Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The 1/2 Kracked Kup: GOVERNOR GIRLIEMAN GOVERNOR panders to the Religious Reich!

California’s Legislature makes history
California’s Governor vetoes it and
Tries to pretend it isn’t breaking

His promise. **sigh**
Do we all really look THAT stupid?

Today something truly unique happened in California, they passed a law making it legal for gays to marry. But that’s not the truly unique thing... What makes this truly unique is that California’s legislature is the very first one to do it without having been ordered by a court to do so! Sure, California’s high court did rule that California’s ban on same sex marriage violated California’s State Constitution, but the judge said he would wait a good long while before forcing the lawmakers to act on his ruling. Well before that time was up the passed today’s land mark bill, and even before the ink was dry on the Assemblymen’s signatures he vetoed it!

Now here’s the thing about that veto. Governor Girlieman said that he would not stand in the way of a gay marriage bill, when he needed OUR VOTED to get elected. More recently Governor Kindergarten-Kop said that only a vote by the people OR a decision ruled on by the court allowing gay marriage was allowable. HELLO GOVERNOR SHULTZ! THE COURTS HAVE BLOODY RULED IT ALREADY YOU STUPID AUS-NAZI-TRIAN BOZO! What the hell does he need? Oh wait, we KNOW what he needs. He needs a guarantee that the Religious Reich won’t run someone else against him. Seems the guy who SWORE he was just in it for the one term...just to “fix thing up”...has decided that the LIKES it in Sacramento.  Well, he AIN’T be the first one...and he sure as hell won’t be the last... But what he can’t seem to see is that with his numbers from the last 10 months, and the way they are going, THERE AIN’T NO WAY IN HELL HE COULD GET ELECTED DOG CATCHER! Just wait and watch... I don’t think even he has enough money to buy another term.

That’s my opinion and you’re welcome to it!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

1/2 Kracked Kup: Those Swingin' Cats in America!

As the pendulum swings back
America slowly wakes up...

Sooner or later the pendulum had to begin swinging back the other way. I’ve been saying for some time now that it had to come sooner than later otherwise we were going to find ourselves on the wrong end of a right wing dictatorship. Well, according to the latest Pew Research Center for People & the Press/Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life poll (story appended to end *1) we are seeing the first stirrings of the move away from the strong public support of the far right’s policies. The American people are finally beginning to notice that everything that was promised to them by the GOP (once initials for the “Grand Old Party”, now it’s more like the “God Only Party”) not only hasn’t come through, but if anything it’s been the opposite of what was promised that’s been rammed down our throats. We Americans may be a bit slow to react as a whole, but there is only so long we’ll take being lied to... and when that point has been reached we tend to overthrow some people’s apple carts, and often those folks are the ones who believe that they can’t be overthrown. And so it is with the Un-Holy Trinity that has hijacked the GOP for so long... The Ultra Rich, The Ultra Right, and The Religious Right. The rich will always be there, that’s the nature of this particular political beast. But their other two partners in crime are as disposable as modern diapers, and if they become too much of a load the rich will dump them just like a dirty diaper... that is to say fast and putting just as much distance as possible between them and the dumpees.

It hasn’t helped the Republican Cause to have the once vaunted “moral unassailability” of their incumbents and challengers disintegrating one indictment at a time beginning with DeLay and his crew... Nor does it help that the Democrats are outstripping them in donations for the first time since the invention of the computer. The Democratic war chest is so intimidating that in many local, state, and even some congressional races, Democratic candidates are going unchallenged.

What is even more destructive to the Republican stranglehold on America is that the once feared Republican unity is beginning to splinter, as we are seeing in California with the competing hate amendments designed to strip gay families of their rights, protections and responsibilities (Christian Right Press Release appended *2). I think Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming) put it best when describing the destructive tendencies of the right wing extremists who control his party:

"I've been a Republican all my life.? They'll never throw me out.? But they have an amazing ability to eat their young.? They give each other the saliva test of purity every once in a while, and then they lose.? And then they just sit around and bitch for four years.? It's a fairly fascinating party."

The Republican take on these problems is quite different from mine. And like their take on the state of the economy, it has very little resemblance to reality. It’s kinda like arguing with your mother-in-law; at the time her explanations seem to make sense, but the moment you are out of her immediate influence and have a chance to think about those explanations logically away from the heat of emotion, you realize that what had seemed so rational at the time was really nothing but pretzel logic making no sense whatsoever!

But it's no time to relax and watch the show by any means!

What does it mean when I say “The days of the Religious Reich are nearly over”? For one thing, now is the time for everyone to roll up their sleeves and get involved to help shape this mess of left-overs before the loonies get control of it. Cripes... anyone who doesn't get involved and get involved NOW doesn't have any room to gripe when they don't like the way things turn out in 2006 and especially again in 2008!
For another thing, it means that it’s more important than ever that everyone speak out against the abuses of the Bush administration and the Members of Congress who have blindly supported the agenda of the Religious Reich. The more who speak out now, the more who will feel free to speak out!

No opinion is too “out there” to be spoken (so long as it does not qualify as a “terrorist threat”), just ask my friend Noel Adamson, who in the course of expressing his view earned the honor of receiving an unannounced visit from the Secret Service. All he did to warrant this visit was to express his opinion that he wished the President would be tried for war crimes and if found guilty executed in the best tradition of the Far Republican Reich. You see, there was no threat there. No “terrorist threat”. And certainly no threat either actual or implied that wished for the President to be murdered. No what Noel wished for on his blog (see appendix * for url) was for President Bush to be afforded the full legal process, to be tried in the International World Court in The Hague for the war crimes much of the world believes he is guilty of, and IF found guilty, executed just as the Allies had the Nazi war criminals executed at the close of World War II. But it would seem that someone in the Secret Service didn’t like someone talking about holding their boss accountable for his actions.

Now I’m not saying that everyone needs to express an opinion as radical as Noel’s by any means! What I AM saying is that if Noel has the guts to continue to express his opinion after such an extreme attempt to silence him, then it should be no problem for others to speak out who have a slightly less extreme opinion. If you don’t, then you deserve exactly what you get. And if you get that, I’m gonna be really, really pissed at you... because I don’t deserve that at all!

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“



*Noel Adamson’s Blog “Treason Incorporated”
Noel’s report about his visit from the Secret Cervix:

*1 U.S. poll: Support grows for gay marriage
Jen Christensen, PlanetOut Network
Monday, August 8, 2005 / 10:38 AM

SUMMARY: New poll results show an increasing number of Americans support marriage rights for gay couples -- the highest support since July 2003

The marriage equality movement may be gaining momentum in the United States, as new poll results show an increasing number of Americans support marriage rights for gay couples -- the highest support since July 2003.

According to the new Pew Research Center for People & the Press/Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life poll, 35 percent of Americans polled were in favor of allowing gay couples to get legally married. Fifty-three percent still opposed marriage for gay couples, but that same number of people polled, 53 percent, said they wanted gay couples to have some kind of legal arrangement, such as civil unions.

"This is exactly what the right wing is afraid of," Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, said. "People have had a year of legal marriage in Massachusetts to see how ending marriage discrimination helps gay and lesbian families and hurts no one."

During 2003, Massachusetts' high court ruled that gay couples in that state could get married, which they began doing in 2004. Following that decision, 11 states passed anti-gay marriage amendments, and poll data showed a slip in support for marriage rights.

The poll also showed a slight increase in religious groups' support for marriage rights.

The poll questions were part of a broader study of national issues that may face the incoming U.S. Supreme Court nominee. Marriage rights for gay couples did not figure in the top five issues people were concerned would come before the Supreme Court. Abortion was the biggest interest, followed by the rights of imprisoned terrorists.

The poll also touched on stem cell research, religious displays in public forums, affirmative action and physician-assisted suicide.

Gay rights advocates such as Wolfson suggest these latest poll results on the marriage issue show the effectiveness of gay activism and the impact of equal marriage rights in Massachusetts.

"The long-term trend in America's civil rights discussion, including this recent rebound of public support for marriage equality, which follows the ferment and barrage of the past several months, demonstrates the power of engaging the public and showing them the reality of marriage equality, rather than right-wing rhetoric and scare tactics."

Copyright © 1995-1999 PlanetOut Corporation.

