It's official, boys and girls, YDAtl has a podcast. This episode brings those of you who missed the happy hour (and those of you with old man hearing like myself) the guest speaker from 10/20/05, Anita Beatty of the Metro Atlanta Task Force for the Homeless. Apologies for the background noise, but it actually came out pretty good for a first shot. Thanks to Luke Wyatt for the intro music.
To subscribe to the podcast for now, paste http://feeds.feedburner.com/YDAtl into your iTunes or other aggregator.
I'm hoping we can continue with the model of productive dialog in which I again reveal just how I am the most conservative Democrat on the exec board and ask our more liberal members to 'splain stuff to me.
Some of you may know I'm a grad student at Tech, and many of you have heard of our little "bomber" who got arrested a couple weeks ago for some explosive pop bottles he left outside his dorm. Sure, it was a little crazy for a couple hours as the bomb squad came out to "detonate" the "devices," but for crying out loud, it was dry ice evaporating in plastic drink bottles, hardly the work of even Jose Padilla.
Getting to my point: the student, Theodore Hollot, was arrested and released on bail, due to be arraigned in a few weeks. Meanwhile, Tech has lifted his suspension from classes, now that we know he was just being a dumb freshman, but he is no longer allowed to live on campus. Here comes our false plot point: Hollot is a rather bland looking white guy.
Cue the hysterics:
On Saturday, a Marietta-based community activist group called New Order complained Hollot should not have been allowed back in classes, insisting he would have been treated more harshly if he had been black or of ethnic background. "We feel like if he had a different name or was from another country, he would still be locked up in jail," said Gerald Rose, who said he is New Order president. "We feel like the kids on campus will be uncomfortable. We are demanding that this young man not be allowed to go back on campus." Rose said his concerns were based on conversations with people at Tech and an anonymous call to his office. He would not specify whether he had talked with Tech students or officials or say who they were.
Okay, let's get this straight: Gerald Rose is condemning an academic institution, and seeking greater punishment for a student, based on what may or may not have happened in a hypothetical infraction that exists nowhere outside his angry mind. Notice the important part of his allegation: "We feel like." So, you speculate that there might have been injustice in some other possible universe, so you demand that injustice be visited upon the pate of some dumb kid so that he might be denied an education? And this is somehow a good move on the part of a so-called human rights organization? That sounds like the kind of demented irony I expect from the religious [sic] right.
What's more disturbing (to me) is that in searching the internet to find out who this Gerald Rose character is -- I mean, this is the internet, he could be just another wingnut with a free website -- I found out that among his bonafides is a House commendation adopted by the Georgia General Assembly this year sponsored by none other than our favorite singing youngest Rep Alisha Thomas Morgan.
Right. Back to my point in the form of a question: really, is it in any rational way productive to seek to promote equality and human rights by punishing a dumb student more than a student of any color would deserve just because he's white, and you speculate things aren't all on the level?
With the Capitol all but deserted last Monday night, the Democratic "30-Something Working Group" seized the House floor and took aim at their Republican adversaries. As C-SPAN cameras beamed their performance around the country, Rep. Timothy J. Ryan, 32, of Ohio and Rep. Kendrick Meek, 39, of Florida recited a litany of GOP misdeeds -- mismanaging Hurricane Katrina and neglecting education and health care, for example -- and offered the Democrats' alternatives. ... As part of the new approach, House and Senate Democrats are devising an alternative agenda of key policies. Ryan is pushing proposals aimed at drastically reducing the number of abortions over the coming decade by offering support and services to pregnant women. Others are crafting a plan for reducing U.S. dependence on imported oil by using more domestic agricultural products, an approach that would have significant appeal to Midwestern voters. "We can't be Dr. No to everything Republicans do," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). "We have to provide our own positive ideas."
Amen, brothers, amen.
Do read the whole article to start provoking some thoughts on affirmative, progressive policy initiatives of your own.
Don't those look like five happy campers? Indeed they are! You know why? Because they're about to go door to door making new friends and spreading the truth about the rotten job the current Republican majority in the Georgia Legislature is doing in terms of open government, education, and women's health care. All in all it was a fun way to kick off our Saturday (the margaritas that followed further contributed to our merriment). Won't you come join the fun next month? Pencil in some canvassing goodness on your calendar for November 12th, and we'll see you in Sandy Springs.
