Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm A Fighting Liberal

by Steve Gilliard

You know, I've studied history, I've read about America and you know something, if it weren't for liberals, we'd be living in a dark, evil country, far worse than anything Bush could conjure up. A world where children were told to piss on the side of the road because they weren't fit to pee in a white outhouse, where women had to get back alley abortions and where rape was a joke, unless the alleged criminal was black, whereupon he was hung from a tree and castrated.

What has conservatism given America? A stable social order? A peaceful homelife? Respect for law and order? No. Hell, no. It hasn't given us anything we didn't have and it wants to take away our freedoms.

The Founding Fathers, as flawed as they were, slaveowners and pornographers, smugglers and terrorists, understood one thing, a man's path to God needed no help from the state. Is the religion of these conservatives so fragile that they need the state to prop it up, to tell us how to pray and think? Is that what they stand for? Is that their America?

Conservatism plays on fear and thrives on lies and dishonesty. I grew up with honest, decent conservatives and those people have been replaced by the party of greed. It is one thing to want less government interference and smaller, fiscally responsible government. It is another thing entirely to be a corporate whore, selling out to the highest bidder because the CEO fattens your campaign chest. They are building an America which cannot be sustained. One based on the benefit of the few at the cost of the many. The indifferent boss who hires too few people and works them to death or until they break down sick. Cheap labor capitalism has replaced common sense. "Globalism" which is really guise for exploitation, replaced fair trade, which is nothing like fair for the trapped semi-slaves of the maquliadoras. In the Texas border towns, hundreds of these women have been used as sex slaves and then apparently killed,the FBI powerless to do anything as the criminals sit in Mexico untouched by law.

For the better part of a decade, the conservatives made liberal a dirty word. Well, it isn't. It represents the best and most noble nature of what America stands for: equitable government services, old age pensions, health care, education, fair trials and humane imprisonment. It is the heart and soul of what made American different and better than other countries. Not only an escape from oppression, but the opportunity to thrive in land free of tradition and the repression that can bring. We offered a democracy which didn't enshrine the rich and made them feel they had an obligation to their workers.

Bush and the people around him disdain that. They think, by accident of birth and circumstance, they were meant to rule the world and those who did not agree would suffer.

Liberal does not and has not meant weak until the conservatives said it did. Was Martin Luther King weak? Bobby Kennedy? Gene McCarthy? It was the liberals who remade this country and ended legal segregation and legal sexism. Not the conservatives, who wanted to hold on to the old ways.

It's time to regain the sprit of FDR and Truman and the people around them. People who believed in the public good over private gain. It is time to stop apologizing for being a liberal and be proud to fight for your beliefs. No more shying away or being defined by other people. Liberals believe in a strong defense and punishment for crime. But not preemption and pointless jail sentences. We believe no American should be turned away from a hospital because they are too poor or lack a proper legal defense. We believe that people should make enough from one job to live on, to spend time on raising their family. We believe that individuals and not the state should dictate who gets married and why. The best way to defend marriage is to expand, not restrict it.

It was the liberals who opposed the Nazis while the conservatives were plotting to get their brown shirts or fund Hitler. It was the liberals who warned about Spain and fought there, who joined the RAF to fight the Germans, who brought democracy to Germany and Japan. Let us not forget it was the conservatives who opposed defending America until the Germans sank our ships. They would have done nothing as Britain came under Nazi control. It was they who supported Joe McCarthy and his baseless, drink fueled claims.

Without liberals, there would be no modern America, just a Nazi sattlelite state. Liberals weak on defense? Liberals created America's defense. The conservatives only need vets at election time.

It is time to stop looking for an accomodation with the right. They want none for us. They want to win, at any price. So, you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Steve Gilliard

when the time comes, tell your grandchildren to read steve's archives...
that is all.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Prolegomena to any future really-soon-to-come-nuclear-holocaust

Suicide Attack on Rally May Have Killed Bhutto
--the careful Pravda-on-the-Hudson @8:50 AM EST, 27 Dec 07

Saturday, December 22, 2007

mark her words

" I dread the upcoming election year, because it’s going to speak volumes about whether or not we can salvage democracy in this environment." -- Amanda Marcotte (

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


h/t crooks&liars (yeah!)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Just one of the many many things not to say to an officer of the law

"I don't give a fuck who you are, I'm a fucking TV reporter, you fucking dyke." -- alleged retort of famed Philly newscaster Alycia Lane.

She shudda saved it for the Phillies...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Will decent Americans stand against torture, or are we already lost?

This Sunday the Washington Post ran an article that claims that Nancy Pelosi was first briefed on the harsh interrogation techniques, known as torture to non orwellian challenged people, that the CIA was (is?) using as early as September of 2002. See this link for the complete article.

Now the article clearly was written to try and absolve the CIA of wrong doing. It claims that because six maybe eight members ( the article is not clear about all of the people present) were briefed about the program and they did not object, then the program was OK'd by congress and thus legal. Now I am not a lawyer nor a constitutional scholar, but it is my understanding that it takes more than six, or eight, non votes to amend the constitution, or even nullify a treaty. The constitution clearly states that cruel and unusual punishment is not allowed, and many of the treaties that we have signed contain clauses outlawing torture. Briefing any number of people, even thousands, does not make torture legal in this country.

What do these allegations mean about Nancy Pelosi? She has not denied them, in fact she admits that she was briefed but did not see the memo. Who needs a memo when the CIA briefs you and tells you in person what they are going to do? It is like saying " yes I was in the meeting, but since I never received the minutes I am not responsible for the commitments I made in the meeting". Try that at work sometime, and see how well that works. It means that despite her public statements, she has supported torture for more than five years. I find this totally unacceptable.

Decent people in this country need to send a very clear signal about torture. We the decent people of America do not support torture. And that we will not support any politician, regardless of party affiliation or positions on other issues, that endorses the use of torture, period. Any politician, including the Speaker of the House, who endorses torture should face a primary challenge this coming year. The Democrats are not running anybody against Mrs. Pelosi because of their very twisted sense of loyalty. However, Cindy Sheehan is running as an Independent for Pelosi's seat in Congress. I urge everybody to support Ms. Sheehan, see this link for her official website.

Also, check the actions, not just rhetoric of your Congress people. Give all of your support to their opponents if they are at all unequivocal on this issue. In my opinion there is no gray area here. Either you are humane and oppose torture at all times, or you are a barbarian. It is time we worked to remove all of the barbarians from public office in this country.

Friday, December 7, 2007

not as if they were somebody's kids, somebody's spouse or parent

"Nobody is happy about losing lives but remember these are not draftees, these are full-time professional soldiers," Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said in a meeting with constituents this week.


Sunday, December 2, 2007