Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Americans United lauds Supreme Court decision

"A unanimous Supreme Court ruling handed down today is a welcome reaffirmation of religious liberty," says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

"The court upheld the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), a federal law that prohibits government from limiting prisoners' religious freedom without first showing a compelling reason. In the lawsuit, inmates from non-mainstream faiths challenged prison officials' refusal to accommodate their religious needs.

"'This is a sensible decision that affirms the value of religious freedom while giving correctional institutions the ability to meet their security needs,'
said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United." (For full story)

Fire Tom Delay

From MoveOn Pac:

Fire Tom DeLay

"House Republican Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay has a pattern of repeated legal and ethical scandals. Yet he remains in one of the most important positions in our government—deciding what legislation Congress considers. Sign our petition to urge Congress to fire Tom DeLay as Majority Leader. Our goal is to top 500,000 petition signers by the end of the month and deliver these petitions to Republican members of Congress and local Republican Parties during the first week in June.

We've achieved 89 % of our 500,000 goal (448,628)!"

Broward County (Fla.): No longer just hanging chads

We all remember Broward County, Fla. for hanging chads, but now we can remember it for unhanging paintings. The South Florida Sun-Sentinal reports

"An explicit art piece at the private, nonprofit Broward Art Guild was removed from its prominent position in the gallery after the agency's director received a phone call from the county's Department of Cultural Affairs, which partially funds the group.

"County Administrator Roger Desjarlais said Thursday the phone call placed by department Director Mary Becht -- and the subsequent decision to take the painting off the wall -- will lead to an internal discussion of whether county agencies have the right to influence artistic decisions or fund certain exhibits."


"The piece in question is a painting depicting President Bush being sodomized. Artist Alfred Phillips said images of an oil barrel and a man wearing a Muslim headdress in the work are part of a political statement about the United States being abused by oil companies."

(Thanks to Wonkette for pointing us to this story)

Monday, May 30, 2005

The collapse of the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference

According to Lawrence S. Wittner, author of Toward Nuclear Abolition: A History of the World Nuclear Disarmament Movement, 1971 to the Present (Stanford University Press).

"On May 27, the 2005 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference, designed to shore up the international commitment to creating a nuclear-free world, concluded in shambles. According to Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the gathering accomplished 'absolutely nothing.' He added: 'We are ending after a month of rancor . . . and the same issues continue to stare us in the eyes.'" ....

(for the complete article)

(Thanks to ZNet for directing us to this article}

Guns, Shackles & Winter Coats: A new play

Guns, Shackles & Winter Coats, by M. Stefan Strozier, will be performed at Where Eagles Dare Theatre (347 W. 36th street, NYC; all shows are 8pm), from July 4th-10th.
"Guns is a play about an American soldier who, after fighting in Iraq, returns home; but must face a second onslaught from post-traumatic stress disorder. He seeks help from his wife, family, the VA hospital; but all for naught, as he ends up homeless."

For further information: http://www.lamusevenale.org and http://www.mstefanstrozier.org. Or 917-902-6017.
Tickets are $20, available at http://www.smarttix.com; 25% off for seniors and students and military.
Alan Kanevsky—Director; Jean-Claude Villaréal—Artistic Director;
Cast: Chris Sorensen; Anita Anthonj; Penny Bittone; Johnpaul; Damian Ladd; Yza Shady;and Joe Wissler.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Right-wing rift?

From Chelsea Neighbors:

Exploit The Rift
By William Rivers Pitt

"Members of the Republican Party's political action corps pride themselves on discipline and adherence to the line. Most of the time they are very good at this, which explains to a degree their ascendancy of late. All of a sudden, however, that discipline has started to crack, and the outlines of a full-fledged civil war within the ranks of the GOP are beginning to become manifestly clear."

I think this is possibly true, But for how long are we going to allow the right-wing to define the situation? It seems to me that this has been going on too long already. When are we going to take back the national agenda?

Chelsea Neighbors United To End The War
P.O. Box 821
JAF Station
New York, NY 10116-0821

Saturday, May 28, 2005

New York City Labor Chorus Concert

New York City Labor Chorus 7TH Gala Benefit Concert

Dedicated to K. Geoffrey Fairweather
Peter Schlosser, Conductor

Directly from North Carolina - Fruit of Labor Singing Ensemble
[ www.fruitoflabor.org ]

At The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue at East 34th Street
Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 7:00 pm

Come Celebrate the Great Tradition of Labor and Folk Music
General Admission $25 - Seniors & Unemployed $15
For ticket information please email us: info@nyclc.org

Sexism in Indianapolis (500)

Robby Gordon accused Danica Patrick of having an unfair advantage in the Indianapolis 500 and said Saturday he will not compete in the race again unless the field is equalized.