Hot off the presses from Page Gleason, our former president now serving us in the county party:
In a 123 page order, Judge Harold Murphy granted our motion for a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement of Georgia’s new Voter ID law, the most restrictive voter identification provision in the Nation. The sponsors of the law claimed that it was necessary to combat voter fraud. However, the Court found that there at been no confirmed reports of voter fraud for in-person voting anywhere in the State, and that the new law “does nothing to address the voter fraud issues that conceivably exist in Georgia.”
Score another one for the good guys...at least for now...
Godwin's Law states that As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1. Tradition holds that at such a point, the discussion is over and the person who triggered Godwin's Law has lost.
No, it's not Harriet Miers, who for various reasons might be tolerable to some people. Julie Myers was approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to head Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, in the face of severe criticism from Democrats. Republicans had joined in until our dear friend Michael Chertoff sweet-talked them. This chick has next to no experience with immigration or customs, barely (if that) meets the statute-mandated minimum experience for the position, has never managed anything approaching 20,000 people, and to boot is the wife of Michael Chertoff's chief of staff and the daughter of former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers. In other words, Bush is putting a crony in charge of an agency critical to our REAL national security. Protecting our borders and keeping terrorists out of this country is a hell of a lot more important in this "War on Terror" than some stupid crap going down in Iraq, but neither Bush nor our Republican Senate pals seem interested in making the distinction.
This has got to be one of the most effective ads I've heard of. Heck, we're all more or less immune to those "save the children" ads, but I feel bad for the little Smurf. We need to position ourselves with a message like this - being a Democrat is about empathy, and caring when bad things happen to good people. What a great ad. I'm going to go donate some money to save the Smurfs...
This is what Republican logic has devolved into, and I honestly think my brain might explode.
So Rich Galen has a blog called Mullings, in which he arranges random blurbs in a highly annoying bullet-point format and just hopes they'll magically coalesce into some kind of argument. His ridiculous case today goes something like this:
John Kerry accused George Bush's fluff speech of being another effort to "invent a false link between the war in Iraq and the tragedy of Sept. 11."
New York City is on heightened alert due to intelligence indicating a terror threat on the subways.
The intelligence prompting the alert in New York came from a raid on a terror cell outside of Baghdad, which is in Iraq (just so we're clear).
THERFORE New York City is in danger of being attacked from Iraq.
The 9/11 attacks happened in New York.
THEREFORE John Kerry is a moron for not seeing the connection between Iraq and 9/11. See? It's right there. Iraq - New York - 9/11.
Brains and coffee, all over my computer screen. It's not pretty.
WHEN DID THE TERRORISTS MOVE INTO THE BAGHDAD SUBURBS, GALEN?
I understand now. It's not that Republicans think being homosexual itself is so dangerous; the problem is, it's gateway sex that opens the door to the harder, more destructive sex. Have you seen today's Creative Loafing?
"Even as I write this email, I have received information that a man in Washington State has died from the practice of beastiality [sic]. As we attempt to redefine our culture by seeking to redefine marriage as anything other than a union between one man and one woman, we open the door to every other immoral sin man can dream up! The far left is constantly at work to destroy sexual morality, faith and love of country."
In national news, consider that the hasn't-ever-vetoed-anything president is threatening to veto the defense spending bill -- THE spending bill of ALL bills this White House would just love to rubber stamp -- in the middle of a war no less, if a couple of Republican Senators get their way.
Q Let me ask one other question. Why does the President oppose Senator McCain's legislation to establish standards for interrogation of terrorists?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there are already laws on the books, and so I think part of this, if you go back and look at the statement of administration policy that we put out, it would be unnecessary and duplicative. And it would limit the President's ability as Commander-in-Chief to effectively carry out the war on terrorism.
Q And will the President veto Senator McCain's legislation?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we put out the statement of administration policy, which stated our concerns about that and stated -- let me specifically refer you to it -- our views when it came to if those amendments were part of the final legislation. It said, if it's presented, then there would be a recommendation of a veto, I believe.