*2 Christian News Wire (press release), DC, August 11, 2005

Fatally-Flawed California Marriage Amendment Won't Protect Marriage
'California Marriage Protection Act' doesn't protect marriage rights,
allows 'gay marriage by another name'

To: National Desk

Contact:, 916-265-5643

SACRAMENTO, Aug. 11 /Christian Wire Service/ -- The proposed California
constitutional marriage amendment named the "California Marriage
Protection Act" will not protect marriage. Several constitutional
attorneys have determined that the deeply flawed initiative sponsored by
the Protect Marriage group does not protect marriage rights for a man
and a woman, allows homosexual "marriage" by a different name to
continue or be created by the Legislature, and is unconstitutionally

"Pro-family Californians will be shocked and disappointed when they find
out that the amendment by the Protect Marriage group won't protect
marriage," said former California Assemblyman Larry Bowler, a proponent
of the Voters' Right to Protect Marriage Initiative sponsored by "Sadly, the Protect Marriage group is inadvertently
permitting 'gay marriage by another name' by allowing marriage rights to
go to unmarried persons. This poorly-drafted initiative won't protect
marriage; it'll give counterfeit marriage to our children and

"Despite what people are hearing on the radio and reading in emails and
newsletters, nowhere does the text of the 'Protect Marriage Amendment'
spell out that the rights of marriage are for marriage," said veteran
California pro-family leader Randy Thomasson, one of the organizers of "This is a big mistake, since the courts already
require marriage initiatives to specifically protect the rights of
marriage in order to prevent 'gay marriage by another name.'"

The problem is what the Protect Marriage group's amendment won't do. The
"California Marriage Protection Act" reads as follows: "A marriage
between a man and a woman is the only legal union that shall be valid or
recognized in this state." Leading pro-family constitutional attorneys
have determined that the California Marriage Protection Act sponsored by will:

1. Leave marriage a mere word by only protecting the licensure of

2. Continue "gay marriage by another name" in California. The phrase
"legal union" is unconstitutionally vague and includes labor unions,
credit unions, business unions, etc. A judge will not be able to read
"domestic partnership" into the phrase without banning other
partnerships, such as business partnerships. Both overly broad and
nonspecific, the "California Marriage Protection Act" means "gay
marriage by another name" (AB 205, a California law that went into
effect January 1, 2005, awarded virtually all the statutory rights of
marriage to same-sex "domestic partners") will continue to diminish
marriage by hijacking marriage rights.

3. Permit the State Legislature to create a new type of "counterfeit
marriage." Because the amendment does not explicitly
protect the "rights of marriage," the California State Legislature could
easily invent a new type of "agreement" under contract law, declare it
is not a "union," and insert into it 100 percent of the rights of
marriage. This creation of homosexual "marriage" by yet another name
would reduce marriage for a husband and wife to a mere word without
exclusive legal value.

4. Allow the courts and the Legislature to force private businesses and
organizations to undermine marriage by requiring them to grant full
marriage benefits to unmarried persons, despite any moral or religious
convictions that marriage is only for one man and one woman. (The
intolerant August 1, 2005 ruling of the California Supreme Court would
continue forcing business owners to undermine marriage.)

5. Even allow a future Legislature to someday abolish the legal
institution of marriage in the name of "equality," "non-discrimination"
and "tolerance" for all. Last year and this year, legislation to abolish
marriage has been introduced in New York (A01823 by Assemblymember
Deborah Glick).

"The only thing that ultimately matters is the legal effect -- what an
initiative will accomplish once the courts have looked at it," said
Thomasson. "Despite its good intentions, the amendment by the Protect
Marriage group is fatally flawed and legally unsound; it won't protect
marriage rights. California pro-family voters cannot in good conscience
support this counterfeit marriage initiative. Fortunately, voters have a
choice and can support the true-blue marriage amendment sponsored by The Voters' Right to Protect Marriage Initiative
will protect everything about marriage – marriage licenses, marriage
rights, and all legal aspects of marriage – for one man and one woman."
(The text is posted at

The failure to write the "rights of marriage" into Proposition 22
(passed in March 2000) is why California has counterfeit marriage today.
The California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, in its April
4, 2005 decision upholding AB 205 (California Family Code, Section
297.5), ruled that the legal status of marriage for only a man and a
woman does not prevent unmarried couples from being awarded all the
rights of marriage under a different name:

"Because the plain, unambiguous language of Proposition 22 is concerned
only with who is entitled to obtain the status of marriage, and not with
the rights and obligations associated with marriage, section 297.5
(which does not grant the legal status of marriage to registered
domestic partners) does not add to, or take away from, Proposition 22."
-- Knight v. Superior Court, 128 Cal. App.4th 14, 26 (2005)

Leading pro-family constitutional attorneys have signed a public letter
endorsing the Voters' Right to Protect Marriage Initiative as "the only
(proposed amendment) that will fully protect marriage for a man and a

The coalition has an August 18 court hearing in
Sacramento to challenge Attorney General Bill Lockyer's inaccurate and
prejudicial title and summary before gathering signatures to place the

Voters' Right to Protect Marriage Initiative on the 2006 ballot.

Friday, August 05, 2005

More from Dr. Bob...

REAL Conservatives can
say "I made a Boo-Boo",
Heck, they can even admit


In all the years I have been following the whole modern neo-con evangelism era we find ourselves living in the last days of now, I have never heard a neo-con pundit ever make a serious apology for anything they have ever said. No matter how minor that indiscretion it may have been. Oh wait! There is one exception. If they truly believe it is going to keep their self important keester out of trouble with the law (See Rush Limbaugh and his Oxy Cotin bust) or they think they can fool their shills when they know there is a scandal heading their way that there is NO WAY they can wriggle out of (ala Jimmy Swaggert and his string ‘o hookers). They will swear up and down that by some perverse pretzel logic they are the victim (ala Rush) while apologizing for what the evil (fill in the blank) made innocent, law abiding them do OR they will actually fall down on bended knee and with heart wrenching sobs admit to everything they have done and how Satan lead them away from the path of righteousness and made him into a depraved animal...

HEY, wait...notice anything about these “apologies?”

Notice that vibrato like echo? Neo-cons call it the “Ring of Truth!”. I call it an empty echo echo echo. Notice how even though they admit that they did it, that it really wasn’t their fault... OH NO! It was the evil drug that made them do it!It was Satan that made them do it! It was never because they enjoyed what they were doing and were having a ball thumbing their noses at the rest of the world while getting away with it! OH NO! Personal responsibility, it would seem, is not a neo-con value... interferes too much with the cash flow.

But for those of us 50 or older we can still remember when it was no big thing for a politi-pundit to admit that they had messed when they got caught with their hand (much less when it was their arm up to their waist!) in the old cookie jar. Then again, in those days the press pretty much kept quiet when a politician or one of their own got caught if they could help it. Still, it would be refreshing to hear a little honesty from one of these self appointed mouth pieces of the people.

Ahhh... Now before I forget what got me going off on this moralistic rant, I would remind you of the last issue of the 1/2 Kracked Kup which I turned over to Dr. Bob and his column on “The Law of Unintended Consequences”. It seems Bob made a minor faux pass for which he makes his Mia culpa today as follows...

Hi all:
In defense of mediocrity.
Dr. Bob
I made a mistake in my column last week. Maybe you caught it. Maybe you didn't.


Maybe you don't care. Maybe your mind is so made up about the whole abortion controversy, on one side or the other, that nothing anyone could say or do would induce you to even look at the thing again.


Such is your right. My intention with these columns is not to butt heads with people who are so intransigent in their thinking that they won't even acknowledge the legitimacy of opposing points of view. This is an opinion column. If you don't want to hear another's opinion, why would you even bother with this?


And conversely, nothing deflates me faster than to have people simply agree with me about stuff without even questioning my logic.


Any kick I get out of putting my ideas out here for public scrutiny comes from the chance to stimulate a little thinking. Just arguing, or simply having readers' heads bob up and down in agreement, gives me no satisfaction, whatsoever.


Thinking about the complex issues of modern life can be fun. It can be instructive. It can certainly be frustrating. But it is never going to make all those complex issues go away.


Thinking is just that. Thinking, debating, teaching and learning, are what separates us from those cattle up on the hill. We think, therefore we are.


Thinking can induce uncertainty. Ah, but uncertainty is so unsettling for us. We are supposed to know all the answers, so we can mark a or b or all of the above in the box and move on to the next question. We need to know what is right or wrong, so we can chose the one correct way to think or behave or live. We are frustrated, even paralyzed by unanswered questions.


Thus it is so easy to let others do our thinking for us, if they will give us those answers or simply not to question at all.