Gordon, a former open-wheel driver now in NASCAR, contends that Patrick is at an advantage over the rest of the competitors because she only weighs 100 pounds. Because all the cars weigh the same, Patrick's is lighter on the race track.

"The lighter the car, the faster it goes," Gordon said. "Do the math. Put her in the car at her weight, then put me or Tony Stewart in the car at 200 pounds and our car is at least 100 pounds heavier.

"I won't race against her until the IRL does something to take that advantage away."

Is that a promise Robbie? There'as always one.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Democrats on the judicial filibuster: compromise or capitulation

When will the Democrats stop letting the Republicans define every situation and then figure out how to compromise/capitulate? Serious differences are emerging over last night's Democratic compromise/capitulation on judicial nominations.

TalkLeft: the politics of crime says:

"One day after the awful compromise on filibusters, Republicans already think they can use the same strategy to force a compromise on social security. [Sen.]Lindsay Graham [R-S.C.] says:

"Some who forged the deal expressed hope that the agreement would create momentum for compromise on other knotty issues, such as Social Security and immigration.

"Watch this group when it comes to major problems that the nation faces, like Social Security," said Graham, "I think we have created momentum for the idea that if you constructively engage each other, the political reward is high."

Unfortunately, he's probably right. My trust is gone right now. The Democrats said they would not back down on Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown and they did. Why should we believe they won't back down on privatization?

This is quite different from MoveOn's evaluation of the same events:

"President Bush, Bill Frist and the radical right-wing of the Republican Party have failed in their attempt to seize absolute power over the courts. Together, we've stopped the "nuclear option" — for now.

"Last night at 7:30pm, with only hours to go before Senator Frist rose in the Senate to try to break the rules and seize power to appoint extreme judges, 14 senators announced they had struck a deal. As powerful far-right leader James Dobson put it, "This Senate agreement represents a complete bailout and betrayal by a cabal of Republicans and a great victory for united Democrats...The rules that blocked conservative nominees remain in effect, and nothing of significance has changed."

"For once, we agree with Mr. Dobson. With 7 Republicans pledging to oppose Frist's scheme as long as the Democrats stick to the standard for filibusters they've used all along — only using them in extraordinary circumstances — the "nuclear option" is dead unless Republicans break their word. And if that happens we will be in a much stronger position to stop them."

I guess if you invest as much as MoveOn has in defeating the so-called Nuclear Option, you can't help but declare it a victory. But if it doesn't scare you, just on its face, to agree with Dobson-one of the leaders of the crazy right-giving in on three of the most anti-Democratic judicial nominees should. When will the Democrats stand up for anything? What do they believe in?

Erections only for the rich

Investor's Business Daily breaking news:

"Senate legislation introduced Tuesday [by Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley] would ban the federal government from paying for a number of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems."

According to0 Grassley, "It is a pretty simple piece of legislation -- no payment for drugs prescribed for sexual or erectile dysfunction under any federal program, period. ... In my opinion, those dollars could be spent more wisely,"

"Grassley, [who was] an architect of the [disasterous] Medicare prescription-drug benefit that goes fully into effect next year, said the goal of the Medicare drug legislation is to ensure that beneficiaries had access to life-saving medicines.

"Now some certainly may argue that these 'lifestyle' drugs can improve your life. I appreciate that view. However, we live in a world of limited resources, and in that world of limited resources coverage of these 'lifestyle' drugs under Medicare -- or any other federal program, in my opinion -- is inconsistent with that goal of balance," Grassley said.

I'll bet Grassley has no problem obtaining his Viagra. Hardons for the rich, let the poor eat cake.

(Thanks to Wonkette for pointing me to this article)

Howard Dean? Who?

The Daily Kos reports that in a new CNN/USAT/Gallop poll

"'controversial' Howard Dean has become slightly more popular. The question was last asked in February.
"As I read each name, please say if you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of these people -- or if you have never heard of them. How about Howard Dean?"
Favorable 35% (31%)
Unfavorable 33% (38%)
Never heard of/no opinion 32% (31%)"

Doesn't it scare anyone but me that we live in a country in which 32% of the respondents never heard of Howard Dean? I'll bet everyone of those people has heard of Paris Hilton.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Olympics-stadium scam: How about a conditional approval?

