THE DRESDEN FILES Reading Challenge

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Saturday, September 24, 2011


When I first started this series, I really didn’t think that it would go so long. Having said that, I’ll say this: There seem to be more and more weasels each and every day. Maybe they’re just more of them coming out of the woodwork, or maybe there really ARE this many weasels. Be that as it may, here’s my list of weasels for the past week.

WEASEL OF THE WEEK, #1: John “CRYBAAABY” Boehner. This is a man who is the visible “leader” of the Republicans, ReThugs and TeaPartiers in the House. This is also the man who hasn’t got either the balls or the mandate to keep said members of his caucuses and party in line to vote as he’s told them to. Case in point: The refinancing of FEMA. No cuts elsewhere, NO FEMA funds for those who are STILL struggling to rebuild their communities, INCLUDING Katrina holdovers. Surely do hope that none of his constituents ever need FEMA.

WEASEL OF THE WEEK, #2: Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. He’s really GOOD at placing blame and pointing fingers, not so good at networking to make things better. ‘nuff said.

WEASEL OF THE WEEK, #3: Representative Ron Paul. He’s been my rep ever since he was first elected, and I would never have thought that he would turn out to be a person that is also a Practical Darwinist. Darwinism is the moral basis of a backward society. Practical Darwinism proposes that families, clans, and tribes form tight little groups with little interest in the public welfare. They distribute public assets among themselves, so public assets are minimal and poorly maintained, as far as the general public is concerned. Or, in other words: If there’s a disaster of any sort, send no help. If people are dying or hurt, don’t help them at all – let them live or die without aid. NO Social Security, NO Medicare or Medicaid, NO social programs at all – let ‘em live or die without help of any sort.

WEASEL OF THE MONTH, #1: GovGoodHair in both of the debates and in his public speaking between them. Here is a man that has some great ideas, like the Texas Dream Act, and some terrible ones, like legally by fiat forcing girls to take a vaccine to prevent the HPV virus. Here is a college-educated man, who says out loud that education doesn’t matter, and that our state’s abysmal record regarding the high-school dropout rate is OK. Here is a man who, on the one hand, calls for the abolishment of Social Security and Medicare, saying that they are Ponzi schemes and unconstitutional, and on the other hand, says that the two programs are going to be kept intact AS THEY ARE if he’s nominated/elected. If you’re scratching your head in confusion, you are NOT alone.

WEASEL OF THE MONTH, #2: Rick “The queers should all DIE!” Santorum. Don’t guess that I need to educate y’all on what Dan Savage has had to say about this weasel, or the nasty nickname that has been set about on Mr. Santorum. Look it up for yourselves. In the debate on Thursday, a gay soldier asked a very pertinent question regarding the repeal of DADT, to wit, if any of the candidates are nominated and elected, are they going to find ways to circumvent DADT and if so, why. The question was addressed to Mr. Santorum, and I honestly expected him to start foaming at the mouth, he was so angry. "Removing 'don't ask, don't tell' I think tries to inject social policy into the military," Santorum said during Thursday night's Republican presidential primary debate, in response to a question from Stephen Hill, who is a gay soldier currently serving in Iraq. Rick Santorum is so blinded by his anti-gay bigotry that he couldn't even bring himself to thank that gay soldier for his service.

WEASEL(S) OF THE YEAR, #1: ALL of the folks that were up on that stage on Thursday night, who HEARD the boos at that soldier, and who said NOTHING. Only two of the candidate wannbes even admitted to hearing anything, and the most that the two of them said was that the booing was “unfortunate”. SHAME ON YOU ALL.

WEASEL OF THE YEAR, (S) #2: ALL of the folks in the audience of both debates. ALL OF THEM. Between cheering GovGoodHair’s execution record – which makes him the most prolific serial killer in modern history -, Rep. Ron Paul’s assertion that a 30 year old that was on life support should be disconnected and allowed to die because there’s no insurance to take care of him, and booing a soldier who is on active duty because he’s gay, neither one of the audiences should be proud of themselves. AT ALL.

Gonna be interested, gangers. Wonder when those blood-lusting jerks are going to start practicing what they seem to love so much?