People stop me on the street, and tell me they read this column. When they say they don't always agree with me, but I make them think, I know that on occasion I have done my job.


Others drop me a letter, or an e-mail, and they tell me I am a Nazi or a jerk or some similar expletive, and I know I have not stimulated them to think. Perhaps I have failed on these occasions, or perhaps they are out of the habit of thinking, and just don't wish to start.


Nobody has to play this game. I do it for fun. Other people do other things. That's fine.


My job is not to change anyone's mind. Heck, I may change my own mind next week, so it would be pretty silly of me to expect anyone to copy me. Changing our minds is what we sometimes do as the world itself changes. Not ever changing our minds is what rocks do.


So what was this mistake I made in last week's column? I was talking about the possible link between the rise in the number of abortions post Roe v. Wade and the drop in crime rates. And might one have actually caused the other.


I said there was a drop of 50% in some crime rates. Well, crime rates didn't fall that much. What I should have said was that up to 50% OF THE DROP in crime rates might be attributed to the rise in abortion numbers. Subtle difference, but possibly significant.


For what if we are willing to think, and we haven't cemented our ideas pro or con about say, abortion, and what if we count things up and we put one bad thing, abortion, in one column and say the other bad thing, crime rates, in the other column. And we compare the bane and benefit. At what point do we as a society, or as only one thinking person, choose the lesser of evils as the better choice?


Well, if we are willing to go this far, we should at least have the right numbers to compare. For only then can we think, and conclude, and enter legitimate debate.


So, sorry about that.


Because as long as we live in an imperfect world, we are going to be faced with such debates. For this is not just about abortion, or guns or pitbulls or prayer in school or who is allowed to marry or any of dozens of other hot button topics in this world.


We are faced with a myriad of serious issues, and some people are going to think about them, and the more accurate information they have as ammunition for their brains, the better their thinking can be. And then maybe, just maybe, we will chose the best solutions.


I suggested last week, that when we do get around to selecting the next Supreme Court justices,  we should ask the candidates more than just one question. That is simply because we are hiring them for only one purpose: to think.

And people wonder why this old dyke loves this straight man so much.

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Dr. Bob and The Law of Unintended Consequences

Dr. Bob and The Law of
Unintended Consequences

For those of you who have been regular readers of mine over the years you have already been introduced to the writings of our family vet and my good friend Dr. Robert Hallstrom. Bob’s column can be found every Friday in the Ledger Dispatch, the East County insert in the CC Times.

Now Bob and I don’t always agree on things, such as I think he’s weak on concealed carry laws and he thinks the three strikes law is the next best thing to sliced bread... but hey, despite such deep philosophical differences we’ve managed to remain friends ever since Andrea and I moved out here to to this hell hole of a place and we needed a vet. Bob’s writing never fails to cause me to sit up and take notice, and once again he has hit the proverbial nail squarely on it’s proverbial head.

This one is all yours Bob!


Hi all:
Life is sure simple, ain't it?
Dr. Bob
Sociologist Robert K Merton is one of those people with whom I wouldn't mind spending some time. I fancy myself a dispassionate observer of the human condition, but this guy beats me hands down.

I wish I had coined such phrases as "role model" and "self-fulfilling prophecy". Mr. Merton beat me to it in his writings. I'm sure he's had lots of other great ideas, and I can imagine long evenings spent talking around a campfire, just feeding the man questions, and then waiting patiently while he explained the workings of the human mind to me. Alas, he died in 2003, long before I had even heard of him.

Arguably the most famous idea Mr. Merton came up with was a little thing he called the Law of Unintended Consequences. He was aware of the propensity of politicians to oversimplify things, by coming up with uncomplicated solutions that can be presented in uncomplicated ways to a relatively uncomplicated public. Politicians like to pretend to solve our problems, and thus stay in our good graces.

But Merton noticed that just about every time somebody sets out to fix some malady that infests our society, they end up inadvertently setting some other problem loose upon us, that is often as bad or worse than the thing they tried to fix.

Consider Prohibition, as one example. Hoping to rid society of the scourge of social drinking, our lawmakers came up with the 18th amendment, which made the whole alcohol thing illegal. Bars closed, and the makers of booze went out of business. Problem solved, right?

Well, not quite. It seems that quite a few people still wanted a drink once in a while, and if they couldn't do it legally, they simply found another way. That other way was supplied and protected by organized crime families, who grew wealthy and powerful off the proceeds. Crime flourished, bribery corrupted law enforcement and the government, and much of the public lost all respect for law and order.

Not only did people not stop drinking, but some suggest they drank more. And with the growth of organized crime, our society ended up with a whole new pestilence loosed upon us. After prohibition was finally repealed, The Mob simply switched to illegal drugs, and they went on to corrupt America in virtually the same way for decades more.

When women's rights advocates finally got abortion on demand laws passed in the early 70's, they used the argument that society would be better off if a bunch of unwanted pregnancies didn't result in a bunch of unwanted children. Arguments for and against abortion have raged continuously since then.

Proponents claim that no good could come from forcing women to bear children they couldn't or wouldn't properly care for. Opponents look sadly at all those forever unborn kids and wonder if in spite of a bad beginning, they might have become doctors or famous baseball players, poets or nuclear physicists, or just plain folks who could live out reasonably happy lives like the rest of us. And of course, no one could prove any of these arguments, one way or another.

A study published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics suggests however, that in one sense the legalization of abortion may have actually accomplished something. For it turns out that the precipitous decline in violent crime rates, approaching 50% in some studies, that started around 1990 and is continuing up to the present, might well have come about in large part because of legal abortion.

Roe v. Wade was settled in 1973. Abortion rates sky-rocketed from that point on. And many of those unwanted pregnancies went away, taking with them the unwanted babies that would have been the perfect age for criminal activity, 15-25 years old, right when the crime rate started falling.

In fact, the states that were the first to legalize abortion saw the earliest decline in crime, and those states where more abortions were performed saw the greatest declines.

The statistics are compelling, although they may not tell the whole story, and controversy still rages over this conclusion. We may never know the truth.

The resignation of Justice O'Connor has again begun the process of selecting a new Supreme Court justice, but the debate seems to have settled upon abortion as the only issue that should determine which judge gets in. No one seems to care if the candidates have even read the Constitution.

And since the next two or three Supreme Court justices will probably be appointed by an avowed anti-abortion President, we may soon see an end to legal abortion in this country.

Perhaps this will be a good thing. Perhaps one of the unwanted children will now be born and grow up to invent cold fusion or some such thing.

But what might be the unintended consequences of such a change?

Who can say, but we can always just wait 15-25 years, and then check the crime statistics.

Dr. Bob
Bob Hallstrom <>

Like I said, sometimes Bob just hits the nail on the head and makes you think... without even knowing you are doing it.

That's my opinion of his opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

Friday, July 08, 2005

This was BEFORE the Log Cabin...

True Confessions:
Did I ever tell you that I
was once a Republican?

Yup, I sure was! A card carrying, trigger happy, slash the taxes, keep out of my life Republican. And in many ways I still am. The problem is the GOP isn’t being led by Republicans any more. Nope. For some time now they have been increasingly under the control of two small vocal minorities, The Far Reich and The Religious Reich as I call them. Both wrap themselves in the flag and hide behind carefully selected passages of the Bible and pursue a program of hate and dissention by creating a “culture war” where one really did not need to exist. You see, all this political brouhaha over the “morality of gay rights” and the “morality of abortion” is being argued in the wrong arena. It was Martin Luther King Jr. who most sagely said that one cannot legislate morality, the best that one can hope for is to legislate good behavior. By the same token moral issues do not belong in the political arena, they rightfully belong in the the pulpits and churches and religious publications, you know... the places where discussions of moral issues traditionally belong.

For many many years the Republican Party was run by the moderates. During that period the GOP was an honorable party, truly the party of Lincoln. It was in those days that they passed the Civil Rights Act despite Democratic filibuster after Democratic filibuster and putting it on LBJ’s desk for his signature. Most people under 40 don’t know that it was the Republicans that made the dream of civil rights a legal reality. Back in those days the Republican Party really DID stand for smaller government and actually put their votes where their collective mouths were rather than giving the concept empty lip service. And the GOP really was all about lower taxes, legitimately lower, not by phony baloney tax “rebates” or “refunds” but real honest to God lower taxes! Interesting, no?