Mayor Mike (as he chooses to be called) lies and the New York Post swears to it. What a team.

In an editorial yesterday, the Post says:

"The city's Olympic hopes are hanging [on approval of financing for the West-side stadium] in the balance. Yet two of New York's key players [Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno] are actively working to undermine them."

But what, in fact, are Silver and Bruno doing?

According to the Post, "Silver has been defiantly pooh-pooing the idea of quick approval of the stadium citing spurious [according to the Post] lawsuits by its opponents."
"Plus, not only did he claim the city's hopes for the 2012 Olympics are dim, he actually recommended New York begin gearing up to vie for the 2016 Games."
Since almost everyone except Mayor Mike's cohorts believe that Paris is a Heads-on favorite to get the games, this doesn't seem like a bad idea.

But what about Bruno, what crimes has he committed?

"...he said he would kill the plan entirely unless Gov. Pataki answers a detailed list of questions."
Whoa! Wouldn't you think that a Governor could answer a list of questions from a State Senator from his own party to resolve this problem? It seems not. One has to ask, why not?

But the key to all this is that Mayor Mike and his cohorts are using the Olympics to justify a boondoggle for the Jets football team. He also wants to be able to blame his opponents in the mayoral election for "losing the Olympics." Despite the fact that this is nonsense, why not cut the legs out from under this bogus Mayoral argument.

If delaying the vote on the stadium beyond the International Olympic Committee (IOC)'s vote on July 6 would jeopardize the city's bid, why not approve it conditionally for the Olympics (if NYC gets the games, it is approved; if it doesn't, which is more likely, then the Jets can high themselves back to New Jersey and Bloomberg can high himself back to his news channel).

Then all the TV commercials now being prepared by the Bloomberg campaign blaming everyone else for "losing the Olympics" can go in the garbage heap of history and we can get back to the real issues of the campaign.

The Beltway bozos

Last night (early this morning) I was channel surfing and accidentally came upon a couple of Fox-"News"-channel clowns who call themselves the "Beltway Boys." Despite being a bit long-in-the-tooth to be called "boys," these bozos seem to think that feeding each other obviously-prepared punch lines about the Democrats (their particular targets seem to currently be Sen. Clinton and Howard Dean) is entertainment. They also seem to think that whatever the right-wing does is cool.
If you think that watching two middle-aged, white, men put everyone to their left down, this is the show for you.

Stop the right-wing judicial power grab

From MoveOn:

"This is it — they've pulled the trigger.

"On Tuesday May 24th, the Senate will vote on a motion to end debate on judicial nominations, and when that motion fails Senator Bill Frist will launch the "nuclear option" — an unprecedented parliamentary maneuver to break the rules of the Senate and seize absolute control over lifetime appointments to the highest courts in the land. The vote is going to be incredibly close, and there are as many as 6 votes still up in the air — more than enough to win. We must act now."

"We have less than 72 hours to stop the radical Republicans from seizing absolute control to stack the courts – including the Supreme Court. We've launched an emergency petition we'll be delivering to congress every three hours until the final vote. Our allies will read your comments on the Senate floor, and every senator will know the American people are standing ready to hold them accountable. Please sign today:

Saturday, May 21, 2005

The boys again. Congratulations! Posted by Hello

The roommates have a post-graduation toast at the bar.  Posted by Hello

The Party was for two houses. All the graduates (appx. clockwise from upper left): Craig Dickman, Katie, Dave aka "dirty," Hort (behind the girls), Steff (black top teal skirt), Beth, Courtney (in pink), Ellis, Ben, Andrew, Big D (green shirt) and Richie (in front)  Posted by Hello

Uncle Joe's welcomes the graduates. Posted by Hello

The graduation party was at Uncle Joe's "The Sports Club," which they were nice enough to close for the afternoon. Of course the boys had spent many nights there during the year. Posted by Hello

Welcome to the party: the cake Posted by Hello

Andrew and his newly graduated roommates: Clockwise from upper left: Big D, Benny, Dirty, Andrew, Ellis and Richie on the front steps of their house. (Craig Dickman not pictured) Posted by Hello

Ann and Andrew back at the house after the graduation before the party. Posted by Hello

