zabouti's blog

"Still think you can control them?"

Poet Scott Huler has written an op-ed in the News & Observer that starts with the most terrifying scene in Cabaret, the one where people get up and sing. That scene has been stuck in my head for years and won't leave. It's there whenever "patriotism" becomes intense.

You need to read it.

Once again conservatives increase government power

The Supreme Court decided this week that police have the right to take DNA swabs from the cheeks of people who have been arrested. Not convicted - arrested. As in not proven guilty. Link to story.

I've said for a long time that we Democrats and members of the ACLU are today's true conservatives. The only Supreme Court justice who fooled me this time was Antonin Scalia. All the other so-called "conservatives" voted on the side of increased police powers - typical of today's "conservatives".

Suppressing voting rights: "rough justice"?

At Talking About Politics Carter Wrenn writes a story that turns the question of our fundamental right to vote in North Carolina into just a sort of fun conflict between Democrats and Republicans.

1. I wonder if this is how people like Wrenn persuade themselves that what they are doing is not morally wrong? His story is fascinating as a clue to the mentality of these awful people: maybe this is the kind of story they tell themselves during quiet moments in church.

2. By telling this as a story, Wrenn tries to obscure the obvious question: if making it easier to vote got Republicans elected in 2010 and 2012, why are they making it harder for people to vote? Shucks, can't you people see that it's just a kind of "rough justice"?

The reason that Republicans want to suppress the vote, of course, is that in the long run the easier it is for people to vote (especially in ungerrymandered districts), the more Democrats will tend to be elected.

3. Wrenn even points to a strategy that we liberals have simply got to use: "[Repubicans] proposed laws to make it tougher for college students to vote and to make absentee voting easier (since Republicans vote more often by absentee than Democrats)."

That's right: we need to encourage our supporters to vote absentee, especially if they can't afford the time and money to get a birth certificate, wait in long lines on work days, travel to their parents' county to vote, etc.

Mitt Romney supported the Individual Mandate for Romneycare

There’s an interesting discussion going on over at Reddit, where they’re discussing a WSJ Article entitled Romney Emails on Massachusetts Health-Care Law. The folks on Reddit spend some time discussion whether the emails were obtained by “hacking” - it doesn’t look that way - but there is also some fairly good political discussion.

Remember when Republicans complained about "technicalities"??

I remember when so-called "conservatives" constantly complained that courts were letting people off because of "legal technicalities" - you know, little things like the fact that a person wasn't read their rights, or the police broke into a house without a warrant or the police falsified evidence - you know, little, teeny technicalities that just don't really matter, right?

Blue, yellow, red

I got into a short exchange on Google+ with someone who says she's from another country - I don't know which. She said she was trying to understand the terms "yellow dog" and "blue dog".

I made the mistake of trying to figure it out:

Perdue of no use to citizens: fails to veto NC Broadband bill

Gov Perdue has drunk Time Warner's kool-aid and says she will not veto H129, a bill forbidding government bodies in NC from creating our own Broadband networks. Now there will be even less competition to stimulate some improvements in our telecom infrastructure.

Might as well have a Republican governor. Clearly what matters is the legislature.

Where was the Tea Party today in Raleigh?

I went to the rally in Raleigh in support of the Wisconsin protesters. There were a bunch of counter protesters across the street with their signs swearing fealty to the rich and their corporations and opposing a good life for workers. I expected all that, but I also expected some notion of Constitutional rights - don't the Tea Baggers claim to support the 1st Amendment and all that?

But no - not only did they try to drown out our speakers with their speakers but - and I really found that offensive - they sometimes simply broadcast pure noise, no words, just noise - in an attempt to suppress our free speech.

Why am I not surprised?

So-called conservatives

There's a new Fourth Amendment case before the Supreme Court (link). In brief, the police forced their way into an apartment because "they smelled burning marijuana" [good reporting would say "they said they smelled..."].

What really angers me is that I know exactly how the so-called "conservative" justices on the court will rule. The great defenders of the Constitution, the great Tea Party favorites, Scalia and Thomas will side with the police. Yes, they will side with the government. It's always this way with these people: that's why I use the phrase "so-called", because they simply do not believe in limited government power. Thank God to Kagen and Sotomayor for standing up against this attack on our Bill of Rights.

Smear campaign against Bill Faison?

I've just begun following a new blog seemingly obcessed with the NCDP. Recently it has begun attacking Bill Faison, who is running against David Parker to become the new party chair.

Curious to the identity of the person(s) behind this blog (I think I know who it is except that the blog is written better than his emails, so I'm not sure), I asked on Twitter. Here's the snarky, non-answer. Interestingly my profile image was hacked between the time I asked and got the answer:

Gotta love transparency.

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