The station of choice for Chinquapin Parish.

Archive for the ‘Civil Liberties’ Category

‘Phobes brewing up fresh pot of hate in Arkansas

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has given his okay to the Family Council’s drive to get a ban on gay people serving as foster parents and adopting on the ballot for the next election:

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has certified the Family Council’s revised initiated act to ban gay foster parenting and adoption for the ballot. This clears the way for their effort to gather signatures to qualify it for the 2008 ballot.

Arkansas Blog : Ballot rulings — UPDATE


Written by Jeff

Thursday, October 4, 2007 at 9:37 pm

On this day: AR Nat. Guard prevents Little Rock Nine from going to school

Unfortunately: On this day in 1957 Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus used the Arkansas National Guard to prevent 9 black students from entering Little Rock Central High School. He left the National Guard in place for 16 days until a federal judge ordered him to withdraw them.

On the Twenty-third, the students were snuck into the school and when the white parents who had been demonstrating outside heard of it there was a near riot. The students were quickly whisked from the school to ensure their safety.

On September 24, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborn Division to escort the black students into Little Rock Central High School and to ensure their safety. Eisenhower also federalized the Arkansas National Guard.

The 101st stayed at Central High until Thanksgiving when its guard duties were handed over to Task Force 153rd Infantry, a specialized unit of the Arkansas National Guard. Task Force 153rd Infantry stayed on guard duty at Central High until the end of the school year.

Arkansas Troops Bar Negro Pupils; Governor Defiant | New York Times’ On This Day

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 2:00 pm

Thompson will run on social non-issues instead of something important?

In an interview with CNN, Fred Thompson said that he would work towards a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage and overturning Roe v. Wade.

I don’t think that one state ought to be able to pass a law requiring gay marriage or allowing gay marriage and have another state be required to follow along,

Nevermind the fact that the current DOMA exempts marriage equality from the Full Faith and Credit Clause.

When asked about how he would deal with Iraq, the only answer he gave was, “We can’t run away with our tails between our legs.” (paraphrased)

CNN Political Ticker Thompson: Roe ‘bad law and bad medicine’ «

Written by Jeff

Friday, August 17, 2007 at 3:39 pm

State of the Union 2007

Think Progress has posted the text of Bush’s State of the Union early. There are a few things that made me think.

The great question of our day is whether America will help men and women in the Middle East to build free societies and share in the rights of all humanity. And I say, for the sake of our own security … we must.

Our goal is a democratic Iraq that upholds the rule of law, respects the rights of its people….

He talks a nice line about respecting human—and presumably civil—rights in Iraq, but it’d be nice if he did the same here in America and withdrew his and his party’s support for writing discrimination into the constitutions of so many states.

He also mentioned Darfur:

And we will continue to speak out for the cause of freedom in places like Cuba, Belarus, and Burma — and continue to awaken the conscience of the world to save the people of Darfur.

emphasis added

He wants to “awaken the conscience” to stop genocide in Darfur without calling it genocide, of course. If he did that, he’d actually have to do something about it rather then just talk. A friend pointed me towards an article in The New York Times from January 17 called “What $1.2 Trillion Can Buy”.

According to the author, the war in Iraq will wind up costing about $1.2 Trillion. If we hadn’t entered into the Iraq debacle, we could have actually completely paid for a military intervention in Darfur, along with many other much-needed programs.

Think Progress » Embargoed: State of the Union Text

Written by Jeff

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Remembering Justice Louis Brandeis

Today marks the birth of Justice Louis Brandeis, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Justice Brandeis is of special import because he is essentially the father of our rights to privacy. In Olmstead v. United States, he wrote a dissenting opinion in which he stated that the Constitution protected Americans’ rights to privacy calling it “the right most valued by civilized men.” He was in the minority then, but 39 years later, the Supreme Court adopted his position when it overturned Olmstead in Katz v. United States.

Thank you Justice Brandeis. Too bad you’re not around today to protect our cherished rights.

Written by Jeff

Monday, November 13, 2006 at 2:04 am

Posted in Civil Liberties


victory thumbnail I received an email last night (a newsletter type thing) from HRC claiming “MAJOR victories” in yesterday’s midterm elections.

I immediately thought, “Are the seven states that banned equal marriage a victory?” Maybe I’m too cynical.

Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee (overwhelmingly, 80% to 20%), Virginia, and Wisconsin all enacted constitutional amendments forbidding equal marriage. Colorado took it a step further by not only making equal marriage illegal, but also disallowing separate-but-(un)equal domestic partnerships.

I think it’s great that the Democrats took the House and most state legislatures and governorships up for grabs. And it’s even better that the Senate is within reach, but will this really benefit the GLBT community? Most of the pundits on CNN last night described many of the Democrat winners as “social conservatives” or “moderates” which I guess is code for “Republican registered as a Democrat”. I dunno.

There’s plenty of reason to be happy with the outcome of yesterday’s election and I found myself giddy more than once, but I can’t help but notice that nowhere in their announcement for a “stunning victory” and “a stinging rebuke for anti-GLBT politics” they nowhere mention the 7 new anti-equality amendments.

They do mention, though, the rejection of an anti-equality amendment in Arizona. I guess that’s a good thing. Go AZ!

Written by Jeff

Wednesday, November 8, 2006 at 9:14 am

Early voting rocks!

I went and voted today. Early voting started a few days ago and runs up until the election. I used a touch screen machine and had no problems. Even the 4,000 year old woman running it had no problems.

It stacked the candidates in the races so one was on top of the other and I would have liked it better if they had been in separate columns, but that would have made the ballot considerably longer and it was already pretty hefty at six “pages”. It was most painless.

I was a bit disappointed though, because none of the Democratic candidates were liberal enough for me, but I wasn’t willing to vote Green or independent because that would increase the chance that a Republican would win when the “third-party” candidates don’t really have a shot. Kind of sad, too, when you consider that the candidate that most matches my beliefs was the Green Party candidate.

The Republican candidates, though, were too, well, evil works for me. They’re pretty much the same bigoted person across the board. “Keep our guns!” Yes. That’s what we need, more guns. More guns that kids can take and accidentally (or purposefully) shoot their siblings or more guns that troubled kids can take to school and kill their classmates with.

“Stop Illegal Immigration!” Sure. You go work in the fields for low pay a few weeks and we’ll see how long it takes before you backtrack and go out and scout for illegals to work the farms.

And then there are the “Stop Homosexual Parenting” idiots and the supporters of the “Marriage Protection Amendment” bigots. Pretty much all of the Republican candidates in the field espouse the same narrow, bigoted beliefs in this realm.

Sad thing is that many of the Democrats do, too. DINOs the lot of them. But at least on most issues aside from GLBT civil rights they “score” better.

Written by Jeff

Friday, October 27, 2006 at 2:57 am