Just for the record-the diploma. Posted by Hello

Andrew gets his diploma. That's not an Olympic medal around his neck, it's an Ithaca College medalion each graduate got. They are very heavy. Posted by Hello

Ann and Andrew in front of the fountain after the graduation. Nobody jumped in that day. Posted by Hello

The famous Ithaca College fountain. The graduates jump into it during the week before graduation. It's a tradition.  Posted by Hello

Congratulations! They've graduated. Posted by Hello

That's Andrew- just to the right of the Ithaca College Class of 2005 banner Posted by Hello

The graduates are in their seats Posted by Hello

The graduating class enters the stadium Posted by Hello

Apology to Danielle

Yes you did sign the comment and I apologize for not realizing that. The e-mail notification comes in as "anonymous," so I drew a quick and erronious conclusion. I will be more careful next time.
However, I did not accuse Fulani of anti-semitism. The intent of the post was to point out the stupidity and prejudice of the Brooklyn Council-member. I simply mentioned that she was "accused of being anti-semitic." If she didn't make the original remark or doesn't believe it to reflect her views, she should correct the record. But to draw an equivalence between the genocidal actions of the Israeli leadership and other Zionists toward the Palestinians and Jews as a group is at best ahistorical and ignorant of the differences and at worst anti-semitic. So it would seem as if clarity would serve every honest person more than the current confusion about the statement.
But let's move on.

Friday, May 20, 2005

"Our young girls"

Hey anonymous 2, I didn't notice the description of young women as "'our young girls' as though they are a commodity belonging to these old men."
Thanks for pointing it out.

To Unknown

Hey unknown! I promise more are coming.

Independence (ha!) Party

Hey anonymous.com, when your willing to speak for yourself and not behind the cover of the Independence [sic] Party, we'll talk.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Andrew graduated!


I'm back. Andrew graduated! Photos of the graduation, etc. coming.

This week I'll be busy. But as soon as possible I'll post about our trip to Ithaca and the photos.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Tom Ridge on Bush administration exageration of threat

USA Today reports:

"The Bush administration periodically put the USA on high alert for terrorist attacks even though then-Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge argued there was only flimsy evidence to justify raising the threat level, Ridge now says.

"Ridge, who resigned Feb. 1, said Tuesday that he often disagreed with administration officials who wanted to elevate the threat level to orange, or "high" risk of terrorist attack, but was overruled.

"Ridge said he wanted to "debunk the myth" that his agency was responsible for repeatedly raising the alert under a color-coded system he unveiled in 2002."

(Thanks to Taegan Goddard's Political Wire for directing us to this story)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Community rally against the West Side stadium

Community Rally Against the Stadium!

On Saturday, May 14th, there will be a protest against the West Side Stadium.
(Mayor Bloomberg is pushing for a vote on the stadium in as little as two weeks--so now is the time to get out and show our opposition!)

Rally Against the Stadium!

Saturday, May 14
2:00 PM

McCaffrey Park
43rd St. just east of 9th Ave.

NYC councilmembers begin policy of urging a boycott of anyone who makes a prejudiced remark

Some items in the newspapers just boggle the mind.

According to the N Y Daily News, a Brooklyn councilman, Democrat Lewis Fidler, with 20 colleagues, has introduced a resolution which urges "all public servants of good conscience to disassociate themselves from any public or political endeavors with which [Independence Party leader Lenora Fulani] may be integrally involved." The ostensible reason for this is that she is being accused of being an anti-semite because of her 1995 remark "that Jews are 'mass murderers of people of color.'"

Clearly the real reason for this action on Fidler's part is to embarrass Republican Mayor Bloomberg (something he seems to do quite well with no help) who wouldn't be Mayor with out the votes he received on the Independence Party line.

But without getting into the debate over Ms. Fulani and her party (about which much could be said) this action would lead me to conclude that these same protectors of the sanctity of New York City politics will introduce similar resolutions anytime anyone in public life makes a comment derogating people of color or lesbians or gay men.

Well Mr. Fidler, we'll be watching and we will call upon you to act accordingly.

