It’s a Witch Hunt

So says Christine O’Donnell, former GOP Senatorial candidate, who was handily defeated this past November after pulling off a stunning upset over Congressman Mike Castle (R-DE), a moderate Republican who was widely viewed to be a shoe-in to take over the Senate seat once occupied by Vice President Joe Biden.  O’Donnell’s unorthodox media appearances and outlandish policy positions made her favorite fodder for late night comics and media pundits.

Yesterday, news broke that she was being investigated by the Feds for improper use of campaign funds, including using donations to pay rent and other personal expenses.  Her response: ‘political thugs’ are out to get her.

I don’t doubt that from time to time, personal vendettas occur in politics, where smear campaigns are directed at candidates or politicians in order to destroy them both professionally and personally.  My thinking, however, is that candidates are far more adept at destroying (not to mention, far more likely to destroy) themselves than having another person, named or unnamed, do it for them.  I doubt that Miss O’Donnell is any exception to this.

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Something to Be Proud Of

I didn’t like George W. Bush.  Shocking, right?  I disagreed with him politically, and, I have to admit, he annoyed me on a personal level.  There was very little redeeming I found in him.  He struck me as a ‘nice’ man, but nice isn’t the same as good.  I digress.

So, for as much as I don’t like Bush, I suppose I should, on a certain level, be grateful for him.  Why?  It could be worse (it can always get worse, remember that).  There are other ex-presidents out there, who make Bush look positively Churchillian.  Namely, Moshe Katsav, former president of Israel, who was just convicted of raping a woman in the 1990s today.  An Israeli court found him guilty after prosecutors managed to put the evidence he submitted through a meat grinder and the presiding judge basically called him a liar.  How’s that for accountability?

So, while I may not have agreed with Bush’s policies or personally liked the man, at least he never raped anyone.  There’s something that we can be glad for.  Setting a high bar, aren’t we?

Happy New Year!

Get Over It

Remember how that Danish newspaper, the Jyllands-Posten, ran those cartoons that many Muslims felt cast Mohammed in an unflattering light?  Well, there’s some Muslims that still haven’t let it go.  Four Muslim residents of Sweden were arrested in Denmark when it became known that they were planning a terrorist attack on the offices of the said newspaper.

This is stupid.  This happened five years ago.  And these men still are so fueled by rage that they feel it necessary to kill people?  I have to admit, I don’t understand what motivates the veneration of these guys for their faith.  I’m all about respect, but mocking the foibles of organized religion (and there are lots) is cathartic, not to mention side-splittingly funny.  I’d try and convey this to these guys, but I’d probably lose my head in the process.

German Researchers Find Stem Cell Cure for HIV

A group of German researchers at the Universitatsmedizin Berlin have just published a paper that suggests they have found an effective therapy for curing HIV in patients.  This is groundbreaking.  This, for the first time ever, represents a known way that the medical community can eradicate HIV in patients.

I don’t claim to understand the science behind it.  I would expect that in its current iteration, the process is astronomically expensive and time consuming.  But, as with anything new, it’ll get cheaper, and better, should the science behind this hold up.  So, now you can add HIV to the long, long list of diseases that stem cells can potentially cure.

Stem cell research was politicized for a few years in the Bush Administration because conservative Republicans thought that using stem cells was the equivalent of abortion.  Usually, I just roll my eyes when they start spouting their nonsense, but this was one area where their stance had the direct result of letting people die when it wasn’t necessary.

I believe in the sanctity of life.  I believe in the sanctity of life of the people that I know, many of whom have died from cancer, or neurological disorders or heart failure, which, had effective stem cell therapies been available, may not have perished.  I do not believe that those very cells, which at one point might have been a child, which are now in fertility clinics and will otherwise be discarded if not used, those do represent life, not as independent entities, but as a second chance to millions of people who would not otherwise have it.

Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party

237 years ago today, a bunch of white guys dressed up as Native Americans boarded three British merchant vessels moored in Boston harbor to destroy 342 chests of tea which were subject to taxes imposed by fiat by royal authorities in London.  This was the original Tea Party, long before anyone in this country ever heard of Glenn Beck or Mike Pence.  These original patriots were focused on a principle, that the rights of self rule and self determination were of right to be available to all men.  And since then, the American experiment has continuously and perpetually been refining our ideas about politics and governance, be they towards law or rights.

There’s a broad, broad gulf separating the original Boston Patriots and the tea partiers of today.  Where those brave men in Boston put principle above emotion, and began advancing a strategy for actual governance (and eventual independence) in place, the modern tea partiers have done nothing, other than yell.  There is no tea party strategy, other than to exist, and to fundraise.

And for that reason, it’s fitting that we commemorate that original, American, Boston Tea Party.  The left should never, ever, cede these historical events to those that are so clearly undeserving of their legacy.

