on CNN. "I think, if we voted our consciences, we wouldn't have filibusters, and we wouldn't have a nuclear option."
On the other side of the aisle, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., Democrat of Delaware, suggested that the parties might break their deadlock if Democrats agreed to confirm some of the blocked judges and Republicans agreed to drop the rest. "We'll let a number of them go through, the two most extreme not go through and put off this vote and compromise," Mr. Biden said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC. "The filibuster has always been available to stop extremes."
Still, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican whip responsible for counting the votes of party members, said that enough Republicans would back the rule change to make it happen, which would require at least 50 of the 55 Republican senators. "That step will be taken sometime in the near future at the determination of the majority leader," he said in an interview on CBS. "We have the votes we need."