Friday, June 27, 2008

One Day Pride Will Be Boring

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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If it is June, it is Gay Pride Parade time.

Pride parades all happening all over - in places you don't think would ever have a pride parade like Jerusalem and Zagreb. Bulgaria is planning their first Pride paradebut Cuba just canceled theirs. Ironically, the hotbed of homosexual activity in the world in the Castro District of San Francisco and the city is preparing for the celebrations.

If you go to Google and search "gay pride" the divider graphic between the search results and the test ads on the right hand side of the page is a rainbow strip.

One day, Gay Pride Parades will seem out of date, boring and pointless. Being Gay will be so accepted that having a Pride Parade will be like having a Parade to Celebrate Wednesday.

Cause you know, Wednesdays are just so radical!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oil vs Ice

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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Thankfully, California is doing something about global warming.

California outlined for the first time the largest U.S. attempt to regulate greenhouse gases blamed for global warming, calling for the creation of a new emissions- trading program and increased renewable-energy production.

All parts of the $1.6 trillion economy, the largest of the U.S. states, would be affected. Utilities, refiners, carmakers, farmers, manufacturers and forest managers would be called on to cut pollution under the draft plan released today by the state Air Resources Board.

The blueprint comes 18 months after Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law requiring the country's most populous state to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. The law is the most far-reaching of any climate-change plan in the U.S., where President George W. Bush's administration and Congress have resisted mandatory caps on greenhouse gases.

But is it too late?

When polar bears start suffering from heat stroke, you know something is wrong.

The plight of the polar bear is not just hinged on global warming. In Iceland, polar bears are being shot dead.

Icelandic authorities said they were forced to shoot a polar bear found wandering on the island in order to protect the public after a plan to anaesthetize the animal was abandoned.

The bear, an adult male weighing around 250 kg (500 lbs), was presumed to have swum to shore from drifting ice. The last time a polar bear came ashore in Iceland was in 1988.

"There was a lot of fog in the area and the bear was moving into the fog. We couldn't risk losing him and there was no time to wait for anaesthetics, so we had to shoot him. It was for the safety of the public," Police Superintendent Stefan Vagn Stefansson told Icelandic national radio on Wednesday.

In response to a public outcry at the shooting, the environmental ministry said it would review the incident to see if it could avoid shooting the next bear that lands in the country.

The world's largest land-based predator lives in the Arctic, depending largely on sea ice to hunt seals.

The sport hunting of polar bears continues and some groups wants to lift the ban of polar bear hide importation into the US.

And of course, oil companies are given full permission to harass polar bears.

T'S just over a month since the US government designated the polar bear as an endangered species. Now the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) stands accused of giving oil companies a "blank cheque to harass polar bears".

The row revolves around the seven oil companies that paid $2.6 billion in February for the rights to look for oil in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska. Some 2000 polar bears live in the region - a significant chunk of the estimated 20,000 to 25,000 bears worldwide, and the companies were worried that environmental groups might take legal action to prevent the animals being disturbed.

But the FWS issued regulations last week permitting firms to disturb "small numbers" of bears and walruses without fear of prosecution as long as they report each incident and take steps to minimise the animals' stress. If underwater sonar is being used, for instance, engineers must stop surveying should a bear swim close by.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Note to McCain Youth Voter Drive - Dr. No was 46 years ago

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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When McCain was running for office eight years ago, he constantly used a film reference when on the campaign trail. He called himself "Luke Skywalker" running through the Deathstar. Star Wars came out 31 years ago in 1977. With McCain behind in all demographics except the "Lunatic Bushite" demographic, you would think McCain would up his game when it comes to cultural references.

Didn't happen.

From ABC News:

Today McCain launched a web video that dovetails with his new talking point that when it comes to energy proposals, Obama is "Dr. No."

"No To Drilling Offshore Oil," the web video says, "No To A Gas Tax Holiday….No To Innovation. No To The Electric Car….No To Clean, Safe, Nuclear Energy...Barack Obama Truly Is The Dr. No Of Energy Security."