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I used to be a very strong advocate of capitol punishment. Yup, you heard that right, gangers: Ms. Liberal here, was a strong advocate of “Kill ‘em all and let THEIR version of god sort ‘em out.” Two words changed that for me, a bit ago: Clarence Brandley. He was the black janitor that was wrongfully convicted of the rape/murder of a 16 year old high school student in Conroe, back in 1980. Incidentally, he was the ONLY African-American janitor in the high school. Suspicion immediately fell on two of the custodians, Brandley and Henry (Icky) Peace, who had found the body. During their joint interrogation — as Peace would recount — Texas Ranger Wesley Styles told them, “One of you is going to have to hang for this” and then, turning to Brandley, added, “Since you’re the “n(word)”, you’re elected.” Nope, not much racism in Texas in the 1980s, nope, no SIRREE! You can read more about Mr. Brandley here:

Now I’ve got another name to add to this tale of horror: Troy Davis. ( He was put to death yesterday after SCOTUS refused, unanimously, to issue a stay of execution.

Well, I can hear y’all saying, but he had a fair trial, didn’t he, and the law of the land was upheld and justice was served, wasn’t it?

Nope. Sorry, but no.

What this entire discourse eventually boils down to, and depends on, is your version of so-called “christian” covenants, and which covenant you follow in your life. The Old Covenant states quite clearly, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and a life for a life.” The New Covenant states just as clearly, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Take a look at Matthew 19:18, where Jesus states, again, quite clearly, “Don’t commit murder.” Precisely, from the King James version, “He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.”

And there you have it. There are other places in the Bible – in the OLD TESTAMENT – where murder is exhorted against. Including, might I add, the 10 Commandments.

Murder is murder is MURDER, and murder is wrong. Death itself robs us of our loved ones, both human and animal. Death attends and woos us every day while we live. Death takes all – the brave, the cowardly, saints, sinners – ALL, and Death comes to us all whether we like it or not – and MOST of us DON’T, myself included. Murder is even worse. Murder de-humanizes both the victim and the perpetrator. Murder robs us of our loved ones before their allotted time is finished. Murder reminds us that there are, still, amoral and uncaring animals in our midst that are pretending to be as human as we are – and that they will always be with us. Murder is murder is MURDER – and we do not have the right to kill.

OK. So? What do we do with these animals? Well, they’re rabid dogs, and we kill rabid dogs, right? OF COURSE we do. THEY don’t know any better, and their sickness will kill, so we kill them first - quickly, quietly, humanely. Unfortunately, this is an argument that doesn’t translate to humankind. We are not animals, to destroy those among us that are sick. We must try to heal that sickness if we can – and if we can’t, then it’s up to us to be sure that this sickness doesn’t get out to infect the rest of us.

Capital punishment, dress it in whatever language that we will, is still an act of murder. It is the state – which includes, dear reader, you and I – rather than an individual doing the killing, but it is STILL murder. “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life” is pretty plainly stated in the Bible, and that is what gives the state the moral sanction to COMMIT murder, no matter how quietly, and no matter how humanely. This is wrong. There is no difference between the acts of politically sanctioned murder, such as war, state sanctioned murder such as the death penalty, or individually performed murders committed by thugs.

Many, MANY people die that deserve to live, and if we cannot give back to them what was taken from them, then we have no right, no ethical mandate, and no moral reason to take life from anyone else regardless of what they might have done – or did do – to deserve it. I pity the McPhail family with my whole heart. They lost a beloved son, in the worst possible way. They’ve been waiting 20 years for this moment, and now they’ve gotten it. I pity the Davis family with my whole heart as well. They’ve been dreading this moment for the last 20 years, and now they too have lost a beloved son, in the worst possible way.

It’s time, and long PAST time, to be rid of the death penalty. It’s not a deterrent, except to the person who is murdered at the state’s will, and it basically solves nothing. IF we are to present ourselves to the rest of the civilized world as civilized, then we need to be rid of it. Governor Rick Perry was applauded at the first Republican Debate in the Reagan library because he’s signed 235 death warrants over the course of his tenure as governor of the state of Texas. To me, at least, that’s a shameful, tragic thing to be cheered.

