August 26, 2005

A Voice of Reason...

"The growing chorus of voices demanding a pullout should seriously alarm the Bush administration, because President Bush and his team are repeating the failure of Vietnam: failing to craft a realistic and effective policy and instead simply demanding that the American people show resolve.

Resolve isn't enough to mend a flawed approach -- or to save the lives of our troops.

If the administration won't adopt a winning strategy, then the American people will be justified in demanding that it bring our troops home."

General Wesley Clark

Oh, and if you think everyone in the military supports Bush and his lies, think again. The Bush people were apparently pretty upset with a bunch of Vets during Bush's War speech at the VFW National Meeting last week. No commentary necessary... just check out the image below. Military guys are great... they know how to deliver shots that really sting...

August 22, 2005

Hypocrisy among morality police

A few months ago, State Senator Chip Campsen sought to pass legislation enacting criminal penalties against clergy who conduct marriage ceremonies for same-sex partners on the stated basis that there is no point in making something a crime unless penalties are enacted to prevent the crime from occurring.

This is part of a Statewide (and maybe Regional or National) trend to legislate morality. But, somehow those who are trying to come up with new and sundry ways to criminalize acts which offend their moral sensibilities are ignoring the fact that we already have laws on the books of this nature that are rarely (if ever enforced). For example:

SC Code Ann. § 16-15-60 (1976, as amended) titled “Adultery or fornication” provides:

Any man or woman who shall be guilty of the crime of adultery or fornication shall be liable to indictment and, on conviction, shall be severally punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than one year or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.

SC Code Ann. § 16-15-80 provides,
"Fornication" is the living together and carnal intercourse with each other or habitual carnal intercourse with each other without living together of a man and woman, both being unmarried.

Former Lt. Governor Bob Peeler has admitted that he committed adultery. And while Governor Sanford's [former] Spokesperson Will Folks has denied that he committed Domestic Abuse, evidence suggests that he is guilty of the crime of fornication. So why isn't Campsen calling for the prosecution of the former Lt. Governor and Mr. Folks? Could it be because they are white, male, Republican, heterosexual Conservatives?

Mr. Peeler has been quoted as saying that his situation is a “private matter.” And well he should given that he would apparently be facing multiple counts of adultery if the applicable law were applied strictly. Maybe he would be interested in helping repeal this silly law and in convincing Senator Campsen not to try to enact any more silly laws.

-- Name withheld upon request, Summerville, S.C.

Progressive Energy Policies Serve Our National Interest

As Americans struggle with $3 a gallon gasoline in some parts of the country, and many others facing sharp increases in heating fuel for the winter months, it is time for our leaders to come to grips with the hard truth: our nation must end its excessive reliance on oil. In order to protect our economy and ensure our way of life, we must take far-reaching efforts to diversify our energy production with renewable sources; reduce our reliance on unstable and uncertain foreign oil; and transform our consumption patterns into more sustainable and efficient ways of using energy. Unfortunately, right-wing leaders have taken the exact opposite approach favoring tax handouts to huge oil companies and virtually ignoring consumption needs and alternative energy sources.

·We should help Americans move into more affordable, fuel efficient vehicles. Increasing fuel economy standards should be the top priority but we should go beyond production standards. Low-income drivers tend to own less efficient vehicles that are also often the least reliable, the least safe and the most polluting cars on the road. Programs designed to get the most polluting cars off the roads have already been used successfully in a few states. Just as the government helps low-income households meet their home energy needs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, progressives should adopt a policy that helps low-income drivers scrap their inefficient vehicles and replace them with efficient cars.

We should encourage industries to embrace innovation and increase their bottom lines by producing the next generation of cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks. Innovation in the automobile sector will help maintain a domestic manufacturing base and provide good jobs for the future in the automobile sector and beyond. Tax credits to convert auto plants to produce more efficient vehicles are one alternative. Another is to create an x-prize style program to promote cars of the future whereby the government would offer a cash prize for the first company that develops and sells one million vehicles that achieve efficiency of at least 80 miles per gallon. A smaller prize would go to the second place finisher. An additional reward for the winners could be a guaranteed federal procurement for the federal fleet and low-income leasing program, if that program was adopted. We should also encourage the development of alternative fuels like bio-diesel and shift agricultural subsidies to support these changes.

We should make energy independence a national budgetary priority. The federal budget still contains tax incentives that actually increase oil consumption. These should be eliminated and funds redirected, starting with the $25,000 tax credit for the heaviest SUVs. This would save the Treasury almost $250 million annually and help cover the costs of other programs to help reduce oil consumption. In addition to saving the federal Treasury money by increasing the fuel efficiency of the government fleet, they could increase access to affordable, reliable transportation, which in turn would expand job opportunities for many workers and spur economic development.