Dr. No came out on October 5th, 1962, a year before I was born. It was the same day the Beatles released Love Me Do and a week before the Cuban Missile Crisis began. One would think McCain would at least boost his film references by 8 years. There are a lot of great films that came out in 1985. Color Purple came out in 1985 as did Cocoon. You would think he would at least say something about Cocoon in one of his health care chats. There was also Witness, Kiss of the Spiderwoman and OMG, can you imagine the street cred McCain would gain if he lifted a line from Brazil? Prizzi's Honor, Back To The Future, Ladyhawke and Kurosawa's RAN also premiered in 1985.

I guess he couldn't say anything good about the winner of the 1985 Best Film Oscar - that was Out Of Africa.

As ABC News reminds us, it could have been worse. Dr. No was at least "a talkie."

Renegade Justice: An Interview With Former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias

The topic below was originally posted on my blog, the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

David Iglesias is the prototype twenty first century Republican: charismatic, Hispanic, an evangelical Christian and a captain in the Navy Reserve who served for many years in the Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corps (“JAG”). In 1998, Iglesias campaigned to become Attorney General of New Mexico against the heavily favored Patricia Madrid. He nearly pulled off an upset and the Republican Party took notice. In 2000, Iglesias paid his party dues and worked for George W. Bush’s election.

As a reward, President Bush nominated Iglesias in 2001 to be the United States Attorney from the District of New Mexico. His sponsor was longtime Republican Senator Pete Domenici. The position of U.S. Attorney has served as a springboard for many political careers and Iglesias appeared to be on the fast track. Highly regarded by his peers, Iglesias served as chairman of a committee of U.S. Attorneys that advised former Attorney General John Ashcroft about border and Immigration issues. The Justice Department had also given his office high marks for performance.

However, as the first installment of the just released Department of Justice Inspector General report illustrates, professionalism took a back seat to political prerogatives when it came to personnel decisions. A pervasive culture of hyper-partisanship at the Justice Department ultimately cost David Iglesias and nine other U.S. Attorneys their jobs last year. It also resulted in a metastasizing scandal that forced Bush loyalist Alberto Gonazles to resign as Attorney General.

David Iglesias became persona non grata in the Republican Party when he resisted political pressure while carrying out the responsibilities of his office. One example was his cautious evidenced based approach while prosecuting voter fraud. Specifically, Republicans feared that the votes of minorities and the poor in New Mexico could adversely affect their candidates in what had become a polarized state. Al Gore defeated George Bush in New Mexico by a mere 366 votes in 2000. Hence, Republicans viewed prosecuting voter fraud as a means of suppressing Democratic turnout in elections that could be decided on the margins. Iglesias dutifully investigated voter fraud and found virtually nothing to prosecute, angering the White House.

Another example involved a public corruption investigation against powerful Democratic New Mexico state legislator Manny Aragon. In 2006, while Iglesias took a measured evidenced based approach to investigating Aragon; Republican Congresswoman Heather Wilson was in a tough re-election fight against New Mexico’s Democratic Attorney General, Patricia Madrid. The same candidate Iglesias lost to in 1998. Republicans hoped that an indictment filed against Aragon prior to Election Day would make Madrid appear professionally lax as New Mexico’s Attorney General. However, Iglesias didn’t believe the case was ready and didn’t want to undermine the investigation or chances of conviction by filing an indictment prematurely.

The events that followed are well known. Both Representative Wilson and Senator Domenici inappropriately telephoned Iglesias hoping to persuade him to indict Aragon. Iglesias didn’t budge and he was asked to resign on December 7, 2006. Six of his colleagues with similar experiences were also asked to resign on the same day and a political firestorm engulfed the Bush Administration, his Attorney General and the entire Republican Party. Domenici, his reputation and legacy forever tarnished opted not to seek re-election this year because of poor health. Congressman Wilson hoped to replace Domenici in the Senate but she lost the Republican primary on June 3rd.