"If you won't let us torture people, then we're not going to play, nyaaaaaah." Another outstanding example of how this is a good, Christian White House.
FLAME ON - Is it not okay to entertain the ridiculous?
I'm sleep deprived and cranky, and today is going to be one of those days when y'all wonder why one of your most conservative Democrats is your virtual mouthpiece in this gang, but hey, you didn't oppose me in the race, so nyaaaaah.
I'm reading this op-ed by Richard Cohen at WaPo instead of finishing up the embryonic presentation I have to give in less than 90 minutes, because I like pressure. Cohen brings up the recent Bennett "abort crime" fiasco:
They then abandoned their party's tradition -- I would say "obligation" -- of defending unpopular speech by piling on William Bennett, the former education secretary, best-selling author and now, inevitably, talk show host.
Responding to a caller who argued that if abortion were outlawed the Social Security trust fund would benefit -- more people, more contributions, was the apparent (idiotic) reasoning -- Bennett said, sure, he understood what the fellow was saying. It was similar to the theory that the low crime rate of recent years was the consequence of high abortion rates: the fewer African American males born, the fewer crimes committed. (Young black males commit a disproportionate share of crime.) This theory has been around for some time. Bennett was not referring to anything new.
But he did add something very important: If implemented, the idea would be "an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do."
He should have saved his breath. Prominent Democrats -- Harry Reid in the Senate, John Conyers and Rahm Emanuel in the House and, of course, Pelosi -- jumped all over him. Conyers wanted Bennett suspended from his radio show. Emanuel said Bennett's comments "reflect a spirit of hate and division." Pelosi said Bennett was out of the mainstream, and Reid simply asked for an apology.
Actually, it is Reid and the others who should apologize to Bennett. They were condemning and attempting to silence a public intellectual for a reference to a theory.
I may make you question your spam filter for letting my newsletter through, but I wholeheartedly agree with Cohen and am rather disappointed in the misguided hysterics of our Democratic leaders, not to mention my favorite lesbian. When I first heard Bennett's remarks, it was on my morning ride to work listening to the Rachel Maddow podcast. I was knee-jerk outraged myself, but only because -- I may be wrong on this, but if memory serves -- the sound-byte did not include the "morally reprehensible" disclaimer. Man oh man, am I glad I didn't sit right down and blog about it as soon as I got in, because I would certainly become the King of Hypocrisy.
Why? Because my personal blog is nothing if not a testament to the ridiculous, preposterous, tongue-in-cheek and more often outright sarcastic. I thrive on the use of shock and hyperbole to provoke debate, to throw subtle patterns into sharp relief, and, of course, to garner an audience (which I assume is one thing Bennett keeps in mind as a radio personality).
He included a totally obvious disclaimer that no one on the left includes in their reactive rants. How is it that some of you can listen to Howard *%@! Stern without puking and yet go bonkers over Bennett? I'm honestly curious.
So that's my take. Chill the hell out. We ARE supposed to be the tolerant ones here. Your thoughts?
State and Mayoral Roundtable Discussion. Atlanta Urban League Young Professions in conjunction with National Council of Negro Women Atlanta Guild will host a roundtable discussion TONIGHT-October 3rd beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Lunatique Cafe, 160 Spring Street, located inside the Wyndham Atlanta. The Roundtable Discussion will include Secretary of State and Candidate for Governor Cathy Cox, Lt. Governor and Candidate for Governor Mark Taylor, Candidate for Secretary of State Shyam Reddy, Dave Walker and Glen Wrightson.
Atlanta City Council District 6 Candidate Forum. Midtown Neighbor's Association will host a candidate forum for City Council between candiates Steve Brodie (www.votestevebrodie.com) and Anne Fauver (www.4more4fauver.com) on October 6th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Grady High School Auditorium. Candidates will give brief remarks and will then respond to audience questions. District 6 includes the intown neighborhoods of Ansley Park, Atkins Park, Candler Park, Druid Hills, Lindridge Martin Manor, Midtown, Morningside-Lenox Park, Piedmonts Heights, Sherwood Forest, and Virginia-Highland. To learn more about the forum, please visit www.midtownatlanta.org.