Back then the Democratic Party was the Dixie-cratic Party, the party of the white deep south majority, the party of segregation and the status quo. “But what about Kennedy??? HE was a Democrat and HE was a GREAT President!!!” you may well ask. It’s true, not every Democratic politician from each of the (then) 48 states was a Dixie-cratic bigot any more than the Republican politicians of today’s 50 states are all from the Far Reich! Which brings me to what prompted me to finally crawl out of my cave and put hand to keyboard once again. For I have seen a glimmer of hope in the GOP, a sharp lancet of light piercing the black religious gloom that has descended on the Grand Old Party like a funeral shroud. For in the Indianapolis papers I found the following news story that I feel is important enough for others to read that I am willing to take the chance of being sued for copyright infringement by passing it around:

June 19, 2005

Gay rights a political tightrope for Daniels
Within the GOP, moderates, conservative core clash over course governor should take.

By Mary Beth Schneider

Gov. Mitch Daniels is straddling a divide in the Republican Party over how far the party should go in recognizing gay rights.

On one side is a growing number of moderates who want to see Daniels lead the way toward a more inclusive party. On the other side is a vocal conservative core who already thinks the governor has gone too far.

Micah Clark, leader of the 12,000 members of the American Family Association of Indiana, a conservative, pro-family group, used his Web site to call Daniels "a disappointment in the family values department."

He criticized Daniels for not being out front in favor of issues such as a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and for having an office policy banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Meanwhile, Bill Oesterle, Daniels' former campaign manager, recently spoke in favor of a defeated city ordinance that would have banned employers from discriminating against gays and transgender people.

The emotional speech before party leaders came at a Marion County Republican dinner. Asked to speak on the direction of the GOP, Oesterle called for inclusiveness and praised Republican City-County Councilman Scott Keller for co-authoring the anti-discrimination ordinance.

Clark led the fight against the ordinance with Eric Miller, the leader of the 42,000 members of Advance America and Daniels' primary-election opponent for governor. Advance America describes itself as the state's largest pro-family, pro-church, pro-tax reform group.

"I don't believe in the big tent," Clark said. "I don't believe you get to be that big offending a large portion of your base."

People on both sides of the issue say the debate is not limited to Indiana but is occurring in Washington and nationally.

"This is a war on a national scale," said Kathy Sarris, an Indianapolis restaurateur and gay Republican.

Keller, who was the lone Republican to vote for the gay rights ordinance, said the party is in a tug of war for its soul.

"At some level there's quite a split between the far right and a much more populous moderate center of the Republican Party," he said.

This isn't a subject Daniels wants to talk much about. He declined an interview on the topic, instead providing a brief written statement saying he is "doing everything I can think of to reach out across all the lines" that have divided Hoosiers.

He cited geography, ethnicity and income -- but not sexual orientation or gender identity.

At a news conference covering a range of issues, Daniels was more specific when asked about his views.

"I don't believe in discrimination, period. We had that (anti-discrimination) policy in our campaign. We left it in place. Basic rights of assembly, employment, housing and so forth ought not be limited based on a person's race, creed, color or lifestyle," he said.

His employment policy has drawn national attention among conservative groups. The Washington-based Concerned Women for America posted an article about it on its Web site that began: "Indiana may soon begin hiring men in dresses in order to satisfy the governor's affirmative action plan."

Syd Steele, an Indianapolis attorney who is president of the newly formed First Republicans, said that if Daniels has made groups like that unhappy, "he must be doing something right."

Steele said the group was formed to give a voice to Republicans who believe the party must return to its roots as the party of Abraham Lincoln and not be defined by such things as the amendment banning same-sex marriage.

"It's amazing the number of people who say that it's about time," Steele said.

And though Clark said Daniels won on the strength of conservative votes and "should dance with the ones that brung ya," Steele said the true base of the party are the centrists.

Steele thinks that by backing nondiscrimination policies such as Daniels' and the one considered by the City-County Council, the party would gain members.

"We may lose some extremists, but that's their choice," Steele said.

He would like to see Daniels and other Republican Party leaders be more outspoken in their support of such issues.

"I'd like to see him take the lead," Steele said.

Clark and Miller, though, think the party can gain voters only by standing firm on such issues as gay rights and abortion rights. It isn't enough, they said, for Daniels to have signed legislation on issues social conservatives cared about, such as additional restrictions on abortion.

"We want our elected officials to be proactive," Miller said. "We'd like to see him be more proactive in banning same-sex marriage."

Daniels has said that he supports state law that bans same-sex marriage and that Indiana "very well may" need to amend the constitution to include the ban.

Keller -- who said he hasn't given up on passing the ordinance -- thinks it was headed toward passage until Clark and Miller began an e-mail campaign, deluging council members with criticism.

Chris Douglas, a Republican who heads the Indiana Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, a pro-gay-rights business group, said council members aren't used to that kind of attention.

"They were utterly buffaloed," he said.

In the end, five Democrats joined 13 Republicans in voting down the ordinance.

Clark noted that four black Democrats were among the "no" votes and said that the party should be courting the votes of blacks who share the GOP's social conservatism, not the votes of gays and lesbians.

Douglas, though, said tolerance is the way toward electoral success and offers Daniels as proof.

"Daniels' victory over Miller was convincing," he said. "It was a victory over the prejudice that Miller was selling. Now it's very clear that Daniels is standing on the principles he enunciated in his campaign of nondiscrimination."

Clark said that he is not telling people they shouldn't support Daniels. But he does want to get Daniels' attention so that in the future, he'll be more likely to back conservative views.
Call Star reporter Mary Beth Schneider at (317) 444-2772.

Finally! A Republican willing to stand up to The Radical Reich Wing bully-boys! Sure, in the end the Religious Reich did get their way, but only by using their usual bully tactics of intimidation and fear mongering, two things they are expert at. Hmmmm, I wonder where Jesus taught that in the Bible?

I still support the second amendment and I’m a lifetime member of the NRA... my Daddy got that for me when I was 13 or 14. And I’d like to see a federal right to carry law passed, allowing each and every citizen the right to carry a concealed weapon, after passing a proper training course that is. The crime rate would PLUMMET when criminals have no idea which potential victim is armed! In Texas and Arizona where they have right to carry laws the crime rates there have dropped BELOW the all time lows. You see, it’s not tough gun control laws that criminals fear, they don’t even pay any attention to them any way, it’s armed citizens they fear! But Bush and the Far Reich seem reluctant to take up the cause of strengthening the second amendment, and that certainly doesn’t sound like a conservative stance to me!

I still support smaller government and TRUE lower taxes, not “refunds” that give the treasury away at the expense of a huge deficit! Bush managed to triple the size of the government during his time so far in office and has not only wiped out the surplus Clinton (may God curse his lecherous name... wait, on second thought why? His only real crime was getting caught!) left us, sinking us into a national debt that will take CENTURIES to pay off! And that is NO conservative in MY book!

Funny how I, who have been so often labeled a “radical liberal”, can have so many more conservative traits than the man who has been twice elected to lead the ultra right conservatives. There’s some food for thought now, isn’t it?

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mr. Dobson, Why The Big Rush?

Assemblyman Leno, I have an idea.
Mr. Dobson, why the rush?

I was talking to my Domestic Partner (for all intents and purposes my Wife), Andrea this morning about how the Far Religious Right always schedules their initiative votes during the “off years”. You know, those years when there isn’t a Presidential campaign. It’s no accident that they time them this way, because they know that the vast majority of voters usually can’t be bothered to show up at a polling place in these "dog catcher election" years unless they needed to vote some complete reprobate out of office like when they turned out to oust Grey Davis... Or this year when they are going to the polls to decide whether or not to terminate Governor Terminator or not.

But even at that, the turnout still won’t be nearly what it will be in 2008 when the yet open field will be decided for the Presidential race. Something about these “off year” initiatives just seems sneaky somehow. Especially when they are being authored by someone from out of state and backed by huge gobs of out of state money! I mean, just where does James Dobson get off coming in from Colorado and telling US how to run OUR state?