We need to be rid of this shameful act of revenge. NOW.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I sat up tonight for a couple of reasons. One, I hurt my back lying in the front yard while the blessed, BLESSED rain fell in Houston. NOT a drought buster, but more rain than we’ve seen at one time since January 24th of this year. I keep forgetting that I’m an old fat woman who has a difficult time getting up without the help of a heavy-duty crane, or WonderWife (who was at work at the time), so I wrenched my STUPID back and had to crawl on my hands and knees to the pecan tree and pull myself up. By myself. OOOOWWWWIIIIEEEE. Maybe I should keep the heavy-duty crane on retainer for the times that I feel like – and pull – dumb stunts like that one.

The second reason was a bit more personal and deserved commemoration and celebration, even if I was the only one that was celebrating. At midnight, the repeal of DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL went into effect. It doesn’t sound like much, does it? Repealing a stupid, senselessly cruel law that has resulted in a great number of good Americans being dismissed from serving the country that they love simply because an accident of biology made them into what they were: gay. That being gay, or GLBT, is not something that they chose and should not have disqualified them from service. This is the great sin that then-President Clinton committed; basically, as President Obama has been forced to do by an intransigent political party, then-President Clinton made a compromise that was wicked and a betrayal of everything that he’d promised the GLBT community.

If you were gay, you could serve if, and only if, you were celibate and you stayed away from your fellow GLBTers. I don’t think that I need to enumerate the suffering that this caused over the years. I don’t think that I need to repeat the horrors that the GLBT service members went through, from sly, nasty jokes about “those queers”. I also don’t think that I need to tell anyone who has more than 3 functioning brain cells just how awful it’s been lately, either. People being outed and ousted from service, never MIND that their fellow soldiers/sailors/airmen and women knew and basically didn’t give a damn about their sexual orientation. People like Lt. Dan Cho, and Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach.

Supporters of repeal compare it to the racial de-segregation of troops more than 60 years ago. Desegregating the troops after WWII probably cost then-President Truman the election – but he did it, the world did NOT end, and that was pretty much the end of the matter. He did it by executive order, too. President Obama opted for the legal repeal, and, while I didn’t like it then and still don’t like it now, he was right to do it the way that he did. This way, it will have to be re-introduced, IF the ReThugs and their contemptible fellow travelers, the TeaPartiers, are ever stupid enough to try.

"We're Gay. Get Over it," stated the cover page of the Marine Corps Times distributed to bases worldwide a week ahead of Tuesday's repeal. In San Diego, about 200 active-duty personnel — both gay and heterosexual — made up the nation's first military contingency to participate in a Gay Pride march this summer, carrying banners identifying their branches of service. An Army soldier was in tears, saying she was touched by the thousands cheering them on, after hiding her identity for so long. The headline offended some, but for many troops it echoed their sentiment that repeal is a non-issue for a military that operates by following orders and is busy at war. That sentiment is backed by Pentagon officials who say they have found no evidence the repeal so far has disrupted forces or harmed unit cohesion as predicted by opponents.

At least 100,000 GLBT service members have been discharged for being gay, beginning with WWII and continuing until today. That’s an awful lot of people whose only crime was their sexual orientation. While there a just a WHOLE lot of reasons to condemn the Clinton Administration for failure to correct this, the belief that Clinton could have won a showdown with Congress over creating the policy is nonsense. Then-President Clinton was stopped dead in his tracks by – you guessed it – POLITICS. THANK you, Sam Nunn, I DON’T think. Similarly, the belief that DADT was, in itself, worse than preceding antigay military policies is willful, stupid ignorance. Yes, it was bad. Is bad. There were far more egregious policies in place that did a lot more harm than DADT. However, please remember that the larger point will still remain that any form of limitation on the admission and retention of out GLBT service members in the military will be abused for the same reasons they were a decade ago as reported by SLDN: institutional homophobia. Just like statistics on gay bashing in the civilian community, expression of it can ebb and flow whenever the amount of public discussion of gay equality does.

Eventually, guess what? It will cease being a topic of conversation of any importance. After all, Great Britain got rid of their version of DADT – and guess what happened? The world didn’t end. NOBODY CARED, and less than 1% of the on-duty people quit the military over having to shower with a bunch of gay dudes and women.

I did live long enough to see it, after all. I seem to be saying that a lot lately, don’t I? Isn’t it WONDERFUL?