Upcoming events at the Brecht Forum

Some upcoming events at The Brecht Forum:

The Brecht Forum
451 West St. (Between Bank & Bethune)

Friday, May 13 7:00 pm


Taxi Cabs and Capitalism in NYC

Biju Mathew & Members of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance

Monday, May 23
7:00 pm


Imperialism, Subimperialism & Popular Resistance in South Africa
Patrick Bond & Dennis Brutus

Wednesday, May 25 7:30 pm

Co-sponsor: NY Union for Radical Political Economics

The Social Security "Crisis"

Rolling Back the New Deal

Doug Henwood, Paddy Quick & Mike Whitty

Tuesday, May 31 10:00 am - 5:00 pm


Co-sponsor: Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory


Facilitated by Augusto Boal and Julian Boal
with the assistance of TOPLAB Facilitators
Click here to pay for this workshop on-line

Fire Tom Delay? Or keep him to hang around the Right-wing neck? You decide.

MoveOn.org is urging people to sign a petition to fire Tom Delay.

I'm not sure that he doesn't do us more good hanging around the right-wing neck. After all he's their problem, not ours.

But here are MoveOn's arguments so make your own decision:

"House Republican Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay has a pattern of repeated legal and ethical scandals. Yet he remains in one of the most important positions in our government—deciding what legislation Congress considers. Sign our petition to urge Congress to fire Tom DeLay as Majority Leader. Our goal is to top 500,000 petition signers by the end of the month and deliver these petitions to Republican members of Congress and local Republican Parties during the first week in June.

"Among his offenses, Tom DeLay:

Accepted trips from corporations and later helped kill legislation they opposed
Accepted trips from the lobbyist for a foreign government in violation of House rules
Paid family members more than $500,000 out of campaign contributions
Helped sweatshops in the Mariana Islands at the behest of a lobbyist.
Promised a role in drafting legislation to a corporate donor
Tried to coerce a Congressman for a vote on Medicare
Allegedly used corporate money given to his PAC to finance Texas campaigns in violation of state law
Used Homeland Security resources in a dispute with Democrats in Texas
Diverted funds from a children's charity for lavish celebrations at the Republican convention
Threatened retaliation against interest groups that don't support Republicans
Stacked the House Ethics Committee with representatives who have contributed to his legal defense fund
Crippled the effectiveness of the House Ethics Committee by purging members who had rebuked him
Pushed for a rules change for the House Ethics process that paralyzed the panel
Sought a rule change that would have no longer 'required leaders to step aside temporarily if indicted'"

William Pryor judicial "nightmare"

Americans United urges defeat of William Pryor for a federal appeals court seat:

"Americans United for Separation of Church and State today urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote against the confirmation of former Alabama Attorney General William Pryor to a federal appeals court seat.

"'Time and again, William Pryor has expressed disdain for the First Amendment principle of church-state separation,' said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. 'Pryor's battle against the church-state wall and other fundamental rights makes him a profoundly poor choice for an appointment to the federal appeals court bench.'

"'William Pryor may be the Religious Right's dream nominee, but he's everyone else's nightmare,' Lynn said. 'The Judiciary Committee should reject his nomination.'"

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

AOL: right-wing tool?

When I put in "Kansas: Evolution v. creationism" to the AOL search engine, these are the primary responses I got:

"Creationism: Did God create in 6 days? Consider liberal & non-liberal views.
Creationism v. evolution: Published scientific evidence for creation. It's never been refuted.
Creationism v. evolution: Read Bishop Spong's latest insights into Christianity's modern issues.
Proof of creationism: Science authenticating Bible detail, live chat and discussion boards."

So we know which side AOL is on. But they could be a little less obvious. Or maybe not.

Scopes II: This time the circus is in Kansas

Pat Hayes comments on the Kansas circus:

"Yes, Phineas Taylor Barnum would be green with envy. The master of the hoodwink would be in awe of the Religious Right were he alive today... this evangelical movement is flexing its muscle, and flashing its propagandistic cunning, as it soaks up the spotlight of national media attention in Topeka"

"Ringling Brothers could not rival the hype of the circus of events
dubbed 'Scopes II.' Led by its three 'ringmasters' (Kathy Martin, Steve Abrams, and Connie Morris), the Kansas State School Board has once again put the theory of Evolution on trial. Despite the lack of testimony from a single member of the established, mainstream scientific community, 'the show must go on' as the board 'proves' that Evolution is dubious at best. The purpose of this extravaganza is to 'validate' the new science standards they desperately want to implement, and they are determined to 'bring home the win' this time."

What more can we say? It's going to be a long-hard-struggle. But we have to start someplace. Right now, Kansas and Texas are the battlegrounds.

The PBS "witch hunt"

Public Television is under attack again from the extreme right for its "liberal bias."

