Saturday, August 26, 2006


Let this be inspiration for Laura's visit to the Tri-Cities on Wednesday. Let's make sure that both her and her guud buddy MacGavick know that the days of them and their kind are numbered in this country.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Cracks in the Wall

Over at Orcinus guest blogger Sara Robinson has an excellent series of posts on how to make headway with the Right Wing Authoritarian types. Great stuff for us progressives who find ourselves outnumbered in an RWA-dominated locale.

Immigration and Illegal Aliens

I think most people talking about illegal immigration are talking in the wrong direction. Instead of trying to make illegal immigration harder, I think we should make legal immigration easier. Nothing is going to stop the flood. We should expand our quotas exponentially and give legal status to all these folks. Get them on the tax rolls. Provide them equal protection under the law. Get them out of the hidden economy. Let's move from a state of denial into a process of developing productive citizens.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Say it Loud, Say it Often,

Larry Beinhart makes the point that Republicans are bad on national security. That's a campaign point that every Democratic congressional challenger should be able to take to the bank.

1. 9/11 happened on their watch.

2. George Bush and the Republicans failed to get Osama bin Laden.

3. George Bush and the Republicans gave Osama bin Laden what he wanted.

4. George Bush and the Republicans squandered America's power and prestige.

5. The Bush administration empowered Hezbollah.

6. The Bush administration radicalized Hamas.

7. Bush and the Republicans tied down our forces in Iraq while Iran and North Korea invested in nuclear technology.

8. By the way, every major European nation has had successful arrests and real trials of real, dangerous terrorists. People on the level of this group that the British just took down.

9. We have trashed the bill of rights. We have trashed the Geneva conventions. We have a president and a vice president willing to go the mat to fight for the right to torture people. We have spent a fortune on illegal wiretaps. We have spent a fortune on collecting everyone's telephone data.

Good Governance

Government like all human institutions is imperfect. The best way we have found to deal with this inherent imperfection is with systems of checks and balances. Our system of three branches of government works because when any one of the branches assumes two much power, the other two can join forces and bring limits to that power. This breaks down when any of the branches foregoes its independence in deference to one of the other branches. It behooves us as citizens to use our votes and our influence to keep the branches in balance. Whenever the balance is disrupted we must act to restore it. In today’s government all three branches have become complicit. We must not waste any time in restoring the constructive balance that needs to be there.


We need to recognize that the marketplace is not the answer to all our distribution problems. There are some basic areas of infrastructure that work better if they are under centralized regulation. These include basic services such as utilities, roads, and healthcare. We should also recognize that the line between properly regulated activities and marketplace activities is a fluid one. Communications and transportation benefit from a regulated framework but they also benefit from the experimentation and innovation that a marketplace provides. But let us not be afraid to impose regulation where it is appropriate and relax it where it is advantageous to society at large.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Cheney Weighs In

Just in case there is any doubt that Cheney has completely lost it, he takes the occasion of Lieberman's defeat as an opportunity to claim that it helps Al Qaeda. Fool. And the invasion of Iraq wasn't the best thing that ever happened to bin Laden's cause.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Deep-sea Sediments Could Safely Store Man-made Carbon Dioxide

A study shows that it may be possible to sequester CO2 indefinitely. They also say the capacity is practically infinite.

Goo Converts Deadly Heavy Metal Into Less Threatening Nano-spheres

My local PNNL identifies a bacterium that converts soluble uranium into much less soluble uranium dioxide.

Abortion Rights

Unless we are willing to prosecute abortion providers as murderers, women seeking abortions as accessories to murder, and women who unknowingly expel fertilized eggs as guilty of manslaughter, we need to acknowledge that a fetus is different under the law than a person. Practically speaking, the key distinction for a fetus is whether it is wanted by its parents. Whether a fetus is terminated or not should be left up to the parents and government should stay out of that decision.


As a part of our response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 we have taken leave of our good sense in the treatment of prisoners.

Members of our government at the highest levels may deserve to be prosecuted as war criminals.

By eschewing the Geneva Convention we have forsaken any moral high ground and debased ourselves to the level of any two-bit tin-pot dictator. By doing so we have given the opposition political cover for its mistreatment of their prisoners.

We need to charge people for whom we have a case and free those for whom we don’t. And we should never, never get suckered into such behavior again.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Civil Rights

It’s time to stop limiting the civil rights of people simply because they are different than the mainstream. We can better address destructive behavior by ceasing to worry about behavior and tastes that just don’t matter that much. Differences like gender, race, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation just don’t matter. It hurts the fabric of our society to restrict the civil rights and protection of good people for no good reason. These civil rights include the right to vote, to hold a job, to be free from harassment, to associate together, and even to form a family unit.

Moreover we need to recognize the pathology of prejudice for what it is. Those who are afflicted with it need to be taken out of power as much as possible. The quality of civil life for everyone will be commensurately improved thereby.


It’s time to get religion out of the business of public government. Our government needs to be less moral and more pragmatic. It is the nature of religion to call for faith. But faith is no way to run a public government that affects all people. No religion has the market cornered on wisdom. We must accept that government is a human institution that is fraught with the imperfections of all human institutions. Historically these imperfections have been dealt with by building in checks-and-balances. Governing from a religious perspective is built on the illusion that some wisdom is divine in origin and not subject to restriction or question. This inevitably leads to some disaster or another. If we are going to make mistakes at least let us claim them as our own mistakes and not shift blame to the gods.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

An Unapologetic Democratic Manifesto - healthcare

We need to recognize that good health and access to medical care is a common right of every member of our society, not just those with the wherewithal to pay for medical insurance. We will better progress as a society if we can remove the shadow of medical disaster from the lives of our most vulnerable citizens. Other countries have already proven that this is not only possible but having done it they have placed themselves at an economic advantage in the global marketplace.

An Unapologetic Democratic Manifesto - environment

It’s time to face up to the fact that effects of human activity are now strong enough to affect the global climate. We need to take real steps to mitigate that. We need to behave as if failure to act now deprives subsequent generations of a future, because it does. Unless we want environmental disasters to become a way of life we need to do something to lessen our effects of our footprint on this planet. If we don’t the planet will do it for use and we like that even less than what we do ourselves.