So now Mr. Dobson is getting ready to blitz the state with deceptive advertising claiming that allowing LGBTQ folks equal access to the franchise of civil marriage will somehow weaken “traditional” marriage. Neither I , nor anyone I have asked on either side of the question have ever explained how that will happen, except the assurance from Mr. Dobson's supporters that is will. That it will damage the marriages of heterosexuals. Again, no knows how this will happen and we only have Mrs. Dobson's assurance that it will. That it will cost the state of California millions of dollars. That we already know, but we also know that we will get many time more than that back. That it will lead to the demise of western civilization itself! Huh? That all of that will happen overnight. Again, HUH? And that it violates Gods plan! Did you notice I said CIVIL marriage there? You know, like the kind you get with a Justice of the Peace or a County Clerk rather than a Minister or Priest, in a judge’s chambers or the county recorder's office instead of a church. You know, the kind that are legally binding without any religious under or overtones at all? Yeah, those kind. The separation of church and state kind. Anyway, why don't we ask the good people of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts? They’ve had legal gay marriages there for a year this month. A recent Boston Globe poll shows that better than half of the folks there are perfectly happy with having married gay neighbors. And that their society hasn’t been damaged one bit. And not a single church has been forced to marry a gay couple against the parishioners’ will, nor have any heterosexual marriages been damaged in the least. The state did lose about $15 million in lost tax revenue because of couples now filing jointly but gained something like $30 million more than that in taxes from increased tourist trade and from being able to deny people welfare and other "means based" program qualifications! But with all the millions and millions and millions of out of state dollars Mr. Dobson is going to pour into his ad blitz I seriously doubt anyone living here will get to hear about that. Nope, we have an outsider, with outside money, trying to buy a California Constitutional Amendment because our acceptance of diversity here in California violates the tenets of his Colorado church. So he’s going to stage an “off year” initiative vote and try to slip one over on the California people. And it just doesn’t seem fair, or honest.

The amendment to The California State Constitution that this Colorado outsider, Dr. James Dobson, has crafted is positively PUNITIVE in the way it strips away the rights and responsibilities of gay families from them! It is as though in his anger over having both of his legislative amendments soundly defeated in Sacramento, he needed to lash out at the LGBTQ population of California. It seems like he’s trying to show us, the people of California, that he does not care what we want as shown by the overwhelming support Assemblyman Mark Leno and the rest of our state representatives received that allowed them to defeat those bills in the first place! He's going to punish us for refusing to play his hateful game. So he has decided to do the next best thing to going behind the backs of the people of California; because in his arrogance he believes that most Californians will be too lazy to get out and vote down his hate based initiative! And the most terrible part is, he may be right, they may not vote, he may actually get away with buying an election here.

But wait, what about this? IF this California State Constitutional Amendment really does have the backing of a true majority of Californians, then why does Mr. Dobson have to have to have it voted on during an off year? Why NOT try having “gay marriage” for a couple of years? What would it hurt? After all, you can always come back later and declare them null and void, just like they did in San Francisco. So why not wait till 2008 and prove just how much the people of California really DO want it by holding off until then, when the most California citizens are going to be going to the polls? And would it not be an easier sell to the people of California if after two years of equal marriage he can point to hard, cold facts that back up his claim that allowing gays the opportunity to legally enter into civil marriage actually does damage to the marriages of heterosexuals? It sure would make more sense for him to do it that way instead of rushing right into filing to put an initiative on the ballot for next year!

So Dr. Dobson, if you really do have confidence that you know what the people, ALL the people of California want, then why sir are you rushing into this off-year election gambit? And if allowing homosexual couples the right to enter into civil marriage is such a terrible thing, then do you not think that by allowing Californians to live under the terrible conditions that you say will inevitably result from AB19 becoming law for 2 years that your point will not have been all the better made and you will have gained even MORE support for your cause? By rushing the people of California into this controversy without a period of contemplation and reflection it would seem, sir, that you have something to hide. Have you something to hide, Mr. Dobson? Is there a reason you do not wish for the people of California to be able to properly reflect on your idea? Do you have some reason to fear us having a period of 2 years of equal marriage before considering whether or not to ban it by constitutional amendment? Come to think about it, should we ban something outright that can do no actual harm without first giving it a fair trial? After all, Mr. Dobson, if you really ARE right, if you really do have nothing to fear, then why all the rush? Since it is the business of a state other than than your own we are talking about here, is it not prudent to use all deliberation in making such decisions and do nothing in haste lest ye do it in error? If you are an honorable man, you will wait. Are you that kind of an honorable man Mr. Dobson?

I'm just a handicapped housewife in a wheel chair Mr. Dobson. If I can figure all of this out, I'm sure my fellow California voters can as well. Why don't you wait and have your initiative vote in 2008 when the maximum number of California voters will be at the polls? Why the big rush? Is there something you're not telling us Mr. Dobson? Is there some particular reason you are rushing us into this vote on OUR state constitution? When all of this is over you'll be packing up your tent and going home. WE are the ones who will have to live with the results of this vote. So if there is something you don't want for us to have time to think about Mr. Dobson, you'd better come clean now. Because we're pretty quick on the uptake here in California Mr. Dobson, and it's not always all that easy to put one over on us.

So what do YOU think Mr. Leno? Do YOU think that Mr. Dobson, an outsider from Colorado, maybe doesn’t really know ALL of the people of California as well as he thinks he does? Do you think he's trying to put one over on us? Do you think you could convince the rest of people of our state to, well... not so much vote his amendments down, but rather put them on hold for 2 years until we’ve had a chance to see if equal marriage really is OK for us, or if there really is a good reason to ban it? For is it not a better idea to take our time and to actually try this great experiment? After all, there is no possibility of it doing any real harm to anyone. Do you think you can do that, sir? Do you think you can be the voice of your constituents in this matter and call for time to allow we Californians, without the interference of outside agitators, to consider carefully something as drastic as amending our state constitution to exclude an entire class of people? Of this I have little doubt. You have already proven yourself to be an able elected representative of the majority of the people of California in your district.

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

NOTE: I Faxed this to Mr. Dobson @ Focus on the Family in Colorado prior to distributing it and snail-mailed copies as well. There is NO WAY he can say he didn’t see it. See attachment for the Fax receipt.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Something from my mail that I want to pass on.

From: (stuart/john)
Date: Tue, 24 May 2005 17:33:00 +0000
Subject: APA needs our support after voting to support marriage equality

After their recent brave action to support the rights of same-sex couples, the American Psychiatric Association is being flooding with angry emails from right wingers.

Their Board of Trustees still has to approve the statement passed by the APA Assembly. We expect this will happen, but we need to let the APA know that their position has support.

Please email the APA at and tell them that you appreciate the APA's support of legal civil marriage rights for same sex couples. And tell your friends to do so, too.

If anyone has psychiatrist friends (especially those who are APA members), *please* have them identify themselves as psychiatrists and APA members in their emails. (APA members should contact APA through the member's center.)


Psychiatric Association calls for gay marriage

May 22, 2005

The Associated Press - ATLANTA

Representatives of the nation's top psychiatric group
weighed in on gay marriage Sunday, approving a
statement urging legal recognition of same-sex unions.

The statement, if approved by the association's
directors in July, would make the American Psychiatric
Association the first major medical group to take such
a stance.

The statement, approved on a voice vote, supports
same-sex marriage and benefits "in the interest of
maintaining and promoting mental health."

The psychiatrists approved the statement Sunday, the
first day of the APA's weeklong annual meeting in

The vote goes beyond the association's 2000 statement
supporting same-sex civil unions and continues a
history of recognizing "that gay men and lesbians are
full human beings who should be afforded the same
human and civil rights," said Margery Sved, a Raleigh,
N.C., psychiatrist and member of the assembly's
committee on gay and lesbian issues.

The position paper cites the "positive influence of a
stable, adult partnership on the health of all family
members." It says the lack of access to health
insurance, pension payments, death benefits and other
rights for same-sex couples hurts the stability of
their relationships and their mental health.

The document clarifies that the association is
addressing same-sex civil marriage, not religious
marriages. It takes no position on any religion's
views on marriage.

A clear majority of the assembly's roughly 250 members
present Sunday approved the measure.

Joseph Berger, a psychiatrist from Toronto, Canada,
voted against it for what he called political reasons.
He cited gay marriage votes in several states last
year where voters overwhelmingly sided against the

"It's very unusual for an organization like ours to
take on an issue so contrary to where public sentiment
is," he said. "It's a little bit like poking your
finger in the eye of the public when so much of the
public seems to be against it."

Forty states bar same-sex marriages, including some
that prohibit same-sex couples from enjoying many of
the legal protections that heterosexual couples enjoy.

Last year, Georgians voted 3-to-1 for a constitutional
amendment defining marriage as between a man and a
woman. Some psychiatrists pushed a boycott of this
week's conference because of the vote, but most APA
members opted to attend, officials said.