"Amid a flurry of high-profile personnel changes, suppressed polling data, revised journalism guidelines, new oversight ground rules and deep suspicion, the CPB board -- once again under the control of White House-friendly Republicans -- and PBS are battling each other over content and allegations of PBS's liberal bias. The brawl is shaping up to make the Nixon-era dust-up seem tame by comparison: This weekend one PBS station manager dubbed CPB's crusade for 'balance' a 'witch hunt.'"

The cowardly leadership of public television will hardly stand up to this right-wing barrage, they've already fired Bill Moyers to save their asses, but, just like in Texas and Kansas, we have to face off against these people wherever and whenever they crawl out from under a rock.

We are dealing with an overall war against any progressive advance. The right-wing is on the march and they are taking no prisoners. We either stand up against this onslaught wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head or we lose.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Pablo Paredes faces court martial My 11

Chelsea Neighbors Against the War sends this along:

Only 62 hours left before court martial begins...
Please Tell Others now!

Pablo Paredes faces Court Martial on May 11th.

On December 6, 2004 Pablo Paredes reported to the 32nd Street Naval Station in San Diego and refused to board the ship in protest of the current US war. He reported to the pier wearing civilian clothing and a T-shirt that read: "Like a cabinet member, I resign." "I just want people to know how many Americans feel about the war"
Pablo explained "...it's not just a few crazy liberals trying to get the attention of the media." While the Navy officers on hand did try to persuade him to board the ship and cease protest; Pablo maintained his position and did not board the ship.

The Nation Institute: The Liberal Media on the Future of Liberalism

This is from "Altercation" (Eric Alterman's blog):

Alter-announcement: This was rescheduled, but here it is:

The Nation Institute presents: “The Liberal Media on The Future of Liberalism.”

Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation
Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect
Paul Glastris, The Washington Monthly
Moderated by Eric Alterman, "The Liberal Media" columnist for The Nation

This is part of Conversations with The Nation series, co-sponsored by
The New School. Monday, June 6, 6:30 - 8 PM, Tishman Auditorium,
66 W. 12th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)

Admission: $10/students free
For reservations, go to TicketWeb.com or call 866-468-7619
This event may be televised. Seating cannot be guaranteed after 6:30 PM.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Texas Taliban strike again: Cheerleading bill would outlaw suggestive moves

The Texas House passed a bill this week "that would outlaw any move considered to be sexually suggestive or provocative." according to News 8 Austin.

"Before the bill got to the House floor [and passed 65-56] many members considered it a joke."

"But it turns out [bill sponsor Rep. Al] Edwards D-Houston] is serious."

"'we see... more of our young girls being pregnant in middle and high schools, dropping out of school, having babies, and contracting AIDS and herpes,'He said

Some of the Texas Reps have, however, retained their sanity:

"I don't know how this bill got to the floor. It's a stupid! and it's insulting. It's insulting to this body and insulting to the people of the state of Texas for us to be taking the time up here on this kind of horseplay," Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, said.

"This House has better things to do that [sic] to be hearing a bill of this nature because, I think, morality comes in the home and at the church and not here," Rep. Paul C. Moreno, D-El Paso said.

[Thanks to Wonkette for the link to News 8]

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The TV networks fight back, a little

According to "Broadcasting & Cable," an industry publication:

"The parents of three of the 'Big Four' networks -- NBC, Fox and CBS -- have funded a coalition, TV Watch, to push parental content controls over the government crackdown on indecency."

"The coalition said it will push parental controls and personal responsibility over government regulation, either of broadcast or cable, adding that a poll it conducted showed that the vast majority of people would rather occasionally see something that offends them than have the government 'crowding out their personal responsibility and personal choices.'"

"One of the groups the coalition is up against is the Parent's Television Council, which has inundated the FCC with complaints over Janet Jackson and others.

"PTC President Brent Bozell dismissed the coalition as a network-bought hired gun that he says includes groups--he singled out the American Conservative Union and Americans for Tax Reform--that have 'never given a moment's thought to the suffocating sewage coming form the entertainment industry.'"

At one level, I can't help thinking: "well let them knock each other off." But I can't help also hoping that this is an indication of some (tiny as it is) network resistance to the PTC-owned-and-operated FCC. It will be interesting to see how this all shapes the fall schedules to be announced by the networks in two weeks. After all profits are the networks bottom line and there's money in those "Desperate housewives."

Interesting. Interesting.

(Thanks to Wonkette for pointing us toward this possibly significant development)