mousemusings...multimedia, music, progressive politics, video, web design and general rants
Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
~Kurt Vonnegut
Sunday, October 22, 2006

No Time To Wallow In the (Quag)mire


Come on baby, light my fire
Come on baby, light my fire
Try to set the night on fire

The time to hesitate is through
No time to wallow in the mire
Try now we can only lose
And our love become a funeral pyre

The love affair between the Republican party and the has done exactly that. They did not hesitate. They tried. They lost. And now there is a funeral pyre. Except the fire is not here in the USA; it is in Iraq. They ended up wallowing in the mire, after all, and they've dragged the rest of us along.

For a multimedia introduction to PNAC, you might want to view this flash animation (2.7MB) at the .
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Monday, October 16, 2006

How is Rupert Murdoch Like Dennis Hastert?

Answer: They both look the other way.

A recent article in Wired details how Kevin Poulsen caught a registered sex offender by scanning MySpace profiles.

MySpace Predator Caught by Code

...I've been invited here to witness the end-game of a police investigation that grew from 1,000 lines of computer code I wrote and executed some five months earlier. The automated script searched MySpace's 1 million-plus profiles for registered sex offenders -- and soon found one that was back on the prowl for seriously underage boys.

That's something that MySpace has said it cannot do...

This is reminiscent of another recent story about :

Ex-Aide to Foley Testifies on Warning

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 — A longtime aide to former Representative Mark Foley testified before the House ethics committee for nearly five hours on Thursday, repeating under oath his account of having explicitly warned Speaker J. Dennis Hastert’s office at least three years ago that Mr. Foley should be told to keep his distance from Congressional pages.

The aide, Kirk Fordham, was the first sworn witness to appear before the bipartisan ethics panel, which is investigating whether any Republican leaders knew about Mr. Foley’s conduct, which was ultimately exposed in a series of sexually explicit exchanges with former pages, and whether anything was done about it...

So social responsibility is not a family value?
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

ID Defeated in Michigan

An initiative to introduce the teaching of Intelligent Design in Michigan schools suffered a setback today. The state Congress was supposed to issue new curriculum guidelines recently. In September, the guidelines were delayed. Nobody knew for sure how it would turn out. There was concern that Republican legislators were trying to introduce ID content. As mentioned the The Detroit Free Press:

Critics of the delayed vote, including a representative from the American Civil Liberties Union, said some Republican lawmakers are trying to weaken state standards to allow some instruction about intelligent design in science classes.
Intelligent design's proponents hold that living organisms are so complex they must have been created by a higher force rather than evolving from more primitive forms. Some want science teachers to teach that Darwin's theory of evolution is not a fact and has gaps.

Shelli Weisberg, ACLU of Michigan legislative director, urged the state board to adopt the science curriculum as recommended Tuesday, rather than grant the delay.

The Republican candidate for governor, Dick "Pyramid" DeVos, made headlines when he openly advocated for the inclusion of ID content.

Now, Michigan lawmakers have gone ahead with the vote, and it turns out that the final standards leave no room for ID. Again, from the Free Press:

The State Board of Education on Tuesday approved public school curriculum guidelines that support the teaching of evolution in science classes — but not intelligent design.

Intelligent design instruction could be left for other classes in Michigan schools. But it shouldn’t have a home in science class, based on the unanimously adopted guidelines.

One wonders what was truly behind the delay. Did they need more time to assess the political implications? Did the people of Michigan make it clear that they would no support lawmakers who voted for lousy education? Were legislators afraid to galvanize voters, possibly increasing turnout of progressives and intellectuals? Whatever the case, it is a small victory.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |

Sunday, October 01, 2006

DeVos Contributed to Dominionists...

...Except I think it was a different DeVos. As linked by , the irascibly analytical frontman for the , Rolling Stone has an article that states:

...The godfather of the Dominionists is D. James Kennedy [link added], the most influential evangelical you've never heard of...

...While the dominionists rely on grass-roots activists to fight their battles, they are backed by some of America's richest entrepreneurs. Amway founder Rich DeVos, a Kennedy ally who's the leading Republican contender for governor of Michigan, has tossed more than $5 million into the collection plate...

The thing is, there are two Richard Devos's. The older one goes by "Rich DeVos;" his son goes by "Dick DeVos."

So I think Rolling Stone got it wrong. I guess I cannot be sure, since it is possible that the Rich-Dick distinction has led to confusion more than once. The DeVos who contributed to the Dominionists probably was the older one, whereas it is the younger one who is running for governor of Michigan.

Why is this important? Dominionists openly advocate for a theocratic government in the United States. D. James Kennedy, in particular, is quoted as having said:

  • "Our job is to reclaim America for Christ, whatever the cost. As the vice regents of God, we are to exercise godly dominion and influence over our neighborhoods, our schools, our government, our literature and arts, our sports arenas, our entertainment media, our news media, our scientific endeavors -- in short, over every aspect and institution of human society."[7]
  • "The Christian community has a golden opportunity to train an army of dedicated teachers who can invade the public school classrooms and use them to influence the nation for Christ."[8]

It would be highly alarming to have a supporter of such a person running for a high government office. Of course, it is only slightly less alarming to have his son running for office. Although I appreciate every opportunity to cast aspersions on Dick DeVos, I think it is better to be clear about who has done what. We already know about Dick's desire to push Intelligent Design/Creationism in the classroom, so it is likely that he shares some of the Dominionist values. But I cannot say that he would go so far as to support Christian Reconstructionism.

Fortunately, we do not need a direct connection to Dominionists in order to disparage Dick DeVos. According to the Macomb Daily News:

...DeVos repeatedly points to his business experience, and says he will use that knowledge to run state government like a business...

But what kind of business does he run? As described in the Wikipedia article about him:

In 2000, DeVos oversaw a corporate restructuring that created Alticor, the new parent company of predecessor Amway, as well as subsidiary companies Access Business Group, and Quixtar. Under DeVos, Alticor expanded operations to more than 50 countries and territories on six continents. Over 1,300 Michigan workers were put out of work during this restructuring. Although more then 400 of these jobs were from buy outs and early retirement.[3] Amway was sanctioned in a 1979 ruling, although Amway has not been charged by the Federal Trade Commission for pyramid scheme violations.[4] However, the FTC now requires that Amway and Quixtar publish an SA4400, which reveals that more than 99% of all distributors lose money each year. [5]

It is one of those businesses where literally all the profit goes to the top 1%. Everyone else gets the shaft. Our government is already moving in that direction. We hardly need to encourage them.
posted by : Joseph j7uy5 | link |   | |


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