Other mental health groups have adopted similar
positions on gay marriage in the past year. In July,
the American Psychological Association adopted a
position statement that said research showed that
discrimination based on sexual orientation
"detrimentally affects the psychological, physical,
social and economic well-being of lesbian, gay and
bisexual individuals."

Friday, May 20, 2005

To All My Friends From Out of State And Other Countries

As I wrote this, the Assembly Appropriations Committee had just passed AB 19 by a 6-3 vote The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act, sponsored by Equality California and authored by Assemblyman Mark Leno.  The legislation will likely not be voted on today but instead will go into suspense and be taken up again by the Committee during the last two weeks of May. This is normal since the legislation will make a rather sizable economic impact on the state... it seems the the net will be a GAIN of some $30 MILLION a year (source )!

Then there is the crap our favorite outside agitator James Dobson is pulling! Not taking the hint for the humiliating defeat he suffered with his attempt to amend OUR California state constitution through legislative means, now that AB19 (The Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act)** is pretty much a sure thing to pass into law Dear Dork Dobson is pulling the bigots favorite tactic, “the off year election initiative end run” where the Religious Reich, banking on low voter turn out in off years and their ability to fire up the TRUE BELIEVERS (why do they always have to capitalize that when they write it? **sigh**) and turn them out in huge numbers to pass their unbelievably draconian and bigoted constitutional amendment! This piece of... Of... My gods, words fail me... I hesitate to call it legislation for it reads more like a Biblical pronouncement! Here’s what EQCA says about it:

"Bottomline:  This amendment would go to the fullest extremes to strip every legal protection from our families.   From health insurance and hospital visitation, to inheritance and medical leave rights, tens of thousands of diverse California families would lose protections they now have and would be left with no legal protections.  The amendment would prohibit same-sex marriage and strip the courts, cities, and every government agency of any ability to protect California familes not headed by a husband and a wife."

I’m SICK AND TIRED of being a second class citizen! But I’m too physically broken up to get out there in the trenches and do what needs to be done. I have to count on you, my friends to let the country and the world know the danger we face here in California, right here, right now, THIS WEEK! Tell your friends! Let them know that a small group of OUTSIDE AGITATORS is working with BIG money from organized out of state sources who are working day and night to strip us of the hard won gains we have made here! We are just WEEKS from making our marriage laws equal for EVERYONE in the state by LEGISLATIVE MEANS! That will be the VERY FIRST time that has happened ANYWHERE in the country! And the Religious Right will do ANYTHING to make sure that this does not happen. That sort of precedent is something that they absolutely cannot allow to be set. If it is, it puts the lie to all the years of propaganda they have drummed into the minds of the American people. DO NOT LET JAMES DOBSON AND THE RELIGIOUS REICH DERAIL THIS MONUMENTAL LEGISLATION WITH HIS HATE BASED INITIATIVE! PLEASE!

I'm pleading with you as a friend, as someone you know and hopefully care about and for. Contact your friends and family, ask them to write and call our California State Assemblymen and any of our Equal Marriage Organizations and pledge your support. Help us to turn the balance away from the forces of bigotry and hate!

Under normal circumstances I would never trouble you or the rest of my friends from out of state or out of the country, but these are not the "usual" circumstances at all! Dobson is bringing to bare all the power of his national organization and their international allies! I’m relying on YOU my friends to make my dream of legally marrying Andrea come true! Please, please don’t let me down.

Thank you.

Your friend,

Julie Johnson

Monday, May 16, 2005

Most Likely....

If you are reading this "standard cut and paste" note it is most likely because you have already not seen me for several days and most likely will not see me for several more. The reason for this (in order of most likelihood) is most likely because I'm having either; (1.) a bad pain episode, usually caused by arthritis and/or reflex sympathetic dystrophy; (2.) a bad pain episode caused by having WAY too much fun and "over doing it" OR (3.) I am recovering from some Frankensteinian medical procedure such as having the bone of a cadaver grafted into my living tissues and/or having leeches and maggots attached to/put into my open wounds in a ghoulish attempt by some New Age witch doctor to cure me by magikal means! Just kidding about the New Age witch doctor of course! Wouldn't let one of those quacks touch me with a ten foot Pole! A 6'10" Romanian maybe, or perhaps a 7'6" Namibian... maybe even a 7'2" Yugoslavian, but NEVER a 10' Pole!

But take heart friends, I'll be back just as soon as I'm feeling better! In the mean time you can send your well wishes and death threats to Hope to see you soon!

Your Friend,


"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid,
but most stupid people are conservatives."
-- John Stuart Mill
(English philosopher)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Limbaugh walks on his tongue some more.

Limbaugh walks on his tongue some more.
The 300+ lbs Cry Baby, Oxycotin
Junkie is Silent When Challenged
By High School Students to
Debate About WWII

While perusing this morning’s news I came upon this story (excerpted below) in the Chicago Sun-Times;

Teens seek debate vs. Limbaugh
May 13, 2005

BY KATE N. GROSSMAN Education Reporter

Rush Limbaugh said on his nationally syndicated radio show that Evanston Township High School students "don't know anything about World War II" and "they've probably never heard the name Adolf Hitler" because they're so focused on a multicultural curriculum.

Some Evanston kids want to show Limbaugh what they know. They want to debate him on American history.

"I think [a debate] would be great because then we'd prove him wrong and open up his opinion a little bit," Sarah Loeb, an ETHS sophomore, said Thursday....

Limbaugh railed against multicultural education generally and singled out the North Shore school.

"What multiculturalists is, is balkanizing this country," Limbaugh said Tuesday. "People are coming here from various parts of the world and they're bringing their cultures with them and the multiculturalists are saying 'your culture is better than the American culture. The American culture is discriminatory, it's racist, sexist, bigot, homophobic.' "

Limbaugh's producer did not return a call on whether Limbaugh would agree to a debate.

"Maybe he might be a little intimidated because I don't know his basis for saying we don't know anything," Sarah said. "But I think he might be interested if he wants to live up to his reputation and back up his ideas so he doesn't look stupid."

This is just the sort of thing I’ve come to expect from this over stuffed, over compensating wind-bag. It’s like every time the “Patriot” Act (WOW! Is that false advertising or what!) comes up in the news this ample representative of The Far Reich goes on and on about what a good thing The “Patriot” Act is and how “patriotic” (“I do not think he knows what that word means...”) it is to make the trade of of a “few rights” (I suppose we really don’t need them in his book) for the supposed security we get from the “Patriot” Act! But then when the provisions of that act, the Feds new ability to snoop into our medical records without a court order, is used against him to prove that he is a low-life multi prescription seeking Oxycotin junkie he cries “FOUL!” like a little girl who just lost all of her jacks to the mean girl down the street. Give me a break Rush! You can’t have it BOTH ways!

So c’mon Rush! Be a big boy! Show that you can act like an adult for once! Rather than sitting back and poking fun of a bunch of hard working high school kids then pretend they didn’t respond at all, why don’t you accept their challenge and debate them on their, and YOUR, knowledge of World War Two? Or are you afraid that they will humiliate you more that you have already humiliated yourself?

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

NOTE: At the time of publication I still haven't been able to reach Mr. Lumbaugh with this challenge. It seems that the only way to get his email or any other addy for him is to pay a minimum of $6.99 for a subscription to his newsletter... as though the Pillsbury Doughboy isn't wealthy enough! I fir one refuse to pay extortion just to drop him a challenge and so I am attempting to go through other channels to get this to him. If you can help me in this effort I would be forever in your debt!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Yet Another Blow For Justice OR Why I'm Proud To Be A Californian!

Yet Another Blow For Justice
Why I’m Proud To Be A Californian!

Today in a stunning upset (well upsetting and stunning, but only if you are a reactionary bigot) the Senate Judiciary Committee announced that Senate Constitutional Amendment 1, by Senator Bill Morrow (R-Oceanside) failed to pass with a 5-2 vote along with an earlier vote in the Assembly vote on Assembly Constitutional Amendment 3, by Assembly member Ray Haynes (R-Temecula) struck down with a 6-3 vote..? In a dramatic double failure today for Lou Sheldon (an outside agitator) and the Traditional Values Coalition (a known outside extremist group and the author and sponsor), both proposed anti-gay constitutional amendments went down in FLAMES!