Iglesias memorialized his experience with his new book, In Justice: Inside The Scandal That Rocked The Bush Administration (Wiley & Sons). Former Ambassador Joseph Wilson had the following praise for Iglesias’s book:

“In justice is a chilling tale of the subversion of the Constitution for political purposes. What was done to David Iglesias and his colleagues constitutes complete and utter disregard for the role of law that underpins our great republic. Americas will rightly be appalled and Republicans ashamed at this abuse of power.”
Iglesias agreed to podcast interview with me over the telephone about his book and the scandal that made him an important historical figure. Our conversation was just over sixteen minutes. Please refer to the flash media player below.

This interview can also be accessed at no cost via the Itunes store by searching for the Intrepid Liberal Journal.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Crime Fighting With Obama!

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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Ok, I had a bad day yesterday.

After buying a Bluetooth phone adapter for my iPhone at the Apple store in San Francisco yesterday, I was off to buy some khakis. Since I have been loosing weight, my wife tells me I got no ass left and need some smaller pants. So I got on the bus, show the drive my MUNI pass, put it back in my wallet, put my wallet in my back pocket, buttoned the pocket (it has a “safety” flap, like a prescription pill bottle that only kids can open), and grabbed a seat. When I sat down I noticed the familiar lump in my pocket is gone! The pocket was unbuttoned and the wallet was history.

It was that fast.

When I got on the bus there were about seven 20-something males crowding the front aisle in the bus. Passengers had to push their way through to grab a seat. Passing through that throng was when I lost the wallet. The group immediately got off the bus and it was over.

They didn’t get much - $20 or $30 and a bus pass. The bank was very wonderful to deal with. They made everything easy and even brought me something to drink and guided me to the nearest police station. (Mad props to Officer Santana!)

Because of where and how they tried to use the debit cards later, the police told me this appears to be gang-related, probably MS13 by their operational pattern. That was a lot of work to get so little out of it.

But still, what a pain in the ass.

Monday, June 23, 2008

McCain Doesn’t Do “New”

Crossposted from Left Toon Lane, Bilerico Project & My Left Wing

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McCain was speaking about his "new" energy policy of $300 million, "one dollar for every American" to leap-frog to the next level of battery technology so we can have plug-in hybrids. Here is a link for the McCain campaign's science adviser - Lithium-Ion Batteries.

They are available now. The technologies required to put them into automobiles are available now. But McCain wants to drill the shit out of ANWR - an old Bush policy. McCain also wants to drill the shit out of American coastal areas. Also McCain wants to blow the shit out of mountains to get out all the dirty coal out that he can, with total disregard to the environment - just like Bush.

Lastly, even though McCain is trying hard to be green, he fails to understand the true impact of global warming. His $300 million, wrongly spent, does nothing to solve the climate crisis. McCain's insistence in allowing the "free market" economy solve that woe is Bushian to the core.

More McSame for a Do-Nothing President.

SPECIAL REQUEST FOR TCD FANS: The San Francisco Chronicle is pondering the addition of new cartoons for their paper - a process that seems to be initiated by Darren Bell, creator of Candorville (one of my daily reads - highly recommended). You can read the Chronicle article here and please add your thoughts to the comments if you wish. If anything, put in a good word for Darren and Candorville.

I am submitting Town Called Dobson to the paper for their consideration. They seem to have given great weight to receiving 200 messages considering Candorville. I am asking TCD fans to try to surpass that amount. (I get more than that many hate mails a day, surely fans can do better?)

This is not a race between the two of us, it is a hope that more progressive strips can be represented in the printed press of America.

So if you read the San Francisco Chronicle or live in the Bay Area (Google Analytics tell me there are a lot of you), please send your kind comments (or naked, straining outrage) to David Wiegand at his published addresses below. If you are a subscriber, cut out your mailing label and staple it to a TCD strip and include it in your letter.


David Wiegand
Executive Datebook Editor
The San Francisco Chronicle
901 Mission St.
San Francisco, CA 94103