Which Included Four Black Jurors

Well, I can’t say that I’m surprised.  Kwame Kilpatrick, former Mayor of Detroit, current guest of the state of Michigan in my hometown of Jackson, got nailed by the Feds.  Indicted by a federal grand jury for kickbacks to him and his cronies.  Two observations: 1) Hundreds of millions of dollars at stake in contracts, and all these jokers manage to skim is a few measly hundred thousand.  Pathetic.  Most traditional Democrats would have been able to make off with at least $10-30 million.  Easily.  They’re setting a low bar for corruption in the state of Michigan these days.  2)  I’m a white boy from the suburbs, and even I know that depositing cash from bribes/kickbacks into your PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT is a huge no-no.  Granted, if you gave me a suitcase full of currency, I would have no idea as to how to ‘launder’ that on the street, but if you told me to ‘treat the funds for tax purposes’ and gave me a routing and account numbers having to do with locations in the Cayman Islands, Cyprus or Luxembourg…well, that’s a different story.  That’s actually encouraged, and rather well compensated.

So, the whole affair’s hardly shocking, but it was pretty much only a matter of time before Kwame really got it, legally speaking, that is.  Once the first charge came, it was a matter of when, and not if, the other corruption charges were going to come.  When a political figure like this is so seemingly immune from political pressure, it’s like being in the water with sharks.  If you’re not bleeding, you’re fine.  That’s the nature of politics.  The sharks are circling, be they the media, your detractors, your opponents, your rivals, pretty much anyone that’s not in your inner circle.  So when the first cut comes, and the blood starts gushing into the water around you, well, that’s when you’re screwed.  And so it was with Kwame.  Alas.  He was, for a while, a great hope for the city of Detroit.  A city long on hope, short on pretty much everything else(jobs, residents, tax revenues, etc.).

Except idiotic, tired racial politics.  The line which made me shake my head, which takes a lot, was the part that mentioned the racial dynamic in the federal grand jury.  Which included four black jurors. So.  Fucking.*  What? Michigan is a part of the north, right?  Wrong.  Michigan, despite its location, is the northernmost southern state in America.  Michigan, more than any other place I’ve been in the Midwest, has a boatload of racial issues.  Way more than it can afford.  Let alone afford to verbalize.

Enough.  These stupid, threadbare identity politics, which have advanced the state of Michigan, the city of Detroit, not at ALL in the past seven decades, are repetitive, destructive, and, most offensive, not original.  Is Michigan and the city of Detroit so hung up on its ancient racial baggage so as to still be interested in race when hundreds of millions of dollars are being fleeced from the public?  Who cares if four of the jurors were black?  Black people can see when they’re being patently screwed.  Frankly, from what I’ve seen in this country they’re able to do a bit better than most white folks, particularly given the goings on in this country since the Wall Street economically raped the nation twenty four months ago, and in return a bunch of Congressional crackers gave them back more than a trillion dollars and a thank you note in the form of tax cuts.  The Detroit News sees fit to underscore the justness of the indictment because there were four blacks on the jury?  Please.  Offensive again, but not because of race, it’s just not original.

We’re never going to be able to get rid of racism, but so help me God,when this much green (read: money – remember that Michigan?) is at stake, particularly given the fact that the state hasn’t seen economic growth since the time Bill Clinton was President, I hardly think that repeatedly mentioning either black or white is practical, constructive or meaningful.  Detroit News, mentioning race at this point is a luxury you and Michigan have long been since able to afford.  Give it up and talk about something that matters.

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*I try, conscientiously really, to avoid using this word in print, but I have to let myself go every once in a while.

They’re ATTACKING Christmas!

Or so says Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC).  That Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is trying to wrap up some pretty significant pieces of legislation, including the START arms treaty, a spending bill and some other items, well, that’s not sitting well with Sen. DeMint.  He thinks that scheduling so much work around the holidays is a ‘sacrilege,’ arguing that it cuts into his holiday time and is an affront to Christians.  He also, incorrectly, points out that Christmas is the most significant holiday in Christianity.  Easter,theologically speaking, carries more weight in the Christian faith, as the entire death and resurrection of Christ is the focal point of Christian theology, but accuracy has never been this fellow’s strong suit, so expecting it now is kind of pointless.

Well, if that’s the case, then there’s a lot of sacrilege going on in this country, as I tend to think there are tens of millions of Americans who have to bend their holiday plans (please note the use of the generic term ‘holiday,’ as I live in a city where there are a lot of Jews, it’s actually easier to just use that in lieu of Christmas, as many here don’t celebrate it) to their work schedules.  Maybe Sen. DeMint can do something really useful such as proposing a new law that forces employers to make accommodations to their workers for religious purposes.  Oh, wait, that’s intrusive and burdensome on private employers.  Alas.  Fail logic, fail Jim DeMint.  Which, really, is about par for the course for this man.  He’s probably the most partisan and disingenuous member of the Senate, so this really doesn’t come as a surprise.