Like there was much of a chance of either bill really getting approval. After all, it was but a short time ago that domestic partners here were given all the rights and responsibilities that the state can grant to married couples. It just didn’t seem too logical that they were going to turn around a short time later and say “Oops! Sorry about that folks! We know that 76% of you approved of our doing that but we just realized we made a HUGE mistake in giving all those gay families all those protections so we’re going to take them back now!” Nope... It just wasn’t going to happen. Can you really see all those politicos saying they were WRONG?

Of course, the bigots of the Traditional Values Coalition and their buddies at the Family Research Council who were bankrolling this Republican hate-fest dressed the whole schmoo up as “protecting both the traditional and gay family”. Now maybe it’s just me but, would someone PLEASE explain to me how taking away the protections that the children of gay domestic partners just acquired under the new legislation protects either straight OR gay families? Please... I just don’t see it. If it ONLY protects straight families I’d back it,... So someone PLEASE explain how it would protect them for US to lose our rights? Am I missing something here? I mean, is there a limited pool of rights and the more people share those rights the less they are worth? Is that it? Please! I’m SOOOOO confused!

But hey, that’s OK. In a few months California will be passing it’s own marriage equalization bill. After all, Prop. 22 just said that we could not recognize a gay marriage from out of state, not one conducted within our state! In any case, the California Supreme Court struck down Prop 22 along with all the other road blocks in our way. The people Of California have always been basically a decent, honest bunch. And when it comes right down to it, they have never stood for long for outsiders stirring the political pot here. Nope. We tend to settle our own hash in our own ways and the bottom line is Californianos are a fair minded people... And THAT’S why I’m proud to be a Californian!

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Praying for peace and understanding... OR Getting Nowhere at Light Sped!

Praying For Peace and Understanding...
Getting Nowhere at Light Speed!

In Jerusalem, an American female journalist heard about an old Reformed rabbi who visited the Wailing Wall to pray, twice a day, everyday, for a long, long time.

In an effort to check out the story, she went to the holy site and there he was! She watched the bearded old man at prayer--and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, she approached him for an interview.

"I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN, sir, could you tell me your name please Rabbi?"

"Sure, sure, for a nice young Jewish girl like you, you are Jewish aren't you? Sure, I can tell you my name." He replied.

'Ummm, well... what is your name Rabbi?"

"My name? My Name is Rabbi Irving Finkelstien. But you can call me Rabbi Irving."

"OK then Rabbi Irving. How long have you been coming to the Wailing Wall and praying?"

"For about 50 years", he informs her.

"50 years! Why, that's amazing! What do you pray for?"

"I pray for peace between the Jews and the Arabs. I pray for all the hatred to stop, and I pray for all our children to grow up in safety and friendship."

"And how do you feel Rabbi, after doing this for 50 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a fucking wall."

I've felt like that old rabbi sometimes. But hey, I've only been at it for 30 years! At first I tried actually talking to the Reconstructionists and the Fundamentalists and praying that the Gods, both theirs and mine, would open their minds and hearts to the beautiful message of love, acceptance and tolerance that their own Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth gave His very life to deliver to mankind. Man, you'd think I had just told them Jesus was a Jew! Hey... wait... Jesus WAS a Jew, wasn't he?

But so wrapped in the darkness of hate and their own warped interpretation of His words are they that there was, and still is, no possibility of reaching them. When I finally realized this some 20 years ago and finally gave up on the last vestiges of hope of getting through to them I began to try to sound the alarm. SHEEZE! You'd have thought I'd just have told THEM that Jesus WASN'T a Jew! Out came every Christian apologetic, DEMANDING that I take back the "slander and lies" I had leveled against ALL Christians! I was called an alarmist, an unpatriotic traitor (ME, who VOLUNTEERED for duty in Vietnam!), an "anti-Christian bigot", called a "crackpot" and ignored. It would seem that when a Nazi wraps himself in the flag and uses the pages of the Bible for underwear he becomes untouchable!

Why is it that the good God fearing Christians who are truly trying to live by the works and teachings of Jesus would jump to the defense of those who were using those same words in the most twisted and fiendish way to do the work of the Anti Christ? Why have they had till now no stomach to defend their own faith from those who would misuse it? "Why?", I asked myself for years, "why in the ten thousand names of God would they actually defend these monsters?" I asked that question and asked that question, but the answer never came.

Finally one day about eight or nine years back someone did have the nerve to answer, albeit from the cowardly cover of anonymity, and also years after I'd already figured it out. He/she said that for most Christians, especially those of about 10 years ago, it was a matter of "defending the faith". No one at that time was willing to admit that there could be a "bad" Christian, much less an evil one! And to that end they were willing to go to ANY length to defend ANYONE from ANY charge of religious malfeasance, malpractice or heresy brought up by any one, especially if it is brought by one outside the faith, that might reflect badly on Christianity in general. Remember, these were the days when molesting ministers were still trying to do the Ratzenburger Shuffle from parish to parish and hoping the media reported nary a case... 'cept it just wasn't working as well as it used to. Maybe that's why someone finally had the guts to talk about it to me.

This little tale does bring me to an interesting point... have you ever noticed how the most vicious and rabid of the "TRUE BELIEVERS" (they always seem to need to capitalize that and TRUE FACTS for some unknown reason) NEVER have a profile? If possible they will prefer to go completely anonymous if they can. Having over the years infiltrated some of their groups I can tell you from first hand knowledge that they are encouraged to remain anonymous to "prevent the violent and vicious predatory liberal sodomites" from "gaining any access to any personal information that might be used to track them back to their homes and thereby endanger their families". Have you EVER heard such a load of pure unadulterated BULLSHIT in your entire life? These are the same people who don't think twice about blowing up a family planning clinic FULL of women and children that is located right next to a child care center on one side and a gas station on the other! And THEY are afraid that a movement populated mostly by PACIFISTS for God's sake are going to molest their families??? CHEEZE MARIE PEOPLE!!! What in God's names are using for brains? Elephant manure? Peanut hulls? New York City Executive Washroom Keys? Maybe Southern Baptist Church toilet paper spools? I don't know! One thing for sure, what ever it is has zero capacity for logic, inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, and a total disdain for the scientific method! As Martin Short pointed out last night on Bill Maher's show on HBO (a definite maybe-one-might-should-see-if-you-can-spare-the-time-and-are-really-bored-at-3-a.m.) "Bill Frist was playing to his constituency, the guys who believe that if a poisonous snake bites you you won't die!" in reference to Frist's outrage that Justice Kennedy researches his cases on the internet(oh high tech horror of horrors!)! Martin Short and Bill Maher went on to make the point that such people (those that believe the snake pucky) are, and I quote, "just a bit doofy". What can I say? I concur! True enough, we do have freedom of religion in this great nation of ours, but if you honestly believe that drinking poison and getting snake bit can be protected against by nothing more than your faith (and conveniently enough those who die just didn't believe enough you see... yea.. right) you are by ANY sane standard more than "just a bit doofy!" You are, in fact one uneducated, stupid, redneck moron! In short, if the context of this belief were anything BUT religion you would be locked up in the nearest mental institution for being not only completely delusional but a danger to yourself and to others! The truly unfortunate thing is many of them live long enough to breed (and in many cases inbreed) by the DOZENS!

And I'm not alone in my assessment of these "TRUE BELIEVERS" and their Washington Congressional leadership. Read an article form an acquaintance of mine, the Cato Institute's Radley Balko's piece entitled In the Reign of Cotton Mather. Not only well written but entertaining as well!

Well, that's my opinion and you are welcome to it!

Julie Johnson AKA "The Great Spoon"

[AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thanks to my friend Paula for the joke that allowed me to find a jumping off point for this rant! Thanks Paula!]

Monday, April 25, 2005

The American Religious Reich

How I learned to Goose Step While Loving The Lord

I’ve been noticing a pattern in the Christian community of late. Not in the mainstream Christian community by any means, but in the small, loud fringe community that has, by their very loudness and cohesiveness, come to power in recent years. Because their actions are so very reminiscent of the actions and tactics and rhetoric of Hitler and his brown shirts I call them The Religious Reich, A bit of word play on Religious Right, but frighteningly close to the truth as you will see... So, that said, let's take a look at how the Religious Reich stacks up against the Nazism these days:

Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, wrote an article about fascism which appeared in Free Inquiry magazine -- a journal of humanist thought. Dr. Britt studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The article is "Fascism Anyone?," Lawrence Britt, Free Inquiry , Spring 2003, page 20. My comments will be in the {curly brackets} following Dr. Britt's observations.

The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism by Dr. Lawrence Britt

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

{One certainly can't say that Nationalism is not on the rise! Flags fly EVERYWHERE!}

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

{One need look no farther than Guantanamo Bay and the so called "Patriot Act" for evidence of that.}

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

{"Islamic Terrorists"... need I say more?}

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

{While record deficit spending is building up a National Debt that our great great great grand children will still be paying off military spending is still at embarrassingly high levels. Especially when you consider that ALL other governments INCLUDING our traditional enemies have CUT their military spending by 50% or MORE! Source: Peace Action}

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homo-sexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

{The Religious Reich is fighting to overturn the gains both gays and women have made in the areas of equal employment and having their specific health needs met. Also the battle over Roe v. Wade and the fight over Equal Marriage has heated up in the last 2 yeas as well so yes, they are encouraging rampant sexism!}

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

{I have many friends in the media who are sometimes afraid to report on stories that might anger the Religious Reich. I would call that indirect control.}

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

{I don't recall a single "Green" or "Yellow" alert day in the last 2 years, do you? I DO recall a good many news stories straight from the Office of Homeland Security about this potential terrorist threat or that potential terrorist threat that never materialized though.}

8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

{Just this weekend we had a GLARING example of just how the Repugnican Party has become entangled with the Religious Reich in the form of that broadcast that DeLay and Frist and other Repugnican leaders made through Dobson's Family Research Council's network that was broadcast to thousands of churches nationwide! It's nigh on impossible to tell the difference between a Republican Party Plank and a Fundamentalist Christian Minister's religious edict these days!)

9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

{How many times have we seen this? From Enron to Bechtel industrial and business aristocracy are untouchable!}

10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

{Just look at how the power of the unions have been gutted in the past few years. No longer does the worker have the power of a strong union to organize against the huge corporations in order to get wages that keep up with inflation and the standard of living. Worse yet the government has demonized the unions much like it did at the turn of the 20th century.}

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

{I see this every day. These "hit or missives" get forwarded to a wide variety of people. Often I get back comments calling me an "anti-Christian intellectual bigot" and an "over educated idiot" to name but a few. The disdain these people have for the educated is quite honestly frightening!}

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

{OH YEA! Even though the FBI reports that crimes have been DOWN for the last 4 years all you hear from them is "get tough on crime" talk and how "the criminal has more rights than the victim". Part of that rhetoric is the whole "get tough on drugs" nonsense that expresses itself in making it harder for those with a legitimate need for the pain killers to get the medications they so desperately need! every year hundreds of chronic pain patients take their own lives because they can no longer stand having to wait to receive the drugs that will ease their pain. Why? So some politician can say he's "tough on drugs".}

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

{Just look at all of Bush's buddies that have followed him to the White House. Look at Frist, he's got his whole family on the payroll! DeLay as well! Ditto McCain, Feinstein, and everyone else in Washington! You'd think it was some kind of public trough for politicians for God's sake!!}

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

{The last election was just about as close to fraudulent as you can get without being able to make a case! Too few voting machines in the heavily Democratic precincts while in the mostly Republican strongholds they had machines that never got used! And just who decided where the machines were sent? A Republican. Then there were the smears... GEEBUS! NO ONE knows how to run a smear campaign like a Repugnican! They practically invented it! And let's not even talk about the monkey fuck of an election before that!}

So all in all the Religious Reich and the Repugnican Party get 14 out of 14... a perfect score! If it smells like a duck and it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck I don't have to see it swim to be sure it's a duck.

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Apocalypse now? I don't think so.

Today the History Channel ran a fascinating program on the Book of Revelations... especially fascinating in that they went into great depth into why John of Patmos used the imagery and florid language he choose to use and what he actually meant by it as opposed to what the fundamentalists would have you believe it means. If you ask any legitimate biblical scholar, Revelations was never meant to be taken literally! During the days of the first century CE you did not want to write anything that might piss off the Roman authorities! No siree Bob! Pissing off the Romans was one way to cause your health to become very bad very quickly indeed!

And since John was already in not so good stead with Rome (having already been exiled to Patmos for God’s sake after all) he was not too keen to further piss the powers that be off any more than could possibly be helped. So he wrote in Greek for one thing. But every learned Roman read Greek so he borrowed from the imagery of the Jewish Book of David among others in order to assemble a set of metaphors the churches he was writing to would understand as relating to criticism of Rome and her Emperors, but the Roman authorities would take to be the raving of a religious nut case. Thus when he speaks of “the Whore of Babylon” he is actually talking about Rome, see? Now that makes sense. That is something I can fully understand and even admire. I mean you HAVE to admire the guy for coming up with this ploy! It’s positively brilliant! He could have used a code, but codes raise suspicions in and of themselves and can be broken far too easily. But no, he opted to use religious imagery that his enemies would overlook but his friends would be able to read as plainly as if he had written it in clear, everyday Latin! Brilliant!

And so for those FundaMentalist Christians who still insist that everyone take the Book of Revelations literally all I can say is BUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! You really mean that??? BUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“

Sunday, April 03, 2005

So, Where Are We Now?

So, Where Are We Now?

It’s all over but the shouting. The autopsy is done and the full report will be out in 2 weeks. The Schindlers and the Schiavos are planning separate funerals. And the Pope is dead. So where are we now that we’ve had our guts wrenched out? We’re here ->

Just about in the same place we were it seems to me but hopefully a lot more prepared for the curve balls life may throw us. In millions of homes around this great nation of ours millions of people have been having deep discussions with their loved ones about their wishes should life find them where Terri Schiavo was.

Though I wonder, did the Pope have a living will? In his last moments was there a discussion as to whether to keep his unresponsive body alive on a dialysis machine and a ventilator or to let him pass on even before his brain activity had ceased as is the natural path we all take into death? It’s possible that he could have been kept alive days, weeks, maybe months longer even if his EKG was a low or lower than that of Terri Schiavo. But is there anyone who have argued to do that? A cynical person could charge that in light of the discussions going around in Rome about electing a much older man to he Holy See this time to avoid having one man influencing the course of the Roman Catholic Church for as long a time as John Paul II did could say his death was “hastened”. After all, science could have kept him “alive” longer. A man can make a lot of changes when he is in a seat of power that long. Perhaps electing an old, more frail man to the post is their way of instituting term limits? Could they have “let him go” without doing everything medically possible first? Could they have plotted to let him die sooner than science could kept him alive? Of course they did. It would have served no moral or medically ethical sense to prolong his life in the condition he was in. And so he was allowed to pas away naturally.

A quote by Thomas Jefferson comes to mind when I think about the endless court battles between the Schindlers and Schiavos; “The clergy, by getting themselves established by law and engrafted into the machine of government, have been a formidable engine against the civil and religious rights of man." For with the involvement of every leader of the Religious Right, fringe group, and major religion what should by rights been a private family fight settled in a few months or at worst a couple of years, was drawn out into a 10+ year battle played nightly in living rooms from coast to coast. And we the public, with our perverse need for titillation egged on the press, demanding to be spoon fed every vicious and gory detail of something that was by all rights none of our business and in doing so provided a pulpit for every religious ideologue to use to promote their personal agenda. It was a propagandist’s dream, custom made for self-promotion and cult recruiting. And let’s not forget that august body, the Congress and their interference with the help of President Bush in passing an un-Constitutional law caused this case to be needlessly drug out weeks longer that it already had. And just what sort of people are our democratically elected leaders? Let’s take a look:

29 have been accused of spousal abuse

7 have been arrested for fraud

19 have been accused of writing bad checks

117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses, as has Bush

3 have done time for assault

71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

14 have been arrested on drug-related charges, even more have been investigated for this, ditto Bush

8 have been arrested for shoplifting

21 are currently defendants in lawsuits

84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year

And of those who involved themselves in this case, ALL were guilty of being responsible for one or more of those statistics. Yup, that’s who I want to set the moral tone of an argument... a bunch of wife beating, drunk embezzlers. Sheesh!

We should be ashamed of ourselves. For poking our collective noses in where it didn’t belong. For despite all the public involvement in what should have been an intensely private matter, the outcome was not changed except that it was drawn out far longer than was entirely necessary. The courts did their duty and ruled in the only way the law allowed them to and rightfully according to the law. Some will say that the law needs to be changed then. Others say that that the law, as it stands is fine. If you have been following the last few issues of this minor publication you know where I stand... I agree with the courts and think the law is fine as it is.

That's my opinion and you are welcome to it.

Julie Johnson aka “The Great Spoon“